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Harsh Vardhan lays foundation of Nagaland’s 2nd medical college


Phom said that most of the private healthcare is concentrated in Kohima and Dimapur and the rest are dependent on public healthcare.

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday laid the foundation stone of the Mon Medical College, the second medical college in the northeastern state along Myanmar.

The Mon Medical College would be set up in Mon district adjoining Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar borders at a cost of Rs 325 crore of which Rs 292 crore would be given by the centre and is planned to be completed by 2023-24.

The setting up of the new medical college in Mon, one of the most backward and farthest districts from the state capital, would facilitate to avail the affordable secondary healthcare facilities to the doorsteps of nearly 2.5 lakh people.

Speaking at the foundation laying ceremony, Harsh Vardhan underscored the holistic development of the northeast region being planned and carried out on the ground by the apex political leadership under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said at present there are 562 medical colleges in the country out of which 286 are in the government sector while 276 are in the private sector. Another 175 medical colleges are also in the process of development. Against 52,000 MBBS seats in 2013-14, there are now 84,000 Under Graduate medical seats.

Around 1,50,000 health and wellness centres have been set up in the country, the Union Minister said.

Harsh Vardhan said that the government aims to eliminate Tuberculosis by 2025 from India and urged the state government to work to ensure the same.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio in his address observed that the medical college would not only benefit Mon and Nagaland but also the people living in neighbouring states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and even Myanmar.

Stating that the medical college would be run by the state government under Public-Private-Partnership, the Chief Minister outlined that Mon Medical College is one of the 75 district medical colleges to be constructed in the districts of the country where people have been historically deprived of development and health facilities due to their locational disadvantage.

Nagaland Health and Family Welfare Minister S Pangnyu Phom while addressing the gathering stated that Nagaland has never had the privilege of having two medical colleges being sanctioned by the Centre. He stated that the desire to establish medical college was not only to produce more manpower but also to enhance healthcare delivery.

He added that Nagaland at the time of statehood inherited a deplorable state of health care facility, however over the years healthcare in the state has improved although much is needed to be done.

Phom said that most of the private healthcare is concentrated in Kohima and Dimapur and the rest are dependent on public healthcare.

Due to lack of facilities and equipment in public health care, most people from the other parts of Nagaland are not able to avail proper healthcare services, he added.




India, Pakistan agree to cease cross-border firing


In the interest of achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders, the two DGMOs (Directors General of Military Operations) agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have prop-ensity to disturb peace and lead to violence ”

In a major development in their chequered relationship, India and Pakistan have agreed to strictly observe all bilateral agreements and understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control (LoC) with effect from the midnight of 24/25 February.

“In the interest of achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders, the two DGMOs (Directors General of Military Operations) agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence,” said a joint statement issued by the two sides today.

It said the DGMOs of the two sides reviewed the situation along the LoC and all other sectors in a free, frank and cordial atmosphere. Both sides reiterated that existing mechanisms of hotline contact and border flag meetings would be utilised to resolve any unforeseen situation or misunderstanding.

The joint statement is being considered an attempt by both nations to adhere to the ceasefire agreement that was reached between them in 2003.

Despite the hostility in the bilateral relationship from time to time, the two countries have maintained contact at the DGMOs level over the hotline since 1987.

In the last few years, ceasefire violations between the two countries have increased considerably, leading to heightened tensions and a large number of casualties on both sides.

Pakistan escalated the situation after India stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status in August 2019. In December, data from security agencies showed Pakistan violated ceasefire across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir 5,100 times, highest in 18 years.

The violations claimed 36 lives and injured over 130. The joint statement, which could bring down the temperatures between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, came two days after India permitted Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to use Indian air space while travelling to Sri Lanka.

Yesterday, Chief of Army Staff, Gen M M Naravane had expressed confidence that with continued engagement with Pakistan, there could be some sort of an understanding.

Pakistan Army chief, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had also recently called for resolving the Jammu and Kashmir issue in a “dignified and peaceful” manner.




Compensate Indian newspapers, INS asks Google


Publishers have been providing complete access to quality journalism with credible news, current affairs, analysis, information and entertainment. There is a huge distinction between the editorial content from quality publications and fake news that is spreading on other information platforms”

The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has asked the global search engine giant Google to compensate Indian newspapers comprehensively for the use of content published by the newspapers, and share its advertising revenues with them properly.

