1. Govt puts on hold DA hike for employees, pensioners amid Coronavirus
- The Centre froze the dearness allowance (DA) for its 4.8 million employees and 6.5 million pensioners at 17 percent till July 1, 2021, to partly offset the increase in spending on health in light of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis.
- This will save the Centre over Rs 37,000 crore, and if states follow suit, the combined savings will be Rs 1.2 trillion.
2. Govt reconstitutes National Shipping Board; to be headed by ex DG Shipping Malini Shankar
- The government has approved the reconstitution of the National Shipping Board to be headed by the former Director-General of Shipping Malini Shankar.
- The National Shipping Board (NSB) is the highest advisory body on matters related to Indian shipping including the development thereof and on such other matters arising out of the Merchant Shipping Act.
3. BRO builds the permanent bridge to connect remote Punjab enclave with country
- The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has constructed and opened a new permanent bridge on the Ravi river that connects the Kasowal enclave in Punjab with the rest of the country.
- The enclave of around 35 square kilometers had been connected through a pontoon bridge of limited load capacity till now.
4. Ladakh ‘MP Cares’ initiative to fight COVID-19; masks & hand sanitizers to be distributed free
- Parliamentarian from Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, started the “MP Cares” initiative to distribute masks and hand sanitizers to all households in the area and create awareness among people on ways to check coronavirus pandemic
- They will distribute five liters of sanitizers with masks to all the 334 medical centers in Ladakh.
5. India attends Saarc health ministers conference hosted by Pakistan
- India participated in a video conference of SAARC health ministers hosted by Pakistan to promote greater regional cooperation to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said India was represented at the conference by the Director-General of Health Services who was assisted by experts from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
BANKING & FINANCE NEWS
5. World Bank approves Rs 585 cr for Himachal Pradesh State Roads Transformation Project
- The World Bank has approved 82 million US dollars (585 crore rupees) for the Himachal Pradesh State Roads Transformation Project (HPSRTP) for up-gradation of major roads and modernization of the Public Works Department in the state.
- Under the project, Road construction work of Barotiwala-Baddi-Sain-Ramshehar with ‘length of 45 km, Dadol-Ladraurr Road with the length of 14.5 km, Mandi- Riwalsar-Kalkhar of length 28 km, and Raghunathpura-Mandi- Harpura-Bharari road with a length of 3.5 km would be undertaken in tranche -one.
6. Bajaj Allianz launches ‘BAGIC GOQii Co-pay Option’ under regulatory sandbox
- Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, along with smart-tech-enabled preventive healthcare platform GOQii has launched a new add-on health cover called ‘BAGIC GOQii Co-pay Option’ under regulatory sandbox approval received from the IRDAI, that would reward customers with a healthy lifestyle.
- The aim of the product is to reward the customers with a healthy lifestyle in the form of co-pay deduction in their health insurance policy named Health Ensure policy.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
8. Vodafone Idea ties up with Paytm to launch ‘Recharge Saathi’
- Vodafone Idea and Paytm, digital payments and financial services platform, have launched the ‘Recharge Saathi’ programme which helps individuals and small businesses to earn an additional income.
- The programme will enable any Paytm customers (following a registration) to start selling Vodafone and Idea recharges on the Paytm app.
9. Sanjay Kothari appointed Central Vigilance Commissioner
- Sanjay Kothari was appointed as the Central Vigilance Commissioner, head of the country’s anti-corruption watchdog. He was working as the Secretary to President Ram Nath Kovind.
- The post of the chief of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) had been lying vacant since June last year after the completion of K V Chowdary’s tenure.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY NEWS
10. NASA develops high-pressure ventilator to fight COVID-19
- NASA engineers have developed a new, easy-to-build high-pressure ventilator tailored specifically to treat COVID-19 patients.
- The device, called VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), passed a critical test this week at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York, an epicenter of COVID-19 in the US.
11. CISF launches ‘e-office’ app for movement of files
- An e-office application, that enables the movement of files and documents without physical touch, has been launched for usage in the 1.62 lakh personnel-strong Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to prevent coronavirus infection, officials said on Friday.
- The application called ‘e-karyalay’ (electronic office) has been designed by the in-house technical team of the force
12. Veteran photojournalist Ronny Roy diesVeteran photojournalist Ronny Roy dies
- Veteran sports photojournalist Ronojoy ‘Ronny’ Roy died following a cardiac arrest at a city hospital. He was 57.
- Popularly known as ‘Ronny’, he was associated with Bengali daily Aajkaal since the 1990s and covered the ICC World Cup in England last year.
13. Former Rajya Sabha MP Basanta Das passes away
- Former Rajya Sabha member from Odisha Basanta Das died following a prolonged illness. He was 80.
- Das was a Rajya Sabha member from 1990 to 1996 as a Janata Dal nominee.
- He was also chairman of Bhawanipatna Municipality from 1985 to 1990.
14. International Girls in ICT day
- International Girls in ICT Day is an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) initiative and annually it was observed on the 4th Thursday in April.
- In 2020, International Girls in ICT Day celebrated on 23 April under the theme: ‘Expand Horizons, Change Attitudes.
15. World Immunization Week 2020
- World Immunization Week – celebrated in the last week of April (24 to 30 April) – aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.
- The theme this year is #VaccinesWork for All and the campaign will focus on how vaccines – and the people who develop, deliver, and receive them – are heroes by working to protect the health of everyone, everywhere.
16. World Malaria Day
- World Malaria Day is an international observance commemorated every year on 25 April and recognizes global efforts to control malaria.
- The theme of World Malaria Day 2020 Zero Malaria Starts with Me, a grassroots campaign that aims to keep malaria high on the political agenda, mobilize additional resources, and empower communities to take ownership of malaria prevention and care.
17. Manipur Govt commemorates “Khongjom Day” at War Memorial Complex
- In Manipur, remembering the people who valiantly fought in the Anglo-Manipuri War in 1891, the state government commemorated ‘ Khongjom Day’ at Khongjom War Memorial Complex, Thoubal.
- Khongjom Day, being a state holiday is celebrated every year on April 23 by the State government to pay tribute to the war heroes of the Anglo-Manipuri War 1891 who had sacrificed their lives fighting against the British to protect the freedom of Manipur.