It gives us great pleasure to release the monthly edition of the PRAVAHINI - Monthly e-Compendium & Weekly e-Periodicals of Current Affairs. The magazine’s members have shown considerable cooperation as well as devotion. We at successmantra.in work tirelessly to create this magazine and bring it to you with a great sense of gratitude.
The PRAVAHINI May-2021 eBook covers the current events that happened in the month of May. Current Affairs is a crucial component of any competitive exams including CLAT, AILET, DU-LLB, HM, CAT, IAS, PCS, SSC, Banking, MBA and various other competitive examinations.
Current Affairs play the bigger role in many competitive and government exams. It holds the power of making or breaking your chance of success. Therefore, the candidates should cover the Current Affairs thoroughly and smartly.
The PRAVAHINI May-2021 eBook is divided into different sections keeping in mind the need of various exams. The sections covered namely International, National, Economy, Ecology and Environment, Science & Technology, Legal Affairs, Sports, States News Makers and few others.
We would also be pleased to receive any suggestion that could assist us with the upcoming editions.
Success Mantra (GTB Nagar, Delhi)
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. National Affairs
2. International Affairs
3. Economic Affairs
5. Awards And Honors
7. Important Dates
8. Reports And Indexes
9. Science & Technology
MAMTA BANERJEE TAKES OATH AS WB CM FOR 3RD TIME
Mamata Banerjee was sworn in as West Bengal Chief Minister for the third time in the shadow of Covid and post-poll violence in parts of the state.
The oath ceremony took place with Covid protocols in place at the “Throne Room” at the Raj Bhavan. The rest of the cabinet and the council of ministers will be sworn in on May 9, the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.
Mamata Banerjee won a landslide victory in the Bengal election to secure a third straight term. The Trinamool won 213 of 292 seats while its strongest rival, BJP, finished second with 77 seats.
N RANGASAMY SWORN IN AS CM OF PUDUCHERRY
The All India NR Congress (AINRC) founder leader N Rangasamy has been sworn in as the Chief Minister of the Union Territory of Puducherry, for a record fourth time, on May 07, 2021.
N Rangasamy was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Lieutenant governor (additional charge) Tamilisai Soundararajan.
Prior to this, the 71-year-old served as Chief Minister of Puducherry from 2001 to 2008 as a member of the Indian National Congress and then from 2011 to 2016 as a member of AINRC. It will be the first time that Rangasamy will be heading a coalition cabinet, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the UT, which has members from BJP and AINRC.
DMK CHIEF MK STALIN AS CM OF TAMIL NADU
Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit has appointed Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief MK Stalin as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
The 68-year-old is the son of the former five-term Tamil Nadu chief minister, the late M Karunanidhi.
The DMK-led alliance won 159 seats, well ahead of the majority mark of 118 seats. The party alone won 133 seats in the election.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Stalin led the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), of which the DMK is a constituent, to victory in 38 out of 39 parliamentary seats in Tamil Nadu.
INDIAN NAVY LAUNCHED OPERATION SAMUDRA SETU-II
The Indian Navy has launched Operation Samudra Setu-II to help in faster transportation of medical oxygen and other requirements from other countries to India, amid its worsening COVID-19 pandemic.
As a part of operation ‘Samudra Setu II’, seven Indian Naval ships have been deployed for shipment of liquid medical oxygen-filled cryogenic containers and associated medical equipment from various countries. These warships are Kolkata, Kochi, Talwar, Tabar, Trikand, Jalashwa and Airavat.
In 2020, the Indian Navy launched Operation Samudra Setu, as part of the Vande Bharat Mission, to repatriate approximately 4,000 stranded and distressed Indian citizens from the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Iran.
N. SITHARAMAN ATTENDED ADB ANNUAL MEETING
Nirmala Sitharaman, India's Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister and the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) Governor, recently attended the ADB's annual meeting 2021's Governors' Seminar on "Cooperation for a Resilient Future.
Sitharaman praised the Asian Development Bank for providing timely financial support for both Covid and non-Covid ventures.
ADB is a regional development bank. Its headquarters are in Manila, Philippines, and it was established on December 19, 1966. It has been designated as an official UN Observer. Currently, the Asian Development Bank has 68 members, 49 of whom are Asian.
