India’s Covid tally crosses 66.85 lakh, death toll surpasses 1.03 lakh


India’s Covid tally crosses 66.85 lakh, death toll surpasses 1.03 lakh

With 61,267 new coronavirus cases reported in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid-19 tally has crossed 66.85 lakh cases, according to Ministry of Health.

India’s coronavirus tally case tally now stands at 66,85,082, with 9,19,023 active Covid-19 cases. The country has had less than 10 lakh active cases for the past two weeks, according to Ministry of Health.

In the last 24 hours, the country has recorded 75,787 recoveries taking the total recoveries to 56,62,490. The recovery rate now stands at 84.70 per cent. and has remained above 80 per cent for two weeks now.

India which remains the second worst Covid hit nation in the world has recorded 903 deaths in the last 24 hours. With this the death toll now stands at 1,03,569 and  fatality rate of the country  stands at 1.55 per cent.

Maharastra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu andUttar Pradesh remain the worst affected states in the country. Maharastra which remains the worst affected state has reported a singe day spike of 10,244 Covid-19 cases taking the states’s total tally to 14,53,653 cases and 38,347 fatalities.

Delhi has reported 1,947 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 2,92,560 cases and 5,225 fatalities.

India has conducted a total of 10,89,403 tests, taking the total tally of Covid-19 tests conducted to 8,10,71,797.




2 CRPF jawans martyred, 3 wounded in terror attack on outskirts of Srinagar


2 CRPF jawans martyred, 3 wounded in terror attack on outskirts of Srinagar

Two CRPF troopers were martyred and three others injured on Monday when terrorists attacked a patrolling party near Tangan Bypass area of Pampore in outskirts of Srinagar district.

Confirming this, a CRPF officer said the attack came near the Kandizal Bridge on the bypass of the Jammu–Srinagar highway.

Preliminary reports said that terrorists opened fire near Tangan Bypass area of Pampore this afternoon in which five CRPF personnel were injured, a police official said.

The two critically injured troopers were shifted to the 92 military base hospital at Srinagar where both of them succumbed.

Security forces have cordoned the area and traffic has been halted on the national highway where search operation has been launched.




600 MW solar projects in Rajasthan to light up 4 lakh houses, generate employment


600 MW solar projects in Rajasthan to light up 4 lakh houses, generate employment

In a major breakthrough for the Indian solar space, Rays Experts, one of the leading Solar EPC and park developer companies in India, has successfully commissioned 6 solar parks in Rajasthan with the combined power of 600 MW.

They have invested Rs 3,000 crore on these parks which are spread across 2,500 acres of land, mainly in the districts of Bikaner and Jodhpur and provide more than 4 lakh houses with renewable energy.

The deployed solar parks have benefited thousands of families by helping create business and employment opportunities. The projects have collectively provided employment to over 2,000 people so far. They are further employing close to 600 people each month for the park maintenance and additional capacity expansion.

This is over and above other benefits for the state including enhanced business productivity, reduced carbon emissions, lower power tariffs, and increased GST collection.

With its solar parks, Rays Experts has catered to more than 275 customers in various industries ranging from traditional namkeen (snacks), wool, media, hotels, hospitals, and marble industries, alongside others.

Commenting on the development, Rahul Gupta, MD & CEO, said, “It gives us a feeling of satisfaction that we are giving back to our state. Rajasthan has over 15 GW solar plants in the planning stage for the next 3 years and we are proud to be a part of its solar journey.”

The company plans on investing Rs 50 crore additionally in Rajasthan over the next 2 years. The Solar EPC and park developer has a current order of 250 MW in the state. It is developing around 4 solar parks in other states as well, 3 of which have been approved and in advanced stages of development. The company aims to reach the 1,000 MW installation milestone by the end of 2021.




LG Sinha trying to strike chord with Kashmiri youth


LG Sinha trying to strike chord with Kashmiri youth

Lt-Governor Manoj Sinha is trying to strike a chord with the Kashmiri youth by flying across the Valley, including terrorism-hit Shopian in south Kashmir, and providing an opportunity to the youngsters to interact with him.

Participating in the third edition of the Back to Village (B2V3) programme launched in the Union Territory, Sinha is these days visiting different parts of the Valley and his focus is youth and rural masses.

Sinha’s flights to the terror hit areas have generated positive vibes and people were bringing to his notice their problems also directly on his tweeter account which the Lt-Governor has kept open for the public. During a recent interaction with media persons here, Sinha said he was getting vital feedback about functioning of the officialdom on his social media account from the common people.

