Current Affairs Weekly (24-30 May,2021)

National

Navy converts chopper into ambulance

  • The Indian Navy has augmented its capacity to evacuate critical patients even in unfavourable weather conditions by fitting a medical intensive care unit (MICU) on board an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) at Goa’s naval air station INS Hansa.
  • The MICU has been installed on board ALH Mk-III from INAS 323 at INS Hansa by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

NSA Ajit Doval commissions Indian Coast Guard’s offshore ship Sajag

  • National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval has commissioned the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Sajag, which has been constructed by Goa Shipyard Limited.
  • Sajag is the third in a series of five offshore patrol vessels indigenously designed in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ vision.

Dominica Court stays repatriation of fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi

  • A court in Dominica has restrained authorities from removing fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi from the Caribbean Island country till further orders.
  • He is wanted in India in connection with 13,500 crore rupees Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.
  • Choksi, an accused in the PNB loan fraud case along with his nephew Nirav Modi, has been residing in Antigua and Barbuda since January 4, 2018.

IFFCO introduces world’s first Nano Urea Liquid

  • Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) said that it has introduced the world’s first Nano Urea Liquid for farmers across the world.
  • The world’s first Nano Urea Liquid was introduced in its 50th annual general body meeting held in the online-offline mode in India.

Financial aid for children orphaned by Covid-19

  • Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved slew of measures under PM-CARES for Children scheme, including free education and an amount of 10 lakh rupees on attaining the age of 23, among others.
  • All children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian or adoptive parents due to COVID-19 will be supported under PM-CARES for Children scheme.
  • Under the PM-CARES for Children scheme contribution will be done through the PM CARES Fund till the age of 18 years to create a corpus of 10 lakh rupees for each child orphaned due to COVID-19.
  • The beneficiary will be given a monthly stipend for five years from 18 years of age till he completes 23 years.
  • On attaining the age of 23, the full amount of 10 lakh rupees will be transferred to the beneficiary for his professional or personal use.
  • All children beneficiaries will be enrolled under Ayushman Bharat Scheme with a health insurance cover of five lakh rupees, the premium for which will be paid by the PM CARES Fund.

Suryakiran completes 25 years

  • The Suryakiran aerobatic display team of the Indian Air Force (IAF) has just completed 25 years.
  • One of the few nine aircraft display teams in the world and the only one in Asia, the team has carried out over 600 displays across the country and south east Asia.
  • The team is also performing across the country to commemorate the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh.

‘YUVA’ Scheme to Mentor Young Authors

  • The Ministry of Education has launched ‘YUVA- Prime Minister’s Scheme for Mentoring Young Authors’ – an author mentorship programme to train young and budding authors below the age of 30.
  • YUVA — Young, Upcoming and Versatile Authors — aims to encourage young writers to write about India’s freedom struggle.
  • YUVA is a part of India@75 Project Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

The IBF is now Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation

  • ‘The Indian Broadcasting Foundation’ (IBF), the apex body of broadcasters,is being renamed as Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF).
  • It will cover digital platforms to bring all digital (OTT) players under one roof.
  • IBDF will also form a self-regulatory body, as per the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 as notified by the Government of India on 25th February 2021.

Mumbai’s ‘Dharavi model’

  • Mumbai’s slum colony of Dharavi has seen a gradual drop in single-day infections below 5 marking a turnaround in the second wave.
  • The model involves 4Ts which stands for “tracing, tracking, testing and treating”.
  • This strategy was also praised by World Health Organisation (WHO) during first wave of COVID-19.
  • The ‘Dharavi model’ of COVID-19 management and the vaccination drive have helped in successfully containing the second wave in the area.

Monetary assistance to students under mid-day meal scheme

  • The union minister for Education Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has approved the proposal to provide monetary assistance to 11.8 crore students (118 million students).
  • It will be possible through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of the cooking cost component of the mid-day-meal scheme, to all eligible children, as a special welfare measure.

WhatsApp Vs Indian government over new privacy rules

  • WhatsApp has filed a lawsuit in Delhi against the Indian government seeking to block regulations coming into force would compel Facebook’smessaging app to break privacy protections.
  • The case asks the Delhi High Court to declare that one of the new IT rules is a violation of privacy rights in India’s constitution since it requires social media companies to identify the “first originator of information” when authorities demand it.
  • Indian government has implemented the “new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021”.

