Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar assumes role of Director General Naval Operations
• Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar on June 7, 2021 took charge as the Director-General Naval Operations. He was commissioned into the Indian Navy in January 1987.
• He is an alumnus of the National Defense Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune.
• He graduated from the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, Naval War College, Karanja and Naval Command College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA.
• He is a specialist in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and has served on frontline warships of the Navy as ASW Officer.
• He has also served as the Executive Officer and Principal Warfare Officer of Guided Destroyer INS Mysore.
Unique Disability ID to be accepted as Photo ID for registration on Cowin 2.0
• The Union Government announced on June 7, 2021 that the Unique Disability Identification Card (UDID) will be accepted as a Photo ID for registration on Co-WIN 2.0.
• The Health Ministry aims to streamline the vaccination process for its universalization. To enable the same, the Ministry has written to states/ UTs to include UDID Card as a Photo ID while registering on Co-WIN 2.0.
• The Ministry had earlier in March specified seven Photo IDs for verification of beneficiaries before their vaccination.
CFTRI working on probiotic food to protect children during third wave of COVID-19
• The Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), a CSIR lab in Mysuru, is currently working on developing food that can boost immunity and prevent diseases.
• The institute is also working on probiotic food that will protect children prone to the third wave of Covid infection. The probiotic is rich in vitamin A,C,D and E with micro-nutrients necessary to combat infections. The food will keep harmful bacteria and viruses in check.
• The institute had distributed spirulina chikki, high protein wrap, mango energy bar, banana cereal bar and spiced water with bio-active and antioxidant ingredients to the migrant workers, frontline workers and Covid patients during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parliamentary standing committees likely to resume meetings in July
• The Parliamentary standing committees are likely to resume their regular meetings from July, as they ruled out holding any virtual session.
The standing committees had not been meeting due to the severe second wave of COVID-19.
• Since now, most Members of the Parliament, senior officials and support staff are vaccinated and active cases of COVID-19 are coming down, the meetings are likely to resume from July.
• This comes after Congress and some other opposition parties had urged the secretariats – both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha – to hold these meetings virtually. The suggestions to hold the meetings virtually were rejected by both the Houses due to fears that the proceedings of the committees could be leaked.
• The proceedings of the parliamentary standing committees are confidential and can’t be shared in the public domain without proper consent.
Centre issues SOPs for second dose of Covishield to Olympic athletes, students studying abroad, people with foreign jobs
• The Union Health Ministry on June 7, 2021 said that it has written to states for providing relaxation to some specified categories of people in getting the second dose of Covishield from the stipulated gap of 12-16 weeks between the first and second dose.
• The specified categories include Olympic-bound athletes, students requiring foreign travel for education and people who have to take up jobs in foreign countries.
• The ministry said that the competent authority will make various checks before permitting the administration of the second dose before the stipulated period of 84 days after the date of the first dose.
• This includes the genuineness of the purpose of travel based on documents and whether 28 days have elapsed after the date of the first dose.