Friday, August 28, 2020

Eager To Meet Rajnath Singh Next Week: Russian Defence Minister

Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu with Indian Ambassador to Russia Venkatesh Varma. (Photo credit: India in Russia twitter)

Moscow [Russia], Aug 28 (ANI): Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said he looked forward to meeting his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh during his visit to Moscow next week.

Indian Embassy in Russia tweeted, "Indian Ambassador to Russia Venkatesh Varma welcomed Russian Defence Minister HE Sergey Shoigu at the India Defence Pavilion at Kubinka outside Moscow."

"Russian Defence Minister said that he looked forward to meeting Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh in Moscow next week. This was conveyed to Ambassador today," the Embassy added.

Rajnath is scheduled to attend the meeting of the Defence Ministers of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Russia from September 4 to 6. (ANI)

British High Commission invites applications for 'High Commissioner for a Day'

British High Commission in Delhi

New Delhi [India], Aug 28 (ANI): The British High Commission has invited applications from Indian women aged between 18-23 years to be 'High Commissioner for a Day'.
According to an official statement, the winner of the competition will get to experience a wide range of UK-India work, meet with senior stakeholders and partners to discuss our collective response to COVID-19, and launch a new BHC Gender Charter reaffirming our commitment to gender equality.

"I am delighted to launch our fourth High Commissioner for a Day competition. Empowering women and girls globally is one of the UK's top priorities and we continue to work with governments and partners around the world as a force for good, including in India, to make that a reality. This competition is aimed at giving our amazing young women a platform to shape the world we live in. I've been inspired by the brilliant applications we've received from all over India over the past years, and look forward eagerly to seeing even more this year," said Jan Thompson, Acting High Commissioner to India.

"To participate in the pan-India competition, please record and upload a one-minute video on 'what global challenges and opportunities do you see for gender equality in the age of Covid-19'. The video must be shared on either Twitter, Facebook or Instagram by tagging 'UKinIndia' and using the hashtag '#DayoftheGirl'. The deadline to apply is 13 September 2020," the High Commission said.

Last year, Ayesha Khan, who hails from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, won the 'High Commissioner for a Day' competition and the chance to be the UK's top diplomat to India. (ANI)

Consumer sentiment improves for auto industry but urban buyers remain cautious: Motilal Oswal

OEMs see production normalising with continuous improvement in the supply chain.

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Aug 28 (ANI): Wholesale volumes are estimated to grow at 3.6 per cent for two-wheelers and 16 per cent for passenger vehicles in August on account of sustained demand and inventory refilling, according to a report released by Motilal Oswal Financial Services on Friday.

However, volumes will decline by 49 per cent year-on-year for commercial vehicles (except Tata) due to low demand. Tractor volumes are expected to grow by 45 per cent on a low base and continued retail momentum.

The report said wholesale volume for August will be a mixed bag, reflecting demand fulfillment for certain models due to supply shortage and inventory refilling for other models.

Although some sporadic lockdowns are still observed, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) have largely adjusted to the new normal, and are matching supply with demand and slowly moving to inventory refilling.

Demand recovery has sustained on account of increasing preference for personal vehicles and high disposable incomes in the rural markets. For August, most of the OEM plants further improved utilisation on a month-on-month basis.

The majority of entry-level passenger vehicle customers and urban two-wheeler customers are purchasing vehicles for safety purposes, who otherwise may have avoided the purchase.

Commercial vehicles are seeing demand only from the infrastructure and construction sector which accounts for 30 per cent of total sales.

The overall consumer sentiment has improved but urban customers remain cautious given the uncertain environment.

Tractor demand remains strong with retail growth in most of the markets. However, three-wheeler demand is still very low, further affected by stringent financing norms and a low business environment for the owner or operator.

Demand normalisation is the biggest monitorable with multiple moving parts in the form of normalisation of the supply side, consumer sentiment, availability of finance and impact of BS-VI cost inflation. Valuations reflect a recovery from H2 FY21, leaving a limited margin for safety for any negative surprises.

Hence, companies with, higher visibility in terms of demand recovery, a strong competitive positioning, margin drivers and balance sheet strength are preferred. M&M and Eicher Motors are top large-cap picks while mid-cap picks are Motherson Sumi and Endurance Technologies. (ANI)

Irregularities in data by China, 3 others put World's Bank's report on hold

Representative Image

Washington [US], August 28 (ANI): China along with three other countries had submitted data that was "inappropriately altered", which led to the World Bank putting a pause on its 'Doing Business' report.

China along with three other countries -- Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia-- appeared to have been inappropriately altered their data, as per a person with knowledge of the decision, reported the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

The move renewed concerns first raised two years ago by the World Bank's chief economist that the report, called "Doing Business," was vulnerable to manipulation.
According to the Doing Business report, a sharp difference was noted when China's rose from 46 to 31 between 2019 to 2020.

The World Bank in a statement said that certain "irregularities have been reported" regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019.

"A number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology. The integrity and impartiality of our data and analysis are paramount and so we are immediately taking actions," The World Bank said in a statement.

The statement added, "We are conducting a systematic review and assessment of data changes that occurred subsequent to the institutional data review process for the last five Doing Business reports. We have asked the World Bank Group's independent Internal Audit function to perform an audit of the processes for data collection and review for Doing Business and the controls to safeguard data integrity."

"The publication of the Doing Business report will be paused as we conduct our assessment," said the World Bank.

India had jumped 14 positions to be ranked 63rd among 190 countries in the World Bank's ease of doing business 2020 survey. (ANI)

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigns

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. 

Tokyo [Japan], Aug 28 (ANI): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday officially announced his plan to step down, citing health issues.

"In June this year, I was told that there were signs of recurrence of my chronic condition called ulcerative colitis, and I did my best at work. while taking medicine," Abe told a press conference, reported Sputnik.

