Current Affairs 28 April 2020 – Daily Current Affairs

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Current Affairs Content

News Type

1

Australia Cancels Premier Multilateral Air Combat Training Exercise Pitch Black 2020: COVID-19.

International

2

Labour Ministry Declared Banking Industry As Public Utility Service Under ID Act 1947 Till October 21, 2020.

National

3

#Mybookmyfriendcampaign Launched By HRD Minister On World Book Day.

National

4

Global Military Expenditure Sees Largest Annual Increase In 2019 Decade, US Tops,India In 3rd Position: SIPRI.

International

5

UNCTAD Predicted $3.4 Trillion Debt For Developing Countries In 2020-2021; Global Debt Deal Required.

International

6

RBI Opened Rs 50,000 Cr Special Liquidity Facility For Mfs From Apr 27-May 11,2020.

National

7

COVID-19: Indian Overseas Bank Introduces Special Borrowing Programme For Self-Help Groups.

National

8

Ind-Ra Slashes India’s GDP Growth Forecast For FY21 To 1.9% From 3.6%.

National

9

In A 1st, NTPC To Launch 20 Hydrogen Fuel Bus And Cars For Leh & New Delhi; Seeks Global EOI.

National

10

Chemicals, Petrochemicals Contributed 14.35% Of Total Exports; Becomes Top Exporting Sector For 1st Time.

National

11

RBI Extends Madhavan Menon’s Term As Part-Time Chairman Of CSB Bank.

National

12

HDFC Acquires 6.43% Stake In Reliance Capital Through Invocation.

National

13

Pak Navy Successfully Test-Fires Anti-Ship Missiles In North Arabian Sea.

International

14

IIT Delhi Develops Dashboard PRACRITI To Predict Covid-19 Spread.

National

15

ARCI In Collaboration With Nanomechanics Inc., Has Developed Nanoblitz 3D.

National & International

16

CSIR-IICT Collaborates With LAXAI Life Sciences To Reduce Dependency For Apis And Drug Intermediates.

National & International

17

Cens Develops Triboe Masks To Protect Healthy Individuals From COVID-19.

National

18

National Innovation Foundation (NIF) Boosts New Varieties Of Anthurium, By Vasinibai, Lady Innovator From Kerala.

National

19

Middle Distance Runner Jhuma Khatun Handed 4 Year Ban For Failing Dope Test.

National

20

Former Bihar And Tripura Governor Devanand Konwar Passed Away At 86.

National

Current Affairs 28 April 2020

1

Australia Cancels Premier Multilateral Air Combat Training Exercise Pitch Black 2020: COVID-19.

Australia has informed India that their premier multilateral air combat training exercise Pitch Black 2020 scheduled from July 27 to August 14 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation, defence sources said. This was conveyed by Air Marshal Meg Hupfeld, Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), in a letter to Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, in mid-April.

“The RAAF Chief informed of his decision to cancel the exercise this year due to the current and anticipated impacts of the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19,” a defence source told The Hindu. He also noted that while the IAF was not participating with aircraft, Ex Pitch Black 2020 would have provided an opportunity for engagement between our personnel, the source said. The exercise is also an opportunity to interact with forces from across the globe, a second defence source said. The next edition of Pitch Black is scheduled in 2022.

In the last edition of Pitch Black in 2018, the IAF for the first time deployed fighter aircraft which it had said would “provide a unique opportunity for exchange of knowledge and experience with these nations in a dynamic warfare environment”. The contingent consisted of 145 personnel, four Su-30MKI fighters, one C-130 and one C-17 transport aircraft which went to Australia via Indonesia and during the transit had constructive engagements with Indonesian and Malaysian Air Forces as well.

The defence and strategic engagement with Australia has steadily gone up in recent years especially on the bilateral front with naval cooperation at the forefront. The bilateral naval exercise AUSINDEX early last year saw participation of the largest Australian contingent ever to India with over 1,000 personnel. The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) has been long pending and is expected to be concluded soon as well as a broader maritime cooperation agreement including the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) to elevate the existing strategic partnership.

Last week, Australian High Commissioner-designate Barry O’Farrell made a pitch for trilateral cooperation among India, Australia and Indonesia to “identify new ways that our three countries can collaborate to be the best possible custodians of the Indian Ocean”. The defence cooperation between India and Australia is underpinned on the Memorandum on Defence Cooperation 2006, the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation 2009 and the bilateral Framework for Security Cooperation 2014.

