Current Affairs 17 April 2020 – Daily Current Affairs

Current Affairs 17 April 2020

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Current Affairs Content

News Type

1

Narendra Singh Tomar Chairs The National Conference On Kharif Crops 2020 By Video Conference.

National

2

Nirmala Sitharaman Attended Virtual 2nd G20 Finance Ministers And Central Bank Governors Meet.

National

3

MS Sahoo Panel Proposed National Institute Of Valuers For Institutional Framework For Valuers.

National

4

Govt To Set Up “Suraksha Stores” And “Suraksha Circle” Under PPP Mode Amid COVID-19 Lockdown.

National

5

HDFC Bank Launches Safety Grid Campaign For Social Distancing.

National

6

Exports Declined By 34.57% In March & 4.78% In FY20; Q1 FY21 Remain Sluggish.

National

7

Asia To Stall At 0% Growth In 2020 For 1st Time In 60 Years: IMF.

National

8

IWF President Tamas Ajan Resigns.

National

9

India’s Limited-Overs Vice-Captain Rohit Sharma Becomes Brand Ambassador For “Crickingdom”

National

10

Ajay Mahajan Appointed As MD And CEO Of Care Ratings.

National & International

11

Vineet Arora Appointed As MD & CEO Of Paytm General Insurance.

National

12

ORIX Acquires IL&FS’s 100% Stake In IWPSL For Rs 6.05 Cr.

International

13

India’s Aarogya Setu Becomes World’s Fastest App To Reach 50 Million Downloads In 13 Days.

National & International

14

Central Government Unveils PUSA Decontamination, Sanitizing Tunnel.

National

15

‘Bat Coronavirus’ In 2 Indian Bat Species: ICMR.

National

16

Scientists Observes Biggest Star Explosion Ever Seen.

National & International

17

China Releases 4th Asian Para Games 2022 Mascot As ‘Fei Fei’ Bird.

International

18

Comedy Classic ‘Khubsoorat’ Actor Ranjit Chowdhry Passed Away At 65 In The US.

National

19

April – 16World Voice Day 2020.

National & International

20

March 14 – International Mathematics Day 2020.

National & International

21

Sports Ministry – First-Ever Online Training Of Coaches During COVID-19 Lock-down.

National

Detailed Description On Current Affairs 17 April 2020 – Daily Current Affairs.

1

Narendra Singh Tomar Chairs The National Conference On Kharif Crops 2020 By Video Conference.

Union Agriculture Minister chairs the National Conference on Kharif crops 2020 through video conference. The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has said that all States should aim to achieve the kharif target and doubling of farmers’ income should be taken up in mission mode.

2

Nirmala Sitharaman Attended Virtual 2nd G20 Finance Ministers And Central Bank Governors Meet.

Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the virtual session of the 2nd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting under the Saudi Arabian Presidency today, to discuss the global economic outlook amid evolving COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

3

MS Sahoo Panel Proposed National Institute Of Valuers For Institutional Framework For Valuers.

A government-appointed committee of experts has proposed an institutional framework for valuers by way of setting up the National Institute of Valuers. The panel, headed by IBBI (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India) Chairperson M S Sahoo, has also submitted the ”Draft Valuers Bill, 2020”.

The corporate affairs ministry sought comments on the bill, which has recommended setting up of the institute. The deadline for submitting comments is May 14. The panel was constituted by the ministry on August 30, 2019 to examine the need for an institutional framework for regulation and development of valuation profession.

“Based on a comprehensive study and analysis of all relevant issues and taking the inputs of key stakeholders, the committee has submitted its report to the Government of India on March 31, 2020 along with Draft Valuers Bill, 2020, recommending to establish a National Institute of Valuers,” the ministry said in a release on its website.

4

Govt To Set Up “Suraksha Stores” And “Suraksha Circle” Under PPP Mode Amid COVID-19 Lockdown.

New Delhi: Ahead of extending restrictions on the mobility of goods and persons, the government plans to set up a chain of 20 lakh retail shops called ‘Suraksha Stores’ across India which will provide daily essentials to citizens while maintaining stringent safety norms.

The Suraksha Stores initiative will convert the neighbourhood kirana stores into sanitised retail outlets selling daily essentials while adhering to safety norms such as social distancing and sanitisation to control the spread of the novel coronavirus, sources with direct knowledge of the development said. The government will rope in private firms to implement this plan, which seeks to ensure that proper protocol is followed in the entire supply chain, right from manufacturing units to retail outlets, to combat COVID-19.

