Annual core sector growth at decade low

According to latest government statistics, India’s annual core sector growth has slowed to a decade low of 2.7% in 2015-16, slower than the 4.5% pace in the previous financial year.The previous lowest growth rate registered by core sectors (under the present data series that uses 2004-05 as a base year) was in 2008-09 when output rose 2.8% amidst the global financial crisis.However, the eight core industries account for 38% of India’s industrial output.The eight core sector industries arecoal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilizer, steel, cement and electricity.

Factors behind the slowdown:

  • The growth was pulled down mainly by steel and crude oil, both of which saw output contracting by 1.4% and natural gas that dropped 4.2%.
  • While oil and gas output has been shrinking for about four years now, it is the decline in steel output in the backdrop of plunging global prices that has hurt the most as it had been growing at an average of 7% in the past four years.

Way Forward:

Steel is a mother industry and could be in a comatose position despite import price and anti-dumping curbs to restrict the influx of cheaper Chinese steel. Several plants can go under sooner rather than later so they need a lifeline.Steel has been hit by the low global prices and competition from China. The steel industry employs six million people directly and generates associated employment for more than 2.5 million.This should serve as a wake-up call for the government to move away from incremental reforms to relieve the distress in the steel sector and push construction and real estate sectors.

Next-generation DNA sequencing

Next-generation sequencing (NGS), also known as high-throughput sequencing, is the catch-all term used to describe a number of different modern sequencing technologies including:

  • Illumina (Solexa) sequencing
  • Roche 454 sequencing
  • Ion torrent: Proton / PGM sequencing
  • SOLiD sequencing

These recent technologies allow us to sequence DNA and RNA much more quickly and cheaply than the previously used Sanger sequencing, and as such have revolutionised the study of genomics and molecular biology.

Next-generation sequencing also refers to non-Sanger-based high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies. Millions or billions of DNA strands can be sequenced in parallel, yielding substantially more throughput and minimizing the need for the fragment-cloning methods that are often used in Sanger sequencing of genomes.

Since first introduced to the market in 2005, next-generation sequencing technologies have had a tremendous impact on genomic research. The next-generation technologies have been used for standard sequencing applications, such as genome sequencing and resequencing, and for novel applications previously unexplored by Sanger sequencing.

DNA sequencing refers to techniques of determining nucleotide order in DNA Until the last decade, DNA sequencing was primarily done with implementations of Sanger‘s method. It has remained the gold standard for DNA sequencing for almost three decades. Human genome project has also employed the same technique for human genome sequencing.

The UK’s first baby resulting from an embryo that was screened using next-generation DNA sequencing has been born in Oxford. This method uses a revolutionary IVF technique.

Details:The parents of the child were enrolled in an ongoing clinical study to evaluate next-generation sequencing as a tool to help specialists better select which embryos to transfer during IVF treatment. The technique was first used successfully in the USA in 2013.

  • Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is widely expected to replace other techniques used in preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) of embryos, with the goal being to select more reliably which embryos are most likely to implant and produce healthy babies.
  • To screen an embryo, doctors remove a few cells at the five-day-old stage. The cells are taken from the tissue around the embryo that will turn into the placenta that attaches it to the mother’s womb. Unlike traditional screening methods, NGS can spot embryos that have more subtle DNA faults, and embryos that have only some cells with chromosomal defects.
  • More than half of embryos created through IVF do not have the right number of chromosomes, and the faults underlie nearly three-quarters of miscarriages. The NGS procedure should reduce the chances of couples having faulty embryos transferred and give them more confidence in the health of embryos they have frozen after screening.
  • Next-generation sequencing is touted as being more reliable and sensitive than current PGS techniques at detecting aneuploidy. It should also be able to help spot embryos that have other DNA faults and identify mosaic aneuploid embryos.

Pelican Signaling System

The Government has introduced Pelican Signaling System in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Delhi Police has installed Pelican Signals at 39 locations in the NCT of Delhi to facilitate the pedestrians to cross the road safely. In this Signaling System, the pedestrian green light is activated once a request is registered by pedestrians to cross the road by pressing Push button in the Pedestrian Control Panel.



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