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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Mizoram Tops in HIV prevalence rate

14th October 2019

Why in news?

Mizoram, one of the least populated States in India, reports nine positive cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) a day.

Important Facts related to the Index:

While new HIV infections are declining nationally, it is rising in Mizoram. It has got reduced 27 % nationally but has increased 18% in Mizoram since 2010.

  • Mizoram State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) compiled data which show that 67.21% of the positive cases from 2006 to March 2019 have been transmitted sexually, 1.03% of the transmission route being homosexual.
  • Mizoram is followed by two other north-eastern States Manipur(1.43%) and Nagaland(1.15%).
  • The next major cause, accounting for 28.12% cases, is infected needlesshared by intravenous drug users.
  • Narcotic substances such as methamphetamine and heroin are smuggled in from Myanmar.
  • People in the age group of 25-34 years are the most vulnerable in Mizoram followed by those in the age brackets of 35-49 years and 15-24 years

National AIDS Control Programme IV:

The National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), launched in 1992, is being implemented as a comprehensive program for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in India.

Over time, the focus has shifted from raising awareness to behavior change, from a national response to a more decentralized response and to the increasing involvement of NGOs and networks of PLHIV.

  1. The first phase focused on awareness generation, setting up surveillance systems for monitoring the HIV epidemic, measures to ensure access to safe blood and preventive services for high-risk group populations.
  2. The policy and strategic shift were reflected in the two key objectivesof NACP II:
    • to reduce the spread of HIV infection in India,
    • and to increase India’s capacity to respond to HIV/AIDS on a long-term basis.
  3. In response to the evolving epidemic, the third phase of the national program (NACPIII) was launched in July 2007 with the goal of Halting and Reversing the Epidemicby the end of the project period.
    A dedicated North-East Regional Office has been established for focused attention to the North-Eastern states.

About Mizoram:

  • It is a Christian majoritystate, bordering Bangladesh and Myanmar.
  • Among the Northeastern states, Mizoram bordersManipur, Tripura and Assam.
  • The name is derived from “Mizo”, the name of the native inhabitants, and “Ram”, which means land, and thus Mizoram means “land of the  Mizos”.
  • Within the northeast region, it is the southernmost landlocked state.

Greater Nocobar Island

Why in news?

Researchers have found litter from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand on the island, which hosts a biosphere reserve.

Context:

  • The pristine beaches of the Great Nicobar Island, India’s southernmost territory, are under threat from plastic. A survey of five beaches in the islands recorded the presence of plastic bottles.
  • Major portion of the litter (40.5%) was of Malaysian origin. It was followed by Indonesia (23.9%) and Thailand (16.3%). Other countries contributed a minor portion.
  • About 10 countries including India contributed to the plastic litter on the island. They were Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, India, Myanmar, China, and Japan.
  • Plastic pollution has emerged as one of critical  threats  to ocean  ecosystem.
  • Plastic represents 83 % of the marine litter found.
  • The remaining  17%  is mainly  textiles, paper ,metal & wood
  • The overwhelming contribution from Indonesia and Thailand was likely due to its proximity to the island; the plastic is likely to have made its way to the island because of water currents via the Malacca  Strait, which is a major shipping route.
  • The huge quantities of marine debrisobserved on this island might be due to improper handling of the solid waste from fishing/mariculture activity and ship traffic.
  • However, the researchers also point out that litter of Indian origin on beaches and mangroves of the Andaman Islands is continuously increasing.
  • This is probably due to lack of proper guidelines and inadequate staff to monitor these islands.

 

About Great Nicobar Island :

  • The Great Nicobar Island of Andaman has an area of about 1044 sq. km.
  • According to the 2011 census, it has a population of about 8,069.
  • The island is home to one of the most primitive tribes
    of India — the Shompens.
  • The island includes the Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve (GNBR)comprising of the Galathea  National Park and the Campbell Bay National Park.
  • The island harbors a wide spectrum of ecosystems from tropical wet evergreen forests, mountain ranges, and coastal plains.
  • The island is also home to giant robber crabs, crab-eating macaques, the rare megapode as well as leatherback turtles.

Facts for prelims

RNA interference ( RNAi):

RNA interference (RNAi) is a biological process in which RNA molecules inhibit gene expression or translation, by neutralizing targeted mRNA molecules. Historically, RNAi was known by other names, including co-suppression, post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS), and quelling.

 

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