2

Labour Ministry Declared Banking Industry As Public Utility Service Under ID Act 1947 Till October 21, 2020.

The Department of Financial Services announced that Labour and Employment Ministry has declared the banking industry as a public utility service for six months till October 21. The labour ministry issued the notification on April 17, 2020 amid the lockdown imposed due to coronavirus pandemic.

3

#Mybookmyfriendcampaign Launched By HRD Minister On World Book Day.

Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ extended greetings to everyone on the occasion of World Book Day and launched the #MyBookMyFriend campaign on social media on the occasion.  Shri Pokhriyal has shared a video message on social media saying that when you open a book, you open a new world. He said that books are a person’s best friend. Books inspire everyone and provide a new way of thinking. Shri Nishank added that books serve as a guide in difficult times of life.

The Union Minister said that this time World Book Day is being celebrated with lock down. He appealed to all the students that at the time of lock down, they must read some books of interest in addition to course books. There will be opportunity to learn something new. He urged all the students to read a book and share with him  about the book which they are reading at the moment using #MyBookMyFriend on social media.

Shri Pokhriyal has appealed to various Union Ministers on social media by tagging them to join the #MyBookMyFriend campaign. Along with this, the Union Minister has also appealed to prominent personalities from various parts of India to join this campaign so that it can inspire all the countrymen. Shri Pokhriyal told that the #MyBookMyFriend campaign will run for the next 7 days, during this time all people to join this campaign.

4

Global Military Expenditure Sees Largest Annual Increase In 2019 Decade, US Tops,India In 3rd Position: SIPRI.

Global military expenditure at 3.6 per cent saw its largest annual spike in a decade in 2019 with China and India being the second- and thirdlargest spenders after the US, a Stockholm-based think-tank said on Monday, the first time the two Asian giants were among the top three countries spending more on armaments.

5

UNCTAD Predicted $3.4 Trillion Debt For Developing Countries In 2020-2021; Global Debt Deal Required.

Developing countries’ repayments on their public external debt alone will soar to between $2.6 trillion and $3.4 trillion in 2020 and 2021, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has said in a new report while calling for a global debt deal to prevent Covid-19 pandemic from spreading economic disaster.

“The international community should urgently take more steps to relieve the mounting financial pressure that debt payments are exerting on developing countries as they get to grips with the economic shock of Covid-19,” said UNCTAD Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi while releasing the report titled ‘From the Great Lockdown to the Great Meltdown.’

The world is facing an unprecedented health and economic emergency due to the novel coronavirus disease, said the report. It is the developing countries, however, that will be the most affected with a wall of debt service repayments throughout the 2020s. In 2020 and 2021 alone, repayments on their public external debt are estimated to be nearly $3.4 trillion — between $2 trillion and $2.3 trillion in high-income developing countries and between $666 billion and $1.06 trillion in middle and low-income countries.

The financial turmoil from the crisis has triggered record portfolio capital outflows from emerging economies and sharp currency devaluations in developing countries, making servicing their debts more onerous, said the report. The countries will face a hard time repaying the debt in time — the crisis will trigger record portfolio capital outflows from emerging economies and sharp currency devaluations in developing countries, according to the report.

“Recent calls for international solidarity point in the right direction,” said Richard Kozul Wright, Director of UNCTAD’s Globalisation Division that produced the report, “but have so far delivered little tangible support for developing countries as they tackle the immediate impacts of the pandemic and its economic repercussions.”

The reports called for automatic temporary standstills, debt relief and programmes restructuring, and an international developing country debt authority to provide macroeconomic ‘breathing space’ for all crisis-stricken developing countries.

On March 30, UNCTAD called for a $2.5 trillion coronavirus crisis package for developing countries. Even prior to the Covid-19 crisis, many of these countries faced high and rising shares of their government revenues going to debt repayments, squeezing health and social expenditures.

6

RBI Opened Rs 50,000 Cr Special Liquidity Facility For Mfs From Apr 27-May 11,2020.

RBI announces ₹50,000 crore special liquidity facility for mutual funds. Banks can avail of 90-day funds from the RBI’s repo window and use it to exclusively lend to mutual funds or purchase investment grade corporate papers held by MFs. The scheme will be available from 27 April till 11 May.

7

COVID-19: Indian Overseas Bank Introduces Special Borrowing Programme For Self-Help Groups.

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) on Monday said it has introduced a special borrowing programme for self help groups to help them tide over the challenges inflicted by COVID-19. The maximum loan amount is Rs 5,000 per member of a self help group (SHG) with a cap of Rs 1 lakh for the group.

