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Current Affairs 25 March 2020

We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 25 March 2020, which have unique updates of Latest Current Affairs 2020 events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, PTI, Indian Express, Business Standard and all Government official websites.

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Top 20 Current Affairs of 25 March 2020

Current Affairs 25 March 2020

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

ICMR recommended hydroxychloroquine for caregivers of COVID-19 patientshydroxychloroquine COVID 19

The National Task Force for the novel coronavirus constituted by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine for healthcare workers or persons staying with and caring for positive COVID-19 patients. This protocol has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI), Dr V. G. Somani.

  • The protocol has mandated that hydroxychloroquine is to be taken only for prophylaxis or prevention. Its use is restricted for emergency situations.
  • It is also mandated that it should not be advised for children below 15 years of age….Click here to Read More

IIT-Madras to organize India’s 1st Global Hyperloop Pod Competition

On March 19, 2020, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras will organize India’s 1st Global Hyperloop Pod Competition named as ‘Indian Hyperloop Pod Competition’, to increase the awareness & enthusiasm about Hyperloop in India.
i.The competition aims to encourage student teams in India & abroad to develop a Hyperloop Pod & compete to construct the fastest, highly innovative, effective design & also prototypes of related technologies.
ii.The final round to take place in the IIT-Madras campus in July 2020.
iii.On March 14, 2020, IIT-Madras launched Career Back 2 Women (CB2 Women)  initiative through its “Digital Skills Academy ” to skill women who want to return to a technical profession after a break in their career.
What is Hyperloop Pod?
Hyperloop is the 5th transportation mode, a high-speed train that travels in a vacuum tube. It is a sealed pipe where a pod can travel on reduced air resistance or friction. While being very efficient, the reduced air resistance allows the capsule within the tube to reach speeds of up to 1000 km/h conveying people or objects at high speed.
SpaceX & Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Elon Musk proposed the idea of Hyperloop to the world in 2013 through a white paper “Hyperloop Alpha.”

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Sri Lanka contributes $5 mn to SAARC corona emergency fund

On March 23, 2020, The Government of Sri Lanka has pledged to contribute $5 million to the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Corona Emergency Fund proposed by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on March 15, 2020 with an initial grant of $10 million from India to deal with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Key Points:
i.This announcement came a day after the Governments of Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan have pledged to contribute $1.5 million, $1 million and $1 million respectively to the fund.
ii.Earlier, the governments of Maldives & Bhutan also pledged to provide $200,000 and 100,000$ respectively. The remaining one nation of SAARC- i.e Pakistan is yet to declare its contribution for the fund.
iii.India also provided material assistance in the forms of masks, gloves and disinfectants with a cost of $1 million to SAARC countries in the wake of the outbreak of Covid-19.
About SAARC:
Establishment– 8 December 1985
Headquarters– Kathmandu, Nepal
SecretaryGeneral– H. E. Mr Esala Ruwan Weerakoon
Members (8)– Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
About Sri Lanka:
Capitals– Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Currency– Sri Lankan rupee
President– Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Prime minister– Mahinda Rajapaksa

Protecting peatlands can help attain climate goals: FAO-UN reportProtecting peatlands can help attain climate goals

In accordance with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) report, Peatlands are facing degradation and need to be urgently monitored. The report authored by 35 experts comprised information as well as recommendations to countries on restoring and managing peatland.
What is Peatland?
Peatlands are wetlands with a thick layer of organic soil. Peatlands cover only 3% of the global land area, but they store 30% of the world’s soil carbon.

  • When peatlands are drained, they become net sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribute up to 1 Gigaton of GHG emissions per year through oxidation….Click here to Read More

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI: On lending by banks to NBFCs is classified as a priority sector in FY21On lending by banks to NBFCs RBI

To boost credit disbursement in the targeted segment like agriculture, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) and housing sector, RBI has extended the priority sector classification for bank loans to Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) for on-lending for the FY 2020-21.

