465 flights operated under Lifeline Udan to deliver critical medical supplies across the country

NEW DELHI – 465 flights have been operated under Lifeline Udan by Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private carriers. 278 of these flights have been operated by Air India and Alliance Air. Cargo transported till date is around 835.94 tons.  Aerial distance covered by Lifeline Udan flights till date is over 4,51,038 km. ‘Lifeline Udan’ flights are being operated by MoCA to transport essential medical cargo to all parts of the country including remote and hilly areas to support India’s war against COVID-19.

Helicopter services including Pawan Hans Ltd have been operating in J&K, Ladakh, Islands and North East region transporting critical medical cargo and patients. Pawan Hans till 5th May 2020 have carried 2.27 tons of cargo covering a distance of 7,729 kms.  Special focus has been on the North East Region, island territories and the hill states. Air India and IAF collaborated primarily for J&K, Ladakh, North-East and other island regions.

Domestic Cargo Operators SpiceJet, Blue Dart, Indigo and Vistara are operating cargo flights on a commercial basis. Spicejet operated 819 cargo flights covering a distance of 13,83,854 km and carrying 5,946 tons of cargo. Out of these, 294 were international cargo flights. Blue Dart operated 278 cargo flights covering a distance of 3,09,272 km and carrying 4,683 tons of cargo. Out of these, 14 were international cargo flights. Indigo has operated 95 cargo flights covering a distance of 1,59,158 km and carrying around 470 tons of cargo and including 38 international flights.  This also includes medical supplies carried free of cost for the government.

Vistara has operated 23 cargo flights covering a distance of 32,321 km and carrying around 150 tons of cargo. 

A cargo air-bridge was established with East Asia for transportation of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and Covid-19 relief material. The quantity of medical cargo brought in by Air India is 972 tons. Blue Dart has uplifted medical supplies of around 114 tons from Guangzhou and Shanghai and 24 tons from Hong Kong, starting 14th April upto 5th May 2020. Spicejet has also uplifted 204 tons of medical supplies from Shanghai and Guangzhou upto 5th May 2020 and 16 tons medical supplies from Hong Kong and Singapore upto 5th May 2020.

14,183 people have been cured of COVID-19

NEW DELHI – Through a graded, pre-emptive and pro-active approach, Government of India is taking several steps along with the States/UTs for prevention, containment and management of COVID-19. These are being regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare held a meeting today with Shri Nitinbhai Patel, Dy. Chief Minister and Health Minister, Gujarat and Shri Rajesh Tope, Health Minister of Maharashtra in presence of Sh. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State of Health and Family Welfare along with the senior officials from both Centre and the States to review the situation, actions and preparedness for management of COVID- in both the States.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan stressed on need to ensure that non-COVID essential services are not neglected. Also, States need to ensure that screening and testing of Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) / Influenza Like Illness (ILI) cases is undertaken, which shall help in identification of any emerging hotspots and timely appropriate strategy for their management. Aggressive behaviour change communication exercise needs to be taken for removing stigma against reporting COVID-19, which shall contribute towards timely reporting, clinical management, and reduction in fatality rates, he stressed. 

So far, a total of 14,183 people have been cured. In the last 24 hours, 1457 patients were found cured. This takes the total recovery rate to 28.72%. The total number of confirmed cases is now 49,391. Since yesterday, an increase of 2958 has been noted in the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in India.

For all authentic & updated information on COVID-19 related technical issues, guidelines & advisories please regularly visit: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/ and @MoHFW_INDIA .

Technical queries related to COVID-19 may be sent to technicalquery.covid19@gov.in and other queries on ncov2019@gov.in and @CovidIndiaSeva.

In case of any queries on COVID-19, please call at Ministry of Health & Family Welfare helpline no. : +91-11-23978046 or 1075 (Toll-free). List of helpline numbers of States/UTs on COVID-19 is also available at https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/coronvavirushelplinenumber.pdf .

