UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 30-July-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. Induction of Rafale In Indian Air Force

  2. National Education Policy 2020

  3. Unlock 3 Guidelines

  4. IMF says containing spread of coronavirus pandemic policy priority for India to make recovery sustainable

  5. Russia may launch world's first coronavirus vaccine by 10 August: Report



INDUCTION OF RAFALE IN INDIAN AIR FORCE

Why in news?

  • The first five Indian Air Force (IAF) Rafale aircraft have arrived at Air Force Station, Ambala.


Highlights:

  • The ferry was planned in two stages and was undertaken by IAF pilots. The aircraft covered a distance of nearly 8500 km from France to India.

  • The aircraft will be a part of 17 Squadron, the “Golden Arrows”, which was resurrected on 10 Sep 19.

  • A formal induction ceremony of Rafale aircraft in 17 Squadron is scheduled to be held in the second half of Aug 2020. Details of the ceremony will be intimated in due course.


Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1642125 )



NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY 2020

Why in news?

  • Cabinet Approves National Education Policy 2020, paving way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems in the country


Highlights:

  • New Policy aims for Universalization of Education from pre-school to secondary level with 100 % GER in school education by 2030.

  • NEP 2020 will bring 2 crore out of school children back into the main stream 

  • New 5+3+3+4 school curriculum with 12 years of schooling and 3 years of Anganwadi/ Pre-schooling 

  • Emphasis on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, no rigid separation between academic streams, extracurricular, vocational streams in schools ; Vocational Education to start  from Class 6 with Internships

  • Teaching upto at least Grade 5 to be in mother tongue/ regional language

  • Assessment reforms with 360 degree Holistic Progress Card, tracking Student Progress for achieving Learning Outcomes

  • Higher Education curriculum to have Flexibility of Subjects

  • Multiple Entry / Exit to be allowed with appropriate certification

  • Academic Bank of Credits to be established to facilitate  Transfer of Credits

  • National Research Foundation to be established to foster a strong research culture 

  • Light but Tight Regulation of Higher Education, single regulator with four separate verticals for different functions

  • Affiliation System to be phased out in 15 years with graded autonomy to colleges

  • NEP 2020 advocates increased use of technology with equity; National Educational Technology Forum to be created

  • NEP 2020 emphasizes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund, Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups

  • New Policy promotes Multilingualism in both schools and HEs; National Institute for Pali, Persian and Prakrit , Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation to be set up


Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1642125 )



UNLOCK 3 GUIDELINES

Why in news?

  • MHA issues Unlock 3 Guidelines, opens up more activities outside Containment Zones


Highlights:

  • In Unlock 3, which will come into effect from August 1, 2020, the process of phased re-opening of activities has been extended further.

  • The new guidelines, issued today, are based on feedback received from States and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related Central Ministries and Departments.

  • Restrictions on movement of individuals during night (Night curfew) have been removed.

  • Yoga institutes and gymnasiums will be allowed to open from August 5, 2020. In this regard, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.

  • Independence Day functions will be allowed with social distancing and by following other health protocols, e.g., wearing of masks etc. In this regard instructions issued by MHA on 21.07.2020 shall be followed.

  • After extensive consultation with States and UTs, it has been decided that schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed till August 31, 2020. 

  • International air travel of passengers has been permitted in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat mission.  Further opening up will take place in a calibrated manner.

  • All activities, except the following, shall be permitted outside containment zones:  

  1. Metro Rail.

  2. Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.

  3. Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations.


Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1642125 )



IMF SAYS CONTAINING SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC POLICY PRIORITY FOR INDIA TO MAKE RECOVERY SUSTAINABLE

Why in news?

  • The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday said India has policy space-both on the fiscal and monetary policy side-- to raise resources in order to put the economy on the growth path but needs to urgently contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic on a priority to make economic recovery sustainable.


Highlights:

  • Raising concern over rising confirmed cases of covid-19 on a daily basis, Ranil Salgado, Assistant Director at Asia Pacific division of IMF said high frequency indicators such as Google Mobility suggest that economic recovery has flattened after picking up in early June. 

  • On the fiscal support by the Indian government so far, Salgado said India’s above the line fiscal support which is included in the deficit is 1.9% of GDP while the below the line fiscal support including government guarantees is 4.9% of GDP.

  • While recognizing that going into the covid-19 crisis, India had limited fiscal space available, Rhee said in an extreme situation, where India needs to issue a large amount of government bond, some degree of monetization of deficit may be unavoidable. 

  • Though India stands out for the structural reforms it announced during the coronavirus pandemic, Salgado said IMF believes these are beneficial in the medium to long term than for immediate growth prospects.

  • Salgado said there are concerns in corporate sector vulnerabilities.


Source : Livemint ( https://www.livemint.com/news/india/imf-spread-coronavirus-pandemic-policy-india-recovery-11596039203425.html )



RUSSIA MAY LAUNCH WORLD'S FIRST CORONAVIRUS VACCINE BY 10 AUGUST: REPORT

Why in news?

  • Amid the rising novel coronavirus infections and deaths in the world, Russia says that it plans to register a coronavirus vaccine as soon as 10 August to 12 August, which can also be touted as the world's first Covid-19 vaccine, according to a report.


Highlights:

  • A Russian state virology institute has started human trials of the country's second potential Covid-19 vaccine.

  • The drug developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund may be approved for civilian use within three to seven days of registration by regulators

  • Earlier, the state-run RIA Novosti news service reported the vaccine may be approved by August 15-16.

  • Furthermore, a Russian state virology institute has started human trials of the country's second potential Covid-19 vaccine, injecting the first of five volunteers with a dose on July 27, the RIA news agency reported on Tuesday.

  • Moreover, Russian drugmaker R-Pharm has signed a deal with AstraZeneca for it to manufacture a coronavirus vaccine being developed by the British pharmaceuticals giant and Oxford University, it said earlier.

  • The Russian Defence Ministry clarified that tests of the vaccine against coronavirus are being conducted in full compliance with methodological regulations, with no attempts to reduce the duration of the research.

  • Russia could make 30 million doses domestically in 2020 for its first Covid-19 vaccine, and 170 million abroad, with five countries expressing interest in producing the vaccine and others willing to produce it, according to a Bloomberg report quoting Russian Direct Investment Fund's head Kirill Dmitriev.

  • President Vladimir Putin has made finding a vaccine a top priority.

  • Russia has recorded more than 800,000 Covid-19 cases, making it the fourth most-affected country in the world.

  • In Russia’s race to be the first to find a vaccine against Covid-19, it’s taking an approach that would be shunned in other countries, claiming it will know in just three months of trials whether its leading candidate works.

  • More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world to try to stop the coronavirus pandemic.

  • At least four are in final Phase III human trials, according to WHO data - including three developed in China and another in Britain.


Source : Livemint ( https://www.livemint.com/news/world/russia-may-launch-world-s-first-coronavirus-vaccine-by-10-august-report-11596020398739.html )



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