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CURRENT AFFAIRS: DAYS
International Day to End Obstetric Fistula
- The United Nations has observed the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula since 2013. The day, 23 May, is meant to raise awareness of this issue and mobilize support around the globe.
- Theme 2020: “End gender inequality! End health inequities! End Fistula now!”
International Missing Children’s Day
- International Missing Children’s Day is an international day celebrated on May 25, the same day as the United States’ National Missing Children’s Day designated by Ronald Reagan in 1983.
- The first IMCD was observed in 2001 through the joint efforts of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), Missing Children Europe, and the European Commission.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
High-level panel formed to recommend reforms in India’s drug regulatory system
- A high-level committee of experts has been formed by the government to recommend reforms in India’s drug regulatory system so that approval processes can be fast-tracked.
- According to a recent Union Health Ministry order, the committee will study the current drug regulatory system and submit recommendations for reforms, so as to bring the system in line with global standards and make it more efficient.
- The committee chaired by Rajesh Bhushan, the OSD to the Union health minister.
- India’s Joint Drug Controller Dr Eswara Reddy will assist the committee in their work on adopting global best practices. The committee, which has met twice till now, will submit its report within one month from the date of its formation.
- The committee has been asked by the ministry to also study earlier reports given by the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on clinical trials and working of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization CDSCO and address the unimplemented recommendations of the previous panels.
- Union Minister– Harsh Vardhan
- Constituency- Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
- Minister of state– Ashwini Kumar Choubey
India’s KHUDOL declared one of Top 10 Global Initiatives to fight COVID-19
- The United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth has listed Manipur’s Khudol (gift) among the top 10 global initiatives for an inclusive fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
- Khudol is a crowdfunded initiative of Ya_All, an Imphal-based NGO that had created India’s first transgender football team. The initiative entails ensuring food, health and hygiene of the LGBTQI+ community, people living with HIV, daily-wage earners, children and adolescents.
- Mobilising a network of 100 volunteers, they have provided around 2,000 families and individuals with over 1,000 health kits, 6,500 sanitary pads and 1,500 condoms,” stated Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka, the UN Envoy on Youth.
- Wickramanayake also acknowledged Ya_All, which was founded in 2017, for organising mental health workshops and founding Meitram, the first co-working and networking space owned and run by queer individuals in India.
- Manipur has also been more accommodative to the transgender community than other States during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, ensuring that they were not put into quarantine centres for men.
- Ya_All created a model of an inclusive safe space for transgender returnees. The organisation teamed up with the local Thangmeiband United Club and Imphal West district administration to set provide separate rooms and toilets for transgender persons besides a ramp for the differently-abled at a quarantine centre in Imphal’s DM College of Teacher’s Education.
About United Nations (UN):
- Headquarters– New York, United States
- Secretary general– António Guterres
- Capital– Imphal
- Governor– Najma Heptulla
- Chief minister– N. Biren Singh
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
World Bank approves USD 500 million loan for Pakistan
- The World Bank has restored Pakistan’s budgetary support after four years and approved a policy loan of USD 500 million to help the cash-strapped country mitigate adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a media report.
- The World Bank’s board of executive directors approved a USD 500-million programme to help Pakistan improve access to quality healthcare and education, support economic opportunities for women and strengthen social safety nets as the country braces to limit the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- World Bank has decided to help Pakistan once again after four years. This decision has been taken to help the country out of a major economy crisis allegedly caused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- The money is to help the country get better access to quality healthcare and education, support economic opportunities for women and strengthen social safety nets as the country braces to limit the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pakistan has been given 30 years to return the money back to World Bank.
- The World Bank documents underlined that the government had committed to staying the course and would be supported by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to ensure that.
About World Bank:
- Headquarters– Washington D.C., United States (US).
- Motto– Working for a World Free of Poverty.
- President– David Malpass.
- President : Arif Alvi
- Prime Minister: Imran Khan
- Capital: Islamabad
- Currency: Pakistani rupee
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
Canara Bank releases emergency credit facilities for MSMEs
- Canara Bank has announced ‘CANARA CREDIT SUPPORT’ for all of their borrowers who have been affected by COVID-19.
- The Canara Credit Support is extended as a quick and hassle-free loan to overcome the temporary liquidity mismatches for payment of statutory dues, salary/wages/electricity bill, rent.
- The bank has sanctioned nearly 6 lakh loans amounting to Rs 4,300 crore under agriculture, SHGs and Retail categories.
- The Bank has also sanctioned more than Rs 60,000 crore of advances to the Corporates and MSMEs from March till date.
