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Last Updated: October 23, 2020 2 hours ago

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  • Dr Jitendra Singh addresses the 1st ever Ministerial Meeting of G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group

    2 hours ago
    India reiterated its commitment for the eradication of corruption under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Speaking at the 1st ever Ministerial Meeting of G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group. Highlights: ♦ India is bound to the policy of zero tolerance against corruption and unaccounted money. ♦ In pursuance of this, it is the Modi government has taken initiatives over the last six years. ♦ India's Prevention of Corruption Act, which the government amended after 30 years in 2018 to introduce several new provisions including criminalizing the Act of giving bribe also in addition to taking a bribe and at the same time putting in place an effective deterrence for those actions by individuals as well as the corporate entities. ♦ The present Act focuses on checking corruption in big places & striking hard against corporate bribery. ♦ The commitment of government, is to bring in more transparency, more citizen centricity and more accountability in governance and is indicated by its decisive initiatives to operationalize the institution of the Lokpal in the country to check corruption at high places. ♦ It seeks to establish a vicarious liability so that the actual bribe giver is also exposed. ♦ The world is presently combating serious emerging challenges of Fugitive Economic Offenders and Assets which flee across national jurisdiction.  ♦ India’s Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 empowers authorities for non-conviction based attachments and confiscation of proceeds of crime and properties as well as assets of a Fugitive Economic Offender. ♦ Lauding the efforts of G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group to organize the event under the shadow of COVID-19, even the COVID cannot deter our fight and crusade to eradicate corruption. ♦ Dr Jitendra Singh congratulated the Presidency Saudi Arabia for organizing the G20 Ministerial Meeting on its 10th Anniversary year and wished that the world will come together for a steadfast and a strong movement to combat the menace of corruption.

    Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan virtually addresses World Bank- IMF annual meeting 2020

    1 day ago
    Central Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan, virtually addressed the World Bank- International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meeting. Highlights: ♦ The theme of the meeting was “Unleashing the South Asian Century through Human Capital for All” and “Investing in Covid-19 Vaccines and Primary Healthcare Delivery System" ♦ India has been following a pre-emptive, proactive, and graded response characterised by a “Whole of Society, Whole of Government” approach. ♦ Innovation, ability and agility of the private sector have supported the efforts to fight COVID-19 in a major way.   ♦ PPEs, N95 masks, Oxygen, ventilators, diagnostic tests kits were developed.  ♦ Medical infrastructure seen exponential growth, from having one lab in March, 2020 to around 2000 laboratories as on date with nearly half of the labs were from the private sector. The same is for dedicated ICU facilities & isolation centres. ♦ India is making use of Information Technology (IT) in virtually every aspect of COVID management- AarogyaSetu app and ITIHAS, cellular-based tracking technology has been used for surveillance and identification of potential clusters, RT-PCR app for testing, facility app for managing information on admitted patients, all integrated with a single COVID portal. ♦ AarogyaSetu App is currently being used by more than 170 million Indians making it one of the most downloaded apps in the world  ♦ The present research agenda for COVID19 has been to provide an affordable vaccine as well as to ensure its equitable distribution ♦ Currently, three Indian pharma companies in partnership with foreign/domestic research institutes are expediting the trials of the vaccine. ♦ Under the leadership of our Honourable Prime Minister, we have constituted a National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration which is working on all aspects, as well as designing innovative approaches to distribute vaccines in rural and remote regions. ♦ India has made huge strides in improving the health of our people in the last two decades ♦ And now, India's will be critical to fighting COVID-19 especially when it comes to making vaccines at large scale for the whole world.

    Highlights of Ministers of Justice Summit of SCO

    4 days ago
    The 17th Meeting of Ministers of Justice of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States was hosted by Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law & Justice, Communication and Electronics & Information Technology. Highlights: ♦ During the meeting, Minister highlighted the initiatives taken by the Indian Government under the leadership of Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for providing affordable and easy access to justice for all. ♦ Pro Bono Legal Services is launched, and this helps to provide free legal aid to marginalised sections of the society. ♦ Tele-Law services initiated in 2017, so far 3.44 Lakh free legal consultations have been given to poor people through video conferencing.  ♦ E-Courts projects with Video-Conferencing facility and rolling out of Virtual Courts, as part of Government’s successful transformative change. During COVID19, pandemic over 25 Lakh hearing through video conference have taken place at various courts of India, out of which 9,000 virtual hearings have taken place at the Supreme Court (SC) alone. ♦ Minister urged the SCO Member States to promote an exchange of ideas, best practices and experiences in identified areas through the platform. ♦ The SCO Member States, discussed the importance of promoting alternative dispute resolution mechanism. Key features of the joint statement: ♦ To strengthen the work on the implementation of the Agreement on Cooperation between the Ministries of Justice of the SCO Member States. ♦ To continue the work on the implementation of the Action Plans of the working groups of experts on forensic activities and legal services for 2018-2020, as well as to develop Action Plans for 2021-2023. ♦ Consider organising exchange programs for representatives of the ministries (law and justice of the SCO member-states) to study the best practices in alternative dispute resolution. ♦ To continue discussing the parties' positions on the issues of mutual legal assistance and development of legal services in accordance with national legislation. ♦ Actively develop cooperation with the ministries of justice of the SCO observer and dialogue partner states. ♦ Continue efforts to develop an online platform for the exchange of legal information, taking into account national laws.

    India Hosts Virtual Summit of Ministers of Justice of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

    6 days ago
    The Seventh Meeting of Ministers of Justice of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad hosted the Member States, Minister of Law & Justice, Communication and Electronics & Information Technology on October 16, 2020.  Highlights: ♦ India today hosted the virtual Summit of Ministers of Justice of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, SCO. ♦ The summit highlighted the initiatives taken by the Indian Government for providing affordable and easy access to justice for all and also about Pro Bono Legal Services to provide free legal aid to marginalized sections of the society. ♦ During COVID19 pandemic over 25 lakhs hearings have taken place through video conference at various courts of India, out of which nine thousand virtual hearings took place at the Supreme Court alone. ♦ As part of activities of Justice Ministers' Forum, the Minister urged the SCO Member States to promote an 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. ♦ The Seventh Session of the Ministers of Justice of the SCO Member States deliberated on areas of cooperation emphasized the high relevance of mutual exchange of legal information. ♦ And on counteraction to the spread of the pandemic & acknowledged the need for collaboration in ADR mechanism area, among others.   ♦ Joint Statement following the Results of the Seventh Session of the Ministers of Justice of the SCO Member States was also adopted.

