• They said that under state law, only local elections officials can legally operate drop boxes - secured, clearly marked, publicly placed receptacles where voters can submit their ballots rather than entrust them to the Postal Service or brave potentially crowded polling places on Election Day. California's top elections official, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, said that "unofficial" vote-by-mail ballot boxes set up by the California Republican Party had been removed.

    The California Republican Party issued a statement saying they had done nothing wrong, and would keep collecting ballots that voters deliver to party-furnished drop boxes. Partisan fights over mail ballots and drop-box collections have become a defining issue in the 2020 U.S. presidential race, as the popularity of such voting methods surges this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and concerns over U.S. Postal Service delays.

  • Putting their off-the-field controversy behind, Mohammedan Sporting on Friday clinched an I-League berth after seven years with a 2-0 win over city rivals Bhawanipore FC in the qualifiers. Mohammedan Sporting last played the I-League in 2013-14

  • People will have to stay at home between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

    Theatres, opera houses and cinemas saw a glimpse of hope when France's culture minister tweeted the idea that there could be an exemption for them. But French Finance Minister on Thursday morning said there could not be any exemptions to keep things simple and clear.

    With the curfew, theatre manager says they will lose even more in revenues as the evening screenings amount to 40% of ticket sales. They also warned that falling revenues in cinemas nationwide could impact the whole film production industry.

  • It is the third day in a row for Italy to register record daily increases. The country now has surpassed 390,000 covid-19 cases.

    The number of patients in intensive care units also climbed to 638 from Thursday's 586. Medical facilities are bracing for further pressure in the coming days.

    In light of the COVID-19 cases resurgence, Walter Ricciardi, an advisor to the Health Ministry, has proposed stricter measures to reduce unnecessary travel and gathering of the public.

  • WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said its Solidarity Trial would continue after it was launched in March in 500 hospitals in 30 countries to assess the efficacy of remdesivir and several other drugs in patients with COVID-19.

    The Solidarity Trial was at the centre of a dispute on Friday between the WHO and the U.S. company, Gilead, that developed remdesivir.  According to Gilead WHO trial's findings appeared inconsistent with evidence from other studies.

    The WHO's trial also found that other medicines repurposed since the pandemic began - malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, anti-HIV drug combination lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon - offered little or no benefit to COVID-19 patients.

  • Over 3 crore 95 lakh coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide, with over 11 lakh 9 thousand deaths. Over 2 crore 96 lakh people have recovered from the virus so far.

    The United States continues to top the list among worst hit by the pandemic so far with the highest number of infection. The U.S. has over 82 Lakh 88 thousand cases of Coronavirus with a death toll of over 2 Lakh 23 thousand.

  • In a tragic incident, the vehicles collided early Saturday morning in Puranpur area of the district. The injured were rescued and taken to a nearby hospital and some of them were then referred to the district hospital after primary treatment. Most of the victims belonged to Pilibhit.

    The bus was coming to Pilibhit from Lucknow and the pickup was coming from Puraipur. The accident happened at the borders of Puranpur. The bus overturned in the fields as a result of which several people in the bus got crushed. Some occupants of the pickup also received injuries in the accident.

  • During the session, the Finance Minister said that COVID -19 Pandemic continues to impact the developing and developed countries till date and the hard-fought gains in reducing the level of poverty, achieved over a number of years, are at great risk of being lost. She said that the Government of India has taken several measures to contain the spread of the pandemic, and also to mitigate its social and economic impact.

    The Finance Minister shared that the Government has announced the first stimulus of 23 billion dollars to provide direct cash transfers and food security measures to the poor. This was followed by a special economic package of 271 Billion Dollars which is equivalent to 10% of India's GDP based on a clarion call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for AatmaNirbhar Bharat.

    The Finance Minister also apprised the Committee about the major reforms in the labour sector by simplifying, amalgamating and rationalising 44 central labour laws, providing effective social protection to the migrant workers through National Portability of ration cards. The Union Finance Minister also mentioned that the Government has committed 2.03 Billion Dollars for strengthening of health infrastructure in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. She said that being a responsible member of the global fraternity, India is ready to share its experience and also play a leading role in the South Asian region as part of its "Neighbourhood First" policy.

    The Finance Minister stated that collective action is the key for an effective response to the pandemic and welcomed the strong performance in Q4 of FY 2020 wherein the World Bank Group has committed 45 billion Dollars for COVID-19 response.

  • Scrutiny of nomination papers for the 2nd phase will take place on Saturday. The nomination process for the second phase of assembly elections in 94 assembly constituencies ended on Friday. The last date for withdrawal of candidature for 2nd phase is October 19. For this phase polling will be held on 3rd November in 94 constituencies spread across 17 districts of the state. 1062 nominations have been filed so far in the second phase. For the third phase so far 63 nominations have been filed.

    As Bihar gears up for the polls, the campaigning of various political parties has also gained momentum. The NDA alliance, which is already playing on the front foot, got further strengthened with the announcement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election campaign dates. At a press conference on Friday, Devendra Fadnavis, election in-charge of Bihar BJP, gave information about PM Modi's scheduled rallies in the state.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold 12 campaign rallies in poll-bound Bihar. On October 23, he will hold rallies in Sasaram, Gaya and Bhagalpur. On October 28, the Prime Minister will hold rallies in Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur and Patna. On November 3, he will hold rallies in Chhapra, East Champaran and Samastipur. On November 3, rallies in West Champaran, Saharsa and Araria will be held. CM Nitish, all NDA candidates will be present with PM Modi in every rally. In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, PM Modi's rally will be broadcast on LED in all nearby grounds in the state.

