21 July 2021 Current Affairs English

  1. Monkey B virus (BV)


  • China has reported the first human infection case with Monkey B virus (BV) after a Beijing-based veterinarian was confirmed with the same a month after he dissected two dead monkeys in early March, according to China CDC Weekly.



  • The 53-year-old male vet, who worked for an institution researching on non-human primates, started showing early-onset symptoms of nausea and vomiting in April. The vet died in May raising concerns amid the existing coronavirus pandemic.


  • It said that there were no fatal or even clinically evident BV infections in China before, and therefore, the vet’s case marks the first human infection case with BV identified in China.


What is Monkey B virus?

  • The virus, initially isolated in 1932, is an alphaherpesvirus enzootic in macaques of the genus Macaca. B virus is the only identified old-world-monkey herpesvirus that displays severe pathogenicity in humans.



How is it transmitted?

  • The infection can be transmitted via direct contact and exchange of bodily secretions of monkeys and has a fatality rate of 70 per cent to 80 per cent.
  • According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Macaque monkeys commonly have this virus, and it can be found in their saliva, feces (poop), urine (pee), or brain or spinal cord tissue. The virus may also be found in cells coming from an infected monkey in a lab. B virus can survive for hours on surfaces, particularly when moist.


When can a human get infected with B virus?

  • Humans can get infected if they are bitten or scratched by an infected monkey; get an infected monkey’s tissue or fluid on broken skin or in eyes, nose, or mouth; scratch or cut oneself on a contaminated cage or other sharp-edged surface or get exposed to the brain (especially), spinal cord, or skull of an infected monkey.



  • The first indications of B virus infection are typically flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills, muscle ache, fatigue and headache, following which an infection person may develop small blisters in the wound or area on the body that came in contact with the monkey.
  • Currently, there are no vaccines that can protect against B virus infection.


  1. 97th amendment on cooperatives.

  • The Supreme Court on July 20 in a 2:1 majority verdict upheld the validity of the 97th constitutional amendment that deals with issues related to effective management of cooperative societies but struck down a part inserted by it which relates to the Constitution and working of cooperative societies.


  • A Bench of Justices R.F. Nariman, K.M. Joseph and B.R. Gavai which pronounced the verdict said, We have struck down part IX B of the Constitution related to cooperative societies but we have saved the amendment.


  • The 97th constitutional amendment, which dealt with issues related to effective management of co-operative societies in the country was passed by Parliament in December 2011 and had come into effect from February 15, 2012.


  • The change in the Constitution has amended Article 19(1)(c) to give protection to the cooperatives and inserted Article 43 B and Part IX B, relating to them.


  • The Centre has contended that the provision does not denude the States of its power to enact laws with regard to cooperatives.


  • The top court’s verdict came on the Centre’s plea challenging the Gujarat High Court’s 2013 decision striking down certain provisions of the 97th constitutional amendment while holding that Parliament cannot enact laws with regard to cooperative societies as it is a State subject.


3. China’s 600 kph maglev train makes public debut.

  • China has unveiled a high-speed maglev train with a designed top speed of 600 kms per hour.


  • it is stated to be the world’s fastest ground vehicle.


  • The new maglev transportation system made its public debut in the coastal city of Qingdao,


  • Launched in October 2016, the high-speed maglev train project saw the development of a magnetic-levitation train prototype with a designed top speed of 600 kms per hour in 2019, and conducted a successful test run in June 2020, the report said.



  • The train can travel with two to 10 carriages, each holding more than 100 passengers, according to Ding Sansan, chief engineer of the project. The train provides the best solution for trips within the range of 1,500 kms, Ding said, adding it fills the speed gap between aviation and high-speed trains.


  • Compared with traditional vehicles running on wheels, high-speed maglev trains do not have contact with rail tracks.


  • They have advantages in terms of efficiency and speed and produce very little noise. “


  1. The Project P-75(I)

  • Defence Ministry has issued Request of Proposal for construction of six modern submarines for Indian Navy. The Request of Proposal was issued to shortlisted Strategic Partners or Indian Applicant Companies for the project. The project cost is over 40 thousand crore rupees.




  • The Project P-75(I) envisages indigenous construction of six modern conventional submarines with contemporary equipment, weapons and sensors including advanced torpedoes, modern missiles and state of the art counter measure systems.


  • this will provide a major boost to the indigenous design and construction capability of submarines in India, in addition to bringing in the latest submarine design and technologies as part of the project. The project will not only aid in boosting the ship building industry but would also greatly enhance manufacturing, especially the MSME.


