News

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi shall be delivering the Inaugural Address at the ‘Conclave on Transformational Reforms in Higher Education under National Education Policy’ tomorrow, i.e 7th August 2020, through video conference.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today advised other nations, including those in the neighbourhood, to refrain from commenting on India’s internal matters and asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir was taken in the larger interest to protect the unity, integrity safety and sovereignty of the country.

  • It has been brought to the notice of the Union Public Service Commission that some misleading information is circulating regarding less number of recommended candidates against the vacancies indented by the Government for the Civil Services Examination, 2019.

  • Government of India has released Rs. 890.32 cr as the second installment of the COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package to 22 States/UTs. These include Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.

  • Most research on seismic and landslide hazards in the Himalaya focus on geophysical and geomorphological characteristics. However, in many instances, the inherent cause of these natural disasters may lie deep in the subsurface and have geological implications like rock types, rheology, strain localization, and so on. Therefore, understanding the geodynamic scenario of a given section of Himalaya is as important as its seismic and geomorphic characteristics in following natural disasters.

  • Department of Science and Technology (DST) Secretary Professor Ashutosh Sharma highlighted the importance of bringing Industry on board in Quantum Technology and Science in India at the India Quantum Technology Conclave (IQTC2020), a webinar on Quest towards India’s “Quantum Supremacy” organized by The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM) recently.

  • India Meteorological Department (IMD) has taken up a new initiative to provide the weather during past week and forecast for next two weeks on every Thursday(evening) as a video capsule. This is delivered by eminent scientists of the IMD. This short video capsule is in both Hindi as well as in English.

  • As part of 74th Independence Day Celebrations, Eastern Naval Command organised a live performance of the Navy Band as a tribute to  the Corona Warriors at Bojjana Konda heritage site in Sankaram Visakhapatnam on 05 Aug 20.  Cmde Sanjeev Issar, the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Andhra Pradesh) welcomed Dr.Beesetti Venkata Satyavathi, Member of Parliament Anakapalli Lok Sabha Constituency, the Chief Guest and all the esteemed Corona Warriors nominated by the District Administration for the event.

  • A medical evacuation was undertaken by Southern Naval Command (SNC) on 05 Aug using Helicopter from a merchant vessel off Kochi.

    At about 1030 hrs on 05 Aug 20, SNC received an input regarding injury to Rajpal Singh Sandhu native of Amritsar the Captain of merchant vessel MV Vishva Prerna.

  • The family members of the Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today donated Rs. 10.00 lakhs in aid of the ongoing fight against COVID-19 and construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

    Smt. MuppavarapuUshamma Naidu, wife of the Vice President took the initiative in pooling contributions from their family and also by their son Shri Harsha, daughter-in-law Smt. Radha Muppavarapu, daughter Smt. Deepa Venkat, son-in-law Shri Venkat Immani and their four grandchildren.

  • The Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Limited (FACT) a PSU under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers is on a Turnaround path, breaking records in Production and Sales during the year.

     As per a Statement of FACT ,Company Achieved highest Monthly ‘Ammonium Sulphate’ production during July 2020 (24016 MT), surpassing previous best of 23811 MT in January 2020.

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has condoled the loss of lives due to fire at a hospital in Ahmedabad. 

    In a tweet, the Prime Minister said,

    "Saddened by the tragic hospital fire in Ahmedabad.

  • The President has accepted the resignation of Shri Girish Chandra Murmu as Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.

     The President has been pleased to appoint Shri Manoj Sinha, to be the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office vice Shri Girish Chandra Murmu.

  • The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi attended the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya today. The Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent charge) Shri Prahlad Singh Patel expressed  his gratitude towards Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi for Bhoomi Pujan of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya today.

  • The Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA), launched to boost employment and livelihood opportunities for migrant workers returning to villages and similarly affected citizens in rural areas, in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, is now empowering villagers with livelihood opportunities in 116 districts of six states.

  • The Union Home Minister, Shri Amit Shah has said that the Bhoomi Pujan of Ram Temple in Ayodhya is a historic and proud day for India. In a series of tweets, Shri Amit Shah said Bhoomi Pujan and foundation stone laying ceremony of the Grand Ram Temple on the birthplace of Prabhu Shri Ram by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi ji has written a golden chapter in the history of Indian culture & civilization and is the beginning of a new era.

    Stating that the building of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya has been a symbol of faith for Hindus around the world for centuries, Shri Amit Shah said “I express my gratitude to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji and Shree Ram Janmabhumi Teerth Kshetra for respecting the faith of billions of people by the performing Bhoomi Pujan of Ram temple.

  • According to the National Weather Forecasting Centre/Regional Meteorological Centre, New Delhi of the India Meteorological Department (IMD):

    Realized Rainfall over Mumbai during 0830 hrs IST till 1730 hrs IST of today 5th August, 2020: Extremely heavy rainfalls ( = 20cm) have already been observed over parts of Mumbai: Colaba;: 22.9 cm, Santacruz: 8.8 cm.

    Realized Surface Winds over Mumbai: Winds of 60-70 kmph have been reported over Colaba.

  • According to the National Weather Forecasting Centre/Regional Meteorological Centre, New Delhi of the India Meteorological Department (IMD):

    ? The well marked low pressure area over north Odisha and adjoining Gangetic West Bengal along with associated cyclonic circulation extending upto upper tropospheric levels tilting southwestwards with height persists.

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    (Contains Press releases concerning Covid-19, issued in last 24 hours, inputs from PIB Field Offices and Fact checks undertaken by PIB)

     

    India records highest ever single day recoveries of 51,706; Recovery Rate reaches a record high of 67.19%; Case Fatality Rate (CFR) further dips to 2.09%

    India has recorded the highest ever single day recoveries in the last 24 hours.

  • Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog declared the results of its flagship national annual innovation Marathon challenge ATL Tinkering Marathon 2019 held over 5000+ Atal Tinkering Labs across the country and announced 150 winners of the Marathon.

  • In Gujarat, a major fire broke out in Ahmedabad’s COVID hospital in the wee hours today. According to police sources, at least eight COVID patients including three women died in the incident.

  • RBI governor Dr. Shaktikanta Das today said that the apex bank's monetary policy committee has decided to unanimously leave the policy repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent.

  • With the IMD issuing a warning of extreme rainfall over the next 24 hours for Konkan and Central Maharashtra region, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked people to stay indoors and venture out only for essential work.

  • The President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed Manoj Sinha as the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.

  • Total recoveries from Covid-19 in the country surpassed the 13 lakh mark today. A total of 13 lakh 28 thousand 336 people have recovered so far.

  • Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said that more than 10 lakh 59 thousand people have benefited from Vande Bharat Mission.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the Ram Temple in Ayodhya will become a modern symbol of India's traditions.

  • In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Administration has carried-out remarkable initiatives during the last one year following the abrogation of the special status of Article 370 and 35-A of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating it into two Union Territories.

