On May 14, 2021, K P Sharma Oli was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Nepal for the third time. President Bidya Devi Bhandari administered his oath of office. He was re-appointed as the Prime Minister as the opposition couldn’t prove their majority.
Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli recently lost vote of confidence in the Nepal Parliament. Now, he has to take Vote of Confidence within thirty days. If he fails to do so, Article 76 of the Constitution will be initiated.
It says that the president of the country appoints the leader of the parliamentary party that gains majority in the house as Prime Minister. The council of ministers are also appointed by the President under the Prime Minister.
When no party has gained majority in the House of Representatives, The President can appoint any Member of the House of Representatives as Prime Minister. He or she should be capable enough to command the majority with the support of two or more parties in the House of Representatives.
The Prime Minister as appointed under the above procedure is given thirty days to prove his vote of confidence. If the Prime Minister is not able to gain vote of confidence within thirty days, the President shall appoint the leader of the party that gained the highest number of members in the House of Representatives. Again he is given time to prove his majority.
If none of the above clauses are possible, then the President shall dissolve the parliament and launch fresh elections.
On May 14, 2021, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories announced that it had launched Sputnik V in India. The vaccine is imported from Russia. And is distributed by Dr Reddy’s laboratory. Currently, Sputnik V is the second most expensive COVID1-19 vaccines in the country. The cost of one dose of Sputnik V is Rs 995.
The Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has received 150,000 doses of Sputnik V from Russia. India (that is Dr Reddy’s) signed an agreement with the Russia Direct Investment Fund to receive 250 million doses. This is sufficient to inoculate 125 million people in the country.
RDIF of Russia is responsible for signing agreements for the supply of Sputnik V.
The imported vaccine was priced at Rs 948 per dose. However, the price of the vaccine has been increased to Rs 995.40 per dose including 5% GST. Recently, several State Governments were asking to waive off GST on vaccines. To this, the Finance Minister had clearly explained that doing so will lead to price rise of the vaccine.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently released the eighth instalment of Prime Minister 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.
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.
A Blood Moon occurs when the Moon of the Earth is on total lunar Eclipse. During this time, the moon looks red or ruddy brown. Thus it is called Blood Moon. The next Blood Moon is to occur on May 26, 2021. The last Blood Moon occurred on January 20-21, 2019.
Lunar Eclipses happen only during a full moon. During this time, the moon is completely under the Earth’s shadow. At this time, a little bit of the sunlight that reaches the earth during sunrise and sunset falls on the moon. It can be noted that the sky is red in colour during sunrise and sunset. This means during this time out of all the seven VIBGYOR colours in the white light, only red reaches the earth. This red colour light is reflected on the moon and thus the moon turned into a Blood Moon.
No. This is because, the plane in which the earth revolves around the sun and the plane in which the moon revolves around the earth are different. Eclipses occur only when the planes coincide.
As the sun is at the horizon (imaginary line where the surface of the earth and the sky meets), the sunlight has to travel a longer distance to reach the earth’s surface. It means that during this time of the day, the light has to encounter more atmospheric particles. These particles scatter maximum amount of the light. Of all the VIBGYOR colours in the sunlight, Red has the highest wavelength and thus can withstand scattering and manage to reach the earth’s surface. Other colours get scattered away during their journey towards the earth.
The African Swine Fever has stuck Meghalaya. Earlier, it had struck Mizoram.
The African Swine Fever has killed 1,700 pigs in Mizoram in a month. It has now spread to Meghalaya and has killed three hundred pigs here so far.
The Philippines Government recently placed the country under a State of Calamity for a year to address the impact of African Swine Fever. The first case of African Swine Fever was reported in 2019. It has killed more than three million hogs (domesticated pigs) since its outbreak in 2019.
The National Bamboo Mission recently launched the Management Information System to strengthen the domestic Agarbatti industry.
It will collect data about Agarbatti production, availability of raw materials, location of stick making units, production capacity, functioning of units, etc.
The system will act as an intermediary between the production units and the Agarbatti industry (as a whole). This will help to fill the information gaps.
In May 2021, the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University designed “Oxygen Park” in its premises in Coimbatore with Beema Bamboo. Beema Bamboo is a clone selected from Bambusa balcooa. It is a higher biomass yielding bamboo species. Also, it is one of the fastest growing plants. It grows to a height of one and a half feet in day.
