Amendment in Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897
•The President has given his assent to an ordinance passed to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897
•The amendments intend to protect the health workers from harassment by the public. [The amendments will also apply to harassment by landlords and neighbours]
•Violence against medical staff has been made a cognizable and non-bailable offence.
•If damage was done to vehicles or clinics of healthcare workers, a compensation amounting to twice the market value of the damaged property would be charged from the accused
•In cases of attacks on healthcare workers, the investigation will be completed within 30 days and the final decision arrived within one year
•The ordinance will protect the whole healthcare fraternity, including doctors, nurses and ASHA workers from violence during epidemics
World Bank’s report on the impact of the COVID-19 on migration and remittances
•Globally remittances are projected to decline by about 20% in 2020.
•Remittances to India are likely to drop by 23 per cent from $83 billion last year to $64 billion this year due to the coronavirus pandemic
•The projected fall is largely due to a fall in the wages and employment of migrant workers due to the recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
•In Pakistan, the projected decline is about 23 per cent, totalling about $17 billion, compared to a total of $22.5 billion last year
•India is the world’s biggest recipient of remittances.
•In 2019, India is estimated to have received $83.1 billion in remittances from people working overseas, about 12% of the total expected global inflow[~$750 billion]
•17.5 million Indian living abroad.
•Remittance flows are expected to fall across all World Bank Group regions, most notably in
1. Europe and Central Asia (27.5 per cent), followed by
2. Sub-Saharan Africa (23.1 per cent),
3. South Asia (22.1 per cent),
4. Middle East and North Africa (19.6 per cent).
Iran’s First Military Satellite :’Noor’
•Iran has launched its first military satellite called Noor (meaning light) into orbit
•The satellite reached an orbit of 425km after being carried by a three-stage Ghased launcher.
•This was a successful launch after months of failures. [However, there was no immediate independent confirmation of the launch of the satellite.]
•The Satellite was launched by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).【World knows about IRGC now :)】
•The IRGC, which operates its own military infrastructure in parallel to Iran’s regular armed forces, is a hard-line force answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
•The launch comes amid tensions between Iran and the US over the collapsed nuclear deal and after a U.S. drone strike in Iraq killed Iran’s most powerful military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani in January, 2020.
•The Trump administration has warned that the technology used to launch satellites could help Iran develop Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).
•It has asserted that such launches therefore violate a UN Security Council resolution, which calls upon Iran not to “undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons
•Iran’s Stand: It has not violated UN resolution on its ballistic missile program as the resolution only calls upon it to not conduct missile tests (not satellite tests).
NASA discovers Kepler-1649c (Exoplanet)
•NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has discovered an Earth like exoplanet called Kepler-1649c
•As per the information shared by NASA, the Kepler-1649c is only 1.06 times larger than Earth. [The light received by this planet from its host star is around 75 per cent of the amount of light Earth receives from our Sun]
•[This means that the exoplanet’s temperature may be similar to Earth]
•Kepler-1649c is an exoplanet which is nearly the size of Earth and is located nearly 300 light-years from Earth.
•The planet is located in its star’s habitable zone