News

  • Government today said that a total of three lakh 79 thousand 892 people affected with coronavirus have recovered in the country so far.

  • In a surprise visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Leh early this morning. Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief MM Naravane also accompanied the PM on his day long visit to Leh.

  • Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR is planning to launch indigenous Covid-19 vaccine for public use by the 15th of August after completion of all clinical trials.

  • Income Tax Department has refunded 62 thousand and 361 crore rupees to more than 20 lakh taxpayers during Covid-19 lockdown days.

  • In a major relief to the Goods and Service Tax taxpayers, the government has decided to cap the maximum late fee for form GSTR-3B at five hundred rupees per return.

  • Tamil Nadu government has announced a monthly stipend of 3,000 rupees to junior lawyers for two years to help them overcome financial difficulties. The stipend has been a longstanding demand of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu.

  • The 627 Indian nationals who were stranded in Pakistan have returned through Integrated Check Post, Attari.

  • Northern Railway has transported 92 lakh tonnes commodities during the two month of lockdown period and earned over one thousand 418 crore rupees. This is an improvement of almost 14 percent as compared to the same period of last year.

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah today chaired a meeting through video conferencing to review the COVID19 situation in Delhi-NCR.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The Indian nationals who were stranded due to restrictions on international travel expressed their happiness at the opportunity to return home.

    Two more flights under this phase are scheduled for Delhi on 8th and 18th of this month.

    Over 1600 Indian nationals have been repatriated from Sri Lanka so far including through three special Air India Flight on 29 May, 15 June, 22 June and Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa which sailed to Tuticorin last month and through various charter flights.

    Priority is being given to compelling cases in distress, including migrant workers who have been laid off, short term visa holders faced with expiry of visa, people with medical emergency, pregnant women, elderly and those required to return to India due to death of family member.

  • Nimu is surrounded by the Zanskar range and is on the banks of river Indus.

    The Prime Minister met the top leadership of the Indian Army and later interacted with personnel of the Army, Air Force and ITBP.

    Prime Minister paid rich tributes to the valour of our Armed Forces, stating that their courage and devotion to Mother India is unparalleled. He stated that Indians can go about their lives peacefully because they know that our Armed Forces are standing firm, protecting the nation.

    Prime Minister said that due to the exemplary bravery of the Armed Forces in the recent weeks, the world has taken note of India’s strength.

    Prime Minister Modi remembered all the proud sons of Mother India who made the supreme sacrifice at the Galwan Valley. He said that those who were martyred belong to all parts of India and epitomize our land’s ethos of bravery.

    He affirmed that be it Leh-Ladakh, Kargil or the Siachen Glacier, be it the high mountains or the icy cold water that flows in the rivers, these are testimony to the gallantry of India’s Armed Forces.

    The enemies of India have seen the fire and fury of our forces, said the Prime Minister.

    Prime Minister also paid homage to two Matas: to Mother India and to the Mothers of all those brave soldiers and security forces of India who serve India with unparalleled diligence.

    Prime Minister spoke at length about how the virtues of peace, friendship and courage have been a part of India’s culture since time immemorial. He recalled that India has always given a befitting reply to anyone who has tried to disturb the prevailing atmosphere of peace and progress.

    He affirmed that India is committed to peace and friendship but this commitment to peace should not be seen as India’s weakness. Today India is becoming stronger, be it in naval might, air power, space power and the strength of our army. Modernization of weapons and upgradation of infrastructure has enhanced our defence capabilities multifold.

    Prime Minister recalled that Indian soldiers had a long history of bravery and competence in global military campaigns, including in the two World Wars.

    PM Modi said that the time for expansionism is over. This is the era of development. He recalled that it is this mindset of expansionism that did great harm. He added that in the last few years, several steps have been taken for the wellbeing of India’s forces and furthering India’s security preparedness.

    This includes ensuring availability of modern weaponry, increased border infrastructure, border area development and expanding the roads network. He further shared that expenditure on border infrastructure has been enhanced three times.

    Prime Minister also mentioned the efforts to strengthen the national security apparatus and to ensure the well-being of our armed forces. He highlighted recent initiatives of the government such as creation of CDS, construction of a grand National War Memorial, fulfilment of OROP after decades and steps to ensure the well-being of the families of the armed forces personnel.

