Wednesday, October 28, 2020

AQI in Delhi remains in 'very poor' category

Visual from Rajpath (File Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], October 28 (ANI): The Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital continued to remain in the 'very poor' category on Wednesday with the rise of pollutants in the atmosphere, data from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee data revealed.

The AQI was recorded at 313 in Anand Vihar, 305 in RK Puram, 325 in Mundka, and 309 in Patparganj, all four in the 'very poor' category.

An AQI between 0-50 is marked good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 is moderate, 201-300 is poor, 301-400 is very poor and 401-500 is considered severe.

The Delhi government recently launched the 'Red Light On, Gaadi Off' campaign as part of its 'Yuddh Pradushan Ke Viruddh' (War Against Pollution) initiative to curb air pollution in the national capital.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai also announced the launch of a campaign to include the citizens of the capital in raising awareness on air pollution. (ANI)

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Telangana: BJP spokesperson K Krishna Saagar alleges excessive force in arrest of Bandi Sanjay

Telangana BJP Spokesperson K Krishna Saagar Rao

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], October 27: Telangana Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Spokesperson K Krishna Saagar Rao on Tuesday asserted overbearing by the police in the ongoing capture of BJP state president Bandi Sanjay. 

"MP Bandi Sanjay was not engaged with any wild dissent when he was pushed and pushed into a police vehicle in the affection of a preventive capture. In the event that the police had any justification for his capture, they might have done it without utilizing animal power," Rao said. 

He included that recordings that had surfaced in the media unmistakably indicated power being utilized by the police. 

"Recordings in the standard and web-based media obviously show outlandish and unsatisfactory over the top power being utilized by police. BJP additionally hates focused on police assaults on Dubbaka BJP competitor Raghunandan Rao. Has the State Election Commission become a manikin in the possession of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's administration?" he inquired. 

He further addressed whether the Telangana police were acting autonomously or with the authorization of SEC, as commanded during the requirement of the political decision code. 

He included, "By what method can police attacks abrogate the privileges of applicant's relatives and control them from settling on even telephone decisions? Are the police working for the SEC or TRS party? Who are they attempting to mollify?" 

He further requested that the State Election Commission assume responsibility for the circumstance. 

"The BJP requests State Election Commission to awaken and assume responsibility for the circumstance which is disintegrating step by step in Dubbaka, with oppression and police provocation of our applicant by not permitting him to have a level battleground in this by-political race," he said. (ANI)

Raninder Singh looks for adjournment from ED in alleged foreign funds case: Lawyer Jaiveer Shergill

Lawyer Jaiveer Shergill 

New Delhi [India], October 27: Raninder Singh, the son of Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, on Tuesday looked for a suspension from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) regarding a supposed illicit unfamiliar finances case. 

"My customer, Raninder Singh, has looked for deferment as he is needed to be available before Parliamentary Committee comparable to Olympic Games 2021 and furthermore looked for subtleties from ED of the case in which he was called, as the gather is dubious," advocate Jaiveer Shergill said. 

Raninder Singh was brought for recording his announcement on Tuesday regarding a case identified with the supposed infringement of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) by him. 

A case was recorded in the issue after the Income Tax office apparently got insight that Singh was supposedly holding a seaward record in the snow capped country. (ANI) 

Rajnath Singh to address four-day Army Commanders' Conference in Delhi

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh (File Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], October 27 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be addressing the four-day Army Commanders' Conference being held in Delhi on Tuesday (today).

The Army Commanders' Conference, an apex level biannual event, which formulates important policy decisions through collegiate deliberations in the Indian Army, is being held in New Delhi from October 26 to 29, 2020.

The event is generally attended by senior officers of the Army including the VCOAS, all Army Commanders, Principal Staff Officers (PSOs) of the Army HQ and other senior officers.

On the first day, deliberations were held on matters related to Human Resource Management and the conference was addressed by the CDS and all the three Service Chiefs (COAS, CNS and CAS).

