Current Affairs Today 24th April 2020

Current Affairs

 

Click Here for PDF form of Current Affair

 

1. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ e-launches VidyaDaan 2.0 program on DIKSHA platform

Purpose of the program
As there is an increasing requirement  for e-learning content for students(both school and higher education), particularly in the context of the situation arising from COVID-19 as the pandemic has impacted the education system in different ways and also due to the urgent need to integrate digital education with schooling to enhance learning.

Key Points

i.It has a content contribution tool that provides a structured interface for the contributors to register and contribute different types of content like explanation videos, teaching videos, practice questions, competency-based items, lesson plans etc. for any grade from 1 to 12 and for any subject as specified by the states/UTs under their respective projects.

  1. The contribution can be made by individuals, teachers, educationists, subject experts, schools, government and non-government organisations etc after registering & nominating themselves.

iii. It should be open-licensed under the Creative Commons license framework and can be curated by the respective states/UTs & the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the contributors content which is accepted and finds high usage, will be duly recognized.

  1. The program will soon be inviting contributions for Teacher Training material.

About DIKSHA

It is a National Teachers platform of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to increase access and create high quality teaching, learning and assessment resources to teachers in all subjects and for all standards in English and many Indian languages. It is operated since September 2017.

 

2. Union HRD Minister launched #MyBookMyFriend Campaign 

  • Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has launched #MyBookMyFriend campaign on World Book Day.
  • #MyBookMyFriend campaign will run for 7 days and during this time all people are urged to join this campaign.
  • This campaign is launched in order to emphasize on the importance of book reading.
  • HRD Minister urged all the students to read a book and share about the book using #MyBookMyFriend on social media.

Read Full News >>

3. Defense Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurates India’s 1st mobile laboratory by DRDO to test COVID-19 samples

On April 23, 2020, Defense Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated Mobile Virology Research and Diagnostics Laboratory (MVRDL) namely “Mobile BSL-3 VRDL Lab” via video conference. The lab was developed by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) in association with ESIC (Employees’ State Insurance Corporation) Hospital, Hyderabad and Private industry.

  • About MVRDL: The first of such Mobile Laboratory will speed up COVID-19 screening and related R&D (Research and Development) activities was developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), the Hyderabad based laboratory of DRDO in consultation with ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad.
  • The Mobile Viral Research lab is the combination of a Bio-Safety Level (BSL)-3 and a BSL-2 lab essential to carry out activities.
  • The Mobile lab was set up in a record time of 15 days which usually takes about 6 months and the lab comprises electrical controls, LAN (Local Area Network), Telephone cabling and CCTV (Closed-circuit television) .
  • The labs are built as per WHO (World Health Organization) and ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) Bio-safety standards to meet international guidelines.
  • The Mobile Lab will be helpful to carry out diagnosis of COVID-19 and also virus culturing for drug screening, Convalescent plasma derived therapy, comprehensive immune profiling of COVID-19 patients towards vaccine development early clinical trials specific to Indian population.
  • DRDO acknowledged the contributions of M/s iCOMM for provision of containers, M/s iClean for design and build of the BSL 2 and BSL 3 labs in a time bound manner, and M/s Hi Tech Hydraulics for providing the base frame.
  • The function was also attended by Shri G Kishan Reddy Hon’ble Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs, Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Labour & Employment, Shri KT Rama Rao Hon’ble Minister for IT Industries, Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Government of Telangana, Shri Malla Reddy Hon’ble Minister of Labour, Govt of Telangana and Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Chairman DRDO and Secretary of DDR&D (Department of Defense Research and Development).

About DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation):
Headquarters- DRDO Bhavan, New Delhi.
Motto- “Strength’s Origin is in Science”.
Minister- Rajnath Singh.
Chairman- Dr G. Satheesh Reddy.

 4. BRO builds Rs 17.89 cr, 484-meter permanent bridge connecting Punjab’s Kasowal enclave with rest of the country

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has constructed and opened a new Class 70 permanent bridge by replacing the pontoon bridge (floating bridge) of limited load capacity on the Ravi river that connects the 35 square kilometre Kasowal enclave in Punjab with the rest of the country.

