- 1. Expansion of Phase II of Vande Bharat Mission to bring back stranded Indians
- 2. Aarogya Setu App is now open source
- 3. Army Commanders’ Conference will be held in two phases
- 4. India to produce RT-PCR COVID-19 testing kits locally
- 5. Inauguration of 440 m long tunnel under Chardham Pariyojana
- 6. Annual ‘Kheer Bhawani Mela’ cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic
- 7. Katkari Tribal youth selling Giloy and other products online
- 8. Delivery of Shahi Litchi and Zardalu Mango at the doorstep
- 9. China to launch its first Mars Mission ‘Tianwen-1’ in July
- 10. National Gallery of Modern Art organized a virtual tour on Ramkinkar Baij
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1. Expansion of Phase II of Vande Bharat Mission to bring back stranded Indians
- In a detailed review meeting of Vande Bharat Mission, the expansion of phase II of Vande Bharat Mission was discussed.
- Under the second phase, one lakh stranded passengers will be brought back from 60 countries.
- In addition to this, the preparations for the third phase of the mission were also discussed, which is expected to start mid-June.
- Vande Bharat Mission is one of the largest evacuation exercises by the government that aims to bring back all the Indians stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdown.
- Indian Navy had also launched Operation Samudra Setu to bring back Indian citizens from Maldives and Dubai. INS Jalashwa, INS Shardul, and INS Magar were part of this operation.
(Source: Business Standard)
2. Aarogya Setu App is now open source
- The COVID-19 contract tracing mobile app, Aarogya Setu, is now open source.
- Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, said that the core design principles of the app, like transparency, privacy and security, have been maintained by the government.
- Opening of source code is unique as no other government product in the world has been open sourced at this scale.
- Aarogya Setu App:
- It is an app launched by the Government of India to enable a person to identify the people infected with COVID-19.
- Bluetooth and location generated social graph is used for tracking.
- The app is developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
- It is currently available in 11 languages.
- The personal data collected is encrypted to ensure data security and privacy.
3. Army Commanders’ Conference will be held in two phases
- Army Commanders’ Conference that was supposed to be held in April 2020 was postponed due to COVID-19.
- It will now be organized in two phases- Phase I will be held from 27 May-29 May, while Phase II will be held in the last week of June 2020.
- During the conference, there will be brainstorming on current emerging security and administrative challenges and the future course for the Indian Army will also be decided.
- Army Commanders’ Conference is an apex level biannual event. It is chaired by The Chief of Army Staff, currently General Manoj Mukund Naravane.
(Source: The Economic Times)
4. India to produce RT-PCR COVID-19 testing kits locally
- India is all set to produce locally RT-PCR test kits for COVID-19 through a public-private partnership.
- The two enzymes, namely Taq Polymerase and Reverse Tranase needed for RT PCR test kits, are developed by National Biomedical Resource Indigenization Consortium (NBRIC) in partnership with Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru and private partner Richcore life sciences company.
- Pune based Indian Institute of Science Education and Research is also a partner in this project.
- Once these enzymes are approved and certified by cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practice), India can produce millions of test kits.
- RT-PCR Test is a real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2.
5. Inauguration of 440 m long tunnel under Chardham Pariyojana
- A 440m long tunnel has been inaugurated in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh by Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari.
- The tunnel has been built as a part of the Chardham Connectivity Project.
- The tunnel will reduce the time taken to travel on the Rishikesh-Dharasu and Gangotri stretch of Chardham Highway.
- It will also lead to socio-economic development in the region.
- Under Chardham Pariyojana, around 889 kms of Highway construction has to be done to provide all-weather connectivity to Chardham- Gangotri, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Badrinath.
- Out of this 889kms, 250 kms stretch leading to Gangotri and Badrinath will be built by Border Road Organisation (BRO).
- Border Roads Organisation:
- It is responsible for developing and maintain road networks in the border areas of India and its friendly neighboring countries.
- It was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in New Delhi.
6. Annual ‘Kheer Bhawani Mela’ cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic
- The Dharmarth Trust of J & K has cancelled the annual ‘Kheer Bhawani Mela’ scheduled to be held on 30th May in Tulmulla village of Ganderbal district.
- The decision has been taken in the wake of the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.
- Kheer Bhawani Mela:
- It is one of the biggest religious functions of the Kashmiri Pandit community.
- On the day of “Zeshta Ashtmi”, Hindu pilgrims visit Ragyna Devi Temple in Tulmulla, also called “Mata Kheer Bhawani” to seek the blessing of Goddess.
- It is believed that the color of water in the spring around this temple changes its color with the change in the circumstances of the Kashmir valley.
7. Katkari Tribal youth selling Giloy and other products online
- The Katkari Tribal youth from Shahpur in Maharashtra are selling Giloy and other products online.
- They were provided working capital under Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana.
- Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana is a retail marketing-led value addition scheme run by Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) under which enterprise or MFP-tribal based groups are formed to collect, add value, packaging and marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP).
- Giloy is an Ayurvedic herb used in the treatment of viral fever, malaria as well as diabetes.
- Katkari tribe is one of the 75 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), primarily located in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
- PVTGs are certain tribal communities who use a pre-agricultural level of technology, have a small population, very low level of literacy and are economically backward.
8. Delivery of Shahi Litchi and Zardalu Mango at the doorstep
- The Government of Bihar, in partnership with the Department of Posts, will provide home delivery of Shahi Litchi and Zardalu Mango to meet the demand of people.
- Shahi Litchi is one of the varieties of Litchi grown in Muzaffarpur. It has high pulp and juice compared to other varieties grown in the country. It got GI Tag in 2018.
- China is the largest producer of Litchi in the world, followed by India. In India, Bihar is the largest producer of Litchi.
- Zardalu Mango is a unique variety of Mango from Bhagalpur known for its distinct special aroma. It got GI tag in 2018.
(Source: News on AIR)
9. China to launch its first Mars Mission ‘Tianwen-1’ in July
- China will launch its first Mars Mission ‘Tianwen-1’ in July that is expected to land on Mars’ surface in the first quarter of 2021.
- It is all in one orbiter, lander and rover.
- The mission aims at searching the Martian surface for water, ice, investigating soil characteristics, studying its atmosphere, etc.
- With the success of this mission, China will become the third country to carry out Mars landing.
- USSR was the first country to carry out Mars landing in 1971, followed by US. US has achieved 8 successful Mars landings and its latest landing was ‘InSight’ in 2018.
- India and European Space Agency were successful in placing their spacecraft in Mars’ Orbit. India’s Mangalyaan or Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) was able to do so in September 2014.
10. National Gallery of Modern Art organized a virtual tour on Ramkinkar Baij
- To commemorate the 115th Birth Anniversary of Ramkinkar Baij, the National Gallery of Modern Art had organized a virtual tour titled “Ramkinkar Baij | Journey through silent transformation and expressions”.
- National Gallery of Modern Art is the premier art gallery under the Ministry of Culture.
- Ramkinkar Baij (1906-1980):
- He was one of the greatest artists of modern India. He was an iconic sculptor, painter and graphic artist.
- He was born in Bankura, West Bengal. He played an important role in making Shantiniketan an important centre for modern art.
- He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1970.