    Webinar between India Kazakhstan Defence Cooperation Hosted

    6 days ago
    Ambassadors of both countries and senior Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials from both sides participated in the webinar. A webinar between India and Kazakhstan was held on October 15 2020. Highlights: ♦ The Theme of the webinar was "Make In India For The World, India – Kazakhstan Defence Cooperation: Webinar and Expo".  ♦ Webinar was organized under the aegis of Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence through FICCI. ♦ This webinar is the part of the series of webinars which are being managed with friendly foreign countries to boost defence exports and achieve defence export target of $5 billion in the next five years. ♦ Webinar observed the need to leverage opportunities not only for co-development and co-production but also to meet each other's requirements ♦ Various Indian companies such as L&T Defence, Ashok Leyland Limited, Bharat Forge, Zen Technologies, Elcom Innovations, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Alpha Design Technologies and Bharat Electronics Limited made company and product presentations on major platforms/equipment like Artillery Systems, Radars, Protected Vehicles, Missiles and Air Defence Equipments, Training Solutions etc. in the webinar.  ♦ BEL announced its plans to open a representative office in Kazakhstan. ♦ More than 350 participants attended the webinar, and 39 virtual exhibition stalls, which include seven stalls from Kazakh companies, have been set up in the Expo.

    Two-day 4th India Agricultural Outlook Forum 2020 webinar was inaugurated

    7 days ago
    Union Minister of State for Agriculture Shri Parshottam Rupala inaugurated the Two-day 4th India Agricultural Outlook Forum 2020. It is known that the Agriculture sector has recorded 3.4% growth during the first quarter of 2020-21. Highlights: ♦ The 4th India Agricultural Outlook Forum 2020’ webinar started in Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi.  ♦ It should be noted that the agriculture sector has emerged as the star performer in India’s pandemic-hit economy.  ♦ The main objective is to strengthen all activities and services in horticulture, agriculture, and allied sectors through creation and development of agriculture infrastructure, micro food enterprises, value chains and logistics for fishery and animal husbandry, medicinal and herbal plants, and beekeeping.  ♦ The forum is virtually attended by the officials from centre and state governments, national and international agricultural research institutes; Chief Economist USDA; a delegation from foreign embassies; International organisations like FAO, EU and OECD; scientists from ICAR, representatives from agro-Industries, business and farmers associations.

    Intellectual Property India annual report released by Government of India

    7 days ago
    Government of India (GoI) released Intellectual Property India annual report on October 15, 2020. Intellectual Property India annual report released by GoI focuses on the patent for the inventions that are invented in India. Highlights: ♦ With the report released, the rankings for the year 2018 – 19 was also finalized by Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, Government of India. ♦ Chandigarh University Gharuan topped the list by filing the highest number of 336 patents in a year. ♦ By the report released, it is known that 27 Indian Institute of Technology (IIT’s) have filed 557 patents totally. ♦ Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) took second place with 239 patent applications. ♦ Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) stands in third place with 202 applications. ♦ Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) placed at fourth position with 173 patent applications. ♦ By statewise Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh took the First, Second and third places respectively.

    Union Education Minister launched KAPILA Kalam Program

    7 days ago
    Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank virtually launched the 'KAPILA' Kalam Program for Intellectual Property Literacy and Awareness campaign on October 15, 2020. 'KAPILA' Kalam Program for Intellectual Property Literacy and Awareness campaign was launched on the 89th birth anniversary of former President and Scientist Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Highlights: ♦ The ‘KAPILA’ Kalam Program helps those students who pursuing education in higher educational institutions will get information about the correct system of the application process for patenting their invention and they will be aware of their rights. ♦ The Institution Innovation Council (IIC 2.0) annual report was also presented on the occasion and the launch of IIC 3.0 was announced and its website was also launched.  ♦ It is also decided that the week of October 15th to 23rd will be celebrated as 'Intellectual Property Literacy Week'.  ♦ Institution Innovation Council was established by the Ministry of Education in 2018. ♦ IICs have been established in about 1700 higher educational institutions and it was marked that IIC will be established in 5000 higher educational institutions under IIC 3.0. ♦ Intellectual Property Literacy Week will be celebrated by conducting a number of activities will be organized from October 15th to October 23, in which online awareness will be created about the system and the importance of the process of applying for a patent.

    Dr Harsh Vardhan chairs Inter-ministerial Meeting

    7 days ago
    Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan presided over an inter-ministerial meet with Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on October 15, 2020. He presided over an inter-ministerial meet with FSSAI and senior officials to build a ‘Whole of Government’ approach to achieve ‘Vision 2050’ of the eat Right India Movement. Highlights: ♦ The officials noted that the economic cost of food borne diseases in India is estimated to be a whooping $15 billion. ♦ And also it is analysed that 50% of women and children suffering from anaemia; prevalence of Obesity has doubled in the decade (2005-2015) from 9.3% to 18.6% among males and from 12.6% to 20.7% among females. ♦ Concern ministries are directed to come together to form a common platform to determine common goals and strategy with an aim to move from Food Security to Nutrition Security,  ♦ Health minister emphasized on "Eat Right India" and "Fit India Movement” as they will be a game changer in the sector. ♦ The system based approach is very much important to achieve these type of sustainable goals.

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attends G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting

    8 days ago
    Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) through video conferencing. The purpose of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) is to discuss the global economic outlook during an ongoing pandemic. Highlights: ♦ G20 FMCBG was held under the Saudi Arabian presidency. ♦ Finance Minister emphasised that the updated commitments in the G20 Action Plan have to be kept relevant in the current policy to remain be an effective response to COVID-19. ♦ The core guiding principles for the updation of the G20 Action Plan and the need to balance the health and economic objectives were highlighted. ♦ G20 Action Plan announced the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). ♦ DSSI provides time bound suspension of debt service payments for the low income debtor.  The initiative was initially in force till end of 2020. During this meeting it was agreed to extend DSSI by 6 more months. Background: The 1st Session of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) was happened on April 15, 2020 under the Saudi Arabian presidency. Theb measures taken by the Government of India and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have helped de-freeze the market and allowed smooth credit flow. All the G20 countries prepared G20 Action plan under their respective leaders which includes Restore confidence, Preserve financial stability, Protecting lives, Safeguarding people’s jobs and incomes, etc.

    Fifth Meeting of India-Mexico Bilateral High Level Group on Trade, Investment and Cooperation Held

    9 days ago
    The fifth meeting of India and Mexico Bilateral High-Level Group on Trade, Investment and Cooperation was held through video conferencing on 9th October 2020. In this meeting both the countries reviewed their bilateral trade, investment and commercial relations.   Meeting Highlights ♦ The official discussed several topics including the Bilateral investment treaty, Cooperation Framework on phytosanitary and sanitary products, Audiovisual co-production, Technical barriers to trade, Market access for Agricultural Products, Cooperation in intellectual property rights and Promotion of tourism and the improvisation of people to people contact. ♦ They also reaffirmed to diversify their bilateral relationship in the trade of Pharmaceuticals, Medical equipment, Healthcare, Agro products, Fisheries, Food processing industries and Aerospace. ♦ Both the Countries signed the following MOUs between Mexican Chamber of Electronics telecommunication & information Technologies (CANITEI), Electronics & Computer software export Promotion Council of India (ESC), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & industry (FICCI), Mexican Business Council of foreign trade investment & Technology (COMCE), Export of products from India to Mexico in sectores like jewellery, gems, Textiles, leather and software and Import of products to India from Mexico like machinery, fertilizers, petroleum and Chemicals.

