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International Current Affairs April 3rd Week 2020

UNODC has launched a series of online dialogs with the students:

In India, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) initiated a series of "Lockdown Learners` online dialogs with students and educators" The series covers COVID-19 and its effect on Goals for Sustainable Development (SDG), stability and the rule of law. The dialogs were initiated by the United Nations agency under its "Learning for Justice" flagship programme.
The program aims at educating students about vulnerable community problems and emerging issues such as cybercrime, misinformation, gender-based abuse, sexism, corruption among others.
♦ The Lockdown Learners series will provide students with a forum to obtain mentoring and encouragement of knowledge through activity-based learning, and use their talent and skills.
♦ The day also raises understanding and shares suggestions and strategies for tackling some of these problems.
♦ Educational services were shared with partner schools in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, under the initiative.
♦ This also focuses on organizing convened meetings with hundreds of students and educators, Samarth Pathak, South Asia`s Communications Officer at UNODC.
♦ The initiative called on schools to support the efforts of UNODC to create a supportive environment for students to be active and engaged during the lockdown era, alleviate tension through constructive messaging, and empower youth.
♦ The initiative`s items include free-to-use instructional content, comics, board and online games, cartoon series The Zorbs, and other modules and videos. Teachers and students at home will use this to build an appreciation of harmony and the rule of law.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC):
Established on: 1997
Headquarters: Vienna, Austria
UNODC functions under the United Nations Development Group. It addresses a coordinated, crime prevention and criminal justice, comprehensive response to the interrelated issues of illicit trafficking in and abuse of drugs, international terrorism, and political corruption.
UNCTAD cancels debts owed by developed countries from USD 1 trillion:
In the spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has canceled more than $1 trillion in debt owing by developing countries. It aims to help them tackle the impact of the pandemic coronavirus.
♦ UNCTAD report noted that more than 64 low-income countries are actually spending more on debt servicing than their health systems. Debt has become unavoidable for developing nations, contributing in particular to the COVID-19 pandemic.
♦ UNCTAD projected financing and liquidity needs to be at least $2.5 trillion because of the pandemic quantities.
♦ Developing high-income nations have debt servicing commitments between $2 trillion and $2.3 trillion in 2020 and 2021. UNCTAD also said middle and low-income countries had debt service commitments ranging from $700 billion to $1.1 trillion.
♦ The G20 countries have earlier reserved $8 trillion in funding for their own economies. The G20 nations decided to delay contributions by the world`s poorest countries for bilateral debt service by the end of 2020.

National Current Affairs April 3rd Week 2020

CSIR-IGIB develops FELUDA, an affordable coronavirus screen for pathogen detection: 

`Feluda` has been developed by scientists from the Council of Science & Industrial Research-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), a low-cost coronavirus test for pathogen detection. No expensive machines will be needed.
♦ In the stories of legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray the tool `Feluda` was named after the detective character.
♦ Debojyoti Chakraborty and Souvik Maiti created the Test. This method is supposed to be a simplified way to detect the presence of SARS-coV2 in the clinical samples.
♦ The start of the test method is similar to the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in real time, where the ribonucleic acid (RNA) is extracted and transformed into DNA.
♦ But the newly established approach varies by using a particular PCR reaction to amplify a portion of the sequence of viral nucleic acids. Following this, FnCAS9, a highly specific CRISPR, binds to the sequence which can be interpreted as a positive unit. CRISPR, FnCAS9 were developed at IGIB.
♦ The system uses fluorescent reporters for the amplification and detection of presence of viral nucleic acid.
♦ The total test time needed is less than an hour.
♦ Implementation of the system includes costly Real-Time PCR machines at specialist sites.
♦ Following positive validation by regulatory agencies, it will allow the test to be carried out in local path laboratories that do not have expensive real-time PCR machines, but simple cheap thermal blocks used for traditional PCR.
CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) was established in 1977. The primary focus is on integrative biology. It aims to translate concepts developed in basic biological research to commercially viable technologies for the utilization of health care across the country. It functions under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
CCMB, IGIB implement software surveillance to track and regulate the spread of COVID-19:
The Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and the Institute of Genetics and Integrated Biology (IGIB) are currently improving automated and molecular surveillance of the spread of novel coronavirus in order to understand the effects of genetics, epidemiology and disease.
♦ The control center will be set up at IGIB where all the labs, testing centers and hospitals can share their data by cloud sharing.
♦ The surveillance will be carried out at three stages, namely the patient`s virus, and the patient`s clinical path.
♦ Virus-level control applies to the Virus genome. CCMB plays a significant role for this, because it will include sequences of the genomes.
♦ The second part deals with the medical info, which is descriptions of the clinical samples patients testing.
♦ Third, the specifics of the clinical course will be clinical care data or data from hospitals which lead to outcomes. Some patients require ventilators while others will recover on their own.
♦ The data to be connected to the Aarogya Setu app will be used by GoI. The aim is to provide the maximum number of people with the benefits.

