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  • The Prime Minister also interacted with Village Water and Sanitation Committee/ Paani Samiti Members during the event.

    Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Governor Uttar Pradesh, Smt Anandiben Patel and Chief Minister Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath were present on the occasion.

    The projects, for which the foundation stones were laid by the Prime Minister today will provide household tap water connections in all rural households of 2,995 villages and will benefit about 42 lakh population of these districts.

    Village Water and Sanitation Committees/ Paani Samiti have been constituted in all these villages, who will shoulder the responsibility of operation and maintenance.

    The total estimated cost of the projects is Rs 5,555.38 Crore. The projects are planned to be completed in 24 months.

    Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said during the last one and half years from the start of Jal Jeevan Mission more than 2 crore 60 lakh families have been provided piped drinking water connection to their homes including lakhs of families in Uttar Pradesh as well.

    He added under the Jal Jeevan Mission, the life of our mothers and sisters is getting easier due to easy water access at the comfort of their homes.

    He said a major benefit of this has also been reduction of many diseases like cholera, typhoid, encephalitis caused by dirty water of the poor families.

    The Prime Minister lamented that despite having a lot of resources, Vindhyachal or Bundelkhand regions became regions of deficiencies.

    He added, in spite of having several rivers, these regions were known as the most thirsty & drought-affected regions and forced many people to migrate from here.

    He said now water scarcity and irrigation issues will be resolved by these projects and it signifies rapid development.

    The Prime Minister remarked when piped water reaches thousands of villages in Vindhyanchal the health of children of this region would be improved and their physical and mental development will be better.

    He said when one gets freedom to take decisions and work on those decisions for the development of your village, it increases the confidence of everyone in the village.

    He added that self-reliant India gets strength from self-reliant villages.

    The Prime Minister complimented the Uttar Pradesh Government for providing a responsive governance during the time of pandemic and keeping the pace of reforms going.

    Modi outlined the development works in the region.

    He pointed to provision of LPG cylinder, electricity supply, Solar plant at Mirzapur, completion of irrigation projects and solar projects on uncultivable land to provide steady extra income to the farmers.

    Referring to the Swamitva Scheme, the Prime Minister informed that verified ownership deeds for residential and land properties are being delivered to the owners leading to stability and certainty of titles.

    This is leading to an assurance against unlawful encroachment of the property of the poor segment of society and improving the possibility of using the property as collateral for credit.

    Speaking about the efforts for the upliftment of the tribal population of the region, Shri Modi said that schemes are reaching the tribal regions under special projects.

    Hundreds of Eklavya Model schools are operating in such regions, including in Uttar Pradesh.

    The aim is to provide this facility to every tribal majority block. Projects based on forest-based products are also being implemented. 

    The District Mineral Fund has been established so that there is no dearth of funds for tribal regions and thinking behind such a scheme is that a part of resources generated from such areas are invested locally.

    In Uttar Pradesh, Rs. 800 crore have been collected under the fund and more than 6000 projects have been sanctioned.

    The Prime Minister urged the people to remain alert against Corona as the danger still lingers and asked the people to maintain basic precautions with great sincerity.

  • Under the amended sections of the law, the accused may face up to three years in jail, a fine of ₹ 10,000 or both.

    Kerala Chief Minister says the ordinance protects women and children amid an increase in cyber bullying and hates speech, pointing out that those crimes attack the dignity of individuals.

    The amended law allows police to take suo moto action in such cases.

    However, the opposition has expressed concern over the amendment which they say gives draconian power to police and potentially curtails the freedom of the press.

    State BJP president and Congress president have come out against the amendment accusing the Government trying to silence its critics especially at a time when Government is cornered by different allegations.

    The amendment was brought by the State as existing provision of IT Act were found insufficient to act against fake news and derogatory remarks being spread on social media especially against women.

  • These States have been either reporting a rise in the number of active cases i.e. those who are hospitalized or are in home isolation under medical supervision, or demonstrating a rise in the daily new cases. 

    These three-member teams will visit the districts reporting high number of COVID cases and support the State efforts towards strengthening containment, surveillance, testing, infection prevention and control measures, and efficient clinical management of the positive cases. The Central teams shall also guide in effectively managing the challenges related to timely diagnosis and follow up. Earlier the Union Government has sent the high level teams to Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Manipur, and Chhattisgarh.

    India’s present active caseload (4,40,962) has further declined to 4.85% of the total Positive Cases, and has been sustained below the 5% mark. The Recovery Rate has improved to 93.69% today as the country registered 43,493 new recoveries in the last 24 hours taking the total recovered cases to 85,21,617.  

    The gap between Recovered cases and Active cases is steadily increasing and presently stands at 80,80,655. 26 States/UTs have less than 20,000 active cases, as on date. 7 States/UTs have active cases between 20,000 and 50,000 whereas Maharashtra and Kerala are reporting more than 50,000 caseload. 77.68% of the new recovered cases is contributed by ten States/UTs.

    Delhi saw 6,963 persons recovering from COVID. Kerala and Maharashtra reported 6,719 and 4,088 new recoveries respectively. Ten States/UTs have contributed 76.81%of the new cases. In the last 24 hours, 45,209 persons were found to be infected with COVID.

    Delhi reported 5,879 cases in the last 24 hours. Kerala recorded 5,772 new cases while Maharashtra reported 5,760 daily cases yesterday. 13 States and UTs are reporting higher than the national average of fatality rate (1.46%).

    Whereas, 21 States and UTs are reporting lower than the national average of deaths per million (96).

    14 States and UTs have more deaths per million population than the national average (96).

  • The Summit, which saw participation of respective Heads of State/ Government of 19 member countries, EU, other invited countries and international organizations, was conducted in virtual format in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Prime Minister, Narendra Modi congratulated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its leadership for its successful Presidency of the G20 this year and for organizing the second G20 Summit in 2020 through a virtual format despite the challenges and obstacles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Summit under Saudi Presidency centered on the theme "Realizing Opportunities of 21st Century for All” which has assumed greater importance in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The agenda of the Summit is spread out over two days with two sessions focused on overcoming the pandemic, economic recovery and restoring jobs, and building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future. There are also side events planned on the two days on pandemic preparedness and on safeguarding the planet.

    Prime Minister Modi termed the COVID-19 pandemic as an important turning point in history of humanity and the biggest challenge the world is facing since the World War II. He called for decisive action by G20, not limited to economic recovery, jobs and trade, but to focus on preserving Planet Earth noting that all of us are trustees of humanity’s future.

    Prime Minister called for a new Global Index for the Post-Corona World that comprises four key elements – creation of a vast Talent Pool; ensuring that Technology reaches all segments of the society; Transparency in systems of governance; and dealing with Mother Earth with a spirit of Trusteeship. Based on this, the G20 can lay the foundation of a new world.

    PM underscored that in the past few decades, while there has been an emphasis on Capital and Finance, the time has come to focus on Multi-Skilling and Re-skilling to create a vast Human Talent Pool. This would not only enhance dignity of citizens but would make our citizens more resilient to face crises. He also said that any assessment of new technology should be based on its impact on Ease of Living and Quality of Life.

    He called for greater Transparency in governance systems which will inspire our citizens to deal with shared challenges and enhance their confidence. He also said that dealing with environment and nature as trustees rather than owners will inspire us towards a Holistic and Healthy Life Style, a principle whose benchmark could be a Per Capita Carbon Footprint.

    Noting that ‘Work from Anywhere’ is a new normal in the post-COVID world, PM also suggested creation of a G20 Virtual Secretariat as a follow up and documentation repository.

    The 15th G20 Leaders’ Summit would continue on 22 November 2020 culminating in the adoption of the Leaders’ Declaration and with Saudi Arabia passing on the Presidency to Italy.

  • World number four Medvedev's first career victory over the 20-times Grand Slam champion sent him through to a Sunday showdown against Dominic Thiem who earlier beat Novak Djokovic in another titanic clash.

    The 24-year-old Medvedev reached the semi-finals as the only player to post a 100% record in his group, including a superb defeat of Djokovic.

    He was the better player in the opening set against Nadal but one lapse on serve was all the Spaniard required to snatch it.

    Medvedev blew a big lead in the second set when Nadal was one point away from going down 5-1, but Rafa swung the match his way and served for a place in the final at 5-4, only for Medvedev to break to love.

    A forehand winner helped Medvedev move 5-3 ahead in the tiebreaker and he took full advantage to set up a decider.

    Nadal appeared to be feeling the pace in a tense final set and some sensational winners allowed Medvedev to grab the crucial break of serve in the seventh game.

    Two games later Nadal dumped a backhand in the net to hand Medvedev a landmark victory.

