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News in Short

News in Short - 21-January-2021

Covid-19 to invoke antibody response from previous infection

Date: 21 January 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Findings of a new study suggested that the immune systems of CovidD-19 positive people may rely on antibodies created during infections from earlier coronaviruses.
  • The results suggest that the Covid-19 virus may awaken an antibody response that existed in humans prior to  current pandemic, meaning that we might already have some degree of pre-existing immunity to this virus.
  • The understanding of coronaviruses triggered immunity responses may help scientists design new diagnostics and future vaccines that may help in protecting people from mutations.
  • The researchers employed a tool called PepSeq to map antibody responses to all human-infecting coronaviruses.
  • PepSeq is a novel technology being developed at TGen and NAU that allows for the construction of highly diverse pools of peptides (short chains of amino acids) bound to DNA tags.

India asks WhatsApp to withdraw changes to privacy policy

Date: 21 January 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The Government of India has asked WhatsApp to withdraw the proposed changes in its privacy policy, stating that the proposed changes raised “grave concerns” over the implications of the choice and the autonomy of Indian citizens.
  • The government pointed out that the Indian users, who have not been given the option to opt out of data-sharing with Facebook companies, were being subjected to differential treatment when compared to their European counterparts.
  • The government asked WhatsApp to reconsider its approach to respect the informational privacy, freedom of choice and data security of Indian citizens.
  • The government noted that changes in the policy would enable WhatsApp, and other Facebook companies to make “invasive and precise inferences” about users that may not be reasonably foreseen or expected by users in the ordinary course of assessing the services.

Rajasthan Congress MLA Gajendra Singh Shekhawat dies

Date: 21 January 2021 Tags: Obituaries
  • Rajasthan Congress MLA Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who was suffering from a liver infection, died at a private hospital in Delhi. He was 48.
  • Shekhawat, a two-time MLA, was among the Congress legislators, led by Pilot, who had revolted against the leadership of the chief minister in July last year.
  • Shekhawat is the third Congress and fourth sitting MLA in Rajasthan to have died in the recent past. Shekhawat represented the Vallabhnagar constituency of Udaipur.

Indian cricket team creates history in Gabba test

Date: 21 January 2021 Tags: Sports
  • India pulled of an exhilarating three-wicket win over Australia in the fourth Test to claim the series 2-1 and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at The Gabba in Brisbane.
  • This is the first time in 32 years that Australia has lost a test match at the Gabba. It is also the highest fourth innings total chased at the Gabba.
  • India overhauled the target with 18 balls to spare in a match that went down to the wire. Rishabh Pant led the chase with his aggressive yet mature unbeaten 89 while Shubman Gill scored 91.
  • Australia had won the pink-ball Adelaide Test while India struck back with victory in Melbourne. The third Test in Sydney had ended in a draw.
  • India had won a historic Test series Down Under two years back and now the team is cherishing back-to-back series victory. The visitors had lost the ODI series before winning the T20 series that preceded the Test rubber.

India to begin vaccine diplomacy

Date: 21 January 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • India has kick-started its vaccine diplomacy by providing Covid-19 vaccine to its neighbours and close partners.
  • The Maldives will become the first country to receive the Indian coronavirus vaccine tomorrow. The Bangladeshi government has confirmed  that India will be gifting vaccines to the country.
  • South Africa will be getting one million doses of the vaccine in January and 500,000 doses in February of the Oxford University-Astrazeneca vaccine from SII.
  • India reaffirmed its position as the pharma capital of the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic last year sending HCQ and paracetamol to 150 countries.
  • In the neighborhood, talks are on with Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Nepal for the vaccine. Nepal has requested India for 20 per cent i.e. 12 million doses of the vaccine.