DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS: APRIL 12, 13 & 14, 2020
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International Day of Human Space Flight: 12 April
- 12 April 1961 was the date of the first human space flight, carried out by Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet citizen.
- UN Assembly declared 12 April as the International Day of Human Space Flight to celebrate each year the beginning of the space era for mankind
Easter festival is celebrated on 12 April:
- Easter festival is celebrated on 12 April in the year 2020. The day varies every year. The festival is celebrated by Christians across the world.
- The festival is celebrated to observe the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The festival is celebrated on the Sunday after the first full moon, the Paschal full moon, after the vernal equinox.
Odia New Year is celebrated on 13 April:
- Maha Bishuba Pana Sankranti is celebrated as the Odia New Year on 13 April. Pana Sankranti begins on 13 April every year.
- The day is named after “Pana”, a drink offering. The day is celebrated with great joy, social, cultural and religious performances.
- Capital: Bhubaneswar
- Chief Minister:Naveen Patnaik
- Governor:Ganeshi Lal
April 13, 2020 marked the 101st anniversary of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre:
- 13 April 2020 marked the 101st anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. On this day, the martyrs who were killed mercilessly in Jallianwala Bagh are remembered.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to the innocent martyrs who showed great courage and sacrifice.
- Jallianwala Bagh massacre: The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, or the Amritsar slaughter, happened on 13 April 1919.
Ministry of Human Resource Development Minister launched ‘YUKTI’ in New Delhi:
- Union HRD Minister launched a web portal YUKTI to monitor and record the efforts and initiatives of Ministry of Human Resource Development.
- The portal intends to cover the different dimensions of COVID-19 challenges in a very holistic and comprehensive way.
- Young India Combating COVID with Knowledge,Technology & Innovation.
- Chief Minister: Arvind Kejriwal
- Governor: Anil Baijal
NRLM SHG women to face the challenge of COVID-19 situation in India:
- Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development, has contributed to the challenge of COVID-19 situation in the country.
- Around 690 lakh women members of around 63 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) have emerged as community warriors to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Flipkart partners with Tata for distribution of essential supplies:
- E-commerce firm Flipkart and Tata Consumer Products Ltd have partnered to enable access to essential food and beverage products to Indians through a system where the latter’s distributors will list as marketplace sellers on the former’s platform.
More than Rs 5,000 Cr transferred to accounts of 7.15 Cr beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana:
- Oil marketing companies initiated the transfer of Rs 5,606 crore to 7.15 Crore PMUY beneficiary accounts for availing free delivery of LPG cylinder under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package.
- There are over 8 crore PMUY beneficiaries in the country.
Government eases norms for PPF and Sukanya Samriddhi account holders:
- Finance Ministry has extended the deadline for mandatory minimum deposit in Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SSA) for 2019-20 by three months up to June 30
- Small Savings schemes are provided under India Post.
Government approves ex-gratia compensation for FCI officials in case of death:
- The government has approved the proposal for grant of ex-gratia monetary compensation to 1,08,714 workers and officers of the FCI including 80,000 labour who are working round the clock to supply food grains across the country amidst the pandemic.
- Union Minister for Food & Consumer Affairs – Ram Vilas Paswan.
Ahmedabad railway station gets sanitizing tunnel:
- The Ahmedabad Railway station at Kalupur has become the first in the country to install a walk-through mass sanitizing tunnel. It is a pilot project and an attempt to ensure that passengers do not contract the infection.
- It runs on vaporization process that converts sanitizer mixture.
- Chief Minister:Vijay Rupani
- Governor:Acharya Devvrat
7 major consultancies join hands with Invest India for economic revival post Covid-19:
- 7 consultancy firms – Bain & Co, EY, PwC, BCG, KPMG, Primus Partners and Mirae Asset Management – have joined hand with Invest India to chalk out an economic revival strategy for India after the pandemic comes to an end
- Invest India is a Joint Venture of Indian chambers of commerce.