  • Expressing his concern over the increasing scourge of terrorism, the Vice President appealed to the United Nations to complete the deliberations and adopt India's long-pending proposal of the 'Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

    He said, there is also a need to reform the UN and create a more inclusive and equitable world order. The Vice President was virtually  addressing the gathering at an event organised to present Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence 2020 to Sudha Murty, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation for her philanthropic work by the Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management. Mr  Naidu stressed on the need for all the nations, particularly those in South Asia, to come together to promote peace, eradicate poverty, improve socio-economic conditions of the masses and wipe out the menace of terrorism.

  • Addressing a function to launch development projects in Tamil Nadu worth 67000 crore rupees in Chennai this evening, he said the schemes were not meant to just help Tamil Nadu but were its due which the Modi government had ensured. He said his government was ready for a debate on whether the state got more help during the UPA's 10 year rule or during the tenure of the NDA government.

    Referring to the Covid-19 pandemic, he said India under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi had faced the challenge more successfully than many developed countries. He complimented the Tamil Nadu Government for its exemplary performance in this regard.

    Earlier, the Home Minister laid the foundation stone for the 61800 crore second phase of the Chennai metro rail project and dedicated Chennai's fifth reservoir  at Thervoy Kandigai to the people of the city. He also laid the foundation stone for an elevated expressway on the Coimbatore- Avanashi road, a new barrage across the Cauvery river in Karur district, the Chennai Trade Centre expansion project and 3 IOC projects - a terminal at Vallur, a new lube plant at Amullavoiyal and a captive terminal at Kamarajar port.

    He also paid floral tributes to the portraits of former Chief Ministers MG Ramachandran and Jayalalitha at the event. In another development, both Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam  - coordinators of the AIADMK- said  the party's alliance with the BJP would continue for the 2021 Assembly elections.

     Earlier,Union Home Minister Amit Shah received a rousing welcome from hundreds of BJP and AIADMK cadres in Chennai when he arrived on a two-day visit to the city. Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and Cabinet Ministers received him at the airport.

    Welcome arches decorated with flowers and fruits were erected at the airport premises. Cadres from the BJP and AIADMK gathered on the roadsides, waving party flags and beating drums as his convoy travelled by road to a hotel in the city. Surprised by the unusual reception, the Minister stopped his car and got down from the vehicle. He conducted a brief road show, waving his hand to an enthusiastic crowd of party workers.

  • These flats are located at Dr B D Marg in New Delhi. Eight old bungalows, which were more than 80 years old, have been redeveloped to construct 76 flats. The construction of these flats has been completed with savings of about 14 percent from the sanctioned cost and without time overrun despite the impact of Covid-19.

    Several green building initiatives have been incorporated in the construction, including bricks made from fly ash and construction & demolition waste, double glazed windows for thermal insulation and energy efficiency, energy efficient LED light fittings, occupancy based sensors for light control, air conditioners with VRV system for low power consumption, low flow fixtures for conservation of water, rainwater harvesting system and rooftop solar plant.

     

     

  • He laid the foundation stone of ‘45 MW Production Plant of Monocrystalline Solar PhotoVoltaic Panel’ and ‘Centre of Excellence on Water Technology’. He also inaugurated ‘Innovation and Incubation Centre – Technology Business Incubation’, ‘Translational Research Centre’  and ‘Sports Complex’ at the University.

    Addressing the students, the Prime Minister said it is not an easy thing to graduate at a time when the World is facing such a big crisis, but your abilities are much bigger than these challenges. He added that students are entering the industry at a time when due to pandemic, major changes are taking place in the energy sector across the world.

    The Prime Minister remarked that in this way, today the energy sector in India, has immense potential for growth, Entrepreneurship and employment. He announced that today the country is moving forward with the goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 30-35% and efforts are taken to increase the share of Natural Gas in our energy needs by 4 times in this decade. Work is on to double the oil refining capacity in the next five years, Energy security related startup ecosystem is being strengthened and a fund has been created for students and professionals, the Prime Minister informed.  .

    The Prime Minister asked the students to have purpose in life. He stressed that it's not that successful people don't have problems, but the one who accepts challenges, confronts them, defeats them, solves problems, only succeeds. He added those who take on challenges, later succeed in life. He said youth of the 1922-47 period sacrificed everything for freedom. He urged the students to live for the country and join the movement of Atmanirbhar Bharat and develop a sense of responsibility.

    The Prime Minister remarked that the seed of success lies in a sense of responsibility and a sense of responsibility should be turned to the purpose of life. He pointed out that the same people are successful in life, do something by which there is a sense of responsibility in their lives. Those who fail are the ones who live in the Sense of Burden. He added a sense of responsibility also gives rise to a sense of opportunity in a person's life. He said India is progressing ahead in many sectors and young graduates must march ahead with commitment. He also emphasized on protecting nature and the environment.

    The Prime Minister urged the present generation, the youth of the 21st century, to move forward with a Clean Slate. Clean Slate and Clean Heart means clear intentions. He remarked that the hopes and expectations of the world are high from India in the 21st century and India's hopes and expectations are associated with the students and professionals.

  • Prime Minister appreciated the efforts of innovators, scientists, academicians and pharma-companies in their efforts to develop vaccines and has directed that every effort should be made to facilitate the research, development and manufacturing of the vaccine.  

    Five vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which 4 are in Phase II/III and one is in Phase-I/II.  Countries such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar, Bhutan, Switzerland, Bahrain, Austria and South Korea – have shown keen interest in partnering for vaccine development of Indian vaccines and use thereof. 

    In an effort to administer the vaccine at the first available opportunity, database of healthcare and frontline workers, augmentation of cold chains and procurement of syringes, needles, etc. are in advanced stages of preparation.  

    The vaccination supply chain is being enhanced and non-vaccine supplies are being escalated.  Medical and nursing students and faculty will be involved in training and implementation of the vaccination programme.  Every step is being steadily put in place to ensure that vaccines reach every location and person according to the prioritisation principles.  

    The Prime Minister has directed to work in collaboration with all reputed national and international institutions and regulators to ensure the rigour and highest global standards in Indian research and manufacturing.  

    National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) in consultation with State Governments and all relevant stakeholders have accelerated the implementation of vaccination of priority groups in first phase.  

    The digital platform for vaccine administration and distribution is prepared and test runs underway in partnership with the State and District Level stakeholders.

    The Prime Minister reviewed the aspects of emergency use authorisation and for manufacture and procurement of medicine. As the results of these Phase III trials from national and international vaccine arrive, our robust and independent regulators will speedily and rigorously examine these for according authorisation for use.

    The Government has provided assistance of Rs 900 crore under Covid Suraksha Mission to support Research & Development of Covid-19 vaccination.

    The Prime Minister directed that a time-bound plan be laid out for speedy regulatory clearances and timely procurement for early rollout of the vaccination drive.

    The Prime Minister appreciated comprehensive efforts at vaccine development. He also emphasised that given the persisting pandemic scenario there is no place for any relaxation in preventive measures such as wearing masks, keeping distance and ensuring hygiene.  

    The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Principal Scientific Advisor, Secretary Health, DG ICMR, officers of PMO, and Secretaries of related Departments of Government of India.

  • The 24-year-old Moscovite lost all three matches on his debut in the tournament last year, but struck 31 winners to overwhelm Schwartzman and go 3-0 in group play.

    The world number four meets Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals on Saturday, with the Spaniard chasing a first ATP Finals crown, one of the few big titles missing from the 20-time Grand Slam champion's CV.

  • PM Modi said,  India stands with Bhutan in the difficult hour of the COVID-19 pandemic. He asserted that Bhutan's requirements will always be top priority for India.

    Prime Minister Modi said, the phase two launching of RuPay card will boost the ties between the two countries. Mr Modi also expressed happiness that  work is going on rapidly to send Bhutan's satellite to space with the help of ISRO, next year.

    Mr Tshering lauding Prime Minister Modi's leadership in tackling the pandemic expressed hope that India will come out much stronger from the pandemic. He said, the lead that India is taking in developing vaccines is a source of hope for all.  

  • PM Modi in a tweet asserted that security forces have thwarted the efforts of terrorists to wreak major havoc and destruction. PM Modi wrote on Twitter that security forces have once again displayed utmost bravery and it was due to their ness that a nefarious plot to target grassroots-level democratic exercises in Jammu and Kashmir was defeated.

    He also said that neutralising four terrorists belonging to Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed and the presence of a large cache of weapons and explosives with them indicates that their efforts to wreak major havoc and destruction have once again been thwarted.

    Home Minister Amit Shah, NSA Ajit Doval, foreign secretary and top intelligence officials were present at the review meeting. Four Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists were killed and two policemen injured in a gunbattle in Nagrota yesterday.

  •  The searches were conducted at the residences of 5 accused persons viz. Mohamed Aslam, Abdul Latheef, Nazarudheen Sha, Ramzan P. and Muhammed Mansoor. These accused persons conspired with the already arrested accused and facilitated smuggling of gold  through import cargo addressed to the UAE Consulate General, and its disposal.

