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Last updated : Apr 02,2020 18:22 IST

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  • Centre mobilizes Ex-Servicemen to fight COVID-19 pandemic

    11 hours ago
    Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW), Ministry of Defence (MoD) has taken the initiative to mobilize services of the Ex-Servicemen (ESM) community as a part of the augmentation of human resource to assist the State and District administration to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

    Highlights:
    ♦ Rajya Sainik Boards, Zila Sainik Boards are playing a huge role to identify and mobilize the maximum ESM volunteers to assist the State and District Administration. 
    ♦ The volunteers will perform public outreach activities such as contact tracing, community surveillance, management of quarantine facilities or any such tasks assigned to them.
    ♦ Ex-Servicemen are highly disciplined, motivated and well trained to operate in adverse situations and they have a pan-India presence in all the districts and villages across the country.

    Services of ESM Community:
    An organization called ‘Guardians of Governance’, comprising 4,200 ESM, is assisting in data collection from all the villages in Punjab. In the Chhattisgarh government, ESM has been employed some ESM to assist the police. 
    In Andhra Pradesh, all the District Collectors have asked for ESM volunteers. In Uttar Pradesh, all Zila Sainik Kalyan Adhikaris are in touch with District Control Rooms and retired Army Medical Corps personnel have been identified and kept ready. Also, Sainik Rest Houses are being prepared in Uttarakhand to act as isolation/quarantine Centres if the need arises. In Goa, a control room has been established and ESM has been asked to remain on standby for any assistance to the local administration.

    Top Current Affairs of the day: 02 April 2020

    11 hours ago
    Top Current Affairs of the day: 02 April 2020. Instantly obtain Latest Current Affairs with all essential info, Be the first to know all the Today Current affairs 02 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 02 April 2020 granted here.

    Top Current Affairs Quiz Questions: 02 April 2020

    9 hours ago
    02 April 2020: Current Affairs quiz Questions & Answers to enhance your General Awareness. Practice with our esteemed Current Affairs quiz April 2, 2020 questions which covers all important events across India as well as World. Make use of all important Current Affairs quiz April 2, 2020 questions with answers updated here, at free of cost to succeed in all competitive Exams and Interviews.

    UNSC to hold virtual meeting on coronavirus outbreak

    11 hours ago
    The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is to hold a virtual meeting for the first time by next week under the presidency of the Dominican Republic. The council aims to discuss the coronavirus pandemic which killed over 42,000 people globally. The Dominican Republic assumed the rotating presidency of the council for the month of April, taking the baton from China.

    Highlights:
    ♦ The meeting will discuss the pandemic caused due to coronavirus.
    ♦ As per Johns Hopkins University estimate, the confirmed coronavirus cases across the world now stand at over 932,600 and over 42,000 deaths. As per the report, the US has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world at 213,372, followed by Italy (110,574), Spain (104,118) and China (82,361). Over 4,600 people have died in the US so far because of the COVID19. 
    ♦ Earlier, Dominican Republic presented to members of the Security Council its program of work and informal plan of video teleconferencing (VTCs) for the month of April.
    ♦ During a virtual pre-council meeting, the members discussed the brought up the COVID-19 pandemic. The Security Council aims to find a solution to the pandemic as the primary responsibility of the UNSC deals with the geopolitical security and peace matters.
    Category: International

    Naval Dockyard develops low-cost device to screen people

    12 hours ago
    Naval Dockyard (ND), Mumbai has designed and developed its own handheld Infrared radiation (IR)-based temperature sensor to screen people at gates. The sense will screen a large number of Naval personnel at the entry gates of the yard reducing the load on the security sentries at the gate. 

    IR-based temperature sensor:
    ♦ The instrument was manufactured under Rs.1000 through in-house resources.
    ♦ The accuracy of the instrument is 0.02 deg Celsius. 
    ♦ The non-contact thermometer has an IR and an LED display integrated with a microcontroller that runs on a 9V battery. 
    ♦ The instrument will screen a large number of Naval personnel at the entry gates of the yard thereby reducing the load on the security sentries at the gate.
    ♦ The low-cost instrument has the capability to scale up production of these if required towards which sourcing of the components is in progress.

    Reason:
    Over 20,000 personnel enter the premises of the Naval Dockyard of Western Naval Command (WNC) every day. Inorder to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the yard and the Western Fleet, initial screening of the Navy personnel who enter the dockyard was very important.
    The primary method to screen a probable COVID-19 infected person/patient is to check the body temperature by a non-contact thermometer. In the view of the COVID-19 outbreak, the non-contact thermometers and temperature guns have become scarce and are being sold at a very high cost in the country. In order to overcome the scarcity and requirement of large numbers, ND has designed and developed its own handheld IR based temperature sensor.
    Category: Defence

    Freightwalla launched app to offer all remote services

    12 hours ago
    Freightwalla, a Digital freight forwarding startup, has launched a mobile application to offer all the services. The app is a part of a larger "work from anywhere, anytime" initiative. The startups aim to make logistics and supply chain accessible 24x7, from anywhere, on any device.