The bank said SHGs with a good track record and a history of minimum two loans from IOB will be eligible for this loan facility, which can be availed till June 30, 2020. As per the bank’s rule, only those SHGs whose existing loans are standard and performing as on March 1, 2020 are eligible to avail loan under this special scheme.

The state-owned lender said interested borrowers can apply through branches directly or through business correspondents. IOB said the loans would be sanctioned and disbursed within six working days.  The loans are to be repaid in 30 EMIs after initial moratorium of six months, it said, adding the rate of interest for these loans is 9.4 per cent.

The bank said it will not charge any processing fee or pre-payment fee for this loan scheme. “SHG borrowers are an important part of the economy…we are working to the best of our ability to extend our support to SHGs and help them in the wake of Coronavirus. Our efforts are aligned with the Government of India’s advice to help all sectors in the economy to function properly and sustain amidst the crisis at hand. These loans will assist the SHGs pass through the difficult times they are encountering in the present scenario,” IOB MD&CEO Karnam Sekar said.

Also these loans will have no correlation with the corpus of the SHG. Moreover, to encourage this segment of borrowers no additional security will be required from the group.

8

Ind-Ra Slashes India’s GDP Growth Forecast For FY21 To 1.9% From 3.6%.

S&P Global Ratings on Friday slashed India growth forecast for the current fiscal to 1.8 per cent, from 3.5 per cent estimated earlier, on account of the lockdown to contain Covid-19 pandemic. The US-based rating agency expects growth to significantly recover to 7.5 per cent in 2021-22 fiscal. S&P had in March cut India growth forecast to 3.5 per cent for 2020-21 fiscal, from 5.2 per cent projected earlier.

“We assume that the first-wave of community transmission peaked in March in China and will peak in April for most other economies in the region. In some emerging markets, including India and Indonesia, a peak in reported cases is assumed to come somewhat later, perhaps early in the third quarter,” S&P said.

S&P revised Asia-Pacific growth in 2020 to 0.3 per cent with China at 1.2 per cent, India at 1.8 per cent, and Japan at -3.6 per cent. The agency assumes the recovery from the pandemic to be “flattish U-shape with activity returning to pre-outbreak levels, if at all, in 2023. If unemployment surges, we may be facing an elongated L-shape, it added.

S&P joins the other international agencies in cutting India growth forecast over the concerns about the fallout of Covid-19 pandemic. Fitch has projected India’s GDP to grow at 2 per cent this fiscal–the slowest since the economy was liberalised 30 years back.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has slashed India’s GDP growth projection to 1.9 per cent in 2020 from 5.8 per cent estimated in January, as the global economy hits the worst recession since the Great Depression in the 1930s due to the raging coronavirus pandemic. Similarly, World Bank has estimated India’s economy to grow between 1.5 to 2.8 per cent in the 2020-21 – theworst growth performance since the 1991.

9

In A 1st, NTPC To Launch 20 Hydrogen Fuel Bus And Cars For Leh & New Delhi; Seeks Global EOI.

NTPC Ltd, India’s largest power producer and a central PSU under Ministry of Power, has invited Global Expression of Interest (EoI) to provide 10 Hydrogen Fuel Cell (FC) based electric buses and an equal number of Hydrogen Fuel Cell based electric cars in Leh and Delhi.  The EoI has been issued by NTPC’s wholly owned subsidiary, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) Limited.

The move to procure Hydrogen Fuel Cell based vehicles is first of its kind project in the country, wherein a complete solution from green energy to the fuel cell vehicle would be developed.

The initiative, which has been undertaken with support of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, will also harness renewable energy for generation of hydrogen and develop it’s storage and dispensation facilities as part of pilot projects at Leh and Delhi. The move to launch hydrogen powered vehicles aims at decarbonizing mobility segment. 

 The PSU has been taking various technology initiatives to provide complete e-Mobility solution for public transport including creation of public charging infrastructure and providing electric buses to State/City Transport Undertakings.  In this regard, 90 public charging stations in various cities and battery charging and swapping station at Faridabad for e-3-wheelers have already been commissioned. Similarly, e-Bus solution for Andaman & Nicobar Administration is under implementation.

10

Chemicals, Petrochemicals Contributed 14.35% Of Total Exports; Becomes Top Exporting Sector For 1st Time.

Chemicals, Petrochemicals industry becomes top exporting sector for 1st time. India’s chemical exports rose by 7 per cent to 2.68 lakh crore rupees during April-January period of the last fiscal, and became the top exporting sector in the country for the first time.