  • During the nine day festival dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine avatars, people will offer prayers to Goddess and observe fasting during the festival.

    On the first day of Navaratri, Devi Durga is worshiped as Shail-putri. Devotees in the National Capital gathered at the famous Kalkaji and Jhandewalan temple to celebrate the first day of festival with religious fervor.

  • Meanwhile, Minister of Science and  Technology, Dr. Harsh Vardhan chaired a meeting on COVID Appropriate Behaviour with Heads and Directors of Autonomous Institutions of Department of Science and Technology and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research on Friday.

    Dr Vardhan applauded the great work carried out by all scientists, even beyond their mandates, and said that  there are 9 vaccine candidates in the world which are in advanced stages. He said, in India, three vaccine candidates are developing well with one of them in the advanced Stage-3 Clinical trials and two others in stage 2 trials. He expressed the hope that India will soon have indigenous production of Corona vaccine. Pointing out that the fight against COVID is not over yet, Dr Vardhan cautioned people against complacence, carelessness and casual attitude towards combating COVID-19. He stated that the next two and half months are going to be very crucial for us in our fight against corona because of the winter season and the festival season. He said, it becomes the responsibility of every citizen to not let our guard down and follow COVID appropriate behaviour to curb spread of the infection.

    Urging people across the country to follow the clarion call of the Prime Minister as part of the ‘Jan Andolan’ launched on the 8th of this month, the Union  Minister appealed to the people to follow COVID appropriate behaviour.

    On India’s fight against COVID-19, Dr. Vardhan said, India is continuously recording new milestones in treatment of Covid. He said, the  recovery rate is the highest in the world and the fatality rate is among the lowest and the active cases are constantly declining.  He said, the government  has successfully ramped up  testing capacity to meet the requirements. He said, India also has now become self reliant in terms of masks, PPE kits and ventilators.

  • Candidates can download their score card and check the merit list through the official website. The NEET was conducted on 13th September and 14th October amid strict precautions in view of the COVID-19 pandemic for admission to the undergraduate medical courses in all medical institutions including those governed under any other law.

    A total of 7 lakh 71 thousand 500 candidates have qualified the NEET  exam this year for which over 13 lakh 66 thousand candidates had appeared.  Soyeb Aftab from Odisha  has scored 720 marks to emerge as the topper of NEET exam while Akanksha Singh, from Delhi also scored 720 marks but bagged the second position.The admissions to MBBS course in All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, will also be made through NEET.

  • The  temperature in the National Capital Delhi will hover between 16 and 34 degrees Celsius. It will have Mainly Clear sky.

    In Mumbai, there will be generally cloudy sky with light rain. The minimum temperature will be 25 degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 32 degrees.

    Chennai will have generally cloudy sky with Light Rain or Drizzle. The temperature will hover between 26 and 34 degrees Celsius.

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

    On to the North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature will be 17 degrees Celsius in Jammu while the maximum will be around 34 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 26 degrees Celsius. In Ladakh, the minimum temperature will be minus three degree Celsius and the maximum will be around 20 degrees.

    Gilgit will experience mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The temperature will hover between eight and 24 degrees Celsius.

    In Muzafarrabad, there will be mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature will be 10 and the maximum 33 degrees Celsius.

    In Dehradun, the temperature will hover between 19 and 32 degrees Celsius. The city will have mainly clear sky.

    In Chandigarh, there will be mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature will be 18 degrees Celsius and the maximum will be 34 degrees.

    In Hyderabad, the minimum temperature will be 22 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 30 degrees. Rain or thundershowers would occur towards afternoon or evening

    In Ahmedabad, the  minimum temperature will be 28 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature will be 37 degrees Celsius. It will have Partly cloudy sky with possibility of development of thunder lightning

    Patna will have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature in the city will be 25 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 34 degrees.

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

  • “I want to make sure I see the Olympics take place next year,” he said, speaking at a town hall to a news agency.

    He also touched on his visit to Vietnam and Indonesia scheduled for Sunday, saying that a free and open Indo-Pacific is “essential” to stability in the region.

    His visit would mark the first time he travels overseas as prime minister.

    At the townhall meeting, which also marks a month since the day he came into power, Suga added that he would combine measures to rein in the coronavirus with steps to revive the economy.

  • Shipping Ministry said, the discount will apply for the coastal movement of cargo and vessel related charges, being handled at Jawaharlal Nehru Port and Deendayal Port to Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar.

    The levy of concessional vessel related charges is to be applied proportionately, subject to vessel loading at least five thousand tonnes cargo to Shahid Beheshti Port.

    The ports in coordination with Indian Ports Global Limited will jointly evolve a Standard Operating Procedure to ensure that discounts are given to cargo actually discharged or loaded at Shahid Beheshti Terminal of Chabahar Port.

    The Ministry said, the aim of the extension of discount period is to promote the trade through Shahid Beheshti Port. It will also give a boost to coastal movement of cargo.

  • Electoral Bonds will  be valid for fifteen calendar days from the date of issue and no payment will be made to any payee Political Party if the Electoral Bond is deposited after expiry of the validity period. The Ministry said, the Electoral Bond deposited by an eligible Political Party in its account will be credited on the same day.

    It  said, Election Commission of India  has accorded ‘No objection’ from Model Code of Conduct (MCC) angle with conditions that no political functionary will make any reference in this regard during any public speech or communication to the press or public in the constituencies going for poll and the relevant provisions of MCC will be strictly followed. The Government had notified the Electoral Bond Scheme in 2018.

  • He mentioned about Pro Bono Legal Services to provide free legal aid to marginalized sections of the society.

