Scattered migrant evacuation plans turn into organised effort | India News

Scattered initiatives to evacuate migrant workers, students and pilgrims stranded across the country on Sunday coalesced into a more coordinated action plan initiated by states like Odisha, Maharashtra and Gujarat even as Karnataka signalled its reluctance to jump right in, flagging the “risk” of immediately bringing back people stuck in Covid-endemic states as a “national issue”. While Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik engaged with counterparts Uddhav Thackeray in Maharashtra and Vijay Rupani in Gujarat to work out a “safe and dignified exit plan” for migrant workers from his state, Karnataka said…

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​In big rejig, govt appoints secys to a dozen key depts | India News

NEW DELHI: In a major top-deck reshuffle, the government on Sunday appointed nearly two dozen new secretaries, including those for economic affairs, petroleum, environment and school education, while giving a three-month extension to health secretary Preeti Sudan in the wake of Covid-19. Among the prominent appointments, Tarun Bajaj, currently additional secretary in the PMO, has been appointed economic affairs secretary. He will replace Atanu Chakraborty, who retires at the end of the month. Bajaj is an old finance ministry hand. Arvind Kumar Sharma, a key functionary in the PMO, has…

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Pray that we can beat virus before Eid: PM | India News

NEW DELHI: Asking people to observe Ramzan as a time of restraint, sensitivity and service, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed hope that the pandemic would have been tackled by the time of Eid, clearing the way for the festival to be celebrated with the usual enthusiasm. In his radio programme “Mann Ki Baat” on Sunday, Modi made a renewed pitch for social distancing and said, “The last time when Ramzan was celebrated, no one had imagined that we would be facing such a huge predicament this time around. But now…

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Govt may stand guarantee for extra funds to bail out MSMEs

NEW DELHI: The government is considering a proposal to provide guarantee to businesses, especially micro, small and medium enterprises, for accessing additional working capital at a time when cash flow is severely impacted due to the Covid-19 lockdown. While discussions have taken place at various levels in the government, a final decision is expected to be taken soon, sources told TOI. Banks are already providing 10% additional working capital to take care of regular expenses, such as salary payments and electricity bills, and a further enhancement in the limit through…

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50 IRS officers face probe for unsolicited hike-tax call | India News

NEW DELHI: An annoyed government distanced itself from controversial tax proposals such as a Covid-19 cess and a wealth tax on the rich from a group of revenue service officials, not just rejecting the suggestions but also ordering an enquiry against the officers who released the report on Sunday. The prompt rebuttal was meant to stop panic among taxpayers, who are already nervous about the future with incomes under stress. The Indian Revenue Service officers association also offered a clarification that the report did not represent the views of all…

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IRS officers’ report on funding Covid relief work via tax measures ill-conceived: Finance ministry sources

NEW DELHI: A report of 50 IRS officers of the I-T department on revenue mobilisation and economic impetus to fight Covid-19 pandemic is ill-conceived, and an act of indiscipline as well as violation of service conduct rules, Finance Ministry sources said. These officers from the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) Association in a report titled ‘FORCE (Fiscal Options & Response to the Covid-19 Epidemic’) suggested raising tax rate to 40 per cent for those with income above Rs 1 crore, from 30 per cent at present, and levy of wealth tax…

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Coronavirus roundup: Developments in India and rest of world | India News

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said India’s “people-driven” battle against COVID-19 is the only way for the country to overcome the pandemic, and asked people to shun any complacency that they will not be infected by the coronavirus because it has so far not affected the places where they live or work. Meanwhile, the countrywide death toll due to Covid-19 rose to 826 and the number of cases climbed to 26,917, according to the Union health ministry. Here are the top developments: 1 India In his monthly…

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Help all without discrimination, work towards becoming self-reliant country: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Covid crisis | India News

NAGPUR: As the country faces the coronavirus pandemic, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday cautioned against forces inimical to India’s interests taking advantage of the situation, exhorted all to help those affected without any discrimination and stressed on developing a self-reliant economy. “We have to be patient and calm. There should be no fear or anger as people with anti-India mindset can use it against the country,” he said in an online address to workers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Even if someone did something wrong, do not consider…

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Corona cases in India: Covid-19 death toll rises to 826, cases climb to 26,917: Health ministry | India News

NEW DELHI: The countrywide death toll due to Covid-19 rose to 826 and the number of cases climbed to 26,917 on Sunday, according to the Union health ministry. The country has reported 47 deaths since Saturday night, the ministry said. The total number of cases has gone up by 1,975 since the ministry last updated its data on Saturday evening. The number of active Covid-19 cases stood at 20,177 while 5,913 people (21.96 percent) were cured and discharged, and one patient has migrated, the ministry said. The total number of…

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Affordable test methods to drones: Institutions take innovation route to aid Covid-19 fight | India News

NEW DELHI: From affordable Covid-19 testing methods to robots delivering food and medicines in isolation wards, drones for sanitising large areas to UV-fitted containers for sanitising grocery items, various institutions in the country are following the innovation mantra to aid the fight against coronavirus. While over 20 technical and scientific institutions are working on developing a vaccine for coronavirus, IITs have already set up “Covid-19 specific research centres”, encouraging developments in the innovation ecosystem. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi has become the first institute in the country to develop…

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Covid-19 cases in Wuhan hospitals drop to zero for 1st time

BEIJING/WUHAN: The number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients in China’s Wuhan, where the virus first emerged before turning out to be a pandemic, on Sunday dropped to zero for the first time, marking yet another milestone for the city which was opened up on April 8 after a 76-day lockdown. The result has been achieved with the “hard efforts of medical workers in Wuhan” and those who were dispatched to assist the city in the fight against the virus from across the country, said Mi Feng, a spokesperson for China’s National…

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Sports in times of COVID-19: Top Indian stars foresee new normal once pandemic mayhem ends | More sports News

NEW DELHI: Will the fans rush back? Will training abroad be as hassle-free as it used to be? What about contact sports where social distancing can’t really be practised? In a nutshell, will sports and watching sports ever be the same again in a world scarred by the COVID-19 pandemic? Seeking answers to these questions, PTI sports team reached out to some of India’s biggest sportspersons — current and former — who gazed into the crystal ball and predicted the future of sports once the action resumes. The responses were…

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