News

  • Bihar government has decided to give one thousand rupees to each migrant workers who have returned to the state recently following nationwide lockdown.

  • In view of COVID -19 outbreak, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will conduct class 10 and 12 examinations only for 29 main subjects which are crucial for promotion and admission to higher educational institutions.

  • Centre has asked States and Union Territories to strictly implement lockdown measures in the letter and spirit.

  • United Nation's COP 26 climate change summit due to take place in the Scottish city of Glasgow in November has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The Government has said, positive cases of corona virus in the country has increased and states have been asked to launch intensive drive to trace the suspected contacts.

  • United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called the Corona virus pandemic the most challenging crisis the world has faced since World War-II.

  • Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has instructed the Indian Institute of Technology, IITs to ensure that they should conduct active research work in the area of COVID19.

  • Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba took a meeting today by video-conferencing with all the Chief Secretaries and Director General Police of the States.

  • The Government today said, positive cases of coronavirus in the country has increased and states have been asked to launch intensive drive to trace the suspected contacts.

  • Briefing media in New Delhi, Joint Secretary in Health and Family Welfare, Lav Agarwal said Railway is preparing more than three lakh isolation beds for which work has been started to modify 20 thousand coaches.

  • The Centre has defined new domicile rule for Jammu and Kashmir which includes those who have lived in the Union Territory for 15 years.

  • National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, NPPA has revised the ceiling price of 883 scheduled formulations.

  • Tournament organizer, All England Club (AELTC) after an emergency meeting announced that the Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the Novel Coronavirus epidemic.

    The tournament was due to be played between 29 June and 12 July. The entire grass-court season has been abandoned, and there will be no professional tennis anywhere in the world until at least 13 July.

    Devastated, tweeted eight-time champion Roger Federer, while Serena Williams, who has won the tournament seven times, said she was shocked by the momentous decision.

  • In a letter to State Chief Secretaries and UT administrators, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said, ithas been noticed that some States and UTs are allowing exceptions beyond what has been permitted under the lockdown. He said, this amounts to violation ofthe lockdown measures announced by the Center under the Disaster Management Act and may defeat the overall objective of containing the spread of COVID-19.

  • In a tweet, President Ram Nath Kovind said, the ideal life of Lord Rama gives us the message of virtue, tolerance, warm heartedness and friendship. He said, let us pledge to follow Shri Ram ideals in our lives and build a glorious India.

    Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said, may this festival bring health, happiness, peace and prosperity in the lives of all our citizens and gives us the courage to collectively combat the major health challenge we are currently facing.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet on Thursday said, heartiest congratulations to everyone on the auspicious occasion of Ram Navami.
    Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said that Shri Ram is an ideal who shows us the way, how to live and why to live. He said, Ramayan is being seen on Doordarshan and we can see and learn.

  • Consumer Affairs Ministrysaid, FCI is fully prepared to meet not only the food grain requirement under National Food Security Act but also any additional demand including supply of 5 kg per Person for next three months to more than 81 Crore people under PMGarib Kalyan Ann Yojana. 

    The Ministry said, as on 31st of last month, FCI hasover 56 million tonnes of Food Grains. It said, FCI is able to meet theincreasing demand of food grains by gearing up the pace of supply of wheat andrice throughout the country mostly by Rail.

    A total of 53 Rakes are being loaded on Wednesday carrying about one lakh 48 thousand Metric Tonnes food grainstock. The Ministry said, since the day of lockdown, FCI has moved 352 rakes carrying an approximate quantity of nine lakh 86 thousand metric tonnes.

  • At least 45,719 deaths have been recorded in 187 countries and territories globally. Over two lakh cases and 4,476 deaths have been reported in the United States alone.

    Italy with 1,10,574 detected cases has the highest number of fatalities with 13,155 deaths. Spain has 1,02,136 cases including 9,053 deaths and China has 81,554 cases and 3,312 deaths.

  • In the elections on April 15, voters will elect 300 members of the National Assembly for the next four years and elections have been grappling the challenges of ensuring people's right to vote while keeping them safe.

    Some 4,000 patients are now receiving treatment and will be able to cast their ballots via mail or early absentee voting, Interior Minister Chin Young said.

    The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 89 new cases on Thursday, taking the national tally to 9,976. A total of 5,828 have recovered from the virus, while 4,148 are still receiving treatment.

  • British government said that dates for a rescheduled conference in 2021 would be announced later. Some 30,000 people, including 200 world leaders, had been due to attend the 10-day conference for crucial talks to halt rising global temperatures.

    A UN panel in 2018 concluded that avoiding global climate chaos needed a major shift in society and the world economy. Global CO2 emissions needed to drop 45 per cent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050, to limit temperature rise to the safe cap of 1.5 degrees Celsius set as a goal in the Paris accord.

    UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said postponement was unavoidable but that the pandemic should not divert the world from the climate change challenge.

