Daily UPSC Current Affairs | 18th May 2020

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Daily Current Affairs for UPSC PRELIMS & MAINS 2020 is an initiative to dilute major articles from leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Hence we choose articles on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC PRELIMS 2020.

Believe you can and you’re halfway there.– Theodore Roosevelt


ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.


BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

COVID-19 Competition (C3)


S&T based innovative solutions by common people participating in NIF’s Challenge COVID-19 Competition (C3) ready to make adifference

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB !

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Science & Technology
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Recent Innovation


  The National Innovation Foundation – India (NIF), an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has identified several S&T based innovative solutions through the Challenge COVID-19 Competition (C3), a campaign which was running from 31st March to 10th May 2020 for engaging innovative citizens to come up with ideas and innovations to tackle the pandemic.


  • NIF is providing incubation and mentoring support for further dissemination to the generator of the ideas.
  • A foot-operated device for hand sanitization and washing and an innovative sprayer for sanitization are the two recently supported innovations under the campaign.

Implementation of Foot-operated device for Hand Sanitization and Washing at Warangal and Mahabubabad districts of Telangana

  • Shri Mupparapu Raju from Warrangal, Telangana, has designed the foot-operated device for hand sanitization and washing, which is a timely solution in response to need for contact less devices in the prevailing COVID-19 environment.
  • It facilitates dispensing of soap and water by way of operating the device by foot, and not hands.


  • Shri Raju has implemented the device at various locations (Warrangal, Mahabubabad, and others) in the State of Telangana.
  • NIF has extended support to the innovator for value addition and in meeting the production commitments.

Daily Current Affairs UPSC

The Innovative sprayer for sanitization

  • The other supported innovation is an innovative sprayer capable of sanitizing or washing large areas like roads, societies, doors, compounds, walls, etc.
  • The sprayer consists of two radial fans of aluminum moving opposite to each other.
  • In terms of mechanism, each fan sucks air from two opposite directions, which is released through nozzles at high pressure with minute droplets sizes.
  • As the panel rotates 180 degrees, it can cover from the ground upto 15 feet tall walls.
  • Any tractor of power more than 15 horsepower(hp) can be used to operate this through Power Take-Off (PTO).

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The sprayer has been actively used at various locations in the State of Maharashtra viz. Satana, Nashik, etc.
  • A large number of citizens have participated in the Challenge COVID-19 Competition (C3) and helping the country come out of this crisis through Science and Technology based innovative solutions.

HCQ fails in first controlled trials


COVID-19: HCQ fails in first randomised controlled trials in France, China

      WHY IN NEWS:

Both studies show significant adverse effects of the drug on moderate and serious patients

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases


Anti-malarial drug Hydorxychloroquine (HCQ) — claimed by many to show promise in combating the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) — failed in two separate randomised controlled trials (RCTs) conducted in France and China.  



  • The in-vitro results were positive, but observational studies showed mixed results.
  • Chloroquine and HCQ were both recommended for off-label use by Chinese national guidelines and the US Food and Drug Administration, despite unclear benefits, according to the paper.
  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), in fact, also prescribed the drug as ‘prophylactic (preventive) treatment’ for healthcare workers, serious patients and contacts of confirmed cases.


  • One hundred and fifty patients suffering from mild to moderate forms of COVID-19 were enrolled from the Chinese province of Hubei, Henan and Anhui for the study, which claimed it was the first RCT ever conducted for the evaluation of HCQ.
  • Two-hundred milligrams (mg) of HCQ was given to the patients everyday for three days, followed by a maintenance dose of 800 mg daily for the remaining days.

Out of 150 patients, 109 showed this result:

  • Of these, 53 received HCQ plus normal standard of care, while 56 received only care.
  • “The probability of negative conversion by 28 days in the standard of care plus HCQ group was 85.4 per cent, similar to that in the standard of care group that is, 81.3 per cent,”.
  • “The difference between groups was 4.1 per cent,” the study added, showing there was no significant achievement due to HCQ in the patients.
  • The drug, however, was reported to have significant side-effects by the study.
  • “The overall frequency of adverse events was significantly higher in HCQ recipients than in non-recipients,” the study showed.
  • Gastro-intestinal events, particularly diarrhoea, were most commonly reported, similar to another study that used a high dose of HCQ.


  • Patients were eligible for this study if they were aged between 18 and 80 years, had confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections and needed oxygen through masks or nasal prongs.
  • Among the 181 patients eligible for analysis, 84 received HCQ within 48 hours of admission (treatment group) and eight who received the drug after 48 hours, while 89 did not receive HCQ at all (control group).
  • The study found the survival rate without transfer to the intensive care unit (ICU) on day 21 was 76 per cent in the treatment group, compared to 75 per cent in the control group.
  • Overall survival on day 21 was 89 per cent in the treatment group and 91 per cent in the control group.
  • This study too pointed out significant side-effects of the drug, including sudden cardiac death.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The deaths of at least two healthcare workers in India, according to media reports — one from Assam and the other from Maharashtra’s Mumbai — allegedly took place after they consumed HCQ. ICMR, however, never conducted a scientific inquiry into the deaths, the real cause of their deaths could not be ascertained.

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