70 Days WAR Plan

Day#25 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

Earth Bio Genome Project; Global Education Monitoring Report 2019; Global Wage Report for 2018-19; Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data; Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP); Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP); Human Microbiome Project (HMP); Human Genome Project; India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO); Difference between Low Earth Orbit Satellite and Geostationary Satellites; Envistats India 2018 report; Disease X
By IT's Core Team
April 15, 2019




What is Disease X?

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Disease X:

  • Disease X is a mystery pathogen, that has been added to the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s blueprint for the first time.
  • The WHO has issued a global alert for ‘Disease X’.
  • In its 2018 annual review of the Blueprint priority diseases, the WHO has listed this new and potentially dangerous pathogen as part of eight others that could possibly spark an international epidemic.
  • The organization has described it as representing the “knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease.”
  • It could reportedly emerge from multiple sources and may strike at any time.
  • Rottingen, who believes Disease X is more likely to occur naturally rather than be man-made, added that it could emerge from a zoonotic disease – one that is spread from animals to humans, such as swine flu.




What is the objective of Envistats India 2018 report?

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  • The objective of Envistats India 2018 (environment statistics) is to provide information about the environment, its changes over time and across locations, and the main factors that influence them.

Enrich Your Learning:

Envistats India 2018 report:

  • The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, has brought out a statistical publication on environment, ‘EnviStats India 2018’.
  • The publication has been based on the United Nations Statistics Division’s (UNSD) Framework for Development of Environment Statistics (FDES).
  • It will replace the two publications being brought out by the Central Statistics Office, ‘Compendium of Environment Statistics’ and ‘Statistics Related to Climate Change’.


  • Environment statistics aim at providing statistical information to improve knowledge of the environment, to support evidence-based policy and decision making, and to provide information for the general public as well as for specific user groups.




What is the difference between Low Earth Orbit Satellite and Geostationary Satellites?

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Low Earth Orbit Satellites:

  • Low Earth Orbit Satellites have been around since their inception in the 1950s.
  • LEO satellite systems allow many personal communication devices such as cell phones to be able to have service without having to lay down wires or cables.
  • The communication comes from satellites that orbit over 1200 miles above the earth’s surface.
  • Because they are located so close to the earth’s surface, they don’t have to be extremely powerful to get the signal transmitted.
  • The other nice thing is that LEO satellites are a simple type of satellite. This means that they are much cheaper to build then any other type of satellite.
  • This is why many communication companies tend to use LEO satellites for their communication needs.
  • Probably the biggest advantage to using LEO satellites is that when you have a device (whether it be a cellular phone or GPS tracking device) that uses this type of technology, they can get accurate communication.
  • On the downside, if you do not have enough satellites to cover the surface of the earth, then the coverage area can be limited.

Geostationary satellites:

  • Geostationary satellites (GEOs) are another type of satellite system that many communication devices use.
  • Basically these types of satellites are much bigger and sit much further up above the earth.
  • They stay in one position over 22,000 miles above the earth’s surface and do their jobs.
  • They do not move like the LEO satellite systems do. Geostationary Satellites are mostly used for things like weather forecasting, satellite radio and television and also GPS and cellular phones.
  • Because GEO satellites have a much stronger signal then LEO’s and the satellites do not orbit, the signal for devices that use GEO technology is much better. No matter where you are in the world, you will get a signal.
  • Probably the biggest problem with a geostationary satellite is sun outages. This usually occurs twice a year when the sun passes by the equator.
  • When this occurs, the elevated temperature of the sun causes a high level noise signal to be transmitted to the receiving systems causing an outage of the signal.
  • This means that there is generally no service over a short period of time.
  • According to Satellite Technology the outages last about six-day long.
  • Each day there is duration of about 8 minutes where service is disrupted.




India-based Neutrino Observatory is jointly built by Department of Atomic Energy and?

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  • India-based Neutrino Observatory is jointly built by Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Science and Technology.

