WhatsApp privacy policy not conforming to Indian IT laws: Centre to HC

THE Centre on Monday told the Delhi High Court that it views the new privacy policy of WhatsApp as a violation of the Indian Information Technology (IT) law and rules, and sought directions to the social media platform to make it clear whether it was confirming to the same...

Hackers stealing money via 167 fake Android, iOS apps

CYBER-security researchers have identified a stash of 167 counterfeit Android and iOS apps being used by hackers to steal money from people who believe they have installed a financial trading, banking or cryptocurrency app from a trusted organisation. Researchers at cyber-security firm Sophos investigated the fake apps and found that many were very similar. The attackers targeted users through dating sites and lured victims into installing money-stealing apps disguised as popular brands. Some apps ..

Soldiers trek for 24 hrs to help nomad family

ARMY personnel trekked for 24 hours to provide relief to a nomadic Bakarwal family stranded in snow in the 11,000 feet high Naginsur ridge in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir, a defence spokesman said on Monday. Bashir Ahmed along with his wife, three children and a herd of animals was on way to Navapanchchi in Marwah Valley from Kathua as part of the bi-annual migration in search of greener pastures when they were caught in snow with shortage of food, the spokesman said...

‘Already booked online appointments for second Covishield dose to remain valid’

THE Union Health Ministry on Sunday clarified that already booked online appointments for second dose of Covishield vaccine will remain valid and the same will not be cancelled on Co-WIN platform. It, however, said requisite changes have now been done in the Co-WIN digital portal, as a result of which further online or on-site appointments will not be possible if the period after first dose date for a beneficiary is less than 84 days...

Blood-based biomarker to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections

AN INDIAN Institute of Science (IISc) study has identified a set of molecular biomarkers that can be used in the differential diagnosis of acute bacterial and viral infections. These biomarkers are different messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules found in the blood; differences in their levels can detect and predict with high probability if an infection is viral or bacterial, Bengaluru-based IISc said. The current COVID-19 pandemic is a grim testimony to the damage an infectious disease can cause to human ..

Mexico’s Andrea Meza crowned Miss Universe

ANDREA Meza of Mexico has been crowned Miss Universe for the year 2020, besting contestants from 73 other countries, including Miss India Adline Castelino, who came in fourth at the beauty pageant. The 69th edition of the event, which was held on Sunday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood here, was a scaled-down affair in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic...

Six killed in Konkan as cyclone Tauktae hits Maharashtra

A VERY severe cyclonic storm with winds gusting up to 185 km per hour began making landfall on the Gujarat coast on Monday night, after dumping heavy rains on Mumbai, forcing the evacuation of over 1.5 lakh people in Gujarat and leaving two barges with 410 people on board adrift in the Arabian Sea. Tropical storm ‘Tauktae’ (pronounced as Tau’Te) which had intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm, lies close to the Gujarat coast, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. “The landfall process ..

India’s weekly COVID-19 positivity rate drops to 18.17 per cent

IN AN encouraging development, a declining trend in the weekly positivity rate is observed which stands at 18.17 per cent on Monday, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday. The daily new COVID cases being registered in India was less than 3 lakh after 26 days, the Ministry said. According to Health Ministry data, 2,81,386 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours out of which Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 34,389, followed by Tamil Nadu with 33,181 new ..

Total lawlessness and anarchy: WB Governor on TMC agitation

EXPRESSING concern over agitation by TMC workers outside the CBI office here and elsewhere in West Bengal after the arrest of two Ministers and others in the Narada sting case, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday alleged that there is “total lawlessness and anarchy” in the State and the police and administration are in “silence” mode. The Governor urged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to contain the “explosive situation” and asked her to weigh the “repercussions of such lawlessness and failure of constituti..

CBI arrests two TMC Ministers, MLA, ex-TMC leader in Narada sting case

THE CBI on Monday arrested three TMC leaders and a former party leader in connection with the Narada sting case, wherein politicians were purportedly caught taking money on camera, and will file a chargesheet against them and another accused, officials said...

Women offer prayers to ‘Corona Mai’ in UP villages

WOMEN in the villages of Varanasi and Kushinagar have now deified the Coronavirus and have started worshipping ‘Corona Mai’ to lessen her fury and save people from dying. The women, on Sunday, lined up to offer prayers to ‘Corona Mai’ in Kushinagar district. In Varanasi, women are coming together in groups on the Ghats to offer prayers and appease the Corona Mai. Surili Devi of Kushinagar said that they would offer prayers for 21 days to appease the Corona Mai and were confident that the pandemic ..

Suspected Pakistani drone spotted along IB in Jammu

A SUSPECTED Pakistani drone was seen hovering along the International Border (IB) here, prompting security forces to launch a massive search operation to check if it had dropped anything inside the Indian territory, officials said on Sunday. However, nothing suspicious was found during the search operation, they said. This comes two days after a Pakistani drone dropped an AK-47 rifle, a pistol and some ammunition along the IB in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir...

Mah CM asks family doctors to join fight against COVID-19

MAHARASHTRA Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday appealed to doctors who serve as family physicians to join the State’s fight against COVID-19 and advise their patients under home isolation about the right treatment protocols. During a virtual interaction with private medical practitioners and members of the State COVID-19 task force, Thackeray said patients trust their family doctors more than anyone else...

