Daily Current Affairs : 28-Mar-2020

SOLIDARITY TRIAL

  • Why in news? Government has stated that India will soon participate in WHO 'solidarity trial' for developing potential COVID-19 drugs.


Highlights:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a large global trial, called SOLIDARITY, to find out whether any can treat infections with the new coronavirus for the dangerous respiratory disease.

  • It’s an unprecedented effort—an all-out, coordinated push to collect robust scientific data rapidly during a pandemic. 

  • Members include Thailand, Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland.

  • The Solidarity trial will test four different drugs or combinations –

  • Remdesivir, a combination of two drugs, lopinavir and ritonavir,

  • the two drugs plus interferon beta, and

  • chloroquine – and will compare their effectiveness to what is called standard of care


Source : Livemint



RBI MOVES AGAINST COVID-19

Why in news?

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) went all out to make ample liquidity available in the market and nudge banks to aid the productive sectors of the economy, announcing measures to inject  ₹3.74 trillion.


Highlights:

  • The measures include targeted long-term repo operations (TLTRO) of up to  ₹1 trillion, a 100-basis point (bps) cut in cash-reserve ratio (CRR) and easier borrowing requirements under the marginal standing facility (MSF) window.

  • RBI said the CRR cut and easier MSF rules will infuse  ₹1.37 trillion each. The central bank also reduced the reverse repo rate by 90bps to 4%, making it less attractive for banks to simply park money with the RBI instead of lending.


Source : Livemint



SMALL INDIAN CIVET

Why in news?

  • A Small Indian civet also known as Indian Civet is found traversing the streets of Kozhikode.


Highlights:


  • IUCN Status – Least Concern

  • Habitat – Forest, Shrubland, Artificial/Terrestrial, Grassland, Savanna, Wetlands (Inland)

Threats –

  • Hunting and trapping terrestrial animals.


Source : IUCN and Livemint




BS – IV to BS – VI TRANSITION

Why in news?

  • The Supreme relaxed the 31 March deadline for winding up sales and registrations of BS IV emission norm-compliant vehicles amid the 21-day countrywide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.


Highlights:

  • An apex court bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Gupta allowed sale of 10% of the unsold stock of BS IV vehicles within 10 days of the end of the lockdown, except in Delhi and the National Capital Region.

  • Advantages of BS-VI Norms:

  • It will bring down sulphur by 5 times from the BS-IV levels i.e. 80% reduction.

  • It will improve emissions from the existing fleet, even from the older vehicles on road. 

  • BS-VI is as clean as CNG or even cleaner than CNG is some respects.

  • With the introduction of BS-VI, India joins the small list of Asia - Pacific nations -Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and China. 

Challenges:

  • To take full advantage of the availability of such superior fuels, the vehicle technology has to move to BS-VI. Introduction of BS VI fuel will only give partial benefits if BS VI compliant vehicles are not put on the road.

  • Indian oil refiners will need to invest approx. 30,000 crore for upgrading to BS-VI technology.


Source : Livemint



OPERATION NAMASTE

Why in news?

  • Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Friday launched initiative ''Operation Namaste'' to insulate the 1.3 million strong force from coronavirus infection and extend all possible assistance to the government in containing the pandemic.


Highlights:

  • Army chief asked all Army personnel to take prescribed precautions against the virus and assured soldiers and officers deployed along borders with Pakistan and China that special care is being taken of their families in the wake of the pandemic.

  • Under ''Operation Namaste'', the Army has issued series of directives to all its bases to insulate the force from the coronavirus. The Army headquarters issued a number of advisories in the last few weeks to deal with the situation.

  • The Army has already set up command-wise helpline as part of measures to deal with any possible eventualities arising out of the pandemic.


Source : NDTV



AFGHAN-TALIBAN TALKS

Why in news?

  • The Afghan government has finalised a 21-member team — including five women — who will negotiate with the Taliban in upcoming talks aimed at ending Afghanistan’s 18-year-old conflict.


Highlights:

  • Under a deal signed by the U.S. and the Taliban last month, the insurgents agreed to commit to starting talks with the Afghan government and discuss a possible ceasefire. Up until now, the Taliban has refused to meet with the administration of President Ashraf Ghani, calling him an American stooge.

  • In return for starting talks and other commitments, the U.S. and foreign partner forces will withdraw from Afghanistan over the next 14 months.

  • The team will be led by former Afghan intelligence chief Masoom Stanekzai, who as a Pashtun shares a tribal identity with the Taliban.


Source : Hindu



IMF – WORLD IS IN RECESSION

Why in news?

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


Highlights:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has driven the global economy into a downturn that will require massive funding to help developing nations.

  • 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.”

  • Over 80 countries, mostly with low incomes, have already requested emergency aid from the International Monetary Fund.


Source : Hindu


ARR-RINAM

Why in news?

  • Arunachal Pradesh tribes revive indigenous lockdown rituals – Arr Rinam.


Highlights:

  • Arr-Rinam is the Galo equivalent of lockdown imposed by consensus for 48 hours whenever an epidemic strikes.

  • The Galos is one of the 26 major tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, dominate West Siang district.

  • Arr-Rinam, which follows the Ali-Ternam ritual to ward off an epidemic, has been a part of the culture of Galos tribe.

  • Ali-Ternam — Ali means epidemic and Ternam forestall — and Arr-Rinam were last performed almost four decades ago when a water-borne disease had affected many members of the community.


Source : Hindu


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