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1. Lockdown slowed the rate of doubling of corona infection
- Recently the Ministry of Health has reported that the rate of doubling of corona infection in the country has slowed due to the lockdown.
- While the number of corona patients was doubling in 3.5 days before the lockdown was implemented, it is now taking 7.5 days to double the number after the lockdown.
- The number of COVID-19 infected in the country has increased to about 17, 265.
- At the same time, 2,546 COVID-19 patients have been cured after treatment.
- Also, as of April 19, the condition of corona infection in 18 states is better than the national average.
- It is known that the Indian government announced complete lockdown in the country from 25 March to 14 April 2020 to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was later extended to 3 May 2020.
2. The education platform ‘SWAYAM’ and the education channel ‘SWAYAMPRABHA’ were reviewed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development
- Recently HRD Minister reviewed the national online education platform ‘SWAYAM’ and 32 DTH television education channels ‘SWAYAM PRABHA’ in New Delhi.
- Currently 1902 courses are available under the SWAYAM platform.
- Guidelines related to online and distance education are to be prepared by University Grants Commission.
- SWAYAM - Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds is a program launched by the Government of India. It is made to achieve the three principles of education policy- access, equity and quality.
- SWAYAMPRABHA is a group of 32 DTH channels where 24x7 high quality educational programs are broadcasted using GSAT-15 satellite.
3. BRO constructed the bridge over the Subansiri river in just 27 days
- The Border Roads Organization has constructed the Daporijo Bridge over the Subansiri River in Arunachal Pradesh in a record time of just 27 days.
- Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu inaugurated the bridge through video conferencing and the bridge has been opened for public use.
- This bridge is strategically most important for connecting roads leading to Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China.
- The construction will cater to the future infrastructure based developmental needs of Upper Subansiri district.
- Border Roads Organization (BRO):
- It is responsible for developing and maintaining road networks in the border areas of India and its friendly neighboring countries.
- It was founded in 1960 by Jawaharlal Nehru.
- Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
4. Encouraging application of participation in a clinical trial of convalescent plasma therapy for corona treatment
- Recently applications were invited by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to participate in a clinical trial of convalescent plasma therapy for corona treatment.
- This initiative by ICMR has received tremendous response.
- Convalescent Plasma Therapy:
- In this therapy, the plasma of a person recovered from corona infection are injected into another patient of COVID-19, as the patient recovering from the disease will have antibodies that can help other patients get rid of the coronavirus.
5. Low cost electro-catalysts made from fish gills
- Recently an efficient, low-cost electro-catalyst has been developed using fish gills.
- This experiment has been done by scientists from the Institute of Nano Science and Technology, Mohali.
- This experiment can help develop environmentally friendly energy conversion devices.
- This carbon nanostructure will ensure the development of many renewable energy conversion and storage technologies such as fuel cells, biofuel cells, and metal-air batteries.
- It can also be used as a next gen non-precious carbon based electro-catalyst for energy conversion and storage applications.
6. Kapil Dev Tripathi appointed as Secretary to the President
- Recently, former Indian Administrative Service officer Kapil Dev Tripathi has been appointed as Secretary to the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind.
- Mr. Tripathi's term will last till the current President holds the office.
- Mr. Kapil Dev Tripathi is a 1980 batch retired IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre.
- He is currently the Chairman of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PSEB).
7. A drug test to reduce mortality rate in COVID-19 patients has been approved
- Recently the trial of a drug to reduce mortality rate in COVID-19 patients who are critically ill, has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
- Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. in collaboration with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed this drug.
- This medicine is used to treat patients suffering from Gram-negative bacterial sepsis.
- Given the similarity between the clinical attributes of COVID-19 patients and patients suffering from gram-negative bacterial sepsis, controlled clinical trials of this drug are now being initiated for critical COVID-19 patients.
- The drug is safe with no systemic side effects.
- Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI):
- It is a department of Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).
- It approves licenses of various categories of drugs in India.
- Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
8. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways launched a dashboard
- Recently the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has introduced a dashboard to provide information about dhabas and trucks.
- The purpose of this dashboard is to make the journey easier for the trucks and cargo drivers and cleaners.
- A number 1033 has also been started for this so that they can be informed about dhabas and shops with repair facilities on the national highway.
- At these centers, people will have to take all necessary measures to stop COVID-19 so as to maintain a mutually safe distance and also use masks.
9. Maharashtra Government declared Pune City, Thane District and Pimpri Chinchwad as containment zones
- Recently, the Maharashtra government has declared Pune city, Thane district and Pimpri Chinchwad as highly infected areas or containment zones.
- The Maharashtra government has taken this decision due to the increasing number of COVID-19 patients in the state.
- During the last 24 hours on 20 April 2020 in Maharashtra, 553 people were found infected with COVID-19, the highest in a day.
- With this, the total number of COVID-19 infected in the state is 4204.
- Maharashtra is a state in the western peninsular region of India, covering a large part of the Deccan plateau.
- It is the third largest state by area and the second most populous state in India.
- Its governor is Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
- The state capital is Mumbai.
- State animal of Maharashtra is the Indian giant squirrel.
- The state bird is the yellow-footed green pigeon.
- The state tree is mango and the state flower is Jarul (Pride of India).
10. A global model for predicting ionospheric electron density developed
- Recently a global model to predict ionospheric electron density has been developed.
- The model has been developed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Navi Mumbai.
- This model is an important tool for communication and navigation, with large data coverage.
- This new artificial neural network-based global ionospheric model has been developed using long-term ionospheric observations to predict ionospheric electron density and peak parameters.
- Artificial neural network patterns involve repeated processes in the human brain to solve problems such as classification, clustering, normalization, linear and nonlayer data fitting, and time series prediction.
- The Indian Institute of Geomagnetism is an autonomous research institute, established in 1971 by the Department of Science and Technology.
11. 21 April: Civil Services Day
- Civil Services Day is observed in India every year on 21 April.
- On this day Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel addressed the first batch of civil servants at the Metcalf House, New Delhi in independent India.
- He addressed the civil servants as the ‘steel frame of India’.
- On this occasion, PM’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration are given to districts/ implementing units for the implementation of priority programme and innovation categories.
- It is known that Lord Cornwallis is called the father of civil services in India.
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
1. SWAYAM is a __________.
A. Special equipment for the disabled
B. National online education platform
C. Women's Safety Portal
D. Elderly Welfare Scheme
2. Subansiri river flows from which of the following states?
C. Madhya Pradesh
D. Arunachal Pradesh
3. Which disease will be treated by the use of convalescent plasma therapy?
4. Recently which animal organ has been used for developing low cost electro-catalyst?
5. Recently who has been appointed as Secretary to President of India Ram Nath Kovind?
A. S. Kripa Shankar
B. Kapil Dev Tripathi
C. Vijay Shree Pataknayak
D. Ajay Kumar Garg
6. Gram-negative sepsis is caused by which organism?
7. What is the place of Maharashtra in the country in terms of area?
8. In which year was the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism established?
9. On which day is Civil Services Day celebrated every year in India?
A. 20 March
B. 21 April
C. 5 June
D. 15 July