Current Affairs

Current Affairs

Mass bathing in Ganga aggravates anti-microbial resistance

Mass-bathing in the Ganga during pilgrimages may be contributing to anti-microbial resistance (AMR), says a government-commissioned report on the threat from AMR. Such resistance —previously acknowledged to be widespread in India — is said to be the reason for certain key antibiotics becoming ineffective against diseases, including tuberculosis.

Some years ago, researchers from the Newcastle University in the United Kingdom and the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi sampled water and sediments at seven sites along the Ganga in different seasons.

In 2014, they reported in the peer-reviewed Environmental Science and Technology that levels of resistance genes that lead to “superbugs” were found to be about 60 times greater during the pilgrimage months of May and June than at other times of the year. The researchers had then said preventing the spread of resistance-genes that promote life-threatening bacteria could be achieved by improving waste management at key pilgrimage sites. The report of the Ganga as a reservoir for AMR genes sits alongside a 2016 study by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research — still not made public — that portions of the the river had “anti-bacterial” properties.

The government report —— Scoping Report on Antimicrobial Resistance in India — made public on Wednesday cites this study too along with a compilation of all scientific studies done in India on the threat from AMR, causes and sources that aggravate it.

The report was commissioned by the Department of Biotechnology and the UK Research Council and prepared by the Centre for Disease Dynamics and Economic Policy. It notes, like previous studies, that India has some of the highest antibiotic resistance rates among bacteria that commonly cause infections in the community and healthcare facilities.

Resistance to the broad-spectrum antibiotics fluoroquinolones and third generation cephalosporin was more than 70% in Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella pneumoniae, and more than 50% in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

In 2014, India was the highest consumer of antibiotics, followed by China and the United States. However, the per-capita consumption of antibiotics in India was much lower than in several other high-income countries.

Other than ‘cultural factors’ such as bathing in the Ganga, the drivers of AMR included excessive use of antibiotics in the livestock industry and  The amendment will make students studying in these Institutions/ Universities, or already passed out from

unchecked discharge of effluents by the pharmaceutical industry. However, in spite of the challenge, too little work had been done so far to understand it. “This mapping exercise indicates that AMR research studies in India were of limited scope in all areas,” the researchers noted.


Establishment of Research Institute for Yoga and Naturopathy in Karnataka and Haryana

  • An autonomous Research Council, namely, Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN) is working under the Ministry of AYUSH as the apex body for Research and Education in the field of Yoga and Naturopathy.
  • The CCRYN has set up a Central Research Institute at Rohini, Delhi.
  • The Government has approved establishment of Post Graduate Institutes for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy at Nagmangla (Karnataka) and Jhajjar (Haryana) at a total cost of 59.67 crore and 52.04 crore respectively. CCRYN is running a Central Research Institute of Yoga & Naturopathy at Rohini, Delhi, with 20 bedded hospital of Yoga & Naturopathy.

India signs WHO's Call to end TB

India among other countries in the South East Asian Region, which bear half of the global tuberculosis burden, today signed a 'call for action' and pledged to scale up measures to end the disease by 2030.

It was signed by Health ministers from countries in WHO South-East Asia Region (WHO SEARO) during two-day ministerial meeting towards ending TB in the region held in New Delhi. 

One of the top 10 causes of death worldwide, tuberculosis (TB) clocks up approximately 2.8 million cases and nearly half a million deaths on an annual basis in India.TB is an infectious, airborne disease mainly affecting the lungs and is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis.



US Scientists develop first blood test for autism

In a first, scientists from United States have discovered a way to accurately predict whether a child has autism spectrum disorder by analysing a blood sample, an advance that opens the door to earlier diagnosis and potential future development of therapeutics.



Global fund to help solve India’s HIV drug crisis

Global fund to help solve India’s HIV drug crisis

 After running out of the child-friendly HIV syrup  Lopinavir, India is likely to procure the drug from a rapid supply facility routed through the Global Fund.

The Global Fund is a 21st-century partnership organization designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics.

India has a cohort of over 600 children who require 36,000 bottles of Lopinavir syrup annually. Stocks of Lopinavir syrup — a child friendly HIV drug — ran out after Cipla, the sole manufacturer of the drug, stopped manufacturing it over the issue of non-payment from the Health Ministry.