1. Cyclofine

Why in News?
  • Despite the alarming levels of air pollution all over India, IIT Madras (IIT-M) has been using ‘Cyclofine’, an ambient air purifier for the outdoors.
About:
  • ‘Cyclofine’, has been developed by IIT-M’s Department of Civil Engineering and EnviTran, a student start-up at the IIT-M Research Park. The machine sucks in ambient air at a rate of 750 cubic metres per hour, filters it and sends out cleaner air.
  • It has a four-stage filtering system and also has an air quality monitoring sensor, which provides real-time air quality index.
  • It removes 60% of PM10 (particulate matter of 10 microns and less). With additional filtration it removes 80% of PM2.5 (particulate matter of 2.5 microns and less) and 100% of PM10 from the air we breathe.
  • Currently it is like a prototype made of stainless steel and one made of fibre reinforced plastic is under production.
  • If the PM concentration is more and is in an industrial area, the equipment can be designed like a tall tower. It can be used in pollution hot spots like traffic intersections so that the pollution levels are reduced.

2. Al Quds – Capital of Palestine

Why in News?
  • Emirates Post, in association with Arab Postal Authorities, has issued a unified commemorative stamp entitled ‘Al Quds – Capital of Palestine’, to support Al Quds’ cause and to protect its Arabian heritage.
Al-Quds:
  • It is the Arabic name for the city of Jerusalem, literally meaning “The Holy One”
  • Jerusalem – is a Holy city for Christians, Jews and Muslims alike and echoes through centuries of shared and disputed history.
  • It has been conquered, destroyed and rebuilt time and again, and every layer of its earth reveals a different piece of the past.

3. IndiaSkills 2020

  • The Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has announced the opening of online registrations for IndiaSkills 2020.
IndiaSkills 2020:
  • It is a biennial competition to scout talent from the country, offering them a platform to showcase their skills at national and international competitions.
  • IndiaSkills 2020 provides a platform for skilled and talented Indian youngsters to showcase their abilities at regional and national level competitions in over 50 skills.
  • Regional legs of the competitions are organized across four zones, culminating at the national competition in Delhi.
  • Winners of IndiaSkills will then get a chance to represent the country at the WorldSkills International Competition to be held in China in 2021.
Global Competitors:
  • The 22 winners of Indiaskills 2018 and their experts had represented the country with their outstanding performance at the WorldSkills International 2019 (WSK), held in Kazan, Russia.
  • India won one gold, one silver, two bronze and 15 Medallions of Excellence at the biggest competition for skills.
  • India ranked 13th among 63 countries that participated at WorldSkills International 2019, marking it to be the best finish for the country in the coveted skill championship.
  • The last IndiaSkills competition was organized in 2018, wherein 22 states and more than 100 corporates participated, that gave 355 competitors a chance to display their skills across various skill competitions.
Benefits:
  • The winners could get to showcase their talents at the WorldSkills 2021 competition to be held in Shanghai, which is an international platform and the world’s largest skill competition.
  • Candidates have a chance to enhance their careers is their choice of skill.
  • Selected candidates will get trained by one of the best trainers in the world.
  • Candidates will get international exposure and stand a chance to win a gold, silver or bronze medal for the country.
Who can apply for IndiaSkills 2020?
  • Interested and eligible candidates must be born on or after 1 January 1999 for all skills apart from mechatronics, manufacturing team challenge, aeronautical engineering, cloud computing, cyber security and water technology, IT network cabling where competitors must be born on or after 1 January 1996.Mobile robotics, cyber security, landscape gardening, concrete construction work, and mechatronics are team skill competitions where a team of 2 individuals is required for the competition.

4. Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh

Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh (BPKK):
  • The BPKK will be a repository of diverse crops across 128 agro-climatic zones in India for better nutritional outcomes.
Objective:
  • The Mission aims at targeted reduction of stunting, undernutrition, anemia and low birth weight babies.
Highlights:
  • The Harvard Chan School of Public Health through its India Research Center and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will document and evaluate promising regional dietary practices.
  • In consultation with Ministry of WCD and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project team will select around 12 high focus states which are representative of the geographical, social, economic, cultural and structural diversities of India.
  • In each of the states or group of states the team will identify a local partner organization which has relevant work experience in Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) and nutrition for developing the food atlas.
Efforts Taken for Better Nutrition:
  • Two other approaches are required to complement the Government’s efforts to promote healthy dietary practices.
  • One, addressing the challenge of malnutrition at such a vast scale requires a basic understanding of the social, behavioural and cultural practices that promote and reinforce healthy dietary behaviours both at the individual and community level.
  • Two, creating the first ever database that links relevant agro-food system data at the district, with an aim to map the diversity of native crop varieties that will be more cost-effective and sustainable over the long run.

