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NATIONAL BUTTERMILK BISCUIT DAY – May 14th ushers in National Buttermilk Biscuit Day to celebrate this high-rising breakfast staple. Biscuits are made using baking powder or baking soda as a leavening agent rather than yeast. A typical buttermilk biscuit recipe contains flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter, and buttermilk.
NATIONAL UNDERGROUND AMERICA DAY – On March 14th, National Underground America Day recognizes the approximately 6,000 people who live in some form of underground architecture across North America. The observance also celebrates the lifestyle, architecture, and benefits of underground living.
Top One Line Current Affairs Headlines
- IAS officer V. Vidyavathi appointed the new Director-General of ASI (Archaeological Survey of India).
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of measures for various sectors, including MSMEs hit by COVID-19-induced lockdown.
- An economic package called ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan’ and is based on the five pillars of Economy, Infrastructure, System, Vibrant Demography, and Demand that were outlined by the PM on May 12.
- Three lakh Cr Emergency Working Capital Facility for Businesses, including MSMEs
- Rs 50,000 Cr equity infusion through MSME Fund of Funds.
- No Global tenders for Government tenders of up to Rs 200 Cr.
- Rs. 30,000 Cr Special Liquidity Scheme for NBFC/HFC/MFIs.
- Rs. 45,000 Cr Partial credit guarantee Scheme 2.0 for Liabilities of NBFCs/MFIs.
- Rs 90,000 Cr Liquidity Injection for DISCOMs.
- Extending the Employees Provident Fund Support for business and organized workers for another 3 months for salary months of June, July, and August 2020.
- EPF Contribution to be reduced for Employers and Employees for 3 months to 10% from 12% for all establishments covered by EPFO for the next 3 months.
- Relief to Contractors given by extension of up to six months for completion of contractual obligations, including in respect of EPC and concession agreements.
- Reduction in Rates of ‘Tax Deduction at Source’ (TDS) and ‘Tax Collected at Source’ (TCS) by 25% for the remaining period of FY 20-21.
- The date for filing Income Tax return for 2019-20 extended till 30th November
Energy Transition Index (ETI)
- India ranked 74th on the global ‘Energy Transition Index’ (ETI) of WEF (World Economic Forum); index topped by Sweden.
- ETI ranks 115 economies on the current performance of their energy systems and their readiness for transition to secure, sustainable, affordable, and inclusive energy systems.
- COVID-19: EAM S. Jaishankar attends an extraordinary video conference of SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) Foreign Ministers.
Current Affairs: INDIA
Rs 20 Lakh Cr Economic Package: MSME, EPF, NBFC, MFI, Real Estate Benefited
The Government of India had earlier launched Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. Under which Rs 1.7 lakh crore was allocated. The LockDown 4.0 that is to be launched on May 18, 2020, will operate under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
Under the new scheme, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman announced 15 different measures. Of these,
- Six measures are for the MSMEs
- Two for Employment Provident Funds
- Two for NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial corporation)
- Two for MFIs (Micro Finance Institutions)
- One to real estate
- One for DISCOMs
- Three related to Tax
- One for the Contractors
1. Collateral free loans – The loans that are worth Rs 3 lakh crore are made collateral-free. This is extended to firms whose outstanding loans are Rs 25 crore or those firms whose annual turn over is Rs 100 crore. Also, these firms will not require new collaterals. Through this step, around 45 lakh units will be benefitted.
2. Stressed MSMEs – Through the debt-based scheme, Rs 20,000 crore is being infused into the economy. This will help to benefit stressed MSMEs. These stressed MSMEs are those facing equity problems. Under this GoI will provide Rs 4,000 core separately through CGTMSE (Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises). This will help benefit 2 lakh people that are dependent on stressed MSMEs. The Non-Performing Assets are also eligible to claim as a beneficiary under the scheme.
3. Fund of Funds -The GoI is to infuse Rs 50,000 crore by creating a fund of funds. This will help those MSMEs that are viable and eligible. A corpus of Rs 10,000 crore is to be infused through the mother fund and daughter fund framework.
4. Changed Definition of MSME – The GoI has changed the definition of MSMEs. The new definition has increased the investment limit upwards. Previously, an enterprise with investment up to Rs 25 lakh was called a micro-unit. Under the new definition, a firm up to an investment of Rs 1 crore is to be called Micro unit, of Rs. 10 crore is to be called as a small unit and investment greater than Rs 20 crore will be called as a medium unit.
5. Global Tenders – Global tenders will be disallowed in government procurement for tenders up to Rs 200 crores. This is because the majority of MSME were unable to supply large companies. Indian MSME was not able to compete with global tenders. This will now help achieve self-reliant India.
