Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 22 MARCH 2020
Centre likely to postpone census, NPR exercises
- The Union government looks all set to postpone the house-listing Census and updating of the National Population Register (NPR), which was scheduled to kick off in certain States on April 1, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Two government sources confirmed to The Hindu that the Census and NPR exercises would not go ahead, given the Health Ministry’s guidelines limiting mass contact on account of the pandemic. A formal announcement is, however, awaited.
- President Ram NathKovind was supposed to be the first Indian to be enumerated in the Census and NPR exercise, but his schedule has been cleared and he is not meeting members of the public due to the growing threat of the novel coronavirus.
AYUSH wellness centres to be included in NAM scheme
- The Union Cabinet has approved the inclusion of the AYUSH Health and Wellness Centre (AYUSH HWC) component of Ayushman Bharat in the National AYUSH Mission (NAM).
- “The proposal entails an expenditure of ₹3,399.35 crore — ₹2,209.58 crore as Central Share and ₹1189.77 crore as State share — for operationalisation of AYUSH HWCs within a period of five years (from financial years 2019-20 to 2023-24),” noted a release issued by the government on Saturday.
- The move is aimed at establishing a holistic wellness model based on AYUSH principles and practices focusing on preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative healthcare by integration with the existing public health care system.
Cabinet approves financial assistance for electronics manufacturing sector
- Union Cabinet has approved financial assistance to the Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters Scheme for development of world class infrastructure along with common facilities and amenities through Electronics Manufacturing Clusters.
- Briefing media in New Delhi this afternoon, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the government also approved Production Incentive Scheme for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing.
- The scheme proposes production linked incentive to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in mobile phone manufacturing and specified electronic components.
- The Minister said, the government will emphasize on mobile and component manufacturing in India. He stated that the Centre will invest Rs 20 lakh crore in this sector which will provide employment to 25 lakh people in next five years.
- The Cabinet also gave its nod to scheme on Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks for financing Common Infrastructure Facilities in three Bulk Drug Parks with financial implication of Rs 3,000 crore for next five years.
Globally nearly one billion people confined to homes
- Close to one billion people worldwide were confined to their homes on Saturday as the global COVID-19 death toll shot past 11,000 and U.S. States rolled out lockdown measures already imposed across swathes of Europe.
- The virus death toll surged past 11,000 worldwide, with 4,000 alone in worst-hit Italy where the daily number of fatalities has shot up relentlessly over the past week.
- Italy reported its worst single day death toll on Friday, adding another 627 fatalities and taking its reported total to 4,032 despite efforts to stem the spread.
- The nation of 60 million now accounts for 36% of the world’s COVID-19 deaths and its death rate of 8.6% among confirmed infections is significantly higher than that in most other countries.
- With the virus fears gripping the U.S., its largest State California — with over 1,000 cases and 19 deaths — told its 40 million residents to stay at home. New York State, which has reported over 7,000 cases and 39 deaths, followed suit on Friday, ordering its nearly 20 million residents to do the same from Sunday evening.
North Korea test fires two ballistic missiles
- North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast on Saturday, the latest in a series of such launches by Pyongyang as the world struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The South Korean military condemned the launches as “extremely inappropriate given the difficult situation the world is experiencing due to COVID-19,we urge them to stop immediately.” North Korea has not reported any cases of the COVID-19.
- Japan’s Defence Ministry also confirmed the North Korean launches.For decades, North Korea’s leadership has faced international criticism for prioritising spending on its military and nuclear weapons programme instead of providing for the population — even during times of famine.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Scientists discover cellular mechanism of Huntington disease
- The National Centre for Cell Science have found that the pathogenic protein called the Huntingtin Protein causes decrease in overall protein production.
- The disease is a genetic disorder that declines cognitive abilities, impairs coordination of balance and movement, memory lapses, mood swings and personality changes.
- The disease is caused due to the mutation of the gene called HTT. The major function of these genes is to produce protein called Huntingtin.
- A normal gene gives the right instruction to produce these proteins. A mutated gene gives faulty instructions. This disrupts the normal functioning ofthe brain and results in Huntington disease.
- The Scientists have found that in a diseased person the Huntingtin protein interfered with the protein production of the cells.
- This is how wrong instructions are sent, mainly due to faulty protein level. They also reduced the level of protein production of a normal cell.