India Post Current Affairs - 2020

India Post delivers testing kits from ICMR

India Post has tied up with ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) to deliver COVID-19 testing kits to around 200 labs. These labs have been designated by the ICMR.

Highlights

ICMR has planned to conduct 1 lakh COVID-19 tests per day all over the country. In order to achieve this, India Post with its 1,50,000 post offices has entered into an agreement with the ICMR.

Significance

India Post will help to reach remote places in the north eastern region such as Dungarpur, Jhalwar. Apart from this, it will also deliver the kits to other cities such as Imphal, Kolkata, Aizawl, Jodhpur, Rachi, Bhubaneshwar, Udaipur and Kota.

Other Steps by India Posts

India Posts like the Railways has been contributing greatly in serving the people during lock down. India Post had earlier been distributing food and ration, medicines, mails and financial assistance at door steps during lock down.

Delivery of Kits

The kits are delivered with a packing of dry ice.

Dry Ice

Dry Ice is a solid form of carbon dioxide. It is used as cooling agent. The main advantage of dry ice is that its temperature is lower than that of water ice.

Dry ice is colourless and has a sour zesty odour. It is non-flammable.

GoI: Interest Rates on Small Savings Schemes lowered

On March 31, 2020, the Government of India lowered interest rates of several small savings scheme facing Economic challenges created by the threat of COVID-19 virus.

Highlights

The interest rates of the schemes like Sukanya Samriddhi, Kisan Vikas Patra and Pubilc Provident Funds were reduced. The changes were introduced for Q1 of the fiscal year 2020-21. They are as follows

Sukanya Samriddhi

Rate of interest for Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme has been reduced from 8.4 to 7.6%. The scheme targets girl child and her parents. It encourages the parents to build fund for future education and marriage expenses of their girl child.

Public Provident Fund

Interest rate for Public Provident Fund reduced from 7.9 to 7.1%. It is savings-cum-tax saving scheme introduced in 1968 by the National Savings Institute operating under Ministry of Finance. The main aim of the scheme is to increase small savings offering returns based on the investments made with the savings deposited.

National Savings Certificate

Interest rate for National Savings Certificate 7.9 to 6.8%. It is a part of the postal savings system. It is a savings bond scheme launched for income tax savings and small savings.

Kisan Vikas Patra

Interest rate for Kisan Vikas Patra reduced from 7.6% to 6.9%. The KVP will mature in 124 months instead of 113 months earlier. It is a saving certificate scheme that was launched by India Post in 1988.

Other Schemes

  • Rate of interest for the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme reduced to 7.4 from 8.6%
  • Rate of interest for the monthly income scheme lowered to 6.6% from 7.6%
  • For five-year recurring deposit, the interest has been reduced from 7.2 to 5.8%.
  • For five-year time-deposit, it has been brought down from 7.7% to 6.7%
  • For three-years, two-years and one-year time deposits, the interest rate has been cut from 6.9 to 5.5%
  • Interest on savings deposit stays unchanged at 4%.