"But starting the middle of last month, my physical condition changed, and I felt very exhausted. Recurrence of the disease was confirmed at the beginning of this month," he added.

Abe said that he would step down because his worsened condition and treatment could threaten the decision-making process.

"In politics, getting results is the most important thing. Facing illness and treatment and being in poor physical form, I could not let myself make mistakes in important political decisions and fail to achieve results," he said further.

"I have decided that I should not continue to hold the position of the prime minister, as I can no longer firmly carry out the mandate given to me by the people. I've decided to resign as Prime Minister," Sputnik reported further quoting Abe. (ANI)

NIIT earns 30 Brandon Hall awards jointly with customers

NIIT earns 30 Brandon Hall awards jointly with customers. (Photo: ANI)

Atlanta (Georgia) [USA] /New Delhi [India] Aug 28 (ANI/BusinessWire India): NIIT Limited, a global skills, and talent development company and leading provider of managed training services, announced today that it has earned 30 coveted Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards jointly with customers.

The awards include prestigious honors for its Eagle Productivity Solutions and StackRoute divisions. The Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards are awarded for excellence in Corporate Initiatives, Learning, Talent Management, Sales Performance, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition, and Workforce Management.

NIIT earned 30 awards in various categories jointly with customers for 2020 including:
16 Gold awards

* Best Program for Sales Training and Performance jointly with MetLife for MetLife Distribution Academy

* Best Sales Onboarding Program jointly with MetLife for MetLife Distribution Academy

* Best Use of Blended Learning jointly with MetLife for MetLife Distribution Academy

* Best Unique or Innovative Sales Training Program jointly with MetLife for MetLife Distribution Academy

* Best Advance in Creating a Learning Strategy jointly with MetLife for MetLife Distribution Academy

* Best Advance in Creating an Extended Enterprise Learning Program jointly with MetLife for MetLife Distribution Academy

* Best Advance in Learning Measurement jointly with MetLife for MetLife Distribution Academy

* Best Advance in Learning Technology Implementation jointly with MetLife for MetLife Distribution Academy

* Best Unique or Innovative Learning and Development Program jointly with MetLife for MetLife Distribution Academy

* Best Use of Blended Learning jointly with CGI for the Graduate Transformation Program by NIIT StackRoute

* Best Use of Blended Learning jointly with The World Food Programme of the United Nations for WFP Supervisory Skills Programme

* Best Advance in Competencies and Skill Development jointly with The World Food Programme of the United Nations for WFP Supervisory Skills Programme

* Best Advance in Leadership Development jointly with The World Food Programme of the United Nations for WFP Supervisory Skills Programme

* Best Use of Games and Simulations for Learning jointly with Royal Dutch Shell for Trading and Supply: Interactivity 1 & 2

* Best New Hire Onboarding Program category jointly with IQVIA for Monitoring Performance Training

* Best Advance in Custom Content jointly with Gilead Sciences for Gilead National Meeting G360 Refresher Training Pre-Work by NIIT's Eagle Productivity Solutions division


Five Silver awards

* Best Advance in Custom Content jointly with Equinor for Toxic Substance Control Act

* Best Advance in Custom Content jointly with ABB for Ergonomics

* Best Use of Video for Learning jointly with IQVIA for Negotiation Skills

* Best Results of a Learning Program jointly with Boeing for Full-Stack Product Engineer Accelerated Experience by NIIT StackRoute

* Best Use of Mobile Learning jointly with MetLife for MetLife Distribution Academy
Nine Bronze awards

* Best Advance in Custom Content jointly with Royal Dutch Shell for Crisis Management and Social Media

* Best Use of Blended Learning jointly with Royal Dutch Shell for Accelerated Commercial Excellence Course

* Best Unique or Innovative Learning and Development Program jointly with Royal Dutch Shell for Contracting Principles and Litigation Risks Awareness

* Best Use of Blended Learning jointly with IQVIA for Monitoring Performance Training

* Best Advance in Custom Content jointly with IQVIA for Consultative Selling

* Best Advance in Custom Content jointly with Sunsuper for Key Polices

* Best Advance in Custom Content jointly with Rio Tinto for Gove Operations General Induction

* Best Use of Virtual Worlds for Learning jointly with Sanofi for Virtual Gowning VR Simulation

* Best Program for Sales Training and Performance jointly with Pitney Bowes for Challenger Sales Integration

The winners are listed at https://www.brandonhall.com/excellenceawards/past-winners.php
"Organizations around the world highly value Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards - so much so that we received a record number of applications in the middle of a global pandemic," said Rachel Cooke, Brandon Hall Group COO, and leader of the HCM Excellence Awards Program.
"The awards provide valuable recognition and validation of best practices in all areas of HCM at a time when they have never been more important to both employers and employees," added Rachel.

Award entries are evaluated by a panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, Brandon Hall Group analysts and executives based upon the following criteria: fit the need, design of the program, functionality, innovation and overall measurable benefits.

Excellence Award winners will be honored at Brandon Hall Group's annual HCM Excellence Conference, January 26-28, 2021 at the Hilton West Palm Beach, Florida.

"We are honored to be named as one of the top winners by earning 30 Brandon Hall Excellence awards jointly with our customers. These esteemed awards are a testament to excellence in learning and talent development. We consistently aim to keep winning the trust and confidence of our customers through innovative strategies and transformative business results," said DJ Chadha, EVP & Global Head, LDO, Content Design & Development at NIIT's Corporate Learning Group.

This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/BusinessWire India)

Malian rebels free ousted President Keita after detaining him over a week

Representative Imag

Bamako [Mali], Aug 28 (ANI/Sputnik): The leaders of Malian military coup released President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Thursday after having kidnapped him and some other high-ranking government officials on August 18, African Jeune Afrique media outlet reported on Thursday.

