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Latest NewsCabinet approves establishment of Integrated Multipurpose Corporation for Ladakh | First human bird flu case reported from Gurugram | Vice President lauds 14 engineering colleges for offering courses in regional languages | DRDO successfully flight tests indigenously developed MPATGM for minimum range | DRDO successfully flight tests Akash NG missile | Rajdhani Express with New Upgraded Tejas Rakes embarks on maiden run | Huge narcotics parcel seized by Chennai Air Customs | Tokyo Olympics bound Indian contingent accorded warm send off at IGI | MeitY enables map services in UMANG App | Indian Navy accepts first batch of two MH 60r Multi Role Helicopters |

Cabinet approves establishment of Integrated Multipurpose Corporation for Ladakh


The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the establishment of an Integrated Multi-purpose Infrastructure Development Corporation for  the Union Territory of Ladakh

The Cabinet has also approved the creation of one post of Managing Director, for the corporation on the pay scale of Rs 1,44,200 - Rs 2,18,200 level.

The authorized share capital of the Corporation will be Rs 25 crore and recurring expenditure will be around Rs 2.42 crore per year. Presently, there is no such similar organization within the newly formed UT of Ladakh. The approval has an inherent potential for employment generation as the corporation will be undertaking various kinds of developmental activities. The Corporation will work for industry, tourism, transport and marketing of local products and handicrafts. The Corporation will also work as the main construction agency for infrastructure development in Ladakh.

The establishment of the corporation aims inclusive and integrated development of the Union Territory of Ladakh. This will, in turn, ensure socio-economic development of the entire region and population of the Union Territory.


1. Consequent upon re-organisation of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir as per the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the Union Territory of Ladakh (without Legislature) came into existence on 31st October 2019.
2. An Advisory Committee was constituted under section 85 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019 for making recommendations regarding the apportionment of the assets and liabilities of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir between the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Union Territory of Ladakh. The said Committee inter-alia recommended for the establishment of an Integrated Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited on the lines of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation Limited (ANIIDCO), with an appropriate mandate to take up various developmental activities as per the specific needs of Ladakh.
3. Accordingly, the Union Territory of Ladakh sent a proposal to this Ministry for the establishment of the corporation in the Union Territory of Ladakh, which was recommended by the Committee on Establishment Expenditure (CEE), Ministry of Finance in April 2021.


First human bird flu case reported from Gurugram


An 11-year-old child has been reported as the first human case of Bird Flu (H5Nx) from Gurugram, Haryana, an official release by the Health Ministry informed.

The male child was diagnosed with AML in the Paediatrics department, AIIMS, Delhi in June 2021. He developed symptoms of fever, cough, coryza, and breathing difficulty, soon after induction therapy for AML. He was diagnosed as AML with febrile neutropenia with pneumonia and shock, which progressed to ARDS. He was admitted to AIIMS, New Delhi on 2nd July 2021. The boy suffered from multi organ dysfunction and died on 12 July 2021.

Department of Microbiology AIIMS received the Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) for respiratory panel testing on 7 and 11 July 2021. The sample has tested Positive for both Influenza A and Influenza B. It was also negative for SARS COV-2 and other respiratory viruses. Subtyping for Influenza A remained inconclusive with available reagents for H1N1 and H3N2 at AIIMS. So, the samples were sent to NIV on 13th July 2021

At NIV, both the samples were tested for Influenza A and Influenza B along with Influenza A seasonal (H1N1, H1N1 pdm09 and H3N2), non-seasonal avian subtypes (H5, H7, H9 and H10) by Real time PCR. The result showed that the sample is positive for A/H5 and Type B Victoria lineage. Whole genome sequencing and Virus isolation is in process.

NCDC, Delhi received information on July 16th, 2021 from AIIMS, Delhi along with a lab report from NIV Pune. The information was communicated to the IDSP State Surveillance Unit (SSU), Haryana to initiate an epidemiological investigation into the case. The matter was also reported to the Animal Husbandry Department. A team from NCDC composed of Epidemiologists and Microbiologists was constituted and the team immediately visited AIIMS, New Delhi and Gurugram for undertaking an epidemiological assessment. The State health department and the animal husbandry department officials are also involved in the investigation.