In a letter addressed to Google India’s country manager Sanjay Gupta, INS president L Adimoolam demanded that Google should pay for news generated by the newspapers, which employ thousands of journalists on the ground, for gathering and verifying information, said a statement issued by the INS.

The content which is generated and published by newspapers at considerable expense is proprietary, the INS noted.

Pointing out that publishers have been providing complete access to “quality journalism with credible news, current affairs, analysis, information and entertainment”, the INS president stated that “there is a huge distinction between the editorial content from quality publications and fake news that is spreading on other information platforms”.

He noted, in his letter, that over the past year publishers across the world have been raising the issue of fair payment for content and of proper sharing of advertising revenue with Google.

“It is also noted that Google has recently agreed to better compensate and pay publishers in France, the European Union and notably in Australia.”

Further, it was also pointed out that advertising has been the financial backbone of the news industry.

However, newspaper publishers are seeing their share of the advertising pie shrinking in the digital space, even as Google is taking a giant share of advertising spends, leaving publishers with a small share, the INS said.

“Publishers are also facing a very opaque advertising system, as they are unable to get details of Google’s advertising value chain,” it said, insisting that Google should increase the publisher share of advertising revenue to 85 per cent, and also ensure more transparency in the revenue reports that it provided to publishers.

The INS also stressed on giving greater prominence to editorial content from registered news publishers to tackle fake news, as Google picks up content from several sites that are not credible, thus “amplifying misinformation and propagation of fake news”.




SUV with 20 gelatin sticks found dumped near Mukesh Ambani’s house


The suspicious persons seemed to have fled after deserting the SUV there, but strangely, it was noticed only after another 12 hours.

In a shocking development, an SUV filled with at least 20 gelatin sticks was found abandoned outside Antilia, the lavish multi-storied home of billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani, here on Thursday evening, officials said.

“A Scorpio vehicle with 20 gelatin sticks was found near Mukesh Ambani’s Mumbai residence. The Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police is investigating the entire matter and the truth will emerge soon,” Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said late on Thursday evening.

Late in the night, Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP S. Chaitanya said that a letter has been found inside the vehicle, but declined to reveal its content.

“The registration number displayed on the said vehicle (SUV) matches with the registration number of a vehicle in Mukesh Ambani’s security detail. The SUV has been seized by the police for investigation,” Chaitanya said.

The SUV was noticed at around 3 p.m. after which some people from the vicinity alerted the local police, who rushed to the spot and cordoned off the entire area, sending the state government and the police into a tizzy.

Top police officers, including Joint Commissioner of Police Vishwas Nangre-Patil, a team of explosives experts, sniffer dog squad, bomb detection and disposal squad and others rushed to the spot and inspected the SUV in which the gelatin sticks were kept.

Minister of State for Home, Shambhuraj Desai, told mediapersons that he has instructed the top police officers to probe the matter thoroughly and ensure that the culprits are brought to book.

Desai added that if required, the government would consider other measures, including enhancing the security at the Antilia building and also around the Ambani family, even as the entire locality was brought under a high alert.

CCTV footages of the area revealed that the SUV with a couple of unidentified persons in it was driven and parked beside a tree on the Carmichael Road at around 1 a.m.

The suspicious persons seemed to have fled after deserting the SUV there, but strangely, it was noticed only after another 12 hours.

Chaitanya said that the gelatin sticks recovered in the SUV were “not an assembled explosive device” but details of the risks they posed would be known only after a thorough probe.

Efforts are on to trace the persons who parked the vehicle there, from where they came, what were their diabolic motives, who or what were the exact targets etc., officials said.

Antilia and the south Mumbai neighbourhood house the who’s who of the Indian corporate world, top politicians, official or private residences of various bigwigs, government officials, diplomats, people from the glamour industry and others.




Daily new cases go above 16,000


The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare cautioned that the Covid-19 situation in seven states is deteriorating since cases there have contributed 89.5 per cent to the tally.

Daily new Covid-19 case numbers rose above 15,000 after nearly a month, taking the country’s total tally of coronavirus cases to 1,10,46,914, according to Union health ministry data updated on Thursday. Daily deaths also went above 130 after a gap of 26 days

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare cautioned that the Covid-19 situation in seven states is deteriorating since cases there have contributed 89.5 per cent to the tally.

