CURRENT AND CORPORATE NEWS : 17 OCTOBER 2020
COVID- 19 NEWS
Government issues SOPs for cultural functions & programs
Ministry of Culture yesterday issued detailed SOPs for Cultural Functions and Programs on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19. These guidelines contain Standard Operating Procedures to be followed by the management of theatres and performance spaces, as well as the entertainment or creative agencies, artists and crew or any other persons who hire the auditoria or any other open or closed performance spaces, whether on payment or gratis. Comprehensive guidelines have been issued for Artists and Crew, management of Green Rooms, Stage management, Costume and make up trials, Sanitization of venue including stage, Open area seating etc. The Ministry clarified that cultural activities shall continue to be prohibited inside containment zones. Further, State and UT Govts may consider proposing additional measures as per their field assessment.
London & Paris bring in strict new rules as Covid-19 cases surge across Europe
Millions in Europe have been told they must live under strict new measures as governments battle a second wave. Two of Europe’s biggest capitals are in trouble as Paris imposed overnight curfews and London banned people from different households from meeting indoors to combat the spread of coronavirus. The announcements came as countries across Europe tightened restrictions following a surge in Covid-19 cases in most countries. French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the capital and the cities of Aix-Marseille, Grenoble, Montpellier, Toulouse, Saint Etienne, Lille, Rouen and Lyon will face a 9 pm to 6 am curfew beginning midnight tonight. Violating the nighttime curfew will carry a fine. In France, a further
30,621 infections were confirmed yesterday, up from 22,591 the day before. UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced millions of people in London, Essex, York and other areas face tougher Tier 2 Covid measures from Saturday. Under this high level, there is a ban on households mixing indoors, including in pubs and restaurants. More than half of England’s
population will now be living under high or very high- restrictions.
World Bank to propose 25 billion in extra funding for poorest countries to grapple with COVID-19 pandemic
World Bank has called for emergency financing of 25 billion dollar to help the world’s poorest countries grapple with the massive challenges of the COVID 19 pandemic. World Bank Chief, David Malpass told finance ministers and central bank governors of the G20 major economies that he would propose the supplemental financing package later this month to deputies of the International Development Association (IDA). Mr Malpass expressed concerns over the rising risk of disorderly defaults among low-income countries. He said the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have proposed a joint action plan to help the most heavilyindebted IDA countries.
PM hails Food & Agriculture Organization for ensuring food security across globe
Mr. Modi said, the commemorative coin launched today marks the respect of 130 crore Indians towards the pivotal role played by FAO to mitigate the effects of malnutrition. He said, FAO, over the years, helped increase agricultural production and eradicate hunger all over the world. He said this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Programme is also a major
achievement for the FAO.
Union Minister Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar virtually inaugurates the India – International Food & Agri Week
Food Processing Industries Minister Narendra Singh Tomar today virtually inaugurated the India – International Food and Agri Week. Addressing the inaugural session, Mr Tomar said Indian food processing sector is 32 per cent of India’s food market. The Minister said, proper marketing and latest technology can lead to greater development of the agriculture sector and significant steps have been taken in this direction. He added that with 3.4 per cent GDP growth rate agriculture sector has contributed hugely to India’s economic growth even during Covid times.
Aim of the govt is to make India Trans Fat free by 2022: Health Minister
Health Minister Dr Harsh today said that the aim of the government is to make India Trans Fat free by 2022, a year ahead of target set by World Health Organization. Chairing the event on World Food Day organized by FSSAI, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, due to the unprecedented challenges faced by the world on account of the Covid pandemic, there has been a renewed
focus on food, nutrition, health, immunity and sustainability. He said, focus this year is on elimination of Trans Fats from the food supply chain. The Minister said, Trans Fat, a food toxin present in Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils, baked and fried foods, is a major contributor to the rise in non-communicable diseases in India. Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that Trans Fat is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. He said eliminating cardiovascular diseases risk factor is especially relevant during COVID-19 as people with this disease are predisposed to have serious conditions having an impact on mortality.
Education Minister addresses students of 1st Batch of ASEAN PhD Fellowship Programme
Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank today virtually addressed the students from ASEAN member states who have been selected for the prestigious ASEAN PhD Fellowship Programme (APFP) funded by the Government of India. He said the academic and research ties among India and ASEAN member states will be mutually beneficial for both the regions. It will further strengthen our ties in culture, commerce and connectivity. APFP will open many doors to synergies in the field of technology and research for the academicians, researchers and the scientists from India and ASEAN.
Govt lifts all restrictions on export of alcohol-based hand sanitizers
Government has lifted all restrictions on export of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in a notification said, the export of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in container with dispenser pumps is free for export making export of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in any form or packaging freely exportable, with immediate effect.
IRDAI Chairman urges health insurance providers to develop disease-specific products
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) Chairman Subhash Khuntia has urged health insurance providers to develop disease-specific products which could help policy holders in preventing different ailments. Speaking at a health insurance summit
organised by CII in Mumbai, Mr. Khuntia said under such focussed products, insurance companies can bring together medical experts to make aware policy holders on steps to be taken to prevent various diseases.
Andhra Pradesh: Kanaka Durga & Benz Circle flyovers open for general traffic
In Andhra Pradesh, a long-pending dream has become a reality for Vijayawada public. The much-awaited Kanaka Durga and Benz Circle Flyovers have been opened for general traffic today. Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari along with Chief Minister
Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, General (Retd) V. K. Singh and Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy inaugurated the Kanaka Durga and Benz Circle Flyovers virtually. Later, they inaugurated and laid foundation stones for 61 projects worth 15,591 crore rupees. The inauguration of the fly over was postponed twice earlier. The 2.6-kilometre long flyover has been built at an estimated cost of 502 crore rupees along National Highway 65, which links Hyderabad and Vijayawada.
Sabarimala temple in Kerala to open for devotees from tomorrow
The renowned Sabarimala temple in Kerala will be opening for devotees from tomorrow after six-month long break. After the break, devotees will throng the famous Lord Ayyappa temple, Sabarimala from Saturday onwards. The temple doors opened for the rituals in the Malayalam
month of Thulam this morning whereas the pilgrims will be allowed only from tomorrow. It is for the first time the temple is reopening for devotees amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Around 250 devotees who have booked for Darshan via virtual queue will be allowed to visit the temple per
day. In all, 1,250 people will be allowed to visit the temple as per the COVID protocol till 21st of October. Those who visit the hill shrine must possess a medical certificate certifying they are fit for climbing the hill. Devotees are restricted from travelling as a group.
EU imposes sanctions on six Russian officials over poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny
European Union has imposed sanctions on six Russian officials and one organisation over the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Only a day ago, the Russian foreign minister had warned that Moscow might respond with similar measures. The decision was agreed upon among the 27 EU representatives to Brussels. The list includes two high level officials in the Presidential Executive Office, a director of the federal security service and two deputy ministers in the Russian defense ministry. The EU is also targeting the State Scientific Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology.
Kyrgyzstan President resigns after protests over disputed election
Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov has resigned after days of protests over a disputed parliamentary election, saying he wants to prevent clashes and bloodshed. He also called on newly-appointed Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov and other opposition politicians to take their supporters away from the capital so that peace could return to Bishkek.
India hosts virtual Summit of Ministers of Justice of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
India today hosted the virtual Summit of Ministers of Justice of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, SCO. Addressing the Ministers of Justice from SCO Member States, Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad highlighted the initiatives taken by the Indian Government for providing affordable and easy access to justice for all. As part of activities of Justice Ministers’ Forum, the Minister urged SCO Member States to promote exchange of ideas, best practices and experiences in identified areas through the platform. He also stressed on widening the spectrum of activities being undertaken in the Forum.
Govt extends concessional rate on cargo movement between India, Chabahar Port in Iran
Government has extended the current concessional rate of 40 per cent discount on cargo movement between India and Chabahar Port in Iran for a period of one year. Shipping Ministry said, the discount will apply for the coastal movement of cargo and vessel related charges, being handled at Jawaharlal Nehru Port and Deendayal Port to Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar.
Putin proposes Moscow, Washington extend their New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty
Russian President Vladimir Putin today proposed that Moscow and Washington extend their New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that expires in February. He proposed to extend the accord for at least a year without imposing any conditions. The New START was signed in 2010. It limits the numbers of strategic nuclear warheads, missiles and bombers that Russia and the United States can deploy. On Wednesday, Moscow denied U.S. assertions that the two sides had reached an agreement in principle. A failure to extend the pact would remove all constraints on US and Russian deployments of strategic nuclear weapons and their delivery
systems, fueling a post-Cold War arms race and tensions between Moscow and Washington.
Thai pro-democracy protesters chant anti-establishment slogans in Bangkok
Thousands of Thai pro-democracy protesters chanted anti-establishment slogans in Bangkok today, defying a government ban on demonstrations for a second day. A ban on gatherings of more than five people was imposed on Thursday after nearly three months of protests that have called for a reduction in the powers of King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s monarchy as well as
the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. Prayuth first took power as army chief in a 2014 coup. Critics say he engineered a general election last year to keep hold of power as a civilian prime minister.
Malaysia’s King urges politicians to resolve issues through negotiations, constitutional means
Malaysia’s King Al-Sultan Abdullah today called on politicians not to drag the country through more political uncertainty and urged them to resolve issues through negotiations and constitutional means. The king’s comments came amid a power struggle over the premiership between Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, just seven months after another wrangle led to Muhyiddin forming the government. The latest bout of uncertainty comes as Malaysia grapples with an economy battered by the coronavirus and a new surge in infections.
Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen S K Saini to visit US from Oct 17 to 20
Lieutenant General S. K. Saini, Vice Chief of the Army Staff will visit the United States of America from 17th to 20th October. The aim of the visit is to enhance military cooperation between both the Armies. Lt. Gen. Saini will visit the US Army Pacific Command (USARPRAC), the Army component of Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) and exchange ideas extensively with the military leadership apart from witnessing training and equipment
capabilities of US Army. Vice Chief of the Army Staff during his visit to INDOPACOM will discuss aspects of military cooperation and furthering military to military engagement including procurements, training in niche domains, joint exercises and capability building.
BUSINESS AND FINANACE NEWS
Government bans imports of air conditioners with refrigerants
With a view to promote domestic manufacturing and cut imports of non essential items, Government has banned imports of air conditioners with refrigerants. Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in a notification said, import policy of air conditioners with refrigerants is amended from free to prohibited.
V-shaped pattern of recovery seen in several highfrequency indicators: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended the Plenary Meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the Ministerial-level committee of IMF, through video-conference yesterday. During her intervention at the meeting, the Minister briefly outlined the measures under the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Package to foster a quick and more robust
economic recovery in India. Ms Sitharaman mentioned that the V-shaped pattern of recovery is being seen in several high-frequency indicators, including manufacturing PMI that reached the highest level in last eight years in the last month, presenting a strong recovery prospect for
the manufacturing sector. To stimulate consumer spending, measures worth 10 billion dollars have been announced recently, said Ms Sitharaman. The Finance Minister complimented the IMF and it’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva for providing wise counselling to the
economies across the globe and felt that IMF’s assertion that a premature withdrawal of policy support could trigger liquidity shortfalls and insolvencies, is relevant.
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