    The Minister highlighted that through Tele-Law services initiated in 2017, so far over three lakh 44 thousand free legal consultations have been given to poor people through video conference.

    He said, during COVID19 pandemic over 25 Lakh hearings have taken place through video conference at various courts of India, out of which nine thousand virtual hearings took place at the Supreme Court alone.

    As part of activities of Justice Ministers’ Forum, the Minister urged SCO Member States to promote exchange of ideas, best practices and experiences in identified areas through the platform. He also stressed on widening the spectrum of activities being undertaken in the Forum.

  • While many students across the Philippines have been able to take online classes, the Aeta villages in a mountainous area north of Manila are largely without internet access - or even television reception - for distance learning.

    “We had to think of an alternative way to bring the lessons to the children,” said Christopher Semsem, one of the teachers behind the project from the Villa Maria Integrated School.

    So using old bookshelves and wooden boards, the teachers built a makeshift learning centre complete with a large monitor mounted on top of a motorcycle rickshaw that can bring learning to the villages in the rural province of Pampanga.

    School Principal Marizen Tolentino said the rickshaw initiative was vital to help the children comprehend the modules.

    “Some of our Aeta (students) cannot read ... How are they going to be able to answer the modules?” questioned Tolentino.

    Since launching the initiative in early October, the rickshaw has visited five villages, reaching around 500 students from primary school to senior high, two to three times a week.

    Teachers pre-record videos on their mobile phones that are played on the monitor to assist with lessons while avoiding the need for face-to-face contact with the children.

    So far Aeta students had responded enthusiastically to the courses and their parents were relieved classes had resumed, the teachers say.

    There is debate among anthropologists about the origins of the Aeta, but many have moved to permanent settlements after deforestation upended their traditional nomadic way of life.

  • Earlier this year she started “Metfasal Leek” - Arabic for “Tailored for you” - a clothing line that she says is the first of its kind in Egypt.

    Al-Abhar, 43, said after working with various companies on ways to cater for people with disabilities, she had noticed that they were not being served by clothing manufacturers.
    “People with short stature would struggle to find their sizes in the market,” she said.

    She is using volunteers to test the clothes, giving them free samples, ahead of a planned commercial launch.

    One volunteer, Ziad Hamdy, struggles with a disability that prevents him from using his hands and fingers easily.
    “I couldn’t button up my shirt, buckle my trousers,” he said. Hamdy now has hook-and-loop fasteners instead of buttons, which he says save him a lot of time and effort.

    Al-Abhar hopes the initiative will help change views about people with disabilities and persuade the public “to stop associating them with charity”.

    “It makes us feel we are like everyone else,” said volunteer Hanan Fouad.

  • The 11-foot yellow serpent, named Belle, is one of her family’s many pets, living happily together on an animal sanctuary in an agricultural community in southern Israel.

    She was named after Belle, the female character in Walt Disney’s popular animated film Beauty and the Beast, who dons a yellow ball gown in a famous dance scene in the movie.

    Inbar said Belle is good company during a coronavirus lockdown that has kept schools closed over the past few weeks.

    “It helps me pass the time because I really like to hang out with snakes and sometimes I help snakes shed (their skin) and I help them to be happy during coronavirus,” Inbar said.

    Sarit Regev, Inbar’s mother, said the two grew up together.

    “Inbar was raised with all these animals and she was raised with the snakes. When Inbar was little she swam inside the bath with the snake and now she has grown up and the snake got bigger, so they swim together in the pool. It’s very natural for us,” she said.

    “There are people that say - ‘you are crazy, how can you do it, you don’t love your kids,’” said Regev. “It’s a lovely life to live like this. When a kid grows up with animals he becomes a person that loves other people, he becomes a person that cares about others and not about himself,” she said.

  • This profound puzzle challenged a global research team to record an alligator bellowing with normal air, and then breathing heliox, a helium-oxygen mixture.

    The breakthrough garnered an Ig Nobel Prize for Acoustics on Thursday. The Ig Noble Prizes are an annual honor for accomplishments in science and humanities that are intended to make you laugh - then think.

    “Our question was whether alligators have vocal tract resonances like human speech,” said biologist Tecumseh Fitch, a member of the research team, who came from Austria, Sweden, Japan, the United States and Switzerland. “The hard part is getting an alligator to breathe helium.”

    That was solved by getting a female Chinese alligator into an airtight chamber and pumping in helium, which makes sound travel faster.

    Alligators bellow a lot during mating season, possibly as a way to signal body size and mojo, the researchers said. By raising the vocal frequency, helium made the reptile sound less of a hunk.

    “Crocodilian vocalizations could thus provide an acoustic indication of body size,” said the winning research paper, originally published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

  • Ocxee helps students with services to find Accommodation, pick up and Drop services, Insurance, Foreign Exchange, Visa Assistance, Education Loan and many more. This makes Ocxee, a one stop solution for the students studying abroad.

    When he went to London to pursue Bachelor’s Degree, he faced lots of problems in the initial years. He faced difficulties finding accommodation for himself, had to pay huge sum when he would find one and had to keep on shifting almost every year for 3 years. He knew, about 65% of the students, who go abroad for studies, are actually going there for the first time and he did not want these fellow students, especially Indian students to suffer in future, anywhere in the World.

    Hence, Meet began getting in touch with different agents, tried to convince them to let him act as a middle man and do the talking on their behalf with the students. He got success convincing a few agents initially and while pursuing his Master’s in Real Estate, Meet came up with Ocxee Ltd., to assist students who land in the foreign country. Slowly while doing all this, he found that student accommodation market is unorganized worldwide.