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India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO):

  • INO is the latest in a series of neutrino detectors, neutrino factories and experiments being set up worldwide to promote research in particle physics.
  • It is an underground project and will comprise a complex of caverns. The main cavern, which will house the huge neutrino detector [50-kilo tonne magnetised iron calorimeter], will be 130 m long, 26 m wide, and 30 m high.
  • Two smaller caverns will be used for setting up experiments for neutrino double detector and dark matter. Approach to this complex will be by a 2-km-long tunnel.


  • India-based Neutrino Observatory is located at Pottipuram village, in Theni district, near the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border.

Nodal institution:

  • The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research is the nodal institution. The observatory is to be built jointly with the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Science and Technology.

Geographic Importance:

  • A project report says most of the neutrino detectors are at latitudes over 35 deg. It is possible to push such a detector down to almost 8 deg latitude in South India, within proximity to the Equator.
  • This permits neutrino astronomy searches covering the whole celestial sky and study of solar neutrinos passing through the Earth’s core.

Why in news?

  • Locals fear that the excavation and blasts needed to bore the tunnel in the mountains will endanger the biodiversity of the Western Ghats.
  • Some of the concerns voiced range from radiation, structural damage to the mountain to emission of hazardous chemicals.




Describe briefly about (1) Earth Bio Genome Project and (2) Human Genome Project.

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Earth Bio Genome Project:

  • The Earth Bio Genome Project (EBP), proposes a detailed genome-sequence draft of every eukaryote species (organisms with a defined nucleus and to which belong all plants and animals).
  • There are about eight million eukaryotic species being able to create their detailed genetic sequences will reveal unexpected, evolutionary connections among the genus, orders and families that make up the so-called Tree of Life.
  • So far, less than 0.2% of eukaryote genomes have been sequenced and these are at the level of “draft genomes”, meaning that they are still at the crudest resolution.
  • The Earth Bio Genome Project will make use of existing resources and institutions whose mission is to procure and preserve the world’s biodiversity.
  • The EBP has a 10-year road map and hopes to sequence about 1.5 million eukaryote species in three phases. This exercise needs global collaboration and can have many benefits.
  • For instance, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN has not only helped Indian physicists but also given a boost to Indian industries, in that they have designed specialised equipment for the machine.
  • The EBP will have similar spin-off benefits.
  • The EBP project will support and promote international protocols for data storage and sharing.
  • Sequencing such a large number of organisms will require innovative computation- and-storage solutions and the programming acumen of many thousands across the world.
  • The greatest legacy of the EBP will be the gift of knowledge — a complete Digital Library of Life that contains the collective biological intelligence of 3.5 billion years of evolutionary history.

Human Genome Project (HGP):

  • The Human Genome Project was a 13-year project coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institute of Health.
  • During the early years of the HGP, the Wellcome Trust (U.K.) became a major partner; additional contributions came from Japan, France, Germany, China and others. The project was completed in 2003.


  • Human genome is said to have approximately 3 x 109 bp, and if the cost of sequencing required is US $ 3 per bp (the estimated cost in the beginning), the total estimated cost of the project would be approximately 9 billion US dollars.
  • Further, if the obtained sequences were to be stored in typed form in books, and if each page of the book contained 1000 letters and each book contained 1000 pages, then 3300 such books would be required to store the information of DNA sequence from a single human cell.
  • The enormous amount of data expected to be generated also necessitated the use of high speed computational devices for data storage and retrieval, and analysis.
  • HGP was closely associated with the rapid development of a new area in biology called Bioinformatics.

Goals of HGP:

  • Identify all the approximately 20,000-25,000 genes in human DNA;
  • Determine the sequences of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA;
  • Store this information in databases;
  • Improve tools for data analysis;
  • Transfer related technologies to other sectors, such as industries;
  • Address the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) that may arise from the project.