  • The existing loans disbursed under the on-lending model will continue to be classified under Priority Sector till the date of repayment/maturity.
  • Bank credit to registered NBFCs (other than MFIs) and HFCs for on-lending will be allowed up to an overall limit of five per cent of individual bank’s total priority sector lending.

Key Points:
-As per the revised norms, on-lending by NBFCs for ‘term lending’ component under agriculture will be allowed up to Rs 10 lakh per borrower.
-In the case of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) the limit will be Rs 20 lakh per borrower.
-In the housing sector, the limit has been enhanced from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh per borrower for classification of the loan as priority sector lending.

RBI opens Rs 59000cr emergency credit line for Yes Bank; a move after 16 years

After the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) reconstruction plan for Yes Bank, the latter has resumed its standard operations from last week. Now, to keep the liquidity of the bank for paying back to its depositors stable, RBI has opened an emergency line of credit of Rs 59,000 crore.

  • This liquidity support to Yes Bank is an additional liquidity arsenal provided under Section 17 (4) of the RBI Act, 1934 as the bank has no solvency problem or any other issue except liquidity.

Key Point:

  • The move comes after 16 years when a similar credit line was opened for Global Trust Bank in 2004 after which the bank merged with Oriental Bank of Commerce.

NABARD provides Rs 42,313 crore for building rural infrastructure

On March 19, 2020 National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) provides financial support of Rs 42,313crore in the Financial Year(FY) 2019-20 for building rural infrastructure.
Key Points
i.In this FY, NABARD has provided Rs 20,869 crore for irrigation related projects, in addition to Rs 5,686 crore for rural connectivity.
ii.Apart from this it has released Rs 10,935 crore for Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana Gramin (PMAYG) to provide “housing for all by 2022”& for Swachh Bharat Mission to provide clean water and sanitation facilities.
iii.During the last 5 years, it has given Rs 1.98 lakh crore for rural development and till February 28, 2020 Rs 87,069 crore has been given to cooperative and Regional Rural Banks(RRB) as short-term refinance & Rs 59,502 as long-term refinance to cooperative, RRB & other financial institutions.
About NABARD:
At the insistence of the Government of India (GOI), Reserve Bank of India constituted a committee to review the arrangements for institutional credit for agriculture and rural development (CRAFICARD) on 30 March 1979, under the Chairmanship of  B.Sivaraman. On the committee’s recommendation, NABARD came into existence on 12 July 1982 with the approval of the Parliament by Act 61 of 1981 with an objective to promote sustainable, equitable agriculture and rural development.
Headquarters– Mumbai
Chairman– Harsh Kumar Bhanwala

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

S&P slashes India’s GDP growth estimate for FY21 to 5.2 % from 6.5%

On March 23, 2020, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings, the world’s leading provider of independent credit ratings, has slashed India’s economic growth forecast to 5.2 % from 6.5 % estimated earlier for fiscal year-FY 21 (April 2020 to March 2021) due to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), which has affected the economy worldwide.
Key Points:
i.The agency has estimated a permanent loss of about $ 620 billion in the Asia Pacific region due to Covid- 19 pandemic.
ii.It has also reduced the growth forecast for 2021-22 to 6.9% from 7%.At the same time GDP growth could remain at 7% percent in the financial year 2022-23 and 2023-24.
iii.The agency believes that in the next financial year, the average inflation rate will come down to 4.4 % from 4.7 % in 2020.
iv.Earlier on March 18, 2020, S&P slashed India’s economic growth forecast to 5.2 % for 2020 from 5.7 % predicted earlier due to the spread of infection of the coronavirus.
About S&P Global Ratings:
Headquarters– New York, United States
President & Chief Executive Officer(CEO)– Douglas L. Peterson

India’s first dedicated COVID-19 Centre set up by Reliance in Mumbai, Maharashtra; to produce 1,00,000 face-masks per dayReliance sets up India’s first dedicated COVID-19 hospital

As a measure to curb deadly coronavirus (COVID-19), Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital in collaboration with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), has set up India’s first 100 bedded centre at Seven Hills Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra for positive COVID 19 patients.

