Daily Current Affairs - 10-04-2021

Every year, the World Homeopathy day is celebrated on April 10. The day is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of the founder of Homeopathy Dr Samuel Hahnemann. In India, the Homeopathy Day was celebrated under the following theme:
Theme: Homeopathy: Roadmap for Integrative Medicine

Who was Samuel Hahnemann?

Dr Samuel Hahnemann was born on April 10, 1755. He was a German physician and was best known for creating pseudoscientific system of alternative medicine. The pseudoscientific system is called Homeopathy. Pseudoscience is a set of practices that are scientific and factual but are incompatible with scientific methods.

Dr Hahnemann was dissatisfied of the fact that the medicines in his time at times created more harm than good. Thus, he gave up practicing medicine in 1784. Then on, he started investigating causes of alleged errors in the medicines.

How did Samuel invent Homeopathy?

He encountered the fact that Cinchona, the bark of Peruvian tree was effective in treating malaria. According to him, this was possible because of the astringency of the Peruvian tree. Astringency is the property that causes skin cell or other body cells to contract.

To research about the effect of Cinchona on human body he self-applied it. The drug then induced malaria like symptoms in him. With this he concluded that it would do so in any healthy individual.

Based on the above invention, he framed the concept that “Like Cures Like”, that is, “that which can produce symptoms in healthy individuals can treat a sick patient who is suffering from same kind of symptoms”. This principle was named by him as “Homeopathy”. This is the base of homeopathic treatment.

The World Homeopathy Day is different from World Health Day.

World Health Day

The World Health Day is celebrated on April 7. This year, the World Health Day was celebrated on the following theme:

Theme” Building a fairer, healthier world

A new study published in the journal Biological Conservation says that many animals and plants might face extinction if green house gas emissions continue to rise.

Key Findings of the Study

What is Global temperature increases by three degree Celsius?

According to the study if the global temperature increases by three degree Celsius, then a third of the endemic species living on land and half of endemic species living in sea will face extinction. At these temperatures, around 84% of species will face extinction in mountains. On Islands, all the 100% of the species will become extinct at these temperatures.

What will be the scenario in 2050?

According to the report, the following will occur in 2050:

How will Climate Change affect Endemic Species?

According to the report, the endemic species will be affected as follows:

The Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently launched a fourteen day “Mask Abhiyan” initiative to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mask Abhiyan

The main objective of the initiative is to turn the use of mask into a habit. This will play a huge role in controlling the current resurgence of COVID-19. Also, the Odisha State Government has increased the fines for violators from Rs 1000 to Rs 2000.

The Odisha Government had also made amendments to the COVID-19 regulations under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. Accordingly, people who do not wear masks in public places will be fined up to Rs 2,000 for violations for the first time. When violated for the second time, people will be charged with Rs 5,000 of fine.

On what legal grounds has Odisha Government introduced the fines?

In May 2020, the Union Government directed the states to invoke Epidemic Diseases Act. The act empowers the state governments to take special measures during an epidemic. It also defines penalties for defying the regulations provided under the act. Under these provisions, the Odisha Government has introduced the fines.

Provisions of Epidemic Act, 1897

Recent Amendments to the Epidemic Act, 1897

The Union Government recently made amendments to the act stating that acts of violence against healthcare service personnel shall be punished. The accused will be imprisoned for three months to five years and will be fined till Rs 2 lakhs.

The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter of NASA is to make its first flight. With this, Ingenuity will make history of becoming the first controlled aircraft to fly in another planet.

Ingenuity Helicopter

Challenges

The atmosphere of Mars is only one-hundredth as dense as that of the atmosphere of the earth. It is harder for an aircraft to generate a lift at such less dense atmospheric conditions. Such conditions are equivalent to the earth’s atmosphere at a height of 30,000 metres. The existing helicopters on the earth have never reached such a height. However, Ingenuity cleared all the tests that were held on the earth in 2019 in simulated Mars atmosphere.

Mars 2020

The Mars 2020 mission is a part of Mars Exploration Programme of NASA. It was launched from the earth in July 2020. It reached Mars in February 2021.

Mars Exploration Programme

The Mars Exploration Programme is an effort to explore planet Mars. It was initially formed in 1993. However, in 2013, due to 40% cut in NASA’s budget, the programme was reformulated. There are four major goals of Mars Exploration Programme. They are as follows:

The La Sourfriere Volcano located on the eastern Caribbean island recently erupted after decades of inactivity. The volcano forced thousands in the surrounding villages to evacuate.

About the Volcano

Caribbean

The Caribbean is a region of the Americas that comprises of the Caribbean Sea. The region has more than seven hundred islands. The Climate Change poses major risks to the islands in the Caribbean region.

The name Caribbean comes from the Caribs. Caribs are one of the dominant native American groups in the region.

