News

  • There is a major relief to the students appearing for the pending Class 10th and 12th examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education from 1st of July this year.

  • Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan today said, Aarogya Setu has become world's largest contact tracing app reaching over 11 crore 40 lakh people in 40 days.

  • Health and Family Welfare Ministry said that a total 64 thousand 426 people affected with corona virus have been cured and the recovery rate has reached 42.45 per cent in the country.

  • New areas are inundated in Assam due to breach of embankments and roads. Several rivers are flowing above the danger level. Over 2 lakh people have been affected in the first wave of floods in the state.

  • Center has asked the states to ensure refund of seven days extra charges taken by the hotels for quarantine from the Indians coming back from abroad.

  • The Indian Air Force has operationalised its new squadron “Number-18 - Flying Bullets” with the Light Combat Aircraft LCA Tejas today.

  • Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR said that a total one lakh 16 thousand 41 samples of corona virus were tested in the last 24 hours.

  • Union Minister and Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad today hit out at Congres leader Rahul Gandhi accusing him of trying to weaken the country's resolve to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • India performs much better as compared to global average in terms of number of infections and mortality per lakh population due to COVID-19.

  • Uttar Pradesh government has completed skill mapping of around 15 lakh migrant workers who have returned from other states during lockdown and this mapping will help them getting work near to their places.

  • Health Secretary Preeti Sudan along with senior officers of the Union Health Ministry held a high-level review meeting through video conference today with the Chief Secretaries, Health Secretaries and NHM Directors of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

  • Health Ministry has said that the recovery rate of patients from COVID-19 infection has now gone up to 41.61 per cent which was 7.1 per cent in March this year.

  • The agenda included the election of next President of NDB, appointment of Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer and membership expansion.

    In her opening remarks, the Finance Minister commended the contribution of NDB in funding the infrastructure development, which has positively impacted the development agenda of the member countries, including India. Within a short span of time, NDB has approved 55 projects of member countries for an amount of $16.6 billion, which is quite a remarkable achievement. Smt. Sitharaman also mentioned that the Bank has successfully created a niche for itself and proudly stands shoulder to shoulder with the peer MDBs.

    The Finance Minister appreciated Mr. K. V Kamath, the outgoing President of NDB for his stellar stewardship in very quickly giving shape to the vision stated by the BRICS Leaders in 2014. The swift response to COVID-19 through launch of the COVID-19 Emergency Programme Loan product will be remembered as one of his contributions.

    Finance Minister congratulated newly-elected President Mr. Marcos Troyjo from Brazil and newly-appointed Vice President and CRO, Mr Anil Kishora from India. While congratulating them, Smt. Sitharaman remarked that she has great expectations from new leadership in continuing this momentum forward and taking NDB to the next level in terms of lending performance to members, transparency, international credibility and effectively achieving the NDB mandate. She suggested that, the focus should also be given to achieve the twin objective of preserving BRICS values and growing NDB into a global development institution.

  • There is a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases in Nepal and in last one week more than 450 persons diagnosed with Corona virus.

    According to the Ministry of Health and Population total number of COVID-19 cases has spiked to 886.

    Meanwhile, 28 persons cured and discharged from various hospitals on Wednesday.

    There are now 699 active cases, while 183 people have been recovered.

    Four persons have died of COVID-19 so far.

    47 districts of seven provinces have reported corona virus infection so far. Province 2 and Province 5 are the most affected by the COVID-19. Province 5 reported maximum 365 positive cases and Province 2 confirmed 324 cases till date.

  • Lockdown has garnered multiple gains, and primarily among them is that it has decelerated the pace of spread of the disease. According to the estimates made by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, a large number of deaths and cases have been averted.  At the same time, during the lockdown period development of COVID-19 specific health infrastructure; capacity development of human resource through online training modules and webinars; increased testing capacity; increase in supplies, equipment, oxygen; issuing of relevant guidelines, standards prepared, circulated, adopted, practiced; development of diagnostics, drug trials, vaccine research; and on the technical side surveillance systems strengthened with more contact tracing, house to house surveys along with tools like Aarogya Setu was achieved.

    Health infrastructure required for COVID-19 management was ramped up during the lockdown. As of 27th May 2020, 930 dedicated COVID hospitals with 1,58,747 Isolation beds, 20,355 ICU beds and 69,076 Oxygen supported beds are available. 2,362 dedicated COVID Health Centres with 1,32,593 Isolation beds; 10,903 ICU beds and 45,562 Oxygen supported beds have been operationalised. 10,341 quarantine centres and 7,195 COVID Care Centres with 6,52,830 beds are now available to combat COVID-19 in the country. The Centre has also provided 113.58 lakh N95 masks and 89.84 lakh Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to the States/ UTs / Central Institutions. The testing capacity has increased in the country through 435 Government laboratories and 189 private laboratories (total of 624 labs). Cumulatively, 32,42,160 samples have been tested so far for COVID-19, whereas, 1,16,041 samples were tested on Tuesday.

    A total of 1,51,767 cases have been reported from the country in which 64,426 persons have been cured and the recovery rate is pegged at 42.4%. The fatality rate is 2.86% whereas the world average is 6.36%.

    Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued a Guidance Note on Provision of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health + Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) services during & post COVID-19 Pandemic. Details can be accessed at:

    https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/GuidanceNoteonProvisionofessentialRMNCAHNServices24052020.pdf

    The Ministry has also issued an Advisory on Re-processing and Re-use of Eye-protection – Goggles. Details can be accessed at:

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

    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 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 .

  • NCOE Patiala currently has weightlifters, including those bound for Tokyo 2021 Olympics, and eminent athletes from Athletics, many of who have already won an Olympic quota. NCOE Bengaluru has members of the senior men’s and women’s hockey team along with theeminent athletes of athletics. Both the hockey teams have qualified for the Olympics.

    In keeping with the government guidelines, all necessary safety measures of hygiene and social distancing are being maintained by athletes on the field of play. Equipments are being self-sanitised by athletes after use and no two athletes are allowed to use the same equipment during the sports activity.

    In Patiala and Bengaluru athletes have been given a staggered schedule for participation in sporting activities, to ensure social distancing norms. Sanitisations of hands, shoes and kits are being followed at both centers.

  • The exercise is being carried out under the Vande Bharat Mission of Government of India to evacuate the Indian nationals from all over the world who are stranded in various countries due to the Corona pandemic and subsequent disruption of international travel.

    With this round of evacuation from Bangladesh, till May 27, more than 1,470 Indian nationals have been evacuated from Bangladesh to India.

    The evacuation from Bangladesh started on 8th May. Since then, flights from Dhaka have operated to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Srinagar.

    A few more evacuation exercises including a flight from Dhaka and evacuation from the land border of Bangladesh for North Eastern states is scheduled to take place over the next few days.

  • According to the Met Department, the nor’wester was blowing at a wind0-speed of 78 kilometres per hour (Kmph) in Dhaka rising to 83 kmph at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

    The Met office recorded 63mm rain in the last 24 hours. In its forecast for the day, the Met department predicted rain/ thunder shower accompanied by occasional gusty wind in Dhaka and adjoining areas.

