Haryana to provide free ration to poor
The Haryana government announced that free ration would be provided to people living below poverty line and other families facing financial hardship amid the coronavirus lockdown. The move comes in the wake of the government’s directions to open processing units for flour, rice and pulses across Haryana.
To curb overpricing of grocery and vegetables during the lockdown, the government directed district food and supply controllers (DFSC) to monitor the distribution and retail of food items.
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates to 0%
The US Federal Reserve cut interest rates to zero.
The Fed’s hugely surprising move comes as the world fights to prevent further damage from the rapidly-spreading coronavirus.
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 0 to ¼%.
This is the second time in as many weeks the US Fed has cut interest rates as the deadly virus threatens to cause massive disruption to the world economy.
The first and last time interest rate were zero in the US was in December 2008 at the peak of the global financial crisis.
First human trial to evaluate vaccine against COVID-19 begins in US
The first human trial to evaluate a candidate vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 has begun in Seattle, US.
The open-label trial will enroll 45 healthy adult volunteers ages 18 to 55 years over approximately 6 weeks.
The first participant received the investigational vaccine on 16 March.
Contamination of Ground Water by Uranium in India
Minister of State for Jal Shakti and Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Rattan Lal Kataria said that, there is prevalence of Uranium concentration above 30 microgram per litre in some of the localized pockets of few States/UTs in the country.
As per WHO provisional guidelines, the maximum permissible limit of Uranium as 0.03 mg/l in all drinking water standards.
Elevated uranium level in drinking water may affect human health.
Health studies carried out elsewhere in the world suggest that elevated uranium level in drinking water may be associated with kidney toxicity.
Parliament nod for three central Sanskrit universities
Parliament passed a bill to upgrade three deemed Sanskrit universities into central universities.
The Central Sanskrit Universities Bill, 2019 was passed by voice vote in Rajya Sabha. Earlier the bill was passed by Lok Sabha.
The Bill seeks to upgrade three deemed to be universities in Sanskrit – Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, and Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth Tirupati – into central universities.
Mission Solar Charkha of Ministry of MSME
The Solar Charkha Mission was initiated by the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME). The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) implemented the program.
The Scheme aims to ensure inclusive growth by the generation of employment, especially for women and youth, and sustainable development through solar charkha clusters in rural areas. The Scheme will boost the rural economy and help in arresting migration from rural to urban areas. It also leverages low-cost, innovative technologies and processes for sustenance.
Mission Solar Charkha:
The target of the mission is to cover 50 solar clusters across the country. Under the Scheme, approximately 1,00,000 beneficiaries are to be covered.
So far, ten projects have been approved under Mission Solar Charkha.
The total cost for one cluster of Solar Charkha would involve a maximum subsidy of Rs.9.599 crore.
It aims to generate direct employment to nearly one lakh persons.`
A pilot project was implemented in 2016 at Khanwa village, Nawada District of Bihar.
Indian Culture Portal to showcase rich cultural heritage of India
Indian Culture Portal, an online portal of the Ministry of Culture, showcases the information about the rich cultural heritage of India across the globe.
Indian Culture Portal:
Indian Culture Portal was launched on 10 December 2019.
The portal is available in 2 languages, namely Hindi and English.
The portal aims to create awareness about the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of India.
The portal holds various contents comprising mainly of artefacts from museums, rare books, manuscripts, virtual galleries, e-books, archives, photo archives, gazetteers, write-ups and beautiful pictures on cuisines, Indian National Bibliography, videos, detailed accounts of Indian UNESCO World Heritage site, Musical Instruments of India, festivals, paintings, folk art and classical art from the different states of India, etc.
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