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Current Affairs 28th March 2020

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1. Centre announces Rs 50 lakh insurance cover for COVID-19 warriors; FM announces measures to benefit women
  • Insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person for 3 months for COVID-19 warriors
  • Who are exposing themselves to the virus.
  • Gareeb Kalyan scheme will help the migrant and poor people.
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2. UN launches 2-Billion-dollar response plan to fight corona
  • Plan to fight COVID-19 in the world’s poorest countries.
  • UN Secretary General Antonio Gueterres warned that the pandemic is threatening the entire human race.
  • UN Emergency Relief Coordinator : Mark Lowcock.
  • UN Headquarters : New York.
  • Formed On : 24 October 1945.
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3. Department of Science & Technology sets up COVID-19 Task Force for mapping technologies
  • From Research and Development labs, academic institutions, start-ups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
  • To identify the most promising start-ups that are close to scale up.
  • Union Minister for Science & Technology : Harsh Vardhan.
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4. IIT Gandhinagar launches Project ‘Isaac’ to engage students in creative projects during Corona lockdown
  • To enhance their critical skills while they are confined to their homes due to COVID-19.
  • It is inspired by Isaac Newton, who was similarly sent home due to the Great Plague of London.
  • Four different competitions are being organized by IITGN.
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5. AIIMS sets up Task Force to develop management protocol for COVID-19
  • AIIMS = All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi
  • It has also constituted several committees to respond to challenges of rising number of the infections which may emerge in the coming days.
  • AIIMS is under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
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6. Coronavirus: M&M partners with two PSUs to scale up production of ventilators
  • Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) has teamed up with two public sector undertakings (PSUs).
  • To work with an existing manufacturer of high spec ventilators to help simplify design and scale up capacity, in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak in the country.
  • M&M did not disclose the name of the manufacturer.
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7. Coronavirus: Govt offers Rs 1,500 to women Jan Dhan account holders, free cylinders under Ujjwala scheme
  • Rs 500 per month for the next three months to all the women Jan Dhan account holders.
  • Around 20 crore such women account holders will be covered under this scheme.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana was launched on 28 August 2014.
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8. India proposes online platform for SAARC to jointly combat coronavirus
  • India proposed setting up of a common e-platform for all SAARC nations to share expertise in jointly combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • SAARC is a regional grouping comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan & Sri Lanka.
  • SAARC was established on 8 December 1985.
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9. Govt to transfer Rs 2,000 under PM-KISAN scheme to 8.69 Cr farmers in April 1st week
  • Government would transfer in the first week of April the first instalment of Rs 2,000 to each of 8.69 crore beneficiaries under the PM-KISAN scheme.
  • Farmers receive Rs 6,000 annual from PM-KISAN.
  • PM-KISAN Scheme is effective from 1 December 2018.
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10. Toll collections to decline by 2-3% in FY20: ICRA
  • Following the lockdown, the Ministry of Road Transportation and Highways has suspended collection of tolls on all national highways for the 21-day period.
  • Overall, the annual toll collections for FY20 are expected to see a 2-3 per cent decline, ICRA said.
  • The decline for March is estimated to be more than 40%.
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11. Extraordinary Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit held
  • Summit was arranged to discuss the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Earlier, PM had telephonic conversation with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia on this subject.
  • Saudi Arabia assumed the G20 2020 Presidency on 2019.
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12. Coronavirus: Govt hikes MGNREGA wages by Rs 2,000 per worker, offers sops to farmers
  • FM Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the Centre is considering increasing wages.
  • Under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MNREGA) by Rs 2,000 per worker.
  • Each person will get 5 kg of rice or wheat over & above the existing 5 kg being given.
  • The wage will benefit five crore families.
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13. SIDBI to provide loans up to Rs 50 lakh to MSEs manufacturing medical supplies to fight COVID-19
  • At a fixed interest rate of 5 percent and with a maximum loan repayment tenure of five years for fighting the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
  • Loans are collateral-free & will be sanctioned within 48 hours.
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14. Coronavirus pandemic: RBI allows 3-month moratorium on loans
  • RBI said that all banking institutions can offer 3-month moratorium on all loans for a period of 3 months.
  • The RBI has also allowed banks to restructure the working capital cycle for companies without worrying that these will have to be classified as NPA.
  • So far, the RBI has infused Rs 280,000 crore.
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15. Coronavirus pandemic: RBI infuses Rs 374,000cr liquidity shot
  • RBI announced substantial liquidity measures saying it will conduct up to 3-year tenure for an amount of up to Rs 100,000 Cr at a floating rate linked to policy repo rate.
  • Liquidity must be deployed in investment grade corporate bonds & commercial papers.
  • RBI has also cut CRR heavily by 100 bps to 3% of NDTL.
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16. Covid-19 impact: CII sets up a fund for MSMEs
  • CII = Confederation of Indian Industry
  • In the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, the (CII) is setting up a fund- CII COVID Rehabilitation & Relief Fund (CRR)
  • To assist rehabilitation of small enterprises and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
  • President of CII : Vikram Kirloskar.

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