Current Affairs 22 April 2020 – Daily Current Affairs

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Current Affairs Content

News Type

1

Nirmala Sitharaman Attends The 5th Annual Meeting Of Board Of Governors Of New Development Bank.

National

2

CM Pema Khandu Inaugurated Revamped Hangpan Dada Bridge In Arunachal Pradesh Through Video Conferencing.

National

3

IREDA To Handle CPSU Scheme Phase-II: MNRE.

National

4

FCI Allowed To Convert Surplus Rice To Ethanol: Government.

National

5

DCGI Approves Trial Of A Drug To Reduce Mortality Rate In Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients.

National

6

RBI Increases WMA Limit For States/Uts To Rs 2 Lakh Cr From 1.2 Lakh Cr For H1 FY21.

National

7

RBI Instructed Its Regulated Entities To Carry Out Money Laundering Risk Assessment Periodically.

National

8

Reserve Bank Cancels License Of Goa’s Oldest Mapusa Urban Co-Operative Bank.

National

9

Paytm Payments Bank Partnered With Mastercard To Issue Virtual And Physical Debit Cards.

National & International

10

N Kamakodi Re-Appointed As MD & CEO Of City Union Bank: RBI.

National

11

HSBC Appoints Noel Quinn As Chief Executive Officer.

National

12

Volvo & Daimler Truck Set Up Joint Venture To Develop Fuel Cells For Heavy Vehicles.

National & International

13

Road Ministry Launches Dashboard Link In Its Website With List Of Dhabas And Truck Repair Shops.

National

14

Health Ministry Launches Citizen Engagement Platform On Coronavirus Called ‘COVID India Seva’.

National

15

Swiss Scientists Discovers Six-Planets System With Near 3:2 Resonance.

International

16

CSIR-NAL Develops Personal Protective Coverall Suit To Fight Against COVID-19.

National

17

Fish Gills Used To Develop Efficient Low-Cost Electro-Catalysts: INST.

International

18

Former Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase Passed Away At 79.

International

19

April 21 – World Creativity And Innovation Day 2020.

National & international

20

April 21 – National Civil Service Day 2020.

National

21

Administrative Professionals (Secretary’s) Day 2020.

National & International

22

Madhya Pradesh Govt Launches ‘Chief Minister COVID-19 Yoddha Kalyan Yojana’ To Benefit Anganwadi Workers & Assistants.

National

23

Rajasthan Government Partners With ‘Aayu’ To Tackle COVID-19.

National

24

Delhi Govt: Use ‘Assess Koro Na’ App For Door-To-Door Survey In Containment Zones.

National

Detailed Description On Current Affairs 22 April 2020 – Daily Current Affairs.

1

Nirmala Sitharaman Attends The 5th Annual Meeting Of Board Of Governors Of New Development Bank.

Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman attended the 5th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of New Development Bank through video-conference in New Delhi today.

The NDB was established by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in 2014. The purpose of the Bank is to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging market economies and developing countries to complement the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development. NDB has so far approved 14 projects of India for an amount of $ 4,183 million.

In her opening remarks at the meeting, the Finance Minister commended the NDB’s efforts in establishing itself as a credible Global Financial Institution, delivering its mandate successfully by taking more sustainable and inclusive approach.

On the discussion of COVID-19, Smt. Sitharaman appreciated NDB’s effort on fast tracking of financial assistance of about $5 billion to BRICS countries including Emergency Assistance of $1 billion India to combat COVID-19 pandemic. She also suggested that, assistance under this facility to be enhanced to $10 billion. She mentioned about Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s initiative of creating a COVID-19 Emergency Fund and India’s efforts in supplying critical medicine to the needy countries to tackle the COVID-19. The Finance Minister of Brazil thanked India for the timely help it received from India in the form of critical drugs.

Smt. Sitharaman also outlined various measures taken in India to respond to the COVID-19, includes, 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 $25 Billion to alleviate the hardship of the poor and the vulnerable; insurance cover of $67,000 (Rs 50 lakh) per person to over 2.2 million frontline health workers and others provision of relief to firms in statutory and regulatory compliance matters; easing of monetary policy by the RBI.