Consumer Affairs Secretary Pawan Kumar Agarwal has held at least one round of discussions with the top FMCG companies to implement this ambitious plan through public private partnership, the sources said. The government is targeting to earmark 20 lakh retail outlets as ‘Suraksha Stores’ over the next 45 days. Each FMCG company might be given one or two states to execute this plan in an effective manner and enable every store to fight coronavirus.

5

HDFC Bank Launches Safety Grid Campaign For Social Distancing.

HDFC Bank has launched a campaign to encourage and reinforce social distancing while waiting at shops. Using the outer grid of HDFC Bank logo, it has created physical markers on the ground to help people maintain the World Health Organisation (WHO) prescribed social distance while waiting in queue at a shop or an establishment.

After a pilot in Kolkata, the Safety Grid campaign has been launched in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh and Bhubaneswar. It will be implemented at over 4,000 essential services stores across the eight cities. Till now, it has been implemented at over 1,750 essential services stores.

“The Safety Grid will be painted in front of the space leading to various retail outlets such as pharmacies, grocery stores, and ATMs, among others,” HDFC Bank said in a statement, adding that each grid will be placed at an optimal WHO prescribed distance of one metre from each other.

6

Exports Declined By 34.57% In March & 4.78% In FY20; Q1 FY21 Remain Sluggish.

India’s exports plunged by a record 34.57 per cent in March due to a steep decline in shipments of leather, gems and jewellery and petroleum products, dragging the total exports in 2019-20 down to $314.31 billion, official data showed on Wednesday.
Merchandise exports in March stood at $21.41 billion, down by 34,57 per cent compared to $32.72 billion in the same month last year.

7

Asia To Stall At 0% Growth In 2020 For 1st Time In 60 Years: IMF.

Asia is expected to witness zero percent growth in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic, its worst growth performance in almost 60 years, but still the world’s largest and most populous continent is likely to fare better than other regions in terms of activity, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.

The IMF in a blog titled “COVID-19 Pandemic and the Asia-Pacific Region: Lowest Growth Since the 1960s” further said the impact of the coronavirus on the region will be “severe and unprecedented”. “Growth in Asia is expected to stall at zero percent in 2020. This is the worst growth performance in almost 60 years, including during the Global Financial Crisis (4.7 percent) and the Asian Financial Crisis (1.3 percent),” it said.

It further noted that “Asia still looks to fare better than other regions in terms of activity”.

The global economy is expected to contract in 2020 by 3 percent — the worst recession since the Great Depression, the IMF said adding Asia’s key trading partners are expected to contract sharply, including the United States by 6.0 percent and Europe by 6.6 percent.

8

IWF President Tamas Ajan Resigns.

Tamas Ajan has resigned as president of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) while an investigation into alleged corruption is ongoing, the governing body said in a statement on Wednesday. Ajan, from Hungary, had been at the IWF since 1976, serving 24 years as general secretary and 20 as president.

9

India’s Limited-Overs Vice-Captain Rohit Sharma Becomes Brand Ambassador For “Crickingdom”.

India’s limitedovers vicecaptain Rohit Sharma has become brand ambassador of ‘CricKingdom‘, a cricket academy based here which will also facilitate coaching through its online platform after the global COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

10

Ajay Mahajan Appointed As MD And CEO Of Care Ratings.

 CARE Ratings, on Wednesday, said Ajay Mahajan has been appointed as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company for five years from April 15. Mahajan started his career with Bank of America in 1990 and went on to become the MD and Country Head of Global Markets Group.

11

Vineet Arora Appointed As MD & CEO Of Paytm General Insurance.

Previously, Arora served as the managing director and chief executive officer of Aegon Life Insurance Company and was part of the India Leadership team. Digital payments major Paytm on Wednesday said it has named Vineet Arora as the managing director and chief executive officer of Paytm General Insurance Ltd.

12

MS Dhoni Appointed As The Brand Ambassador Of Pokerstars India.

Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) said it has completed the sale of its wind energy business to its Japanese partner Orix Corporation. IL&FS has sold its 100% stake in IL&FS Wind Power Services Ltd (IWPSL) to Orix for Rs 6.06 crore ($0.79 million at current exchange rate), the debt-ridden infrastructure lender said in a statement.

IWPSL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IL&FS Energy Development Company Ltd, is engaged in providing supervisory and management support services to seven firms that own and operate wind power generating assets. The divestment has resulted in share transfer and a consideration of Rs 6.06 crore to IL&FS Energy that will be kept in an escrow account for its lenders, the statement said.

IWPSL, classified as a ‘green company’, has no outstanding debt, it added. In June last year, the board of IL&FS had approved the sale of the seven units to Orix by divesting its 51% equity stake. The seven companies are Lalpur Wind Energy Pvt. Ltd, Etesian Urja Ltd, Khandke Wind Energy Pvt. Ltd, Retadi Wind Power Ltd, Wind Urja India Pvt. Ltd, Tadas Wind Energy Pvt. Ltd and Kaze Energy Ltd. 

