Webinar on “Van Dhan Scheme: learnings for post COVID-19”

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1.Myanmar to seek 700 million dollar IMF loan for COVID-19 spending

The parliament of Myanmar approved the proposal to seek a 700 million dollar loan from IMF to finance its spending on fighting COVID-19 in the country.Myanmar has sought the loan from IMF under its Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) which offers quick loan facility at concessional rates for Low Income Countries.

The loan will be used to cover the deficit incurred by the government due to increased spending on social security, health services and economic assistance in the wake of the Corona pandemic outbreak.

Myanmar has decided to allocate up to 10 percent of its current budget to fight COVID-19.

2.Japan completely lifts nationwide emergency

Japan has completely lifted the nationwide emergency imposed following the CoronaVirus pandemic.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that the emergency will be lifted in the remaining five prefectures including Tokyo.

He warned that a state of emergency can be re-imposed if the infection starts spreading rapidly again.

Japanese government had declared the state of emergency for Tokyo and six neighbouring prefectures in early April and later expanded it to cover the entire country.

3.PM Modi pays tributes to former PM Jawaharlal Nehru on his death anniversary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 27 May paid tribute to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his 56th death anniversary.Nehru was born in Allahabad (now Prayagraj) on November 14, 1889. He died in Delhi on May 27, 1964.

One of the principal leaders of the Indian freedom struggle along with Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru became the first prime minister of the country after Independence, a post which he held till his death. He died at the age of 74.

Nehru is known as an architect of modern India.

4.Govt open-sources code for Aarogya Setu Android app

India will release the code for the Android version of its contact tracing app Aarogya Setu on open-source code repository Github.The government also rolled out a bug bounty programme, promising a reward of ₹1 lakh for those who discover bugs or loopholes in the app.

The government said all subsequent updates will be made open-source through this repository and the iOS and KaiOS (on JioPhone) versions of the app will also be made open-source soon.

On 2nd April 2020, India launched Aarogya Setu mobile App for helping augment the efforts of limiting the spread of COVID19, with an objective of enabling Bluetooth based contact tracing, mapping of likely hotspots and dissemination of relevant information about COVID19.

5.Army Commanders’ Conference to be organised in two phases

The Army Commanders’ Conference, an apex level biannual event which was scheduled for April 2020 and postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic, will now be organised in two phases.The first phase of the conference will commence from 27 May which will continue till 29th of this month.

The second phase will be held  in the last week of June 2020.

The apex level leadership of Indian Army will brainstorm on current emerging security and administrative challenges and chart the future course for Indian Army.

The Army Commanders’ Conference was scheduled for April and had to be postponed due to COVID-19.

It is an apex biannual event that facilitates conceptual level deliberations leading to important policy decisions.

The conference’s first phase will be held at the South Block in Delhi.

6.India set to locally produce RT-PCR testing kits for Covid-19

A public-private partnership in India has yielded an important breakthrough, that will help produce RT PCR test kits for testing COVID 19 patients.Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shah, the chairperson of Governing Council of National Biomedical Resource Indigenisation Consortium, NBRIC has said that two enzymes namely Taq Polymerase and Reverse Tranase needed for RT PCR test kits are developed in partnership with Bengaluru based Indian Institute of Science and private partner Richcore life sciences company.

India is set to locally produce RT-PCR testing and rapid antibody detection test kits for Covid-19, reducing dependence on imports.

The two enzymes developed by them form a key to India’s efforts to produce the test kits.

7.Webinar on “Van Dhan Scheme: learnings for post COVID-19”

The Department of Science and Technology, Government of Rajasthan has organized a webinar on “Van Dhan Scheme: Learnings for post COVID-19” in assciation with TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India.The webinar was organised under the Know Your Scheme-Lecture Series.

The webinar was addressed by Pravir Krishna, Managing Director of TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

TRIFED has partnered with UNICEF to initiate “Van Dhan Samajik Doori Jagrookta Abhiyaan“.

Under this initiative tribals will be provided with relevant information regarding COVID-19 along with several guidelines, nationwide and state-specific webinars and instructions on safety measures to be followed.

8.J&K’s Dharmarth Trust cancels annual “Kheer Bhawani Mela”

In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Annual Kheer Bhawani Mela on 30th May this year in Tulmulla village of Ganderbal district has been cancelled because of outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic.The devotees have been asked to cooperate with the authorities and perform the worship of the Goddess at their homes only.

However, the holy rituals and Aarti of the Deity will be conducted as per the tradition which will be shared with the devotees via social media.

Kheer Bhawani Mela is one of the biggest religious functions of Kashmiri Pandit Community.

It is believed and rather has been seen that the colour of the water in the spring around the Kheer  Bhawani Temple changes its colour with the change in the circumstances of the Kashmir valley.

9.Chhattisgarh to give agriculture status to lac cultivation

The Chhattisgarh government has decided to consider lac cultivation as an agriculture activity in the state and promote its farming as a livelihood option for farmers, particularly those living in remote and forest areas.Lac is a scarlet-coloured resin secreted by an insect called ‘laccifer’ or ‘kerria lacca’ that makes its home on trees.

The resin is scraped off from trees, dried and processed to form lac which is used in jewellery and leather industries.

Once lac farming gets the status of agriculture, farmers associated with its production would be able to avail loans via co-operative societies, like other cultivators.

10.Salman Khan launches grooming and personal care brand FRSH

Superstar Salman Khan has launched his own grooming and personal care brand FRSH.Considering the importance of hygiene and sanitisation during the coronavirus pandemic, Salman said he decided to launch a sanitiser as the first product under the brand.

Other products will also be launched soon and can be purchased from http://frshworld.com.

The products will also be available at various stores across the country once the supply begins.

Salman already owns an apparel brand under Being Human – The Salman Khan Foundation, a charitable trust devoted to education and healthcare initiatives for the underprivileged in India.

11.Fitch Ratings, CRISIL, SBI Research see India economy shrinking in FY21

Fitch ratings, CRISIL, and SBI Research have drastically cut India’s economic growth forecast in the current fiscal year due to a prolonged lockdown.Both Fitch and CRISIL projected the economy to contract 5 per cent, from their earlier estimates of the economic growth at 0.8 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively.

SBI Research slashed economic contraction to 6.8 percent from earlier 4.7 per cent.

The lockdown extension, higher economic costs, and an economic package that lacked muscle are the three key reasons why CRISIL has downgraded the GDP forecast.

12.Airtel group ties up with Mastercard for customized products for farmers, SMEs

Airtel Payments Bank (APBL) has partnered with Mastercard to develop customized products for the underbanked spectrum including farmers, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and retail customers.The collaboration aims at building a digital platform which provides farmers with knowledge about advanced farming techniques and connection to marketplaces.

The tie-up will bring together Mastercard’s global and local experience in developing advanced financial solutions and Airtel Payments Bank’s strong distribution network to reach the last mile and its large customer base.

13.Indian-American IBM scientist Rajiv Joshi wins Inventor of the Year Award 2020 for improving AI capabilities

An Indian-American inventor Dr. Rajiv Joshi has bagged the prestigious Inventor of the Year award for the year 2020 for his pioneering work in advancing the electronic industry and improving artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.

  • Dr Joshi works at the IBM Thomson Watson Research Center in New York.
  • The $5,000.00 award is presented every year by the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA) in recognition of the contribution that the invention has and/or will make towards society as a whole.