• Current Affair , 26th February 2020

    • February 26, 2020
    • Posted By : upliftlife
    • 0 Comment



    • People like Bhagirathi Amma are the strength of this country; a great source of inspiration for all of us



    • Addressing the 9th Episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat 2.0’, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi narrated an inspiring anecdote from Bihar that would inspire many Indians. He said the region of Purnia in Bihar is an inspiration for people across the country. This area has been grappling with the havoc caused by floods for decades together. In this backdrop, it has been very difficult to do farming and mobilize other sources of income. He said, earlier women of Purnia used to cultivate cocoons from silkworms and received a very nominal price but merchants bought this and made huge profits by spinning into silk yarn. But under these very circumstances, some women of Purnia chose a different path. Now women in Purnia formed a production cooperative with the assistance from the Government, producing the silk yarns and selling the saris made out of it and earning a huge sum, he added.
    • He also shared the inspiring story of the achievement of Kamya Karthikeyan, who conquered Mount Aconcagua at the age of twelve. This is the highest peak of the Andes Mountains in South America, which is about 7000 meters high, he added. “She is now on a new mission, called ‘Mission Saahas’, under which she is trying to conquer the highest peaks of all the continents,” he said. He applauded her efforts for bringing positive results in motivating everyone to stay fit and conveyed his best wishes for ‘Mission Saahas’. Mentioning how the geography of India provides many opportunities for adventure sports in our country, the Prime Minister appealed to the people to visit the place of their choice and activity of their interest and integrate their life with adventure.
    • Furthermore, he narrated the success story of 105-year-old Bhagirathi Amma who lives in Kollam in Kerala and lost her mother and husband at a very young age. She restarted her school education at the age of 105! She started studying again! In spite of her advanced age, Bhagirathi Amma wrote her level 4 exam and then eagerly awaited her results. She scored 75 percent in her exams and wants to continue her education. He said that people like Bhagirathi Amma are the strength of this country; a great source of inspiration for all of us.
    • He cited the example of Salman who lives in Hamirpur village of Moradabad, and is divyang by birth. He said that despite this hardship, he hasn’t lost hope, and decided to start his own business. On top of that, he resolved to help other divyang people too. And soon enough, Salman started manufacturing slippers and detergent in his village itself. And in no time, 30 divyang people joined him.
    • He also narrated the story of  similar determination that has been manifested by residents of Ajrak village in Kutch area of Gujarat. In 2001, after the devastating earthquake, most villagers were migrating from the village. However, one person by the name of Ismail Khatri, decided to stay back and nurture his traditional art form of ‘Ajrak print’. And in no time at all, everyone was enchanted by the natural colours used in the Ajrak art. And the entire village joined in on their traditional handicraft category.
    • The Prime Minister conveyed his best wishes to the nation for the recently celebrated Mahashivratri. he said, “On the occasion of Mahashivaratri, may you continue to be blessed by Bhole baba…may Lord Shiva fulfill all your wishes…may you be energetic, healthy…and continue to do your duties unto the country.”
    • The Prime Minister added, “In the coming days, we will celebrate Holi and soon after that, Gudi Padva will be celebrated. The festival of Navaraatri is also associated with spring. Ram Navami will also be celebrated. Festivals and celebrations are an inseparable part of the social fabric of our country. Every festival has a hidden social message which binds not just the society, but the entire country into a spirit of unity.”


    • 1st Anniversary of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) observed



