Current Affair Analysis

11th May 2018 Current Affairs Analysis -IASToppers

Sea Slugs; Elysia chlorotica; Lassa fever; Pacific Islands Forum; May 11: National Technology Day; Bangabandhu-1; What is Magnetic reconnection? Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission; What is Japanese Encephalitis? Rythu Bandhu scheme; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
May 11, 2018


Government Schemes & Policies

  • Telangana launches crop investment support scheme

Issues related to Health & Education

  • Nigeria now free from Lassa fever outbreak
  • Stanford University to partner with UP to combat chronic diseases

Bilateral & International Relations

  • Pacific Islands Forum granted Permanent Observer Status to United Nations in Geneva

Science & Technology

  • May 11: National Technology Day
  • Bangabandhu-1 sucessfully launched by first Block 5 Falcon 9
  • Sea Slugs go solar by stealing from algae
  • NASA probe finds new magnetic process in turbulent space

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Government Schemes & Policies

Telangana launches crop investment support scheme

Telangana government has launched Rythu Bandhu (friend of farmers) Scheme, an investment support scheme to support livelihood of farmers.

  • It is first of its kind investment support scheme for farmers to be launched by any state in India,

About the Rythu Bandhu scheme:

  • Under this scheme, farmers will directly get financial support twice every year to maximise agricultural production and productivity.
  • They will get investment support of Rs 8,000 per acre every year (Rs. 4000 each for monsoon and Rabi season) as crop investment support.

Who are the beneficiaries?

  • About 58 lakh farmers who till over 1.42 crore acres of land in the state are expected to be benefitted from the initiative.
[Ref: Indian Express, Business Standard]


Issues related to Health & Education 

Nigeria now free from Lassa fever outbreak

Nigeria has announced that it is free from Lassa fever outbreak.

  • The announcement follows the epidemiological review by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

About Lassa fever:


  • Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness of 2-21 days duration that occurs in West Africa.
  • The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.
  • Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur, particularly in hospitals lacking adequate infection prevention and control measures.
  • Lassa fever is known to be endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, but probably exists in other West African countries as well.
  • The overall case-fatality rate is 1%. Observed case-fatality rate among patients hospitalized with severe cases of Lassa fever is 15%.
  • Early supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival.


[Ref: Times of India]


Stanford University to partner with UP to combat chronic diseases

United States’ prestigious Stanford University has agreed to assist Uttar Pradesh Government to combat chronic disease like Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

What is Japanese Encephalitis?

  • Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a flavivirus related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses. It is spread by mosquitoes.
  • In 1871, the first case of Japanese encephalitis viral disease (JE) was documented in Japan.



  • Most JEV infections are mild with patients experiencing fever and headache, without apparent symptoms.
  • In case of severe illness, the patient experiences rapid onset of high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, seizures, spastic paralysis and ultimately death.
  • Of those who survive, 20 to 30 per cent suffer permanent intellectual, behavioural or neurological problems such as paralysis, recurrent seizures or the inability to speak.

How is the disease transmitted?

  • JEV is transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes of the Culex species (mainly Culex tritaeniorhynchus)
  • Humans, once infected, do not develop sufficient viraemia to infect feeding mosquitoes
  • The virus exists in a transmission cycle between mosquitoes, pigs and/or water birds (enzootic cycle)
  • The disease is predominantly found in rural and periurban settings, where humans live in closer proximity to these vertebrate hosts.


Is there a treatment for it?

  • There is no antiviral treatment for patients with JE. Treatment is supportive to relieve symptoms and stabilize the patient.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Bilateral & International Relations

Pacific Islands Forum granted Permanent Observer Status to United Nations in Geneva

The Pacific Islands Forum has been granted approval to establish a Permanent Observer Office at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).



  • The Permanent Observer status would entrench the presence of the Blue Pacific region in, and strengthen its links to the United Nations organisations, including its specialised agencies, programmes, fund initiatives and joint programs.

About Pacific Islands Forum:

  • Pacific Islands Forum, formerly (1971–2000) South Pacific Forum, organization established in 1971 to provide a setting for heads of government to discuss common issues and problems facing the independent and self-governing states of the South Pacific.


  • It comprises 18 members: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

Biketawa Declaration

  • In 2000 Forum leaders adopted the Biketawa Declaration, which was a response to regional political instability and which put forward a set of principles and actions for members to take to promote open, democratic, and clean government, as well as equal rights for citizens regardless of gender, race, colour, creed, or political belief.
[Ref: Economic Times]


Science & Technology

May 11: National Technology Day


National Technology Day is being observed across India on May 11 to mark India’s technological advancements.

