Current Affairs 18 April 2020 – Daily Current Affairs

Current Affairs 18 April 2020

Current Affairs 18 April 2020 – Daily Current Affairs. Top Current Affairs of the day: 18 April 2020. Instantly obtain Latest Current Affairs with all essential info, Be the first to know all the Today Current affairs 18 April 2020 top news, Major Issues, Current News, Important events in National Current News as well as International level with clear explanation. For all competitive exams and Interviews, equip yourself with the Latest Current Affairs 18 April 2020 granted here.

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Current Affairs Content

News Type

1

Nirmala Sitharaman Attends The Plenary Meeting Of IMFC Through Video-Conference.

National

2

India Heading Towards Ayurveda For COVID-19 Treatment; Task Force Created For Scientific Validation.

National

3

NIRDPR And UNICEF Training Community Leaders Online To Combat COVID-19.

National

4

Advisory Issued On Secure Use Of Zoom Meeting Platform: MHA.

National & International

5

India’s Subsidies To Renewables Drops 35 Per Cent From FY17 To FY19: IISD & CEEW.

National

6

ASEAN Leaders Held Special Summit And Special ASEAN Plus 3 Summit On COVID-19 Via Video Conference.

National & international

7

India Becomes World’s Most Digitally Dexterous Country; 39% Technophiles Want OTJ & JIT Training: Gartner 2019 Survey.

National

8

OBICUS Q4: 2019-20: 49th Round Of Quarterly Survey On Manufacturing Sector Launched By RBI.

National

9

Tata AIA Becomes The 1st Life Insurance Company In India To Announce Additional Benefits: COVID-19.

National

10

RBI Governor Announced Relief Measures For Liquidity In System; Reverse Repo Rate Slashed To 3.7% From 4%.

National

11

India’s GDP Growth May Fall To 1.1% In FY21: SBI Ecowrap Report.

National

12

World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand Becomes Ambassador Of WWF India’s Environment Education Programme.

National & International

13

COVID-19 – Kerala Institute Develops Chitra Genelamp-N Test Kit Gives Results In 2 Hours.

National

14

Scientists At NASA Discovers Earth-Like Planet ‘Kepler-1649c’ Found To Be Hidden In Early Kepler Data.

National

15

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar Launches Transport Aggregator App ‘Kisan Rath’ For Farmers.

National

16

Integrated Geo-spatial Platform Created: “SAHYOG” By Survey Of India.

National

17

New Pit Viper Discovered In Arunachal Pradesh Named After Harry Potter Character.

National

18

ITTF World Rankings 2020: Table Tennis Player Sharath Kamal Become India’s No.1 Player At 31st Spot, Fan Zhendong Of China Tops.

National

19

Shuttling To The Top: The Story Of P V Sindhu Authored By Krishnaswamy V.

National

20

April 17 – World Haemophilia Day 2020.

National & International

21

April 15 – World Art Day 2020.

National &International

Detailed Description On Current Affairs 18 April 2020 – Daily Current Affairs.

1

Nirmala Sitharaman Attends The Plenary Meeting Of IMFC Through Video-Conference.

Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman attended through video-conference the Plenary Meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, the Ministerial-level committee of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) here today.

The discussions at the meeting were based on IMF Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda titled, “Exceptional Times – Exceptional Action”. The members of the IMFC updated the committee on the actions and measures taken by member countries to combat COVID-19, and also remarked on IMF’s crisis-response package to address global liquidity and members’ financing needs.

Smt. Sitharaman, in her intervention at the meeting, outlined various measures taken in India to respond to the health crisis as well as to mitigate its impact. In this regard, she mentioned about allocation of $2 Billion (Rs 15,000 crore) by the Government of India for strengthening the healthcare system; announcement of a scheme of social support measures amounting to $23 Billion (Rs 1.70 lakh crore) to alleviate the hardship of the poor and the vulnerable; provision of relief to firms in statutory and regulatory compliance matters; easing of monetary policy by the RBI; and three-month moratorium on loan instalments. The Finance Minister also informed the IMFC about India’s role as a responsible member of the global community by providing critical medicines to other nations. She also mentioned about Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s initiative of creating a COVID-19 Emergency Fund for the SAARC region at the SAARC Leaders’ video-meeting.

While responding to the IMF’s channel of support to member countries in times of the COVID-19 crisis, Smt. Sitharaman mentioned that the IMF has always played a pivotal role in maintaining stability of the international monetary and financial system and that it should continue rendering this critical role to the global financial architecture.

