1. International Day for Biological Diversity: 22 May
The International Day for Biodiversity is observed on May 22 to raise awareness on various issues related to threats that stare biodiversity in the face.The first International Day for Biological Diversity, also known as World Biodiversity day, was created in a UN General Assembly in 1993.
Biodiversity or Biological diversity means the life on Earth constitutes a variety of living organisms.
There are at least 8 million species on this planet including plants, animals, fungi, bactere to name a few. The biodiversity we have today was formed through billions of years of evolution.The theme for the year 2020 is “Our solutions are in nature”.
2. Airtel Africa extends e-learning support to students with UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) partnered with Bharti Airtel’s Africa Arm to support the school children in the coronavirus affected areas and provide them access to remote learning and financial assistance to their families through mobile cash transfer.
Under this partnership, Airtel Africa will utilize mobile technology to support over 133 million school age children affected due to closure of schools in the Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia (13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa).
This partnership will support UNICEF’s Global Agenda for Action for children. The plan provides the outline of global actions of private and public sector partners to provide healthcare, safety and education to the children including the kids with disabilities and girls who are at risk of violence.
3. India becomes the Second Largest Manufacturer of PPE in the world
India became the second largest producer of Personal Protective Equipment in the world. China is the leading producer of PPE in the world. The Ministry of Textiles has been taking several measures to maintain the quality of PPE alongside manufacturing.
Initially India faced several challenges in increasing quality PPE products. This includes importing machines from China and also increasing prices. Apart from these, there were delays in imports and non-availability of domestic manufacturers. The above reasons made India turn indigenous in PPE production. This increased the production of PPE.
4. U.S President Trump orders US flag to be flown at half-staff over next 3 days
The US President Donald Trump ordered that the US flag to be flown at half-staff over the next three days as the death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 95,000.Flags will be lowered on all Federal Buildings and National Monuments to half-staff over the next three days in memory of the Americans lost to the Coronavirus.
The flags will continue to be flown at half-staff on Memorial Day, observed on 25th May every year, in honour of those in the US military who died serving their country.
The stripes on the US flag represent the original 13 Colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of the Union.
5. US Senate passes a bill to delist Chinese companies from American stock exchanges
US Senate has passed a bill to delist Chinese companies from American stock exchanges. The senate on Wednesday unanimously approved the bill brought by Republican Senator John Kennedy and Democrat Senator, Chris Van Hollen.
The legislation requires companies to certify that they are not owned or controlled by a foreign government.
They would be required to submit to an audit that can be reviewed by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which has been objected to by China. The move may result in Chinese companies like Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc. being barred from listing on US stock exchanges.
6. Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to take charge as Chairman of WHO Executive Board
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan will take charge as the chairman of the World Health Organization (WHO) 34-member Executive Board.
He will replace Dr Hiroki Nakatani of Japan. The WHO is governed by two decision-making bodies, the World Health Assembly and the Executive Board.
7.RBI cuts repo rate by 40 bps to 4 pct
The Reserve Bank of India cut the repo rate by 40 basis points from 4.4 percent to 4 percent.
It also reduced the reverse repo rate at 3.35 percent to maintain accommodative stance.
The six-member Monetary Policy Committee voted 5:1 in favour of 40 bps cut in interest rate.
Private consumption has seen the biggest blow due to COVID-19 outbreak, following investment demand has halted big time impacting the government revenues severely due to slowdown in economic activity.
8. NTPC signed MOU with ONGC to set up Joint Venture Company for Renewable Energy NTPC Ltd.
The PSU under Ministry of Power and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), the PSU under Ministry of Petroleum &Natural Gas, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a Joint Venture Company for Renewable Energy business.
The MoU will enable both companies to accelerate their footprint in Renewable Energy.
As per the MoU, NTPC and ONGC will explore the setting up of offshore wind and other Renewable Energy Projects in India and overseas. They shall also explore opportunities in the fields of sustainability, storage, E-mobility and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) compliant projects.
9. NADA provisionally suspends Savita Kumari, Ankit Shishodia for violating anti-doping rules
The National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) has provisionally suspended two powerlifters, Savita Kumari and Ankit Shishodia, for violating anti-doping rules.
Athletes were given an opportunity to present themselves before the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) and explain their cases on the date and time fixed by the panel for a hearing.
However, due to COVID 19, followed by lockdown in the country no sitting of the panel could take place in April.
As per the Anti-Doping Rules of NADA, an appeal can be filed by the athlete and other parties against the order of the ADDP.
However, due to COVID-19, followed by lockdown in the country no sitting of the panel could take place in April.
10. Chhattisgarh launches Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay scheme for Farmers
The Chhattisgarh government launched the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojna, by transferring Rs 1,500 crore into the accounts of more than 18,000 farmers.
This was the first installment of a Rs 5,750-crore scheme, meant to benefit farmers sowing 14 types of crops. Under the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana, based on registered area and area under cultivation during Kharif crop season 2019, Rs 10,000 per acre will be deposited in the bank accounts of farmers as agriculture assistance grant for sowing crops such as paddy, maize and sugarcane
The scheme was inaugurated through video conferencing on the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
The scheme aims to ensure minimum income availability to farmers growing one rabi and 13 kharif season crops in the state.