Daily Current Affairs and GK | 7 October 2020

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 07 Oct 2020 20:07 PM IST

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1. 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded for the discoveries about black holes.

  • Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics to discover the black holes.
  • Roger Penrose will receive half of this year’s prize “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity,” and the other half will be shared by Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for the “discovery of a supermassive compact object at the center of our galaxy.”
  • Roger Penrose invented mathematical methods to prove that the general theory of relativity leads to the formation of black holes.
  • Genzel and Ghez developed methods to see the center of the Milky Way, which gives us the evidence of a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.
  • Prof Ghez is only the fourth woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics after Donna Strickland, Maria Goeppert Mayer, and Marie Curie.
  • Harvey J. Alter, Charles M. Rice and Michael Houghton were awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology for the discovery of the hepatitis C virus.
  • Black hole:
    • The term “black hole” was coined by American astronomer John Wheeler in 1967.
    • It is formed when very massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycle.
    • A black hole is a region of space where the gravitational pull is so strong that not even light can escape.
    • Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform space-time to form a black hole.

Read Interesting facts about Nobel Prize- Its History and Winners

2. 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry announced.

  • Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have been jointly awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. 
  • They have been awarded for the development of a method for genome editing. 
  • Before Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna, Marie Curie, her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (1964), Ada Yonath (2009), and Frances H. Arnold (2018) were the only five women to be awarded with the most presitigious award in the field of Chemistry. 
  • Frédéric Joliot is the youngest person to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (at the age of 35). 
  • Genome Editing, also called Genome Engineering or Gene Editing, is a method to change an organism’s DNA. With the help of genome editing, DNA is inserted, deleted, modified or placed in the genome of an organism.
  • The latest genome editing tool, CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), invented in 2009, is a simple, faster, cheaper and accurate method for gene editing.
  • Genome editing can be used for research, treatment of diseases, genetically modifying crops, etc.

3. SpaceX wins Contract for building Missile Tracking Satellites.

  • SpaceX has won a $149 million contract to build missile-tracking satellites for the Pentagon, the U.S. Space Development Agency (SDA).
  • It will use its Starlink assembly plant in Redmond to build four satellites fitted with a wide-angle infrared missile-tracking sensor.
  • Technology company ‘L3 Harris Technologies’ will build the other four satellites.
  • It is part of the first phase procurement of satellites to detect and track missiles like intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) by the U.S. Space Development Agency.
  • SpaceX:
    • It was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk.
    • It is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company.
    • It is known for its reusable rockets and astronaut capsules.
    • Its headquarters is located in California.
    • CEO of SpaceX is Elon Musk.

(Source: The Hindu)


4. Government notifies names of three new members of Monetary Policy Committee.

  • The government has notified Ashima Goyal, Jayanth R Verma and Shashank Bhide as three new members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
  • The first meeting of MPC was held in October 2016. The term of Ravindra Dholakia, Chetan Ghate and Pami Dua as members of MPC has ended.
  • MPC postponed its meeting scheduled for 30 September-2 October as three members were not nominated by the government.
  • The term of new MPC members will be four years or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
  • Monetary Policy Committee has six members. RBI Governor is Chairman of MPC. Along with RBI governor, MPC consists of Deputy Governor, RBI and one officer of RBI as its members. Three members are nominated by the government.

5. An MoU signed between Prasar Bharati and IFFCO.

  • An MoU has been signed between Prasar Bharati and Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO).
  • As per the agreement, innovative techniques in agriculture will be broadcasted (shown) by DD Kisan. DD Kisan was launched in May 2015.
  • The broadcast of innovative agriculture techniques will be in easy language through 30 minutes program series in approximately 25 episodes.
  • The broadcast by DD Kisan will benefit farmers and is necessary for making them Atmanirbbhar.
  • IFFCO is a multi-state cooperative society engaged in the business of manufacturing and marketing of fertilizers and is headquartered in New Delhi. IFFCO was founded on 3 November 1967.
  • Prasar Bharati was formed in November 1997. It is headquartered in New Delhi. Its CEO is Shashi Shekhar Vempati.
  • The post of chairperson of Prasar Bharti board is currently vacant since the resignation of Dr. A. Surya Prakash in February 2020.

(Source: News on AIR)

6. India and Myanmar reached an agreement on making Sittwe port operational.

  • India and Myanmar have reached an agreement on making Sittwe port in the Rakhine state operational by the first quarter of 2021.
  • The announcement about making Sittwe port operational by 2021 has been made after the visit of Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla to Myanmar.
  • 3000 vials of Remdesivir were also given to 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who is the first state counsellor of Myanmar.
  • India and Myanmar have also said that they will make their partnership strong in border security connectivity projects, capacity building, power and energy and in areas such as trade, cultural exchange, defense exchanges.
  • The progress in the Indian-assisted Trilateral Highway and Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project was also discussed between India and Myanmar.
  • India has also announced 2 million US Dollars for the Border Haat Bridge at Byanyu/Sarsichauk in Chin State. It will provide economic connectivity between Mizoram and Myanmar. 
  • Myanmar was formerly known as Burma and is a Southeast Asian nation. Its capital is Naypyidaw and the currency is Burmese Kyat.