    NITI Aayog to host India PV EDGE 2020 Symposium

    18 days ago
    NITI Aayog, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and Invest India, jointly organize virtual ‘India PV EDGE 2020’, a global symposium on 6 October 2020 from 5-8.40 pm. Highlights: ♦ The symposium includes sessions on ‘Wafers and Cells’, ‘Modules and Production Equipment’ and ‘Supply Chain’.  ♦ The session also include a ‘Investors Conclave’ on PV Manufacturing.  ♦ States namely Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra will participate in the conclave.  ♦ An ‘Investors Roundtable’ will discuss and deliberate upon issues related to India’s solar manufacturing sector through affordable financing, role of developers in building the ecosystem of cutting edge solar manufacturing etc.

    Meity holds Conference to unveil 2020 RAISE

    20 days ago
    The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) unveiled 'RAISE 2020', a Global Virtual Summit on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Electronics Niketan, New Delhi. The Mega Virtual Summit AI, RAISE 2020 is organized by the MEITY and NITI Aayog. Highlights: ♦ Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020 (RAISE 2020) will be held from 5-9 October 2020.  ♦ The summit will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. ♦ The summit aims to start discussion on the creation of robust AI-powered public infrastructure that benefits all across the world.  ♦ India is one of the founding members of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence. GoI aims to implement AI-based solutions domestically as well as in countries around the world.  ♦ #AIForAll is the main objective of India’s AI strategy and the focus is to build responsible AI for social empowerment, transformation and inclusion. ♦ More than 38,700 stakeholders from academia, the research industry and government representatives from 125 countries are expected to participate in RAISE 2020.  RAISE 2020: RAISE 2020 is a first-of-its-kind global meeting of minds on AI to drive India's vision and roadmap for social transformation, inclusion and empowerment through responsible AI. The summit will witness robust participation from global industry leaders, key opinion makers, Government representatives and academia.

    India, Australia conducted meeting to strengthen partnership on Skilling Agenda

    22 days ago
    The Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and the High Commission of Australia conducted meeting for Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training. The aim is to support Vocational Education and Training (VET) in India and Australia. Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dr MahendraNath Pandey and Mr Barry O’Farrell, Australian High Commissioner, participated in the virtual meeting. Highlights: ♦ The meeting aimed to operationalize and implement Cooperation in VET to promote the development of occupational standards in priority industry sectors. ♦ The officials discussed the importance of joint planning and implementation of collaborative programmes was emphasized with a focus on salient points such as industry sectors. ♦ The meeting aimed to enhance the capacity and quality of trainers and assessors; internships and apprenticeship exchanges; and facilitation of linkages between VET providers and industry in both the countries. ♦ The joint working group (JWG) meeting will further assist in formulating focussed interventions to deliver on the skills agenda across both the nations. Through this partnership, we will ensure a collaborative and clear plan of action to address the priority areas in skill development. ♦ The move is in line with the joint participation of the PM of India and the PM of Australia in the India-Australia Leaders' Virtual Summit held on 4th June 2020. 

    India, Sri Lanka to hold virtual bilateral summit on 26 September

    29 days ago
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PM's Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa is to hold a virtual bilateral summit on 26 September 2020. This summit will be the first official engagement after parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka. Highlights: ♦ The virtual bilateral summit between India and Sri Lanka will provide an opportunity to the two leaders to comprehensively review the broad framework of the bilateral relationship. ♦ It is expected that the Leaders will discuss the implementation of developmental projects by India, trade, cooperation on counter-terrorism and defence matters, and the devolution of powers to Sri Lanka's Tamil minority. Background: In July 2020, India announced a $400 million currency swap facility for Sri Lanka under the framework of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation). India is planning to provide a bilateral swap facility for $1.1 billion, as per Sri Lanka's request.

    Initiative to reduce Land Degradation and Coral Reef program launched at G20 EMM

    36 days ago
    The Environment Ministerial Meeting (EMM) of the G20 countries was held through video conferencing under the Presidency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 16 September.  His Excellency Eng. Abdulrahman Al-Fadley, Chaired the Environment Ministers Meeting. Union Environment, Climate Change, and Forest Minister Prakash Javadekar represented India. He discussed the significant steps taken by the Government of India (GoI) to protect the environment and forest and wildlife and combating pollution and climate change. Highlights: ♦ The Global Initiative on Reducing Land Degradation and Coral Reef program was launched at the G20 Environment Ministers Meeting. ♦ The Program aims to strengthen the implementation of existing frameworks to prevent, halt, and reverse land degradation within G20 member states and globally. The program aims to account for possible implications on the achievement of other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and adhere to the principle without doing any harm. ♦ Global Coral Reef R&D Accelerator Platform is an innovative action-oriented initiative.  ♦ It aimed to create a global research and development (R&D) program to advance research, restoration, adaptation, innovation, and capacity building in all facets of coral reef conservation, and strengthen ongoing efforts and further degradation. ♦ Union Minister Prakash Javadekar highlighted the efforts made by the National Coastal Mission Programme of GoI. Under the initiative, many steps to protect and sustain coral reefs in the country have been taken. He also shared the efforts made by GoI to achieve land degradation neutrality and to attain global goals of climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

    AFMC Hosts IMPACT 2020 Virtually

    36 days ago
    The Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) the first-ever completely online conference cum workshop IMPACT 2020 from 16-18 Sep 2020. The unique conference has been designed with the medical researcher in mind. The conference is organized by the Medical Journal Armed Forces India (MJAFI) as it celebrates its 76th publishing volume this year. Highlights: ♦ The three-day event will feature distinguished faculty from among reviewers, authors, and editors will conduct interactive sessions on contemporary issues in medical publishing. ♦ The new guidelines for the promotion of teachers in the medical profession will be released during the conference. The new guidelines mandate the publication of research articles in peer-reviewed indexed journals. ♦ IMPACT 2020 will hold multiple sessions including workshops on biostatistics, medical writing, peer review, ethics in research, and so on.  ♦ MJAFI-MOOCs will play a major role as it will also contain up-to-date guidelines for all the issues related to medical writing. ♦ Over 100 delegates from around the country are participating in the conference, apart from the faculty and students of AFMC. 

