News

  • The Chief Minister said that the portal is an innovative concept which will provide all information related to admission, institute, fee, tuition, training, experimentation, examination and provides information on employment.
     

  • The Virtual Bilateral Summit will give an opportunity to the two leaders to comprehensively review the broad framework of the bilateral relationship soon after the Parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka and in the context of the time-tested friendly ties between the two countries.

  • The BMC officer had signed the demolition notice served to Ranaut on September 7.

    On Tuesday, Ranaut's lawyer had submitted in the court a DVD containing a speech in which Raut allegedly made a comment threatening the actress.

    The court said it will begin final hearing in the case on Friday.

    On September 9, BMC undertook a drive to demolish alleged illegal portions of Ranaut's office. Soon thereafter, the court had directed the BMC to stay the process of demolition.

     

  • The Narcotics Control Bureau has sought time before the Bombay High Court to file reply to bail pleas of Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik in connection to a drug case after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

    Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh representing NCB told the court that he has not received a copy of the bail applications and that he needs time to file a reply.

  • In a tweet Prime Minister Modi said:

    Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Ji's ideals inspire us to serve the poor and ensure a positive difference in their lives. On his Jayanti tomorrow, 25th September at 11 AM, I would be addressing @BJP4India Karyakartas from all over India. Do watch.

  • Indian statement, while calling Pakistan the “global epicenterof terrorism” said that it continues to be the source of terrorist activitiesin India. “We advise Pakistan to cease its sponsorship and overt and covertsupport to terrorism against India. This will enable the two countries toengage and address issues bilaterally rather than distract this important forumfrom its agenda,” said the statement

    “The Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh havebeen and will remain an integral part of India. Pakistan has no locus standi tocomment on India’s internal affairs,” said India.  Denouncing Pakistan for raking up internalissues of India at global platforms the statement said “Unfortunately, Pakistanhas misused another forum by continuing its spurious narrative about India”.

    “Pakistan’s remarks today constitute gross interference in India’s internalaffairs, sovereignty and territorial integrity which is inconsistent with theCICA Declaration on the Principles Guiding Relations between the CICA MemberStates of September 1999” added the statement.

    External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had also participated in the CICAmeeting of the Foreign Ministers held virtually on Thursday. During his addresshe underlined India’s commitment to a pluralistic cooperative security order inAsia through CICA. “This is needed more than ever before,” he said.  EAM also highlighted India’s traditional tieswith Central Asia, shared perspectives on counter-terrorism, and Afghanistan.He reaffirmed India’s support for CICA’s initiatives on peace, security andprosperity in Asia. EAM also shared India’s efforts in response to the COVID-19pandemic and India’s contribution to partner countries in CICA and beyond.

    The meeting witnessed the transfer of the Chairmanship of CICA from Tajikistanto Kazakhstan; appointment of new Executive Director and exchange of views onthe future endeavours of CICA, including cooperation in mitigating the effectsof COVID-19 pandemic. EAM Jaishankar also congratulated Kazakhstan on assumingthe Chair of CICA and

    India is a member of CICA since its inception in 1999 and late Prime MinisterShri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had participated in the first CICA Summit held in2002 in Almaty. India has been actively participating in various activitiesconducted under the aegis of CICA. India also co-chairs two CICA Confidence BuildingMeasures (CBMs) on ‘Development of Secure and Effective Systems ofTransportation Corridors,’ and ‘Energy Security’.

    - Report by Abhishek Jha

  • Late MoS Railways Suresh Angadi was consigned to flames at a crematorium in Dwaraka in keeping with COVID protocols. 

    The Union Cabinet condoled the sad demise of Suresh C. Angadi, Union Minister of State for Railways.  Cabinet also observed silence for two minutes in his memory.

    The Cabinet also passed this resolution:

    "The Cabinet expresses profound sorrow at the sad demise of Shri Suresh C. Angadi, Union Minister of State for Railways on 23rd September, 2020 at New Delhi. In his passing away, the nation has lost an eminent leader, an educationist, a distinguished parliamentarian and an able administrator. The Cabinet extends its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family on behalf of the Government and the entire nation.

    Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu met the family and expressed his condolences. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla also paid his tributes as did Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh.

    Union I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar recalled his association with Suresh Angadi and paid his heartfelt condolences.

    Apart from this, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Arjun Ram Meghwal and other leaders went to the late Union Minister's South Avenue residence and bid last adieu....paying their tributes.

    Born on 1st June, 1955 at KK Koppa village in Belagavi District of Karnataka, Suresh Angadi completed his graduation from S.S.S. Samithi College, Belagavi and thereafter obtained a degree in Law from Raja Lakhamgouda law College, Belagavi.

    A member of Bhartiya Janata Party, he became Vice- President of a Party's Belagavi District unit in 1996. He was nominated as President of the Belagavi District Unit in 2001 and continued to hold that post until he was nominated as Party's candidate for the Belagavi Lok Sabha Constituency in 2004. He won by a large margin and became a member of the 14th Lok Sabha.

    He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha from Belagavi in 2009, 2014 and 2019. In May, 2019, Angadi became Minister of State for Railways.
     

    He was involved in many social and cultural activities with special interest in Industry, Agriculture and Education of the poor. He was also Chairman, Suresh Angadi Education Foundation, Belgaum since 2009.

    In the passing away of Suresh Angadi, the nation has lost an able administrator, minister and leader, committed to the well being of the people, being with them in their joys and sorrows.

  • India has called upon SAARC member states to collectively resolve to defeat the scourge of terrorism, including the forces that nurture, support and encourage an environment of terror and conflict, which impede the objective of SAARC to realize its full potential for collective collaboration and prosperity across South Asia.

    External Affairs Minister Jaishankar while participating in the Informal Meeting of the SAARC Council of Ministers on Thursday emphasized that cross-border terrorism, blocking connectivity and obstructing trade as the three key challenges that SAARC must overcome. “Only then will we see enduring peace, prosperity and security in our South Asia region,” said Jaishanakar
     
    EAM Jaishankar, in his statement, reiterated India’s steadfast commitment to SAARC in building a connected, integrated, secure and prosperous South Asia. He highlighted a slew of measures taken by India in the follow-up to the SAARC Leaders video conference, including virtually convening health professionals and trade officials meetings, creating a ‘COVID-19 Information Exchange Platform (COINEX), foreign currency swap support and activation of SAARC Food Bank mechanism.
     
     The meeting, chaired by Nepal, was held in virtual mode and saw participation of all eight SAARC member states. Chairing the meeting Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali emphasized the need to reinvigorate the SAARC process to make it more focused and result-oriented in meeting the hopes and aspirations of the people of South Asia. The informal meeting of SAARC is held annually since 1997 on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly meetings. However this time since UNGA meetings are being held virtually in the backdrop of Corona pandemic, SAARC Foreign ministers also met through video conference to exchange views on SAARC issues.

    The meeting received a report from the Secretary-General on the status of regional cooperation since the last informal meeting of the SAARC Council of Ministers was held in New York on in September 2019. Esala Ruwan Weerakoon, Secretary General of SAARC during his address, stated that SAARC holds the potential to promote effective regional cooperation in every sphere of development, including for addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic.
     
