• Addressing the function over video conferencing, Home minister said that creating peace in the region was essential to encourage tourism and employment opportunities.

    Earlier, North East used to be synonymous with extremism, strikes, and violence, in the past six and half years, the region is known for development, industry, organic farming and startups.

    On the occasion, DONER minister Dr Jitendra Singh said Destination NE 2020 will help promote tourism activities in the region. With improving connectivity through air. rail and road network, NE will emerge as a top global destination.

    Destination North East is a calendar event of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region conceptualized with the objective of taking the North East Region to other parts of the country and bringing them closer together in order to strengthen national integration

    For Destination North East 2020, the theme is "The Emerging Delightful Destinations".

    The four-day programme will feature Audio Visual presentation of the tourist spots of the states and the region, messages from state icons and achievers, introduction to prominent local entrepreneurs and virtual exhibition of handicraft/ traditional fashion/ & local products.

    North Eastern Region is ideal for both passive and adventure forms of Eco-Tourism with wildlife sanctuary/parks, good scenic beauty, waterfalls, forests etc. Heritage tourism has picked up considerably in the Region with a participatory approach.

    The region has many famous and old religious spots, which have been integrated with national tourism circuits. In view of attractive natural environment and growing trends of outbound business meets, the NER also offers ample opportunities for business tourism segment

  • The vessel was received with fanfare. The maiden voyage of the direct Cargo Ferry Service between India and the Maldives was jointly launched on September 21 with an aim to enhance bilateral trade and bring down costs for consumers.  

    This is the first ferry service in the Indian Ocean region operated by the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI). The vessel is carrying garments, food items, kitchen equipment, coir pith, machinery tools, etc for the Maldives on its maiden voyage.

    In a virtual event - the Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid, the Transport Minister Mrs. Aishath Nahula, the Island Council of Kulhudhufushi, and the High Commissioner of India Sunjay Sudhir - attended by the receiving ceremony of the vessel. 

    The Cargo service connects Tuticorin and Cochin ports in India with Kulhudhufushi and Male ports in the Maldives. The MCP Linz is a combination vessel which can carry 380 TEUs and 3000 MT on bulk cargo and will have a turnaround time of 10-12 days for its voyages. 

    The vessel has reefer plugs for refrigerated containers. This vessel provides direct cargo connectivity between India and the Maldives on a predictable and affordable basis for the first time and will lower costs and times for traders in both countries. 

    Nurtured by close historical and cultural ties, Indians and Maldivians have traded for centuries. The Cargo Ferry Service is visioned as a key instrument to upgrade the trade partnership.

    Besides the expansion of markets for MSMEs in India, the Cargo Ferry service will provide an opportunity to Maldivian exporters of tuna and other marine products to scope the vast Indian market and also explore European markets through Cochin and Tuticorin ports.


    Report by: Abhishek Jha

  • Denmark had expressed its interest in joining this alliance at the earliest during the Third India-Danish Joint Commission Meeting held in May. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had co-chaired the meeting virtually with the Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod. Both sides had also agreed to work towards establishing a "Green Strategic Partnership”, which would focus on areas such as climate change, energy, circular economy, water, sustainable food, and agriculture.

    There is a 400 year of historical linkage between India and Denmark and both countries have also celebrated 70 years of diplomatic relations. “The Virtual Bilateral Summit will give an opportunity to the two leaders to comprehensively review the broad framework of the bilateral relationship in the context of the time-tested friendly ties between the two countries and give broad political direction for a strengthened and deepened collaborative partnership on key issues of mutual interest,” said a press release issued by External Affairs Ministry on Sunday.

    Denmark as an important development partner has been a key contributor to India’s ‘White Revolution’ and growth of wind energy. Both countries have already established close government-to-government cooperation in water, urban development, and animal husbandry & dairy. In renewable energy, a new 5-year India-Denmark Energy Partnership can build on the existing strong cooperation. 

    Several major Danish companies have built new manufacturing factories under the ‘Make in India’ scheme which are being used as export hubs. Danish company Grundfos manufactures intelligent pumps and has sold over 40,000 solar pumps in India. Danish companies such as Danfoss has played an important role in increasing farmers’ income by setting up cold storages and have developed post-harvest technology for bananas.

    Recently India’s Ambassador in Denmark Ajit Gupte & Mayor of Aalborg, one of the biggest Danish cities, Thomas Kastrup Larsen unveiled a painting of Gandhiji on 10 Sept 2020, as part of celebrations for the 150 Years of Mahatama Gandhi. The painting has been made by renowned artist Nils Sloth and it is being displayed in the Mayor's office & other public places in Aalborg.

    Bilateral trade between India and Denmark has seen impressive growth of 30%, from US$ 2.82 billion in 2016 to US$ 3.68 billion in 2019. India exports textiles, linens, home linens, etc. worth around US$ 250 million to Denmark. Around 200 Danish companies have invested in India in sectors such as shipping, renewable energy, environment, agriculture; food processing, smart urban development Around 25 Indian companies are present in Denmark in IT, renewable energy, and engineering.

    Around 5000 Indian professionals are working in major Danish companies and 20 Indian IT companies who have been present in Denmark for decades, contributing Indian expertise in IT and Finance to the Danish economy and enhancing their products, services, and competitiveness.

    Report by: Abhishek Jha

  • In the first Phase, SAI in early June had started the training for only the Olympic bound athletes at various SAI centres, since SAI infrastructure are captive infrastructure and could ensure protection of our national athletes against COVID 19. 

    In the next phase, the resumption of sporting activities for Tokyo Olympics bound para-athletes and athletes in NCOEs  (with a focus on 2024 Paris Olympics and the 2022 Asian and Commonwealth Games) has been planned in stages for nine disciplines, including para-athletics, para-powerlifting, para shooting, para archery, cycling, hockey, weightlifting, archery, wrestling, Judo, athletics, boxing and fencing. 

    The same too is being organised only at SAI Regional Centres with residential facilities so as the athletes are not exposed to any dangers of COVID transmission. The decision was taken after detailed deliberation and considering that athletes cannot be put to risk of COVID less than year before Tokyo 2020 (21). 

    To ensure complete safety of athletes, including following of quarantine protocols, SAI SOP and state Covid SOP, it has been decided that athletes, even those in the same discipline, will be inducted into sporting activities in batches. The first phase of sports resumption is likely to begin on October 5, 2020.

    SAI has also directed the Regional Centres to maintain the bio-bubble (Zoning) to ward off any possible chance of transmission of the virus among trainees at the NCOEs. It has therefore been decided that coaches, support staff who would be involved in training of athletes will also be housed in the NCOE so as to maintain the integrity of the bio-bubble for the safety of all athletes.

    SAI has also decided to support athletes from sports, where SAI does not have its own captive residential infrastructure, if they train in ‘Play and Stay” kind of training facilities, if the facility administration, the coaches and athletes  assume the responsibilities of taking requisite precaution against COVID-19.


    Report by: Tapas Bhattacharya

  • Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry is closely monitoring the progress made in these projects and generation of work opportunities for the migrant labours of these states under this scheme. Around 164 Railway infrastructure projects are being executed in these states.

    Till 25 September, 2020, 12,276 workers have been engaged in this Abhiyaan and the payment of Rs 2190.7 crores has been released to the contractors for the projects being implemented.

    Railway has appointed nodal officers in each district as well as in the States so that a close coordination is established with the State Government. 

    Railway has identified no. of Railway works which are being executed under this scheme. The works are related to (i) construction and maintenance of approach roads for level crossings, (ii) development & cleaning of silted waterways, trenches and drains along the track, (iii) construction and maintenance of approach road to railway stations, (iv) repair and widening of existing railway embankments / cuttings, (v) plantation of trees at extreme boundary of railway land and (vi) protection works of existing embankments/ cuttings/bridges.

