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Current Affairs Today – 8th May 2020

NEWS AT A GLANCE

  1. World Red Cross day is observed on 8 May.
  2. World Thalassaemia Day is observed on 8 May globally.
  3. The Time of remembrance and reconciliation for those who lost their lives during the Second World War is observed on 8-9 May every year.
  4. Public Sector Banks have sanctioned loans worth 5.66 lakh crore rupees for more than 41 lakh 81 thousand accounts during March-April this year
  5. The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India today slashed benchmark lending rate by 15 basis points and introduced Special Deposit Scheme for senior citizens with higher interest rate.
  6. Moody’s Investors Service on Friday projected India’s growth at 0 percent for the current fiscal 2020-21.
  7. As part of its efforts to strengthen the State’s disaster management efforts in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, HCL has joined hands with the District Administration of Coimbatore to provide vital protection equipment including masks, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), hand sanitizers and hands-free wash basins.
  8. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Department of Agriculture Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, released Advisories to the Fisheries sector in 12 languages.
  9. The incident of Styrene gas leakage occurred in a chemical plant LG Polymers industry in the early hours at 3 am in RR Venkatapuram village, Gopalapatnam Mandal in Visakhapatnam District, Andhra Pradesh on 7 May.
  10. Harsh Vardhan, Union Health & Family Welfare Minister launched the mobile application ‘AYUSH Sanjivani’ App and two AYUSH based studies related to COVID-19 situation.
  11. Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has announced its target to construct roads worth Rs.15 lakh crore in the next two years.
  12. The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore on his Jayanti.
  13. While reviewing the Soil Health Programme in New Delhi, Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar has informed that the government will run a mission mode awareness campaign in FY2020-2021 in over 1 lakh villages for promoting use of bio/organic fertilisers and reducing consumption of chemical soil nutrients.
  14. Uttar Pradesh State government passed an ordinance ‘Uttar Pradesh Temporary Exemption from Certain Labour Laws Ordinance, 2020’ to suspend labour laws for the next three years.
  15. Smart City Nashik takes several measures and initiatives to fight COVID-19.
  16. Madhya Pradesh has become the 1st state in the country to provide mid-day meal ration. Distribution of the mid-day Meal ration with the help of Anganwadi workers, Panchayat representatives and local teachers was taken in sending ration to the students at their home after the school closing in April.
  17. In Tamil Nadu, the retirement age of the government staff, teachers and those in public sector units has been raised by a year to 59.
  18. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced relief of Rs 5 lakh to the families of each person who died in the train tragedy in Aurangabad.
  19. Sanjeevani, a unique vehicle developed at the local level in the initiative of Rajnagar administration of Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh to help the healthcare workers.
  20. China has successfully launched a new rocket named “Long March 5B” into space as it steps up Moon landing plans.
  21. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved an additional $500 million loan to bolster the efforts of the Government of Bangladesh to manage the impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the country’s economy and the public health.
  22. The National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC), Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, in association with the Gujarat Council of Science & Technology (GUJCOST) has announced to organize a Citizen’s Science Webinar Series on “Science Communication in the Time of COVID-19.”
  23. Delhi has emerged as the top most state with the highest Internet penetration rate among all the other states of India, according to a study titled ‘Digital in India’ by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
  24. In accordance with the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), “Global Energy Review 2020-The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on global energy demand and CO2 emissions” India’s energy demand has faced a 30% decrease due to 40 days lockdown to contain COVID-19.
  25. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) extended environmentalist and actor-producer Dia Mirza’s term as its National Goodwill Ambassador for another two years till the end of 2022.
  26. Indian Navy recently designed and produced Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  27. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the road link from Dharchula (Uttarakhand) to Lipulekh (China Border) on 8 May.
  28. Scientists from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) have fabricated an economical and energy-efficient wafer-scale photodetector using gold–silicon interface.
  29. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has installed its Ultra Violet disinfection chamber at the Cochin International Airport in Kerala.
  30. Veteran director, story artist and writer of many Pixar films Rob Gibbs passed away.

NEWS IN DETAILS

IMPORTANT DAYS AND THEMES

World Red Cross day is observed on 8 May

  • World Red Cross day is observed on 8 May.
  • The day aims to celebrate the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
  • The day pays tribute to the Red Cross volunteers for their contribution to helping those in need.
  • The day creates awareness about the need for life protection in some drastic conditions.

