05 June 2020 Current Affairs:State-run Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has partnered with US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Market Integration and Transformation Program for Energy Efficiency (MAITREE) program and launched ‘Healthy and Energy Efficient Buildings’ initiative. The initiative is a part of the US-India bilateral Partnership between the Power Ministry of India and USAID.

1# Healthy and Energy Efficient Buildings:
♦ Healthy and Energy Efficient Buildings initiative aims to make workplaces healthier and greener. 
♦ The initiative aims to accelerate the adoption of cost-effective energy efficiency measures as a standard practice within buildings, and specifically focuses on cooling.
♦ Under the initiative, EESL has become the first to implement the framework in its own offices.
♦ This initiative will address air quality and energy use concerns in buildings like directly improving comfort, health, productivity, and ultimately the quality of life of citizens in India and South Asia.

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL):
Established: 10 December 2009
Functions under: Ministry of Power
Chairman: Rajeev Sharma
Managing Director: Saurabh Kumar

2# 2022 Women’s Asian Cup:
♦ Women’s Asian Cup will be held in the second half of the year 2020. 
♦ Women players are expected to bring social revolution in the event.
♦ The football tournament will feature 12 teams. The number of participating teams has been expanded from the previous slot of eight teams.
♦ As India hosts the tournament, India will qualify directly in the tournament.
♦ The event will serve as the final qualification tournament for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
♦ In the 1979 event, India had finished as runners-up.
♦ The announcement to host the tournament comes as a measure to boost AIFF as India is to host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022.

3# Nagar van scheme:
♦ Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change released a brochure on the best practices on Urban Forests and announcing the Nagar Van scheme.
♦ It is expected that Urban Forest will revive the age-old tradition of village forests in cities.
♦ Warje Urban Forest has been set as a role model for the Urban Forest in the country.
♦ It has been studied that the forest is rich in biodiversity with 23 plant species, 29 bird species, 15 butterfly species, 10 reptiles, and 3 mammal species. The Urban Forest project will help to maintain ecological balance, serving both environmental and social needs.
♦ India has 8% of the world’s biodiversity. India occupies 2.5% of the world’s landmass with 4% of freshwater sources.

4# Kiran Mazumdar Shaw:
♦ Shaw founded Bangalore-based Biocon Limited in 1978. Biocon currently worth close to Rs.50,000 crore by market-cap and employs more than 11,000 people. The bio-enzyme company focus on global health care and the provision of universal access to life-saving medicine. 
♦ In September 2019, Biocon announced that the company would supply Rh-insulin at less than $0.10 per day to low and middle-income countries. The price is less than a third of current RH-insulin prices. 
♦ Biocon supplied more than 2 billion affordable doses of biosimilar insulins to patients globally in the last 15 years.
♦ Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Biocon is studying the use of its existing novel biologic drug Itolizumab to treat COVID-19 related health conditions in India.

5# NCVTC to develop host-directed antivirals for COVID-19 disease

♦ The small molecule chemical inhibitors are known to inhibit cellular kinases, phosphatases, and epigenetic regulators like histone methyltransferase, histone deacetylase, and DNA methyltransferase. 
♦ The researchers are exploring alternative strategies to target such cellular proteins, protein-protein (virus-host) interaction, or epigenetic regulators called host-directed antiviral therapy.
♦ The host-directed antivirals will have fewer tendencies in inducing drug resistance because it is not possible for the virus to easily change missing cellular functions by mutations. 
♦ Also, host-directed antiviral agents will exert broad-spectrum antiviral effects because the requirement of host factors by viruses is usually conserved across the members of a particular virus family or sometimes even across the members of different virus families. 
♦ The antiviral weapon will target cellular proteins, protein-protein (virus-host) interaction, or epigenetic regulators for COVID-19.

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