Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 16 MAY 2020
Curbing of fake news does not impinge press freedom claims I & B minister
- Information and Broadcasting Minister PrakashJavadekar today stated that curbing fake news does not impinge on press freedom. In an article in several news dailies, Mr Javadekar said, rumours are spread widely as news with dangerous consequences and government is committed to battling it.
- He said, fake news poses a big threat to freedom of media. He highlighted that during the lockdown, there has been a marked increase in the circulation of fake news pushed through print, electronic and especially social media such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.
- To check this menace, government established a Fact Check unit in Press Information Bureau that started taking immediate cognizance of fake news. Mr Javadekar said, fake news also creates panic.
Defence ministry approves new testing infrastructure scheme
- In order to give a boost to domestic defence and aerospace manufacturing, Defence minister Rajnath Singh has approved the launch of Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS) with an outlay of 400 crore rupees for creating state of the art testing infrastructure for this sector.
- The projects under the Scheme will be provided with up to 75 percent government funding in the form of Grant-in-Aid . Our correspondent reports, the remaining 25 per cent of the project cost will have to be borne by the Special Purpose Vehicle whose constituents will be Indian private entities and State Governments.
Government announces package for strengthening infrastructure ,capacity of agriculture and allied sectors
- Government has announced a 1.63 lakh crore rupee package for agriculture and allied sectors aimed at strengthening infrastructure, logistics and capacity building at farm gate.
- Announcing the third tranche of an overall package of 20 lakh crore rupees to deal with the economic situation arising of COVID-19 pandemic, Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman announced a one lakh crore rupees Agri Infrastructure Fund that will finance projects at farm-gate and aggregation point for efficient post-harvest management of crops.
- Ms Sitharaman said the government will provide one lakh crore rupees for aggregators, farmers producers organisations, primary agri cooperative societies, agri entrepreneurs and startups under the agri infrastructure fund. She informed that the fund will be created at the earliest.
- The Minister stated that lack of adequate cold chain facilities and post-harvest management infrastructure in the vicinity of farm gates is causing gaps in the value chain. She announced 10,000crore rupees fund to support 2 lakh micro food enterprises for promoting health and wellness, herbal, organic and nutritional products.
NBFC’s seek permission from RBI to draw from reserves
- Non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) on Friday requested the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow them to draw down from their reserves for making additional provision for expected losses due to COVID-19 pandemic.
- NBFCs appropriate pro- statutory and other reserves, and utilisation of these reserves is governed by the statute requiring its creation.
- The industry also wanted the RBI to raise the ceiling for considering standard asset provision for calculation of capital adequacy to 2.5% from 1.25%.
Foreign secretary embraces India’s role as pharmacy of the world
- Foreign Secretary Harsh VardhanShringla today said India’s role as a pharmacy of the world has come into focus during the COVID-19 crisis. He said, India has a world-class pharmaceutical industry that is the producer of choice for critical medications with brand recognition in all geographies and markets.
- He added that the pandemic produced an explosion in demand for drugs such as Hydroxychloroquine and Paracetamol produced in India. The Foreign Secretary was giving a virtual address to the National Defence College on 'India’s Foreign Policy Options in the Emerging World Order'.
- The Foreign Secretary pointed out that India’s wise counsel and the Prime Minister’s statesmanship have been sought and appreciated at various bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral platforms.
AIIB signs $145million agreement to improve irrigation in West Bengal
- Government of India, West Bengal Government and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB today signed a loan agreement for a 145 million dollar project to improve irrigation services and flood management in the Damodar Valley Command Area in West Bengal.
- Mr Khare said, India is adopting a strategic growth path that uses and manages its water resources more efficiently. He said, this project will assist in improving irrigation and agriculture in the Damodar Valley Command Area, by optimizing the use of surface and groundwater.
- It will also strengthen flood management, which will help boost agricultural productivity and increase incomes in rural areas. The total value of the project is over 413 million dollars.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
CSIR develops light weight carbon foam batteries
- The researcher from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed light carbon foam that will replace lead batteries. The carbon foam is easy to fabricate, non-toxic and affordable.
- The researcher is a recipient of INSPIRE Faculty award. The material developed by the institute has the potential to replace lead-acid batteries.
- It is also useful to make heat sink, electromagnetic interference shielding in aerospace, electrode for lead-acid batteries, hydrogen storage and water purification systems.
- The raw materials to make the carbon foam is easily available. It also helps to remove oil, arsenic and other metals from contaminated water.
- Carbon Foam batteries have better life cycle as compared to the lead-acid batteries. They are built three-fifth the cost of other advanced batteries.
- The world’s first carbon foam manufacturing unit was set up in Gujarat in 2011. 20% of the produce in these industries are being exported and the rest are being used for electric vehicles.