Current Affairs May 10, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of May 10, 2019 in Short Notes form for preparation of IBPS, Banking, CLAT, SSC, Railway, UPSC, IAS/PCS, UPPSC, BPSC, MPPSC, RPSC, TNPSC, MPSC, KPSC and all other competitive examinations of India.

1. In a significant victory, India's Jagjit Pavadia has been re-elected to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) for a 5-year term beginning 2nd March, 2020. She posted the highest number of votes at 44. Ms Pavadia has been a member of the INCB since 2015 and her current term is set to expire in 2020. The victory added to India's successful record of winning crucial elections at the UN and to the world organisation's subsidiary bodies. Established in 1968, the INCB is an independent and quasi-judicial monitoring body for the implementation of the UN's international drug control conventions. INCB consists of 13 members who are elected by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and who serve in their personal capacity.

2. The World Red Cross Day (WRCD) is observed every year on May 8 to recognize the extraordinary contribution and incredible achievements of the stalwarts and volunteers around the world for helping the people in need anytime, anywhere. It is a gentle nod to all the volunteers who have made unparalleled contribution to people in need. The day is also known as World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. This date is the anniversary of the birth of Henry Dunant, who was born on 8 May 1828. He was the founder of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize. The 2019 theme is “#love” or simply "love", which will focus on broadening people's understanding of the society by highlighting diversity and universality of work and approach of Red Cross. On this special day, several blood donation camps will be organised around the world and this day also offers an opportunity to provide voluntary medical services to society.

3. On 7th May 2019, India has been re-elected as an observer to inter-governmental forum Arctic Council at the 11th Arctic Council ministerial meeting at Rovaniemi, Finland. Indian researchers have been studying whether there is a co-relation between Indian monsoon and the Arctic region. The National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, an Indian institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, has set up a research station, 'Himadri', in Svalbard in Norway that works on the mass balance of glaciers, the effect of the warming on the marine system, the formation of clouds and precipitation, and the effect on biodiversity. The Arctic Council promotes cooperation, coordination and interaction among Arctic states on common issues, particularly on sustainable development and environmental protection. It addresses issues faced by the Arctic governments and the indigenous people of the Arctic. It consists of 8 members countries: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States.

4. The Desert Storm 2019 is touted to be the longest Cross-Country Rally in India, which is started from Bikaner in Rajasthan on 8th May. The 4-day-long Rally will see over 100 teams competing in high temperatures, treacherous dune crossings and fast technical gravel straights and fast technical gravel straights which will pose an exciting challenge to the competitors. It comprises 600 km of extremely harsh Special Stages in addition to over 900 km of Transport Stages.

5. India's first natural Ice Cafe has started at a height of 14,000 feet in Leh, Ladakh. The ice cafe is located on the Manali-Leh Highway. It is created by natural process by the Border Road Organisation (BRO) officials, with the help of some locals during winters. It is built in the shape of a mound with the purpose of saving water in winter and using it later for irrigation purposes when the ice melts in spring. The cafe utilises the same concept as used by Sonam Wangchuk for his ice stupa project in Ladakh and has been attracting a large number of tourists.

6. A Japanese aerospace startup Interstellar Technology Inc. has become the first private firm in Japan to launch a rocket into space. It has successfully launched a small rocket ‘Momo-3’ from its test site in Hokkaido, which reached about 110 kilometers (68 miles) in altitude before falling into the Pacific Ocean after 10 minutes of flight time. With this feat, Momo-3 has become the Japan’s first privately developed model to reach outer space. The rocket is about 10 meters (32 feet) long & 50 centimeters (1.5 feet) in diameter, and weighs about 1 ton. The rocket is capable of putting payloads into orbit. The Interstellar Technology, founded in 2013 by former Livedoor Co. President Takafumi Horie, aims to develop low-cost commercial rockets to carry satellites into space.

7. Dr. NR Madhava Menon (84), the renowned academician and father of modern Indian Legal Education, passed away in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on May 8, 2019. He is credited for revolutionizing the field of legal education by establishing National Law Schools and by conceptualizing the 5-year integrated LLB programme. He was the founder Director of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) Bangalore and the National Judicial Academy (NJA) Bhopal and the founder Vice Chancellor of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS). The nation honoured him with the Padma Sri in 2003 for his outstanding contributions to the legal field.

8. The World Thalasseamia Day (WTD) is observed every year on May 8 to raise awareness about this ailment among people all over the world. The day is also dedicated to commemorate thalassemia patients as well as encourage those who struggle to live with the genetic disorder of the blood. The 2019 theme is “Universal access to quality thalassaemia healthcare services: Building bridges with and for patients”. Thalaseemia is a chronic blood disorder. It is a genetic disorder due to which a patient cannot make enough hemoglobin found in Red Blood Cells (RBC’s). This leads to anemia and patients also require blood transfusions every two to three weeks to survive. Thalassemias are inherited disorders passed from parents to children through genes. Each red blood cell can contain between 240 and 300 million molecules of haemoglobin. The severity of the disease depends on the mutations involved in the genes, and their interplay.

9. The researchers at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Mumbai have found a novel function for serotonin (a chemical that signals between neurons). The recent discovery establishes that serotonin is involved in the generation of new mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) in neurons, increased cellular respiration and fuel (ATP) in the cell. The chemical can impact the manner in which neurons grapple with stress and affect the trajectory of ageing. Neuronal loss is a major cause of neurodegenerative diseases such as in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Abnormal mitochondrial functions are known to cause or contribute to neuronal death. Hence, the new findings from TIFR raise the possibility that serotonin signalling could be used to prevent mitochondrial abnormalities and neuronal loss. Serotonin’s newly indentified function has been studied in mice and rats. If it found to be true in humans, it may have important medical implications. The results of the study were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The chemical name of serotonin is 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT).

10. For the first time, researchers have recently sighted nests of the grizzled giant squirrel (Ratufa macroura) at Pakkamalai Reserve Forests near Gingee (Tamil Nadu) in the Eastern Ghats. It is an endangered species listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. The grizzled giant squirrel is usually known to nest in the Western Ghats in Southern India ranging from Chinnar Wildlife sanctuary in Kerala to Anamalai Tiger Reserve and Palani hills in Tamil Nadu. Owing to habitat loss and poaching, the species has been categorized as near threatened by the Red List and listed under Schedule II of CITES. The grizzled giant squirrel has a body length of 25-45 cms, with an equally long or slightly longer tail. It can weigh anything between 1.5-3 kg.

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