SC issues direction to states for establishing Gram Nyayalayas
The Supreme Court has directed the states, which are yet come out with
notifications for establishing Gram Nyayalayas, to do so within four weeks.
The apex court also asked the high courts to expedite the process of
consultation with state governments on this issue.
A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana also took into account the fact
that several states have issued notifications for establishing Gram
Nyayalayas but all of them were not functioning except in Kerala,
Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
The bench noted that states like Gujarat, Haryana, Telangana, West
Bengal, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha have not yet filed their
affidavits on this issue despite the apex court's last year direction.
The apex court had in September last year agreed to hear a plea seeking
a direction to the Centre and all states for taking steps to set up Gram
Nyayalayas under the supervision and monitoring of the top court.
An Act passed by Parliament in 2008 provided for setting up of Gram
Nyayalayas at the grassroots level for providing access to justice to
citizens at the doorstep.
WCD ministry claims over 1.25crore beneficiaries benefitted from DBT
Women and Child Development Minister SmritiZubinIrani today said that
one crore 28 lakh beneficiaries received 5,280 crore rupees in their bank
accounts through Direct Benefit Transfer. She said, efficiency in the
implementation of the PradhanMantriMatruVandanaYojana, PMMVY has now touched
the 90 per cent mark in comparison to 38 per cent in 2018.
Speaking at the function in New Delhi after giving away the PMMVY awards
to states, union territories and districts for best performance, she
appealed to achieve hundred per cent target in this year. She said, it is to
be ensured that no women and children are left out from the benefit of the
She urged the participants to initiate Jan Andolan in the districts to
awaken the people about the risks faced by young girls who are entering into
motherhood. She informed that POSHAN Maah will be observed in the next month
to inform the importance of nutritious food, ill effects of anemia, the
importance of sanitation and vaccination of mother and child.
In the category of best performance among States and Union Territories
having a population of more than one crore, the first position was awarded
to Madhya Pradesh followed by Andhra Pradesh and Haryana. Among States and
Union Territories having a population of less than one crore, Dadra and
Nagar Haveli got the first award.
IMF MD asserts Indian economy not in recession
IMF Managing Director KristalinaGeorgieva has asserted that Indian
economy is not in a recession.
She told a group of foreign journalists in Washington yesterday that the
Indian economy indeed experienced an abrupt slowdown last year adding that
the IMF had to revise growth projections, downwards.
Georgieva said IMF is expecting 5.8 percent growth rate in 2020 and then
an upward trajectory to 6.5 percent in 2021. The IMF MD said that India
undertook some important reforms which would be beneficial for the country
over the longer term.
She added that they do have some short-term impact. She said that there
is not a lot of fiscal space in India, but IMF also recognises that the
policies of the government on that side, on the fiscal side have been
Fall in GDP growth impacts corporate credits ,says experts
The credit profile of Indian companies has deteriorated in the nine
months of the fiscal hurt by a sharp slowdown in GDP growth. India Ratings (Ind-Ra)
an arm of rating agency Fitch has downgraded 188 issuer ratings versus 103
upgrades during the period.
As a result the downgrade to upgrade ratio has deteriorated to 1.83 in
the first nine months of the fiscal from 0.86 in the fiscal 2019.
The aggregate debt of all ratings downgraded to the total aggregate debt
of all upgraded ratings also increased to 3.08.
A sharp drop in private consumption, continuing low investments and
increasing working capital intensity led to the deterioration in corporate
credit profiles this fiscal.
This was compounded by a drying up in liquidity as banks, non-banking
financial companies and mutual funds turned risk-averse. As a result
defaults increased to 4.9% of all issuers reviewed during this period up
from 2.9% last year.
Industries most impacted by the slowdown were capital goods (mainly tier
II construction & engineering), utilities (renewable energy), food,
beverages and tobacco.
“With the central and state governments bearing the heavy burden of
propelling demand and monetary policy providing some cushion, it will be
critical for the other pillars to start contributing to ease the credit
pressure,” said RakeshValecha, senior director, Ind-Ra.