TRIFED asks Agencies to initiate procurement under ‘MSP for MFP scheme’:
- TRIFED (Tribal Co-op Marketing Development Federation.) under Ministry of Tribal Affairs, has asked the State Nodal Departments & Implementing Agencies to initiate procurement of Minor Forest Produces (MFPs) at Minimum Support Price (MSP) from the available funds under MSP for MFP Scheme.
UNIDO signs MoU with Consumer Unity Trust Society to counter economic impact of COVD-19:
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN), has inked an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS), a non-profit organisation based in Jaipur, Rajasthan, to promote consumers to contribute to the global development agenda as well as support their respective governments in times of global crisis like coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
BRO opened Srinagar-Leh highway to allow essential commodities:
- Border Roads Organisation (BRO) opened the strategic Srinagar-Leh highway. The highway connects Ladakh with the rest of the world. Earlier, few oil tankers and other essential commodities were allowed to move towards Leh/Ladakh from Zojila pass.
- The 425 km Srinagar-Leh highway was closed since the month of December 2019 due to heavy snowfall at Zojila pass.
Google and Apple ties-up to create coronavirus contact tracing technology by smartphone:
- Apple Inc an American multinational technology company,has partnered with Google LLC have jointly create a coronavirus (COVID-19) contact tracing technology using Bluetooth signals.
Banking and Economy
LIC announces extension of 30 days for payment of premium due:
- LIC announced an extension of 30 days for payment of premium due in March and April 2020 to mitigate the hardships being faced by policyholder.
- The relaxation is allowed up to April 15 for February premiums, where grace period was expiring after March 22
- LIC is a 100% Govt owned Subsidiary.
Jana Small Finance Bank rolls out digital banking platform:
- Jana SFB, a scheduled commercial bank has launched a digital banking platform, DigiGen where customers can open accounts instantly.
- It is a 3-step process and customers are eligible for a 4.5% interest rates on the savings account.
Jana Small Finance Bank:
- MD & CEO–Ajay Kanwal.
- Headquarters: Bangalore.
- Tagline: Paise ki Kadar.
World Bank sees FY21 India Growth Rate at 1.5% – 2.8%
- World Bank has scaled down India’s gross domestic growth (GDP) growth projection to 1.5-2.8% for the current fiscal year, which would be the lowest economic expansion since the balance of payments crisis of 91-92 when economic expansion fell to 1.1%.
- However, growth is expected to recover to 4-5% next year.
- Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
- President: David Malpass
EPFO settles 1.37 lakh PF withdrawal claims worth Rs 280 cr during lockdown:
- EPFO has settled 1.37 lakh provident fund withdrawal claims worth Rs 280 crore was disbursed under a new provision especially formulated by amending the EPF Scheme to help subscribers fight COVID-19.
- EPFO works under Ministry of Labour & Employment.
India’s Fiscal deficit of 5.07% in February makes it difficult to meet its revised target of 3.8%: GOI
- The report released by the Government of India (GOI) stated that the fiscal deficit in February was 5.07% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), making it difficult for the government to meet its revised fiscal deficit target of 3.8% of GDP for FY20.
Chinese Central Bank’s stake in HDFC crosses 1%; worth around Rs 3000 Crore:
- China’s Central Bank, the People’s Bank of China raised its shareholding in HDFC to over 1%. It now has 17.49 million shares or 1.01% of HDFC equity capital, according to BSE.
- HDFC is India’s largest mortgage firm in the private sector.
- HDFC Vice Chairman & CEO – Keki Mistry.
Science and Technology
NASA measures wind speed on the surface of a brown dwarf star:
- NASA announced a groundbreaking measurement of a brown dwarf star. A brown dwarf is described as an in-betweener that’s not quite a star & not quite a planet.
- The brown dwarf NASA measured is called 2MASS J10475385+2124234 & is 32 light-years from Earth.
- Measurements showed winds moving around the planet at 1425 mph.
