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NEET, JEE Main exam: HRD Ministry may consider postponement


New Delhi: NEET UG exam is scheduled to be held on 26th July whereas, the scheduled dates for JEE Main exam are 18, 20, 21, 22, and 23 July. However, the HRD Ministry may postpone the exams amid coronavirus pandemic. The new dates may be decided after reviewing the prevailing situation.

Demand to postpone NEET, JEE main exam
Many students and parents are demanding the postponement of the examination. They also started social media campaigns with #HealthOverNEETJEE, #Studentslivesmatter, etc.

National Testing Agency (NTA) has also received requests from thousands of students for delaying the schedule of the examinations.

Netizens’ demand
One of the Twitterati wrote, “Please this situation will be too depressing to give exam. While giving such exam there is already anxiety nd than giving in such condition is not at all right”.


Manash Pratim Gohain
@manashTOI
 · 9 Jun 2020
37% of the #AbhyasTestTakers having no access to private coaching, 45% are from semi-urban, rural & underserved areas. Are we witnessing a paradigm shift? A @timesofindia page 1 #exclusive report. #JEEMain #NEET #Exams2020 #NTA #policy #accessibility #equality #DigitalIndia

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Krati
@Krati59958570
Please this situation will be too depressing to give exam. While giving such exam there is already anxiety nd than giving in such condition is not at all right #postponeneet2020 #postponejee #HealthOverExams #StudentLivesMatter

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19:44 - 10 Jun 2020
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Another twitter user wrote, “What’s the point of conducting national level exams, risking both students & their families’ life in danger, when colleges itself are closed!!”.


NSUI

@nsui
 · 20h
WHO warns World once again about the drastic increase of Covid Cases & India also faces the same, isn't the decision of conduction of exams completely in human and unsympathetic ! 
Who will be responsible if students get affected during examination? #NoExamsInCovid


Soumyajit Das
@dassoumyajit11
What's the point of conducting national level exams, risking both students & their families' life in danger, when colleges itself are closed!!
 #postponejeeneet #NoExamsInCovid

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05:59 - 22 Jun 2020
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Riya Chaubey, a netizen wrote, ” U will be responsible for the life of 30 lakh+ students and their parents that totals as 60 lakh+ And then when they’ll go back to their home their remaining family members would be affected that totals to 1 lakh or more How can you do that wid us “.


Manash Pratim Gohain
@manashTOI
 · 9 Jun 2020
37% of the #AbhyasTestTakers having no access to private coaching, 45% are from semi-urban, rural & underserved areas. Are we witnessing a paradigm shift? A @timesofindia page 1 #exclusive report. #JEEMain #NEET #Exams2020 #NTA #policy #accessibility #equality #DigitalIndia

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Riya Chaubey
@RiyaChaubeyme
#postponeneet2020#postponejee
U will be responsible for the life of 30 lakh+ students and their parents that totals as 60 lakh+ 
And then when they'll go back to their home their remaining family members would be affected that totals to 1 lakh or more 
How can you do that wid us

1
23:41 - 20 Jun 2020
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India records 14,933 new COVID-19 cases, taking its total tally to 4.4 lakh


New Delhi: India witnessed a spike of almost 15,000 fresh cases of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the last 24 hours taking the total tally in the country to 4.4 lakh with 312 new fatalities, data from Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry revealed on Tuesday.

India recorded 14,933 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total tally to 4,40,215. On Sunday, India had recorded a spike of 15,413 Covid-19 cases. According to Health Ministry data, 312 more people succumbed to the deadly disease taking the total tally of deaths to 14,011.

Out of the total number of confirmed cases, 1,78,014 are currently active and 2,48,189 have recovered. The number of patients recovering from COVID-19 continues to rise. The recovery rate has further improved to almost 56.37 per cent amongst COVID-19 patients. The number of government labs for testing samples has increased to 722 and private labs to 259. India conducted Covid-19 tests on 1,87,223 people in the last 24 hours.

