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Daily News

Peacock Soft Shell Turtle

Context:

Recently, a professor from Assam has rescued Peacock Soft Shell Turtle from being sold in a fish market.

Peacock Soft Shell Turtle:

  • The species is confined to India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan because it is widespread in the northern and central parts of the Indian subcontinent.
  • The Indian peacock softshell turtle has a large head, downturned snout with a low and oval carapace of dark olive green to nearly black.
  • It is found in rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds with mud or sand bottoms.
  • It is omnivorous because juveniles observed feeding on mosquito larvae and fish, while adults consume snails, earthworms, prawns, fish, frogs, carrion, and vegetation.

Protection:

  • It is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • It is protected under Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • It is also listed under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

CITES:

  • It is also known as the Washington Convention. 
  • It is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals.
  •  It was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 
  • The convention was opened for signature in 1973 and CITES entered into force on 1 July 1975.
  • Appendices I, II, and III to the Convention are lists of species afforded different levels or types of protection from over-exploitation.

Source: The Hindu

Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA)

Context:

The US drug-maker Moderna mentioned that it was applying for emergency use authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine. The decision was taken after Pfizer applied for emergency use authorization for the vaccine it has developed in collaboration with BioNTech.

Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA):

  • Vaccines and medicines, and even diagnostic tests and medical devices, require the approval of a regulatory authority before they can be administered. 
  • The approval for vaccines and medicines is granted after an assessment of their safety and effectiveness, based on data from trials.
  • In emergency situations, regulatory authorities around the world have developed mechanisms to grant interim approvals if there is sufficient evidence to suggest a medical product is safe and effective. 
  • The final approval is granted only after completion of the trials and analysis of full data and until then, emergency use authorization (EUA) allows the medicine or the vaccine to be used on the public.

Granting of Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA):

  • In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants a EUA only after it has been determined that the “known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine”.
  • It implies that a EUA application can be considered only after sufficient efficacy data from phase 3 trials had been generated.
  • The EUA cannot be granted solely on the basis of data from phase 1 or phase 2 trials, although these too need to show the product is safe.
  • The FDA, for COVID vaccines, has specified that it would consider an application for EUA only if phase 3 data showed it was at least 50 % effective in preventing the disease.

Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) in India:

  • In India, the regulatory authority is the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
  • India’s drug regulations do not have provisions for a EUA, and the process for receiving one is not clearly defined or consistent.
  • The CDSCO has been granting emergency or restricted emergency approvals to Covid-19 drugs such as remdesivir, favipiravir, and tocilizumab.

Source: Indian Express

Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)

Context:

According to the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), India’s manufacturing sector lost momentum in November.

Key Highlights:

  • India’s manufacturing sector activity lost momentum and fell to a three-month low in November amid slower increases in factory orders, exports, and buying levels.
  • The seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) highlighted a strong improvement in business conditions.
  • All three broad areas of the manufacturing industry recorded expansion, with growth led by consumer goods which was the only sector to see a stronger rate of increase.
  • The activities in November could not keep pace with October, but that was still higher than pre-Covid activities.

Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI):

  • It is an economic indicator that is calculated from monthly surveys of purchasing managers and supply executives from specific companies.
  • PMI data are compiled by IHS Markit for more than 40 economies worldwide.
  • The PMI dataset features a headline number, which indicates the overall health of an economy, and sub-indices, which provide insights into other key economic drivers such as GDP, inflation, exports, capacity utilization, employment, and inventories.
  • The Purchasing Managers' Index is based on five major indicators naming new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries, and the employment environment.

Significance:

  • PMI Manufacturing gives an indication of the economic health of the manufacturing sector.
  • The investors use PMI surveys as leading indicators of economic health, given their insight into sales, employment, inventory, and pricing.
  • The purchasing managers' index is an extremely important indicator for international investors looking to form an opinion on economic growth.

Source: The Hindu