Wednesday, September 23, 2020

BDC chairman killed by terrorists in J-K's Budgam

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Budgam (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], September 23 (ANI): Block Development Council (BDC) Chairman Khag Bhupinder Singh was killed by terrorists on Wednesday in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district.

The incident took place at around 7.45 pm when terrorists opened fire at Singh who died on the spot.

day at around 1945 hrs, terrorists fired upon BDC Chairman Khag Budgam Bhupinder Singh, who died on spot. Singh had two personal security officers (PSOs) from District Police Line (DPL) Budgam. He had dropped the PSOs in police station Khag and had proceeded towards his residence in Aloochibagh Srinagar," Jammu and Kashmir Police said.

"However, without informing police, the said PP (Singh) moved to Village Dalwash (ancestral home) where he was attacked upon," they said.

Former Chief Minister of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah expressed condolences over Singh's death.

"Very sorry to hear about the assassination of BDC councillor Bhupinder Singh. Mainstream grassroot political workers are easy targets for militants and unfortunately in recent years, the threat to them has only increased. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace," he tweeted. (ANI)

Saudi King Salman supports US efforts for Israel-Arab peace

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

New York [US], September 23 (ANI/Sputnik): Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said in his address to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that he supports the US-led efforts to achieve reconciliation in the Middle East by securing peace accords between Israel and Arab states.

"We support the efforts of the current US administration to bring about peace in the Middle East by bringing both Palestinians and the Israelis together at the negotiating table to reach a fair and comprehensive agreement," the Saudi King said.

On September 15, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain officially reconciled with Israel by signing US-brokered peace agreements at a ceremony in the White House.

The agreement signed with the UAE is a peace treaty for establishing diplomatic ties and full normalisation of relations with Israel, while the agreement with Bahrain is a declaration of peace.

The accords will see the countries exchange embassies with Israel, allow direct flights, and boost commercial cooperation. The UAE became the third and Bahrain the fourth Arab state to normalise relations with Israel after Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

US President Donald Trump has said that at least five or six more countries are at advanced stages of negotiations with Israel and may soon follow suit. (ANI/Sputnik)

Photo exhibition on Uyghur Genocide held in front of UNHRC

Photo exhibition on Uyghur Genocide outside UNHRC, Geneva

Geneva [Switzerland], September 23 (ANI): A photo exhibition titled "Stop Uyghur Genocide! Stop Uyghur Forced Labour" has been organised at Broken Chair in front of UN during the 45th Human Rights Council Session in Geneva.

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) organised the three-day-long photo protest t
o highlight the situation in Xinjiang province of China which is rapidly deteriorating.

Pictures of Uyghur victims were put up to make the international community aware of the crisis.

Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress said, "Today we are organizing a photo expedition against forced labour and to stop the Uyghur genocide. Here, 45th Session of Human Rights Council is going on so we are using this opportunity to raise awareness about the Uyghur genocide and draw international attention".

He added, "Today more than 3 million Uyghur Muslims are suffering in a 21st-century concentration camp by the Chinese government. The Chinese government is using Uyghur Muslims as forced labour so that's why we are calling the world to stop business with China. We are pleading with the Chinese government to stop the Uyghur genocide. It is a shame in the 21st century and silence is a crime. So we ask the whole world and entire human being to stand with Uyghurs. Support us".

Recently, the new revelations of the use of Uyghur forced labour and the forced sterilisation of Uyghur women by the Chinese government have added a new dimension to the crisis: this now constitutes ''Genocide'' under the Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

This adds on to the existing crimes against humanity occurring in East Turkistan (Xinjiang).

In the last three years, the Chinese government has forcibly detained between 1.8 to 3 million of Uyghurs and other Turkic people, destroyed mosques and graveyards, banned the use of Uyghur language as a teaching medium in some schools, denied the fundamental rights of Uyghurs in an attempt to erode the Uyghur culture, identity and society altogether.

This event aims to highlight the Chinese Communist Party's genocidal policies implemented in East Turkistan against the Uyghurs and other Turkic people, particularly the Uyghur forced labour issue and the forced sterilisation of Uyghur women.

"Moreover, the "'Wall of the Disappeared'' is an evocative way to visualise some individuals who have disappeared since 2017, into the vast system of internment camps, as well as forced labour camps. The photos of the missing individuals were provided by Uyghurs in the diaspora", said a statement by World Uyghur Congress. (ANI)

Plea in Delhi HC for NIA probe against Twitter over anti-India tweets

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New Delhi [India], September 23 (ANI): A petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against the Twitter Communications India Pvt Ltd and their representative in India under stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and various offences of Indian Penal Code for allegedly willfully abetting and promoting anti-India tweets in relation to Khalistan movement.