Salient Features of Human Genome:

  • The human genome contains 3164.7 million nucleotide bases.
  • The average gene consists of 3000 bases, but sizes vary greatly, with the largest known human gene being dystrophin at 2.4 million bases.
  • The total number of genes is estimated at 30,000–much lower than previous estimates of 80,000 to 1,40,000 genes. Almost all (99.9 per cent) nucleotide bases are exactly the same in all people.
  • The functions are unknown for over 50 per cent of the discovered genes.
  • Less than 2 per cent of the genome codes for proteins.
  • Repeated sequences make up very large portion of the human genome.
  • Repetitive sequences are stretches of DNA sequences that are repeated many times, sometimes hundred to thousand times. They are thought to have no direct coding functions, but they shed light on chromosome structure, dynamics and evolution.
  • Chromosome 1 has most genes (2968), and the Y has the fewest (231).
  • Scientists have identified about 1.4 million locations where single base DNA differences (SNPs – single nucleotide polymorphism, pronounced as ‘snips’) occur in humans.

This information promises to revolutionise the processes of finding chromosomal locations for disease-associated sequences and tracing human history.

Applications and Future Challenges:

  • Deriving meaningful knowledge from the DNA sequences will define research through the coming decades leading to our understanding of biological systems.
  • This enormous task will require the expertise and creativity of tens of thousands of scientists from varied disciplines in both the public and private sectors worldwide.
  • One of the greatest impacts of having the HG sequence may well be enabling a radically new approach to biological research. In the past, researchers studied one or a few genes at a time.
  • With whole-genome sequences and new high-throughput technologies, we can approach questions systematically and on a much 2015-16 121 MOLECULAR BASIS OF INHERITANCE broader scale.
  • They can study all the genes in a genome, for example, all the transcripts in a particular tissue or organ or tumor, or how tens of thousands of genes and proteins work together in interconnected networks to orchestrate the chemistry of life.

Iron Calorimeter (ICAL) detector:

  • The neutrino observatory is located in a cavern 1.2 km under a rocky mountain in the Bodi West Hills at Pottipuram village in Theni district, about 110 km west of Madurai in Tamil Nadu.
  • The underground project comprises a complex of caverns – the main cavern that house a 50-kilotonne magnetised iron calorimeter detector to study a fundamental particle called neutrino.




Discuss about Human Microbiome Project (HMP)

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Human Microbiome Project (HMP):

  • The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) will map trillions upon trillions of microbes — bacteria, fungi, viruses, archaea — that are found in Indians.
  • In a one-of-a-kind project in the country, researchers will take skin and oral swabs and collect blood and faecal samples from 20,600 individuals who belong to 103 endogamous communities (which marry within the group).
  • These will include 32 tribes as well — from Changpa in Ladkah to Warli in Maharashtra and Mankidia in Odisha, and from Ao in Nagaland to Koya in Telangana. After collecting the samples, scientists will sequence the genome of these microorganisms.
  • It wants to map the microbiome composition of India’s different communities — and how genetics, diet and environment impact it differently.

hmp 1 2019


  • The ambitious project aims to generate the baseline microbiome data of Indians.
  • It will also define the core microbiome of tribal populations that are unaffected by modern lifestyle.
  • It will even help us understand the links between microbial composition and disease risks.
  • It wil create a repository of microbial samples from healthy individuals to help develop probiotic-like solutions.

hmp 2 2019

Institutes involved in study:

  • The HMP is a collaborative effort between 11 research institutes and universities across the country, both public and private, including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology in Guwahati and Symbiosis International University in Pune.
  • The study is being led by Pune’s National Centre for Microbial Resource (NCMR), which is part of the National Centre for Cell Science.


  • Metagenomics is the study of genetic material recovered directly from environmental samples.
  • The broad field may also be referred to as environmental genomics, Eco genomics or community genomics.
  • Metagenomics offers a powerful lens for viewing the microbial world that has the potential to revolutionize understanding of the entire living world.
  • As the price of DNA sequencing continues to fall, metagenomics now allows microbial ecology to be investigated at a much greater scale and detail than before.