Science & Technology Current Affairs April 3rd Week 2020

ARI researchers develop microreactor that produces uniform nanoparticles:

Scientists at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) have developed a microreactor capable of generating large quantities of uniform nanoparticles. A problem faced by the biomedical sector has been the development of a standardized size of nanoparticles. This discovery would act as a significant prerequisite for biomedical technology.


♦ Metal, semiconductor, and polymer nanoparticles could be synthesized by the microreactor through the continuous active flow microreactor. 

♦ The microreactor has parameters such as reactant concentration, flow rate, agitation, temperature of the reaction, and time. It can determine the size and distribution of Nanoparticles.

♦ They further developed a mathematical equation that used dimensional analysis to accurately predict process parameters to achieve true monodispersity.

♦ This method will generate nanoparticles of any size using gold and silver, cadmium-telluride, chitosan, alginate and hyaluronic acid with a coefficient of variation below 5 per cent.

♦ The new approach to solving the nanomaterial`s monodispersity paradox can be extended to other chemical reactions, where strict control of the dynamics of the reaction is crucial.

SCTIMST creates an innovative RNA processing kit named Chitra Magna:

Chitra Magna, an advanced RNA extraction package, was created by the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) to isolate RNA from swabs for COVID-19 studies.

Chitra Magna:

The causative COVID-19 pandemic virus SARS-COV-2 is an RNA virus. It is a long single-stranded polymeric substance present in all living cells which carries the life-needed organism genetic information. One of the crucial steps in identifying this virus is to check that the virus RNA is present in the sample obtained from the throat or nose. The sample collected is transported under specified conditions in a viral transport medium to the testing laboratory.

The package procedure uses magnetic nanoparticles to extract the RNA from the patient sample and to concentrate it. The magnetic nanoparticle beads bind to the viral RNA and give a highly purified and concentrated amount of RNA if exposed to a magnetic field. The yield of the PCR or LAMP test depends on having a appropriate amount of viral RNA. The breakthrough would also raise the chances of identifying positive cases. The Institute has filed for a patent for this technology, which is simpler than in imported kits.

Chitra Magna can be used not only for LAMP testing but also for RT-PCR testing, to extract high purity RNA from patient samples. The first move to isolate high quality, high RNA concentration without degradation is crucial to the outcome of the PCR or LAMP test in which RNA is converted to DNA.

This will address the non-availability of kits which have often become a severe bottleneck for large numbers of RT-PCR testing across the world.



Science & Technology Current Affairs April 2nd Week 2020

DST funds INST Mohali machine generated nanomaterials:

Researchers at the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), Mohali have made computer-based designs of superhigh piezoelectric nano-materials. For many applications, such as ultrathin, next-generation nano-transistors, it can be the building blocks of futuristic nanoelectronics.
Super High piezoelectricity:
♦ The induction of superhigh out-of-plane piezoelectricity through stacking one monolayer over the other in the 2D nanostructure was demonstrated.
♦ The induction is based on two-dimensional van der Waals heterostructure (vdWH) consisting of 2D monolayers.
♦ Piezoelectricity is the generation of electricity in certain materials by applying pressure. The applications of piezoelectricity have eased the daily lives through the use of lighters, pressure gauges, sensors and so on.
♦ The research is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under Nanomission and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). 
♦ The research will meet the growing demand for superfast ultrathin nanodevices and nano transistors. It is expected to show the future of nano-electronics.

