Daily Current Affairs and GK | 14 July 2020

2020-07-14

1. By 2025, public health expenditure will be increased to 2.5% of GDP.

  • Recently the Union Ministry of Health has announced that by 2025, public health expenditure will be increased to 2.5% of GDP.
  • This decision has been taken by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister, in a meeting with the 15th Finance Commission.
  • The outlay of primary health expenditure will be made about two-thirds of the total public health expenditure.
  • The Ministry of Health has revised its requirement from about 4.9 lakh crore to 6.04 lakh crore in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • It has sought additional resources for the states that will be used to achieve the National Health Policy 2017 targets.
  • National Health Policy 2017:
    • It replaces the previous National Health Policy adopted in 2002.
    • Target goals under 2017 health policy are as follows-
      • Gradually increasing public health expenditure to 2.5% of GDP.
      • Increase the life expectancy at birth from 70 to 67.5 by 2025.
      • Reduce fertility rate to 2.1 by 2025.
      • Reducing infant mortality rate to 28 by 2019.
      • Reducing the mortality rate of children under 5 to 23 per 1000 by 2025.

(Source: News on AIR)

2. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone of the 227 km 6-lane access-controlled Greenfield Expressway from Ismailpur to Narnaul.

  • Recently Union Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated various highway projects in Haryana.
  • He also laid the foundation stone of many other new highway projects.
  • It also included the foundation stone of 227 km 6-lane access-controlled Greenfield Expressway from Ismailpur to Narnaul on NH 152D, 46 km 4-lane Gurugram Pataudi-Rewari section of NH 352W, 38.23 km 4-lane Gohana-Sonipat section of NH 352A, etc.
  • These projects are part of a new economic corridor of over Rs 20,000 crore in the state.
  • The projects also include construction of 35 km 4-lane Rohna-Jhajjar section of NH 334B.

(Source: News on AIR)

3. Dr. Vidhu P. Nair appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Turkmenistan.

  • Recently Dr. Vidhu P. Nair has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Turkmenistan.
  • He is a 2002 batch officer of the Indian Foreign Service.
  • Dr. Nair is currently working as Director in the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • Turkmenistan:
    • It is a country in Central Asia, surrounded by the Caspian Sea and the Karakum Desert.
    • Its capital is Ashgabat and currency is Turkmenistan Manat.

4. Review meeting of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana held in New Delhi.

  • Recently, a review meeting of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana was held in New Delhi.
  • The meeting was chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman through video conferencing.
  • The meeting discussed the challenges associated with the scheme and the status of implementation for the current 2020 kharif crop season.
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana:
    • It was launched in 2016.
    • The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
    • Under this scheme, a comprehensive insurance cover is provided in case of crop failure of the farmer, so as to ensure a stable income of the farmers.

(Source: News on AIR)

5. NHAI sought cooperation from all IITs, NITs and reputed engineering colleges for improvement of National Highways.

  • Recently NHAI has sought cooperation from all IITs, NITs and reputed engineering colleges for improvement of National Highways.
  • These institutions will be able to support adjacent parts of national highways on a voluntary basis as part of Institutional Social Responsibility.
  • It is a part of NHAI's effort to provide a world class national highway network.
  • It aims to utilise the innovative minds of students and teachers towards improving the road infrastructure ecosystem of the country.
  • An MoU is being signed between individual institutions and the National Highways Authority for institutionalizing the scheme and improving the road infrastructure of the country.
  • National Highway Authority of India (NHAI):
    • It is an autonomous agency of the Government of India.
    • It works under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
    • Its objective is the development and maintenance of national highways.
    • It was founded in 1988.
    • Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.

(Source: News on AIR)

6. IIT Kanpur developed an ultraviolet sanitizing product called 'Shudh'.

  • Recently the Imagine Laboratory Department of IIT Kanpur has developed an ultraviolet (UV) sanitizing product called 'Shudh'.
  • This product is designed to disinfect a closed room.
  • This product can be operated from a smartphone. The product can also be controlled remotely- on / off and speed- using a smartphone.
  • In its full operation this device can disinfect a room of 10x10 square feet in about 15 minutes.
  • It can aid in killing the corona virus at highly prone locations such as hospitals, hotels, malls, offices and schools.

(Source: News on AIR)

7. WWF and FFI worried over allowing commercial Farming of endangered species in Myanmar.

  • WWF and Fauna & Flora International (FFI) have recently been concerned by legislation allowing commercial Farming of endangered species in Myanmar.
  • These institutions have expressed the possibility of boosting the demand for rare animals in the world through this law.
  • In June 2020, Myanmar's government passed a law allowing private zoos to breed 90 wildlife species, including over 20 endangered wildlife species.
  • The allowed wildlife species includes tigers, pangolins, Siamese crocodiles and Ayeyarwady Dolphin which are among the endangered species in the world.
  • Myanmar is considered a major hub of illegal trade in wildlife, especially due to demand from countries like China.
  • Experts also fear that it can spread zoonotic diseas as Myanmar lacks the ability to regulate trade.
  • Fauna & Flora International:
    • It is an international conservation charity and non-governmental organization.
    • It is dedicated to protecting wildlife and their habitats on Earth.
    • It is headquartered in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
    • It was founded in 1903.

