PM Modi expresses gratitude to teachers and pays tribute to Dr. Radhakrishnan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter expresses his gratitude for the relentless efforts of the teachers of the nation, forming the framework of the generations of youth. He also pays tribute to Dr. S Radhakrishnan, whose birth anniversary is celebrated as the national Teacher’s Day. PM Modi also throws light to his latest Mann ki Baat, urging the teachers to spread the knowledge of the lesser-known aspects of history.


Declaration of State ranking, based on the implementation of Business Reform Action Plan for 2019

Ranking of States based on the implementation of the Business Reform Action Plan is the initiative of introducing an element of healthy competition through a system of ranking states based on their performance in the implementation of the Business Reform Action Plan. The 2018-19 rankings were announced by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana topping the list. Smt Sitharaman applauds the states for maintaining efforts of reformation amidst the strict lockdown measures due to the pandemic. She also points out the position of India in the global market, as there is a good inflow of FDI. Between April-June, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into India structured around $20 billion.


Health Ministry issues updated Guidelines providing for ‘On-demand’ testing

With the upsurge in the number of COVID-19 tests being conducted in the country, the Union Health Ministry has issued updated guidelines where ‘on-demand’ testing makes its entry, in order to ensure higher levels of testing. Testing on demand is applicable for all practical purposes, with prescription by a registered medical practitioner although State governments have the freedom to decide on simplified modalities.


Jal Jeevan Mission reaches tribal homes of Madhya Pradesh

The Jal Jeevan Mission implemented by the Ministry of Jal Shakti in partnership with States aims to provide adequate drinking water of prescribed quality on a regular and long-term basis to every rural household in the country by 2024. In order to provide adequate drinking water to all rural households in the State, the Centre has allocated Rs 1,280 Crore for the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) in Madhya Pradesh in 2020-21. Madhya Pradesh Jal Nigam Maryadit (MPJNM) is undertaking a multi village water supply scheme (MVS), covering 19 villages of Manpur Block of Umariya district of Madhya Pradesh. The scheme is providing treated drinking water for a population of 61,294 approx through tap water connections.



Low ozone over Brahmaputra River Valley

Scientists at the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital, have evaluated and found the near surface ozone in the Brahmaputra River Valley (BRV) to be a relatively low concentration of Ozone over Guwahati, compared to the other urban locations in India. The work has been published recently in the journal named ‘Atmospheric Pollution Research’. The data indicate better health of the people living in that region.


SVEP is motivating enterprises in rural areas and building rural entrepreneurs

Under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana –National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), issued by the Ministry of Rural Development, Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP) has come into existence as a sub-scheme, since 2016. Aiming to support the rural poor come out of poverty, supporting them set up enterprises and provide support till the enterprises stabilize, SVEP focuses on providing self-employment opportunities with financial assistance and training in business management and soft skills while creating local community cadres for the promotion of enterprises. SVEP has made remarkable progress and has extended business support services and capital infusion to 153 blocks of 23 states as of August 2020 – while promoting both individual and group enterprises, set-up, and promote enterprises majorly on the manufacturing, trading, and service sectors.


Machine learning to help in the automatic interpretation of seismic data

High-performance computing systems have allowed analysis of voluminous surface seismic data within a reasonable time after receiving guidance and inputs from interpreters, relieving the tedious process of computation and interpretation. In order to accelerate the analytical process, scientists from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), an autonomous Institute under the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, have developed a neural-based (machine learning-based) practical approach for automatic interpretation of 3D seismic data.

GCLP facility for Viral Immunogenicity Testing now open for operations

The establishment of the National Biopharma Mission, an initiative of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, was due to the necessity to identify the needs and gaps of Biotherapeutics, Vaccine, and Devices Industry and address those capacity bottlenecks. Centralised Viral and Bacterial clinical Immunogenicity labs meeting the stringent GCLP standards is a critical need due to the requirement of extensive evaluation in humans to establish safety, immunogenicity and clinical efficacy for vaccine development. National Immunogenicity & Biologics Evaluation Center (NIBEC) is jointly established by Bharati Vidyapeeth University through its constituent unit Interactive Research School for Health Affairs (IRSHA) and BIRAC-DBT, Government of India through National Biopharma Mission, for assessing clinical Immunogenicity of viral vaccines.



Revision of audit norms for banks

In order to improve the efficacy of internal audit and risk management systems, Reserve Bank of India produces revised long format audit report (LFAR), applying to statutory central auditors (SCA) and branch auditors of banks, and is set to be put into action for the period covering 2020-2021 and onwards. The LFAR has been updated keeping in mind the large scale changes in the size, complexities, business models and risks in banking operations. While the revision of norms, the central bank has asked the banks to ensure timely receipts of the LFAR from the auditors.


India’s defence dynamics with the U.S. and Russia

General Bipin Rawat talks about the dynamics of relationship between India and its two allies, the U.S. and Russia, saying that India shares a robust defence system with both the countries. Such bonds are fostering seismic changes in geopolitics, shaped by a nation first approach and geo-economics. Considering the emerging paradigm, India’s security is to be maintained not only in the International Border, Line of Control, or Line of Actual Control but also in the strategic space of the extended neighborhood and strategic frontier.


Doctors turned WhatsApp groups into COVID-19 clinics, flattening the curve

Over 330 doctors from the Kashmir Valley have deliberately taken up initiatives to turn WhatsApp groups into COVID-19 clinics, aiding more than 10,000 affected patients and their families. The groups that were initially created to have a data bank of patients and their line of treatment, so as to track the characteristics of the novel virus, later turned into clinics when the Valley’s three top hospitals, the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS), the Chest Disease Hospital and the Sher-i-Kashmir Medical Institute, started running out of beds due to the increasing numbers of critical patients, mainly complaining of bilateral pneumonia. With the government’s direction of home treatment of mild COVID patients, each doctor decided to handle four to five families, 25 persons on an average, beyond their duties. The selfless initiative has resultantly yielded into flattening the curve of the valley.


National Tribal Research Conclave held virtually with extensive discussions on developing village level livelihood framework by TRIs/ CoES

Two days ‘National Tribal Research Conclave’ organized by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) through a virtual platform chaired by the Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda, who reviewed and discussed the outcome and the best practices of various research projects being implemented under partnerships with TRIs and other stakeholders. Summing up to 120 members, including State Tribal Welfare Ministers, State Tribal Welfare Secretaries, TRI Directors, CoEs along with Officers of Ministry and IIPA attended the meet and shared their views on tribal research & development. Shri Munda mentions of agreement being signed between the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) for setting up the National Tribal Research Institute (NTRI), for planning and development of tribal areas across the country. Ladakh being a new Union Territory should be given special attention in terms of analysis and overall implementation of the programmes and projects initiated there.