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Anti-dumping duty on chemical from 4 regions
- India has imposed anti-dumping duty on imports of a chemical used in foam making from 4 regions.
- The duty was imposed on dumping of Toluene Di-Isocyanate from the EU, Saudi Arabia, Chinese Taipei, and the UAE.
- The duty was imposed on the recommendation of the Commerce Ministry’s investigation arm Directorate General of Trade Remedies.
- TDI is a chemical used primarily for flexible foam applications.
ICMR approves dry swab RT-PCR method
- The simple and fast method of dry swab-direct RT-PCR has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
- The dry swab-direct RT-PCR test is developed by CSIR’s constituent lab Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, for scaling up the coronavirus detection.
- The method is lesser in cost and quick turn-around time.
Kerala reduces RT-PCR test rate in Pvt labs
- The Kerala Government has slashed the price of RT-PCR tests to ₹500 from ₹1,700 at all private laboratories in the state.
- The new RT-PCR test rates are inclusive of swab charges, PPE kits, and test kits.
- Earlier, the Kerala government had slashed the price of the RT-PCR test from ₹2,000 to ₹1,500 on January 1, 2021.
- However, it later revised to ₹1,700.
IBM acquires software provider Turbonomic
- IBM has agreed to acquire Turbonomic, a provider of software that helps companies monitor the performance of their business applications.
- The deal would be IBM’s largest since it acquired Red Hat for $34 billion in 2019.
- It values Turbonomic at between $1.5 bn and $2 billion.
Samsung overtakes Apple in smartphone shipment
- Samsung Electronics Co Ltd reclaimed its crown as the world’s biggest smartphone maker from Apple in the first quarter, cornering a fifth of overall global shipments.
- China’s Xiaomi Corp rounded out the top three positions with its best quarterly performance ever as shipments surged 62% to 49 million phones and its market share rose to 14%, according to market research firm Canalys.
Kerala to set up dedicated ‘oxygen war rooms’
- The Kerala Government has decided to set up dedicate oxygen war rooms at the district and state levels to meet the increasing demands.
- The war rooms will function with representatives of the police, health, transportation, disaster management, and Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO).
- O2 module will be included in the Covid Jagratha portal.
Ex-Attorney General Soli Sorabjee passes away
- Veteran lawyer and former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee passed away in April 2021 after contracting the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
- Sorabjee, a Padma Vibhushan recipient, began his legal practice in 1953 in Bombay High Court and he was designated senior counsel of the Supreme Court in 1971.
- He became the Attorney General of India first from 1989-90 and then from 1998-2004.
SoFi offers crypto for credit card rewards
- SoFi introduced a credit card feature on 28 April 2021 that allows customers to redeem their rewards points in bitcoin or ether through the digital banking app’s investing platform.
- The SoFi credit card comes with a 2% unlimited cash-back incentive that customers can now redeem for cryptocurrency credited directly to their SoFi Crypto account.
Poland to phase out coal production by 2049
- Poland govt and unions signed an MoU with the coal mining industry on 28 Apr’21, to phase out coal production by 2049.
- This marks the 1st time that the powerful coal mining sector has agreed to reduce its presence.
- With this pledge, Poland can meet EU climate goals by 2050.
- The country depends on coal for around 70% of its energy needs, although it is planning to reduce this to 11% by 2040.
Allahabad HC Judge passes away
- Justice Virendra Kumar Srivastava of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court passed away on 28 April 2021 due to Covid related complications.
- Justice Srivastava was sitting at the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court.
- The Allahabad High Court and its Lucknow bench had remained closed on 29 April 2021 to mourn the death of Justice Srivastava.
Pratap Bose quits Tata Motors
- Tata Motors appointed Martin Uhlarik as the new Global Design Head of the Indian car manufacturer on 29 April 2021.
- The announcement came after its outgoing Global Design Chief Pratap Bose decided to step down.
- Martin Uhlarik had joined Tata Motors back in 2016 as the Head of Design in the United Kingdom.
Chairman of UP IAS Association passes away
- Senior IAS officer and Chairman of the Uttar Pradesh IAS Association, Deepak Trivedi passed away on 29 April 2021, due to Covid related complications.
- Trivedi was posted as the Chairman of the Board of Revenue and had been elected as President of the UP IAS Association in March 2020.
- Trivedi was to retire on April 30, 2021.
JSW steel to supply 1,000 tons of LMO
- JSW Steel will commence supplies of 1,000 tonnes per day of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) from 30 April 2021.
- The total supplies of LMO by JSW Steel during April 2021 are expected to be more than 20,000 tons from all its plants.
- JSW Steel is supplying LMO from its three manufacturing facilities in Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu to various states across India.
1st batch of Covid-19 vaccines for animals
- Russia has produced the world’s first batch – 17,000 doses – of COVID-19 vaccines for animals.
- Russia registered Carnivac-Cov in March 2021 after tests showed it generated antibodies against COVID-19 in dogs, cats, foxes, and mink.
- The World Health Organization has voiced concern over the risk of transmission of the virus between humans and animals.
Insurers to settle cashless insurance claims
- The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has directed insurers to approve Covid-related cashless claims within 60 minutes of receiving appropriate documents from the claimant.
- IRDAI announced the new rules after Delhi High Court directed it to inform insurers to hasten the process of cashless claims so that hospital beds can be freed quickly for new patients.
Punjab crosses a mark in wheat procurement
- Punjab has successfully crossed the 100 Lakh MT mark in wheat procurement despite several challenges especially the ongoing second wave amid the COVID pandemic.
- Nearly 77 percent of total procurement operations had already been accomplished within 19 days after the commencement of wheat procurement from April 10, 2021.
- 17 Lakh MT had been procured during the ongoing Rabi marketing season.
MP Govt launches Corona Warriors Scheme
- In Madhya Pradesh, the state government has launched the Corona Warriors Scheme.
- The government will take the responsibility of family members of health workers who have passed away while on Corona duty.
- Their families will be given an honorarium of Rs 50 lakhs by the government.
- Corona vaccination campaign cannot be started from 1 May’21 due to non-receipt of vaccines from the companies.
Journalist Rohit Sardana passes away
- Senior Indian TV journalist Rohit Sardana passed away in April 2021, days after testing positive for COVID-19.
- He had hosted ‘Taal Thok Ke’, a popular debate program that discusses contemporary issues in India on Zee News.
- Sardana left Zee News to join Aaj Tak in 2017 and, since then, he was hosting the debate show ‘Dangal.’
Navy deputes naval medical team at Ahmedabad
- A 57 member naval medical team consisting of four doctors, seven nurses, 26 paramedics and 20 supporting staff has been deputed to Ahmedabad.
- The team will be deployed at the PM Cares COVID Hospital, a special hospital set up to manage the COVID crisis.
- It has been deployed for a period of two months starting 29 April 2021 and the duration would be extended if required.
Upto Rs 15,000 cr to be provided to states
- The Finance Ministry has decided to provide an additional amount of up to Rs15,000 cr to states as an interest-free 50-year loan for spending on capital projects.
- This will be done under the Scheme of Financial Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure for the financial year 2021-22.
- Under the scheme, financial assistance is provided to the state Govts in the form of interest-free loans.