Current Affairs 21 April 2020 – Daily Current Affairs

Top Current Affairs of the day- 21 April 2020. Instantly obtain Latest Current Affairs with all essential info, Be the first to know all the Today Current affairs 21 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 21 April 2020 granted here.

Sl

Current Affairs Content

News Type

1

G-20 Health Ministers Meeting Held Via Video Conference To Control COVID-19; US $8mn Required For Containment.

National

2

Center Formed High-Level Task Force Headed By Vinod Paul & K Vijay Raghavan For Development Of Covid-19 Vaccine.

National

3

Uttar Pradesh Becomes First State To Geotag Community Kitchens.

National

4

DCGI Clears ICMR Plasma Therapy Trial In Covid-19 Patients; 99 Applications Received.

National

5

Centre Has Amended FDI Policy, 2017 For Curbing Opportunistic Takeovers.

National

6

MNRE Urges States To Set Up Renewable Energy Equipment Parks.

National

7

Voice Banking Services On Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant Launched: ICICI.

National

8

RBI Reduces FPI Investment Limits In G-Secs To Rs 2.34 Lakh Cr For FY21; Rises For Sdls To Rs 64,415 Cr.

National

9

Fitch Cuts India’s FY21 GDP Growth Forecast To 1.8%.

National & International

10

Central Government Forms 6 Inter-Ministerial Teams.

National

11

2 Empowered Committees Formed To Look Into Implementation Of Exits From Lock-down.

National

12

BSNL CMD P K Purwar Takes Additional Charge As CMD MTNL.

National

13

SC Collegium Names New Chief Justices For Bombay, Meghalaya & Orissa High Courts.

National

14

Government Launches Online Data Pool To Combat & Contain COVID-19.

National

15

Researchers At IIA, Bengaluru Discovers Hundreds Of Li-Rich Giant Stars.

National

16

CSIR-CDRI Signs Mou With KGMU To Sequence The Virus Strains.

National

17

NASA To Launch 1st US Astronaut Mission To ISS Since 2011.

International

18

New Model To Predict Ionospheric Electron Density Can Help Communication & Navigation.

National

19

A Book Titled “How The Onion Got Its Layers” Authored By Sudha Murty is released.

National

20

April 19 – World Liver Day 2020.

International

21

April 20 –  UN Chinese Language Day.

International

22

Nigeria President Buhari’s Chief Of Staff Abba Kyari Passes Away.

International

Detailed Description On Current Affairs 21 April 2020 – Daily Current Affairs.

1

G-20 Health Ministers Meeting Held Via Video Conference To Control COVID-19; US $8mn Required For Containment.

An international forum of Health Ministers of G20 countries was held on April 19, 2020, via Video Conference. From India, Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan participated.Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) estimated that, Over $8 billion  is required to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The objective behind this meet was to discuss weaknesses in health systems that made the world vulnerable to the coronavirus outbreak to pursue unified efforts towards mitigation of COVID-19.

2

Centre Formed High-Level Task Force Headed By Vinod Paul & K Vijay Raghavan For Development Of Covid-19 Vaccine.

The government has formed a high-level task force for vaccine and drug testing for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on 19 April 2020, as the death toll from the pandemic increased to 519 and the cases reached 16,116. The objective of the task force is to speed up national and international efforts towards vaccine development to treat Covid, Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, health ministry, said. The task force — co-chaired by Vinod Paul, member NITI Aayog, and Professor K Vijay Raghavan, principal scientific advisor to the government — will also include representatives of Ayush ministry, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), department of biotechnology and drug controller general of India, among others.

3

Uttar Pradesh Becomes First State To Geotag Community Kitchens.

The Yogi Adityanath government had anticipated the crisis early on and successfully started establishing community kitchens by mobilising state resources on a massive scale and also reaching out to civil society, religious establishments and non-governmental organisations.

Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in the country to geotag its 7,368 community kitchens and community shelters across 75 districts which produce 12 lakh food packets a day, a senior official said on Sunday. The state government has also tied up with Google to ‘Geo-map’ the locations of all these establishments on the Google Maps app for ease of beneficiaries, he said. “The sudden onset of the COVID-19 lockdown in the country threw normal life out of gear but it was the daily wagers and construction labourers who especially bore the brunt,” Relief Commissioner Sanjay Goyal said.

The Yogi Adityanath government had anticipated the crisis early on and successfully started establishing community kitchens by mobilising state resources on a massive scale and also reaching out to civil society, religious establishments and non-governmental organisations, he said.