Also, the Beema Bamboo is the best carbon sink to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The GoI recently inaugurated bamboo clusters.
Ocean Rewilding is expected to come up in COP26. A network of 68 European organisations are working together to find ways to reinvigorate the marine life of the earth.
Today the oceans have lost their capabilities to store blue carbon. Blue carbon is the term for carbon captured by the coastal systems and oceans. It is higher than that captured by the land. The annual carbon sequestration rate for mangrove forests is four times greater than that of a tropical forest!
It is an Ocean Rewilding project that was started by France in 2012. It aims to restore the coastal fish population. Under the programme, more than eighty five species of fishes have been reintroduced in the French Mediterranean region.
It was launched by the UK in 2020. It is also a Ocean Rewilding project. Under the project eight different sea grasses are to be planted across the south coast of England.
It is an artificial process by which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and is held in liquid or solid form.
The United Nations is to host the COP26 in Glasgow. It will bring together parties to accelerate goals of Paris Agreement and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The Punjab Cabinet recently approved Punjab Prison Rules, 2021. These rules were approved under the Prison Act, 1894.
The Punjab Jail Manual of 1996 has become archaic. There is a need to update it in the changed scenario of modernisation.
New security parameters such as effective surveillance and safe custody have been introduced in the new rules. The other new rules introduced are as follows:
These are to be used for lodging high risk prisoners such as drug offenders, gangsters, radicals, terrorists.
The Jail Employees are to get adequate provisions. This includes welfare funds, legal assistance, meal for employees during their shift, financial assistance, etc.
An “After Care Assistance” has been incorporated in the Punjab Prison Rules to ensure successful rehabilitation and social reintegration of released convict prisoners. This cover renting a house, assistance in employment, medical treatment, etc.
The rules include use of modern security and surveillance gadgets. This includes Artificial Intelligence enabled CCTVs, mobile jammers, motion sensors, alarm systems, siren, X-ray baggage scanner, body scanner, touch screen kiosks, etc. On the software side, the provisions such as E-wallet, E-procurement, Integrated Criminal Justice System are to be included.
Texas recently passed the Heartbeat Bill. It is a controversial bill in the United States. The bill bans abortions after the heartbeat of the embryo is detected. It is usually detected after 6 weeks of gestation.
North Dakota became the first state in the USA to pass the Heartbeat Bill. However, the Supreme Court of the US held the law unconstitutional.
Later several other states passed the law. This includes Ohio, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky. However, the federal courts of the states have blocked the law temporarily. These states are in the Bible Belt of US.
The southern region of the United States are socially conservative. In these states, the church attendance is higher than the nation’s average.
The Voyager 1 probe recently picked up humming sound. The scientists have named this as “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.
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 the 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 faster rate.
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.
The scientists from the University of Bristol and Goethe University have found traces of bee wax in the potteries unearthed in Nigeria. These potteries belong to the Nok Culture.
It measures the variations in the Earth’s magnetic field. This allows the ferrous objects on land and sea to be detected.
They are also used to locate a wrecked ship.
Tauktae Cyclone is the first cyclone in 2021 in India. The Kerala Government has issued “Red Alert”.
The following conditions favour cyclone formation:
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
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.
It incorporates 16 villages spread across four districts. It adopts sustainable land use practices.
Shavuot in Hebrew means Weeks. It took seven weeks of trekking through the desert to reach Mount Sinai. It is called the “Feast of Weeks”. It is a Jewish holiday that occurs in the Hebrew month of Sivan, that is, between May 15 and June 14.
At the Temple of Jerusalem, the Jewish farmers used to present their “Bikkurim” to the god. Bikkurim is the first ripe fruit offered in thanks to God.
It was a series of structures where the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the rock stand. The Israeli policemen recently stormed into the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
It is the mountain where “Ten Commandments” were given to Moses by God. Moses is the most important prophet of Judaism. He is also an important prophet in Islam and Christianity.
Shavuot, Pesach and Sukkot are the three major pilgrimage festivals in Israel. In the ancient times, the Israelites used to make pilgrimage to the Temple of Jerusalem during these three festivals. After the destruction of the second temple, the pilgrimages are no longer obligatory upon Jews. However, today the Jews living in and around Israel offer prayers at the western wall.