• Current Affairs, 31 March 2020

    NATIONAL NEWS

    1. COVID-19: OMCs announce Ex-Gratia of Rs 5 Lakh for delivery boys and others working in LPG supply chain

    • Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have announced an Ex-Gratia of five lakh rupees each for delivery boys and others working in LPG supply chain. The decision was taken by Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum.
    • This one-time special measure has been made in the unfortunate case of demise of personnel like show-room staff, godown-keepers, mechanics and delivery boys, attending duty in the LPG distributorship chain during COVID-19 pandemic.
    • LPG being an essential commodity has been exempted from the lock-down, and personnel are required to attend duty during this crisis period to maintain uninterrupted LPG cylinder supplies across the country to all customers.
    • Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has welcomed the initiative of the oil companies. In a tweet, he said, this gesture of goodwill is a recognition of the services rendered by our personnel in these trying times.
    • Mr Pradhan said, well-being of workers is of paramount importance and this compassionate move will strengthen the safety nets of our workforce aiding India’s fight against corona.
    1. Mandatory for cable operators to carry 25 DD, RS and LS TV channels

    • Information and broadcasting ministry has notified 25 Doordarshan channels as well as Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha channels which are to be mandatorily carried by the Multiple System Operators (MSOs) and cable operators on their cable TV network.
    • An advisory issued by the ministry said that non-carriage of these notified channels are liable for action under the cable act. Accordingly, all MSOs and cable operators are directed to mandatorily carry these channels.
    1. Govt exempts all central govt employees from biometric attendance till further orders

    • Government has exempted from biometric attendance till further orders all central government employees.
    • Earlier Central government employees had been exempted from biometric attendance till March 31st.
    1. Doordarshan set to bring back Golden Era of television

    • Doordarshan is all set to make staying at home more enjoyable for people during the lockdown by bringing its Golden Era shows back on television. The show Chanakya is planned for daily telecast in the afternoon time bands of DD Bharti from 1st week of April.
    • The show Upanishad Ganga is also scheduled for afternoon slots on DD Bharti starting 1st Week of next month. Shaktimaan the famous serial featuring Mukesh Khanna is planned for a 1-hour daily telecast on DD National network from April at 1 PM.
    • The show Shriman Shrimati is scheduled for a comeback on DD National from next month in the 2 PM slot while Krishna Kali serial will be telecast daily  at 8:30 PM on DD National.
    • The re-telecast of Ramayan and Mahabharat has already begun. Information and Broadcasting Ministry has said that it is mandatory for all the DTH and Cable operators to show all the DD Channels as well as Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Channels as per the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act. It said, non carriage of these channels is liable for action under  the Act.
    • In case viewers are not able to see the desired DD Channel they can complain about the same to the Station Head of the nearest Doordarshan Kendra or e-mail at inform@gmail.com.
    1. Govt says Covid-19 still in local transmission in India, there are no signs of community transmission yet

    • The total number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus has gone upto 1,251 in the country which includes 49 foreign nationals. Out of the total cases, 101 patients have been cured and discharged from the hospitals while 32 died.
    • Briefing media in New Delhi, Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Lav Aggarwal said that the cases reported in the last 12 days is much less than the those reported in the developed country. He said, this happened because of the cooperation of people of the country, our collective preemptive action, social distancing and enforcement of lockdown.
    • He said as the country is battling against an infectious disease and people are required to be and follow the guidelines issued in this regard.
    • Mr Aggarwal informed that the government has also constituted empowered groups focussing on issues including medical emergency management and hospital management. He said, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has also decided to create isolation facility at its National Institute of Training and Hostels.
    • He said, Centre is engaged with the States and focussing on setting up dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and strengthening the health infrastructure. He said, out the positive cases reported in the country, 99 per cent patient have recovered. He said, there is no evidence of community transmission in the country and it is at local transmission.
    • Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry, Punya Salila Srivastava said that Home Ministry is regularly monitoring the enforcement of lockdown with the State governments. She said, the guidelines of the lockdown are being followed by the States and availability of the essential items and services are satisfactory. She said, the situation of migrant workers is under control.
    • Raman Gangakhedkar, Head Scientist at ICMR, said that so far over 38 thousand COVID-19 test have been conducted. He said, 115 labs under ICMR network are functional and approval has been given to 47 private labs.
    1. Govt extends validity of vehicle permits till June 30

    • Centre has extended till June 30 the validity of documents like driving licenses, permits and registration that expired since February 1, in a move to ensure hassle-free transportation of cargo amid the lockdown over the novel coronavirus pandemic. In an advisory to all states and Union territories, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has asked them to treat such documents as valid till June 30.
    • The decision was taken to facilitate the citizens facing difficulties in renewing the validity of various documents related to the Motor Vehicles Act and the Central Motor Vehicles Rules due to nationwide lockdown in the country and closure of government transport offices, according to the advisory.
    • The documents include fitness, permit (all types), driving licence, registration or any other concerned document under the Motor Vehicles Act. The documents include fitness, permit (all types), driving licence, registration or any other concerned document under the Motor Vehicles Act.
    1. Number of COVID-19 cases reported in last 12 days much less than those reported in developed countries