A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan on Wednesday sent the plea, filed by one Sangeeta Sharma through advocates Desh Ratan Nigam and Awanish Singh, to another bench for hearing on September 30.

The petitioner said that Twitter, in order to create a rift in the society, deliberately promoted the prohibited content of the Sikh For Justice and "in the absence of any law to deal with offensive and hatred messages, the platforms like Twitter are knowingly promoting the messages which are against the law of the land".

Therefore, Twitter needs to explain for circulating and promoting the prohibited content from their company, the plea said. It sought an NIA inquiry for fair, proper, and speedy investigation in the matter.

The plea also sought directions to make a mechanism to check contents and advertisements which are spreading hatred amongst the communities, seditious, instigative, separatist, hate-filled, divisive, against the society at large and against the spirit of the Union of India.

"Issues writ of mandamus or any other writ, order or direction to lodge an appropriate case against Twitter Communications India Pvt Ltd and their representative in India in various provision of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the Indian Penal Code, and the Information Technology Act, 2000," the plea said.

It also sought to make a law, rules, and regulation as per which an action can be initiated against the breaking India messages under the garb of Article 19 of the Constitution of India against the Twitter India and their representatives in India for willfully abetting and promoting Anti India tweets and penalize them and their relevant authorities according to law of the land.

The petition sought directions to the respondent to ensure the development of Indian social media platforms and also to have these apps use servers based in India. It also sought to ensure that the revenue generated from India by the social media platform twitter should be taxed in India and come within Indian Taxation laws.

"Because Twitter assumes that as a platform they are not governed by the Indian constitution and can operate with impunity and therefore, a law is required to deal with such kind of hatred and divisive messages," the plea said.

"Twitter and social media companies are profit-making companies and expecting them to have safeguards for making social media safe and secure is important. The logic and algorithms that twitter usage should be shared and vetted by Indian government authorities or competent authority for screening anti-India tweets. The source code needs to be shared with the government," it added. (ANI)

Passage Exercise between Australian, Indian Navy underway in East Indian Ocean

PASSEX between Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy underway (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi [India], September 23 (ANI): The Passage Exercise (PASSEX) between the Royal Australian Navy and the Indian Navy is underway in the East Indian Ocean region, said a spokesperson of the Indian Navy on Wednesday.

"PASSEX underway between the Royal Australian Navy and the Indian Navy in Easte
rn Indian Ocean Region. Air Warfare Destroyer HMAS Hobart, Stealth Frigate INS Sahyadri and Missile Corvette INS Karmuk are engaged in complex Maritime Exercises," the spokesperson tweeted.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Defence issued on Tuesday, the exercise, aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and imbibing "best practices from each other, would involve advanced surface and anti-air exercises including weapon firings, seamanship exercises, naval manoeuvres and Cross Deck Flying Operations."

"The Indian Navy (IN) is scheduled to undertake a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in the East Indian Ocean Region from 23 to 24 Sep 20," the Defence Ministry said.

The exercise would involve the participation of HMAS Hobart from the Australian side and Indian Naval Ships Sahyadri and Karmuk. In addition, an Indian MPA and helicopters from both sides would be participating in the exercise, the statement said further

The ministry added that PASSEXs are regularly conducted by IN (Indian Navy) with units of friendly foreign navies, whilst visiting each other's ports or during a rendezvous at sea.

"This exercise being conducted in the East Indian Ocean Region, reflects the growing strength of Indo-Australian bilateral relations as comprehensive strategic partners, particularly in defence cooperation in the maritime domain," the ministry added.

It said further that the exercise, which is in keeping with the "strong bond" shared by the two navies, would be another step towards strengthening India-Australia defence relations and the continued efforts of both Governments to work "closely to enhance safety and security of the global commons" in accordance with international regulations.

"The two navies have built a robust relationship through regular exercises such as AUSINDEX conducted biennially. In the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the exercise would be conducted strictly as a 'non-contact activity' and would not involve any physical contact between the participating personnel of the two navies," the ministry further said. (ANI)

So proud of you: Aanand L. Rai congratulates Ayushmann on Time's list of 100 influential people

Aanand L. Rai , Ayushmann Khurrana (Image courtesy: Twitter)

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], September 23 (ANI): By sharing a quirky video, filmmaker Aanand L. Rai on Wednesday congratulated actor Ayushmann Khurrana for being featured in Time Magazine's list of 100 Most Influential people for 2020.

The 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns' director praised the actor on Twit
ter. In the caption, Rai noted, "Rocket hamare saiyaan. So proud of you @ayushmannk stay blessed."

The short clip features a picture of Ayushmann, as the background score 'Rocket hamare saiyaan' from their collaborative project 'Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan' plays in the backdrop.

Produced by Rai, the movie marked the beginning of the association between him and the award-winning actor Ayushmann and co-star Bhumi Pednekar.

