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Science and Technology

Longitude Prize Awarded for Rapid UTI Test

PA-100 AST System

  • Winner of Longitude Prize on AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance)
  • High-tech, rapid point-of-care test for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
  • Automated analyzer using microfluidics and phase contrast microscopy
  • Provides targeted antibiotic treatment in under 1 hour, reducing AMR risk

How it Works

  • Tests against common UTI bacteria (E. coli, Staphylococcus saprophyticus)
  • Traps bacteria in microfluidic chambers and exposes them to 5 different antibiotics
  • Analyzes bacterial growth rate to determine effective antibiotic

Significance of UTIs and AMRs

  • UTIs are a common bacterial infection driving antibiotic overuse
  • Empiric treatment (educated guess) is common due to lack of rapid tests
  • This approach fuels AMR, a global health crisis
  • AMR deaths reached 1.3 million in 2019, projected to reach 10 million by 2050

Economic Impact of AMR

  • Global economy could lose up to $4 trillion by 2030 and $100 trillion by 2050
  • AMR is a significant threat to public health and global economic stability




Truenat Platform

Truenat Platform

  • Developed by Molbio Diagnostics (India)
  • Real-time, quantitative micro-PCR system
  • Portable, battery-operated for use in labs, health centers, and remote settings
  • Tests for over 40 diseases including TB, COVID-19, and more

Impact on TB Diagnosis

  • Provides rapid molecular testing for various forms of tuberculosis
  • Lauded by WHO for its role in combating TB at the 77th World Health Assembly
  • Supports India’s efforts towards TB elimination

India’s TB Scenario

  • TB incidence rate declined 16% between 2015 and 2022 (199 per lakh population in 2022)
  • TB mortality rate declined 18% between 2015 and 2022 (23 per lakh population in 2022)

Key Initiatives

  • National Strategic Plan (2017-2025)
  • National TB Elimination Program (NTEP)
  • National Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases (NITRD)
  • Drug Sensitive-TB Treatment as per NTEP
  • Ni-kshay Portal





Financial Intelligence Unit – India (FIU-IND)


  • Established in 2004 under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
  • Reports to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by the Finance Minister.
  • Analyzes financial information to identify suspicious transactions.
  • Plays a key role in anti-money laundering (AML) and combating terror financing (CFT).
  • Collaborates with domestic and international agencies to fight financial crimes.

Recent News

  • Fined Axis Bank for failing to report suspicious transactions linked to NSG (National Security Guard).




Greater Adjutant Stork

Scientific Name: Leptoptilos dubius


  • Historically found across South Asia and Southeast Asia.
  • Now mainly in Assam, India, with smaller population in Bhagalpur, Bihar.
  • Primarily found in Brahmaputra valley (Guwahati, Morigaon, Nagaon districts).

Threatened by: Rapid urbanization in Assam.

Protection Status

  • IUCN Red List: Endangered
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972: Schedule IV


  • Primarily carnivorous scavenger (fish, frogs, snakes, carrion) similar to vultures.


  • Considered the mount of Vishnu in Hinduism (Garuda Maharaj or Guru Garuda).
  • Helps farmers by controlling rats and other pests.

Conservation Efforts

  • Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and Assam Forest Department are involved in:
    • Habitat restoration
    • Captive breeding programs
    • Community education initiatives




Mercy Petitions in India

Constitutional Provisions

  • Article 72: Empowers President to grant pardons, reprieves, etc. for offenses against central laws or death sentences.
  • Article 161: Similar powers to Governors for state laws.
  • No time limit for filing mercy petitions.
  • President/Governors have discretion to accept or reject petitions.

Recent News

  • President rejected mercy petition of a terrorist convicted in the 2000 Red Fort attack.



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