Give brief information on Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) and Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP).

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Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP):

  • Centre for Health Informatics has organised a One-Day Knowledge Sharing Session/Workshop on the “Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP)” in July, 2016 at National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW).
  • An Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) is being setup by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
  • The primary objective of IHIP is to enable the creation of standards compliant Electronic Health Records (EHRs) of the citizens on a pan-India basis along with the integration and interoperability of the EHRs through a comprehensive Health Information Exchange (HIE) as part of this centralized accessible platform.
  • IHIP is envisaged to enable better continuity of care, secure and confidential health data/records management, better diagnosis of diseases, reduction in patient re-visits and even prevention of medical errors, better affordability, optimal information exchange to support better health outcome, better decision support system, and thus eventually facilitating improvement in the reforms of treatment and care of public health at National-Level.
  • The goal of this workshop was to brainstorm on the situation regarding exchange of clinical/health information across hospitals/Health Information Systems (HIS), and to discuss case studies of successful HIE among diverse healthcare facilities, using the recommended standards for EHR notified by MoHFW.

Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP):

  • Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) was launched by Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare in November 2004 for a period upto March 2010.
  • The project was restructured and extended up to March 2012.
  • The project continues in the 12th Plan with domestic budget as Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme under NHM for all States.
  • A Central Surveillance Unit (CSU) at Delhi, State Surveillance Units (SSU) at all State/UT headquarters and District Surveillance Units (DSU) at all Districts in the country have been established.


  • To strengthen/maintain decentralized laboratory based IT enabled disease surveillance system for epidemic prone diseases to monitor disease trends and to detect and respond to outbreaks in early rising phase through trained Rapid Response Team (RRTs).

Programme Components:

  • Integration and decentralization of surveillance activities through establishment of surveillance units at Centre, State and District level.
  • Human Resource Development – Training of State Surveillance Officers, District Surveillance Officers, Rapid Response Team and other Medical and Paramedical staff on principles of disease surveillance.
  • Use of Information Communication Technology for collection, collation, compilation, analysis and dissemination of data.
  • Strengthening of public health laboratories.
  • Inter sectoral Co-ordination for zoonotic diseases




Which UN agency adopted the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data?

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  • The Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data was adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission at its 48th Session in March 2017.

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Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data:

  • The Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data was informally launched at the first UN World Data Forum in January 2017 in Cape Town South Africa.
  • It was adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission at its 48th Session in March 2017.
  • This global plan is intended to provide a framework for discussion on, and planning and implementation of statistical capacity building necessary to achieve the scope and intent of the 2030 Agenda.
  • The plan acknowledges that this work will be country-led, and will occur at sub-national, national, and regional levels.
  • This global plan is proposed to leverage and coordinate these many efforts, and those of international organizations and other partnerships.

The Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data proposes six strategic areas, each associated with several objectives and related implementation actions. They are:

  • Coordination and strategic leadership on data for sustainable development
  • Innovation and modernization of national statistical systems
  • Strengthening of basic statistical activities and programmes, with particular focus on addressing the monitoring needs of the 2030 Agenda
  • Dissemination and use of sustainable development data
  • Multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development data
  • Mobilize resources and coordinate efforts for statistical capacity building




Global Wage Report 2018-19 is published by World Bank. Right or Wrong?

