Daily Current Affairs May 8th 2020


Dr. Harsh Vardhan reviews preparedness and containment measures taken for COVID-19 management in Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare held a meeting today withHealth Ministers of Uttar Pradesh andOdisha, and senior officials from both Centre and the States to review the situation, actions being taken and preparedness for management of COVID-19 in the three States.He stated that as on 7th May, 2020, a total of 52,952 cases have been reported from the country in which 15,266 persons have been cured and 1,783 deaths had occurred. In the last 24 hours, 3561 new confirmed cases have been added and 1084 patients were found cured. He added that in comparison to other countries, India is in a better condition as the fatality rate is 3.3% and recovery rate is 28.83%. He also added that there are 4.8% patients in ICU, 1.1% on ventilators and 3.3% on oxygen support of the active cases. The testing capacity has increased in the country and it is 95,000 tests per day. Cumulatively, 13,57,442 tests have been done so far for COVID-19. As on date, there are 180 districts with no new cases in less than 7 days, 180 districts with no new cases in 7-13 days, 164 districts which have not had any new case in 14-20 days and 136 districts with no new cases since the last 21-28 days.In view of the surge in number of migrant labour expected to reach the States in the days to come, Dr. Harsh Vardhan exhorted the States that robust strategy and mechanism need to be drawn up for their testing, quarantine, and treatment of the positive cases. An effective strategy also needs to be put in place for their testing, institutional quarantine and treatment, if needed.States were also informed that helpline number 104 in addition to 1075 can be used for Grievance Redressal for non-COVID essential services, and for informing regarding availability of these services etc. Adequate measures for prevention of vector diseases also needs to be taken, they were advised.

Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi addressed the virtual ‘Vesak Global Celebrations’ on Buddha Purnima

TheVirtual Prayer Event saw participation of heads of Buddhist Sanghas from around the world. The program is dedicated as Global Prayer Week in honour of Victims and frontline warriors of COVID-19. Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi addressed the virtual Vesak Global Celebrations on Buddha Purnima today. Minister of State for Culture(I/C) and Minister of State for Tourism(I/C), ShriPrahlad Singh Patel and Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports(I/C) and Minister of State for Minority Affairs, ShriKirenRijiju also participated in the event held virtually.

Text of PM’s Speech on the occasion of Vesak-Buddha Purnima

“Friends, each and every word, each and every discourse of Lord Buddha reinforce India’s commitment to serve humanity. The Buddha symbolizes both the Enlightenment of India and the Self-Realization of India. With this self-realization, India is and will continue to work for the benefit of the entire humanity, the whole world. India’s progress will always be helpful in the progress of the world.”

Health and AYUSH Ministers formally launch inter-disciplinary studies involving AYUSH interventions for COVID 19 situation

Health Minister Sh. Harsh Vardhan and Minister of State for AYUSH Sh. ShripadYessoNaik jointly launched clinical research studies on Ayurveda interventions as an add-on to standard care to COVID 19 situation and AyushSanjivani application todaySpeaking on the occasion Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “India has a history of traditional medicine since long and being the pioneer in the field of Ayurveda, the Ministry of AYUSH is working to address the COVID 19 pandemic problem in the country through clinical studies of AYUSH systems.ShriNaik informed that the Ministry of AYUSH has undertaken four clinical and population based studies to find a better solution to the problem and to assess the role of AYUSH for prevention of the disease.

Indian Railways geared up to provide COVID Care Centers to State Authorities

Ministry of Railways has converted its 5231 coaches as Covid Care Centers. The Coaches can be used for very mild cases that can be clinically assigned to the Covid Care centers as per guidelines issued by MoHFW. These coaches can be used in areas where State has exhausted the facilities and needs to augment capacities for isolation of both suspect and confirmed Covid cases. Indian Railways has kept 158 stations ready with watering and charging facility and 58 stations with watering facility for these COVID Care centers.

Union HRD Minister announces modifications in PMRF Scheme to boost research in the country

Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ today announced that, to boost research in the country various amendments have been carried out in Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship Scheme. He said that after the amendments, now for the students from any recognised institute/ university (other than IISc/ IITs/NITs/IISERs/IIEST/CF IIITs), the requirement of GATE Score is reduced to 650 from 750 apart from minimum CGPA of 8 or equivalent.

RS Chairman and LS Speaker discuss COVID and meetings of Parliamentary Committees

Vice President of India and Chairman of RajyaSabhaShri M. Venkaiah Naidu held a meeting with LokSabha Speaker Shri Om Birla and discussed the situation regarding COVID-19 disease in the country, role being played by Members of Parliament and the feasibility of holding meetings of Committees of Parliament.Shri Naidu and Shri Birla also discussed the issue of feasibility of various Committees of Parliament holding their meetings at the earliest in the prevailing situation and in the context of restrictions on travel across the country. They felt that if the situation does not allow regular conventional meetings of the Committees in the near future, alternative means of enabling such meetings may be explored.

Indian Navy dispatches ships and Armed Forces ready quarantine facilities to help in evacuation of Indian nationals from abroad

Indian Armed Forces have dispatched Naval ships with medical teams and aid supplies to several countries in the IOR region. In return journey, the Ships will bring back Indian national evacuees from this region.Further, Armed Forces have kept in readiness six quarantine facilities that can accommodate up to 2,100 Indians being evacuated from several countries in coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Civil Aviation. The Indian National evacuees stranded due to COVID19 in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Malaysia will be housed in the quarantine facilities maintained by the three Services- Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force- in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bhopal, Kochi, Vishakhapatnam and Chennai.

