News Snippets

  • National crisis management committee:
  • A National Crisis Management Committee is a temporary committee.
  • It was set up by the Government of India in the wake of a natural calamity for effective coordination and implementation of relief measures and operations.
  • It is headed by Cabinet Secretary.
  • On the constitution of such a committee, the Agriculture Secretary shall provide all necessary information to and seek directions.
  • Labour’s day:
  • Labour’s Day or International Workers’ Day celebrated every year on 1st May.
  • This day is a national holiday in more than 80 countries and also celebrated unofficially in many other countries.
  • it originates from the United States labor union movement in the late 19th Century, particularly the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work per day.
  • In Late nineteenth century the working conditions were severe and unsafe.
  • Working people had to work 12-16 hours per day.
  • it is celebrated to pay tribute to the contributions, workers have made to make the world strong and prosper.
  • This day is dedicated to the workers for their economic and social achievements.
  • Electoral bond scheme:
  • Electoral bonds are as bearer instruments like Promissory notes that carry no information about the owner but yield to the holder or bearer of the bond.
  • It can be purchased by an Indian citizen or a body incorporated in India.
  • A political party registered under representation of people act, 1951 that secures at least one percent of votes polled in state elections or Lok Sabha elections will be allotted an account by the Election Commission of India.
  • The bonds can be redeemed within 15 days of purchase.
  • Also, donations made through these bonds are exempted from taxes.
  • ICAT-A world class Automotive testing centre:
  • The automotive industry is the sunshine industry in India contributing to over 7.5% to country’s GDP.
  • Government of India has huge focus to facilitate and grow this industry.
  • Creation of new automotive test centres in the country under NATRIP project.
  • it is an important step forward by the Government to support the need of the automotive industry in the backdrop of tightening regulatory framework and technology shift driven by market forces.
  • ICAT is an important element of the automotive sector, with its world-class infrastructure and domain expertise providing services in development, testing, validation and homologation.
  • The International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT), Manesar, located in the northern automotive hub of India, is a leading world class automotive testing, certification and R&D service provider under the aegis of NATRiP (National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project), Government of India.
  • Quick cheap diagnostic test for Haemophilia A :
  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has developed an affordable test kit for diagnosing common blood disorders such as severe Haemophilia A and Von Willebrand disease (VWD).
  • The cost-effective point-of-care (POC) rapid diagnostic test kit developed by the ICMR-National Institute of Immunohaematology, Mumbai, is the world’s first POC test for specific diagnosis of any common bleeding disorder.
  • Haemophilia A and VWD are the most common bleeding disorders.
  • This rapid test kit can be used for the diagnosis of undiagnosed patients/menorrhagia cases/post-partum haemorrhage, gynecological complications with bleeding history, recovery of factors in transfused Haemophilia A patients and for differential diagnosis of Haemophilia A and VWD.
  • The diagnosis can be done within 30 minutes of blood sample collection.
  • The bands are visually detected within 10 minutes of sample application.
  • The kit is composed of special paper membranes, which have different components attached on it, for detecting target molecules.
  • The POC kits can be used by primary healthcare centre staff.
  • Malappuram fever: Recently, a seven-year-old boy from Malappuram district has been diagnosed with West Nile fever, a relatively unknown viral infection in the Malabar region in recent times.
  • West Nile fever is spread by Culex mosquitoes and the infection.
  • It could be confirmed only if the second samples test positive.
  • Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, occasionally with a skin rash on the trunk of the body, and swollen lymph glands.
  • Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.
  • Voynich Manuscripts:
  • The Voynich manuscript is an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system.
  • It is written has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century (1404–1438), and it may have been composed in Italy during the Italian Renaissance.
  • The manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish-Samogitian book dealer who purchased it in 1912.
  • The manuscript has finally been decoded by Gerard Cheshire, a researcher at the University of Bristol.
  • The language used was ubiquitous in the Mediterranean during the mediaeval period, but it was seldom written in official or important documents because Latin was the language of royalty, church and government.
  • As a result, proto-Romance was lost from the record, until now. The text uses an extinct language.
  • Its alphabet is a combination of unfamiliar and more familiar symbols. It includes no dedicated punctuation marks, although some letters have symbol variants to indicate punctuation or phonetic accents. 
  •  Hurun Indian Art list:
  • The list by the Hurun Research Institute, a luxury publishing group based in Shanghai in China,
  • It is a compilation of top 50 Indian artists alive by the valuation of their work sold in the auction houses from April 2018 to March 2019.
  • The report is based on data from top auction-houses and agencies in the industry.
  • The works of Anish Kapoor, contemporary sculptor, registered the highest demand in terms of value and lots in the auction houses during the period under review.
