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Hot weather not behind EVM/VVPAT malfunction in Kairana: Government

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New Delhi, July 30: Contrary to the claims made by the Election Commission that excessive heat and light was among the factors behind the large-scale malfunctioning of EVMs and VVPATs in Kairana Lok Sabha by-polls held in May this year, the government on Monday said that hot weather was not the reason.

In a written reply to the question in Rajya Sabha whether as per the Election Commission, malfunctioning in EVM machines was due to hot weather, Minister of State for Law and Justice P.P. Chaudhary said: “No sir”.

The Minister also ruled out any possibility of adopting any alternative method other than using electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections which are scheduled to be held in April-May 2019.

The MPs – Neeraj Shekhar, Javed Ali Khan and Ravi Prakash Verma – had asked if the Election Commission proposes to conduct next general election in any other manner as April-May are peak hot months.

The Minister said in the reply that such a possibility “does not arise”.

Chaudhary said that as per the ECI data, during the bye-elections to Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur Legislative Assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh held on May 28, out of a total of 2056 EVMs/VVPAT units used, seven EVMs and 388 VVPAT units malfunctioned.

An EC report had in June said that in Kairana, 355 VVPATs (20.82 per cent) were reported malfunctioning which needed to be changed. In Noorpur, 29 paper trail machines (8.25 per cent) had to be replaced due to malfunctioning.

Days after the by-polls, a preliminary report by the EC had attributed the reasons for such high number of VVPAT malfunctioning to “first time use by polling staff, extreme heat, exposure of machines to direct sun and mishandling during use”.

The glitches had led to delays in polling and very slow polling. Hundreds of voters patiently waited to cast their votes in the blistering heat as the machines were replaced.

IANS

Cities

Delhi Police gear up for ‘snap demos’ by farmers, tighten security

After the passing of the farm Bills, opposition MPs staged protest in the Parliament premises, marching from the Gandhi statue to the Ambedkar statue.

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New Delhi, Sep 23 : The Delhi Police have geared up for ‘snap demonstrations’ by farmers’ bodies, especially in the national capital, amid the ongoing protests against the Centre’s farm bills.

The security in the national capital, especially in the border areas, has been tightened and senior Delhi Police officers are themselves monitoring the situation. Section 144 has already been imposed in the New Delhi area.

Snap demonstrations are random unnotified demonstrations that pop up at a particular place.

“We have made ample arrangements in the area and are registering cases under IPC Section 188 and other relevant sections against those found flouting the orders,” said Eish Singhal, DCP, New Delhi.

The Delhi Police had earlier said that no demonstrations would be allowed in the national capital till September 30, citing an earlier order of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

The missive came as political parties as well as farmers’ bodies have intensified their agitation against the three agriculture Bills passed by the Parliament recently.

On Monday, the DDMA had clarified that all social, cultural and political functions involving large gatherings are prohibited in Delhi till September 30.

But despite the orders, the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee held a protest against the farm Bills at Janpath. The police detained over 41 Congress leaders and workers, including state president Anil Kumar, while they were marching towards the Parliament.

After the passing of the farm Bills, opposition MPs staged protest in the Parliament premises, marching from the Gandhi statue to the Ambedkar statue.

The Opposition and the government are on loggerheads ever since the farm Bills were passed amid ruckus in the Upper House of the Parliament.

Meanwhile, the border areas of Delhi, especially the Singhu border and Karnal road, saw massive deployment of police and para military personnel even as the Youth Congress workers and farmers took out a tractor rally on Wednesday. Barricades and water cannons were deployed at strategic locations.

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India

Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar assumes additional charge of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries

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Delhi, 23 SEP 2020 : Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar assumed charge as the Minister of Food Processing Industries in Panchsheel Bhawan today afternoon. The Minister was welcomed by Rameswar Teli, MoS, FPI and Pushpa Subrahmanyam, Secretary, FPI. Senior officials of the ministry were also present.

The Minister met all the senior officials and reviewed the schemes of the ministry. Tomar is currently holding the charge of the Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Minister of Rural Development, and Minister of Panchayati Raj.

Speaking on the occasion, Tomar said that Food processing Industry is in the growing stages and MoFPI is making all efforts and contributing towards creation of new opportunities of employment for youth, bringing profits to our farmers by offering remunerative prices to them, making the goods available for its consumers etc.

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries has a clear goal of attaining these objectives by facilitating and acting as a catalyst to attract quality investments from within India and abroad into this sector with the aim of making food processing a national initiative. With this overall objective, the Ministry aims to:

  • Enhance farmer’s income by better utilization and value addition of agricultural produce
  • Minimize wastage at all stages in the food processing chain by the development of infrastructure for storage, transportation and processing of agro-food produce;
  • Introduce of modern technology into the food processing industries from both domestic and external sources;
  • Encourage R&D in food processing for product and process development and improved packaging;
  • Provide policy support, and support for creation of Infrastructure, capacity expansion/ Upgradation and other supportive measures form the growth of this sectors;
  • Promote export of processed food products.
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Health

CSIR and Mylan Announce Partnership to identify Advance Therapeutic Options for Management of COVID – 19

“CSIR has prioritized conducting clinical trials of well proven drugs in partnership with industry towards the development of multiple therapeutic options for COVID-19.” : Director General of CSIR, Dr. Shehkar C Mande

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New Delih: The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), India’s premier research organization, and Mylan Laboratories Limited, the India-based subsidiary of leading global pharmaceutical company Mylan, today announced a partnership to address unmet patient needs amidst the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Under the partnership, CSIR’s constituent laboratory Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT), and Mylan will collaborate to identify potential therapies for COVID-19.

A series of clinical trials will be conducted towards new and innovative solutions to manage COVID-19 pandemic in India as part of this collaboration. The first of the clinical trial to be rolled out is a multiple arm phase 3 study that will be conducted in adult patients with mild to moderate COVID -19 at risk of complications.

Director General of CSIR, Dr. Shehkar C Mande stated, “The current collaboration with Mylan is a significant milestone and during the current COVID-19 pandemic, CSIR has prioritized conducting clinical trials of well proven drugs in partnership with industry towards the development of multiple therapeutic options for COVID-19.”

Director of CSIR-IICT, Dr Chandrasekhar said, “CSIR is delighted to associate with Mylan as knowledge and scientific partner, and looks forward to working with the company, especially given Mylan’s vast industry experience in clinical trials and commercialization.”

Mylan Chief Operating Officer, Sanjeev Sethi stated, “Our collaboration with CSIR is a strategic step forward aimed at identifying effective treatments for patients with COVID-19. In addition to bringing forward new indications, this partnership will also help us identify multiple molecules that can potentially be leveraged in therapies for various other infectious diseases in the future.”

The application for the clinical trials has been submitted to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for regulatory approval.

CSIR has appointed Dr. Ram Vishwakarma, Honorary Advisor to DG-CSIR and former Director CSIR-IIIM (Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine) as a mentor to lead this collaboration.

The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), known for its cutting-edge R&D knowledgebase in diverse Science & Technology areas, is a contemporary and premier R&D organization. Having a pan-India presence, CSIR has a dynamic network of 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3 Innovation Complexes and 5 units. CSIR covers a wide spectrum of science and technology – from oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology.

Mylan is a global pharmaceutical company committed to setting new standards in healthcare. It is one of the world’s largest producers of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

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