She also strongly encouraged NDB to take appropriate actions to join G-20 forum along with other Multilateral Development Bank (MDBs)/International Financial Institutions (IFIs). Finally, she urged NDB to follow innovative practices in supporting the BRICS nations for achieving their Sustainable Development Goals.

2

CM Pema Khandu Inaugurated Revamped Hangpan Dada Bridge In Arunachal Pradesh Through Video Conferencing.

Amidst lockdown it is business as usual, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday inaugurated the revamped strategic bridge over River Subansiri at Daporijo in Upper Subansiri district albeit through video conferencing.

3

IREDA To Handle CPSU Scheme Phase-II: MNRE.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has appointed the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) as the implementing agency to handle the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Scheme Phase-II on its behalf in fresh amendments announced on Monday.

4

FCI Allowed To Convert Surplus Rice To Ethanol: Government.

The government on Monday approved that surplus rice available with Food Corporation of India (FCI) can be converted into ethanol in order to manufacture alcohol-based hand sanitisers and also for blending with petrol. The decision was taken at a meeting of the National Biofuel Coordination Committee (NBCC).

5

DCGI Approves Trial Of A Drug To Reduce Mortality Rate In Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients.

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), through its flagship New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI) program, has been supporting Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Ahmedabad since 2007 for developing a drug to save lives of critically ill patients suffering from Gram-negative sepsis.

This entire development effort (pre-clinical and clinical studies) has been supervised by CSIR appointed Monitoring Committee. The drug has been shown to reduce the mortality of critically ill patients by more than half. It also leads to faster recovery of organ dysfunction seen in this condition. It is now approved for marketing in India. It will be available commercially as Sepsivac® from Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

This is a moment of pride for all of us as, despite best efforts, no other drug was approved in Gram-negative sepsis for reducing mortality (death) globally. In Gram-negative sepsis as well as in critically ill COVID-19 patients, there is an altered immune response leading to a massive change in their cytokine profile. The drug modulates the immune system of the body and thereby inhibits the cytokine storm leading to reduced mortality and faster recovery.

Looking at similarities between clinical characteristics of patients suffering from COVID-19 and Gram-negative sepsis, CSIR, is now initiating a randomized, blinded, two arms, active comparator-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of the drug for reducing mortality (deaths) in critically ill COVID-19 patients. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the trial and it will start soon at multiple hospitals.

The drug contains heat-killed Mycobacterium W (Mw). It is found to be extremely safe in patients and no systemic side effects are associated with its use.It can be used concurrently with any other therapies required in the management of such critically ill patients without any restriction. Its unique properties include boosting protective immunity (Th1, TLR2 agonist) and suppressing non-protective response (Th2).

CSIR has also planned to evaluate Mw for faster recovery of hospitalized COVID-19 infected patients and minimize the spread of disease through them as well for providing prophylaxis to persons coming in contact with COVID-19 infected patients like family members and health care workers.

6

RBI Increases WMA Limit For States/Uts To Rs 2 Lakh Cr From 1.2 Lakh Cr For H1 FY21.

To tide over the situation arising from the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in consultation with the Government of India, has revised the limit for Ways and Means Advances (WMA) for the remaining part of the first half of FY21 (April 2020 to September 2020) to ₹2-lakh crore.

On March 31, the WMA limit for the first half of FY21(April 2020 to September 2020) was upped to ₹1.20-lakh crore against ₹75,000 crore in the year-ago period. The hike in the limit comes in the wake of expectation that the Central government will step up expenditure on the social sector, including health and sanitation, following outbreak of the pandemic. The central bank provides financial accommodation to the government to tide over temporary mismatches in the cash flow of its receipts and payments as WMA. This is intended to provide a cushion to the government to carry on its essential activities and normal financial operations.

