Published on June 6, 2020
1. ?=BQ =4F34;78 The Supreme Court on Thursday gave two-week time to the Centre and the States to complete the trans- portation of all stranded migrant workers to their native places and fixed June 9 as the date to pronounce its order on the issue. A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan was hearing the matter in which it had taken suo motu cognisance on the plight of migrant workers who were stranded across the country due to the Covid-19 lockdown. The Centre informed the court on Friday that around one crore migrant workers across the country have already reached their destina- tion — around 41 lakh by road transport and 57 lakh by trains. During the hearing, the advocates representing vari- ous States gave the figures of migrant workers as per which, over 11 lakh and 20.5 lakh peo- ple have gone back from Maharashtra and Gujarat respectively. Counsel appearing for Bihar and Uttar Pradesh informed the SC they have so far received 28 lakh and 21.69 lakh migrants respectively. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the Bench, also comprising Justices SK Kaul and MR Shah, that so far 802 trains have been operated from Maharashtra for trans- porting migrant workers. Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, repre- senting the Delhi Government, told the top court that around two lakh workers are still in the nation- al Capital and only around 10,000 of them have expressed their desire to return to their native places. The counsel appearing for Gujarat told the SC that out of around 22 lakh migrant work- ers in the State, 20.5 lakh have already been transported back. Senior advocate PS Narasimha, appearing for Uttar Pradesh, said that around 5.50 lakh migrants workers were brought back into the State from Delhi bor- ders for which buses made over 10,000 trips. The State Government told the Bench that 1,664 Shramik trains were organised and around 21.69 lakhs migrant workers were brought back in Uttar Pradesh. It said they have sent back around 1.35 lakh migrants, who were in Uttar Pradesh, and 104 special trains were operat- ed for this. The counsel appearing for the Bihar Government told the court that around 28 lakh migrant workers have returned to the State. The lawyer said that the Bihar Government is taking steps to provide them employ- ment and so far, skill mapping of around 10 lakh migrants has been done. ?=BQ =4F34;78 Resource-starved as it is, the Government will not start any new schemes for a year, the Finance Ministry said on Friday making it clear that any spending will only be allowed in the Prime Minister’s “Garib Kalyan Package” and the recent announcements made under “the Atmanirbhar Bharat package”. No other scheme would be approved. Schemes already approved under the Budget will also stay suspended till March 31, 2021. The drastic move is to tighten spending amid rising coronavirus cases with no clar- ity on when the pandemic will peak in the country. “It may be appreciated that in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is an unprece- dented demand on public financial resources and a need to use resources prudently in accordance with emerging and changing priorities,” the expen- diture department, under the Finance Ministry, said adding that it has been receiving many new proposals for in-principle approval from various Ministries or departments. All Ministries have been told to stop sending requests for new schemes to the Finance Ministry. Spending will only be allowed in the Prime Minister’s Garib Kalyan Package and the announcements made under the Atmanirbhar Bharat pack- age, it said. “No new proposals for a scheme/sub-scheme should be initiated this year (2020-21) except the proposals announced under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan package and any other special package/announce- ment,” a Ministery note said. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman had announced C1.70 lakh crore PM Garib Kalyan package on May 6 and 20 lakh crore Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan package on May 16 with emphasis on giving quick relief to poor and small scale indus- tries and reviving economy with a new mantra of ‘swadeshi’ and self-reliance. ?=BQ =4F34;78 India climbed to the sixth spot in the world table of worst- hit coronavirus nations by leav- ing behind Italy after recording the fourth straight day of 9,000 plus new cases on Friday. Now the US, Brazil, Russia, Spain, and the UK are ahead of it. The country recorded 9,045 new cases and 279 deaths on Friday, which took its over- all count of new cases to 2,35,767 and deaths to 6,642. Maharashtra sank into deep despair on Friday as the State recorded highest-ever day’s tally of 139 deaths and as many as 2,436 new infected cases. With the fresh deaths and infections, the total num- ber of deaths rose to 2,849, while the total infected cases jumped to 80,229. Taking into the total num- ber of deaths so far and the fact that 35,156 patients have been discharged from various hos- pitals so far, the State health authorities pegged the number of “active cases” at 42,215. Of the deaths reported on Friday, Mumbai accounted for 54 deaths, while there were 30 deaths in Thane, 14 deaths each in Pune and Jalgaon, eight deaths in Malegaon, seven deaths in Kalyan-Dombivli, five deaths in Ratnagiri, two deaths each in Solapur and Nashik, one death each in Vasai-Virar -1, Bhiwandi, and Aurangabad-1. Tamil Nadu saw 1,438 per- sons testing positive for coro- navirus on Friday, the highest ever number to be tested pos- itive on a single day. With the addition of 1,438 patients into the pool, Tamil Nadu has 12,697 active Covid- 19 cases as on Friday. Till date 28,694 persons have tested positive for the pandemic in the State, according to a medical bulletin by the Tamil Nadu Government. The death tally on Friday was 12 and this took the total number of fatalities till date to 232. Out of the 12 who breathed their last on Friday, four were in the 80-82 age group, three were in 70-72 group, one was 68, two were 56 and 50 years of age, and a 44- year-old person. BC055A4?AC4AQ =4F34;78 Twenty people, who were infected by a housemaid, have been found corona posi- tive in the Tarun Enclave of Pitampura area of Delhi. The Enclave has now been declared as a containment zone. The entire area was declared a containment zone on June 3 as cases increased. As a precautionary measure more than 750 people ranging from house number 130 to 340 in Tarun Enclave has been asked to live in self-quarantine. According to the DM, the first case of corona positive was reported on May 24 and since then the 20 more cases have been registered here. It was on May 24 the area was sealed. The root cause of the corona spread has been locat- ed to a house where a maid used to come regularly, infect- ing children and then all the people of the house got coro- na positive. The area was sealed on 24 May only after the corona patients’ case surfaced and DC, North MCD were asked to undergo sanitation in this regard. On June 3, seeing the corona case increasing, the entire area has been declared as a containment zone. It is reported that the coro- na infection has taken place in this area from a house where a maid used to come regularly. The children were infected and then all the people of the house got infected. The infection from chil- dren occurred to other children playing in the colony and then from those children to their respective families. ?