Current Affairs Summary With Quiz 14 May 2021

Preparation with Monthly Current Affairs 2021 will be very fruitful for the banking aspirants. Many bank exams either in Prelims or Mains, consists of questions from Current Affairs. Generally, six months of current affairs are advised to prepare to crack the upcoming bank exams. Here, we are providing you with the monthly current affairs pdf. In this pdf, you will get Current Affairs Summary ebooks for quick revision. Ebooks will give you the best way to read and revise important monthly current affairs before the exam in a short period. Monthly Current Affairs PDF can help you to score better in the general awareness section of various banking exams.

Content:

  1. Voyager 1 detects persistent hum
  2. Tauktae Cyclone forms in Arabian Sea
  3. Maharashtra Mission Oxygen
  4. Vineyard Wind Project
  5. Pacific football fish
  6. HPIV Human Para Influenza Viruses
  7. What is Article 311?
  8. PM Kisan Samman Nidhi: Eighth Instalment to be released
  9. RBI announces Second Tranche of purchase under G-SAP 1.0
  10. Whitley Awards, 2021
  11. COVISHIELD: Gap between doses increased
  12. Report: 99 of 100 cities with environmental risk are in Asia
  13. 1st BRICS Employment Working Group (EWG) Meeting
  14. World Bank: Recent data on Global Remittance
  15. Quiz
  16. Answer

Voyager 1 detects persistent hum

The Voyager 1 probe recently picked up a humming sound. The scientists have named this “Plasma Wave Emission”. This humming sound has been interpreted as interstellar gas activity. Moving forward, the Voyager 1 will help scientists to understand the interactions between solar winds and the interstellar medium. The hum was of narrow frequency bandwidth.

About the discovery

The discovery of humming sound was made by the Plasma Wave System-Instrument of Voyager 1. This sound was heard after Voyager 1 exited the heliosphere and entered interstellar space.

The first humming sound was heard after three months the Voyager 1 exited heliosphere. The second sound was heard after six months the Voyager 1 exited the heliosphere. However, the second sound was louder. With this, the scientists conclude that the interstellar medium is getting thicker at a faster rate.

What is an interstellar medium?

The interstellar medium is the radiation and matter that exist in the space between the star systems in a galaxy. This medium consists of gas in molecular, atomic or ionic form.

Voyager 1

  • The Voyager 1 was the first spacecraft to enter the heliosphere of the sun in 2012.
  • The Voyager 1 was launched in 1977.
  • It was launched to study the outer solar system and planets such as Saturn and Jupiter on its way.
  • Voyager 2 is called the twin of Voyager 1.
  • After operating for 44 years, it is still communicating with the Deep Space Network of NASA. The Deep Space Network of NASA is a worldwide space communication network located in the US, Spain and Australia.

Tauktae Cyclone forms in Arabian Sea

Tauktae Cyclone is the first cyclone in 2021 in India. The Kerala Government has issued “Red Alert”.

How are Cyclones formed?

  • The warm and moist air in the ocean rises up. As more and more air rises up, it leaves less air. This creates an area of low pressure. The pressure around this area is high. The air from the surrounding areas pushes into the low-pressure area. Now this air gets warmed up and rises. The cycle continues.
  • As the warm air rises up it cools and condenses into clouds. The whole system of wind and clouds spins and grows. This is aided by the ocean heat and evaporating water.
  • As the system rotates faster and faster, an eye is formed at the centre. The eye is clear and calm.
  • When the system rotates at 63 kilometre per hour, it is called “Tropical Storm”. When the wind speed reaches 119 kilometre per hour it is called tropical cyclone or hurricane.

Conditions for Cyclone Formation

The following conditions favour cyclone formation:

  • The Surface Sea Temperature increases to 27° C and higher.
  • Presence of Coriolis force
  • Differences in Vertical wind speed
  • Upper divergence above the sea level system
  • Low pressure area
  • Favourable Madden Julian Oscillation
  • Ocean heat potential

Madden Julian Oscillation

It is an oceanic atmospheric phenomenon that affects the weather activities in the earth. It is a pulse of clouds, winds, rainfall and pressure near the equator that occurs every thirty to sixty days. It is prominent over Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean.

There are two phases of Madden-Julian Oscillation

  • Enhanced Rainfall Phase
  • Suppressed Rainfall Phase

Maharashtra Mission Oxygen

The State Government of Maharashtra has recently launched the “Maharashtra Mission Oxygen”. Under the mission, the daily production of the state is to be increased to 3,000 tonnes. The State Government has allocated Rs 200 crores to the mission. It will provide special incentives to the private players who are willing to being oxygen generation units.

What is the plan?

  • A short-term goal of 2,300 metric tonnes per day is to be achieved in next six months. The cost of the mission has been estimated as RS 1,100 crores.
  • The mission involves the participation of private companies as well.
  • Under the mission, at least one new plant is to be established in each division.
  • The mission will also waive the registration fee, stamp duty, electricity duty and GST.
  • Around 150% GST is to be waived in backward Vidarbha and Marathwada and 100% in rest of the state.
  • The State Government will also establish more than 290 Pressure Swing Absorption plants and Liquid Medical Oxygen plants with the help of private players.

Current Scenario

There are six major players in the state such as Inox Air Products, Linde India, Praxair, Air Liquid India Holdings, JSW Steel and Taiyo Nippon Sanso India. They produce most of the current day oxygen requirement which is 1,295 metric tonnes. The actual demand of oxygen in Maharashtra is 1,800 metric tonnes per day. However, it is predicted that the demand is to increase to 2,300 metric tonnes as the COVID-19 cases are rapidly increasing in the state.


Vineyard Wind Project

Vineyard Wind Project is the first major Offshore wind farm that is to power 400,000 homes. The project aims to install 84 turbines in the Atlantic Ocean. It is to be set up 12 Nautical miles off the coast of Matha’s Vineyard.

About the Project

  • The project is capable of producing 800 MW of electricity. It is a 2.8 billion USD project.
  • Currently there are two major wind farms in the US. They are located off the coasts of Rhode island and Virginia. And are currently some of the largest wind energy producing farms in the US. The size of Vineyard project is huge that it will make these two projects look small.
  • Apart from Vineyard project, there are a dozen of offshore wind projects planned along the East Coast.
  • When all the projects are installed, it is estimated that more than 2,000 turbines will be churning the wind energy along the coast between North Carolina and Massachusetts.

Future Target

  • The US Administration has pledged to build 30,000 MW off shore wind projects by 2030.
  • The White House is to allocate 12 billion USD of capital investments to achieve this.
  • These steps are to support 77,000 direct and indirect jobs.

What is the plan?

  • The Electricity generated by the Vineyard Project is to travel through cables buried six feet below the ocean floor.
  • The electricity is to be taken to Cape Cod. A substation is to be set up in Cape Cod.
  • The project is to start delivering electricity by 2023.

Pacific football fish

The Pacific Football Fish was recently washed ashore on a California coast. It is usually found in deep sea. Black in colour, it is usually addressed to as “Monster looking fish”. It is very rare to find the fish near the coast or washed away in coastal areas as they live in deep seas.

About Pacific Football Fish

  • The Pacific Football fish are 60 centimetres in length.
  • Only female Pacific Football fish has bioluminescent tips that are used to hunt prey in the darkness of water that is 3,000 feet deep.
  • They have large teeth.
  • Their large mouth is capable of swallowing prey that is the size of their own body.
  • These fish are found at great depths of the seas. Recently, the Five Deeps Expedition found that aquatic life is present even at 11,000 metres, in the Mariana Trench of Pacific Ocean. Mariana Trench is the deepest point in the world. The Five Deeps Expedition explored deepest points in five oceans of the world.

Bioluminescence

It is the production and emission of light by a living organism. It occurs in vertebrates, invertebrates, bioluminescent bacteria and terrestrial anthropod.

Usually, this bioluminescence involves a light emitting molecule called luciferin and an enzyme called luciferase. The Enzyme catalyses oxidation of luciferin.

IUCN

It is listed under Least Concern in IUCN list of threatened species.