    Indian, US Defense Delegations conduct Virtual Discussion on Defense Cooperation

    37 days ago
    The 10th Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) Group Meeting was held on 15 September 2020. The virtual meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Raj Kumar, Secretary, Defence Production, Ministry of Defence (MoD) from Indian Side, and Ms. Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, U.S. Department of Defense from the US Side.  Highlights: ♦ DTTI Group Meetings are held twice a year, alternating between India and the US.  ♦ The meeting was held via VTC on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. ♦ The DTTI Group aims to bring sustained leadership focus to the bilateral defense trade relationship. ♦ The meeting also aimed to create opportunities for co-production and co-development of defense equipment.   ♦ Under DTTI, four Joint Working Groups (JWG) focused on land, naval, air, and aircraft carrier technologies have been established. The main object of the JWG is to promote mutually agreed projects within their domains.  ♦ The ongoing activities and collaborative opportunities including a number of near-term projects targeted for completion on priority was discussed. ♦ The co-chairs signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) to strengthen the dialogue on defense technology cooperation. It will be pursued by detailed planning and making measurable progress on several specific DTTI projects. ♦ The SOP will empower the framework for DTTI and allow both sides to reach and document a mutual understanding of how to define and achieve success. 

    Dr. Harsh Vardhan participated in 73rd session of WHO South East Asia Region through Video Conferencing

    43 days ago
    Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Minister of Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan participated in the 73rd session of the World Health Organization (WHO) South East Asia Region (SEARO) through Video Conferencing. The event is held entirely through virtual platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   Highlights: ♦ The 73rd session is hosted by the Government of Thailand, from  Bangkok.  ♦ Dr. Harsh Vardhan handed over the Charge to the new Chair Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health, Thailand. ♦ Dr. Harsh Vardhan highlighted significant achievements like the elimination of Poliomyelitis, Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus and Yaws, and considerable reductions in maternal and newborn mortality. ♦ He elaborated on the National Health Policy 2017, that aims to provide affordable healthcare for all citizens of India. He highlighted Ayushman Bharat launched in 2018 which marks a significant milestone on the road towards universal health coverage.  ♦ India's significant achievements like the elimination of Poliomyelitis, Maternal, and Neonatal Tetanus and Yaws, and considerable reductions in maternal and newborn mortality were highlighted. ♦ The previous session was held in New Delhi, India. Dr. Harsh Vardhan Chaired the 72nd session. 

    Ministry of Education organizes School Education in 21st Century Conclave under Shikshak Parv initiative

    43 days ago
    Ministry of Education is organizing a two-day conclave on School Education in 21st Century under Shikshak Parv. The conclave will be held digitally from 10th to 11th September 2020. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the conclave on 11th September 2020. School Education in 21st Century: ♦ The Conclave will focus on Principal and Teacher practitioners and discuss how they have already implemented certain themes of the National Education Policy (NEP) in creative ways.  ♦ National Awardee teachers and other creative teachers will participate in the Conclave.   ♦ Discussions by Expert Practitioners will be held to demystify some of the important themes of NEP for school education.  ♦ The suggestions that were received from teachers on MyGov will also be shared. ♦ Shikshak Parv will be celebrated from 8th September- 25th September 2020 to felicitate the Teachers. ♦ The conclave aims to take New Education Policy 2020 forward.  ♦ A series of webinars on NEP and its implementation will be conducted.  ♦ Experts will discuss various important themes of NEP.  ♦ All the themes will target different sets of stakeholders of the education system as it is expected to use for all schools, teachers, parents, and students. 

    Arjun Munda inaugurates the two day National Tribal Research Conclave

    50 days ago
    The two days National Tribal Research Conclave will be held virtually on 3rd and 4th September 2020. The Conclave Minister for Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda will chair the two day National Tribal Research Conclave. The Conclave is organized by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA).  Highlights: ♦ The conclave is conducted by IIPA as it is working on Tribal Talent Pool and aims to Strengthen of TRIs in partnership with Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA).  ♦ This is the second workshop of its kind. The first workshop was organized in January 2020. ♦ The themes of the conclave are Health, Livelihood, Education, digitalisation, water conservation, data sciences and development models for aspiration and model villages. ♦ During the conclave, the outcome of various projects will be implemented under different partnerships and the best practices to be showcased to all stakeholders. In the conclave, 10 research partners will be sharing their projects. ♦ MoTA funds over 24 TRIs for research under Grant to TRIs. The Ministry is engaged in quality research in collaboration with Government and Non Government Organizations across the country. ♦ The move by the Ministry is to provide end to end solution, identifying problem, finding solution and execution of the project as part of Action research which can be implemented by policy initiatives. 

    India, Japan, Australia agree to launch a resilient supply chain initiative in the Indo-Pacific region

    52 days ago
    Australia-India-Japan Economic Ministers’ Joint Statement on Supply Chain Resilience was held on 1st September. The virtual meeting comprised of India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator Simon, and Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Kajiyama Hiroshi. Highlights: ♦ India-Japan-Australia has agreed to launch an initiative to build a resilient supply chain in the Indo-Pacific region.  ♦ The aim is to create a free and transparent trade & investment environment. ♦ The Ministers reaffirmed their agreement to take a lead in delivering a free, fair, transparent, inclusive, non-discriminatory, predictable, and stable trade and investment environment and in keeping their markets open. ♦ During the meeting, the Ministers shared their intention to work toward the launch of a new initiative to achieve the objective through cooperation. ♦ GoI had taken the call at the highest levels to become part of the global supply chain and is emerging as an alternative to China.

    Fourteenth India-Singapore Defence Policy Dialogue held

    56 days ago
    The 14th India-Singapore Defence Policy Dialogue (DPD) was held on 27th August via video conferencing. The meeting was co-chaired by Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar and Permanent Secretary (Defence), Singapore Mr. Chan Heng Kee. Highlights: ♦ The officials discussed on a number of issues of bilateral defence engagements between India and Singapore.  ♦ Both the countries reaffirmed the commitment to further enhance the security partnership between the two countries. ♦ At the end of the DPD, the Implementing Arrangement on Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) between India and Singapore was also signed. Background: The Singapore-India Defence Policy Dialogue was established under the revised Defence Cooperation Agreement signed in 2015. It serves as a regular forum for both countries to discuss mutual defence cooperation, as well as exchange views on strategic issues and geopolitical developments.

    India, Uzbekistan Co-Chaired First National Coordination Committee Meet

    60 days ago
    India and Uzbekistan co-chaired the first National Coordination Committee meeting on 24th August 2020. The members discussed issues of bilateral interests such as Line of Credit (LoC) projects, trade, and investment. The National Coordination Committee meeting was co-chaired by Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan and Uzbekistan Deputy Prime Minister Sardor Umurzakov. Highlights: ♦ The members, during the meeting, agreed to work to deepen India-Uzbekistan strategic relations. ♦ India and Uzbekistan have a bilateral trade turnover of over $300 million. Pharmaceuticals is a major area of both trade and investment by India.  ♦ It should be noted that the ties between the two countries in terms of Medical tourism has increased sharply in the recent past. ♦ Indian has made notable investments in Uzbekistan have been made by Indian companies in the fields of pharmaceuticals, amusement parks, automobile components, and hospitality industry.  ♦ A Joint Centre for Information Technology (IT) was set up in 2006 and it was upgraded in 2014. ♦ Also, an IT Park in Tashkent was established with Indian assistance. It was inaugurated in July 2019.

