CURRENT AND CORPORATE NEWS : 16 SEPTEMBER 2020

Current and corporate news : 16 september 2020

COVID-19

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package Insurance Scheme for health workers fighting COVID extended for six months: The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package Insurance Scheme for health workers fighting COVID-19 has been extended for another six months. It was announced on 30th March this year for a period of 90 days and it was extended for a further period of 90 days up to 25th September. The scheme has now been extended for another 180 days.This Central Sector Scheme provides an insurance cover of 50 lakh rupees to healthcare providers, including community health workers, who may have to be in direct contact and care of COVID-19 patients and therefore at risk of being infected. It also includes
accidental loss of life on account of contracting COVID-19. The scheme also covers private hospital staff or retired or volunteer or local urban bodies or contract or daily wage or ad-hoc or outsourced staff requisitioned by States or Central hospitals or autonomous hospitals of Central or States or UTs, AIIMS and INIs or hospitals of Central Ministries drafted for COVID-19 related responsibilities. The insurance provided under this scheme is over and above any other insurance cover being availed of by the beneficiary. There is no age limit for this scheme and individual enrolment is not required. The entire amount of premium for this scheme is being borne by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The benefit or claim under this policy is in addition to the amount payable under any other policies. The Ministry of Health and Family welfare has collaborated with the New India Assurance Company Limited for providing the insurance amount based on the guidelines prepared for the scheme.

NATIONAL NEWS

Lok Sabha passes Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020: Lok Sabha passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, today. The Bill will replace the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance which was promulgated on 5th June this year. The Bill seeks to amend the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and empowers the central government in terms of production, supply, distribution, trade, and commerce of certain commodities. It also seeks to increase competition in the agriculture
sector and enhance farmers’ income. The bill aims to liberalise the regulatory system while protecting the interests of consumers. The bill empowers the central government to designate certain commodities including food items, fertilizers, and petroleum products as essential commodities. Supply of certain food items including cereals, pulses, potato, onions, edible oilseeds, and oils, can be regulated by the government
under extraordinary circumstances as per the provisions of this bill. The extraordinary circumstances include war, famine, extraordinary price rise and natural calamity of grave nature. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 empowers the central government to regulate the stock of an essential commodity that a person can hold. The
provisions of the bill regarding the regulation of food items and the imposition of stock limits will however not apply to any government order relating to the Public Distribution System or the Targeted Public Distribution System.

Rajya Sabha passes Aircraft (Amendment) Bill 2020: Parliament has passed the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 with the Rajya Sabha approving it today. The Bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha. It seeks to
amend the Aircraft Act, 1934. It has provisions to convert three existing bodies under the Ministry of Civil Aviation into statutory bodies. These three authorities are, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and the Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau. Under the bill, each of these bodies will be headed by a Director General who will be appointed by the centre.

Prahlad Singh Patel virtually attends handing over ceremony of 3 sculptures at High Commission of India in London: Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel today virtually attended the handing over ceremony
of 3 sculptures at the High Commission of India, London. The three sculptures of Lord Rama, Lakshamana and Mata Sita were handed over by British Police to Indian High Commission in London.

Lok Sabha passes bill to reduce salaries of MPs by 30 percent: Lok Sabha unanimously passed the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020, today. The Bill will replace the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Ordinance which was cleared by the Union Cabinet on 6th April and promulgated on 7th April this year. The Bill seeks to reduce the salaries of MPs and the sumptuary allowance of Ministers by 30 per cent. It also seeks to reduce the constituency allowance and office expenses allowance of MPs.
The Bill makes these changes effective for a period of one year, effective from 1st April, Lok Sabha members across party lines praised the bill and appreciated the prompt decisions of the government to tackle the situation arising due to the COVID pandemic.

India leaves SCO’s NSA meet in Russia after Pakistani NSA projects fictitious map: India has said the Pakistani NSA deliberately projected a fictitious map that Pakistan has recently been propagating at the meeting of the National Security Advisers of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. In response to questions on today’s meeting of NSAs of SCO member states, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said this was in blatant disregard to the advisory by the host Russia against it and in violation of the norms of the meeting. He said, the Indian side left the meeting in protest at that juncture after consultation with the host. Mr Srivastava said, as was to be expected, Pakistan then went on to present a misleading view of this meeting. Government sources said, Pakistan’s use of a fictitious map as a backdrop for its representative depicting sovereign Indian territories as part of Pakistan is a blatant
violation of the SCO Charter and against all its established norms of safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of SCO Member States. Sources said, India issued its strong objection to the use of this illegal map by Pakistan. The Russian side, as th e Chair, tried very hard to persuade Pakistan not to do so.

