April 2020 - 8th to 13th
1. USAID announces $2.9 million aid to India to fight Covid19
- The United States has announced $2.9 million aid for India through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to help India in its fight against COVID-19 as well to also provide care for those who are affected and help the local communities with the tools to stop the pandemic spreading in the country.
- The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is one of the leading aid agencies globally.
2. ADB assures $2.2 bn support package to India to fight Covid-19 pandemic
- Asian Development Bank has assured support package of $2.2 billion (about Rs 16,500 crore) to India to fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
- India’s requirements such as including emergency assistance, policy-based loans and budget support to facilitate swift disbursement of ADB funds.
3. $5mn fund allocated by SAARC development for Covid-19 projects
- For COVID-19 related projects in its member states, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Development Fund (SDF) has allocated $5 million.
- The projects will be funded by the SDF under its Social Window thematic areas which primarily funds projects on poverty alleviation, social development focusing on education, health, and human resource development, among others.
1. “Swasth ke Sipahi” delivers essential medicines under PMBJP
- During the 21 days nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19, pharmacists, popularly known as “Swasth ke Sipahi” of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendra are delivering essential services and medicines at doorstep of patients and elderly, under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) of the Government of India.
- The objective of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendra was to provide quality and affordable healthcare to anyone in need.
2. MHRD launches “Samadhan” challenge to fight against covid19
- The innovation cell of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has launched an online challenge called “SAMADHAN” to fight against COVID-19.
- The students participating in this challenge will search and develop such measures that can be made available to the government agencies, health services, hospitals and other services for quick solutions to the Coronavirus epidemic and other such calamities.
3. MHRD declares DigiLocker as National Academic Depository
- The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has designated DigiLocker as the sole National Academic Depository (NAD) and has also directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to implement NAD as a permanent scheme within DigiLocker.
- DigiLocker is primarily a cloud-based safe, which allows users to store electronic versions of important documents like Aadhaar card, birth certificates, voters ID cards, PAN cards, driving license, property documents and provides access to these on the go.
4. TRIFED partners with UNICEF to launch campaign for SHGs
- Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) has developed a digital communication strategy for promoting a digital campaign for Self Help Groups (SHGs), in collaboration with UNICEF.
- UNICEF would provide the necessary support to the SHG centres in the form of Digital Multimedia content, Webinars for Virtual training (basic orientation on COVID response, key preventive behaviours), Social Media campaigns (on social distancing, home quarantine, etc.) and Vanya Radio.
5. Rs. 15000 crores package sanctioned by GoI to boost health infrastructure
- Government of India (GoI) has allocated Rs. 15000 crores for ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package’.
- The funds will help in enhancing the production of Personal Protection Equipment, ventilators, ICU and other essential equipment.
- These interventions and initiatives would be implemented under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
1. Chhattisgarh Police create app ‘Rakhsa Sarv’ for quarantined people
- The Chhattisgarh police has developed the app ‘Rakhsa Sarv’, with the help of Noida-based startup Mobcoder. ‘Rakhsa Sarv’ enables them to track the quarantined people through Google Map.
- The purpose of launching the app is that a large number of people are kept in-home quarantine, and so it is not possible to keep each one under surveillance on a regular basis.
- A similar mobile app has been developed by the Mohali Police in Punjab named ‘COVID Control’.
2. Telangana deploys Vera’s COVID-19 Monitoring System App
- The government of Telangana has deployed India’s first automated “COVID-19 Monitoring System App” by Vera Smart Healthcare.
- The app aims to identify patients, undertake live surveillance, track, monitor, and provide real-time analytics to the chief minister and the state health department.
1. GMR Airports to develop & operate airport in Andhra Pradesh
- GMR Airports Limited will develop & operate Bhogapuram International Airport in Andhra Pradesh. Government of Andhra Pradesh has issued a “Letter of Award” (LoA) to GMR Airports Limited for the development of greenfield international airport at Bhogapuram.
1. DRDO develops sanitisation enclosures & face shields
- Amid 21-days nationwide lockdown in India, Defence Research and Development Organisation has been using scientific endeavours to develop products in an accelerated manner to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
- DRDO has developed Personnel Sanitisation Enclosures and Full Face Mask to protect primarily healthcare professionals from novel coronavirus.
2. 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 and enable these people to type on their phones without additional hardware.
- For the virtual Braille keyboard, Google has collaborated with braille developers and users to create it and also ensured that the keyboard can be used anywhere, where a user would normally type such as social media, text messaging, and email apps.
1. Bharti AXA Life Insurance appoints Parag Raja as new MD & CEO
- Parag Raja has been appointed by the Bharti AXA Life Insurance as its new managing director and chief executive officer. Parag Raja will succeed Vikas Seth.
- Parag Raja has an extensive experience in the domestic life insurance industry and has exhibited his leadership across different areas such as the agency, bancassurance, broking and direct sales force channels.
2. IFFCO Tokio appoints Anamika Roy Rashtrawar as MD & CEO
- Anamika Roy Rashtrawar has been appointed by IFFCO Tokio General Insurance as its new Managng Director & Chief Executive Officer of the company.
- She will suceed Warendra Sinha who was leading the company from past three years. IFFCO Tokio General Insurance is a joint venture between Indian Farmers Fertilizer Co-operative (IFFCO) and Tokio Marine Group.
1. Padma Shri classical singer Shanti Hiranand Chawla 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.
2. American folk singer John Prine passes away
- American folk singer John Prine has passed away due to the COVID-19 complications. In a career spanning over half a century, he won two Grammy awards for best contemporary folk albums “The Missing Years (1991)” and “Fair & Square (2005)””.
