CURRENT AFFAIRS AS ON 18th JULY 2020

Current Affairs as on 18th July 2020

COVID-19 NEWS

(1.) High level central team to visit Bihar tomorrow to review Covid-19 situation in state :- A high level central team led by Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal is visiting Bihar tomorrow to review the Covid-19 situation in the state. The team comprises National Center for Disease Control Director Dr. S K Singh and AIIMS New Delhi medicine department associate professor Niraj Nischal.

(2.) Covid-19 recovery rate inches close to 63%, More than 6,53,000 people recovered so far :- The total number of people who recovered from corona-virus crossed the 6.5 lakh mark today. The Central Government today said, a total of 6,53,751 people affected with corona-virus have recovered in the country so far. The recovery rate has reached 62.93 per cent. In the past 24 hours, 17,994 people have recovered. Presently, the total number of active corona cases in the country is 3,58,692. The Health and Family Welfare Ministry said, a total of 34,884 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country within 24 hours taking the total number of cases to 10,38,716. In a single day, 671 deaths have been reported taking the nationwide toll to 26,273.

(3.) THSTI Faridabad develops synthetic peptide-based vaccine candidate targeting Corona-virus :- Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad has developed a synthetic peptide-based vaccine candidate targeting Corona-virus. The Institute has said that the potential vaccine targets the spike domain of the Virus to generate an immune response that could block the viral invasion. The multi-epitope based vaccine candidate was developed by stitching the desired peptides to produce the protein. This approach generates potential neutralizing antibodies and also reduces antibody-dependent pulmonary immune pathology. Synthetic peptides provide novel and affordable strategy not only in development of a potential COVID-19 Vaccine but also in production of anti-viral blocking agents. Department of Biotechnology has said that this development can be of immense use in further production of affordable and low cost diagnostic kits for COVID.

NATIONAL NEWS

(1.) Prime Minister Modi calls for reforming the global multilateral system to enhance its relevance :- Prime Minister Modi was delivering a virtual keynote address at this year’s High-Level Segment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) session last night. Prime Minister said, while celebrating 75 years of the United Nations; let us pledge to reform the global multilateral system to enhance its relevance, to improve its effectiveness to make it the basis for a new type of human-centric globalization. He said India contributed to shaping the ECOSOC agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and through its domestic efforts, India is also supporting other developing countries in meeting their Sustainable Development Goals. Prime Minister said, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely tested the resilience of all nations. Mr. Modi said, India’s fight against COVID-19, the grass-roots health system is helping the country ensure one of the best recovery rates in the world. He said, in India, we have tried to make the fight against the pandemic a people’s movement, by combining the efforts of Government and society.

(2.) Government lays out modalities for receipt of contributions and grants in NDRF :- Union Government has laid out the modalities for receipt of contributions and grants from any person or institution for the purpose of disaster management in the National Disaster Response Fund. Home Ministry has said in a release that, contributions or grants can be made by any person or institution in NDRF through physical instruments, through RTGS, NEFT or UPI and through Bharat Kosh portal bharatkosh.gov.in using Net banking, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and UPI.

(3.) UNDP report states that more than 27 crore people in India came out of poverty in last 10 years :- Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar shared the details of a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report which states that more than 27 crore people in the country have come out of poverty in the last 10 years. Mr. Javadekar termed the achievement as a big positive development. India recorded the world’s largest reduction in multidimensional poverty between 2005-06 and 2015-16, according to the latest UN report. According to the data released by the UNDP and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, 65 out of 75 countries reported significant decline in their multidimensional poverty levels.

(4.) Union government successfully implements ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ facility in 20 States, Union Territories :- The Union Government has successfully implemented the One Nation One Ration Card facility in 20 States and Union Territories. The facility has been enabled for all the National Food Security Act (NFSA) card holder beneficiaries. The states include Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana and Gujarat among others. Union Government has also started the trial and testing for extension of the One Nation One Ration Card facility in 4 more States and Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland and Uttarakhand. The target is to integrate all remaining States and Union Territories under the portability facility before March next year. Under this facility, migratory NFSA beneficiaries will now be enabled with an option to take their entitled quota of food grains from any Fair Price Shop situated across the country.

(5.) IITs decide to do away with 75% marks criteria for admission this year :- Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will do away with admission criterion of minimum 75 percent marks in class 12 this year. During a meeting, Joint Admission Board of the IITs decided that all qualified candidates who have passed class 12 examination, will now be eligible for admissions in IITs this year irrespective of marks obtained. Human Resource Development Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said the decision has been taken in view of partial cancellation of class 12 exams by several boards. For admissions to IITs, apart from qualifying the JEE (Advanced), the eligibility was to secure either minimum score of 75 percent marks in class 12 Board exams or rank among the top 20 percentile in their respective class 12 board examination.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE

(1.) India’s foreign exchange reserves reach all-time high of 516.362 billion dollars :- India’s foreign exchange reserves have swelled by 3.108 billion dollars to reach a fresh all-time high of 516.362 billion dollars in the week ended 10th July 2020. Foreign currency assets, a major part of the overall reserves, rose by 2.372 billion dollars to 475.635 billion dollars. Gold reserves surged by 712 million dollars to end at 34.729 billion dollars. India’s special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund rose by 5 million dollars to reach 1.453 billion dollars, while the country’s reserve position also increased by 19 million dollars to 4.545 billion dollars.

(2.) Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says, G-20 Action Plan reflects a collective commitment to fight COVID-19 :- The Minister participated in the virtual meeting of G-20 Finance Ministers to discuss global economic outlook amid evolving COVID-19 crisis and other G-20 Finance Track deliverables for 2020. Nirmala Sitharaman said, G-20 Action Plan is an expression of our collective commitment to fight COVID-19 and it must remain relevant and effective as the crisis evolves. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today shared India’s technology-based financial inclusion at the third meeting of G-20 Finance Ministers. Nirmala Sitharaman stated that using technology-based financial inclusion, contact-less transfers were made of US Dollars 10 billion to 420 million bank accounts.

INTERNATIONAL DAYS

(1.) Every year on 18th July, Nelson Mandela International Day is observed to mark the birth anniversary of the first democratically elected President of South Africa.

OBITUARY

(1.) President and Prime Minister express grief on demise of Professor C.S. Seshadri :- President and Prime Minister have expressed grief on the demise of Professor C.S. Seshadri. Professor C.S. Seshadri is known for his exceptional contribution in algebraic geometry. One of the leaders of Indian mathematics in the post-Independence era, Professor Seshadri passed away yesterday in Chennai. He was 88.

Thanks for Reading Current Affairs as on 18th July, 2020

Compiled By : CS Surbhi Saxena

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