Current Affairs 25 April 2020 – Daily Current Affairs

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Current Affairs Content

News Type

1

PM Modi Launches E-Gram Swaraj Portal & Swamitva Scheme On Panchayati Raj Day.

National

2

Govt Reconstituted National Shipping Board; To Be Headed By Ex DG Shipping Malini Shankar.

National

3

FDI Policy, 2017 Amended Under FEMA, 1999.

National

4

Uttar Pradesh Becomes The 1st State With A Software Based In-House Facility Of Virtual Courts.

National

5

Government Freezed DA & DR For 1.1 Crore Employees & Pensioners: COVID-19.

National

6

Govt To Suspend Up 3 Sections Of IBC, 2016 Upto 1yr To Avoid Insolvency Proceedings Amid COVID-19.

International

7

Pralhad Joshi Sets 710 MT Coal Production Target For Coal India Limited In FY 20-21.

National

8

Virtual Interactive Session With Health Ministers Of Member Countries Of World Health Organization (WHO) Held: Harsh Vardhan Participates.

National & International

9

 India Participates In SAARC Health Ministers Conference Hosted By Pakistan.

National & International

10

World Bank Approved Rs 585 Cr For Himachal Pradesh State Roads Transformation Project (HPSRTP).

National & International

11

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance In Partnership With Goqii Launches ‘BAGIC Goqii Co-Pay Option’.

National

12

Special Liquidity Scheme For MSME’s Launched: SIDBI.

National

13

Panchayat Awards 2020: Jammu And Kashmir’s 3 Panchayats Get Prestigious National Award.

National

14

Ashok Leyland Acquired 3.36% Share In Subsidiary Hinduja Leyland Finance.

National

15

Singapore’s Caladium Increases Stake In Bandhan Bank By 1pc To 4.49%.

National & International

16

NASA Develops VITAL, A High-Pressure Ventilator To Fight COVID-19.

International

17

Iran Launches “Noor” Or Light Military Satellite Into Orbit.

International

18

April 24 – World Day Of Laboratory Animals 2020.

National & International

19

April 24 – National Panchayati Raj Day 2020.

National

20

April 24-30 – World Immunization Week 2020.

National & International

21

International Girls In ICT Day Is Observed On April 23, 2020.

International

22

April 14 – National Fire Service Day 2020.

National

23

Manipur Government Commemorate Khongjom Day At War Memorial Complex.

National

1

PM Modi Launches E-Gram Swaraj Portal & Swamitva Scheme On Panchayati Raj Day.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi interacted with Sarpanchs of Gram Panchayats throughout the country today through Video Conferencing, on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day 2020. During this event he launched a unified e-GramSwaraj Portal and mobile application and Swamitva Scheme.

The e-GramSwaraj helps prepare and execute Gram Panchayat Development Plans. The portal will ensure real time monitoring and accountability. The portal is a major step towards digitization down to the Gram Panchayat level.

The Swamitva scheme which is launched in pilot mode in 6 states helps to map rural inhabited lands using drones and latest survey methods. The scheme will ensure streamlined planning, revenue collection and provide clarity over property rights in rural areas. This will open up avenues for applying for loans from financial institutions by the owners. Disputes related to property would also be settled through the title deeds allotted through this scheme.

Addressing the Sarpanches all over the country, the Prime Minister said the Corona pandemic has changed the way people worked and taught a good lesson. He said the pandemic taught us that one has to be self-reliant always.

“This Pandemic has thrown at us new challenges and problems which we have never imagined, but it also taught us a very good lesson with a strong message. It has taught us that we have to be self-reliant and self-sufficient. It has taught us that we should not look for solutions outside the country. This is the biggest lesson we have learnt.”

“Every Village has to be self-sufficient enough to provide for its basic needs. Similarly every district has to be self-sufficient at its level, every state has to be self-reliant at its level and the whole country has to be self-reliant at its level”, he said.

Shri Narendra Modi said that the Government worked hard in trying to provide self-sufficiency to villages and making the Gram Panchayats stronger. “In the last five years nearly 1.25 Lakh Panchayats have been connected through broadband from a mere 100 before. Similarly, the number of Common Service Centres had crossed 3 Lakhs”, he said.

