Prelim Snippets – 23.04.2020

1.e-Raktkosh Portal

Why in News?
  • The Union Health minister has recently urged the use of e-Raktkosh portal as a single point for Maintaining Realtime information on status of stocks of Each Blood Group.
About e-Raktkosh Portal:
  • It is a Centralized Blood Bank Management System.
  • It is a comprehensive IT solution to standardize and streamline the standard operating procedures, guidelines and workflow of blood banks across the nation.
  • It was inaugurated by Minister of Health and Family Welfare (MoHWFW)
  • It enforces Drug & Cosmetic Act, National blood policy standards and guidelines ensuring proper management of blood.
  • It has components for management of the blood donation life cycle which Includes:
    • The biometric Donor Management System
    • Blood grouping,
    • TTI screening,
    • antibody screening,
    • A centralized Blood Inventory Management System
    • Bio-Medical Waste Management System for Disposal of Discarded Blood
About Blood Disorder:
  • It is defined as any condition that impacts one or more parts of the blood, usually interfering with its ability to work correctly.
  • It can be Categorised as Common Blood Disorder like Anaemia and Rare Blood Disorder like Thalassemia.
Types of Blood Disorder affecting
  • Red Blood Cells like Anemia, Pernicious anemia (B12 deficiency), Aplastic Anemia, Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia etc.
  • White Blood Cells like Lymphoma, Leukemia, Multiple myeloma.
  • Blood Plasma like Haemophilia
  • Platelets like Thrombocytopenia.

2.Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act

Why in News?
  • Many activists, journalists and students have been recently booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in Different Cases across the Country.
About UAPA:
  • It was passed in 1967. It aims at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.
  • It refers to any action taken by an individual or association intended to disrupt the territorial integrity and sovereignty of India.
  • It assigns absolute power to the central government, by way of which if the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may, by way of an Official Gazette, declare it so.
  • It has death penalty and life imprisonment as highest punishments.
  • It can charge both Indian and foreign nationals. It will be applicable to the offenders in the same manner, even if crime is committed on a foreign land, outside India.
  • Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a charge sheet in maximum 180 days after the arrests and the duration can be extended further after intimating the court.
  • In 2004 amendment, added “terrorist act” to the list of offences to ban organisations for terrorist activities, under which 34 outfits were banned.
  • In August, Parliament cleared the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 to designate individuals as terrorists on certain grounds provided in the Act.
  • It empowers the Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the said agency.
  • It empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases of terrorism in addition to those conducted by the DSP or ACP or above rank officer in the state.

 3.World Earth Day

Why in News:
  • Recently, the Earth Day is celebrated on 22ndApril to raise Public Awareness about the Environment and Inspire people to save and Protect it.
  • This year 2020 marks 50 years since the start of this modern environmental movement in 1970.
  • The Theme of Earth Day 2020 is “Climate Action”.
  • It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 193 countries each year.
  • It also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration (Earth Summit), to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.
  • The Paris Agreement was also opened for signature on 22 April 2016 – Earth Day – at UN Headquarters in New York.
  • It encourages people to take more steps for the protection of nature and to thank mother earth for the rich environment.
  • This year it is celebrated Digitally. As people have to stay inside their homes amid Covid-19 lockdown, World Earth Day 2020 is all set to be celebrated digitally. People who plan on participating can join ’24 hours of action’.
  • One can also take 22 challenges that include measuring your carbon footprint, doing a plastic audit, skype a scientist, work for the earth, zero waste for one day and consume 1 meal per day this week on a plant-based diet.
  • Earth Day Network is a non-profit organization whose mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Its head office is located in Washington DC, USA.

