News

  • In Madhya Pradesh, 28 new ministers have joined the BJP government headed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the state.

  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today inaugurates the Plasma Bank for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. The facility has been set up at Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi.

  • Government today said that a total of three lakh 59 thousand 860 people affected with coronavirus have recovered in the country so far.

  • Human Resources Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan today jointly launched Drug Discovery Hackathon through video conferencing.

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah will chair a meeting this evening through video conferencing to review the COVID19 situation in Delhi-NCR.

  • Uttar Pradesh Government will launch a special campaign today for door to door medical screening in all districts of Meerut division which are having large numbers of Corona positive patients.

  • Home Ministry has declared nine individuals as designated terrorists under provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

  • BSNL today cancelled the tender for 4G network upgradation and expansion amidst complaints by homegrown companies demanding a fresh tender.

  • Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said India will not allow Chinese companies to participate in highway projects, including those through joint ventures.

  • National Doctor's Day is being celebrated today. The day is celebrated on July 1 every year to thank the doctors and physicians for their relentless service to humanity. The theme of this year's Doctors Day is 'Lessen the mortality of COVID 19'.

  • The gross GST revenue collected in June 2020 is 90 thousand 917 crore rupees of which CGST is 18 thousand 980 crore, SGST is 23 thousand 970 crore and IGST is 40 thousand 302 crore rupees.

  • The Centre has declared the entire Nagaland as disturbed area for a further period of six months till December-end.

  • The Ministers called upon students, academicians, researchers and professionals to participate in the Hackathon and work towards developing drugs to tackle Covid-19.

    The Hackathon is a joint initiative of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR and All India Council for Technical Education, AICTE.

    Minister of State for Human Resources Development Sanjay S. Dhotre, AICTE Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe and DG CSIR Dr Shekhar Mande were present on the occasion.

  • This was the second expansion of the MP Cabinet. Of these, 20 were appointed as cabinet ministers while 8 were  ministers of state.

    The new ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Anandiben Patel at the Raj Bhawan in Bhopal in the presence of Chief Minister Shivraj and many other senior leaders and central ministers.

    Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had earlier inducted five ministers to the Cabinet in the month of April.

  • Archaeologists in Western Australia discovered hundreds of stone tools made by aboriginal people when the seabed was dry, at two ancient sites now submerged in the Dampier Archipelago.

    While the region is well known for its rich ancient history and its rock-art carvings, the two sites are the first confirmed underwater locations holding evidence of human civilization on Australia’s continental shelf.

    Divers from Flinders University plunge into the water on the Pilbara Coast to retrieve the aboriginal objects from what was once dry land, at a depth of between 2.4 metres and 11 metres (8-36 feet).

    They have found cutting and grinding tools and hammer stones that date back thousands of years, as per sources.

    Data from the find is being analysed for precise dating, however radiocarbon dating and analysis of sea-level changes show the site is at least 7,000 years old.

  • Researchers said on Wednesday it is the largest rocky planet ever discovered and would be the first planetary core ever found, offering a unique opportunity to better understand the interiors of gas giants like Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.

    The planet, called TOI-849b, orbits a star a bit smaller and cooler than the sun, located 730 light years from Earth. A light year is the distance light travels in a year, 5.9 trillion miles (9.5 trillion km).

    Gas giants are composed of a solid core surrounded by a vast atmosphere mostly of hydrogen and helium.

    Its diameter of 27,000 miles (43,500 km) is a bit less than Neptune, the smallest of our solar system’s four gas planets, but much larger than Earth’s 7,900 miles (12,700 km). It orbits extremely near its star - much closer than our solar system’s innermost planet Mercury is to the sun - and travels 10 times more quickly than Earth, completing an orbit every 18 hours.

  • The Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report on Thursday would add to a stream of data, including consumer spending, showing a sharp rebound in activity.

    But the reopening of businesses after being shuttered in mid-March has unleashed a wave of coronavirus infections in large parts of the country, including the populous California, Florida and Texas.

    Several states have been scaling back or pausing reopenings since late June and sent some workers home. The impact of these decisions will not show up in the employment data as the government surveyed businesses in the middle of the month.

    Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell this week acknowledged the rebound in activity, saying the economy had “entered an important new phase and had done so sooner than expected.” But he cautioned the outlook “is extraordinarily uncertain” and would depend on “our success in containing the virus.”

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced it on 13th of March this year. Ministry of Finance in a statement said, Reserve Bank of India will provide funds for the Scheme by subscribing to government guaranteed special securities issued by the Trust. The total amount of such securities issued outstanding shall not exceed 30 thousand crore rupees at any point of time. The Central Government will provide an unconditional and irrevocable guarantee to the special securities issued by the Trust.

    The Scheme will remain open for three months for making subions by the Trust. The period of lending by the Trust will be for a period of up to 90 days. The financing would be used by the NFBCs and HFCs only to repay existing liabilities and not to expand assets.

    This facility is a part of the Central Government and RBI’s efforts to alleviate the concerns of the market participants on the availability of funds to the sector.

    Any NBFC including Micro-finance Institutions registered with RBI and any HFC registered with the National Housing Bank complying with the given  conditions will be eligible to raise funding from the said facility. 