He said since mobile phones are being manufactured in India, the cost of smartphones has become cheaper and the low cost smartphones have reached every village and this would further strengthen the digital infrastructure at village level.

The Prime Minister said the “Progress of Panchayats will ensure the development of the nation and democracy”. The occasion today was an opportunity to establish direct dialogue between the Prime Minister and the Gram Panchayat representatives. During his interaction with the sarpanchs PM complimented the villages for giving the mantra – ‘Do gaj doori’ to define social distancing in simpler terms.

He said that the slogan of “Do gaj Deh ki doori” given by rural India showed the wisdom of the people. He appreciated the slogan, saying that it motivates people to practice social distancing.

Prime Minister said that notwithstanding the limited resources at its disposal, India has taken the challenge proactively and showed its resolve to move forward with new energy and new ways.

He said, “the collective power of the villages is helping the country move forward”.

He stressed that amidst these efforts, we have to remember that the negligence of any one can endanger the whole village and therefore, there is no scope for relaxation. The Prime Minister urged the Sarpanch’s to work towards the Swachhata Campaign in the villages, to take care of the old, divyang and other needy in the villages, while ensuring quarantine, social distancing and covering the faces with masks.

He urged the Sarpanches to provide correct information to every family on various aspects of COVID-19.

He also appealed to people in rural India to download the Aarogya Setu app and asked Panchayat representatives to ensure that every person in their Panchayat downloads the app. The Prime Minister said that serious efforts are made to ensure that poor people of the village get the best healthcare. He said that Ayushman Bharat Yojana has emerged as a big relief for the poor of the village and nearly 1 crore poor patients have received free treatment in the hospital under this scheme.

He urged the use of digital platforms such as e-NAM and GEM portal to reach out to larger markets for better prices for village produce. The Prime Minister interacted with Sarpanch’s from Jammu-Kashmir, Karnataka, Bihar, UP, Maharashtra, Punjab & Assam.

He remembered Mahatma Gandhi’s conception of Swaraj as being based on Gram Swaraj. Quoting the Shastras, he reminded the people that the source of all strength is unity. The Prime Minister wished the Sarpanches on Panchayati Raj Day and for defeating Corona with their collective efforts, solidarity and determination.

2

Govt Reconstituted National Shipping Board; To Be Headed By Ex DG Shipping Malini Shankar.

Government reconstitutes National Shipping Board; to be headed by ex-DG Shipping Malini Shankar. NEW DELHI: The government has approved reconstitution of the National Shipping Board to be headed by former Director General of Shipping Malini Shankar, an official said.

3

FDI Policy, 2017 Amended Under FEMA, 1999.

Its purpose is to consolidate and amend the law relating to foreign exchange for facilitating external trade and payments in an orderly manner and also to develop foreign exchange market in India.

4

Uttar Pradesh Becomes The 1st State With A Software Based In-House Facility Of Virtual Courts.

Amid the country-wide corona-triggered lockdown , Uttar Pradesh has become the first state to have the requisite infrastructure in all its courts for hearing cases through video conferencing, the Allahabad High Court said in a statement on Thursday.

The Allahabad High Court took a number of initiatives to facilitate court proceedings through video conferencing and recently a software has been installed in the high court and district courts of the state, said high court’s Registrar (Protocol) Ash. Uttar Pradesh has now become the first such state with a software based in-house facility of virtual courts, he said. In a press release, he said the Allahabad High Court and all district courts of Uttar Pradesh “can now conduct multiple court proceed.

5

Government Freezed DA & DR For 1.1 Crore Employees & Pensioners: COVID-19.

On Thursday (24 April) the government froze inflation-linked allowance for its 1.1 crore employees and pensioners, a move states are likely to replicate, helping save a combined Rs 1.2 lakh crore that could be used to combat the coronavirus crisis. Last month, the government had announced a 4 percent increase in dearness allowance (DA) for its 50 lakh employees and 61 lakh pensioners beginning 1 January, 2020. This was to cost Rs 27,100 crore in the current financial year 2020-21.

“In view of the crisis arising out of COVID-19, it has been decided that additional instalment of dearness allowance payable to central government employees and dearness relief (DR) to central government pensioners due from 1 January, 2020, shall not be paid.