  • The newly-constructed 484-meter-long bridge was built by 141 Drain Maintenance Coy of 49 Border Roads Task Force (BRTF) of Project Chetak with an outlay of Rs 17.89 crore.
  • The bridge consists of 16 cells of 30.25-metre length each.

Need for Permanent Bridge:
The pontoon bridge used to be dismantled every year prior to the Monsoon and also has certainties of getting damaged because of the heavy discharge of water. Also farmers use this bridge to market their harvest. To ensure locals do not suffer during the harvest season and also to ensure the bridge does not get damaged, the pontoon bridge has replaced with permanent the bridge.

 

5. DRDO designed UV-C Light based sanitisation box and device

  • DIPAS and INMAS, DRDO laboratories have designed and developed Ultraviolet C Light based sanitisation box and hand held UV-C (ultraviolet light device (with wavelength 254 nanometres).
  • The UV-C box is designed for disinfecting personal belongings like mobile phone, tablets, purse, currency, cover of office files, etc.
  • The hand-held device having 8-watt UV-C lamp disinfects office and household objects like chairs, files, postal delivered items etc.

Read Full News >>

6.Cabinet approvals on April 22, 2020

 PM-KISAN: Aadhaar seeding process for beneficiaries of Assam, Meghalaya, J-K, Ladakh extended till March, 2021
The relaxation given to Assam, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh regarding the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar seeding for beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme has been extended for one more year till 31st March 2021 from 31st March, 2020. Aadhaar seeding is a process of linking Aadhaar number with primary bank account number or with Government Official documents like Pan Card etc.

  • As we all know that under the PM-KISAN scheme the release of benefits is done only through Aadhaar seeded data of beneficiaries uploaded by the State / UT Governments on the PM-KISAN portal. But Assam, Meghalaya and the UTs of J&K and Ladakh have been exempted from this till 31st March, 2020, due to less penetration of Aadhar in these places.

Reason behind extension:
It has been assessed that the above mentioned places are taking more time to complete the work of Aadhaar seeding for beneficiaries and if the extension is not approved then  the beneficiaries of these States / UTs may not be able to avail the benefits of the Scheme w.e.f. 1st April, 2020.

About PM-KISAN
Launched on 24 February, 2019 aims to provide income support to all landholder farmer families. Under the Scheme, an amount of Rs.6000/- per year is released in three 4-monthly instalments of Rs.2000/- each directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. The Scheme is effective from 1st December, 2018.

Cabinet approved Rs. 15,000 Crore for ”India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package”
The Union Cabinet has approved Rs. 15,000 crore for ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package’ out of which Rs. 7,774 Crore will be utilized for immediate COVID-19 Emergency Response and rest for medium-term support (1-4 years) under mission mode approach. This package is to be provided in three phases — January 2020 to June 2020, July 2020 to March 2021 and from April 2021 to March 2024.

  • The objective of the package to contain COVID-19 in India through the development of diagnostics and COV1D-dedicated treatment facilities.
  • The package will be given to state governments and Union Territories (UTs) on the basis of their size and number of positive cases.
  • It is to be noted that the overall process of the package will be implemented under the overall umbrella of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

Phase-1Plan:
For Phase 1, the health ministry with the support of all the other ministries has already undertaken several activities. Additional funds to the tune of Rs.3,000 crore is released under the package to states and UTs, for strengthening of existing health facilities.

  • Leveraging on the existing multi-disease testing platforms under   National   TB Elimination Programme, orders for procurement of 13 lakhs diagnostic kits have been placed to augment COVID 19 testing.
  • All health workers including Community Health Volunteers (ASHAs) have been covered with insurance under the “Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package: Insurance Scheme for Health Workers lighting COVID-19″.

Cabinet approves fixation of NBS rates for P&K fertilizers for FY 20-21; Subsidy on non-urea fertilisers declined to Rs 22,186.55 crore
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved fixation of Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) Fertilizers for the year 2020-21. In this regard, Centre has marginally declined the subsidy on non-urea fertilisers to Rs 22,186.55 crore for FY 2020-21 from last year’s Rs 22,875.5 crore amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • The CCEA also approved inclusion of ammonium phosphate under the subsidy scheme.
  • The subsidy on the P&K will be provided on the subsidy rates approved by the CCEA to the fertilizer companies.