DG, CSIR launches Compendium of Indian Technologies for Combating COVID-19

Compendium of Indian Technologies for Combating COVID-19 (Tracing, Testing and Treating)” prepared by National Research Development Corporation  (NRDC) was launched   by  Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, Director General, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR, Govt. of India at CSIR Headquarters, New Delhi. The compendium carries information about 200 COVID-19-related Indian technologies, ongoing research activities, technologies available for commercialisation, initiatives and efforts taken by the Government of India, categorised under 3Ts of Tracking, Testing and Treating. Most of these technologies are proof-of-concept (POC) tested and can help the entrepreneurs to take the product to market faster as they do not have to reinvent the wheel. Dr. Mande appreciated the initiative of NRDC for bringing out the Compendium of Indian Technologies for Combating COVID-19 “as it is very timely and would benefit the MSMEs, Startups and the public at large”.

 Dr. H. Purushotham, CMD, NRDC, informed that team-NRDC has made an attempt to compile most relevant and emerging indigenously developed technological innovations, including those which are at research stage, to fight COVID-19 for the benefit of  all  stakeholders and this compendium will serve as a ready-reference for policy makers, industries, entrepreneurs, startups, MSMEs, research scholars, scientists and others. He also informed that several of the technologies compiled are approved by ICMR.

The information presented in the compendium is sourced from various government bodies and premier academic institutions including Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Indian Institute(s) of Technology (IITs), Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB),  Technology Development Board (TDB), National Innovation Foundation (NIF), Startup India and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST),and Indian Institute of Science (IISc). For more information, including transfer of technology, one may reach NRDC, an enterprise of Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt.of  India  at cmdnrdc@nrdc.in.

Figure caption: Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, DG, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR launching the Compendium of Indian Technologies for Combating COVID-19,  compiled by NRDC at CSIR-HQ, New Delhi. Present with him is Dr. H. Purushotham, CMD, NRDC

NHS rejects Apple-Google coronavirus app plan

The NHS says it has a way to make the software work “sufficiently well” on iPhones without users having to keep it active and on-screen.

That limitation has posed problems for similar apps in other countries.

Experts from GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre have aided the effort.

NCSC indicated that its involvement has been limited to an advisory role.

“Engineers have met several core challenges for the app to meet public health needs and support detection of contact events sufficiently well, including when the app is in the background, without excessively affecting battery life,” said a spokeswoman for NHSX, the health service’s digital innovation unit.

Centralised matching

Contact-tracing apps are designed to automatically alert people to whether they are at high risk of having the virus, based on whether someone else they were recently near to has been diagnosed with it.

What is contact tracing graphic

They work by logging each time two people are within a certain distance of each other for longer than a specified amount of time.

When one user registers themselves as being infected, a cascade of alerts is automatically sent out to everyone else they could have passed it on to – possibly advising them to go into quarantine and/or get tested themselves.

Like the authorities in many other countries, NHSX has opted to use wireless Bluetooth transmissions to keep track of each qualifying meeting, and has said that the alerts will be sent anonymously, so that users do not know who triggered them.

It has opted for a “centralised model” to achieve this – meaning that the matching process, which works out which phones to send alerts to – happens on a computer server.

This contrasts with Apple and Google’s “decentralised” approach – where the matches take place on users’ handsets.

Herbal decongestant spray on mask can protect from suffocation

This formulation helps in clearing the wind pipe and congestion by removing the mucus or cough leading to ease of breathing

Health authorities have been strongly advocating the use of face masks to prevent corona infection. At the same time, wearinga mask for a long time is reportedly causing difficulties in breathing and congestion in the respiratory system. To address this issue, scientists at CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow, have developed a herbal decongestant spray.

“The main reasons behind this problem include the accumulation of carbon dioxide and humidity in the inner cavity of the mask. When a person breathes in, this goes back to the lungs again. Repetition of this process over a period of time causes discomfort in breathing and congestion”, said Dr. Sharad Srivastava, Senior Principal Scientist, CSIR-NBRI, who led the team of researchers for this study.