  • The Centre fully funded by Reliance Foundation, includes a negative pressure room that helps in preventing cross contamination and helps control infection, among necessary infrastructure and bio-medical equipment.

Other Initiatives by Reliance:
-Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has also built a fully-equipped isolation facility in Lodhivali, Maharashtra and handed it over to the district authorities.
-It enhances its production capacities to produce 1,00,000 face-masks per day and a large number of personal protective equipment (PPE), like suits and garments, for Indian health-workers.
-RIL is providingfree fuel from its petroleum retail outlets for all emergency service vehicles used to transport.
-It also offeredan aid of 5 crore to Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
-Reliance Life Sciences (RLS) is importing additional test kits for effective testing.
-Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital has offered to set up special medical facilities for quarantine travellers from notified countries and suspected cases identified through contact tracing.

Make in India: Pune-based Mylab becomes the 1st Indian firm to make diagnostic test kits for coronavirus

On March 24, 2020, The National Institute of Virology (NIV) has given its nod to Pune (Maharashtra) based Mylab Discovery Solutions Pvt Ltd to make diagnostic test kits (also known as Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kit) for novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
With this, it becomes the 1st Indian company to develop the first made-in-India test kit for the disease in a period of 6- weeks. Germany-based Altona Diagnostics has also received the approval.
Key Points:
i.The above said approval comes 2- days after ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) issued norms for private testing of coronavirus restricting use of only USFDA (US- Food and Drug Administration) or European CE certified tools at private labs & allowing kits manufactured domestically / outside the India, after approval from the NIV.
ii.The kit RT-PCR (Reverse transcription -Polymerase Chain Reaction ) has received commercial production permission from the Indian FDA (Food and Drug Administration ) / Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
iii.Through the company’s kit, 1,000 samples can be tested from a large lab and 200 samples can be tested in a small lab. Mylab has decided to fix the price of these kits at Rs 1,200.
iv.In the current lab based testing protocols it takes 4 hours for test results, while Mylab PathoDetect kit screens & detects the infection within 2.5 hours.
About National Institute of Virology:
Headquarters– Pune, Maharashtra
Parent organization– Indian Council of Medical Research

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS   

Author Ruchika Tomar wins PEN/Hemingway Award 2020Indian-origin US author Ruchika Tomar

On March 23, 2020 the Indian-origin American author Ruchika Tomar is named as the winner of the annual PEN/Hemingway Award 2020 for her 1st novel (debut) ”A Prayer for Travelers”. She hails from California & is currently working as a lecturer at Stanford University.
Key Points
i.The award includes a prize of USD 25,000 & also a 1 month residency fellowship  (includes all finalists & runner up) at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, worth USD 10,000….Click here to Read More  

Zoya Akhter honoured with IIFTC Tourism Impact Award 2020 held in Mumbai, MaharashtraZoya Akhter IIFTC award

On March 23, 2020, Zoya Akhter honoured with IIFTC Tourism Impact Award 2020 during the 8th India International Film Tourism Conclave (IIFTC) held in Mumbai, Maharashtra on March 5-7, 2020. The award was presented by NaheedNenshi– Mayor of Calgary, Alberta (Canada) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to world tourism through her cinema.

  • She has promoted tourism through her films like 2011 ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ which was shot in Spain, and 2015 comedy-drama ‘DilDhadakne Do’ shot in Turkey.

Other winners:
-Tamil Director, KS Ravikumar, also awarded during the event who has directed 43 films over 30 years.
-The awards for Cinematic Excellence being presented to the makers of Professor Shanku O El Dorado (Bengali), and the Oscar Goes to (Malayalam), Amar (Kannada), Dev (Tamil), Mannadhudu 2 (Telugu), War (Hindi) and Badla (Hindi) for showcasing global locations to Indian audiences.
Film location promotion conclave:
The two-day long business meets,film location promotion conclave, was also held as part IIFTC in Mumbai which saw the participation from 50 international companies from 25 countries including and Portugal, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, Kenya, UK, Poland, Iceland, Mauritius Canada, Serbia, Azerbaijan, Ras Al Khaimah, Czech Republic, among others.

 APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS        

Shivraj Singh Chouhan becomes the CM of MPShivraj Singh Chouhan as New CM

On March 23, 2020 Shivraj Singh Chouhan(61) took oath as Chief Minister(CM) of Madhya Pradesh(MP)for the 4th time. He will succeed  Kamal Nath who was in power for 15 months.
Key Points:
i.He was the CM of MP  for 13 years since 2005 & resigned in December 2018 after  Congress secured a narrow majority which paved way for Kamal Nath to become the CM
ii.As Kamal Nath resigned before the floor test, Shivraj Singh Chouhan again become the CM
He is the vice president of BJP & is popularly known as ‘Mamaji’ among his followers.
About MP:
Governor– Lalji Tandon
National Park (NP)– Kanha NP, Mandla; Bandhavgarh NP, Umaria; Madhav NP, Shivpuri; Sanjay NP, Sidhi; Van Vihar NP, Bhopal; Panna NP, Panna, Chhatarpur; Satpura NP, Pachmarhi; Pench NP, Seoni, Chhindwara; Mandla Plant Fossils NP, Mandla.  

IndusInd Bank MD & CEO Romesh Sobti retiresIndusInd Bank MD & CEO Romesh Sobti retires

On March 23, 2020 Private sector lender IndusInd Bank Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ramesh Sobti, 70 years old, retired. The bank’s consumer head, Sumant Kathpalia will serve as the MD and CEO of IndusInd bank for the period of 3 years.
Key Points:
i.Romesh Sobti served as MD & CEO from February 1, 2008.The banking regulator has stipulated 70 as the retirement age for managing directors at banks.
ii.About Sumant Kathpalia: Kathpalia is a career banker with over 33 years of experience in large multinational banks such as Citibank, Bank of America, ABN AMRO and IndusInd bank.
About IndusInd bank:
Tagline– We Make You Feel Richer.
Headquarters– Pune, Maharashtra.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

US successfully tested its first nuclear-capable hypersonic missile

In a major development, the United States (US) Navy and Armyhas successfully tested its common hypersonic glide body (C-HGB), a first unarmed prototype of a hypersonic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The test was carried out at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii and was monitored by Missile Defense Agency (MDA) of US Department of Defence i.e. The Pentagon.

  • C-HGB flew at five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5 to a designated impact point.
  • It should be noted that hypersonic weaponscan travel much faster than current nuclear-capable ballistic and cruise missiles at low altitudes.
  • Also, hypersonic weapons can switch direction in flight making them harder to track and intercept.

Key Points:
-Delivering hypersonic weapons is one of the highest technical researches and engineering priorities of The Pentagon and the goal is to deploy hypersonic missile capability by 2023.
-In this regard, a budgetary allocation of $3.2 billionhas been requested by The Pentagon forfiscal 2021. For ongoing fiscal it was $2.6 billion.
Static Points:
-In December 2019, Russia became the first country to have an operable surface-to–surface hypersonic weapon named “Avangard hypersonic missile”which can reachspeeds of up to Mach 27, roughly 20,500 miles (33,000 kilometers) per hour.
-China also has hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) namely DF-ZF/WU-14 with a speed between Mach 5 and Mach 10.

SPORTS

Canada becomes 1st country to back out of Tokyo Olympics 2020

On March 23, 2020 The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committee jointly announced that it would not send any of its athletes to participate in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 which is scheduled on July 24, 2020 in Japan, due to the spread of Coronavirus disease rapidly across the world. Thus, Canada becomes the first country to back out of Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Key Points:
i.Canada joins the league of the countries, including Norway, Slovenia and Brazil, that have urged the International Olympic Committee to postpone the event to the next year (2021).
ii.Canada sent 314 athletes to the Rio Olympics in 2016, who brought 22 medals to the country and some of the most notable athletes included the swimmer Penny Oleksiak & the sprinter, Andre De Grasse.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Tuberculosis Day 2020: March 24World Tuberculosis Day 2020