    It may be noted that Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a massive employment -cum- rural public works campaign named Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan to empower and provide livelihood opportunities in areas/ villages witnessing large number of returnee migrant workers affected by the devastating COVID-19 on 20th June 2020. 

    The Prime Minister announced that an amount of Rs 50,000 crores would be spent for building durable rural infrastructure under the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan.

    This Abhiyaan of 125 days, is being  undertaken in mission mode, and involves focused implementation of 25 categories of works/ activities in 116 districts, each with a large concentration of returnee migrant workers in 6 states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha.

    Public works is being undertaken during this campaign will have a resource envelope of Rs. 50,000 crores.

    The Abhiyaan is a convergent effort between 12 different Ministries/Departments, namely; Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport & Highways, Mines, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum & Natural Gas, New & Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom and Agriculture, to expedite implementation of 25 public infrastructure works and works relating to augmentation of livelihood opportunities.

  • According to a press release issued by the High Commission of India, Riva Ganguly Das reiterated the importance of Bangladesh in India’s neighbourhood first policy. 

    She also recounted the progress made in bilateral relations under the leadership of the prime ministers of both the countries. 

    Celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Liberation War and the fiftieth anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations in the next year also figured in the discussions.

    The High Commissioner presented a collection of rare footage of the visit of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to India in 1972. 

    Sheikh Hasina recalled India’s contributions to Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971. She said all the political parties and people of India extended overwhelming support to the Bangladesh’s Liberation War, reported the official news agency BSS. 

    Prime Minister Hasina thanked the outgoing High Commissioner for her contribution to strengthening India-Bangladesh relations and wished her the best for her next posting in the Ministry of External Affairs as Secretary (East).


    Report by: Rajesh Jha

  • He was admitted to Army's Research and Reffereal Hospital in Delhi on 25th June. The Hospital said, he was being treated for sepsis with multiorgan dysfunction syndrome and effects of severe brain injury. After a fall at his residence six years ago in 2014, he had suffered a serious head injury and had slipped into coma.
    One of the founding members of BJP Jaswant Singh served as Minister of Defence, External Affairs and Finance and also Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission. He was elected to the Lok Sabha four times and to Rajya Sabha five times and served as Leader of Opposition in the Upper House. He was NDA's nominee in the Vice Presidential election in 2012.
    President, Vice President and Prime Minister have expressed grief on the demise of Jaswant Singh.
    President Ram Nath Kovind said, the demise of veteran soldier, outstanding parliamentarian, exceptional leader and intellectual, Jaswant Singh is distressing. President Kovind said, He combined many difficult roles with ease and equanimity. He expressed condolences to his family and friends.
    Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said, Jaswant Singh was a great leader who served the nation with distinction in various capacities. Naidu said, he was a man of impeccable integrity, an able administrator and an excellent parliamentarian. The Vice President said, his thoughts are with the bereaved family and friends.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, Jaswant Singh Ji served our nation diligently, first as a soldier and later during his long association with politics. He said, during Atal Ji’s Government, he handled crucial portfolios and left a strong mark in the worlds of finance, defence and external affairs. PM Modi said, Jaswant Singh Ji will be remembered for his unique perspective on matters of politics and society. He also contributed to the strengthening of the BJP. PM Modi said, he will always remember their interactions. He expressed condolences to his family and supporters. The Prime Minister spoke to his son Manvendra Singh and expressed condolences. He said, true to his nature, Jaswant Ji fought his illness with immense courage for the last six years.
    Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has expressed pain at the passing away of veteran BJP leader and former minister. In his message, Singh said he served the nation in several capacities including the charge of Defence Minister.
    Expressing grief, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said,  Jaswant Singh Ji was an associate of Atal ji and his experience of administration was seen in the Vajpayee government.

  • The Ministry said, use of IT services and electronic monitoring will result in better enforcement of Traffic Rules in the country and will lead to removing harassment of drivers and would facilitate the citizen. The amendment inter-alia provides for the definition for Challan, Portal ed as requirement for providing the services through IT and further the enforcement of electronic monitoring and enforcement.

    It said, details of driving licences disqualified or revoked by the licensing authority shall be recorded chronologically in the portal and such record shall be reflected on a regular basis on the portal has been provided for. Thus, the record shall be maintained electronically and further the driver behaviour would be monitored.

    The Ministry said, provisions have been made for the  procedure for Production and Obtaining Certificates in physical as well as electronic form, the validity, issuance of such documents and further the date and time stamping of inspection and identity of the Officer to be recorded. It has been provided that if the details of the documents are found validated through the electronic means by the enforcement officer then physical forms of such documents will not be demanded for inspection, including in cases where there is an offence made out necessitating seizure of any such documents.

  • The theme of the event is the Emerging Delightful Destinations, which speaks of the tourism destinations emerging stronger and more attractive when the sector picks up momentum.

    Destination North East is a calendar event of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region conceptualized with the objective of taking the North East Region to other parts of the country and bringing them closer together in order to strengthen national integration.

    The four-day programme will feature audio visual presentation of the tourist spots of the states and the region, messages from state icons and achievers, introduction to prominent local entrepreneurs and virtual exhibition of traditional fashion and local products.

    The event Destination North East-2020 is also an effort to make everyone explore the local destinations rather than going anywhere abroad.

  • In his address Dr. Hirani urged all to set a benchmark for themselves by defying all resistance, so as to ‘Selflessly Serve the Society through dedicated R&D efforts. Prof. (Dr.) Harish Hirani in his CSIR Foundation Day address stated, “This Institute has strong foundations to excel as an Institute of Global Excellence. All the technologies developed here are thoroughly evaluated before commercialization. CSIR-CMERI is focussed upon improving the Entrepreneurial potential of individuals instead of making them lean towards jobs. Collaboration instead of Competition is the Mantra for the future. Comprehensive Waste Management and Complete Eradication of Manual Scavenging are two of the few priority objectives for CSIR-CMERI. The CSIR-CMERI technologies besides solving core problems also address issues such as contamination of underground Water and reduction of Water Usage for Agricultural purposes.” 

    Director, CSIR-CMERI then presented the recent achievements of the Institute. He stated that all the efforts and results of the Institute are reaching out towards the Atmanirbhar Bharat mission of the Government. He also made a call for quantification of purpose of our scientific endeavours which must also have social and innovation factors. He also delivered on the indicators intended to reflect i.e. Scientific characteristics, economic characteristics and social characteristics.

    The future course of the Indian Economy will be decided by the Youth and therefore Up skilling the youth will fuel the Nation forward towards being an Economic and Scientific Powerhouse. Thus, the Skill & Innovation Promotion Group of CSIR-CMERI is relentlessly engaged in providing Skill sets to the Youth and to help them attain knowledge about the rapid strides in Science & Technology made by the Institute, to encourage and inspire them to go beyond the technological achievements of the Institute and further add value onto it. This careful nurturing of the young minds will equip and prepare them to become the Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow, which in turn will drive the Nation’s Future.

    Prof. Hirani talked about the Brand CSIR-CMERI. He highlighted the achievements of the Institute in recent viz the world’s largest Solar Tree, Mob Control Vehicle, development of Mechanized Drain Cleaning on-site Waste Water purification technology, Dry Fogging Shoe Disinfector, Solar Chulha, Municipal Solid Waste Disposal System and other solid management system, UV Disinfection devices and Box, Automatic Boidiesel Plant, Automatic Biomass Briquetting Plant, Outdoor Air Purifier, Hospital Care Assistive Robotic Device, work done in water testing etc.

    He also discussed about the decision to hold an All India Annual Essay Competition by the Institute. For the significant performance of the Institute on the front of the Intellectual Property Rights and generation of cash flow he congratulated the concerned scientists for their achievements. 