Earlier in the day, the 'Bala' actor expressed gratitude and said, "I'm truly humbled with the recognition that TIME has bestowed on me. As an artist, I have only looked to contribute towards bringing a positive change in society through cinema and this moment is a huge validation of my belief system and my journey."

He added, "I have always believed that cinema has the power to bring about change by triggering the right conversations among people and society. Hopefully, through my content choices, I have been able to contribute towards my country and countrymen." (ANI)

Ghulam Nabi Azad meets President, urges him to send back agriculture bills

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad meets President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday. (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi [India], September 23 (ANI): Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad met President Ram Nath Kovind and urged him to return the agriculture-related bills that were passed on Sunday amid protests.

Speaking to reporters after meeting the President, Congress leader Azad told r
eporters, "I apprised him of the way these two bills were passed unconstitutionally and also urged him to return these bills, so that amendments can be made."

"Before passing these bills, the government should have taken all political parties into confidence. They should have discussed with farmer organisations and their leaders so that a proper consensus could have reached. But it was not so. They send these two bills neither to the select committee nor the standing committee. Otherwise, it would have been a good bill and helped farmers," he added.

Slamming the government, he said, "All the limits were crossed in the Rajya Sabha and the constitution was shamed in the world's largest democracy."

"Yesterday 18 opposition parties came together and took the decision to send a letter to President to inform him how the farm bill was passed," he added.

Pointing out that the consensus was in Opposition favour Azad further said, "The government, and not the opposition, is responsible for the chaos that happened afterwards." (ANI)

Lukashenko says Belarusians protected peace, sovereignty at election

Belarusian Flag

Minsk [Belarus], September 23 (ANI/Sputnik): Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Wednesday at his inauguration that Belarusians protected the country's peace and sovereignty at the presidential election.

The president said he could not and would not leave behind people who had linked thei
r life to his government's plans for Belarus.

"I cannot, have no right to leave behind the Belarusians who linked their political sympathies, their fate, the future of their children to the government's course," Lukashenko said.

The president said he was feeling proud of Belarusians who stood up for their convictions and called his election a resounding victory for him and for his voters.

According to Lukashenko, Belarus will continue its social welfare policies.

Following the inauguration, representatives of various military service branches of Belarus took an oath of loyalty to the people and the president, swearing they would always be ready to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, the state-run Belta news agency reported.

Lukashenko, in turn, said while addressing the military that everything would be done to preserve peace in the country.

"Assuming the office of the head of state is, first of all, the greatest honour and huge responsibility before the people of independent Belarus. We take an oath of allegiance to the Motherland in the year of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory," Lukashenko said.

According to the leader, this date should remind Belarusians that loyalty to their homeland and the willingness to give their lives for freedom are in their blood.

"Today Belarus is behind us. And we will do everything to preserve the main thing -- peace in our land, peace, which was paid for with millions of lives of selfless warriors, their mothers, fathers, wives and children," Lukashenko added.

Lukashenko secured his sixth term as the country's leader as a result of the August 9 presidential elections. However, the Belarusian opposition has rejected the outcomes, triggering ongoing nationwide protests. (ANI/Sputnik)

Could life exist deep underground on Mars?

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Massachusetts [US], September 23 (ANI): Recent science missions and results are bringing the search for a life closer to home, and scientists at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard, and Smithsonian (CfA) and the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) may have figured out how to determine whether life is - or was - lurking deep beneath the surface of Mars, the Moon, and other rocky objects in the universe.

While the search for life typically focuses on water found on the surface and in the atmosphere of objects, Dr Avi Loeb, Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard and CfA astronomer, and Dr Manasvi Lingam, assistant professor of astrobiology at FIT and CfA astronomer, suggest that the absence of surface water doesn't preclude the potential for life elsewhere on a rocky object, like deep in the subsurface biosphere.

"We examined whether conditions amenable to life could exist deep underneath the surface of rocky objects like the Moon or Mars at some point in their histories and how scientists might go about searching for traces of past subsurface life on these objects," said Lingam, the lead author on the research. "We know that these searches will be technically challenging, but not impossible."

One challenge for researchers was determining the potential for the existence of water where there appears to be none. "Surface water requires an atmosphere to maintain a finite pressure, without which liquid water cannot exist. However, when one moves to deeper regions, the upper layers exert pressure and thus permit the existence of liquid water in principle," said Lingam. "For instance, Mars does not currently have any longstanding bodies of water on its surface, but it is known to have subsurface lakes."

The research analyzes the "thickness" of the subsurface region--where water and life might exist in principle--of the nearby rocky objects, and whether the high pressures therein could rule out life altogether. According to Loeb, the answer is probably not. "Both the Moon and Mars lack an atmosphere that would allow liquid water to exist on their surfaces, but the warmer and pressurized regions under the surface could allow the chemistry of life in liquid water."