  • Recounting the different Ramayans written in various languages, Prime Minister noted that Shree Ram is the common thread of unity in diversity in the country.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that the Ram Temple in Ayodhya will become a modern symbol of India's traditions.

  • Mumbai and its adjoining areas have been receiving heavy rainfall for the second consecutive day today. Heavy rains lashed several parts of Mumbai, Thane and adjoining Palghar district in Maharashtra overnight.

  • Highest recoveries from Coronavirus were reported in the country during the last 24 hours. A total of 51 thousand 706 people affected with the virus recovered in one day which is the highest figure since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in India.

  • A total of 13 lakh 28 thousand 336 people have recovered so far. In the past 24 hours, 46 thousand 121 recoveries have been reported across the country. With this, the recovery rate has improved to 67.61 per cent. The case fatality rate has further declined to 2.07 per cent in the country.

    The Health and Family Welfare Ministry today said, a total of 56 thousand 282 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the country within 24 hour taking the total number of cases to 19 lakh 64 thousand 536. Presently, the total number of active corona cases in the country is five lakh 95 thousand 501. 904 deaths have also been reported in a single day, taking the nationwide toll to 40 thousand 699.

    India achieved a remarkable feat today by performing the highest numbers of Covid-19 tests in a single day. A record six lakh 64 thousand 949 tests  were conducted by various laboratories yesterday. More than two crore 21 lakh tests have been conducted in the country so far. This is the third consecutive day when the laboratories conducted more than six lakh tests in a single day across the country.

    Starting from less than 100 tests per day, a multiple fold increase in a few months was made possible by dedicated teams of research institutions, medical colleges, testing laboratories, Ministries, airlines and postal services. The Central government in collaboration with the governments of  States and Union Territories adopted the strategy of aggressive testing, tracking and treatment to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

    In January this year, there was only one testing laboratory for COVID-19 in India. Now, 1370 government and private laboratory chains are conducting tests for coronavirus samples across the country. ICMR is continuously ramping up its testing capabilities by approving new laboratories, RT-PCR kits, True Nat Test, CBNAAT Test and rapid antigen test kits. The Health Ministry and ICMR have asked the States and Union Territories to include additional testing methods to improve the availability of testing.

  • Ministry of External Affairs in a statement has said that ‘ We firmly reject China’s interference in our internal affairs and urge it to draw proper conclusions from such infructuous attempts.

    Earlier India’s permanent representative to UN, TS Tirumurti had confirmed in a tweet how  Pakistan had yet again failed in trying to take the issue  of Kashmir at the international forum. He also informed that in Wednesday's meeting of the UN Security Council which was closed and informal, its outcome was not put on any record. He said that almost all countries underlined that J&K was a bilateral issue & did not deserve the time and attention of the Council. 

    In fact, China acting furthering its close ally Pakistan's malicious agenda attempted to initiate a discussion in UNSC on Kashmir issue.  MEA in a strong rebuttal to Chinese attempt also said that this was not the first time that China has sought to raise a subject that is solely an internal matter of India. However ‘As on such previous occasions, this attempt too met with little support from the international community.’ The statement added.

    Abhishek Jha

     

  • The mighty river the Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger level at only two locations in the state, one is at Jorhat district in Eastern Assam and the other is Dhubri district in Western Assam bordering Bangladesh as per Assam State Disaster Management Authority reports on Wednesday Evening.

    Apart from that two other rivers, Jia Bharali is flowing above danger level in Sonitpur district and Kopili is flowing above danger level in Nagaon district. But the good news is that the rivers and tributaries in the state are now showing a falling trend in the water level.

    Though the flood situation in Assam has substantially improved the human population of 1,43,050 in 270 villages in the state still remains affected and 3105 people are still taking shelter in 21 relief camps opened up by respective district administration. No loss of human lives were reported in the last 24 hours and the total death toll due to floods so far stands at 110 according to ASDMA.

    The rescue operations have also been halted and the major focus of the various rescue agencies who are in the field right now is to provide relief materials to the flood-affected people.

    Over 21,476 hectare of crop area still remains submerged. Flood has also left a trail of destruction to various infrastructure which is still being evaluated. Meanwhile, the flood situation in the World Heritage site, the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve has also improved, but 50% of the park still remains submerged.

  • With the IMD issuing a warning of extreme rainfall over the next 24 hours for Konkan and Central Maharashtra region, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked people to stay indoors and venture out only for essential work. Taking stock of the situation, the Chief Minister asked the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to coordinate with the police and railway authorities, health machinery and the National Disaster Response Force to ensure that citizens do not face any hardship. Widespread rains coupled with gusty winds across Maharashtra and Mumbai in particular threw life out of gear on Wednesday.

    Mumbai received the highest rainfall of the season within just 12 hours yesterday, besides the highest-ever wind speed. According to the IMD, 330 mm rainfall was recorded at Colaba observatory whereas 146 mm rainfall was recorded in Santacruz. Heavy rains damaged three cranes at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal.

    JNPT spokesperson said that exact damage due to adverse weather and gusty winds is still being ascertained. However, no injuries have been reported. The heavy rains that have been lashing Navi Mumbai and adjoining areas have caused extensive damage to the DY Patil Stadium in Nerul.

    Twenty two passengers who were stranded at masjid railway station on the Central line have been rescued by the NDRF. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in the wake of heavy rains and has assured all possible help from the Centre.

  • The President accepted the resignation of Girish Chandra Murmu as Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. 

    Murmu, a 1985 batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer was appointed as the LG in October last year.  Murmu had sent his resignation to President Ram Nath Kovind.

    Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar has congratulated Manoj Sinha for being appointed as the new Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.

  • The polling was held yesterday with around 71 percent voting and no major incident reported. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said that Sri Lanka has become the first country in South Asia to hold general elections and reflects the confidence that Sri Lankans has in efforts to control the COVID pandemic.

    The tally for party wise vote percentage in electoral districts will be known by late evening but preferential results for candidates will be declared by tomorrow evening. The country adopts a preferential system of voting based on proportional representation to elect a 225 – member parliament. Out of them, 196 members are elected from 22 electoral districts based on votes for political parties and independent groups while rest 29 seats are based on party performance at the national level.  

    Voters have the option to give preference for three candidates of party voted for. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former PM Ranil Wickremsinghe and former President Maithripala Sirisena are among the main contestants seeking to enter the parliament. Over 7450 candidates are in fray for parliament seats and security arrangements are tight outside counting centers.

    The elections were postponed twice after the COVID outbreak as parliament was dissolved in early March, six months before its term ended as President Gotabaya Rajapksa was seeking clear majority in parliament for his party. Prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is seeking two-thirds majority in parliament and has said that his party will make arrangements to create two-thirds majority in parliament if they fail on their own.

  • Chakraborty will be questioned and her statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said.

