News

  • At least 18 people, including two pilots died when an Air India Express aircraft from Dubai crashed after overshooting the runway in Kozhikode last night. 162 people have been injured.

  • International Cricket Council has confirmed that the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 that was postponed due to Covid-19 will be held in Australia in 2022.

  • Gujarat Government has announced the new industrial policy. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced the new Policy at a press conference in Gandhinagar yesterday.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra, an interactive experience centre on the Swachh Bharat Mission today.

  • Health Ministry has asked states and UTs to take up coronavirus testing of grocery shop workers, vegetable and other vendors.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said New Education Policy ( NEP) is a game changer to empower students.

  • National Handloom Day is being organised today by the Ministry of Textiles on a virtual platform. Textiles Minister Smriti Irani will be the Chief Guest on the occasion.

  • Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra today launched Letter of Recommendation module for PM SVANidhi Scheme.

  • In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, 23 Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) would be set-up in an effort to augment the school education infrastructure.

  • The total number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 in the country surpassed the 13.5 lakh mark today. A total of 13 lakh 78 thousand 105 people have recovered so far.

  • US President Donald Trump has signed executive orders banning popular Chinese apps like TikTok and WeChat, terming them a threat to national security and to the country's economy. The ban comes into effect in 45 days.

  • The Manipur government has extended the ongoing complete lockdown and curfew in the state till 15th of August in view of the rise in COVID-19 cases.

  • India will host the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 as planned. Cricket’s governing body has also decided to postpone the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 in New Zealand till February – March 2022 because of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on cricket globally.
     
    The format of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will remain as it was for 2020 and all teams that qualified for that event will now participate in India in 2021. A new qualification process will be run for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022. The format of the postponed ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup will remain as it was for 2021. Five teams have already qualified for the event and that will stand for 2022.
     
    The original global qualification event to determine the final three teams to contest the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup was scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka in July 2020, but this was postponed due to COVID-19. The qualification event will now be held in 2021.
     
    After ICC’s decision to postpone the T20 World Cup, BCCI decided to use the vacant window to announce the dates for the Indian Premier League. The IPL will be held in the UAE from September 19 to November 10. India will be touring Australia after the completion of the IPL.

  • Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced the new Policy at a press conference in Gandhinagar on Friday. He said that the new Industrial policy is divided in 15 thrust areas in core sectors and sunrise sectors. He said that in Core sectors- the thrust areas will be Electrical machinery & equipment, Industrial Machinery & equipment, Auto & Auto Components, Ceramics, Technical Textiles, Agro & Food Processing, Pharmaceuticals & Medical devices, Gems & Jewelry and Chemicals.
     
    While Sunrise Sectors will have thrust areas like Industry 4.0 manufacturing, Electric Vehicle and its components, Waste management projects, Green Energy including Solar & Wind Equipment and Eco-friendly compostable material for substitutes to traditional plastics. Thrust on 100 percent export oriented units will be given irrespective of sector. AIR Ahmedabad correspondent reports that the new Industrial Policy 2020 is in line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan of the center. The new policy will replace the old policy which expired on 31st December 2019.

  • The minimum temperature was recorded at 26 degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 35 degrees. Mumbai will experience a generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. The minimum temperature was 25 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature will be around 32 degrees. Chennai will have a generally cloudy sky with light rain or drizzle. The temperature will hover between 27 and 36 degrees Celsius.
     
    Kolkata will have Generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the metropolis was 27 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 32 degrees. On to the North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature in Jammu was 28 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 35 degrees Celsius. The city may witness rain or thundershowers towards afternoon or evening. In Srinagar, the minimum temperature was 20 degrees while the maximum will be around 32 degrees Celsius. The city will have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards evening or night.
     
    Ladakh will have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The temperature will hover between 19 and 30 degrees Celsius. In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 19 and 36 degrees Celsius. It will experience mainly clear sky. In Muzzafarabad, there will be mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards evening or night. The minimum temperature was 21 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature will be around 36 degrees. Chandigarh will have a generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the city was 28 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 34 degrees.
     
    In Dehradun, the temperature will hover between 26 and 32 degrees Celsius. The city may have generally cloudy sky with a few spells of rain or thundershowers. In Hyderabad, the minimum temperature was 23 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 32 degrees. Rain or thundershowers would occur in the city towards afternoon or evening. Guwahati will have generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the city was 26 degrees celsius while the maximum will be around 34 degrees.

  • He also said both China and Iran would like to see Biden prevail.

    Trump's comments come as the top U.S. counterintelligence official warned that Russia, China and Iran will all try to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, with Russia already trying to undercut presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

    In an unusual public statement, William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said those countries were using online disinformation and other means to try to influence voters, stir up disorder and undermine American voters' confidence in the democratic process.

    Foreign adversaries also may try to interfere with U.S. election systems by trying to sabotage the voting process, stealing election data, or calling into question the validity of election results.

    Multiple reviews by U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia acted to boost now-President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and undercut his rival Hillary Clinton's chances in that election. Trump has long bristled at that finding, which Russia denies.

    Evanina warned on Friday that Russia is already going after former Vice President Biden and what it regards as an anti-Russia U.S. "establishment."

    Evanina said Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russia Ukrainian politician, has been "spreading claims about corruption - including through publicized leaked phone calls" to undermine Biden's campaign and the Democratic Party. Trump supporters in the U.S. Senate have launched investigations questioning Biden's son Hunter's involvement in alleged business activities in Ukraine.

    Evanina said "Kremlin-linked actors" also are trying to "boost President Trump's candidacy via social media and Russian television."

    He said his agency assessed that China would prefer that Trump not win re-election, because Beijing regards him as too unpredictable.

    He said China has been expanding efforts to influence U.S. politics ahead of the November election to try to shape U.S. policy, exert pressure on U.S. politicians it regards as anti-China, and deflect criticism of China.

    Evanina said Iran is likely to use online tactics such as spreading disinformation to discredit U.S. institutions and President Trump and to stir up U.S. voters' discontent.

    This will be an unusual year for U.S. voters. The coronavirus pandemic is expected to result in many more voters than usual casting ballots by mail, which could mean it will take longer to learn who won.

    Trump has been attacking the idea of voting by mail, saying despite research to the contrary that it is likely to result in fraud.

  • A tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra (RSK) was first announced by the Prime Minister on 10th April 2017, on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of Gandhiji's Champaran Satyagraha.

    The installations at RSK will introduce future generations to the successful journey of world's largest behaviour change campaign, the Swachh Bharat Mission. A balanced mix of digital and outdoor installations in the RSK will impart information, awareness and education on Swachhata and related aspects. The complex interplay of processes and activities will be presented through assimilative learning, best practices, global benchmarks, success stories and thematic messages in an interactive format.

