1. China launched an unmanned module on Thursday containing what will become living quarters for three crew on a permanent space station that it plans to complete by the end of 2022, state media reported. The module, named "Tianhe", or "Harmony of the Heavens", was launched on the Long March 5B. 2. Sri Lanka and China vowed to enhance pragmatic cooperation in all sectors, “including the military”. 3. Amid the surge in Covid-19 cases, the wait of over 9 crore farmer families for the first installment of their PM-Kisan payout for the financial year 2021-22, is getting longer. 4. U.S. will maintain strong military presence in Indo-Pacific to prevent conflict, says Joe Biden 5. Bharat Biotech follows SII, reduces Covaxin price to Rs 400 for states 6. All you need to know about oxygen concentrators 7. AYUSH 64 found useful in the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 infection 8. Amendments to GNCTD Act, 1991 Do not Alter Constitutional and Legal Responsibilities of Elected Government in Respect of Transferred Subjects in State & Concurrent Lists 9. The pandemic is an opportunity to re-imagine educational assessments and evaluations 10. With continuing economic uncertainty, scale of health crisis, state governments must borrow more to spend more 11. World will fail Myanmar if a brutal military is allowed to crush the people. ASEAN plan can be a beginning towards peace
1. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday issued a gazette notification stating that the provisions of the Government of National Capital Territory (GNCT) of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021, would be deemed to have come into effect from April 27. 2. China pushes defence ties with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka: Defence Minister calls to resist ‘powers outside the region setting up alliances’ 3. Differential pricing of Vaccines: SC has noted that ‘different manufacturers are quoting different prices’ for Covid-19 vaccines, and told govt it has ‘powers under the Drugs Control Act and Patents Act’ that it can employ. What are these provisions? 4. UK becomes first country to green-light driverless cars on its roads 5. 1 Lakh Portable Oxygen Concentrators to be procured from PM CARES fund 6. Study by Indian Astronomers provides clues to explosion mechanism of supernovae that are key measure of cosmological distances 7. The drumbeat of those calling for a World Trade Organization (WTO) waiver on intellectual property protection (IPP) for pharmaceutical patents in the ongoing covid pandemic is getting louder 8. Temples are not fiefdoms of the state 9. Antimicrobial resistance: the silent threat 10. The pandemic has exposed India’s dirty truth: a broken sanitation system
1. India expects to secure the biggest chunk of the 60 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that the United States will share globally, two Indian government sources told Reuters, as New Delhi battles a devastating surge in infections. 2. While the Centre has announced an asset reconstruction (ARC) and asset management company backed by government guarantee to address the problem of NPAs with public sector banks, the existing ARC industry has registered a lacklustre performance so far.: RBI report 3. As people were forced to remain indoors for most of the year due to the lockdowns, household savings rose to 22.5% of GDP from 19.8% in 2019, according to a report. 4. In a move to counter China’s dominance of supply chain in the Indo-Pacific region, trade ministers of India, Japan and Australia on Tuesday formally launched the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) in a virtual trilateral ministerial meeting. 5. India’s Organic food products exports rise by more than 50% in 2020-21 despite COVID-19 challenges 6. Inconsistent statements by India’s two major covid vaccine suppliers have sowed confusion and distrust. In a mission as critical as this one, we deserve full transparency on their part 7. Even an unprecedented pandemic can do little, it appears, to upset the existing global regime governing monopoly rights over the production and distribution of life-saving drugs. If anything, since the onset of COVID-19, we’ve only seen a reaffirmation of intellectual property rules. 8. India is no country for women. Could the pandemic help change that? 9. Pandemic is an opportunity to junk an exam-centric approach to education.
