Current Affairs 13 April 2020 – Daily Current Affairs

Current Affairs 13 April 2020 – Daily Current Affairs

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Current Affairs Content

News Type

1

Union HRD Minister Launches ‘Bharat Padhe Online’ Campaign.

National

2

ICMR Approves Use Of TB Diagnostic Machine For Coronavirus.

National

3

Government Approves Ex-Gratia Compensation For Life Insurance Cover For FCI Employees: COVID-19.

National

4

Dharmendra Pradhan Participates G20 Extraordinary Energy Ministers Virtual Meeting 2020 Chaired By Saudi Arabia.

National

5

India Jobless Rate Hits 23.4% Amid COVID-19 Lockdown: CMIE.

National

6

COVID-19: Jitendra Singh Distributed 2200 Essential Kits Prepared By Kendriya Bhandar To Needy Families In Delhi.

National

7

Ahmedabad Railway Station Becomes First Station Of IR To Install Sanitizing Tunnel.

National

8

UNIDO Signs Mou With Consumer Unity Trust Society To Counter Economic Impact Of COVD-19.

Internationa

9

Jana Small Finance Bank Launches Digigen, A Digital Banking Platform.

National

10

India’s Fiscal Deficit Of 5.07% In February Makes It Difficult To Meet Its Revised Target Of 3.8%: GOI.

National

11

Karnataka Bank Gets RBI Nod To Reappoint Mahabaleshwara M S As MD And CEO For 3 Years.

National

12

Raghuram Rajan Named Among 12 Members Of External Advisory Group: IMF.

National

13

Indian Actress Tamannaah Bhatia Signed As Brand Ambassador For MPL.

National

14

COVID-19: SCTIMST Scientists Develop Disinfection Gateway & Face Mask Disposal Bin.

National

15

BEL & AIIMS- Rishikesh Jointly Develops Remote Health Monitoring System For Coronavirus Cases.

National

16

For The First Time, NASA Scientists Measure Wind Speed On A Brown Dwarf.

International

17

COVID-19: IIT-Bombay Researchers Develop ‘Digital Stethoscope’ Which Can Hear Heartbeat From A Distance.

National

18

Google And Apple Ties-Up To Create Coronavirus Contact Tracing Technology By Smartphone.

International

19

Padma Shri Classical Singer Shanti Hiranand Passed Away At 87.

National

20

National Safe Motherhood Day 2020: April 11.

National

21

NCW Launches Domestic Violence Helpline For Women.

National

22

ADB Assures $2.2 Bn Support Package To India To Fight Covid-19 Pandemic.

International

23

Former New Zealand Wicketkeeper Jock Edwards Passes Away At 64.

International

24

Former Zimbabwean Cricketer Jackie Du Preez Passes Away At 77.

International

1

Union HRD Minister Launches ‘Bharat Padhe Online’ Campaign.

Union HRD Minister launchesBharat Padhe Onlinecampaign to invite ideas to improve online education ecosystem. The Union Minister of Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal launched a week long ‘Bharat Padhe Onlinecampaign for crowd sourcing of ideas for improving online education ecosystem of India, on Friday April10 2020.

2

ICMR Approves Use Of TB Diagnostic Machine For Coronavirus.

The ICMR has validated ‘TruenatTM beta CoV test on TruelabTM workstation’ and has recommended it as a screening test, the apex health research body said on Friday. As part of its efforts to ramp up the testing capacity, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved the use of diagnostic machines used for testing drug-resistant tuberculosis for conducting coronavirus tests.

The ICMR has validated ‘TruenatTM beta CoV test on TruelabTM workstation’ and has recommended it as a screening test, the apex health research body said on Friday. Issuing a guidance on the use of Truenat beta CoV, the ICMR said throat/nasal swabs will be collected in the viral transport medium (VTM) with virus lysis buffer provided along with the kit.

“Earlier studies have shown that virus lysis buffer neutralizes Nipah and H1N1 viruses. The results of stability of viral RNA after neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 by virus lysis buffer are awaited from ICMR-NIV, Pune.

3

Government Approves Ex-Gratia Compensation For Life Insurance Cover For FCI Employees: COVID-19.

