RBI’s COVID-19 Economic Relief Package
•Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has come out with its own measures to help deal with economic fall out of COVID-19 pandemic.
[This was the first time that the MPC met outside its bi-monthly meeting calendar.]
▪️Repo rate has been cut by 75 basis points (bps) from 5.15% to 4.40%.
[Repo Rate is the rate at which a country’s central bank (RBI) lends money to commercial banks]
•The rates have been cut to encourage banks to lend more and to revive growth.
▪️Reverse Repo Rate has been cut by 90 bps to 4%.
[Reverse repo rate is the rate at which the central bank of a country (RBI) borrows money from commercial banks within the country]
•The higher reduction in the reverse repo rate was aimed at prompting banks to lend more rather than keeping their excess liquidity with the RBI
•According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva, the world has entered a recession due to COVID-19 that will be worse than the one in 2009
【Moody’s Investor Service (a rating agency) has reduced its GDP growth forecast for India to 2.5% in 2020 – a sharp drop from an earlier projection of 5.3%】
World Health Organisation’s Solidarity Trial
•It aims at rapid global search for drugs to treat COVID-19.
•India is all set to join WHO’s Solidarity Trial [India has stayed away from the multi-country trial till now due to its small sample size.]
•Keeping in view the rising number of cases and challenges faced by India, the government has decided to participate in the solidarity trial.
▪️Solidarity Trial will test different drugs like:
2. Combination of lopinavir and ritonavir (anti-HIV drugs).
3. Interferon beta with the combination of 4. lopinavir and ritonavir.
5. Chloroquine etc
Arunachal Pradesh indigenous lockdown rituals to contain the spread of COVID-19
•The Galos, which are one of the 26 major tribes of Arunachal Pradesh that dominate West Siang district practised the Arr-Rinam ritual
•Arr-Rinam is the Galo equivalent of lockdown imposed by consensus for 48 hours whenever an epidemic strikes
•These rituals were last performed almost four decades ago when a water-borne disease had affected many members of the community.
Indian Army’s Operation Namaste
•Indian Army has code-named its anti-COVID-19 campaign as Operation Namaste to help the government in its fight against the pandemic
•It aims to insulate the 1.3 million strong force from coronavirus infection and extend all possible assistance to the government in containing the pandemic
•Soldiers are advised to follow the lockdown, wherever they do not have any operational role, and stay fit. [They are assured that their families will be well taken care of.]
Force Majeure (FM) by Indian Railways
•Force Majeure (FM) means extraordinary events or circumstances beyond human control such as an event described as an Act of God (like a natural calamity=
•Force majeure refers to a clause that is included in contracts to remove liability for natural and unavoidable catastrophes that interrupt the expected course of events and restrict participants from fulfilling obligations
•In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Railways has decided that the period from 22.03.2020 to 14.04.2020 shall be treated under “Force Majeure”
What is Project Isaac?
•It is launched by Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (IITGN)
•It aims to engage its students in creative projects to enhance their critical skills while they are confined to their homes because of Coronavirus
•The project is inspired by Sir Isaac Newton who was sent home by his College because of the Great Plague of London in 1665.
[During this year, he developed discoveries including early calculus as well as his theories of optics and gravity]