Centre asks States to keep ration shops open for longer duration and on all days

THE Centre on Sunday asked the State Governments to keep ration shops, also called fair price shops, open for a longer duration and on all days to ensure timely and safe distribution of both subsidised and free foodgrains to the poor. An advisory in this regard has been issued by the Union Food Ministry following representations that during the current lockdown in some States/UTs, ration shops’ timings have been curtailed due to which the intended beneficiaries might not be getting adequate time ..

Plea filed in SC for CBI or NIA probe into killing of 3 inmates in UP jail

A PLEA has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking direction for a CBI or NIA probe, supervised by the top court, into the alleged killing of three under-trial prisoners in Uttar Pradesh’s Chitrakoot district jail. The plea filed by Supreme Court lawyer Anoop Prakash Awasthi has also sought fixing accountability and taking appropriate action against those found responsible. Direction for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into all extra-judicial ..

Second batch of Russian COVID-19 vaccine reaches Hyderabad

AS MANY as 60,000 doses of the second batch of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V on Sunday landed at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said on Sunday. “Pleased to share that the consignment that arrived in Hyderabad contains 60,000 doses of the second dose component of the #SputnikV vaccine. Samples from the consignment will be sent for release to the Central Drugs Laboratory,” the drug maker tweeted...

Don’t force me to use my constitutional powers: WB Governor to TMC Govt

WEST Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has warned the State’s newly-elected Trinamool Congress (TMC) Government to “not force me to use my constitutional powers”, sparking a fresh artillery exchange with the ruling party. “He forgot his constitutional position by calling for a change in the State. His appeal was rejected, so old man is now obviously frustrated,” said Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh, while reacting to the Governor’s warning. Governor Dhankhar has been touring ‘violence-hit areas’ ..

India records 3.11 lakh fresh cases of COVID-19

WITH 3.11 lakh fresh coronavirus infections, India saw the lowest rise in daily COVID-19 cases after a gap of 25 days, while the death toll rose to 2,70,284 with 4,077 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday. A total of 3,11,170 new cases were reported in a day, taking India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,46,84,077. A total of 2,95,041 cases were reported in a span of 24 hours on April 21. The active cases have reduced to 36,18,458 comprising 14.66 per cent ..

Cong MP Rajeev Satav dies after recovering from COVID

CONGRESS leader and Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Satav died on Sunday, days after recovering from the coronavirus infection, hospital sources said. Satav (46) was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Pune after testing coronavirus positive last month and was on ventilator support. After recovering from COVID-19, he was diagnosed with Cytomegalovirus infection and his condition became critical. “He had recovered from COVID-19. He was taking some immunosuppressant drugs as he was suffering from ..

6 killed as cyclone Tauktae wreaks havoc in Kerala, K’taka, Goa

GALE-FORCE winds, heavy rainfall and high tidal waves swept the coastal belt of Kerala, Karnataka and Goa as cyclone Tauktae hurtled northwards towards Gujarat on Sunday, leaving six people dead, damaging hundreds of houses, uprooting electricity poles and trees and forcing evacuation. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Tauktae which has taken the form of a “very severe cyclonic storm” is likely to intensify further during the next 24 hours and reach the Gujarat coast on Monday ..

India will have more vaccines in next two months, says AIIMS Director

AMID the second wave of COVID-19, AIIMS Delhi Director Randeep Guleria on Saturday said that the country is preparing to ramp up the vaccination drive as more vaccines shall be available in India in the next two months. While briefing the nation jointly on the vaccination plan ahead along with Medanta Chairman Naresh Tehran, Dr Guleria stated that the elderly should be vaccinated at the earliest, looking at their comorbidities and their high mortality rate. “Vaccines will be available in large amount ..

BJP set to give tough time to Trinamool in WB Assembly

BHARATIYA Janata party (BJP) boycotted the Speaker election in the West Bengal Assembly protesting against post-poll violence in the State and that is indicative enough that the party will not leave grounds to the Trinamool Congress though the ruling party captured over two-third majority in the recently-concluded Assembly polls. “We are going to play the role of a constructive Opposition...

This ‘ambulance couple’ goes where relatives fear to tread

PROFILES of humaneness in the time of COVID, Himanshu and Twinkle Kalia spend their days between helping the ill get a fighting chance at life and ensuring dignity in death for those who don’t make it. As the second COVID-19 wave ravages large parts of India -- including the national capital that has seen thousands scramble for oxygen, hospital beds and crematorium spots -- the Kalias, Delhi’s ‘ambulance couple,’ ferry the ill to hospital, fetch medicines, arrange funerals and sometimes step in to ..

TN Governor Purohit donates Rs 1 crore towards COVID-19 mitigation efforts

TAMIL Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Saturday donated a sum of Rs one crore to the State Government towards COVID-19 containment measures, the Raj Bhawan said. Purohit gave a cheque for the amount to Chief Minister M K Stalin who met him at the Raj Bhawan, it said in an official release here. “As a part of shouldering the responsibility of the Government of Tamil Nadu at this critical situation, the Governor of Tamil Nadu has donated Rs 1 crore from his Discretionary grant and as his own contribution ..