Business & Economy Current Affairs April 2nd Week 2020

CCI approved JSW Energy Limited to acquire GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited

India`s Competition Commission (CCI) has approved the acquisition by acquirer JSW Energy Limited of GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited, the goal. The purchase was made on 7 April, in compliance with Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.
As per the move, JSW Energy Limited acquires the 100% shareholding of the GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited. JSW has a power generation capacity of 4,541 MW comprising of a portfolio of thermal (3,140 MW), hydro (1,391 MW) and solar (10 MW).
GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited is engaged in the generation of power through its coal-based thermal power plant at Kamalanga village, Odisha.
JSW Energy Limited:
Founded: 1994
Headquarters: Mumbai, India
Chairman: Sajjan Jindal
JSW Energy is in various areas of power including Generation, Transmission, and Trading. The operational generating capacity of JSW Energy is 5681 MW. The products of the company include Electricity Generation and transmission, Hydroelectricity, energy trading, Mining, Power Plant Equipment Manufacturing.

Defence Current Affairs April 2nd Week 2020

IAF provides medical at COVID-19 lockdown:

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has received ongoing support in the war against Coronavirus through the provision of medical supplies to all the country states. Medical supplies are transported to equip the state governments/Union Territories (UTs) and supporting agencies to combat the contagion effectively and efficiently.
IAF Measures:
♦ IAF has provided essential medical supplies and commodities from nodal points to Manipur, Nagaland, and Gangtok in the North-Eastern region and the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. 
♦ An-32 aircraft of IAF airlifted personnel and 3500 kg of medical equipment of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) from Chennai to Bhubaneshwar for setting up testing labs and facilities in Odisha.
♦ IAF has allocated aircraft at nodal points to airlift medical supplies and equipment at short notice to proactively support operations against COVID-19.
Founded on: 8 October 1932
Headquarters: New Delhi
Commander-in-Chief: President Ram Nath Kovind
Chief of the Air Staff (CAS): Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria
Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS): Air Marshal Harjit Singh Arora
IAF is a part of the Indian Armed Forces. IAF is responsible to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during armed conflict.
Home Minister directed BSF to tighten vigil along Pakistan, Bangladesh borders:
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has directed the Border Security Force (BSF) to strengthen vigilance along the Indian borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, especially in India`s non-fenced areas. The Minister has checked the security of the two borders. The switch comes in the face of outspread coronavirus.
At these two sides, the BSF staff is directed to ensure that no cross-border movement occurs. The Ministry is to ensure that the current lockdown on coronavirus is implemented.
Formed on: 1 December 1965
Headquarters: New Delhi, India
Minister responsible: Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs
Director-General: V K Johri
BSF is one of the seven Central Armed Police Forces of India. It is responsible to guard India`s land border during peacetime and prevent transnational crime at the same, it has various active roles during an outbreak of war. BSF functions under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Memorandum of Understanding Current Affairs April 2nd Week 2020

IIL partners with the University of Griffith, Australia to develop coronavirus vaccine:

Indian Immunologicals (IIL), a vaccine maker, collaborated with Australia`s Griffith University to do research and create a COVID-19 vaccine. In this respect the two organizations have signed a agreement.
♦ Under the partnership Scientists from India and Australia will develop a `live attenuated SARS–CoV-2 vaccine` using the latest codon deoptimization technology.
♦ IIL stated that the technology looks promising for developing a vaccine for prophylactic, active, single-dose immunization against novel coronavirus in humans, with an enhanced safety profile. 
♦ The vaccine is expected to provide long-lasting protection with a single dose administration with an anticipated safety profile similar to other licensed vaccines for active immunization.
♦ Upon the completion of the research, the vaccine strain will be transferred to ILL. It will work with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), to conduct clinical trials. IIL intends to use its Vero cell platform tech for mass production of the vaccine.
♦ IIL is promoted by the National Dairy Development Board. It is committed to addressing critical public health needs by engaging in this collaboration.

