Daily Current Affairs - 11th Apr 2020

ADB assures 2.2 billion USD loan to India

  • India had earlier approached Asian Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank for loans to fight against COVID-19. With India’s request, the ADB has assured a loan of 2.2 billion USD.
  • The funds are to be used to help alleviate poverty, and also address economic impacts on micro, medium and small size enterprises. GoI is to use these funds for emergency assistance, budget support and policy-based loans.

April 10th: World Homoeopathy Day

  • World Homoeopathy Day observed globally on 10 April every year to mark the birth anniversary of the founder of Homoeopathy, Dr Samuel Hahnemann. Samuel Hahnemann was a physician born in Germany, who was a great researcher, linguist and applauded scientist.
  • The theme of 2020 is “Linking research with education and clinical practice: Advancing scientific collaborations”. In India World, Homoeopathy Day is celebrated under the aegis of Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India.

April 11th: National Safe Motherhood Day

  • National Safe Motherhood Day is observed on April 11 every year. National Safe Motherhood Day is an initiative of the White Ribbon Alliance India (WRAI), to enforce that women must have the availability and adequate access to care during pregnancy childbirth and postnatal services.
  • At the request of WRAI, an alliance of 1800 organizations, in 2003, the Government of India declared April 11th, the anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi’s birth, as National Safe Motherhood Day. India is the 1st country in the world to have socially declared a National Safe Motherhood Day.

Fishing and Aquaculture exempted from Lock Down

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs, exempted fishing and aquaculture industries from Lock Down. Earlier, the agricultural activities were exempted.
  • The operations such as harvesting, packaging, processing, cold chain, hatcheries, commercial aquaria, movement of shrimp have been exempted from lock down. However, these industries have been directed to follow hygiene practices and social distancing as noted in the earlier orders of Home Ministry.

Flipkart, ICICI Lombard, Go Digit to offer COVID-19 focused health insurance

  • Flipkart Private Limited inks partnership with ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited & Go Digit General Insurance to launch two health insurance policies.
  • ‘COVID-19 Protection Cover’: COVID-19 Protection Cover’ by ICICI Lombard provides an instant Rs 25,000 benefit plan paid to the customer if he tests positive for COVID-19. It is priced at an annual premium of Rs 159.
  • ‘Digit Illness Group Insurance’: Digit Illness Group Insurance’ offered by Digit Insurance allows consumers to avail a hospitalization cover up to a sum assured of Rs 1 lakh with an annual premium of Rs 511. Further, there is no limit on room rent or ICU.

Foreign exchange reserves decline $902 million to $474 billion: RBI data

  • India's foreign exchange reserves declined by $902 million to $474.66 billion in the week to April 3 due to a fall in foreign currency assets, said RBI data.
  • In the previous week, the reserves had surged by $5.65 billion to $475.56 billion, according to the latest data, news agency PTI reported.
  • The reserves had touched a life-time high of $487.23 billion in the week to March 6, after it rose by $5.69 billion.
  • During 2020-21, foreign exchange reserves have risen by almost $62 billion.

G20: Video Conference of Energy Ministers

  • The G20 Energy ministers held virtual meeting on ways to ensure stable energy markets. The energy markets are greatly affected by demand reduction due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
  • India’s Energy Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan represented the country. The G20 Energy Ministers Meet will adopt a Joint Statement to establish a Task Force.
  • India has signed pacts with Saudi Arabia’s ARAMCO and ADNOC to fill up its petroleum reserves. There are three strategic petroleum reserves in India. They are at Vizag (1.3 million tonnes), Padur (2.5 million tonnes) and Mangalore (1.5 million tones).

Google to launch new virtual Braille Keyboard

  • Google has announced the launch of a virtual Braille keyboard for Android users with low vision or blindness. This new keyboard will enable these people to type on their phones without additional hardware.
  • The new Braille keyboard will allow people with severe visual impairments to use their smart phones in a better way. It will allow them to type without using additional hardware for the same.