- During his career, John Prine came out with various heartfelt and unforgettable songs such as Sweet Revenge, Angel From Montgomery, and In Spite of Ourselves.
1. Airtel Payments Bank to offer COVID-19 insurance policy
- The Airtel Payments Bank has partnered with Bharati AXA General Insurance to launch a COVID-19 insurance policy with a fixed cover offering 100% sum insured as a lumpsum, if the policy holder is diagnosed positive or gets quarantined in a government hospital or military facility/establishment.
- The insurance plan can be purchased directly from the banking section of the ‘Airtel Thanks App’ or by visiting the nearest active banking point-of-sales (POS) of Airtel Payments Bank.
2. L&T signs pact with Indian Army for advanced IT-enabled network
- Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has signed an agreement with the Indian Army to set up an advanced IT-enabled system to operate the Armed Forces network under the Network of Spectrum (NFS).
- The project will create a centralised network monitoring, management and control system for all the 7 layers under NFS which interconnects 414 Defence stations.
3. IIL partners with Griffith University to develop Covid-19 vaccine
- Indian Immunologicals Limited has partnered with Australia’s Griffith University to develop the COVID-19 vaccine using the latest codon de-optimization technology.
- The vaccine is expected to provide long-lasting protection with a single dose administration with an anticipated safety profile similar to other licensed vaccines for active immunization.
- It will work with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), to conduct clinical trials.
4. HUL partners with UNICEF to support India to combat COVID-19
- Hindustan Unilever has teamed up with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to support India to combat COVID-19.
- This partnership aims to initiate a mass communication campaign with an objective of informing and empowering the general public against the COVID-19 pandemic.
5. Bharat Biotech in tie-up with FluGen to develop ‘CoroFlu’ vaccine
- Bharat Biotech in tie-up with the US-based company FluGen and University of Wisconsin Madison to develop a vaccine named “Coro-Flu” to fight against COVID-19.
- CoroFlu will build on the backbone of FluGen’s flu vaccine candidate known as M2SR
6. UNIDO & CUTS sign agreement to counter economic impact of COVID-19
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) to empower consumers to contribute to the global development agenda as well as support their respective governments in times of global crisis due to coronavirus.
1. SIDBI to provide emergency working capital to MSMEs
- The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) will facilitate Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with emergency working capital of up to Rs 1 crore against their confirmed government orders.
- The SIDBI’s new loan product i.e. SIDBI Assistance to Facilitate Emergency response against Coronavirus (SAFE) plus will be provided collateral free and disbursed within 48 hours at an interest rate of 5%. Under its flagship scheme called SIDBI Make in India Soft Loan Fund for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (Smile), SEBI has opened an additional financial window for the healthcare sector.
1. India ranks high on “Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker”
- The “Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker” has identified India’s response to Covid-19 as one of the most stringent in the world.
- This data are based on tracking 73 countries.
- This tracker is created by researchers from Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. The tracker is designed to systematically record government responses worldwide and aggregate the scores into a common ‘Stringency Index’.
1. FIFA’s latest ranking: India retains 108th slot
- 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.
2. Ben Stokes named Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World 2020
- England’s all-rounder Ben Stokes has been named the leading cricketer in the world 2020 by Wisden.
- In Women’s category, Australia’s Ellyse Perry has been named the Wisden’s Leading Female Cricketer in the World.
- She scored the highest runs and took the most wickets and helped Australia in successfully retaining their Women’s Ashes title against England last year.
1. Pulitzer prize winner Mary Jordan 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’ and published by Simon & Schuster.
- 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.
1. Delhi Govt. launches 5T plan to contain COVID-19 crisis
- The Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has launched a 5T plan to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the national capital.
- According to the Delhi government, the 5T plan consists of 5 pillars namely: testing, tracing, treatment, teamwork, and tracking.
2. Twitter CEO pledges $1 billion to combat COVID-19 pandemic
- Chief Executive Officer of Twitter, Jack Dorsey has pledged to donate $1 billion to charities working towards combatting the global COVID-19 pandemic.
- The donation seems to be the largest donation pledged by a private individual in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
- Jack Dorsey will move $1 billion of his digital payments group “Square” equity i.e. 28% of his wealth, to #startsmall LLC to fund global COVID-19 relief.
3. CSIR-NCL & BEL ink partnership to developed IR Thermometer and OEU
- CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) Pune, Maharashtra has designed and developed Digital IR Thermometer and Oxygen Enrichment Unit (OEU) to assist within the mitigation of the Coronavirus outbreak.
- To speed-up, the project NCL has partnered with Bharat Electronics Ltd, Pune (BEL).
4. Prasar Bharti launches new channel “DD Retro”
- India’s Public service broadcaster Prasar Bharti has rolled out a new channel called DD Retro.
- The new channel “DD Retro” would be specifically dedicated to old classics of Doordarshan.
- The channel has been launched by Prasar Bharti in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic to keep viewers engaged
1. World Homoeopathy Day observed globally on 10 April
- World Homoeopathy Day is observed globally on 10 April every year to mark the birth anniversary of the founder of Homoeopathy, Dr Samuel Hahnemann.
- The theme of World Homoeopathy Day 2020 is “Linking research with education and clinical practice: Advancing scientific collaborations.
2. International Day of Human Space Flight observed globally on 12 April
- The International Day of Human Space Flight 2020 observed globally on April 12 every year.
- The UN General Assembly passed a resolution on April 7, 2011, had declared April 12 to be celebrated as International Day of Human Space Flight