Daily Current Affairs - 28th Jul 2020

300 year old Kali temple reconstructed with Indian support in Bangladesh

  • The High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das has jointly inaugurated the reconstructed Sree Sree Joykali Matar temple at Natore with the State Minister of ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak. The MoU for the reconstruction of the temple at Lalbazar, Natore was signed in 2016. The Government of India provided a grant assistance of Taka 97 lakh for the reconstruction of the historic temple under its High Impact Community Development Project (HICDP).
  • The Sree Sree JoyKali Matar temple is among the oldest temples in Bangladesh. It was built approximately 300 years back in the early 18th century by Shri Dayaram Roy. He was an influential Dewan of Queen Bhahani of Natore and the founder of Dighapatia Royal Family.

Bangladesh receives 10 Broad Gauge locomotives from India

  • Bangladesh received 10 broad-gauge locomotives from India. In an online handing over ceremony, the locomotives were flagged off from Gede station in India by the External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar and the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal. The locomotives have been modified to suit the requirement of Bangladesh railways. These locomotives will help handle the increasing volume of passenger and freight train operations in Bangladesh.
  • The railway link from Agartala to Akhaura in Bangladesh is also being built under grant in aid scheme to connect Tripura with Bangladesh by railways.

Bureau of Indian Standard’s Mobile App BIS-Care launched

  • Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has launched the Bureau of Indian Standard’s Mobile App BIS-Care . He also launched three portals on Standardization, Conformity Assessment and Training of e-BIS.
  • The mobile app BIS-Care can be operated on any Android phone and consumers can check the authenticity of the ISI-marked and hallmarked products through this Application. Customers can also lodge complaints using this medium.

China chairs meet with Afghan, Pak., Nepal Foreign Ministers

  • China urged Afghanistan, Nepal and Pakistan to forge “four-party cooperation” to overcome the Covid-19 crisis and continue work on projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
  • Presiding over a virtual meeting with his counterparts from the three countries, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi said the four states should work together to extend CPEC to Afghanistan.

Don’t extend loan moratorium beyond August, says Deepak Parekh

  • As the six-month extended moratorium on repayment of loan comes to an end on August 31, noted banker and HDFC Ltd Chairman Deepak Parekh has urged RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das not to further extend the moratorium on repayment of loans.
  • During an interactive session with the RBI governor organised by CII, Parekh said many entities who are capable to repay are taking undue advantage of the scheme and this is hurting the financial sector, especially NBFCs. Parekh also suggested that the central bank should purchase the bonds of financial institutions directly as it is happening in some other countries.
  • There are growing demands for extending the facility by another three months, as income disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic still continues since business is not as usual due to renewed lockdown in various parts of the country.

Finance Ministry proposes stern action against untraceable exporters claiming IGST Refund

  • Stern action is proposed against the risky exporters who have been claiming IGST Refund worth Rs 2,020 crore and were found untraceable.
  • According to the Finance Ministry, the number of such untraceable risky exporters has gone up to 1,474 as on date. The IGST refund is suspended in all such cases where there is adverse report post verification about the exporter or their suppliers.
  • Out of the 1,474 untraceable exporters, 1,125 exporters are from Delhi alone. Non-existing exporters have also been detected in large numbers at Surat, Thane, Faridabad and Kolkata.
  • These fraudulent exporters were mainly involved in export of ready-made garments, wallpaper, wall coverings, leather apparel, smoking pipes, mobile phones, cigarette holders, footwear, plastics, floor covering and ball bearings or roller bearings.

Govt plans to establish COVID testing facility in every district of country: Health Minister

  • Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that the union government has planned to establish COVID testing facility in every district of the country. He informed that starting from just one testing facility in Pune, Maharashtra only six months ago, the country has now more than 1,300 such testing facilities. The Health Minister said, 97 per cent of the country today has easy access to the testing facility.
  • Dr Harsh Vardhan informed that ICMR started validation centres at 24 places in the country for granting easy and speedy approvals to novel testing and treating techniques.

Govt releases guidelines for schemes to boost domestic manufacturing of bulk drugs, med devices

  • The Union government has released guidelines for four schemes to boost domestic manufacturing of bulk drugs and medical devices as part of its drive to reduce dependency on imports for these critical products.
  • The schemes—a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme and industry park scheme each for bulk drugs and medical devices-seek to make India self-reliant in pharmaceuticals raw materials such as drug intermediates, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and key starting materials (KSMs), and medical devices.
  • Currently the country almost entirely depends on imports—mostly from China—for production/supply of 53 critical bulk drugs, while 86% of medical devices, too, are imported.

GST Compensation of Rs 13,806 cr to States for March, 2020 released

  • The Central Government has released GST Compensation of 13,806 crore rupees to States for March, 2020. Taking this amount into account, entire GST compensation for the previous financial year has been released to the states. The total amount of compensation released for the year 2019-20 is one lakh 65,302 crore rupees.
  • The amount of cess collected during the same time was 95,444 crore rupees. Government utilized the balance of cess amount collected during 2017-18 and 2018-19 in order to release the compensation for 2019-20.