    • The Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has said the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme is comprehensive, ambitious and will help boost farmers’ income. Addressing a function here today to mark the 1st anniversary of starting of the Scheme, Shri Tomar said the Central Sector Scheme PM-KISAN is among the several new initiatives undertaken by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi focusing on Agriculture and Rural Development sectors. The Prime Minister has set the target of doubling farmers’ income by the year 2022, he added.
    • Shri Tomar said a budget of Rs.75,000 crore has been provided in the current Financial Year for the PM-KISAN scheme under which a total sum of Rs.6,000 each is being provided to farmers annually. More than Rs.50,850 crores has already been released, he added.
    • Shri Tomar said more than 8.46 crore farmer families have been given the PM-KISAN benefits. He said the total number of beneficiaries to be covered under the scheme is about 14 crore, and the Government aims to cover 12 lakh farmers by the end of this Financial Year. Besides the Common Service Centres (CSCs), the Ministry has launched online procedure for farmers’ enrolment, he added.
    • Pointing out that the West Bengal Government has not verified the farmers’ data from state, Shri Tomar appealed to the Chief Minister to expedite the process. He said an estimated 70 lakh farmers of the State are eligible, of whom about 10 lakh farmers have applied individually online, but the entire database has to verified by the State Government. Eligible farmers from the state can avail Rs.4,000 crore of benefits under the PM-KISAN Scheme once the State Government furnishes the data, he added.
    • Shri Tomar said the Prime Minister has declared that all KISAN beneficiaries will be given the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) so that farmers can take easy loans from the banks. The Government has included Animal Husbandry and Fisheries sectors under the ambit of the KCC Scheme. He said a massive distribution drive will be held on 29th February during which KCCs will be issued to farmers at 20,000 bank branches spread across the country. The Prime Minister will himself disburse KISAN benefits to select farmers and distribute KCC cards at the main function at Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh on this day. 10,000 new Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) are being registered and each will get a support of Rs. 15 lakh from the government to promote agriculture.
    • Shri Tomar said, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Government has not only launched a slew of schemes towards boosting rural income, but also set in place an exhaustive implementation mechanism with transparent procedures and earmarked liberal funds. As per the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee, the Government has set the Minimum Support Price (MSP) at one-and-a-half times of the production cost to farmers. He said the Government is promoting organic farming and more than 6 lakh hectares land has been brought under it.
    • On the occasion, Shri Tomar launched the PM-KISAN Mobile App, which offers farmers access to a host of features related to their benefits. The farmers can view the status of their application, update or carry out corrections of their Aadhaar cards and also check history of credits to their bank accounts.
    • Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Shri Sanjay Agarwal, said the Department will finalise by June, 2020 a comprehensive farmers’ database covering major Schemes like the Soil Health Card, PM-KISAN and KCC.


    • Vice President urges the Union and State governments to link employment with local languages



    • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today urged the Union and State governments to mandatorily link employment upto a level with the local languages to promote the use of mother tongues in the country.
    • Inaugurating the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of Andhra Vidyabhi Vardhani (AVV) Educational Institutions, in Warangal today, the Vice President also emphasized the need to promote the use of Indian languages in the administration. This will not only bring the administration closer to the people but also help in preservation of our rich linguistic heritage, he said.
    • Quoting Sardar Patel, Shri Naidu said that unless a child understands the language of instruction properly, he will not be able to understand the subject being taught in that language.
    • Stressing the need for value-based education, Shri Naidu said that education should focus on overall development of the students by imparting morals, ethics and age old civilizational values of the country. A teacher has prominent role after parents in shaping the life of a student, he said.
    • Emphasizing the need to end every kind of social discrimination, the Vice President called for a mindset change in the society. He said that the children should be taught to be respectful towards girls and women from an early age.
    • Highlighting that Indian culture shows great respect for  women, the Vice President said that it was evident from the fact that all rivers in the country are named after  women.
    • Describing ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ as the essence of Indian culture, Shri Naidu said that secularism is in the blood and veins of every Indian and minorities are more secure in India than any other country of the world. Respecting all religions and ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhav’ is our culture and we should continue to follow it, he added.
    • Appreciating India’s rich spiritual heritage Shri Naidu said that Bharat Mata Ki Jai means the ‘Jai of 130 crore Indians’.
    • He exhorted the youth to develop 4Cs – Character, Capacity, Conduct and Caliber, and asked them to be hardworking and disciplined to achieve success in life. Shri Naidu also advised them to shun sedentary lifestyle and keep physically fit.
    • Objecting to some countries’ tendency to comment on India’s internal matters, the Vice President asked them to refrain from advising India on its internal affairs. Pointing out that India was the largest parliamentary democracy , he said it was capable of managing its own affairs.
    • Stressing that peace was a prerequisite for development, the Vice President said that in a democracy, everyone has a right to dissent and protest but it should be done in a peaceful manner. He asked the youth to develop positive attitude in life and be constructive and not obstructive in their approach.
    • Expressing his concern over the fast depleting water resources, the Vice President stressed the need for protecting lakes and traditional water bodies.
    • “Earlier every village used to have different water bodies for different purposes, but we neglected these traditional water conservation methods”, he said. Shri Naidu also appreciated the work being done by the Telangana government for the irrigation development in the state.
    • On this occasion, the Vice President released the souvenir of the institute and lauded the contributions of philanthropist and founder of AVV institutions, Shri Chanda Kanthaiah, particularly his love for Telugu during Nizam rule and his initiatives for starting Telugu Medium Schools.
    • Home Minister of Telangana, Shri Mohammad Mahmood Ali, Panchayati Raj Minister of Telangana, Shri Yerrabelli Dayakar Rao were among the dignitaries who graced the occasion.


