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For Internal Circulation Only Not for Sale Current Affairs April 2020

Current Affairs April 2020

Rahul's IAS

Rahul’s IAS
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Near Shalimar Bagh Metro Station Gate No.3, Delhi –52
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Classroom : A-4, Wazirpur Industrial Area, Near Shalimar Bagh Metro Station Gate No-3, Delhi – 110052,
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INDEX

1. Abbreviations……………………………………………………………………………………………..…..3
2. General News: India………………………………………………………………………………………..4
3. General News: World…………………………………………………………………………………....23
4. Awards………………………………………………………………………………………………………….36
5. Legal and Indian Polity..…………………………………………………………………………........37
6. Personality: India…………………………………………………………………………………….......43
7. Personality: World…………………………………………………………………………………........45
8. Economics……………………………………………………………………………………………….......47
9. Science & Technology……………………………………………………………………………………62
10. Sports…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..72
11. DRDO combats COVID-19………………………………………………………………………………73
12. Global military expenditure in 2019………………………………………………………..…….79
13. The Industrial Relations Code, 2019…………………………………..……………………….…86
14. State of the World’s Nursing 2020……………………………………………..…………………94
15. Essay………………………………………………………………………………………………………….100
16. Translation…………………………………………………………………………………………………..105
17. Precise Writing.……………………………………………………………………………………………109
18. Practice Paper-1………………………………………………………………………………………..…112
19. Practice Paper-2……………………………………………………………………………………..……150

Classroom : A-4, Wazirpur Industrial Area, Near Shalimar Bagh Metro Station Gate No-3, Delhi – 110052,
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Abbreviations

1. ICMR- Indian Council of Medical Research


2. CCMB- Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology
3. COVID- Coronavirus Disease
4. CSIR- Council of Scientific & Industrial Research
5. NPPA- National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority
6. AYUSH- Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy
7. MPLADS- Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme
8. YUKTI- Young India Combating COVID with Knowledge, Technology and Innovation
9. ASHA- Accredited Social Health Activist
10. EBP- Ethanol Blended Petrol
11. UNESCO- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
12. CSR- Corporate Social Responsibility
13. WMA- Ways and Means Advances
14. NABARD- National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development
15. CPI- Consumer Price Index
16. HCQ- Hydroxychloroquine
17. IRGC- Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
18. JNCASR- Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research
19. SARS- Severe acute respiratory syndrome
20. GNSS- Global Navigation Satellite Systems
21. SCTIMST- Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology
22. DRDO- Defence Research and Development Organisation
23. DRDE- Defence Research and Development Establishment
24. ADRDE- Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment
25. DEBEL- Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory
26. INMAS- Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences
27. TBRL- Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory
28. RCI- Research Centre Imarat
29. CFEES- Centre for Fire, Explosives & Environment Safety
30. DIPAS- Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences

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General News: India

1. Central Government notified changes in domicile rules for the Union Territory of J&K
providing that anyone residing in J&K for 15 years or more will be eligible for government
jobs.
The domicile rights are also extended to all migrants who have been registered by the
Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner in the erstwhile state whose status changed when
its special status under Article 370 was rescinded on August 5 last year. The new rules,
notified in the gazette and made applicable from 31 Mar 2020, provides that anyone who
has studied for a period of seven years and appeared in Class 10th or 12th exams in J&K is
eligible for domicile certificate.
Anyone who has studied for seven years and appeared in Class 10th or 12th exams in J&K is
eligible for domicile certificate and such people can obtain a domicile certificate from the
tehsildar of their area of residence.
The rules have been changed with regard to appointment in government services by
amending the J&K Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment) Act.
2. The standard health insurance policy “Arogya Sanjeevani” for all 29 general/health
insurance companies will now cover hospitalisation under Covid-19, said Irdai.
In a press release, Irdai said it has approved the Sanjeevani product for all 29 general/
health insurance companies. Each insurance company has been given its own discretion on
how to price the product. And now the cost of premium is roughly about Rs 1,000 for every
Rs 1 lakh of coverage. Customers have the option of taking coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh in
which case the rough cost is about Rs 5,000 (there are a few insurance companies pricing it
a few hundred rupees above this).
But Arogya Sanjeevani gives insurance coverage for up to Rs 5 lakh. There have been media
reports that some patients in private hospitals have incurred a bill as high as Rs 15 lakh for
covid-19 treatment. Irdai also added all current mediclaim policies in India will cover Covid-
19 hospitalisation. As to old policies of general insurance companies, which in their policy
documents exclude coverage of an epidemic- an Irdai official said these policies too will
cover Covid-19 as instructed by the regulator.
3. Rajasthan is a state in northern India. The state covers an area of 342,239 square kilometres
(132,139 sq mi) or 10.4 percent of the total geographical area of India. It is the largest
Indian state by area and the seventh largest by population. Rajasthan is located on the
northwestern side of India, where it comprises most of the wide and inhospitable Thar
Desert (also known as the "Great Indian Desert") and shares a border with
the Pakistani provinces of Punjab to the northwest and Sindh to the west, along the Sutlej-
Indus river valley. Elsewhere it is bordered by five other Indian states: Punjab to the
north; Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the northeast; Madhya Pradesh to the southeast;
and Gujarat to the southwest.
Major features include the ruins of the Indus Valley Civilisation at Kalibanga and Balathal,
the Dilwara Temples, a Jain pilgrimage site at Rajasthan's only hill station, Mount Abu, in the
ancient Aravalli mountain range and in eastern Rajasthan, the Keoladeo National

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Park of Bharatpur, a World Heritage Site known for its bird life. Rajasthan is also home to
three national tiger reserves, the Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur, Sariska
Tiger Reserve in Alwar and Mukundra Hill Tiger Reserve in Kota.
The state was formed on 30 March 1949 when Rajputana- the name adopted by the British
Raj for its dependencies in the region was merged into the Dominion of India. Its capital and
largest city is Jaipur. Other important cities
are Jodhpur, Kota, Bikaner, Ajmer, Bharatpur and Udaipur.
4. A Science and Technology Empowered Committee for COVID-19 response has been
constituted on 19th March 2020. The committee is chaired by Prof. Vinod Paul, Member,
NITI Aayog and Prof. K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of
India, and is responsible for coordination amongst science agencies, scientists, industries
and regulatory bodies, and to take speedy decisions on research and development to
implementation related to the Sars-Cov-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease.
The other members of the committee are Secretary, Department of Science and Technology
(DST), Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Secretary, Council of Scientific and
Industrial Research (CSIR), Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
(MeitY), Secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Secretary, Defence Research
and Development Organization (DRDO), Secretary, ICMR, Secretary, Science and
Engineering Research Board (SERB), Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and Drug
Controller General of India (DCGI).
The committee has rapidly worked towards implementation of scientific solutions. The
following actions are in place keeping in view the critical need to increase the testing
facilities for COVID-19: An office memorandum allowing institutes under DST, DBT, CSIR,
DAE, DRDO and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to self assess and prepare their labs for
research and testing through the standard and rigorous protocol. Testing will be stratified
according to priorities set by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and ICMR.
Research will also be stratified into short and mid-term returns.
Labs at DST- Sri Chitra Institute of Medical Sciences, Thiruvananthapuram, DBT- Rajiv
Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, CSIR- Centre for Cellular and
Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, DAE- Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai have already
been notified as testing labs by ICMR.
Other labs that have the infrastructure/capacity to carry out the tests are being readied.
The scientific preparedness for testing large volumes of patients is being put into place.
Testing will allow informed decision for isolation and quarantine of individuals and
localities.
The Government is working proactively with private sector to carry out large scale COVID-19
testing and serology assays. This will allow surveillance and clinical research to manage and
control the spread of the virus. The scientific institutions supported by various ministries/
departments have all come together and have initiated multidisciplinary projects for:
a. Repurposing of drugs and a task force on repurposing of drugs has begun gathering in
depth information on various drug candidates to allow informed decision making. The
regulatory/legal processes are also being addressed.

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b. Mathematical models to track the disease spread and models to predict the medical
equipment and auxiliary requirements of the COVID-19.
c. Manufacturing of test kits and ventilators in India.
5. The Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India has issued a
detailed manual on homemade masks: “Masks for Curbing the Spread of SARS-CoV-2
Coronavirus”. Quoting the World Health Organization, the manual states that “Masks are
effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based
hand rub or soap and water. If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and
dispose of it properly.”
Analyses show that if 50% of the population were to wear masks, only 50% of the
population would be infected by the virus. Once 80% of the population wears a mask, the
outbreak can be stopped immediately.
On Why Wear a Mask? It says that, “COVID-19 virus spreads easily from person to person
contact. Virus carrying droplets dry fast enough to form droplet nuclei and remain airborne
eventually landing on different surfaces. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has
been detected in aerosols for up to three hours and on plastic and stainless steel surfaces
for up to three days. (N.Engl J.Med. 2020)”.
The manual says that Masks lower the chances of coronavirus entering the respiratory
system through droplets still in the air from an infected person. It says that reducing the
chances of inhaling the virus by wearing a protective mask that is cleaned thoroughly using
a combination of approaches that use Heat, UV light, water, soap and alcohol, will be vital
to stopping its spread.
The proposed guide is meant to provide a simple outline of best practices to make, use and
reuse masks to enable NGOs and individuals to self-create such masks and accelerate
widespread adoption of masks across India. The key criteria for proposed designs are Ease
of Access to Materials, Easy of Making at Home, Ease of Use and Reuse. Wearing of masks is
especially recommended for people living in densely populated areas across India.
Earlier in its update on Science, Technology and Innovation response to COVID-19, the
Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India stated that the Science
and Technology Empowered Committee for COVID-19 response has rapidly worked towards
implementation of scientific solutions. The following actions are in place keeping in view the
critical need to increase the testing facilities for COVID-19:
An office memorandum allowing institutes under DST, DBT, CSIR, DAE, DRDO and Indian
Institute of Science (IISc) to self assess and prepare their labs for research and testing
through the standard and rigorous protocol. Testing will be stratified according to priorities
set by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and ICMR. Research will also be
stratified into short and mid-term returns. The S & T Empowered Committee was
constituted on 19th March 2020. The committee is chaired by Prof. Vinod Paul, Member,
NITI Aayog and Prof. K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of
India, and is responsible for coordination amongst science agencies, scientists, industries
and regulatory bodies, and to take speedy decisions on research and development to
implementation related to the Sars-Cov-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease.

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6. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has extended the validity of documents like
driving licenses, permits and registration that expired since February 1. In an advisory to all
states and Union Territories, the Ministry has asked them to treat such documents as valid
till June 30.
The decision was taken to facilitate people facing difficulties in renewing the validity of
various motor vehicle documents due to nationwide lockdown in the country and closure of
government transport offices. The documents include fitness, permits (all types), driving
licence, registration or any other concerned document under the Motor Vehicle Rules.
The ministry has requested all states to implement the advisory in "letter and spirit" so that
the people and transporters and organisations rendering essential services do not get
harassed and face difficulties.
7. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a notification, Jammu and Kashmir
Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020, defining “domiciles” in the new
Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir.
On 06 August 2019, the Centre revoked J&K’s special status under Article 370 and Article
35A of the Constitution and bifurcated it into J&K and Ladakh UTs.
Key highlights of the Order are as follows:
 The domiciles have been defined as those who have resided for a period of 15 years in
the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
 Those who have studied for a period of seven years and appeared in Class 10-12
examination in educational institutions located in J&K.
 The domiciles also include children of those central government officials who have
served in J&K for a total period of ten years.
 According to section 5A of The Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralization and
Recruitment) Act:
 No person shall be eligible for appointment to a post carrying a pay scale of not more
than Level-4 (25500) unless he is a domicile of the Union Territory of Jammu and
Kashmir.
 Level 4 includes posts including Junior Assistant, Constable, which is considered as the
lowest category of non-gazetted posts.
 This means domiciles of J&K UT would have an exclusive right on class 4th and non-
gazetted posts.
 While all Indian citizens including J&K domiciles would be eligible for remaining non-
gazetted and gazetted posts.
 The law has empowered Tehsildars within their territorial jurisdiction to issue domicile
certificates.
 The government of J&K UT has also been empowered to notify any other officer to be
the competent authority for the issuance of a domicile certificate.
8. Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory has become 12th State where the Price Monitoring &
Resource Unit (PMRU) has been set up by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority
(NPPA). PMRUs have already been set up by NPPA in 11 States, including, Kerala, Odisha,
Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and
Mizoram.
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The PMRU, a registered society, shall function under the direct control and supervision of
State Drug Controller of Jammu & Kashmir. The unit shall be funded by NPPA for its
recurring and non-recurring expenses. The PMRU shall help NPPA and State Drug Controller
in ensuring availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices. It is also expected
to organise seminars, training programs and other information, education and
communication (IEC) activities in the areas of availability and affordability of medicines for
all.
PMRU will also collect samples of medicines, collect and analyse data and make reports
with respect to availability and over-pricing of medicines for taking action under the
provisions of Drug Price Control Order (DPCO). This assumes added significance as PMRU,
J&K will assist NPPA and Governments in checking overpricing and identifying causes &
addressing local issues of shortages/hoarding in the current situation when country is
fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
9. Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' has advised
CBSE to promote ALL students studying in classes I-VIII to the next class/grade. In view of
the current situation due to COVID-19. He also advised the board students studying in
classes IX & XI will be promoted to next class/grade based on the school-based assessments
including projects, periodic tests, term exams, etc. conducted so far. The Minister also
recommended to conduct board examinations only for 29 main subjects that are required
for promotion and maybe crucial for admissions in HEIs, and for rest of the subjects, the
Board will not hold examinations; the instructions for marking/assessment in all such cases
shall be separately issued by the Board.
The Board is committed to the academic welfare of its students; therefore, the Board is
constantly assessing the situation, and is keen to mitigate the anxiety of the students,
parents, and schools. As per suggestion of HRD Ministry in view of the prevailing
extraordinary circumstances of the worldwide spread of COVID-19 and the countrywide
lockdown, and in view of the queries raised by our stakeholders regarding the academic
future of students, the Board advises/informs all schools affiliated to the Board as follows as
a one-time measure:
a. For classes 1 to 8: All students studying in classes 1 to 8 maybe promoted to the next
class/grade. This advisory is being issued in consultation with NCERT.
b. For classes 9 and 11: It has come to our notice that though several schools affiliated to
CBSE have completed their examination, evaluation and promotion process for students
who were studying in grades 9 and 11 in the 2019-20 academic session, there are
several schools that have not been able to do so. This includes among others, Kendriaya
Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas, State/UT government schools, private schools, schools
located in India and abroad, etc. All such schools are advised to promote students of
grades 9 and 11 to the next grades on the basis of all the school-based assessments
including project work, periodic tests, term exams, etc. conducted so far. For any child
who is unable to clear this internal process, (in any number of subjects), the school may
utilise this period for providing remedial interventions, and school may give the
opportunity of appearing in school-based test/s, online or offline. The promotion of
such children may be decided on the basis of such tests.

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c. Schedule for class 10 and 12 board exams: With regard to rescheduling board
examinations for classes 10 and 12, it is informed that at this stage it is difficult for the
Board to decide and announce the new schedule for examinations. However, it is
informed that any decision that the board will take with regard to the conduct of
examinations will be taken by undertaking extensive consultation with higher education
authorities and by keeping all aspects related to entrance exams, admissions dates, etc.
in mind. In this context, it is further informed that the Board will give notice of about 10
days to all stakeholders before starting the Board examinations.
d. Subjects for Board exams: It is informed that the Board was not able to conduct exams
on 8 examination days due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Further, due to the law
and order situation in North East Delhi District the board was not able to conduct exams
on 4 examination days, while a very small number of students from and around this
District were not able to appear in exams on 6 examination days.
Considering the extraordinary circumstances, the Board has been forced to review its
policy in this regard. Under ordinary circumstances, the Board would not have hesitated
to conduct all examinations that could not be held after 18th March, 2020 or are
postponed for other reasons.
10. The Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati
Raj, Narendra Singh Tomar launched new features of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM)
Platform to strengthen agriculture marketing by farmers which will reduce their need to
physically come to wholesale mandis for selling their harvested produce, at a time when
there is critical need to decongest mandis to effectively fight against COVID-19. These
software modules are namely (i) Warehouse based trading module in e-NAM software to
facilitate trade from warehouses based on e-NWR (ii) FPO trading module in e-NAM
whereby FPOs can trade their produce from their collection center without bringing the
produce to APMC. In addition to facilitate inter-mandi and inter-state trade at this juncture,
enhanced version of logistic module has been released whereby aggregators of transport
logistic platform have on boarded which helps users to avail trackable transport facilities for
transporting their produce.
e-NAM was launched on 14 April 2016 as a pan-India electronic trade portal linking APMCs
across the States. Already 585 mandis in 16 States and 02 Union Territories have been
integrated on e-NAM portal.
e-NAM is well poised to play a critical role during the period of Covid-19 to decongest
mandis while helping the farmers at same time. For this purpose following 03 modules have
been launched for enhancing the effectiveness of e-NAM-
Launch of “Negotiable Warehouse Receipt (e-NWRs) module in National Agriculture
Market (e-NAM) software
a. Warehouse (Registered with WDRA) trading module with payment feature is launched
to enable small & marginal famers to directly trade their stored produce from selected
WDRA registered warehouses which are declared deemed market by the State.
b. Farmers will be able to place their produce in WDRA accredited warehouses.
c. Already States of Telangana (14 warehouses) & Andhra Pradesh (23 warehouses)
declared designated warehouses in the State as deemed market.

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Benefits of eNWRs integration with e-NAM-


i. Depositor can save the Logistics expenses and will have better income.
ii. Farmers can sell the produce across the Nation to get better Price and at the same
time can save himself from hassle of mandi.
iii. Farmers will be able to place their produce in WDRA accredited warehouses avail
the benefit of pledge loan if required.
iv. Price stabilization by matching supply and demand through time and place utility.
FPO trading module
a. FPO trading module is launched to enable FPOs to upload their produce from their
premise/collection centres for bidding. They can upload the picture of the produce and
quality parameters from their premises to help distant bidders to visualise the produce
before bidding. FPOs have the option for delivery of produce either from their premises
or by bringing to mandi premise after successful bidding. This will not only decongest the
mandis but also reduce the logistics cost for the FPOs.
b. Facility provided to FPO to upload assaying report / photo of their produce from their
premise to enable traders to visualise the produce before bidding.
Benefits-
i. This will not only decongest the mandis but also reduce the hassle of FPOs to deal
with mandis.
ii. This will help FPOs by reducing transaction costs (Transportation) and enhancing
their bargaining power.
iii. Facilitates FPOs to avail online payment facility with ease of doing business.
Launch of Logistic Module
a. Presently, e-NAM provides a database of individual transporters to the traders. However,
as a quantum response to logistic need by traders, provision has been made for linking
large logistic aggregator platforms, which will provide choices to users. Traders would be
able to use the link to navigate to the logistics provider’s website and select appropriate
services. With these additions, more than 3,75,000 number of trucks from large logistic
providers would be added for logistic purpose.
Benefits-
i. This will help in seamless transportation of agri produce.
ii. This will promote inter-State trade under e-NAM by providing online transport
facilities for distant buyers.
11. Government is regulating 24 class of medical devices which have been notified/regulated as
drugs under Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945. Of the above,
4 medical devices viz. (i) Cardiac Stents (ii) Drug Eluting Stents (iii) Condoms and (iv) Intra
Uterine Device (Cu-T) are scheduled medical devices for which ceiling prices have been
fixed. These 4 medical devices are under price control. As regard remaining non-scheduled
medical devices which are notified/regulated as drugs, NPPA is currently monitoring
Maximum Retail Prices (MRPs) under Para 20 of the DPCO, 2013 to ensure that no
manufacturer/importers can increase the price more than ten percent in preceding twelve
months.

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 The NPPA vide Notification dated 31st March, 2020 in pursuance of Notification No. SO
648(E), dated 11th February, 2020, stated that all medical devices shall be governed
under the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 (DPCO, 2013) w.e.f. 1st
April 2020.
 Thus, with effect from 1st April, 2020, all Medical Devices shall be regulated by the
Government as Drugs for quality control and price monitoring. Therefore, the Maximum
Retail Prices (MPRs) of all the Medical Devices would be monitored by the Government
under the provisions of Para 20(1) of the DPCO, 2013 to ensure that no
manufacturer/importer increases the MRP of a drug more than ten percent of MRP
during preceding twelve month and where the increase is beyond ten percent of
maximum retail price, it shall reduce the same to the level of ten percent of maximum
retail price for next twelve months.
Further, as per Para 20(2) of the DPCO, 2013 read with the Essential Commodities Act,
1955, the manufacturer/importer shall also be liable to deposit the overcharged amount
along with interest thereon from the date of increase in price in addition to penalty.
12. With respect to COVID 19 pandemic, Department of Rural Development, GoI in close
collaboration with State Governments has taken various initiatives. Mahatma Gandhi
NREGS wages have been revised by Department of Rural Development, GoI with effect from
1st April, 2020. The average national increase is Rs 20. Focus of Mahatma Gandhi NREGS
may be on individual beneficiary-oriented works which directly benefit SC, ST and women
headed households as well as small & marginal farmers and other poor households.
However, close consultation and guidance of the State as well as district authorities would
be necessary to ensure that lock down conditions are not violated and norms of social
distancing are scrupulously followed. Ministry of Rural Development is according top
priority to liquidate the wage and material arrears. An amount of Rs. 4,431 crore has been
released in this week to various States/UTs to liquidate these liabilities of current fiscal year
and the remaining such liabilities along with 1st tranche for the year 2020-21 will be
released before 15th April, 2020. An amount of Rs. 721 crore has been released to State
Government of Andhra Pradesh.
13. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, with an aim to extend support to the foreign
tourists who are stranded in India, has come up with a portal to disseminate information
regarding the services that can be availed by foreign tourists who are stuck far away from
their home land. The portal is titled ‘Stranded in India’ and aims to act as a support network
for foreign tourists stuck in various parts of the country. The entire world is facing a truly
unprecedented situation arising out of coronavirus and it is a constant endeavour to ensure
the wellbeing of tourists, especially the ones that travel from foreign countries. Accordingly,
the Ministry of Tourism is constantly staying vigilant and encouraging various initiatives to
help the ones in need.
The portal strandedinindia.com consists of the following information that will be useful for
the tourists in their time of need:
a. Comprehensive information around COVID-19 helpline numbers or call-centres that the
foreign tourists can reach out to for help.

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b. A variety of information around Ministry of External Affairs control centers along with
their contact information.
c. Information around state-based/regional tourism support infrastructure.
d. Help Support section to extend help to the ones in need of further information and
connect foreign tourists to concerned authorities.
The website will be featured on the Tourism Website and prominent Ministry of Tourism
channels.
14. Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Luv Aggarwal, informed that a high
level task force formed, for COVID-19 related works in the fields of science and vaccine
development. It is co-chaired by Member, Niti Aayog and Principal Scientific Adviser to the
Government of India. AYUSH, ICMR, Department of Science and Technology (DST),
Department of Biotechnology (DBT), CSIR, DRDO, DG-Health Services and Drug Controller
General of India are also members of the task force.
 The aim of this task force is to enable COVID-19 related research by academia, industry
and international community.
 The Task Force has made DBT a central coordinating authority for vaccine development
and their main work will be to identify a pathway for vaccine development. For this
work, a dynamic list of national and international organisations working for vaccine
development is to be made, their progress is to be monitored and facilitation at
government level is to be done by them.
 This apart, clinical cohorts will be focussing on long term follow-up of people for better
understanding of the disease and its management will be worked upon.
 Also, bio-specimens will be collected which will form the basis for further trials of drugs
and vaccines. It will be different from sample testing protocol.
15. As a part of Government’s continued efforts to contain spread of COVID 19, the Union
Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has decided not to operate Members
of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) for two years (2020-21 and 2021-
22). These funds will be used to strengthen Government’s efforts in managing the
challenges and adverse impact of COVID19 in the country.

The Members of Parliament Local Area Development Division is entrusted with the
responsibility of implementation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development
Scheme (MPLADS). Under the scheme, each MP has the choice to suggest to the District
Collector for works to the tune of Rs.5 Crores per annum to be taken up in his/her
constituency.
The Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament can recommend works in one or more districts
in the State from where he/she has been elected.
The Nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may select any one or more
Districts from any one State in the Country for implementation of their choice of work
under the scheme. The Ministry has issued the guidelines on MPLADS Scheme including
implementation and monitoring of the scheme. The Department has initiated all
necessary steps to ensure that the scheme is successfully implemented in the field.

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16. Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions launched
DARPG’s National Monitoring Dashboard on COVID 19 Grievances. The National Monitoring
Dashboard was developed and implemented at https://darpg.gov.in where COVID 19
related grievances received in CPGRAMS with all Ministries/Departments and States/ Union
Territories are monitored on priority basis by a technical team of DARPG. The National
Monitoring Dashboard was developed by DARPG in pursuance of the recommendations of
the Empowered Group of Officers 10 constituted under the Disaster Management Act 2005
on Public Grievances and Suggestions to ensure timely implementation of COVID 19
Response Activities.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said that he had personally reviewed the status of 262 grievances of
Central Government and 83 grievances of State Governments received on Day 1, and
directed officers in the DARPG to pursue with line ministries and State Governments.
On Day 1 of the launch, the National Monitoring Dashboard received 43 grievances of
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 31 grievances of Ministry of External Affairs and 26
grievances of Ministry of Finance. The nature of grievances related to quarantine facilities,
lockdown not being adhered to complaints, essential supplies related complaints,
examination related complaints, rescheduling of interest repayments on loans, evacuation
requests from foreign countries etc. The portal will be updated and monitored at senior
levels in Government on a daily basis.
17. The Innovation Cell of the Ministry of Human Resources Development and All India Council
for Technical Education in collaboration with Forge and InnovatioCuris launched a mega
online challenge- SAMADHAN to test the ability of students to innovate.
The students participating in this challenge will search and develop such measures that can
be made available to the government agencies, health services, hospitals and other services
for quick solutions to the Coronavirus epidemic and other such calamities. Apart from this,
through this "Samadhan" challenge, work will be done to make citizens aware, to motivate
them, to face any challenge, to prevent any crisis and to help people get livelihood.
Under the "Samadhan" challenge, the students and faculty will be motivated for doing new
experiments and new discoveries and provide them with a strong base leading to spirit of
experimentation and discovery. The success of this program depends on how effective are
the ideas of participating contestants with ability to find solutions, technically and
commercially, which in turn will help fight the epidemic like coronavirus.
Applications to participate in this competition will start from 7 April 2020. The last date for
submission of applications is 14 April 2020. The names of the contestants going forward in
this competition after shortlisting will be declared on 17 April 2020 and such contestants
are expected to submit their entries between 18-23 April 2020. The final list will be released
on 24 April 2020, after which the grand online jury will decide the winners on 25 April 2020.
18. Union Minister for HRD Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” has launched a web-portal YUKTI
(Young India Combating COVID with Knowledge, Technology and Innovation). It’s a unique
portal and dashboard to monitor and record the efforts and initiatives of MHRD. The portal
intends to cover the different dimensions of COVID-19 challenges in a very holistic and
comprehensive way.

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It will cover the various initiatives and efforts of the institutions in academics, research
especially related to CoVID, social initiatives by institutions and the measures taken for the
betterment of the total wellbeing of the students. The portal will cover both qualitative and
quantitative parameters for effective delivery of services to the academic community at
large. He said that portal will also allow various institutions to share their strategies for
various challenges which are there because of the unprecedented situation of COVID-19
and other future initiatives. The HRD Minister hoped that this portal will give inputs for
better planning and will enable MHRD to monitor effectively its activities for coming six
months.
19. Valor Day CRPF:
On April 9th, 1965 a small contingent of 2nd Bn CRPF, successfully fought and repulsed an
attack by a Pakistani Brigade on Sardar Post in the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, eliminating 34
Pakistani soldiers and capturing 4 alive. Never in the history of military battles have a
handful of policemen fought back a full- fledged infantry Brigade in such a manner. In this
conflict, six valiant CRPF men also attained martyrdom. As a tribute to the saga of the brave
men of the Force, 9th April is celebrated as "Valour Day” in the Force.
20. NHAI has accomplished construction of 3,979 km of national highways in the financial Year
2019-20. This is the highest ever highway construction achieved in a financial year by NHAI.
The construction pace as noticed in last years has seen a steady growth with 3,380 Km
construction in the FY 2018-19. Continuing the same trend with the development of 3,979
km of national highways during FY 2019-20, NHAI has achieved an all-time high construction
since its inception in 1995.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has envisaged an ambitious highway
development programme Bharatmala Pariyojana which includes development of about
65,000 km national highways. Under Phase-I of Bharatmala Pariyojana, the Ministry has
approved implementation of 34,800 km of national highways in 5 years with an outlay of Rs
5,35,000 crore. NHAI has been mandated development of about 27,500 km of national
highways under Bharatmal Pariyojna Phase-I.
In order to accelerate the pace of construction, large no. of initiatives have been taken to
revive the stalled projects and expedite completion of new projects :
 Streamlining of land acquisition and acquisition of major portion of land prior to
invitation of bids.
 Award of projects after adequate project preparation in terms of land acquisition,
clearances etc.
 Disposal of cases in respect of Change of Scope (CoS) and Extension of Time (EoT) in a
time bound manner.
 Procedure for approval of General Arrangement Drawing for ROBs simplified and made
online.
 Close coordination with other Ministries and State Governments.
 One time fund infusion.
 Regular review at various levels and identification/ removal of bottlenecks in project
execution.
 Proposed exit for Equity Investors.
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 Securitization of road sector loans.


 Disputes Resolution mechanism revamped to avoid delays in completion of projects.
21. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has approved significant
investments to the tune of Rs. 15,000 crore for 'India COVID-19 Emergency Response and
Health System Preparedness Package'. The funds sanctioned will be utilized in 3 Phases and
for immediate COVID-19 Emergency Response (an amount of Rs. 7,774 Crore) has been
provisioned and rest for medium-term support (1-4 years) to be provided under mission
mode approach.
The key objectives of the package include mounting emergency response to slow and limit
COVID-19 in India through the development of diagnostics and COV1D-dedicatcd treatment
facilities, centralized procurement of essential medical equipment and drugs required for
treatment of infected patients, strengthen and build resilient National and State health
systems to support prevention and preparedness for future disease outbreaks, setting up of
laboratories and bolster surveillance activities, bio-security preparedness, pandemic
research and proactively engage communities and conduct risk communication activities.
These interventions and initiatives would be implemented under the overall umbrella of the
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
In Phase 1, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare with the support of all the other line
ministries has already undertaken several activities like:
i. Additional funds to the tune of Rs 3,000 Cr have been released under the Package to
State/UTs, for strengthening of existing health facilities as COVID Dedicated
Hospitals, Dedicated COVID Health Center and Dedicated COVID Care Centers.
Detailed guidelines, protocols and advisory for quarantine, isolation, testing,
treatment, disease containment, decontamination, social distancing and
surveillance. Hotspots have been identified and appropriate containment strategies
are being implemented.
ii. Diagnostics laboratories network has been expanded and our testing capacity
increasing every day. In fact, leveraging on the existing multi-disease testing
platforms under National TB Elimination Programme, orders for procurement of 13
lakhs diagnostic kits have been placed to augment COVID 19 testing.
iii. All health workers including Community Health Volunteers (ASHAs) have been
covered with insurance under the “Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package: Insurance
Scheme for Health Workers lighting COVID-19". Personal Protection Equipment
(PPE), N95 masks and ventilators, testing kits and drugs for treatment are being
procured centrally.
The major share of the expenditure will be used for mounting robust emergency response,
strengthening National and State health systems followed by strengthening pandemic
research and multi-sector national institutions and platforms for One-Health, community
engagement and risk communications and implementation, management, capacity building,
monitoring and evaluation component. M/o Health & Family Welfare has been authorized to
re-appropriate resources among components of the package and among the various
implementation agencies (National Health Mission, Central Procurement, Railways, Dept. of
Health Research/ICMR, National Centre for Disease Control) as per the evolving emergent

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situation.
22. To supplement the resources of the centre to fight COVID-19, the government amended the
emoluments of MPs and Ministers:
 Emoluments of MPs: An Ordinance was promulgated to amend the Salary, Allowances,
and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954 to reduces the salaries of MPs by 30%
(from one lakh rupees to Rs 70,000 per month). The government also amended the rules
under the 1954 Act to reduce certain allowances of MPs. These are the constituency
allowance (from Rs 70,000 to Rs 49,000 per month) and office allowance (from Rs
60,000 to Rs 54,000 per month).
 The government also suspended the MPLAD Scheme for two years. The scheme enables
MPs to recommend developmental work in their constituencies.
 Emoluments of Ministers: A second Ordinance was promulgated to amend the Salaries
and Allowances of Ministers Act, 1952 to reduce the sumptuary allowance (expenditure
incurred for entertaining visitors) of various categories of Ministers by 30% for one year.
The amendments translate to a reduction for the Prime Minister (from Rs 3,000 to Rs
2,100 per month); for Cabinet Ministers (from Rs 2,000 to Rs 1,400); for Ministers of
State (from Rs 1,000 to Rs 700), and for Deputy Ministers (from Rs 600 to Rs 420).
 Note that the 1952 Act pegs the salaries, and daily and constituency allowances of
Ministers to the rates specified for an MP under the 1954 Act. Similar provisions apply
to presiding officers of both Houses (other than Chairman of Rajya Sabha) who are
regulated by a different Act. Therefore, the amendments to the salaries and
constituency allowance of MPs will also apply to Ministers, Speaker and Deputy Speaker
of Lok Sabha, and Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha. The salary of the Chairman of Rajya
Sabha will continue to remain unaffected by the Ordinances (Rs 4 lakh per month).
23. Travel bans extended:
 Civil Aviation: With the announcement of the extension of the lockdown, the ban on
domestic and international passenger flights was extended till May 3, 2020. The Director
General of Civil Aviation also specified that airlines should not start allowing ticket
bookings from May 4, 2020 onwards as there has been no clearance for such activities
to commence. The Ministry of Civil Aviation ordered that a full refund (without levy of
cancellation fee) will be given for flight tickets purchased during the lockdown period for
travel before May 3, 2020.
 Railways: With the announcement of the extension of the lockdown, the ban on
passenger travel was also extended till May 3, 2020. Prior to that, the Ministry of
Railways had clarified that the decision on the resumption of passenger services and the
protocols for such travel is yet to be taken. Further, full refund will be provided for: (i)
tickets booked for trains that were cancelled during the lockdown, and (ii) cancellation
of advance bookings of tickets for trains not yet cancelled.
The Ministry announced certain incentives for freight traffic. These include: (i) non levy
of demurrage, wharfage and other ancillary charges (valid from March 22 till May 5,
2020), (ii) non levy of haulage charge for movement of empty containers and empty
flats (valid till April 30, 2020), and (iii) relaxation in the minimum distance for rakes. The
Ministry also announced that Railways has set targets to produce over 30,000 Personal

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Protective Equipment coveralls in April 2020 and 1,00,000 in May 2020.


The central government proposed some funding for the COVID related activities being
carried out by Indian Railways. These include: (i) setting up of isolation wards, (ii)
conversion of railway coaches into isolation and quarantine wards, (iii) sanitisation and
cleaning, and (iv) PPE kits. These expenditure heads will be added under ‘suspense’ head
in Railways accounting.
 Shipping: The Ministry of Shipping issued Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) for sign-
on and sign-off of Indian seafarers at Indian Ports. The Ministry also extended: (i) the
validity of seafarer’s CoC and statutory certificates, ship sanitation certificates,
continuous discharge certificates, and (ii) periodical surveys and audits of Indian
registered ships.
 Road Transport: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways advised the National
Informatics Centre to facilitate states and union territories in limited registration of BS-
IV vehicles all over India except Delhi/National Capital Region (NCR). This is as per the
Supreme Court’s order that allowed limited and conditional sale and registration of up
to 10% of pending BS-IV stock with vehicle dealers (except in Delhi/NCR), within 10 days
of lifting of the lockdown in a city. The stay on sale and registration of such vehicles in
Delhi/NCR will continue. In October 2018, the Court had prohibited the sale or
registration of BS-IV vehicles post April 1, 2020, and allowed the sale and registration of
only BS-VI vehicles.
24. The University Grants Commission (UGC) constituted an Expert Committees to look into the
issues being faced by universities and colleges in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the
countrywide lockdown. The Committee was tasked with looking into the issues related to
examinations and the academic calendar. The Expert Committee has submitted its report.
Based on the recommendations of the Committee, UGC issued these guidelines:
 Academic Calendar: Classes for even semester in universities were suspended
effectively from March 16, 2020. The guidelines prescribe that teaching must continue
till May 31 through online or distance learning mode, through social media (WhatsApp /
YouTube), emails, or video conferencing. The examinations for the current academic
year should be held in July, 2020 and the results for the same should be declared by July
31 (for terminal year students) and by August 14 (for intermediate year students)
 The Academic Session 2020-21 may commence from August 2020 for old students and
from September 2020 for fresh students. The admission process for the fresh students
can be done in the month of August. Consequently, the commencement of even
semester for 2020-21 can be from January 27, 2021. The commencement of academic
session 2021-22 may be from August 2021. The universities may follow a 6-day week
pattern to compensate the loss of teaching for the remaining session of 2019-20 and the
2020-21 academic session.
 Examination: The universities may conduct semester or yearly examinations in offline or
online mode. This has to be done while observing the guidelines of “social distancing”
and ensuring fair opportunity for all students. They may adopt alternative, simplified
methods of examinations such as MCQ (multiple choice questions) based examinations
or open book examination. If examinations cannot be conducted in view of the

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prevailing situation at the time, grading may be done on the basis of internal
assessments and performance in previous semester. The universities may conduct the
Ph.D viva examinations through video conferencing.
 Other guidelines: Every University should establish a COVID-19 cell for handling student
grievances related to examinations and academic activities during the pandemic and
notify effectively to the students. Further, a COVID-19 cell will be created in the UGC for
faster decision making
25. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued an advisory regarding
containment and management of COVID-19 in national parks, sanctuaries, and tiger
reserves. This was done as a result of the United States Department of Agriculture's
National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirming a tiger in a zoo in New York to be
COVID-19 positive.
The Ministry noted that there could be possibilities of the transmission of the COVID-19
virus from humans to animals and vice-versa. The key highlights of the advisory include:
a. Constituting a task force with field managers, veterinary doctors, and frontline staff, to
manage the situation quickly,
b. Enhancing disease surveillance, mapping and monitoring system,
c. Restricting the movement of people to these places and reducing the interaction
between humans and wildlife, and
d. Reporting all action regarding this situation, to the Ministry.
Further, the Central Zoo Authority under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate
Change also issued an advisory to zoos in the country. The advisory included:
i. Keeping continuous surveillance of animals using CCTV for any abnormal symptoms,
ii. Restricting the entry of handlers in the vicinity without safety gear,
iii. Isolating and quarantining sick animals, and
iv. Having least contact while providing feed to animals.
26. The Ministry of Jal Shakti issued an advisory to state governments to ensure that safe
potable water is available to all citizens. The advisory is in compliance of a Supreme Court
order on the provision of clean water to all persons in the country to fight against COVID-19.
The key highlights of the advisory are:
 Taking measures to expand supply in areas where water supply is deficient. Special care
may be given to relief camps, hospitals, quarantine facilities, old age homes, slums, and
the poor strata of the society.
 Using chemical treatment for enhancing the safety of potable water.
 Arranging for round the clock vigil to ensure functionality of water supply systems from
source to delivery points.
 Providing personal safety measures such as masks and sanitisers to Public Health
Engineering Department officials, particularly those who are managing the operation
and maintenance of the water supply systems in the field.
27. The Ministry of Finance had constituted a task force in September 2019 to draw up a
National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) of projects costing more than Rs 100 crore for the
period 2019-25. The task force submitted its report on the NIP. The aim of the NIP is to
adequately prepare projects to operationalise the plan of Rs 100 lakh crore investment in

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infrastructure over the next five years. Key observations and recommendations of the task
force include:
 Spending on infrastructure: The task force has projected a capital expenditure of Rs 111
lakh crore in infrastructure sectors in India during the period 2019-20 to 2024-25. Of the
total capital expenditure on NIP, 79% is expected to be made by the government (39%
by the centre and 40% by states), and the rest 21% by the private sector.
 Sector-wise breakup: 71% of the total investment projected in infrastructure projects in
the NIP is across four sectors. These are: (i) energy (24% of the total investment), (ii)
roads (18%), (iii) urban infrastructure (17%), and (iv) railways (12%). Other major sectors
with projects in the NIP include irrigation (8%) and rural infrastructure (7%).
 Project implementation status: Of all the projects in the NIP, Rs 44 lakh crore (40%)
worth of projects are under implementation and Rs 34 lakh crore (30%) worth of
projects are at the conceptualisation stage (announced recently but detailed plans and
feasibility studies pending). Rs 22 lakh crore (20%) worth of projects are under
development, between the stages of conceptualisation and implementation. The status
is not available for rest of the projects, which are worth Rs 11 lakh crore (10%).
 Financing the NIP: 18%-20% of the NIP is expected to be financed through direct
allocations made in the central government’s budget and 24%-26% through allocations
in state budgets. 31% of the funds required for NIP would be raised through debt from
bond markets, banks, and NBFCs. Equity from private developers, external aid from
multilateral and bilateral agencies, and internal accruals of PSUs would comprise 4%–
10% of the funds. In addition to using these existing sources, which would finance 83%-
85% of the NIP, the task force has suggested other sources of financing such as new
development finance institutions and asset monetisation by the centre and states.
 Reforms: The task force recommended a set of reforms to scale up infrastructure
investments in various sectors. These include: (i) improving project preparation process,
(ii) enhancing execution capacity of the private sector, (iii) providing all key clearances
and approvals upfront to avoid undue delays, (iv) ensuring sanctity and enforcement of
contracts, and fair contracts, and (v) institutionalising dispute resolution mechanisms. In
addition, the task force also recommended various sector-wise reforms.
28. The Standing Committee on Labour and Employment submitted its report on the Industrial
Relations Code, 2019. The Code replaces the Trade Unions Act, 1926; the Industrial
Disputes Act, 1947; and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders Act), 1946. It provides
for recognition of trade unions, certification of standing orders, and resolution of industrial
disputes. Key observations and recommendations of the Committee include:
 Appropriate government: The Committee recommended changes to the definition of
appropriate government in certain cases. It recommended that in cases where an
employer has establishments in more than one state the appropriate government will
be determined based on the place of origin of employment. Further, in case of disputes
between contract labour and contractors, the appropriate government should be the
central or state government based on whichever has control over the establishment
where the dispute arose.
 Dispute resolution: The Code prescribes a time limit of three years for raising an

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industrial dispute. The Committee recommended that this be decreased to one year.
Further, the Code empowers the appropriate government to reject or modify an award
given by an Industrial Tribunal. The Committee recommended deleting this clause since
a similar provision in the 1947 Act was struck down by the Andhra Pradesh High Court
for violating the principle of separation of powers between the executive and judiciary.
 Strikes: The 1947 Act states that a person employed in a public utility service cannot go
on strike unless he gives notice for a strike within six weeks before going on strike or
within 14 days of giving such notice. The Code expands this provision to all
establishments. The Committee recommended that the restriction on strikes should
only apply to public utility services such as water, electricity, and other essential
services.
 Lay-off and retrenchment: The Code includes special provisions for lay-off and
retrenchment in establishments employing 100 or more workers or such number as
notified by the appropriate government. The Committee recommended that the power
to change this threshold of employees should not be with the executive. Instead, the
state legislature should pass an amendment to the law to change this threshold.
29. The National Biofuel Coordination Committee approved utilisation of the surplus rice
available with the Food Corporation of India for making ethanol. The ethanol thus produced
will be used for making alcohol-based hand sanitizers and for blending with petrol under
the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme. The EBP programme was launched in 2003 to
promote the use of alternative and environment friendly fuels. Blending ethanol with petrol
helps reduce vehicle exhaust emissions and reduces the import burden for petroleum.
According to the National Biofuel Policy 2018, if an over-supply of food grains is anticipated
during an agriculture crop year, the surplus quantities of food grains can be converted to
ethanol, based on the approval of the National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
30. The Directorate General of Shipping released the terms and conditions for employment of
seafarers on Indian flag ships as per the requirements under the Merchant Shipping Act,
1958. Key terms and conditions include the following:
 Coastal ships: These are defined to include: (i) ships under 6,000 gross tonnage (GT) and
under 8,000 KW main propulsion power, (ii) dredgers under 10,000 GT and under
10,000 KW main propulsion power operating in Indian ports, (iii) certain oil tankers, (iv)
ships carrying bulk chemicals or gas in any form, and (v) military and government ships
not used for any commercial purposes.
 Collective bargaining agreement: The Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour) Rules, 2016
provide for a collective bargaining agreement. This contains detailed terms and
conditions of employment for seafarers which has been agreed upon between ship-
owners associations and seafarers’ representative unions. The released terms provide
that this agreement should provide for a welfare fund contribution to be made by
shipping companies to Seafarers Welfare Fund Society and Seamen’s Provident Fund
Organisation. Ship-owners may provide additional benefits than these. However, these
should not be a part of the collective bargain agreement. Further such welfare fund
contribution to be made by shipping companies will not be deducted from wages
payable to the seafarer.

