Current Affairs May 2020

  • 20-Mar-2020
  • Indian Navy installs Quarantine Facility at Visakhapatnam

    Indian Navy has established a Quarantine Camp at INS Vishwakarma in Eastern Naval Command (ENC). The Quarantine Camp has been set up for Indian nationals being evacuated from COVID-19 affected countries. This is an effort of Indian Navy to augment India’s fight against the spread of COVID-19. The Quarantine Camp has the capacity to accommodate nearly 200 personnel with all appropriate facilities.

    Indian nationals being evacuated from COVID-19 affected countries will be closely monitored by a team of naval personnel and medical professionals of ENC. The monitoring of evacuated persons will be done in accordance with the protocols laid down by the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.

  • SC clears permanent commission for women in Indian Navy

    The Supreme court of India cleared permanent commission for women officers in the Indian Navy. The apex court asked the Centre to complete the modalities within three months. A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said, there cannot be any excuses for not granting gender equality in the armed forces.

    The bench, also comprising Justice Ajay Rastogi, rejected the Centre’s stand that sea sailing duties cannot be granted to SSC (Short Service Commission) women officers in the Navy as its Russian vessels do not have washrooms for them. The court was contrary to the Centre’s policy of 1991 and 1998 which lifted the statutory bar on the induction of women officers in the Navy. The bench quashed the prospective effect of the policy barring women officers inducted before 2008 from being granted permanent commission in the Navy. It also granted pension benefits to women officers who have retired and were not granted permanent commission.

  • $100 Billion coronavirus relief package signed by Donald Trump

    To ensure sick leave to Americans workers who fall ill from the new coronavirus, President of the United States, Donald Trump has signed a $100-billion emergency aid package. The $100 Billion coronavirus relief package aims to strengthen the protective measures against the pandemic caused by COVID-19.

    In the United States, the service sector have been hit hard after the closure of hotels, travel and entertainment sectors and the restrictions on restaurants and malls. The relief package will facilitate free coronavirus testing for those who need it, sick pay and paid family leave. The relief package will also bolster unemployment insurance for millions of Americans. It also includes the medical benefits and food aid for those affected by the pandemic.

  • Iraqi President appoints Adnan al-Zurfi as new PM-designate

    Iraqi President Barham Salih has appointed Adnan al-Zurfi as the country’s new prime minister. Al-Zurfi has 30 days to form his cabinet which he must then put to a vote of confidence in Iraq’s fractious Parliament. He will succeed Mohammed Allawi, the 1st politician named by the president as PM-designate who withdrew his candidacy for the post. Al-Zurfi was a former governor of the holy Shia city of Najaf & heads the Nasr parliamentary group of former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

    Adel Abdul Mahdi was an interim PM who withdrew his candidature in December 2019 after heavy protest where 40 people were killed by security forces.

  • Arundhati Bhattacharya resigns from Crisil board

    Arundhati Bhattacharya has submitted her resignation from Crisil board. She was serving as the independent director of the Crisil. Her resignation will be effective on April 15, 2020. She has submitted her resignation as she will be joining as a Chairperson and CEO for the India operations of Salesforce, USA.

    Arundhati Bhattacharya was the first woman to serve as the Chairman of the State Bank of India. Presently, she is also serving as the Chairman of the international payment platform Swift India.

  • A. Ajay Kumar becomes India’s next High Commissioner to Republic of Uganda

    A. Ajay Kumar has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Uganda. A. Ajay Kumar is currently posted as the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. Ajay Kumar is a 2001 batch IFS officer.

    Uganda is among the poorest countries on the African continent. One-third of the population here is forced to live below the international poverty line.

  • 19-Mar-2020
  • Phase-I clinical Human trial of coronavirus vaccine begins in US

    The United State has begun phase one of the clinical Human trial of an investigational vaccine designed to protect against the coronavirus disease which has claimed the lives of over 7,000 people globally.

    Important Facts of Covid-19 vaccine trial:

    • The trial began at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle as the first participant received the investigational vaccine.
    • The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is funding the trial.
    • The open-label trial will enrol 45 healthy adult volunteers aged 18 to 55 years over approximately six weeks.
    • The study participants will receive two doses of the vaccine via intramuscular injection in the upper arm approximately 28 days apart.
    • The vaccine is called mRNA-1273 and was developed by the NIAID scientists and their collaborators at the biotechnology company Moderna, Inc., based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
    • The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) supported the manufacturing of the vaccine candidate for the Phase 1 clinical trial. CEPI so far has secured USD 760 million toward its USD 1 billion funding target, with multi-year funding from Norway, the UK, Germany, Japan, Canada, Ethiopia, Australia, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Wellcome.
    • The CEPI set up to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases, made an urgent call for USD 2 billion to support the development of a vaccine against the virus responsible for COVID-19.
  • ’Break the Chain’ campaign launched by Kerala govt to combat coronavirus

    The Kerala government has launched a mass handwashing campaign named ‘break the chain’ to combat coronavirus. The campaign aims to educate people about the importance of public and personal hygiene.