4

DCGI Clears ICMR Plasma Therapy Trial In Covid-19 Patients; 99 Applications Received.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has received 99 applications from institutes expressing interest in participating in a randomised controlled study to assess the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma to limit complications associated with COVID-19. ICMR launched the call for intent for the study titled ‘A Phase II, Open Label, Randomized Controlled Study to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of Convalescent Plasma to Limit COVID19 Associated Complications’ on April 12, 2020.

“The response has been overwhelming and we have received 99 applications expressing their interest in participating in the study. The generic protocol has been approved by the Drug Controller General India (DCGI),” ICMR said while also making public the approval letter,” the council said.

It added that each institute that wished to participate in the study would need to mandatorily obtain ethics clearance locally, through their Institutional Ethics Committee.

5

Centre Has Amended FDI Policy, 2017 For Curbing Opportunistic Takeovers.

The Government of India has reviewed the extant Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) policy for curbing opportunistic takeovers/acquisitions of Indian companies due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and amended para 3.1.1 of extant FDI policy as contained in Consolidated FDI Policy, 2017. Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry has issued Press Note No. 3(2020 Series) in this regard. The present position and revised position in the matters will be as under:

Present Position 

Para 3.1.1: A non-resident entity can invest in India, subject to the FDI Policy except in those sectors/activities which are prohibited. However, a citizen of Bangladesh or an entity incorporated in Bangladesh can invest only under the Government route. Further, a citizen of Pakistan or an entity incorporated in Pakistan can invest, only under the Government route, in sectors/activities other than defence, space, atomic energy and sectors/activities prohibited for foreign investment.

Revised Position 

Para 3.1.1:

3.1.1(a) A non-resident entity can invest in India, subject to the FDI Policy except in those sectors/activities which are prohibited. However, an entity of a country, which shares land border with India or where the beneficial owner of an investment into India is situated in or is a citizen of any such country, can invest only under the Government route. Further, a citizen of Pakistan or an entity incorporated in Pakistan can invest, only under the Government route, in sectors/activities other than defence, space, atomic energy and sectors/activities prohibited for foreign investment.

3.1.1(b) In the event of the transfer of ownership of any existing or future FDI in an entity in India, directly or indirectly, resulting in the beneficial ownership falling within the restriction/purview of the para 3.1.1(a), such subsequent change in beneficial ownership will also require Government approval.

The above decision will take effect from the date of FEMA notification.

6

MNRE Urges States To Set Up Renewable Energy Equipment Parks.

At a time when numerous international firms are looking to move their production base out of China in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is seeing a fresh opportunity in setting up renewable energy (RE) equipment manufacturing parks to meet domestic demand as well as make India a global production hub. As there are concerns of a slump in the supply of raw materials and goods from China owing to the Covid-19 crisis, which began from there, the situation in fact presents an opportunity for India to boost its manufacturing capacity and emerge as a hub for production.

With this objective, the ministry has written to various state governments and port authorities to identify land parcels of 50-500 acres for setting up such parks. The MNRE has offered many incentives to states to set up such parks.

7

Voice Banking Services On Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant Launched: ICICI.

ICICI Bank today announced that it has integrated its AI powered multi-channel chatbot, ‘iPal’, with the world’s two most popular voice assistant apps–Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant– to enable its retail banking customers to undertake an array of banking services with just a simple voice command.

8

RBI Reduces FPI Investment Limits In G-Secs To Rs 2.34 Lakh Cr For FY21; Rises For Sdls To Rs 64,415 Cr.

At the same time, long term FPI investment limits in G-secs have been brought down to Rs 1.03 lakh crore from the prevailing limit of Rs 1.15 lakh crore  a reduction of almost $1.5 billion. Meanwhile, the central bank has increased the general category FPI investment limits in state development loans (SDL) by Rs 3,215 crore to Rs 64,415 crore for the first half of FY21.

RBI on Wednesday reduced the general category foreign portfolio investors’ (FPI) investment limit in central government securities to Rs 2.34 lakh crore for the entire fiscal year 2021 as compared to the existing limit of Rs 2.46 lakh crore. As a result, the limits have been brought down by almost $1.5 billion to just above $31 billion.

With continuous selling in the central government securities by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) due to persistent risk aversion following the COVID-19 crisis, general category FPI utilisation of investment limits in G-secs have fallen to 52.62% as on April 15 compared to the peaks of over 75% at the beginning of 2020. In the last 19 consecutive sessions, FPIs have sold Indian bonds including both G-secs and corporate bonds: worth $8.8 billion, Bloomberg data show.

