Tuesday, September 15, 2020

On kashmir remarks at UN rights council, India takes on Pakistan, OIC and urges Turkey to develop better understanding of democratic practices

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Geneva [Switzerland], September 15 (ANI): India on Tuesday came down heavily on Pakistan, Turkey and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation at the 46th session of the Human Rights Council for their remarks on India's internal affairs.

Responding to reference made by Turkey on Jammu and Kashmir, India in its right to reply has advised Turkey to refrain from commenting on the internal affairs of India and develop a better understanding of democratic practices.

India also repeatedly emphasized and repeated its position on the comments made by the vis a vis Kashmir.

First secretary, Permanent mission of India in Geneva Pawan Badhe who delivered India's right to reply said: "We reject the reference made by the OIC to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral part of India. The OIC has no locus standi to comment on internal affairs of India. The OIC has allowed itself to be misused by Pakistan to subverse its own Agenda. It's for the members of the OIC to decide if it is in their interests to allow Pakistan to do so."

India also took on Pakistan at the Human Rights council and the First Secretary Badhe in India's right to reply said, "It has become habitual for Pakistan to malign my country with false and fabricated narratives for its self-serving malicious purposes."

"Neither India nor others deserve this unsolicited lecture on human rights from a country that has consistently persecuted its ethnic and religious minorities, is an epicentre of terrorism, has the distinction of providing pensions to individuals on UN Sanctions list and has a Prime Minister who proudly admits training tens of thousands of terrorists to fight in Jammu and Kashmir.

"It is not surprising that other relevant multilateral institutions have been raising serious concerns on its failure to stop terror financing and lack of effective actions against all terror entities in Pakistan," the First Secretary Badhe said.

India also raised issues of state-supported persecution in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In its reply India also highlighted the attacks on liberal voices and journalists in Pakistan.

Badhe said: "The nefarious designs of Pakistan continue in Pakistan Occupied parts of Indian Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The mass influx of outsiders has whittled down the number of Kashmiris to an insignificant number in Pakistan occupied parts of Indian Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Laddakh.

"Thousands of Sikh, Hindus and Christian minority women and girls have been subjected to abductions, forced marriages and conversions in Pakistan. The plight of people under its subjugation is well represented by the state of affairs in Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh. Not a single day has gone by when a family in Baluchistan doesn't find its members picked up or kidnapped by the security forces of Pakistan," he said.

"Pakistan does well when it comes to intimidation and attacks against journalists, human rights defenders and political dissidents in particular by its state machinery. It is not without a reason that Pakistan has been highlighted by international organizations as a country where journalists are slain and their killers go scot free," Badhe added. (ANI)

Terrorist arrested during search operation in J-K's Nehama Kralgund

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Handwara (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], September 15 (ANI): Handwara Police, with the help of 32 Rashtriya Rifles and 92 Central Reserve Police Force, on Tuesday arrested a terrorist at Nehama Kralgund village in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the police, the terrorist was arrested during a search op
eration and incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were also seized from his possession.

Earlier in the day, police arrested two terrorist associates of proscribed outfit Al-Badr and seized Rs 6 lakhs from their possession. (ANI)

Activists thank British MPs for raising extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances of Baloch

Activists thanked British MPs for raising extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances of Baloch

London [UK], September 15 (ANI): A Baloch political activist has thanked British Member of Parliament Jonathan Gullis for raising the issue of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of the Baloch before the British government.

Dr Naseem Baloch, Organiser of the Baloch National Movement (
BNM) Diaspora Committee, thanked Gullis Conservative Party MP who had asked the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office about Hayat Baloch's assassination.

Responding to Gullis, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State for South Asia and Commonwealth gave an assurance that the British Government strongly condemns any extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.

"We call on all states to investigate such incidents, bring those responsible to justice and provide justice to the oppressed and their families", Lord Ahmad told Gullis.

Dr Naseem Baloch said he was acting on directive of BNM Diaspora committee to members of UK Zone to contact their local MPs and urge them to raise their voice against the murder of Hayat Baloch and serious humanitarian and human rights issue in Balochistan. Since then, many members of the British Parliament have assured us that they will raise the issue with the Foreign Office and hold it accountable.

Naseem Abbas Baloch, a UK zone member, informed the Stock on Trent MP who in turn wrote a letter to the Foreign Office expressing his concerns. The Foreign Office in its response said, "The death of Hayat Mirza Baloch on August 13 was extremely troubling."

According to a letter from the Foreign Office, there were strong protests in response to the August 13 assassination of Hayat Baloch, which has been condemned by Pakistani politicians and some arrests have been made. "We hope there will be a full investigation," he added.