Maharashtra remained the worst-hit state in the country with total cases at 1,35,796, including 6,283 deaths. Delhi took over Tamil Nadu to become the state with second highest cases. The national capital has 62,655 cases, followed by Tamil Nadu with 62,087 cases.

States with more than 10,000 cases include Gujarat with 27,825 cases and 1,684 deaths, Uttar Pradesh (18,322), Rajasthan (15,232), Madhya Pradesh (12,078), West Bengal (14,358) and Haryana (11,025). The overall number of global COVID-19 cases has crossed the 9 million mark, while the deaths have surged to more than 471,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

By Tuesday morning, the total number of cases stood at 9,073,386, while the fatalities increased to 471,591, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update. With 2,310,786 cases and 120,393 deaths, the US continues with the world's highest number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities, according to the CSSE.

Brazil comes in the second place with 1,106,470 infections and 51,271 deaths. In terms of cases, Russia ranks third (591,465), and was followed by India (425,282), the UK (306,761), Peru (257,447), Chile (246,963), Spain (246,504), Italy (238,720), Iran (207,525), France (197,381), Germany (191,768), Turkey (188,897), Mexico (185,122), Pakistan (181,088), Saudi Arabia (161,005), Bangladesh (115,786), Canada (103,418) and South Africa (101,590), the CSSE figures showed. The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are the UK (42,731), Italy (34,657), France (29,666), Spain (28,324), Mexico (22,584) and India (13,699).

 
 
 



Major fire breaks out at a scrap godown in Mumbai’s Mankhurd area


A major fire broke out at a scrap godown in Mandala on Mankhurd-Ghatkopar Link Road. Four fire tenders were rushed to the spot and no reports of casualties so far.

The fire was confined to scrap material and waste oil drums. The cause of the blaze is yet to be ascertained. "Fire at Kurla Scrap in Mandala on Mankhurd Ghatkopar Link Road is confined to scrap material and waste oil drums kept in five scrap godown sheds of about 15,000 sq ft area. Fire-fighting operation underway," Chief fire officer (CFO), Mumbai Fire Brigade told news agency ANI. More details awaited.


ANI

@ANI
Fire at Kurla Scrap in Mandala on Mankhurd Ghatkopar Link Road is confined to scrap material & waste oil drums kept in five scrap godown sheds of about 15,000 sq ft area. Fire-fighting operation underway: Chief fire officer (CFO), Mumbai Fire Brigade https://twitter.com/ANI/status/1275253371595681792 …

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ANI

@ANI
#WATCH Mumbai: Level-3 fire breaks out at a scrap godown in Mandala on Mankhurd-Ghatkopar Link Road. Four fire tenders present at the spot. Fire-fighting operation underway. More details awaited. #Maharashtra

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7:55 PM - Jun 22, 2020
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Saudi cancels Hajj for outsiders,only residents to be allowed


Riyadh: Saudi Arabia Ministry of Hajj on Monday announced that this year’s Hajj will be held with very limited numbers for pilgrims to ensure the safety of pilgrims. Though International Hajj has been cancelled but the pilgrims of various nationalities who are already staying in Saudi will be allowed for performing the pilgrimage.

The decision was taken due to the ongoing threat from the global coronavirus pandemic and to preserve “global public health,” the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said officially.

Around 2.5 million pilgrims performed Hajj last year but the due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19, worldwide pilgrims will not be able to travel to the Kingdom to take part.

Hajj 1441 H will be performed in a safe manner from a public health perspective while observing all preventive measures and the necessary social distancing norms.

Although Saudi Arabia has successfully organised Hajj during previous outbreaks of viral illnesses such as Ebola and MERS. However, the scale of the coronavirus pandemic poses a greater challenge to overcome.