  • Images published by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. on Thursday showed police flagging down cars in suburban streets after 36 suburbs in Melbourne in Victoria state went into lockdown following a spike in new infections there. The state reported 77 new cases on Thursday, up slightly from the previous day and in line with two weeks of double-digit daily increases.

    “I’m obviously concerned about the outbreak, and I’m pleased that the premier has taken the action he’s taken by putting in place the lockdown for the outbreak in those suburbs,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a televised news conference, referring to the Victorian state government.

    “We have seen some levelling (in new cases) although they remain at elevated levels and that is of concern and that means as the lockdown now is in place, we would hope to see those numbers fall again.”

    Australia has fared better than many countries in the pandemic, with around 8,000 cases and 104 deaths. However, the recent jump in Victoria has stoked fears of a second wave of COVID-19, echoing concerns expressed in other countries.

  • The move comes as part of the series of tough measures that the Trump Administration has been taking in the last few days, including designating Huawei and ZTE as national security threats and President Donald Trump signing of the Uighur Human Rights Policy Act.

    Describing China as one of the world's most unfree countries, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said that a day earlier the Chinese Communist Party implemented its draconian national security law on Hong Kong in violation of commitments that it made to the Hong Kong people and to the United Kingdom.

    He said, the United States is deeply concerned about the law's sweeping provisions and the safety of everyone living in the territory, including Americans.

  • Russians went to the polls on Wednesday to cast ballots in a nationwide referendum on Constitutional Amendments. The vote paves the way for Putin, who has ruled for two decades, to remain President until 2036.

    Russia's Central Election Commission released a preliminary tally of results as polls closed, after processing 50 per cent of ballots, saying 76.24 per cent of the citizens who voted supported the amendments.

    The early results are reminiscent of the 2018 Presidential Election, when Putin won re-election in a landslide with three quarters of ballots cast.

  • The UN’s most powerful body voted unanimously on Wednesday to adopt the resolution after the United States and China resolved a lengthy dispute over mentioning the World Health Organization.

    Germany’s UN Ambassador Christoph Heusgen, the Council President for July, announced the result, calling it a sign for hope for all people currently living in conflict zones around the world.

    The resolution backs UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ March 23 call for global ceasefires to tackle the pandemic and demands an immediate cessation of hostilities in all conflicts on its agenda which include key conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.

    The resolution, sponsored by France and Tunisia, states that these measures do not apply to military operations against the Islamic State and Al-Qaida extremist groups and their affiliates. 

  • In a virtual media briefing, Union Minister Paswan informed about the steps taken by the government for providing additional food grains to the states. He reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment to ensure that poor and needy people will not go hungry in the country and that free ration will be provided to them during the rainy and forthcoming festival seasons amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Minister said that in the span of next five months, a total of 200 Lakh Metric Tonnes of grain and nine lakh 78 thousand Metric Tonnes of Chana will be distributed among the National Food Security Act beneficiaries. He informed that both the phases of the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana will together incur a total expenditure of one lakh 50 thousand crore rupees.

     Union Minister Paswan informed that he has also written letters to the Chief Ministers of all the States and Union Territories and has requested them to make necessary arrangements to implement the One Nation, One Ration Card Scheme. 

  • The 109 OD Pairs have been formed into 12 clusters across the Indian Railway network. Each train will have a minimum of 16 coaches. The project will entail private sector investment of about 30 thousand crore rupees.
     
    This is the first initiative of private investment for running passenger trains over Indian Railways network. Majority of trains will be manufactured in India and the private entity will be responsible for financing, procuring, operation and maintenance of the trains. Trains willl be designed for a maximum speed of 160 kmph. There will be a substantial reduction in journey time.
     
    The objective of this initiative is to introduce modern technology rolling stock with reduced maintenance, reduced transit time, boost job creation, provide enhanced safety, provide world class travel experience to passengers, and also reduce demand supply deficit in the passenger transportation sector.
     
    The concession period for the project will be 35 years. The Private Entity will pay to Indian Railways fixed haulage charges, energy charges as per actual consumption and a share in Gross Revenue determined through a transparent bidding process. These trains will be operated by the Drivers and Guards of Indian Railways.

  • He said, its positive impact is being felt in all aspects of the lives of Indian citizens. He was addressing a video conference marking the celebration of 5 years of the Digital India Programme in New Delhi on Wednesday.

    The Minister said Digital India’s initiatives like Aarogya Setu, E-Sanjeevani, sensitisation through MyGov and Social media platforms have also played a pivotal role during the COVID-19 situation.

    The Union Minister pointed out that the number of e-Services have increased from 2,463 in 2014 to 3,858 till May 2020 and daily average electronic transactions have increased from 66 lakh in 2014 to 16.3 crore in 2020.

    He said that Aadhaar has been issued to 125.7 crore residents and 4,216 crore authentications have been facilitated.

    Emphasizing the Digital India’s initiatives during the COVID-19 situation, such as Aarogya Setu App, Union Minister Prasad informed that it has helped to identify over 350 COVID-19 hotspots.