Sports Current Affairs April 2nd Week 2020

UEFA put all international matches on hold

UEFA has postponed all of the international matches moved back to June for further notice. The decision was taken after consultations about how to change the fixture calendar in the face of the current coronavirus epidemic in Europe`s 55 member federations.
UEFA`s announcement:
♦ The postponed matches include the play-off matches for UEFA Euro 2020 and qualifying matches for UEFA Women`s Euro 2021. 
♦ It has also postponed all the UEFA competition matches, including the centralized international friendly matches. 
♦ The matches will be held when the countries return to normality. Friendly matches that were postponed include England`s matches in Austria, Champions League final, Europa League final.
Union of European Football Associations (UEFA):
Formed on: 15 June 1954
Founded at: Basel, Switzerland
Headquarters: Nyon, Switzerland
President: Aleksander Ceferin
First vice-president: Karl-Erik Nilsson
Membership: 55 full member associations
It is one of 6 continental confederations of world football`s governing body FIFA.
IOC sets a new deadline for Tokyo Olympics qualification duration:
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that the new deadline for the Tokyo Olympics qualification period was set for 29 June 2021. The decision was taken after consulting with the Members of the National Olympic Committee (NOC), the Secretary General and Chef de Missions, the Director of Solidarity and NOC Relations at the IOC.
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tokyo Olympics was rescheduled for holding in 2021. The new deadline for the sport entries has now been set for 5 July 2021. The committee also announced that the revision of the qualifications systems will be finalized soon to give certainty to athletes and NOCs.
International Olympic Committee:
Type: Sports Federation
Formed on: 23 June 1894
Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland
Honorary President: Jacques Rogge
President: Thomas Bach



International Current Affairs April 2nd Week 2020

Lupin launched medicine used to prevent rejection of organs in kidney transplants in the US:

Drug maker Lupin is releasing generic delayed-release Mycophenolic acid tablets on the US market. The drug is used in patients undergoing kidney transplants to avoid organ rejection.


♦ The tablets Mycophenolic acid delayed-release tablets are of strengths 180 mg and 360 mg.

♦ The drug is the generic version of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation`s Myfortic delayed-release tablets.

♦ Lupin`s alliance partner Concord Biotech Ltd has received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) earlier for the product.

♦ The tablets are indicated for prophylaxis of organ rejection in adult patients receiving kidney transplants and in pediatric patients at least 5 years of age and older who are at least 6 months post kidney transplant.

Amazon to set up coronavirus testing lab for its employees:

Amazon is building a lab that will enable it to test employees for the COVID-19 virus. The move by the online retailer is to protect its delivery employees and delivery drivers who are getting essential products to customers sheltering at home. For this, the company has assigned a team of scientists, software engineers and procurement specialists to build a lab that will test the small numbers of front line employees soon.

Amazon remained open through the pandemic. It has announced plans to hire more employees as the people order online to get essentials without leaving their homes. The company is trying to get government permits to set up the lab. The company plans to test only the employees of the company. The company aims to set up regular testing of its employees to help keep people safe.


Founded on: 5 July 1994

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington DC, United States

Founder & CEO: Jeff Bezos

CTO: Werner Vogels

The American multinational technology company focuses on e-commerce, digital streaming, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence (AI).

USD 2.9 million was announced to India to fight COVID-19 outbreak:

The US government has announced a 2.9 million dollar grant to India. The fund was published by the United States government through the United States Agency for International Development assistance program (USAID).


♦ The aim is to help India in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic. It is expected that the assistance will further support India`s response to COVID- 19. 

♦ The US government is working closely with India through USAID, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other relevant agencies to support India`s response to the pandemic. 

♦ The new grant is added to the $1.4 billion which was provided by the US in health assistance, and nearly $3 billion in total assistance, that the US has provided to India over the last 20 years. 

♦ The new funds will support the USAID`s health strengthening project which was implemented by Jhpiego, an international non-profit health organization, which is affiliated with Johns Hopkins University.


