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News: Kerala has put forward six theme-based microsites in the official website to promote destination and tourism products.
- Aim: To boost tourism post COVID-19 pandemic
- Featured Microsites:
- Kalaripayattu (an ancient martial art indigenous to Kerala)
- Temples of Kerala
- Judaism in Kerala and
- Discovering Malabar
Iconic Tourist Sites Initiative
- Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Tourism.
- Aim: To develop the selected sites into world-class tourist destinations to serve as a model for other tourism sites.
- Selected Sites:
- Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh)
- Ajanta & Ellora (Maharashtra)
- Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort and Qutub Minar (Delhi)
- Colva (Goa)
- Ajmer Fort (Rajasthan)
- Somnath and Dholavira (Gujarat)
- Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh)
- Hampi (Karnataka)
- Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu),
- Kumarakom (Kerala) and
- Mahabodhi Temple (Bihar).
News: Cyclone Harold strikes South Pacific island of Vanuatu.
- Type: Tropical Cyclone
- Areas affected: Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Tonga
- These are storms that originate and intensify over warm tropical oceans. They are intense low pressure areas with very strong winds circulating around it in anti-clockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere and in clockwise direction in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Tropical Cyclones are known by different names in different regions:
- Cyclones in Indian Ocean
- Hurricanes in Atlantic
- Typhoons in Western Pacific in South China Sea
- Willy-Willies in Western Australia
News: The Central government has asked the state governments to procure perishable agricultural and horticultural items from the farmers under the Market Intervention Scheme
- It is a price support mechanism implemented on the request of State Governments for procurement of perishable and horticultural commodities in the event of a fall in market prices.
- Implementing Agency: Department of Agriculture & Cooperation.
News:Ministry of Human Resource and Development(MHRD) has launched Young India Combating COVID with Knowledge, Technology and Innovation (YUKTI) Portal.
Aim:To fulfil the goals of the Ministry in the wake of Covid-19 to keep the academic community healthy and to enable a continuous high-quality learning environment for learners.
- To monitor and record the initiatives of MHRD which have been taken in the wake of COVID-19.
- Toestablish a two way communication channel between the Ministry and institutions to provide support.
- To cover various initiatives and strategies of the institutions related to CoVID-19.
- To help in issues such as student promotion policies, placements related challenges and mental well-being of students.
News:India is working with the United States to secure a dollar (currency) swap line that would help in providing an additional comfort in an event of any abrupt outflow of funds.
Dollar Swap arrangement:
- Under this, the US Federal Reserve will provide dollars to a foreign central bank.
- At the same time,the foreign central bank provides the equivalent amount of funds in its currency to the Fed based on the market exchange rate at the time of the transaction.
- The parties agree to swap back these quantities of their two currencies at a specified date in the future which is the next day or as far ahead as three months using the same exchange rate as in the first transaction.
- These swap operations carry no exchange rate or other market risks as transaction terms are set in advance.
Currency Swap arrangement:
- The word swap means exchange.It is an arrangement to exchange currencies with predetermined terms and conditions.
- Governments engage in currency swaps with foreign counterparts to meet short term foreign exchange liquidity requirements or to ensure adequate foreign currency to avoid Balance of Payments (BOP) crisis till longer arrangements can be made.
News:The Government of India is considering demarcating the country into three zones – red, yellow and green depending on the scale of the Covid-19 outbreak.
- Red Zone:It is a zone where a sizable number of cases were detected or areas which were declared hotspots.Hence,no activity will be allowed in this zone.
- Yellow Zone:It is a zone where only a few cases have been found and there have been no increase in the number of positive cases.Here, activities like opening of limited public transport, harvesting of farm products will be allowed.
- Green Zone:It is a zone where there were no COVID-19 cases.It will see further relaxation such as MSME industries will be allowed to function with in-house lodging facilities for employees with proper maintenance of social distance.
News:The Indian Council for Cultural Relations(ICCR) is celebrating its 70th Foundation Day.
- The Indian Council for Cultural Relations(ICCR) is an autonomous body under the administrative control of the Ministry of External Affairs.
- It was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad who was the first Education Minister of independent India.
- Objectives:a) formulate and implement policies and programmes pertaining to India’s external cultural relations b) strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries and c) promote cultural exchanges with other countries and people and to develop relations with nations.
- ICCR has also been assigned the responsibility of facilitating the celebration of the International Day of Yoga by Indian Missions/Posts abroad since 2015.
News:In Telangana, a unique initiative titled Consumer-Farmer(Confarm) is being implemented to ensure food availability to consumers and secure income for farmers.
- The Confarm initiative was started in 2018 by Deccan Development Society (DDS) and Disha Collective, the two community-level organisations.
- Under this, consumers support a group of farmers in the beginning of a farming season with about Rs 12,500 per acre for their farming needs.
- In return, at the time of harvest, consumers are given products according to the value they invested leaving the middlemen out.