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Top 20 Current Affairs of 14 April 2020
ICMR nods: Kerala becomes the first state to commence clinical trial plasma therapy treatment
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has given approval to Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, 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. Therefore, Kerala becomes the first state in the country to start clinical trial plasma therapy treatment….Click here to Read More
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.
i.The campaign emphasizes on the aspects like social distancing, proper sanitization, maintaining a healthy diet and prevention by covering the face with masks or Gamchha.
ii.Vitamin-C Tablets, medicated soaps, masks, sanitizers and numerous medical kits are distributed at different locations across the country & also provide medical equipment for hospital staff and health workers in the areas where equipment is scarce.
iii.Ration kits with food items are being provided to migrant families and labourers families in different states.
Headquarters– New Delhi
Chairman– Balvinder Singh Nakai
OPEC and Russia agreed to cut crude oil production amid Coronavirus crisis
On April 13, 2020, 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.
i.The decision, agreed after four days of meeting, was following pressure from US President Donald Trump to arrest the price decline. This decision will reduce the worldwide supply of crude oil by 20% (or 20 million bpd).
ii.Global oil prices have come down below $ 30 a barrel due to falling disputes in Russia and Saudi Arabia during the Coronavirus epidemic.
iii.Background: Due to the measures being taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the demand for fuel has come down drastically, which has led to a significant reduction in oil prices.
About Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC):
Headquarters– Vienna, Austria
Secretary General– Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo
Global Trade to fall by 13%-32% in 2020 due to COVID-19: WTO
On April 8, 2020 World Trade Organisation (WTO) has released Annual Trade Statistics and Outlook Report has projected that the global trade is to fall by 13%-32% due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as it disrupts the normal economic activity and life around the world.
i.A 2021 recovery is expected but it depends on the duration of the outbreak and the effectiveness of the policy responses….Click here to Read More
BANKING & FINANCE
MaxLifeIns, YES Bank extended bancassurance tie-up for 5 years; Dedicated FY21 as “Year of the Customer”
Max Life Insurance and YES Bank have extended their 15 years strategic bancassurance partnership for five more years. In this regard, the both companies dedicated the current financial year i.e. FY 2020-21 as the “Year of the Customer”.
- As a part of partnership, the products of the life insurer sold through the branches of Yes Bank. Customers are offered with a broad range of need-based products and services.
- It should be noted that the companies began their partnership in February 2005, and has about 280,000 policies. It has settled death claims of more than Rs 70 crore and offered protection worth Rs 34,500 crore to policy holders and their families.
About Max Life Insurance:
It is a joint venture between Max Financial Services Ltd and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance.
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Prashant Tripathy
Tagline– Karo Jyada ka Iraada. Head Office: New Delhi
About Yes Bank:
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO– Prashant Kumar
Tagline– Experience our Expertise
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
WB South Asia Economic Focus report: Indian economy grows at 1.5-2.8% in FY21 while South Asian at 1.8 – 2.8%
World Bank (WB) in its “South Asia Economic Focus: The cursed blessing of public banks report” has projected that FY 2020-2021 (started April 1, 2020) is likely to be the India’s worst growth performer fiscal year since 1991 due to the severe economic disruptions caused due to COVID-19 impact. For 2020-21, Indian economy is expected to grow 1.5% to 2.8% which is lower than the 5.4 – 4.1% estimate of October 2019. For FY 2019-20 (ended on March 31, 2020), it expected a growth of 4.8% to 5% which is trimmed by 1.2 – 1% estimate made in October 2019.
- On the South Asian front, the economy is growing by 1.8 – 2.8% in FY 20-21 a sharp growth deceleration from the 6.3% which the World Bank projected six months ago.That would be the region’s worst performance in the last 40 years….Click here to Read More
India becomes top Hydroxychloroquine producer & exporter with 70% annual global share
India has become the largest producer and exporter of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), the most talked out medicine to curb the COVID-19 disease, with 70% of annual global production according to the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA); Sec-General Sudarshan Jain.
