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Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 24 April, 2021

Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.
1. Cost-Effective & efficient technology for recycling Aluminium scraps developed
Why in news?
A team of Scientists has developed a cost-effective technology to recycle aluminium scraps efficiently minimizing material losses in the process, which can be used by small and medium scale industries.
Key points are:
– Dr. C. Bhagyanathan, Associate Professor from Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College, Coimbatore along with Dr. P. Karuppuswamy, Professor Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College and Dr. M. Ravi, Sr. Principal Scientist, CSIR-NIIST Trivandrum developed a technology system that could combine value-added / non-value added and hazardous / non-hazardous wastes, aluminium alloys and assorted scraps for industrial applications and recycle them efficiently.
– The technology was developed with support from the Advanced Manufacturing Technologies programme of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India aligned with the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
– The developed technology can be used in tiny & cottage Industries, Small Scale Industries and MSME Aluminium foundries and recycling industries.
– Conventional aluminium recycling techniques require high investment in processing and generate dangerous residues in form of ferrous (Fe), tin (Sn)
, lead (Pb) and burning of Mg in the crucible red hot.
– The process also involves manual separation and sorting of magnesium alloys, ferrous alloys and high silicon alloys etc. Moreover, the separated magnesium is hazardous to the environment.
– Melting of these alloys are in the form of graded aluminium scraps. These industries sell the ingots based on the chemical composition of the melt.
– The new technology increases the purity and quality of the recycled aluminium melt. The technology involves washing the basic inputs – assorted aluminium scraps (mixed), drying and preheating, removal of basic impurities in melting furnace, degassing in a nitrogen atmosphere and addition of alloying elements in holding furnace, filtering (refining) and pouring the metal into the mould.
– Three problems are addressed during the process. Separation of iron and silicon materials, preventing the loss of magnesium and adding other elements like chromium, strontium, zirconium and so on to improve the mechanical properties under the prescribed limits.
– The conversion rate in the existing technology is 54% and with the new technology developed, the conversion rate has been increased by 70% to 80% depending on various cases of scraps dealt with.
– The technology is in the 7th stage of Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and Dr. C. Bhagyanathan’s team has collaborated with several industrial partners in Coimbatore like Roots Cast, Lakshmi Balaji DieCast, Enkey Engineering Works, Adhrash Line Accessories, Super Cast, Star Flow Tech, to cast various components like electrical housing bracket, automobile casings and valve components, motor housing bracket, motor impeller components etc., for further expansion.
– The team is also in the processes of filing a patent for the technology and has also transferred it to Swayam Industries, Coimbatore, Servo Scientific Equipments, Coimbatore.
– The technology is also equipped with advanced Aluminium Melting and Holding furnaces, a degassing unit, filtering setup, an industrial washing machine and Oven.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 23 April, 2021
2. Public Webinar on the “Genome Sequencing of SARS-CoV-19”
Why in news?
For improving the understanding of the nuances of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing and its public health relevance in the context of the current pandemic, the Department of Biotechnology on 24 April, 2021 conducted a public webinar on the “Genome Sequencing of SARS-CoV-19″.
Key points are:
In the backdrop of reports of the emergence of variants of the SARS-CoV-2, in the UK and some other parts of the world, the Government of India had established a national multi-agency consortium, Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortium (INSACOG) in December 2020, consisting of ten laboratories of the Department of Biotechnology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHF&W) with the overall aim of monitoring the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 on a regular basis.
– The responsibility to correlate the clinical aspects and coordinate the collection of samples from states, for this purpose, was provided to National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), MoHFW. INSACOG has a data repository at IGIB, New Delhi and NIBMG, Kalyani.
– The webinar aimed at demystifying the science behind mutations in the viral genome, viral genome sequencing, and public health implications of the mutations in the viral genome.
– A panel of experts from various reputed institutes & organisations discussed different aspects of genome sequencing and highlighted the importance of sequencing the Genome of SARS-CoV-19, and the work done by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium in ascertaining the presence of variants of SARS-CoV-2, establishing sentinel surveillance for early detection, and determining the genomic variants in the unusual events/trends.
– Following the opening session, a technical session was held which was chaired by Dr Shahid Jameel, Chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Group of the INSACOG.
– In this session, eminent panellists discussed a range of themes, from virus structures to simplifying mutants, different aspects of mutation, understanding of the so-called double and triple mutations, and the public health relevance of all this.
– The session was later opened to the media persons and general public for the questions which were responded to by the Experts. During the Q&A session ‘Virus mutation’ and interlinked issues have been further clarified.
– It was well emphasized that there is no scientific term such as “double” or “triple” mutation of the virus. The terms double or triple mutants are colloquial and these are used to emphasize features of a variant.
