Daily Current Affairs and GK | 22 May 2020
- 1. Development of capacity to conduct one lakh tests per day of COVID-19 in India
- 2. Bill passed in US Senate to remove Chinese companies from its stock exchanges
- 3. Manipur government to open two dedicated Quarantine centers for transgenders
- 4. Locust attack threat in 19 districts of Rajasthan
- 5. The Government of West Bengal constituted a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore
- 6. Monkey were found resistant to coronaviruses reinfection
- 7. Trump suggested a personal appearance at the G-7 summit
- 8. Brazil is the second largest hotspot of the COVID-19 pandemic after USA
- 9. Finance Commission Committee reports estimated uncertainty in the economy
- 10. May 22: International Day of Biodiversity
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1. Development of capacity to conduct one lakh tests per day of COVID-19 in India
- Recently India has developed its capacity to perform one lakh COVID-19 tests per day.
- Starting with less than 100 trials per day initially, we have now grown manifold in just two months.
- It is a remarkable journey for India to become self-sufficient in its testing capabilities.
- Indian Council of Medical Research has informed that a total of 26,15,920 tests have been done in the country till now.
- In January 2020, ICMR’s National Institute of Virology, Pune had only one testing laboratory for COVID-19 in India. Today, there are 569 laboratories across India, including government and private laboratory chains for testing coronavirus samples.
- This progress of the country is another step towards self-reliant India.
- The services provided under the Mission Lifeline Udan of the Ministry of Civil Aviation have a special contribution to this progress.
- Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR):
- The Indian Council of Medical Research is the apex body in India for the creation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research.
- The Director General of ICMR is Dr. Balram Bhargava.
- Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
- It was founded in 1911.
2. Bill passed in US Senate to remove Chinese companies from its stock exchanges
- Recently, the US Senate has unanimously passed a bill to remove Chinese companies from the US stock exchanges.
- The bill was introduced by Republican Senator John Kennedy and Democrat Senator Chris van Hollen.
- Under this bill, companies will now have to certify that are not foreign government owned or controlled.
(Source: News on AIR)
- Also, companies will have to submit audit reports, which will be reviewed by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.
- Following this move by the US senate, Chinese companies such as Alibaba Group Holdings Limited and Baidu Inc. may be denied listing in the US stock exchanges.
3. Manipur government to open two dedicated Quarantine centers for transgenders
- Recently the Manipur state government has decided to open two dedicated quarantine centers for transgenders.
- These centers will be for those stranded in other states and have recently returned to Manipur.
- This decision has been taken after complaints of discrimination arising from the placing of transgenders with male or female in institutional community quarantine centers.
- Manipur is a state in northeast India.
- Its capital is Imphal.
- It borders Nagaland in the north, Mizoram in the south and Assam in the west and Myanmar in the east.
- The Governor of Manipur is Najma Heptulla and Chief Minister is N Biren Singh.
- The state animal of Manipur is the Sangai deer.
- The state flower is Shirui Lily and the state bird Hume Peasant.
4. Locust attack threat in 19 districts of Rajasthan
- In Rajasthan, 19 districts are affected by locust attacks, increasing the risk of crop wastage there.
- The locust affected area is witnessing an increase this time as compared to last year.
- Due to the large number of locusts entering western Madhya Pradesh from Rajasthan, the crops of this region have become a threat.
- However, due to the heat, the crops in the fields are still low.
- It is a species of small horned grasshopper of the family Acrididae arising from environmental conditions.
- These insects are usually isolated, but in some special circumstances they grow in abundance.
- No taxonomic distinction is made between locust and grasshopper species.
- Generally, they go far and wide, competing for food in the desert region.
5. The Government of West Bengal constituted a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore
- Recently, the West Bengal government has set up a fund of Rs 1,000 crore.
- This corpus will be used for reconstruction work post Cyclone Amphan in the state.
- So far 72 people have died in the state due to storm-related incidents.
- It is known that the recent Super cyclone Amphan has caused a lot of damage to the states of West Bengal and Odisha.
- Super Cyclone Amphan:
- Super Cyclone Amphan, a tropical cyclone, originated in the Bay of Bengal.
- Its name is given by Thailand.
- A cyclone is a low-pressure system with very high winds around it.
- The necessary conditions for tropical cyclones are - sufficiently warm sea surface, atmospheric instability, high humidity in the low to medium levels of the troposphere, and sufficient Coriolis force to maintain a low pressure center, etc.
6. Monkey were found resistant to coronaviruses reinfection
- Recently, monkeys have been found to be resistant to coronavirus reinfection.
- Evidence from a study of a trial of a COVID-19 vaccine on 9 rhesus macaque monkeys in the past shows that once infected with a novel coronavirus, animals can be protected from reinfection.
- The study is published in the journal Science by the team led by Dan H. Barouch from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.
- This is encouraging news because it will help develop the novel coronavirus vaccine.
- However, there is currently no data available in humans that have been infected and have not been re-infected.
7. Trump suggested a personal appearance at the G-7 summit
- Recently US President Donald Trump has suggested a personal appearance at the G-7 summit.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was decided to hold the annual conference of G-7 in June this year through videoconferencing.
- This year the G-7 summit is being hosted by the US.
- In 2019, the conference was held in France, while in 2018 the G-7 summit was held in Canada.
- It is an intergovernmental economic organization.
- It was founded in 1975.
- Its member countries are Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, which organize its annual conference.
8. Brazil is the second largest hotspot of the COVID-19 pandemic after USA
- Brazil is going to become the second largest hotspot of the COVID-19 pandemic after the US.
- In the previous day, there were 1,188 deaths from a single coronavirus in Brazil.
- There have been 20,000 deaths so far and 3,10,087 people have been infected.
- The exact number is likely to be higher, as extensive trials have not been conducted in Brazil.
- It is the largest country in both South America and Latin America.
- It is the fifth largest country in the world by area and the sixth most populous country.
- Its capital is Brasilia and the currency is Brazilian Real.
- The President of Brazil is Jair Bolsonaro.
9. Finance Commission Committee reports estimated uncertainty in the economy
- During the recent 15th Finance Commission Committee meeting on the fiscal consolidation roadmap, India's economy was characterized by uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- According to the committee members, GDP growth is projected to be between -6% and 1% in the financial year 2020-21.
- While the government's financial outlay on the health sector may increase significantly from the current 0.9% of GDP.
- Finance Commission:
- It is a constitutional body, which is created every 5 years under Article 280 of the Constitution of India.
- It recommends the transfer of financial resources from the Center to the states.
- The Commission also sets out the principles on which grants will be given to the states.
- The 15th Finance Commission was constituted on 27 November 2017 and chaired by Shri N.K. Singh.
10. May 22: International Day of Biodiversity
- International Day of Biodiversity is observed every year on 22 May.
- The theme of 2020 International Day of Biodiversity - "Our solutions are in nature".
- It is a United Nations-approved international day to create awareness regarding biodiversity issues.
- The day falls within the ambit of the Sustainable Development Goals of the Post-2015 Development Agenda of the United Nations.
- International Biodiversity Day was first observed in the year 2000.