Sarat Chandra IAS Academy brings to you the daily current affairs keeping in mind the changing pattern of the UPSC civil services exam. UPSC Prelims and Mains exams mix the current affairs with static core concepts. So, we give the background explanation for every current topic.
TOPICS OF THE DAY:
- India, USA sign MoU on Intellectual Property cooperation
- The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA)
- Damaru’ Inspired Lattice
- Artificial sun
- Cancer genome atlas
1) India, USA sign MoU on Intellectual Property cooperation:
Relevant to: Prelims GS # Mains GS 2
Context: India (through DPIIT) and U.S. signed an MOU in the field of Intellectual Property Cooperation Highlights of this MoU:
- The agreement was signed between the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), India and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
- It is intended to increase intellectual property cooperation between two countries.
- A 2-year work plan will be formulated to implement this MoU. How it will increase IP cooperation?
- As per this MOU, both nations agreed to share their experiences, best practices and knowledge on Intellectual Property among the industry, universities, research and development (R&D) organisations and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
- They agreed to collaborate for conducting training, exchanging experts and in adopting outreach activities.
- This exchange of information will help us to learn best practices that will help us in protecting, enforcing and using the IPR’s.
- Both the countries will work together in understanding the traditional knowledge and how to use IP system to protect that knowledge.
What are Intellectual Property Rights?
- These are the exclusive rights given to the people (creators) for using their creativity (that’s why it is called intellectual property) for a certain period of time.
- In what form’s these rights will be conferred to creator’s?
- Trade Secrets
2) The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA):
Relevant to: Prelims GS
Context: The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) obtained membership of International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).
With this membership IFSCA would have access to IAIS’s global network and would be able to exchange ideas and information with other global regulators.
This would help in developing a vibrant global Insurance hub in IFSC at GIFT City.
International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS)
- Established in: 1994
- Headquarter: Switzerland.
- It is a voluntary membership organization of insurance supervisors and regulators from more than 200 jurisdictions, constituting 97% of the world’s insurance premiums.
- Some of the leading members of IAIS are: (1) United Kingdom- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); (2) USA- National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NIAC); (3) India- Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) etc.
- It is the international standard-setting body responsible for developing and assisting in the implementation of principles, standards and other supporting material for the supervision of the insurance sector
Relevant to: #Mains GS 3
Context: An AI & Robotics Technologies Park (ARTPARK) was recently set up in Bengaluru. It will promote technology innovations in AI (Artificial Intelligence) & Robotics leading to societal impact by executing ambitious mission mode R&D projects.
ARTPARK, is a unique not-for-profit foundation established by Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore with support from AI Foundry in a public-private model.
It received seed funding of Rs. 170 Cr ($22mn) from Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India, under the National Mission on Inter-disciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS).
It will bring about collaborative consortium of partners from industry, academia and government bodies.
ARTPARK will develop DataSetu – that will enable confidentiality and privacy-preserving framework to share data and run analytics spurring the data-sharing ecosystem and create a data marketplace, boosting AI applications and solutions.
National Mission on Inter-Disciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS)
- Implemented by: Department of Science & Technology
- Period of: five years
- NM-ICPS covers entire India which includes Central Ministries, State Governments, Industry and Academia.
- It would address technology development, application development, human resource development & skill enhancement, entrepreneurship and start-up development in Cyber Physical System (CPS) and associated technologies.
- Aim: Establishment of 15 Technology Innovation Hubs (TIH), six Application Innovation Hubs (AIH) and four Technology Translation Research Parks (TTRP).
- Four focused areas: (1) Technology Development; (2) HRD & Skill Development; (3) Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Start-ups Ecosystem Development; (4) International Collaborations
4) Damaru’ Inspired Lattice:
Relevant to: Prelims GS
Context: IIT Kanpur Researchers have developed ‘Damaru’ Inspired Lattice that finds applications in stealth submarines and high speed trains.
Sponsored by: A SPARC project of Ministry of Education
- With the use of a micro-structured hour-glass shaped meta-structure in the lattice unit, one can get a wider variation of propagation and stop bands.
- Inspiration of the lattice has come from a two-headed drum called ‘Damaru’ or which is used in ancient Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism.
- It is said that Lord Shiva has produced a special sound through this musical instrument to create and regulate the universe.
- In this application, the researchers have also shown that the nature of stiffness of a vibrating medium could be altered drastically by controlling the lattice micro-structure from regular honeycomb to auxtetic honeycomb structure.
- This has wide applications in the field of vibration isolation in high speed trains, stealth submarines and helicopter rotors.
5) Artificial sun:
Relevant to: Prelims GS
Context: China successfully powered up its “artificial sun” nuclear fusion reactor for the first time, marking a great advance in the country’s nuclear power research capabilities. Points to remember
- The HL-2M Tokamak reactor is China’s largest and most advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device, and scientists hope that the device can potentially unlock a powerful clean energy source.
- It uses a powerful magnetic field to fuse hot plasma and can reach temperatures of over 150 million degrees Celsius, approximately ten times hotter than the core of the sun.
- Located in Sichuan province and completed late last year, the reactor is often called an “artificial sun” on account of the enormous heat and power it produces.
6) Cancer genome atlas:
Relevant to: Prelims GS
Context: The Ministry of Science & Technology has inaugurated the 2nd Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) 2020 Conference.
The Cancer Genome Atlas
- The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) is a landmark project started in 2005 by the US-based National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).
- The idea was to make a catalogue of the genetic mutations that cause cancer.
- This meant collecting tumour samples and blood samples (known as the germline) from patients and processing them using gene sequencing and bioinformatics.
- The TCGA is a continuing effort even after fifteen years and has generated over 2.5 petabytes of data for over 11,000 patients.
- This data is available to researchers all around the world and has been used to develop new approaches to diagnose, treat and prevent cancer.
Indian Cancer Genome Atlas (ICGA)
- On similar lines, the establishment of an ICGA has been initiated by a consortium of key stakeholders in India led by CSIR in which several government agencies, cancer hospitals, academic institutions and private sector partners.
- It is aimed at improving clinical outcomes in cancer and other chronic diseases.
Why need such Atlas?
Diverse molecular mechanisms- including genetic and lifestyle factors contribute to cancer, posing significant challenges to treatment.
Therefore, it is necessary to better understand the underlying factors- patient by patient. In this context, it is important to create an indigenous, open-source and comprehensive database of molecular profiles of all cancer prevalent in Indian population.
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