German regulators tell Facebook to stop processing user data from WhatsApp, China gives Bangladesh 500,000 doses of Sinopharm Covid vaccines, North Korea claims it has no Covid-19 infections, Saudi Arabia to organize Mecca pilgrimage this year under special conditions, UPSC Civil Services 2021 preliminary exam postponed, Stalin writes to PM asks GST to be removed on Covid vaccines, BCCI appoints Ramesh Powar as head coach of Indian women’s cricket team, Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine to be available in Indian market from early next week,

MANAS App launched to promote wellbeing across age groups

Atal Innovation Mission and NITI Aayog on Wednesday signed an agreement with Dassault Systemes Foundation to jointly work towards providing a digitally rich ecosystem of Innovation among aspiring young minds across the country. The Atal Tinkering Labs has played a pivotal role in fostering creativity and imagination amongst school children. Dassault Systemes Fondation is dedicated to transform the future of education and research in India with 3D technologies. The fondation will contribute to the Atal Tinkering Labs program in three broad areas - project based, self-paced learning content, hackathons and challenges and inter-country academia collaborations. Under this agreement, Dassault Systemes Fondation will design and organise innovative challenges, hackathons for Atal Tinkering Labs, promoting problem solving skills and innovation culture amongst students and teachers.

-Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government, Prof. K Vijay Raghavan has launched the MANAS App to promote wellbeing across age groups. MANAS which stands for Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System was endorsed as a national program by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council.It is a comprehensive, scalable, and national digital wellbeing platform and an app  developed to augment mental well-being of Indian citizens. The application integrates the health and wellness efforts of various government ministries, scientifically validated indigenous tools with gamified interfaces developed by various national bodies and research institutions.Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Raghavan said the app must be integrated with the public health schemes like National Health Mission, Poshan Abhiyan and e-Sanjeevani so that it is used widely. He also said the application must be made multi-lingual.

-Despite the uncertainty prevailing in the financial year 2020-21 owing to COVID-19 pandemic, fundraising was better than that in the previous fiscal year for both Public Issues and Rights Issues. According to finance ministry press release, during 2020-21 fiscal around Rs 46,030 crore have been raised through Public Issues witnessing a growth of 115 per cent. On the other side, with an increase of 15 percent, 64,059 crore was raised through the Rights Issue.As per the release, the number of issues in the Corporate Bond Market also increased by 10 per cent in the 2020-21 fiscal. It said, around 2003 issues of Corporate Bonds for around Rs 7,82,427 crore happened during the reported fiscal year.

-Haitian Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe has resigned as the country faces a spike in killings and kidnappings and prepares for an upcoming constitutional referendum and general election later this year. He has served as the Prime Minister since March 2020. He did not give an explanation for his resignation.Jouthe previously had tried to submit his resignation, but President Jovenel Moïse at the time had rejected it. This time, Moïse accepted it and nominated Claude Joseph as Haiti’s new Prime Minister. The President tweeted that Jouthe’s resignation will make it possible to address the glaring problem of insecurity and continue discussions with the aim of reaching the consensus necessary for the political and institutional stability of the country. Haiti has seen eight Prime Ministers since 2015.

-NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that withdrawing troops from Afghanistan is not a risk-free decision, but the alternative would be an open-ended military presence to withstand growing Taliban violence. He said that this is not an easy decision, and it entails risks. He said alternative to leaving in an orderly fashion is to be prepared for a long-term, open-ended military commitment, with potentially more NATO troops.Stoltenberg was speaking at a joint press conference yesterday with US State Secretary Antony Blinken and Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin. Austin said the United States will respond forcefully to any Taliban attack against US forces and allies during their withdrawal from Afghanistan. He further said there is still too much violence in Afghanistan and the Taliban is expected to try to reverse some progress made in the country over the last nearly 20 years.Blinken in his remarks said that the United States remains committed to continuing supporting Afghanistan after the withdrawal of its troops and would include a provision of visas for asylum-seekers under a Special Immigrant Visa Program. Blinken pointed out that the United States military withdrawal from Afghanistan will not end its commitment to the country's development, humanitarian assistance and security forces.



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