The third day will be spent on in-depth discussions on the various agenda points projected by the various Army Commanders, including an update by CINCAN. This will be followed by brief updates on various issues by the various Principal Staff Officers, Indian Army said in a release.

The last day of the conference will include an update by the Director-General of Border Roads (DGBR) on the various infrastructure development projects being undertaken by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and allied formations. Automation initiatives to optimise utilisation of manpower at various levels of the Army will also be discussed.

The conference will close with the presentation of the Sports Trophy and Flight Safety Trophy, followed by the closing address by the COAS. (ANI)

Monday, October 26, 2020

Former union minister Dilip Ray, others granted bail after sentencing in coal scam case

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New Delhi [India], October 26 (ANI): A special CBI court on Monday granted bail to former union minister Dilip Ray and others after sentencing them to three years in prison in connection with the alleged irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block in 1999.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar granted bail to all convicts on a personal bail bond of Rs 1 lakh each after they apprised the court that they are going in the appeal against the judgment.

The CBI court had earlier today awarded three-year imprisonment to Dilip Ray and three other individuals. Besides Ray, the court also awarded three-year jail term each to two senior officials of the Ministry of Coal at that time, Pradip Kumar Banerjee and Nitya Nand Gautam and Castron Technologies Ltd's (CTL) director Mahendra Kumar Agarwal.

The court, along with imprisonment, also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on Ray, Rs 2 lakh each on Banerjee and Gautam, while Agarwalla was asked to pay a fine of Rs 60 lakh. The court further imposed Rs 60 lakh on CLT and Rs 10 lakh on Castron Mining Ltd (CML).

"The criminal behaviour of such "whitecollar criminals", which may include businessman, industrialists, entrepreneurs, traders, politicians, bureaucrats or well-qualified professionals can not be simply explained on the basis of various theories developed to explain the causation of traditional crimes such as poverty or lack of infrastructural facilities or recreational facilities or feeble-mindedness or emotional instability," the court observed in its order.

Ray was a former Minister of State for the Ministry of Coal during the then National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

The court had, while convicting the accused persons, had said it has been now concluded beyond shadows of all reasonable doubts that all the five accused persons conspired together so as to procure allocation of a captive coal block and achieved the said object of the criminal conspiracy by undertaking various acts of cheating.

The CBI, in its chargesheet, had booked these accused under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The case pertains to the allocation of the Brahmadiha coal block in Giridih of Jharkhand to CTL in 1999. (ANI)

ITBP to organise 200 km Walkathon under Fit India Movement in Rajasthan

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New Delhi [India], October 26 (ANI): The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is set to organise a 200-kilometre long Walkathon under Fit India Movement, from October 31 to November 2 in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer.

According to ITBP, all Central Armed Police Forces senior officers will be participating in the event. The Walkathon will start from Indo-Pak border in Jaisalmer.

Moreover, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju will flag off a 200-km long Walkathon.

Earlier on Sunday, ITBP had organised a "Run for Unity" at their headquarters by the North-West Frontier ITBP and Leh, Ladakh based Units of the Force.

"#FitIndia #RunforUnity organized by HQ NW Frontier ITBP and Leh, Ladakh based Units of the Force," ITBP tweeted on Sunday. (ANI)

ODOP virtual fair brings smiles to the faces of buyers and sellers in UP

The ODOP virtual fair was inaugurated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on October 19. (File Photo)

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], October 26 (ANI): The country's first One District, One Product (ODOP) virtual fair has been a huge success and will now continue till Tuesday as directed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday, according to an official statement.

The fair, inaugurated by the Chief Minister on October 19, was widely promoted on online platforms like Facebook and Google by the ODOP Cell, FICCI and MSME Department.

The fair aims to provide Uttar Pradesh's traditional products a platform at the national and international level and help the craftsmen, artisans and traders get a new identity.

