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Top 20 Current Affairs of 3 April 2020
Lifeline Udan flights launched by MoCA transported 37.63 tonnes of medical cargo across India in 6 days
As a part of curbing the adverse impact of COVID 19, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) launched Lifeline Udan flights on March 26, 2020 for movement of medical and essential supplies across India. Over a 6 days period i.e. till March 31, 2020, 74 flights have been operated which had covered an aerial distance of over 70,000 km to transport 37.63 tonnes of medical cargo, out of which more than 22 tonnes was transported on March 31, 2020.
- The flight operators include Air India, Alliance Air, IAF, Pawan Hans and private carriers. It should be noted that out of 74 flights, 56 have been operated by the Air India Group. Air India also collaborated with Indian Air Force (IAF) to carry consignments for Ladakh, Dimapur, Imphal, Guwahati and Port Blair.
- The objective of these flights is to transport medical essentials to India’s remote corners in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
MoCA and Air India are formulating plans with Chinese authorities to initiate a cargo air-bridge between India and China for critical medical supplies from 3rd April 2020 onwards.
Union Minister– Hardeep Singh Puri
Secretary– Pradeep Singh Kharola
NIC to facilitate the implementation of Supreme Court order on Limited registration of BS-IV vehicles: MoRTH
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has advised National Informatics Centre (NIC) to assist the States /UTs in limited registration of BS-IV vehicles all over India except Delhi/National Capital Region (NCR) on the lines with Supreme Court order dated 27.3.2020.
On March 27, 2020, Supreme Court instructed automobile manufacturers to sell their 10% of unsold BS-IV vehicles within 10 days after the end of the lockdown period (April 14), but not in Delhi-NCR. The verdict has been passed by a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta on the request of Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) who wanted to extend the deadline for transition to the Bharat Stage 6 (BS-VI) emission norms from 1st April, 2020 as sales crashed in March in wake of the outbreak of covid-19.
- The apex court, which had earlier fixed the deadline of March 31, 2020 for sale of BS-IV compliant vehicles across the country. Registration of only BS-VI vehicles is permitted from April 1, 2020 throughout India.
Donations for PM-CARES Fund granted 100% tax exemption under IT Act, 1961
On March 31, 2020, the donations made under newly-formed Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES FUND) to provide assistance to the persons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, are made eligible for 100% deduction under section 80G of the Income Tax (IT) Act, 1961.
- For this, the provisions of the IT Act are amended through the Taxation and other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020 which has also made the tax features of PM-CARES Fund at par with Prime Minister National Relief Fund (PMNRF).
- It should be noted that the date for claiming deduction under section 80G of IT Act has been extended up to June 30, 2020, so the donation made up to that date will be eligible for deduction from income of FY 2019-20.
- Also, individuals and corporates paying concessional tax on the income of FY 2020-21 under the new regime can make a donation to the PM CARES Fund up to June 30 and can claim a deduction against income of FY 2019-20.
UNSC firsts: Adopts 4 resolutions remotely; including “2518” on safety, the security of peacekeepers
On March 31, 2020, The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted four resolutions, voting for the first time remotely or through video-conferencing as the United Nations (UN) staff work from home due to the coronavirus outbreak. Importantly, UNSC is currently under China’s Presidency and China’s Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun is the Council President.
For Improving safety and security of peacekeepers; first of its kind Resolution 2518 adopted
To ensure safety and security of the peacekeepers, the UNSC has unanimously adopted a first of its kind Resolution 2518. The resolution was sponsored by China and co-sponsored by 43 countries….Click here to Read More
United Nation’s COP 26 climate change summit postponed till 2021
The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was planned to take place from 9-19 November 2020, in Glasgow, Scotland in the United Kingdom (UK) has been postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19.The date and location for the same is unspecified. Pre-COP and ‘Youth for the Climate‘ event were also postponed supposed to be held in Italy.
- This decision has been taken by the COP Bureau of the UNFCCC after discussion with the UK and Italian partners.
- It should be noted that around 30,000 people, including 200 world leaders, had been due to attend the 10-day conference for crucial talks regarding rising global temperatures. Currently, the focus of countries is on saving lives and fighting COVID-19.