  • During the meeting, he reviewed the preparedness and concerns of medical staff across the country related to COVID-19. They were informed about the current scenario in the country, various guidelines, treatment and protocols. Doctors from States including Delhi, Kerala, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Gujarat, Telangana and Uttarakhand participated in the video conferencing.

    During the meeting, Dr  HarshVardhan  stated that the prevention, containment and management of COVID-19  are being monitored at the highest level and various actions have been initiated in collaboration with the States. He informed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is regularly monitoring and reviewing the situation with the top officials of concerned Ministries, Departments and States.

    The Minister reviewed the status of the preparedness in terms of availability of beds, isolation wards, laboratory readiness for high test volumes. He also exhorted Indian Medical Association and its regional members to make a task force and take proactive role in helping the official machinery at state, district and local levels.  He again appealed to the nation that the doctors and health care workers should not be ostracized or targeted instead they should be lauded for their efforts in helping the public at large.

    Dr. Harsh Vardhan also informed about the recently published TeleMedicine guidelines under which a doctor can provide guidance over telephone and give digital preion.  He reiterated the resolve and said that the government is committed to preventing the spread of COVID- 19, and it will take all extreme and pre-emptive steps available to stop its spread. He urged the people to respect   the lockdown as an effective intervention to curb the spread of COVID-19 transmission.

  • "I think that Russia and Saudi Arabia at some point are going to make a deal, in the not-too-distant future, because it's very bad for Russia, it's very bad for Saudi Arabia," Trump said at a White House news conference, adding he had separate "great" conversations with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent days.

    Trump's national security adviser Robert O'Brien also said the U.S. "will work with the world's largest oil producers to address volatility in global oil markets."

  • Pokhriyal said this while chairing a meeting with all the Directors of 23 Indian Institutes of Technology through Video Conferencing in New Delhi on Thursday. He said, the research work which is already being done should be given wider publicity in the social media and other mediums.

    Pokhriyal also directed the Institutes to ensure that maximum number of students are covered through online courses. The institutes have been asked to place the courses on online education portal SWAYAM and SWAYAM PRABHA. The Minister also asked the Directors of institutes to take care of the students, faculty and their family members and ensure that they should not be facing any problem.  

  • Joint Secretary Aggarwal said, government is regulating 24 class of medical devices which have been notified and regulated as drugs under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945. He said, no manufacturer and importer can increase the MRP of a drug more than ten percent of MRP during preceding twelve month.

    He said, this step has been taken to provide the medicines and devices at affordable rates to the people. Joint Secretary Aggarwal said, Supreme Court has directed the states to make arrangement of counselor at relief camps. He said, on the direction of apex court an email ID- technicalquery.covid19@gov.in has been created by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry to resolve the technical queries.

    Joint Secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs, Punya Salila Srivastava said that efforts have been made by the States and Union Territories to provide essential items to the people. She said, 21 thousand 486 relief camps have been set up in the country wherein more than 6 lakh 75 thousand people have been provided shelter while meals to 25 lakh people.

    She said, Cabinet Secretary held a discussion with the Chief Secretatries of States on Wednesday and reiterated that cargo movement should be hassle free and this must be effectively transmitted to the ground level. She said, Cabinet Secretary requested the states to expediate the implementation of Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana.

    Head Scientist, ICMR, Delhi, Raman R Gangakhedkar said, 47 thousand 951 tests have been conducted so far and the current capacity utilization of the labs is 38 per cent. He said, ICMR has given approval to 126 government laboratories and 51 private laboratories to conduct the tests. He said, total four thousand 562 tests have been conducted on Tuesday including 816 by the private laboratories.

    Meanwhile, 386 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the latest update taking total number of cases to 1,637 in the country. According to Health Ministry, death toll due to coronavirus has risen to 38 in the country while  133 patients have been cured and discharge.

  • Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba took a meeting on Wednesday by video-conferencing with all the Chief Secretaries  and Director General Police of the States.

    The States were sensitized about the intensive contact tracing of Tablighi Jamat participants as this has increased the risk of containment efforts of COVID-19.

    The States were asked to complete the contact tracing process on a war footing. It has been found that foreigners who had participated in the Tablighi Jamat had violated visa conditions.

    The states were asked to initiate action for violation of visa condition against the foreigners and the organizers of the event. The States were also asked to implement the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana within the next week. 

  • Briefing media in New Delhi, Joint Secretary in Health and Family Welfare, Lav Agarwal said, movement of the people associated with Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin in the national capital, has increased the number of cases in the country.

    Joint Secretary Agarwal  said, 18 hundred people have been hospitalized and sent for quarantine. He appealed that religious congregation should be avoided and social distancing should be adhered during lock down.