    Aim:
    The apps are to make it possible for logistics managers and business owners to plan, manage and track their shipments right on their mobile screens.

    Freightwalla's Mobile app:
    ♦ Freightwalla's new mobile app is an extension of the Freightwalla digital web platform. 
    ♦ The app uses the same technology as the website of the logistics, which is backed by a secure SSI encryption.
    ♦ The app offers USPs namely Instant quotations, Online chat support, Intelligent Cargo Tracking, Real-time status reports and Documentation Management.
    ♦ The app complies with the highest level of security for several user data and information that is exchanged on the app.
    Category: Indian Affairs

    AP provides doorstep pension payment to 58 lakh beneficiaries

    13 hours ago
    The Andhra Pradesh state government has started distributing pensions at the doorstep to 58,44,240 beneficiaries with an objective to offer them held and to avoid the spread of coronavirus. The state used 2.5 lakh volunteers to eliminate the need for pensioners to step out of their homes.

    Highlights:
    ♦ Under the move of the govt. a wide range of people will benefit from the disbursement of the pension that began on 1 April.  
    ♦ Also, old-age persons, widows, single women, weavers, fishermen, folk artists, and traditional cobblers will receive an amount of Rs.2,250 each.
    ♦ To support the people in the state during the COVID-19 outbreak, people with disabilities, transgenders and Dappu artists will receive an amount of Rs.3,000.
    ♦ Also, people who suffer chronic disease and are undergoing kidney dialysis at government and network hospitals will receive an amount of Rs.10,000.
    ♦ The fund will be first distributed to the pensioners and then the government will give financial relief to the poor and needy delivered at the doorstep on the 4 April using the same network of volunteers.
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  • NPPA sets up Price Monitoring and Resource Unit in JK

    1 day ago
    Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory (UT) has become 12th State to get the Price Monitoring & Resource Unit (PMRU) on 1 April 2020. It was set up by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).  

    Price Monitoring & Resource Unit (PMRU):
    ♦ The PMRU is a registered society. It shall function under the direct control and supervision of the State Drug Controller of Jammu & Kashmir.  
    ♦ The unit will be funded and supported by  NPPA for its recurring and non-recurring expenses.
    ♦ The PMRU shall help NPPA and State Drug Controller to ensure the availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices. 
    ♦ The unit will organize seminars, training programs, and other information, education and communication (IEC) activities in the areas of availability and affordability of medicines for all.
    ♦ PMRU will collect samples of medicines, analyze data and make reports with respect to availability and over-pricing of medicines for taking action under the provisions of Drug Price Control Order (DPCO). 
    ♦ PMRU will add significance and J&K will assist NPPA and Governments in checking overpricing and identifying causes and addressing local issues of shortages or hoarding in the combat against COVID-19 pandemic.
    ♦ PMRUs have been set up by NPPA in 11 States, including, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab, Haryana, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh.

    Top Current Affairs of the day: 01 April 2020

    1 day ago
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    Top Current Affairs Quiz Questions: 01 April 2020

    1 day ago
    01 April 2020: Current Affairs quiz Questions & Answers to enhance your General Awareness. Practice with our esteemed Current Affairs quiz April 1, 2020 questions which covers all important events across India as well as World. Make use of all important Current Affairs quiz April 1, 2020 questions with answers updated here, at free of cost to succeed in all competitive Exams and Interviews.

    Centre launched DARPGs National Monitoring Dashboard

    1 day ago
    Dr. Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions, launched the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances' (DARPG) National Monitoring Dashboard on COVID-19 Grievances on 1 April. 

    National Monitoring Dashboard:
    ♦ The National Monitoring Dashboard was developed and implemented at https://darpg.gov.in. 
    ♦ COVID-19 related grievances received in Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) with all Ministries/Departments and States/Union Territories (UT) are monitored on a priority basis by a technical team of DARPG. 
    ♦ The establishment of National Monitoring Dashboard pursuance of the Empowered Group of Officers 10 constituted under the Disaster Management Act 2005 on Public Grievances and Suggestions to ensure timely implementation of COVID-19 Response Activities.
    ♦ It will ensure timely redressal of COVID-19 grievances and directions that have been issued to all Ministries/ Departments to prioritize these grievances and provide redressal in a period of 3 days. 
    ♦ The portal will be updated and monitored at senior levels in Government on a daily basis.
    ♦ The National Monitoring Dashboard received 43 grievances of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 31 grievances of Ministry of External Affairs and 26 grievances of Ministry of Finance, so far. The nature of grievances related to quarantine facilities, lockdown not being adhered to complaints, essential supplies related complaints, examination related complaints, rescheduling of interest repayments on loans, evacuation requests from foreign countries, etc.
    Category: Indian Affairs

    NPPA revised ceiling price of 883 scheduled formulations

    1 day ago
    National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) revised the ceiling price of 883 scheduled formulations on 31 March. It noted the supply disruption of active pharmaceutical ingredients caused by the COVID-19 outbreak is returning to normalcy.