The government on Friday announced to pay ex-gratia or monetary compensation in the range of Rs 10 lakh to Rs 35 lakh for employees and contractual labourers of Food Corporation of India, in case anyone dies due to coronavirus infection.
This will cover around 1.09 lakh workers and officers. The compensation will be provided in case of corona-related fatalities during duty which occur till September 23 (within six month from March 24 when lockdown came into effect).

4

Dharmendra Pradhan Participates G20 Extraordinary Energy Ministers Virtual Meeting 2020 Chaired By Saudi Arabia.

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel, participated in the G20 Extraordinary Energy Ministersvirtual Meeting on 10th April 2020. The meeting was called by Saudi Arabia, in its capacity as the G20 Presidency, and chaired by Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz.

5

India Jobless Rate Hits 23.4% Amid COVID-19 Lockdown: CMIE.

Early estimates of jobs data indicate that the coronavirus effect may have left a devastating impact on the economy, sending urban unemployment rate soaring to 30.9% . Overall unemployment rose to 23.4%.

The figures, based on the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s weekly tracker survey, have held steady for two weeks now. The latest data for the week ended 5 April was released on Monday evening. CMIE’s estimates on unemployment shot up from 8.4% in mid-March to the current 23%. Based on a rough calculation, about 50 million people might have lost jobs in just two weeks of the lockdown, said Pronab Sen, a former chief statistician of India.

“Since some may have just been sent home for now, the actual scope of unemployment may be even higher and may show up a little later,” he added. India does not have reliable, official high-frequency data on jobs. While CMIE’s jobs data has been the centre of a political slugfest in the past, with government officials repeatedly questioning the survey’s methodology, Sen said that it doesn’t matter now because what we are interested in is “capturing change”.

6

COVID-19: Jitendra Singh Distributed 2200 Essential Kits Prepared By Kendriya Bhandar To Needy Families In Delhi.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Wednesday provided 2,200 kits containing essential goods for the needy who have been unable to get items of daily use due to the prevailing nationwide lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus, according to a Personnel Ministry statement.

Kendriya Bhandar, which functions under the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), has prepared a total of 2,200 kits for distribution to needy families, the statement said. Each essential kit consists of three kg rice, two kg dal, one litre cooking oil, 500 gms chiwda/poha, one kg salt, one bathing soap, one detergent soap and three packets of biscuits, it said.

Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, handed over a consignment of the 2,200 essential kits for distribution to needy families in the wake of COVID-19, it added. “Singh handed over 1,700 kits to SDM, Civil Lines, Central Delhi District and the remaining 500 kits will be given to DM (Central),” the statement said.

7

Ahmedabad Railway Station Becomes First Station Of IR To Install Sanitizing Tunnel.

Ahmedabad station of Western Railway has got the unique distinction of becoming the first station on Indian Railways to install a Walk Through Mass Sanitizing Tunnel. The tunnel was inaugurated yesterday by Ahmedabad DRM Deepak Jha. AIR correspondent reports that the walk through mass Sanitizer Tunnel has been set up by Ahmedabad division to ensure the safety of staff and passengers in view of the COVID-19.

The distance of the tunnel is 20 feet long which can be covered within 10 seconds. Ahmedabad Division Railway PRO Pradeep Sharma said the tunnel is fitted with a sensor sothat when a passenger approaches the tunnel entrance, it starts fogging automatically with WHO approved sanitizer.

The tunnel has a capacity of sanitizing 25 to 30 persons per minute and consumes approximately 20 ml sanitizer per person. The system runs on the principle of Vaporization process which converts the sanitizer mixture into vapour which forms a uniform layer over the surface which dries up quickly. 

8

UNIDO Signs Mou With Consumer Unity Trust Society To Counter Economic Impact Of COVD-19.

9 April 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted and impacted the daily lives of people and hampered economic activities in many countries across the world. The coronavirus’s continuing spread requires global stakeholders to collaborate, support each other and find innovative solutions together in order to address the core challenges that countries are experiencing.

In this context, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) have signed an agreement to empower consumers to contribute to the global development agenda as well as support their respective governments in times of global crisis. 