    In Hall 1, the visitors will experience a unique 360° audio visual immersive show, which will narrate India's Swachhata Story - a journey into the largest behaviour change campaign in the history of the world. Hall 2 contains a series of interactive LED panels, hologram boxes, interactive games and much more, to tell the story of the work done to achieve Bapu’s vision of a Swachh Bharat. The open-air displays in the lawn adjacent to RSK will showcase three exhibits which are anecdotes from the journey of India from Satyagraha to Swachhagraha, The artistic wall murals around the Kendra also chronicle the core elements of the Mission's success. 

    After taking a tour of the RSK, Prime Minister will interact with 36 school students from Delhi, representing the 36 States and Union Territories, at the amphitheatre of the RSK, adhering to social distancing protocols. This will be followed by Prime Minister’s address to the nation.

    The Swachh Bharat Mission has transformed rural sanitation in India and has changed the behaviours of over 55 crore people from open defecation to using a toilet. India has received high praise from the international community for this and we have set a precedent for the rest of the world to follow. The mission is now in its second phase, aiming to take India’s villages from Open Defecation Free (ODF) to ODF Plus, with a strong focus on sustaining ODF status and ensuring solid and liquid waste management for all.

  • With active support of Weavers’ Service Centre, Bhubaneswar under office of the Development Commissioner for Handlooms, she participated in several exhibitions of Craft Council, Master Creation, Suraj Kund etc. Her family is marketing Ikat products to CCIC etc., which are highly saleable and has a special fame and name amongst the handloom lovers of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore. These participations encouraged her to be an entrepreneur. At present, 10 weavers are working with her and earning Rs. 600/- to Rs. 700/- per day. Thus, her journey started from zero to this stage with support of Govt. of India, Ministry of Textiles.

  • Flight IX 1344 operated by B737 aircraft from Dubai to Calicut skidded off the runway and fell down a valley at the Calicut international airport Friday evening at around 1941 hrs.

    Most of the passengers including the cabin crew were seriously injured. The injured have been admitted to various hospitals in  Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.

    There was heavy downpour and the visibility was poor when the flight from Dubai landed at the airport.

    Reports said there were 190 passengers on board the aircraft.

    The cockpit separated from rest of the aircraft's body following the mishap.

    President Ram Nath Kovind in a tweet said, "Deeply distressed to hear about the tragic plane crash of Air India Express flight at Kozhikode, Kerala. Spoke to @KeralaGovernor Shri Arif Mohammed Khan and inquired about the situation. Thoughts and prayers with affected passengers, crew members and their families."

    Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi in a tweet said, "Pained by the plane accident in Kozhikode. My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest. Spoke to Kerala CM @vijayanpinarayi  Ji regarding the situation. Authorities are at the spot, providing all assistance to the affected."

    Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said, “Air india Express AXB1344, B737 Dubai to Calicut, person on board 191, visibility 2000 meter, heavy rain, after landing Runway 10, continue running to end of runway and fall down in the valley  and broke down in  two pieces.”

    In a tweet, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said, “Distressed to learn about the tragic accident of Air India Express aircraft in Kozhikode, Kerala. Have instructed NDRF to reach the site at the earliest and assist with the rescue operations.”

    Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar tweeted, “Deeply distressed to hear about the Air India Express tragedy at Kozhikode. Prayers are with the bereaved families and those injured. We are ascertaining further details.”

    Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in tweet said, "Devastating news from Kozhikode, Kerala. I am deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to an accident carrying several passengers on Air India flight. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured."

    Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted, "Have instructed Police and Fire Force to take urgent action in the wake of the plane crash at the Kozhikode International airport (CCJ) in Karipur. Have also directed the officials to make necessary arrangements for rescue and medical support."

     

     

  • India will host the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 as planned. Along with this, Women's ODI World Cup has also been postponed to 2022.

    The Women's ODI World Cup was scheduled to be held in New Zealand between 6th February and 7th March 2021.

    The format of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will remain as it was for 2020 and all teams that qualified for that event will now participate in India in 2021.

    A new qualification process will be run for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.

    The format of the postponed ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup will remain as it was for 2021. Five teams have already qualified for the event and that will stand for 2022.

    The original global qualification event to determine the final three teams to contest the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup was scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka in July 2020, but this was postponed due to COVID-19. The qualification event will now be held in 2021.

  • Lives have started returning back to normal as the number of districts affected by flood stands at 6 out of the 33 districts as according to Assam State Disaster Management Authority reports on Friday.  

    However, the administration is working hard to resettle the flood affected people whose houses may have been damaged or washed away by the devastating flood and erosion.

    Most houses are full of mud with the flood water receding while drinking water is a big issue as lives returning back to normal.

    The flood water sunk the existing tube wells and the water becomes smelly making it undrinkable.

    During this time the SDRF, NDRF along with the civil bodies main motive is to distribute every possible relief materials including sanitizers, phenyl, bleaching powder as the water dries leaving behind mud and dirt.

    As per the ASDMA reports the Brahmaputra river is flowing above danger level mark at Nematighat in Jorhat. While the number of affected districts which are still under water includes Dhemaji, Baksa, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Kamrip(M) and Morigon.

    The present population affected by the flood is less than 13 thousand while 201 inmates are still taking shelter in 2 relief camps.

     

  • As per the daily official bulletin, Chennai showed some progress slipping below the thousand mark after a long while today although it still tops the list accounting for 984 cases followed by Thiruvallur with 388 and Theni with 351.

    A record 119 deaths were reported today- 24 of them in Chennai followed by 8 in Chengalpattu and 6 each in Thiruvallur, Thiruvannamalai, Salem and Thoothukudi - taking the state's total tally to 4690.

    The total number of cases in Tamil Nadu as of August 7 stands at 2,85,024.

    6488 patients were discharged today taking the total number of recoveries in Tamil Nadu to 2,27,575.

  • An Indian Fishing Boast GN Sabari Vasan sailed from Tuticorin with 14 crew and was drifting at sea since 4th August due to machinery breakdown. 

    A merchant ship MV Gas Ionian passing by sighted the stranded vessel and relayed the information to Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Chennai. 

    Upon receipt of information, Indian Coast Guard Ship Shaurya in area was diverted to provide necessary assistance to the vessel. 

    \The fishing vessel was towed by the Coast Guard Ship to the nearest fishing harbour, Nagapattinam for repairs.

  • This was revealed since as a proactive step, SAI made it mandatory for all athletes , who reported back to the camp to take a rapid Covid 19 test upon arrival.

    Since all the athletes who tested positive had travelled together, there is a high likelihood that they contracted the virus while travelling from their hometowns to Bengaluru.

    All four tested negative in the rapid test. However, since Manpreet and Surender began to display some Covid symptoms later, they along with other ten athletes who had travelled together were given the Quantitative RT-PCR test on Thursday, and the four have  been found to be Covid positive.