11

RBI Extends Madhavan Menon’s Term As Part-Time Chairman Of CSB Bank.

RBI extends Madhavan Menon’s term as part-time Chairman of CSB Bank. CSB Bank on Saturday said the Reserve Bank of India has extended the term of appointment of Madhavan Menon as the part-time Chairman of the Bank till July 21, 2020.

12

HDFC Acquires 6.43% Stake In Reliance Capital Through Invocation.

HDFC Acquires 6.43% Stake In Reliance Capital. Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd. on Saturday said it has acquired 6.43 percent stake in debt-trapped Reliance Capital by invoking pledged shares.

13

Pak Navy Successfully Test-Fires Anti-Ship Missiles In North Arabian Sea.

Pakistan Navy has successfully demonstrated anti-ship missile firing in North Arabian Sea. In a statement on Saturday, Navy’s spokesperson said that Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi witnessed the missiles fire. The anti-ship missiles were fired at the sea level by warships and aircrafts.

14

IIT Delhi Develops Dashboard PRACRITI To Predict Covid-19 Spread.

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi have developed a web-based dashboard for predicting the spread of COVID-19 in India.

The institute on Friday said that the mobile-friendly dashboard, PRACRITI (PRediction and Assessment of CoRona Infections and Transmission in India) gives detailed State-wise and district-wise predictions of COVID-19 cases in India for a three-week period, which is updated on a weekly basis.

The institute said that researchers believe that such a platform will be highly useful for healthcare organisations as well as local and central authorities to efficiently plan for different future scenarios and resource allocation.

Researchers said that a key parameter of interest on COVID-19 is the basic reproduction number (R0), pronounced ‘R naught’ and its countrywide variability. “R0 refers to the number of people to whom the disease spreads from a single infected person. For instance, if an active COVID-19 patient infects two uninfected persons, the R0 value is two. Reduction of R0 is key in controlling and mitigating COVID-19 in India,” the researchers added.

15

ARCI In Collaboration With Nanomechanics Inc., Has Developed Nanoblitz 3D.

Scientists fromInternational Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) an autonomous institute under the Department of Science &Technology,Govt. of India in collaboration with Nanomechanics Inc., Oak Ridge, USA havejointly developed an advanced tool for mapping nano-mechanical properties of materials like multi-phase alloys, composites, and multi-layered coatings.  

The tool called NanoBlitz 3D has also been found to yield excellent results on a wide range of material systems, includingglass-fibre-reinforced polymer composites, dual-phase steels, softwood and shale. An important aspect of this technique is its high-throughput, with just a few hours of testing required for generating more than 10,000 data points that can be processed using machine learning (ML) algorithms.

It enables the performance of a large array, typically consisting of 1000s high-speed nano-indentation tests, wherein each indentation tests takes less than one second to measure hardness and elastic modulus of a givenmaterial.In addition, it provides capabilities to carry out advanced data analysis, such as identifying and quantifying the mechanical properties of constituent phases, features or componentsof multi-phase alloys, composites, multi-layered coatings and so on.                

The high-speed mapping capabilities of the tool can also be used to quickly establish structure-property linkages at a micrometer length scale or higher, which can help to understand multiscale mechanics and aid in development of hierarchical materials. This, in turn, expedites the development of high-performance novel materials under an Integrated Computational Material Engineering (ICME) approach.

The product was released in San Antonio, USA by Dr. G. Padmanabham, Director, ARCI, on the sidelines of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019 Annual Meeting and Exhibition.As data science is considered as the new avenue for accelerating materials design and discovery, this technique with high-fidelity and high-throughput can greatly contribute to this new paradigm.

Current Affairs 28 April 2020

16

CSIR-IICT Collaborates With LAXAI Life Sciences To Reduce Dependency For Apis And Drug Intermediates.

Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), the Hyderabad-based constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), is collaborating with another integrated pharmaceutical company LAXAI LifeSciences (also based in Hyderabad) to jointly develop and manufacture Active Pharmaceutical.

17

Cens Develops Triboe Masks To Protect Healthy Individuals From COVID-19.

Face masks used by frontline healthcare professionals, which are of high technical quality, need special expertise for production, while a simple face mask that can contain the spread of the Corona virus is advised for the general public. Such a mask, though rudimentary in its action for containing the viral diffusion across the fabric layer, is expected to reduce the transmission of micro-droplets that linger in the air even during a simple conversation, let alone sneezing.

