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Sharp rise in the number of single-day Covid-19 cases


There were no deaths of Covid-19 patients during the past 24 hours and 15 such recovered cases were discharged by various hospitals of the city.

The city on Sunday detected 63 fresh Covid-19 cases out of 55,711 tests conducted for the purpose, according to the Delhi government’s latest health bulletin. This showed a sharp increase in the number of single-day cases of the virus as only 51 such infections were recorded on Saturday and 54 on Friday. As a result, the positivity rate rose to 0.11 per cent from 0.08 per cent yesterday.

There were no deaths of Covid-19 patients during the past 24 hours and 15 such recovered cases were discharged by various hospitals of the city. The number of active cases stood at 370.

The patients being treated under the home isolation system numbered 144.

The health bulletin informed that the total number of hospital beds available for coronavirus patients was 8,969, but only 163 beds were found to be occupied by infected persons.

A total of 1,65,236 persons were jabbed during the last 24 hours and 62,567 of them were administered their first vaccine dose. The total number of Delhiites fully vaccinated so far was 91,64,291.




NIA files supplementary chargesheet against Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen operative


An NIA official said that their charge sheet will bring home the guilt of the accused, adding the charge sheet has a lot of evidence against the accused.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a supplementary charge sheet against Mohammed Nakeem Khan, an operative of the terror outfit. Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen (TuM), an official said on Sunday.

The agency has mentioned the recovery of arms and ammunition, explosives, and heroin from him. The charge sheet was filed on Saturday

An investigation by NIA has unearthed the conspiracy hatched by Nakeem Khan along with other charge-sheeted accused and handlers of TuM / JKGF who were operating from across the border and had facilitated the transportation of arms and ammunition, explosives, and narcotics from Line of Control, Balakot, to interior areas of Poonch.

The NIA had earlier filed two charge sheets against seven accused in June and in October, this year.

An NIA official said that their charge sheet will bring home the guilt of the accused, adding the charge sheet has a lot of evidence against the accused.

Further investigation is underway.




India vaccinates half of its active population: Mansukh Mandaviya


India on Sunday saw a steep spike of daily deaths as Bihar reconciled a total of 2426 deaths in its database and Kerala cleared the backlog of 263 deaths.

With 8895 Covid-19 new cases reported during the past 24 hours, India on Sunday saw a steep spike of daily deaths as Bihar reconciled a total of 2426 deaths in its database and Kerala cleared the backlog of 263 deaths.

As per the Union Health Ministry data, as many as 2,796 deaths were added to the Covid-19 death toll on Sunday reaching 4,73,326 since the outbreak of the pandemic.

This is for the second time in less than six months that the Bihar government revised its Covid-19 death toll and added a backlog of deaths. During a similar exercise on June 9, the state government had added 3,931 more deaths to its tally.

Meanwhile, the Government claimed that over 50 % of the eligible population was fully vaccinated. “It is a moment of great Pride as over 50 5 of the eligible population are now fully vaccinated. We will win the battle against Covid-19 together,” tweeted Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.

Health Ministry stated that with the administration of 1,04,18,707 vaccine doses in the past 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 127.61 Cr (1,27,61,83,065) through 1,32,44,514 sessions. The availability of vaccines is also not a problem. “More than 21.13 Cr (21,13,99,456) balance and unutilized COVID Vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs to be administered,” the Ministry stated.

India’s testing capacity across the country also continues to expand. A total of 12,26,064 tests were conducted on Saturday with total tests conducted so far crossing 64.72 Cr figure, the Ministry stated.

The Ministry stated the Weekly Positivity Rate touched 0.80%–less than 1% for the last 21 days. Similarly, the Daily Positivity rate was at 0.73%, which indicates that the Covid situation is improving in the country.

Even India’s Active Caseload stands at 99,155 and active cases constitute 0.29% of the country’s total Positive Cases, which is the lowest since the outbreak of the pandemic.




K’taka CM Bommai to chair high-level meeting on Omicron


“The meeting would discuss the measures to prevent the spread of new variants of Covid and the strategies to control it. The issue would be discussed with experts of the union government as well. Action would be taken to formulate new guidelines,”

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will chair a high-level committee meeting with experts and senior officers on Friday afternoon in the wake of detection of the country’s first case of Omicron virus in Bengaluru.

