Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 21 June 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 21 June 2020

::NATIONAL::

 Nation witnesses rare annular solar eclipse

  • The solar eclipse is taking place on the summer solstice, which is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere. When Moon comes between the Sun and Earth, the shadow falls on the surface of the Earth.
  • The Sun is entirely covered by the Moon for a brief period. Those places that are engulfed by the dark, dense umbral shadow of the Moon experience the total solar eclipse.
  • Ministry of Science and Technology has urged people not to use sunglasses, goggles, exposed x-ray sheet or lampblack over a glass as they are not safe. It said, viewing the Sun's image on the surface of the water is also not safe.
  • Nation witnesses rare annular solar eclipse
  • The country is witnessing a rare celestial event, annular solar eclipse today. The annular ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse, wherein the Sun appears like a ring of fire, is visible in different parts of the country.
  • The Ministry said, welders glass 13 or 14 can be used to see the Sun directly with naked eyes. People can make a pinhole in a card sheet and hold it under the Sun, at some distance, keep a screen of white paper.
  • Image of the Sun can be seen on this sheet. By adjusting the gap between the sheet and the screen, the image can be made larger.
  • People can look at the shadow of a bush or a tree. With the gaps between the leaves acting like a pinhole, numerous images of the eclipsed Sun can be seen on the ground.

Around one lakh people received training as yoga trainers under skill India mission 

  • Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has said that over 96 thousand  people have been trained as Yoga Instructors and Trainers under Skill India Mission. The Ministry in a statement  said, they have been trianed through different skilling initiatives under PradhanMantriKaushalVikasYojana, Recognition of Prior Learning, Short-Term Training and Special Projects.
  • The states with the highest number of skilled candidates are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Kerala and West Bengal. Yesterday, the Ministry organized a webinar to celebrate the sixth International Yoga Day to promote Yoga for stress management and holistic physical and mental well-being.
  • Emphasizing on the need for yoga instructors and trainers in the country, Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dr.MahendraNathPandey said, Yoga is an invaluable gift to the world from India that has roots in our ancient Vedic traditions.
  • He said the Ministry has been working closely with..................................

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::ECONOMY::

Finance ministry closely monitors rate cut by banking sectors

  • Finance minister NirmalaSitharaman today said that Government is  closely monitoring transmission of repo rate cut  by the Banking Sector. Addressing a virtual meeting with PHD chamber of commerce members, she said government recognises efforts of wealth creators in ing India’s growth story.
  • The Finance Minister acknowledged that the Prime Minister has always facilitated a helping hand and recognised MSMEs. She said government is closely monitoring the situation in consultation with banks so that relief measures announced by the Government are effectively percolated at ground levels.
  • The Finance Minister stated that they are closely watching the developments in disbursement of loans under the provision of 3 lakh crore rupees collateral free automatic loans for businesses. 
  • Mrs Sitharaman said, the Government has always focused on Minimum Government and Maximum Governance with a special focus on addressing challenges faced by Industry and promote ease of doing business.  She said, the Government has always provided a helping hand without differentiation to all industry stakeholders especially to MSMEs.

Government invites global ship owners to flag ships in India

  • The government said it has invited global vessel owners to flag their ships in India to take advantage of the Make in India policy.
  • The government has recently revised its ‘Make in India’ policy for public procurement under which no global tender enquiry will be issued, except with the approval of the competent authority, for procurement of services with an estimated value of below ₹200 crore.
  • “It is estimated that the ‘Make in India’ policy will provide an opportunity to at least double the number of Indian flag vessels in the immediate term — from the present approximately 450 to at least 900 and more over a period of three years  leaving further scope for additional investment in the Indian flag tonnage,” Ministry of Shipping said.
  • With a modern maritime administration, continuous supply of trained seafarers, ship management skills already available, ship owners worldwide are invited to now flag their ships in India to take advantage of the ‘Make in India’ policy in respect of transportation of government cargoes. 
  • Shipping Minister MansukhMandaviya has reviewed the readiness of Indian.......................................