    The Met department has also predicted moderate rain/thunder shower accompanied by gusty wind at many places over Rajshahi, Rangpur, Mymensingh and Sylhet divisions.

    According to media reports, four people were killed in incidents related to storm and rain in Joypurhat district of Bangladesh last night. Strong wind and rain also damaged large number of houses in the area.

    Earlier, on Tuesday the Met department had advised the maritime ports of Chattogram, Cox’x Bazar, Mongla and Payra to hoist local cautionary signal number three as steep pressure gradient had formed over the North Bay. The fishing boats and trawlers were advised to keep close to the coast in view of the wind driver surge in the sea.

    The Cyclone Amphan had devastated Coastal districts of Bangladesh on Wednesday last with wind speed of up to 180kph and over 10 feet tidal surges. It caused severe damage to roads, embankments, standing crops, fisheries in the Coastal areas of the country.

  • The story concerns rumours of a fierce child-eating monster with extraordinary powers which lives in the northern tip of an imaginary land known as Cornucopia.

    Further chapters will be published every weekday until July 10, Rowling said on Twitter, adding in capitals: “THIS IS NOT A HARRY POTTER SPIN-OFF”.

    Rowling got the idea for The Ickabog when she was writing Harry Potter and she intended it to be published after “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, the last of her seven-book Potter series.

    But the mostly handwritten manuscript ended up in her attic and stayed there for a decade until a few weeks ago. She has rewritten parts of it in recent weeks.

    “The Ickabog is a story about truth and the abuse of power,” said Rowling, 54. “The themes are timeless and could apply to any era or any country.”

    “I’ve decided to publish The Ickabog for free online, so children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times, can read it or have it read to them,” Rowling said.

    She will donate her royalties to projects and organisations helping the groups most impacted by COVID-19.

  • California-based SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule carrying astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken and its Falcon 9 rocket is due to lift off at 4:33 p.m. EDT (2033 GMT) on Wednesday from the same launch pad used by NASA’s last space shuttle mission in 2011.

    For Musk, SpaceX and NASA, a safe flight would mark a milestone in the quest to produce reusable spacecraft that can make space travel more affordable. Musk is the founder and CEO of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla Inc.

    NASA, hoping to stimulate a commercial space marketplace, awarded $3.1 billion to SpaceX and $4.5 billion to Boeing Co to develop dueling space capsules, experimenting with a contract model that allows the space agency to buy astronaut seats from the two companies. 

    Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner capsule is not expected to launch its first crew until 2021.

    NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine declared the mission a “go” last week at Kennedy Space Center after space agency and SpaceX officials convened for final engineering checks.

    SpaceX successfully tested Crew Dragon without astronauts last year in its first orbital mission to the space station. That vehicle was destroyed the following month during a ground test when one of the valves for its abort system burst, causing an explosion that triggered a nine-month engineering investigation that ended in January.

  • A star-formation binge in the Milky Way spanning the time when the solar system was born more than 4.5 billion years ago was apparently precipitated by the collision between our galaxy and a smaller one called Sagittarius, scientists said on Tuesday.

    Such collisions typically do not involve stars smashing head-on, they said, but can foster conditions for star formation by, for example, amping up the amount of gas in a galaxy or having gas clouds come together.

    The galaxies first crashed more than 6 billion years ago. Since then, Sagittarius - a “dwarf” galaxy 10,000 times less massive than the Milky Way - has twice passed through our galaxy’s immense disk containing most of its roughly 100 billion stars. All three galactic interactions were associated with a burst of Milky Way star formation.

    Data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia space observatory revealed a prolonged star-formation episode from 6.2 billion to 4.2 billion years ago associated with the initial crash. Two other star-formation surges linked to the galactic collision peaked 1.9 billion years ago and 1 billion years ago, each lasting a few hundred million years.

    “It is not really an impact like a car crash,” said astronomer Tomás Ruiz-Lara of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias in Spain, lead author of the research published in the journal Nature Astronomy. “Some parts of Sagittarius and the Milky Way intersect, but stars do not crash. A star-star collision would be really, really rare.”

    The collision disrupted our galaxy’s steady pace of star formation.

  • U.S. President Donald Trump said late on Tuesday he is preparing to take action against China this week over its effort to impose national security laws on Hong Kong, but gave no further details.

    Hong Kong shares led declines among major regional indexes, with Hang Seng falling 0.46%, though it kept a bit of distance from a two-month low touched on Monday. MSCI's ex-Japan Asia-Pacific index .MIAPJ0000PUS lost 0.12%, with mainland Chinese shares .CSI300 down a similar amount. Japan's Nikkei N225 was almost flat.

    Worsening relations between the world’s two biggest economies could further hobble global business activity, which is already under intense pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 rose 0.4%, reclaiming the 3,000 chart level. The index had cleared 3,000 points in Wall Street overnight before pulling back, as some traders returned to the New York Stock Exchange floor for the first time in two months.

    “The S&P 500 looked to be set to close above 3,000 until the late headline that the United States was considering a range of sanctions on Chinese officials and businesses should China go ahead with its legislation regarding Hong Kong,” analysts at the National Australia Bank said in a note.

    “The extent of those possible sanctions is uncertain,” the analysts said. China’s plans to impose national security laws in Hong Kong have triggered the first big street unrest in the Asian financial hub since last year.

  • Google and its peer Facebook Inc had allowed their employees to work from home in early March following tough government-mandated restrictions to contain the coronavirus.

    Google said on Tuesday it would give each employee an allowance of $1,000, or the equivalent value in their country, to expense necessary equipment and office furniture, as it expects most of them to largely work from home for the remainder of the year.

    There are a limited number of employees whose roles are needed back in the office this year and they would return on a limited, rotating basis, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said in a blog post.

  • Currently, the death toll for coronavirus cases across the United States is more than 98,000 people.

    On one hand, where on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, nurses and doctors are caring for the living, on the other hand there is another front line of those caring for the dead.

    Funeral homes in New York are chaotic and overwhelmed and it can be weeks before bodies are embalmed or buried. Most COVID-19 victims die alone, and when they die, their families are told to quarantine and they try to find ways for them to say goodbye.
     

  • The first of five Iranian tankers carrying fuel for gasoline-starved Venezuela entered the South American country's exclusive economic zone on Saturday, despite a U.S. official's warning that Washington was considering a response to the shipment. The tanker flotilla is carrying a total of 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and alkylate to Venezuela.

    After, the tanker, named Fortune, reached the country's waters the defense minister pledged that the military would escort the tankers once they reached Venezuela's Exclusive Economic Zone due to what authorities described as threats from the United States.

    The desperately needed shipments have caused a diplomatic standoff between the United States and Iran and Venezuela, which are under U.S. sanctions. Gasoline is scarce in Venezuela due to a near-complete breakdown of the OPEC nation's 1.3 million barrel-per-day refining network.

  • The release was part of a prisoner swap under a deal struck by the Taliban and the United States in Qatar in February, as a precursor to peace talks between the Islamist militants and an inclusive Afghan delegation aiming to end a two-decade-old war.

    The Taliban had announced a three-day ceasefire for the Eid al-Fitr holiday that ends the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, a move that was welcomed by both the Afghan and U.S. governments.