8. VNIR Biotechnology has introduced fluorescent probe and polymerase chain reaction mix for RT-PCR probe of COVID-19.

  • Recently VNIR Biotechnology has introduced the fluorescent probe and polymerase chain reaction - indigenous version for RT- PCR probe of COVID-19.
  • It is a branch of Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research - JNCASR, Bangalore.
  • Molecular probes developed by VNIR Biotechnology will be used in COVID-19 test kits in the country.
  • PCR-based test kits have three important components - oligos, enzymes, and molecular probes.
  • This research and development program of VNIR is in line with the Government of India's Make-in-India and Self-reliant India campaign in the COVID-19 testing.

9. Google will invest 75 thousand crores in next 5 to 7 years for India's Digitization Fund.

  • Recently, Google's Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai announced that Google will make an investment of Rs. 75,000 crores for the next 5 to 7 years for India's Digitization Fund.
  • He made this announcement on the occasion of Google for India event.
  • The thrust of this investment will be on the following four major areas under India's digitization -
    • With this, every Indian will get cheap and accessible information in their own language.
    • New products and services will be created for India's unique needs.
    • Businesses engaged in digital transformation will be empowered.
    • Technology and artificial intelligence can be availed in social sectors like education and agriculture and healthcare.

(Source: News on AIR)

10. Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited launches hand cleansing IPA gel ‘RCF Saferola’.

  • Recently Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited has launched hand cleansing IPA gel RCF Saferola.
  • This hand cleansing gel is a skin friendly moisturizer based hand-sanitizer with a mixture of iso propyl alcohol (IPA) and aloe vera extracts.
  • It is enriched with Vitamin E and has a fresh citrus scent.
  • Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited:
    • It is a public enterprise under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.
    • It is a Mini Ratna Company, which is the major producer of fertilizers and chemicals in the country.
    • The company produces urea, complex fertilizers, bio-fertilizers, micronutrients, water-soluble fertilizers, soil-friendly ingredients and a variety of industrial chemicals.

(Source: P.I.B)

11. Farmers of Golaghat district in Assam cultivated flood resistant new paddy varieties different from traditional ones.

  • Recently farmers of Golaghat district in Assam have cultivated flood resistant new paddy varieties different from the traditional ones.
  • This year, around 60 farmers of the Western Brahmaputra region have grown varieties of paddy called Ranjit Sub-1, Swarna Sub-1 and Bahadur Sub-1.
  • The water resistant Swarna sub-1 variety has been developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the International Rice Research Institute in Manila.
  • Farmers started cultivating this paddy in 2009 in flood-affected areas of Assam.
  • Rice:
    • It is a kharif crop.
    • Temperatures above 25 °C are required.
    • More than 100 cm of annual rainfall is required.
    • The fertile alluvial soil of the riverine is best for rice cultivation.

(Source: The Hindu)

12. Iran dropped India from the Chabahar rail project.

  • Recently Iran has separated India from the Chabahar rail project.
  • The Iranian government has done this citing funding and initially delays from the Indian side.
  • Recently Iran's Minister of Transport and Urban Development Mohammad Aslam inaugurated the track-laying process for the 628-kilometer Chabahar-Zahedan line, which will be extended across the border into Afghanistan to Zaranj.
  • The project will be completed by March 2022.
  • It is being pursued by Iranian Railways without India's assistance.
  • About $ 400 million will be used for this from the Iranian National Development Fund.
  • Recently Iran has finalized a $ 400 billion strategic partnerships with China for 25 years, which could tarnish India's plans.
  • Trilateral agreement:
    • The railway project, which was being discussed between the Iranian Railways and the state-owned Indian Railways Construction Ltd (IRCON).
    • In May 2016, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Tehran, the railway agreement was signed with Iran's President Rouhani and Afghanistan's President Ghani.
    • By this, India could bypass Pakistan and ensure access to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

(Source: The Hindu)

13. Hemang Amin has been appointed interim CEO of BCCI.

  • Recently Hemang Amin has been appointed as the interim CEO of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
  • Hemang Amin is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the Indian Premier League.
  • He played a key role in deciding not to hold the IPL opening ceremony last year and donated the fund to the families of the martyrs of Pulwama.
  • He will replace Mr. Rahul Johri, whose resignation has recently been accepted.

(Source: The Hindu)

 

 

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