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  • Current Affairs 8th January 2018

    Updated : 08-Jan-2018
    Current Affairs 8th January 2018

    Current Affairs 8th January 2018 - Important Points

    • WHO prequalifies breakthrough vaccine Typbar-TCV for typhoid
    • Forex Reserves scale record high of $409.366 billion on - 29th December 2017
    • Vibrant Khelo India logo launched by - Ministry of State Youth and Sports
    • Secret Zuma Mission for US Government launched by - SpaceX

     Current Affairs 8th January 2018 - Details

    WHO prequalifies breakthrough vaccine Typbar-TCV for typhoid

    The World Health Organisation in December 2017 prequalified the 1st combined vaccine for typhoid Typbar-TCV, grown by Bharat Biotech. Typhoid conjugate vaccines are with better long-lasting immunity than previous vaccines and can be given to young children via routine childhood immunization plans. 
    The Typbar-TCV qualifies the acceptable standards of quality, safety and effectiveness. With this, the vaccine becomes entitled for procurement by UN agencies including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and UNICEF.
    The prequalification of the TCV by WHO will aid to make sure that vaccines utilized in immunization schedules are safe, effective and suitable for nations’ needs. 
    WHO’s prequalification methodology comprising of a transparent, scientifically sound evaluation that contains reviewing the proofs, testing the consistency of each lot of produced vaccine and visiting the production site.
    Need of Typhoid conjugate vaccines

    • The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization approved TCV for regular utilization in children over 6 months of age in october 2017 in typhoid endemic nations. 
    • SAGE too called for the initiation of TCV to be prioritized for nations with the highest liability of typhoid disease or of antibiotic resistance to Salmonella Typhi, the bacteria that starts the disease. 
    • Shortly after SAGE’s proposal, Gavi Board approved USD 85 million in funding for TCVs initiation in 2019. 
    • Therefore, prequalification was a very important initiative to make TCVs available to low-income nations where they are required most. 
    • Typhoid is a fatal disease that communicate through contaminated food and water. 
    • It is caused by bacteria Salmonella typhi, which can be communicated through water or food contaminated by faeces or urine of infected persons. Its symptoms are fever, tiredness, headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea / constipation. 
    • For millions of people living in middle-earning and low nations, this disease is an ever-present reality. Global approximation of the typhoid liability range between 11 and 20 million patients and between approximately 128000 and 161000 typhoid deaths per year. 

    Forex Reserves scale record high of $409.366 billion on - 29th December 2017

    As per the Reserve Bank of India, India’s Forex reserves have reached to fresh record position of
    $409.366 billion as on 29th December 2017. The rush was due to massive increase in foreign currency
    assets, which is important component of the reserves.
    Forex Assets
    The forex are reserve benefits kept by a central bank in foreign money. It acts as buffer to be utilised in
    challenging situations and utilized to back burdens on their own released currency as well as to effect
    monetary policy. Almost all nations in world, apart from the size of their economy, have significant
    foreign exchange reserves.
    The elements of India’s FOREX Reserves are Special Drawing Rights, Gold, Foreign currency assets
    and RBI’s Reserve ranking with International Monetary Fund. FCAs forms largest component of Indian
    Forex Reserves.
    Key Points

    • As on 29th December 2017, FCAs which constitutes important component of reserves, increased by $4.42 billion from the last week to $385.103 billion.
    • FCAs are maintained in major currencies like pound sterling, US dollar, euro, Japanese yen and many more Movement in FCA happens mainly on account of purchase and foreign exchange sale by RBI, income arising out of deployment of Forex reserves, external funding receipts of government and reassessment of assets.
    • SDR is an international reserve asset formed by IMF and assigned to its associates in proportion of
      their quota at IMF. The Reserve Position in the IMF increased by $12.1 million to $2.035 billion.

