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Bharadwaj a ‘classical secularist’ and free-minded Congress leader

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Former Law Minister and Congress veteran Hans Raj Bharadwaj

New Delhi, March 8: Former Law Minister and Congress veteran Hans Raj Bharadwaj, who passed away here on Sunday evening, was considered an “old classical secularist” of the party but was also forthright in questioning its leaders and its stand on various issues.

Bharadwaj, 82, died of a cardiac arrest at Max Hospital where he was admitted last week.

Serving as Minister in the governments of Rajiv Gandhi, P.V. Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh, he was Governor of Karnataka from 2009 to 2014, during which he was involved in various controversies.

Former Union Minister Salman Khurshid told IANS: “He was a very independent minded person and I have a deep affection for him because he gave me a lot of knowledge.”

He said that Bharadwaj was a person of very strong opinion. “He was an old classical secularist of Congress party and was also bit impatient with modern times,” he said.

Bharadwaj was very “set” in his ways and did not get along with people flexible with their ideologies, he added.

“He was very impatient with them… He was a very fine person. He had an uncanny ability to manage the legal system and reach out to enormous number of lawyers. He will be missed dearly,” the Congress leader said.

Bharadwaj had questioned the leadership ability of Rahul Gandhi in 2018, saying: “I don’t consider Rahul Gandhi a leader yet. He’ll understand when he gets a post.”

He also said that Gandhi was learning and he will become a leader when public accepts him. He had also targeted the party for indulging in politics of religion as the reason of its failures.

Bharadwaj had his share of controversies during his tenure as Law Minister in the UPA government.

In the 2G scam, a special court dealing with the case remarked that Bhardwaj’s conduct while dealing with the issue relating to granting of new 2G licences was against all established canons, discipline and protocol of government working.

In 2017, special judge O.P. Saini, while ordering acquittal of former Communications Minister A. Raja and others in the spectrum allocation scam, had expressed discontent on the conduct of the former Law Minister and termed the Law Ministry’s opinion on the issue as completely outlandish.

The court had said the Ministry’s opinion to refer to an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) the matter connected with the issue of new licences and allocation of spectrum to dual technology applicants, led to unnecessary controversy.

Bhardwaj had also got into the controversy after he lashed out against the Congress on a comment made by Union Minister P. Chidambaram about “poor drafting” of the now-scrapped Section 66A of IT Act, alleging Chidambaram was trying to target him.

Bhardwaj’s stint as the Governor of Karnataka was also marked by controversies as he twice tried to dismiss the government when B.S. Yeddiyurappa was Chief Minister and even sanctioned his prosecution on corruption charges – a process later struck down by the state high court. The BJP accused him of corruption and for allegedly appointing tainted people as Vice Chancellors of universities.

During his gubernatorial stint, he had also held additional charge of Kerala for a short time.

(Anand Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

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National Milk Day: Know history, significance of this day; Interesting facts about milk here

National Milk Day was established in 2014 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation to commemorate Dr. Verghese Kurien, who is considered the father of India’s White Revolution.

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Amul Milk Production

Every year, National Milk Day is celebrated on November 26 across India. The largest milk producing country celebrates this day to demonstrate the importance of milk in everyone’s life. It is worth noting that National Milk Day and World Milk Day are two different events, observed on different dates with different significance.

National Milk Day was established in 2014 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation to commemorate Dr. Verghese Kurien, who is considered the father of India’s White Revolution.

Why is National Milk Day Celebrated?

National Milk Day is celebrated on November 26 all over India, and it was established by the Food and Agricultural Organisation in 2014.

The day is dedicated to honouring Dr. Verghese Kurien, who is considered to be the father of India’s White Revolution. November 26 is also his birth anniversary, which is why this day is even more important as it also highlights his contribution to the country’s dairy farming and production.

First National Milk Day:

The Indian Dairy Association (IDA) in 2014, took the initiative to celebrate this day for the first time. The first National Milk Day was marked on November 26, 2014, in which various milk producers from 22 states participated.

Kerala-born, Dr Verghese Kurien is known as the ‘Milkman of India’ and the father of the 1970s White Revolution. He came with the one billion litre idea of turning a milk-guzzling country into world’s top dairy producer.

National Milk Day: Interesting facts about milk here

Milk is one of the best sources of calcium and the only drink in the world that contains such a large amount of natural nutrients.

Dr Verghese worked towards enabling the country to have its own production centres of milk. His support was crucial in making the Amul girl ad campaign-which is one of the longest-running campaigns for decades.

His accolades include Ramon Magsaysay Award, World Food Prize, Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Wateler Peace Prize.

