Current Affairs Pocket : 24 April 2020

Government reconstitutes National Shipping Board; Head- Malini Shankar
* Central Government has approved the reconstitution of the National Shipping Board. It will now be headed by Malini Shankar, former Director-General of Shipping.
* The National Shipping Board (NSB) is the highest advisory body on matters related to Indian shipping including the development there of and on such other matters arising out of the Merchant Shipping Act.

Union Cabinet approves Rs. 15,000 Crore for ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package’
* The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved an investments of Rs. 15,000 crore for ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package’ to be utilized in mission mode.
* The funds sanctioned will be utilized in 3 Phases.
* For immediate COVID-19 Emergency Response, an amount of Rs. 7,774 Crore has been provisioned.
* Rest of the amount will be used for medium-term support (1-4 years) to be provided under mission mode approach.

Fitch Ratings predicts India’s GDP growth for FY21 at 0.8%; For FY22 at 6.7%
* Fitch Ratings has reduced the GDP growth rate prediction for India for FY21 (2020-21) to 0.8%.
* For FY22 (2021-22), Fitch Ratings has predicted the GDP growth for India at 6.7%.
* The predictions were made in the latest Global Economic Outlook (GEO) report released by Fitch Ratings.

CII : India’s GDP growth likely to range between -0.9 to 1.5 pc in FY21
* The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has projected India’s GDP to range between -0.9 percent to 1.5 percent in the current financial year 2020-21.
* The industry body released a paper titled ‘A plan for economic recovery’ in which it has laid out its growth expectation under three scenarios and suggested “urgent” fiscal interventions.
* In the baseline scenario, GDP is expected to grow at just 0.6 percent on an annual basis due to restriction on economic activities.
* In the optimistic scenario, GDP is forecast to register a growth of 1.5 percent in the best case, based on faster pick-up post the lockdown period.
* In case of a more prolonged outbreak, where the restrictions in existing hot-spot regions get extended, while new regions are identified as ‘hot-spots’ leading to intermittent stop and start in economic activity, GDP is likely to decline by -0.9 percent.

Iran’s Alireza Firouzja defeats Magnus Carlsen of Norway in final of Banter Blitz Cup
* In Chess, 16-year-old Iranian chess prodigy Alireza Firouzja claimed a historic win after defeating World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen (29) in the final of the Banter Blitz Cup 2020.
* Alireza Firouzja defeated the Norwegian 8.5-7.5 to claim the $14,000 prize.

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