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Current Affairs 1 April 2020

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Top 20 Current Affairs of 1 April 2020

Current Affairs April 1 2020

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Virtual Meeting of G20 Trade and Investment Ministers: Piyush Goyal participatesG20 Trade and Investment Ministers virtual Meeting

On March 30, 2020 The G20 Trade and Investment Ministers meeting was held virtually where Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal participated through video conference.
Gist about the meeting
i.Piyush Goyal has urged the G20 nations to build a universal framework to boost the affordable access & facilitate easy movement of health professionals across national borders to fight over COVID-19.
ii.He stated that nations should think over a framework under which critical pharma products, medical devices, diagnostic equipment and kits….Click here to Read More

MCA introduces the “Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020” and revised the “LLP Settlement Scheme, 2020” as a relief measure from COVID-19 for companies and LLPsMinistry of Corporate Affairs introduces the Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020 and LLP Settlement Scheme, 2020

In order to provide relief to law-abiding companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) from the COVID 19 impact, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), has introduced the “Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020” and revised the “LLP Settlement Scheme, 2020”

  • Both schemes provide a one-time waiver of additional filing fees for delayed filings by the companies or LLPs with the Registrar of Companies (ROCs) during the period starting from 1st April 2020 and ending on 30th September, 2020….Click here to Read More

Govt extended upto Rs 3 lakh crop loan interest benefits to farmers till May 31Govt extends crop loan interest

On March 31, 2020, the government has extended the benefit of 2% interest subvention (IS) to banks and 3% prompt repayment incentive (PRI) to all farmers up to May 31, 2020 for all crop loans up to 3 lakh which have become due or are becoming due between March 1 and May 31, 2020. The decision has been taken due to the national lockdown situation to prevent COVID-19 infection.

  • The lockdown has restricted movement of people therefore farmers are facing difficulty in visiting bank branches.
  • Also, the hassle in timely sale and receipt of payment of their produce, farmers may be facing monetary issues in repayment of their crop loans.
  • This extension will help farmers to payback the loan and also become eligible for loans in next financial year.

Point to be noted:
The government provides concessional crops loans to farmers through banks with 2% per annum interest subvention to banks and 3% additional benefit on timely repayment to farmers. So, overall the govt. is providing loans up to Rs 3 lakh at 4% per annum interest on timely repayment.

BANKING & FINANCE

FPI limit in corporate bonds enhanced to 15% from 9% for FY21; FAR initiated for investment in G-Secs by non-residentsForeign portfolio investment

On March 30, 2020, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has increased the foreign portfolio investment (FPI) limit in corporate bonds to 15% of outstanding stock for FY 2020-21 from 9%to strengthen the segment of the corporate bonds. The limit has been increased under sections 10(4) and 11(1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999).
RBI enabled FAR for investment by non-residents in G-Secs
Apart from raising FPI limit in corporate bonds, RBI has also enabled a Fully Accessible Route (FAR) for investment by non-residents in government securities.
All new issuances of government securities of 5-year, 10-year and 30-year tenors from the FY20-21, will be eligible for investment under the FAR….Click here to Read More

ICICI Bank launches banking services on WhatsApp

On March 31, 2020, the ICICI Bank has launched Whatsapp banking to assist its customers in meeting the banking needs from homes during the lockdown.
Beneficiaries

  • Any existing ICICI Bank Savings Account customer on WhatsApp can access the new service.
  • The customer who has only an ICICI credit card can use the service to block/ unblock the card.
  • The Non-ICICI Bank customers can also use this service to know the nearby location of the Bank’s branches / ATMs.

Services provided
i.Banking services- Customers can check their Account balance, Last 3 transactions, Credit Card Limit, Block /Unblock the card, get details of the pre-approved loan offer & also enquire about the travel, dining, shopping, discounts and more offers around the customers.
ii.Other services- Customers can Track the delivery status of the Debit Card, Credit Card, Cheque Book and Passbook, Check nearby ICICI Bank ATMs & branches
Process to avail the service
The customers need to save ICICI Bank’s Verified WhatsApp profile number, 9324953001 to their contacts and send ‘Hi’ to this number using the mobile number registered with the bank.
About ICICI bank
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Sandeep Bakhshi

In a 1st, BhartPe partners with ICICI lombard to launch ‘COVID-19 protection insurance cover’ for shopkeepers

