UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 29-April-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. India signs $1.5 billion loan agreement with ADB

  2. New list of names of tropical cyclones over north Indian Ocean

  3. Plasma therapy not approved as treatment, use only for trial: Govt




INDIA SIGNS $1.5 BILLION LOAN AGREEMENT WITH ADB

Why in news?

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday agreed to give a $1.5 billion loan to India to support its immediate response to coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic such as disease containment and protection of economically vulnerable sections of the society.


Highlights:

About ADB :

  • ADB was conceived in the early 1960s as a financial institution that would be Asian in character and foster economic growth and cooperation in one of the poorest regions in the world.

  • The Philippines capital of Manila was chosen to host the new institution, which opened on 19 December 1966, with 31 members that came together to serve a predominantly agricultural region.

  • Takeshi Watanabe was ADB's first President.

  • No Indian has ever been president of ADB.

  • ADB has 68 shareholding members including 49 from the Asia and Pacific region. 


Board of Governors :

  • ADB's highest policy-making body is the Board of Governors, which comprises one representative from each member nation – 48 from the Asia-Pacific and 19 from outside the region.


Board of Directors :

  • The Governors elect 12 members to form the Board of Directors, which performs its duties full time at the ADB headquarters. The Directors supervise ADB's financial statements, approve its administrative budget, and review and approve all policy documents and all loan, equity, and technical assistance operations.


Management :

  • The President heads a management team comprising six Vice-Presidents. The team supervises the work of ADB's operational, administrative, and knowledge departments


Source : ADB ( https://www.adb.org/who-we-are/organization )


NEW LIST OF NAMES OF TROPICAL CYCLONES OVER NORTH INDIAN OCEAN

Why in news?

  • New list of tropical cyclone names has been adopted by WMO/ESCAP Panel Member Countries in April 2020 for naming of tropical cyclones over North Indian Ocean including Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea


Highlights:

  • Worldwide there are six Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) and five regional Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs) mandated for issuing advisories and naming of tropical cyclones.

  • India Meteorological Department (IMD) is one of the six RSMCs to provide tropical cyclone and storm surge advisories to 13 member countries under WMO/ESCAP Panel including Bangladesh, India, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

  • RSMC, New Delhi is also mandated to name the Tropical Cyclones developing over the north Indian Ocean (NIO) including the Bay of Bengal (BoB) and the Arabian Sea (AS).

  • After long deliberations among the member countries, the naming of the tropical cyclones over the north Indian Ocean commenced from September 2004.

  • This list contained names proposed by then eight member countries of WMO/ESCAP PTC, viz., Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Almost all names except the last name (Amphan) from this list have been utilised till date.


Criteria for selection of Names :

  • The proposed name should be neutral to (a) politics and political figures (b) religious believes, (c) cultures and (d) gender

  • Name should be chosen in such a way that it does not hurt the sentiments of any group of population over the globe

  • It should not be very rude and cruel in nature

  • It should be short, easy to pronounce and should not be offensive to any member

  • The maximum length of the name will be eight letters

  • The proposed name should be provided along with its pronunciation and voice over

  • The Panel reserves the right to reject any name, if any of the criteria above is not satisfied.

  • The finalised names may also be reviewed during the course of time of implementation with the approval of PTC in its annual session, in case any reasonable objection is raised by any member

  • The names of tropical cyclones over the north Indian Ocean will not be repeated. Once used, it will cease to be used again. Thus, the name should be new. It should not be there in the already existing list of any of the RSMCs worldwide including RSMC, New Delhi.


Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1619051 )



PLASMA THERAPY NOT APPROVED AS TREATMENT, USE ONLY FOR TRIAL: GOVT

Why in news?

  • The health ministry on Tuesday came out with a categorical and emphatic warning that it has not approved plasma therapy for treatment of coronavirus and this should be used only for research and trial purposes till there is robust scientific evidence to support its efficacy. 


Highlights:

  • The Centre’s views indicate that it feels the treatment carries an unacceptable risk and Lav Agarwal, joint secretary in the health ministry, said if it is not administered properly, it could be life-threatening.

  • Trials involving plasma therapy will, however, continue with ICMR awaiting more clinical evidence. 

  • The government’s virtual prohibition of plasma therapy as a line of treatment comes at a time when several states feel it might be a promising option.

  • States like Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka have sought permission from ICMR to treat critically-ill Covid-19 patients with this therapy. 

  • Worldwide studies are currently under way on various therapies with plasma being one of them. Even the US FDA has approved the use of plasma therapy only for experimental purposes and not for treatment.


Source : Times of India ( https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/plasma-therapy-not-approved-as-treatment-use-only-for-trial-govt/articleshow/75439012.cms )


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