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News in Short

News in Short - 03-July-2021

Entire genome of India’s hybrid rubber decoded

Date: 03 July 2021 Tags: Biotechnology
  • The Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) under the Rubber Board has decoded the entire genome of the most popular Indian hybrid rubber clone RRII 105.
  • The research aimed at improving the genetic potential of rubber trees to produce more rubber and timber.
  • The genome decoding was also expected to give a major breakthrough in researches on the development of new rubber clones, and the breeding cycle in rubber can be reduced by half from the present period of 23-25 years.
  • The assembled genome information available with the RRII would be used to extract meaningful biological information like the genes responsible for high yield, disease tolerance, climate resilience, TPD tolerance and so on.

India’s newest freshwater snail species

Date: 03 July 2021 Tags: Biodiversity
  • A new species of snail has been discovered near Blue Mountains of Mizoram. They are named Pila mizoramensis, it is the sixth member of the Pila genus from India and the second species to inhabit hill streams.
  • The snail was found among algae and semi-aquatic plants in the spray or splash zones of the waterfalls. The locality it was found in has a temperature not exceeding 25 degrees Celsius and receives an annual rainfall of over 2500 mm.
  • There are only two species of Pila from India which are restricted to streams and the other one Pila saxea is found in the northern Western Ghats. Other members of this group are restricted to stagnant water bodies such as paddy fields, ponds, marshes and lakes.

Indian-American Shalina Kumar nominated for federal judge

Date: 03 July 2021 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • U.S. President Joe Biden has nominated Indian-American circuit court chief judge Shalina D. Kumar as a federal judge for the Eastern District of Michigan.
  • Chief Judge Shalina has served on the Oakland County Sixth Circuit Court since 2007. She was appointed Chief Judge of the Circuit Court by the Michigan Supreme Court in January of 2018.
  • Ms. Shalina would be the first federal judge of South Asian descent in Michigan. In addition to her chief judge duties, Judge Shalina retains a full caseload covering both civil and criminal matters.

Several EU nations clear Covishield

Date: 03 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Several EU countries such as Switzerland, Iceland and seven European Union countries have allowed the Oxford-AstraZenecavaccine for Indians visiting their country.
  • Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Estonia and Spain have confirmed accepting Covishield for travel entry. Switzerland has also allowed Covishield for the Schengen state.
  • Estonia has confirmed that it will recognize all the vaccines authorized by Government of India for travel of Indians to Estonia.
  • India has requested EU member states to individually consider extending exemption to those persons who have taken Covishield and Covaxin.

Delta variant to become dominant strain

Date: 03 July 2021 Tags: International Organizations
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the Delta variant of COVID-19 is now present in nearly 100 countries, and warned that in the coming months the highly transmissible strain will become the dominant variant of the coronavirus globally.
  • About 96 countries have reported cases of the Delta variant. A number of these countries are attributing surges in infections and hospitalisations to this variant.
  • The world body noted that the tools that exist today to combat the coronavirus remain effective against current variants of concern (VOCs), including the Delta variant.