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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Daily Current Affairs, 28th March 2020

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1) Goa becomes the 1st state to launch assessment tool for COVID-19
•Goa becomes the first Indian state to launch a self-assessment tool for COVID-19. The self-assessment tool called Test Yourself Goa. This tool helps people identify if they are infected by the virus without visiting a doctor or hospital. The Goa government has partnered with Innovaccer, a US-based healthcare data analytics company that developed the self-assessment platform.

•The tool will then assist the person to take further steps by providing information on self-quarantine, helpline numbers to reach out to the concerned authorities. The tool is accessible in English, Konkani & Hindi and will also work on Smartphones.

•The online assessment tool enables a person to check themselves from their home, by answering questions like; Name, contact number, location, recent travel to high-risk countries, symptoms such as fever, cough, wheezing, and any health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension among others. Based on the answers, the tool states whether the individual is likely or not likely the suspect of COVID-19, as per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)‘s guidelines. 

2) IIT-Gandhinagar launches “Project Isaac” for students during Corona lockdown
•The Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (IITGN) has launched ‘Project Isaac’ to engage students in creative projects during the COVID-19 lockdown. The project aims to enhance the student’s skills while they are confined in their homes.

•The project is inspired by Sir Isaac Newton, who was similarly sent home by Trinity College, Cambridge, because of the Great Plague of London in 1665. During this year, Newton, then a 22-year-old college student developed some of his most profound discoveries, including early calculus, as well as his theories of optics and gravity.

•As part of the project, four different competitions are being organized by IIT, Gandhinagar to cultivate new skills among students regarding writing, painting, coding, music, creative expression, and so on. Students can take part in competitions online. Nearly 40 per cent of IITGN students are already participating in various activities, which are entirely voluntary.

3) UN launches Global Humanitarian Response Plan to fight COVID-19
•United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres launched a $2 billion coordinated global humanitarian response plan to fight COVID-19 in 51 countries across South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. UN Secretary-General has warned that the pandemic is threatening the entire human race and all of us must fight back.

•The Global HRP has been launched for a period of nine months (April–December 2020). The response plan will be coordinated by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and will bring together requirements from the World Health Organization and other UN humanitarian agencies.

•To kick-start the response plan, an additional $60 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). This brings CERF’s support to humanitarian action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to $75 million. In addition, country-based pooled funds have allocated more than $3 million so far.

The response plan will be implemented by UN agencies, with international NGOs and NGO consortia playing a direct role in the response. The Response plan will provide the following benefits:

•Deliver essential laboratory equipment to test for the virus, and medical supplies to treat people.

•Install handwashing stations in camps and settlements.

•Launch public information campaigns on how to protect yourself and others from the virus.

•Establish airbridges and hubs across Africa, Asia and Latin America to move humanitarian workers and supplies to where they are needed most.

4) Indian army Chief starts ‘Operation Namaste’ to combat COVID-19
•Army Chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane has launched ‘Operation Namaste’ to extend assistance to the govt in containing the spread of coronavirus and insulate the force from the pandemic. Under the operation, the army will help the Government of India fight against the deadly disease.

•Indian Army has established 8 quarantine so far. Army has also issued guidelines for army men to keep themselves safe as it is difficult to maintain social distancing due to operational and tactical. All Army personnel to take prescribed precautions against the virus and assured soldiers and officers deployed along borders with Pakistan and China that special care is being taken of their families in the wake of the pandemic.

•General Naravane also conveyed to the families of the soldiers guarding India’s borders with Pakistan and China that the Army is taking care of its personnel serving the country in this difficult time. isolation wards are being set up at hospitals in formations along with the border areas besides launching communication campaigns for the soldiers and officials.

5) Moody’s cuts India’s GDP growth to 2.5% in 2020
•Moody’s Investors Service reduced India’s GDP growth in 2020 to 2.5 per cent from the earlier estimate of 5.3 per cent. The Coronavirus pandemic will cause unprecedented shock to the global economy.

•Moody’s Global Macro Outlook 2020-21, India will see a sharp fall in incomes at an estimated 2.5 per cent growth rate. Moody’s now expects real GDP in the global economy to contract by 0.5 per cent in 2020, followed by a pickup to 3.2 per cent in 2021.