6. E-Market – The E-Market Linkages are to be strengthened. This is being done as the COVID-19 crisis has made it highly challenging to conduct trade fairs, exhibitions, etc. Therefore, the MSMEs have to search for online ways to promote their products. Thus, boosting E-market facilities will help them achieve this.
EPF – Today, under the Employment Provident Fund scheme, 12% is contributed by the employee and 12% by the employer. Liquidity relief is to be provided to all EPF establishments. GoI will infuse Rs 2,500 crores to achieve this. Under this 6.3 lakh establishments will be benefitted. To increase take-home salary, for those not covered under earlier, Statutory PF contribution reduced from 12% to 10%.
Real Estate (RERA Projects) The urban development ministry will issue advisory to states and UTs to instru the regulatory authority upon bringing upon the smooth functioning of the real estate sector. The pending projects shall be extended to 6 months. Also, registration dates shall be extended by 6 months. Also, registration dates shall be extended by 6 months.
NBFC – In order to help the struggling Non-Banking Financial Corporations, Rs 30,000 crore liquidity is being injected. This will help NBFCs serve the MSMEs better. Also, Rs 45,000 crores are to be infused through Partial Guarantee Scheme 2.0. Under this scheme, the GoI will bear the first 20% loss.
Contractors – The contracts under Transport, Railway sectors, etc will be instructed to extend by 6 months.
Discoms – The Discoms are highly affected due to the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, the liquidity of Rs 90,000 crore is to be injected.
India: 68.2 Percent of under-5 deaths due to child, maternal malnutrition
- Child and maternal malnutrition was the predominant risk factor in India as it attributed to 68·2% of under-5 deaths while low birth weight and short gestation led to 83·0% of neonatal deaths in 2017.
- The highest number of under-five and neonatal deaths in 2017 were reported in Uttar Pradesh (UP) followed by Bihar.
- If the U5MR trends estimated up to 2017 were to continue, the projected U5MR for India would be 29·8 per 1000 live births in 2025.
COVID-19: Rs 3,100 Cr allocated from PM CARES Funds
The PM CARES Fund trust was created on March 27, 2020. It was headed by Prime Minister Modi. The other members include Home Minister, Defence Minister, and Finance Minister.
Ventilators – The allocated funds are to be used to buy 50,000 ventilators. The ventilators are to be purchased at a cost of Rs 2,000 crores. These ventilators will be supplied to government-run COVID-19 hospitals.
Vaccines – Vaccine against COVID-19 is the current pressing need. In order to support vaccine developers, Rs 100 crores have been allocated. The disposal of this fund is to be supervised by the Principal Scientific Advisor.
Men are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than women: How and Why?
Initially, there was a hypothesis that men might be more vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus than women. However, the hypothesis has now been proved by research published in the European Heart Journal. The ACE2 enzyme in the human body is the key factor that enables the COVID-19 to infect human cells.
Chennai – The price of jewelry gold in Chennai has been increased by Rs 232. The resumption of gold sales has seen a rise in demand as people have increased demand. The prices were low yesterday.
The price of jewelry gold! – The price of one gram (22 carats) of gold rose to Rs 4,472 today (May 14) in Chennai. Yesterday’s price was 4,443. Today, gold prices rise by Rs 29 per gram.
Similarly, 8 grams of gold, which sold yesterday for Rs 35,544, rose 232 rupees to 35,776 rupees.
The price of pure gold! – The price of pure gold is also tremendously high today. The price of 24-carat pure gold rise to Rs 4,681 today.
The price of 8 grams of pure gold rose by Rs 232 to Rs 37,448. Sold yesterday at Rs 37,448.
In Other Cities – The price of one gram of jewelry is Rs 4,496 in Mumbai, Rs 4,496 in Delhi, Rs 4,496 in Kolkata, Rs 4,438 in Hyderabad, Rs 4,326 in Bangalore, Rs 4,465 in Pondicherry and Rs 4,466 in Kerala. 4,311 as well.
Silver – Silver also rose today. The price of one gram of silver was at Rs 46.70. Yesterday’s price was Rs.46.60. One kilo of silver is being sold for Rs 46,700.
Current Affairs: International
South African and the United States scientists use MeerKAT telescope to solve the mystery of ‘X galaxies’
A team of astronomers from the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), the (US) National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the University of Pretoria, and Rhodes University(Both in South Africa), have used the MeerKAT telescope to solve a longstanding puzzle in ‘X’-shaped radio galaxies.