According to the media outlet, citing his family, Keita was brought back to his residence in Sebenikoro early on Thursday. During his detention, Keita has been displaced several times.

He expressed the wish to temporarily leave Mali for Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates, the media outlet added.

After Keita was captured, he announced his resignation from the power and dissolution of the parliament, while the mutiny leaders established the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) as Mali's new governing body.

Keita's release had been the subject of negotiations between the CNSP and Western African regional ECOWAS bloc, as well as the demand of leaders of countries worldwide. (ANI/Sputnik)

Scholar schemes by Indian Government makes Nepali students dream come true

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Kathmandu [Nepal], August 28 (ANI): Dipesh Tharu had completed his intermediate-level studies from a science college in Kathmandu with distinction. He wanted to pursue his future as a civil engineer and wanted an internationally recognised graduation degree when a scholarship scheme from the Indian Embassy made his dream come true.

"My mother Indira Tharu works as a housemaid and my father Raju Tharu works as a driver. We hail from Nawalparasi but shifted to Kathmandu in search of a better future. My parents sacrificed a lot to ensure that I completed my schooling. I passed 12th from National School of Sciences, securing 80 per cent marks, after which I applied for the Embassy of India scholarship, and bagged a scholarship to study Civil Engineering in Sona College of Technology, Tamil Nadu," Dipesh said.

Currently, he is pursuing his degree in India on an all-expense-paid scholarship from the Embassy of India in Kathmandu.

"I recently passed my first year of Engineering, securing 3rd rank in my batch. Even though I stay far away from home, I thoroughly enjoy my stay in India and feel accepted as a family. There are many Nepali students in my college. We all get together on occasions like Dashain and celebrate it with our Indian friends. India, now, is my home away from home. I thank the Embassy of India and Indian Government for making my dreams come true," he said.

Alike Dipesh, Sudha Joshi is another Nepali student who got selected for the Golden Jubilee Scholarship to study the Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) in India. Joshi believes that scholarship scheme from the Embassy of India provided annually to Nepali students has helped her create a brighter future and achieve the dreams.

"Many students feel hopeless at the thought of not being able to afford a college education. A lot of brilliant students are compelled to give up their studies before their higher education even starts. It is amazing for me to know that there are always these networks of support to assist students in their educational pursuits. The Indian Embassy has let students around the country know that if they want to pursue higher education, rarely will financial matters hold them back. I thank the Embassy from bottom of my heart for your support in me and my colleague's educational endeavours," Sudha said.

"I am currently studying Bachelors in Business Administration with hopes of becoming a successful business executive. The financial assistance provided to me will be of great help in paying my educational expenses and it will allow me to concentrate more of my time for studying," she added.

The Embassy of India has been running various scholarship schemes, which have been providing a scholarship to continue the various level of studies within Nepal as well as bringing them to India.

Annually, the Embassy has been providing various kinds of scholarship and training to officials and students on various schemes, which exceeded the number 500. (ANI)

Maruti Suzuki launches subscription service in Pune, Hyderabad

Customers can experience the benefits of owning a car without purchasing it. (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi [India], Aug 28 (ANI): Maruti Suzuki on Friday launched a subscription programme in collaboration with Myles Automotive Technologies to launch the pilot project in Hyderabad and Pune.

The programme offers solutions for someone who is seeking to experience the benefits of owning a car without purchasing it.

Customers pay an all-inclusive monthly subscription charge starting Rs 17,600 for Swift Lxi in Pune and Rs 18,350 in Hyderabad (including taxes) with no down payment. Once the subscription tenure is over, the customer can also avail a buyback option.

Customers can choose to subscribe to new cars for a period of 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42 and 48 months.
Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director for Marketing and Sales at Maruti Suzuki India, said many customers want to shift from public transport and shared mobility solutions to personal cars in the changed business dynamics.

"They want mobility solutions that are easy on the pocket and do not involve long-term financial commitments. Maruti Suzuki Subscribe addresses these changing needs of customers. We are confident that our new offering will introduce many new customers to the brand."

Srivastava said it will also be embraced by the millennials who frequently look at upgrading to latest cars with flexible tenure options as low as 12 months.

The initiative comes with features such as zero-down payment, complete car maintenance, insurance, 24x7 roadside support and no re-sale risk. Myles will take care of vehicle maintenance, insurance coverage and roadside assistance through Maruti Suzuki's dealer channel. (ANI)

Reskilling, up-skilling key CSR tectics to tackle a post-COVID world: CII Panel

CII

New Delhi [India] Aug 28 (ANI/NewsVoir): Skill development is one of the best means to achieve sizeable impact and derive strategic imperatives from CSR agenda especially in the challenging times of COVID-19, according to an esteemed panel that discussed "Skill Development through CSR" in a webinar organized by CII, North Region.

Digital platforms across verticals like healthcare, education, retail are expected to generate significant employment in coming quarters and the pace at which innovation in skill-building is adopted to such online models is critical in the wake of new emerging realities.

Batting for strong inter-agency partnerships and bridging the digital divide, the panelists agreed that COVID has changed the way resources are allocated in CSR.
The renewed focus is on employability that leads to employment which further leads to economic upliftment. India is aiming to become a five-trillion-dollar economy and enjoys a strong advantage of vast and young demographic that stands at a crossover of the digital leap.

By 2023, 70 million more people will have entered India's workforce (data from the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-2018. Unemployment concerns have shot up in India off late due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"COVID-19 poses special challenges for skill development. Today when the world faces a crisis, the government, corporates, and implementing agencies are turning to CSR. Promoting education, special education, employment-enhancing vocational skills is the need of the hour and our law has been successful in addressing that.