“Herbal decongestant spray is a fine blend of four plant-based oils, but the names of these plants cannot be disclosed right now because of issues related to intellectual property. This product is developed based on the principles of Ayurveda and contains ingredients reported in traditional scriptures”, explained Dr. Srivastava.

This formulation helps in clearing the wind pipe and congestion by removing the mucus or cough leading to ease of breathing. It also reduces stress due to excessive use of mask and decongestion.This spray has been prepared as per guidelines of the Ministry of AYUSH.

Lucknow-based NBRI is a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which is mainly known for its botanical research work. The initial results of this NBRI’s herbal spray have been extremely impressive. People wearing masks for a long time are getting a lot of relief from this, say researchers.

The Institute plans to transfer the technology of this inhaler for commercial production so that it can be produced on a large scale and sent to the frontline worriers fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Search for solutions against Covid-19 from AYUSH healthcare disciplines

The Ministry of AYUSH has announced a mechanism to support short-term research projects for evaluating the impact of AYUSH interventions/ medicines in the prophylaxis and clinical management of COVID-19.

Hospitals/Institutions involved in the management of COVID-19 cases have been invited to participate in this scheme which falls under the extramural (i.e., for those from outside the AYUSH Ministry establishment) research category. The proposals should be related to evaluating the role and impact of AYUSH interventions/medicines in the prophylaxis and clinical management of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease.

Project proposals of a maximum of six months duration with Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC) clearance will be considered for support up to Rs. 10.00 lakhs to meet the expenditure on engaging AYUSH clinicians, technical manpower, laboratory investigations and related contingencies.

The details including eligibility criteria, mode for submission of application, application form are uploaded on Ministry of AYUSH website, ie. ayush.gov.in. The link to the webpage is: https://main.ayush.gov.in/event/mechanism-support-short-term-research-projects-evaluating-impact-ayush-interventions-cum.

The application will be received only through email and the address is: emrayushcovid19@gmail.com.

The last date of receipt of application is 01/05/2020. 

Dr Harsh Vardhan co-chairs 1st Joint Committee Meeting under 2nd Memorandum of Cooperation signed on healthcare, in Tokyo

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare co-chaired the 1st Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) yesterday in Tokyo along with Dr. Hiroto Izumi, Special Advisor to Prime Minister under the 2nd Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) signed on Healthcare and Wellness in October 2018 during the visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Japan in context of Ayushman Bharat of India and Asia Health and Well-Being Initiative (AHWIN) of Japan.

The Joint Committee reviewed the status of ongoing activities under the MOC and noted with satisfaction the progress on these activities which are meant to promote mutual benefit for the peoples of both the countries.

During the meeting, Japan presented specific projects between public/private agencies of both countries in the area of healthcare logistics, utilization of ICT in tertiary hospital care for improving efficiency of energy use and medical care operations, human resource exchange in the field of emergency medical care and trauma care and establishment of healthcare innovation network between India and Japan. India welcomed these projects and desired to expand these activities based on learnings of the projects.

Also, India presented various collaboration project proposals for consideration of Japan including:

collaboration in Human Resource Development and cooperation amongst tertiary care centers between India and Japan; collaboration in building Hospital infrastructure through JICA; collaboration in the field of traditional medicine, especially to recognize Ayurveda and Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia; collaboration in developing high standard generics and medical devices with focus on establishing manufacturing units in India under ‘Make in India’ programme; exploring Joint Research collaboration between institutions of both countries in the area of Cancer Research; and, cooperation in skill development in the area of geriatric care.

The meeting ended with the Indian delegation thanking the Japanese delegation for their hospitality and welcomed to host Japan in India for the next JCM meeting in due course.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches WHO IndiaCountry Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023

“Not only a time for transition, but also a time for transformation and peoples’ social movement on health”

“The country is passing through a phase of not only transition, but also immense productive transformation in the health sector”. This was stated by Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan as he launched ‘The WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023: A Time of Transition’, here today. The Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) provides a strategic roadmap for WHO to work with the Government of India towards achieving its health sector goals, in improving the health of its population and bringing in transformative changes in the health sector.