Free Covid-19 test offer could be possible Chinese cyber attack


It is warned that Chinese cyber warriors could be carrying out a massive phishing attack in the guise of a free Covid-19 test

 

New Delhi: Indian security agencies have issued a cyber alert following an advisory from the Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In) regarding a potential “cyber offensive attack from the Chinese Army”.

In the recent alarm, it is warned that Chinese cyber warriors could be carrying out a massive phishing attack in the guise of a free Covid-19 test, said sources.


Amid the growing threat, it is advised to watch out for IDs like “ncov2019@gov.in” and beware of malicious phishing emails, SMS, and messages on social media inciting individuals to provide personal and financial information.

It is advised to watch out for IDs like “ncov2019@gov.in” and beware of malicious phishing emails, SMS, and messages on social media inciting individuals to provide personal and financial information
A senior official in the security establishment has warned that the phishing campaign is expected to impersonate government agencies, departments and trade associations who have been tasked to oversee the disbursement of the government’s fiscal aid.

He also cautioned about phishing emails with possible subject lines like “free Covid-19 testing for all residents of Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Ahmedabad”.

 

“The malicious group claims to have 2 million individual email addresses and the attack campaign is expected to start on June 21,” the alert read.

As preventive measures, all the central security forces have been asked to direct their employees against opening or clicking on attachments in unsolicited e-mail, SMS or messages through social media.

It is instructed that the employees employed with these forces should be extra cautious when it comes to opening attachments, even if the sender appears to be known.

“Do not submit personal financial details on unfamiliar or unknown websites or links,” warns the alert. “It also asks to beware of e-mails, links providing special offers like Covid-19 testing, aid, winning prize, rewards, cashback offers.”

It is suggested to consider using safe browsing tools, filtering tools (antivirus and content-based filtering) in antivirus, firewall, and filtering services, and update spam filters with latest spam mail contents.




With 14,821 new cases, India's COVID-19 count reaches 4,25,282; death toll rises to 13,699


New Delhi: With an increase of 14,821 new cases and 445 deaths, India's COVID-19 count reached 4,25,282 on Monday.

According to the latest update by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), 13,699 deaths have been recorded due to the infection so far in the country. The rise in confirmed cases today is lower than the highest spike of 15 thousand plus cases registered on Sunday.

 
 

The count includes 1,74,387 active cases, and 2,37,196 cured/discharged/migrated patients. Maharashtra with 1,32,075 confirmed cases remains the worst-affected by the infection so far in the country. The state's count includes 60,161 active, 65,744 cured, discharged patients while 6,170 deaths have been reported due to the infection so far.

Meanwhile, the national capital today became the second-worst affected region in the country with the number of confirmed cases in Delhi reaching 59,746 as opposed to Tamil Nadu's 59,377 cases. While 2,175 deaths have been reported in Delhi due to the infection so far, the toll in Tamil Nadu stands at 757.

 
 
 



Gaurav Arya disparages Indian Army veterans, Twitter slams foul language


Retired Major Gaurav Arya who is now a TV host at Republic TV faced criticism by Indian Army veterans on Sunday over the coverage on Indian-China border clash and defending the lies of the Centre over the same. Furious Arya then went to warn the veterans of public thrashing and even insulted the veterans.

Well, it all began when Brigadier Sandy Thapar said "Ajai shukla is the flavour of the day on Republic TV...16 mins into the show, Arnab Goswami has named him 49 times.& now it's turn of Lt Gen H S Panag! Major Gaurav Arya says I've been tolerating these two for 2-3 yrs now but won't now!

मसां मसां (जुम्मा जुम्मा) 5 साल नौकरी और यह तेवर?"


Sandy Thapar (veteran)
@sandythapar
@ajaishukla is the flavour of the day on @republic. 16 mins into the show, @ArnabGoswamiRTv has named him 49 times.& now it's turn of @rwac48!@majorgauravarya says I've been tolerating these two for 2-3 yrs now but won't now!

 मसां मसां (जुम्मा जुम्मा) 5 साल नौकरी और यह तेवर?