    • BAY of Bengal Offshore Sailing Expedition (BBSE)



    • Indian Naval Sailing Vessels Mhadei and Tarini set sail for the Bay of Bengal Offshore Sailing Expedition on 22 February 2020 from the Indian Naval Ocean Sailing Node at Goa. The expedition was flagged off by Rear Admiral SJ Singh, Commandant Naval War College, Goa. This would be the maiden major mixed crew sailing expedition of the Indian Navy with crew composition of five naval officers including two women officers in each boat, covering a total distance of 6,100 Nautical miles each and will be at sea for 55 days. Captain Vipul Meherishi, Skipper Tariniwould be the Expedition Leader and Captain Atool Sinha would be Skipper Mhadei. The Skippers for the expedition are accomplished yachtsmen who have brought laurels to the navy and the country by winning medals, both at national and International level competitions.
    • The prolonged voyage of nearly three months during this expedition would showcase harnessing of renewal energy namely wind energy to propel the boats. The expedition is also in pursuance of the GOI mission of ‘Nari Shakti‘ providing opportunity to women officers at par with men. The expedition also aims to enhance the level of cooperation and camaraderie between the littoral nations in the Bay of Bengal whilst exhibiting the IN expertise in the domain of ocean sailing. The sailing vessels as part of the expedition would make replenishment halts at ports of Phuket, Yangon, Chittagong and Colombo, wherein interaction with various state officials would be conducted including harbour sorties for visiting dignitaries.
    • Mhadei and Tarini inducted in the Indian Navy on 08 February 2009 and 18 February 2017 respectively have been the vessels of choice for the naval expeditioners in various sailing expeditions, including three circumnavigations and thus have thousands of miles tucked under their belt. Mhadei has successfully completed two circumnavigations, three Cape to Rio trans-Atlantic races and several other expeditions around various continents. The vessel has covered in excess of 1,36,000 nautical miles. Tarini created history in 2017-18 when six Indian Naval women officers sailed the vessel on maiden circumnavigation voyage titled Navika Sagar Parikrama. She thereafter also participated in mixed crew Kochi to Seychelles sail training expedition during 10th anniversary celebration of the IONS.
    • The Bay of Bengal Offshore Sailing Expedition will generate goodwill amongst the visiting nations and inspire participation in the forthcoming BIMSTEC Sailing Expedition being planned with mixed crew of member nations onboard Indian Naval Sailing Vessels.