7

RBI Instructed Its Regulated Entities To Carry Out Money Laundering Risk Assessment Periodically.

RBI asks banks, NBFCs to carry out money laundering risk assessment periodically. Mumbai: The RBI on Monday asked banks and NBFCs to carry out money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF) risk assessment exercise periodically. The Reserve Bank said it has added a new section in the Master Directions on KYC.

8

Reserve Bank Cancels License Of Goa’s Oldest Mapusa Urban Co-Operative Bank.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has, vide order dated April 16, 2020 cancelled the licence of The Mapusa Urban Co-operative Bank of Goa Ltd., Goa, to carry on banking business, with effect from the close of business on April 16, 2020. The Central Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Government of India has also been requested to issue an order for winding up the bank and appoint a liquidator for the bank.

The Reserve Bank cancelled the licence of the bank as:

  1. The bank does not have adequate capital and earning prospects. As such, it does not comply with the provisions of section 11 (1) and section 22 (3) (d) read with section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
  2. The bank has failed to comply with the requirements of section 22(3) (a), 22 (3) (b), 22 (3) (c), 22 (3) (d) and 22 (3) (e) read with section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949;
  • The continuance of the bank is prejudicial to the interests of its depositors;
  1. The bank with its present financial position would be unable to pay its present depositors in full; and
  2. Public interest would be adversely affected if the bank is allowed to carry on its banking business any further.
  3. Consequent to the cancellation of its licence, The Mapusa Urban Co-operative Bank of Goa Ltd., Goa is prohibited from conducting the business of ‘banking’ which includes acceptance of deposits and repayment of deposits as defined in Section 5 (b) read with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 with immediate effect.
  4. With the cancellation of licence and commencement of liquidation proceedings, the process of paying the depositors of The Mapusa Urban Co-operative Bank of Goa Ltd., Goa as per the DICGC Act, 1961 will be set in motion. On liquidation, every depositor is entitled to repayment of his/her deposits up to a monetary ceiling of ₹ 5,00,000/- (Rupees Five lakh only) from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) as per usual terms and conditions.

9

Paytm Payments Bank Partnered With Mastercard To Issue Virtual And Physical Debit Cards.

India-based Paytm Payments Bank has partnered with Mastercard to issue physical and virtual debit cards.

Initially, the payment bank will issue only virtual debit cards to its beta customers. Using virtual debit cards, customers will be able to perform secure online transactions. Paytm Payments Bank said that it will soon make this card available for all its banking customers. To ensure ‘highest levels’ of security for digital transactions, the bank will leverage Mastercard’s mobile and artificial intelligence platforms. The bank added that it will gradually roll out physical debit cards, which is supported by Mastercard’s chip-based technology.

It will also support contactless in-store transactions, the bank noted. The cardholders will also enable users to withdraw cash from more than one million ATMs globally. Paytm Payments Bank CEO and managing director Satish Kumar said: “We aim to provide maximum flexibility to our customers to choose their preferred mode of digital payments, and our partnership with Mastercard is in the same direction.”

Paytm, which is said to have nearly 60 million bank account holders and 300 million digital wallets users, aims to issue over 10 million digital debit cards by the end of 2021. Mastercard South Asia division president Porush Singh said: “Mastercard is committed to the Government of India’s vision to fuel the growth of digital payments. “Towards this goal, Mastercard is pleased to offer its fully-integrated global payment platform to Paytm Payments Bank to enable cardholders to have access to the safest way of making electronic payments.”

Last month, Paytm also partnered with Visa to begin issuing Visa virtual debit cards to its customers.

10

N Kamakodi Re-Appointed As MD & CEO Of City Union Bank: RBI.

RBI gives nod to Kamakodi’s reappointment as MD & CEO of City Union Bank. The Reserve Bank of India has given its approval for the re-appointment of N Kamakodi as MD & CEO of City Union Bank (CUB) for three years with effect from May 1, the private sector bank said in an exchange filing.

11

HSBC Appoints Noel Quinn As Chief Executive Officer.