    EAM Jaishakar also underlined India’s effort in mitigating the impact of the pandemic  in the region. Furthering “Neighnourhood First” policy, India has supplied essential drugs, medical consumables, COVID protection and testing kits, and other equipment, amounting USD 2.3 million to countries in the SAARC region. EAM Jaishankar reiterated India’s continued commitment to assisting countries in the SAARC region in combating COVID-19 pandemic.

    Moreover, India is also extending financial support to SAARC neighbours to support their developmental programme. While USD 150 million foreign currency swap support has been extended to Maldives, India has committed currency swap support of USD 200 million to Bhutan and USD 400 million to Sri Lanka during the course of this year.

    The ministers reviewed regional efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Participant countries appreciated the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in convening a video conference of SAARC Leaders on 15th March 2020 to take collaborative measures towards combating the pandemic across the region. The meeting paved the way for creation of SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund where all countries have pledged voluntary contributions. India has Committed USD 10 million to the emergency fund.

    One of the agenda items in the SAARC Ministerial meeting was 19th SAARC Summit, which is to be hosted by Pakistan. However a common ground could not be reached upon as most Countries felt that it was not an opportunate time for the event considering that member states are preoccupied in dealing with COVID 19 situation. Sources said that the proposal fell through due to lack of consensus. 
     
    SAARC has been in sort of limbo ever since the 18th summit which was held in Kathmandu in 2014.  Pakistan was supposed to host the next summit level meeting in 2016, but New Delhi decided to withdraw from the summit following the terrorist attack in Uri, Kashmir in 2016. The situation, in a unique way, has kept Nepal as the chair of the group since 2014, the longest any country has held the position in the history of SAARC.

    - Report By Abhishek Jha

  • During the interaction Rajnath Singh said that the role of teachers in society is like that of an artist, adding no one can be a better architect of society than a teacher.

    During the interaction Rajnath Singh said the new National Education Policy 2020 corresponds to the needs of the changing India of the 21st century. It has been prepared as per the aspirations of new India. It is the most holistic education policy.

    The NEP 2020 has been designed in such a way that improves the learning process of the students in new India thereby making a better future for the country.

    On the occasion, the Defence Minister highlighted the steps taken by the Bihar government for the betterment of teachers in the state.

    He said around 3 to 4 lakh teachers were recruited in government schools of Bihar since 2005.

    15 percent increase in the basic salary of school teachers and librarians appointed since 2006 through Panchayati Raj institutions and urban civic bodies.

    The maternity leave of teachers has been increased from the present 135 days to 180 days. Also a new provision for 15 days paternity leave is being made.

     

  • Prime Minister Modi's call for reformed multilateralism assumes special significance as it comes on the eve of India taking a seat at the powerful UN Security Council as an elected non-permanent member for a two year term beginning January 1, 2021.

    On 22nd of September, in a high-level meeting to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations, world leaders in the General Assembly gathered in a virtual format and adopted a declaration honouring the multilateral framework put in place by its founders in 1945.

    This forward-looking document gives a clarion call for strengthening mechanisms to combat terrorism, reformed multilateralism, inclusive development and better preparedness to deal with challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Titled "Declaration on the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations," the text lays out 12 commitments to reanimate global resolve:  leave no one behind, protect the planet, promote peace, abide by international law, place women and girls at the centre, build trust, improve digital cooperation, upgrade the United Nations, ensure sustainable financing, boost partnerships, work with youth, and, finally, be prepared.

    The declaration states that

    Our challenges are interconnected and can only be addressed through reinvigorated multilateralism.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us in the most powerful way that we are closely interconnected and only as strong as our weakest link.

    Only by working together and in solidarity can we end the pandemic and effectively tackle its consequences.

    Only together can we build resilience against future pandemics and other global challenges.

    Multilateralism is not an option but a necessity as we build for a more equal, more resilient and more sustainable world.

    The United Nations must be at the centre of our efforts.
     
    While the world is in agreement that reform of multilateral bodies to meet new challenges is a necessity, what form this takes is still being debated.

    India's pitch is for concrete action on UNSC reforms and overall reforms in the world body with PM Modi leading the way.
     

  • After announcing the increase in support price of six Rabi crops, the ruling BJP fielded Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to invite the farmers, who are agitating in Punjab and Haryana against the just-cleared agri Bills in Parliament, for a frank decision on the bills, even at midnight".... Govt Reaching out to agitating farmers . Here is more

    Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar batted on front foot on Thursday against the Opposition's charges related to the farm bills calling them a bid to mislead farmers.

    He countered saying the Congress had made similar promises of legislative changes in its election manifestos.

    The Minister said that the govt has empowered farmers through these revolutionary bills while curbing its own writ as it allows them to sell their produce at mandis or even outside in the market.

    He made it crystal clear that purchases at MSP will go on at mandis.

    Referring to provisions of contract farming, the Minister said it will benefit those small & marginalised farmers who are unable to get better yield due to lack of resources.

    It will guarantee income on produce even before the crop is sown if the crop is lost for certain reasons like natural calamity..the contracting party will compensate the farmer.

    He explained that strict provisions have been included into legislation to ensure that cultivators going for contract farming are not at any disadvantage..

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to double  farmers' income by 2024.

    The Minister said these bills are keys to fulfilling that promise.
     

  • During hearing a matter related to a construction in Kalyan Dombivali, chief justice Dipankar Dutta remarked, the incident in Bhiwandi was very serious.

    The 43 year old Jilani building in the powerloom town Bhiwandi is around 10 kilometres from Thane. The three storey building had 40 flats and 150 people were living there.

    The court said, “A building has collapsed in Bhiwandi, several lives have been lost. We are told the situation is quite serious in Mumbai too.”

    Taking suo moto cognizance of the same, the court made the State of Maharashtra, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, and civic bodies of Bhiwandi-Nizampur, Kalyan-Dombivali, Thane and Navi Mumbai as respondents in the case.

    The court issued notices to the State and all municipal corporations and directed the Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni to ensure that all the parties file their reply in two weeks.

    Kumbhakoni said, “We will file our replies detailing what has been done so far across the state for such buildings and measures taken, as well as the steps we propose to take in future.”

    The NDFR called off their search and rescue operations on Thursday morning. Among the 41 dead are three toddlers and 18 children from the age of two to 15. The building was not in the list of dilapidated structures of Bhiwandi Nizampur Municipal Corporation.

  • Addressing the ‘Muhurat’ of the film in Dhaka on Thursday, Information Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud said that the film ‘Bhalobasha Pritilata’ will be based on the first woman Bengali revolutionary nationalist of the Indian subcontinent against the British regime. The film is based on the novel by Selina Hossain.

    Dr. Hasan expressed hope that the film will be screened in India and other countries also.

    Pritilata was born in Dhalghat village of Chittagong in Bangladesh on 5 May 1911.

    She had her education in Chattogram, Dhaka and then at Bethune College, Kolkata for graduation.

