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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued an order prohibiting the manufacture, sale and distribution of Colistin and its formulations for food-producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements.
§  The ban has been imposed under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
§  The Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), the government’s top advisory body on technical matters related to drugs in the country recommended prohibiting it.
§  Colistin is an antibiotic for therapeutic purpose in veterinary. But the drug is highly misused in poultry industry as a growth promoter for prophylactic purpose.
§  Also, colistin is a valuable, last-resort antibiotic that saves lives in critical care units but in recent years, there have been patients who have exhibited resistance to the drug.
§  This move is likely to reduce the antimicrobial resistance within the country.
§  Awareness programmes need to be conducted for farmers telling them about the dangers of using colistin in feed.
§  Since the bulk of Colistin (nearly 95%) is imported from China, it would be easy to stop importing it within a short time.

o    China, one of the largest manufacturers of colistin, has banned the use of the same within its boundaries for any producing animals or fish reared for consumption.

The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to declare the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary a tiger reserve. The state received an approval for the same from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) 11 years ago.
§  The sanctuary is spread over 890 sqkm in Bhopal-Raisen forest division of Madhya Pradesh.
§  The sanctuary has a population of about 40 tigers and the movement of 12 tigers has been reported in the forest area of Bhopal. The whole area will be combined as one to declare it as a tiger reserve.
§  The area of about 3,500 sq km of Raisen, Sehore and Bhopal districts has been reserved for the same. The 1,500 sq km will be designated as a core area while 2,000 sq km as a buffer zone.
§  The declaration of the sanctuary as a tiger reserve will help in better conservation of tigers in the area which is facing the problem of illegal mining and poaching.

Researchers have produced a new class of antibiotics, known as class II Polyketides, by using robotics to engineer Escherichia coli (E. coli), a common gut bacterium.
§  These antibiotics are also naturally produced by soil bacteria and have antimicrobial properties which are vital in the modern pharmaceutical industry to combat infectious diseases and cancer.
§  The naturally produced Escherichia coli bacteria are difficult to work with as they grow in dense clumps that are incompatible with the automated robotic systems used for modern biotechnology research.
§  By transferring the production machinery from the soil bacteria into E. coli, the researchers have made this class of antibiotics accessible for much more rapid exploration.
§  This breakthrough could be vital for the ongoing combat against antimicrobial resistance, as recently developed automated robotics systems can now be used to create new antibiotics in a fast and efficient way.
§  It will now be possible to explore and engineer polyketides using robotic systems to develop new and diversified polyketides in an automated, rapid and versatile fashion.
§  Antibiotics are chemical substances, which are produced by some microbes and can kill or retard the growth of other (disease-causing) microbes.
§  Penicillin was the first antibiotic to be discovered. This antibiotic was extensively used to treat American soldiers wounded in World War II.

Recently, The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued warning to government officials against 'social engineering' attacks
§  The MHA asked officials to avoid unsolicited phone calls, visits or email messages from unknown persons claiming to represent some organisation, to prevent the leak of sensitive information.
What is Social Engineering Attack?
§  Social engineering attack involves manipulating people into breaking normal security procedures and best practices in order to gain access to systems, networks or physical locations, or for financial gain. It relies heavily on human interaction.
§  Social engineering attack manipulates government officials to obtain sensitive information without letting them realise that a security breach is occurring.
§  The MHA held that hackers often ask for information by sending an email or text message.
§  Phishing: The email or text message carrying a link appears to come from a trusted source like a bank.

o    The link takes you to a fake website and once details like login name and passwords are entered, the login credentials reach to the hacker.
§  Quid pro quo attack: In this case, a hacker comes posing as a technician and uploads malware with the intention to steal information from the system.

Bhabha Kavach:
ContextIndia’s first Lightest and indigenous Bullet Proof Jacket ‘Bhabha Kavach’ from Ordnance Factory Board gets nod of MHA.
Key facts:
  • Developed by OFB and MIDHANI this state-of-the-art jacket can withstand 7.62mm hard steel core or bullets fired from an AK-47 rifle, 5.56mm INSAS bullet and even the recently decommissioned 7.65mm bullet of self-loading rifle (SLR). 
  • It is half KG lesser than the prescribed weight of MHA along with the 360 Degree Protection and has achieved the protection level of NIJ III+.
  • Bhabha Kavach only weighs 9.2kg and is a major breakthrough for the Indian armed forces.

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