20 June Current Affairs
June 20, 2020
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June 23, 2020
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22 June Current Affairs

COVID Testing I-Lab created by the DBT- AMTZ COMManD Consortia flagged off

In News:

The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has launched the I-Lab (Infectious disease diagnostic laboratory) in New Delhi. This is the first-ever I-Lab in India that was launched. The I-Lab will help in scaling up the testing for Covid-19 across the country. It will be deployed by the Department of Biotechnology in one of its COVID testing hubs. At present there are more than 20 such hubs in the country operating on a daily basis, these hubs have 100 testing laboratories that have conducted above 2 lakh 60 thousand tests to date.

Objective of the I-Lab:

The I-Lab is a mobile testing facility that will be used for collecting samples and testing for Covid-19 across inaccessible areas in the rural regions of the country.


Along with Asia’s first medical equipment ecosystem- Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone (AMTZ)- located at Vishakapatnam, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has set up DBT- AMTZ COMManD ( COVID Medtech Manufacturing Development) Consortia for addressing the shortage of technology in the field of health care. The country’s first-ever I-Lab was built in a record time of 8 days at the AMTZ.


The mobile testing facility apart from COVID-19 is also capable of diagnosing other infectious diseases.  Some of its features are: Each of these I-Lab can conduct 25 RD-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) Tests every day, 300 ELISA (Enzyme-linked Immunoassay) tests and also has the specifications to conduct tests for diseases like HIV, TB, etc.

The labs are designed in BSL-2 (Bio-Safety Level-2) facility having diagnostic equipments and can be lifted from Automotive Chassis. The Automotive Chasis (frame of the vehicle) is designed and built by Bharat Benz.

25 Schemes will be brought together under Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan

In News:

Via video conference Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the massive rural public works scheme- Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan.


Under the scheme, the aim will be to reduce the economic impact faced by the rural parts of the country due to nationwide lockdown by providing livelihood support to the rural citizens, especially for the migrant workers. The Central Government has set up a target of 125 days for achieving the targets under the scheme in 116 districts across the country by bringing together about 25 schemes under the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan.

How the Scheme will Work?

From 116 districts across 6 states ( Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh), a total of 6.7 million migrant workers (that is about two-thirds of the total returning migrant workers in the country)  have been mapped out according to their skill sets by the Central Government with the help of the particular state governments. All the selected districts have a minimum of 25,000 returning migrant workers.

Under the scheme, the 25 merged schemes of the Government consists of schemes for house construction, safe drinking water through tap connection to households, road construction, etc. The returning migrant workers who require a job will be hired based on their skillset under the scheme.

Budget for the Scheme:

Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan is a part of the relief package of 20 trillion announced by the Central Government in the month of May 2020.

For the year 2020-21, Finance Minister has announced in the Finance Budget on 1st February 2020 a total of Rs 61,500 crore for creating new job opportunities in the rural sectors of the country. On Thursday, 18th June 2020 the Finance Minister has announced that a total of Rs 50,000 crore will be infused in the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan from the already approved Rs 61,500 from the Central Budget.

A separate Rs 40,000 crore was approved by the Central Government last month for creating jobs in the rural sectors across the country, this amount was not part of the amount approved under the Central Budget of Rs 61,500.

India’s First Oral Vaccine for Moderate COVID-19 Cases gets Approval

In News:

For the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 positive patients across the country, on 19th June 2020, for manufacturing and marketing of oral antiviral drug ‘Favipiravir (Fabiflu)’ was approved by the National Regulatory Authority for Indian pharmaceuticals -Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to Mumbai based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals.


The approval for the drug was given in India based on the global evidence of the ongoing clinical trial on 150 subjects. The drug must be strictly sold by the pharmacists to customers having a valid prescription.


The drug has shown notable efficacy as per results from Russia and Japan. Japan and Russia have already approved the drug for COVID-19 treatment on 15th March and 1st June 2020 respectively.


It is an antiviral drug that was approved first in the year 2014 in Japan. Tokyo based Toyama Chemicals was the first to develop and manufacture the drug. The drug has been used to treat a number of viral infections over the years, especially for influenza. In 2019 it became a generic drug.

