Daily Current Affairs and GK | 17 and 18 May 2020

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 18 May 2020 20:38 PM IST

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1. Finance Minister announced fourth tranche of the economic stimulus package under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan

  • India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the fourth part of the economic stimulus package under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
  • Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an incentive package of twenty lakh crore rupees under the self-reliant India scheme to make India self-reliant.
  • Under this, special emphasis has been laid on policy and structural reforms to build a self-reliant India.
  • This announcement is as follows-
    • Under this, reforms will be done in eight sectors - coal, minerals, defense production, civil aviation, power transmission companies, space sector and nuclear power infrastructure.
    • Now any private player can bid for the coal block and sell it in the open market.
    • The government will introduce the overall exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime for minerals. Under the regime, 500 mining blocks will be offered through an open and transparent auction process.
    • In addition, private sector investment in social infrastructure like government hospitals will be encouraged. A total of Rs 8,000 crore has been arranged for this.
    • To boost indigenous defense production, the limit of foreign direct investment in defense manufacturing is being raised from 49% to 74% under the automatic route.
    • Power distribution companies will be privatized in the union territories.
    • Private sector participation in Indian space sector related activities will be encouraged. This will enable the use of facilities and other resources of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to enhance the capacity of the private sector.
    • This will liberalize the geospatial data policy and provide remote sensory data to tech entrepreneurs.
    • India will set up a research reactor in PPP mode to produce medical isotopes.

(Source: The Hindu)

2. Central Government announced the fifth and final tranche of economic stimulus package under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan

  • India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the fifth and final tranche under the Self-Reliant India Campaign.
  • Structural reforms have been outlined under this declaration.
  • This announcement is as follows:
    • Under this, special attention was given to seven sectors viz. employment, health and education, business during epidemics, decentralization of Companies Act, ease of doing business, policy related to public sector units, structural reforms with focus on state government and resources etc. 
    • Under the MNREGA scheme, an additional Rs 40,000 crore will be allocated for employment generation in rural parts of the country.
    • The government has also raised the lending limit for states to 5% for 2020-21.
    • Along with this, in the first week of April, Rs 11,000 crore has been released to the states as an advance from the State Disaster Relief Fund and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has released Rs 4 thousand 113 crore for anti-Covid-19 activities.
    • PM eVidya, a program for multi-mode access for digital / online education, will be started immediately.
    • The government has increased the minimum limit from 1 lakh to 1 crore for initiating insolvency proceedings.
    • The government has announced that it will bring a new policy for public sector enterprises (PSEs) and will announce strategic areas where PSEs are needed.

(Source: The Hindu)

3. Lockdown 4.0 in the country extended till 31 May 2020

  • Recently, the lockdown period has been extended to 31 May due to the increased infection of coronavirus in the country.
  • Detailed guidelines for this have been issued by the National Executive Committee of the National Disaster Management Authority.
  • During this time all domestic and international passenger airlines will remain closed. Only domestic air ambulances and medical and security related airlines will be allowed.

(Source: PIB)

  • Schools, colleges and training and coaching institutes will remain closed. During this time, online learning services will be encouraged.
  • In addition to essential services, personal activities will be completely banned from 7 pm to 7 am.
  • Individuals above 65 years of age, people with severe illness, pregnant women and those under 10 years of age have been specifically advised to stay at home.

4. May 17: World Hypertension Day

  • World Hypertension Day is observed every year on 17 May.
  • The day was started by the World Hypertension League to raise awareness about hypertension.
  • Its theme for the year 2020 is- "Measure your blood pressure, control it, live longer".
  • Hypertension, also called high blood pressure is a primary risk factor for heart disease that causes health problems such as stroke, vision loss, dementia, heart attacks, and chronic kidney disease.

5. High alert in Odisha due to cyclone Amphan

  • Recently, a high alert has been issued in many districts of Odisha due to cyclone Amphan.
  • The cyclone originated in the southeast of the Bay of Bengal and the surrounding area.

  • Tropical Cyclone:
    • A cyclone is a low-pressure system with very high winds swirling around it.
    • Traces for tropical cyclones are — sufficiently warm sea surface, atmospheric instability, high humidity in low to medium levels of the troposphere, and sufficient Coriolis force to maintain a low pressure center, etc.

6. May 16: National Dengue Day

  • National Dengue Day is observed every year on 16 May on the recommendation of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The purpose of celebrating this day is to create awareness among people for dengue.
  • Dengue is a vector borne disease which is a cause of concern in India.
  • Dengue fever is caused by any of four types of dengue virus that are spread by mosquitoes that thrive in and around human habitats.

7. May 16: Foundation day of the state of Sikkim

  • Sikkim celebrates its foundation day on 16 May every year.
  • It became officially a part of India on 16 May 1975, Sikkim.
  • Sikkim became a state of India through the 36th Amendment Act, 1975.
  • Sikkim:
    • Sikkim is a state in northeast India, bordering Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal.
    • It is the least populous state of India.
    • Its capital is Gangtok.
    • The Chief Minister of the state is Prem Singh Tamang and Governor Ganga Prasad.
    • The state animal of Sikkim is the Red Panda, the State Bird Blood Pheasant, the State Tree Rhododendron and the State Flower Noble Orchid.

8. Online Dashboard National Migrant Information System (NMIS) launched

  • Recently online dashboard of National Migrant Information System has been started.
  • This online portal will be used to capture information on the movement of migrants and for better inter-state coordination.
  • This will facilitate smooth movement of people stranded in the states.
  • This online dashboard has been developed by the National Disaster Management Authority.
  • Under this, states have been standardized for uploading key data related to migrating states such as name, age, mobile number, district of origin and destination, and date of travel.

9. Benjamin Netanyahu formed government for the fifth time in Israel

  • Recently, Benjamin Netanyahu has formed the government for the fifth time in Israel.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated him on this occasion.
  • Israel:
    • It is a Middle Eastern country located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
    • Its capital is Jerusalem and the currency is the Israeli shekel.

10. India welcomed the Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah pact

  • India welcomed the recent agreement between Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani and his political rival Abdullah Abdullah.
  • On this occasion, Mr. Abdullah was appointed to the High Peace Council and talks were held with the Taliban.
  • The move could speed up preparations for inter-Afghan talks that began two months earlier.
  • Afghanistan:
    • Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a country in Asia.
    • Afghanistan borders Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China etc.
    • Its capital is Kabul and the currency is Afghan Afghani.

11. World Telecommunications and Information Society Day: 17 May

  • World Telecom and Information Society Day is celebrated every year on 17 May.
  • The theme for World Telecommunications and Information Society Day 2020 is "Connect 2030: ICT for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)".
  • 17 May is the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.
  • The main objective of the day is to reduce the digital divide by increasing global awareness of social changes brought about by the Internet and new technologies.
  • Also, in 2005, after the announcement by the United Nations General Assembly resolution at the World Summit on Information Society in Tunis, 17 May was also celebrated as World Information Society Day.
  • Hence World Telecom and Information Society Day is an international day which was reported to be celebrated annually on 17 May by the ITU Conference in Antalya, Turkey in November 2006.

12. 18 May: World AIDS Vaccine Day

  • World AIDS Vaccine Day, also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, is celebrated annually on 18 May.
  • The day promotes the urgent need for vaccines to prevent continued HIV infection and AIDS.

  • The first World AIDS Vaccine Day was observed on 18 May 1998.
  • The full form of AIDS is acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
  • It is a viral disease.
  • AIDS was first reported in the United States in 1981 and has since spread to a world-wide epidemic






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