Why is the fish called a monster?

Males latch onto the females with their teeth and become “sexual parasites”. Eventually they coalesce (come together to form one mass or whole). This happens with the female till nothing is left of their form except tested for reproduction.


HPIV Human Para Influenza Viruses

Scientists have recently found out a new way to block the attachment of HPIV (Human Para Influenza Viruses).

HPIV

The HPIV is the leading cause of death in childhood respiratory infections. More than 30% to 40% of children die due to respiratory illness.

The HPIV latches on to the cells and injects genetic materials into the cells. This is done so that the genetic material injected starts making new viruses. The scientists have now found a way to block this entry. This method is highly efficient in blocking HPIV-3.

How is HPIV blocked?

The virus uses a specialised fusion proteins that resembles three sided corkscrew to enter human cells. Earlier cholesterol and beta amino acids were found to block the HPIV. However, they were not efficient. The scientists have now created a new peptide combining the previously found cholesterol and beta amino acids.

Gellman lab discovered that modified beta amino acids containing peptides can block the viruses.

Moscona Protto lab earlier hooked the peptide to a molecule of cholesterol. This created a greasy cell membrane that blocked the virus.

When the above two methods were combined, the anti-viral efficacy tripled.

Peptides

Peptides are short chain of amino acids. They are connected with one another in a sequence of peptide bonds. They are distinguished from proteins by shorter length. Peptides help human body to fight against microbes.

About HPIV

It Is a single stranded RNA virus. The different strains of HPIV are as follows:

  • HPIV Type 1: Most common of Croup
  • HPIV Type 2: Causes croup and also lower and upper respiratory tract illnesses
  • HPIV Type 3: Associated with Pneumonia and Bronchiolitis
  • HPIV Type 4: Includes subtypes 4a and 4b

Croup is the swelling inside trachea. It interferes with normal breathing.


What is Article 311?

Sachin Waze, a police officer was dismissed from service by the Mumbai Police Commissioner under Article 311 (2) (b).

Sachin Waze was then arrested by the National Investigation Agency. He was arrested in connection with Mukesh Ambani Terror Scare case and also in relation to the murder of Mansukh Hiran.

What is Ambani Terror Scare case?

On February 25, 2021, twenty Gelatin sticks were found in a vehicle parked outside the residence of Mukesh Ambani residence, Antilia. He was provided Z-plus security cover, the highest protection cover GoI provides to individuals facing threats. Sachin Vaze was the first investigating officer in the Ambani Terror Scare case.

About Sachin Waze

He is an encounter specialist. He is involved with deaths of 63 alleged criminals. He was suspended for 17 years after his arrest in the custodial death of Khwaja Yunus. He was later granted bail and was reinstated in June 2020.

He led the police team in the arrest of Republic TV Chief Arnab Goswami.

What is Article 311?

It speaks about the removal or reduction in rank of person employed under Government of India in civil capacities. It acts as a safeguard for civil servants. It gives them chances to respond to charges filed against them.

Article 311 (1)

The article says that a person who is a member of civil service of the GoI (Union or state) shall only be removed by the authority who appointed him or her.

Article 311 (2)

He or she should be informed about the charges filed against him. He should be given opportunity to explain his or her side of argument.

When is inquiry prescribed under Article 311 (2) not required?

It is not applicable when

  • Article 311 (2) (a): The Accusation is under criminal charges
  • Article 311 (2) (b): If the authority empowered to dismiss him or her is satisfied to remove him
  • Article 311 (2) (c): If the President or Governor feels that it is not practical or convenient to hold an inquiry in the interest of the security of the state.

PM Kisan Samman Nidhi: Eighth Instalment to be released

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare recently announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release the eighth instalment of Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi.

PM Kisan Samman Nidhi

Under the Scheme, the Government of India transfers Rs 6,000 to the account of small and marginal farmers. These funds are transferred in three instalments. The first instalment of Rs 2,000 is made between April and June. Second Instalment is made between August and November. The third instalment is made between December and March.