CUTS is an India-based institution, established in 1983, working to achieve “consumer sovereignty in the framework of social justice, economic equality and environmental balance – within and across borders”. The core engagement areas of CUTS are promoting good governance, rules-based trade and effective regulations.

CUTS facilitates good governance through grassroots capacity-building, networking, and awareness, leading to government engagement to bring marginalized voices to the table and ensure accountability of policy practices. The organization collaborates with an existing network of more than 60 research and civil society institutions all over the world to assist stakeholders across in developing countries to establish ecosystems that promote rules-based trade for consumers – enabling them to enjoy the benefits of liberalization and integration into the world economy. Furthermore, CUTS also engages with advocacy partners to ensure regulations are implemented to ensure that consumers can have better access to quality goods and services at affordable prices.

The Director General of UNIDO, LI Yong, and the Secretary General of CUTS, Pradeep S. Mehta, have signed a memorandum of understanding for five years, which aims to initiate joint technical co-operation projects to support ongoing activities in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

CUTS has expressed a strong interest in supporting UNIDO in promoting e-commerce as a platform to accelerate Member States’ transition to the digital economy and adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. UNIDO and CUTS plan to develop and implement a BRICS e-commerce project that will build upon the success of UNIDO’s pilot e-commerce project implemented in the BRICS countries between 2016 and 2018.

E-commerce is one sector that can contribute to the economy during the COVID-19 emergency. Many lockdowns implemented across the world have required consumers to explore online purchasing options. This clearly indicates that e-commerce has an opportunity to grow as well as expand its attractiveness in countries that have yet to jump on the “e-commerce bandwagon”. E-commerce can also support the implementation of social distancing measures due to the limited amount of physical contact involved in this activity. However, it is also important to note that there are also challenges that enterprises need to address due to specific restrictions. For example, there are ongoing issues with increasing strains on existing IT infrastructure and reduced supply-chain capabilities.

The proposed BRICS e-commerce project that UNIDO and CUTS intend to implement will encourage governments of these countries to understand different aspects of national and international regulations negotiations with respect to e-commerce. This project will also encourage MSMEs to use e-commerce platforms to reach consumers needs. It is also envisioned that UNIDO and CUTS will develop online capacity building courses to support enterprises’ capacities to take advantage of different e-commerce platforms, as well as target consumers by increasing awareness of consumer welfare and sovereignty.

CUTS has also been invited by UNIDO to contribute to the on-going development of its “Culture of Quality Tool” which will support UNIDO Member States establish a strong quality infrastructure to promote increased access to global value chains. Both organizations will continue to explore other sectors where joint collaboration can be initiated under the purview of UNIDO’s mandate of promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development and CUTS mandate of promoting consumer sovereignty which includes the Sustainable Development Goals.

9

Jana Small Finance Bank Launches Digigen, A Digital Banking Platform.

Bengaluru-based Jana Small Finance Bank, a scheduled commercial bank, has introduced a new digital banking solution, called DIGIGEN. The neobank will allow users to digitally open a savings account and offers various fixed deposit options, which can be accessed instantly from anywhere at any time.

According to its developers, DIGIGEN’s onboarding process is simple and hassle-free. It requires customers to open a savings account with the bank, and then begin earning a highly competitive 4.5% interest rate. Notably, there’s no minimum balance required and users can also reportedly earn as much as 7.50% interest on fixed deposits. DIGIGEN also provides other banking features such as online bill payment, instant funds transfer, and airport lounge access when using the company’s debit card.

To sign up, users need to provide their personal details in order to complete mandatory KYC checks. Customers may deposit as much as Rs.1 Lakh or INR 100,000 (appr. $1,300) in this account before being allowed to upgrade it to a full KYC account.

10

India’s Fiscal Deficit Of 5.07% In February Makes It Difficult To Meet Its Revised Target Of 3.8%: GOI.

The fiscal deficit target was increased to Rs.7.66 lakh crore (3.8%) of the GDP in July 2019 by invoking the escape clause under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM). As per the data from the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), India’s fiscal deficit reached Rs.10.36 lakh crore at the end of February 2020.  It also stated that government revenues are likely to take a substantial hit in March, despite nationwide lockdown.

