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Pakistan in a list of 21 high-risk countries
- The United Kingdom has added Pakistan to its list of undesirable 21 high-risk countries over money laundering and terror financing charges.
- The nations in this category pose a threat because of the weak tax controls.
- It is in the ‘Amendment of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017’ which came into effect on March 26, 2021.
Meet of Association of Indian Universities
- PM Narendra Modi addressed the 95th annual meet of the Association of Indian Universities and a national seminar of Vice-Chancellors on 14 April 2021.
- On this occasion, he also released four books based on Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar’s life written by Kishor Makwana.
- The Association of Indian Universities is a premier apex body of higher education in the country.
Centre fast-tracks emergency approvals
- The central government is fast-tracking the emergency use approvals for foreign vaccines.
- This will expand the coverage of vaccination drive in the country.
- In order to cut short the time lag for approval of potential vaccine candidates the provision of clinical trials before being recommended by the drug, the regulator has been relaxed.
EdCIL pays the highest ever dividend of Rs 12.5 cr
- EdCIL (India) Limited, a Mini Ratna Category-I Central Public Sector Enterprises under the Ministry of Education, paid the highest ever dividend of 12.5 crore rupees for the year 2019-20.
- Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ received the dividend cheque from CMD of EdCIL Manoj Kumar on 13 April 2021.
- The company registered a turnover of 326 crore rupees during the year 2019-20.
NITI Aayog launches ‘Poshan Gyan’
- NITI Aayog, in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Centre for Social and Behaviour Change, Ashoka University launched Poshan Gyan on 13 April 2021.
- It is a national digital repository on health and nutrition.
- The launch event was addressed by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant, and Women and Child Development Secretary Ram Mohan Mishra.
NCDC secures loan from Deutsche Bank
- The National Cooperative Development Corporation, NCDC has secured a 600 crore rupees loan from Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank, for onward lending to cooperatives in the country.
- An agreement in this regard was inked on 13 April 2021 between NCDC and the German Bank.
- This is for the first time that one of the largest European banks in the world is lending to the NCDC.
Approvals accorded under PLI Scheme
- Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers has accorded approvals to 16 applicants under Production Linked Incentive Scheme.
- It is for the promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical key starting materials or drug intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients in the country.
- The setting up of these 16 plants will lead to a total committed investment of over 348 crore rupees.
Air India to vaccinate its employees
- National carrier Air India (AI) has decided to set up a mass vaccination camp for its employees aged 45 years or above on priority.
- Air India has around 6,000 employees above the age of 45 years.
- The Central government has permitted various establishments to facilitate vaccination camps at the offices for their employees above the age of 45 years.
Madhya Pradesh CM releases Rs. 52 crore
- Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan has released an amount of Rs 52 crore for 52 districts of the state.
- An amount of Rs 1 crore from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to each district has been released for the prevention of the Covid-19 epidemic.
- The amount will be utilized for the purchase of necessary equipment, provision of food and clothes in rehabilitation camps, etc.
Maharashtra announces a package of Rs. 5,476 cr
- The Maharashtra government has announced a financial package of Rs. 5,476 crore for the weaker section of the people.
- Beneficiaries of the food security act will be provided 3 kg of wheat and 2 kg of rice.
- Financial aid will be provided to families below the poverty line, senior citizens, widows, divyaang, workers from the unorganized sector, and autorickshaw drivers.
Puducherry colleges partner with the health dept.
- In Puducherry, as a major initiative to control the surge in covid cases and to manage the situation, all the private medical colleges in Puducherry are partnering with the health department.
- A high-level meeting in this regard was held under the chairmanship of the Health Director.
- It was decided that each private medical college should dedicate 300 beds.
Amendments in voting laws in Hong Kong
- Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has announced amendments to voting laws.
- The government will increase the number of electoral districts from which vetted candidates can be elected to 10, with two winners from each region.
- Previously, 35 seats were split between five electoral districts.
- A powerful new vetting committee will monitor candidates for public office.
US troops to withdraw from Afghanistan
- US President Joe Biden’s administration has decided to withdraw the remaining US troops from Afghanistan by 11 Sept 2021.
- This comes 20 years after Al Qaeda’s attacks triggered America’s longest war in the region.
- Officially, there are 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and also up to an additional 7,000 foreign forces in the coalition there, the majority of the NATO troops.
Zoho launches Qntrl
- Zoho Corp has launched Qntrl, a new business division, to address gaps in workflow process management.
- As a business division of Zoho Corp, Qntrl integrates with products from sister divisions such as Zoho.com and ManageEngine.
- Qntrl enables users to centralize requests from all process stakeholders, ensure process compliance, enable contextual, workflow-centric collaboration, etc.
Tap water connection in Haryana by Nov 2022
- Haryana and Odisha plan to provide tap water connections to all rural households by 1 November 2022, and 2024, respectively.
- This comes in the backdrop of 38% of India’s rural population covered under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), with 21.4% such households provided tap water connection since the scheme’s launch in 2019.
Toshiba’s CEO steps down
- Toshiba Corp’s Chief Executive Officer Nobuaki Kurumatani will be replaced by Chairman Satoshi Tsunakawa.
- The company will soon begin considering successors for Tsunakawa.
- Toshiba Corporation is a Japanese multinational conglomerate headquartered in Minato, Tokyo.
- Its diversified products and services include power, industrial infrastructure systems, elevators, electronic components, etc.
15-day strict restrictions in Maharashtra
- Facing an unprecedented Covid crisis, the Maharashtra Government has imposed stringent restrictions for a fortnight to break the chain of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The fortnight-long restrictions begin from 8 PM on 14 April 2021.
- Only essential services will be allowed to function as usual.
- The daytime curfew will be between 7 am to 8 pm.
Additional funding for clinical studies
- The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has approved additional funding for clinical studies of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine – HGCO19.
- This funding has been provided under the Mission COVID Suraksha.
- The vaccine is developed by Pune-based biotechnology company Genova Biopharmaceuticals Limited.
- The company has initiated the process to enrol volunteers for the Phase I and II clinical trials.
Finance Minister meets David Malpass virtually
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and President World Bank Group David Malpass met through virtual mode on 13 Apr’21.
- They discussed various issues including Covid vaccination, economic recovery, and India’s strategy of green resilient and inclusive development.
- The Finance Minister shared the measures being taken by India to contain the spread of the second wave of the pandemic.
Udhampur bags top position at national level
- Udhampur district of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir has bagged top position at the national level for successfully implementing Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) during 2020-21.
- The district has received top position for constructing roads of 560.49 km in 2020-21.
- 4 more districts from the UT have also figured in the list of PMGSY top performing 30 districts in the country.