Science & Tech Current Affairs

Science & Technology Current Affairs 2019-2020 category comprises current affairs with all important national / international updates in science and tech and events for the year 2019-2020 for UPSC, States, Civil services, SSC and other competitive examinations of India and States.

First of its Kind Project in the World Commissioned by Indian Railways in collaboration with BHEL

Under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Scheme, the largest power generation equipment manufacturer in India- Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) had undertaken a project with the Indian Railways for setting up a 1.7 MWp (megawatt peak) solar energy project at the Madhya Pradesh’s Bina district that will connect directly to the Overhead Traction System of the Indian Railways. The solar power project between the Indian Railways and BHEL was signed on 9th October 2019.

The solar power project was completed as of 6th July 2020 and is currently under extensive testing and trial. The solar power project is expected to be commissioned with 15 days. The Solar Power Project is the first solar power plant in the world in which the power generated from the plant will be directly fed to the Overhead Traction System of the Railways.

Challenges

The major challenge in the project was that the Indian Railways use single phase 25 kV AC (Alternating Current) in its Overhead Traction System to power the locomotives, while the Solar Panels at the Solar Power Plant produces DC (Direct Current) Power.  Hence the DC power from the Solar Panels had to be converted into AC power.

High Capacity Inverters with single-phase output were installed for converting DC into AC power. To directly feed power to the TSS (Traction Sub Station of the Indian Railways), through the transformer the 25 kV AC is being stepped up from the inverters.

Benefits of the Project

The Solar Power Plant will save Rs 1.37 crore for the Indian Railways in a year.  Approx 25 lakh units of energy every year will be produced by the Solar Power Plant for the Indian Railway.

Mylan gets DCGI Approval to launch its Generic Version of Remdesivir ‘DESREM’ at Rs 4800

Global pharmaceutical company Mylan N.V was given approval by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for the launch of its generic version of Gilead Sciences Remdesivir drug for the treatment of COVID-19 positive patients in India. Mylan N.V is currently the second-largest company in the world for the manufacturing of generic and specialty pharmaceuticals.

Mylan N.V’s DESREM is the third generic version of Remdesivir to get DCGI approval for sale in India. In the month of June 2020, generic versions of Indian pharmaceutical companies – Cipla’s CIPREMI and Hetero’s COVIFOR’ has got DCGI approval.

Brandname for Marketing

Under the brand name ‘DESREM’,  Mylan N.V’s generic version of Remdesivir will be marketed in India.

Price and Availability

As it is an injectable drug,  it has to be administered under the supervision of a healthcare practitioner and will not be available through any retail channel. The drug will be made available for hospitals and government healthcare agencies.

It will be available in a 100mg injectable dose. The price will be in the range of Rs 4,800. DESREM will be available by the last week of July 2020 in India.

Background

In May 2020, clinical trials conducted under ACTT-1 (Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial) with Remdesivir in more than 60 centers across the United States, Asia, and Europe had shown promising results when compared with the patients who were given placebo. During the trails a total of 1063 patients were given Remdesivir, the mortality rate was 7.1 %.

Japan was the first country to approve Remdesivir drug as a treatment for COVID-19. At present Remdesivir is only available in the injectable method. On 22nd June 2020, Gilead Sciences had announced had it will soon start Phase I trial for the inhaled version of Remdesivir.

United Kingdom, Singapore, and Japan are the countries where the drug has been approved to date for the treatment of COVID-19 cases.

Remdesivir

The antiviral drug ‘Remdesivir’ is administered via injection into a vein. This antiviral medication was developed by the United States biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences for treatment of Hepatitis C.