=BQ =4F34;78 All eyes are now on the talks on Saturday between senior military commanders of India and China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to defuse nearly month-long multiple face-offs in Eastern Ladakh. India is firm on mutual and simultaneous pull- back of soldiers from the flash- points and an assurance from China to stop disrupting con- struction activities like roads and infrastructure develop- ment near the LAC. The talks will be held between Leh-based 14 Corps chief Lt General Harinder and his Chinese counterpart in Chushul-Moldo. It is a mutually-agreed Border Personnel Meeting between the two countries to resolve such contentious issues. The Indian commander will cross over the LAC to meet the Chinese senior commander. This level of talks will take place after seven earlier meet- ings between local comman- ders of two sides failed to break the deadlock in the last one fortnight. At present, the two armies are in a stand-off at four points in Eastern Ladakh. The frontage is between 20 and 30 km but in small pockets where soldiers are in an eyeball to eyeball con- frontation, sources said here on Friday. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, while admitting that China had sizably increased its troop strength on the LAC dur- ing the stand-offs, said two days back he was hopeful the talks at the Lt General level will pave the way for peaceful res- olution of the ongoing dispute. ?C8Q D108 Bollywood producer Anil Suri, who had backed films like Raaj Kumar-Rekha starrer “Karmayogi” and “Raaj Tilak”, passed away due to coron- avirus on Thursday. He was 77. Anil’s brother, film producer Rajiv Suri, said he had fever on June 2 but his condition worsened the next day with breathlessness. “He was rushed to Lilavati and Hinduja, but both denied him a bed,” Rajiv claimed. “He was then taken to Advanced Multispeciality Hospital on Wednesday night. He had Covid-19. On Thursday evening, they said something is amiss and he was put on ventilator. He died around 7:00 pm,” said Rajiv. Last rites of Anil were held on Friday morning at Oshiwara crema- tion ground 344?0::D0A970Q =4F34;78 For the first time, the Road and Highway Ministry has woken up to the need of reduc- ing animal mortality on State roads and national highways. For this purpose, the Ministry has asked State Governments and other stakeholders of wildlife and environment to assist it in identifying accident blackspots. The Ministry is already rectifying identified blackspots to curtail human fatality on highways. Sources said the Ministry has asked the Central road making agency NHAI and the States to replicate the same model. This includes conduct- ing studies for road engineer- ing favourable to animal movement, constructing underpasses, elevated corri- dors, via-ducts, cut and cover, guardwall, fencing, watchtow- er, solar pumps, ponds for drinking water for animals. “Similar exercises are being undertaken in the forest area of MP, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttarakhand, as part of a cam- paign ‘Prevention of Human and Animal Mortality on Highways’. There is a need for gener- ating awareness and educating for the masses towards reduc- ing or eliminating both human and animal fatality,” Road Transport Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said. =0E8=D?037H0HQ =4F34;78 Famous for Africa’s tallest mountain Kilimanjaro and Serengeti National Park, Tanzania has a population of around 5.63 crore out of which just 509 are infected by the coronavirus. Known for its palm- fringed beaches, Liberia is another African nation with an equally impoverished popula- tion of mere 48 lakh — the average age is just around 18 — of which only 311 have tested positive. Interestingly, both of these countries, like many other nations with minuscule coro- navirus outbreak on their soils, have admitted to community transmission — a state in which the disease becomes so wide- spread that one can’t pinpoint the source of infection, or where the contract-tracing was not possible. Zoom to India, Russia, and China — the three countries hit hard by the virus. The world has rained obloquy on China over its dubious claim of arrest- ing the growth of coronavirus at around 85,000 cases. Even if that number is accepted as credible, China is placed as the 18 worst affected nation in the world, 12 places behind India (2.3 lakh cases), and 16 ranks behind Russia (2.5 lakh plus cases). Despite such a huge num- ber of cases, India, China, and Russia are the only three coun- tries among the top 15 affect- ed nations that have denied reaching the community trans- mission stage. For its classification of the transmission stage, the World Health Organisation (WHO) relies solely on the reports it receives from respective coun- tries. Now, let’s go back to Tanzania. The African nation had just 480 positive corona cases on May 1. During the last 33 days till June 3, it added a trickling of 29 cases. Similarly, Liberia had 152 confirmed cases on May 1. In 33 days from then, it added five cases every day to reach a figure of 316 on June 3. Both these countries are brack- eted with dozens of nations such as South Africa ( 35,000 cases), Nigeria (10,819 cases) Algeria (9,626 cases), Ghana (8,297 cases) Cameroon (6,585 cases) Guinea (3,886 cases) Senegal (3,836 cases) the Democratic Republic of the Congo (3,325) Côte d’Ivoire (3,024) Gabon (2,803 cases) Kenya (2,093 cases) Mali (1,351 cases), which have admitted to community transmission. Even in Europe, where the health system is far better than Africa and India, a majority of the countries have admitted to reaching the stage of commu- nity transmission. DV_U^ZXcR_edY`^VZ_URjd+D4 $SH[ FRXUW VDV LW LQWHQGV WR SDVV VXFK RUGHU WR HQWUH 6WDWH *RYWV RQ -XQH 1R QHZ VFKHPH IRU HDU HQWUDO 0LQLVWULHV WROG DaV_UZ_X`_`_]j A 8RcZSR]jR_ R_U2e^R_ZcSYRc 3YRcReR]]`hVU New Delhi: Indigenously developed ELISA testing kits for Covid-19 have been found to be sensitive and specific for the detection of novel coron- avirus antibodies in human serum samples and can be used for determining infection exposure among the general population, a study said. PTI (/,6$ WHVW NLWV FDQ EH XVHG WR GHWHUPLQH LQIHFWLRQ H[SRVXUH DPRQJ SXEOLF 6WXG New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked private hospitals whether they are ready to provide treatment to Covid-19 patients at the charges prescribed under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme. The Ayushman Bharat is aimed at providing health cover to poor and vulnerable persons. PTI E`aT`fceRddZWage Y`daZeR]dcVRUje` TYRcXV4`gZUaReZV_ed Re2jfdY^R_cReV +RXVHPDLG LQIHFWV ZLWK FRURQDYLUXV 'HOKL FRORQ GHFODUHG KRWVSRW 0c%cWaP]Z8]SXPaPRTbPWTPS^U8cP[h 7`fceYdecRZXYe URj`W*!!! TRdVdYZXYVde UVReYdZ_RYR 4cfTZR]:_UZR4YZ_R S`cUVc^VVee`URje` VRdVeV_dZ`_`_=24 CRR[EZ]RWR^VU ac`UfTVc2_Z] DfcZdfTTf^Sd e`T`c`_RgZcfd 6WUDQJH WDOH RI FRPPXQLW VSUHDG 4RaZeR]¶dcVT`gVcj cReVWR]]de`$*' BC055A4?AC4AQ =4F34;78 Amid surge in coronavirus cases in Delhi, for the first time in the past two weeks the trend in recovery rate from the virus has fallen below 40 per cent in the national Capital. According to State health bulletin data, recovery rate of Covid-19 patients in the national Capital has gradually fallen in the last ten days to 39.58 per cent as reported in June 4 night health bulletin. Prior to that the rate var- ied from 48.18 per cent on May 25 to 40.35 per cent on June 3. On May 26, the rate fell marginally to 48.07 per cent, with a total of 14,465 cases being recorded on that day. The May 26 bulletin said there were 6,954 patients who had recovered, been discharged or migrated. The death toll on that day stood at 288. 1XSc^PeTacP]XP[b´ STPcW^]WXVWfPhb C`RUR_U9ZXYhRj Z_ZdecjRddDeReV 8`gede`ZUV_eZWj RTTZUV_eS]RTda`ed Z__`hdRU^Ze XZR_edcVWfeVZe A=:89E @7 :8C2?ED PCWT2T]caTX]U^aTScWTR^dac ^]5aXSPhcWPcPa^d]S^]TRa^aT XVaP]cf^aZTabPRa^bbcWT R^d]cahWPeTP[aTPShaTPRWTS cWTXaSTbcX]PcX^]¯ Pa^d]S# [PZWQha^PScaP]b_^acP]S$ [PZWQhcaPX]b P2^d]bT[P__TPaX]VU^a1XWPaP]S DccPa?aPSTbWX]U^aTScWT R^daccWPccWThWPeTb^UPa aTRTXeTS!'[PZWP]S! %([PZW XVaP]cbaTb_TRcXeT[h PeTa [PZWP]S!$[PZW _T^_[TWPeTV^]TQPRZUa^ PWPaPbWcaPP]S6dYPaPc aTb_TRcXeT[h PB^UPa'!caPX]bWPeTQTT] ^_TaPcTSUa^PWPaPbWcaPU^a caP]b_^acX]VXVaP]cf^aZTab CC0; 4`gZU* :?:?5:2 20B4B) !$% 340C7B)%%#! 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2. dccPaPZWP]S!347A03D=kB0CDA30H k9D=4%!! 3ULQWHG DQG SXEOLVKHG E $MLW 6LQKD IRU DQG RQ EHKDOI RI 0. 