DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB -28th March 2020- IASbhai

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

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.– Eleanor Roosevelt

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.

Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund

      HEADLINES:

Vice President donates a month’s salary to Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB!

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:3: Governance: Disaster management fund

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS note the important facts and tax reliefs in this fund.

For MAINS a little background and measures to strengthen this fund would suffice this issue.

      ISSUE: 

The Vice President of India and the Chairman Rajya Sabha, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today contributed a sum equivalent to a month’s salary to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to strengthen the government’s efforts in combating COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

PM NATIONAL RELIEF FUND

BACKGROUND:

In pursuance of an appeal by the then Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru in January, 1948, the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) was established with public contributions to assist displaced persons from Pakistan.

The resources of the PMNRF are now utilized primarily to render immediate relief to families of those killed in natural calamities like floods, cyclones and earthquakes, etc. and to the victims of the major accidents and riots.

Assistance from PMNRF is also rendered, to partially defray the expenses for medical treatment like heart surgeries, kidney transplantation, cancer treatment and acid attack etc.

FUND MANAGEMENT:

  • The fund consists entirely of public contributions and does not get any budgetary support.
  • The corpus of the fund is invested in various forms with scheduled commercial banks and other agencies.
  • Disbursements are made with the approval of the Prime Minister.
  • PMNRF has not been constituted by the Parliament.
  • PMNRF operates from the Prime Minister’s Office, South Block, New Delhi-110011 and does not pays any license fee.

TAX RELIEF

  • The fund is recognized as a Trust under the Income Tax Act and the same is managed by Prime Minister or multiple delegates for national causes.
  • PMNRF is exempt under Income Tax Act, 1961 under Section 10 and 139 for return purposes.
  • Prime Minister is the Chairman of PMNRF and is assisted by Officers/ Staff on honorary basis.

Contributions towards PMNRF are notified for 100% deduction from taxable income under section 80(G) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Permanent Account Number of PMNRF is AACTP4637Q.

PMNRF accepts only voluntary donations by individuals and institutions.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

FUNDS WHICH ARE NOT ACCEPTED?

Contributions flowing out of budgetary sources of Government or from the balance sheets of the public sector undertakings are not accepted.

Conditional contributions, where the donor specifically mentions that the amount is meant for a particular purpose, are not accepted in the Fund.

In case the donor deposits donations directly in any of the PMNRF collection banks, they are advised to provide complete transaction details along with their address to this office through e-mail at pmnrf@gov.in for speedy issue of 80(G) Income Tax Receipts.

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

Petroleum & Explosives Safety Organization (PESO)

      HEADLINES:

Petroleum & Explosives Safety Organization takes various measures to address the problems faced by Petroleum, Explosives, Oxygen and Industrial Gas Industries

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB!

MINISTRY?Ministry of Commerce & Industry
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:3 Organization : Trade and Commerce

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS you have to understand the objective of PESO and do not forget the headquarters of PESO !

For MAINS understand the intention behind relaxation of these licenses,grants and bill payments.

      ISSUE: 

Petroleum & Explosives Safety Organization (PESO), under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has taken various measures to ensure uninterrupted supply of Oxygen to hospitals and other health care facilities and also to address the problems faced by Petroleum, Explosives, Fireworks, and Industrial Gas Industries due to nationwide lockdown for containment of COVID-19 pandemic.

MEASURES TAKEN FOR CONTAINMENT OF COVID-19

1. Instructions have been issued by PESO Hq to all its offices to ensure grant of licences for storage and transport of medical oxygen urgently.

2. Advisory has been issued by PESO on 25.03.2020 to Principal Secretaries (Home) of all States, requesting them to allow uninterrupted transportation and manufacturing of medical oxygen and nitrous oxide in line with MHA order No. 40-3/2020 dated 24/03/2020 on the measures to be taken for containment of COVID-19 in the country.

3. Validity of licenses for transportation of oxygen and other gases which will expire on 31/03/2020, has been extended up to 30/06/2020.

4. Validity of licenses for storage, transportation, sale, use and manufacturing of explosives and fireworks which will expire on 31/03/2020, has been extended up to 30/09/2020. Fee for late renewal of licences will also not be charged.

5. Cylinders used for storage of compressed oxygen, CNG, LPG and other gases, which are due for statutory hydro testing on 31/03/2020, shall be deemed to be due for testing on 30/06/2020.

6. Pressure vessels used for storage and transportation of oxygen, LPG and other gases, which are due for statutory testing for safety relief valves and hydro testing from 15/03/2020 to 30/06/2020, shall be deemed to be due for testing on 30/06/2020.

WHAT ID PETROLEUM & EXPLOSIVES SAFETY ORGANIZATION (PESO)?

