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News in Short

News in Short - 10-May-2020

Bharat biotech to work on project to build antibodies against COVID-19

Date: 10 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Bharat Biotech, which is working on nasal vaccine CoroFlu against coronavirus in collaboration with US researchers, is also leading a CSIR-sanctioned project to develop human monoclonal antibodies as therapy for Covid-19 infection.
  • The project aims at an alternative therapeutic regimen by generating specific human monoclonal antibodies that are capable of neutralising SARS-CoV2 virus. Such antibodies can block the spread of infection by binding to the virus and rendering it ineffective.
  • Although different vaccines against Covid-19 are being developed across the world, their commercial production is bound to take a long time. Therefore, an alternative therapeutic regimen for early treatment is critical.

Moody’s cuts India’s growth projection to nil

Date: 10 May 2020 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • Moody’s Investors Service revised downward its growth projection for India to 0% for FY21 and cautioned that the country’s sovereign rating could be downgraded if its fiscal metrics weaken materially.
  • In November, Moody’s had revised its outlook for India’s sovereign rating from stable to negative. Moody’s credit rating of Baa2, the second-lowest investment grade score, is better than those of other agencies, such as S&P and Fitch, which have assigned the lowest investment grade to India with a stable outlook.
  • India’s ongoing nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, considered the severest in the world, has led to massive retrenchment and loss of output.

Trump administration planning to temporarily suspend work visas

Date: 10 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Top Republican senators have urged U.S. President Donald Trump to suspend all new guest worker visas for 60 days and certain categories of new guest worker visas, including H-1B, for at least a year or until unemployment figures return to normal levels.
  • They have also asked for the suspension of the Optional Practical Training (OPT) programme which lets foreign students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) work in the United States for up to three years after graduating.
  • The unemployment figures in the U.S. have reached an all-time high due to the coronavirus pandemic. The H-1B work visa for foreign technology professionals is highly popular among Indians and a large number of Indians also opt for the EB-5 investors visa.

Mass hatching of Olive Ridley turtles begins at Rushikulya coast

Date: 10 May 2020 Tags: Biodiversity
  • Mass hatching of Olive Ridley turtles began at Odisha’s Rushikulya rookery, a major nesting site of these marine turtles.
  • Thousands of hatchlings came out of the nests buried in sand to crawl towards the sea to start their long journey. On an average 80 to 100 turtles hatch from each nest.
  • They hatch in 45 to 60 days, depending on the temperature of the sand and atmosphere during the incubation period.

Sudhir Krishnaswamy on Facebook’s content oversight board

Date: 10 May 2020 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • Sudhir Krishnaswamy is the only Indian name that has figured in the list of members of Facebook content oversight board. The social media giant announced the names of 20 members for its independent content oversight board.
  • Krishnaswamy is part of the team, which includes a former prime minister, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and several constitutional law experts and rights advocates.
  • The board will review appeals from users on material that has been taken down from Facebook and Instagram, and make binding content decisions for the social networking platforms.