He underlined the need to change the narrative about the youth and said proper opportunity to youth in sports, education, entrepreneurship, employment, and other fields will certainly usher development in the UT.

During his visit to Shirmal village in Shopian on Friday, Sinha mingled with the youth and asked the misguided boys to shun militancy and return to the mainstream as the government was ready to rehabilitate them with jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities. He sought help of the youth in making J&K a role model of development and prosperity.

International and National Sqay martial arts players Suzain Zahoor, Faizan Ayoub, Laiba Imtiyaz and Urkan Lateef said the facilities and support of the administration will give wings to their dreams.

He inaugurated a youth recreation centre and nomadic Gujjar & Bakerwal hostel library and also laid foundation stone of 100-bedded Girls’ hostel costing Rs 3.34 crore. The library was dedicated to inhabits of 100 capacity hostel completed recently. Students living in the hostel from Class 6 to 12 can use this library 24×7 to make their future bright and become a useful resource for the society. The library contains 4,000 books with all kinds of information to fulfill the syllabus needs and increase the knowledge of the students of the Gujjar & Bakarwal hostel.

Sinha presented sports kits to youth and other assistance to facilitate sports activities. To motivate school dropouts, he presented school bags to 57 dropout girls.

The Lt-Governor called upon the youth to take advantage of the new wave of educational and business reforms being incorporated by the J&K administration. He said two candidates from each of the nearly 4,900 panchayats are to be identified and assisted by the Special Desk of Jammu & Kashmir Bank.

During a visit to north Kashmir’s Bandipura, Sinha presented loan assistance of Rs 5 lakh each to two educated young aspiring entrepreneurs of Nesbal Panchayat.

However, Sinha’s Kashmir centric announcements have upset the youth and political activists in the Jammu division where the feeling of discrimination was deep-seated.




‘Fake’ farmers presented at MP CM Chouhan’s function: Cong MLA


‘Fake’ farmers presented at MP CM Chouhan’s function: Cong MLA

As the Congress launched its ‘kheti bachao’ protest in Punjab under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership today, Congress MLA Kunal Chaudhary in Madhya Pradesh alleged that ‘fake’ farmers were presented at a function of MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and demanded the chief minister submit a public apology for the fraud done by officials.

Addressing a Press conference here today along with MP Congress media cell vice-president Bhupendra Gupta and young Congress leader Puneet Tandon, Kunal Chaudhary claimed that while interacting with the ‘fake’ farmers at a function recently, the MP chief minister tried to show how those farmers had not only succeeded in increasing their production but were also earning lakhs through just a small agricultural field of three acres.

Chaudhary said the CM was trying to showcase how the BJP state government and its departments concerned with agriculture and farming were doing a great job and helping farmers become prosperous.

Chaudhary, however, claimed that when a genuine farmer got impressed by the programme and tried to contact the agriculture and horticulture departments for getting more information about the farmers in the event, he was first refused any information and then threatened by some officials to never call again.

The Congress MLA went on to claim that when the said farmer pursued the matter, some official of the horticulture department gave him the phone number of one of the farmers shown in the CM’s event.

“When this farmer called up on that number, the person on the other side could not even tell the difference between an acre and hectare and he did not even have experience in farming of garlic, about which he was speaking during the CM’s event,” Chaudhary claimed.

Chaudhary averred that the fraud of the BJP state government and its officials had been exposed through this incident. The Congress MLA demanded that the chief minister tender a public apology to farmers of the state and also immediately dismiss from service the officials responsible for such a fraud.




India committed to complete elimination of N-arms: Shringla


India committed to complete elimination of N-arms: Shringla

Participating in the high-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the ‘International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons’, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said India’s approach to nuclear disarmament was encapsulated in the working paper submitted to the UN General Assembly first committee in 2006 and to the Conference on Disarmament in 2007.

India today reiterated its longstanding and unwavering commitment to universal, verifiable and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament leading to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

Participating in the high-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the ‘International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons’, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said India’s approach to nuclear disarmament was encapsulated in the working paper submitted to the UN General Assembly first committee in 2006 and to the Conference on Disarmament in 2007.

”We believe that nuclear disarmament can be achieved through a step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed multilateral framework. India remains convinced of the need for meaningful dialogue among all States possessing nuclear weapons, for building trust and confidence,” he said.

The Indian diplomat noted that India’s annual resolution in the UNGA on the “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons” tabled since 1982, enjoyed wide support and reaffirmed that any use of nuclear weapons would be a violation of the UN Charter and a crime against humanity.