4.Technology Development Board (TDB)

Why in News?
  • TDB approves support for indigenous company for ramping up production of COVID-19 Diagnostic Kits.
  • TDB invited applications from Indian companies and enterprises to strengthen the nation’s core capacities in surveillance, infection prevention, control, laboratory support, and in particular, the preparedness in terms of isolation and ventilator management of critically-ill patients for containing and preventing the spread of COVID-9 in March 2020.
  • The Technology Development Board (TDB), a statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), has approved financial support to MyLab Discovery Solutions, Pune, for ramping up production of COVID-19 diagnostic kits they have developed.
  • The company has submitted an application in response to its invitation for proposals for technologically innovative solutions towards fighting COVID-19.
  • Mylab Discovery Solutions is the first indigenous company to develop real-time PCR based molecular diagnostic kit that screens and detects COVID-19 from samples of people who display flu-like symptoms. With support from TDB, they will ramp up production of the kits through automation of the facility from current manual process, thereby increasing its current capacity from 30000 tests per day to one lakh test per day.
  • The company is expected to complete the automation within the next few months.
  • This kit has been approved by ICMR and CDSCO. The kit will be deployed in a very short time, considering the National Emergency.


Why in News?
  • A women innovator from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, has developed ten varieties of Anthurium, a flower with high market value, by cross-pollination.
  • An anthurium is a vast group of beautiful blooming plants available in a wide range of colours.
  • Anthurium is one of the best domestic flowering plants in the world.
  • They are decorative as well as purify the surrounding air and remove harmful airborne chemicals like formaldehyde, ammonia, toluene, xylene, and allergens.
  • Its importance of removing toxic substances from the air, NASA has placed it in the list of air purifier plants.
  • Anthurium has larger economic importance because of its eye-catching and beautiful inflorescence and fetches a good market price.
  • Salient features of the Anthurium varieties are
    • Large Beautiful Flowers
    • Different Colours of Spathe and Spadix
    • Long Stalks
    • Better Shelf Life
    • Good Market Value

6.Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates and its fixation

Why in News?
  • Union Cabinet has approved fixation of Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers for the year 2020-21.
Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Scheme:
  • The NBS Scheme for fertilizer was initiated in the year 2010 and is being implemented by the Department of Fertilizers.
  • Government is making available fertilizers, Urea and 21 grades of P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices through fertilizer manufacturers/importers.
What NBS Provides?
  • The scheme allows the manufacturers, marketers, and importers to fix the MRP of the Phosphatic and Potash fertilizers at reasonable levels.
  • The MRP will be decided considering the domestic and international prices of P&K fertilizers, inventory level in the country and the exchange rates.
  • The NBS ensures that adequate quantity of P&K is made available to the farmers at a statutory Controlled Price.
Fertilizers Covered:
  • Under this, a fixed amount of subsidy decided on an annual basis is provided on each grade of subsidized Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers, except for Urea based on the nutrient content present in them.
  • It is largely for secondary nutrients like N, P, S and K and micronutrients which are very important for crop growth and development.
  • In India, urea is the only controlled fertilizer and is sold at a statutory notified uniform sale price.

7.Central Vista Redevelopment Project

Why in News?
  • Central Vista redevelopment project is Recently in News.
Key Points:
  • The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs proposed a Central Vista redevelopment project in 2019. The project Envisages:
    • Constructing a triangular Parliament building next to the existing one.
    • Constructing Common Central Secretariat.
    • Revamping of the 3-km-long Rajpath — from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.
    • North and South Block to be repurposed as museums.
Why the Government wants to Revamp Central Vista:
  • Most of the existing buildings have outlived their structural lives.
  • The Parliament building’s facilities and infrastructure are inadequate to meet the current demand.
  • The offices of the Central Government are spread over different locations which affects inter-departmental coordination, and unnecessary travel leading to congestion and pollution.
About Central Vista:
  • Currently, the Central Vista of New Delhi houses Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament House, North and South Block, India Gate, National Archives among others.
  • In December, 1911, King George V made an announcement in Delhi Durbar (a grand assembly) to shift the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi.
  • Delhi Durbar was hosted to mark the coronation of King George V.
  • The task of constructing a new city was given to Edwin Lutyens, known for his strong adherence to European classism and Herbert Baker, a prominent architect in South Africa.
  • Parliament House building was designed by both Lutyens and Baker.
  • Rashtrapati Bhavan was designed by Edwin Lutyens.
  • The Secretariat which includes both north and south block was designed by Herbert Baker.
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