Current Affairs of 6th January 2020

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1. Centre approves Rs 5,908 crore to seven states for calamity damage relief

The Centre approved the release of Rs 5,908.56 crore to seven states, including Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Assam, like assistance for the damage caused due to various calamities last year. The decision was taken at a meeting of a high-level committee (HLC), chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The HLC approved additional central assistance of Rs 5908.56 crore to seven states from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) of which Rs 616.63 crore will be given to Assam, Rs 284.93 crore to Himachal Pradesh, Rs 1869.85 crore to Karnataka, Rs 1749.73 crore to Madhya Pradesh, Rs 956.93 crore to Maharashtra, Rs 63.32 to Tripura and Rs 367.17 crore to Uttar Pradesh for floods or landslides or cloudburst during the 2019 southwest monsoon.

During 2019-20, the government has released Rs 8,068.33 crore to 27 states as central share from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).

2. Indo-Oman bilateral Naval Exercise “Naseem Al-Bahr’ in Goa

Two ships named RNOV Al Rasikh and RNOV Khassab of the Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) arrived at Mormugao Port, Goa to participate in the 12th edition of the Indo-Oman bilateral naval exercise ‘Naseem-Al-Bahr’.

‘Naseem-Al-Bahr’ (or sea breeze) is a naval exercise between the Indian Navy and the RNO, being conducted since 1993.

Indian Navy ships Beas and Subhadra are participating in it, with harbour phase in Goa followed by sea phase off the Goa coast. During the harbour phase, the Commanding Officers of the visiting ships will call on the Flag Officer Commanding of Goa Naval Area.

The harbour phase also includes sports activities between the Indian Navy and the RNO personnel, reciprocal receptions and planning conferences for the sea phase of the exercise.

3. Yoga Science meet organised at Indian Science Congress in Bengaluru

A Yoga Science meeting was organised as part of the ongoing Indian Science Congress in Bengaluru. Union minister of state for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Kailash Choudhury will inaugurate the event. The head of SVYASA Yoga deemed University Dr. HR Nagendra spoke on the benefits of Yoga in busting stress.

He said yoga heals the mind, body and soul thereby insulating those doing yoga from diseases. He explained about different yoga therapies and postures that can benefit people. Dr. Indranil Basu Ray, a cardiologist from Canada spoke on Yoga research. He gave examples of people practicing yoga and how it helped them cope up with ailments.

The penultimate day of 107th Indian Science Congress in Bengaluru will focus on farming and rural development today. Indian Council of Agricultural Research and University of Agricultural Sciences have identified 120 innovative farmers from across the country to participate in Farmers Science Congress.

Around 10 innovative farmers among them will present their views on integrated agriculture, climate change, agrarian distress, bio-diversity, ecosystem and rural bio-entrepreneurship.

4. ISRO launches Massive Human Space Flight Centre in Challakere, Karnataka

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) proposed 2,700 crores of infrastructure plans to construct its first Human Space Flight Infrastructure Centre (HSFIC) on January 06, 2020. This astronaut hub will be established Challakere, Chitradurga district of Karnataka. It is expected that this centre will start functioning in the next three years.

Various activities related to the training of astronauts to manned missions will be conducted here. This pace is about 200 km from Bengaluru. Challakere is also known as Science City where various other scientific establishments are already working.

5. Zo Kutpui Festival organised in Mizoram

The Mizoram government will be organising Zo Kutpui festival in at least 10 states across India and countries such as US, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The first edition of the festival will start on January 9 in Vanghmun in Tripura and will be held over three days.

About Zo Kutpui Festival:

  • The Zo Kutpui festival aims to unify and strengthen the brotherhood among various Mizo tribes living in different parts of the world.
  • The first edition of the festival will start in Tripura and then move to other states which have significant Mizo population.
  • The festival will witness various cultural programmes by different Mizo tribes.

About Mizo Tribe:

  • The Mizos are tribal people that are spread between Myanmar in the east to Bangladesh in the west. In India, the Mizo population is mainly found in Manipur, Tripura and Mizoram. 
  • There are 12 major Mizo clans identified. It includes Lusei people, Lushai hills people, Chin people, Pawi-Lusei, Tlau, Khiangte, Hualngo among others.

6. CISF to observe 2020 as ‘year of mobility’ 

The CISF will observe 2020 as the ‘year of mobility’ that will have a special focus on the creation of more residential units and the implementation of various welfare measures for the troops. CISF Director General (DG) Rajesh Ranjan said this while addressing jawans and officers of the over 1.62-lakh personnel force over a country-wide webcast facility on the occasion of the new year.

It will emphasise on taking all measures for the welfare of troops and their families, creating infrastructure and logistics like housing, acquiring new land and procuring modern equipment, training with a focus on physical fitness and sports and leveraging modern gadgetry and technology on duty.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is mandated as the primary civil airports guarding force of the country apart from protecting some vital installations in the aerospace, nuclear, government and private domain.

7. 5th Edition of Global Drosophila Conference at Pune

The fifth edition of the Asia Pacific Drosophila Research Conference (APDRC5) commenced at Pune on January 6 for a period of five days. The conference is being organised in the country for the first time by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER).

The last four editions of this conference took place in Taipei, Seoul, Beijing and Osaka.

Key Points

  • It is a biennial conference and it aims to promote the interaction of Drosophila researchers in the Asia-Pacific region with their peers in the rest of the world. It brings together scientists from all over the world who use the fruit fly, Drosophila, as a model organism to address basic and applied questions.
  • The event will have foreign and Indian delegates. Two Nobel laureates, professors Eric Wieschaus and Michael Rosbash, known for their seminal contribution to the field of developmental biology and chronobiology respectively, will also attend the conference.
  • Prof. Wieschaus, an American evolutionary developmental biologist, shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1995 with Edward B. Lewis and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard for his work on the genetic control of embryonic development.
  • Prof. Rosbash shared the Nobel Prize in 2017 in Physiology along with Michael Young and Jeffrey Hall for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.

Drosophila

  • Drosophila is derived from the Greek word drósos which means dew loving.
  • These belong to the Droso–philidae family and are most frequently known as fruit flies or vinegar, wine or pomace flies.
  • Their main distinguishing character is that they stay on ripe or rotten fruits. There is another related family Tephritidae, also called true fruit flies or fruit flies but these feed primarily on unripe or ripe fruits.
  • Drosophila is one of the most widely-used and preferred model organisms in biological research across the world for the last 100 years. A lot of discoveries in biology have been made using this.
  • Its genome is entirely sequenced and there is an enormous amount of information available about its biochemistry, physiology and behaviour.

8. P Magesh Chandran lifts 95th Hastings International Chess title

India’s P Magesh Chandran lifted the title in the 95th edition of the prestigious Hastings International Chess Congress at Hastings in England.

The 36-year old Grand Master with a FIDE rating of 2479, finished in clear first place with 7.5 points from nine games after securing a 33-move draw in the final round against compatriot G A Stany, also a Grand Master. He beat fellow Indian GM Deep Sengupta in the eighth round.

Stany took the sixth place with 6.5 points while India’s woman GM R Vaishali obtained six points to finish 10th. Two other Indians Deep Sengupta finished 13th and Swayam Mishra 14th with identical six points.

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