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Cabinet likely to take up new telecom policy on Wednesday

The new telecom policy aimed at attracting $100 billion investment was approved by the Telecom Commission in July, after the government had released the draft policy in May.

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New Delhi, Sep 25: The Union Cabinet is likely to take up a new telecom policy — National Digital Communications Policy 2018 — on Wednesday, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

The new telecom policy aimed at attracting $100 billion investment was approved by the Telecom Commission in July, after the government had released the draft policy in May.

The policy focuses on provisioning of broadband for all, creating four million additional jobs and enhancing the contribution of the sector to 8 per cent of India’s GDP, from around 6 per cent in 2017.

It also plans to propel India to the top 50 nations in the ICT Development Index of the International Telecommunication Union from 134 in 2017, enhancing the country’s contribution to global value chains and ensuring digital sovereignty.

Besides, the notification of in-flight connectivity is also likely to be released “any time” soon, the source added.

IANS

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Punjab to start Covaxin’s Phase-3 trials

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Punjab’s three Government Medical Colleges will participate in the Phase-3 trials of Bharat Biotech Ltd’s Covaxin, the first indigenously-developed vaccine candidate against coronavirus, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), an official said on Tuesday.

The trials are scheduled to commence from October 15.

This was disclosed by a government spokesperson fter a virtual Covid review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

The Chief Minister has directed the Medical Education and Research Department to ensure full care and strict adherence to all precautions to be taken during the trials, for which the consent of the participants will be mandatory.

He issued stern directions to also ensure that poor persons are not pulled into the trials without consent, knowledge and understanding of the possible repercussions and dangers.

Bharat Biotech Ltd, which had approached the state government a few days back, has announced Rs 75 lakh insurance cover for the participants in case of any adverse event or effects or death.

The possible side effects of the vaccine could include fever, pain at the site of the intramuscular injection and malaise.

Two doses of the inactivated virus injection would be given to the participants (0 and 28 days) as part of the Phase-3 human trials.

Source: IANS


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HC reserves order on plea seeking early hearing in 2G case

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New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday reserved its order on a petition filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking early hearing of its leave to appeal application against the acquittal of the accused persons in the 2G spectrum case.

After hearing the arguments of all the accused persons and the probe agencies, a single judge bench of the high court presided over by Justice Brijesh Sethi reserved its order.

During the course of hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, representing the probe agencies, submitted that substantial public time has already been consumed and since Justice Sethi, who is hearing the matter currently, is all set to demit office in November, the matter should be heard immediately.

“A judge can always decide how much time is required to hear a matter… If genuine efforts are made and assistance is rendered, it’s possible to take this matter to a logical conclusion,” said the ASG while responding to the submissions made by the counsels of the accused persons, who had opposed the petition for early hearing saying that they won’t get required time to put forth their stand if the matter is hurried.

“It’s my duty to unravel the truth,” said Sethi while hearing the submissions made by Jain and, adding that in his last four years at the high court, he had never stopped a counsel from arguing.

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IYC activists protest over Farm Bills outside Parliament

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New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS): Amid the uproar over the controversial Agriculture Bills, Indian Youth Congress (IYC) workers on Tuesday staged a protest outside Parliament House.

The IYC workers were detained by the Delhi police. Hundreds of IYC activists led by its National President Srinivas B.V. staged the protest outside Parliament House against rising unemployment among the youth and the “anti-farmer” Agriculture Bills.

Lashing out at the government while leading the protest march, Srinivas said,”The Central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is anti-youth and anti-farmer.”

He accused Modi of suppressing the voice of the countrymen to benefit a few of his industrialist friends.

“I want to say that the anti-farmer black law has been passed at the whims of Prime Minister Modi and if these anti-people laws are not withdrawn, there will be a fierce protest and satyagraha on the streets,” Srinivas added.

He said the IYC workers surrounded Parliament to awaken the “deaf and dumb” government to listen to the voice of the common people of India. During the protest, the IYC workers also burnt effigies of Modi.

The Congress has also planned nationwide protests from September 24 to November 14 over the passing of the Farm Bills. It has planned to submit two crore signatures of farmers opposing the the Bills. The IYC is already running a ‘Rozgar Do’ (give employment) campaign to awaken the Central government to the rising unemployment among the youth.

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