“The meeting would discuss the measures to prevent the spread of new variants of Covid and the strategies to control it. The issue would be discussed with experts of the union government as well. Action would be taken to formulate new guidelines,” Bommai said.

Health Minister K. Sudhakar has also scheduled several meetings on Friday morning, to discuss the situation in the state, ahead of the high level meeting.

He will also holding a meeting with the Managing Director of Bharat Biotech at 12 p.m.

The officials and heads of eight government departments, nodal officers and experts are attending the meeting to discuss the new situation in the state and also to formulate regulations, precautionary measures and steps to contain the infection of the new strain.

Health Minister, Revenue Minister, Principal Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary and Development Commissioner, BBMP Chief Commissioner, Commissioner of Health department, Chief Secretary Revenue Department (Disaster Management), Secretary Medical Education Department, Commissioner, Commercial Taxes Department and designated Covid-19 nodal officer for Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, Commissioner Health department, Dr Arundhati Chandrashekar, Mission Director for National Health Mission (NHM) and Director for Medical Education department have been invited to the meeting.

Meanwhile, health department officials have heaved a sigh of relief after genome sequencing test results of nursing students affected with Covid-19, came out negative.




Over 160 FIRs lodged, 50 arrested under Op Masoom against child pornography


According to the official, NCMEC was established in 1984 by the United Nations Congress. The organisation has tied up with social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and others. They scroll and crawl the contents of the social media platforms.

Delhi Police have registered over 160 cases in different police stations and arrested more than 50 people during its special drive against the child pornography under Operation Masoom, officials said Friday.

The operation Masoom (Mitigation of Adolescent Sexually Offensive Online Material) was launched by Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Delhi Police and all the districts played an instrumental role in curbing the menace of child pornography.

“This exercise is a classic example of interdepartmental and inter agency co-ordination,” the official said.

The details of the violations pertaining to child pornographic material is received at IFSO through National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), which has MOU with National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

According to the official, NCMEC was established in 1984 by the United Nations Congress. The organisation has tied up with social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and others. They scroll and crawl the contents of the social media platforms. Whenever, they come across any content found violating the privacy/obscene material regarding children, the same is red flagged. They procure the IP address details of the user who had uploaded the obscene content.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between NCRB (National Crime Record Bureau) and the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Under this MoU, NCMEC is providing CyberTipline complaints about sexually offensive content against children to NCRB which is being shared or uploaded on various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc, he said.

For this, NCMEC works in close coordination with these social media platforms as well as the public at large. These complaints, along with details of the person sharing or uploading such sexually offensive contents is forwarded by NCMEC to NCRB which, then, shares the same with state nodal agencies.

Cyber Crime Unit (IFSO), Special Cell, is the nodal agency in Delhi for the same. At IFSO Unit, the details received from NCRB are analysed for the purpose of identification of any organised nexus. The IFSO unit had analysed all the inputs and identified the suspects, the official added.

Thereafter, the information was disseminated with the concerned to take further necessary legal action.

A team was constituted to segregate the Cyber Tiplines provided by NCMEC, on the basis of jurisdiction of districts and police stations. The information was shared with the concerned police stations and districts for the registration of cases and during the drive more than 160 cases were registered.

In the past also, IFSO Unit had initiated a drive against the child pornography and operation MASOOM (Mitigation of Adolescent Sexually Offensive Online Material) was initiated, in which inputs were taken from NCMEC-NCRB and many persons were arrested, the official said.




After suspension, Oppn making provocative statements: Piyush Goyal


The suspended 12 MPs, who have been suspended for the entire winter session for creating ruckus in the House during the monsoon session on August 11, are sitting in protest at Gandhi statue inside the Parliament premises.

The face-off on the issue of suspension of 12 MPs continued with the opposition raising the issue in the Upper House on Friday.

Leader of the House Piyush Goyal said, “The opposition leaders are making provocative statements and have refused to apologise on the serious issue even though I have offered an apology on small issues.

“When they are not willing to apologise, how can the matter be resolved?”

Earlier, the chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu asked both the parties to resolve the issue.

The Chairman has rejected various notices of opposition leaders under rule 267. One of the notices was given by Congress MP Deepender Hooda in which he has demanded compensation for the families of those farmers who have lost their lives during the agitation since last year.

