Daily Current Affairs - 22nd Apr 2020

1383 new COVID-19 cases reported in India, 640 deaths so far

  • A total of one thousand three hundred eighty three new confirmed cases of Novel Corona virus have been reported in the country during the last twenty four hours taking the total number of cases to 19 thousand 984.
  • Health and Family Welfare Ministry said that three thousand eight hundred seventy patients have been cured so far. During the last 24 hours, 50 deaths have been reported taking the nationwide toll to 640.
  • Maharashtra reported an identical surge of 552 new COVID-19 cases in less than 72 hours as its tally soared past the 5,000-mark on Tuesday to reach 5,218 cases, while 19 new fatalities took the State’s death toll to 252.

Bajaj Auto ED Rakesh Sharma appointed as IMMA President

  • The Geneva-based International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (IMMA), which represents the manufacturing industry of powered two-wheelers at the global level, has elected Rakesh Sharma, Executive Director, Bajaj Auto as its President for a two-year mandate.
  • Sharma had previously been the Vice-President in IMMA, after being elected in May 2019.

CA mulling five-match Test series against India

  • Cricket Australia is considering turning its four-match Test series against India later this year into a five-game contest as it continues looking for ways to compensate the financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The board is also discussing on hosting the T20 World Cup without any fans

Carlsen tames Firouzja

  • Magnus Carlsen pulled off a 2.5-1.5 victory over 16-year-old sensation Alireza Firouzja in one of the most awaited clashes of the Magnus Carlsen Invitational online chess tournament This second-round clash was followed with added interest since Firouzja stunned Carlsen 8.5-7.5 in the title-clash of the Banter Blitz Cup on April 16.
  • In the other match, Hikaru Nakamura defeated Anish Giri by an identical scoreline. Nakamura won the first game with white pieces and drew the next three.

China names disputed islands

  • China defended its naming of 80 islands and other geographical features in the South China Sea in a move likely to anger neighbors as the country asserts its territorial claims. China established new administrative districts for the contested Spratly and Paracel island chains. The notice listed the Chinese names and coordinates of 80 islands, reefs, seamounts, shoals and ridges, 55 of them submerged in water.
  • China has repeatedly asserted its sovereignty in the sea despite rival claims by Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and other nations.

Crisil re-affirms Chaitanya India bank loan rating at ‘A-/Stable’

  • Crisil has reaffirmed Chaitanya India Fin Credit Pvt Ltd’s (CIFCPL) ‘A-/Stable’ rating on its bank loan facilities of Rs.500 crore (enhanced fromRs.250 crore). The credit rating agency said the rating is driven by the strong capital position of Chaitanya Group post the acquisition of a majority stake in CIFCPL by Sachin Bansal in October 2019 through CIFCPL’s holding entity, Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services Private Limited (CRIDS).
  • Bengaluru-headquartered CIFCPL is registered with the RBI as an NBFC-microfinance institution. Chaitanya Group had consolidated Assets Under Management (AUM) of Rs.894 crore as on January 31, 2020, of which, over 90 per cent comprises microfinance loans.

Donald Trump suspends key routes to US immigration for 60 days

  • US President Donald Trump said he would suspend immigration into the US for at least 60 days, in a move aimed at helping Americans who had become unemployed in the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. He added that it won't affect workers entering the country on a temporary basis
  • Pausing immigration will help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens,” he added.

Dr Harsh Vardhan launches COVID INDIA SEVA to provide solutions to coronavirus queries

  • The Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has launched an interactive platform, COVID INDIA SEVA aimed at providing real time solutions to Covid-19 related queries. People can post their queries to the COVID INDIA SEVA twitter handle for getting swift replies from the team of trained experts.
  • This initiative is aimed at enabling transparent e-governance delivery at large scales especially in crisis situations like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Vardhan said, through this platform, trained experts will be able to share authoritative public health information swiftly at scale, helping to build a direct channel for communication with citizens.

ICC meeting to discuss WTC deferment

  • Top executives of all the full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) will discuss possible resumption of international cricket and rescheduling two new ICC tournaments — the World Test Championship and the ODI Super League — during a conference call of the Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) on Thursday.