Dr Naseem Baloch further said that the Baloch National Movement Diaspora committee has been pursuing its diplomatic program globally on the issue of Baloch national question for liberation, including serious human rights violations in Balochistan under a systematic approach.

He said the BNM would liaise with parliamentary members of political parties not only in the UK but also in other European and American countries and ask them to support the Baloch national struggle for independence. (ANI)

Chinese diplomat 'likes' X-rated video on Twitter

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London [UK], September 15 (ANI): The Twitter account of Chinese Ambassador to Britain, Liu Xiamong, recently liked an X-rated video, creating storm on social media with many users of the microblogging site wondering if it was an accident or whether his account had been hacked.

According to a report 
in The New York Times, the 'like' drew a furious statement from the Chinese Embassy which demanded that Twitter launch an investigation.

As per the report, the account has a history of odd likes and it has frequently liked its own tweets, and liked criticism of China itself.

After the controversy, which threatened to be an embarrassing moment for the Chinese Ambassador, counted as a leading voice of new generation of "wolf-warrior" diplomats, the account scrubbed all but two of the dozens of likes it had accumulated over the past year.

Of late, Chinese diplomats have opened an account on Twitter, a platform banned in China for their wolf-warrior diplomacy.

Liu, who has been China's Ambassador to Britain since 2009, frequently appears on TV attacking China's critics, the report said. He joined Twitter last year.

He has used Twitter to attack Adrian Zenz, a scholar who has researched the Xinjiang crackdown. China has faced global criticism for its massive human rights abuses in the province.

The Chinese Embassy came to the defence of Ambassador after his recent 'like' of the X-rated video, and blamed "anti-China" elements.

"The Embassy has reported this to Twitter company and urged the latter to make thorough investigations and handle this matter seriously," the statement continued, according to the report. "The Embassy reserves the right to take further actions and hope that the public will not believe or spread such rumour." (ANI)

India's COVID-19 count crosses 49-lakh mark, recovery rate stands at 78.28 pc

New Delhi [India], September 15 (ANI): India's COVID-19 tally crossed the 49-lakh mark with a spike of 83,809 cases and 1,054 deaths in the last 24 hours, said Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday.

A total of 49,30,237 coronavirus cases have been reported in the country including 9
,90,061 active cases, 38,59,400 cured/discharged/migrated and 80,776 deaths.

India continues to post an upward trajectory of COVID-19 recovery rate, which reached 78.28 per cent on Tuesday, the Ministry said.

An official statement by the Ministry said close to half (48.8 per cent) of the active cases are concentrated in three states namely Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.

"India continues to post a very high number of daily recoveries. The continuous upward trajectory of India's recovery rate has touched 78.28 per cent today. 79,292 have recovered and discharged in the last 24 hours. The total recovered cases stand at 38,59,399. The gap between recovered cases and active cases has crossed 28 lakh today (28,69,338)," the release stated.

As many as 20,482 new COVID-19 cases and 515 deaths were reported in Maharashtra on Tuesday, with which total cases in the state rose to 10,97,856 including 30,409 deaths and 7,75,273 patients discharged. Active cases stand at 2,91,797, according to the Maharashtra health department.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi rose to 2,25,796 with 4,263 new positive cases and 36 deaths reported on Tuesday. The numbers of active and recovered cases are 29,787, and 1,91,203, respectively while the death toll stands at 4,806, said Delhi Government.

Karnataka reported 7,576 new COVID-19 cases, 7,406 discharges, and 97 deaths on Tuesday, taking total cases to 4,75,265 including 3,69,229 discharges and 7,481 deaths, said state health department.

Andhra Pradesh reported 8,846 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the total number of coronavirus cases in the state to 5,83,925. There are 92,353 active cases, 4,86,531 recovered and 5,041 deaths.

Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday witnessed a surge of 2,323 new COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths. Total cases stand at 93,053 including 1,820 deaths and 21,620 active cases, as per the state health department.

A total of 1,391 new COVID-19 cases were detected in Uttarakhand on Tuesday. Total positive cases in the state are now 34,407 including 10,739 active cases and 23,085 recovered cases, according to the state health department.

A total of 239 new COVID-19 cases, 78 recoveries, and one death reported in Manipur over the last 24 hours. The total number of cases in the state stands at 8210, including 1,745 active cases, 6,418 recovered cases, and 47 deaths, said the state health department on Tuesday.

Jammu and Kashmir reported 1,329 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday including 741 from Jammu division and 588 from Kashmir division. The total number of cases now at 56,654 including 18,678 active cases, 37,062 recoveries, and 914 deaths, said Government of Jammu and Kashmir.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday informed that 3,215 more COVID-19 cases, 2,532 recoveries, and 12 deaths were reported in Kerala in the last 24 hours. The count of active cases now stands at 31,156 till date.

