News

  • The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Aatmanirbhar Bharat Innovation Challenge to identify the best Indian Apps that are already being used by citizens and have the potential to scale and become world class Apps in their respective categories.

  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has asserted that it is acting in accordance with the globally accepted norms to fast-track vaccine development for diseases of pandemic potential.

  • More than 25 crore saplings will be planted under the 'Mission Vriksharopan-2020' across Uttar Pradesh today. This record plantation in a single day will be carried out with people's participation and inter-departmental coordination.

  • World Health Organization (WHO) has appreciated the works done by the Indian government to contain the spread of corona virus.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for adoption of organic and natural farming in a cluster based approach.

  • In Odisha,a two-day weekend shutdown in 17 districts has begun from today.

  • The Civil Aviation Ministry has decided not to operate flights to Kolkata from six cities of four States from Monday .

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asserted that Bhartiya Janta Party is a political organisation which works to serve the people of the country and it is not only an election winning machine.

  • The Vande Bharat Mission, which entered its Fourth Phase yesterday, is progressing smoothly. More than 500 flights will be operated under Phase Four of this Mission.

  • In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam who is also the Chairman of State Executive Committee (SEC) has issued a classification of the districts in Jammu and Kashmir.

  • Addressing the celebration of Ashadha Poornima, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the world is fighting extraordinary challenges today and lasting solutions can come from the ideals of Lord Buddha.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has said that India is proud of being the land of the origin of the Dhamma. He said that people in the country see Buddhism as a fresh expression of the sublime truth and the Budhha's enlightenment and preaching were in line with India’s tradition of respect for intelle

  • Among 166 countries for which the SDG index was prepared, Bangladesh stands at the 109th position compared to the 116th position in the year 2019.

    Sweden is placed at the top of the index with an overall score of 84.7 while Bangladesh has a score of 63.5. 

    The report shows that among 17 SDG parameters, Bangladesh has remained on track in achieving goals relating to poverty alleviation, quality education, decent work and economic growth and climate action. 

    However, significant challenges remain on 7 parameters including the goal of zero hunger, good health, clean water and sanitation, innovation and peace, justice and strong institutions. 

    According to the report, Bangladesh reported a decline in some indicators within the goals of Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. It points out that the number of unsentenced detainees as a percentage of the prison population has gone up and the Press Freedom Index in the country has declined marking a setback in achieving these SDGs.  Government spending on health and education as a percentage of GDP has also shown a decline.

    The SDG index frames the implementation of 17 SDG goals among UN member states in terms of six broad transformations- education and skills, health and well-being, clean energy and industry, sustainable land use,  sustainable cities, and digital technologies.

     

    Rajesh Jha/ Dhaka

     

  • Bundesliga champions Bayern dominated at Berlin's Olympic Stadium as David Alaba smashed home an early free-kick before Serge Gnabry added the second goal in the first-half.

    Lewandowski has 51 goals in total this season after scoring twice in the second-half either side of a Sven Bender header for Leverkusen. Kai Havertz converted a penalty deep into added time for Leverkusen.

    "In the second half we showed that we are the better team and wanted to be cup winners," said man-of-the-match Lewandowski.

    Bayern, crowned Bundesliga champions for the eighth straight year last Saturday, have won all of their 11 games since the season resumed in mid-May after a two-months hiatus due to the coronavirus.

    They could finish the season winning the treble as they are among the favourites for the Champions League finals in Lisbon next month. This was the 13th time in the club's history they have won the double.

    Lewandowski, crowned Bundesliga top-scorer for the fifth time last weekend, netted six times in the cup, has 34 league goals and 11 more in the Champions League this season.

    Leverkusen completed a hat-trick of defeats after also losing the 2002 and 2009 cup finals in Berlin.

    When Lewandowski was clattered by defender Edmond Tapsoba on 16 minutes, it was Alaba who swung the resulting free kick inside the post to give Bayern the opening goal.

    They doubled their lead after Joshua Kimmich won the ball in midfield eight minutes later.

    His pass split the defence, Gnabry sprinted onto the ball and fired past Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky to make it 2-0 at the break.

    "We are so happy that we got the double. In the first half we had the game completely under control," said Gnabry.

    With players' calls echoing around the near-empty terraces of the cavernous stadium, where Germany head coach Joachim Loew was one of a handful of guests, the game was played in an eerie atmosphere.

    "It's a bit of a sad moment," admitted Bayern forward Thomas Mueller, who lamented the lack of fans, after winning the German Cup for the sixth time in his career.

    "If the fans are missing at such a cup final, it's not the same. We've done well this season over long stretches, but it also hurts a bit."

    Having skied a shot at goal moments earlier, Lewandowski made it 3-0 when he controlled a clearance kick by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and tried a long-range speculative shot at Hradecky.

    The Leverkusen keeper parried the shot, but watched in horror as it rolled behind him and over the goal line on 59 minutes.

    "I noticed that the goalkeeper was a bit off his line, so I thought I'd just give it a try," revealed Lewandowski.

    "It was a little surprise it went in, but you always have to try."

    It fired life into Leverkusen, whose centre-back Sven Bender slipped his marker Leon Goretzka and headed home on 64 minutes.

    Leverkusen nearly got a second moments later when Kevin Volland and Havertz both failed to connect with a cross.

    Lewandowski claimed his second when he fired home Ivan Perisic's pass on 89 minutes.

    Bayern defender Alphonso Davies conceded the penalty in the fourth minute of added time which Havertz converted just before the whistle.

  • A woman and a man in their 80s in different towns in the western Kumamoto region died in mudslides, according to national broadcaster NHK and other Japanese media, although they gave no other details.

