Daily Current Affairs 15 May 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Housing subsidy scheme for middle-income families extended till Mar 2021
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman announced a Rs 70,000-crore boost to housing sector by extending the subsidy scheme for affordable housing for the middle income group.The credit-linked subsidy scheme for the middle income group with an annual income of Rs 6 lakh to Rs 18 lakh was operationalised from May 2017 and extended up to March 2020.
- Rs 5,000-crore special credit facility for street vendors by providing them with working capital of up to Rs 10,000.
- For farmers, she announced a Rs 30,000-crore additional emergency working capital funding through the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).NABARD will extend additional refinance support of Rs 30,000 crore for crop loan requirement of rural co-op banks and regional rural banks.
West Bengal govt launches scheme to utilise 50,000-acre barren land in six districts
The West Bengal government launched a scheme to utilise 50,000 acres of barren land in six districts for income-generating activities like horticulture and pisciculture.
- The statr government had been working on the ‘Matir Smristi’ scheme, which will benefit around 2.5 lakh people in rural Bengal.
- “There is at least 50,000 acre of barren land in Bankura, Birbhum, Purulia, Jhargram, West Burdwan and West Midnapore districts, which cannot produce anything naturally nor can the farmers cultivate on the strip.
Gujarat CM announces Aatmanirbhar Gujarat Sahay Yojana
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced Aatmanirbhar Gujarat Sahay Yojana. The scheme for small shop keepers and self-employed hit by the lockdown.
- Under the scheme, one lakh rupees collateral free loan will be given at two per cent for the beneficiaries for three years.
- the beneficiaries will have to make only one application to avail the loan from state and District Cooperative Banks and credit agencies.
32nd Commonwealth Health Ministers Meet held via Video Conference
Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan participated in the 32nd Commonwealth Health Ministers’ Meeting through Video conference in New Delhi.
- The theme of the meeting was- Delivering a co-ordinated Commonwealth COVID-19 response.
- Dr Harsh Vardhan said, India has been the first country to urge consolidated global action to fight the challenge of COVID-19. India took all necessary and timely steps including surveillance at points of entry, evacuation of our nationals abroad, surveillance in community through disease surveillance network and community involvement as part of its management efforts
US CDC commits $3.6 mn to assist India’s fight against Covid-19
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has committed $3.6 million to assist Indian government’s fight against COVID-19.The fund is to support prevention, preparedness and response activities in India
- This initial tranche of funding will seek to further strengthen and support the Government of India’s efforts to increase laboratory capacity for SARS-COV-2 testing, including molecular diagnostics and serology.
BANKING & FINANCE
Federal Bank, MoneyGram tie up for direct-to-bank account credit service
MoneyGram Payment Systems has tied up with Federal Bank to offer a cost-effective direct-to-bank account credit option for customers in India
- Through this partnership, millions will be able to receive deposits directly in their bank accounts without leaving the confines of their homes, which is imperative in the current situation.
RBI extends interest subsidy scheme for exporters till March 31, 2021
The Reserve Bank said a scheme providing interest subsidy for post and pre-shipment export credit has been extended by a year till March 31, 2021, a move which would provide relief to exporters.
- Exporters get the subsidy under the ‘Interest Equalisation Scheme for pre and post shipment Rupee Export Credit’. The scheme ended on March 31 this year.
PM CARES Fund Trust Allocates Rs 3100 Crore for Fight against COVID-19
PM CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund Trust decided to allocate Rs. 3100 Crore for fight against COVID-19.
- Out of Rs 3100 crore, a sum of approximately Rs.2000 crore will be earmarked for the purchase of ventilators, Rs. 1000 crores will be used for care of migrant labourers and Rs.100 crores will be given to support vaccine development.
- The trust formed on 27th March 2020 is headed by Hon’ble Prime Minister (ex-Officio) and other ex-officio Members of the trust are Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister.
World Bank approves $1 billion to support India’s fight against Covid-19
The World Bank approved USD 1 billion ‘Accelerating India’s COVID-19 Social Protection Response Program‘ to support the country’s efforts for providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households, severely impacted by the pandemic.
- This takes the total commitment from the World Bank towards emergency COVID-19 response in India to USD 2 billion.