    Though the test results have still not been handed over to SAI, but the state government has informed the test results to the SAI authorities., and few test results are still awaited.

    All athletes, including Manpreet, who reported to camp were undergoing quarantine as per the Health Ministry Guidelines and as a precautionary measure were kept in isolation to arrest the possibility of transmission of the virus.

    The quarantined athletes did not interact with other athletes who were already present at the camp.

     The SOP of the state government and of SAI is being followed strictly across the campus.

    Meanwhile, Krishan B Pathak has also tested positive. He was just informed about his report by the state government. SAI is yet to receive the report. 

  • BCCI and ECB are in consultation with a view to confirming the 2021 schedules for an all-formats England men’s tour to India to run from late January to late March and for India’s Test tour to England due in the summer of 2021.

  • The 4 astronauts, shortlisted for the mission are undergoing a rigorous 11 months training which will complete in the first quarter of 2021. All the four astronauts selected for the mission are men but their identity has not been revealed.

    "The training Indian astronauts are doing well," said Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, in a statement. The training of 4 Indian astronauts for the ambitious manned space mission had started early this year in Russia.

    The Indian cosmonauts are undergoing training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) following the courses of the general space training program and the systems of the Soyuz MS crewed spacecraft.

    To date, Indian cosmonauts have completed training on crew actions in the event of an abnormal descent module landing: in wooded and marshy areas in winter (completed in February 2020), on the water surface (completed in June 2020) and in the steppe in summer (completed in July 2020).

    They have also completed training in short-term weightlessness mode aboard the IL-76MDK special laboratory aircraft, and in July, they were trained to lift aboard a helicopter while evacuating from the descent module landing point.

    The contract for the Indian candidates’ training for spaceflight was signed between Gavkosmos and the Human Spaceflight Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on June 27, 2019. On February 10, 2020, GCTC started training of the four Indian cosmonauts.

    The entire process of preparation and training is taking place in Russia including, the regular courses comprising medical and physical training, and studying the configuration, structure, and systems of the Soyuz crewed spacecraft. Their health status is monitored daily. The Indian astronauts also have to learn Russian as one of the main international languages of communication in space.

    As per the ISRO sources, India's heaviest launch vehicle “Bahubali” GSLV Mark-III will carry the astronauts to space. Rs.10, 000 crores has already been sanctioned by the Union Cabinet for the Gaganyaan project. This followed the announcement made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Independence Day last year, stating that the Gaganyaan launch will coincide with the 75th year of India’s Independence.

    The select candidates will soon be training in a centrifuge and in a hyperbaric chamber to prepare them for sustaining spaceflight factors, such as G-force, hypoxia, and pressure drops.

    So far the training has been hard but the instructors at the GCTC praise the effort and high motivation of the Indian cosmonauts. "They also note their extremely serious and very professional attitude to the training process. All of the Indian cosmonauts are in good health and are determined to continue their training." said the statement by ROSCOSMOS

    The 4 astronauts, shortlisted for the mission, are expected to receive training for 11 months. The completion of their training at GCTC is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021. All the four astronauts selected for the mission are men but their identity has not been revealed.

    After 11 months of training in Russia, the astronauts will receive module-specific training in India where they will be trained in crew and service module designed by ISRO, learn to operate it, work around it and do simulations.

    Though the first Indian to go into space was Rakesh Sharma in 1984 but the spacecraft in which he went was not Indian. Therefore, Gaganyaan will be the first-ever human space mission conceived and developed in India, as a distinct illustration of the Prime Minister’s "Make in India" vision.

  • In his tweets Amit Shah said that“For the first time since 2014, true skills of our hardworking weavers are being nurtured and they are being given their due credit.

    To further promote them, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 declared 7th August as National Handlooms Day to bring them into the mainstream of India's development”.

    Union Home Minister also emphasized that “PM Modi’s mantra of ‘Vocal for Local' will surely boost the morale of handloom sector.Let us all pledge to support‘Vocal for Handmade’to help realise Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s dream of a self-reliant India”.

  • The online forms have been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of External Affairs and Governments of various states and union territories including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Uttrakhand and Madhya Pradesh among others.

    As per the MoCA guidelines, this facility will be available for all international arriving passengers from August 8, 2020.

    This will help in making passengers’ journey more convenient and comfortable in a contactless way as they won’t have to fill the physical copies of the forms on arrival.

    Delhi Airport continues to be a hub for international travel. With India establishing air bubble with several countries, the number of international arrivals is likely to go up.

    Then, this new online self-declaration & quarantine exemption portal will prove to be beneficial for the government officials in taking a swift and informed decision on granting exemption or know the latest health condition of the international arriving passenger.

    Passengers seeking exemption under the five specific categories will need to fill the e-form available on the website of Delhi Airport “www.newdelhiairport.in”.

    They will have to submit it along with supporting documents, including copy of their passports, at least 72 hours before boarding their flights. However, there is no such time capping for passengers filling for the Self-Declaration form.

    This process will help passengers avoid the hassle of providing the same set of information and documents to different authorities multiple times as online portal has the smart option to autofill the second application using the previous application’s request number.

    All applications will get auto-routed to the respective state government depending upon the first port of arrival. Similarly, all self-declaration applications will be routed to Airport Health Organization (APHO), under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

    A copy of approval or rejection of exemption requests on specific grounds will be emailed to the passengers. Those who would be given exemption from mandatory institutional quarantine can show the same at transfer area after landing at Delhi Airport, and walk out of the airport hassle-free.

    This process would not only help the flyers, who can seek exemptions, but also the authorities in completing the requisite formalities faster, and reduce congestions at the arrival hall of the Airports.

    Passengers would be considered for exemption only if they fall under any one of the five exempted categories - Pregnant women, Suffered a death in the family, Suffering from serious illness (Description to be provided), Parents accompanied by children below 10 years and Covid-19 negative in recent RT-PCR test. 

    Airlines may also notify passengers at the time of reservation that the receiving Indian State Government(s) may authorize exemptions from institutional quarantine for five specific categories on a case-to-case basis.

  • Addressing the valedictory ceremony of a two-year training programme for IAS officers 2018 batch of at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) through video conference, he said the socio-economic upliftment of marginalized sections should be their main goal.

    Reminding the officers that the unifier of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel dreamt of a civil service that would work zealously to create a new nation by fighting poverty and discrimination, the Vice President asked them to be honest, disciplined, simple, responsible, transparent and accountable.

    Calling the former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri as a remarkable leader, Naidu said his hallmarks were integrity and humility, empathy and quiet efficiency, national pride and indomitable courage.

    Urging the Officer Trainees to keep learning, thinking and innovating, Naidu said “good governance is what we need today”. He stressed that governance has to be lean but efficient with a system that is transparent and responds to people’s needs and aspirations. It has to be a system that delivers and creates conditions for growth and development.