A total of 16,738 infections were reported in a day, while the death toll increased to 1,56,705 with 138 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

On 29 January, 18,855 new infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours after which each day’s additional caseload stayed below 15,000.

The active caseload increased to 1,51,708 which comprises 1.37 percent of the total infections.

The Ministry said that Maharashtra and Kerala continue to report the highest daily new cases while the situation in Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh has been deteriorating for a few days. In addition, two states ~ Gujarat and Tamil Nadu ~ which were reporting low figures, are now witnessing a resurgence of cases.

Of the 16,738 fresh cases reported in the past 24 hours, according to the Union health ministry’s data, Maharashtra saw the highest daily new cases at 8,807.

It is followed by Kerala with 4,106 while Punjab reported 558 new cases. Maharashtra also accounted for 80 of the fatalities.

Maharashtra’s figures for Thursday were 8,702 new cases and 56 deaths.

~With inputs from PTI~




Jaishankar,Wang review disengagement process


“Spoke to state councilor & foreign minister Wang Yi this afternoon. Discussed the implementation of our Moscow Agreement and reviewed the status of disengagement,” Jaishankar tweeted later.

 

External affairs minister S Jaishankar today reviewed with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, the status of the disengagement process being undertaken by the armies of their two countries in Eastern Ladakh.

“Spoke to state councilor & foreign minister Wang Yi this afternoon. Discussed the implementation of our Moscow Agreement and reviewed the status of disengagement,” Jaishankar tweeted later.

The two ministers had in their meeting in Moscow in September last year agreed that the military stand-off at Eastern Ladakh be resolved by peaceful means in line with bilateral understandings and agreements.


 
The two countries have completed the first phase of disengagement in the north and south banks of the Pangong Tso Lake and physically verified the process.

The senior commanders of the two countries held their 10th round of talks on Saturday and agreed to stabilise and control the situation on the ground and push for a mutually acceptable resolution of all issues in a steady and orderly manner so as to jointly maintain peace in border areas.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastav today said both sides view the smooth and successful completion of disengagement in the north and south banks as a significant first step as this formed a basis for resolution of remaining issues so as to achieve the eventual goal of complete disengagement in all friction areas.




J.P.Nadda on 2-day visit to Varanasi from Feb 28


During his visit, the BJP president will inaugurate the newly-constructed party office of the Kashi region unit at Rohaniya.

Bharatiya Janata Party president J.P. Nadda will arrive in Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on a two-day visit from February 28.

This will be Nadda’s first visit to Varanasi after taking over the reins of the party.

During his visit, the BJP president will inaugurate the newly-constructed party office of the Kashi region unit at Rohaniya.

Kashi region unit president Mahesh Chandra Srivastava said, “As the party president is coming to Varanasi for the first time after assuming the charge of party president, he will be accorded a grand welcome on his arrival. After the welcome, he will proceed to Rohaniya where he will inaugurate the new office of the party’s regional unit.”

The party president will stay here for two days and will take part in many events, Srivastava said.

Sources in the BJP said that Nadda will also attend the divisional unit working committee meet and visit the home of a booth-level worker during his stay.




BJP-ruled MCDs in a ‘mess’, AAP only alternative: Kejri


CM holds roadshow ahead of MCDs bypolls; also thanks Gujarat people for AAP’s gains in civic polls there

In the run-up to the upcoming Delhi Municipal Corporations (MCDs) bypolls, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal today said the BJP-ruled MCDs was in a “mess”, claiming that his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was the “only alternative” to such an abysmal situation in the city.

Addressing a roadshow in Shalimar Bagh ~ under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation ~ which is among the five wards where bypolls will be held, Kejriwal said the AAP government in Delhi has provided 24-hour electricity with zero bills and ensured good schools and hospitals across the city.

“The MCDs are in a mess under the BJP,” the CM charged and asked people to vote for the AAP candidate contesting from the Shalimar Bagh ward which fell vacant after the death of the sitting BJP councillor.

The bypolls for the five wards of the city’s three municipal corporations are scheduled to be held on 28 February, whose results will be declared on 3 March.

Apart from the AAP candidates, the candidates of the BJP and the Congress are also contesting these bypolls. Meanwhile, Kejriwal also thanked the people of Gujarat after his party registered gains in the civic body polls in that state.

He claimed that the people of Gujarat have “rejected the centuries-old politics of Congress and chosen the Aam Aadmi Party as the main opposition party, which proves that they want politics of development and work in the state”.