Based on the available information, the team of doctors and nurses treating the patient are being monitored since 16th July 2021 for the development of any influenza-like illness with no one reported symptomatic till date. Contact tracing was undertaken and family members, close contacts and health care workers are under close surveillance. None of the close contacts has any symptoms. Contact tracing, an active search for any symptomatic case has been carried out in the hospital and area where the boy resided.

Further, epidemiological investigation by NCDC, involving animal husbandry department and State government surveillance unit, is underway and appropriate public health measures have been instituted.


Vice President lauds 14 engineering colleges for offering courses in regional languages


Lauding the move of 14 engineering colleges across eight States to offer courses in regional languages, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has urged more educational institutions, particularly those imparting technical and professional studies to follow suit.

He affirmed that providing courses in the regional languages will serve as a boon to the students. Expressing his fervent desire, Mr Naidu said, "It is my desire to see the day when all vocational and professional courses like engineering, medicine and law are taught in mother languages."

In a Facebook post titled 'Engineering courses in mother language—A step in the right direction', posted in 11 Indian languages today, the Vice President expressed his happiness over the decision of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to permit B. Tech programmes in 11 native languages—Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati, Malayalam, Bengali, Assamese, Punjabi and Odia. He also welcomed the decision of 14 engineering colleges across eight states for offering regional languages in select branches from the new academic year. He said, "I strongly believe that it is a step in the right direction."

Referring to the benefits of learning in the mother tongue, the Vice President said it enhances one's grasping and comprehension levels. "To understand a subject in another language, one has to first learn and master that language, which needs a lot of effort. However, this is not the case while learning in one's mother tongue," he added.

Citing a UN report that one language in the world becomes extinct every two weeks, Mr Naidu expressed his concern that 196 Indian languages in India are endangered. He said, "There is a need for adopting a multipronged approach to protect our native languages and promote learning in the mother tongue."  Mr Naidu called upon people to learn as many languages as they can. He said that proficiency in different languages would provide an edge in today's interconnected world. "With every language we learn, we deepen our connection with another culture," he added.


DRDO successfully flight tests indigenously developed MPATGM for minimum range


In a major boost towards further strengthening of the Indian Army, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM) on 21 of July 2021. 

The missile was launched from a man portable launcher integrated with thermal site and the target was mimicking a tank. The missile hit the target in direct attack mode and destroyed it with precision. The test has validated the minimum range successfully. All the mission objectives were met. The missile has already been successfully flight tested for the maximum range. 

The missile is incorporated with state-of-the-art Miniaturized Infrared Imaging Seeker along with advanced avionics. The test brings the development of indigenous third generation man portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile close to completion.


DRDO successfully flight tests Akash NG missile


Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested the New Generation Akash Missile (Akash-NG), a surface-to-air Missile from Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the coast of Odisha on the 21st of July 2021.

The flight trial was conducted at around 12:45 pm from a land-based platform with all weapon system elements such as Multifunction Radar, Command, Control and Communication System and launcher participating in the deployment configuration. 

The missile system has been developed by Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories. The launch was witnessed by the representatives of the Indian Air Force. In order to capture flight data, ITR deployed a number of Range stations like Electro Optical Tracking System, Radar and Telemetry. The flawless performance of the entire weapon system has been confirmed by complete flight data captured by these systems. During the test, the missile demonstrated high manoeuvrability required for neutralising fast and agile aerial threats. 

Once deployed, the Akash-NG weapon system will prove to be a force multiplier for the air defence capability of the Indian Air Force. Production agencies Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) also participated in the trials.


Rajdhani Express with New Upgraded Tejas Rakes embarks on maiden run


Western Railway has introduced newly upgraded Tejas sleeper coach rakes thus presenting a new era of train travel experience with enhanced comfort.

These bright golden-hued coaches, with enhanced smart features, introduced to run Western Railway's prestigious Mumbai Rajdhani Express train, began their maiden run on 19th July 2021.

Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, Sumit Thakur stated, "With the use of Tejas SMART Coach, Indian Railways aims to move to predictive maintenance instead of preventive maintenance. The introduction of this modern Tejas Sleeper type train for the long-distance journey is another paradigm shift by Indian Railways for enhancing the travel experience for the passengers." He also mentioned that Tejas type Sleeper coaches are manufactured at Modern Coach Factory (MCF) which will gradually replace the premium long-distance trains over the Indian Railways network.

