Current Affairs Today 1 : PM Modi to inaugurate 12th South Asian Games in Guwahati
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday will go aboard to Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha on a 3 day visit during which he will inaugurate the 12th South Asian Games in Guwahati and address tea workers at Moran.
“Will inaugurate 12th South Asian Games in Guwahati. I welcome all athletes from SAARC nations who are participating in the games. Looking forward to addressing tea workers at Moran & attending 85th Annual Conference of Srimanta Sankaradeva Sangha at Sibsagar,” The Prime Minister tweeted.
He also added, “In Dibrugarh will inaugurate 1st ever petrochemical project in Northeast & India’s highest wax producing unit using indigenous technology.”
The Prime Minister will dedicate the National Institute of Science Education & Research and Indian Oil Refinery Paradip to the nation in Odisha.
On Saturday, he will attend the international fleet review and maritime exhibition in Visakhapatnam. He will again return on Sunday and address the gathering.
“Will offer prayers at the Jagannath Temple in Puri during my Odisha visit on the 7th,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.
Current Affairs Today 2 : Bharat Biotech seeks Government approval for two Zika vaccine candidates
On 3rd February, Vaccines manufacturer, Bharat Biotech, announced a breakthrough in developing the world’s first Zika vaccine.
The company has submitted 2 vaccine candidates: one inactivated and one recombinant, to the Indian government.
An inactivated vaccine is when the disease-causing microbe is killed, typically, using chemicals, heat, or radiation. Such a vaccine is more stable and safer than live vaccines.
A recombinant vaccine is a vaccine produced through recombinant DNA technology. This involves inserting the DNA encoding an antigen (such as a bacterial surface protein) that stimulates an immune response.
The company maintains that the pre-clinical studies will be concluded in the next 5 months, after which the process for regulatory approval will commence.
About Zika virus
- An emerging viral disease transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito
- The Aedes mosquito also transmits diseases like dengue and chikungunya.
- World Health Organization has reported 22 countries and territories in Americas from where local transmission of Zika virus has been reported.
- Microcephaly in the newborn and other neurological syndromes (Guillain Barre Syndrome) have been found temporally associated with Zika virus infection.
- Bharat Biotech has submitted necessary information to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) 4 days ago.
- They are looking to seek Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approval to expedite regulatory clearances.
- Currently, getting regulatory approvals for conducting clinical trials in India can take up to 6-8 months.
Current Affairs Today 3 : Geetu Mohandas won Sundance Global Filmmaking award 2016 for Insha Allah script
Indian writer Geetu Mohandas won Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award 2016 for her script of yet-to-be shot film Insha Allah on 30 January 2016. The award was presented at 2016 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony held in Park City, Utah.
She won the award for her wonderful narration about an 11 year old boy, Mullakoya who sets off on a treacherous journey from the Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea to Indian mainland in search of his missing older brother and also because he is tired of living in the shadow of the colorful, magical-realist folklore.
About Geetu Mohandas
- Born at Kannur in Kerala on 14 February 1981 as Gayathri Mohandas at
- Geetu was adopted as her screen name when she starred in her first movie Onnu Muthal Poojyam Vare with Mohanlal in the lead role in 1986.
- An Indian film actress and director known for her works in Malayalam cinema and Bollywood.
- Directed the socio political film Liar’s Dice in 2013 which had received two National Film Awards and was nominated for Oscar in 2015.
- Premiered at Sundance Film Festival and International Film Festival Rotterdam
- Won a special jury award at Sofia International Film Festival.
- Won Kerala State Film Award for Best Child Artist in 1986 and Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress in 2004.
- Along with several other awards she also won Filmfare Award for Best Actress for Malayalam in 2004.
About Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award 2016
They are given in recognition and support of emerging independent filmmakers from around the world by the Sundance Institute.
Current Affairs Today 4 : India signs agreement & becomes Associate Member State of EMBO
India signed a Cooperation Agreement to acquire the status of the Associate Member State European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) through the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology.
The agreement will strengthen scientific relations and mutual research between India and Europe in the field.
After the signing of an agreement in July 2015 with Singapore by Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), India became 2nd such country outside the European region.
On 4 February 2016 the official commencement launch ceremony of the agreement was held in New Delhi.
Key highlights of the agreement
- Researchers working in India are now qualified to join all EMBO programmes and activities.
- Indian scientists can apply to EMBO’s programmes, like short-term fellowships, long-term fellowships for postdoctoral researchers, courses and workshops, also the EMBO Young Investigator Programme.
- Simultaneously Europe will benefit from networking with the top-level scientists in India’s research community.
- Also called : The European Molecular Biology Organization
- Founded in 1964.
- A professional organization of life scientists in Europe.
- Goal : To promote research in life science and enable international exchange between scientists.
- Organizes courses, workshops and conferences, publishes 4 scientific journals
- Supports individual scientists and projects.
- Current EMBO Director is Maria Leptin.
Current Affairs Today 5 : Supporting Syria & the Region Conference held in London
On 4 February 2016, Supporting Syria and the Region Conference 2016 was held in London. The objective of the conference was to discuss issues related to the over 5-year old civil war in Syria and measures to mitigate the humanitarian conflict faced by the country and the region as a whole.
The conference was co-hosted by Kuwait, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United Nations and saw the participation of over 60 countries.
The conference announced 10.7 billion US dollars to undertake the humanitarian activities in Syria between 2016 and 2020, in addition to deliberating on the 2016 Syria humanitarian response plan (HRP) and Regional refugee and resilience plan (3RP) 2016-17
Highlights of Supporting Syria & the Region Conference 2016
- 60 participating nations, numerous international organizations, business, civil society, Syrians and people affected by the conflict were a part of the conference.
- Participants agreed on a broad new approach on response to the protracted crisis in Syria, building on the 2014 Berlin Conference and the 3 Kuwait Pledging Conferences.
- Donors pledged over 10 billion US dollars in funding
- 6 billion US dollars for 2016
- 1 billion US dollars for 2017-20 towards provision of support to children, women and girls, rehabilitation of infrastructure and support for sustainable agriculture.
- Additionally, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and donors announced 40 billion US dollars in loans on concessional terms.
- The funding will also help in providing access to education for all refugee and host community children by the end of the 2016-17 school year. This measure will help over 2 million children who are out of school.
Situation in Syria & the region
- Starting from 2011, the over 5 years of intensifying conflict in Syria have precipitated the greatest humanitarian crisis witnessed in generations.
- Over 250000 people have been killed and over1 million injured
- More than half of all Syrians have been forced to leave their homes, often multiple times.
- Since 2011, 50 Syrian families have been displaced every hour of every day on an average.
- In 2015 alone, over 1.4 million people were displaced inside the country.
- Number of civilians are fleeing to neighboring countries like, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, and risking their lives to reach safety beyond the region (Europe).
- Today inside Syria, 13.5 million people, including 6 million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance.
- Minimum 8.7 million people are unable to meet their daily food needs
- 70% of the population is without regular access to safe drinking water
- During 2015, the number of registered Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt increased by more than 1 million, bringing the overall total to almost 4.6 million.
- In 2015, the conflict forced more than 440000 Syrians to take the dangerous Mediterranean Sea route to reach the shores of Europe killing thousands of them en route.