Hindu Notes from General Studies-02
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Cyber security, big data are new areas of India-Israel cooperation.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in New Delhi on a six-day visit during which he will hold extensive talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, who received him at the airport, setting aside protocol.
Mr. Netanyahu’s visit to India is only the second by an Israeli Prime Minister and comes after a gap of 15 years.
Ahead of his departure from Israel, Mr. Netanyahu said that, they are strengthening ties between Israel and this important global power [India].
Oil and gas sector and cyber security will be new areas of India-Israel cooperation.
‘Big data’ from India was brought up by Israel to influence individual farmer’s efforts, yield, water use.
India, Israel ink nine pacts
- India and Israel inked nine pacts to boost cooperation in key areas, including cybersecurity and energy.
The nine pacts were signed in the areas of cybersecurity, petroleum, air transport, research in homoeopathy, film co-production, space science, business investment, metal-air batteries and solar thermal technology.
During Mr. Netanyahu’s visit, Israel and India are expected to sign agreements on cybersecurity, energy and space cooperation, according to the External Affairs Ministry.
Historians oppose Monuments Bill
Historians and archaeologists have expressed concern over amendments proposed to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (1958).
If the related Bill is passed in the Upper House, it could have disastrous consequences for historical monuments.
The Act, which originally instituted conservation measures and banned construction activities near protected monuments, is now sought to be amended so that public works could be allowed within the 100 m prohibited zone.
The Lok Sabha passed the amendments to the Act on January 3. But the Bill is yet to be cleared by the Rajya Sabha.
- Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) reveals that the pressure to bring in this amendment came when the ASI declined permission for a six-lane highway to come up on the Delhi-Kanpur highway near Akbar’s tomb in Sikandra, Uttar Pradesh.
- In 2013, after a CAG report raised an alarm that 92 historical monuments had gone “missing” due to development activities around them, the ASI started a ground survey to verify them, and found that 21 had indeed become untraceable.
Citing a Cabinet note, Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor informed Parliament recently that plans were afoot to construct a railway line next to Rani ki Vaw, an ancient step well in Patan, Gujarat, which had been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.
Hindu Notes from General Studies-03
Flood sensors planned at 16 spots
The Chennai Corporation is set to commission flood sensors in 16 locations across the city, boosting flood preparedness.
The civic body has identified two locations in Tiruvottiyur zone, one in Madhavaram, four in Royapuram, two in Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar, two in Anna Nagar, one in Teynampet, and four in Kodambakkam zone.
The flood sensors will give real time alerts to civic officials. Using the alerts, efforts will also be made to bale out water to prevent traffic congestion.
Drains at 32 locations
- The civic body has also identified 306 vulnerable locations that reported water stagnation during the 2015 floods.
- They have constructed stormwater drains in only 32 locations. Work on linking some flood-prone areas with canals have also been taken up. More initiatives have to be taken to cope with floods.
- A topographic study will be done by the consultant. The estimated timeline for this study is 36 months. It is likely to be completed by December 2020.
Rajnath Singh launches nuclear technology-based diagnosis
It has set up a molecular imaging with single photon emission computerised tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET-CT) and radio-nuclide therapy unit at a cost of around Rs. 15 crore.
Importance of SPECT
- SPECT can conduct scans of bones, hepatobiliary, thyroid, parathyroid, MIBG, lung and also renal scans.
- It can also aid in lymphoscintigraphy, gastric emptying, gastrointestinal bleed diagnosis, gastroesophageal reflux, neurologic scans, blood volume analysis, infection studies, cisternogram, myocardial perfusion scan, testicular scan and others.
IGIB discovers a protein regulating melanoma growth, pigmentation
- Researchers at Delhi’s CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) have for the first time identified a calcium sensor protein (STIM1) that independently regulates both skin cancer and pigmentation.
- The STIM1 protein does so by activating two independent signalling pathways.
- Interestingly, different parts of the STIM1 protein activate the two independent signalling pathways that control melanoma growth and pigmentation.
This opens up the possibility of developing drug molecules that target specific sites in the STIM1 protein to control tumour growth and regulate pigmentation.
While skin cancers account for third highest number of cancer associated deaths worldwide, perturbations in pigmentation pathways result in pigmentation disorders such as solar lentigo, melasma, vitiligo, and pityriasis alba.
Current therapeutic regimes are not efficient in alleviating pigmentation disorders.