- The government has announced emergency credit line of 20 per cent of the outstanding credit as on February 29 to MSME borrowers having Rs 25 crore outstanding with an annual turnover up to Rs 100 crore. The credit line is 100 per cent guaranteed by the Central government. The facility can be availed up to October 31 at the convenience of the borrower and as per the terms and conditions.
- All standard accounts including SMA 0 and SMA 1 are eligible to avail this facility. About 10 per cent of existing fund based working capital limits or Rs 150 crore whichever is lower is extended under this facility. This limit is over and above the eligible maximum permissible bank finance to the unit. The facility is given for a period of 24 months with 6 months moratorium. The loans are priced very competitively with no processing charges, no margin and no additional security.
About Canara Bank:
- CEO: Lingam Venkat Prabhakar
- Headquarters: Bengaluru
- Tagline :Together we Can
BoB plans to sanction Rs 10,000 crore emergency working capital facility for Covid-19 affected businesses
- Bank of Baroda (BoB) will sanction Rs 10,000 crore as emergency working capital facility to COVID-19 affected businesses, including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), according to Sanjiv Chadha, MD & CEO.
- The BoB chief emphasised that extending emergency working capital is the right thing to do by the Bank’s clients so that they can survive the impact of the pandemic and gradually return to normalcy.
- Among the measures announced on May 13 by the Government under the “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan” package, Banks will be providing additional working capital finance of 20 per cent of their outstanding (MSME) credit as on 29 February 2020. These loans will be 100 per cent guaranteed by the Government.
- MSMEs, with up to Rs 25 crore (loan) outstanding and turnover of up to Rs 100 crore (whose accounts are standard), will get guaranteed emergency credit at interest rates of up to 9.25 per cent from banks.
- The public sector bank has availed Rs 6,600 crore from the Reserve Bank of India under the targeted long-term repo operations (collectively under first and second versions) to support non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) by purchasing their investment grade corporate bonds, commercial paper, and non-convertible debentures.
- BoB has also availed about Rs 1,000 crore under the RBI’s standing liquidity facility to support mutual funds.
About Bank Of Baroda:
- Headquarters: Vadodara, Gujarat, India
- Hasmukh Adhia: Chairman
- Sanjiv Chadha: MD & CEO
- Tagline :India’s International Bank
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATES
Chhattisgarh to observe May 25 as Jhiram tribute day
- The Chhattisgarh government will observe May 25 as ‘Jhiram Shraddhanjali Diwas’ to pay tribute to Congress leaders who were killed in a Maoist attack in Bastar district on this day in 2013 as well as other victims of Naxal violence.
- May 25 will be observed in the memory of senior Congress leaders and security personnel killed in Jhiram Valley Naxal attack on May 25, 2013.
- On May 25, 2013, Naxals had attacked a convoy of Congress leaders during the party’s rally in Jhiram valley, killing 29 people, including then state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, former leader of opposition Mahendra Karma and former Union minister Vidyacharan Shukla.
- Capital- Raipur
- CM- Bhupesh Baghel
- Governor- Anushya Uikey
In a first, Uttarakhand releases report on conservation of endemic, threatened floras
- Uttarakhand has become the first state to release a unique report highlighting its conservation efforts to save over 1,100 rare plants from extinction.
- Herbs like ‘Ashwagandha’, ‘Giloy’, ‘Kalmegh’ and ‘Chitrak’, which are presently part of scientists” research to find a possible cure to coronavirus, are included in this conservation programme.
- As many as 1,145 plant species have been conserved out of which 46 species are endemic to Uttarakhand and 68 species are rare, endangered or threatened, under red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) or under state biodiversity board, under this project by the research wing of the state forest department.
- This project is aimed at germplasm conservation so that species remain conserved with the forest department even if they disappear from their natural habitat in the wild.
- Conservation of endemic species is considered to be particularly important as they exist in one geographical region only.
- ‘Brahmkamal’, an endangered plant named after Hindu god Brahma, and mythological ‘Sanjeevani’ herb are also among the conserved floras under this programme.
- Brahmkamal (scientific name:Saussurea obvallata), found at over 12,000 feet altitude in the Himalayan region bordering China, is the state flower of Uttarakhand and considered a very sacred flower. It also has tremendous medicinal properties, is used as antiseptic and for treatment of other ailments.
- Sanjeevani (Selaginella bryopteris) is another rare herb which has found a mention in Ramayan.
- Similarly, Thuner (Taxusbaccata), a tree found at very high altitude in Himalayan region and at the verge of extinction because of extraction of ‘taxol’, used in treating breast cancer, and Bhojpatra –– a holy tree on the bark of which ancient scriptures were written — being the last species in tree line, are also conserved by the Uttarakhand forest department.
- Bhojpatra (Betulautilis) is found in the Himalayan region at around 10,000 ft altitude, before the start of glaciers.