The research also arrived at a limit on the amount of biological material that might exist in deep subsurface environments, and the answer, although small, is surprising. "We found that the biological material limit might be a few per cent that of Earth's subsurface biosphere, and a thousand times smaller than Earth's global biomass," said Loeb, adding that cryophiles--organisms that thrive in extremely cold environments--could not only potentially survive, but also multiply, on seemingly lifeless rocky bodies. "Extremophilic organisms are capable of growth and reproduction at low subzero temperatures. They are found in places that are permanently cold on Earth, such as the polar regions and the deep sea, and might also exist on the Moon or Mars."

In terms of searching for life subsurface on the Moon and Mars, the researchers note it won't be easy, requiring search criteria and machinery not yet in use on either neighbouring body. "There are many criteria involved in determining the most optimal locations to hunt for signs of life," said Lingam. "Some that we have taken into account for subsurface searches include drilling near to the equator where the subsurface biosphere is situated closer to the surface, and seeking geological hotspots with higher temperatures." Loeb added that in terms of machinery, "We need to be able to drill tens of kilometres under the surface of Mars, and without geological activity exposing these deep layers, we will not be able to explore them."

The challenges, however, don't mean that finding life in the subsurface biosphere of a rocky body is impossible, even in the near future. "Drilling might be possible in the context of the Artemis program to establish a sustainable base on the Moon by 2024. One can imagine robots and heavy machinery that will drill deep under the lunar surface in search of life, just as we do in searching for oil on Earth," said Loeb, adding that if future missions to Mars and the Moon do unearth subsurface life, the same principles could be applied to missions headed much farther away. "Our study extends to all objects out there and indeed implies that the habitable zone is much larger than traditionally thought since science currently considers only life on the surface of the object."

The research is published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. (ANI)

Only 60 districts in 7 states are a cause of worry: PM Modi at COVID-19 review meet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a virtual meeting on Wednesday. (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], September 23 (ANI): Only 60 districts in seven states of the country are a cause of worry, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday while chairing a COVID-19 review meeting.

Prime Minister Modi chaired a high-level virtual meeting with Chief Ministers and Health Ministers of
 seven high burden COVID-19 States/Union Territory to review COVID-19 response and management.

The seven high burden COVID-19 States/ UT are Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Punjab.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister said, "There are more than 700 districts in the country but only 60 districts in seven states are a cause of worry. I suggest Chief Ministers hold a virtual conference with people at district/block level for seven days. We have to learn from the best practices from across the states."

As a step to contain the spread of coronavirus cases in these states, Modi suggested increasing the focus on effective testing, tracing, treatment, surveillance and clear messaging.

"We need to increase our focus on effective testing, tracing, treatment, surveillance and clear messaging," said Modi.

For asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, he said, "Effective messaging is also necessary because most COVID-19 infections are without symptoms. In such a situation, rumours may arise. It might raise doubts in the minds of the people that testing is bad. Some people also make the mistake of underestimating the severity of the infection."

He said, "India has ensured the supply of life-saving medicines all over the world even in difficult times. We have to work together to see that the medicines easily reach from one state to another."

Modi has also urged the state government to focus on micro-containment. He has suggested to implement local lockdown of a day or two and accordingly review the situation suitable for their State/Union Territory.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister also said that on September 25, Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) will be completing two years.

"Within two years, the scheme has benefited over 1.25 crore poor people/patients in the country. I appreciate all the medical staff who has made this a success," said Prime Minister Modi.

He said a major decision has been taken on the usage of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). He said the decision has been taken to increase the usage of funds from 35 per cent to 50 per cent."

Prime Minister also emphasised on the wearing facial masks to contain the spread of the virus in public places.

"Mask is important to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus," he added.

India's COVID-19 count surged to 56,46,011 on Wednesday, after reporting a spike of 83,347 new cases and 1,085 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry. (ANI)

Tamil Nadu CM writes to PM Modi on Culture Ministry expert committee who has no representative from southern state

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (File Photo)

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], September 23 (ANI): An expert committee formed by the Culture Ministry for the study of the origin and evolution of Indian culture has no representative from any of southern states, especially Tamil Nadu, wrote TN Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

In a letter to PM Modi, Palaniswami said, "I understand that the Ministry of Culture, Government of India has recently constituted an expert committee for conducting a holistic study of the origin and evolution of Indian culture during the past 12 millennia and its interface with other cultures of the world. While it is a welcome move to deepen our understanding of our country's rich and varied cultural roots, the composition of the committee in itself is a matter of deep concern."

The Chief Minister said that there is no representative from any of the Southern States, especially from Tamil Nadu, who according to Palaniswami is home to Dravidian civilization.