Following are the approved rates for NBS:

Per Kg Subsidy rates (in Rs)

N P K S
18.789 14.888 10.116 2.374

Points to be noted:

-The government makes available fertilisers, namely urea and 21 grades of P&K fertilisers to farmers at subsidised prices through fertiliser manufacturers and importers.The subsidy is released to fertiliser companies so that they can make available fertilisers to farmers at a cheaper price.

-In P&K fertilisers, the government fixes subsidy on nutrients and the remaining variable cost has to be borne by farmers while in case of urea, the government fixes the maximum retail price (MRP). The difference between the production cost and the MRP is reimbursed to manufacturers.

-The annual consumption of P&K fertilisers is around 24 million tonnes.

Cabinet approved Ordinance to protect healthcare personnel from attacks; imprisonment upto 7 years
Union Cabinet has approved “The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020”to protect healthcare service personnel including their living/working premises against violence during epidemics. It will amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 by making acts of violence against healthcare workers as cognizable and non-bailable offence.

  • A person can be sentenced to terms between three months and five years, and fined between Rs 50,000 and Rs 2 lakh, for crimes under the new provision.
  • In case of grievous injuries, the accused can be sentenced from 6 months to 7 years. They can be penalised from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.
  • In addition, the offender shall also be liable to pay compensation to the victim and twice the fair market value for damage of property.
  • Investigation of offences will be done by an officer of the rank of Inspector within a period of 30 days and trial has to be completed in one year, unless extended by the court for recorded reasons.

President Ram NathKovind has also approved to promulgate The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.

 

7.“Lockdown Learners” series launched with students & educators in India on COVID-19: UNODC

Aim of Series

  • To make students aware of the vulnerable groups and emerging issues such as cybercrime, misinformation, gender-based violence, discrimination, and corruption, among others.
  • To provide a platform for students to receive mentorship and knowledge support by activity-based learning, & use their talent, skills to promote awareness and also toaddress some of these problems by sharing their ideas & solutions.

Key Points

  1. The educational resources have been shared with partner schools in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru & also collaborative connections with hundreds of students and educators over the past week.
  2. It will create a positive framework for students to be productive and be engaged during lockdown period, reduce stress through positive messaging, and empower young people to become champions of tomorrow.
  3. It emphasizes values, teaches children to think, & helps them develop special empowering skills & the products include free-to-use educational material, comics, board, online games, Zorbs cartoon series and other modules & videos which will be used by teachers and students at home.

Other Initiative by UNODC

  • UNODC accepts the fact that respect for human rights & the rule of law should be the fundamental element of youth-focused strategy with evidence-based and balanced responses.
  • It’s Education for Justice Initiative under the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration looks to prevent crime and promote a culture of lawfulness through education activities designed for primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Samarth Pathak, UNODC’s Communications Officer for South Asia.

About UNODC South Asia:
Headquarters– New Delhi, India
Representative– Sergey Kapinos

About UNODC:
Headquarters– Vienna, Austria
Director General– Ghada Fathi Waly

 

8.Lebanon becomes 1stArab nation to legalise cannabis farming

 On April 23, 2020, Lebanon became the 1st Arab nation to legalise cannabis (also known as marijuana) farming for medicinal & industrial use with the aim to boost the exports & to beat the economic crisis created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.Lebanon faces the worst economic crisis due to lockdown since the 1975-1990 civil war.
Key Points:
i.
Along with the above decision, the Parliament of Lebanon has also approved the re-allocation of $40 million from a World Bank (WB) loan to help fight COVID-19.
ii. Earlier the Lebanon banned growing, selling and consuming cannabis.However the illicit production in the country’s east fertile Bekaa Valley has developed over decades into a multi-million-dollar industry.
iii. As per the United Nations (UN), Lebanon is the 3rd largest supplier of cannabis resin in the world after Morocco and Afghanistan.
About Lebanon:
Capital
– Beirut
Currency– Lebanese pound
President– Michel Aoun
Prime Minister– Hassan Diab

