MoU Current Affairs - 2020

Central Drug Research Institute signs MoU to sequence virus strains

On April 18, 2020, the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with King George Medical University to sequence the strains of COVID-19 virus samples obtained from different patients.

What is the plan?

According to the MoU, a Lucknow based lab is to sequence the virus strains. This is to be done under a “Digital and Molecular Surveillance”. A molecular surveillance system is collection, reporting and analysis of genetic sequences. Molecular surveillance is currently being used in HIV drug testing, foodborne infections and TB.

Variants

There are nine different variants of the virus known so far. Three were recently found by Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre.

Current Scenario

Currently, the CDRI is working on repurposing of drugs to fight COVID-19. According to CDRI, repurposing of drugs is the fastest way to find solution to the virus rather than finding a new drug. Repurposing of drugs is a new strategy that investigates the existing drugs for therapeutic purposes.

MoU between India and Germany approved by Union Cabinet

On March 25, 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi approved MoU signed between India and Germany. The MoU was signed between Ministry of Railways and DB Engineering and Consulting GMBH of Germany. The Memorandum was signed in February 2020 and will facilitate technological cooperation in Railway sector.

Key Highlights of the MoU

The technological cooperation under the MoU will facilitate freight operations including automotive transport, cross-border transport and logistics. It will also help in infrastructure building. This includes new dedicated freight corridors and building of new passenger trains.

The agreement will facilitate technology transfers in IT solutions for railway sales, marketing and operations.

Background

The Ministry of Railways is in the mode of modernization of Railway sector. In order to achieve this, the Ministry has signed several agreements, memorandum of cooperation, technical cooperation, with foreign governments. Through these measures, the ministry aims to achieve high speed rails, increasing speed of existing routes, modernization of rail infrastructure and development of world class stations.