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Daily G.K. - Top Stories

30 Mar 2020


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Study Shows Good Results With Plasma Treatment For COVID-19

  •  A new report raises hope that the blood of recovered patients can help treat severe coronavirus cases 
  • Five critically ill patients were hospitalized in Shenzhen, China, with serious cases of COVID-19. They received an experimental plasma transfusion and have since recovered to various degrees, according to new research published Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Assocation.
  • While the research is far too limited in size and rigor to draw conclusions from, the findings support more robust study of the potential treatment, called a convalescent plasma transfusion, the researchers concluded. New York announced this week plans to test convalescent plasma in severe cases of COVID-19. 
  • Doctors conducted this study at a Shenzhen, China, hospital from January 20 to March 25. The five patients, ranging in age from 36 to 73, received plasma between 10 and 22 days after being admitted to the hospital.
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5G Pioneer Ashish Sharma Promoted at Inseego Corp.

  •  Inseego Corp., a pioneer of 5G and intelligent IoT device-to-cloud solutions, announced that Ashish Sharma has been promoted. The Indian American executive  will assume the role of president of IoT & Mobile Solutions. 
  • Sharma has served as the company's executive vice president of IoT & Mobile Solutions since joining the company in September 2017 and also served as the company's chief marketing officer. 
  • Prior to joining Inseego, Sharma was chief marketing officer at Spectralink. He holds a hachelor from the University of District of Columbia, a master's from George Mason University and an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management in Finance, Marketing and Strategy, his bio said.

IBBI eases timelines within 330-day deadline for insolvency resolution Process

  •  Providing leeway to resolution professionals amid the coronavirus outbreak, IBBI has relaxed the timelines to be followed under the overall 330-day deadline for completion of insolvency resolution processes.
  • Against the backdrop of the 21-day lockdown to curb spreading of coronavirus infections, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India  (IBBI) has amended certain regulations.
  • The lockdown period would not be counted for the purpose of timelines set under the IBBI regulations for Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP), according to a notification.

Mega Merger Of PSU Banks Comes Into Force From April 1

  •  Notwithstanding the 21-day coronavirus lockdown, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to go ahead with the merger plan of ten state-run banks into four larger bank from April 1, 2020. The apex bank has issued four separate releases announcing that the branches of merging banks will operate as of the banks in which these have been amalgamated from next month.
  • RBI's statement comes after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's mega bank consolidation plan was very much on track and would take effect from April 1.
  • The government on March 4 had notified the amalgamation schemes for 10 state owned banks into four as part of its consolidation plan to create bigger size stronger banks in the public sector.
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Apple Launches COVID-19 Information App, Website

  • In a bid to provide accurate and credible information to users about the COVID-19 pandemic, tech giant Apple has released a new dedicated app and website for users across the US.
  • The new COVID-19 app and website provide the latest information and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • The app is available on the App Store. The users can also use the new tools to answer questions around risk factors, recent exposure, and symptoms. The tool will provide guidance on social distancing and self-isolating based on risk level. In addition to the new tools, Apple also enabled Siri to provide guidance and resources from the CDC.
  • Users in the US can ask Siri, "How do I know if I have coronavirus?" to access the information.
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India's Olympic-Bound Boxers To Be Provided Online Classes Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

  •  India's Olympic-bound boxers will be provided online classes by their coaches after training halted by the coronavirus-forced national lockdown. Nine Indian boxers M C Mary Kom, Simranjit Kaur, Lovlina Borgohani, Pooja Rani, Amit Panghal, Manish Kaushik, Vikas Krishan, Ashish Kumar and Satish Kumar have qualified for the Tokyo Games, postponed to 2021 due to the global pandemic.
  • The classes for women will be conducted by their high performance director Rafaelle Bergamasco.

ITTF Suspends All Events Till June 30, Freezes World Rankings

  •  The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has suspended all planned events till June 30, 2020 and froze the world rankings due to the upheaval caused by the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The ITTF Executive Committee met to discuss the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on the international table tennis events schedule.
  • Due to the continued uncertainty caused by Covid-19 pandemic and postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the ITTF Executive Committee reached the following decisions: Suspension of all currently planned ITTF events and activities that involve international travel until 30 June 2020.
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Nagaland CM Launches Self Declaration COVID-19 App

  • Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio launched the Self Declaration COVID19 Nagaland App at Kohima. Mr. Rio in a tweet said, the app will be mandatory for any person who entered Nagaland after March 6, 2020. He added that the app is crucial for tracking and surveillance of high-risk cases.
  • The app can be downloaded from the website User will be directed to click the menu button and select the nCOVID-19 App. For any technical difficulty in using the app, anyone can contact the phone numbers 9774656952 or 8794944850. 

