Daily GK Update: 1st April 2020

The coronavirus pandemic could push 11 million people in Asia into poverty, World Bank warns

  • The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic could drive an additional 11 million people into poverty in East Asia and the Pacific unless “urgent action” is taken, the World Bank warned in a report released Monday.
  • In the worse-case scenario outlined by the Washington-based financial institution, the region could suffer its sharpest downturn in more than two decades, plunging much of Asia into a prolonged recession.
    The bank’s baseline forecast projects that regional growth could slow to 2.1% in 2020, compared to estimated growth of 5.8% in 2019. However, under its worse case projection, the region’s economy could contract by 0.5%, creating the potential for an extended crisis.

Source: CN Business

COVID-19 | Wimbledon cancelled for the first time since WWII

Wimbledon cancelled for first time since World War II, due to ...

  • Wimbledon was canceled on Wednesday because of the coronavirus pandemic, the first time since World War II that the oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament won’t be played.
  • The All England Club announced after an emergency meeting that the event it refers to simply as The Championships is being scrapped for 2020. Wimbledon was scheduled to be played on the club’s grass courts on the outskirts of London from June 29 to July 12.
  • Instead, the next edition of the tournament will be June 28 to July 11, 2021.

Source: The Hindu

COVID-19: Govt’s scientific advisor issues manual for homemade masks, says they are 70% effective

lockdown: COVID-19: Govt's scientific advisor issues manual for ...

  • The office of the government’s Principal Scientific Advisor on Tuesday issued a detailed manual to prepare homemade masks using easily available items like old vests, t-shirts and handkerchiefs, stressing they are “70 per cent effective” in curbing the spread of coronavirus. Masks lower the chances of coronavirus entering the respiratory system through droplets left in the air from an infected person.
  • Wearing masks is especially recommended for people living in densely populated areas, the manual states.

Source: The Economic Times

25 lakh poor in A.P. to get house sites on April 14 under Navaratnalu-Pedalandariki Illu programme

Andhra Pradesh to give away house sites on 14 April under ...

  • The government has issued modified guidelines for the distribution of 25 lakh house sites to the poor in urban and rural areas under Navaratnalu – Pedalandariki Illu (houses for all the poor) programme as per the directions of the High Court, on Tuesday.
  • It is in the process of tying up with HUDCO and other organisations for securing loans apart from getting necessary approvals under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).

Source: The Hindu

Govt regulates 24 classes of medical devices as Drugs for quality control, price regulation

Medical devices Imports: Single regulatory framework likely for ...

  • National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, NPPA has revised the ceiling price of 883 scheduled formulations. The Authority in its meeting noted with satisfaction that the supply disruption of active pharmaceutical ingredients caused by COVID-19 outbreak is returning to normalcy.
  • Government is regulating 24 classes of medical devices which have been notified and regulated as drugs under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945. Remaining non-scheduled medical devices which are notified and regulated as drugs, NPPA is currently monitoring Maximum Retail Prices to ensure that no manufacturer and importers can increase the price more than ten per cent in preceding twelve months.

Source: All India Radio

Coronavirus | Rapid antibody testing for hotspots first, says ICMR

Coronavirus | Three quasi-subspecies of virus in circulation in ...

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said the rapid antibody based blood test for COVID-19 will be deployed by this Wednesday in clusters and hot spots showing high incidence of confirmed cases.
  • Raman R Gangakhedkar, head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases Division of the ICMR explained that over all testing for COVID-19 using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), a laboratory technique combining reverse transcription of RNA into DNA, is increasing and that India will be approaching full capacity soon.

Source: The Hindu

​Government extends foreign trade policy by one year

Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020 extended for one year - OdishaDiary

  • The government on Tuesday extended the existing foreign trade policy for one year till March 2021 amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic outbreak and the lockdown to contain its spread.
  • “The existing foreign trade policy 2015-20 which is valid up to March 31 this year is extended up to March 31, 2021,” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.
  • As per the notification, the validity of various import-linked export schemes such as Duty Free Import Authorisation (DFIA) and Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) have been extended by one year.

Source: The Economic Times

ICCR launches global painting competition on coronavirus

ICCR launches global painting competition on Covid-19 | 2020-04-07

  • The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has decided to launch a global painting competition entitled “United against CORONA- Express through Art.”
  • “The Indian Council for Cultural Relations with its focus on building cultural links with countries around the world and connecting people to people through Cultural and Educational exchanges, calls on Indians and citizens of the world to express these emotions through a competition entitled United against CORONA- Express through Art,” an official release said.

Source: Business Standard

UNSC unanimously adopts resolution on safety, security of peacekeepers

UNSC: In a 1st, UN Security Council adopts 4 resolutions remotely ...

  • The UN Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously adopted Resolution 2518, a first of its kind, vowing to take all-dimensional measures to ensure the safety and security of peacekeepers.
  • “This is the first resolution on the safety and security of peacekeepers and is well-received by the broad membership as a timely fit for the current peacekeeping situation in line with the expectations of the international community,” Xinhua news agency quoted a statement as saying on Monday.
  • The resolution was sponsored by China and co-sponsored by 43 countries, including Italy, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, South Africa, Russia, Spain, Turkey and Vietnam, according to the statement.

Source: Business Standard

Ordinance for 100% income tax relief on donation to PM-CARES Fund passed

Donation to PM CARES Fund fully exempted under section 80G of I-T ...

  • The government on Tuesday brought in an Ordinance to give 100% tax relief for donations to newly-formed Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES FUND) for the coronavirus fight.
  • The Taxation and other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020 amended the provisions of the Income-tax Act to provide the same tax treatment to PM-CARES Fund as available to Prime Minister National Relief Fund.
  • Now the donation made to the PM-CARES Fund will be eligible for 100% deduction under section 80G of the IT Act, the government said in a press release.

Source: DNA India