Vigyan Jyoti Scheme
Why in news?
President gives away Awards to 21 Winners on National Science day Celebrations.
Vigyan Jyoti Scheme:
- Vigyan Jyoti Scheme is launched by the Department of Science & Technology (DST).
- It is an initiative that will create a level-playing field for the meritorious girls in high school to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in their higher education.
- The programme will cover girl students from grade 9 to 12.
- It also offers exposure for girl students from the rural background to help to plan their journey from school to a job of their choice in the field of science.
- The Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI) will develop a comprehensive Charter and a framework for assessing the Gender Equality in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
Why in news?
The court recently gavethe nod to the National TigerConservation Authority toreintroduce African cheetahs, nearly 10 years afterthe plea was made.
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA):
- The National Tiger Conservation Authority (established in 2005) is a statutory bodyunder the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
- It was provided statutory status by the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2006 which had amended Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Environment Minister is the Chairman of the NTCA.
- Below chairman eight expertsor professionals having qualifications and experience in wildlife conservation and welfare of people including tribals, apart from three Members of Parliament (1 Rajya Sabha, 2 Lok Sabha).
Functions of NTCA:
- Ensuring normative standards in tiger reservemanagement & Preparation of reserve specific tiger conservation plan.
- Laying down annual/ audit report before Parliament.
- Instituting State level Steering Committees under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister and establishment of Tiger Conservation Foundation.
- According approval for declaring new Tiger Reserves.
U.S – Taliban Deal
Why in news?
U.S. strikes a deal with Taliban to end 18 year long Afghan war.
- The U.S. signed a deal with the Taliban that could pave the way for a full withdrawal of foreign soldiers from Afghanistan over the next 14 months.
- While the agreement creates a path for the U.S. to gradually pull out of its longest war, many feel that the talks, scheduled to take place between the Afghan sides, could be much more complicated.
- The U.S. said it is committed to reducing the number of its troops to 8,600 from the current 13,000 within 135 days of signing the deal.
- It also said it is working with allies to proportionally reduce the number of coalition forces in Afghanistan, if the Taliban were to adhere to its commitments.
- A full withdrawal of all foreign forces would occur within 14 months of the de
- al getting signed if the Taliban holds up its end of the deal, the joint statement said.
- India welcomes the deal between U.S and Taliban.
NPR 2010 and 2020 Format
Why in news?
On February 25, the Bihar Assembly passed a unanimous resolution stating that there is no need for a National Register of Citizens in the State and that the implementation of the National Population Register (NPR) would be done strictly according to the 2010 format.
What is the National Population Register (NPR)?
- The NPR is a database of usual residents in the country who have stayed in a local area for the past six months or more and who intend to remain in the same place for the next six months or more.
- The NPR is individual and identity specific unlike the Census which only provides information on the status of the residents of India and population swings.
What is the issue with NPR 2020 format?
- Unlike in the 2010 NPR, the new format for NPR 2020 requires residents to disclose their mother tongue and the places and dates of birth of their parents even if they are not staying in the household.
What is the NPR format of 2010?
- Fifteen identity particulars of the individual members of the household are sought in the 2010 format.
- These include name, relationship to the head of the household, sex, date of birth, marital status, educational qualification, occupation/activity, names of parents, place of birth (of everybody staying in the household at the time), nationality, present address of usual residence, duration of stay at the present address and permanent residential address
Diagnostic system to detect the presence of Merkel cell carcinoma tumours
Why in news?
A team from National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru, has developed a diagnostic system to detect the presence of Merkel cell polyomavirus in Merkel cell carcinoma tumours.
Merkel cell carcinoma
- Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare and aggressive type of skin cancer.
- It is associated with old age, excessive exposure to ultraviolet light and a weak immune system.
What is the new development?
- The researchers have developed a test using the CRISPRCAS12 technology that can identify the virus in the tumour and give off fluorescence to indicate the presence of the virus.
- This is an important developmentfrom the point of view of diagnostics and giving a prognosis for the condition.
- The team adapted a system named DETECTR (DNA endo nuclease targeted CRISPR trans reporter).
- The system consists of three components: Identifier, Switch and Reporter.
- The identifier is a “guide RNA” which can recognize and bind to a section of the Merkel cell polyoma virus.
- The switch is a DNAcutting enzyme known as Cas12a which gets attached to the guide RNA after it finds its target DNA.
- The reporter consists of a single stranded DNA tagged with a fluorescent molecule.
- When the guide RNA attaches itself to the viral DNA segment, the attached Cas12a enzymes get activated and start cutting the “target” virus DNA.
- They also are enabled to cut up the single stranded DNA tagged with fluorescent molecule. This causes the fluorescent molecules to glow, which can be detected.
- Strength of the glow depends on the number of activated Cas12a molecules, which in turn depends on the number of virus DNA copies recognised in the tumour DNA. This gives a measure of the number of viruses in the tumour.
Current Affairs Capsules
- The very first asteroid whose orbit lies entirely within that of Venus has been discovered.
- Named 2020AV2, this asteroid was found to be unstable.
- Within a million years this would either collide with Venus or get scattered to an Earth crossing path.