Daily Current Affairs and GK | 22 May 2021

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Topic: Important Days

1. International Day of Biodiversity: 22 May

  • International Day of Biodiversity is observed every year on 22 May.
  • This year’s Biodiversity Day will be celebrated under the theme "We're part of the solution”.
  • 22 May was proclaimed by the United Nations as the International Day for Biological Diversity to spread awareness about biodiversity issues.
  • International Biodiversity Day was first observed in the year 2000.
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was signed at the Earth Summit in 1992.
 

Topic:  Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

2. Union Health Minister chairs 33rd Conference of Health Ministers of Commonwealth Countries.

  • Recently the 33rd meeting of the Health Ministers of Commonwealth countries was held through video conference.
  • Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan chaired the opening session of the Conference of Health Ministers of Commonwealth Countries.
  • The theme of 33rd Conference of Health Ministers of Commonwealth Countries is “Commonwealth Response to COVID-19: Ensuring Equitable Access to Vaccines and Building Resilience for Health Systems and Emergencies”.
  • COVAX, a global collaboration to provide the vaccine, aims to provide vaccines to at least 2 billion people by 2021.
  • India believes that it will not be enough for providing vaccines to Low and Middle-Income countries. There is a need for more multilateral & bilateral platforms for providing vaccines to the vulnerable population of the world.
  • Union Health Minister also commits that India will help other countries in developing cold chain infrastructure, skilled manpower, and robust IT infrastructure for the Vaccine distribution.
  • Commonwealth Nations:
    • It is a political organization of 54 countries.
    • Most of the countries in this were colonies of the British Empire.
    • It was established in 1931.
    • It is headquartered in London.

Topic: Personality in News

3. Environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna passes away.

  • Environmentalist and Chipko movement pioneer Sunderlal Bahuguna passed away recently.
  • He was battling with Covid-19 for several days. He is well known for the slogan “ecology is the permanent economy”.
  • The Chipko Movement became popular under Bahuguna. It was a non-violent agitation in 1973.
  • It originated in Uttar Pradesh’s Chamoli district (now Uttarakhand) in 1973. It then spread to other states in north India.
  • Under the Chipko Movement, villagers hugged the trees and encircled them to prevent cutting of trees.
  • He was awarded Padma Shri in 1981 and Padma Vibhushan in 2009. He also won Right Livelihood Award and Jamnalal Bajaj Award.

Environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna

Topic: New Developments

4. Diving School of Indian Navy’s Southern Command designs an Oxygen Recycling System (ORS).

  • Diving School of Indian Navy’s Southern Command has designed an ORS to reduce existing Oxygen shortages.
  • Lieutenant Commander Mayank Sharma of the Diving School has designed Oxygen Recycling System (ORS).
  • During the Combined Commanders Conference at Kevadia on 6 March, similar idea was demonstrated to PM Modi on a miniaturized lab model.
  • ORS is designed to extend the life of existing medical oxygen cylinders two to four times.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

5. Government launched NMMS and Area officer monitoring App.

  • Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has launched National Mobile Monitoring Software (NMMS) and the Area officer monitoring App on 21 May 2021.
  • The NMMS App will help in tracking the attendance of workers at Mahatma Gandhi NREGA worksites. It will make the payment process faster.
  • The Area Officer Monitoring App will store the go-coordinate tagged photograph and findings of Mahatma Gandhi NREGS, PMAYG, PMGSY schemes. It will help in better implementation of the government programmes.
  • These apps will help in bringing transparency and effective monitoring of schemes.
  • MNREGA: The Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Act 2005 is an Indian labor law and social security measure aimed at guaranteeing the right to work to the job seekers of rural India.

NMMS and Area officer monitoring App

Topic: National News

6. DRDO developed COVID-19 antibody detection kit.

  • Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) has developed a COVID-19 antibody detection kit.
  • Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) is a laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • This antibody detection kit has been named ‘DIPCOVAN’. It can detect spike and nucleocapsid (S&N) proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • It has been developed in collaboration with Vanguard Diagnostics Pvt Ltd.
  • This antibody detection kit has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Its main aim is to detect IgG antibodies in human serum or plasma.
  • It has a shelf life of 18 months and it completes the test in 75 minutes.

COVID-19 antibody detection kit

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)

  • It was established in 1958.
  • It is involved in developing critical defense technologies and products to meet the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • It works under the Ministry of Defence.
  • It has a network of 52 laboratories in the country.
  • Chairman: G. Sateesh Reddy
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

Topic: International News

7. Israel and Hamas agreed for ceasefire in Gaza Strip.

  • The airstrike between Israel and Hamas halted with the ceasefire in Gaza Strip. Egypt played a vital role in brokering the ceasefire.
  • Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations mediated the de-escalation. Both Israel and Hamas have claimed victory in the conflict.
  • The truce has happened after 11 days of nonstop bombarding. Around 240 Palestinians and 12 Israelis have been killed in this conflict.
  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict was started on May 10 after the violence in East Jerusalem.
  • The Gaza-based Palestinian group, Hamas, had fired rockets towards Israel in protest of the clash between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israel and Hamas agreed for ceasefire in Gaza Strip

Topic: Environment and Ecology

8. World's largest iceberg breaks off in Antarctica.

  • An iceberg of around 170 kilometers (105 miles) long and 25 kilometers (15 miles) wide broke off from the coast of Antarctica.
  • The iceberg, A-76, broke off from the western side of the Ronne Ice Shelf. Now, it is floating in the Weddell Sea.
  • Currently, it is the largest iceberg in the world. Its total area is more than 70 times that of New York.
  • Average sea levels has raised about nine inches since 1880 due to global warming. The melting of ice from Greenland and Antarctica has contributed to the rise of sea levels.
  • Antarctica:
    • It is the southernmost continent of the Earth.
    • It is the coldest and driest place on Earth.
    • It is the fifth-largest continent in the world.

Topic: National News

9. FASTag and RFID integrated with E-way bill system.

  • The e-way bill (EWB) system has been integrated with FasTag and RFID for tracking the movements of commercial vehicles on highways.
  • E-way bill (EWB) is mandatory for the inter-state transportation of goods valued over Rs 50,000.
  • The integration of electronic way (e-way) bill system with FasTag and RFID will help GST authorities in reducing tax evasion.
  • Now tax officials can easily access the report of a commercial vehicle that has passed the tolls without e-way bills.
  • Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) uses radio waves to read and capture information stored on a tag attached to an object.
  • FASTag:
    • Government launched FASTag in 2014 on a pilot basis. It is affixed on the windscreen of any vehicle.
    • It has been made mandatory for all the lanes on toll plazas of National Highways from February 15, 2021.
    • It is an electronic toll collection system operated by the National Highway Authority of India.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

10. Many states declared ‘Black fungus’ as an epidemic.

  • Many states have declared ‘Black fungus’ or mucormycosis as an epidemic. The first case of mucormycosis was observed in the COVID patients of Maharashtra.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes, weak immune system, and prolonged hospital stay increases the risk of mucormycosis in COVID patients.
  • It is caused by micro-organisms known as mucormycetes. It is mostly found in soil and decaying organic matter.
  • It starts as a skin infection, and then it spreads to the eyes, lungs, and brain.
  • Discoloration over the nose, Vision loss, Chest Pain, breathing difficulties, and coughing of blood are some of the symptoms of this disease.
  • It is treated by an antifungal medicine, Amphotericin-B injection.

Black fungus as an epidemic

 

 

 

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