    Vibrant Khelo India logo launched by - Ministry of State Youth and Sports

    Union Minister of State (I/C) Youth Affairs and Sports Col Rajyavardhan Rathore released the vibrant Khelo India logo, presenting the freshness, agility and vitality of New India at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.  The logo also passed the sense of fitness and competitiveness.
    More about Khelo India logo

    • The 3-stroke Khelo India logo was drawn by Ogilvy India. It has in-built modularity, permitting plenty of adaptability and flexibility into unlimited pictorial types. 
    • The colour of the Indian flag evokes a sense of National pride and team-work. 
    • The logo drawing is a crowd-sourced view.
      Khelo India
    • Khelo India, being the national initiative for the development of sports, will cover a long way in attaining the twin aims of mass participation and encouragement of excellence in sports. 
    • According to the government, the future of India is associated with the youth of the country, which is adopting sport as part of its tradition.
    • Khelo India flagship event will start on January 31st. As per the ministry, it is getting the brilliant response from across the nation for the inaugural Khelo India School Games that.
      These tournaments will act as direction for identification of budding sporting talents in particular sports disciplines. We feel proud that everybody is coming together in the initiative.
    • The Khelo India School Games will be telecasted by Star Sports, which is being planned in collaboration with the School Games Federation of India and National Sports Federations by setting up an Organizing Committee according to the process of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports. 
    • SGFI and NSFs will draw up and organize an yearly calendar of tournaments leading up to the Khelo India School Games.

    Secret Zuma Mission for US Government launched by - SpaceX

    Private spaceflight company SpaceX on 7th January 2018 released the secret Zuma Mission for the US government. SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket released the secret Zuma spacecraft from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
    SpaceX  live telecast did not show video coverage of the Zuma spacecraft after it separated from the 1st stage of the rocket, but Assured that the payload was well on its way to low-Earth trajectory.
    Zuma Mission: A Secret

    • Zuma mission remains a top-secret as its nature or motive and the company behind it remains a mystery. 
    • The Zuma mission was originally expected to be released in mid of November 2017, but was delayed so that the SpaceX could take a closer look at potential issues with the payload-fairing or the nose cone part of the rocket that protects the payload.
    • Northrup Grumman, Virginia based aerospace and defence company and the maker of Zuma payload, provided no details of the assignment. The only thing that left known is that the assignment is for the United States government and will be carried to low-Earth trajectory.
    • California based SpaceX, led by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, finished a record-setting eighteen releases in 2017 and plans to do even more in current year.
    • Later in January 2018 itself, the organization plans to launch its latest invention, the Falcon Heavy, a fearsome rocket that will have 3 times the thrust of the Falcon 9.

    Legendary astronaut, moonwalker John Young passed away on - 5th January 2018

    Legendary astronaut of NASA John Young, who walked on the surface of moon and after that
    commanded the 1st space shuttle flight died in Houston, US on 5th January 2018.
    He was NASA’s single astronaut to go into space as part of Apollo, Geminio and space shuttle initiatives,
    and the 1st to fly into space 6 times. He was ninth man to walk on moon surface.
    More about John Young

    • John Young was born in San Francisco, California.
    • He had got degree in aeronautical engineering from Georgia Tech. After that, he had worked with US Navy. Afterwards, he took flight training.
    • His 1st time in space came in 1965 with Gemini 3 program that took him and astronaut Gus Grissom into Earth trajectory in 1st 2-man US space jaunt.
    • His NASA profession spanned over 42 years, bigger than any other astronaut’s. In 1965, he had flown the 1st manned Gemini mission and instructed another in 1966. In 1969, he became 1st person to orbit Moon alone for Apollo 10.
    • He also had operated Lunar Roving Vehicle on Moon’s surface during Apollo 16. He is one of only 3
      people to have gone to the Moon twice.
    • He also instructed 2 Space Shuttle flights, including its 1st launch in 1981, and worked as Chief of Astronaut Office from 1974–1987. He retired from NASA in year 2004.

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