    He said, Cabinet Secretary held a meeting on Wednesday with the state officials to review the preparedness related to migrant workers. The Cabinet Secretary asked officials to ensure proper sanitation, food, water, medical arrangement for the migrant workers.

  • Medical experts advising Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a news conference on Wednesday that the rapid spread of contagion was severely straining hospitals in the capital Tokyo, in Osaka and some other prefectures, and that quick action was vital.

    “Fundamental responses should be made as early as today or tomorrow,” Shigeru Omi, head of the Japan Community Healthcare Organisation, said. He said the medical system could collapse even before an “overshoot” - or explosive rise in cases.

    Abe is facing growing public calls to declare a state of emergency that would give local governors greater clout to tell residents to stay home, close schools and take other steps. But the relevant enabling law includes no penalties in most cases.

    Many other countries hit by the pandemic have imposed legally binding lockdowns with serious penalties for violators.

    Japan had confirmed 2,362 domestically transmitted cases of the coronavirus and 67 deaths as of Wednesday - relatively small tallies compared with those of the United States, China and Europe.

    But Tokyo has seen the biggest jump in cases, with another 66 on Wednesday for a total of 587, adding to pressure on the government to take more drastic measures. The public broadcaster of Japan said later that Japan overall had seen its highest daily increase yet with 237 new cases, though it was not clear if that number was included in the total tally for Wednesday.

    “We are barely holding the line and remain at a critical point where virus cases could surge if we let down our guard,” Abe told a parliamentary committee.

    Economics Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said infectious disease experts were especially alarmed about medical capacity in Tokyo and that the country was on the verge of a crisis.

    “We must prevent infections from spreading further no matter what. We have come to the edge of edges, to the very brink,” he told.

     

     

  • In the latest gazette notification, Section 3A of the J&K Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020, under the J&K Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act, has been introduced to define domicile as that who has resided for a period of 15 years in the UT of J&K or has studied for a period of seven years and appeared in class 10th or 12th examination in an educational institution located in the UT of J&K.

    Before 5th of August last year, 35-A of the Constitution (now abrogated) empowered J&K Assembly to define a J&K resident, who alone were eligible to apply for jobs or own immovable property. The definition expands to include children of those Central Government officials, All India Services Officers, officials of PSUs and autonomous body of Central Government, Public Sector Banks, officials of statutory bodies, officials of Central Universities and recognized research institutes of Central Government who have served in Jammu and Kashmir for a total period of ten years or children on parents who fulfill any of the conditions in sections.

    Additionally, persons registered as a migrant by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants) in the UT of J&K, will also be included in the definition. Children of such residents of J&K as residents outside UT of J&K in connection with their employment or business or other professional or vocational reasons but their parents fulfill any of the conditions provided earlier. 

    The provisions of the Act authorize the Tehsildar as a competent authority for issuing the domicile certificate, as opposed to Deputy Commissioner or any officer specially notified by the State Government by way of a gazette notification in the form of a SRO-29 state laws have been repealed while 109 have been amended. Section 5-A states that no person shall be eligible for appointment to a post carrying a pay scale for not more than level 4 unless he is a domicile of UT of J&K. Through the same order, the Centre has repealed the J&K Civil Services (Special Provisions) Act.

  • In order to strengthen the country’s efforts at fighting against Corona Virus “COVID19”, IFFCO has humbly contributed the amount. 

    This contribution of Rs 25 crore has been remitted today by IFFCO through State Bank of India, CAG Branch, New Delhi to the Designated Account No. 39238765008 of PM Cares FUND in SBI, Main Branch, Sansad Marg, New Delhi. IFFCO has always delivered its best in the service of the nation by serving the farmers and rural areas of the country. 

    Apart from this contribution, IFFCO is also contributing at ground zero by distributing masks, hand sanitizers, disinfectant soaps, Vitamin-C tablets and essential food kits to the farmers and villagers at various places across the country. IFFCO’s 5 Fertiliser Units in the country are functional and continuously operating in shifts to produce the Fertilisers and essential soil nutrients so that this pandemic does not affect the agriculture activities of the country. 

    Dr. U S Awasthi, MD IFFCO said that at this time of crisis, each employee of IFFCO is standing behind the Hon’ble PM & every citizen of the country with full support. Together, we all will make a healthier, happier and prosperous India. 

    Balvinder Nakai, Chairman IFFCO; Dileep Bhai Sanghani, Vice-Chairman IFFCO; Board of Directors and all the employees of IFFCO as well as all its subsidiaries, societies and joint venture companies also conveyed their best wishes & support to PM for the success of your efforts in fighting this global pandemic.

  • A UN aid agency began delivering food to the homes of impoverished Palestinians on Tuesday instead of making them pick up such parcels at crowded distribution centers. The step was taken to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

    As the virus continued to spread across the Middle East, Iran, the hardest-hit country in the region, reported 141 new deaths, pushing the death toll closer to 3,000 people.

