President addresses innovators of Atal tinkering lab marathon
A group of selected student innovators of the Atal Tinkering
Lab Marathon-2018, called on President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan
Addressing the student innovators, the President said, he
was happy to note that they were selected as the best innovators from
approximately 50,000 students from 2,700 schools across the country.
He said that it makes him wonder what young children of this
nation can achieve when given the opportunity to think unconventionally.
Praising the work done by Atal Innovation Mission and Atal
Tinkering Lab, the President said that there is a need to provide an
ecosystem where the innovations that these young minds come up with can be
He said that nation is fostering a generation who will be
self-reliant and resourceful by encouraging children to tinker and innovate.
WCD ministry announces national plan for better implementation
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani
has announced that her Ministry along with NITI Aayog will prepare a
framework for a national plan for States and Union Territories.
She said, it will be prepared by early next year for better
implementation of all the Central and States policies and programmes for
women and children. The Minister was speaking at the two-day National
Conference organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in New
Ms Irani also suggested that a protocol may be developed for
ranking of States and UTs doing commendable work for women and children and
also ranking of childcare institutions in the States and UTs.
During a presentation by Adviser, Health and Nutrition in
NITI Aayog regarding strategy of New India at 75-Status of Women and
Children, it was decided that the issues being faced by women and children
cannot be contained only within the Ministry of WCD but other Ministries
like food and public distribution, health, urban development, law and
justice and home may also be actively involved.
The Minister urged State Governments to ensure and involve
officers from all departments for better implementation of legislation and
Central and State Schemes related to women and children.
Retail inflation jumps while Wholesale inflation eases in
Retail inflation surged to 4.62 per cent in October this
year mainly on account of higher food prices.
According to government data released today, the inflation
in the food basket spiked to 7.89 per cent in October this year as against
5.11 per cent the preceding month. The inflation based on the Consumer Price
Index (CPI) was 3.99 per cent in September and 3.38 per cent in October last
The Reserve Bank mainly factors in the CPI-based inflation
to arrive at its bi-monthly monetary policy. The RBI has been asked to keep
the retail inflation at around four percent.
Wholesale prices based inflation eased further to 0.16 per
cent in October, as against 0.33 per cent in September.
Government data showed subdued prices of non-food articles
and fall in prices of manufactured items today.Annual inflation, based on
monthly wholesale price index (WPI), was at 5.54 per cent in October last
For manufactured products, the wholesale inflation was at
(-)0.84 per cent in October 2019. However, retail inflation for the month
hit a 16-month high of 4.62 per cent due to soaring prices of food articles,
including fruits and vegetables.
Labour ministry not to corporatise EPFO
The labour ministry plans to drop its proposal to
corporatise the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and instead
dust off its earlier proposal to set up a body headed by the Prime Minister
to oversee the social security of nearly 500 million workers. The move comes
after it was pulled up by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The ministry’s proposal to corporatise the EPFO had faced
severe criticism from labour unions. In its latest draft code on social
security released in September, it had proposed a corporate structure, to be
headed by a CEO, to manage the provident fund and pension as well as medical
insurance for workers.
The redesigning of the code has been fast-tracked following
a directive from the PMO and outright rejection from all trade unions at the
first tripartite meeting of the labour ministry with all stakeholders on the
proposed draft last week, said the official.
The EPFO has a corpus of Rs 11 lakh crore while the ESIC
sits on a cash pile of Rs 75,000 crore. At present, the two entities work
more like autonomous bodies run by trustees and a board, respectively, under
the administrative control of the labour and employment ministry.
India and Russia to hold bilateral Regional forum in 2020
India and Russia will hold their maiden Bilateral Regional
Forum at the level of Russian Provinces and Indian States be held next year
to dismantle the barriers of trade at regional level.
The two leaders noted with satisfaction that the USD 25
billion target of bilateral trade by 2025 has already been achieved. The two
leaders noted the stability and progress made in imports of oil and natural
gas. President Putin highlighted the potential of Arctic region in natural
gas and invited India to invest in the region.
The two leaders also reviewed the progress made in the field
of Infrastructure particularly railways in context of raising the speed of
the Nagpur-Secunderabad sector railway line.
The leaders also noted with satisfaction the cooperation in
Defence sector and in the field of Civil Nuclear Energy. They welcomed the
prospects of cooperation in civil nuclear energy in third countries.
In August four Indian Chief Ministers (Haryana, Gujarat,
Uttar Pradesh and Goa) led by Commerce and Industry Minister and delegation
of 140 Indian companies visited Vladivostok creating a new normal in Indian
diplomacy with focus on outward investments and role of Indian states as
Bangladesh has highest business bribery risk amongst South
Bangladesh has the highest business bribery risk among South
Asian courtiers, according to the Trace Bribery Matrix which releases annual
ranking for 200 countries. The Matrix evaluates countries under four
parameters which are business interaction with the government, anti-bribery
deterrence, transparency and civil society oversight.
Bangladesh has been placed at 178 position among 200
countries in terms of business bribery risk. It has been on the high risk
country list of Trace Bribery Matrix since 2014 when the first matrix was
According to the report Bangladesh has a high degree of
government interaction in business, a high expectation of bribes and a high
regulatory burden which contributes in high bribery risk for business in the
In South Asia, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only
countries where the bribery risk is 'high'. Bhutan has the lowest risk of
bribery on the index in South Asia as it is placed at 52 in the ranking.
Overall, according to this year's TRACE Matrix data,
Somalia, South Sudan, North Korea, Yemen and Venezuela presented the highest
risk of bribe demands. New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland
presented the lowest bribery risk.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Japanese spacecraft starts journey back to Earth
After departing from a distant asteroid, Japan's Hayabusa2
spacecraft started its year-long journey home after successfully completing
its mission to bring back soil samples and data that could provide clues to
the origins of the solar system.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency says the spacecraft
left its orbit around the asteroid Ryugu, about 300 million kilometres from
Hayabusa2 made two touchdowns on the asteroid and
successfully collected data and samples during its 1½-year mission since
arriving there in June 2018.
The spacecraft is expected to return to Earth in late 2020
and drop a capsule containing the precious samples in the Australian desert.
Scientists hope the samples contain carbon and organic
matter that could explain how they are related to Earth.
Arsene Wenger named global football development chief by FIFA
Veteran coach Arsene Wenger has been named FIFA's Chief of
global football development. FIFA said, the former Arsenal and Monaco coach
would be responsible for the growth of the game for both men and women
around the world and would also be the leading authority on technical
matters, including potential changes to the sport's laws.
It added that Wenger, 70, would also be tasked with coach
education and aiding a programme designed to help former players enter
The new role brings Wenger back to the game for the first
time since 2018, when he left Arsenal after 22 years in charge.