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Daily Current Affairs : 21-Mar-2020

Major Topics Covered :









Why in news?

  • An eight year old female leopard has been rescued from Shirur, Maharashtra.


  • The Indian leopard is one of the big cats occurring on the Indian subcontinent, apart from the Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, snow leopard and clouded leopard.

Features :

  • The leopard is the smallest of the big cats, and is known for its black-spotted coat.

  • A nocturnal animal, the leopard hunts by night.

  • An extremely agile creature, it spends most of its resting time on top of trees, using land only to move locations, but rarely to rest or nap.

  • It is known to carry its prey up on trees. This is especially common in leopards that share their habitat with tiger.

Habitat :

  • In India, the leopard is found in all forest types, from tropical rainforests to temperate deciduous and alpine coniferous forests. It is also found in dry scrubs and grasslands, the only exception being desert and the mangroves of Sundarbans.

IUCN Status : Vulnerable

Source : Hindu and IUCN



Why in news?

  • The draft was released by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday for further suggestions from industry before being finalised for promulgation. It will come into effect from April 01, 2020, and supersede DPP 2016. This DPP would remain in force till 31 March 2025.


  • The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has for the first time introduced leasing of defence equipment as a new category for acquisition in the draft Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2020.

  • Other proposed measures include making after-sales support part of the capital acquisition contract, higher indigenous content in acquisitions and incentives for local material and software and emphasis on product export under offsets. 

  • Leasing is permitted under two categories, Lease [Indian] where Lessor is an Indian entity and is the owner of the assets and Lease [Global) where Lessor is a Global entity. This will be useful for military equipment not used in actual warfare like transport fleets, trainers, simulators, among others.

  • The draft proposed increasing the indigenous content stipulated in various categories of procurement by about 10% 

  • New chapters have been introduced for procurement of software and systems related projects due to fast obsolescence, Post Contract Management to facilitate and provide clear guidelines, given long time of defence deals.

  • Another new category introduced is ‘Buy’ (Global – Manufacture in India) with minimum 50% indigenous content on cost basis of total contract value.

  • The scope and options for product support have been widened to include contemporary concepts like Performance Based Logistics (PBL), Life Cycle Support Contract (LCSC) and Comprehensive Maintenance Contract (CMC) to optimise life cycle support for equipment

Source : Hindu



Why in news?

  • Finland has been declared as the world’s happiest nation for the third year consecutively.


  • Researchers for the World Happiness Report asked people in 156 countries to evaluate their own levels of happiness, and took into account measures such as GDP, social support, personal freedom and levels of corruption to give each nation a happiness score.

  • As in each of the previous seven reports, Nordic states dominated the top 10, along with countries such as Switzerland, New Zealand and Austria.

  • The happiest countries are those “where people feel a sense of belonging, where they trust and enjoy each other and their shared institutions.”

  • The countries at the bottom are those afflicted by violent conflicts and extreme poverty, with Zimbabwe, South Sudan and Afghanistan classified as the world’s least happy nations.

  • India’s ranking is 144 out of 153 and thus places India amongst the bottom 10.

  • It is published annually by United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Source : Hindu and World Happiness Report, 2020



Why in news?

  • In order to increase the supply of coronavirus test kits, the government has announced that it would process applications for their manufacture or import within seven days. It also said that applications for research and development of drugs or vaccines to treat COVID-19 would also be processed on high priority.


  • The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) said, “Any firm having an In-vitro Diagnostic Kit already approved for COVID-19 in any other country can directly approach… through Public Relations Office regarding expedited review/accelerated approval for marketing in India.

  • The data requirement for clinical performance evaluation etc for the test kits may be “abbreviated, deferred or waived on case to case basis depending on type & nature of diagnostic kit, existing data on the product and evidence of available clinical performance evaluation data of such kit.”

  • Last week, the government had said it would examine commercial testing kits for their “accuracy and validity”. India is currently using diagnostic kits developed by the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune.

  • While the government data doesn’t indicate any community transmission so far, India has to be ready for that eventuality, when it would require a substantially larger number of test kits.