    She joined the freedom movement and worked with revolutionaries like Surya Sen and Nirmal Sen.

    She was involved in several revolutionary acts like the famous Chittagong armoury raid and attack on the Pahartali European club at Chittagong in 1932 where she received bullet injury.

    However, she consumed cyanide before the British police could capture her.

  • The inauguration will be done through a digital event.  Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary Ministry of AYUSH will also participate in the program.

    During current year, in Jammu and Kashmir, work on establishing 194 AYUSH HWCs is going on and the Ministry of AYUSH has provided Rs 12.81 crore Central grant for this purpose.

    There is a target of establishing 319 AYUSH Health and Wellness Centres in next 3 years in the UT.

    Among them, the Ministry of AYUSH is launching 21 AYUSH Health and Wellness Centres in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.

  • Addressing on the occasion, Prakash Javadekar stated that COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the fact that un-regulated exploitation of natural resources coupled with un-sustainable food habits and consumption patterns lead to destruction of systems that support human life.

    He stated that India aims to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land, and achieve land-degradation neutrality by 2030.

    Javadekar also informed the roundtable that in the course of last decade, India has enhanced the combined forest and tree cover to nearly 25 percent of the total geographical area of the country.

    He also said that we have the highest number of tigers and have doubled its number ahead of the deadline of 2022.

  • At a press conference in Beijing, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson chose to remain non-committal on reforms at the Security Council sought by the G-4 countries.

    He stated that there is enormous division and lack of a widespread consensus on the arrangement for reforms at UNSC.

    However, he stated that Beijing is willing to work with other UN members to seek a package solution which can accommodate all parties' interests and concerns through dialogue and negotiation.

    India and other G4 countries have called for the start of text-based negotiations without delay at a virtual meeting yesterday on the side-lines of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.

    In a statement, they have lamented that there is no meaningful progress in the Intergovernmental negotiations.

    It may be recalled that China has been supporting the intergovernmental negotiations which are more in the form of a general discussion and lack transparent working methods.

    However, G4 countries comprising India, Japan, Brazil and Germany have been demanding the expansion of UN Security Council through substantive negotiations based on a single comprehensive text, which is formal in nature.

    It is also worthwhile to note that except China, all other four permanent members of security council support India's candidature for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.

  • Without replying clearly on India and other G4 countries' call for start of text based negotiations, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson at a press briefing today said that there is enormous division and lack of a widespread consensus on the arrangement for reform.

    In a virtual meeting yesterday on the sidelines of 75th session of UN General Assembly,  India along with other G4 countries called for start of text based negotiations without delay.

    They said that there is no meaningful progress in the Intergovernmental negotiations.

    China has been supporting the inter governmental negotiations which is more in the form of a general discussion and lacks transparent working method but G4 countries comprising India, Japan, Brazil and Germany have been demanding the expansion of UN Security Council through substantive negotiations based on a single comprehensive text.

    China said that it believes, reform should increase the representation and voice of developing countries but it has not yet supported India's candidature for permanent seat at UNSC.

    Except China, all other four permanent members of security council support India's candidature for a permanent seat.

     

     

    Report by: Anshuman Mishra

  • Cabinet also observed silence for two minutes in the memory of Suresh C. Angadi.

    In its resolution, the cabinet said that "The Cabinet expresses profound sorrow at the sad demise of Shri Suresh C. Angadi, Union Minister of State for Railways on 23rd September, 2020 at New Delhi.

    In his passing away, the nation has lost an eminent leader, an educationist, a distinguished parliamentarian and an able administrator.

    The Cabinet Resolution also said that "He was involved in many social and cultural activities with special interest in Industry, Agriculture and Education of the poor.

    He was also Chairman, Suresh Angadi Education Foundation, Belgaum since 2009. He was fond of reading and travelling.

    The Cabinet extends its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family on behalf of the Government and the entire nation."

    In his passing away, the nation has lost an eminent leader, an educationist, a distinguished parliamentarian and an able administrator.

    Suresh C. Angadi was a distinguished parliamentarian and an able administrator.

    He was involved in many social and cultural activities with special interest in Industry, Agriculture and Education of the poor.

    He was also Chairman, Suresh Angadi Education Foundation, Belgaum since 2009. He was fond of reading and travelling.

    Cabinet extends its heartfelt condolences to bereaved family on behalf of govt & entire nation.

  • Suresh Angadi had passed away on Wednesday night.

    Due to his  demise, it was decided that the national flag will be flown half mast today in all Government offices in Delhi.

    President, Vice President, Prime Minister and Union Cabinet expressed condolences at the demise of the minister.

    Suresh Angadi represented Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency for four times.

  • This would facilitate the promotion of Hydrogen Fuel Cell based vehicles in the country which are energy efficient and environment friendly.

    The prospective manufacturer and suppliers of such vehicles have the standards available for the testing of such vehicles. 

    These standards are also at par with the available international standards.

  • The Virtual Bilateral Summit will give an opportunity to the two leaders to comprehensively review the broad framework of the bilateral relationship soon after the Parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka and in the context of the time-tested friendly ties between the two countries.

    Responding to a tweet by Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, PM Modi said that he is looking “forward to jointly review the bilateral relationship comprehensively”.

    He said, “We must explore ways to further enhance our cooperation in the post-COVID era.”

  • It will be at half-mast on the buildings where it is usually flown and on the day of the funeral, at the place where the funeral takes place.

    The government of India announced the death of Angadi on Wednesday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

    The date, time and venue of the funeral will be intimated later.

  • Suburban services of the Western and the Central Railways in Mumbai resumed its services in the evening. Chief public relations officer, Western Railway Sumit Thakur, said its suburban special services were fully restored between Churchgate and Bandra around 5pm.
     
    Chief public relations officer of Central Railway Shivaji Sutar,  said suburban services between Dadar-Thane were resumed after water on the tracks in Dadar-Kurla section receded around 6 pm. Presently, the Central and Western Railways are operating over 850 special suburban services only for essential services employees in view of the coronavirus threat.
     
    The local BEST bus services have also started to function normally on Thusrday after being badly affected by Wednesday’s rain. In all, BEST operated 2,375 buses on Wednesday out of which thirty were struck on waterlogged streets. 

    Meanwhile the water logging in various areas has also subsided.

  • Quintana, 30, leader of the Arkea-Samsic team and winner of the 2014 Giro d'Italia, said no drugs were discovered during the investigation.

    "No doping substance has ever been found," Quintana said in a statement. "I have nothing to hide and have never had anything to hide."

    Police detained two people from the Arkea-Samsic team on Monday, with press reports saying they were a doctor and physiotherapist. Marseille prosecutor Dominique Laurens said the pair, whom he had said had "many health products including drugs in their personal belongings, but also and above all a method that can be qualified as doping", had both been released Tuesday.

    "The investigation is ongoing," Laurens said, adding that new developments were possible. "Investigations and hearings (must) be carried out before the public prosecutor reaches a decision on the basis of the elements collected."