The suspended 12 MPs, who have been suspended for the entire winter session for creating ruckus in the House during the monsoon session on August 11, are sitting in protest at Gandhi statue inside the Parliament premises.

The suspended MPs are from the Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPI, CPI-M and Shiv Sena.

The members are — Syed Naseer Hussain, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Phulo Devi Netam, Chhaya Verma, Ripun Bora and Rajmani Patel of the Congress, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Anil Desai of the Shiv Sena, Elamaram Kareem of the CPI-M, Binoy Viswam of the CPI, Dola Sen and Shanta Chhetri of the Trinamool.




After suspension, Oppn making provocative statements: Piyush Goyal


The suspended 12 MPs, who have been suspended for the entire winter session for creating ruckus in the House during the monsoon session on August 11, are sitting in protest at Gandhi statue inside the Parliament premises.

The face-off on the issue of suspension of 12 MPs continued with the opposition raising the issue in the Upper House on Friday.

Leader of the House Piyush Goyal said, “The opposition leaders are making provocative statements and have refused to apologise on the serious issue even though I have offered an apology on small issues.

“When they are not willing to apologise, how can the matter be resolved?”

Earlier, the chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu asked both the parties to resolve the issue.

The Chairman has rejected various notices of opposition leaders under rule 267. One of the notices was given by Congress MP Deepender Hooda in which he has demanded compensation for the families of those farmers who have lost their lives during the agitation since last year.

The suspended 12 MPs, who have been suspended for the entire winter session for creating ruckus in the House during the monsoon session on August 11, are sitting in protest at Gandhi statue inside the Parliament premises.

The suspended MPs are from the Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPI, CPI-M and Shiv Sena.

The members are — Syed Naseer Hussain, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Phulo Devi Netam, Chhaya Verma, Ripun Bora and Rajmani Patel of the Congress, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Anil Desai of the Shiv Sena, Elamaram Kareem of the CPI-M, Binoy Viswam of the CPI, Dola Sen and Shanta Chhetri of the Trinamool.




Skar­du Airport operation in PoK, India says its ‘interference’ in internal affairs


According to reports from Pakistan, the status of the Skar­du Airport has been ‘upgraded’ and it will start operating as an international airport.

India on Thursday said the decision of Pakistan authorities to upgrade Skardu airport and make it operational for international flights would be “interference in India’s internal matters”.

“I would not like to speak about any specific development in detail. You know our position and stand on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). It is an interference in our internal matters,” an MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters here in the weekly briefing.

“We do not accept this. I will not make any comment on one specific development”.

He, however, said – “I don’t want to comment on any specific development except that our position over this has been clear”.

According to reports from Pakistan, the status of the Skar­du Airport has been ‘upgraded’ and it will start operating as an international airport.

“In line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision master plan to promote tourism across the country, Skardu Airport starts operating as an international airport from December 2, 2021,” a spokesman for the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority said in a tweet:

The Skardu airbase raid was carried out by Indian forces on December 17, 1971, during the war of liberation of Bangladesh.

The airbase is located in PoK, Indian government sources have said earlier that care was taken so as to ensure that only the runway was bombed.

India-Bangladesh Maitri Diwas MEA spokesman Mr. Bagchi said, during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in March, it was decided to commemorate December 6 as the Maitri Diwas or the Friendship Day.

“Ten days before the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, India had recognised Bangladesh on December 6, 1971. India was one of the first countries to establish bilateral diplomatic ties with Bangladesh,” he said.

The Maitri Diwas is being commemorated in 18 countries around the world apart from Dhaka and New Delhi.

These countries are Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Qatar, Singapore, UK, Australia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE, and the USA.

“The holding of Maitri Diwas is a reflection of the deep and abiding friendship between the peoples of India and
Bangladesh that has been forged in blood and shared sacrifices,” he said.

A special event on Dec 6 in New Delhi will see participation from both countries.




Dam Safety Bill passed in Rajya Sabha after rejecting Opposition demand for Select Committee


The Opposition’s demand for the Select Committee reference was rejected by a division of votes, which showed only 26 members supported it and 80 members were against it.