    In Israel, defense officials said they had converted a missile-production plant into an assembly line for much-needed breathing machines.

    Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, said it would pay medical expenses for anyone infected with the virus.
     
    In Saudi Arabia, King Salman said the government will pay for the treatment of all Coronavirus patients, including visitors and foreign residents.

  • Vaccine candidates normally have to go through animal testing first before they go through the three phases of clinical trials in human beings. Among the 44 candidate vaccines that researchers are working on, only two are so far in Phase 1 clinical trials in humans.

    The first vaccine to enter Phase 1 clinical trials, investigating safety and efficacy in humans is -the RNA vaccine developed by Moderna. The vaccine is being tested on volunteers at the Kaiser Health Research Institute in Seattle.

    The other vaccine candidate currently in Phase 1 trials is Ad5-nCoV by Cansino Biologics Inc, based in Tianjin, China. The clinical trial on 108 subjects wiill take place at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, where the COVID-19 pandemic began.

    According to Global Alliance for Vaccines or GAVI, unlike the Moderna vaccine, this one has already been tested on animals. It has shown to be safe and triggers an immune response.
     

  • Bhutia has offered shelter to migrant workers in his building at Lumsey, Tadong near Gangtok.

    On his official Facebook page, Bhutia said, he felt strongly for migrant workers who hoped to reach their homes to survive the coronavirus and the nationwide lockdown.

    Bhutia said that along with United Sikkim Football Club, he would like to offer shelter to those in need in my building in Lumsey, Tadong. 

  • According to Helmand police Spokesman Zaman Hamdard, all the victims were from a single family. The family had just left the southern district to Greshk when the bomb hit their car. Two more family members were wounded.

    No one has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. However, both the Taliban and the Islamic State militants are active in the province.

    On Tuesday, the Taliban had sent a three-member technical team to Kabul to monitor the release of prisoners as part of a peace deal with the US. The deal signed in February calls for the Afghan Government to release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners and for the Taliban to free 1,000 government personnel and Afghan troops they hold captive. 

  • Launching a new report titled 'Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity: Responding to the Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19' on Tuesday,  Guterres said that the pandemic will lead to an economic recession without any parallel in the recent past.

    Calling it much more than a health crisis, Guterres said that the pandemic is a human crisis which demands coordinated, decisive, inclusive and innovative policy action from the world's leading economies. He also called for maximum financial and technical support for the poorest and most vulnerable people and countries.

  • Union Health Ministry has confirmed that 1,238 active cases of Coronavirus have been reported in the country so far. Out of these 123 patients have been cured and discharged. A total 38 deaths have been confirmed by the Ministry.

    Indian Council of Medical Research has given its approval to 125 government laboratories and 51 private laboratories chain to conduct the test of COVID-19.

  • Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on said, the entire building has been evacuated on Wednesday morning by conducting a 36 hour intensive campaign in Almi Markaz of Nizamuddin in Delhi.

    In a tweet, Sisodia said, a total of two thousand 361 people turned out in this building and 617 have been admitted to hospitals and the rest have been sent for quarantine.

    He appreciated the efforts of medical staff, administration, police, DTC staff who worked together in this 36-hour operation, putting their lives at risk.
     

  • With the pandemic comes the stigma, superstitions and fear about the disease among people.

    One important challenge is how to make sense of extreme measures such as isolation, quarantine and lock-down. Why must we practice physical distancing?

    To dispel the myths and provide a basic scientific understanding of the public health measure behind the pandemic Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) come out with a package of engaging and illuminating communication materials.

    Researchers have created a set of multi-lingual resources (youtube videos) in explaining why social distancing is helpful for tackling viral outbreaks like COVID-19. The resources are based on the original simulations published by Harry Stevens in the Washington Post.

    “We have launched in nine languages English, Hindi, Bengali, Konkani, Marathi, Malayalam, Odia, Tamil and Telugu through volunteering efforts by faculties, families and students” Prof Arnab Bhattacharya, Scientist, TIFR. Soon the resource material would be released in Gujarati, Punjabi, Haryanvi and Assamese as well.

    The idea is to help disseminate information and debunk various myths that are going around.

    The information has been provided in easy to understand format and in regional language so that it can reach to wider audiences. “The disease was emerged in abroad, but we have to explain about it to our population according to local needs, for which this vernacular content is important. We hope that the use of this material can prove effective in spreading awareness among the people,” said Dr Bhattacharya.

    In the next step the team is trying to make masks by some home picked material. For this posters and videos would be released soon.

    The public outreach initiative by TIFR, titled ‘Chai and Why?’ a platform where scientists interact with the people through social media to debunk misinformation and explain the science behind the virus.

  • As a part of this drive, CIEPT’s Gwalior Centre has handed over its Skill Training Centre to District Magistrate/Collector and created 72 bed quarantine Centre by attaching the staff and officers of CIPET on 24x7 duty to provide support service to the paramedical team. 