    Nairo Quintana finished the Tour in 17th place, more than an hour behind winner Tadej Pogacar. Quintana's teammate Warren Barguil was in in 14th place. It is the most significant investigation in years for the repeatedly scandal-hit Tour, which wrapped up Sunday in Paris with a surprise victory for 21-year-old Slovenian debutant Pogacar, the youngest winner in more than a century.  

    The Tour was rocked by a major probe in 1998, when customs officials stopped a vehicle laden with doping products and the Festina team was thrown off the race as the peloton headed into Paris.

    Most notoriously, Lance Armstrong, who won from 1999-2005, admitted doping in 2013 and the American was stripped of his record seven titles.

    Many had predicted the Covid-19 pandemic would prevent the riders making it the 3,400 kilometres (2,100 miles) from the Mediterranean city of Nice to the French capital.

    The prosecutor's statement said the investigation was focused on the prescription of a substance or banned method for athletes, as well as help and encouragement in its use. The charges can lead to up to five years in prison and a 75,000-euro ($88,000) fine.

     

  • In a tweet, Health Ministry said, this has been made possible by focussed, responsive and effective measures of early identification through high and aggressive testing, prompt surveillance and tracking combined with high quality medical care.

    As on 24 September at 8 AM, the number of active cases in the country stand at 9,66,382 while those who have discharged are 46,74,987.

  • Dr. Harsh Vardhan said this while addressing Ministers of Member Nations of WHO, Heads and Representatives of UN Agencies through virtual interaction on Thursday.

    He spoke on India’s role and contribution towards strengthening multisectoral action and progress towards ending TB, especially in context of the COVID-19 crisis.
     
    The Minister added that Tuberculosis has been in existence since time immemorial and continues to remain a major global public health problem. Despite the progress made over the last decade, TB remains the leading infectious killer disease worldwide.

    He said, India has taken several critical steps towards ending TB.

  • The NSS Award for the year 2018-19 was given to 42 awardees in three different categories like University, NSS Units and their Programme Officers and NSS Volunteers. Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju attended the ceremony from Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.

     Department of Youth Affairs confers the National Service Scheme Award every year to recognize and reward outstanding contributions towards voluntary community service. At present, NSS has about 40 lakh volunteers on its rolls spread over the country.
     
    NSS is a Central Sector Scheme which was launched in the year 1969 with the primary objective of developing the personality and character of the student youth through voluntary community service. The ideological orientation of the NSS is inspired by the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi.

    The NSS volunteers work on issues of social relevance, which keep evolving in response to the needs of the community, through regular and special camping activities. Such issues include literacy and education, health, family welfare and nutrition, environment conservation, social service programmes, rescue and relief during calamities.

  • Saha was the first woman to be awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour in India, in 1960. Thursday’s illustration was drawn by Lavanya Naidu, an artist from Kolkata.

    Born on September 24, 1940 in Kolkata (earstwhile Calcutta), Saha learnt to swim on the banks of the Hooghly river at the age of four.

    She earned the distinction of being the first person from the Indian subcontinent to cross the English Channel at the 1958 Butlin International Cross Channel Swimming Race.

    At the 1952 Summer Olympics, Saha represented India along with compatriot Dolly Nazir. She was one of the four women participants and the youngest member of the Indian contingent.

    On August 4, 1994, she got admitted to a private nursing home in Kolkata with jaundice and encephalitis. After battling for 19 days, she passed away on August 23, 1994.

  • These devastating increases in the global waterline -- enough to cripple coastal cities from Mumbai to Miami and displace hundreds of millions of people -- would unfold over hundreds to thousands of years. But the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that could guarantee such an outcome are on track to occur on a timescale measured in decades, they reported in the journal Nature.

    One of the study's most alarming conclusions is that hikes in sea level caused by a disintegrating Antarctic ice sheet -- which holds enough frozen water to boost oceans 58 metres -- would become dramatically larger with each additional degree of warming. Sea level rise, for example, would average about 1.3 metres (four feet) for each of the first two degrees above pre-industrial levels.

    Earth's average surface temperature has already gone up one degree since the late 19th century, enough to enhance the severity of deadly heatwaves, droughts and tropical cyclones. But from 2C to 6C above that benchmark, the increase in sea level would double to 2.4 metres per degree of warming.

    At the upper end of that range, climate change would devastate civilisation and redraw the map of the world's coastlines, scientists say.

    Beyond that, each added degree would result in 10 more metres, pushing the entire ice sheet past the point of no return and lifting oceans to levels not seen for millions of years.

    "In the end, it is our burning of coal and oil that determines if and when critical temperature thresholds in Antarctica are crossed," co-author Anders Levermann, a climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said in a statement.

    "And even if the ice loss happens on long time scales, the respective carbon dioxide levels can already be reached in the near future." The ice sheet atop West Antarctica will be the first to go, eroded not so much by warm air but rather warm sea water seeping below the underbelly of glaciers and eroding their ocean-facing edges, known as ice shelves.

    "That makes glaciers the size of Florida slide into the ocean," noted co-author Torsten Albrecht, also a researcher at the Potsdam Institute.

    Once global warming crosses the 6C threshold, the dynamic changes. "As the gigantic mountains of ice" -- up to five kilometres thick -- "slowly sink to lower heights where the air is warmer, this leads to more melt at the ice surface," Albrecht added.

    This process has already created raging rivers of meltwater on the Greenland ice sheet, which saw a net loss of more than half-a-trillion tonnes in mass last year alone.

    "This very important and timely study makes clear the urgent need to stabilise surface temperature rise in line with Paris Agreement targets so as to limit the total committed sea level rise to a few metres," said Matt Palmer, a UK Met Office sea level rise scientist who did not take part in the research.

    The 2015 treaty enjoins nations to cap global warming at "well below" 2C, and 1.5C if possible.

    Even a 2C world "represents an existential threat to entire nation states," Jonathan Bamber, a glaciology professor at the University of Bristol, told the Science Media Centre, commenting on the study.

    "We're looking at removing nations from the map -- it doesn't get much more serious than that."

  • The agreement -- which also includes Twitter and YouTube -- lays out for the first time a common set of definitions for hateful posts.

    Facebook and others have long grappled with how to purge toxic content from online platforms while fending off accusations they stifle free expression in the process.

    In July, hundreds of brands suspended advertising at Facebook as part of a #StopHateForProfit campaign, saying the social-media titan should do more to stamp out hatred and misinformation on its platform. Earlier this month a group of celebrities -- including Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry -- stop using Facebook and Instagram for 24 hours, to push a similar message.

    The announcement came from the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, a group which includes tech platforms and the major brands in the World Federation of Advertisers.

    No mention was made of tightening rules regarding hateful posts at any of the social media platforms, just that they would have a standard by which to determine what that is. The impact of the change, set to be implemented in 2021, was not clear amid a range of interpretations of what constitutes hate speech.

    "We shouldn't get our hopes up though as there are other content issues that are already universally agreed to be harmful, such as terrorism and suicide, but social media companies continue to fail here," said Syracuse University assistant professor of communications Jennifer Grygiel.

