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Hope Kashmir interlocutor’s talks will provide some breakthrough: Rajnath

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File Photo Rajnath Singh

Lucknow, Nov 11: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma after holding talks with all stakeholders would come out with recommendations on further improving the situation in the state, and hoped the efforts would provide some breakthrough.

He also described radicalisation as a “global phenomena”, and said India has been least affected by it because of the Muslim community’s faith in true Islam.

He accused Pakistan of destabilising India. “Our neighbouring country is not desisting from its mischievous acts. It has been trying to disrupt us,” he said, speaking at an event.

Claiming that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir has improved a lot since the new regime took over in Delhi, Singh said: “The number of incidents have now lowered from 6000 in 1995 to 300 today. There has been improvement in the situation.

“Recently we have appointed Dineshwar Sharma as our Special Representative to Jammu and Kashmir. He will talk to all the stake holders and come out with recommendations that what steps the central government should take further to improve the situation,” he said hoping that the efforts would be fruitful with some “breakthrough”.

Rajnath Singh’s remarks came a day after the Union Home Ministry formed two new divisions to exclusively deal with emerging security challenges such as radicalisation and cyber crime.

Sharma on Friday concluded a five-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir and said he would return soon to continue his mission to hold a sustained dialogue process that includes different viewpoints in the state.

On radicalisation and the Islamic State, the Minister said: “There is a general perception that radicalisation is happening. It has become a global phenomenon. As far as India is concerned, it has the second largest Muslim population after Indonesia. Despite that, it has been least affected.”

The BJP leader, however, gave credit to Indian Muslims for rejecting the Islamic State and its ideology.

“I would like to give credit to followers of Islam in the country,” he said.

IANS

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Ahead of farmer talks, PM Modi meets Amit Shah, Narendra Singh Tomar, Rajnath Singh

The government, however, maintains that the new laws will provide farmers with better opportunities. It has also accused the opposition parties of “misleading” the farmers.

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DM PM HM

Ahead of the Centre’s fifth round of talks with agitating farmers on Saturday, a high-level meeting commenced at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence on Saturday morning.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister Piyush Goyal are present at the meeting.

On Thursday, talks between the Union government and farmers’ representatives at Vigyan Bhavan did not reach any conclusion, though the Centre softened its stance on some demands. Another round of talks with the farmers is scheduled for 2 pm on Saturday.

The farmers are demanding the repeal of the three farm laws passed by Parliament in September.

The government, however, maintains that the new laws will provide farmers with better opportunities. It has also accused the opposition parties of “misleading” the farmers.

Farmers’ doubts will be cleared in today’s meeting with Centre. In recent meetings, some issues were clarified. It’s Opposition’s politics, they’re instigating the protest. The meeting will be fruitful & we expect farmers will roll back protest, said MoS Agriculture, Kailash Choudhary

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Adar Poonawalla, CEO Serum Institute among 6 named ‘Asians of the Year’ by Singapore daily

The Serum Institute was founded by Poonawalla’s father Cyrus Poonawalla in 1966.

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Adar Poonawalla

Singapore, December 5 : Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India, is among six people named ‘Asians of the Year’ by Singapore’s leading daily, The Straits Times, for their work in fighting the Covid pandemic.

Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has collaborated with the University of Oxford and the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for making the Covid vaccine, ‘Covidshield’, and is conducting trials in India.

The other five named in the list are Chinese researcher Zhang Yongzhen, who led the team that mapped and published online the first complete genome of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that sparked the pandemic, China’s Major-General Chen Wei, Japan’s Dr Ryuichi Morishita and Singapore’s Professor Ooi Eng Eong, who are among those at the forefront of developing vaccines against the virus, and South Korean businessman Seo Jung-jin whose company will enable the making and dispensing of the vaccines and other Covid-19 treatments to the world.

Collectively referred to as “the virus busters”, they are heroes of a kind, having devoted themselves to the pressing cause of resolving the coronavirus pandemic, each in their own capacity, the daily said.

“Sars-CoV-2, the virus that has brought death and hardship to the world’s largest and most populous continent, is meeting its tamer in The Virus Busters,” the award citation said.