    He reiterated that Digital India’s achievements can be attributed to the united efforts of Central and  State Governments, Industries and Academia.

    Secretary, MeitY Ajay Sawhney,  spoke about ‘Building Digital Government Platforms for the Digital Economy of the Future.

  • They include Wadhawa Singh Babbar, a key leader of Babbar Khalsa International, Lakhbir Singh, a Pakistan-based Chief of terror organisation International Sikh Youth Federation and Ranjeet Singh of Khalistan Zindabad Force.

    Home Ministry said in a release that these individuals are involved in various acts of terrorism from across the border and from foreign soil. It said they have been relentless in their nefarious efforts of destabilizing the country, by trying to revive militancy in Punjab through their anti national activities and through their support to and involvement in the Khalistan Movement.

    The Central Government had amended the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 in August last year to include the provision of designating an individual as a terrorist. Prior to this amendment, only organizations could be designated as terrorist organizations.

    Home Minister Amit Shah during the debate in Parliament last year on the amendment to the  Act had strongly expressed NDA Government’s commitment to firmly fight the menace of terrorism and had unequivocally reaffirmed the nation’s resolve on this matter.

    By invoking the amended provision, in September last year, the Central Government designated four individuals as terrorists. They are Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafeez Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim.
     

  • Commanders from  People's Liberation Army and Indian Army held a meeting on Wednesday at Chushul, on the Indian side for another round of talks. This was the third senior military commander level engagement to discuss issues related to disengagement at the faceoff sites along the LAC and de-escalation from the border areas.

    This is in keeping with the Agreement between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart during their conversation on 17th June. Both the leaders agreed that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner, and both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of 6th June sincerely.

    The meeting on Wednesday was long and held in a businesslike manner keeping in view the Covid-19 protocols. The discussions reflected the commitment of both sides to reduce the tensions along the LAC. The process of dis-engagement along the LAC is complex and in such a context, speculative and unsubstantiated reports need to be avoided.  Sources say, more meetings are expected both at the military and at the diplomatic level, in future, to arrive at mutually agreeable solution and to ensure peace and tranquility along the LAC as per bilateral agreements and protocols.

  • Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said government will ensure that Chinese companies are not be entertained in various sectors like MSMEs.

    He said this is a step towards making India self reliant. 

    The Minister said permission  for road construction will not be given to joint ventures that have Chinese partners.

    He also said that a policy will be out soon banning Chinese firms and relaxing norms for Indian companies to expand their eligibility criteria for participation in highway projects.

  • Following large scale protests in the country, the government had decided to scrap quotas for class-I and Class-II jobs in the country in October 2018. The current batch of BCS would be the last batch to be selected under the quota system which gave 56 percent reservation to various categories of candidates in these jobs.

    This included 30 percent for the family members of liberation war fighters, 10 percent for women, 10 percent for disadvantaged districts, 5 percent for small ethnic groups and 1 percent for the people with disabilities. 

    However, the quota for the disabled people will continue. The quota will also continue for class-III and Class-IV jobs in the government. The quota system was introduced through an executive order in 1972. It has been amended several times since. 
     

  • India on Wednesday declared nine Khalistani terrorists in designated terror list under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention, UAPA Act. "Reinforcing the commitment to strengthening national security and Modi Government’s policy of zero tolerance to terrorism, Union Home Ministry under the leadership of Home Minister Amit Shah today declared nine individuals as designated terrorists under provisions of UAPA Act," said an official release.

    "These individuals are involved in various acts of terrorism from across the border and from foreign soil. They have been relentless in their nefarious efforts of destabilizing the country, by trying to revive militancy in Punjab through their anti-national activities and through their support to and involvement in the Khalistan Movement," added the release.

    The terrorists are 

    1. Wadhawa Singh Babbar: Pakistan based Chief of terrorist organization, “Babbar Khalsa International”.

    2. Lakhbir Singh: Pakistan based Chief of terrorist organization, “International Sikh Youth Federation”.

    3. Ranjeet Singh: Pakistan based Chief of terrorist organization, “Khalistan Zindabad Force”.

    4. Paramjit Singh: Pakistan based Chief of terrorist organization “Khalistan Commando Force”.

    5. Bhupinder Singh Bhinda: Germany based key member of terrorist organization, “Khalistan Zindabad Force”.

    6. Gurmeet Singh Bagga: Germany based key member of terrorist organisation, “Khalistan Zindabad Force”.

    7. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun: USA based key member of Unlawful Association, “Sikh for Justice”.

    8. Hardeep Singh Nijjar: Canada based Chief of “Khalistan Tiger Force”.

    9. Paramjit Singh: United Kingdom-based Chief of terrorist organization, “Babbar Khalsa International”.

     

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, India salutes our doctors - exceptional care givers who are at the forefront of a spirited fight against COVID-19. In a tweet, on the occasion of Doctor's Day, PM Modi said, in this time of crisis, Doctors and Nurses are the form of God.
     
    He said, mother gives birth to us and doctor gives us rebirth many times. PM Modi said, Doctors save the lives of people and we can never repay their debt. He said, it is the duty of everyone to respect and honour them every moment who serve the nation.
     