    • Indian Delegation discusses India’s participation at Cannes Film Market 2020 and Strategic Positioning of IFFI at Cannes Film Festival 

    • The Indian Delegation at Berlin International Film Festival met Ms Maud Amson, Head of Sales & Operations, Marche Du Film, Cannes Film Festival and Mr Arnaud Menindes, Sales & Operations – Advertising at Marché du Film, Cannes Film Festival regarding Government of India’s participation at the Cannes Film Market 2020. The discussion involved positioning India much more strategically at Cannes. Cannes expressed their collaboration and participation for the 51st edition of IFFI.
    • The Delegation also met with Heads of renowned Film Festivals, Film Commissons, International Producers like Ms Mariëlle Poupelin, Specialist International Business Development, Telefilm Canada; Mr Enrico Vannucci, Deputy Executive Director, Eurimages; Mr Kai Nordberg, Making Movies OY; Ms Adriane Freitag, Executive Manager, Cinema do Brasil; Mr Lefteris S. Eleftheroiu, Senior Officer, Head of Film Unit, Invest Cyprus, Ms Katalin Vajda, Festival Manager, National Film Institute, Hungary Mr Luis Chaby Vaz, President of Board – ICA Instituto do Cinema e Do Audiovisual, Portugal and Mr Sergio Scapegini, Italian Producer. Mr Scapegini expressed that the Italy would actively consider participating and collaborating with India for the 51st edition of IFFI. He also underlined that the participation would pave-forward for more proactive ties between the two nations.
    • The Indian Delegation, through these interactions, promoted the 51st edition of IFFI and ease of shooting films in India through Film Facilitation Office that facilitates Single Window Clearance for film-makers and provides a platform for ‘film tourism’ in India through the website ffo.gov.in. The Delegation also explored opportunities regarding co-production with India and collaborations for films with international production houses.


    • More than 15 lakh visitors, both domestic and international, visited “Hunar Haat” over the last 11 days


    • Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said here that the 20th“Hunar Haat”, organised by Union Minority Affairs Ministry at India Gate Lawns, Rajpath, New Delhi from 13 to 23 February 2020, was historic and successful.  He said that Vice President Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla visited “Hunar Haat” and encouraged artisans and craftsmen.
    • Addressing the media on the conclusion of 20th“Hunar Haat” today, Shri Naqvi said that more than 250 artisans, craftsmen and culinary experts from across the country participated in the “Hunar Haat”. For the first time, these artisans included more than 50 per cent women artisans.  He said, this “Hunar Haat” proved to be a “Mega Mission” of “Empowerment of Indigenous Legacy” and “Economic Empowerment” of artisans as sale worth crores of rupees of their indigenous products took place. They also got large scale orders for their products from India and abroad.
    • The Minister said that Minority Affairs Ministry will get these artisans and their products registered on “GeM” (Government e Marketplace). The Ministry is also in discussion with several export promotion councils so that these artisans and craftsmen receive large scale orders from India and international markets regularly.
    • Shri Naqvi pointed out that during “Mann Ki Baat” on February 23,2020, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi appreciated “Hunar Haat” and artisans, craftsmen and their exquisite indigenous handmade products. By mentioning about “Hunar Haat” in “Mann Ki Baat”, the Prime Minister has reiterated Government’s commitment to promote and encourage the magnificent legacy of our indigenous arts/crafts, Shri Naqvi said.
    • He said that Prime Minister made a surprise visit to “Hunar Haat” and  his visit gave a tremendous boost and world-wide recognition to talent of Indian artisans and craftsmen. Shri Modi also enjoyed “Kulhad Ki Chai” and Bihar’s delicious “Litti-Chokha”. During his about one-hour long presence at “Hunar Haat”, the Prime Minister visited several stalls and interacted with artisans and also took information about their indigenous products.
    • Shri Naqvi said that the visit of the Prime Minister gave a tremendous publicity to “Hunar Haat” as the number of visitors increased day by day after his visit. More than 15 lakh visitors, both domestic and international, visited “Hunar Haat” at India Gate Lawns, Rajpath, in these last 11 days. The visitors encouraged the artisans, craftsmen and also enjoyed traditional delicacies of various states at “Bawarchikhana” section at “Hunar Haat”.
    • Besides, renowned artists, singers and poets enthralled the audience daily with their performance. These artists included Anu Kapoor, Surendra Sharma, Manzar Bhopali, Praveen Shukla, Nikhat Amrohi, Shambhu Shikhar, Dilbag Singh, Bhupinder Singh “Bhuppi”, Simple Sisters, Mukesh Pancholi and others.
    • The “Hunar Haat” at India Gate Lawns was inaugurated by Union Minister for Railways, Commerce and Industry Shri Piyush Goyal; Union Minister for Urban Development (Independent Charge) Shri Hardeep Singh Puri and President ICCR Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe on 13th
    • Shri Naqvi said that this “Hunar Haat”, organised on the theme of “Kaushal Ko Kaam” witnessed gracious presence of Union Ministers Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smt Smriti Irani, Shri Mahendra Nath Pandey, Dr Jitendra Singh, Parliamentarians, senior officials, senior Diplomats from various countries and other dignitaries from India and abroad. These dignitaries encouraged and lauded artisans and craftsmen and their indigenous handmade products.
    • Shri Naqvi said that the next “Hunar Haat” will be organized at Ranchi from 29th February to 8th March and in Chandigarh from 13th to 22nd March, 2020. In the coming days, “Hunar Haat” will be organized in Gurugram, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Dehradun, Patna, Bhopal, Nagpur, Raipur, Puducherry, Amritsar, Jammu, Shimla, Goa, Kochi, Guwahati, Bhubneshwar, Ajmer and other places.
    • So far, “Hunar Haat” have been organized at various places in the country such as Delhi, Mumbai, Prayagraj, Lucknow, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Puducherry and Indore.


