DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB -25th March 2020- IASbhai

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IASbhai DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS(THE HINDU+LIVEMINT+PIB)

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.– Michael Jordan

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

MPLADS funds

      HEADLINES:

MPLADS funds may be utilized for COVID-19

      WHY IN NEWS:

MINISTRY?Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:MPLADS

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is important to understand this scheme and the new transformations.

For MAINS these points could fetch you an extra edge in coming MAINS 2020.

      ISSUE: 

As a part of Government’s efforts to contain spread of COVID – 19, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has taken several preventive measures.
It issued a circular granting one-time dispensation for utilizing funds under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) to address the challenges in the fight against COVID-19.

WHAT IS MPLADS ?

The Members of Parliament Local Area Development Division is entrusted with the responsibility of implementation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).

AIM

Each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for works to the tune of Rs.5 Crores per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency.

OBJECTIVE

The Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament can recommend works in one or more districts in the State from where he/she has been elected.

FEATURES

The Ministry has issued the guidelines on MPLADS Scheme including implementation and monitoring of the scheme.

  1. The MPLADS is a Plan Scheme fully funded by Government of India.
  2. MPs are to recommend every year, works costing at least 15 per cent of the MPLADS entitlement for the year for areas inhabited by Scheduled Caste population and 7.5 per cent for areas inhabited by S.T. population.
  3. In order to encourage trusts and societies for the betterment of tribal people, a ceiling of Rs. 75 lakh is stipulated for building assets by trusts and societies subject to conditions prescribed in the scheme guidelines.
  4. Lok Sabha Members can recommend works within their Constituencies and Elected Members of Rajya Sabha can recommend works within the State of Election (with select exceptions).
  5. All works to meet locally felt infrastructure and development needs, with an emphasis on creation of durable assets in the constituency are permissible under MPLADS as prescribed in the scheme guidelines.
  6. Nominated Members of both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha can recommend works anywhere in the country.
  7. Expenditure on specified items of non durable nature are also permitted as listed in the guidelines.

MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT CAN NOW UTILIZE FUNDS UNDER MPLADS FOR THE FOLLOWING:-

  1. Infra-Red thermometers (Non-contact) to enable doctors and medical personnel to record and track a person’s temperature.
  2. Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Kits to keep the medical personnel well-protected and enable them to function efficiently by minimizing the risk of transmission.
  3. Thermal imaging scanners or cameras for railway stations, airports and other points of entry which allow detecting of temperature from a safe distance.
  4. CORONA testing kits approved by M/o Health and Family Welfare
  5. ICU Ventilator and Isolation/ Quarantine Wards within their approved facilities.
  6. Face masks, gloves and Sanitizers for medical personnel.
  7. Any other medical equipment recommended by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

This will facilitate Members of Parliament to recommend funds for purchase of equipments for Government Hospitals / Dispensaries for medical testing and screening of patients and also facilitate in setting up other related facilities in their respective constituencies.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Operational continuity of Print and Electronic Media

      HEADLINES:

Ensure operational continuity of Print and Electronic Media, Center writes to States/UTs

      WHY IN NEWS:

MINISTRY?Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Infrastructure

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS you need to understand the meaning of critical infrastructure in this health crisis.

      ISSUE: 

In light of the evolving COVID-19 situation in the country, Union Government has written to all State Governments/Union Territories, requesting them to ensure operational continuity of Print and Electronic Media.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS ADVISED THAT ENSURING UNINTERRUPTED OPERATION OF THESE INFORMATION NETWORKS :

  1. Printing presses and distribution infrastructure of Newspapers, and Magazines
  2. All TV channels and supporting services like Teleports and DSNGs
  3. DTH/HITS operations connected equipments/facilities etc including maintenance
  4. FM/CRS Networks
  5. Network of MSOs and Cable Operators, and
  6. News Agencies

CENTRE HAS REQUESTED STATE/UT ADMINISTRATIONS TO KEEP THE FOLLOWING RESTRICTIONS :

  1. All operators of such facilities/intermediaries in the chain be permitted to remain operational
  2. Facilitating smooth supply and distribution chain as may be required
  3. The facilities should be permitted to be manned by staff of the service providers
  4. The movement of accredited staff of service providers be permitted
  5. The movement of vehicles carrying media persons, DSNGs, and others including  provisioning of fuel, wherever required may kindly be facilitated, and
  6. Availability of uninterrupted electric supply and other logistics as requested by such facilities be provided

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The letter further stated that these networks played a pivotal role in ensuring avoidance of fake news and promotion of good practices.

     SOURCES:PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Relief measures

      HEADLINES:

Finance Minister announces several relief measures relating to Statutory and Regulatory compliance matters across Sectors in view of COVID-19 outbreak

      WHY IN NEWS:

The Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Niramla Sitharaman today announced several important relief measures taken by the Government of India in view of COVID-19 outbreak, especially on statutory and regulatory compliance matters related to several sectors.

