Current Affairs as on 16th July 2020


(1.) Total people recovered from Corona-virus cross six lakh mark today; recovery rate improves to 63.25 Percent :- The Central Government said the total number of recovered people from corona-virus crossed the six lakh mark today. A total of 6,12,815 people have recovered so far and with this the recovery rate reached to 63.25 percent in the country. In the past 24 hours, a record 20,783 people have recovered. Presently, the total number of active corona cases in the country is 3,31,146. The Health and Family Welfare Ministry said, a total of 32,695 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the country in the last 24 hours taking the total number of cases to 9,68,876. This is the highest number of cases registered in a single day since the outbreak of the pandemic in India. 606 deaths have also been reported taking the nationwide toll to 24,915. AIR correspondent reports that in terms of recovery rate, the top five States and Union Territories are – Ladakh, Delhi, Uttrakhand, Haryana and Andaman and Nicobar Islands wherein the recovery rate is above 73 per cent.

In terms of number of people recovered from Covid-19, Maharashtra is leading the tally followed by Tamil Nadu and Delhi. There are 20 States and Union Territories that have better recovery rates than the national average of 63.25 per cent. Meanwhile, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that a total of 3,26,682 tests of corona-virus samples were conducted by various laboratories within 24 hours. This is the highest number of tests conducted by the laboratories on a single day since the outbreak of Covid-19. So far, one crore 27,39,490 tests have been conducted.

(2.) Zydus Cadila begins human trials of its potential Covid-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D :- Zydus Cadila has started human trials of its potential Covid-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D. The plasmid DNA vaccine ZyCoV-D designed and developed by Zydus and partially funded by the Department of Biotechnology is the second potential vaccine candidate after Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN which got the approval for human clinical trial by the Central Drug Standard Control Organisation. Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council has announced that ZyCoV-D has initiated phase-1 and 2 clinical trials on healthy subjects. The adaptive phase-1 and 2 dose escalation, multi-centric study will assess the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of the vaccine. The human dosing of the vaccine marks a key milestone since the launching of the accelerated vaccine development program for COVID-19 in February 2020.


(1.) Union Minister of State for Defense Shripad Naik inaugurates Conference on Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing Technologies :- Union Minister of State for Defense Shripad Naik has said that Indian Defense and Aerospace industry is on the threshold of transformation, under the several initiatives of Government to promote ‘Make in India’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ Abhiyan. Mr Naik was delivering his inaugural address at the Fifth Edition of the Conference on Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing Technologies in New Delhi yesterday. The theme of the conference was Empowering India with ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Mission’. Mr Naik exhorted that the Indian Aerospace and Defense Industry has to rise to the occasion to shoulder greater responsibility in making the nation self-reliant in Defense Production and achieve 26 billion US Dollar domestic production by 2025.

(2.) Indian Railways to be fully electrified in next 3.5 years; says Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal :- Railways Minister Piyush Goyal today said that Indian Railways will be fully electrified in the next 3.5 years and by 2030, every Indian will be a proud citizen, owning the world’s first large clean Railways. Mr Piyush Goyal today addressed through video-conferencing an event organized by CII: Towards a self-reliant India; renewable energy manufacturing. He said the government is promoting Make in India for renewable energy and is fully committed to making the industry Aatma Nirbhar. Mr. Goyal said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promoted the concept of One Sun, One World, One Grid and India is leading the international renewable community.

(3.) First trial container ship from Kolkata to Agartala via Chattogram port flagged off :- Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya today flagged off the first trial container ship from Kolkata to Agartala through Chattogram Port of Bangladesh, in a virtual ceremony. This has been done under the Agreement on use of Chattogram and Mongla Ports for movement of India’s transit cargo through Bangladesh. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Mandaviya said that the route will open doors of new opportunities for both the countries. It will provide the alternative and shorter route to connect the North East Region through Bangladesh. He termed it as a historic move to utilize Chattogram and Mongla Port for movement of India’s transit cargo. During the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in October last year, the Standard Operating Procedures for the use of Chattogram and Mongla ports for movement of goods to and from India were concluded. This movement further strengthens long standing partnership between India and Bangladesh.

(4.) India among top ten nations in intellectual property filings :- As per World Intellectual Property Indicators 2019 Report, India has emerged as the top tenth nation in the ranking of the total (resident and abroad) Intellectual Property (IP) filing activity. With government push to schemes like ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’ and now ‘Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat’, IP Filing and grant activity is likely to increase. Industry 4.0 is witnessing new inventions and breakthroughs as it faces challenges in providing the right environment to stimulate innovation, especially in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. IP-intensive industries have been identified as an important and integral part of a country’s economy and account for more jobs and a larger share of its GDP.

(5.) Bilateral Air Bubbles will be way to resume international travel amid Covid-19 pandemic; says Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri:- Briefing media in New Delhi, Mr Puri said that the government’s negotiations with three countries are at an advanced stage for the purpose under bilateral air bubble mechanism. He informed that Air France will operate 28 flights from 18th July to 1st August between Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Paris. He said, in case of the United States, there is an agreement with United Airlines to operate 18 flights between India and US between 17th to 31st July but this is an interim one. He said, they have also received a request from Germany and an agreement with Lufthansa is almost done.

