Morning Digest: ICMR nod for low-cost COVID-19 testing device, Obama campaigns for Biden, and more

IIT-Kharagpur has launched COVIRAP, a diagnostic device for COVID-19 testing. Photo: YouTube/IIT Kharagpur Official  

Coronavirus | ICMR approves low-cost testing method developed by IIT Kharagpur

A new coronavirus diagnostic method, using a low-cost portable unit developed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) after testing with patient samples showed an accuracy level slightly lower than the gold standard RT-PCR method at a fraction of the cost.

Economy almost at doorstep of revival: Das

India’s economy is ‘almost at the doorstep of revival’, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das asserted on Wednesday, adding that banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) had raised, or were in the process of raising, capital to ensure adequate credit availability for businesses once the revival took hold.

Rajasthan to become second State to reject farm laws

Rajasthan is likely to become the second Congress-ruled State after Punjab to formally reject the Centre’s farm Acts being opposed by large sections of agriculturists across the country. A special session of the State Assembly will be convened shortly to discuss the impact of the contentious laws on farmers.

U.S. presidential election 2020 | Obama urges voters to show up for Biden

Former President Barack Obama blasted President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, his response to racial unrest and his fundamental unfitness for the job in his first in-person campaign pitch Wednesday for Joe Biden, his former vice president.

Bihar Assembly election | Nitish puts his faith in women voters for a win

Quite separate from caste arithmetic and loyalties, if there is one constituency that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has courted, it’s been that of women. So much so that his controversial decision to impose prohibition in the State in 2015 was also guided by the opinions expressed by his female support base.

Coronavirus | AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial Brazil volunteer dies, trial to continue

Brazilian health authority Anvisa said on Wednesday that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University had died but added that the trial would continue.

Bipartisan Senate letter backs India’s inclusion of Australia in Malabar naval exercise

A bipartisan group of Senators has written to India’s Ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu backing India’s decision to invite Australia to the annual Malabar naval exercise. The letter also asks India to join the Blue Dot Network — a U.S.-led collaboration with Australia and Japan that supports private-sector led infrastructure financing opportunities in response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The letter says strengthening the Quad — the group comprising India, the U.S., Australia and Japan — has become especially important in the face of China’s “rising military and economic assertiveness”.

Pope endorses same-sex civil unions in new documentary

Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as Pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary Francesco, which premiered on Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival.

GJM founder Bimal Gurung makes public appearance, says he has severed ties with BJP

Three years after being in hiding, Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) founder Bimal Gurung on Wednesday made a public appearance in Kolkata and announced that he had severed all ties with the BJP. Extending an olive branch to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Mr. Gurung said the BJP had not done anything for the Darjeeling hills.

Integrated theatre commands next step in defence reforms: Army Chief

The next step in defence reforms after the appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) would be the formation of integrated theatre commands, Army Chief Gen. Manoj Naravane said on Wednesday. This process would be “deliberate, thoughtful and well considered.”

Coronavirus | At 8,369, Kerala cases highest among southern States

Kerala reported 8,369 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, testing 62,030 samples, and recorded a higher test positivity rate of 13.5%, compared to 12.2% the previous day.

Indian Premier League 2020, KKR VS RCB | Destructive Siraj leads Royal Challengers’ rout of Knight Riders

Mohammed Siraj steamrollered Kolkata Knight Riders with a blistering fast-bowling display (4-2-8-3) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. The 84 runs that KKR managed for the loss of eight wickets was the lowest total in IPL history for a team that wasn’t bowled out. Royal Challengers Bangalore romped home with eight wickets and more than six overs to spare.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 10:38:52 PM |

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