    His family too is in the Real Estate business, and from all that experience, he decided to make this market organized like Hotel & Travel Industry by taking help of strong technological platforms. His first choice was UK, as UK’s student accommodation market is comparatively more organized. With his long-term goal of building his own affordable and sustainable student accommodation, Kotadia registered OCXEE Ltd. in London, UK in 2018.
    Kotadia said, “It was not easy to get people on board initially. In my very first meeting with a potential channel partner, I was told, I do not have my guns and ammunition ready, so how will I win the war? They meant was I did not have a website or a proper brochure, then how will I be able to go to the meeting. But I was adamant and the rest is history.”
    The concept got popularity and within a short span of time, Ocxee had 1 million beds across the Globe. Ocxee was initially set up with the aim of providing accommodation assistance to international students, but with time, he realized the need to provide ancillary services, such as SIM cards, insurance, opening a bank account, creating portfolio for jobs, helping the students with Internship, furniture rentals and hence all these services were added to Ocxee Ltd.

    Ocxee aims to give the keys of house/room to the student in their home country, before they leave for abroad, which is a sigh of relief to the parents and students as well.

    This will convince the parents that their children will have a proper roof over their heads in the foreign land. Ocxee Ltd, at present is the largest number of inventories provider for student accommodation in the UK and aims to be the World No. 1.

    Kotadia further added, “Soon, a total of 150 services will be provided by Ocxee Ltd. which will include Guarantor Services, Tiffin services, Laundry services, Storage Service and many more. We are on our way to have representatives across the Globe, majorly in Canada, UK, USA, various European countries, Australia, New Zealand and the Asian countries. We also have plans to provide our Study Abroad partners with Education Portals for making online studies possible. The platform is developed in such a way that the students will be able to easily adapt to the technology for studies and it will be helpful for them to adapt the technology once they actually step in the University abroad.”

    Milestones Achieved - Since its inception in October 2018, Ocxee Ltd has covered - 130 countries across the Globe in Pick up and Drop Services, Banking Network in 55+ countries which comes to 8000+ Bank tie ups across the Globe and is providing Accommodation services in 165 countries to International Students which is 1.5 million beds across the Globe.

  • The information was shared by the General Secretary of the Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad Nirmal Kumar Chatterjee, reports the official news agency BSS.

    This year the number of mandaps has declined by 1173 due to the Corona pandemic. Last year Puja was organised across 31,398 mandaps across the country. In Dhaka alone, 233 Puja mandaps will be holding the Durga Puja this year. Last year,  the capital city had 237 mandaps for Durga Puja.
    The five day long Sharadiya Durgotsab will begin with ‘Kalparambho’ on October 22 when the face of the deity will be unveiled on Maha Panchami. The festival will end with the immersion of idols on October 26. 

    The General Secretary of Puja Udjapan Parishad said that the mandaps will observe all the health guidelines and other directives issued by the government. 

    Earlier this week, the government had instructed the organisers of the Durga Puja to observe certain health guidelines during the festival. It mandated wearing of masks, social distancing and arrangement of handwashing and sanitisers for the people visiting the mandaps. It also prohibited the Shobhajatra during the immersion of the idols. 

    Rajesh Jha/Dhaka/16.10.2020

  • Addressing the inaugural session, Tomar said that Indian food processing sector is 32% of India’s food market. He said that the focus of this agro and food tech is the use of technology in the field of food and agriculture sector to increase the income of farmers.

    He said that this is in line with the goal set by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to double the income of farmers by 2022.Speaking on the potential of food and agriculture sector, Tomar added that India’s agriculture and rural economy is very robust. He said that proper marketing and latest technology can lead to greater development of the agriculture sector and significant steps have been taken in this direction under the leadership of the Prime Minister  Narendra Modi.

    He added that GDP growth rate in Agriculture is 3.4% and this sector has contributed hugely to India’s economic growth even during Covid times. MoFPI has started an awareness campaign named ‘Anna Devo Bhava’ to mark this occasion.

    He stressed that along with increasing awareness about the value of food we must also focus on reducing food wastage.Explaining the initiatives of MOFPI, he shared that under Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, MoFPI has started PMFME (PM Formalisation of Micro food Enterprises) scheme with an outlay of Rs 20,000 crores. This scheme will support 2 lakh micro food processing units with credit linked subsidy and would focus on supporting the SHGs, FPOs and cottage industry.

    Union Minister said that MoFPI is working with Commerce Ministry which has shortlisted ready to eat food and fruits and vegetables for its export markets. Government is moving towards branding of food products and creation of Market Development board.Tomar shared that MoFPI started PM Kisan Sampada Scheme for modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlets.

    MFP scheme is an important element of PMKSY whose objective is to link agricultural production to the market by bringing together the farmers, processors and retailers. As of now 37 MFPs have been approved out of which 20 have begun operations. Ministry has expanded the Operation greens scheme from TOP to TOTAL.

    Under this scheme, Ministry will provide 50% subsidy for transportation of eligible crops from surplus production cluster to consumption centre for six months and/or Hiring of appropriate storage facilities for eligible crops (for maximum period of 3 months).

    Addressing the 14th edition of the Agro and Food Tech, Tomar added that it is an appropriate platform to showcase the products, services and technology available in the agriculture and related sectors.

    He said that all stakeholders present at this event would benefit from the latest technologies, solutions and opportunities presented in this event.CII in association with the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare, Ministry of Fisheries & Animal Husbandry and Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, is organizing its first ever Virtual CII Agro & Food Tech : India - International Food & Agri Week from 16th to 22nd October 2020 on CII HIVE – virtual platform with an intent to create a platform for the benefit of the stakeholders involved in the agriculture & allied sectors. Shri Uday Kotak, President, CII and Shri Nikhil Sawhney, Chairman, CII Northern region also addressed the session.