Orix’s offer was matched with state-run gas distributor GAIL (India) Ltd’s offer in April. GAIL had emerged as the highest bidder by offering Rs 4,800 crore for IL&FS’s wind energy portfolio. 

13

India’s Aarogya Setu Becomes World’s Fastest App To Reach 50 Million Downloads In 13 Days.

Government’s mobile app Aarogya Setu, developed for tracking coronavirus patients, has become the world’s fastest app to reach 5 crore downloads in just 13 days, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Wednesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on April 14 appealed to people to download the app.

“Telephone took 75 years to reach 50 million users, radio 38 yrs, television 13 yrs, Internet 4 yrs, Facebook 19 months, Pokemon Go 19 days. Aarogya Setu, India’s app to fight COVID-19 has reached 50 million users in just 13 days-fastest ever globally for an App,” Kant said in his tweet. The death toll due to coronavirus rose to 377 while the number of cases in the country climbed to 11,439.

Aarogya Setu app alerts people if any known or person in their vicinity has tested positive. District administration has been asking all educational institutions, departments etc to push downloading of the app. The app was developed under a committee set up by the Prime Minister’s Office with active involvement of Niti Aayog and Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY).

According to sources, Tata Consultancy Services is working on testing and some of the other aspects while Tech Mahindra and the Mahindra group is working with the committee on the next version of this application and leveraging next generation technologies like AI, machine learning, data science. Tech Mahindra is also working on expanding the reach of Aarogya Setu on all types of phones. The current version of Aarogya Setu app is fit for use on smartphones only.

14

Central Government Unveils PUSA Decontamination, Sanitizing Tunnel.

Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Chaudhary on Thursday inaugurated a ‘PUSA decontamination and sanitizing tunnel’ developed by the government research body ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute here in the national capital. The sanitization protocol includes hand washing with foot operated soap and water dispenser and fogging in a sanitizing tunnel for 20 seconds, an official statement said.

In this tunnel, Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QAC) are used at concentration of 0.045 per cent, which is recommended by the health department, it added. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Director General Trilochan Mohapatra and Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) Director A K Singh were also present at the event.

15

‘Bat Coronavirus’ In 2 Indian Bat Species: ICMR.

The detection of potentially pathogenic coronavirus in Indian bats has stressed the need for enhancing screening for novel viruses in them, according to a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

A study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has found the presence of bat coronaviruses in bat species from Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. Amid the ongoing pandemic, there have been studies and theories that the coronavirus pandemic which spread from Wuhan in China had originated from bats.

The ICMR study, for the first time, has found the presence of a different kind of coronavirus, bat coronavirus (BtCoV), in two bat species from these four states. But as of now, there is no evidence to suggest that the bat coronaviruses can cause diseases in humans. Bats from the Rousettus and Pteropus species from the four states were found positive. These bat coronaviruses are not related to the SARS-CoV2, which causes the COVID-19 disease.

This study was a step towards understanding the coronavirus circulation in Indian bats. “One Health approach with collaborative activities by the animal health and human health sectors in these surveillance activities shall be of use to public health,” the study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research said. “This would help in the development of diagnostic assays for novel viruses with outbreak potential and be useful in disease interventions. Proactive surveillance remains crucial for identifying the emerging novel viruses with epidemic potential and measures for risk mitigation,” said the study authored by Pragya D Yadav as the first author.

The Pteropus bat species were earlier found positive for Nipah virus in 2018 and 2019 in Kerala. “Bats are considered to be the natural reservoir for many viruses, of which some are potential human pathogens. In India, an association of Pteropus medius bats with the Nipah virus was reported in the past. It is suspected that the recently emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) also has its association with bats,” the objective of the study titled ‘Detection of coronaviruses in Pteropus and Rousettus species of bats from different states of India’ said.

In conclusion, the study showed detection of pathogenic CoVs in two species of Indian bats. Continuous active surveillance is required to identify the emerging novel viruses with epidemic potential. “There is a need of proactive surveillance of zoonotic infections in bats. Detection and identifications of such aetiological agents will provide leads for the development of diagnostic along with preparedness and readiness to deal with such emergent viruses thereby quickly containing them,” the study said.

The detection and identification of such viruses from bats also recommends cross-sectional antibody surveys (human and domestic animals) in localities where the viruses have been detected. Similarly, if epidemiological situation demands, evidence-based surveillance should also be conducted. There is a need of developing strong mechanisms for working jointly with various stakeholders such as wildlife, poultry, animal husbandry and human health departments.

