News

  • US President Donald Trump has said that he will postpone a meeting of Group of 7 nations until fall and called for an expansion of the group's membership.

  • Government has announced the first phase of nationwide Unlock starting from tomorrow after the fourth phase of Lockdown ends today.

  • Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has said the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger flights will continue till midnight of 30th June this year.

  • Union Home Ministry has issued national directives for COVID-19 management which will apply to public places and work places.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share his thoughts with the people in the country and abroad in his 'Mann Ki Baat' programme on All India Radio at 11 AM today.

  • Home Ministry today issued new guidelines for reopening of prohibited activities in areas outside containment zones in a phased manner.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written a letter to the citizens of India to mark the first anniversary of his second term in office.

  • Covid-19 cases has reached 1 lakh 73 thousand 763 in India. But there is a silver lining that the overall recovery rate has reached 47.40 in the country and a total of 82 thousand 370 patients have been cured so far.

  • The new guidelines say that there will be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods and no separate permission, approval and e-permit will be required for such movements.

  • United States President Donald Trump has announced that America is terminating its relationship with World Health Organization over its handling of the Corona virus.

  • In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, security forces killed two terrorists at Wampora in Khudwani area of south Kashmir's Kulgam district in the wee hours today.

  • Indian Railways has turned out to be the lifeline of the country in true terms. The nation witnessed zero passenger casualty in rail mishaps during 2019-20.

  • US President Donald Trump has said that he will postpone a meeting of Group of 7 nations until fall and called for an expansion of the group's membership. President Trump said he has not yet set a new date, but it can take place in September around the time of the annual meeting of the United Nations.
     
    The leaders of the world’s major economies were slated to meet in June in the US. President Trump said he considers the G7 an outdated group that doesn't properly represent what's taking place in the world. The US President singled out India, Russia, Australia and South Korea as possible additions. The G7 members are US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and UK.

  • Marriage related gatherings will not have more than 50 guests. For funerals and last rites, the maximum number of persons allowed has been kept at 20. Consumption of liquor, paan, gutkha and tobacco is not allowed at public places. The directives say that the practice of work from home should be followed to the extent possible, and staggering of work hours should be adopted.
     
    There should be provision for thermal scanning, hand wash and sanitizers at all entry and exit points and common areas. In work places, social distancing should be ensured through measures like adequate distance between workers, and adequate gaps between shifts.

  • The DGCA reiterated that foreign airlines will be suitably informed about the opening of their operations to or from India in due course. Earlier on Monday, domestic passenger flight services resumed in the country after a hiatus of two months since the lockdown was announced on 25th March this year. In light of the guidelines issued by the government, Delhi Metro services will also remain closed for commuters until further notice.
     
    Cinema Halls, Gymnasiums, Swimming pools, entertainment parks, theaters, bars , auditoriums, assembly places and any large congregation including religious will continue to remain prohibited nationwide. However, the state governments can impose larger restrictions than those proposed by the Centre as per their assessment. Home Ministry has extended the nationwide lockdown in containment zones till 30th of next month and prohibited operation of Metro Rail.

  • All activities have been allowed in green and orange zones from 5 in the morning till 9 in the evening except for few which will be opened up in a phased manner starting from 8th of next month. Starting from Monday, there stands no limitation on intra and inter state movements unless the state government decides otherwise. No separate permission or permits will be required starting from Monday for both intra and inter state movement by citizens as per the Central Government guidelines.
     
    Starting from 8th of June the doors of temples and other religious places will be open for the devotees. Hotels , Restaurants , hospitality services and Shopping malls will also see visitors from 8th of next month after around 75 days of closure as per the standard operating procedures finalised by Health Ministry. Educational Institutions, including schools, colleges, coaching institutes will remain closed till 30th June and decision on their re-opening will be considered only after consultation of all stakeholders.
     
    International air travel, except those permitted by Government, Metro Rail, Cinema Halls, Gymnasiums, Swimming pools, entertainment parks, theaters, bars , auditoriums, assembly places and any large congregation including religious will continue to remain prohibited nationwide. However, the state governments can impose larger restrictions than those proposed by the Centre as per their assessment.
     
    Containment Zones will however will remain under complete lockdown till 30th June barring the essential activities. Vulnerable persons in terms of COVID infection , those  above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home. Home Ministry has also advised everyone to install Aarogya Setu App in their mobile phones for helping India's fight against the global pandemic.

  • It will be the 65th episode of the monthly radio programme. It will be broadcast on the entire network of AIR and Doordarshan.

    It will also be streamed live on the YouTube channels of AIR, DD News, PMO and Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

    AIR will broadcast the programme in regional languages immediately after the Hindi broadcast.

  • Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada, Minister for Finance, Communications and Information Technology, who is also spokesperson of the government, said that in view of increasing threat of COVID-19 the cabinet decided to extend ongoing lockdown for 12 more days, till 14th June. The government has also decided to suspend international flights until 30th June.

    Nepal reported highest single day spike in coronavirus cases with 189 more persons tested positive on Saturday. According to the Ministry of Health and Population total number of coronavirus cases have reached to 1401. In last few days COVID-19 cases are continuously increasing in the Himalayan nation.

    Since Monday over 800 persons have been diagnosed with corona virus. There are 1176 active cases, while 219 people have been recovered so far. Six persons have died of COVID-19.

  • Out of 177 new cases, 125 are reported from Kashmir division whereas 52 positive cases are reported from Jammu division. 

    Now the toll of positive Covid-19 cases in Jammu division are 488 whereas the toll of positive Covid-19 cases in Kashmir division has climbed to 1853.

    Moreover, no death due to Covid-19 infection was reported in the Union Territory on Saturday and the toll of Covid-19 fatalities stands at 28. 33; more recoveries of Covid-19 patient have been reported from various hospitals on Saturday.

    Furthermore, the union territory has broken the 8000 tests a day barrier as more than 8,200 samples have been tested on Saturday.

  • Home Ministry has extended the nationwide lockdown in containment zones till 30th of next month and prohibited operation of Metro Rail

  • In this phase, INS Jalashwa will repatriate 700 personnel from Colombo, Sri Lanka to Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu and subsequently repatriate another 700 personnel from Malè, Maldives to Tuticorin. 

    Indian Navy has already repatriated 1,488 Indian nationals from Malè to Kochi during the previous phase of operations. Indian Missions in Sri Lanka and Maldives are preparing a list of Indian nationals to be evacuated and will facilitate their embarkation after requisite medical screening.

