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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 19 Aug 2017

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 19 Aug 2017


Paper 2:


Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

TRIFED celebrates World Honey Bee Day


To create awareness about Beekeeping and uses of its products including Honey, Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) is celebrating World Honey Bee Day (WHBD) on August 19 across the Country.

The main theme of celebrating WHBD is to save Indian honey bee.


Benefits of beekeeping:

Beekeeping has been useful in pollination of crops, thereby, increasing income of the farmers/beekeepers by way of increasing crop yield and providing honey and other beehive products, viz. royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis, bees wax, etc. that serves a source of livelihood for rural poor. Therefore, honeybees/ beekeeping has been recognised as one of the important inputs for sustainable development of agriculture/ horticulture.

Infographic placard about benefits of honey

Significance of honey and honey bees for tribal people:

Honey is an important Minor Forest Produce. About 90% of the Scheduled Tribes of the country live in and around forest areas and the forests provide 60% of the food & medicinal needs of tribals and 40% of their income from Minor Forest Produce (MFP) mostly of which come from Honey.


Way ahead:

TRIFED is playing and lead role in protecting, promoting and multiplication of Honey Bees by Scientific, Non-destructive collection practices, thereby increasing the livelihood of tribal people living in various forest areas of the country, contributing to the growth of Honey Bees population and reducing the mortality rate of Honey Bees drastically.



TRIFED is an apex organisation at National Level and functioning under the administrative control of Ministry of Tribal Affairs. TRIFED is serving the interests of Tribals, who are engaged in collection of NTFP and making of Tribal Art & Handicraft Products for their livelihood so as to ensure better remunerative price for their products as well as for the socio-economic betterment through Self Help Groups, Empanelled NGOs, State level Tribal Development Corporations, Forest Development Corporations for undertaking marketing development of the tribal products.


Sources: pib.


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


India, US to establish new ministerial dialogue


India and US have resolved to enhance peace across the Indo-Pacific region by establishing a new 2-by-2 ministerial dialogue that will elevate their strategic consultation.


Key facts:

  • The India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, once described by the US State Department as the “signature mechanism for advancing the United States’ and India’s shared priorities,” will now be replaced by the new dialogue in which the foreign and defence ministers will participate.
  • Composition: The new dialogue format will involve the Indian foreign minister and the US secretary of state as well as the Indian defence minister and the US defence secretary.
  • The shared priorities include job creation, improving the business and investment climate and sustaining a rules-based global order.
  • The US has strategic consultations in this format with key partners and allies including Australia, Japan and the Philippines. India has had a dialogue in the two-plus-two format with Japan with secretaries or senior-most bureaucrats from the foreign and defence ministries engaging each other.



Till last year, trade and commercial issues were discussed in the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue and the Trade Policy Forum. The first Strategic and Commercial Dialogue was held in 2015 in Washington and the second in New Delhi last year. It was seen as an elevation of the US-India Strategic Dialogue in place since 2009 and which focused on regional security, economic cooperation, defence, trade and climate challenges.


Sources: the hindu.



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.


Artificial womb raises hope for premature babies


An artificial womb has been successfully used to incubate healthy baby lambs for a period of one week, and researchers hope the technology will one day be able to do the same for extremely premature babies.

artificial womb

Key facts:

  • Researchers have shown that preterm lambs were successfully maintained in a healthy, infection-free condition with significant growth, for a period of one week using ex-vivo uterine environment (EVE) therapy.
  • EVE therapy could prevent the severe morbidity suffered by extremely premature infants by potentially offering a medical technology that does not currently exist.
  • What is the artificial womb made up of? The artificial womb is a high-tech amniotic fluid bath combined with an artificial placenta.


How it works?

EVE (Ex-vivo uterine environment) therapy allows for oxygenation of the extremely preterm infant using the umbilical vasculature, and is not dependent on the highly immature fetal lung. Briefly, the infant is connected to a parallelised circuit comprised of artificial veins and arteries that supply blood to two membranous oxygenation devices, and submerged in a carefully controlled bath of artificial amniotic fluid. The membranous oxygenators allow gas exchange (removal of CO2 and addition of oxygen) before the blood returns via the circuit to the fetus. Nutrients and other medications are delivered directly to the fetus, which is under round-the-clock monitoring.


Significance of this technology:

Designing treatment strategies for extremely preterm infants is a challenge. Because, at this gestational age the lungs are often too structurally and functionally under-developed for the baby to breathe easily. Therefore, EVF therapy can be an effective treatment strategy for extremely preterm infants born at the border of viability (22-23 weeks).



Those born at the earliest gestational ages may suffer from severe and life-long problems such as cerebral palsy, developmental delay or blindness. For those born at a later gestation, even approaching full-term, there may be behavioural and learning problems. Preterm birth is the single greatest cause of death and disability in children up to five years of age in the developed world. Worldwide, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm each year. In 2015, preterm birth was responsible for nearly 1 million deaths.


Sources: science daily.


Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


NASA successfully places next generation tracking and data relay satellite TDRS-M into orbit


NASA’s third and final in a series of next generation communications satellites has successfully been placed into orbit. The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M (TDRS-M) was launched aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.



The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, or TDRSS, is a fleet of geosynchronous communications satellites that form part of NASA’s Space Network. Introduced in the 1980s to support the Space Shuttle, TDRSS continues in service today, providing a relay for communications, scientific data, telemetry and commands between operators on the ground and spacecraft in Earth orbit.


Key facts:

  • When ready, TDRS-M will become part of NASA’s Space Network providing navigation and high-data-rate communications to the International Space Station, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, rockets and a host of other spacecraft.
  • The TDRS fleet is a critical connection delivering science and human spaceflight data to those who can use it here on Earth.
  • TDRS-M will expand the capabilities and extend the lifespan of the Space Network, allowing researchers to continue receiving and transmitting mission data well into the next decade.


Sources: et.


Topic: Disaster and disaster management.


No data from China on Brahmaputra this year


Hinting at China’s responsibility for the current spate of floods across the northeastern States, India has accused Beijing of not sharing any water-related data about the Himalayan rivers in the current year.



The Brahmaputra and the Sutlej are the two major trans-border rivers that enter India directly from China. There is an existing mechanism named India-China Expert-Level mechanism started in 2006 to share hydrological data during the flood season for Brahmaputra and Satluj rivers. Under the MoUs, the hydrological data is to be shared between May 15 to October 15 every year. However, the same has not been shared this year.



  • China’s refusal so far to share the data with India this year comes amid a two-month-long stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops on the Himalayan plateau of Doklam, which is claimed by both Thimphu and Beijing. The face-off is the longest at the border between India and China in three decades.
  • The breakdown of the mechanism for sharing river water data is the latest in a series of sparks threatening to set alight a carefully managed relationship that has allowed India and China to simultaneously emerge economic powerhouses despite a border dispute they once warred over.

This highlights the need for Regional cooperation to control floods.



According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), over 16 million people have been affected by monsoon flooding across India, Nepal and Bangladesh. This is fast becoming one of the most serious humanitarian crises this region has seen in many years and urgent action is needed to meet the growing needs of millions of people affected by these devastating floods. In India over 11 million people are affected by floods in four states across the north of the country.


Sources: the hindu.