Daily PIB News: October 17-20, 2020


  • Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science & Technology, Health and Family Welfare and Earth Sciences, on October 20 launched a website that gives comprehensive information about the numerous COVID-19 clinical trials that CSIR is engaged in partnership with Industry, other government departments and ministries.
  • Called CuRED or CSIR Ushered Repurposed Drugs, the website provides information about the drugs, diagnostics and devices including the current stage of the trials, partnering institutions and their role in the trials and other details.
  • The Minister lauded the efforts of CSIR for being at the forefront of the ongoing fight against COVID-19 and prioritizing clinical trials, generating data for their regulatory approval and helping launch drugs and diagnostics in the market.

NITI Aayog & AWS Launch Frontier Technologies Cloud Innovation Center

  • To address societal challenges through digital innovation, NITI Aayog on October 19 announced the establishment of a Frontier Technologies Cloud Innovation Center (CIC) with Amazon Web Services (AWS)—the first of its kind in India.
  • This CIC is part of the AWS CIC Global Program, which provides an opportunity for government agencies, non-profits, and educational institutions, to come together on pressing challenges, apply design thinking, test new ideas, and access the technology expertise of AWS.
  • The NITI Aayog Frontier Technologies CIC will be a great enabler to budding innovators and start-ups, and help in piloting state-of-the-art, cloud-centric digital innovations by leveraging emerging technologies such as AI.

IAHE General Council Deliberates Upon Recommendations Of Y. S. Malik Committee

  • 5th General Council meeting of Indian Academy of Highway Engineers (IAHE) was held on October 19 though video conferencing under the chairmanship of Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari.
  • Created in 1983, IAHE has been providing training at entry level/refresher courses/ training on specialised areas of highway, bridge & tunnel engineering/ orientation programmes/management development programmes/strategic training programmes etc. to highway engineers and professionals working in Central Government, State Governments, PSUs, Local Bodies, Contractors, Consultants etc.
  • Need was however felt to considerably expand and improve the activities of IAHE to better contribute to highway development programmes.
  • Accordingly, Ministry constituted a committee under the chairmanship Shri Y. S. Malik, former Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) to give recommendations to transform IAHE into a world-class premier institute in highway sector.


  • Union Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala on October 19 launched AYUSHMAN SAHAKAR, a unique scheme to assist cooperatives play an important role in creation of healthcare infrastructure in the country formulated by the apex autonomous development finance institution under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).
  • In line with National Digital Heath Mission launched by the Prime Minister on 15th August, 2020, NCDC’s Ayushman Sahakar would bring transformation in rural areas. By virtue of their strong presence in rural areas, cooperatives utilizing the scheme would bring revolution in comprehensive health care services.
  • NCDC was set up under an Act of Parliament in 1963 for promotion and development of cooperatives. Since 1963, it has extended around Rs.1.60 lakh crore as loans to cooperatives.

Malabar 2020 Naval Exercise

  • The Malabar series of Naval exercises started in 1992 as a bilateral Indian Navy-US Navy exercise. Japan joined the Naval exercise in 2015.
  • This annual exercise has been conducted off the coast of Guam in the Philippine Sea in 2018, off the coast the Japan in 2019 and is expected to be held in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea later this year.
  • As India Seeks to increase cooperation with other countries in the maritime security domain and in the light of increased defence cooperation with Australia, Malabar 2020 will see the participation of the Australian Navy.
  • This year, the exercise has been planned on a ‘non-contact – at sea’ format. The exercise will strengthen the coordination between the Navies of the participating countries.
  • The participants of Exercise Malabar 2020 are engaging to enhance safety and security in the maritime domain.
  • They collectively support free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and remain committed to a rules based international order.