    The Vice President said that legislature may make any number of policies and laws but ultimately it is the actual implementation of those policies on ground that matters.

    A government will be remembered by the delivery of the services, he underlined and said that it was the duty of civil servants to ensure that people get their entitlements without delay.

    Whatever post you hold, you should create a record in good work so that people will remember you later, he told the young civil servants.

    Stating that Sardar Patel had great faith in team work, Naidu advised the civil servants to develop teamwork by motivating their co-workers and subordinates to serve the people.

    Vice President Naidu said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mantra of ‘Reform, Perform and Transform’ could be an inspiring backdrop for all their actions as they start innovating and becoming better than the best governance leaders in the world.

    Observing that India is at the cusp of a significant transformation, he said that despite the current disruptive pandemic, there are a number of new opportunities for growth and self-reliant, resilient development. “You will have to take the lead in unfolding this new India”, he added.

    Naidu said the new India will be based on unleashing the forces of inclusive growth, enhancing the quality of life, deepening democratic traditions and strengthening institutions of public delivery.

    Advising the young officers to remember Gandhi ji’s talisman when in doubt, the Vice President told the officers that they would be able to make the right choice if they possess a dispassionate commitment to basic values of truth, fairness, justice, inclusion, public welfare and environmental protection.

    The Vice President also released a book, titled “Sixty-five Conversations” containing Mann Ki Baat addresses of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which was brought out by the Academy.

  • Inaugurating the virtual consultation ‘Science for Resilient Food, Nutrition and Livelihoods’ organized by the M.S Swaminathan Foundation (MSSRF), the Vice President drew attention towards impacts associated with poor diet quality and said that both undernutrition and obesity are significant risk factors for Non-Communicable Diseases.

    We must step up investments in improved storage, processing and preservation to retain the nutritional value of food products, rather than investing in highly processed foods, he opined.

    Lauding Prof. M.S Swaminathan as a visionary scientist and the architect of India’s Green Revolution, the Vice president expressed happiness that MSSRF aims to accelerate use of modern science and technology for agricultural and rural development.

    He especially commended MSSRF for its pro-poor, pro-women and pro-nature approach and exuded confidence that this virtual consultation will help in evolving new strategies and practices to promote food security and nutrition.

    Expressing his respect and gratitude to Dr Swaminathan for helping farmers through technology, the Vice President said that he closely follows Dr Swaminathan’s suggestions and would pursue them at all levels including the Parliament.

    Vice President Naidu also endorsed Dr Swaminathan’s suggestion to provide land rights to the women. “Land rights, pattas and all other property should be jointly in the name of man and woman ”, he said.

    Talking about SDG goals, the Vice President said that it is time to take stock of the progress made so far. Where are we in terms of achieving the ‘zero hunger’ and ‘good health and wellbeing’ goals, he asked.

    Citing a UN report which states the number of people suffering from hunger in the world has been slowly increasing in recent years, the Vice President said that nearly 750 million people were exposed to severe levels of food insecurity in the world in 2019

  • The submarine cable will also connect Port Blair to Swaraj Dweep (Havelock), Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Kamorta, Great Nicobar, Long Island, and Rangat.

    This connectivity will enable delivery of faster and more reliable mobile and landline telecom services to Andaman & Nicobar Islands, at par with other parts of India. The foundation stone for this project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 30th December 2018 at Port Blair.

    Once inaugurated, the submarine OFC link will deliver bandwidth of 2 x 200 Gigabits per second (Gbps) between Chennai and Port Blair, and 2 x 100 Gbps between Port Blair and the other islands.

    Provision of reliable, robust, and high-speed telecom and Broadband facilities in these Islands will be a landmark achievement from the viewpoint of consumers, as well as for strategic and governance reasons.

    4G mobile services, which were constrained due to limited backhaul bandwidth provided via satellite will also see a major improvement.

    Enhanced telecom and Broadband connectivity will boost tourism and employment generation in the Islands, give an impetus to the economy and raise standards of living.

    Better connectivity will also facilitate delivery of e-Governance services such as telemedicine and tele-education. Small enterprises will benefit from opportunities in e-commerce, while educational institutions will utilize the enhanced availability of bandwidth for e-learning and knowledge sharing.

    Business Process Outsourcing services and other medium and large enterprises will also reap the benefits of better connectivity.

    The project is funded by the Government of India through the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) under the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications.

    Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) executed this project while Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) are the Technical Consultants.

    About 2300 Kms of Submarine OFC cable has been laid at a cost of about Rs 1224 Crore, and the project has been completed in time.

  • The memorial will be constructed coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Bangladesh, said the Minister of Liberation War Affairs of Bangladesh AKM Muzammel Haq.

    According to a press release issued by the govt of Bangladesh on Friday, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Muzammel Haq recalled the support of the government and people of India during the Bangladesh liberation war against Pakistan in 1971.

    High Commissioner of India in Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das had called on the  Minister for Liberation War Affairs and discussed issues of mutual interest and the upcoming 50 year anniversary of Liberation War on Thursday. 

    High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das said some people are spreading misleading information about the relations between India and Bangladesh but the relations between the two countries were time tested.

    She said the two countries are working as development partners and a lot of work has been done in the last few years to resolve several long standing issues like land-border issue among others.

  • "Dr. Syma Prasad Mookerjee, founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (predecessor of the present day Bharatiya Janata Party), sacrificed his life spearheading a nationwide Satyagrah (non-violent agitation) demanding complete integration of the state of Jammu & Kashmir into the Indian Union.

     Dr. Mookerjee had defied the entry-permit order of the government on the J&K border on May 10, 1953, and courted arrest chanting “Ek desh mein Do Vidhan, Do Pradhan, and Do Nishan Nahin Chalenge “(there can’t be two constitutions, two prime ministers & two flags in one nation). He was taken to Srinagar jail where he died under mysterious circumstances on June 23, 1953.

    Little did Dr. Mookerjee would have then realized, that his mission would be accomplished when a second generation party leader from Gujarat will  lead the party to power at the centre with absolute majority of its own.

     The NDA government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 5, 2019, revoked the special status granted to the state of Jammu & Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution enabling people of the state to access all central government programmes and laws including right to reservation for disempowered, right to education and right to information, besides, Minimum Wages Act & Minority Act.

    The historic Presidential Order nullifying all the provisions of autonomy granted to the state  was followed by another landmark and strategically significant State Reorganization Act, 2019, dividing the state into two Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

    Since then the NDA government, over the last one year, has been grappling with a series of challenges on various fronts, including border security, constructive engagement with international community on the J&K issue and domestic political resistance to converting the state into two Union territories.

     And then there was stupendous challenge of fast-tracking all round development ensuring peace, prosperity and welfare of the people and providing corruption free governance in all the three regions.

    The central government converted these challenges into an opportunity to undo the betrayal inflicted upon the people of J&K as well as Ladakh in the name of Article 370 by the family-run political parties who ruled the state for most of the last seven decades.