    COVID-related social distancing norms will be followed onboard and evacuees would be provided basic amenities and medical facilities during the sea-passage. 

    After disembarkation at Tuticorin, the evacuated personnel will be entrusted to the care of state authorities. This operation is being undertaken in close coordination with External Affairs Ministry, Home Ministry, Health Ministry and various other government agencies.

  • This portal has been jointly developed by the Ministry of Electronics and IT and IT Industry. National e-Governance Division of Ministry of Electronics and IT and NASSCOM from the IT industry will jointly run this portal.

    This portal shall work as a one stop digital platform for AI related developments in India, sharing of resources such as articles, startups, investment funds in AI, resources, companies and educational institutions related to AI in India. The portal will also share documents, case studies, research reports etc. It has section about learning and new job roles related to AI. 

    On this occasion, the Minister for Electronics & Information Technology, Communications and Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, also launched a National Program for the youth, “Responsible AI for Youth”. The aim of this Program is to give the young students of our country a platform and empower them with appropriate new age tech mind-set, relevant AI skill-sets and access to required AI tool-sets to make them digitally ready for the future.

    The Program has been created and launched by the National e-Governance Division, Ministry of Electronics & IT in collaboration with Intel India, with support from Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSE&L), Ministry of Human Resource Development. 

    “Responsible AI for Youth” will empower the youth to become AI ready and help reduce the skill gap, while enabling youth to create meaningful social impact solutions. The Program is designed to reach out to students from Government schools pan India and provide them with an opportunity to become part of the skilled workforce in an inclusive manner. 

    MoS for E&IT, Communications, and HRD, Shri Sanjay Dhotre, while emphasising the role of digital technologies with special reference to pandemic-afflicted world, said that such technologies have proved to be our saviours during the difficult times.

    These have been of very crucial help especially in the field of education, agriculture, healthcare, e-commerce, finance, telecommunications, etc.

    The Minister further added that the digital technologies have been great equalisers despite several odds. Highlighting the importance of the AI Portal, Shri Dhotre said that such national portal will lead to democratization of artificial intelligence in the country.

  • The Minister said, we shall overcome this challenge too under his leadership to commence a new era of growth and development. 

    In a series of tweets on Saturday, the Minister said, Prime Minister's leadership and commitment for inclusive development has made India an important country in the field of technology and economy.

  • However, if a State or UT, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed. 

    States and Union Territories, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary. 

    Vulnerable persons like persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.

  • The Ministry said, there have been several instances where the passengers have not been brought to the station and notified trains have been cancelled. It said, some of the States have also not been giving consent to the sending States, preventing transportation of a large number of migrant labour for those States. 

    More than four thousand Shramik Special services have been operated by Railways to transport around 54 lakh stranded persons to their destination states.

    The Ministry said, it has been able to accommodate almost all the requests received from the sending States till date

  • On 25th March, when the lock down was enforced across the India, 43 people affected with corona virus were cured from Corona virus which was seven per cent of the total six hundred six cases.

    Health and Family Welfare Ministry data reveals that in different phases of lockdown, recovery rate has improved continuously.

    In the first phase of lockdown, the recovery rate reached to 11.42 percent and in the second phase it crossed the 27 per cent mark.

    During the third phase of lockdown which ended on 18th May, the figure of recovery rate reached to 38.29 per cent. At present, the highest recovery rate of 100 per cent has been recorded in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and in Mizoram. 

    There are 17 States and Union Territories including Punjab, Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Ladakh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, which are above the national recovery rate of 47.40 per cent.

  • Domestic services resumed in India after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus lockdown. Indian carriers have operated a total of 1,827 flights till Thursday -- 428 on Monday, 445 on Tuesday, 460 on Wednesday and 494 on Thursday. 

    Civil Aviation Minister said on Twitter on Saturday: "Day 5. 29th May till 2359 hrs. Departures 513. 39,969 passengers handled. Arrivals 512. 39,972 passengers handled." A departure is counted as a flight during the day.  

    In February, when the lockdown was not imposed, around 4.12 lakh passengers travelled daily through domestic flights in India, according to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data.  

    Airports in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana and Tamil Nadu have been allowed to handle a restricted number of daily flights as these states do not want a huge influx of flyers amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases. 

    While domestic services resumed in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday, they restarted in West Bengal on Thursday.  

    Though domestic flight operations across the country began on May 25, they could not be restarted in Kolkata and Bagdogra as the West Bengal machinery was involved in relief and restoration work after cyclone Amphan's devastation. 

    A total of 16 asymptomatic passengers on seven different flights, including 13 who travelled by IndiGo, have tested positive for COVID-19 since the resumption of domestic air services.

  • Medical Education minister, Dr. K. Sudhakar informed media persons in Bengaluru today that the University is working towards realising the dream of Prime Minister to make country self sufficient in combating the pandemic. 

    He further added that 2.5 lakh students and 23,000 teaching faculties of the health sciences University have joined the battle against Corona virus.

  • Forex traders said investors are awaiting the country's gross domestic product data for the January-March quarter, due later in the day, for further cues.

  • Government is reimbursing carrying cost of one thousand 6 hundred 74 crore rupees towards maintenance of buffer stock of 40 Lakh tonnes of sugar. 

    Besides assistance at 10 thousand 4 hundred 48 rupees per Tonne is being provided to sugar mills to meet expenses on export of 60 Lakh tonnes of sugar. The likely expenditure for it will be around 6 thousand 2 hundred 68 crore rupees. 

    Soft loans of about 18 thousand 600 crore rupees are being extended through banks to 362 sugar mills and molasses-based standalone distilleries for enhancement and augmentation of ethanol production capacity.

    An interest subvention of about 4 thousand 45 crore rupees for five years is being borne by the Government for this.

  • The nationwide lockdown in containment zones has been extended up to 30th of next month, while guidelines have permitted phased reopening outside these zones. 

    Under the new guidelines, in phase one, the activities which will be allowed from 8th of next month are, religious places of worship for public, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services and shopping malls.
     
    Union Health Ministry will issue SOPs for these activities, in consultation with the Central Ministries and Departments concerned and other stakeholders for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

    In the phase two,  schools, colleges, educational, training and coaching institutions will be opened after consultation with States and Union Territories. State Governments and Union Territory administrations are being advised to hold consultation at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders. Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July this year.  