4,857
9:05 AM - Jun 21, 2020
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Replying to the tweet Lt Gen HS Panag wrote "Two hoots! :)"

Man Aman Singh Chhina, who is a journalist and writes for The Indian Express on Defence and National Security, Military History and politics, says that it is better to refrain from responding to charlatans. "Well said sir. You need not respond to charlatans who know less about military tactics than a NCO," he said.


Lt Gen H S Panag(R)
@rwac48
 · 14h
Replying to @sandythapar and 4 others
:) Two hoots!


Man Aman Singh Chhina

@manaman_chhina
Well said sir. You need not respond to charlatans who know less about military tactics than a NCO.

2,343
10:03 AM - Jun 21, 2020
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Continuing to insult the war veterans, Arya warned them of public thrashing. Arya said, "Sandy Thapar, Gen Panag and Man Aman Singh Chinna...don’t think that I cannot respond. Don’t cry when you get a thrashing in public. If you want to try, go ahead. And Man Aman Singh Chinna, don’t try to f**k with your pop, you joker."

Chhina asked Arya to stay in limits.


Major Gaurav Arya (Retd)

@majorgauravarya
 · 14h
Replying to @manaman_chhina and 6 others
Sandy Thapar, Gen Panag and Man Aman Singh Chinna...don’t think that I cannot respond. Don’t cry when you get a thrashing in public. If you want to try, go ahead. And Man Aman Singh Chinna, don’t try to f**k with your pop, you joker.


Man Aman Singh Chhina

@manaman_chhina
Aukat mein reh bloody charlie.

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10:18 AM - Jun 21, 2020
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Major Gaurav Arya (Retd)

@majorgauravarya
 · 14h
Replying to @manaman_chhina and 6 others
You are a civilian trying desperately to use army slang to stay relevant. “Bloody Charlie”? Kahan se seekha ????


Man Aman Singh Chhina

@manaman_chhina
Teri shakal dekh kar.

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10:25 AM - Jun 21, 2020
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Now, it seems that a Twitter war has begun. Responding to Thapar's tweet, Arya wrote, "Sandy, you are jealous. You must have dragged your ass all over Mahajan and now you are wondering who is this guy?"

"Lol. Darling I joined St Stephen's before you were born. Honourably served 36 yrs vs ur 6 in army. Served 11 yrs in J&K (double ur entire service). Was involved with media before you could spell news. Ppl tell me despite being 60, i still look better than you. Me jealous?" Thapar promptly replied to Arya.


Major Gaurav Arya (Retd)

@majorgauravarya
 · 14h
Replying to @sandythapar and 4 others
Sandy, you are jealous. You must have dragged your ass all over Mahajan and now you are wondering who is this guy?


Sandy Thapar (veteran)
@sandythapar
Lol.

Darling I joined St Stephen's before you were born. Honourably served 36 yrs vs ur 6 in army. Served 11 yrs in J&K (double ur entire service). Was involved with media before you could spell news. 

Ppl tell me despite being 60, i still look better than you.

Me jealous ?????

7,281
11:17 AM - Jun 21, 2020
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In a disparaging comeback to Thapar, Arya wrote, "Thapar, which PVC did you get even if you served 30 years? You guys have made a cabal and now you are trying to browbeat others. Desist. You will get a rocket up your backside. Chinna you will get two rockets."

Thapar went on to remind Arya about his service at army and even asked him refrain from teaching him about the Indian Army. "It's Brig Thapar. Shows how much you learnt in your ltd service in Army! Incidentally, your bn was part of my bde. A very fine bn but I guess somewhat erred in your grooming. I put in 36 yrs, which is 7 times yours. Kindly don't teach me. BTW even my son has twice your service!" he said.


Major Gaurav Arya (Retd)

@majorgauravarya
 · 14h
Replying to @sandythapar and 4 others
Thapar, which PVC did you get even if you served 30 years? You guys have made a cabal and now you are trying to browbeat others. Desist. You will get a rocket up your backside. Chinna you will get two rockets.