- The conservation programme covers all classes of plants – tree, shrub, herb, bamboo, wild climbers, fern, orchid, grass, cane, alpine flowers, palm, cycad, cactus, succulent, aquatic species, insectivorous plants and even lower plants like moss, lichen and algae, which have been documented, classified and conserved for the first time.
- Some of the famous and endangered plant species conserved are Chandan, Raktchandan, Ritha, Vajradanti, Jatamasi, Dhoop, Badritulsi, Sita Ashok, Mithavish, Sarpgandha, Brahmi, Salampanja (orchid), Kalmegha, and Buransh among others.
- Capital- Dehradun, Gairsain (Summer)
- Chief minister- Trivendra Singh Rawat
- Governor- Baby Rani Maurya
Tamil Nadu begins work on implementing Solar Fence Farmland Protection Programme
- The Tamil Nadu government has started preliminary works for implementing the unique Solar Fence Farmland Protection Programme, under the Central Agriculture Improvement Scheme.
- The temporary break from normal agricultural activities because of Covid-19 lockdown is being utilized by farmers in such innovative preparatory works.
- Since many of the districts in the state, including Trichy, Theni, Coimbatore etc have the foothills of the Western Ghats as one of their boundaries, agricultural lands in these areas are always at a risk of attack from animals – especially elephants.
- Against this background, the electric fences powered by eco-friendly, non polluting solar panels are being set up in various parts of the state.
- Under the Central Agriculture Improvement Scheme, 50% of the cost of constructing the electric fence, including setting up of the power generating solar panels, will be provided as subsidy to farmers.
- A maximum limit of 18 lakh rupees has been fixed for availing subsidy.
About Tamil Nadu:
- Capital : Chennai
- Governor :Banwarilal Purohit
- Chief Minister: Edappadi K. Palaniswami
UP govt to form commission to map skills of migrant labourers
- The Uttar Pradesh government stated it will form a migration commission to identify the skills of returning migrant workers and provide employment to them. The government also plans to provide insurance to these workers.
- The chief minister also decided to ensure that every migrant worker coming to Uttar Pradesh gets employment. The state government believes that in the wake of the pandemic, it is the first priority of the state government to bring back every migrant safely.
- The chief minister also decided to offer insurance to secure the lives of migrant labourers and called for a scheme to ensure job security for them in the state.
- The Uttar Pradesh government has already started the process of skill mapping of migrant labourers so that they can be provided employment once they complete the quarantine period,
- Such persons should be accommodated in different sectors on the basis of data found during skill mapping, the chief minister stated.
About Uttar Pradesh:
- Capital- lucknow
- CM-. Yogi Adityanath
- Governor- Anandhiben Patel
CURRENT AFFAIRS: MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
ITC to acquire spice-maker Sunrise Foods
- FMCG major ITC Ltd will acquire city-based packaged spice-maker Sunrise Foods for an undisclosed sum.
- The company has entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the equity share capital of Sunrise Foods Private Ltd (SFPL).
- SFPL is a 70-year-old legacy brand engaged in the business of spices under the trademark ‘Sunrise’. The brand is a market leader in eastern India in the packaged spices category — both in basic and blended segments.
- The share purchase agreement is “subject to fulfilment of various terms and conditions as specified”, ITC stated.
- According to market sources, the proposed acquisition is aligned with ITC’s strategy to rapidly scale up its FMCG business in a profitable manner.
- Branded Spices is an exciting and high growth segment as Consumer shifts from unbranded to branded due to higher focus on safety, trust and quality, Roy added.
- ITC Ltd already has a spices range under the ‘Aashirvaad’ brand and the company claims to be a market leader in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. It is also one of the leading exporters of high-quality spices.
- CEO: Sanjiv Puri
- Headquarters: Kolkata
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
Indian economist Abhas Jha appointed to key World Bank position in South Asia
- Abhas Jha, an Indian economist, has been appointed by theWorld Bank to a key position on climate change and disaster management in South Asia.
- Jha’s appointment comes at a time whenCyclone Amphan has badly hit West Bengal, Orissa in India and Bangladesh.
- His most recent assignment is Practice Manager forUrban Development and Disaster Risk Management in the East Asia and Pacific region. His area of jurisdiction includes India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Maldives.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
Spanish Striker Aritz Aduriz Announces Retirement from Football
- Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz announced his retirement from football.
- The 39-year-old Aduriz took decision after finding out he needs a hip replacement.
- Aduriz, who also played for Spanish clubs Valladolid, Mallorca and Valencia, leaves Athletic as the club’s sixth-highest scorer with 172 goals. He was a member of Spain’s squad at the 2016 European Championship in France.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARY
Hana Kimura: Netflix star and Japanese wrestler passes away
- Hana Kimura, a professional Japanese wrestler who appeared in the latest series of Netflix’s reality show Terrace House, has passed away at the age of 22.