“We salute your courage, care, commitment and creativity. In this peril-filled hour, you are a symbol of hope for Asia, indeed the world.”

The Serum Institute was founded by Poonawalla’s father Cyrus Poonawalla in 1966.

Poonawalla joined the Serum Institute of India in 2001 and became the CEO of Serum Institute with complete control of the day-to-day operations of the company in 2011.

Poonawalla said that he had put USD 250 million of his family fortune into ramping up his institute’s manufacturing capacity.

“I decided to go all out,” said Poonawalla, 39, who has pledged that his firm’s COVID-19 vaccines will help supply lower- and middle-income countries that face significant disadvantages in the quest to obtain them.

Poonawalla said his institute is helping poorer countries level up in access to vaccines.

In the big picture of ending the pandemic, commonality of purpose is key, said The Straits Times, Singapore’s mainstream daily.

The Straits Times Asians of the Year have led the way, as have scores of other individuals in their own fields. When an end comes into sight, it will be due in no small part to these people who – undaunted by the tumult – have committed themselves to the sobering, much-needed work to put together an exit plan from the crisis, for humanity.

“There has not been a day this year when the pandemic has not been in the news. Straits Times’ editors felt there could be no more deserving recipients this year than the people squaring up to Asia’s biggest-ever health challenge, engaged in pioneering and courageous efforts to prevent the highly contagious virus from wreaking more damage,” Bhagyashree Garekar, Straits Times’ foreign editor, said on Saturday.

“In a year that is ending with a wish for great resets… Asia’s virus busters are the face of hope on the horizon,” said Garekar.

Between them, the recipients of the 2020 award capture the entire trajectory of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In deciding to honour The Virus Busters, Straits Times editors had in mind those who have, in one way or another, enabled the complex, multi-stage process of preventing as many people around the world from getting the deadly disease in as little time as possible.

“Each year, ST editors seek out a person, team or organisation that has not only made or shaped the news, but also helped contribute positively to Asia in the process,” said Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings’ English/Malay/Tamil Media Group and editor of Straits Times.

“This year, we naturally looked to those involved in the fight against Covid-19, which has dominated the headlines. We debated long and hard, but finally agreed on a group of people who have done the most to help find an answer to the crisis brought on by the virus.

“They are a disparate group whose collective efforts have pushed forward the search for vaccines, allowing these to be discovered and delivered with an urgency never attempted or seen before. Their commitment and actions have helped save lives and give hope to people all around Asia, and the world,” Fernandez said. PTI

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Farmers’ rail roko protest continues at Jandiala Guru

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Farmers RAil Roko Protest

Amritsar, December 4: The farmers’ protests against the agri laws implemented by the Centre entered the 73rd day in Jandiala Guru.

The kisan union leaders said they would not accept any condition of the Central Government and the latter to revoke the controversial laws.

The farmers also burnt an effigy of the state government and criticised Chief Minister Capt Amrinder Singh’s statement on the farmers’ stir.

Satnam Singh Pannu, chief, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, said the protest led by Sukhwinder Singh Sabhra, Jasbir Singh Pindi and Lakhwinder Singh Varyamnangal at Kundli border was underway.

The Centre wants to amend the agri laws, which would be a betrayal. Just as the Britishers cheated, the Union Government also wants to deceive us. We have single demand to repeal three agri laws, the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 and the recent amendment in the Environment Protection Act.

Sarwan Singh Pandher, general secretary, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, said, “The Centre should assure minimum support price on all crops. Around 25 vehicles of the union are going daily to Delhi. On December 11, more than 500 tractor-trailers will leave for Delhi.”

Addressing the activists during the ‘rail roko’ protest in Jandiala Guru, Pandher said Capt Amarinder’s statement (farmers are a threat to national security) is highly objectionable.

Gurbachan Singh Chabba and Jarmanjit Singh Bandala said the central leadership of the Congress had convened a special session by Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi demanding repeal of the agri laws while Capt Amarinder was speaking on the behalf of the BJP.

Meanwhile, a group of residents from Malanwali village and members of the Amritsar Bar Association led by Advocate Kuljit Singh left for Delhi to participate in the agitation.

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