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Paris climate deal a step towards a ‘better future’:Javadekar

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India on Sunday hailed the adoption of a landmark climate change deal as a “historic day” which promises a “better future” and creates a “chapter of hope” in the lives of seven billion people. Noting that the agreement acknowledges and recognises the development imperatives of India and other developing countries, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the accord also supported their right to development and their efforts to harmonise development with environment, while protecting the interests of the most vulnerable.

“Today is a historic day. What we have adopted is not only an agreement but a new ‘chapter of hope’ in the lives of 7 billion people. Mahatma Gandhiji used to say that ‘we have not inherited earth from our ancestors, but we have it on loan from future generations,” Javadekar said. “We have today reassured our future generation that we all together will mitigate the challenge posed by climate change and we will give them a better future,” he said at the plenary session after the agreement was adopted.

Javadekar, however also said the agreement could have been more ambitious as the actions of developed nations are “far below” than their historical responsibilities and fair shares. “The actions of developed countries are far below their historical responsibilities and fair shares. We have in the spirit of compromise agreed on a number of phrases in the agreement,” he said.

Javadekar said the conference also witnessed the launch of the historic International Solar Alliance under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which he termed as “path breaking” in providing unprecedented boost to solar energy development. He said that India was happy that the agreement has “unequivocally” acknowledged the imperative of climate justice, which reflects common sentiment and has based itself on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.

“The agreement also acknowledges the importance of sustainable lifestyles and sustainable consumption patterns. We are also happy that the agreement differentiates between the actions of developed and developing countries across its elements,” Javadekar said. Noting that India has consistently said that the path to climate ambition must be paved with equity, he said that the accord has recognised it.

“While give and take is normal in negotiations, we are of the opinion that the agreement could have been more ambitious. We share the concern of several friends that this agreement does not put us on the path to prevent temperature rise below 2 degrees,” Javadekar said. India was engaged constructively and in good faith throughout the course of the negotiations while it was also a part of several groupings of developing countries, including BASIC, LMDCs and G-77 and China and support their statements.

“For us, this agreement is yet another step in a journey we have already started. I hope that Paris will mark the new beginning, where commitments made will be fulfilled,” Javadekar said. “It is India’s hope that the Paris Agreement will fulfil the wishes of Mahatma Gandhi who said ‘We should care for a world we will not see’,” he said while thanking as well as congratulating French Presidency for vision and patience.

Later, Javadekar told reporters that it is a historic day because it gives a new hope to the future generation that the world will act collectively and give them a better earth for their future. “Today I hope that the commitments made are fulfilled. This will be new beginning. Paris has succeeded. It was under terror attack last month. This month Paris has proved that world comes together and that is the answer to mitigate the challenge posed by climate change,” Javadekar said.

“This is historic because it was not easy that all countries will agree to a reasonable ambitious deal. This has given a new hope, a new lease of life,” he said. Asked if compromises were done, Javadekar said the need was to be “accommodative” without changing the thrust of the agreement.

“To achieve big things as there are languages and many issues, when 196 countries are putting their efforts together, you need to be accommodative without changing the thrust of the agreement. We have done everything to maintain that thrust,” he said. It will be continuous work from here till 2020 to have new mechanisms. At the same time, all nations are bound by indc and they will be reporting.

He said that there were no obligations for developing countries as the agreement has differentiated treatment which is logical. “Paris is an absolute success. It is a great victory for humanity. We have been successful to keep our national interest alive, at the same time to arrive at a compromise, we proactively engaged with the world and ensured that on small differences, we worked together and now there is this agreement,” he said.

An official statement said that the Paris Agreement for the first time brings all nations into a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities. The universal agreement’s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Disaster

Covid woes in Delhi’s AIIMS, 479 test positive

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AIIMS

New Delhi, June 4 : The All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) here has turned to be a ”hotspot” of coronavirus infection with as many as 479 persons — staff as well as their dependents — testing positive for the highly contagious disease.

A source told IANS that as on May 30, a total of 479 people tested positive. “This includes two faculty members, 17 resident doctors, 38 nursing staff, 74 security staff and hospital attendants each and 54 sanitation staff.” The number also includes 14 labs, x-ray and other technical staff while the number of others (dependents) stood at 193.

However the source also told IANS that the AIIMS has scaled up its testing. “AIIMS has now started testing most patients before admission to wards and before taking to OTs. A new rapid test, called CBNAAT, which gives results in 2 hours is now available at AIIMS. This may help to reduce exposure of healthcare workers in hospitals. Last month and before, very few patients and with symptoms were tested. Many patients tested positive in wards when they were tested in view of symptoms,” said the source.

He also added that the new machine for testing is available for Emergency department too, so that emergency patients can be tested.