The existing rakes of Train No. 02951/52 Mumbai – New Delhi Rajdhani Special Express, one of the most prestigious and premium trains of Western Railway, are being replaced with brand new Tejas type sleeper coaches. Two such Tejas type sleeper coach rakes have been made ready to run as Rajdhani Express. Out of these two rakes, one rake comprises of exclusive Tejas Smart sleeper coaches, which is the first of its kind to be introduced over Indian Railways. The coaches are equipped with Passenger Information and Coach Computing Unit (PICCU) provided with GSM network connectivity, which reports to the remote server. PICCU will record the data of WSP, CCTV recording, Toilet odour sensors, panic switch and other items integrated with fire detection and alarm system, air quality and choke filter sensor & energy meter.

Additional Smart Features:

PA/PIS (Passenger Announcement/Passenger Information System): Two LCDs inside each coach display vital journey related information to the passengers such as the next station, distance remaining, expected time of arrival, delay and safety-related messages.
Digital destination board: Flush type LED Digital Destination Board has been installed on each coach by splitting the displayed data into two rows. The first row displays Train number and Coach type while the second-row displays scrolling text of destination and intermediate station in multiple languages.
Security and Surveillance monitoring: Six nos. of cameras are fitted in each coach which gives live recording. CCTV cameras with day-night vision capability, Facial recognition even in low light conditions, Network Video Recorder are provided.
Automatic Plug Door: All main entrance doors are centralized controlled by Guard. The train will not start until all doors are closed.
Fire Alarm, Detection and Suppression system: All coaches are provided with an Automatic Fire Alarm and Detection System. The Pantry and Power Cars have an automatic fire suppression system in case detected.
Emergency Talkback for medical or security emergency.
Improved Toilet Unit:
Provided with an anti-graffiti coating, Gel coated shelf, New design dustbin, Door latch activated light, Engagement display.
Toilet Occupancy Sensor: Automatically displays the toilet occupancy inside each coach
Panic Button in Lavatories: Fitted in each lavatory, in case of any emergency.
Toilet Annunciation Sensor Integration (TASI): Two nos. of Toilet Annunciation Sensor Integration are fitted in each coach which will relay dos and don’ts announcement in the lavatories, whenever it is engaged.
Bio-Vacuum Toilet system: Provides improved hygiene condition in the toilet due to improved flushing and also save water per flush.
Stainless Steel Under-frame: Complete under-frame is of austenitic stainless steel (SS 201LN) which increases the life of the coach because of reduced corrosion.
Air Suspension Bogies: Provided with Air Spring Suspension in bogies to improve passenger comfort and ride quality of these coaches.
On-Board condition monitoring system for Bearing, Wheel, to improve safety.
HVAC - Air quality measurement for Air Conditioning system.
Water level sensor to indicate water availability on a real-time basis.
Textured Exterior PVC Film: Exterior is provided with textured PVC film.
Improved interiors: Seats and berths having fire-resistant silicon foam, provide better comfort and safety to passengers.
Roller Blind on the window: Instead of curtains roller blinds are provided for easy sanitization.
Mobile Charging points: Provided for each passenger.
Berth reading light: Provided for each passenger.
Upper berth climbing arrangement: Convenient upper berth arrangement.


Huge narcotics parcel seized by Chennai Air Customs


In a major breakthrough, based on specific information Chennai Air Customs has intercepted a postal parcel that came from Spain at the Foreign Post Office on suspicion of containing narcotics.

On opening the parcel, a cardboard box was found containing a greeting card and two silver plastic pouches. When the pouches were cut open, pink colour tablets with skull shape on the side which were suspected to be MDMA were found inside. As many as 994 Pink Punisher MDMA or Ecstasy tablets, valued at Rs 50 lakhs, were recovered. On opening the greeting card, a white plastic packet was found in which LSD "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide" Stamps were concealed. As many as 249 LSD stamps valued at Rs 6 lakh were recovered.

The parcel was addressed to a person residing at JMJ Motherland, a locality near Auroville Puducherry. Searches were carried out by a team of Chennai Air Customs and Cuddalore Customs officers at the given address. Two persons residing there were apprehended. Also during the search two packets of Guntur (Andhra Pradesh) cannabis (Ganja) was found in the house. On questioning, they informed that they had procured the ganja from Andhra. Ganja weighing 5.5 kg valued at Rs 2.5 lakhs was recovered and seized.

