Current Affairs Today 17th April 2020| Current Affairs News

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World Voice Day

  • World Voice Day(WVD) is a worldwide annual event that takes place on April 16 devoted to the celebration of the phenomenon of voice.
  • The aim is to demonstrate the enormous importance of thevoice in the daily lives of all people.
  • Thetheme for this year’s celebration is Focus on Your Voice in 2020

World Haemophilia Day

  • World Haemophilia Day is observed on 17 April every year to increase awareness about haemophilia disease and other inherited bleeding disorders.
  • In 1989, World Haemophilia Day was started by the World Federation of Haemophilia (WFH) in honour of WFH founder Frank Schnavel’s birthday.
  • Thetheme of World Hemophilia Day in 2020 is “Get+involved”.


Centre releases 7,300 crore rupees to States & UTs under MGNREGS

  • Centre has released 7,300 crore rupees to the States and Union Territories under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to liquidate pending dues of last financial year but also the wage dues for the first fortnight of 2020-21. Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar conducted a detailed review of all flagship schemes of the Rural Development.
  • He desired that MGNREGS works in Non-Containment Areas with adequate focus on social distancing, must be resumed in an efficient manner. The Minister stated, the focus should be on creating durable assets relating to irrigation and water conservation.
  • Mr Tomar expressed satisfaction that over 93 thousand Self Help Group members are engaged in manufacturing of cotton protective face covers as well as sanitizers and are also running community kitchens across the country.
  • Mr Tomar noted that under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin), over 800 crore rupees has been released to the States.  He advised that around 40 lakh beneficiaries of this scheme who have received second and third instalment of funds must be assisted in a proactive manner to quickly complete their housing units.

About Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)

  • Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Act 2005, is an Indian labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’. This act was passed in September 2005.
  • Launched by (prime minister): Manmohan Singh
  • Ministry: Ministry of Rural Development
  • Launched: 2 Feb 2006

Govt-appointed panel proposes institutional framework for valuers, moots National Institute of Valuers

  • The government-appointed committee of experts has proposed an institutional framework for valuers by way of setting up the National Institute of Valuers. The panel, headed by IBBI (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India) Chairperson M S Sahoo, has also submitted the ‘Draft Valuers Bill, 2020’.
  • The corporate affairs ministry sought comments on the bill, which has recommended setting up of the institute. The deadline for submitting comments is May 14. The panel was constituted by the ministry on August 30, 2019 to examine the need for an institutional framework for regulation and development of valuation profession.
  • According to the committee, there should be enactment of an exclusive statute to provide for the establishment of the institute to protect the interests of users of valuation services in India and to promote the development of, and to regulate the profession of valuers and market for valuation services.
  • The institute shall register and regulate Valuer Institutes, VPOs (Valuation Professional Organisations) and Valuers. Valuer Institutes, who would compete among themselves for excellence, shall offer courses and conduct internal examinations, while the institute shall conduct a screening examination for admission to the courses and a qualifying examination for registration as valuers,” the report stated.
  • Among others, the panel has suggested measures to ensure a minimum quality of valuation services across the market. only valuers registered under the proposed institutional framework should be permitted to render valuation services. Such mandatory provision, however, may start with valuation services under the Companies Act, 2013 and Code, followed by phased inclusion of valuation services under other laws, the committee’s report stated.
About Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India :
  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India is the regulator for overseeing insolvency proceedings and entities like Insolvency Professional Agencies, Insolvency Professionals and Information Utilities in India.
  • S. Sahoo, Chairperson
  • Founded: 1 October 2016
  • Headquarters: New Delhi


IMF approves over USD 1.3 billion emergency financing to Pakistan

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved USD 1.3 billion in emergency financing to Pakistan to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 shock.
  • The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a purchase of Pakistan under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) equivalent to SDR 1,015.5 million (US$ 1.386 billion, 50 percent of quota) to meet the urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, IMF stated.
  • The body had projected that due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pakistan’s economy may contract sharply by 1.5 percent during the current financial year.
About International Monetary Fund (IMF):
  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C. U.S.
  • Managing Director : Kristalina Georgieva
  • Chief Economist : Gita Gopinath
About Pakistan:
  • Currency: Pakistani rupee
  • Capital: Islamabad
  • Prime minister: Imran Khan
  • President: Arif Alvi

China earmarks $10 million from its ADB Trust Fund to address COVID-19  challenges in developing Asia