About CDSCO and related bodies -


  • The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) is the Central Drug Authority for discharging functions assigned to the Central Government under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

  • CDSCO has six zonal offices, four sub-zonal offices, 13 port offices and seven laboratories under its control.

Functions of CDSCO:

  • Regulatory control over the import of drugs, approval of new drugs and clinical trials,

  • Meetings of Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC) and Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB),

  • Approval of certain licenses as Central License Approving Authority is exercised by the CDSCO headquarters.

  • Drug Controller General of India:

  • Responsible for approval of licenses of specified categories of Drugs such as blood and blood products, I. V. Fluids, Vaccine and Sera.

Drug Technical Advisory Board:

  • It is the highest statutory body on clinical issues related to drugs and medical devices in India.

  • DTAB decisions are binding on the Ministry.

Source : Indian Express and CDSCO



Why in news?

  • As of Friday morning, the virus has infected more than 209,000 people worldwide and claimed the lives of at least 8,700, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Questions have been raised about a phenomenon known as "herd immunity" and whether it might play a role in how the pandemic progresses.


  • Herd immunity refers to a situation where enough people in a population have immunity to an infection to be able to effectively stop that disease from spreading.

  • For herd immunity, it does not matter whether the immunity comes from vaccination, or from people having had the disease. The crucial thing is that they are immune.

  • As more people become infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, there will be more people who recover and who are then immune to future infection. 

Source : Indian Express and Al Jazeera



Why in news?

  • A game changing and unique project aimed to transform 5 crore Tribal Entrepreneurs under the name “Tech for Tribal” has been launched by TRIFED. It was launched on19thMarch 2020 by TRIFED and IIT-Kanpur along with IIT-Roorkee, IIM Indore, Kalinga Institute of Social Science, Bhubaneshwar and SRIJAN, Jaipurin the first phase of organising tribal entrepreneurship and skill development program.


  • Tech for Tribals, an initiative of TRIFED supported by Ministry of MSME, aims at capacity building and imparting entrepreneurship skills totribal forest produce gatherers enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri VanDhan Yojana(PMVDY).

  • The trainees will undergo a 30 days program over six weeks comprising 120 sessions.

  • Under the Tech for Tribals program, the Partners will develop course contents relevant to Entrepreneurship in Value Addition and Processing of Forest Produces. The course curriculum will include Achievement Motivation and positive psychology, Entrepreneurial Competencies, Identification of locally available NTFP based Business Opportunities, Round the Year capacity utilization, Product positioning - Grading / Sorting etc.

  • The Tech for tribals capacity building program will ensure higher success rate of the Tribal Entrepreneurs by enabling and empowering them to run their business with marketable products with quality certifications. 

About TRIFED -

  • The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) came into existence in 1987. It is a national-level apex organization functioning under the administrative control of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India. TRIFED has its registered and Head Office located in New Delhi and has a network of 13 Regional Offices located at various places in the country.

Source : PIB



Why in news?

  • The primary objective of this Policy is to meet the challenge of skilling at scale with speed, standard (quality) and sustainability. It aims to provide an umbrella framework for all skilling activities being carried out within the country, to align them to common standards and link skilling with demand centres. The Policy also seeks to coordinate and strengthen factors essential for growth of entrepreneurship across the country.


  • Launching of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), for imparting short-term skill training to the youth; 

  • Notification of common norms for bringing about uniformity and standardization in implementation of various skill development schemes by different Central Ministries/Departments; 

  • Setting up of Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) as industry-led bodies to develop National Occupation Standards (NOSs); 

  • Implementation of Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP), an outcome-oriented World Bank supported project for strengthening institutional mechanisms at both national and state levels

  • Implementation of Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) scheme, a World Bank assisted project launched with the objective of improving the relevance and efficiency of skills training provided through Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and apprenticeships;

  • Launching of Skill India Portal to provide information of trainees, training providers and trainers.

  • Mobilisation/ outreach activities through Kaushal/Rozgar Melas, Skills Career Counselling Scheme in making skilling aspirational.

Source : PIB

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