State incurs Rs 1.6k cr loss in 2 months; may suffer Rs 6k cr revenue this fiscal
The consecutive lockdowns to prevent spread of Covid-19 have strongly hit Uttarakhand’s revenue with the state suffering a massive loss of Rs 1,600 crore in the first two months (April and May) of the ongoing financial year (FY). According to initial estimates, the state is expected to lose around Rs 6,000 crore-to-Rs 7,000 crore revenue in FY 2020-21.
The revenue sectors most affected in the ongoing FY are GST, excise, stamp, and automobile tax.
As tourism has remained the backbone of the state’s economy, the financial situation remained dismal with tourist activities remaining at a standstill for over two months. The Char Dham Yatra alone contributes a total revenue of Rs 2,000 crore to all the stakeholders including government, hotels, restaurants, priests and others involved with the sector. The months of May and June are regarded as the peak tourist season but things are not looking up as flight, train, and bus services are yet to fully restore. Excise department, which has an annual revenue target of Rs 3,600 crore, is also staring at losses.
Google launches app ‘Sodar’ to help people maintain social distancing
Google has launched ‘Sodar’ app that will help people maintain distance in real life using augmented reality.
The app has been developed under Experiments with Google and is not available on the Google Play Store but can be side-loaded separately.
The app called ‘Sodar’, will create a visual boundary using the user’s smartphone camera and constantly show who’s breaching that distance.
NASA to launch SunRISE mission to study Solar Particle Storms
The US space agency, NASA selected the proposed Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SunRISE) mission to study how the Sun creates and releases Giant Solar Particle Storms.
The SunRISE mission will aid scientists to understand the working of the Solar System. The mission is believed to help protect future astronauts from Solar Storms while going to the Moon or Mars.
As a part of the Explorers Program, SunRise mission was one of two missions selected by NASA in August 2017 for the Mission of Opportunity program.
NASA to set up Artemis, the first human base camp on south pole of Moon
The American space agency NASA has announced that it is working on the Artemis program. NASA aims to land humans on the moon by 2024 through this program. NASA also submitted a report to the National Space Council on 2 April. The report focused on setting up the Artemis Base Camp at the South Pole of the moon.
NASA’s Artemis program:
NASA’s Artemis program plans to establish a base camp on the Moon by 2024.
NASA has also revealed a plan that showed the US lunar presence after achieving the milestone.
NASA plans to test technologies and secure resources on the surface of the Moon, before exploring Mars.
NASA plan to conduct several operations on and around the moon and for that, they require Artemis Base Camp. It will be their first sustainable foothold on the lunar frontier.
Over 5 million people internally displaced in India in 2019: UN report:
More than five million people were internally displaced in India due to natural disasters, conflict and violence in 2019.
India constituted the highest number of new internal displacements in the world during the period followed by the Philippines, Bangladesh and China.
The ‘Lost at Home’ report, published by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said that almost 33 million new displacements were recorded in 2019, around 25 million were due to natural disasters and 8.5 million as consequence of conflict and violence.
In India, the total number of new internal displacements in 2019 stood at 5,037,000 – including 5,018,000 due to natural disasters and 19,000 because of conflict and violence.
IESA sought ISRO type commission for electronics
The Indian Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) asked the Government of India to set up a National Electronics Mission in lines with India’s space agency, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). With this, IESA aims to build a homegrown electronics ecosystem that would help the country reduce imports of semiconductor chips and sensors. With that, it aims to spearhead all the activities and for making India a design-led manufacturing hub for the world.
IESA also sought the Central government to allocate $1 billion for an Indian electronics system design and manufacturing (ESDM) Innovation fund. It aims to help startups design and build local electronics products.
IESA is responsible for the development of a vibrant Indian Electronics and Semiconductor ecosystem. Its main objective is to establish “Brand India” that is recognized worldwide as a go-to destination for electronic products.
It also aims to bring the Indian government, industry, and academia on a common platform and jointly work to develop and promote Made-in-India products for the global markets.
China to host Asian Youth Games in 2021
Epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic before it gripped Europe and the USA, China will host the third edition of the Asian Youth Games in Shantou in November next year.
The Chinese city of Wuhan was the epicentre of the pandemic that is still sweeping across the world with Western Europe and USA being the worst hit currently.
The pandemic has led to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to 2021 and brought sports events to a halt.
The OCA has decided to hold the Asian Youth Games from November 20 to 28.
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