• Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in a notification said, the export of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in container with dispenser pumps is free for export making export of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in any form or packaging freely exportable, with immediate effect.

  • The Day stresses the need for global solidarity to help all populations, and especially the most vulnerable to recover from the crisis, and to make food systems more resilient and robust.

    It also highlights the importance to create a food system that can withstand increasing volatility and climate shocks, deliver affordable and sustainable healthy diets for all, and decent livelihoods for food system workers.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin of Rs. 75 denomination to mark the 75th Anniversary of Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO on Friday. In order to mark World Food Day, PM also dedicated 17 new biofortified varieties of 8 crops to the nation.

    PM extended his best wishes to everyone on the occasion of World Food Day. He also congratulated those who are continuously working to remove malnutrition around the world. He appreciated India's fight against malnutrition even during the crisis of Corona. PM said, "Our farmer partners of India - our Annadata, our agricultural scientists, our Anganwadi-Asha workers, are the basis of the movement against malnutrition. They are helping the Government to reach the poor. An important work is being done to tackle malnutrition. Now crops with high nutritious substances like protein, iron, zinc, etc. are are being promoted in the country"

    He added, "There have been many discussions around the world about starvation and malnutrition during the corona crisis. Experts are expressing their concerns. Amid these concerns, India has been providing free ration to about 80 crore poor since the last 7-8 months."

    PM expressed his gratitude to the FAO for supporting India's proposal to declare 2023 as the International Year of Millets. PM said, "FAO's World Food Program receiving this year's Nobel Peace Prize is a major achievement and India is happy that our partnership and our engagement in this too have been historic."

    Lauding farmers of India, PM said, "While the whole world is struggling due to Corona, the farmers of India broke the record of last year's production this time too. The government has broken its old records for the purchase of all kinds of food grains like wheat, paddy and pulses. Several steps have been taken to ensure that farmers get one and a half times the cost as MSP. MSP and government procurement are an important part of the country's food security"

  • Speaking at a health insurance summit organised by CII in Mumbai, Khuntia said under such focussed products, insurance companies can bring together medical experts to make aware policy holders on steps to be taken to prevent various diseases.

    The IRDAI chairman said the insurance sector, for too long, has concentrated on tertiary care or hospitalisation and now there was a need to focus more on primary and secondary care, the outpatient care and more on to have preventive care.

  • In a statement, the Ministry said, the amount so borrowed will be passed on to the states as a back-to-back loan in lieu of GST compensation cess releases. It said, the borrowing will not have any impact on the fiscal deficit of the Government of India. It added that the amounts will be reflected as the capital receipts of the state governments and as part of the financing of its fiscal deficits.

    The Ministry said, it will avoid differential rates of interest that individual States may be charged for their State Development Loans and will be an administratively easier arrangement.

    It also clarified that the general Government borrowings will not increase by this step. It said, the States that get the benefit from the 'Special Window' are likely to borrow a considerably lesser amount from the additional borrowing facility of 2 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product under  Aatma Nirbhar Package.

  • World Bank Chief, David Malpass told finance ministers and central bank governors of the G20 major economies that he would propose the supplemental financing package later this month to deputies of the International Development Association (IDA).

    Malpass expressed concerns over the rising risk of disorderly defaults among low-income countries. He said the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have proposed a joint action plan to help the most heavily-indebted IDA countries.

  • Countries in Europe are seeing a resurgence in cases of COVID-19, with national leaders all trying different strategies to try to slow the increase before hospital capacity is overwhelmed.

    Most countries are now declaring more cases each day than during the first wave at the beginning of the year. Some of that is due to increased testing capacity, hospitalisations and deaths are also on the up.

  • The virus has infected more than 3 crore 91 lakh people globally.

    Novel coronavirus has claimed over 11 lakh lives worldwide while the tally of global recoveries from the virus has crossed 2 crore 93 lakh.

    U.S. and Brazil remain to be worst affected from the disease. The U.S has registered cases of infection crossing 82 lakh 15 thousand with over 2 lakh 22 thousand fatalities.

    Brazil has more than 51 lakh 70 thousand covid-19 cases while the death toll has surpassed1 lakh 52 thousand in the country.

    Meanwhile, Mexico, Spain and Peru trail behind Brazil in terms of the death toll.

  • He said, there is still a real difference on the main sticking points like fisheries, state subsidies controls and enforcement of the final agreement. Meanwhile, the EU27, refused to grant Michel Barnier permission to intensify the talks and instead ordered the UK Prime Minister to compromise.

    Reacting on EU's statement, UK PM's Brexit envoy Lord Frost tweeted that he is disappointed with the bloc's recent announcement and surprised that the EU is no longer committed to working "intensively" to reach a future partnership, as agreed with Ursula von der Leyen on October 3.

    He added, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out UK reactions and approach in the light of his statement of 7 September. EU leaders faced down threats by the UK PM to walk away from the talks with a demand for fresh trade-offs on state subsidies.

  • Azerbaijan and Armenia accused each other of violating a ceasefire brokered less than a week ago to enable the sides to swap detainees and the bodies of those killed in the clashes.

    The Azeri prosecutor`s office said three Azeri civilians were killed and three were wounded during a funeral in Azerbaijan's Terter region when an artillery shell fell on a cemetery.

    Armenian defence ministry spokeswoman has accused the Azeri armed forces of artillery fire from the north and south-east.

    Meanwhile, international organisations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, have warned that the conflict, coming on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, could leave tens of thousands of people in need of aid over coming months.

  • In the early hours of Thursday, the government had attempted to curtail the student-led protest movement by issuing an emergency decree banning gatherings of more than four people and arresting about 20 activists.

