Daily GK Update: 26th July 2020

“Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tests positive for coronavirus”

  • Shivraj Singh Chouhan Saturday became the first Chief Minister to test positive for the novel coronavirus. He is likely to get admitted to Chirayu hospital in capital city Bhopal.
  • The Madhya Pradesh CM disclosed the news on Twitter.
  • His announcement came days after Cabinet Minister Arvind Bhadoria tested positive for the disease.
  • Bhadoria had attended a Cabinet meeting and had travelled with the CM to Lucknow to attend the funeral of Governor Lalji Tandon earlier this week.

Source: The Indian Express

“Kashmir saffron gets GI certification, Lt. Guv calls it ‘historic”

  • In a momentous decision, the Central Government on Saturday issued certification of geographical indication (GI) for saffron grown in Kashmir Valley.
  • With GI tag, Kashmir saffron will acquire more prominence in the export market and it would help farmers get the best remunerative price.
  • According to Principal Secretary Agriculture Production Department Navin K Choudhary, the GI certification will stop prevalent adulteration of Kashmir saffron and authenticated saffron will fetch much better prices.
  • Meanwhile UT’s Lt General said that restoring the pristine glory of Kashmir saffron is top priority of both the governments at the UT and at the Centre.

Source: The Indian Express

“India-European Union Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation renewed for next five years (2020-2025)”

  • India and European Union have renewed its Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation for the next five years (2020-2025).
  • This has been done by exchange of Note Verbale between two sides.
  • The Agreement was initially signed in on 23 November 2001 and renewed two times in past in 2007 and 2015.
  • This will expand the cooperation in scientific and technological research strengthen the conduct of cooperative activities in areas of common interest and application of the results of such cooperation to their economic and social benefit.

Source: PIB News

“ITAT allows exemption of Rs 220 crore to Tata Education and Development Trust”

  • Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, ITAT has allowed exemption of Rs 220 crore to Tata Education and Development Trust.
  • In a major relief to the trust, the ITAT bench consisting of Justices P. P. Bhatt, President, ITAT yesterday ruled in favour of the trust in their appeal against Commissioner of Income Tax appeal order wherein a demand of more than Rs 220 crore was levied by the Income Tax Department.
  • ITAT also stayed the matter of that demand without any minimum pay.
  • It donated Rs 197.79 crore in 2011-12 and Rs 25.37 crore in 2012-13.

Source: News On Air

“India, UK affirm commitment towards free trade agreement”

  • India and the UK have affirmed their commitment to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) with a view to further strengthen economic ties.
  • The issue was discussed in the 14th Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting between the two countries on Friday.
  • It was co-chaired by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss.
  • They were assisted by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Hardeep Singh Puri and his UK counterpart Ranil Jayawardena.

Source: Livemint

“RBI signs $400 mn currency swap with Sri Lanka”

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has signed an agreement for extending a $400-million currency swap facility to Sri Lanka to boost the foreign reserves and ensure financial stability of the country, which is badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Indian High Commission in Colombo said the currency swap arrangement will remain available till November 2022.
  • Sri Lanka in April said it was set to enter into an agreement with the RBI for a currency swap worth $400 million under the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) framework.
  • Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had made an additional request to India for a special $1.1 billion currency swap facility in May.

Source: The Indian Express

“First container train from India arrives in Bangladesh”

  • The first container train carrying FMCG products and other items arrived at the Benapole railways station of Bangladesh on Sunday.
  • It had started from Majerhat station near Kolkata on Friday with a consignment of soaps, shampoos, other FMCG items and textile fabric in 50 containers.
  • The Railway Advisor in the High Commission of India Anita Barik told Prasar Bharti Special Correspondent at Dhaka that the Container Train Service is going to be a regular service connecting various terminals of Indian Railways network to Bangladesh.
  • It will connect nominated terminals of Concor India to various stations in Bangladesh such as Benapole, Jessore, Singia, Noapara and Bangabandhu Setu West railway stations.

Source: DD News

“Trump Administration eases export restrictions on unmanned drones”

  • In a significant development, the Trump Administration on Friday relaxed standards for exporting drones to friendly countries.
  • Under the new policy, drones that fly at speeds below 800 km per hour are no longer subject to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
  • This action, which is consistent with the MTCR guidelines will increase the US’s national security by improving capabilities of its partners and increase economic security by opening the expanding drones market to the US industry.
  • This policy change modernises our approach to implementing our MTCR commitments.

Source: The Tribune

“US Now Says No New Foreign Students For All-Online Classes”

  • The United States announced Friday it will not take in any new foreign students seeking online-only study, after rescinding a hotly contested order to expel those already here and preparing for that because of the pandemic.
  • The policy change was announced in a statement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • President Donald Trump has made a tough line on immigration a cornerstone of his message and has suspended several kinds of visas for foreigners during the coronavirus crisis.
  • The original policy change of revoking the visas of foreign students whose classes will move online in the autumn was taken to court by top universities including Harvard and MIT, teachers unions and at least 18 states.

Source: NDTV

“Vietnam bans wildlife imports, markets to prevent another outbreak”

  • Vietnam announced that it was banning wildlife imports and would close wildlife markets in response to renewed concerns about the threat from diseases that can jump from animals to humans, such as the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • An order signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Thursday bans all imports of wildlife dead or alive and includes eggs and larvae.
  • It also merits tougher penalties for crimes involving the trade in wildlife.
  • Vietnam has been a popular destination for wildlife products often from endangered species that are used in traditional medicine or in preparing exotic cuisine.

Source: Deccan Chronicle