Noel Quinn was appointed interim CEO of HSBC last year. HSBC Holdings PLC has appointed Noel Quinn—a stalwart of the British bank—as chief executive seven months after he assumed the position on an interim basis. Mr. Quinn has been with HSBC for more than 30 years.

12

Volvo & Daimler Truck Set Up Joint Venture To Develop Fuel Cells For Heavy Vehicles.

Volvo, Daimler to found truck fuel cell joint venture. Volvo and the truck division of Daimler have agreed to set up a joint venture to develop and produce fuel cell systems for heavy vehicles, the Swedish and German companies said Tuesday. The two firms said that they will be equal partners in the new enterprise.

13

Road Ministry Launches Dashboard Link In Its Website With List Of Dhabas And Truck Repair Shops.

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has created a dashboard link on its website for providing list and details of Dhabas and Truck repair shops available across the country by various organisations like NHAI, States, Oil Marketing companies. The list can be accessed at www.morth.nic.in.

14

Health Ministry Launches Citizen Engagement Platform On Coronavirus Called ‘COVID India Seva’.

Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday launched ‘COVID India Seva’, an interactive platform for citizen engagement on coronavirus.

This initiative is aimed at enabling transparent e-governance delivery in real-time and answering citizen queries swiftly, at scale, especially in crisis situations like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Commenting on the announcement of the Seva, the official statement quoted Vardhan as saying, “Over time, Twitter has proved to be an essential service for both the government and citizens to interact and exchange information, especially in times of need.”

Union Health Minister said as India fights coronavirus with social distancing, “we are happy to make a concerted online effort by adopting the Twitter Seva solution. It is powered by a team of experts at our end who are trained and equipped to treat and respond to each query uniquely, and at scale.”
“This will enable us to establish a direct channel with Indian citizens, connecting with them in real-time to provide authoritative health and public information,” he added.

The statement stated as these responses are transparent and public, everyone can benefit from the responses received around common queries. It is important to note that the Ministry will respond to broader queries and public health information. This does not require the public to share personal contact details or health record details.

15

Swiss Scientists Discovers Six-Planets System With Near 3:2 Resonance.

Scientists have discovered a six-planet system — a “super-Earth” and five “mini-Neptunes” which display an exceptionally regular spacing, hinting at how the system may have formed. The planets revolving the star HD 158259 in the Draco constellation were found using the SOPHIE spectrograph installed at the Haute-Provence Observatory in the South of France, according to the study published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

“The discovery of this exceptional system has been made possible thanks to the acquisition of a great number of measurements, as well as a dramatic improvement of the instrument and of our signal processing techniques,” said Francois Bouchy, a professor at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) in Switzerland.

16

CSIR-NAL Develops Personal Protective Coverall Suit To Fight Against COVID-19.

Bengaluru-based CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL), along with MAF Clothing Pvt. Ltd. has developed and certified the overall protective coverall suit. The polypropylene spun laminated multi-layered non-woven fabric based coverall can be used to ensure the safety of Doctors, Nurses, Paramedical staff and Health Care workers working round the clock on COVID-19 mitigation.

The CSIR-NAL team lead by Dr Harish C Barshilia, Dr Hemant Kumar Shukla, and MJ Viju of MAF has worked quickly to find the solution to the problem by identifying suitable indigenous materials and innovative manufacturing processes.

The Coveralls have gone through stringent testing at SITRA, Coimbatore and have been qualified for use. CSIR-NAL and MAF have plans to augment the production capacity to about 30,000 units per day within four weeks’ time. Jitendra J Jadhav, Director, CSIR-NAL has stated that the major advantages of these Coveralls are that they are highly competitive in price as compared to other manufacturers and the import content is negligible.

He appreciated the efforts of NAL, MAF Clothing Pvt Ltd and SITRA team who have worked round the clock for this national cause by accelerating the development and certification process.

17

Fish Gills Used To Develop Efficient Low-Cost Electro-Catalysts: INST.

