Daily Current Affairs and GK | 23 May 2020

2020-05-23

1. First bi-monthly monetary policy announcement by the Reserve Bank of India for the financial year 2020-21

  • Recently, the first bi-monthly policy has been announced by the Reserve Bank of India for the financial year 2020-21. While this meeting was proposed in the first week of June.
  • But due to the remedial efforts in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, monetary policy has been announced ahead of time.

(Source: The Indian Express)

  • The measures announced by Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das are mainly divided into four sections. These are
    • Improve the functioning of the market.
    • Promoting imports and exports.
    • Reducing economic pressure by providing relief in terms of debt services and working capital.
    • Reducing the financial crisis of the state governments.
  • In addition, the Reserve Bank has also announced a reduction in benchmark interest rates.
  • Under this, the repo rate has been reduced by 40 basis points to 4.0%.
  • The reverse repo rate has been reduced to 3.35%.
  • In addition, the Reserve Bank has given a three-month exemption on the monthly payment of all loans. Under this, the borrowers now have relief till August 31, 2020.
  • Also, the Reserve Bank has projected a regressive GDP growth for the year 2020-21, one of the main reasons being the reduction in private consumption.
  • To enable corporates to meet their funding needs from banks, the group exposure limit of banks is being increased from 25% to 30% of the eligible capital base. The increased limit will remain in force till June 30, 2021.
  • The Reserve Bank also announced a loan arrangement of Rs 15,000 crore for the Import-Export Bank.
  • Repo rate - It is the rate at which the country's central bank lends to commercial banks.
  • Reverse Repo Rate - This is the rate at which commercial banks deposit their money with the central bank.

2. IMD launches weather services through UMANG App

  • Recently the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has introduced weather services through the UMANG app.
  • Under this, seven services hosted on IMD's website - Current Weather, Nowcast, City Forecast, Rainfall Information, Tourism Forecast, Warning, Cyclone etc. have been added to the UMANG application.

(Source: News on AIR)

  • UMANG App:
    • Unified Mobile Application for New Age Governance (UMANG) is an integrated, multi-channel, multi-platform, multilingual, multi-service mobile app.
    • It was launched in 2017 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
    • It has brought all government services on a mobile app.
  • Indian Meteorological Department (IMD):
    • This department is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
    • It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting, and seismology.
    • Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
    • It was founded in 1875.

3. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan elected as Chairman of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization

  • Recently Union Health Minister of India Harsh Vardhan has been elected as Chairman of the 34-member Executive Board of the World Health Organization for 2020-21.
  • Addressing the 147th session of the Executive Board as Chairman on the previous day, Dr. Harsh Vardhan described health as the basis of economic performance and enhancement of human capabilities.
  • He replaces Japan's Dr. Hiroki Nakatani, former chairman of the board.

  • World Health Organization (WHO):
    • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.
    • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
    • Founded went out on 7 April 1948.
    • Its current president is Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

4. NPPA directs manufacturers, importers and suppliers of N-95 masks

  • Recently, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has given instructions to manufacturers, importers and suppliers of N-95 masks.
  • This is stated in the instructions that equality in prices should be maintained for non-government procurements of N-95 masks and to make available the same at reasonable prices.
  • The NPPA has also stated that any case of hoarding, black marketing and high pricing of N-95 masks will be handled seriously.
  • The action against such person or entity shall be taken under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

  • National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA):
    • It is a government regulatory agency that regulates the prices of pharmaceutical drugs in India.
    • It was established on 29 August 1997.
    • Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.

5. BJP started Maharashtra Bachao Andolan

  • Recently BJP began Maharashtra Bachao Andolan.
  • Under this, the Bharatiya Janata Party has accused the state government of not properly dealing with the situation of coronavirus.
  • Protests have been organized in their respective cities and towns by senior party leaders and activists to participate in this movement.

(Source: News on AIR)

  • Maharashtra:
    • 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.
    • Its governor is Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Chief Minister is Uddhav Thackeray.
    • The state capital Mumbai.
    • The state animal of Maharashtra is the giant squirrel, the state bird is yellow-legged green pigeon, the state tree is mango and the state flower is Jarul.
    • The state has 288 Vidhan Sabha and 48 Lok Sabha seats.

6. In Madhya Pradesh, ‘Everyone will get employment’ scheme launched

  • In Madhya Pradesh, the “Everyone will get Employment” scheme was launched.
  • The scheme was inaugurated by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan through video conferencing.
  • MGNREGA job cards will be distributed to laborers under this scheme.
  • Under this scheme, the migrant laborers and those gone to various states during the Corona crisis will be engaged in the work.
  • For this, a large number of employment-oriented activities have been started under the MNREGA scheme. New workers will be engaged in these activities.
  • Madhya Pradesh:
    • Madhya Pradesh ranks second in terms of area in the country after Rajasthan.
    • The state capital is Bhopal.
    • The Chief Minister is Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Governor is Lalji Tandon.
    • The state has 230 Vidhan Sabha and 29 Lok Sabha seats.

7. NTPC and ONGC sign MoU for renewable energy business

  • Recently a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) to set up a joint venture company for the renewable energy business.
  • This MoU will help both companies to pace their work in the renewable energy sector.

(Source: News on AIR)

  • It will also enable to establish offshore wind and other renewable energy projects in India and abroad.
  • Renewable energy:
    • This energy is generated from sources that do not deplete within the life span of a human being.
    • Also, they can be renewed in less time than fossil fuels such as wind, solar energy, geothermal energy, biomass energy and hydropower energy, etc.

8. Supreme Court issues notice banning use of Zoom app

  • Recently the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Center to ban the use of video communication zoom app.
  • In this notice, the government has been asked to ban the use of the app for official and personal purposes.
  • The decision was made by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde in response to a petition made four weeks ago.

(Source: ANI)

  • The petition also said that the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in), the nodal cyber security agency, has also alerted zoom users to cyber risks.
  • Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in):
    • The team is an office under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
    • It is the nodal agency to deal with cyber security threats such as hacking and phishing.
    • It was established on 19 January 2004.
    • Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.

9. India is now the world's second largest manufacturer of personal protective equipment (PPE) body coveralls

  • India has now become the world's second largest manufacturer of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) body coveralls.
  • India has achieved this feat in less than two months. The textile committee of the country has a special contribution in this achievement.
  • China ranks first in the world in manufacturing PPE kits.

(Source: Livemint)

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE):
    • PPE includes clothing kept to protect health care workers or anyone else from getting infected.
    • It is an important health protection device to keep front line warriors safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. PPE plays an important role in protecting a person's skin, mouth, nose and eyes from viral and bacterial infections.
    • In the context of COVID-19, PPE includes Gloves, Medical masks, Respirators, Eye protection, Gowns, Aprons, Boots or closed-toe work shoes.
  • Textile Committee:
    • The Textiles Committee is a statutory body established in 1963. It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Textiles.
    • It serves to ensure the quality of textile and textile machinery for both internal consumption and export purposes.

 

 

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