    • 92  fresh confirmed cases of novel coronavirus or COVID- 19 have been reported in the past 24 hours in the country. With this the total number of cases has now gone up to 1071 including 29 deaths. Briefing media in New Delhi, Joint Secretary Lav Aggarwal said that the the cases reported in the last 12 days is much less than the those reported in the developed country. He said, this happened because of the cooperation of people of the country, our collective preemptive action, social distancing  and enforcement of lockdown. He as the country is battling against an infectious disease and people are required to be and follow the guidelines issued in this regard.
    • Mr Aggarwal also informed that the government has also constituted empowered groups focusing on issues including medical emergency management and  hospital management. He said , Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has also decided to create isolation facility at its National Institute of Training and Hostels. He said, Centre is engaged with the States and focusing on setting  up dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and strengthening the health infrastructure.  He said, out the positive cases reported in the country, 99 patients have recovered. He said, there is no evidence of community transmission in the country and it is at local transmission.
    • Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry,Punya Salila Srivastava said that  Home Ministry is regularly monitoring  the enforcement of lockdown with the State governments. She said, the guidelines of the lockdown are being followed by the States and availability of the essential items and services are satisfactory.  She said, the situation of migrant workers is under control.
    • Raman Gangakhedkar, Head Scientist  in ICMR said that so far over 38 thousand COVID-19 test have been conducted. He said, 115 labs  under ICMR network are functional and  approval was given to 47 private labs.
    1. SC registry decides to donate up to three days’ salary to PM CARES fund

    • The officials and staff of the Supreme Court registry have decided to donate up to three days’ salary to the PM CARES fund in the wake of the Corona virus outbreak. According to a circular issued by Registrar (Cash and Accounts) all Gazetted Officers will donate three days’ salary, Non-Gazetted employees will donate two days’ salary and group “C” employees will donate one day’s salary to the Prime Minister Citizens’ Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situation (PM CARES) fund.
    • The contribution of the employees will be deducted from the salary for the month of March. The circular issued to this effect said that most of the officers and officials have already expressed their desire to contribute for this noble cause and therefore, it has been decided that they may contribute by way of donation to the PM CARES fund. The circular said the contribution will, however, be voluntary.
    1. Prime Minister’s video conference with the Heads of Indian Missions

    • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi held a video conference with the Heads of all of India’s Embassies and High Commissions worldwide at 1700 hrs today. This conference—the first such event for Indian Missions worldwide—was convened to discuss responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Prime Minister noted that extraordinary times require extraordinary solutions, which was why even in this globalized era, most of the world had quarantined itself. This was an unavoidable step taken to fight this pandemic, but it was also hugely consequential, as the closure of the globalized system has had an extensive and far-reaching impact upon the international transport system, financial markets and the global economy.
    • Prime Minister said that India had taken unprecedented and early steps in response to this pandemic from mid-January this year, to reduce the risk of importing the infection, and thereafter to prevent a large outbreak.  This included the world’s largest quarantine and lock-down, implemented by India.
    • The Prime Minister complimented Heads of Missions for their efforts to evacuate Indians stranded abroad in some of the epicentres of the crisis. He also exhorted them to take steps on five specific counts:
    • To ensure their own health and safety, and that of their teams and families;
    • To attend to Indians who remain in various foreign countries, given the uncertainty of continuing international travel restrictions. He called on Heads of Indian Missions to help boost the morale of such compatriots abroad, and to help them address issues arising from their unplanned stay abroad, with their host Governments, and also to address other problems Indians might face abroad, including arranging shelter, where necessary and feasible;
    • To stay alert and identify in their countries of accreditation best practices, innovations, scientific breakthroughs and sources to procure medical equipment, for India’s fight against COVID-19. He also advised Heads of Mission to suitably publicize the newly-established PM-CARES Fund to mobilize donations from abroad;
    • Since this crisis also impacts upon the economy, PM advised Heads of Mission to also focus on ensuring that commerce in essential supplies, logistics chains, remittances and so on are unaffected, through their coordination with foreign partners;
    • To continue to pay close attention to the evolving international political and economic situation, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • In response, ten Heads of Mission, in Beijing, Washington DC, Tehran, Rome, Berlin, Kathmandu, Abu Dhabi, Kabul, Male, and Seoul offered their perspectives to PM and the rest of the audience. They shared feedback regarding appreciation in their countries of accreditation of the resolute measures taken by India to combat this pandemic.
    • Heads of Missions outlined their efforts to help Indians stranded abroad, in particular, students and workers. They also reported efforts to identify medicine, medical devices, technologies, research and other measures  which might help in India’s own national effort to fight this pandemic. Heads of Mission also reported lessons learned in other countries, and their best practices, in the global fight against COVID-19. In our neighbourhood, Heads of Mission underlined measures to assist the national responses of those countries, using the special fund created at India’s initiative for SAARC countries to combat COVID-19. The Heads of Mission also expressed gratitude for the guidance and inspiration from PM for their work.
    • In conclusion, Prime Minister emphasized that India’s Missions abroad may well be far from home, but they remain full participants in India’s fight against COVID-19. He emphasized that the unity and alertness of all Indians would help safeguard the nation’s future.
    1. Social organisations play big role in countering superstitions, wrong beliefs, misinformation against COVID-19