  • PESO is the apex department to control and administer manufacture, storage, transport and handling of explosives, petroleum, compressed gases and other hazardous substances in India.
  • It functions under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • It is headed by Chief Controller of Explosives

HEADQUARTERS:

  • It is headquartered at Nagpur, Maharashtra.
  • Petroleum And Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) was formed to control and administer the usage of explosives, petrol stations in India.
The agency issues licenses for Operation of Petrol Stations, Licenses to operate Petroleum Product Transportation vehicles, Licenses for Refineries, Petrochemical Complexes, etc.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Various steps are being initiated to tackle the pandemic and not break the supply chain management. This is one such initiative.

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

Ilyushin 38SD (IL-38)

      HEADLINES:

Indian Navy Mobilises IL38 – Transports Face Masks from Delhi for Goa Health Workers

      WHY IN NEWS:

A request for facilitating transportation of the masks to Goa was made by the President, Indian Medical Association to the Indian Navy at Goa.

MINISTRY?Ministry of Defence
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Defence

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS this is not an important aircraft to be remembered for a long time , since its inducted ages ago ! But yes , its important to know its features and significance in disaster management.

      ISSUE: 

A shipment of 60,000 face masks ordered by Indian Medical Association, Goa to offset the shortfall in Goa was stuck at Delhi as trucks could not proceed further in the current situation of lockdown.

Accordingly, an Ilyushin 38SD (IL-38), a Long Range Maritime Reconnaisence Aircraft of the Indian Navy, was promptly readied to depart INS Hansa for Palam Airport, New Delhi today, 27 Mar 2020.

ILYUSHIN IL-38

The Ilyushin Il-38 is a maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft designed by the Russia-based Ilyushin Aviation Complex.

SIGNIFICANCE:

  • Derived from the Ilyushin Il-18 turboprop transport aircraft, the Il-38 can be deployed in surveillance, search and rescue, maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare operations.
  • The aircraft can detect and intercept surface vessels and submarines.
  • The first aerodynamic prototype of the Il-38 completed its maiden flight in September 1961.

The last aircraft was delivered in February 2010.

FEATURES

  • The upgraded Il-38 of the Russian Navy and Indian Navy are designated as Il-38N and Il-38SD respectively.
  • The aircraft’s anti-sub system was replaced with the modern and compact system known as Novella (export name: Sea Dragon).
  • “The aircraft is powered by four Ivchenko AI-20M turboprop engines.”
  • The system consists of several sub systems, including an anti-submarine warfare, a search-and-rescue and ecological monitoring, an electronic support measures, a sea and land surface surveillance system.
  • The new fully digital system comprises a high-resolution radar, display, thermal imaging subsystem, infrared sensor, a magnetometer and an electronic intelligence (ELINT) system.

 

 

ILYUSHIN IL-38 AIRCRAFT DESIGN

The tail has an magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) and a search radar under the forward fuselage.

The aircraft is fitted with two internal weapons bays, one forward and the other behind the wing.

IL-38 ASW COCKPIT

The partial glass cockpit accommodates a pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer and operational crew, including a tactical coordinator, sensor operators, an MAD operator and observers.

ILYUSHIN IL-38 AVIONICS

The Il-38 avionics suite includes a radar, a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) turret below the nose and the ELINT system.

The system is mounted on struts above the forward fuselage.

The upgraded avionics and electronic warfare suite features :

  • New synthetic-aperture radar
  • Inverse-synthetic-aperture radar (SAR / ISAR),
  • Search and attack radar,
  • High-resolution FLIR sensor,
  • Low-light television camera,
  • New electronic support measures system,
  • MAD and active and passive sonobuoys.
The sensor suite can detect air targets at a distance of up to 90km and sea going targets at 320km, and simultaneously track up to 32 targets.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The aircraft is currently in service with the Russian Navy and the Indian Navy. The Russian Navy upgraded the aircraft to extend its service life to 2015.

The Indian Navy placed an upgrade contract for five aircraft in 2001.

The programme will extend the operational life of the aircraft up to 15 years. Two upgraded aircraft were delivered in January 2006 and third was delivered in 2008.

The operational problems with the new avionics and electronic warfare system caused delays in further aircraft deliveries.

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

Intensification of Research in High Priority Areas(IRHPA)

      HEADLINES:

DST launches nationwide exercise to map & boost Covid19 solutions with R&D, seed & scale up support

      WHY IN NEWS:

Rising to the National call to combat the public health crisis arising out of Covid19 pandemic, the Department of Science & Technology (DST) is synergising and consolidating various activities carried out by the Ministry of S&T and its network of autonomous institutions and scientific bodies across the country.

MINISTRY?Ministry of Science & Technology
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Science and Technology : Scheme

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is important to grasp this scheme midst the breakout of pandemic.

For MAINS go with the mapping solution provided to decode the challenges.

