Daily Current Affairs and GK | 20 June 2020

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 21 Jun 2020 21:31 PM IST

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1. Signing of US $ 750 million COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Assistance Program between Government of India and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

  • Recently a US $ 750 million COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Assistance Program has been signed between the Government of India and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
  • This assistance program is meant to strengthen the response to the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on poor and vulnerable.
  • This is the first budgetary support program for India from AIIB.
  • The program will provide budget assistance to the government to mitigate the severe adverse social and economic impact of the pandemic.
  • The main beneficiaries of the primary program will be families below the poverty line, farmers, health workers, women, women self-help groups, widows, people with disabilities, senior citizens, low paid, construction workers and other vulnerable groups.
  • The current loan will be India's second to deal with the COVID-19, in addition to a $ 500 million loan already approved for India by the AIIB.
  • Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB):
    • It is a multilateral development bank with an aim to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia.
    • It started operating in January 2016.
    • It is headquartered in Beijing, China.
    • AIIB now has 102 accepted members worldwide.

2. Signing of MoU between Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and SIDBI

  • Recently a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and Small Industries Development Bank of India.
  • Under this MoU, SIDBI has been entrusted with the task of implementing agency for Street Vendors Atmanirbhar Nidhi Yojana ie PM Svanidhi Yojana.
  • As per the terms of the MoU-
    • SIDBI will implement the PM Svanidhi Yojana under the guidance of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
    • It will also manage credit guarantees to lending institutions through Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises.
    • It will develop and maintain a customized and integrated IT platform, providing end-to-end solutions including documentation of all processes and workflows through a portal and a mobile app.
  • The PM Svanidhi scheme was launched on 1 June 2020 to provide affordable working capital loans to street vendors adversely affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • Disbursement of loans under PM Svanidhi will be started in July this year.
  • Small Industrial Development Bank of India (SIDBI):
    • It is a development financial institution in India.
    • It is headquartered in Lucknow and also has offices across the country.
    • It was established on 2 April 1990.

3. Launch of Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan in Khagaria, Bihar

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the rural public works scheme i.e. Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan in Khagaria, Bihar.
  • This campaign aims to provide livelihood opportunities to migrant workers and rural citizens.
  • The campaign will be conducted through Common Service Centers and Krishi Vigyan Kendras in the districts.
  • The campaign is a coordinated effort of 12 different ministries and departments such as - Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport and Highways, Mines, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum and Natural Gas, New and Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom and Agriculture etc.
  • This employment campaign will cover 116 districts of six states Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan, out of which maximum 32 districts are from Bihar.

(Source: News on AIR)

4. The government will establish 1000 Khelo India centers at the district level across the country

  • Recently the Central Government has decided to set up 1000 Khelo India Centers (KIC) at the district level across the country.
  • Their establishment aims to transform India into a sporting superpower.
  • These centers will either be run by the previous champions or will retain them as coaches. A shortlisting mechanism will be put in place to identify the previous champion.
  • The move will utilize the expertise of previous sports champions for grassroots training of athletes.
  • Also, a constant source of income will be ensured for them in the sports ecosystem.

(Source: News on AIR)

5. Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow has obtained permission to test the antiviral drug Umifenovir

  • Recently the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, the constituent laboratory of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, has obtained permission to test the Phase III randomized clinical trial of efficacy and safety of the antiviral drug Umifenovir.
  • Phase III clinical trials will be conducted at King George Medical University, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences and ERA's Lucknow Medical College and Hospital Lucknow.
  • Umifenovir has recently been found to be potentially useful for patients with COVID-19.
  • This drug has a good safety profile and prevents the entry of the virus into human cells as well as strengthens the immune system.
  • Umifenovir is mainly used for the treatment of influenza.
  • Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR):
    • It was established by the Government of India in September 1942 as an autonomous body.
    • It is the largest research and development organization in India.
    • Its Chairman is the Prime Minister of India.

(Source: News on AIR)

6. Bangladesh will get zero tariff facility on 97% of goods exported to China

  • Bangladesh will get zero tariff facility on 97% of its goods exported to China.
  • Bangladesh will get this facility under the World Trade Organization's Duty Free Quota Free Scheme for Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
  • Bangladesh will get this facility on 5,161 additional items from 1 July.
  • So far, Bangladesh enjoys zero tariff on 3095 commodities exported to China under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement.
  • Duty free export facility-
    • It is a part of the Duty Free Quota Free Scheme for LDCs under the 2010 WTO Rules. China initially provided this facility to 33 LDCs at 60 percent of its tariff line.
    • In 2015, China's tariff lines were raised to 97%.
    • Bangladesh has now been extended this facility for five years.
    • Bangladesh will fall out of the LDC category by 2024 when the profit ends after a certain period.
    • Currently, there is a major imbalance of the balance of trade between China and Bangladesh. In 2018-19, Bangladesh exported goods worth $ 831 million to China while it imported items from China worth over $ 12 billion.