    • NHAI safeguards the commuting of FASTag users: Charges double the defaulters






    • RFID based FASTag, an electronic toll collection system implemented by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), has proved to be instrumental in easing lives of commuters on National Highways within two months of its nationwide implementation.
    • Over 1.55 crore FASTags have been issued through multiple Point of Sale (PoS).  NHAI has been observing increased sale rate of FASTags which is a clear indication of this digital system being accepted well. As a result, FASTag transaction has crossed a landmark count of 4.0 million per day.
    • In order to give prime importance to its existing FASTag users, dissuade defaulters and further encourage adoption of FASTags by NH commuters, vehicles without FASTags entering into FASTag lane are being charged double the toll fee.  Till now, a total number of 18.00 lakh vehicles defaulted by encroaching FASTag lanes across India has resulted a double charge cash toll accumulation of about Rs. 20.0 cr.
    • As a measure, it has also resulted in smooth and hassle-free movement of FASTag users on highways. The implementation of FASTags across the country has met with the desired response so far. The adoption of FASTags also means that it has brought in the much-needed transparency in collection at the toll booths.
    • In order to further increase digital collection of user fee via FASTag at NH fee plazas, NHAI has recently waived off the FASTag cost of Rs. 100/- for NHAI FASTag from 15 February 2020 to 29 February 2020. Any road users can visit any authorized physical point-of-sale locations with a valid Registration Certificate (RC) of the vehicle and get a NHAI FASTag free of cost.


    • CSIR-CDRI Scientist Dr. Niti Kumar gets SERB Women Excellence Award-2020


    • Dr Niti Kumar, Senior Scientist from Division of Molecular Parasitology and Immunology, CSIR-CDRI, Lucknow has received SERB Women Excellence Award-2020. Award will be conferred by the President of India during National Science Day Celebrations on February 28, 2020, in Vigyan Bhawan.
    • This award is given to women scientist below 40 years of age who have received recognition from national academies. The women researchers will be supported by research grant of 5 lakhs per annum for 3 years by Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India (SERB-DST).
    • Niti Kumar has many awards and recognitions in her credit including, Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award (DBT-IYBA, 2015), INSA Medal for Young Scientist (2010) by Indian National Science Academy, Ramalingaswami Fellowship (2013-2018), EMBO Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2010-2012), Alexander von Humboldt Fellow (2010), Max Planck Post-doctoral fellowship at Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (2009) and Marie Curie Early Stage Research Fellowship by European Union under 6th Framework Programme (2005-2006)







    • Three-day International Conference on‘Ensemble Methods in Modelling and Data Assimilation’ (EMMDA)



