Daily Current Affairs - 10-05-2021

The SpaceX Billionaire Elon Musk recently announced that he had Asperger’s Syndrome. The announcement was made in a TV show Musk was hosting. Musk also mentioned about the Dogecoin cryptocurrency in the show.

What is Asperger’s Syndrome?

Autism Spectrum Disorder

International Classification of Diseases

SpaceX is to launch DOGE-1, a satellite that is completely funded with crypto currency. Days earlier Musk did mention about DOGE crypto currencies in a TV show he was hosting. He also admitted in the show that he had Asperger’s Syndrome.

About DOGE-1

Falcon 9

Dogecoin

Recent Developments in SpaceX

The International Union for Conservation of Nature recently released a report called the “Nature in a Globalised World: Conflict and Conservation”. The report focuses on complex relationships between nature and armed conflict. The main objective of the report was to bring nature conservation into the mainstream of economic and political decision making.

Key Findings of the report

Recommendations

The following recommendations were made the report:

The West Bengal Chief Minister recently requested the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to exempt COVID medicines and oxygen tanks from taxes. Several other states such as Odisha were also asking for tax exemption on key medicines.

Current Scenario

The GST rates for COVID-19 vaccines, drugs, oxygen concentrators are between 5% and 12%. It is applicable to the domestic supplies.

How will GST Exemption lead to price rise?

If full exemption of GST is given to the vaccines, then the manufacturers will not be able to offset (balance the effect) their input taxes. They will in turn pass them to the end consumers.

In Simple Terms: Let us assume that a vaccine is made of five components or raw materials. Now, these raw materials are subjected to GST. The manufacturer pays taxes in buying these raw materials. Now, if GST is exempted on the sale of vaccines, then the manufacturer will increase the price to maintain his profits. This price rise will be added to the price paid by the end consumer.

Government measures

The Finance Minister also highlighted the current COVID-19 vaccine benefits being offered. They were as follows:

The Chinese rocket Long March 5B recently fell into the Indian Ocean near Maldives. The track of the falling rocket couldn’t be predicted for days. However, the European Space Agency announced that the rocket might fall anywhere between 41.5 degree north and 41.5 degrees south latitude. This put several highly populated cities at risk.

What is NASA saying?

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of US recently lambasted (attacked) China the space craft did not abide the International standards on Space Debris and also on safety.

United Nations on Space Debris

In 2007, the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space endorsed a resolution on “Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines”

Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines

What is the issue? Why is NASA criticising Chinese Actions?

The rockets carry their payload into the space. After the payload is dropped in its orbit, the booster stages of the rocket that reach the orbit fire the engine to drop the rockets back to the earth. This will prevent the rocket from remaining in the orbit and thereby reduce space debris. And also prevent them from causing potential threats to hit other rockets.

However, China chose not to do this for its Long March rocket. This led to the crashing of its rocket. Thus, NASA is criticising Chinese actions for not abiding by the international safety standards.

Also, space stations make sure such parts fall in the middle of the ocean or in uninhabited areas.

Himanta Biswa Sarma is to be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Assam on May 10, 2021. He is to replace Sarbananda Sonowal. Both the candidates are from BJP. Sarbananda recently resigned.

Chief Minister of the state

The Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor. It is to be noted that only Members of the Legislative Assembly or Members of the Parliament are elected by the people. The Chief Minister and the Prime Minister are appointed by the Governor and President respectively.

After the election, the party that secures majority in the house elects its leader. The leader’s name is then communicated to the Governor. The Governor appoints the CM and then asks the CM to appoint his council of ministers. The Governor can ask the single largest party to form the government when no party gets majority in the state.

The State Assembly shall remove him from power by passing Vote of No Confidence against him. Also, the Governor shall dismiss him if he loses his majority support.

A person not belonging to the Legislative Assembly or to the Legislative Council shall also be appointed as the Chief Minister. However, he or she should be elected to either of the houses within six months of his or her tenure. Like Mamta Banerjee was sworn in as the Chief Minister of West Bengal. She was sworn in as the CM of West Bengal even though she lost in the Assembly elections to Suvendu Adhikari by a margin of 1956 votes.