    Sixteen others remained in a state of "cardio-respiratory arrest", NHK said. Of those, 14 were residents of a nursing home, as announced by Governor Ikuo Kabashima on Saturday.

    Six others were missing, the broadcaster said.

    Officials at the regional government and municipal offices, which have been directly affected by the disaster, could not immediately confirm the reported deaths. But they said they were taking measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus at evacuation shelters set up across the region, such as handwashing and keeping distance between families.

    Emergency crews and troops from the Self-Defense Forces have been out all night looking for missing people and rescuing those trapped in their homes.

    Although the rain had eased in Kumamoto by Sunday morning, collapsed bridges and blocked roads due to broad flooding and mudslides have isolated many communities in the region, NHK said.

    The floods destroyed houses and swept away vehicles, leaving many towns submerged under muddy water.

    A large "SOS" sign was created on the ground of an abolished elementary school in Yatsushiro city, where about 10 people waved white towels at rescue and media helicopters.

  • Parts of London and other cities, deserted during lockdown, sprang to life as people dressed up and came out for "Super Saturday" -- the day England's hospitality sector reopened for the first time since March.

    Many of the social distancing rules drilled in by ministers at daily televised briefings appeared to go out the window in Soho, where groups of people meandered between pubs and restaurants without a facemask in sight.

    The government is still technically limiting how many Britons from various households can meet at a time. But officials acknowledge that the latest rules are only recommendations, and no one expects the police to start issuing fines.

    Britain's devolved structure means the pubs of Northern Ireland opened on Friday, while the ones in Wales and Scotland will have to wait for about 10 more days.

    Government guidelines also insist on "minimum contact" between staff and customers, with table service only.

    Drinkers are supposed to give contact details in case of an outbreak, although a group can designate a single person who can then relay any bad news to the rest.

    The first nationwide closure of pubs since the Great Plague of 1665 had seen beer sales slump to the lowest level on record last month.

    Yet while some pubs reopened the moment the restrictions were lifted shortly after dawn, others decided to sit out the first weekend.

    In the centre of Newcastle, northeast England, where pubs are normally packed at weekends, just one in three intended to open, the local council said.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called on the public to use common sense. "My message is, let's not blow this now, folks," he told. Johnson's handling of the entire crisis is coming under growing scrutiny, and his approval ratings have slumped in the past month. He has been forced to defend his decision to reopen pubs on a weekend instead of a Monday, when the crowds might have been smaller and owners better able to iron out any initial kinks.

    The emergency services have also warned the public not to overdo it.

  • The blast occurred at Pulwama.

    A CRPF personnel suffered injuries in his hand but he is stable. 

    Senior officers are at the spot.

    More details are awaited.

  • Active cases: 2,44,814

    Cured/Discharged: 4,09,082

    Migrated: 1

    Deaths: 19,268

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged people of  tech community to participate in Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge. This will run in two tracks- Promotion of Existing Apps and Development of New Apps.

    In a LinkedIn post, PM Modi said, for promotion of existing Apps and platforms across the categories of E-learning, Work-from-Home, Gaming, Business, Entertainment, Office Utilities, and Social Networking, Government will provide mentoring, hand-holding and support. Track one will work in mission mode for identifying good quality Apps for the leader-board and will be completed in around a month. For incubating new Apps and Platforms, Track two initiative will work to help create new champions in India by providing support in ideation, incubation, prototyping and roll out along with market access.
     
     

  • The Prime Minister said, the BJP has 52 Dalit and 43 adivasi MPs. He said, more than 113 BJP MPs are from backward class and over 150 BJP MLAs are from adivasi community. He said it shows that the BJP truly represents all sections of the society.

    Lauding the party workers efforts during this COVID-19 pandemic, PM Modi said the nationwide welfare work undertaken by them at such scale amid crisis is biggest seva yagya in the history. He said, in several states, party workers knew that they were taking risks, but continued with full dedication during this pandemic. Some workers even lost their lives while serving the people and the nation. The Prime Minister urged party leaders and workers to prepare digital booklets documenting the relief works at mandal, district, state and country levels.

    On the occasion, seven state units of the BJP gave  presentations about their work done during the lockdown to provide relief to the people. Interacting with the party leaders and workers of Bihar, PM Modi said, some believed that COVID-19 will spread more in eastern India due to high poverty but people proved it wrong.

    Listing out party's initiatives, BJP President J P Nadda said the party workers distributed 22 crore food packets during the lockdown and five crore ration kits have also been distributed. He said five crore face covers have been  distributed to the people.

  • Seven state units of the BJP are giving a presentation about work done by them during the lockdown to provide relief to the people.
     
    Interacting with the party leaders and workers of Bihar, PM Modi said, some believed that COVID-19 will spread more in eastern India due to high poverty but people  proved it wrong.
     
    He also lauded the work done by the BJP unit of Rajasthan during this pandemic.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the progress of agriculture research, extension and education in India through video conference earlier today. Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development & Panchayat Raj, both the Ministers for State for Agriculture joined the review meeting.  In addition to the Senior officials from PMO, Secretaries from Departments of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Dairy and Fisheries were present.

    Dr. Trilochan Mohaptra, Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research cum- Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research & Extension presented the priorities, performance and preparedness to face various challenges. Since 2014,based on the research at various centers of ICAR, new varieties of field crops (1434), Horticulture crops (462) and Climate resilient varieties (1121) have been developed.   Molecular breeding techniques have been used to develop varieties which are tolerant to multiple stress. HD 3226 of wheat and ArkAbed of Tomato are resistant to seven diseases and four diseases respectively.

    To meet the requirement for commercial processing verities with processing traits like ArkVises, ArkAlesha and ArkYoji have been developed.PM appreciated the efforts towards developing varieties focusing on specific requirements of agro-climatic zones and exhorted the need for developing forward and backward linkages to assure better returns to farmers.