Government extends term of Banks Board Bureau members by two years

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the extension of tenure of all members and the current part-time chairman of the Bank Board Bureau (BBB) by 2 years, which is coming to an end on April 11,2020. The former Secretary in the Department of Personnel and Training, Bhanu Pratap Sharma, will continue to hold the post of part-time member of the board.

Hindustani Classical Singer, Padma Shri Awardee Shanti Hiranand Passes Away

  • Renowned Hindustani classical singer and Padma Shri awardee Shanti Hiranand Chawla passed away. The singer was trained in thumri, Dadra and ghazal singing by Begum Akhtar, and was world-renowned for keeping the legendary ghazal singer’s style alive in her performances, which she staged all across the world, including Lahore, Islamabad, Toronto, Boston, New York, and Washington.
  • She had also penned a book titled “Begum Akhtar: The Story of My Ammi.” which depicts her journey with her music guru, Begum Akhtar.

ICMR approves Plasma Therapy Treatment

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research has recently approved plasma therapy as potential treatment for COVID-19. However, the protocol to conduct the therapy is yet to be finalized.
  • The Plasma Therapy is used to treat viral infections. The antibodies of person recovered from the virus are transfused into persons that are critically-ill in order to boost their immune system. The therapy was earlier used to treat Ebola outbreak.
  • The plasma therapy has been used to treat 10 patients in Wuhan, China. It has also been adopted by the US.

India retains 108th slot at FIFA’s latest ranking

  • India football team retained its 108th spot in the latest FIFA rankings. While Belgium ranked first and world champion France is in 2nd place and Brazil is at 3rd spot.
  • In the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic the qualifier tournaments have been postponed for the FIFA World Cup and other major games at the international level.

Jana Small Finance Bank launches ‘DIGIGEN’ digital banking for savings account and FD

  • Jana Small Finance Bank has launched “DigiGen” a digital banking platform where customers can digitally open a savings account and fixed deposit instantly, anytime, anywhere.
  • DigiGen on boarding is a three-step process to open an account. Bank customers are eligible for 4.5 per cent interest rates on savings account with no minimum balance and up to 7.5 per cent interest on fixed deposits. The new digital solution also offers a host of other features, including online bill payment, instant money transfer and airport lounge access on the debit card.

Prize-winning reporter writes book on Melania Trump

  • The Pulitzer Prize-winning American reporter for The Washington Post, Mary Jordan has written a book titled ‘The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump’. It is published by Simon & Schuster and is to be released on June 16, 2020.
  • The book is based on 100 interviews, which depicts Melania Trump, the first woman to be more influential in the White House than most people realize.

RBI urges bank customers to adopt digital payment modes, launches Twitter campaign

  • The Reserve Bank of India launched a twitter campaign urging bank customers to adopt digital modes of payment that are convenient and safe. RBI emphasised on transacting digitally as it gives the convenience of making payments anytime and anywhere.
  • Through the campaign, RBI reiterated the multiple digital payment options such as NEFT, IMPS, UPI and BBPS that are available 24*7. The face of the campaign is Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan.

TRIFED offers marketing support to Masks under Van Dhan Scheme

  • The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) that operates under Ministry of Tribal Affairs is now providing marketing support to NGOs and Van Dhan beneficiaries. The support is being offered to handicrafts, handlooms and natural products.
  • The Van Dhan beneficiaries have begun to create masks at home. This helps themselves and the community members as well. TRIFED has now used these masks as models to create livelihoods in other parts of tribal hoods.
  • The Government has also banned exports of masks along with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and ventilators.

“Operation Shield” launched by the Delhi State Government

  • The Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced Operation Shield in the containment zones of National Capital Region. SHIELD stands for Sealing, Home quarantine, isolation and tracing, essential supply, local sanitation and door-to-door checks.
  • The Operation is to be implemented in 21 containment zones of the capital. The Delhi Government had also launched 5T plan that is being implemented all over Delhi. The 5Ts include Testing, tracing, Treatment, teamwork and tracking.