    Fighting between Taliban and Afghan forces had intensified before the ceasefire, and the government said it would resume an offensive against the militant group in the wake of its deadly attacks nationwide earlier this month.

  • The United States is approaching a grim milestone as the coronovirus death toll approaches 1,00,000 people, amid the ongoing global scramble to contain the virus and find a vaccine. Currently, the death toll for coronavirus cases across the United States is more than 98,000 people.

    Brazil deaths by COVID-19 reached 24,512 on Tuesday, with 1,039 new deaths over the last 24 hours, the health ministry said. The number of infections in Brazil rose to 3,91,222 with 16,324 new cases.

    Russia said on Tuesday 174 people with the coronavirus had died in the past 24 hours, a record one-day amount that pushed the nationwide death toll to 3,807. Officials reported 8,915 new cases on Tuesday, pushing its overall case tally to 362,342.

    The Spanish government declared a 10-day official mourning period from Wednesday to honor the nearly 30,000 people who died from the coronavirus pandemic in one of the world's worst-hit countries. During the mourning period, flags will fly at half-mast all over the country's public buildings and navy ships.

    France's coronavirus death toll rose by less than a 100 for the sixth day, raising hopes that the worst of the pandemic is over for the country. In a statement the French health ministry said that the number of new confirmed cases was up by 0.2%, in line with the rate of the last week and slower than the week before.

  • Aarogya Setu, India's Covid-19 contact tracing, syndrome mapping and self assessment mobile app is now open source. Announcing it, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said, transparency, privacy and security have been the core design principles of Aarogya Setu since its inception and opening of the source code to the developer community signifies Government's continuing commitment to this principle.

    He said, it is a unique thing as no other government product anywhere in the world has been open sourced at this scale.

    Speaking on app's vulnerability and privacy, NIC DG announced a bug bounty programme for the app which will be hosted on the Innovate platform. The bug bounty programme will enable developers to share bugs and other issues with the app as well. There are three categories for security vulnerability with bounty of Rs 1 lakh.

  • Indian Railways operationalised 3274 "Shramik Special" trains till 26th May 2020. More than 44 lakh passengers have been ferried back to their home states through these "Shramik Special" trains in 25 days.

    More than 74 lakh free meals and 1 crore water bottles have been distributed by railways. In addition to Shramik Specials, Railways are running 15 pairs of special trains connecting New Delhi from 12th May.

    Railway plans to start 200 more time tabled trains from1st June 2020. Railway has ensured that all precautionary guidelines are followed in view of the COVID 19 situation.

    On May 1, the Indian Railways started the migrant special trains to facilitate the movement of workers back to their home states. In the last four days, railway has operated 260 trains on an average daily carrying about three lakh passengers.

    The top five states and union territories from where maximum trains originated are Gujarat Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi. The top five states where maximum trains terminated are Uttar Pradesh ,Bihar, Jharkhand ,Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.

  • The Union Home Ministry has written to all states that citizens who have been quarantined in hotels after their return from abroad and who were made to pay an advance for 14 days must be refunded half of the amount as per the revised guidelines.

    The Home Ministry has intervened following complaints that some hotels, used as temporary quarantine centres for people travelling from outside the country, were refusing to return seven day advance money after the government cut down institutional quarantine period from 14 days to seven.

    As per the latest guidelines, protocol for institutional quarantine has been revised to seven days followed by seven days home quarantine after medical assessment. Since they can now leave for home quarantine after 7 days, the amount paid by them for the remaining 7 days needs to be refunded to them, which some hotels are refusing to refund.

    The Home Ministry has asked states to ensure that hotels refund seven days quarantine stay charges paid by people returning from abroad who did not end up staying for those days.

  • In a telephone conversation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed greetings for Eid-ul-Fitr to Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, President of Egypt, as well as to the people of Egypt. Reciprocating the greetings, the Egyptian President referred to Egypt and India as being among the oldest civilizations in the world, and expressed happiness about the fast expanding bilateral relationship. Prime Minister expressed his appreciation for the support extended by Egyptian authorities for the safety and welfare of Indian nationals in Egypt during the COVID-19 crisis.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke on phone with Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, to convey Eid-ul-Fitr greetings to the friendly people of Qatar. Prime Minister warmly appreciated the personal care taken by the Amir for ensuring the welfare of the Indian citizens in Qatar during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In turn, The Amir appreciated the contributions of the Indian community in Qatar, especially the role being played by Indian health workers. 

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephone conversation with Federal President of the Republic of Austria Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen. The Austrian President condoled the damage caused in India by Cyclone Amphan.  The leaders exchanged views on measures taken in their countries to manage the adverse health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. They agreed on the importance of international collaboration to deal with the present challenges. Both the leaders reiterated their shared desire to further strengthen and diversify India-Austria relations in the post-Covid world.

  • Myanmar has sought the loan from IMF under its Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) which offers quick loan facility at concessional rates for Low Income Countries.

    The loan will be used to cover deficit incurred by the government due to increased spending on social security, health services and economic assistance in the wake of Corona pandemic outbreak.

    According to a report of the IMF, Myanmar has been deeply affected by the outbreak of Corona pandemic. It has reported sharp decline in tourist arrival, supply chain disruption in the garment sector, losses in the SMEs, exports and foreign remittances.

    The Myanmar government has developed a COVID 19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP) with several fiscal and monetary measures including a 70 million dollar COVID 19 fund to provide soft loans to garment and tourism sector businesses and industries. Myanmar has decided to allocate up to 10 percent of its current budget to fight COVID-19.

    Myanmar has report 206 Corona positive cases and 6 deaths till Tuesday. It had reported the first Corona positive case on March 23. On May 13, the government of Myanmar extended restrictions on public gatherings of more than 5 people, closure of pre-schools and ban on international flights till May 31.

  • Out of them, 88 are migrant workers returning from Kuwait  and were under quarantine while rest eight are navy personnel.

    The new cases has raised the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 1,278 cases. The number of active coronavirus cases who are under medical care stands at 556 while the 712 have recovered with 10 deaths reported so far.

    Sri Lanka has not seen any community case of COVID for over a month but around 600 personnel from a navy camp have tested positive during the period.

    Over last three days. Around 180 people, returning from Kuwait and other Middle East countries have tested positive.

    The curfew has been relaxed all over the country from today and curfew will be in place only between 10 PM and 4 AM.

  • The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) aims to enhance fish production to 220 lakh metric tons by 2024-25 from 137.58 lakh metric tons in 2018-19 at an average annual growth rate of about 9%.

    The Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Shri Giriraj Singh, today said the ambitious scheme will result in doubling export earnings to Rs.1,00,000 crore and generate about 55 lakhs direct and indirect employment opportunities in fisheries sector over a period of next five years.

    Dedicating the PMMSY to fishers, fish farmers, fish workers, fish vendors and other stakeholders associated with the fisheries sector, Shri Giriraj Singh said that insurance coverage for fishing vessels is being introduced for the first time.