    Under the new guidelines, only a limited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country. These activities are  international air travel of passengers, operation of metro rail, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places. 

    Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions, and other large congregation will also be prohibited.  In phase three, dates for  opening of these activities will be decided based on assessment of the situation. 

    The Home Ministry said lockdown will continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones. These will be demarcated by the State and Union Territory governments after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry.

    Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control will be maintained and only essential activities allowed. The night curfew will continue to remain in force, on the movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities. However, the revised timings of the curfew will be from 9 PM to 5 AM across the nation. 

    The new guidelines say that there will be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods and no separate permission,  approval and e-permit will be required for such movements. However, if a State or UT, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed. States and Union Territories, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary. 

    Vulnerable persons like persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.

  • The Ministry said, Centre has provided around one crore 20 lakh N95 masks and over 96 lakh Personal Protective Equipment to the States, Union territories and Central Institutions.

    Government said, the doubling time in the past 14 days was 13.3 and it has improved to 15.4 in the last three days.

  • These model stretches will have all the required safety and aesthetic features like Road Signs, Road Markings, Road Furniture and Safety Items, pedestrian facilities, Street Lighting, Plantation and CCTV cameras at all vulnerable locations. 

    Road Transport and Highways Ministry said, with all these features, the model stretch shall look like a perfect textbook version of model road.

    Some of the NH sections identified for development as Model Stretches are Dausa to Jaipur, Jalandhar to Amritsar, Srinagar to Banihal, Varansi Ring Road and Brahmputra Bridge to Guwahati.  

    NHAI has issued policy guidelines to help its Regional Officers and Project Directors to identify and plan the development of Model Stretches and ensure completion in a timely manner.

  • According to a release by the Health and Sports Ministry of Myanmar the returnees were undergoing quarantine when the test results came in.

    The Ministry said that 15 of the Covid-19 patients were from Yangon while two were residents of Mandalay. 

    With these new cases, the total number of Corona positive patients in Myanmar has gone up to 224 including six deaths and 130 recoveries. Most of the Corona positive cases are from Yangon. Till now Myanmar has tested 23,951 people according to the health ministry data. 

    All the new Corona positive cases over the last two weeks are people who were rescued by the Myanmar government from abroad.

    More than 2,500 people have been brought back from abroad by the government since the Corona outbreak. 

    The first Corona positive case in Myanmar was detected on March 23.

  • While the Government is keeping a close watch on infectivity and mortality, it is imperative to bring in a robust forecasting model for predicting the spread and enhancing disease surveillance.

    Numerous mathematical models for Covid-19 forecasting and surveillance are being worked out by investigators funded by DST-SERB (Science and Engineering Research Board) and other agencies. 

    Inspired by India’s history of using mathematical models for disaster management planning of metrological events, DST has initiated this exercise to pool in expertise in the field and create one model for the entire country that will be subjected to rigorous tests required for evidence-based forecasting, routinely practiced in weather forecasting communities. 

    The model will entirely rely only on the data that is relevant to COVID-19, and also have an adaptive built-in component to learn from the newer trends in the data. It will aggregate successful evidence-based mathematical and statistical forecasting models and include the best predictive analytics for robust forecasting of infectious disease spread.

    The supermodel could be used by the policymakers in India and around the world to overcome difficulties in predicting the rate of spread of infection and how it would burden the healthcare sector, thereby curbing the epidemic. 

    “Mathematical modeling and simulations for the spread of COVID-19 virus and its impact are not mere academic exercises but are critical needs for rational decision making, planning, and resource management. It is thus of vital importance that a robust National Model which is vetted by a large cross-section of scientific community working in the area is developed,” said Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.

  • He submitted the representation to the Governor mentioning various issues pertaining to the failure & political witch hunting of the State Government while imposing necessary social distancing throughout the state.

    During the meeting he shared his deep concerns  in respect to the faulty ration supply , poor facilities at hospitals & low medical arrangements. 

    "The whole administration lacked the kind of sympathy and humanity required at such critical moment of dealing with the affected common people" said by Abdul Mannan on post cyclone scenario. 

    He also expressed his worrisome concerns over the recent incidents at Kolkata police training school , Garfa police station & last night unfortunate event at 4th battalion of armed police Bidhanagar.

  • Through these virtual rallies, the state BJP discuss will discuss various types of economic announcements and schemes of the Union government among all sections of the society. 

    In today's virtual rally 750 BJP booth level workers of the State will be connected through video conferencing. 

    All BJP frontal organisations in the State will also hold a virtual rally through video conferencing across the state to make the people aware of various schemes running in the state as well as economic package recently announced by the Union Government. 

    To make this program successful the party has also appointed in charge as per the parliamentary constituency.

    On the other hand, BJP will also run a contact campaign in the state to distribute face covers and sanitizers in each division on large scale.

    On this occasion today all BJP workers will also pledge to use local and indigenous products.

  • In last few days COVID-19 cases are continuously increasing in the Himalayan nation. Since Monday over 800 persons have been diagnosed with corona virus. Meanwhile, 13 more persons cured and discharged from various hospitals during last 24 hours.

    There are 1176 active cases, while 219 people have been recovered so far. Six persons have died of COVID-19. Currently 110078 people are under quarantine and 1176 persons kept in isolation across the country. Out of 77 districts 53 have reported corona virus infection till date.

  • Union Railways and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has penned down the achievements of Indian railways on completion of one year of the second term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi government. 

    The has informed that last year has been remarkable for railways both in terms of safety and performance. Commenting on Commerce and Industry, Union Minister Piyush Goyal informed that, the government took several steps to promote exports as well as protect the interests of domestic industries. 

    All unmanned level crossings were eliminated in the country whereas one thousand 274 manned crossings were removed. Commissioning of new line, doubling and gauge conversion increased to 2 thousand 226 kilometer in 2019-20. 

    The Minister informed that this was nearly 50 per cent more than the average annual commissioning achieved during 2009-14. Union Minister informed that, the punctuality of trains has also improved significantly by nearly 10 per cent over the last year.

    Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that even during the testing times of COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Railways ensured uninterrupted and round the clock freight operations of essential commodities like foodgrains, coal, salt, sugar, milk, edible oil, among others. The Minister also highlighted the operationalisation of Shramik Special trains which have carried more than 50 lakh migrant workers to their home states till now. Railways has also distributed over 75 lakh free meals to migrants so far. 

