- 1. World Telecommunication and Information Society Day: 17 May
- 2. National Gallery of Modern Art launched Audio-Visual Guide App.
- 3. SCTIMST, an Institute of National Importance under DST, develops new multiplex RT-PCR kit.
- 4. Senior virologist Shahid Jameel resigns as chairman of scientific advisory group of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG).
- 5. CCI gives approval to acquisition of YES AMC and YES Trustee by GPL Finance and Investments Limited (GPL).
- 6. World AIDS Vaccine Day: May 18
- 7. Delhi government announces free education for children whose both parents died due to Covid-19.
- 8. Manipur government launched a mobile app for delivering vegetables.
- 9. Iran launched its most powerful supercomputer ‘Simorgh’.
- 10. Shiv Sunder Das appointed as batting coach of Indian women’s cricket team
- 11. Reliance Jio to construct largest international submarine cable system.
- 12. A new species of skink found in Western Ghats.
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Topic: Important Days
1. World Telecommunication and Information Society Day: 17 May
- World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is observed every year on 17 May.
- It is celebrated to raise awareness about the use of the internet. Internet help bridge the gap between society and economies.
- It is observed to highlight the importance of communication in our lives through various means of technology.
- The theme of 2021 is “Accelerating digital transformation in challenging times”.
- It is being celebrated annually on 17 May since 1969.
- It is observed as the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.
(Source: News on AIR)
2. National Gallery of Modern Art launched Audio-Visual Guide App.
- On the occasion of International Museums Day 2021, the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) has launched the Audio-Visual Guide App.
- The app will enable museum viewers to listen to anecdotes and stories related to the Indian modern art exhibited at the Gallery.
- It has been launched to provide a better way of viewing the museum to visitors.
- International Museums Day is observed every year on 18 May.
- National Gallery of Modern Art:
- It was founded in 1954.
- It is the premier art gallery under the Ministry of Culture.
- It has a collection of art of more than 2000 artists.
Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases
3. SCTIMST, an Institute of National Importance under DST, develops new multiplex RT-PCR kit.
- Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), an Institute of National Importance under Department of Science and Technology (DST), has developed a new multiplex RT-PCR kit.
- The new kit has been developed with novel gene targets to facilitate detection across various mutant strains of COVID-19.
- Coronavirus makes far fewer errors than other RNA viruses. The mutations in S, R, and N genes often interfere with the RT-PCR assay.
- The new kit targets two SARS CoV2 genes: RdRp and ORFb-nsp14. It has the human RNAse P gene as the internal control.
- The ORFb-nsp14 is one of the least mutated genes in Covid19. As of now, no other kit in the market targets ORFb-nsp14.
- The new kit uses multiplex Taqman chemistry. It simultaneously amplifies all three genes in a single reaction.
- The amplification time for the assay is 45 minutes. This excludes the time required for the RNA isolation from nasopharyngeal swab samples.
- On 14th May 2021, SCTIMST has signed a non-exclusive license MoU with Huwel Lifesciences, Hyderabad, to commercialize the kit.
- RT-PCR: The full form of RT-PCR is Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction. It is a technique in which RNA is converted to DNA through reverse transcription and DNA targets are amplified by using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
Topic: Personality in News
4. Senior virologist Shahid Jameel resigns as chairman of scientific advisory group of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG).
- Senior virologist Shahid Jameel has resigned as chairman of scientific advisory group of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG).
- INSACOG is a forum established by the union government in December last year for surveillance of circulating strains of COVID-19 in India.
- Out of the six variants of concern of coronavirus, India is dealing with three variants. They are B.1.1.7 (UK variant), B.1.351 (South Africa variant), and P.1 (Brazil variant).
- Last year, traces of double mutants - an Indian version called B.1.617 - appeared for the first time in cases of Maharashtra.
5. CCI gives approval to acquisition of YES AMC and YES Trustee by GPL Finance and Investments Limited (GPL).
- Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of YES Asset Management (India) Limited (YES AMC) and YES Trustee Limited (YES Trustee) by GPL.
- GPL Finance and Investments Limited (GPL) will acquire 100% equity shares of YES AMC and YES Trustee.
- GPL will acquire Yes Mutual Fund and become its sole sponsor. It is registered with the Reserve Bank of India as a non-deposit taking and non-systemically important Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC).
- GPL is classified as an investment company. It is part of White Oak Group, an investment management and investment advisory group founded by Mr. Prashant Khemka.
- YES AMC and YES Trustee belong to YES Bank Limited group. YES AMC acts as an asset management company / investment manager to YES Mutual Fund.