- India as largest HCQ producer: Currently, our nation is producing 40 tonnes, or 20 crore tablets of 200 mg each, of HCQ every month. The top pharma companies manufacturing this drug are Ipca Laboratories Ltd., ZydusCadila and Wallace Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
- India as largest HCQ exporter: Between April 2019 and January 2020, India shipped HCQ Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) worth $1.22 billion. During the same period, exports of formulations made from HCQ stood at $5.50 billion.
It should be noted that the drug is not manufactured in developed nations such as the United States (US) because malaria is virtually non-existent there.
Use of HCQ:
Indian government has recommended the use of HCQ as a prophylaxis (prevention) and not as treatment. It has recommended for healthcare workers involved in the treatment of the disease or as a preventive medication for Covid-19 patients in the high-risk group.Each Covid-19 patient needs a 14-tablet course.
- Originally hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malarial drug.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
UGC constitutes 2 expert committees for examination & online education: COVID-19
On April 12, 2020 the 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.
Gist about the committees
i.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. Based on the recommendations of the committee, the UGC will publish guidelines for universities.
ii.2nd Committee- Nageshwar Rao, the Vice-Chancellor of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is heading the committee on pooling e-resources and enhancing online education systems. It is formed in relation to students, teachers and the education system as a whole & also to promote online education.
Headquarters– New Delhi, India
Chairman– Dhirendra Pal(D.P.) Singh
Sara Ali khan appointed as the ambassador of JBL
The 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.
i.She lines up with JBL ambassadors and partners from music, sports, and entertainment industries including actor and humanitarian Priyanka Chopra, music mogul AR Rahman, and Olympian Shuttler PV Sindhu in India.
ii.Mahindra Group’s MeraKisan, an organic Agri producer has partnered with The Vice-Captain of the Indian Test Cricket team Ajinkya Rahane, as part of this, he will own equity & will be its brand ambassador.
DPIIT constitutes 25-member development council for pulp, paper and allied industries headed by A S Mehta
On March 6, 2020, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), a central government department under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has constituted a 25-member Development Council for 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.
i.The council members have been appointed for a period of 2 years.
ii.The decision has been taken in exercise of the powers conferred by section 6 of the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 (65 of 1951), read with rules 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the Development Council (Procedural) Rules, 1952.
iii.Other members of the council also include President of Indian Paper Manufacturers Associations (IPMA); President of Indian Agro and Recycled Paper Mills Association (IARPMA); President of Indian Newsprint Manufacturers Association (INMA), among others.
About Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT):
Headquarters– New Delhi, DPIIT Secretary: Guruprasad Mohapatra
About Ministry of Commerce and Industry:
Headquarters– New Delhi
Union Minister– Piyush Goyal
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
China’s central bank increases its stake to 1% in HDFC; SAMA also bought 0.7% stake
On April 12, 2020, People’s Bank of China (PBOC) increased its stake in Housing Development Finance Corp Limited (HDFC) to 1.01% from 0.8%on behalf of the Chinese sovereign wealth fund SAFE. With this, now China’s central bank holds 1,74,92,909 crore equity shares in HDFC Ltd in accordance with the quarterly (ending March 2020) shareholding pattern disclosure by the latter to the stock exchanges.
- As per the latest shareholding pattern, foreign portfolio investors (FPI) hold 70.88% stake in the HDFC Ltd including 3.2% stake of the Government of Singapore.
- Similarly, Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), the central bank of Saudi Arabia has also picked up a 0.7% stake in HDFC on behalf of Saudi sovereign wealth fund.
HDFC Ltd owns 19.43% stake in HDFC Bank and 52.7% in HDFC Asset Management Company and 51.45% in HDFC Life Insurance Company. While HDFC Bank owns 96% stake in HDB Financial services and 98% in HDFC Securities.