    Key areas of the agreement were said to include applying common definitions of harmful content; developing reporting standards; establishing independent oversight; and rolling out tools for keeping advertisements away from harmful content.

    "We welcome today's announcement that these social media platforms have finally committed to doing a better job tracking and auditing hateful content," said Anti-Defamation League chief executive Jonathan Greenblatt, a longtime critic of Facebook's content moderation efforts. "These commitments must be followed in a timely and comprehensive manner, to ensure they are not the kind of empty promises that we have seen too often from Facebook."

    The WFA said that defining online hate speech solves the problem of different platforms using their own definitions, which it said makes it difficult for companies to decide where to put ads. "As funders of the online ecosystem, advertisers have a critical role to play in driving positive change," said Stephan Loerke, chief executive of the WFA.

    Luis Di Como, executive vice president of global media at Unilever, a major advertiser, sounded a note of cautious optimism.

    "The issues within the online ecosystem are complicated, and whilst change doesn’t happen overnight, today marks an important step in the right direction," Di Como said.

    Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has been adamant that the company did not want hate speech on the social network.

    On Wednesday, the leading social network's vice president for global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, said the "uncommon collaboration" gave all parties "a unified language to move forward on the fight against hate online."

    The deal is not enough to reduce societal risks posed by online social media platforms, contended Grygiel.

    "We need social media companies to collective engage in self-regulation at the industry level like the advertising industry does," Grygiel said.

  • Pompeo went on to attack Beijing in an unusual address to state lawmakers in Wisconsin, a crucial swing state in November's presidential election.

    The Chinese Communist Party "thinks it can drown out American cries for accountability with shouts of racism," Pompeo told lawmakers from his Republican Party inside the state Capitol in Madison. "The CCP wants to foment the kind of strife we've seen in Minneapolis, and Portland and Kenosha," he said, referring to three cities that have seen protests over racism and police brutality in recent months.

    "That's disgusting. We can't let it happen," he said.

    As evidence of China's intentions, Pompeo pointed to a letter from a Chinese diplomat to a lawmaker from Wisconsin. The letter said that Beijing was "firmly opposed to racial discrimination and xenophobia" against the Chinese community in United States over the coronavirus crisis.

    "They want you to believe that America's righteous anger at the CCP over its handling of the coronavirus has something to do with race. It does not," Pompeo said. 

    "It has everything to do with citizens who are no longer with us, children who are not able to go back to school and jobs that have been lost," Pompeo added. "The CCP knows this."

    United States frequently assails China's human rights record including over its incarceration, according to witnesses and activists, of more than one million Uighurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang.

    China frequently pushes local US leaders to shun Taiwan, a self-governing democracy and economic power that Beijing considers a province awaiting reunification.

    "When you are approached by a Chinese diplomat, it is likely not in the spirit of true cooperation or friendship," Pompeo said. "You can ignore CCP threats and encourage mayors and businesspeople to engage with a free and democratic Taiwan."

    China voiced anger last week and carried out military exercises after a senior State Department official visited Taiwan for the funeral of president Lee Teng-hui. United States recognizes only Beijing but maintains close but unofficial relations with Taiwan, where China's nationalists fled in 1949 after losing the mainland's civil war.

     

  • Out of these 43 bridges, 10 are in Jammu and Kashmir, two in Himachal Pradesh, eight each in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh and four each in Sikkim and Punjab.

    RM will also lay the foundation stone for the Nechiphu tunnel on a key road to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
     
    Most of the 43 bridges, including seven in Ladakh, are in strategically important areas and they will help the armed forces in ensuring quick movement of troops and weapons. The inauguration of the bridges built by the BRO comes at a time when India is engaged in a bitter row with China in eastern Ladakh.
     
    India is expediting work on several key projects including on a strategic road linking Darcha in Himachal Pradesh with Ladakh that will criss-cross a number of high-altitude snow-bound passes.

    The nearly 290-km-long road will be crucial for the movement of troops and heavy weaponry into the frontier bases of the Ladakh region and will provide a crucial link to the Kargil region.

  • Several thousand protesters, many carrying the red-and white opposition flag, took to the streets of the capital Minsk and other cities following a surprise announcement that Lukashenko had been sworn into a sixth term in office following disputed elections in August.

    Clashes between masked riot police and protesters broke out in Minsk, with the Viasna rights group saying that more than 150 people had been arrested in the capital, as well as the southwestern city of Brest and other places. Several European countries including Germany and United States responded to Lukashenko's inauguration by refusing to recognise him as the president of the ex-Soviet state.

    "The announced results were fraudulent and did not convey legitimacy," a State Department spokesperson said in Washington. "The United States cannot consider Alexander Lukashenko the legitimately elected leader of Belarus."

    The state-run Belta news agency broke the news that Lukashenko had "taken office as President of Belarus" during a ceremony in the Palace of Independence on Wednesday.

    "I can't, I don't have the right to abandon Belarusians," Lukashenko said in his inaugural address according to a transcript of his remarks later released by his office. He blamed the mass protests since August, which have seen tens of thousands take to the streets, on "disorientation of society" and thanked law enforcement for showing "firmness".

    Lukashenko said he and his allies had "prevented a catastrophe", though the ceremony in front of 700 guests drew mockery from critics. On Wednesday evening, several thousand protesters took to the streets, with some chanting "Long live Belarus" and others wearing cardboard crowns.

    Many derided the 66-year-old, who has been in power since 1994.

    Tear gas was used during scuffles between police and protesters.

    Earlier in the day Lukashenko's opposition rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya reiterated her claim to be the true winner of the elections, saying the "so-called inauguration is of course a farce".

    Diplomatic reaction in Western capitals was swift. Germany does not recognise Lukashenko as president of Belarus, said government spokesman, Steffen Seibert, adding his re-election lacked "democratic legitimacy."

    Others including the Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok and Danish counterpart Jeppe Kofod made similar statements, as did the Baltic states, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

    There was no immediate comment from Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised law enforcement backup if needed, as well as a $1.5 billion loan.

    Over the past month riot police have detained thousands of protesters who have reported torture and abuse in custody, prompting international condemnation and proposed EU sanctions. European Union foreign ministers on Monday failed to agree sanctions over the political crisis.

  • The announcement came days after Chinese President Xi Jinping told the UN that the world's largest greenhouse gas polluter would peak emissions in 2030 and attempt to go carbon neutral by 2060, a move hailed by environmentalists.

    "We have champions and solutions all around us, in every city, corporation and country," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. "But the climate emergency is fully upon us, and we have no time to waste. The answer to our existential crisis is swift, decisive, scaled up action and solidarity among nations."

    The world remains off-track to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, which scientists say is crucial to prevent runaway warming that would leave vast swathes of the planet inhospitable to life.

    "In light of this urgency, the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will co-host a landmark global event convening global leaders... to rally much greater climate action and ambition," the statement said.

    The two were to address the issue at a climate roundtable meeting hosted by Guterres on Thursday.

    National governments will be invited to present more ambitious and high-quality climate plans at the summit, which would involve government leaders, as well as the private sector and civil society.

