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Daily Current Affairs – 21 August 2020 : GKToday Updates
1. Indore in MP declared as the cleanest city in Swachh Survekshan 2020 awards
- Indore in Madhya Pradesh has been awarded as the cleanest city in the country in the Swachh Survekshan 2020 awards. The city bagged the position for the fourth consecutive time.
- Among the towns along the banks of river Ganga, Varanasi has been awarded the cleanest town award while New Delhi has been awarded as the cleanest capital city in the country.
- Jalandhar Cantonment Board is conferred the cleanest cantonment board in the country. Ahmedabad in Gujarat was awarded for being the cleanest city with over 40 lakh population.
- The awards were presented by Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in a function held virtually.
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Swachh Survekshan 2020 is the World’s largest cleanliness survey which ranked a total of 4,242 cities, 62 Cantonment Boards and 92 Ganga Towns and saw an unprecedented participation of 1.87 crore citizens. Swachh Survekshan 2020 was completed in 28 days.
2. Banks approve loans worth Rs. 1 lakh 50 thousand crore to mitigate Covid-19 distress
- Public and Private sectors banks have sanctioned loans worth over Rs. 1 lakh 50 thousand crore under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme of which 1 lakh crore has already been disbursed.
- The scheme was announced by the government as a part of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Package, to mitigate the distress caused by lockdown due to COVID-19 by providing credit to different sectors, especially MSMEs.
- The top lenders under the Scheme are State Bank of India, Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank, Bank of India, Union Bank of India and HDFC Bank Limited.
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Rs. 3 lakh crore Collateral-free loan will be provided to the MSMEs udder the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat special economic package.
3. India, Israel sign cultural agreement to further boost people-to-people ties
- India and Israel signed a cultural agreement that outlines a three-year programme of cooperation to further strengthen strategic bilateral relations. It aims to promote greater people-to-people exchanges.
- The agreement was signed by Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and India’s Ambassador to Israel, Sanjeev Singla, at the foreign ministry in Jerusalem.
- The agreement states that it shall contribute to the development of their relations and in raising awareness, particularly among youth, of the history and culture of the people of both countries.
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Israel Capital: Jerusalem; Prime minister: Benjamin Netanyahu
4. ADB approved USD 1 billion package for rapid transit system in India
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD 1 billion loan to support the construction of the modern, high-speed Delhi-Meerut regional rapid transit system, a first of its kind in India.
- The transit system project aims to help decongest the city and improve regional connectivity by establishing transit options through densely populated sections of the NCR.
- This project will finance the construction of railway tracks, station buildings, maintenance facilities, traction and power supply.
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The 82-km Delhi-Meerut regional rapid transit system network is the first of three priority rail corridors in the country’s integrated transport network under the NCR regional plan 2021.
5. India conducts record over 9 lakh COVID-19 tests in single day; Fatality rate declines to 1.90%
- India conducted record high of more than nine lakh COVID-19 tests in a single day. Health Ministry said, India is poised to see an exponential increase towards its resolve of testing 10 lakh samples daily.
- Expanded diagnostic lab network across the country and effective measures to facilitate easy testing have given a substantial boost to the present numbers. The Tests per Million have also seen a sharp increase to over 23,600.
- The Ministry said, this has been made possible because of effective implementation of the policy of testing aggressively, tracking comprehensively and treating efficiently.
- India’s recovery rate amongst the COVID-19 patients has reached to nearly 74 per cent. The case fatality rate continues to show steady decline and now stands at 1.90 percent.
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The cumulative tests have reached to more than three crore 25 lakh.
6. Dr Harsh Vardhan launches interactive first-of-its-kind video game ‘Corona Fighters’ to spread awareness
- Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has launched an interactive first-of-its-kind game on COVID-19, the Corona Fighters. The Minister also launched two new videos urging adherence to key COVID Appropriate Behaviours.
- Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the game presents a new and extremely creative way to teach people the right tools and behaviours to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
- He said that till a vaccine is ready for fighting COVID-19, the COVID appropriate behaviours will serve as a potent social vaccine and keep everyone protected and safe.