Rubak Manikandan, 29, of Tirunelveli (TN) a freelance mural artist and one Loy Viegus, 28, who works in a chicken farm appeared to be junkies and were arrested for their role in smuggling. Both the accused were presented before Judicial Magistrate Alandur today and were remanded to judicial custody. 

As many as 994 Pink Punisher Ecstasy tablets, 249 LSD Stamps and Andhra cannabis, worth Rs 58.5 lakhs, were recovered and seized under NDPS Act, 1985 and two people were arrested.

Further investigation is under progress, according to a press issued by the Commissioner of Customs, Chennai International Airport.


Tokyo Olympics bound Indian contingent accorded warm send off at IGI


Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur last night accorded a warm send-off to the first batch of athletes who departed from India to Tokyo at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Delhi's IGI airport echoed with the slogans of Jai Hind as the Union Minister extended his best wishes to the Tokyo Olympics bound Indian contingent.

The contingent of 88 which included 54 athletes, support staff and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) representatives were given a formal send-off in an event by Mr Thakur and Nisith Pramanik, Minister of State, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. 

Athletes and support staff in eight sports, Archery, Hockey, Badminton, Table Tennis, Archery, Judo, Gymnastics and Weightlifting departed from New Delhi yesterday with the largest contingent being of hockey.

To ensure the safety of the athletes, all dignitaries attending the event had their COVID tests done. Only those with negative reports were allowed at the event. 

As many as 127 Indian athletes have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, which is a record, overhauling the 117 that qualified for the Rio Olympics.


MeitY enables map services in UMANG App

In a bid to enhance the initiatives of the Digital India Programme, MeitY has enabled map services in "UMANG App" through an MOU with MapmyIndia.

As a result of the integration of UMANG with MapmyIndia Maps, citizens will be able to find government facilities nearest to their location, such as mandis, blood banks and much more, at the click of a button. They will also be able to see these on the most detailed and interactive street and village level maps of India, built by MapmyIndia. Citizens will also be able to view the driving distance, get directions and turn by turn voice and visual guidance to locations, including traffic and road safety alerts during navigation, through the linkage between UMANG App and MapmyIndia.

UMANG app has already started to provide map functionality through MapmyIndia in the following services:

Mera Ration - Through UMANG, users can identify and navigate to the 'Nearest Fair Price Shops' as shops are visible in the form of pointers on MapmyIndia integrated map.

eNAM - Through UMANG, the 'Mandi Near Me' service will help users to identify and navigate to the nearby mandis pointed on the map.

Damini - 'Damini Lightning Alerts' service is to provide lightning alerts to users by giving a visual of nearby areas where lightning has struck in the last few minutes. This alert mechanism provides the possibility of lightning strikes on map view.

To further increase usefulness to citizens, the map functionality will be shortly enabled in many more services such as:

ESIC - Users can view ESIC centers such as hospitals/dispensaries on map view and navigate to them.

Indian Oil - Service is to locate nearby retail and distributors of Gas stations as well as fuel filling stations.

NHAI - Users can view the toll plazas and toll rates information while travelling.

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) provides information corresponding to nearby police stations on the map.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (Meri Sadak) will help users to raise complaints of damaged roads (under PMGSY) by selecting the road on MapmyIndia platform.

The UMANG App can be downloaded by giving a missed call on 97183-97183 and is available on multiple platforms.


Indian Navy accepts first batch of two MH 60r Multi Role Helicopters


Indian Navy accepted the first two of its MH-60R Multi Role Helicopters (MRH) from US Navy in a ceremony held at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego on 16th July 21.

The ceremony marked the formal transfer of these helicopters from US Navy to Indian Navy, which were accepted by His Excellency Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Indian Ambassador to the USA. The ceremony also witnessed an exchange of helicopter documents between Vice Adm Kenneth Whitesell, Commander Naval Air Forces, US Navy and Vice Adm Ravneet Singh, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (DCNS), Indian Navy.

MH-60R helicopters manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corporation, USA is an all-weather helicopter designed to support multiple missions with state of the art avionics / sensors. As many as 24 of these helicopters are being procured under Foreign Military Sales from the US Government. The helicopters would also be modified with several India Unique Equipment and weapons. 

The induction of these MRH would further enhance the Indian Navy's three-dimensional capabilities. In order to exploit these potent helicopters, the first batch of Indian crew is presently undergoing training in USA.