Current Affairs in Short: 20 May 2020
The Haryana state government has allowed all sports complexes and stadiums to open in the state, as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Finance Ministry releases Rs. 5,005 crore for non-million-plus cities
• The Union Ministry of Finance has released over Rs 5,005 crore as the first installment of untied basic grants in advance for non-million-plus cities to 28 states of the country for the year 2020-21.
• Among the total, Rs 817 crore has been released to Uttar Pradesh, Rs 502 crore to Bihar, over Rs 321 crore to West Bengal, Rs 305 crore to Maharashtra and Rs. 182 crore to Gujarat.
• The grant is expected to provide the states with vital financial resources at a time when the country is facing a major health and economic crisis. It was released to the State Governments following the recommendation of the 15th Finance Commission.
• Non-million-plus cities refer to the cities that have less than one million population.
Haryana allows all sports complexes and stadiums to open
• The Haryana state government has allowed all sports complexes and stadiums to open in the state, as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs for containment of COVID-19.
• All the District Sports & Youth Affairs Officers have been directed to ensure that social distancing protocol is followed and sanitizers are made available at every required point.
• All officials, coaches and trainees will have to wear face masks. No spectators will be allowed in the stadiums. All sports staff and players will have to mandatorily download the ‘Arogya Setu’ application.
• Also, the swimming pool will not be opened under any circumstances.
Meghalaya to provide one-time support of Rs 5,000 to active Community Quarantine Centres
• Meghalaya will be providing a one-time financial grant of Rs 5000 to the active Community Quarantine Centres through the Chief Minister's Relief Fund. This was informed by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma during the first day of the state’s re-assembled Budget Session.
• The government will be facilitating all these active Community Quarantine Centres. The CM also announced that the government is flexible in encouraging setting up of such community centres even though the best possible option going forward is home quarantine which is also prescribed norms.
• However, the Chief Minister made it clear that it is almost impossible to keep around 8000 stranded citizens of the state in various parts of the country under institutional quarantine.
• The state is trying to bring back all those from the state who are stranded in other parts of the nation within two weeks.
RBI reiterates usage of digital modes for banking transactions
• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on May 20, 2020 reiterated the usage of digital modes for banking transactions.
• The RBI stated that the use of digital payment modes has become more important with the ongoing nationwide lockdown imposed to maintain social distancing to battle the spread of coronavirus.
• The central bank stated that digital payment modes make it easier for people to do banking transactions while being safe at home and at any hour of the day.
Births in US fall to a 35-year low
• The birth of newborns in the United States has fallen to a 35-year-low, continuing its downward trend, as per a preliminary report released the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on May 20, 2020.
• The preliminary report is based on a review of more than 99 percent of birth certificates issued last year.
• According to the report’s findings, the number of births in the US fell about 1 percent from 2018, to about 3.7 million. The birth rates continued to fall for teenage mothers and the women in their 20s. According to experts, the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy is expected to further drive down the numbers.
• Aside from 2014, US births have been falling every year since 2007, when a recession hit the country. The drop continued even after the economy rebounded.