 Difficulty in skilling, re-skilling, and people's employment are some of the key challenges we need to address. The government must now act as a facilitator and encourage corporates to go more into the skill development. We also need to meet the dynamic needs of the employers by offering flexibility in the courses being designed, certifications being offered, and the way we train our resources. The need of the hour is to tap into technology to leap-frog youth of today into employability," said Dr Bhaskar Chatterjee Former Secretary, Government of India, and Former Director General & CEO- IICA, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs in his address.

"COVID-19 and the global lockdown has impacted the skills ecosystem, resulting in an imbalance in the skills landscape. There is a dire need to skill, upskill and multi-skill a huge workforce so there is suitable employability. An effective means to do this is through CSR funds. Govt of India, the corporate industry with their funds and the implementing agencies along with consulting agencies are the umbilical link to an effective skilling programme," said Brigadier PK Goyal (Retd), Conference Chair and Member, Regional Committee on Skill Development and Livelihood, CII Northern Region while addressing the opening session.

"A good thing, at present, is that the government has accepted that skilling is a challenge and they are trying to address the gap. We have been advising a skilling program which is Cooperative, Collaborative, Inclusive, and Adaptive. If we use technology, such an initiative becomes easier. Training can be normalized across the country, using technology. We can combine Make in India, Digital India, and Skill India, as complementary models and CSR plays a major role in supporting this initiative. We can create co-skilling spaces, with soft and IT skills at the entry-level segment, generic sector skills at the next level of the segment, and the third level is the vaulted training centres where domain knowledge is imparted by industry experts," added Lt Gen Dr SP Kochhar, Director General - COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India).

The webinar also included eminent speakers like Dr Sudhir Kapur, Chairman, Regional Committee on Skill Development & Livelihood, CII Northern Region, Anita Rajan, CEO, Tata Strive, R Anand, Principal Consultant & Advisor - HR, HCL Tech Ltd, Chetan Kapoor, COO, Tech Mahindra Foundation, Dhanashree Page Head Operations, Digital Inclusion, CSR, Capgemini India, Romira Roy, Executive Director & Founder SEED, Ashish Singh, Head - ITI Projects, Maruti Suzuki India Lt, Meenu Bagla, VP and CMO, Cyient Ltd, Rahul Agarwal, AVP-Finance, Goodera, Mahesh Munjal, Co-Chair Regional Committee on Skill Development and Livelihood, CII Northern Region & CMD, Majestic Auto and Arun Nalavadi, ED - Sustainability and Partnerships, Magic Bus India Foundation.

The panel outlined ways for India Inc to utilize its CSR Funds to undertake skilling programs that are vital to restart the economy. It also examined the relevance of the CSR Law for skill-building and the importance of creating an ecosystem that enables new-age skills for a sustainable future.

This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

Japan PM Shinzo Abe intends to step down amid health issues

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (File photo)

Tokyo [Japan], Aug 28 (ANI): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to step down, the NHK World reported on Thursday.

Quoting sources close to the Abe, whose term is due to end in September 2021, the NHK World said the Prime Minister is resigning because of health reasons.

Abe is set to hold a news conference later today. He had visited the hospital twice in the last two weeks creating speculation that his health is deteriorating.

It further reported that this is the second time when Abe, who turns 66 next month, will leave his Prime Ministerial post. He had previously stepped down in 2007 due to inflammatory bowel disease.

He then returned to the post in 2012 after a win in the Lower house. (ANI)

In need of quick funds for an enterprise - Get started with Bajaj Finserv Business Loan

Bajaj Finserv. 

Pune (Maharashtra) [India] Aug 28 (ANI/BusinessWire India): It is known that ample funding is required by MSMEs for fuelling output, growth, and profitability. According to a report by India Today - "India's MSME sector forms the life-blood of India's economy; contributing to 30 per cent of India's GDP and 40 per cent of exports."

For easy access to finances, an MSME can avail of Business Loan offered by Bajaj Finance Limited, the lending and investment arm of Bajaj Finserv. This loan is extremely easy to avail and caters to a range of needs. Here's a closer look at what makes this loan variant from Bajaj Finserv an all-rounder.

Large capital made affordable
Ample financing is necessary when one wants to revamp its supply chain and machinery or bring in new equipment. Bajaj Finserv gives access to funding of up to Rs 20 lakh to tend to such needs.

Collateral free financing
In order to run an MSME business successfully, it's vital that one is attuned to market trends. Moreover, one must have the right funding, at the right time, to be able to capitalize on opportunities. Business Loan from Bajaj Finserv offers financing without any collateral. This exempts the customers of the burden of pledging an asset.

Hassle-free unsecured loans
These unsecured business loans are approved in less than 24 hours, comes with easy eligibility criteria and can be applied for with just two documents. These exclusive features make Bajaj Finserv one of the best, fastest and most hassle-free business loan providers.

Flexi Loan facility
Whether it's peak season demand or an unforeseen liquidity crunch, managing one's cash flow is crucial to ensuring that their supply chain doesn't run dry. Business Loan from Bajaj Finserv gives the option of signing up for a Flexi Loan facility that's tailored to address urgent and unexpected financial needs.

A Flexi Loan allows customers to borrow multiple times from their sanctioned amount and incur interest only on the amount withdrawn. Moreover, they can choose to pay interest-only EMIs through the tenor and repay the principal at the end. Thereby, reducing their EMIs by up to 56 per cent.

Pre-approved Offers
Existing customers of Bajaj Finserv can avail of a pre-approved offer in just a few clicks and get the funds instantly.

Borrowing at a nominal interest rate
When taking a Business Loan, it's important that one plans for repayment. Business Loans offered by Bajaj Finserv starts at an interest rate of just 18 per cent.

Business Loans form Bajaj Finserv can give businesses the much-needed boost to help one's enterprise-scale to new heights. To apply for a Bajaj Finserv Business Loan in minutes, follow the below steps:
* Apply for the business loan by clicking here
* Fill in the required details, and click Submit
* Our representative will connect with the customer, along with their pre-approved offer
A CIBIL score of 750 is considered healthy to avail of a business loan. The closer the score is to 900; the higher are the chances of getting the loan.

