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Current Affairs Analysis

13th & 14th August 2017 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Shaurya’; What is Infusion Therapy? Odisha’s Telemedicine project; International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX); Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS); The Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency and Public Safety) Rules, 2017; Geographic Information Systems (GIS); Ultrasensitive DNA sensor; What are the S. pyogenes infections? Yoda bat; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
August 14, 2017


Polity & Governance

  • INS India launches new online courses on infusion therapy for nurses
  • Telemedicine: Odisha shows the way

Bilateral & International Relations

  • Indian, Chinese Navies to Participate in Search-and-Rescue Naval Drill – IMMSAREX
  • India, Russia to hold mega war games in October

Defence & Security Issues

  • Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Shaurya’ commissioned in Goa
  • Authorised joint secretary can order suspension of telecom services

Science & Technology

  • GIS-enabled portal maps land-related information
  • Now, DNA sensor for quick pathogen detection

Key Facts for Prelims

  • Yoda bat officially recognised as new species

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Polity & Governance

INS India launches new online courses on infusion therapy for nurses

The Infusion Nurses Society (INS), a global authority in infusion therapy, launched India’s first online course on Infusion Therapy for nurses.


  • Under the online course, the Infusion Nurses Society aims to train over 3000 nurses in the vital medical procedure.
  • As per the INS, due to the reach and ease of the digital platform, the course will enable members to access the various infusion therapy modules and presentations through its website.

What is Infusion Therapy?

  • Infusion therapy deals with all aspects of fluid and medication infusion, via intravenous or subcutaneous application.
  • The therapy has a range of medical applications including anaesthesia /sedation, post-operative analgesic pain management, chemotherapy and treatment of infectious diseases.
  • Nine of ten patients admitted in hospitals receive infusion therapy during the course of their stay for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes.
  • Improper infusion practices may lead to complications, causing an increase in mortality, morbidity, duration of hospital stay and healthcare costs.
[Ref: Economic Times]


Telemedicine: Odisha shows the way

A telemedicine project started by an Odisha-based social entrepreneur is slowly going national after the Central government adopted it as a model project two years ago.


  • Through this micro-entrepreneurship programme the government attempts to tackle two problems- unemployment and bad health.

About the project:


  • Started in 2009, the unique model that focusses on sustainability involves training of local youth in e-medicine services and enables them to set up e-health centres in government-run primary health-care centres (PHC), community health centres (CHC) and subdivisional hospitals.
  • These centres have created job opportunities for over 500 youth in Odisha and reached out to over five lakh patients.


  • Under the project, local youth are trained for a month in an e-health assistance programme, after which they can apply for a bank loan to start an e-health centre in PHCs and CHCs.
  • On average, the cost of starting a telemedicine centre goes up to ₹6 lakh.
  • A centre needs a staff of four people, including the entrepreneur.


  • Typically, a centre is equipped with a laptop with video camera and basic diagnostic testing facilities like blood glucose meter, urine analyser, heart rate monitor, etc.
  • So far, 127 such centres have been opened in Odisha at the village and district level.


  • The revenue comes from charges for tests and tele-consultation fees.
  • In case patients are covered under any health scheme for the poor, these charges are borne by the scheme.
  • The charges for tests and consultation are fixed by the government; a basic consultation costs ₹100 while that with a super-specialist costs ₹300.

Facilities provided

  • At no cost to the government, these centres help in offering basic testing facilities.
  • Patients suspected to have major illness get the benefit of the telecommunication facility for consultations with senior doctors.
  • These telemedicine centres also create a database of personal health records of every patient walking in for future reference.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Bilateral & International Relations

Indian, Chinese Navies to Participate in Search-and-Rescue Naval Drill – IMMSAREX

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium’s (IONS) maiden International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) will be held in November 2017 in the Bay of Bengal under the chairmanship of Bangladesh.


  • The ships and aircraft of the members and observers of the IONS including China, India and Pakistan will participate in the exercise.

About Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS):

The IONS is a regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states launched by India in February 2008.

iastoppers Indian Ocean Naval Symposium

  • Members to IONS include 35 littoral states in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) – navies of the IONS which have been geographically grouped into the following four sub-regions (South Asian, West Asian, East African and South East Asian littorals including Australia).
  • IONS seeks to provide a regional forum through which the Chiefs-of-Navy (or equivalent maritime agency) of all the littoral states of the IOR periodically meet to constructively engage each other through the creation and promotion of regionally relevant mechanisms, events, and activities.
  • IONS Chairmanship is rotated sequentially through each of the four sub-regions. This is to ensure that challenges of each region receive due emphasis.
  • The IONS Chair was held by India from 2008 to 2010, UAE from 2010 to 2012 and South Africa from 2012 to 2014.
  • Under the IONS charter of business adopted in 2014, the forum has working groups on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Information Security and Interoperability (IS&I) and maritime security (anti-piracy).
[Ref: The Hindu]


India, Russia to hold mega war games in October

In the midst of evolving security situation in the region, India and Russia will hold a mega war game in October involving their armies, navies and the air forces for the first time to further ramp up military ties.


Key facts:

  • The exercise Indra, which will be held in Russia in October, will primarily focus on achieving coordination between forces of the two countries in a tri-services integrated theatre command scenario.
  • It will be for the first time India will participate in a tri-services exercise with a foreign country with such a large scale participation by the Navy, the Army and the Air Force.
  • A total of 350 Indian Army personnel will participate at the mega exercise and the contingent will be led by a major- general rank official. The contingents by the Navy and the IAF will also be sizeable in numbers.


  • The exercise will take place in the midst of evolving unpredictable security situation in the region.
  • It will be conducted at a time when India’s ties with China have nosedived over the border dispute issue and also at time when its ties with Pakistan have deteriorated over cross-border terrorism and number of other issues.
[Ref: Economic Times]


Defence & Security Issues

Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Shaurya’ commissioned in Goa

Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Shaurya was commission in Vasco, Goa.


Key facts about the ICGS Shaurya:

  • ICGS Shaurya is fifth of a series of six OPVs designed in-house and built by Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL).
  • It is 105-metre long and capable of cruising at a speed of 23 knots. It has a range of 6000 nautical miles.
  • It is powered by twin diesel engines and carries four boats for boarding party operations.
  • It is fitted with state-of-the-art advanced navigation and communication equipment.
  • Its weaponry package has one 30 mm gun and two 12.7 mm guns associated with fire control system.
  • The ship is designed to carry one twin engine light helicopter and five high-speed boats, including two quick reaction inflatable boats for swift boarding operations, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol.
  • The ship is also capable of carrying pollution response equipment to contain oil spill at sea.
[Ref: PIB]


Authorised joint secretary can order suspension of telecom services

The Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency and Public Safety) Rules, 2017 have been notified by the government.


Need of such rules:

  • The government often suspends telecom services in disturbed areas with an aim to maintain law and order. However, no comprehensive guidelines were in place to deal with such situations. This had created confusion among the law enforcing agencies.

Important guidelines under the notified rules:

  • According to new guidelines, a joint secretary level officer authorised by Union or state home secretary can order suspension of telecom services in an area in case of an emergency.
  • Under unavoidable circumstances, where obtaining of prior direction is not feasible, such order may be issued by an officer, not below the rank of a joint secretary to the Government of India, who has been duly authorised by the Union home secretary or the state home secretary.
  • The order issued by officer authorised by either Union or state home secretary will have to be approved from the competent authority within 24 hours of such issuance and in failure of approval confirmation, the suspension order will cease to exist.
  • According to the rules, a copy of any order issued for suspension of telecom services needs to be forwarded to a three-member review committee within 24 hours along with the reason.
  • In the case of centre, the committee will be chaired by the Cabinet secretary and the state level review committee will be headed by chief secretary of the state.
  • The new rules make it binding for the committee to meet and review the order within five working days from the date the order is issued.
  • The rules also laid down that the order for suspension of telecom services will have to be communicated by an officer not below the superintendent of police or of equivalent rank in writing or by secure electronic communication to an authorised officer.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Science & Technology

GIS-enabled portal maps land-related information

The Centre has brought out an online database of more than half a million hectares of land assisting industry.