    Defying the ban, tens of thousands of people, including high-school students, gathered in Bangkok on Thursday evening. They called for the release of arrested activists.  Before leaving the site of the demonstration, the protesters vowed to return on Friday evening.

    The growing demonstrations have targeted King Maha Vajiralongkorn as well as Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, who led the 2014 coup.

  • The meeting was attended by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan; Member (Health), NITI Aayog; Principal Scientific Advisor; senior scientists; and other officials.

    The Prime Minister appreciated the efforts made by Indian vaccine developers and manufacturers to rise to the COVID-19 challenge, and committed to continue government facilitation and support for all such efforts.

    The Prime Minister stated that regulatory reform was a dynamic process, and experts in every current and emerging domain should be used by the regulator proactively, as many new approaches have emerged.

    The Prime Minister took stock of Health Ministry’s comprehensive distribution and delivery mechanism for vaccines. This includes mechanisms for adequate procurement, and technologies for bulk-stockpiling, filling vials for distribution and ensuring effective delivery.

    The Prime Minister directed that both sero-surveys and testing must be scaled up. He said that the facility to get tested regularly, speedily and inexpensively must be available to all at the earliest.

    The Prime Minister also underscored the need for continuous and rigorous scientific testing and validation of traditional medicine treatments. He  appreciated the efforts of Ministry of AYUSH for conducting evidence based research and providing reliable solution in this difficult time.

    The Prime Minister reiterated the country’s resolve to provide cost effective, easily available and scalable  solutions for testing, vaccine and medication, not only for India but for the entire world.

    The Prime Minister called for continued vigilance and high state of preparedness against the pandemic.

  • During her intervention at the meeting, the Minister briefly outlined the measures under the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Package to foster a quick and more robust economic recovery in India.

    In a statement, the Ministry said, the discussions at the meeting were based on IMF Managing Director's Global Policy Agenda titled 'Catalysing a Resilient Recovery.' The members of the IMFC updated the committee on the actions and measures taken by member countries to combat COVID-19 and its adverse impacts.

    FM Sitharaman mentioned that the V-shaped pattern of recovery is being seen in several high-frequency indicators, including manufacturing PMI that reached the highest level in last eight years in the last month, presenting a strong recovery prospect for the manufacturing sector. To stimulate consumer spending, measures worth 10 billion dollars have been announced recently.

    The Finance Minister complimented the IMF and it's Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva for providing wise counselling to the economies across the globe and felt that IMF's assertion that a premature withdrawal of policy support could trigger liquidity shortfalls and insolvencies, is relevant.

    FM noted that several low-income and developing countries are confronted with the challenge to protect and ensure livelihood for millions slipping below the poverty line. She added that recovery and rehabilitation efforts in these countries must not be allowed to be undermined in any manner.

  • The  temperature in the National Capital Delhi will hover between 19 and 34 degree Celsius. It will have mist.

    In Mumbai, there will be generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. The minimum temperature will be 26 degree Celsius and the maximum will be around 33 degrees.

    Chennai will experience partly cloudy sky. The temperature will hover between 26 and 35 degree Celsius.

    Kolkata will witness partly cloudy sky with possibility of moderate rain or thunderstorm. The minimum temperature in the metropolis will be 27 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 36 degrees.

    On to the North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature will be 16 degree Celsius in Jammu while the maximum will be around 35 degrees. The city will have mainly clear sky.

    Srinagar and Ladakh will have mainly clear sky. The temperature in Srinagar will hover between five and 25 degree Celsius. In Ladakh, the minimum temperature will be minus two degree Celsius and the maximum will be around 20 degrees.

    Gilgit will experience mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening on Friday. The temperature will hover between eight and 25 degree Celsius.

    In Muzafarrabad, there will be mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature will be 12 and the maximum 30 degree Celsius.              

    In Dehradun, the temperature will hover between 19 and 33 degree Celsius. The city will have partly cloudy sky  with haze.

    In Chandigarh, there will be mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature will be 19 degree Celsius and the maximum will be 34 degrees.

    In Hyderabad, the minimum temperature will be 22 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 30 degrees. The city will have generally cloudy sky possibility of rain or thunderstorm or Duststorm.

    In Ahmedabad, the minimum temperature will be around 24 degree Celsius while the maximum temperature will be 36 degrees Celsius. It will have partly cloudy sky.

    Patna will have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature in the city will be 25 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 35 degrees.

    Guwahati will have generally cloudy sky with haze. The minimum temperature in the city will be around 25 degree Celsius while the maximum will be 36 degrees.

  • She had travelled to her hometown in Assam on a 11-day leave to meet her ailing mother prior to the Indian team’s departure to Italy for a 52 day training camp.

    She was tested upon her arrival back from Assam on October 11, as per protocol and tested negative in the initial test.

    However upon being tested on October 15 again, four days after her return from Assam, before her departure for the European trip in Delhi, she tested positive.

    She has been in isolation since returning from Guwahati, as per SOP. She is being given requisite treatment and is under medical observation.


    -Tapas Bhattacharya

  • Back in action after a seven-month long coronavirus-forced break, the fifth seed Indian took 33 minutes to get the better of his Canadian opponent 21-15 21-14 in the men's singles second round match of the Super 750 tournament, the only event happening this year in Badminton World Federation's calendar.

    The BWF was forced to cancel multiple tournaments and postpone the Asia leg and the World Tour Final to January next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Srikanth, a former world number one and currently ranked 14th, will next face the winner of the other second round match between second seed Tien Chen Chou of Chinese Taipei and Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen.

  • These students have been selected for the prestigious ASEAN PhD Fellowship Programme (APFP) funded by the Government of India. MoS for Education Sanjay Dhotre will be present on this occasion as the Guest of Honour.

