Current Affairs in Short: 3 July 2020

The Indian Council of Medical Research is planning to launch the indigenous Covid-19 vaccine for public use by August 15

Jul 3, 2020 16:54 IST
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ICMR plans to launch indigenous Covid-19 vaccine for public use by August 15

•  The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is planning to launch the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine for public use by August 15, 2020 after successful completion of all clinical trials. 
•  ICMR has partnered with Bharat Biotech International Limited to develop a path-breaking COVID-19 vaccine -” Covaxin”.
•  The national regulatory body for Indian pharmaceuticals and medical devices had recently granted approval to Bharat Biotech India to conduct human clinical trials for Covaxin. 
•  The ICMR has asked Bharat Biotech to fast track the clinical trials and ensure that the subject enrolment is initiated by July 7. 
•  This is the first indigenous vaccine being developed in India and one of the top priority projects of the government. The vaccine is being developed from a SARS-COV2 strain isolated by ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune. 

Transport Ministry proposes new draft rules to promote tourism across country 

•  The Road Transport and Highways Ministry has decided to provide All India Tourist Authorization or Permit through online mode to any tourist vehicle operator in the country. The Ministry has invited suggestions from the public and stakeholders for the proposed draft rules.
•  The draft rules known as, ‘All India Tourist Vehicles Authorization and Permit Rules, 2020’ were published on July 1, 2020. Under the new rules, tourist vehicles’ permit will be valid for a period of three months or its multiples not exceeding three years at a time. 
•  The provision has been included keeping in mind those areas of the country where there is a limited season of tourism. The permit shall not be granted to a vehicle after the completion of twelve years from the date of first registration of the vehicle.
•  Further, the rules state that all such authorizations and permits will be issued within 30 days of submission of applications. The application will have to be submitted along with the specified fee in electronic form on the official website of the Transport Ministry.
•  The new rules aim to promote tourism across the country and enhance the revenue of the government.

Odisha launches ‘Balram’ scheme to provide credit to 7 lakh landless farmers

•  The Odisha state government has launched ‘Balram’ scheme to provide agricultural credit worth Rs 1,040 crore to landless farmers who are facing hardships due to the coronavirus outbreak.
•  The scheme is expected to benefit around 7 lakh landless cultivators in the next two years. The decision regarding the same was taken during a high-level meeting chaired by Chief secretary AK Tripathy on July 2, 2020.
•  Under the scheme, the landless farmers, who were not able to avail farm credit earlier, will get loans through joint liability groups that will act as 'social collateral'.
•  The scheme has been developed in collaboration with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). The village agriculture workers will implement the programme at the field level.

Goa to curtail Monsoon Session to one day

•  The Goa state government has decided to curtail the upcoming monsoon session of the Goa Legislative Assembly to one day instead of two weeks as scheduled earlier in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. 
•  The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Speaker Rajesh Patnekar with all party leaders at Porvorim. 
•  It was unanimously decided by all party leaders to curtail the session to just one day to avoid the spread of COVID-19 infection. Goa's Governor Satya Pal Malik had earlier summoned a two-week-long session from July 27 onwards.

Sri Lankan President orders against use of his photograph in poll campaign

•  Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has prohibitted the use of his photographs by candidates while campaigning for the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for August 5, 2020. 
•  The President’s office stated that the candidates contesting the elections are using the photographs of the President in their campaign, securing service of Army officers and public officials and promising job appointments.
•  The official statement read that the President has instructed to strictly advice relevant parties not to use his photograph in election campaign. It also directs public officials to refrain from engaging in political activities.
•  Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapksa is seeking two thirds majority in the house to implement its policies and complete the transition after victory of his younger brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa during the Sri Lankan Presidential Elections in November 2019. 

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