    During searches, several electronic items and documents have been seized. So far, 21 accused have been arrested in the case. Further investigation in the case continues.

    By Neeraj Singh

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • They play an important role in the hydrological regime of rivers and act as a buffer to store glacial melt waters, providing baseflow support to several rivers and streams, many of which form headwaters of major continental rivers.
     
    HAWs sustain distinct biological diversity, including providing crucial habitats to a range of species, including migratory birds which depend on these ecosystems to complete their annual migration cycles between the tropic and temperate regions. Ensuring that these wetlands are well conserved is critical for the health of many other ecosystems.
     
    In the Indian context, they are found in the Himalayan and trans-Himalayan regions, and play a significant role in providing water, food and climate security and cultural identity to the entire Indian Himalayan region and beyond. Unfortunately, many HAWs in India are threatened today due to activities like unregulated infrastructure development and unsustainable tourism.
     
    The relative remoteness, unique hydrology and geomorphological characteristics of HAWs demand a differentiated approach to management, considering their value as an ecological network rather than managing individual sites. This need is further underscored by rapidly changing land use and land cover patterns in these areas, and climatic stressors like increased rate of glacial melt.
     
    The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) places high emphasis on integrated management of wetlands and their mainstreaming in developmental planning. A diagnostic approach to identification of management objectives and actions, based on evaluation of wetlands features is recommended in the wetlands management planning guidelines of the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems (NPCA). The emphasis on integrated management of wetlands is also amplified in several policy documents such as National Environment Policy (2006), the National Action Plan on Climate Change (2008) and its various missions, the National Biodiversity Action Plan (2008 with Addendum in 2014), the National Wildlife Action Plan (2017) and the National Water Policy (2012) amongst others.
     
    Despite these well-articulated policy frameworks and associated regulatory instruments, conservation of HAWs on the basis of integrated approaches has been limited on account of several barriers, including deconstruction of diagnostic approaches in the context of these ecologically fragile and data-sparse ecosystems.
     
    To address this gap, the GEF-MoEF&CC-UNDP SECURE Himalaya has identified conservation of HAW as an action area, and along with Wetlands International South Asia are supporting formulation of integrated management plans for high conservation value HAWs in select snow leopard landscapes in India.
     
    Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been developed and a guidebook providing practical illustration of various steps for integrated management planning of HAWs has been prepared keeping in view the needs of wetlands managers entrusted with the task of formulating integrated management plans, and the Wetlands Authorities of the Himalayan States responsible for reviewing and approving management plan. These guidelines will also be useful for other stakeholders such as local governance institutions, research agencies, other government departments/ ministries and international funding agencies.
     
    In this regard, a policy dialogue was held between senior officials of MoEF&CC and representatives from State Forest and Wildlife Departments and State Wetland Authorities from the Himalayan states. Senior experts, research organizations and wetland managers on the field also participated in the discussion. 
    Soumitra Dasgupta, Additional Director General of Forest (Wildlife), Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, speaking in the discussion, outlined the need for HAW (high altitude wetlands) and their importance as stop over sites for some of the important birds in the central asian flyway. 

    Bharat Lal, Addl Secy Ministry of Jal Shakti, echoed his sentiments and said “we must reach out to people's aspirations, and genuine requirement for water. Wetlands are extremely critical or water security for millions. We need to achieve drinking water security and build capacity of the local community. High altitude wetland conservation and management are integral to this.”

    Inputs were provided for finalizing an integrated management strategy, which shall be released shortly after another round of consultations with other relevant stakeholders.

  • Addressing a virtual session on ‘Collaboration in Defence and Commercial Shipbuilding' hosted by the High Commission of India in Dhaka and the FICCI on Thursday, Secretary, Defence Production Raj Kumar, said that close proximity between Indian shipyards to Bangladesh is an additional advantage for both the countries. It may result in long term strategic partnership in production, development and maintenance. He said that the strategic partnership between the two countries can become a pillar of regional strength and economic cooperation.

    Speaking about the possibility of partnership with Bangladesh shipyards, Secretary Defence Production Raj Kumar said Indian shipyards are willing for construction of platforms as per Bangladesh requirement for both commercial and defence requirements. He said that India has a robust shipbuilding industry. The ships constructed by India are of global standards and cost effective.  

    Highlighting the opportunities of cooperation, Secretary Defence Production said that the Indian defence Industries can offer various proven platforms, systems and subsystems in air, land, sea and space applications. 

    High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami said that there is a natural synergy between India and Bangladesh in working together to develop and leverage each other’s capacities for the collective benefit. He said shipbuilding promotes the growth of a larger economic ecosystem including employment and ancillary industries, trade and commerce and strategic maritime approach to the world. He said there exists an ocean of untapped potential in the maritime domain from resources to science, shipbuilding to infrastructure between the two countries. 

    State Minister for Shipping, government of Bangladesh Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury was the Chief guest at the event organised to explore synergies between shipyards of India and Bangladesh.

    Besides shipbuilding, cooperation in areas of inland waterways and dredging, development of port infrastructure, ancillary industry, and marine services were also discussed, said the High Commission of India in a facebook post on the webinar.

    Rajesh Jha/Dhaka

  • Accident occurred around midnight near Desraj Inara village on Prayagraj Lucknow highway when a four wheeler returning from a wedding ceremony collided with a truck.
     
    Senior officials have reached the spot and the injured have been admitted to hospital.

  • Devotees will offer prayers known as Sandhya-Arghya to the Sun this evening.
     
    The four-day celebrations will culminate tomorrow morning with Pratah-Arghya to the rising Sun. Chhath festival is dedicated to the worship of the Sun god and his wife Usha.
     
    During celebrations, people thank the Sun, the god of energy and life-force, for sustaining the life of Earth.
     
    President Ram Nath Kovind has greeted the people on the occasion of Chhath. In his message, the President said that on Chhath Puja, there has been a tradition of people worshipping sun God and also offering reverence and gratitude to Mother Nature by veneration of rivers, ponds and other sources of water. He asked people to resolve to preserve nature and environment and celebrate the festival keeping in mind the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

  • The last round-robin match in the London Group was a straight knockout with both men having lost to Dominic Thiem and beaten Andrey Rublev earlier in the week.

    But it was Spaniard Nadal who always appeared the likely winner despite a lapse which allowed Tsitsipas to extend the contest into a decider at a near-deserted O2 Arena.

    After a flurry of service breaks at the start of the third set, the 34-year-old Nadal pulled away to reach the semi-finals for the first time in five years.

    As group runner-up behind Thiem, he will face Daniil Medvedev for a place in the final with the Russian assured of top spot in the Tokyo Group.

    "In general this was a very positive match for me," said Nadal, who despite winning 20 Grand Slam titles has only two runners-up places to show for his previous nine appearances at the ATP Finals. "Excited to be in the semi-finals."

  • The summit is organised by the Government of Karnataka along with Karnataka Innovation and Technology Society (KITS), Karnataka government’s Vision Group on Information Technology, Biotechnology & StartUp, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) and MM Activ Sci-Tech Communications. The theme of this year’s summit is "Next is Now". Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister of Electronics & IT, Communications and Law & Justice and Chief Minister of Karnataka BS Yeddyrupa  were present on the occasion.

    The Prime Minister expressed happiness that today Digital India is no longer being seen as any regular Government initiative rather it has become a way of life particularly, for the poor, marginalised and for those in Government.

    Addressing the Tech Summit, the Prime Minister said due to Digital India, our nation has witnessed a more human centric approach to development. He said using technology on such a large scale has brought about several changes for the citizens and the benefits are clearly visible. He said the government has not only created a market for digital and tech solutions, but also made it a key part of all schemes. He added his governance model is technology first and through technology human dignity has been enhanced like crores of farmers receiving monetary support in one click and successfully operating the world's largest  Healthcare scheme, Ayushman Bharat. He stressed that technology ensured India’s poor received proper & quick assistance even at the peak of the lockdown. He said the scale of this relief has few parallels.

    The Prime Minister said the Government has used  the power of data analytics to ensure better service delivery and efficiency. He remarked technology is the prime reason our schemes have transcended files and changed the lives of the people at such a speed and scale. He said due to technology we are able to provide electricity to all, cross toll booths faster, gives us confidence to vaccinate a large population in a short period of time.

    The Prime Minister praised the tech sector for showing its resilience during this pandemic. He highlighted that the amount of tech  adoption that would not have happened in a decade, happened in just a few months. Work from anywhere has become the norm and is going to stay. He said a high amount of tech adoption will be seen  in the fields of education, health,  shopping, etc.

    The Prime Minister said achievements of the industrial era are past, and now we are in the middle of the information era.He said in the industrial era, change was linear but in the information era, change is disruptive. He stressed that unlike the industrial era, first-mover does not matter, the best-mover does matter in the information era.  He said anyone can build a product any time that disrupts all existing equations of the market.

