Current Affairs, News & Facts of 27 Jun 2016

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  • Indian-origin lawyer to chair panel on human rights in S Sudan

    Indian-origin lawyer to chair panel on human rights in S SudanSouth African Indian-origin lawyer and long-time human rights activist Yasmin Sooka has been appointed to chair a UN commission to monitor the human rights situation in South Sudan and make recommendations for their improvement.

    Other two members of the committee are Kenneth R. Scott (US) and Godfrey M. Musila (Kenya).

    The Commissioners will provide guidance to the government of South Sudan on transitional justice, accountability and reconciliation issues and will engage with international and regional mechanisms to promote accountability for human rights violations and abuses.

    The UN resolved to establish the Commission following calls for investigation into alleged atrocities by both government and rebel forces before an independent South Sudan was carved out of the larger Sudan in 2011.

    South Sudan :

    South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011, following a referendum that passed with 98.83% of the vote. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city.

    South Sudan has suffered internal conflict since its independence. It has the highest score on the Failed States Index.

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  • Scientists develop new bio-ink for 3D bio-printing with stem cells

    The Scientists from the University of Bristol, England have developed a new stem cell-containing bio-ink that allows 3D printing of complex living tissues that may be used for surgical implants. The study in this regard was published in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials.

    How 3D bio-printing with stem cells was done ?

    Scientists develop new bio-ink for 3D bio-printing with stem cellsThe new bio ink containing stem cells allows scientists to 3D print of living tissue which is also known as bio-printing.

    The new bio-ink contains two different polymer components: a natural polymer extracted from seaweed and a sacrificial synthetic polymer used in the medical industry.

    The special bio-ink formulation was extruded from a retrofitted benchtop 3D printer, as a liquid that transformed to a gel at 37 degrees Celsius, which allowed construction of complex living 3D architecture.

    The synthetic polymer causes the bio-ink to change from liquid to solid when the temperature is raised and the seaweed polymer provides structural support when the cell nutrients are introduced.

    Comment : The new technique is expected to pave the way for the production of complex tissues to replace diseased or damaged areas of the body such as knees and hips and eventually the creation of vital organs. 

    What is stem cell ?

    • Stem cells are undifferentiated biological cells that can differentiate into specialized cells and can divideto produce more stem cells. They are found in multicellular organisms. 
    • In adult organisms, stem cells and progenitor cells act as a repair system for the body, replenishing adult tissues.The stem cells have potential to change the face of curing human diseases and alleviate suffering.
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  • Indian bags UN honour for corporate sustainability initiative

    Indian bags UN honour for corporate sustainability initiativeZubaida Bai, an Indian social entrepreneur, has been named among 10 "champions and pioneers" by UN chief Ban Ki-moon under the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative that calls on companies to align with universal principles of human rights, environment and anti-corruption.

    She is the founder of 'ayzh', a for-profit social venture providing health and livelihood solutions to impoverished women worldwide.

    She was named among the 10 '2016 Global Compact SDG Pioneers', an initiative launched by UN to search for "entrepreneurs" who can play a pivotal role.

    UN Global Compact (UNGC) 

    • The United Nations Global Compact is a United Nations initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their implementation.  
    • It supports  companies to do business responsibly by aligning their operations and strategies with the ten principles of  labour, environment, human rights and anti-corruption.
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  • Sprinter Dutee Chand qualifies for 2016 Rio Olympics  

    Sprinter Dutee Chand qualifies for 2016 Rio OlympicsDutee Chand became the first Indian sprinter to qualify for 2016 Rio Olympics by setting a national record in the 100 metres (11.30 seconds)  at XXVI International Meeting in Kazakhstan. 

    She became the 99th Indian to qualify for the Rio Games, starting on August 5 to 21. In the 26th International Meeting G.Kosanov Memorial, Kazakhstan’s Viktoriya Zyabkinawon won the race with personal best performance of 11.15s.

    Dutee Chand is the first Indian woman to qualify for the coveted 100m event since the International Olympics Committee introduced a qualifying mark in the segment. 

    Legendary athlete PT Usha had qualified for the same event in 1980 Moscow Olympics.

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  • Su-30 flies with BrahMos missile for first time

    On June 25, 2016 the frontline fighter aircraft Su-30 MKI flew with an 2,500 kg integrated BrahMos supersonic cruise missile that has a range of over 290 kms, making IAF the only air force in the world in possession of such a system.

    Su-30 flies with BrahMos missile for first timeIt is the first time in the world that such a heavyweight (2,500 kg) supersonic cruise missile has been integrated on a fighter aircraft.

    The aircraft was in the air for 45 minutes and was flown by Wing Commander Prashant Nair and Wg Cdr MS Raju, both flight test crew of the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment.

    The maiden flight will be followed by a series of test flights and complete evaluation and certification of BrahMos missile on Su30 MKI aircraft. Around 40 Su-30 MKI aircraft are expected to be modified.

    With successful integration of BrahMos on Su-30 MKI aircraft has become a lethal weapon delivery platform for IAF. With this IAF also moved few steps closer towards actual test firing when a 2.5 tonnes supersonic BrahMos air-to-ground missile from the Su-30 MKI.

    About BrahMos missile 

    BrahMos is  supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land.It is a joint venture between the Russian Federation's NPO Mashinostroeyenia and India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Missile’s name has been derived from the names of two rivers, India’s Brahmaputra River and Russia’s Moskva River.

    What makes it a lethal weapon ?

    • It has top supersonic speed of Mach 2.8 and is capable of carrying a warhead of 300 kilogram. 
    • It is two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant. 
    • It can strike a target at maximum range of 290 km.
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  • Paytm to help SMEs get products from China

    Paytm to help SMEs get products from ChinaMany Indian sellers don’t have capability to fly to China to check quality, variety and buy good but now Ecommerce platform Paytm  is working with sellers in India to help them source products from China and other countries at cheaper rates as well as help them with logistics and payments. 

    The company has already started sourcing products under the fashion accessory category and further plans to expand in mobile accessories and home decor products. 

    Paytm will also offer these sellers support of bonded warehouses in India and consolidation centres at the source country.

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