The bank is open to non-regional developing countries and members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, previously the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE).
G20 TOURISM MINISTER'S MEETING 2021
Union Minister of State for Tourism & Culture (I/c), Prahlad Singh Patel participated in G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting held in Italy on 4th May 2021.
This dialogue aimed to collaborate in protecting tourism businesses, jobs and taking initiatives to frame policy guidelines to support the sustainable and resilient recovery of travel and tourism.
He also conveyed India’s support for the Principles for the transition to a green travel and tourism economy submitted by UNWTO as a further contribution to the policy area “Green Transformation” to embrace sustainability in tourism.
Patel also highlighted the initiatives taken by the Ministry of Tourism to promote community-based tourism and rural tourism by involving the local population in employment opportunities and income-generating activities through sustainable and responsible tourism.
The Minister concluded with thanks to the Italian G20 Presidency for its leadership and India will continue its support and cooperation to ensure further progress under Indonesia’s G20 Presidency in 2022.
UK: 1ST NATION TO ANNOUNCE SELF DRIVING CARS
The United Kingdom has become the first country to announce regulation for the use of self-driving vehicles at low speeds.
The UK wants to be at the forefront in rolling out autonomous driving technology. The Government of the UK forecasts that around 40% of UK cars will have self-driving capabilities by 2035.
Most of the self-driving systems maintain an internal map. They use lasers, sensors and radars to map their surroundings. Based on the map created, instructions are delivered to the actuators of the vehicle.
NATO LAUNCHED EXERCISE 'DEFENDER EUROPE-21'
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has launched joint military exercises “DEFENDER-Europe 21” in Albania with thousands of military forces from the United States and other countries in the first such large-scale drills since World War II in the Western Balkans.
Albania is playing a critical part in the DEFENDER-Europe 21 exercise with Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore operations taking place.
DEFENDER-Europe is an annual large-scale U.S. Army-led, multinational exercise, defensive in nature and focused on deterring aggression, which this year focuses on building operational readiness and interoperability with NATO and a greater number of allies and partners over a wider area of operations than ever before.
INDIA & RUSSIA 2+2 MINISTERIAL DIALOGUE
India and Russia have agreed to establish a ‘2+2 Ministerial Dialogue’ at the Foreign & Defence Minister level between the two countries.
Russia is the 4th country and 1st Non-Quad member country with which India has established the ‘2+2 Ministerial dialogue’ mechanism.
India has such a mechanism with the US, Japan and Australia. It is expected to boost the bilateral strategic partnership between India & Russia.
Relations between India and Russia are rooted in history, mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation. This is a strategic partnership that has withstood the test of time, and which enjoys the support of the people of both countries.
Diplomatic relations between India and Russia began even before India achieved independence, on 13 April 1947.
INDIA & UK ROADMAP FOR BILATERAL TRADE PARTNERSHIP
The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson held a virtual Summit meeting.
During the Summit meeting, both the leaders unveiled an ambitious 10-year road map to elevate the India-UK bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership. The UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced a new India-UK trade investment worth £1 billion.
Apart from this, India and the UK inked nine pacts.
These pacts were in areas such as migration and mobility, digital and technology, telecommunications, energy and medicines, counter-terrorism, besides agreeing to boost collaboration in dealing with climate change through a new partnership on renewables and power.
They also launched Enhanced Trade Partnership, which included negotiation for a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA), including consideration of an interim trade agreement to deliver early gains. The two nations set an ambitious target of more than doubling bilateral trade by 2030.
INDIA-FRANCE-AUSTRALIA TRILATERAL DIALOGUE
The first-ever India-France-Australia Trilateral Foreign Ministerial Dialogue was held in London, UK, on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
The meeting was attended by External Affairs Minister, Dr S. Jaishankar from India, France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian and Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Marise Payne.
The France, India, Australia trilateral meet was launched in September 2020 at Foreign Secretaries’ levels but has been elevated to ministerial level within one year of its inception. It has three joint priorities which are maritime security, environment, and multilateralism.
The G7 foreign ministers meeting is the first in-person meeting of foreign minister of the grouping amid pandemic, with the last such meeting taking place in 2019.
