28 JULY 2020
A) Step up infra investments to revive economy: RBI governor
On 27 July, the RBI Governor has made a strong case for stepping up investments in the infrastructure sector to help revive an economy reeling under the impact of the ongoing pandemic of the novel coronavirus. In his address to India Inc. at a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) event, he said that the private and public sectors have an important role in developing infrastructure that requires huge investments. Observing that the recent agriculture reforms have opened new opportunities, the RBI Governor has said that the farm sector is emerging as a bright spot. India needs policies for a sustained increase in farm incomes.
B) COVID Watch: Numbers and Developments.
The number of reported coronavirus cases from India stood at 1,479,430 with the death toll at 33,433. Another milestone has been reached, with the country now reporting in excess of 50,000 new cases per day. Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi has virtually launched the high-throughput Covid-19 testing facilities in three cities namely, Noida, Mumbai, and Kolkata. The new testing facilities will give West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh more strength to fight from novel coronavirus.
C) UGC has given 48 hours to respond to the pleas.
The Apex Court of India has given 48 hours for the university grant commission (UGC) to respond to a series of petitions filed by the students by challenging the circular by UGC given on 6 July which directs universities and colleges to complete the final exams by 30 September during the pandemic. The court has refused to stay the circular but granted an early hearing on 31 July. The Solicitor-General of India, Mr. Tushar Mehta has said that UGC was providing numerous alternatives for the students, including the facility of online examinations. Students can also have a combination of both online and physical mode of examinations, in which only 10 students will sit in a room. The UGC has also provided for special examinations for those who have been left out.
D) SC urged to withdraw action against Bhushan.
A group of 131 prominent citizens which includes retired judges, former bureaucrats, lawyers, and activists have written to the Apex Court of India by asking it to reconsider the decision given by the earlier to initiate suo motu contempt proceedings against lawyer Prashant Bhushan. They have urged the court to withdraw it at the earliest in the interest of justice and fairness and also to maintain the dignity of the Court.
A) Five Rafales on their way to India.
Five Rafale fighter jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF) took off from France on the morning of 27 July and will be inducted into the IAF on July 29 after their arrival. The immediate focus post-arrival would be on the operationalization of the aircraft, given the urgency of the ongoing tensions with China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh. The IAF has said that the final induction ceremony will take place in late August. While there is no doubt that the deployment of these aircraft will significantly boost the Indian air force’s combat capability, the jury is still out on the degree to which they can influence outcomes in the ongoing LAC tensions with China.
B) The government bans more 47 Chinese apps.
Approximately after a month of banning 59 Chinese mobile apps, the Indian government has banned the use of another 47 Chinese apps. Confirming the development, an IT Ministry official said that the newly banned applications were essentially clones of the 59 applications which were banned last month. The main criterion for the latest ban was concerned over Indian data going back to the Chinese government.
C) Israeli team arrives for trials of rapid tests for COVID-19.
On 27 July, a team from Israel which is led by a high ranking research and development (R&D) has arrived in Delhi. The team has a multi-pronged mission, code with the name “Operation Breathing Space”. The purpose of the team to arrive in India is to work with Indian authorities on rapid testing kits for novel coronavirus. This was said in a statement by the Israeli embassy in Delhi. The team will be coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel (MFA), and Ministry of Defense of India (MoD) and the Ministry of Health. 4 different kinds of rapid tests will be developed jointly after trials on COVID-19 patients of India. Emphasis will also be given to high-tech equipment to minimize the risk of spreading covid19 to the medical staff, advanced respirators, and special sanitizers which were developed in Israel.
D) Russia offers to supply anti-COVID-19 drugs.
Russia is offering for partnership in India in order to supply 3 anti-COVID-19 drugs that were manufactured indigenously. They had to get positive results therefrom these drugs. As per the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India, Russia has developed some drugs and also registered various foreign drugs for the treatment of COVID- 19. By sharing the details of 3 drugs and coordinates of entities by manufacturing them in Russia, those which are having substantive commercial interest are requested to approach the contacts provided for each drug. The Import of any drug into India comes under the provisions of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 & Rules 1945.