    The questioning is linked to a money laundering case that was registered by the ED last week on the basis of a Bihar Police FIR in which Rajput's father has accused Chakraborty and her family of abetting the Bollywood actor's suicide.

    Rajput, 34, was found hanging in his apartment in Mumbai's Bandra area on June 14.

  • A contingent of 185 CISF personnel will provide round-the-clock, armed security to the strategic and "hypersensitive" airport, located at 3,256 metres above sea level, a senior officer of the paramilitary force said.

    The Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), is the 64th civil airport to be brought under the cover of the CISF. It was being guarded by the local police till now.

    Ladakh became a UT on October 31 after the central government on August 5 last year revoked the special status given to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

    The CISF, the 1.62 lakh personnel strong paramilitary, is designated as the national civil aviation security force.

    A formal induction ceremony was held at the airport that was attended by CISF Director General (DG) Rajesh Ranjan, its special DG (airports) M A Ganapathy and airport director Sonam Norbu among others.

    Norbu handed over a ceremonial key of the airport to CISF Deputy Commandant and chief airport security officer Sanket Gaikwar, the officer said.

    DG Ranjan, the CISF officer said, "emphasised that coordinated efforts are to be made by all government agencies and stakeholders to ensure security of the Leh airport."

    Ranjan also asked his personnel to ensure "zero error" security at the facility.

    On Tuesday, he had inaugurated barracks for the CISF personnel who will be posted to guard the facility and he reviewed other operational systems of the airport.

    Air India, Vistara, GoAir and SpiceJet operate commercial passenger flights between Leh and Delhi. Commercial operations began at this "tourist intensive" airport in 1978.

    A new passenger terminal is being built here at a cost of Rs 480 crore and is expected to be completed by September next year.

    The CISF contingent will provide 24x7 armed cover to the facility and will check passengers while approaching the facility, at the terminal gates followed by comprehensive checks and body frisking ahead of boarding a flight.

    The troops are armed with assault rifles like the AK series and the INSAS, and will man the airport perimeter from watch towers erected at vantage positions.

    The force has a special aviation security group (ASG) to provide counter-terror cover to the airports and it has similarly taken over the Srinagar and Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) international airports in February and March respectively.

    Handover of the three strategically important and sensitive airports of Srinagar, Jammu and Leh to the CISF was expedited after Jammu and Kashmir Police officer Davinder Singh was arrested from Srinagar in January while he was allegedly ferrying three Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists to Chandigarh.

    The Union government has said that CISF will be the only civil airports guarding force and all such facilities in the country will be gradually brought under its command to bolster aviation security and tighten anti-terror and anti-hijack protocols.

  • Incessant heavy rains and strong winds battered Mumbai and adjoining areas on Wednesday.

    "Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Maharashtra CM Shri Uddhav Thackeray regarding the situation prevailing in Mumbai and surrounding areas due to heavy rainfall," the PMO tweeted.

    PM Modi assured Thackeray all possible support, it said. 

  • Further, all States/UTs combined have reported a distribution of over 111.52 LMT (93.5%) of allocated food grains for the period April-June 2020. According to FCI, 37.5 LMT (94%) food grains distributed in the months of April and May 2020 covering about 75 crore beneficiaries in each month and 36.54 LMT (92%) food grains in the month of June covering about 73 crore beneficiaries.

    Earlier, in March 2020, pursuant to the announcement of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to ameliorate the hardships faced by the poor and needy due to economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, the Department of Food & Public Distribution had started the implementation of “Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY)” for a period of three months i.e. April, May and June 2020, so that the poor and vulnerable beneficiaries under NFSA do not suffer on account of the non-availability of foodgrains during the unprecedented time of crisis.

    Under this special scheme, about 81 Crore NFSA beneficiaries covered under both categories of NFSA, namely Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Householders (PHH), are being provided with an additional quota of free-of-cost foodgrains (Rice/Wheat) at a scale of 5 Kg per person per month, over and above their regular monthly entitlements.

    Accordingly, on 30th March 2020, the Department of Food & Public Distribution had conveyed State/UT-wise total allocation of about 121 Lakh MT of foodgrains (about 40 LMT per month) to all States/UTs and FCI for distribution to all NFSA beneficiaries during the period of three months April-June’ 2020 i.e. Phase-I of the scheme.

  • MITR is India's first and only Biosafety level two plus compliant mobile diagnostic lab approved by the ICMR . The mobile labs allow healthcare workers to collect, process, and test samples using RT-PCR onsite and upload results directly to the ICMR portal.

    The mobile lab can conduct upto 9,000 tests per month.

    IISc handed over these labs to the government of Karnataka which will deploy it in the containment zones and Corona hotspot areas quickly to scale up the testing facility by the govt.

    Director of IISc prof Govindrajan , handed over the vans to the state Medical education minister Dr K Sudhakar on Wednesday. 
     

  • The US accounted for the world's highest number of infections and fatalities at 4,771,080 and 156,801, respectively, according to the CSSE.

    Brazil came in the second place with 2,801,921 infections and 95,819 deaths.

    In terms of cases, India ranks third (1,908,254), and is followed by Russia (859,762), South Africa (521,318), Mexico (449,961), Peru (439,890), Chile (362,962 ), Colombia (334,979), Iran (314,786), the UK (307,256), Spain (302,814), Saudi Arabia (281,456), Pakistan (280,461), Italy (248,419 ), Bangladesh (244,020), Turkey (234,934), France (228,576), Argentina (213,535), Germany (212,828), Iraq (134,722), Canada (119,659), Indonesia (115,056), Philippines (112,593) and Qatar (111,538), the CSSE figures showed.

    The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are the Mexico (48,869), UK (46,295), India (39,795), Italy (35,171), France (30,297), Spain (28,498), Peru (20,007), Iran (17,617), Russia (14,327) and Colombia (11,315).

     

  • Speaking about the decision the Sports Minister said, “Establishing Junior TOPS and extending support to the developmental group is a critical measure to realize India’s dream of being among the Top 10 countries in the 2028 Olympics. It takes 8 years to groom an athlete into an Olympic medal probable and we have started right on time for the 2028 Olympics.”

    The formal induction of the athletes in the development group would be undertaken after setting an effective monitoring mechanism for an athlete’s progress in the long run. Towards this, it has been decided that performance benchmarks will be established for individual athlete for next four years, in consultation with all stakeholders, including the athlete, coach, High Performance Directors/ Chief National Coach of NSFs.  

    The training support to the TOPS Developmental Group will be extended in each discipline through a group / systems approach, and a monthly Out Of Pocket Allowance of Rs. 25,000 will be given to every athlete.

    Of the 12 disciplines, 16 athletes have been shortlisted in athletics, 34 in archery, 27 in badminton, 4 in cycling, 7 in table tennis, 70 in shooting, 14 in swimming, 11 in judo, 36 in boxing, 16 in weightlifting, 5 in rowing and 18 in wrestling.