    The Minister Piyush Goyal also cited the innovative step through which Railways created COVID care centres in its coaches with facility of more than 3 lakh beds. Speaking about the steps taken in commerce sector, the Minister highlighted Prime Minister’s decision to abstain from joining RCEP , a decision which will help the domestic workers and small and medium enterprises in the country. 

    Union Minister Piyush Goyal said , India is also engaging to resolve all outstanding issues with the USA, South Korea and Japan to boost exports, and is also working to initiate dialogue with European Union. 

    The Minister said that with an objective of reducing excessive dependence on non-essential imports, duty was increased on 89 items and restrictions were imposed on 13 items benefitting lakhs of domestic workers. The minister said, FDI inflow in the country grew by 18.4 per cent in 2019-20 to reach 73.46 billion dollar.

    The Minister also mentioned how the reforms introduced by Narendra Modi government has catapulted India’s ranking in terms of ease of doing business.

  • This year's edition had been scheduled to start at the Foro Italico on May 11, but was called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    "I think that, barring major upheavals, we are going to reorganise the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in September, between the middle and the end of the month," Binaghi told SuperTennis.

    "They tell me, especially the Romans, that it is an extraordinary season, the best time to play tennis." Binaghi said he would meet shortly with Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora to discuss ways to "allow the public enjoy this great event."

    The tournament would, however, overlap with the French Open at Roland Garros which begins on September 20, with qualifying the week before.

  • He has informed that last year has been remarkable for railways both in terms of safety and performance. Commenting on Commerce and Industry, Goyal informed that, the government took several steps to promote exports as well as protect the interests of domestic industries.
     
    All unmanned level crossings were eliminated in the country whereas 1,274 manned crossings were removed. Commissioning of new line, doubling and gauge conversion increased to 2,226 kilometer in 2019-20.
     

    Goyal informed that this was nearly 50 per cent more than the average annual commissioning achieved during 2009-14. He informed that, the punctuality of trains has also improved significantly by nearly 10 per cent over the last year. Goyal said that even during the testing times of COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Railways ensured uninterrupted and round the clock freight operations of essential commodities like foodgrains, coal, salt, sugar, milk, edible oil, among others.

    He also highlighted the operationalisation of Shramik Special trains which have carried more than 50 lakh migrant workers to their home states till now. Railways has also distributed over 75 lakh free meals to migrants so far.
     
    Goyal also cited the innovative step through which Railways created COVID care centres in its coaches with facility of more than 3 lakh beds. Speaking about the steps taken in commerce sector , he highlighted Prime Minister’s decision to abstain from joining RCEP , a decision which will help the domestic workers and small and medium enterprises in the country.
     
    He said , India is also engaging to resolve all outstanding issues with the USA, South Korea and Japan to boost exports, and is also working to initiate dialogue with European Union.
     
    He said that with an objective of reducing excessive dependence on non-essential imports, duty was increased on 89 items and restrictions were imposed on 13 items benefitting lakhs of domestic workers. The minister said, FDI inflow in the country grew by 18.4 per cent in 2019-20 to reach 73.46 billion dollar. He also mentioned how the reforms introduced by Narendra Modi government has catapulted India’s ranking in terms of ease of doing business.

  • Nadda underlined that Prime Minister Narendra Modi led from the front during the novel coronavirus pandemic, and took bold and timely decisions by involving people to combat the deadly infection.

    "While many big, powerful countries found themselves helpless against COVID-19, situation is under control in India," Nadda said at a press conference here on the first anniversary of the Modi government's second term.

    Hailing the Centre's decision of the lockdown as timely, the BJP leader said the move helped in checking the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

    Citing the Citizenship Amendment (Act) scrapping of Article 370, strengthening of anti-terror laws, bank mergers among the key successes, Nadda said these bold decisions helped in strengthening the country and realising the objective of 'one nation, one constitution'.

    He announced that the party will hold digital rallies across the country to mark the first anniversary of 'Modi govt 2.0'.

  • The IMF in a press release said that the assistance has been approved for Bangladesh to meet its urgent Balance of payment and fiscal needs as Corona pandemic has led to sharp decline in its exports and income from remittances.

    The assistance is provided under the Rapid Credit Facility and Rapid Financing Instrument provisions of the IMF. The money will help Bangladesh to meet its health, social protection and macro-stabilization measures.

    The acting Chair of IMF  Executive Board Antoinette Sayeh in a statement said that the assistance will help the government of Bangladesh to cover the financing gap and support its efforts to contain the adverse impact of the Corona outbreak in the country.

    In response to the severe economic slow down due to Corona pandemic, the government of Bangladesh has undertaken food distribution and cash transfer programmes to vulnerable sections as well as ensuring payment of wages in Ready Made Garment (RMG) sector and provision of working capital to business and farmers.

    The IMF said that mobilization of tax revenue, addressing the issue of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of the banks, infrastructure and governance remain key challenges for Bangladesh to enhance business environment and attract FDI.

    This is the largest amount of loan assistance for Bangladesh to deal with the Covid-19 fallout. Earlier ADB provided 500 million assistance to Bangladesh to deal with the Corona pandemic.

    The Ready Made Garments (RMG) sector contributes more than 80 percent to the total export earning of Bangladesh employing more than 4 million people. Foreign remittance is the second highest Foreign Exchange earner for Bangladesh. In Financial year 2019, Bangladesh received remittances of dollar 18.42 billion dollars.

  • This course on soft skills assists the learners in enhancing personality development with modules on corporate etiquette, improving inter personal skills, making impactful presentation including other necessary soft skills demanded by the industry at present.
     
    The training module is available in Hindi and English on the NCS portal. The Ministry is implementing the NCS Project for transformation of the National Employment Service to provide a variety of employment related services like job search, career counselling, information on skill development courses, apprenticeship and internships through an on-line portal of NCS.
     
    National Career Service has taken a number of initiatives to mitigate the challenges in the labour market due to COVID-19 and the consequent lockdown.
     
    NCS has so far conducted around 76 Online Job Fairs during the lockdown period. Online Job Fairs are being organized to bridge the gap between job seekers and employers where the complete cycle from job posting to selection of candidate can be completed on the portal.
     
    Besides, a special link for Work from Home jobs and online training has been created on NCS  portal to give direct access to job seekers to such jobs.
     
    There are around one crore active job seekers and 54 thousand active employers registered on NCS and around 73 lakh vacancies have been mobilized through the portal so far.
     