Formed on: 3 November 1961

Headquarters: Washington, D.C., US

USAID is a non-profit organization of the US government. It is responsible to administer civilian foreign aid and development assistance.




Important Days Current Affairs April 2nd Week 2020

National Maritime Day is celebrated in India on 5 April

The National Maritime Day is celebrated in India on 5 April. The day generates awareness of promoting intercontinental trade and the global economy as the most well-organized, safe and environmentally friendly solution to moving goods from one place to another in the world.
The theme for the 57th National Maritime Day is "Sustainable shipping for a Sustainable Earth" which aims to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. The theme also emphasizes the work being done by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its Member States to achieve the targets.
National Maritime Day is being observed since 1964. On 5 April 1919, navigation history was created in India, when SS Loyalty, the first ship of The Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd travelled to the United Kingdom from Mumbai. The move was very important to Indian shipping history when sea routes were controlled by the British. The transaction marked a red-letter day in the maritime history of India. This day is celebrated to spread awareness in supporting intercontinental commerce and the global economy.
11 April: National Healthy Motherhood Day:
On April 11 National Healthy Motherhood Day was observed. The day aims to raise awareness among pregnant and lactating women about the proper treatment of women and maternity facilities. The day also seeks to disseminate information about women`s health services. India was the first country in the world to formally recognize a National Day of Healthy Motherhood.
National Safe Motherhood Day (NSMD) initiative was started by the White Ribbon Alliance India (WRAI). The day was designated to provide women with various healthcare programs during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal services. The first NSMD was observed in 2003. The day also coincides with the birth anniversary day of Kasturba Gandhi. 
White Ribbon Alliance India (WRAI):
Formed on: 1999
Executive Director: Betsy McCallon
WRAI aims to reduce maternal and newborn death globally. The organization upholds the right of all women to be safe and healthy before, during and after childbirth.
World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April:
World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April every year. The day aims to create awareness of health to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization. The day honors the contribution of nurses and midwives and recognizes their vital role in keeping the world healthy.
World Health Day is marked by the World Health Organization (WHO) and many other organizations. The day aims to spread awareness around maintaining good health and a balanced lifestyle.
Significance of Nurses and Midwives:
WHO states that a strengthened workforce of nurses and midwives can only ensure that everyone gets the healthcare they need. They can help the countries to achieve their national and global targets related to universal health coverage, maternal and child health, infectious and non-communicable diseases including emergency preparedness and response, mental health, patient safety and the delivery of integrated, people-centered care, among others.
World Health Day marks the inception of the World Health Day campaign at the First Health Assembly in 1948. It took effect in 1950. The campaign was initiated with the motive of promoting awareness about physical and mental health and offer the necessary support. It also focuses to make people understand the importance of universal health coverage. 
Coronavirus pandemic:
During a difficult time, thousands of nurses have left their comfort and safety to fight the COVID-19 crisis and help those infected or suspected of coronavirus. On this day, WHO called for people to extend their gratitude and support nurses and midwives across the world. The WHO has named 2020 as the `International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife`.

National Current Affairs April 2nd Week 2020

CSIF to Provide its staff with COVID-19 security equipment and healthcare paraphernalia:

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is to provide its more than 40,000 workers with COVID-19 security equipment and sanitary paraphernalia. CISF staff will have near physical contact with passenger lakhs once the airports and re-start operations on the Delhi Metro.

CSIF measures:

The CISF is taking many anti-coronavirus steps to secure its soldiers. The move comes after two of Mumbai`s CSIF workers have tested positive for the COVID-19 infection. CSIF has upgraded beds in 349 isolation wards units to accommodate more staff when necessary.


Formed on: 10 March 1969

Headquarters: New Delhi, India

Minister responsible: Amit Shah, Union Home Minister

Director-General of CISF: Rajesh Ranjan

CSIF functions under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. It covers around 300 industrial units, government infrastructure projects and facilities and establishments located all over India. It is a unique organization in paramilitary forces for India.