The Dam Safety Bill, 2019, providing for the maintenance of dams across the country, today received Parliamentary approval after the Rajya Sabha passed it, rejecting the Opposition’s strong demand to refer it to a Select Committee for allegedly encroaching upon States’ rights.

Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat told the House that the Bill, already passed by the Lok Sabha in August 2019, was based on the report given by a Parliamentary Standing Committee which had examined it.

The Opposition’s demand for the Select Committee reference was rejected by a division of votes, which showed only 26 members supported it and 80 members were against it.

In their objections to the Bill, the Opposition not only raised the issue of attack on federalism but pointed out that committee structures envisaged under the Bill would have all members nominated by the Centre.

The States would implement all directives of the Central Government and bear all expenditure for the works, they said.

Several Opposition members tried to raise the issue of 12 suspended members. The issue had kept a sizable strength of the Opposition away from the proceedings.

Replying to the three-hour debate, the Jal Shakti Minister said after the Morvi dam disaster in Gujarat, there was talk of creating a system for the protection of dams. In 1982, it was decided that a protocol be developed for the purpose.

It took the country 40 years to prepare a law. So far, there have been 42 dam disasters in the country which bring it a bad name, the Minister said.

More than 92 per cent of Indian dams are on inter-State rivers, this should be understood, Shekhawat said. “When one of the gates of a dam did not open during floods, who was to be held accountable for the destruction of life and property,” he said.

The Centre had to intervene, he said. “We have to make laws so that dams are protected. We are determined to protect the citizens and committed to the country’s prosperity,” he said.

In 2002 a draft Bill was made and circulated to all States, he said. Only Bihar adapted that Bill. How can members say States are not consulted. “States have rights, but are they working for the protection of their people,” Shekhawat asked.

The Standing Committee gave a report on the earlier Bill in 2011 and referred to Article 252, and stated that the law should be enacted as it was expedient in the interest of the public. The committee questioned why was the law not brought earlier. The sub-committees will invite more State representatives, he assured.

The dams covered under the Bill are with a height of more than 15 metres, or height between 10 metres and 15 metres with certain design and structural conditions.

Tiruchi Siva (DMK) said most of the laws brought by the Government were transgressing the States’ authority. Shaktisinh Gohil (Congress) referred to the Constitutional Lists of subjects and said the Bill could not be passed unless at least two States sought it. If the Supreme Court strikes down the law, not just the Government, but even the House would suffer the loss of prestige, he said.




‘Induce creativity in bureaucracy’, SC sets 24-hour deadline for Centre, states to act


The top court questioned the utility of having a commission for air quality management, if it ends up having on board people from different departments and seems like having no power to enforce decision, and gave 24 hours to the government to come up with concrete ways to curb air pollution.

The Supreme Court on Thursday minced no words to slam the Centre and state governments over the severe air pollution in the national capital and expressed concern that nothing was happening on the ground to improve the air quality.

The top court questioned the utility of having a commission for air quality management, if it ends up having on board people from different departments and seems like having no power to enforce decision, and gave 24 hours to the government to come up with concrete ways to curb air pollution.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Surya Kant said the emergency situation needs emergency measures.

The Chief Justice told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, “You have to work with creativity…if things are not working.” In connection with measures to curb air pollution, the Chief Justice added, “We have to do something extraordinary…we cannot enforce or induce creativity in your bureaucracy, you have to come up with some steps”.

The bench asked Mehta, ‘what is the Commission for Air Quality Management doing and pointed out that the judges went through the names and designation of people in the commission’. “It looks like a government of India organisation with all departments together”, said the bench.

Justice Chandrachud said: “Looks like the problem is that this commission has no power of enforcement.”

During the hearing, the bench queried, “Despite our orders, pollution level is only going up. Where is it coming from?”

The bench further added that what is the use of a 20-30-member committee (air quality commission)? “It’s nothing but another burden on the exchequer”, noted the bench.

Mehta said the government is equally concerned about life threatening pollution levels in Delhi and sought one day time to talk to the highest authority and to come out with additional measures to deal with the crisis.

The top court made it crystal clear that it needs to take action within 24 hours to curb air pollution in the capital. The bench said: “If you do not act, we will step in…we have extraordinary steps in mind.”

The top court directed Centre and states to be serious on reducing air pollution and scheduled the next hearing on the matter on Friday.





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