On March 30, 2020, For the first time,  BharatPe, a New Delhi-based startup that is doing payment transaction business, has entered into the partnership with ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited, a general insurance company in India, to introduce ‘COVID-19 Protection Insurance Cover’ for shopkeepers, who are most affected financially due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Key Points:
i.According to this policy, 100% of the sum assured will be paid to the policyholder for the diagnosis of Coronavirus. This includes expenses incurred after hospitalization.
ii.The ICICI Lombard Health Cover, available on the BharatPe app, provided at a reasonable cost & offers a premium starting from Rs 199 and a sum assured of Rs 25,000 and value-added benefits. Along with health assistance,teleconsultation, ambulance assistance and many attractive offers have been made. It will cover everyone in the age group of 18 to 65 years.
About BharatPe:
Headquarters– New Delhi
CEO & Co-founder– Ashneer Grover
About ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd:
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD– Bhargav Dasgupta

ADB grants $60 million to Aavas financiers to improve women’s access to housing in India

On March 31, 2020, Asian Development Bank (ADB), a regional development bank, has signed a loan agreement worth of $60 million with affordable housing loan provider Aavas Financiers Ltd to provide housing finance to women in low-income communities either as primary borrowers or co-borrowers.
Key Points:
i.
The grant, provided under the ADB’s supporting access to housing finance for women and in lagging states project, will help increase higher rates of property ownership for women in lower-income groups.
ii.At present, India saw the acute housing shortage of 18.7 million units in urban region & 43.7 million units in rural region, that mostly affecting low-income groups, who are facing major problems in receiving mortgages including a lack of documents to prove their incomes.
iii.Earlier the ADB announced to invest $100 million in Indian infrastructure sector through National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).
About Aavas Financiers Ltd:
Headquarters
– Jaipur, Rajasthan
Managing Director and CEO– Sushil Kumar Agarwal
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
Headquarters
– Mandaluyong, Philippines
President– Masatsugu Asakawa

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

S&P lowers India’s growth forecast for FY21 to 3.5% from 5.2% 

On March 31, 2020 Standard & Poor(S&P) Global Ratings has slashed down India’s growth forecast to 3.5% from 5.2% for the Financial Year(FY)21.
Key points
i.The growth rate has been slashed due to the deteriorating credit conditions in the Asia-Pacific region as a result of Covid-19 outbreak.
ii.It also expects a sharp growth at 7.3%  in the Indian economy for FY22 & also has lowered India’s growth rate to 5.2% from 5.7% before lockdown.
About S&P:
Headquarters– New York, United States
President and Chief Executive Officer(CEO)– Douglas L. Peterson

   ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS        

IAG sold its 26% stake in SBI General Insurance for $310 mn

On March 30, 2020, Insurance Australia General (IAG) has sold its entire 26% stake in the SBI (State Bank of India) General Insurance Co Ltd for USD 310 million (about Rs 2,325 crore) to Napean Opportunities LLP (an affiliate of Premji invest)and WP Honey Wheat Investment Ltd (Warburg Pincus Group).

  • As a result, IAG earned a net profit on the sale of its stake in SBI General Insurance for approximately USD 310 million in the second half of FY20.IAG’s regulatory capital position also increased by nearly USD 450 million.
  • Importantly, Napean Opportunities LLP has acquired 16.01% interest whereas WP Honey Wheat Investment Ltd acquired a 9.99% interest.

About SBI General Insurance
It was a joint venture between SBI and Insurance Australia Group where SBI owns 70% stake.
Establishment– 2010
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman– Rajnish Kumar
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– PushanMahapatra

HDFC Trustee company acquires 5.45% stake in SpiceJet

On March 30, 2020, HDFC Trustee Company Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC), has acquired 3.4 crore shares or 5.45% stake in Indian low-cost airline SpiceJet.
Key Points:
i.The shares were bought by HDFC trustee from the open market, where the SpiceJet’s shares were trading at Rs 35.65 apiece, a reduction of 3.65%  as against the previous close.
ii.The acquisition shows the confidence of HDFC in the airline, which has suffered a huge impact on their businesses as travel has almost completely reduced due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
About HDFC Trustee Company Limited:
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
It is an arm of HDFC Mutual Fund.
Chairman– Mr.Vimal Bhandari
About SpiceJet:
Headquarters– Gurugram, Haryana
Chairman & Managing Director– Mr Ajay Singh

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Ministry of Tourism launched ‘Stranded in India’ portal to help foreign tourists stuck in IndiaMinistry of Tourism launches Stranded in India portal

The Ministry of Tourism has launched a portal ‘Stranded in India’ as a support network to help foreign tourists who are stuck in various parts of India. Its web address is strandedinindia.com.

  • The portal consists of information around Covid-19 helpline numbers and call centres that foreign tourists can reach out for help, information around Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) control centers along with their contact information and information around state-based/regional tourism support infrastructure.
  • The COVID-19 helpline number for foreign tourists stuck in India is +91-11-23978046 or 1075.

