Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
- Iran agreed to rein in its nuclear programme in a 2015 deal struck with the US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany.
- Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) Tehran agreed to significantly cut its stores of centrifuges, enriched uranium and heavy-water, all key components for nuclear weapons.
- The JCPOA established the Joint Commission, with the negotiating parties all represented, to monitor implementation of the agreement.
- India has sent Bangladesh its second relief consignment under Operation Insaniyat to help tens of thousands of displaced Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar into Bangladesh following military crackdown in the country.
UN Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific
- The UN Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2018 was launched recently.
- It urged countries to take advantage of high growth rate and share the benefits with the national society.
- The report on the Asia-Pacific region has also urged the regional powers to invest in inclusive and sustainable growth.
- The report described South and Southwest Asia as the fastest growing sub-region of the Asia-Pacific region.
- It also highlights the need to increase the social spending by the government.
- It is released by the UNESCAP (Economic and social commission for Asia-Pacific).
The Rariphotic Zone
- Oxford scientists have discovered an ocean zone off the coast of Bermuda with over 100 species new to science.
- The Rariphotic Zone (rare light zone) extends from 130 meters to 300 meters in depth.
- The zone joins five other areas which have distinct biological communities living and growing within them.
- Tanaids – minute crustaceans – dozens of new algae species and black wire coral that stand up to two meters high are some of the new species found.
- The team has also discovered a major algal forest on the summit of an underwater mountain 24 km off the coast of Bermuda.
- There are over 100,000 underwater mountains in seas across the globe yet less than 50 have been biologically sampled in detail
- China successfully launched a hyperspectral imaging satellite for comprehensive observation of the atmosphere, including air pollution which is one of the country’s major problems.
- The Gaofen-5 satellite was launched from a March 4C rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province.
- The satellite can be used for comprehensive environmental monitoring.
- Gaofen-5 is able to obtain spectral information from ultraviolet to long-wave infrared radiation.
- It is the world’s first full-spectrum hyperspectral satellite for comprehensive observation of the atmosphere and land.
- Tholu Bommalata is the shadow puppet theatre tradition of the state of Andhra Pradesh. Tholu Bommalata literally means “the dance of leather puppets”.
- The puppeteers make up some of the various entertainers who perform all night and usually reenact various stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
- Its performers the part of a group of wandering entertainers and peddlers who pass through villages during the course of a year and offer to sing ballads, tell fortunes, sell amulets, perform acrobatics, charm snakes, weave fishnets, tattoo local people and mend pots.
Nathu La Pass
- a mountain pass in the Himalayas.
- It connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.
- It is also one of the four officially agreed BPM (Border Personnel Meeting) points between the Indian Army and People’s Liberation Army of China for regular consultations and interactions between the two armies, which helps in defusing stand-offs.
Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission
- Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) is an Autonomous Institution of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- IPC is created to set standards of drugs in the country. It’s basic function is to update regularly the standards of drugs commonly required for treatment of diseases prevailing in this region.
- It publishes official documents for improving Quality of Medicines by way of adding new and updating existing monographs in the form of Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP). It further promotes rational use of generic medicines by publishing National Formulary of India.
- The pyrogen test is carried out to check impurity or substance that can cause adverse side-effects. For the test, the drug is injected into a rabbit and the animal is closely observed for feverish symptoms.
- The abnormal toxicity test is carried out to check potential hazardous biological contamination in vaccine formulations. This batch test is done before the product is approved for marketing. In this, mice or guinea pigs are injected with the vaccine.
Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme
- It was launched in December, 1993, to provide a mechanism for the Members of Parliament to recommend works of developmental nature for creation of durable community assets and for provision of basic facilities including community infrastructure, based on locally felt needs.
- The MPs have a recommendatory role under the scheme.
- They recommend their choice of works to the concerned district authorities who implement these works by following the established procedures of the concerned state government.
- The district authority is empowered to examine the eligibility of works sanction funds and select the implementing agencies, prioritise works, supervise overall execution, and monitor the scheme at the ground level.
- The Lok Sabha Members can recommend works in their respective constituencies. The elected members of the Rajya Sabha can recommend works anywhere in the state from which they are elected.
- Nominated members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may select works for implementation anywhere in the country.
United Nations Peacekeeping Course for African Partners
- The third edition of the United Nations Peacekeeping Course for African Partners (UNPCAP) is being held in New Delhi.
- The course is aimed to build and enhance the capacity of the African Troop Contributing Countries to the UN and to further train the trainers from these countries.
- The course is conducted by the Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping in India (CUNPK) in partnership with the US, the Indian Army said in a statement.
- The first and second editions of the course were held in New Delhi in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
- The training incorporates topics on operational and logistical matters, humanitarian issues, thematic topics, Blackboard and table Top exercises and mission briefs.
- The course is also targeted to assist the student officers to further train officers in their respective countries on the nuances of peacekeeping.
New sheep insemination technique
- Scientists at the Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute (CSWRI), Avikanagar, have come up with a new laparoscopic-assisted insemination technique for sheep.
- The new technique has resolved the difficulties involved in the freezing of semen and inability to transit the tortuous reproductive tract of the ruminant mammals kept as livestock.
- The minor invasive laparoscopic technique involves passing a rigid fibre-optic laparoscope into the abdomen through a small incision.
- The new technique would help achieve up to 60% survival in the birth of lambs and would have an immense potential for rapid multiplication of elite germplasm.
- Anitha-SAT, a lightweight satellite developed by Villet Oviya, a 17-year-old student of Tiruchi, to measure the effects of air pollution and global warming, was launched from Aztra Labs in Mexico City.
- The satellite weight is around 500 grams.
- It is fitted with global positioning system and a camera, the satellite was pushed into troposphere, to a height of 15 km, in a helium balloon.
- Thereafter, the balloon exploded and the capsule began its descent towards the sea, measuring the temperature, air quality and concentration of gases in the strata of the atmosphere.