Caribbean Tectonic plate

The Caribbean Tectonic plate is mostly an oceanic tectonic plate. The Caribbean plate borders the Nazca plate, Cocos plate, North American plate and South American plate. The borders are the regions of intense seismic activity.

Caribbean Sea

The Caribbean Sea is bounded by Mexico in the west and Central America in the south west. In the north of Caribbean Sea is the Greater Antilles and to the east is the Lesser Antilles.

The second largest barrier reef in the world called Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is in Caribbean Sea. The reef runs along the coast of Honduras, Gautemala, Belize and Mexico.

A team of scientists have recently found a way to solve cosmological tensions through dark sirens.

What are Dark Sirens?

The Dark Sirens are nothing but gravitational waves from neutron stars or black holes. The Dark sirens can be picked up by gravitational wave detector but not by ordinary telescopes.

What are the Cosmological tensions that can be solved through Dark Sirens?

The Cosmologists have been facing the crisis that the universe is expanding, and it cannot be deciphered how fast it is moving away. This is mainly because, different ways of measuring Hubble’s constant provide different results.

Hubble Constant in simple terms

When the Universe is moving away from the earth, the relationship between speed and distance between the earth and the universe is called Hubble Constant. Here Universe can be any celestial body, a star, or a black hole. The Constant has been named after Edwin Hubble who first calculated the value of Hubble Constant in 1920.

How will Dark Sirens solve Cosmological crisis?

When massive neutron stars or black holes smash together they release huge amount of energy sending out gravitational waves. The LASER Inferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) has been listening to such massive crashes since 2015. Based on the sound heard, LIGO will help the scientists calculate how far they happened.

Recently, the discovery of dozens of Quasars have also given hope of determining Hubble’s constant.

Way Forward

The LIGO detectors are expected to get an upgrade over the next five years. The European and the US facilities were recently joined by the Kamioka Gravitational Wave Detector in Japan. Also, an Indian detector is to go online in 2024. With these advancements, the scientists will be able to pinpoint where exactly did the Dark Siren crash happen. And such predictions will be four hundred times better than the current detections.

The Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell operating under Ministry of Petroleum recently released a report on petroleum consumption of India. According to the report, fuel consumption of the country reduced by 9.1% in the year 2020-21 as compared to that of the previous year. This is the first time the petroleum consumption contracted to the highest since 1998-99.

Key Findings of the report

Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell

The Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) was created in 2002. It was created after dismantling the Administered Pricing Mechanism in the petroleum sector. Also, the Oil Coordination Committee was abolished and replaced with PPAC. The PPAC assists the Ministry of Petroleum in administering subsidies on domestic LPG, kerosene, and freight subsidies for far flung areas. Also, it assists in maintaining data or information to deal with emergencies and unforeseen situations.

The expenditure of PPAC is borne by Oil Industry Development Board.

Objectives of PPAC

The main objectives of PPAC are as follows:

The Supreme Court recently refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) of a BJP leader that sought directions to ban superstition, black magic, and fraudulent religious conversions.

SC Judgement

The Apex court pronounced that the PIL violates Article 25 of the Constitution. According to the bench headed by Justice R F Nariman, that pronounced the judgement, the word “propagate” in Article 25 of the Constitution guarantees right to religion.

Constitution on religion

The Right to Freedom is guaranteed to all religious followers under the following articles:

Article 25

Article 25 guarantees freedom to propagate, practice and profess religion to all citizens. The article allows the states to make laws:

Article 26

Article 26 speaks about Freedom to manage religious affairs.

Article 27

The Article 27 of the constitution prevents payment of taxes for promotion of a particular religion. According to the article, there shall be no taxes imposed by any institution or organisation or by the Governments (both state and centre) for the promotion or maintenance of a particular religion.

Article 28

The Article 28 of the Constitution speaks about freedom to attend any religious instructions or religious worships in educational institutions. No religious instructions shall be issued in state run educational institutions.

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research recently adopted 295 Atal Tinkering Labs established under Atal Innovation Mission. This will help young innovators associated with the Atal Tinkering Labs to learn from the best scientists in the country. It will pave way for them to become living inspirations for their schools and local communities.

What is the plan?

Significance of the adoption

The pandemic has reinforced the importance of scientific and industrial research. Therefore, the partnership will boost Atal Innovation Mission and will push it towards STEM research and innovation collaborations.

The collaboration with CSIR will provide great opportunities for the best young minds in the country to get access to the latest technologies.

Atal Innovation Mission

Atal Innovation Mission was launched in India to promote culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. The Mission has identified seventeen focus areas. They are waste in public spaces and dissuading public littering, decentralized composting, mixing blades for composting, quality of compost, waste management recycling, garbage composition devices, safe transport, instant portable water quality testing, electric mobility, alternate fuel-based transportation, smart mobility, predictive maintenance of rolling stock, fog vision system, prevention of rail failure using emerging technologies, climate smart agriculture, etc.