    Ambassadors and Representatives from ASEAN Member States; Secretary, Higher Education, Amit Khare; Secretary (East), MEA, Riva Ganguly Das; ASEAN Coordinators from Respective IITs, Directors of the IITs and the selected students will also grace the occasion with their presence.

    The ASEAN PhD Fellowship Programme was announced on 25th January 2018, the eve of India’s Republic Day, by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in the presence of leaders of all the ten ASEAN member states.

    Under the APFP, 1000 fellowships will be provided exclusively to ASEAN citizens. The APFP is also the largest capacity development programme undertaken by the Government of India for foreign beneficiaries.

  • The key domestic indices tumbled around two and half percent. The Sensex closed below 40,000 mark while the Nifty settled 11,700 level.

    The BSE 30-share index, Sensex, lost 1066 points or 2.61 percent to settle at 39,728. The NSE Nifty-50 index also fell 291 points or 2.43 percent to end at 11,680.

    The broader market at BSE also declined but outperformed the Sensex. The BSE Mid-Cap index depreciated 1.75 percent and the BSE Small-Cap index slipped 1.45 percent.  

    Barring Asian Paints, which inched up 0.3 per cent, all Sensex constituents closed in the red.

    Bajaj Finance was the top loser, tumbling 4.7 per cent, followed by Tech Mahindra, IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI, Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel and HCL Tech.

    All sectoral indices closed lower, with BSE telecom, bankex, energy, finance, teck and IT indices plunging as much as 3.5 per cent.

    Traders said, market participants were also eager to book profits after the recent rally amid already stretched valuations.  

  • The precious yellow metal fell for the third consecutive day amid muted global trends. Silver prices also fell Rs. 626  to Rs. 62,410  per kilogram.

    In the international market, gold was quoting marginally lower at 1,901 U.S. dollars per ounce. Silver also fell to 24 dollars and 18 cents per ounce.

    Experts said, gold prices traded under pressure on stronger dollar as investors switched to dollar as safe-haven buying.

  • PM Modi appreciated the efforts made by Indian vaccine developers and manufacturers to rise to the COVID-19 challenge and committed to continue government facilitation and support for all such efforts.The Prime Minister directed that both sero-surveys and testing must be scaled up.

    He said that the facility to get tested regularly, speedily and inexpensively must be available to all at the earliest. He took stock of Health Ministry’s comprehensive distribution and delivery mechanism for vaccines.

    It includes mechanisms for adequate procurement and technologies for bulk-stockpiling, filling vials for distribution and ensuring effective delivery. PM Modi also underscored the need for continuous and rigorous scientific testing and validation of traditional medicine treatments.

    He appreciated the efforts of Ministry of AYUSH for conducting evidence based research and providing reliable solution in this difficult time. The Prime Minister reiterated the country’s resolve to provide cost effective, easily available and scalable solutions for testing, vaccine and medication, not only for India but for the entire world.

    He called for continued vigilance and high state of preparedness against the pandemic. The meeting was attended by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Member (Health) in NITI Aayog Dr V K Paul, Principal Scientific Advisor Prof K Vijayraghavan, senior scientists and other officials.

  •  This could have major implications in terms of earthquake study, prediction, understanding the seismic structure of the mountain chains well as its evolution. A group of Scientists from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), Dehradun, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology, have found through observations and detail mapping of geological features that the suture zone of Himalaya that was conventionally thought to be locked is tectonically active.

    They carried out the mapping of the remote regions of Ladakh that forms the most hinterland part of the Himalaya. The study was published recently in the journal ‘Technophysics’. The geologists observed that sedimentary beds are tilted and thrust broken, the rivers are associated with uplifted terraces, and the bedrock shows brittle deformation that occurred at much shallower depths.

    These deformed geological features were then dated in the laboratory at Dehradun using a technique called Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) (method for carrying Luminescence dating of geological sediments) and data of seismicity and denudation rate reviewed. The combination of field and lab data suggested the region of the Indus Suture. Zone (ISZ) has been neo-tectonically active since the last 78000 -- 58000 years and a recent earthquake in 2010 of low magnitude 4.0 near the village of Upshi that occurred due to a thrust rupture. Himalaya were known to be made up of north dipping thrusts like the Main Central Thrust (MCT), the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT), and the Main Frontal Thrust (MFT).

    As per the established models, all of these thrusts except MFT are locked, and overall deformation in Himalaya is being accommodated only along with the MFT. The new findings, which suggest a more remote fault at the suture zone being neo-tectonically active, could call for a serious relook into the existing evolutionary models using new techniques and a larger geological database.

    By Tapas Bhattacharya

  • Contributions to Armed Forces Flag Day Fund are exempt from Income Tax under Section 80G(5)(vi) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

    The Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare in Ministry of Defence has been working for the welfare and rehabilitation of war widows, wards of martyred soldiers and Ex-Servicemen, including disabled by providing financial assistance for their identified personal needs such as penury grant, children’s education grant, funeral grant, medical grant and orphanor disabled children grant.

  • This SOP applies to all Sports Authority of India(SAI) and non-SAI centres wherein training of sportspersons will resume. Head coach will ensure that the training is carried out with the minimum required staff only. All personal training equipment belonging to an athlete will be disinfected while the athlete is inducted into the training centre. Hand-hygiene facilities will be made available adjacent to the swimming pool. Athletes have to perform hand-hygiene before and after use of all training equipment.

    A COVID Task Force will be constituted at each training centre to guide and monitor all trainees, coaches and staff within the centres. The Task Force will be responsible for overall implementation of protocols outlined in the SOP. Athletes and staff will be screened before being allowed access to common field-of-play and training facilities. RT-PCR test will be conducted for new and returning athletes. Use of Arogya Setu app will be mandatory for all athletes and staff at the centre.

