Daily Current Affairs 18 May 2020 With Video Lecture

Union Finance Minister announces several initiatives to boost Education Sector

  • The Minister highlighted that the education sector has taken this opportunity to plan several interventions, particularly in the area of adopting innovative curriculum and pedagogies, concentrating energies on the gap areas, being more inclusive and integrating technology at every stage, to usher in a new era of focused investment in the human capital.
  • Finance Minister further said that the government is committed to ensuring learning for all, with equity, to cover all students at all levels of education and in all geographical locations, even in the remotest parts of the country.
  • A comprehensive initiative called PM e-VIDYA will be launched:
  • DIKSHA (one nation-one digital platform)
  • TV (one class-one channel) where one dedicated channel per grade for each of the classes 1 to 12
  • SWAYAM online courses in MOOCS format
  • IITPAL for IITJEE/NEET preparation
  • Air through Community radio and CBSE Shiksha Vani podcast 
  • Study material for the differently abled developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on NIOS website/ YouTube.
  • The Manodarpan initiative is being launched to provide such support through a website, a toll-free helpline, national directory of counselors, interactive chat platform, etc.
  • Liberalizing open, distance and online education regulatory framework.
  • A new National Curriculum and Pedagogical Framework will be prepared.
  • A National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission will be launched

Super Cyclonic Storm ‘AMPHAN’ over west-central and adjoining central parts of South Bay of Bengal

  • The Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘AMPHAN’ (pronounced as UM-PUN) over west-central and adjoining central parts of South Bay of Bengal moved nearly northwards with a speed of 04 kmph during past 06 hours, intensified further into a Super Cyclonic Storm and lay centred at 1130 hrs IST of today, the 18th May, 2020 over west-central and adjoining central parts of South Bay of Bengal near latitude 13.4°N and longitude 86.2 °E, about 770 km nearly south of Paradip (Odisha), 920 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal) and 1040 km south-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh).
  • It is very likely to move nearly northwards for some more time and then north-eastwards across northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) close to Sundarbans during the Afternoon / Evening of 20th May 2020 as an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 165-175 kmph gusting to 185 kmph.

Precautions Taken:

  • Total suspension of fishing operations during 18th to 20th May 2020.
  • Diversion or suspension of rail and road traffic.
  •  People in affected areas to remain indoors.
  • Mobilize evacuation from Low lying areas.
  • Movement in motorboats and small ships not advisable.

Ministry of Tourism organizes 20th webinar titled ‘Uttarakhand Simply Heaven’ under “Dekho Apna Desh” webinar series

  • The 20th session of the Dekho Apna Desh webinar series on 16th May 2020 titled “Uttarakhand Simply Heaven” highlighted the potential of tourism in Uttarakhand’s two regions namely Kedar Khand (Garhwal Region) and Manu Khand (Kumaon Region) and touched upon .the popular destination like Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Hemkhund Sahib and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Valley of Flowers.
  • This webinar session was presented by Dr. Pushpesh Pant, an eminent scholar, Food Historian and an expert in International Relations, Ex-Professor of JNU, Mr. Ganesh Saili a renowned author, notable photographer and an authority on the history of Uttarakhand and Mr. Shashank Pandey, a certified outbound trainer, MD of Aspen Adventures, Rishikesh. The session was moderated by Ms. Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism and
  • Uttarakhand’s Adventure Tourism Potential such as river rafting at Rishikesh and Pittoragarh, winter sports and skiing in Auli, Paragliding at Tehri Dam and Kaushani, innumerable options for trekking available such as Chopta and Pindari Glacier and India’s highest bungee jumping facility in Rishikesh were highlighted by the presenters.
  • Besides adventure activities, the session also presented options for experiencing the best of nature by paying a visit to the oldest national park of the country- Jim Corbett National Park, Rajaji Tiger Reserve and UNESCO site of Nanda Devi National Park-exploring the rich diversity of flora and fauna of Himalayan Region.
  • Uttarakhand’s immense opportunities for developing and exploring rural tourism offerings, the best options for homestays wherein one can experience and feel the real hospitality of the people serving the best of local cuisine also was highlighted by the presenters.
  • Ms. Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General concluded the session stating Uttarakhand ‘Dev Bhoomi’, the Land of Gods is a mesmerizing destination for tourists of all tastes. It is a multi-faceted destination, i.e. from being a sacred and religious site to be an adventure land with rich biodiversity in its purest form.
  • The Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series sessions are conducted with active support of National e-Governance Division (NeGD) of Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY)

