Friday, 24 April 2020

16-APRIL TO 18-APRIL 2020 Current Affairs

Agriculture Minister launched Mobile App “Kisan Rath” to facilitate transportation of food grains and perishables during lockdown
• The Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar launched a
mobile application named ‘Kisan Rath’ in New Delhi.
• The app has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
• It will help farmers & traders to search transport vehicles for Primary and Secondary
transportation of Agriculture & Horticulture produce.
• The Primary transportation would include movement from Farm to Mandis, FPO Collection Centre
and Warehouses etc.
• Secondary Transportation would include movement from Mandis to Intra-state & Inter-state
mandis, Processing units, Railway station, Warehouses and Wholesalers etc.

Chhattisgarh Govt Launched Web-portal ‘Cghaat’ For Home Delivery of Fruits, Vegetables amid
Extended Lockdown
• Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has inaugurated an online portal named ‘Cghaat’ to
provide home delivery of fruits and vegetables to the residents during the extended lockdown
• The website ‘‘, has been developed by Chhattisgarh government’s agency Chips.
• The portal aims to help people in maintaining social distancing and reduce the crowding at the
• The fruit and vegetable vendors interested in providing services through this portal can register
online free of charge.
• This service has first been made available in Raipur city, but will soon be extended to other big
cities in the state.
IIT Ropar Launched ‘WardBot’ to deliver Food & Medicines to COVID-19 patients
• A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar in Rupnagar district of
Punjab has designed an autonomous robot ‘WardBot’ to deliver medicines and food to COVID-19
patients in isolation wards without human intervention.
• WardBot also has a feature of self-sanitising on the return path and could be used for sanitising
walls of the hospitals.
Government set foodgrain production target at 298.3 mn tons for 2020-21 crop year
• The agriculture ministry has set a target to increase foodgrain production to record 298.3 million
tonnes in the 2020-21 crop year (July-June). This is more by 6.35 million tonnes from the previous
years’ estimate.
• To be bifurcated, the target is 149.92 million tonnes of foodgrain production in the Kharif
(summer) season and 148.4 million tonnes in the rabi (winter) season.
The foodgrain output in the 2019-20 crop year is estimated at 291.95 million tonnes.
• NIT-K Researchers developed disinfect chamber ‘Zero-Cov’ for PPE Kits, vegetables, currency
notes among others
• A team of researchers at National Institute of Technology-Karnataka has developed a costeffective disinfectant chamber, Zero-Cov.
• This out-of-the-box disinfectant chamber could disinfect personal protective equipment (PPE)
kits, surgical masks, currency note, vegetables, packed food and other day-to-day items without
causing them damage.
• The chamber, made out of an old refrigerator, uses Ultraviolet (UV)-C radiation to destroy or
inactivate all surface contamination like bacteria and viruses including novel coronavirus, up to
99.9 %, within 15 minutes.
Govt to set up “Suraksha Stores” and “Suraksha Circle” under PPP mode amid COVID-19 lockdown
• B nprevent unauthorized entry in the conference room, prevent an authorized participant from
carrying out malicious attacks on the terminals of other users in the conference & avoid DenialOf-Service (DOS) attack by restricting users through passwords.
ASEAN leaders held Special summit and Special ASEAN plus 3 summit on COVID-19 via video conference
• The Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held the Special ASEAN
Summit via video conference which was chaired by Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of
Vietnam, in his capacity as Chair of ASEAN.
• The summit was attended by heads of state or government of the 10 ASEAN members– Brunei,
Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and
• The objective behind this summit was to discuss measures relating to containing and preventing
the spread of COVID-19 and to support people in the countries hit by the disease.
India become World’s most digitally dexterous country; 39% technophiles want OTJ & JIT training
• In accordance with the Gartner 2019 Digital Workplace Survey, India has become the world’s
most digitally dexterous (skilful) country in the world as it has a vast Gen Z workforce who are
keen to learn new digitally powered skills in the workplace. India is followed by the United
Kingdom (UK) and United States (US).
• It should be noted that Generation Z or Gen Z are the ones born between 1995 and 2009.
