1) Wet Leasing of Aircraft: In efforts to boost international air traffic, the civil aviation ministry has allowed Indian airlines to take wide-body planes on wet lease for up to one year.
- it means renting the plane along with operating crew and engineers, while dry leasing refers to taking only the aircraft on rent.
- The technical term for wet leasing is ACMI which stands for aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance. These are the aspects of the operation that the wet lease airline takes care of, while the airline client will still be responsible for paying for direct operating costs such catering and fuel.
- Wet lease isn’t encouraged by DGCA as the crew is often not approved by Indian authorities.
- Also, it is generally a short-term arrangement, as it is more expensive than a dry lease.
2) Great Barrier Reef: A UN panel recommended that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef be designated as a world heritage site “in danger”.
- It is the world’s largest coral reef system, located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia, and this world’s largest single structure built by living creatures is visible from space. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1981.
- The reef is under threat from frequent bleaching events, including the first this year amid a La Nina phenomena, which normally brings colder temperatures.
3) Binturong: it is a medium-sized mammal, also known as a bearcat, of the Viverridae family, which includes civets, linsangs and genets. Its nine subspecies are the sole occupants of the genus Arctictis.
- Its range extends from rainforests of Nepal, India, Bhutan and Indonesian islands
- The animal uses its tail—which is almost as long as its body—like a fifth limb as it climbs through the forest. This tail is prehensile, which means it’s capable of gripping things.
- The binturong is one of only two carnivores that has a prehensile tail. The other is kinkajou.
- They are classified as a vulnerable species by IUCN.
4) iNCOVACC: World’s first Intranasal Vaccine, has recently received approval for Covid booster doses from Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). Developed by Bharat Biotech
- The approval is under Restricted Use in Emergency Situation for ages 18 and above in India, for heterologous booster doses.
- iNCOVACC is a recombinant replication deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilised SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. It is the world’s first intranasal vaccine to receive both primary series and heterologous booster approval.
5) WHO will now call monkeypox – ‘mpox’: assigning names to new and existing diseases is the responsibility of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the WHO Family of International Health Related Classifications through a consultative process which includes WHO Member States.
- It is a viral zoonotic disease and is identified as a pox-like disease among monkeys hence it is named Monkeypox. It is endemic to Nigeria.
- It is caused by monkeypox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. There is no specific treatment or vaccine available
- The most likely reservoir for the virus in the bush, are rodents and not monkeys.