    The Prime Minister said India is uniquely positioned to leap ahead in the information era. He said India has the best minds as well as the biggest market. He pointed out that our local tech solutions have the potential to go global.  He stressed that it is time for tech-solutions that are designed in India to be deployed for the world. He said the policy decisions of the Government are always aimed at liberalising the tech & innovations industry like the easing of compliance burden on the IT industry done recently. He said the Government always tries to engage with stakeholders in the tech industry and chart out future-proof policy frameworks for India.

    The Prime Minister stressed that a framework-level mindset has the potential to build an eco-system of multiple successful products. He listed out the initiatives with a framework-level mindset like UPI, National Digital Health Mission, Swamitva Scheme, etc. He said technology is setting the pace for the defence sector to evolve. He stressed on the need of data  protection  as well as  cyber security with the rapid increase of tech use.  He proposed the youth can play a big role  in devising robust cyber security solutions which can effectively vaccinate digital products against cyber attacks and viruses.

    The Prime Minister said the scope and need for innovation is relevant in the fields of science like bio-sciences, engineering, etc. He said Innovation is the key to progress and India has a clear advantage when it comes to innovation because of the talent of our youth and their zeal to innovate. He added the potential of our youth and possibilities of technology are endless. It is time, we give our best and leverage them. He expressed confidence that our IT sector will keep making us proud.

  • The financing is provided as an integrated package for textile and Ready Made Garments (RMG) sectors of Bangladesh are the largest industrial contributors in carbon emission. 

    The two sectors combined together contribute more than 27 percent of the industrial carbon emission as they are working with old and outdated machines with poor energy management.  By 2030, Bangladesh is committed to reduce its GHG emission by 15 percent compared to business-as-usual scenario.  

    According to the GCF, the funding will facilitate capacity building, awareness raising, policy development and support in loan disbursal and evaluation of programme parameters to textile and RMG sectors in Bangladesh. It expects to reduce 14.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in emissions with the use of this funding.

    The funding is part of the dollar 1 billion funding approved by GCF in its 27th board meeting on 14 November for financing low-emission, climate-resilient development in the developing countries. The funding will be spread over 16 projects in multiple countries including Bangladesh. In the current year, GCF has approved over dollar 2 billion in new climate finance, taking its total portfolio to over dollar 7 billion.

    GCF was set up under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010 as the world’s largest dedicated fund to help developing countries reduce their carbon emissions. 

     

     

    Rajesh Jha/Dhaka

  • The Prime Minister expressed his condolences on the loss of lives in Luxembourg on account of COVID-19 global pandemic and complimented H.E. Xavier Bettel on his leadership in handling the crisis. 

    The two Prime Ministers exchanged views on strengthening India-Luxembourg relationship in the post-COVID world, especially in the areas of financial technology, green financing, space applications, digital innovations and start-ups. They welcomed the conclusion of various agreements between the two countries, including those between their financial market regulators, stock exchanges and innovation agencies.  

    The two Prime Ministers agreed to strengthen cooperation on realizing effective multilateralism and combating global challenges like the Covid-19 pandemic, terrorism and climate change. Prime Minister welcomed Luxembourg’s announcement to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA), and invited it to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI). 

    Prime Minister expressed the hope to receive the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, as well as Prime Minister Bettel, in India after improvement in the COVID-19 situation. Prime Minister Bettel also invited Prime Minister Modi to visit Luxembourg at his convenience.

  • Hong Kong expelled four opposition members from its legislature last week after Beijing gave city authorities new powers to curb dissent.

    It triggered mass resignations by the remaining 15 pro-democracy opposition lawmakers. The group of five countries also known as ‘Five Eyes’ alliance said in a statement that China’s imposition of new rules to disqualify elected legislators in Hong Kong appeared to be part of a campaign to silence critics and called on Beijing to reverse its decision.

    China has rebuked the United States and its ‘Five eyes’ alliance over their demands and termed the National People’s Congress Standing Committee resolution, legitimate.

    The alliance said that China’s action is a clear breach of its international obligations under the legally binding, UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration. It breaches both China’s commitment that Hong Kong will enjoy a ‘high degree of autonomy’, and the right to freedom of speech.

    China denies curbing rights and freedoms in Hong Kong but city authorities and Beijing have moved swiftly to curb dissent after anti-government protests flared in June last year.

  • To tackle the current COVID situation effectively LG emphasised the need to implement in a time bound manner, the decisions taken in the meeting chaired by Union Home Minister, pertaining to enhanced testing, augmenting of hospital infrastructure and human resources , house to house survey , review of home care arrangements etc .
      
    Delhi LG also emphasised that as the National Capital witnesses’ unprecedented trying times due to COVID 19 pandemic, IEC (Information, Education Communication) activities through all modes of media should be effectively utilised to inform, sensitise and persuade people to strictly adhere to the COVID safety norms.

    In was felt that even though most of the people are adhering to the COVID appropriate behaviour, still there are some disregarding the same with impunity. This in turn was not only exposing them to the deadly virus but was also putting others at risk due to their irresponsible behaviour.  

    In a situation already made complex by the onset of winters, high levels of air pollution, seasonal respiratory disorders and crowding caused by the ongoing festival season, such disregard of preventive and protective measures to contain COVID 19 including wearing of face masks, hand sanitisation and physical social distancing has significantly contributed to the  uncontrolled spike in the number of COVID infections, hospitalizations and deaths in the city.

    While the LG  and CM appealed  to the citizens of Delhi to strictly adhere to the COVID appropriate behaviour, in larger public interest  with an aim to create effective deterrence,  it was considered necessary to enhance the fine for not wearing face masks, from the existing Rs 500 to Rs 2000 with a view to penalise the violators in an exemplary way  . The decision was taken as an extraordinary measure in the face of a sudden surge in the COVID-19 cases in Delhi during the last fortnight despite best efforts being put in by various field agencies on all fronts.

  • The ride, a brain-child of the Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF) and supported by Border Security Force (BSF), took off from Nishant Bagh, Srinagar on Thursday. Rakesh Asthana, Director General BSF flagged off the ride. The journey will end at Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari on December 29.

    The Infinity ride aims to discover budding para sporting talent across the country and nurture and prepare them to compete at the highest levels and represent India at the global stage. The Aditya Mehta Foundation has been relentlessly working with people with disability since its inception in 2013 and now powered with Asia’s first Infinity Para Sports Academy and Rehabilitation Centre which was established last year in Hyderabad.

    The 2020 edition will be covering 34 cities in 41 days.

    The Infinity ride, which is in its sixth year, will be covering 3801 km long route comprising treacherous mountain terrains as they embark on this strenuous and challenging journey.

    The foundation has 200 beneficiaries who have been given prosthetic limbs and customised adaptive devised for sports activities so far.

    The AMF backed athletes have also won 90 international medals so far in various para sports and tournaments. The foundation also has successfully touched the lives of more than 1000 injured jawans and civilians, who have not only been rehabilitated but also motivated to excel as Indian athletes to win laurels for the country.

  • The resolution tabled by the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and European Union (EU) was adopted on Wednesday by a majority of 132 countries voting in favour, 9 against and 31 abstentions.

    According to the Press Release issued by the permanent mission of Bangladesh at the UN, this year the resolution has taken some new developments into account such as the provisional order of the International Criminal Court of Justice and the issue of disenfranchisement of the Rohingya and other minorities. 

    The resolution called for specific action on the part of Myanmar to address the root cause of the Rohingya crisis including granting them citizenship and ensuring safe and sustainable return to their homes by creating a conducive environment. 

    The resolution appreciated the government of Bangladesh for the humanitarian act of providing shelter to the displaced Rohingyas. It called upon other countries to support Bangladesh in its humanitarian effort.

    Rajesh Jha/Dhaka

  • More than 83 lakh 83 thousand people have recovered so far. In the past 24 hours, 48 thousand 493 recoveries have been reported across the country. The active cases currently comprise only 4.95 per cent of the total positive cases and the total number of active cases in the country is four lakh 43 thousand 303.
     
    The Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Thursday said, a total of 45 thousand 576 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the country within 24 hour. In one day, 585 deaths have been reported taking the nationwide toll to one lakh 31 thousand 578. The case fatality rate stood at 1.47 per cent in the country which is one of the lowest globally.
     
    Within 24 hours, maximum numbers of recoveries have been reported in Kerala, Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. In terms of number of people recovered from coronavirus, Maharashtra stands at top position followed by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. In the past 24 hours, maximum numbers of deaths have been reported in Delhi followed by Maharashtra.
     
    Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research said various laboratories in the country have conducted 10 lakh 28 thousand 203 tests of corona virus samples in the last 24 hours. More than 12 crore 85 lakh tests have been conducted in the country so far.

  • This will be the first stand-alone Summit meeting between India and Luxembourg in the past two decades. The leaders will discuss the entire spectrum of bilateral relationship, including strengthening of India-Luxembourg cooperation in the post-COVID world. They will also exchange views on international and global issues of mutual interest.

