India Current Affairs 2017

IWAI raises Rs. 660 crore through Bonds

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has raised Rs. 660 crore as Fully Serviced Bonds. The oversubscribed bonds were issued through e-bidding on BSE Portal and the entire amount of Rs.660 crore was raised in single tranche at a coupon rate of 7.47%.

Key Facts

The proceeds from these bonds will be utilized by IWAI exclusively for capital expenditure for development of National Waterways (NWs) under National Waterway Act, 2016 during 2017-18. The principal and interest on these bonds will be financed by budgetary provisions in demand for grants of Ministry of shipping. The interest payment will be on semi-annual basis and the principal on maturity. Prior to raising bonds, IWAI had engaged arrangers, credit rating agencies, registrars and trustees. Both CRISIL and CARE rated proposed bonds of IWAI as “AAA: STABLE”.

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)

IWAI is the statutory body in charge of the waterways in India. Its headquarters is located in Noida, UP. Its main function is to build the necessary infrastructure in the inland waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects and also carrying out administration and regulation.

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Two Experimental Ebola vaccines found safe, effective in human trial

The clinical trials of two experimental Ebola vaccines cAd3-EBOZ and rVSV-ZEBOV were found to be safe and capable of eliciting immune response against Ebola virus that lasts for at least one year.

The findings were based on a study of clinical trials on 1,500 adults that began during West Africa Ebola outbreak. Three groups of 500 volunteers received one of the vaccine candidates or a placebo (saline injection).

Key Facts

During clinical trials, it was observed that responses to both vaccine candidates were modest at one week. However, by one month, 71% of cAd3-EBOZ recipients and 84% of rVSV-ZEBOV recipients developed an antibody response compared to 3% of placebo recipients.

These trials have yielded valuable information for development of these two Ebola vaccine candidates and also demonstrated that well-designed, ethically sound clinical research can be conducted during an epidemic. These safe and effective Ebola vaccines will play important role in controlling inevitable future Ebola outbreaks in addition to existing classical public health measures.

Ebola virus disease (EVD)

EVD is viral hemorrhagic fever of humans and other primates caused by ebola viruses. It was first identified in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a village near the Ebola River, from which it takes its name. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in human population through human-to-human transmission. Fruit bats are natural host of this virus. It spreads through contact with body fluids of inflected persons such as blood, urine and saliva.

It also spreads through sexual transmission. Symptoms of EVD are high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage. The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. However, in past outbreaks case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90%. In 2014, Ebola virus had erupted periodically mainly across west and east Africa mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. It was the deadliest outbreak of the virus in the history which had killed 11,000 people.

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