 

9. India’s GDP growth likely to grow at 1.5% in FY21: CII

 Growth expectation under other scenarios

  • In case of baseline scenario, GDP is expected to grow at6%on an annual basis as the economic activity is expected to remain in constraint due to the continuing restrictions on the free movement of goods and people beyond the lockdown period.
  • This will lead to disruption in supply chains, slow pick-up in investment activity, labour shortages in the short-run and muted consumption demand on account of reduced household incomes.
  • This will lead to disruption in supply chains, slow take on investment activities, short-term labor shortages and the need for disabled consumption due to reduced household income.
  • In case of a more prolonged outbreak, GDP will decline by-0.9% if restrictions in hot spots continue and newer spots get added to the list which lead to periodic stop & start in economic activity.

Suggested urgent fiscal interventions

i.Should include cash transfers of Rs 2 lakh crore to Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) account holders in addition to  Rs 1.7 lakh already announced.

ii.To provide additional working capital limits to banks,  equivalent to the April-June wage bill of the borrowers, backed by a government guarantee, at 4-5% interest.

iii.The creation of  fund or Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with a corpus of Rs 1.5 lakh crore which will subscribe to Non- Convertible Debentures (NCDs)/Bonds of A rated corporates  and above.

iv.The fund can be raised by  a corpus contribute by the government of Rs 10,000-20,000 crore, with further investments from banks and financial institutions such as Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPF) among others, this will limit Government exposure while providing adequate liquidity to industry.

  1. A credit protection scheme for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), where If the borrower defaults, RBI should buy the loan and repay the bank upto 75-80% of the loan, which limits the risk to the lender.
  2. Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) can provide the guarantee for loans to industry and trade while National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) can provide the guarantee for loans to agro-processing sectors.

Key Points

  • In considering the extent of the damage to the economy from the disruption to business, the GDP growth in FY21 is likely to be the lowest in many decades.
  • Without an increase in government spending in the near term for economic recovery, government’s revenue will decline and high deficits will be a problem in future.
  • As the capacity utilization levels may be minimum, any significant recovery in investment activities is unlikely. Consumption demand will be sluggish as people’s incomes are affected.
  • The economies across the world will continue to struggle with the pandemic & global trade may decline by 13 to 32% in 2020, as estimated by the World Trade Organisation(WTO) where government intervention becomes critical not only to sustain the economy but also to prevent any humanitarian crisis.

About CII:
Headquarters– New Delhi, India
President– Vikram S. Kirloskar

 

10.23% decline projected in Migrants Remittances to India in 2020 due to COVID-19: World Bank Report

In accordance with the report on impact of COVID-19 on migration and remittances by World Bank, titled “COVID-19 Crisis: Through a Migration Lens” remittances to India are likely to drop by 23% to USD 64 billion in 2020 from USD 83 billion in 2019 due to COVID-19 impact. In 2019, the remittances were increased by 5.5%. Importantly, India is the world’s biggest recipient of remittances, which bolster the country’s foreign exchange reserves and help fund its current account deficit.

What are Remittances?
A remittance is a transfer of money by a foreign worker to an individual in their home country. These are a vital source of income for developing countries as these help families to afford food, healthcare, and basic needs.

Migrant worker remittances to fall 20% amid virus
On the global front, remittances by migrant workers are projected to decline sharply by about 20% due to the economic crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown. This would be the sharpest decline in recent history.

  • The global average cost of remittances declined to 6.8% in the Q1 of 2020, from 6.9% in 2019.

Key Points:

-Remittance flows are expected to fall across all regions, mostly in Europe and Central Asia (27.5%), followed by Sub-Saharan Africa (23.1%), South Asia (22.1%), the Middle East and North Africa (19.6%), Latin America and the Caribbean (19.3%), and East Asia and the Pacific (13%).