History:

  • The World Red Cross is observed on the birth anniversary of Henry Dunant, who was the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Red Cross Society aims to inspire, initiate, and encourage all kinds of humanitarian activities under all times and circumstances.

Red Cross Society:

  • Red Cross Society, former International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, was established on 9 February 1863 in Geneva, Switzerland. The mission is to encourage and initiate at all times and all forms of humanitarian activities so that human suffering can be minimized and to create a peaceful environment
  • “The day is celebrated by the National Societies affiliated to the International Committee of the Red Cross in their countries.
  • The Red Cross Society is based on 7 principles are humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary, unity, and universality.

World Thalassaemia Day is observed on 8 May

  • World Thalassaemia Day is observed on 8 May globally.
  • The day aims to create awareness about thalassemia, its prevention, and measures to avoid its transmission among people throughout the world.
  • The day is observed to honor all patients suffering and fighting from thalassemia.
  • It also appreciates scientists working hard to provide improved quality of life to people suffering from it.

Theme:

  • The theme for 2020 World Thalassaemia Day is “The dawning of a new era for thalassemia: Time for a global effort to make novel therapies accessible and affordable to patients.”

History:

  • World Thalassaemia Day has been observed since 1994. Also, the Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF) organizes many diverse activities for the International Thalassaemia Day. The objective to draw the attention of the general public, patient associations, public authorities, healthcare professionals, and industry representatives, to fuel discussions and promote actions on a particular theme related to the prevention, management, or treatment of the disease in a patient-centered manner.

Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for victims of WWII is observed on 8-9 May

  • The Time of remembrance and reconciliation for those who lost their lives during the Second World War is observed on 8-9 May every year.
  • On this day people across the world and many authority bodies including UNGA, pay tribute to all victims of World War-II (WWII).

History:

  • The time of remembrance and reconciliation was designated by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) by resolution 59/26 of 22 November 2004. On 2 March 2010, UNGA passed resolution 64/257 and designated 8-9 May as the day to honour the victims of the Second World War. It also encouraged its Member States, NGOs and individuals to honour the victims of WWII. UNGA plans to make every effort to settle all disputes by peaceful means in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and in such a manner that international peace and security are not endangered.

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UNGA: The United Nations General Assembly is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, serving as the main deliberative, policy-making, and representative organ of the UN. Its powers, composition, functions, and procedures are set out in Chapter IV of the United Nations Charter.

  • President: Tijjani Muhammad-Bande
  • Headquarters: New York, New York, United States
  • Founder: United Nations
  • Founded: 1945, New York, New York, United States

BANKING AND FINANCE

Public Sector Banks sanction loans worth Rs 5.66 lakh cr for more than 4181000 accounts during March-April

  • Public Sector Banks have sanctioned loans worth 5.66 lakh crore rupees for more than 41 lakh 81 thousand accounts during March-April this year
  • These borrowers are from MSME, Retail, Agriculture and Corporate sectors, waiting for disbursal soon after lockdown lifts.
  • For MSMEs and others, pre-approved Emergency credit lines and working capital enhancements are being prioritised by Public Sector Banks.
  • More than 27 lakh customers have contacted from March 20 and 2.37 lakh cases have been sanctioned loans worth 26,500 crore rupees.
  • Public Sector Banks complemented RBI on loan moratorium

SBI cuts benchmark lending rate by 15 basis points

  • The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India today slashed benchmark lending rate by 15 basis points and introduced Special Deposit Scheme for senior citizens with higher interest rate.
  • With that, the marginal cost of funds based lending rate comes down to 7.25 per cent, from 7.40 per cent with effect from 10th of May.
  • But, to safeguard the interests of senior citizens, the bank has introduced a new product ‘SBI Wecare Deposit’ in the retail term deposit segment.
  • Under this new product, an additional 30 basis points premium will be payable for senior citizen’s retail term deposits with Five Years and above tenure only.
  • This scheme would be open until 30th of September.
  • But, SBI slashed its interest rates on retail term deposits by 20 basis points for up to 3 Years tenure, effective from 12th of May

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SBI:

  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Chairman: Rajnish Kumar

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Moody’s Projects India’s GDP Growth at 0% for FY21; 6.6% in FY22

  • Moody’s Investors Service on Friday projected India’s growth at 0 percent for the current fiscal 2020-21.
  • This is lower than 4.8 percent estimated in 2019-20.
  • For the fiscal year 2021-22, the growth is expected to rebound to 6.6 percent.
  • The country’s sovereign rating has also been downgraded from stable to negative, due to lower economic growth.
  • The negative outlook reflects increasing risks that economic growth will remain significantly lower than in the past.