The drug targets the Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) polymerase (RdRp) enzymes that are dependent on RNA. For transcription and replication, the RNA polymerase enzymes are necessary for the DNA or RNA genes of the virus.


Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has assured the availability of the drugs in the next 7 to 10 days across the country. The price of each tablet will be Rs 103/-. The tablets will be available in a combined strip of 34. The cost of the strip will be Rs 3,500. Each tablet will be of 200 mg.

On the first day of treatment, the patient is advised to take 18 tablets (9 each in the morning and evening). From the second day onwards, 4 tablets each in the morning and evening. The company has stated that the treatment through Favipiravir could last up to 14 days.

The medication is for COVID-19 positive patients in the age group from 18 to 75 years having mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19.

International Yoga Day

On 11th December 2014, International Yoga Day was adopted under its Resolution by the United Nations General Assembly following the proposal given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations on 27th September 2014.

The day was first observed in the year 2015. The aim of observing the day is to raise global awareness about the benefits of practicing yoga.

The theme of 2020 International Yoga Day: Yoga for Health- Yoga at Home.

This year’s theme focuses on the importance of yoga at the time of a global pandemic. As most nations across the world are practicing lockdown and social distancing norms, many economic activities have come to a halt which had a negative impact on both the mental and physical well being of individuals as a result of stress due to job insecurity, financially, etc.

As a means to improve health at this time of uncertainty, yoga has benefits that can help an individual to deal with stress by increasing the overall mindfulness, flexibility, and fitness. Yoga can be learned and practiced from home through various online resources available across the internet.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a practice that originated in India. The word yoga is a Sanskrit word that means to unite or to join. Yoga symbolizes the unification of the body and consciousness. Yoga has 84 classical asanas such as Tadasana, Trikonasana, Bhajangasana, etc.

Physical inactivity over the last couple of decades due to a hectic lifestyle has become one of the major causes of death worldwide as it causes non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, etc. Yoga is more than physical activity, it not only fosters good health but also helps in maintaining a balanced day-to-day life.

42 Crore Citizens received Financial Aid of Rs 65,454 Crore under PMGKP

As per the data provided by the Union Finance Ministry on 20th June 2020,  through Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP), a total of 42 crore citizens across the country have received financial aid of Rs 65,454 crore to date. The amount was distributed in the 3 forms, :(i) Through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to beneficiaries such as women Jhan Dhan account holders, senior citizens/differently-abled/widows registered under Below Poverty Line (BPL), farmers (PM-KISAN), etc (ii) Providing free foodgrains to all families registered as BPL cardholders, and (iii) by providing free LPG cylinder to women registered under Ujjwala Yojana.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP):

This package was announced by Finance Minister on 26th March 2020. The package was announced for providing economic support at the time of nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic for the financially weaker section of the society. A total of Rs 1.70 lakh crore was announced under the package.

Major Highlights from Rs 65,454 Crore Distribution:

  • 52 Crore LPG cylinders distributed under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in April and May
  • In April, 113 lakh metric tonnes of food grains were lifted by all states and union territories in a combine
  • 8 lakh metric tonnes of pulses allocated for all states and union territories for distribution for 3 months from April to June
  • Rs 2814.5 crore provided to 2.81 crore beneficiaries (senior citizens, widows and differently-abled persons)
  • Rs 17,891 crore under first payment for the FY 2020-21 to PM-KISAN beneficiaries
  • In three separate installments, 20.62 crore women Jan Dhan account holders were credited with Rs 500 in each installment. A total of Rs 10,315 crore was transferred in each installment.

Educational Complexes for Tribal Students: Odisha

In News:

Recently, the Government of Odisha has announced the establishment of three mega educational complexes exclusively for tribal students, where both academic and sporting skills will be harnessed.

Key Points:

The complexes will be established in tribal-dominated districts such Keonjhar, Sundargarh and Mayurbhanj.

Santal and Bhuyan are two dominant tribal groups living in these districts.

Each complex will house 3,000 tribal students, which is a unique initiative in the field of tribal education.

These complexes will have state of the art facilities to improve educational and sporting skills of tribal students from Standard I to XII.

Funds required for mega complexes will be sourced from Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation (OMBADC).