Topic: Important Days
6. World AIDS Vaccine Day: May 18
- World AIDS Vaccine Day is annually observed all over the world on May 18.
- First World AIDS Vaccine Day was celebrated on 18 May 1998.
- World AIDS Vaccine Day is celebrated to create awareness about AIDS and the need for its vaccine.
- Currently, there is no vaccine to curb HIV. World AIDS Vaccine Day is also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day.
- The full form of AIDS is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. It is a viral disease.
- AIDS was first reported in the United States in 1981 and has since spread to a worldwide epidemic.
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a global epidemic that infects humans and, with time, causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). AIDS damage the immunity system of the body.
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
7. Delhi government announces free education for children whose both parents died due to Covid-19.
- Delhi government has announced free education for children whose both parents died due to Covid-19.
- Further, Delhi Government will provide Rs 50,000 ex gratia to each family that has lost a member due to Covid-19.
- In addition to ex-gratia of Rs 50,000, Delhi Government will provide a monthly pension of Rs 2,500 if the deceased was an earning member.
- Monthly assistance of Rs 2,500 will be given to children up to the age of 25 years if children have lost parents or single parents due to COVID-19.
- Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said that free ration would be given to the poor and needy even if they do not have a ration card.
Topic: State News/ Manipur
8. Manipur government launched a mobile app for delivering vegetables.
- Manipur government has launched a mobile app for the delivery of vegetables at home.
- The ‘MOMA market’ mobile app will help in the delivery of fresh vegetables at the doorstep in the lockdown districts.
- Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) is a unit of the state horticulture and soil conservation department.
- Farmers Producer Companies (FPCs) and Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA) will procure vegetables from the different farms of the state.
Topic: Space and IT
9. Iran launched its most powerful supercomputer ‘Simorgh’.
- Iran has launched its most powerful supercomputer ‘Simorgh’.
- At present, it has a processing power of 0.56 petaflops, but it will attain one petaflop performance capacity in the next two months.
- It has been developed by Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT).
- It will be used for the analysis of artificial intelligence, traffic and weather data, and image processing. It will be used for cloud hosting for some local private firms.
- It comprises 42 racks in an area of approximately 250sq meters. It will be upgraded to reach a capacity of 10 petaflops.
- Iran is located in Western Asia.
- It shares its border with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
- Its capital and largest city is Tehran.
- Its President is Hassan Rouhani.
- Iranian rial is the currency of Iran.
10. Shiv Sunder Das appointed as batting coach of Indian women’s cricket team
- BCCI has appointed Shiv Sunder Das as batting coach of the India women cricket team for the upcoming seven-match tour of England.
- Shiv Sunder Das is a former player of the men’s cricket team. He has played 23 Tests and scored more than 1300 runs.
- Abhay Sharma has been appointed as fielding coach of the India women’s cricket team.
- Recently, Ramesh Powar has been appointed as head coach of the India women cricket team.
- Mithali Raj is the Captain of the India Women’s cricket team.
11. Reliance Jio to construct largest international submarine cable system.
- Reliance Jio will construct the largest international submarine cable system in India.
- Reliance Jio will complete this project in partnership with many global partners and submarine cable suppliers.
- It will construct Asia-Xpress (IAX) and India-Europe-Xpress (IEX) cable systems for providing better connectivity.
- India-Asia-Xpress (IAX will connect India to Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, while India-Europe-Xpress (IEX) will connect India to the Middle East and Europe.
- These submarine cable systems will provide a capacity of 200 Tbps. It will be used for connecting countries for the flow of internet and telecom services.
- IAX will be constructed by mid-2023 and the IEX system will be ready for service by early 2024.
- These two systems will also be connected to the Reliance Jio Global Fiber Network.
- Reliance Jio is a completely owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL).
(Source: Reliance Industries)
Topic: Environment and Ecology
12. A new species of skink found in Western Ghats.
- A new species of skink has been found in the Western Ghats. It has been named Subdoluseps nilgiriensis.
- Its colour is sandy brown and its length is 7cm. It has been found in the dry deciduous area of the Western Ghats.
- It is the third species of the skink discovered in India.
- Subdoluseps nilgiriensis is considered a vulnerable species. Forest fires, housing constructions, and brick kiln industries are the main threats of this Species.
- The Western Ghats are also known as the Sahyadri Hills. It extends from the Satpura Range in the north to Kanyakumari in the south. It is one of the biodiversity hotspots of India.
- It is part of the lizard family.
- They are non-venomous.
- They are generally carnivorous and, in particular insectivorous.