    The Start-Ups and the Micro Industries are the key elements for strengthening the fundamentals of the Indian Economy. Thus, CSIR-CMERI transferred the following four technologies to the following MSEs:

    1. Automatic Biomass Briquetting Technology
    Mr.Sudip Halder, Partner, M/s. Dipsam Shakti Pvt. Ltd, Krishnagar, West Bengal, stated that “The technology of Automatic Biomass is a very useful solution towards the problem of stubble burning especially in Punjab, Haryana, UP and Delhi.

    The machine is simple in operation, low cost and can be operated by a single operator. Apart from straw, other biomass like leaves, saw dust, grass can be converted into briquette. Also, this is in line with the dream of our Hon’ble Prime Minister for making a ‘Swachh Bharat’. I am pretty sure, with this CSIR CMERI developed technology, I shall be able to start the business and reach to the society.” 

    2. Semi-Continuous Bio-Diesel Technology-
    Mr. M Sesha Sai, Managing Director, M/s. Best Engineering Technologies, Hyderabad stated that “With increasing demand of Biodiesel and the present Govt policy of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’, we felt the technology of Semi Continuous Biodiesel Plant is an unique business opportunity for us. This will also create employment generation as well as make a Swachha and Atma Nirbhar Bharat. This technology will provide the solution of import substitution by reducing the burden of import bill and dependence on diesel and LPG.”

    3. Contactless Hand Washer-
    Dr. Fayaz Ahmad, Director, Bandipora College of Information & Technology, Delhi stated that “The Technology developed by CSIR-CMERI is best suited for institutions, schools, and workplaces as the Contactless hand washer comes with inbuilt storage of 10 litres of liquid soap solution which shall provide safe hand washes as per WHO protocol  to more than 2000 persons /students in one soap filling. Moreover, the provision of on built battery storage makes it very useful to be used in areas like Jammu & Kashmir as there are frequent power cuts and the Technology can work without electricity too.”

    4. High Flow-Rate Arsenic Removal Technology-

    Mr. Sanjay Datta, Managing Director, M/s. Capricans Aqua Pvt. Ltd, West Bengal on this occasion stated, “The High Flow Rate Arsenic Removal Technology is a cost effective solution for the Arsenic Contamination troubles of the society. The commercialization of the technology will help us reach out to various sections of the society and its people across the Nation. Its deployment at Community Level can also ensure maximum collective benefit.” 

    The decision to transfer technologies to the Micro and Small Enterprises was undertaken to ensure that the R&D benefits of the CSIR-CMERI developed technologies in the paradigm of Energy, Water and its associated utilities benefits the society across the Nation coupled with providing viable entrepreneurial opportunities to the Youth and Micro & Small enterprises.

    By Tapas Bhattacharya


  • It will be the 69th episode of the monthly radio programme.

    It will be broadcast on the entire network of AIR and Doordarshan. It will also be streamed live on the YouTube channels of AIR, DD News, PMO and Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

  • In an announcement on Friday, the Ministry of Health and Sports ordered that eleven new areas under Mon state, Mandalay region, Bago region, and Ayeyawady regions will have to observe stay at home restrictions to effectively control the spread of Coronavirus in the country. 

    The people from these regions are ordered to stay at home with government employees to work in rotation from home and office in a two week cycle. Excluding essential services and people working at ports, communications, banking and financial institutions, other offices and companies, work places have been ordered to be closed temporarily. 

    In her report to people about the latest COVID 19 situation on Saturday, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi called upon people to observe health guidelines like wearing masks, regular hand washing and social distancing norms. She also cautioned people not to try household remedies to cure coronavirus infection based on social media recommendations.

    In the meanwhile, to deal with the growing cases of Corona infection straining the civilian health facilities, the Myanmar military Tatmadaw is preparing hospital facilities for approximately 1500 persons. It has assembled 40 medical teams with 15 members each to provide treatment to civilians. 




    Rajesh Jha/Dhaka/26.9.2020

  • The theme of the event is the Emerging Delightful Destinations, which speaks of the tourism destinations emerging stronger and more attractive when the sector picks up momentum.

    Destination North East is a calendar event of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region conceptualized with the objective of taking the North East Region to other parts of the country and bringing them closer together in order to strengthen national integration.

    The four-day programme will feature audio visual presentation of the tourist spots of the states and the region, messages from state icons and achievers, introduction to prominent local entrepreneurs and virtual exhibition of traditional fashion and local products.

    The event Destination North East-2020 is also an effort to make everyone explore the local destinations rather than going anywhere abroad.

  • PM Modi said, the world has undergone a sea change and it is vastly different from the times that prevailed in 1945. PM pointed out that while there has not been a third world war, there have been several wars, civil wars and terrorist attacks that shook the world.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked where is the United Nations in the joint fight against the Corona virus pandemic. PM sought to know where its effective response was. PM said, there were several stellar achievements of the UN over the last 75 years, but there were also several instances that point to the need for a serious introspection of the work of the United Nations.

    The Prime Minister said, India is proud of the fact that it is one of the Founding Members of the United Nations. He said, people of India have been waiting for a long time for the UN reform process to get completed. PM expressed Indian people's concern whether this reform-process will ever reach its logical conclusion.

    PM Modi said, India has lost the maximum number of soldiers in the course of maintaining peace. PM said, every Indian aspires for India’s expanded role in the United Nations. He stressed that India has always worked for the interests of humankind and not been driven by its own interests. From India’s Neighbourhood First Policy to Act East Policy, as well as ideas of security and growth for all in the region, or views towards the Indo Pacific region, India has always worked towards the betterment of humankind.

    The Prime Minister said, India’s partnerships are always guided by this very principle. He added that any gesture of friendship by India towards one country is not directed against any third country.

  • The DMP Commissioner Md. Shafiqul Islam told media persons in Dhaka on Saturday that  dope test was conducted against suspected police personnel.

    A total of 26 people were found positive and the dismissal process is underway against these cops involved in drug use. 

    The DMP Commissioner said that the action against these cops would send a clear message that nobody involved in drugs will be spared. He said that police personnel taking drugs or helping the drug peddlers are being arrested and prosecuted. 






    Rajesh Jha/Dhaka/26.9.2020

  • The Wellness Centre (in Association with Chaudhary Brahm Prakash AyurvedCharakSansthan) CBPACS, Najafgarh, Yoga Park & Open Gym have been operationalized for Police officers/personnel & their family members, as ‘Good Health adds Life to Years’.

    Police as a profession is known for tremendous stress, that it takes one through continuous unspecified working hours leading to unhealthy eating habits causing adverse impact on their efficiency. 

    Most of the police personnel either show little concern about their health for numerous reasons or are extremely pressed for time. This essentially means an immediate need to reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.

    Keeping up with our commitment of responsible community policing as well as to have a health reality check and early detection of the health issues, Dwarka District Police took an initiative in this direction under “Niramaya Project” and opened three different facilities i.e. Wellness Centre, Yoga Park & Open Gym at Dwarka Sector-23.

    The focus of the initiative was to nip the bud and to increase awareness about the major health concerns, the repercussions of these concerns as well as how to best handle these health issues.

    The emphasis was also on the health and general well being of our police personnel and their families. The team of doctors will give free consultancy to the police officers/personnel with emphasis on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a preventive care. Yoga Park will benefit to police personnel as well as residents to boost their metabolism, minimize stress, etc. and Open Gym helps in dealing with athletic performance and regularly exercises. It will overall boost ‘Healthy and Stress free Living’.

    Apart from this, the CP, Delhi also interacted with 34 rewardees who had done good works. Further, VC room for interaction with complainants was also operationalized at Police Station Dwarka Sector-23.

    All these initiatives have been taken to strengthen the health of police personnel and their family residents of Dwarka and neighboring areas. CP, Delhi dedicated the Wellness Centre, Open Gym & Yoga Park to the residents as well as police personnel.

  • Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Health and Family Welfare and Vice President, CSIR presided over the event. In view of the current Covid-19 pandemic while the physical event was small gathering with appropriate social distancing, Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, DG, CSIR & Secretary, DSIR (Department for Scientific & Industrial Research), A. Chakraborty, Head, HRDG, andall CSIR labs and several others joined the event through various social media platforms. 

    The Minister appreciated the work done by entire CSIR during this current Covid-19 crisis. He said under the times of needs CSIR labs have risen to the occasion and delivered diagnostics, drugs and ventilators among many others.

    Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan also released a digital book and a short film on the CSIR's COVID-19 efforts, which highlighted the people behind the various initiatives of CSIR in its fight against Covid-19. 

    DG-CSIR Dr. Shekhar Mande announced the winners of the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards 2020.

    Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan urged CSIR to brain storm and come up with roadmap and strategy for achieving 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' through S&T. He expressed happiness to see the innovativeness of the young school students and complimented all the Young Scientist Awardees, Technology Award Winners, CAIRD award winners.

  • During the last 24 hours, more than 93 thousand COVID patients have recovered. Health Ministry said, the total number of recoveries has reached over 48 lakh 19 thousand. The constantly increasing recoveries have ensured that the actual caseload of the country has reduced and currently comprises only 16.28 per cent of the total positive cases.

    Presently, the number of active cases in the country is nine lakh 60 thousand, though COVID-19 tally has crossed 59 lakh. During the last 24 hours, 85 thousand 362 new infections were reported.

    The Ministry said, effective implementation of Centre's strategic and graded Test-Track-Treat approach has led to higher recoveries and lower fatality. Currently, India’s Case Fatality Rate is at 1.58 per cent, which is one of the lowest globally. In the last 24 hours, one thousand 89 deaths have been reported taking the toll to 93 thousand 379.

    According to ICMR, during the last 24 hours, more than 13 lakh 41 thousand tests have been conducted. The total sample tested so far has reached over seven crore two lakhs.

    One thousand 86 labs in the government sector and 737 private labs, one thousand 823 labs are providing comprehensive testing facilities to the people.

  • The burial took place in his farmhouse at Thamaraypakkam in Tiruvallur district, some 45 kilometers off Chennai this afternoon. His son SPB Charan, performed the rituals. Thousands of people bid him farewell, choked with emotion. Several leaders and film personalities paid him their last respects.

    The police had a tough time in regulating the unceasing crowds of people who gathered there to have a last glimpse of the veteran singer. Later, when the van carrying the casket moved to the farmhouse, thousands more lined up along the road and showered flower petals. At the farmhouse in Thamaraipakkam, the public were regulated to control the crowds. His son SPB Charan led the last rites. 

    After the purohits performed the rituals, the ceremonial police paid the 72-gun salute and the mortal remains of the legendary singer were buried. More than three generations of people grew up by listening to the songs in the sweet and magical voice of the great legend that was SPB. Millions identify the milestones in their personal lives with his songs. The ocean of music has stopped its waves. However, the musical waves he has created will reverberate in the ears of millions of people, for hundreds of years to come. 

    In Puducherry, floral tributes were paid to renowned playback singer S. P. Balasubramanian who died in Chennai on Friday.

    At a function organized by the ‘Puducherry Kalai Ilakkiya Perumandram at Tamil Sangam, several Tamil scholars, musicians and functionaries of the Perumandram participated and paid floral tributes to a decorated portrait of SPB.

    Musicians also paid tributes to the departed soul by singing his songs  at the AFT grounds, keeping a decorated portrait of SPB.

  • Briefing the media this afternoon, Joint Secretary (Indian Ocean Region) in the External Affairs Ministry Amit Narang said the grant will assist in deepening people-to-people linkages between the two countries in the sphere of Buddhism.

    PM Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa held the first-ever India-Sri Lanka Virtual Bilateral Summit on Saturday. They agreed that the Indian side would facilitate the visit of a delegation of Buddhist pilgrims from Sri Lanka in the first inaugural flight to Sacred City of Kushinagar. Kushinagar Airport was designated as an international airport recently recognizing its importance as a Buddhist site. Both sides also agreed to explore opportunities in the areas of Ayurveda and Yoga.

    Both leaders were unanimous that the ancient cultural links between India and Sri Lanka are special and must be nurtured further. Sri Lankan PM Rajapaksa made a special mention of the Jaffna Cultural Centre which is an iconic project built with Indian assistance. The centre is almost ready and the Sri Lankan Prime Minister extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to inaugurate the project.

    India and Sri Lanka have reached an understanding to extend the MoU on High Impact Community Development Projects for a five-year period beginning 2020. Both leaders agreed to continue the successful Indian housing project and gave instructions to the relevant officials to fast-track the construction of 10,000 houses in the plantation sector. The Joint Secretary said, the discussions were held in a friendly, frank and cordial manner. The outcomes of the Summit are substantial, forward looking and also help to set an ambitious agenda for bilateral ties. Both leaders discussed the economic dimension of the challenges posed by COVID-19.

    Prime Minister Modi called upon the new government in Sri Lanka to work towards realizing the expectations of Tamils for equality, justice, peace and dignity within a united Sri Lanka by achieving reconciliation nurtured by implementation of the Constitutional provisions. He emphasized that implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution is essential for carrying forward the process of peace and reconciliation.

  • The theme of the 75th UNGA is - The Future we want, the United Nations we need, reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism - confronting the COVID-19 through effective multilateral action.

    The UNGA this year is being conducted mostly virtually as it is being held in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Prime Minister’s address will be via a pre-recorded video statement broadcast at the UNGA hall in New York.

    Among the priority issues for India during the UNGA session is promoting the strengthening of global action on counter-terrorism. India will push for more transparency in the process of listing and delisting of entities and individuals in sanction committees.

    Being one of the largest Troop Contributing Country, India will seek to engage intensively in finalizing of mandates for UN peacekeeping mission. Another priority issue is continuing India’s active engagement on issues relating to sustainable development and climate change.

    India will also be a non-permanent member of the UNSC for two years beginning 1st of January next year.

    The country's priorities include - inclusive and responsible solutions for international peace and security, effective response to international terrorism, technology for all and streamlining of peacekeeping.

  • The summit was Prime Minister Modi’s first such virtual engagement with a neighbouring country and also Sri Lanka's PM Rajapaksa’s first diplomatic engagement with a leader of a foreign country after he was sworn in as Prime Minister in August this year.

    Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, India accords highest priority to its relation with Sri Lanka as part of India’s Neighbourhood First approach and SAGAR doctrine. He said, the ties between the two nation is thousand years old.

    PM Modi said, India and Sri Lanka work closely in various multilateral fora like BIMSTEC, IORA and SAARC. PM also congratulated Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for his win in the recent election.

    A Virtual Bilateral Summit was held under challenging circumstances posed by COVID-19, testifies to the deep-rooted civilizational ties and shared heritage between the two neighbouring countries. 

  • According to a Press Release issued by the World Bank on Friday, the project will also provide sanitation services to over 3.6 million rural people in Bangladesh. 

    The WB said that the project will help prevent diseases  and protect from pandemics like COVID 19 by providing better access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities at homes and in public places. 

    World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Mercy Tembon said that the project will provide clean water and sanitation services that will reduce diarrheal diseases, improve nutrition, health and reduce stunting among children under five. 

    The project will also help in setting up more than 2500 handwashing stations in public places with overhead tanks for running water and sanitation facilities. To ensure quality and sustainability of piped water scheme and fecal sludge management, the project will also train local entrepreneurs.

    The 30 year concessional credit has a  five year grace period. It comes from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA). Bangladesh currently has the largest ongoing IDA program totaling over USD 13.5 billion.

    -Rajesh Jha

  • According to media reports citing Ukrainian Defense Ministry sources, the crash of the An-26 military aircraft was caused by an engine failure.