"The recent archaeological excavations in Keezhadi and other parts of Tamil Nadu reveal that the world-reputed Sangam era can now be dated back to as early as 6th century BCE," read the letter.

Prime Minister had visited Tamil Nadu this time last year.

Further, Palaniswami said, "You will, therefore, agree with me that any chronicle of Indian history and culture would be grossly incomplete without giving its rightful place to Tamil culture and language."

"It is surprising that the Ministry of Culture has chosen to ignore experts from Tamil Nadu while setting up the said committee," he added.

He urged the Prime Minister to direct the Ministry of Culture to reconstitute the expert committee by inducting eminent scholars from Tamil Nadu.

The Chief Minister has requested an early reply on the matter. (ANI)

China accuses US of obstructing talks aimed at banning militarisation of outer space

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Beijing [China], September 23 (ANI/Sputnik): The United States is obstructing the international negotiations on an arms control agreement related to the prohibition of the placement of weapons in outer space, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday.

Russian President Vladimi
r Putin said in a video message to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that Moscow was promoting an idea of signing a deal between the leading world space powers that would prohibit a hostile use of space, including the prohibition of placement of weapons in outer space.

"China and Russia jointly submitted draft agreements on arms control in outer space at a conference on disarmament; these initiatives are receiving the support of an increasing number of states. Meanwhile, the United States, proceeding from its personal interests, has long been in a negative way opposing the international negotiation process on the arms control in outer space," Wang said while commenting on Putin's address.

According to the spokesman, the United States is actively pursuing a strategy of domination in outer space, which was designated by Washington as a domain of military operations involving the creation of air force and space commands and intensification of the militarisation of outer space.

Wang called on all countries to actively contribute to the arms control process in outer space and to ensure lasting peace in outer space and security in general. (ANI/Sputnik)

Apple launches online store in India

Apple Online Store (Image courtesy: Twitter)

New Delhi [India], September 23 (ANI): Apple has finally marked its first retail presence in the country by way of its very own e-commerce portal named Apple Store Online. The store offers a full range of its products and services directly to customers across India.

According to Mashable, the online
 store offers a range of new services that haven't been available to Indian users before. The customers can now interact with Apple Specialists, who can help customers with a range of product-related queries - from custom-configuring a Mac to set up new devices. Customers can get advice, receive guidance, and learn about new products directly from Apple in Hindi and English.

Through its financing options and trade-in program, the platform also offers a range of affordable services and products. Students can shop for a Mac or iPad with special pricing and receive discounts on accessories. The Cupertino giant's AppleCare+ service - which extends the standard two-year limited warranty and adds accidental damage coverage - is also being offered to Indian customers for the first time.

As reported by Mashable, Apple has also rolled out a contactless delivery option to minimise exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic. Orders that do not require a signature will be left at the customer's door, and those that do will need only a verbal confirmation from a safe distance instead of a written signature.

A range of no-contact or limited-contact payment options is also being made available to buyers, who can pay for items via credit and debit card, credit card EMI, RuPay, UPI, Net Banking, and credit card on delivery.

Apple is also offering "signature" gift wrap and personalised engraving on select products. For example, AirPods can be adorned with emoji or text in English, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu. Engraving is available for iPad and Apple Pencil too but is restricted to English text.

Mashable reported that following today's launch, Apple's next steps in India include a flagship brick-and-mortar store set to open in Mumbai in 2021. (ANI)

India's most affordable online education platform, coming soon: Shiksha Mission

Shiksha Mission

New Delhi [India], September 23 (ANI/India PR Distribution): 'Equal Education for all' should be the right of every child. India is going to witness a new venture of online education based on the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi's vision towards education for children.

'Shiksha Mission' is an upcoming p
latform to provide e-learning classes to the students from class two to twelve in the most affordable pocket friendly cost. Gandhi's aim for education explained it as more than as assumed.

Adding extracurricular activity should be the indispensable part of the education. Considering such elements Shiksha Mission announces a complete package of e-learning along with extracurricular activities like dance, personality development and English Speaking. With this vision Shiksha Mission will be proved as a new jackpot for village and sub-urban children to start their e-learning classes in the lowest cost.

Students from all income categories and social class can explore this platform to get quality education with attractive visuals and expert teachers.

Initially, Shiksha Mission has prepared its e-learning programmeon the basis of course module fromall major boards in India. Following the course modulesShiksha Mission has added some extra instances and interactive teaching skills. These classes will be in general communication language Hindi with the required English interpretations.

One more significant element added by Shiksha Mission is providing 'Personal Security Cover to the students in the same cost of e-learning package. Shiksha Mission considers personal security of students with equal importance as education. So a combined package of e-learning and Personal Security Cover is prepared to make students secure with their education and future both. An individual from age group 5 to 40 can easily access the website and subscribe this e-learning package.