Headquarter– Bonn, Germany
Executive Secretary– Patricia Espinosa
BANKING & FINANCE
Corona Care: India’s first coronavirus hospitalization insurance by PhonePe for Covid-19 treatment
The accelerated pace of coronavirus is affecting mankind adversely despite government efforts for curbing the situation. It is posing an additional financial burden on individuals or families to get hospitalization treatment for COVID-19. To provide support for such cases, Digital payments company PhonePe has launched India’s first COVID-19 hospitalization insurance policy called Corona Care in collaboration with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance for people who have been infected and hospitalised for covid-19 treatment.
- The policy will provide an insurance cover of 50,000 on a one-time payment of Rs 156 for people who are under 55 years of age.
- The insured person will be eligible for the claim only if he/she is diagnosed with COVID-19 after 15 days from the date of purchase of this insurance.
- The policy will be valid at any hospital that is offering treatment for covid-19. It will also cover 30 days of expenses on pre-hospitalization and post-care medical treatment.
For enrolment of policy, customers don’t need to undertake any medical tests. They can instantly purchase through the PhonePe app’s My Money section while sitting at home amid lockdown.
Founder & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Sameer Nigam
Headquarter– Bengaluru, Karnataka
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance:
Managing Director (MD) & CEO– TapanSinghel
Headquarter– Pune, Maharashtra
SBI lists green bonds of USD 100 million on India INX
On April 2, 2020 the State Bank of India (SBI) has listed green bonds of USD 100 million (about Rs 750 crore) under its USD 10 billion global medium-term note programme on India International Exchange Limited’s (INX) Global Securities Market Green Platform (GSM).
i.SBI has adopted the green bond framework with the objective of creating a positive impact on the environment & this transaction is considered as part of the sustainability journey.
ii.The funds raised by green bonds are used to finance green projects that do not discharge toxic elements.
What is Green Bond?
It is a type of fixed income instrument that is specifically reserved for raising money to climate & environmental projects so as to encourage sustainability. It is comparatively an attractive investment than a comparable taxable bond, as it provides tax incentives such as tax exemption and tax credits.
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman– Rajnish Kumar
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Global economy may shrink by almost 1% in 2020: UN-DESA
On April 2, 2020 the United Nations (UN) Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) World Economic Forecasting Model estimates that the global economy could shrink by 1% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic from an earlier forecast of 2.5%.
- The UN has also warned if the restrictions on economic activities are extended without adequate fiscal responses, the decline could be even deeper.
i.The analysis estimated best & worst scenarios for global growth in 2020
- In the best-case scenario, a moderate decline in private consumption, investment, exports and offsetting increases the government spending in the G-7 countries and China, where global growth will fall to 1.2% in 2020.
- In the worst-case scenario, the global output would contract by 0.9% is based on the demand-side shocks of different magnitudes to Southeast Asia, US and the EU, as well as 50% decline in oil prices against the baseline of USD 61 per barrel. In the 2009 global crisis, the world economy had contracted by 1.7%.
ii.The severity of the economic impact will largely depend on 2 factors namely- the duration of restrictions on the movement of people and economic activities in major economies; and the actual size and efficacy of fiscal responses to the crisis.
India’s fiscal deficit likely to reach 6.2 % of GDP in 2020-21: Fitch solutions
On April 01, 2020, According to the Fitch Solutions, Inc, an American firm that offers credit market data, analytical tools and other services, India’s fiscal deficit is expected to go up to 6.2 % of gross domestic product (GDP) in fiscal year FY21 (April 2020 to March 2021), from 3.8 % of GDP previous estimates. The reason for this is the economic stimulus package given to deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.
i.The government had set a target of limiting the fiscal deficit to 3.5 % of GDP during the current financial year FY 2020-21.
ii.As per Fitch, the ongoing 21-days lockdown to control the corona and its widespread impact will put pressure on revenue collection (fall by 1% in 2020-21 as compared to 11.8 % growth in the past) and the government may be forced to incur additional debt or higher dividends from the central bank for its spending.
iii.Earlier on March 30, 2020, Fitch, has lowered India’s GDP growth forecast to 4.6% for the fiscal year FY 21 (2020-21) from the previous estimate of 5.4%.