The United Arab Emirates today announced the discovery of a new natural
gas field containing 80 trillion standard cubic feet of gas in the
cross-border area of the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
A press statement by the Government of Dubai stated that the discovery
of the Jebel Ali gas field will contribute to achieving gas self-sufficiency
for the nation and support the next phase of its major development projects
in line with the nation’s strategic development plan for the coming 50
Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy
Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
today witnessed a strategic cooperation agreement between the Abu Dhabi
National Oil Company (ADNOC), a top energy company of the UAE and the Dubai
Supply Authority (DUSUP) to continue to explore and develop shallow gas in
the cross-border area of the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as part of the
joint venture called the Jebel Ali field.
This new gas field, spanning an area of 5,000 square kilometres in the
cross-border area of the two emirates, represents one of the largest natural
gas discoveries in the UAE.
The discovery strengthens the UAE’s position among countries with the
world’s largest natural gas reserves. This discovery will help UAE in
transiting the gulf nation from a net importer of gas to a potential net
exporter of gas in coming times.
China lowers interest rates to boost economy
China’s central bank has lowered the interest rates on reverse
repurchase agreements today to boost economic activities. The cut came as
Chinese financial markets reopened after an extended Lunar New Year holiday.
The People’s Bank of China has also injected a total of 173 billion US
dollars into money markets through reverse bond repurchase agreements.
Chinese Army stationed in central China's Hubei Province has begun
distributing daily necessities to the residents of Wuhan. Chinese
authorities have said that they will further increase the supply of daily
necessities including fresh vegetables, meat, grain and oil to central Hubei
Meanwhile, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has said in
a statement that the highly pathogenic bird flu outbreak occurred in a farm
in the Shuangqing district in Hunan province which has killed more than half
of the chickens in the farm.
Local authorities have culled 17,828 poultry after the outbreak. No
human cases of the Hunan H5N1 virus have been reported. Hunan province lies
on the southern border of Hubei province, the epicentre of the rapidly
spreading coronavirus. Tens of millions of people are still quarantined
throughout the Hunan Province in an effort to combat the virus.
According to the World Health Organization, the H5N1 avian flu has
killed 455 people worldwide since 2003. The WHO says, that the virus does
not infect humans easily and spread from person to person appears to be
unusual. Last month, China also detected the highly pathogenic H5N6 strain
of avian flu in swans in its western Xinjiang region.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Researchers develop AI tech to help speech impaired humans
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras researchers have developed
an Artificial Intelligence technology to convert brain signals of speech
impaired humans into language.
The other major application for this field of research is that the
researchers can potentially interpret nature’s signals such as plant
photosynthesis process or their response to external forces, the institute
said in a press release.
Electrical signals, brain signal or any signal, in general, are
waveforms which are decoded to meaningful information using physical law or
mathematical transforms such as Fourier Transform or Laplace transform.
These physical laws and mathematical transforms are science-based
languages discovered by renowned scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton and
Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier.
Elaborating on this research, Nandigana said, “The output result is the
ionic current, which represents the flow of ions which are charged
particles. These electrically driven ionic current signals are worked on to
be interpreted as human language meaning speech.”
The other major application of this field of research potentially is
that can it interpret nature's signals, like plant photosynthesis process or
their response to external forces when their real data signal is collected.
“The big breakthrough will be can we interpret what plants and nature is
trying to communicate to us. This will help in predicting monsoons,
earthquake, floods, Tsunami and other natural disasters using our Artificial
Intelligence and Deep Learning algorithms,” said Nandigana.
Many Indian women amongst nominees for BBC sportswomen awards
Wrestler VineshPhogat, Shuttler P.V. Sindhu and Boxer M.C. Mary Kom will
compete for the inaugural BBC Indian sportswoman of the year award after
being nominated for the honour.
Sprinter Dutee Chand and para-badminton player Manasi Joshi are the
other nominees for the award, the winner of which will be announced on the
8th of next month. The winner will be decided on the basis of public voting,
which will be open till the 18th of this month on six BBC vernacular
Head of BBC Indian languages RupaJha informed that the nominees were
picked up by a panel of 40 eminent sports journalists.