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PM Modi to inaugurate 9 medical colleges in UP


The state had only 12 medical colleges till 2017. But as soon as the Yogi Government came to power, the number increased.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate nine new medical colleges on July 30 from Siddhartha Nagar district.

The new medical colleges will become functional after the inauguration.

According to the government spokesman, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked the administration to complete all necessary arrangements on time. It will be a historic occasion for the state when all the nine medical colleges in nine districts are inaugurated simultaneously.

The medical colleges that will be made functional this month will be in Deoria, Etah, Fatehpur, Ghazipur, Hardoi, Jaunpur, Mirzapur, Pratapgarh, and Siddhartha Nagar.

The state had only 12 medical colleges till 2017. But as soon as the Yogi Government came to power, the number increased.

The state government has planned to open medical colleges on the Public-Private-Partnership model in 16 districts of the state that do not have a medical college till now.

The state government is preparing to make Uttar Pradesh a hub of medical education, where not only the people of the state but people across the world can get all types of medical facilities.

Uttar Pradesh already has four premier medical institutes namely Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Sefai institute and King George’s Medical University (KGMU).




Taliban now control about half of Afghan district centres: US Gen


While the militants are yet to capture any of the country’s 34 provincial capitals, they are pressuring about half of them, said Milley.

The Taliban militant group now controls a total of 212, or roughly half of Afghanistan’s 419 district centres, a top US General said.

“Strategic momentum appears to be sort of with the Taliban,” Xinhua news agency quoted General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, as saying at a press conference at the Pentagon on Wednesday.

“There’s a possibility of a complete Taliban takeover, or the possibility of any number of other scenarios,” Milley said.

“I don’t think the end game is yet written. A negative outcome, a Taliban automatic takeover, is not a foregone conclusion.”

While the militants are yet to capture any of the country’s 34 provincial capitals, they are pressuring about half of them, said Milley.

Afghan security forces are consolidating their positions to protect those major urban centres including Kabul, he said.

While “strategic momentum appears to be with the Taliban” right now, a lot could happen over the rest of the summer, he added.

“We’re going to find out, the levels of violence, does it go up, does it stay the same, there’s the possibility of negotiated outcome still out there, there’s the possibility of a Taliban takeover (and) any other number of scenarios.”

The Afghan provinces have been the scene of heavy battles between Taliban and security forces since the start of withdrawal of the US-led forces from the war-torn country on May 1.

US President Joe Biden has set a formal end to the US military mission in Afghanistan for August 31, days ahead of his original September 11 deadline.

US Central Command said last week over 95 per cent of the withdrawal hads been completed.

More than 2,400 US troops were killed in Afghanistan over the past two decades, with 20,000 wounded, according to the Pentagon.

Estimates show that over 66,000 Afghan troops have been killed, and over 2.7 million people were displaced.




DRDO successfully flight-tests surface-to-air missile Akash-NG


The missile system has been developed by Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories.

Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested the New Generation Akash Missile (Akash-NG), a surface-to-air Missile from Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the coast of Odisha on July 21, 2021. The flight trial was conducted at around 12:45 PM from a land-based platform with all weapon system elements such as Multifunction Radar, Command, Control & Communication System and launcher participating in the deployment configuration.

The missile system has been developed by Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories. The launch was witnessed by the representatives of the Indian Air Force.

In order to capture flight data, ITR deployed a number of Range stations like Electro Optical Tracking System, Radar and Telemetry. The flawless performance of the entire weapon system has been confirmed by complete flight data captured by these systems. During the test, the missile demonstrated the high manoeuvrability required for neutralising fast and agile aerial threats.

Once deployed, the Akash-NG weapon system will prove to be a force multiplier for the air defence capability of the Indian Air Force. Production agencies Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) also participated in the trials.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated DRDO, BDL, BEL, Indian Air Force and the Industry for the successful test. Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO applauded the efforts of the team and said the missile will strengthen the Indian Air Force.