    Karan -4, a sugarcane variety has enhanced sugar recovery and has replaced traditionally grown varieties in Uttar Pradesh.PM highlighted that avenues for enhancing bio ethanol from sugarcane and other crops needs to explored.

    In an effort to bolster ‘Kuposh Mukt Bharat’ (India free from Malnutrition) 70 bio fortified varities with enhanced Iron, Zinc and Protein content have been developed.  Bhagwa, a variety of Pomegranate is rich in Iron, Potassium, Vitamin C and Anti-oxidants.

    Poshan Thali and Nutria-gardens are being promoted through Krishi Vigyan Kendras. Pilots were conducted in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh involving 76 Krishi Vigyan Kendras and 450 model farms. 

    PM highlighted the need to adopt organic and natural farming practices on a cluster based approach.  ICAR has developed geo-referenced  Organic Carbon Map of India, identified 88 bio control agents and 22 Bio pesticides which can promote organic agriculture.

    PM directed that start-ups and agri-enterprenues need to be promoted to ensure  innovation and use of technology in Agriculture and allied sectors. He highlighted the need to leverage information technology to provide information on demand  to the farmers.  

    He directed that Hackathons may be organized twice a year to  solve identified problems and meet  design needs for tools and equipement that can reduce drudgery if farming activity, given that a large number of farm workers are women.

    He exhorted the need to create awareness regarding inclusion of   millets like Jowar, bajra, ragi and several other minor millets in diet to ensure healthy diet.

    Climate change stress like heat waves, droughts, cold waves, submergence due to heavy rains cause huge losses and are threat to agricultural livelihoods. Integrated farming systems have been developed to buffer farmers from such climate stress induced losses.  Traditional varieties cultivated by farmers over generations are being screened for stress tolerance and other favorable traits.

    In order to enhance water use efficiency, PM desired that awareness and outreach programs be conducted.

    While reviewing the contributions of ICAR in developing new breeds of cattle, sheep and goats, Prime Minister highlighted the need for research on indigenousbreeds of dogs and horses.He directed that a focused mission mode approach be adopted for vaccination drives for Foot and Mouth disease.

    PM  exhorted that  study  of grasses and local fodder crops  should be undertaken to understand their  nutritive value. He highlighted the need to study use of sea weeds  for their impact on soil health apart from  exploring commercial applications in  nutraceuticals.

    ICAR introduced Magic seeder in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to address the problem of stubble burning after the harvest of paddy crop.  There is a reduction of 52% in burning events in 2019 in comparison to 2016.

    PM directedthat ease of access to farm equipment and transport facility from field to markets shall be ensured.  In this regard, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperatives and Farmers Welfare  launched an app – Kisanrath.

    PM highlighted the need to orient Agricultural Education and research systems based on agro climatic requirements to meet the demands of the Farmers. The systems are to be geared towards enhancing farmer’s incomes while meeting International standards.

    PM exhorted that traditional knowledge of Indian communities should be coupled with technology and skill sets of youth and Agriculture graduates to translate  the full potential of Indian Agriculture in transforming rural areas.

     

  • We all know the huge potential of our market and the scale products can achieve if they can satisfy the demands of the market. Nowadays, we are seeing huge interest & enthusiasm among the start-up and tech ecosystem to innovate, develop and promote homegrown apps.

    Today, when the entire nation is working towards creating an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, it is a good opportunity to give direction to their efforts, momentum to their hard-work and mentorship to their talent to evolve Apps which can satisfy our market as well as compete with the world.

    To help our start-up and tech community achieve this objective, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology along with Atal Innovation Mission are coming up with the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Innovation challenge. This shall run in two tracks: Promotion of Existing Apps and Development of New Apps.

    For promotion of existing Apps and Platforms across the categories of E-learning, Work-from-Home, Gaming, Business, Entertainment, Office Utilities, and Social Networking, Governmentwill provide mentoring, hand-holding and support. Track-01 will work in mission mode for identifying good quality Apps for the leader-board and shall be completed in around a month.

    For incubating new Apps and Platforms, Track-02 initiative will work to help create new champions in India by providing support in ideation, incubation, prototyping and roll out along with market access.

    The outcome of this challenge will be to give better visibility and clarity to existing Apps to achieve their goals, and to create tech products to find solutions to tech conundrums with the help of mentorship, tech support and guidance during the entire life-cycle. 

    There is tremendous scope among these sectors for new Apps which solve specific issues for India and the world. Can we think of making traditional Indian games more popular via Apps? Can we develop Apps with targeted and smart access to the right age group for learning, gaming, etc? Can we develop gaming apps for people in rehabilitation or getting counselling to help them in their journey? There are many such questions and technology alone can give answers in a creative manner.

    This challenge will be jointly hosted by the Government and members of the tech community to make it more holistic.

     

  • Paying tributes to Swami Vivekananda on his punyatithi on July 3, Amit Shah, in a tweet, said, “Relevance of Swami Vivekananda’s thoughts on education, universal brotherhood and self-awakening continue to remain unbroken even today.”

    The Union Home Minister said “Swami Vivekananda had great faith in the abilities of India’s youth power." 

    “He believed that only the youth can provide the right direction and empower the nation in the times to come,” said Shah.

    “Even today, Vivekananda ji’s principles and his ideals continue to inspire the youth towards the service of the nation”, he said. “I bow before him on his punyatithi” said Amit Shah.

  • The army said, there have been malicious and unsubstantiated accusations in some quarters.  It is unfortunate that aspersions are being cast on how our brave Armed Forces are treated. The Armed Forces give the best possible treatment to their personnel.

