19.05.21 Daily KPSC Current Affairs



Mobile testing units deployed to flatten spike in rural Karnataka


With the surge in cases in rural Karnataka continuing despite more than 15 days of restrictions, and with villagers not turning out to take the Covid-19 test, the state government is deploying mobile clinics to conduct tests at doorsteps of villagers.

Daily cases in the rest of Karnataka (other than Bengaluru Urban) has been hovering around the 23,000-mark for the past 15 days, while the number of positive cases in Bengaluru has dropped from over 20,000 to 9,000 in the same period.


To bring the pandemic under control in rural areas, the government has hit on the idea of widespread testing. Each of its mobile clinics will have a doctor, lab technician and nurse, besides Asha and anganwadi workers. They will visit every household in villages and conduct rapid antigen tests (RAT).


New Zealand Makes 1st Climate Change Law of the World for Financial Firms

New Zealand is about to turn out to be the worlds first country to carry the law into pressure that needs environmental accountability from economic corporations.

All banks with total assets of more than NZ$1 billion ($703 million), insurers with more than NZ$1 billion in total assets under management, and all equity and debt issuers listed on the country’s stock exchange will have to make disclosures.

Around 200 of the country’s biggest companies and several foreign firms that meet the NZ$1 billion threshold will come under the legislation.

The New Zealand government has introduced several policies to lower emissions during its second term including promising to make its public sector carbon-neutral by 2025 and buy only zero-emissions public transport buses from the middle of this decade.


Rs 13,000 crore given to farmers directly


The government has transferred about Rs 8,180 crore to the accounts of Punjab farmers and Rs 4,670 crore to Haryana farmers directly against the sale of their wheat crop, the food ministry said.

Till Monday, 22.2 million tonnes of wheat was procured during this Rabi Marketing Season compared to 7.6 million tonnes during the same period last year. The procurement was less during this period in 2020 crops as there was strict nationwide lockdown.

The ministry also said nearly 38% of the procurement so far has come from Punjab, followed by Haryana (32%) and Madhya Pradesh (23%).

67% Indians prefer US for higher education: Report


About 67 per cent of Indians prefer the US for higher education, reveals a new report by fin-tech platform Prodigy Finance.

The report on the State of Higher Education in Study Abroad Market, showed that besides the US, Indian students prefer the UK and France at 8 per cent each for pursuing their master’s degree abroad.

Most students who went abroad for higher education were from Maharashtra (20 per cent), Karnataka (15 per cent), Delhi (12 per cent) and Telangana (8 per cent).

Almost 70 per cent who travelled abroad for higher education last year were male and 30 per cent were female, the report showed.

McDonald’s plans Rs 100 crore investment to open 30 outlets this fiscal


Westlife Development, which operates McDonald’s restaurants in southern and western region in India, plans to invest Rs 100 crore to open up to 30 outlets of the quick service restaurant brand in the current financial year.

The company, which now witnesses more than half of its sales from convenience channels such as delivery, takeaways and drive-thru, is bullish about growth in FY’22, leaving out the next 2-3 months.


In the last quarter of the 2020-21, 55-60 per cent of the company’s sales came from convenience channels and 40-45 per cent from in-store business.

Westlife Development reported narrowing of loss to Rs 6.45 crore for March quarter 2020-21, helped by higher income. It had posted a net loss of Rs 25.26 crore in January-March period a year ago.

Its revenue from operations stood at Rs 357.58 crore, up 6.31 per cent from Rs 336.35 crore in March quarter 2019-20.


Govt’s LPG plan for poor hits price wall in urban slums


Only half of the households in urban slums fully depend on LPG (liquefied natural gas supplied in cylinders) for cooking, while the rest continue to use traditional biomass fuels — either as a supplement or exclusive source of energy — due to issues of affordability, availability and taste preference.

According to a CEEW (Council on Energy, Environment and Water) study of clean energy access in six states, 16% of the 656 households surveyed in 83 slums across Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh – home to a quarter of India’s urban slum population – still use highly-polluting traditional fuels such as firewood, dung cakes, agriculture residue, charcoal, and kerosene as their primary source of energy for cooking.

The study says 12% of the surveyed households did not seek LPG connection, even though they were aware of the government’s ‘Ujjwala’ scheme envisaging free LPG connection to poor households. “The high recurring expenditure on refills deter them from procuring an LPG connection.”


Rs 30,000 crore of disaster funds given to states in one year

Probably in one of the highest yearly spend towards disaster mitigation, the Centre has released more than Rs 30,000 crore of disaster funds to states and Union Territories since the beginning of the pandemic last year.

Up to 50% of this fund has been allowed to be used for Covid-19 containment measures that may include setting up of quarantine centres, buying of medical equipment, providing for ambulances and expenditure towards testing and tracing of cases.

Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal have got the highest share of the State Disaster Relief Management Fund (SDRMF), including Rs 8,257 crore contribution made from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). While MP has received Rs 3,700 crore of disaster fund till March 31, Maharashtra has received Rs 3,640 crore and Bengal Rs 3,260 crore. The total funds released to 28 states/UTs is more than Rs 31,500 crore during the just concluded 2020-21 financial year.


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