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 The agreement should be gender neutral, and also follow provisions under the
Maternity Benefit Act, 1961. The disability compensation should be over and above the
cost of treatment and the wages payable. Disability of 50% or more will be considered
as full disability.
 Liability of ship-owners: The agreement should specify the liability of the ship-owner to
provide legal support and bear legal expenses. It should also specify the means to cover
this liability if a seafarer is stranded, detained or arrested at a port during the course of
employment on a ship.
31. TRAI released recommendations on interoperability of set-top box. In November 2019, TRAI
had released a consultation paper in this regard. A set-top box is a device that receives
digital signal, decodes and displays it on television. At present, a set-top box of one service
provider cannot be used for accessing television broadcasting services of another service
provider. If a subscriber wants to change one’s service provider, a new set-top box has to be
purchased.
Interoperability of set-top box will provide consumers with the freedom to change their
service provider without changing their set-top boxes. Key recommendations of TRAI on
interoperability of set-top boxes are:
 Interoperability to be mandatory: All set-top boxes in the country should support
technical interoperability. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting may amend
rules and licensing terms related to cable television to mandate interoperability of set-
top boxes. Due to technical constraints, the interoperability of set-top boxes will apply
within the Direct to Home segment and within the cable segment. The operators will be
required to adopt interoperable set-top boxes within six months of the date of
notification by the Ministry.
 Interoperability through digital TV: TRAI recommended mandating the provision of (i)
USB port based common interface, and (ii) built-in tuners to enable reception of TV
content through both satellite and cable platforms, for all digital TV sets in India.
 Coordination and Implementation Committee: A coordination committee may be set
up by the Ministry with members from: (i) Ministry of Electronics and Information
Technology, (ii) TRAI, (iii) Bureau of Indian Standards, and (iv) representatives of TV
manufacturers.
32. National Panchayati Raj Day (National Local Self-Government day) is the national day of
Panchayati Raj System in India celebrated by Ministry of Panchayati Raj on 24 April
annually.
Then Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh declared the first National Panchayati Raj
Day on 24 April 2010. He mentioned that if Panchayati Raj institutions (PRIs) functioned
properly and locals participated in the development process, the Maoist threat could be
countered.
33. Manipur celebrates, 23rd April as the "Khongjom Day", marking the occasion of the battle of
Khongjom.
Khongjom War Memorial Complex is a historical war memorial site of Anglo-Manipur
War at Khongjom, Thoubal district of Manipur. The complex houses the world's tallest
sword statue, which symbolizes the valor and courage of the freedom fighters of Manipur,

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who fought against the three sides of British attack, from Kohima, Silchar and Myanmar in
the 23rd April, 1891.
34. VidyaDaan:
This national program is a call to the nation, particularly individuals & organizations across
the country to contribute e-learning resources in the education domain to ensure that
quality learning continues for learners across India.
Contributions can be made by individuals, teachers, educationists, subject experts, schools,
government and non-government organisations etc after registering & nominating
themselves. These contributions can be of different types of content such as explanation
videos, teaching videos, practice questions, competency-based items, lesson plans etc. for
any grade from 1 to 12 and for any subject as specified by the states/UTs under their
respective projects. Such contributions must be open-licensed under the Creative Commons
license framework and can be curated by the respective states/UTs & CBSE and those
contributors whose content is accepted and finds high usage, will be duly recognized.
35. The Government of India celebrates April 21 every year as ‘Civil Services day’ as an
occasion for the civil servants to rededicate themselves to the cause of citizen and renew
their commitments to public service and excellence in work. This date is chosen to
commemorate the day when first Home Minister of Independent India, Sardar Vallabhbhai
Patel addressed the probationers of Administrative Services Officers in 1947 at Metcalf
House, Delhi, he referred to civil servants as the ‘steel frame of India’. The first such
function was held in Vigyan Bhawan, New delhi 21 April 2006.
As part of Civil Servant Day, Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration
are presented to Districts/Implementing Units for implementation of Priority
programme and innovation categories. These awards on the Civil Services day each year
bring together civil servants to connect with each other and learn the good practices being
implemented across the nation in the field of public grievance.

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General News: World

1. Prince Harry and wife Meghan posted their last message as working members of Britain’s
royal family before officially embarking on new careers without their “Royal Highness”
styles.
The couple shocked Queen Elizabeth and the other Windsors in January by announcing
plans to step back from their royal roles. A later deal brokered by the 93-year-old monarch
means they will go their own way from April.
So now, the couple, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will be free to pursue new careers,
earn their own money and spend most of their time in North America. But they will no
longer be able to use the word “royal” in their branding or carry out official duties and have
agreed not to use the style of HRH- His or Her Royal Highness.
Harry, 35, the Queen’s grandson and sixth in line to the throne, will remain a Prince but
relinquish his military appointments. The pair, along with their son Archie, relocated to
California from Canada earlier this month.
2. World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognized day on 2 April every year,
encouraging Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness
about people with autistic spectrum disorders including autism and Asperger
syndrome throughout the world. It was designated by the United Nations General
Assembly resolution "62/139. World Autism Awareness Day", passed in council on 1
November 2007, and adopted on 18 December 2007. It was proposed by the United Nations
representative from Qatar, Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, Consort of
His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, and
supported by all member states.
3. On 6 April 2020, the U.S. Department of State added the Russian Imperial Movement and
three of its leaders (Stanislav Anatolyevich Vorobyev, Denis Valliullovich Gariyev, and
Nikolay Nikolayevich Trushchalov) to the Specially Designated Global Terrorist list, making it
the first white supremacist group to be designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State
Department.
The measure comes after the state department in its latest annual terrorism report last
November said ethnically and racially driven terrorism had risen alarmingly in 2018 both
worldwide and in the United States.
Russian Imperial Movement’s (RIM) members cast themselves as Russian Orthodox
nationalists who favor restoring the monarchy and privileging the interests of ethnic
Russians, Ukrainians and Belarussians.
Typically in such designations, the US treasury department freezes any assets the
blacklisted group or people might have in the United States and bars any U.S. nationals
from entering into financial transactions with those designated. Such designations run the
risk of being only symbolic if the blacklisted group has minimal financial exposure in the
United States.

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The Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) is a Russian ultranationalist, far-


right paramilitary organisation. RIM is based in Saint Petersburg and their leader is
Stanislav Vorobyev.
RIM is part of a broader cluster of extreme-right "political Orthodoxy" groups in Russia that
promote monarchy, extol Russia's tsarist past, and draw inspiration from the
violent, antisemitic Black Hundreds. Others within the movement include the groups "For
Faith and Fatherland" and the modern revival of the "Union of the Russian People."
4. The USS Cole bombing was a suicide attack by the terrorist group al Qaeda against USS Cole,
a guided missile destroyer of the United States Navy, on 12 October 2000, while she was
being refueled in Yemen's Aden harbor.
Seventeen U.S. Navy sailors were killed and 39 injured in the deadliest attack against a
United States naval vessel since the USS Stark incident in 1987.
Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack against the United States. A U.S. judge has
held Sudan liable for the attack, while another has released over $13 million in Sudanese
frozen assets to the relatives of those killed. The United States Navy has reconsidered
its rules of engagement in response to this attack. On February 13, 2020, the government of
Sudan agreed to compensate families of the sailors who died in the bombing.
Sudan’s Justice Ministry said on 06 Apr 2020 that it has finalised a settlement with families
of the victims of the USS Cole bombing. Khartoum agreed in February to compensate the
families of 17 American sailors who were killed in a suicide bombing targeting their Navy
destroyer in Yemen’s Aden harbour in 2000, an attack that was later claimed by al-Qaeda.
A U.S. court held Sudan responsible for the attack and ordered compensation, finding that
the bombers were trained in the country. In March 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court
overturned the ruling on procedural grounds.
Khartoum has denied the charges but by agreeing to a settlement, Sudan has fulfilled a key
condition set by the U.S. to remove it from state sponsors of terrorism list. Sudan has been
on Washington’s blacklist since 1993 over its alleged support of Islamist groups.
5. The General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/65/271 of 7 April 2011, declared 12 April as
the International Day of Human Space Flight “to celebrate each year at the international level
the beginning of the space era for mankind, reaffirming the important contribution of space
science and technology in achieving sustainable development goals and increasing the well-being
of States and peoples, as well as ensuring the realization of their aspiration to maintain outer
space for peaceful purposes.”
12 April 1961 was the date of the first human space flight, carried out by Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet
citizen. This historic event opened the way for space exploration for the benefit of all humanity.
The General Assembly expressed its deep conviction of the common interest of mankind in
promoting and expanding the exploration and use of outer space, as the province of all mankind,
for peaceful purposes and in continuing efforts to extend to all States the benefits derived there
from.
6. World Chagas Disease Day is celebrated on April 14 to raise awareness around chagas
disease. It was first celebrated on April 14, 2020 and was named after Carlos Ribeiro
Justiniano Chagas, the Brazilian doctor who diagnosed the first case on 14 April 1909. World
Chagas Disease Day was approved for creation on May 24, 2019 at the 72nd session of the

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World Health Assembly, and officially created at the WHA plenary on May 28, 2019. The
proposal for a World Chagas Disease Day was instituted by the International Federation of
Associations of People Affected by Chagas Disease, and was supported by several health
institutions, universities, research centres, organizations and foundations.
7. South Korea's 21st legislative elections were held on 15 April 2020. All 300 members of
the National Assembly were elected, 253 from first-past-the-post constituencies and 47
from proportional party lists. They were the first elections held under a new electoral
system. The two largest parties, the liberal Democratic Party and the conservative United
Future Party, set up new satellite parties (also known as bloc parties) to take advantage of
the revised electoral system. The reforms also lowered the voting age from 19 to 18.
The Democratic Party and its satellite, the Platform Party, won a landslide victory, taking
180 of the 300 seats (60%) between them. The Democratic Party alone won 163 seats- the
highest number by any party since 1960. This guarantees the ruling liberal alliance
an absolute majority in the legislative chamber, and the three-fifths super-majority required
to fast-track its procedures. The conservative alliance between the United Future Party and
its satellite Future Korea Party won only 103 seats, the worst conservative result since 1960.
Final Result:
The Democratic Party won 163 constituency seats, while their satellite Platform party won
17 proportional representation seats, giving the alliance a total of 180 seats in the 300-seat
assembly, enough to reach the three-fifths super-majority required to fast-track assembly
procedures. This was the largest majority for any party since democracy was restored in
1987. The United Future Party and their satellite Future Korea Party won 84 constituency
and 19 proportional seats respectively; their total of 103 seats (34.3%) was the worst
conservative result since the 1960 legislative elections.
8. The US has approved the sale of another lot of Harpoon Block-II missiles and MK-54
lightweight torpedoes worth $155 million to arm the dozen Poseidon-8I long-range
maritime patrol aircraft acquired by India.
The Pentagon notified the US Congress of its decision to sell 10 AGM-84L Harpoon air-
launched missiles worth $92 million and 19 MK-54 lightweight torpedoes worth $63
million, along with associated equipment, to India.
The Pentagon said the missiles and torpedoes will be integrated into the P-8I aircraft by
India to conduct missions “in defence of critical sea lanes, while enhancing interoperability
with the US and other allied forces”. India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to
regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defence, it added.
As for the Boeing-manufactured P-8I aircraft, which are packed with sensors and armed
with Harpoon missiles, lightweight torpedoes, rockets and depth charges to detect and
destroy enemy submarines, the Navy had inducted the first eight of them under a $2.1
billion deal inked in January 2009.
The next four P-8Is are slated for delivery by 2021-2022 under another $1.1 billion contract
signed in July 2016.
9. U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered a freeze on funding for the World Health
Organization (WHO) for “mismanaging” the coronavirus crisis.

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Funding would be frozen pending a review into the WHO’s role in “severely mismanaging
and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” said Mr. Trump, who accused the Geneva-
based body of putting “political correctness above life-saving measures”.
The outbreak could have been contained “with very little death” if the WHO had accurately
assessed the situation in China, where the disease broke out late last year, charged Mr.
Trump.
10. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $1.5 billion loan to the Government of India
to help fund its response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, including
support for immediate priorities such as disease containment and prevention, as well as
social protection for the poor and economically vulnerable sections of the society, especially
women and disadvantaged groups.
“ADB is fully committed to supporting the Government of India in its response to this
unprecedented challenge,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa.
ADB’s COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) Program will contribute
directly to the improvement of access to health facilities and care, as well as social
protection for more than 800 million people, including families below the poverty line,
farmers, health care workers, women, senior citizens, people with disabilities, low wage
earners, and construction workers. The CARES Program is funded through the COVID-19
pandemic response option (CPRO) under ADB’s Countercyclical Support Facility. CPRO was
established as part of ADB’s $20 billion expanded assistance for developing member
countries’ COVID-19 response, which was announced on 13 April.
The CARES Program will be provided with a $2 million technical assistance grant to support
the government to strengthen its operational framework and efficient targeting, delivery,
and monitoring and evaluation of its pro-poor economic package, as well as its health sector
and social protection interventions.
In the medium term, ADB will support government efforts and coordinate with other
development partners to stimulate the economy, build capacity for monitoring and
evaluation of government programs, and improve economic resilience against future
shocks. This will include the economic recovery of affected industries and entrepreneurs
through better access to finance for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises; a credit
enhancement facility for infrastructure projects; and the strengthening of public service
delivery at national and state levels.
India has taken proactive and decisive measures to contain COVID-19 to protect lives,
including the implementation of social distancing, community quarantine, and testing and
tracking. The government’s COVID-19 response program includes a $2 billion health sector
project to rapidly ramp up test-track-treatment capacity; and a $23 billion pro-poor relief
package, which will provide additional social protection measures targeting the poor,
women, vulnerable population, and disadvantaged groups. Insurance coverage for all types
of health workers engaged in the COVID-19 response is also included. Around 65% of the
package is in the form of direct social assistance and protection to the poor and vulnerable,
including women.

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11. The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7 April,
under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as other related
organizations.
In 1948, the WHO hold the First World Health Assembly. The Assembly decided to celebrate
7 April of each year, with effect from 1950, as the World Health Day. The World Health Day
is held to mark WHO's founding, and is seen as an opportunity by the organization to draw
worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year. The WHO
organizes international, regional and local events on the Day related to a particular theme.
World Health Day is acknowledged by various governments and non-governmental
organizations with interests in public health issues, who also organize activities and
highlight their support in media reports, such as the Global Health Council.
World Health Day is one of eight official global health campaigns marked by WHO, along
with World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No
Tobacco Day, World AIDS Day, World Blood Donor Day, and World Hepatitis Day.
12. World Hemophilia Day is held annually on April 17 by the WFH. It is an awareness day for
hemophilia and other bleeding disorders, which also serves to raise funds and attract
volunteers for the WFH. It was started in 1989; April 17 was chosen in honor of Frank
Schnabel's birthday.
The World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) is an international non-profit organization
dedicated to improving the lives of people with hemophilia (also spelled haemophilia) and
other genetic bleeding disorders. It educates hemophiliacs and lobbies for improved
medical treatment. 75% of people in the world with bleeding disorders do not know it and
do not receive care.
The WFH was established by Frank Schnabel in 1963 and has its headquarters
in Montreal, Canada. It has member organizations in 113 countries and official recognition
from the World Health Organization.
13. World Book Day, also known as World Book and Copyright Day, or International Day of the
Book, is an annual event organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing, and copyright. The first
World Book Day was celebrated on 23 April in 1995, and continues to be recognized on that
day. A related event in the United Kingdom and Ireland is observed in March.
14. World Day for Safety and Health at Work: 28 April
In 2003, the International Labour Organization (ILO), began to observe World Day in order to
stress the prevention of accidents and diseases at work, capitalizing on the ILO's traditional
strengths of tripartism and social dialogue.
This celebration is an integral part of the Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health of
the ILO, as documented in the Conclusions of the International Labour Conference in June 2003.
One of the main pillars of the Global Strategy is advocacy, the World Day for Safety and Health at
Work is a significant tool to raise awareness of how to make work safe and healthy and of the
need to raise the political profile of occupational safety and health.
28 April is also the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers organized
worldwide by the trade union movement since 1996.

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15. World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on 26 April. The event was
established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2000 to "raise
awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life" and "to
celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the
development of societies across the globe". 26 April was chosen as the date for World
Intellectual Property Day because it coincides with the date on which the Convention
Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force in 1970.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 15 specialized
agencies of the United Nations (UN). Pursuant to the 1967 Convention Establishing the
World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO was created to promote and
protect intellectual property (IP) across the world by cooperating with countries as well as
international organizations. It began operations on 26 April 1970 when the convention
entered into force.
WIPO's activities including hosting forums to discuss and shape international IP rules and
policies, providing global services that register and protect IP in different countries,
resolving transboundary IP disputes, helping connect IP systems through uniform standards
and infrastructure, and serving as a general reference database on all IP matters; this
includes providing reports and satistics on the state of IP protection or innovation both
globally and in specific countries. WIPO also works with governments, nongovernmental
organizations (NGOs), and individuals to utilize IP for socioeconomic development.
16. International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day: 26 April
An explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 spread a radioactive cloud over large
parts of the Soviet Union, now the territories of Belarus, Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
Nearly 8.4 million people in the three countries were exposed to the radiation.
The Soviet Government acknowledged the need for international assistance only in 1990. That
same year the General Assembly adopted resolution 45/190, calling for “international
cooperation to address and mitigate the consequences at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.”
That was the start of the United Nations' involvement in the Chernobyl recovery. An Inter-
Agency Task Force was established to coordinate the Chernobyl co-operation. In 1991 the UN
created the Chernobyl Trust Fund- currently under the management of the Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Since 1986, the UN family of organizations and
major NGOs have launched more than 230 different research and assistance projects in the fields
of health, nuclear safety, rehabilitation, environment, production of clean foods and information.
In 2002 the United Nations announced a shift in the Chernobyl strategy, with a new focus on a
long-term developmental approach. UNDP and its regional offices in the three affected countries
took the lead in the implementation of the new strategy. There is still a great deal of work that
needs to be done in the affected region. To provide support to international, national and public
programmes targeted at the sustainable development of these territories, in 2009 UN launched
the International Chernobyl Research and Information Network (ICRIN).
On 8 December 2016 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 26
April as International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day. In its resolution, the General
Assembly recognized that three decades after the disaster there remains persistent serious long-
term consequences and that the affected communities and territories are experiencing

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continuing related needs. The General Assembly invites all Member States, relevant agencies of
the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, to
observe the day.
17. International Delegate’s Day: 25 April
Delegates bring the United Nations to life. Without them, this Organization would not be what it
is. They negotiate agreements and coordinate with their home countries. Some form alliances,
others struggle for compromises. In that way, they embody the multilateralism, which the UN
stands for.
The delegates represent their countries in meetings at the United Nations. Unless a politician of
higher rank is present, the delegates speak and vote on behalf of their country at the UN General
Assembly, and other fora, such as the UN Security Council. The delegates are appointed by their
countries. Hence, they follow the interests of the government they serve.
In order to raise awareness of the role of the representatives and delegates of the Member
States to the United Nations, the UN General Assembly has proclaimed 25 April as International
Delegate’s Day.
With the adoption of resolution 73/286, the General Assembly recognizes the crucial role of the
delegates in fulfilling the main goals of the United Nations. Part of the delegates’ tasks is to live
up to these goals, whether it is maintaining international peace, encouraging respect for human
rights and fundamental freedoms, or promoting effective multilateralism.
The 2020 International Delegate’s Day is special for two reasons. First, 25 April 2020 is the first
time that International Delegate’s Day is observed. Second, the 2020 observance also marks the
milestone seventy-fifth anniversary of the San Francisco Conference, an event that laid the
foundations of the United Nations.
18. The International Day for Monuments and Sites also known as World Heritage Day is
an international observance held on 18 April each year around the world.
The International Day for Monuments and Sites was proposed by the International Council on
Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) on 18 April 1982 and approved by the General Assembly
of UNESCO in 1983. The aim is to promote awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage of
humanity, their vulnerability and the efforts required for their protection and conservation.
19. World Malaria Day (WMD) is an international observance commemorated every year on 25
April and recognizes global efforts to control malaria. Globally, 3.3 billion people in 106 countries
are at risk of malaria. In 2012, malaria caused an estimated 627,000 deaths, mostly among
African children. Asia, Latin America, and to a lesser extent the Middle East and parts of Europe
are also affected.
20. The International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace was established on 12
December, 2018 through resolution A/RES/73/127 and was first observed on April 24, 2019.
Preserving the values of multilateralism and international cooperation, which underpin the UN
Charter and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is fundamental to promote and
support the three pillars of the UN - peace and security, development and human rights.
The United Nations came into being in 1945, following the devastation of the Second World War,
with one central mission: the maintenance of international peace and security. The Charter of
the United Nations states that one of the United Nations' purposes and principles is the

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commitment to settle disputes through peaceful means and the determination to succeeding
generations from the scourge of war.
Conflict prevention remains, however, a relatively under-publicized aspect of the UN's work.
Meanwhile, the most efficient and desirable employment of diplomacy is to ease tensions before
they result in conflict, or, if conflict breaks out, to act swiftly to contain it and resolve its
underlying causes. Preventive diplomacy is very important in supporting United Nations efforts
to assist in the peaceful settlement of disputes.
Commitment to multilateralism and international peace and security was also reaffirmed by
most world leaders in the General Debate in September 2018. This commitment was also
reinforced in the discussion during the High-level Dialogue on Renewing the Commitment to
Multilateralism on 31 October 2018.
21. UN Chinese Language Day: 20 April
The date for the Chinese day was selected from Guyu ("Rain of Millet"), which is the 6th of 24
solar terms in the traditional East Asian calendars, to pay tribute to Cangjie. Cangjie is a very
important figure in ancient China, claimed to be an official historian of the Yellow Emperor and
the inventor of Chinese characters. Legend has it that he had four eyes and four pupils, and that
when he invented the characters, the deities and ghosts cried and the sky rained millet. From
then on, Chinese people celebrate the day Guyu in honour of Cangjie. In the Gregorian calendar,
it usually begins around April 20.
Chinese was established as an official language of the United Nations in 1946. However, in early
years, Chinese was not commonly used in the work of the United Nations. The situation was
improved after restoration of the lawful rights of the People's Republic of China in the United
Nations in 1971. In 1973, the General Assembly included Chinese as a working language, which
was followed by the Security Council in 1974. More and more UN offices and staff members
work with Chinese language.
22. English Language Day at the UN is celebrated on 23 April, the date traditionally observed as both
the birthday and date of death of William Shakespeare. The Day is the result of a
2010 initiative by the Department of Global Communications, establishing language days for
each of the Organization's six official languages. The purpose of the UN's language days is to
celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six
official languages throughout the Organization.
Under the initiative, UN duty stations around the world celebrate six separate days, each
dedicated to one of the Organization's six official languages.
The days are as follows:
 Arabic (18 December)
 Chinese (20 April)
 English (23 April)
 French (20 March)
 Russian (6 June)
 Spanish (23 April)
Language Days at the UN aim to entertain as well as inform, with the goal of increasing
awareness and respect for the history, culture and achievements of each of the six working
languages among the UN community.

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23. Cannabis in Lebanon is illegal for personal use, however its cultivation for medical use is
now legal. Large amounts of cannabis are grown within the country, specially in the Bekka
Valley, and consumed for personal use in private.
On 21 April 2020, the Parliament passed a law legalizing cannabis cultivation for medical
use. Lebanon became the first Arab country to do so. Cultivation of non-
psychoactive hemp was also made legal.
24. 2020 World Press Freedom Index:
The 2020 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), shows
that the coming decade will be decisive for the future of journalism, with the Covid-19
pandemic highlighting and amplifying the many crises that threaten the right to freely
reported, independent, diverse and reliable information.
This 2020 edition of the Index, which evaluates the situation for journalists each year in 180
countries and territories, suggests that the next ten years will be pivotal for press freedom
because of converging crises affecting the future of journalism: a geopolitical crisis (due to
the aggressiveness of authoritarian regimes); a technological crisis (due to a lack of
democratic guarantees); a democratic crisis (due to polarisation and repressive policies); a
crisis of trust (due to suspicion and even hatred of the media); and an economic crisis
(impoverishing quality journalism).
These five areas of crisis- the effects of which the Index’s methodology allows us to evaluate
are now compounded by a global public health crisis.
There is a clear correlation between suppression of media freedom in response to the
coronavirus pandemic, and a country’s ranking in the Index. Both China (177th) and Iran
(down 3 at 173rd) censored their major coronavirus outbreaks extensively. In Iraq (down 6
at 162nd), the authorities stripped Reuters of its licence for three months after it published a
story questioning official coronavirus figures. Even in Europe, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
of Hungary (down 2 at 89th), had a “coronavirus” law passed with penalties of up to five
years in prison for false information, a completely disproportionate and coercive measure.
“The public health crisis provides authoritarian governments with an opportunity to
implement the notorious “shock doctrine” – to take advantage of the fact that politics are
on hold, the public is stunned and protests are out of the question, in order to impose
measures that would be impossible in normal times,” Deloire added. “For this decisive
decade to not be a disastrous one, people of goodwill, whoever they are, must campaign for
journalists to be able to fulfil their role as society’s trusted third parties, which means they
must have the capacity to do so.”
The main findings of the 2020 Index
Norway tops the Index for the fourth year in a row in 2020, while Finland is again the
runner-up. Denmark (up 2 at 3rd) is next as both Sweden (down 1 at 4th) and the
Netherlands (down 1 at 5th) have fallen as a result of increases in cyber-harassment. The
other end of the Index has seen little change. North Korea (down 1 at 180th) has taken the
last position from Turkmenistan, while Eritrea (178th) continues to be Africa’s worst-ranked
country.
Malaysia (101st) and the Maldives (79th) registered the biggest rises in the 2020 Index– 22nd
and 19th, respectively thanks to the beneficial effects of changes of government through the

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polls. The third biggest leap was by Sudan (159th), which rose 16 places after Omar al-
Bashir’s removal. The list of biggest declines in the 2020 Index is topped by Haiti, where
journalists have often been targeted during violent nationwide protests for the past two
years. After falling 21 places, it is now ranked 83rd. The other two biggest falls were in
Africa– by Comoros (down 19 at 75th) and Benin (down 17 at 113th), both of which have
seen a surge in press freedom violations.
RSF’s “global indicator”- its measure of the level of media freedom worldwide improved
very slightly in the 2020 Index, by 0.9%. However, it has deteriorated by 12% since this
measure was created in 2013. The proportion of countries that are coloured white on the
press freedom map, meaning the press freedom situation is “good,” is unchanged at 8%,
but the percentage of countries coloured black, meaning the situation is “very bad,” has
increased by two points to 13%.
The Index region by region
Europe continues to be the most favourable continent for media freedom, despite
oppressive policies in certain European Union and Balkan countries. It is followed by the
Americas – North, Central and South – even if the regional heavyweights, the United States
and Brazil, are becoming models of hostility towards the media. Africa, which is third, has
also suffered major reversals, above all in the forms of prolonged arbitrary detention and
online attacks.
It is the Asia-Pacific region that saw the greatest rise in press freedom violations (up 1.7%).
Australia (down 5 at 26th) used to be the regional model but is now characterised by its
threats to the confidentiality of sources and to investigative journalism. Two other countries
also made significant contributions to the increase in the region’s press freedom violation
score. One was Singapore (158th), which fell seven places, in large part thanks to its
Orwellian “fake news” law, and joined the countries coloured black on the press freedom
map. The other was Hong Kong, which also fell seven places because of its treatment of
journalists during pro-democracy demonstrations.
The Eastern Europe/Central Asia region has unsurprisingly kept its second-to-last place in
the regional ranking, the position it has held for years, while the Middle East and North
Africa continues to be the world’s most dangerous region for journalists. The recent
detention of RSF’s correspondent in Algeria (down 5 at 146th) showed how the authorities in
some countries have taken advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to settle scores with
independent journalists.

Crises threatening journalism’s future

GEOPOLITICAL CRISIS
One of the most salient crises is geopolitical, caused by leaders of dictatorial, authoritarian
or populist regimes making every effort to suppress information and impose their visions of
a world without pluralism and independent journalism. Authoritarian regimes have kept
their poor rankings. China, which is trying to establish a “new world media order,”
maintains its system of information hyper-control, of which the negative effects for the
entire world have been seen during the coronavirus public health crisis. China, Saudi Arabia

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(up 2 at 170th) and Egypt (down 3 at 166th) are the world’s biggest jailers of journalists.
Russia (149th) is meanwhile deploying increasingly sophisticated resources to control
information online, while India (down 2 at 142nd) has imposed the longest electronic
curfew in history in Kashmir. In Egypt, accusations of “fake news” are used as grounds for
blocking access to websites and webpages and for withdrawing accreditation.
TECHNOLOGICAL CRISIS
The absence of appropriate regulation in the era of digitalised and globalised
communication has created information chaos. Propaganda, advertising, rumour and
journalism are in direct competition. The growing confusion between commercial, political
and editorial content has destabilised democratic guarantees of freedom of opinion and
expression. This encourages the adoption of dangerous laws which, on the pretext of
restricting the spread of fake news, facilitate tougher crackdowns on independent and
critical journalism. Like Singapore, Benin has established a new law that is supposedly
intended to combat disinformation and cyber-crime but is liable to be used to arbitrarily
restrict the freedom to inform. The pandemic has amplified the spread of rumours and fake
news as quickly as the virus itself. State troll armies in Russia, India, Philippines (down 2 at
136th) and Vietnam (175th) use the weapon of disinformation on social media.
DEMOCRATIC CRISIS
The previous two editions of the World Press Freedom Index reflected a crisis caused by
growing hostility and even hatred towards journalists, and this crisis has now worsened. It
has resulted in more serious and frequent acts of physical violence, and therefore an
unprecedented level of fear in some countries. Leading politicians and those close to them
continue to openly foment hatred of journalists. The democratically elected presidents of
two countries, Donald Trump in the United States (up 3 at 45th) and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil
(down 2 at 107th), continue to denigrate the media and encourage hatred of journalists in
their respective countries. The “hate cabinet” surrounding the Brazilian leader orchestrates
large-scale online attacks on journalists who expose government secrets. President
Bolsonaro has stepped up his attacks on the media since the start of the coronavirus
pandemic, blaming them for “hysteria” and panic.
CRISIS OF TRUST
Mistrust of media outlets suspected of broadcasting or publishing news contaminated by
unreliable information continues to grow. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer,
which studies the public’s trust in institutions, 57% of the people polled in its latest
international survey thought the media they used were contaminated with untrustworthy
information. Undermined by this crisis of trust, journalists become the targets of the
public’s anger during big street protests taking place in many parts of the world, including
Iraq, Lebanon (down 1 at 102nd), Chile (down 5 at 51st), Bolivia (down 1 at 114th) and
Ecuador (down 1 at 98th), as well as in France (down 2 at 32nd), where journalists are also
the victims of police violence. In another increasingly visible phenomenon, nationalist or
far-right activist groups have openly targeted journalists in Spain (29th), Austria (down 2 at
18th), Italy (down 2 at 41st) and Greece (65th), while the Taliban in Afghanistan (down 1 at
122nd) and some Buddhist fundamentalists in Myanmar (down 1 and 139th) have no
qualms about using violence to impose their world vision on the media.

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ECONOMIC CRISIS
The digital transformation has brought the media to their knees in many countries. Falling
sales, the collapse in advertising revenue and the increase in production and distribution
costs linked above all to increases in the price of raw materials have forced news
organisations to restructure and lay off journalists. In the United States, for example, half of
the media jobs have been lost over the past ten years. These economic problems have
social consequences and an impact on the editorial freedom of media around the world.
Newspapers that are in a much weaker economic situation are naturally less able to resist
pressure.
The economic crisis has also accentuated the phenomena of ownership concentration and,
even more, conflicts of interest, which threaten journalistic pluralism and independence.
The acquisition of Central European Media Enterprises (CME) by the Czech Republic’s
wealthiest billionaire has alarmed several Eastern European countries where CME controls
influential TV channels. The consequences of concentration are being felt in Argentina
(down 7 at 64th) and in Asia. In Japan (up 1 at 66th), newsrooms are still heavily influenced
by their bosses in the “keiretsu,” the media-owning conglomerates that put business
interests first. In Taiwan (down 1 at 43rd) and Tonga (down 5 at 50th), the now all-
important profit motive has encouraged the media to become very polarised and
sensationalist, helping to discredit them even more and accentuating the public trust crisis.
2020 Index (Top Ten Ranking):
1 Norway 7.84
2 Finland 7.93
3 Denmark 8.13
4 Sweden 9.25
5 Netherlands 9.96
6 Jamaica 10.51
7 Costa Rica 10.53
8 Switzerland 10.62
9 New Zealand 10.69
10 Portugal 11.83
25. Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22 to demonstrate
support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, it now includes events
coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 193 countries.
In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed
a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21,
1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature's equipoise was
later sanctioned in a proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U
Thant at the United Nations. A month later a United States Senator Gaylord
Nelson proposed the idea to hold a nationwide environmental teach-in on April 22, 1970.
He hired a young activist, Denis Hayes, to be the National Coordinator. Nelson and Hayes
renamed the event “Earth Day.” Under the leadership of labor leader Walter Reuther,
the United Auto Workers was the most instrumental outside financial and operational
supporter of the first Earth Day. According to Hayes, "Without the UAW, the first Earth Day
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would have likely flopped!” Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of
Freedom award in recognition of his work. The first Earth Day was focused on the United
States. In 1990, Denis Hayes, the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international
and organized events in 141 nations.
On Earth Day 2016, the landmark Paris Agreement was signed by the United States, China,
and some 120 other countries. This signing satisfied a key requirement for the entry into
force of the historic draft climate protection treaty adopted by consensus of the 195 nations
present at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
26. Creativity and innovation, at both the individual and group levels, have become the true
wealth of nations in the 21st century, according to the findings of the special edition of the
Creative Economy Report "Widening local development pathways", co-published by
the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UN
Development Programme (UNDP) through the UN Office for South-South
Cooperation (UNOSSC).
There may be no universal understanding of creativity. The concept is open to
interpretation from artistic expression to problem-solving in the context of economic, social
and sustainable development. Therefore, the United Nations designated 21 April as World
Creativity and Innovation Day to raise the awareness of the role of creativity and
innovation in all aspects of human development.

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Awards

1. World Champion P V Sindhu was unveiled as one of the ambassadors for Badminton World
Federation (BWF)'s 'i am badminton' awareness campaign. The campaign provides a
platform for players to express their love and respect for badminton by advocating and
committing to clean and honest play.
It has been five years since BWF's Integrity Unit was formed and this time the campaign has
been at the forefront of the governing body's efforts to communicate its approach towards
integrity.
Besides Sindhu, other ambassadors include Canada's Michelle Li, Chinese duo of Zheng Si
Wei and Huang Ya Qiong, England's Jack Shephard, Germany's Valeska Knoblauch, Hong
Kong's Chan Ho Yuen and Germany's Marc Zwiebler, who is Athletes' Commission Chair.
"It's hoped such a concerted effort will not only raise awareness across the entire
badminton landscape but encourage players to be active participants in shaping the
integrity of the sport," the BWF said in a release.
Former elite players who have fronted the campaign since 2016 include BWF President
Poul-Erik Hyer, BWF Para Badminton Athletes' Commission Chair Richard Perot, and
superstars such as Saina Nehwal, Viktor Axelsen, Hendra Setiawan, Christinna Pedersen,
Chen Long, Misaki Matsutomo and Akaya Takahashi.

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Legal and Indian Polity

1. The Supreme Court upheld the right to free discussion about COVID-19, even as it directed
the media to refer to and publish the official version of the developments in order to avoid
inaccuracies and large-scale panic. It ordered the government to start a daily bulletin on
COVID-19 developments through all media avenues in the next 24 hours.
A Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde, was responding to a request from
the Central government that media outlets, in the “larger interest of justice”, should only
publish or telecast anything on COVID-19 after ascertaining the factual position from the
government.
A Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) report in the court, signed by Union Home Secretary Ajay
Kumar Bhalla, explained that “any deliberate or inaccurate” reporting by the media,
particularly web portals, had a “serious and inevitable potential of causing panic in larger
section of the society”. The Ministry said any panic reaction in the midst of an
unprecedented situation based on such reporting would harm the entire nation. Creating
panic is also a criminal offence under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Ministry said.
But the court took a view balancing free press and the need to avoid panic in society during
an unprecedented crisis. “We expect the media [print, electronic or social] to maintain a
strong sense of responsibility and ensure that unverified news capable of causing panic is
not disseminated. A daily bulletin by the Government of India through all media avenues,
including social media and forums to clear the doubts of people, would be made active
within a period of 24 hours as submitted by the Solicitor- General of India. We do not intend
to interfere with the free discussion about the pandemic, but direct the media refer to and
publish the official version about the developments,” the court ordered. Noting that the 21-
day nationwide lockdown was “inevitable” in the face of an “unprecedented global crisis”
like the COVID-19 pandemic, the government blamed “fake and misleading” messages on
social media for creating widespread panic, which led to mass “barefoot” journey of
migrant workers from cities to their native villages in rural India.
“Deliberate or inadvertent fake news and material capable of causing a serious panic in the
minds of the public is found to be the single most unmanageable hindrance in the
management of this challenge... Will set up a separate unit headed by a Joint Secretary-
level officer in the Health Ministry and consisting of eminent specialist doctors from
recognised institutions like AIIMS to answer the queries of citizens,” the Ministry’s 39-page
status report said.
2. The Supreme Court has institutionalised video-conferencing during the lockdown period
and said every individual and institution must implement measures designed by health
authorities and governments to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
While providing modalities for use of video-conferencing facilities for hearing of urgent
cases and even recording of evidence, a bench of CJI SA Bobde, Justices L Nageswara Rao
and DY Chandrachud said, “Faced with the unprecedented and extraordinary outbreak of a
pandemic, it is necessary that courts at all levels respond to the call of social distancing and

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ensure that court premises do not contribute to the spread of the virus. This is not a matter
of discretion but duty.”
It added, “It is necessary to ensure compliance with social distancing guidelines issued from
time to time by various health authorities, government of India and states. Court hearing in
congregation must necessarily become an exception during this period.”
Using its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, the bench attempted
to institutionalise the use of video conferencing facilities for hearing of urgent matters by
HCs and trial courts, a consensus which had emerged administratively during a video-
conference meeting between the SC e-committee’s head Justice Chandrachud and judges
heading e-committee’s of 23 HCs.
The CJI-led bench authorised the SC and HCs to adopt appropriate “measures required to
ensure robust functioning of the judicial system through video-conferencing technologies
consistent with peculiarities of judicial system in every state and dynamically developing
public health situation”.
The court came to a series of decisions after hearing attorney general K Venugopal, solicitor
general Tushar Mehta, justice department secretary Barun Mitra, director general of NIC
Neeta Verma and advocates Vikas Singh and Shivaji M Jadhav.
It said till further orders, video-conferencing shall be the mode of hearing of cases for all
three tiers of judiciary. However it clarified that trial courts shall not record evidence
through videoconferencing without consent of both parties.
3. Holding that lists of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and socially and educationally
backward classes for providing reservation are not “sacrosanct and unalterable”, the
Supreme Court said that the beneficiaries should be revised by the government by
removing those who have become affluent over the years and adding those who remain
needy and require assistance.
A five-judge bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M R Shah and
Aniruddha Bose said benefits of reservation were being availed by some communities over
the last 70 years and they have become well-off economically and socially. It said benefits
have not trickled down to all sections and there is dissatisfaction within the ‘reserved’ class
which can be addressed by revising the list.
The court pronounced its verdict striking down an Andhra Pradesh government order that
only ST will be appointed teachers in scheduled areas. The court said the order violates the
50% cap set by it on reservations in government jobs and educational institutions.
“Now there is a cry within the reserved classes. By now, there are affluents and socially and
economically advanced classes within SC/ST. There is voice by deprived persons for social
upliftment of some of the SC/ST, but they still do not permit benefits to trickle down to the
needy. Thus, there is a struggle within, as to worthiness for entitlement within reserved
classes of SC/ST and other backward classes,” the bench said.
Agreeing with the contentions that the government is required to revise the lists, it said: “It
can be done presently without disturbing the percentage of reservation so that benefits
trickle down to the needy and are not usurped by those classes that have come up after
obtaining the benefits for the last 70 years or after their inclusion in the list.”