  • this will be an important step towards meeting broader national objectives, encouraging self reliance and aligning the defence sector with the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government.


  1. BBNL invites global bids for Rs 19,041 crore BharatNet broadband project .

  • Special purpose vehicle BBNL invited bids for Rs 19,041 crore BharatNet project to roll out high-speed broadband services in the rural areas across 16 states.


  • The government will only provide viability gap funding under the project.


  • “Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) has invited global tender for the development (creation, upgradation, operation and maintenance and utilisation) of BharatNet through a public-private partnership model in 9 separate packages across 16 states for a concession period of 30 years,”



Under the project,

  • the government plans to cover an estimated 3.61 lakh villages (including gram panchayats) across Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.


  • The existing BharatNet was connecting all the gram panchayats (GPs) of the country by laying OFC (primarily) between Block and GPs.


  • The scope of BharatNet has now been enhanced to connect all inhabited villages, approximately 6.43 lakhs, of the country.


  1. Dr Kambhampati Hari Babu sworn in as new Governor of Mizoram.

  • Dr Kambhampati Hari Babu is sworn in as the new Governor of Mizoram on Monday. The Gauhati High Court Judge, Justice Michael Zothankhuma administered the oath of office to the new governor at the Darbur Hall of Raj Bhavan in Aizawl.




  • Dr Kambhampati Hari Babu is the 22nd governor of Mizoram.


  • Dr Hari Babu, an eminent scholar and successful lawmaker in various capacities, succeeded P.S Sreedharan Pillai who was appointed as the Governor of Goa.



Governor (India)

  • There shall be a Governor for each state (Articles 153 of the Constitution of India). The executive power of the State shall be vested in the Governor and shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him in accordance with the Constitution of India (Article 154).



  • The Governor of a State is appointed by the President of India. The factors based on which the President evaluates the candidates is not mentioned in the Constitution.


  1. Australia’s Brisbane to host 2032 Olympic Games.

  • Tokyo is hosting the postponed 2020 Olympics this week and Paris will stage the 2024 Games. Los Angeles has been awarded the 2028 summer Olympics


  • The Australian city of Brisbane has been selected to host the 2032 summer Olympics, said the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday.
  • The International Olympic Committee has the honour to announce that the Games of the 35th Olympiad are awarded to Brisbane, Australia,” IOC president Thomas Bach said.
  • Australia has become the second country after the United States to host the Olympic Games in three different cities. Prior to this, Melbourne had staged Olympics in 1956 and Sydney had in 2000.


  • Several cities and countries had expressed interest in hosting the 2032 Games, including Indonesia, Hungary’s capital Budapest, China, Qatar’s Doha and Germany’s Ruhr valley region.


  • A commitment in April from the Australian government to split the infrastructure costs 50-50 with the local government allowed Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to forward the necessary financial guarantees to the IOC.
  • The state of Queensland hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
  • The IOC overhauled its bidding rules in 2019 to reduce costs and make the process easier for cities. There are no official candidate cities campaigning ahead of the vote as has been the case in the past.


  1. Jeff Bezos launches to space aboard New Shepard rocket ship.

  • Billionaire Jeff Bezos blasted into space today, in the first crewed flight of his rocket ship, New Shepard.



  • He was accompanied by Mark Bezos, his brother, Wally Funk, an 82-year-old pioneer of the space race, and an 18-year-old student.


  • They travelled in a capsule with the biggest windows flown in space, offering stunning views of the Earth. New Shepard, built by Bezos’ company Blue Origin, is designed to serve the burgeoning market for space tourism.


  • The passengers included the oldest person who has been to space – Ms Funk – and the youngest, student Oliver Daemen.


  • The spacecraft lifted off from a private launch site near Van Horn, Texas. The capsule reached a maximum altitude of around 107km before starting its descent, parachuting down to a soft landing in the West Texas desert 11 minutes later.



  1. IAF’s Sarang helicopter team all set to perform in Russian air show.

  • The Sarang Helicopter Display Team of the Indian Air Force is all set to perform for the first time at the MAKS International Air Show held at Zhukovsky International Airport, Russia. The air show is scheduled from 20th July to 25 July this year.



  • This is the first occasion when the Sarang Team is performing its four helicopter aerobatics display in Russia, with its Made in India – Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters. Apart from the Indian Air Force, Indian Army, Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard also operate this helicopter.