Sandy Thapar (veteran)
@sandythapar
It's Brig Thapar. 

Shows how much you learnt in your ltd service in Army! Incidentally your bn was part of my bde. A very fine bn but I guess somewhat erred in your grooming.

I put in 36 yrs, which is 7 times yours. Kindly don't teach me. BTW even my son has twice your service!

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10:35 AM - Jun 21, 2020
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Well, Arya seemed to be promptly replying to all the tweets coming in way.

As the war calmed down a bit, Thapar apologised for the Twitter spat and said that he should have known better than getting into an argument with one who used his veteran status to justify is rabid ideology.

"I apologise for what transpired on my timeline last nt. I called out abuse to a former army cdr & what followed was gutter level tripe. I should have known better than getting into an argument with one who uses his veteran status to justify his rabid ideology! Entirely my bad!" he said.


Sandy Thapar (veteran)
@sandythapar
I apologise for what transpired on my timeline last nt. I called out abuse to a former army cdr & what followed was gutter level tripe.

I should have known better than getting into an argument with one who uses his veteran status to justify his rabid ideology!

Entirely my bad!

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8:29 PM - Jun 21, 2020
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What happened next? Well, Arya's move to disparage the war veterans did not go quite well with netizens. Twitterati condemned him for making such remarks on Army veterans. Several even raised eyebrows over his audacity to lecture the veterans when Arya served only 5 years in the Army. Here's how Twitter slammed Arya;


Major Gaurav Arya (Retd)

@majorgauravarya
 · 14h
Replying to @manaman_chhina and 6 others
Sandy Thapar, Gen Panag and Man Aman Singh Chinna...don’t think that I cannot respond. Don’t cry when you get a thrashing in public. If you want to try, go ahead. And Man Aman Singh Chinna, don’t try to f**k with your pop, you joker.


Major D P Singh

@MajDPSingh
Maj Arya

All I can say that I am feeling ashamed reading your tweet and language. 

You should apologize for the foul language used against seniors.

4,360
11:24 AM - Jun 21, 2020
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Sandy Thapar (veteran)
@sandythapar
 · 13h
Replying to @majorgauravarya and 4 others
It's Brig Thapar. 

Shows how much you learnt in your ltd service in Army! Incidentally your bn was part of my bde. A very fine bn but I guess somewhat erred in your grooming.

I put in 36 yrs, which is 7 times yours. Kindly don't teach me. BTW even my son has twice your service!


Wg Cdr Anuma Acharya (Retd)
@AnumaVidisha
With monitory stakes with @republic Major GauravArya has lost his credibility of communication.I followed earlier but perhaps too much of boasting has affected him adversely.Communicating with a Brigadier in such a language can only impress the political masters,not anyone else,

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12:39 PM - Jun 21, 2020
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Major Gaurav Arya (Retd)

@majorgauravarya
 · 14h
Replying to @sandythapar and 4 others
Thapar, which PVC did you get even if you served 30 years? You guys have made a cabal and now you are trying to browbeat others. Desist. You will get a rocket up your backside. Chinna you will get two rockets.


Wg Cdr Gitika (R)
@gitika9
Disgraceful !! Not acceptable .. what’s this language you’re using ... shameful ! Can’t come to terms with the fact that you actually donned the OGs and learnt nothing about discipline and ethics !! ..arrogance and super bloated ego ...is all you have ...

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11:12 AM - Jun 21, 2020
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rkhuria2
@rkhuria2
This clown, who claims to be a military expert, RETIRED as Major. Fresh entrants from NDA normally reach that level in 6 years. And Gaurav Arya retired at that level. https://twitter.com/majorgauravarya/status/1274751063652892672 …

Major Gaurav Arya (Retd)

@majorgauravarya
Replying to @manaman_chhina and 6 others
Sandy Thapar, Gen Panag and Man Aman Singh Chinna...don’t think that I cannot respond. Don’t cry when you get a thrashing in public. If you want to try, go ahead. And Man Aman Singh Chinna, don’t try to f**k with your pop, you joker.