    The Ukrainian State Emergency Services said, 27 people were aboard the plane that included crew and cadets from a nearby air force university.

    Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said, a commission was being created to investigate the crash.

  • The Faceless Appeals system aims to streamline the income tax collection process and check corruption and unfair practices during the resolution of the appeals of the taxpayers.

    The CBDT said, now there will be no physical interface between the taxpayers or their counsel and the Income Tax Department. The taxpayers can make submissions from the comfort of their home and save their time and resources. The Faceless Appeal system will include allocation of cases through Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence under the dynamic jurisdiction with central issuance of notices which would be having Document Identification Number. As part of dynamic jurisdiction, the draft appellate order will be prepared in one city and will be reviewed in some other city resulting in an objective, fair and just order. The faceless appeal will provide great convenience to the taxpayers. The new system will also be instrumental in imparting greater efficiency, transparency and accountability in the functioning of the Income Tax Department.

    The CBDT said that as on date there is a pendency of almost four lakh 60 thousand appeals at the level of the Commissioner in the Department. Out of this, about 88 per cent of the total appeals will be handled under the Faceless Appeal mechanism. It said that almost 85 per cent of the present strength of Commissioners (Appeals) shall be utilised for disposing off the cases under the Faceless Appeal mechanism. 

  • France's counterterrorism prosecutor said authorities suspect a terrorist motive because of the place and timing of the stabbings: in front of the building where Charlie Hebdo was based until the Islamic extremist attack on its cartoonists and at a time when suspects in the 2015 attack are on trial across town.

    The suspects' identities have not been released, and it is unclear exactly what prompted the attack.

    An investigation was opened into “attempted murder in relation with a terrorist enterprise,” according to an official at the terrorism prosecutor's office.    

  • The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) in a circular issued on Thursday said that the temporary measures relating to flight suspension announced on August 26 will now be in force till October 31.

    The DCA said that the measure has been taken to effectively control the spread of Covid-19 from external sources.

    Myanmar has stopped international commercial flights since March 30 immediately after the first case of Covid-19 was detected in the country.

    In the meanwhile, COVID 19 cases continued to surge in Myanmar. On Friday, the country reported 768 new cases of Coronavirus and 24 deaths.

    On Thursday also, Myanmar had reported 1052 fresh Corona positive cases in the country. On Friday, the total number of infections in Myanmar has gone up to 9112. The latest death toll stands at 174.

    In order to tackle COVID 19 patients, the Myanmar military Tatmadaw has started treating civilian patients at its medical facilities in Yangon’s Hmawabi township.

  • The senior officials also exchanged views on “Ongoing and proposed practical cooperation in the areas of connectivity and infrastructure development, and security matters, including counter-terrorism, cyber and maritime security, with the objective of promoting peace, security, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region,” stated a release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.

    The consultation precedes the upcoming QUAD meeting slated to be held later this year. The last Ministerial engagement was held in September 2019.

    During a media briefing last week, DD News had asked the MEA whether India will be hosting a quad meeting. To which, the MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had said, “We look forward to holding the quad meeting later this year and as of now details are being worked out.”

    Earlier this month US State Deputy secretary Stephen Biegun had remarked that intentions are to have an in-person, ministerial level meeting of Quad in Delhi this fall. He had also remarked that with Quad, India could become a part of the larger Indo-Pacific Theater.  “It’s also obviously indeed in our interest to have India as a partner in these issues,” Biegun had said.

     Senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs of India, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade of Australia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Department of State of the United States of America were part of today’s discussion.

    In the context of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, the officials underscored the importance of enhancing the resilience of supply chains and sharing best practices on how to combat the pandemic.

    The officials reiterated their firm support for ASEAN-Centrality and ASEAN-led mechanisms particularly the leaders-led East Asia Summit, in the regional architecture for the Indo-Pacific, and their readiness to work with ASEAN and all other countries towards realizing a common and promising vision for the Indo-Pacific.

    The officials also reaffirmed their commitment towards a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region based on shared values and principles and respect for international law. The last such official level discussions had happened in November 2019.


    Report by Abhishek Jha

  • India’s Third secretary at its mission in Geneva, Senthil Kumar while making the statement also said that in the Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan has effected “demographic change by reducing and driving the real Kashmiris out.”

    Referring to the disappearances and forced detentions of democratic voices in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, India said, “Cases of enforced disappearances, murders, detentions, custodial deaths and torture of civil rights activists, representatives of local political parties and journalists are common and standard practice adopted to silence voices against the Government and deep state in Gilgit-Baltistan.”

    Pakistan government has also been accused of rampant media censorship and blocking channels of expression of popular resentment to ensures that the correct ground realities are never reported.

    Subjugation of Minorities in Pakistan is a well documented case. Expressing concern on the near annihilation of religious minorities in Pakistan, the Indian representative remarked that the population of religious minorities in Pakistan which was 23% in 1947 has now reduced to an insignificant number.

    The Indian statement attributed the declining population of minorities in Pakistan to “Systemic discrimination and persecution through killings, violence, forced conversions and forced displacement”. 

    Referring to the terrible situation of ethnic and religious minorities in Pakistan, Indian statement said “Pakistan’s deplorable human rights records and discriminatory treatment of its minorities has been a cause of persistent concern for international community.

    In Pakistan, Blasphemy laws are being used against religious minorities such as Christians, Hindus and Sikhs, to violate their human rights and dignity”.

    There are currently at least 80 people in prison in Pakistan for the crime of "blasphemy", with at least half of them facing life sentences or the death penalty. At least 42 cases pertaining to blasphemy were registered across Pakistan in a single month.

    The statement also highlighted the poor human rights condition especially in regions of Pakistan where ethnic population is facing the atrocities in the hands of government authorities “Enforced disappearances, state violence and forced mass displacements, harassment, extrajudicial killings, army operations, torture, kill-and-dumps, torture camps, detention centers, military camps are regular features in Baluchistan.

    Nobody knows the fate of missing 47,000 Baloch and 35,000 Pashtuns till date. Sectarian violence has claimed more than 500 Hazaras in Baluchistan and more than 100,000 Hazaras have fled Pakistan,” said the statement.

    Denouncing Pakistan’s propaganda at the world forum, India said that before preaching to others Pakistan must remember that terrorism is the worst form of human rights abuse and crime against humanity.  

    Referring to the disappearance of Baloch Rights activist of Rashid Hussain in December 2018, and the killing of journalist Sajid Hussain Baloch after he went missing in March 2020, India said “The case of the disappearance, only serves to demonstrate that the Baloch human rights defenders are being targeted and eliminated even after they quit Pakistan.”

    There has been reports where Pakistani state machinery as been exposed in perpetuating crime against Balochs. A recent report states that in Baluchistan, armed men move freely on the streets, despite the heavy presence of the security forces.

    These armed men are free to kill, abduct and steal with impunity. Recently a group of three such gunmen were caught in a house in Kech, where they killed a lady and injured a baby girl.

    Gunmen captured by the family, had identity cards of military intelligence and confessed that they work for country’s military. People of different walks of life took on to the streets and demanded dismantlement of so-called death squads. Protests continued for months with no result.


    Report by Abhishek Jha





  • This technology could provide a method of utilising bottom ash, more than a billion tons of which has so far been accumulated in ‘ash ponds’ in different parts of the country, requiring around 40,000 hectors of land, which pollutes the adjoining areas, including canals and rivers.

    Scientists from the Government College of Engineering & Ceramic Technology have developed abrasion resistant ceramics and insulating refractories primarily based on this waste material.

    With support from Waste Management Technologies (WMT) program of Technology Development and Transfer Division Department of Science & Technology, the team Led by Dr. Barun Kumar Sanfui mixed 45-60 % bottom ash together with a low grade and cheap variety of Indian bauxite (40-50%) sintered (compacted to form a solid mass of material without melting) it at a much lower temperature of 1500 o C compared to that used for high purity alumina (~1650 o C).