One-stop Centres for Women Affected by Violence

  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has announced that it will set up One-Stop Centres (OSC).
  • The first 10 OSCs will be introduced in Australia, Canada, Singapore, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.
  • The Ministry’s scheme aims at supporting women affected by violence in public and private spaces — in foreign missions in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs.

State

Solar-based electrification programme launched in Goa

  • Recently, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant launched solar-based electrification programme for rural households in the state.
  • This project will bring electricity through renewable energy to areas in Goa where grid connectivity is not feasible.

Kerala CM announces guidelines for Smart Kitchen Scheme

  • Under the Smart Kitchen Scheme, the women in Kerala will be provided a loan by the government to refurbish their kitchens with a low-interest rate in the installment schemes.
  • The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan has announced that the Secretary level committee will be making the recommendations and guidelines for the implementation of the ‘Smart Kitchen scheme’ by July 10, 2021.

 ‘Guardian ministers’ appointed in Assam

  • The Assam Cabinet has appointed ministers who would act as guardians for different districts in the state.
  • These guardians, each a minister of the HimantaBiswaSarma Cabinet, have been given the responsibility of 2-3 districts to take stock of welfare schemes, implementation of infrastructure projects etc.

Haryana approves Recovery of Damages to Property Act

  • This law allows the authorities to recover compensation from violent protesters who cause damage to property has come into effect in Haryana.
  • Governor SatyadeoNarain Arya had given his assent to the Haryana Recovery of Damages to Property During Disturbance to Public Order Bill, 2021.

Lakshadweep draft laws that have triggered controversy

  • Administrator Praful Patel has sparked a massive uproar by introducing draft laws meant for the development of Lakshdweep.

The three of the draft laws include — the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation (PASA), the Animal Preservation Regulation, and the Panchayat Regulation.

  • While PASA provides for the administrator to order the detention of a person for a period of up to one year if the offender’s actions “adversely affects the maintenance of public order”, the Animal Preservation Regulation bans slaughter of cows, calves, bulls or bullocks.
  • The Panchayat Regulations disqualifies those with more than two children from becoming gram panchayat members.

International

Singapore Approves Covid Breath Test With One-Minute Result

  • A breath test designed to detect Covid-19 and give accurate results within a minute has been approved for use in Singapore.
  • Developed by Breathonix Pte Ltd, a spin-off company from the National University of Singapore (NUS), this is the first breath analysis system to secure provisional authorisation in the country.

NATO conducts massive military exercise

  • Thousands of NATO troops are taking part in military exercises stretching across the Atlantic, through Europe and into the Black Sea region.
  • The war games, dubbed Steadfast Defender 21, are aimed at simulating the 30-nation military organisation’s response to an attack on any one of its members.

Science & Environment

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 60 new Starlink satellites

  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched a new stack of Starlink internet satellites into orbitbefore sticking a landing at sea to top off the mission.
  • The previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Stamarking the company’s 16th launch of the year.

NASA’s Curiosity rover spots strange, colorful clouds on Mars

  • NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover captured these clouds just after sunset on March 19, 2021.
  • The images are not only stunning, they’ve provided new insights to the Curiosity team at NASA.

Rajnath launches telemedicine portal for military personnel

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has launched the Services e-Health Assistance and Tele-consultation (SeHAT) portal.
  • It will provide tele-medicine services to serving military personnel, veterans and their families.

IIT Guwahati developed Smart Window Material

  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati have developed a smart window material which can automatically control climate of buildings.

National Mission on use of Biomass

  • The Power Ministry has decided to set up a National Mission on the use of Biomass in coal based thermal power plants.
  • It is intended to address the issue of air pollution due to farm stubble-burning and to reduce the carbon footprints of thermal power generation.

Microsoft is finally retiring Internet Explorer in June 2022

  • Microsoft is finally retiring its original Internet browser—the Internet Explorer.
  • After a life cycle of over 25 years, the desktop application for Internet Explorer will be “retired” on 15 June 2022 and it will no longer receive support services from the company either.

Super Blood Moon, partial lunar eclipse occured on May 26

  • A total lunar eclipse occured on May 26.
  • It was visible in the country for a short span from north eastern India, some parts of West Bengal, coastal parts of Odisha and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the eclipse was visible in the region covering South America, North America, Asia, Australia, Antarctica, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

Economy

RBI Imposes Rs 10 Cr Penalty on HDFC Bank Over Irregularities in Auto Loan Portfolio

  • The Reserve Bank has imposed a penalty of Rs 10 crore on HDFC Bank for deficiencies in regulatory compliance with regard to its auto loan portfolio.
  • The penalty has been slapped after examining a complaint by a whistleblower regarding irregularities in the auto loan portfolio of the lender.