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Referring to the SC’s Indra Sawhney judgment, the bench said the government is
dutybound to undertake such an exercise as “the Constitution empowers Parliament under
Article 341(1) to include or exclude from the list of Scheduled Castes any caste, race or
tribe. Identical provisions in relation to the inclusion of Scheduled Tribes are provided in
Article 342(1), and Parliament’s power to amend is provided in Article 342(2). Similar
provisions are contained with respect to socially and educationally backward classes in
Article 342A,” it said.
“It was least expected from the functionary like the government to act in aforesaid manner
as they were bound by the dictum laid down by this court in Indra Sawhney (case) and
other decisions holding that the limit of reservation not to exceed 50%. There was no
rhyme or reason with the state government to resort to 100% reservation,” it said.
4. Ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897:
During the current COVID-19 pandemic, there have been instances of the most critical
service providers i.e. members of healthcare services being targeted and attacked by
miscreants, thereby obstructing them from doing their duties. Members of the Medical
community, even as they continue to perform relentlessly round the clock and save human
lives, have unfortunately become the most vulnerable victims as they have been perceived
by some as carriers of the virus. This has led to cases of their stigmatization and
ostracization and sometimes worse, acts of unwarranted violence and harassment. Such a
situation tends to hamper the medical community from performing their duties to their
optimum best and maintaining their morale, which is a critical need in this hour of national
health crisis. While healthcare service personnel are duty bound to serve without
discrimination, the cooperation and support from society is a fundamental need for them to
perform their duties with confidence.
Several States have enacted special laws to offer protection to doctors and other medical
personnel in the past. However, Covid-19 outbreak has posed a unique situation where
harassment of the healthcare workforce and others working to contain the spread of the
disease has been taking place at all fronts, in various places including even cremation
grounds. The existing state laws do not have such a wide sweep and ambit. They generally
do not cover harassment at home and workplace and are focused more on physical violence
only. The penal provisions contained in these laws are not stringent enough to deter
mischief mongering.
In this context, the Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 22nd April 2020 has approved
promulgation of an Ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 to protect
healthcare service personnel and property including their living/working premises against
violence during epidemics. The President has given his assent for promulgation of the
Ordinance. The Ordinance provides for making such acts of violence cognizable and non-
bailable offences and for compensation for injury to healthcare service personnel or for
causing damage or loss to the property in which healthcare service personnel may have a
direct interest in relation to the epidemic.
 The current Ordinance is intended to ensure that during any situation akin to the
current pandemic, there is zero tolerance to any form of violence against healthcare
service personnel and damage to property. The general public fully cooperates with

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healthcare personnel and have expressed their gratitude in a very organized manner
several times during the past month.
 Nevertheless, some incidents of violence have taken place which has demoralized the
medical fraternity. It is felt that separate and most stringent provisions for emergent
times are needed to act as effective deterrents to any such incidents of violence.
 Violence as defined in the Ordinance will include harassment and physical injury and
damage to property. Healthcare service personnel include public and clinical healthcare
service providers such as doctors, nurses, paramedical workers and community health
workers; any other persons empowered under the Act to take measures to prevent the
outbreak of the disease or spread thereof; and any persons declared as such by the
State Government, by notification in the Official Gazette.
 The penal provisions can be invoked in instances of damage to property including a
clinical establishment, any facility identified for quarantine and isolation of patients,
mobile medical units and any other property in which the healthcare service personnel
have direct interest in relation to the epidemic.
 The amendment makes acts of violence cognizable and non-bailable offences.
 Commission or abetment of such acts of violence shall be punished with imprisonment
for a term of three months to five years, and with fine of Rs.50,000/- to Rs.2,00,000/-. In
case of causing grievous hurt, imprisonment shall be for a term six months to seven
years and with fine of Rs.1,00,000/- to Rs.5,00,000/-. In addition, the offender shall also
be liable to pay compensation to the victim and twice the fair market value for damage
of property.
 Offences shall be investigated by an officer of the rank of Inspector within a period of 30
days, and trial has to be completed in one year, unless extended by the court for
reasons to be recorded in writing.
Looking at the interventions required during the current Covid-19 outbreak, the Central
Government has been given a concurrent role with the State Governments to take any
measures that may be needed to prevent the outbreak of an epidemic or the spread
thereof. In addition, the scope of inspection of vessels arriving or leaving the country has
been enlarged to include road, rail, sea and air vessels.
The health workforce are our frontline soldiers in battling the spread of Covid-19. They put
their own lives at risk in order to ensure safety of others. They deserve our highest respect
and encouragement at this moment rather than being harassed or being subjected to
violence. It is hoped that this Ordinance will have the impact of infusing confidence in the
community of healthcare service personnel so that they can continue to contribute to
serving mankind through their noble professions in the extremely difficult circumstances
being witnessed during the current Covid-19 outbreak.
5. In view of the lockdown, the Supreme Court issued a series of directions for the functioning
of courts during COVID. It held that the Supreme Court and all High Courts are authorised to
adopt measures for functioning of the judiciary through video conferencing technologies.
Further, every High Court is authorised to determine the modalities for the use of video
conferencing technologies for itself and all subordinate courts falling in its jurisdiction.

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6. Due to the lockdown situation, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has suspended
the implementation of certain rules under the Preconception and Pre-natal Diagnostic
Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Rules, 1996. These include rules requiring genetic
counselling centres, genetic labs and clinics, ultrasound clinics and imaging centres to:
i. Renew registrations, and
ii. File a monthly report on all pre-conception or pregnancy related procedures
conducted by them. Rules requiring certain government authorities to file a
quarterly report and maintain information on registrations of labs and clinics have
also been suspended. The rules will remain suspended from the date of the
lockdown i.e., March 24, 2020 (with retrospective effect) until June 30, 2020.
7. The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 was promulgated. The
Ordinance amends the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970. The Act provides for the
constitution of a Central Council which regulates the education and practice of the Indian
Medicine system (includes Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy).
 Supersession of the Central Council: The Ordinance amends the 1970 Act to provide for
the supersession of the Central Council. The Central Council will be reconstituted within
one year from the date of its supersession. In the interim period, the central
government will constitute a Board of Governors, which will exercise the powers of the
Central Council.
 Board of Governors: The Board of Governors (Board) will consist of up to ten members.
The members must be persons of eminence in the field of Indian Medicine, and eminent
administrators. They may be either nominated members or ex officio members,
appointed by the central government. The central government will select one member
to be the Chairperson of the Board.
 The Board will exercise the powers and discharge the functions of the Central Council
set up under the 1970 Act. These include regulating the practice and education of Indian
Medicine.
8. The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 was promulgated. The
Ordinance amends the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973. The Act sets up the Central
Council of Homoeopathy to regulate homoeopathic education and practice.
The 1973 Act was amended in 2018 to provide for the supersession of the Central Council.
The Central Council was required to be reconstituted within one year from the date of its
supersession. This time period was amended in 2019 to require the reconstitution of the
Central Council in two years. In the interim period, the central government constituted a
Board of Governors, to exercise the powers of the Central Council. The Ordinance amends
the Act to increase the time period for supersession of the Central Council from two years
to three years.
9. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare notified the Cigarettes and other Tobacco
Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2020. The Rules amend the
Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008 which were
notified under the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and
Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003. Key
features of the 2020 Rules include:

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 Definitions: The 2008 Rules define package as any type of pack in which cigarette and
other tobacco products are packaged for consumer sale. Package does not include
wholesale, or semi-wholesale packages if such packages are not intended for consumer
use. The 2020 Rules amend the definition of package to conform with the definition
provided in the Act. The Act defines package as a wrapper, box, carton, tin, or other
container.
 Labelling: The 2008 Rules require packages containing tobacco to reflect certain textual
warnings such as “tobacco causes cancer” and “tobacco causes painful death”. The 2020
Rules removes the requirement of the warning label of “tobacco causes cancer” to be
represented on the packaging.
 Further, the 2008 Rules require the packaging of tobacco products to include a pictorial
health warning that covers 60% of the display area of the packaging. The 2020 Rules
remove the specification of the percentage of display area the pictorial health warning
should cover on the packaging. The pictorial health warnings must be images as
provided by the central government. The 2020 Rules change which images may be used
as pictorial health warnings for tobacco.

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Personality: India

1. Ranjit Chowdhry (19 September 1955 – 15 April 2020) was an Indian actor, known for his
roles in television, movies, and theatre. He appeared in two episodes of The Office, as
Vikram, a telemarketer who worked with Michael, and was briefly hired for The Michael
Scott Paper Company.
For his role as Rocky in Deepa Mehta's 2002 film Bollywood/Hollywood, he was nominated
for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role at the 23rd Genie Awards. His other
most noted role was in Last Holiday (2006), starring Queen Latifah.
2. The Supreme Court Collegium, led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde, has
recommended that Calcutta High Court judge Dipankar Datta be appointed as the Chief
Justice of the Bombay High Court.
Justice Datta is the brother-in-law of former Supreme Court judge Amitava Roy. Justice
(retired) Roy was the puisne judge on the Bench that held former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
Jayalalithaa and her aide Sasikala Natarajan guilty in a disproportionate assets case. His
father was also a former judge of the Calcutta High Court. Justice Datta was elevated to the
Bench of the Calcutta High Court as a permanent judge on June 22, 2006.
3. Sudarsan Babu, a 1988 graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras was
appointed to the United States of America’s National Science Board. He is the third alumnus
from the institute to currently occupy the Board. The members are appointed for a period
of six years.
The other two alumni are Sethuraman Panchanathan and Suresh V. Garimella. Mr.
Sethuraman is tipped to become the director of another prestigious institution, the National
Science Foundation. One of his predecessors is Subra Suresh, another alumnus of the
Institute who is currently the president of Nanyang Technological University.
Mr. Babu completed B.Tech from PSG College of Technology and graduated with M.Tech in
Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at the IIT Madras in 1988. Mr. Sethuraman
completed M.Tech in Electrical Engineering in 1986. Mr. Garimella graduated in 1985 in B.
Tech Mechanical Engineering.
4. Irfan Khan (7 January 1967 – 29 April 2020), an Indian actor who worked in Hindi cinema as
well as in British and American films is no more. Cited in the media as one of the finest
actors in Indian cinema, Khan's career spanned over 30 years and earned him numerous
accolades, including a National Film Award, an Asian Film Award, and four Filmfare Awards.
In 2011, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour.
Khan made his film debut with a small role in Salaam Bombay! (1988), which was followed
by years of struggle. After starring in the British film The Warrior (2001), he had his
breakthrough with starring roles in the dramas Haasil (2003) and Maqbool (2004). He went
on to gain critical acclaim for his roles in The Namesake (2006), Life in a... Metro (2007),
and Paan Singh Tomar (2011). For portraying the title character in the last of these, he won
the National Film Award for Best Actor. Further success came for his starring roles in The
Lunchbox (2013), Piku (2015), and Talvar (2015) and he had supporting roles in the
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Hollywood films The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), Life of Pi (2012), Jurassic World (2015),
and Inferno (2016). His other notable roles were in Slumdog Millionaire (2008), New
York (2009), Haider (2014), and Gunday (2014), and the television series In
Treatment (2010). His highest-grossing Hindi film release came with the comedy-
drama Hindi Medium (2017), which won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor, and his final
film appearance was in its sequel Angrezi Medium (2020).
In 2018, Khan was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour. He died at the age of 53 on 29
April 2020 due to a colon infection.
5. Shivakumara Swami (1 April 1907 – 21 January 2019) was an Indian supercentenarian,
humanitarian, spiritual leader and educator. He was a Lingayat religious figure, he joined
the Siddaganga Matha in 1930 Karnataka and became head seer from 1941. He also
founded the Sri Siddaganga Education Society. Described as the most esteemed adherent
of Lingayatism, he was referred to as Nadedaaduva Devaru (walking God) in the state.
Before his death at the age of 111 years, 295 days, he was one of the oldest people living in
India. In 2015, he was awarded by the Government of India the Padma Bhushan, India's
third highest civilian award.
6. Jagjivan Ram (5 April 1908 – 6 July 1986), known popularly as Babuji, was an Indian
independence activist and politician from Bihar. He was instrumental in the foundation of
the All India Depressed Classes League, an organisation dedicated to attaining equality for
untouchables, in 1935 and was elected to Bihar Legislative Assembly in 1937, after which he
organised the rural labour movement.
In 1946, he became the youngest minister in Jawaharlal Nehru's interim government, the
first cabinet of India as a Labour Minister and also a member of the Constituent Assembly of
India, where he ensured that social justice was enshrined in the Constitution. He went on to
serve as a minister with various portfolios for more than forty years as a member of
the Indian National Congress (INC). Most importantly, he was the Defence Minister of
India during the Indo-Pak war of 1971, which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. His
contribution to the Green Revolution in India and modernising Indian agriculture, during his
two tenures as Union Agriculture Minister are still remembered, especially during 1974
drought when he was asked to hold the additional portfolio to tide over the food crisis.
Though he supported Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during the Emergency (1975–77), he left
Congress in 1977 and joined the Janata Party alliance, along with his Congress for
Democracy. He later served as the Deputy Prime Minister of India (1977–79); then in 1980,
he formed Congress (J). At his death, he was the last surviving minister of the Interim
Government and the last surviving original member of the first cabinet of independent
India.

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Personality: World

1. William Harrison Withers Jr. (July 4, 1938 – March 30, 2020) was an American singer-
songwriter and musician. He recorded several major hits, including "Ain't No Sunshine"
(1971), "Grandma's Hands" (1971), "Use Me" (1972), "Lean on Me" (1972), "Lovely Day"
(1977), and "Just the Two of Us" (1980). Withers won three Grammy Awards and was
nominated for six more. His life was the subject of the 2009 documentary film Still Bill. He
was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in
2015. Two of his songs were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Withers worked as a
professional musician for just 15 years, from 1970 to 1985, after which he moved on to
other occupations.
2. Lisa Eva Nandy (born 9 August 1979) is a British politician who has served as the Shadow
Foreign Secretary since 2020, and as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wigan since 2010.
She was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Tessa Jowell from 2010 to 2012 and Shadow
Charities Minister from 2012 to 2015. She served as Shadow Energy Secretary from 2015,
until she resigned in 2016 to co-chair Owen Smith's leadership challenge to Jeremy Corbyn.
Nandy stood as a candidate in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election coming in third
place with 16.3% of the vote, behind Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey. Starmer
subsequently appointed Nandy as Shadow Foreign Secretary on 5 April 2020.
3. Honor Blackman (22 August 1925 – 5 April 2020) was an English actress, widely known for
the roles of Cathy Gale in The Avengers (1962–1964), Bond girl Pussy
Galore in Goldfinger (1964), Julia Daggett in Shalako (1968) and Hera in Jason and the
Argonauts (1963). She is also known for her role as Laura West in the ITV sitcom The Upper
Hand (1990–1996).
4. Bernard Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician who has served as
the junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007 and as U.S. Representative for
the state's at-large congressional district from 1991 to 2007. He is the longest-
serving independent in U.S. congressional history, although he has a close relationship with
the Democratic Party, having caucused with House and Senate Democrats for most of his
congressional career. Sanders unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party nomination
for president of the United States in 2016 and 2020.
In February 2019, Sanders announced a second presidential campaign, joining a large field
of Democratic candidates pursuing the party nomination. Despite a strong showing in early
primaries that briefly made him the front-runner, Sanders suspended his campaign on April
8, 2020 after a string of primary losses to Democratic rival Joe Biden. He remains on the
ballot in states that have not yet voted in an effort to influence the Democratic Party's
platform. On April 13, Sanders formally endorsed Biden for the Democratic nomination.
5. Hissène Habré (born 13 September 1942), is a Chadian politician who served as
the President of Chad from 1982 until he was deposed in 1990. He was brought to power
with the support of France and the United States, who provided training, arms and
financing.

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In May 2016, he was found guilty by a court in Senegal of human-rights abuses, including
rape, sexual slavery and ordering the killing of 40,000 people, and sentenced to life in
prison. He is the first former head of state to be convicted for human rights abuses in the
court of another nation.
On 30 May 2016, the Extraordinary African Chambers found Habré guilty of rape, sexual
slavery, and ordering the killing of 40,000 people during his tenure as Chadian president and
sentenced him to life in prison in the Prison du Cap Manuel where he will purge his
sentence. The verdict marked the first time an African Union-backed court convicted a
former ruler for human-rights abuses and the first time that the courts of one country have
prosecuted the former ruler of another country for crimes against humanity. In May 2017,
Judge Ougadeye Wafi upheld Habre's life sentence and all convictions against him, except
rape. The court emphasized this was a procedural matter, as the facts the victim offered
during her testimony came too late in the proceedings to be included within charges of
mass sexual violence committed by his security agents, the convictions for which were
upheld. On 7 April 2020, a judge in Senegal granted Habre two months' leave from prison,
as the jail is being used to hold new detainees in coronavirus quarantine.
6. John Prine (October 10, 1946 – April 7, 2020) was an American country folk singer-
songwriter. He was active as a composer, recording artist, and live performer from the early
1970s until his death and was known for an often humorous style of original music that has
elements of protest and social commentary.
Widely cited as one of the most influential songwriters of his generation, Prine was known
for humorous lyrics about love, life, and current events, as well as serious songs with social
commentary and songs that recollect melancholy tales from his life. In 2020, he received
the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
7. Mustafa Al-Kadhimi is a former Director of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service and is the
current prime minister-designate. He was appointed director in June 2016.
8. On 9 April 2020, he was named by President Barham Salih as prime minister-designate, the
third person tapped to lead the country in just 10 weeks as it struggled to replace a
government that fell last year after months of deadly protests. Kadhimi was nominated by
President Barham Salih, state television reported, shortly after the previous
designated prime minister, Adnan al-Zurfi, announced he was withdrawing having failed to
secure enough support to pass a government.
9. Nobuhiko Obayashi (9 January 1938 – 10 April 2020) was a
Japanese director, screenwriter and editor of films and television advertisements. He began
his filmmaking career as a pioneer of Japanese experimental films before transitioning to
directing more mainstream media, and his resulting filmography as a director spanned
almost 60 years.
He is best known as the director of the 1977 horror film House, which has garnered a cult
following. He was notable for his distinct surreal filmmaking style, as well as the anti-
war themes commonly embedded in his films.

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Economics

1. The government slashed interest rates on small savings schemes, including National Savings
Certificate and Public Provident Fund, by up to 1.4% for the first quarter of 2020-21, in line
with the moderation in bank deposit rates. Interest rates for small savings schemes are
notified on a quarterly basis.
With the reduction, term deposits of 1-3 years will now fetch an interest of 5.5% from the
existing 6.9%, down 1.4%, according to a notification by the Finance Ministry. Interest rates
are paid quarterly, while the five-year term deposit will earn 6.7%, down from the current
rate of 7.7%.
2. The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM
CARES Fund) was created on 28 March 2020, following the COVID-19 pandemic in India. The
fund will be used for combating, containment and relief efforts against the coronavirus
outbreak and similar pandemic like situations in the future. The Prime Minister is the
chairman of the trust. Trustees include the Defence, Home and Finance Ministers.
The fund will also enable micro-donations. The minimum donation accepted for the PM
CARES Fund is ₹10 (14¢ US). The donations will be tax exempt and fall under corporate
social responsibility. The Prime Minister had said that the PMO had received many requests
to help in the war against COVID-19. Accordingly, the fund was set up and will be used for
disaster management and research.
Any contribution made to the PM CARES Fund before 30 June would qualify for a tax
deduction under section 80G of The Income-tax Act, 1961. The Ministry of Corporate
Affairs announced that donations to the PM CARES fund would be counted as part of the
statutory Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligation of the companies, with additional
CSR being offset in subsequent years. Donations made to the state governments' initiatives
such as the Chief Minister's Funds do not qualify for the CSR obligation.
3. The government has amended the insurance law to provide relief to vehicle owners and
health policyholders who cannot renew their covers due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
In a gazette notification, the finance ministry relaxed Section 64VB of the Insurance Act,
1938, which bars insurers from providing cover until receipt of premium. The notification
allows motor third-party and health insurance policies that expire during the lockdown
(lapsed/expired over March 25-April 15, 2020) but are renewed up to April 21, 2020 to be
treated as continuous covers.
In motor insurance, the continuity benefit is only for third-party cover and does not extend
to ‘own-damage’ of the personal accident cover that is bundled into the policy.
The ministry has also said motor and health policyholders will be given time till April 21,
2020 to make the premium payment for continued coverage. It further said this is being
done to ensure the safety of citizens and avoid any inconvenience during the period of
lockdown.
4. The World Bank has approved a fast-track $1 billion India COVID-19 Emergency Response
and Health Systems Preparedness Project. The project will help prevent and detect the

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disease and respond to the pandemic and strengthen the country’s public health
preparedness.
The largest-ever health sector support from the bank to India, approved by the board of
executive directors, will cover all States and Union Territories and address the needs of
infected people, at-risk populations, medical and emergency personnel and service
providers, medical and testing facilities, and national and animal health agencies.
The project will help scale up the efforts to limit human-to-human transmission, including
reducing local transmission of cases and containing the epidemic from progressing further.
In parallel, interventions to strengthen the health system will be rolled out to improve the
country’s capacity to respond to the epidemic and be better prepared to respond to
emerging disease outbreaks, including transmission between humans and animals.
Procurement of testing kits; setting up of new isolation wards- including turning hospital
beds into intensive care unit beds; infection prevention and control; and purchase of
personal protective equipment, ventilators, and medicines, particularly in district hospitals
and designated infectious disease hospitals; will be scaled up under the project.
5. The People’s Bank of China, the Chinese central bank, has picked up over 1% stake in HDFC
Ltd., India’s largest mortgage lender.
According to the March-end shareholding pattern disclosed by the mortgage lender to the
stock exchanges, People’s Bank of China has 1.75 crore shares, or a 1.01% stake, in HDFC.
The Chinese bank had some stake in HDFC prior to the January-March quarter, but the
disclosure was made since the shareholding crossed 1% during the fourth quarter of 2019-
20. Domestic equities came under pressure in March, including that of HDFC, after the
COVID-19 pandemic spread.
The shares of HDFC are now trading at Rs. 1,701.95.
6. Hindalco Industries Ltd. has completed the acquisition of Aleris Corporation by its wholly
owned subsidiary Novelis Inc. for an enterprise value of $2.8 billion.
The acquisition of the U.S.-based rolled products company, Aleris Corporation, positions
Hindalco Industries as one of the world’s largest aluminium companies, with a global
footprint spanning 49 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia.
7. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a slew of liquidity measures to ease financial
stress and increase credit flows.
Among the measures announced was liquidity infusion of Rs. 1 lakh crore, of which Rs.
50,000 crore is exclusively for non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), via banks. The
NBFCs have experienced liquidity shortage since banks have not offered them any
moratorium for repayment, while these entities have had to extend the moratorium option
to their customers. The RBI will extend another Rs. 50,000 crore to refinancing agencies like
Nabard, Sidbi and National Housing Bank.
RBI increased the limits for Ways and Means Advances (WMA) for the central and state
governments. WMA are short-term loans provided by RBI to the central and state
governments to meet their imminent expenditure requirements, and are required to be
repaid within three months. The WMA limits (limits set on how much governments can
borrow) have been increased for the period April-September 2020. This is aimed towards

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making additional funds available to the central and state governments for their COVID-19
related and other expenditure.
In case of the central government, the WMA limit for the period Apr-Sep 2020 has been
increased from Rs 1.2 lakh crore to two lakh crore rupees. In case of state governments, the
WMA limits for the period Apr-Sep 2020 for all states have been increased by 60%, over the
limits as on March 31, 2020.
8. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced additional measures to address the stress in
financial conditions caused by COVID-19. Note that the RBI had also announced some
measures in March 2020 to provide financial relief. These included: (i) expanding liquidity in
the market to ensure that financial markets and institutions are able to function normally,
(ii) relief to borrowers in repayment of loans, and (iii) reduction in policy (repo) rate.
Key measures announced in April are:
 Policy rate and liquidity management: The reverse repo rate (the rate at which RBI
borrows money from banks) is further reduced from 4% to 3.75%. The reverse repo rate
was reduced from 4.9% to 4% last month. Further, the RBI will conduct targeted long-
term repo operations for an aggregate amount of Rs 50,000 crore.
 Refinancing of financial institutions: The RBI noted that all Indian financial institutions
such as the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Small
Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and National Housing Bank (NHB) are
facing difficulty in raising resources from the market currently. The central bank will
provide refinance facilities amounting to Rs 50,000 crore for these institutions (Rs
25,000 crore to NABARD, Rs 15,000 crore to SIDBI and Rs 10,000 crore to NHB).
 Banking system: Banks should not make any further dividend payouts from the profits
of financial year ending March 2020 till further instructions. This is to ensure that banks
conserve capital to retain their capacity to support the economy and absorb losses, in
view of COVID-19. Further, the liquidity coverage ratio (the ratio of high quality liquid
assets to total cash outflows to be maintained for 30 days to undergo stress conditions)
is reduced from the current 100% to 80% till September 2020. This ratio will be fully
restored by April 2021.
 Liquidity for mutual funds: A special liquidity facility for mutual funds worth Rs 50,000
crore has been announced to ease liquidity pressures on mutual funds. This facility is
available from April 27 to May 11, 2020, or until the allocated amount is utilised. Funds
availed under the facility must be used by banks exclusively for meeting the liquidity
requirements of mutual funds by: (i) extending loans, or (ii) purchase of repos against
collateral held by mutual funds.
 Loan to farmers: RBI has decided to extend the benefits of Interest Subvention and
Prompt Repayment Incentive schemes for short term crop loans (up to three lakh
rupees) for farmers whose accounts have become due or will become due between
March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020. Under these schemes, farmers (including fisheries and
animal husbandry) affected by natural calamities are provided interest subvention of
2%. Further, a 3% incentive is provided for timely repayment of the loan.
9. In a move that will restrict Chinese investments, the Centre has made prior government
approval mandatory for foreign direct investments from countries which share a land

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border with India. Previously, only investments from Pakistan and Bangladesh faced such
restrictions.
The revised FDI policy is aimed at “curbing opportunistic takeovers/acquisitions of Indian
companies due to the current COVID-19 pandemic,” said a press release from the
Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.
“A non-resident entity can invest in India, subject to the FDI Policy except in those
sectors/activities which are prohibited,” says the new policy. “However, an entity of a
country, which shares land border with India or where the beneficial owner of an
investment into India is situated in or is a citizen of any such country, can invest only under
the Government route.”
India shares land borders with Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and
Myanmar. Investors from countries not covered by the new policy only have to inform the
RBI after a transaction rather than asking for prior permission from the relevant
government department.
The official statement added that a transfer of ownership of any existing or future FDI in an
Indian entity to those in the restricted countries would also need government approval. The
decisions will become effective from the date of the Foreign Exchange Management Act
notification.
10. The Government of India has reviewed the extant Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) policy for
curbing opportunistic takeovers/acquisitions of Indian companies due to the current COVID-
19 pandemic and amended para 3.1.1 of extant FDI policy as contained in Consolidated FDI
Policy, 2017. Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of
Commerce and Industry has issued Press Note No. 3 (2020 Series) in this regard. The
present position and revised position in the matters will be as under:
Present Position
Para 3.1.1: A non-resident entity can invest in India, subject to the FDI Policy except in those
sectors/activities which are prohibited. However, a citizen of Bangladesh or an entity
incorporated in Bangladesh can invest only under the Government route. Further, a citizen
of Pakistan or an entity incorporated in Pakistan can invest, only under the Government
route, in sectors/activities other than defence, space, atomic energy and sectors/activities
prohibited for foreign investment.
Revised Position
Para 3.1.1:
3.1.1(a) A non-resident entity can invest in India, subject to the FDI Policy except in those
sectors/activities which are prohibited. However, an entity of a country, which shares land
border with India or where the beneficial owner of an investment into India is situated in or
is a citizen of any such country, can invest only under the Government route. Further, a
citizen of Pakistan or an entity incorporated in Pakistan can invest, only under the
Government route, in sectors/activities other than defence, space, atomic energy and
sectors/activities prohibited for foreign investment.
3.1.1(b) In the event of the transfer of ownership of any existing or future FDI in an entity in
India, directly or indirectly, resulting in the beneficial ownership falling within the

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restriction/purview of the para 3.1.1(a), such subsequent change in beneficial ownership


will also require Government approval.
The above decision will take effect from the date of FEMA notification.
11. Jio Facebook deal:
Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, is an Indian telecommunications company and subsidiary
of Jio Platforms, headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. It operates a
national LTE network. It does not offer 2G or 3G service, and instead uses only voice over
LTE to provide voice service on its 4G network.
Jio soft launched on 27 December 2015 with a beta for partners and employees, and
became publicly available on 5 September 2016. As of 31 December 2019, it is the largest
mobile network operator in India and the third largest mobile network operator in the
world with over 387.5 million subscribers.
In September 2019, Jio launched a fiber to the home service, offering home broadband,
television, and telephone services.
In April 2020, American social media company Facebook, Inc. bought a 9.9% stake in Jio,
which was the highest foreign direct investment in the Indian technology sector.
12. India continues to be on the ‘Priority Watch List’ of the United States Trade Representative
(USTR) for lack of adequate intellectual property (IP) rights protection and enforcement, the
USTR said in its Annual Special 301 Report, released recently.
India remained one of the most challenging economies for IP enforcement and protection,
the report said, using language it has used previously. Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China,
Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Venezuela are also on the Priority Watch List.
While India made “meaningful progress” to enhance IP protection and enforcement in some
areas over the past year, it did not resolve recent and long-standing challenges, and created
new ones, the report said.
13. In view of the threat posed by the outbreak of Corona Virus (COVID-19), and the complete
lockdown across India, Directorate of Postal Life Insurance (PLI), Department of Posts,
Ministry of Communications has given an extension of period for payment of their due
premium of March 2020 upto 30th April 2020 without charging any penalty/default fee.
Directorate of PLI said that although many Post Offices are functional as part of essential
services, Postal Life Insurance/Rural Postal Life customers are facing difficulty in
approaching post offices for payment of premium. Therefore, as a measure of convenience
to all the PLI / RPLI customers, the period of payment has been extended.
The decision is likely to benefit approximately 13 lakh policy holders (5.5 Lakh PLI and 7.5
Lakh RPLI) who have not been able to pay premium for current month. Customers
registered on portal have also been advised to pay premium online using PLI customer
Portal.
14. In pursuance of the Government of India’s efforts to provide relief to law abiding companies
and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) in the wake of COVID 19, the Ministry of Corporate
Affairs (MCA), has introduced the “Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020” and revised the
“LLP Settlement Scheme, 2020” which is already in vogue to provide a first of its kind
opportunity to both companies and LLPs to make good any filing related defaults,
irrespective of duration of default, and make a fresh start as a fully compliant entity.

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The Fresh Start scheme and modified LLP Settlement Scheme incentivise compliance and
reduce compliance burden during the unprecedented public health situation caused by
COVID-19. The USP of both the schemes is a one-time waiver of additional filing fees for
delayed filings by the companies or LLPs with the Registrar of Companies during the
currency of the Schemes, i.e. during the period starting from 1st April, 2020 and ending on
30th September, 2020.
The Schemes, apart from giving longer timelines for corporates to comply with various filing
requirements under the Companies Act 2013 and LLP Act, 2008, significantly reduce the
related financial burden on them, especially for those with long standing defaults, thereby
giving them an opportunity to make a “fresh start”. Both the Schemes also contain provision
for giving immunity from penal proceedings, including against imposition of penalties for
late submissions and also provide additional time for filing appeals before the concerned
Regional Directors against imposition of penalties, if already imposed.
However, the immunity is only against delayed filings in MCA21 and not against any
substantive violation of law. Details of the both the Schemes may be perused from the
Circulars dated 30.03.2020, issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
15. The Union Commerce and Industry Ministry announced changes in the Foreign Trade Policy
(FTP) of Government of India. The present Policy which came into force on 1st April, 2015, is
for 5 years and has validity upto 31st March, 2020. In view of the unprecedented current
situation arising out of the pandemic Novel COVID-19, the Govt. has decided to continue
relief under various export promotion schemes by granting extension of the existing Foreign
Trade Policy by another one year i.e. up to 31st March, 2021. Several other relief measures
have also been announced to support trade and industry. Salient points of the changes
made in the FTP are as follows:
a. To provide continuity in the policy regime, the current FTP, valid till 31.03.2020 has been
extended till 31.03.2021. Similar extension is made in the related procedures, by
extending validity of Hand Book of Procedures.
b. Benefit under all the Export Promotion Schemes (except SEIS) and other schemes,
available as on date, will continue to be available for another 12 months. Decision on
continuation of SEIS will be taken and notified subsequently.
c. Similarly, validity period of the Status Holder Certificates is also extended. This will
enable the Status Holders to continue to avail the specified facilities/benefits.
d. Exemption from payment of IGST and Compensation Cess on the imports made under
Advance/EPCG Authorisations and by EOUs etc. has been extended up to 31.03.2021.
e. The scheme for providing “Transport Marketing Assistance on the specified Agricultural
Products” is further extended for one year.
f. Validity period for making imports under various duty free import authorizations
(AA/DFIA/EPCG) expiring between 01.02.2020 and 31.07.2020,has been allowed
automatic extension for another six months from the date of expiry, without
requirement of obtaining such endorsement on these authorizations.
g. Where-ever the period to make export is expiring between 01.02.2020 and 31.07.2020
under various authorizations, automatic extension in the export obligation period is

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allowed for another six months from the date of expiry, without payment of any
composition fee.
h. Last dates for applying for various duty credit Scrips (MEIS/SEIS/ROSCTL) and other
Authorisations have been extended.
i. Time lines for imposing late cuts, on the applications which are filed after the prescribed
dates, have been relaxed.
j. Validity period of Letter of Permission/ Letter of Intent as granted to EOUs, units in
STPs/EHTPs/BTPs is further extended up to 31st December, 2020.
k. Last date of filing applications for refund of TED/Drawback, Transport and Marketing
Assistance has been extended.
l. Extension in time has been allowed for filing various Reports/Returns etc. under various
provisions of the FTP.
16. The Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20 was unveiled by Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister
of State for Commerce & Industry (Independent Charge), Government of India on April 1,
2015. Following are the highlights of the FTP:
 FTP 2015-20 provides a framework for increasing exports of goods and services as well
as generation of employment and increasing value addition in the country, in line with
the ‘Make in India’ programme.
 The Policy aims to enable India to respond to the challenges of the external
environment, keeping in step with a rapidly evolving international trading architecture
and make trade a major contributor to the country’s economic growth and
development.
 FTP 2015-20 introduces two new schemes, namely ‘Merchandise Exports from India
Scheme (MEIS)’ for export of specified goods to specified markets and ‘Services Exports
from India Scheme (SEIS)’ for increasing exports of notified services.
 Duty credit scrips issued under MEIS and SEIS and the goods imported against these
scrips are fully transferable.
 For grant of rewards under MEIS, the countries have been categorized into 3 Groups,
whereas the rates of rewards under MEIS range from 2 per cent to 5 per cent. Under
SEIS the selected Services would be rewarded at the rates of 3 per cent and 5 per cent.
 Measures have been adopted to nudge procurement of capital goods from indigenous
manufacturers under the EPCG scheme by reducing specific export obligation to 75per
cent of the normal export obligation.
 Measures have been taken to give a boost to exports of defense and hi-tech items.
 E-Commerce exports of handloom products, books/periodicals, leather footwear, toys
and customised fashion garments through courier or foreign post office would also be
able to get benefit of MEIS (for values up to INR 25,000).
 Manufacturers, who are also status holders, will now be able to self-certify their
manufactured goods in phases, as originating from India with a view to qualifying for
preferential treatment under various forms of bilateral and regional trade agreements.
This ‘Approved Exporter System’ will help manufacturer exporters considerably in
getting fast access to international markets.

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 A number of steps have been taken for encouraging manufacturing and exports under
100 per cent EOU/EHTP/STPI/BTP Schemes. The steps include a fast track clearance
facility for these units, permitting them to share infrastructure facilities, permitting inter
unit transfer of goods and services, permitting them to set up warehouses near the port
of export and to use duty free equipment for training purposes.
 108 MSME clusters have been identified for focused interventions to boost exports.
Accordingly, ‘Niryat Bandhu Scheme’ has been galvanised and repositioned to achieve
the objectives of ‘Skill India’.
 Trade facilitation and enhancing the ease of doing business are the other major focus
areas in this new FTP. One of the major objective of new FTP is to move towards
paperless working in 24x7 environment.
17. The Reserve Bank of India has allowed Banks to declare a three-month moratorium on all
term loans outstanding as on March 1, 2020, as well as on working capital facilities.
The Indian Banks Association has answered a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the
technicalities of the moratorium.
QUESTION 1: When/what was the RBI announcement?
ANSWER: The Reserve Bank of India announced a three-month moratorium on all term
loans outstanding as on March 1, 2020, as well as on working capital facilities.
QUESTION 2: Why has RBI announced the relief package?
ANSWER: Reserve Bank of India has announced certain regulatory measures to mitigate the
burden of debt servicing brought about by disruptions on account of COVID-19 pandemic
and to ensure the continuity of viable businesses. It was felt that there may be a temporary
disruption in the cash flows, and in some cases loss of income, for the businesses/
individuals and the present measures work to bring relief to those businesses / individuals.
QUESTION 3: Which are the facilities eligible for availing the benefits under the RBI
COVID-19 regulatory package and whether the facility is extended across the board to all
borrowers?
ANSWER: All term loans (including agricultural term loans, retail, crop loans and loans
under Pool Purchases) and cash credit/overdraft are eligible to avail the benefits under the
package. This is available to all such accounts, which are standard assets as on 1st March
2020. Further, to avoid unnecessary paperwork the facility has been extended across the
board to all the borrowers by extending repayment of term loan installments (includes
interest) by 90 days. The original repayment period for term loans will get extended by 90
days e.g. a loan repayable in 60 installments maturing on 1st March 2025 will mature on
1st June 2025.
QUESTION 4: Is rescheduling of payments applicable for all kinds of term loans?
ANSWER: It is applicable for all term loans in all the segments, irrespective of the segment
and the tenor of the term loans.
QUESTION 5: Is rescheduling of term loans only for principal amount or it also includes
interest?
ANSWER: Rescheduling of principal can be done for a period of three months falling due
between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020. For example, where the last installment of a

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term loan falls due for payment of on say 1st March 2020, it will become payable on 1st June
2020.
For EMI based term loans, it will be three EMIs falling due between 1st March 2020 and May
31st, 2020 and the tenor will be extended by three months and have to be repaid during the
extended period, as per the example under (2) above.
For other term loans, it will be all the installments and Interest falling due during the same
period, irrespective of the tenor of payment i.e. monthly, quarterly, half yearly, annually,
bullet payment etc. For term loans, where the repayment has not commenced, the interest
portion for three months alone needs to be reckoned.
QUESTION 6: What happens if the extended tenor of term loan goes beyond the
maximum period stipulated for a product or as stipulated in the loan policy?
ANSWER: This can be extended for all such term loans without the need for seeking
deviations or approvals.
QUESTION 7: What will be the treatment of interest on the working capital facilities?
ANSWER: The recovery of Interest applied to cash credit/overdraft on 31st March, 30th April
and 31st May 2020 is being ‘deferred’. However, the entire interest must be recovered along
with the interest being applied on 30th June 2020 and in cases, where monthly interest is
not being applied, along with the next interest date.
QUESTION 8: What will be the impact of this relief by RBI on borrowers as far as reporting
of default is concerned?
ANSWER: Any delay in payment leads to default and gets reported to Credit Bureaus. For
business loans of Rs. 5 Crores and above, the banks report the overdue position to RBI also
through CRILC. As a result of this relief package, the overdue payments post 1st March 2020
will not be reported to Credit Bureaus/ CRILC for three months. No penal interest or charges
will be payable to the banks. Similarly, SEBI has allowed that Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs)
may not consider the delay as default by listed companies if the same is owing to lockdown
conditions arising due to COVID-19.
QUESTION 9: That means businesses/ Individuals should necessarily take the benefit?
ANSWER: You may take the benefits under this package if there is a disruption in your cash
flows or there is loss of income. However, you must take into account that the interest on
the loans, though not mandatorily payable immediately and gets postponed by 3 months,
continues to accrue on your account and results in higher cost.
To give you a perspective, suppose your loan outstanding is Rs 100,000 and you are charged
12 percent rate of interest on your loans, then every month you are liable to pay Rs. 1,000
as interest. In case you opt not to service the interest every month, you are liable to pay
interest at 12 percent p.a. and accordingly you will pay Rs. 3,030.10 at the end of 3rd
month.
Similarly, in case the interest rate is 10 percent, you are required to pay Rs. 833 p.m. or Rs.
2,521 after three months.
QUESTION 11: What about my credit card dues?
ANSWER: The relief is available for credit card payments also.
In case of credit card dues, there is a requirement to pay minimum amount and if it is not
paid the same gets reported to Credit Bureaus. In view of the RBI circular, the overdues in

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the credit card account do not get reported to the credit bureaus for a period of three
months.
However, interest will be charged by the credit card issuer on unpaid amount. You should
check from your card provider to arrive at interest payable. Although no penal interest will
be charged during this period, but you must remember that the interest rate on credit card
dues are normally much higher compared to normal bank credit and you should take a
decision accordingly.
QUESTION 12: What about interchangeability being permitted from non-fund based to
fund based or FB to NFB for businesses?
ANSWER: The interest applied on the fund based portion of interchangeability availed
during the said period of 1st March to 31st May 2020 will be eligible for moratorium. In
respect of new sanctions accorded from 1st March and availed during the period, the
interest applied on the Fund based portion would be eligible.
QUESTION 13: In what other ways, businesses have been given relief?
ANSWER: The businesses may request the bank to re-assess their working capital
requirements on account of disruption of their cash flows or elongation of working capital
cycle. They may also request for reduction in margin on NFB facilities (LCs/ BGs etc) or also
relief in Security. Decision will be taken by the bank branches on case-to-case basis based
on the genuineness of the request.
QUESTION 14: Are NBFCs/MFIs/HFCs eligible under the “easing of working capital
financing”?
ANSWER: At present, they are not being considered under the scheme. However, RBI has
made provision for sufficient liquidity support to these financial intermediaries under
recently introduced Targeted Longer-term Refinancing Operations i.e. TLTRO. Liquidity
availed under the scheme by Banks has to be deployed in investment grade corporate
bonds, commercial paper, and non-convertible debentures over and above the outstanding
level of their investments in these bonds as on March 27, 2020.
Banks shall be required to acquire up to fifty per cent of their incremental holdings of
eligible instruments from primary market issuances and the remaining fifty per cent from
the secondary market, including from mutual funds and non-banking finance companies.
Investments made by banks under this facility will be classified as held to maturity (HTM)
even in excess of 25 per cent of total investment permitted to be included in the HTM
portfolio. Exposures under this facility will also not be reckoned under the large exposure
framework. Banks will be able to support NBFCs/ MFIs/ HFCs etc. under this window and we
do not foresee liquidity squeeze for these Financial Intermediaries.
QUESTION 14: Will all these measures of RBI be treated as “restructuring”? What about
the provisions applicable?
ANSWER: The measures stipulated by RBI under the March 27, 2020 circular on COVID-19
Regulatory Package will not be treated as “restructuring” and hence will not result in asset
classification downgrade. Accordingly, the enhanced provisions for Restructured Accounts
will not apply.
18. In order to give effect to the announcements made by the Union Finance
Minister vide Press Release dated 24.03.2020, regarding several relief measures relating to

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statutory and regulatory compliance matters across sectors in view of COVID-19 outbreak,
the government has brought in an Ordinance on 31.03.2020 which provides for extension of
various time limits under the Taxation and Benami Acts. It also provides for extension of
time limits contained in the Rules or Notification which are prescribed/ issued under these
Acts.
It may be noted that the outbreak of Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) across many countries
of the world has caused immense loss to the lives of people, and accordingly, it has been
termed as pandemic by the World Health Organisation and various Governments including
Government of India. Social distancing has been unequivocally accepted to be the best way
to contain its spread, leading to announcement of complete lockdown in the country.
Keeping in view the challenges faced by taxpayers in meeting the compliance requirements
under such conditions, the Union Finance Minister had announced several relief measures
relating to statutory and regulatory compliance matters across sectors in view of COVID-19
outbreak on 24.03.2020 vide a press release.
Some of the important features and time limits which get extended by this Ordinance are
as under-
Direct Taxes & Benami:
a. Extension of last date of filing of original as well as revised income-tax returns for the FY
2018-19 (AY 2019-20) to 30th June, 2020.
b. Extension of Aadhaar-PAN linking date to 30th June, 2020.
c. The date for making various investment/payment for claiming deduction under Chapter-
VIA-B of IT Act which includes Section 80C (LIC, PPF, NSC etc.), 80D (Mediclaim), 80G
(Donations), etc. has been extended to 30th June, 2020. Hence the investment/payment
can be made up to 30.06.2020 for claiming the deduction under these sections for FY
2019-20.
d. The date for making investment/construction/purchase for claiming roll over
benefit/deduction in respect of capital gains under sections 54 to 54GB of the IT Act has
also been extended to 30th June 2020. Therefore, the investment/ construction/
purchase made up to 30.06.2020 shall be eligible for claiming deduction from capital
gains arising during FY 2019-20.
e. The date for commencement of operation for the SEZ units for claiming deduction
under deduction 10AA of the IT Act has also extended to 30.06.2020 for the units which
received necessary approval by 31.03.2020.
f. The date for passing of order or issuance of notice by the authorities under various
direct taxes& Benami Law has also been extended to 30.06.2020.
g. It has provided that reduced rate of interest of 9% shall be charged for non-payment of
Income-tax (e.g. advance tax, TDS, TCS) Equalization Levy, Securities Transaction Tax
(STT), Commodities Transaction Tax (CTT) which are due for payment from 20.03.2020
to 29.06.2020 if they are paid by 30.06.2020. Further, no penalty/ prosecution shall be
initiated for these non-payments.
h. Under Vivad se Vishwas Scheme, the date has also been extended up to 30.06.2020.
Hence, declaration and payment under the Scheme can be made up to 30.06.2020
without additional payment.