NITI Aayog recommended to farmers relaxing mandi requirements for 6 months:

NITI Aayog, a policy think tank, has proposed that the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act be held in suspended animation for the next six months in view of COVID-19. Member and agricultural policy expert Ramesh Chand moved the NITI Aayog Recommendation. It also recommended that it should be done across states even if an ordinance is required.The step is aimed at relieving the burden on farmers and ensuring a smooth supply of agricultural goods.


♦ The APMC Act will empower the state governments to specify market areas that are operated and regulated by market committees. The market area is where farmers bring their produce for sale. 

♦ Any relaxation in the provisions of the Act will have to be done through state governments. 

♦ The recommendation also included that the farmers be allowed to take processed or cleaned up produce directly to the warehouse. Earlier, the farmers brought the produce to the mandi.

APMC Act 2003:

The wholesaling of agricultural produce is governed by the Agricultural Produce Marketing Acts of various State governments in India. The APMC Act empowers the state governments to notify the commodities, and designate markets and market areas where the regulated trade takes place. It provides for the formation of APMC that is responsible for the operation of the markets.

The APMC act aims to develop the efficiency of the marketing system and promote agri-processing and agricultural exports. 

Amitabh Kant Chairs Empowered Committee to review the coordination of COVID-19 related response activities among various stakeholders:

Amitabh Kant Chairs Empowered Committee to review the coordination of COVID-19 related response activities among various stakeholders. The committee constituted of members namely Vikram Doraiswami, (AS, MEA); Dr. Vijayaraghavan, PSA; Kamal Kishore (Member, NDMA); Sandeep Mohan Bhatnagar (Member, CBIC); Anil Malik (AS, MHA); P. Harish (AS, MEA); Gopal Baglay (JS, PMO); Aishvarya Singh (DS, PMO); Tina Soni (DS, Cabinet Secretariat);  and the work of EG6 is serviced by Sanyukta Samaddar (Adviser, SDG, NITI Aayog).


♦ The meeting discussed the issues faced and the expectations of the government.

♦ It aimed to formulated plans with three groups of stakeholders namely:

1) The UN agencies, World Bank, Asian Development Bank

2) Civil Society Organisations and development partners

3) Industry associations namely Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India  (ASSOCHAM), NASSCOM

♦ The committee appealed to over 92000 NGOs/ CSOs registered on the Darpan portal of NITI Aayog. The committee directed them to provide assistance to the government in identifying hotspots and deputing volunteers and caregivers to deliver services to the elderly, persons with disabilities (PwDs), children, transgender persons, and other vulnerable groups. It also directed them to create awareness about social distancing, prevention, isolation, and combating COVID-19 and provide shelter to homeless, daily wage workers, and urban poor families.

♦ It discussed all the proactive measures taken by the government to combat COVID-19.

Essential facilities, medicines provided by Swasth ke Sipahi under PMBJP in patients `doorstep:

During the nationwide lockdown, Swasth ke Sipahi pharmacists at Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendra (PMJAK) provide critical services and medicines at the doorstep of patients and the elderly under Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP).

Swasth ke Sipahi:

♦ The pharmacist is working as part of PMJAK. Currently, they are extending essential services by making available quality generic medicines at affordable prices to the common people of the country and the elderly persons at their doorstep to fight the Corona pandemic. 

♦ Swasth ke Sipahi is supporting the government`s initiative of practicing social distancing.


PMJAKs are being run by the Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India. The main objective of PMJAK is to provide quality and affordable healthcare to anyone in need. Currently, more than 6300 PMJAKs are functioning across the nation, covering 726 districts of the country.  


Important Days Current Affairs April 1st Week 2020

International Mine Awareness Day observed on 4 April:

International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance is observed on April 4 each year. 
To raise awareness about landmines and progress toward their eradication.
United Nations (UN) General Assembly declared that April 4 of each year would be officially proclaimed and observed as International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. It was first observed on April 4, 2006. According to the Landmine Monitor Report 2005, 84 countries were affected by landmines and unexploded ordnance, which together kill or maim between 15,000 and 20,000 adults and children annually. The UN works together with countries to find and destroy these devices. It also helps to provide various mine-action services in many countries.