A state government has organized such a fair for the first time amid the pandemic.

"As many as 1,000 buyers from 35 countries participated in the ODOP virtual fair. In addition, more than 700 ODOP artisans have set up their stalls in the fair. More than 24,000 people logged on to the ODOP site and more than 40,000 people have registered their presence in the fair. A total of 47,273 business cards were awarded during this time. With this, attendance of about 7,000 people was recorded in the online auditorium of the virtual fair," said an official statement.

"The virtual fair has proved to be a boon for traders facing a recession in the time of coronavirus. The ODOP virtual fair allows traders to market their products online and sell products on the appropriate platform. The fair organized by the Uttar Pradesh government is attracting not only consumers but also buyers from all over the world," Amit Gupta, Head, UP State Council FICCI, said. (ANI)

Saturday, October 24, 2020

1 security personnel killed, another injured in exchange of fire with Naxals in Chhattisgarh

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Narayanpur (Chhattisgarh) [India], October 24 (ANI): One security person was killed while another sustained injuries in an exchange of fire with Naxals in District Narayanpur, as per Superintendent of Police (SP) Narayanpur Mohit Gang on Saturday. The Naxals had ambushed the District Reserve Guard (DRG) team and opened fire on them. The incident took place at Tadur, approximately eight kilometers from Orchha.

The injured security personnel was shifted to Narayanpur and his condition is said to be stable. As per SP Mohit Garg, the Naxals also suffered injuries and their camp was destroyed in the operation.

Further details are awaited.

Capt Amarinder Singh launches Phase-II of urban improvement program

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh (File Photo)

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], October 24 (ANI): Phase-II of the Rs 11,000 crore Urban Environment Improvement Programme (UEIP) was kickstarted on Saturday in Chandigarh by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh with a virtual foundation-laying ceremony. As per a statement, the CM also announced a one-time settlement (OTS) scheme of pending VAT assessment to promote economic activity in urban areas.

While launching the Rs 700 crore Phase-II project across all 167 urban local body towns of the state, the CM also said that the Department of Excise and Taxation would soon notify the scheme that had been initiated after businesses expressed concern that issues related to their VAT assessments and grievances were not been redressed speedily. Along with this, he also asked Industries and Taxation Departments to work out a more user-friendly system to ensure that businesses, industry, and traders do not have to go from one office to another, considering cities were also centers of economic activity, with a focus on trade and industry.

The CM further urged cities to segregate domestic solid waste, underlined the need to ensure the cleanliness of towns, and appreciated Nawanshahr for its consistently good performance in the Cleanliness Surveys of the Government of India. "The UEIP schemes, of which Rs 3000 crore worth had been completed in the first Phase, will help the state make a significant improvement in the infrastructure of the cities and lives of its urban people. It will enable the development of state-of-art urban infrastructure and efficient service delivery systems," the statement quoted Capt Singh.

"Despite the acute financial crunch, the state government has succeeded in securing finances for these projects, connected digitally to over 45000 people at 940 locations," he added. Canal-based water supply in the four big cities of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala, with work in Jalandhar will be launched on Saturday and the foundation stone for Patiala will be laid on Sunday.

For sewage facilities, works had been completed in 51 out of 116 towns, and the rest will be completed next year. (ANI)

Heavy rains likely over Northeast today

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New Delhi [India], October 24 (ANI): The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Saturday said that the depression over central Bangladesh and neighbourhood moved north-northeastwards and weakened into a well-marked, low-pressure area. Light to moderate rainfall at many places with isolated heavy falls is likely over south Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.

"Depression weakened into a well-marked, low-pressure area over Bangladesh and lay centred over the same region at 05:30 hrs IST on October 24," IMD said.

"Squally winds speed reaching 40-50 KMPH gusting to 60 KMPH would occur over Northeast Bay of Bengal along and off southeast Bangladesh and adjoining Myanmar coasts during next 12 hours," according to an official statement.