Simple, often, homemade ones are advised for healthy individuals rather than those meant for health workers as there is limited supply of the latter. If only the choice of the fabric can be made intelligently, the mask can serve the purpose more efficiently. 

A team of researchers at the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), Bangalore, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), have come up with a recipe for making face masks, termed as TriboE Mask, that can hold electric charges to restrict the entry of infections but interestingly, without any external power. 

The innovation by Dr. PralaySantra, Dr. Ashutosh Singh, and Prof. Giridhar U. Kulkarni relies on electrostatics. When two non-conducting layers are rubbed against each other, the layers develop positive and negative charges instantly and continue to hold the charges for some time. They have used this electric field, quite strong at proximity, to deactivate or possibly even kill the germs. 

“We have borrowed ideas from physics textbooks on triboelectricity; something kids enjoy playing with. When used in the context of a face mask, the idea can translate into a product, realisable by the end-user without the need of industry developing or manufacturing it. The mask is inexpensive and doable by anyone!” Prof. Kulkarni said. He added that tests on these masks are being performed, particularly in the context of COVID 19. 

Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST, said, “It is interesting that several new and useful COVID-10 solutions have emerged by creative applications of basic principles of chemistry, physics, materials, and bio-sciences, often by stitching together of simple insights to provide an interdisciplinary solution. The mask proposed here is a good example of such a creative process that adds huge value by a simple design.” 

The mask is three-layered – a layer of nylon cloth sandwiched between polypropylene layers, the latter sourced from commonly used non woven grocery bags. In place of nylon, silk fabric from an old saree or shawl may also be cut and used.

When layers are rubbed against each other, the outer layers develop negative charges, while nylon will hold the positive charges. This will act as double electric wall protection against the infectious entities crossing. As the mask is made out of commonly available fabrics, it can be washed just like any other cloth and can be reused. At this stage,the mask is, however, not recommended to healthcare professionals and patients. 

TriboE mask comprising of polypropylene layers on the outside and nylon layer in between. When the layers are rubbed against each other, static electricity is produced, which is expected to restrict the possible transmission of infections.

18

National Innovation Foundation (NIF) Boosts New Varieties Of Anthurium, By Vasinibai, Lady Innovator From Kerala.

D Vasini Bai, a women innovator from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, has developed ten varieties of Anthurium, a flower with high market value, by cross-pollination. Anthurium (Anthurium spp.) is a vast group of beautiful blooming plants available in a wide range of colors. The plants of the varieties are having high demands due to its use as indoor decorative plants. During the last year, over 8500 plants, as well as the flowers, have been sold to the market of mainly Pune and Thiruvananthapuram. The innovator has been propagating it through cuttings & seeds and supplying some plants and flowers throughout the country, but she was unable to meet the demand due to the time-consuming technique of propagation method.  

Therefore, the National Innovation Foundation-India has facilitated mass multiplication and large scale production of four highly demanded varieties through tissue culture technique at the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bangalore, for the diffusion of the varieties in similar agroclimatic zones of the country.  

Anthurium is one of the best domestic flowering plants in the world. They are beautiful but also purify the surrounding air and remove harmful airborne chemicals like formaldehyde, ammonia, toluene, xylene, and allergens. Its importance of removing toxic substances from the air, NASA has placed it in the list of air purifier plants.Anthurium has larger economic importance because of its eye-catching and beautiful inflorescence and fetches a good market price.

The uniqueness of these varieties developed by D Vasini Baiare large and medium-size flowers with uncommon color combinations of spathe and spadix (viz. light and dark orange, magenta, green and rose color combination, dark red and white colors). She has also developed a new method for raising the seedlings in limited space using corrugated asbestos sheets. For transplanting grown-up seedlings, she uses concrete troughs instead of pots. These methods have helped her in growing more plants in limited space, thus reducing the costs and maintenance and increasing the income at the same time. She sells the Anthurium flowers and plants to local florists as well as in cities like Pune and Mumbai at an average price of rupees 60-75 per flower.

Vasini Bai has received a number of awards and recognition for developing the Anthurium varieties. In March 2017, she was awarded with state award at the Ninth National Biennial competition organized by National Innovation Foundation-India (NIF) by the then President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. 