    When the world is fighting the coronavirus pandemic, it has realized the importance of doctors more than ever. The day is to thank the medical professionals who treat the health of the patients above theirs and offer round the clock services.
     
     

  • As soon as the powerful Standing Committee meeting of the ruling party started at the PM's official residence at Baluwatar yesterday, former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' slammed Oli for the remarks he made on Sunday.
     
    Mr Prachanda said, the Prime Minister's remarks that India is conspiring to remove him was neither politically correct, nor diplomatically appropriate. He said, such a statement by the Prime Minister may damage Nepal's relations with the neighbour.
     
    Senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal, Vice chairman Bamdev Gautam and spokesperson Narayankaji Shrestha also asked Prime Minister Oli to provide evidence of his accusation and asked him to quit.

  • Rashtriya Swabhimaan, NGO distributes 25,000 PPE kits to Delhi police

  • It also includes 15 thousand 709 crore collected on import of goods and Cess is seven thousand 665 crore rupees.
     
    The GST collections for April was 32 thousand 294 crore rupees which was 28 per cent of the revenue collected during the same month last year. In May, 62 thousand nine crore rupees was collected out of which was 62 per cent of the revenue collected during the same month last year.
     
    The GST collections for the first quarter of the year is 59 per cent of the revenue collected during the same quarter last year. Our correspondent reports, however, a large number of taxpayers still have time to file their return for the month of May, 2020.

  • In a notification issued by the Cabinet Division late on Tuesday, it was announced that the restrictions have been extended to contain the spread of Coronavirus in the country.

    The restrictions make the wearing of masks necessary while moving out of home. Keeping social distancing and following the health guidelines issued by the government has been made mandatory.

    Public transport, passenger vessels, trains and airplanes could operate their services in a limited scale with limited numbers of passengers in approved regions under approved health guidelines issued by the government. 

    Vehicles involved in transportation of commodities through road or waterways will be allowed to operate while observing the health instructions. 

    According to the notification, no one will be allowed to go outside home between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. without urgent need such as purchasing essentials, performing rituals for the  dead etc.

    The government has ordered that markets, shops and shopping malls must be closed before 7 p.m. They must also have the facility of  hand-washing and disinfecting the vehicles at the entry into the shopping malls. 

    The educational institutions will also remain closed but they can continue with their administrative work. Online courses and distance learning activities will be allowed during this period. 

    Mass gatherings including rallies and meetings will be restricted. However, people can offer prayers at mosques maintaining the health guidelines issued by the government. 

    Depending upon the severity of the infections, zoning systems of dividing locations into red, yellow and green zones will be implemented by the local administration to control the spread of the coronavirus.

  • At present, a total of 200 services are being run, out of which 130 services are running between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Kasara/Karjat/Kalyan/Dombivali/Thane on main line and 70 services are running between CSMT and Panvel on harbour line.
     
    150 more services will be added to the existing services making the total to 350 services. The number of services may be modified as per the requirement to ensure social distancing norms. AIR correspondent reports that considering the State Government's request to allow some more employees in essential services to travel by suburban local trains, railways have decided to add 150 more services from today.
     
    These trains will halt at major stations only and will cater to the essential staff permitted to travel by select suburban services. The categories instructed by the Ministry of Home Affairs include defence personnel and employees of Central Government, Income Tax, GST and Customs and Department of Posts, along with employees of Nationalised Banks, Mumbai Port Trust, Judiciary and Raj Bhavan.
     
    Only these employees are permitted to travel in these select suburban services. To ensure social distancing in the coaches, unlike its seating capacity to accommodate about 1,200 persons, only about 700 are to be allowed per train.

  • The theme of this year's Doctors Day is 'Lessen the mortality of COVID 19'. The day is to thank the medical professionals who treat the health of the patients above theirs and offer round the clock services.
     
    The first National Doctor's day was celebrated in July 1991. In India, this day marks the birth as well as the death anniversary of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. He was one of the most renowned physicians in India and former Chief Minister of West Bengal. This year, West Bengal Government has declared a State holiday on the occasion.
     
    Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday paid tributes to legendary physician and former Chief Minister of West Bengal Dr. B.C. Roy on Doctor's Day. In a tweet, Naidu said, Dr B C Roy made invaluable contribution to the development of medical field in India.
     
    The Vice President extended greetings and good wishes to doctors across the nation for their selfless service to humanity. He said, in times of grave health emergencies like the current COVID pandemic, the doctors of the country have always bravely donned the mantle of being the frontline warriors. He called upon the countrymen to pledge the unconditional support to the dedicated members of the medical fraternity and express the deepest gratitude and respect to them.
     
    The Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that the decision has been taken as a mark of respect for the Medical professionals and other frontline workers who are putting their lives at stake for fighting against Corona. She also urged the Centre and other States to declare holiday on this day each year to offer tribute to their sacrifices.

  • The blast was triggered by a gas leak, Tehran Deputy Governor Hamid Reza Goudarzi told state television.

    State TV showed the moment of an explosion after the initial blast started a huge blaze, as well as emergency services responding to the incident.

    Ten women and three men died in the explosion, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said on the TV.