About the Scheme

  • The scheme was begun in 2018.
  • The scheme provides financial support to farmers who hold land ownership up to two hectares.
  • Since its inception, the GoI has provided Rs 75,000 crores.
  • It aims to cover 125 million farmers irrespective of their land size.

PM-Kisan Portal

The beneficiary of the scheme shall check his or her application status in the portal. They shall get the details by entering mobile number or Aadhaar number or Account Number.

It will provide farmer’s name and amount sent to his bank account.


RBI announces Second Tranche of purchase under G-SAP 1.0

The Reserve Bank of India recently announced that the second tranche of open market purchase of Government Securities is to be held on May 20, 2021. This is to be held under G-Sec Acquisition Programme. This second tranche is to be conducted for Rs 35,000 crores.

Background

  • In April 2021, the Reserve Bank of India launched the Government Security Acquisition Programme 1.0. It was held on April 15, 2021. RBI purchased Rs 25,000 crores of Government securities.
  • Earlier in May 2021, RBI announced that the second tranche is to be purchased under G-SAP 1.0.

A detailed announcement

Though RBI had announced about the second Tranche earlier, it has now said that it will purchase seven Government Securities of different maturities. Also, the apex bank announced that there will be not security-wise notified amount.

What is Security-wise Notified amount?

It includes details such as source securities, destination securities, amount of source securities and also the maturing date. These details are usually published by RBI.

E-Kuber

The Government Securities are issued through auctions conducted by the apex bank. These auctions are conducted on the electronic platform called E-Kuber.

Why should one invest in Government Securities?

This is because holding cash in hand does not give any returns. On the other hand, the investment in gold and Government securities increases the returns over the period of time.

Different types of Auctions of Government Securities

  • Yield Based Auctions and Price based auctions
  • Yield Based Auctions are conducted when a new government security is issued.
  • Price Based Auctions are conducted when GoI re-issues securities that were already issued earlier.

Whitley Awards, 2021

Whitley Awards are called “Green Oscar”. In 2021, the Whitley Award was won by Nuklu Phom of Nagaland. He is the only Indian to receive the award.

Whitley Awards

  • Whitley Awards are presented annually by the Whitley Fund for Nature. It is presented to recognise grass root level conservation leaders.
  • It involves process of reference, application and interview.
  • The Whitley Fund for Nature was established by Edward Whitley in 1994. It has so far given 16 million pounds to support the work of two hundred environmental heroes.

Whitely Fund for Nature

  • It works to find out local conservationists in the regions of resource-poor, biodiversity rich countries.
  • It supports projects based on science and community involvement
  • It also works to boost the national and international winners who address challenges faced by biodiversity worldwide.
  • The winners receive 40,000 pounds.

Nuklu Phom

  • Nuklu Phom is creating “Biodiversity Peace Corridors”. The main objective of the extend the “Yaongyimchen Community Biodiversity Area”.
  • Apart from conservation of wildlife and environmental protection he also extends his works to health, education and micro finance.
  • Lemasachenlok Society was founded by him. It has worked towards sensitising the locals about the Amur Falcons. It has set up three reserves that helped to increase the number of roosting Falcons.
  • Nuklu Phom is populary known as the “Amur Falcon Man of Nagaland”.

Amur Falcon

  • Amur Falcon breeds in Northern China and Siberia. During winter, the Amur Falcon migrate to India and then over the Arabian Sea to Southern Africa.
  • The increasing concern is that people have started hunting Amur Falcon. In India, more than 14,000 are hunted annually. The State Governments have declared ban on hunting Amur Falcons. In spite of the ban, the hunting of Amur Falcon is increasing.
  • It is listed as “Least Concern” by the IUCN.
  • Nagaland is called the “Falcon Capital of the World”.

Biodiversity Peace Corridors

It incorporates 16 villages spread across four districts. It adopts sustainable land use practices.


COVISHIELD: Gap between doses increased

The Government of India recently increased the gap between the two doses of the COVISHIELD Vaccine. The gap was increased from six to eight weeks to twelve to sixteen weeks. This is the second time in three months, the gaps between the doses of COVISHIELD have been widened. In March 2021, the Union Territories and State Governments were asked to increase the gap from twenty-eight days to six to eight weeks.