Pune Woman behind First Indian made testing tool “Pathodetect Covid-19 Kit”Coronavirus Woman behind India's first testing kit PATHODETECT COVID-19 KIT

Virologist Minal Dakhave Bhosale from Pune had headed the designing team for the coronavirus testing kit called ‘Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kit’.She is the research and development chief of Mylab Discovery Solutions in Pune, the first Indian company have received full approval to make and sell Covid-19 testing kits.
i.India is currently testing 6.8 per million populations which considered as lowest compared to other countries in this difficult circumstance.
ii.‘Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kit screens and detects the infection within 2.5 hours, compared to 7+ hours taken by current protocols….Click here to Read More

Government of India launches coronavirus tracking app Corona Kavach

The Government of India has launched a Coronavirus risk-tracking Application (app) called “Corona Kavach”. The app was jointly developed by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) & the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
The app uses a person’s location to assess whether they are in the high risk geographical zone or not and the app is available on the Google Play Store.
Key Points:
i.About Corona Kavach: The app is designed to provide information about COVID-19 and capture information. The app uses the information of all the identified positive cases identified in the country so far.
ii.The app makes users sign in, using their mobile phones & uses the GPS (Global Positioning System) to track their movement.
iii.The app tracks the data of the users every one hour to alert the people whether they have crossed paths with any person who has tested positive for the infection. This helps in identifying the relevant chain of contact.
iv.The app uses a colour code to figure out whether the user has come in contact with a COVID-19 carrier or not.
v.One colour will identify a user who has never come in contact with an infected person, another will indicate if a user is in close proximity.

SPORTS

IOC: Tokyo Olympics rescheduled to July 23- August 8 in 2021Rescheduled Olympic Games to begin on July 23, 2021

On March 30, 2020, The IOC (International Olympic Committee) and the Japanese organisers of Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic games headed by Yoshiro Mori, announced the rescheduled dates of the 32nd edition of Tokyo Olympics that will be held in Tokyo, Japan from July 23 to August 8, 2021, almost exactly a year after the games were to commence in 2020.
The Paralympics dates were also confirmed from August 24 to September 5, 2021.
Key Points:
i.The Tokyo Olympics were postponed due to Coronavirus (COVID -19).
ii.The motto of the Tokyo Olympics is “United by  Emotion”.
iii.World Swimming Championships: The International Swimming Federation has postponed the World Swimming Championships to 2022, as it was scheduled on July 16 to August 1, 2021 in Fukuoka, Japan.
World athletics championships get postponed to 2022
The World Athletics organization announced that the new Tokyo Olympic dates will conflict with the scheduled World athletics championships going to be held in Eugene, Oregon, US (United States) will be postponed to 2022. The World Athletics Championships were scheduled on August 6 to August 15, 2021.
About International Olympics Committee (IOC):
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland.
President– Thomas Bach.
About World Athletics:
Headquarters– Monaco.
President– Sebastian Coe.

OBITUARY

Legendary historian Arjun Dev passes away at 81Arjun Dev a legendary historian

On March 29, 2020, Professor Arjun Dev, the legendary historian and educationist passed away at the age of 81 in Noida, Uttar Pradesh (UP). He was born on November 12, 1938 in Leiah, West Punjab (now in Pakistan).
Key Points:
i.About Arjun Dev: He served as a historian at the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT). He also co-wrote some of the extremely popular textbooks with his wife Indira Arjun Dev.
ii.Arjun Dev served as Member Secretary of the National Steering Committee on Textbook evaluation.
iii.One of his books, which was discontinued by NCERT and was republished by Orient Blackswan as “History of the World: From the Late 19th to the Early 20th century”, has remained a widely read text.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

Shokoofeh Azar authored a book titled- The Enlightenment of The Greengage TreeThe Enlightenment of The Greengage Tree

Shokoofeh Azar’s The Enlightenment of The Greengage Tree was originally published in 2017 by ReadHowYouWant.com, Limited & has been reprinted by Europa Editions in January 2020. The book has been named(among 13) in the longlist of Booker Prizes (annual) 2020 for a £50,000 (USD 98,000) prize, which is shared between the author & translator of the winning book.
Key Points
i.She becomes the 1st Iranian author to be named in the Prize. She has authored essays, articles, & children’s books.
ii.It is her 1st novel to be translated in  English which was originally written in Farsi(Persian) &  also was shortlisted for  Australia’s  Stella Prize for Fiction.
iii.The novel is about the unbreakable connection between the living and the dead. The core of the story is based on the hardships and sorrows of everyday life in Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979 which is narrated by the ghost of a 13-year-old girl, Bahar.
iv.The prize is given to a single novel or short-story collection translated into English and published in Britain or Ireland.