-Remittances to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are projected to fall by 19.7% to $445 billion from $554 billion in 2019.  In 2021, remittances to LMICs will recover and rise by 5.6% to $470 billion.

Lockdown in India has impacted 40 million internal migrants
The nationwide lockdown in India has impacted nearly 40 million internal migrants i.e. migrants within the nation which may result in loss of employment. Governments need to address the challenges facing internal migrants by including them in health services and cash transfer and other social programmes and protecting them from discrimination. In India, the number of low-skilled emigrants seeking mandatory clearance for emigration rose slightly by eight percent to 368,048 in 2019.

Remittances to South Asia to dip 22% in 2020 to $109 billion: World Bank
Remittances to South Asia are projected to decline sharply by 22% to $109 billion in 2020 in comparison to 2019 when it saw a growth of 6.1%. This deceleration in remittances is due to global economic slowdown driven by the coronavirus outbreak as well as oil price declines.

Click Here for Full Report

About World Bank:
Establishment– 1944
President– David R. Malpass
Headquarters– Washington, D.C., United States
Subsidiaries– International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Development Association (IDA,) International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

11. IT firm Tech Mahindra joins hands with IBM to set up innovation centres

On April 21, 2020, Tech Mahindra Limited, an Indian multinational subsidiary of the Mahindra Group, has entered into the partnership with US (United States) based IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) to establish innovation centres with the aim to boost digital transformation & encourage adoption of more hybrid cloud-based technologies among its global customers.
Key Points:
i.
Both the firms have decided to open a  1st such centre in Bengaluru (Karnataka) later in 2020, which showcases transformation solutions built with IBM Cloud Paks, enterprise-ready containerized software solutions running on Red Hat OpenShift.
ii. More such centres will be opened throughout North America and the United Kingdom(UK) sometime in 2020.
iii. The tie-up is in line with Tech Mahindra’s TechMNxt charter, which aims on providing solutions that enable digital transformation and meet the customer’s evolving and dynamic needs.
About Tech Mahindra Limited:
Headquarters– Pune, Maharashtra.
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer– Chander Prakash Gurnani
About IBM (International Business Machines Corporation):
Headquarters
– New York, U.S.
President– Jim Whitehurst

 

12.Federal Bank to acquire additional stake of up to 4% in IDBI Federal Life Insurance

The Federal Bank’s board has approved its purchase to acquire an additional stake of up to 4% in the equity capital of IDBI Federal Life Insurance Company Limited (IFLIC) from Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) Bank, increasing the total shareholding in the life insurance joint venture to 30% from 26%.
Key Points:

  • The IDBI Bank board has also approved a proposal to sell a 23-27% stake in its insurance arm IFLIC on April 3.
  • IDBI Bank has 48%  stake in IFLIC. Since Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has 51% majority stake in IDBI Bank, & looks to sell its entire stake in IFLIC.
  • Current insurance regulations do not allow LIC to hold more than 10% stake in another insurer, either directly or indirectly.
  • The proposed stake hike is subject to price finalisation and all relevant regulatory approvals from the Reserve Bank of India and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). The indicative time period for completion of the acquisition is 6 months.

About Federal Bank:
Headquarters– Aluva, Kerala
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Shyam Srinivasan
About IFLIC:
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO– Vighnesh Shahane
About IDBI:
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman– M R Kumar

 

13. CSIR-IGIB scientists develops ”Feluda” a low-cost coronavirus test strip

 On April 22, 2020  The Scientists at Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-IGIB) has developed ”Feluda” a low-cost coronavirus test strip which will not require any expensive machines & is a simple way of detecting  Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-coV2).

  • It is developed by Debojyoti Chakraborty and Souvik Maiti & the total time required for the test is less than an hour.