10-kg IED recovered in Pulwama

AN IMPROVISED explosive device (IED) weighing 10 kg was recovered in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday, with police claiming to have foiled a plan by the militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed to carry out an attack. The IED was recovered following inputs that militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed was planning to carry out the attack, an official said. Few suspects were questioned and an IED weighing 10 kg has been recovered in Pulwama, the official said, adding that a major attack had been ..

Bhagwat urges people to stay positive to fight the pandemic

AFTER the first wave of COVID-19, the Government, administration and public dropped their guard which led to the current situation, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Saturday and urged people to stay positive and proactive to fight the pandemic. Addressing a lecture series ‘Positivity Unlimited’, Bhagwat said the country should stay united and work as a team in these testing times, instead of pointing fingers at each other...

Torrential rains batter Kerala, 2 killed, houses damaged

TORRENTIAL rains accompanied by fierce winds and high tidal waves wreaked havoc and claimed two lives in Kerala, as it lashed the State since Friday night forcing the Government to shift hundreds of families to relief camps, sources said on Saturday. The southernmost district, Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod in the northern tip, witnessed widespread uprooting of trees, water-logging and disruption of power supply since Friday night. The Central Water Commission (CWC) issued flood warning to the ..

‘Door-to-door testing in rural India need of hour’

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for augmenting healthcare resources in rural areas to focus on door to door testing and surveillance, and asserted that localised containment strategies are the need of the hour, especially in States with high positivity rate in districts. Chairing a high-level meeting, Modi said States should be encouraged to report their COVID-19 numbers transparently “without any pressure of high numbers showing adversely on their efforts”, remarks that come amid ..

Overall coronavirus situation stabilising in India, says Govt

THE overall COVID-19 situation in the country is stabilising and the Government will work towards ensuring further stabilisation, NITI Aayog member V K Paul said on Saturday. At a press conference on Saturday, top health officials said 10 States account for 85 per cent of the total coronavirus cases in the country. The Union Health Ministry said 11 States have over one lakh active COVID-19 cases, 17 have less than 50,000 cases while eight have active cases between 50,000 and one lakh. It also said ..

Shocked at condition of homeless families who faced post-poll atrocities: WB Governor

WEST Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday said he was shocked at the condition of several families who were rendered homeless after they had allegedly faced atrocities at the hands of ruling TMC workers here and accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of being silent over the post-poll violence unleashed in the State. He wondered whether the Chief Minister has heard the cries of women and children, who took refuge in camps in Purba Medinipur’s Nandigram area after being affected by the post-poll ..

Two IAF officers from J&K elevated to Air Vice Marshal rank

IN A historic development for Jammu and Kashmir, two senior officers of the Union Territory—and both alumni of Sainik School Nagrota—have been promoted to the rank of Air Vice Marshal in the Indian Air Force (IAF). This is only for the second time that someone from J&K has risen to this senior rank and for the first time that two Air Commodores from the UT have simultaneously become Air Vice Marshal. ..

President, PM greet nation on

PRESIDENT Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday greeted the nation on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. ..

Centre moves SC for review of verdict denuding States of power to declare SEBC

THE Centre has moved the Supreme Court seeking review of the May 5 majority verdict which held that 102nd Constitution amendment took away the power of State Governments to declare Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) for grant of quota in jobs and admissions. ..

53 NDRF teams deployed in 5 States to tackle after-effects of Cyclone ‘Tauktae’

THE National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has earmarked 53 teams to tackle possible after- effects of cyclone ‘Tauktae’ that is developing in the Arabian Sea, a senior officer said on Friday. NDRF Director General S N Pradhan said in a tweet that these teams are being deployed in the coastal regions of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra. ..

Recoveries outnumber daily COVID

INDIA’S daily COVID-19 recoveries have outnumbered the daily new cases, taking the total recoveries to over two crore, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday. This is the third time in the last four days that recoveries have outnumbered daily cases. ..

Rs 1.35 lakh cr disbursed to 11 cr farmers so far under PM-KISAN scheme

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the Centre has transferred around Rs 1,35,000 crore so far under the PM-KISAN scheme with the payment of eighth instalment on Friday and is also procuring higher quantity of paddy and wheat at MSP to boost farmers’ income. ..

Mamata was silent when there

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of remaining “silent when there was bloodshed” during alleged post-poll violence in the State. ..

India focusing on J&K’s devpt despite COVID-19 challenges: Saudi daily

NOTING the positive initiatives taken by the Indian Government in Jammu and Kashmir, Saudi Gazette has said that the Centre is undertaking various development and public welfare programmes to transform the region despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370, the Saudi daily noted that the democratic machinery in J&K has been strengthened especially the three-tier local governance model by holding elections to Block Development Councils and ..

Mumbai court slaps notice to attach Nirav Modi’s assets

The development comes exactly three-and-half-years after Nirav Modi, several of his family members, his maternal uncle Mehul C Choksi and others were accused of perpetrating a stunning fraud of around Rs 14,000 crore in the Punjab National Bank (PNB). Even before PNB admitted to the fraud and lodged a formal police complaint in January 2018, it emerged that Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and others had already fled the country as the Central Bureau of Investigation and ED launched their independent probes...