Mindful of the catastrophic consequences of unintentional or accidental use of nuclear weapons, India has since 1998 tabled an annual resolution in the UNGA on ‘Reducing Nuclear Danger’ that calls for immediate and urgent steps to reduce the risks of unintentional and accidental use of nuclear weapons, including through de-alerting and de-targeting, he said.

Shringla pointed out that India accorded high priority to the Conference on Disarmament as the world’s single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum and supported the commencement of negotiations on a Comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention.

“Without prejudice to the priority attached to nuclear disarmament, India remains committed to the immediate commencement of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty in the CD,” he added. India espoused the policy of “No First Use” against nuclear weapon states and non-use against non-nuclear weapon states. India was a key partner in global efforts towards disarmament and strengthening the non-proliferation order.




India’s defence interests compromised by previous govts: Modi


India’s defence interests compromised by previous govts: Modi

“They compromised on security concerns of the country, whether it was about procurement of modern fighter planes, procurement of ammunition, modern rifles, bulletproof jackets, winter equipment or anything else,” he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the majestic Atal Tunnel, beneath Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district, would serve as a lifeline for Leh-Ladakh and would give new strength to India’s border infrastructure.

Addressing a function after inaugurating the all weather Atal tunnel from its South portal towards Manali, the Prime Minister said the tunnel, which connects Manali with Lahaul valley of HP en route to Leh and is the longest in the world at this altitude (10,000 feet), is an example of world-class border connectivity.

Modi said there have been demands to improve border infrastructure in the entire country. However, for decades, the projects of strategic importance were delayed deliberately. “These projects could either not come to the planning stage or got stuck in files,” he said.

“They compromised on security concerns of the country, whether it was about procurement of modern fighter planes, procurement of ammunition, modern rifles, bulletproof jackets, winter equipment or anything else,” he added.

Modi said one of the top priorities of his government is to strengthen the country’s international border on all sides, along with taking care of the needs of the security forces. In the last six years the border infrastructure ~ be it roads, bridges or tunnels ~ is being developed with full impetus and great speed, he said. “The previous government had no will to do so,” he said.

Praising the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for completing the challenging task of constructing the tunnel in tough terrain, Modi said the Atal tunnel is going to be a lifeline for a large part of Himachal Pradesh as well as the new Union Territory of Ladakh and would reduce the distance between Manali and Keylong by 3-4 hours. He added that tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh will be connected with the rest of the country and would witness speedier economic progress.

The Prime Minister said that such border connectivity projects will also aid the security forces in ensuring regular supplies to them and also in their patrolling.

Modi noted that former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee laid the foundation of the approach road for this tunnel in 2002. He said after the Vajpayee government, the work was so neglected that till 2013-14, only 300 metres of tunnel was built each year. “If the construction of the tunnel had continued at the earlier pace, it would have completed in 2040,” he said.

He said his government had fast tracked the project and the construction went on at a speed of 1400 metres each year. He said the project could be completed in 6 years.

Modi said in 2005, the estimated cost for the construction of the tunnel was about Rs 900 crore. But due to continuous delays, today it has been completed after spending more than 3 times i.e. 3200 crore rupees.




Atal tunnel will empower HP, J&K and Ladakh: Modi


Atal tunnel will empower HP, J&K and Ladakh: Modi

PM strikes a chord with people of Lahaul, recalling his own personal connection with HP

While the 9.02 kilometre long Atal Rohtang tunnel is bound to change the lives of tribals in Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh forever by giving them all weather connectivity to rest of world, it is a matter of rejoicing for the tiny state with Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalling his personal connect with HP, while dedicating the tunnel to nation.

Atal Tunnel would empower Himachal Pradesh, J&K Leh and Ladakh. Speedier Economic Progress is directly dependent on fast track execution of various infrastructure works, said the PM .“I remember when I was associated with Himachal for organisational work, I, along with then chief minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal used to take up the issue of tunnel for the Lahaul folks with then PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee strongly when he came for stay in Manali.”

“We knew the hardships of travel through Rohtang Pass. Vajpayee resolved to do this and had announced so in 2000 during his visit to Keylong. It is a lifetime satisfaction. It is a historic moment that the tunnel is being dedicated to the nation,” Modi said in a public meeting in Sissu in tribal Lahaul valley.

“It is not only Vajpayee’s dream that has come true, but it will end the long wait of people of Himachal Pradesh for this round-the-year connectivity, which will help them prosper economically,” he said.“I have seen every nook and corner of the state and I know the problems of people here. I can say Himachal has a right on me. Due to that, I am attending three functions in the state in one day even in Covid times,” he said.