About Fiscal Deficit:
It happens when the total expenditure of the government is greater than the total revenue generated. The borrowings of the government are not added in the revenue, but Fiscal deficit indicates the government’s borrowings only.
About Fitch Solutions, Inc:
Parent organization– Fitch Ratings
Headquarters– New York, United States (US)
President – Brian Filanowski, Founder– John Knowles Fitch
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Chittaranjan locomotive works of Indian Railways creates world record of making 431 locomotives for FY 20
On March 31, 2020, Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW), the manufacturing unit of Indian Railways based in Asansol, West Bengal (WB), has set the Limca Book of Records for producing record 431 locomotives in the financial year 2019-2020 (FY20) in 292 working days. It is 2.15 times its installed capacity of 200 locomotives per year.
This was achieved despite novel coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions that creating disruptions during the current financial year (FY20).
i.The unit has surpassed its own previous year (2018-2019) record when it produced 402 locomotives in 297 working days.
ii.CLW’s Locomotive production has increased 75% over the last 6 years period from 250 in 2014-15 to 431 in 2019-20 in line to support 100% Electrification and ‘Make in India’ initiative of the central government.
About Indian Railways:
Headquarters– New Delhi
Union Minister– Piyush Goyal
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
Paytm Money CEO-MD Pravin Jadhav resigns
On April 2, 2020, Pravin Jadhav, MD (Managing Director) and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Paytm Money, resigned due to the issues related to employee stock options (ESOPs), annual salary and remuneration.
i.About Pravin Jadhav: Jadhav appointed as MD & CEO of Paytm money in September 2019. He joined Paytm as a Consultant in June 2017. He also served as chief products & growth officers with Servify and Free Charge.
ii.About Paytm Money: Paytm (Pay through mobile) money is part of Paytm One 97 Communications’ growing consumer ecosystem, alongside Paytm, Paytm Mall and Paytm Payments Bank.
iii.Paytm money claims to have 50 lakh users, with a monthly growth of 15 to 20 percent.
Founder, President & CEO (Chief Executive officer)– Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
Headquarters– Noida, Uttar Pradesh (UP).
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
CCI approves Joint Venture between Adani Green Energy Limited and Total S.A
On April 1, 2020 The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the formation of Joint Venture (JV) between Adani Green Energy Limited and Total S.A. for solar power generation in India.
i.The proposed combination predicts that Adani Green Energy will transfer certain of its subsidiaries to a newly incorporated company (JV) & then the total S.A. will acquire 50% of JV’s equity share capital, either directly or indirectly.
ii.The Total S.A.(French oil company) is the ultimate parent entity of the Total Group which is an international integrated energy producer with operations in every sector of the oil and gas industry & is also involved in renewable energy and power generation sectors in India.
Headquarters– New Delhi, India
Chairman– Ashok Kumar Gupta
About Total S.A.:
Headquarters– Paris, France
Chairman & Chief Executing Officer (CEO)– Patrick Pouyanné
About Adani Green Energy Limited:
CEO– Jayant Parimal
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Government launches its 1st comprehensive COVID-19 tracking app called Aarogya Setu
On April 02, 2020, The Government of India (GoI) has officially launched its 1st comprehensive coronavirus (COVID-19) tracking app called ‘Aarogya Setu (which translates from Sanskrit to ‘A bridge of health’)’ for Android and iOS (iPhone Operating System) users to connect health services with the people to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak.
i.The app has been developed by the National Informatics Center (NIC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in just 4 days.
Aarogya Setu app: What is it?
The app notifies the user via smartphone location data & Bluetooth whether they came in contact with someone infected with Coronavirus within 6 feet radius. It is available in 11 languages including English, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, among others and it is now in beta version with almost all the functions of beta version.
The privacy of users in the app has been taken care of and therefore the data is not shared with any third party app.
The app is equipped with many more features like a chatbot. With this, one can identify the symptoms of coronavirus and it answers their queries.This app also gives the Health Ministry updates and a list of Coronavirus helpline numbers for every state of India.