    Highlights:
    The authority stated that no unusual price fluctuations in the price of inputs for medicines. Therefore, only normal price revisions have been allowed. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) increase was based on the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) data. Also, the increase in ceiling price is based on WPI, which is 1.88468%.
    The revision in the ceiling price of formulations included the revision of the ceiling price of cardiac stents also. The revised prices has been made effective from 1 April. The detail of revised prices is available on the official website of NPPA, www.nppaindia.nic.in.

    NPPA:
    NPPA was established in 1997. It regulates the pricing of drugs and ensures the availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices. It is headquartered in New Delhi. It functions under the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers. The functions of NPPA include implementation and enforcement of the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order. It monitors the availability of drugs, identify shortages, if any, and to take remedial steps.
    Category: Indian Affairs

    IIT-Kanpur to develop portable ventilator to support medical infrastructure

    1 day ago
    Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur is currently working on a portable ventilator to support the medical infrastructure amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The prototype of the ventilator is to be launched. Once implemented it can be used as a life support system.

    Portable ventilator:
    ♦ The portable ventilator is needed amidst the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country. 
    ♦ A ventilator is a very important medical equipment for COVID-19 Patients, especially those who are old and the virus can prove fatal to them. IIT-Kanpur has prepared a design of live saver portable ventilator.
    ♦ The move by IIT-Kanpur will strengthen the health system of the country amid the Coronavirus crisis. So far, an expert team has designed the portable ventilator and it will soon be assembled.
    Category: Indian Affairs

    Finance Minister participated in G20 meeting of Finance Ministers

    1 day ago
    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the 2nd Extraordinary G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting. It was hosted under the Chairmanship of Saudi Arabian on 31 March. The Ministers discussed the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and coordinate efforts in response to this global challenge. The meeting was a follow up on the discussion of the 1st virtual meeting and to discuss the follow-up in line with the statement made by G20 Leaders during the G20 Virtual Leaders Summit held on 26 March.

    Highlights:
    ♦ The G20 members will provide an opportunity to all G20 members to not only share their individual experiences but also to work in better coordination.
    ♦ The meeting was held virtually on a regular basis to continue discussions on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    ♦ They also discussed the impact on markets and economic conditions and take further actions to support the economy during and after this phase.
    ♦ The Ministers recommended a G20 Action Plan in Response to COVID-19 and asked a close cooperation with relevant international organizations.
    ♦ It aimed at providing an opportunity for immense cross-learning and critical insights. 
    ♦ Discussions regarding regulatory and supervisory measures to support and quickly revive the economy was held. 
    ♦ It was suggested that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can develop innovative and ingenious methods to meet COVID-19 related financing requirements given that policy space is severely constrained in most countries in these unprecedented circumstances.
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  • NBT launched Corona Studies Series books

    3 days ago
    National Book Trust (NBT) is to launch Corona Studies Series books to provide relevant reading materials for all age-groups for the post-Corona readership needs. The information was passed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

    Corona Studies Series books:
    ♦ NBT's initiative aims to launch the series in order for the people to realize the extraordinary psychological, social, economic and cultural significance of Corona Pandemic for human society in times to come. 
    ♦ NBT has comprised a 'Study Group' in this regard. The group comprises of Dr.JitenderNagpal, Dr.Harsheeta, Sq. Ldr (Rtd.) Meena Arora, Lt. Col. TarunUppal, Mrs. Rekha Chauhan, Mrs. Sonie Sidhu, and Ms. Aparajita Dixit.
    ♦ The 'Corona Studies Series' is expected to be the long-term contribution to prepare and engage readers with the various aspects of the Corona times. NBT plans to bring out affordable books in various Indian languages in the identified subject areas. 
    ♦ It also provides a platform for the authors and researchers to contribute to this genre. It aims to bring out the affordable books in various Indian languages in the identified subject areas.

    NBT:
    NBT was established in 1957 by the Government of India. It functions under the Department Of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development. It includes activities like promotion of books and reading, publishing of books, promotion of Indian books abroad, assistance to authors and publishers, and promotion of children's literature.