  • The event was presided by the Chief Minister Shri Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy. Union MoSs Gen (Retd) Dr V K Singh and Shri G Kishan Reddy, Ministers from the State, Members of Parliaments, MLAs and senior officers from the Centre and the State.Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari said that the length of National Highways in Andhra Pradesh before May 2014 was 4193 Km, which has now increased to 6860 Km.

    Thus, there has been increase of 2667 Km (64%) in NH length during past 6 years. He informed that works costing Rs 34,100 crore are under DPR Stage and targeted for completion by 2024, while works costing Rs. 25,440 crore are under implementation.

    He said, The Minister said, in line with the Prime Minister’s vision for a New India, development of world-class transport infrastructure has been prioritized, through initiatives such as the Bharatmala Pariyojana, India’s largest ever infrastructure development programme. Many flagship corridors such as Delhi Mumbai Expressway, Delhi Amritsar Katra Expressway, Chennai – Bengaluru Expressway, Anantapur – Amaravati Expressway etc. are being developed as a part of Bharatmala Pariyojana.50-60% progress has been achieved in projects costing Rs 18,100 crore.

    The Minister invited the Chief Minister to Delhi at an early date to discuss and resolve pending issues. He assured his total support in sanctioning maximum number of developmental projects for the State.He informed that 5000 Km of National Highways are being developed as a part of Bharatmala Pariyojana in the State.  In addition, 400 Km of Port Connectivity Roads will also be developed under Bharatmala Pariyojana.

    He said, The Bharatmala Pariyojana was conceptualized through a scientific study of freight traffic movement between key origin-destination pairs to enable efficient freight and passenger movement. 35,000 km of National Highways are being developed as a part of Bharatmala Pariyojana in the country.

    Gadkari informed that the 335 Km Anantpur - Amaravati Expressway is being developed as a part of the Bharatmala Pariyojana. The access control Expressway improving connectivity of Capital Region, Coastal and Northern region of Andhra Pradesh and will greatly enable the economic prosperity of the region.

    The Expressway has 16 Packages and is being developed with an investment of Rs 20,000 crore. It connects Amaravati, new capital city of Andhra Pradesh with Anantapuramu of Rayalaseema Region and it provides a major connectivity between NH-44 & NH-16 which are lifeline in the State of Andhra Pradesh.

    The Minister said, the Bangalore – Chennai Expressway with a length of 262 Km is also one of the Expressways being developed as a part of the Bharatmala Pariyojana.

    This access control Expressway, improving connectivity between Bangalore and Chennai, will greatly enable the economic prosperity of the region.

    Three packages with a total length of 85 Km are being developed in the State of Andhra Pradesh with an investment of Rs 5,200 Crore. The Works have been sanctioned and construction is being initiated in another 16 projects of length 878 km at an investment of Rs 7,585 Crore.  Its includes construction of Western Side Benz Circle Flyover in the city limits of Vijayawada.  

    Shri Gadkari said, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is endeavouring and committed to ensure expedited completion of these projects to enable economic prosperity of the state.

    He said, the State Government has extended its co-operation in sharing the land acquisition cost for the Amaravati – Anantapur Expressway.  He requested the State Government to continue this co-operation for the implementation of other projects too, resolving the issues of the Toll Plazas and fast disbursement of compensation for land acquisition.

    The Minister informed that projects with total length of 637 kms costing Rs 8306 crore are likely to be completed during 2020-21.

    These include 8 projects with road length of 150 kms at a cost of Rs 3850 crore by NHAI, and 19 projects with road length of 487 kms at a cost of Rs 4456 crore by MoRTH. Further, projects with total length of 535 Km costing Rs 11,712 crore are to be awarded during the current FY. These include 4 projects with road length of 217 kms at a cost of Rs 9071 crore by NHAI, and 9 projects with road length of 318 kms at a cost of Rs 2641 crore by MoRTH.

    Another 2371 Km projects costing Rs 34,133 crore are in DPR stage. These include 10 projects with road length of 713 kms at a cost of Rs 19559 crore by NHAI, 24 PC projects with road length of 404 kms at a cost of Rs 7004 crore, and 20 projects with road length of 1254 kms at a cost of Rs 7570 crore by MoRTH.

  • 30 fully equipped teams of NDRF are deployed in the flood affected southern states to assist civil administration in rescue and relief operations.

    Today, NDRF teams have rescued about 200 stranded person from Solapur district of Maharashtra and evacuated more than 600 persons in flood affected cities Hyderabad & Rangareddy of Telangana and East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

    During the last 03 days, Teams have rescued 540 people and evacuated about 5,000 persons to safer places in the 04 flood affected states. Rescue Operations are still going on in coordination with civil administration.

    Total 108 teams of the NDRF comprising of modern rescue equipments are deployed in various parts of the country for prompt response during flood and other emergencies.

    During the rescue and relief operation, NDRF teams are providing immediate relief to the victims and are strictly following the guidelines and protocols regarding COVID-19.

    Director General, NDRF is personally supervising the Flood rescue Operations. A 24*7, NDRF control room is closely monitoring the situation round the clock and is in touch with other agencies/stakeholders.

  • However, there were intensive efforts by the Artists & the institutions of the Ministry of Culture to provide alternative or additional services through digital platforms with proper documentation of the events.