    They were fabricated in the form of thick slabs. The abrasion resistance of the product developed was tested and found to be slightly lower than that of liners currently made from pure aluminium oxide (alumina), which is costlier but much higher than that prepared from basalt rock, which forms the low-cost variety.

    The cost is expected to be much lower than both the existing products The abrasion-resistant ceramics would go back to the thermal power plants as liners for the steel pipes (to avoid accelerated erosion of the pipes) for transporting the pulverized coal to the boilers and also for the transportation of the bottom ash to the ash ponds.

    In addition, could also be used as the liners for the different kinds of hoppers used in metallurgical industries and mineral processing plants, coal pulverisers, sinter plants, rotary kilns, coke oven, coal washeries, slurry pipes, chutes & launders, air separators in cement plant, as well as in chemical Industries.

    For insulating refractories, the group has used bottom ash to the extent of 60-70% as the basic raw material with the addition of china clay and plastic clay to the extent of 30-40%. The pressed bricks are fired at a temperature of around 1300 0 C.

    The developed products satisfy the required properties of Grade-B and Grade-C standard insulation bricks.

    For obvious reasons, the products are expected to be much cheaper than the currently available products and are suitable in different metallurgical furnaces in steel plants as well as in different kilns, incinerators, chimneys, etc. Lab scale trial & investigation of these two products are nearly completed.

    The Institute plans to carry out Pilot plant production followed by an industrial trial.



    Report by: Tapas Bhattacharya

  • India’s first multi-wavelength satellite, AstroSat, has detected extreme-UV (EUV) light from a galaxy, called AUDFs01, 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth.

    At the time, our universe was forming stars at its peak rate. Such EUV radiation has enough energy to ionize a hydrogen atom by liberating its electron from the nucleus’s influence.

    The EUV photons emitted by galaxies like AUDFs01 could play a crucial role in reionizing the early universe soon after the Cosmic Dark Age and emitting the first light.

    A collaboration of researchers from different countries under the project CEFIPRA funded by Indo French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (CEFIPRA) a bilateral organization set up by the Department of Science & Technology and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Government of France delved into how galaxies like AUDFs01 grow their stellar mass when the first stars and galaxies became visible.

    The team consisting of Prof. Combes from Observatoire de Paris, Laboratory for Studies of Radiation and Matter in Astrophysics and Atmospheres (LERMA), France, and Prof. Kanak Saha from Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), India connected by CEFIPRA estimated the recent star-formation rate and mass of the gas reservoir in the galaxy.

    Star formation rate provides a quantitative measure of the stellar mass growth in galaxies.

    The typical star formation rate (or gas consumption rate) in those first galaxies is not known. By studying galaxies like AUDFs01 and many more, we could get an idea of how star formation rate, gas consumption rate, and growth of stellar mass in those primitive galaxies.

    Their work has been published in the journal ‘Nature Astronomy’.  The multi-wavelength satellite AstroSat, which was launched on September 28, 2015, by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has five unique X-ray and ultraviolet telescopes working in tandem and has onboard the UltraViolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT).

    According to Prof. Saha, the redshift gap from 0.4 to 2.5 remained barren until the wide-field UltraViolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) onboard AstroSat made its first discovery of AUDFs01 at redshift 1.42.

    The galaxy is not only bridging the gap between the low and high redshift regime at present, but it is also the beginning of a whole new exploration of star-forming galaxies at EUV wavelength.

    This extreme UV wavelength regime is crucial to understand models of the stellar population, especially the massive, hot stars in early galaxies.

    AUDFs01 is the first example of a leaking galaxy with clumpy morphology. This galaxy has four clumps and, perhaps, typical of star-forming galaxies in this redshift range.

    The current version of the AUDF-south (AUDFs) can be used to detect a number of such EUV galaxies from redshift 1 and 2, when the cosmic star-formation rate had its peak, and thus, AstroSat may allow further to refine the scenario of cosmic reionization.


    Report by: Tapas Bhattacharya

  • Under Faceless Appeals, all Income Tax appeals will be finalised in a faceless manner under the faceless ecosystem with the exception of appeals relating to serious frauds, major tax evasion, sensitive & search matters, International tax and Black Money Act.

    Necessary gazette notification has also been issued today.

    It may be noted that Hon'ble PM on 13thAugust, 2020 while launching the Faceless Assessment and Taxpayers' Charter as part of "Transparent Taxation - Honoring the Honest" platform, had announced launching of Faceless Appeals on 25thSeptember, on the birth anniversary of Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay.

    Also, in recent years the Income Tax department has carried out several reforms in Direct Taxes for the simplification of tax processes and for ease of compliance for the taxpayers.

  • The Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC) was suspended for a period of six months with effect from March 25, 2020, by the government earlier, to protect those experiencing financial distress on account of the pandemic.

    This means that no insolvency proceedings can be initiated against any borrower for defaults arising on or after March 25, 2020, until such time that the IBC remains suspended.

    The government has now decided to further extend the suspension for another three months until the last week of December under the newly inserted Section 10A of the IBC.

    While suspending the IBC in June, the government had said it was "difficult to find an adequate number of resolution applicants to rescue a corporate person who may default in the discharge of their obligation".

    Therefore, it decided to suspend Section 7, 9 and 10 of the IBC to prevent the initiation of insolvency proceedings for COVID-related defaults.

  • India has scaled a historic peak in the fight against COVID-19. With 14,92,409 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, the cumulative tests have touched nearly 7 crore (6,89,28,440).

    This exponential surge in the daily testing capacities strongly demonstrates the determined escalation of the testing infrastructure in the country.

    The last one crore tests were conducted in merely 9 days. The Tests Per Million (TPM) stand at 49,948 as of today. 

    Evidence has revealed that higher numbers of testing subsequently leads to lowered positivity rate.

    States that are testing the highest numbers are also reporting a gradual decline in the positivity rate.

    The national cumulative positivity rate stands at 8.44% today.

    With the expansion of testing infrastructure, the daily testing by States/UTs has also increased.

    23 States/UTs have better tests per million than the national average 49,948.

  • India fighting a decisive battle against Covid 19 as recovery rate reaches 81.74%.

    With its focused strategies and effective, coordinated and proactive measures, India is reporting steep increase in recoveries.

    The number of active cases stands at 9, 70,116.

    81,177 recovered in the last 24 hours.

    With this, the total number of recoveries are 47,56, 164. The Recovery Rate is 81.74 % today.



    PHASE I                        OCT 28, 2020

    PHASE II                       NOV 03, 2020

    PHASE III                      NOV 07, 2020

    RESULT                        NOV 10, 2020

    The first phase of polling involves 16 districts with 71 seats will be up for grabs on the 28th of October. Notification will be issued on the 1st of October. The last date for filing nomination papers is on the 8th of October and the last date for withdrawal of nomination is on the 12th of October.


    DISTRICTS                                         16

    SEATS                                                 71

    DATE OF POLLING                           OCT 28, 2020

    NOTIFICATION                                  OCT 01, 2020



    The second phase of voting is being held in 17 district on the 3rd of November for 94 seats. Notification will be issued on the 9th of October. Last date for nomination filing is on the 16th of October and the last for withdrawal of nomination is the 19th of October.


    DISTRICTS                                                  17

    SEATS                                                          94

    DATE OF POLLING                                    NOV 03, 2020

    NOTIFICATION                                           OCT 09, 2020

    LAST DATE FOR NOMINATION                OCT 16, 2020

    LAST DATE FOR WITHDRAWAL              OCT 19, 2020

    The 3rd phase of voting will see 15 districts going to the hustings on the 7th of November involving 78 seats. Notification for the this phase will be issued on the 13th of October. The last date for filing of nomination is the 20th of October while the last date for withdrawal of nomination is the 23rd.