3ULQWHFK /WG SXEOLVKHG DW 8QLJDWH *HQHUDO 0HGLD 3YW /WG 2OG 1HKUX RORQ 2SS 8WWDUDNKDQG -DO 6DQVWKDQ 'KDUDPSXU 'HKUDGXQ 3K 0RE DQG SULQWHG DW $PDU 8MDOD 3XEOLFDWLRQV /WG 6KHG 1R 3DWHO 1DJDU R2SHUDWLYH ,QGXVWULDO $UHD 'HKUDGXQ 8WWDUDNKDQG (GLWRU KDQGDQ 0LWUD $,5 685+$5*( RI 5H (DVW DOFXWWD 5DQFKL %KXEDQHVZDU 1RUWK /HK :HVW 0XPEDL $KPHGDEDG 6RXWK %DQJDORUH KHQQDL HQWUDO .KDMXUDKR 'HOKL 2IILFH 1R %HKLQG *XODE %KDZDQ %DKDGXU 6KDK =DIDU 0DUJ 1HZ 'HOKL 3KRQH RPPXQLFDWLRQ 2IILFH ) 6HFWRU 12,'$ *DXWDP %XGK 1DJDU 83 3KRQH /XFNQRZ 2IILFH WK )ORRU 6DKDUD 6KRSSLQJ HQWUH )DL]DEDG 5RDG /XFNQRZ 7HOHSKRQHV $OWKRXJK HYHU SRVVLEOH FDUH DQG FDXWLRQ KDV EHHQ WDNHQ WR DYRLG HUURUV RU RPLVVLRQV WKLV SXEOLFDWLRQ LV EHLQJ VROG RQ WKH FRQGLWLRQ DQG XQGHUVWDQGLQJ WKDW LQIRUPDWLRQ JLYHQ LQ WKLV SXEOLFDWLRQ LV PHUHO IRU UHIHUHQFH DQG PXVW QRW EH WDNHQ DV KDYLQJ DXWKRULW RI RU ELQGLQJ LQ DQ ZD RQ WKH ZULWHUV HGLWRUV SXEOLVKHUV DQG SULQWHUV DQG VHOOHUV ZKR GR QRW RZH DQ UHVSRQVLELOLW IRU DQ GDPDJH RU ORVV WR DQ SHUVRQ D SXUFKDVHU RI WKLV SXEOLFDWLRQ RU QRW IRU WKH UHVXOW RI DQ DFWLRQ WDNHQ RQ WKH EDVLV RI WKLV ZRUN $OO GLVSXWHV DUH VXEMHFW WR WKH H[FOXVLYH MXULVGLFWLRQ RI FRPSHWHQW FRXUW DQG IRUXPV LQ 'HOKL1HZ 'HOKL RQO 5HDGHUV DUH DGYLVHG DQG UHTXHVWHG WR YHULI DQG VHHN DSSURSULDWH DGYLFH WR VDWLVI WKHPVHOYHV DERXW WKH YHUDFLW RI DQ NLQG RI DGYHUWLVHPHQW EHIRUH UHVSRQGLQJ WR DQ FRQWHQWV SXEOLVKHG LQ WKLV QHZVSDSHU 7KH SULQWHU SXEOLVKHU HGLWRU DQG DQ HPSORHH RI WKH 3LRQHHU *URXS·V ZLOO QRW EH KHOG UHVSRQVLEOH IRU DQ NLQG RI FODLP PDGH E WKH DGYHUWLVHUV RI WKH SURGXFWV VHUYLFHV DQG VKDOO QRW EH PDGH UHVSRQVLEOH IRU DQ NLQG RI ORVV FRQVHTXHQFHV DQG IXUWKHU SURGXFWUHODWHG GDPDJHV RQ VXFK DGYHUWLVHPHQWV ?=BQ 270=3860A7 Haryana on Friday reported 316 new cases of novel corona virus, 153 from Gurugram alone, raising the total of infected cases to 3,597. Faridabad accounted for 59 cases, the second highest dis- trict of the State followed by 22 new cases in Charkhi Dadri. Meanwhile, 86 patients have recovered from various hospitals of the State over the last 24 hours on Friday. The State has a recovery rate of 33.61 per cent, fatality rate at 0.67 per cent while tests per million being conducted are 5,422. The doubling rate in the State is six days. With 1209 people cured and discharged from the hos- pitals, there are 2, 364 active COVID-19 cases in Haryana now. Gurugram total of the deadly disease is now 1563. Faridabad reported 59 new case of the deadly disease, tak- ing the total in the district to 581. Jhajjar reported two new Covid cases, taking tally to 107. Nuh reported three more cases, taking total to 85. Six more corona virus case reported in Ambala, taking total to 76. Palwal reported 14 more cases, taking the tally to 100. One more case reported in Panipat, taking total to 67. Panchkula reported one more case, taking total to 28. Two new cases reported in Jind, taking count to 35. Karnal reported seven more cases, taking count to 81. Two more case has been reported in Sirsa, taking total to 50. Three more cases report- ed in Fatehabad, talking total to 30. Four more cases have been reported in Rohtak, taking total to 114. Nanaul reported four more cases, taking total to 77. Hisar reported nine more case, tak- ing the tally to 78. 11 more cases have been reported in Rewari, taking total to 45. Charkhi Dadri reported 22 more cases, taking count to 35. One more cases reported in Kaithal, taking total to 34. Kurukshetra reported 12 more cases, taking total to 49. According to officials, a total of 86 Covid patients were dis- charged from various districts including 40 in Gurugram, three in Faridabad, three in Ambala, 11 in Karnal, one in Fatehabad, 12 in Narnaul, 10 in Hisar, one in Kaithal and five in Kurukshetra. 6 NEW CASES TAKE HIMACHAL TALLY TO 390 Six more people, including a couple and a 40-year old man who recently returned from Delhi, tested positive for coro- navirus in Himachal Pradesh on Friday, taking the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 390. While three fresh cases were reported from Kangra district, two were detected from Hamirpur district and one from Shimla district, Special Secretary (Health) Nipun Jindal said. He said eight patients---six in Hamirpur and two in Kangra, recovered from disease on Friday. In Kangra, all the three fresh cases returned from Delhi on May 27, a district official said. A 34-year-old man and his 31-year-old wife from Minjgram in Nurpur tehsil in Kangra tested positive on Friday, he said adding that their two-year-old son had earlier tested positive and was admitted at the Baijnath Dedicated COVID care centre (DCCC). Similarly, a 40-year- old man from Kulhan village in Nurpur tehsil also tested pos- itive. His son had also tested positive earlier and was admit- ted at Baijnath DCCC, he said. Meanwhile two persons in Kangra district, including a 42-year-old man from Barohal village in Panchrukhi tehsil and a 35-year-old man from Sarguni village in Palampur tehsil recovered from the virus, he added. Additional Chief Secretary (Health) R D Dhiman said the number of active patients in the state is 197. As many as 187 patients have recovered so far, he added. So far, six people have suc- cumbed to the virus in Himachal Pradesh. Hamirpur has the highest number of active cases in the state at 64, followed by 50 in Kangra, 17 in Solan, 15 each in Una and Chamba, 11 in Bilaspur, 10 in Mandi, eight in Sirmaur, three in Shimla, and two each in Kinnaur and Kullu. PTI SEVEN CASES IN CHANDI- GARH, TALLY 309 Seven fresh cases of Coronavirus were reported on Friday in the city, taking the total tally to 309. Six positive cases were reported from Bapu Dham colony while one was reported from Sector 21 here. “Seven new cases have been reported on Friday. Six cases from Bapu Dham colony include a three year old female child, two boys aged 10 years each, a 14 years old boy, a 35 years old woman and a 40 years old man. All are the contacts of already positive COVID-19 case,” stated the Chandigarh Health Department’s bulletin. “A 57 years old woman, a resident of Sector 21 is also test- ed positive for COVID-19. She has two family contacts and three community contacts,” the bulletin stated. Apart from this, 50 resi- dents of Bapu Dham colony, Sector-26 have been cured and shifted to post discharge quar- antine facility at Sood Dharmshala. The Bapu Dham colony in Sector 26 here has till now reported 232 cases, which accounts for more than 75 percent of the total cases in Chandigarh. The city has reported a total of 309 cases out of which 31 are active. 273 are treated and cured, the bulletin added. Chandigarh has report- ed five Coronavirus related deaths. Meanwhile, Chandigarh Administration on Friday took Sector 30-B off the list of con- tainment zones in the city. With this, Chandigarh now has two containment zones including pockets of Bapu Dham colony in Sector 26 and Kacchi colony Dhanas. Earlier, the UT Administration had decided to remove the containment zone tag from the area on June 4, but after the death of an elderly woman on Monday, the Administration decided to defer the decision. Angry over staying at home for the past more than two months, the residents of the area had held a protest on Wednesday following which the Administration had assured to review the status of con- tainment zone. +DUDQD UHSRUWV QHZ RYLG FDVHV WDOO ULVHV WR ?