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Indirect Taxes:
a. Last date of furnishing of the Central Excise returns due in March, April and May 2020
has been extended to 30th June,2020.
b. Wherever the last date for filing of appeal, refund applications etc., under the Central
Excise Act, 1944 and rules made thereunder is from 20th March 2020 to 29th June 2020,
the same has been extended to30th June 2020.
c. Wherever the last date for filing of appeal, refund applications etc., under the Customs
Act, 1962 and rules made thereunder is from 20th March 2020 to 29th June 2020, the
same has been extended to30th June 2020.
d. Wherever the last date for filing of appeal etc., relating to Service Tax is from 20th March
2020 to 29th June 2020, the same has been extended to30th June 2020
e. The date for making payment to avail of the benefit under Sabka Vishwas Legal Dispute
Resolution Scheme 2019 has been extended to 30th June 2020 thus giving more time to
taxpayers to get their disputes resolved.
In addition to the extension of time limits under the Taxation and Benami Acts as above, an
enabling section has got inserted in the CGST Act, 2017 empowering the Government to
extend due dates for various compliances inter-alia including statement of outward
supplies, filing refund claims, filing appeals, etc. specified, prescribed or notified under the
Act, on recommendations of the GST Council.
PM CARES FUND:
A special fund “Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund
(PM CARES FUND)” has been set up for providing relief to the persons affected from the
outbreak of Corona virus. The Ordinance also amended the provisions of the Income-tax Act
to provide the same tax treatment to PM CARES Fund as available to Prime Minister
National Relief Fund. Therefore, the donation made to the PM CARES Fund shall be eligible
for 100% deduction under section 80G of the IT Act. Further, the limit on deduction of 10%
of gross income shall also not be applicable for donation made to PM CARES Fund.
As the date for claiming deduction u/s 80G under IT Act has been extended up to
30.06.2020, the donation made up to 30.06.2020 shall also be eligible for deduction from
income of FY 2019-20. Hence, any person including corporate paying concessional tax on
income of FY 2020-21 under new regime can make donation to PM CARES Fund up to
30.06.2020 and can claim deduction u/s 80G against income of FY 2019-20 and shall also
not lose his eligibility to pay tax in concessional taxation regime for income of FY 2020-21.
19. The Government has provided relief for third party Motor Insurance & Health policy holders
in the light of COVID-19 lockdown. The Ministry of Finance has issued notifications on April
1, 2020, stating that the renewal dates of Health and Motor insurance policies which fall in
the period from March 25, 2020, to April 14, 2020, are extended till April 21, 2020 due to
coronavirus lockdown.
This means that your existing policies which are falling due for renewal from March 25,
2020, to April 14, 2020, can be renewed up till April 21,2020.
Third Party Motor Insurance:

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If your current compulsory third-party Motor insurance policy is expiring between March
25, 2020, and April 14, 2020, and you are not able to renew your policy because of country-
wide lockdown then you can renew such motor insurance policy by April 21, 2020.
According to the notification issued by Ministry of Finance-
"The policyholders whose motor vehicle third party insurance policies fall due for renewal
during the period on and from the 25th March 2020 up to the 14th April 2020 and who are
unable to make payment of their renewal premium on time in view of the prevailing
situation in the country as a result of Corona Virus disease (COVID-19), are allowed to make
such payment to their insurers on or before the 21st April 2020 to ensure continuity of the
statutory motor vehicle third party insurance cover from the date on which the policy falls
due for renewal.”
Regular health insurance policy:
Similarly, if your health insurance policy is expiring and is due for renewal in the period from
March 25, 2020, to April 14, 2020, you can renew your policy by April 21, 2020.
As per the notification, "The policyholders whose health insurance policies fall due for
renewal during the period on and from the 25th March 2020 to the 14th April 2020 and who
are unable to make payment of their renewal premium on time in view of the prevailing
situation in the country as a result of Corona Virus disease (COVID-19), are allowed to make
such payment for renewal of policies to their insurers on or before the 21st April 2020 to
ensure continuity of the health insurance cover from the date on which the policy falls due
for renewal” .
20. CPI inflation (base year: 2011-12, year-on-year) decreased from 7.6% in January 2020 to
5.9% in March 2020. Food inflation remained high throughout the quarter but declined
from 13.6% in January 2020 to 8.8% in March 2020. Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures
the change in prices of items at the retail level. The CPI basket includes items commonly
consumed by households such as food articles, fuel, clothing, housing, and health services.
Food and beverages have a share of 46% in the CPI basket.
WPI inflation (base year: 2011-12, year-on-year) decreased from 3.5% in January 2020 to 1%
in March 2020. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) measures the average change in the prices
of commodities for bulk sale at the level of the early stage of transactions.
21. The export policy regarding diagnostic kits was changed from free to restricted. The export
policy has been revised from restricted to free for certain pharmaceuticals. These include
certain Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and formulations made from these APIs,
such as Vitamins B1, B6, and B12, metronidazole, and Erythromycin salts. The restricted
export policy implies that limitations will be placed by the government on the quantity of
goods exported to a specific country or countries.
Paracetamol: On April 17, the export policy regarding formulations made of paracetamol
was changed from restricted to free. However, the export of paracetamol APIs will continue
to be restricted. On March 3, the export of both formulations made of paracetamol and
paracetamol APIs was restricted.
Hydroxychloroquine: The export of Hydroxychloroquine and its formulations was prohibited
on March 25 but certain exceptions were allowed. These included: (i) export from special
economic zones and export-oriented units to fulfil an export obligation, and (ii) on

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humanitarian grounds to other countries. On April 4, all such exceptions were removed, and
the export was completely prohibited.
However, on April 7, the government announced that the export of Hydroxychloroquine will
be allowed in certain cases. These include export to neighbouring countries which depend
on India for the drug and to countries which are severely affected by the COVID-19
pandemic.
22. The Employees’ Provident Funds Scheme, 1952, provides for a contribution-based provident
fund (EPF) scheme and pension (EPS) scheme for employees in establishments.
In March 2020, the Finance Minister had announced a relief package under the Pradhan
Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. Under the package, the central government will pay 24% of
monthly wage for the next three months into the provident fund accounts for certain wage-
earners towards EPF and EPS entitlement. These will be done for people earning below Rs
15,000 per month in establishments with up to 100 workers.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment notified a scheme for implementing this
measure.48 The Scheme will be effective for a period of three months, starting from March
2020.
23. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs introduced amendments to various regulations notified
under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. The Code provides a time-bound process
to resolve insolvency among companies. The Code allows the creditors of the company to
initiate an insolvency resolution process, if the amount of default by the debtor company is
at least one crore rupees. The Code also makes provisions for liquidation of companies. Key
amendments include:
 Extension of timelines: Lockdown period during COVID-19 will not be counted towards
timeline of activities required during a corporate insolvency resolution or liquidation
process (such as, timelines for approval of resolution plan or liquidation process). This
provision will come into effect from March 29, 2020 (for resolution-related provisions)
and April 17, 2020 (for liquidation-related provisions).
 Relaxation of deadline for fee payment: Under the Code, Insolvency Professionals (IPs)
and Insolvency Professional Entities (IPEs) are required to pay a fee of 0.25% of the
professional fee earned (by IPs) and 0.25% of turnover from services (rendered by IPEs)
in the previous financial year, by April 30 every year. These Regulations have been
amended to extend the application fee payment deadline to June 30 for financial year
2019-2020. Further, the timeline for IPEs to report that an individual has either joined or
stepped down as a partner or director with the IPE has been extended from seven days
to 30 days. An IPE is an entity which provides support to insolvency professionals. This
provision will come into effect from March 28, 2020.
 Extension of deadline for payment of penalties: Under the Code, Insolvency and
Resolution Professionals are required to file forms at various stages of the insolvency
and resolution processes, respectively. These forms range from the initial consent of
relevant parties to details of the resolution plan or liquidation order. Any forms filed
after April 1, 2020 are subjected to penalties for every month of delay thereafter. The
date for application of penalties has been pushed to October 1, 2020 instead of April
2020. This provision will come into effect from March 25, 2020.

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24. Relief measures announced for the power sector to mitigate impact of COVID-19 and
lockdown:
 Advisories to state governments: The Ministry of Power issued guidelines to state
governments regarding: (i) allowing operation and maintenance of inter-state
transmission network, (ii) construction activities related to the transmission system and
generation plants, and (iii) allowing operational continuity of power generation utilities
during the extended lockdown period.
 Clarification regarding payments by discoms: On March 27, the Ministry of Power had
provided a moratorium of three months to distribution companies (discoms) for their
payments to generation companies. On April 1, the Ministry of New and Renewable
Energy issued a clarification regarding payment by discoms to renewable energy
generation companies during the moratorium period. The payment to renewable energy
generation companies will not be covered under the moratorium. The renewable energy
generation has must run status and the same shall continue during the period of
lockdown.
 Extension for Renewable Energy Projects: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
allowed an extension in the deadline for commissioning of renewable energy projects.
The extension will be equivalent to the period of lockdown and additional 30 days after
the end of such lockdown.
The effective date for implementation of Approved Lists of Models and Manufacturers
(ALMM) of solar PV modules and solar PV cells has been extended by six months. The
earlier deadline for implementation was March 31, 2020. The ALMM Order provides for
the enlistment of models and manufacturers. The Order stipulates that all solar power
projects will mandatorily procure from the manufacturers in the ALMM list after the
effective date.
 Usance Letter of Credit facility by Coal India Limited (CIL): CIL provides the facility of
Usance Letter of Credit to power generation companies for payment of coal instead of
cash advance for the fuel supply agreements. This is aimed towards ensuring the
availability of working capital for power generation companies. This mechanism has
been extended to non-power sector consumers also. This is expected to boost liquidity
in the markets and provide relief to coal consumers.

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Science & Technology

1. In a major breakthrough, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has
developed a special sealant as an alternative to seam sealing tape which is critical in
personal protective equipment (PPE). A bio suit was also developed to keep medical and
other personnel engaged in combating COVID-19 safe from the deadly virus.
“The DRDO has prepared a special sealant as an alternative to seam sealing tape based on
the sealant used in submarine applications. Presently, bio suits prepared using this glue for
seam sealing by an industry partner has cleared test at the Southern India Textile Research
Association (SITRA), Coimbatore,” the Ministry said in a statement. It said bio suit
production in the country by DRDO industry partners and other industries was being
hampered due to non-availability of seam sealing tapes. The DRDO can mass produce this
glue through the industry to support the seam sealing activity by suit manufacturers.
At present, Kusumgarh Industries, with technology transfer from the DRDO, is producing
the raw material, coating material, and the complete suit is being manufactured with the
help of another vendor, the statement said. “The current production capacity is 7,000 suits
per day,” the Ministry said.
The bio suit has been subjected to rigorous testing for textile parameters as well as
protection against infection from synthetic blood. “The protection against synthetic blood
exceeds the criteria defined for body suits by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,”
the statement said.
2. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), sold under the brand name Plaquenil among others, is a
medication used to prevent and treat malaria in areas where malaria remains sensitive
to chloroquine. Other uses include treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and porphyria
cutanea tarda. It is taken by mouth. It is also being studied as a treatment for coronavirus
disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Common side effects include vomiting, headache, changes in vision, and muscle
weakness. Severe side effects may include allergic reactions, vision problems, and heart
problems. Although all risk cannot be excluded, it remains a treatment for rheumatic
disease during pregnancy. Hydroxychloroquine is in the antimalarial and 4-
aminoquinoline families of medication.
Hydroxychloroquine was approved for medical use in the United States in 1955. It is on
the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective
medicines needed in a health system. In 2017, it was the 128th most commonly prescribed
medication in the United States, with more than five million prescriptions.
The Indian government has so far approved the supply of the anti-malarial drug
hydroxychloroquine, either as commercial sales or as grants, to 55 countries as part of the
efforts to fight the global Covid-19 pandemic.
India, the largest producer of hydroxychloroquine, initially banned exports of the drug on
March 25 and further tightened rules on April 4 to bar exports from special economic zones
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(SEZs), where such bans don’t apply. The rules were partially eased to allow the export of
hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol after meeting all domestic requirements.
3. Aarogya Setu is a COVID-19 tracking mobile application developed by the National
Informatics Centre that comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information
Technology, Government of India.
The stated purpose of this app is to spread awareness of COVID-19 and to connect essential
COVID-19 - related health services to the people of India. This app augments the initiatives
of the Department of Health to contain COVID-19 and shares best practices and advisories.
It is a tracking app which uses the smartphone's GPS and Bluetooth features to track
the coronavirus infection. The app is available for Android and iOS mobile operating
systems. With Bluetooth, it tries to determine the risk if one has been near (within six feet
of) a COVID-19 - infected person, by scanning through a database of known cases across
India. Using location information, it determines whether the location one is in belongs to
one of the infected areas based on the data available.
This app is an updated version of an earlier app called Corona Kavach (now discontinued)
which was released earlier by the Government of India.
Aarogya Setu crossed five million downloads within three days of its launch, making it one
of the most popular government apps in India It became the world's fastest-growing mobile
app beating Pokemon Go, with more than 50 million installs, 13 days after launching in India
on April 2, 2020.
In an order on 29 April 2020 the central government made it mandatory for all employees
to download the app and use it- "Before starting for office, they must review their status on
Aarogya Setu and commute only when the app shows safe or low risk".
4. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced that it had launched a military
satellite on the 22 April 2020 on board a previously unknown satellite launch vehicle the
IRGC calls Qassed.
The military satellite, called Noor (also spelled ‘Nur’ and ‘Nour’ – Farsi for ‘Light’), could be
an Earth observation satellite or some other kind of intelligence gathering system. If Noor is
an Earth observation satellite its resolution and capability is likely to be limited. In any case,
the IRGC satellite reached its intended 425 kilometre altitude in a Sun-synchronous orbit
(SSO).
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Noor satellite launch is the use of the Qassed (Farsi for
‘Messenger’) satellite launch vehicle, an SLV that has not been seen or heard of before in
open sources. The Qassed is a three-stage launch vehicle that, according to the IRGC, uses a
combination of liquid and solid-fueled stages. Additionally, the Qassed is launched from a
transporter erector launcher (TEL) vehicle, giving the SLV a mobile launch capacity.
The Qassed SLV with the Noor satellite was launched from a base that has never been
previously used for satellite launches in Iran. Until now all Iranian satellite launches have
been conducted from the Imam Khomeini Space Centre in the Semnan province in Eastern
Iran. The 22 April 2020 launch, however, was carried from an IRGC base located in the
Shahroud area in Northern Iran.
5. Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), an autonomous
institution under the Department of Science and Technology, has developed a one-step

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curable anti-microbial coating which, when coated on different surfaces such as textile,
plastic and so on could kill a range of virus types including COVID 19.
This covalent coating, the research paper about which has been accepted in the journal
Applied Material and Interfaces, has been found to completely kill influenza virus as well as
resistant pathogenic bacteria and fungi, including methicillin resistant Staphylococcus
aureus and fluconazole-resistant C. albicans spp.
The recent outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 has created an unprecedented stir in the global public
health. Corona virus, like influenza, is also an enveloped virus. Therefore it is anticipated
that the coating may inactivate SARS-CoV-2 upon contact and can help prevent
contamination if coated on various surfaces. The coating can be fabricated on a variety of
surfaces, and its ease and robustness eliminate the necessity of skilled personnel for
procurement of the coating.
The molecules developed have an ability to chemically cross-link with different surfaces
upon UV irradiation. Upon the formation of the coating, it has been shown to permeabilize
the membranes of pathogens (i.e. bacteria) leading to their inactivation. Microbial
attachment and their colony formation on different surfaces play a major role in the
transmission of deadly infections in the community as well as healthcare settings. Keeping
this in mind, an easy approach was developed to coat a wide range of substrates used in
daily life as well as in clinical settings.
Molecules were designed, keeping in mind their optimum solubility in a wide range of
solvents (such as water, ethanol, chloroform etc.) and a cost-effective three to four-step
synthetic strategy with easy purification and high yield. The molecules were then
immobilized on different substrates such as cotton, polyurethane, polypropylene,
polystyrene, etc., which construct majority of the objects we see around us. In brief, for
coating on cotton, the sheets were dipped in a water solution of the compounds whereas,
for other cases, ethanolic substrates were drop-casted on them followed by UV irradiation.
After coating, the surfaces were evaluated for their antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral
activity.
Considering the current corona virus outbreak, if shown to be active, the molecule can be
synthesized in large scale through a CRO (Contract Research Organization) and can be
coated on various personal protective tools such as masks, gloves, gowns, etc. in
collaboration with the private organizations. The molecules can also be coated on other
medical devices and tools to avoid hospital-acquired or nosocomial infections.
6. Scientists of Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) an autonomous institution of the
Department of Science and Technology have extensively studied the signatures of recent
large earthquakes into the ionosphere with an ambitious aim to derive the seismic source
characteristics from the ionosphere.
While studying the 25 April 2015 Nepal earthquake, Mr. Sunil A. S, a PhD scholar working
with Dr. Mala S. Bagiya, scientist at IIG, noticed that the spatial distribution of near field co-
seismic ionospheric perturbations (CIP) associated with this event could reflect well the
ground deformation pattern evolved around the epicentre. These CIP were derived using
the Global Positioning System (GPS) measured Total Electron Content (TEC). The CIP
distribution was estimated at ionospheric piercing point (IPP) altitude.

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So, the characteristics of CIP could always be directly associated to the tectonic forcing?
Mostly yes, provided the effects of non-tectonic forcing mechanisms which are operative at
ionospheric altitudes are favourable. The spatial/azimuthal distribution of near field CIP
associated with Mw 7.8 Nepal earthquake, which could successfully be linked to the co-
seismic crustal deformation, is explained as the combined effect of tectonic forcing
manifestations and non-tectonic forcing mechanism of geomagnetic field-acoustic wave
coupling.
As part of the interdisciplinary program ‘Coupled Lithosphere-Atmosphere- Ionosphere-
Magnetosphere System (CLAIMs)’ of Indian Institute of Geomagnetism funded by DST the
research focused on energy transfer to the atmosphere during solid Earth processes such as
earthquakes as well as tsunamis.
In general, the Earth crust uplift during any earthquake produces compressional (i.e.
pressure) waves in the overlying atmosphere. These waves propagate upward in the region
of exponentially decreasing atmospheric neutral density, and thus, its amplitudes increase
with atmospheric heights. On arrival at ionospheric heights, the waves redistribute
ionospheric electron density and produce electron density perturbations known as co-
seismic ionospheric perturbations (CIP). The thrust earthquakes induce significant crustal
uplift, while the strike-slip event mostly deforms the crust horizontally. Various ionospheric
sounding techniques can be used to study the CIP characteristics. However, the TEC derived
from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) gives large spatial and temporal coverage
over seismic source region,” the scientists explained.
“Evolution of seismic/tectonically induced ionospheric perturbation is highly controlled by
the non-tectonic forcing mechanisms of satellite geometry, geomagnetic field-acoustic
wave coupling and the ambient ionization density of ionosphere. The effects of these non-
tectonic forcing mechanisms at ionospheric altitudes are quantified based on the in-house
developed acoustic ray tracing model,” they added.
The scientists also successfully associated the observed ionospheric disturbances during a
seismic event exclusively to the event by studying the ionospheric variation during the
Indian Ocean doublet earthquake on 11 April 2012, a largest ever recorded strike-slip event
(Mw. 8.6) that followed by a powerful aftershock of Mw 8.2, the highest ever recorded
aftershock. These two earthquakes occurred in the same geographic region (epicentres
apart by ~176 km) within a time delay of ~2 hours.
Analysing the ionospheric perturbations during another Nepal earthquake which occurred
on 12 May 2015 (Mw 7.3), the researcher further demonstrated that how the non-tectonic
forcing mechanisms influence the amplitude and horizontal propagation of CIPat IPP
altitudes. They noticed that the evolution of near field CIP related with the Mw 7.3 Nepal
earthquake was highly affected by the non-tectonic forcing mechanism of moving satellite
geometry and as a result the CIP could not evolve in accordance with ground deformation
pattern.
Moving a bit ahead from this, they attempted to observe the seismic source characteristic
from the ionosphere during the massive Mw 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake 2016 which occurred
in the complex multi-segmented fault system between the Australia-Pacific plate boundary
with a combination of vertical and differently oriented horizontal crust movements.

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Interestingly, the characteristics of CIP based on tectonic and non-tectonic forcing


mechanisms revealed that the two distinct thrust zones over the rupture area resulted from
the uplift with reinforcement of rotating horizontal motion from the epicenter acted as key
tectonic sources for the peculiar distribution of CIP around the Kaikoura epicentre.
Thereby, by investigating the response of ionosphere to recent major earthquake events,
the scientists at IIG have tried to derive the earthquake source parameters using seismic
induced ionospheric perturbations by taking into consideration the non-tectonic forcing
mechanisms.
The ionosphere is a highly dynamic region and the origin of any perturbations in ionospheric
electron density can be traced to various origins either from above (e.g. solar, geomagnetic
etc) or below (e.g. lower atmospheric, seismic etc) the ionosphere. This probes a major
challenge while identifying the co-seismic ionospheric perturbations. Further, the
manifestation of co-seismic ionospheric perturbations has to be seen in light of the
prevailing non-tectonic forcing mechanisms. In this line, it is believed that the present
extensive study may assist while designing a tool for the ionospheric based seismic source
characterisation.
7. CSIR’s constituent Lab, CSIR-NCL Pune, has been leading the way in promoting innovation
and entrepreneurship through its Venture Centre for the past decade and new innovations
from there are helping in fight against the Corona outbreak. Two of the recent innovations
that can help in the mitigation of the Corona outbreak are featured:
a. Digital IR Thermometer: CSIR-NCL’s Venture Centre’s incubatee BMEK headed by Mr.
Pratik Kulkarni has developed hand held digital IR thermometer which is an important
component of measures to mitigate Coronavirus outbreak. Mobile phone or power
banks can be used as a power source. The design of IR thermometers is available open
source where in the complete know-how with mass manufacturing ready hardware and
software design will be available to manufacturers across India for free. This is an effort
to enable a large number of manufacturers to manufacture the thermometers and cater
to their local demands. Now it is being scaled up in partnership with BEL (Bharat
Electronics Ltd, Pune). About 100 prototype units will be made for pilot distribution and
testing at TUV Rheinland India Pvt Ltd Bangalore.
b. The second innovation is the oxygen enrichment unit (OEU): One of the critical needs of
COVID-19 patients is the need to meet the oxygen requirements due to their lungs being
compromised. Oxygen enrichment unit (OEUs) to increase the oxygen concentration
from the ambient air of 21-22% to 38-40% have been developed by CSIR-NCL and
Genrich Membranes, a start-up innovation venture founded by Dr. Ulhas Kharul, Head
of Polymer Science & Engineering Division at NCL. OEU is hollow fiber membrane
bundles for separation and filtration of ambient air to produce enriched oxygen for
patients in home and hospital settings. The prototype units are ready at Pune and will
be sent to TUV Rheinland India Pvt Ltd Bangalore for testing/validation. About 10 OEU
machines will be assembled by NCL BEL in Pune and after the trials, scale up will be
done.
8. Scientists at Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) an
autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt of India

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have designed and developed a highly efficient superabsorbent material for liquid
respiratory and other body fluid solidification and disinfection for the safe management of
infected respiratory secretions.
The material titled ‘Chitra Acrylosorb Secretion Solidification System’, developed by Dr.
Manju S and Dr. Manoj Komath of the department of Biomaterial Science and Technology of
the Biomedical Technology wing of SCTIMST is a highly efficient superabsorbent material for
liquid respiratory and other body fluid solidification and disinfection.
AcryloSorb can absorb liquids at least 20 times more than its dry weight and also contains a
decontaminant for in situ disinfection. Containers filled with this material will immobilize
the contaminated fluid by solidifying it (gel-like), thus avoiding spillage and will also disinfect
it. The canister containing the solidified waste canister can then be decomposed as all other
biomedical waste by incineration. This technology reduces the risk for the hospital staff, the
need for personnel for disinfecting and cleaning the bottles and canisters for reusing them
and makes the disposal safer and easier.
In the developed system, suction canisters, disposable spit bags have been designed with
"AcryloSorb" technology. They are lined inside with the AcryloSorb material. The AcryloSorb
suction canisters will collect the liquid respiratory secretions from ICU patients or those
with copious secretions treated in the wards. The container will be spill-proof and can be
sealed after use, making it safe and fit for disposal through the usual incineration system for
biomedical wastes. Sealable and disposable AcryloSorb spit bags are provided for solidifying
the sputum and saliva of ambulant patients with respiratory infections, which can then be
incinerated.
Disposal of infected secretions from patients poses a great challenge to every hospital. This
is particularly so in the case of secretions of patients with highly contagious diseases such as
COVID-19. The collection and disposal of such wastes put the nursing and cleaning staff at
high risk.
Generally, in the ICU, the secretions are sucked by a suction machine into bottles or
canisters, which have to be emptied when full, subjected to a decontamination process in a
sluice room and discarded through the waste fluid disposal systems. Apart from the re-
contamination risk during the handling involved in these processes, there is a need for well-
equipped sluice rooms with disinfection facilities, which can be an issue in less well-
equipped hospitals or makeshift isolation wards during epidemics. The superabsorbent
material can be effective in the safe management of infected respiratory secretions.
9. Madhuban Gajar, a biofortified carrot variety with high β-carotene and iron content
developed by Shri Vallabhhai Vasrambhai Marvaniya, a farmer scientist from Junagadh
district, Gujarat is benefitting more than 150 local farmers in the area. It is being planted in
an area of over 200 hectares in Junagadh, and the average yield, which is 40-50 t/ha, has
become the main source of income to the local farmers. The variety is being cultivated in
more than 1000 hectares of land in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Uttar
Pradesh during the last three years.
The Madhuvan Gajar is a highly nutritious carrot variety developed through the selection
methodwith higher β-carotene content (277.75 mg/kg) and iron content (276.7 mg/kg) dry

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basis and is used for various value-added products like carrot chips, juices, and pickles.
Among all the varieties tested, beta-carotene and iron content were found to be superior.
National Innovation Foundation (NIF) India, an autonomous institute under the Department
of Science and Technology, Govt. of India conducted validation trials for this variety at
Rajasthan Agricultural Research Institute (RARI), Jaipur, between 2016 and 2017. In the
trials, it was found that Madhuban Gajar carrot variety possesses a significantly higher root
yield (74.2 t/ha) and plant biomass (275 gm per plant) as compared to check variety.
The on-farm trials of the variety were conducted over 25 hectares of land by NIF in different
states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Assam, Haryana, Punjab and West Bengal which
involved more than 100 farmers where the performance of the variety (Madhuvan Gajar)
was found to be appreciable in term of yield and its other properties.
During 1943, Shri Vallabhhai Vasrambhai Marvaniya found that a local carrot variety which
was profoundly used for fodder to improve the quality of milk. He selectively cultivated this
variety and sold this carrot in the market at a good price. Since then, he, along with family,
is working for the conservation and development of this cultivar. The production and
marketing of seeds of the variety are taken care of by his son Shri Arvindbhai and the
average sale is about 100 quintals per annum. Around 30 local seeds suppliers are involved
for the seed marketing of the variety throughout the country, and the production of seeds is
being under taken out by Shri Vallabhhai himself with a group of some local farmers. During
the early years of the development of this variety, Shri Vallabhhai selected the best plants
for seed production and grew them in a small area for domestic consumption as well as for
marketing. Later on, demand for this carrot grew, and he started cultivation on a large scale
during the 1950’s. He also started distributing the seeds to other farmers in his village and
adjoining areas in the 1970s. During 1985, he started selling the seeds on a large scale. The
average yield of Maduvan Gajar is 40 – 50 t/ha and had been cultivated in Gujarat,
Maharashtra, and Rajasthan successfully.
Shri Vallabhai Vasrambhai Marvaniya was conferred with a National Award by the President
of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi during Festival of Innovation (FOIN) – 2017. He
was conferred with Padma Shri in the year 2019 for his extraordinary work.
10. The Department of Biotechnology has issued guidelines on handling of COVID-19 specimen
for DNA research purposes. The guidelines include: (i) procedure to be followed, (ii) risk
assessment and mitigation measures, (iii) guidelines for viral isolation, (iv) lab waste
management and shipment procedure. Key guidelines include:
 Appropriate personal protective equipment as determined by a detailed risk
assessment, should be worn by all laboratory personnel handling these specimens.
 Patient specimens from confirmed or suspected cases should be transported according
to WHO Guidance on Regulations for the Transport of Infectious Substances 2017-18.
 The laboratory waste should be handled like other biohazardous waste as per the
‘Regulations and Guidelines on Biosafety of Recombinant DNA Research and
Biocontainment’ (2017) notified by the Department of Biotechnology.
 Waste disposal should be in accordance with the ‘Revised Guidelines for Common Bio-
medical Waste Treatment and Disposal Facilities (2016)’ developed by the Central
Pollution Control Board.

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11. HCARD Robot:


Healthcare workers at hospitals are risking COVID-19 infection while taking care of those
infected by it 24/7. Perhaps the level of risk may get reduced hereafter with the help of a
new friend, HCARD. The robotic device HCARD, in short for Hospital Care Assistive Robotic
Device, can help frontline healthcare workers in maintaining physical distance from those
infected by coronavirus.
HCARD is developed by Durgapur-based CSIR lab, Central Mechanical Engineering Research
Institute. The device is equipped with various state-of-the-art technologies and works both
in automatic as well as manual modes of navigation.
This robot can be controlled and monitored by a nursing booth with a control station having
such features as navigation, drawer activation for providing medicines and food to patients,
sample collection and audio-visual communication.
Scientists at CMERI have also developed a few other customized technologies, including
Disinfection Walkway, Road Sanitizer Unit, Face Mask, Mechanical Ventilator and Hospital
Waste Management Facility.
12. A team of engineering students from IIT Bombay, NIT Srinagar, and Islamic University
of Science & Technology (IUST), Awantipora, Pulwama, Jammu, and Kashmir has come up
together and developed a low-cost ventilator named ‘Ruhdaar’ using locally available
material to fight against COVID19.
Project head Zulqarnain, a first-year student of Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay who
teamed up with his friends P. S Shoib, Asif Shah, and Shakar Nehvi from IUST, Awantipora,
and Majid Koul from NIT Srinagar designed the ventilator. Further, he took assistance from
the Design Innovation Centre (DIC) at IUST to design the low-cost ventilator using locally
available materials.
Initially, the team aimed to replicate a tried and tested design, but they ended was
developing their own design of the ventilator. While speaking to the media, Zulqarnain said,
"the prototype costed the team around Rs. 10,000 and that the cost will be much lower,
when we go for mass production." He said that while high-end ventilators used in hospitals
cost in lakhs of rupees, "Ruhdaar provides necessary functionalities which can provide
adequate breathing support necessary to save the life of a critically ill COVID-19 patient."
According to Zulqarnain, the main problem the team faced was a lack of resources. The
team tried many designs including a design developed by Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, MIT, USA. Moreover, the team came up with their frugal design, considering
the resource constraints.
13. "Immunity passports" in the context of COVID-19:
WHO has published guidance on adjusting public health and social measures for the next
phase of the COVID-19 response. Some governments have suggested that the detection of
antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could serve as the basis for
an “immunity passport” or “risk-free certificate” that would enable individuals to travel or
to return to work assuming that they are protected against re-infection. There is currently
no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are
protected from a second infection.
The measurement of antibodies specific to COVID-19

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The development of immunity to a pathogen through natural infection is a multi-step


process that typically takes place over 1-2 weeks. The body responds to a viral infection
immediately with a non-specific innate response in which macrophages, neutrophils, and
dendritic cells slow the progress of virus and may even prevent it from causing symptoms.
This non-specific response is followed by an adaptive response where the body makes
antibodies that specifically bind to the virus. These antibodies are proteins called
immunoglobulins. The body also makes T-cells that recognize and eliminate other cells
infected with the virus. This is called cellular immunity. This combined adaptive response
may clear the virus from the body, and if the response is strong enough, may prevent
progression to severe illness or re-infection by the same virus. This process is often
measured by the presence of antibodies in blood.
WHO continues to review the evidence on antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2
infection. Most of these studies show that people who have recovered from infection have
antibodies to the virus. However, some of these people have very low levels of neutralizing
antibodies in their blood, suggesting that cellular immunity may also be critical for recovery.
As of 24 April 2020, no study has evaluated whether the presence of antibodies to SARS-
CoV-2 confers immunity to subsequent infection by this virus in humans.
Laboratory tests that detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in people, including rapid
immunodiagnostic tests, need further validation to determine their accuracy and reliability.
Inaccurate immunodiagnostic tests may falsely categorize people in two ways. The first is
that they may falsely label people who have been infected as negative, and the second is
that people who have not been infected are falsely labelled as positive. Both errors have
serious consequences and will affect control efforts. These tests also need to accurately
distinguish between past infections from SARS-CoV-2 and those caused by the known set of
six human coronaviruses. Four of these viruses cause the common cold and circulate widely.
The remaining two are the viruses that cause Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe
Acute Respiratory Syndrome. People infected by any one of these viruses may produce
antibodies that cross-react with antibodies produced in response to infection with SARS-
CoV-2.
Many countries are now testing for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies at the population level or in
specific groups, such as health workers, close contacts of known cases, or within
households. WHO supports these studies, as they are critical for understanding the extent
of- and risk factors associated with infection. These studies will provide data on the
percentage of people with detectable COVID-19 antibodies, but most are not designed to
determine whether those people are immune to secondary infections.
Other considerations
At this point in the pandemic, there is not enough evidence about the effectiveness of
antibody-mediated immunity to guarantee the accuracy of an “immunity passport” or “risk-
free certificate.” People who assume that they are immune to a second infection because
they have received a positive test result may ignore public health advice. The use of such
certificates may therefore increase the risks of continued transmission.
14. Tianwen-1 (known as Huoxing-1, HX-1 during development is a planned mission by China to
send a spacecraft, which consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, to Mars. The name

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"Tianwen", which means Heavenly Questions or Questions to Heaven, comes from the long
poem of the same name written by Qu Yuan (about 340-278 BC), one of the greatest poets
of ancient China. The mission is planned to be launched in July 2020 with a Long March
5 heavy lift rocket. Its stated objectives are to search for evidence of both current and past
life, and to assess the planet's environment.
15. Tata Sons has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Council of Scientific and
Industrial Research for the ‘licencing of knowhow’ of a paper test kit for Covid-19, which
could make mass testing for the novel coronavirus possible.
The kit, developed by CSIR’s constituent lab Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology
(IGIB) in New Delhi, is called FNCAS9 Editor Linked Uniform Detection Assay or ‘Feluda’,
after the fictional detective created by Bengali filmmaker and author Satyajit Ray.
The licence shall include “transfer of the knowledge for scaling up the knowhow in the form
of a kit”, that can be deployed for Covid-19 testing on the ground as early as the end of
May.
What is ‘Feluda’?
The ‘Feluda’ test strip was invented by a team led by two scientists Dr Souvik Maiti and Dr
Debojyoti Chakraborty at CSIR-IGIB. The simple paper-based test strip could reduce Covid-
19 testing costs- the real-time polymerase chain reaction test (RT-PCR) used currently
requires machinery worth lakhs of rupees and its price is capped at Rs 4,500 in private labs,
but the ‘Feluda’ test could cost as little as Rs 500.
It can be used in a way similar to pregnancy test strips widely available over the counter.
Gene-editing technology
Mande and Chakraborty said the ‘Feluda’ kit uses CRISPR gene-editing technology to get
results. This technology recognises specific genetic sequences and cuts them in short time.
“(Our strip) uses cutting-edge gene-editing CRISPR-CAS-9 technology to target and identify
genomic sequence of the novel coronavirus in suspected individuals. No other laboratory in
India is developing test kit using CRISPR technology,” Mande said.

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Sports

1. Azam Khan (20 April 1926 – 28 March 2020) was a Pakistani squash player who won
the British Open four times between 1959 and 1962.
Khan died at the age of 93 whilst infected by COVID-19 in London, during the 2019–20
coronavirus pandemic.
2. Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 was announced recently. The list
includes-
 18-time NBA All-Star and five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant,
 15-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan,
 15-time NBA All-Star and nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Kevin
Garnett,
 4-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton,
 2-time NBA Champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich,
 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings,
 3-time NCAA National Championship Coach of Baylor Kim Mulkey,
 5-time Division II National Coach of the Year Barbara Stevens and
 Longtime FIBA executive Patrick Baumann.
3. Ben Stokes has ended Virat Kohli’s three-year reign as Wisden’s leading cricketer in the
world after playing a starring role in England’s World Cup win last year. Australia’s Ellyse
Perry reclaimed the leading women’s cricketer in the world title from Smriti Mandhana.
Stokes, the first England player to receive the honour since Andrew Flintoff in 2005, had
won the ICC player of the year award.
Full list of winners are:
 Wisden Five Cricketers of the Year: Pat Cummins, Ellyse Perry, Jofra Archer, Simon
Harmer, Marnus Labuschagne.
 Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World: Ben Stokes.
 Wisden's Leading T20 Cricketer: Andre Russell.
 Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World: Ellyse Perry.
 Wisden-MCC Photograph of the Year: Ben Stokes at Headingley.
 Wisden Book of the Year: Cricket 2.0: Inside the T20 Revolution.

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DRDO combats COVID-19

The first case of corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic was confirmed in India on 30 January 2020.
As the Government of India started taking all necessary steps to ensure that people are
prepared well to face the challenge and threat posed by the growing pandemic, Defence
Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) emerged as a critical force-multiplier in
combating the virus. It used its years of experience and available technology to develop
essential items for mitigation of the wrath of the deadly virus. Since then the organization has
come up with combat products for both government and non-government sectors. Eight DRDO
laboratories are engaged in meeting the shortfall of ventilators, emergency care facilities and
basic personal protection equipment like masks, clothing and gloves. As a result of focused
approach, DRDO is ready with the following items and transferred the technology to the
industry for mass production for its fight against corona virus.

Covid-19 Sample Collection Kiosk:


COVID Sample Collection Kiosk (COVSACK) unit has been developed by Hyderabad based
Defence Research and Development Laboratory in consultation with the doctors of Employees’
State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), Hyderabad. The COVSACK is a kiosk for use by healthcare
workers for taking COVID-19 samples from suspected infected patients. Patient under test
walks into the Kiosk and a nasal or oral swab is taken by health care professional from outside
through the built in gloves.
The Kiosk is automatically disinfected without the need for human involvement, making the
process free of infection spread. The shielding screen of kiosk cabin protects the health care
worker from the aerosols/droplet transmission while taking the sample. This reduces the
requirements of PPE change by health care workers. After the patient leaves the Kiosk, four
nozzle sprayers mounted in the kiosk cabin disinfect the empty chamber by spraying
disinfectant mist for a period of 70 seconds. It is further flushed with water & UV light
disinfection. The system is ready for next use in less than two minutes. Voice command can be
given through two-way communication system integrated with the COVSACK. It is possible to
configure COVSACK to be used either from inside or outside as required by the medical
professionals.
The COVSACK costs nearly Rs one lakh and the identified industry based at Belgaum, Karnataka
can provide 10 units per day. The DRDO has designed and developed two units and handed
over these to ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad after successful testing. M/s Vega Aviation Products Pvt.
Ltd., Belgaum, Karnataka is the industrial partner for manufacturing the kiosk.

BIO Suit:
Scientists at various DRDO laboratories have applied their technical know-how and expertise in
textile, coating and nanotechnology to develop the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) having
specific type of fabric with coating to keep the medical, paramedical and other personnel
engaged in combating COVID-19 safe from the deadly virus. Defence Research and
Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior has developed Bio Suits, which has been produced

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by three industry partners namely M/s Shiva Texyarn, Coimbatore, M/s Arvind Mills,
Ahmedabad and M/s Aeronav, Noida and is being supplied to MOH&FW, GOI.
Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), Delhi has developed a suit for
protection against liquid radionuclide. The suit has been tested effectively and being produced
through industry partner.
Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE), Agra and INMAS, have also
developed Bio Suits for protection of medical professionals and paramedics handling COVID-19
patients. The suits are being prepared with the help of the industry after subjected to rigorous
testing for textile parameters as well as protection against synthetic blood. Efforts are being
made to ramp up production to 15-20 thousand PPEs per day.
DRDO has prepared a special sealant as an alternative to seam sealing tape based on the
sealant used in submarine applications. Presently, Bio Suits prepared using this glue for seam
sealing by an industry partner has cleared test at Southern India Textile Research Association
(SITRA) Coimbatore. This can be a game changer for the textile industry. The DRDO can mass
produce this glue through industry to support the seam sealing activity by suit manufacturers.

Ventilators:
Society for Biomedical Technology (SBMT), a DRDO funded and managed initiative) & Defence
Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bengaluru, have developed a ventilator
by using existing technologies like breath regulators, pressure/flow sensors, etc. DEBEL has
undertaken the initiative to develop the critical components of the ventilators which are not
available in the country. These will be produced with the help of local industry. Defence PSU,
M/s BEL has joined the efforts for large scale production of ventilators. Production can reach a
capacity of 10,000 ventilators per month.
DRDO has also developed Multi Patient Ventilation (MPV) Kit, which helps convert single
ventilator for providing treatment to multiple patients in the emergency. The MPV kit has
already been tested in two hospitals and working satisfactorily.

