Today Current Affairs:
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Today Current Affairs Headlines:
- Narendra Singh Tomar issues guidelines regarding SVAMITVA Scheme that is to aims at rural people the right to document their residential properties.
- Narendra Singh Tomar releases SOP for the e-Gram Swaraj Yojana platform and mobile Application to ensure transparency in the use of funds given to the panchayats.
- TCS iON offers free online self-certification course — Corona Warriors — for frontline health workers to deal with COVID-19 patients
The largest hole in ozone layer is closed now
- Scientists from Copernicus European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reported that the largest hole in the Ozone layer spreading over one million square km above the Arctic has closed due to unusual atmospheric conditions.
- The hole in Ozone was first identified by scientists in March 2020. The development of the hole was confirmed by Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) & Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Services (CAMS) by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).
- Such holes in the ozone layer are quite common above the Antarctic at the South Pole especially during July to September but the ozone layer hole above the Arctic at this time was unusual.
- The scientist stated that the closing of the hole has nothing to do too with the reduction in levels of pollution amid lockdown. But it is because of the polar vortex, high-altitude currents that are responsible for bringing cold air to polar regions. Copernicus Climate Change Service:
- C3S (Copernicus Climate Change Service) is the European Union’s climate monitoring service. C3S are vital to study and monitor climate change adaptation. It provides climate change information and knowledge by means of accessible, timely, reliable, and user-oriented products.
- Copernicus is the EU’s Earth Observation Programme. The collected information will be processed and provides users with information through a set of services that address the atmosphere, climate change, land, marine, emergency management, and security.
- The ozone layer works as a protective shield as it prevents Sun’s ultraviolet rays from entering Earth. UV from the sun can cause skin cancer.
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) begins an anti-leprosy drug trial
- The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has started the trial of Mycobacterium w (Mw), an anti-leprosy drug. The information was passed by the Director of CSIR Shekhar Mande.
What is Mycobacterium w (Mw)?
- M. w is an attenuated strain of Mycobacterium w, a non-pathogenic, rapidly growing, atypical mycobacterium, with non-specific immune potentiating properties.
- In addition to sharing a number of common B and T cell determinants with Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mw also shares an immunogenic determinant with prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
- In vivo and in vitro studies have shown that heat-killed Mw can induce significant T-cell responses. It may induce host T-cell responses against tumor cells expressing PSA.
Five of the North Eastern States become COVID-19 free
- On April 27, 2020, five of the eight northeast states namely Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, and Sikkim have become COVID-19 free. The other three states namely Meghalaya, Assam, and Mizoram have not reported new cases. This was announced by the Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh.
- The Government of India has allocated Rs 25 Cr for the North Eastern States in its initial stage. The allocation was done well before lockdown begun in the country.
- The announcement was made during the union minister’s interaction with the officials of the North Eastern Council, North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation, and Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre.
- North Eastern Council – The North Eastern Council was constituted in 1971 by the act called North Eastern Council Act. The Council was formed as an advisory body to balance the development in the North-Eastern areas. The council also provides suggestions on the socio-economic development of the region.
Lucknow Medical Hospital first in the country to launch Plasma Treatment Therapy
- The King George Medical University in Uttar Pradesh became the first government hospital to launch plasma therapy to treat COVID-19. The first dose of plasma therapy was given to a 58-year old patient.
What is the process?
- The patients recovered from COVID-19 generate IGM and IGG antibodies against the virus. These antibodies are assessed from the samples of the donors through rapid tests. The plasma collected from the volunteering donors is then transfused into patients that are critically sick due to the virus.
History of the therapy – In India, plasma therapy had been used to treat diseases such as mumps, measles, polio, and flu. The treatment was used before vaccines were available. Plasma therapy was used to heal 1703 patients of Spanish flu in 1918.
States sought GST compensation beyond 2022 to tide over COVID-19 crisis
- States including Punjab, Kerala, and Delhi have sought the Government of India for extension of goods and services tax (GST) compensation to the states for two years beyond 2022 to overcome the crisis that is expected to be faced post-COVID-19 pandemic.
- The State Ministers made this move due to the problems arising because of lockdown, including the urgent requirement of some form of aid for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which have been affected the most, besides relief for the services sectors.
- Some states are currently undergoing a financial crisis and have sought additional funds from the Centre.
- The states also raised the issue of releasing GST compensation pending since December 2019. The Centre recently paid Rs.34,053 Cr in pending GST compensation cess for October and November, in two tranches, with the second tranche released in April 2020.
World Day for Safety and Health at Work is observed on 28 April
- World Day for Safety and Health at Work is a United Nation international day that is celebrated every 28 April. The day aims to promote safe, healthy, and decent work. It was observed by the International Labour Organization(ILO) since 2003.
The 1st World Day for Safety and Health at Work was observed on 28th April 2003. The day was observed to advance the opportunities for people to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security, and human dignity.
International Labour Organization (ILO):
- ILO was formed in 1919. It became the United Nation’s first specialized agency in 1946. ILO has 187 member States.
- It aims to bring together governments, employers, and workers to set labor standards, devise programs, and develop policies to promote decent work for all women and men.
- International Labour Organization promotes rights at work, enhances social protection, encourages decent employment opportunities, and strengthens dialogue on work-related issues.
US President Trump nominated Indian-American Manisha Singh as US Envoy to OECD
- The United States President of Donald Trump nominated senior Indian-American diplomat Manisha Singh as America’s next envoy to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
- Manisha Singh is currently serving as the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs at the State Department. Prior to that, she served as the Acting Under Secretary of Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, and as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs at the State Department.
- The 49-year-old has also served as the Deputy Chief Counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Singh served as the Senior Fellow for International Economic Affairs at the American Foreign Policy Council. She was also a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.