=BQ 270=3860A7 As one more corona positive patient from Tarn Taran succumbed to the deadly con- tagion on Friday, the state reported 46 fresh cases, taking the state’s COVID-19 death tally to 48 and that of positive cases to 2461. As many 26 more patients — 14 from Amritsar, five from Moga, three from Ludhiana, two from Pathankot, one each from Tarn Taran and SAS Nagar (Mohali) — recovered from the novel coronavirus, leaving just 344 active cases. In all, 2,069 patients have recov- ered in the State till date. Of the 46 cases, more than half were the contacts of the already diagnosed positive cases, besides five of those who have returned to Punjab from other states or countries. Maximum 16 cases were reported from Ludhiana, of which 12 are the contacts of positive cases, two are the new cases of Influenza Like Illness (ILI), while the source of infec- tion of remaining two are unknown as of now. Jalandhar reported eight fresh cases of which four are the contacts of positive case, while four are new cases with no contact or travel history. Amritsar also reported three cases, all of which are the con- tacts of positive cases. SAS Nagar (Mohali) has reported four new coronavirus cases, taking the district’s tally to 127. Three of the four were contacts of already diagnosed cases and one was classified as a new case of a 61-year-old from Sector 70. The three patients from Sector 78 were the wife, moth- er and father of an already diag- nosed patient from Sector 78 with a travel history of Delhi. Gurdaspur has reported three cases, of which two are the contacts of positive case, while one is the new case. Kapurthala and Tarn Taran reported two cases each, While Kapurthala’s both cases were new with no travel or contact history, Tarn Taran’s one case has travel his- tory, while another was a new case. Besides, omne cases each was reported from Patiala — with travel history to Chennai, Fatehgarh Sahib — ILI patient with travel history to Delhi, Bathinda —contact of positive case, Muktsar — with travel his- tory to Delhi, Moga — a foreign returnee, Sangrur — a new case, Pathankot — a self reported new case, and Faridkot — a health worker (ANC). #%UaTbWRPbTb^U2^eXSX]?d]YPQ 2I WKH FDVHV PRUH WKDQ KDOI ZHUH WKH FRQWDFWV RI WKH DOUHDG GLDJQRVHG SRVLWLYH FDVHV EHVLGHV ILYH RI WKRVH ZKR KDYH UHWXUQHG WR 3XQMDE IURP RWKHU 6WDWHV RU FRXQWULHV ?=BQ 347A03D= In a ceremony held at historic Chetwode hall of Indian Military Academy (IMA) on Friday, 50 cadets of Army Cadet College (ACC) were awarded degrees. The cere- mony was presided over by the Commandant of IMA, Lieutenant General JS Negi. Among the Cadets award- ed degrees, 31 were from humanities stream while 19 belonged to science stream. The cadets were conferred degrees of the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. The Commandant, in his convocation address, congrat- ulated the Course for success- fully completing their chal- lenging three years of training at the ACC Wing. He said “the degree that you all have just received represents a major milestone in your career and marks the end of an initial, but immensely important phase of your professional life”. He also said that “I would like to remind you that former Army Cadet College cadets have excelled and done us proud over the years. The Principal of the Army Cadet College Wing, Dr Naveen Kumar while present- ing the College report high- lighted the high standards and commendable academic per- formance shown by the Cadets of the graduating course. He also appreciated the Cadets for successfully completing the course despite the challenges faced due to COVID restric- tions. In the end, the Commandant complimented Brigadier V M Chaudhari, the Commander Army Cadet College Wing, and his team of instructors, faculty members for their diligent efforts in shaping the Cadets into poten- tial officers. On the occasion, the Commandant’s Banner to the Champion Company was awarded to 'Kargil Company’ which has won the banner fifth time in a row. The banner is awarded to the company, which excels in various com- petitions like sports, acade- mics, camps, debates and inte- rior economy. The Army Cadet College has a rich history of training selected personnel from other ranks of all three Services who have the potential to become officers in the Indian Army. After three years of training at the Army Cad0et College, the graduated course will join the Indian Military Academy for one year for their Pre-com- missioning Training. The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic was clearly visible during the ceremony. The cadets and the officers were wearing masks and were seen observing social distancing. The parents and spouse of the cadets could also not attend the ceremony. 8cRUfReZ`_TVcV^`_j YV]URe:25VYcRUf_ 2WXTU^U0ahBcPUU20BTSP[b 6^[STSP[)0aeX]S1PV^aXP !BX[eTaTSP[BWXeYTTcBX]VW 1a^]iTTSP[®?PfXccPa_P[BX]VW 2^P]SP]c´bBX[eTaTSP[b 5XabcX]BTaeXRTBdQYTRcb®0aeX]S1PV^aXP !5XabcX]7dP]XcXTbBcaTP)0aeX]S1PV^aXP 5XabcX]BRXT]RTBcaTP?PfXccPa_P[BX]VW C740F0A3F8==4AB;8BC FDGHWV RI $UP DGHW ROOHJH ZHUH DZDUGHG GHJUHHV ?=BQ 347A03D= The remaining examinations of the Uttarakhand Vidhyalayi Shiksha Parishad (UVSP) would be held between June 20 to 23. On Friday the education secretary, R Meenakshi Sundaram directed the Uttarakhand board to conduct remaining examinations during this period. The education minister Arvind Pandey has also given his approval for the proposal. The examinations of class X and XII were suspended mid- way in March after the lock- down was enforced to prevent the infection of Covid-19 from spreading. 5HPDLQLQJ 8¶NKDQG ERDUG H[DPV IURP -XQH ?=BQ 347A03D= Tree plantations were held by various institutions on the occasion of World Environment Day on Friday. At the tree plantation in Uttarakhand Space Application Centre (USAC) its director MPS Bisht said that the centre is working consistently for the protection and betterment of the state’s natural resources enable developmentwhile ensuring environmentl pro- tection.In the sphere of biodi- versity, USAC has assessed the distribution, density and pre- sent status of more than 70 medicinal plants. It is also assessing the biodiversity of more than 280 sacred forests and studying various aspects of more than 80 bugyals (high altitude alpine meadows). The general public will have to ensure its participation in maintaining the improvement in environment seen due to the lockdown enforced to contain the spread of Covid-19, added Bisht. Sandalwood, Tejpatta, Rudraksh and other tree species were planted at USAC on the occasion. At the Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA) too various types of trees were planted. The MDDA secretaries SL Semwal, Girish Gunwant, system administrator Sanjeevan Soontha,horticulture officer Asharam Joshi and others were present on the occasion. Uttaranchal University also commemorated the occasion with a tree plantation pro- gramme. The university chan- cellor Jitender Joshi informed thattheentireuniversitycampus comes under Green Campus Project as per the policy of the MinistryofNewandRenewable Energy of the Central Government, in which all the energyisbeingobtainedthrough solar energy in the first phase. The officiating vice chancellor RajeshBahugunaalsoexpressed his views on the occasion. At the JB Institute of Technology, a webinar was held on the effect of Covid-19 on the environment. Speaking on the occasion, forest scientist Subhash Nautiyal spoke in detail about the effects on the environment of the Covid-19 pandemic. The institute direc- tor Amit Kumar Bansal, regis- trar Vishan Kumar along with chairman LD Singhal and vice chairman Sandeep Singhal were also present at the webi- nar. Later, a number of trees were also planted in the insti- tute campus. CaTT_[P]cPcX^]bWT[Sc^PaZ F^a[S4]eXa^]T]c3Ph ?C8Q =830 The Noida Apparel Export Centre (NAEC) has written to the Uttar Pradesh govern- ment, seeking attention towards the problem of labour shortage due to large-scale migration of workers in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. It said that readymade garment units in the city immediate need two lakh workers, includ- ing tailors, to run operations normally. The cluster had on Thursday written a letter to MSME and Export Production Department Principal Secretary Navneet Sehgal seek- ing facilitation in arranging work force which has migrat- ed to other parts of the coun- try. Sir, you are aware that Noida (Gautam Buddh Nagar) is a well-known readymade garment hub of the country. Noida cluster alone has approx- imately 3,000 readymade gar- ment production-cum export units which are in operation and currently employing around 10 lakh workers, NAEC president Lalit Thukral said. Through these units our members export readymade garments worth C18,000 crore to C20,000 crore annually and whose credit goes not only to our work force but also to the local administration, the Government of UP and the Chief Minister, who have always stood by us and sup- ported us, he wrote in the let- ter. Thukral said that due to the COVID-19 pan- demic, the operation of these units and production of ready- made garments has stopped but simultaneously the NAEC appreciates the government's move to restart these units. I wish to bring to your kind knowledge a matter of concern for us that readymade gar- ment units in Noida are unable to resume the operations because of absence of man- power, despite the UP govern- ment order allowing restarting of the production units. =830A403H03460A4=CD=8CBCD?6EC=830 1HHG ODNK ZRUNHUV WR UHVXPH RSHUDWLRQV
