CURRENT AND CORPORATE NEWS : 11 SEPTEMBER 2020

Current and corporate news : 11 september 2020

COVID-19

Dr Harsh Vardhan attends 73rd Session of WHO South East Asia Region through video conferencing: Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan attended the 73rd session of WHO South East Asia Region (SEARO) through video conference today. Representing India, Dr. Harsh Vardhan offered two interventions in the ministerial round table session on COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness. He first spoke on the important interventions that were applied to manage COVID – 19 and maintain essential non – COVID health services in India. He later expounded on the strategies that are being applied to ensure that there are increased investments in health and health emergency preparedness and response as well as in International Health Regulation (IHR) core capacities to prevent future pandemics. The Minister outlined the measures being undertaken by the Government such as issuing of travel advisories, creation of facilities for quarantine of persons returning from countries which reported cases of COVID – 19, issuing of guidelines for community level surveillance and also scaling up of testing facilities, tracking and testing of all suspect cases. He also highlighted the increasing domestic production capacity of PPE, ventilators and other medical items required for treatment of COVID patients which has resulted in India’s resilience in the health sector.

Union Health Ministry urges States, UTs to retest all symptomatic negative cases of Rapid Antigen Tests through RT-PCR: Union Health Ministry has urged the States and Union Territories to mandatorily retest all symptomatic negative cases of Rapid Antigen Tests through RT-PCR. The Ministry has noted that in some large States, symptomatic negative cases tested by Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) are not being followed up by RT-PCR testing. The Health Ministry and Indian Council of Medical Research have jointly written to all the states in this regard. The Ministry in a statement said, this is necessary to ensure that such symptomatic negative cases do not remain untested and do not spread the disease among their contacts. It said, this will also ensure early detection and isolation and hospitalization of such false negatives. In the letter, it has also been reiterated that while the RAT is being used to increase access and availability of testing in the field, RT-PCR remains the gold standard of COVID tests. The Health Ministry also urged the states to urgently establish a monitoring mechanism in every district by a designated officer or a team and at the State level to follow up such cases. These teams shall analyse details of RAT conducted on a daily basis in the Districts and State and ensure that there are no delays in retesting of all symptomatic negative cases. The Ministry said, the aim of States and Union Territories should be to ensure that no potentially positive case is missed out. They have also been advised to undertake an analysis on a regular basis to monitor the incidence of positives during the RT-PCR tests conducted as a follow up.

NATIONAL NEWS

Rafale Fighter Aircraft formally inducted in Indian Air Force: Rafale Fighter Aircraft has been formally inducted into the Indian Air Force at a formal function at Air Force Station, Ambala. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces of France graced
the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, the Defence Minister said the induction of Rafale is a historic moment and a very important milestone in
the history of the IAF. He said, the Rafale deal was a game changer for India’s national security and its induction is a strong message for the world
and especially for those who challenge India’s sovereignty. Mr Singh reiterated the resolve of not compromising India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity under any circumstances. He also said strengthening defence is aimed at achieving international peace and stability and India does not want to take any step that can endanger international peace.

India to host CHG meeting of SCO on 29-30 November in New Delhi: India is scheduled to host the meeting of Council of Heads of Government (CHG) of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, SCO on 29-30 November 2020 in New Delhi. This will be the first Prime Minister level meeting to be hosted by India since its elevation as a full-member of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, SCO. In the run-up to the CHG Meeting, India has taken lot of initiatives in a wide range of areas. India hosted a Preparatory Seminar on Start-up Forum on 11 August and the first-ever meeting of Consortium of Economic Think-Tanks on 21-22 August. Both the events were attended by all the SCO Member States through Video Conferencing.

India’s North East is gateway to East and South East Asia: Foreign Secy Harsh Vardhan Shringla: Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla today said India’s North East is gateway to East and South East Asia and is a link between Neighbourhood First and Act East policies. He said a strong, stable and prosperous North East is key to building a Self-Reliant India. Speaking on the “Impact of Neighbourhood First and Act East Policies on the North East ” at a webinar, the Foreign Secretary said government has a vision for this region that is captured in the 3 Cs – Connectivity, Commerce, and Cultural Commonalities. He said in partnership with the country’s neighbours and friends to the East, government is working to improve the infrastructure and connectivity in the North Eastern states while also facilitating greater regional integration.

FCRA registration to Harmandir Sahib pathbreaking move: HM Amit Shah: Home Minister Amit Shah lauded the government’s decision to allow
Harmandir Sahib to receive foreign funding under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010. In a tweet, the Home Minister said the government’s
decision is a pathbreaking move and it will once again showcase the outstanding spirit of service of the Sikh community. He said this decision will deepen the connect of Seva between the Sangat globally and the Sri Darbar Sahib. Home Ministry had yesterday approved registration of Sri Harmandir Sahib under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, allowing it to receive foreign funding.

President Ram Nath Kovind accepts Letter of Credence from High Commissioner of Singapore: President Ram Nath Kovind today accepted Letter of Credence from Simon Wong Wie Kuen, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Singapore in a virtual ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, the President conveyed his warm wishes to the High Commissioner on his appointment. Congratulating the Singapore Government on the successful conduct of General Elections recently, the President noted that bilateral relations between India and Singapore have deepened. He also thanked Singapore for its strong support to India at multi-lateral forums, including the United Nations Security Council. Mr Kovind noted that mutual cooperation during the period of COVID-19 pandemic has further strengthened the existing ties of friendship and trust between both countries.

