Current Affairs- 23rd June
Science and Technology
World’s first DNA vaccine
- ZyCoV-D, the DNA vaccine against Covid-19 developed by Gujarat-based company Zydus Cadila, could be on its way to becoming the first approved DNA Covid vaccine in the world. The company has told the Government of India that it would be ready with an emergency use authorisation application within the next 10-12 days.
- A DNA vaccine carries into the body the genetic code for that part of a virus that triggers the immune system of the body. The message is decoded using the host cell’s own machinery to produce that antigen and stimulate the immune system.
Cabinet approves merger of CRWC with CWC
- Union Cabinet has approved merger and transfer all assets, liabilities, rights and obligations of Central Railside Warehouse Company Limited (RWC) with Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC).
- It will unify similar functions of both the companies through a single administration to promote efficiency, optimum capacity utilization, transparency, accountability, ensure financial savings and leverage railway siding for new warehousing capacities.
- It is estimated that management expenditure of RWCs will come down by five crore due to savings in the corporate office rent, salary of employees and other administrative costs.
ED transfers assets of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi to PSBs
- Enforcement Directorate has transferred, attached and seized assets of over 9,371 crore rupees to Public Sector Banks who suffered loss due to the bank fraud by Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. They have defrauded Public Sector Banks by siphoning off the funds through their companies which resulted in total loss of 22 thousand 585 crore rupees to the banks.
- So far, the ED has attached assets worth over 18 thousand 170 crore rupees which included assets worth 969 crore rupees in foreign countries. The quantum of the attached and seized assets represents 80.45 per cent of total bank loss.
First ever Genetically Modified Rubber sapling planted in Assam
- World’s first genetically modified (GM) rubber plant was planted on the outskirts of Guwahati at the Rubber Board’s Sarutari research farm on Tuesday.
- The plant was developed at the Kerala-based Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) after years of research at its biotechnology laboratory and is expected to grow under the climatic condition of the northeast.
- KN Raghavan, Chairman and Executive Director of the Rubber Board said that the genetically modified rubber plant, the first of its kind developed exclusively for this region, is expected to grow well under the climatic conditions of the mountainous northeastern region.
Grave Concerns raised over Xinjiang at U.N. Human Rights Council
- Expressing grave concerns over the “Uyghur genocide” in China’s Xinjiang province, Canada delivered a joint statement on behalf of 42 countries at the UN Humans Rights Council on Tuesday.
- “We urge China to allow immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang for independent observers,” Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Leslie Norton said at the UNHRC meeting on behalf of 40 countries.
- The statement was backed by major countries Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Australia, Britain, Spain and the United States, among others.
Digital News Report 2021
- India ranked at 31 when it came to “trust in news” out of the 46 media markets surveyed by the Reuters Institute.
- The findings of the online survey were published on Wednesday in the 10th edition of Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ)’s Digital News Report 2021. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s study focused on trust in news and featured India for the first time in its main report.
- The study found 73 per cent of the respondents in India use smartphones to access news; 82 per cent source news online, including from social media; and 63 per cent acquiring information solely from social media platforms like WhatsApp and YouTube.
U.K. liaison officer joins Navy’s information fusion centre
- The United Kingdom has officially joined the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) based in Gurugram and deputed its officer for it.
- The Information Fusion Centre keeps an eye on the Indian Ocean with a key focus on the early mobilisation of resources in case of any crisis.
- UK’s Lieutenant Commander Stephen Smith will be deputed full time at the centre. The development is part of the 2030 roadmap announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and British PM Boris Johnson after their virtual summit in May. UK is the fifth country to send its officer after the US, Japan, France and Australia.
India's Olympic theme song launched
- India’s Official Olympic Theme Song was launched ahead of the Summer Games in July-August. Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju was present on the occasion. Playback Singer Mohit Chauhan has composed and sung the song titled ‘Lakshya Tera Samne Hai’.
- The event was organised by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and attended by its President Narinder Batra among others. The Games will open on 23rd of next month and over 100 Indian athletes have qualified for the event so far.
New Zealand become the first ever World Test Champions
- New Zealand beat India by eight wickets to win the first-ever World Test Championship at Southampton last night.
- Chasing a victory target of just 139 in 53 overs, New Zealand finished on 140-2 with more than seven overs left after the match was extended into the reserve sixth day after two days’ play were completely washed out.
- New Zealand captain Kane Williamson unbeaten 52 runs and Ross Taylor 47 not out shared an unbroken stand of 96 to seal victory. Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took two wickets, dismissing openers Tom Latham and Devon Conway. Earlier, India were all out at 170 in their second innings on the last day yesterday.
Days and Dates
International Olympic Day: 23rd June
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi today appreciated all those who have represented India in various Olympics over the years on the occasion of Olympic Day.
- In a series of tweets, Mr Modi said, he is proud of their contributions to sports and their efforts towards motivating other athletes. He added that Tokyo Olympics will begin in a few weeks. He wished the best to Indian contingent, which consists of country’s finest athletes. He also urged everyone to take part in a quiz on My Gov app in the run up to the games.
- The theme for this year is Stay healthy, stay strong, stay active with the #OlympicDay workout on 23 June.
World’s first DNA vaccine
- International Widows Day is observed across the world on 23 June to spread awareness about the problems widows face and to gather enough support that they need. The day also draws attention to the voices of widows and looks to help them access basic rights.
- This day is a United Nations (UN) approved one that addresses “poverty and injustice faced by millions of widows and their dependents in many countries”.
- Theme of 2021 International Widows Day: Invisible Women, Invisible Problems.
Other Important Affairs
- WWF India has inducted Upasana Kamineni, Director, Apollo Hospitals, as “Ambassador of Forest Frontline Heroes”.
- 24-year-old Mawya Sudan has become the first woman from Jammu and Kashmir to become a fighter pilot.
- The Rajamahendravaram Wildlife Division is preparing the ground for the All India Tiger Estimation-2022. It will install more than 200 camera traps in Papikonda National Park (PNP) spread over 1,013 square kilometres in East and West Godavari districts.