Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 20 June 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 20 June 2020

::NATIONAL::

PM emphasizes development of border area infrastructure for security

  • The Prime Minister NarendraModi underscored that India wants peace and friendship, but upholding sovereignty is foremost. He highlighted that the government has given primacy to development of border area infrastructure to make our borders more secure. 
  • He said, patrolling capacity at LAC has also increased and the country is better informed about the developments at LAC and is able to monitor and respond better. 
  • He said, the movement of those which used to take place without any disruption earlier is now checked by our soldiers, which at times leads to build up of tension.
  • Emphasizing on the commitment of the government towards welfare of the nation and its citizens, Mr.Modi said, be it in trade, connectivity or counter-terrorism, the government has always stood up against outside pressure. 
  • On the suggestions received from the various leaders, the Prime Minister said, this will help in formulating the future strategy.

Tribal affairs ministry to create awareness against sickle cell disease

  • Tribal Affairs Minister ArjunMunda has emphasized on the need to create more awareness about Sickle Cell disease in the county. 
  • Addressing a webinar ‘National Sickle Cell Conclave’ in New Delhi to mark the World Sickle Cell Day, Mr Munda said,  government is committed to address and find a solution to deal with Sickle Cell disease in India.
  • He said, in order to collect real time data and provide relevant information related to Sickle Cell, the government has launched a new portal which will act as catalyst in creating awareness.
  • The portal will have real time data through a dashboard along with registration facility, information about the disease and various government initiatives undertaken.
  • The Minister said, today, people in the rural areas are about COVID19 which happened due to increased awareness towards the disease. He said, the Ministry has also initiated Action Research project under which Yoga dependent lifestyle should be promoted to reduce.............

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::ECONOMY::

Finance ministry allows individual contributions to NDRF

  • The Finance Ministry has given approval to a proposal to allow individuals and institutions to contribute directly to the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF). In an office memo issued on Friday, the Expenditure Department said it had no objection to the proposal made by the Union Home Secretary on May 4.
  • This is a significant development at a time when many have expressed concerns about donations sent to the PM CARES Fund or the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, as both claim they are not public authorities subject to questions under the Right to Information Act. 
  • On Wednesday, the Supreme Court sought a response from the Centre to a plea that contributions made to the PM CARES Fund to fight COVID-19 should be transferred entirely to the NDRF.
  • The NDRF was set up in accordance with Section 46 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. It is meant to “meet the expenses for emergency response, relief and rehabilitation” for any disaster situation. Although Section 46 includes a clause for grants made by any person or institution, provisions for such donations had not been made.

Centre decides to engage SIDBI as implementation agency of PM SVANidhi

  • Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry and Small Industries Development Bank of India, SIDBI today signed anMoU to engage SIDBI as the implementation agency for PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbharNidhi (PM SVANidhi). 
  • The Ministry had launched the PM SVANidhi on 1st of this month for providing affordable Working Capital loan to street vendors to resume their livelihoods that have been adversely affected due to Covid-19 lockdown.
  • This scheme targets to benefit over 50 lakh Street Vendors. Under the Scheme, the vendors can avail a working capital loan of up to ten thousand rupees, which is repayable in monthly instalments in the tenure of one year.
  • As per the MoU terms, SIDBI will implement the PM SVANidhi Scheme under the guidance of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. It will also manage the credit guarantee to the lending institutions through Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises.
  • It will develop and maintain a customized and integrated IT Platform providing end-to-end solutions, including documentation of all the processes and workflows for an end-to-end solution, through a Portal and a Mobile App. The disbursement of loan under PM SVANidhi is planned to commence in..........

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::INTERNATIONAL::

Russia launches efforts to ease India-China tensions

  • Russia has launched an energetic behind-the-scenes effort to defuse military tensions between India and China, ahead of hosting a trilateral RIC video conference, which includes External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, on Tuesday.
  • Russia’s diplomatic activism began on June 17, when Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov discussed regional security, “including developments on the Line of Actual Control on the border between India and China in the Himalayas,” with Indian ambassador to Russia, D. BalaVenkateshVarma.
  • The Russian foreign ministry did not give any further details about the conversation, but Russian diplomatic sources told The Hindu that Moscow has “high stakes” at a global level, in the early resolution of tensions between the two Himalayan neighbours.
  • “The persistence of tensions between India and China will not only have a huge negative impact on the SCO but also on the rise of the emerging economies under the Brazil Russia India China South Africa (BRICS) grouping,” the source said.
  • But the diplomat pointed out that Russia would only like to play a constructive behind-the-scenes role, as both India and China were fully capable of resolving their differences.

India signs COVID active response and expenditure support programme with AIIB

  • The Central Government and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) today signed a 750 million US dollar  'COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Programme” to assist India to strengthen its response to the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on poor and vulnerable households.
  • Ministry of Finance in a statement said that this is the first ever budgetary support programme from the AIIB to India. The agreement was signed by Additional Secretary in the Finance Ministry Sameer Kumar Khare and Director General (Acting), RajatMisra on behalf of the AIIB.
  • The Programme will provide the Government with budget support to mitigate the severe adverse social and economic impact of COVID-19. The current loan will be the second to India from AIIB under its COVID-19 crisis recovery facility apart from the earlier approved 500 million dollar loan for the COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project.
  • The Primary Programme beneficiaries would be families below the poverty line, farmers, healthcare workers, women, women’s self-help groups, widows, people with disabilities, senior citizens, low wage earners, construction workers and other vulnerable groups.
  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia, began operations in January 2016. AIIB has now grown to 102 approved members worldwide.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

NASA scientists creates fifth states of matter in ISS

  • The NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) scientists in the International Space Station unveiled the first results of Bose-Einstein condensate experiments under which the particles can be manipulated free from Earthly constraints.
  • Bose-Einstein Condensates were predicted by Indian Mathematician SatyendraNath Bose and Albert Einstein almost a century ago.The BEC is a state of matter that is typically formed when a gas of bosons is cooled to temperatures close to absolute zero.
  • There are four state of matter namely solid, liquid, gas and plasma. The fourth state of matter called the plasma was described by the chemist Irving Landmuir.
  • It consists of gas of ions in which orbital electrons are removed and positively charged nuclei roam freely.
  • The BEC is the fifth state of matter and was created by the scientists 25 years ago. When a group of atoms are cooled to absolute zero, the atoms clump together behaving as a one big super atom. This state is called the fifth state of matter and is referred to BEC.

::SPORTS::

SriLanka to probe match fixing allegations in 2011 world cup cricket

  • Sri Lanka, on Friday, said it would probe allegations of match-fixing in the 2011 World Cup final, a day after a former Sports Minister accused the team of “selling” the match against India.
  • The Secretary to Sri Lanka's Sports Ministry has filed a complaint at its special investigations unit to investigate the charge.
  • Aluthgamage(ex-sports minister) is not the first Sri Lankan politician to make this allegation about the final that India won by six wickets at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. In 2017, former Sri Lanka captain and former minister ArjunaRanatunga too sought a probe but didn’t pursue the matter.
  • Following Aluthgamage’s allegation, Sri Lanka’s former captains............

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