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PM Cares Fund is not a Public Authority says Prime Minister’s Office

A number of citizens, including judges and staff of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, have contributed generously to the PM Cares Fund for COVID-19 relief.

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New Delhi: Amid concerns raised over the transparency of the PM Cares Fund set up for COVID-19 relief, a Right to Information (RTI) response received by a lawyer states that the Fund does not come under the scope of “public authority” under the RTI Act.

Advocate Abhay Gupta had filed a RTI application asking for :

  • The total amount deposited in the Fund account till date
  • The total amount deposited in the Fund in the last two monhts
  • PAN details give to open the PM Cares account
  • Details of the amount spent from the PM Cares Fund till date
  • Details of the person who deposited the highest amount till date
PM Cares Fund is not a public authority under the RTI Act: Response to RTI filed by lawyer

However, in a reply received yesterday, Gupta was informed that the PM Cares Fund is not a public authority under the RTI Act. The reply states,

“PM CARES Fund is not a Public Authority under the ambit of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, 2005. However, relevant information in respect of PM CARES Fund may be seen on the Website – pmcares.gov.in.”

Section 2(h) of the RTI Act defines “public authority” as such:

“Public authority” means any authority or body or institution of self- government established or constituted—

  • (a) By or under the Constitution;
  • (b) By any other law made by Parliament;
  • (c) By any other law made by State Legislature;
  • (d) By notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government.

Under the Act only such information [as defined in Section 2(j)] which is held by or under the control of any public authority may be accessed by the general public through RTI.

In effect, the denial of the PM Cares Fund as a public authority shields it from the ambit of the RTI Act, and consequently, no citizen can obtain details pertaining to the Fund through the RTI route.

A number of citizens, including judges and staff of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, have contributed generously to the PM Cares Fund for COVID-19 relief.

The Supreme Court had earlier dismissed petitions calling into question the setting up of the PM Cares Fund.

Cities

Earthquake of magnitude 4.1 strikes Jammu and Kashmir

They said while the tremors caused panic among people, there were no reports of any loss of life or injury or damage to property.

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Earthquake Strong

Srinagar, Jan 16 : An earthquake of magnitude 4.1 hit Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, but there was no report of any damage, officials said.

At 10:01 pm, the earthquake struck at a latitude of 33.03 degrees north and a longitude of 75.93 degrees east — 93 kms east of Katra, they added.

The depth of the earthquake was 10 kms, the officials said.

They said while the tremors caused panic among people, there were no reports of any loss of life or injury or damage to property.

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Covaxin consent form says vax administered without ph-3 trial

The vaccine is first offered to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 50 years of age, followed by the below-50 population with comorbidities, and finally to the remaining population based on disease epidemiology and vaccine availability.

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COVAXIN Corona Covid vaccine

New Delhi, Jan 16 : Amid the vaccinaton drive against Covid-19, it has emerged that there is a separate consent form for those who are administered the ‘Covaxin‘ vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech.

The form says that “In phase-1 and phase-2 clinical trial ‘Covaxin’ has demonstrated the ability to produce antibodies against Covid-19, however the clinical efficacy of Covaxin is yet to be established and it is still being studied in phase-3 clinical trial, hence it is important to appreciate that receiving the vaccine does not mean that the other precautions related to Covid-19 should not be followed.”

The form says that in case of any adverse and serious condition, the receiver will be provided utmost care at the health centre and in case of casuality the compensation will be provided by Bharat Biotech.

“The compensation for serious adverse event will be paid by sponsor BBIL if the SAE is proven to be casually related to the vaccine,” it said.

Serious concerns were raised in certain quarters including by opposition parties and Congress leader Manish Tewari has questioned the efficacy of ‘Covaxin’ while the Prime Minister has warned people not to believe in “rumours”.

The world’s biggest vaccination drive come almost a year after the first coronavirus case was detected in India, and since then the deadly virus has claimed over 1.5 lakh lives and infected one crore people. The first case came to the fore on January 30, 2020 in Kerala.

Two vaccines — the Oxford vaccine ‘Covishield’ manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and indigenously developed ‘Covaxin’ by Bharat Biotech — will be administered to priority groups. So far, the central government has procured 1.1 crore Covishield and 55 lakh Covaxin vaccines at a cost of Rs 200 and Rs 206 per dose, respectively.

In Delhi, which has 81 vaccination sites, ‘Covaxin’ has been allotted to six Centre-run hospitals while 75 Delhi government and private hospitals will receive ‘Covishield’.

The vaccine is first offered to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 50 years of age, followed by the below-50 population with comorbidities, and finally to the remaining population based on disease epidemiology and vaccine availability.

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Disaster

Magnitude 6.7 Earthquake Hits Russia-Mongolia Border Region

The quake was at a depth of 10 kilometers

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AN earthquake of magnitude 6.7 struck the Russia-Mongolia Border Region on Tuesday, the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences said.

The quake was at a depth of 10 kilometers, it added.

The epicenter of the earthquake was registered 277 kilometers southwest of the city of Angarsk, in the Russian Irkutsk region, and 30 kilometers from the Mongolian city of Turt, Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik reported. https://bit.ly/2XtgrJs

There were no immediate reports of damage or victims, the report said.

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