    Fourth Meeting of the BRICS Anti-Drug Working Group held

    67 days ago
    The 4th Session of the BRICS Anti-Drug Working Group comprising of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa was held virtually. The Indian delegation was led by Shri Rakesh Asthana, Director General, Narcotics Control Bureau. The session was held over the video conference on August 12, 2020. The 4th session was chaired by Russia. Highlights: ♦ The countries adopted reaffirming the commitment of the five-member states to the International Anti-drug conventions. ♦ India recommended for nodal points to enable real-time information sharing among BRICS nations. ♦ The countries exchanged opinions concerning the drug situation in their countries, the international and regional trends of illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs. ♦ The officials also discussed the psychotropic substances and their precursors, and the impact of various internal and external factors on the situation. ♦ The virtual meeting also focused on the misuse of darknet and other advanced technologies for drug trafficking.

    India-Canada IC-IMPACTS Annual Research Conference discusses ways of taking cooperation to new level

    74 days ago
    India-Canada IC-IMPACTS Annual Research Conference was held on 6-7 August 2020. IC-IMPACTS hosted the 2020 Annual Research Conference online this year. They discussed the ways of taking cooperation to a new level. The Conference was organized virtually by the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnership to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS). Conference Highlights: ♦ The conference aimed to strengthen the existing international connections, sharing best practices in multiple areas, and initiating new collaborations in government and institutions. ♦ The major focus areas of research cooperation are green buildings and smart cities; occupants survivability in buildings during fires. ♦ The Conference highlighted the integrated water management & safe and sustainable infrastructure and health problems arising from water-borne and infectious diseases. ♦ Around 200 Indian and Canadian participants participated in the virtual conference. Background: Department of Science and Technology (DST) has been working with IC-IMPACTS for research partnerships since 2013. The partnership is aimed towards working hand-in-hand with communities in the two countries to develop community-based solutions for the most urgent needs.

    PM addressed the Conclave on Transformational Reforms in Higher Education

    77 days ago
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Conclave on Transformational Reforms in Higher Education under National Education Policy on 7 August through video-conferencing. The conclave was organized by the Ministry of Education along with the University Grants Commission (UGC). Also, the Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched UGC’s guidelines to offer internship-embedded degree programmes. Highlights: ♦ The Prime Minister urged all to work towards the implementation of a new national education policy. ♦ National Education Policy was approved after 3-4 years of extensive deliberations. ♦ The new policy is expected to benefit the country’s education system. ♦ The policy aims to provide all the students an opportunity to achieve their goals. ♦ The policy was launched as the mapping of interest, ability, and demand was needed.  ♦ The NEP has the potential to not only change the education system but to also transform the entire nation. It will be the foundation of the New India. ♦ Directors of Institutions, Vice-Chancellors of universities, Principals of colleges and other stakeholders participated in the programme.

    Prakash Javadekar represented India at the 6th BRICS Environment Ministers Meeting

    83 days ago
    Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar participated in 6th Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) Environment Ministers’ Meeting. Environment Ministers of the five BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa participated in the 6th BRICS Environment Ministers’ Meeting on 31st July 2020 through a video conference under the presidency of Russia. Highlights: ♦ Prakash Javadekar highlighted that the aspiration of BRICS countries is similar. ♦ India proposed for the sharing of best practices among the BRICS nation towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals. ♦ He stressed the need to implement the various initiatives under the BRICS and for the speedy implementation of the BRICS MoU.  ♦ India extended an invitation to the BRICS nations to participate in the BRICS environment meetings.  ♦ The meeting witnessed the adoption of BRICS Environment Ministers’ Statement. ♦ India is expected to assume the BRICS Presidency in 2021.

    Piyush Goyal inaugurated CII National Digital conference on Ease of Doing Business for Atmanirbhar Bharat

    84 days ago
    Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal inaugurated the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Digital conference on Ease of Doing Business for Atmanirbhar Bharat. The conference highlighted a single-window system for industrial approvals which will soon be in place.  Highlights: ♦ Under this the industry and government will work as partners and urged the industry to play a proactive role in helping the government identify the tax evaders and violators. ♦ India's service sector to serve global clients was discussed.  ♦ India’s exports are almost 88% of the last year’s level while imports are almost 75% of the same period in 2019.  ♦ The government of India is working with States for easier labour law, the soft launch of land bank portal, single-window clearance for investments. ♦ Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS) aims to find a way that does not impact exports. ♦ The Ministry aims to promote finance for investments in the country as it has already identified 20 industrial sectors for giving focused push.

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended 5th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of AIIB

    86 days ago
    Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman attended the 5th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) through video conference in New Delhi on 28 July. Highlights: ♦ The Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG) meet to take key decisions that impact the Bank’s future every year.  ♦ The ministers discussed the meeting broadly covered official business including the election of the President of the AIIB. ♦ The discussion was based on the theme 'AIIB 2030-Supporting Asia’s Development over the Next Decade'. ♦ India appreciated AIIB's efforts for fast tracking financial assistance of about $10 billion to its member countries including India to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.  ♦ India also highlighted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative of creating a COVID-19 Emergency Fund for SAARC Nations and the country's participation in the “G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative”.

    Ministry of Rural Development held video conference on Strengthening of the Risk Based Internal Audit of Rural Development Programmes

    90 days ago
    Ministry of Rural Development held a video conference on Strengthening of the Risk-Based Internal Audit of Rural Development Programmes on 24th July. Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated the conference. The programme sought to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth of India's rural population.  Also Narendra Singh Tomar released a Financial Management Index for Rural Development Programmes. The new initiative is to rank the performance of the States on few parameters namely: Annual plan preparation projecting the requirement of funds for the financial year, the expeditious release of State’s share, timely utilization of the funds and submission of the Utilization Certificates, etc. Optimum implementation of Public Financial Management System (PFMS) & Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Internal Audit Social Audit Participants: The Minister of State (MoS) for Rural Development Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Secretary, Rural Development N.N. Sinha and senior officers from the Ministry of Rural Development participated in the conference. The Additional Chief Secretary/Principal Secretary, Rural Development, and senior officers from 10 States namely Assam Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal participated in the event.

    Dr. Harsh Vardhan represents India at SCO Health Ministers Digital Meet

    90 days ago
    Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, virtually participated in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Health Minister's Digital Meet on 24th July. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Mikhail Murashko, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.  Highlights: ♦ The Ministers discussed the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, as it was the key topic of discussion. ♦ India proposed to set up a Sub-Group on Traditional Medicine under the existing Institutional Meetings of the SCO Health Ministers to fulfill the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023.  ♦ India also suggested to reinforce the effective implementation of the joint statement on cooperation in combating epidemics signed at the Qingdao Summit in 2018. ♦ GoI's report stated that, so far, India has reported 1.25 million cases and more than 30,000 deaths due to COVID. It also stated that at 864 cases per million and less than 21 deaths per million of the Indian population, India has one of the world’s lowest infection and death rate.

