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Insights Daily Current Events, 30 June 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 30 June 2015

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50 nations in, AIIB takes shape

India and 49 other founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) recently signed articles that determine each country’s share and the lender’s initial capital.

  • The remaining seven founding members can sign the agreement before December 2015.
  • India had signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Establishment of AIIB in October 2014 along with 21 regional founding members.

About AIIB:

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is an international financial institution proposed by China. The purpose of the multilateral development bank is to provide finance to infrastructure projects in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • AIIB is regarded by some as a rival for the IMF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which the AIIB says are dominated by developed countries like the United States and Japan.
  • The AIIB is expected to focus on infrastructure development in Asia, and unlike the existing International Monetary Fund and World Bank, is unlikely to restrict lending on political considerations.
  • The authorised capital of AIIB will be $100 billion. AIIB’s headquarters is to be located in Beijing.
  • India is the second largest shareholder in the Bank after China.
  • In March 2015, United Kingdom became the first of G7 nations to join the bank.
  • It is being called as a very positive development in the sense that it opens up more borrowing opportunities.
  • China, India and Russia are the three largest shareholders.
  • Voting pattern: The voting shares are based on the size of each member country’s economy and not contribution to the bank’s authorised capital.

Sources: The Hindu, BS, wiki.

 

Azhagankulam was in the big league

Excavation at Azhagankulam village in Ramanathapuram district, Tamil Nadu, has thrown up fresh evidence that it was an important trading post between the Sangam Pandyas and the Romans from circa 50 BCE to circa 500 CE.

  • Archaelogists have said that Arikkamedu in Puducherry and Pattanam (Muziris) in Kerala formed a troika of trade centres between Rome and the Tamil country during the Tamil Sangam age.
  • So far, the excavation at Azhagankulam has yielded broken Roman Amphora jars, Mediterranean pottery, embossed Roman potsherds, copper coins, Chinese Celadon ware, rouletted ware, potsherds with Tamil Brahmi letters, a potsherd with a swastika symbol, Beads made of carnelian, quartz and glass.
  • Excavations have also yielded three Roman coins. The legend on them showed that Roman emperors Valentine II (regnal years 383 CE to 395 CE) and Arcadius (regnal years 395 CE to 408 CE) issued them.
  • The Mauryan context at Azhagankulam was also revealed recently, with the occurrence of the northern black polished ware and punch-marked coins.

Pandyan Dynasty – Basics:

  • The Pandyan dynasty was an ancient Tamil dynasty, one of the three Tamil dynasties.
  • The Pandya King, along with Chera King and Chola King, together were called as Three Crowned Kings of Tamilakam.
  • The dynasty ruled parts of South India from around 600 BCE (Early Pandyan Kingdom) to first half of 17th century CE.
  • The capital of the Early Pandyan kingdom was initially Korkai, around 600 BCE, and was later moved to Koodal (now Madurai) during the reign of Nedunjeliyan I.
  • The kings of the Pandyan Dynasty are frequently mentioned in Sangam literature of the third century BCE and onwards, in works such as the Mathuraikkanci and other early Tamil literary works such as Cilapatikaram.
  • The Pandyas ruled for the longest time in the Indian history and are believed to be the richest dynasty in the history of India.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

 

An exact 3D model of heart hot off the printer

Researchers have produced the first 3D anatomic model of a patient’s heart using two common imaging techniques, aiming to enhance diagnosis and surgical planning.

Details:

  • This is the first time the integration of computed tomography (CT) and 3D transesophageal echocardiography (3DTEE) has been used for printing a hybrid 3D model of a patient’s heart.
  • Previous methods of 3D printing utilise only one imaging modality, which may not be as accurate as merging two or more datasets. Hybrid 3D printing integrates the best aspects of two or more imaging modalities, which can potentially enhance diagnosis, as well as interventional and surgical planning.
  • The team used specialised software to register images from the two imaging modalities to integrate datasets selectively to produce an accurate anatomic model of the heart. The result creates more detailed and anatomically accurate 3D renderings and printed models, which may enable physicians to better diagnose and treat heart disease.
  • This is being seen as a huge leap for individualised medicine in cardiology and congenital heart disease.

CT and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are established imaging tools for producing 3D printable models.

Sources: The Hindu.

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