    Addressing a press conference on the “PMMSY - A scheme to bring about Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of fisheries sector in India”, approved by the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 20th May, 2020, Shri Giriraj Singh said that the scheme envisages an estimated investment of Rs. 20,050 crores comprising Central share of Rs. 9,407 crore, State share of Rs 4,880 crore and Beneficiaries contribution of Rs. 5,763 crore. He added that the PMMSY will be implemented over a period of 5 years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25 in all States/Union Territories.

    Giriraj Singh said that under the PMMSY thrust will be given towards enhancement of fish production and productivity, quality, sustainability, technology infusion, post-harvest infrastructure, modernisation and strengthening of value chain, standards and traceability in fisheries sector from ‘catch to consumer’, establishing a robust fisheries management framework, fishers’ welfare, enhancement of fisheries export competitiveness.

     He further mentioned that PMMSY will create a conducive environment for private sector participation, development of entrepreneurship, business models, promotion of ease of doing business, innovations and innovative project activities including start-ups, incubators etc. in fisheries sector.

    The Minister further mentioned that PMMSY being a fisher centric umbrella scheme, fishers, fish farmers, fish workers and fish vendors are the key stakeholders in the developmental activities envisaged and enhancement of their socio-economic status is one the core objectives of this scheme.

    The Fisheries Minister said that about 42% of the total estimated investment of the PMMSY is earmarked for creation and upgradation of fisheries infrastructure facilities.

    Focus areas include Fishing Harbours and Landing Centers, Post-harvest and Cold Chain Infrastructure, Fish Markets and Marketing Infrastructure, Integrated Modern Coastal Fishing Villages and Development of Deep-sea Fishing.

    Besides creating critical fisheries infrastructure by attracting private investments in fisheries sector, the scheme plans to reduce post-harvest losses from the present high of 25% to about 10% by modernizing and strengthening value chain. Under the Swath Sagar plan, activities envisaged with a view to modernize the fisheries sector include promotion of Bio-toilets, Insurance coverage for fishing vessels, Fisheries Management Plans, E-Trading/Marketing, Fishers and resources survey and creation of National IT-based databases.

    Underlining the need to enhance domestic fish consumption with corresponding health benefits, the Minister said that the Government will register “Sagar Mitra” and encourage formation of Fish Farmers Producer Organizations (FFPOs) to help achieve the PMMSY goals. Youth will be engaged in fisheries extension by creation of 3477 Sagar Mitras in coastal fisher villages. Large number of Fisheries Extension Services Centers will be set up in private space to create job opportunities to young professionals.

    The scheme will also focus on several new activities and areas such as Traceability, Certification and Accreditation, Aquaculture in saline/alkaline areas, Genetic improvement programmes and Nucleus Breeding Centres, Fisheries and Aquaculture start-ups, promotional activities for fish consumption, branding, GI in fish, Integrated Aqua parks, Integrated coastal fishing villages development, State-of-art wholesale fish markets, Aquatic Referral Laboratories, Aquaculture Extension Services, Biofloc, support for new/upgradation of fishing boats, disease diagnostic and quality testing labs, Organic Aquaculture Promotion and Certification and Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) devices.

    Giriraj Singh said that the PMMSY provides thrust for infusing new and emerging technologies like Re-circulatory Aquaculture Systems, Biofloc, Aquaponics, Cage Cultivation etc. to enhance production and productivity, productive utilization of wastelands and water for Aquaculture. He added that some activities like Mariculture, Seaweed cultivation and Ornamental Fisheries having potential to generate huge employment especially for rural women will be promoted.

    Stressing on attaining self-sufficiency in availability of quality seed at affordable price, Shri Giriraj Singh said that the scheme will result in increasing aquaculture average productivity to 5 tons per hectare from the current national average of 3 tons per hectare. This will be achieved through promotion of high value species, establishing a national network of Brood Banks for all commercially important species, Genetic improvement and establishing Nucleus Breeding Centers for self-reliance in Shrimp Brood stock, accreditation of Brood banks, Hatcheries, Farms and also addressing diseases, antibiotics and residues issues, aquatic health management. These steps are likely to ensure quality, higher productivity, improve export competitiveness and fetch higher prices to fishers and farmers.

    Constituting about 7.73% of the global fish production and export earnings of Rs.46,589 Crores (2018-19), India today has attained the status of the second largest aquaculture and 4th largest fish exporting nation in the world. Shri Giriraj Singh that the country has high potentiality to attain the 1st highest fishing producing and exporting nation in the world in the coming years, and his Ministry is committed to take the fisheries sector to newer heights.

    The Minister said that the Fisheries sector has shown an impressive growth in terms of fish production and export earnings during the past five years.

    The sector recorded an Average Annual Growth Rate of 10.88% during 2014-15 to 2018-19, 7.53% average annual growth in fish production and 9.71% average annual growth in export earnings, with 18% share in agricultural exports. He further added that the Gross Value Added (GVA) of Fisheries sector in the national economy during 2018-19 stood at Rs 2,12,915 crores which constituted 1.24% of the total National GVA and 7.28% share of Agricultural GVA.

    Foreseeing the huge scope for development of fisheries, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in December, 2014, had called for “a revolution” in the Fisheries sector and named it as “Blue Revolution”.

    The Union Government has taken several initiatives to harness the potential of the Fisheries sector in a sustainable and responsible manner towards ushering the Blue Revolution in Fisheries as envisioned by the Prime Minister.

    Some of the major reforms and steps taken by the Union Government include (i) Creation of a separate Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying in the Union Government, (ii) Setting up a new and dedicated Department of Fisheries with independent administrative structure, (iii) Implementation of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries during the period 2015-16 to 2019-20 with a central outlay of Rs. 3,000 crore, (iv) Creation of Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) during 2018-19 with a fund size of Rs. 7,522.48 crore, and (v) Launching of PMMSY with an investment of Rs. 20,050 crore, the scheme with highest ever investment for fisheries sector.

    The Ministers of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Shri Sanjiv Kumar Baliyan and Shri Pratap Chandra Sarangi, and Secretary, Department of Fisheries, Dr. Rajeev Ranjan, were present during the press conference. On the occasion, the dignitaries released a booklet on the PMMSY.
     

  • He also thanked the Minister for his day-to-day support and for facilitating central assistance during the entire period of pandemic.

    Dr Jitendra Singh formally conveyed to the Lieutenant Governor, the Government’s appreciation for the consistent diligence and effort with which the Union Territory administration had dealt with the COVID pandemic and also succeeded in containing it.

    He noted that it was Ladakh which had caused initial alarm for the entire country when suddenly a number of cases reported Corona positive from among the returnees, who were coming back from Iran pilgrimage, but it goes to the credit of the administration and the civil society that Ladakh is among the first to gradually come out from the Corona assault.

     Dr Jitendra Singh thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his clear instructions to give priority to peripheral areas of Ladakh and North East, as a result of which Air Cargo supplies started reaching there even before the lockdown.

    As of today, the store of ration, vegetables and fruit in Ladakh is in much bigger quantity than it would have normally been otherwise in this part of the year, he added.

    The Minister also had a word of praise for the two young Deputy Commissioners of Leh and Kargil and the two SSPs of these two districts respectively who were in touch on day-to-day basis and coordinated for different issues from time to time, which helped in facilitating supply of medical equipment and later the movement of people returning from different parts of the country.

