Current Affairs Today 24th April 2020| Current Affairs News

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UN English and Spanish language day

  • UN English Language Day is observed annually on 23 April.
  • The event was established by UN’s Department of Public Information in 2010 “to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six official languages throughout the Organization”.
  • The Day is traditionally observed as both the birthday and date of death of William Shakespeare.
  • The Spanish Language Day was established by UNESCO on the same day as well.
  • The other official language days celebrated by the United Nations are as follows
  • December 18- Arabic Language Day
  • April 20- Chinese Language Day
  • April23- English Language Day
  • June 6- Russian Language Day
  • March 20- French Language Day
  • April 23- Spanish Language Day.

National Panchayati Raj Day

  • National Panchayati Raj Day is celebrated every year on 24 April in India. On this day Constitution came into force with effect from 24 April, 1993.
  • In 2010 the first National Panchayati Raj Day was celebrated.
  • This annual celebration is done in order to commemorate the historic day on which the Constitution Act (73rd Amendment) passed in 1992.


Remittances to India likely to drop by 23 pct this year: World Bank

  • The World Bank has stated that remittances to India are likely to drop by 23 per cent from 83 billion US Dollars last year to 64 billion US Dollars this year due to the Corona virus pandemic, which has resulted in a global recession.
  • According to a World Bank report on the impact of the COVID-19 on migration and remittances, the remittances are projected to decline sharply by about 20 per cent this year due to the economic crisis induced by the pandemic and shutdowns due to out break of Novel Corona virus.
  • The projected fall, which would be the sharpest decline in recent history, is largely due to a fall in the wages and employment of migrant workers, who tend to be more vulnerable to loss of employment and wages during an economic crisis in a host country.
  • World Bank Group President David Malpass stated, remittances are a vital source of income for developing countries and they help families afford food, health care and basic needs.
About World Bank:
  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
  • David Malpass :President
  • Anshula Kant: MD and CFO
  • Penny Goldberg: Chief Economist

Bajaj Allianz launches ‘BAGIC GOQii Co-pay Option’ under regulatory sandbox

  • Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, along with smart-tech enabled preventive healthcare platform GOQii has launched a new add-on health cover called ‘BAGIC GOQii Co-pay Option’ under regulatory sandbox approval received from the IRDAI that would reward customers with a healthy lifestyle.
  • The objective behind this product is to reward customers who are adopting a healthy lifestyle in the form of co-pay deduction in their health insurance policy.
  • Once the policyholder agrees to opt for the add-on cover, GOQii will on-board the customer on their app to monitor their engagement level and also dispatch the health band. Policy will start with a co-pay of 50 per cent on completion of day 60, after which the insured can check his/her engagement level and co-pay level on the GOQii app itself, every 30 days.
  • The option can be availed by individual policyholder with a policy tenure of one year with an insured sum of Rs.3 lakh, Rs.4 lakh or Rs.5 lakh.
About Bajaj Allianz General Insurance:
  • Headquarters: Pune
  • CEO: Tapan Singhel

SIDBI launches special liquidity scheme for MSMEs

  • The Small Industries Development Bank of India launched a special liquidity scheme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through banks including Small Finance Banks (SFBs), Non-Banking Financial Companies including fintech NBFCs and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs).
  • “The scheme would provide financial support to banks, NBFCs and MFIs by way of term loans to ensure operational continuity and promote onward lending to MSMEs,” SIDBI stated in a statement, adding that the tenor of these loans will be 90 days.
  • This follows the special 15,000-crore liquidity window announced by the Reserve Bank of India to meet the credit needs of MSMEs.
  • To be eligible under the scheme, a bank should have a sizeable outstanding loan portfolio to micro and small enterprises, micro credit and sound financials, SIDBI stated, adding that they should have been in operation for a minimum period of three years and should have earned profit for a at least two years out of the last three years.
  • Small Finance Banks should have earned profit during the last two years out of the three years of operation.
  • The eligible NBFCs should be registered with RBI as Investment and Credit Company (ICC) and should have been in business for at least three years. They should have a minimum net owned funds of 20 crore and have a credit rating of a minimum of ‘BBB-’ or equivalent as on March 31, 2020.
About SIDBI:
  • Headquarters location: Lucknow
  • Founded: 2 April 1990
  • Mohammad Mustafa :Chairman and Managing Director


World Bank approves Rs 585 cr for Himachal Pradesh State Roads Transformation Project

