Padma Vibhushan conferred on Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

The Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan was today conferred on Padma Vibhusan by President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi.

Along with the Bollywood superstar, Padma Vibushan was also conferred on Malur Ramaswamy Srinivasan and  K.K. Venugopal.

Srinivasan was given the honour for his work in science and engineering and jurist Venugopal was recognised  for his participation in the field in public affairs.

The awards were conferred at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan, and was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several union ministers.

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We Are Working Very Closely With India: Trump on Covid-19 Vaccine Project

US and India are working together on Covid-19 vaccine project, revealed Trump

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"Operation Warp Speed" aims to make a vaccine against COVID-19 by the end of this year, told President Trump. Wikimedia Commons

By Arul Louis

Launching “Operation Warp Speed” to ready a vaccine against Covid-19 by the end of the year, President Donald Trump said on Friday the US was working with India on the project suggests the Latest World News.

“We are working very closely also with India,” Trump said while speaking to reporters when he unveiled the project at the White House.

He also acknowledged the work of Indian-Americans on vaccine development projects.

There is a “tremendous Indian population in the United States, many of the people you are talking about are working on the vaccine too. Great scientists and researchers,” he said.

Trump, who recalled his February visit to India, ended his comment on India saying, “Say hello to your Prime Minister!”

Earlier, he said that India and other countries would have access to any vaccine or therapy developed by the US.

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Trump acknowledged the work of Indian-Americans on vaccine development projects. Wikimedia Commons

He said that the US and companies were not seeking to make a profit out of the crisis and wanted to make them available to all.

Trump said that the goal of “Operation Warp Speed” was to try to have a vaccine ready by the end of the year.

“We would love to see if we could do it prior to the end of the year,” he said.

Read More: Young Indians Are At An Evergrowing Risk Of Hypertension

He said that Moncef Slaoui, who is the former head of GlaxoSmithKline vaccines division, would head the project with General Gustave Perna looking after the logistics.

Trump said that the vaccine would be available to all who wanted it and the military, the other arms of the government and the private sector would be fully mobilised to get them out.

The best candidates of the several under development would be made ready in advance and would go out as soon one gets approved. (IANS)

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Finance Minister’s Announcements Will Boost MSMEs: PM Modi

Modi praised the announcements made by the Finance Minister in a tweet

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to appreciate the announcements made by the Finance Minister. Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday hailed the announcements made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to aid the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which have taken a beating during the Covid-19 induced lockdown.

Modi tweeted, “Today’s announcements by FM @nsitharaman will go a long way in addressing issues faced by businesses, especially MSMEs. The steps announced will boost liquidity, empower the entrepreneurs and strengthen their competitive spirit.

He also used the hashtag ‘Atma-nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’, which is a reference to self-reliant India, something which he vowed to turn the country into during his televised address to the nation on Tuesday night.

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Sitharaman announced to widen the definition of MSMEs and raise the investment limit on Wednesday. Wikimedia Commons

Speaking to the media here on Wednesday, Sitharaman announced to widen the definition of MSMEs and raise the investment limit. Another criteria, turnover of the company, has also been added to the required norms for classification of MSMEs.

Read More: Bars, Guest Houses Allowed to Open in Lockdown 4, Urges Goa Minister

Sitharaman also announced a collateral-free automatic loan for MSMEs of up to Rs 3 lakh crore, among other liquidity measures.

In a move to provide more scope for Indian companies, including MSMEs, the Centre has decided to disallow global firms from participating in government procurement tenders up to Rs 200 crore.

These were part of a multi-pronged approach of the government to rejuvenate the sector which has been badly hit by the suspension of economic activities in the country in the wake of the nationwide lockdown which is place to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. (IANS)

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Warns About Complacency in The Fight Against COVID-19

Modi Warns Indians Against Complacency in Fight Against Coronavirus

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The researchers did find that public health measures, including school closures, social distancing and restrictions of large gatherings, have been effective. VOA

By Anjana Pasricha

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned the country about complacency in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in a Sunday radio address and appealed to people to strictly comply with a nationwide lockdown that has been in effect for over a month.

He stressed the need to sustain India’s “people-driven” war against the coronavirus.

The prime minister, a popular leader in country of 1.3 billion people, urged Indians to wear masks, follow social distancing norms and avoid spitting in public places calling these measures “the biggest medicine to fight this disease in the days to come.”

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned the country about complacency in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Flickr

The message comes as India takes tiny steps to restart the economy, raising worries that this may cause a spike in coronavirus cases. It is also seen as targeted at areas which remain unaffected by the virus — most of India’s infections are racing through densely packed cities while its vast countryside is largely unaffected.

Modi said people should “not be trapped into over-confidence and nurse the belief that in our city, in our village, in our streets, in our office, coronavirus has not reached and that is why it will not reach.”

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Indians have so far adhered zealously to the calls for a stringent lockdown as the dreaded infection spread a wave of fear. Several neighborhoods in cities have imposed their own strict guidelines while volunteer squads in many villages do not allow outsiders to come in.

Whether such strict compliance will continue remains to be seen as the country begins to unlock  on Saturday it allowed shops in rural areas and neighborhood stores in cities to open. Farm based businesses and some factories restarted earlier this week.

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Indian people stand on the lines drawn to maintain safe distance as they wait to receive free food being distributed by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to slow the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Chennai, India, April 1, 2020. VOA

However not everyone is rushing to open their shutters and some traders remain wary about doing business while the infection is still raging. “Many shop owners told me they may not open immediately because customers are unlikely to come, so why should we expose ourselves,” according to Praveen Khandelwal, the Secretary- General of the Confederation of All India Traders. “It will take time for them to pick up confidence.”

But as calls grow to open up more sectors of the economy, specially from big business, the government is expected to draw up a strategy on Monday about how it plans to exit the lockdown that is due to end on May 3.

Also Read- UNICEF Warns That COVID-19 Crisis Prevents Shipment of Vaccines for Children

India saw its biggest spike in cases of coronavirus infections on Saturday with nearly 2,000 new cases taking the nation’s total to about 26,500. 824 people have died.

Although those numbers are modest compared to many countries, many fear they may not reflect the accurate spread of the infection because testing has been limited so far and is only now being ramped up in areas that are “hotspots.”  (VOA)