PIB NEWS ANALYSIS 23rd-25th April 2020

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1)What are Immunity Passports that are warned against by WHO?
The World Health Organization has recently warned against issuance of immunity passports.

Immunity passports are provided to persons that have been recovered from COVId-19 and has tested positive to hold antibodies against the disease.

The presence of antibodies according to immunity passports say that the person will not get infected by COVID-19 again.

WHO is against the concept as there is no evidence till now that people who have recovered from COVID-19 or developed antibodies will not get infected again.

2)Retired IAS Officer Sanjay Kothari appointed as Central Vigilance Commissioner

3)Banking Services made Public Utility Services:- The Government of India has declared banking industry as public utility service till October 21. The order has been issued under provisions of Industrial Disputes Act.

The banking services have been brought under the Industrial Disputed Act in order to prevent strikes by the employees of banking sector. The order has been passed by the labour ministry.

Industrial Disputes Act:-The Industrial Disputes act, 1947 regulates Indian labour laws. The main objective of the act is to secure harmony and peace in the work culture of Indian Industries. The act applies only to organized sector.

Reasons for the order:
There are several decisions of the government that the bank unions do not agree. For instance, several bank unions protested against the bank mergers.

The unions did not agree to the merger as they believed that consolidation of banks will lead to closing down of branches.

Public Utility Services:-The Public Utility Services are those services that operate as public service corporation. They provide essential services such as telephones, electricity, natural gas, postal services and water.

4)Hubble Space Telescope: NASA’s longest living Space Telescope celebrates 30th anniversary:-

The Hubble Space Observatory is run in partnership with European Space Agency. The telescope has played a crucial role in the discovery of accelerating expansion of the cosmos. Also, it was Hubble Telescope that gave the evidence of existence of black holes in the centres of the galaxy.

Cosmic Reef:- On its 30th anniversary, the Hubble Telescope captured a Cosmic Reef. The Cosmic Reef is a group of stars that has an appearance of a coral reef undersea. Each star in the group is ten times the size of the sun. The stars are in a nebula.

Nebula is a giant cloud of gas and dust. The nebula is formed due to the dust emitted from these stars. They are large Magellanic Clouds.

The reef has red colour glowing around. The red colour comes due to the glowing nitrogen and hydrogen gas. The blue colour in the reef is because of the presence of oxygen.

5)April 25: World Malaria Day
Theme: Zero Malaria Starts with me

6)PRACRITI: IIT-Delhi develops dashboard to predict COVID-19 cases before 3 weeks:- Researchers from IIT Delhi have developed web-based dashboard to predict the spread of COVID-19 in India.

The dashboard has been named PRACRITI-Prediction and Assessment of Corona Infections and Transmissions in India.

The dashboard provides detailed district-wise and state-wise predictions of COVID-19. The dashboard provides basic reproduction number “R naught”. R0 is the number of people that the virus spreads to from a single infected person.

7)19 Interstellar Asteroids discovered between Jupiter and Neptune:– They are now a part of “Centaurs” orbiting the sun. Centaurs are group of asteroids between Neptune and Jupiter.

The first interstellar asteroid discovered was “Oumuamua”.

The Oumuamua was discovered in 2017. The asteroid according to the astronomers have come from the star called Vega in the constellation Lyra.

8)ANTHURIUM: 10 Varieties of the high market value, AIR PURIFYING flower developed:- A woman innovator from Kerala, Vasini Bai has developed 10 varieties of Anthurium flower.

The flower has high market value for its major usage as an indoor decorative.

As the innovator was unable to meet high demand of highly time-consuming technique, the National Innovation Foundation has stepped in.

9)NOOR: Iran’s first military satellite launched successfully

10)April 24: National Panchayati Raj Day
The 73rd Constitutional Amendment came into effect on April 24. The amendment gave constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj System

11)E-Gram Swaraj Application and Portal launched:-
On April 24, 2020, PM Narendra Modi launched E-Gram Swaraj application and 2 portals to accelerate pace of development in villages.

The application will help panchayats to complete development projects in villages.

It will accelerate project in villages starting from planning to completion.

The Swamitva Yojana will use drones to map properties in villages. This will help to reduce disputes over property. The portals will help the villagers to obtain their loans easily from banks.

The portal will act as a single platform to implement Gram Panchayat Development Plan. Every information related to the rural areas will be found in E-Swaraj website and also on mobile application.

12)Tianwen 1: China’s first Mars Exploration Mission:-On April 24, 2020, the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) named its first Mars Exploration mission as Tianwen 1.

The CNSA also announced that henceforth all the planetary missions are to be named as Tianwen series.

National Space Day of China:-
China celebrates its Space Day to mark the launch of its first satellite Dongfanghong-1

13)Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Act, 1985:-The act prohibits a person to manufacture, produce, cultivate, possess, purchase, store, transport or consume narcotic drugs.

Under the act, the GoI can constitute Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Consultative Committee to provide advise on matters relating to administration of the act.

The committee shall consist of maximum of 20 members.

Under the act, the GoI shall constitute National Fund to control drug abuse.

14)Lebanon: First Arab Country to legalize Marijuana cultivation

Golden Crescent:-
The Golden Crescent includes three countries namely Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Together they form a crescent in the map and hence the name Crescent.

Afghanistan was the largest opium producer in 1990s and in twenty years still stays as one of the largest producers of Opium

Golden Triangle
The Golden Triangle includes Thailand, Myanmar and Laos where the regions meet at the confluence of Ruak and Mekong river and hence forming a golden triangle.

15)BRO constructs permanent bridge across Ravi river: The Border Roads Organization has completed the construction of permanent bridge across Ravi river. The Kasowal bridge will help Punjab farmers to transport their harvest comfortably.

16)Apthamitra: Helpline and application launched by Karnataka Government:- The State Government of Karnataka has launched “Apthamitra” mobile application and helpline to fight COVID-19. The application was launched by the Chief Minister of the state B S Yediyurappa.

17)Ministry of HRD launches VidyaDaan 2.0:- On April 22, 2020, the Union Ministry of HRD launched VidyaDaan 2.0 on DIKSHA.

The main aim of the platform is to contribute e-learning content and help children continue their learning anywhere and anytime in the country.

In the backdrop of situation arising out of COVID-19, VidyaDaan 2.0 has been launched to integrate both school and higher education for children. The VidyanDaan 2.0 was launched on DIKSHA.

VidyanDaan 2.0 will bring together academicians, organizations and e-learning content. The contributors shall share content in the form of videos, assessments, lesson plans and question banks. The content shared are to be monitored by a panel of experts.

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