    During the interaction, Prime Minister recalled the greatness of Ladakh’s culture as well as the noble teachings of Kushok Bakula Rimpoche. He described Ladakh as a land of sacrifice and a land that has given several patriots.

    Prime Minister affirmed that the people of India are inspired by the teachings of Gautama Buddha, for whom courage was linked to conviction and compassion.

  • The encounter took place when the police team was approaching to arrest Vikas Dubey, a history sheeter facing 60 criminal cases, in Dikru village under Chaubeypur police station Thusrday night.

    Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has sought a report of the incident. He also said that the sacrifise of our bravehearts will not go in vain.

    Chief Minister paid tributes to the slain policemen and conveyed his heartfelt condolences to their family members. He also directed the police chief to take stringent action against the culprits.

    On getting information about the incident, additional DG (Law and Order), IG (Kanpur) and the senior SP of Kanpur rushed to the spot. 
     

  • This was the fifth evacuation flight to Delhi from Dhaka. The flight carried 170  passengers including one infant. With this flight, till now close to 2470 Indian nationals have been evacuated from Bangladesh.

    The evacuation of Indian nationals from Bangladesh started on May 8. Since then 5 flights have left for Delhi, 4 flights for Srinagar, 3 for Kolkata, and one each for Chennai, Mumbai and Ahmedabad from Dhaka carrying Indian nationals stranded in Bangladesh due to the Corona pandemic. 

    Apart from evacuation by flight, close to 500 Indians from Bangladesh have also been evacuated from the land route as well.

    The first evacuation exercise through land route took place on May 28 when 230 Indian nationals left for India from three checkpoints on the border of Bangladesh and India for Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya and Manipur. 

    The High Commission of India has also facilitated a few other chartered flights to evacuate Indian citizens stranded in Bangladesh in the wake of Corona pandemic and subsequent disruption of international travel. 

     

     

    Rajesh Jha/ Dhaka

  • Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat is also present to review the situation there.

     

    At 11,000 ft, PM Modi makde a surprise visit to one of the forward locations in Ladakh, surrounded by Zanskar range and on the banks of River Indus.  

    At present, he is interacting with personnel of Army, Air Force and ITBP.

  • She was 71. 

    The three-time National Award winner was unwell for some time. She was admitted to Guru Nanak Hospital in Bandra on June 20 after she complained of breathing problems. She had tested negative for COVID-19.

    Her funeral was held on Friday morning at a cemetery in suburban Malad.

    Mourning her death, actor Akshay Kumar said she made dance look easy and accessible. "Woke up to the sad news that legendary choreographer #SarojKhan ji is no more. She made dance look easy, almost like anybody can dance, a huge loss for the industry. May her soul rest in peace," Akshay tweeted.

    Actor Suniel Shetty called Khan a true guru. "You are loved... You are irreplaceable... A true Guru," he wrote.

    Director Kunal Kohli, who worked with the choreographer on "Fanaa", remembered Khan as someone who stood up for people's rights. "She stood up for the rights of people. Never bothered who was a star or not. She said her bit unadulterated and from the heart. Brought biryani on every song and fed the whole crew so lovingly.We gossiped, we worked. Thank you for the memories masterji. Saroj Khan love you always," he tweeted.

    In a career spanning over four decades, Khan, who was known as Masterji, choreographed more than 2,000 songs. Khan's best work was with actors Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit, the prominent dancing stars of the 80s and 90s.

    Saroj Khan began her career in the film industry as a child artiste at the age of three and later worked as a background dancer.

    She got her first break as an independent choreographer with Geeta Mera Naam in 1974. But it  was Sridevi's Hawa Hawai song in 1987 film Mr India that made her receive acclaim as a dance choreographer. 

    She choreographed Sridevi in films such as Nagina and Chandni.

    It was her work with Madhuri Dixit that made her famous. Starting with Ek Do Teen in Tezaab , she choreographed Madhuri in Tamma Tamma Loge in Thanedar and Dhak Dhak Karne Laga in Beta and "Dola Re Dola" from Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Devdas".

    She last choreographed for "Tabaah Hogaye", featuring Madhuri from filmmaker Karan Johar's production "Kalank" in 2019.