IIT-Ropar develops UV germicidal irradiation technology-based device to sanitize grocery items, currency notes:
- The Indian Institute of Technology Ropar (IIT-Ropar) has developed a trunk-shaped device fitted with ultraviolet (UV) germicidal irradiation technology. The device aims to aid the fight against COVID-19.
- UV germicidal irradiation technology: The device should be placed at doorsteps and all items brought from outside including grocery and currency notes must be put in it to sanitize them. The trunk will cost around or less than Rs.500.
ICMR approves use of TB diagnostic machine for coronavirus:
- Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex body in India for the formulation and promotion of biomedical research, has allowed the use of a diagnostic machine used to test drug-resistant TB (Tuberculosis) for conducting coronavirus tests.
- In this regard, it had recognized the ‘TrueLTM beta COV test on the TruLabTM workstation’ and recommended it as a screening test.
IIT Bombay develops ‘smart stethoscope’ which can hear heartbeats from a distance:
- IIT Bombay developed a ‘digital stethoscope’ that can listen to heartbeats from a distance and record them minimising the risk of healthcare workers from contracting coronavirus. It has been developed with inputs from Reliance Hospital and Hinduja Group.
BEL & AIIMS- Rishikesh jointly develops remote health monitoring system for coronavirus cases:
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)– Rishikesh (Uttarakhand) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), an Indian state-owned aerospace and defence company, have jointly developed India’s 1st remote health monitoring system.
- With this help, the remote parameters of coronavirus (COVID-19)-infected patients quarantined in homes and hospitals can be detected from anywhere.
Justice V Kanagaraj appointed new State Election Commissioner of Andhra Pradesh:
- Justice V Kanagaraj, a retired judge of the Madras High Court, assumed charge as the State Election Commissioner of Andhra Pradesh with the promulgation of an Ordinance amending Section 200 of the AP Panchayat Raj Act, 1994.
- Capital: Amaravati
- Chief Minister: Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy
- Governor: Biswa Bhushan Harichandan
- Folk dances: Kuchipudi, Vilasini Natyam, Bhamakalpam, Veeranatyam.
- National Park: Sri Venkateswara National Park ,Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Papikonda National Park.
Indian Actress Tamannaah Bhatia signed as brand ambassador for MPL:
- India’s largest mobile gaming platform, Mobile Premier League (MPL) has brought Tamannaah Bhatia of Baahubali fame, as its brand ambassador, to endorse their gaming platform.
- Recently, MPL also renewed its association with Indian Cricket Captain Virat Kohli for another one year.
Tata Capital Announces the Elevation of Sarosh Amaria To Managing Director:
- The Board of Tata Capital Financial Services (TCFSL), subsidiary of Tata Capital Limited, announced the elevation of Sarosh Amaria to the Managing Director. Sarosh Amaria is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the Commercial & SME Finance Division.
M S Mahabaleshwara reappointed as MD and CEO of Karnataka Bank for 3 more years:
- Private sector lender Karnataka Bank received RBI nod for reappointment of Mahabaleshwara M S as MD and CEO for next three years.
- The regulator has also approved for reappointment of P Jayarama Bhat as part-time (non-executive) chairman.
- Headquarters: Mangalore, Karnataka.
- Tagline: Your Family Bank, Across India
Former Gujarat cricketer Walter D’Souza passes away:
- Former Gujarat cricketer, Walter D’Souza passed away at the age of 93. He was one of India’s oldest living first-class cricketers, who featured in 16 fixtures for state. D’Souza’s first-class career lasted for nearly 2 decades from 1947-1948 to 1965-1966.
Former South Africa Test Cricketer Jackie du Preez passes away:
- Former South Africa spinner and Zimbabwe selector, John Harcourt du Preez, fondly known as Jackie, has died at the age of 77. He was one of the many Zimbabweans to play for South Africa in his country’s pre-independence days.
- Later years he served as national selector of Zimbabwe Cricket.
Veteran Congress leader MV Rajasekharan dies at 91:
- Congress leader and former Union Minister M V Rajasekharan passed away. He was also an agriculturalist and a rural development consultant. He represented Kanakapura constituency in Lok Sabha.