    Around one thousand employment exchanges including 200 Model Career Centres across the country are integrated with NCS.

  • Fears of a lightning strike postponed the initial takeoff attempt on Wednesday of what would have been the first crewed rocket launch from US soil in almost a decade, and the first time a commercial company has achieved the feat.

    "No decision on weather right now for Saturday's test flight of @SpaceX's #CrewDragon spacecraft. Will reassess in the morning," tweeted Bridenstine.

    Earlier in the day, NASA said the chances of a Saturday launch at 3:22 pm Eastern Time (1922 GMT) were 50 percent. The weather forecast currently predicts a thunderstorm.

    The next window, which is determined by the relative positions of the launch site to the space station, is Sunday at 3:00 pm Eastern Time (1900 GMT), and fair weather is predicted.

    NASA astronauts Robert Behnken, 49, and Douglas Hurley, 53, former military test pilots who joined the space agency in 2000, are to blast off from historic Launch Pad 39A on a two-stage SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

    The same launch pad was used by Neil Armstrong and his Apollo 11 crewmates on their historic journey to the Moon, as NASA seeks to revive excitement around human space exploration ahead of a planned return to Earth's natural satellite and then Mars.

    The mission comes despite shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with the crew in quarantine for more than two weeks.

    NASA has urged crowds to stay away from Cocoa Beach, the traditional viewing spot -- but that did not deter many space fans on Wednesday.

    President Donald Trump, who flew in for the previous launch attempt, is expected to attend again.

    NASA has had to pay Russia for use of its Soyuz rockets to take its astronauts to space ever since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011 and the decision was taken to shift focus to commercial partners for missions in low Earth orbit.

    The mission is a defining moment for SpaceX, the company founded by Elon Musk in 2002 with a goal of tearing up the rules to produce a lower-cost alternative to human spaceflight. By 2012, it had become the first private company to dock a cargo capsule at the ISS, resupplying the station regularly ever since.

    Two years later, NASA ordered the next step: to transport its astronauts there by adapting the Dragon capsule.

    The US space agency paid more than $3 billion for SpaceX to design, build, test and operate its reusable capsule for six future space round trips.The project has experienced delays, explosions, and parachute problems -- but even so, SpaceX has beaten its competitor, aerospace giant Boeing, to the punch.

    Crew Dragon is scheduled to dock with the ISS about 19 hours after liftoff, for a duration that is yet to be finalized, but likely around early August.

    Wednesday's scheduled flight was scrubbed 17 minutes before blastoff because of high levels of atmospheric electricity that could have triggered a lightning strike on the rocket.

  • The national capital is likely to experience thunderstorm with squall.
     
    Mumbai is likely to have partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature in the metropolis will be 28 degrees Celsius while maximum will be around 35 degrees Celsius.
     
    Chennai will see a partly cloudy sky. The temperature will hover between 29 and 40 degrees Celsius.
     
    Kolkata is also expected to witness generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or Thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the metropolis will be 24 degrees Celsius while maximum 33 degrees. 
     
    On to North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature will be 25 degrees Celsius in Jammu while maximum will be around 37 degrees Celsius. The city will observe partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or Thunderstorm or Duststorm.
     
    In Srinagar, the minimum temperature will be 14 degrees Celsius while maximum will be around 24 degrees. The city will observe thunderstorm with rain.
     
    In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 15 and 32 degrees Celsius. It will face generally cloudy sky with light rain.
     
    In Muzzafarabad, sky is likely to be partly cloudy. There is also possibility of rain or Thunderstorm or Duststorm. The lower limit of temperature will be 16 degrees Celsius while upper limit will be around 36 degrees Celsius.

  • A cordon and search operation was launched following information about the presence of terrorists in Wanpora area of the south Kashmir district, a police official said.
     

    Kashmir Zone Police tweeted: "02 terrorists killed. #Identity being ascertained. #Search going on. Further details shall follow."

  • Eight flights are scheduled from the United Arab Emirates.

    Seven flights will take off from Dubai to Kochi, Kannur, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Delhi. One flight is scheduled from Abu Dhabi to Kozhikode.
     
    From Jeddah, there is a flight is scheduled for Kozhikode. Kuwait has one flight to Kannur and from Bahrain there is a flight to Kozhikode.

    Oman has three flights to Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Thiruvananthapuram while Doha has three flights to Delhi , Ahmedabad and Kochi.
     
    Priority is being given to distressed workers, stranded tourists, pregnant women, medical emergency cases and senior citizens during the evacuation process.
       
    2,280 stranded and distressed Indians including infants reached home on the Vande Bharat flights from different Gulf countries on Friday.
     
     On Saturday, another 2,800 Indians are expected to be repatriated back to the country. Majority of the flights are from the UAE.
     
    Besides, flights to Kerala, there are flights to Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad from Dubai. From Jeddah, there is a flight is scheduled for Kozhikode. Kuwait has one flight to Kannur and from Bahrain there is a flight to Kozhikode too.
     
    Muscat has three flights to Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Thiruvananthapuram. Doha has three flights to Delhi , Ahmedabad and Kochi.

  • It will be the 65th episode of the monthly radio programme.
     
    It will be broadcast on the entire network of AIR and Doordarshan. It will also be streamed live on the YouTube channels of AIR, DD News, PMO and Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
     
     

  • Active cases: 86,422

    Cured/Discharged: 82,369

    Migrated: 1

    Deaths: 4,971

  • The meeting was hosted by the Federal Tax Service of Russia, which currently holds the BRICS Presidency, to discuss the response of BRICS Tax Authorities to the COVID-19 pandemic and to explore potential areas of cooperation in tax matters.
     
    The meeting was scheduled to be held in Moscow, but was held through video conference in view of COVID-19.

    Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey represented India at the meeting.
     
    Finance Ministry in a statement said that during the meeting, Dr Pandey shared with other BRICS nations, various measures taken by India to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on the taxpayers. He also urged the BRICS nations to share COVID-19 related tax measures taken by their tax administrations to enhance their understanding of the fiscal and economic impact of the pandemic.
     
    The Finance Secretary, while extending India’s support to the ongoing work in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and G-20 project on addressing tax challenges posed by digitalization, underlined the need to ensure that the new tax rules are fair and simple. He said, it should also be flexible enough to cover new and emerging business models.
     
    Dr. Pandey also highlighted the need for adopting a Whole of Government Approach in dealing with cross-border financial crimes.