    A fire touched off by the blast has been extinguished, Jalal Maleki, the Tehran Fire Department spokesman said on state TV.

    The clinic, which had 25 employees inside at the time of the blast, primarily carries out minor surgery and medical imaging, Harirchi said.

    Last week, an explosion occurred close to a sensitive military site near Tehran which the defence ministry said was caused by a leaking tank at a gas storage facility. No deaths or injuries were reported.

  • He is an Army officer posted with Army’s Aviation Test Team. The Race Across America (RAAM) is a 5000 km transcontinental race from the West coast to East coast of the United States of America with a cut-off time of 12 days.

    This year, the organizers had to cancel the event due to the ongoing pandemic and came up with a virtual format for the race. The race saw participation of 17 ultra-endurance cyclists from around the world, of which only 9 could successfully complete the grueling race.

    Lt. Col. Pannu finished 3rd on the leaderboard with a total distance of 4086 km in 12 days and total cumulative elevation gain of 71,000 meters.

     

     

     

  • Speaking to the Russian state-run ZVEZDA News Agency about terrorism in Myanmar, General Hlaing said that international cooperation was vital to suppress terrorist organisations in cases where strong forces are behind them.

    The Army Chief was in Moscow last week to attend the 75th anniversary of the Russian Victory in the second World War.

    Military spokesperson Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun was quoted by Irrawady that the Military Chief was referring to Arakan Army (AA) and Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). Myanmar government has labelled both the groups as terrorist organisations.

    Experts have pointed out that the sophisticated arms recovered from the separatist groups active in Arakan and other conflict prone areas of Myanmar are often found to be made in China.  Ex-military officer and political researcher Dr. Aung Myo was quoted by Irrawdy that most of the weapons currently used by the AA came from China.

    Myanmar-China watchers have pointed out that Myanmar has long harboured suspicion of China’s role in its subnational conflicts due to close linkages between these groups and China at multiple levels.

  • According to a press release issued by the High Commission of India in Bangladesh, the agreement was signed between the  IOC Middle East FZE, Dubai, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and RR Holdings Ltd., Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, the holding company of Beximco LPG of Bangladesh.

    The Joint Venture Company (JVC) will help reduce the import cost of LPG and make it available at an affordable price to the people of Bangladesh. The JVC also plans to diversify into other linked businesses like LNG, Petrochemicals, and LPG export to North East India through pipeline.

    Presiding over the function, Minister for Petroleum and Natural gas and Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan said that the agreement was a major milestone in India-Bangladesh relations. He expressed the hope that the new joint venture would help in greater penetration of affordable LPG in Bangladesh. 

    Speaking on the occasion the Chairman of the IOC Sanjiv Singh said that the Joint Venture Company will draw strength from the core competencies of IOC and local expertise of Beximco. He said that IOC desires to set up a large LPG terminal at a deep-water port in Bangladesh to facilitate receipt of LPG in very large gas carriers which will help in reducing the cost of import.

    High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das and the state Minister for Power and Energy, Government of Bangladesh Nasrul Hamid were present on the occasion of the agreement-signing ceremony which was broadcast through video conferencing. 

  • The scheme announced in the wake of COVID- 19 pandemic, provides  free food grains to  the people and its  extension will  cost over  Rs. 90 thousand crore. Addressing the nation Tuesday evening, PM Modi said, 80 crore people will get free ration for five more months.  

    PM  Modi said, if one  looks at the death rate due to corona, India is still in a very stable situation  in  the fight against COVID- 19 as compared to other countries. The Prime Minister added that timely decisions and measures like lockdown have saved many lives.

    PM Modi, however, said  ever since unlock one started, people have shown negligence urging  people to take all necessary precautions for fighting Coronavirus. He said during lockdown, rules were strictly followed but now governments, local administration and citizens again have to show similar caution.  

    He stressed the need to have a special focus on containment zones.The Prime Minister asked  everyone to follow health guidelines saying  be it head of village or Prime Minister, nobody is above rules.  

  • ASHAs have played a critical role in supporting the state’s COVID-19 management during this crisis.

    In a gigantic exercise, UP’s 1.6 lakh ASHAs have tracked over nearly 30.43 lakh migrant returnees in two phases- 11.24 lakh in the first and 19.19 lakh in the second phase.

    They have assisted in contact tracing and community level surveillance. The ASHAs not only identified 7965 persons with symptoms but also regularly followed up on their health status. They have facilitated sample collection from 2,232 returnees of which 203 were found to be positive and were referred to COVID health care services. Nigrani Samitis (Vigilance Committee) have been formed in all the villages under the Gram Pradhan.

    The Samiti members/ volunteers community patrols keep in touch with the ASHAs and provide her details of the migrants in the village, who in turn help with the follow up on the migrants. ASHAs have played a critical role in sensitising the communities about the preventive measures to be adopted such as regular hand washing with soap and water, importance of wearing masks when out in public spaces, and maintaining adequate physical distancing.

    As a result of their efforts, there has been enhanced awareness about essential and non-essential healthcare services and how to access these. The ASHAs are provided basic protective gear like masks and soap/sanitizers as they go about their duties.