This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/BusinessWire India)

Will produce Covid vaccine by this year end or sooner, says US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump at the White House addressing the Convention on Thursday (Local Time)

Washington [US], Aug 28 (ANI): Terming COVID-19 as a "new and powerful invisible enemy" US President Donald Trump on Thursday (local time) said that the US would produce a coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year.

"In recent months, our nation and the entire planet has been struck by a new and powerful invisible enemy. Like those brave Americans before us, we are meeting this challenge," Trump said while addressing the Republican National Convention at the White House.

"We are delivering life-saving therapies and (we) will produce a vaccine before the end of this year or maybe even sooner. We will defeat the virus and the pandemic, and emerge stronger than ever before," he added.

Trump further informed that three vaccines are in the final stage adding that the US "would crush the virus".

"We have three different vaccines in the final trial stage. We are producing them in advance so that many doses are available. We'll have a safe & effective vaccine this year. Together, we will crush the virus," said the Republican Presidential nominee.

As per the latest updates provided, The US has a total of 5,866,214 cases and 180,814 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

To date, more than 24.3 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 829,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University. (ANI)

Trump remembers brother Robert on nomination acceptance day

US President Donald Trump at the White House addressing the Convention on Thursday (Local Time)

Washington [US], Aug 28 (ANI): US President Donald Trump in his nomination acceptance speech for President by the Republican Party remembered his younger brother Robert -- who passed away on August 15 -- stating that he would be "proud of the job we are all doing".

"I know my brother Robert is looking down on us right now from heaven. He was a great brother and he was proud of the job we are all doing. Thank you (and) we love you Robert," Trump said while addressing the Republican National Convention at the White House.

The US President also addressed Hurricane Laura that hit the US State of Louisiana and Texas. Six people have succumbed to the hurricane in Lousiana.

"Our thoughts are with those who came through the wrath of Hurricane Laura. We are working closely with state and local officials in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi. We are sparing no effort to save lives," he said further at the convention.

According to CNN, the Hurricane came as a category 4 storm on Thursday near the Texas border. Trump is set to visit the affected regions this weekend.

"We'll probably be going on Saturday or Sunday, and we'll be heading to Texas and Louisiana and maybe an additional stop," Trump said earlier on Thursday. (ANI)

Rajnath Singh to induct Rafales on Sept 10, French Defence Minister also invited for event

File photo of Rafale fighter aircraft at Ambala Air Force Station, Haryana

New Delhi [India], Aug 28 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will formally induct the five Rafale fighter aircraft into the Indian Air Force (IAF) on September 10 at the Ambala air base in Haryana in a ceremony for which French Defence Minister Florence Parly would also be invited.

Defence sources told ANI that the induction ceremony would be held after the return of the Defence Minister from Russia where he is scheduled to attend the meeting of the Defence Ministers of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation from September 4 to 6.

"The Rafale aircraft induction ceremony would be held on September 10 with the Defence Minister as the Chief Guest. The French Defence Minister is also being sent an invite to attend the event to mark the strategic friendship between India and France," the sources said.

Five Rafale fighter aircraft arrived in India from France on July 29 and have started extensive training within 24 hours of touching down in the country. The French-origin fighter aircraft are part of the 17 Golden Arrows squadron of the Air Force.

The fighter aircraft have already flown over the Ladakh region and have been familiarising with the terrain over which they have to fly in different parts of the country. The five Rafales which have arrived in the country include three single-seaters and two twin-seaters.

The Rafales armed with the air-to-air Meteor, air to ground SCALP and Hammer missiles are expected to give an edge to the Indian Air Force over its traditional adversaries China and Pakistan in the South Asian skies due to its long-range hit capabilities.

India has contracted for 36 Rafales under the largest-ever defence deal signed by the country worth over Rs 60,000 crore of which the majority payments have already been made to the French firm Dassault Aviation.

The deal was signed in September 2016 with Manohar Parrikar as the Defence Minister, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in 2018-2019 played a significant role in defending the deal when the opposition alleged corruption in the project before the general elections in April-May last year.

When Rajnath Singh became Defence Minister, he went to France to accept the first Rafale for India in October 2019 on the auspicious festival of Dussehra and also flew in the aircraft which was accepted after performing 'pooja' with traditional Hindu rituals.

India has a requirement of more than 300 fighter aircraft of different types in the next 10-12 years which is planned to be met with from both Indian and foreign sources. (ANI)

BSS School (Kolkata) awarded India's Most Admirable Education Brand 2020

Supportive Infrastructure.

New Delhi [India] Aug 28 (ANI/Mediawire): BSS School - Kolkata, an institution with a legacy of more than 70 decades felicitated with India's Most Admirable Education Brand -2020 for its unwavering commitment to quality education, holistic child development and setting a benchmark of academic success.

The BSS School (Kolkata) is driven by its motto "Commitment to Excellence" in thought and action. With over seven decades of legacy behind it, the School has strived to educate and empower its students through holistic education to make them future-ready for the global canvas.

The BSS advantage stems from its three pillars of pedagogy, teachers, and infrastructure.

The pedagogy has been designed and fine-tuned over the years to ensure that the students are given a firm root to explore and make informed choices for their future.
Along with the contemporary and rigorous academic curriculum, students can choose from a host of extra-curricular activities like eastern/western music (vocal and instrumental), dance, aerobics, pottery, puppetry, robotics, bulbul and girl guides, as well as sports disciplines like swimming, football, skating, basketball and much more.

To aid their holistic learning, make them lifelong learners, and prepare them for the world, students can choose from foreign language learning options like Mandarin (Chinese), French, and German.

The School also offers Certification Course by NIIT for all Computer Classes at each level from Nursery to Class IX and XI, and Certification Courses by Arena Multimedia for all Multimedia Courses from Class IV to IX and XI.

