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Current Affairs 8 April 2020

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We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 8 April 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 15 Current Affairs of 8 April 2020

Current Affairs April 8 2020

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Cabinet approved 30% salary cut of PM, Ministers, MPs for FY 20-21 to manage COVID-19; MPLAD suspended for 2 yrsCabinet approves ordinance to reduce salaries

On April 6, 2020, Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has approved an ordinance of 30% cut in the salaries of all Members of Parliament (MPs) for FY 20-21 and a two-year suspension (2020-21 and 2021-22) of the MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme so that the amount saved can go to the Consolidated Fund of India to fight COVID-19. This announcement was made by Prakash Javadkar, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting.

  • In regard to the 30% salary cut, the passed ordinance has amended the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954. The remuneration cut is effective from April 1, 2020 for a period of one year….Click here to Read More

NHAI achieved record 3,979 km highways construction in FY 19-20

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has achieved the highest ever highway construction feat with an accomplishment of 3,979 km of national highways in the financial Year 2019-20.However, it has completed 88% of highway construction against the target of building 4,500 km highways in FY-20. In the FY 2018-19, NHAI constructed 3,380 km of National Highways.
Initiatives taken to accelerate the pace of highway construction:
-The government has initiated a highway development programme in 2015 namely Bharatmala Pariyojana, which includes development of about 65,000 km of NHs. Under Phase-I of the programme, the government has approved implementation of 34,800 km of national highways projects with an outlay of Rs 5.35 lakh crore in a period of five years i.e. 2017-18 to 2021-22.The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been mandated to develop 27,500 km of NHs under Phase-I.
-Apart from above, the government has also revived stalled projects, streamlined land acquisition and acquisition of a major portion of land prior to inviting bids.
-Disputes resolution mechanism was revamped to avoid delays in completion of projects.
About NHAI:
Establishment– 1995
Administrative control– Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH)
Chairman– Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu

HRD Ministry has designated DigiLocker as National Academic Depository (NAD)DigiLocker appointed as National Academic Depository by HRD Ministry

DigiLocker, an online document wallet has been designated as the sole National Academic Depository (NAD) by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) to enable educational institutions to store digital copies of academic awards, mark sheets and certificates on the cloud-based service.

  • University Grants Commission (UGC) will implement NAD as a permanent scheme within Digilocker. UGC will have to ensure that reports on various parameters such as registrations, academic award uploads, and verification completed are provided to MHRD.

About Digilocker:
It is an Aadhaar-based cloud-based locker in which users can store electronic versions of important documents like birth certificates, voters ID cards, University documents, PAN cards, and more. It was launched by the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY) in 2015.
Background:
Before this, NDML (NSDL Database Management Limited) and CVL (CDSL Ventures Limited) acted as the NAD, for a period of 3 years. The agreement between UGC, NDML and CVL ended in November 2019.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

USAID announces $2.9 million aid to India to fight Coronavirus

On April 6, 2020, The US (United States) Government, through its aid agency USAID (United States Agency for International Development), has announced a grant of USD (United States Dollar) 2.9 million to India to fight against Coronavirus.
Key Points:
i.US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster mentioned that the assistance will further support India’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
ii.The US government, through USAID (one of the leading aid agencies globally), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other relevant agencies, is working closely with India to fight against COVID-19.
iii.The funds will support the USAID’s health strengthening project, implemented by Jhpiego, an international non-profit health organization affiliated with John Hopkins University and will also support World Health Organization (WHO) initiatives in India.
About USAID:
Headquarters– Washington D.C., US (United States).
Motto– “From the American people”. Administrator– Mark Green

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI relaxed the norms of State/UT to avail overdraft

On April 7, 2020 The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to increase the number of days that a State/UT can continue to overdraft to 21 working days from the current stipulation of 14 working days as they are facing cash flow mismatches due to coronavirus.
Key Points
i.In addition, the number of days that a State/UT can overdraft in a quarter has also been increased to 50 working days from the current stipulation of 36 working days, while all other stipulations remain unchanged.
ii.The new arrangement is effective  immediately and is valid until September 30, 2020. If the WMA exceeds 90 days, it would be treated as overdraft. RBI has now extended this overdraft facility by 7 days.
iii.It has also increased the Ways and Means Advances (WMA) limit by 30% from the existing limit (Rs 1.20 lakh crore) for all States/UTs which was effective from April 1, 2020 & is valid till September 30, 2020.