    He urged the BRICS countries to agree for wider sharing of information exchanged under tax treaties for countering corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing.

  • "My fellow Indian,

    This day last year began a golden chapter in the history of Indian democracy. It was after several decades that the people of the country voted back a full term government with a full majority.

    Once again, I bow to the 130 crore people of India and the democratic ethos of our nation.

    During normal times, I would have been in your midst. However, the present circumstances do not permit that. That is why, I seek your blessings through this letter.

    Your affection, goodwill and active cooperation have given new energy, and inspiration. The way you have showcased the collective strength of democracy is a guiding light for the whole world.

    Back in 2014, the people of the country voted for a substantive transformation. In the last five years, the nation saw how the administrative apparatus broke itself free of status quo and from the swamp of corruption as well as misgovernance. True to the spirit of ‘Antyodaya’ the lives of millions have been transformed.

    From 2014 to 2019, India’s stature rose significantly. The dignity of the poor was enhanced. The nation achieved financial inclusion, free gas and electricity connections, total sanitation coverage, and made progress towards ensuring ‘Housing for All.’

    India demonstrated its mettle through the surgical strike and air strike. At the same time, decades old demands such as OROP, One Nation One Tax- GST, better MSP for farmers were fulfilled.

    In 2019, the people of India voted not merely for continuity but also with a dream- of taking India to new heights. A dream of making India a global leader. The decisions taken in the last one year are directed at fulfilling this dream.

    Today, 130 crore people feel involved and integrated in the development trajectory of the nation.The light of ‘Jan Shakti’ and ‘Rashtra Shakti’ has ignited the entire nation. Powered by the Mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ India is marching forward in all spheres.

    My fellow Indian,

    In the last one year, some of the decisions were widely discussed and remain etched in public discourse.

    The decision on Article 370 furthered the spirit of national unity and integration. The Ram Mandir judgment, delivered unanimously by the Honourable Supreme Court of India, brought an amicable end to a debate persisting for centuries. The barbaric practice of Triple Talaq has been confined to the dustbin of history. Amendment to the Citizenship Act was an expression of India’s compassion and spirit of inclusiveness.

    But there have been many other decisions that have added momentum to the nation’s development trajectory.

    The creation of the post of the Chief of Defence Staff  was a long pending reform that has improved coordination among the armed forces. At the same time, India has stepped up preparations for Mission Gaganyaan.

    Empowering the poor, farmers, women and youth has remained our priority.

    PM Kisan Samman Nidhi now includes all farmers. In just one year, more than Rupees 72,000 crore has been deposited in the accounts of over 9 crore 50 lakh farmers.

    The Jal Jeevan Mission will ensure supply of potable drinking water through piped connections to over 15 crore rural households.

    A huge campaign of free vaccination is being conducted for better health of our 50 crore livestock.

    For the first time in our country’s history, farmers, farm labourers, small shopkeepers and workers in unorganised sector are assured the provision of regular monthly pension of Rs. 3000 after the age of 60 years.

    Besides the facility of availing bank loans, a separate department has also been created for fishermen. Several other decisions have been taken to strengthen the fisheries sector. This will boost the blue economy.

    Similarly, it has been decided to constitute a Vyapari Kalyan Board for timely resolution of the problems of the traders. Higher quantum of financial assistance is being provided to more than 7 crore women attached to self help groups. Recently the loans without guarantee for self help groups has been doubled to 20 lakh from the earlier 10 lakh.

    Keeping in mind the education of tribal children, we have begun the construction of more than 400 new Ekalavya Model Residential Schools.

    Several people friendly laws have been ushered in during the last year. Our Parliament has broken the decades-old record in terms of productivity. As a result, whether it be the Consumer Protection Act, the amendment to Chit Fund Law or laws to provide more protection to women, children and Divyang, their passage in the Parliament was expedited.

    As a result of the policies and decisions of the government, the rural-urban gap is shrinking. For the first time, the number of rural Indians using internet is 10% more than the number of urban Indians.

    The list of such historic actions and decisions taken in national interest would be too long to detail in this letter. But I must say that every day of this year, my government has worked round the clock with full vigour, taking and implementing these decisions.

    My fellow Indian,

    As we were moving ahead at fast pace in the fulfilment of hopes and aspirations of our countrymen, the Coronavirus global pandemic engulfed our country as well.

    While on one hand are powers with great economic resources and state-of-the-art healthcare systems, on the other hand is our country besieged with problems amidst a vast population and limited resources.

    Many feared that India will become a problem for the world when Corona hits India. But today, through sheer confidence and resilience, you have transformed the way the world looks at us. You have proven that the collective strength and potential of Indians is unparalleled compared even to the powerful and prosperous countries of the world. Be it clapping and lighting a lamp to the honouring of Corona Warriors by India's armed forces, Janta curfew or by faithful adherence to rules during the nationwide lockdown, on every occasion you have shown that Ek Bharat is the guarantee for ShresthaBharat.

    In a crisis of this magnitude, it can certainly not be claimed that no one suffered any inconvenience or discomfort. Our labourers, migrant workers, artisans & craftsmen in small scale industries, hawkers and such fellow countrymen have undergone tremendous suffering.We are working in a united and determined way to alleviate their troubles.

    However, we have to take care to ensure that inconveniences that we are facing do not turn into disasters. Hence, it is very important for every Indian to follow all rules and guidelines. We have displayed patience so far and we should continue to do so. This is one of the important reasons for India being safer and in a better state than many other countries. This is a long battle but we have started traversing on the path of victory, and victory is our collective resolve.

    In the last few days, a super cyclone has wreaked havoc in parts of West Bengal and Odisha. Here too, the resilience of the people of these states is noteworthy. Their courage inspires the people of India.

    Dear friends,

    At such a time, there is also a widespread debate on how the economies of various countries, including India’s, will recover. However, given the way India has surprised the world with its unity and resolve in the fight against Coronavirus, there is a firm belief that we will also set an example in economic revival. In the economic domain, through their strength, 130 crore Indians can not only surprise the world but also inspire it.

    It is the need of the hour that we must become self-reliant. We have to move forward based on our own abilities, in our own way, and there is only one way to do it – Aatmanirbhar Bharat or Self-reliant India.

    The recent Rs 20 lakh crore package given for Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is a major step in this direction.

    This initiative will usher in a new era of opportunities for every Indian, be it our farmers, workers, small entrepreneurs or youth associated with start ups.