All public sector employers pay basic salaries to their employees according to the respective pay scale. Several other components are then calculated added in respect to the basic salary and are then added to it to calculate the take-home amount. One such important component is Dearness Allowance or DA, said Archit Gupta, Founder and CEO Clear Tax.

6

Govt To Suspend Up 3 Sections Of IBC, 2016 Upto 1yr To Avoid Insolvency Proceedings Amid COVID-19.

In a major relief for corporate borrowers hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, the government has decided to amend the insolvency law to suspend up to one year provisions that trigger insolvency proceedings against defaulters, according to sources. Further, the sources said amendments to the IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code) would pave the way for banks to restructure loans.

The sources said an ordinance would be promulgated to suspend three sections of IBC for up to one year and a decision in this regard was taken by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday. Section 7, 9 and 10 of the IBC would be suspended for six months and the suspension time can be extended up to one year. An enabling provision with respect to extending the time would be part of the ordinance, they added. Suspension of these provisions could be extended up to one year based on the economic situation going forward.

The effective date of the amendments coming into force would be the date of promulgation of the ordinance, the sources said. Section 7 and 9 pertain to initiation of corporate insolvency proceedings by a financial creditor and an operational creditor, respectively. Section 10 relates to filing an application for insolvency resolution by a corporate. The coronavirus outbreak and the nationwide lockdown to curb spreading of infections have significantly impacted economic activities and the latest decision in a way provides more leeway for corporate borrowers in repaying their loans.

As per existing norms, if a payment default exceeds 90 days then the lender concerned has to refer the account for resolution under IBC or any other mechanism permitted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The lender does not have the option to restructure the loan.

7

Pralhad Joshi Sets 710 MT Coal Production Target For Coal India Limited In FY 20-21.

“The demand of coal will pick up again after coronavirus lockdown, so I have directed CIL to keep the production and offtake targets at 710 mt for FY 20-21 in line with its goal to achieve 1 billion tonne coal production by financial year 2023-2024,” Minister for Coal, Pralhad Joshi said.

8

Virtual Interactive Session With Health Ministers Of Member Countries Of World Health Organization (WHO) Held: Harsh Vardhan Participates.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that India’s response has been proactive, pre-emptive and graded in handling situation arising out of COVID-19 outbreak. Dr. Vardhan stated this yesterday while participating in a virtual interactive session with Health Ministers of member countries of World Health Organization (WHO) on the measures being taken for containment of COVID-19. He said, the current situation on COVID-19 in the world is alarming and requires special measures to mitigate the number of casualties. Exhorting the WHO officials, the Health Minister said, we are meeting in troubled times and we have to work together by sharing our best practices to eradicate COVID-19.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that India was first to respond to COVID-19 and stands on a better footing then the rest of the world because of the valuable and sincere services of its Corona Warriors.

Dr Vardhan also said, during the last three months, the government has scaled up the number of government labs to 230 aided by another 87 private labs with more than 16 thousand collection centres. He said,  so far more than five lakh people have been tested for COVID-19. He said, the government is going to increase the numbers of its labs to 300 and ramp up its  present daily testing capacity of 55 thousand to one  lakh per day by 31st of next month. He said, India has in all 2,033 dedicated facilities in the country with more than one lakh 90 thousand  isolation beds, more than 24 thousand ICU beds and more than 12,000 ventilators.

Further, while referring to the solutions meant to curiosity of people to know about the risk hovering around, Dr. Harsh Vardhan highlighted the effectiveness of‘ Aarogya Setu mobile application, which has been downloaded by more than 7.2 Crore people.

9

 India Participates In SAARC Health Ministers Conference Hosted By Pakistan.

India on Thursday participated in a video conference of SAARC health ministers hosted by Pakistan to promote greater regional cooperation to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said India was represented at the conference by Director General of Health Services who was assisted by experts from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). “The virtual meeting was an occasion for India to reaffirm its strong commitment towards greater sharing of knowledge, expertise and best practices in the joint fight against COVID-19 for the larger regional good,” the MEA said.

