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Current Affairs 31st March 2020

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1. North Macedonia joins NATO as 30th Ally
  • NATO = North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • North Macedonia became NATO’s newest & 30th member,
  • NATO Allies signed North Macedonia’s Accession Protocol in February 2019.
  • North Macedonia Capital- Skopje,
  • Currency- Macedonian denar.
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2. National Book Trust to launch Corona Studies Series books
  • To provide relevant reading materials for all age-groups for the post-Corona readership needs.
  • It will also provide suitable platform to authors and researchers willing to contribute in this genre
  • NBT functions under the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
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3. Govt approves Insurance Scheme for health workers fighting to contain COVID-19
  • Insurance Scheme under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package for health workers.
  • Who are fighting to contain COVID-19.
  • The scheme will provide an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh for 90 days to around 22.12 lakh public healthcare providers.
  • Accidental loss of life due to contracting COVID-19 is added.
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4. TRIFED Van Dhan India unleash power of Webinars to Work from Home
  • TRIFED = The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India
  • Around 500 officials of TRIFED unleashed the power of ‘Webinars’.
  • Through ‘Tech for Tribals’ scheme.
  • Scheme was launched in March 2020.
  • Van Dhan GIS-based website gathered more than 50 lakh people.
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5. Covid-19: FDA approves use of convalescent plasma to treat critically ill patients
  • The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of plasma from recovered patients to treat people who are critically ill with coronavirus.
  • That plasma may contain antibodies to the virus.
  • Plasma makes up more than 55% of blood in the human body.
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6. Ministry of Defence: One Day Salary to PM-CARES Fund under The Army Act, 1950
  • Defence ministry approved the proposal to contribute 1-day salary of the employees to the PM-CARES fund amounting to Rs 500 Cr.
  • The Army Act, 1950 allows making such deductions from the salary of the army personnel.
  • Only authorized deductions are allowed.
  • Defence Personnel are paid under the 7th Central Pay Commission.
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7. Covid-19 impact: Govt relaxes rules for withdrawal from EPFO accounts
  • Subscribers can withdraw 75% of their savings or up to a maximum of 3 months’ basic pay and dearness allowance from their PF account- whichever is lower.
  • Once subscriber withdraws the amount, it cannot be replenished.
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8. Coronavirus pandemic: IIT Bombay launches ‘CORONTINE’ to track people escaping quarantine
  • These individuals could positive asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19.
  • CORONTINE allows to geo-fence and automatically generate alerts.
  • It sends text messages and emails if users move out of the zone.
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9. Uttar Pradesh: Rs 611 Cr to be transferred in MNREGA labourers accounts
  • UP CM : Yogi Adityanath.
  • Rs 611 Cr in the accounts of 27.15 lakh MNREGA labourers.
  • MGNREGA = Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act)
  • MGNREGA was initially implemented as NREGA on 2 February 2006.
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10. West Bengal govt launches app to sell fish online
  • Name of the app is State Fisheries Development Corporation app.
  • App is available in Google Play Store.
  • There was a sudden rise in prices of fish due to the lockdown.
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11. Rajasthan Foundation Day – March 30 every year
  • The ‘Land of Kings’ celebrates Rajasthan Day with radiant and invigorating events.
  • The state was earlier known as Rajputana and got its recognition on March 30, 1949.
  • Rajasthan comprises the Thar Desert or the Great Indian Desert.
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12. Bank of India reduces lending rate by 75 bps
  • Bank of India reduced the lending rate linked to external benchmark by 75 basis points, to 7.25%, effective April 1.
  • Bank of India Headquarters : Mumbai,
  • Chairman : G. Padmanabhan.
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13. State Bank of India raises $100 million in green bonds
  • Green bonds through private placement.
  • This is the bank’s third iteration of green bonds and already has raised such bonds of $700 million.
  • RBI releases report on ‘Trend and Progress of Banking in India’.
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14. IAAF suspends Indian shot putter Navin Chikara for four years for failing dope test
  • IAAF = International Association of Athletics Federations
  • Shot putter Navin Chikara was suspended for 4 years by global athletics body’s Athletics Integrity Unit.
  • For failing an out-of-competition dope test in 2018.
  • Chikara won the silver medal in the 2018 Federation Cup.
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15. Samajwadi Party Founding Member Beni Prasad Verma Dies at 79
  • Beni Prasad Verma, former Union minister who was considered close to party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav died at the age of 79.
  • He was the telecom minister between 1996-98 in the then PM HD Deve Gowda’s cabinet.
  • He was the steel minister in the Congress-led UPA government.
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16. America’s civil rights leader Joseph Lowery passed away at 98
  • Rev. Joseph Lowery, a leader in America’s civil rights movement, died at the age of 98.
  • He served nearly half a century as a pastor.

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