Fish gills used to develop efficient low-cost electro-catalysts for energy conversion devices. Scientists at the Institute of Nano Science and Technology, Mohali, have recently come up with an efficient, low-cost electro-catalyst from fish gills that can help develop environmentally friendly energy conversion devices.

18

Former Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase Passed Away At 79.

Laisenia Qarase, the former Fijian Prime Minister who was overthrown by Frank Bainimarama’s military coup of 2006 has died this morning. Mr Qarase, 79, was appointed as Prime Minister in July 2000 after the George Speight coup. He won two elections but was forcibly removed from power in December 2006 by the military.

19

April 21 – World Creativity And Innovation Day 2020.

World Creativity and Innovation Day 2020: It is observed on 21 April to encourage people to generate new ideas to make the world a better place to live in. This day inspires and enables others to live a more creative life.

20

April 21 – National Civil Service Day 2020.

The Civil Services Day is celebrated on April 21. The day celebrated all the civil servants who dedicate their lives to the cause of citizen. The day aims at renewing their commitments to public service and excellence in work.

Important Current Affairs

21

Administrative Professionals (Secretary’s) Day 2020.

Administrative Professionals Day (also known as Secretaries Day or Admin Day) is a day observed yearly in a small number of countries. The day recognizes the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, client services representatives, and other administrative support professionals.

22

Madhya Pradesh Govt Launches ‘Chief Minister COVID-19 Yoddha Kalyan Yojana’ To Benefit Anganwadi Workers & Assistants.

In Madhya Pradesh, around one lakh Anganwadi workers and Assistants of the state will get the benefit of Chief Minister COVID-19 Yoddha Kalyan Yojana.

Under this initiative, they will also get a special health insurance cover of Rs 50 lakhs. It is noteworthy that special insurance scheme has been launched by the Central Government for health workers who are fighting against COVID-19 epidemic. Principal Secretary of Women and Child Development department Anupam Rajan has informed that Anganwadi workers are taking risks by conducting door-to-door survey in every district. Besides, they are also visiting from house to house for providing nutritional food to the children. In such a situation, they have contact with many people, which pose a risk of corona infection. Therefore, they should be given the benefit of this insurance scheme.

State Government has already asked the Collector of all the districts to declare the Anganwadi workers and assistants eligible under the Chief Minister COVID-19 Yoddha Kalyan Yojana because of their exposure and active role in fight against corona virus.

Meanwhile, the state government has given one year exemption to the private schools for renewal of accreditation due to COVID-19 infection. Now the recognition of such schools will be valid till 31 March 2021. For all such schools, the prescribed fee for renewal has also been postponed till the next session.

23

Rajasthan Government Partners With ‘Aayu’ To Tackle COVID-19.

Rajasthan government has exclusively partnered with healthcare startup MedCords to provide 24×7 online consultation and medicine delivery to the people of Rajasthan as the state battles to control cases of Coronavirus. Through its integrated solution – Aayu and Sehat Sathi app, MedCords will help over 68 Million of people in Rajasthan through this collaboration.

MedCords’ solution is fully adopted in seven districts of Rajasthan – Kota, Udaipur, Shri Ganganagar, Bikaner, Ajmer, Pali, Jaipur and will be rolling out to complete state within a week. The app is currently helping 10,000+ patients per day with consultations and is providing home delivery of medicines through its Sehat Sathi network. The technology is provided free of cost by the startup.

24

Delhi Govt: Use ‘Assess Koro Na’ App For Door-To-Door Survey In Containment Zones.

The Delhi government has asked officials to use the new ‘Assess Koro Na’ app for door-to-door survey in coronavirus containment zones to speed up decision-making by analysing real-time data, removing a major obstacle in the efforts to contain the virus.

Officials say the delay in collecting and analysing the data of a person in a physical form is a major challenge. With this app, the data collected can be uploaded on the servers in real-time and immediately analyse. This will help the control centres in making a quick decision on requirement of ambulances and other medical equipment and personnel in the area. A swift decision can save many lives.

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