Daily GK Update: 10th June 2020

Indian economy will shrink 5% in FY21, stimulus not enough: S&P Ratings

  • S&P Global Ratings on Monday said Indian economy will shrink 5 per cent in the current fiscal, saying the fiscal stimulus worth 1.2 per cent of GDP will not be enough to provide significant growth support.
  • In a report on emerging markets titled ‘Financial Conditions Reflect Optimism, Lockdown Fatigue Emerges’, S&P said the services sectors, which are large employers, have been severely affected, leading to widespread job losses.
  • “Migrant workers have been geographically displaced, and we expect it will take some time to unwind this process. There will be supply chain disruptions over the transition period,” S&P said.
  • The rating agency forecast Indian economy to shrink by 5 per cent in the current fiscal and said growth will rebound to 8.5 per cent in 2021-22. It projected growth to be 6.5 per cent in 2022-23.

Source: Business Standard

Plans afoot for India’s first Coal Exchange

  • India has decided to set up a coal trading platform, taking a giant leap towards completely throwing open the sector to market forces as the country gears up for commercial coal mining auctions, which will increase the number of sellers of coal.
  • As per the proposal, entire coal produced in the country will be traded on a ‘Coal Exchange,’ an online platform where pricing is determined transparently through demand and supply. The exchange is being thought out on the lines of commodity exchanges, power bourses or the proposed gas exchange.
  • This could mean the end of new Fuel Supply Agreements (FSA) regime of Coal IndiaNSE 0.32 % where the state-run miner signs contracts for coal supply with consumers. Coal India Ltd is expected to remain a dominant player in the sector given its production target of one billion tonnes by 2024 and will sell incremental capacity at market prices, a senior government official said.

Source: The Economic Times

NCERT and Rotary India digitally sign MoU for e-learning content telecast for class 1-12 over all NCERT TV channelsin

  • To make e-learning more constructive, NCERT and Rotary India digitally signed MoU for e-learning content telecast for class 1-12 over all NCERT TV channels in the presence of Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhariyal ‘Nishank’ today in New Delhi. Secretary of Department of Education & Literacy Smt. Anita Karwal also attended this digital event.
  • During the event Union HRD Minister said he is happy to announce signing of MoU between NCERT and Rotary Club. He hoped that amidst COVID-19 the collaboration of Rotary India Humanity Foundation and NCERT with the guidance and support of MHRD will ensure that e-learning reaches children across the country with NCERT approved content. ‘

Source: Ministry of Human Resource Development

Twitter launches test feature ‘fleets’ in India for tweets that disappear

  • Twitter on Tuesday launched a new test feature called ‘Fleets in India’, on the lines of ‘stories’ on Instagram or Facebook, to allow users post messages that would disappear after 24 hours.
  • Fleets do not have features, such as likes, retweets, or public replies. India is the third test market for this feature, after Brazil and Italy.
  • “India is important for Twitter since it is one of our largest and fastest-growing audience markets. We are excited to bring the fleets experiment to India and make it one of the first three countries to experience this new product.
  • From testing in India, we’ll learn how adding a new mode of conversation changes the way Indians engage on Twitter. It’ll also be interesting to see if it amplifies the diversity of usage by allowing people to share what they’re thinking in a way that is light-touch and light-hearted,” said Manish Maheshwari, managing director, Twitter India.

Source: Business Standard

National Gallery of Modern Art to run ONLINE NAIMISHA 2020- Summer Art Program from 8th June to 3rd July 2020

  • National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi has announced ONLINE NAIMISHA 2020- Summer Art Program from 8th June 2020 to 3rd July 2020. During this pandemic situation and lockdown, museums and cultural institutions cannot serve visitors and audiences as usual. It led NGMA to explore new areas and platforms to reach to its audiences. In the last two month or so NGMA has organised many programs and exhibitions virtually. The technological development provides an opportunity to organise such programs digitally. So, NGMA is making an endeavour to host its most popular summer art program NAIMISHA digitally.
  • The month-long ONLINE summer program by NGMA, New Delhi is an initiative to provide a chance to its participants to create and learn from practicing artists without compromising their health. Four inclusive workshops have been planned by NGMA to engage and increase engagement virtually

Source: Ministry of Culture

3 Indian institutes in world’s top 200 universities but their rating dips

  • Three premier institutes led by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, followed closely by Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, and IIT Delhi have featured in the top 200 QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University Rankings.
  • However, all three—along with 11 others—have dropped in their rankings over the past 12 months.
  • IIT Bombay has retained its status as India’s premier university at 172nd global rank, though it fell 20 places from 152 last year.
  • IISc Bangalore and IIT Delhi were the second- and third-ranked Indian institutes at 185th and 193rd places, respectively. IISc fell from 184th rank and IIT Delhi from 182nd.