Face masks:
Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior has developed five layered
N-99 masks using a nano web filter layer. Manufacturing of the masks is in progress with an aim
to produce 2 lakh N-99 masks per week through the industry.
Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), Delhi has also designed a 3-ply
surgical mask. Around 40,000 3-ply surgical masks have been supplied to Delhi Police and other
agencies. The design of the enclosures has been validated and accepted by a team of doctors at
ESI Medical College, Hyderabad and at PGIMER, Chandigarh, respectively.

Enclosure for Intubation Procedure- Aerosol Containment Box:


Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad and Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory (TBRL),
Chandigarh have come up with Enclosure for Intubation Procedure- Aerosol Containment Box
to safeguard health care workers. The enclosure prevents spread of viral contamination of
COVID-19 to reach the gown, gloves, facemask, eye shield, shoes of the front line workers. The

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transparent acrylic/ Poly Methyl Meth Acrylate (PMMA) box covers the patient’s head up to the
chest and acts as a safety barrier against droplets from patients while under treatment.
The design of the enclosures has been validated and accepted by a team of doctors at ESI
Medical College, Hyderabad and at PGIMER, Chandigarh, respectively.

Sanitiser formulation:
To address the need for personal and surface decontamination, DRDE, Gwalior and CFEES, Delhi
have prepared hand sanitizer compliant to WHO guidelines for local production.
More than 1.50,000 bottles of sanitizer based on Isopropyl Alcohol/ Ethanol has been produced
in-house and supplied to: Indian Armed forces, Armed Forces Medical Corps, Defence Security
Corps (approx. 5,500 bottles; Ministry of Defence (1,500 bottles); Parliament -(300 bottles);
Delhi Police (2500 bottles) and other Security Establishments and High Offices (500 bottles).
Ethyl alcohol base formulation and process has been shared with industries and production in
bulk has been initiated. Raw material sourcing can help increase the production. Cost of a litre
of the sanitiser is around Rs 120 including GST.
DRDO Laboratories across the country are producing a large amount of hand sanitizers based
on DRDE, guidelines and distributing to local administration for fight against the pandemic.

Sanitization Equipment:
DRDO is ready with technologies for sanitizing areas of different sizes. The Centre for Fire,
Explosives & Environment Safety (CFEES), Delhi has developed two configurations of sanitizing
equipment spin-offs from technologies developed for fire suppression applications.

Portable Backpack Area Sanitization Equipment:


A portable sanitization equipment has been developed with the help of industry partner for
spraying decontamination solution consisting of 1% Hypochlorite (HYPO) solution for
sanitization of suspected area. The portable system can be mounted as a backpack. This system
incorporates low pressure twin fluid (air & disinfectant liquid) technology to generate very fine
mist and is capable of disinfecting an area up to 300 square meter. The application areas can
include hospital reception, doctor chambers, office spaces dealing with general public,
corridors, pathways, metro and railway stations, bus stations, etc.

Automatic Mist Based Sanitizer Dispensing Unit:


CFEES along with HPO 1, using its expertise in mist technology for fire suppression, has
developed automatic mist based sanitiser dispensing unit. It is a contact less sanitiser dispenser
which sprays alcohol based hand rub sanitiser solution for sanitisation of hands while entering
the buildings/office complexes, etc. It is based on water mist aerator technology, which was
developed for water conservation. The unit operates without contact and is activated through
an ultrasonic sensor. A single fluid nozzle with low flow rate is used to generate aerated mist to
dispense the hand rub sanitiser.
This sanitises the hands with minimum wastage. Using atomiser, only 5-6 ml sanitiser is
released for 12 seconds in one operation and it gives the full cone spray over both palms so
that disinfection operation of hands is complete. It is a very compact unit and bulk fill option

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makes it economical and long lasting product. It is easy to install system as wall-mountable or
on a platform. As an indication of operation an LED illuminates the spray. The unit was
manufactured with the help of M/s Riot Labz Pvt Ltd, Noida, and one unit has been installed at
DRDO Bhawan.
The unit can be used for sanitization of hands at entry and exit to hospitals, malls, office
buildings, residential buildings, airports, metro stations, railway stations, bus stations and
critical installations. The product is also expected to be very useful for entry/ exit of isolation
and quarantine centres.

UV Sanitization Box and Hand-held UV Device:


Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences (DIPAS) and INMAS, have designed &
developed ultraviolet C light-based sanitisation box and hand-held UV-C (ultraviolet light with
wavelength 254 nanometres) device. The UV-C consists of a shorter, more energetic
wavelength of light. It is particularly good at destroying genetic material in COVID-19. The
radiation warps the structure RNA which prevents the viral particles from making more copies
of themselves. The UV-C kills microbes quickly. Sanitisation of the items by employing UV-C
light avoids the harmful effects of the chemicals used for the disinfection. This is environment
friendly and is a contact free effective sanitisation method.
The UV-C box is designed for disinfecting personal belongings like mobile phone, tablets, purse,
currency, cover of office files, etc. COVID-19 virus will be deactivated by using UVC lamps in one
minute placed equidistantly in a box with UV dose of 100 mJ/cm2. The UV lamps used in the
sanitisation box also emits 185 nm that produces ozone and is able to take care of the
unexposed area on the surfaces of the objects placed in the box.
The hand-held device having eight watt UV-C lamp disinfects office and household objects like
food packets, furniture, etc., with an exposure of 45 second at a 100 mJ/cm2 irradiation placed
at a distance of less than two inches. This measure can reduce the transmission of Corona virus
in office and public places.

Personnel Sanitization Enclosure:


The entry point walk through enclosure for personnel decontamination has been designed by
Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (VRDE) and developed by M/s DH Ltd.,
Ghaziabad. The portable hands-free operation enclosure comprises a wash basin, tissue
dispenser, dryer, hand sanitiser and soap at entry point and can be made operational in 3
hours.
A foot operated, Start Pedal and Stop Pedal have been provided at entry and exit points,
respectively. An electric pump creates disinfectant mist of Hypo Sodium Chloride inside the
canopy. Mist spray stops automatically after 25 seconds so that person knows when to exit the
enclosure. Once the person is inside the enclosure he/she needs to keep his/her eyes closed
during the period of mist spraying. Two roof mounted separate tanks containing water and
Hypo Sodium Chloride feed wash basin and spray nozzles, respectively through the pump.
The enclosure can be operated continuously for 24 hours as it has been designed for
redundancy. See-through glass windows on side walls of the canopy help in monitoring the
function. Two lights provided inside the enclosure keeps proper illumination during night time.

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Personnel Sanitization Station:


VRDE has conceptualised this low pressure mist system for individual sanitization installed in a
MS container based cabin. This can be easily mounted on a vehicle, transported and
refabricated within two hours.
Salient features:
 Can be operated continuously for 24 hours
 Roof mounted water tank and side UV Sanitization Box wall mounted control box & pump
 Glass window on either side of container for monitoring
 Hands free, sanitizer dispenser at entrance

Low Cost Vehicle Sanitization Enclosure:


System is lightweight, portable canopy and can be made operational in three hours to sanitize
vehicles at entry points of premises. An electrically operated positive displacement pump
creates disinfectant mist inside the tent canopy through which the vehicles are passed. A 500
litre separate tank stores disinfectant, which is sufficient for disinfection of 200 vehicles.
Salient Features:
 Indigenous locally available material utilized
 Requires less ground preparation
 Can be operated intermittently for four hours with a break of 10 minutes before
subsequent operation.
 Noise free operation.
 The system can be utilized at any location including entry location for Sanitization of
vehicles.
System is being deployed in local hospitals in Ahmednagar where quarantine facility has been
established and at few Army Units where there is a large ingress and egress of personnel. Also
certain areas where there is a movement of sizeable number of people, viz., District Collector’s
Office complex, Ahmednagar.

Quarantine Facility:
To fight pandemic COVID-19, VRDE has reorganised one of its buildings to be utilized as 50-bed
quarantine facility for Ahmednagar District.
Salient Features:
 Two independent toilets and four toilet-bathroom combo for patients
 Eight independent beds for nursing staff on 1st/2nd floor with independent toilet
bathrooms
 Independent entry/exist to this facility from separate gate. No civilian contact
 Patient bus/ambulance can be directly brought to facility
 Inspection room at entry gate point of facility
 Isolated building. No residential/technical building within 1.5 km vicinity
 Standby generator set along with routine electric supply
 2000 litres capacity overhead water tank and 4000 litres ground water tanks.
 Centralized CCTV with control room on 1st floor to monitor patients
 Centralized fire alarm systems
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Protective Face Shield:


Research Centre Imarat (RCI) Hyderabad, TBRL, Chandigarh and HPO-1, DRDO HQ, New Delhi
has developed face protection shields for health care professionals and security forces handling
COVID-19 patients. All the designs are lightweight and having negligible aerosol movement at
face to minimize contamination from direct splash and sneezing.
The designs use various types of visors/sheets. While RCI & TBRL designs use commonly
available A4 size OHP sheet for face protection, the two designs made by HPO-1 (self and jointly
developed with WIPRO-3D) uses ear to ear length FDA approved 21CFREC10/2011 compliance
coated polyesters films and PVC/PC for better optical visibility. The harness, the holding frame
is initially prototyped using Fused Deposition Modelling (additive manufacturing). Polylactic
acid filament has been used for 3D printing of the frame. The thermoplastic is derived from
renewable resources such as corn starch or sugarcane and is biodegradable.
The face mask is being mass produced using injection moulding technique at Delhi, Chandigarh,
Hyderabad and Bengaluru. A total capacity of approximately 2 lakh units
of face shields per day has been created within short span of time to meet urgent
requirements. Approximately, 30,000 units of face shields have already been distributed to
AIIMS, RML, Safdarjang Hospital, Delhi Police, Punjab Police, PGIMER, Chandigarh & ESIC and
DRDO Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad. The industries thus developed by DRDO have till date
catered approximately more than 70,000 face shield requirements pan India.

Global military expenditure in 2019

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Global military expenditure is estimated to have been $1917 billion in 2019, the highest level
since 1988. The total was 3.6 per cent higher in real terms than in 2018 and 7.2 per cent higher
than in 2010. World military spending rose in each of the five years from 2015, having
decreased steadily from 2011 until 2014 following the global financial and economic crisis.
The world military burden- global military expenditure as a share of global gross domestic
product (GDP) in 2019 was 2.2 per cent, a minor increase from 2018. Military spending per
capita rose from $243 in 2018 to $249 in 2019, as the 1.1 per cent growth in the world
population was surpassed by the growth in military spending.

THE TOP 15 MILITARY SPENDERS IN 2019


The top 15 military spenders in the world in 2019 were the same as those in 2018, but there
were some significant changes in the rankings among the highest spenders. Together, the top
15 countries spent $1553 billion in 2019, accounting for 81 per cent of global military
expenditure.
All but three countries in the top 15 had higher military expenditure in 2019 than in 2010. The
exceptions were the United States (–15 per cent), the United Kingdom (–15 per cent) and Italy
(–11 per cent). China’s increase (85 per cent) was by far the largest among the top 15.
Among the top 15 military spenders in 2019, Japan had the lowest military burden: it devoted
only 0.9 per cent of its GDP to military expenditure. Saudi Arabia had the highest, 8.0 per cent.
Among the top 15, the military burdens of Israel (5.3 per cent), Russia (3.9 per cent), the USA
(3.4 per cent), South Korea (2.7 per cent) and India (2.4 per cent) were also higher than the
global military burden.
With military expenditure of $732 billion, the USA remained by far the largest spender in the
world in 2019, accounting for 38 per cent of global military spending. The USA spent almost as
much on its military in 2019 as the next 10 highest spenders combined.
US military expenditure was 5.3 per cent higher in 2019 than in 2018. This is the second year of
growth in US military spending following seven years of continuous decline- between 2010 and
2017 spending fell by 22 per cent. The growth in the USA’s military spending between 2017 and
2019 can be attributed to an increase in personnel costs from the recruitment of 16 000
additional military personnel and the ongoing modernization of its conventional and nuclear
weapon inventories. However, despite the recent increases, US military expenditure in 2019
remained 15 per cent lower than its peak in 2010 when the USA’s military burden was 4.9 per
cent of GDP.
China, the world’s second-largest military spender, is estimated to have allocated $261 billion
to the military in 2019- equivalent to 14 per cent of global military expenditure. Its military
spending in 2019 was 5.1 per cent higher than in 2018 and 85 per cent higher than in 2010.
China’s military expenditure has increased continuously since 1994 (for 25 consecutive years).
The growth in its military spending has closely matched the country’s economic growth.
Between 2010 and 2019, China’s military burden remained almost unchanged, at 1.9 per cent
of its GDP.
The 6.8 per cent rise in India’s military spending in 2019 in combination with the significant fall
in Saudi Arabia’s spending (–16 per cent) over the same period meant that India ranked third in
2019 for the first time. Saudi Arabia’s decrease and the increase in Russia’s spending (4.5 per

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cent) meant that Russia moved up one place in the rankings, from fifth to fourth, while Saudi
Arabia fell from third to fifth.

Figure: The share of world military expenditure of the 15 countries with the highest spending in
2019

At $50.1 billion, France’s military spending in 2019 was the sixth highest in the world and the
highest among states in Western Europe. Germany had the highest annual increase (10 per
cent) in military spending among the top 15 spenders in 2019 and moved up two places in the
rankings, from ninth to seventh.
Six of the 15 highest spenders are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO):
the USA, France, Germany, the UK, Italy and Canada. Together, these six accounted for 48 per
cent ($929 billion) of global military expenditure. Total spending by all 29 NATO members was
$1035 billion in 2019.

REGIONAL TRENDS
In at least four of the world’s five regions, military expenditure increased in 2019. The highest
increase was in Europe (5.0 per cent), followed by Asia and Oceania (4.8 per cent), the Americas
(4.7 per cent) and Africa (1.5 per cent). For the fifth successive year, SIPRI cannot provide an
estimate of total spending in the Middle East. Of the countries in the Middle East for which data
is available, the combined military expenditure fell by 7.5 per cent in 2019.

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Africa
At an estimated $41.2 billion, military expenditure in Africa accounted for 2.1 per cent of the
global total in 2019. The marginal growth in spending in 2019 was the first increase in African
military expenditure for five years. Despite the annual decreases in 2015–18, increases in other
years meant that total African military spending grew by 17 per cent over the decade 2010–19.
Military spending by countries in North Africa is estimated to have totaled $23.5 billion in 2019,
representing 57 per cent of the total for Africa. Amid long-standing tensions between Algeria
and Morocco, domestic insurgencies and continuing civil war in Libya, military spending in the
sub-region was 4.6 per cent higher than in 2018 and 67 per cent higher than in 2010.
Algeria’s military expenditure of $10.3 billion in 2019 was the highest in North Africa (and Africa
as a whole) and accounted for 44 per cent of the sub-regional total. Algeria’s military spending
has risen almost continuously since 2000, and particularly in the period 2004–16, when
expenditure grew for 13 consecutive years and reached an all-time high in 2016. At 6.0 per cent
of its GDP, Algeria’s military burden was the highest in Africa in 2019.
Military spending in sub-Saharan Africa fell by 2.2 per cent in 2019 to reach $17.7 billion, which
was 15 per cent lower than in 2010. At $3.5 billion, South Africa’s military spending was the
highest in sub-Saharan Africa in 2019. Its spending fell by 1.5 per cent in 2019- the fourth
consecutive year of decrease. Nigeria was the second-largest spender in the sub-region in 2019:
it allocated $1.9 billion to its military, down by 8.2 per cent compared with 2018.
In recent years spending on the military by sub-Saharan African states has been volatile. Of the
19 countries that increased military spending in 2019, 8 decreased spending in 2018. Similarly,
13 of the 23 countries that lowered spending in 2019 had raised spending in 2018. This means
that, overall, the trend in changes by 21 of the 42 countries in the sub-region for which relevant
data is available reversed in 2019.
Armed conflict is a major driver for the volatile nature of military spending in sub-Saharan
Africa. For example, in the Sahel and Lake Chad region, where there are several ongoing armed
conflicts, military spending increased in 2019 in Burkina Faso (22 per cent), Cameroon (1.4 per
cent) and Mali (3.6 per cent) but fell in Chad (–5.1 per cent), Niger (–20 per cent) and Nigeria (–
8.2 per cent). Among the Central African countries that were involved in armed conflict, military
spending rose in 2019 in the Central African Republic (8.7 per cent), the Democratic Republic of
the Congo (16 per cent) and Uganda (52 per cent) but fell in Burundi (–4.5 per cent). In the Horn
of Africa, military spending decreased in 2019 in Ethiopia (–1.6 per cent) and Kenya (–1.7 per
cent); however, their spending in 2019 remained well above that in 2010: Ethiopia’s was 12 per
cent higher while Kenya’s was 25 per cent higher.

The Americas
Military expenditure in the Americas reached $815 billion in 2019 and accounted for 43 per
cent of the global total. Three countries from the region were among the top 15 global
spenders in 2019: the USA (rank 1), Brazil (rank 11) and Canada (rank 14). Despite the 4.7 per
cent overall increase in 2019, military spending by states in the region was 13 per cent lower
than in 2010. At $754 billion, spending by the two countries in North America (Canada and the

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USA) accounted for 92 per cent of the total for the Americas. This was 5.1 per cent higher than
in 2018 but 15 per cent lower than in 2010.
South America’s military expenditure was relatively unchanged in 2019, at $52.8 billion, up 0.2
per cent from 2018. This growth, albeit minor, continued an upward trend in military
expenditure over the decade: between 2010 and 2019, spending grew by 8.9 per cent. In 2019
the three main contributors to South American military spending were Brazil (51 per cent),
Colombia (19 per cent) and Chile (9.8 per cent). Together, they accounted for 80 per cent of the
sub-region’s spending.
Brazilian military expenditure fell slightly in 2019, by 0.5 per cent, after two consecutive years
of growth, to reach $26.9 billion. Although the overall level of military expenditure remained
relatively unaltered in 2019, important changes took place in spending categories. Personnel
costs, for example, showed the largest annual increase in over a decade, as part of a plan to
boost military salaries.
Total military expenditure by states in Central America and the Caribbean was $8.7 billion in
2019. Military spending in the sub-region increased by 8.1 per cent in 2019 and by 49 per cent
over the decade 2010–19. Mexico’s military spending accounted for 75 per cent of the sub-
regional total. At $6.5 billion, it was 7.9 per cent higher than in 2018. The growth was largely
due to the costs associated with the government’s strategy of using the military to combat drug
cartels.

Asia and Oceania


Military spending in Asia and Oceania was $523 billion in 2019 and accounted for 27 per cent of
the global total. Five of the top 15 global spenders in 2019 are in Asia and Oceania: China (rank
2), India (rank 3), Japan (rank 9), South Korea (rank 10) and Australia (rank 13).
The 4.8 per cent rise in the region’s military spending in 2019 continued an uninterrupted
upward trend dating back to at least 1989. Asia and Oceania is the only region with continuous
growth since 1989 and the growth of 51 per cent over the decade 2010–19 was by far the
largest of any region. The increase was due primarily to the rise in Chinese military spending,
which in 2019 accounted for 50 per cent of total spending in the region, up from 36 per cent in
2010.
There were substantial increases in all of Asia and Oceania’s sub-regions between 2018 and
2019 and over the decade 2010–19. Over both periods, the highest level of increase was in
Central Asia (63 per cent in 2010–19 and 16 per cent in 2018–19).
At $71.1 billion, India had the highest military spending in South Asia in 2019. It was 6.8 per
cent higher in 2019 than in 2018. India’s military expenditure has risen significantly over the
past few decades. It grew by 259 per cent over the 30-year period 1990–2019 and by 37 per
cent over the decade 2010–19. However, its military burden fell from 2.7 per cent of GDP in
2010 to 2.4 per cent in 2019.
India’s tensions and rivalry with China and Pakistan are among the major drivers for its
increased military spending. Pakistan’s own military expenditure rose by 70 per cent over the
decade 2010–19, to reach $10.3 billion. Its military burden increased from 3.4 per cent of GDP
in 2010 to 4.0 per cent in 2019.

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In addition to China, Japan and South Korea are the largest military spenders in East Asia.
Military spending by Japan was $47.6 billion in 2019, 0.1 per cent lower than in 2018. Its
spending increased by 2.0 per cent between 2010 and 2019. In South Korea the upward trend
in military spending since 2000 continued. In 2019 its military spending reached $43.9 billion,
an increase of 7.5 per cent on 2018 and of 36 per cent on 2010. Australia is by far the largest
military spender in Oceania and its military expenditure in 2019 was $25.9 billion. This was 2.1
per cent higher than in 2018 and 23 per cent higher than in 2010. Australia perceives
heightened military threats in its neighbourhood, including from China, and globally. Military
spending in South East Asia increased by 4.2 per cent in 2019 to reach $40.5 billion, after a 4.1
per cent fall in 2018. Over the decade 2010–19 spending increased by 34 per cent. Seven of the
eight states in the sub-region for which data is available increased their military spending
between 2010 and 2019. The largest spenders in the sub-region in 2019 were Singapore (28 per
cent of the sub-regional total), Indonesia (19 per cent) and Thailand (18 per cent). For several
states the increases in the past decade are partly to pay for expansion of the capabilities of
their armed forces as a reaction to Chinese claims and activities in the South China Sea.

Europe
Total military spending in Europe in 2019 was $356 billion, 5.0 per cent higher than in 2018 and
8.8 per cent higher than in 2010. Europe accounted for around 19 per cent of global military
expenditure in 2019, making it the third-largest spending region after the Americas and Asia
and Oceania. Five of the world’s 15 largest military spenders are in Europe: Russia (rank 4),
France (rank 6), Germany (rank 7), the UK (rank 8) and Italy (rank 12).
Military spending in Western Europe in 2019 was $251 billion- up by 3.9 per cent on 2018 but
down by 0.6 per cent on 2010. Military expenditure in Eastern Europe totalled $74.0 billion in
2019. It was 4.9 per cent higher than in 2018 and 35 per cent higher than in 2010. All seven
countries in Eastern Europe increased their military spending in 2019. In Central Europe
spending in 2019 was $31.5 billion- 14 per cent higher than in 2018 and 61 per cent higher than
in 2010. France’s military spending rose by 1.6 per cent in 2019 to reach $50.1 billion. Over the
decade 2010–19 its military spending increased by 3.5 per cent. The rise in 2019 followed the
adoption of the Military Planning Law for 2019–25, which aims to bring France’s spending on
the military in line with the NATO target of 2 per cent of GDP by 2025. In 2019 Germany raised
its military spending by 10 per cent to $49.3 billion or 1.3 per cent of GDP. Its military
expenditure was 15 per cent higher than in 2010, when it was also 1.3 per cent of GDP.
Notably, Germany’s spending in 2019 was at the highest level since 1993, when the military
burden was 1.7 per cent of GDP. At $48.7 billion, the UK’s military expenditure was unchanged
in 2019 but was 15 per cent lower than in 2010. The UK’s spending has remained fairly stable
since 2015. At 1.7 per cent of GDP, the UK’s military burden in 2019 was at its lowest level since
1950. Russia’s military expenditure was $65.1 billion in 2019 and accounted for 88 per cent of
military spending in Eastern Europe. Russian military expenditure has grown significantly over
the past two decades. By 2019, it was 30 per cent higher than in 2010 and 175 per cent higher
than in 2000. Between 2018 and 2019, Russia’s military spending increased by 4.5 per cent and
its military burden rose from 3.7 per cent of GDP to 3.9 per cent. Four countries in Central
Europe increased their military spending by more than 150 per cent between 2010 and 2019:

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Lithuania (232 per cent), Latvia (176 per cent), Bulgaria (165 per cent) and Romania (154 per
cent). Poland, which accounted for 38 per cent of the total for Central Europe in 2019,
increased its military spending by 51 per cent over the decade 2010–19. Between 2018 and
2019, Bulgaria had the highest relative increase in military spending of any country in the world
(127 percent). This spike in spending can be attributed to the full payment by Bulgaria for eight
new combat aircraft ordered in 2019.

Middle East
SIPRI has not estimated total military expenditure in the Middle East since 2015 because of a
lack of data for Qatar, Syria, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen. The combined total
military expenditure in 2019 for the 11 countries for which data is available was $147 billion.
Two of the top 15 global spenders in 2019 are in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia (rank 5) and
Israel (rank 15). Saudi Arabia is by far the largest military spender in the region, with an
estimated total of $61.9 billion in 2019. After military spending peaked at an all-time high in
2015, when Saudi Arabia was the third-largest military spender in the world, it dropped by 28
per cent in 2016, climbed by 15 per cent between 2016 and 2018, but decreased again in 2019,
by 16 per cent. The drop in military spending in 2019 was unexpected as Saudi Arabia continued
its military operations in Yemen and, after a missile attack caused significant damage to its oil
industry in September 2019, tensions with Iran increased. Military spending by Israel was $20.5
billion in 2019- a slight increase of 1.7 per cent compared with 2018. Between 2010 and 2019,
Israeli military spending increased steadily, and in 2019 it was 30 per cent higher than in 2010.
Turkish military expenditure increased by 86 per cent over the decade 2010–19 to reach $20.4
billion. There was a particularly steep increase in Turkish military spending between 2017 and
2018, of 27 per cent, while the increase between 2018 and 2019 was 5.8 per cent. Iran’s
military expenditure in 2019 was $12.6 billion, a decrease of 15 per cent compared with 2018.
This followed a 23 per cent decrease in 2018. The fall in spending coincided with the Iranian
economy being negatively affected by the USA’s reinstatement of economic sanctions in early
2018 and occurred despite Iran’s deteriorating relations with Saudi Arabia.

MILITARY SPENDING AS A SHARE OF GDP


A country’s military expenditure as a share of GDP- also known as the military burden- is the
simplest measure of the relative economic burden the military places on that country. The
world military burden followed a declining trend in 2010–19, decreasing every year except for
2015 and 2019. There was substantial variation in the average military burden of each region
over the decade: it decreased for countries in Africa and in the Americas, while it increased for
countries in Europe and in the Middle East (for which data is available), and remained
unchanged for countries in Asia and Oceania.
In 2019, on average, countries in the Americas had the lowest military burden, at 1.4 per cent
of GDP. For African countries the average was slightly higher, at 1.6 per cent. In both Asia and
Oceania and Europe it was 1.7 per cent. The highest average, 4.5 per cent, was for states in the
Middle East for which data is available. Of the 149 countries for which SIPRI has military burden
data for 2019, 10 allocated 4.0 per cent or more of their GDP to the military, 13 had a military
burden of 3.0–3.9 per cent of GDP, 24 had a military burden of 2.0–2.9 per cent, 65 had a

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military burden of 1.0–1.9 per cent, and 34 allocated less than 1.0 per cent of their GDP to the
military. Three countries do not have a military and therefore have no military burden: Costa
Rica, Iceland and Panama. Six of the 10 countries with a military burden of 4.0 per cent or more
are in the Middle East: Oman, which spent 8.8 per cent of its GDP on the military (the highest
level in the world), Saudi Arabia (8.0 per cent), Kuwait (5.6 per cent), Israel (5.3 per cent),
Jordan (4.7 per cent) and Lebanon (4.2 per cent). The other four are Algeria (6.0 per cent),
Armenia (4.9 per cent), Azerbaijan (4.0 per cent) and Pakistan (4.0 per cent).

The Industrial Relations Code, 2019

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Highlights of the Bill


 The Code provides for the recognition of trade unions, notice periods for strikes and lock-
outs, standing orders, and resolution of industrial disputes. It subsumes and replaces three
labour laws: the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947; the Trade Unions Act, 1926; and the
Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.
 Trade unions that have a membership of at least 10% of the workers or 100 workers will be
registered. The union with 75% of workers in an establishment will be the sole negotiating
union. Otherwise, a negotiating council of unions will be formed.
 An employee cannot go on strike unless he gives notice for a strike within six weeks before
striking, and within 14 days of giving such notice. Similar provisions exist for lock-out of
workers.
 Industrial establishments with 100 workers must prepare standing orders on matters listed
in a Schedule and have them certified.
 Factories, mines or plantations in which 100 or more workers are employed are required to
take prior permission of the central or state government before laying off or retrenching
their workers.
 The Code provides for the constitution of Industrial Tribunals for the settlement of
industrial disputes. Each Industrial Tribunal will consist of a Judicial member and an
Administrative member.

Key Issues and Analysis


 The Code prohibits strikes or lock-outs in any establishment unless a prior notice of 14 days
is provided. Similar provisions existed in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 for public utility
services (such as, railways and airlines). The Code expands these provisions to apply to all
industrial establishments. This may impact the ability of workers to strike and employers to
lock-out.
 The Code permits the government to defer, reject or modify awards passed by Industrial
Tribunals and the National Industrial Tribunal. A similar provision in the Industrial Disputes
Act, 1947 was struck down by the Madras High Court in 2011, as it violated the principle of
separation of powers by allowing the government to change the decision of a Tribunal
through executive action.
 The Code requires the employer of establishments with at least 100 workers to obtain
permission from the appropriate government prior to the retrenchment of a worker. The
government may increase or decrease this threshold through a notification. The question is
whether the power to determine such a threshold should be specified by Parliament or
whether it should be delegated to the government.

PART A: HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BILL


Context
In India, labour falls under the Concurrent List of the Constitution. Therefore, both Parliament
and state legislatures can make laws regulating labour. Currently, there are over 100 state and
40 central laws regulating various aspects of labour such as resolution of industrial disputes,
working conditions, social security and wages. The Second National Commission on Labour

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(2002) found existing legislation to be complex, with archaic provisions and inconsistent
definitions. To improve ease of compliance and ensure uniformity in labour laws, the National
Commission recommended that existing labour laws should be consolidated into broader
groups such as (i) industrial relations, (ii) wages, (iii) social security, (iv) safety, and (v) welfare
and working conditions.
With regard to a law on industrial relations, the Commission recommended the consolidation of
existing labour laws into two laws; one which would apply to establishments employing 20 or
more workers, and another law which would apply to establishments employing 19 or lesser
employees. The law applicable to establishments with 20 or more workers would:
(i) apply uniformly to all such establishments regardless of the nature of activity,
(ii) seek to reduce government intervention in employer-worker relations by
encouraging collective negotiation between trade unions and management, and
(iii) recognize negotiating agents to represent the concerns of workers in labour
disputes. The other law would contain less stringent provisions on industrial
relations, social security, health and safety, and wages (to reduce the compliance
burden on small scale industries).
In this context, the Industrial Relations Code, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister
of Labour and Employment, Mr. Santosh Kumar Gangwar, on November 28, 2019. It was
referred to the Standing Committee on Labour on December 23, 2019.

Key Features
The Bill applies to all establishments except those engaged in charitable and philanthropic
work, domestic work, sovereign functions of the state and any notified activity. It provides for
the recognition of trade unions, notice periods for strikes and lock-outs, standing orders, and
resolution of industrial disputes. It replaces the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947; the Trade Unions
Act, 1926; and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.
Trade Unions
 Registration: Seven or more members of a trade union can apply to register it. Trade
unions that have a membership of at least 10% of the workers or 100 workers, whichever is
less, will be registered. The overall membership cannot go below seven workers. Only
one-third of the total number of office bearers of the union or five office bearers, whichever
is lower, can be from outside the industry with which the union is connected.
 Recognition: The central or state government may recognise a trade union or a federation
of trade unions as Central or State Trade Unions respectively.
 Negotiating union and council: The trade union with at least 75% of the workers as
members will be considered the sole negotiating union, for the purpose of negotiating with
the employer of the establishment. In case no union has at least 75% of the workers as
members, a negotiating council shall be formed consisting of representatives of unions that
have at least 10% of the workers as members. One representative shall be included for
each 10% of the total workers on the rolls as members.

Strikes and lock-outs

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 In all industrial establishments, an employee cannot go on strike: (i) unless he gives notice
for a strike within 60 days before striking, and (ii) within 14 days of giving such
notice. Similar notice provisions exist for lock-out of workers. Lock-out refers to the
following actions by an employer:
(i) temporary closure of an establishment,
(ii) suspension of work, or
(iii) refusal to continue employing workers.
Lay-off and retrenchment
 Lay-off and retrenchment: The Code defines lay-off as the inability of an employer, due to
shortage of coal, or power, or breakdown of machinery, from giving employment to a
worker. Retrenchment refers to the termination of service of a workman for any reason
other than disciplinary action. It does not include retirement, non-renewal of contract, or
completion of tenure of fixed term employment.
 Establishments in which at least 50 workers are employed, are required to give to every
worker who has completed at least one year of continuous service: (i) 50% of basic wages
and dearness allowance if he is laid off, and (ii) one month’s notice (or equivalent wages)
and 15 days’ wages for every year of continuous service for such period to a worker who
has been retrenched.
 Further, if the establishment has at least 100 workers, prior permission of the central or
state government must be obtained before lay-off or retrenchment. In case of
retrenchment, the notice requirement is extended to three months (or equivalent
wages). The central or state government can modify this threshold by notification.
 The provisions on lay-offs only apply to factories, mines or plantations. The provisions on
retrenchment apply to all establishments.
 Worker re-skilling fund: The fund will be set up by the appropriate government. It will
consist of contributions from employers equal to 15 days (or as specified by the central
government) of the last drawn wages of every retrenched worker. Contributions from
other sources may be prescribed by the appropriate government. Funds must be utilised
within 45 days of retrenchment as may be prescribed.
Dispute Resolution
 Bi-partite Fora: The appropriate government may require employers in establishments with
100 or more workers to constitute a Works Committee. The Committee will help resolve
conflicts between workers and employers. It will be composed of representatives of
workers and employers. The number of representatives of workers cannot be less than the
number of representatives of employers. Further, every establishment with 20 or more
workers must constitute a Grievance Redressal Committee. The Committee will resolve
disputes related to grievances of individual workers on non-employment, terms of
employment or conditions of service. It will consist of equal representatives of the
employer and workers up to a maximum of ten workers.
 Arbitration: The Code allows for industrial disputes to be referred to arbitration by the
employer and workers if both parties agree to do so. Industrial disputes refer to disputes
between: (i) employers and employers, (ii) employers and workers, or (iii) workers and
workers, on the employment or non-employment, terms of employment, conditions of

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labour, or disputes between an employer and worker on discharge, dismissal, or


retrenchment of the worker.
 Resolution of industrial disputes: The central or state governments may appoint
conciliation officers to mediate and promote settlement of industrial disputes. These
officers will investigate the dispute and hold conciliation proceedings to arrive at a fair and
amicable settlement of the dispute. If no settlement is arrived at, then either party to the
dispute can make an application to an Industrial Tribunal.
 Industrial Tribunals: Industrial Tribunals may be set up for settling industrial disputes. An
Industrial Tribunal will consist of two members: (i) a Judicial Member, who is a High Court
Judge or has served as a District Judge or an Additional District Judge for a minimum of
three years; and (ii) an Administrative Member, who has over 20 years of experience in the
fields of economics, business, law, and labour relations.
 The central government may also constitute National Industrial Tribunals for settlement of
industrial disputes which: (i) involve questions of national importance, or (ii) could impact
industrial establishments situated in more than one state. Members of the National
Tribunal will include: (i) a Judicial Member, who has been a High Court Judge, and (ii) an
Administrative Member, who has been a Secretary in the central government.
 The award of the Tribunal will be enforceable within 30 days. However, the government
may decide to defer the enforcement of an award in certain cases on public grounds
(affecting national economy or social justice).
Standing Orders
 Standing orders: All industrial establishments with 100 workers or more must prepare
standing orders on matters listed in a Schedule to the Code. The central government will
prepare model standing orders on such matters, based on which industrial establishments
are required to prepare their standing orders. These matters relate to: (i) classification of
workers, (ii) manner of informing workers about work hours, holidays, paydays, and wage
rates, (iii) termination of employment, and (iv) grievance redressal mechanisms for
workers.
 Notice of change: Employers who propose changes in the conditions of service are required
to give a notice to the workers. The conditions of service for which a notice is required to
be given are listed in a Schedule to the Code and include wages, contribution, and leave.
 Unfair labour practices: The Code prohibits employers, workers, and trade unions from
committing unfair labour practices listed in a Schedule to the Code. These include: (i)
restricting workers from forming trade unions, (ii) establishing employer-sponsored trade
unions, and (iii) coercing workers to join trade unions.
Offences and Penalties
 The Code specifies various offences. If an employer employing 100 or more workers does
not take prior permission from the appropriate government for lay-off, retrenchment and
closure, he may be punished with a fine between one lakh rupees and ten lakh
rupees. Further, an illegal strike may be punished with a fine between one thousand rupees
and ten thousand rupees, or with imprisonment up to one month, or with both. Similarly,
an illegal lock-out by an employer may be punished with a fine between fifty thousand
rupees and one lakh rupees, or imprisonment for one month, or both. For the violation of

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provisions where the offence is not specified, the penalty may be a fine up to one lakh
rupees.
 The Code allows for compounding (settling) of offences not punishable with imprisonment,
subject to certain conditions. Compounding may be allowed for a sum of 50% of the
maximum fine provided for the offence.

PART B: KEY ISSUES AND ANALYSIS


Strikes and lock-outs may become difficult for for all establishments
The Code requires all persons to give a prior notice of 14 days before a strike or lock-out. This
notice is valid for a maximum of 60 days. The Code also prohibits strikes and lock-outs: (i)
during and up to seven days after a conciliation proceeding, and (ii) during and up to sixty days
after proceedings before a tribunal. This may impact the ability of workers to strike and
employers to lock-out workers.
The Code requires prior notice before a strike or a lock-out, which has to be shared with the
conciliation officer within two days. Conciliation proceedings will start immediately and strikes
or lock-outs will be prohibited during this period. If the conciliation is not successful and there
is an application to a Tribunal by either party, the period of prohibition on strikes or lock-outs
will be further extended. This time could extend the beyond the 60-day validity of the
notice. Therefore, these provisions may impact the ability of a strike or lock-out on the
appointed date given in the notice.
The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 contains similar provisions for public utility services. A public
utility service includes railways, airlines, and establishments that provide water, electricity, and
telephone service. However, the National Commission on Labour (2002) had justified the
rationale of treating such industries differently, considering their impact on the lives of a vast
majority of people.2 The rationale for extending the provisions on notice to all establishments
is unclear.
Power to government to modify or reject tribunal awards
The Code provides for the constitution of Industrial Tribunals and a National Industrial Tribunal
to decide disputes under the Code. It states that the awards passed by a Tribunal will be
enforceable on the expiry of 30 days. However, the government can defer the enforcement of
the award in certain circumstances on public grounds affecting national economy or social
justice. These circumstances are when: (i) the central or state government is a party to the
dispute in appeal, or (ii) the award has been given by a National Tribunal. The appropriate
government can also make an order rejecting or modifying the award. The notification and the
order will be tabled in the legislature. The question is whether such a provision would violate
the principle of separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary, since it
empowers the government to change the decision of the tribunal through executive
action. Further, it raises the question of whether there is a conflict of interest, as the
government may modify an award made by the Tribunal in a dispute in which it is a party.
The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 had similar provisions. In 2011, the Madras High Court
(affirming a 1997 Andhra Pradesh High Court judgement) struck down these provisions on
constitutional grounds and held that the power to the executive to decline enforcing an award
or to modify it, allows the executive to sit in appeal over the decision of the Tribunal, and

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therefore violates the separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary, which
forms a part of the basic structure of the Constitution. This provision has been replicated in the
Code. Therefore, it may violate the principle of separation of powers between the executive
and the judiciary.
Threshold for provision on retrenchment left to delegated legislation
The Code defines retrenchment as the termination of employment of a permanent worker,
except for certain reasons such as retirement of the worker. The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
requires the employer of factories, mines and plantations with at least 100 workers to obtain
permission from the appropriate government prior to the retrenchment of a worker. The Code
retains this provision. However, it allows the central or state government to change the
threshold (in either direction) for this provision through a notification. Under the 1947 Act, this
power could only be exercised through amendment of the Act by the Parliament or state
legislature. Any upward revision in the threshold by the state legislature additionally needed
the assent of the President of India (since labour is a subject under the Concurrent List of the
Constitution). The question is whether the power to determine such a threshold should be
retained by the legislature or whether it should be delegated to the government.
Provisions on fixed term employment
The Code introduces provisions on fixed term employment. Fixed term employment refers to
workers employed for a fixed duration based on a contract signed between the worker and the
employer. Provisions for fixed term employment were introduced for central sphere
establishments in 2018.
Fixed term employment may allow employers the flexibility to hire workers for a fixed duration
and for work that may not be permanent in nature. Further, fixed term contracts are
negotiated directly between the employer and employee and reduce the role of a middleman
such as an agency or contractor. They may also benefit the worker since the Code entitles
fixed term employees to the same benefits (such as medical insurance and pension) and
conditions of work as are available to permanent employees. This could help improve the
conditions of temporary workers in comparison with contract workers who may not be
provided with such benefits.
However, unequal bargaining powers between the worker and employer could affect the rights
of such workers since the power to renew such contracts lies with the employer. This may
result in job insecurity for the employee and may deter him from raising issues about unfair
work practices, such as extended work hours, or denial of wages or leaves. Further, the Code
does not restrict the type of work in which fixed term workers may be hired. Therefore, they
may be hired for roles offered to permanent workmen. In contrast, under the Contract Labour
(Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 the government may prohibit employment of contract
labour in some cases including where: (i) the work is of a perennial nature, or (ii) the work
performed by contract workers is necessary for the business carried out by the establishment,
or (iii) the same work is carried out by regular workmen in the establishment. Note that the
2nd National Labour Commission (2002) had recommended that no
worker should be kept continuously as a casual or temporary worker against a permanent job
for more than two years.

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The ILO (2016) noted that several countries restrict use of fixed term contracts by: (i) limiting
renewal of employment contracts (e.g., Vietnam, Brazil and China allow two successive fixed
term contracts), (ii) limiting the duration of contract (e.g., Philippines and Botswana limit it up
to a year), or (iii) limiting the proportion of fixed term workers in the overall workforce (e.g.,
Italy limits fixed term and agency workers to 20%).

Table 1: Comparison between fixed term employment, permanent employment and contract
labour
Certain terms not defined in the Code

Feature Fixed Term Employee Permanent Contract Labour


Employee
Type of  Employment under  Employment  Engaged in an
employment written contract. No directly under a establishment through
contractor or agency written contract. a contractor or agency.
is involved.  On the payroll of  Not on the payroll of
 On the payroll of the the the establishment.
establishment. establishment.
Term  Stipulated fixed  Employed on a  Based on terms
term. permanent basis negotiated with the
 Employment lapses  Notice has to be contractor.
on completion of given for
term, unless termination of
renewed. No notice employment.
is required to be
given for
retrenchment.
Nature of work  Not specified.  Hired for routine  Employment may be
work. prohibited in certain
cases, e.g., if similar
work is carried out by
regular workmen.

The Code defines a ‘worker’ as any person who work for hire or reward. It excludes persons
employed in a managerial or administrative capacity, or in a supervisory capacity with wages
exceeding Rs 15,000. However, it does not define the terms ‘manager’ or ‘supervisor’ in this
context. These terms are also used in the remaining three labour Codes, i.e., the Occupational
Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2019 (OSH Code), the Code on Wages, 2019 and
the Industrial Relations Code, 2019. The Standing Committee which examined the OSH Code
recommended that the terms ‘supervisor’ and ‘manager’ be clearly defined in the Code as it
determines the categories of persons who would be excluded from the definition of ‘workers’.

