Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

20th May 2021 Current Affairs Updates in English

National

India’s First Agriculture Export Facilitation Centre Launched in Pune

The Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture (MCCIA) has launched India’s first agro-export facilitation center in Pune, in collaboration with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

The new Facilitation Centre will work as a one-stop-centre for the exporters in the agricultural sector as well as boost agricultural exports from the region, as per global standards.

The Center would guide the prospective exporters on various relevant aspects of the ‘farm-to-fork chain of agro-exports through its experts. It would organize awareness programs, training programs, and workshops on the related aspects, organize visits to export houses for getting practical guidance, organize buyer-seller meetings, etc.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • NABARD Founded: 12 July 1982;
  • NABARD Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • NABARD Chairman: G R Chintala.

‘Medicine from the sky’ pilot at Vikarabad area hospital

The Telangana government has selected 16 primary healthcare centres (PHCs) spread around Vikarabad area hospital for pilot testing the ambitious ‘Medicine from the sky’, the first-of-its-kind project involving delivery of medicines through multiple drones.

The area hospital has been selected as the central point owing to the presence of cold chain facilities and the selected PHCs are both within the Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) range.

A consortium of seven operators headed by Blue Dart Med-Express had been selected for the project to be launched in the VLOS range of 500 metres initially and will be scaled up gradually to a 9 km range.

The project would be launched in three waves starting with a pilot followed by mapping the route network for the operation of drones for delivering vaccine/medicine in the desired community health centres and PHCs.

The project is being launched following the approval granted by the Civil Aviation Ministry to the request made by the State to grant conditional exemption from the Unmanned Aircraft System Rules 2021 for conducting experimental BVLOS drone flights for delivery of vaccines.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Telangana Capital: Hyderabad.
  • Telangana Governor: Tamilisai Soundararajan.
  • Telangana Chief minister: K. Chandrashekar Rao.

International

Penpa Tsering elected president of Tibetan exile government

The former speaker of Tibet’s parliament-in-exile, Penpa Tsering, has been elected the new president of the exile government.

Nearly 64,000 Tibetans living in exile in India, Nepal, North America, Europe, Australia and elsewhere voted in the election, which was held in two rounds in January and April.

It was 3rd direct election of leadership after the withdrawal of Dalai lama from politics.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Tibet Capital: Lhasa;
  • Tibet  Currency: Renminbi.

Moctar Ouane reappointed as Prime Minister of Mali

Moctar Ouane is reappointed as Prime Minister of Mali. He was appointed as Prime Minister of the caretaker government in August 2020 after the removal of Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Ouane will have to form a new government with room for the political class, under the instructions of President Bah N’Daw.

In April 2021, Mali’s interim government had announced that it would hold a constitutional referendum on October 31 and an election in February 2022.

Mali is facing a political crisis due to disputed legislative elections and economic crisis due to economic stagnation, corruption, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • It is a landlocked country in West Africa;
  • It is the eighth-largest country in Africa;
  • Its capital is Bamako and the currency is the West African CFA Franc.

Atlas V rocket launches SBIRS Geo-5 missile warning satellite for US Space Force

The United Launch Alliance launched the Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.

The Atlas V rocket carried SBRIS Geo-5 Missile Warning Satellite. The full form of SBRIS is the Space-Based Infrared System. It is designed for missile warning, missile battlespace and defence characterization.

SBRIS is basically a Space Tracking and Surveillance System. SBRIS was designed to meet the Infrared Space Surveillance of the United States Space Force System. In 2020 alone, the SBRIS satellites detected more than a thousand missiles.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • United Launch Alliance CEO: Tory Bruno;
  • United Launch AllianceFounded: 1 December 2006;
  • United Launch Alliance Headquarters: Centennial, Colorado, United States.

Economy

India’s WPI Inflation Surges To 10.49% For April 2021

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade recently released Wholesale Price in India for the month of April 2021. The annual rate of inflation for the month of April 2021 was 10.49%.

The WPI for the month of April 2021 stood at 128.1. The base year in calculating WPI is fixed as 2011-12.

The WPI Food index consists of food products from the manufactured products group and food articles from the primary articles group. The WPI Food Index increased from 153.4 in March 2021 to 158.9 in April 2021. The increase rate in April is 7.58% and that of March is 5.28%.


Agreements

India-Microsoft MoU on Digital Transformation of Tribal Schools

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Microsoft signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the joint initiative for Digital Transformation of Tribal Schools.

This includes the introduction of Ashram Schools and Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) in tribal areas.

Microsoft will make an Artificial Intelligence curriculum available for the tribal students in Hindi and English.

In the first phase of the programme, 250 EMRS are to be established. Out of these 250 schools, 50 schools will be given intensive training. And five hundred master trainers will be trained in the first phase.

