Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 03 May 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 03 May 2020


Armed forces display solidarity to COVID warriors

  • Indian Army, Navy and Air Force today showcased solidarity with country's COVID 19 warriors by a unique series of activities across the nation. 
  • In Delhi this morning, representatives of the three services laid wreaths at the National Police Memorial honouring the efforts of police for their exceptional and heroic efforts in country's fight against the pandemic. Indian Air Force chopper showered petals on the National Police Memorial saluting the efforts of police.
  • Chief of Defence Staff General BipinRawat had announced on Friday that the three services will carry out a series of activities to thank the corona warriors.
  • AIR correspondent reports, light rain and overcast skies added magic to the atmosphere even as Indian Air Force showered red hued petals at hospitals across the city including Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, DeenDayalUpadhyay Hospital and LokNayak Jap Prakash Narayan hospital.
  • Sukhoi 30 MKIs, MiG 29s and Jaguars conducted a flypast over Rajpath, orbited over the city for over half an hour. The jets showering petals could be clearly seen in the sky, and warmed the heart of many a people in these difficult times.
  • The Indian Army band also performed at the COVID-19 quarantine centre at Narela. The Armed Forces' efforts to life the morale of corona warriors have garnered praise from everyone,including Prime Minister NarendraModi.

PM Jan AushadhiKendras register record sales turnover

  • A record sales turnover of Rs 52 crore has been registered by the PradhanMantriBhartiya Jan AushadhiKendras in the last month. This led to total savings of approximately Rs 300 crore as Jan Aushadhi Kendra's medicines are cheaper by 50 to 90 per cent of the average market price. 
  • Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister, DV SadanandaGowda and Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, MansukhMandaviya have congratulated the Jan Aushadhi store operators for achieving a record sales turnover.
  • Mr.Gowda has assured that the government is committed to ensure uninterrupted availability of affordable medicines to people of the country.
  • AIR Correspondent reports, in its fight against COVID-19, government is transforming the face of healthcare system through PradhanMantriBhartiya Jan AushadhiPariyojana that has been providing over 900 quality generic-medicines and 154 surgical equipment at affordable prices. 



Government likely to extend interest equalisation scheme to boost exports

  • The government may soon extend the interest equalisation scheme, which lapsed on March 31, to shore up the export sector impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said. 
  • Under the scheme, exporters get 3-5 per cent subsidy on loans for specified items. It was announced in April 2015 for five years.
  • Addressing a Webinar organised by Ficci, Director General of Foreign Trade AmitYadav said, "In the weeks ahead, you would be hearing a good news with regard to the extension of interest equalisation scheme."
  • "We are ensuring that exports come back on the track. The export data for March is an indicator; the impact of the present crisis could be seen from the export data of March and that for April would also be similar," a Ficci statement quoted Yadav as saying.
  • He said the government has been holding regular interactions with the stakeholders in these difficult time, which was "never imagined".

MSME to focus on import substitution and export enhancements

  • MSME Minister NitinGadkari has asked Industries to focus on export enhancement as well as import substitution to replace foreign imports with domestic production. 
  • He added that industry should focus more on innovation, entrepreneurship, science and technology, research skill and experiences to convert the knowledge into wealth. 
  • Mr Gadkari said this while interacting with the representatives of Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, DICCI on impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs owned by SC-ST entrepreneurs. Mr Gadkari said, in order to gain competitiveness in the international markets, the industry must focus on reducing logistic cost, capital cost, power and production cost without compromising with the quality.
  • During the interaction, the representatives of DICCI expressed concerns regarding various challenges being faced by SC-ST MSMEs amid COVID-19 pandemic and requested support from the government to keep the sector afloat. 
  • The Minister said that work on Green Express Highway has already started, and this is an opportunity for industry to make future investments in industrial clusters, logistics parks equipped with state-of-art technology.