  • People in Qingdao have been advised not to enter Beijing in the near future unless necessary. Those who need to come to Beijing must present a negative nucleicacid test certificate within seven days before arriving in Beijing, local authorities said. People in Beijing are also advised not to go to Qingdao soon.

    Those who are currently in Beijing and have travelled to Qingdao in the past 14 days should report their traveling information to residential communities,conduct nucleic acid tests, and monitor their health conditions.Qingdao emerged as new cluster of local infections as it had reported 12 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the virus re-emerged in the city over the weekend, said the local municipal health commission.

    Over 9 million people had been sampled fornucleic acid testing by Thursday in Qingdao after it began a city-wide testing campaign on Monday. As per state media report, top official of Qingdao Health Commission and head of the Qingdao Chest Hospital have been suspended after loopholes in epidemic prevention were found.

    Reports: Anshuman Mishra

  • The Country Director, International Fund for Agricultural Development ,  Dr. Rasha Omar  has  underlined the role of women  in  fighting climate change and finding solutions for the  impact of climate change.

  • Replying to media queries on China's remarks, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are and will remain integral parts of India. He said, Arunachal Pradesh is also very much an integral part of India and this fact has also been clearly conveyed to the Chinese side on several occasions, including at the highest level.

    The Spokesperson said, New Delhi hopes that countries will not comment on India's internal matters as much as they expect the same from others. On China's remarks over border infrastructure, Mr Srivastava said, Government of India has focused on creating infrastructure for improving livelihood and economic welfare of its people.

    He said, Government gives specific attention to development of border areas for economic development and to meet India's security and strategic requirements.

  • Health Ministry said, the total number of recoveries has reached over 63 lakh 83 thousand. The constantly increasing recoveries ensured that the actual caseload is considerably reduced and currently comprises only 11.12 per cent of the total positive cases. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is eight lakh 12 thousand. Currently, India’s Case Fatality Rate is at 1.52 per cent, which is one of the lowest globally.

    In the past 24 hours, 67 thousand 735 new cases have been reported taking the total number of positive cases in the country to over 73 lakh. The Ministry said, effective implementation of Centre's strategic and graded Test-Track and Treat approach has led to higher recoveries and lower fatality.  During the last 24 hours, 680 deaths were reported taking the toll to one lakh 11 thousand 266.

  • Speaking at the joint media briefing with the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen in Dhaka on Thursday, Biegun said that Bangladesh’s economic growth, geo-political location and stability has increased its impression in the US. 

    Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr A.K. Abdul Momen said that the Rohingya issue was also discussed with the visiting US Deputy Secretary of state. Stephen Biegun said that the Rohingya crisis requires a regional and global response. He advocated a role of every major country in the region including India to resolve the issue. 

    Biegun called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina after holding a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.  The US Deputy Secretary of state Stephen E. Beigun arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday after completing his visit to India. 

  • The President and officials of Rashtrapati Bhavan paid floral tributes in front of a portrait of Dr Kalam. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today paid tributes to former President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary today. In a series of tweets, he said, Dr Kalam was an epitome of simplicity and knowledge. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said, he made invaluable contribution in strengthening India’s defence and space capabilities. Vice President said, Dr Kalam will always remain an inspiration to every Indian.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam on the occasion of his Birth Anniversary today. In a tweet, PM Modi said, the country can never forget the indelible contributions of Dr. Kalam both as a President and a Scientist towards national development. He said, the life journey of Dr. Kalam gives strength to millions.

    Home Minister Amit Shah remembered Bharat Ratna Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on his Birth Anniversary today. Born on 15th October 1931, Dr. Kalam was an aerospace scientist who served for nearly four decades in the DRDO and ISRO. Fondly remembered as Missile Man of India for his contribution towards development of ballistic missile technology in the country, Dr. Kalam also served as the President of the country from 2002 to 2007.

  • Delhi Pollution Control Committee - DPCC has banned the operation of electricity generator sets of all capacities, run on diesel, petrol or kerosene in Delhi till further orders, excluding those used for essential or emergency services. The essential services include health care facilities, elevators, Railway services, Delhi Metro, airports and interstate bus terminals and the data centre run by the National Informatics Centre. The DPCC also directed power companies to ensure an uninterrupted power supply to the consumers.
    The EPCA had earlier directed that large construction projects, including highways and metro, will have to provide undertakings to State Pollution Control Boards and Pollution Control Committees that they will assure adherence to the prescribed norms for dust management. It also said, industries, particularly in the Red and Orange category, will provide an undertaking that they will use only authorized fuel and will not operate without adequate pollution control measures.

  • The blast took place at Nilagarh at West Portal in J&K  and Spangla Meenamarg at East Portal in Ladakh. The tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar valley and Leh on NH-1 and will bring about an all-round economic and socio-cultural integration of Jammu and Kashmir. It involves construction of a 14.15-kilometre long tunnel at an altitude of about three thousand metres under Zojila pass on NH-1 connecting Srinagar and Leh through Dras and Kargil.

    The Ministry said that it is one of the most dangerous stretch in the world to drive a vehicle and this project is also geo-strategically sensitive.
    The Chief Executive Councilor of LAHDC, Kargil, Feroz Ahmad Khan said construction of a tunnel at Zojjila is a 70 years old demand of the people of Kargil for all weather connectivity to Ladakh region.
    He expressed hope that the tunnel will play a key role in the development of the region and will also boost the tourism sector in the region by opening the winter tourism avenues in Kargil district.  It will also provide a shorter route to Holy Amaranth cave.

  • The leaders acknowledged the warm and cordial relations between the two countries underpinned by historical and civilizational links. They noted with satisfaction the sustained momentum of cooperation in diverse areas.
    The leaders agreed on the immense potential that exists in trade and economic spheres and noted the success of joint collaboration between Indian and Turkmen companies, particularly in the pharmaceutical sector. 
    The President thanked the President of Turkmenistan for his telephone call and for his personal commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with India.