5. Visiting Chair on Interdisciplinary Approach to Electoral Studies

  • Election Commission of India has decided to establish and fund a Visiting chair on interdisciplinary approach to Electoral Studies in the Centre for Curriculum Development at India international institute of Democracy and Election Management(IIIDEM), New Delhi.
Highlights:
  • The chair is being established to commemorate and celebrate Sh T N Seshan’s special connect with the young and aspiring India,
  • The Chair will be mentored by Sh N Gopalaswami Former CEC.
  • The Visiting Chair programme will be targeted to young academics with proven track record in fields relatable to electoral studies.
  • The Chair will also be expected to curate one National Level Seminar on specific aspects of Electoral Studies.
  • The Visiting Chair will also supervise designing and development of interdisciplinary curriculum/ modules for further training and research at the IIIDEM.
IIIDEM:
  • The Election Commission of India established the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM).
  • The Institute is an instrument for the ECI to continually keep its tools of election management and democracy sharp, ready, and up-to-date.
Objective:
  • To train the electoral machinery in the delivery of free, fair and flawless elections.
  • To orient stakeholders of the democratic and electoral systems toward possibilities of better and more productive delivery therein.
  • To explore and expand the horizons of intellectual know-how in these fields.

6. Regional Conference on Replication of Good Governance Practices Concludes

  • The two-day Regional Conference on ‘Replication of Good Governance Practices in UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh organised in Jammu concluded.
  • ‘Sushasan Sankalp: Jammu Ghoshana’ resolution was adopted in the C
Sushasan Sankalp:
  • The Conference resolved that Government of India and the participating State Governments and the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh shall collaborate to:
  • Develop the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as models of administrative excellence using digital technologies in implementation of welfare Union Territory programs;
  • To make sustained efforts to create a transparent, accountable and people-centric administration in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh;
  • Improve the Citizen’s interface with Government by promotion of digital governance, citizen centric governance, innovation and capacity building in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh;
  • Refine and consolidate the successful local Governance initiatives and upscale them across Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh to bring out the best outcomes of Governance and Public Policy to the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh;
  • To improve the grievance redressal mechanisms by forging greater synergy between Awaaz e-Awam and the CPGRAMS;
  • Promote the use of e-Office and move towards less paper Secretariats in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh;
  • Promote capacity building and personnel administration by formulating mid-career training programs and specific need-based training programs for officials in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh;
  • Replicate the innovations and the best practices in successful national governance initiatives including digital governance, citizen centric grievance redressal and aspirational districts so as to provide a clean, transparent and people centric governance to the UTs of J&K and Ladakh.

7. 6th National Summit on Good, Replicable Practices and Innovations in Public Health Care Systems

  • Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare inaugurated the Sixth National Summit on Good, Replicable Practices and Innovations.
Highlights:
  • The Summit saw the launch of SAANS (Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully) campaign
  • The web portal for home-based care of children including newborn visited by ASHA, was also launched at the Summit.
  • The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, GoI holds National Summit on Good, Replicable Practices and Innovations in Public Healthcare Systems in India annually.
Objective:
  • To recognize, showcase and document various best practices and innovations adopted by States and UTs for addressing their public health challenges and to improving their health outcomes though better implementation of programmes under National Health Mission (NHM).
SAANS Campaign:
  • The launch of SAANS campaign i.e. “Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully” is to control Pneumonia.
  • This campaign will mobilize people’s for protecting and preventing children from pneumonia; and health personnel, governments & other stakeholders to prioritize treatment towards the control of Pneumonia — one of the most fatal childhood illnesses.
  • Under the SAANS campaign, new interventions have been included like a child suffering from Pneumonia will be treated with Pre-referral dose of Amoxicillin by ASHA
  • Pulse Oximeter will be used at the Health and Wellness Centre for identification of low oxygen levels in the blood and if required treated by use of Oxygen.
  • Web portal for home-based care of children:
  • This portal has all the resource materials (training materials, IEC videos, audios, banners, posters etc.) for the home visits of ASHAs.
  • The portal will also be used to monitor the progress of programs regarding home visits by ASHAs and referral of sick new-borns, an intervention considered globally as game changer to improve child survival and also improve nutritional status and overall development of children.
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