World Tuberculosis Day is being observed on March 24 globally to raise awareness of Tuberculosis (TB) disease and the efforts made to eliminate the disease. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB. World TB Day is one of the 8 official global health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Theme of the year 2020: ‘It’s time’.
The theme aims to take urgent steps to save lives.
Key Points:
i.About Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs. TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer.
ii.Each day, over 4000 people lose their lives to TB & nearly 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 58 million lives since the year 2000.
iii.The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a joint initiative “Find. Treat. All. #EndTB” with the Global Fund & Stop TB Partnership, with the aim of accelerating the TB response and ensuring access to care, in line with WHO’s overall drive towards Universal Health Coverage.
iv.India is committed to eliminate the prevalence of TB by 2025. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also implementing the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for Tuberculosis Elimination (2017- 2025).
v.The campaign named ”TB Harega Desh Jeetega Campaign” is also held to prevent TB.

International Day for Achievers 2020: March 24International Day for Achievers 2020

International Day for Achievers (IDA) is observed every year on March 24, to honour the achievers who have shown determination and confidence on their journey.
Key Points:
i.On this day achievers from different fields are honoured for motivating people to achieve their goals.
ii.The achievers can be Scientist, Doctor, Teacher, Conservationist, Teacher, social worker etc.,

International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims 2020: March 24International Day for the Right to the Truth

On March 24, 2020 International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is observed every year to honor those who have dedicated & lost their lives in struggle to promote & protect human rights for all.
Purpose of the day
The day is observed to pay tribute to Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero, who was murdered on March 24, 1980. He was actively involved in condemning human rights violations of the most vulnerable people, defending the principles of protecting lives & encouraging humanitarianism and resistance to all forms of violence.
Background
In 2006, the United Nations office of high commissioner for human rights determined that the people have the right to know about the gross human rights violations & serious violations of human rights law. The right was also linked with the State’s duty & obligation to protect and guarantee human rights, to conduct effective investigations and to ensure effective remedy & compensation.
The UN general assembly proclaimed 24th March as  the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims on December 21, 2010.

AC GAZE

SBI commits 0.25% of annual profit for FY 2019-20: COVID-19

State Bank of India (SBI),the country’s largest lender has announced to provide 0.25% of its annual profit for Fiscal Year(FY)2019-20 to fight Covid-19 pandemic in India, which will be spent from corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds after the notification of Ministry of Corporate Affairs(MCA) under the companies law 2013, which stated that companies have to shell out at least 2% of their three-year annual net profit towards CSR activities in a particular financial year to fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
S.no      Current Affairs 25 March 2020
1 ICMR recommended hydroxychloroquine for caregivers of COVID-19 patients
2 IIT-Madras to organize India’s 1st Global Hyperloop Pod Competition
3 Sri Lanka contributes $5 mn to SAARC corona emergency fund
4 Protecting peatlands can help attain climate goals: FAO-UN report
5 On lending by banks to NBFCs is classified as priority sector in FY21
6 RBI opens Rs 59000cr emergency credit line for Yes Bank; a move after 16 years
7 NABARD provides Rs 42,313 crore for building rural infrastructure
8 S&P slashes India’s GDP growth estimate for FY21 to 5.2 % from 6.5%
9 India’s first dedicated COVID-19 Centre set up by Reliance in Mumbai, Maharashtra; to produce 1,00,000 face-masks per day
10 Make in India: Pune-based Mylab becomes the 1st Indian firm to make diagnostic test kits for coronavirus
11 Author Ruchika Tomar wins PEN/Hemingway Award 2020
12 Zoya Akhter honoured with IIFTC Tourism Impact Award 2020 held in Mumbai, Maharashtra
13 Shivraj Singh Chouhan becomes the CM of MP
14 IndusInd Bank MD & CEO Romesh Sobti retires
15 US successfully tested its first nuclear-capable hypersonic missile
16 Canada becomes 1st country to back out of Tokyo Olympics 2020
17 World Tuberculosis Day 2020: March 24
18 International Day for Achievers 2020: March 24
19 International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims 2020: March 24
20 SBI commits 0.25% of annual profit for FY 2019-20: COVID-19

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