3. dccPaPZWP]S347A03D=kB0CDA30H k9D=4%!! ?=BQ 347A03D= When one talks about pro- tecting the environment, most appear concerned about the depletion of forests, green- ery and biodiversity from rural or mountainous areas. However, such narrow focus leads to negligence twards envi- ronmental degradation in urban areas as seen in Dehradun since creation of Uttarakhand states. On the occasion of World Environment Day, The Pioneer talked to some environmen- talists and activists about the past, present and future of urban greenery in Dehradun. In the last few years, Dehradun has lost a substantial amount of urban green space. According to environ- mentalists, the administration plays an important role in destroying as well as protecting and conserving the biodiversi- ty. While some said that green- ery should be incorporated in city planning, others opined that it should be prioritised rather than being adjusted in some plan. Himanshu Arora from Citizens For Green Doon (CFGD) said that the govern- ment has cut down thousands of trees in the name of devel- opment in the city. I do not consider cutting trees for constructing buildings as development. True development is the coexistence of biodiversity with the development plans. In the name of development in Dehradun, the Government had cut the flourishing orchards of litchi and mango, the fields of basmati rice have disappeared and the canals were covered, said Arora. According to experts, trees are the most important part of the biodiversity of any region. When trees are cut down from an area, the lives around it get disturbed and creatures like birds and insects like butterflies gradually cease to live in that area and that leads to their steady disappearance from the whole city. Activist Lokesh Ohri informs that the government has cut lakhs of trees in the last twenty years which affected several living creatures existing around them but the govern- ment had hardly planted even half the number of the trees it had cut. Some social activists and conservationists proposed that by increasing the greenery of the urban areas, the environ- ment can be made much healthier for the citizens and for other living beings. Social activist Anoop Nautiyal stated that with the increasing urbanisation in the city, it is more important to pri- oritise the existence of biodi- versity before the development projects by the administration and the citizens. He added that a city's development should not be at the cost of its environment. To revive the urban green- ery of Dehradun, Ohri sug- gested that the government should leave the space wher- ever it can for the plantation of trees instead of completely paving the roads that does not allow even the percolation of rainwater to the ground. He said that the govern- ment can issue some guidelines too so that citizens do not harm the biodiversity. Other activists also sug- gested that if the citizens are aware and dedicated to save their environment, the gov- ernment will not have much power to recklessly cut the trees as per its will. 6^ec_[PhbX_^acP]ca^[TX]STbca^hX]V^aR^]bTaeX]VQX^SXeTabXch)0RcXeXbcb ?=BQ 347A03D= The number of novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) patients in Uttarakhand climbed to 1215 with the State health department reporting 62 new cases of the disease on Friday. One patient of the dis- ease, a 73 year old man who was also said to be suffering from Asthama died in Almora district on Friday. With this the death toll from Covid-19 in the state has now climbed to 11. On the day, 23 new patients of the disease were reported from Dehradun while 14 cases were reported from the moun- tainous district of Rudraprayag. In Tehri, eight new patients surfaced while five patients were reported from Almora. In Nainital, four patients were found while three were report- ed from Champawat district. From Chamoli, three patients were reported while one patient each was found in Haridwar, Pauri and Udham Singh Nagar districts. On Friday, 47 patients of the disease were discharged from different hospitals of the state after their complete recov- ery. Meanwhile, the staff mem- bers of the Government Doon Medical College (GDMC) hos- pital, which is serving as the dedicated Covid-19 treatment centre have come under threat of infection. On Friday, three members of the nursing staff deputed in the ICU and other wards were found infected with the disease. One doctor, a junior resident, a nursing staff and a female guard of the hospital had already been infected by the disease. The additional secretary, state health department, Yugal Kishore Pant said that reports of 88 samples were found neg- ative for the disease on Friday. He added that reports of 6623 samples are still awaited by the department. On Friday, a total of 566 samples were collected for COVID -19 testing. The authorities have so far taken swab samples of 35967 sus- pected patients for COVID-19 test. Out of the total samples taken, 4.22 percent samples have been found positive for the disease. The doubling rate of dis- ease in the state is 10.34 days while the recovery percent in the state is now at 25.77. A total of 33454 persons are kept in institutional quarantine by the state health department. Uttarakhand now has 855 active cases of the disease. Dehradun with 273 active cases is maintaining its position at top of the table of Covid-19 positive active patients. Nainital district is at second position with 183 active cases. The Tehri district is at third spot with 104 active cases while Haridwar has 58 active patients of the disease. Almora district now has 46 active cases while Udham Singh Nagar has 39 active patients. Pauri and Pithoragarh districts have 32 and 27 active cases respective- ly while Champawat district has 31 active cases. With 14 new cases on Friday Rudraprayag now has 19 active cases while Chamoli and Uttarkashi districts have 16 and 15 active cases of the dis- ease respectively. Bageshwar with 12 active cases is now at the bottom of the table. 4`gZU*T`f_e[f^adaRde#!! %!=4F20B4B 5D=3 ?=BQ 347A03D= In an attempt to provide medical consultancy to the people for Covid-19, the National Health Mission (NHM) has started the Corona Tele consultation helpline. The service would be available free of cost in the 104 helpline. The additional secretary health and family welfare department and the Mission Director (MD) of NHM, Yugal Kishore Pant said that many doctors from different parts of the country have been linked with the service who would clear doubts of the people for Covid-19. He said that from June 6, Corona Tele consultation, mental health helpline and Corona e- consultancy would become functional on 104 helpline. Pant also made an appeal to all the doctors of the state (both Private and govern- ment) and asked them to provide their services for Corona e- consultancy. The doctors can register them- selves at the site http://bit.ly/IndiaTeleMed for providing their services. 1RZ GLDO IRU FRQVXOWDQF RQ RYLG ?