Current Affairs in Short: 7 July 2020
Hand sanitizers and face masks are no longer essential commodities under the Essential Commodities Act 1955.
IPL to be staged aboard as last resort?
• The annual tournament was originally scheduled to begin on March 29 but was postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19. India's death toll from the pandemic surpassed 20,000 on Tuesday.
BCCI will consider staging the Indian Premier League (IPL) abroad as a last resort if there is no other way to salvage this year’s edition.
• The annual tournament was originally scheduled to begin on March 29 but was postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• The board has been so far optimistic about hosting the IPL on its home soil. However, two nations- Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates have offered to host the league.
• So far, only two editions of the IPL have been held abroad- the 2009 edition and few matches of the 2014 edition. The 2009 edition of the IPL was hosted by South Africa, as it coincided with the Indian General Elections. The initial matches of the 2014 edition were also similarly hosted by the UAE due to Lok Sabha Elections.
ISRO to release Space policy, Space Activities Bill soon
• Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan announced recently that the space policy and space activities bill are in the final stages. A dedicated space policy was in making for some time now for legislation of space activities.
• The policy was fast-tracked after the government announced major reforms in the space sector, allowing the private sector to use ISRO’s services to carry out space activities such as building rockets and satellites.
• The space policy and the Space Activities Bill will help address legal issues in the space sector. A new navigation policy is also being proposed along with necessary changes in the Remote Sensing Data Policy and SATCOM policy.
Hand sanitizers, face masks no longer under Essential Commodities Act: Government
• Hand sanitizers and face masks are no longer essential commodities under the Essential Commodities Act 1955, as their supply is sufficient in the country. This was announced by Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan on July 7, 2020.
• The Union Consumer Affairs Ministry had declared face masks and hand sanitizers as essential commodities for 100 days on March 13, 2020 to boost supply and prevent hoarding of these items in its battle to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
• These two products were declared as essential items until June 30. The Government has decided to not extend their categorisation further, as there is enough supply of the commodities. The decision was taken after due consultation with the state governments.
Government to release SOPs for the resumption of film production
• The Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on July 7, 2020 stated that the Government will soon issue Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to speed up the resumption of film production, which had been suspended in March due to nationwide lockdown imposed to battle COVID-19.
• The Union Minister made the announcement during his inaugural address at the FICCI Frames 2020, an international convention of the Indian film industry.
• The government is also planning to introduce incentives in all productions including TV serial, film making, co-production, animation, gaming, which will be announced soon.
The shooting of films, tv serials, advertisements, OTT platforms was allowed to resume in the month of June.
US looking to ban TikTok, other Chinese apps: Mike Pompeo
• The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on July 6, 2020 confirmed that the US is looking at banning Chinese apps including Tik Tok. He stated that people should only download the app if they want their private information to fall in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.
• However, a Tik Tok spokesperson said that the company is led by an American CEO with many employees and key leaders across safety, security, product and public policy in the United States.
• US politicians have repeatedly criticised Tik Tok, which is owned by a Beijing-based company called ByteDance.
• The announcement comes after India banned 59 Chinese apps including Tik Tok after the violent standoff in Galwan, saying that they were harmful for the security of the nation.