Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 30 April 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 30 April 2020


Centre allows inter-state movement of stranded people including migrant labourers

  • Government has issued an order to states and Union Territories to facilitate inter-state movement of stranded people including migrant labourers in the country.
  • Home Ministry said in its order that all persons must be medically screened at source and destination and kept in home or institutional quarantine on arrival, as per Health Ministry's guidelines.
  • All states and Union Territories have been asked to designate nodal authorities and develop standard protocols for receiving and sending such stranded persons. The nodal authorities shall also register the stranded persons within their states and union territories.
  • The moving persons would be screened and those found asymptomatic will be allowed to proceed. Buses will be used for transport of groups of persons. The buses will be sanitized and shall follow social distancing norms in seating.
  • The states and union territories falling on the transit route will allow the passage of such persons to the receiving states and union territories.
  • On arrival at their destination, such persons will be kept in home quarantine or institutional quarantine based on the assessment of local health authorities. They would be kept under watch with periodic health check ups. They will be encouraged to use AarogyaSetu app to monitor and track their health status.
  • Home Ministry today held a comprehensive review meeting on the lockdown situation. There has been tremendous gains and improvement in the situation due to lockdown till now.

More than one crore face masks produced under DeendayalAntyodayaYojana

  • More than one crore face masks have been made by various Self-Help Groups across the country. This has been done under DeendayalAntyodayaYojana-National Urban Livelihood Mission flagship scheme of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. It shows relentless effort, positive energy and united resolve of SHGs to fight Covid-19.
  • ShubhangiChandrakantDhaygude, President of Samrudhhi Area Level Federation collects orders through phone and stitches masks at her home in Titwala, Maharashtra. She says that the Federation has made 50 thousand masks and 45 more women are involved in making masks with her.
  • Runjhun Self Help Group from Nagaon, Assam  is preparing masks using traditional Assamese cloth - Gamocha.Members of Prayas Self Help Group in Kathua of Jammu and Kashmir are also making tricolour masks.



Centre asks real estate sector to tie up with governments and PSU’s

  • With a huge inventory of unsold units in cities, the real estate sector could get the liquidity it needs by tying up with governments and public sector undertakings (PSUs) that require housing for their employees, Union Minister NitinGadkari said.
  • The real estate sector could work with the Centre, State governments and PSUs to completely or partially sell their unsold units for use by their employees, he said.
  • He was participating in an online seminar of the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) on Wednesday.Pressed by NAREDCO members for a relief package for the sector, he said the government was working on an overall package.
  • Mr.Gadkari, who holds the portfolios of Road Transport and Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, said though he was not the Minister concerned for the housing sector, he had some suggestions to help the sector.
  • Earlier, NAREDCO president NiranjanHiranandani raised the concern of low demand in the past one year and a half, saying that “many real estate companies are facing a liquidity crisis.”

IT ministry urges electronics industry to explore new opportunities

  • Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad has exhorted the Electronics Industry to explore the new opportunities that are arising out of the adversity and make the country a global hub of electronics manufacturing.
  • During a meeting with Electronics Industry Associations, Chambers and prominent Industry players yesterday, Mr Prasad urged the electronics industry to take advantage and strengthen the sector.
  • The Union Minister also apprised the Industry that the requests regarding broadening the definition of essential goods to ICT products and Services of ICT essential goods has already been taken up with the Home Ministry.
  • He said, under the newly notified schemes of Ministry to promote electronics manufacturing, the Government will provide a financial support of 50 thousand  crore rupees for  Electronics System Design and Manufacturing industry.
  • Mr Prasad also mentioned that Ministry's initiatives like AarogyaSetu, Aadhar and Digital payments have played a very important role in fighting against COVID-19.
  • During the meeting, the Ministry officials presented the current COVID-19 situation and  AarogyaSetu platform. They also thanked the mobile industry for their support in making the AarogyaSetu app reach around eight crore mobile phones in the country.