The teachers are to be trained in a phased manner to use Artificial Intelligence application and production technologies such as Office 365. This will introduce the teachers to the world of collaboration and help them understand how teaching shall be increased with virtual field trips.

The teachers will also be provided with E-Certificates and E-badges from the Microsoft Education centers at the end of the program.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Minister of Tribal Affairs: Arjun Munda;
  • Microsoft CEO: Satya Nadella;
  • Microsoft Headquarters: Redmond, Washington, United States.

Science and Technology

Reliance Jio joins global consortium to build undersea cable network

Telecom operator Reliance Jio is constructing the largest international submarine cable system centred on India with global partners and submarine cable supplier Subcom to cater to increased data demand.

The two submarine cable systems which the company plans to deploy will connect India with Asia Pacific markets (Singapore, Thailand & Malaysia) and others with Italy & Africa.

Submarine cable networks connect several nations for the flow of internet & telecom services. This high capacity and high-speed systems will provide more than 200 Tbps (terabits per second) of capacity spanning over 16,000 kilometres.

The IAX system that will connect India from Mumbai and Chennai to Thailand, Malaysia, and is expected to be ready for service by mid-2023, and the IEX system that will extend India’s connectivity to Italy, landing in Savona and additional landings in the Middle East and North Africa is expected to be ready for service in early 2024.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Reliance Jio President Infocomm: Mathew Oommen;
  • Reliance Jio Founder: Mukesh Ambani;
  • Reliance Jio Founded: 2007;
  • Reliance Jio Headquarters: Mumbai.

Iran Develops Its Most Powerful Supercomputer “Simorgh”

Iran has unveiled a new supercomputer named ‘Simorgh’, which is 100 times more powerful than the previous supercomputer of the country to date.

The supercomputer has been developed indigenously by Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT). It has been named after a mythical Phoenix-like bird ‘Simurgh’.

Currently, Simorgh has a performance capacity of 0.56 petaflops,

However, the country claims this capacity to reach one petaflop in two months.

The supercomputer will be used for artificial intelligence workloads, traffic and weather data, and image processing.


Summits and Conferences

26th Meeting of Group of Ministers on COVID-19

The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan chaired the 26th meeting of the Group of Ministers on COVID-19.

CoWIN platform-the government developed a website for the registration and booking of vaccine appointment- will be soon accessible in Hindi and 14 other regional languages, informed in the 26th GOM meeting.

Around seventeen more laboratories will be added to the INSACOG (Indian SARS CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) network.

These laboratories are being added to monitor COVID-19 variants. Currently, there are ten laboratories in the network.

The manufacturing of Amphotericin-B is to be increased to treat COVID-19 black fungal infections called Mucormycosis.


Sports

Arjan Bhullar becomes first Indian-origin fighter to win MMA title

Arjan Bhullar became the first Indian-origin fighter to win a world title in a top-level MMA promotion when he beat Brandon Vera to become the heavyweight world champion at the Singapore-based One Championship.

By defeating Vera, Bhullar ended the Filipino-American’s five-year championship-winning run. Bhullar had won the commonwealth games gold medals in 2010 and 2012.

He became the first Indian-origin freestyle wrestler to represent Canada at the Olympics.


Obituary

Former President of Indian Medical Association Dr. KK Aggarwal Passes Away

Renowned cardiologist and former national president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Dr KK Aggarwal, has passed away battling with Covid.

He was an eminent physician and cardiologist, who also has served as the head of the Heart Care Foundation of India.

He was honoured with the Dr BC Roy Award in 2005 and the Padma Shri in 2010, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, for his contributions to the field of medicine.

Renowned Tamil Writer and Folklorist Ki. Rajanarayanan Passes Away

Noted Tamil folklorist and acclaimed writer Ki. Rajanarayanan has passed away.

Famously called by his Tamil initials as KiRa, he was known as the pioneer of ‘Karisal Literature’.

KiRa was honoured with the Sahitya Academy award in 1991 for his novel ‘Gopalapurathu Makkal’. He was an eminent writer of short stories, novels, folklores and essays and has published over 30 books.

Former Union Minister Shri Chaman Lal Gupta Passes Away

Senior BJP leader and former union minister, Chaman Lal Gupta has passed away. He had an illustrious political career spanning over five decades, beginning with becoming a member of the J&K Legislative Assembly in 1972.

He was a member of the 11th, 12th and 13th Lok Sabha from the Udhampur constituency of Jammu.

Besides this, Chaman Lal Gupta was Union Minister of State, Ministry of Civil Aviation between October 13, 1999, and September 1, 2001, Union Minister of State (independent charge), Ministry of Food Processing Industries (September 1, 2001, to June 30, 2002) and Union Minister of State for Defence (July 1, 2002 to 2004).


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