    PM’s personal appeal to the youth in the region, particularly the misguided elements in the Kashmir valley,” to be a part of this historic journey and walk together for a greater cause” has shown tangible results on the ground.

    With both J&K and Ladakh as Union Territories (Jammu & Kashmir not permanently) directly under the centre, the Modi government unfolded an ambitious roadmap of peace and progress ushering in a new era of inclusive development and transparent governance in the entire region.

    The Team-Modi adopted an integrated approach to build a state-of-the art infrastructure and unleashed a slew of fast-track social welfare and employment generation schemes and programmes, especially among the Small, Medium & Micro Enterprises,(MSME), including cottage, handicraft, handloom and horticulture enterprises, aimed at a comprehensive growth and socio-economic emancipation of the deprived sections of the society in all three distinct regions.

    Good quality all-weather  roads and national highways enhancing the hitherto lacking inter-region and intra-region connectivity has gone a long way in promoting and creating fresh employment opportunities in the post-bifurcation period.

    A region-wise performance audit of the promises made, over the last one year, gives a fairly good account although a complete transformation in the landscape of this beautiful region will be on canvas once all the ongoing projects, especially several strategically important national highways, including tunnels in the tough terrains, become operational capable of coping with extreme weather conditions.

    KASHMIR: The land of  Rishi Kashyap :

    According to Christopher Snedden, famous Australian researcher & author of several books on Kashmir, the name could have been a shortened form of Kashyap Mir (lake of the sage Kashyapa).

    And famous Indian Sufi poet and scholar Amir Khusro had described the beauty of Kashmir in the following words :

    Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast,

    Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast.

    (If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here.)

    Tourism has always been the lifeline of the Kashmir economy and the enhanced infrastructure is proving to be a key to its success promoting exports from the valley as well.

    The Road Transport & Highways ministry, with its arms like the NHAI and NHIDCL in concert with the BRO and the  state PWD  are currently engaged in completing a series of projects which will give impetus to growth and help the start ups in establishing producer companies with focus on further development of  sericulture, cold water fisheries, woodwork, cricket bats, saffron, handicrafts, and horticulture produce.

    The ongoing projects include Srinagar-Jammu-Lakhanpur highway; the Qazigund-Banihal tunnel and Srinagar ring road.

     JAMMU:

    Beautiful city of temples, earlier known as Jambupura, was the capital of Raja Jambu Lochan, the brother of Bahu Lochan, who built Bahu Fort on the bank of river Tawi. The brothers are believed to be descendents of Lord Rama.

    Jammu with rapidly growing rail and road connectivity, including the Jammu ring road, is getting a  huge boost to its economy with flourishing religious tourism and  star ups in businesses like wood grain work, mills, basmati rice trade, rice mills, carpets, electronic items and electric goods.

    LADAKH:

    Also known as Ladvags, The land of High Passes and, Maryul of Ngari (lowland of Ngari), has its strategic sensitivity. The region has been a victim of step motherly treatment from the ruling elite in the Kashmir valley.

    The Modi government decision to make Ladakh a separate Union Territory has heralded dawn of peace, progress & prosperity for the peace loving people of the region and correction in regional imbalance in matters of development and economic growth.

    Ladakh is witnessing an unprecedented boost to the infrastructure development with all-weather roads and highway network coming up in a big way in difficult terrains and strategic locations. Domestic and international tourism promotion has been given a big push in Ladakh.

    Sky seems to be the limit of central financial packages to Ladakh resulting in a phenomenal growth in its farm-based economy through enhanced agriculture and livestock activities.

     

    An augmented irrigation facility for horticulture and cash crops has improved productivity putting additional money in farmers’ pocket.

    Last but not the least, the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two union territories has given the local communities in all three regions greater sense of participation in public discourse. It is discernible with the youth in the valley joining security forces and civil services and excelling in the field of education and sports.

    Today there is greater awareness about women rights and girls education in Kashmir as well as in Ladakh.

    People are coming forward to join hands with local administration in isolating anti-social elements and exposing Pakistan-sponsored attempts at radicalisation of youth."

  • Earlier on Thursday, President Ram Nath Kovind had appointed him as the LG. The President accepted the resignation of Girish Chandra Murmu as Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. 

    Murmu, a 1985 batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer was appointed as the LG in October last year.  

     

     

  • While the former is at a record high of 68%, the latter has touched a new low of 2.05%, thus ensuring low mortality among COVID-19 patients.

    These two in tandem have enabled a higher and rising difference (more than 7.7 lakhs) between the number of recovered patients and active cases in India.

    The total recoveries have jumped to 13,78,105 with recovery of 49,769 patients in the last 24 hours.

    Ramped up hospital infrastructure and emphasis on efficient treatment of hospitalized patients through the Standard of Care incorporated in the Clinical Treatment Protocol issued by the Centre, have effectively ensured improvement in the recovery rate. The average daily recovered cases (7 day moving average) have increased from around 26000 cases to 44000 cases in the last 2 weeks.

    Sustained efforts by the Centre and State/UT governments through focused & coordinated containment, widespread testing combined with supervised isolation and effective treatment have together ensured the decline in the percentage of active cases and rise of the percentage recovered cases.

    There has been significant and sustained increase in the number of daily new recovered cases too.

    For all authentic & updated information on COVID-19 related technical issues, guidelines & advisories please regularly visit: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/ and @MoHFW_INDIA.

    Technical queries related to COVID-19 may be sent to technicalquery.covid19@gov.in and other queries on ncov2019@gov.in and @CovidIndiaSeva .

    In case of any queries on COVID-19, please call at the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare helpline no.: +91-11-23978046 or 1075 (Toll-free). List of helpline numbers of States/UTs on COVID-19 is also available at  https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/coronvavirushelplinenumber.pdf.

  • A tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra (RSK) was first announced by the Prime Minister on 10th April 2017, on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of Gandhiji's Champaran Satyagraha.

    The installations at RSK will introduce future generations to the successful journey of world's largest behaviour change campaign, the Swachh Bharat Mission.

    A balanced mix of digital and outdoor installations in the RSK will impart information, awareness and education on Swachhata and related aspects. The complex interplay of processes and activities will be presented through assimilative learning, best practices, global benchmarks, success stories and thematic messages in an interactive format.

    In Hall 1, the visitors will experience a unique 360° audio visual immersive show, which will narrate India's Swachhata Story - a journey into the largest behaviour change campaign in the history of the world. Hall 2 contains a series of interactive LED panels, hologram boxes, interactive games and much more, to tell the story of the work done to achieve Bapu’s vision of a Swachh Bharat. The open-air displays in the lawn adjacent to RSK will showcase three exhibits which are anecdotes from the journey of India from Satyagraha to Swachhagraha, The artistic wall murals around the Kendra also chronicle the core elements of the Mission's success. 