“As such it is highly possible that the number is because AIIMS has resources and cares for its employees, and is able to scale up its testing. More the testing, more the diagnosed healthcare workers. Masks and PPE are of good quality but the problem is that they don”t seal properly. So from around the margins of masks, aerosols can enter. There should be a proper sealing test and different sizes of masks should be made available on a person to person basis,” said the source.

On May 25, a senior sanitation supervisor posted at Rajkumari Amrit Kaur OPD in the AIIMS had died from Covid-19. A mess worker of the AIIMS also lost his life due to the disease on May 22.

–IANS

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Disaster

Nine in 10 migrants in Delhi consumed less food during lockdown: Survey

Nearly four in 10 (37 per cent) households were unable to get ration and 96 per cent of vulnerable households did not have a Jan Dhan account.

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daily wages workers

New Delhi, June 4 : As many as 73 per cent informal and migrant workers lost their jobs in Delhi during the lockdown, according to a survey conducted by the Azim Premji University.

The survey of 240 respondents found that the average earnings of non-agricultural self employed and casual wage workers fell by 63 per cent.

As per the survey, women suffered more employment losses, as 77 per cent women lost their jobs against 66 per cent men.

Indicating distress, the survey said that nine in 10 migrant households reported consuming less food than before, while three out of four households or 75 per cent did not have money to buy a week”s worth of essentials.

More than half of the vulnerable households did not receive ration, while nearly seven in 10 migrants did not receive the same.

Seven out 10 (73 per cent) vulnerable households did not get any cash transfer, as per the survey.

The survey conducted by the Azim Premji University has shown heavy job losses among informal and migrant workers, up to 70-80 per cent, in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi and the city of Pune.

The disruption in the economy and labour markets in these places is enormous. Livelihoods have been devastated at unprecedented levels during the lockdown. The recovery from this could be slow and very painful, the survey said.

It found that Covid-19 and its associated safety measures, such as the lockdown since March 24, have taken a heavy toll on the economy, and particularly on the vulnerable informal and migrant workers and their families.

The sample for the survey was selected using the networks of civil society organisation collaborators. “The findings pertain only to the sample and are not representative of the entire state. Findings should not be compared across states,” it said.

For the state of Gujarat, a survey of 315 respondents showed that seven out of 10 (71 per cent) workers lost their employment. Urban workers were more severely affected with nine out 10 losing their jobs since the lockdown. As many as 96 per cent of regular salaried workers in the urban areas lost their jobs.

The survey said that nearly nine in 10 farmers were not able to sell their produce at full price. Nearly seven in 10 households did not have enough money for a week”s worth of essentials and the situation was worse in the urban areas at 89 per cent.

As many as 95 per cent of urban households reported reducing their food intake during the lockdown. Six per cent of urban households did not receive any cash transfer compared to 51 per cent of rural households.

In Rajasthan, a survey of 484 respondents showed that nearly nine in 10 (88 per cent) workers reported losing their employment. Casual wage workers in the urban areas were the worst hit, as 95 per cent of them lost their jobs. Sixty-eight per cent of salaried workers were not paid salaries or received only partial payments.

More than three in four households reported consuming less food during the lockdown while 63 per cent of vulnerable households did not have money to buy even a week”s worth of essentials.

Four in 10 households had to take a loan as a result of the lockdown, as per the survey. Three in 10 migrants working in the urban areas did not have a ration card. Nearly four in 10 vulnerable households in the urban areas received no cash transfers.

In Pune, a survey of 307 respondents showed that nearly eight out of 10 (78 per cent) lost their employment during the lockdown. Men were worse affected, as 86 per cent reported employment loss compared to 72 per cent women. More than two-third (67 per cent) of salaried workers did not receive salary or were paid partially.

Eight in 10 households were consuming less food than before, while nine in 10 households were unable to pay the next month”s rent.

Nearly four in 10 (37 per cent) households were unable to get ration and 96 per cent of vulnerable households did not have a Jan Dhan account.

Nine in 10 (94 per cent) vulnerable households did not receive any cash transfer, as per the survey.

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Business

Amazon in talks to buy stake in Bharti Airtel

In just around a month, RIL has sold over 17 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for a combined Rs 78,562 crore.

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New Delhi, June 4 : E-commerce giant Amazon is in talks to purchase a stake worth at least $2 billion in telecom major Bharti Airtel.

According to reports, the Jeff Bezos-led Amazon would acquire around 5 per cent stake based on the current market value of India”s third largest telecom company in terms of subscribers.

Describing the reports as speculations, an Amazon spokesperson said: “We don”t comment on speculation about what we may or may not do in future.”

An Airtel spokesperson said: “We routinely work with all digital and OTT players and have deep engagement with them to bring their products, content and services for our wide customer base. Beyond that there is no other activity to report.”

Reports suggested that the talks are in initial stages currently. The talks come at atime when Jio Platforms has attracted several investors in the past one month led by Facebook which took up around 10 per cent stake.

In just around a month, RIL has sold over 17 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for a combined Rs 78,562 crore.

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