    India and Luxembourg have continued to maintain high level exchanges in the recent past. The two Prime Ministers have met previously on three occasions.

  • Biden, speaking on a conference call with frontline workers, pointed to the role of the General Services Administration (GSA), which normally recognizes a presidential candidate when it becomes clear who has won an election so that a transition of power can begin.

    That has not yet happened despite U.S. television and news networks declaring Biden the winner after he secured enough electoral votes to secure the presidency.

    The lack of GSA certification could delay his administration's coronavirus response by "weeks or months" Biden told a group of frontline volunteers, representing healthcare workers and firefighters.

    Biden became choked up when Mary Turner, the head of the Minnesota Nurses Association, who is also an ICU nurse, described the toll caring for sick and dying patients was taking on healthcare workers.

    U.S. coronavirus cases have skyrocketed in recent weeks and deaths are approaching the quarter-million mark.

    Biden also said that he would be encouraging governors and political leaders around the country to institute strict guidelines to control the spread of the virus, and said that his own family would not be holding a large Thanksgiving celebration during the upcoming holiday.

    The frontline workers described the increased risks to safety they are facing during the coronavirus surge, including continuing shortages in securing personal protective equipment (PPE).

    Biden promised a raft of measures to support them, as part of what he said would be his administration's "robust and aggressive effort to control the virus."

  • The world number one had worked hard to establish a 3-2 lead in a mesmerising start to the Tokyo Group clash, but 24-year-old Medvedev then found another gear to seize control.

    Pummelling high-velocity groundstrokes deep into the corners, Medvedev went on a near-perfect seven-game winning sequence to leave a bemused Djokovic puffing out his cheeks.

    By the time five-time champion Djokovic managed to stop the rot the 33-year-old was a set and 3-1 in arrears.

    Medvedev was relentless, however, and continued to boss the baseline rallies as he moved into a 5-2 lead.

    Djokovic held serve to at least test Medvedev's nerve, but the Russian was ice cool as he closed out victory to make it two wins from two in the group and guarantee a semi-final berth.

    Medvedev, who made only 12 unforced errors, lost all three of his group matches on his debut here in London last year, but now looks like a genuine title contender.

    Djokovic, on the other hand, faces a straight shoot-out with Alexander Zverev on Friday (November 20) as he tries to keep alive his hopes of progressing from the group and staying on course for a record-equalling sixth title at the tournament.

    Earlier at the O2 Arena, Zverev bounced back from his defeat by Medvedev to beat Diego Schwartzman 6-3 4-6 6-3.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed grief over the demise of the veteran leader. In a tweet, President Kovind said  Mridula Sinha who was an excellent writer and teacher, deeply understood the local traditions and cultural life of the country, especially Bihar.  

    In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, the Veteran leader will be remembered for her efforts towards public service. He said, she was also a prolific writer, making extensive contributions to the world of literature as well as culture.

    Home Minister Amit Shah in his condolence message said that Mridula Sinha worked for the nation, society and organization throughout her life. He said, she will always be remembered for her writing.  He also conveyed his condolences to her family.

  • On the first day today, devotees after taking bath on Wednesday morning, consumed cooked food items like Arwa rice, Chana dal and gourd as a part of Nahay-Khay ritual.

    Tomorrow Kharna will be observed which mark beginning of 36 hours long fast. Devotees will offer their obeisance, the Sandhya Arghya to the setting Sun on Friday. The festival will conclude with Pratah Arghya on Saturday morning where obeisance will be paid to the rising Sun.

  • Addressing the 4th Annual Convocation of JNU through a Video Message, President Kovind said students coming from all parts of India and from all strata of society study in JNU in an atmosphere of equal opportunity for excellence. The President said, JNU reflects all shades of Indian culture and the names of buildings, hostels, roads and facilities on the campus are drawn from the Indian heritage. It represents a cultural and geographical picture of India at its best. President Kovind said, this Indianness is JNU’s legacy and it should be strengthened.
     
    Referring to the glorious past of teaching and research in ancient India, the President said that in dealing with today’s challenges, we can draw inspiration from universities in Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramshila and Vallabhi which had set high standards of teaching and research. He said, scholars and students from all across the world came to those centres to attain specialised knowledge. He urged Indian scholars to create such an original body of knowledge which is utilised for dealing with contemporary global challenges and  JNU is among those select institutions of higher learning which can reach globally comparable excellence.

  • “I’ve been in auctions for over 15 years, and we’ve never had a collection of Gerry Anderson items this big in one auction,” Alastair McCrea, auction house Ewbank’s entertainment and memorabilia valuer, told Reuters.

    The bulk of the sale is items from 1980s science fiction show “Terrahawks” as well as some pieces from “Captain Scarlet” and pilot show “Space Police”.

    They include a rare surviving puppet head for character Captain Ochre from the original 1960s Captain Scarlet series expected to go for between 5,000-8,000 pounds ($6,500-$10,500) and a model battlehawk from “Terrahawks” which was one of the shows’ key ships, and is likely to fetch 4,000-6,000 pounds ($5,270-$7,900).

    Anderson was not known for keeping his puppets and models after filming.

    “They usually just destroyed everything,” McCrea said.

    However a former employee called Julian Bell who worked as a driver at Bray Studios where “Terrahawks” was made, kept some items.

    “He was a massive Gerry Anderson fan. And he collected these items when he worked there, and he kept it all in his flat near Windsor, and he kept it until he sadly passed away last year,” McCrea said.

    Anderson’s son and director of Anderson Entertainment, Jamie Anderson, told Reuters they were lucky it was all saved.
     

  • The daughter of conservative media baron Rupert Murdoch has adopted a lower profile than her brothers Lachlan and James and held back from the race to succeed their father.

    Elisabeth, the founder of two successful independent TV production companies, launched the Freelands Foundation in 2015 to direct donations and support to the arts, particularly outside London.

    The creative sector, Britain’s fastest growing industry, will decay if it does not embrace input from women, ethnic minorities and those from poorer backgrounds, she told Reuters on Thursday in an interview:

    “Access to a creative education and to a cultural arts-rich life ... has an impact on future social mobility, on mental health, and we know that culture and the arts lift horizons.”

    The British art scene, home over the decades to David Hockney, Lucian Freud, Barbara Hepworth and Banksy, has in recent years been described by the Arts Council as treading water when it comes to reflecting Britain’s diversity.

    Murdoch said the summer’s Black Lives Matter movement had been a massive wake-up call, and that the arts could help people understand the fractious world around them.

    Her foundation’s Diversity Action Group will be led by Sonita Alleyne, a media executive and the first Black woman to head a college at either Oxford or Cambridge university.

    The skills fostered by emphasising the arts in education -- creativity, innovation and problem-solving -- are all the more important in a world increasingly dominated by technology, algorithms and artificial intelligence, she said.

  • Instead he painted a water diviner, a practice still used in parts of Australia where proponents believe they can find ground water with two metal rods or, as pictured in the mural, sticks.

    Painted last year, it is one of dozens of large-scale murals to appear across rural Australia, turning sides of buildings, water tanks and old grain silos into striking canvasses.

    “Painting walls is a bit like surfing, every wave is different, every wall is different. That’s the biggest challenge for me,” Magee told Reuters from his art studio in Sydney’s inner-western suburbs.

    “Scaling and the technical things are just part of the job now.”
    Many of the works were painted during a long drought that devastated communities and led to widespread water restrictions including in agricultural towns like Barraba in central New South Wales.

    Magee said that during a research trip he saw a diviner working with water bore drillers during the drought, which only started to ease early this year.

    While broadly considered street art, the sheer size of the murals makes them a phenomenon of their own.

    Many artists use cherry picker cranes or lifts to reach their canvasses, go through hundreds of litres of paint, and spend weeks on their murals.
     

  • Sonal Jindal, an award winning and a renowned business woman, has marked her presence in the fashion industry. She is successfully running an event management company “MEDUSA”. With unique and creative designing ideas as the USP, MEDUSA is seen as a one-stop destination for B2C events.

    While an increasing number of women are breaking the glass ceilings in diverse spheres, Sonal Jindal exemplifies the new-age Indian legacy of entrepreneurs in India. 

    As a founder and director of the company, Sonal Jindal is single-handedly leading multiple ventures, which include some of the big fashion houses, hospitality groups, lifestyle companies and real estate magnates.  She has shown amazing skill in multi-tasking to inspire her followers by turning concepts into brands with sustainable operations. 

    The Covid-19 pandemic has a disproportionate impact on women all over the world. In India with a vast gender gap across almost all social indicators, women are seen even more vulnerable, who face additional challenges in the business world.  
    This charismatic entrepreneur considers her family as her biggest support-system. She stressed that her family helped her all the way in fulfilling her dreams. 