    Similarly CIEPT Bhuwaneshwar has created awareness/sensitization among the public to fight against transmission of Corona pandemic by distributing mask, sanitizers,disinfectents and water bottles. It is also carrying out demonstrations. 

    All the Employees of CIPET have voluntarily contributed one days salary amounting to 18 lakh rupees to the PM CARES fund.

    R&D wing of CIPET-SARP LARPM Bhuwaneshwar has prepared Sanitizers as per wHO guidelines and distributed the same to Security and Housekeeping Staffs for protection against COVID-19

    CIPET Lucknow have contributed 5 lakh rupees to ANNADA (Grain Bank), Nagar Nigam Nidhi, Luknow ,to provide food to tne needy,poor and migrants in the city. 

    Similar efforts are being made at various CIPET Centers to provide food to the needy and poor people.

  • Joint Secretary in Ministry of Health Lav Aggarwal said, 227 fresh confirmed cases of novel coronavirus or COVID-19 have been reported in the past 24 hours in the country. With this the total number of cases has now gone up to 1251. Three deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours, one each from Gujarat, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.

    He also informed that the Government has formed an Empowered Committee led by Dr Vinod Paul, Member, NITI Aayog and Professor K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to Prime Minister which will focus on Research and Development and coordinate with various scientific agencies, regulatory bodies and private industry to work on countering COVID-19. He said, 101 people have been cured and discharged so far.

    Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar of Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR said, over 42 thousand samples have been tested so far. He said, 123 labs are functional and 49 private labs have been given clearance. He informed that 399 patients have been screened in private labs on Tuesday.

    Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar informed that ICMR is working with the Department of Bio Technology and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on the agenda of developing a vaccine for the COVID-19 disease.

  • Equity benchmark Sensex slumped over 700 points in early trade. Starting the new financial year on a negative note, the 30-share BSE barometer was trading 715 points or 2.43 per cent lower at 28,754.

    While, the NSE Nifty fell 199 points, or 2.31 per cent, to 8,399.

    In the previous session, the Sensex closed the financial year 2019-20 higher by 1,028 points or 3.62 per cent at 29,468. The Nifty rose 317 points, or 3.82 per cent, to close at 8,598.

    However, during the fiscal, the Sensex plunged 9,204 points or 23.80 per cent, while the Nifty sank 3,026 points or 26.03 per cent.

    Domestic forex markets are closed today for the annual closing of banks.

    Domestic equity as well as commodity markets, however, will operate normally.

  • Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, U.S. President advised people to be prepared for the hard days ahead.

    President Trump added that the US is going to start seeing some real light at the end of the tunnel.

    US President appealed to the American people to be positive and cooperate in this war against the invisible army of Coronavirus.

    He added that the COVID-19 is a crisis unlike any other that US had ever faced.

    President Trump also said that Success in this fight would require the full absolute measure of our collective strength, love, and devotion.

  • Prime Minister expressed his condolences to President Macron for the loss of lives in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    The leaders discussed the domestic and international aspects of the crisis, and underlined the importance of global collaboration and solidarity in the present situation. 

    They agreed that the expert teams of both countries would actively share information on measures to prevent the spread of the virus, and research on treatment and vaccines.

    The French President strongly agreed with Prime Minister’s view that the COVID-19 crisis is a turning point in modern history, and offers the world an opportunity to forge a new human-centric concept of globalisation. 

    The leaders underlined the importance of not losing sight of other global concerns like Climate Change, which impact humanity as a whole.

    They also stressed the need to devote special attention to the needs of less developed countries, including those in Africa, during the present crisis.

    President Macron warmly welcomed Prime Minister’s suggestion that the practice of yoga offers a convenient means of ensuring mental and physical well-being, for people confined to their homes by the pandemic. 

    President of France confirmed that Yoga has been winning new practitioners in France during the present health crisis. 

    Both leaders agreed that the India-France partnership could contribute to advancing a spirit of human-centric solidarity in the present difficult times. 

  • The RBI had earlier issued directions asking lending institutions to allow three month moratorium on loan payments.

    Banks like State Bank of India, Punjab and Sind Bank, Canara Bank, UCO Bank, Syndicate Bank and Bank of Baroda have announced the offer of the moratorium to customers via tweets.

    SBI said on its Twitter handle that they have initiated steps to defer the installments and EMIs on term loans falling between 1st of March and 31st of May.

    It said the interest on Working capital facilities for the period has also been deferred to 30th of June.

    Canara Bank is further providing collateral and margin free loans up to Rs 20 lakh to Self Help Groups

  • The prototype of this ventilator will be ready very soon and just after assembling, it can be used as life support system.