    • Although remarkable success has been achieved in improving forecast skill by employing state of the art numerical prediction systems and adopting latest data assimilation techniques, it is well known that some amount of uncertainty associated with numerical weather prediction is inevitable.  In order to quantify the forecast uncertainty, leading Weather forecasting centres of the world including India have developed ‘Ensemble Prediction System’ (EPS) which provides probabilistic forecasting of weather. In an EPS, a number of similar models, called the ensemble members, are run from slightly different initial conditions.  It requires high computational resources and in turn provides the flow dependent forecast uncertainty in terms of probability. The probabilistic forecasts help the end users in making decisions and plan their actions suitably.  The forecasts from high resolution global and regional EPS provide more accurate probabilistic forecasts of extreme weather events and help the planners and administrators in taking timely actions.  India has recently operationally implemented two global EPS which have highest resolution in the world and also a regional EPS of horizontal resolution 4km which covers the Indian region. A well-coordinated collaborative research and development work between national and international centres are further required for progressively improving the skill of EPS.

    In order to provide a platform for discussions and deliberations on the present status, future prospects and optimum use of EPS, a three-day international conference on “Ensemble Methods in Modelling and Data Assimilation (EMMDA)” is being organised by NCMRWF,MoES from February 24, 2020 at NCMRWF, Noida, India. The major themes of the conference are:

    • Ensemble methods in Global Weather Prediction
    • Ensemble methods in Data Assimilation
    • Ensemble methods in Monthly and Seasonal Forecasting
    • Convection Permitting Ensemble Prediction Systems
    • Verification of Ensemble weather forecasts
    • Applications of Ensemble weather forecasts


    Leading International experts from ECMWF of UK, Met Office of UK, NOAA of USA, KMA of South Korea, BoM of Australia, NCAR of USA, University of Maryland of USA, Reading University of UK, NIWA of New Zealand, KAUST of Saudi Arabia, TMD of Thailand will present papers along with distinguished Indian scientists from different lead organizations on latest developments in the field of ensemble data assimilation and modelling. About twenty young scientists and researchers will present their research outcomes. Besides them about 100 participants which include forecasters, stake holder from various sectors and young research scholars will attend this conference.

    The latest techniques used in Data Assimilation, Ensemble Methods, and use of Probabilistic Forecasts for developing new applications from Ensemble Products will be discussed. The discussions will lead to development of newer algorithms and will be useful for societal applications related to weather/climate.

    This international conference on EMDDA will be inaugurated by Dr.Harsh VardhanUnion

    Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology, Earth Sciences.



    1. Bangladesh records sharp decline in Child malnutrition: UNICEF Survey



    • The child malnutrition rate in Bangladesh has declined sharply over the last six years. The finding was reported in the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2019, jointly conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and UNICEF. The survey has also recorded an improvement in many other areas related to health and nutrition, Child protection, hygiene and sanitation.
    • The rate of chronic malnutrition among children measured by the stunting level among them has come down from 42 percent in 2013 to 28 percent in 2019. The percentage of underweight children below 5 also declined from about 32 percent to 22.6 percent over the same period. The infant mortality rate has also declined from 46 to 34 per thousand live births between 2012-13 and 2019.
    • The survey reports that the percentage of children of school entry age who enter the first grade of primary school marked a sharp upward trend from 33 percent in 2012-13 to 61.4 in 2019.
    • The survey also records improvement in access to and use of toilets, birth registration, ante-natal care coverage, institutional deliveries and similar other parameters indicating an overall improvement in child and mother health in the country.
    • However, the availability of Children’s books declined from 8.8 percent to 6.1 percent during this period. The incidence of violent disciplining of children has shown an upward trend during this period.
    • The Global MICS Programme was developed by UNICEF in the 1990s. It collects internationally comparable data on a wide range of indicators on the situation of children and women for use in policies, programmes, and national development plans.