The IMFC meets twice a year, once during the Fund-Bank Annual Meetings in October, and again during the Spring Meetings in April. The Committee discusses matters of common concern affecting the global economy and advises the IMF on the direction of its work. This year, due to the COVID-19 Outbreak, the meeting took place through video-conference.

2

India Heading Towards Ayurveda For COVID-19 Treatment; Task Force Created For Scientific Validation.

Minister of State (MoS) for AYUSH, Shripad Y Naik on Saturday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has established a task force for scientific validation of Ayurveda and traditional medicine formulas through research institutions like ICMR, to be used in the treatment of COVID-19.

Speaking to ANI, Naik said, “The Prime Minister has set up a task force for scientific validation of Ayurveda and traditional medicine formulas through research institutions like ICMR, for use in the treatment of coronavirus.” “We have received 2000 proposals, of which many will be sent to ICMR and other research institutes after screening them for assessing their scientific validity,” he said.

3

NIRDPR And UNICEF Training Community Leaders Online To Combat COVID-19.

More than 28.33 lakh community leaders are being trained through online programmes to practise social behaviours required to control the transmission of COVID-19 cases in villages, the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) said on Thursday.

The programme is being conducted in collaboration with UNICEF Hyderabad Field Office, it said in a release. NIRDPRs Communication Resource Unit (CRU) and UNICEF are working closely with the governments of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in preparedness and responses to contain the pandemic, the NIRDPR said.

The online training programme was initiated along the lines of a detailed Risk Communication Plan to build capacities of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI), Self-help Groups (SHG), National Service Scheme (NSS) officials, volunteers and Community Radio Stations (CRS) on the role they can play, in preventing the spread of COVID-19, in their groups and village communities. “We recognized the exceptional role that Leaders of Panchayati Raj Institutions and village organizations can play in dealing with the crisis of COVID19 by disseminating reliable information.

Hence, we decided to build their capacities by endowing them with facts about COVID19, common symptoms, modes of transmission and key behaviours, among other things,” W R Reddy, Director General, NIRDPR, said.

4

Advisory Issued On Secure Use Of Zoom Meeting Platform: MHA.

The Cyber Coordination Centre (CyCord), under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has issued an advisory on secure use of ZOOM Meeting Platform by private individuals. The guidelines have been issued to safeguard private individuals who would still like to use the platform for private purposes.

5

India’s Subsidies To Renewables Drops 35 Per Cent From FY17 To FY19: IISD & CEEW.

India‘s renewable energy subsidies fell 35 per cent from 2017-18 to 2018-19, while its oil and gas subsidies increased by 65 per cent, a study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) said on Thursday.

6

ASEAN Leaders Held Special Summit And Special ASEAN Plus 3 Summit On COVID-19 Via Video Conference.

MANILA – Officials of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member-states will hold a special summit on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) via video conference on Tuesday.

In a statement released Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will be participating in the special ASEAN summit on COVID-19 Tuesday morning. The summit will be attended by all members of the ASEAN member-states, and will be led by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam, the current chairman of ASEAN.

ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, will also participate in the special summit. The summit will focus on the ASEAN’s efforts in countering the COVID-19 pandemic. The Declaration of Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19 is also expected to be adopted after the special summit. By Tuesday afternoon, a special ASEAN Plus Three summit will also be held, to be attended by leaders of ASEAN as well as leaders of the People’s Republic of China, Japan and South Korea. The special summit is expected to adopt the Joint Statement of the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19.

7

India Becomes World’s Most Digitally Dexterous Country; 39% Technophiles Want OTJ & JIT Training: Gartner 2019 Survey.

Sixty-seven per cent of digital workers in India said emerging technologies such as machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) are increasing their effectiveness at work, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. The Gartner 2019 Digital Workplace Survey found that India is the most digitally dexterous country in the world – followed by the UK and the US, due to having the largest Gen Z workforce along with the desire to learn new skills using digital technologies in the workplace.

Twenty-seven per cent of the digital workers in India are skilled experts in digital technology for work purposes, the research and advisory firm said in a statement. “Seven out of ten employees in India said that adoption of new digital technologies will create career opportunities and higher paying jobs,” said Rashmi Choudhary, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Technical professionals are firm believers of adopting new digital technologies in comparison to manual, skilled and semi-skilled manual workers.”

