Based on inputs received from INTERPOL, CBI issued an alert against Cerberus; a banking Trojan. The malicious software takes advantage of COVID-19 Pandemic to impersonate and send SMS using the lure of COVID-19 related content to download the embedded malicious link, which deploys its malicious app usually spread via phishing campaigns to trick users into installing it on their smartphones.
This Trojan primarily focuses on stealing financial data such as credit card numbers. In addition, it can use overlay attacks to trick victims into providing personal information and can capture two-factor authentication details.
Due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases, the Madhya Pradesh government transferred Khandwa district collector Tanvi Sundriyal (IAS: 2010: MP) and superintendent of police Siv Dayal (IPS: 2012:MP). Actually this was done a day after the small border town with Maharashtra saw 90 new Covid-19 patients in 24 hours.
Sundriyal was replaced with another 2010-batch IAS officer Anay Dwivedi(IAS: 2010: MP) and was posted as a deputy secretary in the state secretariat. Dayal, was replaced by commander of Special Armed Force’s 7th battalion Vivek Singh (IPS: 2012:MP). Dayal will be the new commander of the battalion.
The government seems clueless and shifting officers when on May 4, collector of Ujjain Shashank Mishra and on May 7, SP Sachin Atulkar were shifted when the city became a Covid-19 hotspot with the death rate being highest among big cities.
Indore saw a similar situation earlier when its collector Lokesh Jatav was shifted and replaced with Manish Singh on March 28. Three days later, Indore police chief deputy inspector general (DIG) of police Ruchivardhan Mishra was shifted to a smaller district in the region. However, when Indore collector was shifted, the city had not become a Covid-19 hotspot but virus was spreading fast in certain localities.
In the longest address so far, the PM has given a roadmap not only how to fight COVID-19 but how to survive this pandemic on economic front as well when he announced a special economic package of Rs 20 lakh crore. This is nearly 10 percent of the GDP of the country. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would provide every detail of this special economic package. But in the PM’s speech, there are some important takeaways:
1) India looking for ways and means to become self-reliant. To understand it better, when COVID-19 crisis erupted not a single PPE kit was manufactured in India, only a few N-95 masks were available. Today, two lakh PPE kits and two lakh N-95 masks are manufactured in India.
2) Self-reliance of the country will have five pillars -- economy, infrastructure, technology-driven system, vibrant demography and demand.
3) Economic package will amount to Rs 20 lakh crore that is nearly 10 percent of the GDP.
4) The PM has urged people to be 'vocal about local' in this hour of crisis. He also asked people to buy more local products.
5) The PM also talked about supply chain linking to local products and market and making them so huge that they even grow to compete in international market.
All these announcements were made by the PM after seven-hour long marathon meeting with CMs of several states including Maharashtra, Punjab, Telangana and West Bengal most of them seeking an extension of the coronavirus lockdown.
The West Bengal government, which is under tremendous pressure for failing to deal with COVID19 pandemic, has transferred health secretary Vivek Kumar (IAS:1990:WB) from his post.
Kumar is the second senior bureaucrat to be transferred after food and supplies secretary Manoj Kumar Agarwal (IAS:1990:WB), who has been sent on compulsory wait. He was alleged of malpractices in the public distribution system.
The government transferred Kumar to the environment department as principal secretary. Narayan Swaroop Nigam (IAS:1998:WB), the transport secretary, will take charge of the health and family welfare department in his place.
The Mamata government has been severely criticised for mishandling the COVID-19 cases in the state. It is alleged Kumar had been made a scapegoat.
As of 8:00 AM on May 12, 2020, seven new coronavirus cases were reported in Kerala making the total number of active cases at 27 of the total 520 cases with 493 recovered and four dead.
Leave aside the tally in Maharashtra, Delhi, UP and Gujarat even active COVID-19 cases in Kerala’s neighboring states Tamil Nadu stands at 7204, Andhra Pradesh at 1980 and Karnataka at 848 put Kerala in altogether a different league as far as COVID management is concerned.
There are several states but only a few of them actually ‘walked the talk’ in their fight against COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts made by the Kerala Government, led by Chief Minister P Vijayan, to check the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has won accolades from across the globe. Kerala's Health Minister K K Shailaja too was applauded for sensing the pandemic well before the time.