MINISTRY?Ministry of Finance
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Trade and Commerce

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS there is nothing much here except some deadlines.This is an early sign of derailment of UPSC exams too !

      ISSUE: 

While addressing the press conference through video conferencing here today, Smt. Sitharaman announced much-needed relief measures in areas of Income Tax, GST, Customs & Central Excise, Corporate Affairs, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC) Fisheries, Banking Sector and Commerce.

 

The Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Singh Thakur was also present besides Shri A.B. Pandey, Finance Secretary and Shri Atanu Chakraborty, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs.

Following are the decisions with respect to statutory and regulatory compliance matters related to various sectors: —

INCOME TAX

  1. Extend last date for income tax returns for (FY 18-19) from 31st March, 2020  to  30th June, 2020.
  2. Aadhaar-PAN linking date to be extended from 31st March, 2020 to 30th June, 2020.
  3. Vivad se Vishwas  scheme – no additional 10% amount, if payment made by June 30, 2020.
  4. Necessary legal circulars and legislative amendments for giving effect to the aforesaid relief shall be issued in due course.

GST/INDIRECT TAX

  1. Those having aggregate annual turnover less than Rs. 5 Crore Last date can file  GSTR-3B due in March, April and May 2020  by the last week of  June, 2020. No interest, late fee, and penalty to be charged.
  2. Others can file returns due in March, April and May 2020 by last week of June 2020  but the same would attract reduced rate of interest @9 % per annum from  15 days after due date (current interest rate is  18 % per annum). No late fee and penalty to be charged, if complied before till 30th June 2020.
  3. Date for filing GST annual returns of FY 18-19, which is due on 31st March, 2020 is extended till the last week of  June 2020.
  4. Necessary legal circulars and legislative amendments to give effect  to the aforesaid GST relief shall follow with the approval of GST Council.
  5. Payment date under Sabka Vishwas Scheme shall be extended to 30th June, 2020. No interest for this period shall be charged if paid by 30th June, 2020.

CUSTOMS

  1. 24X7 Custom clearance till end of 30th June, 2020
  2. Due date for issue of notice, notification, approval order, sanction order, filing of appeal, furnishing applications, reports, any other documents etc., time limit for any compliance under the Customs Act and other allied Laws where the time limit is expiring between 20th March 2020  to 29th June 2020 shall be extended to 30th June 2020.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

  1. Relaxations for 3 months
    • Debit cardholders to withdraw cash for free from any other banks’ ATM for 3 months
    • Waiver of minimum balance fee
    • Reduced bank charges for digital trade transactions for all trade finance consumers

DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES

  1. All Sanitary Permits (SIPs) for import of SPF Shrimp Broodstock and other Agriculture inputs expiring between 01.03.2020 to     15.04.2020 extended by 3 months
  2. Delay upto 1 month in arrival of consignments to be condoned.
  3. Rebooking of quarantine cubicles for cancelled consignments in Aquatic Quarantine Facility (AQF) Chennai without additional booking charges
  4. The verification of documents and grant of NOC for Quarantine would be relaxed from 7 days to 3 days

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Extension of timelines for various compliance and procedures will be given. Detailed notifications will be issued by Ministry of Commerce.

     SOURCES:PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Lockdown of entire nation for 21 days

      HEADLINES:

PM calls for complete lockdown of entire nation for 21 days

      WHY IN NEWS:

PM addresses the nation on COVID-19

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:Emergency

      LEARNING: 

For MAINS we will analyse are these funds enough to stop the menace.Watch the video.

      ISSUE: 

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi called for a complete lockdown of the entire nation for the next 21 days beginning at midnight tonight in an effort to contain the COVID-19 Pandemic.

LOCKDOWN:

In a special televised address to the Nation the Prime Minister said that even those nations with the best of the medical facilities could not contain the virus and that the social distancing is the only option to mitigate it.

“All of you are also witnessing how the most advanced countries of the world have been rendered absolutely helpless by this pandemic. It is not that these countries are not putting in adequate efforts or they lack resources.

The Coronavirus is spreading at such a rapid pace that despite all the preparations and efforts, these countries are finding it hard to manage the crisis.

The analysis of happenings in all these countries since the last two months, and the opinion of experts has proved that there is only one way to effectively deal with Coronavirus – Social Distancing” he said.

Cautioning of those who are careless, the Prime Minister said, “carelessness of a few, ill-conceived notions of a few can put you, your children, your parents, your family, your friends, the entire country in grave jeopardy. It will be impossible to estimate the price India will have to pay if this carelessness continues.”

He also urged the people to take the lockdown imposed by the State Governments in several parts of the country, in the last few days with utmost sincerity.