  • The well marked low pressure area over south Madhya Maharashtra & adjoining south Konkan persisted over the same region at 0830 hrs IST of today, the 15th October 2020.

    It is very likely to move west-northwestwards and emerge into eastcentral Arabian Sea off Maharashtra coast and concentrate into a Depression over eastcentral & adjoining northeast Arabian Sea off Maharashtra – south Gujarat coasts during next 48 hours. It is very likely to move gradually west-northwestwards and intensify further.


    (i) Rainfall warning

    • 15th October 2020: Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places would occur over Konkan & Goa and adjoining Ghat areas of Maharashtra. Extremely heavy falls (>20cm per day) is also likely over south Konkan and adjoining Ghat areas of Maharashtra.
    • 16th October 2020: Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places would occur over Konkan & Goa and heavy falls at isolated places over coastal Districts of south Gujarat.


     (ii) Wind warning

    • Strong wind speed reaching 20-30 kmph gusting to 40 kmph very likely to prevail around the system centre and over Madhya Maharashtra during next 12 hours and gradually decrease thereafter. Strong wind speed reaching 25-35 kmph gusting to 45 kmph likely to prevail over east central and northeast Arabian Sea and along & off Maharashtra, Goa & south Gujarat coasts during next 12 hours.
    • It would increase, becoming Squally wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph east central and northeast Arabian Sea and along & off Maharashtra, Goa & south Gujarat coasts from today evening.
    • It would further increase becoming 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph over eastcentral & adjoining northeast Arabian Sea and along & off Maharashtra & Gujarat coasts from 16th October evening and 55– 65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph over the same area from 17th October evening.

    (iii) Sea condition

    • Sea condition will be rough to very rough over eastcentral & adjoining northeast Arabian Sea and along & off Maharashtra & Gujarat coasts from today evening till 18th October.

     (iv)  Fishermen Warning

    • Fishermen are advised not to venture into the Sea along & off Maharashtra & south Gujarat coasts and over eastcentral & adjoining northeast Arabian Sea from today, the 15th October onwards for the subsequent 3 days.

    (v) Damage expected over Konkan & Goa and Ghat areas of Madhya Maharashtra

    • Damage to paddy crops, banana, papaya trees and orchards & drumstick trees and Horticultural crops. Minor damage to Kutcha embankments due to heavy rain.
    • Flooding / water logging in low lying areas, disruption of surface transport, landslides, water pooling etc. Also Roads could be wet & slippery.
    • Clogging of Drainage system and flash floods due to heavy rains.


  • As a result, the doubling time of the infection has sharply improved. It is now almost 73 days (72.8 days). This indicates a substantial fall in the daily New Cases and the consequent increase in time taken to double the Total Cases.

    India has come a long way from registering a doubling rate of 25.5 days in mid August to now registering a doubling rate of nearly 73 days. This is the result of collaborative action by States/UTs under the Centre's strategy of comprehensive and high countrywide testing, prompt and effective surveillance and tracking, quick hospitalization and effective adherence of the Standard Treatment Protocol issued by the Union Government. This is also the combined outcome of the selfless service and dedication of doctors, paramedics, frontline workers and all other COVID-19 warriors.

    The countrywide growing awareness regarding adoption of COVID appropriate behaviour has aided in curbing spread of the infection and seeking timely treatment.

    81,514 new recoveries were added in the last 24 hour. With this, the total number of recoveries are nearly 64 Lakh (63,83,441). Higher number of single day recoveries is also reflected in the continuous increase in the national recovery rate, which has crossed 87% and now is 87.36%.

    10 States/UTs account for 79% of the new recovered cases. Maharashtra has contributed more than 19,000 to the single day recoveries followed by Karnataka with more than 8,000 recoveries.

    Presently the active cases comprise 11.12% of the total positive cases of the country standing at 8,12,390. They have been below the 9 lakh mark for a week now.

    67,708 new confirmed cases were registered in the last 24 hours in the country.

    77% of new confirmed cases are from 10 States and UTs. Maharashtra has the highest number with  more than 10,000 cases followed by Karnataka with more than 9,000 cases.

    680 case fatalities have been reported in the past 24 hours. These have been sustained below the 1000 mark since 12 days.

    Of these, nearly 80% are concentrated in ten States/UTs. More than 23% of new fatalities reported are from Maharashtra (158 deaths).

  • Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) is a quality system, which has been evolved by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to ensure that safety data generated on various chemicals like industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals (Human and Veterinary), agrochemicals, cosmetic products, food/ feed additives, and medical devices, etc., can be relied upon by regulatory authorities.

    The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, established the National GLP Compliance Monitoring Authority (NGCMA) with the approval of the Union Cabinet on April 24, 2002.

    NGCMA is the National body which grants GLP certification to test facilities (TFs) conducting safety studies on new chemicals of the above-mentioned categories in accordance with OECD Principles of GLP and OECD Council norms. The Grant of the first GLP certificate by NGCMA in 2004 was a milestone.

    The non-hazardous nature of chemicals needs to be established through studies and data, which is examined by the regulators of the concerned countries to certify that the use of these chemicals does not pose any hazards to human health and the environment.

    On March 3, 2011, India became full adherent to the Mutual Acceptance of Data (MAD) in the OECD, which was a historical event. The MAD status has given global recognition to India’s non-clinical safety data by tremendously augmenting its credibility and acceptability across the globe. This has not only boosted the confidence of Indian GLP TFs but also led to removal of technical barriers to trade. The dedicated training of the inspectors and continued capacity building of Indian TFs in emerging areas by the ground team of NGCMA has resulted in upgrading Indian TFs to meet international standards.