    ASHAs have assisted the Panchayati Raj Department in development of the community quarantine centers, in buildings like Anganwadi centres and primary schools. They have ensured adoption of Aarogya Setu app at the community level through awareness generation and supporting in its installation.

    The contribution of ASHAs in non-COVID essential services has been exemplary. At the Ayushman Bharat - Health and Wellness Centres, ASHAs are contributing in conducting line listing of all individuals, risk assessment and mobilization for screening for chronic illness like Hypertension, Diabetes, three cancers (oral, breast and cervical cancers), TB and Leprosy.

    They have also been instrumental in providing of Reproductive Maternal Neonatal and Child Health (RMNCH) services which were directly affected by the lockdown measures and the necessity of maintaining of physical distancing. They have created awareness about the availability of these services and helped people to access them.

    The National Health Mission supports nearly 10 lakh ASHAs in rural and urban areas of most parts of the country.

    Nearly 1/6th  (1.67 lakh) are from Uttar Pradesh.

  • Speaking at a Digital Conference on the topic 'Doing Business with Bangladesh' organised by CII on Monday, he said that since 2014, the bilateral relation with Bangladesh has seen major developments like the ratification of land boundary agreement, settlement of maritime boundary and other agreements on connectivity.

    India has also implemented the agreement to supply 1076 MW of power to Bangladesh and issued 7.4 million visas to Bangladesh nationals.

    In a tweet, the Minister said that India Bangladesh cooperation stands out as an example for the region. He said that Bangladesh is the largest trading partner of India in South Asia. It is also the largest development partner with a project portfolio of dollar 8 billion at uniquely concessional terms.

    High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das said that the multimodal connectivity between the two countries provides opportunity to elevate business ties. She noted that Bangladesh railways had increased its monthly allocation of freight trains to Indian railways by approximately thirty-three percent for the month of June which was very positive.

    Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Muhammad Imran, mentioned that the India Bangladesh bilateral relationship today touches almost every aspect of activity including political, trade, investment, security, border, water management, power, cultural exchanges and others.

    Speaking at the Conference, Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) pointed out that Energy, Transport and Logistics were emerging as promising sectors for India Bangladesh economic cooperation.

     

    Rajesh Jha/ Dhaka

  • The legal agreements were signed for two projects – $200 million First Tamil Nadu Housing Sector Strengthening Programme and $50 million Tamil Nadu Housing and Habitat Development Project – to strengthen the state’s housing sector policies, institutions, and regulations.

    The $200 million First Tamil Nadu Housing Sector Strengthening Programme supports the government’s ongoing efforts to increase the availability of affordable housing by gradually shifting the role of the state from being the main provider to an enabler. It will also aim to unlock regulatory barriers and incentivise private sector participation in affordable housing for low-income families.

    The loan agreements were signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director (India) on behalf of the World Bank. Whereas, the project agreements were signed by Hitesh Kumar S. Makwana, Principal Resident Commissioner, on behalf of the Government of Tamil Nadu and Junaid Kamal Ahmad on behalf of the World Bank.

    Nearly half of Tamil Nadu’s population is urban, and this is expected to increase to 63 percent by 2030. An estimated 6 million people are currently living in slums (representing 16.6 percent of the state’s urban population).

    Concurrently, the Board also approved a $50 million Tamil Nadu Housing and Habitat Development Project to support innovations in housing finance and strengthen housing sector institutions in the state. It will finance the newly created Tamil Nadu Shelter Fund (TNSF) – an innovation in housing finance in India – by providing an equity contribution of $35 million.

    This initial support to TNSF will enable cross-subsidisation opportunities where higher returns from commercial and high-income developments will compensate for lower returns from affordable housing. This will make affordable housing commercially viable for potential investors.

    The project will also strengthen the capacity of key housing institutions including the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board, the state’s main provider of affordable housing; Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, the land use planning authority for the Chennai Metropolitan Area; and Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Fund Management Corporation Limited, the asset management company of TNSF.

    Yoonhee Kim, Senior Urban Economist, World Bank and Task Team Leader for the Housing Sector Strengthening Programme said that the global experience shows that the public sector alone cannot address a growing housing demand, especially as countries undergo rapid urbanization. The public sector can play an important role in providing regulatory and market incentives to make affordable housing more attractive for the private sector.

    The loans of $200 million and $50 million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) have a maturity of 20 years including a grace period of 3.5 years.

  • Security forces launched a cordon and search operation at Waghama in Anantnag district in south Kashmir Tuesday morning after receiving specific information about the presence of terrorists in the area. 

    This is second encounter in Anantnag district in as many days. Three terrorists were killed in the gun battle with security forces at Khulchohar area of the district on Monday.

  • The situation was now under control as the leak was restricted to one unit in the Sainor Life Sciences company.

    The cause of the leak that took place in a reactor unit at the plant is yet to be established.
     

  • US announced the decision hours after China said it would curb visas to some Americans heading to Hong Kong, itself a tit-for-tat response to a US move.

    United States has been leading a global uproar over a national security law approved by China, which Hong Kong activists say would destroy the city's freedoms.