    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi  today said, social organisations have a big role to play in countering superstitions, wrong beliefs and misinformation. The Prime Minister was interacting with representatives of organizations working for social welfare, via video conference. He appealed to them to spread awareness about the COVID-19 outbreak. Mr. Modi added that people were seen gathered in places and flouting social distancing norms in the name of belief. He said, it is necessary to highlight the importance of maintaining social distancing during this time.
    • Modi said, the entire nation is displaying immense resilience, grit and patience in facing the challenge of the virus outbreak.
    • Recalling Mahatma Gandhi’s words, that serving the poor and downtrodden is the best way to serve the nation, the Prime Minister praised the dedication and commitment of organizations participating in the video conference, towards serving humanity.

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    1. Spain bans funeral ceremonies

     

    • In its bid to contain the spread of coronavirus, Spain has banned funeral ceremonies, including vigils at home till April 11, and decreed that no more than three people could attend burials. The country has been struggling with thousands of fatalities from the coronavirus pandemic.
    • The new measures also urges people to maintain a social distancing of one to two metres.
    • Spain has listed 7,340 deaths from COVID-19, the second highest toll in the world after Italy. The number of confirmed cases in Spain has now reached 85,195.
    • Spain has imposed the strictest confinement measures in Europe.
    1. Bangladesh to bring back its citizens from India

    • Government of Bangladesh is planning to bring back its citizens from India who are willing to return back to the country following the lockdown in India and closing of the borders for travel.
    • Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Mohammad Imran told the official news agency BSS on Monday that a total of 162 Bangladeshis in India have expressed their willingness to return to the country so far. The Bangladesh High Commission in India is exploring the possibility of hiring a chartered flight to bring back its citizens to Dhaka. Hundreds of Bangladeshi citizens remained stuck at various hospitals and medical facilities where they had gone to seek treatment.
    • Bangladesh Bank (BB) has also taken steps to facilitate its citizens stranded abroad. It has instructed banks and Authorised Dealers to release foreign exchange within permissible limits on their international cards to help them deal with the disruption caused by Corona outbreak.
    • In the meanwhile, some foreign missions in Bangladesh are arranging special flights to send back their citizens. 269 American citizens left for US on Monday by a special chartered flight from Dhaka. The US embassy had earlier clarified on Sunday that it is not forcing anyone to return to US. The decision to return is a personal choice.
    • Bangladesh reported one more new case of Coronavirus infection on Monday taking the total number of infected persons to 49. Five persons have succumbed to the Corona infection so far.
    1. Prince Charles comes out of self-isolation seven days after testing positive for COVID-19

     

    • Britain’s Prince Charles came out of self-isolation today seven days after it was confirmed that he had tested positive for Coronavirus. The 71-year-old heir to the British throne had been self-isolating on the Queen’s Balmoral estate in Scotland after he had been tested by the National Health Service (NHS) in Aberdeenshire last week.
    • A royal spokesperson said that  that the Prince of Wales is now out of self-isolation and in good health. He is now following the governments restrictions as he carries on working from home.

     

    1. Singapore: 3 Indians among 42 new Coronavirus cases

     

    AIR

    • In Singapore, three Indians were among the 42 new Corona virus cases reported yesterday, taking the total number of infections in the country to 844. According to Health Ministry statement, of the new cases, 24 are imported ones and have a travel history to Europe, North America, Middle East, Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other parts of Asia. It said, the fresh cases take the total number of people infected with the deadly Corona virus in the city-state to 844, it said.
    • The three Indians include a 35-year-old woman with a long-term pass, a 34-year-old man holding the Singapore work pass. Both of them have a travel history to India. Another 43-year old man, a Singapore permanent resident whose nationality was not listed, is an imported case with a travel history to India.
    • The Ministry said, contact tracing is underway for a total of 71 locally transmitted cases to establish any links to previous cases or travel history to affected countries or regions. It said, of the 423 confirmed COVID-19 cases who are in hospitals, 19 are in critical condition and others are stable or improving.

     

    SPORTS NEWS

    1. Former Indian footballer Bhaichung Bhutia extends help to migrant workers in Sikkim

     

    • Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia has come forward to help migrant workers in Sikkim. Mr Bhutia has offered shelter to migrant workers in his building at Lumsey, Tadong near Gangtok.
    • On his official Facebook page, Mr Bhutia said, he felt strongly for migrant workers who hoped to reach their homes to survive the coronavirus and the nationwide lockdown. Mr. Bhutia said that along with United Sikkim Football Club, he would like to offer shelter to those in need in my building in Lumsey, Tadong.

     

     

No comments found

LEAVE COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow us on: