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News in Short

News in Short - 29-May-2021

India abstains from voting in favour of investigating Gaza violence

Date: 29 May 2021 Tags: India & World
  • India abstained on a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council proposing to set up a Commission of Inquiry into violations surrounding the latest violence in Gaza.
  • India was joined by 13 other members who abstained. With 24 voting in favour and nine against, the resolution was adopted in Geneva.
  • Among other countries that abstained are France, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, Poland and South Korea.
  • Among those voting in favour of the resolution are Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Russia, while Germany, the UK, Austria, among others, voted against it.

Joe Biden orders probe into origin of virus

Date: 29 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • President Joe Biden has ordered U.S. intelligence officials to increase their efforts to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including any possibility the trail might lead to a Chinese laboratory.
  • After months of minimizing that possibility as a fringe theory, the Biden administration is joining worldwide pressure for China to be more open about the outbreak.
  • Biden asked U.S. intelligence agencies to report back within 90 days. He directed U.S. national laboratories to assist with the investigation and the intelligence community to prepare a list of specific queries for the Chinese government.
  • Republicans have promoted the theory that the virus emerged from a laboratory accident rather than naturally through human contact with an infected animal in Wuhan, China.

BRICS ministerial meeting to take place on June 1

Date: 29 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Foreign ministers of the five-nation grouping BRICS are expected to extensively deliberate on boosting cooperation in countering the coronavirus pandemic at a virtual meeting on June 1.
  • The BRICS is known as an influential bloc that represents over 3.6 billion people, or half of the world's population. The BRICS countries have a combined GDP of USD 16.6 trillion.
  • The foreign ministers will exchange views on issues like regional conflicts, strengthening of international institutions, countering new challenges and threats including COVID-19.

B.V.R Subrahmanyam set to be commerce secretary

Date: 29 May 2021 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • The government has appointed Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, as next the Commerce Secretary, Government of India.
  • Mr. Subrahmanyam is a 1987 batch IAS officer of the Chhattisgarh cadre, and was sent on deputation to Jammu and Kashmir in June 2018.
  • He served as Chief Secretary when the State was bifurcated into two Union Territories in 2019. He is a widely experienced bureaucrat having worked in Prime Minister’s Office as Joint Secretary.
  • In the Ministry of Commerce, he has been appointed as an Officer on Special Duty for a month, before he takes over as the Secretary when the incumbent superannuates.

Lockheed Martin and GM to build lunar rover to explore South pole

Date: 29 May 2021 Tags: Space
  • Lockheed Martin and General Motors(GM) are partnering to develop a lunar vehicle for NASA's first excursions on the moon's south pole.
  • It will be used in NASA's upcoming Artemis programme to send humans to the unexplored part of the moon.
  • The new lunar vehicles is said to traverse farther distances to explore the moon's south pole, which is cold and dark with more rugged terrain.
  • GM has a history of developing navigation systems for Space explorations. It has also helped develop the electric Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) used on Apollo's 15-17 missions.