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Current Affairs 19 - 03 - 2020

  • 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.

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