It is the vision of Prime Minister NarendraModi to promote digital education in India. Shiksha Mission has taken this initiative to be a contributor of this great vision. In this COVID 19 outbreak and effect of lock down students got confronted with a new issue of distance education. It has also become the need of future education patterns to adopt quality e-learning classes in the cost effective manner.

John Salvador, who holds this entrepreneur with his expert team members, has a long run experience of handling social works, human resource and marketing explains Shiksha Mission in his own words. For him, Shiksha Mission aims to provide equal opportunity to all children to get education with a transparent process with flat pricings.

He added, it was too difficult to manage a pocket friendly e-learning platform but when you have a vision with a pure thought people in your surrounding support you to achieve the goal, and finally we are here with the announcement of Shiksha Mission.

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

Russia to soon register second vaccine against COVID-19 says Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (File Photo)

Moscow [Russia], September 23 (ANI): Russia will soon register a second vaccine against COVID-19, informed President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

"By the way, the second vaccine against coronavirus will be registered soon," as reported by Sputnik quoting Putin while speaking to the Russian Upper Hou
se lawmakers.

On Tuesday, national consumer health watchdog said that another vaccine -- developed by the Vector research centre and dubbed as EpiVacCorona would be registered by October 15.

Putin also complimented the country's ability to counter the pathogen adding that the healthcare system is "now ready to efficiently counter' COVID-19.

"During the pandemic, we have perceived the value of every human life, the value of the heroic effort of healthcare workers, and of course, the enormous role that healthcare system's efficiency plays for the society and the country. Over the past months, its capabilities have increased significantly. The healthcare system is now ready to efficiently counter the coronavirus infection and the seasonal surge in cold-related diseases," Putin added.

In August, Russia became the first country in the world to register a vaccine against COVID-19.

As per the latest updates by Johns Hopkins University, Russia is fourth on the list with regard to most COVID-19 cases in the world -- after the US, India and Brazil -- with 1,117,487 cases and 19,720 deaths due to the pathogen. (ANI)

'Tenet' continues UK, Ireland box-office sway as 'After We Collided' gains

A still from 'Tenet' (Image courtesy: Youtube)

Washington [US], September 23 (ANI): Christopher Nolan's 'Tenet' has remained in pole position at the UK and Ireland box-office, collecting UKP 796,309 (USD 1,011,097) from 616 locations in its fourth weekend, according to final numbers from Comscore.

According to Variety, the Warner Bros release no
w it has a running total of UKP13,879,635 (USD 17,617,559) in the territory.

Shear Entertainment's young adult romance 'After We Collided' continues to gain with UKP 598,294 ( USD 759,605) from 454 sites and now has a total of UKP 1,719,760 (USD 2,183,291). Directed by Roger Kumble ('Suits,' 'Pretty Little Liars'), the film is a follow up to last year's 'After.' Both are based on novels by Ann Todd. The film has collected some USD 30 million worldwide, making it this year's late summer sleeper hit.

Warner's 'Bill & Ted Face the Music,' that reunites Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, collected UKP 462,051 (USD 586,845) on debut from 569 sites.

Disney's 'X-Men' universe film 'The New Mutants' continued to slide with UKP 106,199 (USD 134,814) from 429 sites. The film now has a total of UKP 1,314,899 (USD 1,669,265) in the territory.

According to Variety, on the upcoming weekend, Parkland Entertainment will release mature romance '23 Walks,' and Studiocanal will bow modern-day capitalism documentary 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century.'

In addition, Nickelodeon releases 'JoJo Siwa's D.R.E.A.M. Tour On The Big Screen,' featuring American dancer, singer, actress and YouTube personality Joelle Joanie 'JoJo' Siwa, while Curzon bows 'Little Girl,' about an eight-year-old girl born into a boy's body.

Vertigo Releasing has Sundance nominee and SXSW winner 'Miss Juneteenth' coming up, while Peccadillo Pictures has lined up Sundance winner 'Monsoon.'

Dogwoof is releasing Ron Howard's California wildfire documentary 'Rebuilding Paradise' and Munro Film Services is releasing comedy crime drama 'Schemers,' while Fifth Column Films is debuting music documentary 'Southern Journey (Revisited).'

Variety reported that repertory distribution company Park Circus is re-releasing all the films in the 'Rocky' franchise. (ANI)

Blue Blocks Montessori School files a record 5 patents for student Inventions in Drones

Blue Blocks Montessori School

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], September 23 (ANI/PRNewswire): Barely nine months since the launch of their Drone Research and Innovation Centre, Blue Blocks Montessori School, Hyderabad has filed for a record 5 patents for Inventions in Drones designed by their young students.

The slew of innovation
s have been made possible by young inventors to tackle new age challenges faced by the society.

While many of these inventions are in design or prototype stage, the early mover advantage will be with the students as the Intellectual Property of the solution will be with them.