 It also highlighted that expenditures for the month should rise due to various costs arising from the virus containment efforts and enforcing the lockdown. According to the report, the state governments received about Rs.90,000 crore as tax devolution and around Rs.29,000 crore for various schemes in FY20.

11

Karnataka Bank Gets RBI Nod To Reappoint Mahabaleshwara M S As MD And CEO For 3 Years.

Private sector lender Karnataka Bank on Saturday said it has received RBI nod for reappointment of Mahabaleshwara M S as MD and CEO for next three years. The regulator has also approved for reappointment of P Jayarama Bhat as part time (non executive) chairman.

12

Raghuram Rajan Named Among 12 Members Of External Advisory Group: IMF.

The group will provide perspectives from around the globe on key developments and policy issues the world now faces due to the coronavirus pandemic.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on April 10 named former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and 11 others to her external advisory group to provide perspectives from around the globe on key developments and policy issues, including responses to the exceptional challenges the world now faces due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Rajan, 57, who was the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor for three years until September 2016, is currently working as a professor at the University of Chicago.

13

Indian Actress Tamannaah Bhatia Signed As Brand Ambassador For MPL.

Actress Tamannaah Bhatia Signed as Brand Ambassador for MPL, Besides Kohli. Mobile Premier League (MPL) has brought on actress Tamannaah Bhatia of Baahubali to endorse their gaming platform. Recently, MPL also renewed its association with Indian Cricket Captain Virat Kohli for another year.

14

COVID-19: SCTIMST Scientists Develop Disinfection Gateway & Face Mask Disposal Bin.

Scientists at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Trivandrum have come up with a disinfection gateway — a portable system that generates hydrogen-peroxide mist and UV-based decontamination facility to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

The SCTIMST, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the central government, said in a release that the disinfectant gateway is an electronically controlled system. The hydrogen-peroxide fumes will decontaminate the body, hands, and clothes of a person whereas the UV system will decontaminate the chamber attached to it, the institute said. The electronically controlled system will have sensors that will detect the entry of a person in a room and generate hydrogen-peroxide mist for fumigation.

The person will be required to walk through the chamber attached to its end. When the person exits, the system will shut off the hydrogen peroxide fumigation system and will turn on the UV lamp inside the chamber to decontaminate it. The UV light will get switched off automatically after a prescribed time. The chamber will then get ready for the next person. The whole process takes just 40 seconds for disinfecting one person. The system has see-through glass panels on sidewalls for monitoring and is fitted with lights for illumination during use.

15

BEL & AIIMS- Rishikesh Jointly Develops Remote Health Monitoring System For Coronavirus Cases.

AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences)-Rishikesh, in collaboration with Navratna Defence PSU BEL (Bharat Electronics Limited), has developed a state-of-the-art health monitoring system to remotely assess the health of Coronavirus (COVID-19) suspects and patients quarantined in homes and hospitals. The solution aims to significantly reduce the risk of exposure to healthcare workers. It is also expected to reduce the increasing demand for PPE (personal protective equipment) and other logistics.

“Faced with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the need to develop a solution to remotely monitor patients for limiting exposure of healthcare workers was prime and urgent. To combat this need, AIIMS-Rishikesh and BEL came together to provide a comprehensive digital and clinically appropriate solution,” BEL said in a press release on Thursday. Based on the inputs given by AIIMS-Rishikesh, BEL developed the proof of concept (PoC) model of a system integrating non-invasive health monitoring sensors to measure critical parameters such as temperature, pulse rate, SPO2 (saturated oxygen level) and respiration rate. BEL, which has expertise in network-centric and IoT systems, has also networked these sensors for remotely monitoring critical parameters.

16

 For The First Time, NASA Scientists Measure Wind Speed On A Brown Dwarf.

Scientist using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope recently made the first ever direct measurement of wind on a brown dwarf. The researchers detected winds moving around the planet at 1,425 mph (2,293 kph).

17

COVID-19: IIT-Bombay Researchers Develop ‘Digital Stethoscope’ Which Can Hear Heartbeat From A Distance.

The researchers sent 1,000 stethoscopes around the country to various hospitals and clinics.