  • The World Bank has approved 82 million US dollars (585 crore rupees) for the Himachal Pradesh State Roads Transformation Project (HPSRTP) for upgradation of major roads and modernization of the Public Works Department in the state.
  • Under the project, Road construction work of Barotiwala-Baddi-Sain-Ramshehar with length of 45 kms, Dadol-Ladraurr Road with length of 14.5 kms, Mandi- Riwalsar-Kalkhar of length 28 kms and Raghunathpura-Mandi- Harpura-Bharari road with length of 3.5 kms would be undertaken in tranche -one.
  • The target of construction of 900 kilometres road length was fixed for the year 2019-20 but 800 kilometres roads could be constructed during the outbreak of coronavirus.
  • On the other hand 1666 crore rupees had been allocated for target construction of 4960 kilometres of roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) for the year 2020-21.
About Himachal Pradesh:
  • Governor: Bandaru Dattatreya
  • Capitals: Shimla (Summer), Dharamshala (Winter)
  • Chief minister: Jai Ram Thakur

Mizoram: Mobile app ‘mCOVID19’ to act as online pass for drivers and handymen

  • In Mizoram, the information and communication technology department has launched a mobile app for the truck drivers and handymen carrying essential goods from outside the state to ensure easy and safe transport during the lockdown period of COVID19 pandemic.
  • The mobile app, mCOVID19 will act as the online pass for the drivers and handymen. Officials stated that the drivers and handymen of interstate carriers will have to do registration of mPASS and thereafter an mPASS ID will be sent to them via sms, showing information of where the drivers come from, where they are going and what goods they are carrying.
  • The mPASS declaration on the mobile App need to be done by all trucks entering Mizoram from other states. Also, after medical screening of the drivers and handymen at entry points the mPASS id will be registered for entry into the state. Different features available in the mCOVID19 app are registration, permission, declaration and Entry Point Scan.
About Mizoram:
  • Capital: Aizawl
  • Governor: P. S. Sreedharan Pillai
  • Chief minister: Zoramthanga


J&K bags three national awards for outstanding contribution by its Panchayati Raj Institutions

  • Jammu and Kashmir UT has bagged three national awards under separate categories for outstanding contribution by its Panchayati Raj Institutions towards socio-economic development of Gram Panchayats, adopting child-friendly practices and preparing Gram Panchayat Development Plans at panchayat level.
  • The awards were given under three different categories -Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar (NDRGGSP), Gram Panchayat Development Plans (GPDP) Award, Child-friendly Gram Panchayat Award by Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Govt of India to recognise the efforts and work done by best performing panchayats all over the country.
  • The awards are aimed at to strengthen the institution of Gram Sabhas highlighting it as an institution of decision making. Panchayat, Jamola Lower of District Rajouri has been awarded child-friendly Gram Panchayat Award 2020 for adopting best practices in terms of ensuring timely vaccination of children, optimum enrolment, attendance of teachers in schools, reduction of drop-out rate in schools, open defecation free status, implementation of Mid-day Meal scheme and drinking water facilities.
  • Panchayat Dhangri of the same district has been awarded with Nanaji Deshmukh Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar for outstanding performance in improving the soci-economic fabric of the panchayat.
  • Similarly, Panchayat Zaloora B of District Baramulla has been adjudged as best performing GP for the Gram Panchayat Development Plans awards for preparing holistic and comprehensive development plan for the panchayat.
About Jammu and Kashmir:
  • Capitals: Jammu Cantonment (Winter), Srinagar (Summer)
  • Lieutenant Governor : Girish Chandra Murmu


Ujjivan SFB ranked 5th among ‘Best Large Workplaces’

  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank has been ranked 5th among ‘Best Large Workplaces in Asia 2020’ by the Great Place To Work Institute. In 2019, Ujjivan SFB was ranked 16th in the Best Large Workplaces in Asia.
  • Ujjivan SFB has been consistently featured in the list of best companies to work for by the Great Place To Work Institute for nearly a decade.
  • The bank was ranked based on two parameters which includes Trust Index Score that is based on employees’ feedback in the survey and Culture Audit Score basis a detailed write up on Ujjivan SFB’s 15 best practice areas.
About Ujjivan Small Finance Bank:
  • Headquarters Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Sunil Patel : Non-Exe Chairman
  • Nitin Chugh :MD & CEO


SpaceX successfully launches latest batch of 60 internet-beaming satellites to orbit

