CURRENT AND CORPORATE AFFAIRS : 25 AUGUST 2020

Current and corporate affairs as on 25 august 2020

COVID-19 NEWS

US: FDA announces emergency authorization of blood plasma treatment against Covid-19: – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced an emergency authorization for doctors to use blood plasma from recovered coronavirus patients as a
treatment against the disease. The plasma is believed to contain powerful
antibodies that can help fight off the disease faster and help protect people
from being seriously hurt by it. In a statement, the FDA said, the plasma may be effective in treating COVID-19 and the potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.

500-bed COVID-19 makeshift hospital financed by PMCARES Fund Trust inaugurated at Patna in Bihar: – In Bihar, 500-bed COVID-19 makeshift Hospital at Bihar in Patna was inaugurated today. PM-CARES Fund Trust has allocated funds for establishment of this hospital. Preparations are in full swing for setting up a similar type of another 500-bed COVID-19 Makeshift Hospital in Muzaffarpur district. The health facilities at Bihar (Patna) COVID hospital is fortified with modern amenities and infrastructure and was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The hospital will help in improving COVID care facilities in the State. The COVID care hospital in Patna has 125 ICU beds along with ventilators. There are additional 375 normal beds for COVID patients not requiring intensive care. Every bed has been provided with the oxygen supply facility. Latest diagnostic tools with modern health infrastructure have been developed at this hospital.

NATIONAL NEW

Sonia Gandhi to continue as interim chief till AICC session is convened: – The Congress Working Committee, CWC meeting was held
in New Delhi today. Briefing media this evening, Congress General Secretary K. C. Venugopal said, the CWC unanimously requested Sonia
Gandhi to continue as interim chief till the time AICC session can be
convened. The meeting was attended by senior CWC members including
Dr. Manmohan Singh, Ashok Gehlot, Captain Amarinder Singh, Bhupesh
Singh Baghel, P. Chidambaram, A.K. Antony and Priyanka Gandhi among
others.
Centre constitutes National Council for Transgender Persons: – The Centre has constituted a National Council for Transgender Persons through a notification. The Social Justice and Empowerment Minister will be the ex-officio Chairperson and Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment will be ex-officio Vice-Chairperson. The National Council will advise the Centre on the formulation of policies, programmes, legislation and projects with respect to transgender persons. It will monitor and evaluate the impact of policies and programmes designed for achieving equality and full participationoftransgenderpersons. The National Council will also review and coordinate the activities of all the departments of Government and other Governmental and non-Governmental Organisations which are dealing with matters relating to transgender persons. It will redress the grievances of transgender persons and perform such other functions as may be prescribed by the Centre.

Govt. extends validity of Motor Vehicle documents till 31st December: – The Road Transport and Highways Ministry has decided to extend the validity of Motor Vehicle documents till the 31st ofDecember. The Ministry had earlier issued advisories on 30th March and 9th June this year regarding extension of validity of the documents related to Motor Vehicles Act and Central Motor Vehicle Rules. It was advised that the validity of Fitness, Permit, License, Registration or any other concerned
documents may be treated to be valid till 30th of September. The decision
was taken after considering the situation due to COVID-19 across the country. Enforcement authorities have been advised to treat such documents valid till 31st of December.

CBI summons Sushant Singh Rajput’s friend for third consecutive day to interrogate: – The CBI team, which is investigating the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, has summoned one of the friends of late actor, Siddharth Pithani for the third consecutive day for the interrogation. Pithani arrived at the DRDO guest house in Kalina area of Santacruz in Mumbai, this morning, where the CBI officialsteamisstaying. CBI team had questioned Pithani, Sushant’s cook Neeraj Singh and domestic help Deepesh Sawant yesterday for more than five hours in the actor’s death case. All the three had arrived separately at the guest house. After the questioning, the CBI officials had taken all three of them to the actor’s residence in Bandra where he was found dead.

STATE NEWS

M V Shreyams Kumar of LJD wins vacant Rajya Sabha seat from Kerala: – In the bypoll held today in Kerala for one vacant Rajya Sabha seat, M V Shreyams Kumar of the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), an ally of the ruling Left Democratic Front, sailed to victory. He defeated Congress rival Lal Varghese Kalpakavady by 37 votes. While Mr Kumar bagged 88 votes, Mr Varghese got 41. One vote was declared invalid

India and AIIB sign USD 500 million loan agreement for Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III: – Centre, Maharashtra Government, Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) today signed a loan agreement for a USD 500 million Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III. This will improve the network capacity, service quality and safety of the suburban railway system in Mumbai. The Project is expected to increase network capacity in the region with the reduction in journey time and fatal accidents of commuters

Assam Higher Secondary Education Council decided to
reduce syllabus by 30 per cent for this year: –
Assam Higher Secondary Education Council has decided to reduce 30 per cent of syllabus for this academic year due to CPVID-19 pandemic. Sources said that notification in this regard will be issued soon. The decision was taken in a recent meeting of the Council’s academic committee. This decision will be implemented for the students of 11th and 12th classes in all arts, commerce and science streams with certain conditions.