Governor– Yi Gang
Headquarter– Beijing, China
Governor– Ahmed Abdulkarim al-Kholifey
Headquarters– Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” launched web-portal YUKTI in New Delhi
Union Minister for Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” has launched a web-portal YUKTI-Young India Combating COVID with Knowledge, Technology and Innovation in New Delhi that will monitor and record the efforts and initiatives of MHRD. Its objective is to keep a high-quality learning environment for the academic community during this COVID-19 threat.
-This portal will act as a two-way communication channel between the MHRD and the educational institutions where the latter can share their strategies to tackle the unprecedented situation of COVID-19 and the former can provide the necessary support system to them.
-It will also enable MHRD to monitor effectively its activities for the coming six months.
Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog & National Informatics Centre (NIC) jointly launches CollabCAD in ATL schools
On April 13, 2020, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog and National Informatics Centre (NIC) jointly launched CollabCAD in ATL (Atal Tinkering Lab) schools. The CollabCAD online tool was launched via social media by Shri R Ramanan, Mission Director Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog.
i.AIM: The aim of this initiative is to provide a great platform to students of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) across the country to create and modify 3D (3- Dimension) designs with free flow of creativity and imagination.
ii.This software would also enable students to create data across the network and concurrently access the same design data for storage and visualization.
iii.CollabCAD will be used around 5000 schools where Atal Tinkering Labs are established.
iv.ATL has launched a “Tinker from Home” campaign to ensure children across the country have access to useful online resources by encouraging learning through self-initiation.
v.Atal Innovation machine also launched the Game development module in partnership with DELL technologies and Learning Links Foundation. It is an online platform where students can develop their own games.
About NITI Aayog:
Headquarters– New Delhi.
Chairperson– Narendra Modi.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Amitabh Kant.
Vice Chairperson– Rajiv Kumar.
Headquarters– New Delhi.
Director General– Neeta Verma.
DST funds SBPL to develop Immunodiagnostic kits & Active Virosome Vaccine: COVID-19
On April 12, 2020 The Department of Science &Technology (DST) has funded a Pune based startup, Seagull BioSolutions Private Limited (SBPL) is supported under Seed Support System of the Technology Development Board (TDB) to develop Immunodiagnostic kits & Active Virosome (AV)-Vaccine for COVID-19 emergencies.
i.The Active Virosome Technology (AVT), developed by SBPL is useful for the production of vaccines & immunotherapeutic agents which will be used to develop a novel vaccine for prevention of COVID-19 infection and also immunodiagnostic Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) kits.
ii.Immunodiagnostic kits help in the detection of asymptomatic COVID-19 infections & people who have been exposed or infected with corona in the past & not survived, or who have survived & may still be infected.
iii.The kit replaces the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based diagnostic kits which are currently available in India are rapid & enable detection of active COVID-19 infection but lacks the features of Immunodiagnostic kits.
iv.SBPL will produce two types of AV agents; 1st- expressing S protein of COVID-19 (AV-S) & use it as an antigen to develop immunodiagnostic kits, 2nd- expressing structural proteins of COVID-19 (AV-SPs).
v.It will also produce Immunoglobulin M (IgM) capture ELISA kits, Immunoglobulin G (IgG) type antibody detection ELISA kits, & a Lateral flow (LFA) immunodiagnostic test which will empower the people to test themselves easily & ensure that they remain disease-free.
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.
- This dewormer will treat endoparasite (worm) infestation among livestock which was found to be unique.
-The patent for this dewormer was filed in 2007 and was granted in the name of Shri Harshadbhai Patel on 29th November, 2016. In order to diffuse this technology to control endoparasite infestation among livestock, NIF value added and promoted development of a commercial product ‘Wormivet’ through Rakesh Pharmaceuticals, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
-Livestock resources are recognized as an important means to sustain food demand and for sustaining local employment. Internal parasite is a significant health problem as it causes diarrhoea, loss in body weight, anaemia, reproductive health concern thereby limiting productivity and growth. So in order to prevent livestock from these situations this ‘wormivet’ was developed.
