Curbing of fake news does not impinge press freedom claims I & B minister
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar today stated
that curbing fake news does not impinge on press freedom. In an article in
several news dailies, Mr Javadekar said, rumours are spread widely as news
with dangerous consequences and government is committed to battling it.
The Minister said, there is always a debate about how much freedom the
press enjoys in a country. He pointed out that in India, the only time press
freedom was muzzled was during the Emergency.
He said, fake news poses a big threat to freedom of media. He
highlighted that during the lockdown, there has been a marked increase in
the circulation of fake news pushed through print, electronic and especially
social media such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.
To check this menace, government established a Fact Check unit in Press
Information Bureau that started taking immediate cognizance of fake news. Mr
Javadekar said, fake news also creates panic.
He said, it cannot be allowed in a pluralistic democratic set up like
India, not even if the purveyors of fake news try to portray it as crackdown
on the freedom of press.
Defence ministry approves new testing infrastructure scheme
In order to give a boost to domestic defence and aerospace
manufacturing, Defence minister Rajnath Singh has approved the launch of
Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS) with an outlay of 400 crore
rupees for creating state of the
Government announces package for strengthening infrastructure ,capacity of
agriculture and allied sectors
Government has announced a 1.63 lakh crore rupee package for agriculture
and allied sectors aimed at strengthening infrastructure, logistics and
capacity building at farm gate.
Announcing the third tranche of an overall package of 20 lakh crore
rupees to deal with the economic situation arising of COVID-19 pandemic,
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a one lakh crore rupees Agri
Infrastructure Fund that will finance projects at farm-gate and aggregation
point for efficient post-harvest management of crops.
Besides, schemes for micro food enterprises, cattle vaccination, dairy
sector, herbal plantation, beekeeping, and fruits and vegetables were also
Ms Sitharaman said the government will provide one lakh crore rupees for
aggregators, farmers producers organisations, primary agri cooperative
societies, agri entrepreneurs and startups under the agri infrastructure
fund. She informed that the fund will be created at the earliest.
The Minister stated that lack of adequate cold chain facilities and
post-harvest management infrastructure in the vicinity of farm gates is
causing gaps in the value chain. She announced 10,000 crore rupees fund to
support 2 lakh micro food enterprises for promoting health and wellness,
herbal, organic and nutritional products.
The government extended Operation Greens from tomato, onion and potato
to all fruits and vegetables by providing an additional fund of 500 crore
This money would go into providing subsidy on transportation from
surplus to deficient markets as well as on storages including cold storages.
Ms Sitharaman said the scheme will prevent distress sale by farmers.
NBFC’s seek permission from RBI to draw from reserves
Non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) on Friday requested the Reserve
Bank of India (RBI) to allow them to draw down from their reserves for
making additional provision for expected losses due to COVID-19 pandemic.
NBFCs appropriate pro- statutory and other reserves, and utilisation
Foreign secretary embraces India’s role as pharmacy of the world
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla today said India’s role as a
pharmacy of the world has come into focus during the COVID-19 crisis. He
said, India has a world-class pharmaceutical industry that is the producer
of choice for critical medications with brand recognition in all geographies
He added that the pandemic produced an explosion in demand for drugs
such as Hydroxychloroquine and Paracetamol produced in India. The Foreign
Secretary was giving a virtual address to the National Defence College on
'India’s Foreign Policy Options in the Emerging World Order'.
Mr Shringla said, in a coordinated response involving several branches
of government and multiple private sector pharma companies, India was able
to supply large volumes of these drugs to friends and consumers across the
It is also making its medical and public health expertise and capacity
available to the entire South Asian region. He said, India has not let the
pandemic come in the way of diplomatic engagements.
The Foreign Secretary pointed out that India’s wise counsel and the
Prime Minister’s statesmanship have been sought and appreciated at various
bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral platforms.
AIIB signs $145million agreement to improve irrigation in West Bengal
Government of India, West Bengal Government and the Asian Infrastructure
Investment Bank, AIIB today signed a loan agreement for a 145 million dollar
project to improve irrigation services and flood management in the Damodar
The researcher from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
has developed light carbon foam that will replace lead batteries. The carbon
foam is easy to fabricate, non-toxic and affordable.
The researcher is a recipient of INSPIRE Faculty award. The material
developed by the institute has the potential to replace lead-acid batteries.
It is also useful to make heat sink, electromagnetic interference
shielding in aerospace, electrode for lead-acid batteries, hydrogen storage
and water purification systems.
The raw materials to make the carbon foam is easily available. It also
helps to remove oil, arsenic and other metals from contaminated water.
Carbon Foam batteries have better life cycle as compared to the
lead-acid batteries. They are built three-fifth the cost of other advanced
The world’s first carbon foam manufacturing unit was set up in Gujarat
in 2011. 20% of the produce in these industries are being exported and the
rest are being used for electric vehicles.
SAI prepares SOP’s for post lockdown training
Sports Authority of India (SAI) has formed a committee to prepare a
Standard Operating Procedure to resume training in all SAI Centres in all
sporting disciplines after the lockdown is lifted. All training had been
suspended across SAI Centres in view of the on-going Corona pandemic.
A separate committee has been formed to prepare a Standard Operating
Procedure for swimming, since the sport requires athletes to train in water
and may have different health risks involved, as compared to other sport.
The recommendations of the Committees are being made in consultation
with respective National Sporting Federations (NSFs) and other stakeholders
and will be sent to the Sports Ministry for final approval.
Our correspondent reports, all NSFs have been asked to share their
recommendation of preventive measures that must be followed in each sport so
as to ensure safety of athletes from COVID-19.