6) CRISIL cuts India’s GDP growth forecast to 3.5% for FY2021
•CRISIL has reduced India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for fiscal 2021 to 3.5 per cent from 5.2 per cent expected earlier. The cut is due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic in India and the consequent lockdown for 21 days pose a material risk to our India economic outlook. The slump in growth will be concentrated in the first half of the next fiscal, while the second half should see a mild recovery.

7) Abbott Labs launches 5-minute coronavirus test
•Abbott Laboratories, United States is unveiling a coronavirus test which will tell if someone is infected within 5 minutes. This test is so small and portable it is often utilized in almost any health-care setting. The test starts with taking a swab from the nose or the rear of the throat, then mixing it with a chemical solution that breaks open the virus and releases its RNA. The mixture is inserted into an ID Now system, a small box weighing slightly below 7 pounds that has the technology to spot and amplify select sequences of the coronavirus genome and ignore contamination from other viruses.

•The medical-device maker plans to provide 50,000 tests each day starting April 1. The technology builds on Illinois-based Abbott’s ID Now platform, the foremost common point-of-care test currently available within the U.S., with quite 18,000 units spread across the country. It is widely used to detect influenza, strep throat and respiratory syncytial virus, a common bug that causes cold-like symptoms.

•The equipment is often found out almost anywhere, but the corporate is functioning with its customers and therefore the Trump administration to make sure the primary cartridges wont to perform the tests are sent to where they’re most needed. They’re targeting hospital emergency rooms, urgent-care clinics and doctors’ offices.

8) NTPC concludes acquisition of govt’s stake in THDC & NEEPCO
•National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) concluded the acquisition of Centre’s entire stake in two hydropower generating firms, Tehri Hydro Power Complex (THDC) India and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), at Rs 11,500 crore.

•Under the deal, NTPC acquired the latter’s 74.496 % equity stake in THDC India Ltd (THDCIL) for Rs 7,500 crore & its 100% equity in North-Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPC) for Rs 4,000 crore respectively.

•The acquisition comes during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and declining tax collections will help bridge the gap between DIPAM’s (Department of Public Asset Management) disinvestment target of Rs 65,000 crore for the financial year 2020 & realization (a sale in order to obtain money), which has witnessed more than Rs 34,000 crore till February 2020.

9) SK Gupta and KM Prasad becomes new members of CBDT board
•The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet approved the appointment of two Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers Krishan Mohan Prasad and Satish Kumar Gupta as members of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Board.

•Krishan Mohan Prasad is a 1984 batch IRS officer, serves as the head of Faceless e-Assessment scheme as first Principal Chief Commissioner of Income-tax, National e-assessment centre in Delhi. Satish Kumar Gupta is a 1984 batch IRS officer, serves as the Principal Chief Commissioner (PCCIT) of I-T (Income Tax) in Mumbai, Maharashtra & also served as Director-General of Investigation of Bhopal and Jaipur.

•Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is the apex policy-making body of the Direct Tax department. It functions under the Department of Revenue of the Ministry of Finance.

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Vision IAS Monthly Current Affairs February 2020 [Hindi Medium] pdf Download

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Vision IAS Monthly Current Affairs February 2020 [Hindi Medium] pdf Download


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The HINDU Notes – 28th March 2020

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📰 India set to participate in WHO’s medicine trial

4 drugs or combinations to be tested

•India is all set to join World Health Organisation’s “solidarity trial” aimed at rapid global search for drugs to treat COVID-19. The country has stayed away so far from this multi-country trial “due to its small sample size and because our contribution would have looked minuscule,” said Head of Epidemiology and Communicable diseases at Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) R. Gangakhedkar on Friday.

•The Solidarity Trial will test four different drugs or combinations — remdesivir, a combination of two drugs, lopinavir and ritonavir, the two drugs plus interferon beta, and chloroquine — and will compare their effectiveness to what is called standard of care, the regular support hospitals treating COVID-19 patients use now.