    The fragrance of Indian soil along with the sweat, hard work and talent of our workers will create products that will reduce India’s dependence on imports and will move towards self-reliance.

    Dear friends,

    In this journey of the last six years, you have continuously showered me with love and blessings.

    It is the strength of your blessings that has made the nation take historic decisions and progress rapidly in the last one year. However, I am also aware that there is a lot that needs to be done. There are many challenges and problems that our country faces. I am working day and night. There could be deficiencies in me but there is nothing that our country lacks. So, I believe in you, your strength and your abilities even more than I believe in myself.

    The source of strength for my resolve is you, your support, blessings and affection.

    Due to the global pandemic this is certainly a time of crisis but for us Indians this is also a time for a firm resolve.

    We must always remember that the present and future of 130 crore Indians will never be dictated by an adversity.

    We will decide our present and our future.

    We will move ahead on the path of progress and victory will be ours.

    It is said that- कृतम्मेदक्षिणेहस्ते, जयोमेसव्यआहितः

    This means, if we have action and duty on one hand, then success is assured in the other hand.

    With prayers for our country’s success, I bow to you once again.

    My heartiest wishes to you and your family.

    Stay healthy, stay safe!!!

    Stay aware, stay informed!!!

    Your Pradhan Sevak

    Narendra Modi"

  • The one-year tenure has witnessed several landmark economic and political decisions. Bringing out Indian economy from fragile five, removing the country from the shadow of terrorism and preparing it for the decisive fight against the menace, resolving to rejuvenate farmers and poor in the true sense and ability to turn challenges into opportunities were hallmarks of the first five- year tenure of Narendra Modi Government.
     
    During the first year of its second term, the NDA Government has stressed on convergence to realize the dream of New India. 
     
    As Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mentioned, during his first speech after Lok Sabha polls victory in May last year, the country will now have only two castes - the poor and those who want to alleviate poverty, the government has left no stone unturned to work in this directions.
     
    The abrogation of  Articles 370 and 35A from Jammu and Kashmir, paving the way and expediting the construction of  Ram Temple, banning Triple Talaq to provide justice to Muslim women and enactment of  Citizenship Amendment Act are among the major historic decisions of the Narendra Modi government during this period.
     
    The extension of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi to all the farmers in the country for providing six thousand rupees per year, pension for small and marginal farmers  as well as for  small traders are also the significant highlights. During this period, the government has also created a new Jal Shakti Ministry.
     
    The decisive leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given new direction to country's foreign and defence policies which have changed the world view towards India.
     
    The government has reformed the higher defence management by creating the post of  Chief of Defence Staff to facilitate optimal utilization of resources and promote jointness among the three services.
     

  • In a day of concerted action, United States and Britain also raised alarm at the UN Security Council over a controversial new law for Hong Kong, angering Beijing which said that the discussion had no place at the world body.

    In an announcement at the White House that Trump had teased for a day, the US president attacked China over its treatment of the former British colony, saying it was "diminishing the city's long-standing and proud status."

    "This is a tragedy for the people of Hong Kong, the people of China and indeed the people of the world," Trump said. "I am directing my administration to begin the process of eliminating policy that gives Hong Kong different and special treatment," Trump said.

    "This will affect the full range of agreements, from our extradition treaty to our export controls on dual-use technologies and more, with few exceptions," he said.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday told Congress that the Trump administration would no longer consider Hong Kong to be separate under US law, but it was up to Trump to spell out the consequences.

    China this week pressed ahead on a law that would ban subversion and other perceived offenses against Chinese rule in Hong Kong, which was rocked by months of massive pro-democracy protests last year.

    In one move that could have far-reaching consequences, Trump said he would issue a proclamation to block the entry into the United States of some Chinese graduate students "who we have identified as potential security risks."

    "For years, the government of China has conducted elicit espionage to steal our industrial secrets, of which there are many," Trump said.

    Pompeo earlier said that the measure was not aimed at all Chinese students but rather the students with links to the communist state. 

    China has been the top source of foreign students to the United States for the past decade with nearly 370,000 Chinese at US universities, including at the undergraduate level, in the 2018/2019 academic year, according to a trade group.

    Beijing earlier retaliated by expelling US journalists after the United States took its own measure to curb Chinese staff in the country from its state-run media.

    Critics say Trump has been eager to fan anger at China over COVID-19 to deflect attention from his own handling of the pandemic that has killed more than 100,000 people in the United States, the highest death toll of any country.

    The United States and Britain earlier in the day raised the topic of Hong Kong at the Security Council, where China wields a veto -- making any formal session, let alone action concerning the financial hub, impossible.

    But United States and Britain said the city's autonomy, guaranteed by Beijing in a handover agreement that was registered at the United Nations, was of "legitimate international concern" and raised it in an informal, closed-door videoconference where China cannot block the agenda.

    "The United States is resolute, and calls upon all UN members states to join us in demanding that the PRC immediately reverse course and honor its international legal commitments to this institution and to the Hong Kong people," said US Ambassador Kelly Craft, referring to the People's Republic of China.

    China denounced the move as interference, saying that the Hong Kong law did not fall under the mandate of the Council to maintain international security and peace.

    China's ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, urged the United States and Britain "to immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs."

    "Any attempt to use Hong Kong to interfere in China's internal matters is doomed to fail," warned a statement from China's UN mission.

    "There was no consensus, no formal discussion in the Security Council, and the US and the UK's move came to nothing," it said.

    Britain has separately promised to improve the rights of British National (Overseas) passport holders -- a status offered to many Hong Kong residents -- if China moves ahead on the security law.

  • The announcement followed Beijing's move to implement a new security law on semi-autonomous Hong Kong that critics say would stifle freedom, as well as with Trump's claims that China obfuscated the origins of the coronavirus that has killed more than 100,000 people in the United States.

    "I'm instructing my presidential working group on financial markets to study the differing practices of Chinese companies listed on the US financial markets with the goal of protecting American investors," Trump said, without providing details on what steps his administration might take.

    "Investment firms should not be subjecting clients to the hidden and undue risks associated with financing Chinese companies that do not play by the same rules. Americans are entitled to fairness and transparency," he added.

    As of February 2019, 156 Chinese companies with a market capitalization of $1.2 trillion were listed on US markets, at least 11 of which were state-owned, according to the Congressionally-mandated US-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

    Among the largest were e-commerce giant Alibaba, China's largest oil producer PetroChina and Sinopec, the world's largest oil refiner.

