PM assures that Assamese demands would be considered while
signing deal with Naga groups
Prime Minister NarendraModi assured Assam Chief Minister
SarbanandaSonowal that the Centre will take into consideration Assam and its
people while signing any accord with the Naga militant groups. The Prime
Minister gave the assurance when Mr.Sonowal called him in New Delhi
During the meeting, Mr.Sonowal apprised the Prime Minister of
the situation in Assam in the wake of the proposed Naga peace accord and
discussed with him a number of other issues concerning the state.
The prime minister assured him that the Centre would keep in
mind the interests and aspirations of the people of Assam before taking any
Earlier, Assam Chief Minister also met Home Minister Amit Shah.
The Home Minister also conveyed that the interest of Assam would be protected
while signing any pact with Naga rebel groups.
MMR declines by 8 points in a year
Maternal Mortality Ratio, MMR, of India has declined by
eight points in one year as per the latest special bulletin on MMR released
by the Registrar General of India.
This was informed by Union Minister for Health and Family
Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan today in New Delhi. The Minister said, this decline is
important as it translates to over 2,000 more pregnant women saved annually.
He added that the MMR has declined from 130 per lakh live births
in 2014-16 to 122 per lakh live births in 2015-17 which is a decline of 6.2 per
The Minister said, with this persistent decline, India is on
track to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) set for reducing the
MMR by 2025 which is five years ahead of the fixed time-line of 2030.
Dr.Vardhan stated that achievement is the result of significant
gains made in institutional deliveries and focused approach towards high
priority districts to reach the most marginalized and vulnerable sections of the
He further said, focus on quality health services provided
through National Health Mission such as PradhanMantriSurakshitMatritvaAbhiyan,
JananiShishuSurakshaKaryakram and JananiSurakshaYojana have contributed to this
Economic poll reveals Indian inflation exceeded RBI limits in
Indian retail inflation probably exceeded the Reserve Bank
of India's ( RBI) medium-term target of 4% in October for the first time in
15 months, mainly because of rising vegetable prices, a Reuters poll of
Prices of most vegetables climbed during the month as monsoon
downpours delayed harvests and disrupted supplies. That was despite a government
ban on onion exports, a key component in the Indian diet.
The RBI has cut its key interest rate by a cumulative 135 basis
points this year to 5.15%. The central bank is expected to cut the repo rate in
December for the sixth meeting in a row, according to a separate Reuters poll.
That view primarily stems from a slowing economy.
Despite easy monetary and fiscal policy, recent business surveys
indicate the economy, which slowed to a six-year low of 5% growth during the
second quarter, is still struggling and is not expected to recover anytime soon.
If those forecasts are realised, it will be the first time since
October 2016 the RBI has cut rates even though inflation is above the central
bank's medium-term target.
The wholesale price index probably remained flat last month, the
lowest in nearly three and a half years. The WPI was the preferred gauge for the
RBI before the consumer price index was introduced on early 2012.
Study urges India to adopt low cost modern technologies for
storage of onions
India, which is currently witnessing a spike in retail onion
price up to Rs 100/kg on tight supply, should explore low-cost modern
technology models from countries like Israel and Brazil for storing the
commodity, industry body Ficci said on Friday.
The government's Tomato Onion Potato (TOP) scheme announced in
the 2018-19 Budget was expected to address the problem of surplus in producing
areas, but the scheme has not taken off, it said, adding that the government
should provide railway rakes for reducing transportation cost.
For ensuring cost-effective storage of onions, Ficci said the
emphasis should be laid on building low-cost farm gate storage.
In Brazil, for the procurement and storage of onions, low-cost
ventilated silos system is being used at farm level. They also use refrigerated
storage rooms which is the most efficient system, it said.
In India, startups such as InficoldInc are using multi-commodity
efficient farm level cooling systems for perishables. Low-cost thatched bamboo
storage have been promoted by the government under the Mission for Integrated
Development of Horticulture. "However, we need better technology to reduce
losses during monsoon," it said.
Among other solutions, Ficci said the government should
undertake special campaign to promote processed onion and increase investment in
producing dehydrated variety of onions which has a long shelf life and has
In Mauritius, Prime Minister PravindJugnauth claimed victory
in the election today as official preliminary results showing his alliance
taking a comfortable lead over rivals in the Indian Ocean nation.
Projections from the Electoral Commission gave a large lead to a
coalition led by Jugnauth, who took the helm of one of Africa's wealthiest
countries when his father stepped down in 2017.
Partial results from the state-run commission forecasted that
Jugnauth's centre-right Morisian Alliance will win 38 of 62 possible seats in
Official projections showed that two-time prime
ministerNavinRamgoolam was on course to clinch 13 seats in parliament.
Iran shoots down drone in its coastal region
In Iran, the army shot down an unidentified drone near the
port of Bandar-e-Mahshahr on the Gulf coast today. Iran's Tasnim news agency
reports that the unmanned aircraft was downed over Iranian territory with a
domestically manufactured Mersad surface-to-air missile.
The agency not elaborating on whether it was a military or
civilian drone. However, there was no Iranian official comment on this incident
In June, Iran shot down an unmanned US surveillance
drone.Relations between Iran and the US have worsened since last year when US
President Donald Trump pulled out of Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world
powers and reimposed sanctions on the country.
Meanwhile, Iran resumed uranium enrichment at its underground
Fordow plant south of Tehran yesterday in a new step back from its commitments
under a landmark 2015 nuclear deal, raising alarm from Western powers.
The suspension of uranium enrichment at the long-secret plant
was one of the restrictions on its nuclear programme Iran had agreed to in
return for the lifting of sanctions.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
MoST to launch 3 hi tech missions worth 5000crores
The Union Ministry of Science and Technology is currently
working on three missions of quantum technology, methanol and electric
mobility at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore each and expects government approval
for it in the next three months, a senior official has said.
The Science and Technology Department, in partnership with the
Ministry of Railways, has rolled out aRs 700 crore 'Railway Technology Mission'
with a focus on driving new technologies of monitoring, design, materials.
The mission is aimed at finding solution to fog vision, carrying
capacity of wagons and other areas, the official said.
Speaking on the 'Vajra' (Visiting Advanced Joint Research)
scheme to invite overseas scientists and academicians with emphasis on
non-resident Indians to work as adjunct or visiting faculty for a specific
period in the country's academic and research institutions, he said, "About 500
scientists from abroad have so far applied and we have selected about 60
He further said, "We want top scientists to spend time here and
impart their knowledge to our students as co-guides. The programme has started
one and a half years ago," he said.
India to host Men’s hockey world cup 2020
India will host the 2023 Men's Hockey World Cup from 13th to
29th of January.Making this announcement today, the International Hockey
Federation (FIH) said India will play host to the men's tournament while
Spain and the Netherlands have been named as the co-hosts of the 2022
Women's World Cup scheduled to be held from 1st to 22nd of July.
The decisions were made during FIH's Executive Board Meeting in
Lausanne, Switzerland today.The FIH further said that the venues of both the
men's and women's World Cups will be announced by the host nations at a later