– Double or triple mutations as used recently in various media reports, were to signify the number of mutations that escape immunity (immune escape mutant).
– These variants otherwise harbour 15 lineage defining mutations. However, clinical correlations and epidemiological correlation data determine if the mutation of the virus is a Variant of Interest (VoI) or Variant of Concern (VoC). Current data does not suggest that the surge is solely due to anyone variant or any one factor.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 22 April, 2021
3. During April-February 20-21, Export of processed food products increase by 27%
Why in news?
The exports of processed food products during April-February 2020-21 grew by 26.51%. Their exports amounted to Rs 43,798 crores during this period.
Key points are:
– The major food products exported during 2020-21 were processed vegetables, pulses, processed fruits and juices, guar gum, groundnuts, milled products, oil meals, alcoholic beverages and oil meals.
– The export of processed vegetables and alcoholic beverages increased by 40% in 2020-21.
– According to APEDA, the exports of processed food products is to continue in 2021-22. This is mainly because the demand for processed fruits and vegetables, pulses are increasing in markets such as the middle east, the US, UK.
– In March 2021, the Government of India approved Production Linked Incentive Scheme. Through this, GoI aims to provide Rs 10,900 crores of incentives to the Food Processing sector. The incentive is to be paid for six years under the scheme.
– Pradhan Mantri SAMPADA Yojana is being implemented to develop food processing centres in the country. SAMPADA is a Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters. The scheme will create Mega Food Parks.
– In 2020, GoI sanctioned 134 food processing projects. This includes 21 agro-processing clusters, 43 food processing units, 47 cold chains, 8 backward and forward linkages, 3 Operation Greens and twelve food testing laboratories.
– The FDI inflows in Food Processing Industry increased from 628.24 million USD in 2018-19 to 904.7 million USD in 2019-20.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 20 April, 2021
4. Glacier burst reported in Sumna, Neeti Valley
Why in news?
On April 23, 2021, a Glacier burst occurred in Sumna, Neeti Valley located in Chamoli district in India-China border.
Key points are:
– A Border Road Organisation Camp came under the avalanche. The Indian Army has so far rescued 291 persons.
– In February 2021, flash floods occurred in Chamoli district due to a Glacial burst and killed dozens.
– Earlier the breaking of the Nanda Devi Glacier triggered avalanche, landslides and flash floods in the tributaries of the Ganges. The floods due to the breakage damaged two hydroelectric power projects.
– According to United Nations ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) glaciers in India, Bhutan, Nepal and China says that these regions have lost a vertical foot and a half of ice since 2000. This is double the amount of melting that occurred between 1975 and 2000.
– The Glacier Bursts are caused by the build-up of water pressure. The high temperatures coupled with less snowfall accelerates melting and causes water to rise to dangerous levels in glacial dams. This increases water pressure and leads to glacier bursts.
– The Glacial dams are formed when glaciers block the flow of water out of a lake. Unlike the usual lakes, the Glacial lakes are made of ice boulders that have the potential to burst the glacier banks.
– The Nanda Devi Glacier Burst that occurred in Uttarakhand might be because of one such reason. However, the real reason behind the Glacier burst is yet to be found.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 19 April, 2021
5. Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu created a new world
Why in news?
Recently, Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu created a new world record in Clean and Jerk after she lifted 119 kg at the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent.
Key points are:
– Mirabai also created a new national record as she lifted a total of 205 kg, including 86 kg snatch + 119 kg Clean and Jerk which also won her the bronze medal at the tournament.
– The previous clean and jerk world record was 118 kg, which was set by Chinese weightlifter Jiang Huihua in 2019. The Chinese lifter finished second this time and won the silver medal by lifting 207kg (89kg+118kg).
– Another Chinese weightlifter Hou Zhihui grabbed the gold medal in the event by lifting 213 kg (96g & 117kg). Zhihui also created a new world record in snatch.

Daily Gist of 'The Hindu', 'PIB', 'Indian Express' and Other Newspapers: 24 April, 2021_40.1

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6. Impact on Children due to Climate Change
Why in news?
A recent analysis, based on Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN) index, has shown the impact of climate change on children across the world.
Key points are:
– The analysis was done by Save the Children International, a child rights non-profit organisation.
– Sub-Saharan Africa has 35 of the 45 countries globally at the highest climate risk.
– Climate risk can be defined as a combination of hazard exposure, sensitivity to impact, and adaptive capacity.
– Chad, Somalia, Central African Republic, Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are the least capable of adapting to the impact of climate change.
– Around 490 million children under the age of 18 in 35 African countries are at the highest risk of suffering the impact of climate change.
– Of the 750 million children in 45 countries likely to be most affected by climate risk, 210 million are in three South Asian nations — Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
– Floods, droughts, hurricanes and other extreme weather events will have a deep impact on vulnerable children and their families.
– Malaria and dengue fever already plague children in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
– Increasing extreme weather events can lead to new health risks while the health system is already limited.
– Around 9.8 million people were displaced due to the disasters caused by climate change during the first half of 2020.

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