Daily Current Affairs and GK | 29 and 30 March 2020
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1. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi appealed everyone to contribute as much as possible in the PM CARES Fund
- Recently, Prime Minister has appealed to everyone to voluntarily donate to the PM CARES Fund, to deal with the situations that have arisen in the country from COVID-19.
- He has also said that every contribution is important in itself.
- People can donate funds using UPI, Net Banking, NEFT (National Electronic Fund Transfer), RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) and debit and credit cards.
- PM CARES Fund:
- It is the PM's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) fund.
- This fund is a national fund created for the purpose of dealing with emergencies or distress situation.
- The trust is chaired by the Prime Minister.
- The Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister are its members.
- People can also contribute in small amounts.
- The donations to the fund will be exempted from income tax under Section 80(G) of the Income Tax Act.
2. National TeleConsultation Center launched by Dr. Harsh Vardhan
- Recently the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched the COVID-19 National TeleConsultation Center (CoNTeC) to answer the questions related to Covid-19.
- This single IVRS number 91-9115444155 will be linked to several telephone lines installed at the center set up at AIIMS, New Delhi.
- The specialist doctors from various clinical domains will be available 24X7 and will answer the questions through this telemedicine hub centre.
- Simple mobile telephony as well as two-way video communication via WhatsApp, Skype and Google Duo etc. are the modes of communication.
- The centre is integrated with National Medical College Network (NMCN). 1 NMCN terminal can have two-way video conferencing with all the 50 medical colleges on the network.
3. Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh revived the old lockdown tradition
- Recently the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh have revived the old lockdown tradition.
- The Western Siang region is geographically closest to Hubei Province in China, where a recent outbreak of COVID-19 has begun.
- Arr-Rinam is similar to lockdown which is imposed by consensus for 48 hours whenever a sudden outbreak of disease occurs.
- Arr-Rinam follows Ali Ternam ritual (Ali means epidemic and Ternam means forestall).
- The Galos, one of the 26 major tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, live in considerable numbers in West Siang district.
- Coronavirus has not yet attacked here, but these people have taken this step as a precautionary measure.
4. Sanction of insurance scheme under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package for health workers
- Recently, the government has approved the insurance scheme for health workers under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package.
- This insurance is for health workers engaged in preventing COVID-19 from spreading.
- Through this scheme, an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh will be provided to 22.12 lakh public healthcare providers for 90 days.
- The scheme will also include accidental loss of life due to COVID-19.
- Also, the insurance provided under this scheme will be different from any other insurance cover received by the beneficiary.
5. Prakash Javadekar contributed one crore rupees from MPLAD Fund to Central Relief Fund
- Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, has contributed Rs 1 crore from his MPLAD fund to the Central Relief Fund.
- He has also given Rs 1 crore from MPLAD-Fund for hospitals in Pune to purchase equipment like ventilators, monitors, defibrillator, etc. to fight against COVID-19.
- MPLAD Scheme:
- Members of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme was launched in December 1993.
- Under this, every year Rs 5 crore is provided to every MP for the development of his parliamentary constituency.
- The scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
- A Member of Lok Sabha can choose any one district from his/her constituency while a Member of Rajya Sabha can choose any district in his/her state. The nominated members of both the houses can choose any district in the country.
6. Employees Provident Fund Scheme 1952 was amended
- Recently, the EPF Scheme 1952 has been amended by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
- Also, a notification has been issued in this regard which allows EPF members to withdraw non-refundable advances amid COVID-19 pandemic.
- In the event of an outbreak of epidemic or pandemic, an individual can withdraw up to the amount of basic wages and dearness allowance for three months or 75 % of the amount received for member’s credit in the EPF account, whichever is lower.
- The amended scheme has come into effect from March 28,2020.
7. Merger of 10 public sector banks will come into force from 1 April 2020
- Recently the Reserve Bank of India has stated that the merger of 10 state-run banks into 4 banks will come into effect from April 1, 2020.
- The branches of these merged banks will act as the banks in which they have been merged.
- As per the plan, Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India will be merged into Punjab National Bank.
- Syndicate Bank will merge into Canara Bank; Allahabad Bank into Indian Bank, and Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank will be merged with Union Bank of India.
- Customers of the merged banks will be treated as customers of the banks in which these banks have been merged.
8. The IMF has said that the world has entered an economic downturn
- Recently the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that the world has clearly entered an economic recession due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- This current recession is worse than the 2009 recession.
- However, there is also an estimate of recovery in the coming year.
- International Monetary Fund (IMF):
- It is an international organization of 189 countries.
- It is established to promote global monetary cooperation.
- It was established in 1945.
- Its headquarters are located in Washington DC.
- MD and Chairman of the Executive Board- Kristalina Georgieva
9. DRDO will provide safety equipment to health workers
- The Defence Research and Development Organization will soon provide protection equipments to the country's health workers working to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
- These devices will include modern ventilators, face masks and other personal protection equipments.
- Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO):
- It is an agency of the Government of India, engaged in research and development operations for the military in India.
- It was founded in 1958.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi.
- DRDO Chairman- G Sateesh Reddy
10. US cancels multilateral air exercise Red Flag
- Recently the US Air Force has canceled the first phase of its flagship multilateral air exercise Red Flag.
- The exercise was scheduled to take place in Alaska from April 30.
- The Indian Air Force was to participate with its Sukhoi-30 fighter jets.
- Red flag exercise:
- The Red Flag, held several times in a year by the United States Air Force, is an advanced aerial combat training exercise.
- Its purpose is to provide training to military pilots and other flight crew members of the United States and allied countries.
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
1. Who among the following are the members in the trust of PM CARES Fund?
A. Defence Minister
B. Home Minister
C. Finance Minister
D. All of the above
2. In which state is the Galos tribe found?
B. Tamil Nadu
C. Andhra Pradesh
D. Arunachal Pradesh
3. For how many days will the insurance cover be provided under the insurance scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package for health workers?
A. 45 days
B. 50 days
C. 90 days
D. 60 days
4. In which year was the MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) Fund Scheme launched?
5. Recently EPF scheme of which year has been amended by Ministry of Labour and Employment?
6. Which of the following bank has been merged with Canara Bank?
A. Syndicate Bank
B. Allahabad Bank
C. Indian Bank
D. Andhra Bank
7. Where is the headquarters of International Monetary Fund located?
A. New Delhi
B. Washington D.C.
C. The Hague
8. Where is the headquarters of the Defence Research and Development Organization located?
A. New Delhi
9. Red Flag is a training military exercise of which country's air force?