Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 09 August 2020

In Today’s News:

  1. Ammonium Nitrate and PESO.
  2. P.Vivax Malaria.

1. Ammonium Nitrate and PESO

News Summary

In the wake of the massive Beirut explosion, Ammonium nitrate stored in North Chennai has been planned to be moved out of the city. The vehicles will be authorized to move and transport the Ammonium nitrate under the Ammonium Nitrate Rules by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO).

(Note: Very important article for UPSC civil service exam – Prelims next few years)

Prelims GS – Environment/Science and Technology/Polity&Governance

Ammonium Nitrate:
  • Pure ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) is a white, water-soluble, crystalline substance with a melting point of 170°C.
  • The substance is classified as an oxidizing agent Class 5.1 under the United Nations classification of dangerous goods.
  • It is one of the base ingredients used in the manufacture of commercial explosives.
  • Due to this reason, Ammonium Nitrate has been declared as explosives and defined in Rule 2(b) of the Ammonium Nitrate Rules, 2012.
  • For manufacturing ammonium nitrate, an Industrial license is required under the Industrial Development and Regulation Act, 1951.
  • A license under the Ammonium Nitrate Rules, 2012 is also required for any activity related to ammonium nitrate.
  • Ammonium Nitrate is used as an ingredient for the manufacture of explosives, anesthetic, gases, agricultural fertilizers, cold packs, etc.
  • Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization is under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • PESO has to administer the responsibilities delegated under the Explosives Act 1884 and the Petroleum Act 1934. The rules made thereunder related to manufacturing, import, export, transport, possession, sale, and use of Explosives, Petroleum products, and Compressed gases.

Click here to view more about PESO and FAQs on Ammonium Nitrate on the official website.

2. P.Vivax Malaria

News Summary

A new study is undertaken to study Plasmodium Vivax Malaria which is responsible for malaria cases worldwide. An international team has developed a system to breed these parasites in the lab and then infect cultured human liver cells with it. This will help in establishing a robust liver stage assay in P. vivax-endemic regions such as India. Chloroquine is still effective in India whereas many malaria-endemic countries have abandoned Chloroquine. This study will help in testing if a specific anti-malarial drug would work for an individual.

Prelims GS – Science and Technology

  • Malaria is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium. Human malaria is caused by four different species of Plasmodium: P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. ovale, and P. vivax.
  • Humans occasionally become infected with Plasmodium species that normally infect animals, such as P. knowlesi.
  • The malaria parasite is transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes, which bite mainly between dusk and dawn.
  • The most severe form is caused by P. falciparum.
  • Variable clinical features include fever, chills, headache, muscular aching and weakness, vomiting, cough, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
  • Other symptoms related to organ failure may supervene, such as acute renal failure, generalized convulsions, circulatory collapse, followed by coma and death.
  • Falciparum malaria may be fatal if treatment is delayed beyond 24 h after the onset of clinical symptoms.
  • Malaria, particularly P. falciparum, in non-immune pregnant travelers increases the risk of maternal death, miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death.
  • The forms of human malaria caused by other Plasmodium species cause significant morbidity but are rarely life-threatening.
  • Cases of severe P. vivax malaria have recently been reported among populations living in (sub)tropical countries or areas at risk.
  • P. vivax and P. ovale can remain dormant in the liver.
  • Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease.
Anti-malarial drugs:
  • Chloroquine (most commonly used)
  • Combination of atovaquone and proguanil (Malarone)
  • Quinine sulfate (Qualaquin) with doxycycline (Vibramycin, Monodox, others)
  • Mefloquine
  • Primaquine phosphate

For more information on Malaria, click here to visit the WHO official website.


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