IMD also said that the sea condition will be rough to very rough over Northeast Bay of Bengal along and off southeast Bangladesh and adjoining Myanmar coasts during next 12 hours. (ANI)

Delhi: People's health likely to be affected as AQI deteriorates to 'severe' category

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New Delhi [India], October 24 (ANI): Delhi's air quality index (AQI) on Saturday deteriorated to the 'severe' category, which is likely to affect people's health, according to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee data (DPCC).

The AQI in Alipur was at 432 while it stood at 427 and 409 in Mundka and Wazirpur, respectively.

According to experts, the severe category affects the health of people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases.

An AQI between 0-50 is marked good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 is moderate, 201-300 is poor, 301-400 is very poor and 401-500 is considered severe.

Amid the rise in pollution levels, people are having problems with breathing and some children have started facing throat problems due to contaminated air.

Recently, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) submitted before the Delhi High Court that it has issued directions to implementing agencies including State Pollution Control Boards, construction agencies, municipal bodies, traffic police and transport department of Delhi and NCR for strict action against air polluting activities.

On Friday, a plea sought filed in Delhi High Court sought directions to the Delhi government and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to issue fresh orders and instructions at the earliest putting a strict ban on bursting firecrackers and burning of effigies to prevent further air pollution.

It also sought directions to the Department of Environment, Delhi Government, and the Union Ministry of Environment to come up with eco-friendly ways of celebrating Dusshera.

The petitioners urged the court to direct appropriate departments to take immediate and appropriate steps to ban burning of effigies and fire-crackers in Delhi on the festival of Dussehra in light of COVID 19 pandemic. (ANI)

Friday, October 23, 2020

ED attaches assets worth Rs 11.92 lakhs in coal block case

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New Delhi [India], October 23 (ANI): Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached movable property worth Rs 11.92 lakhs under Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002, (PMLA) in a case of illegal allocation of a coal block in Jharkhand.

"The attached assets include the balance lying in the bank account of Hotel Le Lac, Ranchi maintained with Axis Bank. Earlier ED has attached assets totalling to Rs 6.88 crore. Now including this attachment, the total attachment, in this case, is Rs 7 crore (approx.)," according to a release by ED.

"ED initiated investigations under PMLA on the basis of an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under section 120B read with section 420 of IPC, 1860 against M/s DOMCO Pvt. Ltd., its Promoters/Directors and other unknown persons for submitting false information with dishonest intention to the concerned authorities while applying for a captive coal block and securing allocation of "Lalgarh (North)" coal block in West Bokaro Coalfield, Jharkhand and a pecuniary benefit of Rs. 7 Crores was obtained by accused Binay Prakash by offering to sell the shares of the company on premium, after allocation of the coal block to M/s DOMCO Pvt. Ltd., Ranchi," it said.

ED said that the investigation under PMLA revealed that accused Binay Prakash placed the proceeds of crime in banking system and subsequently the amount was siphoned off/ routed/invested through the entities of Binay Prakash' Group owned/controller by him.

"Identified asset in the form of the bank balance of Rs 11.92 Lakh was held in the name of Binay Prakash' Group has been provisionally attached under PMLA," ED said.

Earlier immovable properties held in the name of Binay Prakash' Group amounting to Rs. 3.96 crores and movable properties amounting to Rs. 2.92 crores were provisionally attached which have been confirmed by the Hon'ble Adjudicating Authority under PMLA, the agency said in the release.

According to the ED, prosecution Complaint under PMLA has also been filed before the Special Court of Bharat Parashar, Special Judge (PC Act), New Delhi. (ANI)

Delhi Metro, SBI launch credit-cum-smart card with auto top-up facility

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New Delhi [India], October 23 (ANI): The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in association with the SBI Card on Friday launched the 'Delhi Metro - SBI card', a multipurpose credit card for the benefit of the commuters, with an auto top-up facility.