    The list of athletes will be available on the SAI website.

    In yet another decision taken at the review meeting, Sports Minister announced that training of athletes at the Sports Authority of India’s National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in a phased manner from October 1, 2020. This is an effort to bring athletes back to on-field training in view of the Unlocking of the country. However, keeping in mind the health and safety of athletes and coaches, the Covid 19 situation in the state where the NCOE is located will be considered while finalization.

    In view of the preparation for Olympics and to ensure that athletes have world-class infrastructure and equipment to train with, it has also been decided that the funds extended to all SAI NCOEs will be enhanced.

    “Funds will be provided to upgrade existing infrastructure and equipment or procure new ones, as per the need of athletes. We are ready to provide all support needed to ensure that athletes in India have the best facilities at par with the world,” Sports Minister said.

    To ensure a safe environment for all athletes, especially those joining the camps in their teenage years, a series of sensitization workshops are held in SAI NCOEs on various subjects. It has been decided to increase these awareness workshops including workshops on sexual harassment act with aim to make athletes aware of sexual harassment issues and about the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and motivate them to speak up against any form of harassment.

  • Speaking to a local TV Channel in Dhaka on Wednesday, she said that the decision of the Supreme Court on the construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya was  a testament to the spirit of unity and inclusion in the country.  The High Commissioner  said that the Supreme Court decision to construct the Ram Temple at Ayodhya has been welcomed by people of all religions and communities in a spirit of amity, goodwill and brotherhood. 

     Speaking about the changes in Jammu and Kashmir over the last one year since certain provisions of Art 370 were abrogated, Riva Ganguly Das said that the government has been able to bring out significant gains to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the field of economic development, infrastructure and education during this period. 

     Recounting the various development activities undertaken in the last one year, Riva Ganguly Das said that the government has set up two All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), 5 nursing colleges, a medical college and a cancer hospital in Jammu and Kashmir during this period. 

    She said that the objective of the abrogation of Art.370 was the development of Jammu and Kashmir which has been achieved over this period.

    - Rajesh Jha/Dhaka

  •  A total of 51 thousand 706 people affected with the virus recovered in one day which is the highest figure since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in India. This has resulted in further improvement in the recovery rate which reached 67.19 per cent in the country.

    The Health and Family Welfare Ministry today said, a total of 12 lakh 82 thousand 215 people have recovered from Coronavirus infection in the country so far. The Ministry said, a total of 52 thousand 509 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country in the past 24 hours taking the total number of cases to 19 lakh eight thousand 254.

    Presently, the total number of active Corona cases in the country is five lakh 86 thousand 244. In a single day, 857 deaths were reported taking the nationwide toll to 39 thousand 795. The case fatality rate has further declined to 2.08 per cent in the country.

    Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research said that a total of two crore 14 lakh 84 thousand 402 tests have been conducted in the country so far. Various laboratories in the country have conducted six lakh 19 thousand 652 tests of Coronavirus samples till yesterday.

    At present, one thousand 366 laboratories across India are conducting the tests for COVID-19 including 920 government laboratories and 446 private laboratory chains.

  • Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister congratulated fellow countrymen and Ram Bhakts all across the world on the holy occasion. Terming it as historic, he said that India is starting a glorious chapter today, when people all across the country are excited and emotional to have finally achieved what they had been waiting for centuries, several of whom are scarcely able to believe that they are witnessing this day in their lifetime. He highlighted that Ram Janmabhoomi has become liberated from the cycle of cycle of breaking down and building up again, and a grand temple for Ramlala will be constructed in place of tents now.

    Prime Minister said that just like 15th August is representative of sacrifices by people all across the country towards the freedom struggle, this day marks the immense dedication and continuous struggle across generations for the Ram Mandir. He recalled and paid obeisance to those whose struggles have resulted in the dream of Ram Mandir coming true.

    Shree Ram – the foundation of our culture

    Prime Minister observed that while several attempts were made to wipe out his existence, Shree Ram continues to be the foundation of our culture. He said that Ram Mandir will be a modern symbol of our culture, eternal faith, national spirit and collective will power which will inspire generations to come. The construction of the temple will also open up several opportunities across sectors and will change the economy of the region.

    Prime Minister noted that this day stands testimony to the truth of the faith and resolution of crores of Ram Bhakts. He praised the dignity and restraint with which fellow countrymen responded, keeping the feelings of everyone in mind, when the judgement was passed by Hon’ble Supreme Court last year, and similar dignity and restraint is visible today also.

    Prime Minister recalled how people from all walks of life including the poor, backwards, dalits, tribals had been instrumental in several feats such as victory of Shree Ram, Shree Krishna lifting Govardhan, Chatrapati Shivaji establishing Swaraj, Gandhiji leading independence movement etc. Similarly, the construction of Ram Mandir has started with the help and contribution of common citizens, he said.

    Recounting the character traits of Shree Ram, Prime Minister remarked that he always stuck to the truth, and established social harmony as the cornerstone of his rule. He loved his subjects equally, but had a special kindness for the poor and the needy. There is no aspect of life where Shree Ram doesn’t serve as an inspiration, and his impact is visible in several aspects of culture, philosophy, faith and tradition of the country.

    Shree Ram – the thread of unity in diversity

    Prime Minister said that Shree Ram has acted as a guiding light for people, through Valmiki Ramayan in ancient times, through Tulsidas, Kabir and Guru Nanak in medieval times and was also present in the bhajans of Mahatma Gandhi as the power source of ahimsa and satyagrah. Lord Buddha is also associated with Shree Ram, and the city of Ayodhya has been a center of faith of Jains since centuries, he said. Recounting the different Ramayans written in various languages, Prime Minister noted that Shree Ram is the common thread of unity in diversity in the country.

    Prime Minister noted that Shree Ram is revered in several countries. He listed out the Ramayans popular in countries such as Indonesia, the country with the maximum Muslim population, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and said that references to Shree Ram are also found in Iran and China and Ram Kathas are popular in several countries. He said that people in all these countries must be feeling glad today, with the start of construction of Ram Mandir.

    Inspiration for entire humanity

    Prime Minister expressed hope that the temple will serve as an inspiration for the entire humanity for eras to come. He noted that it is important that the message of Shree Ram, Ram Mandir and of our age old tradition reaches out to the entire world. Keeping this in mind, Ram Circuit is being made in the country.

    Ram Rajya

    Prime Minister recounted the contours of Ram Rajya dreamt by Mahatma Gandhi. He said that the teaching of Shree Ram, which have continued to guide the country, include: no one should be poor or unhappy; men and women should be equally happy; farmers and animal keepers should always be happy; the old, the kids and the doctors should always be protected; it is the duty of all to protect those seeking asylum; homeland is more than heaven; and, the more power a nation has, the greater its capacity to further peace. Prime Minister said that Shree Ram stands for modernity as well as change. The country is progressing, following these ideals of Shree Ram.

