Current Affairs Editorial

 Veteran economist and the member of 10th Finance Commission, B.P.R. Vithal passes away. He was a former IAS officer of the 1950 batch. He also served as the Secretary, Finance and Planning, government of Andhra Pradesh, from 1972 to 1982. B.P.R. Vithal also worked at the International Monetary Fund as the fiscal adviser to the governments of Malawi and Sudan. He also played an instrumental role in the establishment of Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad.

 The 19th Great June Uprising Day was observed on 18th June at Kekrupat, Manipur. The day is being observed every year on 18 June to pay tribute and respect to 18 persons who lost their lives in June, 2001 to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur. On the occasion, family members of the 18 martyrs and leaders of some organisations paid floral tribute & respect to 18 persons at Kekrupat, Manipur. In June 2001, the Union government signed the amended ceasefire agreement with the NSCN(IM) and inserted the words “without territorial limits”, following which people came out in streets to protest and there was arson at many places. To control the uprising, security personnels resorted to firing leading to death of 18 persons.

 Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi). PM SVANidhi is a Special Micro-Credit Facility for Street Vendors. According to the MoU, PM SVANidhi Scheme will be implemented by SIDBI under the guidance of MoHUA. The credit guarantee to the lending institutions would also be managed by the SIDBI through Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE). Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) will ensure effective implementation of the scheme by providing a Project Management Unit (PMU) consisting of domain experts in training/ capacity building, project and platform management, banking, NBFC and MFI sectors etc for the period of scheme, i.e. upto March 2022. SIDBI will also leverage the network of lending Institutions for the Scheme implementation. The lending institutions will include Scheduled Commercials Banks (SCBs), Non-Bank Finance Companies (NBFCs), Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), Co-operative Banks, Small Finance Banks (SFBs), etc.

 Autistic Pride Day is observed globally on 18th June every year. This day is observed to respect the rights of persons with autism. In 2005, the first autistic pride day was celebrated in Brazil by the Aspies For Freedom(AFF) created by Gareth & Amy Nelson and became a global event. A rainbow infinity symbol is used to represent neurodiversity which symbolises the infinite possibilities in the lives of autistic people.
  • What is Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication. Autism is a development disorder. The disorder is characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication which may also include restricted and repetitive behaviour. The signs of Autism are often noticed by the parents of the child during the first three years. These signs develop gradually. The World Health Assembly(WHA) adopted the resolution “Comprehensive and coordinated efforts for the management of autism spectrum disorders(ASD)” in May 2014 for the member nations to collaborate with WHO to strengthen the national capacities to address ASD and other developmental disorders.

 As part of its social commitment, a special health insurance policy has been launched by the Karnataka Bank in association with Universal Sompo General Insurance Company Ltd to cover the uncertainties posed by COVID-19 pandemic. Under this health insurance policy, an individual can avail health cover for COVID-19 at a nominal premium of Rs 399, with the validity period of 120 days. The health insurance policy will cover COVID-19 pandemic related health expenses such as in-patient hospital expenses of up to Rs 3.00 lakh, outpatient treatment expenses of Rs 3000 and will also offer a sum of Rs 1000 per day towards expenses incurred towards 14 days of quarantine at a government or military hospital. All the customers of the Bank in the age group of 18-65 years will be able to subscribe the policy.

 India’s first ever National Report on the state of the Climate Crisis has been released. The report has been prepared under the aegis of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) with title “Assessment Of Climate Change Over The Indian Region”. The report analyses where India stands regarding long-term changes in climate patterns, and their attendant risks.
Key findings of the report:
  • It revealed that India’s average temperature has risen by 0.7 degrees Celsius between 1901-2018, citing the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) as key reason of the temperature rise.
  • It also predicted two different scenarios related to India’s temperature rise by 2099. In a best-case scenario of immediate mitigation of emissions, India’s temperature will still rise by 2.7 degrees Celsius while in the worst-case scenario temperature will increase by 4.4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
  • About the monsoon, it shows that the precipitation over north India has reduced by 6% between 1951-2015 because of the polluting aerosol “brown cloud”. The monsoon is also expected to become more extreme in the upcoming decades.
  • It also predicts the April-June heatwaves to become four times more frequent by 2099 as compared to that of 1976-2005.
  • It stated that the sea level near Mumbai is rising at the rate of 3 cm per decade while it is 5 cm per decade off the Bengal coast.
  • It mentioned that surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean including the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea have increased by 1 degree Celsius between 1951-2015 which is higher than the global average.
  • It also shows that the frequency of warm days and nights is expected to increase upto 55% and 70% respectively.

  •  United Kingdom oil major “British Petroleum” is going to set up Global Business Service Centre in Pune, Maharashtra to support its global businesses. The centre would be established for its global business services (GBS) operations in Pune, Maharashtra. The centre is expected to begin its operations by January 2021. The planned Global Business Service Centre will employ around 2000 people and provide business processing as well as advanced analytics capabilities in support of British Petroleum businesses worldwide. The GBSC in India will allow the oil major to tap into India’s digital talent pool and would result in its development and application of cutting-edge digital solutions.

     International Workshop on “Good Governance Practices in a Pandemic for International Civil Servants” was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Jitendra Singh. The workshop was organized by Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), Ministry of External Affairs and National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG). The two-day Conference featured the participation of 81 International Civil Servants from 16 Countries. The participants included the Chief of Staff, Sri Lanka Army Major General HJS Gunawardena, 19 Senior Secretaries to Government from Bangladesh, 11 District Administrators from Myanmar, Senior officials from Bhutan, Somalia, Thailand, Tunisia, Tonga, Kenya, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Sudan and Uzbekistan.

     Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has launched a mobile application “Air-Venti” to provide information on ICU beds, ventilators. Octaware Technologies Limited, in partnership with Probity Soft Pvt Ltd, has developed this mobile application for MCGM and therefore the data regarding the ICU beds and Ventilators vacant status. The mobile app ‘Air-Venti’ launched by the civic body in Mumbai aims to supply overall statistics of ICU beds and ventilators that are occupied and vacant in both govt and private hospitals besides location map, ability to contact hospital through telephonic call and email is additionally available.

     Karnataka government observed the “Mask Day” on 18 June 2020. The Mask Day was observed to aware the people about the use of masks, sanitisers, washing hands with soap in order to control the spread of COVID-19 in the state. It also urged the people to maintain the social distancing norms. To observe “Mask Day”, the Karnataka government organised a march which featured the participation of public representatives, dignitaries and medical staff. Through the march, the participants spread awareness among the people about the national directives issued to contain the COVID-19.


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