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Current Affairs: 19 May 2020
1. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the fifth and final installment of the Self-reliant India Package
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the fifth part of the financial package and policy measures for various sectors under the Self-Reliant India Campaign. This announcement was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the country under a special economic package of ten percent of India’s gross domestic product i.e. 20 million crore rupees.
- These include MNREGA, urban and rural health, education, business, making the Companies Act non-criminal, ease of doing business, policy related to public sector units, state government, and related resources.
The main point of the announcement
- The Finance Minister said that under the MNREGA scheme, another 40 thousand crore rupees will be provided for employment generation. He said that this will help in creating employment of about 300 million working days.
- Making another major announcement, Sitaraman said that the objective of this policy is to allow the private sector in all areas which are needed at this time. He said that the government will formulate a policy for this. He stressed that each strategic sector must have at least one PSU. The Finance Minister said that the maximum number of industries in strategic areas will be limited to four. He informed that the government will soon notify strategic areas in which the presence of PSUs will be required.
- Sitaraman said that the government has raised the debt limit for the states from three percent of the gross state domestic product to five percent. This will increase the resource amount for the states to Rs 4 lakh 28 thousand crores.
- In the context of health reforms and efforts to tackle Kovid-19, he said that public expenditure will be increased and the number of health centers in rural and urban areas will be increased.
- Sitaraman said that facilities and integrated public medical laboratories will be created in all the districts for infectious diseases and investment will be increased for the health sector to deal with epidemics in the future. He informed that the National Digital Health Blue Print will be implemented under the National Digital Health Mission.
- Giving a major relief to micro, small and medium industries, the Finance Minister said that the minimum limit to start the process of declaring bankruptcy will be increased. Earlier it was one lakh rupees, which will now be increased to one crore rupees. This will help small industries in the country. It will be notified soon. He said that the process of declaring bankruptcy in cases related to Kovid-19 will be suspended for one year.
- The Finance Minister said that the PM-E-Vidya program for digital online education will be started soon. It will also include online content and QR code-based books for all classes. Classes of TV channels will be started for each class from classes one to twelfth. Radio and community radio will also be encouraged for this.
- The Finance Minister said that by the 30th of this month, the top one hundred universities will be automatically allowed to start online courses. He informed that psychiatric assistance surrender will be started to keep students, teachers, and their families mentally healthy.
- The Finance Minister said that minor technical and procedural violations to make the Companies Act non-criminal will not be considered a crime, which will reduce the burden of cases in the courts. He said that these reforms would improve India’s preference for ease of doing business. He said that Indian public sector undertakings would be enabled to be listed on foreign stock exchanges.
2. WHO international conference begins amid US-China tensions
The World Health Organization (WHO) conference is going to be held online for the first time. The World Health Organization conference is usually for three weeks, but this time only two days are being held on Monday and Tuesday (18 and 19 May).
- There is a possibility that this time the issue at the conference will be focused only on Kovid-19. More than three lakh people have died due to coronavirus infection and more than 47 lakh people are infected worldwide.
- Representatives of the government, health ministers, and other officials will participate in this conference. WHO Chief Tedros Adhonom Ghebreyesus stated that this conference is one of the most important meetings since the establishment of the WHO in 1948.
Why is the conference important?
- However, the possibility of reaching any consensus globally to deal with this crisis is difficult due to the growing tense relationship between the US and China. US President Donald Trump last week warned of ending relations with China.
- The pandemic emerged from China last year and Trump raised many questions about China’s role in preventing its spread and even went so far as to verify that the virus had come out of China’s laboratory without verified evidence.
- However, despite this tension, countries are hopeful that they will reach a consensus on this. In this regard, the European Union has put forward a resolution and called for an ‘impartial, independent, and comprehensive assessment’ of the steps taken to deal with it internationally.
- Many countries have not even given up on the very controversial questions and have sought reforms in the WHO as countries believe that ‘it does not have enough capacity to prevent such a massive crisis’.
- While Taiwan continued to receive invitations to attend the conference as an observer for many years, it was discontinued in 2016 as Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen recognized the concept of Taiwan as a ‘one China’ Was refused.
- 15 countries including Belize, Guatemala have written to the WHO chief to include the question of Taiwan’s participation in this agenda. However, America is not included in doing so.
World Health Organization
- The World Health Organization was established on 7 April 1948. At the time of the founding of the WHO, its constitution was signed by 61 countries of the world and its first meeting was held on 24 July 1948.
- Its purpose is to raise the level of health of the people of the world. The headquarters of WHO is located in the city of Geneva, Switzerland.
- It is an organization to develop mutual support and standards on the health problems of the countries of the world. The World Health Organization has 194 member countries. India is also a member country of the World Health Organization and its Indian headquarters is located in the capital of India, Delhi. It is a subsidiary unit of the United Nations.
- Doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia is the current director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO).