The Prime Minister announced that from midnight tonight onwards, the entire country shall go under complete lockdown, a total ban is being imposed on people, from stepping out of their homes for a period of 21 days.

He said this decision was taken from the experiences of health sector experts and experiences of other countries and that 21 days is essential to break the chain of infection.

He added that this will be a few levels more than Janata-Curfew, and also stricter. He said this decision is vital in order to protect the country, and each of its citizens against Corona Pandemic.

Discussing the economic impact owing to the Pandemic, the Prime Minister said, “The nation will have to certainly pay an economic cost because of this lockdown.

However, to save the life of each and every Indian is our top most priority. Hence, It is my plea to you to continue staying wherever you are right now in the country.”

The Prime Minister explained that if the situation is not brought under control in the next 3 weeks, the country could go back 21 years and that several families would be devastated forever. Hence, he urged the people to do just one thing in the next 21 days – to stay inside their homes.

The Prime Minister said the experiences of those countries that have been able to contain Corona offer some ray of hope.

He said that those countries that observed lockdown and where people adhered to the rules are able to surmount the pandemic.

The Prime Minister said,  “India is at a stage where our current actions will determine how much we are able to minimize the impact of this disaster.

It’s time to consistently keep strengthening our resolve. It’s time to exercise caution at every step.

You have to remember that Jaan hai toh Jahaan hai. This is the time for patience and discipline. Until the lockdown situation remains, we must keep our resolve, we must keep our promise.”

Shri Modi announced that the Government has provided Rupees Fifteen Thousand Crore (Rs 15,000,00,00,000) for strengthening the medical infrastructure and treatment of the Corona infected patients.

He appealed to the people to beware of any kind of rumors or superstitions circulating during such times.

He requested the people not to take any medication without consulting doctors if you are showing any symptoms of this infection.

He expressed confidence of every Indian abiding by the instructions of the Government and local authorities during this crucial hour.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The Prime Minister concluded though 21 days of lockdown is a long time, but it is equally essential for your safety and that of your family. He expressed confidence that every Indian will not only successfully fight this difficult situation but also emerge victorious.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Doctors cautious over use of malaria drug as virus preventive

      HEADLINES:

Doctors cautious over use of malaria drug as virus preventive

      WHY IN NEWS:

ICMR warns against its unrestricted use

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Diseases

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is important to understand why this drug is used to tackle COVID-19.

For MAINS note down ill effects of this medicine . They are fatal.

      ISSUE: 

A day after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved the use of hydroxychloroquine as prophylaxis by healthcare workers taking care of COVID-19 cases and asymptomatic household contacts of confirmed cases, the Council on Tuesday cautioned against the unrestricted use of the drug, stating that “it is still at an experimental stage and is not recommended for public use.

 

HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE

Hydroxychloroquine oral tablet is available as a brand-name drug and a generic drug. Brand name: Plaquenil.

Hydroxychloroquine comes only as a tabletyou take by mouth.

Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat malaria, lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

SIDE EFFECTS:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • diarrhea
  • stomach cramps
  • vomiting

The ICMR’s approval followed a recommendation from its task force for COVID-19.

“The recommendation is for empirical use of the drug based on available evidence and is restricted for use by only two categories of people and under strict supervision of a doctor,” .

Drug approving agencies across the world, including the FDA, has cleared the drug for prophylaxis or for treating COVID-19 patients.

The available evidence of the efficacy of the drug is a small study by French researchers involving 26 COVID-19 patients.

The study found at “significant” reduction in viral load in over half the number of patients end of six days of therapy.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

At this moment there is no evidence available [about its effectiveness].

There are on-going trials. They must have waited for the results. Even the trials are for treating COVID-19 patients and not for prophylaxis.”

A man in Arizona, U.S., died and his wife was hospitalised after they self-medicated with a home remedy of hydroxychloroquine.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

MyLab

      HEADLINES:

Pune lab gets approval for COVID-19 diagnostic kit

      WHY IN NEWS:

Several labs had applied to NIV, Pune, to get their kits vetted

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Diseases

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS since this is first in its kind that made us include this article.

      ISSUE: 

Pune-based MyLab is the first indigenous manufacturer to be approved for deploying its kits for COVID-19 testing.

 

MyLab is the first indigenous manufacturer to be approved.

 

“Congratulations to our Biotech innovators first make in India COVID 19 diagnostic kit,” .

While diagnostic tests for COVID-19 are largely reliant on foreign companies, several labs in India had applied to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, for getting their own kits vetted.

Written guidelines by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) require that only diagnostic kits that have been approved by the United States Food and Drugs Administration or certified by the European Union be allowed to offer commercial tests for detecting SARS-CoV-2.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The Managing Director of Mylab Discovery Solutions, Hasmukh Rawal, told trade magazine BioSpectrum India: “With emphasis on ‘Make in India’ and support from local and Central governments, COVID- 19 kit has been made as per WHO/CDC guidelines. It was developed in a record time”.

