19 May Current Affairs
May 19, 2020
21 May Current Affairs
May 21, 2020
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20 May Current Affairs

Amphan develops into a super cyclonic storm

In News:

Amphan turned into a super cyclonic storm. This is the second super cyclonic storm faced by India since Fani in 1999.


The Super Cyclonic storm will hit the coast of Odisha and West Bengal according to the Indian Meteorological Department. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is preparing evacuation plan and response preparedness.

The storm will cause extensive damage upon landfall. The waves are expected to reach a height of 4 to 6 metres. The warnings about a cyclone are given by the Indian Meteorological Department.

Stages of Cyclone Warning System in India

There are five stages of Cyclone Warning System in India. They are as follows

Pre-Cyclone Watch

Cyclone Alert

Cyclone Warning

Post Landfall Outlook

Pre-Cyclone Watch:

Under this stage, warnings are issued before 72 hours. Th warning under this stage is issued by Director General of Meteorology himself.

Cyclone Alert:

This is the second stage in the warning system. The warnings in this stage are issued before 48 hours in advance of the adverse weather over coastal areas.

Cyclone Warning:

At this stage, the warnings are issued at least 24 hours in advance of adverse weather conditions.

Post Landfall Outlook:

This is issued at least 12 hours in advance of the expected landfall.

Arabian Sea Cyclones are Weak as compared to Bay of Bengal Cyclones

The absence of landmass between the Pacific Ocean and Bay of Bengal, allows the cyclonic winds to move easily into the Bay of Bengal. This makes them stronger than those formed in Arabian Sea.

GoI implements Shekatkar Committee to create border infrastructure

In News:

The Government of India implemented the recommendations made by the Shekatkar Committee to create border infrastructure.


The GoI based on the recommendation of the committee has adopted Engineering Procurement Contract (EPC) to execute the works that costs more than Rs 100 crores. The recommendation of the committee to enhance procurement powers from Rs 7.5 crores to Rs 100 crores to the Border Road Organization has also been implemented.

The other recommendations that were implemented are as follows

New Technologies such as blasting technology, use of Geo-Textiles, plastic coated aggregates for surfacing, cementitious base for pavements are being used to enhance pace of construction.

The statutory clearances and land acquisition for forest and environmental clearances have been made part of Detailed Project Report.

Also, the works can be awarded only when 90% of statutory clearances have been obtained.

Shekatkar Committee:

The Shekatkar Committee was formed in 2018. It was constituted by the Ministry of Defence under chairmanship of Lt General DB Shekatkar.

The other recommendations made by the committee are as follows:

The committee recommended closure of military farms in peace regions

The recruitment standard for the drivers in the army and clerical staff was enhanced. Also, the committee recommended reorganization of Army Headquarters.

The number of officers in the army headquarters to be reduced by 200.

India attends World Health Assembly

In News:

The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO). India was represented by Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan at the World Health Assembly.

Apart from COVID-19, the World Health Assembly addressed Global Vaccine Plan, polio eradication and neglected tropical diseases.

China and COVID-19:

Around 120 countries backed the resolution to conduct investigation on China over the origin of COVID-19.

The name was China was not brought up. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison initiated the investigation on COVID-19. China opposed the investigation.

India to hold the Chair:

Also, India is expected to be elected as the chair of the Executive Board of the World Health Assembly. Japan is to be replaced by India.

International Health Regulation Committee:

The member countries have agreed to work in close collaboration with the World Organization for Animal Health and also with the Food and Agriculture Organization. The committee will work on the transmission routes of the virus to find out the possible host. The committee will also look for solutions that will help prevent such pandemic outbreaks in the future.

India at the Assembly:

Union Heath Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan representing India listed out various measures being taken by India to fight against COVID-19.

World Health Assembly:

The World Health Assembly is the highest health policy setting body in the world. It is mainly composed of health ministers. The members of the assembly meet every year in Geneva during the month of May.

The World Health Assembly approves works of World Health Organization and also budgets and elects its Director General.

ICC bans use of saliva to shine a Cricket Ball

In News:

Anil Kumble led ICC (International Cricket Committee) banned the use of saliva to shine the ball. The practice meant for swing bowling is now primarily held as health risk due to the threats of COVID-19


The former Indian Cricket player Anil Kumble is the current chairman of ICC Cricket Committee. The Committee has banned use of saliva to shine a cricket ball. However, the ICC Cricket Committee saw no harm in use of sweat to shine the ball. Instead use of artificial substance to shine the ball is being considered.

Apart from this, the committee also recommended to increase use of DRS review per innings from two to three.

Why is saliva or sweat used?

The swing of the cricket ball is mainly governed by three factors namely shiny side, climatic conditions and behaviour of the pitch. The cricket ball creates turbulence as it swings. The player uses sweat or saliva to make one side look shinier. This helps to create challenging conditions to the batsman. It is legal and allowed in all matches conducted by ICC. It is called ball tampering.

Ball Tampering is usually done after the ball wears away in the second half of a match.

Types of swinging:

There are two types of swinging namely conventional swinging and reverse swinging. During conventional swinging, the ball moves towards the side of greater turbulence. During reverse swinging, the ball swings the other side.

The swinging of the ball in opposite direction is mainly because, one side of the ball is shinier (or made shinier with saliva or sweat). This shinier side has reduced air friction that makes the ball swing in opposite direction creating challenging condition for the batsman.

WHO: Spraying of Disinfectants in streets is not Effective

In News:

The World Health Organization recently announced to its member countries that spraying of disinfectants on roads is not effective. The organization rather says that spraying disinfectants can be harmful to public health.


According to World Health Organization, fumigation or spraying of disinfectants on the streets and market places is not recommended to kill COVID-19. This is because the dirt and debris inactivate the disinfectants

Why is spraying of disinfectant not recommended?

The WHO says that even in absence of organic matter, spraying of disinfectants will not cover the surfaces for the time period that is required to deactivate the pathogens.

Also, streets and pavements have still not considered as reservoirs of COVID-19 infection. Also, spraying disinfectants on roads is highly dangerous to human health.

Apart from these, spraying other toxic substances like chlorine on people can also lead to eye and skin irritation, bronchospasm and gastrointestinal effects.


The WHO recommends that if a disinfectant has to be applied it has to be done with a cloth or wipe that is soaked in disinfectant.

Till now, there are no information about how long COVID-19 virus stays on a surface. There are several studies that say that the virus can stay differently on different materials.

Charan Paduka Initiative: First of its kind launched for Migrant Workers

In News:

The Charan Paduka Campaign was launched in Madhya Pradesh for the migrant workers passing through the state. Under the campaign the migrant workers were provided with shoes and slippers to reduce their pain.


The Charan Paduka campaign is being conducted by the Police of Madhya Pradesh state. Eventually, the initiative received full support of the public. By providing slippers, the pain of the migrant workers is being reduced.

The Government of India has been taking several measures to help the migrant workers returning to their home towns.

Measures of GoI:

The GoI announced Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan under which migrant workers were covered largely. The Government allocated Rs 20 lakh crores for the initiative. Under the initiative, food and accommodation of the migrant workers were focused


The One Nation One Card Scheme is to be implemented in June, 2020. This will help provide relief for the migrant workers. However, in order to provide immediate relief, GoI announced free food grain supply for two months. This includes 5 kg of grains and 1 kg of pulses. To avail this, the migrant workers need not use a ration card.

The free food grains are being provided under the National Food Security Act


As an immediate relief, temporary shelters were constructed. Affordable rental housing scheme is to be launched under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for migrant workers.

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