=BQ 347A03D= After Niranjanpur whole- sale vegetable market was closed as several Covid-19 positive patients were found there, the Dehradun Mandi Samiti sent 20 mobile vehicles of vegetables on Friday to sev- eral wards to avoid the crisis of unavailability of vegetables in the city. As informed by the head of Dehradun Mandi Samiti, Rajesh Sharma, twenty mobile vans were used on Friday to make the vegetables available for locals but if the demand will increase in coming days, the number of vans will be increased too. He said these decisions were taken in a recent meeting with several other representa- tives of Samiti. On the question of how the trucks and other vehicles loaded with vegetables were managed when they were about to reach Dehradun after Niranjanpur Mandi was closed, Sharma said that such vehicles were diverted to the wholesale vegetable markets of other cities like Haridwar and Rishikesh on their way to Dehradun. Though, he added, suffi- cient supply of vegetables is ordered for local residents here. He also informed that Mandi will remain closed till June 11 and all the veg- etable wholesalers too will remain under home quaran- tine as per the Government orders. Meanwhile, several locals complained about some vendors selling vegeta- bles at increased prices claiming that vegetables might not be available for the next few days due to closure of the Mandi. ?=BQ 347A03D= The Municipal Corporation of Dehradun (MCD) will sanitise the city in its two-day sanitisation drive on the direc- tions of State Government from today. As the government has announced a closure of all non-essential services and activities On Saturday and Sunday in Dehradun, the corporation will sterilise all the public places, quarantine centres and con- tainment zones. The chief municipal health officer Dr Kailash Joshi informed that those sanitation workers who will sanitise the containment zones, quarantine centers, and Niranjanpur Mandi will do so wearing PPE kits and the remaining areas will be sani- tised as usual. He said that the sanitisation will be done in morning and evening shift on Saturday and Sunday with the help of about 300 sanitation workers. According to the offi- cials, the main focus of saniti- sation will remain public places and those areas where the pos- itive cases of Covid-19 were found recently. To speed up the sanitisa- tion process in city, MCD has even brought 25 tankers from Saharanpur, said Joshi. He also informed that MCD has used about 1,25,000 litres of one percentage sodium hypochlorite solution for ster- ilising the city till now. Recently, the corporation has received 26,000 litres of one percentage sodium hypochlorite from a company based in Kota, Rajasthan. Joshi said that the said disinfectant cost MCD Rs 13 per litre as per the expens- es by corporation. The MCD had also received a consignment of dis- infectant few months ago from the same company. Joshi said that about 5000 litres of disin- fectant is still left from the ear- lier quota. The corporation recently provided councillors with 100 litres of concentrated disinfectant for the sanitisation of their wards. Besides the provided share, councillors of wards have been taking sodium hypochlorite regularly from MCD as per the requirement to sanitise their areas. 0' WR EHJLQ WZRGD VDQLWDWLRQ GULYH IURP WRGD P]SXBPXcXPZX]VeTVTcPQ[Tb PePX[PQ[TcWa^dVW^QX[TeP]b?=BQ =08=8C0; Issuing notices to the state government and cabinet minister Satpal Maharaj, the Uttarakhand high court has asked why no action can be taken for violation of guidelines by those occupying constitu- tional posts when cases are lodged against general citizens for violating quarantine regu- lations. The division bench of chief justice Ramesh Ranganathan and justice RC Khulbe asked this question while hearing a public interest litigation filed regarding alleged violation of quarantine rules by the cabinet minister who recently tested positive for Covid-19. Dehradun resident Umesh Kumar had filed the PIL con- tending that the Dehradun dis- trict magistrate and chief med- ical officer had pasted a notice on the residence of Maharaj directing home quarantine from May 20 to June 3. The petitioner contended that the minister had violated the quar- antine rules and had attended cabinet meetings. The peti- tioner said that after Maharaj tested positive for Covid-19, other cabinet ministers had to go under self-imposed quar- antine. Stating that cases are registered against common cit- izens for violating quarantine, the petitioner has sought that the minister also be booked under the Disaster Management Act for the vio- lation. The court issued notices to the State government and Maharaj, seeking their response within three weeks. ?=BQ 347A03D= The police in Almora have booked one Covid-19 pos- itive man for hiding his med- ical report from the authori- ties. Additionally, three per- sons have been booked for violating home quarantine rules in the district. The police received a complaint about 33-year old Pratap Singh on the basis of which it booked him under IPC section 307 and other sec- tions for concealing his Covid- 19 positive report from the authorities. Danya police station in- charge Santosh Tiwari informed that Singh had returned to his village Garuda on June 3 from Delhi after undergoing a medical test. He tested positive for Covid- 19 but did not inform any offi- cial about it, putting the lives of others at risk. Additionally, in Ranikhet the police booked Mohammed Gulsher who returned from Udham Singh Nagar to Ranikhet on June 4 and was directed to be under home quarantine. However, violating the quarantine he was found working at his seat-cover shop. Similarly, Sundar Singh who had returned to Thali village from Delhi was also found loi- tering in the public in viola- tion of home quarantine. Another man, Bhikiyasain resident Bharat Singh was also found violating home quarantine. Cases have been lodged against the three under IPC, Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Diseases Act. ERRNHG IRU DWWHPSW WR PXUGHU IRU KLGLQJ KLV PHGLFDO UHSRUW 72XbbdTb]^cXRTbc^BcPcT2PQX]TcX]U^aaT_^acTSeX^[PcX^]^UW^T`dPaP]cX]T ?=BQ 347A03D= Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat announced that summer capital Gairsain will have an e-Vidhan Sabha. He said this in a video confer- ence with district magistrates on the occasion of World Environment Day. Rawat said that the state government has already start- ed e-cabinet. With the State Government deciding to turn its offices into e-offices, 17 offices have been turned into e- offices so far. The attempt is to make all offices upto the block level e-offices, he said. He said that wide-spread tree plantation will be carried out while maintaining social distancing on the occasion of Harela. He directed the DMs to lay special focus on public participation in this tree plan- tation stressing on the require- ment of public cooperation for making any campaign suc- cessful. Rawat also directed all DMs to work for revival of rivers, Naulas (traditional water sources) and other water sources. The state government has set the target of mission Rispana to Rishiparna and revival of the Kosi. A project report has been prepared by IIT Roorkee for the Rispana pro- ject. Work will be undertaken on mission mode on this project, he added. Forest and Wildlife minister Harak Singh Rawat said that Uttarakhand has an impor- tant contribution in maintain- ing the biodiversity of India.The state contains about 28 per cent of the nation’s bio- diversity, he said, adding that the state’s biodiversity affects not only the nation but the whole world. The minister stressed on the need for humans to maintain environ- mental balance while moving forward. Officials informed in the meeting that a city forest ‘Anand Van’ is being developed at Jhajra on the outskirts of Dehradun city. The Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board is preparing a district level pollution control management plan for each dis- trict. Various officials con- cerned were also present in the meeting. Earlier, the CM planted saplings at the CM residence. Jamun, mulberry, Bel and fig saplings were planted on the occasion. *DLUVDLQ WR KDYH H9LGKDQ 6DEKD DQQRXQFHV 0 ?