Airtel Payments Bank joined hands with Bharti AXA to offer COVID-19 insurance planscoronavirus insurance plans

Airtel Payments Bank has collaborated with Bharti AXA General Insurance to offer financial protection for COVID-19 via two different health insurance plans. The plan named “Bharti AXA Group Health Assure Policy”offers a lump sum benefit of Rs 25,000 and the other plan “Group Hospital Cash”will offer a daily benefit of starting Rs 500.

  • It should be noted that both are ‘Need-Based Insurance’ covers with a validity of one year and there is no mention about the minimum and maximum age limit to avail this policy….Click here to Read More

‘Force majeure’ not applicable to COVID-19 death claims in life insurance policiescoronavirus life insurance policies

In a move to reassure COVID-19 health policy holders, the Life Insurance Council of India has confirmed that the clause of ‘Force Majeure’ will not apply in case of COVID-19 death claims and it is applicable for both state-run and private life insurance players.
What is Force majeure?
Originated as a term in French law in the 1880s, it states that in the event of any force majeure or disaster that affects the normal functioning of the life insurer then it can temporarily suspend the claims by making the contract null or invalid. Force majeure events include an Act of God or natural disasters, war or war-like situations, labour unrest or strikes, epidemics, pandemics, etc.
About Life Insurance Council
It is a forum that connects various stakeholders of the insurance sector. It coordinates all discussions between the Government, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), and the public.

PNBHF enters into agreement with JICA, Citibank to raise USD 100 million 

On April 7, 2020 The Punjab National Bank Housing Finance (PNBHF) has signed an agreement with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to raise USD 75 million (about Rs 566 crore) & with Citibank for USD 25 million (about Rs 188 crore) to provide loans to affordable housing segment so as to improve the lives of low-income households &  to promote sustainable economic growth in India.
Key Points
i.It is a 5 year long term loan which helps to balance the company’s Asset Liability Management (ALM) position.
ii.It is JICA’s first debt funding in India’s housing finance sector.
About PNBHF:
Headquarters– New Delhi, India
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Sanjaya Gupta
About JICA:
Headquarters– Tokyo, Japan
President– KITAOKA Shinichi
About Citibank:
Headquarters– New York, United States
CEO Asia -Pacific– Peter Babej

 APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS         

UB Pravin Rao appointed as Chairman & Rekha Menon as Vice Chairperson of NASSCOM UB Pravin Rao appointed Nasscom Chairman Rekha Menon as vice chairperson

On April 6, 2020 The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) appoints Infosys Chief Operating Officer(COO) UB Pravin Rao as its chairman & chairman and senior managing director of Accenture in India Rekha M Menon as its vice president for 2020-21.
Key Points
i.UB Pravin Rao succeeds Keshav Murugesh, Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of World Network Services (WNS) Global Services, who served as chairman of NASSCOM for the year 2019-20. Previously Rao was the vice chairman of NASSCOM.
ii.The appointment was announced at the NASSCOM Executive Council meeting through video conference due to lockdown (COVID-19)
About NASSCOM:
Headquarters– Noida, Uttar Pradesh
President– Debjani Ghosh (1st women president of NASSCOM)

Shafali Verma named as brand ambassador by PepsiCo

Beverage Major PepsiCo has named Shafali Verma, 16 years old, Indian Women Cricketer, as one of its brand ambassadors for one year. Pepsi will be Shafali’s first contract with a major brand. The beverage firm recently signed Bollywood star Salman Khan as its face for 2 years.
Key Points:
i.Shafali Verma hails from Haryana is the explosive top- order Indian batswoman, who played the ICC (International Cricket Council) Women’s T20I (Twenty20 International) World Cup against Australia in Melbourne.
ii.She also claimed the top spot in ICC T20I rankings and also became the youngest woman cricketer to play for India when she debuted against South Africa.
iii.Shafali broke the 30-year old record of Indian Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, as the youngest Indian to score an international half-century in November 2019.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

