Current affairs 5 may 2020

Daily Current Affairs Today 5 May 2020

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Russia 1st satellite ‘Arktika-M’ Launches to monitor Arctic climate & environment

Russia 1st satellite ‘Arktika-M’ Launches to monitor Arctic climate & environment

Russia will launch its 1st Arktika-M satellite by December 9, 2020 to monitor the Arctic climate and environment

About Arktika-M satellite

    • This remote-sensing and emergency communications satellite is the No.1 one spacecraft ever developed
    • It is being radio-electronic tested
    • It will collect meteorological data in the Earth’s polar regions, which will help scientists to better study climate change, with permission to improve weather forecasts
    • It is being built to monitor high-latitude areas of the Earth
    • Their payload consist of MSU-GSM (Microwave Sounding Unit-Global System for Mobile communication) multi-spectral imager and transmitters for meteorological & rescue process
    • Launches from Baikonur space center (Kazakhstan) using a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with a freegate booster
    • The 2nd Arktika-M satellite is still under development and may be launched in 2023

What is the need of launching it?

  • In the Arctic Circle, the climate is generally cold, but in the coastal areas of Norway, as a result of the Gulf Stream, temperatures remain relatively high, keeping the ports of northern Norway and northwest Russia ice-free throughout the year
  • In the interiors, summers are quite hot, while winters are extremely cold.

Arctic Circle

  • It is the northernmost of the five major regions marked by latitude in the Earth’s map
  • The northern region of this circle is known as the Arctic and the southern region is called the northern temperate zone

Why is Climate Change Study in Polar important?

    • The polar ice is depleting at faster rate
    • The Depleting ice releases methane and contribute to climate change as a whole
    • The ice in the polar region reflects incoming solar radiation
    • This will cause heating up of water leading to ocean acidification
    • Also, ocean will begin to absorb more heat increasing global warming.

“Special Corona Tax” imposed on Liquor by Delhi Government

“Special Corona Tax” imposed on Liquor by Delhi Government

The 3rd phase of lock down began in India on May 4, 2020

Under the third phase, the liquor shops were opened in selected regions with certain restrictions.

What is Liquor Tax?

    • The Delhi Government imposed 70% hike in liquor prices
    • To be noted that liquor revenue is one of the major sources of revenue of state government.

How does Liquor contribute to state revenue?

    • Except for the states of Gujarat and Bihar, where sale of liquor has been banned, liquor contributes certain amount to the treasury of all other state and union territories
    • The states in general impose heavy excise duty on liquor
    • The state of Tamil Nadu imposes VAT (Value Added Tax) on liquor
    • Uttar Pradesh imposes “special duty on liquor” and uses the funds collected to maintain stray cattle

What is the RBI Report on Liquor revenue?

    • Reserve Bank of India released a report called State Finances
    • A study of Budgets of 2019-20, the excise duty on alcohol accounts to 10% to 15% of the state revenue of majority of the states
    • It is the second or third largest contributor
    • This was the main reason the state governments wanted liquor to be kept out of GST
    • The RBI report says that in 2019-20, all the states together had earned Rs 1,75,501 crores. This was 16% higher than that of 2018-19.

State Excise

    • The State Excise is levied on liquor
    • It includes country spirits, fermented liquor, foreign liquor, malt liquor, denatured spirits, medicated wines, toilet preparations containing alcohol, etc.

IIT Alumni Council Launches India’s 1st COVID-19 test bus (IIT C19) in Mumbai

IIT Alumni Council Launches India’s 1st COVID-19 test bus (IIT C19) in Mumbai

The Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) Alumni Council on 1st May 2020 launched a “COVID-19 test bus” in Mumbai, Maharashtra

PAN IIT ALumni India:

    • Pan IIT Alumni India is an organisation representing alumni of all IIT.
    • Registered on– 20 September 2006
    • Headquarters– IIT Delhi, New Delhi
    • Chairman– Ramnath S Mani
    • Vice Chairman– Pawan Kumar

Notable Points

    • The COVID-19 Testing bus reduces nearly 80% of the testing cost
    • There is no compromise in terms of testing capacity with this test
    • According to the IIT alumni council, a global alumni body for all the 23 IITs this will increase the testing capacity within 100 days
    • It supports the health department in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic
    • This IIT C19 bus is based on the Kodoy architecture model that is made to support the affordable and rapid testing which involves e-vehicles for contactless sample collections and Telemedicine, AI-based teleradiology and algorithm based on pooled genetic testing and mega-labs capable of conducting upto 5 million tests per month per lab
    • digital Chest X-ray will be carried out and sent to the doctors online and the healthcare staff
    • They use AI to see the probability of the person having coronavirus
    • Swab from mouth and throat done across a glass screen to protect the technician from any kind of contact with the patient and the samples are sent to the diagnostic centers
    • The bus has the capacity to collect 10-15 samples per hour