    Foundation of mutual love and brotherhood

    Prime Minister emphasized that the temple should be constructed on the foundation of mutual love and brotherhood. He said that through ‘sabka saath’ and with ‘sabka vishwas’, we need to achieve ‘sabka vikaas’ and make a self-confident and Aatmanirbhar Bharat. He underlined that the message of Shree Ram, that there should not be any delay and we should move forward, is the message which the country needs to follow.

    ‘Maryada’ during COVID

    Prime Minister ended by recalling the significance of the path of ‘maryada’ of Shree Ram in the backdrop of the COVID situation. He said that the current situation demands the maryada to be ‘do gaz ki doori – mask hai zaroori’ and exhorted everyone to follow the same.

  • The official news agency BSS quoted the PM's Press Secretary Ehsanul Karim that the Prime Minister has assured the family of Major Rashed that a proper probe would be carried out to try the persons responsible for the killing of the retired Major.

    The Home Ministry has already launched an enquiry into the incident. Authorities have suspended 21 policemen including the officer incharge of the police check post involved in the incident.

    Sinha Md Rashed Khan was allegedly killed in police firing at Teknaf area of Cox’s Bazar  on the night of 31 July. The police claimed that they fired in self-defence when Major Rashed Khan pointed a gun at them after his vehicle was stopped at a checkpoint in Teknaf’s Marine drive. Police also claim to have recovered drugs from the vehicle. There are allegations that he was taken to the hospital quite late after being injured in the firing by the police. 

    Rashed had served in the Special Security Force (SSF) and took voluntary retirement two years ago. SSF provides security to the Prime Minister, President and any other person designated as VIP by the Government of Bangladesh. 

  • The blasts took place on Tuesday evening (around 6.10 p.m. local time), shaking buildings all over the city while also causing severe damage and casualties, media reported.

    President Michel Aoun said that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures. He said that was “unacceptable”.

    Officials did not say what caused the blaze that set off the blast. A security source and media said it was caused by welding work being carried out on a hole in the warehouse.

    “It’s like a war zone. I’m speechless,” Beirut’s Mayor Jamal Itani told the media while inspecting the damage on Wednesday that he estimated would lead to losses in the billions of dollars.

    “This is a catastrophe for Beirut and Lebanon.”

    Many countries in the region expressed solidarity and sympathy with Lebanon over the explosions that have dealt a further blow to the country already plagued by the Covid-19 pandemic and an economic crisis.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that Iran is ready to offer help to Lebanon after the huge blasts caused massive casualties and damage in Beirut.

    “Our thoughts and prayers are with the great and resilient people of Lebanon,” Zarif tweeted.

    “As always, Iran is fully prepared to render assistance in any way necessary,” he said.

    “Stay strong, Lebanon,” he added.

    Turkey on Tuesday expressed sorrow over the huge number of casualties and damage caused by the explosions.

    Two Turkish citizens sustained minor injuries in the blasts, said the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement.

    Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi extended his condolences to Lebanon over the deadly explosions and loss of life.

    “My sincere condolences and sympathy go to the government and people of Lebanon, over the tragic explosions that happened today in the Lebanese capital Beirut,” Sisi wrote on his official Facebook page.

    Sisi wished a speedy recovery to those injured in the blasts, while extending condolences to the families of the killed.

    Palestine has also expressed solidarity with Lebanon following the massive explosions in Beirut.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said his country is ready to provide any support it could to Lebanon to help it recover from the tragedy, while sending his condolences to the families of the victims.

    Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye said in a press statement that Palestine is “ready to put all its capabilities” in the service of Lebanon and provide any needed assistance immediately.

  • The voting began at 7 AM in the morning and will continue till 5 PM. An extra hour of polling has been kept in view of COVID situation and social distancing to be kept during voting process. The counting of votes will be held tomorrow and results are expected by late evening. Over 7450 candidates are in fray for parliament seats while around 1.62 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise at around 13 thousand polling booths.

    Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former PM Ranil Wickremsinghe and former President Maithripala Sirisena are among the main contestants to enter the parliament. The elections were postponed twice after the COVID outbreak as parliament was dissolved in early March, six months before its term ended as President Gotabaya Rajapksa was seeking clear majority in parliament for his party. Extensive arrangements have been being made in wake of COVID outbreak and facemask along with hand sanitization is mandatory at the polling booths.

    Health authorities have asked voters not to fear coming to the polling stations and said the applying of ink on the fingers would be carried out in a safe manner. Sri Lanka has only around 400 active COVID cases and they will miss the voting.

  • In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, "Shri Ebrahim Alkazi will be remembered for his efforts to make theatre more popular and accessible across India. His contributions to the world of art and culture are noteworthy too. Saddened by his demise. My thoughts are with his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace."

  • The book was officially launched by Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and Union Minister of Textiles and Women & Child Development Smriti Irani in New Delhi on Tuesday.

    This was followed by a discussion on the book and the Swachh Bharat Mission by the two Ministers and Parameswaran Iyer. The discussion was watched by lakhs of field functionaries of the SBM through webcasting. 

    The Swachh Bharat Kranti captures the remarkable journey of the SBM through 35 essays by a diverse range of stakeholders and contributors to the SBM, sharing their perspective on this social revolution. The essays are arranged in four key sections which are the four key pillars of SBM’s success: Political Leadership, Public Financing, Partnerships and People’s Participation.

    With a foreword by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is a compilation of essays written by Arun Jaitley, Amitabh Kant, Ratan Tata, Sadhguru, Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Tavleen Singh, Bill Gates amongst others. 

    Speaking on this occasion, Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat spoke about how India had become one of the leaders of sanitation in the world and that many countries are now learning from India’s experience of getting over 50 crore people to start using toilets and stop defecating in the open in just five years. He said that he was happy that through the Swachh Bharat Kranti this journey could be shared with lakhs of readers in the heartland of India. 

    Union Minister Smriti Irani said that she was proud of the leadership role that women played in making the Swachh Bharat Mission a true Jan Andolan. The Minister said that the SBM was a true example of Nari Shakti, and that women will continue to lead the next phase of the SBM to ensure that the gains that have been made so far are sustained, and that no one resorts to open defecation in future.

    The Ministers then answered questions of swachhagrahis, field functionaries and state government officials through video conferencing.

  • Speaking to the media in Dhaka on Tuesday, Secretary of Health and Family Welfare Ministry Abdul Mannan said that Dhaka is in touch with several international organisations like the Gavi Foundation which has invited it to be present in the next meeting scheduled for September. 

    He said that in case Oxford trials or other trials taking place in US and Europe, give results earlier, Bangladesh wants to get the vaccine for its people at the earliest. 

    Speaking about the Chinese Sinovac Biotech company’s request to allow the human trial of the vaccine, Secretary Abdul Mannan said that the permission for human trial to the Chinese vaccine will be given only after the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) is convinced about its efficacy. Otherwise it will not be permitted. 