Science & Technology Current Affairs April 1st Week 2020

SpaceX released its Starship rocket User Guide:

SpaceX launched its giant Starship rocket, a Users Guide. The paper will provide a brief description of the rocket designed to transport humans, payloads, satellites and cargo to a range of orbits and landing sites on Earth, Lunar, or Martian.
Users Guide for Starship rocket:
♦ The guide gives a brief overview of SpaceX and about the program itself.
♦ The guide gives information about payload configurations and mechanical interfaces. 
♦ It contains a comparison that is drawn between crewed and uncrewed configurations. 
♦ In its current configuration, Starship can transport up to 100 people from Earth into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and on to the Moon and Mars.
♦ SpaceX is to develop cargo and crewed variants of Starship which can accommodate 100 passengers. 
♦ The guide also laid out some specifications, including details about payload capacity, launch, and landing.
Founded on: 6 May 2002
Headquarters: Hawthorne, California
Founder, CEO & CTO: Elon Musk
President & COO: Gwynne Shotwell
SpaceX, so far, has developed many launch vehicles and the Dragon spacecraft.




Sports Current Affairs April 1st Week 2020

First-time Wimbledon championship since World War II:

To the coronavirus pandemic, Wimbledon organizers postponed the Wimbledon Championships by 2020. The first match was set to start on June 29, 2020. This cancelation has happened for the first time since 1945 since World War II. The decision by the organizers to cancel the tournament was widely expected, with the world struggling to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Wimbledon Championships 2020:
Founded on: 1877
Editions: 134 (2020)
Location: Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom
Venue of  the game: The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Surface Grass outdoors
Prize money: £34,000,000 (2018).
Official mascots of 19th Asian Games unveiled in Hangzhou China:
The official mascots of the 19th Asian Games released at a digital launch ceremony in Hangzhou, China. The three robots, which are going to be the mascots for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, are collectively known as the smart triplets. The Mascots - Congcong, Lianlian, and Chenchen, which reflect the internet prowess of Hangzhou city and Zhejiang province, were unveiled at a digital ceremony in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olympic Council of Asia
The Olympic Council of Asia`s 19th Asian Games will take place in Hangzhou from September 10 to 25, 2022. The third Asian Games will be hosted by China following Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010, with the participation of 45 NOCs of Asia in 42 sports.
Headquarters: Kuwait City, Kuwait
Founded: November 16, 1982
Membership: 45 National Olympic Committees




Awards Current Affairs April 1st Week 2020

The winners of the Adhunik Gram programme, Indigram:

A leading agri-tech focused incubator Indigram Labs Foundation has announced the winners of its smart village program `Adhunik Gram`,
♦ The winner of the program was Indus Till FarmeTech Pvt. Ltd. The firm was awarded a cash prize of Rs.1 Lakh. 
♦ The first runner up was Urdhvam Environmental Technologies Pvt. Ltd. It was awarded a cash prize of Rs.50,000 and the second runner up was Impagro farming solutions Pvt. Ltd. which won a cash prize of Rs.30,000. 
♦ It received over 120 applications of which 14 start-ups were shortlisted and 11 start-ups presented on demo day. 
Adhunik Gram:
♦ Adhunik Gram is an initiative to empower agribusiness in rural India. The program was launched in September 2019. The program was launched with support from NABARD. 
♦ The program aimed not only to help the people in the rural area to earn a very basic livelihood but for the upliftment of the rural economy as a whole. The program aims to adopt a balanced approach to maintain a balance between rural and urban quality of life.
♦ It is also expected that policies, tools, and instruments should deliver valuable building blocks for `Smart Villages`. The mission of the program is "A Better Life in Rural Areas".
♦ So far, the program has achieved significant outcomes for the selected start-ups to address agricultural and rural development issues in rural India in collaboration with farmers, Cooperatives, Government and private Institutions.




