PIB Notes

A Stable Form Of Plutonium Discovered

  • A new compound of plutonium (Pu) with an unexpected, pentavalent oxidation state — Pu (V) has been discovered by scientists.
  • The new compound is solid and stable, and may represent a transient phase in radioactive waste repositories.
  • They figured it as Pu (V), pentavalent plutonium, a never-observed-before form of the element.
  • Plutonium is an unstable element and is tricky to transport, store and dispose of, but the find could lead to new ways to tackle those problems.

GEMINI: An Aid To Fishermen

  • GEMINI (Gagan Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation and Information) is a portable receiver linked to ISRO-satellites, that is “fail-proof” and warn fishermen of danger.
  • The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), a Hyderabad institute collaborated with Accord, a private company, to develop this receiver.
  • GEMINI works on GAGAN developed by ISRO and the Airports Authority of India and is an India-made global positioning system and relies on the positioning system by ISRO’s GSAT satellites.
  • With this device, fishermen outside the signal range of their phone companies can also access warnings and alerts.


  • The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) researchers have developed algorithms that enable novel applications for artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning to solve engineering problems.
  • The researchers are going to establish a startup to deploy their AI Software called 'AISoft' to develop solutions to engineering problems in varied fields such as in thermal management, semiconductors, automobile, aerospace and electronic cooling applications.
  • AIsoft was used to solve thermal management problems and found to be nearly million-fold faster compared to existing solutions currently used in the field.

JE & Bluetongue Detection Kit

  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) - Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, have developed two diagnostic kits:

Japanese Encephalitis (JE) ELISA Kit (IgM)

  • The kit is helpful for assessing the active infection of JE virus in the swine population which predicts the outbreak of JE in the humans.
  •  As compared to the commercial kit available in the market at a price of Rs. 52,000; the ICAR-IVRI developed is available for the farmers at a minimal price of Rs. 5,000 only.
  • Each kit is meant for testing around 45 samples.

Bluetongue: Sandwich ELISA for detection of Antigen

  • With the help of the Kit, the Bluetongue Virus can be controlled with the vaccination of susceptible animals, vector control and quarantine of infected animals with the good management practices.
  • Apart from the vaccination, the early diagnosis and isolation of the infected animals are one of the commonly suggested preventive methods for controlling the spread of the disease.
  • Bluetongue (BT) Virus: The Bluetongue (BT) virus is an insect-transmitted viral disease of domestic and wild ruminants that includes the camelid species. The disease is widespread among the sheep, goats, cattle, buffaloes and camels in the country.

A Green Wall To Prevent Desertification

  • It is a 1,400km-long and 5km-wide green corridor all the way from Panipat in Haryana to Porbandar in Gujarat, at its conception stage.
  • The corridor will act as a barrier against the heat and dust that blows in from the west.
  • The Aravalli range, which separates western India’s Thar Desert from the relatively green plains to its east, has lost so much green cover that it is losing its ability to act as a natural barrier.
  • It would be modelled on the so-called Great Green Wall of Africa that was envisioned to run from Djibouti in the continent’s east to Senegal in its west.

29th BASIC Ministerial Meet On Climate Change

  • The 29th ministerial meeting of the BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) countries on Climate Change was held at Beijing, China.
  • BASIC countries have urged developed nations to adhere to the commitment made under the Paris Agreement and provide finance and technology to the developing world.

MOSAiC Expedition

  • The MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) project will take a modern research icebreaker laden with scientific instruments close to the North Pole in winter.
  • It will be the first year-round expedition into the central Arctic exploring the Arctic climate system.
  • It will contribute to a quantum leap in our understanding of the coupled Arctic climate system and its representation in global climate models.
  • The focus of MOSAiC lies on direct in-situ observations of the climate processes that couple the atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, biogeochemistry, and ecosystem.
  • Vishnu Nandan, a remote sensing scientist from Kerala will be the only Indian among 300 scientists all over the world aboard the multidisciplinary drifting observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition.

Poba Reserved Forest

  • The Poba Reserved Forest will soon be a wildlife sanctuary.
  • MoEFCC has directed the Assam government to take necessary steps to declare the Poba reserve forest in the state’s Dhemaji district a wildlife sanctuary.

Poison Fire Coral

  • Poison Fire Coral is one of world’s deadliest fungi.
  • It was found recently in north Queensland, a long way from its usual home in Japan and Korea.
  • Poison fire coral, typically found on tree roots and in the soil, is the only known fungus whose toxins are absorbed through the skin.

NIRVIK Scheme: To Ease Lending Process

  • The Ministry of Commerce & Industry through Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) has introduced a new Export Credit Insurance Scheme (ECIS) called NIRVIK to enhance loan availability and ease the lending process.
  • Enhanced cover will ensure that Foreign and Rupee export credit interest rates will be below 4% and 8% respectively for exporters.
  • Under ECIS, insurance cover percentage has also been enhanced to 90% from the present average of 60% for both Principal and Interest.

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