We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 26 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 26 March 2020
PM Modi declared 21-day (Mar 25-April 14, 2020) lockdown to break COVID-19 infection chain; Rs 15,000 cr allotted for healthcare by Centre
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared a 21-day lockdown for the whole nation starting from March 25, 2020 till April 14, 2020 as an only way to break the chain of COVID-19 infection. It is an emergency protocol mandating people to stay at home and stepping out of the house unless for an essential purpose will be a punishable offence.
- During the lockdown, all essential commodities like groceries, medicines and milk remain available.
- As of now, each state had different rules for lockdown but this national lockdown laid uniform guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the entire country.
- On March 24, 2020, 564 positive coronavirus cases were reported in India.
Rs 15,000 crore allotted for healthcare to fight coronavirus:
For quick set up health infrastructure to deal with the pandemic, Centre has allocated 15,000 crore for the purchase of personal protection equipment for healthcare workers, increasing the number of beds, testing kits, setting up testing laboratories and quarantine centres, and training of professionals to combat the disease.
COVID-19 outbreak: Labour ministry directs state govt/UTs to pay 3.5 cr construction workers from Rs 52,000 cr fund
On March 24, 2020, Amid the impact on the construction sector due to Coronavirus epidemic, Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, the Union Minister of State (Mos) for Labour and Employment, has issued an advisory under Section 60 of the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Act, 1996 to all the state and UT (Union Territory) governments to provide financial aid to nearly 3.5 crore construction workers from Rs 52,000-crore construction cess collected by the Labour Welfare Boards.
i.The funds will be transferred in the account of construction workers through DBT (direct benefit transfer) mode. However the amount to be granted to those people will be decided by the respective governments.
ii.The BOCW 1996 act mandates levy and collection of cess at such rate not exceeding 2 %, but not less than 1 % of the cost of construction.This cess is used for the welfare of the employees working in the construction sector.
About Ministry of Labour and Employment:
Headquarters– New Delhi
COVID-19 will be tested and treated under Ayushman Bharat scheme
On March 24, 2020, Amid the growing outbreak of Corona virus (COVID-19) in India, National Health Authority (NHA), which is responsible for the implementation of the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) has to bring the cost of testing and treatment of coronavirus infection under the ambit of this scheme.
i.After the implementation of this decision, all the beneficiaries of the scheme will be able to get the treatment at government-designated testing centres and public hospitals for symptoms of COVID-19 such as Acute Febrile Illness, Pneumonia, Severe Pneumonia, Pyrexia of unknown origin, Respiratory failure due to any cause (pneumonia, asthma, COPD, ARDS, foreign body, poisoning, head injury etc.), among others for free.
ii.This scheme will be implemented as soon as the government allows treatment of COVID-19 patients in private hospitals.
iii.It is noteworthy that the government aims to bring 10.74 crore poor families in the country under PMJAY as per the socio-economic caste census 2011.
About Ayushman Bharat scheme- PMJAY:
- It is the world’s largest health insurance scheme fully financed by the government. The scheme was launched in 2018 under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in India aimed at making necessary interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary health-care systems.
- Health insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to the poor and vulnerable families will be provided under the scheme.
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Dr Indu Bhushan
IRSDC is developing 1st of its kind “Form-Based Codes”: Railway land
The Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) with support from Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation is developing a 1st of its kind “Form Based Codes” for the development of railway land.
i.The code is being designed & approved for layout plans, building plans for station areas which will ensure a compact, pedestrian-friendly, market responsive, transit oriented & sustainable development.
ii.It will enable the desired kind of development around station areas & includes Layout Regulating Plans, Sub Plot Property Development Card, Building Design Codes.
iii.Several stations across the country are being developed into world-class transit hubs; the first two being Habibganj in Madhya Pradesh and Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
Headquarters– New Delhi, India
Chairman & Member Engineering Railway Board– Vishwesh Chaube
Goa becomes the 1st Indian state to launch assessment tool for COVID-19
On March 23, 2020 Goa health minister Vishwajit Rane launched Test Yourself Goa, a self-assessment tool for COVID-19 to help people identify if they are infected by the virus without visiting a doctor or hospital.
Goa has partnered with Innovaccer Inc, a United States (US)-based healthcare data analytics company, to launch the tool.
