Modi launches property card scheme to aid rural households

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a property card scheme on Sunday that he vowed would provide clarity of property rights in villages and enable farmers to use their property as collateral for loans from financial institutions.

Two-thirds of India’s population lives in rural areas, where few possess proper land records and property disputes are common.

“This is a historic effort towards rural transformation,” Modi said in a webcast speech while launching the programme.

The government plans to use drone technology to map land parcels in rural areas and cover some 620,000 villages over the next four years, Modi said.

“Despite owning houses, people were facing multiple problems while borrowing from banks. These people can now borrow very easily from banks after showing property cards issued under ownership scheme,” Modi said.

An initial batch of 100,000 people from over 750 villages across six states will begin to receive

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India and South Africa Ask WTO to Waive Rules to Aid COVID-19 Drug Production | World News

VIENNA (Reuters) – India and South Africa want the World Trade Organization (WTO) to waive intellectual property rules to make it easier for developing countries to produce or import COVID-19 drugs, a letter https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/SS/directdoc.aspx?filename=q:/IP/C/W669.pdf&Open=True to the WTO shows.

In their letter dated Oct. 2 the two countries called on the global trade body to waive parts of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which governs patents, trademarks, copyright and other intellectual property rules globally.

“As new diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19 are developed, there are significant concerns (over) how these will be made available promptly, in sufficient quantities and at (an) affordable price to meet global demand,” the letter posted on the Geneva-based WTO’s website says.

The two countries said that developing nations are disproportionately affected by the pandemic and that intellectual property rights, including patents, could be a barrier to the provision of affordable

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Indiana schools use $200M federal aid for virus

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana schools are slowly making a dent in more than $200 million of federal aid meant to help local districts manage financial hardships spurred by the coronavirus.

Since May, nearly $22 million of Indiana’s share of federal CARES Act aid has been issued to school districts around the state, according to the Indiana Department of Education. State officials say millions more are expected to be given out in the coming months.

The financial help is intended to buy remote learning technology, equipment for sanitizing school buildings, protective equipment, staff training and emotional support for students.


State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick cautions the federal aid isn’t as much as it seems, adding that no one is going to “get rich” with the extra money.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Trump at military hospital; new cases among allies emerge

— Cavalier White House approach

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EMERGING MARKETS-SMIC’s U.S. curbs aid S.Korean, Taiwan stocks after Chinese data boost

    * Jakarta COVID-19 curbs extended 
    * Malaysia's ruling coalition wins state election; reduces
political uncertainty 
    * South Korea, Taiwan chipmakers rise after U.S tightens
exports
to China's SMIC

    By Nikhil Nainan
    Sept 28 (Reuters) - South Korean and Taiwanese stocks
climbed over 1% each on Monday as investors priced in a boost
for their tech-focussed economies from tighter U.S. curbs on
China's biggest chipmaker, adding to a broadly brighter start
across Asian markets. 
    Data showing profits at Chinese industrial firms grew for a
fourth straight month underpinned stock markets in the region,
although the extension of export curbs on Semiconductor
Manufacturing International Corp left
China's own indices flat after a strong start.

    The dual-listed chipmaker's shares plunged more than 5% in
both Shanghai and Hong Kong.

    Stocks in Seoul climbed 1.2% with local chipmakers
gaining the most, also helped by a fall in the number of daily
COVID-19 infections to 
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NASA observations aid efforts to track California’s wildfire smoke from space

NASA observations aid efforts to track California's wildfire smoke from space
On Aug. 31, MODIS detected several hotspots in the August Complex Fire in California, as well as several other actively burning areas to the north, west, and south. Credit: R. Kahn/K.J. Noyes/NASA Goddard/A. Nastan/JPL Caltech/J. Tackett/J-P Vernier/NASA Langley

Wildfires have been burning across the state of California for weeks—some of them becoming larger complexes as different fires merge. One of those was the August Complex Fire, which reportedly began as 37 distinct fires caused by lightning strikes in northern California on Aug. 17. That fire is still burning over a month later.


The August Complex Fire and others this fire season have been sending far-reaching plumes of wildfire smoke into the atmosphere that worsen air quality in California and beyond. Predicting where that smoke will travel and how bad the air will be downwind is a challenge, but Earth-observing satellites can help. Included among them are NASA’s Terra and CALIPSO

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Proof-of-concept for a new ultra-low-cost hearing aid for age-related hearing loss — ScienceDaily

A new ultra-affordable and accessible hearing aid made from open-source electronics could soon be available worldwide, according to a study published September 23, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Soham Sinha from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia, US, and colleagues.

Hearing aids are a major tool for individuals with hearing loss — especially age-related hearing loss, which currently affects approximately 226 million adults over the age of 65 worldwide (and is projected to affect 900 million by 2050). However, hearing aid adoption remains relatively low among adults: fewer than 3 percent of adults in low-and-middle-income countries (LMIC) use hearing aids, versus around 20 percent of adults in non-LMIC countries. Though various reasons contribute to this poor uptake, cost is a significant factor. While the price to manufacture hearing aids has decreased over time, the retail price for a pair of hearing aids ranges from $1,000 to $8,000

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A multishot lensless camera in development could aid disease diagnosis

A multishot lensless camera in development could aid disease diagnosis
Schematic of the layout for a lensless camera. Credit: Keating/Liu Labs, Penn State

A new type of imaging that does not require a lens and uses reconfigurable particle-based masks to take multiple shots of an object is being developed by researchers at Penn State. The electric-field directed self-assembling mask technology is expected to have uses in lower-cost and faster disease diagnosis, the enhancement of optical microscopy, and may even lead to thinner cellphone technology.


How it works

The researchers create a mask of microscopic gold wires and place it near the object that will be imaged. The mask scatters the light reflected off the object and an image sensor collects the light. An electric current rearranges the particles in the mask, producing a new mask with every iteration, and the system records each new image. The multiple light captures are then computationally reconstructed into the original object image, resulting in

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SEC to use devices to aid with contact tracing

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:



Oakland Athletics outfielders Mark Canha (20) and Ramon Laureano, second from right, wear masks as they greet teammates after they defeated the Seattle Mariners in the second baseball game of a doubleheader, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, in Seattle. Both games were played in air smoky from wildfires in Oregon, Washington, and California. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


© Provided by Associated Press
Oakland Athletics outfielders Mark Canha (20) and Ramon Laureano, second from right, wear masks as they greet teammates after they defeated the Seattle Mariners in the second baseball game of a doubleheader, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, in Seattle. Both games were played in air smoky from wildfires in Oregon, Washington, and California. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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The Southeastern Conference says it is providing its 14 schools wearable technology for football players intended to aid with COVID-19 contact tracing.

The SafeTags made by Kinexon can be worn like a wristband at team facilities or attached to equipment when used in games or practice. The conference says the devices already are being used by the NFL.

The SafeTags allow medical and athletic training staff to track how close those wearing the devices

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