      ISSUE: 

(SCTIMST), Trivandrum, an autonomous institute of DST has already started building 8 different prototypes to address Covid19 health challenges

The solutions and novel applications to address Covid19 pendemic related challenges are being taken up through a three pronged approach.

(a) extensive mapping of solutions requiring R&D support, startups with viable products requiring facilitation and manufacturing support;

(b) identification of market deployable products requiring seed support and

(c) support for solutions already in market but requiring substantial scale up to augment their manufacturing infrastructure and capabilities.

The Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), an autonomous institution of the DST has already sent out a call to invite proposals as part of special call under:

  • IRHPA (Intensification of Research in High Priority Area) scheme specifically designed for Covid-19 and related respiratory viral infections to ramp up national R&D efforts for new anti-virals, vaccines, and affordable diagnostic.

INTENSIFICATION OF RESEARCH IN HIGH PRIORITY AREAS(IRHPA) SCHEME

The Intensification of Research in High Priority Areas(IRHPA) program of Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) supports proposals in high priority areas where multidisciplinary / multi-institutional expertise is required which will put our nation in international science map in that particular discipline.

  • The Scheme is designed to provide major conscious support to very few selected areas of research that have high priority from the view point of advances in fundamental science and that can be of great significance for scientific and technological development of the country.
  • The necessary facilities required for implementing the identified high priority areas will be supported through this scheme.
  • Routine analytical instruments like NMR, XRD etc will not be supported under the scheme.
  • These type of analytical facilities are being supported under the Funds for Infrastructural (FIST) program of Department of Science and Technology(DST).
  • Under the IRHPA scheme a unit or core group having super specialization in the relevant areas of science will be developed and further nurtured.
  • Training in these super special areas to other scientist is mandatory under the program.
  • The facility developed through the program will be named as SERB National Facility and 50 % of the time of these facilities will be given to the scientists/academicians outside the host Institution.

ELIGIBILITY

Scientists from Universities, their affiliated Colleges, IITs, IISc., and other Autonomous Research Institutions alongwith scientists working in the industrial R&D sector in India can submit a proposal under this scheme.

The call which invites submissions by March 31, 2020 has garnered encouraging response from scientists across India.

Nearly 190 companies have already registered with TDB offering solutions including diagnostic kits Covid 19, thermal scanners, AI & IOT based decision making support, spares/manufacturing of ventilators, manufacturing of mask and so on.

OTHER MISSIONS:

DST has set up a “Covid19 Task Force” for mapping of technologies from R&D labs, academic institutions, startups and MSMEs.

The capacity mapping group has representatives from DST, DBT, ICMR, MeitY, CSIR, AIM, MSME, Startup India and AICTE. The aim is to identify the most promising startups that are close to scaleup, who may need financial or other help or connects based on its projected demand to rapidly scaleup.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Also a startup under incubation at SCTIMST-TIMed, a DST supported incubator in the Institute is developing low cost AI enabled digital X-ray detector for screening Covid19  patients.

The National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board, DST has reached out to its strong network of over 150+ incubation centres across the country for mapping the novel innovations already under incubation to combat diseases like Covid19.

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

Corona IDEAthon

      HEADLINES:

MHRD Innovation Cell, AICTE, MEITY Startup Hub, InnovatioCuris and other institutions of global and national prominence organise Fight Corona IDEAthon

      WHY IN NEWS:

2-day online ideathon to mitigate the uncertainties arising in light of the rampaging Pandemic

MINISTRY?Ministry of Human Resource Development
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Disease:Recent Initiative

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is important to understand the whole initiative and its purpose.Organizers can be asked in any MCQ ! It is Important .

For MAINS look at the support granted . Is this essential and sufficient ? Let us know in the comment section .

      ISSUE: 

Fight Corona IDEAthon, a 2-day online ideathon, is an initiative jointly organised by MHRD Innovation Cell, AICTE, MEITY Startup Hub, InnovatioCuris and other institutions of global and national prominence offering support in terms of Technology, Knowledge, Outreach, etc., with Forge Accelerator as the Partner incubator, in the endeavour to scout for accessible and affordable technological solutions that can contain the rapid spread of infection, ease the mounting pressure and ensure a quick return to normalcy.
  • Challenges and problem statements have been sought from healthcare professionals, government officials and other stakeholders working on the ground .

CURATED UNDER 8 DIFFERENT CATEGORIES SUCH AS –

  • Personal Hygiene & Protection, Awareness,
  • Preparedness & Responsible Behavior, Medical Systems –
  • Diagnostic & Therapeutic, Screening, Testing & Monitoring –
  • Devices & IT/Digital/Data Solutions,
  • Protecting Most Vulnerable Groups,
  • Community Task Forces/Working Groups,
  • Remote Work & Remote Education, Stabilizing Affected Businesses and the
  • Open Category where one has the flexibility to choose and solve their own challenges.