    The spectrum of activities of Indian GLP TFs is wide, involving eight (8) types of chemicals/test items and nine (9) areas of expertise. The National GLP program has not only helped to build a network of GLP TFs in the country but also created a huge quantum of highly competent human resources.

    Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Chairman-GLP Authority & Secretary, DST commented, “India's leadership in GLP brings a greater recognition of our certification of quality for global businesses. This is also a link in the chain to Atamnirbharta, which is to have structures and processes that are adhered to global standards.”

    The OECD has acknowledged the contribution of the Indian GLP program and designated Dr. Ekta Kapoor, Scientist E, NGCMA, DST, as the Vice-Chair of the OECD Working Group on GLP for 2021 and 2022. With continued Government commitment and emphasis on further capacity building on GLP in the country, India is destined to be a global leader.


  • He also urged Punjab government to curb stubble burning.

    50 CPCB teams will make extensive field visits from October 15 to February 28 next year and focus on hot spot areas where the air pollution is aggravated.

    They will visit Delhi and NCR towns Noida, Ghaziabad, Meerut in Uttar Pradesh; Gurugram, Faridabad, Ballabgarh, Jhajjar, Panipat, Sonepat in Haryana; and Bhiwadi, Alwar, Bharatpur in Rajasthan.

  • During the last 24 hours, more than 81,000 COVID patients have recovered.

    Health Ministry said, the total number of recoveries has reached over 63 lakh 83 thousand.

    The constantly increasing recoveries ensured that the actual caseload is considerably reduced and currently comprises only 11.12 per cent of the total positive cases. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is eight lakh 12 thousand. Currently, India’s Case Fatality Rate is at 1.52 per cent, which is one of the lowest globally.

    In the past 24 hours, 67 thousand 735 new cases have been reported taking the total number of positive cases in the country to over 73 lakh.

    The Ministry said, effective implementation of Centre's strategic and graded Test-Track and Treat approach has led to higher recoveries and lower fatality.  During the last 24 hours, 680 deaths were reported taking the toll to one lakh 11 thousand 266.

  • The 20 most industrialised nations had pledged in April to suspend debt service from the world's most vulnerable countries through the end of the year as they faced a sharp economic contraction caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The initiative will now be extended until the end of June next year, G20 finance ministers and central bankers said after a virtual meeting as they also agreed on a "common framework" to individually deal with poor nations distressed by rising debt.

    "We have agreed to extend the Debt Service Suspension Initiative by six months," Mohammed al-Jadaan, the finance minister of Saudi Arabia, the current G20 president.

    In its final statement after the meeting, the group said the DSSI could be further extended until the end of 2021 when the IMF and World Bank meet next spring "if the economic and financial situation requires" the move. "Given the scale of the Covid-19 crisis, the significant debt vulnerabilities and deteriorating outlook in many low-income countries, we recognise that debt treatments beyond the DSSI may be required on a case-by-case basis."

    The World Bank on Monday said the debt of the world's 73 poorest countries grew 9.5 percent last year to a record $744 billion. The countries' debt burden owed to government creditors, most of whom are G20 states, reached $178 billion last year, and China is owed more 63 percent of that.

    "The tendency in past debt crises (was) for countries in debt distress to go through a series of ineffective debt reschedulings that leaves them weaker," said World Bank president David Malpass.

    "Creditors may eventually allow them to get to a debt reduction process, but at a tremendous cost to the poor. We need to work better and faster this time."

    In April, the G20 indicated about 70 countries would be eligible for the DSSI. But last month, the group said it had received only 46 applications from eligible countries across the world, most of them from Africa.

    The initiative has covered "a meagre 1.66 percent" of debt payments due in 2020 by developing nations, according to European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad).

    "Of the 46 beneficiary countries, it has had very limited impact due to the failure of private and multilateral lenders to participate," Eurodad said in a report that likened the initiative to "draining out the Titanic with a bucket".

    The G20 announcement came a day after the International Monetary Fund said the global economy would contract 4.4 percent in 2020 and the damage inflicted by the pandemic would be felt for years.

    Huge injections of government aid have kept economies from plunging further in 2020, but the continued presence of Covid-19 means the outlook is highly uncertain, the IMF said.


  • Billy Te Kahika co-leader of Advance New Zealand said that Facebook have now officially interfered with the New Zealand 2020 elections. However, Facebook said it will enforce the ban "regardless of anyone's political position or party affiliation".
    "We removed Advance New Zealand/New Zealand Public Party's Facebook Page for repeated violations" of misinformation policies," the social media giant said.

    The elections in the country is due to take place on October 17. 


  • During  initial phase, he said, HCQ and Azithromycin was identified as one of medicines under treatment protocol for covid-19 in emergency cases.

    Referring to India supplying these medicines to more than 120 countries across the world; he underlined that india thereby earned the reputation of reliable supplier of medicines. 

    Gowda informed that India is the only country with largest number of US-FDA compliant Pharma plants (more than 262 including APIs) outside of USA with exports $ 20 billion worth of pharma products to various countries including high standards complying countries like US and Europe.

    Addressing  the virtual Latin America & Caribbean session on ‘Reimagining Distances’, during  LEADS 2020, organised by FICCI late last evening, Gowda said that  Indian pharma sector can grow to $ 65 billion industry by 2024. "We have recently launched schemes for development of seven mega parks—three bulk drug parks and four medical devices parks across country. New manufacturers will be eligible for Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme under which they will be eligible for financial incentives on basis of their sales for first 5-6 years," he said. 

