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EPFO directs field offices to timely credit pension to 65 lakh EPS beneficiaries

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Retirement fund body EPFO on Monday said it has issued directions for timely credit of monthly pension to over 65 lakh employees’ pension scheme (EPS) beneficiaries amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) disburses monthly pension to over 65 lakh pensioners every month under the EPS.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, lockdown has been declared in various parts of the country. In order to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the pensioners on account of the prevalent situation, the Central Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC) has directed (over 120) field offices of the EPFO to generate and reconcile pensioners’ details and pension amount statements for the current month by 25th March, 2020,” a statement by the labour ministry said.

The CPFC has also directed that the pension should be forwarded to the banks in advance so that the monthly pension is credited into the account of the pensioners in time, during March itself.

The EPFO runs three social security schemes — EPS, Employee’ Provident Fund and Employees Deposit Linked Insurance. It has over six crore subscribers who get the benefit of provident fund, group insurance and pension.

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World Bank approves $1 billion emergency aid for India to combat Coronavirus outbreak

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Amid Coronavirus pandemic hitting the global economy, the World Bank on Thursday, approved $1 billion emergency financial aid for India to combat the coronavirus outbreak, which has taken 2,069 people in its grip in the country and has claimed 53 lives so far.

“In India, $1 billion emergency financing will support better screening, contact tracing, and laboratory diagnostics; procure personal protective equipment; and set up new isolation wards,” the World Bank said.

It has approved total aid of $ 1.9 billion for 25 poor countries with the largest amount of assistance being given to India, followed by $ 200 million for Pakistan, $ 129 million for Sri Lanka, $100 million for Afghanistan and $ 83 million for Ethiopia.

After this first round of aid for 25 countries, now another round of relief packages to 40 other countries will be given.

The emergency resources would include money to purchase critical medical supplies such as masks and ventilators and the World Bank will lend its procurement expertise to help obtain these supplies on global markets.

World Bank President David Malpass and Managing Director of IMF Kristalina Georgieva are asking the G-20 countries to support instituting a 14-month pause in requiring the poorest countries to make debt repayments.

The World Bank said that the next step is to grant up to $160 billion assistance over the next 15 months to support measures against the global fight to arrest COVID-19 pandemic, focussing on immediate relief and bolster economic recovery.

According to Malpass, the proposal for financial aid was discussed at last week’s conference call with US President Donald Trump and other G-20 leaders and further approval would be taken when the World Bank’s policy panel, the Development Committee, holds a virtual meeting on April 17.

The Coronavirus pandemic has infected over one million people worldwide on Friday as the number rose to 1,016,128 and claimed 53,146 lives. Meanwhile, 328 coronavirus cases have been reported in the last 24 hours in India.

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Indian airports hits a snag: Scarcity of slots

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With suspension of all international and domestic passenger flight services in India, due to the corona virus outbreak, some Indian airports are reeling under shortage of aircraft parking space.

The Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport in Kolkata which has 58 parking bays, now has a total of 53 aircraft parked inside. The outbreak has already dealt a massive blow to the Indian aviation industry and now some airports in the country are reeling under space crunch for aircraft parking.

Due to suspension of both domestic and international flights in India, many airlines have their aircraft grounded at several airports in the country. It recently came to light that the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in Delhi is reportedly running out of space for aircraft parking and has hence made space in its remote bay area and hangars for the purpose.

The Kolkata airport though at present has space for parking but it is only a matter of time when the space runs out. A senior official in the Kolkata airport administration, today, told The Statesman, “At present, there are 53 parked aircraft in the Kolkata airport. The NSCBI airport has a total of 58 parking bays.”

Asked whether it already is witnessing paucity of space, the senior official pointed out, “For now, there is no space crunch since there is no flight operation at the airport. Only medical flights are operating, which are one or two at a time. We still have vacant space for parking aircraft.”

An airport official confirmed that 10 more parking bays are being made at the Kolkata airport which are expected to open by next year. It is learnt that more than 500 flights a week remain cancelled in India. Airlines such as Air India have reportedly grounded a large portion of its fleet while GoAir, Vistara and others have also followed suit.

The Indian ministry of civil aviation had issued travel advisories suspending all international and domestic passenger flight services till 31 March but it could get extended since the country is now in a 21 day lockdown, till 14 April.

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Apple releases iOS, iPadOS 13.4 with mouse, keyboard support and much more

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Apple on Wednesday released the software updates to the iOS 13 operating system, iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4 with full mouse and trackpad support to iPads, iCloud Driver folder sharing and much more.

As per the reports and reactions, the major feature in the latest release is the mouse and keyboard support for iPads, which Apple revealed last week. Now, one can pair a mouse or trackpad with their iPad and use it to move a cursor on the display.

While the company plans to sell a new Magic Keyboard with a built-in trackpad, one does not need to buy a new iPad or accessory to access the feature.

The iOS and iPadOS 13.4 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update.

In addition to trackpad support, iOS and iPadOS 13.4 comes with several handful of features. One can share an iCloud Drive folder with another iCloud user, it works pretty much like a shared Dropbox folder.

Now there are nine new Memoji stickers. Apple has tweaked buttons to archive/delete, move, reply and compose and email in the Mail app.

Apple has also added the ability to release a single app binary on all App Stores, including the iOS and Mac App Store. This means that developers can release a paid app on the Mac and the iPhone and the user only have to buy it once.

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