26th November 2020

Shalya and Shalakya

  • Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), the statutory body that regulates the Indian Medical systems of Ayurveda, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Unani Medicine has issued a notification to streamline some of the provisions of the regulations concerning Post Graduate Ayurveda Education. 
  • The notification has added clarity and definition.
  • The notification relates to the Shalya and Shalakya streams of Post Graduate Education in Ayurveda. 
  • It specifies a total of 58 surgical procedures that PG scholars of these streams need to be practically trained in so as to enable them to independently perform the said activities after completion of their PG Degree. 
  • Shalya and Shalakya are independent Departments in Ayurveda colleges, performing such surgical procedures.
  • The Ministry categorically said, it has not received any comments or objections about the use of modern terminology in the said notification, and is hence not aware of any such controversy.
  • It is, however, clarified that all scientific advances including standardized terminologies are inheritances of the entire mankind. 
  • No individual or group has monopoly over these terminologies. 
  • The modern terminologies in the field of medicine are not modern from a temporal perspective, but are derived substantially from ancient languages like Greek, Latin and even Sanskrit, and later languages like Arabic.
  • The purpose of all modern scientific terminology is to facilitate effective communication and correspondence among the different stake-holders. 
  • The stake-holders of the instant notification include not just the Ayurveda practitioners but also professionals of other stake-holding disciplines like the medico-legal, health IT, insurance as well as the members of the public. 
  • The question of mixing Ayurveda with Conventional (Modern) Medicine does not arise here as CCIM is deeply committed to maintaining the authenticity of Indian systems of medicine.


Rodchenkov Act

  • The Rodchenkov Act was passed by the Senate and will become a law once the US president signs it.
  • It allows the USA to initiate legal proceedings against those involved in running doping rings, including coaches, officials, managers or suppliers even if they are not residents of the United States or if the act of doping took place outside the United States.
  • The bill is named after Grigory Rodchenkov, a former director of Russia’s anti-doping lab.
  • Rodchenkov had moved to the USA and turned whistle-blower after the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.
  • Rodchenkov’s testimony and an independent report by professor Richard McLaren, which concluded that at least 1,000 Russian athletes benefitted from doping, resulted in the nation being banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
  • The main objective of the Rodchenkov Act is to bring to book facilitators who otherwise got away when athletes who tested positive for performance-enhancing substances were banned under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.
  • The Act seeks to criminalise ‘major international dope fraud conspiracies’, which is mentioned in Section 4 of the Act.


FDP program

  • Union Education Minister, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ today inaugurated 46 online AICTE Training and Learning (ATAL) Academy Faculty Development Programmes (FDPs) to train teachers of higher education institutions associated with All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) in thrust and emerging areas in technology. 
  • The FDPs will be conducted in 22 Indian states.
  • On the occasion, the Shri Pokhriyal said that it is a matter of pride for the ATAL Academy to be included in the Book of World Records. 
  • He informed that the London-based organization has recognized the FDPs as a world record, under which 1,000 online FDPs in over 100 emerging areas will benefit one lakh faculty members across premier institutions like IITs, NITs, and IIITs. 
  • This year the online FDP program will cost Rs 10 crores, he added.
  • The Minister mentioned that the ATAL Academy is conducting FDPs in online mode, including the process of registration till certificate disbursal mechanism. 
  • In the year 2020-21, new thrust areas in the field of Engineering, Management, Life Skills, Design & Media have been incorporated. 
  • The online FDPs will be conducted according to the new National Education Policy (2020).
  • Out of 1000, 499 FDPs have already been completed with more than 70,000 faculty members already trained. In 2019-20, 185 five-day face-to-face FDPs in nine thrust areas — Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Block-chain, Robotics, Quantum Computing, Data Sciences, Cyber Security, 3D Printing & Design, and Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality — benefited around 10,000 participants.
  • The main objective of ATAL Academy is to provide quality technical education in the country and to promote research and entrepreneurship through training in various emerging fields.
  • IITs, IIITs, NITs CU and research labs are organizing these ATAL FDPs.



  • Indian Navy is scheduled to host the 27th edition of India – Singapore Bilateral Maritime Exercise SIMBEX-20 in Andaman Sea.
  • It will continue till 25th of this month.
  • The SIMBEX series of exercises between Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy being conducted annually since 1994 , are aimed at enhancing mutual interoperability and imbibing best practices from each other.
  • The scope and complexity of these exercises has increased steadily over the past two decades to include advanced naval drills covering a wide spectrum of maritime operations.
  • The 2020 edition of SIMBEX will witness participation by Indian Navy ships including destroyer Rana with integral Chetak helicopter and indigenously built corvettes Kamorta and Karmuk.
  • According to Ministry of Defence, the exercise, being conducted as a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ exercise in view of COVID-19 pandemic, highlights the high degree of mutual trust and confidence, synergy and cooperation in the maritime domain between the two friendly navies and maritime neighbours
  • SIMBEX-20 will witness the two friendly navies participate in advanced surface, anti-air warfare and anti-submarine warfare exercises including weapon firings, over three days of intensive joint operations at sea.
  • SIMBEX series of exercises exemplify the high level of coordination and convergence of views between India and Singapore, particularly in the maritime domain, towards enhancing the overall maritime security in the region and highlight their commitment to a rules-based international order.