    He said that even if the trial for Chinese vaccine is started now, it will take a minimum of six months to get the results.

    In that case why should Bangladesh rely just on Sinovac Biotech, asked the Secretary. Bangladesh does not want to be left behind in getting the advantage of the vaccine for COVID 19 for its people. It wants to get the benefit of the vaccine at the earliest.

  • The worst affected districts are Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Samastipur and Sitamarhi. The swirling water of Gandak, Bagmati and Burhi gandak has engulfed  low lying areas. 

    Affected people who are living in low lying areas have been advised to move to higher places. 36 people have lost their lives in flood related accidents during the last 24 hours. Maximum casualties were reported from Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur. 

    Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has instructed to conduct corona test for those who are staying in relief camps. 

    Over 20 thousand people are living in relief camps. Relief and rescue operations have been intensified. Thirty three teams of NDRF and SDRF have been pressed into service. 

    Over four lakh fifty thousand people have been evacuated so far. In all, 1,365 community kitchens have been set up for providing food to affected people. About ten lakh  people are taking food through these kitchens. 

    Gandak, Bagmati,  Mahananda and Ganga are flowing above danger mark. The Met Department has forecast mild to moderate rains in catchment areas of Nepal in the next 48 hours

  • Prime Minister will unveil a plaque to mark the laying of Foundation Stone and also release Commemorative Postage Stamp on 'Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir'. 

    The Bhumi Poojan ceremony will start at sharp 12.30 afternoon and culminate at 12.45 pm. 

    175 guests including 135 Saints belonging to 135 spiritual traditions have been invited for the ceremony. 

    The Prime Minister will first have Darshan at Shri Hanumangarhi Mandir, after which he will perform puja of Bhagwan Shri Ramlalla at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi. It will be then followed by the Bhumi Pujan and the stage event. 

    Heavy security arrangements are in place in view of the PM Visit and borders of Ayodhya city will be sealed from Midnight. 

    Meanwhile, Shri Ram Janm Bhumi Teerth Shetra Trust and Chief Minister of State Yogi Adityanath have appealed to all Rambhakts across the world to organise Bhajan, Kirtan and Prasad distribution in all villages and cities while taking all necessary precautions to prevent spread of Corona. 

    After the appeal of the Chief Minister and Trust, people in the state are lighting earthen lamps at their houses and a special deepotsav is being organized in Ayodhya. 

    The Lanes of Ayodhya and Ghats of holy Saryu River are illuminated with thousands of earthen lamps. 

    Beautiful Rangolis along with special gates and colorful streets depicting the saga of Ramayana are ready to welcome the Prime Minister.  

    People are lighting Diyas at their houses and even the Chief Minister House in Lucknow is illuminated with Diyaas.
     

  • Railways Ministry said, more relaxations have been provided to the customers by slew of incentives. These incentives are expected to boost the economy.  

    The Ministry said, Railways is on a mission mode to boost freight traffic. Inspite of Covid related challenges, Railways has already overtaken freight loading figures of the same period last year. 

    The Ministry said, these new policy measures will further boost the incentives for all freight customers to transport their goods through Railways.  

    Stabling Charge will not be levied on container traffic till 31st October. Terminal Charge will not be levied on traffic booked from alternate goods sheds, instead of identified busy goods shed.  

    A concession of 40 per cent is given for loading in open wagons covered with Tarpaulin.

  • Government has total sanctioned Rs. 1,37,586 crore.

    The Scheme would be applicable to all loans sanctioned under ECLG during the period from May 23rd, 2020 to 31st October, 2020, or till an amount of 3 lakh crore rupees is sanctioned. 

    The scheme was announced with an aim to mitigate the economic distress caused by COVID-19 and the consequent lockdown, and to provide additional credit to the MSMEs and Business Enterprises to meet their operational liabilities and revive their businesses.

  • Speaking at the meeting, the Minister urged the states to organise State-level Khelo India Games annually with an effort to identify a larger number of grassroot-level talents.

    The meeting was attended by Sports Secretary Ravi Mital, Director General, Sports Authority of India, Sandip Pradhan and other senior officials of the sports ministry.

    Sports Minister spoke of the 5 zonal talent scouting committees that are being planned for east, west, north, south and north east India and asked for active participation of the states in assisting these committees in identifying grassroot-level talent in 24 sporting disciplines.

    The Minister also stressed on the need for states to identify their best sporting infrastructure for the Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE), on priority.

    State representatives showed keen interest in working closely with the Sports Ministry on the executing the plans discussed by the Sports Minister, with many of them sharing details of already existing state-level annual competitions and grassroot-level talent identification schemes.

  • A total of 829 candidates have been selected to various Civil Services through this examination.

    Pradeep Singh has topped the exam while Pratibha Verma is the topper among the women candidates. The final result is available on the official website of UPSC. 

    Pradeep Singh who topped the examination said he will work for the poor and deprived sections of the society.

  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares rose 4.29% last month, recording its fourth straight monthly gain. The index’s 12-month forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was at 16.15, the highest since December 2009, the data showed.

    Meanwhile, MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe climbed 5.14% in July, lifting its P/E ratio to 19.65, the highest since at least June 2003.

    Lower interest rates, stimulus support from regional governments and retail investors’ increased participation in stock markets have bolstered the valuation of regional indexes this year, analysts said.

    Hopes that vaccines against the COVID-19 disease might be ready by the end of the year also supported the risk-on trade in regional markets.

    China’s benchmark stock index surged 10.9% in July, recording its best monthly rise since February 2019, and topped regional gains.

    New Zealand and Malaysia shares were the most expensive in the region, with P/E ratios of 32.93 and 18.11, respectively.

    Taiwan equities hit a record high of 13,031.7 in July and gained about 9% last month, the biggest monthly rise after China.

  • Spot gold was little changed at $1,975.07 per ounce by 0509 GMT, $9.59 shy of the all-time high hit in the previous session. U.S. gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,991.70.

    “The coronavirus problem is going to be with us for a while. It seems that economies around the world will be very fragile for an extended period of time,” said Edward Meir, analyst at ED&F Man Capital Markets.

    “They (economies) would require stimulus, monetary easing and lower interest rates to cushion the shocks. All of those would be beneficial for gold.”

    Coronavirus cases continue to surge in the United States and elsewhere. The World Health Organization warned that the road to normality would be long, with some countries requiring a reset of strategy.

    Central banks around the world have rolled out a flurry of stimulus measures and cut interest rates to mitigate the economic damage caused by the pandemic, helping gold rise more than 30% so far this year as it is seen as a hedge against inflation and fears of currency debasement.

    Meanwhile, U.S. lawmakers said they had made progress in talks on a new coronavirus relief bill.

  • Union Minister Prakash Javadekar digitally launched - DD Assam 24 x 7 on Tuesday. Assam CM, I&B Secretary, Amit Khare, DG, Doordarshan, Mayank Agrawal and CEO Prasar Bharati, Shashi S Vempati also addressed the virtual launch ceremony of DD Assam along with the I&B Minister.

