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Sikkim gets air connectivity before railway line !



pakyong airport

New Delhi, May 10: Sikkim is all set to get its first airport in Pakyong. Interestingly, the North Eastern state still does not have railway connectivity.

The Gangtok airport will become the 100th functional airport of India and is part of the Narendra Modi government’s regional connectivity scheme UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik).

Even as Indian Railways approved Sivok-Rangpo line for Sikkim, but as of now, the Himalayan state is not connected by a rail line.

The announcement was made by Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu through his Twitter feed, last week.

He said in a tweet “The Pakyong (Gangtok) Airport at Sikkim got a license today for scheduled operations. It’s an engineering marvel at a height of more than 4,500 ft in a tough terrain. Will pave way for direct air connectivity to our lovely state of Sikkim, giving a boost to tourism & economic growth”.

The airport is around 30 kilometres away from Sikkim’s state capital Gangtok and around 60 kilometres away from the India-China border.

Under the Civil Aviation Ministry’s regional connectivity scheme, budget carrier SpiceJet has been granted permission to fly to Pakyong from Kolkata.

According to the reports, the low-cost airline has already conducted a dry run at the airport with one its Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 aircraft successfully landing there on March 5.

Not only this, A Dornier 228 of the Indian Air Force landed at the airport in March.



Rajya Sabha holds crucial meeting as Opposition boycotts Parliament proceedings

The Opposition parties have alleged that they were informed just an hour ago about the BAC meeting, leaving them little time to attend the meeting.




Rajya Sabha

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha has called its Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting on Tuesday after a day-full of hectic activities, protests and passage of several bills.

But the Opposition, which announced to boycott the Upper House for the remainder of the session, will not attend the meeting.

TMC’s Derek O’Brien, SP’s Ram Gopal Yadav, Congress’s Anand Sharma and Jairam Ramesh and RJD’s Manoj Kumar Jha are the five Opposition leaders who will skip 11-member committee meeting.

The BAC is a panel led by Rajya Saha chairman Venkaiah Naidu to discuss the weekly agenda of the House.

The meeting has been called amid indications that the House might be adjourned in a day or two.

The Opposition parties also alleged that they were informed just an hour ago about the BAC meeting, leaving them little time to attend the meeting.

Rajya Sabha officials pointed out that the meeting was decided at a short notice and all efforts were made to inform the members of the panel as quickly as possible.

On Sunday, the Rajya Sabha passed the two key farm bills – Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, amid fierce protests in the house.

While the Opposition claimed that the bills were anti-farmer, the government says that these bills will help boost the farming sector through private investments. On Monday, eight Opposition MPs were suspended for unruly behaviour.

On Monday, the opposition demonstrated its disapproval in the Upper House of Parliament against the suspension of MPs and passage of these bills and boycotted the Rajya Sabha for the remaining part of the session.

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Punjab to start Covaxin’s Phase-3 trials





Punjab’s three Government Medical Colleges will participate in the Phase-3 trials of Bharat Biotech Ltd’s Covaxin, the first indigenously-developed vaccine candidate against coronavirus, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), an official said on Tuesday.

The trials are scheduled to commence from October 15.

This was disclosed by a government spokesperson fter a virtual Covid review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

The Chief Minister has directed the Medical Education and Research Department to ensure full care and strict adherence to all precautions to be taken during the trials, for which the consent of the participants will be mandatory.

He issued stern directions to also ensure that poor persons are not pulled into the trials without consent, knowledge and understanding of the possible repercussions and dangers.

Bharat Biotech Ltd, which had approached the state government a few days back, has announced Rs 75 lakh insurance cover for the participants in case of any adverse event or effects or death.

The possible side effects of the vaccine could include fever, pain at the site of the intramuscular injection and malaise.

Two doses of the inactivated virus injection would be given to the participants (0 and 28 days) as part of the Phase-3 human trials.

Source: IANS

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HC reserves order on plea seeking early hearing in 2G case



Delhi High Court

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday reserved its order on a petition filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking early hearing of its leave to appeal application against the acquittal of the accused persons in the 2G spectrum case.

After hearing the arguments of all the accused persons and the probe agencies, a single judge bench of the high court presided over by Justice Brijesh Sethi reserved its order.

During the course of hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, representing the probe agencies, submitted that substantial public time has already been consumed and since Justice Sethi, who is hearing the matter currently, is all set to demit office in November, the matter should be heard immediately.

“A judge can always decide how much time is required to hear a matter… If genuine efforts are made and assistance is rendered, it’s possible to take this matter to a logical conclusion,” said the ASG while responding to the submissions made by the counsels of the accused persons, who had opposed the petition for early hearing saying that they won’t get required time to put forth their stand if the matter is hurried.

“It’s my duty to unravel the truth,” said Sethi while hearing the submissions made by Jain and, adding that in his last four years at the high court, he had never stopped a counsel from arguing.

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