Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 17 August 2020

In Today’s News:

  1. New rapid, inexpensive saliva test for COVID-19.
  2. NCC expansion in border areas.

1. New rapid, inexpensive saliva test for COVID-19

News Summary

The U.S.Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new, rapid diagnostic test that uses saliva samples to test for COVID-19. The new, inexpensive test is known as SalivaDirect.

Prelims GS – Science and Technology

  • SalivaDirect is a new, rapid diagnostic test to test for COVID-19.
  • This test uses saliva samples instead of nasopharyngeal swabs.
  • SalivaDirect was developed by researchers from Yale School of Public Health, U.S. in partnership with the National Basketball Association(NBA).
  • It has high sensitivity and can detect the virus even if the virus in saliva is very minuscule.
  • SalivaDirect is also comparatively affordable than other tests.
  • This test will increase the efficiency in testing and reduce the shortage of reagents faced in traditional testing followed in COVID-19.

2. NCC expansion in border areas

News Summary

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the proposal to expand the National Cadet Corps (NCC) in 173 border and coastal districts from where one lakh new cadets will be inducted, out of which one-third will be girls. The expansion of NCC was announced by Hon’ble PM in his independence day speech.

Prelims GS – Internal Security

NCC Expansion:
  • A total of one lakh cadets from 173 border and coastal districts will be inducted in the NCC.
  • One-third of the Cadets would be girl Cadets.
  • NCC will be introduced in more than 1000 schools and colleges that have been identified in the border and coastal districts.
  • NCC Expansion will help to meet the aspirations of youth in all the border and coastal districts.
  • As part of the expansion plan, a total of 83 NCC units will be upgraded (Army 53, Navy 20, Air Force 10), to impart NCC training to the cadets in the border and coastal areas.
  • The army will provide training and administrative support to the NCC units located in the border areas, Navy shall provide support to NCC units in the coastal areas and similarly, Air Force will provide support to the NCC units located close to the Air Force stations.
  • Besides providing exposure to the youth of the border and coastal areas to military training and disciplined way of life, this will also motivate them to join the armed forces.
  • The NCC expansion plan will be implemented in partnership with the States.

For more information, click here to refer to the Press Release.

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Internal Security

  • The National Cadet Corps (NCC) is a youth development movement.
  • The National Cadets Corps came into existence under the National Cadet Corps Act XXXI of 1948 (passed in April 1948; came into existence on 16th July 1948.
  • NCC comes under the purview of the Ministry of Defence at the National level and the Education Ministry at the States deals with NCC.
  • NCC is headed by the Director-General (DG), an Army Officer of the rank of Lieutenant General.
  • The NCC currently has 17 regional directorates which govern the NCC in units in various states or groups of states and union territories.
  • It has enormous potential for nation-building.
  • The NCC provides opportunities to the youth of the country for their all-round development with a sense of Duty, Commitment, Dedication, Discipline, and Moral Values so that they become able leaders and useful citizens.
  • The NCC provides exposure to the cadets in a wide range of activities., with a distinct emphasis on Social Services, Discipline, and Adventure Training.
  • The NCC is open to all regular students of schools and colleges on a voluntary basis.
  • NCC enrolls cadets at the high school and college levels.
  • NCC also awards certificates on completion of various phases.

Click here to visit the official website of NCC.


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