Registration for Ideathon was closed at 6 pm on 26th March2020.

Ideathon is currently on-going and will end on March 28, 2020.

During the 2-day IDEAthon, Startups and innovators shall be guided by Domain experts, Healthcare providers and professionals, Innovation experts, etc. from across the country through a virtual platform in their pursuit of ideating and innovating technically feasible and economically viable solutions to the curated set of problems.

Online webinars, masterclasses and live one-one mentoring sessions are organized to support innovators with a focus to guide in technical design, innovation acceleration and rapid development of their prototypes.

PRIZE :

Ideas and solutions that demonstrate a proof of potential shall be awarded cash prizes up to Rs. 7 lakhs (sponsored by AICTE and AWS) and shall be offered innovation grants up to Rs. 40 lakhs to enable them to accelerate further development of their ideas and prototypes.

Selected startups and innovators shall be offered incubation support with access to :

  • industry partners,
  • industrial-grade prototyping lab and pilot production facilities,
  • co-working facilities,
  • business support services,
  • mentoring and expertise in tech,
  • strategy and venture development,
  • corporate grants, etc.

Few international agencies like worldstartup.co, United Nations Technology and Innovation lab, and Crowdera have also come forward to support the participants.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The rapid outbreak and its aftermath have led to an alarming crisis, testing the limits of resources and capacities of every country in terms of diagnosing the suspected, isolating and treating the infected and creating an actionable awareness among the people, the importance of exercising a socially responsible behaviour to contain the spread.

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

World is now in recession: IMF

      HEADLINES:

World is now in recession: IMF

      WHY IN NEWS:

Virus-hit developing nations need dollops of funding

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:ECONOMY

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS you have to understand the terminologies. Thats it and compare your notes with Investopedia!

For MAINS Look at the aftermath and causes for the same.

      ISSUE: 

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven the global economy into a downturn that will require massive funding to help developing nations, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said Friday.

“It is clear that we have entered a recession” that will be worse than the one in 2009, following the global financial crisis, she said.

  • With the worldwide economic “sudden stop,” Ms. Georgieva said the fund’s estimate “for the overall financial needs of emerging markets is $2.5 trillion.”
  • But she warned the estimate “is on the lower end.”
  • Governments in emerging markets, which have suffered an exodus of capital of more than $83 billion in recent weeks, can cover much of that, but “clearly the domestic resources are insufficient” and many already have high debt loads.
Over 80 countries, mostly with low incomes, have already requested emergency aid from the International Monetary Fund.

WHAT IS A RECESSION?

  • A recession is a period of declining economic performance across an entire economy that lasts for several months.
  • Businesses, investors, and government officials track various economic indicators that can help predict or confirm the onset of recessions.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

“We do know that their own reserves and domestic resources will not be sufficient,” .

The fund is aiming to beef up its response “to do more, do it better, do it faster than ever before.”

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

RBI cuts rates

      HEADLINES:

RBI cuts rates, allows loan moratorium

      WHY IN NEWS:

To ease impact of lockdown, repo and reverse repo rates reduced; EMIs deferred for three months

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:RBI

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand this change ! Why this change ! and predict what next 🙂

      ISSUE: 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has opened up the liquidity floodgates for banks even as it reduced the key interest rate sharply by 75 bps and allowed equated monthly instalments (EMIs) to be deferred by three months in a move to fight the economic impact of the countrywide lockdown to check the spread of novel coronavirus.

 

  • The repo rate was reduced to by 75 bps 4.4% while the reverse repo rate was cut by 90 bps point to 4%.

UNPRECEDENTED CRISIS

  • “We are living through an extraordinary and unprecedented situation. Everything hinges on the depth of the COVID-19 outbreak, its spread and its duration,” RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said.
  • While cutting benchmark rates, the RBI has continued with its accommodative stance. Four of the six members of the monetary policy committee voted in favour of a 75 bps rate cut.
  • Apart from cutting the repo rate, RBI has also reduced the cash reserve ratio of banks which released ₹1.37 lakh crore liquidity.
  • This, along with other measures, will see an infusion of ₹3.74 lakh crore into the banking system.
  • RBI has also allowed banks to defer payment of EMIs on home, car, personal loans as well as credit card dues for three months till May 31.
  • Since non-payment will not lead to non-performing asset classification by banks, there will be no impact on credit score of the borrowers.
The higher reduction in the reverse repo rate was aimed at prompting banks to lend more rather than keeping their excess liquidity with the RBI.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, promptly responded to the RBI’s action and reduced the lending rates linked to a external benchmark and the repo rate by 75 bps. Interest rate on external benchmark linked loans was cut from 7.8% to 7.05% and those are linked to repo rate were cut to 6.65%.

“Consequently, EMIs on Home Loan accounts get cheaper by around ₹52 per 1 lakh on a 30-year loan,”.

     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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