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RCEP nations offer a package to India

  • Members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership have offered India a package to return to the negotiating table, taking into account the country’s concerns over tariff base rates and special trade safeguards.
  • Members of the trade bloc urged India to convey its initial response to the package by May 15 as the Indo-Pacific region braces for a post-Covid-19 economic order.
  • The package comes after RCEP members said last month they would welcome India’s return to the negotiating table for entering the regional trade bloc. The RCEP package recognises India’s preference to use more recent most-favoured nation tariff rates than the 2014 base rates.
  • India opted out of the RCEP negotiations last year after the group did not assuage its concerns over getting swamped by imports and putting its domestic industry and agriculture at risk.
  • The RCEP members “reaffirmed their commitment to continue working with India to address its outstanding issues” at the 29the meeting of the RCEP trade negotiating committee held via video conference on April 20, 22 and 24, according to a joint statement.
  • Recognising India as a valuable original participant, the members would welcome India’s return to the RCEP negotiations, according to the statement.

Bangladesh sends Rohingyas to resettlement facility

  • Bangladesh has sent a small group of Rohingyas who entered the country a few days ago from Myanmar in small boats to the recently constructed resettlement facility at Bhashan Char island. 
  • Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen has said on Sunday that the decision to send nearly 70 Rohingyas to Bhashan Char Island has been taken to keep the Rohingya camps free of Coronavirus infection.
  • Earlier, in mid April Bangladesh Coast Guard had rescued 382 Rohingya refugees from the South Eastern coast of Bangladesh. They were adrift in the sea for close to 2 months and more than 30 occupants of the boat had died due to starvation and disease while it tried to land in Malaysia which turned it away.
  • A few other large boats with Rohingya refugees are reportedly stranded in the sea. Bangladesh government has denied that these boats are under its maritime borders. 
  • Bangladesh has said that it has sheltered more than 1 million Rohingya refugees and it can not solely be made responsible to shelter the Rohingya refugees in the region.
  • Government of Bangladesh has been keen to relocate the Rohingya refugees to the uninhabited Bhashan Char island where arrangements for relocating 1 lakh people have been made at a cost of Taka 2300 crore.
  • It has built houses, cyclone shelters, a three metre high and 13-km long flood-defence embankment, food warehouses and other basic facilities on the island.


Snake Experts suggests  cobra hatchlings as lethal

  • It doesn’t require an adult cobra to snuff the life out of you; even hatchlings are capable of it, warn herpetologists.
  • Snake specialists sounded caution on handling snakes after a video of a Malayalam actor holding the hatchling of a cobra on her palm went viral on social media. The hatchling, a few centimetres in length, could be seen holding its hood up in the video and launching itself forward as if to strike.
  • It doesn’t require an adult cobra to snuff the life out of you; even hatchlings are capable of it, warn herpetologists.
  • Snake specialists sounded caution on handling snakes after a video of a Malayalam actor holding the hatchling of a cobra on her palm went viral on social media. The hatchling, a few centimetres in length, could be seen holding its hood up in the video and launching itself forward as if to strike.
  • Snakes hatch towards the end of summer months and the chance of encountering them were higher during the monsoon period. Most cases of snakebite occurred during monsoon, he said. Ideally, one should stay away from snakes.
  • If confronted in an unavoidable situation, the movement of the snake could be restrained by covering it with a bucket and then waiting for snake rescuers to arrive.


Sports minister says national camps to reopen in may end

  • Union Sports Minister KirenRijiju on Sunday said the Government would allow elite athletes to resume their training at the earliest in order to keep them ready for future competitions.
  • “We are planning out a way to start functioning as soon as possible. I thought we should first allow practice for athletes who have qualified for the Olympics and those participating in the qualifiers or important championships. We can't open all the coaching centres, so we will allow only elite athletes [to train]. Junior camps have to wait for some time as safety will be the priority,” said Rijiju, at a video conference attended by 140 boxers and coaches.
  • Rijiju expressed confidence that boxing — nine Indians have won Olympic quotas already — would help the country shine at the Tokyo Games next year.


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