Insights Daily Current Affairs, 08 November 2016

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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 08 November 2016


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


9th International Regulatory Cooperation for Herbal Medicines


The 9th Annual Meeting of International Regulatory Cooperation for Herbal Medicines (IRCH) has begun at New Delhi.

  • The Ministry of AYUSH has organized the meeting. Being an active member of IRCH network since 2007 the Ministry of AYUSH has been represented in IRCH meetings held so far.
  • 19 member countries of IRCH with 36 delegates including experts from WHO Headquarters, Geneva are participating in meeting.
  • The event would be utilized to show case AYUSH strength to these countries.


About IRCH:

International Regulatory Cooperation for Herbal Medicines (IRCH), established in 2006, is a global network of regulatory authorities created by World Health Organization (WHO) responsible for regulation of herbal medicines.

Its mission is to protect and promote public health and safety through improved regulation for herbal medicines.


Objectives of IRCH:

  • Globally promote and facilitate the safe use of herbal medicines, through regional initiatives, sharing information and fostering dialogue.
  • Facilitate and strengthen cooperation between national regulatory authorities by sharing experience, information and knowledge related to the regulation, quality, safety and efficacy of herbal medicines.
  • Further discuss existing requirements and standards to promote the regulation, quality, safety and efficacy of herbal medicines.
  • Recommend future activities to WHO related to the quality and safety of herbal medicines.
  • Refer issues to the International Conference of Drug Regulatory Authorities and other bodies, where ever needed, for further discussion related to the quality and safety of herbal medicines.


Goals of IRCH are:

  • Develop a process that addresses and resolves questions related to the regulation and safe use of herbal medicines.
  • Establish a communication network that fosters dialogue on the regulation and safe use of herbal medicines among the IRCH members.
  • Develop, through WHO, efficient links between National Drug Regulatory Authorities and information focal points among the member countries of IRCH.

Sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


India & UK Sign MoU on IPRS


India and UK have signed an MoU to establish bilateral cooperation activities in the field of Intellectual Property.


Key facts:

  • The MoU is between the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom (UKIPO).
  • It is intended to promote innovation, creativity and economic growth in both countries.
  • It establishes a broad and flexible framework through which both countries can exchange best practices and work together on training programs and technical exchanges to raise awareness on IPRs and better protect intellectual property rights.


The priority initiatives under the MoU include:

  • Exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP awareness among the public, businesses and educational institutions of both countries.
  • Collaboration in training programs, exchange of experts, technical exchanges and outreach activities.
  • Exchange and dissemination of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP with the industry, universities, R & D organizations and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through participation in programs and events.
  • Exchange of information and best practices on processes for disposal of applications for patents, trademarks, industrial designs and Geographical Indications, as also the protection, enforcement and use of IP rights.
  • Cooperation in the development of automation and implementation of modernization projects, new documentation and information systems in IP and procedures for management of IP.
  • Cooperation to understand how Traditional Knowledge is protected; and the exchange of best practices, including traditional knowledge related databases and awareness raising of existing IP systems.

Sources: pib.


Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


New ‘super battery’ made from junkyard metal


Researchers have developed a new high-performance, grid-scale battery made from metal scrap and common household chemicals.

  • The battery, which is no bigger than a pill bottle, could withstand the equivalent of 13 years of daily charging and discharging while retaining 90% of its capacity.


How was it developed?

  1. Researchers soaked metal pieces in a jar with a solution of water and salt or a solution of water and antifreeze.
  2. They then applied a voltage to induce a known process called anodisation, which restructures the nanoscopic composition of a metal.
  3. That exposes the metal’s interior surface and makes it more receptive to storing and releasing energy.
  4. Researchers placed a physical barrier between the two pieces of metal and submerged it in an electrolyte solution made from water and potassium hydroxide.
  5. When connected by wires to a device that generated a current, such as a solar panel, their contraption worked just like a car battery.



For this experiment, scientists drew inspiration from an ancient technology called the ‘Baghdad battery’, which dates to the first century BC. It consisted of a terracotta pot, a copper sheet and an iron rod along with some trace chemicals that could possibly have been electrolytes.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 1 Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


Airborne lasers to throw light on Rajgir’s history


Archaeologists are planning to deploy high-end scanning lasers on airborne platforms to survey the archaeological evidence, flora and fauna in the ancient Rajgir hills in Bihar, an area associated with Buddha.

  • Rajgir Map

    Rajgir Map

    As part of the inter-disciplinary Rajgir Archaeological Survey Project (RASP), archaeologists hope to use Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), which is a remote-sensing technique that uses laser light to sample the surface of the earth.

  • RASP is a collaborative project between the society and Nalanda University in co-ordination with Bihar’s Ministry of Art, Culture and Youth.


Key facts:

  • With its complex of temples and monasteries, Rajgir in Bihar’s Nalanda district is one of India’s most important tourist places for Buddhist pilgrims.
  • The city of Rajgir was the first capital of the Magadha empire. Buddha not only spent many years in Rajgir but also delivered sermons here.
  • His teachings were penned at Rajgir and it was also the venue for the first Buddhist Council. The region is also associated with Jainism.
  • First Buddhist Council was held under the leadership of Maha Kassapa.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


Seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP7)


The seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) has begun in Delhi. It is the first occasion that a COP meeting is being held in India.

  • COP7 brings together the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)’s parties – which includes almost every country in the world, as well as regional economic integration organizations like the European Union.



The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the first global evidence-based public health treaty that recognises the right of all people to the highest standard of health.

  • The Treaty was developed by countries in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic.
  • There are currently 180 Parties to the Convention.
  • India has been the forerunner in ratification of this public health treaty and was the 7th Country to ratify the Convention in 2004.
  • India provided a leadership role in the negotiations of FCTC and was also the Regional Coordinator for the South-East Asia Region.
  • India ratified the treaty in February 2004 and is therefore obligated to comply with the treaty provisions and its guidelines to reduce tobacco consumption globally.


About COP:

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the Governing Body of the WHO FCTC and is comprised of all Parties to the Convention. It keeps under regular review the implementation of the Convention and takes the decisions necessary to promote its effective implementation, and may also adopt protocols, annexes and amendments to the Convention. The regular sessions of COP are held at two yearly intervals.

Sources: the hindu.


Facts for Prelims


Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE 2016 Award:

  • The winners of the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE 2016 Competition recently received their awards from President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee.
  • APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE 2016 competition –is a national competition of original technological ideas and innovations by children up to class 12 or those out of school up to the age of 17 years.
  • It is organised by National Innovation Foundation (NIF) every year to promote creativity and originality among children.
  • The awards of IGNITE competition are announced every year on October 15th, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s birthday, which is celebrated as the Children’s Creativity and Innovation Day by NIF.
  • Starting in 2008, in the last eight years, 173 awards have been given to 246 children.
  • Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE Award is an effort to focus primarily on the creativity of the children and promote inclusive and compassionate thinking among them.