9 Supreme Court passes judgment on make vow on a day of many records

This Tuesday (31 st September 2021) was a noteworthy day for the Supreme Court as a record nine new Supreme Court judges made vow, the nation moved towards getting its first lady Chief justice of India, and among those sworn in were three future chief justice of India and three ladies’ judges.

In an eye-ball snatching occasion held in the 900-seater hall with severe consistence of Covid convention, the emphasis was on 58-year-old Justice Bangalore Venkataramiah Nagarathna. On making vow, she not just continued in her dad E S Vankataramiah’s strides to the Supreme court , however like him will proceed to turn into the Chief justice of India in September 2027. She would be India’s first lady Chief Justice since the SC appeared 77 years prior. It is one sort of a glad second for us as this drive will energize ladies strengthening, set a model for different ladies to try sincerely and accomplish achievements which none idea you might at any point accomplish. Aside from this it involves motivation for ladies in the country.

Credit for making such countless records on a solitary day goes to CJI N V Ramana and other collegium individuals Justices U Lalit, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and L N Rao. They chose the nine consistently on August 17 and the Union government endorsed the suggestions inside a record 10 days.

Justice Nagarathna talked a couple of impactful words to TOI. “I, as an appointed authority, should practice limitation and assimilate integrity”. She comprehends that she will be under the consistent examining look of residents up and down her six-year long excursion coming full circle with the top post in legal executive.

First among the ladies judges to make vow was Justice Hima Kohli, who started her vocation as a promoter rehearsing in the Delhi HC and in 2006 turned into an appointed authority there. This year, she was designated boss equity of Telangana High court.

The third lady judge to make vow was Justice Bela Madhyurya Trivedi. She was designated Gujarat HC judge in 2011 and was moved that very year to Rajasthan High court. She was moved back to Gujarat HC in 2016 and had as of late berated the Gujarat government for laxity in controlling the pandemic.

With these three, the SC would have a record four ladies decided simultaneously, including Justice Indira Banerjee, who was selected as Supreme court judge in 2018. The primary lady judge in Supreme court was Justice Fathima Beevi. She too had navigated the long twisting way of beginning her profession as a preliminary adjudicator and getting designated as SC judge in 1989. The nation so far has delegated just 11 ladies’ judges, including the three who made vow on Tuesday.

From among the nine new Supreme court judges, three — Justices Vikram Nath, Nagarathna and Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha — would proceed to become Chief justice of India in a specific order. Other new adjudicators are Justices Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari, Chudalayil Thevan Ravikumar and M Sundresh.

SPUTNIK V COVID-19 VACCINE- MANUFACTURING IN KARNATAKA SOON

In the face of a vaccination shortage, Karnataka will house manufacturing plants for Covaxin and Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines.

While Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin manufacturing facility in Malur, Kolar district, is under construction, Shilpa Medicare has signed a three-year definitive agreement with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) through its wholly-owned subsidiary Shilpa Biologicals Pvt. Ltd. (SBPL), for the production and supply of the Russia-made Sputnik V vaccine from its integrated biologics R&D-cum-manufacturing centre in Dharwad.

By the end of August, the Kolar vaccine manufacturing facility, according to state Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar, will be able to produce four to five crore doses each month.

Sudhakar claimed he attended a video conference with Bharat Biotech founder Dr Krishna Ella, his daughter Dr Jala Ella, and the rest of the team on May 17 in Bengaluru. Sudhakar said, “Dr Ella has assured me that their facility at Malur in Kolar will be able to produce one crore vaccines by June-end. By July-end it will be two to three crores, and their target by August-end is four crore to five crore vaccine doses.”

Dr. Krishna Ella and the directors of Bharat Biotech have also informed him that vaccination doses will be delivered to Karnataka as soon as possible, according to the minister. Sudhakar stated that he had requested a rollout timeline from them.

Meanwhile, SBPL said in a regulatory filing that it expects to produce 50 million doses of the dual vector Sputnik V in the first 12 months of commercial production.

On May 14, DRL soft-launched the imported COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. The vaccination is priced at Rs 948 per dosage, plus a 5% GST (retail price of Rs 995.40).

DRL, according to Shilpa Medicare, will help SBPL transfer technologies. SBPL will be in charge of manufacturing, while DRL will be in charge of distributing and promoting the vaccine doses throughout its marketing regions, according to the agreement.

In the near future, Shilpa Medicare stated, the businesses are looking into manufacturing Sputnik Light, a single-dose version of the Sputnik V vaccine.

Inoculations of the new coronavirus vaccines have been administered to nearly 1.13 crore people in Karnataka thus far. Both the first and second doses are included in this figure. However, due to a scarcity of dosages, the immunisation campaign for adults aged 18 to 44 has been halted.

India is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 infection, and quick mass vaccination is being viewed as a viable approach to stop the pandemic from spreading further.

CAPTAIN COOL SIGNING OFF – part 2

His life is indeed the desi version of the ‘American Dream’ or it’d be apter to call it the ‘Indian Dream.’ Growing up in a cricket fanatic country like ours, almost every other person would’ve wanted to be a cricketer. The ones that get there are not by luck, but by sheer sacrifice, hard-work and belief in one’s abilities.

Against all odds!

In the coming years the future of the Indian cricket is uncertain, But what’s certain is that there will never be a replacement for this Wk batsman from Ranchi.

His stand apart from others, is what dragged him closest to us. From his hairstyles over the years to his strategies, for a well orchestrated win. Putting the luck factor on the back seat.

This fierce finisher’s batting pattern made him land milestones, like over 10,000 runs in the limited overs format. Being the explosive batsman he is, Dhoni valued singles and doubles more; rotating the strike and making the scoreboard ticking. His humongous shots are often preyed upon weaker balls from the opposition.

A lesson that smaller steps can conquer mammoth scores. Teaches us that consistency is key.

MSD’s focus for the game will never be paralleled.

He stood by his principles and never let anything shake him. He did the unthinkable, and the success was certain.

He was a visionary above all, which explains how coolly he shook the wrath of the fans when he benched the legends, to pave the way for the youngsters.

This helped the lad to bag all the golds for the nation. From winning the ‘07 T20 WC within a few years after being assigned captain, to bagging the’13 WC and the champions trophy and also bagging the World number 1 rankings in the tests.

He’s my hero,” said Kapil Dev. One WC winning captain, legend, to another, what better credentials does Dhoni need to be the best.

Dhoni broke into the side because of his perseverance and grit.

Dhoni is a natural leader. He leads by example and has inspired people on the field and beyond it. His calmness and composure singing multitudes of life lessons to adhere to.

Most younger players look upto him for his in-depth knowledge and ability to read the game like a wizard.

Virat even after taking over the captaincy stated that ‘Dhoni will always be his captain.’

It’s no new news that Dhoni has a great eye for things, if put on the right chair, captain cool might end up making Indian cricket a force to reckon with.

As people bust their knuckles claiming that Dhoni should play a farewell match or coach India, no one really knows what will play out in the end. Surprise factor is what had made Captain cool, the king of cool.

this sheer unpredictability had set Mahendra Singh Dhoni a level apart. The whole world cheers on, as the captain walks off.

Above his game, the gentleman’s attitude has played a grave job in robbing the hearts of many. He served the side with utmost respect and professionalism.

Win or loss, champions or at the bottom of the table, nothing shook him.

Now the wait continues, to see thala put on the jersey in ‘Yellow,’ to take this IPL season by storm.

‘Whistle podu.’

CAPTAIN COOL : signing off (part 1)

“Dhoni finishes off in style! A magnificent strike into the crowd. India lift the world Cup after 28 years. The party has started in the dressing room and it’s an Indian captain who has played an amazing innings on the night of the final,” this commentary by Ravi Shastri is bound to never leave us, even on our deathbeds; MSD winning us the WC with a six. One of the best moments that captured the finesse of our former Indian Captain.

It’s Saddening to say former, There was more to Mahi, than just being an Indian captain. He was the human embodiment of the hopes, aspirations and dreams of many. An emotion to the masses across the world.

Whistle podu,’ to the superstar. Thaliva, indeed!

The news of Dhoni’s retirement from the International level was a shocker. Throwing many a fans and even cricket enthusiasts in different parts of the world into an emotional dilemma.

The only words that one could gather was ‘did he have to hang his boots this early?’ A testament of the perception, that people had of Dhoni wearing the jersey in blue at least for the next few years.

Like always, he left us all awestruck and taken aback. Accustomed to putting us by the end of our seats, Mysterious like always, Dhoni bowed out from the major leagues. For old times sake right?

What could be adding to the trauma would be the fact that it marks the end of an era. The end of the dream team of India. Dhoni was the last one to leave, after legends like Viru, Zak, Yuvi, Bhaji and many more.

He was the man, the myth, the legend. Finding someone with true hate towards him would be something unattainable. He was committed to the game and nothing else, true gentleman who excelled in all his cricketing spectrums.