“The AAP has breached BJP’s citadel in Surat after it bagged 27 seats in the municipal corporation. I would like to thank the people of Gujarat from the bottom of my heart. The people of Surat have handed over the responsibility to the Aam Aadmi Party as the main opposition party and rejected the 125-year old Congress,” Kejriwal said.

“I want to assure you, that every volunteer of ours will fulfill each of his responsibility with full honesty and dedication. Gujarat has introduced a phase of new politics, which is politics of honesty, politics of work, politics of improved schools and hospitals, and politics of 24×7 free electricity,” the AAP supremo said while addressing the Gujarat people.

Kejriwal will hold a road show in Surat on 26 February to thank people for voting for the AAP. “We will change the face of Gujarat in coordination with the people of the state. I am coming to Surat on February 26, to personally meet and thank all of you,” the CM added.

~With inputs from PTI~




Pakistan-sponsored terrorism threat to world: India at UNHRC


Rejecting the charges levelled by Pakistan against India as baseless, she asserted that the entire Union Territories ofJammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were an integral and inalienable part of India.

India today highlighted at the 46th session of the United Nations Human Right Council (UNHRC) how the state sponsored terrorism by Pakistan was not a threat to India alone but to other countries in the region and beyond.

“Pakistan has been the home and patron to the largest number of internationally proscribed terrorist entities and individuals in the world. As many as 126 individuals and 24 entities, sanctioned under the UN Security Council 1267 and 1988 Committees’ Lists, are associated with Pakistan,” Seema Pujani, senior Indian official, pointed out as India exercised its “Right of Reply” in response to the statement by the representative of Pakistan during the high-level segment of the UNHRC in Geneva.

Rejecting the charges levelled by Pakistan against India as baseless, she asserted that the entire Union Territories ofJammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were an integral and inalienable part of India.

Pujani said that as a country with one of the world’s worst human rights records, Pakistan would do well to put its own house in order, before venturing to point a finger at India. “The violence, institutionalised discrimination and persecution faced by Pakistan’s minorities, including Christians, Sikhs and Hindus, has continued unabated. There have been frequent attacks on the places of worship of minority communities, a grave violation of their right to freedom of religion and belief,” she added.

The Indian diplomat said the condition of women belonging to minority communities, notably Hindus, Sikhs and Christians, remained deplorable in Pakistan.

An estimated 1,000 women from minority communities were subjected to abduction followed by forced conversion and forced marriage every year.

The Indian diplomat termed as ‘completely unacceptable’ the remarks made by Turkey about India, saying it was ironical that a country which has trampled upon its own civil society was passing unjustified comments on other’s internal matters.




U’khand flood: Artificial lake receding fast in Chamoli


SDRF’s Deputy Inspector General Ridhim Aggarwal says, “The SDRF mountaineering team has opened the outlet of the lake from the earlier 20 feet to the existing 50 feet with the help of the villagers in 3 days. With this the water level in the lake has receded by one feet.”

Indo-Tibetan Border Police, SDRF and members of other sister organisations are conducting a special operation at the artificial lake, which was formed after a landslide blocked the flow of Rishiganga river in the recent flash flood in Chamoli district.

In a move to increase the flow of water from the artificial lake to Rishiganga river, near Muranda, the team are removing obstructions like tree trunks, stones and debris to improve the discharge.

SDRF’s Deputy Inspector General Ridhim Aggarwal says, “The SDRF mountaineering team has opened the outlet of the lake from the earlier 20 feet to the existing 50 feet with the help of the villagers in 3 days. With this the water level in the lake has receded by one feet.”


 
A team of ITBP, SDRF and other agencies are presently camping at the lake site. The administration is alert with the Indian Meteorological Department forecast for light rainfall on 25 and 26 February and moderate rainfall in the Tapovan area on 27 February.

For monitoring the water level of the lake and flow of Rishiganga the agencies have installed a water level sensor and alarm system at Reini village.

Search and rescue operations continued at the disaster affected area on Wednesday. Agencies are working overtime to restore connectivity. Many pedestrian and motorable bridges connecting over a dozen remote villages were swept away by the 7 February flash flood. BRO is constructing a motorable bailey bridge to connect the Niti valley near Reini village. Affected villagers are presently commuting through the foot over bridge and trolleys. Process is presently going on to launch a motorable trolley at Juaagwaad.





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