The credit-cum-smart card was jointly launched by DMRC Managing Director Dr Mangu Singh and Ashwini Kumar Tewari, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, SBI Card in the presence of other senior officials from the Delhi Metro and SBI Card.

"This multipurpose card will enable its users to use it as a smart card with auto-top up facility whenever the balance of the card goes below Rs 100. The credit card facility will automatically recharge a top-up value of Rs 200 to the card from the user's linked card/bank account. In addition, this combo card can also be used for all regular credit card transactions," an official statement said.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mangu Singh said, "This initiative is in line with the DMRC's commitment towards supporting the digital drive to promote cashless transactions among the Delhi Metro commuters, at a time when social distancing has become a way of life. We believe that this 'DELHI METRO SBI Card' can serve as an essential instrument in facilitating safe Metro commute in these pandemic times.''

Ashwini Kumar Tewari said that they are bringing an unparalleled value proposition to the market with this card. "The card offers an enhanced daily commute experience to millions of metro commuters together with a rewarding experience on their daily purchases. We have tied up with DMRC to put up kiosks at 100 identified stations," Tewari said.

He said that commuters can now apply for the 'DELHI METRO SBI Card' at metro stations as well as online through the e-apply platform on the SBI Card portal.

DMRC, in the recent past, has already launched various other initiatives to facilitate easy top-up of smart cards/sale of tokens to avoid queues and save time at stations. This includes options of smart card top-up through TVMs, the launch of metro combo cards with other banks, credit/debit card transaction facilities at stations, net banking using, mobile wallets, etc. (ANI)

Preparations underway for PM Modi's rally in Sasaram, Bihar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Sasaram (Bihar) [India], October 23 (ANI): Preparations are underway on Friday morning at Biada Maidan in Sasaram ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally.

Similar preparations are also being made at Gaya and Bhagalpur.

The Prime Minister will address three rallies in Sasaram, Gaya and Bhagalpu
r in poll-bound Bihar.

Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to hold 12 election rallies in Bihar starting from today.

Earlier former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Bihar in-charge Devendra Fadnavis said: "Prime Minister Modi will hold 12 election rallies in Bihar for NDA (National Democratic Alliance) candidates. On October 23, he will hold rallies in Sasaram, Gaya and Bhagalpur. On October 28, Prime Minister will hold rallies in Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur and Patna. On November 3, he will hold rallies in Chhapra, East Champaran and Samastipur and later in West Champaran, Saharsa and Araria."

Fadnavis had asserted that people's trust in Prime Minister Modi will not only benefit his party but also its allies.

"A lot of enthusiasm is seen among people, wherever we go in Bihar and take Prime Minister Narendra Modi's name. The country and its people have placed their trust in PM Modi. This trust will benefit not only us but also our allies," he had said.

The BJP and the JDU had agreed to contest on 121-122 seats respectively in the 243-member assembly. The JDU, which has a share of 122 seats according to the understanding, has given seats to Hindustani Awaam Morcha of Jitin Ram Manjhi from its quota.

BJP had formally inducted the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) into the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and assigned the party 11 seats as part of seat distribution among allies for the Bihar polls.

Bihar assembly elections will be held in three phases -- October 28, November 3, and 7 and the counting of votes will take place on November 10. (ANI)

Uttarakhand: 6 UPLC officials suspended for negligence of duty

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Dehdradun (Uttarakhand) [India], October 23(ANI): Six officials of Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) were suspended for negligence of duty on Thursday.

Also, twelve officials have been charge-sheeted and three have been given notice.

Energy Secretary Radhika Jha has suspended one general 
manager of UPCL, two superintending engineers, one executive engineer and two accounts cadre officers in UPCL in the recovery of crores of rupees. (ANI)

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Zero tolerance towards crime and criminals, says CM Yogi

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath paying tribute to police personnel who lost their lives on duty. (Photo/ANI)

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], October 21 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday said that a total of 125 criminals had been killed in encounters and 2,607 injured from March 20, 2017 to October 5, 2020.