    Indian Air Force Commanders Conference inaugurated on 22 July

    93 days ago
    The Air Force Commanders’ Conference (AFCC) was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh on 22 July 2020 at Air Headquarters, Vayu Bhawan, New Delhi. The AFCC conference will be held for 3 days.  IAF's Measures: ♦ IAF is proactively bolstering its operational capabilities over the past few months. ♦ Amid the pandemic, IAF is supporting the nation’s response to COVID-19 pandemic and the role played during several HADR missions.  ♦ IAF has enhanced the synergy and integration within the three services since the appointment of Combined Defence Services (CDS) and the creation of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA). ♦ IAF has adapted to changes in technology and adopting emerging capabilities in Nano Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Cyber and Space domains.  Air Force Commanders’ Conference (AFCC): ♦ The theme of the AFCC is ‘IAF in the Next Decade’. It aims in enhancing efforts towards indigenization in the future.  ♦ During the three day conference, the commanders will review the current operational scenario and deployments before deliberating on building the IAF capabilities in the next decade to tackle all emerging threats.

    Indo-US Strategic Energy Partnership meeting held

    97 days ago
    Virtual Ministerial meeting of Indo-US Strategic Energy Partnership was held on July 17, 2020. India and the United States have announced new areas of research on transformational power generation based on supercritical CO2 (sCO2) power cycles and advanced coal technologies, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). Highlights: ♦ During the meeting, the Ministers discussed new areas of research on transformational power generation based on supercritical CO2 (sCO2) power cycles and advanced coal technologies, including CCUS. ♦ They discussed the implementation of Smart grids and energy storage by consortium comprising of 30 Indian and US entities ♦ They also discussed the common priorities for collaboration evolved in Clean Coal Technologies, sCO2 Power Cycles and CCUS technologies. ♦ They also discussed the policy directions for the societal acceptance of smart grid concepts, Distributed Energy Resources, impact and value of the integrative solutions and emerging role of utilities as Distributed System Operators.

    Prime Minister to address High-Level Segment of ECOSOC on 17 July

    99 days ago
    A High-Level Segment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) session is to be held on 17 July 2020. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi is expected to deliver a keynote address virtually at the United Nations in New York. PM Narendra Modi will be speaking at the valedictory session along with the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Highlights: ♦ The annual High-level Segment convenes a diverse group of high-level representatives from the Government, the private sector, civil society, and academia.  ♦ The theme of the 2020 High-level Segment, on the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the UN, is "Multilateralism after COVID19: What kind of UN do we need at the 75th anniversary”. ♦ The session is to focus on critical forces shaping the course of multilateralism and explore ways to bolster the global agenda through strong leadership, effective international institutions, a broadening of participation and enhanced significance of global public goods, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. India: ♦ This is the first opportunity for PM to address the broader UN membership since India’s overwhelming election as a non-permanent member of the Security Council on 17th June, for the term 2021-22. ♦ The theme of the High-Level Segment of the ECOSOC resonates with India’s Security Council priority, wherein it calls for ‘reformed multilateralism’ in a post-COVID-19 world.  ♦ PM had earlier delivered the keynote address virtually at the 70th anniversary of ECOSOC in January 2016.

    National Fish Farmers Day 2020 Obseved on 10th July

    104 days ago
    63rd National Fish Farmers Day India celebrates 10th July every year as the "National Fish Farmers Day" to honor the fish farmers, aquapreneurs& fisher folks in recognition of their accomplishments in the field and their contribution in the growth of the fisheries sector in the country. This year it was 63rd National Fish Farmer's Day. On July 10th, the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying in association with the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) hosted a webinar on the occasion of National Fish Farmers Day. Background History: Every year, on 10 July, the National Fish Farmer's Day is celebrated in memory of scientists Dr. K. H. Alikunhi and Dr. H.L. Chaudhury who successfully demonstrated induced breeding (Hypophysation) technology in Indian Major Carps on 10 July 1957 at the former CIFRI Pond Culture Division in Cuttack, Odisha. (presently Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, CIFA, Bhubaneswar). The event aims to draw attention to changing the way the country manages fisheries resources to ensure sustainable stocks and healthy ecosystems. The event is celebrated every year by congratulating outstanding farmers, aquapreneurs, and farmers in appreciation of their accomplishments in the field and their contribution to the development of the country's fisheries sector. Apart from officials, scientists, professionals, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders, fishermen, and fish farmers from across the nation will participate in the event. About NFBD Webinar: On  July 10th the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying in association with the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) hosted a webinar on the occasion of National Fish Farmers Day. Shri Giriraj Singh, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Shri P. C. Sarangi, Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Dr. Rajeev Ranjan, Secretary, Department of Fisheries, Government of India and senior officials from the Department of Fisheries graced the occasion. Interacting with fishermen, officials, scientists, entrepreneurs at various locations across the country, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Shri Giriraj Singh observed that to consolidate the achievements of the Blue Revolution and pave the way from NeeliKranti to ArthKranti, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi The "Pradhan MantriMatsyaSampadaYojana" (PMMSY) has been launched with the highest investment ever of Rs. 20,050 crore over the next five years in order to realize its goal of doubling the farmer 's income. This scheme would tackle critical gaps in fish production and sustainability, efficiency, technology, post-harvest infrastructure and management, improving and enhancing the value chain, traceability, creating a comprehensive system for fisheries management and welfare for fishermen. Shri Giriraj Singh said that providing ‘Quality Seed’ of fish is very important in enhancing production and productivity in the country.  On the occasion of 'National Fish Farmers Day,' Shri Giriraj Singh announced that the NFDB, in collaboration with the NBFGR, will undertake the work of developing 'Fish Cryobanks' in various parts of the world, which will promote the availability of 'fish sperms' of desired species to fishermen at all times. This will be the first time in the world when "Fish Cryobank" will be created, which can bring a revolutionary change in the country's fisheries sector to boost fish production and productivity, thereby enhancing prosperity among the fishermen.  

    India-EU summit to be held on 15 July through video conference

    106 days ago
    The Fifteenth summit between India and the European Union (EU) will be held via video conference on 15 July 2020. The summit is aimed to deliver concrete benefits for the people in the EU and India.  Highlights: ♦ The summit will provide a platform to strengthen the EU-India strategic partnership based on shared principles and values of democracy, freedom, and rule of law. ♦ Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to hold extensive talks with the President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on a range of issues in the summit. ♦ The leaders will reaffirm to promote effective multilateralism and a rules-based multilateral order, with the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at its core. ♦ The summit is aimed to deliver concrete benefits for the people in the EU and India. ♦ The leaders will discuss ways to boost cooperation in areas of security, climate, environment, trade, and investment, digital economy, and connectivity.