Education Minister releases NCERT 8-week Alternative Academic Calendar for secondary stage: Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has released the NCERT eight-week Alternative Academic Calendar- AAC for the secondary stage. The calendar contains week-wise plan consisting of interesting and challenging activities, with reference to
theme and chapter taken from syllabus or textbook. It maps the themes with the learning outcomes and its purpose is to facilitate teachers and parents to assess the progress in the learning of children and also to go beyond textbooks. The activities given in the calendar focus on learning outcomes and can thus be achieved through any resource including the textbooks children are using in their state. It also covers experiential learning activities such as Arts Education, Physical Exercises, yoga and pre-vocational skills.

India beats China to become member of UN’s Commission on Status of Women: India has been elected as the member of the Commission on Status of Women (CSW), a body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). India will be a member of the prestigious body for four years from 2021 to 2025. India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations T S Tirumurti said, it is a ringing endorsement of India’s commitment
to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in all the endeavours. India, Afghanistan and China had contested the elections to the Commission on Status of Women. While India and Afghanistan won the ballot among the 54 members, China failed to cross the half-way mark.

STATE NEWS

PM Modi inaugurates various projects under ‘Namami
Gange’ & ‘AMRUT’ schemes in Bihar:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated and laid the foundation stones for even projects related to urban infrastructure in Bihar under ‘Namami Gange’ and
AMRUT’ schemes through video conferencing. Out of these, four projects are related to water supply, two to sewerage treatment and one to riverfront development. The total cost of these projects is 541 crore rupees. The implementation of these projects has been undertaken by Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd.

Cabinet gives nod to establishment of new AIIMS at Darbhanga in Bihar; Also approves Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor Project from Palwal to Sonipat: The Union Cabinet has approved establishment of a new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Darbhanga, Bihar. This will be established under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). The Cabinet also approved creation of one post of Director for Darbhanga AIIMS. The total cost on setting up the new AIIMS will be
1264 crore rupees and is likely to be completed within a period of 48 months. New AIIMS will add 750 hostpital beds and add 100 UG (MBBS) seats and 60 B.Sc (Nursing) seats. Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, has given its approval to the Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor Project from Palwal to Sonipat via Sohna-ManesarKharkhauda. This Rail Line will start from Palwal and end at the existing Harsana Kalan
station on Delhi-Ambala section. This will also give connectivity enroute to existing Patli Station on Delhi-Rewari line, Sultanpur station on Garhi Harsaru-Farukhnagar Line and Asaudha Station on Delhi Rohtak Line.

NIA arrests key suspect working for Pakistan’s ISI from Godhra in Gujarat: National Investigation Agency NIA- has arrested a key suspect working for Pakistan’s Inter Service Intelligence -ISI from Godhra in Gujarat. Key accused Giteli Imran has been involved in espionage activities for ISI. The case relates to an international espionage racket in which Pakistan-based spies recruited agents in India for collecting sensitive
and classified information regarding locations and movements of Indian Naval Ships and Submarines, and other defence establishments. Giteli is a key accused in the Visakhapatnam naval spy ring case. He was involved in depositing money in the accounts of a few personnel of the Indian Navy in lieu of sensitive and classified data. Some digital devices and incriminating documents have been seized from the house of the arrested accused. According to sources, the further investigation is underway.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Bangladesh economy shows early signs of recovery, GDP to grow at 6.8% for FY 2021: ADB: The Bangladesh economy is showing early signs of recovery with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expected to grow at 6.8 percent in the fiscal year 2021. Inflation is expected to moderate to 5.5 percent and current account deficit is likely to narrow to 1.1 percent of GDP in FY 2021. Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its latest report Asian
Development Outlook 2020 released on Tuesday says that Bangladesh’s economy has started recovering from the pandemic. It pointed out that prudent macroeconomic management and speedy implementation of the government stimulus measures are key imperatives to ensure the projected recovery.

