Current Affairs – May, 2020

This category comprises Current Affairs May, 2020 National and International Importance for various competitive exams such as SSC, Banking / IBPS, UPSC, IAS, NTSE, CLAT, Railways, NDA, CDS, Judiciary, UPPSC, RPSC, GPSC, MPSC, MPPSC and other states civil services exams.

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Supreme Court’s suo motu cognisance of Migrant Workers’ plight

On May 26, 2020, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court took suo motu cognisance of migrant workers issue and noted that there have been “inadequacies and certain lapses” on the part of the Central and State governments in dealing with the migrant workers crisis during the lockdown.

What is suo moto cognisance?

Suo motu is a latin phrase which means “on its own”. This means that the court has taken the matter into cognisance on its own and without any plaintiff. A plaintiff is a person or entity which files a case or petition in the court. Normal court cases need a plaintiff and a defendant, while in suo moto, there is no plaintiff.

In the current matter, the court has taken suo motu cognisance on the basis of newspaper and media reports on helpless migrants forced to travel thousands of miles on foot or cycles.

Supreme Court Directions

The three judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan has ordered the centre and states to immediately provide transport, food and shelter free of cost to the stranded migrant workers. The court has also asked Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta to inform the court by May 28, 2020 about the measures taken by the Centre to alleviate the migrants’ sufferings.

What is next?

The court has issued formal notice to the centre, states and Union Territories to file their responses by May 28.

WHO adopts “Human Challenge Trial” to develop new vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced eight candidates to enter human trials. Several people step forward to participate in human challenge trial as the race to develop new vaccine for the virus is increasing.

What is Human Challenge Trial?

The trial involves infecting volunteers intentionally with COVID-19 virus. This is done to speed up the process of vaccine development.

Vaccine Development

The Vaccine development takes several years to develop through three phases of clinical trials. This includes

Phase 1: During this phase small groups of people receive the vaccine

Phase 2: Vaccine is given to those people whose characteristics are similar to those for whom the new vaccine is intended.

Phase 3: Vaccine is given to several thousands to test the safety and efficacy. During this phase, the participants either receive placebo or vaccine. Placebo is something that looks like treatment but is not in reality. It can be a sugar solution or saline.

The Human Challenge Trial is not new. Earlier, similar trials were conducted for malaria as well.


The main benefit of the human challenge trial is that it accelerates testing. Many efficacious vaccines shall be available more quickly. Also, the number of people required in phase 3 of these trials is less than the regular trials.