    According to the UN, the December 12 summit is intended to increase momentum ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) to be held in Glasgow in November 2021.

    Recent data shows greenhouse gas concentrations reaching record levels, worsening extreme events including unprecedented wildfires hurricanes droughts and floods.

  • The online interaction saw participants sharing anecdotes and tips of their own fitness journey while drawing out guidance from the Prime Minister on his thoughts about fitness and good health.

    Among those who participated ranged from Virat Kohli to Milind Soman to Rujuta Diwekar in addition to other fitness influencers.

    In times of Covid-19, fitness has become an even more important aspect of life. This dialogue saw a timely and fruitful conversation on nutrition, wellness and various other aspects on fitness.

    Envisioned by the Prime Minister as a people's movement, the Fit India Dialogue is yet another endeavour to involve citizens of the country to draw out a plan to make India a fit nation.

    The basic tenet on which the Fit India Movement was envisaged, that of involving citizens to imbibe fun, easy and non-expensive ways in which to remain fit and therefore bring about a behavioural  change which makes fitness an imperative part of every Indian's life, is being strengthened by this dialogue.

    In the past one year, since its launch, various events organised under the aegis of the Fit India Movement have seen enthusiastic participation of people from all walks of life and from across the country.

    The Fit India Freedom Run, Plog Run, Cyclothon, Fit India Week, Fit India School Certificate and various other programmes have seen a combined organic participation of over 3.5 crore people, making it a true people's movement.

    The Fit India Dialogue, which will see participation of fitness enthusiasts from all over the country, further strengthens the vision that it is the citizens who are to be credited for the success of the nationwide movement.

     

  • “We commit to instill new life in the discussions on the reform of the Security Council” a Joint press statement of the group said.

      Ernesto Araújo, Foreign Minister of Brazil, Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister for External Affairs of India, Motegi Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and Niels Annen, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office on behalf of Heiko Maas, Foreign Minister of Germany, met virtually during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

     The joint statement said that the world of today is very different from what it was when the United Nations was created 75 years ago. There are more countries, more people, more challenges but also more solutions. Our working methods need to keep pace and adapt.
    The Ministers highlighted the urgency of reforming the United Nations and updating its main decision-making bodies, in order to better reflect contemporary realities.

    They expressed disappointment at attempts to derail this process and committed to addressing the issue in a meaningful way and with increased urgency.

    The Joint statement said that as part of reforming the Security Council an expansion of the Security Council in both categories will be indispensable to make this body more representative, legitimate, and effective and it will enhance its capacity to deal with the complex challenges the world faces today on questions of international peace and security. 

    “Only if we manage to reform the Security Council will we stop it from becoming obsolete. Broader membership of the Security Council, with increased and enhanced representation of countries with the capacity and willingness to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, including from Africa, will allow it to preserve its credibility and create the political backing needed for the peaceful resolution of today’s international crises,”  said the statement.

    The group of Ministers expressed their concern at the lack of any meaningful movement forward in the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council reform and expressed their concern that – after two sessions in February and March – the IGN was adjourned due to COVID-19 and no further meetings were held thereafter. They said that in the prevailing situation virtual meetings or a written process could have taken place to allow for progress to be made in the previous session.

    The statement said, “The recent session demonstrated yet again that the IGN lacks the necessary openness and transparency and is constrained by flawed working methods. The IGN should be guided by the decision-making requirements and working methods laid out in the Charter of the United Nations and in the rules and procedures of the General Assembly.”

    G4 Ministers stressed on leaving behind debates based solely on general statements, without substantive text based negotiations actually taking place in an intergovernmental setting.

     Underlining the overwhelming majority of UN Member States who firmly support a comprehensive reform of the Security Council it demanded that the IGN in the current session should start immediately as a direct continuation of the previous session.
     The ministers emphasized the need for an enhanced role of developing countries and of major contributors to the United Nations to make the Council more legitimate, effective, and representative. They underlined that Africa needs to be represented in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of mem…

  • The Prime Minister today chaired a meeting to review COVID preparedness and response with Chief Ministers and other dignitaries of seven states. The meeting was attended by Home Minister, Defence Minister, Health Minister, Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Delhi, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh along with respective Home Ministers, Health Ministers, Chief Secretaries, Health Secretaries, Home Secretaries and DGPs. Officials of PMO, Cabinet Secretary, Member NITI Aayog and Secretaries of Health, Home, ICMR and other officials attended the meeting.

    A detailed presentation on the COVID status on India was made by Secretary (H). It was highlighted that these 7 States are contributing to 62% of active cases in the country and approximately 77% of the deaths due to COVID. The presentation highlighted the district of concern in terms of case trajectory, testing conducted, fatality & sample positivity rate in these states.

    The Chief Ministers also briefed the PM about the status in their states, and various initiatives being undertaken to control the situation. Hon’ble Prime Minister requested all concerned to maintain strict follow up to ensure that the chain of transmission of virus can be suppressed in these states, besides taking adequate testing to assist in early identification of cases, focusing on fatality reduction and promoting COVID safe behaviour to prevent further spread of infection in the community.

    Prime Minister exhorted that it is important to identify high burden districts and deepening the COVID Appropriate behaviour by undertaking various media campaigns. He suggested that for sustainable COVID management, awareness of the community and its involvement is paramount and there is a need to continue Jan Bhagidari and Jan Andolan for COVID management. He highlighted the need to promote COVID appropriate festivities in the coming days. He highlighted the need to focus on strict enforcement and surveillance in containment zones, undertaking contact tracing and monitoring comorbid and elderly patients specifically so as to ensure that the infection spread can be halted. He highlighted the need to ensure adequate supply of oxygen, medicines and equipments besides effective implementation of standard treatment guidelines across all health facilities to decrease case mortality. He mentioned that while it is important to upgrade the health infrastructure, it is equally important to ensure that citizens are made aware of the same including ensuring seamless hospital admission processes at the field level. 

    He mentioned that the battle for COVID management is still far from over and all states need to continue their on-going endeavour and have a mission-mode approach for managing the Pandemic situation in the country.

  • Two new species of a plant group known for their varied medicinal properties have been discovered in the Western Ghats – one of the thirty-five hot-spots of biological diversity in the world. The plant group known as pipeworts (Eriocaulon), which completes their life cycle within a small period during monsoon, exhibits great diversity in the Western Ghats, having around 111 species in India.

    Most of these are reported from the Western Ghats and Eastern Himalayas, and around 70% of them are endemic to the country. One species, Eriocaulon cinereum, is well known for its anti-cancerous, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. E. quinquangulare is used against liver diseases. E. madayiparense is an anti-bacterial from Kerala. The medicinal properties of the newly discovered species are yet to be explored. 
    Scientists from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune, have found two new species of pipeworts in Maharashtra and Karnataka. They found the new species while exploring the biodiversity of the Western Ghats. They wanted to trace the evolutionary history of the genus Eriocaulon and made extensive efforts to collect as many species as possible from India, especially from the Western Ghats.