3. ARCI scientists made naturally degradable advanced metal implants
Scientists from the International Advanced Research Center for Powder Materials and New Materials and the Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences, Thiruvananthapuram, under the Department of Science and Technology, the International Advanced Research Center for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials Combined naturally biodegradable metal implants used in the human body Made an advanced alloy with iron-manganese to make stents.
- This new iron-manganese alloy is suitable for inherently aseptic stent and orthopedic implant applications.
Key Points of Developed Alloys
- Naturally degradable materials (iron, manganese zinc, and polymer) can participate in the therapeutic process and then slowly perish, leaving the body structure intact without leaving any implant residue in the human body.
- These materials are a better alternative to the currently used metal implants that are permanently lying in the human body and gradually lead to side effects such as poisoning, permanent inflammation, and thrombosis.
- The ARCI team has used both traditional melting and powder metallurgy techniques to produce naturally decomposable iron-manganese alloys and stents.
- Iron and manganese alloys Iron-manganese (manganese metal by more than 29 percent in terms of weight) is a reliable naturally decomposable metal implant indicating an MRI-friendly single austenitic face (a non-magnetic form of iron).
- The iron-manganese alloy made at ARCI exhibited 99 percent density with effective mechanical properties and behaved like a non-magnetic material even at a magnetic field of 20 teslas. These properties are comparable to those currently in use with permanent titanium (Ti) and stainless steel metal implants. This alloy also exhibited dissolution rates in the range of 0.14 to 0.026 mm per annum in the synthetic physique. This means that the iron-manganese alloy shows mechanistic aggregation for 3 to 6 months and completely disappears from the body in 12 to 24 months.
- During the disintegration process, the calcium alkali accumulates on the implant due to spatial alkali and calcium and phosphate replenishment, allowing the cells to stick to the surface to form tissue.
4. Section 144 extended for the next three months in Chhattisgarh
The Government of Chhattisgarh has extended the term of Section 144 of the CrPC for the next three months given increasing cases of Coronavirus in the state. Section 144 was implemented in several districts of the state to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection.
- All the district collectors of the state have feared the spread of the coronavirus in the present situation. Keeping this in mind, it has been decided to extend the prohibitory period (Section 144) to three months in the districts.
- Section 144 of the CrPC is imposed to establish peace when there is a possibility of any security-related threat or riots. Section -144 where five or more men cannot gather together in the area where it appears. A notification is issued by the District Collector of the area to implement the clause.
- Internet services can also be stopped from general access after Section 144 is implemented. After the implementation of this section, there is a ban on carrying weapons in that area, however, this is not the purpose now.
- Section-144 cannot be imposed for more than 2 months. If the state government feels that it is needed to avert the threat of human life or to avoid any riots, then its duration can be extended, but even in this situation, more than six months from the starting date of imposing Section-144 It cannot be planted.
- A case can be registered against any person who is found to be illegally deposited. This can carry a maximum sentence of three years of imprisonment.
- Keep in mind that Section 144 cannot be treated as a curfew. Curfew is imposed in very poor condition. In that case, people are instructed to stay inside their homes for a particular time or period. Market, schools, colleges, etc. are ordered to be closed. Only essential services are allowed to continue. During this time, traffic is also completely banned.
5. High alert issued in Odisha due to Amfan cyclone
- A high alert has been sounded in four districts of Odisha due to the intensification of cyclonic storm-Aman. Apart from this, vigilance has also been increased in eight other districts.
- Cyclonic storms in the south-east and adjoining areas of the Bay of Bengal have intensified to a more severe form.
- According to the Meteorological Department, Amfan is currently located 990 km south of Paradip in Odisha, one thousand one hundred and 40 km southwest of Digha in West Bengal and 1260 km southwest of Khepupada in Bangladesh.
- It is likely to turn into a severe cyclonic storm. The storm is expected to pass between Sagar Diu in West Bengal and Hatha Diu in Bangladesh in mid-May 20.
- Cyclone is the name of a rotating wind. These are the centers of the low pressure, around which the concentric, isobaric lines extend. The pressure decreases from the periphery to the center, resulting in strong winds from the periphery towards the center.
- These winds rotate circularly due to the influence of the Coriolis force. The direction of the cyclone in the northern hemisphere is anticlockwise and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. Depending on the region of origin, there are two types of cyclones –
1) Tropical cyclone – These are atmospheres or storms, which are intense and common in other places in the tropical region. They cause abundant rainfall. They range in diameter from 50 to 1000 miles and have relatively low air pressure. They run at speeds ranging from 20 to 30 miles per hour. These include wind gusts ranging from 90 to 130 mph. They are called Hurricanes in the West Indies and Typhun in China Sea and the Philippines, and Tornado in the US and Willie Willies in Australia.
2) Extratropical cyclone (Temperate cyclones) – It is a low-pressure storm in the middle and high latitudes. Its velocity varies from 20 to 30 mph and winds move spiral. Often it causes snow and rain. They extend more than tropical cyclones, due to these cyclones in India.
