Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 21 May 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 21 May 2020

::NATIONAL::

Cabinet approves additional funding under ECLGS

  • Union Cabinet has approved additional funding of up to Rs. three lakh crore through introduction of Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS).
  • Guaranteed Emergency Credit Line (GECL) facility to help eligible Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) borrowers, including interested MUDRA borrowers.
  • Cabinet also decided 100 per cent credit guarantee coverage by National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Limited (NCGTC) to Member Lending Institutions (MLIs).
  • The Cabinet also approved that the Scheme would be applicable to all loans sanctioned under GECL Facility during the period from the date of announcement of the Scheme to 31.10.2020, or till an amount of three lakh crore is sanctioned under the GECL, whichever is earlier.
  • AIR correspondent reports, the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) has been formulated as a specific response to the unprecedented situation caused by COVID-19 and the consequent lockdown, which has severely impacted manufacturing and other activities in the MSME sector.
  • The salient features of the scheme include all MSME borrower accounts with outstanding credit of up to Rs. 25 crore as on 29.2.2020 and with an annual turnover of up to Rs. 100 crore would be eligible for GECL funding under the scheme.
  • The scheme would be applicable to all loans sanctioned under GECL during the period from the date of announcement of the Scheme to 31.10.2020, or till an amount of Rs. three lakh crore is sanctioned under the GECL, whichever is earlier.

NAM health minster’s meeting held through videoconferencing

  • Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan participated in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Health Ministers’ meeting through video conferencing today.The meeting was chaired by Health Minister of Republic of Azerbaijan Ogtay Shiraliyev.
  • The Health Ministers of participating NAM countries ............................................

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::ECONOMY::

SEBI allows listing of MF schemes that are under winding process

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has allowed listing of units of mutual fund schemes that are in the process of winding up so that investors get an exit option.
  • “As per MF regulations, there are several steps envisaged with respect to winding up of mutual fund schemes before the scheme ceases to exist. During this process, such units can be listed and traded on a recognised stock exchange, which may provide an exit to investors,” stated a SEBI circular issued on Wednesday, while highlighting the fact that close-ended schemes and units of segregated portfolio are allowed to list on the bourses.
  • Trading via the stock exchange mechanism will not be mandatory for investors; rather, they may avail an optional exit channel, it added. SEBI also directed stock exchanges to submit the operational modalities of the mechanism within seven days.
  • It may be recalled that last month saw Franklin Templeton MF wind up six debt schemes with cumulative assets worth ₹26,000 crore. Separately, the fund house appointed Kotak Mahindra Bank to assist in the monetisation of assets of the six schemes.

Survey finds 60% of farmers faced losses due to COVID-19

  • Most farmers managed to harvest their crops despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but 60% of them still faced losses, mostly related to the lockdown, according to a new survey in 12 States.
  • A majority of farmers also say the lockdown .................................

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::INTERNATIONAL::

India claims Nepal’s new official map as unacceptable

  • New Delhi today said, the official map of Nepal released by Government of Nepal includes parts of Indian territory.
  • In response to media queries on the issue, the Official Spokesman Anurag Srivastava said, this unilateral act is not based on historical facts and evidence.
  • It is contrary to the bilateral understanding to resolve the outstanding boundary issues through diplomatic dialogue. He said, such artificial enlargement of territorial claims will not be accepted by India.
  • The Spokesman said, Nepal is well aware of India’s consistent position on this matter and urged the Government of Nepal to refrain from such unjustified cartographic assertion and respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • He expressed the hope that the Nepalese leadership will create a positive atmosphere for diplomatic dialogue to resolve the outstanding boundary issues.

Palestine claims Israel’s annexation have derailed Oslo accord

  • Raising the stakes over Israel’s drive to annex land the Palestinians have long claimed, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday angrily declared it free of its commitments under the Oslo peace process, ........................................

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::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Rare palm species from Andamans finds new home at Kerala

  • A rare palm from South Andaman Island has found its second home in Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) Kerala. The species has been brought to the Indian mainland to prevent its extinction.
  • The rare palm is called Pinanga andamanensis and is a critically endangered species. There are only 600 specimens of the species at present. It is tiny and generally grows in evergreen forests.
  • The JNTBGRI has ensured to conserve the germplasm of the tree. This will help to prevent the species from wiping out. It is endangered due to natural calamity. The palm resembles areca palm and is used in preparing palm oil.
  • The palm requires 5 to 6 hours of sunshine, 80% of humidity. It thrives well in areas where the temperature is between 22 degree Celsius and 24 degree Celsius. The name of the palm is derived from the modern Malaysian state called ‘Penang’. The species was thought to be extinct till 1992.
  • Germplasm is the living resources like tissue and seeds that are preserved for plant breeding. They can also be used are genetic resources.

::SPORTS::

Indian athletes and hockey players in Quarantine after SAI staff tests COVID positive

  • Just when they were about to resume training, after receiving the green signal from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Sports Ministry, athletes and hockey players preparing for next year's Tokyo Olympics suffered a fresh blow after a cook employed with the Sports Authority of India's South Centre in Bengaluru passed away.
  • The senior cook, who had not been coming to the SAI campus after the lockdown began but had attended a meeting there on May 15, had died of cardiac arrest in a hospital on Monday. His sample had tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.
  • The SAI confirmed, through a note, that the meeting was attended by 16 members at the auditorium near the administrative block and that social distancing norms were followed. It said that the cook did not interact with any of the players, or the other staff members in the centre.

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