Current Affairs of 21 April 2018
Keshav Kishore, Published On:21-Apr-2018
1. A novel biomedical tattoo for warning of cancer
• Scientists of Switzerland have developed experimental implants i.e. “biomedical tattoo” which gets darken like a mole when there are significant changes in the body which can be an early sign of cancer.
• This implant can detect four most common types of cancer- prostate, lung, colon and breast.
• The implant was tested in mice having either tumours that does not affect calcium blood levels or cancerous tumours that cause hypercalcemia.
2. Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
• OPCW is a Hague-based intergovernmental body that works for the elimination of chemical weapons.
• The organisation was formed after the Chemical Weapon Convention in 1997 which was an arms control treaty that bans the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons.
• The OPCW is the regulating and implementing body of the convention.
• It has 192 members and all the members are required to destroy their existing stockpiles of chemical weapons and stop large scale production.
• Egypt, South Sudan and North Korea have not signed the treaty while Israel has signed but not yet ratified the treaty.
3. India proposed for a BRICS credit rating agency
• India has mooted the idea to have a BRICS (Brazil Russia India China South Africa) credit rating agency to solve the impediments for the emerging economies posed by the current rating agency market dominated by S&P, Moody’s and Fitch (90% of sovereign rating markets).
• Apart from rating agency issues related to BRICS Contingent Reserve Agreement (CRA) and BRICS Bond Fund were also discussed.
• BRICS was formed as BRIC in 2009 and later in 2010 South Africa joined the group.
• The tenth BRICS summit in 2018 will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa while 9th summit in 2017 was held in Xiamen, China.
• Letter of Undertaking (LoU) is used by a bank’s customer to avail short term credit in a foreign country.
• These transactions are mostly used by businesses for import of goods.
• The borrower approaches foreign exchange department of his bank to issue a LoU in-lieu-of collateral security and the bank will issue LoU, which when given to an overseas branch of an Indian bank would release the amount in foreign currency.
• The amount doesn’t directly come to the borrower’s account while it goes into the specific account of the bank who issued LoU. Such accounts are called “Nostro Account”.
• The borrower can then decide in whose favour the payment needs to be done.
5. Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
• The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is NASA’s latest planet hunting satellite to new worlds beyond our solar system and to identify the ones which could support alien life.
• It was launched on SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
• The four unique wide cameras to map 13 sectors of the southern sky in first year and 13 sectors of northern sky in second year; as scientists have divided the sky (approx 85% of whole sky) into 26 sectors.
Source: The Hindu, The Indian Express, PTI