    Top Current Affairs of the day: 31 March 2020

    3 days ago
    Top Current Affairs of the day: 31 March 2020. Instantly obtain Latest Current Affairs with all essential info, Be the first to know all the Today Current affairs 31 March 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 31 March 2020 granted here.

    Top Current Affairs Quiz Questions: 31 March 2020

    3 days ago
    31 March 2020: Current Affairs quiz Questions & Answers to enhance your General Awareness. Practice with our esteemed Current Affairs quiz March 31, 2020 questions which covers all important events across India as well as World. Make use of all important Current Affairs quiz March 31, 2020 questions with answers updated here, at free of cost to succeed in all competitive Exams and Interviews.

    ICAR directs farmers to handle safety measures during Rabi harvesting

    3 days ago
    The government's agri-research body Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) directed the farmers to follow social distancing and safety precaution while handling farm machines and labour in the field during the Rabi harvesting.

    Guidelines for Farmers:
    ♦ The farmers should consult with agri-scientists in Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), ICAR research institutes and state agricultural universities to tackle any emerging issue related to managing crops, livestock and fisheries. 
    ♦ As the harvesting season of rabi food crops such as wheat, millets, pulses and oilseeds and other crops in coinciding with the COVID-19 outbreak, the farmers should take precautions while being engaged in the harvesting of grains, fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, and fish.
    ♦ Farmers should check for proper sanitation for using shared or hired machinery for harvesting. Proper sanitization includes washing of hands with alcohol rub or soap and maintaining isolation distance at a personal level and proper cleaning of shared machinery.
    ♦ The government recently exempted farming operations, farmworkers, custom hiring centres of farm harvesters from the lockdown rules.
    Category: Indian Affairs

    Tata Power commissioned Shuakhevi HPP in Georgia

    3 days ago
    Tata Power Company's joint venture (JV) with Norway's Clean Energy Invest (CEI), and International Financial Corporation (IFC) began its commercial operation of a 178 megawatt (MW) hydropower project (HPP) in Georgia. The information was given by the Tata group utility on 30 March. 

    About Joint Venture:
    ♦ Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC, a joint venture company, is setting up one of the largest projects in Georgia at an overall project cost of approximately $500 million. Once the 178 MW-Shuakhevi HPP is completed, the JV is planning to commission a 9 MW units, namely Skhalta Hydro Power project. 
    ♦ The project is expected to generate around 450 GWh of clean energy to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) by more than 200,000 tonnes a year. The commercial operation of the Shuakhevi HPP in Georgia is an important milestone for Tata Power and its partners.

    Indian Army prepares amid the lockdown

    3 days ago
    The Indian Army has prioritized essential activities that are necessary for its functioning in view of the coronavirus outbreak. Centre's nationwide lockdown has led to the formations and military stations reducing contact with civilians. Some of the units have isolated themselves from the outside environment and other units.

    Army's lockdown:
    ♦ As per the social distancing norms, troops have isolation themselves within a unit. It ensured regular sanitation and dividing troops into groups that maintain distance from each other.
    ♦ Some of the preventive measures include not allowing civilians to enter the unit lines, maintenance of distance between individuals and groups, avoiding interactions, keeping markets out of bounds,  sanitizing persons and vehicles, reporting sick if there are symptoms and establishing different barracks for troops.
    ♦ The Army has extended leaves for those who are already on leave. Troops returning from temporary duty will undergo sanitization and checking symptoms before being taken away for isolation.
    ♦ To avoid contagion within a unit, the troops have been divided into small teams that maintain a distance of 500m. Different barracks were allotted for different teams. 
    Category: Defence

    ADB to invest $100 mn in NIIF FOF

    3 days ago
    Asian Development Bank (ADB) has joined the Government of India (GOI) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as an investor under the instruments of the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) of India. Under the move, ADB will invest $100 million equivalent in the NIIF Fund of Funds (FOF). 

    ADB's investment:
    ♦ With the investment now made by ADB into the NIIF platform, the FOF has now secured $700 million in commitments. NIIF's FOF is targeted at India-focused PE fund managers who rely on international investors for large-scale fundraising.
    ♦ The FOF invests in various sectors and strategies through third-party managed funds. FOF is committed to three funds, aggregating to over $350 million (Rs.2,600 crores), that focus on green energy and climate, middle-income and affordable housing and entrepreneur-driven mid-market growth companies, operating across diversified sectors. 

    NIIF FOF:
    NIIF FOF was established in 2018. The main objective of NIIF FOF is to create a vehicle to provide India-focused private equity fund managers with a go-to institutional investor operating at scale and based in India.
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