     

  • Earlier, a joint team of Police and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search-operation in Malbagh.

    As the joint team approached the suspected spot, the hiding terrorists fired upon them. The fire was retaliated by the joint team, triggering off an encounter.

  • A senior Police officer told that one terrorist has been killed and a CRPF personnel injured in ongoing encounter. The CRPF personnel has been shifted to nearby hospital, the officer added.

    Earlier, A joint team of Police and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search-operation in Malbagh.

    As the joint team approached the suspected spot, the hiding terrorists fired upon them. The fire was retaliated by the joint team, triggering off an encounter.

     

  • Chennai topped the list accounting for 2027 of these cases. its adjoining districts -- Tiruvallur (164), Kancheepuram (112) and Chengalpet (171) -- together recorded 447 cases.

    In the south, Madurai recorded the highest number of  273 cases today. 57 deaths were reported today taking the state's total tally to 1321.

    As per the daily bulletin released by the state government, the total number of cases in Tamil Nadu as of July 2 stands at 98,392.

    3095 persons were discharged today taking the total number of recovered patients in Tamil Nadu to 56021.

  • The flood has hit 22 out of 33 districts and 60 revenue cirlces of Assam affecting over 16 lakh people.

    Barpeta is the worst affected district with above 8.5 lakh followed by South Salmara district with over 1.95 lakh people hit.

    Over 72 thousand hectares of cropped areas affected till now.

    With death of one person in last 24 hours, the death toll this season has reached 34.

    According to Assam State Disaster management Authority, a total number of 163 relief camps and distribution centres are functional housing 12,597 inmates. 

    The current wave of flood has badly hit the Kaziranga National Park with many areas of the park inundated under water.  Besides this, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park have also been affected. 

    Rescue and relief operations are going on in a big way. 2,852 marooned persons have been evacuated and moved to safer places by SDRF and NDRF personnel. 

    Chief Secretary of Assam Kumar Sanjay Krishna said the state government is constantly monitoring the flood situation in Assam.

    Rescue, relief and timely redressal measures have been initiated across the state and the government is putting all necessary efforts at this time of distress.

    The overall scenario is showing signs of improvement, Kumar Sanjay Krishna added.

  • The High Commision of India in Bangladesh said in a tweet on Thursday that the Railways of the two countries reached a milestone in June with the highest ever monthly interchange of freight trains carrying essential items.

    Encouraged by the success, the Bangladesh Railways has permitted the introduction of the Parcel Train Service between India and Bangladesh with the carrying capacity of 238 metric tons. This will be a great opportunity for traders to import a smaller quantity of goods

    .

    Earlier High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das in her video conference meetings had requested the Ministry of Railways, National Board of Revenues (NBR), Bangladesh, and Ministry of Commerce to look into Railways as a viable option during this period.

    After discussions, Bangladesh has agreed to facilitate Container Train Service through Benapole-Petrapole Rail Link. This will help the bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh during the current crisis by minimising the disruption in the supply chain.

     

  • Mohd. Iqbal Rather had facilitated the movement of Muhammad Umar Farooq, the JeM terrorist and a key conspirator in this case, after he infiltrated into the Indian territory in Jammu region in April, 2018, from the National Highway near International border to South Kashmir.

    Mohd. Umar Farooq, along with others, had assembled the IED used in the attack.

    Mohd. Iqbal Rather had been undergoing judicial custody since September 2018 in another Jaish-e-Mohammed related case investigated by NIA.

    As such, he was produced by the Jail authorities before the NIA Special Court, Jammu today, and was taken into 07 day’s NIA custody for his interrogation. 

    Initial examination has revealed that Mohd. Iqbal Rather was in constant touch with Pakistan-based leadership of Jaish-e-Mohammed and was in communication with them over secure messaging applications.

    Mohd. Iqbal Rather was part of the ‘transportation module’ of Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist organisation.

    With this arrest, NIA has so far arrested 06 accused persons in this case.

  • Of these 2760 are active positive, 4974 have recovered while 115 deaths have taken place due to this pandemic.

    Moreover, 118 more Covid-19 patients have recovered and discharged from various hospitals of Jammu and Kashmir Union territory.

     

  • This Drug Discovery Hackathon is a joint initiative of MHRD’s Innovation Cell (MIC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and supported by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), MyGov as well as private players.