- A USD 1 billion support was announced last month to support India’s health sector
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Italy develops ‘iFeel-You’ bracelet for social distancing
The Genoa-based Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) has come up with iFeel-You, an intelligent bracelet which will help users respect social distancing rules.
- The bracelet has been developed as the measures for safeguarding against the coronavirus lockdown is being gradually lifted.
- It uses a radio signal only when another bracelet is approaching, it does not use GPS and therefore does not keep track of user locations.
India gets first automated COVID-19 testing machine, COBAS 6800
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the first automated COVID-19 testing machine ‘COBAS 6800’, procured by the government at the NCDC. Amid the spiking of cases of COVID-19 and the need for large-scale testing ‘COBAS 6800’ is an automated testing machine which has the capacity to test over 1200 samples in just 24 hours.
- The machine can also perform real-time PCR testing.The COBAS 6800 will be a big aid to the healthcare workers since it minimised the risk of a patient to doctor transmission while sample testing.
- The machine will reduce the chance of contamination as well as the risk of infection to the health care workers since it can be operated remotely with little-to-no human intervention. COBAS 6800 can also detect other pathogens like viral Hepatitis B and C, HIV, MTb, both rifampicin and isoniazid resistance, Papilloma, CMV, Chlamydia, Neiserreia, etc.
WTO chief Roberto Azevêdo steps down
Geneva-based World Trade Organisation (WTO) said its chief Roberto Azevedo will step down on August 31, a year before his term ends, on personal grounds. India is one of the founder members of this multi-lateral body, which frames rules for global exports and imports.
- Azevedo said that bringing forward his departure would allow members to select his successor in the coming months, without diverting political energy and attention from preparations for the Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC), which is set to be held in 2021.
Vice Admiral GM Hiranandani rolling trophy awarded in Kochi
Lieutenant commander Akshay Kumar of Anti-Submarine Warfare School of Southern Naval Command (SNC) at Kochi was awarded the coveted Vice Admiral GM Hiranandani Memorial Rolling trophy for the year 2020.
- This trophy was instituted in 2013 for the officer performing best in tactics during the year-long warfare specialisation course.
Film actor Sai Gundewar passes away
Actor Sai Gundewar, 42, who rose to prominence through MTV’s splitsvilla, passed away due to brain cancer in the US.
- Gundewar, who featured in small parts in films like PK, David and Rock On.
- He was also seen in MTV Splitsvilla season 4 and in the Indian version of American reality show, Survivor
Freedom fighter Bhabani Charan Pattnaik passes away
Freedom fighter Bhabani Charan Pattnaik died at the age of 98.
- Born in 1922, Pattnaik was a three-time Rajya Sabha MP in 1961, 1966 and 1978. He was conferred with Padma Shri in 2018.
- He joined the Quit India Movement in 1942 and spent three-and-a-half years in jail.
Sahitya Akademi winner Debesh Roy passes away
Veteran Bengali author Debesh Roy, who was conferred the Sahitya Akademi award for his novel ‘Teesta Parer Brittanto’, died at a private hospital. He was 84.
- Besides Teesta Parer Britanta’, he will be remembered for books like Borisaler Jogen Mondal, Manush Khun Kore Keno and Samay Asamayer Brittanto. His first book was Jajati.
Padma Bhushan recipient Professor Anisuzzaman passes away in Bangladesh
Padma Bhushan recipient and Bangladesh’s National Professor Anisuzzaman died at a military hospital in Dhaka. He was 83.
- Anisuzzaman, who made an immense contribution to Bangla language and literature through his research and writings
- Anisuzzaman played a significant role in all democratic movements — from the Language Movement of 1952 to Liberation War in 1972, for the restoration of democracy in Bangladesh in the 1980s, and for the trial of war criminals later. He also appeared as a witness before the International Crimes Tribunal.
- India had awarded him Padma Bhushan for his distinguished service in fields of Bangla literature and education. He was also awarded Ekushey Padak and Swadhinata Padak, the highest state awards given by Bangladesh.
International Family Day
Every year, May 15 is celebrated as the International Day of Families. The day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 with the aim to highlight the importance attached to families by the international community.
- The theme for International Families day 2020 is Families in Development