Wednesday, 10 August 2016 06:18




RMI'S Current Affairs - https://www.facebook.com/RMIS-Current-Affairs


05- AUGUST - 2016




American ice hockey Olympic champion Angela Ruggiero was elected as the new chair of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Athletes’ Commission.

IOC President Thomas Bach officially appointed Ruggiero during joint meeting between the IOC athletes’ commission and the IOC executive board.

Ruggiero will be replacing Claudia Bokel.

Who is Angela Ruggiero?

Angela Ruggiero is a former ice hockey player who has played more games for Team USA than any other man or woman.

She is the current Vice-Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

She competed in 10 Women's World Championships winning four Gold medals and six Silver.

She also authored a memoir about her hockey experiences called Breaking the Ice.

She announced her retirement from USA's national hockey team on 28 December 2011.

On 29 June 2015, she was announced as a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2015. She was inducted on 9 November 2015. She is only the fourth woman and second American woman to be inducted.

About IOC Athletes' Commission

The IOC Athletes' Commission is a body maintained by the International Olympic Committee for the purpose of representing athletes.

It was established in 1981 by the then-President of the IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch.

Its creation was subsequently codified by the IOC in Rule 21 of the Olympic Charter.

Its function is to act as the link between active athletes and the IOC.


A group of Chinese scientists will be performing the world’s first genetic editing trial on humans in August 2016. The trial will be done in an attempt to find a cure for lung cancer.

A team led by Dr. Lu You at Sichuan University’s West China Hospital in Chengdu received approval to carry out the trial from the hospital’s review board on 6 July 2016.

The world’s first genetic editing trial on humans will be based on CRISPR–Cas9 technique.

What is CRISPR?

  • The full form of CRISPR is Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.
  • CRISPRs are segments of prokaryotic DNA containing short repetitions of base sequences.
  • Each repetition is followed by short segments of spacer DNA from previous exposures to a bacteriophage virus or plasmid.
  • The CRISPR/Cas system is a prokaryotic immune system that confers resistance to foreign genetic elements and provides a form of acquired immunity.
  • The Cas protein use the CRISPR spacers to recognize and cut these exogenous genetic elements in a manner analogous to RNA interference in eukaryotic organisms.
  • CRISPRs are found in approximately 40% of sequenced bacterial genomes and 90% of sequenced archaea.
  • By delivering the Cas9 nuclease and appropriate guide RNAs into a cell, the cell's genome can be cut at a desired location, allowing existing genes to be removed and/or new ones added.
  • CRISPRs have been used in concert with specific endonuclease enzymes for genome editing and gene regulation in species throughout the tree of life.

The process

CRISPR technology lets scientists selectively edit genome parts and substitute them with novel DNA fragments.

Cas9 is an enzyme that has the capacity to edit DNA.

The genes undergo modification for the better via this procedure. A lot of cutting and pasting takes place at the genetic level through the technique.

There will be 10 volunteers who will all be lung cancer patients.

The CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing will last between two and three months. However, the trial still could go on for 365 days or more.

T cells will be extracted from the blood of the patients. The gene that stored PD-1 protein will be deleted. The process normally limits the cells’ capacity to trigger an immune response.

Now, the edited cells will be cultured in the lab after their reintroduction in the patients’ blood. This will start the immune response, which will kill the lung cancer tumours.


American researchers have developed a mechanism to convert greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbon monoxide (CO) that can be recycled into usable fuel.

The mechanism is based on the photosynthesis process that trees uses to convert CO2 into sugars.

It was developed by US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The study, "Nanostructured transition metal dichalcogenide electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction in ionic liquid," was published in Science.


Although the reaction to transform carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide (CO) is different from anything found in nature, it requires the same basic inputs as photosynthesis.

Difference between scientific conversion and conversion in plants

Scientific Conversion

Conversion in Plants

  • The researchers used a metal compound called tungsten diselenide, which was fashioned into nanosized flakes to maximize the surface area and to expose its reactive edges.
  • Here the ingredients were the same, but the product is different.
  • To convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into a sugar, plants use an organic catalyst called an enzyme.
  • In photosynthesis, trees need energy from light, water and carbon dioxide in order to make their fuel.

The setup for the reaction is almost similar to nature in this case that the research team was able to construct an "artificial leaf" that could complete the entire three-step reaction pathway.

• First step: Incoming photons -- packets of light -- are converted to pairs of negatively-charged electrons and corresponding positively-charged "holes" that then separate from each other.

• Second step: The holes react with water molecules, creating protons and oxygen molecules.