Atal New India Challenge

Under the Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog launched the Atal New India Challenge. The main aim of the challenge is to bring innovations and technologies relevant to the people of India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently held a virtual summit with his Netherlands counterpart Mark Rutte. The leaders agreed to diversify the ties in trade and economy between the countries. They also agreed to expand their relations in smart cities, agriculture, science and technology, healthcare, and space.

Partnership in Water Sector

During the summit, India and Netherlands launched a strategic partnership on water. Under the partnership, the countries agreed to alleviate the joint working group on water to ministerial level. It also aimed to broaden bilateral cooperation in new areas of water.

Under the partnership the countries will focus on water budgeting, converting wastewater to energy and decentralized treatment technologies and cost effective water technologies.

Why did India sign the water sector partnership with the Dutch?

Netherlands is the world leader in water management. One-fourth of Netherlands lies under sea level. Yet, the Dutch have successfully comprehended water related challenges and have tested technologies and solutions in delta management, desalination, flood control.

What is India’s plan?

Water Security is currently the highest priority of India. The Union Government is focusing on promoting water efficiency, water safety and quality. This is achieved under initiatives such as Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, Namame Gana Mission, and Jal Jeevan Shakti.

The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana was launched in 2015. It aims to provide end to end solutions in irrigation supply. The scheme promotes micro irrigation to ensure Per drop more crop.

The Kerala Health Department is to launch a mass vaccination drive called the “Crushing the Curve”.

Why is the drive launched?

Kerala has recently witnessed a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases after the assembly elections. The number of COVID-19 cases is increasing at 700 to 1000 per day.

Health sector in Kerala

Kerala’s initiatives

Reasons behind success of Kerala

Way Forward

Kerala is planning to use big data analytics to frame COVID-19 recovery strategies.

The Union Education Minister recently launched the world’s first Microsensor based Explosive Trace Detector called the “NanoSniffer”.

About NanoSniffer

Patents in India

Significance of NanoSniffer

The value of Global Explosives trace detector industry has been estimated as Rs 10,000 crores. India forms only 2% to 3% in the industry. NanoSniffer is to be marketed internationally and will thus help in growth of Indian Explosives trace detector industry.

Explosive Trace Detection

The Explosive Trace Detection is the technology used to detect explosives of small magnitude. The three main characteristics of Explosive Trace Detection are sensitivity, light weight, and size. The sensitivity or detection limit is the lowest amount of explosive matter a detector can detect. The NanoSniffer can detect even nano quantities of explosives.

NITI Aayog is to launch Online Dispute Resolution handbook. It is an invitation to business leaders to adopt Online Dispute resolution.

About the Handbook

The Handbook highlights the need for the businesses to adopt Online Dispute Resolution mechanism. According to the handbook, the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is the resolution of disputes outside courts. This is mainly used to solve small and medium cases using digital technology. The Online Dispute Resolution adopts techniques of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) such as mediation, negotiation, and arbitration.

United Nations

Benefits of Online Dispute Resolution

Challenges in Online Dispute Resolution

What is the difference between ODR and ADR?

ODR is a process that settles disputes outside courts using digital technology. It combines the technologies of Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms. However, both ODR and ADR work towards achieving the same goal.

Online Dispute Resolution in India

The Online Dispute Resolution is in its infancy stage in India. With the E-Commerce industry growing in India rapidly, the number of disputes related to online transactions are increasing at faster rate. The Department of Consumer Affairs has rolled out Online Consumer Dispute Resolution Platform to address this issue.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Agriculture Hackathon was begun by Google, MyGov and HUL to improve AI solutions in the field of Agriculture.

About AI for Agriculture Hackathon

AI in Indian Agriculture

The AI applications in agriculture have reached a value of 1 billion USD and is expected to grow till 8 billion USD by 2030. Currently, the agriculture market of India is valued at 204 billion USD. However, the Indian Agriculture Market has reached only 1% of its potential in the field. With diversity in soil types, topography and climate, India has huge potential for AI experts and data scientists to develop AI solutions for agriculture.

Significance of AI in Agriculture

The HDFC Bank recently announced the winners of the SmartUp Grants, 2021. This is the fourth edition of the SmartUp Grants of HDFC.

Key Highlights

About SmartUp Grants

Significance

Funding is the major challenge faced by the startups in the country. The other challenges faced are corruption, securing loans and bureaucratic inefficiencies. Startup also face pressure over controversies in tax, especially in Angel Tax.

What is Angel Tax?

Angel Tax is the 30% Tax that are levied over the funding received by the startups from an external investor. This tax was introduced in 2012 mainly to fight money laundering. However, it is levied only when the startups receive angel funding higher than its “fair market value”. The issue around Angel Tax is that there is no objective way to measure “fair market value” of a startup.

Startup in India

India now has more than 38,756 startups. Also, India is the third largest tech startup hub in the world.