Tamil Nadu: First unit of Kudankulam Atomic Power Plant in Tirunelveli district resumes power production:The first unit of the Kudankulam Atomic Power Plant in Tirunelveli district Tamil Nadu resumed power production early this morning. Initially, 400 MW power is being produced, which is expected to be increased to 1,000 MW in a phased manner. The first phase had been closed down for routine maintenance work last May and Indian and Russian scientists had taken part in the exercise. In the meantime, it is notable that the second 1,000 MW unit of the plant , which had developed some technical slag last July, has been repaired and has already started production.The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, owned and operated by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, was constructed with Russian cooperation and was commissioned in October 2013.

India’s longest river ropeway connecting Guwahati and North Guwahati over Brahmaputra river inaugurated: – In Assam, the longest river ropeway of the country is inaugurated today connecting Guwahati and North Guwahati. Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Guwahati Development Department Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya inaugurated the 1.8- kilometre long ropeway service. The ropeway has been operated from Kachari Ghat in Guwahati to Dol Govinda temple in North Guwahati.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE

Businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh are GST exempt, says Finance Ministry: – The Ministry of Finance today said that businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh are GST exempt. Initially, this limit was Rs 20 lakh. In a tweet, the Finance Ministry said, additionally those with a turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore can opt for the Composition Scheme and pay only 1 per cent tax. It said, once GST was implemented, the tax rate on a large number of items was brought down. As of now, the 28 per cent rate is almost solely restricted to sin and luxury items. Out of a total of about 230 items in the 28 per cent slab, about 200 items have been shifted to lower slabs. The Ministry also informed that significant reliefs have been extended to the construction sector, particularly the housing sector which has been placed at the 5 per cent tax rate. GST on affordable housing has been reduced to 1 per cent.

Govt activates Aadhaar authentication for new GST registration: – Government has activated Aadhaar authentication for
new goods and services tax (GST) registration to enhance ease of doing
business. For those opting for Aadhaar authentication, new GST registration will be issued within three working days and will not need to wait for physical verification. However, those not opting for Aadhaar authentication will be granted it only after physical verification of the place of business or documentary verification which may take up to 21 working days or more.

SPORTS

Rohan Bopanna, Denis Shapovalov lose opening round of Western and Southern Open men’s doubles event: – In Tennis, Rohan Bopanna and Canadian partner Denis Shapovalov lost in the opening round of the Western and Southern Open men’s doubles event against Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos in New York today. Bopanna and Shapovalov lost 4-6, 6-7 to 2019 US Open runners-ups in the first round match of the hard court tournament, which is a build-up to the US Open. It was the first competitive match for Bopanna since the Davis Cup tie against Croatia in March this year, where he partnered Leander Paes. The US Open starts in New York on 31st of this month

Novak Djokovic pulls out of doubles at Western & Southern Open citing neck pain:- World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic pulled out of the doubles event at the Western & Southern Open, citing neck pain. The top-seeded Serb was due to face American duo Tommy Paul and Frances Tiafoe, alongside his doubles partner and Davis Cup team-mate Filip Krajinovic today. Now the alternate team of Nikola Cacic and Dusan Lajovic will replace Djokovic and Krajinovic inthedoublesdraw. Western & Southern Open is the first ATP tournament since the tour went on hiatus in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. It normally is played in Ohio but is being held this year on the same hard courts that will host the US Open starting August 31 as part of an unusual doubleheader.

First female golfer from Germany Sophia Popov wins Women’s British Open: – World number 304 Sophia Popov became the first female golfer from Germany to capture a major title after winning the Women’s British Open by two strokes at Royal Troon inScotland. Popov, who went into the final round with a three-shot lead, bounced back from bogeying the first hole by making five birdies in her 3-under 68. Thailand’s Jasmine Suwannapura was the runner-up after shooting 67. It completed one of the most unlikely wins in the tournament’s history.

Football: Bayern Munich beat Paris Saint-Germain to win UEFA Champions League: – In Football, German giants Bayern Munich have won the European Champions League for the sixth time after beating French side Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 at the final in Portugal’s capital, Lisbon. A goal by French winger Kingsley Coman at the 59th minute was enough for the Munich side to dash the Parisians’ dream of winning for the first time the UEFA Champions League. A competition which started in June 2019 with the preliminary round comes to a climax between the best side in world football against one of the planet’s finest forward lines.