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NITI Aayog may be nodal agency for NGO registration, SC told

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Niti Aayog

New Delhi, April 5 : The Centre on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that NITI Aayog or any agency set up by it will act as a nodal agency for registration and accreditation of NGOs/voluntary organisations seeking financial support from the government.

The NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog will also maintain a data base and put in place a system to manage and disseminate information relating to non-governmental organisations, the government also told a bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.

Besides, the Aayog portal — NGO Darpan — will be strengthened and aligned more closely with accreditation functions and also provide snapshot of the NGO with respect to its ongoing and past works.

It will particularly focus on public and foreign funds so as to facilitate grant-extending authorities in deciding on the bona fides and past experiences of the NGO.

These are part of the Centre’s guidelines framed for accreditation of NGOs that receive government grants as well as the manner in which their accounts will be maintained and audited.

The accreditation will require regular updating of database, consistency in compliance of statutory requirements, evaluation of past track record and standing in their field of operation.

The guidelines have been framed in pursuance of the apex court’s January 10 direction to frame guidelines so as to ensure stronger regulation mechanism.

The guidelines provide for release of funds to the NGOs through Public Fund Management System and three-tier monitoring for central ministries, comprising in-house monitoring process by grant-making institution, as well as panels at the state and district levels.

Besides, there would be independent third-party monitoring like the National Monitor System of the Ministry of Rural Development that may be operated by the NITI Aayog.

Giving two weeks, the court asked amicus curiae Rakesh Dwivedi and petitioner-advocate Mahohar Lal Sharma to give their views on the veracity of the guidelines submitted before it.

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Delhi hospitals witnessing probable cases of Covid reinfection

However, Dr. Chatterjee asserted that more follow up is needed to confirm the reported cases’ categorization into reinfection as it may trigger panic among the public.

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SNG001 Coronavirus Med

New Delhi, Dec 2 : As the national capital continues to battle the third and the deadliest surge of the Covid-19 pandemic, another threat related to the coronavirus has started to loom large over its horizon — the danger of reinfection of the viral disease.

The hospitals across the city have begun to report probable cases of reinfection of the disease. The instances may be relatively less or insignificant in numbers, but are enough to ring alarms.

Two days ago Sir Ganga Ram Hospital reported two cases that were claimed as reinfection of the Covid-19. The cases included a man with comorbidity and a healthcare staff of the hospital itself. The hospital claimed that the man was found to be reinfected in mere 25 days of testing negative, while the staff was found reinfected within two months of her recovery from the previous episode.

The Indraprastha Apollo Hospital has also seen similar cases lately. The hospital told IANS that at least five cases had been reported, which indicated probable reinfection of the Covid-19 disease.

Dr. Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Apollo informed that one of his patients was readmitted to the facility as he tested positive again after two and half months of recovery from the first episode.

“The patient was comorbid. He was treated for 10 days during the first instance of the infection and was discharged. However, two and half months later, he complained of the onset of Covid induced symptoms and when tested, found positive,” he said.

Meanwhile, Aakash healthcare informed IANS that it had received two definite reinfection cases recently, where one of the patients tested positive two months after recovering from the previous episode.

“Ten days ago, the patent was admitted with high grade fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. He had obesity as an underlying condition. He received eight days of treatment before the discharge,” informed Dr. Akshay Budhraja, Consultant, Department of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine at Aakash.

“During our investigation, the patients revealed that he had tested positive in early September when his whole family had contracted the virus. Since the severity of the disease was mild in nature, he opted for home isolation and tested negative after 21 days. However, he started having breathing issues and fever in late October and when he underwent the RT-PCR test, the result came positive,” he added.

While Dr. Budhraja said that the antibody test on the patient was not followed, he claimed that the findings of investigations such as CT scan and blood test implied that he did not have the relapse but a confirmed re-infection.