    Ministry of Culture (Performing Arts Bureau) implements many schemes under its Kala Sanskriti Vikas Yojana (KSVY), where the grants are sanctioned/approved for holding programs/activities which involve large audience.

    While the performances with a limited audience have been recently allowed, in view of the prevailing conditions, the Ministry of Culture has formulated & devised the following guidelines to help artists/organizations who have already been sanctioned grant under various scheme components of ‘Kala Sanskriti Vikas Yojana’ (KSVYto conduct events on virtual mode.

    This will enable them to avail benefits under these schemes even if they are not able to stage programs in the physical format as before and will ensure continued financial assistance to tide over the present crisis.


    1. The artists/organizations who have already been sanctioned grant under KSVY schemes are encouraged to conduct various components of the schemes such as virtual workshops on art & craft, lecture-cum-demonstrations, webinars, online programs/festivals etc. through virtual mode on social media handles like Facebook, YouTube etc. (Scheme-wise details are placed at Annexure ).
    1. The submission of hard copies of documents relating to activities covered under the scheme / scheme components will be dispensed with for the time being and soft copies of the same will be admissible for release of grant.
    1. The organizations who are conducting events on virtual mode may be given exemption from submission of proof of event such as Newspaper cutting but must submit link/recordings of the virtual events / activities with details of the event. The outreach of the program in terms of measure of the digital audience should also be indicated. 
    1. The expenditure incurred on activities as reflected in Utilization Certificate (UC) should be justified with reference to the program conducted via virtual platform.
    2. As per provisions of GFR:
      1. UC must be submitted in GFR 12- A proforma.
      2. Performance / targets fixed and achieved, statement for the year to which the utilization of the fund resulted in outcome in Annexure-I of GFR 12-A proforma.
      3. Utilization of the fund resulting in outcomes and details of various schemes executed by the grantee organization / agency through GIA received from the same Ministry or from other Ministries in Annexure-II of GFR 12 –A proforma, as per format of these Annexures formulated by the Programme Division.



    (1.) Repertory Grant: Under Repertory Grant, training of artistes by their respective Gurus and performance of Cultural Activities may be conducted online. For Utilization Certificate (UC) purpose rent receipts of hall, costume, light, design, remuneration to the artistes for performing various activity relating to the Repertory Grant will be accepted for release of grant.

    (2.) National Presence: Under National Presence, cultural programmes/festival/seminars etc. at National level for promotion of art & culture may be conducted online. For Utilization Certificate (UC) purpose Rent receipts for hiring halls, theatres, remuneration to Artistes, purchase invoices of equipment etc., expenditure made for performing various other activities relating to conducting components of schemes as covered under the scheme guidelines will be accepted for release of grant.

    (3.) CFPGS: Under Cultural Function & Production Grant (CFPG), Seminars, Conference, Research, Workshops, Festivals, Exhibitions, Symposia, Production of Dance, Drama-Theatre, Music etc. and small research projects on different aspects of Indian Culture may be conducted online. For Utilization Certificate (UC) purpose rent receipts for hiring halls, theatres, remuneration to Artistes, purchase invoices of equipment etc., expenditure made for performing various other activities relating to conducting components of schemes as covered under the scheme guidelines will be accepted for release of grant.

    (4.) Himalayan Heritage: Under Financial Assistance for the Preservation & Development of Cultural Heritage of the Himalayas, study and research, preservation and documentation, dissemination through audio visual programme, training in traditional & fold art may be conducted online. For Utilization Certificate (UC) purpose activities relating to these components of the Himalayan scheme will be accepted for release of grant.

    (5.) Buddhist / Tibetan: Under Financial Assistance for Development of Buddhist/Tibetan Arts, research project, purchase of books, documentation and cataloguing, award of scholarships to monk, holding of special courses and culture, audio-visual recording / documentation, IT upgradation training aids for monastic, salary to teachers may be performed online. For Utilization Certificate (UC) purpose activities relating to these components of the Buddhist scheme will be accepted for release of grant.

    (6.) Scholarship / Fellowship: Under Scheme of Scholarships and Fellowships for Promotion of Art and Culture, advanced training within India in the field of Indian Classical Music, Indian Classical Dance, Theatre, Mime, Visual art, Folk, Traditional and Indigenous Arts and Light Classical Music and research may be performed online and report can also be submitted in soft version.

  • MoS for Education Shri Sanjay Dhotre was Guest of Honour on the ocassion. Ambassadors and Representatives from ASEAN Member States; Secretary, Higher Education, Shri Amit Khare; Secretary (East), MEA, Ms Riva Ganguly Das; Director, IIT Delhi, Professor V Ramgopal Rao; ASEAN Coordinators from Respective IITs, Directors of the IITs and the selected students also graced the occasion.

    While welcoming the ASEAN students Union Education Minister said that the academic and research ties among India and ASEAN member states will be mutually beneficial for both the regions. It will further strengthen our ties in culture, commerce and connectivity, he said. APFP will open many doors to synergies in the field of technology and research for the academicians, researchers and the scientists from India and ASEAN.

    The researches and inventions by them will be used for the betterment of humankind across the globe, he added.

    The Minister further said that due to the current pandemic the world has slow down. The Minister expressed his happiness that IITs never stop and constantly creating new success stories amid this pandemic by assisting the country with their valuable researches and inventions. The students of the ASEAN member states have got the opportunity to study in the IITs, which are among the best global institutions.

    The Minister extended his best wishes to the students your research programmes. Ministry of Education will extend its support to ASEAN PhD Fellowship Programme Secretariat at IIT Delhi, formed exclusively for the ASEAN students.

    The Minister highlighted that 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.