Features of the tool
i.The online portal enables a person to check themselves from their home, by answering questions like; Name, contact number, location, recent travel to high-risk countries, symptoms such as fever, cough, wheezing, and any health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension among others.
ii.Based on the answers, the tool states whether the individual is likely or not likely the suspect of COVID-19, as per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)‘s guidelines.
iii.The tool will then assist the person to take further steps by providing information on self-quarantine, helpline numbers to reach out to the concerned authorities.
iv.The tool is accessible in English, Konkani & Hindi, and will also work on Smartphones.
Chief Minister– Pramod Sawant
Governor– Satya Pal Malik
Coronavirus-outbreak: Punjab becomes the 1st state to impose curfew after lockdown fails
On March 24, 2020, After the lockdown became ineffective, Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Captain Amarinder Singh has ordered an indefinite curfew across the state. With this, it becomes the 1st state in the country to take drastic measure to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
i.After Punjab ,the Chandigarh Union Territory (UT) Administration has also imposed curfew in the city to check the spread of virus.
Difference between lock down, curfew & Section 144:
What is a Lockdown?
It is an emergency tool that prevents people from leaving a given area. This scenario usually allows for essential supplies, grocery stores, pharmacies and banks to continue to serve the people. All non-essential activities remain shut for the entire period.
It can be enforced by a Collector or Chief Medical Officer(CMO) under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
What is section 144?
Section 144 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) prevents the congregation of 5 or more people within a particular area. Under this, anyone found in violation will be booked under Section 188 of IPC for disobeying a public servant.
What is curfew?
It differs in every country, means keeping people off the streets for pre-decided hours. Any violation is met with a fine or arrest. Curfew includes complete closure essential services in addition to Section 144.
Only administration & police personnel are allowed on the street. The district administration is exempt from action, once the curfew is enforced.
WHO initiated mega trial “Solidarity” of 4 promising drugs to cure Covid-19
In accordance with the Science Magazine report, on March 24, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has started a mega trial namely “Solidarity” of four most promising drugs that may cure the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The trial consists of study, testing, and development of antidote against coronavirus through four most promising therapies which are as follows:
- Remdesivir– This experimental antiviral compound was widely used to combat Ebola and other dangerous viruses in the past.
- Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine: This is used to treat patients suffering from malaria. Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has also recommended this for healthcare workers and caregivers looking after positive COVID-19 patients.
- Combination of lopinavir and ritonavir: This drug combination is used for treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This combination slows down the process of deterioration of organs.In India, it was used to treat the first case of coronavirus who were a couple from Italy.
- Ritonavir/lopinavir plus interferon-beta: This combination is used to treat Middle-East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS) patients in Saudi Arabia.Interferon-beta is immune system messengers that can help cripple viruses.
ITU launches “Global Network Resiliency Platform” : COVID-19
On March 24, 2020 The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) launched a “Global Network Resiliency Platform” to help global networks remain “safer, stronger and more connected” during the COVID-19 crisis.
i.The platform will assist the government & private sector to ensure that networks are kept flexible and all telecommunication services are available to all.
ii.To ensure telecommunication services are available to the maximum, the platform will also share best practices & initiatives put in place during the COVID-19 crisis.
iii.The portal will gather relevant information and expertise on the activities that telecommunication policymakers and others in the regulatory community can use to ensure that their networks serve their country’s needs.
iv.The platform will also provide relevant and trustworthy information & expertise on how to deal with the pressures faced by the country’s infrastructure.
v.It initially serves as an informative tool but will soon expand to provide an interactive and engaging platform for continuous sharing throughout the pandemic & beyond.
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Secretary General– Houlin Zhao
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI advances its Rs 25000 cr repo auction to March 26, 2020; SPDs to participate in auction
Now-a-days Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is taking important measures to ensure standard operations to maintain liquidity flow in the disrupted conditions caused by Covid-19 (Coronavirus). As a part of these measures, RBI has advanced its first of the two Rs 25,000 crore variable rate repo auctions to March 26, 2020 from March 30. It will provide flexibility to the banking system in year-end liquidity management.
- It should be noted that RBI was going to maketwo such auctions of Rs25,000 crore each on March 30 and March 31 to address the additional demand for liquidity.
- There is no change in the auction scheduled for March 31, 2020.
-Apart from eligible participants, standalone primary dealers (SPDs) are also allowed to participate in these auctions to enhance their liquidityunder the RBI’s Standing Liquidity Facility (SLF) from ₹2,800 crore to 10,000 crore with immediate effect. This enhanced facility will be available till April 17, 2020.