DRDO develops Personnel Sanitisation Enclosure & Full Face Mask: COVID-19

On April 4, 2020 the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed Personnel Sanitisation Enclosure (PSE), Full Face Mask (FFM) for healthcare professionals against the COVID-19 pandemic.
PSE
i.It is a  portable full body disinfection chamber which enables decontaminating a person at a time & is equipped with a sanitiser and soap dispenser.
ii.This system can be used to disinfect personnel in restricted entry and improvement areas such as the entry and exit of hospitals, malls, office buildings and critical installations.
iii.It is designed by Vehicle Research Development Establishment (VRDE), Ahmednagar, a DRDO Laboratory & manufactured with the help of DH limited, Ghaziabad within 4 days.
FFM
i.It is developed for the protection of healthcare professionals handling COVID-19 patients.
ii.It is lightweight which makes it convenient for comfortable wear for long duration & is designed using commonly available A4 size Over-Head Projection (OHP) film for face protection.
iii.It is developed by DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad and Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), Chandigarh.
DRDO has also developed Casualty Evacuation Bags
The water & air proof bag is developed to transport or isolate persons infected with Covid-19 by DRDO’s Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bangalore and Nuclear Chemical and Biological (NBC) protection systems.

DST set up CAWACH at SINE, IIT-B for supporting startups with funding to tackle COVID-19

The National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) of Department of Science and Technology (DST) has formulated Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH) with an outlay of Rs.56 crore to source and support startups that address COVID-19 challenges by way of funding. The funding varies between Rs 50 lakhs to Rs 200 lakhs per startup.

  • For this purpose, DST has nominated Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE),an umbrella organisation at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. SINE will be supported by Indian STEPs and Business Incubator Association (ISBA) in implementation of the program. Also, support to potential startups by way of the requisite financial assistance and fund deployment targeting innovations that are deployable in the market within next 6 months.
  • The objective of CAWACH program is to boost technology incubators and startups for finding the speedy solutions of multi-dimensional challenges of COVID-19 across respiratory aids, disinfection systems, protective gear and coatings, information and monitoring assists, diagnostics, and plethora of other relevant materials, devices and solutions.
  • DST would also identify up to 50 innovations and startups to serve the above mentioned purposes.

Telangana govt deploys India’s first automated ‘Covid-19 Monitoring System’ appCovid-19 Monitoring System

On April 6, 2020, The Public Health and Family Welfare Department of the government (govt) of Telangana deployed India’s first automated “COVID- 19 Monitoring System Application”. The application (app) was developed by startup Vera Smart Healthcare and launched by Telangana Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivas Rao.
Objective: The objective of this app is to identify patients, undertake live surveillance, track, monitor and to provide real-time analytics to the Chief Minister and state health department.
Key Points:
i.The system empowers each health caller to handle more than 1500 calls, and have a simple chatbot interaction every day with a patient to ensure that the symptomatic or confirmed positive or quarantined person is under treatment.
ii.The app’s technology is based on the internet of things (IOT), GPS (Global Positioning System) and geo-tagging, to ensure that the person doesn’t breach the law of quarantine.
iii.District Medical and health officers in-charge can use the app to take the stock of the situation in his or her respective district.
iv.The accurate information will be sent to the authorities even if there is a breach and a detailed report reaches the CMO (Chief Medical Officer) through various updaters like the ASHA (accredited social health activist), worker, doctor, police & concerned bureaucrat.
About Telangana:
Capital– Hyderabad.
Chief Minister (CM)– K. Chandrashekar Rao.
Governor– Tamilisai Soundararajan.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Health Day 2020: April 7World Health Day 2020

World Health Day is observed annually on April 7, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO), to spread about equal healthcare facilities worldwide, the importance of Health and Wellness and to kill myths around Health.
Theme of the year 2020: Support nurses and midwives.
The theme celebrates the work of nurses and midwives and reminds world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy.
Key Points:
i.The WHO designated 2020 as International Year of Nurse and Midwife in honour of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale and this year highlights the current status of nursing around the world.
ii.On this day, WHO launched the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report 2020.
iii.WHO held the First World Health Assembly in 1948 and the Assembly decided to celebrate April 7 of each year, with effect from 1950, as the World Health Day.