In the present scenario of changing demography and ecological manipulations, it is challenging to have checks on the encounters of bats with other animals and humans. Therefore, active and continuous surveillance remains crucial for outbreak alerts for bat-associated viral agents with epidemic potential, which would be helpful in timely interventions, the study said. Although CoVs in the subfamily Coronavirinae do not usually produce clinical symptoms in their natural hosts (bats), accidental transmission of these viruses to humans and other animals may result in respiratory, enteric, hepatic or neurologic diseases of variable severity. It is still not understood as to why only certain CoVs can infect people, the study said.

16

Scientists Observes Biggest Star Explosion Ever Seen.

First observed in September 2006, the supernova SN 2006gy, which occurred in a galaxy called NGC 1260 (240 million light-years away), is the largest and, until confirmation of luminosity of SN 2005ap in October 2007, the most luminous supernova ever observed.

17

China Releases 4th Asian Para Games 2022 Mascot As ‘Fei Fei’ Bird.

The character was revealed online and is inspired by “divine bird”, a part of Liangzhu culture. According to legend, “divine bird” brings bliss with Fei Fei said to represent both Hangzhou’s heritage and its technological innovation. A pattern from Liangzhu culture extends from the bird’s wings to her cheeks, with the raised wings representing “dynamic beauty”.

The letter “I” on her crown stands for “intelligence” and also recognises Hangzhou’s claim to be the “city of the internet”. When Fei Fei is happy or playing sport, the letter flashes blue. Her chest features a ring of 45 dots which represents the Asian Paralympic Committee’s (APC) members, while the Games logo is in the centre.

The first “Fei” of her name is said to represent flight while the second is for the mental tenacity of athletes. Action at the Asian Para Games is due to begin on October 9, a fortnight after the Asian Games end in the Chinese city on September 25. Wang Wenxu, the vice chairman of the Organising Committee and the vice governor of Zheiang Province, was on hand virtually as the mascot was unveiled. He was joined by Liu Xin, the acting mayor of Hangzhou. APC President Majid Rashed sent a letter of congratulations. Three robots were revealed as the mascots of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games earlier this month.

18

Comedy Classic ‘Khubsoorat’ Actor Ranjit Chowdhry Passed Away At 65 In The US.

Actor-writer Ranjit Chowdhry passed away, on Wednesday, in Mumbai at the age of 65. Chowdhry is remembered for his roles in Mira Nair’s ‘Mississippi Masala’ starring Denzel Washington, Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ‘Khubsoorat‘, and Basu Chatterjee’s ‘Khatta Meetha’ and ‘Baton Baton Mein’ among others.

19

April – 16World Voice Day 2020.

World Voice Day 2020. WVD (World Voice Day) is a global annual event held on 16 April dedicated to the phenomenon of voice celebration. The aim is to show the enormous value of the voice in the people’s daily lives.

20

March 14 – International Mathematics Day 2020.

The proclamation of March 14 as the International Day of Mathematics has been adopted by the Executive Council of UNESCO at its 205th session. It was adopted by the 40th session of the General Conference of the UNESCO in November 2019. The inaugural celebration of the IDM is on March 14, 2020.

21

Sports Ministry – First-Ever Online Training Of Coaches During COVID-19 Lockdown.

The Archery Association of India (AAI) on Thursday began first-ever online training of its coaches by experts from various fields such as psychology, nutrition and mind coaching, “for effective utilisation of coaches time” during the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. This training is a part of the Sports Ministry’s efforts to help the coaches realise their potential. “It will help them understand the sportspersons they are training, both mentally and professionally. This is the first-ever online initiative by Sports Authority of India (SAI) and National Sports Federations (NSFs) to upgrade knowledge of coaches,” said sources.

The online training will be held between April 16 and May 2. And there are 17 sessions which have been planned for the period, added the sources. The lockdown is scheduled to end on May 3. The training on mental toughness will be conducted by Sanjeeva Singh who is Arjuna and Dronacharya awardee. And the training on psychology, preparation, readiness, and interaction between competitors and the coach will be taken by Pascal Colmaire, development and education director, World Archery, added the source.

As per Union Minister Arjun Munda, who is also the President of the Archery Association of India, the session will bring coaches closer to their trainees as experts would delve into areas such as mind coaching of the sportspersons. “We have taken up a very good initiative along with the Ministry of Sports. We all are trying to be safe amid lockdown. The coaches are being trained online. They would get time to minutely study each and every aspect of a sportsperson including their psychology,” said the minister.

Munda further added that as coaches do not get enough time to understand the problems of sportspersons or other issues sportspersons might be struggling with, this training by experts from various fields would help them to understand the needs of the trainee better.

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