His on-field focus was impeccable.

He was the best finisher, wk and captain India has ever produced. The man’s focus to his is impeccable. He always looked deep in thought, always a couple of steps ahead the rest.

Captain cool was mostly a man of few words, if you think about it now, we never got much glimpses of him talking away on the telly.

Just like his words, he kept his emotions to himself too. Never letting them clouding over his judgements. Those piercing glances from within the helmet and charging down the 22 yards will never be forgotten.

Dhoni’s methods were unorthodox, but super efficient. From his batting style to just wearing one glove in tense situations to game changing bowler spell choices. A playmaker who steered the game of 22.

The story of a small time boy making upto the big leagues was beautifully portrayed in his biopic by the late star Sushant (RIP). I believe the movie just thickened our relationship with the man.

To be continued…

Hitman’s Khel Ratna

A man known for his humungous sixes and stepping down the pitch for taking charge at the bowlers, one after the other. It’d have been a far bigger injustice if the ‘hitman’ was not named ‘hitman’.

His cricketing career was reincarnated at the ‘13 ICC Champions trophy, when the middle order batsman was asked to open alongside his long time, still standing opening partner Shikhar Dhawan. This time he didn’t need much time to prove his salt; marked off his return by scoring an amazing Ton.

A cricketing genius, in whose capable hands lies the powers to get the nation of the mark. One guy for the aspirations of 136 crores. Setting the blood pressure levels at pleasant levels when he strolls off to the 22 yards to give the bowling side a beating. His story is one which draws similarities with that of the ‘God of Cricket.’

This Mumbaikar’s journey from humble beginnings teaches us a grave lesson, that if we put our heart to it, anything under the sky is doable, period.

Rohit was called upto the National team in ‘07 as a middle order batsman who also knew his way around at the bowler’s end.

After debuting for the Nation, the first few years of his career went under a bit of turbulence.

With 4 IPL titles’ and a champions trophy under his belt for Mi, is superfluous accolades to prove his capabilities to adorn the Captain’s cap. Proving that luck without execution is just a whopping ‘duck’. (in cricketing terms.)

The Hitman being awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Retna award on 22nd August came no shock to the rest of the countrymen. His stats in all 3 formats brought home the prestigious award as the 4th Cricketer after The God, Captain cool and VK47.

He’s the only cricketer in the world to have 3 double tons in limited over cricket against his name. With the mammoth (264 vs SL) being the highest runs scored by a batsman in an ODI innings. The hitman is also the Second Indian cricketer to score centuries in all three formats and also bagged ‘19 ICC WC ‘Golden Bat’ award for hitting 5 centuries in that WC. These are just a few feathers of his colourful blue cap.

Rohit Sharma attained a hat-trick of the most number of sixes internationally for 3 consecutive years, across 3 formats, which aided him to cross the milestone of 400 sixes last year. Making him the first Indian and fastest to cross the milestone.

He’s one of the best players of the Modern cricketing world and plays the game effortlessly, making it seem like child’s play.

A wholesome mixture of calmness and aggressiveness; composed like Captain cool and an angry young man with the bat like none other than Viru.

Rohit Sharma once got into trouble with the cops, while hitting one of his huge sixes in gully cricket, which ended up smashing the neighbor’s window. A couple of decades later, the very folks, who taunted him back then might be sitting in some corner, reciting his tales and cheering him on to hit one of those world class ‘sixes.’

Binge watching and Mankind

We humans are the masters of our domain. At times, us, the masters go berserk by certain pursuits. We do go overboard with things, from petty tasks to pursuits complex.

I believe the quote, “Nothing to extremes, everything in moderations”, from the remarkable book ‘The monk who sold his Ferrari’, by writer Robin Sharma is something we all should adhere to. In all aspects of life.

We humans are masters of passing time.
It doesn’t matter where we’re, or what we have, we’ll inevitably find ways to destress or to chill.

We’re the lords who have mastered the art of passing time. Everyone’s a Picasso or your own ‘unique being’ for this matter.

But when the phenomenon of ‘fomo’ (fear of missing out) kicks in, beings scramble to ‘fit in’. To find a firm ground to socialise with fellow beings. Gradually paving the way for losing bits and pieces of oneself.

The recent trends of passing timeBinge watching has proven the point well.

It has united the world, that was once divided. Surveys have shown that almost all the generations; especially ‘generation z’ and ‘millennials’, have been ‘swept off their feet’ by a plethora of content to stream and chill.

For the ones that were living under a rock, the ones unaware, binge-watching refers watching far too many episodes of a tv series at one go. It’s funny I guess tv series’ are a thing of the past now. Web series’ being the new black.

Netflix was the catalyst for such a mammoth change in the lives of many. By releasing the entire season of a series to watch all at once. Doing away with the process of having to wait out a new episode every week.

This fast paced life has made such anticipation seem surreal or nerve wrecking to be aptly put. Killing the beauty of waiting.

I guess sometimes you do have to give it time. If not, you lose sight of the whatever’s beautiful in this world in the process.

A true testament that change is part of nature’s way. Embrace the change and go with the flow, or get drowned in the process.

The struggle was real earlier. A few years back, privileged were the ones that had umpteen storage facilities and a high speed internet connection. But the transmission of life into digital has made the struggles fade.

The struggle now is settling on what to watch and finish it before any spoilers. With traditional cable tvs’, cinemas and movies taking the hit in the process. Transforming the entertainment world by a few hundred steps stcsdym a time. The changes are abysmal.

The ‘work from home’ culture just fuelling the way for major streaming platforms to sow millions in this times of crisis. With too much time in hand, people going frenzy to fit in something or the other into their lives to pass time.

Like I mentioned earlier, not adhering to moderations has its own antagonising effects. The binge watching culture has made several beings vulnerable to numerous health conditions.

Having a toll on the body and the mind. Two spectrums of well-being, taking severe hits by the 4G and 5G spectrums, causing many a imbalances in the lives of mankind, as a whole.

Experts have commented that the new culture of bingeing has adverse impacts on health, as the excessive indulgence has thrown the dopamine levels of the body off the charts.

Dopamine being a chemical produced naturally in the body, is a neurotransmitter, which regulates many a actions of our bodies.

The health problems involving both physical and mental. Ranging from severe medical conditions like insomnia, chronic boredom, apathy to depression. The physical effects ranging from cardiovascular diseases, thrombosis and other vision related diseases.


The excessive snacking whilst bingeing also affecting the tummy areas too. Transforming generously the packs into a vast ‘single pack’ in the process.

All this rambling might make me sound like a boomer trying to bully the younger generations. But in all honesty, if you don’t care to stop and analyse what’s happening, then whole of life will slip away before you take notice.

Periodic reality checks should be squeezed into the equation of life. For a better and beautiful tomorrow.

For “Tomorrow has no reality, since every day is experienced as today”, excessive indulgence today might fade out all our realities amidst a global pandemic.

Travel in 2020

The struggle was real. The itch to travel was as strong as it has ever been. From avid travellers to amateurs, taking a lesson of the nature of human life, on a thesis that life gives no certainties.

Also to be reminded that you don’t always get what you want. The average one went during the pandemic was surely to the kitchen and back, mostly till the front yard and rarely to the grocery nearby.

Standing by the gates and wondering what’s in store for us. The uncertainties raising a brow to two.

The joy of travelling is something that’s unparalleled, it brushes away all the worries of the past and halts the thoughts of the future, often making us live in the present. Just thoughtful about the moment and nothing else.

To Embrace the absolute joy of being alive. Teaching us a lesson on how to live. More Wandering, Less Wondering. Carefree & Ecstatic.

Now sadly the tables have turned; More Wondering, Less Wandering. Careful & Miserable.

To be among a crowd unknown, to munch on cuisines alien, trying to speak in their lingual, failing desperately but still having a laugh over it later on, and most importantly capturing all the beauties of this world.

Take that deep breath, we’ll definitely get to do it all over again.

The earliest fondest memories on being on the move for many, would definitely be the field trips we were taken on in elementary school. It was just a day away from the normal schooling routine and probably to a park quite nearby. But the time with the mates will always be cherished. These moments will live on forever, if it’s not for moments like these, what is life all about then.

A true testament that it’s never about the destination but the very moments, that’ll fill our hearts than anything else.

The masters of different trades and industries have always had common ground, when it came down to advocating the need for it. To get a firsthand experience of all the places we’ve seen through the books we read and the places that flashed across the screens, mostly in songs of Bollywood movies.

The wisest of people are the ones that travel, to be a part of history and to marvel the marvellous world and to be humbled by reminded how small we’re in the vastness of the universe.

People who have got a taste of it has never been able to digest a life otherwise. It’s amazing how one such activity of mankind strikes a cord with many.