    Under this campaign, the government has installed water taps at public spots such as at the entry and exit gates of the railway stations with hand wash bottles. The Kerala government also urging people to use hand sanitizers when they are outdoors. Sanitisers have also been made available in all offices.

  • Karan Bajwa becomes new MD of Google Cloud India

    Google Cloud India has appointed Karan Bajwa as its new Managing Director. Karan Bajwa will manage various operations for Google Cloud’s extensive solution portfolio such as Google Cloud Platform and G Suite. He will also guide Google Cloud’s continued work with local developer ecosystem as well as India-based Global System Integrators (GSIs).

    Karan Bajwa has earlier served as the Managing Director of IBM for India and South Asia.

  • Bajaj Auto reappoints Rajiv Bajaj as its MD & CEO

    Rajiv Bajaj has been reappointed as MD & CEO of Bajaj Auto. The announcement was made after the board meeting of the Bajaj Auto. The 5-years tenure of Rajiv Bajaj as the MD & CEO of Bajaj Auto was going to expire on March 31, 2020. During the board meeting, Rajiv Bajaj was re-appointed for a period of five years with effect from April 1, 2020.

    Gita Piramal has been appointed as the independent director of Bajaj Auto.

  • Ravinder singh Dhillon becomes new CMD of PFC

    Ravinder Singh Dhillon has appointed as Chairman and Managing Director of Power Finance Corporation (PFC). The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved his appointment. He will be serving in this post till his superannuation on May 31, 2023. He is presently served as a Director (Projects, Public Grievance) in Power Finance Corporation (PFC) Limited.

    Power Finance Corporation Ltd is an Indian financial institution. Established in 1986, it is the financial backbone of Indian Power Sector. Power Finance Corporation has conferred the title of a “Navratna CPSE” in June 2007 and was classified as an Infrastructure Finance Company by the RBI on 28th July 2010.

  • French Open delayed due to coronavirus pandemic

    The French Open tennis tournament has been postponed by the French Tennis Federation due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Grand Slam tournament which was scheduled to be held in the month of May-June, 2020 has been postponed.

    The 2020 edition of Roland Garros (French Open tennis tournament) will now held in the month of September-October 2020. The decision has been taken by the French Tennis Federation (FFT) to ensure the health and safety of people involved in the preparation of the tournament.

  • ATK FC wins record 3rd Indian Super League title

    ATK FC (Football Club) won the ISL (Indian Super League) trophy for the 3rd time following a 3-1 win against Chennaiyin FC in the final match held at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa. Javier Hernandez and Edu Garcia were the goal scorers for ATK FC in the final match. ATK (Atlético de Kolkata) is an Indian professional football club based in Kolkata, West Bengal.

    The ATK (Atlético de Kolkata) won the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2014 and added its second title in 2016, beating Kerala Blasters in the final on both occasions. Apart from ATK, only two other teams have won the ISL: Bengaluru FC (2018-19) and Chennaiyin (2015, 2017-18).

  • INST develops starch-based ‘hemostat’ material

    A starch-based ‘hemostat’ material has been developed by the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST). Starch-based ‘hemostat’ material concentrates the natural clotting factors in blood that are critical for stopping the blood flow. This is done by physically absorbing the excess fluid. But, the stopped bleeding can restart after the removal of non-biodegradable materials. The early-stage development of the starch-based ‘hemostat’ material has been published in the journal Materialia.

    With the development of the starch-based ‘hemostat’ material, scientists expects to develop a versatile, potentially life-saving, and inexpensive product. The product has enhanced absorption capacity, improved absorption, inexpensive, biocompatible as well as biodegradable.

    The Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST) is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology.

  • Noted Marathi actor Jairam Kulkarni passes away

    Noted Marathi Actor Jairam Kulkarani passed away. He was born in Barshi tehsil in Solapur district, Maharashtra. He had acted in more than 150 films, including ‘Chal Re Laxya Mumbaila’, ‘Ashi Hi Banwabanwi’, ‘Thartharat’, ‘Rangat Sangat’ and his last movie was “Khel Aayushyacha” was released recently.

    Kulkarni had worked in Akashwani in Pune where he came into contact with personalities from the fields of literature, theatre and film.

  • World’s first commercial flying car PAL-V to be built in Gujarat

    World’s first commercial flying car named ‘PAL-V Liberty’ will be developed in Gujarat, India. PAL-V stands for Personal Air-Land Vehicle. The PAL-V Liberty is a combination of a car and an autogiro, or gyroplane.

    A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani between state Industries Principal Secretary MK Das and Carlo Maasbommel, vice president of PAL-V’s international business development. Dutch company PAL-V (Personal Air and Land Vehicle) will develop this car.