    "We can no longer distinguish between the export of controlled items to Hong Kong or to mainland China," Pompeo said in a statement. "We cannot risk these items falling into the hands of the People's Liberation Army, whose primary purpose is to uphold the dictatorship of the CCP by any means necessary," he said, referring to the Chinese Communist Party.

    The State Department last year approved $2.4 million in defense sales to Hong Kong, of which $1.4 million worth were actually sent, including firearms and ammunition for law enforcement, according to official figures.

    The Commerce Department simultaneously said it was revoking its special status for Hong Kong. It will now treat the financial hub the same as China for so-called dual-use exports that have both military and civilian applications -- and which are highly restricted when sought by Beijing.

    China promised autonomy for Hong Kong before Britain returned the territory in 1997 but wants no repeat of massive and sometimes destructive protests that rocked the territory last year.

    "It gives us no pleasure to take this action, which is a direct consequence of Beijing's decision to violate its own commitments under the UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration," Pompeo said.

    President Donald Trump's administration has already declared that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous in US eyes and has been rolling out a series of measures in response. On Friday, the State Department said it was restricting visas for an unspecified number of Chinese officials seen as responsible for infringing on the autonomy of the Asian financial hub.

    In response, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday that the US "scheme... to obstruct the passage of the Hong Kong national security law will never prevail."

    "To target the US's above wrongful actions, China has decided to impose visa restrictions against American individuals who have behaved egregiously on matters concerning Hong Kong," Zhao said.

    While outlawing acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces, the legislation will allow China's security agencies to set up shop publicly in the city for the first time.

    Britain, the European Union and the United Nations rights watchdog have all voiced fears the law could be used to stifle criticism of Beijing, which uses similar laws on the authoritarian mainland to crush dissent.

    In Washington, some US lawmakers fear that Trump will take primarily symbolic action on Hong Kong, preferring to prioritize trade concerns that could affect his re-election campaign.

    Last week, the US Senate unanimously approved a bill that would impose mandatory economic sanctions against Chinese officials, Hong Kong police -- and banks that work with them -- if they are identified as hurting the city's autonomous status.

    Zhao, the foreign ministry spokesman, warned that the US "should not review, advance or implement relevant negative bills concerning Hong Kong, even less impose so-called sanctions on China, otherwise China will firmly take strong countermeasures."

    Hong Kong was upended by seven straight months of protests last year, initially sparked by an eventually abandoned plan to allow extraditions to the mainland. But they soon morphed into a popular revolt against Beijing's rule and widespread calls for democracy.

     

     

  • Half the world's cases have been in the United States and Europe, but Covid-19 is now rapidly growing in the Americas. The virus is also affecting South Asia and Africa, where it is not expected to peak until the end of July. Outbreaks are still spreading in many parts of the world, with one million new cases recorded in the last six days.

    The US has reported a total of 25 lakh cases and 125,000 deaths with Covid-19 so far - more than any other country.

    The country with the second-highest number of recorded cases is Brazil, with a total of 13 lakh, and more than 57 thousand deaths. Russia reported 6 lakh 633 thousand 542 cases and more than nine thousand deaths so far.
     

  • He asked suggestion from the Shipping Industry representatives to prepare a robust ecosystem for ship repairing facilities to transform India in a ‘Ship Repair Hub’.

    The minister stressed upon the aspects of upskilling expertise of Indian service engineers, enhancing the yard capacity and maintaining the supply of required spare parts which are manufactured indigenously.

    Reiterating the vision of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, Mr. Mandaviya called for innovation in the Ship Repairing Facilities with world-class Infrastructure.

  • Speaking to media in New Delhi today,  Dharmendra Pradhan said, the world economy as well as the Indian economy is going through challenging times and government is utilising the available resources for extending relief to people and sectors who are adversely affected due to the pandemic.

    He cited Direct Benefit Transfers amounting to over 65 thousand crores into the accounts of farmers, Women Jan dhan Account holders as honest measures initiated by the Narendra Modi government to help people amid these testing times.

    Dharmendra Pradhan said , the current government is not like Congress which transferred funds to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and to personal accounts to achieve self goals. He said, due to COVID19 pandemic, energy industry is going through a tough time.

    He said, demand for petrol went down by 70 to 80 per cent in April-May months in the country which directly impacted economy. The Minister said that now the demand is picking up again.

  • Electronics and IT Ministry said in a release that these apps were banned in view of information available they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of the country, defence of the country and security of state and public order.

    The banned apps include TikTok, Helo and WeChat.

    Over the last few years, India has emerged as a leading innovator when it comes to technological advancements and a primary market in the digital space.

    At the same time, there have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of the country.

    The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.
     

  • Dr. Jitendra Singh informed that even though the training of four Indian astronauts in Russia had to be halted due to the pandemic but the department had kept a contingency cushion period both in the training programme and launch deadline.

    He said, the training of astronauts has now been resumed and the launch is scheduled to take place as planned, before the 75th anniversary of India’s independence in 2022.

    Speaking about Chandrayaan-3, India's Lunar mission, Dr. Singh said, it is planned for launch next year.

    He said, the mission will involve a lander, rover and a propulsion system to carry the modules to move but would not have an orbiter as the previous orbiter is fully operational.