IMD issues cyclonic storm warning by 16th, predicts heavy rainfall in south Konkan, Goa

THE IMD on Thursday issued a warning and said that a low pressure area formed over the Arabian Sea is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm by May 16, which may bring heavy rainfall at some places in Goa and south Konkan region. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said, “A low pressure area has formed over the southeast Arabian Sea and adjoining Lakshadweep area on Thursday. It is very likely to become well marked over Lakshadweep area by Friday morning.” It will concentrate into a depression ..

NHRC issues notices to Centre, UP, Bihar over bodies found floating in Ganga

THE National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Union Jal Shakti Ministry, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, after receiving complaints about several bodies found floating in the Ganga river in the two States. “It (NHRC) has issued notices to the Chief Secretaries of both the States and the Secretary, Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, on Thursday calling for action taken report within four weeks,” its statement noted...

Won’t arrest ex-CP till May 20 over atrocities FIR: Mah Govt

THE Maharashtra Government on Thursday told the Bombay High Court that it would not arrest former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh till May 20 in connection with the FIR registered against him by Thane police under the Atrocities Act. Senior counsel Darius Khambata, appearing for the State Government, told a division bench of Justices P B Varale and N R Borkar that the allegations of corruption levelled against Singh by a police inspector in Akola were of serious nature. He said the police ..

Mah Cyber cops bust fake racket of Remdesivir, Tocilizumab drugs

THE Maharashtra Cyber Police have busted an online fraud of illegal sales of fake Remdesivir and Tocilizumab drugs filled with plain water that targeted gullible customers desperate for treatment of COVID-19, an official said here on Thursday. On Wednesday, a leading pharmaceutical company had approached the Cyber Police Cell to file a case after it received many complaints that its distributors had sold these drugs by soliciting customers online or through social media. The complainants had stated ..

Broken roof, scattered items speak of atrocities on Dalits: NCSC Chairperson

BROKEN roof, scattered household items, locked houses of the complainant and that of his extended family speak of atrocities committed on Schedule Caste families in Nabagram village in East Bardhaman district of West Bengal, NCSC Chairman Vijay Sampla said on Thursday...

Decline in COVID-19 positivity rate over past 3 days: Govt

A plateauing in daily new COVID-19 cases and a slight decline in positivity rate have been recorded in the country over the past three days, the Government said on Thursday, but added 10 States still have a positivity rate of 25 per cent or more. According to the Government, number of districts with week-on week rise in COVID tests, yet decline in positivity rate has increased from 125 in April 22-28 to 338 between May 6 and 12...

Actively considering proposal to telecast SC proceedings live, says CJI Ramana

CHIEF Justice N V Ramana Thursday said he was “actively” considering the proposal to live telecast the proceedings of the Supreme Court. The CJI, however, said before initiating concrete steps in this regard, he would seek general consensus among his colleagues in the top court. Chief JI Ramana was speaking at the launch of application for granting access of virtual proceedings of the Supreme Court to media persons. Recalling his days as a journalist, the CJI said media faces great challenges in ..

WB locked in politics of attrition as ruling TMC pushes its agenda to oppose Governor’s initiative

Even as West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar went ahead with his proposed visit to Cooch Behar villages to see for himself the plight of the victims of post-election violence, Trinamool Congress workers tried to block his convoy, thus adding substance to allegations that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is hell bent upon continuing with her politics challenging the federal spirit. Unmindful of the resistance, Governor Dhankhar completed his day’s agenda and found himself confronted by wailing ..

Centre allows employees with medical qualification to undertake practice

CITING the unprecedented rise in COVID cases in the country, the Centre on Wednesday alloweditsemployeeswithrecognised qualifications to undertake medical practice or teleconsultation. Such practice is to be undertaken during spare time and on apurelycharitablebasis,anorder issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said. Referringtoa57-year-oldorder of the Home Ministry, it said the DoPT has been receiving queries/requests from Central Government servants for providing teleconsultation ..

Army chief Naravane reviews security situation along LoC

ARMY chief General M M Naravane visited forward areas of the Jammu division and reviewedsecuritysituationalong theLoCandinthehinterlandduringhistwo-dayvisittotheregion, a defence spokesperson said on Wednesday. General Naravane arrived at the headquarters of the Nagrota-based 16-corps (WhiteKnightCorps)onTuesday and visited the forward areas including Aknoor, Rajouri and Naushera in the Jammu region, the spokesman said...

Army chief Naravane reviews security situation along LoC

ARMY chief General M M Naravane visited forward areas of the Jammu division and reviewedsecuritysituationalong theLoCandinthehinterlandduringhistwo-dayvisittotheregion, a defence spokesperson said on Wednesday. General Naravane arrived..

First South Indian monk is Chief Vedic Acharya of Sanyasi Mahasabha

RENOWNED religious personality Swami Tapasyananda SaraswathiofKeralahasbecome the first-ever South Indian to be namedastheChiefVedicAcharya oftheSanyasiMahasabha,based in Ahmedabad, an official said here on Wednesday. Swami Tapasyananda’s appointment to the prestigious position was made by Swami Jagadananda Saraswati, the Spiritual Head of the 6,000-strong Sanyasi Mahasabha, said his official spokesperson in Mumbai...

