Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 28 July 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 28 July 2020


PM stresses on boosting health infrastructure in villages

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi mentioned the need to develop new health infrastructure and boost the already existing health infrastructure facilities in the villages during the launch of three high throughput COVID-19 testing facilities yesterday.
  • Prime Minister said that apart from developing the physical infrastructure, the country has also managed to swiftly ramp up human resources including paramedics, ASHA workers, Anganwadis among others. He said, as health workers, they played a significant part in controlling the spread of the pandemic.
  • He also spoke about the need to work on continuously attaching new and retired health professionals with the health system in order to prevent fatigue from setting in our Corona Warriors.
  • The Prime Minister forewarned people to be cautious during the celebrations of the festivals in order to keep the virus contained. He underlined that the benefits of PM GaribKalyan Anna Yojna should reach the poor on a timely basis. 
  • He added that till the time a vaccine is not developed, people should adhere to the health guidelines following do gazdoori, wearing masks and hand sanitization.
  • The launch ceremony of the three high-throughput testing facilities was also attended by Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal along with ICMR Director General Dr BalramBhargava.

Centre claims India has one of the best weather service systems in the world

  • Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan today said that Ministry of Earth Sciences is a unique organization in the world which looks holistically at all branches of Earth Science.
  • He said, India is the only country with a fully-dedicated ministry solely addressing all the aspects of Earth Sciences.
  • He added that this helps in developing an integrated approach in planning and resolving major concerns in a holistic manner with least time delay.
  • Dr Harsh Vardhan was speaking at an event to celebrate the Foundation Day of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • The Ministry was formed in 2006 by a merger of the India Meteorological Department, the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, the Earth Risk Evaluation Centre and the Ministry of Ocean Development.



Report finds Indian economy to continue facing inflationary pressures

  • The Indian economy is likely to face inflationary pressures in the near term, as factors like supply chain disruption and lack of low-wage workers are expected to offset the deflationary pressures from subdued demand in the economy, says a report. 
  • According to Dun & Bradstreet's latest Economy Forecast, inflationary pressures are building up both from the demand and the supply side.
  • Dun & Bradstreet expects the Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) to have increased from 5.7 per cent to 5.9 per cent during July 2020.As per government data, retail inflation had increased to 6.09 per cent in June, mainly on account of higher prices of food items.
  • According to the report, inflationary pressures from supply disruptions, less availability of low wage labour, high tariffs on some imported commodities, and larger than adequate liquidity in the banking system might offset the deflationary pressures from subdued demand in the economy.
  • As per Dun & Bradstreet's business credit scores derived from the 2019 financial performance, 71 per cent of Indian businesses fall under the "slightly greater than average risk" category.

India asks WTO members to find permanent solution to food stockholding

  • India has asked the members of WTO to constructively engage in negotiations for a permanent solution to public stockholding for food security purposes, as committed in the ministerial conferences in Bali and Nairobi.
  • According to statements delivered by Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the WTO, BrajendraNavnit, at the meeting of General Council of WTO on July 22-23, a permanent solution to the issue, which is simple and can be used by developing countries, would go a long way in addressing their genuine concerns relating to food security of the most vulnerable sections of the society.
  • Navnit said the current pandemic has shown how adversely the poor in developing countries are impacted, and developing governments have been struggling with the issues faced by the most vulnerable sections of the society, including agricultural farmers and labourers.
  • Further, he said India has underlined that special and differential treatment (S&DT) is a treaty embedded right at the WTO and it cannot be taken away based on certain arbitrary assumptions.


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India holds defence ministerial dialogue with Indonesia 

  • Defence Ministers’ Dialogue between India and Indonesia was held in New Delhi today.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh led the Indian delegation while the Indonesian delegation was led by their Defence Minister General PrabowoSubianto.
  • The dignitary is in India for strengthening the ties between the two maritime neighbours. 
  • During the talks, Mr Rajnath Singh reiterated the long history of mutually beneficial interactions between the two countries with a tradition of close political dialogue, economic and trade linkages as well as cultural and people to people interactions.
  • Conveying satisfaction on the military to military interactions, the Minister indicated that the defence cooperation between India and Indonesia has witnessed an upswing in the recent years.
  • This is in consonance with the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two sides. Both the Ministers agreed to further enhance the bilateral defence cooperation in mutually agreed areas.
  • Potential areas of cooperation in the field of defence industries and defence technology were also identified by the two countries.
  • Both the Ministers committed themselves to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in these areas and take them to the next level of deliverables.

India and Bangladesh enhances bilateral trade and connectivity further

  • External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and Railways Minister PiyushGoyal flagged off virtually to Bangladesh ten Broad Gauge locomotives in a handing over ceremony held today.
  • The handing over of these locomotives, under grant assistance from India fulfills an important commitment made during the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in October last year.
  • In keeping with the requirements of Bangladesh Railway, the locomotives have been suitably modified by the Indian side.These locomotives will help handle the increasing volume of passenger and freight train operations in Bangladesh.
  • Railway Minister PiyushGoyal underscored the significance of railway cooperation in enhancing bilateral trade and connectivity and in further boosting the economic partnership between the two countries.
  • In the recent times, India and Bangladesh have stepped up their rail cooperation in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as trade via land border faced disruptions.
  • Rail as a cost effective and environmental friendly solution, has helped in transporting essential commodities across the border. Both sides saw the highest ever exchange of freight trains in the month of June.



India to search for plasma in land, water to contain COVID

  • When doctors in a flood-ravaged Assam urgently sought plasma of a particular blood type for a COVID-19 patient this month, health officials sent a boat for a marooned donor who had recovered from the disease weeks ago.
  • With coronavirus cases surging in the northeastern state of Assam and critical medicines running low, local authorities are rolling out the red carpet for now-cured patients - all for their blood plasma believed to be rich in virus antibody, although research on its efficacy has not been conclusive.
  • Assam says that symptomatic patients who donate plasma four weeks after recovery will get preference in government jobs and housing. For example, a donor may get extra marks if he or she is tied in any test or interview for a job.
  • The success of the overall effort is crucial for Assam, one of India's poorest states that is short of remdesivir and tocilizumab to treat severe COVID-19 patients. Delhi and Odisha states are also courting plasma donors as India's total infections have leaped to 1.4 million with nearly 33,000 deaths.
  • Plasma from a previously infected person can be used to treat up to two moderately ill patients, Sarma said. Without timely treatment, such patients' condition can potentially worsen, further straining the limited pool for medicines.


ICC launches qualification pathway for 2023 worldcup in India

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday launched the ODI Super League, a qualifier for the 2023 World Cup in India that aims to add context to the 50-over format. 
  • Hosts India and the next top seven teams in the Super League will automatically qualify for the World Cup, the world body stated in a press release.


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