  • Recently, London-based Anish Kapoor became the most successful Indian artist alive, having sold 102 lots that realised a total turnover of Rs 168.25 crores in 2018-19, according to a new survey.
  •  Scientists create bacteria with synthetic genome:
  • Researchers from England’s Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology have successfully created.
  • coli bacteria with entirely human-made DNA, marking a milestone in the burgeoning field of synthetic biology and paving the way for future innovation built on so-called “designer” bacteria.
  • The lab-made microbe, a strain of bacteria that is normally found in soil and the human gut, is similar to its natural cousins but survives on a smaller set of genetic instructions.
  • The bug’s existence proves life can exist with a restricted genetic code and paves the way for organisms whose biological machinery is commandeered to make drugs and useful materials, or to add new features such as virus resistance.
  • The artificial genome holds 4m base pairs, the units of the genetic code spelled out by the letters G, A, T and C.
  • Printed in full on A4 sheets, it runs to 970 pages, making the genome the largest by far that scientists have ever built.
  •  Project Artemis:
  • Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of Moon’s Interaction with the Sun (ARTEMIS) is NASA’s next mission to the Moon.  
  • It consists of spacecraft to measure what happens when the Sun’s radiation hits our rocky moon, where there is no magnetic field to protect it.  
  • The Artemis program, which was previously only referred to by its component names — including the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket, Orion crew vehicle and Gateway lunar outpost — began when President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1 in 2017, directing NASA to return astronauts to the moon.
  • The mission was named Artemis after the Greek mythological goddess of theMoon and twin sister to Apollo, namesake of the program that sent 12 American astronauts to the Moon between 1969 and 1972.
  1.   Premature birth increases risk of kidney disease:
  2. According to a new study, premature birth increases one’s risk of suffering from chronic kidney disease later on in life.
  3. Many maternal health and behavioral characteristics, and the increased risk was not found in the full-term siblings of premature babies who developed kidney disease.
  4. This suggests that environmental or genetic characteristics do not explain the difference.
  5. Findings show that people born prematurely need long-term monitoring, and must be particularly careful to try to avoid hypertension, diabetes and the heavy use of anti-inflammatory medicines, which are all risk factors for kidney disease.  
  6.  Chandrayaan-2
  7. Chandrayaan-2 will be India’s second outing to the moon, as ISRO will send the mission on its heavy lift booster, the MkIII, from Sriharikota.
  8. ISRO has chosen a landing area at the hitherto unexplored lunar South Pole, making it the first agency to touch down at the South Pole if it succeeds in its first landing attempt.
  9. It is a follow-up mission from the Chandrayaan-1 mission that assisted in confirming the presence of water/hydroxyl on the moon in 2009.
  10. Initially, ISRO planned to partner with Russia to perform Chandrayaan-2.
  11. The two agencies signed an agreement in 2007 to launch the orbiter and lander in 2013.
  12. Russia later pulled out of the agreement of Chandrayaan-2 altogether, citing financial issues.
  13. The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice.
  14.  Black lists of Indian origin people:
  15. The Ministry of Home Affairs announced that it has put an end to the local adverse lists commonly known as ‘Black Lists’ of Indian-origin people.
  16. It is maintained by Indian missions (Indian Embassies in different countries) and posts abroad.
  17. It contains list of Indian-origin people who have taken asylum (i.e. right to international protection in this other country) abroad under plea of alleged persecution in India.
  18. These asylum seekers in list are predominantly Sikhs. Those who are in list are denied visa services by Indian missions and posts in respective country.  
  19. Such Indian-origin a sylees (person who is seeking or granted political asylum) and their family members who are now not in adverse list, will be granted visa and consular services at par with foreigners of country in which they are living.
  20. They can also get Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards if they have held normal Indian visas for at least two years.
  21.  Japan Emperor abdicates:
  22. After 30 years on the Chrysanthemum Throne, Emperor Akihito of Japan abdicated on 30 April 2019, being the first Japanese emperor to do so since 1817.
  23. This marked the end of the Heisei era and the inception of the Reiwa era. 
  24. The Heisei era is interesting because Japan learned what the emergence of a truly symbolic emperor looked like.
  25. Naruthito is taking the throne at a time when Japan faces numerous challenges, including a low birthrate and a declining, aging population.
  26. The country is making efforts to open itself to foreign workers, change the country’s brutal, entrenched work culture and reduce gender inequality.
  27. Under the country’s postwar Constitution, the emperor — once regarded as a demigod — has no political power to address any of these issues directly.