Vice President Naidu lauds 14 engineering colleges for offering courses in regional languages


Referring to the benefits of learning in the mother tongue, the Vice President said it enhances one’s grasping and comprehension levels.

Lauding the move of 14 engineering colleges across eight States to offer courses in regional languages, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has urged more educational institutions, particularly those imparting technical and professional studies to follow suit.

He affirmed that providing courses in the regional languages will serve as a boon to the students. Expressing his fervent desire, Naidu said, “It is my desire to see the day when all vocational and professional courses like engineering, medicine and law are taught in mother languages.”

In a Facebook post titled ‘Engineering courses in mother language—A step in the right direction’, posted in 11 Indian languages today, the Vice President expressed his happiness over the decision of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to permit B. Tech programmes in 11 native languages—Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati, Malayalam, Bengali, Assamese, Punjabi and Odia. He also welcomed the decision of 14 engineering colleges across eight states for offering regional languages in select branches from the new academic year. He said, “I strongly believe that it is a step in the right direction.”

Referring to the benefits of learning in the mother tongue, the Vice President said it enhances one’s grasping and comprehension levels. “To understand a subject in another language, one has to first learn and master that language, which needs a lot of effort. However, this is not the case while learning in one’s mother tongue,” he added.

Citing a UN report that one language in the world becomes extinct every two weeks, Naidu expressed his concern that 196 Indian languages in India are endangered. He said, “There is a need for adopting a multipronged approach to protect our native languages and promote learning in the mother tongue.”

Naidu also appreciated the Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages (SPPEL) under the Ministry of Education for documenting and archiving languages that have become endangered or are likely to be endangered in the near future.




Centre’s wrong decisions led to 50L deaths during 2nd wave: Rahul


“The Truth. Government of India’s wrong decisions during Covid second wave killed 50 lakh of our sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers.”

The Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has attacked the Modi government at the Centre, accusing it of making erroneous decisions during the onset of the second wave of the pandemic that led to the deaths of 50 lakh people in the country.

The Congress has been raising storms in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament by throwing questions, one after another, at the central government concerning the handling of the pandemic situation.

The former Congress president, Rahul Gandhi has this time made a direct jibe at the centre, holding it responsible for the 50 lakh lives which were lost to the coronavirus due to the central government’s “wrong decisions”.

Rahul took to Twitter and wrote, “The Truth. Government of India’s wrong decisions during Covid second wave killed 50 lakh of our sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers.” To substantiate his claims, he attached a report of the Washington based think-tank- Centre for Global Development.

According to the report of this think-tank, “nearly 50 lakh (4.9 million) people might have died in India due to Covid-19 between January 2020 and June 2021.”

The statement by Rahul Gandhi is being viewed as a rebuttal to the central government’s recent claim that no one died due to oxygen shortage during the second wave of the pandemic. It may be noted that during the second wave of the coronavirus, the demand for medical oxygen peaked in several hospitals in various states in India. Allegations were made that several deaths occurred due to oxygen shortages.

However, the BJP chose to brush aside Rahul Gandhi’s allegations as the party’s spokesperson Sambit Patra said that all reports on deaths were sent to the Centre by the states which never claimed any deaths due to oxygen shortage. He pointed out that the central government’s remarks, in Parliament, was based on these data.

Hitting out at Rahul Gandhi, he said, “You have acted as a Twitter troll throughout the pandemic by writing two-line lies frequently. It is painful that a former president of one of the largest parties has behaved so irresponsibly.”

 




Canada to donate 17.7mn AstraZeneca vax to other countries


The AstraZeneca doses are coming from the advance purchase agreement the government struck with the company and that these doses, which will be manufactured in the United States

Canada announced its decision to donate 17.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to low- and middle-income countries.

While addressing a press conference on Monday, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said that the vaccine doses are a part of the Canadian government’s advance purchase agreement with the company and would be distributed through COVAX, reports Xinhua news agency.