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Global availability of Covid vaccine for public only by mid-2021: Moody’s

The report said mass vaccination that significantly reduces individual and public health concerns would lift sentiment and present a significant upside to global growth.

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Covid 19 Vaccine

New Delhi: While recent news about the high effectiveness of two coronavirus vaccines is a promising sign in the effort to combat the pandemic, a vaccine for Covid-19 will not be widely distributed before mid-2021, Moodys Investors Service said on Tuesday.

“However, these developments do not change the assumption underpinning our economic forecasts that widespread, global availability of the vaccine to the general public is only likely by around mid-2021,” Moody’s said in a report.

It added that the recent positive news about the effectiveness of vaccines under development will do little to ease the immediate concern that the current rise in coronavirus cases across the US and Europe will dampen sentiments and economic momentum in these regions this quarter and the next.

“Our baseline economic forecasts balance the downside risks of increasing infections and new lockdowns in the next two months, against the potential for widespread vaccinations over the next 12 months. If lockdowns are more severe than we expect, the negative effect on GDP could be offset if a coronavirus vaccine is available quicker and uptake is wider than we had expected,” it added.

Although successful Phase 3 trials of vaccines are a big step, there are numerous hurdles ahead, including satisfying approval requirements by regulators in individual countries, production of the billions of doses required for mass vaccination, ensuring proper storage and building distribution networks.

Distribution will likely occur in phases once regulators approve a vaccine, with health officials prioritizing access for healthcare workers and those in other high-risk professions, as well as for people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19, such as older people and individuals in care homes.

Moody’s said two important variables in overall success of vaccines in curbing the pandemic will be the public’s willingness to get vaccinated and what percentage of the population will need to be vaccinated in order for the spread of the virus to be brought under control. Vaccine availability likely will vary across countries, with cost and access major hurdles in particular for less-developed economies.

Many advanced and a handful of middle-income emerging market countries have already secured contracts for hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccines. Residents of these countries will be among the first to get the vaccinations, with their economies benefiting from the associated easing of the public health crisis. The earlier the health crisis in a country subsides, the stronger the country’s economic recovery will be, it added.

The report said mass vaccination that significantly reduces individual and public health concerns would lift sentiment and present a significant upside to global growth.

As long as the coronavirus remains a health risk, social distancing restrictions and the reluctance of consumers to engage in high contact social and economic activity will mar the recovery of services sectors. As vaccines become broadly available, health fears and concerns about an uncertain economic and financial outlook should recede, allowing for a quicker resumption of activity in high contact sectors such as hotels, restaurants, theaters, mass transit, airlines and travel and tourism.

Moody’s said the pandemic has already inflicted enormous damage on the hardest-hit sectors and will continue to undermine their financial condition and prospects, with repeated virus outbreaks and lockdown measures suppressing demand. The risk of business failure increases exponentially the longer the pandemic prevents a return to some semblance of normal activity.

A vaccine will help accelerate the recovery. But for many of these businesses, survival will remain challenging until the virus is no longer viewed as a significant public health threat. It is difficult to know how many businesses will survive several more months of below-normal revenue, it added.

Small and midsized businesses across advanced and emerging market countries are at risk and more of them will undoubtedly close on account of the prolonged cash flow shock. And those that do survive will have the long and arduous task of rebuilding their balance sheets while also, in many cases, facing significant changes in consumer behavior and demand patterns. “Therefore, even if economic activity returns to healthy levels once a vaccine is widely available, the detrimental economic impact and transformed operating environment will be felt for years to come”, Moody’s said.

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Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom Day: J-K Lt Governor Pays Tribute To Sikh Guru

Manoj Sinha noted that the pious day is a reminder to respect and uphold the ‘faith, belief and rights of people’.

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Manoj Sinha

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha paid rich tributes to Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru, on his martyrdom day on Tuesday.

“The teachings and martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur underline one of the most fundamental principles of human existence, which is ensuring the right of everyone to breathe free and live unshackled,” Sinha said.

Guru Teg Bahadur’s sacrifice is an important reminder for the future generations to be committed towards upholding the faith, belief and rights of people, he added.

On this pious day, everyone must resolve to dedicate themselves to selfless service of others, the LG said.

“Peaceful co-existence, mutual respect for each other’s religious beliefs go a long way in uplifting individual lives and achieving harmony and compassion in the society,” he added.

Guru Tegh Bahadur was born on April 1, 1621. He resisted forced conversions of Hindus, Sikhs, Kashmiri Pandits and non-Muslims to Islam and was killed on this day in 1675 on the orders of the then Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi.

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