Why was the gap increased?

The COVID-19 Working Group recommended to increase the gap based on the real-life evidences from the UK. The recommendations were agreed by NEGVAC (National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration). Currently, the gap between the doses are four to six weeks.

The protection against the vaccines increased if the gap between the doses are increased. In Canada the gap between the doses are three to four months.

A Lancet study says that the protection (efficacy) against COVID-19 increased from 55.1% to 81.3% if the gap between the doses was increased from six to eight weeks to twelve to sixteen weeks.

Why two doses?

The immunity to COVID-19 plateaued after the first dose. Thus, the second dose is essential to boost the immunity to higher levels. The COVID-19 recovered people should get booster dose after six months.

The time gap between doses of COVAXIN has not been altered. This is because COVAXIN was completely developed in a different way. It is an inactivated vaccine that contains dead COVID-19 virus. It teaches the immune system how to defend the body against the virus. On the other hand, the COVISHIELD was developed using a vector called Adeno virus.


Report: 99 of 100 cities with environmental risk are in Asia

A private firm Verisk Maplecroft has found that the Asian cities face the greatest risk from environmental issues. This includes natural disasters and air pollution.

Key Findings of the report

  • Of the hundred most vulnerable cities, ninety-nine are located in Asia.
  • Of the 100, around thirty-seven are in China and forty three are in India. China and India are the first and third largest greenhouse gas emitters in the world.
  • Around 1.5 billion people spread out in 414 cities of the world are living in high risks of water shortage, pollution, natural hazards, extreme heat and other physical impacts of climate change.
  • India is home to thirteen of the top twenty riskiest cities. This was mainly due to air and water pollution.
  • Jakarta topped the list and was the riskiest city in the world.
  • The flood prone cities of China namely Dongguan and Guangzhou topped the list of cities that are facing threats from natural hazards. They were followed by Osaka and Tokyo of Japan. The Japanese cities are vulnerable to typhoons and earthquakes.
  • Lima is the only city outside Asia to enter in top hundred riskiest cities in the world.

Glasgow was ranked as the safest city.

About the report

Around 576 cities in different parts of the world were scored based on the following factors:

  • Water Quality
  • Heat Stress
  • Vulnerability to Climate Change
  • Water Scarcity
  • Economies and infrastructure to natural hazards such as tsunamis, earthquakes and landslides

Why do Asian cities face more risks than the rest?

The report says that Asia is the most densely populated region in the world. This puts pressure on water sources. Also the air in the region is polluted due to burning of coal and biomass fuels. There are large number of natural hazards that are built into its Geography. This why the risks due to environmental issues are the highest in these cities.


1st BRICS Employment Working Group (EWG) Meeting

The first BRICS Employment Working Group was held virtually. It was hosted by India. India assumed BRICS Presidency in 2021.

Outcomes of the meet

  • The member countries discussed about promoting social security agreements among BRICS Nations, participation of women in labour force, formalisation of labour markets.
  • The members that participated in the meeting were BRICS countries and also members from International Labour Organisation and International Social Security Agency.

Social Security Agreement

The members agreed to conduct dialogues and discussions with each other to solve the issue of Social Security Agreement. Upon reaching into conclusions, they will take it forward to signing agreements. The ILO and the ISSA are to provide technical support.

The member countries also agreed to create a multilateral framework for the same.

Formalisation of Labour Market

The countries discussed on how COVID-19 has informalized the labour market.

Women in Labour Market

The counties agreed to promote women in productive and decent work. They also agreed to extend the social security cover to women workers in informal sector. They also discussed on the participation of women in labour force.

What is Social Security Agreement?

It is an agreement signed by a country to regulate the procedure of providing social security for its citizens who are permanently or temporarily residing in another country.

India’s Social Security Agreements

India till date has Social Security Agreements with South Korea, Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal, Norway, Netherlands, Japan, Hungary, Germany, France, Finland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Canada, Belgium, Austria, Australia.

India signed Social Security Agreement with Brazil in 2018.