This app is different from other COVID-19 tracking apps -MyGov app & Corona Kavach developed by the National e-Governance Division of MeitY in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
About Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology:
Headquarters– New Delhi
Union minister– Ravi Shankar Prasad
Wimbledon Tennis Tournament cancelled for the first time since World War II due to COVID- 19
On April 1, 2020, Wimbledon organisers cancelled the 134th Edition of Wimbledon Tennis Tournament for the first time since WWII (World War II) due to the threats of Coronavirus (COVID- 19). The tournament was scheduled between June 29, 2020 to July 13, 2020 and the next edition of the tournament will be from June 28 to July 11, 2021.Wimbledon was cancelled from 1915 to 1918 because of World War I and from 1940 to 1945 due to World War II.
i.About Wimbledon: Wimbledon or The Championships is the oldest tennis tournament in the world. It has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London, since 1877.
ii.Wimbledon tournament is the only major still played on grass, which is widely considered as the classic tennis court. The tournament consists of men’s (singles and doubles), women’s (singles and doubles), mixed doubles.
iii.Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the others being the Australian Open, the French Open and the US (United States) Open.
Tony Lewis of ‘DLS method’ cricket fame passed away at 78
On April 1, 2020, Tony Lewis, one of the men behind the Duckworth- Lewis- Stern (DLS) method, the mathematical formula used in weather-affected limited-overs cricket matches, passed away at the age of 78. He was born on February 25, 1942 in Bolton, Lancashire, UK (United Kingdom).
i.About DLS method: Tony was a mathematician who, along with Frank Duckworth, developed the Duckworth- Lewis method in 1997 of resetting targets in the interrupted cricket matches. The DLS method was adopted officially by the ICC (International Cricket Council) in 1999.
ii.The method was renamed as the Duckworth- Lewis- Stern (DLS) method in 2014, followed across the globe.
iii.Honours: Lewis received an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to cricket and mathematics in 2010.
Padma Shri awardee and Former ‘Hazoori Raagi’ Bhai Nirmal Singh passed away at 62
On April 2, 2020, Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa, Padma Shri awardee and former “Hazoori Raagi” at the Golden Temple, passed away at the age of 62 in Amritsar, Punjab. He was born on April 12, 1952 in Ferozepur, Punjab.
i.About Nirmal Singh: He has the knowledge of all 31 “raags” in the Gurbani of the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Holy Book).
ii.Awards: In 2009, Singh received the Padma Shri award from the Government of India for his contribution of services in the field of arts and he was the first Hazoori Raagi to receive the award.
World Autism Awareness Day 2020: April 2
World Autism Awareness Day is observed every year on April 2 globally to raise awareness about autism and problems faced by people suffering from it. The day has been observed since 2008. The day is one of the seven health based UN (United Nations) days.
Theme for the year 2020: “The Transition to Adulthood”.
The theme draws attention to issues of concern related to the transition to adulthood, such as the importance of participation in youth culture, the community self-determination and decision-making, access to post-secondary education, employment, independent living and Universal human rights, including the rights of persons with disabilities, must not be infringed upon in the time of a pandemic.
i.About Autism: Autism is a complex neuro-developmental disorder, in which the person affected faces problems in communication, interaction & imagination.
ii.In medical parlance it is categorised as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and it appears in early childhood period- typically during 2 to 3 years of age.
iii.The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that out of every 160 children around the world, one is living with ASD.
Andhra Pradesh to purchase ‘Portable Multi-feed Oxygen Manifold’
On April 1, 2020 the Andhra Pradesh (AP) government has proposed to buy a novel contraption, ‘Portable Multi-feed Oxygen Manifold (MOM)’ to address the need for oxygen supply to coronavirus patients. It is developed by Personnel of the Naval Dockyard Visakhapatnam (NDV).
i.It is designed using a 6-way radial header fitted to a single cylinder to deliver oxygen to 6 patients simultaneously and enables critical care management for a large number of Covid-19 patients with limited resources. At first, the Navy offered few MOMs to AP at free-of-cost.
ii.The preliminary trials were conducted at MI Room at NDV, followed by rapid trials at the Naval Hospital INHS Kalyani, where it was successfully installed within 30 minutes
iii.After successful trials, NDV began the production of 10 portable MOMs with two 6-way radial headers capable of meeting 120 patients at a makeshift location.
iv.The centre is also interested in MOM & also has conducted enquiries with NDV officials for its production & use.