    Besides “MEDUSA”, Sonal Jindal is also a Director at the Moodboard Consultancy, a specialised consultancy for corporate and retail clients. It launched its first Asia-Pacific business operations in 2018. 

    Concerned over the ongoing pandemic and challenges to stay positive about the businesses across the world, Sonal said: “I cannot help but see good even in this difficult situation. If the business world can move on from such catastrophic events like World Wars I and II or the Spanish flu, it could surely move forward from the Covid-19 pandemic as well. All that is required is some out-of-the-box thinking!”

    Being a mother of two children, Sonal Jindal carries her family and business responsibilities with remarkable ease. The drive to change the future for the women entrepreneurs makes her a successful entrepreneur with a professional and personal journey worth recounting! 

    Exuding confidence, Sonal Jindal has created a fine balance between her professional and personal lives. Talking about her daughter’s dreams, she said, “I understand my daughter wants to be a painter. I just want to support and help her grow at every step.”

    There are exceptional people in the world who selflessly work for the underprivileged and backward sections of the society. Sonal Jindal, being a generous and soft-hearted person, is relentlessly working with many NGOs that work for people’s well-being, especially the ones taking care of girls and children. Girl-Up is one such non-profit organisation run by the United Nations, where Sonal is working for the upliftment and betterment of girls. As a community leader, this gold-hearted business woman is inspiring millions of people.

    This kindness has let Sonal earn the love and respect of the people around her. According to her, helping others is the only successful way towards empowernment. On achieving success at a young age, Sonal says, ”I firmly believe that when we set out to do something that empowers us from  within, we become an inspiration for our past and future, along with motivating the upcoming generations. 
    Sonal Jindal is a treasure and ideal for the business women across the world, and we thank her and wish her good luck for her future endeavours! 

    Well, we can almost see another leader in the making under a robust businesswomen's tutelage!
     

  • He was addressing a press conference in Beijing on the results of the recently concluded SCO Summit.

    Citing Prime Minister Modi, Norov said that with economic multilateralism and national capacity building, the SCO countries will be able to overcome the crisis of economic losses caused by the pandemic.

    He said that SCO as a grouping is paying special attention to measures to restore national economies in the post-Pandemic period. He also noted that SCO acted as a strong platform in cooperation against COVID-19 and highlighted the importance of the international community's efforts in strengthening the WHO's capacity.

    In response to a question, he said that SCO should not be a forum where bilateral issues will be solved as this is a multilateral organization. 

    Created in 2001, the SCO is a political, economic, and security bloc comprising eight members – India, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan.

    SCO member states account for around 42% of the world’s population, 22% of the land area, and around 20% of global GDP.

     

    Anshuman Mishra/ Beijing

  • Under-17 World Cup which was to be held in India, but was postponed to 2021 due to pandemic, was cancelled by FIFA and the country was handed hosting rights of the 2022 edition.

    Fifa in a statement said: As a result and after careful consideration of the feedback received by the stakeholders combined with the inability to further postpone these tournaments, the FIFA-Confederations COVID-19 Working Group subsequently recommended that the 2020 editions of the two women’s youth tournaments be cancelled and that the hosting rights for the 2022 editions be offered to the countries that were due to host the 2020 editions.

    In light of this, and following further consultation between FIFA and the respective host member associations regarding the 2022 editions of the tournaments, the Bureau of the Council has approved Costa Rica as host of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2022 and India as host of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 respectively.

    The decision was taken by FIFA which took stock of the current global pandemic. The tournament was originally scheduled to be held in November this year but later was postponed to February-March next year.

  • Speaking at the BRICS Summit through video conference, he said that Chinese companies are working with their Russian and Brazilian partners on phase-III clinical trials of vaccines, and we are prepared to have cooperation with South Africa and India as well.

    He further said that it is important to support WHO's crucial leadership role in this endeavor. He added that China will actively consider providing vaccines to BRICS countries where there is a need. President Xi said, China will work with other BRICS countries both online and offline to advance collective vaccine research and trials, set up plants, authorize production and recognize each other's standards.

    He also proposed to convene a BRICS symposium on traditional medicine to explore its role in coronavirus prevention and treatment.
     

    Anshuman Mishra/Beijing

  • The Bengaluru Tech Summit is scheduled from 19th to 21st November, 2020. The summit is organised by the Government of Karnataka along with Karnataka Innovation and Technology Society (KITS), Karnataka government’s Vision Group on Information Technology, Biotechnology & StartUp, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) and MM Activ Sci-Tech Communications.

    The Bengaluru Tech Summit will see participation of Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, Guy Parmelin, Vice President of the Swiss Confederation and many other prominent international figures.  Apart from them, thought leaders, industry captains, technocrats, researchers, innovators, investors, policy makers and educators from India and the world will also be participating in the summit.

    This year, the theme of the summit is "Next is Now". The summit will deliberate on the key challenges emerging in the post-pandemic world with focus on the impact of prominent technologies and innovations in the domains of ‘Information Technology & Electronics’ and ‘Biotechnology’.

  • Prime Minister Modi said “If you are looking to invest in urbanisation, India has exciting opportunities for you. If you are looking to invest in  mobility, India has exciting  opportunities for you. If you are looking to invest in  innovation, India has exciting opportunities for you. If you are looking to invest in  sustainable  solutions, India has exciting opportunities for you. These opportunities  come along-with A vibrant democracy. A business friendly climate.A huge market. And a government which shall leave no stone unturned to make India a preferred global investment destination.”

    PM Modi said that post COVID-19 world will need a  restart, however the restart will not be possible without a reset. A reset of mindset.  A reset of processes and a reset of practices. The pandemic has given us an opportunity to develop new protocols in every field. “This opportunity should be  grabbed by the world if we want to develop resilient  systems for the future. We should think about post COVID requirements of the world.  A good starting point would be the rejuvenation of our urban centers”, The Prime Minister added.

    Dwelling on the theme of rejuvenation of the urban centres the Prime Minister emphasized the centrality of the people in the recovery process. Terming people as the biggest resources and the communities as the biggest building block, the Prime Minister said “the pandemic has re-emphasised that our biggest resource, as societies and  as businesses, is our people. The post-Covid world has to be built by nurturing this key and fundamental resource.”

    The Prime Minister stressed the need to carry forward the learnings of the pandemic period. Talking about the cleaner environment during the lockdown period he wondered whether we can build   sustainable cities where a cleaner environment is the norm and not an exception?  “It has been   our endeavour   in India   to build   urban centres, which have the amenities of a city but the spirit of a village,” Shri Modi said.

    He informed the forum about the recent initiatives for revitalizing the Indian urban landscape such as Digital India, Startup India, affordable housing, Real Estate (Regulation) Act and Metro Rail in  27 cities. “We are on track to deliver close to 1000 kms of Metro Rail system in the country by 2022,”  the Prime Minister informed the forum.

    The Prime Minister said “we have selected 100 Smart Cities through a two-stage process.   It was a nationwide competition upholding  the philosophy of   cooperative    and   competitive federalism. These cities have prepared projects worth almost  two lakh crore rupees or 30 billion dollars. And projects worth almost one lakh forty thousand crore rupees or 20 billion dollars have been completed  or nearing completion.”

  • The Prime Minister was addressing the 12th BRICS Summit via video conference on Tuesday evening. He expressed happiness that under Russia's leadership, BRICS' counter-terrorism strategy has been given final touch. He said India will take it forward during its leadership. He added that during its leadership of BRICS, India will promote digital health and traditional medicine among BRICS countries.
     
    The Prime Minister highlighted that due to the strength of its pharma sector, India was able to provide medicines to over 150 countries during COVID-lockdown period. He said country's vaccine production and delivery ability will help mankind in the same way.
     
    The Prime Minister emphasised that reforms in the UN Security Council are very important. He said India expects support from BRICS partners on this issue. He pointed out that several other international organizations are not functioning according to the contemporary realities and institutions such as WTO, IMF, and WHO need improvement.
     
    He stated that India has been a core supporter of multi-laterism and the entire world is considered a family in Indian tradition. He said India's commitment towards UN's values has been paramount. Mr Modi said this year's theme - Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth- is not just contemporary but also futuristic. He said the world is witnessing major geostrategic changes which will have an impact on stability, security and growth.
     
    Prime Minister Modi also paid tributes to the soldiers who were killed in the Second World War. He added that more than 2.5 million soldiers from India were active in this war on many fronts like Europe, Africa, and South East Asia. 

  • Shakib Al Hasan was also in the news recently for breaking the mobile phone of one of his fans while crossing over to India through the land border.

    Responding to the events, Shakib Al Hasan offered an apology for his behaviour with the fan and the incident relating to his visit to the Puja mandap in Kolkata. 

    Speaking about the incident at the India Bangladesh border where he was accused of breaking the mobile phone of a fan who wanted to take a selfie with him, he said that it was unintentional. However, Shakib  apologised for his behaviour. He said that was in a hurry to complete the immigration formality at the border when the incident took place in which the phone of the person was broken in the melee.