Most SAARC countries were represented at the official level. “This event followed India’s earlier initiative of hosting a video conference of senior health professionals on March 26 which had proved to be a productive and outcome-oriented exercise to promote greater regional cooperation against COVID-19,” the MEA said in a statement. It said India made a detailed presentation at the conference on how it is responding to the situation.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional grouping comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. All the SAARC member nations are facing adverse social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. At the video conference, the Indian side briefed other countries about its efforts to ramp up production of medicines and essential materials besides its research on drugs and vaccines to confront the pandemic.

10

World Bank Approved Rs 585 Cr For Himachal Pradesh State Roads Transformation Project (HPSRTP).

World Bank approves Rs 585 cr for Himachal Pradesh State Roads Transformation Project. The World Bank has approved 82 million US dollars (585 crore rupees) for the Himachal Pradesh State Roads Transformation Project (HPSRTP) for upgradation of major roads and modernization of the Public Works Department in the state.

11

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance In Partnership With Goqii Launches ‘BAGIC Goqii Co-Pay Option’.

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, along with smart-tech enabled preventive healthcare platform GOQii has launched a new add-on health cover called ‘BAGIC GOQii Co-pay Option’ under regulatory sandbox approval received from the IRDAI, that would reward customers with a healthy lifestyle.

12

Special Liquidity Scheme For MSME’s Launched: SIDBI.

In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the Reserve bank of India has provided a Special Liquidity Facility (SLF) of 15,000 crore to SIDBI to enable it to provide liquidity support to MSME sector and meet sectoral credit needs. ensure wider coverage.

13

Panchayat Awards 2020: Jammu And Kashmir’s 3 Panchayats Get Prestigious National Award.

While Panchayat Jamola Lower of District Rajouri has been awarded child-friendly Gram Panchayat Award 2020, Panchayat Dhangri of the same district has been awarded Nanaji Deshmukh Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar for outstanding performance in improving the socio-economic fabric of the panchayat.

14

Ashok Leyland Acquired 3.36% Share In Subsidiary Hinduja Leyland Finance.

Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland Ltd has acquired 1.57 crore shares of Rs 10 each constituting 3.36 per cent of the equity of its subsidiary Hinduja Leyland Finance Ltd (HLFL). The cost of acquisition was done at a price of Rs 119 per equity share. The proposed acquisition of equity shares of HLFL is at arm’s length basis. The acquisition is part of the 6.99 per cent acquisition approved by the board of directors at a meeting held on March 21.

With this, the shareholding of Ashok Leyland in the finance company has gone up from 65.45 per cent to 68.81 per cent, Ashok Leyland said in regulatory filings at stock exchanges. The acquisition was proposed to be completed in tranches on or before July 31. With the acquisition of 3.36 per cent, the process approved by the board is now completed fully.

15

Singapore’s Caladium Increases Stake In Bandhan Bank By 1pc To 4.49%.

Caladium Investments, an affiliate of Singapore’s GIC, has increased its stake in private sector lender Bandhan Bank to 4.49 per cent as on March 31, 2020.

16

NASA Develops VITAL, A High-Pressure Ventilator To Fight COVID-19.

NASA engineers have developed a new, easy-to-build high-pressure ventilator tailored specifically to treat COVID-19 patients. The device, called VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), passed a critical test this week at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York, an epicentre of COVID-19 in the US, NASA said.

VITAL is designed to treat patients with milder symptoms, thereby keeping country’s limited supply of traditional ventilators available for patients with more severe COVID-19 symptoms, it said.

17

Iran Launches “Noor” Or Light Military Satellite Into Orbit.

Iran has claimed it has put its first military satellite into orbit, further raising tensions with the US at a time the two countries are already facing off in the Persian Gulf. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said the satelliteNoor” (Light) was in a 425km (264 miles) high orbit, after a successful launch.

Current Affairs 25 April 2020

18

April 24 – World Day Of Laboratory Animals 2020.

Instituted in 1979 World Day for Laboratory Animals, and the associated Lab Animal Week (20-26 April 2020), has been a catalyst for the movement to end the suffering of animals in laboratories around the world and their replacement with advanced scientific non-animal techniques.  The suffering of millions of animals all over the world is commemorated on every continent.

Although advanced methods are steadily replacing animal research, outdated laws require animal tests before a product can be put on the market. Every year millions of animals suffer and die in experiments that can never be trusted.