• Third step: The protons, electrons and carbon dioxide all react together to create carbon monoxide and water.

Although carbon monoxide is also a greenhouse gas, it is much more reactive than carbon dioxide and scientists already have ways of converting carbon monoxide into usable fuel, such as methanol.


Sudhanshu Mani was appointed as the General Manager of Integral Coach Factory (ICF).

Prior to this, Mani worked as Chief Mechanical Engineer, Rail Wheel Factory, Yelahanka, Bengaluru.

Who is Sudhanshu Mani?

Sudhanshu Mani belongs to 1979 batch of Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME).

He holds over 36 years of experience in Indian Railways.

He has worked in areas like workshop management, railway operations, project management, planning and Research and Development.

He has also worked as Advisor (Minister), Berlin, at Embassy of India, Germany.

About Integral Coach Factory

Integral Coach Factory is the only manufacturer of rail coaches located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

It was established in 1952.

It started production on 2 October 1955.

It is owned and operated by the Indian Railways.

The coach factory primarily manufactures cars for Indian Railways but also exports railway coaches to other countries.

The first items produced by the factory were third class shells for Southern Railway.

The Integral Coach Factory consists of two main divisions: shell division and furnishing division.


Union Cabinet gave its approval to Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The amendment seeks to improve road safety in the country.

The bill proposes to increase penalties against traffic violations to as deterrent measure.

Highlights of the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016

Amendments, Deletion, Replacement and Insertion

• It aims to amend 68 sections of the existing Motor Vehicle Act that carries 223 sections.

• It seeks to delete chapter 10 of the existing act.

• It seeks to replace Chapter 11 with new provisions to simplify third party insurance claims and settlement process.

• It proposes insertion of 28 new sections.


• It increases compensation for Hit & Run cases to 2 lakh rupees from 25000 rupees.

• It also has provision for payment of compensation up to 10 lakh rupees in road accidents fatalities.

Role of the States

• It proposes to improve the transport scenario in the country by permitting states to grant exemptions in stage carriage and contract permits for promoting rural transport, public transport, and last mile connectivity and for passenger convenience and road safety.

• It proposes that the state government can specify a multiplier, not less than one and not greater than ten, to be applied to each fine under this Act and such modified fine.

• It proposes that the state government can regulate the activities in a public place of pedestrians and such means of transport.


• One of its major focuses includes improving delivery of services to the stakeholders using e-governance. These services include enabling online learning licenses, increase of validity period for driving licenses, and others.

Juvenile’s offence

• It proposes that guardian or owner will be deemed to be guilty in cases of offences by the Juveniles.

• Juvenile to be tried under Juvenile Justice (Care And Protection Of Children) Act, 2015.

• Registration of Motor Vehicle to be cancelled.

Road safety

• It proposes to increase penalties to act as deterrent against traffic violations.

• Stricter provisions are being proposed in respect of offences like juvenile driving, drunken driving, driving without licence, dangerous driving, over-speeding, overloading etc.

• Stricter provisions for helmets have been introduced along with provisions for electronic detection of violations.

• To help the road accident victims, Good Samaritan guidelines have been incorporated in the Bill.

“Vahan” & “Sarathi” platforms

• It proposes to create National Register for Driving Licence and National Register for Vehicle registration through “Vahan” & “Sarathi” platforms. This would help on brining uniformity in registration and licensing process across the country.

Other features

• To improve the registration process for new vehicles, registration at the end of the dealer is being enabled

• Restrictions have been imposed on temporary registration.

• The Bill also proposes to mandate the automated fitness testing for the transport vehicles with effect from 1 October 2018. This would reduce corruption in the Transport Department while improving the road worthiness of the vehicle.

• The penalties are also proposed for deliberate violation of safety/environmental regulations as well as body builders and spare part suppliers.

• The process for testing and certification for automobiles is proposed to be regulated more effectively. The testing agencies issuing automobile approvals have been brought under the ambit of the Act.

• The driving training process has been strengthened enabling faster issuance of transport licenses. This will help in reducing the shortage of commercial drivers in the country.

• To facilitate transport solutions for Divyang, the bottlenecks have been removed in respect of grant of driving licenses as well as alterations in the vehicles to make it fit for use of Divyang.


The approved Bill is based on the recommendations of Group of Transport Ministers (GoM) headed by Yoonus Khan, the Transport Minister of Rajasthan. Earlier, the Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways constituted a GoM to address the issue of road safety and to improve the facilitation of the citizens while dealing with transport departments.

A total of 18 Transport Ministers from different political parties participated in three meetings and submitted three interim reports.





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