    He informed that under the APFP, 1000 fellowships will be provided exclusively to the ASEAN citizens. He further informed that APFP is also the largest capacity development programme undertaken by the Government of India for foreign beneficiaries.The ASEAN PhD fellows will be recognized as the alumni of the respective IITs from where they will be completing their PhDs, he added. 

    Shri Pokhriyal said that this program also symbolizes that India has always been nurturing and furthering the culture of 'Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah' along with the vision of 'Atithi Devo Bhava and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'.

    He said that we want to move forward by taking the world together. He added that with a global Mind Set and approach, we are committed to make as a Global Hub in the field of Education. APFP program as a positive step taken the direction of Internationalization of Education, he added.

    While addressing the participants Shri Dhotre said that our relations with South East Asian countries are very old. The influence of our ancient epic Ramayana could be very well seen in the cultural landscape of ASEAN countries.

    The roots of our relationships have been further nurtured through the message of Lord Buddha. We share strong cultural and historical bond. He further said that this start of academic research journey for the students of ASEAN in India will strengthen our bonds further. With collaborative researches and innovations, it will be beneficial for all of us.

    Shri Dhotre highlighted that while the world is still fighting COVID 19, our research institutions helped us develop low cost ventilators, testing kits, masks, etc to fight against CORONA.

    He wished all the fellows selected under this fellowship programme a very best for their future research and innovation under the guidance of best academicians and scientists of IIT.

    Speaking on the occasion Shri Khare said that recently launched New Education Policy (NEP) -2020 will bring transformational change in the education system of India. NEP focusses on promoting research and innovation in higher education and internationalisation of education.

    This policy has given access to foreign universities to open campuses in India and vice-versa which will be instrumental in the process of making India a global knowledge power. Shri Khare informed that Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) initiative of the Ministry will encourage research collaboration of top ranked Indian Institutions and globally ranked Foreign Institutions.

    He further informed that National Research Foundation is a step which shall provide an extraordinary direction for expansion of research, technology development and technology led innovation, and a new fillip for fulfillment of the vision of New India. He extended his best wishes to the students.

    H.E. Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, Sidharto Reza Suryodipuro said, "This is an excellent initiative to fill void in education cooperation between India and ASEAN. It will be India’s contribution to the education and upskilling of ASEAN’s IT capacity, and to the closer collaboration between India and ASEAN and to our common digital transformation in IR 4.0."

    H.E. Ambassador of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Moe Kyaw Aung said, “This ASEAN PhD Fellowship programme not only provides ASEAN participants space for pursuing higher education in India but also provides opportunity for promotion of education and cultural exchanges between India and ASEAN countries.”

    H.E. Ambassador of Philippines Ramon S. Bagatsing, Jr. quoted their National Hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal that youth is the hope of our fatherland. He said providing quality education to the youth is a great way of strengthening that hope.

    H.E. Ambassador of Vietnam, Pham Sanh Chau's said, "Asean PhD Fellowship Program will stand as a powerful symbol of Indo-Asean intellectual solidarity as the Program helps to train a generation of Asean leading technological engineers in well-known Indian Institutes of Technology."

    Mr. Thirapath Mongkolnavin, Chargé d'Affaires, Royal Thai Embassy, said that "The ASEAN Phd fellowship programme caters extensively to realise the goal set within the socio-cultural pillar (ASEAN and India relations), that is the advancement of Human Resource development and people-to-people contacts."

    Commenting on the APFP, H.E. Simon Wong, High Commissioner, Singapore said, “By bringing talented young people from ASEAN and India closer together, the ASEAN PhD Fellowship Programme will strengthen the excellent ASEAN-India relationship, and ensure that our historical people-to-people ties continue to flourish. I thank the Indian Government for its generosity and congratulate all the ASEAN PhD Fellows on their achievement!"

    Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi said that ASEAN PhD programme can be a game changer for the region. This will encourage the ASEAN students to learn in some of India's finest institutions and learn from the best minds. This will also bring in the much needed cultural diversity in our academic institutions and is in line with India's Look East policy. Will be a Win-Win for everyone involved, he added.

  • Command Hospital (Air Force) Bengaluru and Command Hospital (Eastern Command) Kolkata were judged as the Best and Second Best Command Hospital for the year 2019 respectively.

    The award ceremony was attended by the Defence Secretary besides senior service and civilian dignitaries.

    Raksha Mantri, while complementing the two hospitals on their outstanding performance, acknowledged the commendable services being rendered by the AFMS, ranging from combat medical support to troops deployed in operational roles to state of the art healthcare services at mid-zonal, zonal and tertiary care hospitals of the AFMS. 

    Lt Gen Anup Banerji, SM, PHS, Director General Armed Forces Medical Services and Senior Colonel Comdt, Army Medical Corps, while speaking on the occasion, emphasized the preparedness of the AFMS to meet all challenges in providing medical support both during operations and in peace time as well as when called upon to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

    He reiterated the resolute commitment of the AFMS to strive for professional excellence at all times.

    The Raksha Mantri Trophy was instituted in 1989 to recognize excellence in healthcare services provided by Command Hospitals of the AFMS and to foster a spirit of healthy competition among them. 

    A selection committee headed by an AFMS officer of the rank of Lt Gen/equivalent, recommends hospitals for the award each year via a comprehensive selection process based on objective performance indicators assessed during on-site visits to the hospitals.

  • This will be the first training camp for the women’s wrestlers since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed in March this year.