There is an urgent need to overhaul the Indian education system by phasing out the current methodology and pedagogy and transforming it to learning through practical experience, real time learning outcome and emphasis on innovate and invent.

"It is commendable that Blue Blocks School is encouraging young budding school student innovators to come up with indigenous patentable innovations leveraging its Drone Research & Innovation Centre in partnership with the private sector. Such initiatives will revolutionise education in our country and will make India the hub of innovation in the next decade. It will usher in much needed design-based, critical thinking and innovative mindsets that will develop technology driven socio-economic innovations benefiting our future generations," said R Ramanan, Mission Director Atal Innovation Mission, Additional Secretary - NITI Aayog, Government of India, while speaking about the teaching methods and achievement of these young innovators.

To give the country a competitive edge in the innovation index, one needs to equip the future generation with design and critical thinking to provide students with the ability to analyze and use their creative thinking faculties to overcome challenges. By equipping the students through experiential learning, an innovative mindset is created which nurtures the young impressionable minds to become future problem-solvers.

"Historically, the Indian education system has been framed in a way that students learn at school and the outcome is realized much later in life. We believe in transforming this by revolutionising the system, wherein, children are not just learning but applying, creating, building and innovating while at school. We hope this encourages other young innovators and sets a benchmark in the country, which is also the aim of the new National Education Policy. We give special focus in creating innovation zones encouraging children to use their creative thinking and innovative approach in creating meaningful outcomes through skill-based and experiential learning. We believe that every child is capable of having a patent in his/her name, before leaving school, and that's what we strive to achieve at Blue Blocks," said Pavan Goyal, Founder, Blue Blocks.

Conceptualized by children ranging from 6 years to 10 years, the five inventions are unique and give a distinct solution to the numerous challenges faced by society. With the use of drones these innovations are focused at providing solutions to challenges such as rescuing a person from a borehole, providing medical assistance without human contact, automated security, monitoring health parameters and providing essential item to user.

With a firm belief that children should not lose their naturally curious and exploratory nature, this school nurtures a research-oriented mind set through Observation, Exploration, Experimentation, Prototyping, Building and Innovating. Please click on the link for a glimpse of Blue Block student innovations.

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

SEBI restrains 12 DHFL promoters from accessing securities for violating norms

The company is undergoing insolvency proceedings

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Sep 23 (ANI): Debt-ridden mortgage lender Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL) said on Wednesday that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has restrained 12 of its promoters from accessing securities market for violating market norms.

They have also
 been restrained from associating themselves as directors or promoters of any listed public company or associating with any intermediary registered with SEBI.

The market regulator said the violations are very grave in nature and the amount involved in the fraudulent transactions is of a very high magnitude.

The promoters are Kapil Wadhawan, Dheeraj Wadhawan, Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan, Sarang Wadhawan, Aruna Wadhawan, Malti Wadhawan, Anu S Wadhawan, Pooja D Wadhawan, Wadhawan Holding, Wadhawan Consolidated Holding, Wadhawan Retail Venture and Wadhawan Global Capital.

Sebi noted that the initial report of the transaction auditor raised serious concerns over authenticity and reliability of DHFL's financial statements for the period between the financial year 2007-2019.

The firm raised Rs 24,000 crore through public issue of debt securities during this period.

SEBI said DHFL has entered into certain fraudulent transactions which were shown as bonafide transactions in its published financial statements as well as corporate announcements disseminated in the public domain.

"By indulging in such fraudulent transactions, the promoters of the company have prima-facie defrauded the investors in securities of DHFL," said SEBI.

The entities can file their replies with the regulator within 21 days from the date of receipt of the interim order-cum-show cause notice, failing which the order of restraint from the securities market will stand confirmed against them automatically without any further orders, it added. (ANI)

International Sign Language Day: Ranveer Singh pledges to work for the deaf community in India

Ranveer Singh (Image courtesy: Instagram)

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], September 23 (ANI): As the global deaf community celebrates International Sign Language Day on Wednesday, to commemorate the occasion, actor Ranveer Singh released two sign language videos in a bid to raise more awareness in making Indian Sign Language (ISL) the 23rd official language of India.

The 35-year-old actor pledged to constantly work with the deaf community in the country and also urged countrymen to join in. He said, "I want to elevate the experience of music for the deaf community. This is my pledge."

"Our biggest dream today is to help secure a better future for the deaf community in India and we can only ask for this through our art. But to make this a reality, we need your support. I urge my fellow Indians to support this cause and fight for a brighter future for our deaf brothers and sisters," he added.

To promote this awareness in India, the 'Band Baaja Baaraat' actor has released 'Shwapon', a collaboration between SlowCheeta and Bengali folk artist Dipannita Acharya, and Mehfil-E-HipHop, sung by all four Inc Ink artists Kaam Bhaari, Spitfire, SlowCheeta and Devil The Rhymer.