Gist about the test

  1. It starts the same way as a normal real-time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), which is the extraction of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and its conversion to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).
  2. But it differs as it uses a specifically designed PCR reaction to amplify a part of the viral nucleic acid sequence & then a highly specific Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR), FnCAS9, developed at IGIB, binds to that sequence.
  3. It uses innovative chemistry on a paper strip, the CRISPR complex, bound to that specific sequence, can be visualised as a positive band like a pregnancy test strip, and will not require any specialised skill and machines to perform, as is the case with other PCR-based tests & will be 100% accurate.
  4. In the RT-PCR tests, the RiboNucleic acid (RNA) is converted to DeoxyriboNucleic Acid(DNA)by using specific primers and probes, with fluorescent reporters, to amplify and detect viral nucleic acid presence & requires expensive Real-Time PCR machines which are available at specialised sites.
  5. RT-PCR’s price is capped at Rs 4,500 in private labs but the ‘Feluda’ test will cost as little as  Rs 500.
  6. If the test is successfully commercialised, which depends upon all its components availability at scale & the commercial product successfully validated by regulatory agencies, the institute will allow the test to be done in local path-labs that do not have expensive real-time PCR machines, but simple cheap thermo-blocks used for conventional PCR.
  • Cutting-edge gene-editing CRISPR-CAS-9 technology to target and identify genomic sequence of the novel coronavirus in suspected individuals.

Why is it named as Feluda?
It gets its name after the detective character in legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s stories as it will detect the presence of a virus in just a few minutes. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and University of California, Berkeley also use CRISPR, but with different technologies, they have named the tests as ”Detector” and ”Sherlock”, so Feluda was named as an Indian version.

About CRISPR:
CRISPR technology recognises specific genetic sequences and cuts them in a short time. It is a powerful technique that worked in detecting the Zika virus too.

About IGIB
Headquarters– New Delhi, India
Director– Anurag Agrawal

About CSIR:
Headquarters– New Delhi, India
Director General– Shekhar C. Mande

14. SpaceX launches Falcon 9 carrier rocket with 60 satellites Starlink

 On April 23, 2020, Space Exploration Technologies Corp (also known as SpaceX),  a private American aerospace company, has successfully launched 60 Starlink broadband satellites aboard Falcon 9 rocket from the Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Kennedy Space Center in Florida, US (United States).

  • Starlink aims to provide cheap internet service in some parts of the US and Canada in 2020 and become the fastest broadband worldwide.

Key Points:
i.The launch marks the 84th Falcon 9 flight till date, which also means SpaceX’s workhorse rocket is the most heavily-flown U.S. rocket in current use. In addition, it is also the 7th Starlink launch for an internet project & aims to put over 420 of the nearly 12,000 planned satellites into orbit.
ii. The satellites now spanning the orbit where it will start flying at 340 miles (550 km) operational altitude. As of this launch, up to 422 Starlink satellites are in orbit.
About SpaceX:
Headquarters– California, U.S.
CEO– Elon Musk

15. World Games Birmingham unveils new logo, title for 2022 edition

 Key Points:

  1. The World Games was initially scheduled for July 2021, but it will now be held from July 7 to 17, 2022 to accommodate the one-year postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics.
  2. The organizing committee has also unveiled a new website.
  3. The International Olympic Committee postponed the Summer Olympics to 2021, it agreed to retain the name “Tokyo 2020”. However, the Birmingham Organising Committee (BOC) and the International World Games Association (IWGA) decided to adopt a new moniker.

About World Games:

  1. The World Games will be held every 4 years, one year after the Summer Olympic Games.
  2. The World Games are organised and governed by the International World Games Association (IWGA), recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
  3. The first event of World Games was held in 1981 in Santa Clara, California, United States (US).
  4. So after Santa Clara 1981, the inaugural edition, the World Games will return to the US. Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama and it will be the first time that the city hosts an international multi-sport event.
  5. Some of the sports that are held at the World Games are acrobatic gymnastics, ultimate, orienteering, karate, powerlifting, finswimming, squash, korfball, billiards, water skiing, and dance sport.

About International World Games Association:
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland.
President– José PerurenaLópez.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Joachim Gossow.

16. World Book and Copyright Day 2020: April 23

 World Book and Copyright Day, also known as World Book Day or International Day of the book, is celebrated every year on April 23 all over the world. This event is organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the day aims to promote reading, publishing and copyright.

