Protest in Paraguay

Violent protests have broken out in Paraguay after government ordered part of country back lockdown.

The Paraguayan city of Ciudad del Este has faced civil unrest following the government’s decision to strengthen quarantine measures, the ABC TV channel reported on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the government declared a return to the full COVID-19 quarantine in the department of Alto Parana, located at the border with Brazil. Thirty percent of all fatalities in the country are said to have occurred in that department. The decision, however, triggered protests, which soon turned into riots and violent clashes with the police during the night.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Ciudad del Este to express their anger. There are reports that shops were looted and lorries set on fire, a number of police injured

NEP transform Education. Ramesh

Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank today said, the new National Education Policy-2020 will pave the way for the revolutionary change in school and higher education systems in the country. He said, this policy will establish India as a superpower of knowledge at the world stage.

 In an exclusive interview with AIR News today, Mr. Nishank said, the aim of this new education policy is to open the door of opportunity for every child so that their holistic development can be ensured.

The Minister said, focus will be given to the extra-curricular activities and skill development of the children from the class 6th so that they attain skills by the end of class 12th. He said, interdisciplinary studies will be promoted in higher education by making it more flexible.

Mr. Nishank said, a Higher Education Commission will be set up which will subsume the educational bodies like UGC, NCTE and AICTE. He said, a National Research Foundation will also be set up which will promote research and development in the country. He said, the National Education Policy will become instrumental in creating a New India.

NASA Rover Launch Mars

#Sagarmediainc

The Blast to Launch. Rover launch by NASA into space in mission to examine Martian lake at Mars.

Perseverance Rover is a one-tonne laboratory which will examine an ancient Martian lake is there any traces of alien life.

Scientists hope for new insights into Mars history.

Do Mars atmosphere has oxygen.

United Launch Alliance #AtlasV rocket has released the Mars 2020 mission featuring the @NASAPersevere rover on a 7-month, 300-million-mile trek to the red planet.

The plutonium-powered, six-wheeled rover will drill down and collect tiny geological specimens that will be brought home in about 2031 in a sort of interplanetary relay race involving multiple spacecraft and countries to explore life on Red Planet.

SECI Wind Projects

Power Minister dedicates SECI 1, 2 and 3 wind projects to nation

Union Power Minister Raj Kumar Singh yesterday dedicated Sembcorp’s state of the art SECI 1, 2 and 3 wind projects to the nation. Bhanu Pratap Yadav, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), along with several other dignitaries joined Wong Kim Yin, Group President and CEO, Sembcorp Industries from Singapore and Vipul Tuli, Managing Director, Sembcorp Energy India Limited virtually, to commemorate this milestone.

Sembcorp Energy India Limited (SEIL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Industries, yesterday announced completion of its latest 800 MW wind power projects, bringing its India renewable energy capacity to 1,730 MW.

With the full commissioning of its 300MW SECI 3 wind project, Sembcorp becomes the first independent power producer to fully commission its projects awarded in the first three wind auctions held by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

Mr Singh congratulated SEIL and Singapore Government for their work and commitment in their work in the field of renewable energy sector.

Since entering the India market in 2011, SEIL has established itself as a reliable independent power producer in the country. With a presence across nine states, SEIL owns and operates 35 assets, adding up to a total power capacity of 4,370 MW including 1,730 MW of renewable energy.

Rama at Time Square

Lord Ram’s images to be displayed in Times Square to celebrate Ram Temple’s groundbreaking ceremony

Images of Lord Ram and 3D portraits of the grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya will be beamed across the giant billboards in the iconic Times Square in New York on August 5 to celebrate the temple’s groundbreaking ceremony, with organisers describing the commemoration as a one-of-a-kind and a historic event.

Prominent community leader and President of the American India Public Affairs Committee Jagdish Sewhani yesterday said that arrangements are being made to celebrate the historic moment in New York on August 5, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone for construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

Beginning from 8 AM on August 5 till 10 PM, images of the words ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in Hindi and English, Lord Ram’s portraits and videos, 3D portraits of the temple’s design and architecture as well as pictures of the laying of the foundation stone by Modi will be displayed across several billboards, which are among the most striking and popular features of Times Square, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Sewhani said that members of the Indian community will also gather at Times Square on August 5 to mark the celebration and distribute sweets.

Lee: Hongkong be stable

Singapore and Hongkong are two Asia cities with global business men wish to have their offices.

Singapore, a close US ally with cordial relations across the region, has faced little international criticism.

Lee, in office since 2004, also told the US think tank that he was reconsidering his previous plan to retire in less than two years. 

Lee’s People’s Action Party has ruled Singapore for six decades and, to no surprise, retained power in July 10 general elections in power for 31 years.

But its share of the popular vote declined sharply amid concerns over an economic downturn caused by the global pandemic. 

Singapore’s prime minister said on Tuesday he was not looking to woo businesses out of Hong Kong, saying it was more important to preserve calm after China’s controversial security law.