Chandigarh reported 347 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the total number of cases to 8,592 including 2,991 active cases, 96 deaths, and 5,502 cured cases, stated Health Department, UT Chandigarh.

Himachal Pradesh recorded 143 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, taking total positive cases to 10,059 till date, including 6,332 recovered cases, 3,610 active cases, and 88 deaths, said state health department.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday said countrywide COVID-19 lockdown prevented approximately 14 lakh to 29 lakh cases and 37,000 to 78,000 deaths.

Speaking at the Rajya Sabha today, the health minister said, "Lockdown prevented approximately 14 lakh to 29 lakh cases and 37,000 to 78,000 deaths. These four months were utilised to create additional health infrastructure, enhance human resources, and produce within India critical elements such as Personal Protective Equipment kits, N95 masks, and ventilators."

He also said India has one of the lowest cases and deaths per million in the world.

"COVID-19 fatality and recovery rates stand at 1.67 per cent and 77.65 per cent respectively. India has been able to limit its cases and death to 3,320 cases per million and 55 deaths per million, which is one of the lowest in the world," Harsh Vardhan said. (ANI)

3,440 tablets of psychotropic drugs seized by Chennai Air Customs

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Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], September 15 (ANI): Chennai Air Customs on Tuesday seized 3,440 tablets of psychotropic drugs from postal parcels destined for Florida, USA at the Foreign Post Office and arrested one pharma wholesaler in connection with the seizure.

As per a statement from the Commissi
oner of Customs, the Chennai Air Customs intercepted postal parcels suspected to contain psychotropic drugs that were destined to the USA based on intelligence.

"On opening the parcels, 234 strips of Addwize, 10 milligrams of Methylphenidate, 50 strips of Lonazep, 1 milligram of Clonazepam, 40 strips of Zolfresh and 10 milligrams of Zolpidem were recovered. As many as 2,340 tablets of Methylphenidate, 600 tablets of Zolpidem and 500 tablets of Clonazepam were recovered from these parcels," the statement said.

According to the statement, the parcels were booked by a Chennai based pharmaceutical wholesale business in Chennai. Follow up searches were carried out and he was arrested. (ANI)

Researchers develop artificial intelligence system to help better select embryos for implantation

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Massachusetts [US], September 15 (ANI): Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital are developing an artificial intelligence system with the goal of improving IVF success by helping embryologists objectively select embryos most likely to result in a healthy birth.

Using thousands of embryo image examples and deep-learning artificial intelligence (AI), the team developed a system that was able to differentiate and identify embryos with the highest potential for success significantly better than 15 experienced embryologists from five different fertility centres across the United States. The results of their study are published in eLife.

For many people who are struggling to conceive, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) can offer a life-changing solution. But the average success rate for IVF is only about 30 per cent.

"We believe that these systems will benefit clinical embryologists and patients," said corresponding author Hadi Shafiee, PhD, of the Division of Engineering in Medicine at the Brigham. "A major challenge in the field is deciding on the embryos that need to be transferred during IVF. Our system has tremendous potential to improve clinical decision making and access to care."

Currently, the tools available to embryologists are limited and expensive, and most embryologists must rely on their observational skills and expertise. Shafiee and colleagues are developing an assistive tool that can evaluate images captured using microscopes traditionally available at fertility centres.

"There is so much at stake for our patients with each IVF cycle. Embryologists make dozens of critical decisions that impact the success of a patient cycle. With assistance from our AI system, embryologists will be able to select the embryo that will result in a successful pregnancy better than ever before," said co-lead author Charles Bormann, PhD, MGH IVF Laboratory director.

The team trained the AI system using images of embryos captured at 113 hours post-insemination. Among 742 embryos, the AI system was 90 per cent accurate in choosing the most high-quality embryos. The investigators further assessed the AI system's ability to distinguish among high-quality embryos with the normal number of human chromosomes and compared the system's performance to that of trained embryologists. The system performed with an accuracy of approximately 75 per cent while the embryologists performed with an average accuracy of 67 per cent.

The authors note that in its current stage, this system is intended to act only as an assistive tool for embryologists to make judgments during embryo selection.

"Our approach has shown the potential of AI systems to be used in aiding embryologists to select the embryo with the highest implantation potential, especially amongst high-quality embryos," said Manoj Kumar Kanakasabapathy, one of the co-lead authors. (ANI)

Hizbul Mujahideen module busted in J-K's Ganderbal, 3 held

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Ganderbal (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], September 15 (ANI): In a major breakthrough, Jammu and Kashmir Police busted a Hizbul Mujahideen terror module and arrested three terrorists in Ganderbal here on the intervening night of September 14 and 15.

