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Current Affairs in Short: 19 May 2020

The central government has declared six cities- Ambikapur, Rajkot, Surat, Mysore, Indore and Navi Mumbai as five-star garbage-free cities.

May 19, 2020 18:30 IST
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Government declares six cities as 5-star garbage-free cities

•  The central government has declared six cities- Ambikapur, Rajkot, Surat, Mysore, Indore and Navi Mumbai as five-star garbage-free cities.
•  The star rating of garbage-free cities was announced by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on May 19, 2020. Overall, six cities were rated 5-star, 65 cities were rates 3-star and 70 cities were rated with one star. 
•  The Housing and Urban Affairs Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri also launched the revised protocol for the star rating of garbage free cities. The Ministry has now brought importance of sanitation and effective solid waste management to the forefront due to the coronavirus crisis.
•  The star rating protocol was launched by the Ministry in January 2018 to institutionalize a mechanism for cities to achieve garbage free status and motivate other cities to achieve higher degrees of cleanliness.

Maharashtra divides areas into Red and Non-Red zones

•  The Maharashtra state government has divided its areas into red and non-red zones, moving away from the central government’s directives to mark the districts into red, orange and green zones.
•  Maharashtra has marked all the municipal corporations of Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, Solapur, Aurangabad, Malegaon, Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon, Akola and Amravati as Red Zones and remaining areas of the state have been demarcated as non-red zones.
•  Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray reiterated during his live address on May 18 that the state will not see much relaxation in the Red Zones except for those activities that have been permitted such as Metro construction, pre-monsoon works and select industries. 
•  The government has allowed opening of malls, shops and other establishments for upkeep and maintenance of machinery and any pre-monsoon repair/protection that might be necessary. The e-commerce websites have been allowed to supply essential and non-essential items.
•  In the non-red zones, public and private transport have been allowed with rickshaws and taxis permitted to carry only two passengers. All market places and shops have also been permitted to reopen and will function from 9 am to 5 pm. 

Government to make spitting at workplace punishable with fine

•  The government has made spitting at the workplace punishable with a fine. The order regarding the same was issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions to all central government departments, asking their heads to ensure strict compliance with the rule. 
•  The Ministry order is expected to bring about certain other changes as well in and around government and private workplaces. 
•  The order has made wearing of face cover compulsory in all public and workplaces and additional directives for the workplaces include the practice of work from home wherever possible.
•  The order also stated that all persons in charge of workplaces shall ensure social distancing through the adequate distance between workers, adequate gaps between shifts and staggered lunch breaks. 

MeitY Secretary assures privacy concerns around Aarogya Setu were unfounded

•  The MeitY Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney assured the people on May 19, 2020 that the privacy concerns about Aarogya Setu app were unfounded
•  He said that there were specific guidelines for the use and sharing of data collected through the app. 
•  He added that the data will only be used in the battle against COVID-19 and to make various facilities available to the people.

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