  • The team is developing new disease control strategies which they can use as vaccines that activate the rice immune system and provide resistance to rice plants from subsequent infections by pathogens. Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, or commonly known as Xoo infection, cause huge yield losses to rice cultivation throughout the world. Treatment of rice with cellulase, a cell wall degrading enzyme secreted by Xoo induces rice immune responses and protects rice from subsequent infections by Xoo.

    The team led by Dr Lavanya carried out biochemical and functional studies on plant cell wall degrading enzymes secreted by Xoo, which has provided key insights into the mechanisms by which the Xoo pathogen interacts with rice plant and cause disease. 
    Using the leads obtained from her Ph. D work, Dr Lavanya, along with her research group have zeroed in on few molecules derived from either the Xoo bacterium and from infected rice cell walls which they hope to develop into vaccines.

    Currently, Dr. Lavanya’s group is working on a cellulase protein secreted by Xoo. This cellulase protein has the features of a typical vaccine as it is a potent elicitor of rice immune responses. Pre-treatment of rice plants with this protein provides resistance to rice against subsequent Xoo infection. In order to study how exactly this protein induces the rice immune system, her group is testing whether any surface exposed peptide of this cellulase protein is being recognized by the rice immune system leading to the activation of immune responses. They are also exploring whether the rice cell wall degradation products (sugars) that are released by the activity of this cellulase protein on rice cell walls elicit rice immunity. The elicitor molecules (peptide/sugars), once identified, will be used as a vaccine to activate the rice immune system and induce resistance in rice plants to subsequent infections by pathogens. 

    So far, improving the resistance of rice plants by introducing Resistance “R” genes has been the best way to control this disease which involves breeding or gene manipulation techniques that are laborious and time-consuming. Also, the introduced of “R” genes provide only race-specific resistance that will prevent infections by only specific strains of Xoo. But the elicitor molecule that will be identified in this work will have the potential to induce a broad-spectrum resistance, which will be effective not only against Xoo but also against other pathogens.

    According to Dr Lavanya, this study will reveal novel elicitors of rice defence responses and provide new knowledge about the basic aspects of plant-pathogen interactions that might lead to new ways of reducing yield losses for a crop that at least half of the world’s population depends on.

  •  During the monsoon session of the upper house 25 bills were cleared. Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu said Rajya Sabha consistently recorded its highest productivity in the last four sessions and it was praiseworthy. Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die, eight days ahead of the scheduled end of the monsoon session, in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. In his valedictory address, LS Speaker Om Birla thanked all members who participated and contributed to the successful conduct of Monsoon session following covid-19 protocols.

    Rajya Sabha was also adjourned sine die on Wednesday eight days ahead of the scheduled end of the Monsoon session, amid concerns of spread of coronavirus among lawmakers. In his Valedictory address, Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu said that the session was historic in some matters as special seating arrangements were made for MPs in adherence to social distancing guidelines. Apart from this, the house continuously worked for ten days without any leave.

    With the passage of 25 bills, Rajya Sabha recordes showed 100% productivity during the monsoon session. 198 MPs participated in discussions.  During the session, key bills like three bills related to agriculture sector, Bilateral netting of qualified Financial Contracts Bill, Foreign Contribution (Regulation) amendment bill, Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill were passed

    On the last day of the monsoon session, the Rajya Sabha bid farewell to 11 of its members who will retire in November this year. On Sunday, eight opposition members were suspended for the rest of the session for their misconduct  with the deputy chairperson of the house, against which the opposition staged a protest in the Parliament complex.

  • Responding to the allegation levelled by the Chinese Communist party mouthpiece Global Times in an article on Tuesday that CBOs in Myanmar are opposing China due to Western funding, the SGM denied the charge and said that it opposed the project because people of the region are getting no benefit out of it. 

    The work on the Chinese Oil and natural gas pipeline in Myanmar started in 2009. It was opposed by the local communities since its beginning provoking several protests in Rakhine, Shan and Magwe demanding fair compensation for loss of land and livelihood.

    Another NGO Equality Myanmar said that the majority of projects causing environmental destruction and human rights violation are Chinese mega projects, reports Irrawaddy.

    The twin pipelines carrying gas and oil connect the deep water port of Kyaukphyu in Rakhine State of Myanmar with Kunming in Yunnan province of China.

    - Rajesh Jha/Dhaka

  • A deluge hit Mumbai leaving roads water logged and slowing down life in the maximum city to a crawl. Public transport services were hit and normal life affected in the financial capital due to heavy downpour and waterlogging. Road traffic was also badly hit. Kurla, Sion, Dadar, Matunga, King's circle, Andheri Sub-way were some of the areas that resembled mini-ponds.

    The Met department said that Mumbai received one of the heaviest showers of this monsoon season, in the last 24 hours and more rainfall is predicted. The Bombay High Court on Wednesday suspended its hearings scheduled for the day, including all virtual hearings, in view of the heavy rainfall in the city and suburbs. BMC urged Mumbaikars to not venture out unless necessary. It also advised offices except essential services to remain shut for the day. According to BMC, all pumping stations are working in full capacity to pump out water from the waterlogged areas. BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal reviewed several areas in the city. He also visited Bandra Kalanagar Pumping station. 

    Mumbai and subburban locals were badly hit. Central Railway's Suburban services were suspended since 5 am. All suburban local services between Virar and Churchgate have been restored. Local trains were running between Churchgate & Dahanu Road on fast corridor, while on slow corridor, special suburban services were running between Bandra and Virar. There have been several route diversions of BEST buses as well. Though air operations in and out of Mumbai were normal. According to the Maharashtra Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar, five teams of the National Disaster Response Force are on standby in view of heavy rains that have lashed Mumbai, Thane and Palghar districts and caused water-logging in many areas. 

     

  • In a unique initiative, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with fitness influencers and citizens during a nation-wide online Fit India Dialogue to celebrate the first anniversary of the Fit India Movement on Thursday.
    The online interaction will see participants sharing anecdotes and tips of their own fitness journey while drawing out guidance from the Prime Minister on his thoughts about fitness and good health. Among those who will participate range from Virat Kohli to Milind Soman to Rujuta Diwekar in addition to other fitness influencers.

    In times of COVID-19, fitness has become an even more important aspect of life. This dialogue will see a timely and fruitful conversation on nutrition, wellness and various other aspects on fitness. Envisioned The Prime Minister as a People's Movement, the Fit India Dialogue is yet another endeavour to involve citizens of the country to draw out a plan to make India a Fit Nation. 

    In the past one year, since its launch, various events organised under the aegis of the Fit India Movement have seen enthusiastic participation of people from all walks of life and from across the country. The Fit India Freedom Run, Plog Run, Cyclothon, Fit India Week, Fit India School Certificate and various other programmes have seen a combined participation of over 3.5 crore people, making it a true People's Movement.

    The Fit India Dialogue, which will see participation of fitness enthusiasts from all over the country, further strengthens the vision that it is the citizens who are to be credited for the success of the nationwide movement.

    Anyone can join the Fit India Dialogue over the NIC link, https://pmindiawebcast.nic.in from 11.30 noon on September 24.

