Exports, imports are showing positive trends, says Piyush Goyal


The country‚Äôs exports as well as imports are showing positive trends as the outbound shipments are approaching the last year’s levels, after making a sharp dip in April this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Commerce and Industry Minister has said.

The minister said this during his meeting with various export promotion councils on September 3. On imports, Goyal said that inbound shipments of capital goods have not declined, and the reduction has been seen mainly in crude, gold and fertilisers.

He added that the trade deficit is reducing drastically and India’s share in the global trade is improving due to resilient supply chains.

He also said the ministry is trying to generate more reliable and better trade data so that the nation can do better planning and frame policies accordingly.

TCS iON offers free course for teachers to enhance digital teaching skills


iON, a unit of IT services major Tata Consultancy Services, on Friday said it has launched a free 15-day self-paced digital course to help educators enhance their digital teaching skills.

The programme called ‘Career Edge Digital Teacher’ requires about 1-2 hours of daily effort for 15 days, and will enable teachers to utilise novel teaching strategies for the digital world by helping them gain a better understanding of the available digital learning tools, a statement said.

The course also covers essential techniques for conducting assessments remotely, it added.

The online course can be accessed from anywhere, anytime and via any device cellphones, laptops, desktops and tablets.

iON noted that the pandemic has put enormous stress on millions of teachers by forcing them to adopt digital tools to conduct their classes.

The programme has been specially designed to equip aspiring and practising educators with essential skills and competencies to make their journey to digital teaching smoother and more effective, the statement said.

On successful completion of the course and an in-built test, teachers will be awarded a certificate endorsing them as Digital

Russia Vaccine ‘Passes Early Trial Test’


Early tests of a Russian coronavirus vaccine showed encouraging results when details were published Friday, but experts said the trials were too small to prove safety and effectiveness.

Russia announced last month that its vaccine, named “Sputnik V” after the Soviet-era satellite that was the first launched into space in 1957, had already received approval.

This raised concerns among Western scientists over a lack of safety data, with some warning that moving too quickly on a vaccine could be dangerous.

Russia denounced criticism as an attempt to undermine Moscow’s research and a Russian investor claimed vindication when Britain’s prestigious Lancet published research that showed patients in early tests developed antibodies with “no serious adverse events.”

In the Lancet study, Russian researchers reported on two small trials, each involving 38 healthy adults aged between 18 and 60, who were given a two-part immunisation.

Each participant was given a dose of the first part of the vaccine and then given a booster with the second part 21 days later.

They were monitored over 42 days and all developed antibodies within the first three weeks.

The report said the data showed that the vaccine was “safe, well tolerated, and does not cause serious

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