In terms of tools that employees use for real-time collaboration, digital workers in Singapore and India use real-time messaging and social media network tools more frequently than their counterparts in China, France, Germany, the US and the UK. “Digital tools improve employee collaboration through crowdsourcing and cross-pollination, thereby improving the digital dexterity of workers,” Choudhary said.

Forty-five percent of digital workers in India do not mind having their work habits tracked and monitored by digital technologies. This figure is the highest amongst the surveyed respondents. “Digital workers in India believe that an intelligent workplace contributes to increased focus on more meaningful, business-critical work. At the same time, they expect that their organisation is mitigating the risk it entails by being monitored,” she said.

8

OBICUS Q4: 2019-20: 49th Round Of Quarterly Survey On Manufacturing Sector Launched By RBI.

On April 16, 2020, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched the 49th round of quarterly order books, inventories and capacity utilization survey (OBICUS) of the manufacturing sector which will provide important figures and input for monetary policy formulation.

9

Tata AIA Becomes The 1st Life Insurance Company In India To Announce Additional Benefits: COVID-19.

Following in the large footsteps of the recently announced contribution by Tata Trusts and Tata group towards management of COVID-19 pandemic in India, Tata AIA Life Insurance today announced additional benefits for its Policyholders and Agents. As part of Tata AIA Life’s initiative, its individual policyholders will get COVID-19 related additional benefit up to Rs. 500,000 at no additional cost. Further, to extend the Circle of Protection to its own Agents, all ‘active’ Agents of Tata AIA Life Insurance along with their spouse and children will be reimbursed up to Rs. 25,000 in case of hospitalisation due to COVID-19. This is a first of its kind initiative in India.

The suddenness of present times has led to a high level of uncertainty and this is Tata AIA’s own way of showing solidarity & giving back to society. All employees and Agents are working completely on a digital platform from the comfort of their homes to ensure full suite of services to consumers. Tata AIA has already in place several measures to provide for its employees during these times such as Mediclaim policy for employees and their families and an emergency medical funds trust which can be used for COVID-19 diagnosis hospitalisation as well.

With an intent to offer similar support during COVID-19 pandemic to its Policyholders and Agents, Tata AIA has launched this initiative. All policyholders of Tata AIA will get an additional benefit equal to the base sum assured or Rs. 500,000 whichever is lower for valid death claims due to COVID-19. This benefit is applicable for all valid death claims with date of death on or before 30th June 2020. Further, Tata AIA’s agents along with their spouse and children are entitled for up to Rs. 25,000 hospitalization cover if diagnosed with COVID-19 within this period as well.

Tata AIA Life Insurance, a leader in the Life Insurance Protection space with the highest claims settlement ratio, has offered this unique cover for all of its retail policies, comprehensively covering all categories of retail policies, be it Term, TROP, Endowment or ULIP, as part of its commitment to give back to society.

Speaking on the initiative, Mr. Rishi Srivastava, MD & CEO, Tata AIA Life Insurance said, “We are all collectively facing a situation like never before. This is an opportunity for each one of us to come forward and serve society. For us Protection is the way to serve society. We have done this by digitally enabling our employees and Agents to stay safe at home while continuing to be available for our consumers 24/7 for all their needs so that we uphold our promise to Policyholders which is especially critical during such times.”

He then added “Further, for our employees and their families we have in place robust medical insurance scheme and an emergency medical funds trust that covers COVID-19. We will take this a step further by going above and beyond the promise made to our Policyholders and by being there for our Agents when it’s most needed. Thus, we have come a full circle in extending Protection to all near and dear to Tata AIA Life Insurance.”

This initiative covers individual policies only and is not applicable for lives covered under any group policy. It would be applicable on a unique customer basis and, therefore, a customer owning multiple policies would be eligible for the additional benefit for one valid claim only.

Apart from the COVID-19 cover, Tata AIA also has a pre-existing accidental cover that ranges between INR 300,000 – INR 10,00,000 for its Agent workforce. For its employees, Tata AIA has group Mediclaim policies covering the individual as well as immediate family along with an emergency medical funds trust.

Tata AIA Life can be reached via its various digitally enabled mediums – 24/7 WhatsApp services, SMS services, email, and IVR [which has been smoothly transitioned to calling from home]. The Company has also equipped their employees with technology that allows smooth Work from Home facility to ensure utmost safety and minimal disruption. This will help provide seamless customer engagement and redressal of any customer queries.

