Daily Current Affairs 18 April 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Use ‘Assess Koro Na’ app for door-to-door survey in containment zones: Delhi govt to DMs
The Delhi government has asked officials to use the new ‘Assess Koro Na’ app for door-to-door survey in COVID-19 containment zones to speed up decision-making by analysing real-time data, removing a major obstacle in the efforts to contain the virus.
- With this app, the data collected can be uploaded on the servers in real-time and immediately analyse.
- This will help the control centres in making a quick decision on requirement of ambulances and other medical equipment and personnel in the area. A swift decision can save many lives.
T’gana govt launches helpline to address psychological issues during lockdown
The Telangana government has launched a helpline to address mental health and psychological problems that may arise during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
- Telangana Commissionerate of Health & Family Welfare launched helpline 108 to address Mental Health & Psychosocial issues during #Lockdown Citizens emotional well-being is one of our top priorities. 108 Helpline will be working 24/7.
- The call centre would have two experienced psychiatrists to provide necessary support to the counsellors and also address serious psychological behavioural cases
Rs.10 lakhs Compensation for all Postal employees
All postal employees, including Gramin Dak Sevaks, will get Rs 10 lakh compensation in case they succumb to COVID-19.
- The postal services come under essential services and apart from regular services, the post offices are also delivering food packets, rations and essential medicines, among others, across the country by liasioning with local administration and police.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI cancels Mapusa urban bank’s licence
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the licence of The Mapusa Urban Cooperative Bank (MUCB) as it does not have adequate capital and earning prospects virtually stopping the banking operations of the second largest cooperative bank in the State.
- The apex bank had first imposed certain curbs on the financial transactions of MUCB on July 24, 2015 which was later reviewed time to time after a period of every six months and later every three months, the last extension for two more months being granted on February 18.
RBI exempts accounts with moratorium benefits from asset recognition norms for 90 days
Virtually doubling the timeframe for recognising a loan as a non-performing asset (NPA), the Reserve Bank announced an “asset classification stand still” for March-May, giving one more benefit to borrowers hurt by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- However, lenders will have to set aside 10 per cent of the loan amount as provisions in cases where there have been deferments of payments,
- The RBI had on March 27 announced a 90-day moratorium on loan repayments for all loans because of the economic impact of the pandemic, as part of a slew of announcements to help protect different sections from the reverses due to the pandemic.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Rs 10,000 crore fund of funds in offing for MSMEs: Gadkari
Amid the economic uncertainty due to coronavirus, a “fund of funds” would be set up for export-oriented Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) soon announced by Union minister Nitin Gadkari.
- The fund has got approval from the finance ministry and soon it would be cleared by the cabinet.
- The industrial units which have a good turnover and pay GST regularly will get benefit from this fund.
S&P cuts India growth forecast to 1.8 pc
S&P Global Ratings on Friday slashed India growth forecast for the current fiscal to 1.8 per cent, from 3.5 per cent estimated earlier, on account of the lockdown to contain Covid-19 pandemic.
- The US-based rating agency expects growth to significantly recover to 7.5 per cent in 2021-22 fiscal.
Forex reserves up nearly USD 2 bn to USD 476.5 bn: Das
Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das said the country’s foreign exchange reserves have risen by nearly USD 2 billion to USD 476.5 billion as of April 10.
- The forex cover will be enough for 11.8 months or nearly a year of the country’s imports.
- The reserves, which are being pointed out as one of the biggest assets in the fight against challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, had stood at USD 474.66 billion for the week ended April 3, as per the last published data from RBI.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
TVS acquires Britain’s most iconic sporting motorcycle brand ‘Norton’
TVS Motor Company announced the acquisition of the United Kingdom’s most iconic sporting motorcycle ‘Norton’ in an all-cash deal, for £16 million, by acquiring certain assets of Norton Motorcycles (UK) (in administration), through one of TVS Motor’s overseas arms.
- This would be among the most interesting acquisitions of a storied motorcycle maker, and reflects TVS’ and India’s rapidly rising prominence in the global two-wheeler market.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Kerala institute develops cheap, faster testing kit for coronavirus
A Kerala-based institute has developed a diagnostic test for Covid-19 which it claims can furnish results in less than half the time taken by the method currently being used in the country and for a fraction of its cost — ₹1,000.
- The test, developed by Thiruvananthapuram-based Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, takes less than two hours to confirm presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, for which there is no vaccine yet. If the diagnostic test gets approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), it can help speed up testing for the novel coronavirus in the country.
Earth-Size, Habitable Zone Planet Found Hidden in Early NASA Kepler Data
A team of transatlantic scientists, using reanalyzed data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, has discovered an Earth-size exoplanet orbiting in its star’s habitable zone, the area around a star where a rocky planet could support liquid water.
- Scientists discovered this planet, called Kepler-1649c, when looking through old observations from Kepler, which the agency retired in 2018. While previous searches with a computer algorithm misidentified it, researchers reviewing Kepler data took a second look at the signature and recognized it as a planet.
Government Launches ‘Kisan Rath App’ for Transportation of Farm Produce to Mandis Amid Lockdown 2.0
Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Agriculture Minister launched transport aggregator mobile application known as Kisan Rath that will bring together 5 lakh trucks as well as 20,000 tractors on mobile platform for transporting agriculture produce to markets from farm gate.
- Developed & supported by the National Informatics Center or NIC, farmers can access and download the ‘Kisan Rath App’ from Google play store.
Integrated geospatial platform to help area-specific strategies & decisions in COVID-19 outbreak
The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, has created an Integrated Geospatial Platform out of available geospatial datasets, standards-based services, and analytic tools to help decision making during the current COVID-19 outbreak and aid devising area-specific strategies to handle the socio-economic impact in the recovery phase.
- The mobile application SAHYOG, as well as the web portal (https://indiamaps.gov.in/soiapp/) prepared & managed by the Survey of India (SoI), has been customized to collect COVID-19 specific geospatial datasets through community engagement to augment the response activities by Government of India to the pandemic.
Tribal leader and former Odisha minister Saharai Oram passed away
Veteran tribal leader and former Odisha Minister Saharai Oram died at Barbil in Keonjhar district on Friday following a prolonged illness.He was 78.
- The five-time MLA,Oram known for his contribution towards the uplift of the tribals and downtrodden, Oram was first elected to the Odisha Assembly from Champua constituency in 1971 as an Utkal Congress candidate.
- In 1977, he was elected from the same constituency as a Janata Party candidate, in 1980 as Janata-S candidate, 1990 as Janata Dal candidate and in 2000 as an Independent.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Shuttling to the Top: The Story of P.V. Sindhu written by Krishnaswamy
Shuttling to the Top: The Story of P.V. Sindhu, written by V. Krishnaswamy, that narrates the journey of India’s first and only woman silver medal-winning athlete at the Olympic Games.
- It chronicles her life from the time when, while living in a railway colony in Secunderabad, Sindhu travelled over 40 kilometres every day by train to get to P. Gopichand’s academy and train.