MahaKavach App:

Mahakavach is a digital contact tracing app for Covid-19. This app helps citizens to contribute and assist in tracing contacts with a potential risk of COVID-19 by helping Health administration.

  • Launched by the Government of Maharashtra.
  • It is a real-time digital contact tracing mobile application that enables citizens to contribute and assist the health authorities in contact tracing, geo-fencing and tracking of quarantined COVID-19 patients.
  • The selfie attendance feature has been also added to the application to get virtual attendance.
  • This app is to be used by individuals as directed by their doctor or medical worker.
  • The app will not be accessible to everyone, as the state government aims to use it for very targeted cases.


Parliamentary standing committees:

What are the types of committees?

  1. Standing’ committees: Their existence is uninterrupted and usually reconstituted on an annual basis. Some standing committees are departmentally related.
  2. ‘Select’ committees formed for a specific purpose, for instance, to deliberate on a particular bill. Once the Bill is disposed of, that select committee ceases to exist.
  3. Finance committees are considered to be particularly powerful. The three financial committees are the Public Accounts Committee, the Estimates Committee and the Committee on Public Undertakings.

Parliamentary committees draw their authority from Article 105 (on privileges of Parliament members) and Article 118 (on Parliament’s authority to make rules for regulating its procedure and conduct of business).


Prime Minister’s Research Fellows Scheme:

The Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme has been designed for improving the quality of research in various higher educational institutions in the country. With attractive fellowships, the scheme seeks to attract the best talent into research thereby realizing the vision of development through innovation.

The scheme was announced in the Budget 2018-19. The institutes which can offer PMRF include all the IITs, all the IISERs, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru and some of the top Central Universities/NITs that offer science and/or technology degrees.

Aim: To attract the talent pool of the country to doctoral (Ph.D.) programs of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) for carrying out research in cutting edge science and technology domains, with focus on national priorities.


Luhman 16A:

Luhman 16 is a binary star system, the third closest system to the Sun after Alpha Centauri and Barnard’s star.

  • At a distance of about 6.5 light-years from the Sun, this pair of brown dwarfs referred to as Luhman 16A and Luhman 16B orbit each other, casting a dim light.
  • A group of international astrophysicists have identified cloud bands on the surface of Luhman 16A, one of a pair of binary brown dwarfs in the Vela constellation.


Project CARD:

NITI Aayog and the Department of Biotechnology have launched the Consortium for Affordable & Rapid Diagnostics (CARD) to scale up India’s capacity to make coronavirus testing kits.

  • The move comes after India faced quality issues with Chinese-made antibody testing kits, which are used for disease surveillance and to find out how many people have developed immunity to a disease.

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