    After taking a tour of the RSK, Prime Minister will interact with 36 school students from Delhi, representing the 36 States and Union Territories, at the amphitheatre of the RSK, adhering to social distancing protocols. This will be followed by Prime Minister’s address to the nation.

    The Swachh Bharat Mission has transformed rural sanitation in India and has changed the behaviours of over 55 crore people from open defecation to using a toilet.

    India has received high praise from the international community for this and we have set a precedent for the rest of the world to follow.

    The mission is now in its second phase, aiming to take India’s villages from Open Defecation Free (ODF) to ODF Plus, with a strong focus on sustaining ODF status and ensuring solid and liquid waste management for all.

  • Nearby hill crumbled to houses of the labourers in the plantation in Nemakkad area of Idukki.

    Three housing complexes have been swept away.

    Eleven dead bodies have been recovered till now. Nearly 78 persons are believed to be trapped.

    12 people have been admitted in hospital.

    The complex was housing more than 80 labourers.

    The state government has rushed a 50-member team comprising fire service personnel from Kochi and 15 ambulances to the site.

    Two teams of the NDRF are in Idukki for the rescue and relief operations.

  • He was addressing the inaugural session of the virtual consultation on the theme 'Science for Resilient Food, Nutrition and Livelihoods’ organised by the MS Swaminathan research foundation in Chennai on Friday.

    He said the ongoing pandemic could make the problem of hunger and undernourishment more acute because of the loss of livelihoods and global economic slowdown. 

    India had made significant strides in reducing hunger and infant mortality in  recent years. But much more is needed to be done.

     He said the need to invest in resilient communities, equipped to face food insecurity caused by the challenges  of conflicts, climate related shocks, degradation of  natural resources and water scarcity had never been more urgent than today. Concerted action by civil society, Panchayati raj institutions and states and central governments and international co-operation was required for this purpose.

    He called for proactively blending latest scientific knowhow with traditional knowledge of indigenous communities. 

    There was an imminent need to  minimise pre and post-harvest losses, improve irrigation,market infrastructure  and transport network  and market produce at reasonable cost. 

    He also called for reorienting agricultural priorities towards more nutrition-sensitive food as the health impacts associated with poor diet quality were significant. 

    Investments in improved storage and preservation to retain the nutritional value of food products rather than in highly processed foods needed to be stepped up.

    Laboratories also had to be firmly linked to farms so that technology transfer and farmer education happened seamlessly, he added.

     

  • The festival is a part of Independence Day Celebrations by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

    The festival begins on August 7 and will run till the 21st of this month.

    It will showcase Indian history that marks the bravery of freedom fighters and aims to create a festive and patriotic mood among Indians across the globe.

    The festival will showcase high quality Independence Day themed patriotic films daily at the websitewww.cinemasofindia.com free of cost.

    Critically acclaimed films from various Indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati and Malayalam will be showcased in the festival.

    Moreover, for the first time ever, the film Gandhi by Sir Richard Attenborough will be made accessible and can be enjoyed by people with vision and hearing impairment.

  • The districts include Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi and Gopalganj.

    Breaching of two embankments in Darbhanga and Samastipur has aggravated the flood situation. Flood water has entered low lying urban areas in Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur and Samastipur districts. Rail traffic remained suspended on Darbhanga- Samastipur rail section of East Central railway.

    Flood water is also posing a threat to Sitamarhi-Darbhanga and Saharsa-Manasi rail sections. The power supply has been disrupted in many flood affected areas.

    Herds of Deer and other wild animals at Valmiki Tiger Reserve in West Champaran swept away in flood waters. Villagers of flood-hit Gopalganj and Saran districts saved around 250 deers and 10 endangered reptiles.  

    Thirty three teams of NDRF and SDRF are carrying out relief and rescue operations in flood affected areas. About five lakh people have been evacuated so far. In all, 1,402 community kitchens have been set up for providing food to  about ten lakh flood affected people.

    Bagmati, Burhi Gandak, Kosi, Ganga and Bagmati  rivers are  flowing above the danger mark. The Met Department has forecast heavy rain in north Bihar and Nepal in the next 48 hours.

  • The paper, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, is an important biological line of evidence in support of the idea that asymptomatic carriers can spread COVID-19. Until now, experts have relied on inferring asymptomatic spread when people contract the virus without contact with a known carrier.

    A team of researchers led by Seungjae Lee at Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine analyzed swabs taken between March 6 and March 26 from 303 people isolated at a center in Cheonan, following an outbreak among a religious group in another city.

    The group ranged in age from 22 to 36 and two-thirds were women. Of the total, 193 were symptomatic and 110 were asymptomatic. Among those who were initially asymptomatic, 89 never developed symptoms at all -- about 30 percent of the total.

    This finding itself helps gives a sense of what portion of infected people are truly asymptomatic rather than merely "presymptomatic," a subject of confusion.

    All were sampled at regular intervals after day eight of isolation, and the samples returned comparable values of the virus' genetic material from the upper and lower airways.

    The median time taken for the patients to return negative tests was marginally less for asymptomatic patients compared with symptomatic: 17 and 19.5 days, respectively. The authors wrote their findings "offer biological plausibility" to reports of asymptomatic transmission.

    But they added that their study only looked at the amount of viral genetic material present and did not attempt to follow the subjects to see if that translated to the spread of infectious virus.

  • The Mega Hackathon is being streamed live from 12 noon to 5 PM on social media platforms of MyGov India and Digital India.

    24 finalists are dispalying their apps on Friday. The jury will declare the results at 5 PM. 

    6,940 tech entreprenuers and start-ups from 9 different categories had participated in the challenge.

    The AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge’, was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 4th of last month, which saw participation from 6 thousand 9 hundred 40 tech entrepreneurs and start-ups across the country.

    The mega Challenge had entries for 9 different categories namely Business, eLearning, Entertainment, Games, Health, News, Office and Work from Home, Others and Social.

  •  The decision was taken after clearance for the camp was received from the Telangana government on August 1 allowing resumption of sporting activities from  August 5.

    The 8 athletes who will resume training at the academy include PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Srikanth Kidambi, Ashwini Ponnappa, Sai Praneeth, Chirag Shetty, Satwiksairaj and N. Sikki Reddy.

    To ensure complete safety of athletes and proper social distancing norms during the training, the academy has been divided into colour zones wherein only athlete and coaches will be allowed to access the green zone, or the field of play, while there are different zones earmarked for support staff and administrative staff who will have no access to the field of play.

    The training will be conducted in keeping with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and the Standard Operating Procedure drawn up by SAI, alongside the state government's regulations. 

     

  • "Canada was taking advantage of us, as usual," Trump said in a speech at a Whirlpool washing machine factory in Clyde, Ohio.

