Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 25 May 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 25 May 2020


Government seeks clarity on efficacy of Ayurveda in COVIID treatment

  • The Union Health Ministry on Sunday sought results of COVID-19 treatment using Ayurvedic medicines.
  • This was following a visit by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to a dedicated COVID-19 health centre at the ChaudharyBrahmPrakashAyurvedCharakSansthan (CBPACS), Najafgarh.
  • “Ayurveda is a traditional medicinal knowledge source from India and there is huge potential in it. Its inherent strength in holistic healing and wellbeing is being put to good use in treatment of the patients at this centre,” said the Minister.
  • He said this knowledge and experience would surely prove beneficial to people all over the world, especially in combating the battle against COVID-19.According to figures released by the Ministry, till date 201 patients have been admitted to the CBPACS Centre.
  • “Of these, 37 have been cured and 100 patients have been advised home isolation. Nineteen patients have been shifted to speciality hospitals on review of their medical condition. There has been no casualty in this centre,” noted the Health Ministry.

Centre to restart region connectivity under UDAN scheme

  • Civil Aviation Ministry has decided to restart the regional air connectivity services under the UDAN scheme.
  • Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that preference will however be given to flights connecting North-East region, hill states, islands and other short haul routes. In a tweet, he said that the flights will be augmented under the scheme in a calibrated manner. 
  • Civil Aviation ministry has said that all operational routes up to 500 km stage length, all operational helicopter routes and routes with no viability gap funding will be permitted to resume operations. 
  • Selected airline operators will also be allowed to..............



Report finds India to register recession in third quarter

  • The Indian economy is likely to slip into recession in the third quarter of this fiscal as loss in income and jobs and cautiousness among consumers will delay recovery in consumer demand even after the pandemic, says a report.
  • The report noted that the government's larger-than-expected stimulus package is likely to re-start economic activities.
  • Besides, measures taken by the Reserve Bank of India like reducing the repo rate by a further 40 basis points to 4 per cent, extending the moratorium period by three months and facilitating working capital financing will also help stimulate the momentum.
  • The report further noted that even as the monetary stimulus is expected to inject liquidity and stimulate demand for a wider section of the economy, the channelisation of funds from the financial institutions will be subjected to several constraints.
  • The foremost concern being increase in risk averseness, as the balance sheets of firms, households, and banks/NBFCs have weakened considerably and low demand for funds by firms as production activities have been on a standstill during the lockdown period, chief economist ArunSingh said.

Top 10 states account for majority of under constructed projects,claims study

  • Highway construction activity which came to grinding halt with imposition of nationwide lockdown on March 25 and was allowed to resume in April, remains stalled due to severe shortage of labour and raw material, and difficulty in securing requisite clearances, a report by CRISIL Research has said.
  • The Centre has divided districts into red, orange and green zones based on the extent of coronavirus contagion. Only in-situ construction is allowed in red zones until the next announcement, the report said.
  • CRISIL Research’s analysis of over 270 under-construction national highways indicates the Top 10 states account for 80% of the projects. Projects are most at risk in four of these states – Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh (UP), Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh – that account for over a third of the projects.
  • "In Maharashtra, which has 11% of the national highway projects...........................


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North Korea vows to expand nuclear deterrence

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hosted a meeting to discuss the country’s nuclear capabilities, state media said on Sunday, marking his first appearance in three weeks after a previous absence sparked global speculation about his health.
  • Amid stalled denuclearisation talks with the United States, the meeting discussed measures to bolster North Korea’s armed forces and “reliably contain the persistent big or small military threats from the hostile forces,” state news agency KCNA said.
  • Mr. Kim has made an unusually small number of outings in the past two months, with his absence from a key anniversary prompting speculation about his condition, as Pyongyang has stepped up measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • North Korea says it has no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, but South Korea’s intelligence agency has said it cannot rule out that the North has had an outbreak.
  • U.S.-led negotiations aimed at dismantling North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes have made little progress since late last year.

China accuses U.S for pushing relations upto new cold war

  • The United States is pushing relations with China to "the brink of a new Cold War", China's foreign minister said Sunday, rejecting Washington's "lies" over the coronavirus while saying Beijing was open to an international effort to find its source.
  • Keeping up the worsening war of words with Washington over the pandemic and a Beijing move to tighten control over Hong Kong, Wang Yi said the United States had been infected by a "political virus" compelling figures there to continually attack China.
  • Longstanding friction between the two powers over trade, human rights and a range of other issues have been pushed to new heights since the virus outbreak.
  • Wang did not identify what "forces" he was referring to, but US President Donald Trump has led world criticism of China's initial response to the pandemic, which has caused more than 340,000 deaths and economic carnage worldwide.
  • Most scientists believe the virus jumped from animals to humans after emerging in China, possibly from a market in the central city of Wuhan where exotic animals were sold for meat. Governments including the US and Australia have called in recent weeks for ...................



Howrah’s historical botanical garden is now a graveyard of trees amid cyclone Amphan

  • Set up in 1787, the 273-acre garden, located at the other end of the Hooghly, has turned into a graveyard of trees. Massive trees, hundreds in number, with trunks having a girth of several metres, have fallen all over the garden, blocking access to large parts of the campus. 
  • “We have lost nearly 1,000 trees, including some notable and rare species,” Kanad Das, scientist, Botanical Survey of India (BSI), and in charge of the Botanic Garden, said. The garden has over 13,000 trees of about 1,100 species.
  • Among the rare trees that have fallen include the only full-grown kalpabriksha (Adansoniadigitata) tree in the garden, the mad tree (Pterygotaalata var. irregularis), the para rubber tree (Heveabrasiliensis), the Malabar chestnut (Pachirainsignis), the Chir pine (Pinusroxburghii), and several century-old mahogany trees (Swieteniamahagoni) in the garden’s famous Mahogany Avenue.
  • Most of these trees were introduced to the garden by British botanists in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Commercial cultivation of mahogany and rubber began in India after the species were first introduced in this garden.
  • Located at the western edge of garden, about 10% of the Great Banyan’s prop roots have been damaged by the cyclone. The authorities managing the Botanic Garden are confident that the destroyed prop roots can either be repaired, or new roots will come up. 
  • The tree is one of the garden’s major attractions. The main trunk of the banyan tree had to be removed in 1925..................



Bayern registers big win in Bundesliga

  • Bayern Munich beat Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2 on Saturday, surviving a brief second-half comeback scare, to stay four points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga.
  • The results: Schalke 0 lost to Augsburg 3 (Loewen 5, Bazee 76, Cordova 90+1); Mainz 0 lost to Leipzig 5 (Werner 11, 48, 75, Poulsen 23, Sabitzer 36).


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