Daily Current Affairs 14th May 2020

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Dr Harsh Vardhan dedicates COBAS 6800 testing machine to the nation; Doubling time for last three days slows down to nearly 14 days

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health & Family Welfare visited the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and dedicated the COBAS 6800 testing machine to the nation. This is the first such testing machine that has been procured by the Government for testing of COVID-19 cases.COBAS 6800 is a sophisticated machine enabled with robotics that minimizes the chance of contamination as well as the risk of infection to the health care workers since it can be operated remotely with limited human intervention.

Dr Vardhan said that today marks an important milestone as we have tested nearly 20 lakh tests for COVID-19 mark at more than 500 laboratories. He added that it is a heartening news that today, the last three days’ doubling time has slowed down to 13.9 days, while the doubling time in the past 14 days was 11.1. He added that the fatality rate is 3.2% and the recovery rate has further improved and today stands at 33.6% (it was 32.83% yesterday). He also added that (as of yesterday) there are 3.0% active COVID-19 patients in ICU, 0.39% on ventilators and 2.7% on oxygen support. Today, there are 14 States/UTs that have not reported any cases of COVID-19 in last 24 hrs. As on 14th May 2020, a total of 78,003 cases have been reported from the country in which 26,235 persons have been cured and 2,549 deaths had occurred. In the last 24 hours, 3,722 new confirmed cases have been added.

PM CARES Fund Trust Allocates Rs. 3100 Crore for Fight against COVID-19

PM CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund Trust has decided to allocate Rs. 3100 Crore for fight against COVID-19. Out of this, a sum of approximately Rs.2000 crore will be earmarked for the purchase of ventilators, Rs. 1000 crores will be used for care of migrant labourers and Rs.100 crores will be given to support vaccine development. 50000‘Made-in-India’ ventilators will be purchasedfrom PM CARES Fund at a cost of approximately Rs. 2000 Crores. These ventilators will be provided to government run COVID hospitals in all States/UTs,for better treatment of the critical COVID-19 cases.Rs. 1000 Crore from PM CARES Fund would be provided to the State Governments/UTs to place it at the disposal of the District Collectors/Municipal Commissioners for strengthening their efforts in providing accommodation facilities, making food arrangements, providing medical treatment and making transportation arrangementsof the migrants. To support the COVID-19 vaccine designers and developers, an amount of Rs. 100 Crore will be given as a helping hand to catalyse vaccine development, which will be utilized under the supervision of Principal Scientific Advisor.

Government committed to uphold and protect interest of homebuyers while ensuring ease of doing business in real estate sector

The Government is committed to uphold and protect the interest of homebuyers while ensuring ease of doing business in the real estate sector. Subsequent to the announcement made by the Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman’s yesterday, in order to protect the interest of homebuyers, Central Government has issued an advisory to all States / UTs and their Real Estate Regulatory Authorities to automatically extend registration of all real estate projects registered under RERA by 6 months and further upto 3 months, if required in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.MoHUA has issued an advisory to all States / UTs and their respective Real Estate Regulatory Authorities to consider the current pandemic of COVID-19 as “force majeure” being a natural calamity.This measure will safeguard the interest of homebuyers to get them the delivery of their flats/homes although with the delay of few months but it will definitely ensure the completion of the projects.

Reduction in rate of Tax Deduction at Source & Tax Collection at Source

In order to provide more funds at the disposal of the taxpayers for dealing with the economic situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic, the rates of Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) for the non-salaried specified payments made to residents has been reduced by 25% for the period from 14th May, 2020 to 31st March, 2021. Further, the rate of Tax Collection at Source (TCS) for the specified receipts has also been reduced by 25% for the period from 14th May, 2020 to 31st March, 2021

Indian Railways crosses the milestone of transporting a total of more than one million passengers(10 lacs) to their home states through “Shramik Special” trains in less than 15 days

As on 14th May 2020, a total of 800 “Shramik Special” trains have been operationalized from various states across the country. More than 10 Lacs passengers have reached their home State. Trains are being run by Railways only after concurrence is given both by the State which is sending the passengers and the State which is receiving them.These 800 trains were terminated in various states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal.

Indian Railways will start issuing limited waiting lists tickets for different classes for Special Trains being introduced from 12.05.2020

Indian Railways has decided that there shall be no RAC (Reservation against cancellation) in special trains restored wef 12.05.2020. Also, it has been decided that waiting list tickets shall be issued subject to maximum limits. With respect to Special Trains, other rules concerning waiting list shall be applicable.No Tatkal/Premium Tatkal Quotas shall be defined.Senior Citizen Quota, Ladies Quota and Quota for Divyangjans(HP) shall be defined as per extant instructions.The above changes shall be made applicable for the trains starting on 22nd May, 2020 i.e. booking for which shall commence from 15th May, 2020.

Dr Harsh Vardhan participates in the 32nd Commonwealth Health Ministers’ Meeting

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare participated in the 32nd Commonwealth Health Ministers’ Meeting through Video Conference, today. The theme of the meeting was- Delivering a co-ordinated Commonwealth COVID-19 response.

Union HRD Minister interacts with the teachers across the country through webinar

Minister for Human Resource Development Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ today gave a message of ‘Acharya Devo Bhava’ while interacting with teachers across the country through webinar. The Minister expressed his gratitude to all the teachers for spreading awareness relating to COVID-19 among the students and society at large. The Minister made two big announcements during this webinar. In response to a question, he said that the examination date of NET will be announced very soon. He also announced that teachers who have completed the recruitment process of Navodaya Vidyalaya will get appointment after lockdown. He appealed to all the teachers to perform their duties and ensure academic welfare of students even in the lockdown situation.

Procurement of Pulses and Oilseeds continues during lockdown

Over 277 LMT wheat arrives during Rabi Season 2020-21, nearly 269 LMT purchased.
More than Rs. 18,500 crore disbursed to about 9.25 crore farmer families under PM-KISAN during lockdown

Patenting of Innovative Low Cost PPE developed by Indian Navy Paves way for Rapid Mass Production

In a major step towards rapid mass production of the Medical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) developed by the Indian Navy, a patent has been successfully filed by the Intellectual Property Facilitation Cell (IPFC) of Min of Defence, in association with National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), an enterprise under Min of Science & Technology.:

OP Samudrasetu- INS Jalashwa Returns to Maldives for Phase 2

Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa has returned to Male, Maldives to begin Phase 2 of Operation SamudraSetu – repatriation of Indian Nationals from foreign shores by sea. The ship will enter Male port in the early hours of 15 May 20 and begin embarkation of Indian citizens who have already registered with the Indian Embassy in Maldives. On her second trip, INS Jalashwa is planned to embark 700 Indian citizens and will depart for Kochi by the night of 15 May.

KVIC comes forward to hand-hold local production

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has geared up to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s call to become “vocal for local” and further making it “global”To boost the local production, KVIC has decided that at least one unit each pertaining to manufacture of N95 masks, ventilators or its accessories, PPE Kits for medical staff, sanitizers/liquid hand wash, thermal scanner and agarbatti and soap will be set up in each district. This is in order to meet the growing demand due to prevailing Covid-19 situation in the country.