=BQ 347A03D= The speaker of Uttarakhand Assembly Prem Chand Agarwal has said that all the members of the house have given their consent for 30 per- cent deduction in their salary for Covid-19 fund. The speaker said that after the consent of ruling party members, the assembly secre- tariat has also received the let- ter of the leader of Opposition (LoP) Indira Hridayesh in which she has said that the Congress members are ready for the deduction in salary. Agarwal added that Hridayesh in her letter has mentioned that though the state government had not taken the opposition in confidence on the issue but the Congress is giving its consent in view of the greater public interest. The speaker expressed his gratitude to all the members for giving their consent on deduc- tion and said that now the nec- essary deduction would be made in the salary of the mem- bers. It is pertinent to mention here that the Uttarakhand gov- ernment after announcing salary deduction of Chief Minister and other ministers for Covid-19 fund had declared that 30 percent deduction would also be made in the salary of the MLAs. On the decision, the assembly secretariat had clari- fied that the deductions can be made only after consent of the members. Initially very few mem- bers gave their consent for the deduction in salary but when the issue came into public domain most of the MLAs belonging to the ruling party gave their acceptance for deduction. On Thursday the Congress also gave its acceptance for deductions. 343D2C8=5B0;0AH 3_^cU^d_VQ=1cbUSUYfUT*C`UQ[Ub ?=BQ 347A03D= Tributes were paid to for- mer cabinet minister and speaker of Uttarakhand assembly, Prakash Pant on his first death anniversary on Friday. The speaker, Prem Chand Agarwal garlanded the picture of the late leader in the state assembly and paid glowing tributes to him. He said that Pant was soft spoken, simple hearted and a master of parliamentary pro- cedures. He was respected by everyone including the oppo- sition members for his qual- ities. 3UDNDVK 3DQW UHPHPEHUHG RQ GHDWK DQQLYHUVDU ?=BQ 347A03D= The Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) presi- dent, Pritam Singh has said that the Chief Minister (CM) Trivendra Singh Rawat is try- ing to cover up deaths due to the novel Coronavirus in the state. In a statement, the PCC president objected to the claims made by the CM that no death from Covid-19 has occurred in the state so far. He said on one hand CM is claiming no deaths from Covid-19 in the state while and on the other hand the data released by the state adminis- tration informs that 10 people have so far lost their lives from the Covid-19. The PCC president said that the declaration of ex gra- tia payment of C1 lakh for the family of those who died from Covid-19 is meager and the amount should be increased to C 10 lakhs. 2cahX]Vc^ WXST2^eXS ( STPcWb)?aXcP
4. ]PcX^]#347A03D=kB0CDA30H k9D=4%!! A0:4B7:B8=67Q =4F34;78 Union Home Ministry is seeking to procure arms/ammunition from pri- vate firms besides State-run Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for the Central para- military forces and Central Police Organisations. A meeting was held via video conferencing last Friday with at least 17 private firms and the Ministry may float tenders toprocuresuchitemsfromnon- state players, sources said. The meeting under the sub- jecthead“Procurementof Arms and Ammunition by CAPFs/CPOs from Private Domestic Manufacturers” was held under the chairmanship of Minister of State in the Home Ministry G Kishan Reddy with private sector industries having licence for manufacturing arms/ammunition. The meeting was held to explore the possi- bilities to enhance the procure- ment of these items from private companies besides the OFB. The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) or the Central paramilitary forces with a com- bined manpower of about 10 lakh include the Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Security Guards (NSG) and Assam Rifles. The CPOs include organisations under the Home Ministry like Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD). The CAPF and CPOs were also rep- resented in the meeting. The online meeting con- nected to 40 locations locations across the country also had participation from industry bodies like ASSOCHAM, CII, FICCI and PH DCCI besides representatives of the domestic arms/ammunition industry. The list of invited compa- nies with industrial licence to manufacture arms/ammuni- tion included Indtech Construction Pvt Ltd (small arms and ammunition like 5.56 mm, 7.62 mm, 9 mm, 12.7 mm and 14.5 mm calibre)Larsen Toubro Ltd (armament includ- ing ammunition/ordnance like missiles, rockets and torpedo land/naval mines), Vem Technologies Pvt Ltd. (Assembly, Integration checkout of arms and ammu- nition, rockets and missiles), Sec Industries Pvt Ltd. (static and mobile launchers for air launch missiles of short, medi- um and long range, rockets, bombs ammunitions) and Hyt Engineering Company Pvt Ltd (manufacture of shells for ammunition of vari- ous calibres). Others companies includ- ed Godrej Boyce Manufacturing Company Ltd(empty shells and required fuses for ammunition and explosive such as bombs, mines, missiles and torpedoes excluding the filling of explo- sives), Lords Vanijya Pvt Ltd (manufacture and assembly of ammunition, empty fuses, primers and switches), Micron Instrument Pvt Ltd (weapon systems like mortars, rocket launchers, grenade launchers and missile launchers besides ammunition for anti-aircraft guns, artillery guns, tank guns etc as also sub assemblies weapon systems). The list also included Premier Explosives Ltd, BF Elbit Advanced Systems Pvt Ltd, Solar Industries India Ltd, Kalyani Strategic System Ltd, Himachal Futuristic Communication Ltd, Continental Defence Solutions Pvt Ltd, Shan Arms Industries Pvt Ltd, Pipav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company Ltd and Hughes Precision Manufacturing Ltd. An official privy to the dis- cussions said tendering for procurement of these items outside OFB. 9`^VZ_e`ac`TfcVRc^d R^^f_ZeZ`_Wc`^ageWZc^d ?=BQ =4F34;7814=60;DAD The Congress on Friday announced veteran party leader Mallikarjun Kharge as its candidate for the June 19 elec- tions to the four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka. “Congress President Sonia Gandhi has approved the can- didature of Mallikarjun Kharge as Congress candidate for the ensuing biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka,” All India Congress Committee Press release said. The four seats represented by Rajeev Gowda and BK Hariprasad of the Congress, Prabhakar Kore of the BJP and D Kupendra Reddy of the JD(S) will fall vacant on June 25 with their retirement. June 9 is the last date for filing nomina- tions. The Congress, with 68 MLAs in the Assembly, can win one of the four seats easily on its own, so Kharge’s victory is said to be certain. Kharge, who was popular- ly known as “solillada Saradara”, (a leader without defeat) faced his first electoral loss in his political life spanning several decades against BJP’s Umesh Jadhav in Gulbarga by a mar- gin of 95,452 votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. A nine-time MLA and two-term Lok Sabha member, he had served as Congress’ floor leader in the previous Lok Sabha, and also as Union Railway and Labour Minister in the UPA Government. Kharge (77) had also been a Minister in several Congress Governments in the State in the past and had also served as KPCC president and Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly. His son Priyank Kharge is currently MLA representing Chittapur constituency and had served as a Minister dur- ing the previous Congress and coalition Governments. While the ruling BJP with 117 members (including Speaker), can ensure victory in two seats, the JD(S), with just 34 seats in the Assembly, is not in a position to win a seat in the Rajya Sabha on its own, as a minimum of 44 votes are required for a candidate to win. Speculations are rife that the Congress is likely to support the JD(S) with its surplus votes for the remaining one seat if the regional party fields its supremo and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, and in return may seek favour during the legisla- tive council polls slated later this month. No final decision has been taken in this regard yet, party sources said. The JD(S) will hold its leg- islative party meeting to decide on the strategy for RS polls and decide on a candidate. The BJP too, with several aspirants, is yet to finalise its candidate for the RS polls. ?=BQ =4F34;78 The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has validated IgG Elisa kits of three companies — Gujarat- based Zydus Cadila Healthcare Ltd, Euroimmun US Inc and Calbiotech Inc, both from the USA to conduct sero-survey to measure Covid-19 exposure in the vulnerable population like healthcare workers, front- line workers and people living in containment zones. The IgG ELISA kits are the first indigenous antibody detec- tion kits for coronavirus. Zydus had licensed the Covid Kavach Elisa IgG test kit developed by the ICMR. The medical research body had earlier claimed that its test kit has an impressive 100 per cent specificity and 98 per cent sensitivity. Three batches of ‘Covid Kavach ELISA IgG kits’ devel- oped by Zydus Cadila Healthcare Ltd, one batch of Euroimmun Anti- SARS-COV- 2 ELISA IgG by Euroimmun US Inc, USA, and a batch of Erbalisa Covid-19 IgG ELISA manufactured by Calbiotech Inc, USA have been approved. The ICMR said “responsi- bility for batch to batch con- sistency lies with the manu- facturer”. “Depending upon the level of sero-prevalence of infec- tion, matching public health interventions can be imple- mented for prevention and control of the disease,” the research body said. Further, it should be used for survey in high-risk or vul- nerable populations like health- care workers, frontline workers, immune-compromised indi- viduals, individuals in con- tainment zones, to know who have been infected in the past and have now recovered. The ICMR has also pro- vided details of seven pharma companies to whom it has transferred the technology to undertake the production of indigenous Covid Kavach ELISA IgG kits which help in the antibody detection for Covid-19. These test kits have the advantage of testing 90 samples in a single run of 2.5 hours so that healthcare pro- fessionals can proceed quickly with the necessary next steps. “The ELISA tests have been validated in the laborato- ry. However, the performance of the test may be subject to variation under field condi- tions,” the ICMR added. The IgG ELISA/CLIA tests which are US-FDA approved can be used directly after due marketing approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). ?=BQ =4F34;78 The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday said rainfall activity in central and south India is like- ly to pick up pace from next week due to a cyclonic circu- lation which is likely to form over the Bay of Bengal and aid in the progress of the monsoon. The low pressure area will form somewhere near the coast of Myanmar. A low pressure area is the first stage of a cyclonic disturbance; not all low pressure areas intensify into cyclones. IMD director general Mrutunjay Mohapatra said a low pressure area is likely to form over the Bay of Bengal and move towards Odisha next week. “A low pressure is a cyclonic circulation and the first stage of any cyclone. However, it is not necessary that every low pressure inten- sifies into a cyclone. This will help advance mon- soon and bring good rainfall during the next week,” Mohapatra said. In its tropical cyclones bul- letin dated June 5, the IMD said the low pressure area has a “low”, or 1-25 per cent, chance of turning into a ‘depression’ by mid next week. A depression is the second stage on the IMD’s eight-level cyclone classifica- tion system. If this predicted weather disturbance reaches the fourth stage — ‘cyclonic storm’ — on the IMD’s scale, it will be given a name — Cyclone Gati. Monsoon had hit Kerala on June 1 on its normal onset date. The IMD had earlier predict- ed that the monsoon would be delayed by four days, but Cyclone Nisarga helped push the monsoon to reach Kerala on its normal onset date. “Conditions are becoming favourable for further advance- ment of Southwest Monsoon into some more parts of central Arabian Sea, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal, southwest and east central Bay of Bengal, entire southeast Bay of Bengal and some parts of west central Bay of Bengal during next 2 days,” the IMD said. According to the IMD, the country as a whole has received 9 per cent more rainfall than the normal since June 1. The north Indian plains will also witness rainfall due to a western disturbance, the IMD said. ?=BQ =4F34;78 Amid Covid-19 pandemic, International Yoga Day this year would be celebrated on digital media platforms and there would be no mass gath- erings, the Government said on Friday. This year’s theme will be “Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family”. People will be able to join Yoga Day celebrations virtual- ly at 7 am on June 21. Indian Missions abroad are trying to reach out to the people through digital media as well through the network of institutions which support yoga, officials said. The AYUSH Ministry had earlier planned to hold a grand event at Leh which, however, had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. Besides, through the “My Life My Yoga” video blogging competition which was launched by the prime minister on May 31, the Ministry of AYUSH and ICCR seeks to raise awareness about yoga and to inspire people to prepare for and become active participants in the observation of IDY 2020. ?=BQ =4F34;78 The Congress on Friday dubbed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “vocal for local” call and the economic stimulus package to make the country self-reliant as yet another jumla to divert the attention of the people from “real issues”. Addressing a video Press conference, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal asked how can India become self-reliant till it creates innovation and intellec- tual property in its universities. “This is an act of self deception. This is another ‘jumla’ (rhetoric) that you sell to the people of the country. We are only manufacturing ‘jumlas’, statements and slogans. That is the only thing we make in India and we are masters at that under this government,” he said, taking a swipe at the BJP- led government. Sibal said while the Prime Minister calls for “Atmanirbhar Abhiyaan”, his Government has failed to help make the poor, the farmers, the migrant workers, the industry or the States to become self-reliant. Similarly, his exhortation to industry to push ‘Made in India, Made for the World’, to expand globally, not be depen- dent on another country in the strategic sector, did not have a clear roadmap as to how this goal should be achieved, the former union minister said. The Rs 20 lakh crore ‘Atmanirbhar’ package does not lead to expansion of Government expenditure, as it includes measures already announced by RBI and the budget and amounts to less than 1 per cent of GDP, as against 10 per cent claimed by the Government, he noted. “The reality is that Modi’s ‘Atmanirbhar’ idea is merely a slogan like innumerable others,” Sibal said. He also called for pri- vate investment in the univer- sities to create innovation and ideas, which he said did not amount to privatisation. ?=BQ =4F34;78 The civil services prelimi- nary examination 2020, postponed due to the coron- avirus pandemic, will be held on October 4, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) announced on Friday. It said the personality test of the candidates selected through the last year’s civil ser- vices preliminary and main examinations will resume from July 20. This year’s preliminary test was originally scheduled to be held on May 31, but was deferred due to the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus. Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said the announcement of fresh date for the civil services pre- liminary exam would allay apprehensions in some quarters of it being cancelled. “It would also allay apprehension from the minds of some quarters who thought that they would become overage by the next year in case the exam was postponed. C