Speaking at the event, the Health Minister stated that the four areas identified for strategic cooperation of WHO with the country encompass: to accelerate progress on UHC; to promote health and wellness by addressing determinants of health; toprotect the population better against health emergencies; and to enhance India’s global leadership in health. He added that under the vision and leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, the country has seen phenomenal advances made in various aspects of the health sector. Dr Harsh Vardhan stressed on the need for health to be made a people’s movement where the positive health attitude is inculcated in everyone, and everyone takes responsibility of their own health through preventive and promotive health approach. He mentioned about various social initiatives taken up such as Eat Right India movement, Fit India movement and Poshan Abhiyaan that have collectively engaged with the people and enhanced the awareness around these crucial health areas through people’s participation. 

Dr. Harsh Vardhan added that besides the health priorities detailed in the strategy, focus needs to be given on other equally pertinent health areas of environmental and occupational health, accidents and road injuries, and good nutrition and food safety.Emphasizing the need of inter-ministerial collaboration for a healthy nation, Dr. Harsh Vardhan suggested that a mechanism needs to be institutionalized wherein every ministry has a health section/department, so that every policy factors in its health implications.

Ms. Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) stated that India is conscious of the challenges that still exist. Given this, the document needs to have flexibility in order to factor in the changing health scenario in the country. She added that the CCS builds upon the work that WHO has been carrying out in the last several years. “In addition, it identifies current and emerging health needs and challenges such as non-communicable diseases, antimicrobial resistance and air pollution. We are fully committed to this collaborative strategy”, she added.

Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India said “The implementation of this CCS will build on the remarkable successes in public health that India has demonstrated to the world. It’s a great opportunity to showcase India as a model to the world in initiatives such as digital health, access to quality medicines and medical products, comprehensive hepatitis control program and Ayushman Bharat. We are geared to step-up to leverage opportunities and address challenges to ensure maximum public health impact.”

The India CCS is one of the first that fully aligns itself with the newly adopted WHO 13th General Programme of Work and its ‘triple billion’ targets, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and WHO South-East Asia Region’s eight Flagship Priorities. It captures the work of the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework for 2018–2022. The CCS outlines how WHO can support the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and other allied Ministries to drive impact at the country level. The strategy document builds on other key strategic policy documents including India’s National Health Policy 2017, the many pathbreaking initiatives India has introduced — from Ayushman Bharat to its National Viral Hepatitis programme and promotion of digital health amongst others.

Prime Minister Modi to address the participants of Singapore India Hackathon- 2019 from IIT Madras on 30th September

Highlights of Smart India Hackathon 2019:

  • 20 teams with 6 team members each (3 members from India and 3 members from Singapore) to participate.
  • 2.Each team to have 2 mentors (1 from India and 1 from Singapore)
  • 3.The hackathon will be focused on 5 problem statements under 3 broad themes – Good health and well-being, Quality Education, Affordable and clean energy
  • Top 4 teams will win prizes ($10,000, $8,000, $6,000 and $4,000 respectively) from the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narendra Modi, along with 6 more teams with Encouragement prizes ($2,000 per team)

India will hold the second edition of joint hackathon with Singapore, the ‘Singapore India Hackathon 2019’ at IIT Madras on Sep 28 and 29, 2019. Disclosing this at a press conference in New Delhi today , Secretary, Department of Higher Education Shri R. Subrahmanyam said that the Singapore India Hackathon, an initiative of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, is the first of its kind joint International hackathon between India and any other country. The aim of this joint international hackathon is to promote engagement and collaboration of student community in India with the rest of the world and to develop innovative and out- of -the- box solutions for some of the daunting problems faced by our societies, he explained.