  • SpaceX successfully launched and deployed all 60 Starlink satellites into orbit.
  • The Falcon 9 rocket also successfully touched down on the company’s drone ship at sea — a smooth landing after two previous failed attempts to recover the vehicle in the ocean.
  • SpaceX is pressing ahead with its internet-from-space initiative, launching another batch of 60 broadband-beaming satellites into orbit from Florida.
  • This is the company’s seventh launch for its ambitious internet project, known as Starlink, and if successful, SpaceX will have put more than 420 of the nearly 12,000 planned satellites into orbit.
  • SpaceX hopes to eventually provide global internet coverage from space. Once enough satellites have been launched, the company plans to sell user terminals to customers that will allow them to patch into the satellite network.
  • As of now, the plan is to roll out partial coverage to Canada and the northern United States sometime this year, with global coverage potentially becoming available in 2021.
About SpaceX
  • Headquarters– California, U.S.
  • CEO– Elon Musk

IGIB scientists develop low cost COVID­19 test ‘Feluda’

  • Scientists at the CSIR’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology have come up with a low­cost coronavirus test that will not require any expensive machines for detection of the pathogen.
  • Named after ‘Feluda’, the detective character in legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s stories, the test has been developed by Debojyoti Chakraborty and Souvik Maiti as a simpler way of detecting SARS­coV2 presence in clinical samples.
  • CSIR is a department under the Union Ministry of Science and Technology. It starts the same way as a normal real time reverse transcription­ polymerase chain reaction (RT­PCR), which is extraction of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and its conversion to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).
  • It then differs by using a specifically designed PCR reaction to amplify a part of the viral nucleic acid sequence. Then a highly specific CRISPR, FnCAS9, developed at IGIB, binds to that sequence.
  • Using the innovative chemistry on a paper strip, the CRISPR complex, bound to that specific sequence, can be visualised as a positive band ­ like one sees in simple pregnancy tests. The total time required for the test is less than one hour.

Recent News

  • Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, (SCTI) Trivandrum has developed a diagnostic test kit which can confirm COVID-19 cases in just two hours at a cost as low as Rs 1,000.The test kit, called ‘Chitra GeneLAMP-N.’
  • A Pune based molecular diagnostic company has become the first one to develop a diagnostic kit for coronavirus testing. The kit called Mylab Patho Detect Covid­19

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates DRDO mobile testing lab

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a mobile virology research and diagnostics laboratory, a testing facility developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation that can process over 1,000 samples in a day, speed up COVID-19 screening and carry out immune profiling of patients of the virus for vaccine development.
  • The mobile lab, which can be positioned anywhere in the country, will also be helpful to carry out the diagnosis of COVID-19, virus culturing for drug screening, convalescent plasma derived therapy and early clinical trials specific to the Indian population.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unveiled via video conference a Mobile Virology Research and Diagnostics Laboratory (MVRDL) developed by DRDO in association with ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad and private industry.
  • The first of such Mobile Viral Research Lab that will speed up COVID-19 screening and related R&D activities was developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), the Hyderabad based laboratory of DRDO in consultation with ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad.
  • The lab is built according to WHO and ICMR bio-safety standards to meet international guidelines. The system has inbuilt electrical controls, LAN, Telephone cabling, and CCTV.
About DRDO
  • Headquarters location- New Delhi
  • Founded- 1958
  • Minister responsible- Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence. (Lucknow, UP)
  • Chairman- G Satheesh Reddy


Tech Mahindra, IBM tie up to set up innovation centres

  • Tech Mahindra has decided to set up innovation centres in collaboration with IBM, in order to provide boost to digital transformation and encourage adoption of more cloud-based technologies among its global customers.
  • The centres will showcase IBM’s digital transformation solutions built with Cloud Paks running on Red Hat OpenShift, which could come handy for solving complex business problems for various industries, including healthcare, telecommunication, financial services, manufacturing, insurance and retail.
  • The company plans to open the first such innovation centre in Bengaluru in 2020 and more such centres will be set up across North America and UK later this year.
  • The collaboration with IBM will help us accelerate the development of cloud-based applications for our customers and build multi-cloud data management solutions on the industry-leading hybrid platform.
  • The commitment to building Innovation Centers aligns with our TechMNxt charter, an initiative that leverages emerging technology to solve real-world business problems for customers.
About Tech Mahindra Limited
  • Headquarters– Pune, Maharashtra.
  • Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer– Chander Prakash Gurnani
About IBM
  • Headquarters– New York, U.S.
  • President– Jim Whitehurst


Charles Leclerc wins Chinese Virtual Grand Prix

  • Charles Leclerc of Ferrari has won the Chinese Virtual Grand Prix defeated Red Bull’s Alex Albon.
  • Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the actual F1 races are not being held. In its place, Formula 1 has announced new F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series. The virtual races will run in place of every postponed Grand Prix.
  • The series will use the official F1 2019 PC video game, developed by