RBI JOINS NETWORK FOR GREENING FINANCIAL SYSTEM
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has joined the Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) as a member. The central bank joined the NGFS on April 23, 2021.
Green finance assumed significance in the context of climate change. The RBI expects to benefit from the membership of NGFS by learning from and contributing to global efforts on green finance, which has assumed significance in the context of climate change.
Launched at the Paris One Planet Summit on December 12, 2017, the NGFS is a group of central banks and supervisors willing to share best practices and contribute to the development of environment and climate risk management in the financial sector, while mobilising mainstream finance to support the transition towards a sustainable economy.
RBI'S TERM LIQUIDITY FACILITY FOR HEALTHCARE
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das has announced a Covid-19 healthcare package of Rs 50,000 crore, for lending to entities such as vaccine makers, medical equipment suppliers, hospitals and related sectors, besides the patients in need of funds for treatment.
About the Covid-19 healthcare package: The new on-tap special liquidity facility of Rs 50,000 crore will be made available to the banks at the repo rate, for access to emergency health security amid the economic stress due to the second wave of Covid-19 in India.
Banks can give loans under this facility till March 31, 2022. This Covid loan will be provided for a tenure of up to 3 years and will be classified as a priority sector loan till repayment or maturity.
RBI CONSTITUTED ADVISORY GROUP TO ASSIST RRA 2.0
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an advisory group to assist the second Regulatory Review Authority (RRA 2.0), which was set by the central bank on May 01, 2021 to streamline regulations and reduce the compliance burden of regulated entities. The Advisory Group will be headed by SBI Managing Director S Janakiraman.
Other members of the 6-member advisory group are:
• T T Srinivasaraghavan (Former Managing Director and Non-Executive Director, Sundaram Finance),
• Gautam Thakur (Chairman, Saraswat Co-operative Bank),
• Subir Saha (Group Chief Compliance Officer, ICICI Bank),
• Ravi Duvvuru (President and CCO, Jana Small Finance Bank),
• Abadaan Viccaji (Chief Compliance Officer, HSBC India)
About the RRA 2.0: The second Regulatory Review Authority (RRA 2.0), has been set up for a period of one year from May 01, 2021, to review the regulations, circulars, reporting systems and compliance procedures for streamlining them and making them more effective.
The group will assist the RRA 2.0 by identifying regulations, guidelines, and returns that can be rationalised, and submit reports periodically to RRA containing the recommendations/suggestions.
DOT GRANTED PERMISSIONS FOR 5G TRIAL INDIA
The Government of India's Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has granted permission to Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to conduct trials for the use and implementations of 5G technology.
Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd., Bharti Airtel Ltd., Vodafone Idea Ltd., and MTNL are among the TSPs that have applied. The trials are currently scheduled to last for six months.
Each TSP will be required to perform trials in rural, semi-urban, and urban areas to ensure that the benefits of 5G technology are spread across the country.
Goal: To test 5G spectrum propagation characteristics, particularly in the context of India; to model tune and evaluate chosen equipment and vendors; to test indigenous technology; to test applications; and to test 5G phones and devices.
To allow Industry 4.0, 5G technology is expected to provide a better user experience in terms of data download speeds (expected to be 10 times faster than 4G), up to three times greater spectrum performance, and ultra low latency.
RBI APPOINTED T RABI SANKAR AS DEPUTY GOVERNOR
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) executive director T Rabi Sankar has been named as the fourth Deputy Governor of the central bank.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment. He is in charge of the payments system, fintech, information technology and risk management at the RBI.
He succeeds BP Kanungo as the deputy governor, who retired on April 2 after getting a one-year extension in his position.
Sankar has long experience across a wide spectrum of central banking functions, particularly, exchange rate management, reserves portfolio management, public debt management, monetary operations, development, regulation and surveillance of financial markets and of payment systems, and managing the Bank’s IT infrastructure.
1ST WOMAN COMMANDING OFFICER IN BRO
Vaishali S Hiwase became the first woman officer to be appointed as officer commanding in the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) where she will be responsible for providing connectivity through an Indo-China border road.
Vaishali is from Wardha, Maharashtra, and has completed a successful demanding tenure in Kargil.