COVAX is a global vaccine-sharing initiative jointly co-ordinated by the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

“This donation is a result of our proactive approach to securing hundreds of millions of Covid-19 vaccines in our initial contracts. With close to 55 million vaccines in Canada, and with the demands of the provinces and territories for this vaccine being met, we are now in a position to donate these excess doses,” Anand said.

The government also announced it’s partnering with Unicef on a donation-matching fundraising campaign to encourage Canadians to donate vaccine doses by contributing C$10.

All donations by Canadians will be matched by the federal government, up to a maximum of C$10 million).

The campaign runs until 6 September.

Anand said that if the Unicef campaign is maxed out, it will provide enough money to vaccinate 4 million people in countries where inoculation campaigns are struggling to meet demand.

She said that the AstraZeneca doses are coming from the advance purchase agreement the government struck with the company and that these doses, which will be manufactured in the United States, will start being delivered to COVAX in the coming weeks.

The Public Health Agency of Canada and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization have “recommended” mRNA vaccines such as Moderna or Pfizer over AstraZeneca’s product.

The recommendation was made in the wake of evidence suggesting that, in rare cases, the AstraZeneca vaccine could cause potentially fatal blood clots in some people.




Biden discusses gun violence at WH meeting


“We know when we utilise trusted community members and encourage more community policing, we can intervene before the violence erupts,” President Joe Biden said

US President Joe Biden held a meeting with a group of mayors and police chiefs from across the country at the White House, where they discussed actions that could be taken to tackle the surging gun violence crimes.

Also at the meeting held in the Roosevelt Room on MOnday was Attorney General Merrick Garland, with whom Biden said he had spent “a long time” on curbing gun-related violence, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Most of my career has been on this issue,” the President claimed at one time during the meeting.

Biden said that the purpose of the meeting was to hear from local officials about what things have worked in their communities.

He then went through his own approach, highlighting measures including stemming the flow of firearms, cracking down and holding gun dealers accountable for violating current law, and using the Department of Justice to crack down on illegal gun trafficking.

Biden stressed the importance of supporting local law enforcement, highlighting funding through his $1.9 trillion ‘American Rescue Plan’ and talked about hiring police and paying them overtime, and investing in community policing.

“We know when we utilise trusted community members and encourage more community policing, we can intervene before the violence erupts.”

The President also talked about the importance of mental health programs and job training for young people, saying authorities should “support young people to pick up a paycheck instead of a pistol”.

In addition, assisting those who have been incarcerated to re-enter communities by means of providing housing and job support is another area that federal, state and local governments could work on, he said.

“If somebody gets out of jail right now after serving time, they get a bus ticket and 25 bucks, they end up under the same bridge they left. We know this will help.”

Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo were among the participants of the meeting, along with police chiefs of the cities of Memphis, Chicago, and Wilmington, among other officials and violence experts.

Shootings and killings have been on the rise nationwide, with local politicians and police struggling to grapple with the skyrocketing incidents since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Through the first 172 days of 2021, gun violence killed 9,420 Americans, an average of 55 people a day, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Most recently, the organisation had reported that 189 people were killed and 516 were injured in more than 540 shootings over the three-day weekend during the Fourth of July celebrations.

A push for Congress to pass police reform legislation, meanwhile, has continued on more than one year after the brutal killing of black man George Floyd by a white former police officer.

The Biden administration had unveiled a new national strategy on tackling gun violence on 23 June, announcing measures including combating the illegal transfer of firearms; increasing funding for local law enforcement; investing in fact-based community violence interventions; expanding summer programming; employment opportunities and other services and supports for teenagers and young adults; as well as helping formerly incarcerated individuals successfully re-enter their communities.