National Crisis Management Committee

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) to review the status of impending cyclone with the Chief Secretaries of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry through video conferencing.

  • The Chief Secretaries of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry briefed the NCMC about their preparedness. 
  • They mentioned that the authorities are fully prepared to meet any eventuality. 
  • They also informed about the coordination with the NDRF and other agencies to meet this challenge.
  • At the national level, Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) are the key committees involved in the top-level decision-making wrt Disaster Management (DM).
  • It deals with major crisis which have serious or national ramifications.
  • Cabinet Secretary is the Chair person.


Negative-yield debt

  • Last week, China sold negative-yield debt for the first time, and this saw a high demand from investors across Europe. 
  • As yields in Europe are even lower, there was a huge demand for the 4-billion-euro bonds issued by China. 
  • China’s 5-year bond was priced with a yield of –0.152%, and the 10-year and 15-year securities with positive yields of 0.318% and 0.664%.
  • These are debt instruments that offer to pay the investor a maturity amount lower than the purchase price of the bond. 
  • These are generally issued by central banks or governments, and investors pay interest to the borrower to keep their money with them.
  • Negative-yield bonds attract investments during times of stress and uncertainty as investors look to protect their capital from significant erosion. 
  • At a time when the world is battling the Covid-19 pandemic and interest rates in developed markets across Europe are much lower, investors are looking for relatively better-yielding debt instruments to safeguard their interests.
  • The fact that the 10-year and 15-year bonds are offering positive returns is a big attraction at a time when interest rates in Europe have dropped significantly. 
  • As against minus —0.15% yield on the 5-year bond issued by China, the yields offered in safe European bonds are much lower, between –0.5% and —0.75%.
  • Also, it is important to note that while the majority of the large economies are facing a contraction in their GDP for 2020-21, China is one country that is set to witness positive growth in these challenging times: its GDP expanded by 4.9% in the third quarter of 2020.


  • The Italian Culture Ministry announced on November 21 the discovery of well-preserved remains of two men, who perished during the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. 
  • The eruption was a catastrophic event that destroyed the ancient Roman city of Pompeii and killed around 16,000 people.
  • The unearthed bodies, which appear as if frozen in time, are believed to be the remains of a man of high status aged between 30 and 40, and of an enslaved person aged 18 to 23, a Reuters report said.
  • Archaeologists have preserved their teeth and bones, and the void left by their decomposed soft tissues has been filled by plaster using a well-perfected casting method by which it is possible to see the outline of their bodies.
  • Located in southern Italy near the coastal city of Naples, the 4,203-ft (1,281 metres) tall Vesuvius is the only active volcano in mainland Europe.
  • Vesuvius has been classified as a complex volcano (also called a compound volcano), one that consists of a complex of two or more vents.
  • According to livescience.com, Vesuvius typically has explosive eruptions and pyroclastic flows –– defined as a high-density mix of hot lava blocks, pumice, ash and volcanic gas.
  • It has erupted more than 50 times, and is considered among the most dangerous volcanoes in the world due to its proximity to Naples and surrounding towns. 
  • Its last serious eruption, lasting two weeks, was in 1944 during World War II, which left 26 Italian civilians dead and around 12,000 displaced.



Focus: GS3.

  • On November 24, China’s Chang’e-5 lunar mission will become the first probe in over four decades to attempt to bring back samples of lunar rock from a previously unexplored portion of the Moon. 
  • The spacecraft is set to return to Earth around December 15.
  • Early in 2019, China’s Chang’e-4 probe successfully transmitted images from the far side of the Moon, also referred to as the dark side. 
  • This was the first probe to land in this portion of the Moon.
  • Chang’e-5 probe is the Chinese National Space Administration’s (CNSA) lunar sample return mission that is set to launch on November 24 from the Wenchang Space Launch Center on Hainan Island in China.
  • The goal of the mission is to land in the Mons Rumker region of the moon, where it will operate for one lunar day, which is two weeks long and return a 2 kg sample of the lunar rock possibly by digging about 2 metres deep into the surface of the Moon.
  • The mission comprises a lunar orbiter, a lander and an ascent probe that will lift the lunar samples back into orbit and return them back to Earth.
  • The probe is named after the Chinese Moon goddess who is traditionally accompanied by a white or jade rabbit.
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