9

Fitch Cuts India’s FY21 GDP Growth Forecast To 1.8%.

Fitch Solutions on Monday cut India’s economic growth forecast for the financial year 2020-21 to 1.8 per cent saying private consumption is likely to contract due to large-scale loss of income in the face of worsening domestic outbreak of COVID-19.

“Over the past week, we have continued to adjust down our country-specific real GDP growth forecasts on the back of persistent low oil prices and the widening spread of COVID-19. Our forecasts remain fluid and, even despite the recent downward revisions, we believe that the risks remain skewed to the downside,” the rating agency said.

For India, it said the real GDP growth rate for 2020-21 (April 2020 to March 2021) has been revised down to 1.8 per cent from 4.6 per cent, previously. “We now expect private consumption to contract, versus a weak expansion previously, due to large scale loss of income across the economy in the face of a worsening domestic outbreak of COVID-19,” it said.

Fitch Solutions also anticipated a deeper contraction in fixed investments as businesses choose to cut back on capital expenditure to conserve cash amid elevated economic uncertainty. “The slow roll-out of fiscal stimulus by the central government will only exacerbate India’s economic woes,” it added.

10

Central Government Forms 6 Inter-Ministerial Teams.

The Centre has constituted 6 Inter-Ministerial Central Teams (IMCTs), two each for West Bengal and Maharashtra and one each for Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to make on-spot assessment of situation and issue necessary directions to State Authorities for its redressal and submit their report to Central Government in larger interest of general public. Situation is specially serious in Indore (MP), Mumbai and Pune (Maharashtra), Jaipur (Rajasthan) and Kolkata, Howrah, Medinipur East, 24 Parganas North, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. IMCTs to focus on complaints of implementation of lockdown measures as per guidelines, supply of essential commodities, social distancing, preparedness of health infrastructure, safety of health professionals and conditions of the relief camps for labour and poor people.

It may be mentioned that if the incidents of violations are allowed to occur without any restraining measures in hotspot districts or emerging hotspots or even places where large outbreaks or clusters may be expected and pose a serious health hazard, both for the population of these districts and for that living in other areas of the country. After analyzing the prevalence of such violations in major hotspot districts, it is clear to the Central Government that the situation is especially serious in the above mentioned areas and expertise of the Centre need to be used. The Committees have been constituted by the Central Government in exercise of the powers, conferred, inter alia, under Section 35(1), 35(2)(a), 35(2)(e) and 35(2)(i) of the Disaster Management Act 2005. It is reiterated that in the Orders on lockdown measures, as well as in the Guidelines/ Consolidated Revised Guidelines, strict implementation of the lockdown and other measures has been stressed; and Governments of States!

UTs have also been advised that while they can impose stricter measures than contemplated in these Guidelines, they shall not dilute these Guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. It may be recalled that the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its Order dated 31.03,2020 in the Writ Petition (Civil) No 468 of 2020 is also pleased to observe that (quote) we trust and expect that all concerned viz. State Governments, Public Authorities and Citizens of this country will faithfully comply with the directives and orders issued by the Union of India in letter and spirit

in the interest of public safety” (unquote). The observation, which must be treated as directions of the Apex Court, was conveyed to all States/ UTs Governments. It is again emphasized that the aforesaid IMCTs will focus their assessment on the compliance and implementation of lockdown measures as per guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005; they will also focus on issues like the supply of essential commodities, social distancing in movement of people outside their homes, preparedness of the health infrastructure, hospital facility and sample statistics in the District, safety of health professionals, availability of test kits, PPEs, masks and other safety equipment, and conditions of the relief camps for labour and poor people.

 

11

2 Empowered Committees Formed To Look Into Implementation Of Exits From Lockdown.

The government has set up two empowered committees that will look into the implementation of exits from lockdown by states, government officials told Economic Times. The first such committee will be headed by Secretary of Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation P Iyer. It will oversee facilitating supply chain and logistics management and for availability of necessary items such as food and medicines.

Second is the committee on Public Grievances & Suggestions headed by Secretary at Ministry of Human Resource Development Amit Khare, which is looking into any problems pertaining to exit from lockdown. The officials further added that control rooms in the Department of Commerce and Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade will also be opened for the industry to flag any problems faced by them.

12

BSNL CMD P K Purwar Takes Additional Charge As CMD MTNL.