Phone call between Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi and H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi had a phone call with H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.The two leaders discussed the domestic, regional and global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and expressed solidarity with each other during the health crisis. The Minister assured Dr. Abiy Ahmed Aliof Indian support to Ethiopia,for ensuring supplies of essential medicines and ameliorating the economic impact of the pandemic.

Industries Should Take Positive Approach and Tap the Opportunities Created After Covid-19 Crisis Gets Over: ShriGadkari

ShriNitinGadkari has said that industries should keep a positive outlook and tap the opportunities that may arise after COVID pandemic is over. ShriGadkari called upon the industry that it is needed to be ensured by industries that necessary preventive measures are taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He emphasized that organizations should ensure that their workers and executives are taken care of – by providing food, shelter and maintaining social distancing norms.

ShriGadkari sets road construction target for next two years at Rs 15 lakh crore

The Minister has said that he has directed the ministry officials to finalise the auto scrapping policy quickly, and said, it will go a long way in cost reduction. He also suggested exploring cheaper credits including foreign capital for enhancing liquidity in the automobile manufacturing sector.On the question of BS4 vehicles, he said, the government is bound by SC verdict on the same.

Union Agriculture Minister calls for farmers’ movement on integrated soil nutrient management based on Soil Health Card

Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, ShriNarendra Singh Tomar has called for making integrated soil nutrient management a farmers’ movement. Reviewing the progress of the Soil Health Programme, he directed running mission mode awareness campaigns on increasing use of bio and organic fertilisers and reducing chemical fertilisers strictly based on recommendations of Soil Health Card.During 2020-21, the major focus of the programme would be on mass awareness programme for farmers in over 1 lakh villages covering all districts of the country.

Secretary, Food and Public Distribution holds review meeting with Food Secretaries of 24 States/UTs on food grain distribution under the Pradhan Mantri GaribKalyan Anna Yojana

Under the scheme, about 120 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT) food grains are being distributed to the vulnerable sections of society across the country affected by the pandemic. Government has ensured that all priority households (PHH) under NFSA gets double their usual allocation during three months of April, May and June 2020 along with each Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) beneficiary getting an extra 5 Kg/month than their normal quota of 35 Kg per card per month. There has been enthusiastic response from the state governments against this scheme and a quantity of 69.28 LMT has already been lifted upto 06.05.2020.

Smt. HarsimratKaurBadal emphasizes the importance of Integrated Cold Chain Network in the uncertain and evolving times of COVID-19 pandemic

During a video conference with promoters of MoFPI supported cold chain projects today, Union Minister emphasized the importance of Food processing enterprises, especially the Integrated Cold Chain Network, in the present uncertain and evolving circumstances in view of COVID pandemic.The Food Processing Industry has the potential to absorb the excess farm produce thereby benefiting the farmers and at the same time, convert the harvest into a value added processed product that can meet the domestic as well as the global demand.

Labour Minister Interacts with CTU Representatives to Fight COVID-19 Pandemic

ShriSantosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment held a Webinar with the Central Trade Union Organizations(CTUOs) to discuss the emergent situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic and to minimize its impact on the workers and on the economy. These issues include (i) Protection of the interest of Workers and Migrant Workers in view of COVID-19, (ii) Measures to generate Employment, (iii) Measures to be adopted for restarting economic activities and (iv) Measures to improve situation of MSME to enable them to discharge their liabilities under Labour Laws.

ShriGadkari calls upon Fragrance and Flavours Association of India to focus on domestic production & import substitution

Union Minister for MSME and Road Transport and Highways, ShriNitinGadkari held meeting with the members of Fragrances and Flavours Association of India on impact of COVID-19 on startup eco system and MSMEs. ShriGadkari suggested to the Fragrances and Flavours Industry to focus on domestic production of products instead of using imported products and emphasized domestic production of bamboo. He added that industry should focus more on innovation, technology and research skill to become competitive in global market.

DG, CSIR launches Compendium of Indian Technologies for Combating COVID-19
Compendium of Indian Technologies for Combating COVID-19 (Tracing, Testing and Treating)” prepared by National Research Development Corporation was launched by Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, Director General, CSIR The compendium carries information about 200 COVID-19-related Indian technologies, ongoing research activities, technologies available for commercialisation, initiatives and efforts taken by the Government of India, categorised under 3Ts of Tracking, Testing and Treating. Most of these technologies are proof-of-concept tested and can help the entrepreneurs to take the product to market faster as they do not have to reinvent the wheel.

Notice period for draft Environment Impact Assessment Notification(EIA), 2020 extended till 30th June.

Central Government, published the draft notification namely, Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2020 vide S.O. 1199(E) dated the 23rd March, 2020 in the official gazette on 11th April, 2020, for the information of the public likely to be affected thereby and for making any objections or suggestions on the proposal contained in the draft notification within sixty days. The Ministry has now extended the notice period up to 30th June, 2020.

Ministry of Tourism launches DekhoApnaDesh Logo Design Contest

The Ministry of Tourism has launched the ‘DekhoApnaDesh’ logo design contest on the MyGov platform. The objective of this contest is to have a logo for ‘DekhoApnaDesh’ campaign coming out of creative ideas of the citizens of the country.Post lockdown and as the control over the spread of pandemic is achieved, it is widely agreed fact that domestic tourism will recover faster than international tourism.

ICAR Institutes released Advisories to Fisheries sector in 12 languages

In order to ensure safety of all stakeholders associated in the agricultural sector, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare through its research Institutes have taken several innovative steps to sensitize all concerned in different sub-sectors. In this endeavor, ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Kochi prepared advisories for the benefit of the fishermen, fishing boat owners, fishing harbour, fish market and seafood processing plants in 10 different regional languages, besides English and Hindi.