If all the terrorists of the world got a taste of this fine taste of travelling life, then the only bombing they’d be doing would be ‘photobombing’. (Pun intended)

We say people are different, we stand divided on different grounds, but the thirst to travel unites us.

All these musings about travel, brings to mind a saying I heard vaguely, somewhere, which went like: “if the creator wanted us to stay someplace throughout life, we’d have been grounded with roots running deep into the ground.”

New Covid-19 Cases in New Zealand

On Tuesday, New Zealand announced that Auckland, its largest city, would be shutting down since 4 new cases has been found in the city.  It is the first case of domestic transmission for the nation after remaining covid free for 102 days.

New Zealand’s fight against Covid was recognised across the world. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was congratulated for her effective method and governance. A vigorous and decisive response to the pandemic had effectively curbed down the rates of infection. The Pacific island nation of 5 million citizens was considered to be the safest place as it remained Covid free for 100 days at a stretch. It had made a record of zero new cases of community transmission of Covid-19. From a first case on Feb 26 to the last one recorded on May 1st, the whole process of elimination took about 65 days. The nation was placed under lockdown for weeks when the virus first broke out and it had achieved a milestone of 100 days. After the last case was recorded on May 1st, the government had warned from before as countries like Australia and Vietnam which were once free from the virus are now fighting a second battle.

The Director General of Health had said that the 4 new cases are from a single family in South Auckland. It is the first local case in 102 days. The patients had no international travel history and contact tracing has been started.

With the announcement of shutdown, media reports suggested that people have started panic buying. The Prime Minister has made a surprise news conference and announced that Auckland will have Level 3 restriction from Wednesday as a “precautionary approach”. According to it, people should be staying at home, away from work, school or any social gathering. Any gathering of more than 10 people will not be allowed. This restriction would be applicable for 3 days, until Friday. This was done to assess the situation and gain further information about contact tracing. Immediate steps have been taken to find the source of the infection and to prevent further spread. There is an added concern because the source of the virus is not known this time. Travelling to Auckland, on North Island, would be restricted for people other than the ones who live there. The rest of New Zealand would go into Level 2 restriction from Wednesday for 3 days. Social gatherings would be restricted and mass gatherings of over 100 people would not be allowed. Since sources are unknown for the new cases, it is expected that there could be a rise in numbers in the coming few days.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has said, “I am urging Aucklanders to come together like we did last time to stamp out community transmission. Please remain calm, please do not panic buy and please follow the lockdown rules.” People have been instructed to use masks and to avoid all kinds of social gathering. Jacinda Ardern has told reporters, “No other country in the world was free of community transmission as long as New Zealand. Together we have beaten the virus before. We can do so again.”

New Zealand elections are scheduled to happen on September 19. The break of new cases was unexpected. Till now, the government has fought against the situation and done quite well as a result Ardern’s Labour Party has got a lot of support before the elections.

National Handloom Day to be celebrated on August 7th

National Handloom Day is celebrated on the 7th of August annually in India. It is observed to create awareness about the importance of the textile industry in the economy. It began as an initiative to honour and provide work to handloom weavers and artisans. 7th August was declared as National Handloom Day by the Union Government in 2015 to generate awareness about the industry and its social importance. The day is celebrated through different functions and events across the country. Workshops are conducted to spread information about work opportunities among weavers and their families. Handloom fairs, exhibitions, parades, panels take place during various events.Through the celebrations of this day, handloom products get a wide recognition.

Handlooms have gradually emerged as the largest cottage industry. Almost 95% of the world’s handicrafts are from India. Weavers create from different natural fibres like cotton, silk and wool.While we celebrate the diversity of India’s art and crafts, its also important to address the problems and needs of the artisans. They should be provided with the knowledge of techniques, prices, and modern technology.

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Different schemes like Reservation of Articles for Production Act of 1985 and Handloom Census have been introduced so that artisans can benefit from them. Social media campaigns like #iwearhandloom have popularized the craft in recent times to an extent. These crafts should be included in contemporary industries so that younger generations can know about them and start supporting the cottage industries.

Historical Significance

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August 7 was declared as the Handloom day in 2015 to revive the roots of handloom and to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement which began on the same day 115 years back. The first National Handloom Day was inaugurated on 7 August 2015 at the Centenary Hall of Madras University in Chennai. The movement was launched in Calcutta Town Hall on August 7, 1905 as a protest against the Bengal Partition by the British Government. The movement was started to facilitate the use of domestic products and production of goods within the country for boycotting British goods. There were also instances of burning British goods. When Lord Curzon announced the partition of Bengal in July 1905, the Indian National Congress started the movement. It led to the spread of revolutionary anti colonial and anti British movements across the country. Further movements like the Non Cooperation movement and the Satyagraha movement developed from the Swadeshi movement.

In recent times, the day is celebrated to spread awareness and develop consciousness of the public regarding textiles and the handloom industry which is extremely important for the socio economic development of the country. Handlooms and crafts empower artisans and represent the diverse cultural identities present in the country. They are eco-friendly and sustainable crafts which also function as the livelihood of so many people.

Celebrations this year

This year is the 6th National Handloom Day and the day will be celebrated through a virtual programme which will be conducted by the Union Ministry of Textiles. The textile minister Smriti Irani will be the chief guest for the event. The event will be observed with all the handloom clusters across India, 16 NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) campuses, 24 Weaver Service Centres of different states and National Handloom Development Corporation.

Lebanon Explosion: Massive explosion kills more than 100, thousands injured

There was a massive explosion in the port of Beirut on Tuesday, 4th August 2020. The explosion have resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people and 4000 injured. Much of the cities ports have been affected and buildings have been damaged. Hospitals have been filled beyond capacity and hospital authorities are pleading for blood supplies and generators. The injured had to be taken to hospitals outside Beirut. Streets are filled with ambulances and vehicles carrying the wounded and injured. The explosion has devastated the country, which was already in the middle of a financial crisis along with the corona virus pandemic. The economic condition was terrible with about half of the people living below poverty line.

Witnesses reported a massive mushroom cloud going into the sky and red fumes coming out of the site. At first people saw white dense fumes being emitted, after few seconds the big explosion happened sending a big white mushroom cloud and brownish red fumes into the sky. Residents said that they were thrown off their feet onto the ground by the tremors of the explosion. Windows and doors of building have been shattered across the capital. Local media have shown people being stuck inside rubble, damaged cars on the road and broken buildings. The port of Beirut has been heavily damaged. According to Germany’s geo-sciences centre, tremors of about 3.5 magnitude earthquake were reported to be felt and it reached as far as Cyprus, which is about 200 kilometres across the Mediterranean.

President Michel Aoun and Lebanon officials have blamed a warehouse, storing 2750 tons of Ammonium nitrate unsafely, close to the port for the blast. The Ammonium nitrate, which is used as a fertilizer and as an explosive, was stored in the site for about 6 years and there was a lot of negligence regarding the removal of it all these years. It was brought in by a ship which arrived at Beirut in 2013 and it was not allowed to leave due to some dispute. Since then the confiscated Ammonium nitrate was stored in the warehouse. It has been reported that a fire had started in one of the warehouses and then it spread to the warehouse containing the Ammonium nitrate. The explosion site is close to the place where a car bombing happened in 2005 which killed the former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Army helicopters have helped in extinguishing the fires at the port. Emergency teams had started working. Red Cross has said that a search operation is working for finding over 100 missing people. Residents of Lebanon have reached the site and hospital and have started helping the injured. In a statement released by Unicef, it has been mentioned that their staff and their families have also been affected, some have been injured, others have had their homes damaged as a result of the explosion. Their child protection partners are providing psycho-social support to affected children and their families. Officials have informed that an investigation is being done to find out the exact reason behind the explosion and to know what had triggered the Ammonium nitrate. A number of port officials have also been kept under house arrest for the investigation. The future of the port is in danger as thousands of people have been left homeless in the middle of crisis. The President has declared 3 days of mourning and the government has declared 3 weeks of state emergency in the capital of Beirut. The Lebanon Prime Minister has requested for international assistance because there has been mass casualties and nearly half of the city has been damaged enormously.

Covid-19 Rapid antigen tests across India

With the increase in Covid-19 cases, many state governments across the country have started conducting rapid antigen tests to speed up the process of testing.

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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had previously approved the use of Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) kits for the detection of Covid 19. The test uses nasal swab samples for detection and can be performed outside laboratory settings. The kit is able to give quick results in about 30 minutes so it will be possible to conduct large number of tests. The Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) will be conducted in both Covid 19 hospitals and containment zones. According to ICMR guidelines the test needs to be conducted under strict medical supervision and the kit temperature need to be maintained between 2 to 30-degree Celsius. Also, after the collection of the sample, the test needs to be conducted within an hour for a correct and effective result.

The test can be used on different categories of patients – Patients with influenza like symptoms and suspected of being infected with covid 19, Asymptomatic patients who are hospitalised and belong to high risk groups with other comorbidities, and Asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical/non-surgical procedures like dental surgery, dialysis etc.