    It is clarified that the said facility is part of the Crisis Expansion capacity of 100 beds and is very much part of the General Hospital complex.

    The army added: The COVID-19 protocol had necessitated some wards of the General Hospital to be converted into isolation facilities. Hence, this hall which otherwise was normally used as a Training Audio Video Hall was converted into a ward ever since the hospital was also designated as COVID treatment hospital.

    The injured braves have been kept there since their arrival from Galwan to ensure quarantine from COVID areas.

    Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane and the Army Commander have also visited the injured braves in the same location.

  • The search led to a recovery of war-like stores.

    UBGLs (under barrel grenade launcher), UBGL grenades, AK magazine, pistols, detonators with Ied-making materials and a pressure mine, along with other arms and ammunition were recovered by securtity forces from Rajouri, police said.

  • Further details awaited. 

  • It means that Lin, who won gold at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games, will not compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which have been pushed back to next year because of coronavirus.

    The end of Lin's glorious career comes just over a year after the retirement of his great rival and friend, the Malaysian star Lee Chong Wei.

    The duo reigned over badminton for more than a decade and have only relinquished that hold in recent years as their powers waned.

    Lin, who had something of a "bad boy" reputation during his younger days and has several tattoos -- unusual for Chinese athletes -- ends with 666 singles wins and a glut of medals.

    "My family, coaches, team-mates and fans have accompanied me through many peaks and difficult troughs," he said in a post on China's Weibo that quickly went viral.

    "Every forceful jump was a desire for victory. I have dedicated everything to this sport I love."

    Lee called his nemesis Lin "my greatest opponent". "Please believe that the laughter, tears and all the promises are unforgettable diary entries," the 37-year-old Lee wrote on Weibo.

    As well as the Olympic golds, Lin was also a five-time world champion and long-time world number one. He earned the nickname "Super Dan" at the peak of his career.

    However, the left-hander's career has tailed off in recent years as age and injuries took their toll. Just last year he rebuffed claims that he was about to retire following a series of first-round exits at tournaments.

    Lin always said he was determined to reach the Tokyo Olympics, but his ranking of 19 in the world and the postponement of the Games made that dream unlikely.

    Lin said on Saturday his body would not allow him to plough on in the unlikely pursuit of a third Games gold. "Rather than simply pursuing rankings as I did when I was younger, in these years, I have been wanting to challenge the physical limits of an 'old' athlete and practise the sporting spirit that I will never give up. (But) my physical abilities and pain no longer allow me to fight alongside my team-mates."

     

  • Drinking water supply is a service delivery, wherein the quantity, quality of water supplied and periodicity of water supply has to be ensured for which Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) is under implementation.

    The objective of the Mission is universal coverage and emphasis is on the principle of ‘equity and inclusiveness’ i.e. every family in the village gets tap water connection in their household and none is left behind.

    Himachal Pradesh is planning 100% coverage by August 2022, ahead of national goal by 2024.

    By doing so, Himachal Pradesh will be one of the leading states to accomplish the ambitious target of providing tap connection to each rural household. In this context, the central Minister had a discussion with the State CM and the CM assured of faster execution of rural drinking water supply works in the State so as to achieve the target in time-bound manner.

    Appreciating the progress made so far in providing household tap connections in the State, Union Minister emphasized on preparation of Village Action Plans as well as constitution of village water and sanitation committee/ Paani Samiti as a sub-committee of Gram Panchayat with minimum 50% of women members, responsible for planning, designing, implementing and operating & maintaining of in-village water supply infrastructure.

    All villages have to prepare Village Action Plan (VAP) which essentially will comprise of development/ augmentation of drinking water sources, water supply, grey-water management and operation and maintenance component. 

    Shekhawat discussed various aspects of operation and maintenance of water supply systems and the role of local community. He urged the CM to plan for gravity based and spring-shed based water supply systems for long-term sustainability.

    It was further highlighted to train 5 persons in every village, especially 5 women for use of field test kits-based testing of water supplied at village level.

    Out of 17.04 lakh rural households in the State of Himachal Pradesh, 9.52 lakh (55.87%) are already provided with FHTCs. Out of the remaining 7.52 lakh households, Himachal Pradesh plans to provide tap connections in 2.44 lakh households during 2020-21.  During this year, the State is planning to provide tap connections to all households in 4,313 villages out of total 17,250 villages.

    In 2020-21, Rs. 326.20 Crore have been allocated and including State share there is assured availability of Rs. 371 Crore. State is eligible for additional allocation based on physical and financial performance.

    Since Himachal Pradesh has been allocated Rs. 429 Crore under 15th Finance Commission Grants to PRIs and 50% of it is to be used for water supply and sanitation, Central minister requested the CM to plan for utilizing this fund for rural water supply, grey-water treatment and reuse and most importantly for ensuring long-term operation and maintenance of water supply schemes.

     

  • In the wake of this forecast, Mumbai civic body has kept all its systems well equipped to tackle any eventuality taking place due to rising water levels.

    Heavy rains lashed Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra throughout the night. The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted heavy to very heavy rains for Mumbai and many of its neighbouring districts in the next 24 hours.

    In the wake of this warning, BMC has ordered all its concerned departments to remain vigilant and well equipped. Three units of the National Disaster Response Team for the BMC area have been instructed to be ready for immediate help in case of an emergency.

    Coordinating officers of the Indian Coast Guard, Navy have also been asked to be vigilant.

    Among the emergency relief agencies, coordination officers of various agencies including Police, Fire Brigade, Traffic Police, BEST, Health Department, Rainwater Harvesting will remain present in the main control room. 

  • More than 75,000 residents in the southern prefectures of Kumamoto and Kagoshima were asked to evacuate following pounding rains overnight.