• Sixty-seven per cent of digital workers in India said emerging technologies such as machine
learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) are increasing their effectiveness.
Nirmala Sitharaman attended virtual 2nd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meet
• Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman attended the virtual session
of the 2nd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting.
• The meet was conducted under the presidency of Saudi Arabia. Its objective was to discuss the
global economic outlook amid COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
IMF predicted GDP Growth for Asia in 2020 at 0%; Global GDP to contract by 3% in 2020
• International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted Asia’s GDP growth in 2020 at 0%. It has also said
that this is much better than other regions.
• The global GDP prediction in 2020 is minus 3% (contraction by 3 %.)
• In its report, IMF has positioned India as the fastest-growing emerging economies of the world.
Only two countries will have positive growth, one is India at1.9% and other is China with 1.2%.
(This is for year 2020).
Asia to stall at 0% growth in 2020 for 1st time in 60 years: IMF
• International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) report titled ‘COVID-19 Pandemic and the Asia-Pacific
Region: Lowest Growth Since the 1960s’ stated that Asia will stall at 0% growth in 2020 for the
1st time in 60 years which includes the Global Financial Crisis (4.7%) and the Asian Financial Crisis
RBI Cut Reverse Repo Rate by 25 bps to 3.75%; Announces TLTRO 2.0 with Rs 50,000 Crore
• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das took several important decisions to
ensure adequate liquidity in the system to ease the financial stress caused by the Covid-19
Key Decisions
• RBI has slashed the Reverse Repo rate by 25 basis points to 3.75%.
• The repo rate has been kept unchanged at 4.40%.
• RBI has also announced the launch of (Targeted Long Term Repo Operation) TLTRO 2.0 to
address the liquidity needs of the NBFCs and microfinance institutions
• TLTRO 2.0 will be undertaken in tranches, with an amount of Rs 50,000 crore to begin with.
• The Banks availing these funds will be required to deploy the same within one month and should
be invested in investment grade bonds, commercial paper, and non-convertible debentures of
NBFCs with at least 50 percent of the total amount availed going to midsized NBFCs and MFIs
• A special re-financing facility of Rs 50,000 crore has also been announced for financial institutions like Nabard (25,000 cr), National Housing Bank (10,000 cr) and Sidbi (15,000 cr).
• The Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) requirement of scheduled commercial banks has been
brought down from 100 percent to 80 percent with immediate effect. This will help banks to
have more capitals to deploy in the market.
• This requirement shall be gradually restored back in two phases, i.e. 90 percent by October 1,
2020 and 100 percent by April 1, 2021.
• The ways and means advances (WMA) limit has been increased by 60 per cent over and above
the level as on March 31, 2020. This increased limit will be available till September 30, 2020.
• All accounts for which banks grant moratorium or deferment, and which were standard as on
March 1, 2020, the 90-day NPA norm shall exclude the moratorium period i.e. there would be an
asset classification standstill for all such accounts from March 1, 2020 to May 31, 2020.
• Banks will also have to maintain higher provision of 10 percent on all such accounts under the
standstill over two quarters, i.e., March, 2020 and June, 2020 to ensure that they maintain
sufficient buffers and remain adequately provisioned to meet future challenges.
Goldman Sachs downgraded India from ‘overweight’ to ‘marketweight’
• Goldman Sachs has downgraded its stance on the Indian market from ‘overweight’ to
‘marketweight’ due to “delayed recovery and extended valuations.”
• Golman Sachs says that the domestic equities could underperform, unless India unleashes a big
stimulus package.
Mascot for Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games unveiled – “Feifei”
• The 4th Asian Para Games will be held from October 09-15, 2022 in Hangzhou, China.
• “Feifei” is the official mascot of Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games. It is inspired by the motif of
the ‘Divine Bird’ in the Liangzhu Culture.