It has been pointed out that the rapid tests are very specific to the virus but not as sensitive as RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests. ICMR guidelines suggest that patients getting positive results can be considered a true positive while patients getting negative results should be tested following a RT-PCR method for a reconfirmation. SD Biosensor, the company which has been allowed by the ICMR to manufacture the test kits suggests that a negative result may be possible due to either a poor-quality specimen or if the concentration level of the antigen in the specimen is lower than the sensitivity of the test. There is also the possibility of difference in sensitivity between individuals of different age groups.

Many states including Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi have started with these tests. The Madhya Pradesh government has planned to increase the number of testing to 2500 per day with the introduction of the rapid tests in the state capital Bhopal. Once the tests give good result it will be implemented in other districts as well. Previously RT-PCR test method was being used to conduct tests which required a laboratory setting and was more time consuming. Using the more simplified rapid antigen testing method and as a part of the ‘Kill Corona’ campaign the government has decided to reach out to larger sections of the society. The West Bengal government has also started using rapid antigen test kits. State minister Firhad Hakim has introduced the rapid antigen testing in parts of South Kolkata where about 50 people underwent the test. According to him these kits will help in detecting the infection in a speedy manner. According to Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) officials the tests will be conducted across 16 boroughs of the civic body. From the results the positive reports were also sent to the health department. Rapid tests were also conducted across Delhi, but the Arvind Kejriwal government had been pulled up by the Delhi high court for over dependence on the tests. This is because the Delhi government had asked all healthcare facilities to conduct RAT testing on individuals having a ‘high risk’. It has been said that the Rapid tests are quicker but not as reliable as the RT-PCR tests. The RAT tests have a possibility of giving false negative reports. If the test results are positive, one can be sure of the result but in case of negative results there is a possibility of the results being false, so one cannot entirely rely on them. All patients getting negative reports need to be examined once more with the RT-PCR method.

While the RAT testing has led to high number of tests, the issue of false negatives is something to be concerned about. As a result of the mixed reactions on the RAT tests it is yet to be known whether they can be used a reliable method of testing in future.

Serum Institute asked to revise protocol for Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial

A  Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) expert panel has sought clarifications from Serum Institute of India (SII) over its application to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) seeking permission for conducting phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials of the Oxford vaccine candidate for COVID-19, official sources said on Wednesday. The CDSCO has advised the Serum Institute of India (SII) to submit a revised protocol to perform the clinical trials in India for potential Covid-19 vaccine.

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The move comes when the Subject Expert Committee evaluated the submitted protocol by SII. The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on COVID-19 which held its meeting on Tuesday deliberated on the application by SII and asked the Pune-based firm to revise its protocol for the phase 2 and 3 clinical trials, besides seeking some additional information. On Wednesday evening, SII submitted a revised protocol for conducting the trials to the DCGI. The firm plans to start phase 2 and 3 human trials in India in August. The domestic pharma giant has partnered with AstraZeneca for manufacturing the Oxford vaccine candidate for highly infectious disease Covid-19.

“The company on Tuesday was asked to clearly define phase 2 and phase 3 part of the protocol and resubmit their application for evaluation by the SEC,” an official source said. The panel also recommended that the proposed clinical trial sites be distributed across India, the source said. “They also have not given justification for the proposed enrolment of 1,600 subjects during the trial,” the source added. Additional Director, Government Affairs, SII, Prakash Kumar Singh said, “We have submitted our revised protocol to DCGI office today evening for further action by SEC and DCGI.”

The SII which has partnered with AstraZeneca for manufacturing the Oxford vaccine candidate for COVID-19 had submitted its application to the DCGI on Friday, seeking permission for conducting the phase 2 and 3 trials of the potential vaccine ‘Covidshield’.”According to the application, it would conduct an observer-blind, randomized controlled study to determine the safety and immunogenicity of ‘Covishield’ in healthy Indian adults. The firm said that around 1,600 participants of more than 18 years would be enrolled in the study,” a source had said.  A Lancet medical journal report has stated that a vaccine candidate developed at the University of Oxford has shown encouraging results and it appears to be “safe, well-tolerated, and immunogenic. Initial results of the first two-phase trials of the vaccine conducted in five trial sites in the UK showed it has an acceptable safety profile and homologous boosting increased antibody responses, the source said.

To introduce the vaccine, SII, the world’s largest vaccine maker by the number of doses produced and sold, has signed an agreement to manufacture the potential vaccine developed by the Jenner Institute (Oxford University) in collaboration with British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca. On the partnership with AstraZeneca, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla had said, “Serum Institute of India has entered a manufacturing partnership with AstraZeneca to produce and supply 1 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University.”

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These vaccines will be for India and middle and low-income countries across the world (GAVI countries), he had said. Last week, Oxford University announced the satisfactory progress with the vaccine, making it one of the leading ones among the dozens of vaccine candidates being developed around the world. The clinical trials of a potential Covid-19 vaccine on humans began in April. There was no immediate response from SII when ANI contacted them to make their version.

National Education Policy after 2020

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the new National Education Policy (NEP) with an aim to introduce several changes in the Indian education system – from the school to college level. A single regulator for higher education institutions, multiple entries and exit options in degree courses, discontinuation of MPhil programs, low stakes board exams, common entrance exams for universities are among the highlights of the policy.  Speaking to reporters, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said the changes are important as the policy, which was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992, had not been revised since then.

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The NEP 2020 aims at making “India a global knowledge superpower”.The new academic session will begin in September-October – the delay is due to the unprecedented coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak – and the government aims to introduce the policy before the new session kicks in. The committee — which suggested changes in the education system under the NEP — was headed by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan. The NEP was drafted in 1986 and updated in 1992. The NEP was part of the election manifesto of the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) ahead of the 2014 elections.

Either one of the mother tongue or the local/regional language will be the medium of instruction up to Class 5 in all schools, the government said Wednesday while launching the National Education Policy 2020. Among other changes in the revision of the NEP, last done over three decades ago, is the extension of the right to education to cover all children between three and 18 years of age. The policy also proposes vocational education, with internships, for students from Class 6, a change to the 10+2 schooling structure, and a four-year bachelor’s program. NEP 2020 will bring two crores, out-of-school children, back into the mainstream, the government has claimed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying he “wholeheartedly welcomed” the policy, which he called a “long due and much-awaited reform in the education sector”.

In a bid to ramp up digital learning, a National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) would be created. “E-courses will be developed in eight regional languages initially and virtual labs will be developed,” Amit Khare, Higher Education Secretary, said. Top 100 foreign colleges will be allowed to set-up campuses in India. According to the HRD Ministry document, listing salient features of policy, “such (foreign) universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance, and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India.” Standalone Higher Education Institutes and professional education institutes will be evolved into multi-disciplinary education. “There are over 45,000 affiliated colleges in our country. Under Graded Autonomy, Academic, Administrative and Financial Autonomy will be given to colleges, on the basis of the status of their accreditation,” he further said.

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Here are the important points in the National Education Policy 2020:

  1. The mother tongue or local or regional language is to be the medium of instruction in all schools up to Class 5 (preferably till Class 8 and beyond), according to the policy. Under the NEP 2020, Sanskrit will be offered at all levels and foreign languages from the secondary school level.
  2. The 10+2 structure has been replaced with 5+3+3+4, consisting of 12 years of school and three of Anganwadi or pre-school. This will be split as follows: a foundational stage (ages three and eight), three years of pre-primary (ages eight to 11), a preparatory stage (ages 11 to 14), and a secondary stage (ages 14 to 18). According to the government, the revised structure will “bring hitherto uncovered age group of three to six years, recognized globally as a crucial stage for the development of mental faculties, under school curriculum”.
  3. Instead of exams being held every year, school students will sit only for three – at Classes 3, 5, and 8. Assessment in other years will shift to a “regular and formative” style that is more “competency-based, promotes learning and development, and tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking and conceptual clarity”.
  4. Board exams will continue to be held for Classes 10 and 12 but even these will be re-designed with “holistic development” as the aim. Standards for this will be established by a new national assessment center – PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development).
  5. The policy, the government has said, aims at reducing the curriculum load of students and allowing them to become more “multi-disciplinary” and “multi-lingual”. There will be no rigid separation between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities and between vocational and academic stream, the government said.
  6. To that end, the policy also proposes that higher education institutions like the IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) move towards “holistic education” by 2040 with greater inclusion of arts and humanities subjects for students studying science subjects, and vice versa.
  7. The NEP 2020 proposes a four-year undergraduate program with multiple exit options to give students flexibility. A multi-disciplinary bachelor’s degree will be awarded after completing four years of study. Students exiting after two years will get a diploma and those leaving after 12 months will have studied a vocational/professional course. MPhil (Master of Philosophy) courses are to be discontinued.
  8. A Higher Education Council of India (HECI) will be set up to regulate higher education; the focus will be on institutions that have 3,000 or more students. Among the council’s goals is to increase the gross enrolment ratio from 26.3 percent (2018) to 50 percent by 2035. The HECI will not, however, have jurisdiction over legal and medical colleges.

