18.05.21 Daily GPSC Current Affairs.


Sarus crane population soars 20% in 10 years in Gujarat


Sarus, it seems, has chosen to make Gujarat an ideal abode for itself. For, a census conducted on the world’s tallest flying bird in the state has revealed that its population may have gone up by about 20 per cent in a decade. Experts welcome the heartening news as the increase in population is despite dwindling wetlands and rapid urbanisation in the state.


Sarus cranes usually stay in and around wetlands that are either getting encroached or fast disappearing. Despite their natural abodes reducing over the last few years, Sarus cranes have increased in numbers and it is an encouraging revelation for bird lovers.


Miss Universe Andrea Meza from Mexico

Mexico’s Andrea Meza was crowned Miss Universe 2020. The 69th Miss Universe pageant was held in Florida, United States, on May 16, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was cancelled for the first time in 2020.

The Miss Universe Organization, based in the United States, hosts an international beauty pageant called Miss Universe.

It’s one of the world’s Big Four beauty pageants.

Miss World, Miss International, and Miss Earth are the other three.


MyGov Innovation Challenge App Launched


MyGov has launched an Innovation Challenge to develop an app for learning Indian languages.

The challenge was initiated by MyGov in collaboration with the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Government of India.

The aim is to build an app that allows people to learn simple sentences in any Indian language and gain a working understanding of it.

The app will be multi-modular, with the ability to instruct through written word, audio, and video/visuals, according to MyGov.



New Naming System for Virus Variants


The World Health Organization (WHO) will introduce a system for naming coronavirus variants that is close to hurricane naming.


Rather than their lineage numbers, it would be easier for the public to recall.

Viruses and their variants are referred to by formal lineage names, which are a combination of letters and names that indicate how different variants are related.

Variants like B.1.1.7 and B.1.617 have mutations in common and provide information about their evolutionary history.

However, 1.1.7 was initially referred to as the “UK variant” and B.1.351 as the “South Africa”   variant.



Cabinet nod to reimplement law on fighting NCR’s bad air


The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved the re-promulgation of ordinance on air quality management in National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining areas spread over four states — Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh — with important changes that seek to assuage farm unions opposed to the new agriculture laws.


The ordinance, promulgated initially in October 2020, lapsed last month as the Centre could not bring the required bill to replace it due to curtailment of the budget session.


The CAQM will have power to strictly enforce mitigation measures under enhanced penalty provisions, better coordination, and through research, identification and resolution of problems surrounding air quality index of the region referred as an ‘airshed’.

Form national task force to monitor remedial steps to improve air quality in 124 cities: NGT to govt



The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Centre to constitute an eight-member national task force to monitor remedial steps to improve the status of air quality in 124 non-attainment cities (NACs) across the country.


The national task force (NTF) will also monitor enforcement of air quality standards in other identified air polluted areas, beyond NACs, where air quality is poor. The 124 NACs are those which did not meet the national ambient air quality standards during 2014-19.


In 2018, the tribunal also asked the NTF to see whether a ‘National Air Quality Atlas’ may be created by classifying cities or districts in terms of air quality in different categories such as ‘red’, ‘orange’ and ‘green’ for taking prioritised pollution abatement measures.


India looks beyond Alphonso, to push other mango exports


A Himsagar mango from Bengal may land on a plate in South Korea, or a Zardalu could reach Mauritius. India, the world’s largest mango producer, is looking to diversify its basket for exports and will push varieties from North India, while also resuming shipments to the US.


There is also an effort to diversify the markets beyond the strongholds of the UAE, the EU and Nepal, with Japan, South Korea, Australia and Mauritius also on the radar. Although India is the largest producer, Mexico and even Pakistan command a higher share of the export market, which India is trying to capture. While domestic consumption as well as high sugar content, especially in the north Indian varieties is seen as the factors for low exports, there are issues related to standards too.




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