The BSS academic team comprises of more than 150 well qualified and compassionate teachers. Working under the academic leadership of Sunita Sen, the staff has empowered BSS to provide personalized attention to its students.

It offers contemporary subject options like Costing and Taxation, Journalism and Mass Communication, Sociology, Psychology, Nutrition, to provide its students the benefit of choice for their further directed education.

BSS offers world-class infrastructure in terms of the learning environment, holistic development, and safety of its students.

To empower and facilitate learning the School runs state of the art mathematics, language, geography, and multimedia labs; all these labs and classes are equipped with smart class infrastructure, high-end computers, internet access, and Wi-Fi connectivity across the campus.

To facilitate holistic development for all its students, BSS has incorporated three initiatives in its pedagogy: First, eco-friendly initiatives, aimed at creating an ecological awareness in its students early on, the School has tied up with a company named Vital Waste thereby removing every possible carbon footprint left and adding to a brighter greener future.

The initiative to collect water from the air conditioners is used to clean the school floors and is one of its kind in the region. These initiatives also include green corridors with a butterfly garden and reinstallation of the green patch with rare species of plants and trees; Second, Cultural Exchange Programme, students are given opportunities for interactions with visiting schools from UK, USA, France, Sweden, and Germany.

Teams from Oxford, Harvard, and Cambridge, in association with Calcutta Debating Circle, have previously engaged the students in a verbal battle of Debating, along with workshops; Third, for safety and well-being of its students, the school premises are equipped with CCTV cameras, appropriate, trained and verified security personal, a fully equipped infirmary with a tie-up with AMRI hospital, G4S Housekeeping and school staff to keep the premises clean, bio-metric attendance, sanitary napkin vending machine, and incinerators.

BSS has modernized its infrastructure with time, whether it be installing solar panels (78) to conserve electricity or air-conditioning its classrooms.
All this has resulted in unparalleled academic performance by its Students, and appreciation at many forums for BSS.

The School has consistently churned out 100 per cent result in secondary and higher secondary examinations, with toppers in all streams and competitive exams.
Guest faculties, Mock Test by Pathfinder, Peer Mentors monitoring the friends, qualified and empathetic teachers, and special remedial classes has resulted in more than 85 per cent of its students securing first divisions year after year.

The School has consistently produced State Toppers in English A, Psychology, Journalism and Mass Communication, Mathematics, Accountancy and Economics over the years.
The awards and accolades bestowed to the BSS School include The Times Group: Times Business Awards Kolkata 2019: Best School of the year 2019; The Telegraph Education Foundation: Certificate of Honour for Excellence in Academics for Higher Secondary Results 2019; and Special Recognition: Certificate from Alliance Francaise for our active participation on Earth Day 2019.

The Brand Story acknowledges the contribution of BSS School for redefining the education delivery and doing so with excellence over the past seven decades.
"The contribution of BSS School is commendable in terms of its unwavering commitment to quality education, holistic child development, and setting a benchmark of academic success. The Brand Story feels privileged to honour The BSS School with India's Most Admirable Education Brand -2020," shared Abhay Kaushik, Editor in Chief and Director, The Brand Story.

For more details please visit our website www.thebssschool.com
This story is provided by Mediawire. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/Mediawire)

Equity indicas trade higher, PSU banks lead rally

PNB rose by 3.5 pc on Friday morning to Rs36.55 per share. (Photo: ANI)

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Aug 28 (ANI): Equity benchmark indices traded half a per cent higher during early hours on Friday with the start of September futures and options series.

At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex up by 199 points or 0.51 per cent at 39,312 while the Nifty 50 gained by 53 points or 0.53 per cent at 11,612.

All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the green with Nifty PSU bank gaining by 2.8 per cent, private bank by 1.5 per cent and financial service by 0.9 per cent.

Punjab National Bank was up by 3.5 per cent at Rs 36.55 per share while State Bank of India gained by 1.6 per cent to Rs 219.10.

Axis bank ticked up by 3.8 per cent, IndusInd Bank by 2.7 per cent and ICICI Bank by 2.5 per cent. The other major gainers were Bharti Infratel, UPL, Larsen & Toubro and energy majors like IndianOil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and ONGC.

However, JSW Steel, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, Infosys, Adani Ports and Hindustan Lever traded with a negative bias.

Meanwhile, Asian shares rose as investors pondered over the US Federal Reserve's new strategy to adopt an average inflation target and restore the United States to full employment in the fight to contain coronavirus pandemic.

Japan's Nikkei rose by 0.63 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng by 0.75 per cent and South Korea's Kospi by 1.13 per cent. (ANI)

Panchshil Realty Welcomes Maharashtra Government's Bold Move to Reduce Stamp Duty On Property Transactions

Panchshil Realty welcomes Maharashtra Government's bold move to reduce stamp duty on property transactions.

Pune (Maharashtra) [India] Aug 28 (ANI/PRNewswire): Panchshil Realty welcomed the move by the Government of Maharashtra to reduce the stamp duty on property transactions by 40 per cent in urban areas and by 75 per cent in rural areas. "This is a very welcome move by the Government of Maharashtra. It will not only give an impetus to the real estate sector but also boost overall economic activity as many allied industries are directly connected with the real estate sector," said Atul Chordia, Chairman, Panchshil Realty describing the move as a bold and progressive policy decision.

"Prospective buyers who have been sitting on the fence so far will now be motivated to take the plunge and invest in real estate thanks to the direct financial savings that will now accrue to them. Moreover, work can now be re-started in stalled projects. Hopefully, other State Governments too will take a leaf out of Maharashtra's decision and follow with similar bold steps," he added. This relief given by the State Government is a timely move coming as it does, just before the upcoming festive season, and will definitely give a fillip to stagnant realty sales. Interest rates are at historical lows and with the US dollar being at its highest levels viz-a-viz the Indian Rupee, NRIs too will find it very attractive to invest in real estate in India now.