The Cabinet also approved changing the name of the HRD ministry to the education ministry.

S-400 missile to China

The S-400 Triumf, previously known as the S-300PMU-3, is an anti-aircraft weapon system developed in the 1990s by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau as an upgrade of the S-300 family. It has been in service with the Russian Armed Forces since 2007. Considered to be the most advanced missile defense system in the world, the S-400 ‘Triumf’ system is capable of destroying targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers and a height of up to 30 kilometers.

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In 2017, the S-400 was described by The Economist as “one of the best air-defense systems currently made”, and Siemon Wezeman of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said it “is among the most advanced air defense systems available.” China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, and Qatar expressed their appreciation for the S-400 system, and China was the first foreign buyer to make a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014.

Amid a global uproar against China – coronavirus, a military standoff with India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the South China Sea, US – in just the past six months, Moscow has now announced the suspension of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems to Beijing, with the resumption of deliveries yet to be ascertained.

Russia has announced the suspension of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems to China and said the resumption of further deliveries is yet to be ascertained. Citing Chinese newspaper Sohu, UAWire reported, “This time, Russia announced the postponement of the delivery of missiles for the Chinese S-400 system. To a certain extent, we can say that it is for the sake of China. Getting a gun is not as easy as signing an invoice after receiving a weapon.” “They say that the work on delivering these weapons is quite complicated. While China has to send personnel for training, Russia also needs to send a lot of technical personnel to put the weapons into service,” Sohu said.

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Post-Russia’s announcement, China has reportedly said that Moscow was forced to make such a decision as it “is worried that the delivery of S-400 missiles at this time will affect the anti-pandemic actions of the People’s Liberation Army and does not want to cause trouble to China.” In 2018, China received the first batch of S-400 missile, a military-diplomatic source told Russia`s TASS news agency. Meanwhile, it should be noted that the suspension comes merely days after Russia had accused China of espionage, despite the two nations sharing considerably good relations over the years. This assertion had come up after Russian authorities had found the president of its St Petersburg Arctic Social Sciences Academy, Valery Mitko handing over classified material to the Chinese intelligence.

International Tiger Day

“Let us keep the tigers in jungles & not in history, save tigers”

Global Tiger Day, often called International Tiger Day, is an annual celebration to raise awareness for tiger conservation, held annually on 29 July. It was created in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit. In the summit, governments of tiger-populated countries vowed to double the tiger population by 2022. Almost a decade has passed since then. The goal of the day is to promote a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and to raise public awareness and support for tiger conservation issues. According to the WWF experts Darren Grover,  the world had lost around 97 percent of wild tigers in the last 100 years. Currently, only 3,000 tigers are left alive compared to around 100,000 Tiger a century ago.  Many international organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), are also involved in the conservation of the wild tigers.

“The roar is rare.”

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The awe-inspiring tiger is one of the most iconic animals on Earth. The tiger population across the world dropped sharply since the beginning of the 20th century but now for the first time in conservation history, their numbers are on the rise. Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, on Tuesday, released the detailed Status of Tigers Report 2018. According to the report, released on the eve of Global Tiger Day, tigers were observed to be increasing at a rate of 6 percent per annum in India from 2006 to 2018. In good news for India, Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said, the country “has 70 percent of world’s tiger population”, after releasing a report on tiger census ahead of International Tiger Day on July 29.

There are a number of different issues that tigers all around the world face. There are a number of threats that are driving tigers close to extinction, and we can do our bit to make sure that we do not lose these incredible creatures. Some of the threats that tigers face include poaching, conflict with humans, and habitat loss.  Poaching and the illegal trade industry is a very worrying one. This is the biggest threat that wild tigers face. Demand for tiger bone, skin, and other body parts is leading to poaching and trafficking. This is having a monumental impact on the sub-populations of tigers, resulting in localized extinctions. We often see tiger skins being used in home decor. Moreover, bones are used for medicines and tonics. This has seen illegal criminal syndicates get involved in the tiger trade in order to make huge profits. It really is a worrying industry. In fact, it is thought to be worth 10 billion dollars per annum in the United States alone. This is why we need to support charities and work hard to put an end to poaching and the illegal trade of tiger parts. While this represents the biggest threats to tigers, there are a number of other threats as well. This includes habitat loss. Throughout the world, tiger habitats have reduced because of access routes, human settlements, timber logging, plantations, and agriculture. In fact, only around seven percent of the historical range of a tiger is still intact today. That is an incredibly small and worrying amount. This can increase the number of conflicts between tigers, as they roman about and try to locate new habitats. Not only this, but genetic diversity can reduce because it can cause there to be inbreeding in small populations.

Since the tiger is an “umbrella species”, its conservation enables the conservation of their entire ecosystems. Several studies have shown that Tiger reserves harbor new species, which are found practically every year. Tiger reserves have also improved the water regimes in regions where they are located, improving groundwater tables and other water bodies, thus contributing favorably to the climate. This year marks the tenth International Tiger Day. On International Tiger Day, several countries discuss issues related to tiger conservation and also try to amass funds for wildlife preservation. Moreover, many celebrities also pitch in for International Tiger Day and try to spread awareness about the conditions of tigers using their massive social media presence. India is especially important for International Tiger Day 2020 as the country currently has 75% of all tigers on the planet. A lot of people are not aware of these threats, and so spreading the knowledge can help to make sure that we all do our bit to ensure that the tiger’s future is a fruitful one. There will be a lot of videos, infographics, and interesting pieces of content going around that you can share with others.

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“Tiger is a symbol of Beauty, Bravery, Strength and Nationality. So Save the Tiger, Save the Nation’s Pride.”

HIMALAYAN GLACIER MELTING DOUBLED

The melting of Himalayan glaciers has doubled since the turn of the century. Joshua Maurer, from Columbia University ‘s Lamont – Doherty Earth Observatory, used a computer tool that enabled converting US spy satellite images of mid-1970s into 3D maps. It led to declassify the satellite data to create the first detailed, four – decade record of ice along the 2,000km mountain chain. The scientists thus found the changes in 650 Himalayan glaciers. On average, the glacier surfaces sank by 22cm a year from 1975 to 2000.But the melting has accelerated, with an average loss of 43cm a year from 2000 to 2016.The analysis shows that 8bn tonnes of ice are being lost every year and not replaced by snow, with the lower level glaciers shrinking in height by 5 meters annually.

As per the report at least a third of the ice in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya ranges was already doomed to melt by the end of the century. Serious consequences will be felt by those who rely on the great rivers that flow from the peaks into India, Pakistan, China and other nations. Increasingly, uncertainty and irregular water supplies will impact the 1 billion people living downstream from the Himalaya mountains in South Asia. The study shows that only global heating caused by human activities can explain the heavy melting.

World Hepatitis Day

On World Hepatitis Day, let us put an end to all forms of discrimination that is meted out to people suffereing from hepatitis.

 

World Hepatitis Day, observed on July 28 every year, aims to raise global awareness of hepatitis — a group of infectious diseases known as Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E — and encourage prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Hepatitis affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic disease and killing close to 1.34 million people every year. Hepatitis causes liver diseases and can also kill a person. World Hepatitis Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).

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WHO keeps this year’s theme is “Hepatitis-free future,” with a strong focus on preventing hepatitis B among mothers and newborns. On 28 July, WHO will publish new recommendations on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of the virus. HBV can be prevented among newborns through the use of a safe and effective vaccine. WHO is calling on all countries to work together to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.

Significance of the theme

WHO says, “A hepatitis-free future is achievable with a united effort.”

With 2020’s theme for World Hepatitis Day being “Hepatitis-free future”, it becomes all the more crucial to know about the nature, prevention, and treatment of these viral illnesses. Hepatitis A and E are usually self-limited infections and comparatively not as severe as the other types. Hepatitis B and C are the leading causes of hepatitis-related deaths and can lead to serious conditions and cause long-term liver damage like liver cirrhosis, acute on chronic liver failure, liver cancer, or even death. Hepatitis D usually occurs in conjunction with Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B and C especially pose a serious threat to India as suggested by the numbers.

Once diagnosed, the course of treatment is based on whether the infection is acute or chronic. In the current scenario, it is vital to get a test and have the medications started, as those with pre-existing health conditions are at a higher risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus. Increased awareness through campaigns, initiatives, and discussions will help spread information as well as reduce the stigma about the disease. Awareness will also enable access to testing, ultimately resulting in early diagnosis.