Chairperson– PS Goel
Headquarter– Gandhinagar, Gujarat
India to host Asian Boxing Championships 2020 in Nov-Dec: BFI
On April 13, 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.
i.India last hosted the Men’s Asian Championship in Mumbai,Maharashtra in the year 1980, while the Women’s Championship was hosted in 2003 in Hisar, Haryana.
ii.This competition is usually held once in two years but in the past it has also been held in consecutive years.
About Boxing Federation of India’s (BFI):
Headquarters– New Delhi
Japanese filmmaker Obayashi, who portrayed war’s horrors, passed away at 82
On April 10, 2020, 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.
i.The last film directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi was “Labyrinth of Cinema”, which had been scheduled to be released in Japan on the day of his death but has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
ii.The film was showcased at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2019, which honoured him as a “cinematic magician” and screened several of his other works.
iii.He is best known as the director of the 1977 horror film House and he was noted for his distinct film making style, as well as anti-war themes commonly embedded in his films.
iv.Obayashi’s Miss Lonely was released in 1985, was shot in seaside Onomichi, the picturesque town in Hiroshima prefecture where Obayashi grew up and made animation clips by hand.
Formula one great Sir Stirling Moss passed away at 90
On 12th April 2020, The legend of motor sport Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss passed away at 90 after a long illness at his Mayfair, London, England. He was born on 17th September 1929 in West Kensington, London, England.
i.Sir Stirling Moss won 212 out of 529 races he took part in, which includes 16 Grand Prix victories.
ii.His first ever major international race victory was in the 1950 RAC Tourist trophy on Dundrod circuit in Northern Ireland.
iii.He also won the Coupe d’Or (Golden Cup) for three consecutive penalty-free runs on the Coupe des Alpes (Alpine Rally).he is one among the three golden cup winners.
iv.He had never won a world championship and he retired from racing at the age of 33 after an accident in the track.
i.How to watch motor racing in 1975
ii.Racing and all that in 1980
iii.Stirling Moss: Great British Drives, the Lakes and Dales
Padma bhushan awardee and Former Attorney General Ashok Desai passed away at 77
On 13th April 2020, The former Attorney General and Senior Advocate practicing in the Supreme Court of India (SC) Ashok H. Desai passed away at 77. He was born on 24th June 1942,Nagpur, Maharashtra.
About Ashok H. Desai:
i.He started law practice in Bombay High Court in 1956 and became a Senior advocate on 8th August 1977.
ii.He was the Solicitor General of India from 18th December 1989 to 2nd December 1990.
iii.Held office as Attorney General of India From 9th July 1996 to 6th May 1998.
iv.He was responsible for decriminalisation of homosexuality, allegation of corruption against high-ranking public officials, striking down the censorship laws in Maharashtra and so on.
He was awarded Padma Bhushan and the Law Luminary Award in 2001 by the Government of India.
Golden Anniversary Rotary Prize for University of London in 1956.
Ashok H.Desai co-edited and contributed for the book “Supreme but not Infallible: Essays in honour of the Supreme Court of India” in 2000 and wrote Judicial Overreach: A critique in 2013.
International Day of Human Space Flight 2020: April 12
The international day of human space flight is observed across the world annually on April 12 to celebrate the space age for the human race to reaffirm the vital role of space science and technology in achieving sustainable development goals and improve the well-being of states, people, and to realize the ambition of maintaining the space for peaceful purposes.
- The day remarks 1st human to orbit the earth- Yuri Gagarin in “Vostok 1” on April 12, 1961.
- The 1st human-made Earth satellite Sputnik I was launched into outer space on 4th October 1957 which opened a new way for space exploration.