-SPD’s are subsidiaries of scheduled commercial banks or companies incorporated in India or abroad. These are established as Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) and got license from RBI to deal in buying and selling of Government securities.
Jana SFB along with NPCI launches UPI QR-based loan installment payment facility
On March 24, 2020, Jana Small Finance Bank (SFB) ,a leading digitized bank in partnership with National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), has launched a UPI QR-based loan installment payment facility to its existing 40 lakh plus customers & 5crore micro finance agencies.
i.Now the bank’s customers can generate UPI (Unified Payments Interface) QR (Quick Response) code for their loan account and make instalment payments instantly using any of the UPI applications.
ii.The UPI QR-based payment mode is available for P2P (person to person) and P2M (person to merchant) payments.
iii.This move taken by the bank as it advises their customers to carry out banking operations from their home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic & advised them to make use of Net Banking / Mobile Banking Services 24×7 during emergency.
What is UPI?
It is an inter bank fund transfer facility, through which payments can be made with the help of phone number and virtual ID (Identification) on the smartphone. It is based on the mechanism of internet bank fund transfer.
It was the key contributor of the digital payments push since demonetization.
About Jana Small Finance Bank:
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
Managing Director and CEO– Ajay Kanwal
Tagline– ‘Paise ki Kadar’ (value for money)
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
FinMin declared relief measures for financial sectors amid COVID-19 outbreak; Extension for return filing till June 30, 2020
On March 24, 2020, Union Finance &Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman publicized necessitated relief measures for statutory and regulatory compliance matters related to Income Tax, GST, Customs & Central Excise, Corporate Affairs, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC) Fisheries, Banking Sector and Commerce.
- The decision regarding the statutory and regulatory relief measures has been taken due to the national shutdown to control the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus or Covid-19 infection….Click here to Read More
Income Tax (IT)
|3 month Extensions (From 31st March, 2020 to 30th June, 2020) on following parts of IT||Reduced interest rate on Tax deduction at source (TDS)|
|· Filing financial year 2018-19 (assessment year 2019-20) return|
· Aadhaar-PAN linking date
· Vivad se Vishwas scheme extended with no levy of additional 10% charge for late payment made by June 30, 2020
|For delayed payments of TDS made till June 30, 2020 reduced interest rate of 9%from 18%annually will be charged for this period. There will be no late fee or penalty for delay during this period.|
COVID- 19: Invest India Business Immunity Platform launched
On March 21, 2020, Invest India, India’s national Investment Promotion & Facilitation Agency, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), launched “The Invest India Business Immunity Platform” in order to minimise the impacts & crisis in business due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The platform was hosted on the Invest India website, providing the latest initiative of the State and Central Governments.
i.About BIP: The Business Immunity Platform (BIP) is the active platform for business issue redressal which operates 24/7, with a team of dedicated sector experts & responds to queries at the earliest through emails and on WhatsApp.
ii.The platform provides details on locations of COVID-19 testing, special permissions, other location-specific information etc., and responses to leading Indian companies such as sanitation of staff vehicles, disabling biometric attendance systems, developing online solutions etc.,
iii.Invest India has also announced a partnership with SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India) for responding and resolving queries for MSMEs (Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises).
iv.Mr. Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO, Invest India also mentioned that the BIP team is working towards finding clarifications and solutions in a rapidly evolving perspective of business continuity for the business community. This also provides the ability to find matching suppliers with required supplies and for innovators and MSME to showcase their solutions and face the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
After Covid-19 pandemic “Hantavirus” death reported in China
After a deadly Coronavirus, now a death has been reported in China’s Yunnan province due to Hantavirus infection, a virus spread from rodents. Rodents are a type of small mammal with sharp front teeth which include mouse, squirrel, or beaver, hamster etc. However, this is not a new virus and it does not spread from person to person.
What is Hantavirus?
As per United States’ (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),Hantavirusis spread mainly by rodents and can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), and haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) to the infected person.
- It is a rare type of virus that can spread to people through dust contaminated by the saliva,urine, and faecesof rodentsor a bite from an infected host.
- It hasa mortality rate of 38%.
- Its first cases were reported during Korean War (1951-1953).
- Currently, the Hantavirus genus includes more than 21 species.
-Early symptoms of HPS include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, along with headaches, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems. It can also lead to coughing and shortness of breath and can be fatal.
