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  • India on Monday pledged to provide a grant of Nepalese Rupees Rs.6.69 crore to Nepal for the construction of three school buildings and help in creating better facilities for the students.
  • The Embassy of India and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration signed two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs), one with the Mahakali Municipality, Darchula and second with the Mukhiyapatti Musharniya Rural Municipality, Dhanusha, for the construction of two new school buildings.
  • These two school buildings will be constructed under the India-Nepal Development Partnership programme at a total estimated cost of Nepalese Rupees 73.96 million. These two school buildings will be utilised by Shree Malikarjun Higher Secondary School at Dhap village in Darchula District and Baidyanath Devnarayan Public Higher Secondary School at Tulsiyahi in Dhanusha District respectively.

Parliament nod for three central Sanskrit universities

  • Parliament on Monday passed a bill to upgrade three deemed Sanskrit universities into central universities. The Central Sanskrit Universities Bill, 2019 was passed by voice vote in Rajya Sabha. Earlier the bill was passed by Lok Sabha.
  • The Bill seeks to upgrade three deemed to be universities in Sanskrit — Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, and Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth Tirupati — into central universities.
  • The bill was moved in Rajya Sabha by Human Resource Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.

HIV drugs are being used as part of coronavirus treatment

  • The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had approved the ‘restricted’ use of the combination of medications-lopinavir and ritonavir, which are second-line HIV drugs, before they were administered to the patients. The DCGI had given the approval after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had sought an emergency approval for using the drugs for treating COVID- 19.
  • The combination of lopinavir and ritonavir along with other drugs have been used in clinical trials in China, where coronavirus first emerged, and Thailand for treating Covid-19 patients.


Corona (COVID-19): WHO

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the virus as an internationally pandemic disease.
  • In USA president Donlad Trumph has declared national emergency due to corona virus.
  • In India it was declared as an medical emergency due to corona outbreak.
  • Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that can be mild, such as some cases of the common cold (among other possible causes, predominantly rhinoviruses), and others that can be lethal, such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. Symptoms in other species vary: in chickens, they cause an upper respiratory tract disease, while in cows and pigs they cause diarrhea. There are yet to be vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections.
  • Larger number of deaths was recorded in China and Italy respectively.


20% quota for Tamil medium candidates in state govt jobs

  • The Tamil Nadu government has promulgated an ordinance giving preference for people who have studied in Tamil medium in appointments in state government services.
  • The government has earmarked 20% of all jobs for such candidates in the government’s direct recruitment by the government.
  • Such preference for candidates whose education was in the Tamil medium will be given in jobs in government, state legislature, local authorities, corporations and companies owned or controlled by the state government.
  • It is applicable also to all authorities for which the state legislature has power to enact laws. Persons who have studied in Tamil medium would also be free to compete for other vacancies over and above the 20% quota.
  • In the absence of adequate number of claimants for the 20% seats reserved for Tamil medium candidates the unfilled posts would be open for candidates who had pursued their studies in other mediums of instruction.


Former CJI Ranjan Gogoi nominated to Rajya Sabha

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has nominated former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha, as a member of eminence.
  • Under Article 80 of the Constitution, the President can appoint 12 MPs ―having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art and social service to the Rajya Sabha.
  • Justice Gogoi, the 46th CJI, retired on 17 November 2019, after being at the helm for important verdicts that impacted the socio-political milieu of the country — the Ayodhya land dispute verdict, the review of women’s entry into Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple, and bringing the office of the CJI under the RTI Act.

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