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GKToday 13 April 2020 : Daily Current Affairs
1. Kerala to become the first state to use convalescent plasma therapy
– Kerala is set to become the first state in the country to commence convalescent plasma therapy, to treat critically ill COVID-19 cases on a trial basis.
– The ICMR has given its nod to Kerala for the first of its kind project. In this therapy the blood plasma from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, i.e. their immune system that has developed antibodies in the blood plasma, to beat the disease, is transfused into a person critically ill with the disease.
– Convalescent plasma therapy is not new and has been used by doctors to treat critically ill patients during earlier epidemics like H1N1, SARS and Ebola.
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Kerala Governor: Arif Mohammad Khan; Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan
2, IMF MD ropes in Raghuram Rajan, 11 others to key external advisory group
– IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva named former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan and 11 others to her external advisory group.
– The group will provide perspectives from around the globe on key developments and policy issues, including responses to the exceptional challenges the world now faces due to the coronavirus pandemic.
– Rajan, 57, who was the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor for three years until September 2016, is currently working as a professor at the prestigious University of Chicago.
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment, sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty around the world.
Headquarters location: Washington, D.C., United States
3. International Day of Human Space Flight: 12th April
– The International Day of Human Space Flight is celebrated every year on 12th April on the anniversary of the first human space flight by Yuri Gagarin.
– Yuri Gagarin crewed the Vostok 1 space flight in 1961, making one orbit around the Earth over 108 minutes in the Vostok 3KA spacecraft launched by Vostok-K launch vehicle.
– It was proclaimed at the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly on April 7, 2011.
4. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan participates in G20 Extraordinary meeting
– Minister of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan participated in the G20 Extraordinary Energy Ministers’ virtual Meeting.
– The meeting was called by Saudi Arabia, in its capacity as the G20 Presidency, and chaired by Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz.
– The meeting was attended by Energy Ministers of G20 countries, guest countries and heads of international organizations including OPEC, IEA and IEF. The G20 Energy Ministers’ focused on ways and means to ensure stable energy markets, which are affected due to demand reduction as result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
5. RBI urges bank customers to adopt digital payment modes, launches Twitter campaign
– Reserve Bank of India has urged bank customers to adopt digital modes of payment that are convenient and safe. The usage of digital modes to make transactions has become all the more important as the ongoing 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus is going on.
– In a Twitter campaign launched in public interest, the RBI emphasised on transacting digitally as it gives the convenience of making payments anytime and anywhere. The face of the campaign is Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan.
– The RBI reiterated the multiple digital payment options such as NEFT, IMPS, UPI and BBPS that are available 24*7.
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The Reserve Bank of India is India’s central bank, which controls the issue and supply of the Indian rupee. RBI is the regulator of entire Banking in India.
Headquarters: Mumbai; Governor: Shaktikanta Das
6. UGC constitutes committee to promote online learning amid nationwide lockdown
– Amid the nationwide lockdown, University Grants Commission (UGC) has constituted a committee to promote online learning.
– UGC Chairman DP Singh said it has also formed a committee to look after the examinations and academic calendar in the present circumstances. He said under the lockdown situation, it is essential to think about how the prescribed syllabus can be completed, what type of examination system would be followed. He said, on the basis of the committee’s recommendations, which will be submitted next week, UGC will issue guidelines for universities in consultation with Union HRD Ministry.
– He said to maintain social distancing, online learning and e-education is the only way out. UGC Chairman said online education is need of the hour for students, teachers and education system as a whole.