9 PM Current Affairs Brief – April 19th, 2020

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About 9 PM Brief- With the 9 PM Current affairs brief we intend to provide our readers daily free digest of articles and editorials from multiple sources which are usually left out by aspirants. This will provide you with analysis, broad coverage and factual information in all in one pill for your IAS and IFS preparation. Take this pill daily to learn more.

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World heritage day

News:Every year, 18th April is celebrated as World Heritage Day.


  • World Heritage Day was started by the International Council on Monuments and Sites(ICOMOS) in 1982.It was also approved by the UNESCO General Assembly in 1983.
  • Aim:To enhance awareness of the importance of the cultural heritage of humankind and redouble efforts to protect and conserve the human heritage.
  • Theme: “Shared Culture’, ‘Shared heritage’ and ‘Shared responsibility”.

Additional Facts:

  • World Heritage Site:It is a place that is listed by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) as a place of culture importance and which requires special protection.
  • In India, there are a total of 38 heritage sites in India.It ranks sixth in the largest number of heritage sites in the world.
  • ICOMOS:It is a non-governmental international organisation associated with UNESCO.It is dedicated to the conservation of the world’s monuments and sites with its headquarters in Paris,France.

Precautionary Principle

News:The steps being taken by the countries to halt the virus by suspending mobility are examples of a strategy known as the ‘precautionary principle’.


  • Precautionary Principle:It states that countries must take precautionary measures when stakes are high despite when scientific evidence about the expected event being harmful is not yet certain.
  • Significance: The principle first found acceptance in Germany in the 1970s and 80s as lawmakers sought its implementation in cases of uncertain environmental and health hazards.
  • In 1992, the UN Rio Declaration on Environment and Development also incorporated the strategy as did the Maastricht Treaty.

Special Drawing Rights

News: India has opposed the general allocation of new Special Drawing Rights (SDR) by the International Monetary Fund(IMF) because it might not be effective as new SDR allocation provides all 189 members with new foreign exchange reserves with no conditions.


  • Special Drawing Right(SDR):It is neither a currency nor a claim on the IMF.It is an international reserve asset created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries official reserves.
  • The value of the SDR is based on a basket of five currencies—the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi, the Japanese yen and the British pound sterling.
  • The SDR basket is reviewed every five years or earlier if warranted to ensure that the basket reflects the relative importance of currencies in the world’s trading and financial systems.

Types of human coronaviruses

News:Till date, there are seven different types of coronaviruses that have been identified that infect humans.


  • 229E: It was the first coronaviruses strains to be described possibly by D Hamre and JJ Procknow in 1966.
  • OC43: It was discovered in 1967,However, it has been described as the first human coronavirus to be discovered in 1965 by Tyrrell and Bynoe who worked with the nasal swab titled B814.
  • NL63 and HKU1: It was first identified in the Netherlands in 2004.During this time, there was an increase in research on human coronaviruses, which led to the discovery of NL63 and HKU1 in Hong Kong in early 2005.
  • SARS-CoV: It was identified in China in 2003 (animal source not yet known bats thought to have given it to other animals probably civet cats)
  • MERS: It was first found in Saudi Arabia in 2012 (transmitted by dromedary camels)
  • SARS-CoV-2: It was identified in Wuhan,China in 2019 (source not yet known, possibly bats).

FDI from neighbouring countries

News:The Government of India has revised its existing Foreign Direct Investment policy in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.


  • New FDI Policy: It has made prior government approval mandatory for foreign direct investments(FDI) from countries which share a land border with India or where the beneficial owner of an investment is situated in such country.
  • Earlier FDI Policy:The prior government approval policy was previously applied to only the investments from Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • Implication: It will curb opportunistic takeovers/acquisitions of Indian companies due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
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