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News in Short

News in Short - 17-May-2021

Cyclone Tauktae intensifies into severe cyclonic storm

Date: 17 May 2021 Tags: Disaster & Disaster Management
  • Cyclonic storm Tauktae is likely to intensify into a "severe cyclonic storm" within 12 hours and may hit Gujarat coast.
  • More than 50 teams of the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) are on duty in five states - Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • Fishermen have been asked to avoid heading to Arabian Sea, tourism activities have been restricted and necessary precautions have been advised for naval operations in anticipation of rough sea.

Covishield and Covaxin found less effective against B.1.617 strain

Date: 17 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Both Covishield and Covaxin are effective at generating an immune response against the coronavirus but generate only half as many antibodies against the B.1.617 strain.
  • The B.1.1.7 (UK variant), the B.1.351 (South Africa variant), the P2 (Brazil variant) and B.1.617 (Indian variant) are the variants that make up an increasing proportion of cases in India.
  • Covaxin and Covishield are made differently but designed on the blueprint of the virus variant, called B1, that became the dominant strain in India by last April.
  • Antibody levels of the B.1.1.7 (UK strain), saw only a 6% reduction whereas against Brazilian strain (P2) there was again a 50% reduction.

Nagaland’s Y Nukhlu Phom wins Whitley Award 2021

Date: 17 May 2021 Tags: Honours & Awards
  • Nukhlu Phom from Nagaland has won the Whitley Award, also known as the ‘Green Oscar’, for his efforts to create a network of community-owned forests in the state and protect the rare Amur falcon.
  • Phom is the only Indian to win the prestigious award — awarded annually to individuals from the Global South by UK-based charity the Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN)—this year. He has been in the conservation space for more than a decade now.
  • Phom has been working towards creating a “Biodiversity Peace Corridor”, a network of villages across four districts in Nagaland to promote community conservation. The idea is an extension of the Yaongyimchen Community Biodiversity Area.

Export surge in April on low-base effect

Date: 17 May 2021 Tags: Basics of Economics
  • India’s exports in April jumped almost threefold to $30.63 billion from $10.36 billion in the same month last year, according to government data.
  • Imports rose to $45.72 billion last month as against $17.12 billion, the data showed. Trade deficit widened to $15.10 billion as against $6.76 billion.
  • Exports in April last year had plunged by a record 60.28% due to the pandemic-induced lockdown.
  • In March this year, exports grew by 60.29% to $34.45 billion.Due to the low base effect, exports in April 2021 recorded a growth rate of 195.72%.

KP Sharma Oli reappointed Prime minister of Nepal

Date: 17 May 2021 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • K P Sharma Oli was again appointed Nepal’s Prime Minister by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari after opposition parties were unable to put together a coalition government by the 9 pm deadline.
  • Oli will now have to take a vote of confidence at the House within 30 days, failing which, an attempt to form a government under Article 76 (5) of the Constitution would be initiated.
  • He previously served as prime minister from October 11, 2015 to August 3, 2016 and again from February 15, 2018 to May 13, 2021.