While addressing the Police Commemoration Day Parade at the Police line Lucknow, the Chief Minister said, "Our government has a policy of zero tolerance towards crime and criminals. As a result, 125 criminals were killed and 2,607 injured in encounters from March 20, 2017 to October 5, 2020 in various districts."

He also paid tribute to nine police personnel of the UP Police.

"I pay my homage to those nine police personnel of UP Police who lost their lives in the line of duty during 2019-20. Their sacrifice inspires everyone," he said.

The Police Commemoration Day is observed every year on October 21 in memory of the CRPF personnel who made the supreme sacrifice at Hot Springs in Ladakh while fighting Chinese troops on this day in 1959. (ANI)

Monday, October 19, 2020

Ballia incident: Main accused Dhirendra Singh sent to 14 days judicial custody

Main accused Dhirendra Singh with Police.

Ballia (Uttar Pradesh) [India], October 19 (ANI): Main accused of the Ballia firing incident, Dhirendra Singh, has been sent to 14 days judicial custody by Chief Judicial Magistrate of Ballia district court on Monday.

Singh was brought back to Ballia Police Station after a medical test before he was produced in the court.

This comes a day after Dhirendra Singh was arrested in Lucknow by Special Task Force (STF) of Uttar Pradesh Police.

Prime accused Dhirendra Singh was booked under sections 147, 148, 149, 302, 323, 352,504,506, and 7CLA act police station Rewati, Ballia, said Prashant Kumar, ADG (Law and Order), Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.

Singh allegedly shot dead a man during an argument that broke out at the meeting at Durjanpur village under Reoti police station area over the allotment of shops under government quota.

The family of the deceased, Jai Prakash alias Gama Pal, said they demand justice for him.

"We demand compensation of Rs 50 lakh, pension for his wife, and a government job for his son. The family also demands strict action against the accused, local BJP leader Dhirendra Pratap Singh," a relative had said. (ANI)

Top Army brass to discuss China border situation, reforms at commanders' conference next week

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New Delhi [India], October 19 (ANI): The ongoing conflict with China and proposals to reform the 1.3 million strong force would be discussed during the Army Commanders' Conference scheduled to be held next week from October 26-29.

"The ongoing situation at the China border, operations in Jammu and Kashmir and a number of proposals on the reforms to be carried out in the force are expected to be discussed during the conference," Sources in the Army said.

India has been engaged in a military stand-off with China for close to six months now where the two sides have indulged in violent face-offs too and the Indian side has made deployments to counter any possible Chinese offensive.

The two sides are likely to have their wight round of Corps Commander-level talks soon but the Indian side is awaiting the confirmation of dates by the Chinese.

There have been occasions where the Chinese have confirmed dates just 12-14 hours before the scheduled meeting but the Indian side conveyed to them that they would require a notice of at least 36 to 48 hours.

The Chinese had been showing reluctance to hold parleys on all the disputed sites along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) but now the situation seems to have changed in view of the harsh winters.

Among the reforms to be discussed during the Commanders Conference, a number of proposals to cut down the expenditure incurred in holding ceremonies like colour presentation, regimental reunions and raising days are going to be taken up for discussion.

The feeling in the Army brass is that a significant amount of expenditure is done on these ceremonies and the number of such events should be brought down. (ANI)

Saturday, October 17, 2020

UP governor flags off 'Pink petrol' in Lucknow

Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel (File Photo)


Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], October 17 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel flagged off 100 'pink' two-wheelers and 10 four-wheeler police vehicles for 'Pink Patrol', under 'Safe City Project' on Saturday.

Under the campaign, the Governor provided vehicles to the police and other depar
tments with an aim to strengthen women's security in public places.

Speaking on the occasion Patel said the 'Pink Patrol' campaign by the Central government and the state government is going to run for 180 days.

"We all have a responsibility towards the safety of women, it is not the responsibility of anyone department or an officer. The proceedings of every case of atrocities against women should be solved on time. We should take a pledge that there should not be a single incident of crime against women," she said.

She also said that vehicles provided by the government under the campaign should only be used for official work, and not for personal purpose.

The Governor further extended her wishes to the nation on the occasion of Navratri.

"Today is the first day of Navratri I wish everyone a very happy Navratri," she said.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had approved the Safe City Project for Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh at a total cost of Rs 194.44 crore under the Nirbhaya Fund Scheme in November 2018.

The project is implemented as a centrally sponsored scheme with the Centre and State sharing the funding in 60:40 ratio.

This approval was a part of MHA's plans to implement 'Safe City projects' in eight selected cities, namely, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Lucknow under Nirbhaya Fund, with the purpose of strengthening safety and security of women in public places.

The major components of the Safe City Project in Lucknow include Setting up an Integrated Smart Control Room, Setting up Pink Outposts (exclusively administered by Women police) for facilitating ease of filing complaint by women, Pink Patrols of Women police, Setting up Women Help Desks in all Police Stations with Counsellors, Augmentation of existing Asha Jyoti Kendra, Implementing Safety measures in buses, including Cameras, Improving Street Lighting in identified Hot Spot areas, Setting up Pink Toilets and the Integration of Women power-help line with single Emergency number '112'.

The 'Safe City Project' for Lucknow also envisages gender sensitisation awareness campaigns and capacity building in collaboration with community and civil society organisations. (ANI)

PM Modi calls for speedy access to COVID-19 vaccines for citizens once ready

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi [India], October 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the COVID-19 situation in the country and the preparedness of vaccine delivery, distribution and said that access to vaccines should be ensured speedily once they are ready keeping in view the geographical span and diversity of the country.

He noted the steady decline in the daily COVID-19 cases and growth rate and stressed that every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration concerning vaccine should be put in place rigorously.

A PMO release said three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which two are in Phase II and one is in Phase-III.

It said Indian scientists and research teams are collaborating and strengthening the research capacities in neighbouring countries - Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

There are further requests from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan for clinical trials in their countries.

"The Prime Minister directed that keeping in view the geographical span and diversity of the country, the access to the vaccine should be ensured speedily. The Prime Minister stressed that every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration should be put in place rigorously," the release said.

It said the steps must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment, and preparation of ancillary equipment required, such as vails and syringes.

Two Pan India studies on the Genome of SARSCoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) in India conducted by ICMR and Department of Bio-Technology (DBT) suggest that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus.

The Prime Minister said that the country should make use of experience of successful conduct of elections and disaster management in vaccine distribution.

He said that vaccine delivery and administration systems should be put in place in a similar manner. This should involve participation of states, UTs and district-level functionaries, civil society organisations, volunteers, citizens and experts from all necessary domains. The entire process should have a strong IT backbone and the system should be designed in such a manner so as to have a lasting value to our healthcare system, the release said.

The Prime Minister gave directions that the country "should not limit efforts to our immediate neighbourhood but also reach out to the entire world in providing vaccines, medicines and IT platforms for vaccine delivery system".

He cautioned against complacency at the decline in coronavirus cases and laid stress on keeping up efforts to contain the pandemic.

He insisted on continued social distancing, COVID appropriate behaviour such as wearing the mask, regularly washing hands and sanitation especially in the wake of upcoming festival season.

The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) in consultation with state governments and all relevant stakeholders has prepared and presented a detailed blueprint of vaccine storage, distribution, and administration.

The Expert Group in consultation with the states is working actively on vaccine prioritization and distribution of vaccine.

The meeting was attended by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Principal Secretary to PM, Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Principal Scientific Advisor, senior Scientists, officers of PMO and other departments of the central government. (ANI)

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