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Moody’s Investors Service, often referred to as Moody’s, is the bond credit rating business of Moody’s Corporation, representing the company’s traditional line of business and its historical name. Moody’s Investors Service provides international financial research on bonds issued by commercial and government entities.

  • Headquarters: New York, New York, United States
  • CEO: Raymond W. McDaniel Jr.
  • Parent organization: Moody’s Corporation
  • Founder: John Moody
  • Founded: 1909, New York, New York, United States

HCL Provides Vital Protection Equipment to Frontline Workers in Coimbatore

  • As part of its efforts to strengthen the State’s disaster management efforts in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, HCL has joined hands with the District Administration of Coimbatore to provide vital protection equipment including masks, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), hand sanitizers and hands-free wash basins.
  • This will play an important role in safeguarding the lives of the frontline health workers in the district.
  • HCL has provided protection equipment including 7,000 PPE kits complying to the SITRA and HLL specifications, 20,000 three-ply masks, 55 liters of sanitizer and two hands-free wash basins to the district administration.
  • These are being routed to the frontline workers of Coimbatore district working in the ESI Hospital, Government Hospital, Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, District Health Centres and conservancy workers across the district.

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HCL Technologies Limited, is an Indian multinational information technology service and consulting company headquartered in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. It is a subsidiary of HCL Enterprise.

  • CEO: C Vijayakumar
  • Founders: Shiv Nadar, Arjun Malhotra
  • Parent organization: HCL Enterprise

NATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

ICAR Institutes released advisories to Fisheries sector in 12 languages

  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Department of Agriculture Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, released Advisories to the Fisheries sector in 12 languages.

Highlights:

  • The advisories are aimed to put back the disrupted fishing activities from open-water, and aquaculture in both freshwater and brackish water systems, several associated activities like seed production, feed plant operation, supply and market chains, etc.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) included ICAR Advisories as Voluntary Guidelines for the benefit of the fisheries sector across the globe.
  • ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CIFRI), Barrackpore prepared advisories for the stakeholders involved in fishing activities in rivers, estuaries, reservoirs, and wetlands.
  • The advisories were popularized through print and electronic media, circulated to State Fisheries Departments, developmental agencies, NGOs and SHGs, and also through social media.
  • FAO, Rome has recommended these advisories prepared by ICAR-CIFT and ICAR-CIFRI as they included them as Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries under the Asia-Regional initiatives for the benefit of fisheries sector across the globe at its Webpage: http://www.fao.org/3/ca8959en/ca8959en.pdf.

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ICAR:

  • Headquarters location: New Delhi
  • Founded: 16 July 1929

PM reviewed Visakhapatnam Gas Leak Incident

  • The incident of Styrene gas leakage occurred in a chemical plant LG Polymers industry in the early hours at 3 am in RR Venkatapuram village, Gopalapatnam Mandal in Visakhapatnam District, Andhra Pradesh on 7 May.
  • Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to take stock of the steps being taken in response to the Vishakhapatnam gas leak incident.

Highlights:

  • Styrene gas is toxic in nature. It may cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and causes respiratory problems and other medical conditions.
  • The gas leakage affected the surrounding villages namely Narava, B.C Colony, Bapuji Nagar, Kampalapalem, and Krishna Nagar. People who were exposed to the gas faced breathing difficulties, rashes on their bodies, and soar eyes.
  • At least 10 people died and over 1,000 fell sick because of the alleged gas leak in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The plant used raw material styrene which is highly flammable and releases poisonous gas when burnt.

LG Polymers industry:

  • The LG Polymers industry was founded in 1961 as Hindustan Polymers. The plant manufactures polystyrene and its co-polymers in Vizag. In 1978, it was merged with Mc Dowell & Company Limited of UB Group.

Previous Gas leak incidents in India:

  • In 1984, at least 3,787 died in the gas leak incident at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
  • In 2011, around 20 persons were hospitalized following a chlorine gas leak in an effluent treatment plant in Pimpri Chinchwad, Pune.
  • In 2014, 6 persons died and over 30 people fell ill when poisonous gas leaked from Bhilai Steel Plant in Durg, Chhattisgarh.
  • In 2018, 14 people were hospitalized after inhaling ammonia gas leaked from a plant in Ratnagiri, Mumbai.
  • In 2019, 21 workers were hospitalized in a chemical leak from a tank inside a plant at Nira-Nimbut near Pune.

