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Daily Current Affairs – 21 Sep 2020 : GKToday Updates
1. PM Modi to lay foundation stone for nine highway projects in Bihar today
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of nine highway projects worth 14,258 crore rupees in Bihar through video conferencing today.
- These roads will enhance better connectivity, convenience and economic growth in and around the state.
- Movement of people and goods will also improve substantially, especially with the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.
- The Prime Minister had declared a special package for significant infrastructure development of Bihar in the year 2015.
- He will also inaugurate the Optical Fibre internet services where all the 45,945 villages of Bihar will be connected through Optical Fibre.
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Bihar Governor: Phagu Chauhan; Capital: Patna; Chief Minister: Nitish Kumar
2. DCGI approves the commercial launch of low cost COVID-19 test ‘Feluda’
- The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved the commercial launch of ‘Feluda’, the TATA CRISPER (Clustered Regulatory Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) COVID-19 test.
- It has been developed by CSIR-IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology).
- As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines, the test has met high quality benchmarks with 96 percent sensitivity and 98 percent specificity for detecting the Coronavirus.
- This test uses an indigenously developed, cutting-edge CRISPR technology for detection of the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 virus.
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The TATA CRISPER test will be the world’s first diagnostic test to deploy a specially adapted Ca9 protein for successfully detecting the virus that causes COVID-19.
3. Rajya Sabha passes two farm bills by voice vote amid opposition protests
- Rajya Sabha passed two Farm bills through voice vote amid protests by opposition MPs. These bills are:-
- The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 seeks to provide freedom to farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
- The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, provides for a national framework on farming agreements that protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for farm services.
- These bills will now be sent to the President of India for assent.
4. India extends $250 million loan to Maldives to overcome economic impact of Covid-19
- India has provided financial assistance of 250 million dollars as budgetary support to the Maldives government to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This budgetary support was in response to the request made by Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih for financial assistance to overcome the difficult economic situation and has been extended without conditions.
- The soft loan has a comfortable tenor of 10 years and a very low interest rate.
- Maldives is the only country to which India has provided such assistance.
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The Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, is a small island nation in South Asia, situated in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean.
Capital: Malé; Currency: Maldivian rufiyaa
5. India, China military commanders’ meeting today to defuse tension along border
- A meeting between military commanders of India and China is scheduled to be held today to defuse tension along the border between the two neighbours.
- The talks will be held at Moldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh.
- Both sides had reached the agreement to resolve the border row at a meeting between EAM S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of a SCO meet in Moscow on 10th Sept.
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This will be the sixth round of Corps Commander talks between the two armies on disengagement of troops and de-escalation of the volatile situation in eastern Ladakh.
6. Govt launches Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan in 272 most affected districts
- Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated and is implementing a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-2025.
- The Plan aims at reduction of adverse consequences of drug abuse through a multi-pronged strategy. The activities under the NAPDDR include awareness generation programmes in schools, colleges, Universities, workshop and provisioning of treatment facilities and capacity building of service providers.
- Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Rattan Lal Kataria said that the Ministry has also initiated focused intervention programmes in vulnerable districts across the country with an aim to increase community participation and public cooperation in the reduction of demand for dependence-producing substances.
- He said, the Ministry has also launched Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan in 272 most affected districts with focus on institutional support, community outreach and awareness generation.