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News:Vietnam is chairing a Special Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit via video-conference due to Coronavirus pandemic.
- The ASEAN is a regional grouping which was established in 1967 with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration.
- Members: Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, The Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei, and Laos.
- Headquarters: Jakarta, Indonesia.
- Chairmanship: It rotates annually based on the alphabetical order of the English names of Member States.
- East Asia Summit(EAS): Itwas established in 2005.It comprises ten member states of the ASEAN countries along with 8 members namely Australia, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.
- ASEAN Plus Three (APT): It is a forum that was setup in 1997 to function as a coordinator of co-operation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN) and the three East Asian nations of China, South Korea and Japan.
News:Google has launched a global Journalism Emergency Relief Fund.
- Aim:To support small and medium-sized news organizations producing original news for local communities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
News:In Punjab, a group of Nihangs attacked a police personnel in the wake of lockdown due to Coronavirus pandemic.
- Nihang:It is an order of Sikh warriors characterised by blue robes, antiquated arms and decorated turbans.
- Origin:They are believed to have originated either from Akali Dal started by Guru Hargobind or from Fateh Singh and the attire he wore.
- Significance: Theyhad a major role in defending the Sikh panth after the fall of the first Sikh rule(1710-15) when Mughals were killing Sikhs and during the onslaught of Afghan invader Ahmed Shah Durrani (1748-65).
Sikh Reform Movements:
- Singh Sabha movement: It began in 1873 in Amritsar with the aim a) to make available modern education to Sikhs and b) to counter the proselytising activities of Christians, Hindu reform movements and Muslim maulvis.
- Akali movement: It was a campaign which began during the early 1920s to liberate Sikh gurdwaras from the control of the Udasi Mahants (the post having become hereditary) who were loyalists to the British Government.
- COVID Sample Collection Kiosk(COVSACK):It has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Laboratory(DRDL),a missile system laboratory under DRDO.
- Purpose:It can be used by healthcare workers to collect the samples from suspected Coronavirus patients without the need for change of Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) as the kiosk gets automatically disinfected without the need for human involvement making the process free of infection spread.
Facts: Fit India Active Day Programme is an initiative of Fit India in partnership with CBSE to ensure fitness of all school children through live sessions which will cover all aspects of fitness from daily workouts to yoga, nutrition to emotional well-being.
- Fit India Movement:It was launched in 2019 by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to encourage people to inculcate physical activity and sports in their everyday lives.
News: Ministry of External Affairs announced rolling out of a training programme on management of coronavirus pandemic for healthcare professionals from SAARC countries. It will be imparted under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.
- Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme is a bilateral assistance programme which focuses on addressing the needs of developing countries through innovative technological cooperation between India and the partnering nation.
- It was instituted in 1964.
- Nodal Ministry: Ministry of External Affairs
- South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional intergovernmental organization of states in South Asia. It was established in 1985.
- Members: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
- Observers:Australia, China, the European Union, Iran, Japan, Mauritius, Myanmar, South Korea and the United States.
News: Ministry of Home Affairs issued National Directives for COVID-19 management
- Wearing of face cover in workplaces and public places compulsory.
- Fine for spitting in public places.
- Ban on sale of tobacco products and alcohol
- Gatherings of more than five people not allowed in public spaces or in any organisation
- District magistrates have been asked to regulate events like marriages and funerals.
- Workplaces have been asked to implement specific measures-staggered lunch breaks, a gap of one hour between shifts, and encouraging work-from-home arrangements for some employees
- A standard operating procedure on social distancing has been created for workplaces, factories and other establishments
- District magistrates will enforce the new National Directives. Penal action, including fines, will be based on the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
News: Ministry of Environment,Forest and Climate Change, has made an amendment to EIA Notification 2006 to fasten availability/production of various drugs against COVID-19.
- All projects or activities in respect of bulk drugs and intermediates, manufactured for addressing various ailments, have been re-categorized from the existing Category ‘A’ to ‘B2’ category.
- Projects falling under Category B2 are exempted from requirement of collection of Baseline data, EIA Studies and public consultation.
Environment Impact Assessment (EIA)
- EIA is a process which studies all aspects of the environment and seeks to anticipate the impact (positive and/or negative) of a proposed project or development on the environment.
- EIA is mandatory under the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 for 29 categories of developmental activities involving investments of Rs. 50 crores and above.
- Industrial Categorization:
- Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score of 60 and above – Red category
- Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score of 41 to 59 – Orange category
- Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score of 21 to 40 – Green category
- Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score incl.& upto 20 – White category
Note: The Pollution Index PI is a number from 0 to 100. Higher value of PI denotes the high degree of pollution load from the industrial sector. Pharmaceutical industry lies in the Red category.
News: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare launched All India Agri Transport Call Centre
- Aim:Facilitate coordination between states for inter-state movement of perishables.
- It is an initiative of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare.