1. Maharashtra becomes the first state in the country to provide free and cashless insurance premium to people of the state

The Maharashtra Government announced that cent percent inclusion of the population from the state will be provided free health treatment under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana.
With this Maharashtra has become the first state in the country to provide free and cashless insurance premiums to the people of the state.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai civic body has asked its staff above the age of 55 years to work from home or abstain from field duties, while those with comorbidities have been given leave for two weeks in view of the Coronavirus outbreak.

2. Australia restricts the use of saliva, sweat to shine ball under COVID-19 guidelines

Australia will not allow the use of saliva or sweat to shine the ball once cricket training resumes in the post-COVID-19 world.
There is speculation that the use of saliva to shine the ball will be stopped to cut down the risk of the highly contagious infection with reports suggesting that the ICC is considering the possibility of allowing the use of artificial substances to polish the red ball under the supervision of umpires.
Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in consultation with medical experts has come up with guidelines, restricting the use of saliva and sweat to shine the ball.

3. World Press Freedom Day is celebrated on 3 May

World Press Freedom Day is celebrated on 3 May every year. The day aims to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom and pay tribute to journalists who have laid down their lives in the exercise of their profession. The day also focuses to assess its state around the world, defend the media from attacks on their independence.

The theme of 2020 World Press Freedom Day is “Journalism Without Fear or Favour.” The theme creates awareness on specific issues about the safety of journalists, their independence from political or commercial influence, and gender equality in all aspects of the media.
As the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, journalists and media workers are crucial to helping the public make informed decisions, which can make the difference between life and death.

The World Press Freedom Day was started by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1993, on a recommendation from UNESCO. The observation of World Press Freedom Day was marked on the jubilee of the Declaration of Windhoek. It holds a statement of fundamentals of press freedom assembled in 1991 by the African Journalists to encourage an independent African press.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
UNESCO was established on 4 November 1946. It is headquartered in Paris, France. It functions under the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNSC). It also aims to promote international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms.

4. Environment Ministry approves the construction of new Parliament

The Expert Appraisal Committee of the Environment Ministry has approved the construction of the new Parliament building at a cost of Rs.922 crore. The committee cleared the controversial project in its April 22-24 meeting. The Central Vista committee has also approved the new plan.

The plan was opposed by civil society organizations. The expert panel of the environment ministry has said the clearance for the project to build a new Parliament is subject to the decision of the Supreme court. The apex court, earlier, refused to stay the Central Vista Redevelopment project.

Project Highlights:
The project aims to build a triangular parliament building. It will revamp the 3-km long Raj Path from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.
The proposed Parliament Building will carry out Legislative functions, which is separate from Executive Functions to be carried out in other office buildings. Hence, it will not be considered as an integrated and inter-related project vis-à-vis the other proposed central vista buildings for the simple reason that it can definitely operate independently of the other structures.

5. GoI transfers 2nd installment of Rs.500 into accounts of women beneficiaries under PMGKY

Government of India has released the second installment of Rs.500 under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY). The money will be transferred directly into the accounts of women beneficiaries.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana, every women beneficiary has to be provided three installments of Rs.500 starting from April 2020.
The second installment has been released to a large number of banks which will now credit the amount into the accounts of the beneficiaries.
Around 20 crore women beneficiaries received the first installment for last month in its first week.
Government has announced a date plan for beneficiaries to visit the bank in order to dispense the money so that adequate precaution of social distancing can be ensured.

6. US FDA allows use of remdesivir drug for severely ill COVID-19 patients

The United States Food and Drug Authority (USFDA) has allowed emergency use of the antiviral drug, Remdesivir for treatment of severely ill COVID-19 patients.

Remdesivir for COVID-19 patients:
A study by Gilead Sciences in the US showed that Remdesivir shortens the recovery time by 31% or about 4 days on average, for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
The reports also stated that the clinical trials of Remdedivir were conducted on 1,063 patients. When the patients were given the drug, they were able to leave the hospital in 11 days on average versus 15 days for the comparison group.
The drug has not yet tested on people with the milder illness. The medicine is currently given through an IV in a hospital.
Remdesivir would become a new standard of care for severely ill COVID-19 patients.

7. PM holds meeting to boost agriculture sector and increase farmers income

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a key meeting on the reforms in the agriculture sector and increase farmers income in India. The importance of the use of technology in the agriculture sector was emphasized in the meeting.

Prime Ministers and Ministers discussed the possibilities of the uniform statutory framework in the country to facilitate new ways for farming which will infuse capital and technology in the agrarian economy.
Discussion to make strategic interventions in the existing marketing eco-system and to bring appropriate reforms in the context of rapid agricultural development.
Developing e-NAM into a platform of platforms to enable e-commerce was one of the important topics of discussion.
They also discussed measures to strengthen the role of Farmer’s Produce Organization (FPOs) to bring vibrancy in the agrarian economy, transparency in agriculture trade, and enable maximum benefits to the farmers.

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