    Clarifying the incident in which he was seen in a Kali Puja mandap in Kolkata, Shakib Al Hasan said that he did not inaugurate the ceremony. However, he apologised if it hurt anybody's feelings and sentiment. He said that he is a proud Muslim and it was not his intention to belittle his own religion. He also called upon not to do anything which divides people and behave responsibly. 

    - Rajesh Jha/ Dhaka

  • The wristwatches in this limited edition series bear the images of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his signature representing the timelessness of the message of Bangabandhu and its eternal relevance, said the press release issued by the Indian High Commission on this occasion.

    Speaking on the occasion, Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader recalled the shared history of the Liberation War which is the bedrock on which the India-Bangladesh bilateral relation is built. High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami emphasized that while Bangabandhu is the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, he is also a hero to the Indian people.

    Bangladesh is celebrating the birth centenary year of its founder president and father of nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The government of Bangladesh has declared the period from March 17, 2020, to March 26, 2021 as the Mujib Borsho marking the birth centenary of Bangabandhu.

    - Rajesh Jha/Dhaka

  • The Minister also released an e-brochure of this mega-event, on the occasion. IISF is an annual event organized jointly by DST, DBT, MoEF, MoHWF and CSIR from the Government of India and VijnanaBharati (VIBHA).

    The website of IISF-2020 was also launched during the event. All the activities and registration of the participants will be done through this website. Detailed information is available on IISF website- www.scienceindiafest.org

    Addressing the gathering, Dr Harsh Vardhan announced that the theme for this year’s festival is ‘Science for Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Global Welfare’. He informed that “This year, IISF begins on 22 December 2020, the birthday of Srinivas Ramanujan, the world-renowned Indian mathematician and culminates on 25 December 2020, the birthday of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee”. 

    Dr Harsh Vardhan also informed that the number of events of IISF 2020 has increased from 28 to 40, which covers many more important facets addressing the role of STI in addressing newer challenges the world is facing. The Minister expressed the hope that “Pre-existing events will grow richer in content and the new events will make the festival more holistic”.

    Launched in 2015 the event has become a much-awaited annual event that celebrates the achievements of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and demonstrates how science can be the fulcrum of the country’s progress. IISF 2020 expects to cater to a gathering of approximately one-lakh participants from India and abroad.  A total of 40 events have been planned on different aspects of science and technology to highlight the role of Indian Science in elevating the society and fighting the ongoing pandemic.  Some new themes have been added this year viz., History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Science, Agritech, Clean Air, Energy, Waste & Sanitation, Biodiversity, Science Diplomacy etc.

    In his welcome remarks, Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, DG-CSIR and Secretary-DSIR, highlighted the importance of the upcoming event amid COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that IISF has emerged as a major platform for taking science to society.
    Dr. Ashutosh Sharma Secretary DST, Dr. Rajeevan, Secretary MOES, and Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary DBT were present for the curtain raiser for IISF-2020.  

    List of events at IISF 2020

    1. Agriculture Conclave and Expo
    2. Agritech
    3. Assistive Technologies Conclave for Divyangjan
    4. Biodiversity
    5. Clean Air
    6. Energy
    7. Engineering Model Competition Meet & Expo
    8. Face-to-Face with New Frontiers in Science
    9. Games and Toys
    10. Global Indian Scientists & Technocrats Meet
    11. Guinness World Records
    12. Habitat (Urban & Rural)
    13. Health Research Conclave (HRC)
    14. History of Indian Science
    15. Industry Academia Conclave
    16. International Science Film Festival of India (ISFFI)
    17. International Science Literature Festival – “VIGYANIKA”
    18. Mega Science, Technology & Industry Expo
    19. National Science Teachers Congress (NSTC)
    20. National Social Organizations & Institutions Meet
    21. National Start-up Conclave
    22. Nav Bharat Nirman – Building of the New India
    23. New Age Technology Show
    24. North-East Students’ Conclave
    25. Outreach Programme& Satellite Communication Event
    26. Overseas Ministers & Diplomats Conclave
    27. Philosophy and Science
    28. Science & Performing Arts
    29. Science & Technology Media Conclave
    30. Science Diplomacy
    31. Science Education in India
    32. State S&T Ministers Conclave (SSTMC)
    33. Students Science Village (SSV)
    34. Traditional Crafts and Artisan Meet & Expo
    35. VigyanYatra
    36. Waste &Sanitation
    37. Water
    38. Wellness Conclave
    39. Women Scientists & Entrepreneurs Conclave
    40. Young Scientists Conference (YSC)

     

     

  • The Vice President said the NEP draws inspiration from the ancient Indian education system which used to focus on developing holistic and well-rounded personalities. He said the NEP seeks to make Indian education holistic, multi-disciplinary, and practical.

    Addressing virtually the 13th convocation of National Institute of Technology (NIT), Agartala, Shri Naidu pointed out that the ancient education system always taught us to live in harmony with nature and respect all beings and non-beings. “Our education was practical, wholesome, and complementary to life”, he added.

    Calling upon the higher education institutions and universities to make India a thriving hub of knowledge and innovation, Shri Naidu advised them to take up cutting edge research in various fields, establish synergy with industries and other similar institutions and turn our campuses into exciting centres of creativity and research.

    Recalling the advice of former President, A P J Abdul Kalam to the youth to dream big, the Vice President asked the students to set a goal and strive hard to achieve it. “You will succeed if you work with dedication, discipline and sincerity without wavering from your chosen path”, he stressed.

    He told the students to utilize their knowledge, skills and aptitude that they acquired over the years in building bright, fulfilling and successful careers.

    Stressing the need to be agile, the Vice President said, "Students, researchers and academicians, therefore, cannot afford to remain in a world of status quo. They have to constantly learn, update themselves, and innovate every day".

    One who learns and adapts better will thrive," he added.

    He also observed that it was time for the universities, IITs, NITs and other higher education institutions to fully reorient their teaching methods and equip the teachers with new pedagogical skills in tune with the 21st-century requirements.

    Shri Naidu stressed the need to adopt an inter-disciplinary approach to address the challenges faced by mankind such as ending poverty, improving agricultural productivity and combating pollution and diseases amongst others.

    The Vice President urged the corporate sector to identify key research projects in various sectors and fund them under CSR initiatives. "Enhancing public and private investments in research is of vital importance for creating a knowledge-driven society," he added.

    With about 65 per cent of the country’s population comprising youth, the Vice President called for fully channelizing the energies of the youth and creating the right ecosystem for promoting entrepreneurship among them. “This is the time to tap their talents and skill for giving a fillip to ‘Vocal for Local’ campaign. Institutions like NIT-Agartala have to be at the forefront in turning youth into job creators and not just job seekers”, he added.

    The Vice President expressed his happiness that NIT Agartala had adopted nearby villages with an aim of making them "Model Villages." He asked all students to spend some time in villages to understand the challenges faced by the rural India. Terming ‘agriculture’ as our ‘basic culture’, he called for making farming a viable and profitable activity.

    Reminding the students of India’s great civilizational values of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam and ‘share and care’, Shri Naidu asked them to make these values part of their life. “Sharing will give you more happiness”, he said.

    The Vice President also asked the educational institutions to enrich the knowledge of the students by making them aware of India’s ancient culture and heritage.

    Stressing the need for people to be nature- friendly, he called for protecting nature and promoting culture for a better future. He appealed to everyone to respect and love the nature.

    He lauded NIT Agartala for being ranked within 100 best engineering institutes the under the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF).

    Dr. Subhash Chandra Sati, Chairman, Board of Governors, NIT, Agartala, Prof H K Sharma, Director, NIT, Agartala, Dr. Govind Bhargava, Registrar, Dr Ajay Kumar Das, Dean, Academics, Prof Gautham Damuri, PURDUE University, USA, Anil Mutha of Mutha Industries, Faculty, staff, students and their parents were among those who participated in the virtual event.

    Following is the full text of the speech –

    “It gives me immense pleasure to participate virtually in the 13th Convocation of NIT, Agartala being held at Agartala today. I am sure, the students when they began their course would not have anticipated that they would be receiving their degrees in this manner. But the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives like never before and the education sector was one of the most severely impacted with online classes and virtual Convocations like this one becoming the new normal.

    I must appreciate NIT for taking the initiative to hold e-Convocation and bring us together through a virtual platform for such a momentous occasion.

    At the outset, I would like to congratulate the outgoing students for completing their degrees from this prestigious institute. I would also like to convey my appreciation to the educators and the administration in guiding and hand-holding students in their academic journey.

    I am happy to note that for the academic year 2019-20 this Institute is awarding B. Tech. degree to a total number of 534 students, M. Tech Degree to a total of 181 students, BS & BT Degree to 29 students, BS MS & BT MT Degree to 31 students, M. Sc Degree to 24 students, MCA Degree to 20 students, MBA Degree to 14 students in this convocation. This year, 24 scholars will be awarded with a Ph.D.