Two West Bengal BJP MPs resign as MLAs

BJP Lok Sabha MPs Jagannath Sarkar and Nisith Pramanik on Wednesday tendered theirresignation as members of the West Bengal Assembly, to which they were elected in the recent polls. Sarkar and Pramanik, MPs of Ranaghat and Cooch Behar respectively,wenttotheAssembly and submitted their resignation letterstoSpeakerBimanBanerjee. Pramanik said that they are quitting as MLAs as perthe directive of the BJP leadership...

Cloudburst hits Devprayag in U’khand, CM visits areas

A CLOUDBURST hit Devprayag in Tehri district of Uttarakhand on Tuesday, razing two municipal buildings to the ground and damaging several shops. It also damaged pedestrian bridges,waterpipelinesandelectricity supply lines, an official said. The cloudburst occurred over the Shanta river, causing inundation of areas along its banks with a huge amount of slush containing boulders, SHO of the Devprayag police station Mahipal Singh Rawat said. Two municipality buildings, including the multi-purpose Nagar ..

‘Nursing staff committed towards healthy India’

THE COVID-19 pandemic has not just rattled lives of millions but has put Indian healthcare machinery under tremendous pressure. From doctors to nurses to support staff, thousands of healthcare professionals have fallen to this deadly virus which continues to wreak havoc. It’s not just doctors who are leading the battle against COVID across the world but nurses are also playing a crucial role. Every year May 12 is celebrated as International Nurses Day to remember Florence Nightingale, the founder ..

COVID ‘variant of concern’ found in 44 countries: WHO

THE B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus which was first identified in India last year has been found in 44 countries, says the World Health Organisation (WHO) which has classified it as a ‘variant of concern’. The UN body routinely assesses if variants of SARS-CoV-2 result in changes in transmissibility and severity, or if they lead to changes in public health and social measures’ implementation by national health authorities...

India records 4,205 fatalities in single day, 3.48 lakh new cases

INDIA saw a record rise in COVID-19 deaths with 4,205 fresh fatalities taking the country’s death toll to 2,54,197, while 3,48,421 new coronavirus infections were reported, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday...

After troubled WB areas, Dhankhar to visit refugee camps in Assam

WEST Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar will undertake on Thursday his proposed visit to areas affected by unprecedented post-election violence even as the rulingTrinamool Congress (TMC) criticised him for such a step which it described as“unbecoming of Governor”. Unmindful of the criticism, Governor Dhankhar has also planned visit to camps of West Bengal people who fled to the neighbouring Assam to escape from the mob fury back home in their respective places. Dhankhar will travel to Assam on Friday ..

Prioritise 2nd dose of vaccination: Centre to States

THE Centre appealed to States on Tuesday to prioritise vaccinating those due for second dose of COVID-19 vaccine and reserve at least 70 per cent of the shots supplied from the central pool for the purpose. States have also been urged to minimise wastage of vaccine doses, the Health Ministry said in a statement. All wastage more than the national average hereafter is to be adjusted from the subsequent allocations to that State or Union Territory...

Govt rules out possibility of giving free grains to migrants this time

THE Government on Monday ruled out the possibility of free foodgrains distribution to migrants saying there is no panic situation and no complete national lockdown unlike last year. However, the Government has started distributing additional free grains again under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for two months -- May and June -- to 80 crore ration cardholders. The Government said there is no impact on prices of foodgrains in the open market due to free grains distribution under ..

PM Modi hails scientists, innovators for contribution in combating COVID-19

ON THE National Technology Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that in any challenging situation, the country’s scientists and innovators have always risen to the occasion and over the last year have worked industriously to fight COVID-19. The National Technology Day marks the anniversary of the underground nuclear tests conducted in Rajasthan’s Pokhran in 1998. The day celebrates the achievements and contributions of Indians to science and technology. “On National Technology Day, we ..

Centre, States doing everything possible to tackle COVID-19 crisis: Rajnath Singh

DEFENCE Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said the Centre and the State Governments are doing everything possible to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, while asserting that only those who perform commit mistakes. The Lok Sabha MP from Lucknow visited a 255-bed COVID hospital built by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at the Haj House here. Speaking to reporters, Singh said, “The speed displayed by the Uttar Pradesh Government in tackling the COVID cases should be praised. Mistakes can be committed ..

Cooling therapy breathes life into newborn 11 minutes after birth

AS SECOND COVID wave is sweeping across Karnataka, here’s a heart-touching story of the baby soldier, who took his first breath, a whopping 11 minutes after he was born. Bengaluru North’s Rainbow Children Hospital revived the baby that was born floppy, which in other words means he couldn’t breathe at birth, couldn’t cry, didn’t have a heart beat rate and no sign of breathing movement at all. The hospital’s consultant, Dr Pradeep Kumar disclosed that the baby was born normal but with a very poor ..

Active COVID-19 cases down by over 30,000 in 24 hrs: Centre

THE total active COVID-19 cases in the country dipped to 37,15,221 on Tuesday with a net decline of 30,016 cases being recorded in a span of 24 hours for the first time after 61 days, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday. The total active cases now comprise 16.16 pc of the country’s total coronavirus infections. A total of 3,29,942 infections were reported in a span of 24 hours, while the death toll climbed to 2,49,992 with 3,876 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed...