India, Indonesia Defence Ministers’ Dialogue held in New Delhi

  • Defence Ministers’ Dialogue between India and Indonesia was held in New Delhi. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh led the Indian delegation while the Indonesian delegation was led by their Defence Minister General Prabowo Subianto. Both the Ministers agreed to further enhance the bilateral defence cooperation in mutually agreed areas.

Indian banks will face capital erosion in a high-stress scenario: Fitch

  • All Indian banks including private-sector ones rated by Fitch Ratings will face capital erosion in our high stress scenario but state banks are the most vulnerable. The banks’ exposure to stressed sectors, loan-loss cover and pre-provision earnings determine the urgency of their capital requirements, which is more pronounced for state banks.
  • Canara Bank (BBB-/Negative/bb-) is the most challenged under our stress scenarios due to its inadequate loan-loss coverage while ICICI Bank Limited (BB+/Negative/bb) is the least affected due to stronger capitalisation and better loss coverage relative to peers.

IPL: Emirates Board confirms BCCI’s LoI

  • The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed that it has received the official ‘Letter of Intent’ from the BCCI accepting their offer to host the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE. With the COVID-19 caseload increasing, BCCI declared its intentions to move the event overseas following discussions in its Apex Council meet on July 17. The UAE became a top choice at that point.

Juventus seals ninth straight title

  • Cristiano Ronaldo powered Juventus to its ninth straight Serie A title on Sunday in a 2-0 win over Sampdoria that put it over the line with two matches to spare. It was Juventus’ first title under coach Maurizio Sarri, who brought in a completely new system.
  • Juventus is the undisputed leader of Italian football.

Ministry of Earth Sciences launches mobile App "Mausam” for IMD

  • Ministry of Earth Sciences launched the mobile App "Mausam” for India Meteorological Department on its Foundation Day celebrations. Users can access observed weather, forecasts, radar images and be proactively warned of impending weather events. This mobile app is available both on Playstore and Appstore.
  • It is dedicated to the general public and designed to communicate the weather information and forecasts in a lucid manner without technical jargons.

Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine put to final test in 30,000 volunteers in the US

  • The world’s biggest Covid-19 vaccine study got underway on Monday with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers helping to test shots created by the U.S. government -- one of several candidates in the final stretch of the global vaccine race.
  • There is still no guarantee that the experimental vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., will really protect. Moderna said the vaccination was done in Savannah, Georgia, the first site to get underway among more than seven dozen trial sites scattered around the country.
  • Several other vaccines made by China and by Britain’s Oxford University began smaller final-stage tests in Brazil and other hard-hit countries earlier this month.

MRF clinches fourth spot

  • Team MRF Tyres finished a commendable fourth in the Rally di Roma Capitale in Italy, the opening round of the 2020 European Rally Championship on Sunday. The duo of Craig Breen and Paul Nagle, driving the Hyundai i20 R5, was fifth going into the final day. They were locked in an intense battle for the fourth position with Simone Tempestini and Sergiu Itu, the pairs swapping positions throughout the day.

Oscar-Winning Actress Olivia De Havilland Dies At 104

  • Olivia de Havilland, the two-time Oscar winner and one of the glamorous stars of Hollywood's Golden Age in the 1940s, has died. She was 104. De Havilland won Oscars for her roles in "The Heiress" and "To Each His Own," and also starred in "The Snake Pit" and "Hold Back the Down"; her most prominent role was in the 1939 epic "Gone With the Wind."

PM Modi to address Grand Finale of world’s largest ever online hackathon on August 1

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Grand Finale of the largest ever online hackathon in the world on 1st of next month through video-conference. Human Resource Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said that the Grand Finale of Smart India Hackathon-2020 (Software) will be held till 3rd of August. The Grand Finale for SIH-2020 will be organized online by connecting all the participants throughout the nation together over a specially-built advanced platform.
  • This year, over 10,000 students will be competing to solve 243 problem statements from 37 Central Government departments, 17 State Governments and 20 industries during the online Grand Finale.

Somalia President appoints caretaker Prime Minister after Ali Khaire’s ouster

  • Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has appointed Mahdi Mohamed Gulaid as the Caretaker Prime Minister following the removal of Hassan Ali Khaire from the position. Before his appointment to the position, Gulaid served as Deputy Prime Minister.
  • The country’s parliament ousted Khaire in a no-confidence vote due to criticism of his efforts to tighten security in the country. The no-confidence vote garnered 170-8 votes.

Tunisia appoints interior minister Mechichi as the new prime minister

  • Tunisia's President Kais Saied appointed the Interior Minister, Hichem Mechichi, as the new Prime Minister for the North African country. Mechichi will succeed Elyes Fakhfakh, who resigned last week over allegations of conflict of interest.
  • Mechichi has served as president's adviser and member of the National Commission of Investigation on Corruption founded in 2011.