• The two fei has a distinct meaning. The first ‘fei’ means the birds flying. Which implies
inclusiveness, respect, and fraternity of human society. And the second ‘fei’ represents the
mental tenacity of the athletes with disabilities pursuing dreams and reaching beyond
Laver Cup Tennis Tournament Postponed to 2021 due to French Open Cash
• The fourth edition of the Laver Cup has been postponed from September 2020 to 2021 due to
schedule conflicts with other tennis events caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
• The tournament was originally scheduled to be held from Sep 25-27 in 2020 in Boston.
• However, the French Open tennis tournament has been shifted from May 2020 to September
2020, and therefor Laver Cup has been shifted to September 24-26, 2021.
• Rohit Sharma has been appointed as the brand ambassador of ‘CricKingdom’ which is a cricket
academy based in Dubai.
• World chess champion Viswanathan Anand has joined WWF World Wide Fund (WWF) India as its
ambassador for the environment education programme.
• P. K. Purwar, the chairman and managing director of BSNL has been given the additional charge as
CMD of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited.
• International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) president Tamas Ajan has resigned from the post in
the wake of allegations of corruption and doping violations against him.
• Credit Analysis and Research Limited (CARE) Rating appointed Ajay Mahajan as Managing Director
(MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company.
• Paytm, a major digital payment system and financial service platform, appoints Vineet Arora as
the Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Paytm General Insurance Limited
• Tribal leader and former Odisha Minister Saharai Oram passed away.
• Freedom fighter R V Bhuskute, who had participated in the Quit India Movement, has passed
• Former American football defensive player, Willie Davis, passed away.
• Veteran film, television and theatre actor Ranjit Chowdhry passed away.
• Former Pakistani first-class cricketer Zafar Sarfraz passed away after contracting the novel
World Hemophilia Day: April 17
• World Hemophilia Day is an international day held annually on April 17 to raise awareness for
hemophilia and other bleeding disorders and bring understanding and attention for proper care
for these rare inherited bleeding disorders community.
• The theme of World Hemophilia Day 2020 is “Get+involved”.
International Day for Monuments and Sites: 18 April
• The International Day for Monuments and Sites (World Heritage Day) is observed on 18 April each
year to promote awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage of humanity, their
vulnerability and the efforts required for their protection and conservation.
• Theme 2020- Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility.
• A book titled “Shuttling to the Top: The Story of P V Sindhu” authored by Krishnaswamy V was
published by HarperCollins in Amazon digital platform along with other two books, amid the
lockdown due to Coronavirus.
• According to the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) World Ranking 2020 of senior male
players, India’s table tennis star Achanta Sharath Kamal has become the top-ranked player at 31st
position with 6460 points by beating Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (who slipped one place to number
32). The list has been topped by Fan Zhendong of China with 17915 points.
• The new species of green pit viper discovered in Arunachal Pradesh by a team of researchers was
named Salazar’s pit viper after Salazar Slytherin, a fictional character in J.K Rowling’s book series
“Harry Potter”.
• Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India (GOI) has created an
integrated geospatial platform from the available geospatial datasets, standards-based services
and analytic tools which helps in decision making during the present COVID-19 outbreak and
supports area-specific strategies to handle the socio-economic impact in the recovery phase.
• The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, has launched
farmer friendly mobile application ‘Kisan Rath’ with tagline “Kisan ka apna Vahan” to facilitate the
movement of crops.
• The State Bank of India’s (SBI) Eco wrap report estimated India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
growth may fall to 1.1% in FY21 from its earlier projections of 2.6%, with the likelihood of 1st
quarter growth contracting 6% or more and 2nd quarter witnessing no growth due to the impact
of the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
• Tata AIA becomes the 1st Life Insurance company in India to announce additional benefits for its
policyholders & agents so as to support them during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
• An international team of scientists led by the University of Birmingham in the UK (United
Kingdom) and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in the US (United States), have
observed the biggest supernova (stellar explosion) named SN2016aps.
• The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in a 1st of its study in collaboration with a team of scientists from the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, have found the presence of different kind of ‘Bat coronavirus’ (BtCoV) from 25 bats in 2 Indian bat species namely, Pteropus (Indian Flying Fox) and Rousettus (old world fruit bats).

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