Daily GK Update: 5th March 2020

Doctors use gene editing tool Crispr inside body for first time

  • Scientists say they have used the gene editing tool Crispr-Cas9 inside a person’s body for the first time, a new development in efforts to operate on DNA to treat diseases.
  • A patient recently underwent a procedure at the Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland for an inherited form of blindness, the companies that make the treatment announced on Wednesday. They would not give details on the patient or when the surgery occurred.
  • It may take up to a month to see whether the procedure worked to restore vision. If the first few attempts seem safe, doctors plan to test the technique on 18 children and adults.

Source: The Guardian

Black carbon levels spike at Himalayan glaciers

Image result for Black carbon levels spike at Himalayan glaciers

  • Black carbon concentrations near the Gangotri glacier rose 400 times in summer due to forest fires and stubble burning from agricultural waste, and triggered glacial melt, says a study by scientists at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG).
  • The team of scientists from WIHG, led by P.S. Negi, measured variations of black carbon concentration at Chirbasa, near the Gangotri glacier in the Indian Himalaya, and located at an altitude of 3,600 metres, during the year 2016. “The monthly mean concentration of EBC (equivalent black carbon) was found to be minimum in August and maximum in the month of May.
  • The observed seasonal mean concentrations of EBC indicated a pristine glacial source and an absence of EBC sources in the locality,” an accompanying press statement noted.

Source: The Hindu

Lok Sabha approves Vivad se Vishwas Bill

Image result for Lok Sabha passed Direct Tax Vivad Se Viswas Bill, 2020

  • Amid another tumultuous day, Lok Sabha has passed the Vivad se Vishwas Bill, which aims to settle pending direct tax disputes in the country. The bill was passed with certain amendments before the Lower House was adjourned amid clamour over Delhi violence.
  • The Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020, was tabled before Parliament on March 2. First proposed in Union Budget 2020, the Bill was approved by the Union Cabinet on February 12. It seeks to provide taxpayers a lucrative opportunity to settle direct tax disputes within the current financial year by waiving interest and penalty on their pending taxes.

Source: Business Today

GoI clears Genome India Project

Image result for GoI clears Genome India Project

  • The Department of Biotechnology operating under Ministry of Science and Technology has cleared Genome India Project.
  • The Project was inspired by Human Genome Project.
  • The project aimed to map human genome and assemble them together to obtain a complete sequence of chromosomes.

Source: The World News Monitor

After Mumbai, Google to launch its cloud infrastructure in Delhi by 2021

Image result for Delhi announced as next Google Cloud Region after Mumbai
  • Google on Thursday announced that it plans to open cloud region in Delhi that is expected to be operational by 2021.
  • This will be the company’s second cloud region in India; the first one was in Mumbai that was launched in 2017.
  • The new cloud region will expand Google’s existing network which stands at eight regions in the Asia Pacific and 22 regions globally today, it said in a statement.
  • Google cloud regions bring Google Cloud Platform (GCP) services to global organisations in industries like media and entertainment, retail and manufacturing.

Source: Business Standard

Cabinet nod for banking game-changer , 10 PSBs to turn into four big banks

Image result for Cabinet Approval: Mega Consolidation of Public Sector Banks

  • The Cabinet has approved the consolidation of 10 public sector banks (PSBs) into four ‘mega banks’, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced today.
  • The Union Cabinet, she said, has given a go-ahead for the merger proposal and the government has been in regular touch with these banks.
  • “The banks’ merger is on course and decisions have already been taken by the respective bank boards,” she said

Source: The Economic Times