    Mathur apprised Dr Jitendra Singh of the current situation and said that now an effort is being made to revive the development activity. He also discussed some of the projects related to power generation and construction work which had got delayed due to the pandemic and said that very soon these would be revived.

    Among the various projects in the pipeline, Dr Jitendra Singh also mentioned the project for processing of “Leh Berry” for which the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has prepared a plan.
     

  • The two Defence Ministers had discussions on their respective responses against the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Rajnath Singh informed Ms Linda Reynolds on India’s contribution to international efforts against COVID-19 and discussed areas of mutual cooperation in the global fight against the pandemic.

    They also agreed that India-Australia Strategic Partnership provides a good basis for both countries to work together alongwith other countries in this regard to deal with the post COVID-19 related challenges.    

    Both ministers also conveyed their commitment to take forward the initiatives of bilateral defence and security cooperation under the framework of the India-Australia Strategic Partnership.                   
     

  • This is the highest number of Corona virus cases reported in a single day so far. According to the Ministry of Health and Population the total number of COVID-19 cases have reached to 772 in the Himalayan nation.

    On a positive side 43 persons cured and discharged from various hospitals of the country today. There are now 613 active cases, while 155 people have been recovered.

    Four persons have died of COVID-19 so far. All seven provinces of Nepal are affected by the corona virus. Province 2 and Province 5 are the most affected by the COVID-19. Province 5 reported maximum 331 positive cases and Province 2 confirmed 268 cases till date.

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced yesterday that the emergency will be lifted in the remaining five prefectures including Tokyo.

    He warned that state of emergency can be re-imposed if the infection starts spreading rapidly again.

    Abe said expert commission, established by the Japanese government at the beginning of the outbreak, will present by mid-June guidelines for clubs, bars and karaoke spots, where several COVID-19 clusters have originated.

    Japanese government had declared the state of emergency for Tokyo and six neighbouring prefectures in early April and later expanded it to cover the entire country.
     

  • More than 40 lakhs passengers have reached their destinations by these trains. Rail Minister Piyush Goyal has expressed happiness that the railways successfully operated more than three thousand Shramik Special trains and took migrant workers from different parts of the country to their home state.

    In a tweet, the Railways Minister appealed to all the states to cooperate with the Railways and help their labour brothers.

    80 per cent of these Shramik trains are destined for various destinations in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

    Railways had started running Shramik Special trains from 1st May, to move migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to lock down.

    The top five States and Union Territories from where maximum trains originated are Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

    These trains were terminated in various States across the country. Uttar Pradesh received the highest number of one thousand 245 trains, followed by Bihar 846 trains and Jharkhand 123 trains.

    During the journey, passengers are given free meals and water. In addition to Shramik specials Railways is running 15 pairs of special AC trains connecting New Delhi and has decided to start 200 more trains from 1st June. 
     

  • It will be the 65th episode of the monthly radio programme.

    PM Modi has invited people to share their ideas.

    People can dial 1800-11-7800 to record their messages and can write on the NaMo App Open Forum or on MyGov.

    One can also give a missed call on 1922 and follow the link received in SMS to directly give the suggestions.

    People can share their ideas on topics till 25th of May.
     

  • REC Foundation, the CSR arm of REC Limited, has partnered with TajSATS (a joint venture of IHCL and SATS Ltd) to distribute specially-made nutritious meal packets for medical staff in Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi.

    Every day, 300 food packets are being delivered as a gesture of gratitude to the frontline healthcare warriors of New Delhi. Over 18,000 meals will be delivered in New Delhi through this initiative.

    At the same time, REC in collaboration with various district authorities, NGOs and electricity distribution companies (DISCOMS) is already providing cooked meals and ration to the needy across the nation.

    This initiative was started when the country went under a nation-wide lockdown and will continue for the duration of the coronavirus lockdown. As of 24 May 2020, the corporation has distributed more than 4.58 lacs Kilograms of food grains, 1.26 lac meal packets, 9600 litres of sanitizers, 3400 PPE kits and 83000 masks.

    REC Limited (formerly Rural Electrification Corporation Limited) is a Navratna NBFC focusing on Power Sector Financing and Development across India.

    Established in 1969, REC Limited has completed over fifty years in the area of its operations. It provides financial assistance across the power-sector value chain.

    Apart from this, REC is also the nodal agency for Govt. of India flagship schemes in the Power sector like Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), Saubhagya, etc.
     

  • Border Roads Organisation (BRO) achieved this major milestone by digging up a 440 m long Tunnel below the busy Chamba town on Rishikesh-Dharasu road Highway (NH 94).

    The breakthrough was completed amidst threat of COVID-19 and nationwide lockdown. The construction of tunnel was a challenging task in terms of weak soil strata, continuous water seepage, heavy built up area on top thereby chances of sinking of houses, land acquisition issues, restrictions during COVID lockdown etc.
    Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said, this Rishikesh-Dharasu-Gangotri road in Uttarakhand has a very significant role from socio economic and religious point of view.

    He said, opening of this tunnel will ease out congestion though the Chamba town and reduce the distance by one kilometer and journey through the town will take only ten minutes as compared to thirty minutes earlier.

    Gadkari lauded BRO for working in some of the very difficult terrain and ensuring implementation of critical projects. He said that he has been informed about completion of the project by October 2020, ie, three months ahead of the schedule.

    Director General of Border Roads Organisation, Lt Gen Harpal Singh said, BRO started the work on North Portal of this tunnel in Jan 2019 but work on South Portal could be started only after Oct 2019 due to stiff resistance from locals on account of safety concerns and compensation issues. To compensate for the loss in time, day and night working shifts along with use of modern technology facilitated the breakthrough.

    BRO is a key stake holder in prestigious Chardham project and breakthrough of this tunnel has been achieved by Team Shivalik. Latest Austrian technology has been used in its construction. The tunnel will be through for traffic by October this year, almost three months before its scheduled date of completion.
    Under prestigious Chardham Project costing around Rs 12,000 Crore with approximate length of 889 Km, BRO is constructing 250 Km of National Highways leading to holy shrine Gangotri and Badrinath. Majority of the works are progressing ahead of schedule and BRO is slated to complete four projects by October this year.
    BRO has been entrusted 251 Km of stretches  costing Rs 3000 Cr approx consisting of 17 Projects on road Rishikesh – Dharasu (NH-94) from Km 28 onwards of 99 Km length, Dharasu- Gangotri Highway (NH-108) of 110 Km length and Joshimath to Mana ( NH-58) of 42 Km length. Out of these, 10 Projects consisting of 151 Km road length have been sanctioned which are worth Rs 1702 Cr and works are under progress as under:-

    (i)       Rishikesh – Dharasu( NH-94) , 99 Km length (Five  projects).

    (ii)     Dharasu- Gangotri Highway (NH-108), 22 Km length (Two  projects). Five projects of BESZ are yet to be sanctioned.

