current affairs 4 may 2020

Daily Current Affairs Today 4 May 2020

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African Swine Flu again hit in Assam

African Swine Flu again hit in Assam

Why in News?

On May 3, 2020 the Assam Government confirmed that more than 2,500 pigs in 306 villages were killed due to African Swine Flu in Assam

There was no relevance brought with COVID-19

Notable points

  • The reason of death of the pigs were confirmed as African Swine Flu by the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) of Bhopal
  • According to 2019 census, the pig population in Assam was 21 lakhs
  • Though the central government has passed order to cull the pigs, the state government is looking for alternative measures to save the pigs before culling them


  • Though, there are acts to protect animals such as Wildlife (Protection) act and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, there is no legislation or rules on culling of animals
  • Animal Culling is done based on order passed by the central government

Culling on Vermin

  • When an animal is classified as “vermin” by the Central Government, the protection over the animal under the Wildlife Protection Act is removed
  • Vermin are wild animals that are believed to be harmful
  • When as species is declared vermin, it can be culled or hunted without restriction
  • Any species can be declared as vermin except for those species that are listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and also those species that are listed in part II of the schedule II of the WPA 1972

African Swine Flu

  • The African Swine Flu is a double-stranded DNA virus and is a causative agent of African Swine fever
  • It infects pigs, warthogs and its natural hosts

Arogya Setu Mitr Initiative launched

Arogya Setu Mitr Initiative launched

  • Under the public-private partnership, the initiative called Arogya Setu Mitr launched
  • The feature is to be available in the Arogya Setu application
  • It is offer free COVID-19 related consultation

Key Features of this initiative

  • The initiative includes free tele-consultation to those who have COVID-19 like symptoms
  • It will also provide ancillary services at market rates
  • This includes home collection of samples, medicine delivery, etc.

Arogya Setu

  • The Arogya Setu application launched to achieve contact tracing of COVID-19
  • The application helps to track people infected by the virus
  • It uses GPS and Bluetooth features in smart phones in order to achieve this
  • It was developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC)

Notable points

  • In partnership with the Tech Mahindra, Tata Group and Swasth the Arogya Setu Mitr launched
  • It will offer free online consultation to COVID-19 with the data provided by the three private sector firms and government entities
  • The Arogya Setu Mitr is to perform as an individual site
  • It cannot access data from the application Arogya Setu
  • It was initiated with the advice of Niti Aayog and principal and scientific advisor of the Prime Minister
  • The Tata Bridigital Health has been included in the network as it offers video, audio and chat consultations to more than 100 doctors
  • The Tech Mahindra platform offers audio and video consultations through doctors from Nightingale and other hospitals

Saras Collection Placed on the Government E-Marketplace portal, GeM

Saras Collection Placed on the Government E-Marketplace portal, GeM

Why in News?

Union Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj on May 4, 2020 launched the “The Saras Collection” on the GeM (Government E Marketplace) platform

What is the aim of the Saras Collection?

To promote daily utilities made by self-help groups

What are the Key Features?

The GeM under the initiative provided a dashboard at national, state, district and block level in order to provide real time information about the products that are being uploaded by the SHGs


  • The GeM is a government owned portal that was set up as National Public Procurement Portal in order to procure goods and services that are required by the central and state governments
  • The platform helps to reduce human intervention

Notable points

  • The initiative is a joint effort of the Ministry of rural development, GeM and Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM)
  • Under the initiative, the SHGs (Self Help Groups) will list their products in 5 different categories namely office accessories, handicrafts, handloom and textiles, grocery and pantry and personal care and hygiene
  • During the first phase, around 913 SHGs were registered and 442 products were added
  • The SHGs were from 11 different states
  • The 11 states include Maharashtra, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh. Kerala, Rajasthan, Odisha, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

DRDO Developed UV Blaster Disinfection Tower

DRDO Developed UV Blaster Disinfection Tower

Why in News?