    The Minister further emphasised that this is a very- very good time to invest, and set up manufacturing base in India in pharma sector. "One can enter India market through Joint Ventures also. The advantage is that you can get access to big markets like domestic Indian market, US, Japan, EU and South East Asia through India as far as pharma sector is concerned. Any body can contact my office if they are interested in Indian pharma sector, we will provide all possible facilitation and hand holding," he stressed.

    Gowda also said that the market size of Chemicals & Petrochemicals sector in India is around 165 billion dollars. The size is expected to grow up to 300 billion dollars by 2025. This presents a huge opportunity in Chemical sector India. For example, to meet the growing demand India will need 5 crackers by 2025 and additional 14 by 2040. These crackers  alone will require cumulative investment of 65 billion dollar. To attract foreign participation, he said, Government of India is revisiting policies for chemical and petrochemical sector.

    "We are thinking to extend financial incentive based on sales similar to what is being extended in our pharmaceutical sector. We are also tweaking our policies to strengthen our chemical industrial cluster which we call as PCPIRs and plastic parks. Together, these supportive Government policies will offer one of the best environments to do business in India as far as chemicals & petrochemical sector is concerned," Gowda said.

    The Minister added that fertiliser sector is also an attractive sector in India.  there is huge demand for fertilisers by our farmers every year. However, domestic production is itself is not enough to meet requirements of fertilisers. We are large importers of urea, & P & K fertilisers. For example, in 2018-19, India imported 7.5 million ton of urea, 6.6 million ton of DAP, 3 million ton of MOP and 0.5 miliion ton of NPK fertilizer. 

     " I am told that Latin American and Caribbean countries are also net importers of chemical fertilisers. Instead of competing in market as buyers, we should be cooperating for making supply chains more efficient so that adequate quantity can be sourced at competitive prices." he added.

    Gowda stressed that there is a need for collaboration for development of alternative fertilisers for example nano fertilisers, which can reduce our requirement/ usage of fertilisers, and hence dependence on imports. I would welcome any feedback on my proposal for joint R & D collaboration for development of alternate fertilisers.

    "We would welcome any proposal in these sectors and extend all possible handholding in India wherever it will be required, he assured," he added.

  • Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said that co-financing was not in the agreement and the company never asked for money when they approached the Bangladesh government. The Minister said that Sinovac had agreed to bear all expenses and give 1.10 lakh free vaccines to the country, reports Reuters. They had also agreed to share the technology with Bangladeshi pharmaceutical companies to make the vaccine. 

    Health Minister Zahid Maleque said that Bangladesh is in talks with at least five frontrunners for the vaccine including Astrazeneca.

    The Chinese company Sinovac Biotech had originally put up the proposal for phase 3 trial of the COVID 19 vaccine to Bangladesh through the Dhaka based International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr’b). Government granted final clearance for the clinical trial on August 27. The request for co-financing was made later by the Chinese vaccine company earlier this month.



    Rajesh Jha/Dhaka

  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a U.N Food and Agriculture (FAO) conference that due to the pandemic he expected a 14% rise in cases of severe child malnutrition this year - or 6.7 million more people - mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.

    “We cannot accept a world where the rich have access to healthy diets while the poor are left behind... the rich can afford to stay home, the poor must go out to work,” he said.

    After the economic devastation of the pandemic, governments must work with the private sector and civil society to support sustainable food systems and end subsidies for producers of unhealthy foods, the WHO director general added.

    Millions of lives could be saved if countries expanded childhood feeding programmes, reduced marketing of unhealthy foods and used fiscal policies to drive better food choices amongst consumers, he said.

    “COVID has reminded us that life is fragile, health is precious, and healthy diets are not just for the wealthy, they’re a human right,” he said.

    “The pandemic has caused serious disruptions to essential services, immunisation, maternal services, child nutrition, family planning and more.”


  • Home Minister Amit Shah has said that Union Government is committed to provide all possible assistance to the people of both the states in this hour of need. He also said, his thoughts and prayers are with those affected.

    The heavy rains that lashed Hyderabad and other parts of the state left a trail of destruction.

    Normal life has been thrown out of gear despite a little respite in heavy rains as the depression moved west-north-westwards from Hyderabad. Met officials informed that over 10 centimetres of rainfall recorded during the past 24 hours in Hyderabad and surrounding places.

    Heavy inflows continuing into Musi river and other major reservoirs in the capital city. Flooding into residential areas is continuing.

    Meanwhile, Army and NDRF teams joined the state government in rescue and relief works. Hundreds of people have taken shelter at relief camps last night.

  • “Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms,” Melania Trump said in a statement. She said she and Barron had since tested negative for the virus.

    Donald Trump told a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, that Barron “is just fine now” and said it was an example of why schools should reopen.

    “I don’t even think he knew he had it, because they’re young and their immune systems are strong and they fight it off,” Trump said. “Get the kids back to school,” he said.

    Melania Trump said her symptoms were “minimal” and that she hoped to resume her duties as first lady “as soon as I can.” “I experienced body aches, a cough and headaches, and felt extremely tired most of the time,” she said.

    “I chose to go a more natural route in terms of medicine, opting more for vitamins and healthy food,” Melania Trump said.

    Donald Trump spent three nights in a military hospital after announcing on Oct. 2 that he and Melania had tested positive. To treat the virus, he received an experimental dual antibody therapy developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc REGN.O and Gilead Sciences Inc's GILD.O antiviral remdesivir, as well as the steroid dexamethasone.

    “In one way I was glad the three of us went through this at the same time so we could take care of one another and spend time together,” Melania Trump said.


  • The Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, a microbiologist who in 2016 became the first person to sequence DNA in space, and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov reached the space station roughly three hours after liftoff, bringing the orbital laboratory’s crew size to five.

    The mission is the last scheduled Russian flight carrying a U.S. crew member, marking an end to a long-held dependency as the U.S. revives its own crew launch capability in an effort to drive down the cost of sending astronauts to space.

