Government of India bans 118 apps that threat the sovereignty of the nation and its citizens

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act has decided to block 118 apps on the grounds that they pose a threat being engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order. The Ministry of Information Technology has received information of these apps transporting data to servers out of the nation. The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps. The information posted, permissions sought, functionality embedded as well as data harvesting practices of these apps have a potential chance of compromising the personal, as well as the of the sovereign, more so as they are kept hostile to national security and defence of India.

They include extremely used apps like Tencent Watchlist, PUBG mobile, WeChat Work, VPN for TikTok, etc.


India’s COVID Case Fatality Rate at 1.76% as compared to the world average

The global COVID Case Fatality Rate (CFR) figure stands at 3.3%, while the nation is at 1.76% and steadily decreasing. The deaths per million population in India is one of the lowest in the world, reporting 48 deaths per million, while the global average indicates to 110 deaths per million population. The rigorous initiatives by the central, state and UTs are showing results. 1578 Dedicated COVID Hospitals are providing quality medical care.

AIIMS New Delhi in collaboration with the Health Ministry has developed FAQs, posted on the MoHFW website, to build the ICU/clinical management capacities of doctors for treatment of critical patients.


Advisory issued on safety precautions for rural Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) service providers

With the resumption of socio-economic activities all over the nation, the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) providers are to follow certain guidelines working at the forefront to implement the water supply infrastructure activities on a bigger scale and with speed to achieve the goal of providing tap water connections to all rural households. As per the current nature of the COVID-19 virus, hand hygiene is of the utmost importance as the transmission causes majorly by contaminated hands. Hence the urgent need to make tap water available inside every rural household premises. Adequate fund has been made available under Jal Jeevan Mission and the mission presents an excellent opportunity to mitigate the ongoing pandemic situation not just by ensuring water supply but also by creating employment to labours who have migrated back home.



Cabinet approves MoU between India and Finland

The Cabinet headed by PM Narendra Modi approves of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Geological Survey of India, Ministry of Mines, the Government of the Republic of India and Geological Survey of Finland (Geologiantutkimuskeskus), Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Government of Finland, for cooperation in the field of geology and mineral resources. The aim is to provide a framework and a platform to promote and foster cooperation in the fields of geology, and mineral resources among the two participants for mutual economic, social and environmental benefit; sharing experiences on geological data management and information dissemination to promote exploration and mining, in the areas of geology and mineral resources – strengthening scientific ties between the two organizations.


CFI to host the first ever Cycling Summit next year

Cycling Federation of India (CFI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Contarctica, a marketing exploration firm, to host the first ever Cycling Summit in 2021 in cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. The one-day summit is designed with the motto of promoting the culture of cycling and sharing of knowledge between beginner and professional cyclists. The 2021 Cycling Summit will consist of cyclists, athletes, fitness and sports enthusiasts, cycling coaches, health and nutrition experts and influencers, bringing together renowned athletes, cycling enthusiasts and business from all over India.


Health Ministry releases SOPs for conducting examinations

In order to conduct examinations while maintaining safety protocols, the Union Health Ministry has issued SOPs to be followed by all the exam centers. Universities and exam conducting authorities have been asked to plan their schedules in a staggered manner; proper sanitization of papers, conduction room; deployment of staff other than older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions for invigilation duties; isolation of candidates possessing symptoms; re to be strictly kept in check, among others.



Ceiling on MEIS benefits available to exporters made from 1.9.2020 to 31.12.2020

Under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) a limit of Rs.2 Crore per IEC of exports made in the period 1.9.2020 to 31.12.2020 has been imposed. However, any IEC holder who has not made any exports for a period of one year preceding 1.9.2020 or any new IECs obtained on or after 1st September would not be eligible for submitting any claim under MEIS.  In addition, MEIS Scheme will be withdrawn from 1.1.2021, and the ceiling will be subject to further downward revision in order to ensure that the total claim under MEIS for the period 1.9.2020 to 31.12.2020 is Rs. 5,000 Crore, as per the prescribed allocation by the Government.


Central government intervenes to ensure timely payments to MSMEs

Government of India has taken several measures to aid the MSMEs. Union Finance Minister announces Government entities should make payments within 45 days. Following up with the announcement, the Ministry of MSME took up the matter with the Central Ministries and Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and State Governments, and active follow-ups have been done with the Heads of CPSEs.

A dedicated online reporting format has been made for reporting the monthly payments and monthly pendency; active follow-ups being conducted by the State Governments; Department of Expenditure issues an OM imposing that the buyer organization will have to pay penal interest of 1% per month for delayed payment beyond prescribed timeline till the date of such payment; Government in Finance Ministry has relinquished the charges for on-boarding the TReDS platforms, designed for bill discounting of the MSMEs – are the few notable interventions made by the government.