International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda: April 7International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda

The International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda is observed every year on April 7, since 2004 to commemorate the murder of more than 1 million people, majorly consist of Tutsi, Twa & moderate Hutu- group of African Great lakes region & others who opposed the genocide in Rwanda and also to reflect on the suffering of those who survived. This year marks its 26th anniversary.
Key Points
i.The Tutsi were systematically killed in the space of 100 days, from April 7 to the middle of July 1994.
ii.The United Nations(UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution on December 23, 2003 to establish the International Reflection Day on the 1994 genocide in Rwanda on April 7 so as to remember the lost lives & reaffirm its commitment to initiatives to prevent all future atrocities.
iii.In January 2018, the General assembly adopted the resolution to amend the name of the day.
iv.Every year, on or around that date, the UN organizes events at its Headquarters(New York) and at UN offices around the world but this year it has been postponed due to COVID-19.
v.Rwanda has two public holidays- April 7 for Kwibuka (remembrance) & July 4 for liberation.
About Rwanda
Capital– Kigali
Currency– Rwandan Franc
President– Paul Kagame

 STATE NEWS

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announces 5T plan to control the spread of  COVID-19

On April 7, 2020 Delhi Chief Minister(CM) Arvind Kejriwal announced a 5T plan which includes- Testing, Tracing, Treatment, Teamwork & Tracking and monitoring to control the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Key Points
i.Testing- Only through testing, the infected person can be detected & aggressive testing is crucial to prevent the spread of the virus.
ii.Tracing- Persons associated with a positive patient are identified and asked for self-quarantine.
iii.Treatment- If someone is infected with COVID-19, they will be provided treatment.
iv.Teamwork- The virus can be combated & defeated through teamwork.
v.Tracking & Monitoring- Active tracking & monitoring the developments will help to take action to deal with the spread of the virus.
About Delhi:
Governor– Anil Baijal
State bird– House Sparrow
State animal– Nilgai

 AC GAZE

MoEFCC: Advisory regarding containing and management of COVID-19 in National Parks, Sanctuaries & Tiger Reserves

As a result of new report on  four-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia at New York’s Bronx Zoo being infected with the COVID-19, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued an advisory regarding containing and management of COVID-19 in National Parks, Sanctuaries & Tiger Reserves and  advised to Constitute a Task Force or Rapid Action Force with Field Managers, Veterinary doctors, Frontline staff, to manage the situation as quickly as possible.

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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
S.no                  Current Affairs 8 April 2020
1 Cabinet approved 30% salary cut of PM, Ministers, MPs for FY 20-21 to manage COVID-19; MPLAD suspended for 2 yrs
2 NHAI achieved record 3,979 km highways construction in FY 19-20
3 Telangana govt deploys ‘Covid-19 Monitoring System’ app
4 HRD Ministry has designated DigiLocker as National Academic Depository (NAD)
5 USAID announces $2.9 million aid to India to fight Coronavirus
6 RBI relaxed the norms of State/UT to avail overdraft
7 Airtel Payments Bank joined hands with Bharti AXA to offer COVID-19 insurance plans
8  ‘Force majeure’ not applicable to COVID-19 death claims in life insurance policies
9 PNBHF enters into agreement with JICA, Citibank to raise USD 100 million
10 UB Pravin Rao appointed as Chairman & Rekha Menon as vice chairperson of NASSCOM
11 Shafali Verma named as brand ambassador by PepsiCo
12 DRDO develops Personnel Sanitisation Enclosure & Full Face Mask: COVID-19
13 DST set up CAWACH at SINE, IIT-B for supporting startups with funding to tackle COVID-19
14 World Health Day 2020: April 7
15 International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda: April 7
16  Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announces 5T plan to control the spread of  COVID-19
17 MoEFCC: Advisory regarding containing and management of COVID-19 in National Parks, Sanctuaries & Tiger Reserves

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