Harsh Vardhan launched AYUSH Sanjivani App

  • Harsh Vardhan, Union Health & Family Welfare Minister launched the mobile application ‘AYUSH Sanjivani’ App and two AYUSH based studies related to COVID-19 situation.
  • The app was developed by the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY).

AYUSH Sanjivani App:

  • The AYUSH Sanjivani mobile app will help to generate data on acceptance and usage of AYUSH advocacies and measures among the population and its impact on the prevention of COVID-19.
  • It is expected to reach out to a target of 50 lakh people.
  • The COVID-19 management has provided a potent platform for the alliance between MoHFW, MoAYUSH, and technology organizations such as CSIR, ICMR, and UGC to not only develop AYUSH interventions and solutions but also help in promoting AYUSH knowledge for the larger good of the global community.
  • These organizations are partnering with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for this regard.
  • ICMR and DCGI will support and guide AYUSH in propagating the wholesomeness and holistic health benefits of the age-old traditional medicinal knowledge of Ayurveda.

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The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy is purposed with developing education, research and propagation of indigenous alternative medicine systems in India. The Ministry is headed by a Minister of State, which is currently held by Shripad Yesso Naik.

  • Officeholder: Shripad Naik (MOS independent charge)
  • Founded: 9 November 2014, India
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Jurisdiction: India

Union Minister Gadkari sets road construction target for next two years at Rs.15 lakh crore

  • Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has announced its target to construct roads worth Rs.15 lakh crore in the next two years.
  • The announcement was made by the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs Nitin Gadkari.
  • The Ministry is working overtime to clear all arbitration cases with concessionaires.

Highlights:

  • It will focus on enhancing liquidity in the business. The industry also focuses more on innovation, technology, and research skill to become competitive in the global market.
  • The Ministry has announced that it is working overtime to clear all arbitration cases with concessionaires.
  • The Centre also assured all possible help at the appropriate level in the govt and other departments.
  • The Ministry is to finalize the auto scrapping policy quickly and will go a long way in cost reduction.

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The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is a ministry of the Government of India, that is the apex body for formulation and administration of the rules, regulations and laws relating to road transport, transport research and in also to increase the mobility and efficiency of the road transport system in India.

  • Jurisdiction: India
  • Founded: July 1942
  • Headquarters: Parivahan Bhavan, 1, Parliament Street, New Delhi
  • Annual budget: 91,823 crores INR (US$13 billion, 2020-21 est.)
  • Ministry executives: Sanjeev Ranjan, IAS, Secretary; I.K. Pandey, Director General (Road Development) and Special Secretory to Government of India
  • Officeholders: Mansukh L. Mandaviya (Minister of State), Nitin Gadkari (Union Minister)

PM Narendra Modi pays tributes to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore on his Jayanti.
  • “Tributes to Gurudev Tagore on his Jayanti. Gifted in several fields, he made a strong contribution towards India’s freedom movement.
  • His clarity of thought and expression were always outstanding”, the Prime Minister said.

Govt to run awareness campaign in 1 lakh villages on balanced use of fertilisers for FY 20-21

  • While reviewing the Soil Health Programme in New Delhi, Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar has informed that the government will run a mission mode awareness campaign in FY2020-2021 in over 1 lakh villages for promoting use of bio/organic fertilisers and reducing consumption of chemical soil nutrients.
  • In this regard, Soil Testing Labs by youth having education in agriculture, Women Self Help Groups, FPOs (Farmer’s Produce Organization) etc. will be set up at village level Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme.
  • Also Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare will launch a comprehensive campaign on soil test based rational application of fertilisers and promotion of organic farming including Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Padhati (BPKP) for safe nutritious food in association with the Departments of Panchayat Raj, Rural Development and Drinking Water and Sanitation.

STATE CURRENT AFFAIRS

UP passed an ordinance to suspend most labour laws for 3 years

  • Uttar Pradesh State government passed an ordinance ‘Uttar Pradesh Temporary Exemption from Certain Labour Laws Ordinance, 2020’ to suspend labour laws for the next three years.
  • The move is aimed to boost industrial investment and employ the large number of migrant workers that have come back to their native villages in the state.
  • The Ordinance has been sent to Governor Anandiben Patel for assent.