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Indian continues to remain in USTR priority watchlist

  • India continues to be on the ‘Priority Watch List’ of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) for lack of adequate intellectual property (IP) rights protection and enforcement, the USTR said in its Annual Special 301 Report, released on Wednesday.
  • India remained one of the most challenging economies for IP enforcement and protection, the report said, using language it has used previously. Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Venezuela are also on the Priority Watch List. 
  • While India made “meaningful progress” to enhance IP protection and enforcement in some areas over the past year, it did not resolve recent and long-standing challenges, and created new ones, the report said.
  • The same assessment was made in the 2019 report. These long-standing concerns were about innovators being able to receive, maintain and enforce patents particularly in the pharmaceutical sector; concerns over copyright laws not incentivising the creation and commercialisation of content; and an outdated trade secrets framework.
  • The report also mentioned high customs duties on medical devices and Information and Communications Technology. These goods categories were persistent challenges in trade talks between the two countries last year — the language used in the 2020 report in this context is the same as in the 2019 report.
  • Online IP enforcement in India has improved, the report said, but progress is undercut by factors including weak enforcement by courts and the police, lack of familiarity with investigative techniques and no centralised IP enforcement agency.

U.S plans to conduct world’s largest maritime exercise in Hawaii this year

  • The United States Navy has said that it will host the world's largest maritime exercises in Hawaii again this year, but the drills will only be held at sea because of the Corona virus.
  • The Navy has held the Rim of the Pacific exercises in Hawaii every two years since the early 1970s.Hawaii Governor David Ige earlier this month asked the military to postpone the drills until the COVID-19 situation in the islands subsides.
  • The Pacific Fleet said, in a statement issued yesterday, RIMPAC- 2020 would not include social events on shore.Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will host a minimal footprint of staff for logistics and support functions.
  • It said the modified exercise was a way to conduct a meaningful exercise with maximum training value and minimum risk to the force, allies and partners, and the people of Hawaii.
  • The drills will also be held over two weeks, from 17th to 31st August , instead of the usual five weeks of events from late June to early August.
  • The US has the most Corona virus cases in the world, while an outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier infected nearly 1,000 sailors.
  • Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan were struggling to vaccinate children as local populations viewed inoculation teams with suspicion.


IIT researchers develop low cost mechanical ventilator

  • Students from IIT Bombay, Islamic University of Science and Technology, NIT Srinagar have come together to invent a low-cost ventilator called “Ruhdaar”.
  • In order to increase the number of ventilators in the country, the Government of India has been implementing two-pronged approach. One is to increase domestic production of ventilators and the other is to search for supplies from different parts of the world. The latter option is challenging as ventilators are of high demand in every country.
  • The Central Government has also identified nine manufactures in the country and has placed order of 59,000 units.
  • The COVID-19 infection curve has begun to flatten and the outbreak is under control. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, around 80% of the Indian population infected with COVID-19 are experiencing mild illness, 15% will need oxygen support and only 5% will need ventilators.
  • Though the numbers seem less, the demand may increase as India currently consists of only 40,000 ventilators according to Health Ministry. Therefore,it is essential to invent new models and become self-sufficient in ventilators.


Sports ministry lauds contribution by sportspersons amid COVID

  • The Union Sports Minister KirenRijiju lauded sportspersons for their contributions to the COVID-19 relief measures during a video-conference with table tennis coaches of the Sports Authority of India on Wednesday.
  • “They have made huge contributions. Not just financially, but also creating awareness among the youth about COVID-19 and putting up videos on fitness. All this shows how active sportspersons are. Hopefully, we don’t have to wait long for sporting action [to get back],” said Rijiju.
  • He said that Indian paddlers will definitely win a medal at the Olympics and the World Championships, one day. “If we can win a medal [two bronze] in the Asian Games (2018) there is no reason why we cannot win a medal in bigger events,” he said.


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