- A winner of Stardom’s 2019 Fighting Spirit Award, Kimura was one of the cast members of Japanese reality TV show Terrace House, before it was suspended due to coronavirus.
- Her mother was also a well-known wrestler, Kyoko Kimura.
Former Tamil Nadu football player and coach R Shanmugam passes away
- Former Tamil Nadu football player and coach R Shanmugam passed away due to age-related illness.
- Shanmugam had also played for Mohun Bagan in 1968.
- He obtained diplomas in football coaching from the National Institute of Sports in 1975-76 and the Brazilian Football Academy in 1995.
- He has also served as the president of the Football Coaches Association in Chennai.
Four-time Grand Slam singles champion Ashley Cooper passes away
- Former Australian tennis player Ashley Cooper, who won four Grand Slam singles titles including the Australian, Wimbledon and U.S. championships in 1958, has passed away. He was 83.
- He was the former No. 1-ranked player and long-time administrator.
‘Ready’ actor Mohit Baghel passes away at 26 due to cancer
- Actor Mohit Baghel, best known for playing Amar Chaudhary in superstar Salman Khan’s “Ready”, has passed away of cancer. He was 26.
- Mohit has also acted in films “Ekkees Toppon Ki Salaami” and “Gali Gali Chor Hai”
Hockey Player Balbir Singh Passes Away
- The famous Indian hockey player Balbir Singh (95) passed away.
- He was a former hockey player from India.cHe was a three-time Olympic gold champion having played a key role in India’s wins in London (1948), Helsinki (1952) (as Vice Captain), and Melbourne (1956) (as Captain) Olympics.
- He was often called Balbir Singh Senior to distinguish him from other Indian hockey players named Balbir Singh.
- Singh was the Manager and Chief Coach of the Indian team for the 1975 Men’s Hockey World Cup, which India won, and the 1971 Men’s Hockey World Cup, where India earned a bronze medal.
DAILY CA 23rd MAY
- World Turtle Day – 23rd may
- Prakash Javadekar launches NBA-UNDP India’s Biodiversity Samrakshan Internship Programme
- Australian researchers achieve world’s fastest Internet speeds
- S. to pull out of Open Skies treaty
- Madhya Pradesh CM to inaugurate ‘Everybody will get employment’ scheme through video conferencing
- Madhya Pradesh CM inaugurates ‘Shram Siddhi Abhiyan’ to provide jobs to labourers
- ONGC, NTPC sign MOU to set up joint venture for renewable energy business
- Assam’s Jahnabi Phookan appointed FICCI FLO National President
- Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan assumes Chair of the WHO’s Executive Board
- CCI approves 100% acquisition of Emami Cement by NVCL
- KKR to buy 2.32% Jio Platforms stake for11,367 crore
- IRDAI allows Union Bank of India to continue 30% holding in IndiaFirst Life Insurance
- HSL India Wins ET Iconic Brand for Year 2019-20
- Tennis star Naomi Osaka becomes world’s highest paid female athlete
- Researchers at IIT-M develop solar parabolic trough collector
- After China, India is now the second largest producer of PPE coveralls during the COVID-19 pandemic
- US tennis star Jamie Hampton announces retirement
- Renowned vocalist Shyamala G Bhave passes away
DAILY CA 24th and 25th MAY
- International Day to End Obstetric Fistula- 23rd may
- International Missing Children’s Day- 25th may
- High-level panel formed to recommend reforms in India’s drug regulatory system
- India’s KHUDOL declared one of Top 10 Global Initiatives to fight COVID-19
- World Bank approves USD 500 million loan for Pakistan
- Canara Bank releases emergency credit facilities for MSMEs
- BoB plans to sanction Rs 10,000 crore emergency working capital facility for Covid-19 affected businesses
- Chhattisgarh to observe May 25 as Jhiram tribute day
- In a first, Uttarakhand releases report on conservation of endemic, threatened floras
- Tamil Nadu begins work on implementing Solar Fence Farmland Protection Programme
- UP govt to form commission to map skills of migrant labourers
- ITC to acquire spice-maker Sunrise Foods
- Indian economist Abhas Jha appointed to key World Bank position in South Asia
- Spanish Striker Aritz Aduriz Announces Retirement from Football
- Hana Kimura: Netflix star and Japanese wrestler passes away
- Former Tamil Nadu football player and coach R Shanmugam passes away
- Four-time Grand Slam singles champion Ashley Cooper passes away
- Ready’ actor Mohit Baghel passes away at 26 due to cancer
- Hockey Player Balbir Singh Passes Away