Congress creating false panic in fight against COVID-19: Nadda to Sonia

BJP President J P Nadda on Tuesday accused the Congress of misleading people and creating false panic in the fight against COVID-19, and alleged that the conduct of its leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, during the pandemic will be remembered for “duplicity and pettiness”. Nadda wrote a four-page letter to Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi, a day after the Congress Working Committee, the apex body of the Opposition party, hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Government over the handling ..

State looks blankly as Dhankhar plans visit to distressed areas on Thursday

WEST Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, on Tuesday, received a cold response from the State Government when communicated to the administration that he would visit areas affected by post-poll violence in Cooch Behar district on Thursday. “Governor... will be leaving Kolkata by BSF Helicopter on May 13 to visit post poll unprecedented violence affected areas @MamataOfficial #Sitalkuchi and other places in Coochbehar to connect with sufferers,” he tweeted. Dhankhar had said on Monday that he would go ..

ED files money laundering case against ex-Mah Home Minister Anil Deshmukh

THE Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a criminal case under the anti-money laundering law against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in an alleged “bribery” case, official sources said on Tuesday. They said the case registered under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been filed after studying a CBI FIR that was filed against Deshmukh late last month. The central probe agency may now summon Deshmukh, 71, for questioning apart from others who have a role in ..

26 COVID-19 patients die at Goa Medical College and Hospital

GOA Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Tuesday said 26 COVID-19 patients died at the State-run Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in the early hours and sought an investigation by the High Court to find out the exact cause. He said these fatalities occurred between 2 am and 6 am “which is a fact”, but remained evasive about the cause. Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who visited GMCH, said the gap between the “availability of medical oxygen and its supply to COVID-19 wards in the GMCH might have ..

Mah to set up task force for children orphaned by COVID

THE Maharashtra Government would form a task force in every district to protect children orphaned by COVID-19, an official said on Monday. The task force will be headed by Collectors and will comprise commissioners of civic bodies, police chiefs, rural health officials etc of the district, a State Government release said. Maharashtra Women and Child Development Minister Yashomati Thakur said children getting orphaned due to COVID-19 was becoming a social problem, adding that the State Government would ..

WhatsApp users to face limited functionality for not accepting new terms

WHATSAPP will not delete any account for not accepting its new privacy update, but users not agreeing to the controversial terms after “several weeks” will not be able to access their chat list, and eventually, will not be able to answer incoming phone or video calls over the app. Last week, the Facebook-owned company had said users not accepting its privacy policy update by its May 15 deadline will not face deletion or lose functionality of their accounts on the said date...

No post-poll violence in WB since May 9: WB Govt to HC

THE West Bengal Government on Monday told a Calcutta High Court bench that there has been no post poll political violence in the State since May 9 and assured that all steps will be taken to ensure peace in future. The five-judge bench directed that all steps be taken in this regard by May 17 and posted the PIL for hearing on May 18. The PIL filed by lawyer petitioner Anindya Sundar Das raised the issue of violence taking place in various parts of the State after the state Assembly elections. Appearing ..

Cyber agency issues alert over fake vaccine registration SMS

A FAKE COVID-19 vaccine registration SMS that “maliciously” gains entry into a users’ Android phone leading to compromise of individual contact list is in circulation, the federal cyber security agency has alerted. The harmful SMS has been identified by at least five variants. “It has been reported that a fake SMS message is in circulation that falsely claims to offer an app to let users register for COVID-19 vaccine in India.” “The SMS carries a link that installs the malicious app on Android-based ..

People paying with lives for exercising franchise, will visit violence-hit areas, says WB Governor

MOMENTS after administering oath to the Ministers of the Mamata Banerjee Government, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday expressed concern over the situation arising out of post-poll violence in the State and said he would soon be visiting the affected areas. Dhankhar, while talking to reporters, also said that people are being made to pay with their lives for exercising their franchise. “The situation that arose out of post-poll violence is worrisome. I will be visiting the violence-hit ..

Himanta Sarma sworn-in as Assam CM, vows to make State one of the top five in India

NORTH East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma was on Monday sworn-in as the 15th Chief Minister of Assam by Governor Jagadish Mukhi at the Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra here. Sarma, clad in traditional ‘pat silk’ dhoti and kurta with a muga ‘gamosa’ draped around his neck, took the oath of office and secrecy in Assamese. Along with him, 13 other legislators were also sworn-in as Ministers amid strict COVID-19 protocols. The newly sworn-in Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma ..

India fastest country globally to administer 17 crore COVID vaccine doses in 114 days

India has achieved the landmark of being the fastest country globally to administer 17 crore COVID-19 vaccines in the least number of days, defeating the US and China, the second the third runners-up respectively. India achieved the goal in 114 days, while the US touched the figure in 115 days and China took 119 days for reaching the same landmark. The vaccination drive in India was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated and vaccination of frontline workers started from ..

Several decomposed bodies found floating in river Ganga

SEVERAL bodies, decomposed, bloated and suspected to be of people who succumbed to COVID 19, were on Monday found floating in the river Ganga in a Bihar district. Officials in Chausa block of Buxar, which borders Uttar Pradesh, rushed to the spot of the unseemly sight upon hearing the news. “We were alerted by the local chowkidar that many bodies have been spotted floating from upstream. We have so far recovered 15 of these. None of the deceased happens to be a resident of the district,” Chausa BDO ..