    Ventilator is a very important medical equipment for COVID-19 Patients, especially those who are old and the virus can prove fatal to them. Keeping this in mind Bio Science and Bio Engineering department of IIT Kanpur has prepared a design of live saver portable ventilator. 

    A team of experts from IIT is working for early production of this portable ventilator. Professor Amitabh Bandopadhyay from Bio Science and Bio Engineering department said that there will be need of thousands of portable ventilators in future to strengthen the health system of country. That is why an expert team has designed this portable ventilator and very soon the assembling process of the ventilator will start.

    Professor Amitabh said that within 3 to 4 days the prototype will be ready and in one month we will be able to produce maximum number of ventilators to save the lives of public.

  • The ordinance provides for extension of various time limits under the Taxation and Benami Acts. 

    It also provides for extension of last date for filing of original as well as revised income-tax returns for the financial year 2018-19 to 30th June.

    The ordinance provides for the same tax relief to Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES FUND) as available to Prime Minister National Relief Fund. 

    Donations made to the PM CARES fund shall be eligible for 100% deduction under section 80G of the IT Act. The limit on deduction of 10% of gross income shall also not be applicable for donation made to PM CARES Fund. 

    The date for claiming deductions under section 80G, including donations for the fund, has been extended up to June 30. The donations made up to 30th June will also be eligible for deduction from income of Financial Year 2019-20.

    The Aadhaar-PAN linking date has also been extended to 30th June. Last date of furnishing of the Central Excise returns due in March, April and May has been extended to 30th June.

  • Chemical and Fertilizers Ministry said, the Department of Pharmaceuticals is continuously monitoring the production of medicines since the outbreak of Coronavirus in China. It said, all efforts are made to ensure production of drugs and medical devices during the period of lockdown.

    The Ministry said, the department is also addressing issues of availability, supply and local related issues of medicines with the help of other Departments and States and Union Territories.

    The Department of Pharmaceuticals is working in close coordination with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Customs authorities, Central and State Drug Controllers, State Governments and Union Territories and various Drugs and Medical Device Associations.

    The Ministry said, a Central control room 011-23389840 has been set up in the Department, which is working from 8 AM to 6 PM.

    National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has also set up another Helpline No. 1800111255, which functions round the clock. The Control rooms deals with issues related to coordination of transport and other logistic services related to drugs and medical devices.

  • A statement issued at the end of the meeting, said that emergency measures designed to tackle COVID-19, if deemed necessary, must be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary.

    The measures should not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global supply chains, and be consistent with WTO rules.

    In the second such meet through video conferencing, India has called for creating global framework for further enhancing affordable access to medicines for fighting pandemics and facilitating easier movement of health professionals across national borders.

    In his interventions, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal stressed on the need to uphold multilateral commitments and improve upon its effectiveness to meet current challenges.

  • The camps will provide shelter to over 6 lakh people during the lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

    Briefing media in New Delhi on Monday, she said, facilities have been set up to feed over 23 lakh people and these are available to the poor, stranded migrant workers, quarantined workers and other needy persons.

    Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Punya Salila Shrivastav also said that the Government is using cluster containment strategies and doing rigorous contact tracing in COVID 19 hotspots to check the virus from further spreading.

  • He also said that FIRs will be registered against those spreading rumours related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, under the Disaster Management Act.

  • There have been two deaths out of the total 132 infections so far while another 16 have been successfully treated and discharged.

    Another 173 individuals are under observation at several hospitals on suspicion of contracting the virus.

    The whole country has been under curfew for past 10 days to fight the situation while over seven thousand people have been arrested for curfew violations so far.

    President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed to provide essential services and  provision of 5000 rupees  to the low income families to ease the financial difficulties faced by them.

    Police today said that those who have returned to the country from abroad after 16th of this month need to report to police by tomorrow noon and failing to do so will debar them from leaving the country in future.

    Colombo stock exchange will remain closed till the curfew is in place.

  • The Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government has issued a detailed manual on homemade masks for Curbing the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus 

    Analyses show that if 50% of the population were to wear masks, only 50% of the population would be infected by the virus. Once 80% of the population wears a mask, the outbreak can be stopped immediately.

    On Why Wear a Mask?, it says that  “COVID-19 virus spreads easily from person to person contact.  Virus carrying droplets dry fast enough to form droplet nuclei and remain airborne eventually landing on different surfaces. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been detected in aerosols for up to three hours and on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to three days. (N.Engl J.Med. 2020)”.

    The manual says that Masks lower the chances of coronavirus entering the respiratory system through droplets still in the air from an infected person. It says that reducing the chances of inhaling the virus by wearing a protective mask that is cleaned thoroughly using a combination of approaches that use Heat, UV light, water, soap and alcohol, will be vital to stopping its spread.

