1. Increase in excise duty on petrol and diesel
- Recently, the government has increased excise duty on petrol by Rs 10 and on diesel by Rs 13 per liter.
- Also, the Center has made an increase in auto fuels of Rs 8 per liter in the form of road cess on both petrol and diesel.
- Apart from this, an additional special duty of Rs 2 on petrol and Rs 5 on diesel has also been imposed.
- But internationally, the effective retail price of both petrol and diesel will remain largely unchanged due to the steep fall in crude oil prices.
- Excise Duty:
- It is an indirect tax.
- This is the duty levied on goods at the time of manufacture.
2. Indian Navy launched Operation Samudra Setu
- The Indian Navy has launched Operation Samudra Setu-meaning Sea Bridge as part of a national effort to bring back Indian nationals from abroad.
- This operation is being carried out in coordination with the Ministries of Defense, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Health and various other agencies of the Government of India and the State Governments.
- Indian Naval Ships Jalashwa and Magar have started evacuation operations as part of the phase-I in Maldives.
- A total of 1,000 people are planned to be evacuated during the first visit.
- The evacuated personnel will be displaced in Kochi, Kerala and assigned to look after the state authorities.
3. A High Level Review Meeting on Vector Born Diseases in Delhi
- Recently a high level review meeting on Vector Borne Diseases Malaria, Dengue and Chikungunya was held in Delhi.
- The meeting was chaired by Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
- The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the prevention and control of vector borne diseases.
- For this, an awareness campaign was urged through the cooperation of all stakeholders like Resident Welfare Association, shopkeepers and merchant associations. Because community support is important to prevent the chain of vector transmission.
- Vector-borne diseases are human diseases caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria, which are spread by vectors namely mosquito, tick and flies.
4. India and Portugal comprehensively discussed the COVID-19 pandemic
- India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a detailed discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa over the phone.
- The two countries have agreed to cooperate on research and innovation with the aim of fighting COVID-19.
- Portugal is a southern European country on the Iberian Peninsula.
- Its capital is Lisbon and the currency is the Euro.
- The President of Portugal is Marcelo Rebelo De Sousa.
5. Directorate General of Civil Aviation launches GARUD portal
- Recently the Ministry of Civil Aviation and DGCA has launched the GARUD-Government Authorization for Relief Using Drones portal.
- It aims to provide fast track conditional exemption to government agencies for COVID-19 related drone operations.
- This step has been taken to assist governmental organizations in meeting the challenges caused by COVID-19 and will remain in force till further orders.
- Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA):
- It is a statutory body constituted under the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
- Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
6. Government suspends all existing visas
- Recently, the Indian government has suspended all the visas issued to foreign nationals till further orders.
- Till now all these visas were suspended till 3 May 2020.
- Now all these visas will remain suspended till the lifting of the period of ban on international flights.
- This order will not apply to certain categories of visas.
- Also, multi-entry visas issued to the Overseas Citizen of India to come to India for any purpose will also remain suspended till further orders.
- Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is an immigration status that allows a foreign citizens of Indian origin to live and work in India indefinitely. The OCI was issued to Indian expatriates, particularly in developed countries, demanding dual citizenship.
7. CCMB tied up with Eyestem Research Private Limited
- Recently Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) Hyderabad has tied up with Eyestem Research Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore based company, to conduct research on COVID-19.
- The aim of this research collaboration is to develop novel coronaviruses in human cell lines, enabling in vitro testing of potential drugs and vaccines.
- CCMB is a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), known for cutting-edge research work on cellular and molecular biology.
- Eyestem Research Pvt Ltd is a cell therapy start-up launched at the Center for Cellular and Molecular Platform, C-CAMP, Bangalore.
- C-Camp is an initiative of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology.
8. Medical equipment, medicines were sent from India to Myanmar
- Recently, India has sent medical equipment, medicines and other supplies to Myanmar.
- India has extended this cooperation to the Myanmar government in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This contribution is a symbol of the traditional friendly relations between India and Myanmar.
- It is a Southeast Asian country.
- It borders India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand.
- Its capital is Naypyidaw and the currency Burmese Kyat.
9. Government of Uttar Pradesh launched ‘Ayush Kavach-COVID’ App
- Recently the Uttar Pradesh government has launched the "Ayush Kavach-COVID" app.
- This app has been developed by the Ministry of AYUSH.
- The Ayush Kavach-COVID app will provide measures to boost immunity based on natural resources.
- The app is designed to let users know how available kitchen ingredients such as basil, cloves and cinnamon can be increase the body's immunity.
- Uttar Pradesh:
- Uttar Pradesh is a state of North India. It is the most populous state in India.
- The capital of the state is Lucknow.
- The Chief Minister of the state is Yogi Adityanath and Governor Anandiben Patel.
- The state animal of Uttar Pradesh is Swamp Deer, State Bird Sarus Crane, State Tree Ashoka and State Flower Brahma Kamal.
10. Ministry of Textiles assured farmers in Maharashtra to buy cotton
- Recently, the Ministry of Textiles has assured farmers in Maharashtra that the Cotton Corporation of India is fully ready to buy cotton at the minimum support price (MSP).
- The ministry has taken this step due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as traders will be unable to provide better prices to farmers at this time.
- At present, the procurement of Cotton Corporation of India is going on at 34 centers in the state.
- It is known that procurement is regulated by the State Agricultural Produce Market Committees (AMPCs).
- Minimum Support Price (MSP):
- There is an agricultural product price determined by the Government of India to buy directly from the farmer.
- These are a guaranteed price for the produce of the farmer by the government.
- Based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), the minimum support price is announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season for some crops.
- Its main objective is to get the farmers out of the crisis and purchase food grains for public distribution.
- Cotton Corporation of India (CCI):
- It is a public sector agency responsible for the equitable distribution and import of cotton among various components of the industry.
- Its headquarters is located in Mumbai.
- It was founded on 31 July 1970.