    India to lead Summit 2020 on 21st, 22nd July

    125 days ago
    The 45th annual meeting of the United States India Business Council (USIBC) will be marked with the 2020 India Ideas Summit. India will virtually host the event on 21st and 22nd July.  USIBC: ♦ Different sessions will be organized, with each session focusing on a particular issue related to India. ♦ The summit will showcase the importance of the positive outcome of the India-US economic partnership and the overall bilateral relationship between the two nations. ♦ USIBC summit is an outcome of the joint efforts of the United States Chambers of Commerce and USIBC.

    Meeting of the Heads of Tax Authorities of the BRICS countries was held on 29 May

    146 days ago
    Meeting of the Heads of Tax Authorities of the BRICS countries was held on 29 May 2020. The BRICS Countries that participated in the meeting are Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa. The meeting was hosted by the Federal Tax Service of Russia, which currently holds the BRICS Presidency. Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Finance Secretary, Government of India, represented India at the meeting. Highlights: ♦ The authorities discussed the response of BRICS Tax Authorities to the COVID-19 pandemic and to explore potential areas of cooperation in tax matters.  ♦ The meeting was scheduled to be held in Moscow but was held through video conference in view of COVID-19. ♦ The tax heads of other BRICS nations shared the measures taken by their respective tax administrations. ♦ They discussed other important topics like tax challenges posed by digitalization and the exchange of information. ♦ A communiqué was issued by the tax heads at the meeting. ♦ The Finance Secretary shared the various measures taken by India to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the taxpayers including deferment of compliance requirements, reduced rate of interest on delayed payments, and reduction in withholding tax rates.  ♦ Dr. Pandey also discussed the ongoing work in the OECD/G-20 project on addressing tax challenges posed by digitalization, underlined the need to ensure that the new tax rules are fair and simple.  ♦ He highlighted the need for adopting a “Whole of Government Approach” in dealing with cross-border financial crimes as they have ramifications in respect of various statutes, not only taxation. 

    Army Commanders Conference to be held on 27 May

    150 days ago
    The Army Commanders' Conference has been scheduled to be held in two phases amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The first phase of the conference will be held from 27 to 29 May 2020 and the second phase will be held in the last week of June 2020. The conference was scheduled for April 2020 and postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlights: ♦ The Army Commanders' Conference is an apex level event which is held twice every year. ♦ The conference facilitates conceptual level deliberations culminating in important policy decisions. ♦ The high-level leaders of the Indian Army will brainstorm on current emerging security and administrative challenges. The will chart the future course for the Indian Army. ♦ The conference will ensure due diligence and decisions will be taken through a collegiate system comprising Army commanders and senior officers. ♦ During the first phase which will be organized at South Block. ♦ During the conference, the officials will discuss various aspects pertaining to operational and administrative issues including studies pertaining to logistics and human resources in the country.

    Development of Museums and Cultural Spaces hosted a webinar on Revitalising Museums and Cultural Spaces

    157 days ago
    Development of Museums and Cultural Spaces, Ministry of Culture, Government of India hosted a webinar on "Revitalising Museums and Cultural Spaces" on 18 May. The webinar aimed to celebrate the International Museum Day and kick start conversations around creating sustainable cultural organizations in post-pandemic India. Highlights: ♦ The webinar featured some of the best experts in the museum and cultural spaces domain including Founder Trustee of Museum of Art and Photography (MAP), Bengaluru Shri Abhishek Poddar, President of Kochi Biennale Foundation Shri Bose Krishnamachari, Founder and CEO of Cuseum Shri Brendan Ciecko, Managing Director of  Teamwork Arts Shi Sanjoy K Roy and CEO of Museums and Cultural Spaces, Ministry of Culture, GoI (Moderator) Shri Raghvendra Singh. ♦ The objective aims to identify the possible policy actions that will help alleviate the short and long term effects of the crisis on museums, cultural spaces, and their broader ecosystems. ♦ Discussion on impact, innovations, and post-COVID-19 crisis planning in the context of Museums and cultural spaces were held. ♦ The cultural spaces were reimaged to introduce innovative ideas to maximize the social and economic value of cultural heritage and to build capacity in order to engage with local audiences and tourists. ♦ The discussion aimed to prepare policy paper and get agreement on whatever is practical and feasible.

    India participated in 73rd WHA

    157 days ago
    India participated in the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) on 18 May. India was represented by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare through video conference. WHA addressed Global Vaccine Plan, polio eradication, and neglected tropical diseases other than COVID-19. Highlights: ♦ On this platform, the health leaders committed to fighting COVID-19 pandemic together, in unity, in solidarity.  ♦ Australia initiated the COVID-19 investigation during the conference. China showed its opposition to investigate. ♦ The committee decided to work on the transmission routes of the virus to find out the possible host and look for solutions to prevent such outbreaks in the future. World Health Assembly: WHA governs the World Health Organization (WHO) is governed by its member states. WHA is the world's highest health policy body. It has been composed of the health ministries from its 194 member states.   Note: On 11 March, WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. According to the WHO's latest data, so far, more than 4.5 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 307,000 fatalities.

    Minister Piyush Goyal participated in 2nd G-20 Virtual Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting

    161 days ago
    Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal participated in the second G-20 Virtual Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting. The meeting focused on immediate and concrete actions that can ease the distress being faced by people all over the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The second G20 Ministers Virtual Meeting was held under the Saudi Presidency.  Highlights: ♦ The Ministers agreed to provide diagnostic and protective equipment and health care professionals across borders where they are most needed. ♦ India suggested the G-20 nations to ensure access to essential medicines, treatments, and vaccines at affordable prices.  ♦ India has proactively partnered in global efforts to develop vaccines and effective treatment for this disease. ♦ The meeting also stressed the urgent need to build the digital skills and capacities of developing countries and LDCs.  ♦ Discussion on the need to make binding rules on digital trade and e-commerce, which will freeze the extremely non-level playing field against their interests, and deprive them of the opportunity to benefit from the immense potential in these areas was held.