While briefing the media, Shri R. Subrahmanyam said that the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), MHRD’s Innovation Cell (MIC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) along with Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore and NTUitive Pte Ltd are co-organizing the 2nd edition of Singapore India Hackathon at IIT Madras, Chennai. He added that the Singapore India Hackathon 2019 will be flagged off on September28, 2019 in the presence of the MoS, HRD, Shri. Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre.

He further informed that the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi will address the participants and would be giving away prizes to the winning teams of Singapore India Hackathon- 2019 on September 30, 2019 from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. Minister of Education, Singapore Shri Ong Ye Kung, Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, MoS HRD, Shri Sanjay Dhotre will also be present for the event.

He added that during the non-stop, fast-paced 36 hours Singapore India Hackathon, the students will develop creative and innovative solutions focused on the themes. The 1st edition of the Singapore India Hackathon was held at NTU, Singapore in November, 2018, based on the theme ‘Smart Campus’.

This year the hackathon is focused on three themes, ‘Good Health and well-being’, ‘Quality Education’ and ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’. Singapore India Hackathon 2019 has 20 teams and for the first time each participating team would comprise of 3 students from India and 3 students from Singapore, thereby paving the way for exchange of culture and ideas. The Team with the most innovative solution will be presented with the prize money of $10,000, while the second, third and fourth winning teams will win $8,000, $6,000 and $4,000 respectively. There will also be the ‘Prize of Encouragement’ for 6 more teams with $2,000 per team who will come up with solutions which have high potential to take forward.

Union HRD Minister Chairs the Special Meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE)

Union Human Resource Minister, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ’Nishank’ chaired the Special Meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) held in New Delhi today. The meeting was attended by Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, MoS (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Tourism, Shri Kiren Rijiju, MoS (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and MoS, Ministry of Minority Affairs, and Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State for Human Resource Development.

26 Education Ministers of various States and UTs, representatives of States and Union Territories, Members of CABE, Heads of Autonomous Organisations, Vice Chancellors of Universities, and Shri R. Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Department of Higher Education and Member Secretary, CABE and Smt. Rina Ray, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy were present in the meeting along with senior officials of the Central and State Governments.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister Shri Pokhriyal informed the House that the Government has initiated a major exercise to formulate a National Education Policy that will aim to fulfil the aspiration of the youth for quality education and make our country a knowledge superpower. The extant National Policy on Education, 1986 modified in 1992 required changes to meet the contemporary and futuristic needs of our large youth population. Thus, this policy is being brought out after more than three decades. He further highlighted that a massive consultative process over four years has been undertaken and the Draft National Education Policy, 2019 has been submitted by the Committee formed to Draft National Education Policy headed by Dr. K. Kasturirangan, to the Ministry on 31st May 2019.

He said that this Special Meeting of CABE has been convened to discuss the Draft NEP so that in the spirit of cooperative federalism both the Central and State Governments interact and engage in a healthy and enriching dialogue to bring out a robust policy that will empower our youth to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

While addressing the gathering Shri Dhotre highlighted that several new initiatives are being taken both in school and higher education to increase access, ensure inclusion, and promote quality and excellence. He appreciated that the State Governments have also been making pioneering efforts to make education accessible, equitable and qualitative. He said that the educational reforms are an ongoing process and the Government is committed to bring out relevant changes suited to dynamic socio-economic needs. With time, new concerns do emerge, for example, eradication of single-use plastic, swachhata, and increasing the green coverage, as envisioned by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji. These ideas have caught the fancies of the people, especially the younger ones. These concerns also need to be included in our educational planning and practices.

Shri Kiren Rijiju in his address gave an overview of the Fit India Movement. He echoed the views of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi that ‘Fit India Movement’ should become a national goal. He said that the technology has reduced our daily fitness routines and the lack of a physical fitness regime has resulted in lifestyle diseases. He exhorted the states to popularize the Fit India movement in their educational institutions and sensitize people to move towards a fitness regime. He added that our country has a large and growing youth population and if our youth are not healthy and fit, they cannot contribute to the economic growth and national development.

