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News: The Ministry of Power released a revised draft of the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 which seeks to amend Electricity Act 2003
- Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority (ECEA): the draft proposes creation of an ECEA. It would adjudicate on matters regarding performance of obligations under a contract related to sale, purchase or transmission of electricity.
- National Renewable Energy Policy: It proposes a National Renewable Energy Policy to promote generation of electricity from renewable sources of energy.
- National Load Despatch Centrewill be responsible for optimum scheduling and despatch of electricity across different regions.
- Cross-border trade of electricityhas also been specified in the draft
- It calls for privatisation of discoms(distribution companies) by way of sub-licensing & franchisees.
News: Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare inaugurated Pusa Decontamination and Sanitizing Tunnel.
- It has been developed by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI)
- The sanitization protocol includes hand washing with foot-operated soap and water dispenser and fogging in a sanitizing tunnel for 20 seconds.
- In the tunnel, Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QAC) are used at concentration of 0.045%.
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds: These are potent disinfectant chemicals used in disinfectant wipes, sprays and other household cleaners.
News: The Delhi government has asked officials to use the new ‘Assess Koro Na’ app
- It has been launched in COVID-19 containment zone in Delhi for conducting door-to-door surveys.
- With this app, the data collected can be uploaded on the servers in real-time and immediately analyse.
News: World Health Organization has collaborated with India to implement the National Polio Surveillance Network to contain COVID-19.
- It was established in 1996 by WHO and India.
- It aimed to assist in planning and implementing polio immunization activities and cover 100% of immunization in India.
- WHO’s National Polio Surveillance Project in India was renamed National Public Health Surveillance Project after elimination of polio in 2011.
News: The Union Finance Minister participated in the 101st Meeting of the Development Committee of the World Bank-IMF through a video conference.
- The main discussions were on World Bank Group Response to the COVID-19 Emergency, and the Covid-19 Debt Initiative: International Call for Action in Support of IDA Countries.
- World Bank has provided a financial support of 150 to 160 billion USD to combat COVID-19 for the next 15 months
News:Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) has laid down the need for healthcare workers to factor in the consequences of the probable vertical transmission of COVID-19.
- Vertical transmission: It refers to the transmission of an infection from a pregnant woman to her child.It can be antenatal (before birth), perinatal (weeks immediately prior to or after birth) or postnatal (after birth).
- The infections of which vertical transmission has been known to happen are HIV, Zika, rubella and the herpes virus.
News:Union Minister of Agriculture has launched the ‘Krishi Rath’ mobile app.
- The application has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
- Aim: Tofacilitate farmers and traders in searching transport vehicles for movement of Agriculture and Horticulture produce to Mandis.
News:Reserve Bank of India has come out with the second set of monetary policy measures to preserve financial stability after the government has extended the lockdown.
- Reverse Repo Rate:It is the short term borrowing rate at which RBI borrows money from banks.It has been cut to 3.75% from 4%.
- Liquidity Coverage Ratio(LCR): It refers to the proportion of highly liquid assets held by financial institutions to ensure their ongoing ability to meet short-term obligations.The LCR requirement has been reduced to 80% from 100%.
- Long Term Repo Operations(LTRO):It is a tool under which the RBI provides one-year to three-year money to banks at the prevailing repo rate accepting government securities as collateral.RBI will inject Rs 50,000 crore via LTRO so that banks provide liquidity to non-banking finance companies(NBFCs) and micro-finance institutions.
- Special Finance assistance:Reserve Bank of India(RBI) will provide Rs 50,000 crore financial assistance to institutions such as SIDBI, NABARD, NHB.
- Ways and means Advances(WMA): These are temporary loan facilities provided by the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) to the central and state governments to meet mismatches in the receipts and payments.The limit on WMA has been increased to 60%.
News:The United States has claimed that China may have conducted a low level zero yield nuclear test.
- Zero yield: Itrefers to a nuclear test in which there is no explosive chain reaction of the type ignited by the detonation of a nuclear warhead.
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)
- It is a multilateral treaty that bans all nuclear explosions for both civilian and military purposes in all environments.
- It was negotiated at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.It was opened for signature in 1996.
- However,the treaty cannot enter into force until it is ratified by 44 specific nations.These States had nuclear facilities at the time the Treaty was negotiated and adopted.
- Among these, 36 states have ratified the treaty but five states namely China, Egypt, Iran, Israel and the United States have signed but not ratified.The other three states India, North Korea and Pakistan have not yet signed it.