The Centre has notified the Protection of Children from
Sexual Offences Rules, 2020 which enables implementation of recent
amendments to the Act under which provisions of punishment for child abuse
has been made more stringent.
Some of the significant additions in the new rules include
provision of mandatory police verification of staff in schools and care homes,
procedures to report sexual abuse material (pornography), imparting
age-appropriate child rights education among others.
For crackdown on child pornography, the rules state that any
person who has received any pornographic material involving a child or any
information regarding such pornographic material being stored, possessed,
distributed, circulated, transmitted, facilitated, propagated or displayed, or
is likely to be distributed, facilitated or transmitted in any manner shall
report the contents to the Special Juvenile Police Unit (SJPU) or police, or the
The rules said, the report shall include the details of the
device in which such pornographic content was noticed and the suspected device
from which such content was received including the platform on which the content
Masks and hand sanitisers have been declared as essential
commodities due to their shortage in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
On Friday, the Centre notified an order under the Essential
Commodities Act, 1955 to declare 2 ply and 3 ply surgical masks, N95 masks and
hand sanitisers as essential commodities till June 30, 2020. It has also issued
an advisory under the Legal Metrology Act, so that States can ensure these items
are not sold for more than the Maximum Retail Price (MRP).
It has been noted that these products are “either not available
with most of the vendors in the market or are available with great difficulty at
exorbitant prices,” said a statement from the Consumer Affairs Department.
The decision would empower the States and the Central government
to regulate production, quality, distribution and sale of these items, and carry
out operations against those involved in speculation, overpricing and black
The rupee made a sharp recovery after touching a record low
of 74.50 a dollar in early trade following intervention and assurance of
liquidity by the Reserve Bank of India.
The rupee opened weak at 74.39 a dollar compared with the
previous close of 74.24 and then touched the day’s low of 74.50. The previous
record low was on October 9, 2018 when the rupee closed the day at 74.39 a
On Friday, the rupee closed the day at 73.80 a dollar, up 44
paisa from its previous close.
The turbulence in the financial market steered the central bank
into making a statement, saying it would take steps to ensure adequate liquidity
and that the situation was being monitored closely.
Markets around the globe are facing volatility due to risk
aversion; investors are holding liquidity even as COVID-19 keeps spreading.
Trading was halted in the domestic equities market after hitting their lower
circuits on Friday.
“The Reserve Bank of India is closely and continuously
monitoring the rapidly evolving global situation and will take all necessary
measures to ensure that money, debt and forex markets remain adequately liquid
and stable, and continue to function normally,” the RBI said.
On Thursday, the RBI announced that it would open a six-month
dollar sell-buy swap window to pump in liquidity in the foreign exchange market.
The central bank will conduct U.S. dollar-rupee sell-buy swaps worth $2 billion
on March 16, to ‘begin with,’ in its effort to fight market volatility.
Leaders of SAARC nations today endorsed Prime Minister
NarendraModi's proposal to chalk out a joint strategy to combat the
coronavirus outbreak, promising their complete support towards the
collective effort against the pandemic.
Prime Minister of Bhutan LotayTshering said it is what we call
leadership. He said, he has no doubt that under Prime Minister NarendraModi's
leadership the region will see the immediate and impactful outcomes. He said, as
members of this region, nations must come together in such times.
MrTshering said, smaller economies are hit harder, so SAARC
nations must coordinate. Replying to MrModi in a tweet, he said, with MrModi's
leadership, he has no doubt the nations will see the immediate and impactful
outcomes. He said, he is looking forward to the video conference.
Sri Lankan President GotabayaRajapaksa said that his country is
ready to join the discussion and share its learnings and best practices to
combat the outbreak. He called upon leaders to unite in solidarity during these
trying times and keep our citizens safe.
The World Health Organization said on Friday that Europe was
now the “epicentre” for the global coronavirus pandemic — and warned it was
impossible to know when the outbreak would peak.
The continent had now “more reported cases and deaths than the
rest of the world combined, apart from China”, said WHO chief
TedrosAdhanomGhebreyesus. “Europe has now become the epicentre of the
pandemic.”Mr. Tedros was speaking at news conference held virtually.
“More cases are now being reported every day than were reported
in China at the height of its epidemic,” he said, referring to the global
numbers.The death toll passing 5,000 was “a tragic milestone”, said Mr. Tedros.
Maria Van Kerkhove, who heads the WHO’s emerging diseases unit,
meanwhile warned it was “impossible for us to say when this will peak globally”.
“You can’t fight a virus if you don’t know where it is,” said
Mr. Tedros, calling on countries to “find, isolate, test and treat every case,
to break the chains of transmission.”