1. Fitch slashes India’s GDP growth forecast to 1.8%
- Fitch Solutions has slashed India’s economic growth forecast to 1.8% from 4.6% for the financial year 2020-21 stating large-scale loss of income across the economy due to domestic outbreak of COVID-19.
- It has predicted the contraction in fixed investments as capital expenditure has been reduced by businesses to conserve cash amid elevated economic uncertainty.
- Fitch Solutions has also reduced the real GDP forecast of China for the financial year 2020 from 2.6% to 1.1%.
2. Govt launched online data pool of critical human resource
- Government has launched online data pool of critical human resource for combating and containing COVID-19.
- It has been created on www.covidwarriors.gov.in and consist of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, volunteers from National Yuva Kendras, NCC, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and ex-Servicemen for use by the ground level administration.
- It contains state wise and district wise availability of the large pool of HR from various groups.
3. IIA connects Li abundance in interstellar space to new Li-rich red giants
- Researchers Team at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) have discovered hundreds of Li-rich giant stars indicating that Lithium is being produced in the stars and accounts for its abundance in the interstellar medium.
- The researchers determined the evolutionary phase of these giants by analyzing relative positions of stars using their temperature and luminosity and from Kepler Space Telescope.
- This will eliminate theories such as nucleosynthesis.
4. World Bank-IMF Development Committee meeting held
- The 101st Meeting of the Development Committee Plenary was held through video conference on 17 april.
- The items on the agenda included update on World Bank Group Response to the COVID-19 Emergency, and the Covid-19 Debt Initiative: International Call for Action in Support of IDA Countries.
- The next meeting of the Development Committee is currently scheduled for October 17, 2020, in Washington, DC.
5. Facebook launches third party fact checking in Bangladesh
- Facebook in collaboration with Indian fact checking website “Boom” has launched a third-party fact checking system in Bangladesh.
- This system will focus on discouraging the spread of fake news in the country by reviewing and rating the stories, including photos and videos.
- Boom is an Indian fact-checking website and is available in English, Hindi and Bengali.
- Facebook started its fact-checking programme in 2016 and now covers 60 partners in 50 languages.
6. IIT Ropar to develop ‘WardBot’
- A team of researchers at IIT Ropar is aiming to develop a Wardbot that will deliver food and medicine to COVID-19 patients in their isolation wards.
- The other features include self-sanitising on the return path and can be used even to sanitise the walls.
- Lines drawn on the floor will help the IR-sensor-fitted wardbot find its way.
- The bot will have at least twelve shelves and a carrying capacity of 4 to 5 kg. It should be able to serve 10 to 12 patients.
7. IIM-K team launched digital directory Covid FYI
- An international team led by an Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode has developed a COVID-19 platform for accessing emergency services from official government sources.
- The website ‘covidfyi.in’ is a one-stop digital directory for all COVID19 related services and help.
- The website aims to bring the right information to the right people, as only official information from Government organisations is put on this platform to ensure authenticity and credibility.
8. HDFC launches # HDFCBankSafetyGrid campaign
- HDFC Bank launched its #HDFCBankSafetyGrid campaign to help people maintain the World Health Organisation (WHO) prescribed social distancing.
- Conceptualised by Leo Burnett India, the campaign is aimed at creating physical markers on the ground leading to various retail outlets to ensure that appropriate distance is maintained.
- The physical markers have been created using the outer grid of HDFC bank logo at a distance of 1 meter outside important outlets.
9. BCCI creates Team Mask Force
- Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has created a new video under the title Team Mask Force to promote wearing masks in public places and help the country battle the COVID-19 featuring Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, Mithali Raj, etc.
- The tag line by BCCI for this is “TeamIndia is now #TeamMaskForce! Join #IndiaFightsCorona and download @mygovindia’s @SetuAarogya mobile application Mobile phone.”
10. Equitas Small Finance Bank launches Selfe-FD and Selfe-savings account
- Equitas Small Finance Bank expanded its digital banking services by launching Selfe Fixed Deposits and Selfesavings accounts.
- Customers can open Selfe Fixed Deposit online for value upto Rs 90,000 by providing Aadhar and PAN details with 7.75% interest for 1 year.
- The Selfe Savings Account is a digital bank account and can be opened with interactive video form by registering one’s Aadhaar number, PAN and basic details with 7.5% interest rate with no minimum balance.
11. Compensation of Rs.10 lakhs to all Postal employees proposed
- The Postal employees including Gramin Dak Sevaks will be granted compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs.
- The implementation must be done immediately for the entire period till the crises of COVID-19.
- Postal employees are doing duties like providing mail delivery to customers, Post Office Saving Bank, Postal Life Insurance, the ease of money withdrawal at his/her doorstep from any bank and any branch under the AePS facility.
12. INST develops electro-catalyst from fish gills
- Ramendra Sundar Dey and his team from Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), Mohali have recently come up with an efficient, low-cost electro-catalyst from fish gills that can help develop environmentally friendly energy conversion devices.
- This bio-inspired carbon nanostructure can help overcome the bottleneck in the realization of several renewable energy conversion and storage technologies such as fuel cell, biofuel cell, and metal−air battery.