In a first, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has appointed a woman officer to command a Road Construction Company (RCC) tasked to provide connectivity in a high-altitude area along the India-China border.
• Director-General of BRO: Lt. Gen. Rajeev Chaudhary.
• BRO Headquarters: New Delhi.
T V SOMANATHAN APPOINTED AS FINANCE SECRETARY
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of T V Somanathan as the new Finance Secretary. He will replace Ajay Bhushan Pandey who superannuated in February 2021.
Somanathan, a 1987 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, was currently serving as the Secretary, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.
Earlier, he has served as a joint secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office. Somanathan was awarded the Gold Medal for the Best IAS trainee of his cohort. He holds a PhD in Economics from Calcutta University and is a chartered accountant, chartered management accountant and chartered secretary.
JUSTICE PANT AS ACTING CHAIRPERSON OF NHRC
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) member Justice (retired) Prafulla Chandra Pant had been appointed as the acting chairperson of the Commission with effect from April 25.
A former Supreme Court judge, Justice Pant was appointed member of the NHRC on April 22, 2019. The post of a chairperson has been vacant since Justice H.L. Dattu, a former Chief Justice of India, completed his tenure on December 2, 2020.
Previously, he was appointed the first Chief Justice of the newly established Meghalaya High Court at Shillong on 20th September 2013 and continued till 12th August 2014.
• National Human Rights CommissionFormed: 12 October 1993;
• National Human Rights Commission Jurisdiction: Government of India;
• National Human Rights Commission Headquarters: New Delhi.
AWARDS & HONOURS
NATIONAL PANCHAYAT AWARDS CONFERRED BY PM MODI
The National Panchayat Awards 2021 was conferred by PM Modi. Prime Minister will transfer the award money (as Grants-in-Aid) through the click of a button, ranging from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.50 lakh.
The amount will be directly transferred to the bank account of the Panchayats concerned in real-time. This is being done for the first time.
The National Panchayat Awards 2021 are being conferred under the following categories:
• Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar to 224 panchayats,
• Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar to 30-gram panchayats, Gram
• Panchayat Development Plan Award to 29-gram panchayats, Child-friendly Gram
• Panchayat Award to 30 Gram Panchayats and e-Panchayat Puraskar to 12 states.
UNESCO WORLD PRESS FREEDOM PRIZE 2021
Maria Ressa has been named as the 2021 laureate of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.
The $25,000 prize “recognizes outstanding contributions to the defence or promotion of press freedom especially in the face of danger,” according to UNESCO. The prize was named after Guillermo Cano Isaza, the Colombian journalist.
UNESCO cited Ressa’s more than a 3-decade career as a journalist, including her work as CNN’s lead investigative reporter for Asia and as news chief of Philippine broadcast giant ABS-CBN.
Recently, her citation added, Ressa “has been the target of online attacks and judicial processes” for her investigative work and her position as CEO of Rappler.
1ST INDIAN TO WIN ARAB WORLD NOBEL PRIZE
Mumbai born, Dr Tahera Qutbuddin, a professor of Arabic Literature at the University of Chicago, recently became the first person of Indian-origin to win the 15th Sheikh Zayed Book Award.
The award is considered to be the Nobel Prize of the Arab world. She won the award for her latest book, “Arabic Oration – Art and Function” published by Brill Academic Publishers of Leiden in 2019.
In the book, she puts forth a comprehensive theory of Arabic literature in its foundational oral period dating the seventh and eighth centuries AD. She discusses its influence on modern-day sermons and lectures as well.
AIRLINE PACHT GLOBAL VISION AWARD 2021
Former Chief Justice of Jammu & Kashmir High Court, Justice Gita Mittal, has been declared as one of the two recipients of the Arline Pacht Global Vision Award for 2021.
The Award will be presented at IAWJ’s Biennial Conference during the virtual opening ceremony on May 7, 2021. She shares the honour with Margarita Luna Ramos from Mexico.
International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) instituted this award in 2016. Justice Mittal would be the first Indian judge to receive the award. Award is presented to a sitting/retired woman judge to recognize her contribution to IAWJ.
At present, Justice Mittal is the Chairperson of Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), an independent, self-regulatory body for general entertainment channels set up by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF). She is the first woman to hold this position.