19

April 24 – National Panchayati Raj Day 2020.

The Panchayat raj is the oldest system of local government. The word ‘Panchayat’ is an amalgamation of two words where ‘Panch’ means ‘five’ and ‘Ayat’ means ‘assembly’ and ‘Raj’ means ‘rule’. Traditionally panchayats consisted of sensible and respected elders chosen and accepted by the local community. The leader of the panchayat was often called as the mukhiya, sarpanch or pradhan.

The job of these assemblies was to settle disputes between individuals and between villages. However, there were varying forms of such assemblies. In 1992 a major change in the Panchayat system of India came in the form of the passage of the Panchayati Raj Act (73rd Amendment). The act came into existence with effect from April 24, 1993.

National Panchayati Raj Day 2020

The first National Panchayati Raj Day was celebrated in 2010. Since then, the National Panchayati Raj Day is celebrated on April 24 every year in India. The enactment of the 73rd amendment is applauded as a defining moment in history as it permits states to take steps to organize village panchayats and provide them with necessary powers and authority necessary to help them to function as units of self-government.

Every year on this National Panchayati Raj Day Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj organises National Conference and awards best performing Gram Panchayats with ‘The Panchayat Shashakatikaran Puraskar/Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar’.

20

April 24-30 – World Immunization Week 2020.

World Immunization Week – celebrated in the last week of April (24 to 30 April) – aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. Yet, there are still nearly 20 million children in the world today who are not getting the vaccines they need.

The theme this year is #VaccinesWork for All and the campaign will focus on how vaccines – and the people who develop, deliver and receive them – are heroes by working to protect the health of everyone, everywhere.

2020 campaign objectives

The main goal of the campaign is to urge greater engagement around immunization globally and the importance of vaccination in improving health and wellbeing of everyone, everywhere throughout life.

As part of the 2020 campaign, WHO and partners aim to:

  • Demonstrate the value of vaccines for the health of children, communities and the world.
  • Show how routine immunization is the foundation for strong, resilient health systems and universal health coverage.
  • Highlight the need to build on immunization progress while addressing gaps, including through increased investment in vaccines and immunization.

Given that WHO has designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, WHO will highlight nurses and midwives for their crucial role as early vaccine champions for new parents and parents-to-be.

21

International Girls In ICT Day Is Observed On April 23, 2020.

International Girls in ICT Day is an ITU initiative and global movement to encourage and empower girls and young women to consider studies and careers in ICTs. In 2020, International Girls in ICT Day will be celebrated on 23 April.

22

April 14 – National Fire Service Day 2020.

National Fire Service Day is observed annually on April 14. The day is celebrated in remembrance of the lives lost in the devastating fire that took place in 1944. The fire service personnel displayed great courage and devotion to duty as they bravely fought the blazing flames that had erupted following an explosion on a ship S.S. Fort Stikine at the Victoria Docks of Bombay (now Mumbai).

In the tragic incident, several fire-fighters lost their lives, and therefore, every year on April 14, this day is marked to pay respect to the departed souls who showed exemplary courage in saving several lives in the horrifying fire. Latest takes a look at the date, significance and the history behind the National Fire Service Day.

23

Manipur Government Commemorate Khongjom Day At War Memorial Complex.

In Manipur, remembering the people who valiantly fought in the Anglo-Manipuri War in 1891, state government commemorated ‘ Khongjom Day’ at Khongjom War Memorial Complex, Thoubal today. Chief Minister of Manipur N. Biren Singh led a small group of delegates including cabinet ministers, MLAs, civil and police officers in laying floral tribute at Khonjom War Memorial atop Kheba hill and later to Paona Brajabashi Statue located at the foothill. The group also offered Tarpan at Khongjom Rive as done in preceding years.

The Khongjom Day, being a state holiday is celebrated every year on April 23 by the State government to pay tribute to the war heroes of Anglo-Manipuri War 1891 who had sacrificed their lives fighting against the British to protect freedom of Manipur. The site is about 35 KM south of Imphal in Thoubal district where the battle was fight between Manipuri and British. Unlike the previous years, State government had made sure that social distancing is maintained and devoid large public gathering in view of the prevailing lockdown due to COVID-19 epidemic.

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