Current Affairs Notes: January 8, 2021

One in three large American rivers has changed colour

A study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, has revealed that one–third of rivers in the United States have changed colour in the last three-and-a-half decades.

  • They have changed from appearing blue to appearing yellow and green, indicating the presence of sediments and algae.
  • According the study, sediments and algae are likely to be caused by likely caused by anthropogenic activities.
  • The shift to greener rivers happened in the north and west of the United States according to the study, while the yellowing occurred more in the east, around the Mississippi River.
  • However, according to scientists, the change is colour was not permanent and could be changed with changes to land use as well as conservation measures.
  • The United States has over 250,000 rivers.
  • The longest river in the US is the Missouri river, a tributary of the Mississippi river and is 2,540 miles long. But the biggest in terms of water volume is the deeper Mississippi river.

Why insects are crucial for ecological balance

The ecological importance of insects cannot be underestimated: They form the basal part of the food pyramid and impact our agriculture ecosystems as well as human health.

Their extinction can have a cascading effect on the upper levels of the food pyramid. Insects are increasingly susceptible to extinction due to increasing climate crisis. 

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India’s healthcare through AI

  • Technology in healthcare plays a crucial role in improving efficiency.
  • The use of telemedicine — an enabler of healthcare access and affordability or artificial intelligence in pandemic detection, vaccine development, and facial recognition with masks etc. have greatly enhanced in the pandemic.
  • The Telemedicine Practice Guidelines issued jointly by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and NITI Aayog is timely and allows for remote consultation.
  • India has surpassed in the use of AI in 2020 (70 percent) as compared to 2019 (62 percent).
  • AI can impact Indian healthcare by enabling access, enhance efficiency and enabling preliminary diagnosis.

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India, France firm on inclusive Indo-Pacific

India and France discussed cooperation on issues ranging from defence and counter-terrorism to civil nuclear energy and reiterated their commitment to an inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific during their annual strategic dialogue.

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Emmanuel Bonne, diplomatic advisor to the French president, participated in the dialogue in New Delhi on Thursday.

The agenda for the strategic dialogue included defence and security, key international and regional issues, including the Indo-Pacific, counter-terrorism, cyber-security, and cooperation in space and civil nuclear energy.

France and India established a strategic partnership in 1998.

France has also backed India’s efforts to counter terrorism at multilateral bodies such as the UN and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).