PIB Analysis : 6th and 7th June 2020

PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Nasopharyngeal swab 
  2. Cholesteric liquid crystals
  3. Electronic Skin (E-Skin)
  4. Mission Sagar
  5. Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY)
  6. Facts for Prelims

1 . Nasopharyngeal swab 


Context : CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL), Pune, has developed an indigenous NP swab for collecting samples from the throat cavity of COVID-19 patients. 

About Nasopharyngeal swab

  • Nasopharyngeal swab is a medical device with stringent specifications of quality, polymer grade, dimensions and sterilization.
  • An NP swab consists of a cylindrical plastic stick with a brush-like tip of synthetic bristles/flocks. The flocking process helps align the fine bristles in a parallel orientation on the stick head, much like a tooth brush, except that this has round uniform geometry and the NP swab bristles are of micron diameter.

About the Method

  • A nasopharyngeal swab is a method for collecting a clinical test sample of nasal secretions from the back of the nose and throat.
  • The method is currently used for COVID Test

2 . Cholesteric liquid crystals


Context : Scientists from Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), Bengaluru an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology have synthesised a series of novel photo-sensitive cholesteric liquid crystals at room temperature for widest thermal range which can be used to make optical storage devices such as optically rewritable boards, advertising boards and so on. 

About cholesteric liquid crystals

  • Liquid crystals have become an integral part of human life, for example, the most modern display devices such as computers, mobiles, TV screens, and so on are made up of liquid crystals.
  • Cholesteric liquid crystals are special kind of materials which have the property of reflecting the light of wavelength equal to its pitch length, and this pitch length is temperature-sensitive.
  • So, they are generally used as thermal sensors. If such cholesteric liquid crystals are made photo-sensitive, then these materials can be used for optical storage devices and other related applications.
  • The team of scientists from CeNS headed by Dr Veena Prasad have synthesised these novel photo-sensitive cholesteric liquid crystals for temperature range from -10oC to 160oC.
  • Hence, the devices made using these liquid crystals can be used in Syberia to Saudi Arabia where extreme temperatures were reported. A simple, cost-effective procedure was adopted to synthesise such materials. These room-temperature liquid crystals can be used for creating optical storage devices, liquid crystal displays and so on.

3 . Electronic Skin


Context : Scientists at the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, have found a new process for synthesizing crystalline rubrene, a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-based thin film which can be useful for the development of optoelectronic devices and also for preparation of Electronic Skin (E-Skin).

About Optoelectronics

  • Optoelectronics is the study and application of electronic devices and systems that source, detect and control light, usually considered a sub-field of photonics.
  • In this context, light often includes invisible forms of radiation such as gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet and infrared, in addition to visible light. 
  • Optoelectronic devices are electrical-to-optical or optical-to-electrical transducers, or instruments that use such devices in their operation.

About Electronic Skin

  • Electronic skin (e-skin) is an artificial skin that mimics the sensing capabilities of human skin, which brings many potential applications in robotics, artificial intelligence, prosthetics, and health monitoring technologies.
  • Many attempts associated with various mechanisms/approaches and materials/structures have been developed to match the e-skins to the particular functions of specific applications.
  • Along the time, high sensitivity, mechanical flexibility/stretchability, multifunction, and large area are common driving forces in the research area. New materials, with a variety of structures and unique properties, offer a plenty of freedoms in designing and fabricating e-skins. 

Importance

  • The new synthesis is a water-free, solvent-free, environmentally friendly one-step plasma process.
  • The resultant crystalline rubrene based film demonstrated optoelectronic properties, and an Indian patent has been filed for the process. A highly uniform pin-hole-free thin film can be deposited by this process, which is useful for fabrication of high-end devices.
  • Devices made of pyro-electric materials (that generate electric charge when they are heated or cooled) and piezo-electric materials (that generate electric charge under the effect of mechanical pressure), can help detect change in temperature and pressure.
  • Pyro-electric materials also show pyro-phototronic effect where pyro-electricity is associated with the change in temperature of a material when it absorbs photons. Pyro-electric infrared detectors are well known for application in infrared sensing for space research, defense, remote sensing, and household appliances.
  • These kinds of materials are available in biological systems such as – human skin, plant cellulose leading to their significance in the understanding of basic science of biological systems and also in their huge application prospect.