“We think it’s better for Hong Kong and better for the region – and Singapore – if Hong Kong is stable and calm and prosperous,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.

On balance, I would say I much prefer Hong Kong doing well than to have people looking for places to go out of Hong Kong,” he told a virtual event of the Atlantic Council in Washington.

Singapore and Hong Kong are two of the major hubs in Asia for international companies, which are drawn to the prosperous cities’ investor-friendly policies and rule of law.

Lee said the two cities had a “friendly competition” but not a “very serious rivalry,” pointing to advantages enjoyed by each metropolis including Hong Kong’s position as a gateway to China.

Brief News

Hong Kong police arrest four for suspected offences under the city’s new national security law in move slammed by rights group.

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Maruti Carmaker’s revenue plunges 80%; large part of quarter had nil production, sales April to June. India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki reported a standalone net loss of ₹249.4 Cr this Quarter.

MPhil courses to be discontinued under new National Education Policy approved by Union Cabinet Board exams to be based on knowledge application, as per New Education Policy approved by Union Cabinet on Wednesday.

COVID-19 recovery rate to 64.51%

Total recoveries from COVID-19 in the country today inched closer to touch the one million mark.

A total of nine lakh 88 thousand 29 people have recovered in the country so far and 35 thousand 286 recoveries were reported during the last 24 hours.

With this, the recovery rate improved to 64.51 per cent in the country. The case fatality rate has declined to 2.23 per cent.

The Health Ministry said, 48 thousand 513 new cases of COVID-19 were registered in the country in one day taking the total number of cases to 15 lakh 31 thousand 669.

Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is five lakh nine thousand 447. In a single day, 768 deaths were reported taking the toll to 34 thousand 193.

Meanwhile, Indian Council of Medical Research said that a record four lakh eight thousand 855 tests were conducted by various laboratories in the last 24 hours.

So far, one crore 77 lakh 43 thousand 740 tests have been conducted.

AIR correspondent reports that Delhi stands at top position with 88.83 per cent recovery rate.

Ladakh, Haryana, Assam and Telangana are other top performing States and Union Territories wherein the recovery rate is above 73 per cent.

Nearly, 16 States and Union Territories have better recovery rates than the national average of 64.51 per cent.

Maximum number of people have recovered in Maharashtra followed by Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh.

In terms of fatality rate, there are 29 States and Union Territories which have lower fatality rates than the national average.

In the total active cases, around 70 per cent caseloads are from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

ADB 3Mn$ Grant

Asian Development Bank approves three million US dollar grant to India

@ADB_HQThe Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a three million US dollar grant to India from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund (APDRF). This grant will further support the government’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This support will enhance disease surveillance and help in early detection, contact tracing, and treatment.

ADB said, this will be further supplemented by other public health measures. On 28th of April, ADB approved a 1.5 billion US dollar COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) Programme to support India in its immediate pandemic response efforts. 

Cabinet OK NEP 2020

@PrakashJavdekarThe Cabinet today approved National Education Policy 2020. A single regulator for higher education institutions, multiple entry and exit options in degree courses, discontinuation of MPhil programmes, low stakes board exams, common entrance exams for universities are among the highlights of the new National Education Policy.

Briefing media in New Delhi this evening, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given approval to a new education policy for the 21st century.

He said, it is important, as for 34 years there were no changes in the education policy. 

Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said, New Education Policy 2020 will prove to be a milestone in the making of New India.

Mr Nishank said, the Cabinet also approved changing the name of the Human Resources Development Ministry to Education Ministry.

Secretary Higher Education Amit Khare said, NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3 per cent in 2018 to 50 per cent by 2035.

He said, at least 3.5 crore new seats will be added to higher education institutions.

Mr Khare said, the policy envisages broad based, multi-disciplinary, holistic Under Graduate education with flexible curricula, creative combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education and multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification.

He said, Under Graduate education can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period.

The Higher Education Secretary said, affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges.

Over a period of time, it is envisaged that every college would develop into either an autonomous degree-granting college, or a constituent college of a university.

Among the key reforms in the policy are a single regulator for all higher education institutions except for legal and medical colleges, common entrance exam for admissions to universities and colleges to be conducted by the National Testing Agency and common norms to be in place for private and public higher education institutions.

Secretary, School Education and Literacy, Anita Karwal said, Board exams will be low stake and the focus will be on testing concepts and knowledge application.

She said, Home language, mother tongue or regional language to be medium of instruction up to class 5. Ms Karwal said, school curriculum will be reduced to core concepts and there will be integration of vocational education from class 6. 

In May 2016, a ‘Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy’ under the chairmanship of TSR Subramanian, former cabinet secretary, submitted its report. 

Based on this, the Ministry prepared a document called ‘Some Inputs for the Draft National Education Policy, 2016′. 

Then, a panel led by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Kasturirangan had submitted the draft of the new NEP to Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ when he took charge last year.

The draft was then put in the public domain to seek feedback from various stakeholders and over two lakh suggestions were received by the HRD Ministry about the same