    (iii)   Joshimath to Mana (NH-58) 32 Km (Three Projects). Two projects are yet to be sanctioned

     

    BRO is slated to complete four Projects aggregating a length of 53 Km out of 10 ongoing projects ahead of their scheduled, date of completion as under:-

    Dharasu- Gangotri Highway (NH-108) KM 110-123 by June 2020.
    Rishikesh- DharasuHighway (NH-94) Km28-59 by July 2020.
    Rishikesh- Dharasu Highway (NH-94) Km 59-65 including Chamba Tunnel by October 2020.
    Chinialisaur bye pass on Rishikesh- Dharasu Highway (NH-94) by October 2020.
     

    A Tunnel of 440 mtr length to decongest busy Chamba town is being constructed out of these 10 projects. This is a Horse shoe type tunnel with 10 mtr carriage way width and 5.5 mtr vertical clearance. The sanctioned cost of this tunnel is 107.07 Crore. The awarded cost is Rs 86 Crore, including 43 Crore for Tunnel and 43 Crore for 4.2 Km approach roads to tunnel.
     

  • The study can help in understanding and treatment of concussion from head injuries as well as stretch-induced nerve injuries.Axons are long tubular extensions of nerve cells that transmit electrical signals across long distances and can be up to a meter long in the case of humans.

    At such lengths, they are subjected to large stretch deformations during limb or other bodily movements.

    Axons in the brain too undergo significant deformations, even during normal activities like jumping (the human brain is as soft and wobbly as edible jelly).

    Probing into what special strategies axons adopt to protect themselves from damage during such stretch deformations, the scientists zeroed in on the molecule spectrin, a cytoskeletal protein.In their research published in journal eLife, with Dr. Sushil Dubey as the lead author, Prof. Pramod Pullarkatand his team from RRI showed that neuronal cells may have evolved a clever strategy using an etched optical fiber attached to a piezo drive as a force-sensing cantilever to stretch live axons and to measure the resultant tension. Piezo drives attached to optical fiber is used to stretch on axons where optical fiber acts as a force-sensing cantilever.

    The resulting tension measured along the axon comes from the axonal cytoskeleton (consisting of biopolymers), of which spectrin is a part.The RRI team took clues from a recent discovery, which showed that axons have a periodic scaffold consisting of longitudinally arranged long spectrin protein molecules. The function of this skeleton was a puzzle.

    The experiments by the RRI team on axons that are biochemically or genetically modified to disrupt specific cytoskeletal components revealed that the spectrin scaffold has a prominent mechanical role.Earlier single-molecule experiments had shown that spectrin molecules contain several folded regions which can unfold when the protein is stretched and refold when released, thus acting as molecular bellows.

    By comparing detailed tension measurements on axons with a mathematical model that describes such a mechanism, the RRI team showed that this process helps axons to buffer tension and dissipate excess elastic energy. Unlike a linear spring, where the tension increases proportionally with stretch, axonal tension exhibits a plateau-like region where tension is only weakly dependent on stretch, due to the unfolding process.

    This suggests that spectrins can act as axonal ‘shock absorbers’ to protect axons from stretch-induced damage.The brain undergoes significant shear deformations (up to 5% of strain) even under normal activities such as jumping. In contact sports, brain concussion occurs and is a leading cause of injuries. This study will have significant implications to our understanding of concussion that result from head impacts as well as stretch-induced nerve injuries.
     

  • Approaches used so far to achieve the controllability over hotspots distribution, which involves the synthesis of complex morphologies, limits their potential to be used for large area substrates.
    In order to overcome this, the INST group developed a hybrid Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy(SERS) platform of Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) nanostructure decorated with gold nanoparticles, where direct laser writing is used to engineer the artificial edges on the surface of MoS2. 

    This created localized hotspots with remarkable precision and control. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a technique for molecular detection and characterization that relies on the enhanced Raman scattering of molecules that are adsorbed on SERS-active surfaces, such as nanostructured gold or silver.

    In the research by Dr. Kiran Shankar Hazraand his group which has been accepted for publication in the journal ACS Nano,a focused laser beam of meager power of a conventional Raman spectrometer was used to do nanostructuring on 2D flakes of desired feature size and geometry just by playing with the laser power and exposure time. 
    Using this technique, they achieved the minimum feature size of   ̴300nm, which is close to the diffraction limit of the laser used (i.e., 532nm laser line).

    In SERS sensing, producing SERS substrate of controllable hotspots distribution with desired geometry and location is the main challenging task.

    Several efforts have been made by researchers to attain the controllability over hotspots distribution via employing various synthesis procedures, hotspots engineering, defect engineering, and so on. However, the random distribution of hotspots and precision over geometrical nanostructure has limited the progress in the field of SERS sensing.

    The hybrid SERS platform developed by the INST group offers controlled formation of localized hotspots for ultrasensitive and reproducible detection of analytes. Low power-focused laser irradiation technique was employed to create artificial edges on atomically thin 2D MoS2 sheet, which enables the superior deposition of AuNPs along the artificial edges, and enhances the local electromagnetic field leading to formation of hotspots.

    The innovative route to attain the accuracy and control over localized hotspots formation at desired position and geometry, which is advantageous over randomly distributed hotspots in conventional SERS substrates.

    The team is now exploring various applications of 2D material nanostructures in the field of catalysis, sensing, and optoelectronics devices.

    This research in SERS sensing will open a new avenue for the development of commercialized SERS substrate with a localized detection capability of analytes.

    The AuNPs decorated, and laser-etched 2Dsheets based SERS hybrid platform will also shed new light in the SERS sensing of biological and chemical molecules.

    The artificial edges of the 2D layers can be functionalized with an antibody with adequate coating and linkers for the SERS detection of various biomarkers.
     

  • Under this system, hotels are given a rating, from One Star to Three Star, Four and Five Star with or without alcohol, Five Star Deluxe, Heritage (Basic), Heritage (Classic), Heritage (Grand), Legacy Vintage (Basic), Legacy Vintage (Classic), Legacy Vintage (Grand) and Apartment Hotels, Home stays, Guest house etc.

    The classification/ certification is valid for period of five years.Considering the current situation when the hospitality industry is going through a very difficult time in the wake of Covid 19 Pandemic and lockdown that has severely impacted the accommodation sector, it has been decided that validity of approval or certifications of hotels and other accommodation units whose project approvals/reapprovals and classification/reclassification have expired/are likely to expire during the period (24.03.2020 to 29.6.2020) are deemed to be extended till 30.06.2020.Similarly, the Ministry has a scheme of approving Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Adventure Tour Operators, Domestic Tour Operators and Tourist Transport Operators etc. the idea being to encourage quality, standard and service in these categories so as to promote Tourism in India.

    Due to postponement of inspection work and application scrutiny during the lockdown period from March 2020 onward in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Tourism has decided to allow six months’ relaxation or extension to all categories of Tour Operators (Inbound, Domestic, Adventure) Travel Agents and Tourist Transport Operators for their approval with the Ministry of Tourism subject to the following conditions: -

    (i) The previous approval expired or the current approval expires during the period of 20th March, 2020 (i.e. the date of issuance of order by the Ministry for discontinuation of inspection work by India Tourism offices) till continuation of lockdown, and
    (ii) They applied for renewal before expiry of their current/previous approval.
     

  • The first flight by a private operator from Bengaluru landed at Gannavaram airport in Vijayawada early today with 79 passengers.