  • The Sarang Team was formed in 2003 at Bangalore and its first international display was at the Asian Aerospace Airshow at Singapore in 2004. Since then, Sarang has represented Indian aviation at air shows and ceremonial occasions in UAE, Germany, UK, Bahrain, Mauritius and Sri Lanka till date.



  • The Ministry said, apart from aerobatics displays at national and international venues, the team has also taken active part in numerous Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Missions.


  1. 3 monuments of Andhra Pradesh Identified as “Adarsh Smarak” for providing additional facilities.

  • Minister for Culture informed Rajya Sabha that 3 monuments of Andhra Pradesh have been Identified as “Adarsh Smarak” for providing additional facilities like Wi-Fi, Cafeteria, Interpretation centre, Brail signages, Illumination, etc.


  • Three monuments of Andhra Pradesh namely (i) Monuments at Nagarjunakonda, District Guntur (ii) Budhhist Remains at Salihundam, District Srikakulam, and (iii) Veerabhadra Temple at Lepakshi in District Anantapuram have been identified as Adarsh Smarak for providing additional
  • Further, Fort at Gandikota has been included in the Adopt-a-Heritage scheme of Ministry of Tourism, which is PPP mode.


  • Conservation, Preservation and environmental development in and around Centrally Protected Monuments/Sites is taken up according to annual conservation programme drawn on the basis of need and priority.


  1. International Chess Day 2021.

  • International Chess Day 2021: Chess is a game of strategy and wits. It has long been considered to be the thinking game. It is a wonderful game to play anytime, anywhere, and with almost everyone. International Chess Day is celebrated on 20 July annually.

About Chess

In the fifth century Chess was invented in India and was named “Chaturanga”. Chess is one of the oldest games and it is a very popular game which is played globally. Chess helps is developing skills such as strategy, tactics as well as visual memory.




About World Chess Day

This year’s Chess day will also mark the 97th anniversary of FIDE.  FIDE was founded 20th July, 1924, at the eighth summer Olympic Games which was held in Paris. On July 20 in 1966 International Chess Day began and this day also coincided with the foundation day of FIDE. On 12th December, 2019 the UN General Assembly designated July 20 as World Chess Day. The headquarter of FIDE is in Lausanne, Switzerland and Arkady Dvorkovich is the current president.

World Rankings of Indian chess players

In 2021, in the men’s category, four Indian players are among the top 100 players in the world with Vishwanathan Anand being ranked 16th globally. In the women’s category, India has seven players in the top 100 players in the world with Koneru Humpy ranked 3rd.


  1. ICMR serosurvey

  • Two-third of Indians above the age of 6 had SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, show findings of the fourth nationwide serological survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in June-July.


  • The survey results also suggest that about 40 crore people or one-third of the country’s population is still vulnerable to the novel coronavirus.


  • The survey was conducted across the country in June and July. Its findings are significant because this is for the first time children aged 6-17 years were included in the national serosurvey.


  • The results of the survey were released by DG, ICMR, Dr Balram Bhargava.


What is the ICMR serosurvey?

  • The ICMR has conducted the fourth round of national blood serum survey which tests for antibodies, known as a serosurvey, for Covid-19. The aim of the survey was to estimate the sero-prevalence of SARS-C0V-2 antibodies.
  • The survey was conducted in June and July, 2021 across 70 districts of 21 states. These are the same districts where three earlier rounds have been conducted during May-June (2020); August-September (2020); and December-January (2020-2021).
  • The survey was conducted among 28,975 people. For the first time children aged 6-17 years were included in the survey. Besides, it included 7,252 healthcare workers.
  • The survey was conducted among 28,975 people. For the first time children aged 6-17 years were included in the survey. Besides, it included 7,252 healthcare workers.
  • He latest findings of the survey suggest that two-third of the general population above 6 years have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, which means that two-third of Indians have been exposed to novel coronavirus. It also shows that one-third of the population does not have antibodies, which suggests that about 40 crore people are still vulnerable to the novel coronavirus.
  • The survey also shows that sero-prevalence was similar in rural and urban areas. It also suggests that 85 per cent healthcare workers had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.


What does the survey say about children?

  • The survey findings shows that more than half of the children (6 -17 years) were seropositive. It means they have been exposed to Covid-19 in the past months. The sero-prevalence among children was 57.2 per cent in the age group 6-9 years and 61.6 per cent in the age group 10-17 years.


What are the implications of the latest findings of the serosurvey?

  • Bhargava says there is a ray of hope but there is no room for complacency. He emphasised on the need of maintaining Covid-appropriate behaviour and curbs on community engagement.societal, public, religious and political congregations should be avoided.







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