    "The launch of 24/7 satellite channel DD Assam is a great gift to the state of Assam, which sends the message of unity in diversity," said, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.

    "Assam and North Eastern Region is so full of natural diversity and cultural richness and yet it carries the thread of unity. It is hence necessary that each state has its own Doordarshan channel," he added.

    "DD Assam will go a long way in showcasing the rich history of the state. Every region has a rich diversity, Assam also has a lot to say to the people of the state and the country." said DG, Doordarshan.

    "DD Assam will help us to get messages, initiatives and programmes of the government to the grassroots," said Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal thanking PM Modi & I&B Minister for the initiative.

  • According to the latest fllod bulletin issued by the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) of Bangladesh at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, out of 101 observation points across the four major river basins, water level receded at 69 points while it increased at 27 points.

    In the  Brahmaputra basin, water level declined at 23 points while it increased at 7 points.

    In the Ganges basin also, water level showed a declining trend at most of the places. Out of 30 observation points monitored by FFWC, water level declined at 19 places while it increased at 8 points around Padma and Atrai rivers. 

    In the Meghna basin, rivers showed a decline at 24 points out of 30 points.

    On Tuesday morning, Jamuna was flowing above danger level at all the six observation points including Fulchari, Bahadurabad, Kazipur and Serajgun while Brahmaputra was marginally above danger level at Chilmari. 

    Padma was also flowing above danger level at all the four observation points at Goalundo, Bhagyakul, Mawa and Sureswar.

    In the South Eastern Hill basin, out of 9 points rivers showed an increase at 6 points on account of heavy rain overnight in several parts of the basin in Bandarban, Rangamati, Lama and Chattogram among others.

    Overall, 16 rivers in the country including Jamuna, Brahmaputra, Padma, Ganga and Titas were flowing above danger level on Tuesday.

    The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) reported on Sunday that 33 districts including Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Kishoreganj, Dhaka and Natore were affected by floods. More than 54 lakh people have been affected by floods in the country. The official death toll stands at 41 in Bangladesh.

    Government has taken up relief measures in the flood affected areas. 1525 flood relief shelters have been established where 56,391 people are staying.

  • Over 7450 candidates are in fray for parliament seats while around 1.62 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise. Around four hundred voters, who are undergoing quarantine, will not be able to vote because of COVID.

    Persons who have successfully completed the 14-day institutional quarantine and are undergoing home quarantine may vote at extra polling booths allocated for them. Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya has asserted that  COVID  will not be spread through polling stations.

    He said the voters are allowed to bring their own blue or black pen to cast their preferences and will be provided a disinfected pen if not having themselves. All the polling booths are being disinfected before the polling begins on Wednesday at 7 AM. The polling hours have been extended by an hour till 5 PM in wake of social distancing to be observed.

    The elections were postponed twice after the COVID outbreak as parliament was dissolved in early March. The ruling party under Prime minister Mahinda Rajpaksa is seeking two-thirds majority in parliament to implement policies of President Gotabaya Rajapksa and bring a new constitution.

    The opposition is divided between two parties led by former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe and former minister Sajith Premadasa, who lost the Presidential elections last November. The new parliament is scheduled to have its first sitting on 20th of this month, which will be addressed by President.

  • The coronavirus was initially slower to reach Latin America - home to about 640 million people - than much of the world. But health experts say it has been hard to control the virus due to the region’s poverty and densely packed cities.

    The more than 10,000 new cases reported by Colombia’s health ministry on Monday pushed the region past the 5 million mark, a day after the Andean nation reported a record 11,470 cases.

    Latin America has now topped 200,000 deaths. Brazil’s total approached 96,000 on Monday and Mexico surpassed 48,000. The two countries have the world’s second and third highest death tolls, after the United States.

    North America is the region with the second highest number of cases, with 4.8 million infections, according to sources, followed by Europe and Asia, which have around 3 million infections each.

    Latin America is particularly vulnerable to the virus due to high levels of poverty, urbanization and labor informality, according to a July 30 report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Pan American Health Organization.

    More than 100 million people across Latin America and the Caribbean live in slums, according to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. Many have jobs in the informal sector with little in the way of a social safety net and have continued to work throughout the pandemic.

    “The pandemic has become an precedented economic and social crisis and, if urgent measures are not taken, it could transform into a food, humanitarian, and political crisis,” the report warned.

    Latin America has also a high death rate from the virus, likely due to a number of factors, including high levels of underlying conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

  • The swirling water of Gandak, Burhi Gandak and Bagmati is also  inundating fresh areas of affected districts. Over 56 lakh people of 14 districts spread over 1,082 Panchyats are reeling under the impact of flood.
     
    Flood situation is grim in Samastipur, Madhubani, Sitamarhi and East Champaran. Twenty three people have lost their lives in flood related incidents during last 24 hours in affected areas of the state. Rail traffic remained suspended on Darbhanga -Samastipur section of East Central Railway following overtopping of railway track. Vehicular trafffic has been disrupted at many places in flood affected areas.
     
    Relief and rescue operations have been intensified. Thirty one teams of NDRF and SDRF have been pressed into service. Over four lakh people have been evacuated so far and 20,000 people are taking shelter in relief camps. In all, 1,358 community kitchens have been set up for providing food to affected people.
     
    Over 9,40,000 people are taking food through these kitchens. Gandak, Bagmati, Kamlabalan, Mahananda and Adhwara group of rivers are flowing above danger marks. Met Department warns widespread rain across state in next 24 hours in many parts of north as well as catchment areas of Nepal.

  • The Bhoomi Poojan function will take place on Wednesday in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take part. Along with him, many religious heads and saints from all over the country and from Nepal are expected to take part in the function.
     
    Over 135 Saints belonging to 135 spiritual traditions will be present in the programme. Some eminent citizens of Ayodhya have also been invited by the Shri Ram Janm Bhumi Teerth Shetra Trust. Meanwhile, Ayodhya is already in the festive mood and eagerly waiting for the historic moment. Many religious activities including Ram Keertan and reciting of Ramcharitmanas have already started in Ayodhya.
     
    Preparations for Deepotsav are going on and Ghats of holy Sarayu River are beautifully decorated. The city is all set to witness the historic Bhoomi Poojan ceremony on Wednesday. Prime Minister will first have Darshan at Shri Hanumangarhi Mandir on Wednesday after which he will perform Pooja of Bhagwan Ramlalla at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi.
     
    It will be then followed by the Bhoomi Poojan and the stage event. General Secretary of Shri Ram Janm Bhumi Teerth Shetra Trust Champat Rai said that Apart from the 175 invitees for the ceremony, Mahesh Bhagchandka and Pawan Singhal from family of late Ashok Singhal, Former President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad will be Mukhya Yajman in Bhoomi Pujan. 