    The PAL-V flying car, having two engines, can run at a speed of 160 kilometres on road and can fly at a speed of 180 km. The car can turn into a flying vehicle in just three minutes and cover a distance of 500 km on a full tank.

  • 18-Mar-2020
  • Philippines becomes 1st country to suspend all financial markets

    The Phillipines has become the first country of the world to suspend all financial markets. The financial shutdown was confirmed from the statements from the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Bankers Association of the Philippines. The Philippine Stock Exchange was closed on 17th of March indefinitely, while currency and bond trading were suspended. The decision to suspend the financial markets was taken in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Phillipines authorities cited risks to the safety of traders as the key reason of shutdown.

    The decision to suspend the financial markets is expected to be followed by other exchanges amid a broad lockdown in the Philippines.

  • Top tech giants to jointly fight against COVID-19 misinformation

    The top tech giants of the world will jointly fight against the fake news and misinformation related to COVID-19 on their platforms. The top giants which have announced a fight against the fake news includes Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter and YouTube. These companies are working closely to have a check on the fake news and misinformation related to COVID-19.

    These companies are jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus as well as elevating authoritative content on their platforms. They are also focusing on sharing the critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world.

    Among the above tech giants, Facebook and Instagram have already started banning the ads and commerce listings selling medical face masks on their platforms to stop people from exploiting the emergency caused by COVID-19  pandemic.

  • Mansukh Mandaviya launches ’Ropax’ ferry service in Maharashtra

    Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya was launched ‘Ropax’ passenger ferry service between Mumbai and Mandwa, Maharashtra. The vessel, built in Greece, can carry 200 cars and 1,000 passengers and is capable of plying even during monsoon. The road distance between Mumbai and Mandwa is 110 kilometres. It can reach speeds of 14 knots and will complete the 18-kilometre sea journey in 45 minutes to one hour.

  • Hirdesh Kumar becomes new Chief Electoral Officer of J&K

    The Election Commission of India (ECI) has appointed Hirdesh Kumar as the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory. He will replace Shailendra Kumar with effect from the date he assumes charge. Hridesh Kumar is a 1999 batch IAS officer & presently serving as Commissioner Secretary in the School Education Department of J&K.

  • Flipkart ties up with Aegon to sell life insurance policies

    Indian E-commerce company Flipkart has tied up with Aegon Life Insurance to sell comprehensive insurance solutions for customers. The tie up targets those customers who are seeking instant digital policies with a sum assured of up to Rs 10 lakh. These life insurance policies do not need medical tests or paperwork as it is an instant life insurance cover, with digital policy as its core value proposition.

    The tie-up aims to change the notion of customers regarding life insurance policies as customers think that it is expensive and cumbersome to buy including long and rigid tenures and mis-selling. The tie-up will give a new vision to this by making life insurance available to customers at the click of a button in a convenient and transparent manner.

  • Arfa Sherwani & Rohini Mohan conferred with Chameli Devi Jain Award

    Arfa Khanum Sherwani of “The Wire” and Bengaluru-based freelancer Rohini Mohan have been jointly awarded Chameli Devi Jain Award for outstanding woman journalist. Sherwani was chosen for her reporting from conflict situations in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh and Mohan’s reportage on the NRC exercise in Assam set a new benchmark for investigative journalism. The jury comprised political scientist Zoya Hasan, journalists Sreenivasan Jain & Manoj Mitta.

    The award is an Indian journalistic award which was instituted by the Media Foundation in 1980, named after Chameli Devi Jain, a legendary freedom fighter, community reformer who went to prison during India’s freedom struggle. The annual award recognises social concern, dedication, courage and compassion all over India from the print, broadcast and online media category.

  • An Extraordinary Life: A biography of Manohar Parrikar

    “An Extraordinary Life: A biography of Manohar Parrikar” is a book on the life of the former defence minister and Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar. The book is co-authored by veteran journalists Sadguru Patil and Mayabhushan Nagvenkar. The book titled “An Extraordinary Life: A biography of Manohar Parrikar” will be published by publishing house Penguin Random House India.

    Manohar Parrikar served as the Defence Minister of India from 2014 to 2017 and also served four times as the Chief Minister of Goa.

  • Bollywood actor Imtiaz Khan passes away

    Bollywood actor Imtiaz Khan passed away. He starred in movies like Yaadon Ki Baraat, Dharmatama, Dayavan and Noor Jahan among more. He was an actor and director and associated with popular films such as Hulchul, Pyaara Dost, and Procession of Memories. He was the brother of late Bollywood star Amjad Khan’s.

  • Veteran journalist Patil Puttappa passes away

    Veteran journalist and former Rajya Sabha member Patil Puttappa passed away. He was a member of Rajyasabha for two terms between 1962 and 1974. He was also the first president of the Kannada Watchdog Committee and was also the founder-president of the Border Advisory Committee. Puttappa was the founder-editor of weekly “Prapancha” and also edited “Navayuga”. He also wrote columns in various dailies.

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