    Starbucks competitor Luckin Coffee debuted on Nasdaq last year with a market value of about $4 billion, but was asked to de-listed earlier this month after a massive fraud scandal.

    The announcement of the review came as Trump said he would be suspending the entry of certain Chinese citizens and reviewing US relations with Hong Kong, which saw seven months of huge and sometimes-violent pro-democracy protests last year.

     

  • Trump first suspended funding to the UN agency a month ago, accusing it of mismanaging its handling of the global pandemic.

    Then 10 days ago, he accused the Geneva-based WHO of being a "puppet" of China, and said the funding freeze would become permanent unless it made "substantive improvements".

    "Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization," Trump told reporters.

    The Republican leader said the US would be redirecting funds previously allocated to the WHO "to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs."

    "The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency," Trump said.

    Beijing has furiously denied the US allegations that it played down the threat when the virus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. It says Washington is trying to shirk its responsibilities to the WHO and shift blame for its own uneven virus response.

    The United States was the largest contributor to the WHO budget, providing at least $400 million in funding last year.

    Earlier this week, the UN health agency launched a new independently-run foundation for private donations, which the organization hopes will give it greater control to direct philanthropic and public donations towards pressing problems such as the coronavirus crisis.

    The vast majority of the WHO's budget is in voluntary contributions, which go straight from countries and other donors to their chosen destination.

    The WHO therefore only has control over the spending of countries' "assessed contributions" from member states, which are calculated on their wealth and population.

    WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the creation of the new foundation was not related to Trump's threat. "It has nothing to do with the recent funding issues," he said Wednesday, detailing that greater financial flexibility had been among his long-term reform plans since taking over the organization in July 2017.

     

  • During the last twenty four hours, 3,414  people have recovered and 7,466 fresh cases of Covid-19 have been reported.

    This is the highest spike in fresh cases since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in India.

     With this, the total number of affected people has risen to 1,65,799.

    Health Ministry said, 175 deaths have been registered in last 24 hours taking the nationwide covid death toll to 4,706.

    The number of cases under active medical supervision is reported to be 89,987. 

  • The event usually draws more than 300,000 visitors, and dates back to the 15th century when Johannes Gutenberg introduced the mass printing of books in nearby Mainz.

    Organizers said they were able to persuade city authorities the fair could go ahead after outlining comprehensive sanitary measures to protect attendees against possible infection.

    It will take place from Oct. 14-18 at the central Frankfurt fairgrounds as usual, as well as at other locations in the city and virtually.

    Organizers said they expected participants from around Europe, and farther afield “depending on travel restrictions at the time”, and would provide further details on programming at the end of June.

    While the book fair is going ahead, Germany’s Oktoberfest, the world’s largest folk festival and due to take place in Munich from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4, has been cancelled.

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

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

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

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

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

    “To forestall one obvious question: the idea came to me well over a decade ago, so it isn’t intended to be read as a response to anything that’s happening in the world right now,” she said.

    The first chapters of the fairy tale were published on The Ickabog website on Tuesday.

    “I’ve decided to publish The Ickabog for free online,

    so children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times, can read it or have it read to them,” Rowling said.

  • In a statement, France’s most visited museum said a booking system and new signposting would offer visitors the maximum possible safety while they are in the building. They will be asked to wear a mask and keep social distancing.

    “Even if it was possible to discover the Louvre’s treasures virtually during lockdown, nothing can replace the emotion of standing in front of a work of art; that is the raison d’etre of museums,” Louvre director Jean-Luc Martinez said.

    Between March 12 and May 22, the Louvre’s website received 10.5 million visitors, compared to 14.1 million in all of 2019.

    The number of virtual visitors per day to the site soared to about 330,000, with a peak of nearly 400,000, compared to about 40,000 visitors per day before the coronavirus crisis.

    The Louvre also said the Tuileries garden in front of the museum would open on Sunday, but collective games and gatherings of more than 10 people would be banned.

    Both had been closed on March 13.

    The announcement follows new steps unveiled on Thursday by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to ease the lockdown.

  • Now, all the high school senior in South Shore, Massachusetts, can do is stare at the dark blue prom dress hanging in her bedroom since December, and commiserate by phone with schoolmates who are also facing an uncertain future during the pandemic.

    An outdoor photo shoot by a Reuters photographer this month did at least give her and her friends a chance to dress up and pose for the camera.

    “It’s definitely bittersweet,” said Appleton, 17, a state swimming champion bound for college in the fall.

    The high school prom - short for promenade dance - is an American rite of passage, usually held in April through June before graduation. Plans for the event can be as elaborate as weddings, with dresses bought months in advance, stylists organized to fix hair and makeup, and limousines hired to take the partygoers to the party.

    But those plans have been dashed for many of the seniors of 2020, with lockdowns that may extend through the autumn.

    Boston high schoolers and best friends Lucie Mareira and Shea Mikalauskis showed up to the photo shoot in long slinky dresses, their hair tied up. Instead of high heels, they wore practical flip flops to trek around Ponkapoag Pond in Canton.

    “It was a relief to get it off our shoulders, and not feel the constant sadness of not having a prom, to know others felt the same way,” said Mareira.

  • There are various reasons like being financially dependent and learning new skills at a very tender age. Rohit Tayade, a third-year student of mechanical engineering is an ordinary guy with extraordinary dreams. Like everyone, even he is hooked to social media, not to chat with friends but to learn new skills online. 

    Gone are the days when the students focused on studies to get jobs in big companies. Nowadays the young minds are working part-time to work independently rather than working under someone. That’s what this talented guy is doing by understanding the latest media trends on social media. He firmly believes that one must be updated on social media to stay ahead in the race as every day there is a new innovation on the internet. 

    Being a student, he is also an emerging YouTuber, blogger, social media advisor and a trade advisor. He says, “This is the age to spend time studying as well learning new things. Experience is the best teacher I would say. Books can educate you but practical knowledge can make you skilled. I always knew social media had a bright future. I tried my hands at it and gradually succeeded in it.” 

    Besides social media, he got in-depth knowledge about trading in the stock market from his father and his uncle. “Gaining knowledge does not cost anything. It is a 360-degree process and the skills I learn now will somehow help me in the future”, added Tayade. With a hunger to learn new skills, Rohit Tayade plans to establish himself as a well-known social media personality in future. We hope the young guy continues doing the good work and turns his dream into reality.