  • The Geographic Information System-enabled database also has details of close to 3,000 industrial parks/clusters, as well as area-wise availability of agricultural/horticultural crops, and mineral production.


  • The exercise is aimed to eliminate the information asymmetry that is currently adversely affecting the country’s industrial policy-making and investments in the manufacturing sector.

Nodal agency:

  • The database is being developed by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the National e-Governance Division in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology as well as the BISAG – an institute for space applications and geo-informatics under the Gujarat Government.

Key facts:

  • The portal will soon incorporate information on warehouses, power-grid and financial institutions as well as the demand for industrial infrastructure captured on the basis of applications from entrepreneurs for projects.


  • It currently has specific area-wise details in each state on industrial parks/clusters, the focus sectors, common facilities available for industry, industrial land in use and available industrial land etc.
  • The database also has information on the distance from airport/port to each industrial area/cluster and a satellite map view of the area.
  • Data is available on agricultural crops such as fibre crops, food grains, oilseeds, plantation crops, pulses and spices, and horticultural crops, including most fruits and vegetables. Also available are the details of mineral production.

What is Geographic Information Systems (GIS)?


  • GIS is a computer-based tool that analyzes, stores, manipulates and visualizes geographic information, usually in a map.
  • GIS can refer to a number of different technologies, processes, and methods.
  • It is attached to many operations and has many applications related to engineering, planning, management, transport/logistics, insurance, telecommunications, and business. For that reason, GIS and location intelligence applications can be the foundation for many location-enabled services that rely on analysis and visualization.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Now, DNA sensor for quick pathogen detection

Indian scientists have developed an ultrasensitive DNA sensor that can detect S. pyogenes, a bacterium which causes a wide range of diseases in about 30 minutes.

ias toppers DNA sensor

Key facts:

  • The DNA chip is highly specific device for S. pyogenes.
  • The DNA chip based sensor consists of a carbon electrode embedded with gold nanoparticles.
  • By means of a bioinformatics study, researchers were able to design probes which are specific for S. pyogenes. The working electrode surface of the sensor is attached with several small-sized, single-stranded DNA probe specific to the pathogen.
  • When patients’ DNA, isolated from throat swabs are placed on the surface of the sensor, they bind to the complementary single-stranded DNA on the device leading to electrochemical change. This is measured using a differential pulse voltammetry.

Significance of the DNA chip:

The conventional method of identification takes 18-24 hours and the basic culture test does not specifically help distinguish S. pyogenes.

  • The DNA chip based sensor is highly sensitive and could detect even 60-65 bacteria in a 6 microlitre sample. It could identify the pathogen even at very low concentrations of DNA. The sensor was found to be stable for 12 months with only 10% loss in initial current peak on storage at 4 degree C.

What are the S. pyogenes infections?

  • pyogenes cause diseases ranging from mild skin and throat infections to life-threatening toxic shock syndrome.
  • If not treated during early stages of the infection, it can even lead to rheumatic heart disease (heart valves damage).
  • It affects 700 million people every year.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Key Facts for Prelims

Yoda bat officially recognised as new species


  • An unusual breed of fruit bat has now officially been recognised as a new species.
  • The bat, previously nicknamed ‘Yoda’ due to its resemblance to the Star Wars Jedi Master, has been renamed the happy (Hamamas) tube-nosed fruit bat.
  • The ‘Yoda’ bat was discovered in a remote rainforest of Papua New Guinea.

ias toppers Papua New Guinea

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