Defence Current Affairs April 1st Week 2020

Naval Dockyard creates low-cost screening system:

Naval Dockyard (ND), Mumbai has developed its own Infrared Radiation (IR)-based handheld temperature sensor to screen people at gates. The meaning should screen a large number of Naval staff at the yard`s entrance gates the the load on the gate`s safety sentries.
IR-based temperature sensor:
♦ The instrument was manufactured under Rs.1000 through in-house resources.
♦ The accuracy of the instrument is 0.02 deg Celsius. 
♦ The non-contact thermometer has an IR and an LED display integrated with a microcontroller that runs on a 9V battery. 
♦ The instrument will screen a large number of Naval personnel at the entry gates of the yard thereby reducing the load on the security sentries at the gate.
♦ The low-cost instrument has the capability to scale up production of these if required towards which sourcing of the components is in progress.
Over 20,000 personnel enter the premises of the Naval Dockyard of Western Naval Command (WNC) every day. Inorder to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the yard and the Western Fleet, initial screening of the Navy personnel who enter the dockyard was very important.
The primary method to screen a probable COVID-19 infected person/patient is to check the body temperature by a non-contact thermometer. In the view of the COVID-19 outbreak, the non-contact thermometers and temperature guns have become scarce and are being sold at a very high cost in the country. In order to overcome the scarcity and requirement of large numbers, ND has designed and developed its own handheld IR based temperature sensor.






International Current Affairs April 1st Week 2020

UNSC conducting a virtual coronavirus outbreak meeting:

Under the presidency of the Dominican Republic, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is to hold a virtual meeting for the first time by next week. The council is planning to address the coronavirus pandemic that killed more than 42,000 people worldwide. The Dominican Republic assumed the rotating presidency of the council for the month of April, taking the baton from China.
♦ The meeting will discuss the pandemic caused due to coronavirus.
♦ As per Johns Hopkins University estimate, the confirmed coronavirus cases across the world now stand at over 932,600 and over 42,000 deaths. As per the report, the US has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world at 213,372, followed by Italy (110,574), Spain (104,118) and China (82,361). Over 4,600 people have died in the US so far because of the COVID19. 
♦ Earlier, Dominican Republic presented to members of the Security Council its program of work and informal plan of video teleconferencing (VTCs) for the month of April.
♦ During a virtual pre-council meeting, the members discussed the brought up the COVID-19 pandemic. The Security Council aims to find a solution to the pandemic as the primary responsibility of the UNSC deals with the geopolitical security and peace matters.






National Current Affairs April 1st Week 2020

The Center helps farmers to stop market place using eNAM:

The Government of India (GoI) allowed farmers to directly sell products from farmer organizations (FPO) premises and selected warehouses through the Electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) electronic marketing platform. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar made the announcement on 2 April.The Minister introduced the logistics project directly from FPO centers and warehouses to facilitate the transportation of the product.
♦ The aim of the move is to introduce a major agriculture reform that will decongest market place.
♦ The move by GOI will help farmers to sell produce at remunerative prices near to their farm gate without coming to the market place (mandis). 
♦ The Centre launched the required software facilities to create a direct marketing channel alternative to mandis. 
♦ FPOs and farmers can now use online facilities for transportation that can be tracked. 
♦ It is being planned that eNAM will soon be expanded to 1,000 mandis from the existing 585 mandis across 16 states and two UTs.
Founded on: 14 April 2016
eNAM is an online trading platform for agricultural products in India. It functions under the Ministry of Agriculture, GoI. The Minister responsible for the Agriculture Ministry is Narendra Singh Tomar. The platform aims to facilitate the smooth marketing of their produce.
IISc scientists build prototype indigenous ventilators using local parts:
Indian Institute of Science (IISc) scientists have created an indigenous ventilator of high quality. The idea of circumvent is to Provide in the escalating COVID-19 crisis.
IISc`s ventilator:
♦ The indigenously developed ventilators make use of sensors and parts sourced from the local automotive and RO water filter industries.
♦ The prototype makes use of materials that are readily available and in large numbers such as pressure sensors used in cars and solenoid filter valves in Reverse Osmosis (RO) water filters.
♦ The ventilator uses a pressurized mixture of medical-grade oxygen and compressed air which is mixed using food-grade containers and tubing used in domestic RO water filters. 
♦ A Raspberry Pi computer and a programmable logic controller (PLC) board will control the air pressure, the oxygen composition and flow characteristics.
♦ The ventilator will be developed by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).