News Flash (4th May 2020): Top 12 Stories Of The Day

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UPSC
Image Credits: The Print

1. UPSC’s Civil Service Prelim exam scheduled to be held on May 31 postponed

UPSC announced that the Civil services preliminary exams, scheduled to be held on May 31, has been deferred. Candidates will be notified about the exam date at least 30 days prior. The revised dates are said to be announced on May 20. In a special meeting held by the UPSC, the Commission decided that currently, it won’t be able to resume examinations and interviews. The dates for Indian Forest Service Exams have also been postponed. 

2. Koalas lick trees to drink water, proven in a study by Scientists  

Koalas, UPSC
Image Credits: The Mercury

The best ways Koalas prefer to quench their thirst is by licking the trunk of trees, a react study by the researchers. The researchers further went on to say that the Koalas get the maximum amount of the water they want, from the eucalyptus leaves they eat. They also shared a video of a Koala drinking water from the tree trunk to prove their study. “For a long time, we thought koalas didn’t need to drink much at all because they gained the majority of water they need to survive in the gum leaves they feed on”, said the researchers of College Of Sydney. 

3. Uber to develop technology that ensures drivers wear masks before accepting trips 

Uber
Image Credits: Copa Peru

Uber is planning to implement new technology to ensure drivers wear face masks before accepting trips. Not just this, Uber will also require passengers to wear masks. This technology will be rolled out soon in the coming weeks in some of its markets including the US. “Our teams are preparing for the next phase of recovery, where we will all have a role to play,” says Andrew Hasbun, head of safety communications at Uber to CNN Business.   

4. Promoting swadeshi craft to help the economy a must: Fashion designer Anju Modi 

Image Credits: The Indian Express

Indian fashion designer Anju Modi, keeping in mind the adverse impact lockdown is having even on the fashion industry said that, “There is a lot of uncertainty still, I have used this period of lockdown to do a lot of introspection. As a designer my 100 percent belief is that we should promote our beautiful Swadeshi crafts and woven fabrics from all over India, e.g, the mukaish, chikankari, jamdani, kalamkari and colours like of Indigo and natural dyes. The goal being to help the economy, our artisanal community and to help the villages re-establish. While promoting our indigenous craft which are localized but very trendy, thereby decreasing our carbon footprints”, said Modi in the #InThisTogether webiner by FDCI, reported IANSlife. 

5. “We too are a side to beat”, says Indian Cricketer Mithali Raj 

Image Credits: Pinterest

Constantly churning out good results against top sides has helped the team gain a solid reputation globally, said Indian woman cricketer Mithali Raj. She wants to win the World Cup trophy before she signs off from her illustrious career. “Consistently beating the best sides in the world be it Australia in the ODIs or England in the T20Is, has given us the confidence that we too are a side to beat.” says the ODI skipper. 

6. Indian Railways running ‘Shramik Special Trains’ to help stranded travellers 

Shramik Special Train, UPSC
Image Credits: Deccan Herald

The Indian Railways started running the ‘Shramik Special’ trains on May 1, 2020, to help migrant workers, tourists, pilgrims, students, and others, who were stranded due to the sudden nationwide lockdown that was imposed on March 22, travel back to their places homes. This decision came after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) released revised guidelines of allowing the movement of such people by railways. The five Shramik Special trains that are planned to begin their journey soon are, Nasik (Maharashtra) to Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Aluva (Kerala) to Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Nasik (Maharashtra) to Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Jaipur (Rajasthan) to Patna (Bihar) and Kota (Rajasthan) to Hatia (Jharkhand). More trains might run if state governments request the center for the same.

7. UV tunnels to be used at Delhi Airport to clean bags as flights resume post lockdown

Image Credits: Watsup

At Delhi airports, Ultraviolet Tunnels will be used to clean the bags of commuters post the lockdown period. In addition to this, areas within the airport will be marked to maintain social distancing, hand sanitizers will be provided, thermal screening of passengers, and disinfection of baggage carts/trolleys too will take place. This is going to be the airports’ exit plan that is going to be implemented at Delhi airports after the flights resume post lockdown. These measures will be taken to contain the spread of coronavirus. 

8. 60 days grace period given to H-1B visa holders and green card applicants by the US

H1B visa, UPSC
Image Credits: Outlook India

The United States recently announced that it will allow a grace period of 60 days to people holding an H-1B visa along with green card applicants. They have been served notices to submit various documents for the same. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has said that “relaxations have been made in view of the coronavirus pandemic.” In these 60 days, people are expected to file date requirements for Form I-290B, and Notice of Appeal or Motion, before any action is taken against them.

9. Sensex sheds over 2000 points, closes at 31,715. Nifty closes at 9,293.50

Image Credits: Zee Business

On Monday, the Sensex shed 2,002 points and closed at 31,715.35. The Nifty closed at closed at 9,293.50 after falling over 500 points. ICICI Bank, Infosys, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank, and HDFC saw a major fall and dragged the Nifty down. The only two out of the 30 Sensex stocks, to be in the green at the time of closing were Sun Pharma and Bharti Airtel 

10. India’s manufacturing activity falls to a record low in April: PMI

Image Credits: Business Standard

India’s manufacturing sector witnessed an unprecedented slump in April amid lockdown times as many businesses closed down temporarily. The IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 27.4 from 51.8 in March, recording the sharp fall since readings began 15 years ago. It slipped below the 50-mark threshold, after nearly three years, separating growth from contraction. 

11. During ‘I for India’ concert, Will Smith calls India “home away from home”

I For India, WIll Smith
Image Credits: Facebook

“India holds a really warm and special part in my heart. It is like a home away from home for me.” said Will Smith, an American actor who too had participated in the I for India concert; the biggest fundraiser concert ever to be organized and conducted in India. The actor feels connected to India because he has visited the country many times and has also made his appearance in a couple of Bollywood films. The concert that was held on 3rd May has managed to raise 52 crore rupees which are going to be given straight to the authorities to help India fight COVID-19. 

12. US-based Silver Lake to buy 1.15% stake of Jio Platforms for Rs 5,655.75 crore 

Image Credits: Global News

United States’ private equity firm Silver Lake is going to invest Rs 5,655.75 crore in Jio Platforms and claim 1.15% stake at an equity value of Rs 4.90 lakh crore. This move comes in less than two weeks after Facebook announced its investment in Jio Platforms. Jio Platforms is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited. 

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