Insights Daily Current Events, 08 August 2015
DRDO developed medicine to treat leucoderma
In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, the Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar recently said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a poly-herbal medicine for the treatment of leucoderma (white patches on skin).
- The poly-herbal formulation comprises of ointment and oral dose.
- The ointment has seven ingredients of plants having properties such as skin photo sensitizer, anti-blister, anti-irritation, anti-septic, wound healing and copper supplementing properties.
- The oral dose has been formulated to check the emergence of new spots.
- The technology of the herbal product has been transferred to AIMIL Pharmaceutical Private Limited for commercial production and marketing.
- The product has been launched by the company by the trade name of “Lukoskin”.
Leucoderma, also known as vitiligo, is a rare skin disease characterized by white spots and patches. The white patch or spot is called as leucoderma and when it occurs without any preceding disease it is called Vitiligo.
It is an acquired condition with localized loss of pigmentation of the skin that may occur after any number of inflammatory skin conditions, burns, intralesional steroid injections, postdermabrasion, etc. It is neither infectious nor contagious.
Sources: ET, Wiki.
Govt notifies sanctuary for flamingos along Thane creek
The Maharashtra government recently issued a notification declaring the northern part of Thane Creek as a flamingo sanctuary under Section 18 of the Wildlife (Protection Act), 1972.
- This sanctuary will be Maharashtra’s second marine sanctuary after the one at Malvan.
- The sanctuary will include 896 hectares of mangroves and 794 hectares of adjacent water body and is located on the western bank, between the Airoli and Vashi bridges that connect Mumbai with Navi Mumbai.
- The ‘Mumbai Mangrove Conservation Unit’ under the Mangrove Cell will be responsible for the management of the Sanctuary.
- Besides supporting a large congregation of Flamingos, the area is a refuge for many other resident and migratory birds.
- In all, about 200 species of birds have been reported from this area, which include Globally Threatened Species like the Greater Spotted Eagle.
- Since 1994, the Thane Creek has been attracting flamingos in large numbers. By November, over 30,000 of these beautiful birds, along with their chicks descend in Mumbai and occupy the mudflats and the bordering mangroves. They stay in Mumbai till May, after which most of them migrate to the Bhuj area of Gujarat for breeding, leaving a small resident population.
- Almost 90% of the Flamingo population consists of Lesser Flamingos and the remaining are Greater Flamingos. A large number of waders are also spotted along with them.
TurkmenGaz to lead TAPI pipeline consortium
Turkmenistan’s government-owned TurkmenGaz is all set to lead a consortium of the national oil companies of the four nations that will build and operate the ambitious Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline.
- Turkmenistan state-owned company TurkmenGaz would lead the consortium for the TAPI project with a majority investment.
- All the four countries have endorsed the Turkmen proposal.
- Work on the TAPI project is yet to commence as the four nations that are party to the project have so far not succeeded in finding an international firm that could lead the consortium that will construct and operate the 1,800-km pipeline.
About the TAPI project:
- The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Natural Gas Pipeline (TAPI) Project is a proposed natural gas pipeline being developed by the Asian Development Bank.
- The TAPI pipeline will have a capacity to carry 90 million standard cubic metres a day (mscmd) gas for a 30-year period and be operational in 2018.
- India and Pakistan would get 38 mscmd each, while 14 mscmd will be supplied to Afghanistan.
- From the Galkynysh field in Turkmensitan, the pipeline will run to Herat and Kandahar province of Afghanistan, before entering Pakistan. In Pakistan, it will reach Multan via Quetta before ending at Fazilka (Punjab) in India.
- This project makes way for enhanced energy trading between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India
Sources: BS, Wiki.
Govt to allow Aadhaar enrolments of NRIs, PIOs, OICs
Government has decided to allow Aadhaar enrolment of Non-Resident Indians, Persons of Indian Origin and Overseas Citizen of India to help them authenticate their identity digitally.
- At present all residents including Indian national and foreigners with valid visas can be enrolled and provided Aadhaar number by the UIDAI.
- The Aadhaar number helps in availing various services and benefits provided by the government.
- It is a valid know your customers (KYC) document for various services including banking, telecom, cooking gas subsidy, vehicle registration driving licence, government scholarships, pension and public distribution system.
Under the Aadhaar project, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is providing a unique identity numbers to residents, which can be digitally verified using the database. The UIDAI was set up in January 2009 to issue Aadhaar numbers. It has generated 89.43 Aadhaar numbers so far.
Sources: The Hindu.
Tripura assembly passes resolution against death penalty
The Tripura State Assembly has passed a resolution to request the Union Government to amend Section 302 of the IPC to abolish capital punishment. It has asked the centre to replace it with life sentence unto death.
- This resolution will be sent to union government and the Law Commission for consideration.
- The assembly said that everyone in this world has the right to live. It was also observed that capital punishment does not yield effective results and could not reduce the tendency of heinous crimes.
The debate on capital punishment was sparked again recently when Yakub Memon, convicted in the Mumbai blasts case, was executed in the Nagpur Central Jail on July 30 at the end of a long legal battle.
Most of the developed countries have abolished the rule of death penalty and only 58 countries in the world are following the old law.
Sources: The Hindu.
Korea turns its clocks back to ‘Pyongyang Time’
North Korea recently announced that it will be moving its clocks back 30 minutes to create a new “Pyongyang Time” — breaking from a standard imposed by Japanese imperialists more than a century ago.
- The change will put the standard time in North Korea at GMT+8:30, 30 minutes behind South Korea which, like Japan, is at GMT+9:00.
- North Korea said the time change, approved by its Parliament, would come into effect from August 15, which this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean peninsula’s liberation from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule.
- Standard time in pre-colonial Korea had run at GMT+8:30 but was changed to Japan standard time in 1912.
Sources: The Hindu.