Current Affairs News 2018Current Affairs 2018

“Catch them young” is the slogan of an upcoming “Vigyan Jyoti” programme by the Department of Vigyan JyotiScience and Technology (DST) to attract girl child or students to have career in science and technology.

Key Points: Catch them young

  1. The Centre has planned under the Vigyan Jyoti programme by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) that the brightest girl students studying in classes IX, X and XI will get a chance to rub shoulders with top woman scientists of India and also decided IITs and IISERs would be the nodal centres and function as ‘Vigyan Jyoti Knowledge Centres’.
  2. The intervention programme, named ‘Vigyan Jyoti’ , is solely aimed at helping teenage girl students choose a career in science and technology at a young age so that they attain a brighter future.
  3. Senior nano technology scientist Sulabha Kulkarni who has finalized the details of the programme with the DST stated ““The Vigyan Jyoti programme is planned in such a manner that students will be introduced to various streams of science, get a chance to visit scientific institutions in varied fields and also learn about the current works undertaken across these laboratories,”
  4. Senior DST official further added ““Thus the need for designing a holistic programme where talented middle-to-secondary school students could be identified and routed into professional careers in science and technology”.
  5. Sources at the ministry informed that the efforts are being made to roll out the programme this year, at least at two nodal centres, one of them IISER, Pune, where the programme can be scheduled either in April or May 2018.

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The Union Cabinet has approved proposal for ratification of Minamata Convention on Minamata ConventionMercury and depositing instrument of ratification enabling India to become Party of Convention.

Key Points: Minamata Convention

  1. The Union Cabinet’s  approval shows the ratification of convention along with flexibility for continued use of mercury-based products and processes involving mercury compound up to 2025.
  2. The Minamata Convention derives its name after Japanese city Minamata as the city itself went through devastating incident of mercury poisoning.This  Convention is global treaty that  focuses on the protection of  human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.
  3. The Convention was agreed at 5th session of Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Mercury in Geneva, Switzerland in January 2013 and was adopted in October 2013 at Diplomatic Conference (Conference of Plenipotentiaries), Kumamoto, Japan.The Convention  is implemented with an objective to protect the developmental space of developing countries by the harmful effects of mercury.
  4. Mercury is global and ubiquitous metal that occurs naturally.It is released to the atmosphere and also obtained from various sources  like waste from industrial and medical products like batteries,burning coal for power plants, thermometers, electric switches.
  5. Mercury is considered as one of top ten hazardous chemicals of major public health concern according to WHO.Mercury is the only metallic element that is liquid at standard conditions for temperature and pressure. It has got toxic effects n skin, digestive system lungs , irritation on skin  and can also cause serious health issues.

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