    Television footage showed large areas of Hitoyoshi town in Kumamoto inundated in muddy waters that gushed out from the Kuma River. Many cars were submerged up to their windows.

    Mudslides smashed into houses and floodwaters carried trunks from uprooted trees. Several people were standing atop a convenience store as they waited for rescuers.

    media reports stated that about 13 people were reported missing. Kumamoto officials say they were still assessing the extent of damage.

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set up a task force, vowing to do utmost to rescue the missing.

    The Japan Meteorological Agency earlier issued warnings of extraordinary rain in parts of Kumamoto, about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) southwest of Tokyo, but later downgraded them as the rainfall estimated at 100 milimeters (4 inches) per hour subsided.

    Kumamoto Gov. Ikuo Kabashima said he requested help from the Japan Self-Defense Forces.

  • Activa cases: 2,35,433

    Cured/Discharged: 3,94,226

    Migrated: 1

    Deaths: 18,655

  • In his address, PM Modi said: "Let me begin by conveying my greetings on Ashadha Poornima. It is also known as Guru Purnima. This is a day to remember our Gurus, who gave us knowledge. In that spirit, we pay homage to Lord Buddha."

    Prime Minister said that he is "very hopeful about the 21st century and this hope comes from my young friends."

    "Bright young minds are finding solutions to global problems. India has one of the largest start-up eco-systems. I would urge my young friends, to also stay connected with the thoughts of Lord Buddha. They will motivate and show the way ahead, PM said.

    He said, "If you want to see a great example of how hope, innovation and compassion can remove suffering, it is our start-up sector led by our youth."

    While referring to Gautam Buddha, PM Modi said that in his very first sermon at Sarnath, and his teachings after that, Lord Buddha spoke on two things - hope and purpose.

    PM said he saw a strong link between them.

    PM Modi added that Buddhism teaches respect. "Respect for people. Respect for the poor. Respect for women. Respect for peace and non-violence. Therefore, the teachings of Buddhism are the means to a sustainable planet," he said.

    "The eight-fold path of Lord Buddha shows the way towards the well-being of many societies and nations. It highlights the importance of compassion and kindness. The teachings of Lord Buddha celebrate simplicity both in thought and action," PM said.

    Stressing that the government wants to focus on connectivity to Buddhist sites, PM said that a few days back, the Indian cabinet announced that Kushinagar airport will be an international one. 


    The PM concluded his address with referring to today's times and its extra-ordinary challenges. "To these challenges, lasting solutions can come from the ideals of Lord Buddha. They were relevant in the past. They are relevant in the present. And, they will remain relevant in the future. May the thoughts of Lord Buddha further brightness, togetherness and brotherhood. May his blessings inspire us to do good," PM Modi said.


     

     

  • Chief of the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) Senior Superintendent of Police Jagath Fonseka said, the statements of three cricketers summoned so far are genuine and has revealed the practical reason for a change in squad during the tournament.

    He said that the summoning of various cricketers to record statements had caused a crisis in the country and can lead to a major issue.
     
    Earlier, former Captain Kumar Sangakkara, Aravinda de Silva and Upul Tharanga had appeared before the SIU which was set up to investigate into allegations levelled by former Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage stating that the 2011 final between Sri Lanka and India was fixed.

    The SIU Chief said that the three statements shows that there are no evidence to prove the 14- allegations raised by the former Minister.

    He said, the International Cricket Council too has not responded with regard to the allegations and has not commenced any investigations.

    Previously, there was lot of criticism on social media for calling up former players to record statements.

  • Speaking about the decision, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said that by ensuring the right coaching for country’s elite athletes, India’s chances in all major international tournaments, including the Olympics will be improved.

    Expressing his confidence that the decision will benefit the athletes, Rijiju said it will also help India’s long-term roadmap for Olympic preparation for 2024 and 2028.

    Lauding the decision, President of Indian Olympic Association Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra said that frequent change of coaches hampered the performance of athletes.

    Meanwhile, the contract of all foreign coaches have been extended till 30th September of next year, in light of Tokyo Olympics-2020 being postponed till next year.

  • PM Modi performed the ouja upon his arrival in Nimu, the forward brigade place.

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

    Later on Friday, Prime Minister Modi met the top leadership of the Indian Army and interacted with personnel of the Army, Air Force and ITBP.

    He 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.

    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.

  • Now, JEE Main examination will be held from 1st to 6th September this year and JEE advanced exam on 27th September.

    Medical entrance examination NEET will be held on 13th September.

    In a tweet, Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said, the decision has been taken keeping in mind the safety of students and to ensure quality education.

    On Friday, the government had set up an Expert Committee to review the situation and submit its recommendations over the postponement of the examinations.

    The panel has recommended to postpone the examinations.

  • Canada is also halting exports of sensitive military gear to Hong Kong and updating its travel advisory for the city so Canadians will know how the law might affect them, the foreign ministry said.

    "Canada is a firm believer in the 'one country, two systems' framework," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, referring to the semi-autonomous model adopted after Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997. "We're extremely concerned about the situation in Hong Kong," he told a press briefing.

    Trudeau said the "one country, two systems" principle was important not just for the city's 7.5 million people, but for the 3,00,000 Canadians who live there. "That is why we are going to continue to look at steps we can take to ensure the safety of its citizens," he said, mentioning possible new "immigration" measures, without any specifics.

    The Chinese legislation enacted this week outlaws acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces.

    Beijing has faced a groundswell of criticism, primarily from Western nations, over the law, which radically increases China's control over Hong Kong.

    China's leaders say the suite of powers will restore stability after a year of sometimes violent protests and will not stifle freedoms. But police have already begun arresting people for possessing protest flags and banners, and the government in Hong Kong has made clear certain political views, especially calls for independence, are now outlawed.