Constitutional Provisions

The Laureus World Sports Awards, 2021 was held in Seville. The awards are presented to honour individuals and teams who have achieved in sports throughout the year. It was established in 1999 by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. It is supported by Mitsubishi, Mercedes Benz. The first Laureus World Sports Awards was presented in 2000.

About the awards

Laureus World Sports Awards 2021

In 2021, the following Laureus World Sports Awards were presented:

This year the Laureus World sports Award for Action Sports person of the year was not awarded.

The Ministry of AYUSH recently announced that Ayush-64 will be available free of cost for mild, moderate asymptomatic patients in Delhi. The representatives or patients can visit these centres with Aadhar card and a soft or hard copy of RT-PCR positive report to get the free AYUSH-64 tablets.

Where is Ayush 64 available in Delhi?

The AYUSH 64 tablets will be available in seven centres in Delhi. They are:

About Ayush 64

How to take Ayush-64?

The patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 cases showing body ache, fever, nasal congestion, headache, nasal discharge, cough can start taking Ayush 64 within seven days of COVID-19 diagnosis.

Also, it can be taken as a standalone treatment in mild cases under the supervision of an Ayurvedic physician.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare recently announced that the area of summer crops has sharply increased by 21.58% as compared to 2020. The increase has almost doubled. Summer crops are also called Zaid crops. They are grown between March and June.

Expansion of area of Summer Crops

Which crops have increased?

The area under rice cultivation has increased by 15.59%. In 2020, it was 33.82 hectares. Now it has increased in 39.10 hectares. The area under pulses has increased by 97.58%. It was 6.45 hectares in 2020 and has now increased to 12.74 hectares in 2021.

Oil seeds has increased by 15.66%. Area under coarse grains have increased by 0.93%.

Water Storage

The Ministry also announced that the water storage in more than 130 key reservoirs has increased by 20% as compared to that of the average storage in the last ten years. Due to this more areas have come under cultivation in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Karnataka. This is one of the main reasons for the increase in areas under summer cultivation.

Oil Seeds

GoI is also focusing to increase the production of oil seeds in the country apart from pulses. Currently, India imports 75% of edible oil to meet its domestic requirements. The import bill has crossed Rs 70,000 crores.

Recent Developments

The World Health Organisation recently approved the Emergency Use of Sinpharm vaccine. Recently, the WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines developed by AstraZeneca, Pfizer, BioNTech, Johnson and Johnson as well. The other popular Chinese Vaccine is sinovac.

Sinopharm Vaccine

Sinopharm vaccine was developed by China. This is the first time the WHO has given approval to a Chinese vaccine. It is also a sign that Sinopharm vaccine might be allowed to be included in COVAX programme.

According to WHO, the efficacy of Sinopharm vaccine is 79%.

Working of Sinopharm

The Sinopharm Vaccine is an inactivated vaccine just like the COVAXIN. The inactivated vaccines are creating by killing the disease carrying virus (COVID-19) using heat, radiation or chemicals. These vaccines take longer time to make. Also, they require two to three doses.

The other vaccines that use this approach is the polio vaccine and flu.

Out of several vaccines in the world, only Sinovac, Sinopharm and COVAXIN use inactivated virus. Other vaccines such as Moderna, AstraZeneca (COVISHILED), sputnik, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson use a viral vector.

Current Scenario

Though the Chinese vaccine is just receiving WHO approval, it is already being administered in several countries. Also, the other Chinese vaccine called the Sinovac is yet to get WHO approval. Countries such as Pakistan and Egypt are planning to administer Sinovac. One million Sinovac vaccines were recently transported to Pakistan. Egypt has agreed to produce 60 million Sinovac doses in June 2021.

Countries like Brazil, Bahrain had raised concerns over the efficacy of the Chinese vaccines.

Victory Day is celebrated in Russia to mark the surrender of Germans in the second world war.

