1. Video Based Customer Identification Process (V-CIP)

Context:
  • Recently, the RBI has amended the Know Your Customer (KYC) norms allowing banks and other lending institutions regulated by it to use Video based Customer Identification Process (V-CIP).
About V-CIP:
  • RBI has decided to permit V-CIP as a consent based alternate method of establishing the customer’s identity, for customer onboarding with a view to leveraging the digital channels for Customer Identification Process (CIP) by Regulatedentities (REs).
  • It will be consent-based, will make it easier for banks and other regulated entities to adhere to the RBI’s KYC norms by leveraging the digital technology.
  • The REs will have to ensure that the video recording is stored in a safe and secure manner and bears the date and time stamp. It should capture a clear image of PAN card to be displayed by the customer during the process, except in cases where e-PAN is provided by the customer.
  • The PAN details should be verified from the database of the issuing authority. Live location of the customer shall be captured to ensure that customer is physically present in India.

2. Genome of Indian Cobra Sequenced

Why in News?
  • A team of Indian researchers and their collaborators abroad have sequenced the genome of the highly poisonous Indian cobra.
  • This research may go a long way in reducing mortality and disability from snake bites. This also makes Indian cobra the first among the most venomous four Indian snakes, which are collectively called the infamous “big four”, to be genetically mapped.
Highlights:
  • The Indian cobra, together with the common krait, Russell’s viper and saw scaled viper, accounts for nearly 46,000 snake bite deaths in the country every year.
  • Worldwide, 5.4 million snake bites occur every year, with 2.8 million of them in India. They are responsible for 4,00,000 disabilities globally, of which 1,38,000 are from India.

Through study, the researchers found that the Indian cobra genome has 19 key toxin genes, primarily expressed in the venom glands of the snake.

  • Targeting these toxins using synthetic human antibodies should lead to a safe and effective anti-venom for treating Indian cobra bites.
  • Currently, antivenom is produced by immunising horses with extracted snake venom and is based on a process developed over 100 years ago. This process is laborious and suffers from a lack of consistency leading to varying efficacy and serious side-effects.
  • Venom is also a great source of drug-like molecules. The Indian cobra genome is no exception and it codes for toxin molecules that can block pain, reduce blood pressure and prevent blood clotting.
  • The scientists say that the next step would be to use this genomic blueprint for venom toxins to make recombinant proteins, generate neutralising antibodies and test them in the clinic.
  • This high-quality genome will not only be a wonderful resource for understanding the evolution of the medically important snake and its venom repertoire but can also be very useful for the innovation of next generation recombinant antivenoms.

3. MILAN 2020

Why in News?
  • The City of Destiny, Visakhapatnam, is gearing up to host an international naval event titled ‘MILAN’ in March 2020.
MILAN 2020:
  • MILAN 2020 is a multilateral naval exercise aimed to enhance professional interaction between friendly foreign navies and learn from each other’s strengths and best practices in the maritime domain.
  • The Exercise with the theme ‘Synergy Across the Seas’ would provide an excellent opportunity for Operational Commanders of friendly foreign navies to interact with each other in areas of mutual interestof the 41 navies invited, confirmations from over 30 navies have been received towards their participation in MILAN 2020.
  • MILAN stands for Multilateral Naval Exercise.
  • The event consists of a sea phase and a harbour phase.
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