Daily Current Affairs and GK | 15 May 2020
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1. Central Government announced the second part of economic stimulus under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan
- India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the second part of economic stimulus package under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
- Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an incentive package of twenty lakh crores rupees under Atmanirbhar Bharat Yojana to make India self-reliant.
- The first part of economic stimulus has been announced already.
- The second part describes relief measures for small farmers, migrant workers, small traders and self-employed to ease the crisis.
- The measures to be taken under second part are as follows-
- The government will provide special relief to about 8 crore migrant workers who do not have PDS cards of the Center or the state, they will be supplied free food grains for the next two months. 5 kg per person of wheat or rice and 1 kg chana per family will be provided the migrants.
- Also, an affordable rental housing scheme for migrant workers has been announced.
- Special mention was also given to the National Portability Card under One Nation, One Ration Card Scheme. It will be beneficial for all migrant workers in the country as they can procure food grains from any ration shop in the country.
- Apart from this, special credit facility of five thousand crores has also been provided for about 50 lakh street vendors.
- To boost the rural economy, an emergency working capital fund of Rs. 30 thousand crores will be provided for farmers through NABARD. This amount is in addition to Rs. 90 thousand crores announced earlier. This will benefit more than three crore farmers in the country.
- Along with this, a concession of two lakh crore rupees has also been announced through Kisan Credit Card to strengthen 2.5 crore farmers. This will also provide benefits to fishermen and cattle rearers.
- Interest subvention of two per cent for the next 12 months will be provided for beneficiaries of the MUDRA-Shishu Loan Yojana.
2. COVID-19 test machine named COBAS-6800 dedicated to the nation
- The COVID-19 test machine named COBAS-6800 has been dedicated to the nation by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
- The COBAS-6800 is a sophisticated robotics machine that reduces the risk of healthcare workers becoming infected.
- It is capable of performing PCR tests in real time. This machine can test 1200 samples with high quality in 24 hours.
- This is the first such test machine that the government has purchased for screening COVID-19 patients.
- This machine has been installed at the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
- This will increase the testing capacity of the country and will also reduce the time taken for testing due to lack of capacity.
3. Launch of new scheme of interest subvention on working capital loans for the dairy sector
- Recently the Central Government has launched a new scheme of Interest Subvention On Working Capital Loans for Dairy sector during the financial year 2020-21.
- The scheme is announced to support Dairy Cooperatives and Farmer Producer Organizations engaged in dairy activities.
- Interest subvention will be provided on working capital loans taken from banks and financial institutions from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.
- The scheme provides for interest at the rate of 2% per annum, in which an interest incentive of 2% per annum will be given as an additional incentive in case of prompt and timely repayment.
- For this, Rs 100 crore announced in the Budget 2020-2021 will be used.
- Due to over-purchase and low sales of milk during the lockdown, milk and dairy cooperatives have decided to undertake a large-scale conversion to high shelf-life products such as milk powder, white butter and ghee.
- This scheme will help in providing stable market to milk producers.
4. G-20 Virtual Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting held through video conferencing
- Recently, the second G20 countries' virtual trade and investment ministers meeting was held through video conferencing.
- Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal attended this meeting on behalf of India.
- India has called on the G20 nations to ensure access to essential medicines at affordable prices, treatments and vaccines required for COVID-19.
- The G20 is the primary forum for international cooperation on economic issues.
- It was founded on 26 September 1999.
- The Sultan of Saudi Arabia heads it for the year 2020.
5. 32nd Meeting of Health Ministers of Commonwealth countries concluded through video conference
- Recently the 32nd meeting of the Health Ministers of Commonwealth countries was concluded through video conference.
- On behalf of India, Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan attended this meeting.
- Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that India is the first country to urge concerted global action to fight the challenge of COVID-19.
- At the same time India has provided essential medicines like hydroxychloroquine to about 100 needy countries in this time of crisis.
- Commonwealth of nations:
- It is a political organization of 54 countries.
- Most of the countries in this were colonies of the British Empire.
- It was established in 1931.
- They are headquartered in London.
6. Ministry of AYUSH and CSIR together are doing research on four medicines related to COVID-19
- The Ministry of AYUSH and the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research are working together on four medicines related to COVID-19.
- These researches are based on our traditional medical systems.
- Their testing will start within a week.
- Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR):
- It is India's largest research and development organization and an autonomous body.
- Its current director general is Shekhar C Mande.
- It was established on 26 September 1942.
7. ICMR will participate in Global Solidarity trial by WHO in finding treatment of COVID-19
- The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is supporting the World Health Organization’s Global Solidarity trial to find effective treatments for COVID-19.
- Global Solidarity Trial is an international clinical trial to compare and evaluate the effectiveness of four treatment options against COVID-19.
- ICMR is rapidly working on the tests suggested by WHO.
- ICMR's National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) is coordinating site for these tests in India.
- Dr. Balram Bhargava, Director General of ICMR, said that four potential antiviral agents, Remdesivir, chloroquine-hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir-Ritonavir with interferon are being evaluated in these tests.
8. Resignation of Roberto Azevedo, head of the World Trade Organization
- Roberto Azevedo, the DG of the World Trade Organization, has decided to resign a year before the end of his term.
- He is a former Brazilian diplomat.
- Mr. Azevedo is stepping down on August 31, 2020 due to pressure from US President Donald Trump.
- Mr. Trump accused the body of anti-American bias and other complaints.
- The Director General of the World Trade Organization has a term of 4 years.
- World Trade Organization (WTO):
- The WTO is an intergovernmental organization that regulates international trade between nations.
- It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
- It was established on 1 January 1995.
9. Announcement of Atmanirbhar Gujarat Sahay Yojana
- Recently Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani has announced Atmanirbhar Gujarat Sahay Yojana.
- This scheme will benefit more than 10 lakh small shopkeepers and self-employed workers affected due to lockdown.
- Under the scheme, the beneficiaries will be given a collateral free loan of Rs 1 lakh at the rate of 2% for three years.
- The state government will pay the remaining 6% interest to the banks.
- For this, the beneficiaries will have to make only one application for taking loans from state and district cooperative banks and lending agencies.
- Also they will not have to pay any installment during the moratorium period for the first six months.
10. World Economic Forum released Global Energy Transition Index 2020
- Recently the World Economic Forum has released the Global Energy Transition Index 2020.
- The Energy Transition Index is a fact-based ranking that enables policy-makers and businesses to chart a path to a successful energy transition.
- The results of the Global Energy Transition Index 2020 show that 75% countries have improved their environmental sustainability. While the US is outside the top 25% for the first time, it has adopted an uncertain regulatory approach to the energy transition.
- India has reached 74th place in the Global Energy Transition Index 2020.
- India has made improvements on all the major parameters of economic development, energy security and environmental sustainability.
- Sweden has topped this index for the third consecutive year, followed by Switzerland and Finland.
11. May 15: International Day of Families
- International Day of Families is observed every year on 15 May.
- The theme of International Day of Families 2020 is "Families in Development: Copenhagen and Beijing + 25".
- This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Copenhagen Declaration and the Beijing Platform for Action.
- Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) has been called the most progressive blueprint for advancing women's rights.
- The Copenhagen Declaration is concerned with the reforms implemented by the European Convention on the Human Rights System.
- This day was declared a day of international importance by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 under Resolution A / RES / 47/237.