Awards/Honours

Tamil film ‘Seththumaan’ and Malayalam film ‘Biriyaani’ bag top honours at IFFLA 2021

  • The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) announced its Grand Jury winners and Audience Awards for the festival’s 19th edition, which was held virtually from May 20-27.
  • Among the feature film category, Tamil filmmaker Thamizh’s directorial debut Seththumaan (Pig) won the top Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature.
  • The Malayalam film Biriyaani directed by Sajin Baabu was given an honorable mention.
  • The Grand Jury Prize for Best Short was awarded to Bittu, directed by Karishma Dev Dube, while Rima Das’ For Each

Other and Upamanyu Bhattacharyya and Kalp Sanghvi’s Wade were given honorable mentions and the Audience Award for Best Short was given to Aarti Neharsh’sThe Song We Sang.

Amartya Sen gets Spain’s top award

  • Indian economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Kumar Sen has been conferred with Spain’s top Princess of Asturias Award in the social sciences category.
  • The award comprises a Joan Miro sculpture representing and symbolising the award, a diploma, an insignia and a cash prize of 50,000 Euros.

India Biodiversity Award 2021

  • Shaji .N.M., fondly called as ‘Tuber Man’ of Kerala has been awarded the India Biodiversity Award 2021 in the individual category of ‘Conservation of domesticated species’.
  • Krishi AvamParisthitiki Vikas Sansthan (KRAPAVIS) has won the prestigious India Biodiversity Awards 2021 under the category ‘Sustainable Use of Biological Resources.’
  • Khonoma Nature Conservation & Tragopan Sanctuary (KNCTS) in Nagaland won the award under ‘Sustainable Use of Biological Resources’ category.
  • The India Biodiversity Awards initiative was started jointly by ministry of environment, forest & climate change; National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2012.

Prof CNR Rao receives Eni Award 2020 for renewable energy research

  • Bharat Ratna Professor C.N.R. Rao has received the International Eni Award 2020 for research into renewable energy sources and energy storage.
  • It is also called the Energy Frontier award. This is considered to be the Nobel Prize in Energy Research.

Person/Place

Randeep Hooda: He has been removed as the ambassador of the Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) — an environmental treaty of the United Nations. The move comes after an old video went viral where the actor was seen making a joke on the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, which several said was “casteist and sexist”.

Bashar Al-Assad: He will continue to serve as the President of Syria after winning the election for the fourth time.Assad, 55, has been president since 2000.

Tsang Yin-hung: Hong Kong mountaineer, Tsang Yin-hung, recorded “world’s fastest ascent of Everest by a woman” in just 26 hours.Tsang climbed 8,848.86-metre mountain in a record time of 25 hours and 50 minutes in her third attempt.

Eric Carle: The beloved children’s author and illustrator and German-American designerwhose classic the Very Hungry Caterpillar and other works gave millions of kids some of their earliest and most cherished literary memories, has died at age 91.

Sushil Kumar: Winner of Olympic medal, Sushil Kumar, was arrested on May 23 for his involvement in death of a 23 years old wrestler, Sagar Dhankhar, at Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi. He won 2008 Olympic medal, which happens to be second medal for India in wrestling.

Guillermo Lasso:He assumed the office of the President of Ecuador, thereby becoming the country’s first right-wing president in 14 years.CREO right-wing Guillermo Lasso had won Ecuador’s Presidential Elections 2021 with over 52 per cent of votes against Andres Arauz.

David Barnea: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the appointment of David Barnea as the new head of the country’s spy agency, the Mossad.

Sports

BCCI confirms IPL’s resumption in UAE

  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to move the suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in September-Octoberfor finalising the T20 World Cup venue.

Pooja Rani punches her way to glory

  • Pooja Rani Bohra collected her second continental title to bring cheers to the Indian camp after Mary Kom and Lalbuatsaihi lost their respective summit clashes at the Asian boxing championships.
  • Pooja Rani Bohra (75 kg) wins gold at Asian boxing championships in Dubai; Mary Kom (51 kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64 kg), Anupama (+81kg) win silver.

Important date

World No Tobacco Day

  • World No Tobacco Day is being observed on May 31, 2021 under the theme “Commit to Quit”. 
  • It is observed since 1987 after member states of World Health Organisation created “World No Tobacco Day” to bring global attention towards tobacco epidemic and associated preventable death.

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