The arrested were identified as Arshid Ahmad Khan, Ma
jid Rasool Rather, and Mohd Asif Najar. They had come in contact with Pakistan based terrorist Kashmiri Fayaz Khan, who tasked them to take up terrorist activities in the area, police said.

"The module was instructed by their Pakistani handler to join militancy and undertake attacks on security forces in the area. Incriminating materials and three hand grenades have been recovered from their possession. A case has been registered at Ganderbal police station," police said.

Last month, police busted a terror module and arrested a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist and four associates in Kupwara here. (ANI)

'Wolf warriors irretrievably trashed whatever trust Beijing may have had as investment, research partner around world'

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Canberra [Australia], September 15 (ANI): The wolf warriors have irretrievably trashed whatever trust Beijing may have had as trading, investment and research partner around the world, says Peter Jennings, the executive director of Australian Strategic Partnership Institute (ASPI).

Hitting out at Ch
inese President Xi Jinping for his authoritarian style of functioning, Jennings in a write-up in The Strategist, said: "China has never had many, or indeed any, close friends internationally, but in less than a year the wolf warriors have irretrievably trashed whatever trust Beijing may have had as a trading, investment and research partner around the world."

Jennings described it as "a remarkable achievement", pointing out how even in a divided America, opposition to China is the one policy uniting Republicans and Democrats.

"Beijing's bad behaviour has produced a consensus in the European Union and Britain to push back, has given ASEAN a stronger common purpose and has ignited in Australia a determination to 'step up' in the Pacific and spend more on defence," the write-up said.

The Chinese "wolf-warrior diplomacy" or aggressive posturing has come under criticism for fuelling tensions around the globe.

Mentioning how China-Australia ties have increasingly come under strain, Jennings said: "Had China continued down the Deng Xiaoping-mandated path of 'Hide your capacities, bide your time', I'm no longer sure that Australia would have been able to muster the collective willpower to prevent the wholesale compromising of our economy, political system, critical infrastructure, universities and business community--such was the attraction of Chinese money."

Jennings suggested three factors that are shaping Xi Jinping's strategic thinking.

"The first factor is that CCP policymaking is increasingly centred on one person--Xi Jinping. Through regular purges of the party and the People's Liberation Army since 2012, Xi has removed political opponents, made himself the commander-in-chief of the military and the central driver of policy in every area from the South China Sea to the Belt and Road Initiative to the pandemic response," Jennings said in the write-up.

Xi Jinping has consolidated power and purged the rivals in the party so as to blunt any opposition to him.

It is tempting to think that Xi's authoritarian style is partly motivated by a determination not to be purged like his father. "His leadership is also informed by deep ideological schooling in Marxist-Leninist ideology--a reality too easily dismissed in the West."

Jennings said Xi has brought Leninist authoritarianism to into the 21st-century world of artificial intelligence and all-seeing surveillance. "Having embarked on a path to consolidate all power to himself, it is difficult to see how Xi can break from his current course of action. In effect, that means China's more assertive and uncompromising approach in the world will be here for as long as Xi remains in power," the write-up said.

According to Jennings, the second factor shaping Xi's approach is that, overwhelmingly, what matters to him is strengthening the position of the CCP inside China. "How the wider world reacts to Beijing's actions is vastly less important."

The write up said Beijing's increasingly inflammatory rhetoric about defeating 'separatism' in Taiwan, by use of military force if necessary, may be seen by the wider world to be destabilising Asian security, but inside China it rallies popular support around the party.

According to Jennings, the third factor shaping China's switch to the wolf-warrior approach is that Xi has concluded that coercion works.

"The lesson for Australia and all democracies is that making concessions to Beijing's wolf-warrior behaviours will only encourage more coercion," the write-up said.

"Based on this assessment of Chinese strategic motivations, it is highly likely that Beijing's more assertive approach will continue if Xi stays in office. That is going to hurt Australia, but the only mitigation is to reduce our economic dependence on China," Jennings concluded. (ANI)

India walks out of SCO meet of NSAs, says 'blatant violation' of charter after Pakistan uses 'fictitious map'

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New Delhi [India], September 15 (ANI): Indian on Tuesday walked out in protest from a virtual meeting of the national security advisers of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) after Pakistani representative projected a "fictitious map" that inaccurately depicted the borders of the two countries.

The Ministry of External Affairs said what Pakistan did was in "blatant disregard to host Russia's advisory".

"At the meeting of the national security advisers (NSAs) of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), hosted by the chair of the SCO (Russia), the Pakistani NSA deliberately projected a fictitious map that Pakistan has recently been propagating," said external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava.

"This was in blatant disregard to the advisory by the host against it and in violation of the norms of the meeting. After consultation with the host, the Indian side left the meeting in protest at that juncture. As was to be expected, Pakistan then went on to present a misleading view of this meeting," he said.

