1.BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise – 2020

Why in News?
  • The Minister of State for Home Affairs inaugurated the Field Training Exercise of the 2nd BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise on flood rescue at the Ramachandi Beach, Puri (Odisha).
BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise:
  • This exercise will help in sharing best practices and expertise, consolidating the disaster response, coordination and cooperation among BIMSTEC countries during disasters.
  • The first such exercise was held in 2017.
  • The exercise is hosted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
  • The theme of this year’s exercise is “A cultural heritage site that suffers severe damage in the earthquake and flooding or storm.”
  • Five member countries namely, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Nepal are participating in this three-day-long exercise.
  • Two other member countries Bhutan and Thailand are not participating in the exercise this year.
  • The purpose of the exercise is to test the existing emergency procedures for notification, preparedness and emergency response during a major Natural Disaster.

2.Variants of Ransomware Attacks

Why in News?
  • There are three main modes of distribution for the major ransomware families that are set to increase their attacks this year, security researchers warned on the occasion of Safer Internet Day.
Highlights:
  • The research highlights how ransomware tries to slip unnoticed past security controls by abusing trusted and legitimate processes, and then harnesses internal systems to encrypt the maximum number of files and disable back-up and recovery processes before an IT security team catches up.
  • Ransomware that spread by replicating itself is called a ‘cryptoworm’. The WannaCry attack that caused damage worldwide in 2017 is an example of this kind of ransomware.
  • These malware also spread as ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS), which are sold on the dark web as a distribution kit (for example, Sodinokibi).
  • The third most common way of their spread is as automated active adversary attack, where attackers manually deploy the ransomware following an automated scan of networks for systems with weak protection.
  • Everything is designed to avoid detection while the malware encrypts as many documents as possible as quickly as possible and makes it hard to recover the data.
  • How to protect our system from ransomware?
  • Have a list of all devices connected to your network and that any security software you use on them is up to date to detect.
  • Keep regular back-ups of your most important and current data on an offline storage device as this is the best way to avoid having to pay a ransom when affected by ransomware.
  • Administrators should enable multi-factor authentication on all management systems that support it, to prevent attackers disabling security products during an attack.

3.School Health Ambassador Initiative

Why in News?
  • Union ministers release curriculum for School Health Ambassador Initiative under Ayushman Bharat.
Highlights:
  • Under this initiative, two teachers in every school will be made health and wellness ambassadors to spread awareness about health issues.
  • These ambassadors will be supported by class monitors as Health and Wellness Messengers.
  • Initially, the programme, under the Ayushman Bharat Mission, will be started in 200 districts.
  • The first phase of implementation will be in all public upper primary, secondary, and senior secondary schools of aspirational districts.
  • In this new initiative, health promotion and prevention activities programmes have been added in addition to on-going health screening programs through Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) teams and provision of services (IFA, Albendazole and sanitary napkins).
  • The ambassadors are appointed under the aegis of the School Health Programme of the Central Government.
Objectives of the School Health Programme:
  • To provide age-appropriate information about health and nutrition to the children in schools.
  • To promote healthy behaviours among the children that they will inculcate for life.
  • To detect and treat diseases early in children and adolescents including identification of malnourished and anaemic children with appropriate referrals to PHCs and hospitals.
  • To promote the use of safe drinking water in schools.
  • To promote safe menstrual hygiene practices by girls.
  • To promote yoga and meditation through Health & Wellness Ambassadors.
  • To encourage research on health, wellness and nutrition for children.