    The law was enacted in a secretive process, without the participation of Hong Kong’s legislature, judiciary or people, and in violation of international obligations, said Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.

    "This process demonstrated disregard for Hong Kong's Basic Law and the high degree of autonomy promised for Hong Kong under the 'one country, two systems' framework," the minister said. "Hong Kong's role as a global hub was built on that foundation. Without it, Canada is forced to reassess existing arrangements."

    Relations between Canada and China have been tense because of extradition proceedings under way against an executive of the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, who is wanted in the US on suspicion of violating sanctions against Iran.

    Trudeau recently rejected calls for him to intervene and trade that executive, Meng Wanzhou, for two Canadians held in China on espionage charges.

    Meng was arrested in Canada in December 2018 at the request of US authorities. The two Canadians -- former diplomat Michael Kovrig, and Michael Spavor, a consultant and businessman -- were arrested in China just days later.

    Their detention is considered in the West as retaliation for Meng's arrest.

  • With beaches closed from coast to coast and officials urging Americans to stay home, the somber mood heading into what is usually a weekend of barbecues and sunshine underscored the struggle to extinguish COVID-19 at the epicenter of the global pandemic.

    Touching almost every country on Earth since it emerged in China late last year, the coronavirus has infected at least 10.9 million and killed 5,22,000 globally, shattering previously buoyant economies and bringing public life to a standstill.

    But while Europe and much of Asia have largely managed to bring the virus under control -- so much so that England was preparing to reopen pubs, restaurants and cinemas -- in US, it has claimed nearly 1,30,000 lives amid a sharp resurgence of cases which top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said "puts the entire country at risk."

    The world's largest economy broke its record for new cases for the third day in a row Friday, with more than 57,000 infections in 24 hours. It's expected to record its three millionth infection next week, with cases rising the south and west particularly.

    US President Donald Trump -- at Mount Rushmore for a fireworks celebration with thousands of attendees in close quarters and masks not required -- has so far dismissed the deluge of new cases.

    The World Health Organization called on countries hit by serious outbreaks to "wake up" to the realities. "People need to wake up. The data is not lying," WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told journalists in Geneva.

    Beaches in Los Angeles will also be closed over the weekend, and Major League Baseball officially cancelled its 2020 All-Star Game on Friday, the first time since World War II that the mid-season showcase -- which had been set for July 14 -- has been scrapped.

    The US closures stand in stark contrast to Britain and Europe, once the epicenter of the virus but now restarting businesses and lifting travel restrictions, trying salvage the summer tourist season.

    Pubs in England reopen on Saturday for the first time since late March -- as restaurants, cinemas, galleries, museums and hotels also prepare to welcome back customers. Travelers arriving into England from more than 50 nations -- but not the US or mainland China -- will from July 10 no longer be required to undergo 14 days of self-isolation.

    The decision follows the European Union, which earlier this week left the US, Brazil and Russia off its final list of nations safe enough to allow their residents to enter its borders.

    The European Union meanwhile authorized the use of the anti-viral drug remdesivir for COVID-19 -- the first treatment approved to deal with the disease -- although the United States has bought most of the global stock.

    Europe is also beginning a reckoning on its virus response. 

    Cases have been skyrocketing across Latin America. The region now has the second most cases in the world with 2.73 million, ahead of Europe on 2.71 million but behind North America.

    Brazil, the region's largest economy, has 1.5 million confirmed cases and 63,000 deaths, second only to the United States.

    Nevertheless, popular tourist city Rio de Janeiro authorized bars, restaurants and cafes to reopen at 50 percent capacity, while President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday watered down a law requiring the wearing of face masks in public places.

    Cases also continue to surge in the Middle East, where worst-hit Saudi Arabia passed 200,000 infections. Countries across Africa meanwhile forged ahead with plans to reopen, despite steadily rising cases.

    In Asia, however, swift lockdowns have largely made progress.

    The virus is believed to have emerged at a market that sold live animals in the central city of Wuhan late last year.

  • This day commemorates Buddha's First Sermon to his first five ascetic disciples at the Deer Park, Rsipatana in the present day Sarnath near Varanasi, UP. 

    The day is also celebrated by Buddhists all over the world as the day of Dharma Chakra Parvattana or “Turning of the Wheel of Dharma”. This day is also aptly observed as Guru Poornima by both Buddhists and Hindus as a day to mark reverence to their gurus.

    In keeping with the historical legacy of India being the land of Buddha's enlightenment, his turning the wheels of Dharma, and Mahaparinirvana, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Dharma Chakra Day from the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

    The Minister of Culture Prahlad Patel and  Minister of State for Minorities Affairs, Kiren Rijiju also addressed the opening ceremony. 

    A special address by the President of Mongolia was also read out and a valuable Buddhist manuscript of Indian origin preserved in Mongolia for centuries together, was presented to the President.

    Rest of the events on this day, including messages from top Buddhist religious leaders, Masters and Scholars from different parts of the world will be streamed from Sarnath and Bodh Gaya.

    Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the whole program is being conducted virtually. 

    The event is expected to be witnessed by around 30 lakh devotees worldwide via live webcast.

  • Through an office memorandum, the Department of Expenditure of the Ministry of Finance on Friday said that if the payment is not made within 10 days of the Consignee Receipt and Acceptance Certificate (CRAC) being auto generated or issued by the buyer, the concerned department will have to pay interest at the rate of one per cent per month for the delayed payment.

    However, this very interest will not go to the MSMEs concerned and instead, will deposited in an account maintained by the GeM, which will be used only for the education of buyers and sellers or public procurement with the prior approval of the Department of Expenditure, said the office memorandum.

