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Not bothered about rising fuel prices as I am a minister, says Ramdas Athawale

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Ramdas-Athawale

Jaipur, Sep 16 : A minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said he is not bothered by the escalating fuel prices as he is a minister and referred to the allowance he gets in this regard.

In Rajasthan’s Jaipur, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale candidly confessed, “I am not suffering from rising fuel prices as I am a minister,” he said, referring to the allowances he gets.

“I may suffer if I lose my ministerial post,” he continued, drawing laughter at a press conference in Jaipur.

He had been asked if he was personally affected by the rising prices.

“It is understandable that people are suffering from rising fuel prices and it is the duty of the government to reduce them,” the Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment said.

He said the price of fuel can be reduced if the states cut the tax on it. The Centre is seriously working on the issue, he said.

Petrol and Diesel prices are setting an all-time high record with each passing day across the country.On Sunday,Petrol in New Delhi is being sold 28 paise higher at Rs. 81.91 per litre, and diesel at Rs. 73.72 per litre after a hike of 18 paise.
In Mumbai, the price of petrol has mounted to nearly Rs. 90 per litre, while diesel is retailing at Rs 78.26 per litre respectively.

India

PM Modi pays tributes to Lala Lajpat Rai on his Jayanti

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Lala Lajpat Rai ji on his Jayanti.

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Narendra Modi

New Delhi, Jan 28 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid tribute to freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai on his birth anniversary, saying his contribution to the fight for independence would inspire people across generations.

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Health

India has successfully contained Covid pandemic: Harsh Vardhan

“India has flattened its COVID19 graph- 146 districts have no new cases since last 7 days, 18 districts since 14 days, 6 districts since 21 days and 21 districts since the last 28 days”

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Harsh Vardhan

New Delhi, Jan 28 : With a massive decrease in the coronavirus cases, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said India has successfully contained the pandemic.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan began the meeting by reminding everyone that the Group of Ministers constituted for management of COVID has been operational now for over a year: “The first case was reported on 30th January last year, and the first meeting of the GOM constituted for COVID19 met on 3rd February 2020. With the ‘Whole of Government’ and ‘Whole-of-society’ approach envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has successfully contained the pandemic. Less than 12,000 cases were reported in the last 24 hours and the Active Caseload has reduced to just 1.73 lakhs.”

Detailing the achievements, he continued, “146 districts have no new cases since last 7 days, 18 districts since the last 14 days, 6 districts since 21 days and 21 districts since the last 28 days. This has been achieved with pro-active testing of which more than 19.5 crore have been conducted so far. The current testing capacity rests at 12 lakhs per day.”

He added that out of the total active cases, a meagre 0.46% are on ventilators, 2.20% are in ICU and just 3.02% are on oxygen support. Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that 165 cases of UK Variant have been reported so far. They are kept under supervised quarantine and surveillance.

The Union Health Minister proudly mentioned that India has supported other countries with supply of the COVID19 vaccine during such global public health crisis, and trained the personnel of several countries in vaccine administration. “By being a “mitra” to the global community, India has earned global trust by supplying indigenously made vaccines at this crucial hour”, Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

Dr. Sujeet K Singh, Director (NCDC) presented a detailed report on the current and future scenario of COVID-19 in India drawing comparison with the trajectory of the confirmed cases and growth rates of COVID-19 in other countries of the world. India has reported 7 Day Growth Rate of 0.90%, lowest amongst the world, he stated.

He presented a granular analysis of the trajectory of the pandemic in India pointing out critical parameters like day-wise confirmed new cases with growth rate %, recovery rate, case positivity rate, trend of active cases, concentration of cases in particular districts and other trends like fatality, and spread of new UK variant cases across different states in India. India’s Case Fatality Ratio is showing a declining trend from 3.4% in mid-June 2020 to the current rate of 1.4% due to effective clinical management. He also informed that Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu has the highest recovery rate of 99.79% followed by Arunachal Pradesh (99.58%) and Odisha (99.07%) while Kerala has recovery rate of 91.61% because of its present high active caseload. He informed that Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Kozhikode remain the top 5 districts reporting highest number of active cases currently. Maharashtra and Kerala are contributing 70% of the active caseload of the country at the moment. He advised caution in the coming months based on the nature of transmission being witnessed in other countries and because of the mutant strain of the virus being reported throughout the world.