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Further, the Code uses the term ‘contractor’ while defining certain terms. For example,
‘employer’ is defined to include a contractor. However, the Code does not define the term
‘contractor’. Note that the remaining three Codes define the term to include persons who
deliver work using contract labour, or supply manpower through contract labour. Similarly, the
Code defines the term “industrial establishment” to mean an establishment in which industry is
carried on. However, it does not define the term ‘establishment’. The remaining three Codes
define the term to refer to any place where an industry, trade, business, manufacture or
occupation is carried on.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is
to advance social and economic justice through setting international labour
standards. Founded in 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the first and oldest specialised
agency of the UN. The ILO has 187 member states: 186 out of 193 UN member states plus
the Cook Islands. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland
In 1969, the ILO received the Nobel Peace Prize for improving fraternity and peace among
nations, pursuing decent work and justice for workers, and providing technical assistance to
other developing nations. In 2019, the organization convened the Global Commission on the
Future of Work, whose report made ten recommendations for governments to meet the
challenges of the 21st century labor environment; these include a universal labour
guarantee, social protection from birth to old age and an entitlement to lifelong
learning. With its focus on international development, it is a member of the United Nations
Development Group, a coalition of UN organization aimed at helping meet the Sustainable
Development Goals.

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State of the World’s Nursing 2020

The nursing workforce, comprising nursing professionals and nursing associates, is the world’s
largest single occupation in the health sector and is a foundation of the inter-professional
health teams that deliver on the promise of health for all.
Nurses’ responsibilities and roles as advanced practitioners, clinicians, leaders, policy-makers,
researchers, scientists and teachers are central to the effective functioning of health
professionals’ education and practice. Improvements in population health and well-being have
been, and will continue to be, ably realized through the industry, innovation and inspiration of
the nursing profession.
Nursing has existed for centuries and has evolved considerably since the birth 200 years ago of
Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing. Structured education, clinical
standards and nurse professional associations emerged in the 1800s, progressively raising the
quality, competencies and working conditions of the nursing profession. The 1900s saw the
growth of specializations and autonomy, along with stronger professional regulation to ensure
public accountability and safety (1). The first international organization for health care
professionals, founded in 1899, was the International Council of Nurses. Currently in its 121st
year of operation, the International Council of Nurses is a federation of more than 130 national
nurse associations, representing more than 20 million nurses worldwide.
Since its first years of existence, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the
enormous value and contribution of the nursing and midwifery workforces. Over the years,
nurses and midwives have contributed to major global health landmarks, including the
eradication of smallpox, the fight against communicable diseases, and the dramatic reductions
in maternal, newborn and child mortality and morbidity worldwide. Their prominent role has
translated into an unparalleled level of attention by the World Health Assembly, which has
adopted over a 70-year period 10 resolutions to promote the uptake of international standards
to educate, employ and retain nurses and midwives as part of broader workforce development
priorities.
The State of the world’s nursing 2020 report, developed by WHO in partnership with the
International Council of Nurses and the global Nursing Now campaign, explores the
contemporary evidence with the objective of providing a vision and forward-looking agenda for
nursing policy. As the world celebrates 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the
Midwife, as designated by the World Health Assembly, this landmark report aims to inform
national, regional and global actions related to the nursing workforce in the decade remaining
to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The report presents comprehensive, up-to-date evidence on the current nursing workforce
globally; takes stock of the main issues, challenges and known evidence regarding the role of
the nursing profession in the attainment of health goals; and provides concrete policy options
to advance the nursing profession as part of an integrated approach to strengthen the health
workforce, primary health care and health systems.

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Current status of evidence in 2020:


The nursing workforce is expanding in size and professional scope. However, the expansion is
not equitable, is insufficient to meet rising demand, and is leaving some populations behind.
191 countries provided data for this report, an all-time high and a 53% increase compared to
2018 data availability. Around 80% of countries reported on 15 indicators or more. However,
there are significant gaps in data on education capacity, financing, salary and wages, and health
labour market flows. This impedes the ability to conduct health labour market analyses that will
inform nursing workforce policy and investment decisions.
The global nursing workforce is 27.9 million, of which 19.3 million are professional nurses.
This indicates an increase of 4.7 million in the total stock over the period 2013–2018, and
confirms that nursing is the largest occupational group in the health sector, accounting for
approximately 59% of the health professions. The 27.9 million nursing personnel include 19.3
million (69%) professional nurses, 6.0 million (22%) associate professional nurses and 2.6
million (9%) who are not classified either way.
The world does not have a global nursing workforce commensurate with the universal health
coverage and SDG targets. Over 80% of the world’s nurses are found in countries that account
for half of the world’s population. The global shortage of nurses, estimated to be 6.6 million in
2016, had decreased slightly to 5.9 million nurses in 2018. An estimated 5.3 million (89%) of
that shortage is concentrated in low- and lower middle-income countries, where the growth in
the number of nurses is barely keeping pace with population growth, improving only marginally
the nurse-to-population density levels. Figure 1 illustrates the wide variation in density of
nursing personnel to population, with the greatest gaps in countries in the African, South-East
Asia and Eastern Mediterranean regions and some countries in Latin America.
Ageing health workforce patterns in some regions threaten the stability of the nursing stock.
Globally, the nursing workforce is relatively young, but there are disparities across regions, with
substantially older age structures in the American and European regions. Countries with lower
numbers of early career nurses (aged under 35 years) as a proportion of those approaching
retirement (aged 55 years and over) will have to increase graduate numbers and strengthen
retention packages to maintain access to health services. Countries with a young nursing
workforce should enhance their equitable distribution across the country. The countries with
higher proportions of nurses nearing retirement compared to young nurses will face future
challenges in maintaining the nursing workforce.
To address the shortage by 2030 in all countries, the total number of nurse graduates would
need to increase by 8% per year on average, alongside an improved capacity to employ and
retain these graduates. Without this increase, current trends indicate 36 million nurses by
2030, leaving a projected needs-based shortage of 5.7 million, primarily in the African, South-
East Asia and Eastern Mediterranean regions. In parallel, a number of countries in the
American, European and Western Pacific regions would still be challenged with nationally
defined shortages. Figure-1 shows projected increases in numbers of nurses by WHO region
and by country income group.

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Figure-1: Projected increase (to 2030) of nursing stock, by WHO region and by country income
group

The majority of countries (152 out of 157 responding; 97%) reported that the minimum
duration for nurse education is a three-year programme. A large majority of countries
reported standards for education content and duration (91%), accreditation mechanisms (89%),
national standards for faculty qualifications (77%) and inter-professional education (67%).
However, less is known about the effectiveness of these policies and mechanisms. Further,
there is still considerable variety in the minimum education and training levels of nurses,
alongside capacity constraints such as faculty shortages, infrastructure limitations and the
availability of clinical placement sites. The duration of nursing education is predominantly three
or four years globally.
A total of 78 countries (53% of those providing a response) reported having advanced practice
roles for nurses. There is strong evidence that advanced practice nurses can increase access to
primary health care in rural communities and address disparities in access to care for vulnerable
populations in urban settings. Nurses at all levels, when enabled and supported to work to the
full scope of their education and training, can provide effective primary and preventive health
care, amongst many other health services that are instrumental to achieving universal health
coverage.
One nurse out of every eight practises in a country other than the one where they were born
or trained. The international mobility of the nursing workforce is increasing. While the patterns
are evolving, equitable distribution and retention of nurses is a near-universal challenge.
Unmanaged migration can exacerbate shortages and contribute to inequitable access to health
services. Many high-income countries in different regions appear to have an excessive reliance

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on international nursing mobility due to low numbers of graduate nurses or existing shortages
vis-à-vis the number of nursing jobs available and the ability to employ new graduate nurses in
the health system.
Most countries (86%) have a body responsible for the regulation of nursing. Almost two thirds
(64%) of countries require an initial competency assessment to enter nursing practice and
almost three quarters (73%) require continued professional development for nurses to
continue practising. However, the regulation of nursing education and practice is not
harmonized beyond a few sub-regional mutual recognition arrangements. Regulatory bodies
are challenged to keep education and practice regulations updated and nursing workforce
registries current in a highly mobile, team-based and digital era. Figure 5 shows the proportions
of reporting countries with regulatory provisions on working conditions in place.
Nursing remains a highly gendered profession with associated biases in the workplace.
Approximately 90% of the nursing workforce is female, but few leadership positions in health
are held by nurses or women. There is some evidence of a gender-based pay gap, as well as
other forms of gender-based discrimination in the work environment. Legal protections,
including working hours and conditions, minimum wage, and social protection, were reported
to be in place in most countries, but not equitably across regions. Just over a third of countries
(37%) reported measures in place to prevent attacks on health workers.
A total of 82 out of 115 responding countries (71%) reported having a national nursing
leadership position with responsibility for providing input into nursing and health policy. A
national nursing leadership development programme was in place in 78 countries (53% of those
responding). Both the presence of a government chief nursing officer (or equivalent) position
and the existence of a nursing leadership programme are associated with a stronger regulatory
environment for nursing.

Future directions for nursing workforce policy:

1. Countries affected by shortages will need to increase funding to educate and employ at
least 5.9 million additional nurses. Additional investments in nursing education are
estimated to be in the range of US$ 10 per capita in low- and middle-income countries.
Further investments would be required to employ nurses upon graduation. In most
countries this can be achieved with domestic funds. Actions include review and
management of national wage bills and, in some countries, lifting restrictions on the supply
of nurses. Where domestic resources are constrained in the medium and long term, for
example in low-income countries and conflict-affected or vulnerable contexts, mechanisms
such as institutional fund-pooling arrangements should be considered. Development
partners and international financing institutions can help by transferring human capital
investments for education, employment, gender, health and skills development into
national health workforce strategies for advancing primary health care and achieving
universal health coverage. Investments in the nursing workforce can also help drive
progress in job creation, gender equity and youth engagement.
2. Countries should strengthen capacity for health workforce data collection, analysis and
use. Actions required include accelerating the implementation of National Health

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Workforce Accounts and using the data for health labour market analyses to guide policy
development and investment decisions. Collation of nursing data will require participation
across government bodies, as well as engagement of key stakeholders such as the
regulatory councils, nursing education institutions, health service providers and professional
associations.
3. Nurse mobility and migration must be effectively monitored and responsibly and ethically
managed. Actions needed include reinforcement of the implementation of the WHO Global
Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel by countries,
recruiters and international stakeholders. Partnerships and collaboration with regulatory
bodies, health workforce information systems, employers, government ministries and other
stakeholders can improve the ability to monitor, govern and regulate international nurse
mobility. Countries that are over-reliant on migrant nurses should aim towards greater self-
sufficiency by investing more in domestic production of nurses. Countries experiencing
excessive losses of their nursing workforce through out-migration should consider
mitigating measures and retention packages, such as improving salaries (and pay equity)
and working conditions, creating professional development opportunities, and allowing
nurses to work to their full scope of education and training.
4. Nurse education and training programmes must graduate nurses who drive progress in
primary health care and universal health coverage. Actions include investment in nursing
faculty, availability of clinical placement sites and accessibility of programmes offered to
attract a diverse student body. Nursing should emerge as a career choice grounded in
science, technology, teamwork and health equity. Government chief nurses and other
national stakeholders can lead national dialogue on the appropriate entry-level and
specialization programmes for nurses to ensure there is adequate supply to meet health
system demand for graduates. Curricula must be aligned with national health priorities as
well as emerging global issues to prepare nurses to work effectively in inter-professional
teams and maximize graduate competencies in health technology.
5. Nursing leadership and governance is critical to nursing workforce strengthening. Actions
include establishing and supporting the role of a senior nurse in the government
responsible for strengthening the national nursing workforce and contributing to health
policy decisions. Government chief nurses should drive efforts to strengthen nursing
workforce data and lead policy dialogue that results in evidenced-based decision-making on
investment in the nursing workforce. Leadership programmes should be in place or
organized to nurture leadership development in young nurses. Fragile and conflict-affected
settings will typically require a particular focus in order to (re)build the institutional
foundations and individual capacity for effective nursing workforce governance and
stewardship.
6. Planners and regulators should optimize the contributions of nursing practice. Actions
include ensuring that nurses in primary health care teams are working to their full scope of
practice. Effective nurse-led models of care should be expanded when appropriate to meet
population health needs and improve access to primary health care, including a growing
demand related to non-communicable diseases and the integration of health and social
care. Workplace policies must address the issues known to impact nurse retention in

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practice settings; this includes the support required for nurse-led models of care and
advanced practice roles, leveraging opportunities arising from digital health technology and
taking into account ageing patterns within the nursing workforce.
7. Policy-makers, employers and regulators should coordinate actions in support of decent
work. Countries must provide an enabling environment for nursing practice to improve
attraction, deployment, retention and motivation of the nursing workforce. Adequate
staffing levels and workplace and occupational health and safety must be prioritized and
enforced, with special efforts paid to nurses operating in fragile, conflict-affected and
vulnerable settings. Remuneration should be fair and adequate to attract, retain and
motivate nurses. Further, countries should prioritize and enforce policies to address and
respond to sexual harassment, violence and discrimination within nursing.
8. Countries should deliberately plan for gender-sensitive nursing workforce policies. Actions
include implementing an equitable and gender-neutral system of remuneration among
health workers, and ensuring that policies and laws addressing the gender pay gap apply to
the private sector as well. Gender considerations should inform nursing policies across the
education, practice, regulatory and leadership functions, taking account of the fact that the
nursing workforce is still predominantly female. Policy considerations should include
enabling work environments for women, for example through flexible and manageable
working hours that accommodate the changing needs of nurses as women, and gender-
transformative leadership development opportunities for women in the nursing workforce.
9. Professional nursing regulation must be modernized. Actions include harmonizing nursing
education and credentialing standards, instituting mutual recognition of nursing education
and professional credentials, and developing interoperable systems that allow regulators to
easily and quickly verify nurses’ credentials and disciplinary history. Regulatory frameworks,
including scope of practice, initial competency assessments and requirements for
continuous professional development, should facilitate nurses working to the full scope of
their education and training in dynamic inter-professional teams.
10. Collaboration is key. Actions include inter-sectoral dialogue led by ministries of health and
government chief nurses, and engaging other relevant ministries (such as education,
immigration, finance, labour) and stakeholders from the public and private sectors. A key
element is to strengthen capacity for effective public policy stewardship so that private
sector investments, educational capacity and nurses’ roles in health service provision can be
optimized and aligned to public policy goals. Professional nursing associations, education
institutions and educators, nursing regulatory bodies and unions, nursing student and youth
groups, grass-roots groups, and global campaigns such as Nursing Now are valuable
contributors to strengthening the role of nursing in care teams working to achieve
population health priorities.

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Essay
Biased Media is a real threat to Indian Democracy
In Plato’s Meno there is an episode of exchange between Socrates and Anytus, who was one of
the prosecutors of Socrates for his critical views. When Socrates asks Anytus, “How can you
know what is good or bad in something when you have no experience of it? the response was:
Quite easily. At any rate, I know their kind, whether I've had experience or not”. This perhaps
essays the essence of the large sections of India Media, which proudly exercise its propaganda.
There is no objective truth but a lot of malice, there is no accountability but to serve the regime.
This crisis of Indian media is writing a new history that recommends the death of critical
journalism with constant manufactured opinion and no accountability. Media as propaganda is
quite inherent to its functioning but this nakedness of representing the regimes’ voice against
the objective truth is killing Indian democracy all in the name of freedom of the press. This crisis
has ceased to become a disease now. News Anchors have become Judge and pass their
judgment shamelessly without any ethical consideration. This making of new history is to make
people consumers than citizens whose only job is to remain a passive entity. It is eroding India’s
democratic credentials. News has lost it worthiness and the priorities are shifted from people to
serve the regime and its supported business houses that control and set the agenda, all in the
name of freedom of the press.
Media are the communication outlets or tools used to store and deliver information or data. The
term refers to components of the mass media communications industry, such as print media,
publishing, the news media, photography, cinema, broad casting (radio and television) and
advertising.
Biased journalist or biased news channel shows that all policies and steps of government or
apolitical party is always right, they do not criticize government for their wrong work and this will
harm the democracy or country because criticism is the backbone of democracy, criticism keeps
the government on right track, and media is the fourth pillar of democracy, media keeps
democracy alive. The sharing of fake news without analysing by us in social platforms and the
content which stimulates violence, are even shared in social platform where the journalism’s
role is much lesser is also a threat to democracy. Let us discuss about what created this and
what it leads to?
How spam threat to democracy?
The need to telecast 24/7 news has put pressure over the media. The fresh content is not
readily available whole day. Thus they moved to cover even the unwanted regional and
sensational news. The lack of time failed to analyse the originality of content and its effects in
society. Caste related issues and mob lynching are some examples. This is perfectly used by
some politicians and powerful people; they use it as a screen and do some large activities on
the background without the knowledge of media. Thus the spam and sensational content turned
the way of coverage and finally blocks the knowledge over that content.
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TRP – An enemy behind


Competitiveness in real world kills the democracy. A fair example is from 2012 Delhi Gang Rape
case. The competition among the channels had made them to release the identity of the victim
and kills her more and more. And also in case of Wing.Cdr.Abhinanthan case. Since it is a
rating and totally depends on views, much sensational and unwanted information are leaking
and released in social platform. Hence form an imbalance in the society.
Freedom of press – unwanted at certain
The blockage of two news channels by the GOI over the coverage of ammunition stockpiled in
pathankot airbase during the attack is a perfect example for the misuse of freedom of press.
According to experts, it is better to keep secret of defence related information, because it may
challenge the security of country. Hence freedom of press should be limited at certain cases.
Sensation collapses democracy
Covering of news or specifying symbolically or through other representation of caste, religion
and other separatist movement is unfair. Because during telecast it may have lot of chances to
support or justify over one-side and left the rest. And also a situation like mob lynching needs
not to be spread, because it can increase the tension. It should only be taken to the eyes of the
government. Ex: Anti-sikh riot 1984, killing of innocent people by misunderstanding them as
kidnapers in India last year, violence on Tamil nadu -Karnataka people during kaveri river water
dispute, etc... are some examples.
Security implications from Social Media:
As technology is a double edged sword. The large numbers, speed, anonymity and secrecy
attached to these conversations have far reaching security implications. Subversive actors have
proved in recent years that they are particularly adept at utilizing the Internet and social media
to facilitate their activities.
The security implications include:
 Radicalization: Terrorist groups like Islamic State (ISIS) and Al Qaeda and countries like
Pakistan have been extremely effective in using social media to radicalize people and
position them to commit violent acts.
 Terrorism: Many terror modules were busted by police in India, all of whose members were
groomed, trained, funded and armed by their handlers on social networking sites. World
over, there are cases of terrorist operations, especially lone wolf attacks, being coordinated
through social media.
 Incitement of riots through hateful posts and communal videos. E.g. Hate videos were
circulated before the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013. Pakistan's ISI is known to incite violence
by circulating fake videos on social media to incite riots.
 Cyber-crime: These include cyber bullying or stalking, financial frauds, identity theft etc.

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 Divulgence of sensitive information: Forces posted in sensitive locations are prone to giving
away their locations and assets on social media.
 Influencing democratic processes: The latest emerging threat to national interests is the use
of these sites to influence and subvert democratic processes by actors both from within and
from enemy countries. Examples recently were seen in US Presidential elections and Brexit
referendum.
 Cyber espionage: Sensitive information from the mobile phones used by security personnel
can be stolen using malware and social media.
Following Measures should be taken to deal with these threats:
 Legal Provisions: IT Act 2000 under Sections 69 and 69A provides government with the
power to intercept and block any information, as well as punish perpetrators, in the interest
of security and public order etc. The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and IPC also
have provisions against spreading hatred between groups, inciting violence and the intent or
act of terrorist activities.
 Security agencies: Government agencies including National Cyber Coordination Centre
(NCCC) and Intelligence agencies actively track terrorist activity on the social media. State
police also have their own social media cells, like the highly effective Mumbai's Social Media
Lab.
 Centralized Monitoring System (CMS): To automate the process of lawful interception and
monitoring of the internet in the country. It has come into operation in Mumbai and will soon
spread to other areas.
 De-radicalisation: The Union Home Ministry initiated counter-radicalisation and de-
radicalisation strategy in sync with cultural, education and employment activities to counter
the threat.
 Guidelines for armed forces: The Government of India issued updated guidelines in 2016 for
regulating sharing of secret operational and service data on social media platforms.
 Monitoring social networking companies: The activities and influence of social networking
sites is also being monitored by the government so that they prevent misuse of their
platforms for subversive activities and other cyber threats.
 International Cooperation is being promoted to deal with the often transnational nature of the
threats.
In view of the broad threat posed by social media, the Union government needs to come up with
a National Social Media Policy. All possible legal, administrative and security related efforts
must be taken up to check the use of social media for subversive purposes. However, the need
for privacy and security has to be balanced carefully.

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How Does A Leader Impact The Destiny Of His Country?


A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.John c. Maxwell.
Leaders are the torch bearers for their respective fraternity, acting as a friend, philosopher and
guide for all.
“when the word leader strikes the mind, the image that appears is of a person standing on a
raised platform, surrounded by people all around, listening to his words carefully to be able to
abide by the instructions.”
This leader may be adorned or simply dressed but one thing is certain that he is definitely
adorned with great caliber, vision and foresightedness, feeling of empathy and welfare for
people.
Many leaders in this real world exactly fits into this definition – like mahatma Gandhi, Nehru,
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, martin Luther, Barak Obama, Nelson Mandela etc. However, it does not
mean that politics is the only source of producing good leaders. Leaders may range from
different fields and different walks of life. In the world of technological revolution, Steves Jobbs,
Mark Zuckerberg in the field of social media revolution, Grate Thunberg in environment
concerns, Mother Teresa in field of service to mankind, Kailash Satyarthi in abolishing child
labour, and numerous others. They all are leaders and impact the destiny of the country in one
or the other way.
All leaders have a few things in common i.e. 4Es- Envision, Enable, Empower, Energize. Every
leader has a vision like mahatma Gandhi had of a non-violent, peaceful or harmonious society
with self-controlled individuals. He enabled masses through empowering ways like self-sufficient
villages, charkha, labour, sarvadharma- sambhav to keep them energized until the goal is
achieved.
In present times Modi, engage the masses through various initiatives like Swachh Bharat
Abhiyan etc. Even during COVID-19 induced lockdown, he consistently gives tasks like lighting
up lamps, clapping and expressing “Abhaar” to express unity, gratitude towards frontline fighters
of COVID. This also drives out depression and builds up trust among masses.
India has been an ardent supporter of ideas of democracy, non-proliferation, world peace and
universal brotherhood. India believes in the oneness of all human race across the world, sharing
the same spirit of Vasudev Kutumbakam and Atithi devo bhava. All these values have been
reinstated timelessly by leaders across the time frames- Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Gandhi, J.L.
Nehru, Indira Gandhi or Modi, carrying it as the culture of Indian society.
This land is also known for scientific discoveries and revolutions by leaders in respective fields
like Vikram Sarabhai, Bhabha, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and mathematician like Ramanujan, etc.
They all together shaped the destiny of the country which today is emerging as the leader of the
world.

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Not only in India, there are leaders like sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, Benjamin Netanhu of
Israel who initiated the revolution of progress and prosperity in their countries, despite the ugly
imprints of past.
Whereas there exist instances of notorious leaders deforming the destiny of their countries like
Hitler of Germany, Saddam Hussain of Iraq and lately Imran khan of Pakistan – not being able
to properly utilize and direct the energies of people into right direction for right purposes. This
resulted in failure of economies, creation of their motherland into terrorist breeding grounds,
concentration camps for Yehudi, stigma of racial impurity, discrimination, decline in prosperity,
corruption, growing crimes, etc. The autocratic leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un is known for
his atrocities and erratic decisions, keeping the lives of the people at stake and forcing them to
live in the state of constant fear of death.
As often mentioned in Indian shastras, that leaders are the Shrestha persons, the elite of the
society. Whatever values and work ethics, a leader practice, are adopted by their followers.
Hence, good leaders are those who help others grow towards infinite perfection and joy.
Even Gandhian philosophy teaches lessons to be imbibed by modern leaders i.e.,- leadership
by example, humanistic approach , conflict resolution by passionate leaders, oneness of whole
universe, discipline, attitude of sacrifice, fulfilling the expectation of justice for the people and in
the end, reflecting the same values back in the society so as to create more prospective leaders
in future.
As,” the greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is
the one who gets the people to do the greatest things.
– Ronald Reagan

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Translation
Translate the following given Paragraphs from English to Hindi:
Indian Agriculture
India is an agriculturally important country. Two-thirds of its population is engaged in agricultural
activities. Agriculture is a primary activity, which produces most of the food that we consume.
Besides food grains, it also produces raw material for various industries.
Contribution of agriculture to the national economy, employment and output
Agriculture has been the backbone of the Indian economy though its share in the Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) has registered a declining trend from 1951 onwards; in 2010-11 about
52 per cent of the total work force was employed by the farm sector which makes more than half
of the Indian Population dependent on agriculture for sustenance.
The declining share of agriculture in the GDP is a matter of serious concern because any
decline and stagnation in agriculture will lead to a decline in other spheres of the economy
having wider implications for society.
Considering the importance of agriculture in India, the Government of India made concerted
efforts to modernize agriculture. Establishment of Indian Council of Agricultural Research
(ICAR), agricultural universities, veterinary services and animal breeding centres, horticulture
development, research and development in the field of meteorology and weather forecast, etc.
were given priority for improving Indian agriculture. Apart from this, improving the rural
infrastructure was also considered essential for the same.
The GDP growth rate is increasing over the years, it is not generating sufficient employment
opportunities in the country. The growth rate in agriculture has been decelerating which is an
alarming situation. Today, Indian farmers are facing a big challenge from international
competition and reduction in the public investment in agriculture sector. Subsidy on fertilizers is
decreased leading to increase in the cost of production. Moreover, reduction in import duties on
agricultural products have proved detrimental to agriculture in the country. Farmers are
withdrawing their investment from agriculture causing a downfall in the employment in
agriculture.
Under globalization, particularly after 1990, the farmers in India have been exposed to new
challenges. Despite being an important producer of rice, cotton, rubber, tea, coffee, jute and
spices our agricultural products are not able to compete with the developed countries because
of the highly subsidized agriculture in those countries.
Today, Indian agriculture finds itself at the crossroads. To make agriculture successful and
profitable, proper thrust should be given to the improvement of the condition of marginal and
small farmers. The green revolution promised much. But today it’s under controversies. It is
being alleged that it has caused land degradation due to overuse of chemicals, drying aquifers
and vanishing biodiversity. The keyword today is “gene revolution”, which includes genetic
engineering.

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Human history provides many examples of people and communities which have been
dominated, or enslaved, or exploited, by more powerful groups. But it also provides us with
inspiring examples of heroic struggles against such domination. What is this freedom for which
people have been willing to sacrifice and die? In its essence, the struggle for freedom
represents the desire of people to be in control of their own lives and destinies and to have the
opportunity to express themselves freely through their choices and activities. Not just individuals
but societies also value their independence and wish to protect their culture and future.

However, given the diverse interests and ambitions of people any form of social living
requires some rules and regulation. These rules may require some constraints to be imposed on
the freedom of individuals but it is recognized that such constraints may also free us from
insecurity and provide us with the conditions in which we can develop ourselves. In political
theory much of the discussion regarding freedom has therefore focused on trying to evolve
principles by which we can distinguish between socially necessary constraints and other
restrictions. There has also been debate about possible limitations on freedom which may result
from the social and economic structures of a society.

WHAT IS FREEDOM?
A simple answer to the question ‘what is freedom’ is absence of constraints. Freedom is said to
exist when external constraints on the individual are absent. In terms of this definition an
individual could be considered free if he/she is not subject to external controls or coercion and is
able to make independent decisions and act in an autonomous way. However, absence of
constraints is only one dimension of freedom. Freedom is also about expanding the ability of
people to freely express themselves and develop their potential. Freedom in this sense is the
condition in which people can develop their creativity and capabilities.

Both these aspects of freedom — the absence of external constraints as well as the existence
of conditions in which people can develop their talents — are important. A free society would be
one which enables all its members to develop their potential with the minimum of social
constraints.

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PRECIS WRITING
Words: 513 Words

One of the most serious problems facing the world today is pollution that is the
contamination of air, land and water by all kinds of chemicals such as poisonous gases, waste
materials and insecticides. Pollution has upset the balance of nature, destroyed many forms of
wildlife and caused a variety of illnesses. It occurs in every country on Earth but is most
prominent in industrial countries.
Breathing polluted air is very common to most people, especially those living in cities. In
heavily industrialized areas, fumes from car exhausts and thick smoke from factory chimneys
can be seen darkening the atmosphere. This would reduce visibility and make the air
unpleasant to breathe. Large scale burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, gas and oil, in homes
and industries also produces a wide range of pollutants. This includes sulfur dioxide which
damages plants, destroys buildings and affects health. Other known pollutants are carbon
monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and dirt particles. The fumes produced by car exhausts and
factories would normally disperse in the air, but sometimes they are trapped by air layers of
different temperatures. The result is a fog-like haze known as smog. Britain and some other
countries introduced smokeless zones and smokeless fuels some years ago and smog no
longer occurs, but it still remains a very real problem in Japan and the United States.
The motor car is a major source of pollution. In densely populated cities where there are
millions of cars on the roads, the level of carbon monoxide in the air which is dangerously high.
On windless days, the fumes settle near ground level. Fumes from car exhausts also pour out
lead and nitrogen oxide.
The testing of nuclear weapons and the use of atomic energy for experimental purposes
in peaceful times has exposed some people to levels of radiation that are too high for safety.
Crop-spraying by aircraft also adds chemical poisons to the air.
Domestic rubbish is another very serious pollution problem. The average American citizen
throws away nearly one ton of rubbish every year. Much of this consists of plastic, metal and
glass packaging that cannot be broken down naturally. Instead it lies with old refrigerators,
broken washing machines and abandoned cars in huge piles for years without decaying. Each
year the problem of rubbish disposal becomes more serious.
Sewage causes another form of pollution. Most of it flows straight into rivers, where it is
broken down by tiny bacteria. The bacteria need oxygen for this process, but because of the
vast quantities of sewage, the bacteria uses up all available oxygen in the water, causing the
death of countless fish and other river life. Rivers provide a very convenient outlet for industrial
waste, as well as being a source of water for cooling in nuclear and other power plants.
Like rivers, oceans have been used as dumping grounds for waste of all kinds. One of
the recent sources of sea pollution is oil and millions of tons of it spill into the sea each year. Oil
not only pollutes beaches, it also kills fish and seabirds.

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PRECIS in 143 Words

Pollution, covering the contamination of air, land and water, is one of the most serious
problems facing the world today. Pollution has destroyed ecological balance and wildlife and
caused various illnesses. Air pollution caused by fumes from factories, car exhausts and crop-
spraying has reduced visibility and caused breathing problems. Nuclear testing and use of
atomic energy exposes people to high radiation levels. Burning of fossil fuels damages the
plants, buildings and human health. People, in America for example, throw away nearly one ton
of rubbish every year. Much of this consists of plastic, metal and glass packaging that cannot be
broken down naturally. Un-decayed domestic rubbish also presents problems. The bacteria
breaking down sewage, oil and industrial waste uses up valuable oxygen needed by fish and
plants that not only pollutes beaches, it also kills fish, seabirds , hence harming flora and fauna.

Words 604

There are seven steps to achieve peak performance. The first step is to lead a well-
rounded life. High achievers, according to experts, are obsessed people who take work home
and then labor over it until bedtime. Furthermore, research has also shown that such people
tend to peak early and then go into a decline or level off. They then become addicted to work
itself, with less concern for results. High performers, in contrast, are willing to work hard - but
within strict limits. For them, work is not everything and they know how to relax. They are able to
leave work at the office. They value close friendships and family life, and spend a healthy
amount of time with their families.

The second step is to select a career you care about. Studies show that high performers
choose work they truly prefer, and spend over two-thirds of their working hours doing it and only
one-third on disliked tasks. They want internal satisfaction and not just external results such as
pay rises and promotions. In the end, of course, they often have both. Since they enjoy what
they do, they produce better work and the rewards are higher.

Rehearsing each challenge or task mentally is the third step to achieving peak
performance. Before any difficult or important situation -- a public presentation, a board meeting,
a key tennis match, for example -- most peak performers run their desired actions through in
their minds over and over again. Nearly all of us day-dream about important coming events, but
idle day-dreaming is not the same as a deliberate mental workout that sharpens the skills to be
used in the activity.

In order to achieve peak performance, you also have to seek results, not perfection.
Many ambitious and hardworking people are so obsessed with perfection that they produce very
little work. It has been found that those with perfectionist tendencies earned considerably less a
year than those who did not have such tendencies. In contrast, high performers are almost
always free of the compulsion to be perfect. They do not think of their mistakes as failures, but
they learn from mistakes so that they can do better the next time.

The next step is to be willing to take risks. Most people are willing to settle for jobs which
they think are secure, even if that also means mediocrity and boredom, rather than take

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chances. High performers, on the other hand, are able to take risks because they would
carefully consider how they would adjust and how they would salvage the situation if, in reality
they did fail. Constructing a 'worst-case' scenario allows them to make a rational choice.

The penultimate step to achieving peak performance is not to underestimate your own,
potential. Most of us think we know our own limits, but much of what we 'know' is not knowledge
at all. It could be a belief which is erroneous and self-limiting. These types of beliefs are the
biggest barriers to achieving high-level performance. Too many of us set our individual limits far
below what we can actually achieve. High performers, on the contrary, are able to ignore
artificial barriers. They concentrate instead on their own feelings, on their functioning, on the
momentum of their effort and are therefore free to achieve peak levels. Finally, compete with
yourself, not with others. High performers focus more on improving on their own previous efforts
than on competing with others. Such are the skills of high performers. If you want to make the
most of your talents and to live up to your fullest potential, learn to use these skills.

PRECIS: 174 Words

There are seven steps which can lead to peak performance. Firstly, have a well-
balanced life - work hard but know when and how to relax and enjoy your life. High performers
are willing to work hard - but within strict limits. The second step is to choose a career you love
since internal satisfaction gives better results and rewards. High performers want internal
satisfaction and not just pay rises and promotions. The next step is to rehearse a task mentally
before actually doing it. Another step is not to be a perfectionist but to be a risk-taker, and to
pursue results and learn from mistakes as in order to achieve peak performance, you also have
to seek results, not perfection.

High performers do not think of their mistakes as failures, but they learn from mistakes
so that they can do better the next time. High performers never underestimate themselves but
concentrate on their capabilities. High performers are able to ignore artificial barriers like low
self-esteem. Lastly, compete only with yourself not with others.

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Practice Paper – 1
Current Affairs (February & March) – 2020
1. Recently, The Ministry of AYUSH has initiated steps to set up a nationwide digital platform to bring
onboard all AYUSH facilities including hospitals and laboratories and to promote traditional systems
of healthcare is
(a) AYUSH NETWORK
(b) AYUSH GRID
(c) AYUSH CHAIN
(d) AYUSH CHAIN NETWORK
2. The “Pragyan Conclave 2020”, a two-day Indian Army International Seminar was organized by
Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) held at :
(a) New Delhi
(b) Bengaluru
(c) Jodhpur
(d) Chennai
3. This “ 21st Hunar Haat” is being organized by Union Minority Affairs Ministry from 29th February to
08th March, 2020 in :
(a) New Delhi
(b) Lucknow
(c) Indore
(d) Ranchi
4. Which of the following Certification Programme, a Pan-India online learning program has launched
by The Ministry of Tourism, aims at creating a pool of trained professionals for facilitating the visit of
tourists at destinations across the country :
(a) Incredible India Tourist Facilitators (IITF) Programme
(b) Atithi India Tourist Facilitators (AITF) Programme
(c) Incredible Bharat Tourist Facilitators (IBTF) Programme
(d) None of the above
5. Recently, Parliament has passed the Central Sanskrit Universities Bill, which seeks to upgrade which
of the following deemed Sanskrit universities into central universities :
(a) Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi
(b) Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi
(c) Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Tirupati
(d) All of the above
6. There are how many classical languages in India :
(a) 8
(b) 4
(c) 6
(d) 5
7. Under which of the following Act, Union Government had issued orders for complete lockdowns to
take special measures and prescribe regulations to prevent the spread of covid-19 diseases :
(a) Epidemic Diseases Act, 1996
(b) Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897
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(c) Epidemic Diseases Act, 1880


(d) Epidemic Diseases Act, 1907
8. Which state government has passed “Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Property
Ordinance, 2020” to recover compensation from those who damage Public and Private Property
during protests and riots :
(a) Haryana
(b) Uttar Pradesh
(c) Madhya Pradesh
(d) Gujarat
9. Recently, Which of the following person has been named the “Greatest Leader of All Time” in a poll
conducted by BBC World Histories Magazine :
(a) Maharaja Ranjit Singh
(b) Guru Govind Singh
(c) Maharaja Dalip Singh
(d) None of the above
10. On 17th March 2020, the Supreme Court granted permanent Commission for women officers in :
(a) Army
(b) Air Force
(c) CRPF
(d) Navy
11. Which Operation (campaign) launched by the Indian Army to combat the spread of COVID-19 and
help the government in its fight against the pandemic :
(a) Operation Strike
(b) Operation Attack
(c) Operation Namaste
(d) Operation Vajra
12. Which Section of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 has been invoked by the government to punish those
violating COVID-19 lockdown orders
(a) Section 168
(b) Section 188
(c) Section 180
(d) Section 189
13. Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) were, in news recently, established in :
(a) 1967
(b) 1948
(c) 1975
(d) 1986
14. The merger of ten Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) banks into four came into effect from :
(a) 1st April, 2020
(b) 1st March, 2020
(c) 1st May, 2020
(d) 27th Feb, 2020
15. Which of the following has released India’s first land records and services index (N-LRSI) :

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(a) National Remote Sensing Satellite Centre


(b) National Council of Applied Economic Research
(c) Indian Institute of Soil Science
(d) Central Soil Salinity Research Institute
16. Which of the following hybrid variety of grapes which is resistant to fungal diseases, high yielding
and has excellent juice quality have been developed by Scientists from Pune based Agharkar
Research Institute (ARI) :
(a) ARI-580
(b) ARI-420
(c) ARI-300
(d) ARI-516
17. According to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) India study the female labour-force
participation in India has declined in 2020 from 34% in 2006 to :
(a) 24.8 %
(b) 20.5 %
(c) 12.7 %
(d) 15.0 %
18. India has ranked at which position in the ‘Freedom in the World 2020’ report along with Timor-
Leste and Senegal :
(a) 88th Rank
(b) 83rd Rank
(c) 90th Rank
(d) 80th Rank
19. In March, India has signed agreements with which government funding agency JICA for three rail
infrastructure projects, totaling Rs 15,295 crore.
(a) Germany
(b) France
(c) Japan
(d) Thailand
20. India has ranked at which position out of 156 countries in the United Nations’ the World Happiness
Report-2020 :
(a) 144th Rank
(b) 138th Rank
(c) 120th Rank
(d) 125th Rank
21. International Day of Happiness is falls every on :
(a) March, 18
(b) April, 20
(c) March, 20
(d) April,18
22. Which country ranked first position in World Happiness Report-2020-
(a) Switzerland
(b) Norway

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(c) Denmark
(d) Finland
23. Which of the following is the first Indian entity to get government approval for commercial
manufacturing of their COVID-19 testing kit :
(a) Lalpath Lab
(b) Mylab
(c) High protection Lab
(a) None of the above
24. Astronomers from Durham University have discovered Milky Way’s Edge in March, 2020. This
university is located in
(a) United Kingdom
(b) USA
(c) Russia
(d) France
25. Recently, an international team of researchers, led by University of Geneva in Switzerland, has
observed an extreme exo-planet where it rains iron. It is
(a) SWASP-80c
(b) NARP-56 b
(c) DESK-78 n
(d) WASP-76b
26. A team of scientists from National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune, and Savitribai Phule Pune
University (SPPU) has discovered a key cellular mechanism in Huntington disease (HD). Huntington
disease is related to which of the human organ :
(a) Brain
(b) Heart
(c) Liver
(d) Lungs
27. A team of researchers which country has taken a very large step toward the creation of a
comprehensive human single-cell atlas :
(a) Japan
(b) China
(c) South
(d) Korea
(e) USA
28. The International Conference on Nano Science and Nano Technology (ICONSAT) 2020 was organized
from 5th to 7th March in :
(a) Hyderabad
(b) New Delhi
(c) Kolkata
(d) Dehradun
29. Which state of India has decided to set up a Centre for Internet of Ethical Things
(a) Uttar Pradesh
(b) Kerala

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(c) Tamil Nadu


(d) Karnataka
30. Who is the current Director-General of WHO :
(a) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
(b) Margaret Chan
(c) Anders Nordström
(d) Hiroshi Nakajima
31. Name the Indian footballer who played as a striker for Indian National football team has away
recently :
(a) Ramvir Banerjee
(b) Pradip Kumar Banerjee
(c) Madvendra Kumar Roy
(d) Ramesh Chatterjee
32. Which state has become the first state I India to introduce Taser Gyns to its Police Force :
(a) Maharashtra
(b) Tamil Nadu
(c) Telangana
(d) Gujarat
33. “A New era for girls: Taking stock on 25 years of progress” is a report recently unveiled by :
(a) UNICEF,
(b) Plan International and
(c) United Nations Women.
(d) All of the above
34. Name Kashmiri woman who revived a Kashmiri traditional art called ‘Namda’ and awarded Nari
Shakti Puraskar-2019
(a) Nur Jafah
(b) Khalisa Jaidi
(c) Arifa Jan
(d) All of the above
35. Which bank has announced the start of Swavalamban Express- a train journey to promote
budding business aspirants and entrepreneurs
(a) SIDBI
(b) SBI
(c) PNB
(d) OBC
36. India and which country, for the first time, of Europe have conducted Joint Patrols from Reunion
Island :
(a) United Kingdom
(b) Norway
(c) France
(d) Germany
37. Which of the following oil company of India became first company to supply of BS-VI fuel across its
28,000 petrol pumps :

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(a) BPL
(b) IOC
(c) HPL
(d) RPL
38. Which filmmaker has been honoured with IIFTC Tourism Impact Award-2020
(a) Zoya Akhtar
(b) Karan johar
(c) Farhan Akhtar
(d) All of the above
39. Golfer Tiger Woods will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2021. He
belong to which country :
(a) Canada
(b) Australia
(c) USA
(d) UK
40. Consider the following statement regarding World Press Freedom Index 2020:
1) India is at 142th rank featuring dropdown of two places.
2) Total 180 countries are included in this report.
3) The index has been topped by Norway.
Choose the correct statement/s from the above
(a) Only (1)
(b) Only (1) and (2)
(c) Only (1) and (3)
(d) All the above
41. Which state government has launched ‘JaganannaVidyaDeevena’ scheme?
(a) Andhra Pradesh
(b) Tamil Nadu
(c) West Bengal
(d) Kerala
42. Which industry has become the top exporting sector of India for the first time during in the last
fiscal?
(a) Medicine
(b) Steel
(c) Textile
(d) Petrochemicals
43. Yoddha Kalyan Yojana is launched by which state government?
(a) Madhya Pradesh
(b) Rajasthan
(c) Uttar Pradesh
(d) Bihar
44. Consider the following statement:
1) “Kisan Rath” Mobile App launched by Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.