SIDBI Launches ‘India SME Services Platform’ a digital platform

SIDBI Launches ‘India SME Services Platform’ a digital platform

The Small Industries Development Bank of India(SIDBI) on May 4, 2020 informed that it is going to launch ‘India SME Services Platform’


It is a digital platform to educate stakeholders in the small and medium enterprises(SME) ecosystem and have information on coronavirus-related initiatives for the sector


    • Headquarters– Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
    • Chairman & Managing Director (MD)– Mohammad Mustafa

Notable Points

    • Provide Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) information about starting operations, getting finance, credit enhancement and other support services
    • This initiative bring together all the stakeholders
    • Will have a web page containing a dashboard of all schemes being implemented by the central government, state governments, banks and industry associations & the government can also monitor actions on policies, schemes and programmes for the sector.
    • Industry associations can avail of a window for insights and analytics, partnerships and directory & give financiers an opportunity to look for marketplace, documentation support and loan management.
    • Regulators can tap macroeconomic trends, compliances, risk management and systemic aspects through the platform.

What are the other initiatives by SIDBI related to COVID-19?

    • Earlier SIDBI Launched special liquidity schemes to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs)
    • SIDBI announced that it will provide emergency working capital of up to Rs 1 crore to SMEs
    • SAFE initiative

Pulitzer Prizes 2020 announced 3 photojournalists from Jammu & Kashmir won the feature photography

Pulitzer Prizes 2020 announced 3 photojournalists from Jammu & Kashmir won the feature photography

The Pulitzer Prize 2020 winners on May 4, 2020 announced

About Pulitzer award:

  • Established in 1971
  • The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States (US)
  • It is presented by Columbia University.

About Associated Press:

  • President and CEO– Gary Pruitt
  • Headquarter– New York, USA

What are the categories covered in this?

  • 15 Journalism categories
  • 7 Book, Drama and Music categories by its administrator, Dana Canedy,via video-conference instead of a ceremony at Columbia University in New York, United States (US) due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • 3 photojournalists from Jammu & Kashmir win Pulitzer Prize 2020
  • 3 Indian photojournalists won 2020 Pulitzer Prizein feature photography
  • The three Indian photojournalists namely Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan and Channi Anand from Jammu and Kashmir who work for Associated Press (AP) won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in feature photography
  • The award recognized their exceptional coverage of Jammu and Kashmir during the lockdown that was imposed on Jammu and Kashmir by the Central Government after the revocation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019.
  • The winning photographers captured images of protests, the police, paramilitary action and daily life in Jammu and Kashmir after phone and internet services were shut down in August 2019, making it difficult for the world to gain access to the region
  • Yasin and Khan are residents of Srinagar in Kashmir while Anand lives in Jammu.
  • Colson Whitehead becomes rare author to be honoured with the prize for consecutive books
  • Colson Whitehead became the rare author to receive Pulitzers for consecutive books when his novel about a brutal Florida reform school during the Jim Crow era, ‘The Nickel Boys,’ was awarded the fiction prize 2020.
  • In 2017, he won for his Civil War era novel ‘The Underground Railroad’.
  • Riveting’ coverage of Alaska policing wins Pulitzer Prize
  • The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica won the Pulitzer Prize in public service for illuminating public safety gaps in Alaska, USA revealing that a third of villages had no police protection.
  • Late Ida B. Wells recognized with Special Awards and Citations
  • Late Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, who was an American investigative journalist,was honored for her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching
  • She died in 1931.
  • The citation comes with a bequest by the Pulitzer Prize board of at least $50,000 in support of her mission.

Who wins what?

  • Public Service Anchorage Daily News with contributions from ProPublica Alaska, USA
  • Breaking News Reporting Staff of The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky. Louisville, Kentucky, USA
  • Investigative Reporting Brian M. Rosenthal of The New York Times (USA)
  • Explanatory Reporting Staff of The Washington Post(USA)
  • Local Reporting Staff of The Baltimore Sun Maryland(USA)
  • National Reporting Dominic Gates, Steve Miletich, Mike Baker and Lewis Kamb of The Seattle Times
  • T. Christian Miller, Megan Rose and Robert Faturechi of ProPublica(USA)
  • International Reporting Staff of The New York Times(USA)
  • Feature Writing Ben Taub of The New Yorker(USA)
  • Commentary Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times(USA)
  • Criticism Christopher Knight of the Los Angeles Times(USA)
  • Editorial Writing Jeffery Gerritt of the Palestine (Tx.) Herald Press Palestine& Texas(USA)
  • Editorial Cartooning Barry Blitt, contributor, The New Yorker(USA)
  • Feature Photography ChanniAnand, Mukhtar Khan and Dar Yasin of Associated Press (AP) India