(6.) Fourth phase of Vande Bharat Mission augmented with addition of around 120 new flights :- The fourth phase of the Vande Bharat Mission which is currently underway has been augmented with addition of around 120 new flights between 15th and 31st July. Briefing media virtually on Thursday evening, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, these additional flights will cater to demand for repatriation from GCC countries, Malaysia, Singapore, UK, Europe, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine. With this, this phase now has 751 international flights catering to 34 airports in India.

(7.) India, China remain committed to complete disengagement, full restoration of peace & tranquillity in border areas; says Ministry of External Affairs :- India and China have been engaged in discussions through established diplomatic and military channels to address the situation along the LAC in India-China border areas. Briefing media virtually, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, the two sides remain committed to the objective of complete disengagement and full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas. He said, the two sides will continue their diplomatic and military engagements to achieve these outcomes.


(1.) HC accepts petition challenging notices issued to 19 rebel MLAs of Congress by Secretary of Rajasthan Assembly :- The petition was filed by MLA Prithvi Raj Meena and 18 other rebel MLAs of Congress, which was heard twice in the court of Justice Satish Chand Sharma later this afternoon. For the first time, Advocates appearing for the petitioners sought time to amend the petition, which was accepted by the court. The amended petition was heard at 5 in the evening, after which it was accepted by the court. The matter will now be heard by the divisional bench of the court. The Assembly’s Secretariat had issued notices to 19 rebel MLAs of Congress on a petition submitted by the Chief whip Mahesh Joshi who sought to initiate proceedings related to disqualifying to Former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and other 18 MLAs for violating the party’s whip. These MLAs have been asked to submit their reply by tomorrow.

(2.) Assam CM visits Kaziranga national park to take stock of flood situation:- Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal visited the Kaziranga national park today to take stock of the flood situation. He took a boat ride to assess the flood situation and also monitored the highland areas where animals took shelter. The Chief Minister also visited the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation at Barjuri near Kaziranga National Park. He appreciated the role of forest personnel for their roles in the challenging time. Around 90 percent areas of the park are under water. Mr. Sonowal also met inmates in a relief camp and instructed the administration to provide all help.

(3.) Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurates five-day orientation program at IIM, Jammu :- Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh today inaugurated a five-day orientation program for 5th batch of MBA and 1st batch of PhD program at Indian Institute of Management, Jammu. Speaking after inaugurating the program through digital mean, he said that IIM in Jammu is one of the major achievements of Center in the education sector in Jammu and Kashmir. Talking about the educational boost brought about in the last six years in Jammu by the central government, Dr Singh said, with the establishment of an Indian Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, and AIIMS in the region, Jammu has emerged as an education hub in North India.

(4.) UP : All state universities exams cancelled except final year & last semester :- In the wake of Covid-19 Pandemic, Uttar Pradesh government has decided to cancel exams of all state universities, except those of final year and last semester. Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma today said that students of other classes will be promoted on the basis of internal assessment. He said, the final year and last semester exams will be completed by September 30th, either through offline, online or mixed mode by following standard protocols. Meanwhile in another important decision, UP Board has decided to reduce its syllabus by 30 percent for this academic session.


(1.) WHO, UNICEF warns against decline in number of children receiving life saving vaccines around world due to pandemic :- The World Health Organization and UNICEF have warned of an alarming decline in the number of children receiving life-saving vaccines around the world. This is due to disruptions in the delivery and uptake of immunization services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to new data by WHO and UNICEF, these disruptions threaten to reverse hard-won progress to reach more children and adolescents with a wider range of vaccines, which has already been hampered by a decade of stalling coverage. UNICEF and WHO said, they conducted a survey in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which revealed three-quarters of the 82 countries that responded reported COVID-19-related disruptions in their immunization programs as of May 2020.

(2.) Sri Lanka’s Election Commission urges govt to legalize health guidelines ahead of parliamentary poll :- Sri Lanka’s Election Commission has said that it would be extremely difficult to hold the Parliamentary elections scheduled on 5th of August without the government legalizing the health guidelines as sporadic cases of COVID continue to be reported.


(1.) Dharmendra Pradhan invites US investors to seize ‘huge opportunity’ in India’s growth story :- Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan invited the US companies and lenders to invest in India to seize the huge opportunity in India’s growth story. He said, India will see an investment of over 118 US billion dollars in oil and gas exploration in the next five years. Mr. Pradhan along with US Secretary of Energy co-chaired industry level interaction yesterday organized by the US-India Business Council. The Minister also separately chaired an industry level interaction organized by US-India Strategic Energy partnership.

(2.) Government launches implementation guidelines for Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund :- Government today launched the implementation guidelines for Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund, AHIDF worth 15 thousand crore rupees. The fund was approved by the Union Cabinet last month under the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan stimulus package for ensuring growth in several sectors. The eligible beneficiaries under the Scheme will be Farmer Producer Organizations, MSMEs, Private Companies and individual entrepreneurs with minimum 10 per cent margin money contribution by them. The balance 90 per cent would be the loan component to be made available by scheduled banks. The Minister said, government will provide 3 per cent interest subvention to eligible beneficiaries.

Thanks for Reading Current Affairs as on 16th July 2020

Compiled By : CS Surbhi Saxena

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