  • The Defence Research and Development Organization developed Ultra Violet Disinfection Tower for chemical free and rapid disinfection
  • The tower is to be highly helpful in high infection prone areas

How this UV Disinfection tower works?

  • The UV Disinfection tower can be operated through mobile phone or laptop remotely
  • There are six lamps each of 43 watts
  • The lamps emit Ultra Violet light of wavelength 254 nm in 360 degrees of illumination
  • The tower will switch off during human intervention or accidental opening of the room
  • The device also provides arm operation

Notable Points

  • The equipment named UV Blaster is a UV based sanitizer that was designed and developed by DRDO
  • It is highly helpful for disinfecting high tech surfaces such as computers, electronic equipment and other gadgets
  • UV Blaster is helpful in offices where chemical methods may not be suitable
  • The product is also very much suitable in areas where chemical methods cannot be implemented.


  • The DRDO has been developing several new technologies and products to help in disinfection, sample collection, cost effective personal protective equipment
  • Several of these technologies were transferred to private sector companies. Recently DRDO developed ATULYA, a microwave sterilizer to help disinfecting COVID-19
  • DRDO had also developed a kiosk for COVID-19 sample collection.

COVID Toe What is COVID Toe? How COVID Toe Spreads?

COVID Toe What is COVID Toe? How COVID Toe Spreads?

Why in News?

The British Journal of Dermatology Researchers observed 5 clinical patterns of the COVID-19 cases

COVID Toe is a kind of rash that is being developed in COVID-19 patients

What is COVID Toe?

  • According to the study, COVID Toe observed in 19% of patients infected with COVID-19
  • The dermatologists call the red rashes as Pseudo-Chilblain lesions
  • They are small red and itchy patches that occur on the fingers and toes when exposed to cold.

What are Chilblains?

  • Chilblains occur due to inflammation of blood vessels and response to repeated exposure of cold air
  • It usually goes away in one or three weeks
  • This was not the case with Chilblains like patches due to COVID-19.

What are the Five Clinical Patterns Observed?

    • Small blisters on the limbs and trunks were found on 9% of COVID-19 patients
    • It was more among middle aged patients
    • White of pink skin that looked like nettle rashes were observed in 19% of patients
    • Maculopapules were found in more than 47% of patients
    • Maculopapules are small, raised and flat red bumps that were common in patients with severe infections
    • Livedo occurred in 6% of patients
    • Livedo is condition where the skin looked blotchy red or blue
    • It has signs of poor circulation of blood

National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB) Developed eCovSens

National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB) Developed eCovSens

Why in News?

The scientists from National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB), Hyderabad, Telangana developed a biosensor called the eCovSens

What is the use of this sensor?

The sensor is used to detect COVID-19 virus in saliva samples

    • How the Sensor works?The electrode of the device is coated with the antibody of COVID-19 virus
    • When the saliva sample of the infected person is put in the device, it gets applied to the electrode
    • A reaction then occurs between the antibody in the electrode and the antigen in the saliva
    • The reaction creates an electric flow that confirms the presence of the virus

National Institute of Animal Biotechnology

    • The National Institute of Animal Biotechnology was established in 2010
    • It was established by Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology
    • The institute aims to provide translational research that involves livestock and beneficial to mankind

Notable Points

    • The researchers from NIAB developed non-invasive bio-sensor testing device called eCovSens to detect COVID-19
    • The lens can help detect COVID-19 virus within 10 to 30 seconds of testing

What is the importance of this?

    • The Government of India is currently facing various challenges such as shortage of testing kits, lack of adequate testing, etc
    • Several states had complained that the rapid antibody test kits imported from China were faulty
    • Therefore, implementing these technologies in larger scale will help solve the challenges faced by the Government

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Launched national e-commerce market bharatmarket

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Launched national e-commerce market bharatmarket

Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) announced to launch a national e-commerce marketplace ‘bharatmarket’ soon

Aim of the portal?