Panchshil Realty's Businesses - Key Highlights * Panchshil Realty's three main business verticals comprise commercial office spaces, hospitality, and residential.

* Panchshil Realty's total completed real estate portfolio is around 23 million square feet with another 20 million square feet under development. * A significant chunk of Panchshil Realty's office portfolio is anchored by Blackstone Real Estate Private Equity Fund, sponsored and managed by Blackstone Group LP.

This story is provided by PRNewswire. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/PRNewswire)

BRICS foreign ministers to meet on Sept 4, discuss topical international issues

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Moscow [Russia], Aug 27 (ANI): Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday said that the foreign ministers of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) will exchange views on topical international matters during the virtual meeting scheduled to be held on September 4.

The foreign ministers of five countries will discuss cooperation on three key areas -- politics and security, economics and finance, humanitarian ties.

"On September 4, Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will chair a large-format meeting of BRICS foreign ministers, to be held via videoconference, during which they will exchange views on topical international matters," Foreign Affairs Ministry tweeted.

In another tweet, it said, "During the September 4 meeting, BRICS foreign ministers will discuss cooperation between the five countries during Russia's BRICS chairmanship in 3 key areas - politics and security, economics and finance, humanitarian ties."

The meeting which was scheduled to be held earlier was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. (ANI)

Trump accepts Republican nomination for President

US President Donald Trump at White House addressing the Convention on Thursday. (local time)

Washington [US], Aug 28 (ANI): US President Donald Trump accepted the Presidential candidate nomination by the Republican Party for the upcoming elections in November, here on Thursday (local time).

The President was introduced by his daughter Ivanka before entering the stage. The crowd was seen chanting "four more years" as Trump took centre stage.

"I stand before you tonight honoured by your support proud of the incredible progress we made in the last four incredible years and brimming with confidence in the bright future we would build for America over the next four years," Trump addressed the Republican National Convention at the White House.

He added, "My fellow Americans, tonight with a heart full of gratitude and boundless optimism, I profoundly accept this nomination for President of the United States."

Trump further said that in his next term as President, the US "would build the greatest economy in history" and "quickly return to" full employment.

US Vice President Mike Pence also formally accepted the nomination for Vice President by the Republican Party, earlier on Wednesday.

The US Presidential elections are set to take place on November 3, this year. (ANI)

Dem VP candidate Kamala Harris slams President Trump over response to COVID-19 pandemic

California Senator Kamala Harris (File Photo)

Washington D.C. [US], August 28 (ANI/Sputnik): Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris in a speech on Thursday defended the ongoing nationwide protests against racial injustice and slammed President Donald Trump on his response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States.

Racially-charged protests were refueled on Sunday after a viral video showed African American Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer.

"People are rightfully angry and exhausted," Harris said in her rebuttal speech to the Republican National Convention (RNC). "After the murders of Breonna [Taylor] and George [Floyd] and Ahmaud [Arbery]and so many others, it's no wonder people are taking to the streets, and I support them. We must always defend peaceful protests and peaceful protesters."

Harris further said that peaceful protesters must not be confused with looters and rioters, including the 17-year-old shooter arrested and charged with murder.

"We will not let these vigilantes and extremists derail the path to justice," Harris said.

Harris said she and Joe Biden talked to Blake's family on Wednesday and discussed the need to heal the country.

In addition, Harris also said Trump has failed to protect the American people with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harris said Trump had a "reckless disregard" towards the pandemic and that his incompetence has become deadly, citing the 180,000 US COVID-19 deaths and the more than 5.8 million cases that have been reported in the country.

The final night of the semi-virtual RNC will begin Wednesday night at 8:30 pm EST (0030 GMT on Thursday). Trump will deliver his nomination acceptance speech from the south lawn of the White House. (ANI/Sputnik)

Trump says to visit US Gulf states of Texas, Lousiana this weekend after hurricane Laura

US President Donald Trump. (File Photo)

Washington D.C. [US], August 28 (ANI/Sputnik): US President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he will travel to Louisiana and Texas after the two US Gulf states were pummeled by Hurricane Laura.

"We'll probably be going on Saturday or Sunday, and we'll be heading to Texas and Louisiana and maybe an additional stop," Trump said of the areas damaged by the storm.

Trump also said he was ready to postpone his scheduled acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention tonight and deliver his address on Monday instead.
He also noted that the hurricane proved far last destructive than was predicted before it made landfall.

"It turned out we got a little bit lucky. It was very big and it was very powerful, but it passed quickly, and so everything is on schedule," Trump said.

Hurricane Laura hit the Louisiana coast shortly after midnight local time (05:00 GMT) with winds in excess of 150 miles per hour. The category 4 storm was one of the strongest to ever to make landfall along the US portion of the Gulf of Mexico.

Trump has pledged a huge national effort to rescue victims of Hurricane Laura and expressed readiness to lend the US government's backing for rebuilding and repair efforts to follow, the White House said in a statement. (ANI/Sputnik)

Cross-border petroleum pipeline helps Nepal save frieght charges

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Kathmandu [Nepal], Aug 28 (ANI): The first cross-border petroleum pipeline of South Asia has helped Nepal to save Nepali 2 billion rupees annually in freight charges
Nepal earlier has been spending 2 billion rupees as freight expenses to bring the petrol from Patna in India. The pipeline was operationalised in September 2019.

"Not only the freight charges, it also has helped in avoiding the vagaries of transportation by tanker trucks," said Surendra Kumar Paudel, Managing Director of Nepal Oil Corporation.

It takes at least 14 hours to transport oil from Patna in India to Amlekhganj. Indian Oil Corporation has been the sole supplier of fuel to Nepal Oil Corporation since 1974.

