COVID INDIA SEVA
On 21 April 2020, the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan launched an interactive platform, COVID INDIA SEVA, aimed at providing real time solutions to Covid-19 related queries.
People can post their queries to the COVID INDIA SEVA twitter handle for getting replies from the team of trained experts. This initiative is aimed at enabling transparent e-governance delivery at large scales especially in crisis situations like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The responses by the experts will be available for everyone and users will not be required to share any personal details or health records on this account.
Six Inter-Ministerial Central Teams
To examine lockdown violations, social distancing norms and attacks on medical professional, the union home ministry set up six Inter-Ministerial Central Teams for West Bengal, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
While two teams each have been asked to assess the situation in Maharashtra and West Bengal, one team each has been deputed for Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
These teams will submit a report to the Central Government. The team will make on-spot assessment of situation, issue necessary directions to State Authorities for its redressal and submit their report to Central Government in larger interest of general public.
Committees for implementation of exits from lockdown
The government of India set up two empowered committees that will look into the implementation of exits from lockdown by states to ensure that areas designated as hotspots continue with the stringent restrictions.
One committee headed by secretary of department of drinking water and sanitation P Iyer and is overseeing facilitating supply chain and logistics management and for availability of necessary items such as food and medicines.
The second committee on public grievances and suggestions headed by Amit Khare, secretary, ministry of human resource development, to look into any problems pertaining to exit from lockdown.
DRDO new products
To fight COVID-19, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been developing several solutions from its existing arsenal of technologies and experience.
On 17 April 2020, it introduced two products which can enhance the operations at public places to fight COVID -19.
By using its expertise in mist technology for fire suppression, DRDO developed automatic mist based sanitiser dispensing unit. It is a contactless sanitiser dispenser which sprays alcohol based hand rub sanitiser solution for sanitisation of hands while entering the buildings/office complexes, etc. It is based on water mist aerator technology, which was developed for water conservation.
DRDO labs also developed Ultraviolet C Light based sanitisation box and hand held UV-C (ultraviolet light with wavelength 254 nanometres) device for disinfecting personal belongings like mobile phone, tablets, purse, currency, cover of office files, etc. COVID-19 virus will be deactivated by using UVC lamps in one minute.
Task force for vaccine
On 19 April 2020, the union government formed a high-level task force for vaccine and drug testing for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and to speed up national and international efforts towards vaccine development to treat the disease.
The task force - co-chaired by Vinod Paul, member NITI Aayog, and Professor K Vijay Raghavan, principal scientific advisor to the government - will also include representatives of Ayush ministry, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), department of biotechnology, and drug controller general of India, among others.
G20 Health Ministers meeting
The health ministers from the group of 20 major economies discussed weaknesses in health systems that made the world vulnerable to the coronavirus outbreak.
G20 ministers Health Ministers meeting was attended by the union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan via video-conference, chaired by Saudi Arabia.
Addressing the meeting, the minister emphasized the proactive strategy of India ,taking the steps to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The meeting was held to further coordinate efforts in fighting coronavirus pandemic.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) special meeting was held on 14 April 2020 via videoconference to deliberate on a strategy to combat and overcome the COVID-19 crisis, ensuring peaceful life of people and sustainable development of countries in the region.
In his capacity as ASEAN Chair 2020, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired the virtual summit, attended by the heads of state or government of the 10 ASEAN members.
ASEAN is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising 10 countries in Southeast Asia. ASEAN +3 special summit also held touching upon measures to respond to and repel the global pandemic. ASEAN + 3 means 10 ASEAN nations and China, Japan and South Korea.
The joint statement on COVID-19 response was issued after sharing relevant practical experiences and discussing potential cooperation among ASEAN countries, as well as between the block and its three dialogue partners, especially cooperation on preventing and containing the global pandemic COVID 19.
Most Digitally Dexterous Nation
The Gartner 2019 Digital Workplace Survey found that India is the most digitally dexterous (skill) country in the world, followed by the UK and the USA, due to having the largest Gen Z workforce along with the desire to learn new skills using digital technologies in the workplace.
67% of digital workers in India said emerging technologies such as machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) are increasing their effectiveness at work.
In terms of tools that employees use for real-time collaboration, digital workers in Singapore and India use real-time messaging and social media network tools more frequently than their counterparts in China, France, Germany, the US and the UK.
45 % of digital workers in India do not mind having their work habits tracked and monitored by digital technologies.
This figure is the highest amongst the surveyed respondents.
Earth Day is April 22 of every year. The theme for Earth Day 2020 is ‘climate action’.
April 22, 2020 will mark 50 years of Earth Day. Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.
Earth Day continues to hold major international significance: In 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day when the historic Paris Agreement on climate change was signed into force.
How the Onion Got Its Layers
The book "How the Onion Got Its Layers" written by Sudha Murty was released first time in an audio format hoping that her latest offering for children will help them during the period of coronavirus lockdown.
She said, "use this time to do something new or even learn something" seeks to answer several questions related to the bulb like its many layers and why it brings tears to the eyes when onion cut.
The book also be available as an e-book format. This is the second book of the chapter series by Murty, the first being "How the Sea Became Salty".
National Civil Services Day
The National civil services day observed on 21 April 2020.The civil service system is the backbone of the administrative machinery of the country, the permanent executive branch of the Republic of India. The civil servants are responsible for implementing all the government policies and schemes successfully up to the root level.
April 21 is chosen to mark the day when the first Home Minister of Independent India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, had addressed the probationers of Administrative Services Officers in 1947. In his speech, Sardar Patel had referred to civil servants as the "steel frame of India".
1. World Heritage Day celebrated on..
1) 14 April 2) 21 April 3) 18 April 4) 28 April 5) 1 April
2. Justice (Retd) Bansi Lal Bhat is the chairman of ....
1) Chief Justice of India 2) Attorney General
3) Legal Adviser to Prime minister of India 4) Chairman, National Law Commission
5) National Company Law Appellate Tribunal
3. Who is appointed as the new Ambassador for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India’s Environment Education Programme?
1) P.V.Sindhu 2) Virat Kohli
3) Viswanathan Anand 4) Sania Mirza
5) Sunil Chhetri
4. Which app developed for tracking coronavirus patients, became the world’s fastest app to reach 5 crore downloads in just 13 days?
1) Arogya Kavach 2) SAMPARC
3) Arogya Setu 4) Sahaya
5) Doora Setu
5. UN Chinese Language Day observed on?
1) 20 April 2) 24 April 3) 12 April 4) 5 April
5) 15 April
6. Who authored the book titled “Shuttling to the Top: The Story of P V Sindhu”?
1) Ramachandra Guha 2) Pullela Gopichand
3) Krishnaswamy V 4) Suresh Menon
5) Borja Majumdar
7. Which bank launched Safety Grid campaign for social distancing?
1) SBI 2) ICICI
3) HDFC 4) Union Bank of India
5) Punjab National Bank
Key: 1-3; 2-5; 3-3; 4-3; 5-1; 6-3; 7-3.