Extension of Lockdown up to May 31, 2020

  • States to decide various Zones and Activities to be allowed in these Zones.
  • Certain activities to remain prohibited throughout the Country;
  • National Directives for COVID-19 Management continue to be in force throughout the Country
  • Night Curfew to continue to remain in force

Finance Minister announces Government Reforms and Enablers across Seven Sectors under Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan

  • Rs 40,000 crore  increase in allocation for MGNREGS to provide employment boost
  • Increased investments in Public Health and other health reforms to prepare India for future pandemics
  • Technology Driven Education with Equity post-COVID
  • Further enhancement of Ease of Doing Business through IBC related measures
  • Decriminalization of Companies Act defaults
  • Ease of Doing Business for Corporates
  • Public Sector Enterprise Policy for a New, Self-reliant India
  • Increase borrowing limits of States from 3% to 5% for 2020-21 only & promoting State level reforms
  1. Rs 40,000 crore increase in allocation for MGNREGS to provide employment boost
  2. It will help generate nearly 300 crore person days in total addressing need for more work including returning migrant workers in Monsoon season as well.
  3. Creation of larger number of durable and livelihood assets including water conservation assets will boost the rural economy through higher production.
  • Health Reforms & Initiatives
  • Setting up of Infectious Diseases Hospital Blocks in all districts and strengthening of lab network and surveillance by Integrated Public Health Labs in all districts & block level Labs & Public Health Unit to manage pandemics.
  • Further, National Institutional Platform for One health by ICMR will encourage research. And implementation of National Digital Health Blueprint under the National Digital Health Mission.
  • Further enhancement of Ease of Doing Business through IBC related measures
  • Minimum threshold to initiate insolvency proceedings has been raised to Rs. 1 crore (from Rs. 1 lakh, which largely insulates MSMEs). Special insolvency resolution framework for MSMEs under Section 240A of the Code will be notified soon.
  • Suspension of fresh initiation of insolvency proceedings up to one year, depending upon the pandemic situation.
  • Decriminalization of Companies Act defaults
  • Decriminalization of Companies Act violations involving minor technical and procedural defaults such as shortcomings in CSR reporting, inadequacies in Board report, filing defaults, delay in holding of AGM. The Amendments will de-clog the criminal courts and NCLT. 7 compoundable offences altogether dropped and 5 to be dealt with under alternative framework.
  • Ease of Doing Business for Corporates
  • Direct listing of securities by Indian public companies in permissible foreign jurisdictions.
  • Private companies which list NCDs on stock exchanges not to be regarded as listed companies.
  • Including the provisions of Part IXA (Producer Companies) of Companies Act, 1956 in Companies Act, 2013.
  • Power to create additional/ specialized benches for NCLAT
  • Lower penalties for all defaults for Small Companies, One-person Companies, Producer Companies & Start Ups.
  • Public Sector Enterprise Policy for a New, Self-reliant India

Government will announce a new policy whereby –

  • List of strategic sectors requiring presence of PSEs in public interest will be notified
  • In strategic sectors, at least one enterprise will remain in the public sector, but private sector will also be allowed
  • In other sectors, PSEs will be privatized (timing to be based on feasibility etc.)
  • To minimise wasteful administrative costs, number of enterprises in strategic sectors will ordinarily be only one to four; others will be privatised/ merged/ brought under holding companies
  • Support to State Governments
  • Centre has decided to increase borrowing limits of States from 3% to 5% for 2020-21 only. This will give States extra resources of Rs. 4.28 lakh crore.
  • Reform linkage will be in four areas: universalization of ‘One Nation One Ration card’, Ease of Doing Business, Power distribution and Urban Local Body revenues.
  • A specific scheme will be notified by Department of Expenditure on the prescribed pattern.

COVID19 current update in India


Which ministry organizes “Dekho Apna Desh” web series?

  1. Ministry of Home Affairs
  2. Ministry of Defence
  3. Ministry of Tourism
  4. Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change


Hemanth Kasturi

    General Studies Tutor at SSBCrackExams, Graduate in Aeronautical Engineering, Cleared NDA, CDS, INET, AFCAT exams.

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