Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 18 May 2021

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 18 May 2021


ICMR drops plasma therapy from COVID-19 treatment guidelines

  • An advisory noted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) that the use of convalescent plasma has been dropped from the recommended treatment guidelines for COVID-19.


  • Though a trial by the ICMR on 400 patients last year called the PLACID trial.
  • It had found no significant benefit from the use of plasma it continued to find a place in the recommended guidelines, in ‘off label’ use.
  • Several other international trials had also found no benefit from plasma therapy.
  • The use of such plasma may have even played a role in the facilitating new worrisome mutations to the virus.
  • In spite of no evidence, doctors have frequently put the onus on caregivers to source such plasma from recovered patients, that has often led to fraught attempts from desperate kin.
  • The ICMR guidelines continue to recommend Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine for mild disease but has also underlined that both drugs had “low certainty of evidence”.

National Crisis Management Committee

  • As Cyclone Tauke intensifying into a very severe cyclone, the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) reviewed preparedness of Central and State Ministries and agencies to deal the which is currently hovering over the East-Central Arabian Sea.


  • National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) was set up in the wake of a natural calamity for effective coordination and implementation of relief measures and operations.
  • It functions under the Ministry of Home Affairs and is an integral part of Natural Disaster Management System.
  • NCMC gives direction to the Crisis Management Group as deemed necessary.
  • It is headed by the Cabinet Secretary and Secretaries of all concerned Ministries /Departments as well as organizations are members of Committee.


JOIN Full Online Course for UPSC PRE Exam

UPSC IAS Exam Complete Study Materials


Diplomatic immunity

  • After she allegedly hit two staff members at a boutique in Seoul last month, the wife of Belgium’s ambassador to South Korea will now be exercising her diplomatic immunity to avoid criminal charges.


  • Diplomatic immunity is a privilege of exemption from certain laws and taxes granted to diplomats by the country in which they are posted.
  • The custom was formed so that diplomats can function without fear, threat or intimidation from the host country.
  • Diplomatic immunity is granted on the basis of two conventions, popularly called the Vienna Conventions — the Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961, and the Convention on Consular Relations, 1963.
  • They have been ratified by 187 countries, including South Korea, which means, it is a law under that country’s legal framework and cannot be violated.

World’s oldest cave art

  • Scientists have warned that environmental degradation is killing one of the oldest and most precious pieces of the world’s human heritage.
  • Researchers have reported that Pleistocene-era rock paintings dating back to 45,000-20,000 years ago in cave sites in southern Sulawesi, on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, are weathering at an alarming rate.

Significance of the cave paintings:

  • A team of Australian and Indonesian archaeological scientists, conservation specialists, and heritage managers examined 11 caves and rock-shelters in the Maros-Pangkep region in Sulawesi.
  • The artwork in the area includes what is believed to be the world’s oldest hand stencil (almost 40,000 years ago), created by pressing the hand on a cave wall, and spraying wet red-mulberry pigments over it.
  • A nearby cave features the world’s oldest depiction of an animal, a warty pig painted on the wall 45,500 years ago.
  • The cave art of Sulawesi is much older than the prehistoric cave art of Europe.

Findings of the study:

  • The researchers studied flakes of rock that have begun to detach from cave surfaces to find that salts in three of the samples comprise calcium sulphate and sodium chloride, which are known to form crystals on rock surfaces, causing them to break.
  • The artwork made with pigments was decaying due to a process known as haloclasty, which is triggered by the growth of salt crystals due to repeated changes in temperature and humidity, caused by alternating wet and dry weather in the region.
  • Indonesia has also experienced several natural disasters in recent years, which have quickened the process of deterioration.


Mission COVID Suraksha

  • Under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0, Mission COVID Suraksha (Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission) was announced to enable development of indigenous, affordable and accessible vaccines for our country.
  • The Mission with end-to-end focus from preclinical development to manufacturing and regulatory facilitation for deployment, would consolidate all available and funded resources towards an accelerated product development.
  • To augment the capacity of Indigenous production of Covexin under the Mission, Government has provided financial support as Grant to vaccine manufacturing facilities for enhanced production capacities.


Telecom Security

  • Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash inaugurated an online course to train and certify Officers in Network Security on the occasion of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (May 17).


  • The Course was organised by the National Telecommunications Institute for Policy Research, Innovation and Training (NTIPRIT), the premier training institute of Department of Telecommunications, Government of India.
  • This is a 36-hour (12 week) Course to train and certify Officers in Network Security and is the first of its kind. While the Course is presently for DoT Officers, it is proposed to be expanded to cover other Officers of the Government and gradually those in the Private Sector also.
  • Sound Telecom Network Security is a result of collaborative efforts of Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), various Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and DoT officers, including those in the field (LSAs).


 Click Here For All Current Affairs

Click  Here for MCQ's Archive

This is a Part of Online Coaching Programme for UPSC Exam

DOWNLOAD UPSC Monthly Current Affairs PDF

Study Notes for UPSC IAS Exam