Over 75 weddings called off in a day in Kota after campaign by police

OVER 75 weddings were postponed in a day in Kota Rural district after police reached out to families as part of a campaign to comply with the lockdown which has been enforced in the State to contain rising COVID cases. During a field visit of DIG Ravidutt Gaur, two beat constables of Kota Rural Police, Asharam of Digod police station and Navneet of Kaithun police station, informed him that they had persuaded three families to call off weddings scheduled for this month, DSP and CO (Itawa) Vijayshankar ..

‘Appropriate behaviour, vaccines main shields against mutants, future waves’

WITH the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the country and concerns being raised about a possible third wave, experts caution that the next wave could be less severe if people keep following COVID-appropriate behaviour and a large portion of the population is vaccinated. According to the Union Health Ministry data released on Sunday morning, India recorded 4,03,738 fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the country’s cumulative tally to 2,22,96,414, while the death toll climbed ..

‘GST exemption on domestic supplies, commercial imports of COVID drugs to make them costlier’

FINANCE Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said GST exemption to domestic supplies and commercial import of COVID drugs, vaccines and oxygen concentrators would make these items costlier for consumers as manufacturers would not be able to offset the taxes paid on inputs. Currently, domestic supplies and commercial imports of vaccines attract a 5 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST), while it is 12 per cent in case of COVID drugs and oxygen concentrators. “If full exemption from GST is given, ..

Book gives insider’s view of everyday life in Kashmir through love stories

A NEW novel provides an insider’s view of everyday life and emotions in Kashmir through a number of love stories. “Life in the Clock Tower Valley” is the debut book of Press Trust of India (PTI) journalist Shakoor Rather. Published by Speaking Tiger, it talks about Kashmir’s pristine past, its grievous present and always-uncertain future. It also includes historical and political information about Valley as well as environmental issues that are seldom talked about. Besides talking about various aspects ..

Role of pvt doctors crucial in fight against COVID-19: Uddhav

MAHARASHTRA Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday stressed on the role of private doctors, specially family physicians, in the fight against COVID-19, saying they can help in early diagnosis of the infection in their patients and facilitate timely treatment for them. Addressing around 700 private doctors from across the State during a meeting held via video conference, Uddhav Thackeray appealed to them to join hands with the State administration to curb spread of the viral infection...

Centre releases Rs 8,923 cr as grants for rural local bodies

THE Finance Ministry on Sunday said it has released Rs 8,923 crore to 25 States for providing grants to the rural local bodies for various prevention and mitigation measures needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, on Sunday released an amount of Rs 8,923.8 crore to 25 States for providing grants to the rural local bodies (RLBs). The grants are meant for all the three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions – village, block and district, an official ..

Terrorist hideout busted in J&K; 19 grenades seized

SECURITY forces on Sunday unearthed a terrorist hideout in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, leading to the recovery of 19 hand grenades and scuttling of a terrorist plan to disturb peace in the border district by carrying out grenade attacks, a defence spokesman said. No one was arrested during the operation which was jointly carried out by the Army and police in Phagla area of Surankote, the spokesman said. Based on a specific input that terrorists were planning to target security forces ..

Swapan Dasgupta lodges complaint over attack on 260 BJP workers in W Bengal

FORMER Rajya Sabha member and BJP candidate for the West Bengal Assembly polls, Swapan Dasgupta on Sunday lodged a formal police complaint against persecution of party workers in Tarakeswar constituency from where he contested the polls. He also attached a list of 260 victims of political violence and said that the list is not exhaustive but should provide you with an adequate starting point for necessary action. In a complaint lodged at Tarakeswar Police Station, Dasgupta said, “This is to bring ..

Himanta Biswa Sarma to be next Assam CM, swearing in today

NORTH East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma is all set to become Assam’s next Chief Minister after being elected unanimously as the leader of the BJP Legislature Party and subsequently as the NDA Legislature Party on Sunday, central observer and Union Agricultural Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said. Ending speculations on who would occupy the top post as both Sarma and outgoing Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal were contenders, the powerful NEDA convenor was elected as the ..

37,36,648 active COVID cases in India, recovery rate is 82.15 pc

INDIA recorded 4,03,738 fresh COVID-19 cases in a day, which pushed the tally to 2,22,96,414, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday. The death toll climbed to 2,42,362 with 4,092 daily deaths, the data updated at 8 am showed. Registering a steady increase, the active cases have increased to 37,36,648, comprising 16.76 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 82.15 per cent...

Allow States to have own apps for COVID-19 vaccination: Mah CM

MAHARASHTRA Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has urged the Central Government to allow States to develop their own applications for COVID-19 vaccination programme. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Thackeray said the vaccination drive in Maharashtra has been the “fastest and the most efficient in the country”. At present, people have to register their names on CoWIN platform introduced by the Central Government for the vaccination. “As we plan to open up vaccination for the 18 to 45 age ..

No coronavirus cases in 180 districts in a week: Harsh Vardhan

NO FRESH COVID-19 cases have been detected in 180 districts in the country in the last seven days, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday. In his virtual address at the 25th meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) to discuss the pandemic situation, the Minister said that as on date, 1.34 per cent of COVID-19 patients were in ICU, 0.39 per cent on ventilator support and 3.70 per cent on oxygen support. Vardhan, who chaired the meeting through video conference, said, “180 districts have ..

