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1. Talks between Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa
- Recently, talks were held between the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on the measures taken to fight against COVID-19.
- The two leaders talked about the domestic, regional and global challenges being faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Mr. Modi praised President Ramaphosa's role as president of the African Union in coordinating a continent-wide response to COVID-19.
- South Africa:
- South Africa is a country at the southernmost end of the African continent.
- It is bordered by Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
- Its legislative capital is Cape Town and the currency is the South African rand.
2. Kisan Rath Mobile App launched
- Recently, Kisan Rath Mobile App was launched by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
- This app has been developed by the National Informatics Center (NIC).
- This app has been designed with the objective of facilitating the transportation of agricultural and horticultural products.
- The Kisan Rath app will facilitate farmers, farmer producer organisations and cooperative societies in the country.
- With this app, it will be easy to get proper transport facilities to transport agricultural products to the market.
- The state's agricultural sector has also been given concessions by the government.
- National Informatics Center (NIC):
- The National Informatics Center is an attached office under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi.
- The institute was established in 1976.
3. Chandigarh-based Institute of Microbial Technology introduced genome sequencing of coronaviruses
- Recently, Chandigarh-based Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTech) has initiated the whole genome sequencing of novel coronavirus.
- Earlier, the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology and the Institute of Genomic and Integrative Biology had also started working on it.
- Through whole genome sequencing, researchers will be able to get information about the origin of the virus, its strains and how the coronavirus has spread in India.
- Also, the genomic resource derived from this sequencing will help in the diagnosis of COVID-19 and identify new targets for drugs.
- Whole-genome sequencing is a technique used to determine the complete DNA sequence of an organism's genome.
- According to the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza data (GISAID), 9000 samples have been sequenced internationally. GISAID is a platform that was started by WHO in 2008 to share genome sequences to various countries.
4. Review meeting of the functioning of the Armed Forces Medical Service in New Delhi
- Recently, Defense Minister held a review meeting of the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) in New Delhi.
- Training activities have been postponed at AMC Center & College, Lucknow and Armed Forces Medical College, Pune.
- Also, about 650 medical officers undergoing postgraduate training at AFMC will be sent back to their units for medical cover.
- Apart from this, 100 medical officers are being sent to hospitals where COVID wards have been established.
- Armed Forces Medical Services:
- It belongs to the Ministry of Defense, which fulfills certain roles and responsibilities set by the government.
- The post of Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services of India was created in August 1948.
5. Central government lifted the ban on export of paracetamol-containing drugs
- Recently, the Central Government has lifted the ban on the export of drugs made from paracetamol. It also includes fixed dose combination.
- However, paracetamol active pharmaceutical ingredient, API, will be restricted for export.
- Paracetamol is a painkiller and fever preventer.
- Paracetamol is used to treat a number of conditions such as headaches, muscle aches, arthritis, back pain, toothache, etc.
6. Development Committee Meeting of World Bank-IMF concluded
- Recently the World Bank-IMF Development Committee meeting was held through a video conference.
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended this meeting on behalf of India.
- During the meeting, Mrs. Sitharaman shared the measures taken by India to deal with COVID-19.
- She also appreciated the quick response and efficiency of the World Bank Group in introducing the Fast Track COVID-19 Response facility.
- World Bank:
- The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to governments in poor countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects.
- It is headquartered in Washington DC, United States.
- It was founded in 1944.
- International Monetary Fund (IMF):
- IMF is an international organization.
- It is designed to promote global monetary cooperation.
- Its headquarters is located in Washington DC.
- It was established in 1945.
- The Managing Director of IMF is Kristalina Georgieva.
7. A new diagnostic COVID-19 test kit named Chitra Gene LAMP-N was developed
- Recently Kerala-based Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology has developed a new diagnostic test kit named Chitra Gene LAMP-N for diagnosis of COVID-19.
- This kit can detect two regions of the gene.
- This new test kit can test the virus very efficiently.
- According to the institute, it will take only 10 minutes for detection and the report will be received in less than two hours.
- A single machine can test at least 30 samples in a single batch.
- Another advantage is that it is also inexpensive.
8. Reserve Bank of India announced several regulatory measures to save the economy
- Recently the Reserve Bank of India has announced several regulatory measures to save the economy.
- The announcement aims to reduce the rupee depreciation and volatility in other sectors of the financial market.
- RBI has announced to reduce the reverse repo rate from 4% to 3.75%, while no change in repo rate has been made.
- At the same time, the Governor of Reserve Bank has also announced a package of Rs 50,000 crore for the recovery of small and medium industries due to loss due to lockdown.
- In addition to this, the duration of the settlement scheme for the bank's lending has been extended to ninety days.
- The Reserve Bank has also announced that loans given by non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to real estate companies will be given benefits similar to those given by scheduled commercial banks.
- Reserve Bank of India:
- It is a central bank of India, which controls the issue and supply of the Indian rupee. It is a regulator of banking sector all over India.
- Its headquarters is located in Mumbai.
- It was founded on 1 April 1935.
9. Government of Karnataka revived Akrama-Sakrama scheme
- Recently the Karnataka State Government has revived the Akrama-Sakrama scheme.
- The scheme has been revived with the objective of generating additional revenue, due to the economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Akrama Sakram Scheme was launched by the Government of Karnataka to regularize properties that violate building norms.
- The Akrama-Sakrama scheme is not valid for properties under construction in Bengaluru. The state government had decided to implement the scheme for properties built before 2013.
10. Government exempted minor forest produce from lockdown
- Recently the central government has exempted minor forest produce (MFP) from lockdown.
- MFP includes non-timber items such as bamboo, other grasses, edible or useful roots, seeds, fruits, flowers and plants.
- The livelihood of many people from Scheduled Tribes and other forest dwelling communities are dependent on the collection and sale of minor forest produce.
- Due to the restrictions, the police was stopping forest dwellers to collect minor forest produce.
11. 18 April: World Heritage Day
- The International Day for Monuments and Sites, also known as World Heritage Day, is celebrated every year on 18 April.
- The purpose of celebrating this day is to promote awareness about the rich cultural heritage and the efforts required for their protection and conservation.
- The day was proposed by ICOMOS in 1982 and approved in 1983 by the UNESCO General Assembly.
- This year its theme is “Shared Culture, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility”.
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
1. South Africa shares its border with which of the following countries?
D. All of the above
2. The recently launched Kisan Rath is a ____________.
B. Mobile App
3. What would be the benefit of genome sequencing of novel coronavirus?
A. Knowledge of the origin of the virus
B. Helps in identifying symptoms of COVID-19
C. Knowledge of various strains of virus
D. All of the above
4. In which year was the post of Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services created?
5. The Central Government has recently lifted the ban on export of drugs made from which drug?
6. Where is the headquarters of the World Bank located?
B. Washington D.C.
C. The Hague
7. Recently a new diagnostic COVID-19 test kit named Chitra Gene LAMP-N has been developed by the institute located in which state?
C. Madhya Pradesh
8. Where is the headquarters of Reserve Bank of India located?
A. New Delhi
9. Akrama-Sakrama is the scheme of which state government?
C. Uttar Pradesh
D. Tamil Nadu
10. On which day is World Heritage Day celebrated?
A. 17 April
B. 18 April
C. 19 April
D. 20 April