10

RBI Governor Announced Relief Measures For Liquidity In System; Reverse Repo Rate Slashed To 3.7% From 4%.

 On April 17, 2020, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das announced much-needed relief measures for small and medium-sized financial organisations which have been struggling to operate in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, during a press conference in New Delhi. These are a part of the stimulus package announced by the central government to support such smaller businesses, which often borrow from Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs).

11

India’s GDP Growth May Fall To 1.1% In FY21: SBI Ecowrap Report.

India’s GDP growth may slide to 1.1 percent in the current financial year, on account of the impact of coronavirus outbreak on the economy, a research report by SBI said on Thursday. The economic growth rate during 2019-20 is estimated to come down to 4.1 percent from 5 percent projected by several agencies before the outbreak of deadly virus, which affected more than 20 lakh persons around the world and took lives of over 1.3 lakh people.

In order to check the spread of COVID-19, the government has decided to extend the lockdown to May 3, with some relaxations for specified sectors. According to the SBI Eco-wrap report, the extension of the lockdown would result in economic loss of Rs 12.1 lakh crore or 6 percent of the nominal Gross Value Added (GVA).

12

World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand Becomes Ambassador Of WWF India’s Environment Education Programme.

Chess legend Viswanathan Anand has been named as the new ambassador for World Wide Fund (WWF) India’s Environment Education program. The five-time World Chess Champion will support wildlife conservation and work to educate children across India on issues related to the environment.

13

COVID-19 – Kerala Institute Develops Chitra Genelamp-N Test Kit Gives Results In 2 Hours.

Trivandrum-based government institute Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology has developed a diagnostic test kit that can deliver COVID-19 testing results in just two hours at a low cost of Rs 1,000. The test called Chitra GeneLAMP-N uses the reverse transcriptase loop-mediated amplification of viral nucleic acid (RT-LAMP) for testing. This is different from the popular testing methodology called RT-PCR for COVID-19. Current PCR kits in India enable detection of E gene for screening and RdRp gene for confirmation.

Chitra GeneLAMP-N gene testing will confirm the result in one test without any need for a screening test and at much lower costs. It can take a total of 30 samples in a single batch in a single machine allowing a large number of samples to be tested each day.

The cost of testing with this new device will be less than Rs 1,000 per test for the laboratory and the testing facility can be easily set up even in the laboratories of district hospitals with limited facilities and trained laboratory technicians. The tests performed at NIV Alappuzha (authorized by ICMR) show that Chitra GeneLAMP- N has 100 per cent accuracy and it matches with test results using the popular testing methodology called RT-PCR for COVID-19.

Funded by Department of Science and Technology, the test kit is made especially for SARS-CoV-2 N-gene and can detect two regions of the gene, which will ensure that the test does not fail even if one region of the viral gene undergoes mutation during its current spread, ensuring a high possibility of accurate test results.

14

Scientists At NASA Discovers Earth-Like Planet ‘Kepler-1649c’ Found To Be Hidden In Early Kepler Data.

NASA’s now retired Kepler Space Telescope is the mission that keeps on giving. On Wednesday, NASA announced the discovery of what might be a very Earth-like exoplanet found lurking in old Kepler data.

Kepler ran out of fuel and went to sleep in 2018, but scientists are still combing through the observations it made during its epic hunt for planets beyond our own solar system.  Kepler-1649c is located 300 light-years from Earth. NASA described it as the “most similar to Earth in size and estimated temperature” out of the thousands of exoplanets discovered by Kepler. The planet is located in its star’s habitable zone, a region where it’s possible for liquid water to exist. 

Kepler’s legacy

  • Here’s the magnificent last view Kepler Space Telescope ever saw
  • Kepler helps amateurs spot unusual new planet in ‘Goldilocks zone’

The fascinating exoplanet is slightly larger than Earth. It receives 75% of the amount of light we get from our own sun, which could put it in line with Earth temperatures as well. The planet was originally misidentified by a computer algorithm, but a team of scientists found it during a review of Kepler data.

15

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar Launches Transport Aggregator App ‘Kisan Rath’ For Farmers.

Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Agriculture Minister today (17th April 2020), launched transport aggregator mobile application known as Kisan Rath that will bring together 5 lakh trucks as well as 20,000 tractors on mobile platform for transporting agriculture produce to markets from farm gate.

