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Opposition MPs grills Home Secretary on NPR questionnaire

“No reasonable answer was provided by them except that the additional questions are optional and people are free not to answer them,” a source said.

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Ajay Kumar Bhalla
Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla

New Delhi, Feb 18 : Several opposition MPs on Tuesday grilled Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla over additional columns in the National Population Register (NPR) questionnaire during a meeting of the department related standing committee on Home.

The NPR, which is set to take off on April 1 to enumerate usual residents of the country, has evoked large scale controversy as the government has inserted certain addition questions in the format including date and place of birth of individuals’ parents.

Sources said, during the deliberations on the allocation of fund for conducting NPR and Census exercise in the budget, opposition members asked the Home Ministry officials the reasons for changing the NPR questionnaire vis-a-vis 2010, when the exercise was first conducted in the country.

“No reasonable answer was provided by them except that the additional questions are optional and people are free not to answer them,” a source said.

Asked “will not such persons be marked for not offering the answers on contentious questions”, the source said: “The officials said, they will not be marked. But we contended that the exercise may turn out to be a prelude to preparing National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC). On this they had no answer to offer.”

Cities

50 contractual doctors resign in Gwalior

One of the doctors on the condition of anonymity said that once they accepted the new contract, they would not be able to quit. ESMA could be a new deterrent.

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Doctors

Gwalior, April 10 : At a time when Madhya Pradesh is facing acute shortage of doctors, 50 doctors appointed on contractual basis at Jayarogya Hospital of Government Gajra Raja Medical College here resigned on Thursday.

Their resignations followed an order from state Medical Education Department seeking their consent for renewal of contract beyond three months. Of the 82 doctors on roll, 50 have resigned refusing the offer.

Dr. S.N. Iyenger, Dean Gaja Raja Medical College, said: “The contractual appointment was temporarily given for three months to 82 doctors who had completed MBBS and internship at Jairogya Hospital. A new order from the state government sought the doctors’ consent for continuation of contractual appointment. 50 said they did not want to continue working.”

Dr. Iyengar said these resignations have nothing to do with the order pertaining to enforcing Essential Services Maintenance Act that was invoked on Thursday.

He said one year’s service is mandatory in government hospital as a medical officer after completion of the MBBS course and internship. A three-months temporary contract appointment was given to these doctors. Now while 32 of these doctors are still working. Currently patients suffering from corona are being treated at Jairogya Hospital and most of the doctors have been dedicated to corona cases.

One of the doctors on the condition of anonymity said that once they accepted the new contract, they would not be able to quit. ESMA could be a new deterrent. The scare of corona had forced them to rethink on continuation.

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12 new Covid-19 cases in Kerala, total active cases now 258

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coronavirus cases

Thiruvananthapuram, April 9 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said 12 new coronavirus positive cases were reported, taking the total number presently under treatment to 258.

The number of cumulative cases, including those treated and cured, now stands at 357.

Two deaths had been reported previously, but those patients had other serious underlying ailments.

“Today there are 1,36,195 people under observation at homes and 723 at various hospitals in the state,” said Vijayan.

He also said that eight foreign tourists have completely recovered and have been discharged.

Meanwhile, the police registered 2,206 cases, recorded the arrest of 2,166 people and seized 1,450 vehicles for violating curfew norms.

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Corona in Delhi: 720 test positive; 51 new cases, 3 deaths in 24 hours

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Coronavirus News

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) With 51 more patients reporting positive in the last 24 hours, the number of coronavirus cases in the national capital reached 720 on Thursday.

The national capital reported three new deaths in the last 24 hours, raising the corona toll 12 since the outbreak of the infection. According to the Delhi Health Department, among the total 720 cases, 430 cases are from the Nizamuddin Markaz, with four new cases in the last 24 hours. “Among the 51 new cases, 35 had travel or contact history,” the health bulletin said.

It says 249 positive cases have foreign travel history and their contacts.
The positive cases in Delhi have increased dramatically since people were evacuated last week from the Markaz Tablighi Jamaat building where over 2,300 people from different parts of the world and country were staying under one roof without following social distancing.

Among the total patients, 25 have been discharged and cured while one has migrated.

“Total 682 patients are in the hospitals. While 39 are in the ICU, 11 are on ventilators and 23 are on oxygen,” the Health report said.

So far, 9,968 tests have been conducted in the city and 605 reports are pending. “While 720 reports were positive, 8,643 reports were negative,” it says.

About 18,000 people are home-quarantined across the city and 2,664 are quarantined at government facilities. The positive cases in the city are increasing at a rapid rate since last week.

The total positive cases in Delhi were 97 on March 30, which increased to 120 on March 31. While the cases were 152 on April 1, on April 2, the count jumped to 293 Coronavirus cases.

On April 3, the tally reached 386 while the next day, on April 4, it was 445.

The total cases on Sunday was 503. The total coronavirus cases in the national capital were 525 on Monday, and reached 579 on Tuesday. It jumped to 669 cases on Wednesday.


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