India, Japan ink agreement for reciprocal supplies & services between armed forces: India and Japan have signed an Agreement between the two countries concerning Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between the Armed Forces of India and the Self-Defense Forces of Japan. The agreement was signed in New Delhi by Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and Ambassador of Japan Mr Suzuki Satoshi. This agreement establishes the enabling framework for closer cooperation between the Armed Forces of India and Japan in reciprocal provision of supplies and services. The agreement will also enhance the interoperability between the Armed Force of India and Japan thereby further increasing the bilateral defence engagements under the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between the two countries.

DRDO develops P-7 Heavy Drop System capable of para dropping military stores: Defence Research and Development Organization, DRDO has developed P7 Heavy Drop System which is capable of para dropping military stores up to seven-tonne weight class from IL- 76 aircraft. It consists of a platform and specialized parachute system. The parachute system is a multi-stage system comprises of five Main canopies, five Brake chutes, two Auxiliary chutes, one Extractor parachute and platform is a metallic structure made up of Aluminium or steel alloys. The system has been developed successfully with 100 per cent indigenous resources. P-7 Heavy Drop System has been inducted in the Army.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Domestic flights suspended, restrictions enhanced in Yangon as COVID-19 cases surge in Myanmar: Myanmar has announced that domestic flights in the country will be suspended from Friday, Sept. 11 in view of a spike in COVID 19 cases in the country. The National Carrier Myanmar National Airlines (MNA) announced on Friday that all domestic flights have been temporarily suspended till 30 September in order to protect people from COVID 19 pandemic. Several other domestic airlines have also announced the suspension of flights. Myanmar has already banned international flights till September 30. In a fresh surge in Coronavirus cases, Myanmar has reported 261 new cases on Thursday taking the total number of infected people to 2150. 14 people have died due to Corona so far in the country. Over the last month, COVID 19 infections have gone up 4 times in Myanmar prompting authorities to close schools and reimpose restrictions which were eased earlier.Yangon is the new hotspot for Coronavirus spread in Myanmar. As of Thursday morning, Yangon reported 756 cases. Earlier Rakhine State was the hotspot of Corona infection with 652 reported cases of Corona infection.

ADB provides 50 million dollar loan to Bangladesh for PPP infrastructure projects: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and government of Bangladesh signed a 50 million dollar loan agreement on Thursday to promote, fund and implement public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects in the country.The project will help Bangladesh to mobilise private investment, develop infrastructure projects and create jobs which will help accelerate the economic recovery process in the aftermath of the Corona pandemic. In a press release, the Country Director of ADB Manmohan Parakash said that the project will generate 3000 jobs in PPP projects supported by the Bangladesh Infrastructure Finance Fund Limited (BIFFL) by 2024. Further, the project will help the roll out of the government’s PPP strategy, said Manmohan Parkash. ADB has also assisted the government to develop the PPP Act, set up the PPP office, and an institutional framework for PPPs in addition to supporting priority sectors of Bangladesh as a transaction advisor.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE

Govt forms committee for assessment of relief to bank borrower: Government has constituted a three member expert committee to assist in the assessment of relief to bank borrowers. The committee chaired by former CAG Rajiv Mehrishi will measure the impact on the national economy and financial stability of waiving of interest and COVID-19 related moratorium. It will also give suggestions to mitigate financial constraints of various sections of society in this respect and measures to be adopted in this regard. The panel will submit its report within one week. The move came as various concerns have been raised during the ongoing hearing in the Supreme Court in the matter regarding relief sought in terms of waiver of interest and waiver of interest on interest and other related issues.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Suicide Prevention Day being observed today: Today is World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). On 10th of September every year, World Health Organization in association with International Association for Suicide Prevention is organizing World Suicide Prevention Day to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented. Various activities including educational and commemorative events, press briefings and conferences, as well as Facebook and Twitter coverage are organized on this day. According to WHO, nearly eight lakh people die by suicide every year. Furthermore, for each suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts. Suicides and suicide attempts have a ripple effect that impacts on families, friends, colleagues, communities and societies.

SPORTS

Serena Williams to meet Victoria Azarenka in US Open semifinals: Serena Williams of the United States and Victoria Azarenka from Belarus
will meet in the semifinals of the US Open after beating their respective rivals in the women’s singles quarterfinals. Serena had to come back from a set and a break down to storm to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win against Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova while Victoria Azarenka triumphed against 16th seed Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-1, 6-0. In the men’s quarterfinals, second seed
Dominic Thiem of Austria eased past Australian Alex De Minaur 6-1, 6-2, 6-
4 while third seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia defeated compatriot Andrey
Rublev 7-6(6), 6-3, 7-6(5).In women’s doubles semifinal, China’s Xu Yifan
teamed up with American Nicole Melichar to edge past Asia Muhammad and Taylor Townsend of the United States in three sets to reach the final. They will meet the unseeded pairing of Laura Siegemund of Germany and Vera Zvonareva of Russia in the final.

Compiled By : CS Surbhi Saxena

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