Current Affairs Daily Digest – April 26 & 27 2020
1. International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day is observed on 26 April
International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day is observed on 26 April. The day aims to raise awareness of the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster and the risks of nuclear energy in general.
The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was built in 1977. It was built to help make electricity for the infrastructure of the Soviet Union (present Pripyat, Ukraine) to develop economic growth. On 26 April 1986, a reactor in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant experienced a catastrophic explosion and fire. It released unprecedented levels of radioactive materials into the atmosphere.
2. World Intellectual Property Day is observed on 26 April
World Intellectual Property Day is observed on 26 April every year. The day is observed to learn about the role that intellectual property (IP) rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity.
The World Intellectual Property Day 2020 carves a pathway to a green future. Hence, WIPO organizes a campaign “Innovate for a green future” that aims to create awareness about the need to preserve the environment.
3. Chemicals, Petrochemicals industry becomes top exporting sector for 1st time
India’s chemical exports rose by 7 per cent to 2.68 lakh crore rupees during April-January period of the last fiscal, and became the top exporting sector in the country for the first time. Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers DV Sadananda Gowda congratulated the chemicals and petrochemicals industry on becoming the top exporting sector of the country for the first time.
4. Franklin Templeton marks down its Fund-of-Fund exposure by 50%
Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund has marked down its Fund-of-Fund (FoF) exposure to the debt funds being wound up by 50%. A Franklin Templeton AMC spokesman said that investments by the FoF Schemes in the 6 affected underlying schemes were illiquid effective April 24, 2020.
“Hence, considering the immediate illiquidity of the investment, these funds were fair valued,” he added. The spokesman further stated that the AMC was re-working the underlying asset allocation of the fund of fund schemes and “will intimate the changes to investors shortly.” A Fund of Funds (FoF) is a mutual fund which invests in other mutual funds.
5. Govt appoints new Secretaries in different Ministries and Departments
Union Government appointed new Secretaries, Special Secretaries and Additional Secretaries in different Ministries and Departments.
- Information and Broadcasting Secretary Ravi Mittal has been appointed as the Sports Secretary.
- Secretary, Higher Education Amit Khare will hold additional charge of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
- CBSE Chairperson Anita Karwal has been appointed as Secretary School Education and Literacy.
- Health Secretary Preeti Sudan, who was to retire this month, has been given three month extension.
- Vice Chairman of Delhi Development Authority Tarun Kapoor will be Secretary in Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas .
- Tarun Bajaj will be Secretary Department of Economic Affairs in Ministry of Finance.
6. Remittances to India likely to fall by 23%: World Bank
The World Bank has stated that remittances to India are likely to drop down by 23% due to COVID-19 which has led to the global recession. The drop will be from USD 83 billion last year to USD 64 billion this year.
Globally remittances will see a sharp decline by about 20 percent in 2020 due to the economic crisis started by the pandemic and shutdowns, as per the World Bank’s report on the impact of COVID-19 on migration and remittances which was released on April 22.
7. RBI announced Rs.50,000 crore liquidity for Mutual Funds
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced Rs.50,000 crore liquidity support for Mutual Funds (MFs) on 27 April 2020. It approved the funds under the special liquidity facility scheme effective from 27 April. RBI’s move comes after Franklin Templeton’s decision to close 6 debt funds and put redemptions on hold indefinitely.
8. World Veterinary Day was observed on 25 April
The World Veterinary Day was observed on 25 April 2020. The day is observed on the last Saturday of April of every year. The day provides an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of veterinarians to the health of animals and society.
The theme for 2020 World Veterinary Day is “Environmental protection for improving animal and human health.” The day is initiated by the World Veterinary Association (WVA).
9. Lucknow Medical Hospital first in the country to launch Plasma Treatment Therapy
The King George Medical University in Uttar Pradesh became the first government hospital to launch plasma therapy to treat COVID-19. The first dose of plasma therapy was given to a 58-year old patient.
What is the process? The patients recovered from COVID-19 generate IGM and IGG antibodies against the virus. These antibodies are assessed from the samples of the donors through rapid tests. The plasma collected from the volunteering donors are then transfused into patients that are critically sick due to the virus.
10. India sends HCQ and sterile surgical gloves to Bangladesh
India sent 1 lakh Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) tablets, 50,000 sterile surgical gloves and other emergency medical supplies to Bangladesh. Earlier, India had provided 15,000 head covers and 30,000 surgical masks to Bangladesh in the first tranche of assistance under COVID-19 emergency funds. The HCQ tablets and surgical gloves are the second tranche of medical supplies being provided under the funds.
11. NTPC to procure fuel cell buses, cars for Delhi, Leh
State-run power giant NTPC said it had invited expression of interest for procuring ten hydrogen fuel cell-based electric buses and an equal number of such cars.
These environment-friendly vehicles would be used in Delhi and Leh.
“NTPC Ltd, has invited Global Expression of Interest (EoI) to provide 10 Hydrogen Fuel Cell-based electric buses and an equal number of Hydrogen Fuel Cell-based electric cars in Leh and Delhi,” a company statement said.
12. IIFL Wealth Finance buys L&T Capital Markets for Rs 230 crore
L&T Finance Holdings said it has sold its wholly-owned subsidiary L&T Capital Markets (LTCM) to IIFL Wealth Finance for Rs 230 crore. The company had announced the deal in August 2019.
“On April 24, 2020, the company has completed the sale of its investment in LTCM to IIFL Wealth Finance , and accordingly, LTCM has ceased to be a subsidiary of the company,” L&T Finance Holdings said in a regulatory filing.
13. IIT Kharagpur ranks 57 among global peers for sustainable impact research
The Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, has been ranked 57th among global universities for its impact research in areas that help achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) as mandated by the United Nations.
The global ranking maps the contribution of over 800 universities in 89 countries on SDG parameters, and comes at a time when the sustainable development discourse is gathering ground amid a global pandemic.
14. Iran launches first military satellite in latest show of force
Iran said that it successfully launched the nation’s first military satellite, another move in the heightened tit-for-tat fight between Washington and Tehran over the regime’s missile programs.
The satellite, dubbed Noor, was sent into orbit using a long-range rocket, according to a statement by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
15. T S Tirumurti to take over as India’s next ambassador to UN from Syed Akbaruddin
Secretary in the external affairs ministry, T S Tirumurti, will be India’s next ambassador to the UN, taking over from Syed Akbaruddin who will retire soon. India’s envoy to Brussels and European Union, Gaitri Kumar, will take over from Ruchi Ghanshyam as high commissioner to the UK. Ghanshyam is expected to retire from service later this summer.
16. Ravi Mittal To Replace Radhey Shyam Julaniya As New Sports Secretary
Ravi Mittal was appointed as the new Sports and Youth Affairs Secretary, replacing Radhey Shyam Julaniya. (More Sports News). Mittal is a 1986 batch IAS officer from the Bihar cadre.
He was the Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting prior to this appointment. Julaniya held the post for little more than one year after he took over as Sports Secretary in February 2019.