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12:58 PM - Jun 21, 2020
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Saniya Sayed
@Ssaniya_
Major Gaurav Arya is my inspiration. 

Even I want to join army and get retired in 6 years. Phir Republic TV ke office me mast chill marenge. https://twitter.com/majorgauravarya/status/1274751063652892672 …

Major Gaurav Arya (Retd)

@majorgauravarya
Replying to @manaman_chhina and 6 others
Sandy Thapar, Gen Panag and Man Aman Singh Chinna...don’t think that I cannot respond. Don’t cry when you get a thrashing in public. If you want to try, go ahead. And Man Aman Singh Chinna, don’t try to f**k with your pop, you joker.

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12:46 PM - Jun 21, 2020
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R Bhaduri
@r_bhaduri
Gaurav Arya is a typical example why the Modi sarkar's proposed 3 years military service ‘Tour of Duty’ (ToD) or ‘three-year short service’ for young civilians will not work. 

5 years of service in one of the finest battalions of the Indian army 17 Kumaon didnt work!

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12:58 PM - Jun 21, 2020
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Ajay Kamath
@ajay43
The disgusting thuggish behaviour of Gaurav Arya is deplorable and a blot on the fair reputation of the Indian army which has been earned over decades of exemplary behaviour. The man should be called out and condemned

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7:18 PM - Jun 21, 2020
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Manu Pubby

@manupubby
 · 13h
A call for violence against two veterans and a journalist. https://twitter.com/majorgauravarya/status/1274751063652892672 …

Major Gaurav Arya (Retd)

@majorgauravarya
Replying to @manaman_chhina and 6 others
Sandy Thapar, Gen Panag and Man Aman Singh Chinna...don’t think that I cannot respond. Don’t cry when you get a thrashing in public. If you want to try, go ahead. And Man Aman Singh Chinna, don’t try to f**k with your pop, you joker.


Meetendra Kumar
@meetume2
Gaurav Arya has lost all morality, he thinks his six years of service has given him authority to abuse Army Commander, its 30 prices of silver in his pocket. Shameful conduct, unofficer like behaviour.

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11:19 AM - Jun 21, 2020
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US Elections 2020: Did Donald Trump just back Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for Senate?


US President Donald Trump on Monday morning backed Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for Senate.

Sharing an article by the Washington Times, Trump wrote "Actually, that would be a big improvement- and she would win!"

The article was titled as 'Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pushed to challenge Chuck Schumer in Senate primary'.


Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
Actually, that would be a big improvement - and she would win! https://twitter.com/washtimes/status/1274885861746905089 …

The Washington Times

@WashTimes
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pushed to challenge Chuck Schumer in Senate primaryhttps://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jun/21/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-pushed-chuck-schumer-prim/ …

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9:34 PM - Jun 21, 2020
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New York, one of the traditionally Democratic US states, on Tuesday will hold its primary polls in which most of the party's candidates who win their respective races will be guaranteed a victory in the November presidential election over their Republican rivals.

The fight between the Democratic Party's old and new guards, the relatively new vote-by-mail option and voter participation will be the keys to this week's set of elections, reports Efe news.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (widely known as AOC), state assembly member Catalina Cruz and state Senator Jessica Ramos are just three of the female politicians in the young progressive generation that burst onto the scene in the 2018 mid-term elections, unseating - as in Ocasio-Cortez's case - former heavyweights within the Democratic Party's apparatus on the national level.

What the state is seeing is a change of leadership in New York City's legislative delegation, a change that began in 2016 when Dominican Adriano Espaillat defeated long-time Congressman Charles Rangel.