    DISTRICTS                                                15

    SEATS                                                        78

    DATE OF POLLING                                    NOV 7, 2020

    NOTIFICATION                                           OCT 13, 2020

    LAST DATE FOR NOMINATION                OCT 20, 2020

    LAST DATE FOR WITHDRAWAL              OCT 23, 2020

    The poll battle for Bihar will be faught in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Election Commission has issued stern instructions to all to strictly adhere to the covid porotocol. The number of voters assigned to a polling booth queuing up to cast votes will be brought down to the level of 1,000 voters.



  • Thanks AIIMS New Delhi for its contribution in the Nation’s fight against COVID-19 on its 65th Foundation Day

    “In these unprecedented and difficult times, contribution of AIIMS is monumental in ensuring smooth delivery of medical services through tele-medicine and tele-consultations” Exhibition themed “AIIMS in COVID Times” inaugurated.

  • The BCA submitted a memorandum to the Pakistan embassy in Dhaka on Wednesday demanding to end persecution and harassment of Christians and other minorities.

    In the memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the BCA said that it is aggrieved and concerned at incidents of persecution of Christians in Pakistan under its draconian anti-blasphemy law.

    It pointed out that a Pakistani Christian named Asif Parvez was given the death sentence by the sessions court Lahore in September for misusing his phone to send a derogatory message.

    The BCA called upon the Pakistani authorities to treat minorities with dignity and drop all fabricated blasphemy charges against them. It also demanded clemency for those already sentenced to death under the blasphemy law.

    It said that blasphemy law has forced hundreds of minorities to flee Pakistan to save their lives. It has also led to extra-judicial killings, mob lynchings and violent protests targeting minority community members.

    The BCA pointed out the cases of people like Shahbaz Bhatti and  Salman Taseer who were assassinated for opposing the blasphemy law in Pakistan.

    The Christian association said that blasphemy law was against the fundamental rights of Pakistani citizens guaranteed in the constitution.

    It demanded the repeal of the blasphemy law which is vague, arbitrary and leaves ample scope for misuse.


    Report by: Rajesh Jha

  • According to Forest department, three persons were detained by Bokakhat police on Thursday in connection with rhino horn trading in 2016 and handed them over to Forest department. 

    A case is registered against them.

    On the other hand, in another case, four more persons were apprehended today morning by Forest department in connection with trading of a broken piece of Rhino horn. Investigation is on.


  • Prime Minister Modi congratulated Prime Minister Suga on his appointment as Prime Minister of Japan and wished him success in achieving his goals.

    The two leaders agreed that the India-Japan Special Strategic & Global Partnership has made great advances over the last few years and expressed their intention to further strengthen this relationship based upon mutual trust and shared values.

    The two leaders concurred that the partnership between the two countries is even more relevant in today’s times given the global challenges, including that of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    They emphasized that the economic architecture of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region must be premised on resilient supply chains, and in this context, welcomed cooperation between India, Japan and other like-minded countries.

    The two leaders appreciated the progress made in the economic partnership between the two countries, and in this context, welcomed the finalization of the text of the agreement pertaining to specialized skilled workers.

    The Prime Minister extended an invitation to Prime Minister Suga to visit India for the Annual Bilateral Summit, after improvement of the situation caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

  • This five minute protocol is intended to introduce people at the work place to Yoga, and also to help them to take a break from the work schedule and to refresh and re-focus. 

    Yoga is an ancient Indian discipline intended to bring balance and well being of individuals to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions.

    Due to change in working habits, particularly on computer and continuously sitting for long hours majority of work force is feeling work stress. Such stress may decrease the focus at work which may further hamper their efficiency and effectiveness.

  •  A press release put out last evening by the private hospital in Chennai where he has been admitted said that SPB as he is called, was extremely critical. His condition in the last 24 hours had deteriorated further warranting maximal life support. A team of experts was closely monitoring his health.

    On September 7, his son Charan had announced that SPB had tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

    The veteran singer got himself admitted to hospital on August 5 after he developed symptoms of Covid-19.

    Noted singer and actor SP Balasubrahmanyam or SPB as he is fondly known was born on 4 June 1946 in Nellore in then undivided Andhra Pradesh. He was one of eight children born to  S. P. Sambamurthy, a Harikatha artist who also acted in plays and Sakunthalamma.  He has two brothers and five sisters, including singer S. P. Sailaja.

    Balasubrahmanyam developed an interest towards music at an early age, studied notations and learned music. He made his debut as a playback singer on 15 December 1966 with Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna, a Telugu film scored by his mentor, S. P. Kodandapani. The first Non-Telugu song that he recorded  was in Kannada in 1966 for the film Nakkare Ade Swarga. He recorded his first Tamil song "Athaanodu Ippadi Irundhu Eththanai Naalaachu", under M. S. Viswanathan for the film Hotel Ramba, which never got released.

    He has the rare distinction of rendering the most songs on a single day by any singer- 21 songs in Kannada on 8 February 1981 and 19 songs in Tamil and 16 songs in Hindi in a day which is a record.

     In a prolific career, he also worked in Tamil movies for actors such as M. G. Ramachandran, Sivaji Ganesan and Gemini Ganesan and recorded duets with P. Susheela, S. Janaki, Vani Jayaram and L. R. Eswari. 

    Balasubrahmanyam came to international prominence with the 1980 film Sankarabharanam, directed by K. Vishwanath, Not a classically trained singer, he used a "film music" aesthetic in recording the songs. Balasubrahmanyam received his first National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for his work.

     Balasubrahmanyam recorded songs in Tamil especially for Ilaiyaraaja and A R Rahman and the trio were highly successful through the 1970s and 80s. The songs in Saagara Sangamam (1983),  Swathi Muthyam (1986) and Rudraveena (1988) won National Awards for Ilaiyaraaja and Balasubrahmanyam.

    He also received National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer in his first Hindi film Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981). Balasubrahmanyam won a Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the song Dil Deewana for Bollywood actor Salman Khan in the blockbuster Maine Pyar Kiya in 1989. For much of the next decade, Balasubrahmanyam continued as the "romantic singing voice" for Khan's films including Hum Aapke Hain Koun which became the all time hit highest-grossing Bollywood film of the time .This solidified Balasubrahmanyam as one of the biggest playback singers in Indian cinema.

    Besides acting in some films, he has also provided voice-overs for various artists, including Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, and Gemini Ganesan in various languages.

    He has recorded over 40,000 songs in 16 Indian languages and holds the Guinness World Record in this regard. He has garnered six National Film Awards for Best Male Playback Singer for his works in four different languages; Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi; 25 Andhra Pradesh state Nandi Awards for his works in Telugu cinema and numerous state awards from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

    In 2012, he received the state NTR National Award for his contributions to Indian cinema. In 2016, he was honored with the Indian Film Personality of the Year award. He is a recipient of civilian awards such as Padma Shri (2001) and Padma Bhushan (2011) from the Government of India.


    Report by: Philip Mathews

  • Recalling Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, on the occasion Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that among us today, there are very few people who have lived, seen, heard or worked with Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. The contribution he has made to make India better as a nation, as a society, is going to inspire generations. 

    Prime Minister further added, that the previous governments had kept the farmers entangled in such laws, due to which they suffered allot and could not even sell their own produce crops. The Prime Minister said that the NDA government under the leadership of BJP has continuously worked to change this situation.


  • Police sources said that based on specific intelligence input about the presence of terrorists in the area, security forces launched a Cordon and Search Operation in Sirhama village last evening. The search operation turned into an encounter after the terrorists fired upon the security forces, who  retaliated.

    A tight cordon was maintained throughout the night to stop the terrorists escaping from the spot. In the exchange of fire this morning, two terrorists belonging to LeT outfit were killed. Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition was also recovered from the encounter site. The search operation underway.