Delta variant spreading worldwide at scorching pace: WHO chief


Leaders around the world have responded to the new rise in infections in markedly different ways, with countries such as France adopting new restrictions while others easing them

Geneva: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), on Monday warned of the “devastating outbreaks” caused by the Delta variant of Covid-19, saying that the new strain of the virus was infecting people “at a scorching pace”.

“Last week marked the fourth consecutive week of increasing cases of Covid-19 globally,” Tedros said at a virtual press conference from Geneva, adding that “after ten weeks of declines, deaths are increasing again.”

The virus variant first identified in India in October 2020 is continuing the spread around the world and has now been detected in 104 countries, he said, Xinhua reported.

“The Delta variant is ripping around the world at a scorching pace, driving a new spike in cases and deaths.”

Leaders around the world have responded to the new rise in infections in markedly different ways, with countries such as France adopting new restrictions while others easing them. The United Kingdom (UK), for one, still intends to lift all restrictions on July 19.

At Monday’s press conference, the WHO chief warned of the danger of easing measures while many countries in the world still lack vaccines for their population.

“The current collective strategy reminds me of a firefighting team taking on a forest blaze,” he said. “Hosing down part of it might reduce the flames in one area, but while it’s smoldering anywhere, sparks will eventually travel and grow again into a rolling furnace.”

Tedros reiterated his call on governments to share vaccines, adding that “the world should battle together to put out this pandemic inferno everywhere.”




Review process begins for WHO listing of Covaxin: Bharat Biotech


Hyderabad: Bharat Biotech on Monday said that it has submitted all documents to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for Emergency Use Listing (EUL) of its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin and the review process has commenced.

Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna Ella said all documents required for EUL of Covaxin have been submitted to WHO as of July 9.

“The review process has now commenced with the expectation that we will receive EUL from WHO at the earliest,” he said.

The Hyderabad-based company had said in May that that application for EUL was submitted to WHO-Geneva and regulatory approvals are expected by July-September 2021.

On June 30, the vaccine maker announced that it is working closely with the WHO for inclusion of Covaxin in its EUL.

“Approval from WHO is not expected to be a long-drawn process as the cell line and majority of our facilities have already been audited and approved by WHO for our other vaccines in the past,” it had said.

“We are a step closer to the final decision on Covaxin’s global acceptance, as the rolling data is slated to begin in July 2021,” it added.

The company claims that with 10 scientific publications in 12 months, Covaxin is one of the very few vaccines to have extensive data published in globally-renowned peer-reviewed journals.




Huge California wildfire destroys multiple buildings


San Francisco: Beckwourth Complex Fire, the largest wildfire raging in the US state of California, has so far scorched 83,926 acres of land with only 8 per cent containment and destroyed multiple buildings, according to Inciweb, an interstate incident information system.

The blaze showed no sign of slowing its rush northeast from the Sierra Nevada forest region after doubling in size between July 9-10, Xinhua news agency quoted Inciweb as saying on Sunday.

On July 10, flames jumped US Route 395, a main highway linking Northern California and Central Valley in rural Sierra Nevada mountain region, and forced closures.

Doyle, a small town in Lassen County of California standing on highway 395, was reported being damaged by the wildfire on Sunday after the fire spread northeast for about three miles in 24 hours.

Photos posted by Craig Philpott, an independent fire reporter based in Northern California, showed that multiple structures were burning in the small town with about 600 residents.

Residents in Doyle received evacuation order on July 8, local ABC 8 news channel reported that many people had fled their homes with concerns that what happened in November last year will happen again.

Last year, the Laura 2 fire destroyed more than 40 homes and outbuildings in the town.

In a virtual community meeting on July 10, Incident Commander Rocky Opliger said that critically dry and hot temperatures, topography arrangement and southwest winds funnelling through the area affected the 1,800 firefighters’ attempts to suppress the aggressive fire.

The National Weather Service issued an Excessive Heat Warning for the area through Tuesday.

The weather forecast for Doyle on Sunday afternoon warned of 40 degrees Celsius.




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