Moscow Victory Day Parade

On May 9, 2021, Russia marked the 76th anniversary of victory in World War II. A military parade was held at the Red Square of Moscow. This parade is being held every year on May 9 since 1995. The parade is called “Moscow Victory Day Parade”.

The Victory Day Parade became an annual event only after the collapse of Soviet Union in 1991.

Red Square is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1990.

Moscow Victory Day Parade

In 1945, the Soviet Armed Forces held a military parade in Red Square after defeating the Nazi Army. This was the longest and largest military parade held in Red Square. More than 40,000 soldiers and 1,850 military vehicles participated in the parade.

The parade was held in June 24, 1945. It was held a month after the Germans surrendered to the Soviet Commanders. The Germans surrendered on May 9, 1945.

German Instrument of Surrender

The German Instrument of Surrender was signed in Reims on May 7, 1945 by the Chief of Staff of the Germans, Alfred Jodi. Another Instrument of Surrender was signed in May 9, 1945 in the outskirts of Berlin. Both the instrument of surrender stipulated that the German forces will cease active operations.

While the second Instrument of Surrender was signed, it was late night in Germany. It was the next morning in Soviet Union. Thus, Russia celebrates Moscow Victory Day on May 9th and East Germany observed it on May 8th as the Liberation Day.

A Chinese document written in 2015 states that SARS virus shall be used as a “New Era of Genetic Weapons”. The virus can be artificially manipulated into a human virus disease, then weaponized and unleashed (released from restraint). This was first brought out in Australia.

What does the paper say?

The paper reveals that the Chinese Military scientists were discussing weaponization of SARS virus five years before COVID-19 pandemic. The paper also says that the world war three shall be fought with biological weapons.

Authenticity of the documents

The document was authored by PLA researchers and scientists. The genesis of the document was located in the Chinese internet. The document has also been revealed in an upcoming book called “What really happened in Wuhan”.

International response

Countries such as Brazil, US, Australia have made strong statements against actions after the release of the report. The countries are furious that Chinese actions on COVID was merely based on economic benefits.

Origin of the Virus

China is being questioned over the handling of COVID-19 since it originated in Wuhan in 2019. Some believe that it originated in a market where wild animals are traded. Others believe that the virus leaked in a lab in Wuhan.

Lack of Transparency

China was not ready to allow the World Health Organisation to conduct investigations about the origin of COVID-19 virus. Only after international pressure did China allow WHO to make investigations to find out the origin.

Even after the outbreak of the disease in Wuhan in 2019, China was silent. It did not inform the WHO about disease. China also was not able to contain the disease.

China was also silent about the recent failure of Tianhe core module and its rocket Long March 5B falling in to the Indian Ocean. Though the mission failed, the details of the returning rocket and how and where will it fall was not disclosed.

Mucormycosis, also known as black fungus infection is increasing among the COVID patients. The National COVID Task Force recently issued an advisory against Mucormycosis.

Mucormycosis

Symptoms

Treatment

Mucormycosis might lead to loss of eyes or upper jaws. Such patients might require a surgery! The treatment of Mucormycosis includes infusion of saline, Amphotericin and other anti-fungal therapies.

What did the Task Force say?

The COVID Task Force has recommended to control hyperglycemia after discharge. Their blood glucose level should be monitored after discharge.

Why are COVID patients susceptible to Mucormycosis?

The immunity level of a person recovering from COVID-19 is very low. The Mucoromycetes easily affects persons with very low immunity levels. It is especially common among COVID patients who are treated with steroids to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a condition where a part of the body is swollen, reddened and is often painful due to an infection or reaction to injury.

The Ministry of Health recently announced that a new security feature is being added to the Co-WIN software. Co-WIN is COVID-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network.

What is the new security feature?

Background

The Health Ministry recently agreed that there has been data entry error in marking people who have booked vaccination slots as “Vaccinated”. Several users complained that they received notification of vaccination dose administered to them even when they missed their appointments made in Co-WIN.

About Co-WIN