BSNL CMD P K Purwar takes charge of MTNL. BSNL chairman and managing director P K Purwar has taken over additional charge of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, a regulatory filing said on Wednesday. This is the third time Purwar has been given charge of MTNL CMD in the last six years.

13

SC Collegium Names New Chief Justices For Bombay, Meghalaya & Orissa High Courts.

THE Supreme Court Collegium in a meeting held on April 18, 2020, recommended the name of Justices Dipankar Datta, Biswanath Somadde and Mohammad Rafiq as the Chief Justice of High Court of Bombay, Meghalaya and Orissa respectively.

14

Government Launches Online Data Pool To Combat & Contain COVID-19.

Union Government has created an online data pool on https://covidwarriors.gov.in of doctors including AYUSH doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, volunteers from NYKs, NCC NSS, PMGKVY, ex Servicemen etc for use by the ground level administration at state, district or municipal levels. The information has been uploaded on a dashboard which is regularly updated. Informing about this very critical human resource for combating and containing Covid-19. A joint letter was sent by Shri Arun Kumar Panda, Secretary MSME and Chairman Empowered Group-4 on human resourcre and Dr C Chandramouli, Secretary DoPT to all Chief Secretaries. The communication says, a Dashboard master database of details of Healthcare Professionals and Volunteers, has been made operational. It contains state wise and dustrict wise availability of the large pool of human resources from various groups alongwith contact details of the nodal officers.
The Communication states that dashboard is available for use by various authorities to prepare Crisis Management/Contingency Plans based on the available manpower, in coordination with nodal officers for each group. This database can also be used to utilise the services of volunteers for enforcing social distancing at banks, ration shops, mandis and for providing help to elderly, divyang and orphanages. This will also help States/UTs to move human resources from one location to the other for their utilisation.

The letter also calls for use of iGOT online training modules mounted on a especial digital platform-Integrated Government Online Training(iGOT) portal(https://igot.gov.in) for training and capacity building of dictors, nurses, paramedics, hygeine workers, technicians, AYUSH doctors and staff, other frontline workers and volunteers.

This platform provides anytime onsite delivery of training material/modules through any device(mobile/laptop/desktop). Already 44 modules which are part of 12 courses have been on-boarded with105 videos and 29 documents, the communication says, adding that some of these courses include Basics of Covid, Infection Prevention and Control, use of PPE, Quarantine and Isolation, Management of COVID 19 cases(SARI, ADRS,
Septic Shock), Laboratory Sample Collection and Testing, ICU Care and Ventilation Management. It further says that more such modules are being uplaoded everyday. The communication urge the State/District and Local bodies to train the identified resource through the portal on urgent basis.

It may be recalled that Government of India has constituted 11 Empowered Groups to formulate plans and provide solutions to address the challenges of Covid-19 outbreak in the country. Empowered Group -4 headed by Dr Panda, Secretary, MSME has been mandated with identification of human resources for various covid related activities alongwith necessary capacity building for them.

15

Researchers At IIA, Bengaluru Discovers Hundreds Of Li-Rich Giant Stars.

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science &Technology, Govt. of India, have discovered hundreds of Li-rich giant stars indicating that Li is being produced in the stars and accounts for its abundance in the interstellar medium.

16

Researchers At Cens Designs Portable Sensor To Detect Heavy Metal In Water.

A team has been put into place to analyse whether changes to the viral sequences, if any, will impact proposed treatment strategies

The Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with King George’s Medical University (KGMU) to sequence the virus strains obtained from COVID-19 patients in Uttar Pradesh. Initially, the Lucknow-based lab will sequence the virus strains from the samples of a few patients. This activity will be taken up under the first vertical ‘digital and molecular surveillance’.

As of now, eight different variants of the virus are known to be causing the COVID-19 infection. A team has been put into place for analysing whether changes to the viral sequences, if any, will impact the proposed treatment strategies.

Therapeutics or repurposing of drugs to fight against COVID-19 is the second vertical where CDRI is getting involved. Under this, the researchers are trying to repurpose some already existing drugs that have been used by clinicians. “One of the fastest ways to get therapeutics to the patient is through repurposing known drugs against COVID-19 infection. Here, CDRI has identified several candidate drugs for repurposing and will develop them further under the collaboration,” said Professor Tapas Kumar, Director, CSIR-CDRI.