4.Apiary on Wheels

Why in News?
  • The Minister for Road Transport & Highways flagged off ‘Apiary on Wheels’.
  • Apiary is a place in which a colony or colonies of bees are kept, as a stand or shed for beehives or a bee house containing a number of beehives.
‘Apiary on Wheels’:
  • This a unique concept designed by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) for the easy upkeep and migration of Bee Boxes having live bee colonies.
  • ‘Apiary on Wheels’ is a holistic approach to address the challenges faced by beekeepers. It is designed so as to reduce the labour and cost of maintaining and upkeeping Bee Boxes and live bee colonies across India.
  • It is a platform that can carry 20 Bee Boxes from one place to another without any difficulty.
  • Two large wheels on either side of the Apiary on Wheels and 4 separate compartments with independent doors, having 5 bee boxes each help the platform to remain intact without disturbing the live bee colonies.
  • The Apiary on Wheels is also connected with a solar panel system which automatically triggers a fan inside the compartment as soon as the temperature reaches 35 degree centigrade or above.
  • Not only this, the Apiary on Wheels also has sugar drips which help to feed the bees in the summer season.
  • The Apiary on Wheels is like an attachment that can be easily connected with a tractor or a trolley and may be pulled to any suitable destination.
  • Especially in summers, the beekeepers usually adopted crude methods to feed the bees and many bees used to die in the process. This concept of migration, cooling with the help of solar panels and sugar drips with zero risk to the lives of bees, will prevent any damages to the bee boxes or bee colonies and help Produce Quality Honey.
Honey Mission:
  • Under the Honey Mission, KVIC distributes bee-boxes among farmers and unemployed youths across the country to increase honey production and farmers’ income.
  • Under this, KVIC provides training, awareness and also bee boxes along with bee colonies to farmers.
  • It was launched in 2017.

5.Eco-Sensitive Zone

Why in News?
  • The Dal Lake and its surrounding areas in Srinagar will soon be declared an eco-sensitive zone.
Eco-Sensitive Zones (Ecologically Fragile Areas):
  • It is an area within 10 kms around Protected Areas, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
  • It is notified by MoEFCC, Government of India under Environment Protection Act 1986.
  • It aims to regulate certain activities around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries so as to minimise the negative impacts of such activities on the fragile ecosystem encompassing the protected areas.
  • The places with sensitive corridors, connectivity and ecologically important patches, crucial for landscape linkage, even area beyond 10 km width can also be included in the eco-sensitive zone.
Dal Lake:
  • It is a lake in Srinagar.
  • It is a misnomer as Dal in Kashmiri means lake.
  • It is named as “Jewel in the crownof Kashmir” or “Srinagar’s Jewel”.
  • It covers an area of 18 square kilometres and is part of a natural wetland including its floating gardens.The floating gardens, known as “Rad” in Kashmiri, blossom with lotus flowers during July and August.

6.Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978

Why in News?
  • Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978 has been recently in news, since it has been invoked in the state of J&K in order to detain various political leaders.
About the Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978:
  • It is a defensive detention law that allows taking a person into custody to prevent him or her from acting in any matter that is prejudicial to “the security of the state or the maintenance of the public order”.
  • Under the PSA, a person can be held for 2 years without trial and they need not be produced before a court.
  • A similar act called the National Security Act (NSA) is used by the other state governments for preventive detention.
  • According to the definition, preventive detention is meant to be protective, not punitive. When government authorities slap the PSA on an individual they give this broad definition as the most common ground for detention. Any detention under this act can’t be made under the order by police based on specific allegations or for a specific violation of laws.
  • Any person can be booked under PSA when an administrative order passed either by Divisional Commissioner (DC) or the District Magistrate (DM).
    • DM communicates to the person within five days and informs him about the reason for the detention in writing.
    • DM has a right to communicate within 10 days in exceptional cases. It is important because on the basis on that communication a detained person can make a representation against the order.
    • DM has powers to not to disclose all the facts on the basis of the detention is ordered.

7.Space Snowman

Why in News?
  • Recently, NASA’s space snowman is revealing fresh secrets from far behind Pluto.
About Space Snowman:
  • It is entirely ultrared or highly reflective, which is common place in the faraway Twilight Zone of our solar system known as the Kuiper Belt.
  • To the human eye, Arrokoth would look less red and more dark brown, sort of like molasses.
  • The reddish colour is indicative of organic molecules.
  • There is a presence of frozen methane in it, but no water has yet been found.
  • The light cratering suggests Arrokoth dates back to the formation of solar system 4.5 billion years ago.
What does Arrokoth Mean?
  • Originally nicknamed as Ultima Thule, the space object received its official name.
  • It means sky in the language of Native American Powhatan people.
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