1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday fixed the tenure of MD, CEO and whole-time director (WTD) in a private sector bank at 15 years and prescribed the maximum age of 70 years for such functionaries. 2. India was the third largest military spender in the world in 2020, behind only the US and China. According to the latest military expenditure database published by the SIPRI 3. Does “herd immunity” really protect from subsequent waves? The answer is not a simple yes or no. It depends on how widespread the virus is in a community and its transmission rate. 4. On the horizon: A semiconductor war. The technology war between the US and China is largely a battle over semiconductors. \ 5. Centre won't import vaccines, wants states and companies to do so: Report 6. Madras high court on Monday held the Election Commission of India (ECI) “singularly responsible" for the surge in coronavirus cases across the country. 7. The total currency in circulation, adjusting for the size of the Indian economy, reached a two-decade high in March 2021. 8. Failing the test: It took a tsunami of outrage to wake someone up in Washington. India's vaccine diplomacy hurt domestic needs. 9. The Vaccine Responsibility: It is Centre’s duty to assist states to combat Covid-19. It also makes economic sense. 10. The new vaccine strategy raises questions, beginning with the Centre giving up its control over the market for vaccines 11. Efforts to end conflicts in Afghanistan and Myanmar are ongoing, but in neither country do prospects for positive change look bright in the near term. 12. The proposal for a minimum global corporate income tax could be a game-changer 13. The inability of those already on the brink of subsistence to absorb a second economic shock cannot be overlooked
1. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has said it does not maintain a centralised list of volunteers enrolled under the cybercrime volunteer programme since police is a “State subject” under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. 2. Invoking the Disaster Management Act on Sunday, the Centre ordered States that all liquid oxygen, including the existing stock with private plants shall be made available to the government and will be used for medical purposes only. 3. More than four years after the first payments bank started operations in India, the banking regulator has doubled the maximum limit of funds that a depositor can keep with such a bank to Rs 2 lakh. 4. What slow credit growth says about economic recovery 5. Surge hits a new peak, Centre approves 551 oxygen plants for govt hospitals in districts 6. Vaccine nationalism could derail global recovery 8. The 19th edition of the Indian and French Navy bilateral exercise ‘VARUNA-2021’ is scheduled to be conducted in the Arabian Sea from 25th to 27th April 2021. 9. PM launches distribution of e-property cards under SWAMITVA scheme
1. Govt to provide free food to 800 million in May, June under PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana 2. China tore up the modus vivendi in 2020, the LAC is now live: Shivshankar Menon
1. U.S. President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-52% by 2030 relative to 2005 levels, in a clean break with the Trump administration policies on climate action. 2. Reforms for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) 3. Jab dissonance mustn’t translate into hesitancy 4. Inflation could get in the way of our economic recovery this year 5. India must make the most of its demographic dividend 6. Microfinance can play a key role in building a resilient India 7. NASA's Perseverance Mars rover extracts first oxygen from Red Planet 8. Tribunalization of Justice: Centre should clarify how far experience can be treated as expertise for tribunal posts
1. The efficacy of COVAXIN against severe COVID-19 disease was 100%, Bharat Biotech claimed, but that against protecting from asymptomatic COVID-19 infection was 70%; And Works against most new variants. The net efficacy has dropped a tad lower - 78% - than the 81% reported in March. 2. The Indian Council of Medical Research on Wednesday said only a “small” fraction of people who had been vaccinated with either Covaxin or Covishield had tested positive for COVID-19. 3. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent bi-partisan commission, has recommended for the second year in the row that the State Department put India on a list (‘Countries of Particular Concern’ or CPCs) for the worst violations of religious freedoms in 2020. One out of the ten USCIRF commissioners presented a dissenting view. 4. With wheat harvesting in full swing in Punjab and Haryana, farmers, for the first time, have started receiving minimum support price (MSP) payment directly in their bank accounts under the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme (DBT). 5. New Vaccine Policy: the supply will be divided into two baskets: 50% for the Centre, and 50% for the open market. Serum lists one price for Centre, one for state govt; unprecedented and unfair, say states. 6. The proposed legislation on cryptocurrencies which is likely to ban digital currencies — except the one being mooted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) — is expected to provide an exit window to the existing crypto holders of private entities. 7. With hospitals unwilling to take ‘Made in India’ ventilators, the government curtailed the requirement it had originally envisaged in 2020. And as orders from the government dried up, manufacturers, too, stopped production. 8. What is causing vaccine inequity in the world? 9. India has three universities in the top 200 list of universities on overall performance in sustainable development goal (SDG) parameters. 10. The judiciary and executive should work together to address the shortage of judges and mounting backlog of cases. 11. The global community, especially developed countries, must commit to climate action
The recent Chhattisgarh ambush has triggered a fresh round of finger-pointing from predictable quarters Covid is an opportunity to make structural changes to our largest health insurance and pension schemes
1. Helicopter lift-off on Mars: what does the future hold? 2. About 52% of adults admitted that they do not know how to protect themselves from cybercrime, according to a survey conducted by online security solutions provider NortonLifeLock
Meghalaya has yielded India’s first bamboo-dwelling bat with sticky disks. The National climate vulnerability assessment report released today has identified Jharkhand, Mizoram, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal as states highly vulnerable to climate change.
The government needs to convince Indians that the vaccine exports have not been made at the cost of their health
1. The National Pension System (NPS) will no longer compel investors to convert 40% of their accumulated retirement corpus into an annuity. 2. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday set up a new Regulations Review Authority (RRA 2.0) for a period of one year. The RRA will undertake a review of the central bank's regulations and compliance procedures for streamlining them and making them more effective.
