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News in Short

News in Short - 30-June-2020

Lockdown improves air quality in Mumbai and Delhi

Date: 30 June 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • A latest analysis by  NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the European Space Agency has revealed that concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) has dropped to its lowest level in April this year over Delhi and Mumbai region.
  • All the three agencies have put their data together and tracked the changes in the atmosphere. The data has been collated and presented in a Covid-19 Earth Observation Dashboard.
  • The reductions in NO2 content is not consistent across the country. While a dip has been seen in Delhi and Mumbai, North-eastern states in India showed constant levels of air pollution.

Nepali PM Oli alleges plot to unseat him by India

Date: 30 June 2020 Tags: India & World
  • Nepali PM K P Sarma Oli has alleged that India has been making efforts to oust him from his position by instigating opposition within his political party.
  • Nepal recently cleared a constitution amendment Bill, endorsing the country’s new map that includes territories with India, thus deepening the boundary row between the two countries.
  • The Communist Party of Nepal has been a divided house over the government’s move to align with the Communist Party of China.

China to join UN Arms Trade treaty

Date: 30 June 2020 Tags: International Organizations
  • China’s National People’s Congress voted in favour of the country’s bid to join the UN-sponsored Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which seeks to regulate international trade in conventional military equipment.
  • The Chinese decision to join the Arms Trade Treaty comes after US President Donald Trump, last year, announced that he plans to pull the US out of the agreement. It is possible that China could secure its ascension to the ATT in a few months.
  • The landmark Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), regulating the international trade in conventional arms-from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships-entered into force on December 24, 2014.

Amazon’s climate pledge fund

Date: 30 June 2020 Tags: Climate Change
  • Amazon has announced a US$2 billion for a new Climate Pledge Fund dedicated to sustainable technologies and services that will help the e-commerce giant achieve net-zero carbon emissions in its operations by 2040.
  • The Climate Pledge Fund will look to invest in the visionary entrepreneurs and innovators who are building products and services to help companies reduce their carbon impact and operate more sustainably.
  • The fund is intended for a range of businesses including transportation and logistics, energy generation, storage and utilization, manufacturing and materials, circular economy and food and agriculture.

Dexamethasone approved for use in India

Date: 30 June 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The Union Health Ministry released an updated clinical management protocol for COVID-19 cases. This includes the advice to use dexamethasone as an alternative to methylprednisolone for managing moderate to severe cases.
  • The drug was found to reduce mortality by one-third for patients on ventilators and one-fifth for patients on oxygen therapy.
  • Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid drug used in a wide range of conditions for its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant effects.
  • The drug is also a part of the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) and is widely available.