He was followed two years later by Ocasio-Cortez's win over Joe Crowley, who at that time was one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress, City University of New York political scientist John Gutierrez told Efe news, adding that he believes that this trend will continue this year.

The weakness of the Republican Party in New York state, the scanty number of registered conservative voters and the overwhelming majority of Democrats on the voting roles - with their dominance in the state's two legislative chambers - make the winner of the Democratic primaries the favorite to take the general and local election, especially in New York City, with the exception of certain parts of Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island.

In New York state there are 6.5 million registered Democratic voters and just 2.8 million Republicans, a difference between the voting blocs that is even more overwhelming in the Big Apple, where there are 3.6 million registered Democratic voters and just 530,000 Republicans.

Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz and Ramos, along with other candidates like Julia Salazar and Alexandria Biaggi, are running in the primaries to try and shore up their support and clout on the political scene given that during their brief time in office so far - just two years since they came into office with the last elections - their names may not yet be very well-known among their constituents.

Lawmaker Catalina Cruz, who is running for re-election for the first time in Queens, is aware of the risks facing new candidates, but she said that's not her situation, telling Efe news that she's worked "very hard" and hasn't been "sitting around waiting" for people to get to know her.

Ocasio-Cortez has become one of the symbols of the new Democratic and progressive generation who is seeking to carve out a niche within the party ranks and change its agenda on the national level, strengthening its insistence on dealing with issues such as universal health care and education for all and brandishing the Green New Deal as one of their key objectives, the ecological reorientation of the US economy to put an end to environmentally harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Her political stances in Washington, where she has allied herself with other progressives such as Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan - the four of them known as "The Squad" - have sometimes brought criticism from within her own party, along with the ongoing broadsides from Republican lawmakers and pundits, who call them radicals and communists.

Ocasio-Cortez - who is of Puerto Rican heritage - will face off on Tuesday against three challengers from her own party, among whom the best-known face is former television host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, who has blamed the lawmaker for radicalizing and polarizing the political arena and not defending the interests of her constituents, who live in residential neighborhoods in The Bronx and Queens.

Another of the keys to these primary races will be voting by mail, which is being implemented for the first time in New York state, as well as voter participation, the level of which will conceivably be affected by the pandemic and by the new voting system that also includes early voting at some polling places set up to allow for it.

Voting by mail has been seriously called into question by Republican lawmakers and by President Donald Trump, who have stated - albeit without evidence - that it opens the door to election fraud.

But in addition, this year there are other aspirants to office such as Jamaal Bowman, who is facing off against veteran Eliot Engel with the support of Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who have also launched themselves into the political arena to challenge the party's traditional candidates.

(With inputs from Agencies)




With 21,766 tests per million, Mumbai ranks first in number of COVID-19 tests carried out


Mumbai ranks first, amongst the leading cities in the country, in the number of COVID-19 tests carried out per million in view of aggressive testing policy adopted by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). With more than 2,83,119 tests done so far, the number of tests per million in Mumbai touches 21,766, followed by 16,910 tests per million in Delhi and 4,901 per million in Bengaluru.

However, Mumbai, in comparison with Tamil Nadu as a whole, ranks second. TN has reported 24,799 tests per million population. Maharashtra has reported 6,125 per million population, Rajasthan has reported 9,818 per million population, Kerala has reported 5,177 per million population, Gujarat has reported 5,068 per million population and West Bengal has reported 4,218 per million population.

BMC additional municipal commissioner, who did not want to be named, told the Free Press Journal, ''The World Health organisation has hailed Mumbai's performance. BMC's testing policy has worked since the beginning.''

Similarly, the Union Ministry of Health has acknowledged the efforts of the Maharashtra government and the BMC in containing and managing the virus. The ministry has said that their strategy has shown encouraging results, as they have actively chased away the virus and aggressively targeted the tracing of COVID-19 suspects. ''Chase the virus and the containment strategy in Dharavi has worked as there was a steep decline in the daily cases to 19 in the third week of June from an average 43 cases in May. Being densely populated, Dharavi (2,27,136 persons per sq km) had 491 cases in April with a 12 per cent growth rate and a doubling period of 18 days. The growth rate has fallen to 4.3 per cent in May and further to 1.02 per cent in June. These measures also ensured an improved doubling time to 43 days in May and 78 days in June,'' the ministry said in its report released on Sunday.