PMO Sets Up High-Level Panels To Deal With Situation Post Lockdown; Restore Normalcy

  • The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) constituted 10 different high-level committees to suggest measures to ramp up healthcare, put the economy back on track, reduce pain and misery of people as quickly as possible post 21-day lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic. These committees looking after various aspects will work under the overall guidance of P K Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.
  • The initiative is being viewed as pro-active step by the government to deal with multiple challenges, which the outbreak of pandemic COVID-19 has posed and made the country to deal with emergency situation, they said, adding these groups will also work on strategy for restoring normalcy in their respective sectors, including healthcare, in the shortest possible time frame.

PM addresses 10th Episode of 'Mann Ki Baat 2.0'

  •  Addressing the 10th Episode of 'Mann Ki Baat 2.0', Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi apologized for taking tough decisions, reiterated that the battle against COVID 19 required some tough decisions.
  • He said it was important to keep the people of India safe and expressed confidence that together India will defeat COVID-19.
  • "The Lockdown will keep the people as well as their families safe and those who are not following the rule of isolation will be in trouble" he cautioned.
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National Doctor's Day

  • National Doctors' Day is a day celebrated to recognize the contributions of physicians to individual lives and communities. The date may vary from nation to nation depending on the event of commemoration used to mark the day. In some nations the day is marked as a holiday. 
  • In India, the National Doctors' Day is celebrated on July 1 all across India to honour the legendary physician and the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy.He was born on July 1, 1882 and died on the same date in 1962, aged 80 years. Dr Roy was honoured with the country's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna on February 4, 1961.
  • The celebration of the Doctors' Day is an attempt to emphasise on the value of doctors in our lives and to offer them our respects by commemorating one of their greatest representatives.
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Government Approves Insurance Scheme For Health Workers Fighting COVID-19

  •  The government  approved the insurance scheme for health workers fighting the novel coronavirus. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on March 26, 2020 announced a Rs 50 lakh insurance cover per person for frontline health workers involved in managing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The announcement was part of a slew of measures announced by the finance minister under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package.
  • It will provide an insurance cover of Rs. 50 lakh for ninety (90) days to a total of around 22.12 lakh public healthcare providers, including community health workers, who may have to be in direct contact and care of COVID-19 patients and who may be at risk of being impacted by this. It will also include accidental loss of life on account of contracting COVID-19.
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IIT-Bombay Creates Mobile App Corontine To Track COVID-19 Quarantine Patients

  • A team at IIT Bombay along with some professional and experienced alumni claimed to have built a mobile app named 'CORONTINE' that will help in tracking the potential or suspected asymptomatic carriers (AC) of coronavirus if they leave their quarantine zone.
  • The purpose of the app is to help authorities track the asymptomatic carriers and prevent the spread of the disease.
  • The details about the CORONTINE app and the admin platform, along with the user manual, etc, can be found at
  • Only an authorized person can log in as admin to access the full features of the CORONTINE platform.

MHRD To Launch 'Corona Studies Series' Books

  •  The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, has decided to launch Corona Studies Series' along with National Book Trust, India.
  • To document and to provide relevant reading materials for all age-groups for the post-Corona readership needs.
  • "The Corona Studies Series' seeks to be our long-term contribution to prepare and engage readers with the various aspects of the Corona times by bringing out affordable books in various Indian languages in the identified subject areas. It will also provide a suitable platform to authors and researchers willing to contribute in this genre," said Prof.Govind Prasad Sharma, Chairman, National Book Trust, India.

Union Health Minister launches National Teleconsultation Centre

  •  The Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan launched the National Teleconsultation Centre (CoNTeC).
  • The project CoNTeC is an acronym for COVID-19 National Teleconsultation Centre. It has been conceptualised by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
  • Harsh Vardhan said that CoNTeC has been made operational at AIIMS with a view to connect the doctors across the country to AIIMS in real time for treatment of the COVID-19 patients.
  • The minister said that the telemedicine guidelines have also been notified by the government of India and with the help of digital platform and technology.
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Indian American Newspaper 'India Abroad' Ends Print Edition after 50 Years

  •  The New York City-based India Abroad, the iconic ethnic Indian American weekly newspaper with a 50-year-long legacy, has announced the shut-down of its print edition.
  • Founded by publisher Gopal Raju in 1970, the oldest Indian newspaper in North America was the first publication to fill the gap of a publication catering to the Indian American community in the U.S., a message from the current publisher, Suresh Venkatachari, said in a publisher's message March 27.
  • In 2001, Raju sold the publication to; in late 2016, sold its venture to 8kMiles Media Inc., whose chairman Venkatachari announced the decision to cease the print edition. "The last issue will be dated March 30," he stated.
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