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Insights Daily Current Events, February, 2014



February 06, 2014


New fuel efficiency norms to help regulate oil imports

  • BEE (Bureau of energy efficiency) calculated new fuel efficiency standards from 2017. It  would help country to reduce oil consumption by 2.22 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) as compared to usual scenario by 2017 and 10.5 mtoe by 2022.
  • Fuel efficiency standards framed by BEE will be measured in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. The fuel efficiency norms are part of the ‘demand management’ that the government had professed for years in order to regulate the volume of imported oil. It is also dovetailed in to the energy efficiency mission under the National Action Plan on climate change.
  • The ministry of road transport and highways will implement the standards under the central motor vehicle rules, 1989.
  • BEE which comes under power ministry will give 1 star to least fuel efficient vehicles and 5 stars to most efficient in their respective weight class.

Nanneer Kumari initiative

  • it is initiative for revival of water bodies to create awareness and to protect water bodies. Awareness among people for rain harvesting and restoration of ground water is initiated by local government of kanyakumari district.

NCD clinics (Non- Communicable disease)

  • Launched programme by puducherry government to prevent and control non communicable disease which is provided in primary health centers, district headquarters and medical college hospitals.
  • The aim is to pick up symptoms early, particularly cervical and breast cancer among women. This program is also focused to provide training to stakeholders, teachers who will teach children in their school.



Illegal excavations in Syria are ‘lethal’

  • The UN cultural preservation agency says illegal excavation taking place at important archaeologist sites over Syria are extremely dangerous and lethal to the country’s cultural heritage. Archaeological material and cultural heritage objects are being trafficked through illegal systems into other countries and markets.
  • The UN educational, scientific and cultural organization has been raising public awareness of illegal trafficking and started training police and customs forces in neighboring countries to spot looted items. UNESCO plans to set up an office in Beirut and launch programs as Syria is one of the cradles of civilization first Christianity and then Islam.


  • Landing ship of china which is equipped with advanced weapon system deployed at Indian Ocean shows reach of china’s Navy. The Chinese Navy conducted exercise in Lombok strait in Indian Ocean near Indonesia which shows china capability in carrying out operations in waters far beyond its borders.
  • The drills aren’t china’s first in Indian Ocean china’s army has carried out several drills mostly in western Indian Ocean near Gulf of Aden which focuses on anti-piracy and search and rescue measures.



RNA interference

  • Dicerna Therapeutics inc. a company developing drugs using a gene silencing technology called RNA interference. Goal is to battle disease such as cancer and rare genetic disorders by turning on and off the genes that regulate proteins in people’s cells. This technology blocks disease causing overproduction of protein in cells.
  • RNA therapeutics offer advantage over traditional small molecule drugs or biotech medicines grown from organic materials. The messenger RNA contains instructions telling cells how to make protein and whether to leave it in cell or carry it into the bloodstream.

 Pill camera

  • The ingestible pill camera from Given Imaging is designed to help doctor spot polyps and other early signs of colon cancer.
  • U.S. regulators have cleared a bite size camera to help screen the large intestine of patients who have trouble with colonscopies. The food and drug administration cleared the device for patients who have had trouble with the cringe-inducing procedure which involves probing the colon using a tiny camera on four-foot long flexible tube. The pill camera introduced previously in 80 countries including Japan, Europe, and Latin America.

Bird flu virus

  • New avian virus strain- H10N8 (JX346) emerged in china which is responsible for death. It caused severe pneumonia and multiple organ failures. H10N8 is a novel reassortant virus which originated from H10 and N8 avian virus subtype.


Mines and mineral (development and regulation) bill, 2011

  • 26% share in mining profits for tribal and project affected people. The MMDR bill aims to introduce better legislative environment for attracting investment and technology in mining sector by the following-
  • The bill requires every person to obtain a license or lease for carrying on mining or related activities.
  • The bill provides for 2 method of granting a mineral concession- competitive bidding and first come first serve.
  • A district mineral fund (DMF) will be established in each district where there are mining operations to make payments to affected persons.
  • Mining leaseholders will be paying an annual amount to DMF for benefit of affected persons. (26% profit in case for coal and royalty for other minerals.)
  • Mining leaseholders will be liable to provide annual compensation and at least one non-transferrable share to persons affected by mining operations.

Key issues

  • The bill permits concession in tribal areas to non tribal which is conflicting SC judgments on legality of such provision.
  • The bill mandates the issue of a non transferable share to affected person which is against companies act 1956 which does not permit issuance of non-transferable shares.
  • Any gap in minimum compensation to be paid to affected families by DMF is to be covered by state government which put pressure on state government finances.

Courtesy – Hindu Newspaper, PRS blog, Wikipedia