Facts in News

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    Facts in News

    Short Span Bridging System (SSBS)

    SSBS-10 m is being inducted into the Indian Army.

    About

    • Designed and developed by: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in association with M/s L&T Ltd.
    • Plays a crucial role in bridging the gaps up to 9.5 m.
    • Acts as a single span providing a 4 m wide, fully decked roadway.
    • Compatible with Sarvatra Bridging System (75 m), where the last span requires covering gaps less than 9.5 m. 
    • Significance:
      • Ensures faster movement of the troops; 
      • Enhances the mobilization of resources;
      • Boost to the fast-growing Indian defence industrial ecosystem; and 
      • Helps the industry to contribute towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

    Other Military Bridging Systems

    • Single Span 5 m and 10 m, 
    • Short Span Bridging System, 
    • 46 m Modular Bridge,
    • 34.5 m Mountain Foot Bridge,
    • 20 m BLT-T72 and 
    • Multi-span 75 m Sarvatra Bridging System etc.

    Taal volcano

    The Philippines increased the alert level on Taal Volcano, south of Manila, warning of eruptions and urging people in nearby areas to evacuate.

    About

    • Taal’s alert status was raised to level 3 on a five-level scale after it spewed kilometer-high steam and fragments.
    • Alert Level 3 means there is magmatic unrest, or movement of magma that may further drive succeeding eruptions.
    • The Philippines lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a region prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. 

    Taal Volcano

    • Taal is the Philippines’ second most active volcano, it is “very small but a dangerous volcano”.
    • The active volcano is at the centre of the 230 sq km Lake Taal, formed by prehistoric eruptions (a lake formed in the caldera of an earlier massive eruption).
    • Volcano Island alone has 47 craters and 4 maars – volcanic craters that form when hot magma comes into contact with shallow groundwater, producing a violent steam explosion. Other vents and eruption points are underneath Lake Taal.
    • Taal is a “complex volcano“, which means it doesn’t have one vent or cone but several eruption points that have changed over time.

    Istanbul Convention

    Recently, Turkey has pulled out of Istanbul Convention on violence against women.

    About Convention

    • Established by the Council of Europe.
    • A human rights treaty.
    • Aim: 
      • To prevent and prosecute all forms of violence against women, 
      • promote gender equality and 
      • ensure protection and rehabilitation of women who are victims of violence. 
    • The treaty was opened for ratification in May 2011. 
    • From the European Union, 34 countries signed this treaty. 

    Convention & Turkey

    • On November 24, 2011, Turkey became the first country to ratify the Istanbul convention.
    • On March 8, 2012, it incorporated the Istanbul Convention into domestic law.
    • Reasons for Turkey’s withdrawal:
      • Demeans traditional family structure, 
      • Promotes divorces and 
      • Encourages acceptance of LGBTQ in the society.
    • Turkey’s controversial exit from the Istanbul Convention has received severe criticism from various quarters and has led to protests across the country. 

    Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy

    National Doctors’ Day is celebrated on 1 July in India in honour of Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy.

    About

    Early Life:

    • Born on 1 July 1882 in Bihar’s Patna, he studied mathematics at Patna College and then medicine at Calcutta Medical College. 

    Role Pre Independence:

    • He joined Mahatma Gandhi’s Civil Disobedience movement, soon becoming his friend and personal physician. 
    • He entered politics in 1925. He ran for elections from the Barrackpore Constituency as an independent candidate for the Bengal Legislative Council and defeated the “Grand Old Man of Bengal,” Surendranath Banerjee.
    • He was credited for the creation of two prestigious medical institutions in the country, the Indian Medical Association in 1928 and the Medical Council of India.

    After Independence:

    • After independence, Roy became Governor of Uttar Pradesh and a year later, in 1948, the second Chief Minister of West Bengal.
    • The Government of India honoured him with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, on February 4, 1961
    • The B.C. Roy National Award was instituted in 1976 for work in the area of medicine, politics, science, philosophy, literature and arts.
    • Books Dedicated to him: Dr. Bidhan Chandra Ray: A jewel of India by Asoke K Bagchi, B. C Roy, the true Gandhian by S Gajrani, Dr B. C Roy by K P Thomas, My years with Dr B C Roy by Saroj Chakrabarthy.
    • He was the founder and chairman of the United Press of India.

    LEAF Coalition

    LEAF (Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance) Coalition was announced at the Leaders Summit on Climate, 2021.

    About

    • LEAF coalition will be one of the largest ever public-private efforts to protect tropical forests and intend to mobilize at least USD 1 billion in financing to countries committed to protecting their tropical forests.

    LEAF Coalition

    • It is a collective effort of the United States, United Kingdom and Norway governments.
    • Aim: To mobilize at least $1 billion in financing the largest ever public-private efforts to protect tropical forests that will benefit billions of people depending on them, and to support sustainable development.

    Significance

    • Tropical forests are massive carbon sinks and by investing in their protection will help in achieving Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) 
    • It is a step towards achieving the aims and objectives of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism.

    Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism

    • It aims to achieve climate change mitigation by incentivizing forest conservation.
    • It monetises the value of carbon locked up in the tropical forests of most developing countries, thereby propelling these countries to help mitigate climate change.
    • REDD+ was created by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

    Tropical Forests

    • Tropical forests are closed-canopy forests growing within 28 degrees north or south of the equator. 
    • They are very wet places, receiving more than 200 cm of rainfall per year, either seasonally or throughout the year. Temperatures are uniformly high – between 20°C and 35°C. 
    • Such forests are found in Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico and many of the Pacific Islands. 
    • Rapid urbanisation and commercialisation of forest products are the main causes behind rampant deforestation across tropical forests.
    • Policymakers around the world have emphasised the role of indigenous tribes and local communities in checking deforestation. 

    Indian Efforts

    The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 is in the right direction in regards to this.

    ZyCoV-D Vaccine

    Zydus Cadila has applied to Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), the national drugs regulator, seeking emergency use authorisation (EUA) for ZyCov-D.

    • If approved by the regulator, ZyCov-D will be the world’s first DNA vaccine against infection with SARS-CoV-2.

    About ZyCov-D vaccine

    • ZyCov-D is a “plasmid DNA” vaccine — or a vaccine that uses a genetically engineered, non-replicating version of a type of DNA molecule known as a ‘plasmid’.
    • The plasmids, in this case, are coded with the instructions to make the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.
    • Vaccination gives the code to cells in the recipient’s body, so they can begin making the spiky outer layer of the virus.
    • The immune system is expected to recognize this as a threat and develop antibodies in response.

    Different from other vaccines

    • ZyCov-D by contrast will be given in three doses, with an interval of 28 days between the first and second and second and third shots.
    • No needle is used instead, a spring-powered device delivers the shot as a narrow, precise stream of fluid that penetrates the skin.

    Effectiveness of vaccine

    • Two doses of the vaccine seem to be enough to prevent people from developing severe symptoms of Covid-19 and to prevent death, while three doses keep even moderate symptoms at bay.

    Concerns

    • Some safety concerns have been raised about DNA vaccines, including their potential, theoretically, to integrate into cellular DNA or cause auto-immune diseases.