Current Affairs in Short: 11 August 2020
Russia has named its first COVID-19 vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ for foreign markets with reference to world’s first satellite.
Russia names world's first COVID vaccine 'Sputnik V'
• Russia has named its first COVID-19 vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ for foreign markets with reference to world’s first satellite.
• President Vladimir Putin announced the approval of the vaccine candidate less than two months of human testing amid skepticism from scientists.
• Russia has already received requests from over 20 countries for 1 billion doses of the new COVID vaccine. International scientists have however questioned whether Russia by moving to roll out the vaccine speedily is putting national prestige before solid science and safety.
Trinidad and Tobago PM Keith Rowley claims victory in 2020 General elections
• Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley claimed victory for his ruling party in the 2020 General Election on August 10, 2020. Rowley was seeking to secure a second term despite concern over the coronavirus, migration and recession.
• The preliminary results showed that the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) had won 22 out of the 41 electoral seats, while the opposition United National Congress (UNC) led by former prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar won 19 seats.
• The election campaign in the island nation comprising 1.3 million people was overshadowed by COVID-19 pandemic, with traditional political rallies replaced by streamed rallies and noisy motorcades.
• Trinidad and Tobago so far has registered a relatively low coronavirus total of 280 cases, which includes 8 deaths.
Tribal Affairs Ministry develops nine ‘Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museums
• The Union Tribal Affairs Ministry is developing nine “Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museums dedicated to the contributions of the tribal people in India to the freedom struggle.
• Out of the nine museums, two museums are almost nearing completion and the remaining seven are at different stages of progress.
• All museums are expected to come into existence by the end of 2022. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced setting up of these tribal freedom fighters’ museums during his Independence Day Speech on August 15, 2016.
• All the museums will have strong usage of technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D/7D holographic projections. The museums will demonstrate the way tribals struggle to protect their custodial concerns for the biological and cultural diversity of the country.
Jal Shakti Minister launches Swachh Bharat Mission Academy
• Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM Academy) on August 11, 2020 in New Delhi, as part of the ongoing week-long behaviour change campaign Gandagi Mukt Bharat.
• After launching the SBM Academy by dialing the designated IVR toll-free number, the Minister stated that IVR based free mobile online learning course on ODF Plus will be crucial in achieving goals underlined in Phase - 2 of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin).
• The Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) has transformed rural India by manifesting into a Jan Andolan for sanitation. This had led to the historic achievement of Open Defecation Free declaration by all villages, districts and states on October 2, 2019.
• The Swachh Bharat Mission Academy with its mobile-based technology will significantly boost the capacity building efforts in training of Swachhagrahis as well as community-based organizations and others associated with phase 2 of the mission.
India, Maldives sign agreement for development of five eco-tourism zones in Addu atoll
• India and Maldives signed a contract on August 10, 2020 for development of five eco-tourism zones in Addu atoll of the island nation.
• The eco-tourism zones are part of grant projects being implemented under the High-Impact Community Development project (HICDP) scheme that involves total grant assistance of USD 5.5 million to the Maldives.
• Currently, nine such high-impact projects being implemented in the Maldives. The key objectives of the projects include developing high-impact assets, building capacities within the local councils and supporting the local island economy.
• These projects are expected to bring about a transformation in the economic and employment landscape of Addu.
Former Sri Lanka PM Ranil Wickremsinghe steps down as UNP leader
• Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on August 10, 2002 decided to step down as leader of the United National Party (UNP) following the party’s extremely poor performance at the parliamentary elections held last week. The decision was taken during the meeting of the party’s working committee.
• Ravi Karunanayake, Daya Gamage, Vajira Abeywardena and Akila Viraj Kariyawasam have been nominated as party leaders and a final decision on the same will be taken on August 12, 2020.
• UNP was able to secure only one seat at last week's elections. The former Prime Minister himself failed to get elected from the seat he was contesting from.
• Ranil Wickremesinghe is a four-time Prime minister, who earlier held the record of getting the maximum number of preferential votes from Colombo during the 2015 elections.