    As per the Airport Director Madhusudhan Rao, the aircraft also returned to Bengaluru with 68 passengers onboard. Another flight from another private operator from Bengaluru also landed with 48 passengers and departed with 50 passengers onboard.

    Similarly, Visakhapatnam airport is scheduled to handle flights today from Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Delhi.

    As per the State Government officials, the passengers who land from Delhi will have to quarantine themselves for a week and they will have to be in home quarantine for one more week. All the passengers in both the airports are being handled as per the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry’s guidelines.

    The Civil Aviation Ministry has allowed domestic chartered flights and private jets to resume their operations.

    The Ministry has issued an order in this regard yesterday. After a two month gap, the country resumed its domestic passenger flights from Monday.

    The Ministry said that non-scheduled and private operator of fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and micro-light aircraft can resume their domestic flights from 25th of May onward.

    As per the  guidelines issued in this regard, the Ministry said, if a passenger had manually booked his or her ticket for a chartered helicopter flight, the boarding pass will be issued at the helipad or heliport with minimum contact and after following all sanitization protocol.

    It said, passengers should report at the airport, heliport or helipad at least 45 minutes before the departure time. Vulnerable persons, such as very elderly, pregnant ladies, passengers with health issues are advised to avoid air travel. However, this will not apply to air ambulance services.

    Price cap on tickets, issued by the aviation regulator DGCA last week for scheduled domestic passenger flights, will not be applicable on chartered flights.

    It said, the charges of air travel on chartered flights to be as per mutually agreed terms between operators and the travellers.

    The Ministry said, a self-declarationl Aarogya Sefu App status would also be obtained that the passenger is free of COVID-19 symptoms.

    However, in case of Medical Ambulance Flights, medical certificate on the condition of the patient, that has necessitated air travel, should be carried for the passenger.
     

  • Around 140 flights from Gulf countries have been added in this phase of the mission.

    These flights are expected to fly back more than 23,000 Indians stranded abroad. More destinations may be added in due course in coordination with the State governments. This phase will continue till 8th of June. Maximum number of flights are scheduled from the UAE. A list of 57 flights have been declared as of now from Dubai and another 26 flights from Abu Dhabi.

    Eight flights will be operated from the UAE today which will bring back more than 1,300 passengers. 14 flights from Saudi Arabia, 15 from Oman, 10 from Qatar, 12 from Kuwait and five from Bahrain are scheduled in this phase.

    A majority of the flights from the Gulf are for Kerala. Other destinations include Jaipur, Gaya, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Srinagar, Goa, Chennai, Madurai, Lucknow, Karnataka, Delhi, Amritsar, Hyderabad, Coimbatore and Bengaluru.

    Those with compelling reasons will be given priority in sending back.  Distressed workers, stranded tourists, pregnant women, stranded students, elderly and cases of medical emergency are being given preference.

    Vande Bharat Mission is one of the largest and most complex evacuation exercises by the government to bring home Indian Nationals stranded abroad.
     

  • During the last twenty four hours, two thousand 769 people have recovered and six thousand 535 fresh cases of COVID-19 have been reported taking the total number of cases to one lakh 45 thousand 380.

    Health Ministry said, 146 deaths have been registered in last 24 hours taking the nationwide toll to four thousand 167. 
     

  • The first session of Vocational Higher Secondary exams was held today morning. The 10th std exams just began in afternoon session today. Over nine lakhs students of class 10th, plus one and plus two will be attending the State Board exams scheduled from today till 31st of May.

    Extensive arrangements including thermal screening of students, disinfection of premises, strict social distancing, compulsory mask and  sanitizer's  usages are being done at all centres.

    Nearly 5,000 exam centres are there across Kerala, Lakshadweep and Gulf region.

    Arrangements were made  to ensure that all students attend the exams through  special transport facilities  and the police clearing the way for students to reach on time.

    Authorities informed that those who missed the exams could write the SAY (Save A Year )exam , which will be conducted later.

    Meanwhile, as part of Vande Bharat Mission, nine flights will carry stranded passengers to Kerala today of which eight is from Gulf region and one from Israel.

    Flight from Abu dhabi, Dubai and Bahrain will arrive in Kozhikode today by late evening. Two flights are scheduled to arrive in Kochi, one  form Dubai and another Tel Aviv which will be reaching in a shortwhile.

    Two flights are also scheduled to reach  in Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur from Dubai and Abu dhabi today. Over 1,000 Indian nationals will be reaching Kerala today under the mission.
     

  • Earlier, in the last week, the Lancet Medical Journal published an observational study on HCQ and chloroquine and its effect on COVID-19 patients, who were hospitalized. The authors of the study reported that among patients receiving the drug, when used alone or with a macrolide, they estimated a higher mortality rate.

    WHO had initiated the Solidarity Trial, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of four drugs and drug combinations against COVID-19, which include HCQ.

    The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met earlier this week and has agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally.   The review will consider data collected so far in the Solidarity Trial and in particular robust randomized available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug.

    Mr Tedros, further said that the other arms of the trial are continuing and this concern relates to the use of Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19. He reiterated that these drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria.

    According to the WHO, over 400 hospitals in 35 countries are actively recruiting patients and nearly 3,500 patients have been enrolled from 17 countries under the Solidarity Trial.
     

  • The winners, who will each receive a $75,000 grant, were announced as Karen Sherman for dance, Sky Hopinka for film/ video, Christian Scott for music, Phil Soltanoff in theater and Firelei Baez in visual arts.

    The awards, first given out in 1994 and administered by California Institute of the Arts, are chosen by a panel of experts and given to risk-taking artists in their mid-careers, according to the foundation.

    Alpert, 85, is best known as leader of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, which released a string of top-selling albums and singles in the 1960s. Alpert also co-founded A&M Records.

  • The 37-year-old street artist who goes by the name ‘Mue Bon’, which translates as restless hands, says his murals also serve as a reminder that efforts against the virus are not over and everyone has a role.

    “I want to play my part in reminding people about the situation and recording the history that we helped each other by staying home to stop the spread of the virus,” he told Reuters.

    Mue Bon hopes his artwork, which usually contains a social message, will reach people who otherwise might not have access to galleries or other places to see art.

    “There is a huge gap between art and the ordinary people,” he said, taking a break from spray-painting a wall.

        “I put the artwork on the streets, at places where people sitting in cars will see it while driving past.”
    While not a household name in Thailand, Mue Bon has had international success and his work has been displayed in Japan, the United States, Germany, and, most recently, in the Palestinian Territories.

        Thailand has recorded just over 3,000 cases of the novel coronavirus and 56 deaths though the rate of infection has been slowing.
     

  • A butterfly flutters out of the mouth of a body laid to rest.

    Welcome to “Ciudad Corona” (Corona Town), a collection of murals by Cuban artist Yulier Rodriguez in the backyard of a friend’s home in southern Havana.

    Rodriguez is one of several urban artists who have taken to Cuba’s walls to express anguish but also hope regarding the coronavirus pandemic - some in public spaces, others, like his, in private for fear of running into trouble with Communist authorities.

