Daily GK Update: 26th March 2020
Funding the fight against COVID-19 in the world’s poorest countries
- The United Nations is calling for solidarity and increased funding, as some of the world’s most vulnerable countries scale up their efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
- “Now, the virus is arriving in countries already in the midst of humanitarian crises caused by conflicts, natural disasters and climate change,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres as he, together with three senior officials, launched a $2 billion global humanitarian response plan to fund the fight against COVID-19 in the world’s poorest countries.
- “These are places where people who have been forced to flee their homes because of bombs, violence or floods are living under plastic sheets in fields or crammed into refugee camps or informal settlements. They do not have homes in which to socially distance or self-isolate”, he said.
Source: United Nations
PM Garib Kalyan Yojna: India begins virus battle with Rs 1.70 lakh crore plan
- Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore package under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojna, directed at bringing relief to the urban and rural poor, migrant workers and women in the bottom rung of the socio-economic strata.
- Sitharaman also announced medical insurance of Rs 50 lakh each, for paramedics, nurses, ASHA workers and others working on the frontlines of fighting the Covid 19 across the country, which will benefit about 20 lakh people.
Source: The Economic Times
Sunil Chhetri chosen for FIFA campaign against COVID-19 along with likes of Messi
- Talismanic Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri was on Monday picked among 28 past and present stars for world governing body FIFA’s campaign to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
- FIFA and the World Health Organization (WHO) have teamed up to combat the coronavirus by launching a new awareness campaign led by world-renowned footballers, who are calling on all people around the world to follow five key steps to stop the spread of the disease.
Source: Times of India
ARCI develops technology to improve fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines
- International Advanced Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI), an autonomous R&D Centre of Department of Science and Technology (DST), has developed ultrafast laser surface texturing technology, which can improve the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines.
- Laser surface micro-texturing, which offers precise control of the size, shape and density of micro-surface texture features has gained momentum as a way to control friction and wear. In this technology, a pulsating laser beam creates micro-dimples or grooves on the surface of materials in a very controlled manner. Such textures can trap wear debris when operating under dry sliding conditions and sometimes provide effects like enhancing oil supply (lubricant reservoir) which can lower friction coefficients and may enable reduced wear rate.
Source: Department of Science of Technology
Government of India launched a initiative “Stay Home India with Books”
- On March 25, 2020, the National Book Trust functioning under Ministry of Human Resources and Development launched Stay Home India with Books initiative. Under the initiative more than 100 books can be downloaded from the NBT website.
- With Lock Down ruled by GoI to contain the spread of Corona Virus, the Ministry of HRD has uploaded more than 100 books in the NBT website to help people spend quality time during holidays. According to the ministry, majority of the books uploaded are children books. Apart from these, the other books include activity-based learning science, women scientists in India, Gandhi: Warrior of Non-Violence and many more.
Source: Competitive India
Coronavirus impact: Centre postpones process of updating NPR, Census 2021
- With the 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 having come into force, the Centre on Wednesday postponed the process of updating the contentious National Population Register (NPR) and the first phase of the Census 2021.
- The house listing and housing enumeration of the Census 2021 and NPR were slated to be carried out simultaneously from April 1 to September 30.
- There have been widespread protests across the country since mid-December against the amended Citizenship Act (CAA), NPR, and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Source: Business Standard
Union Cabinet approves recapitalisation of RRBs
- The Centre has approved a ₹1,340-crore recapitalisation plan for regional rural banks (RRBs) to improve their capital-to-risk weighted assets ratio (CRAR), strengthening these institutions that are critical to the provision of credit in rural areas.
- On Wednesday, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its nod for an outlay of ₹670 crore as the central share for the scheme on the condition that the release of the funds will be contingent upon the release of the proportionate share by the sponsor banks, an official statement said.
Source: The Hindu