7. A batch of 124 Indian citizens from Bangladesh reached Tripura through the Akhaura border

  • Recently due to coronavirus pandemic, a batch of 124 Indian citizens from Bangladesh reached India via Tripura from Akhaura border.
  • This was the third evacuation of Indians from Bangladesh using the land route for people from various states of the North East.
  • The first batch of 230 Indian nationals left for India on May 28 from three outposts along the border of Bangladesh and India to Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya and Manipur.
  • So far around 500 people have been evacuated from Bangladesh via land route.
  • In addition, 2130 Indian nationals have been evacuated from Bangladesh under the Vande Bharat Mission.
  • Bangladesh:
    • It is a South Asian country in the east of India, on the Bay of Bengal.
    • Capital: Dhaka
    • Currency: Bangladeshi Taka

(Source: News on AIR)

8. On June 21, there will be an astronomical event of solar eclipse

  • On June 21, a solar eclipse will be seen in some parts of the world.
  • In India, this astronomical event will be seen in Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttarakhand.
  • On 21 June, solar eclipse will be seen in Congo of Africa (First observe), South Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the Arabian Sea and Pakistan, before entering India over Rajasthan.
  • The Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Leh Ladakh, has been arranged to live stream the annular eclipse from Hanley.
  • Hanley is one of the world's highest destinations by optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes.
  • In addition, the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory will also monitor astronomical phenomena.
  • Annular Solar eclipse:
    • This occurs when the Sun is clearly larger than the Moon in size and the Moon is farthest from the Earth.
    • The celestial event of a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, that causes the Sun to partially or fully obscure the image of Earth for a viewer.
    • The next eclipse will be seen from the country only after 11 years in 2031, so it is a big astronomical event for India.

9. In Mizoram, migrant workers will be given free rice under the ATMA NIRBHAR BHARAT Scheme

  • In Mizoram, migrant workers will be given 10 kg of free rice under the ATMA NIRBHAR BHARAT Scheme.
  • Especially migrant workers who are engaged in various projects and other private jobs in the state will be benefitted by this scheme.
  • A total of 17,885 workers spread across eight districts in the state have been identified as the beneficiaries. 
  • Mizoram:
    • It is a state in northeast India.
    • Its capital is Aizawl.
    • State Governor is P.S. Sreedharan Pillai and the Chief Minister is Zoramthanga.
    • The state tree is iron wood.

10. Khadi and Village Industries Commission initiated project for production of Neera and Palm Jaggery

  • Recently Khadi and Village Industries Commission has started a unique project for the production of Neera and Palm Jaggery.
  • There is a huge potential for employment generation in this sector.
  • The project aims to promote Neera as an alternative to soft drinks.
  • This will also provide self-employment to the tribals.
  • This project has been launched at Dahanu in Palghar district of Maharashtra for traditional trappers and Adivasis. 
  • KVIC has distributed tool kits for extraction of Neera.
  • A tool kit of Rs 15,000 includes food grade stainless steel pan, perforated moulds, canteen burners and other tools such as knives, ropes and axes for extraction of Neera.
  • There are more than 50 lakh palm trees across the state. A wide range of products such as candy, milk chocolate, palm cola, ice cream and traditional sweets can be produced from Neera.
  • The initiative is expected to provide direct employment to 400 local traditional trainers.
  • Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC):
    • It is a statutory body formed by the Government of India in April 1957 under the Act of Parliament, Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act 1956.
    • It is headquartered in Mumbai.

(Source: News on AIR)

11. June 20: World Refugee Day

  • World Refugee Day is observed on 20 June each year.
  • The day is dedicated to raising awareness about the status of refugees worldwide.
  • The theme of World Refugee Day this year is "Every Action Counts". It is focused on bringing change to make the world more inclusive.
  • On December 4, 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution concerning the status of refugees, and decided that June 20 would be marked as World Refugee Day.
  • According to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, people who have fled their homes and countries for fear of persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, are called refugees.





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