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Pay Rs 100 a quintal to farmers to curb stubble burning: Supreme Court

The court slammed Punjab, Haryana and UP governments, which cited lack of funds and indebtedness for their inability to meet these directions.

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New Delhi, Nov 6 : At a three-hour-long hearing, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked UP, Haryana and Punjab governments to provide Rs 100 per quintal assistance within seven days to small and marginal farmers to help them from burning stubble to clear fields.

The Bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, said agriculture was the backbone of the country and it’s the duty of the government to protect small and marginal farmers. Lack of funds couldn’t be a ground for the government to neglect them.

“Provide stubble managing machinery free to small and marginal farmers for the time being, as it will address stubble burning”, said Justice Mishra.

The court slammed Punjab, Haryana and UP governments, which cited lack of funds and indebtedness for their inability to meet these directions.

“The state governments prepare a roadmap…small and marginal farmers are often left behind and big farmers reap benefits. We want to change this trend,” said the court. The court also asked the state governments to assist small and marginal farmers to access machines that could help in managing stubble, especially from the local custom hiring centres.

The court also directed the Centre to frame a comprehensive scheme to take care of environment issues and protect the interest of small and marginal farmers within three months. It should be implemented across the country, the court added.

The court asked the Delhi government to take concrete steps to counter pollution and not hide behind the failure of corrupt civic agencies. “Pollution hot spots have been identified in Delhi. We want action. A compliance report should be filed by the Chief Secretary on the action-taken to address pollution at these spots,” said the court pointing to shocking state of affairs in the national capital.

India

World Health Day: Amid corona cloud, PM, Cong thank health staff

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New Delhi, April 7 As India has entered the third week of its 21-day nationwide lockdown and its total active cases of Coronavirus reached 3,981, this year’s World Health Day, unlike other years, assumed huge significance for lawmakers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Today on #WorldHealthDay, let us not only pray for each other’s good health and well-being but also reaffirm our gratitude towards all those doctors, nurses, medical staff and healthcare workers who are bravely leading the battle against the COVID-19 menace.”

It’s not just the Prime Minister, but politicians from across the barrier stressed the importance of good health and to honour those who keep us healthy — doctors, nurses, health workers.

Congress’s Randip Singh Surjewala took to Twitter to say: “#WorldHealthDay reminds us of the importance of good health every year. Today, when the whole world is fighting against Corona, pledge to create a better environment for living on earth, today.”

He added, “On this occasion, all the doctors, nurses and health workers should be thanked, who are the advance warriors of this battle.”

Meanwhile, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari too took to Twitter and posted a photo expressing gratitude to health staff and paramedics “protecting our lives”. He said: “Saluting every health worker on the frontlines fighting the novel coronavirus and safeguarding our lives. #WorldHealthDay”

So far 114 people have died due to Coronavirus in India. However, at least 325 people have recovered from the deadly coronavirus across the country. The total number of Corona affected patients in India, including those who have recovered, has reached 4,421 by Tuesday morning

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T’gana police book 10 Indonesians who had tested positive

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Telangana CM KC Rao

Hyderabad, April 7 Telangana police have registered a case against 10 Indonesians who tested positive for COVID-19 last month while on a preaching mission in Karimnagar.

The foreigners, who have completed their treatment at government-run Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad, were booked for violation of the provisions of Foreigners Act. They had attended Tablighi Jamaat meeting in Delhi before reaching Karimnagar by train.

Two agents who accompanied the group of Indonesians and four local hosts from Karimnagar were also charged under the Epidemic Diseases Act, Disaster Management Act and also under Indian Penal Code.

Karimnagar police commissionerate’s Town police station suo moto registered the case under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act. However, no arrests have been made.

The Indonesians have completed their treatment. Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao said late Monday that they have been discharged.

A police officer said the agents and local hosts were booked for not informing authorities about the presence of foreigners and their health condition.

The foreigners, accompanied with two agents, had reached Ramagundam by AP Sampark Kranti Express on March 14. From Ramagundam they reached Karimnagar by a private vehicle.

They were staying at a mosque in the town and going around as part of Tablighi activity. Two days later the health authorities shifted all of them to Hyderabad, where they tested positive.

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India lifts partial ban on hydroxychloroquine after Trump’s request

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New Delhi, April 7 The government has decided to lift a partial ban on hydroxychloroquine after US President Donald Trump requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to export the drug to aid America’s fight against the deadly Covid-19 disease.

Official sources told IANS that the government will clear the existing orders immediately on humanitarian grounds. The Centre, sources said, will not ban but restrict the export of hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol depending on the availability of stock after meeting domestic requirements.

The Ministry of External Affairs and pharma industry will decide on such allocations depending on the humanitarian crisis, sources said.

President Trump had called Prime Minister Modi, requesting him to supply the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine that is being used to treat Covid-19 patients and as prophylactic by the frontline health care workers deployed in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The Modi government had imposed a ban on export of the drug since the coronavirus outbreak hit India.

The US as of now has the highest number of the novel coronavirus cases in the world, with over 367,000 cases of infections and over 10,800 deaths. Relatively, India has managed to contain the pandemic with 136 deaths and over 4,700 cases of infections.

On Monday, the Donald Trump administration provided $2.9 million in aid to India to help fight against the novel coronavirus disease.

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