  • The Government of the People’s Republic China (PRC) has earmarked a total amount of $10 million in its Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund to support the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in assisting its developing member countries (DMCs) to address their novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) challenges.
  • The funds will provide support to a broad range of operations, including not only the purchase of medical supplies and equipment but also health sector reforms and development, as well as capacity building, training, and knowledge sharing.
  • Some $8 million was added to the $2 million approved by the PRC government on 8 April to help in the procurement of needed medical supplies as well as in capacity building for medical staff in DMCs, and development and dissemination of regionwide risk communication materials to address public fears over the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  • Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines
  • President: Masatsugu Asakawa
  • Membership: 68 countries
  • Founded: 19 December 1966


RBI cuts reverse repo rate from 4 per cent to 3.75 per cent

  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das announces slew of measures to tackle Covid-19 crisis
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor, Shaktikanta Das, stated that the apex bank has cut the reverse repo rate from 4 per cent to 3.75 per cent. The repo rate remains unchanged.
  • Das also stated that the 90-day NPA norm will not to apply on to the moratorium granted on the existing loans by banks.
  • He also mentioned that the banks will not make any further dividend payout in view of the financial difficulties arising from the Covid-19 crisis.
  • He further stated that the LCR requirement of banks has been brought down to 80 per cent from 100 per cent. It will be restored in phases by April next year.
  • The RBI Governor stated that the loans given by NBFCs to real estate companies will get similar benefit as given by the scheduled commercial banks.
  • He also stated the new measures aim to maintain adequate liquidity in the system, facilitate bank credit flow and ease financial stress. he stated, “LTRO-2.0 will involve Rs 50,000 crore to begin with. Rs 50,000 crore special finance facility will be provided to financial institutions such as NABARD, SIDBI and NHB.
About RBI:
  • Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Formation– 1 April 1935
  • Governor– Shaktikanta Das
  • Deputy Governors– 3 (Bibhu Prasad Kanungo, Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael DebabrataPatra)

Economic growth may fall to 1.1 per cent this fiscal due to coronavirus: SBI report

  • India’s GDP growth may slide to 1 per cent in the current financial year, on account of the impact of coronavirus outbreak on the economy, a research report by SBI
  • The economic growth rate during 2019-20 is estimated to come down to 1 per cent from 5 per cent projected by several agencies before the outbreak of deadly virus, which affected more than 20 lakh persons around the world and took lives of over 1.3 lakh people.
  • According to the SBI Ecowrap report, the extension of the lockdown would result in economic loss of Rs 21.1 lakh crore or 6 per cent of the nominal Gross Value Added (GVA).
  • With the lockdown now being extended till May 3 and simultaneously Government providing some relaxations from April 20, we estimate the overall loss for FY21 around Rs 12.1 lakh crore/6 per cent of nominal GVA taking the nominal GVA growth for entire year to be around 4.2 per cent, the report noted.
About SBI:
  • Chairperson: Rajnish Kumar
  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Pure banking, nothing else” “With you- all the way” “A bank of the common man” “The banker to every indian”


FICCI Calls For Interest-Free, Collateral-Free Loans To Support Msmes Amid COVID-19 Lockdown

  • The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has called for interest-free and collateral-free loans to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which form a vital component of India’s economy and are suffering due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • An alternate mechanism should be worked out for MSME companies which are within the Goods and Services Tax (GST) network and having a turnover of less than Rs 500 crore for a period of up to 12 months to enable them to cover fixed costs, salaries and other operational expenses, stated the industry body. For non-GST paying companies, an alternate mechanism may be worked out based on income tax filing.
  • These loans can be given with pre-conditions that businesses will continue to run and there will be no layoffs of workers. After one year, the loans will be converted into a grant if all conditions are met. Threshold tax collection could be one metric, stated FICCI.
  • The recent outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has hit MSMEs which account for 45 per cent of total manufacturing output and 40 per cent of exports. Given the complete breakdown of businesses, there is a need to assess the situation and if required, the timeline for loan moratorium should be extended.
  • FICCI stated a large number of MSMEs are incurring business losses and facing severe cash flow disruption. Most of the MSMEs operate on cash and are in need of immediate liquidity to cope in the current circumstance as a majority of these enterprises are micro and small household-run businesses.
  • Furthermore, non-availability of workers, restrictions in the availability of raw materials and transport infrastructure is making matters worse.

About Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)

  • The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry is an association of business organisations in India. Established in 1927, on the advice of Mahatma Gandhi by GD Birla and Purshottamdas Thakurdas, it is the largest, oldest and the apex business organization in India.
  • Headquarters location: New Delhi
  • Sangita Reddy President

Beijing-based AIIB mulls $500 mn funding for healthcare system in India

  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is considering a proposal for financing $500-million project in India to strengthen country’s national health care systems. The scope of funding will also include the purchase of equipment and detection capacity as country battles COVID-19 pandemic.
  • AIIB, Beijing based multilateral agency, in a statement stated it is currently reviewing projects from several of its members, many in collaboration with other multilateral development banks. The assistance for healthcare project in India is one such example.
  • AIIB is doubling available funds under its COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility to provide upto $10 billion due to high client demand. This follows AIIB’s announcement to make $ five billion available to help public and private sector clients manage through the COVID-19 pandemic.
About Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
  • President : Jin Liqun
  • Headquarters: Beijing, China
  • Membership: 76 Members


Rohit Sharma becomes CricKingdom’s brand ambassador

  • India’s limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma has become brand ambassador of ‘CricKingdom’, a cricket academy based in Dubai which will also facilitate coaching through its online platform after the global COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
  • CricKingdom’s online platform “will connect student, coaches, academies and facilities into an integrated ecosystem’.

Viswanathan Anand Joins WWF India As Ambassador For Environment Education

  • Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand has joined WWF (World Wide Fund) India as its ambassador for environment education programme.
  • WWF India is celebrating its 50 years of conservation in India.
  • Currently the environment education programme undertakes five large initiatives that reach out to school children, youth and citizens across the country and aim to create a generation of critical thinkers, problem solvers and environmentally conscious individuals. The environment education programme currently reaches out to over 5,00,000 children across 2000 schools in the country.
About WWF (World Wide Fund) India
  • Head Quarters- New Delhi
  • Founded- 27 Nov 1969

BSNL CMD PK Purwar takes additional charge of MTNL

  • BSNL’s Chairman and Managing Director PK Purwar took additional charge of MTNL.
  • Purwar’s appointment seems to be a step towards the eventual merger of MTNL and BSNL, announced in October 2019.
  • This isn’t Purwar’s first time heading MTNL — he was appointed thrice as the telco’s CMD in a temporary basis in 2014, 2016, and 2017. Purwar was appointed for a five year term in 2017, but gave up the post in 2019 after being appointed as BSNL’s CMD.
  • Head Quarters- New Delhi

Indian-American Ro Khanna appointed to White House COVID-19 advisory council

  • Indian-American Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna has been appointed to the White House coronavirus advisory council to combat the deadly disease in the US, which has seen a record number of deaths in the past two days.
  • Khanna, 43, is the only Indian-American lawmaker to be named to the White House’s Opening Up America Again Congressional Group which comprises Congressmen from both the Republican and the Democratic parties.
  • The dialogue included a range of topics, namely the need for additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Programme, the international and domestic supply chains, ways to energise the economy, surprise medical billing, clarifying the difference between essential and non-essential workers, mental health, and relief for small businesses, the White House stated in a readout of the call.


Mascot for Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games unveiled

  • The mascot for the 4th Asian Para Games scheduled to be held here from October 9 in 2022 at Hangzhou, China was unveiled. The design of ‘Feifei’ is inspired by the motif of the ‘Divine Bird’ in the Liangzhu Culture.
  • The mascot is the fusion of Hangzhou’s heritage and its drive for technological innovation, carrying the longing for harmonious co-existence between humans and nature.
  • The first ‘fei’ means the birds flying, implying inclusiveness, respect, and fraternity of human society. And the second ‘fei’ represents the mental tenacity of the athletes with disabilities pursuing dreams and reaching beyond themselves.
  • The 4th Asian Para Games will be held from October 9-15, 2022, featuring 22 sports with Taekwondo and Para-Canoe to make their Games debuts.

World’s most famous cycling race Tour de France postponed in wake of Corona virus pandemic

  • The world’s most famous cycling race Tour de France has been postponed in the wake of Corona virus pandemic.
  • The three-week race was set to start on 27th of June in the Riviera city of Nice has been set for August. This year’s event has 21 stages, with the longest of them stretching 218 kilometres (135 miles).
  • The decision came after French President Emmanuel Macron announced in his speech to the nation that all public events with large crowds have been cancelled until at least mid-July.
  • The last time the Tour was not held was in 1946, with the nation still emerging from World War-II. It was also stopped during World War-I.

SAI, AIFF join hands to launch online coaching programme during lockdown

  • All India Football Federation (AIFF) in collaboration with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has arranged for an Online Coach Education Programme, that gets underway on April 20, 2020.
  • The 13-day Refresher Course which concludes on May 2, 2020 will be open to all SAI and AIFF Licensed Coaches with around 400-500 coaches being expected to join online. The 13-day course will see the participants attend sessions on an array of topics, ranging from prevention of injury, to video analysis, to principles of coaching age-group teams, and much more.
  • The opening session of the programme will be conducted by Medeira himself, with successive sessions being held by several AIFF instructors, including current Senior Indian Men’s National Team Head Coach Igor Stimac, AIFF Technical Director Isac Doru, among others.
About All India Football Federation (AIFF)
  • President: Praful Patel
  • Founded: 23 June 1937
  • Headquarters: Dwarka, Delhi
About Sports Authority of India (SAI)
  • Headquarters: Delhi
  • Sandip Pradhan Indian Revenue Service, Sports Secretary-cum-Director General