  • The decision was taken by Sports Authority of India (SAI) after formal permission was received from the State Government to begin training in Bengaluru.

    The athletes, coaches and support staff, who were on a home break, will join the camp and undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine inside the campus.

    Considering the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru, the permission from the State Government has been given subject to all arriving athletes, coaches and support staff adhering to institutional quarantine protocols issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health and Government of Karnataka.

  • The government has allowed gymnasiums and yoga institutes to lift shutters from August 5 under the third phase of unlocking the Covid-19 lockdown. As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), yoga institutes and gymnasiums located in Covid-19 containment zones shall not be permitted to open.

    Elderly people above the age of 65 years, people with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years have been directed not to use gymnasiums and yoga institutes in closed spaces.

    Yogic kriyas are to be avoided or planned in open spaces. Users to be put in batches and allocated staggered timings to avoid overcrowding of people while entering and exiting the fitness centre. Each batch could have a gap of 15-30 minutes in between to keep rush at bay and facilitate cleaning and disinfecting process, the release stated. “Those having oxygen saturation level below 95% should not be allowed to exercise,” the release added.

    “Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet as far as feasible,” the guidelines stated. Wearing of masks and face covers is mandatory, however, those may cause breathing difficulties during exercising, therefore, the government has said people can use a visor as a preventive measure.

    Frequent hand washing and using hand sanitisers have been emphasised by the MHA which has also advised a strict practice of “respiratory etiquettes”.

    “Cover mouth and nose while sneezing/coughing with a tissue, cloth or flexed elbow and dispose off used tissue properly,” the guidelines stated.

    The owners and managers of gymnasiums and yoga institutes have been directed to plan fitness activities keeping the floor area of 4m2 per person. Equipment and machines should be placed at a distance of 6 feet. Utilisation of outdoor space, if any, has been encouraged.

  • Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Defence Colonel Davinder Anand said that Pakistan troops initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing and heavy mortar shelling along the LoC in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district on Tuesday at about 0700 hours.
     
    He said, PaK Troops initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing with small arms and thereafter heavy mortar shelling along the LoC in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district.

    The Indian Army troop gaurding the fence retaliated befittingly with equal caliber. The exchange of fire continued till reports last came in. There are no reports of damage to any property and loss of any life from Indian side so far. Further details are awaited.

  • The DPEPP-2020 is envisaged as overarching guiding document of Defence Ministry to provide a focused, structured and significant thrust to defence production capabilities of the country for self-reliance and exports. 

    Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 has marked out clear goals and objectives to be undertaken by the Defence Ministry.

    First and foremost amongst all is to achieve a turnover of Rs. 1 lakh 75 thousand Crore including an export of Rs. 35 thousand Crore in the Aerospace and Defence goods and services by the year 2025. 

    Developing a dynamic, robust and competitive Defence industry, including Aerospace and Naval Shipbuilding industry to cater to the needs of Armed forces with quality products has also been clearly laid out in the new draft policy.

    The Ministry has also laid emphasis on reducing dependence on imports and taking forward the Make in India initiatives through domestic designs.

    Efforts will be made to create an environment that encourages Research and Development, rewards innovation, creates Indian IP ownership and promotes a robust and self-reliant defence industry.

    Defence Ministry has solicited comments on the draft DPEPP-2020 policy from all stakeholders latest by 17th of August this year.

  • It also calls for prohibiting American employers from using H-1B workers to displace Americans in outsourcing contracts.
     
    The White House in a statement said, the order will create a policy where Federal agencies will focus on United States labour in lucrative Federal contracts as it will be unfair for federal government agencies to replace perfectly qualified Americans with workers from other countries.
     
    The executive order also enjoins upon the Department of Labour, which is responsible for ensuring the fairness of the process of hiring foreign workers, to finalize guidance to prevent H-1B employers from moving H-1B workers to other employers’ job sites to displace Americans workers, in what is called third-party locations, essentially the practice of outsourcing using foreign workers on H-1B.

  • According to the government officials, at least 39 people, including the assailants, have been killed and 50 injured, in the day- long siege.
     
    The attack began on Sunday morning when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed vehicle at the entrance to the prison complex situated some 115 kilometres east of Kabul and continued till late morning on Tuesday

    The attack underscores the formidable presence of Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan, while also highlighting the challenges ahead, as US and NATO forces begin to withdraw following Washington's peace deal with the Taliban.

  • PM Modi on Monday had a telephonic conversation with President of Afghanistan Dr Ashraf Ghani. Both leaders exchanged greetings on the joyous festival of Eid- ul -Adha. 
     
    Ghani thanked PM Modi for timely supply of food and medical assistance to meet Afghan requirement.
     
    The two leaders also exchanged views on the evolving security situation in the region and other areas of mutual bilateral interest.

    PM Modi reiterated India's commitment to the people of Afghanistan in their quest for a peaceful, prosperous and inclusive Afghanistan.

  • Following the draw for the premier team event made in Kuala Lumpur today, India is in Group ‘C’ with host Denmark, Germany and Algeria in the Thomas Cup.

    In the Uber Cup, the Indian women are in Group ‘D’ in the company of China, France and Germany.

  • Squash Rackets Federation of India Secretary Cyrus Poncha said the top players were consulted before the withdrawal.

  • He said that hand sanitisers will be used and social distancing maintained at the polling booths. The chairman said voters have already been informed that they will be allowed to use their own pens to mark their preferences. Around 1.6 crore voters will be eligible to exercise their franchise to elect a 225-member parliament.

    Sri Lanka follows a preferential system of voting for parliament elections and an electoral district elects several representatives for the parliament.  This is the first major election in the region after COVID outbreak and polling was postponed twice due to the pandemic. The ruling Sri Lanka People’s party (SLPP) is aiming to get two-thirds majority at the election in a bid to change the 19th amendment to the constitution which has curtailed President’s powers and set up independent commissions.

  • He said this in a tweet in response to Israel President Reuven Rivlin's best wishes to India on the occasion of Friendship Day yesterday.
     

  • The sessions, titled Fit India Talks, will premiere today in the presence of Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju along with badminton star PV Sindhu and Indian football team skipper Sunil Chhetri.

    A host of leading sports celebrities will be sharing their experiences of childhood, stories on how they got inspired, their failures, struggles and their success. This will give the audience a very inspirational yet interesting account of their journeys - from common school students to world-class champions.

    There will be a total of six sessions which will go on till 14th of this month. The likes of badminton star Ashwini Ponnappa, Indian women’s hockey team skipper Rani Rampal, table tennis star Manika Batra, shooter Apurvi Chandela and inspirational Paralympian Deepa Malik will join in at the sessions.
     

  • Union Health Ministry said, eVIN is an innovative technological solution aimed at strengthening immunization supply chain systems across the country.

    This is being implemented under National Health Mission by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

    It aims to provide real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows, and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in the country.