(Source: Wikipedia)

7. India-Canada Agri-Tech Virtual Seminar organized.

  • Indo-Canadian Business Chamber (ICBC), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India have jointly organized a two day-long India-Canada Agri-Tech Virtual Seminar.
  • Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, addressed the seminar and talked about initiatives like One Nation-One Market and Rs 1 lakh crore Agri Infra Fund.
  • He also talked about digital agri-stack, which is being developed by India as an enabler for online marketplaces and smart agriculture.
  • While addressing the virtual seminar jointly organized by ICBS, CII and MEA, the minister also said that the number of startups in India’s agri-tech sector is more than 450.
  • He also said that every 9th agri-tech startup in the world is an Indian. India is the fifth-largest importer of Canadian vegetables and the seventh-largest importer of leguminous vegetables.
  • Narendra Singh Tomar is currently holding four union ministries. They are the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Rural Development, Panchayat Raj and Food Processing Industries. Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal has resigned in September.

8. ‘India PV Edge 2020’ - a global meet organized by NITI Aayog, MNRE, and Invest India.

  • A global symposium ‘India PV Edge 2020’ was organized by NITI Aayog, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), and Invest India on 6 October.
  • The symposium was organized to facilitate cutting-edge PV manufacturing in India.
  • It was one of its kind platform for global cutting-edge technology providers, equipment makers, and PV champions to present their technologies to the Indian stakeholders.
  • It aims to make India a cutting-edge solar manufacturing hub.
  • India aims to achieve 175 GW of Renewable Energy capacity by 2022 and 450 GW of RE by 2030.
  • The symposium consisted of three sessions:
  • First session:
    • In this session, the policymakers highlighted India’s strong impetus on renewable energy, the investment climate, and its ambition and opportunities in solar manufacturing.
    • Visions to “Electrify our economy” and to “Green our Electricity” were also discussed in this session.
    • The Government is promoting domestic manufacturing in the Renewable energy sector through Interest Subvention Scheme, Performance Linked Export Scheme, and by removing supply-side constraints.
  • Second session:
    • It consists of three parallel pitching sessions on wafer/cell, module/production equipment, and BOM.
    • Cutting-edge giga-scale solar manufacturing stands on three pillar
      • Disruptive PV chemistries
      • Manufacturing by custom-engineered advanced production equipment
      • Utilization of innovative BOM components like special glasses and coatings
  • Third Session: This session brought many large investors on this platform to catalyze investment momentum in cutting edge PV technologies.
  • National Solar Mission:
    • It is an initiative to promote solar power that was launched in January 2010.
    • It has set a target to achieve a total installed solar capacity of 100 GW by 2022.
    • The mission is one of the various plans of the National Action Plan on Climate Change.
    • This mission is being implemented under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

(Source: NITI Aayog)

9. M A Ganapathy appointed as new Director-General of BCAS.

  • M A Ganapathy has been appointed as the new Director-General of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
  • He is a 1986 batch Indian Police Service officer. 
  • He has replaced Rakesh Asthana, a senior IPS officer serving as Director General of Border Security force and Director General of the Narcotics Control Bureau.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment to the post of Director-General of Civil Aviation Security.
  • Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS):
    • It is an attached office of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
    • It is responsible for civil aviation security in India.
    • It is headed by an officer of the rank of Director General of police and is designated as Director-General of Security.

(Source: News on AIR)

10. Keto diet risk and impact on our body.

  • Recently, an actress died in a hospital and her family said that she suffered from kidney failure as she had been following a ketogenic diet.
  • A diet high in fat and protein but very low in carbs is called a ketogenic or “keto” diet.
  • It helps in weight loss by achieving ketosis.
  • Ketosis is a metabolic process that occurs when the liver begins to burn body fat for energy because it does not have enough carbohydrates to burn.
  • In this process, the liver produces chemicals called ketones, which burn more fats from the body.
  • It got popularity as a potential weight loss strategy in the 1970s.
  • A popular ketogenic diet has 70-80 percent fat, 5-10 percent carbohydrate, and 10-20 percent protein.
  • Eggs, chicken, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, full-fat dairy, nuts, and seeds like Macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, and non-starchy vegetables like the greens, broccoli, tomatoes, etc. are food items of this diet.
  • Impact on Health:
    • It can lead to lead many nutrient deficiencies such as carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
    • Carbohydrate restriction can lead to hunger, fatigue, low mood, irritability, constipation, headaches, and brain fog.
    • It increases stress on the kidney and a person suffering from chronic kidney disease may face kidney failure.
  • The Ketogenic diet must be taken under the strict monitoring of a nutritionist or dietician.
  • This diet restricts the intake of carbs and which makes it different from modern weight-loss diets.

(Source: Indian Express)

11. Ministry of Science & Technology has invited nominations for National Awards 2020 for Science & Technology Communication.

  • The National Council for Science & Technology Communications (NCSTC) Division of Department of Science & Technology has invited applications for National Awards 2020 for Science and Technology Communication.
  • These awards aim to recognize outstanding work in the communication of science and technology.
  • The awards will be presented on National Science Day, i.e., on 28 February.
  • The awards are presented annually to an individual or institution. These are conferred in 6 categories:
    • Outstanding efforts in science & technology communication
    • Science & technology communication through print media including books and magazines
    • Science & technology popularization among children
    • Translation of popular science & technology literature
    • Science & technology communication through innovative and traditional methods
    • Science & technology communication in electronic medium
  • The award comes with a citation, a memento and a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh for the first category and Rs. 2 lakh for the last five categories.

(Source: PIB)








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