Sources said India issued its strong objection to the use of this illegal map by Pakistan and Russian side, as the Chair, tried very hard to persuade Pakistan not to do so.

Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of the National Security Council of Russian Federation has conveyed that he was personally very grateful to NSA for attending the SCO Summit, they said.

According to sources, Russia does not support what Pakistan has done and hopes that Pakistan's provocative act will not affect India's participation in SCO and definitely not cast any shadow on Patrushev's warm personal relationship for NSA for whom he has the highest regard.

Patrushev also said he hoped to see NSA at forthcoming events, they said. (ANI)

Aditya Puri conferred Lifetime Achievement Award by Euromoney Awards of Excellence 2020

Aditya Puri, MD, HDFC Bank

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], September 15 (ANI/BusinessWire India): In a first-of-its kind recognition for an Indian corporate leader, Aditya Puri, MD, HDFC Bank was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by Euromoney Awards of Excellence 2020.

The publication has recognised the iconic leader for his skills in building a world-class Indian bank at a time where there were no similar institutions in existence.

The coveted honour from the global financial magazine in recognition of his illustrious career in banking comes just ahead of his retirement next month.

"Aditya Puri's success since building HDFC Bank in 1994 can be measured, in part, by the quality of its absences: the absence of scandal, the absence of any credit bust and the absence of drama. Indian banking generally is not short of any of these things, lurching between dismal creditor catastrophes amid cycles of bailouts and occasional fraud-related arrests, but HDFC Bank has done nothing but grow," wrote the magazine, in its editorial.

Read the full editorial here.

"I take this opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of all our stakeholders who have been with us in this journey," said Aditya Puri. "I humbly accept this recognition on behalf of each one of them. And the journey wouldn't have been as good without the support of one and all who have been a part of this."

The awards are a rich recognition of Puri's contribution to the following:

* Unremitting focus on customer,
* Creating value for all stakeholders,
* Giving back to the society and
* All the above helping him create a highly respected and trust-worthy brand.

"It has avoided the low-hanging fruit of lucrative but perilous lending to unsteady conglomerates, letting others take the short-term spoils and the long-term consequences, but while doing so it has somehow grown to be the biggest bank by market capitalization in the country, twice the size of State Bank of India. By 2012 investors were so enamoured with the bank that it had the highest price-to-book ratio, not just in India but the world," further wrote Euromoney.

What is also remarkable is that throughout this journey, the Bank has stayed true to its core values of customer focus, operational excellence, product leadership, people, and sustainability.

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

Indian startups should reduce dependency on China, US:Standing Committee

New Delhi [India], September 15 (ANI): Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance headed by Jayant Sinha on Tuesday tabled a report in parliament, which has suggested the Indian start-ups to reduce its dependency on China and the US.

The report said the capital going into India's unicorns comes mainly from foreign sources such as the US and China and the Committee believed that this dependence should be reduced so that India becomes self-reliant by having several large domestic growth funds powered by domestic capital to support India's unicorns.

"The committee is of the opinion that Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) Fund-of-Funds vehicle should be expanded and fully operationalised/utilised to play an anchor investment role. SIDBI should play a pivotal role in disbursing more funds that would help startups and unicorns to scale up significantly, enabling the nation to become more self-reliant and be in a better position to control its economic destiny," the report said.

"It is further desired that these funds be managed by top quality professional management teams who specialise in different sectors such as healthcare, e-commerce, agritech, cyber-security," it added.
The Standing Committee on Finance in its report has strongly recommended that tax on Long Term Capital Gains be abolished for all investments in startup companies (as designated by DPIIT), which are made through collective investment vehicles (CIVs) such as angel funds, alternative investment funds and investment limited liability partnerships.

The report further said at a minimum, this should be done for at least the next two years to encourage investments during the pandemic period. After this two-year period, the Securities Transaction Tax (STT) may be applied to CIVs so that revenue neutrality is maintained.

"The Committee is of the opinion that there should be no punishing of domestic risk capital at any level, as the current tax disparity is proving advantageous to foreign capital through low tax jurisdictions and low taxes for fund management services. The Committee desire that Securities and Exchange Board of India should allow Venture Capital funds to invest in non-banking financial companies which would help enhance their capital base," the report said.

Given that the Indian economy is reeling under the post COVID-19 crisis and various sectors need capital to recover, the Committee recommended that the exemption for income on investments made before March 31, 2024, subject to the investment being held for a period of at least 36 months as incentivised in the Finance Act, 2020, should be provided to long-term and patient capital invested across all sectors, it added. (ANI)

China faces reverses in UN bodies, India makes it to ECOSOC

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New Delhi [India], September 15 (ANI): China is facing significant reverses in UN bodies, on Monday India secured a seat in UN Commission on Status of Women by beating China.