The United Nations(UN) general assembly adopted its 1st resolution in relation to space, titled “Question of the Peaceful Use of Outer Space” on December 13, 1958. The (UN) General Assembly, in its resolution of 7 April 2011, declared 12th April as the day.
Other Space Accomplishment
i.1st human to orbit the earth- Yuri Gagarin in “Vostok 1” on April 12, 1961.
ii.1st woman to orbit the earth- Valentina Tereshkova in “Vostok 6” on June 16, 1963.
iii.1st international space mission- “Apollo Soyuz Test Project” on July 15, 1975.
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), UN office responsible to promote international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, maintain UN register of objects launched into Outer Space & serves as the secretariat for the General Assembly’s only, Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
National Pet Day 2020: April 11
National Pet Day is celebrated every year on April 11, to create public awareness about animals that currently live in shelters and rescues and are in need of a forever home.
i.History of the Pet day: National pet day was founded in 2006 by Colleen Paige, who is a renowned animal welfare advocate and lifestyle expert.
ii.The day was created to highlight the situation of animals based in shelters across the globe. On this day, people are encouraged to love their pets, adopt pets and volunteer at the local animal shelter.
Manipur Govt introduces ‘Food Bank’ initiative for poor and needy people
On April 12, 2020, The Imphal East District Administration of Manipur state Government has launched a new initiative “Food Bank” based on the theme ‘Help End Hunger Today’ with the aim to provide free food to the poor people who are severely affected in getting essential commodities due to the long statewide lockdown in view of the threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
i.The food bank will provide food items (such as rice, aata, maida, daal, edible oil, salt, potato, onions , milk, biscuits, packaged drinking water), hand sanitisers and face masks to drug rehabilitation centres and people living in Imphal East District affected by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).
Governor– Najma Heptulla
Chief Minister– N. Biren Singh
National Parks– Keibul Lamjao National Park
|Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)|
|S.no||Current Affairs 14 April 2020|
|1||ICMR nods: Kerala becomes the first state to commence clinical trial plasma therapy treatment|
|2||IFFCO organizes continual awareness campaigns ‘Break the CORONA Chain’ on ground zero|
|3||OPEC and Russia agreed to cut crude oil production amid Coronavirus crisis|
|4||Global Trade to fall by 13%-32% in 2020 due to COVID-19: WTO|
|5||MaxLifeIns, YES Bank extended bancassurance tie-up for 5 years; Dedicated FY21 as “Year of the Customer”|
|6||WB South Asia Economic Focus report: Indian economy grows at 1.5-2.8% in FY21 while South Asian at 1.8 – 2.8%|
|7||India becomes top Hydroxychloroquine producer & exporter with 70% annual global share|
|8||UGC constitutes 2 expert committees for examination & online education: COVID-19|
|9||Sara Ali khan appointed as the ambassador of JBL|
|10||DPIIT constitutes 25-member development council for pulp, paper and allied industries headed by A S Mehta|
|11||China’s central bank increases its stake to 1% in HDFC; SAMA also bought 0.7% stake|
|12||HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” launched web-portal YUKTI in New Delhi|
|13||Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog & National Informatics Centre (NIC) jointly launches CollabCAD in ATL schools|
|14||DST funds SBPL to develop Immunodiagnostic kits & Active Virosome Vaccine: COVID-19|
|15||NIF developed herbal dewormer “wormivet” for livestock owners|
|16||India to host Asian Boxing Championships 2020 in Nov-Dec: BFI|
|17||Japanese filmmaker Obayashi, who portrayed war’s horrors, passed away at 82|
|18||Formula one great Sir Stirling Moss passed away at 90|
|19||Padma bhushan awardee and Former Attorney General Ashok Desai passed away at 77|
|20||International Day of Human Space Flight 2020: April 12|
|21||National Pet Day 2020: April 11|
|22||Manipur Govt introduces ‘Food Bank’ initiative for poor and needy people|
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