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2) Primary transportation would include movement from Farm to Mandis while Secondary
Transportation would include movement from Mandis to Intra-state & Inter-state mandis.
Choose the correct one:
(a) Only (1)
(b) Only(2)
(c) Both (1) and (2)
(d) None of the above
45. Who launched the All India Agri Transport Call Centre to facilitate inter-state movement of
perishables during lockdown on April 15, 2020?
(a) Narendra Modi
(b) Ram Vilas Paswan
(c) Narendra Singh Tomar
(d) Arjun Munda
46. Who launched the web-portal YUKTI to monitor and record the efforts and initiatives of MHRD
which have been taken in the wake of COVID-19 on April 12, 2020?
(a) Ravi Shankar Prasad
(b) Venkaiah Naidu
(c) Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank
(d) Amit Khare
47. What is the name of the webinar series launched by the Ministry of Tourism on April 14, 2020 to
explore culture and heritage of India?
(a) JanoIndia
(b) Dekho India
(c) Jano Bharat
(d) Dekho Apna Desh
48. The Cabinet of the Central government has recently taken a decision to suspend the MPLADS to
fight the COVID-19 for how many fiscal years?
(a) Three
(b) Two
(c) One
(d) Four
49. Consider the following statements:
1) Integrated Government Online training” (iGOT) portal has been launched by Ministry of Human
Resource Development’s (MHRD).
2) It is a platform for the capacity building of frontline workers to handle the COVID-19 pandemic
efficiently.
Choose the correct:
(a) Only (1)
(b) Only(2)
(c) Both (1) and (2)
(d) None of the above
50. CSIR- National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) Pune ties up with which company for production of
medical devices?

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(a) BEL
(b) ONGC
(c) BHEL
(d) GAIL
51. What amount of insurance cover has been announced by Madhya Pradesh Govt for police, govt
employees engaged in fight against Corona virus?
(a) Rs 50 lakh
(b) Rs 40 lakh
(c) Rs 1 crore
(d) Rs 70 lakh
52. Which of the following companies has set up first Covid 19 hospital in India?
(a) Tata Trusts
(b) Reliance
(c) Tech Mahindra
(d) None of these
53. Which of the following Act establishes the issuance of Driving Licences and Vehicle Registration?
(a) The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
(b) The Motor Vehicles Act, 1982
(c) The Motor Vehicles Act, 1986
(d) The Motor Vehicles Act, 1984
54. Recently, with which country India has approved the signing and ratifying of an Extradition treaty?
(a) Spain
(b) Portugal
(c) Germany
(d) Belgium
55. Which state has celebrated statehood day on March 30, 2020?
(a) Rajasthan
(b) Madhya Pradesh
(c) Maharashtra
(d) Uttar Pradesh
56. Consider the following statements:
1) Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana is launched by Ministry of Textiles.
2) It objective is to provide enhanced insurance cover to the handloom weavers in the case of
natural as well as accidental death and in cases of total or partial disability.
Choose the correct answer :
(a) Only (1)
(b) Only (2)
(c) Both (1) and (2)
(d) None of the above
57. ‘Bounce Back Loan Scheme’ is launched by which of the following country?
(a) United Kingdom
(b) Russia
(c) Italy

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(d) Spain
58. Recently which International company has announced the investment of Rs. 43,474 crores in
Reliance Jio?
(a) Facebook
(b) Google
(c) Walmart
(d) Amazon
59. Consider the following statement:
1) WHO established on 7 April 1948. 2.
2) Its headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland.
Choose the correct one:
(a) Only (1)
(b) Only (2)
(c) Both (1) and (2)
(d) None of the above
60. On April 1, 2020, the United Nations decided to postpone to the proposed COP-26 in November
2020. It was scheduled to be organized in?
(a) Madrid
(b) Glasgow
(c) Paris
(d) Doha
61. Consider the following statements:
1) World Water Development Report is produced annually by the UNESCO World Water
Assessment Programme (WWAP).
2) World Water Development Report (WWDR 2020) is entitled ‘Water and Climate Change’.
Choose the correct answer :
(a) Only (1)
(b) Only (2)
(c) Both (1) and (2)
(d) None of the above
62. The Government of India has signed a $1.5 billion loan with which bank to support the response to
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic?
(a) World Bank
(b) Asian Development Bank
(c) BRICS Bank
(d) International Monetary Fund
63. As per the recent report of World Bank on the impact of covid-19 on migration and remittances,
India will find the drop of remittance by what percentage?
(a) 20
(b) 8
(c) 40
(d) 23
64. How many of countries are as a member of International Monetary Fund (IMF)?

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(a) 188
(b) 189
(c) 190
(d) 192
65. The virtual meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors took place on April 15,
2020 under the presidency of
(a) Saudi Arabia
(b) Thailand
(c) India
(d) China
66. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has achieved the highest ever construction of
National Highway in the FY 2019-20 since it’s inception. When was NHAI formed?
(a) 1990
(b) 1995
(c) 1985
(d) 2000
67. Consider the following statements regarding the Finance Bill 2020 :
(a) Lok Sabha passed the Finance Bill 2020 with amendments on March 23 without any discussion.
(b) Equalization levy of 2% is carried on non- resident e-commerce unless they have a PE in India.
(c) Non – resident Indians will be taxed on India – controlled income above 15 lakh
(d) All of these
68. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has recently approved the formation of Joint Venture
between Adani Green Energy Limited and Total S.A. for business in which of the following sector?
(a) Mining
(b) Cargo export
(c) Solar energy
(d) Natural gas
69. NTPC has launched Hydrogen Fuel bus and car project recently in which of the following city on April
26, 2020?
(a) Bengaluru
(b) Mumbai
(c) Visakhapatnam
(d) Leh
70. Researchers of which institute have recently developed a global model to predict the Ionospheric
electron density with larger data coverage?
(a) Indian Institute of Geomagnetism
(b) National Institute of Virology
(c) ICMR
(d) CSIR-NAL
71. Which of the following research institute has recently developed a sensitive and low-cost sensor to
rapidly detect bacteria?
(a) Indian Institute of Science (IISc)
(b) Agharkar Research Institute (ARI)

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(c) Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)


(d) National Institute of Virology
72. Scientist of which of the following organization have recently succeeded in discovering hundreds of
Li-rich giant stars?
(a) ISRO
(b) IIT Kanpur
(c) Indian Institute of Astrophysics
(d) IISc Bengaluru
73. Consider the following statements :
1) Fly ash is a coal combustion product.
2) Silicon dioxide (SiO2), aluminium oxide (Al2O3) and calcium oxide (CaO) are the main mineral
compounds of coal-bearing rock strata.
Choose the correct one:
(a) Only (1)
(b) Only(2)
(c) Both (1) and (2)
(d) None of the above
74. ‘Prana-Vayu’, the closed-loop ventilator is developed by which of the following institutes?
(a) IIT Roorkee
(b) IIT Madras
(c) AIIMS Delhi
(d) IIT Kanpur
75. Which biofortified carrot variety with high β-carotene and iron content has been developed by farm
scientist Vallabhhai Vasrambhai Marvaniya?
(a) Pusa Kesar
(b) Madhuban Gajar
(c) Pusa Meghali
(d) Imperator
76. Which country of the world has initiated SUNRISE mission is to study about how sun creates Giant
solar particle storms :
(a) Russia
(b) China
(c) France
(d) USA
77. Consider the following statements:
1) Scientists from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune, have developed a biofortified durum
wheat variety MACS 4028.
2) It is a semi-dwarf variety, which matures in 102 days.
Choose the correct option :
(a) Only (1)
(b) Only (2)
(c) Both (1) and (2)
(d) None of the above

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78. Wimbledon tournament is associated with -


(a) Tennis
(b) Snooker
(c) Football
(d) Wrestling
79. Who has been appointed as new finance minister for United Kingdom?
(a) Rishi Sunak
(b) John Chishull
(c) Richard of Middleton
(d) SajidJavid
80. Who has become the new Ambassador for World Wide Fund (WWF) India’s Environment Education
programme?
(a) Sachin Tendulkar
(b) P.V. Sindhu
(c) Virat Kohli
(d) Viswanathan Anand
81. Who has been appointed the new chairman of Nasscom ?
(a) Pravin Rao
(b) Keshavmurugesh
(c) Rekha M. Menon
(d) Debjani Ghosh
82. Who took charge as the new Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs on 6 April 2020?
(a) Rajiv Kumar
(b) Ravish Kumar
(c) Anurag Srivastava
(d) Vikas Swarup
83. Recently Central Government has re-appointed which one of the following as Deputy Governor,
Reserve Bank of India?
(a) B. P. Kanungo
(b) Urjit Patel
(c) Shaktikant Das
(d) None of the above
84. On 31 March 2020 Geeta Ramji, a famous Viral scientist of Indian origin died in which country?
(a) Brazil
(b) South Africa
(c) London
(d) America
85. Professor Arjun Dev passed away on 29 March 2020. He was a renowned?
(a) Historian
(b) Environmentalist
(c) Architect
(d) Agricultural Scientist
86. Consider the following statement:

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1) This day is observed on April0 23, 2020.


2) The World Book Capital 2020 is Kuala Lumpur.
Choose the correct one:
(a) Only (1)
(b) Only (2)
(c) Both (1) and (2)
(d) None of the above
87. Consider the following statements regarding Earth Day, 2020:
1) It was celebrated on 22nd April, 2020
2) World Earth Day 2020 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the day since it started being observed
in 1970.
3) The theme of Earth Day is Climate Action.
Choose the correct statement/s from the above
(a) Only 1)
(b) Only (2)
(c) Both (1) and (2)
(d) All the above
88. The theme of World Earth Day 2020 was
(a) Climate Action
(b) Climate Resilient
(c) Action against Pollution
(d) None of the above
89. Consider the following statement:
1) World Heritage Day is observed annually on April 18 also known as the International Day for
Monuments and Sites.
2) The theme of World Heritage Day 2020 is “Shared Culture’, ‘Shared heritage’ and ‘Shared
responsibility”.
Choose the correct one:
(a) Only(1)
(b) Only(2)
(c) Both (1) and (2)
(d) None of the above
90. When is the World Homeopathy Day celebrated?
(a) 8 April
(b) 10 April
(c) 12 April
(d) 9 April
91. When is the World Autism Awareness Day observed?
(a) 2nd March
(b) 2nd April
(c) 22nd March
(d) 22nd April Answer
92. When will be the National Doctor’s Day 2020 celebrated?

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(a) July 1
(b) June 1
(c) March 1
(d) April 1
93. Which city has created a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) dashboard which will show various
hotspots, heat maps, positive cases, recovered cases, etc of COVID-19?
(a) Jaipur
(b) Lucknow
(c) Bhopal
(d) Agra
94. National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) paid tribute to celebrate painter and artist Raja Ravi Varma
on which birth anniversary on 29 April 2020?
(a) 171st
(b) 176th
(c) 177th
(d) 172nd
95. What is India's rank among 117 nations in terms of budget transparency and accountability by Open
Budget Survey?
(a) 53rd
(b) 51st
(c) 52nd
(d) 54th
96. Which institute has developed a microwave sterilizer named "ATULYA". The sterilizer will
disintegrate coronavirus?
(a) BARC
(b) Defence Institute of Advanced Technology
(c) ISRO
(d) ICMR
97. The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan approved the
integration of how many more States and Union Territories (UTs) with the National Cluster under
the "One Nation One Ration Card" plan?
(a) 2
(b) 3
(c) 4
(d) 5
98. Who authored the book “The Death of Jesus” ?
(a) Ernest Hemingway
(b) William Faulkner
(c) John Maxwell Coetzee
(d) Orhan Pamuk
99. Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a plan signed between wich two countries?
(a) UAE and Iran
(b) USA and India

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(c) USA and Iran


(d) India and Iran
100. Which bank is the partner bank of PM-CARES?
(a) PNB
(b) SBI
(c) RBI
(d) Yes Bank
101. Which bank has invested in 100 million USD National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)?
(a) World Bank
(b) Asian Development Bank
(c) AIIB
(d) All of the above
102. Tata Power Company has started its 178 megawatt (MW) hydropower project (HPP) in which
country?
(a) Russia
(b) Georgia
(c) Norway
(d) Japan
103. Which bank will be merged with the United Bank of India (UBI) and the Oriental Bank of Commerce
(OBC)?
(a) Yes Bank
(b) Dena Bank
(c) Punjab National Bank
(d) Bank of Baroda
104. Thomas Schaefer, who passed away recently was the finance minister of which country?
(a) Italy
(b) Germany
(c) Japan
(d) England
105. Which country has been inducted officially as the 30th and newest member of North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO)?
(a) Republic of North Macedonia
(b) Greece
(c) Nepal
(d) Germany
106. Which Private sector bank of India has launched Banking service in WhatsApp (March 2020)?
(a) HDFC Bank
(b) Axis Bank
(c) ICICI Bank
(d) IndusInd Bank
107. Philip Warren Anderson who passed away in April 2020 is the Nobel laureate in which field?
(a) Literature
(b) Economics

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(c) Physics
(d) Chemistry
108. Which is the Central government’s 1st comprehensive COVID-19 tracking app.
(a) Aarogya me
(b) Covid-19 check
(c) Coronaless India
(d) Aarogya Setu
109. Name the country which will host the 3rd edition of Asian youth games in 2021.
(a) Japan
(b) India
(c) South Korea
(d) China
110. Name the person who has been conferred with Hero to Animal award given by PETA.
(a) Ashok Gehlot
(b) Naveen Patnaik
(c) Sarbananda Sonowal
(d) Yogi Adityanath
111. Which of the following the Mobile company has acquired the weather app named Dark Sky-
(a) Sony
(b) Realme
(c) Apple
(d) Samsung
112. Name the small finance bank which launched digital banking platform named ‘DigiGen’
(a) Ujjivan Small Finance Bank
(b) ESAF Small Finance Bank
(c) Equitas Small Finance Bank
(d) Jana Small Finance Bank
113. What is the annual global share of production of Hydroxychloroquine by India as per Indian
Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA)?
(a) 60 %
(b) 65 %
(c) 70 %
(d) 40 %
114. Which is the 1st state in India to integrates Ayurveda and Allopathy to boost immunity of covid-19
patients.
(a) Goa
(b) Kerala
(c) Tamil Nadu
(d) Gujarat
115. What is the Theme for International Children’s Book Day 2020 which was celebrated on April 2
(annually)?
(a) Theme: “The small is big in a book”
(b) Theme: “A Hunger for words”

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(c) Theme: “Let Us Grow With the Book”


(d) Theme: “Many Cultures one Day”
116. Which of the following state is the first of Indian state which is going to measure Gross Environment
Product (GEP)?
(a) Uttarakhand
(b) Andhra Pradesh
(c) Rajasthan
(d) Arunachal Pradesh
117. Recently Consolidated fund was in news, so under which Article of Indian constitution the
Consolidated fund of India is constituted?
(a) Article 264 (1)
(b) Article 265 (1)
(c) Article 266 (1)
(d) Article 267 (1)
118. With which Public Sector Bank, the government telecom operator BSNL has partnered to launch
Bharat InstaPay, UPI-based payment platform.
(a) UCO Bank
(b) Allahabad Bank
(c) Punjab National Bank
(d) State Bank of India
119. Name the company which has launched an initiative named ‘Pragati’ to drive women
entrepreneurship and to spread awareness and adoption of technology among women in India.
(a) Facebook
(b) Microsoft
(c) Google
(d) Twitter
120. Which of the following company has launched new virtual Braille keyboard named ‘TalkBack’.
(a) Apple
(b) Google
(c) Facebook
(d) Microsoft
121. Who has authored the book titled “Shuttling to the Top: The Story of P V Sindhu”-
(a) Taslima Nasreen
(b) Om Swami
(c) Arunava Sinha
(d) Krishnaswamy V
122. Which is the 1st state in the country to get Geotag for community kitchens (tied-up with Google for
Geo-map location).
(a) Goa
(b) Uttar Pradesh
(c) Kerala
(d) Bihar

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123. Which of the following company has become the 1st member of India’s gas trading platform named
“Indian Gas Exchange (IGX)”?
(a) Adani Power Limited
(b) Indane Power Limited
(c) Reliance Power Limited
(d) Manikaran Power Ltd
124. Find the Indian badminton player who has been named as one of the ambassadors of Badminton
World Federation’s (BWF) ‘I am badminton’ campaign.
(a) PV Sindhu
(b) Srikanth Kidambi
(c) Sai Praneeth
(d) Saina Nehwal
125. Name the country which has become the 1st ‘Dark Sky Place’ by International Dark-Sky Association?
(a) New Zealand
(b) Tonga
(c) Niue
(d) Cook Islands
126. “Noor” is the 1st military satellite of which country?
(a) Turkey
(b) Israel
(c) Iraq
(d) Iran
127. The first Arab nation which is going to legalize cannabis (marijuana) farming.
(a) Lebanon
(b) Yemen
(c) Saudi Arabia
(d) Oman
(e) Libya
128. Mirabai Chanu and Jeremy Larinnunga who is in news recently belongs to which sports?
(a) Wrestling
(b) Boxing
(c) Weightlifting
(d) Shooting
129. What is the name of the high-pressure ventilator which was developed by US space agency NASA to
fight covid-19?
(a) VIRAL
(b) INFECT
(c) FIGHT
(d) VITAL
130. Who has been appointed as the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC)-
(a) Sudhir Bhargava
(b) Bimal Julka
(c) Sanjay Kothari

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(d) Amita Pandove


131. On occasion of Chinese space day April 24, 2020, the china has named its 1st mars exploration
mission as-
(a) Shenzhou-1
(b) Tainwen-1
(c) Jiuquan-1
(d) Tiangong-1
132. Cricketer Umar Akmal who was banned from International cricket for 3 years for match fixing
belongs to which country?
(a) South Africa
(b) Afghanistan
(c) Pakistan
(d) Oman
133. Indian women’s team has qualified for ODI women’s world cup 2021. Name the country which is
going to host the tournament-
(a) New Zealand
(b) South Africa
(c) Australia
(d) England
134. Rohtang Pass, was in news recently, is located in which Indian state/UT?
(a) Arunachal Pradesh
(b) Himachal Pradesh
(c) Sikkim
(d) Ladakh
135. Name the Indian state which has launched ‘Food Bank’ initiative with the theme ‘Help End Hunger
Today’ for poor and needy people.
(a) Nagaland
(b) Meghalaya
(c) Assam
(d) Manipur
136. Name the Indian state which has launched e-Sanjeevani OPD recently.
(a) Himachal Pradesh
(b) Assam
(c) Goa
(d) Kerala
137. Which state government has approved 3rd edition of ‘Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay Abhiyan’ (SSJA) a
conservation plan to deepen water bodies in the state-
(a) Gujarat
(b) Maharashtra
(c) Bihar
(d) Haryana
138. Which of the following organization has released the fourth annual Global Report on Food Crises
(GRFC 2020) titled “2020 Global Report on Food Crises-Joint Analysis for better decisions”.

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(a) World Health Organization (WHO)


(b) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
(c) International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
(d) World Food Programme (WFP)
139. Name the person who has won William E. Colby Award 2020 for his book titled “Midnight in
Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster”.
(a) Robert Graves
(b) Alun Lewis
(c) Adam Higginbotham
(d) Edmund Blunden
140. What is India’s rank in terms of production of electricity in the world as per International Energy
Agency (IEA) data in 2019?
(a) 4th rank
(b) 5th rank
(c) 3rd rank
(d) 2nd rank
141. Name the Indian institute which has developed magnetic RAM which enables higher data storage &
faster computation-
(a) IIT-Kanpur
(b) IIT-Mandi
(c) IIT-Calcutta
(d) IIT-Bombay
142. National Biofuel Coordination Committee (NBCC) meeting under the chairmanship of Dharmendra
Pradhan (Petroleum & Natural gas minister) has approved Food Corporation of India (FCI) to convert
the available surplus rice into ______.
(a) Ethanol
(b) Methanol
(c) Ethane
(d) Propane
143. Which payment bank of India has collaborated with Mastercard to issue virtual and physical debit
cards?
(a) Airtel Payments Bank
(b) Jio Payments Bank
(c) India Post Payments Bank
(d) Paytm Payments Bank
144. Which among the following day was celebrated on April 21 annually?
(a) National Farmers Day
(b) National Engineers Day
(c) National Civil Services Day
(d) National Lawyers Day
145. Who has written the book named “Backstage: The Story Behind India’s High Growth Years”?
(a) Satyendra Nath Bose
(b) V. K. Narayana Menon

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(c) S. S. Vasan
(d) Montek Singh Ahluwalia
146. What is the time limit for a person residing in J&K to become permanent resident of the UT (as per
revised norms)?
(a) 12 years
(b) 15 years
(c) 10 years
(d) 20 years
147. Name the mission that was launched by NASA to study giant solar particles storms-
(a) SunEnergy
(b) SunPower
(c) SunParticle
(d) SunRise
148. Name the Indian state which proposed to buy novel contraption ‘Portable Multi-feed Oxygen
Manifold (MOM)’.
(a) Andhra Pradesh
(b) Telangana
(c) Tamil Nadu
(d) Maharashtra
149. Which Indian newspaper that was being published in the United States for 50 years has ceased its
printed edition?
(a) India Abroad
(b) Indians in America
(c) Indian Panorama
(d) Indian Diaspora
150. After the revision in the interest rates on small savings schemes for the first quarter 2020-21, what
is the interest rate for Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme?
(a) 8.2 %
(b) 8.0 %
(c) 7.8 %
(d) 7.6 %

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Answer Keys
Practice Paper - 1
Current Affairs(March & April) – 2020

Q.No. Ans. Explanations


1. B The Ministry of AYUSH has initiated steps to set up a nationwide digital platform called
“AYUSH GRID” which aims to bring onboard all AYUSH facilities including hospitals and
laboratories and to promote traditional systems of healthcare.
2. A Recently, the “Pragyan Conclave 2020”, a two-day Indian Army International Seminar
was organised by Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) at New Delhi.
3. D Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda and Shri Naqvi were inaugurating
“Hunar Haat” at Harmu Ground, Harmu Chowk in Ranchi (Jharkhand). This “Hunar
Haat” is being organised by Union Minority Affairs Ministry from 29th February to
08th March, 2020. This is for the first time that “Hunar Haat” is being organised in
Jharkhand. This is the 21st “Hunar Haat” of the Union Minority Affairs Ministry.
4. A The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has launched the Incredible India Tourist
Facilitators (IITF) Certification Programme, a Pan-India online learning program that is
open to all, subject to fulfillment of eligibility criteria, and can be undertaken from
anywhere in the country. The Programme aims at creating a pool of trained
professionals for facilitating the visit of tourists at destinations across the country.
5. D The Central Sanskrit Universities Bill-2019, has been passed by the Parliament after it
was passed by Rajya Sabha on March 16, 2020. The Lok Sabha had already passed the
Bill on 12th December 2019. This bill will convert (i) Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New
Delhi, (ii) Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi, and (iii)
Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Tirupati into Central Sanskrit Universities.
6. C There are six classical languages in India namely Sanskrit, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu,
Kannada and Odia.
7. B States and Union Territories of India had issued orders for complete lockdowns. The
government derives its powers to issue such directives and guidelines during an
epidemic under two primary laws: the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and the Disaster
Management Act, 2005.
8. B Uttar Pradesh state government has passed “Recovery of Damages to Public and
Private Property Ordinance, 2020” to recover compensation from those who damage
Public and Private Property during protests and riots
9. A Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh Empire, has been named the “Greatest
Leader of All Time” in a poll conducted by BBC World Histories Magazine. More than
5000 readers participated in the poll.
10. D On 17th March 2020, the Supreme Court granted permanent Commission for women

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officers in Navy.
11. C Operation Namaste is a campaign launched by the Indian Army to combat the spread
of COVID-19 and help the government in its fight against the pandemic. The Indian
Army has code-named its anti-COVID-19 operations as Operation Namaste and has, so
far, established eight quarantine facilities across the country.
12. B Section 188 IPC Invoked for Violating COVID-19 Lockdown
A 21-day countrywide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 has been
announced by the government since 25th March . Those violating the lockdown orders
can face legal action under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, which lays down
punishment as per Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, for flouting such
orders.
13. C Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) were established in 1975 under the provisions of the
Ordinance
promulgated on the 26th September 1975 and followed by Regional Rural Banks Act,
1976 with
a view to develop the rural economy and to create a supplementary channel to the
'Cooperative
Credit Structure' with a view to enlarge institutional credit for the rural and agriculture
sector.
14. A The merger of ten Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) banks into four came into effect
from 1st April, 2020.
15. B NCAER (National Council of Applied Economic Research) has released India’s first land
records and services index, which evaluates the quality of land records in the country
and the extent of their digitalization. The N-LRSI( NCAER Land Record Services Index)
aims at filling the gaps in economic research, policy analysis, and systematic data on
land. Land access is a crucial factor for poverty alleviation and boosting economic
growth. In order to resolve disputes and effectively use asset, land records are
essential.
16. D Researchers at the Agarkar Research Institute (ARI) in Pune have developed a new
hybrid variety of grape suitable for making a wide range of food products, including
juice, raisin, jam and red wine.
“ARI-516 is a multi-purpose grape variety with a musky flavour and is moderately
resistant fungal diseases. I
17. A Female Labour-force Participation in India Drops to 24.8% in 2020 According to the
United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) India study, India is the only country among
the 153 surveyed countries where the economic gender gap is larger than the political
gap. The study found that the female labour-force participation in India has declined
from 34% in 2006 to 24.8% in 2020 and said that raising women’s participation in the
labour force to the same level as men can boost India’s GDP by 27%.

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18. B India has ranked 83rd in the ‘Freedom in the World 2020’ report along with Timor-
Leste and Senegal.
The Freedom in the World 2020 report ranks India at the 83rd position, along with
Timor-Leste and Senegal. This is near the bottom of the pile among the countries
categorised as “Free”, with only Tunisia receiving a lower score. India’s score fell by
four points to 71, the worst decline among the world’s 25 largest democracies this
year.
19. C In March, India has signed agreements with Japan government funding agency JICA for
three rail infrastructure projects, totaling Rs 15,295 crore.
20. A India was ranked at a dismal 144 as the United Nations released its World Happiness
Report -2020 in march . A total of 156 nations were surveyed.
21. C International Day of Happiness is falls every on 20th March
22. D On March 20, 2020 United Nations released the World Happiness Report on the
International Day of Happiness, 2020. Finland ranked first in the report and India
ranked 144. Around 156 countries were assessed under the ranking. This is the eighth
World Happiness Report prepared by the organization
23. B The Pune-based molecular diagnostics company Mylab Discovery Solutions Pvt Ltd
which specializes in molecular diagnostic kits has developed the first made in India test
kits for COVID-19 in a record time of six weeks. The kit is the first one to receive
commercial approval from Indian FDA/ Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation
(CDSCO) and is named as Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kit.
24. A An international team of astrophysicists from Durham University in the UK has made
an important discovery with regard to the diameter of Milky Way, the galaxy that
houses our solar system.
25. D Recently, an international team of researchers, led by University of Geneva in
Switzerland, has observed WASP-76b- an extreme exo-planet where it rains iron.
26. A Huntington’s disease is a rare, inherited disease that causes the progressive
breakdown (degeneration) of nerve cells in the brain. Huntington's disease has a broad
impact on a person's functional abilities and usually results in movement, thinking
(cognitive) and psychiatric disorders.
27. B A large team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in and around
Hangzhou, China, has taken a very large step toward the creation of a comprehensive
human single-cell atlas.
28. C The International Conference on Nano Science and Nano Technology (ICONSAT) 2020
was organized from 5th to 7th March in Kolkata.
29. D Karnataka Government has decided to set up a Centre for Internet of Ethical Things In
Bengaluru.
Facts:

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 It is a collaboration with the World Economic Forum(WEF)


 Aim: To bring together aspects of Artificial Intelligence(AI), Internet of Things(IoT)
and Ethics on a single platform.
30. A The current Director-General of WHO is Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
31. B The Indian footballer Pradip Kumar Banerjee, who played as a striker for Indian
National football team has away recently :
32. D Gujarat has become the first state I India to introduce Taser Gyns to its Police Force.
By introducing these as part of police arsenal, Gujarat becomes the first state in India
to do so, following the footsteps of agencies such as the UK Metropolitan Police, the
Los Angeles Police Department and the New York Police Department, amid others.
Taser Guns (electrical weapon) use compressed nitrogen to fire, by
sending electricity through attached wires, which disrupt
voluntary control of muscles.
33. D A New era for girls: Taking stock on 25 years of progress is a report recently unveiled
by UNICEF, Plan International and United Nations Women.
34. C Arifa Jan who revived a Kashmiri traditional art called ‘Namda’ was awarded Nari
Shakti Puraskar and was also among the seven women who took control of the Prime
minister’s Twitter account. Namda comes from the root word Namata (Sanskrit for
woollen stuff). It is a local term used for felted wool floor coverings made out of coarse
variety of wool.
35. A SIDBI bank has announced the start of Swavalamban Express- a train journey to
promote budding business aspirants and entrepreneurs
36. C India and France, For the first time, have conducted joint patrols from the Reunion
Island, signalling New Delhi's intent to engage with friendly foreign partners in
expanding its footprint in the Indian Ocean, focusing on the stretch between the East
African coastline and the Malacca straits. Réunion is a French overseas department
and overseas region in the western Indian Ocean. It is located about 420 miles (680
km) east of Madagascar and 110 miles (180 km) southwest of Mauritius.
37. B India’s biggest oil firm, Indian Oil Corporation Limited has started supplying BS-VI fuel
across India. With this, Indian Oil Corporation Limited has become 1st company to
begin supply of BS-VI fuel across its 28,000 petrol pumps. The Government of India has
set 01st April 2020 as the deadline to start the supply of BS-VI emission compliant
fuels. Therefore, from 01st April 2020, India will become the part of select league of
nations which are using cleanest petrol and diesel across the country to cut vehicular
emissions. In Delhi, this deadline was imposed by April 2019 by the Government of
India.
38. A Zoya Akhtar a filmmaker has been honoured with IIFTC Tourism Impact Award-2020

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39. C American golfer Tiger Woods will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as part
of the class of 2021. The hall of fame, located in St. Augustine, Florida.
40. D The rank of India has decreased by two places to 142nd from 140th position with a
score of 45.33 in the “The World Press Freedom Index 2020” which has analysed 180
countries.
41. A Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Y S.Jaganmohan Reddy launched the
‘JaganannaVidyaDeevena’ Scheme on April 28, 2020 at Tedepalli, in Guntur District of
the state. Under the scheme, funds worth Rs. 4000 crores have been released along
with Rs. 1880 crore towards pending amount left by the earlier government.
42. D The chemical exports of India rose by 7 % to Rs 2.68 lakh crore during April-January
period of the last fiscal, and became the top exporting sector in the country for the
first time.
During April 2019-January 2020, the export of chemicals grew by 7.43 %. The total
export of chemicals during this period reached 2.68 lakh crore rupees. This constitutes
14.35 % of the total exports.
43. A Madhya Pradesh, Anganwadi workers, Assistants to get benefit of chief minister
COVID-19 Yoddha Kalyan Yojana. In Madhya Pradesh, around one lakh Anganwadi
workers and Assistants of the state will get the benefit of Chief Minister COVID Yoddha
Kalyan Yojana
44. C On April 17, 2020, The Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Shri
Narendra Singh Tomar launches “KisanRath”Mobile App.
45. C The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar
launched the All India Agri Transport Call Centre at a function in Krishi Bhavan on April
15, 2020. The Call Centre numbers are 18001804200 and 14488. This 24×7 service is an
initiative of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare
(DAC&FW), Government of India for coordination between States for inter-state
movement of perishables – Vegetables & Fruits, Agri Inputs like seeds, pesticides and
fertilizer etc.
46. C Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” launched a web-portal YUKTI (Young
India Combating COVID with Knowledge, Technology and Innovation) in New Delhi on
April 12, 2020.
47. D The Ministry of Tourism has launched its “DekhoApnaDesh” webinar series from April
14, 2020 to provide information on the many destinations and expanse of the culture
and heritage of India. The first webinar was part of a series discussing the long history
of Delhi as it has unfolded as 8 cities and was titled ” City of Cities- Delhi’s Personal
Diary’.
48. B The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modihas decided not to
operate Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) for two
years (2020-21 and 2021-22) on April 6, 2020. The total amount of MPLAD Funds for 2

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years is Rs 7,900 crores which will go to Consolidated Fund of India.


49. C The Government of India has launched a training module for the management of
COVID-19 named “Integrated Government Online training” (iGOT) portal on Ministry of
Human Resource Development’s (MHRD) DIKSHA platform for the capacity building of
frontline workers to handle the COVID-19 pandemic efficiently.
50. A CSIR- National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) Pune ties up with Bharat Electronics Ltd
(BEL) for production of medical devices. Mass manufacturing ready hardware and
software design will be available to manufacturers across India for free.
51. A Madhya Pradesh Government has announced an insurance cover of 50 lakh rupees for
police personnel and other government employees engaged in the fight against
Corona virus. Many health workers and police personnel and their family members
have been tested positive for Corona virus in Bhopal. Apart from this, Central
government has also announced insurance cover of Rs 50 Lakh for health workers
fighting COVID-19.
Links
52. B On March 23, 2020, Reliance had set up the first hospital of India that will operate
exclusively to treat Corona Virus patients. Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital in
collaboration with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC),has set up a
dedicated 100 bedded centre at Seven Hills Hospital, Mumbai, for patients who test
positive for COVID-19.
53. A The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has extended the validity of documents
like driving licenses, permits and registration that expired since February 1. In an
advisory to all states and Union Territories, the Ministry has asked them to treat such
documents as valid till June 30.
54. D The Union Cabinet has approved the signing and ratifying of the Extradition Treaty
between the Republic of India and the Kingdom of Belgium.
This will replace the pre-Independence Extradition Treaty between Great Britain and
Belgium of 1901 that was made applicable to India through the exchange of Letters in
1958.
The Treaty provides a legal framework for seeking extradition of terrorists, economic
offenders, and other criminals from and to Belgium.
55. A  Rajasthan celebrated the statehood day on 30th March 2020.
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the people of Rajasthan on its State Day.
 The state was formed on 30 March 1949.
 It is the largest Indian state by area and the seventh largest by population.
56. C  The Ministry of Textiles is implementing converged Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima
Yojana (MGBBY) for providing social security benefits like life, accidental &
disability insurance coverage to handloom weavers/workers in the age group of
51-59 years across the country, who have already enrolled under the scheme on

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31.5.2017.
 The Bunkar Bima Yojana was introduced by the Government of India in December,
2003. Since 2005-06 this scheme has been revised and implemented with the title
“Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Yojana”.
 It is being implemented by the Ministry of Textiles.
 The basic objective of the Mahatama Gandhi BunkarBimaYojana is to provide
enhanced insurance cover to the handloom weavers in the case of natural as well
as accidental death and in cases of total or partial disability.
57. A  United Kingdom’s Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has unveiled a 100 per cent state-
backed ‘Bounce Back Loan Scheme’ for the small businesses to help them tide
through the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
 The Indian-origin UK Chancellor told the House of Commons that the new fast-
track finance scheme, would help bolster the existing package of support available
to crisis-hit UK businesses
58. A  Facebook has announced the investment of Rs. 43,474 crores in Reliance Jio for
9.99 percent stake on April 22. It is the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in
India’s tech sector.
 The announcement of signing a binding agreement for an investment of Rs. 43,474
crore was made by Jio Platform Ltd, Reliance Industries Ltd., and Facebook.
59. C WHO began when our Constitution came into force on 7 April 1948 – a date we now
celebrate every year as World Health Day. Headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland.
60. B  The COP-26 conference of UN climate change scheduled in Glasgow in November
2020 has been postponed due to COVID-19.
 This decision was taken by the COP Bureau of the UNFCCC (United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change), with the UK and its Italian partners.
61. C  The 2020 edition of the World Water Development Report (WWDR 2020) has been
published entitled ‘Water and Climate Change’.
 According to the report, Global food production patterns would be fundamentally
altered by climate change, causing food insecurity because of small shifts in
seasonality and water availability.
 In India, 100 per cent of the land dedicated to rice cultivation, 91 per cent of land
for maize and 80 per cent for soybean would face wetter conditions within the
next 40 years.
 An increase in demand for calories from low and middle-income countries would
cause an increase in production.
62. B  The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $1.5
billion loan to support the government’s response to the novel coronavirus
pandemic on April 28, 2020.
 The amount will be used in focusing on immediate priorities such as disease
containment and prevention, as well as social protection for the poor and

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economically vulnerable sections.


63. D  According to a World Bank report on the impact of the COVID-19 on migration and
remittances, remittances to India may drop by 23 % i.e. from 83 billion US Dollars
last year to 64 billion US Dollars this year due to the Corona virus pandemic.
 Globally, the remittances are projected to decline by about 20 per cent this year
due to the global recession by the pandemic and shutdowns due to out break of
Novel Corona virus.
 The projected fall could be the sharpest decline in recent history.
 Remittance are expected to fall across all regions, most notably in Europe and
Central Asia (27.5 %), followed by Sub-Saharan Africa (23.1 %), South Asia (22.1 %),
the Middle East and North Africa (19.6 %), Latin America and the Caribbean (19.3
%), and East Asia and the Pacific (13 %)
64. B The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 countries, working to
foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international
trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce
poverty around the world.
65. A  The 2nd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting took
place on April 15, 2020 under the presidency of Saudi Arabia.
 Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman participated in
the virtual session of meeting to discuss the global economic outlook amid
evolving COVID-19 pandemic.
66. B  NHAI has accomplished the highest ever construction of 3,979 km of national
highways in the FY 2019-20.
 NHAI has achieved an all-time high construction since its inception in 1995.
 The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has envisaged an ambitious highway
development programme Bharatmala Pariyojana which includes development of
about 65,000 km national highways
67. D  On March 23, 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman introduced the Finance
Bill, 2020. The bill was introduced and passed in Lok Sabha without any discussion.
 The bill was hurriedly passed in the Lok Sabha without the customary discussion or
reply by the Union finance minister and duly returned by the Rajya Sabha as the
country headed for a lockdown to fight the coronavirus crisis.
68. C  The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the formation of Joint
Venture between Adani Green Energy Limited and Total S.A. in the business of
power generation through solar energy in India on April 1, 2020.
69. D  NTPC Ltd, India’s largest power producer has invited Global Expression of Interest
(EoI) to provide 10 Hydrogen Fuel Cell (FC) based electric buses and an equal
number of Hydrogen Fuel Cell based electric cars in cities Leh and Delhi.
 The EoI has been issued by NTPC’s wholly owned subsidiary, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar
Nigam (NVVN) Limited

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70. A  Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG), Navi Mumbai, an autonomous institute of


the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India researchers have
developed a global model to predict the ionospheric electron density with larger
data coverage—a crucial need for communication and navigation on April 20, 2020
71. B  Researchers at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune, an autonomous
institute under the Department of Science &Technology, Govt. of India, have
developed a sensitive and low-cost sensor to rapidly detect bacteria.
72. C  Scientists of Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), an autonomous institute under
the Department of Science &Technology, Govt. of India, have recently discovered
hundreds of Li-rich giant stars indicating that Li is being produced in the stars and
accounts for its abundance in the interstellar medium.
73. C  Reliance Power’s Ultra Mega Power Project’s (UMPP) in Sasan area of Singrauli fly
ash dyke collapsed .
 The flood of the toxic ash slurry from the collapsed dyke located in adjoining
Harhawa village washed away six persons, including three kids, a woman and two
men living in the adjoining villages.
 Popularly known as Flue ash or pulverised fuel ash, it is a coal combustion product
74. A  The Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee(IIT-R) has recently hit headlines after a
team of researchers at the institute developed a low cost portable ventilator that
might prove useful for the survival of COVID-19 patients.
 The closed-loop ventilator does not require compressed air and is useful when
wards are converted to ICUs.
 Prana-Vayu, the closed-loop ventilator is developed in collaboration with AIIMS,
Rishikesh, and is equipped with state-of-the-art features.
 The ventilator is based on the controlled operation of the prime mover to deliver
the required amount of air to the patient. The manufacturing cost per ventilator is
estimated to be Rs 25,000
75. B  Madhuban Gajar, a biofortified carrot variety with high β-carotene and iron
content is benefitting more than 150 local farmers in the area.
 The carrot variety has been developed by Vallabhhai Vasrambhai Marvaniya, a
farmer scientist from Junagadh district, Gujarat.
 This variety of carrot is used for various value-added products like carrot chips,
juices, and pickles
76. D  The US space agency, NASA selected the proposed Sun Radio Interferometer Space
Experiment (SUNRISE) mission to study how the Sun creates and releases Giant
Solar Particle Storms. The SUNRISE mission will aid scientists to understand the
working of the Solar System. The mission is believed to help protect future
astronauts from Solar Storms while going to the Moon or Mars.
 The mission is led by Justin Kasper at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and
managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

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77. C  Scientists from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune, have developed a
biofortified durum wheat variety MACS 4028.
 The wheat variety developed by the ARI scientists group on Wheat improvement.
 ARI is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology,
Government of India.
78. A  Wimbledon tournament is associated with Tennis game.
 Recently, on April 1, 2020, Wimbledon tennis tournament has been cancelled first
time after World War II.
79. A  Indian-origin Rishi Sunak was named as the new Finance Minister of the United
Kingdom by PM Boris Johnson on February 13, 2020.
 Rishi Sunak is the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy.
 Rishi Sunak has been appointed as the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Boris
Johnson’s cabinet.
80. D  Five-time World chess champion Viswanathan Anand is the new Ambassador for
World Wide Fund (WWF) India’s Environment Education programme.
81. A  IT services industry body Nasscom has appointed UB Pravin Rao as the chairman
for the current financial year.
 He is currently chief operating officer in Infosys.
 Rao, who was previously vice- chairman of Nasscom, would succeed Keshav
Murugesh, Group CEO, WNS Global Services
82. C  On 6 April 2020, senior Indian Foreign Service officer Anurag Srivastava took
charge as the Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.
 Prior to this he served as the India’s Ambassador to Ethiopia.
 He succeeded Ravish Kumar to this post.
83. A  The Central Government has re-appointed B. P. Kanungo as Deputy Governor,
Reserve Bank of India for a further period of one year with effect from April 3,
2020.
 His existing term was ending on April 2, 2020.
84. B  On 31 March 2020, Geeta Ramji, a famous Virologist of Indian origin, died in South
Africa. She was 50 years old and was also a renowed HIV prevention research
leader.
 She is the first person of Indian origin to die due to coronavirus infection in South
Africa. She was the Clinical Trials Unit Principal Investigator and Unit Director of
the HIV Prevention Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council
(SAMRC). She was awarded in the year 2018 with outstanding female scientist
award in Lisbon by the European Development Clinical Trials Partnerships (EDCTP)
for her lifetime commitment to finding new HIV prevention.
85. A  Renowned historian and educationist Professor Arjun Dev passed away on 29
March 2020 in Noida. He was born on 12 November 1938 in Leiah, West Punjab
(now Pakistan).