    The proposed guide is meant to provide a simple outline of best practices to make, use and reuse masks to enable NGOs and individuals to self-create such masks and accelerate widespread adoption of masks across India. The key criteria for proposed designs are Ease of Access to Materials, Easy of Making at Home, Ease of Use and Reuse. Wearing of masks is especially recommended for people living in densely populated areas across India.

    Earlier in its update on  Science, Technology and Innovation response to COVID-19, the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India stated that the Science and Technology Empowered Committee for COVID-19 response has rapidly worked towards implementation of scientific solutions.

    The following actions are in place keeping in view the critical need to increase the testing facilities for COVID-19: An office memorandum allowing institutes under DST, DBT, CSIR, DAE, DRDO and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to self assess and prepare their labs for research and testing through the standard and rigorous protocol. Testing will be stratified according to priorities set by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and ICMR. Research will also be stratified into short and mid-term returns.

    The S & T Empowered Committee was constituted on 19th March 2020. The committee is chaired by Prof. Vinod Paul, Member, NITI Aayog and Prof. K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, and is responsible for coordination amongst science agencies, scientists, industries and regulatory bodies, and to take speedy decisions on research and development to implementation related to the Sars-Cov-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease.

  • Mahatma Gandhi NREGS wages have been revised by Department of Rural Development, GoI with effect from 1st April, 2020.

    he average national increase is Rs 20. Focus of Mahatma Gandhi NREGS may be on individual beneficiary-oriented works which directly benefit SC, ST and women headed households as well as small and marginal farmers and other poor households.

    However, close consultation and guidance of the State as well as district authorities would be necessary to ensure that lock down conditions are not violated and norms of social distancing are scrupulously followed.Ministry of Rural Development is according top priority to liquidate the wage and material arrears.

    An amount of Rs. 4,431 crore has been released in this week to various States/UTs to liquidate these liabilities of current fiscal year and the remaining such liabilities along with 1st tranche for the year 2020-21 will be released before 15th April, 2020. An amount of Rs. 721 crore has been released to State Government of Andhra Pradesh.

  • In an advisory to all states and Union Territories, the Ministry has asked them to treat such documents as valid till June 30.

    The decision was taken to facilitate people facing difficulties in renewing the validity of various motor vehicle documents due to nationwide lockdown in the country and closure of government transport offices.

    The documents include fitness, permits (all types), driving licence, registration or any other concerned document under the Motor Vehicle Rules.

    The ministry has requested all states to implement the advisory in "letter and spirit" so that the people and transporters and organisations rendering essential services do not get harassed and face difficulties

  • During the current financial year 2019-20, the exports from SEZs have already crossed USD 110 Billion.

    In the present scenario of complete lockdown in the country to curb the spread of COVI-19, SEZs units engaged in manufacturing of essential items like drugs, pharmaceuticals or hospital equipment are operational to ensure these critical supplies are not disrupted.

    More than 280 units, engaged in manufacturing of essential items like pharmaceuticals and hospital devices, are operational. Besides, more than 1900 IT/ITES Units have been facilitated to enable their employees to work from home.

    Development Commissioners of SEZs have been requested to ensure that there is no hardship to Developer/Co-Developer/Units and no punitive action is taken in cases where compliances like filing of QPR, APR, SOFTEX in case of IT/ITES Units etc, required to be filed by 31st March, 2020 are not completed.

    Further,  It has also been requested that all extensions of LoAs and other compliances are facilitated through electronic mode in a time-bound manner and where it is not possible to grant extension through electronic mode or in cases where a physical meeting is required, It may be ensure that the Developer / Co-developer / Units do not face any hardship due to such expiry of validity during this period of disruption, and ad-hoc interim extension / deferment of the expiry date may be granted without prejudice till 30.06.2020 or further instructions of the Department on the matter, whichever is earlier.

    All Development Commissioners are closely coordinating with the units in their jurisdiction for their smooth functioning while ensuring that all necessary precautions of work-place safety, including social distancing are scrupulously adhered.

  • In a letter sent to CMDs of all the PSUs, Sadananda Gowda has said, Government of India is taking all possible steps to prevent spreading of the outbreak ,  however  a public health situation of this scale requires concerted efforts from all sections of the society ,therefore I request you all to contribute maximum possible  amount of your CSR budget to PM CARES.

    He said, Government of India has set up the PM CARES fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation such as that posed by COVID-19 pandemic and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, has already clarified that any contribution made to the said fund shall qualify as CSR expenditure under the Companies Act 2013.

    Sadananda Gowda said that it is a good opportunity for the PSUs to utilize their unspent CSR funds for financial year 2019-20 by contributing to the above fund immediately. Similarly the  companies may also contribute to this fund from April 2020 onwards for FY 2020-21.

    Central Minister said that he has also requested CMDs of all the PSUs to motivate the employees of their company to voluntarily contribute at least one day of their monthly salary to PM CARES fund.

    Sadananda Gowda has donated his one month salary and one crore rupees from his MPLAD fund to PM National Relief Fund. 