6. Bangladeshi doctors claim treatment for coronavirus
- A team of doctors from Bangladesh have claimed to have received treatment for the corona virus. The team, led by Bangladesh’s doctor Mohammad Tariq Alam, tried the combination of the two drugs on corona virus patients and has yielded shocking results.
- His team administered the anti-protozoal drug ‘ivermectin’ and antibiotic ‘doxycycline’ to 60 patients with acute symptoms of corona virus and all of them have recovered.
- The drugs are so effective that the patients are cured within four days. No side effects have been seen in the patients who have tried these drugs in the trial.
- Dr. Alam said that his team is preparing a paper on these drugs so that it can be published in an international journal. He said that this needs to be done for scientific review and approval.
- No treatment has yet been found for the corona virus causing havoc around the world. However, the initial trials of Remedesivir drug of American company ‘Gilead’ have proved positive and this seems to open the initial path.
7. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray sworn in as Member of Legislative Council
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has been elected a member of the Legislative Council. All the candidates elected unopposed have taken the oath of Legislative Council membership. All eyes were on Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in the swearing-in ceremony.
- Uddhav Thackeray is completing his 6-month term as Chief Minister on 27 May but being a member of either House, constitutional crisis arose in Maharashtra. The election due to Corona infection was canceled earlier. Later, in view of the constitutional crisis, it was decided to hold the Legislative Council elections.
- There were only 9 candidates left in 9 seats, after which 4 BJP, 2 NCP, 2 Shiv Sena, 1 Congress members have been elected unopposed out of these 9 seats. Maharashtra’s constitutional crisis has been averted with the swearing of membership of all of them.
Constitutional provisions of State Legislative Council
- The State Legislative Council is not in all the states of India, it is in some of the numbered states of India, as it is located in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.
- However, the states have to decide for the formation / abolition of the Legislative Council, a provision has been made under Article 169 for this.
- According to Article 169, the Legislative Council can be formed / abolished in a state if the State Assembly resolves to this effect by a majority of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly and at least the number of members present and voting. Two-thirds passed by majority.
- Although this type of amendment changes the constitution, it is not considered a constitutional amendment under Article 368.
8. International Peace and Solidarity Day observed on 16 May
- May 16 is observed as International Day of Peace and Solidarity.
- The day was announced by the United Nations in 2017 to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity globally.
- More than a hundred member countries, various regional organizations, religious leaders and more than two hundred civil society groups have supported the observance of the day.
- The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Tijani Muhammad-Bade, said in a message that at this time the world is going through the most challenging crisis since World War II. Kovid-19 is a serious threat to international peace and security, which can lead to increased social unrest and violence.
9. AITA will nominate Ankita and Sharan for Arjuna Award
- The All India Tennis Federation (AITA) will nominate Asian Games medalists Ankita Raina and Divij Sharan for the Arjuna Award while former Davis Cup coach Nandan Bal’s name will be recommended for the Dhyanchand Award.
- Bopanna was the last tennis player to win the Arjuna Award in 2018.
- So far, only three tennis players have been awarded the Dhyanchand Award including Zeeshan Ali (2014), SP Mishra (2015) and Nitin Keertane (2019). No tennis coach has received the Dronacharya Award.
- Ankita (27 years old) won the bronze medal in the women’s category at the 2018 Asian Games, she also performed brilliantly in the Fed Cup and played a key role in qualifying for the World Group Play of India for the first time.
- Ankita did not lose a single match in singles during the 2018 Fed Cup. She has since become India’s best singles player in the WTA and ITF circuits and achieved a career-best singles ranking of 160 in March this year.
- In this year’s Fed Cup, Ankita played eight matches within five days, out of which two singles and three important doubles matches with experienced star player Sania Mirza won which helped India qualify for the play-offs for the first time.
- Delhi player Sharan won the men’s doubles gold with compatriot Rohan Bopanna in Jakarta. He became India’s top doubles player in October 2019 but Bopanna later regained the position.
- The thirty-four-year-old also won two ATP titles in the 2019 season including the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune with Bopanna and the trophy in St. Petersburg with Igor Zelene.
- Nandan Bal (60 years) played in the Davis Cup from 1980 to 1983 and has been the Davis Cup coach of India for many years.
10. Sri Lanka announced to build country’s largest cricket stadium
- The Sri Lankan government has decided to build the country’s largest cricket stadium in Homagama.
- The government, along with Sri Lanka Cricket, has announced that it will build the country’s largest cricket stadium in Homagama, spread over 26 acres and with an audience capacity of 60,000. It will cost $ 300 million.
- It is known that Sri Lanka’s eight cricket stadiums have the following seating arrangements – 10,000 in Kandy, 6,000 in Colombo, 35,000 in Galle, 16,800 in Dambulla, 34,300 in Hambantota, 15,000 in Colombo (P Sara Oval), in Pallekele. 35,000 and 35,000 spectators at the R. Premadasa Colombo Stadium.