Current Affairs as on 15th July 2020
(1.) WHO guidelines of conducting 140 tests per day per million population already met by 22 States and UTs of country :- World Health Organisation-WHO in its Guidance Note on ‘Public Health Criteria to Adjust Public Health and Social Measures in the Context of COVID-19’ has advised comprehensive surveillance for suspected cases. WHO has advised that a country needs 140 tests per day per million population.
The Union Health Ministry has said that 22 States and Union Territories in the country are already conducting 140 and more tests per day per million and are being regularly advised to increase the testing capacity to match the WHO advised level soft testing.
The Ministry said, one of the factors strongly aiding the increasing numbers of COVID-19 tests in the country is the steadily growing network of labs for testing of COVID-19. With 865 labs in the government sector and 358 private labs, the total number of testing labs in the country has now gone up to 1,223.
(1.) On United Nations’ 75th Anniversary, PM Modi to virtually address ECOSOC on July 17 :- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually address the valedictory of high-level segment of United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Friday.
This will be Prime Minister Modi’s first speech at the United Nations after India reinstated its place as a non permanent member in the Security Council earlier this year.
ECOSOC serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues and formulating policy recommendations addressed to member states of the United Nations. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Council since its formation in 1945.
(2.) HRD Ministry launches most affordable COVID-19 test Kit :- Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Minister of State for HRD Sanjay Dhotre have launched the most affordable COVID-19 test Kit. It has been produced by IIT Delhi. COROSURE is one of the companies which have received the non exclusive license from IIT Delhi for the probe free RT-PCR based COVID-19 test kit.
(3.) PM Modi says mantra to stay relevant in times of corona-virus is to skill, re-skill and up skill :- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has exhorted the youth to skill, re skill and up skill in order to remain relevant in the rapidly changing business environment and market conditions. He was addressing a virtual conclave on World Youth Skills Day organised by Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship on 15th July.
(4.) PM Modi reviews development work at Kedarnath Dham :- Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reviewed the development work going on at Kedarnath Dham and efforts to further increase the divinity of the holy place. During the review, focus was on increasing divinity in Kedarnath Temple and Jagatguru Shankaracharya Samadhi. Detailed review was held on providing all types of facilities to travelers in Gourikund-Kedarnath route and also on showing the historical and cultural significance of the pilgrim center through technology.
(5.) Defense Minister Rajnath Singh to visit forward areas of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on July 17/18 :- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will visit forward areas of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on July 17th and 18th. Army Chief General M M Naravane will accompany him. During this visit, they will review the security situation in Eastern Ladakh. This will be the Defense Minister’s first visit to Ladakh since the face-off with China commenced.
(6.) PM Modi addresses 15th India-EU Summit in a virtual meeting :- This is the 15th meeting of the India-European Union Summit. It is co-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President of European Council Charles Michel and President of European Commission Ursula vonder Leyen. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that his government is committed to strengthen and deepen the relations between India and the European Union and highlighted the need to adopt a long-term strategic perspective for this. The Prime minister said that apart from the current challenges, long-term challenges like climate change are also a priority for both India and the EU. He invited investments and technology from Europe in India’s efforts to increase the use of renewable energy in the country. He hoped that India – EU relations will gain momentum through this virtual summit.
(1.) US President Donald Trump has signed a bill to impose sanctions on Chinese officials implementing oppressive law against Hong Kong :- The US President told a press conference that this law gives his administration powerful new tools to hold responsible the individuals and the entities involved in extinguishing Hong Kong’s freedom.
He has also signed an order to end preferential treatment for Hong Kong, as his administration adopts an increasingly tough stance on China. He said, Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China.
Trump also said, it will end the preferential trade treatment which Hong Kong has received for years. President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have blamed China for the spread of the corona-virus pandemic and criticized Beijing for its Hong Kong crackdown.
(2.) Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has called for an increase in the number of PCR tests to detect COVID cases :- Chairing a meeting of COVID task force in Colombo, President said that although day to day life has returned to normalcy, precautionary measures should not be relaxed as the risk of the COVID-19 virus spreading remains high. His comments came as over 500 fresh cases have been detected over last week from a rehabilitation center and chief epidemiologist of the health ministry has warned that there is a significant risk of community spread.
(3.) Myanmar extends COVID-19 restrictions till July 31st :- The government of Myanmar has extended the restrictions imposed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic in the country till July 31st. The restrictions include limitations on social gatherings, enforcing social distancing and limiting the number of passengers in the public transport services and restaurants among others. Wearing a face mask in public is mandatory during this period. A restriction on the issue of visa has already been extended to July 31st earlier. Myanmar has also banned all international flights till July 31st.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE
(1.) India Records all time high Export of Coir and Coir Products :- The export, of coir and coir products from India worth Rs. 2,757.90 crore for the year 2019-20, registers an all-time high record, which is around Rs. 30 crore higher than that of the last year i.e. 2018-19 which stood at Rs. 2,728.04 crore. 9,88,996 MT of coir and coir products were exported during the year 2019-20 from the country as against 9,64,046 MT exported during the preceding year. While the exports of coir pith, tufted mats, coir Geo-textiles, coir rugs and carpets, coir other sorts, coir rope and power-loom mats registered growth both in terms of quantity and value. The products like hand-loom mats, coir yarn, rubberized coir and power-loom matting showed decline in terms of quantity and increase in terms of value. The value added items put together constituted 33% of the total exports. Tufted Mats topped among the value added products (20% in value).
(2.) Asian shares pare gains as US China tensions intensify :- Asian shares pared gains on Wednesday, led by losses in Chinese stocks, after Beijing vowed retaliatory sanctions against the United States, while the euro rose to a four-month high on the prospect of stimulus ahead of a crucial EU summit.
(3.) PSBs to purchase NBFC Bonds/ CPs worth Rs. 14,667 crore under extended Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme :- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme, PCGS was revamped under the Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat Package to support the liability side of Non Banking Financial Companies, NBFCs. It provides a 20 per cent portfolio guarantee to Public Sector Banks for the purchase of Bonds or Commercial Papers rated AA and below which are issued by NBFCs. In a tweet, FM said, as of 10th July, under the extended PCGS, Public Sector Banks have approved the purchase Bonds or Commercial Papers issued by 67 NBFCs amounting to 14 thousand 6 hundred 67 crore rupees.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
(1.) Market approval for Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine given by DCGI :- Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has given approval to the first fully indigenously developed Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine. This vaccine has been developed by Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd, Pune. Serum Institute first obtained the approval of DCGI to conduct Phase-1, Phase-2 and Phase-3 clinical trials of Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine in India.
These trials have since been concluded within the country. The said Company has also conducted these clinical trials in another country i.e. Gambia.
Thereafter, the said Company applied for approval and permission to manufacture this vaccine. The application along with the clinical trial data has been reviewed by the Office of Drug Controller General of India with the help of Special Expert Committee (SEC) for vaccines.
The Committee recommended for grant of permission of market authorization to the said vaccine. On 14th July 2020, Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd, Pune has been granted permission to manufacture domestically developed first Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine. This is the first indigenously developed vaccine in the field of pneumonia. Earlier the demand of such vaccine was substantially met by licensed importers in the country since the manufacturers were all vaccine companies based outside India.
Thanks for Reading Current Affairs as on 15th July 2020
Compiled By : CS Surbhi Saxena
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