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Production and sale of e-cigarettes have been made a punishable offence in India. How widespread is their use in India? What are the health concerns around such products, and how do they compare with traditional tobacco? (Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Science & Technology)

Recently, the Union Cabinet approved an ordinance prohibiting electronic cigarettes in the country. It makes production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement of e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) such as vapes, e-hookahs and e-cigars a punishable offence. What is the amount of punishment prescribed? First-time offenders may face imprisonment … Continued

Giving birth at 74: Issues in debate around setting an age limit for IVF (Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Science & Technology)

A 74-year-old woman from Andhra Pradesh was recently recorded as the oldest in the world to give birth to twins through in-vitro fertilisation or IVF. While her doctor has said both babies and mother are stable, the medical community has expressed ethical and medical concerns over conception at such an advanced age. Why this is … Continued

Fiber to the home (FTTH) broadband service : Gone are the days of Mbps, now it will be about Gbps (Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Science & Technology)

Jio GigaFiber is a fiber to the home (FTTH) broadband service by the Reliance Industries. It will provide ultrahigh-definition entertainment on TVs, video conferencing, virtual reality gaming, and immersive experiences. Any FTTH connection, be it Jio, Spectra or Airtel, will be a lot better than normal broadband services. This is because the normal broadband services … Continued

What is ‘Vaccine hesitancy’? Why it is a significant threat? (Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Science & Technology)

Vaccine hesitancy Vaccine hesitancy is defined as the “reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines. With a 30% increase in measles cases worldwide in 2018, the World Health Organization, in January 2019, included ‘vaccine hesitancy’ as one of the 10 threats to global health this year. Why ‘vaccine hesitancy’ for MMR vaccine? … Continued

How ISRO is trying to reconnect with Vikram Lander, within a deadline (Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Science & Technology)

It is over three days since the Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-2 mission lost its communication link with the ground station. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has said its efforts to restore the link have not been successful so far. In the meanwhile, Vikram has been located on the Moon’s surface through the orbiter module, … Continued

New anti-tuberculosis drug (Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper III; Science & Technology)

Anti-tuberculosis drug Pretomanid The anti-tuberculosis drug pretomanid recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be a game changer for treating people with extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) and those who do not tolerate or respond to now available multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) drugs. That pretomanid is only the third drug in the last 40 … Continued

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