Through a detailed presentation, Dr. Vinod K Paul, NITI Aayog and Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary apprised the GoM on the progress of development of vaccines in the country and the Vaccination Drive which was launched by the Prime Minister on 16th Jan 2021.

The Union Health Secretary showcased the logistics of the vaccination exercise and the gains made so far; 112.4 lakh doses of vaccines were distributed to States/UTs within 3 days (from 12th to 14th Jan 2021) prior to the start of the exercise; another additional 115.6 lakh doses to States/UTs were completed on 20th Jan 2021; 69,000 Programme Managers, 2.5 lakh vaccinators & 4.4 lakh other team members are trained so far; 93,76,030 health care workers and 53,94,098 frontline workers are now registered on the Co-WIN portal. He also updated on the communication strategies employed in co-ordination with the States and UTs to counter misinformation and rumour mongering.

Dr. Paul informed that India currently stands 6th in providing Vaccination coverage and will soon move to the 3rd place in the next few days; 16 AEFI hospitalizations out of 23 lakh vaccinations so far translate to just 0.0007% with no case of severe/serious AEFI or death due to vaccination reported so far. He also apprised the GoM on how India’s daily new cases trajectory compare favourably to the rest of the world.

The GoM discussed issues regarding balancing domestic requirements vis-à-vis requests from other countries for Indian vaccines. Ms. S Aparna, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals, and Head of the Sub-group within NEGVAC formed for these issues, apprised the GoM on the actions taken in this regard.

Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary (Civil Aviation), Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary (DPIIT), Dr. Balram Bhargava, Secretary (Health Research) & DG (ICMR), Dammu Ravi, Addl. Secretary (MEA), Govind Mohan, Addl. Secretary (Home Affairs), Smt. Neerja Sekhar, Addl. Secretary (Information and Broadcasting), Amit Yadav, DG, Foreign Trade (DGFT), Dr. Sunil Kumar, DGHS and other senior government officials participated through video conference.

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Cities

Cops clash with sacked teachers in Tripura

Demanding a solution to the crisis, the teachers had been staging a sit-in over the last 52 days at Paradise Chowmuhani in the state capital.

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tripura teachers protest

Agartala, Jan 27 : Tension prevailed in Agartala on Wednesday, as scores of terminated school teachers demonstrated outside Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s official residence here, prompting the police to use tear gas and water cannons to disperse them.

Over 10,000 government school teachers were sacked last year, in accordance with a 2014 high court order, which said that their recruitment process was a faulty one. The Supreme Court later upheld the verdict.

Demanding a solution to the crisis, the teachers had been staging a sit-in over the last 52 days at Paradise Chowmuhani in the state capital.

Trouble started in the morning after the police dismantled the makeshift tent, where they had been holding the protest, and detained around 300 agitators.

Shortly after, the protesters set out on a march to the CM’s residence, notwithstanding the restrictions, even as the police tried to stop them.

A scuffle ensued, following which the police lathicharged the agitators, burst tear gas shells and sprayed them with water.

The demonstrators, in retaliation, ransacked vehicles of police and district officials.

“We had information that the movement could turn into a violent protest and there were chances of breach of peace.

The district magistrate had announced that prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed around the CM’s residence. So the gathering was illegal,” Additional Superintendent of Police Shasvat Kumar said.

According to a member of the Joint Movement Committee (JMC) — a forum created by the terminated teachers — the Tripura police dismantled the tent without any warning, when the agitators were still asleep.

Many teachers were detained forcibly by the police and taken to Tripura State Rifles (TSR) camps near here. We are not criminals. Why did the government use force?” Kamal Deb, a leader of the forum, said here, adding that several protesters sustained injuries in the melee.

Inspector General (law and order) Arindam Nath told reporters that police applied force “judiciously and with a human face”.

Under no circumstances, we could have allowed the protest near the CM’s residence, he added.

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