- He hails from Ramnagara, Karnataka.
Tamil New year- April 14:
- Puthandu, also known as Puthuvarusham or Tamil New Year, is the first day of year on the Tamil calendar and traditionally celebrated as a festival.
- The festival date is set with the solar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu calendar, as the first day of the Tamil month Chithirai.
- Chief Minister:Edappadi K. Palaniswami
- Governor:Banwarilal Purohit
Nation remembers Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar on his 129th Birth Anniversary:
- Dr Ambedkar is known as the chief architect of the Indian Constitution and has been bestowed with the country’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna. Born in MP, he was a jurist, economist & social reformer.
- He was the first Law and Justice Minister of Independent India.
World Chagas Disease Day: April 14:
- The Chagas disease also called as the American trypanosomiasis has been termed as a silent and silenced disease. It is a vector-borne disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi transmitted by triatomine bugs.
- It mainly affects poor people of Latin America.
Food Bank to help the needy and poor introduced in Manipur:
A new initiative called, Food Bank is introduced in Manipur to provide immediate aid in the form of free food to the poor and the needy. Items to be distributed after proper verification of beneficiaries.
- Capital– Imphal
- Governor– Najma Heptulla
- Chief Minister– N. Biren Singh
- National Parks– Keibul Lamjao National Park, Shirui National Park
IFFCO organizes continual awareness campaigns ‘Break the CORONA Chain’ on ground zero:
- Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) one of India’s biggest cooperative societies has continuously organized a social awareness campaign, ‘Break the CORONA Chain’ on Ground zero in different states across the country to highlight the preventive and precautionary measures among the people.
Electronic-National Agricultural Market completes four years of service:
- Electronic-National Agricultural Market completed four years of implementation. It was developed under the concept of “One Nation One Market”.
- E-NAM is managed by the Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC). It provides single service for all APMC (Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee) related activities. Today there are more than 450 APMCs listed under E-NAM for trade.
Government notifies Mauritius as eligible country for Category – I FPIs:
- Government notified Mauritius as an eligible country enabling its investment entities as Category I FPIs with lower KYC requirements and hence would get the benefit from indirect transfer provisions under the Income Tax Act, 1961.
- Mauritius remains the 2nd largest source of FPI money.
OPEC and Russia agreed to cut crude oil production amid Coronavirus crisis:
- In view of the fall in crude prices due to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), an intergovernmental organization of 13 nations, and allies including Russia.
- A group known as OPEC+, have agreed to cut crude production by 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) from May 1,2020 and will extend through the end of June 2020.
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC):
- Headquarters– Vienna, Austria
- Secretary General– Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo
Banking and Economy:
Yes Bank extends bancassurance tie-up with Max Life Insurance for 5 years:
- Private sector life insurer Max Life Insurance and Yes Bank have extended the bancassurance partnership for the next 5 years. Under this, the products of the life insurer would be sold through the branches of Yes Bank.
- Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra
- MD & CEO– Prashant Kumar
- Tagline– Experience our Expertise
PNB to retain a stake in two life insurance ventures as IRDAI gives a nod:
- Following the merger of Oriental Bank of Commerce with PNB on April 1, 23% of stake of the former in Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance stands transferred to the latter.
- PNB is a promoter of PNB Metlife Insurance with the highest stake of 30% since 2012.
- PNB MD: S S Mallikarjuna Rao.
Retail Inflation ease to 5.91% in March:
- Retail Inflation slowed to 5.91% in March due to easing food prices. The retail inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 6.58% in Feb 20.
- It is a main factor for RBI while deciding its bi-monthly monetary policy. Central Bank keeps inflation around 4%.
Science and Technology
Kerala to start clinical trial of plasma therapy for COVID-19 treatment:
- Kerala is set to become the first state in the country to commence convalescent plasma therapy, which uses antibodies from the blood of cured patients, to treat critically ill COVID-19 cases on a trial basis.
