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FTII director’s office gets a detonator, threat letter

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Police said they are probing the source of the package and the typewritten letter that threatens students of the institute against supporting Kumar and inviting him to the campus.

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The office of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) director on Saturday received a live detonator, along with a “bomb-like” substance, and a threat letter that warned against any association with JNU leader Kanhaiya Kumar, officials and police said. The parcel passed through security at the main gate and landed at the office of Bhupendra Kainthola, the new FTII director, who informed the police following which a bomb disposal unit was pressed into action.

Police said they are probing the source of the package and the typewritten letter that threatens students of the institute against supporting Kumar and inviting him to the campus.

Kainthola, who took charge earlier this week, told The Sunday Express, “I was in office when the parcel was opened by my aides. It was found to have the bomb-like assembly and a threat letter. We immediately alerted police who deployed the bomb squad. They secured the substance by taking it to the open ground.”

Sudhir Hiremath, Deputy Commissioner of Police, said the package was sent through normal post from an unidentified location.

“It’s not a registered post or a speed post. The letter must have been delivered by the postman at around 2.30 pm-3 pm. It was opened at the director’s office at 5.30 pm. It’s not clear how it got past security as the campus is quite secure with heavy deployment of personnel,” said Hiremath.

Asked about the contents of the letter, he said, “The one-page letter is typewritten in English. It’s addressed to Prashant Pathrabhe (the former director who was replaced last week) and threatens students against supporting JNU leader Kanhaiya Kumar. It says, ‘You are supporting Kanhaiya Kumar who’s an anti-national. He’s also speaking against the Indian Army which is a devout force and armymen are ready to die for the country. You should not support him and should not allow him to conduct any programmes’.”

Vikas Urs, a third-year cinematography student said this was not the first time that students had received threat letters but an incident, involving a detonator, was unprecedented.

“During the time of our strike last year, the students received letters that were abusive and warned of dire consequences. But this is the first time such a threat was delivered, along with a detonator, at the director’s office. How can we feel safe if a bomb-like object reaches the director’s office?” said Urs.

Health

Doctors at Delhi’s RML Hospital reject Covaxin, say we want Covishield with valid trial results

Doctors of Delhi’s premier RML Hospital have shot a letter to the hospital superintendent saying they do not want to take the Bharat Biotech vaccine – Covaxin – and would instead prefer the Covishield vaccine of Serum Institute of India.

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COVAXIN Corona Covid vaccine

Resident doctors at New Delhi’s Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital have written to the Medical Superintendent asking for them to be vaccinated against COVID-19 using the Covishield vaccine instead of Covaxin.

In the letter dated January 16, the Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) said its present members are a “bit apprehensive about the lack of complete trial in case of Covaxin.” The doctors said that Covaxin manufactured by Bharat Biotech was being preferred at the hospital’s vaccination site over Covishield produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII). Covaxin is still undergoing phase-3 trials.

The association further claimed that due to this apprehension, resident doctors “might not participate in huge numbers, thus defeating the purpose of vaccination.”

“We request you to vaccinate us with Covishield which has completed all stages of the trail before its rollout,” the letter reads.

India began its massive COVID-19 vaccination exercise on January 16. Priority is being given to healthcare and frontline workers, who had already been registered on the purpose-built CoWIN application.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved both vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin – for restricted emergency use. However, beneficiaries will not be able to choose between the two jabs.

While launching the vaccination drive on January 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also asked the people to be aware of propaganda and rumours about the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved for public use in India.

“Our Indian scientists and experts have guaranteed the safety of the vaccine, so the people of the country must not listen to any kind of propaganda and rumours surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine,” PM Modi said.

As of January 16, India had reported more than 1.05 crore confirmed COVID-19 cases. The death toll from the outbreak in the country stood at over 1.52 lakh. While more than 1.01 crore patients had recovered, 2.11 lakh cases remained ‘active’. Globally, more than 9.32 crore individuals have been infected by the virus and over 20 lakh people have died so far.

A speedy rollout of vaccines is being seen as the best way to curb the spread of COVID-19 and restore normalcy in the pandemic-battered global economy. More than 50 countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have already vaccinated a large number of people from high-risk groups.