  28.   Anti-dumping duty ban on Saccharin:
  29. Saccharine is a compound most commonly used in sugar-substitute sweeteners.
  30. Indonesia, until recently, accounted for a large chunk of India’s saccharine imports.
  31. The Finance Ministry has, on the recommendations of the Commerce Ministry, imposed an anti-dumping duty of $1,633.17 per tonne on the import of saccharine from Indonesia.
  32. Indonesia, until recently, accounted for a large chunk of India’s saccharine imports.
  33. However, imports from Indonesia have declined since then.
  34. In the April 2018 to February 2019 period, India imported only 20% of its total saccharine imports from Indonesia. 
  35. According to Government of India, saccharine has been exported to India from Indonesia below their normal values and consequently, the Indian domestic industry has suffered a lot.
  1.  Floods result of rampant construction:
  2. Supreme Court recently stated that unbridled construction activities in eco-sensitive areas with natural water flow have a devastating effect and lead to natural calamities such as those seen in the recent floods in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Uttarakhand.
  3. The area in which the construction was carried out was part of tidal influenced water body and strictly restricted under the provisions of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notifications.
  4. The Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) has been prepared to check these types of activities and construction activities of all types in the notified areas.
  5. Under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, the authority is empowered to deal with environmental issues relating to the notified CRZ areas.
  6. Construction activities in the notified CRZ areas can be permitted only in consultation with and concurrence of the authority.
  7. It is the binding duty of local self-governments to forward application for building permission to the authority along with the relevant records.
  8.   Points based green card in US:
  9. US government recently announced a proposal that will include significant changes to the way green cards are allocated, by dramatically reducing the number of family-based green cards and moving towards a points-based (“merit-based”) system that will reward, among other factors, education, skills and English language proficiency.
  10. Currently about 12% of those receiving green cards entered the U.S. based on skill-based visas (such as the H1B), while some 66% are family-based green cards.
  11. The new proposal will increase skills-based green cards to 57%. Points will be awarded to applicants based on their education, work experience, age (more points for younger workers), English language ability etc.
  12. New immigrants will have to show that they can financially support themselves and will need to pass a civics exam.
  13.  Taiwan legalizes same sex marriage:
  14. Taiwan’s parliament has become the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage.
  15. The government’s bill, the most progressive of the three, is the only one to offer some adoption rights to same-sex couples, allowing spouses to adopt the biological children of their partner.
  16. Same-sex couples cannot co-adopt.
  17. Lawmakers were still debating adoption rights.   
  18. Parliament considered three different bills before passing the most progressive among them 66-27, the BBC reports, supported by the majority Democratic Progressive Party.
  19. It was the only of the proposed bills to use the word “marriage” to define the same-sex relationship, rather than terms such as “same-sex union.”
  20.  XPRIZE award:
  21. XPRIZE creates incentive competitions to entice the crowd to take action, and bring closer to a world of Abundance.
  22. XPRIZE officials said only 2% of the children could read as much as a sentence in their native Swahili.
  23. Three-quarters had never attended school and many had to be shown how to swipe their finger across a tablet’s screen just to power it up.
  24.  But 15 months later, 30% of the children had acquired basic reading skills.  
  25.  Shanghai cooperation organization:
  26. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an international alliance that consists of 8 member states and 3 observers from Eurasia.
  27.  It was established on 26 April 1996 as Shanghai Five.
  28. Of the 8 member states and 3 observers, SCO currently also have 3 dialogue partners and 3 guest attendance entries.
  29. The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a permanent organ which serves to promote cooperation of Members countries on concerns of terrorism, security, Drug trafficking, crime and cyber warfare.
  30.  Article 324 of the Indian constitution:
  31. Article 324 in the Indian Constitution gives power to the Election Commission to direct, control, and conduct elections to all Parliament, to the Legislature of every state and of elections to the offices of the President and Vice President held under the Constitution.
  32. Article 324 of the Constitution vests the “superintendence, direction and control of elections” in an Election Commission consisting “of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix.  
  33. Recently, in a first and an unprecedented step, the Election Commission banned campaigning in nine West Bengal constituencies.
  34.  BUILD to shape future of Indian aerospace:
  35. Boeing University Innovation Leadership Development (BUILD) program will help innovators convert their ideas into viable business offerings that have the potential to shape the future of Indian aerospace and defence.
  36. Boeing took this step as a committment towards nurturing innovation and skill development in the country with close partnership with India’s academia and growing entrepreneurial ecosystem has the potential to reimagine the future of aerospace for the world.

The shortlisted teams will compete at a regional level and the finalists will then pitch their ideas to a selection panel of subject-matter experts on Boeing Innovation Day.