US blocks imports from four companies & manufacturing facility in northwestern China: Four companies and a manufacturing facility in northwestern China have been blocked from shipping their products to the United States. The move was taken by the US owing to the firms’ suspected reliance on forced labour from people detained as part of a massive campaign against ethnic minorities in the region. The US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) issued orders freezing imports from companies that produce cotton, clothing and computer parts in the Xinjiang region of northwestern China. The Chinese authorities have reportedly detained more than one million people in detention camps as part of the crackdown. CBP also halted imports of hair products made at a manufacturing facility where authorities believe Uighurs and other ethnic minorities are
forced to work. The US issues the orders under the 1930 Tariff Act, which prohibits imports produced with prison or slave labour to ensure fair competition with US manufacturers and keep tainted products out of the supply chain.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE

IIM, Kozhikode based incubatee start-up launches wearable gadget for implementing social distancing norms: Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode based incubatee start-up has come up with a unique user friendly wearable device that alarms proximity for helping implement social distancing norms. Known as the Veli Band, this wearable device has been developed by Qual5 India Pvt. Ltd, a startup co-founded by woman entrepreneur Kiranmayee. The start up was mentored and funded by IIMK’s business incubator and entrepreneurship development center. Veli Band helps implement social distancing and location and contact tracing which can help organizations comply with social distancing norms during
the current pandemic situation. Veli Band momentarily vibrates, sounds buzzer, and flashes LED simultaneously to notify wearers that another band is within 3 feet. The device to be worn on the wrist can anonymously keep track of interactions with other devices and thus not only help in maintaining a safer workplace but also aid in tracking employee movements in real time. Veli band is omni directional, comes with a
rechargeable battery and uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology for detection.

DEFENCE NEWS

India remains committed to resolve current issues in border areas through peaceful dialogue: Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today asserted that India remains committed to resolve the current issues in its border areas through peaceful dialogue and consultations. Mr Singh said, India believes that mutual respect and mutual sensitivity are the basis for peaceful relations with neighbours. Making a statement in the Lok Sabha on the LAC situation, Mr Singh said, India wants to resolve the current situation through dialogue . He said, India has been continuously maintaining diplomatic and military engagement with the Chinese side. Defence Minister informed the House that India is taking a stand on three key principles. He mentioned that both sides should strictly respect the LAC and asserted that any attempt to unilaterally alter the status quo will not be acceptable.

AWARDS AND HONOURS

Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank presents first ever AICTE Visvesvaraya Best Teacher Awards 2020: Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank today presented the first ever AICTE Visvesvaraya Best Teacher Awards 2020 to 12 faculty members of AICTE approved institutes on the occasion of Engineers Day. The event was organised in virtual mode and the faculty members were felicitated by the Minister through online interaction.
Highlighting the AICTE Visvesvaraya Best Teacher Awards 2020, the Minister said that the Awards has been introduced for the first time to identify extraordinary teachers and recognize their excellence, best practice and innovativeness in the field of higher technical education at national level for Degree and Diploma institutions. Thi s scheme
is aimed to recognize the meritorious faculties on the Engineer’s Day every year at National level and encourage them to themselves to the ever changing needs of higher education at global level and thereby becoming an effective contributor towards the society.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Engineers’ Day being celebrated today: The entire nation today celebrates Engineers’ Day to mark the Birth Anniversary of the renowned Indian engineer Bharat Ratna Mokshagundam Viseswaraya. Civil Engineer
and Statesman, Viseswaraya is popularly known as Sir M.V. He was the Chief Engineer of Krishna Raja Sagara dam in the north west suburb of Mysuru city. Mokshagundam played crucial role in important constructions and projects in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, two Telugu states. He used his expertise to solve the erosion problem of Visakhapatnam Port from sea water and also designed flood protection system for Hyderabad, which brought laurels. Several engineering institutions, organizations and
educational institutions celebrate the day by organizing meetings and competitions for students.

International Day of Democracy being observed today: Today is the International Day of Democracy. On the occasion, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu extended his greetings and said, Democracy gives voice to the common man and ensures that all are equal before the rule of law. He also appealed to everybody to strengthen the foundations of Indian democracy and make it more vibrant.

Thanks for reading “Current and corporate news : 16 september 2020

Compiled By : CS Surbhi Saxena

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