Center reviews COVID management across 5 states with high caseload and fatality

Union Health Secretary Shri Rajesh Bhushan held a video conference with 5 states of Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh, to review their exhibiting higher active caseload, fatality rates and a surge in the COVID cases for the past four weeks. The overall status and performance of the districts on the key parameters of testing, positivity, case fatality etc., were revealed and discussed, focusing on the need to continue containment measures, increasing testing, effective clinical management of patients, use of Rapid Antigen Tests as screening tests in densely populated areas.


President Ram Nath Kovind virtually confers the National Award to Teachers on Teachers Day

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, along with the presence of Union Minister of Education Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and MoS for Education Shri Sanjay Dhotre, virtually confers National Award to Teachers in New Delhi. The 47 selected awardees with their commitment and industry have improved the quality of school education and also enriched the lives of their students and community. The teachers were especially applauded for their continuous efforts through online mode of education, in the light of the pandemic.


SC rejects appeal of 6 States against JEE NEET

The three-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by Justice Ashok Bhushan has dismissed the plea of 6 non- BJP states against NEET JEE. The rejection was on the grounds of absence of merit in the plea, even after careful examination of the petition and the papers associated with it. Similarly, petition filed by Puducherry MLA was also dismissed.


Kaziranga to be expanded by 30.53 square kilometers

The Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve are to be expanded by 30.53 sq km, while adding to the areas of Nagaon and Sonitpur. Director of the national park, P. Sivakumar reveals it will be a move to consolidate the wildlife areas with the aim of better wildlife conservation and reduction in human-wildlife negative interactions. He added that the expansion would also mean better connectivity to Orang and Nameri National Parks across river Brahmaputra, where animals like rhino, tiger, deer and other animals take refuge.



Affordable solar powered sprayers to tackle water crisis in agriculture

CSIR-CMERI is working on methods to reduce water consumption required for irrigation, apart from the usage of solar pumps. One of such initiatives include the efficient usage of pesticides by using modified sprayers. Due to lack of appropriate machinery, large quantities of pesticide gets wasted and soil, water and air become polluted. CSIR-CMERI has developed two variants of battery operated spray systems – Back Pack Sprayer, having a capacity of 5 litres, is made for marginal farmers, and the Compact Trolley Sprayer having a capacity of 10 litres, is made for small farmers. The systems function on Solar-Powered batteries, hence conserving power, and have been made keeping in mind to optimize agricultural facilities.


Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot to launch KIRAN on 7th September, 2020

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, will launch the 24×7 Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline KIRAN (1800-500-0019) through virtual mode Webcast on 07th September 09, 2020 (Monday). In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its magnifying effects on people with mental illness, the initiative is supposed to be beneficial.  Developed by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is to provide relief and support to persons with Mental Illness.


Portable sterilization unit to decontaminate PPEs

IIT Tirupati (IITT) and IISER Tirupati have collaboratively developed the Portable Optical Cavity Sterilization Unit (POSCU) to provide efficient and rapid decontamination of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other household items, necessary to battle COVID-19 and allowing them to be used multiple times, hence preventing generation of hazardous solid waste from PPEs. The team of three have developed such a hybrid sterilization system consisting of a UV radiation cavity, cold plasma, and H2O2 spray.


Shri Gadkari’s updates on the automobile industry

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari, on the 60th Annual Convention of SIAM points out that the automobile industry is making significant progress and can be the factor responsible for the national GDP growth along with the highest number of employment. He also mentioned the increase in measures to road safety, noting that vehicle manufacturers have implemented regulations important to vehicle safety such as crash norms, ABS, airbags, seat belt reminder, reverse parking assist, VTS, etc. – factors responsible to represent the national market at the global level. Since vehicle safety alone is not enough, the construction of roads and expressways with proper designs are necessary and are being implemented. All highways/expressways are being constructed with demarcated roads and lane markings, suitable for the implementation of advanced driver assist technologies, readying for the future.



Kerala and four others to top the reports in care for children

Kerala, Goa, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram are the top five states recorded for the well-being of children, evident from the reports provided by non-governmental organization Mobile Creches. The report also highlights that 8 states – Assam, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar – are well below the national average. The index measures health, nutrition and cognitive growth with indicators that of infant mortality rate, stunting and net attendance at primary school level.


Extensive efforts to snuff out the fire on oil tanker off Sri Lanka coast

MT New Diamond, that was heading from Kuwait to Paradip in Odisha, carrying 2,70,000 metric tones of crude oil caught fire after an explosion in its engine room, near Sri Lanka’s east coast. Naval vessels from both Sri Lanka and India have been rigorously trying to snuff the flames with the continuous fear of an oil spill. Extreme measures have been taken with the inclusion of additional ships with pollution response equipment. India has also deployed two Dornier aircrafts to assist the efforts.


Pune Firm’s RT-PCR test kit approved to be mass-produced

Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) approves mass manufacture and sale of “CoViDx One”- the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kit developed by Pune-based GenePath Diagnostics. The kits will be manufactured at Achira Labs, a Bengaluru based laboratory approved for the production. The firm had received approvals from National Accreditation Board of Laboratories (NABL) and the Indian Council for Medical Research, earlier this year, for carrying out COVID-19 RT-PCR tests in the country, making it the first company in the nation to run an NABL-ICMR approved testing lab and receive approval to manufacture its own RT-PCR test kit.


Greece rejects NATO mediation

NATO chief, Jens Stoltenber’s statement regarding the agreement of both Greece and Turkey to enter into technical talks and establish mechanisms for military deconfliction to reduce the risk of accidents and incidents have been blatantly denied by Athens as Greece’s foreign ministry denies of the statement being different from reality. Greece also stressed on the de-escalation only at Turkey’s withdrawal from the Greek continental shelf.


Canister bags lined with AcryloSorb for safe handling and disposal of respiratory secretions, saving health workers

The researchers at Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India, have devised a method for safe handling and disposal of respiratory secretions, with the help of canister bags lined with super-absorbent material containing an effective disinfectant, named AcryloSorb. The canister bags can absorb 500 ml of secretions and solidify it immediately, posing no risk of contamination as the whole system decontaminates in the presence of a disinfectant. Secretions from contagious diseases such as COVID 19, tuberculosis (TB), and influenza poses high risk for healthcare workers due to their exposure to the high-risk hazard while handling the waste. The invention could act as a boon for the workers.