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promo
tion of gender equality and the empowerment of women, a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council.

It is learnt that China also suffered defeat in the election of United Nations Statistical Commission, which is the highest body of the global statistical system bringing together the Chief Statisticians from member states from around the world. However, India was not contesting that election.

On India's victory in UN commission on the status of women, India special representative tweeted: "India wins seat in prestigious #ECOSOC body! India elected Member of Commission on Status of Women #CSW. It's a ringing endorsement of our commitment to promote gender equality and women's empowerment in all our endeavours. We thank member states for their support."

ANI has learnt India got 38 votes and Afghanistan secured 39 votes in 54 ballots cast. China was also contesting the Asia Pacific category for the membership of Commission on status of women but could not make it.

Elections of UN commission on population and development was also held yesterday.

Big elections for the International Court of Justice is lined up for next year, China will be looking for the position in the high office, however, if setbacks continue it will not be an easy task for Beijing. (ANI)

COVID-19: India gifts 2,000 vials of Remdesivir to Nepal

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Kathmandu [Nepal], September 15 (ANI): As part of India's ongoing assistance to the Himalayan nation in meeting challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, Ambassador Vinay M Kwatra handed over 2,000 vials of Remdesivir to Nepal Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Tuesday.

"On Septem
ber 15, Ambassador Vinay M. Kwatra handed over 2,000 vials of Remdesivir to Foreign Affairs Minister of Nepal Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on behalf of the Government of India," Indian Embassy said in a release.

It stated that the medicines are a part of the Indian government's ongoing assistance to its neighbouring nation against the battle against COVID-19.

"It follows on earlier support extended to Nepal in the form of ICU ventilators on August 9, COVID-19 test kits (RT-PCR) on May 17, and essential medicines including Paracetamol and Hydroxychloroquine on April 22. As a close friend and neighbour, India stands in solidarity with the Government and people of Nepal in their fight to prevail over the pandemic," the release informed.

"Remdesivir is regarded as a broad-spectrum anti-viral medication for treating moderate to severely ill patients on oxygen therapy. According to medical research, the drug is proven to significantly reduce the duration of hospital stay and also diminish the recovery time of patients," it added.

India on Sunday gifted a consignment of disaster relief material to Nepal including tents and plastic sheets for distribution to flood and landslide affected families in five districts of the Himalayan nation.

The consignment was handed over by India's deputy envoy in Nepal, Namgya Khampa, to Chanda Chaudhary, Member of Parliament and President of the Nepal-India Women Friendship Society (NIWFS). (ANI)

Iraqi Foreign Minister to meet with NATO chief on Wednesday

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Baghdad [Iraq], September 15 (ANI/Sputnik): Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will meet on Wednesday in Brussels, the military bloc said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The NATO Secretary General, Mr Jens Stoltenberg will meet with the Minister of Foreign Af
fairs of the Republic of Iraq, Fuad Mohammad Hussein, on Wednesday, 16 September 2020 at NATO Headquarters," the statement read.

It added that there would be no media opportunity.

The previous meeting between the NATO chief and a top Iraqi diplomat took place in January. Then-Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim and Stoltenberg discussed the future relations between Baghdad and the alliance.

The NATO mission in Iraq was officially launched in July 2018 and involves about 500 troops. It is solely engaged in training the Iraqi security forces, which are direct subordinates to the government in Baghdad. The NATO forces do not take part in security operations with the Iraqi forces.

After the US assassinated one of Iran's most prominent military figures, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, in Iraq in early January, the Iraqi parliament voted to expel all the foreign forces from the country and suspend NATO operations. In February, Baghdad gave NATO the green light to stay in the country. (ANI/Sputnik)

Exercise caution due to rise in street crimes in Islamabad: US Embassy urges its citizens

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Islamabad [Pakistan], September 15 (ANI): The US Embassy in Pakistan issued an advisory to its citizens travelling to the Asian country to exercise caution due to the increase in street crimes in the nation's capital.

"The US Embassy in Islamabad has received reports of a recent increase in street c
rimes in Islamabad. Most incidents have taken place in sectors G-6, F-6, F-7, F-10, I-9 and I-10. These street crimes have included muggings, armed robberies and thefts of mobile phones, purses and automobiles," read a security alert from the US Embassy.

It added, "US citizens are reminded that police response times to reported crimes can vary. US citizens travelling within these sectors and especially while visiting markets should exercise caution and remain alert. Embassy operations are normal."

The alert urged Americans to keep a low profile and not to display "any signs of wealth" such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches.

The US Department of State's travel advisory has placed Pakistan in 'Level 3' category (reconsider travel) as of September 8.