Ranveer has released these songs through Inc Ink, his independent record label which is a passion project of the superstar. Inc Ink is a platform for brilliantly talented budding artists and it's Ranveer's dream to provide equal opportunity for all in the music space through his record label.

The 'Gully Boy' actor said, "At Inc Ink, the engagement of music for 'ALL' is a priority. I forward parts of myself that go beyond being a performer here. The experience of music has shaped me as a person. Music has given me strength through struggles and given me the power to propel myself towards achievement. I am bound by love and gratitude to engage with the deaf community because I know what music has given me. It is when you don't take something for granted that you appreciate it more. It's a valuable life lesson that I have learned."

The United Nations (UN) declared that starting with 2018, September 23 every year would be officially celebrated as the International Day of Sign Languages all over the world.

In 2019, Inc Ink pledged to align with the deaf community of India and released a song 'Vartalap' in ISL. Ranveer also signed the petition to make ISL an official language and encouraged people and fans to sign the same petition which has now gathered more than 70,000 signatures. (ANI)

COVID-19: Saudi Arabia suspends travel to three countries including India

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Riyadh [Saudi Arabia], September 23 (ANI): Saudi Arabia on Wednesday suspended air travel to and from India, Brazil and Argentina, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the country's Civil Aviation Authority, people with travel history to any of the mentioned countries 14 days prior to thei
r arrival to the Kingdom, have also been barred.

"Suspending travel to and from the following countries (India, Brazil, and Argentina) including any person who has been in any of the mentioned countries in the last (14) days prior to their arrival to the Kingdom," General Authority of Civil Aviation said in a statement.

However, those who have official government invitations are excluded.

According to the Johns Hopkins Unversity, there are 330,798 COVID-19 cases in the country. (ANI)

Airtel onboards Waybeo to its startup accelerator programme

The public cloud services market in India is likely to reach $7.1 billion by 2024.

New Delhi [India], September 23 (ANI): Bharti Airtel said on Wednesday it has picked up a strategic stake in tech startup Waybeo as part of a strategy to scale up its cloud offerings.

Waybeo, a Trivandrum headquartered startup focused on deep Al-based analytics for cloud telephony, is the fifth star
tup to join the Airtel Startup Accelerator Programme which helps promising startups unlock their potential.

As per International Data Corporation, the public cloud services market in India is likely to reach 7.1 billion dollars by 2024. Within this, the cloud telephony market is seeing rapid growth as businesses move processes to cloud-based


Waybeo has built cutting-edge analytics tools for the enterprise cloud telephony segment. Under the Airtel Startup Accelerator Program, Waybeo's solutions will get larger distribution reach while giving Airtel access to Waybeo's proven as well as emerging technologies.

Airtel serves over 2,500 large enterprises and more than a million emerging businesses with an integrated product portfolio, including Airtel Cloud -- a multi-cloud product and solutions business.

Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer at Bharti Airtel said cloud technologies are transforming the way businesses serve and delight their customers. "We are thrilled to onboard Waybeo to our Startup Accelerator Programme and provide them a platform to scale up their technologies as part of Airtel's world-class cloud services ecosystem."

Waybeo CEO R V Krishnan said the startup is focused on enterprise adoption for its call intelligence tools.

"Most of the enterprises drive hundreds of thousands of phone calls a month. There is no analytics, no automation and no means to optimise the customer experience. We look at strategic investment from Airtel as an opportunity to scale our technology and enterprise reach," he said. (ANI)

US-based businessman arrested for illegal exports to Pakistani nuclear research agency

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Illinois [US], September 23 (ANI): A man hailing from the US state of Illinois has been arrested for allegedly illegally exporting computer equipment from the United States to a nuclear research agency of the Pakistani government, according to the United States Department of Justice.

Obaidullah Syed
, a resident of Northbrook, told computer manufacturers that the shipments were intended for universities in Pakistan, Fox News reported. Syed is the owner of a Chicago-based company.

During the federal probe, he talked about his other business, which is also located in Pakistan. 56-years-old Syed is also the owner of Pakistan-based Business System International Pvt. LTD.

According to the federal indictment, Syed knew the shipments were going to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, the government agency responsible for developing nuclear weapons.

In the investigation, it was further revealed that the shipments were made between 2006 and 2015.

"Shipments also went to the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, located in Islamabad, Pakistan, which trained the energy commission's engineers and scientists," the indictment states.

"Syed and his company submitted shipping documents to the U.S. government which listed phony end-users for the computer equipment," it stated.

As things stand, Syed is facing trial for conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Powers Act and foreign trade regulations, and for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Obaidullah was arrested on September 16 and is expected to appear in federal court on Monday. (ANI)

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