- The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has given its nod to the state government for the first of its kind project, initiated by the prestigious Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST).
- Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
- Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan
- Governor: Arif Mohammed Khan
NIF developed herbal dewormer “wormivet” for livestock owners:
- National Innovation Foundation India (NIF) has developed “wormivet” an indigenous herbal medication (dewormer) in form of commercial product for livestock owners as an alternative to chemical method of treatment of worms.
Sara Ali khan appointed as the ambassador of JBL:
- Bollywood actress Sara Ali Khan has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the extension of audio equipment maker, James Bullough Lansing (JBL)’s campaign -”Live it Real, Live it Raw” which went live with the 1st commercial featuring Ranveer Singh.
Birupaksha Mishra assumes charge as Executive Director of Union Bank of India:
- Shri Birupaksha Mishra took charge as the Executive Director (ED) of Union Bank of India (UBI), after its amalgamation with Corporation Bank and Andhra Bank. Earlier he was the Executive Director at Corporation Bank.
UGC constitutes 2 expert committees for examination & online education:
- University Grants Commission (UGC) has constituted 2 expert committees to look after the examinations & academic calendar, and to promote online learning amidst the lockdown due to COVID-19.
- 1st Committee- It is a 7 member committee headed by the vice-chancellor of the Central University of Haryana– R.C. Kuhad, to look after the examination & academic calendar of students as Indian education system came to a standstill due to suspended classes, postponed examinations, and closed campuses.
- 2nd Committee is formed in relation to students, teachers and the education system as a whole & also to promote online education.
University Grants Commission:
- Headquarters– New Delhi, India
- Chairman– Dhirendra Pal(D.P.) Singh.
DPIIT constitutes 25-member development council for pulp, paper and allied industries headed by A S Mehta:
- Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) a central government department under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- It has constituted a 25-member Development Council for the development of pulp, paper and allied industries (DCPPAI) headed by A S Mehta, the President of J K Paper Ltd, New Delhi, with an objective to increase the growth of this sector.
Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT):
- Headquarters– New Delhi.
Ministry of Commerce and Industry:
- Headquarters– New Delhi.
- Union Minister– Piyush Goyal.
Former Chelsea goalkeeper Peter Bonetti dies aged 78:
- Bonetti began his professional football career with Chelsea, making a total of 491 appearances for them between 1960 and 1975 and keeping over 200 clean sheets for the club overall.
Japanese filmmaker Obayashi, who portrayed war’s horrors, passed away at 82:
- Nobuhiko Obayashi, was a Japanese director, screenwriter, editor films and television advertisements passed away at the age of 82 in Tokyo, Japan. He was born on January 9, 1938, in Onomichi, Japan.
Formula One great Stirling Moss Passed away:
- Stirling Moss who ranked as an all-time Formula One great despite never winning the world championship passed away.
- 4 times a championship runner-up, & also third overall on 3 occasions, no other driver won as many races without taking the title. Moss was the first Briton to win his home Grand Prix.
Padma bhushan awardee and Former Attorney General of India Ashok Desai passes away:
- Former Attorney General of India and Senior Advocate Ashok Desai passed away. He was one of the leading lawyers and served as Solicitor General. He was awarded Padma Bhushan and Law Luminary Awards.
- He dealt landmark cases like decriminalisation of homosexuality.
Former Pro Golfer Doug Sanders dies aged 86:
- Doug Sanders Known as the “Peacock of the Fairways,”. Sanders was one of the most colourful personalities on the PGA Tour, capturing 20 titles including the 1956 Canadian Open.
- Sanders also played in 218 events on the senior Champions Tour.
India to host Asian Boxing Championships 2020:
- According to the Boxing Federation of India’s (BFI) Executive Director R K Sacheti, India will host the Women’s and Men’s Asian Boxing Championships 2020 in November-December.
- As he expressed confidence that by then the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic would have been completely under control. However, the host city will be decided by BFI after things return to normal.
Boxing Federation of India’s (BFI):
- Headquarters– New Delhi
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