    "ln order to promote greater discipline and timeliness in payment to vendors, especially #MSMEs, the government has issued an order to levy interest on late payment to vendors on the government e-marketplace. #AatmaNirbharBharat," said a tweet by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman''s office.

    The order will be effective on orders made from October 1, 2020.

  • The existing TOPS is for senior athletes who have been identified as medal contenders for the Olympics and has some India''s top athletes in its roster and Rijiju said that the junior scheme is part of the efforts to ensure that India finishes in the top 10 of the rankings at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

    "There is a series of planning programs going behind it from scouting, talent identification, customized training, exposure trips, all the possible facilities, getting the top coaches in the world," said Rijiju during the ''Fit Hai To Hit Hai Fit India'' webinar which was also attended by HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, Olympic medallist shuttler P.V. Sindhu and India football captain Sunil Chhetri.

    "We have made a big base through Khelo India and through many other processes we have started the talent identification. We are going to start a Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) Junior besides the already existing TOPS senior. We are going to start for the juniors as well for the 10-12 year olds. If we can identify the potential, the government will take full care of them in grooming, so that they are ready by the time for 2024 Paris and 2028 Los Angeles.

    "If the government takes them under their tutelage, then their parents will not have any worries. This is a dream for India to be in top 10. We have all the potential, support, aspirations of the people and we have to be united."

  • Union Home Minister also emphasized on better coordination between agencies to have a permanent system for forecasting of floods and rise in water levels in major catchment zones/areas of the country.

    Shri  Amit Shah asked for action on following up on priority areas  to provide permanent solutions  to the perennial  flood problems in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and North Eastern states.

    Union Home Minister also directed the Ministry of Jal Shakti and Central Water Commission (CWC) to review and assess data on real storage capacity of major dams with a view to ensure timely releases of water and prevention of floods.

    Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation made a presentation and informed about the major floods that had occurred in the country. He also apprised about the structural measures including management of Dams, Reservoirs, ongoing projects in Nepal, flood protection measures and non-structural measures i.e. flood plain zoning, flood forecasting and way forward to mitigate effect of floods in Ganga and Brahmaputra Basins. Senior Officials of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and India Meteorological Department (IMD) also made presentations.

    A total of 40-million-hectares area in India is prone to flood in which Ganga and Brahmaputra are main flood basins and Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are most flood prone states.

    The decisions taken in the meeting will go a long way to mitigate the sufferings of the lakhs of people in the country who have to face the fury of floods in terms of damage to their crops, property, livelihood and precious lives.

    The meeting was also attended by Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai and senior official of concerned ministries and agencies.

  • Spatial resolution of the image is 210 m. This is a composite image generated from 6 MCC frames and has been color corrected.

    Phobos is largely believed to be made up of carbonaceous chondrites. The violent phase that Phobos has encountered is seen in the large section gouged out from a past collision (Stickney crater) and bouncing ejecta. Stickney, the largest crater on Phobos along with the other craters (Shklovsky, Roche & Grildrig) are also seen in this image.

  • Fuel, food items, construction material and vehicles constitute the highest import for Myanmar. 

    In nine months of the current financial year, the trade deficit for Myanmar has increased by  770 million dollars compared to the same period last year.

    In the meanwhile, six European countries have agreed to postpone Myanmar’s loan repayment liability of approximately 100 million dollar  till December. It also called upon other sovereign creditors also to show similar support.

    Myanmar has a current national debt of about 10 billion dollars out of which 4 billion dollar is owed to China.

     

    -Rajesh Jha/Dhaka

  • The committee headed by ports secretary is expected to submit its report within 45 days.

    Among other issues, it will look into agreements entered by the Government of Sri Lanka with other governments for Colombo Port and in particular ECT.

    It may be mentioned that Sri Lanka had signed a tripartite agreement last year with Indian and Japan for development of ECT.

    However, port trade unions are protesting against the agreement saying ECT should be developed by Sri Lankan ports authority (SLPA).

    The unions had launched a strike on Thursday which was called off after talks with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. The latter had procured three cranes for use at JCT terminal but the terminal has not been developed and the committee  will also look into the process undergone.

    Colombo port accounts for 70 percent of Indian transshipments and India has showed interest for stake in ECT leading to agreement last year.

  • Early detection and timely clinical management of COVID-19 cases have resulted in increasing daily recoveries. During the last 24 hours, a sharp rise of recoveries was observed with 20,033 COVID-19 patients having been cured, taking the cumulative figure to 3,79,891.

    Presently, there are 2,27,439 active cases and all are under medical supervision.

    Coordinated efforts at all levels of government for prevention, containment and management of COVID-19 are showing good results with consistently increasing gap between Recoveries and Active cases. As on date, there are 1,52,452 recovered cases more than the active COVID-19 cases.

    As per the “Test, Trace, Treat” strategy with various measures been taken recently to remove all impediments for COVID-19 testing and facilitation of widespread testing by States/UTs, there has been a steady rise in the samples tested every day with close to 93 lakh samples being tested till date. During the last 24 hours 2,41,576 samples have been tested. The cumulative number of samples tested, as on date, is 92,97,749.

    This has also been possible due to the ever expanding network of testing labs in the country. With 775 labs in the government sector and 299 private labs, there are as many as 1074 labs today. These include:

     

    •     Real-Time RT PCR based testing labs: 579 (Govt: 366 + Private: 213)

    •     TrueNat based testing labs: 405 (Govt: 376 + Private: 29)

    •     CBNAAT based testing labs: 90 (Govt: 33 + Private: 57)

     

    Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued Revised Guidelines for Home Isolation of very mild/ pre-symptomatic/ asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. The guidelines are in supersession to the guidelines issued on the subject on 10th May, 2020. Details of the Revised Guidelines can be found at:

    https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/RevisedHomeIsolationGuidelines.pdf

  • Hardeep Singh Puri stated that, “Every year, the Swachh Survekshan is redesigned innovatively, to ensure that the process becomes more robust, with focus on sustaining the behaviour change. Like in the last year, keeping in mind the Ministry’s efforts towards ensuring sustainability of the sanitation value chain, the SS 2021 indicators focus on parameters pertaining to wastewater treatment and reuse along with faecal sludge'. 