World Rugby announces USD 100 million relief fund amid coronavirus crisis

  • World Rugby will make almost $100 million available to help nations through the Covid-19 pandemic which it calls an unprecedented threat to the global game.
  • Most major unions have already been forced to cut players’ salaries and slash administrative costs as the virus outbreak has forced professional competitions around the world to close.
  • World Rugby announced its response in a statement saying stakeholders are united in tackling the “unprecedented Covid-19 challenge.”
  • The relief fund will help nations weather the financial impact of the virus outbreak. At the same time World Rugby will work globally to decide on “a viable return to rugby” and to develop a “blueprint for potential long-term calendar overhaul.”
  • The relief fund will available for unions requiring immediate emergency funding “subject to appropriate criteria being met.
  • World Rugby stated it is working with Six Nations and Sanzaar nations and with the international Players Association on “a variety of return to rugby plans” which would be subject to the relevant government and health authority advice.
About World Rugby:
  • Headquarters: Dublin, Ireland
  • CEO: Brett Gosper


Actor Ranjit Chowdhry passes away

  • Actor-writer Ranjit Chowdhry passed away at the age of 65.
  • Chowdhry is remembered for his roles in Mira Nair’s ‘Mississippi Masala’ starring Denzel Washington, Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ‘Khubsoorat’, and Basu Chatterjee’s ‘Khatta Meetha’ and ‘Baton Baton Mein’ among others.
  • He was the writer and director of the film ‘Sam and me’ and he played the role of Nikhil ‘Shwartza’ Parikh.


  • World Art Day- 15th april
  • DST creates Integrated geospatial platform to help area-specific strategies & decisions in COVID-19 outbreak
  • Govt launches All India Agri Transport Call Centre for inter-state movement of perishables
  • MEA announces COVID-19 training program for healthcare professionals from SAARC countries
  • IMF proposes to deploy its full 1 trillion US Dollar lending capacity to support countries
  • WHO launches interactive COVID-19 service on Facebook Messenger
  • Equitas Small Finance Bank steps up digital banking services
  • HDFC Bank launches Safety Grid campaign for social distancing
  • RBI to inject 25,000 cr via TLTRO on April 17
  • Tata AIA becomes the first Life Insurance company to announce Additional Benefits Related to COVID-19
  • Google launches ‘journalism relief fund,’ following Facebook
  • Asia may see zero per cent growth in 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic: IMF
  • Karnataka CM to inaugurate mobile testing Kiosk for COVID 19 in Bengaluru
  • UP first state to get ICMR nod for ‘pool testing’ of samples for coronavirus
  • Ministry of Tourism launches “DekhoApnaDesh” webinar series
  • Ajay Mahajan appointed MD & CEO of Care Ratings
  • IWF chief Tamas Ajan resigns amid corruption probe
  • Tata Power bags Edison Award for social innovation
  • Algerian Author Abdelouahab Aissaoui Wins the 13th International Prize for Arabic Fiction
  • NIT-K Professor builds Zero-Cov, a cost-effective disinfectant chamber


  • World Voice Day- 16th april
  • World Haemophilia Day- 17th april
  • Centre releases 7,300 crore rupees to States & UTs under MGNREGS
  • Govt-appointed panel proposes institutional framework for valuers, moots National Institute of Valuers
  • IMF approves over USD 1.3 billion emergency financing to Pakistan
  • China earmarks $10 million from its ADB Trust Fund to address COVID-19 challenges in developing Asia
  • RBI cuts reverse repo rate from 4 per cent to 3.75 per cent
  • Economic growth may fall to 1 per cent this fiscal due to coronavirus: SBI report
  • FICCI Calls For Interest-Free, Collateral-Free Loans To Support Msmes Amid COVID-19 Lockdown
  • Beijing-based AIIB mulls $500 mn funding for healthcare system in India
  • Rohit Sharma becomes CricKingdom’s brand ambassador
  • Viswanathan Anand Joins WWF India As Ambassador For Environment Education
  • BSNL CMD PK Purwar takes additional charge of MTNL
  • Indian-American Ro Khanna appointed to White House COVID-19 advisory council
  • Mascot for Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games unveiled
  • World’s most famous cycling race Tour de France postponed in wake of Corona virus pandemic
  • SAI, AIFF join hands to launch online coaching programme during lockdown
  • World Rugby announces USD 100 million relief fund amid coronavirus crisis
  • Actor Ranjit Chowdhry passes away
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