Current Affairs as on 17th July 2020


(1.) COVID-19 fatality rate in county is one of the lowest in world :- Union Health Ministry said more than 6,35,000 of the total cases have recovered. It said that less than 1.94 per cent of the cases are in ICUs, 0.35 per cent cases are on ventilators and 2.81 per cent cases are on Oxygen beds. The Ministry said, the case fatality rate at 18.6 deaths per million of the country is one of the lowest in the world. The collaborative efforts of all states and Union Territories have resulted in early identification of the infected persons. The Ministry said, India has followed a standard care protocol for the differentiated categorization of COVID-19 patients- mild, moderate and severe. The effective clinical management strategies have shown to yield positive results. The strategy of home isolation for the mild and asymptomatic patients has ensured to keep the hospitals unburdened, where the focus has been on treatment of the severe cases and reduction of fatality.

(2.) ICMR asks States, UTs to upload rapid antigen testing data on ICMR portal :- The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has asked the States and Union Territories to identify and approve all government and private facilities for conducting rapid antigen testing for COVID-19. In a letter to Chief Secretaries, ICMR has directed that all such testing data to be uploaded on the ICMR database, so that all positive cases are brought to the attention of authorities for isolation, quarantine or treatment. The states have been asked to ensure that all the antigen testing points are appropriately linked with RT-PCR facility where symptomatic negatives will be tested. ICMR said, all government hospitals, labs as well as all private NABH/NABL hospitals may initiate antigen testing and also apply for obtaining login credentials for data entry into the ICMR portal to provide safe healthcare services.


(1.) IIT Madras-incubated start-up develops portable hospital to treat COVID-19 patients :- A startup incubated in the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, has developed a portable hospital. The students involved in the project say the modular structure can be installed anywhere within two hours by just four people. Called ‘MediCAB,’ the portable structures can be used to screen, isolate and treat COVID-19 patients even in remote locations.

(2.) Newly elected Rajya Sabha members to take oath on July 22nd :- The newly elected members of Rajya Sabha will be administered oath or affirmation on the 22nd of this month. For the first time, administration of oath will be done in the chamber of the House during inter-session.

(3.) India on track to achieve MMR targets for Sustainable Development Goals & National Health Policy, says Dr. Harsh Vardhan :- Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said that India is on track to achieve the Maternal Mortality Ratio targets for Sustainable Development Goals and National Health Policy. Speaking on the success achieved by India on the Maternal Mortality Ratio, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, MMR of India has declined by 9 points in one year as per the Special Bulletin released by the Registrar General of India. The ratio has declined from 122 in 2015-17 to 113 in 2016-18.

(4.) PM SVANidhi app launched to provide micro-credit facility for street vendors at their door steps :- A mobile application of PM Street Vendor’s Aatmanirbhar Nidhi, PM SVANidhi was launched in New Delhi to bring micro-credit facility for street vendors at their door steps. PM SVANidhi Mobile App aims to provide user-friendly digital interface for lending institutions and their field functionaries for sourcing and processing loan applications of street vendors under the scheme. PM SVANidhi was launched by the government on 1st of June this year, for providing affordable working capital loan to street vendors to resume their livelihoods that have been adversely affected due to COVID-19 lockdown. This scheme targets to benefit over 50 lakh street vendors who had been vending on or before 24th of March, 2020 in urban areas. Under the scheme, the vendors can avail a working capital loan of up to ten thousand rupees, which is repayable in monthly installments in the tenure of one year. There will be no penalty on early repayment of loan. The scheme promotes digital transactions through cash back incentives up to an amount of 100 rupees per month.


(1.) Two consecutive earthquakes hit Andaman and Nicobar Islands :- Two consecutive earthquakes of magnitude 4.8 and 4.5 on the Richter scale occurred at 10:31 AM and 11:07 AM today at Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

(2.) J&K : Lieutenant Governor Murmu flags off ready for deployment Mobile Genset Fleet for emergency response and disaster relief :- In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu today flagged off ready for deployment Mobile Genset Fleet for emergency response and disaster relief and recovery in case of natural disasters and extreme weather events in Kashmir. The 10 Gensets would be stationed in each district in preparation for any eventuality as a disaster preparedness measure. The Lieutenant Governor directed the Jal Shakti Department for immediate procurement of 10 more Mobile Gensets to strengthen the emergency response system in case of any eventuality.


(1.) UN designates Pakistan Taliban leader Noor Mehsud as global terrorist :- The United Nations has designated Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terror group’s leader Noor Wali Mehsud, as a global terrorist for participating in the financing, planning and perpetrating acts on behalf of and in support of entities associated with al-Qaida. The Pakistani national was added to the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List by the UN Security Council’s Sanctions Committee, subjecting him to an assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo. Mehsud was named the leader of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in June 2018, following the death of former TTP leader Maulana Fazlullah.

(2.) External Affairs Ministry today said South China Sea is a part of global commons :- External Affairs Ministry today said South China Sea is a part of global commons and India has an abiding interest in peace and stability in the region. He said, India firmly stands for the freedom of navigation and over flight and unimpeded lawful commerce in these international waterways, in accordance with international law, notably UNCLOS.


(1.) Ministry of Finance releases Rs. 15,187 crore as grants-in-aid to 2.63 lakh Rural Local Bodies :- Ministry of Finance has released an amount of over 15,187 crore rupees as grants-in-aid to 2.63 lakh Rural Local Bodies (RLBs) spread in 28 States of the country. The amount was released upon the recommendation of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Jal Shakti Ministry. This grants-in-aid forms part of the Tied Grant as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission for the Financial Year 2020-21. It will be used by RLBs to facilitate taking up of various developmental work concerning supply of drinking water, rain water harvesting, water recycling, sanitation and maintenance of Open Defecation Free status which are national priorities.

(2.) PSBs sanctioned loans worth Rs. 19,669 crore till July 15th, says Finance Minister :- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said that the Public Sector Banks have sanctioned loans worth nineteen thousand six hundred sixty nine crores till 15th of July this year. She said the loans were sanctioned for 71 MSME hubs in 27 States and UTs under the 100 per cent Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS). The Minister informed that twelve thousand eight hundred seventy one crore rupees have already been disbursed. Under the Aatma-nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, the government announced collateral-free loans worth three lakh crore rupees for MSMEs with turnover up to 100 crore rupees till 31st October this year. A total of 45 lakh MSMEs are expected to benefit from the scheme.

(3.) Finance Commission holds meeting with Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on property taxation by Urban Local Bodies :- The Fifteenth Finance Commission today held a meeting with Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and senior officials of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on issues including property taxation by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). This was in context with the Commission’s recommendations for 2020-21 which had mandated the states to notify floor rates of property tax. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs recommended four per cent increase of devolution to municipalities. The discussions in the meeting centered around creating an enabling environment for Urban local bodies to be placed in the driver’s seat with regard to property tax administration. The focus was on making the urban local bodies responsible for collection of relevant data, valuation or assessment, setting tax rates, collecting tax and requisite oversight on all these aspects.

(4.) NPS subscriber base registers growth of 30% in first quarter of Financial Year 2020-21 :- The National Pension System (NPS) subscriber base has registered a growth of 30 per cent in the first quarter of this financial year. Finance Ministry said, one lakh three thousand individual subscribers are from the private sector and 206 corporates were enrolled during the 1st quarter, resulting in a total of over 10 lakh corporate subscribers.

Thanks for Reading Current Affairs as on 17th July 2020

Compiled By : CS Surbhi Saxena

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