Polity and Governance
Prasar Bharati mulls own OTT platform
Prasar Bharati is coming up with an over-the-top (OTT) platform.
About the move:
- The Centre had recently approved the Broadcast Infrastructure Network Development (BIND) scheme for Prasar bharati, with an outlay of ?2,539.61 crore, for the upgrade and expansion of broadcasting infrastructure till 2025-2026.
- The public broadcaster had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ‘Yupp TV’, an OTT platform.
- Owing to the platform, DD India is now accessible in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
- The channel is currently available in more than 190 countries via multiple platforms.
- Key points:
- The plan includes priority projects of the AIR and Doordarshan with a focus on the expansion and strengthening of the FM radio Network and Mobile TV production facilities.
- It will engage and would become HD programme 28 regional Doordarshan channelsproduction capable, and FM coverage of the All India Radio (AIR) would also be expanded to over 80% of the country’s population.
A new dwarf boa species discovered
Scientists have discovered a new species of dwarf boa in the Ecuadoran Amazon and named it after an Indigenous activist.
About the species:
- They measures up to 20 centimeters (7.8 inches) long and with skin colouring similar to those of the boa constrictor -- the previously unknown snake was named Tropidophiscacuangoae.
- They belong to South America.
- Significance of the study:
- The species is unusual for having a "vestigial pelvis" characteristic of primitive snakes and taken as evidence by some that snakes descended from lizards that lost their limbs over millions of years.
Science and Technology
India’s kala-azar cases declined 98.7% since 2007
Recently, informed by the Ministry Of Health that the Kala-azar cases in India fell to 834 in 2022 from 44,533 in 2007 — a 98.7 percent decline.
About the disease:
- It is a chronic and potentially fatal parasitic disease of the internal organs, particularly the liver, spleen, bone marrow and lymph nodes.
- It is caused by bites from female phlebotominesandflies – the vector (or transmitter) of the leishmania parasite.
- The sand flies feed on animals and humans for blood, which they need for developing their eggs.
- The term "kala-azar" comes from India where it means black fever.
- It is also known as Indian leishmaniasis, visceral leishmaniasis, leishmania infection, dumdum fever, black sickness, and black fever.
- It spreads due to infection by the parasite called Leishmaniadonovani.
- Leishmaniadonovani is transmitted by sandfly bites in parts of Asia (primarily India), Africa (primarily Sudan), South America (primarily Brazil), Europe (primarily in the Mediterranean region) and in North America.
- According to WHO, if the disease is not treated, the fatality rate in developing countries can be as high as 100% within 2 years.
Symptoms of Kala azar:
- It is associated with fever, loss of appetite (anorexia), fatigue, enlargement of the liver, spleen and nodes and suppression of the bone marrow.
- It also increases the risk of other secondary infections.
Diagnosing Kala azar:
- The first oral drug found to be effective for treating kala-azar is miltefosine.
- The most common method of diagnosing kalaazar is by dipstick testing. However, this method is highly problematic.
India to host ‘Voice of the Global South Summit’
India will host ‘The Voice of Global South’ Summit on January 12-13.
About the event:
- Theme:Unity of Voice and Unity of purpose.
- Ten to 20 countries will be part of one session and two lead sessions will be hosted by Prime Minister.
- We will be hosting a special virtual summit on 12th and 13th January 2023.
- This summit will be called the Voice of Global South Summit.
- It essentially envisages bringing together countries of the global south and sharing their perspective and priorities on a common platform across a whole range of issue.
Art and Culture
SagolKangjei: The ancient polo of Manipur, played on the celebrated Manipur Pony
The Home Minister Amit Shah’s has inaugurated a 122-foot-tall statue of a polo player astride a Manipur Pony in Imphal.
- SagolKangjei is the modern-day Polo game originated in Manipur.
- The sport indigenous to Manipur, in which players ride horses, specifically the Manipur Ponies, which are referenced in records dating back to the 14th century.
- The Manipur Pony is one of five recognised equine breeds of India, and has a powerful cultural significance for Manipuri society.
- A pony is a type of small horse that is under an approximate or exact height at the withers, or a small horse with a specific conformation and temperament. Compared to a larger horse.
- The Marjing Polo Complex has been developed as a way to conserve the Manipur Pony.
- The state government’s Manipur Pony Conservation and Development Policy 2016 refers to the mythology around the Manipur Pony.
Need to conserve Manipur pony:
- The 17th Quinquennial Livestock Census 2003 had recorded 1,898 Manipur Ponies, in which the number fell to 1,101 in the 19th Quinquennial Livestock Census in 2012.
- However, when the Manipuri Pony Society tried to conduct a random survey in the state in 2014, they said they found it difficult to count even 500 of the animals.