-While the initial symptoms of HFRS are the same as HPS but it can cause low blood pressure, acute shock, vascular leakage, and acute kidney failure.
Microsoft & US CDC ties-up to create a COVID-19 self-screening bot, “Clara”
On March 24, 2020, The US (United States) Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnered with CDC Foundation and Microsoft’s Azure healthcare bot service has introduced an AI (Artificial Intelligence) based bot named “Clara” [the coronavirus self-checker]. The bot is currently available in the US on the CDS website.
i.About Clara: The self-assessment robot can quickly assess the symptoms and risk factors for people worried about infection, it also provides information such as the need for medical tests also suggests the next step of actions such as contacting a medical provider and for those who do not need in-person care, managing the illness safely from home.
ii.Other self-assessment tests: In India, Apollo hospitals have introduced Coronavirus Risk scan, a similar self-assessment test for the users to know the risk level of getting the infection. The Apollo risk- assessment test is designed based on advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) & the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare India.
iii.Apple has updated its voice assistant Siri for Apple users in the US on the advice and guidelines of WHO and if a person shows severe symptoms, they will be prompted by Siri to call 911.
Covid-19 pandemic: Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed to 2021; First time in 124 years
On March 24, 2020, Japan ‘s Prime Minister (PM) Shinzo Abe and the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach have agreed to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for a year due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Now the Tokyo Olympics, which is scheduled on July 24 – August 9, 2020 will take place in 2021 and the new dates will be announced later.
i.This is the first time in the Olympics’ 124-year history that it has been postponed due to virus, because earlier the Olympic Games have been canceled only because of world war.
ii.Even though the games will be held in 2021, it will remain known as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
iii.Earlier, the Olympic flame arrived in Japan after a torch lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia, Greece. Canada & Australia have announced to withdraw from Tokyo Olympics 2020 due to the spread of Coronavirus disease rapidly across the world.
iv.Background: The Olympic Games have faced political boycott (Moscow 1980) and terrorism (Munich 1972) but the Games have been canceled due to war only.
The Olympic Games Berlin 1916, Tokyo 1940 and London 1944 forced to be scrapped due to the global conflicts.
About International Olympic Committee(IOC):
Founded– 23 June 1894
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland
Asterix’ co-creator Albert Uderzo passed away at 92
On March 24, 2020 Alberto Aleandro Uderzo, French comic book artist, scriptwriter, the co-creator and illustrator of the “Asterix and Obelix” comics passed away at the age of 92 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. He was born on April 25, 1927 in Fismes, France.
i.About Uderzo: Albert Uderzo created Asterix in 1959 with the fellow Frenchman and writer Rene Goscinny, who gave life to the French-Belgian comics magazine Pilote.
ii.Both Alberto and Rene Goscinny were considered as founding fathers of modern comics.
iii.About Asterix series: The series has extended into 38 books and most recently “Asterix and the Chieftain’s Daughter”, where 1.6 million copies were sold in France alone in 2019 & tops the best-seller lists.
iv.The series has been translated into 111 languages & dialects, including Latin and Ancient Greek.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Chander Suta Dogra authored a book titled- “Missing in Action: The Prisoners Who Never Came Back”
Senior Journalist Chander Suta Dogra launched her 2nd book during an event hosted by United Service Institution of India (USI)- “Missing in Action: The Prisoners Who Never Came Back” relies on de-classified records of the Ministry of External Affairs & other sources. It is published by Harpercollins.
i.The book addresses the missing Indian soldiers during the mission of 1965 & 1971 Indo- Pak wars & also attempts to find out what happened to them, hoping to open up a debate on how soldiers are often used as pawns by governments.
ii.The author’s 1st book, “Manoj & Babli : A hate story”(True story) explores a tough & rough road to justice for victims of honor killings.
iii.At present, she works as a senior journalist in Outlook & has worked in The Hindu & Indian Express. She is the daughter, wife & mother of defence officers.
International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade 2020: March 25
On March 25, 2020 The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade to honour and remember those who suffered & died at the hands of brutal slavery system.
i.The 2020 Theme of the day is “Confronting Slavery’s Legacy of Racism Together”
ii.The day aims to create awareness of the dangers of racism and prejudice today.
iii.The United Nations General Assembly designated March 25 as the day on December 17, 2007
iv.The Arc of Return a permanent memorial is erected in United Nations to honor the victims of slavery & the transatlantic slave trade. It was designed by an American Architect, Rodney Leon. The ark was unveiled on 25th March 2015.