Key Points:

  • Each year, UNESCO and the international organisations representing the 3 major sectors of the book industry- publishers, book sellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a period of one year from April 23.
  • World Book Capital 2020:Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • The Slogan for the year 2020 is “KL Baca- caring through reading”. Also, UNESCO quoted, “Books: A Window into the World during COVID-19.
  • The program focuses on 4 themes: reading in all its forms, development of the book industry infrastructure, inclusiveness & digital accessibility and empowerment of children through reading.
  • The other events and activities includes the construction of book city (the Kota Buku Complex), a reading campaign for train commuters, enhancing of digital services and accessibility by the National Library of Malaysia for the disabled, and new digital services for 12 libraries in poor housing areas of Kuala Lumpur.
  • History of the Day: On April 23, 1616, prominent writers Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, HaldorK.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, JosepPla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.
  • Then in 1995, UNESCO’s General Conference was held in Paris where April 23 was regarded as the “World Book and Copyright Day” to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors.

About UNESCO:
Headquarters– Paris, France.
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay.

About Malaysia:
Capital– Kuala Lumpur.
Currency– Malaysian ringgit.
Prime Minister– Muhyiddin bin Haji Muhammad Yassin.

17. Iran launche’s first mility satellite ‘Noor’

  • Iran has launched its first military satellite ‘Noor’.
  • It is a military satellite launched recently by Ira’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the country’s armed forces.
  • The satellite flew into orbit on top of a multi-stage Qased rocket powered by a combination of solid and liquid fuels.

Read Full News >>>

18. Manipur govt commemorates ‘Khongjom Day’at Khongjam War Memorial Complex

  • Manipur Government commemorated ‘Khongjam Day’ at Khongjom War Memorial Complex, remembering the people who valiantly fought in the Anglo-Manipuri War in 1891 on April 23.
  • This day is commemorated to pay tribute to the war heroes of Anglo-Manipuri War 1891 who had sacrificed their lives fighting against the British to protect freedom of Manipur.
  • The site is about 35KM south of Imphal in Thoubal district where the battle was fight between Manipur and British.

Read Full News>>>

 

19.National Panchayat Raj Day being observed today 

  • The National Panchayt Raj Day is celebrated every year on April 24.
  • April 24 is the day on which Panchayati Raj had come into force through the 73rd Amendment Constitute Act 1992 marking a defining moment in the History of power decentralization to the grassroots in the country.
  • PM Modi will address Gram Panchyat s through video conferencing and will launch e-Gram Swaraj Portal and Swamitva Scheme, this year.
  • Rajasthan was the 1st state with Panchayati Raj in 1959.

Read full News>>

20. IOB launches Working Capital Demand Loan for agriculture sector: COVID-19

  1. The loans will be available to all the existing borrowers whose accounts are ‘standard’ and ‘performing’ as of March 2020 from poultry, dairy, fisheries and other allied activities and infrastructure activities such as cold storage and rural go-downs.
  2. The bank will not charge processing fees or prepayment penalty & will offer loans of 10% of the existing fund-based working capital limit with a maximum of Rs 10 crore for the poultry sector and Rs 2 crore for other allied activities.
  3. The loan is repayable in 6  monthly installments after an initial moratorium of 6  months. Interest will be serviced as and when debited.
  4. To avail the facility, applicants can submit their request to the branch directly or through email.
  5. The loan is sanctioned and disbursed within 6 working days from the date of receiving the required documents. The scheme, launched on April 4, will be valid up to June 30.
  6. It has also launched the  “COVID 19 Line of Support Scheme” for all MSME customers.

Other bank’s initiatives in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak

  • Union Bank of India launched COVID Emergency Line of Credit (CELC) which provides additional credit facilities to tide over liquidity issues for its existing customers.
  • Bank of Baroda has set up an emergency credit line to provide funds to its existing MSME and corporate borrowers
  • State Bank of India has announced an additional funding facility for its borrowers.
  • Canara Bank announces special Loan schemes for the MSME, Corporate, Business, Agri & Retail Customers, to tide over the liquidity / Cash flow.

About IOB:
Headquarters– Chennai, TamilNadu
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Karnam Sekar