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News in Short

News in Short - 18-April-2020

RBI cuts reverse repo rates

Date: 18 April 2020 Tags: Monetary Policy & RBI
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday freed up more capital for banks to lend, announced a fresh ? 50,000 crore targeted long-term repo operation.
  • RBI slashed the reverse repo rate by 25 bps to 3.75 per cent, making it less attractive for commercial banks to park cash with the central bank.
  • Earlier on March 27, RBI had slashed the repo rate by 75 basis points to 4.40 per cent from 5.15 per cent to help the economy fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Indian American Ro Khanna appointed to White House COVID-19 advisory council

Date: 18 April 2020 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna has been appointed to the White House Coronavirus Advisory Council.
  • Khanna is the only Indian-American lawmaker to be named to the White House's Opening Up America Again Congressional Group which comprises Congressmen and Senators from both the Republican and the Democratic parties.
  • Opening Up America Again Congressional Group discussed the rapidly expanding access to COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody tests, ventilators, face masks, and other PPE kits.

IITs to boycott The World University Rankings

Date: 18 April 2020 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • Seven IITs in Mumbai, Delhi, Kanpur, Guwahati, Madras, Roorkee and Kharagpur will not participate in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings this year.
  • The decision was taken after the premier engineering schools held two meetings with representatives of THE to flag issues of “transparency” in the ranking parameters. Last year, the older IITs had expressed concerns over their performance in the World University Rankings
  • THE evaluates institutions on five parameters — teaching (the learning environment), research (volume, income and reputation), citations (research influence), international outlook (staff, students and research) and industry income (knowledge transfer).

Pit viper species discovered in Arunachal named after Harry Potter character

Date: 18 April 2020 Tags: Biodiversity
  • A new species of green pit viper found in Arunachal Pradesh’s Pakke Tiger Reserve has a Harry Potter link.
  • The new species, Trimeresurus salazar is the fifth variety of reptile to have been discovered in Arunachal Pradesh in a little more than a year.
  • A group of researchers who recorded this serpent has named it Salazar’s pit viper. The name was inspired by Salazar Slytherin, the co-founder of J.K. Rowlings’ fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
  • The new species, Trimeresurussalazar is the fifth variety of reptile to have been discovered in Arunachal Pradesh in a little more than a year beginning with the crying keelback followed by the impressive tortoise.