    Minister of State for HRD Sanjay Dhotre, Principal Scientific Advisor Prof. VijayRaghavan, DG CSIR, Dr.ShekharMande, Chairman AICTE, Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe, President, Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) Prof. B Suresh and Chief Innovation Officer, MHRD, Dr. Abhay Jere were also present during the online launch program. 

    This Hackathon is first of its kind National initiative for supporting drug discovery process and will see participation from professionals, faculty, researchers and students from varied fields like Computer Science, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Medical Sciences, Basic Sciences and Biotechnology. 

    The Hackathon consists of challenges that are posted as problem statements and, are based on specific drug discovery topics which, are open to the participants to solve. A total of 29 Problem Statements (PS) have been identified.

    MyGov portal is being used and any Indian student can participate. Professionals and researchers from anywhere in the world can participate.

    TheHackathon will have three Tracks.Track 1 will primarily deal with drug design for anti-COVID-19 hit/lead generation: this is done using tools such as molecular modelling, pharmacophore optimization, molecular docking, hit/lead optimization, etc.

    Track 2 will deal with designing/optimizing new tools and algorithms which will have an immense impact on expediting the process of in silico drug discovery.

    There is also a third track called “Moon shot “which allows for working on problems which are ‘out of the box’ nature.

     

  • Presently, there are 2,26,947 active cases and all are under medical supervision. 

    As per the “Test, Trace, Treat” strategy, there has been a steady rise in the samples tested every day with more than 90 lakh samples being tested till date. During the last 24 hours 2,29,588 samples have been tested. The cumulative number of samples tested, as on date, is 90,56,173.

    The testing lab network in the country is further strengthened. With 768 labs in the government sector and 297 private labs, there are as many as 1065  labs in the country.

  • The two leaders discussed the momentum of bilateral contacts and consultations, leading to the annual bilateral Summit to be held in India later this year.

    Prime Minister conveyed his keenness to welcome President Putin in India for the bilateral Summit.

    President Putin reiterated his commitment to further strengthen the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries in all spheres. 

    Prime Minister congratulated President Putin on the success of celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Second World War, recalling the participation of an Indian contingent in the military parade held in Moscow on 24 June 2020, as a symbol of friendship between India and Russia.

    The leaders also discussed the measures undertaken by the two countries to address the negative consequences of the Covid-19 global pandemic and agreed on the importance of closer India-Russia ties for jointly addressing the challenges of the post-COVID world. 

  • In a Facebook post the Myanmar Fire Services Department said 126 bodies have so far been recovered from the site. The death toll is likely to go up as further details emerge.

    The landslide occurred after heavy rainfall in the area. The place is about 950 kilometers north of Myanmar’s biggest city Yangon. The Hpakant jade mining sites is the world’s biggest Jade mining centre.

    Many such landslides take place in the Jade mining areas where large mounds of discarded earth known as ‘tailing’ are accumulated after the jade has been mined by heavy machinery. People scavenge for scraps of jade around the mining area.

    After heavy rain, the huge piles often cave in creating a huge wave on the pond downside created by the mining leading to deaths of the people. 

  • Elections will be held for 1171 national, state and regional seats in the country. The Election Commission announced that the polling will be held in all townships including those in self administered areas and also those considered conflict zones.

    According to the Commission, 330 seats are for the Pyithu Hluttaw or Lower House of the Parliament. 168 seats are earmarked for the Upper house and 12 for each state and region.

    More than 37 million voters are eligible to vote in the elections for which 94 parties will field their candidates. 

    The nominations will be open from July 20 to August 7 and the scrutiny will be completed between August 11-17. 

    President U Win Myint and State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will be contesting the elections as National League for Democracy (NLD) candidates. The NLD came to power in 2016 after defeating the then-ruling USDP which was formed by ex-generals in the 2015 elections. The current NLD-led government’s tenure ends on March 31.

    This will be the first election held under the civilian government in  six decades since 1960.

    In both houses of the national parliament, 75 percent of representatives are directly elected, while 25 per cent are appointed by the military called Tatmadaw. A total of 110 members of the 440-member House of Representatives and 56 of the 224-member House of Nationalities are military appointees. 

  • 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