Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 17 May 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 17 May 2020

::NATIONAL::

Centre launches online dashboard to monitor movement of migrants

  • The Centre has asked the States to use online portal National Migrant Information System (NMIS) for capturing the information on movement of migrants and for better inter-State co-ordination.
  • In a letter to the State Chief Secretaries, Union Home Secretary, Ajay Bhalla said that to capture the information regarding movement of migrants and facilitate the smooth movement of stranded persons across States, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has developed an online Dashboard- NMIS on the existing NDMA-GIS portal.
  • He said, the portal will maintain a central repository and help the sending as well as receiving State and district to ask for and give their acceptance in an online format seamlessly.
  • This system will help in speedy communication between States without creating additional work at the level of the field officers. Mr Bhalla said, it has additional advantages like contact tracing, which may be useful in overall COVID response work. Through this system, States can upload batch file of individual data on the portal.
  • The key data pertaining to the persons migrating has been standardized for uploading such as name, age, mobile number, originating and destination district, and date of travel which States are already collecting.
  • Mr Bhalla said, States will be able to visualize how many people are going out from where and how many are reaching destination states. The mobile numbers of people can be used for contact tracing and movement monitoring during COVID-19.

Cyclone Amphane to intensify as severe cyclone says IMD

  • India Meteorological Department has warned that the cyclonic storm Amphan is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours and into a very severe cyclonic storm by tomorrow morning. Weathermen have warned of heavy rain in Odisha and West Bengal under its impact.
  • The coastal districts of Gangetic West Bengal, including North a...................................................

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::ECONOMY::

Government Announces reforms in key sectors

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled structural reforms for various sectors to help build a self-reliant India under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Campaign.
  • Addressing a media briefing yesterday, Finance Minister in her announcement of the fourth tranche of measures outlined structural reforms with focus on eight sectors of coal, minerals, defence production, civil aviation, power distribution companies, space sector and atomic energy.
  • In a major announcement, Ms Sitharaman informed that, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit in defence manufacturing under automatic route will be raised from 49 per cent to 74 per cent.
  • With an aim to boost Make in India, Finance Minister announced that a list of weapons or their parts would no longer be imported and their indigenous production will be ensured within the country.
  • Government will notify year-wise timelines to ban such imports. In another historic structural reform FM Sitharaman announced that Corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board to improve autonomy, accountability and efficiency among Ordnance Suppliers was done.
  • Ms. Sitharaman informed that the government will release a tariff policy with reforms, including consumer rights, promotion of industry and sustainability of sector for the power distribution companies. She also announced the proposal to privatise the power departments in Union Territories ensuring better services and efficiency in power distribution.
  • In a major sectoral reform for the atomic energy sector, Finance Minister announced establishment of research reactors on PPP basis for production of medical isotopes. This decision will lead to opening up of various affordable treatment facilities for cancer and other major diseases.

Competition commission demands amendments in regulations

  • Competition Commission of India, CCI has proposed changes to combination regulations to do away with the requirement for disclosing certain non-compete restrictions while seeking the watchdog's approval.
  • Combinations -- generally mergers and acquisitions -- .........................................

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::INTERNATIONAL::

UN celebrates international day of living together in peace

  • Today is International Day of Living Together in Peace. In 2017, the United Nations declared this Day to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding, and solidarity across the world.
  • President of General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande in a message said that today the world is facing the most challenging crisis since the Second World War.
  • COVID-19 poses a serious threat to maintenance of international peace and security - potentially leading to an increase in social unrest and violence.
  • He has called for an immediate global ceasefire to work together on the actual fight - defeating the pandemic. Over 100 Member States, diverse regional organizations, religious leaders and more than 200 civil society groups have endorsed this call.

U.S planning to file anti-trust suit against google

  • The Justice Department is planning to file anti-trust charges against Google as early as this summer, said two people with knowledge of the situation, in what would be one of the biggest anti-trust actions by the U.S. since the late 1990s.
  • The Justice Department is still investigating the Internet ...................................

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::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

New silk fibroin based hydrogel developed by India

  • The JNCASR (Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research) has developed injectable silk-fibroin based hydrogel to deliver sustained insulin to diabetic patients.
  • The fibroin-based hydrogel was developed using biocompatible additives. The gel developed will ease insulin delivery in diabetic patients. The gel was first tested in rats and was successful.
  • The researchers have found that subcutaneous injection of insulin with fibroid based hydrogel formed an active depot under the skin. This helped to leach out insulin, restore physiological glucose for a longer period of time.
  • The body cells of Diabetic patients do not get glucose. This is because insulin that helps glucose in blood reach body cells is not secreted properly in these patients.
  • The fibroin-based hydrogel increases insulin level in the blood for a longer period. The scientists found that it made insulin available in the blood for even four days without lowering blood glucose.
  • Hydrogels are highly absorbent. They are used in tissue engineering. The hydrogels that are responsive specific molecules are used as biosensors. Theyare also used in diapers and sanitary napkins as well as in breast implants.

::SPORTS::

German football league starts with Dortmund’s win

  • Norwegian sensation Erling Braut Haaland stole the limelight on Saturday as the German Bundesliga became the first major European football league to return since the coronavirus lockdown, with teams playing in empty, echoing stadiums.
  • The 19-year-old striker claimed the first goal in Germany’s top flight for over two months to set Borussia Dortmund on the way to a 4-0 win over its local rival Schalke in the ‘Ruhr Derby’.

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