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's session on October 22 is convened with an aim to protect and promote education at a time when education financing is at considerable risk of being left behind in the governments' domestic budgets, stimulus packages and international aid, the UN agency said.

    "By convening this extraordinary session of the GEM next month, our aim is to secure commitments from political leaders to position education at the centre of national and international efforts to recover swiftly, inclusively and sustainably from the COVID-19 pandemic," said Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director of Education at UNESCO. Giannini said the overarching concern is to at least maintain, if not increase, education financing to avoid a "generational catastrophe". "To be fit for purpose and respond to a radically new reality, we need a more integrated, influential and accountable coordination system for education, entirely geared to building back better through stronger links between policy steering and finance.

    It is precisely in this spirit that the 2020 GEM will also launch an inclusive consultation on a roadmap for the improvement of the global SDG 4 - Education 2030 coordination mechanism," he said. Among the themes outlined for the session are protecting domestic and international financing of education, reopening schools safely, focusing on inclusion, equity and gender equality, reimagining teaching and learning, harnessing equitable connectivity and technologies for learning.

    "Behind the 2020 GEM is the resolve to speak with one voice, against the backdrop of unprecedented disruption that requires us, as a global community, to be disruptive in how we act. The GEM is driven by this sense of urgency – it pulls the alarm on the dramatic consequence that any decline in aid and national budgets will have on an already deep education crisis," Giannini said.

     According to UNESCO estimates, over 154 crore students are severely impacted by the closure of educational institutions across the world amid the COVID-19 outbreak. UN agencies UNESCO and UNICEF along with World Bank and the World Food Programme had recently come up with guidelines on how to safely reopen schools in the wake of COVID-19 and also warned that widespread closures of educational facilities present an unprecedented risk to children's education and wellbeing.

    Globally, over 3.2 crore people have been infected with COVID-19, and the total number of deaths from the deadly virus now stands at over 9.82 lakh.

  • Earlier it was scheduled to be held from 20th November to 28th November, this year.
    The postponement follows discussion between Information and Broadcasting  Minister Prakash Javadekar and Goa Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant.
    It has also been jointly decided to hold the festival on new dates as per the International Film Festival guidelines and protocols.
    The festival will be conducted in a Virtual and Physical format.
    All COVID related protocols will be strictly enforced as per the festivals convened recently in the International Film Festival circuit.

  • With a cumulative testing figure of around 6 crore 89 lakh 28 thousand 440, India continues to be one of the countries across the world conducting the highest number of daily tests.

    Starting from just one testing lab at National Institute of Virology, Pune in January this year, the country today has one thousand 818 labs for testing Covid samples which includes one thousand 84 government and 734 private labs.

    Average daily tests have increased by nearly 4 times in a span of two months. It stands at around 12 lakh tests in the recent weeks. Tests done per million of the population have also risen manifold in a span of 2 months and currently stand at over 48 thousand per million of the population.

    Despite increase in testing the positivity rate remains low and currently hovers around 8.5 per cent. Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Jharkhand and Telangana are among the states recording a positivity rate even lower than 5 per cent.

    The country is registering a continuous increase in the number of patients recovered from COVID-19. With recovery of over 81 thousand people in the last 24 hours the total recovery tally has crossed over 47 lakh 56 thousand . The overall recovery rate has now reached  81.74 per cent.

    The Health Ministry has said that the gap between recovered cases and active cases is progressively growing wide. Actual caseload of the country currently comprises only 16.67 per cent of the total positive cases. The number of recovered patients has overtaken the active cases by nearly 5 times. Unprecedented surge in COVID recoveries with more than 100 per cent increase in patients recovered and discharged in the last one month has also been reported.

    The Health Ministry has informed that the sustained high recovery rate is fuelled by 9 states and Union Territories reporting recovery rate of over 80 per cent. These states include Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Gujarat among others.

    The ministry has informed that aggressive measures for early identification, prompt and effective treatment and enhanced clinical skills of ICU doctors have  led to progressive enhancement of  India's total recoveries.

    Early identification through wide scale testing, prompt and effective treatment in hospitals and supervised home as well as facility isolations, have actively led to a high recovery rate in the country. Currently, India’s Case Fatality Rate stands at 1.59 per cent. India has progressively maintained a low Case Fatality Rate compared to the global average.

    In the last 24 hours, 86 thousand 52 new cases have been reported taking the total number of positive cases to 58 lakh 18 thousand 571. Presently, the total number of active corona cases in the country is 9 lakh 70 thousand and 116. In the last 24 hours,  one thousand 141 deaths have  been reported taking the toll to 92 thousand 290.

  • The Cornell researchers' team led by Saurabh Mehta was awarded the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Technology Accelerator Challenge prize that encourages the development of new, non-invasive diagnostic technologies important for global health.

    According to Mehta, technologies using salivary biomarkers could revolutionise how conditions such as malaria and iron deficiency are identified and addressed, especially in settings where access to primary health care and traditional, laboratory-based tests is limited.

    "This concept provides noninvasive, rapid and accurate results anywhere in the world. A breakthrough in such mobile diagnostics could provide untold health benefits for vulnerable populations globally," Mehta said. For the group's saliva-based test, a small 3D-printed adapter is clipped to a mobile phone and synced with a mobile app. The app uses the phone's camera to image test strips to detect malaria, iron deficiency and inflammation, with results in under 15 minutes.

    The proposal builds on the FeverPhone and NutriPhone platforms developed by the team at Cornell's Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Global Health and Technology (INSiGHT). The technologies, funded by the NIH and the National Science Foundation, evaluate infections and nutritional status using blood.

    "These types of potentially world-changing innovations are only possible when you foster strong multidisciplinary research and a culture of innovation, such as we do here at Cornell," said David Erickson, another team member.

    The team was led by Mehta, associate professor of global health, epidemiology and nutrition in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, in the College of Human Ecology (CHE), and the Department of Global Development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).

  • In a tweet, he also announced sanctioning of  241 Charging Stations in Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat and Port Blair under it. He said, this is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's  vision to push for eco-friendly public transportation.

    Javadekar said, Maharashtra has been sanctioned 240 E-buses of which 100 E-buses each are for MSRTC’s Intercity and Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport and 40 E- buses are  for BEST-Mumbai. He said, 100 electric buses have been sanctioned for Goa’s Kadamba Transport Corporation.

    He said,  these environment friendly e-buses for the intercity services of Goa would help protect the environment as well as improve mobility.  The Minister said, 250 electric buses have been sanctioned for Gujarat of which 150 e-buses are for Surat Municipal Corporation and 100 e-buses for Rajkot Rajpath Limited.

    Besides, the Narendra Modi government has also sanctioned 50 Charging Stations in Surat.

  • A report from the high-level panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity published Thursday said governments can't agree on the problem or the solution. But they're also losing an estimated $500 billion due to corporate tax avoidance from profit-sharing enterprises.

    In addition, the panel estimated that $7 trillion in private wealth is hidden in tax haven countries, with 10% of world GDP held offshore, and that money laundering amounts to around $1.6 trillion per year, or 2.7% of global GDP.

    “Corruption and tax avoidance are rampant,” said former Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite, a panel co-chair. “Too many banks are in cahoots and too many governments are stuck in the past. We're all being robbed, especially the world's poor.”

    She said trust in the finance system is essential to tackle global challenges including poverty, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. “Instead we get dithering and delay bordering on complicity,” Grybauskaite said. The report said criminals exploited the COVID-19 pandemic as governments relaxed controls to speed up health care and social protection.

    “Our weakness in tackling corruption and financial crime has been further exposed by ... COVID-19,” said former Niger prime minister Ibrahim Mayaki, a panel co-chair. “Resources to stop the spread, keep people alive and put food on tables are instead lost to corruption and abuse.

    The panel's goal is to help achieve U.N. goals for 2030 that include ending extreme poverty, preserving the environment and achieving gender equality.