Shri Prahlad Singh Patel said that culture and education are related and interdependent. He added that children and youth should be motivated to learn more and more from interaction among various cultures, and education should impart knowledge and culture to the new generation and transform the outlook of the students.

During the inaugural session of CABE meeting, the Union Minister for HRD released the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2018-19. Some of main findings of the survey are: GER in higher education has increased from 25.8 in 2017-18 to 26.3 in 2018-19, while in absolute terms the enrolment increased from 3.66 crore to 3.74 crore students. GER for SCs has also shown a growth from 21.8 to 23.0 and STs from 15.9 to 17.2. In terms of increase in the number of universities, they have grown from 903 (2017-18) to 993 (2018-19) and total HEIs from 49,964 to 51,649 in the same corresponding period. The number of faculty increased from 13.88 lakhs to 14.16 lakhs.

The Minister also launched the Plagiarism Detention Software (PDS) “Shodh Shuddhi”. This service is being implemented by INFLIBNET, an Inter University Centre (IUC) of UGC. PDS will significantly help to improve the quality of research outcome by ensuring the originality of ideas and publication of the research scholars. Initially, about 1000 Universities/ Institutions (Central Universities; Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs); State Public Universities; Deemed Universities; Private Universities; Inter University Centre (IUCs) & Institutes of National Importance are being provided with this service.

The main agenda of the Special meeting of CABE was to discuss the Draft National Education Policy 2019 (DNEP 2019). There were two separate presentations on the main highlights of the DNEP 2019 covering the School and Higher Education. The House had detailed deliberations on several recommendations and reforms proposed in the Draft NEP. There were valuable suggestions given by the Education Ministers of States, who are equal partners in policy formulation and felt that their inputs are critical so that the proposed National education Policy can be a catalyst to achieve the goals of equitable access to quality education while ensuring affordability of education and instilling greater accountability of

The Union Minister for Human Resource Development in his concluding remarks expressed deep appreciation for the active participation by the CABE members. He said that it was a truly democratic discussion with very valuable inputs, views and suggestions and he respects the sentiments voiced. He assured the house all these inputs and suggestions will be given due importance when the Ministry will finalise the Policy.

India has located the lander from its Chandrayaan-2 mission to soft land a rover on the moon but has not yet been able to establish communication, ISRO notified.

The historic mission appeared to end in failure on Saturday after scientists lost contact with the Vikram lander moments before touching down on the lunar surface.
Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) spokesperson Vivek Singh said that cameras from the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter had taken a thermal image of the lander and efforts were underway to establish a signal.
The level of damage to the lander is unclear.
Its descent went as planned until it reached an altitude of around 2 kilometers above the moon’s surface. “Subsequently the communication from the lander to ground station was lost. The data is being analyzed,” said K. Sivan, chairman of ISRO. A soft landing seeks to minimize damage to the lander and its contents by controlling the speed of its descent.

ISRO said the mission was “highly complex” and “represented a significant technological leap” compared with other missions.
The next phase would have been for the robotic rover, named Pragyan, to deploy and collect mineral and chemical samples from the lunar surface to find evidence of water molecules on the moon.
But all is not lost, the space agency said. Even if communications with the rover cannot be recovered, the orbiter is expected to continue its mission of mapping the lunar surface and studying the outer atmosphere of the moon.
The orbiter shall enrich our understanding of the moon’s evolution and mapping of the minerals and water molecules in the Polar Regions, using its eight state-of-the-art scientific instruments,” the ISRO said in a statement on its website.
The space agency said that the lunar had “functioned excellently” and that “90 to 95% of the mission objectives have been accomplished and will continue to contribute to lunar science, notwithstanding the loss of communication with the lander,” ISRO said.

