1) ‘Year of Awareness on Science and Health’ program
Under the Department of Science and Technology (Department of Science & Technology-DST), the National Council for Science and Technology Communication (National Council for Science & Technology Communication-NCSTC) has launched a health and risk communication program ‘Year of Awareness On’ focused on COVID-19. Science and Health ‘(Year of Awareness on Science & Health-YASH).
Under this program, strategies have been devised to involve voluntary organizations, educational institutions, research and media institutions to carry out emergency preparedness and necessary tasks to meet the challenge of COVID-19 epidemic.
Under the program, translation and use of authentic scientific and health information has also been planned to communicate risks and communicate risk management.
It is important to note that in the current global pandemic scenario, concerns and challenges have arisen, due to which the role of scientific innovations has become very important.
2) COVID-19 Cess
Nagaland has launched a plan to levy COVID-19 cess for diesel, petrol and motor spirits. It may be noted that due to the nationwide lockdown, economic activities have reduced considerably, due to which the states are facing revenue shortage, the state government has decided to impose a cess on petroleum products to meet this revenue deficit.
As per the decision taken by the Nagaland government, from April 29, a cess of Rs 5 per liter for diesel and Rs 6 for petrol and motor spirit will be levied. It is important to note that this decision has been taken on the basis of the powers conferred under Nagaland (Sale of Petroleum and Petroleum Products including Motor Spirit and Lubricants) Taxation Act, 1967 (as amended). In addition to Nagaland, Meghalaya has also imposed a sales tax surcharge of 2 per cent on motor spirits including petrol and diesel.
3) CRISIL cuts India’s FY21 economic growth rate
CRISIL has cut India’s economic growth projections by 1.8 percent, from the earlier estimated 3.5 percent for 2020-21.
Its parent Standard & Poor (S&P) forecasts the world economy to shrink to 2.4 percent against earlier estimates of 0.4 percent growth.
The agency estimated a total loss of Rs 10 trillion or Rs 7,000 per person due to the lockdown.
4) Kerala will start agricultural project on a large scale
To overcome the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 in the state, Kerala is ready to launch a large-scale agricultural project immediately in the wastelands.
Foodgrains, fruits and vegetables will be extensively cultivated in barren lands across the state.
The government plans to start the project in 1,80,000 hectares of wasteland in the state.
5) Rajeev Kumar appointed as PESB chief
Former Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar has been appointed as the Chairman of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB).
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved his appointment for a period of three years.
He has been appointed in place of Kapil Dev Tripathi who has recently taken over as Secretary to the President.
6) Tripura will start ‘Neighborhood classes’
In Tripura, the state cabinet has decided to start ‘Neighborhood classes’ in addition to ongoing online and TV / broadcast classes for every student to receive education during the lockdown period.
Of these, a teacher will teach a maximum of 5 students until school classes start again.
The state education department has started distribution of free text books under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.
7) Madhya Pradesh will set up Deendayal committees
The Government of Madhya Pradesh has decided to constitute Deendayal Committees at ward and panchayat levels.
This will ensure that people get the benefit of welfare schemes during the ongoing coronovirus crisis.
This was announced by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan during an audio conference with the state BJP MLAs, District Party Presidents and Mandal Heads.
8) Online chess tournament to raise money
The Karnataka Youth Empowerment and Sports Department and the United Karnataka Chess Association will host an online chess tournament to raise funds for the CM COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Chess players across the country can register on the mobile Premier League gaming platform by donating 50 rupees.
The tournament will be held on 2 and 3 May 2020.
The total prize pool is Rs 10 lakh.
9) T.S. Tirumurthy: Representative of India at UN
T. s. Tirumurthy has been appointed as India’s permanent representative to the United Nations.
The government also appointed Jaideep Majumdar as India’s ambassador to Austria.
Joint Secretary Deepak Mittal was appointed as the Ambassador of India to Qatar.
Piyush Srivastava has been named the next Ambassador of India to Bahrain.
10) JNCASR scientists develop Alzheimer’s inhibitor
Scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) have created Ber-D by modifying the composition of commercially available berberine, a natural and inexpensive product similar to curcumin, to be used as an Alzheimer’s inhibitor.
His research work has been published in the scientific journal iSceince.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder.
11) J. Arun Kumar: Coach of USA National Team
Former Karnataka batsman J.J. Arun Kumar has been appointed the coach of USA cricket team.
Known as Jack in cricket circles, Kumar has worked with the Karnataka team for many years and worked as a batting coach with the IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab.
Arun Kumar guided Karnataka for two consecutive seasons – Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy and Irani Cup – in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
12) CSS Corp won an award
CSS Corp has won the 2020 Outsource Partner Award at the Customer Service Excellence Award by the Business Intelligence Group.
The company was named as the winner on 20 April 2020 in Philadelphia.
CSS Corp was honored to emerge as the leading outsourcing partner of the year.
13) Delhi government launched one-stop website
The Delhi government has launched a dedicated website to provide information about all COVID-19 related initiatives and updates.
The website – delhifightscorona.in – consists of 5 broad sections which include content zones, test facilities, key locations, e-passes, press releases and FAQs.
It also lists all the COVID-19 Testing Centers (CTC) established by the Government of Delhi.