Highlights:

  • The purpose of the ordinance aims to encourage industries to freely employ the large number of migrant workers that have come back. If industries have to go through the regular process of employing then they will be hesitant.
  • It provides certain safeguards regarding minimum wages, health, and safety of the workers. Also, it stated that strict action will be taken if anyone is found misusing the ordinance.
  • The ordinance will apply to all factories and manufacturing facilities and fresh investments.
  • The state cabinet approved this ordinance in order to revive economic activities in the state that have been hit hard due to the coronavirus-mandated lockdown.
  • It will encourage new investments and set up the new industrial infrastructure and the benefit of existing industries and factories.
  • The state has received close to 7 lakh migrant workers from across the country and many more lakhs are expected to arrive in the state.

Uttar Pradesh:

  • Capital: Lucknow
  • Chief Minister: Yogi Adityanath
  • Governor: Anandiben Patel
  • State formed in: 24 January 1950
  • Literacy Rate: 67.68%
  • Nation Park: Dudhwa National Park

Smart City Nashik uses several creative initiatives to fight coronavirus

  • Smart City Nashik takes several measures and initiatives to fight COVID-19.
  • The measures taken by the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) at the city level include:

Cleanliness/ Sanitization of Public Places:

  • Spraying of Sodium Hypochlorite by means of 8 Tractors and 13 Pumps on an area of 36 sq.km at various NMC Offices, Quarantine Facilities, and across the City. Spraying of pesticides was done by 287 Malaria fighting workers on across 37.5 Sq. Meter & 109 Km of the area across the city respectively.

Separate vehicles for Waste collection & Disposal from Quarantined households:

  • The collection of door-to-door waste and disposal from Home Quarantined households is undertaken by Corporation’s sanitation workers separately.

Provision of special PPE for sanitation workers:

  • The NMC provided the provision of safety equipment such as Hand Gloves, Face Masks, Hand Sanitizers, and another PPE that has been made to 748 Medical officials & 1500 Sanitation Workers.

Provision of Facility of Institutional Quarantine wards:

  • Planning & Provision of 14 Institutional quarantine wards has been done across the city for the COVID-19 suspects. A total of 72 beds have been utilized to date at Institutional quarantine wards.

Smartphone App MahaKavach:

  • The MahaKavach is a real-time digital contact tracing mobile application. It enables citizens to contribute and assist the health authorities in contact tracing, geo-fencing, and tracking of quarantined COVID-19 patients. This app is to be used by Individuals as directed by their doctor or medical worker. The app also encourages to update the quarantine status for greater adherence.

IVR based 24*7 Helpdesk:

  • NMC has initiated 24*7 Helpdesk System for Inbound calls & pre-recorded, outbound text and voice messages to citizens to get information about the COVID-19.

Body Sanitizing Machine:

  • NMC has also established a Body Sanitizing Machine at Nashik Municipal Corporation Head office, Divisional Offices & Hospitals to sanitize people.

Farmers Group & NGO Help:

  • 42 Farmers group in 82 different locations across the city, provides Fruit & Vegetables to Citizens. Also, Sahyadri Farmers Producer Company, Green Fields Services, and Draksh Vigyan Mandal provided Home delivery of Fruits and Vegetable baskets to citizens. NGO’s are also helping NMC to provide Medical & Food supplies to needy citizens.

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Maharashtra:

  • Capital: Mumbai
  • Chief Minister: Uddhav Thackeray
  • Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari
  • National Parks: Chandoli National Park, Nawegaon National Park, Gugamal National Park, Pench National Park, Sanjay Gandhi (Borivilli) National Park, Tadoba National Park
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: Amba Barwa WLS, Bor WLS, Great Indian Bustard WLS,Lonar WLS, Melghat WLS, Gangewadi New Great Indian Bustard WLS, etc.

MP becomes 1st state to provide Mid-Day Meal ration

  • Madhya Pradesh has become the 1st state in the country to provide mid-day meal ration. Distribution of the mid-day Meal ration with the help of Anganwadi workers, Panchayat representatives and local teachers was taken in sending ration to the students at their home after the school closing in April.
  • To provide mid-day meal to school children in the corona outbreak an amount of Rs 117 crore has been transferred online in the bank account of the parents of 66 lakh 27 thousand students of primary and secondary school by the state government.
  • Under door-to-door mid-day meal scheme, ration has also been provided to 56 lakh 87 thousand children.