PM Narendra Modi is seen on TV as he watches the live broadcast of the soft landing.
PM Narendra Modi was in the mission control room when the lander was supposed to touch down.
“In life, there are ups and downs. The country is proud of you. And all your hard work has taught us something … Hope for the best … You have served the country well and served science and humanity well,” Modi said after the announcement.
The Chandrayaan-2, which means “moon vehicle” in Sanskrit, took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in southern Andhra Pradesh on July 22. Weighing 3.8 tons and carrying 13 payloads, it had three elements: lunar orbiter, lander and rover.
A successful landing would have brought India into the elite group of nations who have successfully accomplished a soft landing on the moon, after the United States, the former Soviet Union and China.

President Shri Kovind presents National Awards to 46 teachers from across the country for their exceptional contribution

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind presented the National Award to 46 Teachers on the occasion of Teacher’s Day, in New Delhi today. The Union HRD Minister, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, and the Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Shri Sanjay Dhotre also grace the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that strong foundations of character-building are laid in schools. The main objective of education is to make the student a good human-being. And teachers do so by instilling honesty, discipline and integrity in their students. A good human-being possessing these values ​​will prove to be good in each and every sphere. By ensuring that their students become good human beings, teachers contribute in the nation-building process.

The President said that today, the world is moving from information era to knowledge era. However, knowledge alone will not be able to ensure the safety of human civilization. Along with knowledge, it is also necessary to have a conscience. Only when knowledge is combined with wisdom, it can solve human problems. In this globalized and highly competitive world, we have to establish a balance between ‘artificial intelligence’ and ‘human compassion’ and between ‘digital learning’ and ‘character building’. Only on the basis of such rational knowledge, we can tackle the present challenges such as climate change, pollution, melting glaciers etc. Teachers can contribute significantly in the national campaign of water conservation by instilling in students the importance of water conservation.

The President urged teachers to build a new generation that is full of knowledge and wisdom, so that it can successfully address all the contemporary challenges.

The purpose of National Awards to Teachers is to celebrate the unique contribution of some of the finest teachers in the country and to honor those teachers who through their commitment and industry have not only improved the quality of school education but also enriched the lives of their students.

This year the online self nomination process followed by 3 tier selection process at District, State and National level has been completed. The Independent National Jury recommended name of 46 teachers. The criterion adopted was to select those teachers who had shown innovation in their work and had added value to the school and to their students. These nominated teachers gave a presentation before an independent Jury comprising a senior educationist. This ensured that all of them were given an opportunity to place before the jury their contribution and the work done by them. The basic premise now is that the new scheme should be transparent, fair, and reward demonstrated excellence and performance and has been inspired by recent innovations in major national awards. The award carries a Silver Medal, Certificate and Rs. 50,000/- as award money.

The features of the new scheme are as under:

Online self-nominations from teachers were invited on mhrd.gov.in. The Webportal was developed by the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) and the entire software ran smoothly.
Applications were received online from teachers from all over the country.
All regular teachers were eligible and no minimum years of service was required. This enabled meritorious young teachers to apply.
The number of awards was rationalized to maximum of 47, thereby restoring the prestige of the awards.
No State, UT or Organization had a quota in the final selection. This encouraged them to compete for the awards.
An independent Jury at the National level made the final selection. The Jury reviewed the list of candidates forwarded by all States, UTs and Organisations. Each nominee made a presentation before the Jury, which made a final assessment and recommended 46 names for the Teachers Awards this year.

Smt.Rina Ray, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy and Shri R. Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Department of Higher Education and other senior officials were present on the occasion.


Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)issued an update on September 1 which stating that the Chandrayaan 2 has successfully performed the final lunar orbital manoeuvre. Now, the organisation has released its lunar lander Vikram today on September 2. According to ISRO, all spacecraft parameters are normal and it is currently in the lunar orbit for its rendezvous with the Moon.
ISRO took to Twitter and wrote, “The final and fifth Lunar bound orbit manoeuvre for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was performed successfully today beginning at 1821 hrs IST as planned, using the onboard propulsion system. The duration of the manoeuvre was 52 seconds. The orbit achieved is 119km x 127km.”

The man who saved thousands of people from HIV

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