Her interest in developing new Anthurium variety instigated in the late 1970s when her son brought two plants of Anthurium. She was attracted to the beauty of the plants and wanted to raise more such plants for developing new variety with uncommon color combinations. She started experimenting using various techniques, trials, and errors. In 1980, she manually cross-pollinated for the first time, and after years of experiments in 1985, she developed the first variety of Anthurium- Dora (single plant with 8-10 leaves and multiple flowers with orange-colored spathe). She continued her work, and during 1985–2000, she developed another five varieties viz. Dora- I, Dora –II, Dora –III, Dora –IV and Dora – V. The other five varieties Akash, George, Giant Pink, JV Red, and JV Pink were developed later through manual cross-pollination. 

The National Innovation Foundation-India (NIF) facilitated validation trials of Vasini Bai’s varieties along with six parent varieties under the varietal testing programme at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. The innovator’s varieties were reported to be healthy, vigorous with prominent and distinguishable characters of spathes and spadix ranging from light pink, pink, red, white, violet and orange.  The leaves were found to be shiny, medium-large, and heart-shaped.  The flower spathes were bright coloured and had short spadix, and these parameters were comparable with existing commercial varieties.   

Salient features of the Anthurium varieties are

  • Large beautiful flowers
  • Different colors of spathe and spadix
  • Long stalks
  • Better shelf life
  • Good market value  

NIF has also facilitated mass multiplication and large scale production of the varieties –Dora, George, JV Pink and JV Red which have significant market value through tissue culture technique at Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bangalore for diffusion of the varieties in similar agroclimatic zones of the country.

19

Middle Distance Runner Jhuma Khatun Handed 4 Year Ban For Failing Dope Test.

Middle-distance runner Jhuma Khatun has been banned for four years by the Athletics Integrity Unit for testing positive for a banned substance – steroid – in a saga that nearly lasted two years, and a case where the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) had failed to detect.

The 31-year-old dope sample collected during the National Inter-State Championships in June 2018 in Guwahati returned negative when it was tested by the NDTL in New Delhi. Khatun had won a bronze each in 1500m and 5000m in that Guwahati meet. The World Anti-Doping Agency then decided to test the sample of Khatun at its Montreal Laboratory in Canada and it returned positive for dehydrochloromethyl testosterone. Khatun’s results from June 29, 2018 to November 21, 2018 will now be annulled.

It was not only Khatun’s sample but also of other four Indians, including 2017 Asian champion quartermiler Nirmala Sheoran, whose dope samples returned negative at NDTL but found positive when tested in Montreal. WADA referred Khatun’s results management to the AIU which notified Khatun of the charges and provisionally suspended her in November 2018. Khatun waived her right for the confirmatory ‘B’ sample test and accepted the adverse analytical finding (AAF).

She, however, informed AIU that she was unsure how dehydrochloromethyl testosterone came to be present in her body. The AIU pressed Khatun for an explanation. In January 2019, Khatun provided the AIU with her medical file, which, upon review, did not reveal the origin of the AAF. The AIU issued a notice of charge on Khatun early this month and she was offered an opportunity to admit to the Anti-Doping Rule Violations and accept a four year period ban or to request a hearing before the Disciplinary Tribunal by no later than April 13.

Khatun, who was also a part of the 2011 Asian Championships 4x400m relay race silver-winning quartet, then admitted the ADRV and accepted the four-year ban.

20

Former Bihar And Tripura Governor Devanand Konwar Passed Away At 86.

Former Governor of Bihar and Tripura and veteran Congress leader Devanand Konwar died of old age ailments at his Guwahati residence on Saturday. He was 86. The politician is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son. The body of Knowar was taken from here to his home district Sivasagar for the last rites, his family members said.

He was governor of Bihar from July 24, 2009 to March 8, 2013 and of Tripura between March 25, 2013 and June 29, 2014. He had also served as governor (additional charge) of West Bengal from December 2009 to January 2010. Konwar had joined the Congress in 1955 as a student leader. He became a Cabinet minister in the governments of Assam headed by Hiteswar Saikia and later by Tarun Gogoi.

Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and others condoled the death of Konwar who was also an eminent advocate. In his condolence message, Governor Mukhi described Konwar as a dedicated leader and worker who contributed immensely to the general welfare of the people at large by serving the state with deep commitment, compassion and love for them.

As a governor, he made an indelible mark to glorify the spirit of parliamentary democracy, yet strengthening the edifice of democratic federalism, Mukhi added. As a constitutional head of three states and as a minister of the Assam government, he had made a major contribution to the socio-political landscape of the country, the chief minister said in a message.

Former chief minister Tarun Gogoi described Konwar as an able politician, an eminent lawyer as well as a noted social worker who always worked for the welfare of the poor, besides strengthening the Congress party across the state.

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