• President of International Association of Women Judges: Vanessa Ruiz.
• International Association of Women Judges Founded: 1991.
• International Association of Women Judges HQ: Washington DC, USA.
LEWIS HAMILTON WINS PORTUGUESE GRAND PRIX
Lewis Hamilton overtook title rival Max Verstappen and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to win the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Verstappen finished second, while Bottas, who started from pole, came in a disappointing third place. Sergio Perez took the flag in fourth, with Lando Norris fifth for McLaren.
The reigning Formula One champion dropped to third in the opening laps but made two impressive moves in nine race-winning laps to claim his second victory of the season.
AICF LAUNCHED 'CHECKMATE COVID INITIATIVE'
The All India Chess Federation has launched the ‘Checkmate Covid Initiative’ to help the chess community affected by the pandemic.
The initiative was launched at an online event in the presence of FIDE (World Chess Federation) president Arkady Dvorkovich, five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand, World Rapid Chess Champion Koneru Humpy, AICF president Sanjay Kapoor and secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan.
The idea is to not just help the chess community affected by COVID through financial aid, but also have a team of doctors that works round-the-clock to provide the right assistance.
• All India Chess Federation President: Sanjay Kapoor.
• All India Chess Federation Headquarters location: Chennai.
• All India Chess Federation Founded: 1951.
MARK SELBY BECOMES WORLD CHAMPION IN SNOOKER
British professional snooker player Mark Selby won the world championship for the fourth time. This time he won the title of defeating Shaun Murphy.
Mark Selby won the 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2021 world championships. He ranked first in the world between 2015 and 2019.
World Snooker Championship has been held annually since 1927. The game was played at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association organized a championship game.
BABAR AZAM NAMED AS ICC MEN'S PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Pakistani skipper Babar Azam has been named the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for April 2021 for his consistent and stellar performances across all formats in the recently concluded series against South Africa.
The ICC Player of the Month Awards recognise and celebrate the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket throughout the year.
Along with Babar, Australian women’s team wicketkeeper-batsman Alyssa Healy also bagged the ICC Women’s Player of The Month accolade for her incredible performances during the month of April.
Healy’s consistency with the bat has played a significant role in Australia’s dominance. Healy has shown her class in all conditions and against all types of bowling in the recent series against New Zealand.
IMPORTANT DAYS AND DATES
INTERNATIONAL LABOUR DAY OBSERVED ON MAY 1ST
International Labour Day (also known as May Day or International Workers’ Day) is celebrated across the world on the 1st of May every year.
The day celebrates the struggle, dedication and commitment of the working class and is an annual public holiday in several countries.
On 1 May 1886, Chicago and a few other cities were the sites of a major union demonstration in support of the eight-hour workday demand.
In 1889, the International Socialist Conference declared that in commemoration of the Haymarket affair, 1 May would be an international holiday for the labour force, now known as International Workers’ Day.
• Headquarters of International Labour Organization: Geneva, Switzerland.
• President of International Labour Organization: Guy Ryder.
• International Labour Organization Founded: 1919.
WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY: 3RD MAY
World Press Freedom Day is observed globally on 3 May every year. It is also known as World Press Day. The day also pays tribute to journalists who have lost their lives.
They risk their lives at times or may even have to face tough situations in order to bring the news from different corners of the world in front of the public.
This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good”.
The theme is of urgent relevance to all countries across the world. It recognizes the changing communications system that is impacting our health, our human rights, democracies and sustainable development.
This was followed by the Windhoek Declaration that was established to maintain the free press. As the declaration was made on the 3rd of May, hence the special day is observed each year on 3rd May.
WORLD ASTHMA DAY OBSERVED ON MAY 4TH
World Asthma Day is observed every year on the 1st Tuesday of May. This year, World Asthma Day is observed on May 4, 2021.
The day spread awareness about asthma disease and care around the world. Whilst the primary focus is supporting the person with asthma, support may also extend to family, friends and caregivers. The theme for 2021 World Asthma Day is “Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions“.
World Asthma Day is annually organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). In 1998, the first World Asthma Day was celebrated in more than 35 countries in conjunction with the first World Asthma Meeting in Barcelona, Spain.
Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs that causes breathing problems. Symptoms of asthma include breathlessness, coughing, wheezing and a feeling of tightness in the chest. These symptoms vary in frequency and severity.
When the symptoms are not under control, the airways can become inflamed making breathing difficult. Whilst asthma cannot be cured, the symptoms can be controlled enabling people with asthma to live full lives.
WORLD HAND HYGIENE DAY: MAY 5TH
Every year, the World Hand Hygiene Day is observed on May 5.
The day is organised by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness among people across the globe about the importance of hand hygiene in warding off many serious infections.
The theme for 2021 is ‘Seconds Save Lives: Clean Your Hands’. The day recognizes hand washing as one of the most effective actions that can be taken to avoid a huge range of infections including the COVID-19 virus.
• Director-General of the World Health Organization: Tedros Adhanom.
• Headquarters of WHO: Geneva, Switzerland.
WORLD ATHLETICS DAY 2021: 5TH MAY
The World Athletics Day-2021 is observed on the 5 May. The date is subject to adjustment, the date of World Athletics Day is decided by the IAAF, however, the month stays the same as May.
The first World Athletics Day was observed in 1996. The basic objective of World Athletics Day is to boost the participation of youths in athletics.
The objective of World Athletics day is to increase public awareness about sports and to educate youngsters about the importance of sports. To promote athletics as the primary sport in schools and institution. To establish athletics as the number one participation sport in schools all over the world.
WORLD MIGRATORY BIRD DAY: 8TH MAY
World Migratory Bird Day 2021 is observed globally on 8 May. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of migratory birds and the importance of international cooperation to conserve them.
“Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!” is the theme of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day. The 2021 World Migratory Bird Day theme is an invitation to people everywhere to connect and re-connect with nature by actively listening to – and watching birds – wherever they are.
At the same time, the theme appeals to people around the world to use their own voices and creativity to express their shared appreciation of birds and nature.
This day is organized by a collaborative partnership among two UN treaties the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and the Colorado-based non-profit organization, Environment for the Americas (EFTA).
This day is a global campaign dedicated to raising awareness of migratory birds and the need for international cooperation to conserve them.
WORLD RED CROSS & RED CRESCENT DAY: 8TH MAY
The World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is observed every year on 8 May.
The day aims to celebrate the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, to reduce the suffering of people and enabling them to lead a dignified life with independence, humanity, impartiality, universality, unity and neutrality.
Theme 2021 World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day: ‘Unstoppable’
History of the day: The day also marks the anniversary of the birth of Henry Dunant (8 May 1828), who was the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). He was the recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize.
• President of the ICRC: Peter Maurer.
• Headquarters of ICRC: Geneva, Switzerland.
REPORTS AND INDEXES
LIC AS MOST VALUABLE INSURANCE BRAND GLOBALLY
The state-owned insurance behemoth ‘Life Insurance Corporation (LIC)’ has emerged as the third strongest and the tenth most valuable insurance brand globally, in Brand Finance Insurance 100 report for 2021.
The annual report is released by London-based brand valuation consultancy firm Brand Finance, to identify the most valuable and strongest insurance brands globally.
• Most Valuable Indian Insurance Brand – LIC (10th)
• Most Strongest Indian Insurance Brand – LIC (3rd)
• Most Valuable Global Insurance Brand – Ping An Insurance, China
• Most Strongest Global Insurance Brand – Poste Italiane, Italy
In the strongest insurance brands category, Italy’s Poste Italiane was at the top position, followed by Mapfre of the US and LIC of India.
WIPRO BECOMES 3RD LARGEST INDIAN IT FIRM
Wipro regained its position as the 3rd largest Indian IT services company by market capitalization of ₹ 2.65 trillion by suppressing HCL Technologies’ ₹ 2.62 trillion market cap.
TCS remains at the top of the list with a market cap of ₹ 11.51 trillion followed by Infosys.
Wipro has also announced its commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040, in line with the objective of the Paris Agreement to cap temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius.
The country’s third-largest largest software services company has set an intermediate target of 55 per cent reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 in absolute emission levels compared to its base year of 2016-17 (April-March).