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Madhya Pradesh:

  • Capital: Bhopal
  • Chief Minister: Kamal Nath
  • Governor: Lalji Tandon
  • National Park: Bandhavgarh NP, Fossil NP, Kanha NP, Madhav NP, Panna NP, Pench NP, Sanjay NP, Satpura NP

Tamil Nadu raises retirement age of government employees to 59

  • In Tamil Nadu, the retirement age of the government staff, teachers and those in public sector units has been raised by a year to 59.
  • The order comes in the wake of reports of loss of revenue due to the pandemic.

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Tamilnadu

  • Capital: Chennai
  • Chief Minister: Edappadi K.Palanisamy
  • Governor: Banwarilal Purohit
  • Chief Justice of Madras High Court: Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani
  • National Park: Guindy NP,Gulf of Mannar Marine NP, Indira Gandhi (Annamalai) NP,             Mudumalai NP, Mukurthi NP.

MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan announces relief of Rs 5 lakh to families of Aurangabad train tragedy victims

  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced relief of Rs 5 lakh to the families of each person who died in the train tragedy in Aurangabad.
  • The Chief Minister said that a team of high officials is being sent to the spot by special aircraft which will arrange the last rites of the dead and help the injured in every possible way.
  • The District Administration in Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh sent teams to villages in Shahdol and Umaria districts to confirm whether the victims of the accident belonged to these districts.

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Madhya Pradesh:

  • Capital: Bhopal
  • Chief Minister: Kamal Nath
  • Governor: Lalji Tandon
  • National Park: Bandhavgarh NP, Fossil NP, Kanha NP, Madhav NP, Panna NP, Pench NP, Sanjay NP, Satpura NP

Sanjeevani a unique vehicle developed at the local level in Madhya Pradesh

  • Sanjeevani, a unique vehicle developed at the local level in the initiative of Rajnagar administration of Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh to help the healthcare workers.
  • The vehicle is first of its kind to assist the healthcare workers to investigate the patients and the suspected patients without direct physical contact.
  • SDMSwapnilWankhede mentioned that the vehicle will allow the healthcare workers to access inside any area and test the suspects without stepping off the vehicle.
  • The healthcare workers of Madhya Pradesh were infected by coronavirus and they were attacked in many parts of the state by the locals. The vehicle will prevent healthcare workers from getting infected with COVID-19 and to protect them from attacks.
  • The vehicle does not require the Personal Protective Equipment Kit(PPE)

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Madhya Pradesh:

  • Capital: Bhopal
  • Chief Minister: Kamal Nath
  • Governor: Lalji Tandon
  • National Park: Bandhavgarh NP, Fossil NP, Kanha NP, Madhav NP, Panna NP, Pench NP, Sanjay NP, Satpura NP

INTERNATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

China launches new rocket “Long March 5B” successfully

  • China has successfully launched a new rocket named “Long March 5B” into space as it steps up Moon landing plans.
  • This rocket is launched in Wenchang launch site that is located on the island of Hainan, china.
  • The rocket is a massive vehicle and is being compared with deep space Orion capsule of NASA.
  • The rocket in the future will help China transport astronauts to space station by 2022.
  • The rocket launch will also aid China in its plans of building a huge space station called “Tiangong”. Tiangong is the space station programme of China.

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China (Capital/Currency): Beijing/Renminbi

  • President: Xi Jinping

ADB Approves $500 Million for Bangladesh’s COVID-19 Response

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved an additional $500 million loan to bolster the efforts of the Government of Bangladesh to manage the impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the country’s economy and the public health.
  • This package will build on ADB’s ongoing collaboration with Bangladesh on structural reforms by supporting government efforts to speed up the country’s social and economic recovery.
  • The loan is expected to benefit over 15 million poor and vulnerable people in Bangladesh.
  • Around 1.5 million workers, mostly women, in export-oriented industries will receive extended salary support while doctors, nurses, and medical workers fighting COVID-19 in government-run hospitals will receive special honorarium.

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ADB: The Asian Development Bank is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966, which is headquartered in the Ortigas Center located in the city of Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines. The company also maintains 31 field offices around the world to promote social and economic development in Asia.

  • Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines
  • President: Masatsugu Asakawa
  • Membership: 68 countries
  • Founded: 19 December 1966
  • Purpose: Economic development

SUMMITS AND CONFERENCES

NCSTC-GUJCOST to host Webinar series to overcome COVID-19 by awareness and preparedness

  • The National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC), Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, in association with the Gujarat Council of Science & Technology (GUJCOST) has announced to organize a Citizen’s Science Webinar Series on “Science Communication in the Time of COVID-19.”
  • The webinar has been scheduled to be held from 10-16 May 2020 everyday between 10-11 am. The webinar would be accessible online through the internet.

