Current Affairs in Short: 12 April 2019
Justice Vikram Nath has been appointed as the first Chief Justice of the newly-constituted Andhra Pradesh High Court.
Najma Akhtar appointed as first woman VC of Jamia Millia
• Professor Najma Akhtar of the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia University on April 11, 2019.
• Akhtar is the first woman to be appointed as the JMI V-C. She has four decades of academic scholarship in educational leadership.
• She is known for spearheading international educational administrators’ course for senior officials from 130 countries for more than 15 years at National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration.
Vikram Nath appointed as first Chief Justice of new Andhra Pradesh HC
• Justice Vikram Nath, the senior most judge of Allahabad High Court, was appointed on April 10, 2019 as the first Chief Justice of the newly-constituted Andhra Pradesh High Court.
• The collegium of Supreme Court comprising of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi besides Judges S A Bobde and N V Ramana recommended the name of Justice Vikram Nath.
• The new Andhra Pradesh High court was established on January 1, 2019 following the division of a combined high court of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
• Justice Nath obtained a law degree in 1986 and enrolled as a practising lawyer in Allahabad. In 2004, he was appointed as additional judge of Allahabad High court and was elevated to the post of a permanent judge in 2006.
US President Trump considering third nuclear summit with North Korea
• US President Donald Trump has said that he is considering a potential third nuclear summit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.
• Trump stated that a peaceful resolution of the North Korea standoff remains within reach and that he continues to place considerable hope in his personal brand of diplomacy.
• US President said although the broader sanctions should remain in place, but he has stopped new measures against North Korea.
• At the start of talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House, Trump said he supports South Korean moves to bring humanitarian relief to North Korea despite the sanctions.
• A third summit would follow on Trump's historic breakthrough last year, when he met Kim in Singapore and a follow-up on in February 2019 in Hanoi that ended without progress in getting North Korea to give up nuclear weapons.
Haryana told to identify, shut industrial units polluting Yamuna
• The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has ordered the Haryana State Pollution Control Board to identify and immediately shut industrial units in Yamunanagar, Panipat and Kundli in Sonepat district, which are polluting Yamuna river and not complying with the norms prescribed under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
• The order came after a report of the Yamuna Pollution Monitoring Committee was submitted to the CPCB.
• The report stated that untreated industrial waste is polluting the Yamuna in Yamunanagar, Panipat and Sonepat districts
New sensor can detect dangerous chemicals
• Scientists have developed a novel sensor that can be used in smartphone-sized devices to detect dangerous chemicals based on a unique fingerprint of absorbed and emitted light.
• Devices called spectrometers are light-splitting instruments that have long been both bulky and expensive, preventing their use outside the lab.
• However, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US have now developed a spectrometer so small and simple that it could integrate with the camera of a typical cellphone without sacrificing accuracy.
• Zhu Wang, who was among the team of engineers that created the device, said that this is a compact, single-shot spectrometer that offers high resolution with low fabrication costs.
• The device also has an advanced capability called hyperspectral imaging, which collects information about each individual pixel in an image to identify materials or detect specific objects amidst a complicated background.
Twins study reveals impact of space travel on astronauts
• Scientists have found no long-lasting, major epigenetic differences in astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent a year in space aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and his twin brother, Mark Kelly, who remained on Earth.
• Epigenetic changes involve chemical "tweaks" to DNA that can influence gene activity, but the changes don't affect the underlying genetic code itself. The changes affect when and how a gene is read, or expressed, for its protein-encoding instructions.
• Andrew Feinberg from the Johns Hopkins University in the US said that the study is the dawn of human genomics in space and they developed the methods for doing these types of human genomic studies to draw conclusions about what happens to humans in space.
• Scientists have long monitored and studied the physiological effects of space travel on astronauts. However, most of these astronauts travel on spaceflight missions of six months or less, not on the longer missions required to travel to Mars or elsewhere.
Trump's controversial transgender troop ban takes effect
• US President Donald Trump's controversial ban on transgender Americans in the military came into force on April 12, 2019 following a protracted legal battle.
• Trump's administration has insisted that there is too great a risk to military effectiveness and lethality to allow transgender people to serve, reversing a policy enacted under his predecessor Barack Obama.
• As per Pentagon, the restrictions are not a blanket ban, but they would bar many if not most people who identify as transgender from enlisting in America's armed forces.
• The policy, which has undergone various iterations since Trump first announced it on Twitter in July 2017, has been widely criticized by rights activists and has been repeatedly challenged in court.
• The US Supreme Court ultimately ruled in January that the policy could take effect pending the outcome of ongoing litigation.
• Under the policy, no one who has transitioned to another gender, been diagnosed with "gender dysphoria" or who requires hormone treatment will be able to enlist in the military. But currently enlisted troops who have already transitioned or have requested gender reassignment surgery prior to April 12 will be allowed to remain in the military.