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::INTERNATIONAL::

IAEA passes resolution against Iran

  • The board of governors at the UN’s nuclear watchdog passed a resolution critical of Iran on Friday, the first of its kind since 2012, as tension mounts over Tehran’s nuclear programme.
  • The resolution was put forward by European states and urges Tehran to provide inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with access to two sites in Iran to clarify whether undeclared nuclear activity took place there in the early 2000s.
  • It “calls on Iran to fully cooperate with the Agency and satisfy the Agency’s requests without any further delay, including by providing prompt access to the locations specified by the Agency”. Iran has been blocking access to the sites for months.
  • The resolution was carried by 25 votes in favour versus two against, with seven abstentions. Russia and China, both of which had spoken out against the prospect of a resolution earlier this week, voted against.
  • Iran’s Ambassador to the UN in Vienna KazemGharibAbadi’ told Friday’s meeting that the resolution will not “encourage Iran to grant access to the Agency based on fabricated and unfounded allegations”.
  • Even though the sites in question are not thought to be directly relevant to Iran’s current nuclear programme, the agency says it needs to know if activities going back almost two decades have been properly declared.

World bank approves $1 billion for Bangladesh’s economic recovery

  • The World Bank has approved dollar 1.05 billion for three projects in Bangladesh to create quality jobs and accelerate economic recovery in the wake of the Corona pandemic.
  • The Press release issued by the World Bank on Friday quoted the Country Director for Bhutan and Bangladesh Mercy Tembon that these projects will help the economy in bouncing back by creating more and better jobs and promoting direct private investment in specialized economic zones.
  • The first project worth a dollar 500 million called Private Investment and Digital Entrepreneurship (PRIDE) project will strengthen social and environmental standards in selected economic zones and software technology parks in Bangladesh. 
  • It will create over 1.5 lakh jobs of which a percentage will be reserved for women. The project will also establish Dhaka’s first digital entrepreneurship hub in the Janata Software Technology Park. It will help Bangladesh to attract $2 billion of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
  • The World Bank said that this is the second of the programme based series of three projects for Bangladesh intended to modernize the trade and investment regime, build a stronger system of expanded safety nets and labour protections and help vulnerable populations access better jobs, especially during crises.
  • Bangladesh currently has one of the largest IDA programs totalling over $13 billion. The World Bank has committed more than $31 billion in grants, interest-free, and concessional credits to Bangladesh since its independence in 1971.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Researchers develop ultrasound scanners for COVID screening

  • The IIT-Palakkad has developed an automated lung ultrasound (LUS) for COVID-19 screening and monitoring through cloud-based image analysis and scoring system.
  • The app, the first of its kind in India, is now available for clinicians to perform automated analysis by just uploading the ultrasound video.
  • Motivated by the promising results that showed the relevance and importance of LUS in COVID-19 patients, the IIT team conducted LUS analysis of normal, viral, and bacterial infected lungs, using image processing and neural networks and developed an automated LUS analysis tool.
  • Explaining the workflow, Vinod A. Prasad, professor and dean (Industry Collaboration and Sponsored Research), IIT-Palakkad, said a nursing assistant (in the absence of a skilled clinician), following a simple protocol of LUS, acquires the lung images and transfers the images to the cloud (pulseecho.in/alus/). The images are analysed over the cloud and scores are assigned according to certain criteria either for the type of infection or its severity.
  • He said the methodology would be extremely useful in time-critical COVID-19 working conditions, where clinicians have time limitations in manually evaluating ultrasound videos of all patients.
  • According to Dr.Panicker, the approach is not only restricted to COVID-19 detection but also helps to identify other lung infections.

::SPORTS::

IPL governing council to reconsider Chinese investments

  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has changed its stand on Chinese sponsors for the Indian Premier League (IPL) by announcing that the IPL Governing Council will “review various IPL sponsorship deals” next week.
  • “Taking note of the border skirmish that resulted in the martyrdom of our brave jawans, the IPL Governing Council has convened a meeting next week to review IPL’s various sponsorship deals,” read a tweet on the IPL’s verified handle late on Friday night.
  • The move is in stark contrast to the Board’s stand on Thursday when treasurerArunDhumal had said that the BCCI had no plans to revisit the IPL and BCCI sponsorship deals.
  • According to Impact of COVID-19 on revenues of world...........................

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