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Modi declassifies Netaji files, family members welcome move

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday declassified 100 files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, a top freedom fighter who raised an army to fight the British and whose death in an aircrash continues to be a mystery even after seven decades.

Modi released digital copies of 100 files at the National Archives of India following the government’s decision to declassify files on the freedom fighter. The files were released on the birth anniversary of Bose, who was more popularly addressed with the honorific Netaji.

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Modi also launched a webportal https://netajipapers.gov.in to release digital version of 100 files.

The family members of Bose, some of whom where present during the declassification, were overwhelmed by the decision calling it a “great day for the entire nation.”

Netaji, one of the leading lights of the Indian freedom struggle, set up the Indian National Army (INA) during World War II to take on the British Indian Army.

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A former Congress president and once a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, Bose’s reported death in a plane crash in Formosa, now Taiwan, in 1945 has remained a mystery. The bespectacled freedom fighter was born on January 23, 1897 in Cuttack, Odisha.

The National Archives received 990 declassified files pertaining to the Indian National Army (INA) from the defence ministry in 1997.

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“Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose must be given the title ‘Leader of the Nation’. He deserves that honour,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted minutes after Modi declassified a set of files.

The Mamata Banerjee government on September 18, 2015 put in public domain 64 files running into 12,744 pages in the presence of Netaji’s family members, who have been campaigning for the declassification of the files to unravel the mystery surrounding his sudden disappearance over 70 years ago.

The release of the files “will meet the long-standing public demand” and “will also facilitate scholars to carry out further research on Netaji”, a culture ministry statement has said.

Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen said in Kolkata on Saturday that he was interested to see what was there in the files, but it was far more important to debate his life and work, to follow his vision, rather than to discuss in what circumstances he died.

wefornews bureau

India

Six more test corona positive in Gujarat, total 53

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New Delhi, The health authorities announced on Saturday that six more coronavirus positive cases have been detected in Gujarat, taking the number of positive cases to 53.

Jayanti Ravi, Principal Secretary, Health and family welfare Department, Gujarat said, “On Saturday, six more positive cases were found. Among the affected are persons from Gandhinagar, Mehsana and Ahmedabad who got infected through local transmission.”

This takes the total corona positive cases in the state to 53. Three deaths have also been reported from the state. The highest number of cases detected is in Ahmedabad: 18, followed by Vadodara: 9, Rajkot: 8, Gandhinagar: 8, Surat: 7 and one each in Bhavnagar, Mahesana and Kutch.

“We have covered a significant population of the state, that is 4,46,60,856 people have been covered under the survey so far in the state, carried out by ten thousand health workers in the state. The survey found travel history of total 60,708 where 50,169 had interstate travelling and 10,539 had travelled abroad,” added Ravi.

“We are carrying out the sample testing as per the ICMR protocols. So far we have sent 993 samples for testing, out of which 938 were found negative, while confirmatory tests are being carried out for two,” said Ravi.

“The cases of home quarantine have come down from 20,103 to 19,340 whereas the number of forced quarantine in government facilities is 657,” she said.

“All the four dedicated hospitals in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara are ready with isolation wards. The state has total 2,399 ventilators in which 660 are in government and 1,739 are in private healthcare facilities. Everyday we are receiving 30,000 N95 masks and 300,000 three-layered masks which are being distributed.

The total number of N95 masks are more than 45,000 and three-layered mask are more than 6 lakhs and the total number of PPE kits is 29,500, said Ravi.


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Covid-19 test now available on Practo for Rs 4,500

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Coronavirus Symtoms

Bengaluru, March 28 (IANS) Leading digital healthcare platform Practo on Saturday said it has partnered with diagnostic lab chain Thyrocare to conduct Covid-19 detection tests authorised by the government and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Starting Saturday, the test is available for Mumbai residents for Rs 4,500, and will soon be expanded to the rest of the country, Practo said.

A valid doctor’s prescription, duly filled Test Requisition Form signed by the physician, and a photo ID card has to be presented at the time of testing.

“To ensure that anyone who experiences the symptoms of the infection can get tested, the government is constantly working on expanding the list of labs and centers,” Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Health Strategy Officer, Practo, said in a statement.

“We’ve partnered with Thyrocare to ensure that access to these tests is not an issue. We will continue to work closely with the authorities to identify more such areas where Practo can solve for accessibility – be it for doctor consultations, testing or medicine delivery,” Kuruvilla added.

Certified phlebotomists from home healthcare service provider I2H will collect the samples from the patients’ homes directly, Practo said, adding that the swab that is taken during the test will be collected in a viral transport medium (VTM) and will be transported in a cold chain to the Thyrocare laboratory which has been selected for COVID-19 testing.

The report will be made available to the patients on the Practo website within 24-48 hours of the sample collection, the company added.


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J&K sets up helpline for stranded residents

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New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) To help stranded Jammu and Kashmir residents in the national capital and other parts of the country due to lockdown, the J&K Resident Commission has set up a 24×7 dedicated helpline centre.

Additional Secretary Rimpy Ohri is supervising the centre’s functioning. Three helpline numbers — 24611210, 24611108 and 24615475 — have been announced.

Any J&K resident facing any issue due to lockdown could contact the helpline numbers, said an official spokesperson.

Hundreds of students from across the country had been helped by the commission to return to their homes or stay at various dedicated hotels in Delhi, the spokesperson added.

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