Science Communication in the Time of COVID-19:

  • The webinar aims to address tackling the COVID-19 pandemic by applying various methods and means.
  • It will develop awareness and preparedness to deal with and address the current health crisis posed by COVID-19 to help overcome the situation.
  • The webinar will facilitate the necessary actions and preparedness of the society to address the challenge, such as strategies to reach out to society with the necessary information by involving various stakeholders, including academicians, students, media and volunteers, and so on.
  • It also aims to promote at the community-level for the usage of authentic scientific and health information and facilitate crisis management.

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NCSTC: The National Council for Science and Technology Communication is a scientific programme of the Government of India for the popularisation of science, dissemination of scientific knowledge and inculcation of scientific temper.

  • Founded: 1982

RANKS AND INDICES

Delhi Top State in Internet Penetration Followed by Kerala: IAMAI Report

  • Delhi has emerged as the top most state with the highest Internet penetration rate among all the other states of India, according to a study titled ‘Digital in India’ by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
  • The study has been curated by Nielsen and based on IRS data.
  • Delhi is followed by Kerala at second position in terms of internet penetration, means the number of internet users.
  • In terms of cities, Mumbai has registered highest number of Internet users, which is estimated to be 13 million. Delhi is ranked second with 11.3 million, followed by Bengaluru (6.6 million), Kolkata (6.3 million) and Chennai (6 million) respectively.
  • The estimated numbers of users denotes the active internet users above 12 years of age.
  • In terms of age-wise demographics, two-third of Internet users are in the age group of 12-29 years, which is more than 70 percent of Internet users in the rural India.
  • The Eastern states of the country together registered 24% increase in the Internet population in November 2019 compared to March 2019.
  • Overall, India has a total of 504 million active Internet users (accessed Internet in the last one month), who were five years and above as of November 2019.

Extra Shots:

IAMAI: Internet & Mobile Association of India is a not-for-profit industry body registered under the Societies Act, 1896. Its mandate is to expand and enhance the online and mobile value added services sectors. Wikipedia

  • Founded: 2004
  • Headquarters: Mumbai

India’s energy demand falls by 30% due to covid-19 lockdown: IEA-Global Energy Review 2020

  • In accordance with the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), “Global Energy Review 2020-The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on global energy demand and CO2 emissions” India’s energy demand has faced a 30% decrease due to 40 days lockdown to contain COVID-19.
  • It means that with each additional week of lockdown, India’s annual energy demand is reduced by 0.6%.
  • The impact on Q1 2020 energy demand in India was modest, with demand increasing by 0.3 relative to Q1 2019.
  • In India, energy demand would decline for the first time, following on from low demand growth in 2019.
  • The report is based on an analysis of around 100 days of real-data of2020.
  • The decline in electricity and transport demand in India is highest among the globe.

Extra Shots:

IEA: The International Energy Agency is a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organization established in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis.

  • Headquarters location: Paris, France
  • Founded: November 1974
  • Subsidiary: International Energy Agency, Research Division

APPOINTMENT

UNEP extends Actress Dia Mirzas term as Goodwill Ambassador

  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) extended environmentalist and actor-producer Dia Mirza’s term as its National Goodwill Ambassador for another two years till the end of 2022.
  • Dia is also a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocate.

Dia Mirza:

  • Dia Mirza has contributed and taken an active part in the campaign “Beat the Pollution”. She has made significant contributions towards World Environment Day celebrations, Circular fashions, and other UNEP campaigns. Under Beat the Pollution Campaign India works to become completely free from single-use plastics by 2022.

Extra Shots:

UNEP: The United Nations Environment Programme is responsible for coordinating the UN’s environmental activities and assisting developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices.

  • Headquarters location: Nairobi, Kenya
  • Head: Inger Andersen
  • Abbreviation: UN Environment
  • Director: Inger Andersen
  • Subsidiary: World Conservation Monitoring Centre
  • Founders: Wangari Maathai, Maurice Strong

DEFENCE CURRENT AFFAIRS

Indian Navys PPE clears certification by INMAS

  • Indian Navy recently designed and produced Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • The PPE was tested and approved by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), Delhi which is a DRDO organization tasked with the testing and certification of PPE.
  • It is certified to be mass-produced and used in clinical COVID-19 situations.