WHO mentions the following points in dealing with the situation:

  1. PREVENT infection among newborns.  All newborns should be vaccinated against hepatitis B at birth, followed by at least 2 additional doses.
  2. STOP TRANSMISSION from MOTHER to CHILD. All pregnant women should be routinely tested for hepatitis B, HIV, and syphilis and receive treatment if needed.
  3. LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND. Everyone should have access to hepatitis prevention, testing, and treatment services, including people who inject drugs, people in prisons, migrants, and other highly-affected populations.
  4. EXPAND access to testing and treatment. Timely testing and treatment of viral hepatitis can prevent liver cancer and other severe liver diseases.
  5. MAINTAIN essential hepatitis services during COVID-19. Prevention and care services for hepatitis – such as infant immunization, harm reduction services, and continuous treatment of chronic hepatitis B – are essential even during the pandemic.

Education of the masses is the way forward to find these missing millions and ensuring that they receive proper treatment and care. Only then, it is possible to drastically reduce the number of patients who would suffer from these diseases and eliminate the risk of the virus and achieve the dream of “Hepatitis-free” India.

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Let us learn to protect ourselves from Hepatitis diseases on World Hepatitis Day.

 

Rafael aircraft coming to India from France

The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike, and nuclear deterrence missions. Many of the aircraft’s avionics and features, such as direct voice input, the RBE2 AA active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, were domestically developed and produced for the Rafale program. Originally scheduled to enter service in 1996, the Rafale suffered significant delays due to post-Cold War budget cuts and changes in priorities. The aircraft is available in three main variants: Rafale C single-seat land-based version, Rafale B twin-seat land-based version, and Rafale M single-seat carrier-based version.

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The Rafale is being produced for both the French Air Force and for carrier-based operations in the French Navy. The Rafale has been marketed for export to several countries and was selected for purchase by the Indian Air Force, the Egyptian Air Force, and the Qatar Air Force.  Due to its great capabilities, the first batch of 5 raflaes arrives in India in two days.

On the one hand, when there are neighbors like China and on the other hand, when there are neighboring countries like Pakistan, India needs to work on both its army and the Indian Air Force. In such a situation, 5 Rafale aircraft was given to the Indian Army yesterday. These Rafale aircraft flew from France yesterday and reached the UAE airbase Al Dhafra today. Here their maintenance and refueling work will be done. After this, these fighter aircraft will fly and arrive at Ambala Air Force Base tomorrow. With this aircraft joining the Indian Air Force, the morale of the Indian Army will be greatly elevated. However, the condition of the Airforce is not good right now because there is a shortage of squadron. This thing has been told in many reports. But with Rafael joining the Indian Army, it can play a decisive role in winning a war.

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“You can call them (Rafale) both beauty and the beast,” said Indian Ambassador to France Jawed Ashraf after interacting with the IAF pilots at the airbase before they set off for India. “Delivery of 10 aircraft has been completed on schedule. Five will stay back in France for a training mission. The delivery of all 36 aircraft will be completed on schedule by the end of 2021,” the Indian embassy in Paris said in a statement. India and France signed a Euro 7.87-billion ( 59,000 crores approximately) deal on September 23, 2016, for 36 Rafale jets. The IAF official said the air-to-air refueling of the aircraft will be undertaken with dedicated tanker support from the French Air Force. “Our air force pilots tell us that these are extremely swift, nimble, versatile, and very deadly aircraft,” said Ashraf while congratulating the IAF pilots on becoming the first ones to fly one of the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft. The envoy thanked Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of the aircraft, for delivering the fleet on time, the French government and the French Air Force for extending all required support.

CRYPTOCURRENCY


Cryptocurrencies are non-physical virtual currencies or currencies based on cryptography. Cryptocurrency is made up of very complex programs. These can also be referred to as software codes. These are called ‘cryptocurrencies’ because they use encryption technology. The cryptocurrency was invented in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto

The major cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Lightcoin and Stellar. The most valuable and popular of these is Bitcoin. This is also the first cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is currently valued at $ 10,000 against the dollar. Bitcoin is traded through Bitcoin exchanges

Cryptocoin is not a new concept. But the full credit for turning the octopus into a grass-eating cow goes to some individual or group known by the nickname Satoshi Nakamoto.Satashi introduced the Bitcoin protocol in 2008 and introduced it in 2009. Satoshi Nakamoto suddenly disappeared from the world of bitcoin in 2011 without even giving a hint of who he was, building the Bitcoin protocol and related software and providing all the infrastructure needed for further development.Media outlets such as The New Yorker and Fast Company have been scrutinizing the identity of Satoshi, but no definite answer has been found. Shinichi Mochisuki, Japanese mathematician, computer engineer and economistTed Nelson, the father of ‘hypertext’, believes that Satoshi has no choice but to become. He gives no clear evidence for this. Ted Nelson argues that the character traits of Mochisuki, who withdrew after publicizing his findings and giving the public the necessary guidance, are in perfect agreement with Satoshi.The concept of Bitcoin is not just for a mathematician or a computer engineer. These conclusions are underlined by the fact that it can only be achieved by someone with extraordinary insights into economic, social and humanitarian issues. Moreover, good knowledge of the English language is required to discuss this concept with the outside world in a way that does not interfere with its meaning. Mochisuki is one of the few Japanese who can speak English fluently. But Mochisuki has denied this, so Bitcoin’s father still hides behind the nickname Satoshi.

In all existing monetary systems, the value of a currency is controlled by a centralized institution. For example, the value and distribution of our currency are controlled by the Reserve Bank. In this type of centralized control system, consumers are always at risk of being exploited. Moreover, black money poses a major challenge to the monetary system.This is where Bitcoin comes into play. No individual can exploit the Bitcoin system in a harmful way. The production of counterfeit coins is also impossible. Unlike other currencies, there are accurate estimates of the maximum number of bitcoins that can be marketed. 210 lakh bitcoins will be marketed only in predetermined proportions. This completely eliminates inflation.

Bitcoin and the Bitcoin network are protected in two ways. The first is through highly secure cryptographic technology. According to this, the full right to spend and keep is reserved for the Bitcoin owner only.The second is the Bitcoin exchange account known as the blockchain. That is, a blockchain is a register that encodes information on all completed Bitcoin transactions.Here too, one can look at the shortcomings of the common banking system and understand the relevance of the blockchain. Withdraw more than the amount in the account in the normal banking system. Banks use centralized books to avoid errors such as paying checks for unaccounted money. However, we do not accept checks from unbelievers. Because of the fear of bouncing. Moreover, the misconduct of the bank officials may result in loss of money. All of this is excluded in the Bitcoin currency system.The Bitcoin Blockchain is a public account book that encodes all Bitcoin transactions and systematically connects them to each other under the clock. The process of making bitcoin blocks and updating the ledger is known as bitcoin mining. Bitcoins are rewarded by the Bitcoin community.The reward for this is the number of new coins entering the Bitcoin network (down from the previously mentioned 210 million coins). Once the index reaches 210 lakhs, new bitcoins cannot be mined. According to estimates, we will have to wait until 2140 to reach this magic number. Once the 210 lakh coins have reached the market, the new coins will be exchanged for the renewal of the books of account and the exchangers will have to pay a fixed percentage of the amount for the renewal of the books of accounts. As the competition intensifies, so does the exchange rate.

The main argument before the ban was that the proliferation of digital currencies could weaken the banking system. The fact that counterfeit money is on the rise and is prone to financial irregularities and fraud still keep governments away from cryptocurrencies.

Apart from India, countries like China, Nepal, Russia, Vietnam and Bolivia have also banned virtual currencies, including Bitcoin.

In April 2018, the Reserve Bank will impose restrictions on cryptocurrencies. The ban was aimed at curbing irregularities that could affect economic growth.

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

The initial trial data for the COVID-19 vaccine that has been developed in a joint collaboration between Oxford University and AstraZeneca. The data has been widely awaited as the world looks forward to some good news on the front of a vaccine that could shield people from the deadly coronavirus outbreak that has already infected over 14 million people worldwide and killed over 6 lakh.

The potential vaccine is already in large-scale Phase III human trials to assess whether it can protect against COVID-19, but its developers have yet to report Phase I results which would show whether it is safe and whether or not it induces an immune response. The developers of the vaccine said this month they were encouraged by the immune response they had seen in trials so far and were expecting to publish Phase 1 data by the end of July.

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How does the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate work?

When someone is infected with the Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2), the reason it spreads in the body easily is because of the spikes on its surface. These spikes, known as the ‘spike protein’, allow the virus to penetrate cells and, thereafter, multiply. The vaccine developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca, which belongs to a category called non-replicating viral vector vaccines, tries to build the body’s immunity against this spike protein. The idea is to create antibodies to fight this spiked surface so that the virus does not even have the chance to penetrate the cells. The vaccine uses a different virus — in this case, a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that infects chimpanzees — to carry just the code to make the spike protein, like a Trojan horse. The adenovirus, genetically modified so that it cannot replicate in humans, will enter the cell and release the code to make only the spike protein. The body’s immune system is expected to recognize the spike protein as a potentially harmful foreign substance and starts building antibodies against it. Once immunity is built, the antibodies will attack the real virus if it tries to infect the body.