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 Prof. Arjun spent a larger part of his academic life as a historian at the National
Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) authoring books.
86. C  It is also known as World Book and Copyright Day. The World Book Capital 2020 is
Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia.
 The day is celebrated by UNESCO and other related organisations across the world
to honour authors, books worldwide, to promote the art of reading etc.
87. D  Every year is observed 22nd April as World Earth Day.
 This year, the day is celebrated across the globe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
 While the people across the globe celebrate World Earth Day 2020, organizers
have asked people to mark Earth Day 2020 as a ray of hope, optimism, and action
and while celebrating it safely due to the on-going public health emergency.
 World Earth Day 2020 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the day since it started
being observed in 1970. To mark the day, Google dedicated its doodle to one of
the smallest and most critical organisms of the Earth- the bees.
88. A  The theme of World Earth Day 2020 was Climate Action.
89. C  World Heritage Day is observed annually on April 18. It is also known as the
International Day for Monuments and Sites.
 The theme of World Heritage Day 2020 is “Shared Culture’, ‘Shared heritage’ and
‘Shared responsibility”
90. B  World Homeopathy Day was observed globally on April 10, 2020. The day is
observed to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Christian Friedrich Samuel
Hahnemann of Germany, the founder of Homeopathy.
 2020 Theme for the day is ‘Linking research with education and clinical practice:
Advancing scientific collaborations’.
91. B  World Autism Awareness Day is observed on 2 April every year since its formal
inception in 2008.
 Autism can be defined as a complex neurobehavioral condition which causes
problems with language and communication skills.
 It also causes a person to have repetitive and rigid behavior
92. A  National Doctor’s Day 2020 will be celebrated on July 1st to thank physicians and
doctors for their dedicated services to patients. In the US, this day is celebrated on
30th March to express their gratitude towards Doctors.
 Doctor’s Day 2020 is being celebrated for acknowledging the services of doctors
and their huge contribution to the medical advancement in India.
 National Doctors’ Day is celebrated on July 1 to honour the legendary physician
and the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. He was
born on July 1, 1882 and died on the same date in 1962, aged 80 years. Dr Roy was
honoured with the country’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna on February 4,
1961
93. D Agra Smart City, Uttar Pradesh has created a Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

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dashboard which will show various hotspots, heat maps, positive cases, recovered
cases, etc of COVID-19.
94. D National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) paid tribute to celebrated painter and artist
Raja Ravi Varma on his 172nd birth anniversary on 29 April 2020 through a virtual tour.
This virtual tour showcased the entire collection of his artworks at reserve collection,
NGMA in New Delhi.
95. A India has been placed at 53rd position among 117 nations in terms of budget
transparency and accountability, according to Open Budget Survey
96. B Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT), Pune, supported by Defence
Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a microwave sterilizer
named "ATULYA". The sterilizer will disintegrate coronavirus.
97. D The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan
approved the integration of 5 States and Union Territories (UTs) with the National
Cluster under the “One Nation One Ration Card” plan. The 5 states/UTs include Uttar
Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman &
Diu. Already 12 states are under the One Nation One Ration Card plan. The 12 are
Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka Madhya
Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Tripura.
98. C Nobel Laureate John Maxwell Coetzee, who authored the book "The Death of Jesus",
completed his Jesus trilogy (a group of 3 related novels) with the final book. The book
explores the meaning of a world empty of memory but brimming with questions.
99. C On March 30, 2020, the US renewed four nuclear restrictions imposed on Iran. The
restrictions were imposed to prevent Iran from building its nuclear programme. US and
Iran signed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that aimed at curbing nuclear
programme of Iran in 2015.
100. B People can visit pmindia.gov.in to make contributions using credit and debit cards, UPI,
net banking and RTGS or NEFT. State Bank of India (SBI) is the banking partner of PM-
CARES. It should be noted that this is a dedicated national fund with the primary
objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation and to provide
relief to the affected
101. B On March 30, 2020, the Asian Development Bank announced that it is to invest 100
million USD in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). The investment
during an economic slow down is a great boost for the Indian Economy.
102. B Tata Power Company's joint venture (JV) with Norway's Clean Energy Invest (CEI), and
International Financial Corporation (IFC) began its commercial operation of a 178
megawatt (MW) hydropower project (HPP) in Georgia. The information was given by
the Tata group utility on 30 March.
103. C The Punjab National Bank (PNB) has launched a new logo before the mega merger of
the bank with the United Bank of India (UBI) and the Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC)

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comes into force from 1 April, 2020. The new logo will have signages of all the 3 banks.
104. B Thomas Schaefer, Finance Minister of Hesse (Germany), 54 years old, has committed
suicide apparently after becoming "deeply worried" over how to cope with the
economic fallout from the Coronavirus. He was born on February 22, 1966, in Hemer,
North Rhine- Westphalia, West Germany.
105. A The Republic of North Macedonia has inducted officially as the 30th and newest
member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This membership comes after
North Macedonia's 2017 deal with Greece under which the former changed its name
from Macedonia (a name same as Greek province). After the name change, Greece
agreed to drop objections to its NATO and European Union (EU) membership. North
Macedonia was granted a protocol on accession to NATO membership in February
2019.
106. C The ICICI Bank has launched Whatsapp banking to assist its customers in meeting the
banking needs from homes during the lockdown.
107. C Philip Warren Anderson, a Nobel Prize- winning physicist who expanded the world’s
understanding of magnetism, superconductivity and the structure of matter, passed
away at the age of 96 in Princeton, New Jersey, US (United States). He was born on
December 13, 1923 in Indianapolis, Indiana, US.
108. D The Government of India (GoI) has officially launched its 1st comprehensive
coronavirus (COVID-19) tracking app called ‘Aarogya Setu’ (which translates from
Sanskrit to ‘A bridge of health’) for Android and iOS (iPhone Operating System) users to
connect health services with the people to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak.
109. B The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has announced the 3rd edition of Asian Youth
Games, which will be hosted in Shantou in China from November 20 to 28, 2021.
110. B Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha, has been conferred with Hero to Animals
Award by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India for feeding
community animals in five municipal corporations and all 48 municipalities of Odisha
and allocated Rs 54 lakhs from a relief fund during the COVID-19 lockdown.
111. C Apple has acquired the Dark Sky, a weather app, which states about the time of rain,
its iPhone Operating System (iOS) app which costs USD 3.99 will not be modified and
does not allow the users to download it. Its Application Programming Interface (API)
service will not accept new signups & will continue to function through the end of
2021, it has also updated its branding on its website as ‘Dark Sky by Apple’.
112. D Jana Small Finance Bank, a scheduled commercial bank, has launched DigiGen, a digital
banking platform which enables the customers to open digitally a savings account &
fixed deposit instantly anytime & anywhere.
113. C India has become the largest producer and exporter of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), the
most talked out medicine to curb the COVID-19 disease, with 70% of annual global
production as per Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA).

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114. A Goa Chief Minister (CM) Pramod Sawant announced that Goa becomes the first state
to integrate allopathy and Ayurveda to treat COVID-19 patients and those who have
been quarantined.
115. B International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) is observed every year on April 2. The day is
celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books. Theme
of the year 2020: A Hunger for words.
116. A Uttarakhand state is going to become the first state of the country to measure Gross
Environment Product (GEP) for quantifying ecological growth measurement.
117. C Consolidated fund was constituted under Article 266 (1) of the Constitution of India. All
revenues received by the government by way of direct taxes and indirect taxes, money
borrowed and receipts from loans given by the government flow into the Consolidated
Fund of India.
118. D Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) in partnership with the State Bank of India (SBI)
has launched a Unified Payments Interface (UPI) based payment platform, Bharat
InstaPay to enable all types of channel partners of BSNL to digitize their payment
transactions on a round the clock basis/ real- time basis.
119. A The Pragati initiative of Facebook will incubate and accelerate early-stage women-led
non-profits that are working to drive women entrepreneurship and to spread
awareness and adoption of technology among women in India. Facebook Pragati will
award four grants of up to ₹50 lakh for each non-profit to scale their work.
120. B Google has launched a new braille keyboard named TalkBack to simplify smartphone
typing for those who are suffering from visual impairment. "TalkBack braille keyboard
is a new virtual braille keyboard integrated directly into Android.
121. D A book titled “Shuttling to the Top: The Story of P V Sindhu” authored by
Krishnaswamy V was published by HarperCollins in Amazon digital platform along with
other two books, amid the lockdown due to Coronavirus.
122. B Uttar Pradesh (UP) became the first state in the country to geotag its 7,368 community
kitchens and community shelters across 75 districts which produce 12 lakh food
packets a day, due to the sudden onset of COVID-19 lockdown. The Yogi Adityanath
State government has also tied up with Google to “Geo-map” for the location of all
these establishments through the Google Maps app for ease of beneficiaries.
123. D The gas trading platform of Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) has found its first member in
Manikaran Power Ltd (MPL). Called the Indian Gas Exchange (IGX), it will be India's first
gas trading platform.
124. A World Champion PV Sindhu, named as one of the ambassadors for Badminton World
Federation’s (BWF’s) “I am badminton” awareness campaign to provide a platform for
the players to express their love and respect for the sport.
125. C Niue has become the world's first whole country recognised as a 'Dark Sky Place' by
the International Dark-Sky Association's (IDA), which has approved the island's
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application for the protection of its sky, land and sea.


126. D Iran’s first military satellite, Noor, was launched on April 23, 2020 from central Iran in
two stages. The launch was successful and the satellite reached orbit.
127. A Lebanon became the 1st Arab nation to legalise cannabis (also known as marijuana)
farming for medicinal & industrial use with the aim to boost the exports & to beat the
economic crisis created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Lebanon faces the
worst economic crisis due to lockdown since the 1975-1990 civil war.
128. C President of Weightlifting Federation of India (WFI) Shadev Yadav confirmed that
Mirabai Chanu and Jeremy Larinnunga have been qualified to participate in the Tokyo
2020 Olympic Games due to their current International rank.
129. D NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) engineers developed a new,
easy-to-build high- pressure ventilator named VITAL (Ventilator Intervention
Technology Accessible Locally) specifically to treat COVID-19 patients.
130. C Sanjay Kothari, the secretary to the President, was on Saturday appointed as the
Central Vigilance Commissioner, head of the country's anti-corruption watchdog CVC,
according to a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique. The post of the chief of the Central
Vigilance Commission (CVC) had been lying vacant since June last year after
completion of K V Chowdary's tenure.
131. B China National Space Administration (CNSA) has named its first Mars exploration
mission as “Tainwen-1” and also released its logo “Lanxingjiutian” during the online
celebration of “Space Day” which marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the
country’s first satellite Dong Fang Hong-1 in 1970.
132. C Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal was banned for three-years by the Pakistan Cricket
Board (PCB) Disciplinary Committee for the violation of ICC Anti-corruption code 2.4.4
failing to disclose the details of approaches to engage in corrupt conduct and 2.4.5
failing to disclose any incident that comes to the knowledge of any evidence that
another participant received any approaches to engage in corrupt conduct.
133. A The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that India, New Zealand,
Australia, England and South Africa have sealed a direct berth for the quadrennial 50-
over Women World Cup 2021 to be held in New Zealand & scheduled from February 6
to March 7 in 2021.
134. B Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has opened Rohtang Pass (13,500 feet above sea
level) today, more than three weeks in advance amid Covid-19 lockdown after clearing
snow. It is the arterial road connecting Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh
from rest of the country. The pass was opened on May 18, last year.
135. D The Imphal East District Administration of Manipur state Government has launched a
new initiative “Food Bank” based on the theme ‘Help End Hunger Today’ with the aim
to provide free food to the poor people who are severely affected in getting essential
commodities due to the long statewide lockdown in view of the threat of Coronavirus

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(COVID-19).
136. A Himachal Pradesh government has started to use eSanjeevani OPD through which free
online medical consultation & general health advice will be provided to the people at
their residence throughout the state from doctors of different medical colleges from
9:30 AM to 4:00 PM on all working days.
137. A The chief minister (CM) of Gujarat Vijay Rupani has approved the 3rd edition of his
government’s ‘Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay Abhiyan’ (SSJA), a conservation plan to
deepen water bodies in the state before monsoon. The scheme will continue till June
10, 2020 with a focus on deepening of lakes, check dams and rivers by removing silt. It
will be done with people’s participation as well as under Mahatma Gandhi National
Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
138. D In accordance with the fourth annual Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC 2020) titled
“2020 Global Report on Food Crises-Joint Analysis for better decisions” by United
Nation’s (UN) World Food Programme (WFP), the coronavirus pandemic could nearly
double the number of people around the world facing acute hunger.It should be noted
that the WEP estimates that $350m (£280m) needed immediately, but only about a
quarter of the sum has yet been available.
139. C Adam Higginbotham won the William E. Colby Award 2020 for his book “Midnight in
Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster” & won USD
5,000 prize.
140. C As per the latest key world energy statistics published by the IEA in 2019, India is the
3rd largest producer of electricity in the world and it ranks 106th in terms of per capita
consumption in 2017. Stating this in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today Shri R.K.
Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power, New & Renewable Energy and the Minister of
State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship stated that reforms in power sector is
a continuous process due to changes in the situation. India has become power surplus
from power deficit situation.
141. B Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)- Mandi team, developed a magnetic Random-
Access Memory (RAM) using spintronic technology which is faster, more energy-
efficient and capable of storing more information in a smaller volume than existing
data storage technologies. The research by the IIT team has been published in IEEE
Transactions on Electron Devices, a reputed international journal.
142. A National Biofuel Coordination Committee (NBCC) meeting under the chairmanship of
Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas has approved & allowed
Food Corporation of India (FCI) to convert the available surplus rice to ethanol so as to
utilize it in making alcohol-based hand-sanitizers & also for the Ethanol Blended Petrol
(EBP) programme.
143. D Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) has collaborated with Mastercard to issue virtual and
physical debit cards to enable its customers to perform secure online transactions,
make payment in stores as well as withdraw cash from ATMs. PPBL will issue

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Mastercard virtual debit cards to its new customers to perform secure online
transactions for everyday purchases.
144. C 21st April every year is celebrated as the National Civil Service Day to celebrate the
civil servants (IAS- Indian Administrative Services, IPS- Indian Police Services, IFS-
Indian Foreign services and group A and B services) who dedicated their lives to the
citizens and to renew their commitments and excellence in work. This is also to
encourage the passion of the Indians to get into civil service.
145. D The Economist, civil servant & Deputy Chairman of the Indian Planning Commission,
with the rank of Cabinet Minister, from July 2004 to May 2014 & Padma Vibhushan
awardee(2011) Montek Singh Ahluwalia authored a book titled ‘Backstage: The Story
Behind India’s High Growth Years’ which captures the essence of policymaking
between 1985 and 2014.
146. B A new definition for domicile for Jammu and Kashmir was introduced which has stated
that a person residing in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir for at least 15 years
or has studied for a period of seven years in Jammu and Kashmir and appeared in Class
10 or 12 examinations will now be eligible to be a permanent resident of the UT. This
new rule was issued under the Section 3A of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization
Adaptation of State Laws Order 2020, under the Jammu and Kashmir civil services
decentralization and recruitment Act.
147. D SunRise mission that was launched by NASA to study giant solar particles storms-
148. A Andhra Pradesh (AP) government has proposed to buy a novel contraption, ‘Portable
Multi-feed Oxygen Manifold (MOM)’ to address the need for oxygen supply to
coronavirus patients. It is developed by Personnel of the Naval Dockyard
Visakhapatnam (NDV).
149. A One of the ethnic Indian newspapers which was being published in the United States
for the last 50 years named ‘India Abroad’ stopped its printed edition recently, amidst
the coronavirus outbreak.
It was founded by Indian-American publisher Gopal Raju in the year 1970. The
newspaper focused mainly on Indian news which catered to the Indian diaspora in the
United States. The expatriate community in the US were the main audience for the
newspaper.
150. D The Government of India lowered the interest rates on various small savings schemes
for the first quarter of 2020-21.
As per the revision, the interest rate for the flagship Sukanya Samriddhi Account
scheme has been reduced to 7.6% against 8.4% earlier. Investments in PPF will earn
7.1% against 7.9%; the five-year National Savings Certificate will earn 6.8% against
7.9% earlier; KVP will earn 6.9% against 7.6% earlier and five-year Senior Citizens
Savings Scheme will return 7.6% against 8.6% earlier.

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General Studies
Practice Paper - 02
151. Which of the following prime minister did not face parliament while being in office?
(a) Morarji Desai
(b) Chaudhary Charan Singh
(c) Dr Manmohan Singh
(d) Rajiv Gandhi
152. Which of the following part is rightly described as the Magna Carta of India?
(a) Part II
(b) Part IV
(c) Part V
(d) Part III
153. Which article of the Indian Constitution empowers parliament to discrete or abrogate the functional
rights of the members of armed forces parliamentary forces, police forces and intelligence agencies?
(a) Article 31
(b) Article 33
(c) Article 34
(d) Article 35
154. The provision of impeachment of president is borrowed from which constitution?
(a) British Constitution
(b) Irish Constitution
(c) US Constitution
(d) Japanese Constitution
155. 'Federation with strength Centre' is borrowed from which constitution?
(a) Constitution of Canada
(b) Constitution of Germany
(c) Constitution of USA
(d) None of the above
156. Sikkim was made a full-fledged state of the Union of India through which constitutional Amendment
Act?
(a) 35th Amendment Act
(b) 36th Amendment Act
(c) 24th Amendment Act
(d) 42nd Amendment Act
157. Distribution of power between the Union and the State Government is mentioned in which schedule
of the Constitution?
(a) 5th
(b) 6th
(c) 7th
(d) 8th

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158. Which Constitutional amendment act is termed as Mini Constitution?


(a) 24th Amendment Act
(b) 44th Amendment Act
(c) 9th Amendment Act
(d) 42nd Amendment Act
159. Which of the following amendment act empowered the center to deploy armed forces in any state
to deal with the grave law and order situation?
(a) 42nd Amendment Act
(b) 24th Amendment Act
(c) 44th Amendment Act
(d) None of the above
160. Which Conditional amendment act made obligatory for the president to act on the advice of the
Council of Ministers?
(a) 42rd Amendment Act
(b) 52nd Amendment Act
(c) 42nd Amendment Act
(d) 61st Amendment Act
161. Indian Constitutional consists of how many articles?
(a) 395
(b) 442
(c) 460
(d) 350
162. Which of the following is incorrect?
Features borrowed : Sources
(a) Republic system : British Constitution
(b) Republic features : French Constitution
(c) Concurrent Lists : Australian Constitution
(d) Procedure of Amendment : German Constitution
163. Which of the following is correct with regard to the amendment provisions of Constitution of India?
(a) It can be amended by simple majority of the parliament
(b) It can be amended by special majority of the parliament
(c) It can be amended by special majority of the parliament and the ratification of half of the state
legislature.
(d) All of the above
164. Which of the following amendments to the Constitution of India requires ratification by half of the
states alongwith special majority?
(a) Election of the President and its manner
(b) Supreme Court and High Court
(c) Distribution of Legislative power between the Union and States.
(d) All of the above
165. Admission or establishment of new states can be carried on with
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(a) Simple majority


(b) Special majority
(c) Special majority with ratification by the States
(d) None of the above
166. Which of the following is a characteristic of Presidential Form of Government?
(a) Majority party rule
(b) Single executive
(c) Collective responsibility
(d) Dual executive
167. The concept of socio-economic planning is enumerated in which of the following lists of the
Constitution?
(a) Union List
(b) State List
(c) Concurrent List
(d) None of the these
168. The state list contains
(a) 97 subjects
(b) 66 subjects
(c) 61 subjects
(d) 58 subjects
169. Which of the following are given to the states under the recommendation of the Finance
Commission?
(a) Statutory grants
(b) Discretionary grants
(c) Supplementary grants
(d) All of the above
170. Which of the following is not a ground for disqualification of a person being elected as a Member of
Parliament?
(a) If he holds any office of profit
(b) If he is of unsound mind
(c) If he is illiterate
(d) If he is an un-discharged insolvent
171. Allocation of portfolios to the minister is the prerogatives of
(a) The president
(b) The prime minister
(c) Collective decision of cabinet minister
(d) Individual choice of the minister
172. The executive power is vested in the president but it is actually used by him on the advice of
(a) The Prime Minister
(b) The council of Ministers
(c) Parliament
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(d) None of the above


173. An ‘office of profit’ which disqualifies a person from being a member of the union or state
legislature does not include office held under.
(a) The Government of India
(b) State Government of India
(c) A local authority
(d) All of the above
174. The maximum gap between two sessions of Parliament is
(a) 3 months
(b) 6 months
(c) 120 days
(d) 30 days
175. The leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya have been accorded statutory recognition in the
year.
(a) 1969
(b) 1972
(c) 1977
(d) 1989
176. Which of the following is/are true with regard to the office of whip?
(a) Every political party whether ruling or opposition has a ship
(b) He is appointed by the political party
(c) He regulates and monitor the behaviours of the members in the parliament
(d) All of the above
177. Which of the following is not a usual session of the Parliament of India?
(a) Budget session
(b) Mansoon session
(c) Winter session
(d) Summer session
178. No tax can be levied or collected and no expenditure can be incurred by the Executive except under
the authority and with the approval of
(a) President
(b) Prime Minister
(c) Parliament
(d) Comptroller and Auditory General of India
179. What is the quorum necessary for the house of the parliament to be conducted?
(a) 𝑡ℎ
(b) 𝑡ℎ
(c) 𝑡ℎ
(d) 𝑡ℎ

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180. Who among the following non-member of parliament has right to take part in the proceeding of
either House?
(a) The Chief Justice of India
(b) The Attorney General of India
(c) The Chief Election Commissioner of India
(d) The comptroller and Auditor General of India
181. The No-confidence Motion requires the support of how many members to be admitted in the
parliament
(a) 55
(b) 50
(c) 100
(d) 150
182. Which of the following Articles of the Indian Constitution deals with the provision of joint sitting of
two houses of Parliament?
(a) Article 108
(b) Article 208
(c) Article 123
(d) Article 213
183. Which of the following is not correct about joint sitting of the two houses of parliament?
(a) The speaker of the Lok Sabha summons both the Houses for a joint sitting
(b) Provision of joint sitting is applicable to ordinary bill only
(c) The speaker of the Lok Sabha presides over the joint sitting.
(d) The quorum to constitute a joint sitting is one-tenth of the total members of the two houses.
184. Which of the following is not a stage in the enactment of budget in the parliament?
(a) Presentation of Budget
(b) General Discussion
(c) Scrutiny of departmental committee
(d) Publication of budget in media for public
185. Which of the following articles in Indian Constitution deals with consolidated fund of India?
(a) Article 260
(b) Article 366
(c) Article 266
(d) Article 267
186. How many members are elected to the public Account committee from the Lok Sabha?
(a) 22
(b) 17
(c) 15
(d) 7
187. How many members are there in estimate committee of the Parliament?
(a) 22
(b) 30
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(c) 25
(d) 32
188. Which part of the Constitution deals with the organization, jurisdiction, power and procedures of
the Supreme Court of India?
(a) Part V
(b) Part IV
(c) Part VII
(d) Part VIII
189. Which of the following is not an executive power of the Governor?
(a) Appointment of Chief Minister
(b) Appointment of the Advocate General of the State
(c) Address to the State legislature at the commencement of the first session after general
election.
(d) Appointment of State Election Commissioner
190. “There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as the head to aid and advice the
Governor on the exercise of his functions, expect in so far as his required to exercise his functions or
any of them in his direction”. Which article states this?
(a) Article 163
(b) Article 164
(c) Article 167
(d) Article 168
191. The High Court which has the distinction of having the first woman Chief Justice is
(a) Delhi High Court
(b) Allahabad High Court
(c) Guwahati High Court
(d) Himachal High Court
192. Who among the following administer oath to a High Court Judge?
(a) President
(b) Chief Justice of India
(c) Chief Justice of the High Court
(d) Governor
193. The Union territories are administered by
(a) Prime Minister
(b) President through administrators appointed by him
(c) Union Council of Ministers
(d) Parliament
194. Recognition to a political party is accorded by
(a) The election commission
(b) The speaker of the Lok Sabha
(c) President
(d) Prime Minister
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195. Which of the following writs is a bulwark of personal freedom?


(a) Heabus corpus
(b) Mandamus
(c) Quo-warranto
(d) Certiorari
196. India for the Indians was the political messages of
(a) D E Wacha
(b) Swami Vivekananda
(c) Swami Dayanand Saraswati
(d) A.O. Hume
197. Match List I with List II
A. Swaraj is my birth right 1. Maderates
B. It is not reforms but re-from 2. Lajpat Rai
C. A subject people has no soul 3. B.C. Pal
D. Policy of petitions, prayers and protests 4. Bal Gangadhar Tilak
A B C D
(a) 1 2 3 4
(b) 4 3 2 1
(c) 3 4 2 1
(d) 2 1 3 4
198. Satyagraha Sabha was formed by Gandhi at
(a) Bombay
(b) Calcutta
(c) Gujarat
(d) Poona
199. Gandhi Called for an all India Hartal (strike) to protest against Rowlett Act on 6th April —
(a) 1918
(b) 1919
(c) 1926
(d) 1925
200. Match List I with List II
List I List II
A. Moplah 1. Turkey
B. Akali Movement 2. Education
C. Kashi Vidya Peeth 3. Punjab
D. Khilafat Movement 4. Malabar
A B C D
(a) 4 3 2 1
(b) 1 2 3 4
(c) 3 2 1 4

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(d) 2 1 3 4
201. The first Swarajist Confrence was held at:
(a) Ahmedabad
(b) Allahabad
(c) Madras
(d) Bardoli
202. When the Simon Commission visited India the viceroy was
(a) Lord Curzon
(b) Lord Irwin
(c) Lord reading
(d) Lord Rippon
203. Gandhi- Irwin pact was signed on
(a) 1928
(b) 1930
(c) 1931
(d) 1935
204. The Swaraj Party was formed by
(a) Lala Lajpa Rai and Feroz Shah Mehta
(b) Sarojni Naidu and Annie Besant
(c) CR Das and Motilal Nehru
(d) C. Rajagopalachari and CY. Chitamani
205. In which session did congress declared complete Independence (Poorna Swaraj) as its goals?
(a) Lahore Session
(b) Madras Session
(c) Ahmedabad Session
(d) Gaya Session
206. Who was the British Prime Minister who convened the First Round Table Conference in London?
(a) Wiston Churchill
(b) Ramsay McDonald
(c) Chamberlain
(d) Disraeli
207. In 1930, Mahatma Gandhi started the Civil Disobedience Movement from
(a) Wardha
(b) Sevagram
(c) Sabarmati
(d) Dandi
208. Match list I with List II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the Lists
List I List II
A. Dadabhai Naoroji 1. Home Rule
B. Akali Movement 2. Servants of India Society

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C. Kashi Vidya Peeth 3. Thrice President of INC


D. Khilafat Movement 4. Extremist turned spiritualist
A B C D
(a) 1 3 4 2
(b) 1 3 2 4
(c) 3 1 2 4
(d) 3 1 4 2
209. Who founded the All Indian Harijan Samaj in 1932?
(a) BR Ambedkar
(b) A. Narendra Dev
(c) Mahatma Gandhi
(d) Jagjivan Ram
210. Which of the following personality was knownvas Deen Bandhu?
(a) Sri Aurobindo
(b) C.F. Andrews
(c) Vinod Bhave
(d) C.R. Das
211. Who gave the slogan “Inquilab Zindabad”?
(a) Maulana Hasrat Mohani
(b) Subhash Chandra Bose
(c) Mohammad Iqbal
(d) Chandra Shekhar Azad
212. The slogan is ‘ Do or Die’ was given by
(a) Jawaharlal Nehru
(b) Subhash Chandra Bose
(c) Rajagopalchari
(d) Mahatma Gandhi
213. The Bardoli satyagaha was led by
(a) Rajendra Prasad
(b) Mahatma Gandhi
(c) Vallabhbhai Patel
(d) Morarji Desai
214. Who of the following was for the first time designated as the governor of Bengal?
(a) Cornwallis
(b) Warren Hastings
(c) Wellesley
(d) Robert Clive
215. The master stroke of lord Wellesley to establish British Paramountey in India was
(a) Doctrine of Lapse
(b) Subsidiary Alliance

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(c) Ring Fence Policy


(d) None of the above
216. The revolt of 1857 in Awadh and Lucknow was led by
(a) Wajid ali shah
(b) Begum Hazrat Mahal
(c) Asaf-ud-daula
(d) Begum Zeenat Mahal
217. The Deccan Riots of 1874-75 in Maharashtra were directed against
(a) Landlords
(b) Revenue Collectors
(c) Moneylenders
(d) British Opium Planters
218. The first political association of India founded in 1891 was the
(a) Landholders Society of Calcutta
(b) Indian Association
(c) British Indian Association
(d) Madras Native Association
219. The Revolt of 1857 failed mainly because
(a) It was poorly organized and the rebels had no common ideals
(b) It had very little nationalist sentiment
(c) It was localized, restricted and scattered.
(d) All of the above.
220. Match the following popular movements with the regions where they took place
List I List II
A. Wahabi 1. Punjab
B. Kuka 2.Raibareilly
C. Moplah 3. Maharashtra
D. Phadke 4. Kerala (Malabar)
A B C D
(a) 1 2 4 4
(b) 2 1 4 3
(c) 4 3 2 1
(d) 1 2 4 2
221. Indian Handicrafts readily declined during British period due to
(a) Lack of patronage
(b) Growing demand for imported goods
(c) Stiff competition from the machine-made goods of England.
(d) All of the above
222. The single biggest item of British Capital investment in India was
(a) Railways

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(b) Plantations and mines


(c) Banking and insurance
(d) Shipping
223. At the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress held in 1906 the flag of Swaraj for India was
unfurled by.
(a) Dadabhai Naoroji
(b) G. K. Gokhle
(c) B.G. Tilak
(d) None of the above
224. Who is regarded as ‘the mother of Indian Revolution”?
(a) Rani Lakshmi Bai
(b) Sarojini Naidu
(c) Madam Bhikaji Cama
(d) Priti Lata Waddedar
225. The Home Rule Movement was aimed at
(a) Complete Independence for India
(b) Self-Government for Indian within the British Common-wealth
(c) Larger participation of Indians in India’s Administration
(d) None of the above
226. Mrs. Annie Besant became the first woman president of the INC in
(a) 1916
(b) 1917
(c) 1918
(d) 1920
227. Rabindranath Tagore surrendered his knighthood in protest against
(a) Martial law in the Punjab
(b) Rawlatt Act
(c) Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
(d) None of the above
228. The non-corporation movement was suspended in February 1922 on account of
(a) The Chauri Chaura incident
(b) Hindu-Muslim riots
(c) Arrest of Gandhiji and his imprisonment for six years
(d) All of the above
229. The Hindustan Republic Association, subsequently styled as the Hindustan Socialist Republican
Association was founded in 1924 by
(a) Bhagat Singh
(b) Chandra Sekhar Azad
(c) Jogesh Chandra Chatterji
(d) Sachindra Sanyal

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230. After the elections to the constituent Assembly were held in July 1946, the Constituent Assembly
was met for the first time in New Delhi on
(a) December 9, 1946
(b) January 15, 1947
(c) February 10, 1947
(d) August 15, 1947
231. Who did Mahatma Gandhi recognize as his political Guru?
(a) Pheroze Shah Mehta
(b) B.G. Tilak
(c) Gopal Krishna Gokhle
(d) Dadabhai Naoroji
232. Where did Mahatma Gandhi first apply his technique of Satyagragh?
(a) Dandi
(b) Noakhali
(c) Champaran
(d) South Africa
233. Queen Victoria became the Empress of India according to the act of
(a) 1858
(b) 1861
(c) 1876
(d) 1919
234. The Hindu College was started in 1817 at
(a) Calcutta
(b) Bombay
(c) Madras
(d) Pondicherry
235. The British Governor General and Viceroy who served for the longest period in India was
(a) Lord Irwin
(b) Lord Dalhousie
(c) Lord Curzon
(d) Lord linlithgow
236. The communal party of India was founded in 1921 by
(a) Hiren Mukherjee
(b) S.M.Joshi
(c) M.N. Roy
(d) R.C. Dutta
237. The first Indian to be elected as a member of the British of the British House of Commons was
(a) Dadabhai Naoroji
(b) Surender Nath Banerjee
(c) Dr. B R Ambedkar

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(d) C R Das
238. The song Jana-Gana-Mana composed by Rabindranath Tagore was first published in January 1912
under the title of
(a) Tatva Bodhini
(b) Morning Song of India
(c) Bharat Vidhata
(d) Rastra Jagrati
239. Narain Malhar Josti founded
(a) The social service league
(b) All India Trade Service League in Bombay
(c) All India Trade Union Congress
(d) Both (a) and (b)
240. The actual name of Dayanand Sarawati, the founder of the Arya Samaj was
(a) Daya Shankar
(b) Mula Shankar
(c) Virjanand
(d) Mool Chandra
241. The slogan ‘Bande Matram’ was first adopted during which movement?
(a) Non-Cooperation
(b) Civil Disobedience
(c) Swadeshi
(d) Quit India
242. The Headquaters of the Ramakrishna Math is located at
(a) Kanyakumari
(b) Belur
(c) Pune
(d) Murshidabad
243. The English who twice served as President of the Indian National Congress was
(a) George Yule
(b) Sir William Wedderburn
(c) A.O. Hume
(d) None of the above
244. August offer 1940 was made by the viceroy
(a) Willingdon
(b) Linlithgow
(c) Lord Minto
(d) Lord Lytton
245. The Cripps Mission visited India in which year?
(a) 1940
(b) 1946

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(c) 1945
(d) 1942
246. The East India Company was established in the year
(a) 1607 AD
(b) 1600 AD
(c) 1700 AD
(d) 1669 AD
247. The Regulating Act was passed in the year of
(a) 1793
(b) 1763
(c) 1773
(d) 1783
248. Height of the mount Everest is
(a) 8868 Meter
(b) 8848 Meter
(c) 8898 Meter
(d) 8858 Meter
249. The Mount Everest is situated in the region of
(a) Assam Himalayas
(b) Kumaon Himalayas
(c) Nepal Himalayas
(d) Punjab Himalayas
250. The peninsular region is rich in
(a) Crystalline rocks
(b) Argillaceous rocks
(c) Sedimentary rocks
(d) Fossiliferous rocks
251. In which of the following states quara Tagh pass is located?
(a) Himachal Pradesh
(b) Arunachal Pradesh
(c) Jammu & Kashmir
(d) Uttarakhand
252. Name of volcanic island of India.
(a) Narcondam
(b) New Moore
(c) Pamban
(d) Rameswaram
253. Which one of the following is the youngest folded mountain range in India?
(a) Aravalli Hiils
(b) Eastern Ghats

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(c) Western Ghats


(d) Himalayas
254. Which one of the following rivers does not form any delta at its mouth?
(a) Cauvery
(b) Mahanadi
(c) Tapi
(d) Godavari
255. Which of the following are the tributaries of the river Indus?
(a) Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej
(b) Ravi, Chenab, Shyok, Kosi
(c) Jhelum, Chenab, Rabi, Son
(d) Chenab, Ravi, Jhelum, Kosi
256. Which of the following is a peninsular river of India?
(a) Gandak
(b) Kosi
(c) Krishna
(d) Sutlej
257. The longest beach of India is situated at
(a) Mumbai
(b) Chennai
(c) Mangalore
(d) Tuticorin
258. The port of India connected to their interior through the Palghat gap is
(a) Madras
(b) Marmagao
(c) Cochin
(d) New Mangalore
259. The famous hill station in South India is
(a) Ootacamund
(b) Trivandrum
(c) Tiruchirapalli
(d) Tirupati
260. Which State of India touches the boundaries of the largest with other states?
(a) Andhra Pradesh
(b) Bihar
(c) Madhya Pradesh
(d) Uttar Pradesh
261. Saddle Peak, the highest peak in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is located in
(a) Northern Andaman
(b) Little Andaman

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(c) Great Nicobar


(d) Middle Andaman
262. In which one of the following states is the Nanga Parbat peak located?
(a) Sikkim
(b) Himachal Pradesh
(c) Jammu and Kashmir
(d) Uttarakhand
263. The Bodo Language is spoken in which of the following states?
(a) Mizoram
(b) Tamil Nadu
(c) Assam
(d) Arunachal Pradesh
264. The Reddiffe line is a boundary between
(a) India and Pakistan
(b) India and China
(c) India and Myanmar
(d) India and Afghanistan
265. “Yarlung Zangbo River” in India is known as
(a) Ganga
(b) Indus
(c) Brahmaputra
(d) Sutlej
266. Which of the following groups of rivers have their sources of origin in Tibet?
(a) Brahmaputra, Indus, Sutlej
(b) Chenab, Ravi, Beas
(c) Ganges, Sutlej, Yamuna
(d) Brahmaputra, Yamuna, Ravi
267. By which name the river Ganga is known in Bangladesh?
(a) Rupanarayas
(b) Padma
(c) Bhagirathi
(d) Nubra
268. The World’s largest river island Majuli in India is situated in which of the following rivers?
(a) Ganges
(b) Satlej
(c) Indus
(d) Brahmaputra
269. India has the highest productive potential of fisheries in
(a) Inland water bodies
(b) Shallow continental shelf

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(c) Deep Bea areas


(d) Brackish water lagoon
270. Rajasthan remains dry during South-West Monsoon because of the
(a) Presence of the Thar Deserts
(b) Spread of Sand dunes
(c) Lack of vegetation
(d) Anti-cyclonic circulation
271. Which region in India receives most of its precipitation in winter?
(a) Tamil Nadu
(b) Uttar Pradesh
(c) Meghalaya Plateau
(d) West Bengal
272. Most of the evergreen forests of India occur in
(a) Coastal Tamil Nadu
(b) Coastal Kerala
(c) Coastal Odisha
(d) Coastal Maharashtra
273. Which region provides most of the sandalwood in India?
(a) Madhya Pradesh
(b) Odisha
(c) Karnataka
(d) Kerala
274. Which of the following streams makes the Gersoppa or Jog Fall?
(a) Netravati
(b) Kalinadi
(c) Sharavati
(d) Ulhas
275. Which of the following organs is affected by the Cholera disease?
(a) Neural system
(b) Skin
(c) Intestine
(d) Lung
276. Which of the following disease is caused by Virus?
(a) Botulism
(b) Typhus
(c) Leprosy
(d) Polio
277. Which of the following disease is caused by Fungi?
(a) Aspergillis
(b) Mumps

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(c) Syphilis
(d) AIDS
278. Study of growing old is knowing as
(a) Genetics
(b) Gerontology
(c) Herpetology
(d) Mycology
279. Study of kidneys is known as
(a) Myology
(b) Philology
(c) Nephology
(d) None of the above
280. Which of the following scientists discovered black body?
(a) Maxwell
(b) Kirchhoff
(c) Wren
(d) Hertz
281. Which of the following is/are the important raw material in cement industry?
(a) Limestone
(b) Gypsum and Clay
(c) Clay
(d) Limestone and Clay
282. Atomic theory of matter is discovered by
(a) Newton
(b) Lavoisier
(c) Dalton
(d) Weber
283. Big Bang theory is discovered by
(a) Lemaitre
(b) Anderson
(c) Dirac
(d) Rontgen
284. Which spectacles used for viewing 3D films?
(a) Polaroid
(b) Aneroid
(c) Steroid
(d) None of the above
285. The most malleable metal is
(a) Silver
(b) Gold

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(c) Aluminium
(d) Sodium
286. Tetraethyl lead is uses as
(a) Mosquito repellent
(b) Painkiller
(c) Fire extinguisher
(d) Petrol additive
287. cow milk is a rich source of
(a) Vitamin A
(b) Vitamin B1
(c) Vitamin C
(d) Vitamin D
288. Cotton fibres are made of
(a) Cellulose
(b) Fats
(c) Stretch
(d) Proteins
289. LED light is used for danger signal because
(a) It is least absorbed by air
(b) It is Scattered least
(c) It is soothing to eyes
(d) It has least chemical effect
290. Richest source of vitamin b1 is (thiamine) is
(a) Cod liver oil
(b) Curd
(c) Whole bread meal
(d) Eggs
291. National brain research centre is located in
(a) Lucknow
(b) Nagpur
(c) New Delhi
(d) Manesar
292. National institute of criminology and forensic science be located in
(a) Bhopal
(b) New Delhi
(c) Hyderabad
(d) None of the above
293. “The test of my Life” book is written by
(a) Vinod Mehta
(b) Vinod Rai

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(c) Yuvraj Singh


(d) Anupam Kher
294. The first bank managed by any Indian was
(a) Allahabad Bank
(b) Punjab National Bank
(c) Oudh commercial bank
(d) State Bank of India
295. Who among the following is considered as the father of economics?
(a) Adam Smith
(b) Karl Marx
(c) Aristotle
(d) Walter Adam
296. The period of 12th five year plan is
(a) 2007 - 2012
(b) 2008 - 2013
(c) 2010 - 2015
(d) 2012 - 2017
297. PLR stands for
(a) Public loan rate
(b) Prime lending rate
(c) primary lending rate
(d) Portfolio learning rate
298. The creation of special economic zone is the responsibility of
(a) Ministry of finance
(b) RBI
(c) Ministry of commerce
(d) ministry of economic affairs
299. What is secondary sector?
(a) Economic activities carried on with the help of nature
(b) Economic activities carried on with the help of services
(c) Economic activities on manufacturing
(d) None of these
300. The tax imposed on the profits of the companies is referred to as
(a) Business tax
(b) Industrial tax
(c) Corporate tax
(d) Commercial tax

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Practice Paper -02


General Studies
Q. No. Ans. Q. No. Ans. Q. No. Ans. Q. No. Ans. Q. No. Ans.
1. B 31. B 61. A 91. C 121. A
2. D 32. A 62. D 92. B 122. B
3. B 33. D 63. A 93. B 123. C
4. C 34. D 64. D 94. B 124. C
5. A 35. C 65. B 95. D 125. C
6. B 36. C 66. B 96. B 126. D
7. C 37. B 67. C 97. C 127. A
8. D 38. A 68. A 98. A 128. B
9. A 39. C 69. D 99. C 129. C
10. C 40. A 70. B 100. A 130. B
11. B 41. D 71. D 101. B 131. D
12. D 42. D 72. A 102. A 132. C
13. D 43. B 73. A 103. D 133. A
14. D 44. A 74. C 104. C 134. A
15. A 45. A 75. B 105. A 135. B
16. B 46. C 76. B 106. C 136. D
17. C 47. B 77. C 107. B 137. B
18. C 48. A 78. A 108. C 138. A
19. A 49. B 79. B 109. A 139. B
20. C 50. A 80. A 110. D 140. C
21. B 51. B 81. C 111. A 141. D
22. B 52. B 82. D 112. C 142. B
23. C 53. A 83. C 113. C 143. C
24. B 54. C 84. A 114. A 144. B
25. C 55. A 85. B 115. C 145. A
26. D 56. B 86. C 116. A 146. D
27. D 57. C 87. A 117. B 147. B
28. C 58. C 88. C 118. D 148. C
29. B 59. C 89. D 119. C 149. C
30. B 60. D 90. B 120. D 150. C

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References-

1. Newspaper (English)-
a. The Hindu
b. The Times of India
2. Newspaper (Hindi)-
a. Hindustan
3. Magazine-
a. Frontline
b. India Today
4. www.wikipedia.com
5. www.indiabudget.nic.in
6. www.economictimes.indiatimes.com
7. Judgments Information system (www.judis.nic.in)
8. Press Information Bureau (www.pib.nic.in)

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