1. Access to professional education is not government largesse, the Supreme Court said in a judgment. 2. India, France, and Australia underlined their common ground on the Indo-Pacific even as they marked their differences on Myanmar.
1. An apex body of Naga tribes has asked the Nagaland government not to be hasty with the exercise to prepare the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN), seen as a variant of Assam’s National Register of Citizens. 2. A jump in excise revenue helped lift net indirect tax collections by 12.3% in FY21 to ?10.71 lakh crore
1. Russia’s COVID vaccine — Sputnik V — has been recommended for emergency use authorisation in India following a meeting of the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on Monday. 2. Exercise SHANTIR OGROSENA-2021, a 10 day long multinational military exercise, which started on 04 April 2021, culminated 3. President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday appointed Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra to take over as Chief Election Commissioner from Sunil Arora, whose tenure ended on April 12. 4. China on Monday signed a $500 million loan agreement with Sri Lanka, to boost its foreign reserves. This is the second instalment of the $1 billion loan sought by Sri Lanka last year. 5. On ‘refugees’ and ‘illegal immigrants’, how India’s stance changes with circumstances 6. A study commissioned by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) on racial discrimination and hate crimes against people from the northeast States found that the “northeast India seamlessly fits [an] Indian’s imagination of a Chinese person”. 7. “An important consequence of the pandemic has been the sharpening of inequalities,” says former RBI Governor D Subbarao. 8. U.S. and Iran should rebuild the lost trust and resolve the nuclear crisis before time runs out 9. Affairs in the Lakshadweep shows not a betrayal by the U.S. but a different understanding of navigational freedom
TReDS (Trade Receivables Discounting System) a key platform to revive the economy by providing financing to small businesses In COVID: Visually challenged struggle with e-textbooks
1. The Supreme Court on Friday said people are free to choose their own religion, even as it lashed out at a “very, very harmful kind” of “public interest” petition claiming there is mass religious conversion happening “by hook or by crook” across the country. 2.India’s net direct tax collections for the pandemic-hit financial year 2020-21 grew by almost 5% year-on-year to ?9.45 lakh crore, exceeding the revised estimates of ?9.05 lakh crore presented in the Union Budget and reflecting a gradual economic recovery in recent months.
1. President Joe Biden seems ready to let lapse a May 1 deadline for completing a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. 2. A day after announcing the introduction of the G-sec Acquisition Programme (G-SAP 1.0), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday announced the Open Market Purchase of Government of India Securities under the program.
1) The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) voted unanimously to leave the policy repo rate unchanged at 4%, Governor Shaktikanta Das announced on Wednesday. 2) Govt. to reboot dated Opium strategy 3) The market for crypto art, also called non-fungible token (NFT), is the latest craze online.
1) Russia underlines the need for an inclusive solution to the Afghan crisis 2) Moscow plays down Beijing, pledges deeper Delhi ties: S-400 to Afghanistan
1. An important round of discussion between India and Russia will take place on Tuesday between the visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar. Mr. Lavrov 2. The Supreme Court on Monday told the government that interim appointments to the post of CBI Director cannot go on. 3. Recent orders from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) have led to a new flashpoint in the ongoing farmer's protests, with farm unions warning that the Centre’s insistence on direct payment and tenancy documentation could derail the crop procurement process.
1. Consequence of loan moratorium: Compound interest support scheme for loan moratorium cost the government ?5,500 crore during 2020-21 and the scheme covered all borrowers including the prompt one who did not avail moratorium. 2. India will receive another 8 to 9 Rafale jets from France by mid-May, with some expected later this month, completing the first squadron of the fighters in the Indian Air Force (IAF), according to a defence official.
1) Maternal deaths rose during a pandemic: study 2) India asks state refiners to review oil import contracts with Saudi 3) The Delhi government is planning to set up three electronic waste parks in each municipal division for dismantling and recycling used products. 4) Delhi to get its first Partition Museum, set to open on August 15
1) Enactment of the Places of Worship Act, 1991 in its current format damages the liberty of belief, faith, and worship to all 2) Editorial Analysis: Government retains inflation target at 4 plus/minus 2% till March 2026, signaling a commitment to price stability 3) Editorial Analysis: Improved system of land records is essential for health of rural economy
1) Bengal’s star caste: Issues specifically related to SC-OBC communities are featuring again in electoral politics in the state 2) Zones of Excellence in Road Safety can act as models, reduce fatalities 3) Fiscally empowering local governments 4) The amendments to the GNCTD Act
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