Modi drove through the tunnel to Sissu after its inauguration at South portal towards Manali. The smallest possible public meeting for the Prime Minister was organised with Covid guidelines. Around 200 people, including media, were allowed in the venue, following the social distancing criteria in seating arrangement.

He tried to strike the local chord with tribal people at Sissu by speaking a few lines in the native language of Lahaul to convey the role of the Atal tunnel in their lives. “I know the pain of the people when they were stuck in snow in winters and could not go out in medical emergencies. I can say for sure that the tunnel has given them a way out, but at the same time, it has also made their way easier to come back,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said the tunnel will help in better development of the area, will help the tribals in Lahaul and Pangi get good prices of cash crops by timely transportation and marketing. “Whether peas or potatoes, the locals can now reap better profits,” he said.

Modi said the tunnel will bring enormous potential for tourism promotion in the tribal area, with great employment opportunities and income generation sources for the youth through home stays, handicrafts and other local things.

“Lahaul Spiti can also develop as a centre of attraction for the Buddhist tourists from East Asia, especially as it houses centuries old Tabo monastery,” he said.

He said the tribal district has a lot of potential for the herbs as well, which can be exploited.

The Prime Minister said the present government has a different style of functioning and it does not go for any project or development keeping with the size of the votes.

Later, Modi travelled back through the Atal tunnel to address a public meeting in Solang nullah near Manali and tried to address the local concerns of tourism there as well.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi specially referred to Union Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur as ‘Himachal ka Chokra’ in his address at all the three places..

Document phases of tunnel from human angle, says PM:

Modi called for documentation of the hardships and challenges faced during the construction of Atal tunnel in ten years from human angle. He said the people who worked in different capacities for the tunnel could be asked to give an account of what all happened day to day as the tunnel work progressed. “Not for academic purpose, but from human angle. It could be compiled and showcased as the tunnel is an engineering marvel,” he said. The Prime Minister said Education ministry could facilitate case study of the tunnel by sending groups of students from Universities.




Gandhi Jayanti: India gifts 41 ambulances, six school buses to Nepal


Gandhi Jayanti: India gifts 41 ambulances, six school buses to Nepal

According to the Embassy of India in Kathmandu, it has given three different categories of ambulances– advanced life support, basic life support and common life support ambulances.

As part of its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, India has gifted 41 ambulances and six school buses to the government of Nepal and not-forprofit organisations in 30 districts of the Himalayan nation. Ambassador of India to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra, on the occasion of the 151st Gandhi Jayanti, handed over the ambulances and the buses to various governmental and non-governmental, not for profit organisations working in the field of health and education.

According to the Embassy of India in Kathmandu, it has given three different categories of ambulances– advanced life support, basic life support and common life support ambulances.

In a statement, the embassy said the advanced life support category ambulances include equipment such as travelling ventilator, ECG and oxygen monitor, automated external defibrillator, nebuliser set, BP apparatus, stethoscope, Artificial manual breathing unit, various tubes and catheters, wheel-chair and stretcher, radio communication equipment and 4G mobile device.

“The basic life support ambulances have all these items, except for travelling ventilators. The common life support ambulances are 4 wheel drive vehicles which are best suited for hilly and mountainous terrains,” the statement added.




Karnataka police seize 6,000 marijuana plants


Karnataka police seize 6,000 marijuana plants

As part of widespread hunt for ganja (Marijuana) growers, the police in Karnataka’s Kalaburagi district raided sugarcane fields where ganja was stealthily grown and seized more than 6,000 ganja plants.

The widespread hunt for the ganja growers or stockists has commenced after the Bengaluru police had seized 1,350 kg of ganja from a sheep farm about a month ago.

Kalaburagi is 626 km from Bengaluru.

The police are on the lookout for both owners of this field where ganja was allegedly grown – Hanumanta Raya Nayak and Bhima Raya Nayak who are on the run after their fields were raided.

The police said that the Kalabaurgi which shares borders with Telangana and Maharashtra makes it ideal choice for drug smugglers to hide and transport from here.

“Hyderabad city is very near to this district. The city also has a large population of IT employees. Thus storing or growing ganja becomes ideal here. Besides this, transporting drugs especially ganja from Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra becomes very easy as it is well connected with these states,” a police officer said.

Speaking to IANS from Kalaburagi Superintendent of Police, Simi Mariam George said that the field is located in the middle of the forest area and only a narrow path leads to this field.

“All the surrounding fields grow sugarcane and that is how, their ill-act was concealed all these years,” she said.

She added that the district police have formed special squads across the district under every deputy superintendent of police officer, to gather information to nab such people across the district.




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