International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members 2020: March 25
The International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members is observed every year on March 25 by the United Nations (UN).
i.The day commemorates the anniversary of the abduction of Alec Collett, a former journalist.
ii.He was working for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees. He was kidnapped by an armed gunman in 1985 and his body was found in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon in 2009.
iii.The day aims to initiate action, demand justice and highlight the importance to protect UN staff and peacekeepers, also people who work for non-governmental communities & the press.
Mayiladuthurai to become Tamil Nadu’s 38th district : CM
On March 24, 2020 Tamil Nadu Chief Minister(CM) Edappadi Palaniswamy announced at the Legislative Assembly that Nagapattinam district will be bifurcated and a new district (38th) will be formed with its headquarters at Mayiladuthurai.
Hike in pension for village temple priests & new TV channel to shrines: CM
The CM announces that the pension will be hiked for village temple priests to Rs 3,000 from Rs 1,000 & also will launch a television(TV) channel to the shrines named as Thirukkoil at an estimated cost of Rs 8.77 crore….Click here to Read More
Coronavirus: Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik launched “Mo Jeeban Programme”
On March 24, 2020, Odisha Chief Minister (CM) Naveen Patnaik launched “Mo Jeeban (My Life) Programme” and urged people to take a pledge to stay indoors.The programme was launched due to the Coronavirus (COVID- 19) outbreak.
i.The objective of the programme is to keep everyone safe in the state due to the dangerous spread of the virus.
ii.Patnaik also cautioned the people that the virus which has created havoc in China, Iran, US (United States) & other countries, has now reached Delhi and also at their doorstep.
Governor– Ganeshi Lal.
Iqbal Singh Bains appointed as Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary
On March 24, 2020, Iqbal Singh Bains was appointed as Madhya Pradesh (MP) Chief Secretary by the newly-sworn Chief Minister (CM) Shivraj Singh Chouhan of the state. He was the successor of CS M Gopal Reddy.
i.About Iqbal Singh: Iqbal Singh, a 1985 batch IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer, served as the President of Revenue Board, Gwalior, MP.
ii.This was the first appointment made by the new CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
About Madhya Pradesh:
Governor– Lalji Tandon.
|Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)|
|S.no||Current Affairs 26 March 2020|
|1||PM Modi declared 21-day (Mar 25-April 14, 2020) lockdown to break COVID-19 infection chain; Rs 15,000 cr allotted for healthcare by Centre|
|2||COVID-19 outbreak: Labour ministry directs state govt/UTs to pay 3.5 cr construction workers from Rs 52,000 cr fund|
|3||COVID-19 will be tested and treated under Ayushman Bharat scheme|
|4||IRSDC is developing 1st of its kind “Form Based Codes”: Railway land|
|5||Goa becomes the 1st Indian state to launch assessment tool for COVID-19|
|6||Coronavirus-outbreak: Punjab becomes the 1st state to impose curfew after lockdown fails|
|7||WHO initiated mega trial “Solidarity” of 4 promising drugs to cure Covid-19|
|8||ITU launches “Global Network Resiliency Platform” : COVID-19|
|9||RBI advances its Rs 25000 cr repo auction to March 26, 2020; SPDs to participate in auction|
|10||Jana SFB along with NPCI launches UPI QR-based loan installment payment facility|
|11||FinMin declared relief measures for financial sectors amid COVID-19 outbreak; Extension for return filing till June 30, 2020|
|12||COVID- 19: Invest India Business Immunity Platform launched|
|13||After Covid-19 pandemic “Hantavirus” death reported in China|
|14||Microsoft & US CDC ties-up to create a COVID-19 self-screening bot, “Clara”|
|15||Covid-19 pandemic: Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed to 2021; First time in 124 years|
|16||Asterix’ co-creator Albert Uderzo passed away at 92|
|17||Chander Suta Dogra launched a book- “Missing in Action: The Prisoners Who Never Came Back”|
|18||International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade 2020: March 25|
|19||International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members 2020: March 25|
|20||Mayiladuthurai to become Tamil Nadu’s 38th district : CM|
|21||Coronavirus: Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik launched “Mo Jeeban Programme”|
|22||Iqbal Singh Bains appointed as Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary|
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