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Last updated : Apr 04,2020 18:44 IST

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

    3 days 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

    3 days 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

    2 days 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

    3 days 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

    3 days 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

    3 days 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

    3 days 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

    3 days 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

    3 days ago
    Top Current Affairs of the day: 01 April 2020. Instantly obtain Latest Current Affairs with all essential info, Be the first to know all the Today Current affairs 01 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 01 April 2020 granted here.

    Top Current Affairs Quiz Questions: 01 April 2020

    3 days 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

    3 days 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

    4 days 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

    4 days 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

    4 days 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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  • Sudhir Rajkumar resigns from UN Joint Staff Pension Fund

    5 days ago
    Sudhir Rajkumar, a senior official from India, has resigned from his position of Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the investment of the assets of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF). He was appointed to the role of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in October 2017. Rajkumar did not mention any reason for his resignation. He managed the assets of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund.

    Sudhir Rajkumar:
    Prior to the UN appointment, Sudhir Rajkumar headed the global pension advisory program at the World Bank Treasury. He provided advisory services to the Ministry of Finance of Brunei Darussalam, National Pension Fund of the Republic of Korea, South Africa's Government Employees Pension Fund, KWAP of Malaysia, and the Nazarbayev University Endowment in Kazakhstan and other public investment institutions globally. In 1988, he began his career at the World Bank in Eastern Africa Operations as a Young Professional and has worked in various regions and capacities with the World Bank and International Finance Corporation, including as Principal Investment Officer.

    Note:
    UNJSPF was established in 1948. The UN General Assembly passed a resolution to provide retirement, death, disability and related benefits for staff upon cessation of their services with the UN.

    Top Current Affairs of the day: 31 March 2020

    5 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

    5 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.

    China recommended bear bile to treat COVID-19 patients

    5 days ago
    The National Health Commission of China published a list of recommended treatments to treat COVID-19. Apart from western medicine and Chinese medicine, the list included Tan Re Qing, injections that contain bear bile powder. 

    Bear's Bile:
    Tan Re Qing is secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder of the bear. The bile from various species of bears, including Asiatic black bears and brown bears, has been used as a traditional Chinese medicine since the 8th century. Bear's bile contains high levels of ursodeoxycholic acid, also known as ursodiol. It has been clinically proven to help dissolve gallstones and treat liver disease. Ursodeoxycholic acid has been available as a synthetic drug worldwide for decades. The process of extracting bile from the live bear is painful and can cause agony to the animal. Hence, a  synthetic version of ursodeoxycholic acid has been available for decades.
    Category: International

    UN report states India, China will stay away from world recession

    5 days ago
    The United Nations Trade report titled "The COVID-19 Shock to Developing Countries: Towards a whatever it takes program" stated that the world economy will go into recession in 2020 with a predicted loss of trillions of dollars of global income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also predicted serious problems for developing countries with the likely exception of India and China. 

    Report Highlights:
    ♦ The report highlighted that the two-thirds of the world's population living in developing countries face unprecedented economic damage from the coronavirus crisis. 
    ♦ The UN is planning a $2.5 trillion rescue package for the nation. 
    ♦ As per the new analysis from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the developed countries will face a $2 trillion to $3 trillion drop in investments from overseas in the next two years.
    ♦ It highlighted that the recession will occur despite the massive government package of $5 trillion that is to be infused by G20 member countries.
    ♦ However, the report did not mention any explanation as to why and how India and China will be exceptions as the world faces a recession and loss in global income that will impact developing countries.
    Category: International

    India expands its capacity for PPE kits, 12 domestic firms meet the norms

    5 days ago
    The central government has approved the qualification of 12 Indian companies to meet the demands of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits and the challenge posed by COVID-19. The 12 companies have set parameters to manufacture personal protective gear for use by healthcare workers.

    Approval:
    ♦ PPE consists of a special gown, mask, eye shield, shoe cover, and gloves that doctors wear while treating the patients. 
    ♦ The 12 approved Indian manufacturers cleared the South India Textile Research Association (SITRA) test to supply PPE to the government.
    ♦ The companies are Sai Synergy-Gurgaon, Sure Safety-Vadodara, Amaryllis-Bangalore, SCG Enterprises-Ghaziabad, Shree Healthcare-Chennai, Anirut, Industries, Frontiers Protective wear, Arvind, Manchanda, Shiva Texyan Ltd, JCT Pagwara.
    ♦ As per the data provided by the Health Ministry, 3.34 lakh PPEs are available in various hospitals across the country. So far, GoI has already procured and supplied 60,000 PPE kits. 
    ♦ Also, two other companies namely Venue Healthcare and Magnum, were approved to manufacture N-95 masks. The companies are currently providing a supply of 50,000 masks per day. The companies are planning to manufacture lakh masks per day within the next week. Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) is currently providing over 20,000 masks per day.
    Category: Indian Affairs

    Govt extends crop loan repayments due to COVID-19 lockdown

    5 days ago
    GoI has extended the benefit of 2% Interest Subvention (IS) to Banks and 3% Prompt Repayment Incentive (PRI) to all farmers up to 31 May 2020. The extension is applicable to the crop loans up to Rs.3 lakh given by banks which have become due or are becoming due between 1 March and 31 May 2020. The move comes in the wake of lockdown due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    GoI's measures to farmers:
    ♦ Many farmers are not able to travel to bank branches for payment of their short term crop loan dues, due to restrictions imposed on the movement of people to curb the spread of COVID-19. It caused difficulties to the farmers in repayment of their short term crop loans falling due during this period.
    ♦ The extension announced by the government is expected to address the problem being faced by farmers. It is also believed that the move by GoI will help the farmers to repay such loans up to the extended period at 4% p.a. interest without attracting any penalty.
    ♦ In another measure, the Government is providing concessional crop loans to farmers through banks with 2% p.a. interest subvention to banks and 3% additional benefit on timely repayment to farmers. It has approved to provide loans up to Rs.3 lakh at 4% p.a. interest in timely repayment.
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