    "I signed a proclamation that defends American industry by reimposing aluminum tariffs on Canada," he said.

    Trump had exempted Canadian products from the tariffs as part of the USMCA free trade deal with Mexico and the United States, on condition that they "not flood our country with exports and kill all of our aluminum jobs. "Canadian aluminum producers have broken that commitment," he said.

    The tariffs, which take effect August 16, are in response to what Washington called a "surge" in aluminum imports from Canada over the past year which "threatens to harm domestic aluminum production."

    "I have determined that the measures agreed upon with Canada are not providing an effective alternative means to address the threatened impairment to our national security from imports of aluminum from Canada," Trump said in his proclamation.

    Ottawa has long rejected the national security concerns coming from a close ally -- the two nations have been joined in a free trade area since 1994.

    Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to travel to Washington to join in the USMCA launch ceremony early last month, after Trump floated the idea of again hitting the country with the tariffs.

     

  • Murmu will succeed Rajiv Mehrishi.

    An IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, Murmu resigned as Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday. 

  • "We acknowledge that the release of these prisoners is unpopular," said Pompeo.

  • The train will start at 11 AM and it will transport material between Maharashtra's Devlali and Bihar's Danapur Railway station.

    The Kisan Rail will carry fruits and vegetables and will make stoppages at several stations and pick-up and deliver them.

    Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Rail Minister Piyush Goyal will flag off the train through video link. The train is scheduled to reach its destination Danapur tomorrow at 6:45 PM, covering a distance of one thousand 519 kilometres in around 32 hours.

    The train will halt at Nasik Road, Manmad, Jalgaon, Bhusaval, Burhanpur, Khandwa, ltarsi, Jabalpur, Satna, Katni, Manikpur, Prayagraj Chheoki, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Nagar and Buxar.

    With the launch of Kisan Rail, the Railways aims to help double farmers’ income. The Railway Ministry said, this will help in bringing perishable agricultural products like vegetables, fruits to the market in a short period of time.

    The Kisan Rail train with frozen containers is expected to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of fish, meat and milk.

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced to start 'Kisan Rail' in the current year's Budget, for providing a seamless supply chain of perishable produce. 

  • Textiles Minister Smriti Irani will be the Chief Guest on the occasion. During the function, handloom clusters across India, NIFT campuses, all the 28 Weaver Service Centres, National Handloom Development Corporation and others will be connected online.

    August 7 was chosen as the National Handloom Day to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement which was launched on the same date in the year 1905.

    The objective is to generate awareness about the Handloom Industry among the public and its contribution to socio-economic development.

    To mark the occasion and to instil pride in the workmanship of handloom weaving amongst citizens, a social media campaign is planned for the handloom weaving community.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, the Handloom and Handicrafts of India encompass a glorious history of hundreds of years.

    In his Mann Ki Baat address last month, the Prime Minister urged everyone to use Indian Handloom and Handicrafts as much as possible, and also communicate to more and more people about them.

    He said, local artisans and weavers will benefit from conversations about the richness and diversity of Indian handloom and handicrafts.

    The Prime Minister emphasized that the correct and positive approach always goes a long way in transforming distressing times into opportunities, adversities into triggers of development and progress.

  • The ministry, in a series of tweets, informed that widespread testing has enabled more than 6 lakh tests daily for 3 days in a row. From 1 lab in January 2020, the country now has 1,370 labs.

    "India has significantly ramped up its diagnostic lab network. Higher number of tests will push the positivity rate initially, but as the Delhi experience has amply shown, will eventually lower when combined with other measures," a tweet stated.  

    The ministry further added: "Focused & coordinated containment, widespread testing combined with supervised isolation and effective treatment have resulted in increasing recovery rates and steadily falling case mortality. These have ensured declining percentage active cases."

  • The conclave is being organised by the Ministry of Education and University Grants Commission.

    The conclave will have sessions dedicated to significant aspects of education covered under the National Education Policy, 2020 like Holistic, Multidisciplinary and futuristic education, Quality Research, and Equitable use of technology for better reach in Education.

    Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal , Union Minister of State, Education, Sanjay Dhotre also participated in the event. A number of dignitaries including the Chairman and Members, Committee for Draft NEP as well as eminent academicians/scientists will speak on different aspects of the National Education Policy.

    Vice-Chancellors of universities, Directors of Institutions and Principals of colleges and other stakeholders participated in the programme.

     

  • POTUS issued the order banning any transactions with ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the video-sharing app TikTok, starting in 45 days.

    The app may be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party and United States "must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security," Trump said in the order.

  • His Sri Lanka People’s party (SLPP) has won 145 seats in 225-member parliament, nearing two-thirds majority.  

    Samagi Jana balawega (SJB) led by former minister Sajith Premadasa has emerged as the main opposition party with 54 seats while the oldest party in the country United National Party (UNP) led by former Prime minister Ranil Wickremsinghe has got only a single seat.

    SLPP got around 59 percent of popular vote while SJB was able to garner around 24 percent.  SJB is an offshoot of UNP and was formed early this year after Premadasa failed to wrest control of UNP. 

    President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared the SLPP winners and also expressed confidence of establishing a strong parliament to implement his policies. President is younger brother of Mahinda Rajapksa, who became PM after victory of Gotabaya at Last November Presidential elections. 

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned PM Rajapaksa to congratulate on his victory. Rajapksa tweeted that he look forward to working with PM Modi closely to further enhance the long-standing cooperation between the two countries. He added that Sri Lanka and India are friends and relations.

  • The company said that "the attempt, will provide additional context about accounts that are controlled by certain official representatives of governments, state-affiliated media entities and individuals closely associated with those entities." 

    The label has been desined in such a way that it appears on the profile page of the relevant Twitter account just beneath the name of handle and on the Tweets sent by and shared from these accounts. 

    The labels which appears as a small icon of a podium with a microphone in black and white, contain information about the country the account is affiliated with and whether it is operated by a government representative or state-affiliated media entity. 

    Additionally, these labels include a small icon of a flag to signal the account’s status as a government account and of a podium for state-affiliated media the company  has said.

    To start with, company has decided to label the relevant  accounts from the five countries that comprise the permanent membership of the UN Security Council namely China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

    However, only those government accounts will be flagged which are heavily engaged in geopolitics and diplomacy or State-affiliated media entities. Besides the individuals, such as editors or high-profile journalists, associated with state-affiliated media entities will also get the new identification flag under their name on their Twitter handle.

    In the case of state-affiliated media entities, Twitter will not recommend or amplify accounts or their Tweets with these labels to people said the company  in the statement. 

    This policy currently  limited to permanent members  of UNSC will be expanded to include additional countries in the future. 

    Abhishek Jha

  • Prime Minister Modi commended the government and the electoral institutions of Sri Lanka for effectively organising the elections despite the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. PM also appreciated the Sri Lankan people for their enthusiastic participation in the elections, and said that this reflected the strong democratic values shared by both countries.