Delhi gears up for mass vaccination, 3 crore vaccines needed: Kejriwal

DELHI Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said that the State administration has geared up for mass vaccination across the capital and it would need around 80,000 to 85,000 vaccine doses per day. Addressing a press conference, the Chief Minister said, around 300 centres have been set up for vaccination in the city with an aim to complete vaccination drive in the next three months, if Delhi gets adequate supplies from the Centre...

Hospitals can accept cash above Rs 2 lakh for COVID treatment

THE Income Tax Department has issued a notification allowing hospitals and nursing homes to accept cash payments of Rs 2 lakh and more for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which frames policy for the department, issued the notification on Friday. It said, hospitals, dispensaries, nursing homes, COVID care centres or similar other medical facilities providing COVID-19 treatment to patients are being “specified for the purpose of section 269ST of the Income ..

Hindu woman in Pakistan cracks prestigious Central Superior Services exam

IN A first, a Hindu woman in Pakistan has cleared the country’s prestigious Central Superior Services (CSS) examination and has been selected for elite Pakistan Administrative Services (PAS). Sana Ramachand is an MBBS doctor, hailing from rural area of Shikarpur district in Sindh province, which has the largest Hindu population in Pakistan...

PM Modi speaks to Mah, MP, HP, TN CMs on COVID-19 situation in these States

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday spoke to Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu on the COVID-19 situation in their States, Government sources said. Modi has been interacting with various Chief Ministers over telephone for the last couple of days to take stock of the pandemic situation in their States. In tweets, the office of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said Modi expressed satisfaction over the declining infection rate in the ..

WB Governor upset as Mamata officials meet him without law & order updates

WEST Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday expressed displeasure at not being updated on the law and order situation in the State with regard to post-poll violence by the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP). State Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay and DGP Virendra called on the Governor at Raj Bhawan on Saturday evening being asked by him over the law and order situation in West Bengal. “Unfortunately both came without any paper or reports sought. Directed them to send the ..

DCGI approves DRDO’s anti-COVID drug for emergency use

AN anti-COVID oral drug developed by the DRDO has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe coronavirus patients, the Defence Ministry said on Saturday. Clinical trials of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) showed that it helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence, it said. The approval to the drug has come at a time when India has been grappling with a record-breaking ..

TMC leader Biman Bandopadhyay elected Speaker of WB Assembly

TRINAMOOL Congress (TMC) leader Biman Bandopadhyay on Saturday was elected as Speaker of West Bengal Legislative Assembly for the third time. The first-ever trial of strength in the legislature, however, took place without any contest as all the 77 Bharatiya Janata Party Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) abstained from attendance, in line with the earlier announcement of party State President Dilip Ghosh to that effect, giving an idea of the shape of politics to come. As a result, Biman Bandopadhyay ..

India records 4,187 COVID-19 deaths, 4,01,078 new cases in a single day

A RECORD 4,187 COVID-19 fatalities in a day took India’s death toll to 2,38,270, while 4,01,078 new infections were reported during the period, pushing the tally of cases to 2,18,92,676, according to Union Health Ministry data on Saturday. Registering a steady increase, active cases have reached 37,23,446 which comprise 17.01 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has dropped to 81.90 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed...

2 arrested as Mah ATS seizes over 7 kg uranium worth Rs 21.3 crore

THE Maharashtra ATS has seized over seven kg of natural uranium worth about Rs 21.30 crore and arrested two persons in this connection, an official said on Thursday. The substance is “highly radioactive and dangerous to human life”, the ATS official said quoting a report of an analysis conducted by the BARC. Acting on a specific information, the Nagpada unit of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had apprehended a 27-year-old Thane resident, Jigar Pandya, with some small pieces of the valuable substance ..

Case filed for objectionable posts against political leaders

A CASE has been registered against over a dozen persons for uploading objectionable posts on social media about NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, city police said on Thursday. Some of the posts also contained objectionable comments about historical figures, police said...

HC adjourns Anil Deshmukh’s plea against FIR lodged by CBI

THE Bombay High Court on Thursday adjourned the petition of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in connection with an FIR lodged against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on corruption charges. The High Court also refused to give any interim protection to Deshmukh from any coercive action by the CBI. It has asked CBI to file its affidavit within a period of four weeks in response to the petition filed by the former Maharashtra Home Minister. The next hearing in the matter ..

Let our firms take part in 5G trials, China urges India

BEIJING has expressed deep concerns over India’s new telecom policy that does not permit Chinese telecommunication companies to conduct 5G trials in the country, saying the move is not conducive to the innovation and development of related Indian industries. On Tuesday, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) granted approval to nearly a dozen companies to conduct a six-month trial for use and applications of 5G technology. The telecom service providers (TSPs) included Bharti Airtel, Reliance JioInfocom..

‘India’s tragic situation should raise alarm bells’

UNITED NATIONS, THE “tragic” COVID-19 situation in India should raise the alarm bells for “all of us” and there will be reverberations across the region and the world in terms of virus-related deaths, virus mutations and supply delays unless the world steps up and helps the country now, the head of the UN children’s agency has said. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has sent additional critical lifesaving supplies to India, including 2 million face shields, 2,00,000 surgical masks...