Highlights:

  • The PPE was passed with 6/6 Synthetic blood penetration resistance test pressure. GoI mandated a minimum 3/6 and above level as per ISO 16603 standard and is thus certified to be mass-produced and used in clinical COVID-19 situations.
  • The outstanding features of the PPE are simple, innovative, and cost-effective design. It can be manufactured by basic gown manufacturing facilities.
  • The PPE is noteworthy for the innovative choice of fabric used, which gives the PPE its breathability and penetration resistance rendering it both comfortable and safe for the user.
  • The cost for the approved PPE is significantly lower than those commercially available.

Extra Shots:

INMAS: Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences is a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation. Located in New Delhi, it is involved in Nuclear medicine research and responding to nuclear accidents and explosions.

  • Founded: 1956
  • Operating agency: Defence Research and Development Organisation

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated Dharchula-Lipulekh road link

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the road link from Dharchula (Uttarakhand) to Lipulekh (China Border) on 8 May.
  • He flagged off a convoy of vehicles from Pithoragarh to Gunji through video conferencing.
  • The road link was constructed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) engineers and personnel.

Highlights:

  • The crucial Dharchula-Lipulekh road link is expected to increase the local trade and economic growth in the region. It will boost the operationalization of this roadway.
  • Dharchula-Lipulekh is an 80 km road. The altitude rises from 6,000 to 17,060 feet.
  • The road link will make the Kailash-Manasarovar pilgrimage easy.
  • Currently, the travel to Kailash-Mansarovar takes around two to three weeks through Sikkim or Nepal routes.
  • The arduous trek will now be entailed approximately 20% of land journeys on Indian roads and 80% of land journeys in China.

Extra Shots:

BRO: The Border Roads Organisation develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas and friendly neighboring countries. Officers from the Border Roads Engineering Service and personnel from the General Reserve Engineer Force form the parent cadre of the Border Roads Organisation.

  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Director General: Lt. Gen.Harpal Singh
  • Founder: Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Founded: 7 May 1960
  • Budget: 73.2 crores USD
  • Jurisdiction: India

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

JNCASR scientists fabricate energy-efficient photodetector for security application

  • Scientists from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) have fabricated an economical and energy-efficient wafer-scale photodetector using gold–silicon interface.
  • The thin slice-based device can be used for security applications.
  • The photodetector will detect weak scattered light as an indication of unwanted activity.

Highlights:

  • The gold (Au)-silicon (n-Si) interface shows high sensitivity towards light demonstrating the photodetection action. The method is highly economical and enables large-area fabrication without compromising the detector response.
  • The process of fabrication is quick and takes only minutes to fabricate a detector of any arbitrary area.
  • The detector exhibits a rapid response of 40 microseconds and can detect low light intensities. The device covers a broad spectral range from Ultraviolet to Infrared. The detector operates in the self-powered mode so that it does not require external power for its operation and makes it energy efficient.
  • The device is also environmentally stable and can be used under harsh conditions for several days.

Extra Shots:

JNCASR : The Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research is a multidisciplinary research institute located at Jakkur, Bangalore, India.

  • Founder: C. N. R. Rao
  • Founded: 1989

DRDO installs its UV disinfection chamber at Cochin International Airport

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has installed its Ultra Violet disinfection chamber at the Cochin International Airport in Kerala.
  • On April 7, the DRDO had deployed a disinfectant chamber at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the national capital to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
  • DRDO officials said that the chamber uses a solution that is known to kill COVID-19 and will help in controlling the spread of coronavirus.
  • The DRDO has been working on providing a large number of medical and personal protection equipment for healthcare personnel in the country.
  • Recently, it had developed an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection tower for rapid and chemical-free disinfection of high infection-prone areas.

Extra Shots:

DRDO: The Defence Research and Development Organisation is an agency of the Government of India, charged with the military’s research and development, headquartered in Delhi, India.

  • Headquarters location: New Delhi
  • Motto: बलस्य मूलं विज्ञानम्; “Strength’s Origin is in Science” (Sanskrit)
  • Founded: 1958
  • Inventions: Pinaka multi barrel rocket launcher
  • Annual budget: 14,818.74 crores INR (2017–2018, US$2.1 billion)
  • Subsidiaries: Defence Scientific Information and Documentation Centre, Gas Turbine Research Establishment

OBITUARIES

Veteran director & story artist Rob Gibbs passes away

  • Veteran director, story artist and writer of many Pixar films Rob Gibbs passed away.
  • He was well Known for successful Pixar films, including Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo,Monsters.Up, Wall-E, Inside Out to Onward.

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