Capital– Visakhapatnam- executive capital, Kurnool- judicial capital, Amaravati- legislative capital
Chief Minister– Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy
Governor– Biswa Bhusan Harichandan
25 lakh poor in AP to get house sites under Navaratnalu- Pedalandariki Illu programme
On April 1, 2020 The Andhra Pradesh (AP) Government has issued a modified set of guidelines for the distribution of 25 lakh house sites to urban and rural poor under the Navaratnalu- Pedalandariki Illu (Houses for All Poor) programme
- Apart from getting necessary approvals under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), It has been working with Housing And Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) and other organizations to secure loans.
i.The beneficiaries with white ration cards will be allotted house sites at a concessional rate of Rs 1 & a sum of Rs 20 will be charged (Rs. 10 for stamp paper and Rs. 10 for lamination).
ii.The beneficiaries were noted that the site should only be used for constructing houses & the title deeds will be in the form of conveyance deeds which contain security features like photographs, thumb impressions, signatures of parties along with their details in addition to watermarks and emblems etc. on the stamp papers.
iii.The sale of vacant home sites is prohibited, but the beneficiaries after the construction of houses and occupying them for at least 5 years can transfer if there is any need to meet the conditions laid down by the banks and financial institutions.
iv.AP has postponed the distribution of sites to April 14, 2020 due to COVID-19, earlier it was scheduled on March 25, 2020 (Ugadi).
India, China mark 70 years of diplomatic relations
India and China have marked 70 years of diplomatic relations, both countries exchanged warm words of greetings and spoke of the partnership between the world’s two most populous nations. India became the first non-Communist country in Asia to establish diplomatic ties with China on April 1, 1950.
Three quasi-subspecies of the virus in circulation in India: ICMR
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has stated that a mixture of three quasi-subspecies of SARS-CoV-2(COVID-19) is in circulation in India. These imported variants showed no differences from how they behaved in the place of origin. Scientists are yet to classify a SARS-Cov-2 variant as an Indian strain.
|Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)|
|S.no||Current Affairs 3 April 2020|
|1||Lifeline Udan flights launched by MoCA transported 37.63 tonnes of medical cargo across India in 6 days|
|2||NIC to facilitate implementation of Supreme Court order on Limited registration of BS-IV vehicles: MoRTH|
|3||Donations for PM-CARES Fund granted 100% tax exemption under IT Act, 1961|
|4||UNSC firsts: Adopts 4 resolutions remotely; including “2518” on safety, security of peacekeepers|
|5||United Nation’s COP 26 climate change summit postponed till 2021|
|6||Corona Care: India’s first coronavirus hospitalization insurance by PhonePe for Covid-19 treatment|
|7||SBI lists green bonds of USD 100 million on India INX|
|8||Global economy may shrink by almost 1% in 2020: UN-DESA|
|9||India’s fiscal deficit likely to reach 6.2 % of GDP in 2020-21: Fitch solutions|
|10||Chittaranjan locomotive works of Indian Railways creates world record of making 431 locomotives for FY 20|
|11||Paytm Money Founder MD Pravin Jadhav resigns|
|12||CCI approves Joint Venture between Adani Green Energy Limited and Total S.A|
|13||Government launches its 1st comprehensive COVID-19 tracking app called Aarogya Setu|
|14||Wimbledon Tennis Tournament cancelled for the first time since World War II due to COVID- 19|
|15||Tony Lewis of ‘DLS method’ cricket fame passed away at 78|
|16||Padma Shri awardee and Former ‘Hazoori Raagi’ Bhai Nirmal Singh passed away at 62|
|17||World Autism Awareness Day 2020: April 2|
|18||Andhra Pradesh to purchase ‘Portable Multi-feed Oxygen Manifold’|
|19||25 lakh poor in AP to get house sites under Navaratnalu- Pedalandariki Illu programme|
|20||India, China mark 70 years of diplomatic relations|
|21||Three quasi-subspecies of virus in circulation in India: ICMR|
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