• Chairman of Wipro Limited: Rishad Premji.
• Wipro Headquarters: Bengaluru;
• Wipro MD and CEO: Thierry Delaporte.
COVID-19 INDIA'S LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH
According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation's (IHME) most recent figures, the Covid-19 pandemic has been India's leading cause of death.
IHME is a non-profit global health research centre based at the University of Washington in the United States.
Death due to Covid-19 Pandemic: India has reported more than 2,15,000 deaths and has registered more than 19 million cases of coronavirus, second only to the United States.
The pandemic's human toll is more than twice the number of people killed in more than 320 natural disasters in the last two decades (2000-2019).
Other Top Causes of Deaths in India:
• Ischemic heart disease (second),
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (third),
• Strokes (fourth),
• Diarrhoeal diseases (fifth),
• Neonatal disorders (sixth),
• Lower respiratory infections (seventh),
• Tuberculosis (eighth),
• Diabetes mellitus (ninth) and
• Chronic liver diseases, including cirrhosis (tenth).
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
CHINA'S FIRST EVER MARS ROVER 'ZHURONG'
China has named its first-ever Mars rover “Zhurong” after an ancient fire god ahead of a landing attempt on the Red Planet in May.
The China National Space Administration (CNSA) revealed the name at the sixth China Space Day held in Nanjing. The Chinese name for Mars, “Huoxing,” literally means “fire star.”
Zhurong was the most popular of 10 shortlisted names for a public vote that opened in January, and that choice was backed by an expert panel and the CNSA itself.
The rover carries panoramic and multispectral cameras and instruments to analyze the composition of rocks. Zhurong will also investigate subsurface characteristics with ground-penetrating radar if all goes according to plan.
NASA'S PARKER SOLAR PROBE
NASA's Parker Solar Probe detected a natural radio signal, indicating that the spacecraft had passed through the planet's upper atmosphere. In nearly 30 years, this was the first direct measurement of Venus's atmosphere.
The historic Parker Solar Probe mission from NASA will transform our perception of the sun, where changing conditions will spread across the solar system, impacting Earth and other worlds.
The Parker Solar Probe would fly through the sun's atmosphere, getting closer to the surface than any spacecraft before it, enduring extreme heat and radiation, and supplying mankind with the closest-ever observations of a star.
Parker Solar Probe has three distinct scientific goals:
Follow the energy flow that heats and speeds up the solar wind and solar corona. Investigate the structure and dynamics of plasma and magnetic fields at solar wind sources. Explore how energetic particles are accelerated and transported.
ANAND MAHINDRA LAUNCHED 'OXYGEN ON WHEELS'
The Mahindra Group Chairman, Anand Mahindra has rolled out a project titled ‘Oxygen on Wheels’ to ease the transportation of oxygen from producing plants to hospitals and homes, following acute oxygen shortage amid a severe second wave of coronavirus.
The ‘Oxygen on Wheels’ initiative will bridge the gap between oxygen production and its transportation in India, especially in Maharashtra.
Mahindra has lined up around 70 Bolero pickup trucks to connect oxygen producers with hospitals and homes, to deliver oxygen cylinders. The project is being implemented through Mahindra Logistics.
Apart from this, an operations control centre has been established and the storage location is replenished from the local refilling plant. A direct-to-consumer model is also being conceived.
• Mahindra Group CEO: Pawan Kumar Goenka.
• Mahindra Group Founded: 2 October 1945, Ludhiana.
WORLD'S LARGEST AEROPLANE BY STRATOLAUNCH
The world’s largest aeroplane, designed to transport hypersonic vehicles and facilitate easy access to space, soared into clear skies over California’s Mojave Desert.
The company Stratolaunch designed it to transport hypersonic vehicles and facilitate easy access to space.
The aircraft named ‘Roc’ features a twin-fuselage design and the longest wingspan ever flown, at 385 feet (117 m), surpassing the Hughes H-4 Hercules flying boat of 321 feet (98 m).
The Stratolaunch is intended to carry a 550,000-pound payload and will be able to launch rockets from high altitude.
• Stratolaunch Headquarters: Mojave, California, USA.
• Stratolaunch CEO & President: Jean Floyd.