Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 16 May 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. New skink species found in the Western Ghats
  2. GST Council to meet on May 28
  3. Mucormycosis
  4. Cyclone Tauktae likely to cross the Gujarat coast on Tuesday.

1. New skink species found in the Western Ghats

News Summary

A new skink species has been found in the Western Ghats known as an Asian gracile skink.

Prelims GS – Environment

Asian gracile skink:
  • Name: Subdoluseps nilgiriensis
  • Colour: Sandy brown
  • The reptile has a slender body of 7cm.
  • The new species was found in a dry deciduous forest.
  • Skinks are nonvenomous.
  • Skinks usually resemble snakes because of the inconspicuous limbs.

2. GST council to meet on May 28

News Summary

The GST Council is expected to meet on May 28, 2021, to discuss issues relating to indirect tax amidst the ongoing pandemic.

Prelims GS – Governance/Economic Development

GST Council:
  • Goods & Services Tax Council is a constitutional body for making recommendations to the Union and State Government on issues related to Goods and Service Tax.
  • The GST Council is chaired by the Union Finance Minister and other members are the Union State Minister of Revenue or Finance and Ministers in charge of Finance or Taxation of all the States.
  • As per Article 279A of the amended Constitution, the GST Council which will be a joint forum of the Centre and the States shall consist of the following members: –
    • the Union Finance Minister………………………………………………………. Chairperson;
    • the Union Minister of State in charge of Revenue or Finance…………….. Member;
    • the Minister in charge of Finance or Taxation or any other Minister nominated by each State Government……………………………….. Members.
  • As per Article 279A (4), the Council will make recommendations to the Union and the States on important issues related to GST, like the goods and services that may be subjected or exempted from GST, model GST Laws, principles that govern Place of Supply, threshold limits, GST rates including the floor rates with bands, special rates for raising additional resources during natural calamities/disasters, special provisions for certain States, etc.

Click here to view the official website of the GST Council.

3. Mucormycosis

News Summary

It is now reported that many recently recovered patients of COVID-19 are reporting Mucormycosis, an invasive fungal infection.

Prelims GS – Science & Technology

  • Mucormycosis (previously called zygomycosis) is a serious but rare fungal infection caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes.
  • These molds live throughout the environment.
  • Mucormycosis mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness.
  • It most commonly affects the sinuses or the lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air. It can also occur on the skin after a cut, burn, or other types of skin injury.

Click here to view the Courtesy: CDC website.

4. Cyclone Tauktae likely to cross the Gujarat coast on Tuesday

News Summary

There is an ongoing cyclonic storm Tauktae in the Arabian sea which is expected to cross the Gujarat coast on Tuesday.

Prelims GS – Geography

Tropical Cyclones:
  • A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm originating over tropical oceans from where it draws the energy to develop.
  • It has a low-pressure center and clouds spiraling towards the eyewall surrounding the “eye“, the central part of the system where the weather is normally calm and free of clouds.
  • Its diameter is typically around 200 to 500 km but can reach 1000 km.
  • A tropical cyclone brings very violent winds, torrential rain, high waves, and, in some cases, very destructive storm surges and coastal flooding.
  • The winds blow counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Tropical cyclones above a certain strength are given names in the interests of public safety.
Tropical cyclone naming:
  • World Meteorological Organization(WMO) maintains rotating lists of names that are appropriate for each Tropical Cyclone basin.
  • If a cyclone is particularly deadly or costly, then its name is retired and replaced by another one.

Click here to know more about Tropical cyclones on the WMO website.

The onset of Monsoon:
  • The monsoon arrives at the southern tip of the Indian peninsula generally by the first week of June.
  • Subsequently, it proceeds into two – the Arabian Sea branch and the Bay of Bengal branch.
  • The Arabian Sea branch reaches Mumbai about ten days later on approximately the 10th of June.
  • The Bay of Bengal branch also advances rapidly and arrives in Assam in the first week of June.
  • The lofty mountains cause the monsoon winds to deflect towards the west over the Ganga plains.
  • By mid-June, the Arabian Sea branch of the monsoon arrives over Saurashtra-Kuchchh and the central part of the country.
  • The Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal branches of the monsoon merge over the northwestern part of the Ganga plains.
  • Delhi generally receives the monsoon showers from the Bay of Bengal branch by the end of June (the tentative date is the 29th of June).
  • By the first week of July, western Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and eastern Rajasthan experience the monsoon.
  • By mid-July, the monsoon reaches Himachal Pradesh and the rest of the country.

Courtesy: NCERT



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