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Right Statement:

  • Global Wage Report 2018-19 is published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Enrich Your Learning:

Highlights of the Global Wage Report for 2018-19:

  • India recorded the highest average real wage growth in South Asia during 2008-17, according to a report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
  • Reflecting more rapid economic growth than in other regions, workers in Asia and the Pacific enjoyed the highest real wage growth among all regions over the period 2006-17, with countries such as China, India, Thailand and Vietnam leading the way, the Global Wage Report 2018/19 said.
  • In South Asia, India led the average real wage growth in 2008-17 at 5.5 against a regional median of 3.7. Following India was Nepal (4.7), Sri Lanka (4), Bangladesh (3.4), Pakistan (1.8) and Iran (0.4).
  • The Global Wage Report 2018/19 said that all emerging G20 countries, except Mexico, experienced significant positive growth in average real wages between 2008 and 2017.
  • Wage growth continues in Saudi Arabia, India and Indonesia, whereas in Turkey, it declined to around 1 per cent in 2017.
  • South Africa and Brazil experienced positive wage growth starting from 2016 after a phase of mostly zero growth during the period 2012-16, with negative growth in Brazil during 2015-16.
  • Russia suffered a significant drop in wage growth in 2015, again owing to the decline in oil prices, but had since then bounced back with moderate, though positive, wage growth.
  • The Global Wage Report 2018/19 also noted that a number of countries had recently undertaken measures to strengthen their minimum wage with a view to providing more adequate labour protection.
  • South Africa announced the introduction of a national minimum wage in 2018, while lawmakers in India were examining the possibility of extending the legal coverage of the current minimum wage from workers in ‘scheduled’ occupations to all wage employees in the country, the Global Wage Report 2018/19 said.
  • The Global Wage Report 2018/19 added that wages grew higher and faster in less well-off countries last year than in richer nations, but salaries were still far too low in the developing world.
  • Pay rose by just 0.4 per cent during last year in advanced economies, but grew at over four per cent in developing countries.
  • Wages in developing countries are increasing more quickly than those in higher-income countries.
  • Overall, global wage growth declined to 1.8 per cent in 2017 from 2.4 per cent in 2016. The findings are based on data from 136 countries.
  • In the last 20 years, average real wages have almost tripled in emerging and developing G20 countries, the Global Wage Report 2018/19 also found, while in advanced G20 countries, they increased by just nine per cent.
  • For the first time, the Global Wage Report 2018/19 also focused on the global gender pay gap, using data from 70 countries and some 80 per cent of employees worldwide.
  • Its findings indicated that despite some significant regional differences, men continue to be paid around 20 per cent more than women—”perhaps the biggest single injustice in the world of work”, Ryder said.
  • In high-income countries the gender pay gap was at its biggest in top-salaried positions.
  • In low- and middle-income countries, however, the gap was widest among lower-paid workers, the Global Wage Report 2018/19 found.
  • Its data also suggested that traditional explanations for this—such as differences in the levels of education between men and women who work—played only a “limited” role in explaining gender pay gaps.
  • The wages of both men and women also tend to be lower in enterprises and occupations with a predominantly female workforce.
  • To reduce gender pay gaps, more emphasis should be placed on ensuring equal pay for women and men, and on addressing the lower value placed on women’s work.




  • Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable Economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.


  • Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries.
  • Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value-added and labour-intensive sectors.
  • Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services.
  • Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead.
  • By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.
  • By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training.
  • Take immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, eradicate forced labour and, by 2025, end child labour in all its forms, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
  • Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.
  • By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products.
  • Strengthen the ICDS capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all.



What is the main focus of the Global Education Monitoring Report 2019?

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  • The main focus of the Global Education Monitoring Report 2019 is on the theme of migration and displacement.

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Global Education Monitoring Report 2019:

  • The 2019 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report continues its assessment of progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education and its ten targets, as well as other related education targets in the SDG agenda.
  • It presents evidence on the implications of different types of migration and displacement for education systems but also the impact that reforming education curricula and approaches to pedagogy and teacher preparation can have on addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by migration and displacement.
  • It aims to be a tool for practitioners.
  • It will make the case for investing in education of good quality in rural areas suffering from depopulation and in slum areas suffering from large population inflows; in countries with high rates of emigration and those with high rates of immigration; in short-term refugee emergencies and in protracted crises.
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