    Cuba has reported 1,947 coronavirus cases and 82 deaths so far. Official data shows the Caribbean island registered fewer than 20 new cases per day over the last week compared to the 50 to 60 that were occurring daily in mid-April.

    “I felt compelled to express the energy of the moment, the way this illness drags along everyone in its path, be they rich or poor, military or civil,” Rodriguez told Reuters.

    Graffiti started gaining traction in Cuba in the mid-2010s due partly to the increasing influence of international culture as the country slowly opened, allowing greater internet access and the opportunity to travel.

    For some artists, Cuba’s many abandoned or dilapidated buildings made for the perfect canvas. The flipside is that public spaces are tightly controlled, so artists have to be careful with either their message or their identity.

    In a more upbeat mural in central Havana, “Courage” is emblazoned in capital letters above a multi-storey black-and-white mural of a child wearing a face mask on a dilapidated building.
    “In Cuba, you need to live with courage all the time,” the author “Mr Myl” said, declining to disclose his real name and covering his face with a floppy hat and face mask.

    In Cojimar, a fishing village east of Havana that inspired Ernest Hemingway’s novel, “The Old Man and the Sea,” a group of youngsters have painted colorful murals on ruins by the sea. One depicting a child holding a rainbow-colored pinwheel against a flowery background is dedicated to healthcare workers fighting the virus.

    Hip hop musician Sekou Sarrias, who led the project, said the aim was not only to express gratitude but also to provide joy to those living among these ruins.
     

  • The winner - who received her lottery ticket as a gift - will acquire the Spanish master’s 1921 oil-on-canvas still life “Nature morte”, a small abstract representing a table, newspapers and a glass of absinth.

    The raffle raised 5.1 million euros, of which 900,000 euros will go to Monaco billionaire collector David Nahmad who provided the painting. The rest will be used by charity CARE for clean-water projects in schools and villages in Cameroon, Madagascar and Morocco. Nahmad also gave 100,000 euros to CARE.

    “Picasso would have loved an operation like this because he was someone with a lot of interest in humanitarian and social causes,” Peri Cochin, organiser of the sale, told Reuters at the Paris offices of art auction house Christie’s.
    She said that more than 51,000 tickets costing 100 euros had been sold in the raffle, which had been delayed by the COVID-19 crisis.

    “This coronavirus crisis has made it clear how important it is to wash your hands, and that can only be done with clear water,” Cochin said.

    At the first edition of this raffle in 2013, a 25-year-old American won a Picasso drawing titled “The Man in the Opera Hat”. It raised 4.8 million euros for an association working to preserve the ancient city of Tyre, in modern-day Lebanon.
    After a six year gap between the first two Picasso raffles, the organisers hope to run an annual edition of the event, to the benefit of a different organisation each year.

    The highest price ever fetched by a Picasso artwork was reached in May 2015, when Christie’s sold his 1955 “Les femmes d’Alger” for $179.4 million.
     

  • Naman Tyagi, Founder & CEO of Weddopedia & Fashiopedia is a 24-year-old World Record Holder, Entrepreneur, Social Activist, Author and an Engineer who is in many news for spreading social awareness to millions of peoples threw is social media. Naman belongs to a traditional Brahman family. His parents - Mr. Pavan Kumar Tyagi & Mrs. Babita Tyagi works as a government teacher and his siblings Neha Tyagi.

    During lockdown when everyone was donating some amount to PM fund or NGOs and was putting that transition slip as their Whatsapp and Facebook status, at that time Naman understands the importance of spreading awareness and knowledge to make people understand what this COVID and social distancing are.

    As there is no medical treatment yet only proper knowledge will save a life. 
    At that time Naman decided to spend his little contribution to aware peoples.

    Soon this campaign reaches millions of peoples and is recognized by some organizations and converts into a world record. 

    Because of the lockdown extension, the poor workers were locked in their working cities with no money left, they lost their jobs their day to day earnings. All the public transport services were discontinued the only option left with them is to walk on foot for long distances to reach their village home. This is a tough time for all but these poor workers are in an enormous problem. 
     
    Naman understands their pain & decides to devote his remaining savings and start helping poor migrant laborers who don’t have money food clothes even don’t have slippers with them.

    Naman helps them by providing them some resources and food so that they will at least reach their home.
     
    Naman didn’t take any funds from NGOs or from any organization he is using his skills and funds want to help the government for spreading awareness.
    Naman as an activist helps the people in solving and coping with the problems in their everyday lives. He has worked in several areas uplifting & bringing forward some of the social issues that society needs to be aware of.

    For all his efforts & achievements, he is receiving great support from lakhs of people all over India, as a result of which he is now connected to more than 30 lakhs people on all his website & social accounts and the number is increasing every day.

    For this, he is a World Record Holder and received 10 plus State & National awards & certificates including ‘Karamveer Chakra’ from ‘United Nations’ in association with ‘IIT Delhi’.
     
    According to him ‘A small change can bring a large difference’.
     

  • Earlier, in the last week, the Lancet Medical Journal published an observational study on HCQ and chloroquine and its effect on COVID-19 patients, who were hospitalized. The authors of the study reported that among patients receiving the drug, when used alone or with a macrolide, they estimated a higher mortality rate.

    WHO had initiated the Solidarity Trial, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of four drugs and drug combinations against COVID-19, which include HCQ.

    The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met earlier this week and has agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally.   The review will consider data collected so far in the Solidarity Trial and in particular robust randomized available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug.

     Tedros, further said that the other arms of the trial are continuing and this concern relates to the use of Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19. He reiterated that these drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria.

    According to the WHO, over 400 hospitals in 35 countries are actively recruiting patients and nearly 3,500 patients have been enrolled from 17 countries under the Solidarity Trial.

  • NSE Nifty 50 index rises at 1.2% at 9,148.8

  • Over 400 RSS workers engage in providing food and water at Moradabad station

  • J&K: Udhampur girl helps villagers by selling vegetables amid lockdown

     

  • Tamil Nadu: Manufacture of face masks for divyangs in Tirupur

     

  • More than 40 lakhs passengers have reached their destinations by these trains. Rail Minister Piyush Goyal has expressed happiness that the railways successfully operated more than three thousand Shramik Special trains and took migrant workers from different parts of the country to their home state. In a tweet, Goyal appealed to all the states to cooperate with the Railways and help their labour brothers. Our correspondent reports that 80 per cent of these Shramik trains are destined for various destinations in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

    Railways had started running Shramik Special trains from 1st May, to move migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to lock down. The top five States and Union Territories from where maximum trains originated are Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

    These trains were terminated in various States across the country. Uttar Pradesh received the highest number of one thousand 245 trains, followed by Bihar 846 trains and Jharkhand 123 trains. During the journey, passengers are given free meals and water. In addition to Shramik specials Railways is running 15 pairs of special AC trains connecting New Delhi and has decided to start 200 more trains from 1st June. 

  • In a tweet, he informed that 39,231 passengers boarded the flights on the first day of operation. One-third of the total domestic commercial flights in the country flew on Monday after almost 61 days of suspension of their operations as a measure to control spread of infection of COVID-19.

    Andhra Pradesh is set to resume flight operations from today, while that of West Bengal from Thursday.