Uses

  • This novel process developed by the IASST team, besides being useful for developing advanced optoelectronic devices and preparation of Electronic Skin (E-Skin), may be useful as a tool for laboratory simulation of different biological systems for probing the organization and dynamics of those systems.

4 . Mission Sagar


Context : As part of Mission Sagar, Indian Naval Ship Kesari entered Port Victoria, Seychelles, on 07 June 2020. The Government of India in these difficult times is providing assistance to Friendly Foreign Countries in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and towards the same INS Kesari is carrying a consignment of COVID related essential medicines for the people of Seychelles.

About the assistance

  • The assistance to Seychelles is a part of the Government of India outreach amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. ‘Mission Sagar’ builds on the excellent relations existing between the two countries to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant difficulties.
  • The deployment also resonates the vision of our Prime Minister of Security and Growth for All in the Region ‘SAGAR’ and highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with the countries in the IOR.

About SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) 

  • The vision of SAGAR was enunciated by Prime Minister in March 2015. 
  • It is a maritime initiative which gives priority to Indian Ocean region for ensuring peace, stability and prosperity of India in Indian Ocean region.
  • SAGAR has inter-related elements these are enhancing capacities to safeguard land and maritime territories & interests; deepening economic and security cooperation in the littoral; action to deal with natural disasters and maritime threats like piracy, terrorism.
  • It also includes engaging with countries beyond our shores with the aim of building greater trust and promoting respect for maritime rules, norms and peaceful resolution of disputes

5 . Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY)


About PMVDY

  • PMVDY is an initiative targeting livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing the wealth of forest i.e. Van Dhan.
  • The programme aims to tap into traditional knowledge & skill sets of tribals by adding technology & IT to upgrade it at each stage and to convert the tribal wisdom into a viable economic activity. The initiative shall provide enhanced livelihood to about 45 lakhs tribal gatherers in one year. It was launched on 14th April, 2018 and seeks to improve tribal incomes through value addition of tribal products.
  • The Van Dhan initiative shall promote and leverage the collective strength of tribals to achieve a viable scale to take on the predatory market forces in the areas where these are still prevalent.
  • Proposition is to set-up tribal community owned Minor Forest Produce (MFP)-centric multi-purpose Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (the Kendra) in predominantly tribal districts.
  • The Van Dhan Scheme is an initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED. 

6 . Facts for Prelims


Electrolytic Splitting of Water

  • Electrolytic splitting of water is a promising method to generate hydrogen but requires energy input that can be brought down in the presence of a catalyst.
  • Scientists from The Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), have found out a low cost and efficient way to generate hydrogen from water using Molybdenum dioxide as a catalyst.

Airborne Rescue Pod for Isolated Transportation (ARPIT)

  • The Indian Air Force has designed, developed and inducted an Airborne Rescue Pod for Isolated Transportation (ARPIT).
  • This pod will be utilised forevacuation of critical patients with infectious diseases including COVID-19 from high altitude area, isolated and remote places.
  • The system has been developed as a lightweight isolation system made from aviation certified material. It has a transparent and durable cast Perspex for enhanced patient visibility which is larger, higher and wider than the existing models.
  • The isolation system caters for suitable number of air exchanges, integration of medical monitoring instruments, and ventilation to an intubated patient. In addition, it generates high constant negative pressure in the isolation chamber for prevention of infection risk to aircrew, ground crew and health care workers involved in air transportation.
  • The ARPIT utilises High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) H-13 class filters and supports invasive ventilation using Transport Ventilator. T
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