A group at the Indian Institute of Technology of Bombay (IIT-B) has built up a “savvy stethoscope” that can tune in to pulses from separation and record them, limiting the danger of medicinal services experts getting the novel coronavirus from patients. The information or the auscultated sound from a patient’s chest is remotely sent to the specialist utilizing Bluetooth, getting rid of the need to go close to take readings, as per individuals from the group. 

The IIT-B group has gotten a patent for the gadget that records the auscultated sound and stores it as a major aspect of a patient’s wellbeing record. This can be imparted to different specialists for examination just as subsequent meet-ups. Working a startup called “AyuDevice” from the IIT’s innovation business hatchery, the group has sent 1,000 stethoscopes to various emergency clinics and social insurance communities the nation over. The item has been created with clinical contributions from specialists at Reliance Hospital and PD Hinduja Hospital.

18

Google And Apple Ties-Up To Create Coronavirus Contact Tracing Technology By Smartphone.

On Friday, Apple and Google announced a system for tracking the spread of the new coronavirus, allowing users to share data through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) transmissions and approved apps from health organizations.

The new system, which is laid out in a series of documents and white papers, would use short-range Bluetooth communications to establish a voluntary contact-tracing network, keeping extensive data on phones that have been in close proximity with each other. Official apps from public health authorities will get access to this data, and users who download them can report if they’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19. The system will also alert people who download them to whether they were in close contact with an infected person.

Apple and Google will introduce a pair of iOS and Android APIs in mid-May and make sure these health authorities’ apps can implement them. During this phase, users will still have to download an app to participate in contact-tracing, which could limit adoption. But in the months after the API is complete, the companies will work on building tracing functionality into the underlying operating system, as an option immediately available to everyone with an iOS or Android phone.

19

Padma Shri Classical Singer Shanti Hiranand Passed Away At 87.

Renowned Hindustani classical singer and Padma Shri awardee Shanti Hiranand Chawla passed away at a Gurgaon hospital early morning Friday. She was 87. “She had a brief ailment, was in the hospital since Sunday. But her condition got worse last night and she passed away this morning,”her son Nishchint Chawla told PTI.

20

April 11 – National Safe Motherhood Day 2020.

The National Safe Motherhood day is observed on April 11 every year. Know more about it. National Safe Motherhood Day is an initiative of the White Ribbon Alliance. The government of India declared in 2003 the national safe motherhood day on April 11.

21

NCW Launches Domestic Violence Helpline For Women.

The Kerala government on Saturday launched a WhatsApp number to report cases of domestic violence in the state, which have been on the rise during the coronavirus lockdown. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said complaints can be made to the number– 9400080292–, which will be available 24 hours.

“In the wake of reports of an increase in domestic violence during the lockdown, the Social Justice Department has been urged to take immediate steps to prevent them. Subsequently, a WhatsApp number was launched to make it easy for women and children to complain,” Vijayan said in a Facebook post.

The 24-hour helpline has been started by the Directorate of Women and Child Development with the help of the technical cell of the National Service Scheme.

22

ADB Assures $2.2 Bn Support Package To India To Fight Covid-19 Pandemic.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa on Friday assured Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of $2.2 billion (about Rs 16,500 crore) support to combat Covid-19 pandemic, PTI reported.

In a call, Asakawa commended the government’s decisive response to the pandemic, including a national health emergency programme, tax and other relief measures provided to businesses and a $23 billion (Rs 1.7 trillion) economic relief package announced on March 26 to provide immediate income and consumption support to the poor, women, and workers affected by the three-week nationwide lockdown.

23

Former New Zealand Wicketkeeper Jock Edwards Passes Away At 64.

Jock Edwards, the former New Zealand Test wicketkeeper, has died at the age of 64. A short, stocky, big-hitter, Edwards made his Test debut in the home Test series against Australia in 1976-77 as a specialist batsman, before taking the gloves when England toured the following season

24

Former Zimbabwean Cricketer Jackie Du Preez Passes Away At 77.

Johannesburg: Former South Africa spinner and Zimbabwe selector, John Harcourt du Preez has died at the age of 77 after a prolonged illness. In a media release, Cricket South Africa (CSA) said du Preez, fondly known has Jackie, passed away on Wednesday in Harare, Zimbabwe.

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