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Daily News Digest:30 June 2020

India signs pact with Bhutan for the first joint Hydel Project

The first Hydropower joint venture project was signed by India and Bhutan, for the construction of a 600 MW Kholongchhu project, in the less developed eastern region of Trashiyangtse in Bhutan. Under the India-Bhutan partnership, four hydropower projects have been constructed in the last 30 years, which have a combined capacity of 2,100 MW and two more projects are under construction.

World bank signs $250 million pact with Tamil Nadu government and Central Government

An agreement worth $250 million was signed between the World Bank, the central government of India and the state government of Tamil Nadu for the promotion of the role of the private sector in the development of affordable housing in Tamil Nadu. The funds will be provided through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which is a part of the World Bank. The bank will provide $200 million to the First Tamil Nadu Housing Sector Strengthening Programme as part of the first of the two operations.

Largest plasma therapy Trial “Project Platina” launched in Maharashtra

The Chief Minister of Maharashtra has launched the largest plasma therapy trials of the world to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The project has been named “Project Platina”. The government will conduct trials in 17 medical colleges throughout the state, which comprise 1.64 lakh cases of coronavirus out of the national total of 5.48 lakhs.

Five Mobile Soil Testing Labs launched by National Fertilizers Limited for soil testing

Five Mobile Soil Testing Labs have been launched by the National Fertilizers Limited (NFL) for testing the soil samples at the farmer's doorstep without any costs on 29 June 2020. The mobile labs will be packed with the latest equipment for testing soil, which will also assist in the macro and micro analysis of nutrients of the soil.

Portable oxygen unit designed by scientists at CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune

The scientists working at the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune functioning under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research have designed and developed a portable oxygen unit that can be utilised in remote rural areas, hospitals and homes. The Portable Oxygen Unit does not need an oxygen cylinder and by utilising the unit, the demand for oxygen cylinders and ventilators can be reduced.

Seven year floating rate savings bonds announced by the Government

The central government has announced the launch of a seven-year Floating Rate Savings Bonds, 2020 (Taxable) scheme which will come in effect from 1 July 2020. The interest on the Floating Rate Savings Bonds is payable semi-annually on 1 January and 1 July each year. The coupon on 1 January 2021, will be paid at an interest rate of 7.15 percent.

As per the notification by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Floating Rate Savings Bonds (FRSBs) will facilitate the investment in a taxable bond by individuals residing in India or the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) without any monetary limit.

Beta Version of PM SVANidhi Portal launched on 29 June 2020

The Beta version of Prime Minister’s Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi “PM SVANidhi” Portal was launched on 29 June 2020 by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Durga Shanker Mishra. The portal utilises digital technology solutions and offers an integrated end to end Information Technology (IT) interface to the users facilitating them ways and means to avail the benefits under the scheme.

The first Continuous Rebar Production Facility of Asia established in Mandi Gobindgarh, Punjab

The “Continuous Galvanized Rebar” Production Facility established in Mandi Gobindgarh, Punjab was inaugurated by the Minister of Steel & Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan on 29 June 2020. The “Continuous Galvanized Rebar” Production Facility is the first of its kind in the Asian continent.

Advanced virology lab for COVID-19 testing established by NBRI

An “Advanced Virology Lab” has been launched by the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow, for testing COVID-19 cases. The development of the facility has taken place on the basis of the guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Indian Council Medical Research (ICMR). The facility follows a Biosafety Level (BSL) of 3. The facilities are assigned Biosafety Levels, based on the pathogen the facility is dealing with.

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