    1. China postpones annual session of its Parliament


    • China, in an unprecedented move, today postponed the annual session of Parliament scheduled to begin in Beijing from the 5th of next month due to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak. The move comes as the country grapples with the deadly virus that has claimed over 2,500 lives and infected more than 77,000 people.
    • The ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) showcases its political clout in the annual Parliament session.
    • The state media reported that the country’s top legislature, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), met in Beijing and approved a draft decision on postponing the NPC’s annual session due to Coronavirus.
    • The CPC considers the sessions as a significant political event to adopt its national agenda, including the annual budgets and formulate new laws.
    • State-run Global Times quoted Chinese analysts saying that the postponement of the two sessions is very unusual in the history of the Party, which has not been seen since the country’s reform and opening-up.
    • Meanwhile, the China-World Health Organization (WHO) joint expert team visited Hubei Province, epicentre of the ‘COVID-19’ outbreak over the weekend to conduct field investigations.
    • In another important development, the state media also reported that China has declared an immediate and comprehensive ban on the trade and consumption of wild animals, a practice believed responsible for the deadly outbreak.


    1. Death toll from coronavirus rises to 8 in Iran, highest outside China


    • Iran confirmed death toll from the new coronavirus rose to eight, the highest outside China. The rising death toll sent neighbouring countries scrambling to contain the outbreak. Pakistan has said that it is closing its frontier with the Islamic republic, while Afghanistan banned all ground and air travel between the two nations.
    • Jordan has also barred entry of citizens of China, Iran and South Korea and other foreigners travelling from those countries. Italy has reported third death from the coronavirus. With 152 cases, the numbers of infections are rising rapidly and have forced it  to check the spread of the disease.
    • Italy has also called off the Venice Carnival attended by thousands of revelers, scrapping major league soccer matches in the stricken area and shuttering theatres. Concerns are rising across Europe.
    • Austria has halted all train traffic to and from Italy following fears that a train last night had two people on board who may have been infected with the COVID-19 virus. The region has seen the number of infected people in the country soar to at least 152, the most outside Asia.


    1. Israel claims airstrikes on Damascus airport area


    • Israel has claimed to struck bases of the Islamic Jihad militant group near the Syrian capital Damascus. Syria, however, rejected the claims saying its air defences shot down enemy missiles. The Israeli army said in a statement yesterday that fighter jets struck Islamic Jihad terror targets south of Damascus following rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
    • Islamic Jihad operates in both the Palestinian territories and Syria and fired more than 20 rockets from Gaza yesterday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attacks were near the Damascus international airport. The Syrian state news agency Sana said that most of the enemy missiles were shot down before reaching their targets. It stressed that no airport was struck.
    • Since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria, mainly targeting government forces as well as allied Iranian forces and Hezbollah fighters. However, it is rare for them to claim such strikes directly.







    1. ICC Women’s T20: India defeat Bangladesh by 18 runs at Perth in Australia

    • Indian eves defeated Bangladesh by 18 runs in a Group A match of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup played at Perth in Australia.
    • Chasing the victory target of 143 runs, Bangladesh could only make 124 runs for the loss of eight wickets in 20 overs.
    • Poonam Yadav scalped three wickets while Shikha Panday and Arundhati Reddy took two wickets each.


    1. Khelo India University Games: Guru Nanak Dev University bags to gold in fencing                                     
    • Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar won two gold medals in senior men’s epee and senior team men’s sabre while Punjab University, Chandigarh finished on top of the podium in senior team women’s foil fencing event in the Khelo India University Games at Bhubaneshwar.
    • Guru Nanak Dev University’s first gold of the day came in the men’s epee when the team of Nekpreet Singh, Udaivir Singh, Shubham and Prashar Rajan defeated their opponents from Dr BR Ambedkar University from Aurangabad 45-22.
    • In the men’s sabre finals, it was the team of Amit Chib, Sehajpreet Singh, Prince and Javed Choudhary from Guru Nanak Dev University who defeated Shivaji University, Kolhapur 45-33.
    • In senior team women’s foil, Punjab University, Chandigarh beat Sardar Patel University, Gujarat 45-41 in the finals bout to win the gold.



No comments found


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow us on: