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GS Paper III Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Punjab notifies swine flu under Epidemic Disease Act

What’s Happening-
The Punjab government (Health department) notified swine flu (H1N1) under the Epidemic Disease Act.

Key Points discussed in Notification:

  • The notification issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department said all hospitals (government as well as private) will have to inform the Department of Health about a case of ILI (Influenza like Illness) having chronic diseases, so that such cases are treated at the earliest and proper guidelines of the government is followed.
  • All hospitals will have to keep a suspected as well as confirmed case of swine flu in isolation in order to contain the spread of the disease. 
  • The treatment of swine flu is provided free of cost to all the patients as recommended by the Government. All private and Government hospitals will have to abide to this notification.

Committee:

  • Ms Mahajan said the Health and Family Welfare department has constituted a State Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of Dr D Behera, Prof and Head, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh.
  • The committee observed that patients of swine flu who were having other chronic diseases had high mortality rate as compared to patients not having chronic diseases.
  • It was also observed that patients who were treated by private doctors were referred to the higher centres only when they become critical thus increasing the death rate.

Background-
Swine influenza is an infection caused by any one of several types of swine. Swine influenza virus (SIV) or swine-origin influenza virus (S-OIV) is any strain of the  that is  in. As of 2009, the known SIV strains include  and the subtypes of  known as , , H2N1, H911,, , and .The Swine flu was initially seen in humans in Mexico in 2009. In August 2010, the  declared the swine flu  officially.Cases of swine flu have been reported in , with over  up to March 2015.

GS Paper III Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in every day.

Naidu launches Fibre Grid Project in Vizag

What’s Happening-

  • Andhra Pradesh will usher in a revolution in the form of knowledge power, said Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Niadu launching Fibre Grid Project in Visakhapatnam .
  • It will be a trend-setter and is the first step towards that, said the Chief Minister.

Key Points discussed were:

  • In this Fibre Net project, the government has signed a MoU with Cisco as technical partner for the project.
  • The AP Fibre Net will give connection at Rs.149 per month for a 15 Mbps line to 1.3 crore households. Officials will get 100 Mbps connection at Rs.999 per month.
  • The Fibre Grid project being implemented at a cost of Rs.333 crore.
  • The AP State Fibre Net Ltd agency is implementing the project.
  • Under this project, Cisco will complete aerial cable connectivity in North Andhra Pradesh by April-end and across the entire Andhra Pradesh State by month of July-end.

Advantages:

  • Net connectivity will help students to study well. 
  • Smart classrooms will be a reality, and e-learning will be make studying easy.
  • It helps in providing cheapest internet connection in the world.
  • On-demand broadband connectivity will now be possible at a throwaway price.

Sources- The Indian Express, The Hindu. Page 26

GS Paper III – Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

India hosts world’s oldest algae fossil

What’s Happening-
Scientists in India have uncovered a pair of 1.6 billion-year-old fossils that appear to contain red algae, which may be the oldest plant-like life discovered on Earth.
Until now, the oldest known red algae were 1.2 billion years old, said the paper in the journal PLOS Biology.

Key Points discussed were:

  • The material structurally resembles red algae, embedded in fossil mats of cyanobacteria inside a 1.6 billion-year-old phosphorite, a kind of rock, found in Chitrakoot region in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • The characters of discovery agree quite well with the morphology and structure of red algae.
  • Scientists used x-rays to observe regularly recurring platelets in each cell, which they believe are parts of chloroplasts, the organelles within plant cells where photosynthesis takes place.

Significance of Discovery:

  • This discovery could lead experts to rewrite the tree of life.
  • If it becomes true then the ‘time of visible life’ seems to have begun much earlier than we thought.

Background-
Algae are a large and diverse group of simple, typically  organisms.Some have  and others have . The largest and most complex marine algae are called .They are like , and “simple” because they lack the many distinct organs found in land plants. For that reason, they are not classified as plants.Algae (one alga, but several algae) are a type of -like living things that can make food from sunlight by . The study of algae is called  or .

Sources- The Indian Express, The Hindu. Page 27