24 April 2019 Daily Current Affairs Analysis


 

Table of Contents

 

·    Topic: Health. 4

v  World’s first Malaria vaccine named ‘Mosquirix’ 4

 

·    Topic: Science & Technology. 7

v  UAE's Hope Probe project. 7

 

·    Topic: Issues related to women. 9

v  Special kits for investigations into sexual assault cases. 9

 

·    Topic: IR. 11

v  U.S. ends waiver for India on Iran oil 11

 

 

 

  1. World’s first Malaria accine named ‘Mosquirix’

 

News

 

  • Malawi will be undertaking large scale pilot tests for the world’s most advanced experimental malaria vaccine in a bid to prevent the disease.

 

 

  • The vaccine has been recommended by WHO for pilot introduction in selected areas of 3 African countries- Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.

 

  • World’s first vaccine against a parasitic disease: Mosquirix:

 

  • Mosquirix is also engineered using a hepatitis B viral protein and a chemical adjuvant to further boost the immune response for enhanced effectiveness.

 

  • RTS,S, known by its trade name Mosquirix, uses antibodies to target proteins presented by sporozoites (such as the circumsporozoite protein of  falciparum)to enhance the immune system and help prevent the parasite from infecting the liver.

 

  • What is Malaria:

 

 

  • caused by the infectious Plasmodium

 

 

  • Spread: Female Anophelesmosquitoes deposit parasite sporozoites into the skin of a human host.

 

 

  • Malaria is a leading cause of human morbidity and mortality.

 

 

  • Despite huge progress in tackling the disease, there are still 212 million new cases of malaria and 430,000 malaria-related deaths worldwide each year according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

 

 

  • Most cases (80%) and deaths (90%) were in sub-Saharan African.

 

  • About Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (DAMaN) initiative:

 

  • Among states, Odisha’s Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (DAMaN) initiative is significant.

 

 

  • The initiative aims to deliver services to the most inaccessible and hardest hit people of the State.

 

 

  • The initiative has in-built innovative strategies to combat asymptomatic malaria.

 

 

  • The programme is jointly implemented by Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Malaria Research (ICMR-NIMR), National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), Odisha and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV).

 

  • India’s efforts:

 

  • India’s progress in fighting malaria is an outcome of concerted efforts to ensure that its malaria programme is country-owned and country-led, even as it is in alignment with globally accepted strategies.

 

  • At the East Asia Summit in 2015, India pledged to eliminate the disease by 2030. Following this public declaration, India launched the five-year National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination.

 

  • This marked a shift in focus from malaria “control” to “elimination”. The plan provides a roadmap to achieve the target of ending malaria in 571 districts out of India’s 678 districts by 2022.

 

 

 

  1. UAE's Hope Probe project

 

News

 

  • Hope Probe is an ambitious dream project of UAE to send a mission to Mars.

 

 

  • The UAE Space Agency and Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) have announced that 85% of the Hope Probe project has been completed.

 

 

  • The two organisations confirmed that most of the main parts of the project have been completed and are currently undergoing intensive testing to ensure every aspect of the Probe is ready for activation a few months before the launch date.

 

  • Hope Probe is scheduled to be launched in July 2020. 
  • UAE hopes to become the first Arabic and Islamic country to make the Mars Mission dream a reality. 

 

  • It is planned to reach Mars by 2021 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE.

 

  • Several aspects related to the design, assembly of the structure, cameras and control have been verified.

 

  • So far, the Probe’s systems and components, as well as its ability to communicate with the ground station have been checked by the team. The Probe has succeeded in all the tests it has been subject to so far, ahead of the five environmental tests to be conducted on the probe from June to December 2019.

 

  • The UAE, through this ambitious project, has positioned itself amongst the leading countries in the field of space exploration and advanced space manufacturing. The project has so far showcased the level of capabilities and world-class facilities that are available in the UAE.

 

  • Hope Probe has been developed in accordance with Mars Exploration Programme Analysis Group (MEPAG), the global scientific community which is working on Mars exploration and coordinated with international entities to ensure the best results.
  • The objectives of the Emirates Mars Mission will be to add to the global efforts to explore space and the surrounding planets. For the first time, a Mars exploration project will be able to take a global picture of the Martian atmosphere.

 

 

  • It will do so by taking an integrated picture of the atmosphere throughout the day and for a long period of time, helping to create a better understanding of the planet’s atmosphere in different seasons of the year.

 

 

  1. Special kits for inestigations into sexual assault cases

 

News

  • Ministry of Home Affairs has distributed special kits to carry out immediate investigations into sexual assault cases. 

 

 

  • The Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits or ‘rape investigation kits’ are designed to carry out immediate medico-legal investigation.

 

 

  • Significance of the kits:

 

 

  • The kit has a set of test tubes and bottles, which mention contents and specifications.

 

 

  • Each of these kits comprises essential items that will aid in furnishing evidence such as blood and semen samples in sexual assault and rape cases, thus helping the prosecution to gather evidence against the accused.

 

 

  • These kits also contain instructions on collection of evidence from the crime scene.

 

 

  • The SAECKs would be sent to the closest laboratory and within two months the results would be out.

 

 

  • The kits were procured with financial support under the central government’s ‘Nirbhaya Fund’, which was named after the 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim.

 

 

  • The kits are expected to help law enforcement agencies to ensure effective investigation in a timely manner for better prosecution and convictions in sexual assault cases.

 

 

  1. U.S. ends waier for India on Iran oil

 

News

  • U.S. Secretary of State announced that the U.S. will not renew exemptions from its sanctions for importing oil from Iran.

 

 

  • President Donald J Trump has decided not to reissue Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs) when they expire in early May.

 

  • Further In Detail:

 

  • India, China and U.S. allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey will be the most impacted by the non-renewal of waivers.

 

  • The other three currently exempted countries Italy, Greece and Taiwan  have already reduced their imports to zero.

 

  • The sanctions have provided the U.S. an opportunity to put more of its own crude on the market.

 

  • The Trump administration hopes to compel Iran to negotiate a “new deal” that would cover not only its nuclear activities, but also its ballistic missile programme and what officials call its “malign behaviour” across the Middle East.

 

  • The sanctions have led to a sharp downturn in Iran’s economy, pushing the value of its currency to record lows, quadrupling its annual inflation rate, driving away foreign investors, and triggering protests.

 

  • The decision will not only mean maximum pressure on Iran but also maximum pressure on oil markets.

 

  • Background Of It:

 

 

  • A six-month waivers from economic penalties were granted by the U.S. to the eight main buyers of Iranian crude China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece to give them time to find alternative sources and avoid causing a shock to global oil markets.

 

 

  • The exemptions were granted last November for a 180-day period and are due to expire on May 2.

 

 

  • This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the government its main source of revenue.

 

  • How will it impact India?

 

 

  • China and India are currently the largest importers of Iranian oil. If they don’t go along with Trump’s demands, that could cause tensions in both bilateral relationships and spill over into other issues, like trade.

 

 

  • India, which imports four-fifths of its oil, depends on Iran as one of its main suppliers.

 

 

  • The recent decision could have an immediate effect on Indian financial markets if it causes oil prices to jump.

 

 

  • Apart from oil imports, India will also have to navigate a waiver for development of the Chabahar port which is of critical strategic importance to New Delhi.

 

 

  • Though India has agreements with many countries regarding oil India’s energy security and future energy policy needs to be decided following a discussion with all stakeholders, including the oil companies.