1. Central Government issued comprehensive guidelines for nationwide lockdown by 3 May 2020
- Recently, the Central Government had announced to extend the lockdown till 3 May 2020 or Lockdown 2.0, for which comprehensive guidelines have now been issued.
- The Center has relaxed provisions for reducing hardship for the public and daily wage laborers and farmers.
- Also, in areas where there is no COVID-19 transition, there will be some special relaxation from April 20.
- In addition, all financial institutions and healthcare related services will remain fully functional.
- MGNREGA works will be allowed with social distance norms and strict implementation of face masks.
- Oil and gas sector operations including refining, transportation, distribution, storage and retailing of products such as petrol, diesel, kerosene, C.N.G., L.P.G., PNG are also permitted.
- Hotels, homestays, lodges and motels, which are accommodating persons stranded due to the lockdown, will remain in operation.
- Manufacturing units of essential medical goods, their raw materials and intermediate and food processing industries in rural areas will remain functionally.
- Also, all offices, autonomous and subordinate offices of the Government of India will remain open.
- Police, home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster management, prisons and municipal services will be functional without any restrictions.
- Strict punitive action will be taken against anyone who violates the lockdown measures.
2. Launch of All India Agri Transport Call Center
- Recently All India Agri Transport Call Center was launched at Krishi Bhavan in New Delhi.
- Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated this call center.
- This center will facilitate the inter-state transfer of perishables in the current state of lockdown due to COVID-19.
- This 24x7 call center is an initiative of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare.
3. 170 hotspots and 207 non-hotspots across the country
- Recently 170 hotspots and 207 non-hot-spots have been identified due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
- The districts of the country are divided into three categories. These districts are as follows:
- Hotspot district - These are the districts where a large number of cases of infections are occurring or where the number of COVID-19 patients is increasing very fast.
- Non-hotspot districts - This category includes districts where cases of infection are occurring.
- Green zone district - In this category there will be districts where there is no patient of COVID-19.
- This is aimed at reducing the spread of corona infection by identifying a wide range of transitions, cluster transitions, containment strategies, buffer and containment zones in the country and defining exit points.
4. DST developed e-platform and Sahyog app
- Recently under the Department of Science and Technology, the Survey of India has developed an e-platform and Sahyog app.
- This platform will collect geospatial information on the important infrastructure of the country.
- This will help the government and public health agencies to make important decisions regarding the status of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
- To support this platform, a mobile application called Sahyog has also been created.
- This app will help in collecting location specific data with the help of community activists.
- The platform will also complement the recently launched Aarogya Setu app.
- Survey of India:
- It is the national survey and mapping organization of the country under the Department of Science and Technology.
- It is the oldest scientific department of the Government of India.
- It was established in 1767.
- It is headquartered in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
5. The second part of the webinar series titled 'Dekho Apna Desh' begins
- Recently the second part of the webinar series named 'Dekho Apna Desh' has started.
- The Ministry of Tourism has started this webinar.
- In this webinar, people will get an opportunity to get acquainted with the culture of Kolkata.
- The webinar series has been launched to provide information about many destinations and to give a deep glimpse of the culture and heritage of incredible India.
- The first webinar was held on 14 April 2020, which described the history of Delhi.
6. U.S. halts World Health Organization financial support
- Recently U.S. President Donald Trump has withheld financial support from the U.S. to the World Health Organization.
- The U.S. has accused the World Health Organization of not managing properly and hiding the right information to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
- The United States gives 400 million to 500 million dollars to the World Health Organization every year.
- World Health Organization (WHO):
- It is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.
- It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
- It was established on 7 April 1948.
- Its current President is Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
7. 44th session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee adjourned
- The 44th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, to be held in Fuzhou, Fujian province of China, has been postponed.
- This decision has been taken unanimously, keeping in mind the COVID-19 global pandemic.
- The session was scheduled to be held from 29 June to 9 July 2020.
- The new date will be announced later.
- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations based in Paris, France.
- It was established on 16 November 1945.
- World Heritage Committee:
- This committee of UNESCO selects sites to be listed as World Heritage Sites.
- It is headquartered in Paris, France.
- It was established in November 1976.
8. Famous Cycling Race 'Tour de France' deferred
- 'Tour de France', world's most famous bicycle race, has been postponed in the wake of COVID-19.
- The three-week run was scheduled to begin on 27 June 2020 in the Riviera city of Nice.
- It is now rescheduled for August.
- Earlier, this race was stopped during World War I and World War II only.
- Tour de France:
- It is a multi-stage annual bicycle race of men, held mainly in France.
- This competition is organized by UCI World Tour.
- Its first edition was held on 1 July 1903.
9. DRDL developed the COVID-19 sample collection kiosk
- Recently the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) of Hyderabad has developed the first of its kind COVID sample collection kiosk (COVSACK).
- This kiosk can be used to take samples of infected patients suspected of COVID-19.
- Kiosk has been developed using missile technology.
- This kiosk is like a chamber, which will be infection-free without any human intervention after use.
- Defence Research and Development Laboratory:
- It is a missile systems laboratory functioning under the Defence Research and Development Organization.
- It performs specialized work on the design, development and flight evaluation of various types of missile systems for the Indian Armed Forces.
- It is headquartered in Hyderabad.
10. FIEO has welcomed exemption from lockdown to export-based manufacturing units
- The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has welcomed the government's decision to exempt export-based manufacturing units from lockdown.
- This move of the government will gradually help to open 80% to 85% of manufacturing units.
- Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO):
- It is the apex trade promotion organization that was formed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and private trade and industry.
- This organisation is responsible for representing and helping Indian entrepreneurs and exporters in overseas markets.
- It was founded in 1965.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi.
- The current President is Sharad Kumar Saraf.
11. Russia's firm will contribute $2 million to PM CARES fund
- Recently Russia's state-owned defence export company Rosoboron Export has announced that it will contribute $2 million in PM Cares Fund created to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This will be the first money taken by India from foreign state-run entities to PM CARES Fund.
- This firm is India's largest source of arms imports.
- The firm supplies India with defence equipment, including the S-400 air defence system, stealth frigates and assault rifles.
12. According to IMD, the monsoon will be normal this year
- Recently, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that the monsoon will be normal this year.
- This estimate is based on statistical models.
- Dynamic models are not considered reliable by meteorologists in forecasting monsoons.
- The chances of additional rain or drought are 9%.
- This year the El Nino effect is likely to remain indifferent. El Nino is a climatic phenomenon caused by unusually warming of a large pool of water in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. It negatively impacts the Indian monsoon.
- Indian Meteorological Department (IMD):
- This department is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
- It is the lead agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting, and seismology.
- Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
- It was founded in 1875.
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
1. How many hotspots have been created due to COVID-19 pandemic in the country?
2. Recently the Sahyog app has been developed by
A. Survey of India
3. Webinar named 'Dekho Apna Desh' is an initiative of which ministry?
A. Ministry of External Affairs
B. Ministry of Tourism
C. Ministry of Defence
D. Ministry of Home Affairs
4. Where is the headquarters of the World Health Organization located?
C. The Hague
D. New York
5. In which year was the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization established?
6. The Tour de France is a ______________.
A. Tourism Policy
B. Bicycle Race
C. A Place in France
D. Wrestling Competition
7. Where is the Defence Research and Development Laboratory located?
A. New Delhi
8. In which year was the Confederation of Export Organization of India established?
9. Rosoborone Export is the defence export company of which country?
10. Indian Meteorological Department functions under which ministry?
A. Ministry of Earth Sciences
B. Ministry of Science and Technology
C. Ministry of Mines
D. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare