Current and corporate news : 6 september 2020


ICMR issues new guidelines allowing testing on demand for COVID-19: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued a new advisory on Covid-19 testing strategy, allowing testing on demand for individuals. It has also advised testing on demand for all individuals undertaking travel to countries or Indian states mandating a negative Covid-19 test at the point of entry. It said the state governments can simplify the modalities to facilitate testing on demand. The ‘Advisory on Strategy for Covid-19 Testing in India’ (version -6) said, it may be modified as per discretion of State Health authorities. The advisory has suggested that 100 per cent of people living in containment zones should be tested by rapid antigen tests, particularly in cities where there has been widespread transmission of the infection. Besides, it advised testing all symptomatic individuals with a history of international travel in the last 14 days. ICMR has also suggested testing for asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical or non-surgical invasive procedures and all pregnant women who are hospitalised for delivery. It stressed that no emergency procedure, including deliveries should be delayed for lack of test, and pregnant women should not be referred for a lack of testing facility. Mothers who test positive for Covid-19 should be advised to wear a mask and undertake frequent hand washing while handling their baby for 14 days. They should also be advised on breast cleanin before feeding the neonate.


Indian Railways to start computer based tests for notified vacancies from December 15: Indian Railways will start computer based tests for notified vacancies from 15th of December this year. Standard Operating Procedures for conduct of examination are being framed. Ministry of Railways in a statement said, norms of social distancing and other protocols prescribed by the various Central and State authorities need to be followed in the interest of safety of candidates. Railways had notified three types of vacancies. There are 35,208 vacancies for Non-Technical Popular Categories- like guards, office clerks and commercial clerks. 1,663 vacancies for isolated and ministerial categories like steno and 1,03,769 vacancies for Level 1 vacancies like track maintainers and pointsman. In all, Railway Recruitment Boards- RRBs had notified a total of 1.40 lakh such vacancies and had received more than 2.40 crore applications. The Computer Based Test for the vacancies had to be deferred due to COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown.

DGCA orders airlines to resume pre-flight alcohol tests for pilots and cabin crew members: Directorate General of Civil Aviation, DGCA has ordered airlines to resume pre-flight alcohol tests for pilots and cabin crew members. The aviation regulator had on 29th of March this year suspended a breath analyser test for all aviation personnel due to the extraordinary circumstances posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The breath analyser tests will continue to remain suspended for aviation personnel other than pilots and cabin crew members. The DGCA said yesterday that in domestic flight operations, 10 per cent of pilots and crew members should undergo preflight breath analyser tests per day. For all international operations, 100 per cent preflight breath analyser examination shall be carried out per day. The March 29 order had stated that every aviation personnel has to submit an undertaking that he or she is not under the influence of alcohol and that he or she has not consumed alcohol or psychoactive substance in the last 12 hours from the time of reporting for duty. The regulator had noted that if the undertaking submitted by the aviation personnel is violated, their license or approval would be suspended for three years.

Defence Minister says, China should work with India for complete disengagement from all friction areas; leaves for Tehran after SCO meet at Moscow: The Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held frank and in-depth discussions, with his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe, about the developments in the India-China border areas as well as on India-China relations. The Defence Minister’s office said, Mr Singh emphasized that the actions of the Chinese troops, including amassing a large number of troops, their aggressive behaviour and attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo, were in violation of the bilateral agreements. Mr Singh categorically conveyed India’s position on the developments along the Line of Actual Control including in the Galwan valley in the Western Sector of the India-China Border Areas in the last few months. China Defence Minister said that both sides should scrupulously implement the consensus reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Minister suggested that both sides should maintain communication at all levels including between the two Ministers. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also met with his counterparts from Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Moscow today. After meeting Tajikistan Defence Minister Colonel General Sherali Mirzo, Mr Singh in a tweet, termed the talks as fruitful and discussions included a wide spectrum of India-Tajikistan defence relations.

President Ram Nath Kovind appreciates role of teachers during COVID pandemic; presents National Awards to Teachers: President Ram Nath Kovind today felicitated 47 teachers of the country with National Teachers’ Award 2020 in a virtual ceremony. Sunil Kumar, a teacher of Government Middle School, Jakhar of Udhampur district was among those conferred with the prestigious Award. Sunil Kumar has been honoured with the award for his phenomenal work of building up foundational literacy & numeracy in school by coming up with low cost teaching ways. DDC,
Udhampur, Dr. Piyush Singla handed over the prestigious award to Sunil
Kumar. Roohi Sultana, a teacher at Boys Middle School Kashipora, in Gulab
Bagh area in the outskirts of Srinagar has also been awarded for demonstrating a creative and innovative approach toward teaching.

Railways to run 80 new special passenger trains from September 12: 80 new special passenger trains will be operational from 12th September. The Indian Railways has informed that passengers can start booking reservations in the new trains from 10th September. These trains will be in addition to the already operational 230 trains across the country. Railway
Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said that the Railway is keeping a close watch over the demand and waiting lists in various areas of the country. He said, more trains will be made operational in due course of time if needed. Mr. Yadav also informed that more trains will be run upon receiving special requests for exams and other purposes from State governments.

BRICS nations reaffirm their unwavering commitment to prevent & counter threat of terrorism: BRICS countries have expressed concern at the rise of violence and continuing conflicts in different parts of the world that have significant impact at both the regional and international levels. The Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) in a virtual meeting concurred that, irrespective of their historic background and distinctive nature, conflicts should be resolved by peaceful means and diplomatic engagement through political dialogue and negotiations in line with principles and norms of international law, particularly the UN Charter. They referred to the UNSC resolution-2532 demanding a general and immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations on its agenda with the exception of military operations against terrorist groups. India called for boosting cooperation among the five-nation grouping BRICS in dealing with the threat of terrorism. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stressed on boosting cooperation among the member nations in dealing with the threat of terrorism. In a joint declaration they reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to contribute further to the global efforts of preventing and countering the threat of terrorism on the basis of respect for international law and the UN Charter, emphasising that States have the primary responsibility in combating terrorism. China and
Russia reiterated the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil,
India and South Africa in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.

Thaawarchand Gehlot to launch 24×7 Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline ‘KIRAN’: Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot will launch the 24×7 Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline “KIRAN” on Monday. The helpline number is 1800-500-0019. This Helpline has been developed by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities to provide relief and support to persons with Mental Illness. AIR correspondent reports that this helpline will offer mental health rehabilitation services with the objective of early screening, first-aid, psychological support, mental well-being and psychological crisis management. It will function as a lifeline to provide 1st stage advice, counseling and reference to individuals, families, NGOs, Parent Associations, Professional Associations, Rehabilitation Institutes, Hospitals or anyone in need of support across the country. This assumes great significance in view of the growing incidence of Mental Illness, particularly in the wake of COVID-19 Pandemic.


Andhra Pradesh tops Ease of Doing Business rankings of States and UTs, followed by UP and Telangana: Andhra Pradesh topped the chart among all Indian States and Union Territories in the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) 2019 rankings. Uttar Pradesh and Telangana bagged second and third positions respectively. The Commerce and Industry Ministry released the ranking of States and Union Territories (UTs) in terms of ease of doing business today in a function attended by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. The BRAP ranking aims at triggering competition among states to improve business climate in order to attract domestic and global investors. The parameters include areas such as construction permit, labour regulation, environmental registration, access to information, land availability and single window system. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) conducts the exercise for all States and Union Territories under the Business Reform Action Plan.

Mumbai court remands Showik Chakraborty and Samuel Miranda to NCB custody till September 9: A court in Mumbai today remanded Showik Chakraborty and Samuel Miranda, arrested in connection with the drugs probe linked to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, to the custody of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) till September 9. Showik is brother of the main accused in the case, Rhea Chakraborty, while Miranda was house manager of the deceased actor.


Japanese companies relocating from China to India, Bangladesh to get Japan govt’s subsidy: The Japanese government has said that it will provide subsidies to Japanese companies that shift their manufacturing setup from China to India, Bangladesh and ASEAN Countries. This comes as the world’s supply chain was disrupted after the outbreak of COVID-19 which originated in China. The countries have now started mulling on options to either exit from China or at least reduce their dependence on it with respect to trade or other procurements. Japan too aims to decentralise its supply chain by reducing its dependence on a particular country for medical and well as electronic components supply. The Japanese government has allocated 23.5 billion yen in the 2020 supplemental budget for the subsidy to encourage companies to disperse their manufacturing sites across the ASEAN region. Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, China has also been criticised in the international community over its imposition of draconian national security law in Hong Kong, in turn threatening the autonomy of the trade city. Moreover, the ASEAN countries, Australia, India, Japan and the US have moved against China for its aggression in the South China Sea.


15th Finance Commission holds discussions with its Economic Advisory Council: The Fifteenth Finance Commission today held discussions with its Economic Advisory Council. Finance Ministry said, the meeting discussed a gamut of issues around GDP growth, tax buoyancy of the Centre and the States, GST compensation and fiscal consolidation. Specific issues relating
to public expenditure on health, investment revival, recapitalization of the
financial system and its impact on public finances were also discussed.
The meeting was chaired by N. K. Singh, Chairman of Fifteenth Finance Commission. The Advisory Council felt that Finance Commission is faced
with an unprecedented situation of uncertainties and will have to take a nuanced approach towards tax devolution to the States.

Thanks for reading “Current and corporate news : 6 september 2020

Compiled By : CS Surbhi Saxena

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