Source: Business Standard

CBIC launches its flagship programme ‘Turant Customs’ at Bengaluru & Chennai

  • Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, CBIC today launched its flagship programme Turant Customs, at Bengaluru and Chennai.
  • In a statement, CBIC said, this is a giant leap forward to leverage technology for faster Customs clearance of imported goods.
  • Importers will now get their goods cleared from Customs after a faceless assessment is done remotely by the Customs officers located outside the port of import.
  • Now, the goods imported at Chennai may be assessed by the Customs officers located at Bengaluru and vice versa, as assigned by the Customs’ automated system.
  • Turant Customs is a mega reform for the ease of doing business.
  • The start of Turant Customs at Bengaluru and Chennai will be the first phase of the All India roll out which would get completed by 31st December this year. The first phase will cover imports of Mechanical, Electrical and Electronics machineries at the ports, airports and ICDs of Bengaluru and Chennai.

Source: All India Radio

Gomathi Marimuthu gets four-year doping ban, to appeal to CAS

  • Gomathi Marimuthu, the 2019 Asian championship 800m gold medallist, has been stripped of her medal and banned for four years by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after her ‘B’ sample also returned positive for anabolic steroid nandrolone.
  • All of Gomathi’s competition results between March 18 and May 17, 2019 stand annulled. The Tamil Nadu athlete’s medals, titles, ranking points and prize and appearance money are to be forfeited as well.
  • The decision of the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal, chaired by Anna Bordiugova, regarding the alleged anti-doping rules violation reads: “The Athlete violated ADR Articles 2.1 and 2.2, in that she had used a Prohibited Substance and that a metabolite of that Prohibited Substance was found to be present in her urine Samples.

Source: Sportstar

Former Union minister Arjun Charan Sethi passes away at 79

  • Former Union minister Arjun Charan Sethi died in a hospital here on Monday following a brief illness, family sources said.
  • He was 79. Sethi was admitted to the private hospital on Sunday night, they said.
    An eight-time MP from Bhadrak Lok Sabha constituency, Sethi was the Union Water Resources Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government from 2000 to 2004.
  • Active in social and political spheres since his youth, soft-spoken Sethi was also elected to the Odisha Assembly twice.
  • Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condoled Sethi’s death, describing him as a veteran parliamentarian and an able administrator.

Source: The New Indian Express

DIAT develops disinfectant spray to combat Covid-19

  • The Defence Institute of Advanced Technology in Pune has developed a nano-technology based disinfectant spray to combat Covid-19. The formulation, which has been named Ananya, is effective in disinfecting all types of surfaces, developers said.
  • “The material can be used on masks, PPEs, hospital linens, and other likely contaminated surfaces like medical instruments, elevator buttons, door knobs, corridors and rooms,” DIAT said in a press statement.
  • Dr Sangeeta Kale, professor of Physics and Dean of DIAT said, “The material has been developed by synthesising silver nanoparticles and a commercially available drug, Ampicillin…Properties of this material have been tested by two methods – Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Infrared Spectroscopy.”

Source: The Indian Express

IIT-Guwahati students develop mobile app for contactless air travel

  • A group of IIT-Guwahati students has developed a mobile application for seamless and contactless air travel not only during the current pandemic but also during non-crisis situations.
  • The aim of the mobile app Flyzy, developed as per International Air Transport Association (IATA) guidelines, is to provide contactless boarding, keeping in mind the easier baggage drop, manageable parking, better shopping experience and providing necessary updates during the whole journey, IIT-Guwahati said in a release.

Source: Business Line

Draft Frameworks for Sale of Loan Exposures and Securitisation of Standard Assets

  • The Reserve Bank has today placed on its website two draft documents for public comments – the ‘Draft Framework for Securitisation of Standard Assets’ and ‘the Draft Comprehensive Framework for Sale of Loan Exposures’. These guidelines are applicable to all Scheduled Commercial Banks (excluding Regional Rural Banks); All India Financial Institutions (NABARD, NHB, EXIM Bank, and SIDBI); and, all Non-Banking Financial Companies including Housing Finance Companies.
  • Aimed at development of a strong and robust securitisation market in India, while incentivising simpler securitisation structures, the revised guidelines attempt to align the regulatory framework with the Basel guidelines on securitisation that have come into force effective January 1, 2018. The revisions also take into account the recommendations of the Committee on Development of Housing Finance Securitisation Market in India (Chair: Dr. Harsh Vardhan) and the Task Force on the Development of Secondary Market for Corporate Loans (Chair: Shri T.N. Manoharan), which were set up by the Reserve Bank in May, 2019.

Source: Reserve Bank of India

Myanmar military to use Facebook to counter ‘misinformation’

  • The spokesperson said that the military has decided to use the popular social media platform to counter fake news and misinformation and provide accurate news to people swiftly, reports Irrawady.
  • Facebook had removed several accounts linked to the Myanmar military in 2018. Accounts of Commander in Chief of Myanmar Army General Min Aung Hlaing and other senior officials of Tatmadaw was blocked by Facebook after the UN fact finding mission found them responsible for human rights abuse in the Rakhine province of the country.
  • While removing the accounts on August 28, 2018 the Facebook had said that they removed 425 Facebook pages, 17 groups and 135 Facebook accounts and 15 Instagram accounts linked to the Myanmar military as evidence suggested that they had committed serious human rights violations in Myanmar.
  • There has been no official response or reaction from Facebook on the announcement by the Myanmar military to use Facebook.

    Source: DD News