The Centre is hoping to vaccinate 30 crore people by July, in a bid to stop the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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Blog

Strawberries to write a new chapter of development in Jhansi

According to the Jhansi District Magistrate, when the two families in Jhansi cultivated strawberries, we drew inspiration from them and decided to organise the ‘Strawberry Festival’ in Jhansi.

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Strawberry

Lucknow, Jan 16 : Jhansi which is well-known as the land of valour is all set to write a new chapter and strawberry cultivation would play a pivotal role in transforming the region. The land of Jhansi in Utttar Pradesh is most suitable for the cultivation of strawberries and to promote its cultivation, a ‘Strawberry Festival’ is being organised in Jhansi.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath would inaugurate the ‘Strawberry Festival’ from January 17 to February 16. During this festival, the cultivation of strawberry would inspire people to take it up throughout Bundelkhand, including Jhansi.

According to Jhansi District Collector Andra Vamsi, farmers could earn better income through strawberry cultivation. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is personally taking a keen interest in the development of Bundelkhand, which is one of the backward areas of the state.

The CM said strawberry cultivation has been started for the first time in Bundelkhand. This region was never known for fruits. Jhansi district is known for its production of pulses, oilseeds and ginger. For the first time, two families in Jhansi without any help from the state government have successfully achieved the feat of cultivating strawberries. These families with the help of drip irrigation and sprinklers cultivated strawberries in the region showing that strawberries could be grown in Jhansi and Bundelkhand. If strawberry cultivation gets a boost in Jhansi, farmers would get a new source of earning a better income.

According to the Jhansi District Magistrate, when the two families in Jhansi cultivated strawberries, we drew inspiration from them and decided to organise the ‘Strawberry Festival’ in Jhansi. DM Andra Vamsi explained that people would be encouraged to cultivate strawberries by organising workshops during the Strawberry Festival. The people would be told how to cultivate strawberries and how it will increase their income.

Strawberry cultivator Happy Chawla told IANS that 1.5 acres have been used for sampling. It would produce an estimated 10,000 kg which would be available at a rate of Rs 100 per kg in the market. If the strawberries are produced and sold properly, then the farmers would get a fair price for their produce and earn a handsome profit.

According to Gaurav Garg, an expert on strawberry cultivation, strawberry farming could end the plight of farmers in Jhansi and Bundelkhand. One kilogram of strawberries from a strawberry plant is available for nearly Rs 70 to Rs 80. The strawberries grown in Jhansi have the same taste as the famous strawberries of Mahabaleshwar. If strawberry cultivation was encouraged in Jhansi and Bundelkhand, it would be in the interest of farmers.

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Business

RBI remains ‘steadfast’ to take necessary steps to support economy: Guv

The RBI Governor’s statement gains significance as the Indian stock market has surged amid the pandemic and scaled new highs in the past one month, raising concerns of stretched valuations.

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Shaktikanta Das

New Delhi, Jan 16 : Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das on Saturday said that the central bank remains committed to take any further necessary measures to support the economy.

Delivering the Nani Palkhivala Memorial Lecture on Saturday, Das said that RBI’s principal objective during the pandemic was to support economic activity and the policies have helped in easing the severity of the economic impact of the pandemic.

“I would like to unambiguously reiterate that the Reserve Bank remains steadfast to take any further measures, as may be necessary, while at the same time remaining fully committed to maintaining financial stability,” he said.

RBI’s approach to the Covid situation included measures such as loan moratoriums, easing of working capital financing and deferment of interest restructuring among others.

Speaking of the recent bull run in the financial markets, the RBI Governor said that domestic financial markets must remain prepared for sudden decline going ahead in case risk aversion takes hold among investors globally.

“While abundant capital inflows have been largely driven by accommodative global liquidity conditions and India’s optimistic medium-term growth outlook, domestic financial markets must remain prepared for sudden stops and reversals, should the global risk aversion factors take hold,” he said.

The RBI Governor’s statement gains significance as the Indian stock market has surged amid the pandemic and scaled new highs in the past one month, raising concerns of stretched valuations.

This is the second time in a week that Das has raised concerns regarding the bullish trend in stock market.

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