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Since the Covid-19 vaccine has been developed by a United Kingdom-funded university, UK will have intellectual property rights. Other countries such as India will need to enter into commercial deals or understanding via foundations such as Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). AstraZeneca also entered a deal with the Pune-based Serum Institute of India to supply one billion doses for low-and-middle-Income countries, with the first 400 million nicely before the end of 2020. It is not yet clear how many doses India will be able to land at first since the rollout of the vaccine will be subject to considerations that are commercial as well as that of equity. The World Health Organization’s chief scientist has described the Oxford vaccine as the leading candidate in a global race to halt the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 600,000 people. More than 100 vaccines are being developed and tested around the world to try to stop the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 600,000 people and ravaged the global economy.

BLUIS (Bhubaneswar Land Use Intelligence System)

The Bhubaneswar Land Use Intelligence System is a geo-tagged repository that would monitor and detect all government lands in Bhubaneswar. This will be done by using high-resolution satellite imagery. For safeguarding government lands from encroachments by land grabbers- the launch of BLUIS makes Odisha the first state in the country to use satellite technology and artificial intelligence. Any attempt to change the use of government land in Bhubaneswar, BLUIS will raise alarm and guide the enforcement staff to the exact location of encroachment. ‘BLUIS’ and ‘Litigation Management System’ are among the 8 Technology-driven Solutions that were launched under the 5T initiatives by the Chief Minister.

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Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on 8 July 2020 unveiled BLUIS which would monitor changes in all government lands in Bhubaneswar by leveraging high-resolution satellite imagery. Along with that, he launched 8 technology-driven solutions under 5T initiatives for Home and GA & PG Departments through video conferencing. Along with BLUIS, the chief minister launched applications like e-Pravesh, e-Bhawan, e-Atithi, HRMS 2.0, HRMS mobile app, LMS 2.0, ORTPSA to improve public services. The 5T Initiative (Technology, Transparency, Teamwork, and Time Leading to Transformation) model of governance, launched in August 2019, requires each department of the State Government to draw up an annual work-plan for faster, better public service delivery systems leading to achieve transformational goals. Launching the services, Patnaik said that the 5T model of governance along with Mo Sarkar has brought about a perceptible improvement in the quality of governance and has eased the delivery of public services.

Encroachment of government land in the capital city of Bhubaneswar will no more be easy for land grabbers as the Bhubaneswar Land Use Intelligence System (BLUIS), a web and mobile-based solution, launched by Odisha government would raise alarm over attempts to change the land use. According to the government, BLUIS is a geo-tagged repository of all the government lands in Bhubaneswar, created through high-resolution satellite imagery to detect all changes taking place on government lands.

Odisha becomes the first state in India to use high-resolution satellite imagery utilizing space technology and artificial intelligence to monitor government lands. The lack of transparency and accountability of the enforcement in the current mechanisms and the increasing encroachment of government lands in Bhubaneswar resulted in the development of BLUIS.

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“Bhubaneswar is one of the fastest-growing cities in India witnessing land-use changes on a daily basis. In the process, precious public land is prone to encroachment. The present mechanism of detection and enforcement lacks adequate transparency and accountability,” a senior officer said emphasizing real-time monitoring. A mobile application would alert the enforcement authorities of any new construction on government lands. The GPS on the application guides the enforcement staff to the exact location. Evidence of enforcement is uploaded on the application as geo-tagged images and videos,” he said. As per follow-up action, a case will be filed for removing encroachment. The Litigation Management System, an online application to record information on legal cases and enable end-to-end communication between government officials and advocates during different stages of a case, was also launched. It provides a smart technology solution to monitor court cases from initiation, online appointment scheduling, and allotment of the case to government advocate for preparation and submission of counter-affidavit.

SIGNIFICANCE OF NIA

It is a central agency to counter terrorism under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India. In all countries there are investigation agencies like this. It is not easy to write about all agencies in the world. So, mention here is about the NIA in India. It was created in 2008 after the Mumbai terror attack that year. It can investigate terror cases without the permission from the states. It specially investigates terror offences, waging war against the country offences on nuclear facilities. It can be put into fence only after the country passes an act or the ruling authority gives permission. Always it keeps the global standard.

It is also a storehouse of information on terrorism. With regard to NIA its headquarters at New Delhi, and 8 other regional offices across the country. Always it is headed by a Director General (an IPS Officer). It uses the most scientific methods to investigate cases. There is an utmost importance to human rights and dignity. Facilities a speedy and effective trial. It maintains a cordial relations with the central and state governments and other law enforcement agencies of the country. It also helps the states with the investigation of terror related cases. There was an Amendment Act of NIA in 2019. Now it has to investigate the following new offences.

1.Counterfeit currency or bank notes related offences.

2.Sale or manufacture of prohibited arms.

3. Human trafficking

4. Cyber terrorism

5. Offences under the explosive Substances Act 1908

Now it has the authority to investigate offences that are committed outside Indian territory subject to International treaties and domestic laws of other nations. There is also a special court to conduct trial of scheduled offences. Now there are 38 special NIA courts across the states and seven across the union territories.

Now NIA is dealing with gold smuggling case in kerala.

More LCA Tejas for the IAF

Tejas is an LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) designed by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. The HAL Tejas is an Indian single-engine, fourth-generation, multirole light fighter. It came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s aging MiG-21 fighters. In 2003, the LCA was officially named “Tejas”. It was developed as a replacement for older Mig-21 Aircraft.

As of 2019, the Indian Air Force has planned for a total of 324 Tejas in several variants. The first batch of 40 Mark 1 aircraft consists of 16 Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) standards that were delivered in early 2019. The delivery of the second batch of 16 Full Operational Clearance (FOC) standard aircraft commenced in late 2019 and led to the formation of the second Tejas squadron — No. 18 Squadron IAF Flying Bullets — in Sulur on 27 May 2020. The IAF will also go on to receive eight twin-seat trainers. The next 83 are to be to the upgraded Mark 1A standard. By the time these first 123 are delivered, the Tejas Mark 2 is expected to be ready for series production by 2025–26.

Recent news says that India is likely to finalize the INR 40,000 crore contract for 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas jets, 20% cheaper from previously quoted price, next February at DefExpo-2020 event in Lucknow city, Uttar Pradesh state. In November 2016, Defense Acquisition Council (DAC), India’s highest decision-making body on procurement, approved the purchase of Tejas Mark-1A fighters by the IAF at a cost of Rs 50,025 crore. Subsequent negotiations between defense ministry, Indian Air Force (IAF), and manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) have helped bring down the price of the jets from INR 50,025 crore to INR 40,000 crore, Indian media reported late last week. “The draft contract of the deal has been readied by the HAL and the cost of the deal has now come down to around Rs 40,000 crore. This is Rs 10,000 crore less than the Acceptance of Necessity given by the Defense Ministry in 2016,” defense sources said. In December 2017, the IAF had issued a single-vendor tender to the HAL for procuring 83 LCA, but the negotiations and other related issues have been going on since then mainly due to issues over the price.

The aircraft will have improved serviceability, faster weapon-loading time, enhanced survivability, a better electronic warfare suite, an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar that will significantly enhance its capability.  The Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) had provided the Final Operational Clearance to the Tejas LCA earlier this year during Aero India in Bengaluru approving its capabilities including beyond visual range air-to-air and air-to-ground attack capabilities as well as longer endurance through mid-air refueling. In a previous order, the IAF had signed a deal with the HAL for 40 Tejas LCAs. So far, around 18 LCAs have been delivered to the IAF from the previous order.

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BIGGEST TWITTER HACK IN US

Some of the hackers, who cheat people and earn money always try to find ways to use the internet and social media platforms for their benefit. The earlier such hacks have been through online games, phishing, malware, smishing, insecure networks, physical security threats, etc. We all are aware of the very famous Ransom virus which affected a very large population. Over time, hackers change their ways to attack people and steal money.

The recent news is the twitter hack in the US of some billionaires. The Twitter accounts of Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Kanye West were among the tens of high-profile accounts that were hijacked last night. These accounts were then used to spread bitcoin scams and fool people into donating money through a link. Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are among many prominent US figures targeted by hackers on Twitter in an apparent Bitcoin scam. The official accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Kanye West also requested donations in the cryptocurrency. “Everyone is asking me to give back,” a tweet from Mr. Gates’ account said. “You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.”

“We’re looking into what other malicious activity they may have conducted or information they may have accessed and will share more here as we have it,” the company tweeted. Twitter said that once they became aware of what happened, they “immediately locked down” hacked accounts and removed the tweets sent on their behalf. Twitter also limited functionality for all verified accounts, including those that showed no evidence of being compromised, while they investigated the issue. “We have locked accounts that were compromised and will restore access to the original account owner only when we are certain we can do so securely,” Twitter said. “Internally, we’ve taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems and tools while our investigation is ongoing. More updates to come as our investigation continues.”