  •  The FCRA regulates the acceptance and utilization of foreign funds by individuals, associations and companies among other provisions, the bill proposes to enable the Centre to allow an NGO or association to surrender its FCRA certificate. It also proposes that not more than 20 per cent of the total foreign funds received can be spent on administrative expenses. Presently, the limit is 50 per cent.

    Under FRCA, election candidates, editor or publisher of a newspaper, judges, members of any legislature and political parties are prohibited from receiving foreign donations. The Bill adds public servants (as defined under the Indian Penal Code) to this list of prohibited persons. A key amendment proposes to introduce the requirement of Aadhaar, the biometric ID, stating that applicants must now provide Aadhaar details of all its office-bearers as an identification document.

    The Bill also prohibits the transfer of foreign grants received by an entity to a partner organisation or an associated person, which is a usual practice also foreign contribution can now be received only in an account designated by the bank as "FCRA account" in a branch of the State Bank of India, New Delhi. No funds other than the foreign contribution should be received or deposited in this account.
    Minister of State for Home, Nityanand Rai moved the bill for passage in the Upper House. Replying to a debate on the bill, minister said that the legislation was not against any NGO and is an effort to maintain transparency. This amendment is in the interest of good NGOs which want to do good work in the country.

  • However this hasn’t stopped him from making the most of his sporting dreams, as he won the gold medal in men’s F46 Javelin at the 2004 Athens Paralympics and followed it up with another gold in the men’s F44/46 Javelin at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. 

    Jhajharia, who is a Sports Authority of India coach in the SAI centre in Gandhinagar, will be a participant at the Fit India Dialogue, the only differently-abled fitness influencer to be present in the nationwide event, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be interacting with fitness influencers and citizens, to celebrate the first anniversary of the Fit India Movement on September 24, 2020.

    The Fit India Dialogue is yet another endeavour to involve citizens of the country to draw out a plan to make India a Fit Nation. Jhajharia spoke of his enthusiasm on being a part of the programme and said, “I am very happy to have got a chance to speak to our beloved Prime Minister. It is very important to remain fit because a fit country is a successful country. I think the Fit India Movement has had a massive impact on people and has reached every household of India. Our Prime Minister’s personal involvement and his clarion call to the youth of India has really made a difference.”

    Jhajharia, who is a Khel Ratna recipient also thanked the Prime Minister for constantly promoting sports, “He is very involved with sports, he posts on social media whenever athletes win medals on the international arena, this is very motivating for us.”

  • U.S. President Donald Trump told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that it "must hold China accountable for their actions" related to the COVID-19 pandemic, demanding that the United Nations must hold Beijing accountable for failing to contain the coronavirus that has killed nearly one million people across the world, including 2 lakh Americans.

    The US  president promised to distribute a vaccine and said: “We will defeat the virus, and we will end the pandemic” and enter a new era of prosperity, cooperation and peace.

    After President Trump blasted China over the COVID-19 outbreak, China`s President Xi Jinping has responded to his allegations, calling for enhanced cooperation over the pandemic and stressing that China had no intention of fighting "either a Cold War or a hot war with any country.

  •  India has the highest recovered cases in the world. It contributes 19.5% to the global recoveries as India records more recoveries than the new cases, many States/UTs follow the suit17 States/UTs have more new recoveries than new cases. 

    75% of the new recovered cases are being reported from ten States/UTs, viz. Maharashtra, Karnataka , Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala, West Bengal and Haryana. Maharashtra continues to lead with more than 20,000 new cases of recovered patients. Andhra Pradesh contributed more than 10,000 to the single day recoveries. 

    Vaccine Innovator, Bharat Biotech today announced, a licensing agreement with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis for a novel chimp-adenovirus, single dose intranasal vaccine for COVID-19. Bharat Biotech owns the rights to distribute the vaccine in all markets except USA, Japan and Europe. Phase I trials will take place in Saint Louis University's Vaccine & Treatment Evaluation Unit, Bharat Biotech, upon obtaining the required regulatory approval, it will also pursue further stages of clinical trials in India and undertake large scale manufacture of the vaccine at its GMP facility located in Genome Valley, Hyderabad. This intranasal vaccine candidate has shown unprecedented levels of protection in mice studies; the technology and data having been recently published in the prestigious scientific journal Cell and in an editorial in Nature.

  • The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned sine die, earlier the upper house passed The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020, The Industrial Relations Code, 2020,  and The Code On Social Security, 2020 today aims at amending the laws relating to Trade Unions, conditions of employment in industrial establishment or undertaking, investigation and settlement of industrial disputes. 

    Replying in Lok Sabha, Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said that three labour reform bills will prove to be a Game Changer and these three bills fullfills PM Modi's resolve for universal social security. He said, the government is committed for the welfare of the workers and in the last six years several steps have been taken in this direction.

    Speaking in Lok Sabha, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar  said that these historic bills will ensure justice for the workers. He said, several provisions have been made in the Bills including guaranteed minimum and timely wages, free health check-up facility and allowances for migrant workers to visit their homes once in a year.

  • Bharat Biotech owns the rights to distribute the vaccine in all markets except USA, Japan and Europe.
     
    While the Phase I trials will take place in Saint Louis University’s Vaccine & Treatment Evaluation Unit, Bharat Biotech, upon obtaining the required regulatory approval, will pursue further stages of clinical trials in India and undertake large scale manufacture of the vaccine at its GMP facility located in Genome Valley, Hyderabad.
     
    We are proud to collaborate on this innovative vaccine. We envision that we will scale this vaccine to 1 billion doses, translating to 1 billion individuals vaccinated receiving a single-dose regimen. An intranasal vaccine will not only be simple to administer but reduce the use of medical consumables such as needles, syringes, etc., significantly impacting the overall cost of a vaccination drive.

    Our experience in viral vaccines, manufacturing capabilities, and distribution continue to be our strong suit in ensuring safe, efficacious, and affordable vaccines. It is prudent for Bharat to be involved in diverse but tenable projects to provide a much-needed vaccine against COVID-19 reaches all citizens of the world.” Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech, stated.
     
    This intranasal vaccine candidate has shown unprecedented levels of protection in mice studies; the technology and data having been recently published in the prestigious scientific journal Cell and in an editorial in Nature.

  • New recoveries in India have exceeded the new cases for the fifth consecutive day.

    89,746 recoveries have been registered in the last 24 hours in the country, whereas the number of new confirmed cases stands at 83,347.

    With this, the total number of recoveries are 45,87,613. The Recovery Rate is 81.25% today.

    India has the highest recovered cases in the world. It contributes 19.5% to the global recoveries.

    As India records more recoveries than the new cases, many States/UTs follow the suit.

    17 States/UTs have more new recoveries than new cases.

    75% of the new recovered cases are being reported from ten States/UTs, viz. Maharashtra, Karnataka , Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala, West Bengal and Haryana.

     

    Maharashtra continues to lead with more than 20,000 new cases of recovered patients. Andhra Pradesh contributed more than 10,000 to the single day recoveries.