ICMR asks States to stop using rapid tests for the next 2 days

  • India’s apex medical research body ICMR has advised states to stop using the rapid antibody test kits for next two days till it examines their quality in the wake of complaints that they are not fully effective. Last week, India procured five lakh rapid antibody test kits from two Chinese firms and they were distributed to several states reporting rising cases of coronavirus infection. Rajasthan government on Tuesday said that the kits were giving out inaccurate results.

IRDAI allows payment of health cover premium in instalments

  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has allowed the payment of health insurance premiums in instalments. The premium instalment facility may be offered either as a permanent feature or temporary relief for12 months (one policy year) in respect of all health insurance policies that are due for renewal up to March 31, 2021.
  • The decision of the regulator to allow health cover premium payment in instalments assumes significance in the wake of increasing demand for health cover in view of the Covid19 pandemic
  • According to industry estimates, the sales of health insurance went up by up to 20 per cent in the last two months in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

Paytm Payments Bank crosses Rs 1000 crore in deposits

  • Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) has crossed Rs 1,000 crore in deposits from over a 57 million savings account holders. With more people embracing digital banking during Covid-19 pandemic, the company has been witnessing an accelerated rise in deposits.
  • The bank has now implemented the option to avail benefits of Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT), which is a scheme by the Government of India to transfer the subsidies of various social welfare schemes like LPG gas subsidy, MNREGA payments, Old Age Pension, Scholarships directly into the beneficiary’s bank account.

RBI asks banks to extend all benefits announced by govt pertaining to short-term crop loans to farmers

  • The Reserve Bank of India has asked banks to extend the benefit of interest subvention (IS) and prompt repayment incentive (PRI) for short-term crop loans to farmers till 31st May, 2020. In a notification, RBI said, it has observed that many farmers are not able to travel to bank branches for payment of their short-term crop loan dues due to the national lockdown imposed in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • It further noted that moratorium has already been announced for all term loans including short-term crop loans via COVID-19 Regulatory Package announced on 27th March 2020. Hence, RBI has directed banks not to impose any penalty and continue to interest subvention scheme till the end of May.

Rush to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions will likely to lead to resurgence: WHO

  • The World Health Organisation said that rushing to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions will likely to lead to a resurgence of the illness, a warning that comes as governments start rolling out plans to get their economies up and running again. WHO asked governments must remain vigilant to stop the spread of the virus and the lifting of lockdowns and other social distancing measures must be done gradually and strike the right balance between keeping people healthy and allowing economies to function.

Shipping Ministry asks Major ports to defer lease fee; waive off rentals & penalty in view of EXIM cargo drop

  • Against the drop in Export-Import (EXIM) cargo due to supply chain disruptions on account of the COVID-19, the 12 major ports of the country have been asked to defer the lease fee, waive rental and penalties. The decision is aimed at boosting supply chain logistics. The move comes as a great relief to the shipping liners, exporters, importers and logistics providers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

TDB approves financial support to MyLab Discovery Solutions for ramping up production of COVID-19 diagnostic kits

  • The Technology Development Board (TDB) has approved financial support to MyLab Discovery Solutions, Pune, for ramping up production of COVID-19 diagnostic kits. Mylab Discovery Solutions is the first indigenous company to develop real-time PCR based molecular diagnostic kit which screens and detects COVID 19 from samples.
  • The support from TDB will ensure ramp up in the production of the kits through automation of the facility. This aid is supposed to increase the capacity to one lakh tests per day from the current numbers of thirty thousand.
  • TDB is a statutory body under the Department of Science and Technology.

US to buy 75 Mn barrels of oil to replenish strategic reserves, says Trump

  • President Donald Trump has stated that the US would take advantage of the historic drop in oil prices to buy 75 million barrels to replenish the national strategic stockpile. US oil prices crashed to unprecedented lows as futures in New York ended in negative territory for the first time amid a devastating supply glut that has forced traders to pay others to take the crude off their hands.