DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS: 19 March 2024

Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) Test for Diabetes

Source: TH

Why in News: As per a comprehensive nationwide research released in 2023, India is estimated to have around 10.13 crore individuals diagnosed with diabetes, along with an additional 13.6 crore individuals classified as pre-diabetic.What is the HbA1C Test for Diabetes? - Civilsdaily

About Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) Test:

Overview:

  • It serves as one of the most frequently utilized diagnostic tools for identifying pre-diabetes and both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as aiding in diabetes management.
  • Also referred to as the glycated hemoglobin or glycosylated hemoglobin test.

Importance:

  • This blood test holds significant value in evaluating the effectiveness of diabetes management efforts.
  • Hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells, carries oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues.

Test Mechanism:

  • Sugars from ingested food enter the bloodstream and bind to hemoglobin in red blood cells.
  • While everyone has some level of sugar attached to their hemoglobin, individuals with pre-diabetes and diabetes typically exhibit higher levels.
  • The HbA1C test quantifies the percentage of hemoglobin in red blood cells coated with sugar.

Advantages Over Traditional Tests:

  • Unlike fasting and post-meal blood sugar tests, which capture sugar levels at specific moments, the HbA1C test reflects average glucose levels over a span of two to three months.
  • Unlike traditional tests, HbA1C results remain unaffected by recent meals, rendering it more reliable and applicable regardless of meal timing.

Insight into Diabetes and its Variants:

Definition:

  • Diabetes manifests as a chronic condition either due to insufficient insulin production by the pancreas or the body’s cells inadequately responding to insulin.
  • Insulin, a hormone, regulates blood glucose levels.

Types:

Type 1 Diabetes: Occurs when the pancreas fails to produce sufficient insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes: Characterized by cells in the body not responding properly to insulin.

Gestational Diabetes: Emerges during pregnancy.

Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) Project

Source: TH

Why in News: As a component of the Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) initiative, the United States intends to build a floating pier near the Gaza coast to streamline the distribution of humanitarian assistance.Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS) Project |ForumIAS

About Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore (JLOTS):

  • Overview: JLOTS stands as a military initiative under the purview of the US Department of Defense.
  • Objective: The primary aim of JLOTS is to bolster the military’s logistical capabilities in regions lacking sufficient fixed port facilities.

Operational Characteristics:

  • Collaborative Efforts: JLOTS operations necessitate cooperation among various military branches. The navy handles transportation and security of goods, while the army or other entities manage tasks such as infrastructure construction and delivery.
  • Specialized Equipment: JLOTS employs specialized gear like floating causeways and barges to facilitate cargo movement between ships and shore, even in challenging terrains.

Significance:

  • Particularly crucial during humanitarian and disaster relief missions, where swift aid delivery is imperative. The US military has previously utilized JLOTS in Kuwait, Somalia, Haiti, and Central America for disaster relief endeavors.

JLOTS Implementation in Gaza:

Floating Dock:

Developed in collaboration with Fogbow, a private entity led by former military and intelligence personnel, the floating pier in Gaza will be established without direct US military involvement.

  • Components: The project encompasses two primary components:
  • The Floating Dock: Constructed from steel, this dock will be transported by a roll-on, roll-off ship, designed for heavy cargo. Positioned up to a kilometer away from the shore, it prevents aid ships from encountering difficulties in shallow coastal waters.

Pier and Causeway:

  • Following the unloading of aid onto the dock, smaller Logistics Support Vessels (LSVs) will ferry the cargo to the floating pier or jetty linked to the shore.
  • The pier will feature a causeway extension to mitigate the risk of vehicles transporting aid becoming stuck in soft sand.

India’s E-Vehicle Policy

Source: pib

Why in News: The Union Government has given its nod to an Electric Vehicle (EV) policy with the objective of establishing India as a leading manufacturing center for electric vehicles (EVs) equipped with advanced technology.

Policy Objective: Promoting India as a manufacturing hub for electric vehicles (EVs) equipped with advanced technology.

Implementation:

  • Oversight: The Project Management Agency (PMA) will assume responsibility for providing secretarial, managerial, and implementation support, and executing other tasks delegated by the Government of India (GoI).
  • Ministry: Ministry of Heavy Industries.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Minimum Investment Requirement: Approximately Rs 4150 crore (USD 500 million).
  • Maximum Investment: No maximum investment limit.
  • Manufacturing Timeline: Establish manufacturing facilities within 3 years.
  • Domestic Value Addition (DVA) Criteria: Achieve 25% within 3 years and 50% within 5 years from the date of approval by the Ministry of Heavy Industries/PMA.
  • Bank Guarantee: Will be refunded upon reaching 50% DVA and investing at least Rs 4,150 crore or the extent of duty foregone in 5 years, whichever is higher.
  • Performance Criteria: All electric passenger vehicles must meet the performance standards of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Auto scheme.

Tenure of the Policy: 5 years or as stipulated by the Government of India.ELECTRIC VEHICLES AND FAME SCHEMES | PT's IAS Academy

Key Benefits:

  • Encourages technological advancements in EV manufacturing.
  • Supports the Make in India initiative.
  • Stimulates healthy competition among EV manufacturers.
  • Reduces reliance on crude oil imports and trade deficit.
  • Addresses air pollution, especially in urban areas.
  • Positively impacts health and the environment.

Other Initiatives to Promote EV:

  • Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of EVs (FAME) India scheme: Phase I initiated in 2015, Phase II in 2019.
  • EV 30@30 initiative: Aims to achieve at least 30% of new EV sales by 2030.
  • PLI Scheme for Automobile and Automotive Components (PLI-Auto) launched in 2021: Offers financial incentives to boost domestic manufacturing and attract investments into the automotive value chain.

FLUORIDE CONTAMINATION

Source: TH

Why in News: Recently, fluoride pollution has been identified in three regions of Kerala.Fluoride & Iron Removal technology of CMERI

About Fluoride Contamination:

  • Global Significance: Fluoride contamination in water is a significant issue worldwide.
  • Health Implications: While fluoride is beneficial for dental health at low concentrations, excessive exposure can result in health complications.

Key Points:

  • Essential Element: Fluoride is naturally found in water and certain foods, playing a vital role in preventing tooth decay.
  • Threshold: However, when fluoride levels surpass 1.5 mg/L, it becomes harmful to humans. The Bureau of Indian Standards specifies the maximum permissible limit for arsenic in drinking groundwater as 0.01 mg/L, while for fluoride, it is 1.0 mg/L, extendable to 1.5 mg/L if no alternative water source is available.

Health Impacts:

  • Dental Fluorosis: Excessive fluoride exposure leads to dental fluorosis, characterized by enamel staining, pitting, and weakening.
  • Skeletal Fluorosis: Prolonged exposure causes skeletal fluorosis, affecting bones and joints.
  • Neurological Effects: Elevated fluoride levels may have adverse effects on the nervous system.

Sources of Contamination:

  • Geochemical Reactions: Fluoride leaches from rocks and soil into groundwater through geochemical processes.
  • Geological Factors: Certain geological formations contain high levels of fluoride.
  • Anthropogenic Factors: Industrial activities, fertilizer use, and mining contribute to fluoride contamination.
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