    It has been 15 years since this institute has been upgraded as NIT Agartala in 2006 from Tripura Engineering College. I am glad to note that over this period, NIT Agartala has been providing excellent instructional and research facilities and has emerged as an institute of national excellence. For the last three years, the institute is being ranked within the 100 best engineering institutes of the country under the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF).

    I am pleased to know that NIT Agartala also acts as an ISRO Space Technology Incubation Center to cater to the country’s space technology needs and has been carrying out research and development activities. This is a welcome initiative.

    My dear friends,

    NIT Agartala and other premier institutes in our country have glorious examples from our ancient education systems to emulate. India was known as ‘Vishwa Guru’ and the world’s best learning centres like Takshashila, Nalanda used to attract thousands of students and scholars from all the corners of the globe.

    Indiahad produced numerous scholars like Charaka, Susruta, Aryabhatta, Bhaskaracharya, Chanakya, Patanjali, and others, who had made seminal contribution in various fields.

    Our ancient education system used to focus on developing holistic and well-rounded personalities. We were always taught to live in harmony with nature and respect all beings and non-beings. Our education was practical, wholesome, and complementary to life. In fact, education was seen as a continuous process of learning.

    Friends,

    The New Education Policy is underpinned by the same vision. It aims at making “India a global knowledge super-power” and seeks to bring a paradigm shift in the entire education system. Drawing inspiration from our ancient system, it seeks to make Indian education holistic, multi-disciplinary, and practical.

    Introducing flexibility in higher education, rigid separation of disciplines has become a thing of the past. Instead, graduate programmes will be multi-disciplinary. There will be a renewed focus on research with a single regulator to oversee the functioning of all institutions, barring medical and law colleges.

    All these policy reforms are long overdue and will greatly transform the education landscape in our country. Translating the reforms into effective, dream-fulfilling vision now rests on the shoulders of our gurus, the teachers. The time has come for all universities, IITs, NITs and other higher education institutes to fully reorient their teaching methods and equip the teachers with new pedagogical skills in tune with 21st century requirements.

    At the same time, there is a need for our institutions to take up cutting edge research in various fields, establish synergy with industries and other similar institutions and turn our campuses into exciting centres of creativity and research. I call upon every institution to rise to the occasion and make India a thriving hub of knowledge and innovation. We should aspire to become Vishwa Guru once again.

    Dear young friends,

    This is a very important day in your careers and will remain etched in your memories for the rest of your lives. Your hard work through your life has given you this badge of recognition today-- a degree.

    Friends, each one of you has this very powerful tool in your pocket now. While the degree you are getting today is important and will add to your credentials, what is more important is your ability and capacity to use the knowledge, skills and aptitude that you have acquired all these years in  building a bright, fulfilling and successful career. Every step you take from here will be crucial in realizing your dreams and goals.

    Former President, Shri A P J Abdul Kalam used to always advise the youth to not aim for small things but to dream big. That should be your goal. Dream big, set a goal and strive hard to achieve it. You will succeed if you work with dedication, discipline and sincerity without wavering from your chosen path.

    As you step out of the portals of your alma mater, a new exciting world awaits you. Everything will not be rosy… there will be challenges and pitfalls. But you have to continue your quest. “Stop not till you reach the goal”, as swami Vivekananda had said.

    One who learns and adapts better will thrive.

    Institutions and degrees cannot remain as mere artifacts in the new paradigm. There has to be a utility in what we are delivering. There has to be agility in our approach to learning. Acquiring knowledge will be purposeless if it remains in narrow silos. There is a need to adopt an inter-disciplinary approach to address challenges facing the mankind from ending poverty to improving agricultural productivity to combating pollution and diseases.

    Enhancing public and private investments in research is of vital importance for creating a knowledge-driven society. I urge the corporate sector to identify key research projects in various sectors and fund them under CSR initiatives.

    Technology has been changing very fast too in recent years. The fourth industrial revolution, as the World Economic Forum defines it, denotes innovations based on a combination of technologies like AI, robotics and 3D printing. This is not a vision of the future, young friends! This is the present!

    Students, researchers and academicians, therefore, cannot afford to remain in a world of status quo. They have to constantly learn, update themselves, and innovate every day! They need to be agile.

    Dear sisters and brothers,

    India is uniquely blessed because it is young. About 65 per cent of the country’s population comprises youth. We need to fully channelize the energies of the youth and create the right ecosystem for promoting entrepreneurship among them. This is the time to tap their talents and skill for giving a fillip to ‘Vocal for Local’ campaign. Institutions like NIT-Agartala have to be at the forefront in turning youth into job creators and not just job seekers.

    I am sure NIT Agartala is adapting to the new demands of society and industry. I am very pleased to know that nearby villages have been adopted by the Institute and that the institute is aiming to make these villages ‘Model Villages’.

    I also congratulate the parents of these youngsters and all their gurus who have nurtured and contributed to their learning and development.

    Once again, I am very glad to be virtually present with you all today. I hope this initiative of e-convocation has given some motivational boost to my young friends and will propel them to excel in their endeavours!

    I convey my best wishes to all the students, their parents, faculty and all others associated with NIT Agartala.

    I would like to conclude with a quote from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad which the students may reflect upon:

    “You are what your deep, driving desire is.

    As your desire is, so is your will.

    As your will is, so is your deed.

    As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

    Thank you.”

  • On the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan also dedicated to the nation the three indigenously developed technologies and facilities, first of its kind, as a step towards AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. 

    1. The Centre of Excellence for Coal Gasification- Coal to Syngas Plant; 2. Centre of Excellence for Strategic and Infrastructure Sectors; 3. Indigenously developed innovative technologies for import substitution of coking coal.
    Congratulating CSIR-CIMFR for achieving various important milestones during its more than seven decades of journey, Dr. Harsh Vardhan also underlined that “It is also important to pay attention to conservation of soil and biodiversity, carbon footprint, socio-economic and agro ecosystems, wildlife management plan, bio-reclamation of degraded ecosystem”.

    Dr V K Saraswat, Member (S&T), NITI Aayog; Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, DG CSIR and Secretary DSIR; Dr Pradeep Singh, Director, CSIR-Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research and many other dignitaries were present during the event. 

    Dr. Harsh Vardhan expressed his happiness that CIMFR has emerged as a Centre of Excellence for Strategic and Infrastructure Sectors with contributions of the Rock Excavation Engineering Research Group which has been associated in the construction of important roadways/railways, tunnels, hydroelectric projects, opencast and underground mines.

    - Tapas Bhattacharya

  • The country has also seen less than 50,000 daily new cases being registered continuously for the past ten days

    While this signifies the wide adoption of COVID appropriate behaviour among the population, it also assumes significance in view of the high number of daily cases being continuously reported in many countries in Europe and the Americas.

    The trend of new daily recoveries exceeding the daily new cases continues with 40,791 cases recovering in the last 24 hours against just 29,163 newly detected cases.The Government continues to maintain a high level of countrywide testing. Total tests stand at 12,65,42,907 today. This has led to bringing down the cumulative positivity to 7.01%.

    The Active Caseload which has now stands at 4,53,401 comprises just 5.11% of all cumulative cases.

    The total recovered cases stand at 82,90,370. With this, the Recovery Rate has improved to 93.42% today.

    72.87% of the recovered cases reported in the last 24 hours are from ten States/UTs.

    Kerala saw the greatest number of recoveries as 6,567 confirmed cases tested negative. West Bengal registered 4,376 daily recoveries while Delhi reported another 3,560 of them.

    75.14%of the new cases have been reported from ten states/UTs

    Delhi which saw a surge in new cases over the last few days reported only 3,797 new cases yesterday, followed by West Bengal which reported 3,012 new cases. Kerala recorded 2,710 new cases.

    78.40% of the 449 new deaths are concentrated in ten States/UTs.

    More than a fifth, 22.76% of new fatalities reported are from Delhi which reported 99 deaths. Maharashtra reported 60 fatalities, followed by West Bengal (53).

  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday announced its partnership with MPL Sports, the athleisure wear and sports merchandise brand from Mobile Premier League, India’s largest esports platform, as the new kit sponsor and official merchandise partner for the Indian Cricket Team.
     
    Under the newly-inked strategic partnership, MPL Sports has entered into a three-year agreement from November 2020 to December 2023. MPL Sports’ association with the BCCI begins with upcoming India’s tour of Australia, 2020-21, which will see Team India sporting the new jerseys.
     
    The senior men and women and the Under-19 teams are also a part of the deal for the new kits.
     
    Apart from Team India jerseys, MPL Sports will also sell licensed Team India merchandise. MPL Sports will offer the jerseys and its wide range of Team India merchandise to fans at affordable prices.