    Prime Minister Modi noted that the incoming results of the elections indicate an impressive electoral performance by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party, and conveyed his congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Rajapaksa in this regard.

    Recalling their cordial and fruitful previous interactions, the two leaders reiterated their shared commitment to strengthen the age-old and multi-dimensional India-Sri Lanka relationship. They stressed the significance of early progress in all spheres of bilateral cooperation.

    Prime Minister informed Mahinda Rajapaksa about the establishment of an international airport in the Buddhist pilgrimage city of Kushinagar in India, and said that the city looked forward to welcoming visitors from Sri Lanka at an early date.

    The leaders agreed to remain in close touch as both countries address the challenges posed by COVID 19 pandemic, and resolved to take bilateral relations to newer heights in the coming days.

  • The virtual meet was focused on maintaining essential health services and public health programmes in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan spoke about India’s tryst with COVID-19. He highlighted how India had been preparing for the pandemic as soon as China informed WHO on 7th January.

    The Minister said, India’s proactive and graded multi-level institutional response to COVID made it possible to have very low cases per million and deaths per million in spite of having a high population density.
     
    On the efficacy of the lockdown, Dr. Harsh Vardhan expanded how it was effective in slowing down the rate of growth of cases and gave the government time to augment the health infrastructure and testing facilities. He added that from one lab in January, India has 1370 labs today. Indians anywhere can access a lab within 3 hours travel time. 33 of the 36 States and UTs exceed WHO’s recommendation of testing 140 people per million per day.

  • Union Minister also termed Congress leader’s letter in social media as "premature" and asserted that the final notification has not been issued and the draft notification is still open for public consultation for more than 120 days. Sharing a copy of this letter on social media, Union Environment Minister also criticised congress leader for publicising his second letter which said he was still awaiting a response from the environment minister.

    Last month, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar had termed Ramesh’s suggestions as “unfounded” and based on “misinterpretation” after the Congress leader raised strong objections to the draft EIA notification. Union Environment Minister in his letter Jairam Ramesh also said that the provision of ex-post facto approval in draft EIA will bring violators under regulatory regime by imposing heavy penalties.

    The Minister said that Ramesh's point that the "Government intends to give ex-post facto approval to the cases involving violation" is absolutely wrong connotation because Environment Clearance (EC), which will be issued is prospective in nature, and previous actions resulting in violation will be made liable to stringent penal action as per the statutory provisions.

    Taking on Ramesh's second objection related to reducing time period for public hearing, the minister said that 30 days period have been given for conducting public hearing but the actual public hearing takes place one day only in the presence of district authorities. "Thus, we are not reducing the process of public hearing but making it more meaningful and 82 category projects are exempted from public hearing since 2006. We have not changed that. We have many suggestions on addition of more industries in this category which we have taken note of it."

    Union Minister also said that the government is allowing expansion without a public hearing only in cases where the proposed expansion does not lead to an increase in pollution load and with adequate environmental safeguards. Clarifying on the Congress leader's objection on raising the validity of Environment Clearance (EC) tenure for 10 years, the Union Minister said that the EC is valid for 7 years and which can be further extended by another three years as per the present EIA notification of 2006 regime.

    Union Minister Prakash Javadekar made it clear that he is ready to discuss various issues in detail when the situation warrants.

  • Briefing media on Thursday evening, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, India remains committed to this objective. The Special Representatives of India and China had a telephone conversation on 5th July where they discussed the situation in the India China border areas.

    The two Special Representatives had agreed that early and complete disengagement of the troops along the Line of Actual Control  and de-escalation from India-China border areas in accordance with bilateral agreement and protocols and full restoration of peace and tranquility was essential for the smooth overall development of bilateral relations.

    Replying to a query on Confucius Institutes, Anurag Srivastava highlighted that Ministry of External Affairs had in 2009 issued detailed guidelines for establishment and functioning of Foreign Cultural Centres. He said, these guidelines apply also to any cultural centre that is supported or sponsored by an autonomous foreign organisation, including any Confucius Centre. 

    Under these Guidelines, approval of the Ministry is required for any MoU or Agreement that such Centres might wish to enter into with an Indian organisation.

    The spokesperson said, if any Indian institution were to enter into or has entered into an arrangement which would come under the purview of these guidelines, then it would require the approval of the Government.

  • The train will start at 11 AM and it will transport material between Maharashtra's Devlali and Bihar's Danapur Railway station. The Kisan Rail will carry fruits and vegetables and will make stoppages at several stations and pickup and deliver them.

    The train will halt at Nasik Road, Manmad, Jalgaon, Bhusaval, Burhanpur, Khandwa, ltarsi, Jabalpur, Satna, Katni, Manikpur, Prayagraj Chheoki, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Nagar and Buxar.

    Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Rail Minister Piyush Goyal will flag off this train through video link. The train is scheduled to reach its destination Danapur on 8th August at 6:45 PM, covering a distance of one thousand 519 kilometres in around 32 hours.

    Railway Ministry said, Railways aims to help double farmers’ income with the launch of Kisan Rail. This will help in bringing perishable agricultural products like vegetables, fruits to the market in a short period of time.

    The Kisan Rail train with frozen containers is expected to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of fish, meat and milk.

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced to start 'Kisan Rail' in the current year's Budget, for providing a seamless supply chain of perishable produce.

  •  In the past 24 hours, 46 thousand 121 recoveries have been reported across the country. With this, the recovery rate has improved to 67.61 per cent. The case fatality rate has further declined to 2.07 per cent in the country.

    The Health and Family Welfare Ministry today said, a total of 56 thousand 282 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the country within 24 hour taking the total number of cases to 19 lakh 64 thousand 536.

    Presently, the total number of active corona cases in the country is five lakh 95 thousand 501. 904 deaths have also been reported in a single day, taking the nationwide toll to 40 thousand 699.

  • In a tweet, CBIC said this precautionary step has been taken in view of the recent incident of explosion in Beirut in Lebanon caused by such material.

  • Myanmar banned mass gatherings since March, but the two pastors organized religious gatherings in Yangon’s Insein and Mayangone townships in late March and early April. 

    The preacher David Lah is a Myanmar born Canadian citizen. 

    Later the preacher David Lah and dozens of people who participated in the service organised by him tested Corona positive. 

    A case was registered against him and others under the Natural Disaster Management Law of Myanmar which carries a punishment up to 3 years for violating its provisions. Police arrested the pastor on May 20 after he  finished his post-recovery quarantine period. 

    Myanmar has so far not seen a major outbreak of Coronavirus in the country with just 357 infections and six deaths so far. 

    According to the population data published by UNFPA in 2016 Christians are the second largest religious community in Myanmar. They constitute about 6.3 percent of the Buddhist dominated population of Myanmar.