"Reconsider travel to Pakistan due to COVID-19 and terrorism. Some areas have increased risk," the advisory said.

"Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Pakistan. A local history of terrorism and ongoing ideological aspirations of violence by extremist elements have led to indiscriminate attacks on civilians as well as local military and police targets," it added.

The advisory further said that terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targetting transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, military installations, airports, universities, tourist locations, schools, hospitals, places of worship and government facilities. Terrorists have targetted US diplomats and diplomatic facilities in the past. (ANI)

US Justice Dept initiates inquiry in ease of sentencing of Trump's long-time friend

Roger Stone, a long time friend of US President Donald Trump. (File photo)

Washington [US], September 15 (ANI): The United States Department of Justice inspector general's office has inquired into the handling of changing sentencing recommendations of Roger Stone, a long time friend of President Donald Trump. Stone was convicted last November of lying to Congress during a probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

The case interested the inspector general after four prosecutors on the case resigned in protest of Attorney General William Barr's intervention. Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison and Trump later commuted the sentence, according to CNN.

Stone was convicted of seven charges that included lying to Congress, tampering of witness and obstructing the congressional committee proceeding as part of the special counsel Robert Muller's Russia investigations.

"We welcome the review," Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec said on Monday (local time). However, the impact of the investigation by Inspector General Michael Horowitz may have as Trump "repeatedly praised" Stone and attacked the investigators in his campaign.

It would take months if not years to produce reports from the Inspector General's office as its function is "relatively limited to fact-finding and making recommendations".

According to CNN, prosecutors from the justice department recommended "harsh sentence" for Stone's convictions. But, Barr stepped in and "toned down" the penalty what the Justice Department had requested.

The four prosecutors on the case resigned before the sentencing and said Barr had undercut the law to protect the President.

According to a Sputnik report, Stone is one of six Trump associates who were convicted following Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. He was sentenced to 40 months in jail for obstructing the probe and was supposed to report to jail by July 14.

Earlier in February, four federal prosecutors withdrew from Stone's case after the top Justice Department officials "disavowed and undercut" them by reducing the government's sentence against him. (ANI)

Ready to deal with any situation: Rajnath on India-China border tensions

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha on Tuesday. (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], September 15 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that India is ready to deal with any situation regarding the India-China border tensions.

"I want to assure you that we are ready to deal with any situation. I request this house to pass a resolution that we stand 
shoulder to shoulder with our armed forces who are guarding our borders to safeguard India's sovereignty and integrity," Singh said in the Lok Sabha.

He said that China does not recognise the traditional customary alignment of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the border issue between remains unresolved.

"India and China border issue remain unresolved. Till now, there has been no mutually acceptable solution. China disagrees on the border (issue). China does not recognise the traditional and customary alignment of the boundary. We consider that this alignment is based on well established geographical principles," Singh said.

"Both India and China agree that to maintain peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas, it is essential for the further development of bilateral relations," he added.

The Defence Minister said that India has told China through diplomatic channels that the "attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo were in violation of the bilateral agreements".

"Violent conduct of Chinese troops is a violation of all past agreements. Our troops have done counter deployments in the area to safeguard our borders," he stated.

Singh said that China has mobilised a huge number of Army battalions and armaments along LAC and inner areas.

"There are many friction points in eastern Ladakh, Gogra, Kongka La, Pangong Lake's north and south banks. Indian Army has made counter deployments in these areas," he said.

The two countries have been engaged in a standoff position since April-May timeframe and the Chinese have refused to vacate areas in the Finger area and other friction points in the Eastern Ladakh area.

Multiple rounds of talks have also failed to yield any significant result in defusing the tensions and now the Indian side has prepared itself for long term deployment in the high mountainous region. (ANI)

Using technology and personalisation, Finlatics is changing skill development in financial markets

Nisant Mohta, Founder, Finlatics is one of the select Asian recipients of the Warwick Business School Scholarship. (Photo: ANI)

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] September 15 (ANI/BusinessWire India): Financial markets can be extremely overwhelming for people who don't have experience in the field of finance. Students who wish to make a career in this industry often find it hard to get a kick-start.

That's where Finlatics comes i
n. By creating an interactive and immersive learning experience they have simplified navigating the complexities of the financial markets.

"The core thought behind Finlatics is to enable students in getting live experience as a highway to their career in finance. As a domain, finance is tremendously dynamic and through Finlatics' Projects and Programs, students experience this in an intuitive and refreshing manner," said Founder Nisant Mohta.

With a community of 7000 plus equity market enthusiasts, this Mumbai-based startup has already become a leading force in the industry.