    Since the space shuttle program ended in 2011, NASA has relied on Russia to ferry its astronauts to the space station, an orbiting laboratory 250 miles (400 km) above Earth that has housed international crews of astronauts continuously for nearly 20 years.

    The U.S. space agency in 2014 contracted Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Boeing Co BA.N to build competing space capsules in an effort to reclaim NASA’s launch independence. The $8 billion program enabled SpaceX’s first crewed trip to the space station in May, marking the first from home soil in nearly a decade.

    NASA has bought additional crew seats from Russia as its public-private crew program faced delays - with Rubins’ $90.2 million mission being the most recent - and in July ceased negotiations to purchase more as the agency prepares to start operational missions in November using SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule.

    “We have an incredible partnership,” Rubins said in an interview from Russia’s Star City before her flight. “We’ll continue to train crews over here and we’re going to have cosmonauts come to the Johnson Space Center and train.”

    NASA and Roscosmos have committed to continue the flight-sharing partnership in exchange for flying Russian astronauts on U.S. vehicles and to fly U.S. astronauts on Russian rockets when needed, a spokesperson for Roscosmos said.

    “Of course, mutual flights are of interest for ISS reliability and continuous operations,” the spokesperson said. “This approach (mixed crew flights) will ensure delivery of the crew to the station, should a problem with the partner spacecraft occur.”

  • The minimum temperature was recorded at 21 degrees Celsius and maximum will be around 33 degrees.
    Mumbai will have generally cloudy sky with heavy rain. The minimum temperature was 25 degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 32 degrees.
    In Chennai, there will be generally clody sky. The temperature will hover between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius.
    Kolkata will have partly cloudy sky with possibility of moderate rain or thunderstorm. The minimum temperature in the city was 27 degrees celsius while the maximum will be around 35 degrees.
    On to the North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,  the minimum temperature was 16 degrees Celsius in Jammu while the maximum will be around 34 degrees. The city will have a mainly clear sky.
    In Srinagar, the sky will be mainly clear sky. The temperature in Srinagar will hover between five and 25 degrees Celsius.
    Ladakh will have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was minus two degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 21 degrees Celsius.
    Gilgit and Muzafarrabad will experience mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The temperature will hover between eight and 25 degrees Celsius in Gilgit. In Muzafarrabad, the minimum temperature was 12 degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 30 degrees.
    Chandigarh will witness mainly clear sky, the minimum temperature was 21 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 34 degrees Celsius.
    In Ahmedabad, it will be partly cloudy sky. The temperature will hover between 24 and 37 degrees Celsius.
    Guwahati will witness partly cloudy sky with possibility of development of thunder lightning. The minimum temperature in the city was 25 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 35 degrees.

  • Dr. Kalam was the 11th President of India (2002-2007). Apart from being a politician, he was a scientist and a teacher.

    He played an important role in the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998 and was known as ‘Missile Man of India.

    In July 2015, Dr. Kalam suffered from a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture to the students of IIM Shillong.

    The UN established World Students Day in 2010. He inspired millions of youth through his work, achievements, books, lectures, etc.


    Here are some of the books written by him:

    Wings of Fire: An Autobiography (1999).

    Ignited Minds: Unleading the Power Within India (2002).

    India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium (1998)


  • Ladakh Àutomous Hill Development Council Kargil CEC Feroz Ahmed Khan sees it as the first step towards the tunnel as a ray of hope for an overall development of Ladakh region. 

     While  thanking the Union Government for revisiting the 15 year old project and taking it to a logical conclusion, Kargil Hill Council Chief Executive Councillor Feroz Ahmed Khan hoped that the tunnel would play a key role in socio economic development of the region.
    The tunnel is strategically important for all weather movement of troops on National Highway No. 1 as and when required.
    Feroz Ahmed Khan also hoped that reviewing the entire tunnel project and reducing the cost from Rs. 9,000 crore to just over Rs. 4,000 crore is also giving confidence to the public about it's timely completion.
    A double road in a single tube has reduced the cost and time of the project.
    The ZojiLa is a comparatively shorter route than the existing ones to Amarnath holy cave. If the air connectivity to Kàrgil and road connectivity through ZojiLa tunnel are fulfilled, the Kàrgil will be a new alternative, safe and shorter route to the holy cave.
    The ceremonial blast for 14.15 KM tunnel works at ZojiLa raises hopes of Ladakh region.

  • However, exhibition of films will not be allowed in containment zones.

    As per the Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, adequate physical distancing is to be maintained in the seating area inside the cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes. Staggered show timings will be followed in the multiplexes to avoid crowding due to Covid-19 pandemic.
    New rules and restrictions have been set for curbing the transmission of Covid-19 while resuming the operation. Adequate physical distancing of at least six feet, use of face masks and respiratory etiquettes have to be strictly followed by visitors and staffs.
    Spitting will be prohibited. Thermal screening is to be carried out at entry points and only asymptomatic individuals will be allowed to enter the premises.
    Hand sanitization will be made available at all entry points and work areas. Efforts will be made to avoid overcrowding in the common areas, lobbies and washrooms during the intermission.
    Besides, the cinemas, theatres and multiplexes will be sanitized after the screening. 

  •  This was done under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission.
    Briefing media after the Cabinet Meeting, Information & Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, this will ensure sufficient funds under the mission, as per need to the Union Territories.
    He said, it  is also in line with Central Government's aim to universalize all centrally sponsored beneficiary-oriented schemes in Jammu and Kashmir and  Ladakh in a time bound manner.

    Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission is a centrally sponsored programme that aims at eliminating rural poverty through promotion of multiple livelihoods for the rural poor households across the country.