•Speaking of where India stands in terms of developing a drug or vaccine against COVID-19, Dr. Gangakhedkar said: “We have to prioritise what we need right now to deal with the situation. ICMR is currently looking at re-purposed drug molecules to find treatment for COVID-19. We don’t have the luxury of time right now.”

•He added that vaccine development wasn’t a priority for ICMR currently. “There are 30 vaccine groups that are operational worldwide right now looking at COVID-19, with five having gone into animal-toxicity study. India will express its interest to participate in the trial for the Indian population when we feel the time is right,” he said.

📰 RBI cuts rates, allows loan moratorium

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UPSC Topper Kanishk Kataria Notes PDF Download

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UPSC Topper Kanishk Kataria Notes PDF Download

UPSC Topper Kanishk Kataria Notes PDF Download

Now you have made up your mind to become IAS officer and looking for the books and study materials to achieve your goal. Well, you are on the right page. Now We are Sharing With You UPSC Topper Kanishk Kataria Notes PDF.

This Booklet will be Helpful for UPSC Prelims Paper 1. You will get lots of Information for UPSC Prelims 2019.  At the end of this article, we have shared links to get UPSC Topper Kanishk Kataria Notes PDF, read and boost Your Preparation

UPSC Topper Kanishk Kataria Notes PDF


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GS SCORE Prelims 2020 Test 32 With Solution PDF

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Friday, March 27, 2020

RBI’s 7th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement for 2019-20

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Repo rate has been reduced to 4.40%. Check the complete details of 7th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy 2020-21. RBI has released monetary policy today.
•In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to advance the Bi-monthly Monetary Policy meet which was scheduled to be held on 31st March 2020 and the announcement was meant to be made on 3rd April. The meeting was advanced to 24th, 26th and 27th March 2020. During the seventh Bi-monthly Monetary Policy meet, the MPC analysed the current & evolving macroeconomic and financial conditions and has decided to take a accommodative stance and hence reduced the policy repo rate to revive growth as well as to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. With its decisions, MPC aims to keep inflation within the target and hence to preserve financial stability.
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Daily Current Affairs, 27th March 2020

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1) World Theatre Day observed globally on 27 March
•World Theatre Day is observed globally on 27th March every year. World Theatre Day was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), France. It is celebrated annually on the 27th March by ITI Centres and the international theatre community. The first World Theatre Day Message was written by Jean Cocteau in 1962.

•This day is a celebration for those who can see the value and importance of the art form “theatre”, and acts as a wake-up-call for governments, politicians and institutions which have not yet recognised its value to the people and to the individual and have not yet realised its potential for economic growth.

The goals of World Theatre Day are:

•To promote theatre in all its forms across the world.

•To make people aware of the value of theatre in all its forms.

•To enable theatre communities to promote their work on a broad scale so that governments and opinion leaders are aware of the value and importance of dance in all its forms and support it.

•To enjoy theatre in all its forms for its own sake.

•To share the joy for theatre with others.

2) Indore deploy drones to sanitize city against COVID-19 scare
•India’s cleanest city, Indore has deployed drones to sanitize city areas against the coronavirus scare. Indore becomes the 1st city in India to use drones to sanitize the city. The Indore Municipal Corporation has hired two drones for that purpose.

•It is a first-of-its-kind attempt by which crowded areas are sanitizing with the help of drones. Vegetables markets and streets of the Indore are being sprayed with sodium hypochlorite and bio-clean. These drones take off with 16 litres of chemicals in each flight and return after 30 minutes having sprayed chemicals in an area spanning 8-10km. Special care is also being taken to ensure that the spray does not harm citizens.

3) DST sets up COVID-19 task force for mapping of technologies
•Department of Science and Technology (DST) has set up a COVID-19 Task Force for mapping of technologies from Research and Development labs, academic institutions, start-ups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. The Department of Science & Technology plays a pivotal role in the promotion of science & technology in the country.

•It aims to fund nearly market-ready solutions in the area of diagnostics, testing, health care delivery solutions, equipment supplies. These solutions include masks and other protective gear, sanitizers, affordable kits for screening, ventilators and oxygenators among others. The Task Force is to identify the most promising start-ups that are close to scale up, who may need financial or other help or connects or projected demand to rapidly scale up.