    The players have arrived in Lucknow and will complete a seven-day quarantine before starting their individual training. The camp is scheduled from October 10 to December 31 and will comprise 16 wrestlers and 4 support staff. Campers will be staying in the residential facilities at SAI Lucknow.
    Elaborate safety precautions have been made at the SAI Lucknow campus in order to maintain a safe bio-bubble for the wrestlers to train as well as to separate athletes, service providers and office visitors in order to prevent an inadvertent transmission of Covid-19.

    This has been done in the form of a colour code zoning of Green Zone, Yellow Zone and Red Zone. In order to maintain safety protocols, all visitors will be screened for symptoms.

    Kuldeep Malik, Chief Coach, Indian Women’s Wrestling Team said, “Wrestling is an important sport in India, it had to be started at some point.

    Of course due to the precautions because of the coronavirus, for the first week of training we will be maintaining social distancing, after which we will start regular training.

    By Sunday, all the campers will get their Covid reports and hopefully will come out negative, so we are confident that all arrangements will be in place for regular training to happen.” Malik added that with the World Championships scheduled in December, he expects India to return with their best ever medal haul.
    Staying arrangements have been done for the campers in the elite hostel in a secure manner with all facilities provided. Regular monitoring of athletes are being taken for their temperature and oxygen levels.

    2018 World Championship bronze medalist and 2019 Arjuna Award recipient Pooja Dhanda said, “The facilities in the room are very good and we have been provided everything. We really feel like we are national campers. We are getting daily updates in the morning about our food and menu, everything is very proper and systemized and the food here is very good. With current facilities, we really feel good and have the motivation to give it our best.”

    Safe handling of food has been ensured at the campus so that it can reach the athletes and support staff by avoiding any contact. All the personnel who have access to the green zone have been tested for Covid.

    And those involved in preparation and handling of food are staying within the campus premises.

    India has so far won one Olympic quota in women’s wrestling through Vinesh Phogat in women’s 53 kg. Two further qualification tournaments, Asian Qualification Tournament and World Qualification Tournament are scheduled next year where India will get an opportunity to win an Olympic quota in the remaining five women’s wrestling events.


    Report by Tapas Bhattacharya  | 16/10/2020 | 

  • Each team comprises of a Jt. Secretary (nodal officer for the respective State), one public health expert to look after the public health aspects, one clinician to look after infection prevention practices, clinical management protocol being followed by the State.

    The teams will support the State efforts towards strengthening containment, surveillance, testing, infection prevention and control measures, and efficient clinical management of the positive cases.

    The Central teams shall also guide in effectively managing the challenges related to timely diagnosis and follow up.

    The total cases in Kerala are 3,17,929 which form 4.3% of the total cases. The Cases per Million stand at 8906. Total number of Recovered Cases is 2,22,231 accounting for Recovery Rate of 69.90%.

    The Active Cases are 94,609 (comprising 11.8% of the total national figure). Total deaths in the State are 1089 with Case Fatality Rate of  0.34% and Deaths Per Million of 31. The TPM of Kerala stand at 53518 and Positivity Rate is 16.6%.

    Karnataka is reporting 7,43,848 Total Cases accounting for 10.1% of the national figure. It has 11,010 cases per million population. 6,20,008 patients have recovered in the State resulting in Recovery Rate of 83.35%.

    The Active Cases  are 1,13,557 (14.1% of national figure). The State has reported total of 10,283 fatalities, CFR of 1.38% and 152 Deaths per Million population.  The TPM is 95674 and Positivity Rate is pegged at 11.5%.

    Rajasthan has registered 1,67,279 Total Cases (% share in total: 2.3%), 2,064 Cases Per million and 1,43,984 total number of recoveries with Recovery Rate of 86.07%.

    The Active Cases as on date are 21,587 (2.7% share in the national numbers). The numbers of fatalities in the State is 1,708; Case Fatality Rate is 1.02%; and Deaths Per Million stands at 21.

    TPM is 38,605 with Positivity Rate of 5.3%.

    West Bengal has 3,09,417 Total Cases (4.2% of the national cases) amounting to 3,106 Cases Per million population.

    Total Recovered are 2,71,563 and the Recovery Rate is 87.77%. With 31,984 Active Cases, the State accounts for 4.0% of the total pie.

    Total Deaths are 5,870; Case Fatality Rate is 1.90% whereas the Deaths per Million population are 59. 37,872 TPM, the Positivity Rate is 8.2%.

    Chhattisgarh is reporting 1,53,515 Total Cases (% Share in Total Cases - 2.1%), 5,215 Cases per Million,  1,23,943 Total Recovered and 80.74% Recovery Rate.

    It has 28,187 Active Cases comprising 3.5% of the national figure. There have been 1385 Total Deaths in the State accounting for Case Fatality Rate of 0.90% and 47 Deaths Per Million.

    The TPM are 50191 and Positivity Rate is 10.4%.

    As an ongoing effort to strengthen efforts of various State/UT Governments for COVID management, the Central Government has been deputing Central teams from time to time to visit various States/UTs.

    These teams interact with the State/UT authorities and get a first hand understanding of the challenges and issues being faced by them so as to strengthen their ongoing activities and remove bottlenecks, if any.

  • In an announcement published on the presidential website on Friday, Jeenbekov said, he does not want to go down in the history of Kyrgyzstan as a president who allowed bloodshed and shooting on its people. He has taken the decision to resign, he added.

    He also called on newly-appointed Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov and other opposition politicians to take their supporters away from the capital so that peace could return to Bishkek.
    On Wednesday Jeenbekov gave his approval to the new PM's appointment after parliament voted for him a second time.
    Kyrgyzstan has been in crisis since parliamentary elections on 4 October. Subsequent protests forced electoral officials to annul the results, and also toppled the government. 

  • 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.