AP Headquarter- New York(USA)

Audio Reporting Staff of This American Life with Molly O’Toole of the Los Angeles Times and Emily Green, freelancer, Vice News(USA)
Books, Drama and Music

    • Fiction The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
    • Drama A Strange Loop, by Michael R. Jackson
    • History Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America, by W.
    • Caleb McDaniel (Oxford University Press)
    • Biography Sontag: Her Life and Work, by Benjamin Moser (Ecco)
    • Poetry The Tradition, by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon Press)
    • General Nonfiction The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of
    • America, by Greg Grandin (Metropolitan Books)
    • Music The Central Park Five, by Anthony Davis

Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) Released ‘CIM-Paushak’ and ‘Herbal Cough Syrup’ to boost immunity

Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) Released ‘CIM-Paushak’ and ‘Herbal Cough Syrup’ to boost immunity

Researchers at Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, developed scientifically proven two herbal products such as ‘CIM-Paushak’ and ‘Herbal Cough Syrup’

What they does?

It boosts the immunity of the persons as well as helps in reducing the dry cough symptom generally associated with the coronavirus infection

About Uttar Pradesh (UP)

    • Capital– Lucknow
    • Chief Minister (CM)– Yogi Adityanath
    • Governor– Anandiben Patel

Notable Points

    • CIMAP, a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), decided to transfer the technology of its herbal products to the entrepreneurs and start-up companies
    • These 2 products were found to be effective in boosting the immunity of a person
    • Twelve valuable herbs including Puranva, Ashwagandha, Mulethi, Harad, Baheda and Sataver compounds have been used in both these products
    • Herbal Cough Syrup is developed based on the latest guidelines of the AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) ministry and it has been prepared on the basis of the ‘Tridosha’ principle of Ayurveda
    • Dr. Prabodh K. Trivedi, Director, CIMAP, mentioned that the Institute would provide its pilot facility for manufacturing the herbal products CIM-Paushak and Herbal Cough Syrup to entrepreneurs and start-ups after signing of the MoU (Memorandum of Understandings) and transfer of technology
    • Dr. D. N. Mani, lead researcher of the study mentioned that the scientific studies have shown that ‘CIM-Puashak’ has performed better than other available immunity booster products in the market
    • The herbal products have also been found to be cheap, safe and effective in the animal trials conducted in the institute
    • According to health experts, coronavirus reduces the immune response of the infected person and it has been observed that this pandemic has mostly affected people with low immune systems
    • The experts feel that improvement of the immune system helps in reducing the effects of the infection and also fight the COVID-19 disease

Jharkhand launches three schemes for rural job creation

Jharkhand launches three schemes for rural job creation

Chief Minister of Jharkhand Hemant Soren launched three schemes, Veer Sahid Poto Ho Khel Vikas Scheme (VSPHKVS), Birsa Harit Gram Yojana(BHGY), Neelambar Pitambar JAL Sammridhi Yojana(NPJSY) and On 4th May 2020

Why such schemes Launched?

To prove wage employment for the workers in the rural area devised in convergence with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme(MNREGA) in the presence of rural development minister AlamgirAlam, water resources minister MithileshThankur and other administrative officials

About Jharkhand

  • Capital– Ranchi
  • Official Bird– Asian Koel
  • Official Animal– Indian Elephant

Notable Points

    • In the data provided by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CIME) the unemployment rate of the state pegged at 47.1% which is double the national average. The three schemes are to provide employment for more than 6 lakh stranded migrant labourers returning to the state and revive the economy of the state.
    • These schemes are made keeping the long term goals for sustainable development and creating new assets for the state.
    • NeelambarPitambarJalSammridhiYojana(NPJSY) is aimed for the conservation of water, recharge of ground water, creation of agro-water storage units for saving rainwater and runaway ground water.
    • BirsaHarit Gram Yojana(BHGY) is aimed to use the two lakh acres of government lands for afforestation by providing 100 fruit-bearing plants to more than 5 lakh families to initiate the plantation, maintenance, landwork and afforestation through MNREGA.
    • VeerSahidPotoHoKhelVikas Scheme(VSPHKVS) is for linking sports with rural job schemes in order to provide boost to sports through the scheme around 5,000 sports grounds are planned to set up for one each in all 4300 panchayats.


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