The ministry further said that BMC adopted a model of actively following four T's -tracking, tracking, testing and treating, which included activities like proactive screening. While 4,76,775 were surveyed by BMC health workers, 47,500 people were covered by doctors and private clinics in house to house screening, and 14,970 were screened with the help of mobile vans. Also, around 8,246 senior citizens were surveyed and, as a part of the timely separation, they were separated from the other community members to effectively limit the transmission of the disease. In all, 5,48,270 were screened in Dharavi and the suspected cases were shifted to well organised COVID-19 Care Centres and quarantine centres.

''Strict enforcement of containment measures has been pivotal to BMC's containment of the virus in Dharavi. Effective containment strategy, comprehensive testing, ensuring uninterrupted supply of goods and essential supplies to the community have yielded positive results,'' said the ministry.

 
 
 



13% students in Mumbai do not have mobile phones, 3.58% have no access to TV, radio: State survey


Around 12.51% students do not have mobile phones in Mumbai, while around 3.58% students do not have access to television (TV), radio or mobile phones, according to a survey conducted by the state education department.

The state school education department conducted a survey across 35 districts of Maharashtra in order to collect data from selected clusters. The survey focussed on various parameters such as percentage of students having access to WhatsApp, SMS, TV and radio along with those having no access to mobile phones, TV and radio.

According to the survey data, 70.33% students in Mumbai district can be contacted via WhatsApp while 17.16% students can be contacted via SMS. Also, 79.74% students have access to TV and 13.97% can tune into radio. But, 12.51% do not have mobile phone and 3.58% have no availability of TV, radio or mobile phones.

This data, which was collected by the state aims to impart online education to students amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation, reveals that some students cannot be reached via digital classes as they depend on physical schools even in a developed metropolitan city like Mumbai. Kashinath Kedekar, an education research analyst, said, "The fact that there are students in Mumbai who do not have mobile phones, TV or radio indicates that online education cannot reach everyone. If this is the case in the most developed city, then we can only imagine the lack of accessibility in rural districts and remote areas of Maharashtra."

On the other hand, parents revealed that the survey had missed a few parameters such as some of them only have only one mobile phone in the house and cannot give it to the child to study because they have to go to work. Mayadevi Joshi, a single parent who is a storekeeper said, "I am the only one who has a mobile phone in my family as both my children are too young. I cannot keep the phone in the house for my child even if I want to because I need to use it at work." While, Tushar Ujjain, another parent said, "My wife and I both go to work so how are we supposed to give accessibility to my daughter. How are we supposed to monitor her education?"

Currently, the state has directed schools to start the academic year online from June 15, 2020 in order to prevent any loss to students. Vidya Cheeranjeev, a teacher said, "The state is forcing us to start the academic year while knowing that online education cannot reach some students. The survey of the state itself proves that are a large number of students in various districts who have no accessibility to basic technology like TV, radio or mobile phones let alone internet or WiFi services. Is school education only for the privileged?"

On the other hand, Varsha Gaikwad, state school education minister said, "We do not want any student to suffer any kind of academic loss or delay due to the COVID-19 crisis. Schools can impart online education via digital classes to students who have access to mobile phones. We are also trying to impart activity based learning through TV and radio programmes. Teachers can explain pedagogy to parents and sent online study material via WhatsApp groups."

Gaikwad added, "We are trying to provide offline study material books, worksheets and stationery to areas where students depend on physical schools. Schools can call parents to collect these materials in phases maintaining physical distancing norms. We aim to start physical schools from July in COVID-19 free areas in phases and batches."





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