Over 35 international media outlets including the BBC and The Guardian praised Kerala's COVID resistance so much so that it was termed as ‘The K factor in the fight against coronavirus in India’. The Washington Post has underlined that the Communist state flattened its Covid-19 curve. The MIT Technology Review made the headline ‘What the world can learn from Kerala about how to fight COVID-19’. AlterNet USA wrote ‘An often-overlooked region of India is a beacon to the world for taking on the coronavirus.'
Certainly, Kerala’s investments in education and public health pay a dividend but the encouraging figures/tallies are said to be the outcome of timely and strategic decisions and collective will-power of the state leadership, its administration, and public awareness.
Indianmandarins.com tried to explore the whole bunch of civil servants who are said to have made the mark which is being termed as a K-factor throughout the pandemic.
Dr Rajan Khobragade (IAS:1993), Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare; Bishwanath Sinha (IAS:1992), Principal Secretary SC/ST and LSGD (Urban); K R Jyothilal (IAS:1993) Principal Secretary, GAD/Transport; Dr K Ellangovan (IAS:1992), Principal Secretary, Industries & Commerce are among a few senior IAS officers being talked about their proactive role and administrative acumen to deal with the crisis. The state government specially roped in Bishwanath Sinha to coordinate all the activities connected with the repatriation of the residents of Kerala stranded in other states dues to lockdown. Sinha is assigned to design SOP for such repatriation as per the guidelines issued by the MHA and has been managing the arrangements of trains singularly. Further, Dr Elangowan Principal Secretary, NORKA has been handling the repatriation of Keralites stranded in foreign countries.
For example ‘Tiranga vehicle’ launched by Pathanamthitta DC Nooh P Bawa (IAS:2012) initially became the symbol of Kerala’s preparedness in the fight against COVID-19. Designed for rapid screening of symptoms was widely recognised for its mobility and strategic utility as it helped to reduce the risk of exposure of health workers as they go out to screen people with minimum risk of exposure.
Besides state’s past handling of Nipah virus cases with which only Kerala was affected, all District Collectors especially Jafar Malik (IAS:2013), Malappuram; Suhas S (IAS:2012), Ernakulam; Gopalkrishnan K (IAS:2013), Thiruvananthapuram; Dr Adeela Abdulla (IAS:2012), Wayanad. Several Sub Collectors like Dr Vinay Goyal (IAS:2016); Snehil Kumar Singh (IAS:2016), Arun K Vijayan (IAS:2016), Asif K Yusuf (IAS:2016) and several other budding civil servants are said to have been playing a crucial role on the ground. Vijay S Sakhare (IPS:1996), IG and Special Officer for, COVID-19 prevention, Kasaragod, R Mohan PS to CM, M Sivasankar (IAS:1995), Secretary to CM; Dr Navjot Khosa (IAS:2012), MD, KMSCL are among another lot of senior civil servants being seen as a factor in the K-factor.
(By Rakesh Ranjan)
Social distancing is key to keep COVID-19 pandemic at bay with lockdown being gradually eased out in India. So to mitigate the risks posed by human forgetfulness in maintaining this life-saving practice and to ensure that workplaces do not suffer another wave of outbreak post lockdown, a start-up based out of Noida, UNYDE, has come up with a free to use application – MyShield.
This app makes use of technology and BLE signals in ensuring social distancing amongst co-workers and enabling contactless attendance. It works simply by building a digital safety circle of 2 meters circumference around a person and whenever someone breaches that safety circle mistakenly, automatic notifications are sent and each party is alerted and reminded to recede back to the safe zone.
It also lets all employees mark their attendance digitally through their phone which can help organizations in doing away the physical biometric machines/ paper-based attendance eliminating potential ways of spreading viruses unknowingly. Companies need not worry about proxy attendances as this function is only enabled once an employee is inside the workplace premises and is registered on MYSHIELD.
Social distancing is new normal across the world. The government is working relentlessly to educate and promote ‘social distancing'. As per new guidelines issued, offices are advised to function on a partial workforce and to come up with measures to ensure social distancing within premises to limit the spread of the virus. Apps like ‘Aarogya Setu’ ensures that awareness and education about means of safety, protection and prevention against Coronavirus are accessible to all.