Twitter also acknowledged that the hacks were a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully “targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.” Screenshots of the panel being posted by users are being taken down as a violation of Twitter policies. “As per our rules, we’re taking action on any private, personal information shared in Tweets,” said a Twitter spokesperson.

Some leading cryptocurrency sites were also compromised on Wednesday. Cryptocurrency platforms like Coinbase and Gemini falsely “announced” they had partnered up with an organization called CryptoForHealth, through their Twitter accounts. They claimed that the organization was going to provide people with bitcoin as long as they sent some to an address first. Other prominent Twitter accounts that were hacked were that of President Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian West, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, and Mike Bloomberg. Official accounts of Uber and Apple tweeted out a post that was a spam message. The spam message directed readers to invest bitcoin in the wallet address that was provided in the tweets and claimed that they would get double the money they spend.

 

Mobile App ‘eBloodServices’

These days when all of us are dealing with pandemic COVID-19, it has been a very hard time for all of us and we all are contributing our parts to come out of this difficult situation. All of us are doing great as fighters. With the coming of problems, we all are thinking innovative and creative to come up with solution to it. One such step was to launch mobile app ‘eBloodServices’.Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on launched the eBlood Services Mobile Application, in partnership with the New Delhi based Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), on 25 June 2020 for easy access to blood to fight with the critical time of coronavirus pandemic.

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This application is developed by the E-Raktkosh team of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing under the Digital India scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015. The application will bring transparency and facilitate single-window access to blood services of the Indian Red Cross Society, officials said. This initiative would help the people to get the blood on time just by registering on the application. Also, people can demand up to four units of blood. Blood-related services are required by many people in the country as they face certain medical conditions in their families. With the help of eBlood Services App, four units of blood can be requisitioned at a time. Blood Bank will wait for as long as 12 hours for the person to collect it. The app will make it easy for those in need to request for blood units at IRCS NHQ.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said, “People who need blood can get registered on this app and know from where they will get blood.” Vardhan said, “In the last few months, I received several complaints from people facing difficulties in accessing safe blood. Many people require blood-related services regularly because of certain medical conditions in their families. Through this app, four units of blood can be requisitioned at a time and the blood bank will wait for 12 hours for the person to collect it.” At a time when the country is going through a pandemic, the mobile app will provide succour to all those who are in dire need of blood,” the health minister said. Users with this app can know the live status of blood availability at the national headquarters of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) blood bank in Delhi. He appealed to people to come forward to donate blood as their contribution is required more than ever now.

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All 89 IRCS blood banks and 1,100 branches across the country have collected more than 1,00,000 units of blood through in-house donations and from around 2,000 donation camps organized during the lockdown. Also, more than 38,000 blood donors registered with NHQ Blood Bank have been contacted and motivated to donate blood. The NHQ Blood Bank conducted 55 blood donation camps collecting 2,896 units of blood. Blood has been issued to 7,113 patients which include 2,923 thalassaemic patients as well as to the government hospitals like Lady Hardinge (624 units) and AIIMS, Delhi (378 Units).The IRCS has served more than 3,00,00,000 cooked meals and provided ration to more than 11,00,000 families.

 

 

Solar Power- India’s new potential

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said, as part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India campaign, the country’s aim is to end its dependence on import of all equipment, including solar panels.

Dedicating the 750 megawatt (MW) solar project at Rewa in Madhya Pradesh to the nation, Modi said India won’t be able to fully use its solar power potential, unless the country doesn’t develop better solar panel, battery and storage manufacturing capacity.

This assumes importance given that green energy projects now account for more than a fifth of India’s installed power generation capacity. India has 34.6 gigawatt (GW) of solar power, with an aim to have 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022.

The fast-growing domestic market for solar components is dominated by Chinese companies due to their competitive pricing. India imported $2.16 billion worth of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, panels, and modules in 2018-19.

Modi said that several steps are being taken to increase domestic manufacturing, and it has been decided that government’s departments and institutions will only buy domestically manufactured solar cells and modules.

India is working on a wider power sector decoupling from China, with New Delhi planning to enforce a list of approved manufacturers for government-supported schemes in the clean energy sector, including projects from where electricity distribution companies procure electricity for supply to their consumers and wants states to follow suit.

The surge in imports led the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in its previous term to impose a safeguard duty from 30 July 2018 on solar cells and modules imported from China and Malaysia that ended in July. Post that, a basic customs duty (BCD) on all imported solar cells, modules and inverters was imposed, that will make their import from China expensive.

Going forward, India plans to impose more tariff and non-tariff barriers to check imports from China as part of its economic strategy in the backdrop of tensions along the India-China border. A case in point being India’ plan to impose BCD on wafers and ingots that go into the manufacturing of solar cells and modules.

Modi said for an Atma Nirbhar Bharat, self-reliance on electricity is very important.

India is evolving a strategy of not using Chinese equipment and technology in the power sector, and subsidising finance for promoting local power equipment usage and prior-permission requirements for imports from countries with which it has a conflict. The plan also involves procuring equipment and material locally and increase domestic capacity.

India is among the top five countries in the world in terms of solar power generation, Modi said and added that this form of energy power is “sure, pure and secure”.

India has become one of the top renewable energy producers globally, with ambitious capacity expansion plans to achieve 175GW by 2022 and 500GW by 2030, as part of its climate commitments. This has bolstered India’s image as a clean energy champion at a time the world is grappling with climate change concerns.

Modi also spoke about India being the most attractive market for clean energy and being viewed as a model for transition towards clean energy.

India’s solar power tariffs hit a record low of ₹2.36 per unit during a bid conducted by state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd (SECI) last week. The auctions were dominated by foreign firms with the lowest bid placed by Spain’ Solarpack Corporación Tecnológica, S.A., followed by Italy’s Enel Group, Canada’ AMP Solar Group, France’ EDEN Renewables and Ib Vogt Singapore Pte ltd placing the second lowest tariff bid of 2.37 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). UK’s CDC Group-backed Ayana Renewable Power and Goldman Sachs backed ReNew Power placed the third lowest bid of Rs2 .37 per unit each. The previously recorded lowest solar bid was of ₹2.44 per unit in May 2017.

“Today Rewa has actually written history,” Modi said.

Spread over 1,590 acres, the Rewa solar park settled the debate on competitive tariffs from green energy sources in India by landing a then record low-winning bid of Rs2.97 per unit in the country through intelligent risk distribution.

By breaking the electricity grid parity barrier in February 2017, the project brought home the point that solar energy is no longer a green fad but a game changer in India’s energy mix.

Modi also spoke about India’ global electricity grid plan— ‘One Sun One World One Grid’—- that seeks to transfer solar power generated in one region to feed the electricity demands of others and India’ aim of becoming an electricity exporter.

India’s global grid plans have gained traction in the backdrop of China’s attempt to co-opt countries into its ambitious One Belt One Road initiative that seeks to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects including railways, ports and power grids across Asia, Africa and Europe, and the withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate deal.

Unlocking India

The pandemic got us all by its horror. While the Indian government continues to miserably fail at actually governing the nation with its highly communal and primitive ideas, unlocking India has gotten worse than the lockdown itself.

The Jagannath Puri Yatra has commenced and a person whopwho was of the yatra has already tested positive for the deadly virus. I remember when we were locking down the country here, the government continuosly blamed the Tablighi Jamaat for having worsened the country’s situation. Our Islamophobic government continued to attack the muslims for having deliberately planned this entire thing to attack Indians. They were kept all sorts of names by the media especially the channels supporting the right wing. Now what? Isn’t the Puri yath ratra also going to lead to the spread of the virus? Isn’t this fatal? Just because the yatra us being lead by the majority religion of this so called secular nation, shouldn’t the government be questioning this too? Who is going bro be responsible if the whole of India gets the virus due to this yatra. I do not mean to disrespect Lord Jagannath but isn’t it common sense to not allow a thousand people to roam around with no physical distancing whatsoever? Trust me, I’m waiting for the government to put the blame of this foolishnes on the Gandhis. In the last 6 years of their highly inefficient and ineffective regime, all I’ve understood is that if their is a problem, the opposition is responsible and if there is something passingly going fine in the country we must hail Modi.

The leading party is poisoning the body politic of India. The unlocking isn’t going fine. The Economy is dying, there are as always issues related to electricity and water, people don’t have food to eat, the diesal prices are going over the roof, people are dying, hospitals are ineffective, employees are losing their income. In such a situation how can the home minister even dare to say that things are going fine? The only thing the government knows is how to attack students who are trying to raise their voice. It only knows how to attack and suppress people. It only knows oppression. This country is no more a democracy and it will be too late before people realise this. Sad, we are in a sad state.