The institution has a diverse library of molecules and these have been screened using in silico approaches against a panel of drug targets from SARS-CoV-2 under the third vertical, ‘target-based screening systems’. The identified hits will be evaluated in a preliminary drug-target-based screen (primary screen). “The m-protease, CL-proteinase, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, Spikeprotein-ACE2 system, and other targets are presently being worked on. Their binding/inhibition will also be evaluated in in-vitro and in-vivo systems with the help of sister laboratories and KGMU,” said Dr Kumar.

Professor Amita Jain will lead the team of scientists of KGMU, while Professor R. Ravishankar will lead the team of scientists from CSIR-CDRI. Dr Raj Kamal Tripathi, a virologist at CDRI and an alumnus of KGMU, is leading all the screening related work at CSIR-CDRI.    

17

NASA To Launch 1st US Astronaut Mission To ISS Since 2011.

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken familiarize themselves with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, the spacecraft that will transport them to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Their upcoming flight test is known as Demo-2, short for Demonstration Mission 2. The Crew Dragon will launch on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Credits: NASA

Media accreditation is open for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 flight test, which will send two astronauts to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. This mission will be the return of human spaceflight launch capabilities to the United States and the first launch of American astronauts aboard an American rocket and spacecraft since the final space shuttle mission on July 8, 2011.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch Crew Dragon, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard the spacecraft, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA and SpaceX are currently targeting no earlier than mid-to-late May for launch.

This second demonstration mission of the Crew Dragon spacecraft is another end-to-end flight test of SpaceX’s human spaceflight system, which will include launch, docking, splashdown and recovery operations. It is the final flight test of the system before SpaceX is certified to carry out operational crew flights to and from the space station for NASA.

18

New Model To Predict Ionospheric Electron Density Can Help Communication & Navigation.

New model to predict ionospheric electron density can help communication, navigation. Researchers from Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Navi Mumbai have developed a global model to predict the ionospheric electron density with larger data coverage – a crucial need for communication and navigation.

19

A Book Titled “How The Onion Got Its Layers” Authored By Sudha Murty is released.

Beloved children’s author-philanthropist Sudha Murty is all set to release her new book in an audiobook format, for the very first time. Titled ‘How the Onion Got Its Layers’, the book will be published by Puffin India on April 23 which also marks World Book Day.

Illustrated by Priyanka Pachpande, this is the second book in Murty’s chapter book series after ‘How the Sea Became Salty’. In this book, Murty will answer many interesting questions about the bulb for curious kids. It will be available as an e-book as well.

Talking about the new book Murty said, according to PTI, “During this time of lockdown, let’s stay safe and at home. Let’s use this time to do something new or even learn something. I am happy that my book, ‘How The Onion Got Its Layers’, is being released in its e-book and audio form for young children.”

Meanwhile, sharing his thoughts on the new development, Niti Kumar, senior vice president (marketing, digital and communications) at Penguin Random House India, said that Sudha Murty’s fans will now also be able to cherish her oral narration too. “Audiobooks have the potential to carve a unique place for themselves in our literary world. Bringing both e-book and audio book format will allow people to access this beautiful book in a safe and convenient manner,” he further said, according to PTI.

In other news, Bangalore Mirror reported that in order to help Kannada film workers during the coronavirus lockdown Sudha Murty donated 2,000 kits with essential items.

20

April 19 – World Liver Day 2020.

World liver day is observed on every 19 April, to spread awareness about liver related disease. The liver is the second largest and the most complex organ in the body, with the exception of the brain. It is a key player in your body’s digestive system.

21

April 20 –  UN Chinese Language Day.

UN Chinese Language Day is observed annually on April 20. The event was established by the UN Department of Public Information in 2010, seeking “to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization”.

22

Nigeria President Buhari’s Chief Of Staff Abba Kyari Passes Away.

Covid-19 has moved closer to the heart of government in Nigeria, where the president’s chief of staff has died, and Afghanistan, where the president is in near-isolation after at least 20 officials who work with him reportedly contracted the virus from a contaminated document.

Abba Kyari was the top official aide to Muhammadu Buhari and one of the most powerful men in Nigeria. Like Buhari, he was in his 70s, and he had underlying health conditions, including diabetes.

Presidential spokespeople confirmed Kyari’s death on Twitter, as deaths across Africa passed 1,000 and experts said the continent was badly prepared for an outbreak. Ten countries have no ventilators at all, the New York Times reported.

0 Reviews

Write a Review

mlandofficial

Read Previous

Current Affairs 20 April 2020 – Daily Current Affairs

Read Next

Current Affairs 22 April 2020 – Daily Current Affairs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

shares