Indian Navy has launched Operation ‘Samudra Setu’ meaning “Sea Bridge”, as a part of national effort to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas.
- The Government has been closely monitoring the situation with respect to effect of COVID-19 pandemic on our citizens abroad. The Indian Navy has been directed to make suitable preparations for their evacuation by sea.
- The Indian Mission in Republic of Maldives is preparing a list of Indian nationals to be evacuated by Naval ships and will facilitate their embarkation after requisite medical screening.
- In view of the unique challenges associated with COVID-19 stringent protocols have also been stipulated. The evacuated personnel will be disembarked at Kochi, Kerala and entrusted to the care of State authorities. This operation is being progressed in close coordination with Ministries of Defence, External Affairs, Home Affairs, Health and various other agencies of the Government of India and State governments.
Proactive measures are being taken by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to complete the work on strategic Atal Tunnel in the Pir Panjal ranges of Himachal Pradesh, which is at the crucial stage of construction.
About ‘Atal Tunnel’ –
- Atal Tunnel is being constructed since Manali-Sarchu-Leh road remains closed for six months every year due to Rohtang Pass being completely snow bound between November and May.
- The tunnel will connect Manali to Lahaul Valley throughout the year and will reduce the road length of Manali-Rohtang Pass Sarchu-Leh road by 46 kilometres.
- Besides connecting the people of Lahual to rest of India through the year the tunnel will aid the forward connectivity offering the security forces a major strategic advantage.
CSIR’s constituent lab, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) has Tata Sons signed a MoU for licensing of KNOWHOW for FNCAS9 EDITOR LINKED UNIFORM DETECTION ASSAY (FELUDA) for rapid diagnosis of COVID-19.
- The license shall include transfer of the knowledge for scaling up the KNOWHOW in the form of a kit that can be deployed for COVID-19 testing on ground as early as end of May.
- A completely indigenous scientific invention, FELUDA for COVID-19 has been designed for mitigating the ongoing COVID-19 situation and cater to mass testing.
- Its main advantages are its affordability, relative ease of use and non-dependency on expensive Q-PCR machines.
- CSIR IGIB and TATA Sons will now work together to bring it for widespread use at the earliest.
How does it work?
- The technology was conceived and developed at CSIR IGIB under sickle cell mission and utilises an indigenously developed cutting edge CRISPR Cas9 technology to specifically recognise COVID-19 sequence in a sample.
- A combination of CRISPR biology and paper-strip chemistry leads to a visible signal readout on a paper strip that can be rapidly assessed for establishing the presence of viral infection in a sample.
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has asked the Centre and the Union Territory administration to take a final call on the continuation of the 148-year old practice of shifting capitals annually between Srinagar and Jammu, “which burdens the exchequer”.
- Darbar Move is a century-old practice in which the government functions for six months each in the two capitals of the State, Srinagar and Jammu.
- The practice was reportedly started in 1872 by Ranbir Singh (the Dogra monarch), the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, who used to shift his capital between Srinagar in the summer and Jammu in the winter to escape extreme weather conditions in these places.
- The government will function in Srinagar, the summer capital of the State, till late October and then move to Jammu, the winter capital, in the first week of November.
Pulitzer Prize 2020
Three photojournalists from Jammu & Kashmir have won Pulitzer Prize 2020 in feature photography. These include Yasin Dar, Mukhtar Khan, and Channi Anand.
What is Pulitzer Prize?
- Pulitzer Prize was established in 1917 and has been awarded for the achievements in magazine, newspaper, online journalism, musical composition, and literature.
- The award was established by the provisions in the will of Joseph Pulitzer, he made his fortune as a newspaper publisher.
- The award is administered by Columbia University (New York).
- Pulitzer prize is awarded yearly in 21 categories.
- Each winner receives a cash award and a certificate. A gold medal is awarded to the winner in Public Service Category.
Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo, or fifth of May in Spanish, also called Battle of Puebla Day, is an annual celebration observed in Mexico and the United States that marks the former’s military victory on its soil over French forces in 1862.
- Mexico was then led by President Benito Juárez (1806-1872), after whom the Benito Jaurez Marg in New Delhi is named and where the Embassy of Mexico in India is located.
- In the 1860s, Mexico had been severely weakened by lengthy wars over the previous two decades – the Mexican-American War (1846-48) and the internal Reform War (1858-61).
- As a result, in 1861, the then President Benito Juárez announced a temporary moratorium of two years on repaying Mexico’s foreign debts.
- In response, troops from Britain, Spain, and France invaded Mexico, demanding reimbursement. By April 1862, Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew, but France, which at the time was led by Emperor Napoleon III, decided to establish an empire in Mexican territories with the support of the local landowning classes. France also intended to curb US power in North America.
- At Puebla, over 100 km ahead of Mexico City, a poorly equipped and outnumbered Mexican force decisively defeated the advancing French troops on May 5, 1862, killing over a thousand. The event marked a significant political victory of Mexican republicans and President Juárez, and helped establish a sense of national unity in the country.