Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 23 May 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 23 May 2020

::NATIONAL::

Centre to expand community radio network in country

  • Information and Broadcasting Minister, Prakash Javadekar said that Community Radio is a community in itself and it is agents of change. Ministry will come out with a plan to increase the number of such stations soon.
  • Addressing listeners of all Community Radio stations through All India Radio News, Mr. Javadekar said, government is eager to raise air time for advertisements to 12 minutes from 7 minutes per hour on Community Radio Stations to bring them at par with TV channels.
  • On the key demand of Community Radio of broadcasting news from their platform, the Minister assured that he will consider it. He prodded stations to play key role in combating fake news menace by verifying it through local sources.
  • He invited stations to share it with All India Radio so that the reach of the truth can be amplified. He added that the Ministry has created a Fact Check Cell under PIB and the Community Radio can complement the role of Fact Check Cell.
  • Mr Javedkar said, that fake news is very dangerous and should not be considered as part of press freedom. He stressed on the crucial role of community radios in countering fake news by giving the correct information verified at the local level.
  • Exhorting people to keep up their fight against Coronavirus, the Minister said, we will drive it away the way we have driven away other diseases. He stressed on the 4 steps to keep themselves safe by staying at home, frequent washing of hands, wearing face mask in public and maintaining social distancing.

India Posts to work towards realising PM’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision

  • Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has instructed India Post to work towards realizing the vision of Prime Minister for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
  • The Minister of Communications, Electronics and Information ..........................

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::ECONOMY::

Finance ministry seeks PSB’s to reduce lending rates post RBI action

  • Hours after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reduced interest rates, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman conveyed to public sector banks in no certain terms that the government expected banks to reduce lending rates, which was required to kick start the economy.
  • The Finance Minister met the chief executives of PSBs over video-conferencing in a pre-scheduled meeting to review credit flow to productive sectors of the economy.
  • “The FM wants interest rate transmission. She wanted banks to cut rates as quickly as possible so customers are benefited,” said the chief executive of a public sector bank who attended the meeting. “The Finance Ministry is aware that transmission of interest rates has not happened fully,” the official told .
  • Bankers said lending rates are set to come down after Friday’s RBI rate cut. Some of the large lenders, including SBI, convened a meeting of the asset-liability committee to take a view on the interest rates.
  • According to bankers, the FM tried to understand the ground situation as far as lending was concerned, and wanted to ensure that the loan guarantee scheme for MSMEs reached all entities needing it.
  • “Since March 1, banks have sanctioned ₹6 lakh crore of loans. Our bank has sanctioned ₹15,000 crore, of which ₹12,000 crore has been disbursed. Over 1.36 lakh customers have been benefited,” said A.K. Goel, MD and chief executive officer of UCO Bank.

Central government’s debt-GDP ratio declines in FY19

  • The central government’s debt as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) dropped marginally by 0.1% from 45.8% in fiscal 2017-18 to 45.7% or Rs 86.73 lakh crore in FY19, according to the Status Paper on Government ..............................

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::INTERNATIONAL::

Southeast Asian stock markets plunge amid Hongkong security law

  • Southeast Asian stock markets today plunged as the United States and China sparring over a new Hong Kong security law kept investors away from riskier assets.
  • Stocks declined across the globe led by a steep drop in Hong Kong shares as rising tensions between Washington and Beijing and the gloomy outlook for China’s economy weighed on investors’ sentiment.
  • The Hang Seng Index closed down 5.5% in its worst day since July 2015 after China moved to impose new national-security laws on the city.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng nosedived 5.6 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite index plunged 1.9 per cent. Singapore’s Straits times tumbled 2.2 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei-225 Index lost 0.8 per cent while South Korea’s KOSPI lost 1.4 per cent.
  • European indices were also down in intra-day trade. London’s FTSC-100 declined 1.2 per cent and Germany’s DAX fell 0.6 per cent while France’s CAC-40 fell half a per cent.

Maldives not to act or target against India in OIC

  • Maldives has said it cannot support any action within the Organization of Islamic cooperation (OIC), that singles-out or targets India.
  • This was stated by Maldives Permanent ...........................................

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::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Study finds sun entering deepest period of sunshine recession

  • The sun has reached into a state of ‘solar minimum’. It has been more than 100 days since sun has shown zero sunspots. The sun is to enter into the deepest period of ‘sunshine recession’.
  • The cycle of the sun lasts for 11 years. This is called Solar Cycle. Solar minimum does not mean that sun becomes dull or its activity reduces. It simply means that the sun is changing forms. The sun spots fade away every 11 years.
  • The Solar Cycle is also called the Solar Magnetic Activity Cycle. It exists for 11 years and is measured in terms of number of sun spots on the surface. Sunspots were observed in the early 17th century. It was first observed by Galileo Galilei.
  • Under Solar Cycle, the solar maximum and solar minimum refers to the periods of maximum and minimum sunspots respectively.
  • The sun spots are magnetic in nature. The magnetic polarity of sun spots are constant throughout the cycle. It is opposite across the equator throughout a cycle. Also, the magnetic polarity reversed itself from one cycle to the other.

::SPORTS::

ICC issues guidelines regarding resumption of cricket

  • The International Cricket Council - ICC has issued comprehensive guidelines aimed at resumption of cricket around the world while at the same time maintaining the highest safety protocols.
  • The ICC, yesterday recommended appointing Chief Medical Officers and 14-day pre-match isolation training camps in its guidelines for resumption of international cricket after the novel coronavirus hiatus.
  • The sport's governing body also recommended developing an appropriate testing plan during training and competition. All cricket activities are closed since the pandemic struck the world. Even the upcoming T20 World Cup is under threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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