Daily Current Affairs : ALL Components


21-05-2020: Current Affair Updates of 21 May 2020

(GS PAPER - 2)

Government Policies & Interventions


1. The Government of India has launched a scheme for 100% solarisation of Konark sun templeand Konark town in Odisha. The scheme will meet all energy requirements of Konark town with solar energy.



  • To take forward the Prime Minister’s vision to develop the historical Sun temple town of Konark in Odisha as ‘Surya Nagri’.
  • To convey a message of synergy between the modern use of solar energy and the ancient Sun Temple and the importance of promoting solar energy.
  • Plan: It envisages setting up of the 10-MW grid connected solar project and various solar off-grid applications such as solar trees, solar drinking water kiosks and off-grid solar power plants with battery storage.
  • Funding: 100% Central Financial assistance (CFA) support of around Rs. 25 crore through the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
  • Implementation Agency: Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency.



(GS PAPER - 2)


Health Issues


2. Less invasive surfactant administration (LISA) is a recent medical technique which started at J.K. Lon Government Children’s Hospital in Jaipur. This technique is used for treatment of lung disease or respiratory distress syndrome among premature babies.


Key takeaways:

  • It is developed as a lung protective strategy for respiratory management and ventilation.
  • It has been observed that mechanical ventilation causes damage to the preterm lungs of newborns.
  • Infants who are showing evidence of increasing respiratory distress and rising oxygen requirement are provided with LISA.
  • The procedure has yielded encouraging results when it was started initially for newborn children with the birth weight of less than 1,500 grams.
  • The regular application of LISA would help save the lives of premature babies.



3. Swine Flu

  • Swine flu caused by the“swine flu virus”, the H1N1.
  • Swine Flu is an infection of the respiratory tractcharacterized by the usual symptoms of flu — cough, nasal secretions, fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, and headache.
  • It is called swine flu because it was known in the past to occur in people who had been in the vicinity of pigs.
  • The virus is transmitted by short-distance airborne transmission, particularly in crowded enclosed spaces. Hand contamination and direct contact are other possible sources of transmission.


4. Hepatitis B

  • It is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease.
  • The virus is most commonly transmitted from mother to child during birth and delivery, as well as through contact with blood or other body fluids.
  • It is the primary cause of liver cancer.
  • Hepatitis B can be prevented by vaccines that are safe, available and effective.
  • Every year, World Hepatitis Day is celebrated on the 28thof July.
  • It is among the four diseases apart from HIV-AIDS, TB, Malaria for which, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially endorses disease-specific global awareness days.



5. Context: Recently, the Haryana government has launched ‘H1N1 Vaccination Campaign for Healthcare Workers’ and Hepatitis-B control Programme.



  • India usually witnesses two peaks of H1N1 infection, one during January to March and another in post Monsoon between August and October. Thus, precautions through vaccination for H1N1 is considered to be a better solution.
  • The health workers are already facing the risk of Covid-19 while managing the pandemic, hence focussing on their health safety has become a top priority for the government.
  • In India, since 2016 about 85,000 persons are being infected by the H1N1virus and 4,900 deaths have occurred in the last few years.



  • It will vaccinate around 13,000 health workers across the state.
  • It includes a single dose vaccine and is effective for a period of one year.
  • Hepatitis-B Control Programme
  • The Hepatitis-B control programme has been launched under the National Viral Hepatitis Control programme.
  • The National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme aims at both prevention and treatment of hepatitis which is among the leading causes of liver cancer, cirrhosis of liver and acute liver failure.
  • The programme is a part of the National Health Mission.



(GS PAPER - 3)

Conservation related Issues


6. Context: A new prey and predator estimation in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur district has found the presence of 115 tigers and 151 leopards inside the 1,727 sq km of the core and buffer areas of the reserve in 2019. The estimation was done as part of the ‘Long-term monitoring of tigers, co-predators and prey species in TATR’.


Key findings:

  • Although the tiger numbers appear to be up as compared to 2018, the population density shows a decline from 5.51 to 5.23 per 100 sq km. This is because of coverage of more area this year.
  • The overall tiger count in Chandrapur district alone is more than 200, which is about two-third of the total number of tigers in the state.


About TATR:

  • It is Maharashtra’s oldest and largest national park.
  • Created in 1995, the Reserve includes the Tadoba National Park and the Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Tadoba” is taken from the name of the god “Tadoba” or “Taru”, worshipped by the tribes who live in the dense forests of the Tadoba and Andhari region, while “Andhari” refers to the Andhari river that meanders through the forest.
  • Tadoba reserve covers the Chimur Hills, and the Andhari sanctuary covers the Moharli and Kolsa ranges.


(GS PAPER - 3)

Scientific Innovations and Discoveries


7. Context: The Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) in collaboration with Agappe Diagnostics Ltd. has commercially launched the Agappe Chitra Magna Kit for detection of Covid-19.

  • SCTIMST is an Institute of National Importance under the Department of Science and Technology (DST).


Key Points

  • Agappe Chitra Magna is a magnetic nanoparticle-based RiboNucleic Acid (RNA) extraction kit.



  • It isolates RNA from the patient sample using magnetic nanoparticles.
  • SARS-COV-2, the causative virus of Covid-19 pandemic, is an RNA virus- a long single-stranded polymeric substance present in all living cells that carries the genetic information of the organism necessary for life.
  • One of the critical steps in detecting this virus is by confirming the presence of the RNA of the virus in the sample taken from the throat or nose.
  • The magnetic nanoparticle beads bind to the viral RNA and, when exposed to a magnetic field, give a highly purified and concentrated RNA.
  • As the sensitivity of the detection method is dependent on getting an adequate quantity of viral RNA, this innovation enhances the chances of identifying positive cases.



  • The kit can be used for RNA extraction for RT-LAMP, RT-PCR and other isothermal and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based protocols for the detection of SARS-COV-2.



  • The indigenously developed and manufactured RNA extraction kit would reduce the nation’s dependence on imported kits which are expensive and thus will bring down the cost of Covid-19 testing.



(Facts for Prelims)


8. National Test Abhyas:

  • The AI-powered mobile App has been developed by National Testing Agency (NTA) to enable candidates to take mock tests for upcoming exams such as JEE Main, NEET under the NTA’s purview.
  • Launched by Human Resources Development Ministry recently.


9.   Konark Temple

  • Konark was built by King Narasimhadeva I of the Ganga Dynasty (1238-1264AD) in the 13th century and is located in Eastern Odisha near the sacred city of Puri.
  • The temple is designed in the shape of a colossal chariot. It is dedicated to the sun God.
  • There are two rows of 12 wheels on each side of the Konark sun temple.
  • The seven horses are said to symbolize the seven days of the week.
  • The temple was used as a navigational point by European sailors. They referred to it as the‘Black Pagoda’ due to its dark colour and its magnetic power that drew ships into the shore and caused shipwrecks.
  • It is the culmination of Odisha temple architecture.
  • It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984.


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