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1. 92 thousand NGOs will assist government to combat COVID-19
- 92 thousand non-governmental organizations and other organizations will assist the government in reducing COVID-19.
- These organizations have been urged to help the states and districts identify hotspots, migrant workers and other needy people.
- It is known that the Aspirational District Program run by NITI Aayog has played a big role in upliftment of millions of people in 112 backward districts.
- There are only 610 cases of corona in these districts which is less than 2% of the national level.
2. Launch of "The Saras Collection" on Government e marketplace portal
- Recently, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Rural Development, launched "The Saras Collection" in New Delhi.
- This collection has been launched on the Government e marketplace (GeM) portal.
- Daily use items prepared by self-help groups are available in this collection.
- The objective of this initiative is to connect self-help groups in rural areas with buyers from central and state governments.
- This initiative is a unique initiative of GeM and Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM).
- Under this initiative, self-help group vendors can list their products in five categories - handicrafts, handlooms and textiles, office utilities, rations and kitchens and personal care and hygiene, etc.
- This initiative will eliminate the role of middlemen and people will get better prices of products.
- Along with this, the employment opportunities at the local level will also increase.
3. Various initiatives for tribal artisans by the government
- The government has been taking various steps to support the tribal assembly and tribal artisans during COVID-19 pandemic.
- The MSP of minor forest produce has been increased under the Institutional Support for the development and marketing of tribal products scheme.
- About 10 lakh tribal artisan families are associated with it.
- Along with this, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has allowed the purchase of existing available stock from the most affected tribal artisans.
- Similarly, TRIFED will purchase tribal products worth about Rs 23 crore from tribal artisans across the country.
- Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED):
- It is a national level apex organization under the administrative control of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
- It came into existence in 1987.
- Its head office is located in New Delhi.
- It has 13 regional offices located at various places in the country.
4. Defense Research and Development Organization developed Ultraviolet Disinfection Tower
- The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has developed the Ultraviolet Disinfection Tower.
- The tower is designed to provide fast and chemic free disinfection of COVID-19 infection-prone areas.
- The device is named ‘UV-Blaster’ and is an ultraviolet based sanitizer.
- It has been designed and developed by the Laser Science and Technology Center (LASTEC), a lab of DRDO located in new Delhi.
- UV-blaster is useful for electronic equipment, computers and other devices in labs and offices, as they cannot be made infection-free by chemical methods.
- The device is also useful for airports, shopping malls, metros, hotels and factories where a large number of people visit.
5. Official announcement of new dates for Dubai Expo
- Recently new dates for Dubai Expo have been officially announced.
- Dubai has set a date for the mega expo event from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.
- This decision has been taken by a two-thirds majority by the member countries of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE).
- The Expo 2020 is a World Expo organized by the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, to be held on October 20, 2020.
- The expo was to be held with the theme "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future".
- Bureau International des Expositions (BIE):
- It is an intergovernmental organization created to monitor international exhibitions.
- It was founded on 22 November 1928.
- Its headquarters are located in Paris, France.
6. Russia will launch Arktika-M satellite
- Russia will launch the Arktika-M satellite later this year.
- The satellite will monitor meteorological conditions in the Arctic polar region.
- The satellite will be launched by Soyuz-2, 1b carrier rocket with a frigate booster.
- Russia is an intercontinental country located in Eastern Europe and North Asia.
- Its capital is Moscow and the currency is the Russian ruble.
7. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson launches virtual global conference
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently launched a virtual global conference on the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Britain has organized this international conference, with eight countries, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Saudi Arabia and the European Commission.
- During the conference, British PM appealed to all countries to speed up efforts to tackle Novel Coronavirus and work together.
- Mr Johnson has committed £ 388 million for research into vaccine, screening and treatment of COVID-19.
- Britain or the United Kingdom is an island nation in northwestern Europe.
- It is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Its capital is London and the currency is pound sterling.
8. India sent ships to evacuate stranded Indians from Maldives, United Arab Emirates
- Recently, India has sent four naval ships to evacuate its civilians stranded due to coronavirus lockdown in Maldives and UAE.
- INS Magar and INS Jalashwa have been sent to Maldives. While INS Shardul and INS Airavat have been sent to Dubai to evacuate the migrants.
- It is a small island nation in South Asia, located in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean.
- Its capital is Male and the currency Maldivian rufiya.
- United Arab Emirates (UAE):
- Located at the northeast end of the Arabian Peninsula, UAE is a country in western Asia.
- Its capital is Abu Dhabi and the currency is United Arab Emirates Dirham.
9. Trump nominated Ashok Michael Pinto as the representative of IBRD
- Recently US President has named Indian-American Ashok Michael Pinto as the representative of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
- If confirmed by the Senate, he will replace Erik Bethel, who has recently resigned from the post.
- His term will be two years.
- Ashok currently serves as an advisor to the Under Secretary of International Affairs at the United States Department of the Treasury.
- International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD):
- There is an international financial institution, which is the lending body of the World Bank Group.
- It was established in 1944.
- It is headquartered in Washington, DC, United States.
10. Kashmir Saffron given GI tag
- Recently Kashmir Saffron has been given GI tag.
- Kashmir saffron grown in the Karewa Highlands of Jammu and Kashmir has been given Geographical Indication (GI Tag).
- Kashmir saffron is globally famous as a spice, which is grown in Pulwama, Budgam, Kishtwar and Srinagar.
- It is the only saffron in the world that is grown at an altitude of 1,600 meters to 1,800 meters above mean sea level, distinguishing it from other saffron varieties available worldwide.
- There are three types of saffron available in Kashmir - Lachha saffron, Mongra saffron and Guchhi saffron.
- The cultivation of saffron began in Kashmir around the first century BCE by Central Asian immigrants. In ancient Sanskrit literature, saffron was called Bahukam.
- Iran is the largest producer of saffron and India is a close competitor.