Their projects have an alumni base from top universities across the world, including Indian campuses like IIMs, IIFTs, FMS Delhi, BITS Pilani, IIT Bombay, NMIMS Mumbai, JBIMS Mumbai, as well as flagship international names such as the University of Warwick, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, Nanyang Technological University, among others.

What makes them so popular among the youth is the modern approach they take which focuses on practical experience in their flagship program.

The Finlatics Financial Markets Experience Program (FMEP) is two-month online equity research and analysis-based experience program which equips millennials with the tools needed to build a career in finance.

Embedded with a stock market simulator, students can have a live experience of real-time trading, portfolio creation, and understanding their losses and gains in a risk-free environment.

Comprehensive video lectures, interactive exercises in the course prepare you to tackle any obstacle you may face in the future. But the best thing about the program is that it allows amateurs to gain a footing before stepping out into the real world.

"A common thought is that working on a finance project would require a lot of prior knowledge. However, we have crafted our programs and projects in such a manner that even if a student has no prior knowledge or experience in finance, they can easily do well through the support mechanisms of training and mentoring that are present in the program itself. There's no doubt that if a student has a grasp of the field, his / her progress can be accelerated two-folds with our program," explained Mohta.

The primary aspects of this flagship program include portfolio management, wherein students learn how to make a virtual portfolio that is linked to live BSE prices.

Students are also taught how to carry out detailed equity research across the three market segments, i.e. Large Cap, Mid Cap, and Small Cap. The highlight of this program, however, is the personalized mentorship given to each learner by an Equity Advisor assigned to the student, who provides practical industry-oriented mentoring.

The advisor provides updates on happenings in financial markets and helps in managing the learner's virtual portfolio. This enables the learner to keep track of markets on a daily basis.

"I got to perform equity research on Bharti Airtel, Britannia Limited, Tata Consumer Products, and Himachal Futuristic Communications Limited. It was a great learning experience that taught me the nuances of how to approach the fundamentals of a company and translate that research into trading and investment in the stock market," shared Shivam Shibasis Garnaik, an ace student from the Indian Institute of Management Sambalpur about the research he performed during the course.

"It was an enriching experience. The team at Finlatics gave me constant guidance, support, and invaluable suggestions during the course of my project with them," shared Shrishti Sethia, an ex-student from the University of Warwick about how the program helped her gain experience in the field.

The program's wide multidisciplinary audience encourages newcomers to come on board and expand their knowledge boundaries.

"FMEP was an informative and extensive learning experience in portfolio management, equity trading and research. It was an enriching experience and my first practical exposure into the world of stock markets," said Kumar Saurabh from the Indian Institute of Management - Rohtak, who recently completed the course, about his experience as an outsider in the industry.

With extremely thought-out projects, FMEP has surely made learning a fun activity for aspiring finance professionals all over the globe.

Graduate employability is a pressing issue for companies, education institutes & students. Companies such as Finlatics, help in improving the situation in finance by raising awareness & exposure to financial market operations and creating skilled professionals.

For this very reason, Finlatics was also a part of the prestigious Incubation Program at the distinguished Atal Incubation Centre-NMIMS, set up under NITI Aayog, where the selection rate for their cohort was less than 4 per cent.

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

Over 300 volunteers get Russian COVID-19 vaccine, 14 pc have minor complaints

Representative Image

Moscow [Russia], September 15 (ANI/Sputnik): Over 300 volunteers have been inoculated during the post-registration trials of Russia's COVID-19 vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V, around 14 percent of them have reported fatigue, muscle pain or high body temperature, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Tuesday.

"Over 300 persons have been vaccinated. Around 14 percent have minor complaints about fatigue or slight muscle pain during the day, they sometimes have a high temperature," Murashko told reporters.

These slight complications were predictable, "this is what the manual says," the minister said. (ANI/Sputnik)

UN Secy-General urges global community to assist WHO's fight against COVID-19

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (File photo)

New York [US], September 15 (ANI/Sputnik): United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the global community to support the UN system, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in particular, in its effort against the coronavirus pandemic.

This summer, the United States formally notifie
d Guterres of its intention to withdraw from the WHO in July 2021, after repeatedly criticising the organisation's pandemic response.

Earlier in September, the US Department of State spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus expressed the belief that the WHO "failed badly" not only regarding the coronavirus but in its response to other health crises in recent decades.

Ortagus slammed the WHO for declining to adopt reforms and failing to demonstrate its "independence from the Chinese Communist Party."

"I appeal to all member states to support each other and the UN system in confronting the challenges of our time, including in combating the current health crisis. I have made it clear that WHO needs the support of Member States at this crucial time of dealing with COVID-19," Guterres said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

The WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic in March.

According to the latest data of the organization, over 28.9 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed globally, with the death toll exceeding 922,000. (ANI/Sputnik)

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