    Also present on the occasion was Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA who made a detailed presentation on the methodology and various parameters of Swachh Survekshan 2021.​

    Puri announced a new category of awards titled ‘Prerak Dauur Samman’ as part of Swachh Survekshan 2021.The Prerak Dauur Samman has a total of five additional sub- categories -Divya (Platinum), Anupam (Gold), Ujjwal (Silver), Udit (Bronze), Aarohi (Aspiring) - with top three cities being recognized in each. In a departure from the present criteria of evaluating cities on ‘population category’, this new category will categorize cities on the basis of six select indicator wise performance criteria which are as follows:

    • Segregation of waste into Wet, Dry and Hazard categories

    • Processing capacity against wet waste generated

    • Processing and recycling of wet and dry waste

    • Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste processing

    • Percentage of waste going to landfills

    • Sanitation status of cities

    ​While addressing the participants through a webinar, the Minister also touched upon how Swachh Survekhan has become a tool for citizen engagement in the spirit of a true ‘Jan Andolan’. “This year, the focus on citizen participation has taken a notch higher by introducing indicators that encourage innovations led by citizens, start-ups, entrepreneurs and Swachhata Champions amongst others”.  A key highlight of the event was also the launch of the integrated SBM-Urban MIS portal. Over the years, digital innovations have always been at the forefront of the Mission enabling scaling up and better monitoring of outcomes along with increased citizen engagement. The launch of the integrated MIS portal is an effort by the Ministry to bring the numerous digital initiatives on a single platform thus ensuring a unified and hassle-free experience for States and cities and leading the way towards the creation of not just a Swachh but a truly digital India. The virtual event also saw the signing of the Engagement and Coordination Arrangement (ECA) between MoHUA and the USAID which is a continuation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on co-operation in the field of WASH that was signed between GOI and USAID in 2015.

     

    ​These launches were followed by a webinar on ‘Segregation at Source: Key to Solid Waste Management’ which was attended by over 1,000 State and Urban Local Body (ULB) officials and other stakeholders. The workshop saw presentations from lighthouse cities such as Navi Mumbai, Surat, Khargone and Karad who showcased their source segregation models along with the release of a report ‘Segregate, Segregate, Segregate’ by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). A workshop on ‘Source Segregation: The Key to Solid Waste Management’ was also organized on the sidelines and was attended by over 1000 State and Urban Local Body (ULB) officials and other stakeholders. Similarly, the crucial issues of legacy waste management and remediation of landfills have also been brought to the fore in this edition of Survekshan”.

     

    ​As a prelude to encouraging cities to improve urban sanitation, MoHUA had conducted Swachh Survekshan 2016 survey for the rating of 73 cities in January 2016, followed by Swachh Survekshan 2017 conducted in January-February 2017 ranking 434 cities. Swachh Survekshan 2018, which became the world’s largest cleanliness survey, ranked 4203 cities followed by Swachh Survekshan 2019 which not only covered 4237 cities but was also the first of its kind completely digital survey completed in a record time of 28 days. Swachh Survekshan 2020 continued the momentum and saw an unprecedented participation of 1.87 crore citizens.  Going a step forward, to ensure sustainability of on-ground performance of cities, the Ministry has also introduced Swachh Survekshan League last year, a quarterly cleanliness assessment of cities and towns to be done in three quarters and 25% weightage integrated into the final Swachh Survekshan results.

     

    ​Since its launch in 2014, Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) has made significant progress in the area of both sanitation and solid waste management. 4324 Urban ULBs have been declared ODF (4204 certified ODF), 1306 cities certified ODF+ and 489 cities certified ODF++.  Moreover, 66 lakhs individual household toilets and over 6 lakhs community/ public toilets have been constructed/ or are under construction. Additionally, over 59,900 toilets across 2900+ cities have been made live on Google Maps. In the area of solid waste management, 96% of wards have 100% door-to door collection while 66% of the total waste generated is being processed. A total of six cities have been certified as 5 Star, 86 as 3 star and 64 as 1 star under the Star Rating Protocol for Garbage Free Cities.

     

    ​Swachh Survekshan has caught the imagination of citizens and stakeholder alike and the increasing participation with every passing year is testimony to the way in which the citizens have taken complete ownership of the Swachhata of their cities. The survey has thus succeeded in fostering a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens, towards creating cleaner, more habitable cities. Swachh Survekshan has today made ‘Swachhata’ a thing of motivation and pride – something to look forward to and aspire for.  While Mysuru had won the award for the Cleanest City of India in the first edition of the survey, Indore has retained the top position for three consecutive years (2017,2018, 2019). The results for Swachh Survekshan 2020 will be announced shortly by the Ministry.

     

    ​Knowledge management and capacity building continues to be a key focus of the Ministry. With this objective in mind, the Ministry launched two documents prepared by the Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organisation (CPHEEO) – the ‘Advisory on On-Site and Off-Site Sewage Management Practices’ and the guidance book on ‘Segregated Collection and Transportation of Municipal Solid Waste’. While the first will be of immense use to States and cities in adopting integrated on-site and off-site sewage treatment technologies, the latter elaborates on various aspects of segregated waste collection and transportation systems along with case studies and best practices from different ULBs.

  • 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.