In February this year, a team from the Indian Oil Corporation, which built Amlekhganj pipeline, conducted a survey for pipeline connecting Nepal Oil Corporation's depot at Charali, Jhapa with Siliguri.

According to the Trade and Export Promotion Centre, Nepal imported petroleum products worth 164 billion Nepali rupees in last fiscal year. India fulfils all of Nepal's oil requirements. (ANI)

US economy plunges by 31.7 per cent in second quarter of 2020

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Washington D.C. [US], August 28 (ANI): Even as the country continues to battle the raging coronavirus pandemic, the US economy plunged by 31.7 per cent in second quarter of 2020 against the initial estimate of 32.9 per cent, according to Commerce Department.

According to a Sputnik report, the Commerce Department did not provide an explanation for the better outcome, which nevertheless represents the biggest GDP decline during a quarter.

The number of coronavirus cases in the US has risen to 5,854,342 while the death toll has risen to 180,380.

In the initial days of the outbreak, authorities implemented restrictions in order to curb the spread of coronavirus in almost all 50 US States that impacted the country's economy.

The labor market also registered significant losses from the novel coronavirus pandemic in the second quarter as employers cut 21 million jobs between March and April at the height of the lockdowns, reported Sputnik. (ANI)

World Bank pauses publication of Doing Business report on data irregularities

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By Reena Bhardwaj
Washington D.C. [US], August 28 (ANI): The World Bank on Thursday (local time) said the publication of the Doing Business report will be paused as it probes data collection irregularities in the annual report.

In a statement, World Bank said over the 17 years of its existence, the Doing Business report has been a valued tool for countries seeking to measure costs of doing business.

"A number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology," World Bank said in its statement.

The World Bank said it is conducting a systematic review and assessment of data changes that occurred subsequent to the institutional data review process for the last five Doing Business reports.

"We have asked the World Bank Group's independent Internal Audit function to perform an audit of the processes for data collection and review for Doing Business and the controls to safeguard data integrity," it said.

The Bank stated it will act based on the findings and will retrospectively correct the data of countries that were most affected by the irregularities.

"The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank has been briefed on the situation as have the authorities of the countries that were most affected by the data irregularities. The publication of the Doing Business report will be paused as we conduct our assessment," said the World Bank.

India had jumped 14 positions to be ranked 63rd among 190 countries in the World Bank's ease of doing business 2020 survey. (ANI)

India, China reaffirmed to work towards complete disengagement of troops along LAC in western sector: MEA

MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava speaking during virtual press briefing on Thursday. (Photo:ANI)

New Delhi [India], Aug 28 (ANI): Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that during the 18th meeting of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs both countries have reaffirmed that they will continue to sincerely work towards complete disengagement of troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the western sector.

Speaking at the weekly virtual press briefing, Anurag Srivastava, MEA Spokesperson, said that India and China have also agreed to continue engagements through military and diplomatic channels.

"In the last week's 18th meeting of the WMCC, the two sides had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on the existing situation in the India-China border areas. Both sides have reaffirmed that the two sides will continue to sincerely work towards complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC in the Western Sector in accordance with the agreements reached between the two Foreign Ministers and the two Special Representatives (SRs) during their conversation on July 5," said Srivastava.

He further said that in the meeting the two sides have agreed to resolve the outstanding issues in an expeditious manner and in accordance with the existing agreements and protocols.

"Both sides also agree that full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas would be essential for the overall development of bilateral relations. The two sides had also agreed to continue their engagements both through diplomatic and military channels," the MEA said.

"I would also refer you to the recent interview of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar wherein referring to various past border incidents he had noted that what was common was that all borders situations were resolved through diplomacy. External Affairs Minister had further noted that 'when it comes to finding a solution, this must be predicated on honouring all agreements and understandings. And not attempting to alter the status quo unilaterally'," Srivastava added. (ANI)

Chinese-made Peshawar BRT facing criticism after flooding and water leakages

One of the leaked video showed fire at one of the stations. (Photo: ANI)

Peshawar [Pakistan], Aug 27 (ANI): The recently inaugurated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in Peshawar city of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is facing criticism by the people after the stations get flooded and witnessed water leakages during heavy rains.

Several videos are going viral on social media showing water leakages at the stations.

The BRT project is constructed by a consortium led by China Railway 21st Bureau Group and it has witnessed several accidents since its inauguration on August 13.
#BRTFlopProject is now trending on social media as people have been criticizing Prime Minister Imran Khan's government for poor quality construction. BRT has not only caused traffic jams but incidents like fire at stations, buses and water leakages have occurred since its launch.

In a tweet @M73Mohammed said, #PTIGovernment @ImranKhanPTI do explain yourself as to why the #brtflopproject #BRTPeshawar is a complete disaster?? Utter disgrace!! Ouzobillah"
Rao Maaz Khalid, a Pakistani citizen also highlighted the poor construction at Islamabad Airport and said he feel ashamed after the same incident at BRT Peshawar. He tweeted, "@SHABAZGIL @AnwarLodhi where Are You Guys....?? Islamabad Airport ki vedio to Ap Log Bht Share kar Rhy Tha Ya Kyn Ni Ke Iam A Supporter of @PTIofficial But I'am Feeling Ashamed After This. itna Paisa Khana lagyaa ha Ap Logo Na Ya To Batao? #BRTFlopProject"

Adv. Shahid Nazir tweeted, "Incomplete project, record corruption & after a long wait, this is BRT Peshawar Face with tears of joy. Almost daily collision on the track, mismanagement & chaotic routine of the gift of youthias Enjoy Winking face."

The project, built at a cost of Rs 70 billion is a 27.5 kilometre-long corridor track with 31 stations and seven feeder routes stretching 62km with 146 stops to facilitate thousands of passengers every day. (ANI)

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