    EAM S Jaishankar participated in the virtual meeting of Foreign Ministers of SCO

    163 days ago
    External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar participated in the virtual meeting of Foreign Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member countries on 13 May. The foreign ministers and diplomats from eight different countries attended the meeting. Highlights: ♦ The Meeting aimed to discuss the cooperation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. ♦ Discussion on the global challenges, preparedness, and response to the coronavirus crisis was held.  ♦ It focused on developing cooperation within the SCO, tropical regional and global issues, and particularly the spread of the novel coronavirus. ♦ They discussed the upcoming 75th anniversary of the Victory in WWII and the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. ♦ They also discussed the SCO summit in St Petersburg and other events as part of Russia's SCO Presidency that is scheduled to be held on 9-10 June. ♦ The conference was held under the chairmanship of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

    EU hosted online Coronavirus Global Response International pledging conference

    169 days ago
    Coronavirus Global Response International pledging conference was held virtually on 5 May. The conference began on 4 May and expected to end on 23 May. Around 40 countries participated in the online summit. The conference was hosted by the European Union (EU) and its partners. Aim: The conference aimed to raise €7.5 billion in initial funding in global cooperation. Highlights: ♦ The conference highlighted the requirement of global responsibility for the global coronavirus pandemic.  ♦ The need to develop and deploy effective diagnostics, treatments, and a vaccine against COVID-19 pandemic was stressed.  ♦ Countries and organizations around the world ensured the development of the life-saving vaccine.  ♦ Several world leaders and organizations pledged $8 billion (around Rs.60,000 crore) to manufacture a vaccine to combat COVID-19, the diseases caused by the novel coronavirus. The fund will be used to fund laboratories across the world that have promising leads to research and develop a vaccine. ♦ Romania contributed $200,000, Canada contributed $850 million. Other top donors were Japan, the United Kingdom (UK), Germany, France, and Saudi Arabia.

    PM Narendra Modi participated at the online Summit of NAM Contact Group

    171 days ago
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the online Summit of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Contact Group was held on 4 May 2020 to discuss the response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The summit commemorated the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace. Highlight: ♦ The theme of the online NAM Contact Group Summit was 'United against COVID-19.' ♦ The summit was hosted by the current Chairman of NAM, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan HE Ilham Aliyev.  ♦ The Summit aimed to promote international solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and to mobilize efforts of States and international organizations to address the pandemic. ♦ Over 30 other Heads of State and Government and other leaders, including from member States in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and Europe participated in the event.  ♦ The Summit was addressed by the President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Prof Tijjani Muhammed Bande, UN Secretary-General Mr.Antonio Guterres, African Union (AU) Chairperson Musa Faki Mahamat, European Union (EU) High Representative, Josep Borrell, and Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus. ♦ The leaders also discussed the creation of a 'Task Force' to identify the needs and requirements of Member States through the establishment of a common database that reflects the basic medical, social, and humanitarian needs in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

    PM to attend virtual summit of Non-Aligned Movement

    172 days ago
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to participate in a virtual summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on 4 May. The summit aims to enhance the coordination of the member states in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will also participate in the summit. Highlights: ♦ The summit will be conducted under the Presidency of Azerbaijan, who is the president of the NAM till 2022. The summit will be convened by President Ilham Aliyev. ♦ The summit will identify measures for enhanced coordination among NAM members in their common fight against COVID-19. ♦ The online session will conclude with a political declaration of the movement “uniting against COVID-19." ♦ The summit-level meeting will witness the participation from representatives of international organizations such as the United Nations Secretary-General and Director-General of WHO. ♦ This summit will be the first NAM meeting that the PM will attend since becoming the Prime Minister in 2014. The Prime Minister has skipped both the NAM summit in 2016 and 2019. India was represented by the Vice president Venkaiah Naidu in the last two summits in 2016 in Venezuela and 2019 in Azerbaijan. NAM Summit: The Non-Alignment Movement was founded in 1961. The NAM summit was instituted based upon Bandung principles that were adopted at the Belgrade Summit in 1955. The Belgrade Summit was an Afro-Asian Conference. The movement works towards the attainment of independence for many countries. NAM marks the biggest grouping of countries outside the United Nations. It comprises 120 developing countries from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. India is one of the founding members of the NAM summit. The non-alignment principles constitute one of the basic tenets of Nepal's foreign policy NAM. The 18th NAM Summit was held in 2019 at the Island of Baku, Azerbaijan.

    Prakash Javadekar stresses on climate finance in first virtual Petersberg Climate Dialogue

    177 days ago
    Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar represented India in the first virtual Petersberg Climate Dialogue on 28 April. The first virtual Climate Dialogue was the eleventh session of Petersberg Climate Dialogue. It has been hosted by Germany since 2010. Highlight: ♦ The Dialogue aims to provide a forum for informal high-level political discussions.  ♦ The meeting focused both on international climate negotiations and the advancement of climate action. ♦ Ministers and representatives of about 30 countries participated in the dialogue. ♦ Minister Javadekar urged to have climate technology as open-source which must be available at an affordable cost. ♦ He suggested adopting more sustainable consumption patterns in line with the requirement of sustainable lifestyles, as was first initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Paris Conference of the Parties (COP). ♦ The Union Minister also participated in an Indo-German bilateral meeting with Ms.Svenja Shulze, Minister, Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany. The bilateral meeting was held through a video conference just before the Petersberg Climate Dialogue.

    EAM Jaishankar to participate in BRICS Foreign Ministers meeting on response to COVID-19 pandemic

    178 days ago
    Union Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar joins his counterparts from Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa for a meeting on 28 April. The foreign ministers of BRICS member countries will hold an extraordinary video conference to discuss ways to jointly combat the coronavirus pandemic. The event will be chaired by Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister.  Highlights: ♦ The Ministerial video conference will be hosted by Russia, who is the current rotating head of the BRICS.  ♦ The meeting will focus on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international relations and possible joint measures in the fight against the highly dangerous and fast-spreading contagion.  ♦ The BRICS presidency was passed from Brazil to Russia from 1 January 2020. ♦ The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide amounts to 30,40,709 death. Out of which 2,10,842 deaths were reported and 8,93,872 recoveries. Note: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are the BRICS countries.

    G20 Health Ministers Meeting deliberated on steps to control COVID-19 pandemic

    186 days ago
    Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan participated in the video conference of the Health Ministers of G20 countries. During that conference, Forge cooperation and mutually respectful and useful collaborations to deal with COVID-19 disease. The 19-member countries apart from European Union (EU) of G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America and India. Highlights: ♦ The global community has tackled threats to the health of the people, by a collective sense of purpose, support and collaboration with each other.  ♦ The meeting called for cooperation between nations to attain normalcy. ♦ In the meeting, the Minister highlighted India's fivefold approach to combat COVID-19 namely: (i) Maintaining a continuous situation awareness, (ii) Pre-emptive and proactive approach, (iii) Graded response as per continuously evolving scenario, (iv) Inter-sectoral coordination at all levels, and lastly, but most importantly (v) Creating a people's movement to combat the coronavirus disease. ♦ He also stated that India has decided to focus on building exclusive infrastructure for the management of COVID-19 patients so that there is no intermingling of COVID-19 patients.  ♦ In India, all the people who are tested positive are treated in one of three types of dedicated COVID management Centres: COVID Care Centres (CCCs) for mild symptomatic cases, COVID Health Centres (CHCs) for moderate cases and COVID Hospitals (CHs) for severe cases. These dedicated COVID facilities are mapped to each other in the design of a referral network architecture for dynamic movement of patients as symptoms evolve so that optimal clinical care can be provided timely, commensurate to symptoms.

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