India has not yet signed SSA with US!


World Bank: Recent data on Global Remittance

The World Bank recently released its “Migration and Development Brief”. The report said that the remittance flows to the low-income and middle-income countries were 1.9% lower in 2020 as compared to that of 2019. It was 540 billion USD in 2020 and 548 billion USD in 2019.

Key Findings

  • The reduction in remittance inflows were smaller than that of 2009 Global Financial Crisis.
  • However, the remittance inflows to China reduced by 30% in 2020.
  • The inflows to the Caribbean and Latin countries increased by 6.5%
  • Increased by 5.2% in south Asia
  • Increased by 2.3% in North Africa
  • In Pacific and East Asia, it fell by 7.9%
  • Fell by 5.2% in South Asia
  • Fell by 2.3% in North Africa and Middle East
  • Fell by 9.7% in Central Asia and Europe
  • Fell by 12.5% in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Apart from China, the remittance inflows declined greatly in Nigeria. It fell by 28%.

India and its Neighbourhood

  • In 2019, India received 83.3 billion USD remittances. This fell by 0.2% in 2020. This was maximum in remittance from UAE. The remittance from UAE to India reduced by 17%.
  • In Pakistan, the remittances increased by 17%. The biggest growth in remittances to Pakistan came from Saudi Arabia.
  • The remittances in Bangladesh increased by 18.4%
  • In Sri Lanka, it increased by 5.8%
  • In Nepal, it fell by 2%

What is Remittance?

It is a sum of money sent from one country to other country. It can be business payments or remittances paid to a family member, friends.

How are remittances important?

  • They help the currency to hold its value against a foreign currency.
  • The World Bank says that the remittances are the second largest resource inflow for developing countries after FDI.
  • As the flow of remittances increases, the currency value of receiving country increases and the value of foreign currency depreciates.

Quiz

When was the Voyager 1 launched?

  • 1937
  • 1977
  • 1997
  • 2007

What is the name of India's first cyclone in 2021?

  • Tauktae Cyclone
  • Amphan Cyclone
  • Cyclone Phailin
  • Cyclone Hudhud

Which among the following statement is true about Maharashtra Mission Oxygen?

  • The mission involves the participation of private companies only.
  • The mission will not waive the registration fee, stamp duty, electricity duty and GST.
  • The daily production of the state is to be increased to 3,000 tonnes.
  • All of the above

What is the name of the first major Offshore wind farm?

  • Martha’s Wind Project
  • Vineyard Wind Project
  • Miles Wind Project
  • Massachusetts Wind Project

By whom has the "Covey van helpline" been introduced for senior citizens?

  • Maharashtra Police
  • Kerala Police
  • Karnataka Police
  • Delhi Police

Who has been appointed as the 38th chairman of 'FICCI FLO'?

  • Ujwala Singhania
  • P S Rajan
  • David Malpass
  • Gita Gopinath

Which country has declared a state of emergency after a cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline Company?

  • USA
  • UK
  • Belgium
  • India

In which year did SpaceX announce the launch of "Doge-1 Mission to the Wee" in the first quarter?

  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023
  • 2024

In what name is the chatbot floated by the joint effort of HDFC Bank and Common Service Center (CSC)?

  • TIVA
  • HEY
  • EVA
  • ION

Answers

When was the Voyager 1 launched?

  • 1977

What is the name of India's first cyclone in 2021?

  • Tauktae Cyclone

Which among the following statement is true about Maharashtra Mission Oxygen?

  • The daily production of the state is to be increased to 3,000 tonnes.

What is the name of the first major Offshore wind farm?

  • Vineyard Wind Project

By whom has the "Covey van helpline" been introduced for senior citizens?

  • Delhi Police

Who has been appointed as the 38th chairman of 'FICCI FLO'?

  • Ujwala Singhania

Which country has declared a state of emergency after a cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline Company?

  • USA

In which year did SpaceX announce the launch of "Doge-1 Mission to the Wee" in the first quarter?

  • 2022

In what name is the chatbot floated by the joint effort of HDFC Bank and Common Service Center (CSC)?

  • EVA

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