The immediate action from regulatory bodies (CDSCO/FDA), evaluation centre of ICMR, NIV, BIRAC and the Central and State governments during this national emergency was commendable, he said.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Tokyo 2020 will now be held next year

      HEADLINES:

Tokyo 2020 will now be held next year

      WHY IN NEWS:

Japan and IOC take decision with aim to safeguard health of athletes and all involved in the Games

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Sports

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand everything about Olympics today . We have breifly mentioned all the relevant topics.

For MAINS how will this effect the metal preparation of athletes ?

      ISSUE: 

The Olympics, which has experienced boycotts, terrorist attacks and protests, but has been held every four years since 1948, would be the highest-profile event affected by the virus that has killed thousands and closed sports competitions worldwide.

The IOC has come under increasing pressure in recent days to postpone the Games, scheduled to start on July 24, with 1.7 billion people across the planet in lockdown to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been postponed to no later than the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, the International Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday.
  • Abe said Bach was in “100% agreement” when Japan asked the IOC to push back the Games and said the delayed Olympics “held in a complete form will be a testament to mankind’s defeat of the new virus”.

Momentous: A man walks past a billboard promoting the Tokyo Games. The unprecedented, but anticipated, decision to postpone the mega event was taken on Tuesday.

The Games were scheduled for July 24-August 9, but after telephone discussions between IOC president Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a historic joint decision was taken for the first postponement of an Olympics in peacetime.

In a joint statement, the pair said that based on current World Health Organization information, the Tokyo Games “must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community”.

“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present.

FLAME TO STAY IN JAPAN

“Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan.

It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020,” .

The torch relay, due to start on Thursday from the Fukushima, will be postponed and the flame will remain there for now.

PREPARATIONS AFFECTED

Training has become impossible for many athletes and exposes them to the risk of contracting or spreading the disease. Competitions and qualifiers have been scrapped, while international travel is severely limited.

On Sunday, the IOC had initially given itself a deadline of four weeks to come up with a proposal to postpone the Games, a Herculean task that touches on every aspect of Tokyo 2020 planning from venues to security to ticketing.

Tokyo was spending some $12.6 billion to host the Games, according to its latest budget, and experts believe a postponement could cost it some $6 billion in the short-term before recouping it when it eventually goes ahead.

It will also be a bitter blow to sponsors and major broadcasters who rely on the four-yearly extravaganza for critical advertising revenue.

It is not even clear venues will be available and tens of thousands of hotel rooms will need to be cancelled and rebooked.

LOGISTICAL ISSUES

Squeezing in the 16-day Games into what will already be a hugely crowded 2021 calendar is another major headache, with arguably the two biggest sports, swimming and athletics, due to hold their World Championships that summer.

However, World Athletics has already said it was prepared to shift its World championships, scheduled for August 6-15 next year in Oregon, to accommodate the move.

OLYMPISM 

The visual ambassador of Olympism for billions of people is the Olympic symbol, widely known throughout the world as the Olympic rings. 

Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind.

Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles. 

THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT

The three main constituents of the Olympic Movement are :

  • International Olympic Committee (“IOC”), 
  • International Sports Federations (“IFs”) and the
  • National Olympic Committees (“NOCs”).

In addition to its three main constituents, the Olympic Movement also encompasses the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs), the national associations, clubs and persons belonging to the IFs and NOCs, particularly the athletes, as well as the judges, referees, coaches and the other sports officials and technicians.

It also includes other organisations and institutions as recognised by the IOC. 

As is clearly stated in the Olympic Charter: “The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practised in accordance with Olympism and its values.”.

THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a not-for-profit independent international organisation that is committed to building a better world through sport.

Created on 23 June 1894, just under two years before the first Olympic Games of the modern era in April 1896, the IOC is the supreme authority of the Olympic Movement.

As the leader of the Olympic Movement, the IOC acts as a catalyst for collaboration between all parties of the Olympic family, from the NOCs, the IFs, the athletes and the OCOGs to the Worldwide Olympic Partners, broadcast partners and United Nations (UN) agencies, and shepherds success through a wide range of programmes and projects.

On this basis, it ensures the regular celebration of the Olympic Games, supports all affiliated member organisations of the Olympic Movement and strongly encourages, by appropriate means, the promotion of the Olympic values. 

HEADQUARTERS:

Lausanne, Switzerland

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The move would be a devastating blow for Tokyo, which had won widespread praise for its organisation, with venues finished well ahead of time and tickets massively oversubscribed.

It is not the first time Tokyo has seen unscheduled changes to the Games — it was due to be the first Asian country to host the Olympics in 1940 before pulling out due to international pressure over its war with China.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 

 Let us ‘Discuss’

 

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Let us know what you think about this in the comment section.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 

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