  • Out of the total cases, 101 patients have been cured and discharged from the hospitals while 32 died.

    Briefing media in New Delhi, Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Lav Aggarwal said that the cases reported in the last 12 days is much less than the those reported in the developed country.

    He said, this happened because of the cooperation of people of the country, our collective preemptive action, social distancing and enforcement of lockdown.

    He said as the country is battling against an infectious disease and people are required to be and follow the guidelines issued in this regard.
       
    Aggarwal informed that the government has also constituted empowered groups focussing on issues including medical emergency management and hospital management. He said, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has also decided to create isolation facility at its National Institute of Training and Hostels.

    He said, Centre is engaged with the States and focussing on setting up dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and strengthening the health infrastructure.

    He said, out the positive cases reported in the country, 99 per cent patient have recovered. He said, there is no evidence of community transmission in the country and it is at local transmission.
     
    Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry, Punya Salila Srivastava said that Home Ministry is regularly monitoring the enforcement of lockdown with the State governments. She said, the guidelines of the lockdown are being followed by the States and availability of the essential items and services are satisfactory. She said, the situation of migrant workers is under control.
           
    Raman Gangakhedkar, Head Scientist at ICMR, said that so far over 38 thousand COVID-19 test have been conducted. He said, 115 labs under ICMR network are functional and approval has been given to 47 private labs.
     

  • An order issues by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said, this extension will be valid till 30th June this year or the next date of empannelment whichever is earlier on the same terms and conditions and rates.
     
    However, all hospitals and diagnostic centers shall charge National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Labotaries, NABL rates only for investigations conducted by them which are NABL accredited.
     
    For all other investigations, non-NABL rates may be claimed.

  • Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain today said around 1500 to 1700 people had assembled at Markaz building in Delhi's Nizamuddin area, which has thrown up several corona cases. 

    Mr Jain He told reporters that 1033 people have been evacuated so far and around 334 of them have been sent to hospital. He told informed that 700 people have been sent to quarantine center.

    Yesterday, Delhi government had said strong action will be taken against those in charge of this religious gathering. It said social distancing and other lock down measures were not followed in this event.

  • A statement issued at the end of the meeting, said that emergency measures designed to tackle COVID-19, if deemed necessary, must be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary.

    The measures should not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global supply chains, and be consistent with WTO rules.

    In the second such meet through videoconferencing, India has called for creating global framework for further enhancing affordable access to medicines for fighting pandemics and facilitating easier movement of health professionals across national borders.

    In his interventions, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal stressed on the need to uphold multilateral commitments and improve upon its effectiveness to meet current challenges.

  • Civil Aviation Ministry said in a release said that private airlines such as Indigo, Spicejet and Blue Dart are also carrying out critical supplies.

    The total cargo load carried from 26th to 29th of this month was 10 tonnes. The cargo essentially covered COVID-19 related reagents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits and PPE, masks, gloves and and other items requisitioned by states and union territories.

    A dedicated Medical Air Cargo related website www.civilaviation.gov.in. has been launched and is partially functional. This website will be fully functional from 1st April.

    Information sharing, answering of queries and the work at ground is going on, round the clock for delivering the supplies to the destinations in a timely manner so that the efforts to fight the pandemic are multiplied and supplemented.

  • Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain today said around 1500 to 1700 people had assembled at Markaz building in Delhi's Nizamuddin area, which has thrown up several corona cases. 

    Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said that 1033 people have been evacuated so far and around 334 of them have been sent to hospital. He told informed that 700 people have been sent to quarantine center.

    On Monday, Delhi government had said strong action will be taken against those in charge of this religious gathering. It said social distancing and other lock down measures were not followed in this event.

  • A statement issued at the end of the meeting, said that emergency measures designed to tackle COVID-19, if deemed necessary, must be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary.

    The measures should not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global supply chains, and be consistent with WTO rules.

    In the second such meet through videoconferencing, India has called for creating global framework for further enhancing affordable access to medicines for fighting pandemics and facilitating easier movement of health professionals across national borders.

    In his interventions, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal stressed on the need to uphold multilateral commitments and improve upon its effectiveness to meet current challenges.

  • The investors focused on stimulus measures rolled out by governments worldwide to support the virus-ravaged global economy, including a 2 trillion Dollars package in the US.

    US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) jumped 7.3 percent to 21.5 US Dollars a barrel while Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 3.3 per cent at 23.5 US Dollars a barrel.

    In sharp contrast, yMonday prices had struck their lowest levels since 2002 in New York, with WTI briefly falling below 20 US Dollars a barrel.

    Oil markets plunged as governments across the planet introduced lockdowns to stem the spread of the virus, hammering demand for the commodity.

    The crisis has been worsened after top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia launched a price war following a row about reducing output to support virus-hit energy markets.