Current Affairs 2020

16

Integrated Geospatial Platform Created: “SAHYOG” By Survey Of India.

The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, has created an Integrated Geospatial Platform out of available geospatial datasets, standards-based services, and analytic tools to help decision making during the current COVID-19 outbreak and aid devising area-specific strategies to handle the socio-economic impact in the recovery phase.

The platform is initially expected to strengthen the public health delivery system of the State and Central Governments and subsequently provide the necessary geospatial information support to citizens and agencies dealing with the challenges related to health, socio-economic distress, and livelihood challenges.

The mobile application SAHYOG, as well as the web portal (https://indiamaps.gov.in/soiapp/) prepared & managed by the Survey of India (SoI), has been customized to collect COVID-19 specific geospatial datasets through community engagement to augment the response activities by Government of India to the pandemic. Information parameters required as per the Govt of India strategy and containment plan for large outbreaks have been incorporated in the SAHYOG application. 

This mobile application will complement the “AAROGYA-SETU” mobile application launched by the Government of India for Contact tracing, Public awareness, and Self-assessment objectives. State Spatial Data Infrastructure (SSDI) in Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, and Jammu & Kashmir have been providing collateral standards-based geospatial data services to the State and District Level Authorities in the respective States through State Geoportals for integration with related health data sets towards combating COVID-19 pandemic. 

This integrated geospatial platform will strengthen the Nation’s health emergency management due to the COVID-19 outbreak and support the socio-economic recovery process through the seamless provision of spatial data, information, and linkage between human, medical, technological, infrastructural and natural resources.

“Integration of demographic information with geospatial data is essential for decision making, governance, and development. In the context of COVID-19 spread, this effort will be a special digital enabler for the platforms such asAAROGYA-SETU,” said Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.

DST’s efforts in integrating geospatial information can help the country in taking rapid spatial information-based decisions to face the multilayered crisis that the pandemic and brought and spread the impact of such decisions through the country.

17

New Pit Viper Discovered In Arunachal Pradesh Named After Harry Potter Character.

A team of researchers has discovered a new species of venomous snake in Arunachal Pradesh and named it Trimeresurus Salazar. It was discovered in the thick evergreen forests of the Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh during a field expedition by researchers in July 2019. The new species is named after J.K.

18

ITTF World Rankings 2020: Table Tennis Player Sharath Kamal Become India’s No.1 Player At 31st Spot, Fan Zhendong Of China Tops.

he Indian men’s table tennis team on Tuesday achieved its best ever ranking by moving up to eighth spot in the latest ITTF rankings. Comprising world No. 30 Gnanasekaran Sathiyan and world No. 36 Sharath Kamal, India is tied with ninth-placed Austria on 280 points but is ranked ahead of them.

Sathiyan, who reached the pre-quarters of the ITTF World Cup last week by beating higher-ranked opponents Simon Gauzy of France and Jonathan Growth, was the highest ranked Indian singles player at world No. 30. Veteran Sharath Kamal jumped two spots to be placed 36th while Harmeet Desai, who won the ITTF Challenge Indonesia Open championship, jumped 19 places to break into the top-100 and is now ranked 85th.

China is number one in the team rankings, followed by Japan and Germany. In the women’s rankings, Manika Batra (61) remained the top ranked Indian followed by Ayhika Mukerjee (118) and Madhurika Patkar (124).

19

Shuttling To The Top: The Story Of P V Sindhu Authored By Krishnaswamy V.

Sindhu, written by V. Krishnaswamy, that narrates the journey of India’s first and only woman silver medal-winning athlete at the Olympic Games. Shuttling to the Top: The Story of P.V. … It documents the hardships she faced on the way to be a promising global star and discuss what lies ahead for the young athlete.

20

April 17 – World Haemophilia Day 2020.

World Haemophilia Day is observed on April 17 every year. April 17 is observed as World Haemophilia Day Every year worldwide to increase awareness of haemophilia, von Willebrand disease and other inherited bleeding disorders. April 17,2020 is the 30th anniversary of World Haemophilia Day.

21

April 15 – World Art Day 2020.

IAA, a partner of UNESCO, decided to celebrate the day on April 15 every year to honour and mark the birthday of the greatest artists of all time, Leonardo da Vinci. The famous Mona Lisa’s painter is also known as a symbol of world peace, freedom of expression, tolerance and brotherhood.

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