As the pandemic has forced almost all work online, government institutes have taken to conducting “virtual” meetings of their executive councils. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh presided over the first-ever virtual executive council meet of Manohar Parrikar Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis Friday. He appreciated that the institute has “successfully been able to overcome constraints in movement of some scholars and staff and yet maintain the tempo of outreach and research through their writings and webinars”. The meeting was not entirely virtual, as some members were present in person, including Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, former Home Secretary G K Pillai and Professor S D Muni. Apart from the Defence Minister, five other executive council members joined via video-conferencing.
Starting Friday, Prasar Bharati’s “comprehensive weather report from across the entire territory of India” for the first time featured weather information of regions in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, which are under illegal control of Pakistan. The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has decided that weather reports for “Indian towns and cities including Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit” will now be part of primetime news bulletins on All India Radio and Doordarshan News, I&B Secretary Amit Khare said. They will soon be part of weather reports on private channels, too.
The government is reaching out to Africa during the COVID-19 crisis. India is dispatching packages of medicines to more than 25 countries in the continent. The packages include hydroxychloroquine, paracetamol and other drugs and are expected to complement the efforts of various African countries. PM Narendra Modi had in April spoken to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also chairperson of the African Union.
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