Dr. Sandeep Nayar, Sr. Director and Head, Centre for Chest and Respiratory Disease, BLK Super Speciality Hospital also told IANS that his hospital has been receiving patients who have probable indicators of having reinfection of the disease. “I have just seen a patient today who again tested positive for Covid-19 after recovery with a complaint of mild symptoms,” he added.

However, Dr. Chatterjee asserted that more follow up is needed to confirm the reported cases’ categorization into reinfection as it may trigger panic among the public.

“Despite all the indicators suggesting the cases as reinfection of the viral disease, we need to be more careful before labelling them as the same as it could create panic among the public. To ascertain whether the cases are reinfection, reactivation or relapse of the disease would require a thorough study and a proper follow up,” he cautioned.

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“So Add A Line”: BJP’s Haryana Ally To Centre On Farmers’ Key Demand

Farmers’ Protest: Haryana ruling coalition partner and Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) has been making increasingly discordant comments on the protests, given that farmers are a key support base of the party.

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Jannayak Janta Party Dushyant Chautala

Chandigarh: The government should give a written assurance to farmers that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system will continue, the ruling BJP’s Haryana ally has said amid protests against new farm laws that show no signs of ending soon.

Haryana ruling coalition partner and Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) has been making increasingly discordant comments on the protests, given that farmers are a key support base of the party. JJP president Ajay Chautala, Dushyant Chautala’s father, says the government should find a solution to the farmers’ agitation at the earliest.

The farmers are protesting against three laws that they fear will take away the MSP or their guaranteed minimum earnings and leave them open to manipulation by corporates. Though the centre has repeatedly told them that is not the case, the farmers want the reassurance added to the laws.

Ajay Chautala said the even Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had made the assurance. “So what is the harm in adding and writing that line,” the former MP said on Tuesday.

“The Centre has invited farmers for talks and we want that there should be a solution to this at the earliest. We have requested those in the government that a solution to the farmers’ problems should be found,” Mr Chautala said.

Most of Haryana’s crops are procured at MSP, he added.
His comments came on a day an independent MLA, Somvir Sangwan, pulled out of the state’s ruling coalition, citing “atrocities committed on farmers”.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting at the borders of Delhi against the farm laws. Most of them are from Punjab, but many are from Haryana.

“The farmers are disturbed, they are sitting on the road… the government is also concerned,” Chautala said, urging an early solution.

Earlier, Dushyant Chautala had talked about quitting if there was any attempt to discontinue the MSP system and had accused opposition parties of misleading farmers.

Opposition parties in Haryana have attacked the JJP, saying it is desperate to cling to power even though its ally BJP is shortchanging farmers.

“Haryana’s history will never forget Dushyant Chautala’s betrayal of farmers. They sought votes from farmers against the BJP and promised a loan waiver but today the farmer is on the roads, facing water cannons and teargas shells,” Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
Two months ago, a group of farmers from Haryana had protested outside Dushyant Chautala’s home in Sirsa, demanding his resignation.

The 90-member Haryana Assembly has 40 BJP MLAs and 10 JJP members. The Congress has 31.

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Farmers’ income has halved while that of govt’s friends has risen: Rahul Gandhi takes dig at Centre

His remarks come at a time when farmers from Punjab and Haryana are protesting at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders of the national capital against the Centre’s new agriculture reform laws

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Rahul Gandhi Farmers

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday attacked the Centre over its claim of doubling farmers’ income and alleged that their income has in fact “halved” under the ‘suit-boot sarkar’, while that of its crony friends has grown four times.

His remarks come at a time when farmers from Punjab and Haryana are protesting at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders of the national capital against the Centre’s new agriculture reform laws

“They said farmers income will be doubled. What they did was increase incomes of ‘friends’ four times and those of farmers will be halved. This suit-boot government is of lies and loot,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

The Congress leader also shared a video of the atrocities and use of force against the protesting farmers with a voice-over of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech saying his government was taking steps to resolve the problems faced by farmers and double their income.

The Congress has been attacking the government over the use of force against the protesting farmers, and has urged the dispensation to withdraw the new farm laws and redresses the grievances of the protestors.

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