To bring 95 per cent of retail traders onboard the platform, who would exclusively run the portal


Retail traders collaborated with several technology partners.

  • Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in association with several technology partners, will soon launch a national e-commerce marketplace ‘bharatmarket’ ( for all retail traders in India, who have served Indian consumers for years
  • CAIT has pledged to connect 95% of India’s retail business in this marketplace with the initial collaboration of Ministry of Commerce and Industry to implement the Prime Minister’s vision of Digital India
  • This e-commerce portal has a nationwide participation by retailers
  • Initiative has the support and guidance of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Need of this portal?

This is a good and efficient way to get essential commodities to consumers during the lockdown period and within containment zones

What do they expect from the portal?

The traders body is looking to enroll 1 crore retailers on this e-marketplace in 2020
They are trying to make it the world’s largest and most-unique e-marketplace ever

About Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT):

  • Location– New Delhi
  • Secretary General– Praveen Khandelwal

What are the measures taken by the Government?

    • The government of India took various measures to develop e-commerce market in the country.
    • Recently, around 200 mandis were added to the E-NAM platform
    • Today there are around 785 mandis operating under the platform
    • E-Nam is the National Agricultural Market that was launched in 2016.
    • Government of India announced that the Common Service Centres were to take over village level online retail chain
    • These centres are to do the jobs of Flipkart and Amazon in villages.

What is the latest E-commerce Policy?

    • The Draft E-Commerce Policy had been released by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade
    • The policy aims to address issues of data privacy and consumer protection
    • The policy also focuses on individual rights over holding data
    • It restricts cross-border data flow

25th Nikkei Asia Prizes 2020 in Science and Technology to Thalappil Pradeep an IIT Madras Professor

25th Nikkei Asia Prizes 2020 in Science and Technology to Thalappil Pradeep an IIT Madras Professor

IIT-Madras Professor & Padma Shri awardee Thalappil Pradeep named for 25th Nikkei Asia Prizes 2020 in S&T

For what this prize awarded to Thalappil Pradeep?

This prize given to him in recognition of his pioneering work in nanotechnology-based water purification

About Thalappil Pradeep

    • Prof Pradeep T is Institute Professor and Deepak Parekh Institute Chair Professor at the
    • Department of Chemistry, IIT Madras
    • Earlier he was honoured with Padma Shri award in January 2020
    • He developed pesticide removal technology which is estimated to have reached about 9 million people
    • His arsenic removal technology, approved for national implementation, is delivering arsenic free water to about one million people every day
    • In 2018, he was awarded with the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Prize in Chemistry

About Nikkei Asia Prize

    • Prize given in Three categories such as Economic and Business Innovation, Science and Technology, Culture and Community
    • The prize includes a cash component of 3 Million Yen
    • Award certificate and is scheduled to be awarded in Tokyo, Japan later 2020
    • First Presented in 1996 by Japan, these annual awards recognize individuals who contribute towards sustainable development and to the creation of a better future in Asia.

Past awardees from India

  • Dr. Manmohan Singh
  • Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy
  • Prof. C. N. R. Rao
  • Ms. Kiran Majumdar-Shaw
  • Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty
  • Mr. Nandan Nilekani
  • Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak

25th Nikkei Asia Prize Winners 2020

  1. Economic and Business Innovation
    • Mr. Anthony Tan (CEO,Grab,Malaysia)
    • Ms. Tan Hooi Ling (Co-Founder,Grab,Malaysia)
  2. Science and Technology 
    • Dr. Thalappil Pradeep Institute Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Madras
  3. Culture and Community
    • Mr. Ram Prasad Kadel Founder Music Museum of Nepal, Nepal

Prof T. Pradeep & his team have developed nanotechnology-enabled water filters which provide clean water at a cost of just 2 paisa per litre in India. His involvement in the development of affordable technologies for drinking water purification has benefitted more than one crore Indians.

About IIT Madras:

    • Director– Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi
    • Location– Chennai, Tamil Nadu

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