The book titled- ‘Backstage: The Story Behind India’s High Growth Years’ authored by Padma Vibhushan Montek Singh AhluwaliaBackstage The Story Behind India’s High Growth Years

The Economist, civil servant & Deputy Chairman of the Indian Planning Commission, with the rank of Cabinet Minister, from July 2004 to May 2014 & Padma Vibhushan awardee(2011) Montek Singh Ahluwalia authored a book titled ‘Backstage: The Story Behind India’s High Growth Years’ which captures the essence of policymaking between 1985 and 2014.
Key Points
i.The book states about India’s spectacular economic growth and its historic achievements in poverty alleviation during the 10-year tenure of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), as well as allegations of policy freeze and corruption in India’s recent history & is published by Rupa Publication.
ii.He has served in a number of positions in Government of  India like, – Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, Commerce Secretary etc., and also worked with the World Bank & the International Monetary Fund.

Satyarth Nayak authored a book- ‘Sridevi: The Eternal Screen Goddess’Sridevi The Eternal Screen Goddess

Author & screenwriter Satyarth Nayak authored his 1st non-fiction book titled as  ‘Sridevi: The Eternal Screen Goddess’ which is about the late actress Sridevi. It is published by Penguin eBury Press
Key Points:
i.The book states about her cinematic journey from child star to megastar & also give glimpses of her as a person, sister, mother & wife.
ii.Satyarth Nayak is known for his bestselling novel The Emperor’s Riddles(2014), a historical thriller.
iii.He has won the Youth Inspiration Award (Literature) 2017, Shri Award for Men Achievers (Literature) 2016,South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)Heal Honour Award 2008.

 STATE NEWS

Nagaland CM launched Self Declaration COVID-19 App

Nagaland CM (Chief Minister) Neiphiu Rio launched the Self Declaration COVID-19 application at Kohima, Nagaland. The app is crucial for tracking and surveillance of high-risk cases.
Key Points:
i.The app will be mandatory for any person who entered Nagaland after March 6, 2020.
ii.The app can be downloaded from the website nagalandhealthproject.org. The user will be directed to click the menu button & select the nCOVID-19 App.
About Nagaland:
Capital– Kohima.
Governor– Ravindra Narayana Ravi.

AC GAZE

PM Modi holds first ever video conference with 130 heads of Indian missions

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference with  130 heads of  India’s diplomatic missions and urged them to assist Indian nationals who are stranded in various countries that are severely affected by the outbreak COVID-19 pandemic.

Princess Maria Teresa of Spain becomes 1st royal to pass away from COVID-19

Spanish Princess Maria Teresa of Bourbon-Parma has become the first royal to pass away due to Covid-19 complications who was born on July 28, 1933, and studied in France and became a professor at Paris’ Sorbonne as well as a professor of Sociology at Madrid’s Complutense University. She was known for her outspoken views and activist work, which led to her nickname the “Red Princess.”

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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
S.no            Current Affairs 1 April 2020
1 Virtual Meeting of G20 Trade and Investment Ministers: Piyush Goyal participates
2 MCA introduces the “Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020” and revised the “LLP Settlement Scheme, 2020” as a relief measure from COVID-19 for companies and LLPs
3 Govt extended upto Rs 3 lakh crop loan interest benefits to farmers till May 31
4 FPI limit in corporate bonds enhanced to 15% from 9% for FY21; FAR initiated for investment in G-Secs by non-residents
5 ICICI Bank launches banking services on WhatsApp
6 In a 1st, BhartPe partners with ICICI lombard to launch ‘COVID-19 protection insurance cover’ for shopkeepers
7 ADB grants $60 million to Aavas financiers to improve women’s access to housing in India
8 S&P lowers India’s growth forecast for FY21 to 3.5% from 5.2%
9 IAG sold its 26% stake in SBI General Insurance for $310 mn
10 HDFC Trustee company acquires 5.45% stake in SpiceJet
11 Ministry of Tourism launched ‘Stranded in India’ portal to help foreign tourists stuck in India
12 Pune Woman behind First Indian made testing tool “Pathodetect Covid-19 Kit”
13 Government of India launches coronavirus tracking app Corona Kavach
14 IOC: Tokyo Olympics rescheduled to July 23- August 8 in 2021
15 Legendary historian Arjun Dev passes away at 81
16 Shokoofeh Azar authored a book titled- The Enlightenment of The Greengage Tree
17 The book titled- ‘Backstage: The Story Behind India’s High Growth Years’ authored by Padma Vibhushan Montek Singh Ahluwalia
18 Satyarth Nayak authored a book- ‘Sridevi: The Eternal Screen Goddess’
19 Nagaland CM launched Self Declaration COVID-19 App
20 PM Modi holds first ever video conference with 130 heads of Indian missions
21 Princess Maria Teresa of Spain becomes 1st royal to pass away from COVID-19

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