  • 2018 National Technology Day Theme: “Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future”.
  • The day is being commemorated to celebrate the anniversary of first of the five tests of Operation Shakti (Pokhran-II) nuclear test, held on 11 May 1998 in Pokhran, Rajasthan.
  • The operation was led by the former President APJ Abdul Kalam. After conducting two more tests as a part of the Pokhran-II/Operation Shakti initiative, India was declared as a nuclear state by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • On this same day country’s first indigenous aircraft Hansa-3 was test flown at Bangalore.
  • India also conducted successful test firing of the Trishul missile on the same day. The Trishul missile was developed as a part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The Trishul Missile got inducted by the Indian Army and Indian Airforce.
  • Considering all these technical achievements, 11 May was chosen to be commemorated as National Technology Day.
  • To commemorate this day, Technology Development Board (TDB) has instituted a National Award. This award is conferred on to various individuals and industries by the President for their successful achievement in commercialization of Indigenous Technology.
[Ref: PIB]


Bangabandhu-1 sucessfully launched by first Block 5 Falcon 9

Bangladesh’s first communication satellite Bangabandhu-1 will be launched by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A.

Key facts:

  • It is designed to provide wide range of broadcast and communication services throughout Bangladesh.
  • It has been built by Thales Alenia Space, a Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer.
  • It is named after Bangladesh’s “Father of the Nation”- Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
  • It will provide citizens of Bangladesh Internet connectivity, phone services, radio, backhaul, direct-to-home (DTH) TV services and other communication related services.
  • It has predicted life span of 15 years.
  • It will expand Ku-band coverage over all of Bangladesh and its nearby waters including Bay of Bengal, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Indonesia.

Significance of satellite:

  • It will make Bangladesh autonomous, in terms of telecommunications and broadcasting services. So far, a majority of Bangladesh’s satellite communications was based on rented transponders from India. It will also provide lot of opportunities in terms of revenue generation.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Sea Slugs go solar by stealing from algae

Elysia chlorotica is a green sea slug which can suck out an algae’s plastids that generate energy from sunlight — and incorporate them into its own biology.


  • In doing so, it becomes an animal with the photosynthetic ability of a plant.

What makes Elysia chlorotica unique?

  • Elysia chlorotica takes only the plastids, or the organelles that contain chlorophyll and perform photosynthesis, from the algae. The slug then uses its own genome to keep the plastids operating within its own body throughout the rest of its life.

Where is it found?

  • The sea slug Elysia chlorotica, a mollusk that can develop to a length of 2 inches has been discovered in intertidal zone between Nova Scotia, Canada, and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, as well as in Florida.

Significance of the discovery:

  • Figuring out how the slug keeps these algae-made solar panels functioning could lead to innovations in developing green machines that need only sunlight to generate energy or bioproducts that could be used as biodiesel.
[Ref: The Hindu]


NASA probe finds new magnetic process in turbulent space

In a new find, NASA scientists have discovered a new type of magnetic event in turbulent space surrounding Earth.

  • Scientists analysed the data obtained by the NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft (MMS) to find the new magnetic event in near-Earth environment.

What is Magnetic reconnection?

  • Magnetic reconnection is one of the most important processes in the space — filled with charged particles known as plasma — around Earth.
  • This fundamental process dissipates magnetic energy and propels charged particles, both of which contribute to a dynamic space weather system that scientists want to better understand, and even someday predict, as we do terrestrial weather. 
  • Reconnection occurs when crossed magnetic field lines snap, explosively flinging away nearby particles at high speeds.
  • Reconnection limits the performance of fusion reactors and is the final governor of geospace weather that affects modern technological systems such as telecommunications networks, GPS navigation, and electrical power grids.
  • Magnetic reconnection has been observed innumerable times in the magnetosphere — the magnetic environment around Earth — but usually under calm conditions.

What’s new about this discovery?

  • The new event occurred in a region called the magnetosheath, just outside the outer boundary of the magnetosphere, where the solar wind is extremely turbulent.
  • Previously, scientists didn’t know if reconnection even could occur there, as the plasma is highly chaotic in that region. MMS found it does, but on scales much smaller than previous spacecraft could probe.

About Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission:

MMS investigates how the Sun’s and Earth’s magnetic fields connect and disconnect, explosively transferring energy from one to the other in a process that is important at the Sun, other planets, and everywhere in the universe, known as magnetic reconnection.

  • Four identically instrumented spacecraft measure plasmas, fields, and particles in a near-equatorial orbit that will frequently encounter reconnection in action.
  • MMS reveals, for the first time, the small-scale three-dimensional structure and dynamics of the elusively thin and fast-moving electron diffusion region. It does this in both of the key reconnection regions near Earth, where the most energetic events originate.

Significance of the mission:

  • By observing magnetic reconnection in nature, MMS provides access to predictive knowledge of a universal process that is the final governor of space weather, affecting modern technological systems such as communications networks, GPS navigation, and electrical power grids.
  • MMS will establish knowledge, methods and technologies applicable to future space weather missions and the future growth and development of space weather forecasting.
[Ref: Economic Times]


Current Affairs Analysis
  • Jahir Ansari

    you have lost our trust by stop updating current affirs

    • Dear Jahir, we are going to start posting all these CAA days from tomorrow onwards. They will gradually be completed very soon.

      • Jahir Ansari

        Do you think you are doing it according to promise ?


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