4) India’s largest COVID-19 hospitals to be set up in Odisha
•Odisha government has planned to set up two of the largest Covid-19 hospitals which will have a combined capacity of 1,000 beds and will be functional within a fortnight. With this, Odisha will be the first state in the country to set up such a large-scale hospital exclusively to treat Covid-19 patients. The state government signed two tripartite agreements with Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital to set up the state-level hospitals in Bhubaneswar for treatment of Covid-19 patients.

•The state government is also planning to set up a Covid-19 testing laboratory at this hospital to ease the burden on the only other facility located at Bhubaneswar. The Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and the Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) will provide the CSR fundings for the project.

5) CII sets up “CII COVID Rehabilitation and Relief Fund”
•The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has set up a CII COVID Rehabilitation and Relief Fund (CRR) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) to tackle Covid-19. The CII COVID Rehabilitation and Relief Fund (CRR) will assist small enterprises or MSME in rehabilitation. The setting up of Relief Fund is expected to curtail the impact of Coronavirus on the MSME sector.

•The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will also request to all its members to contribute an amount from their Corporate social responsibility (CSR) allocation for the CII COVID Rehabilitation and Relief Fund (CRR).

6) MHA issues SOPs to maintain supply of Essential Goods
•The Union Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA) has issued the Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) to maintain the supply of essential goods. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) have been issued by the MHA in order to relieve the difficulties faced by people during the 21-day nationwide lockdown to fight against the Coronavirus outbreak.

Some key points related to Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs):

•The SOPs proposes to let e-commerce remain operational during the 21-day nationwide lockdown and to encourage the home delivery of essential goods while keeping in mind the practice of social distancing.

•The SOPs aims to allow the employees or persons engaged in the supply chain to commute on the basis of e-pass or any other certification issued by the concerned local authorities. This will be acheived on production of a valid photo identity card.

•In case of unorganized sector, the employees or persons who are engaged in the supply of essential goods may be allowed on the basis of approval/authorization of the local authorities.

•The SOPs also prescribe the regular health and sanitation check-up of employees who are engaged in supply of essential goods. It also recommends the provision of proper protective gear to employees engaged in supply of essential goods.

7) US launches advanced high frequency satellite for military communication
•The United States Space Force has launched an Advanced Extremely High-Frequency satellite (AEHF-6) for its military communications. With the launch of the satellite, the United States has begun its first National Security Mission.

•The Lock Heed Martin AEHF-6 (Advanced Extremely High Frequency) satellite was launched on the Atlas V551 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite is to provide global protected communications. This will enhance tactical operating warfare skills of the US on ground, aerial and maritime platform.

•The US Space Force is the sixth service of the country. The first five major services of Defence includes Army, Air Force, Navy, Naval Corps and Coast Guard. The Space Force was recently set up by President Trump to identify and develop new space defence technologies. The Space Force is to prove US dominance in the Space among other force that is quietly establishing their powers in Space. This includes China and Russia.

8) Zoya Akhtar honoured with IIFTC Tourism Impact Award 2020

•Indian filmmaker Zoya Akhtar has been honoured with IIFTC Tourism Impact Award 2020 for her outstanding contribution to world tourism through her cinema. She has promoted tourism through her films like 2011 ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ which was shot in Spain, and 2015 comedy-drama ‘DilDhadakne Do’ shot in Turkey.

•Asia’s largest film tourism event, 8th India International Film Tourism Conclave (IIFTC) was held in Mumbai, Maharashtra. IIFTC is Asia’s largest locations to presenting a credible platform for film commissions, tourism offices and production service companies from around the world to showcase their locations, incentives and services to the Indian film industry.

9) Shilpa Shetty partners with “Fit India Movement”
•The Government of India’s flagship fitness movement “Fit India” has teamed up with Bollywood actress and fitness icon Shilpa Shetty Kundra. The tie-up will provide free access of the Shilpa Shetty Kundra’s premium 21-Day Weight Loss Programme during the 21-day lockdown owing to Covid-19 pandemic. The free of cost access of the 21-Day Weight Loss Programme will be available for the Indian as well as global audience via Shilpa Shetty App (SS App).

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