Alireza Firouzja defeats Magnus Carlsen in final of Banter Blitz Cup

  • Iranian refugee Alireza Firouzja shocked the world when he upset Carlsen in the final of the $78,000 Banter Blitz Cup in a battle.
  • Carlsen, the reigning world champion and chess grand master may have got a taste of his next world title defence when teenage talent Firouzja knocked him off 8.5 to 7.5 in a marathon series of bullet matches.
  • The Chess24 online tournament saw Firouzja best 132 players in a knock-out style tournament that included 109 grand masters going head to head.
  • His latest achievement shows why the prodigy is considered the likely heir to Carlsen’s throne when the world champion is next challenged.


Thespian Usha Ganguly dies at 75 in Kolkata

  • Eminent theatre personality Usha Ganguly died at her residence in south Kolkata on April 23. Ganguly, 75, she died of a massive cardiac arrest.
  • She founded the Rangakarmee group in 1976, which is known for non-conformist productions like Mahabhoj, Rudali, Court Martial and Antaryatra.
  • Her Rangakarmee gave a separate idiom, a new language to theatre in Bengal and created a new audience, which had so far been familiar with Bengali group theatre and English theatre, in the late 70s and 80s.

Former Rajya Sabha MP Basanta Das passes away

  • Former Rajya Sabha member from Odisha Basanta Das died following a prolonged illness. He was 80.
  • Das, who was suffering from age-related ailments, breathed his last at his residence in Bahadur Bagicha locality of Bhawanipatna.
  • Das was Rajya Sabha member from 1990 to 1996 as Janata Dal nominee.
  • He was also chairman of Bhawanipatna Municipality from 1985 to 1990.


  • UNESCO World book and Copyright Day- 23rd april
  • Govt sanctions Rs15000 cr investment for ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response & Health System Preparedness Package’
  • Pakistan to host SAARC virtual conference on COVID-19
  • Lebanon legalises marijuana cultivation for medicinal use
  • RBI eases investment norms under TLTRO 2.o
  • RBI Announces Special Open Market Operations Of Purchase And Sale of Government Securities Of Rs 10000 Crore
  • TCS to power Israel’s first fully digital bank
  • Fitch Ratings sees India growth slipping to 8 per centin FY21
  • Gujarath govt’s water conservation scheme begins
  • JKSLSA launches helpline under ‘Serve-the-Seniors Initiative’ for senior citizens
  • Karnataka govt launches “Apthamitra” helpline and app to fight COVID-19
  • Union HRD Minister launched VidyaDaan 2.0 on DIKSHA used by CBSE,NCERT to strengthen e-learning content
  • App that warns about COVID-19 containment zones, filters fake news developed by IIIT-Delhi
  • BWF names PV Sindhu ambassador for its ‘I am badminton’ campaign
  • ‘Midnight in Chernobyl’ author Adam Higginbotham wins William E. Colby Award
  • Shri Narendra Singh Tomar participates in the G-20 Extraordinary Agriculture Ministers Meeting through Video Conferencing
  • IIT-Mandi team develops magnetic RAM to enable higher data storage, faster computation
  • SVP Institute becomes first to carry out plasma research in view of Covid-19
  • NADA and BFI conduct online anti-doping awareness session
  • World Games Birmingham unveils new title, logo after postponement of event


  • UN English and Spanish language day- 23rd april
  • National Panchayati Raj Day- 24th april
  • Remittances to India likely to drop by 23 pct this year: World Bank
  • Bajaj Allianz launches ‘BAGIC GOQii Co-pay Option’ under regulatory sandbox
  • SIDBI launches special liquidity scheme for MSMEs
  • World Bank approves Rs 585 cr for Himachal Pradesh State Roads Transformation Project
  • Mizoram: Mobile app ‘mCOVID19’ to act as online pass for drivers and handymen
  • J&K bags three national awards for outstanding contribution by its Panchayati Raj Institutions
  • Ujjivan SFB ranked 5th among ‘Best Large Workplaces’
  • SpaceX successfully launches latest batch of 60 internet-beaming satellites to orbit
  • IGIB scientists develop low cost COVID­19 test ‘Feluda’
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates DRDO mobile testing lab
  • Tech Mahindra, IBM tie up to set up innovation centres
  • Charles Leclerc wins Chinese Virtual Grand Prix
  • Alireza Firouzja defeats Magnus Carlsen in final of Banter Blitz Cup
  • Thespian Usha Ganguly dies at 75 in Kolkata
  • Former Rajya Sabha MP Basanta Das passes away


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