  • In the meanwhile, Coronavirus registered a fresh high on Monday with 4014 positive cases being reported from the country. Bangladesh also reported 45 deaths and 2053 recoveries over the same period. According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), the death toll in the country has gone up to 1783 and the number of people infected by Coronavirus is now 1,41,801. The country has tested a total of 7,48, 034 samples since March 8 when the first Corona positive case was detected in Bangladesh.

    Corona claimed another high profile victim with the Defence Secretary of Bangladesh Mohsin Chowdhury succumbing to Coronavirus in Dhaka on Monday.

    Expressing the resolve to fight Coronavirus, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced in Parliament on Monday that the government will soon be recruiting 2000 more doctors and 4000 nurses to strengthen the COVID-19 treatment facility in the country.

  • The Unlock 1 or fifth phase of lockdown began on the 1st of this month and allowed a phased reopening of most activities across India.

    Government also allowed unfettered movement of goods and persons between states and within states.

    Lockdown measures however continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones.

    Religious places, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels and offices which were closed due to the lockdown were reopened on the 8th of this month in non- containment zones.

    Government said they have to strictly follow all the guidelines issued by the Centre so that social distancing can be ensured.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the Chief Ministers of all states and Union territories on 16th and 17th of this month through video conferencing.

    This was the sixth meeting of the Prime Minister with the chief ministers since the announcement of nationwide lockdown.

  • The curfew was in effect from 12 midnight until 4 am daily which has been lifted from today. The country is fast recovering from the crisis with only 361 active cases of COVID under treatment. 

    The count of recoveries stands at 1,661 cases among 2,033 infections while the country has seen 11 deaths. Srilanka has seen almost a thousand cases from a navy base during the past two months while recent cases are mostly among returnees from foreign countries.
     
    Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has said that the complete reopening of airports may be delayed due to the increased number of registrations to arrive in the country.
     
    Previously the government had targeted to reopen the airports from August 01 for tourists. The minister said, the date of complete reopening may be postponed to after August 15 or towards the end of August.

  • According to the Fire Service official involved in the rescue work, the Dhaka bound launch from Munshiganj sank after hitting another river vehicle around 9.30 in the morning on Monday. The passenger launch was carrying more than 50 people.

    Rescue operation is being conducted by the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), fire service, river police, coast guard and Bangladesh Navy’s diving team.

  • The  newly developed web portal will facilitate the applicants in submitting their proposals online for seeking Security Clearance from Defence Ministry  for undertaking Power Projects and RSEE activities.

    Ministry of Defence in a statement said, the Online System will establish an effective, speedy and transparent mechanism to process these proposals. The Ministry had earlier launched a similar portal for grant of NOC for aerial survey.

    The Ministry said, it accords security clearances to various Government and private organisations for power projects in areas nearby defence installations and also RSEE activities in the Indian Territorial Waters and Exclusive Economic Zone  for applications received through different Ministries.  

    To ensure ease of business and transparency in issuing NOC for such projects, the Ministry developed the online application portal with the assistance of National e-Governance Division, Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics and National Informatics Centre.
     

  • Addressing an online media briefing, the Chief Minister said the bank will start working in the next two days. He added that the AAP government will encourage those who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma. The Chief Minister said that a helpline will be set up by the government for queries related to donation of plasma.

    Arvind Kejriwal said that his government has so far conducted clinical trials of plasma therapy on 29 COVID-19 patients and the result was encouraging.

    The Chief Minister also announced that a sum of one crore rupees will be given to the family of LNJP Dr Aseem Gupta, who died due to COVID-19. The doctor had served in the front line of the war against the pandemic at the government facility, and died of the novel coronavirus infection in a private hospital yesterday. 
     

  • The Health and Family Welfare Ministry said, a total of 19 thousand 459 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the country within 24 hours taking the total number of cases to five lakh 48 thousand 318. In a single day, 380 deaths have been reported taking the nationwide toll to 16 thousand 475. Presently, the total number of active corona cases in the country is two lakh 10 thousand 120.

    Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR said that one lakh 70 thousand 560 tests of corona virus samples were conducted by the various laboratories in the country within 24 hours. So far, 83 lakh 98 thousand 362 tests have been conducted.

  • He was addressing the people of Ladakh through a virtual Jan Samvad Rally. He said the region  will quickly achieve economic development and overcome all challenges including COVID 19.

    Hardeep Puri said Leh and Ladakh will be turned into Smart Kshetras very soon. He said 54 towers have been sanctioned for telecom connectivity in the region. The Minister said he will soon visit Ladakh to take stock of all the initiatives being taken in the region.

  • In the past 24 hours, 12,010 people have recovered from Covid-19 and with this the recovery rate has reached 58.67 per cent.

    Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR said that one lakh 70 thousand 560 tests of corona virus samples were conducted by the various laboratories in the country within 24 hours. So far, 83 lakh 98 thousand 362 tests have been conducted.

    ICMR is continuously scaling up its testing facilities for Covid-19 by giving approval to government and private laboratories. As of now, total one thousand 47 laboratories across India have been given approval to conduct the test for Covid-19. This includes 760 government laboratories and 287 private laboratory chains.