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11,831 new COVID-19 cases reported in India

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New Delhi [India], February 8 (ANI): As many as 11,831 new COVID-19 cases and 11,904 recoveries were reported in India in the last 24 hours, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed on Monday.
With this, the total number of cases now stands at 1,08,38,194, including 1,48,609 active cases and 1,05,34,505 recoveries.
So far, 1,55,080 lives have been claimed by the virus in the country including 84 in the last 24 hours.
As many as 58,12,362 healthcare and frontline workers have been vaccinated against the coronavirus in the countrywide COVID-19 vaccination program.
A total of 20,19,00,614 samples had been tested for COVID-19 till February 7, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) informed on Monday. Of these, 5,32,236 samples were tested on Sunday. (ANI)

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Political leaders in Kerala express grief on death of eminent poet Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): Several leaders, including Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday expressed grief over the death of acclaimed poet Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri who passed away earlier in the day.
The Malayali poet breathed his last at his residence in Thycaud due to old-age ailments at the age of 81.
CM Pinarayi Vijayan recalled the times he visited the Malayali poet to pay his respects and called him a poet who ‘modernized the cultural space and integrated it with a new age’.
“Vishnunarayan Namboothiri is a poet who has modernized the cultural space and integrated it with a new age. I have always had the affection of him a teacher at Brennan College, Thalassery. I remember coming to Thiruvananthapuram later and seeing him from time to time to pay my respects,” Vijayan said.
He added, “He is a poet who has taken Malayalam language and poetry to new heights. The demise of Vishnu Narayan Namboothiri is a great loss to the Malayalam language, Kerala’s culture and progressive values.”
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala also offered his condolences and said that Namboothiri’s demise is a great loss to the literary world.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that the poet’s death the passing of a ‘colossus’.
“Mourning the passing of Malayalam poet and lyricist Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri today in Thiruvananthapuram at the age of 81. He had won the prestigious Ezhuthachan Puraskaram and been awarded the Padma Shri in 2014. A colossus is gone. Om Shanti,” Tharoor tweeted.
Known for his elegant style and ease with he handled modern poetry, Vishnunarayan Namboothiri carved a niche in contemporary Malayalam literature and received the Padma Shri, the Government of India’s fourth highest civilian honour in 2014.
His famous literary works include ‘Swathantryathe Kurichoru Geetham,’ ‘Pranaya Geethangal,’ ‘Ujjayiniyile Raappakalukal,’ ‘Aranyakam,’ ‘Aparajitha,’ ”Bhoomigeethangal,’ and ‘Mukhamevide’, India Enna Vikaram’, ‘Asaahitheeyam,’ ‘Kavithayude DNA,’ and ‘Alakadalum Neyyambalukalum’.
He has received numerous other awards for his works including Ezhuthachan Puraskaram, Vayalar Award, Vallathol Award, Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award, Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award and Odakkuzhal Award. (ANI)

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Dal Lake, Mathura’s Banke Bihari Temple among 12 sites selected under ‘Swachh Iconic Places’

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): Srinagar’s famous Dal Lake, Mathura’s Banke Bihari Temple, Agra Fort and Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh are among 12 iconic sites selected under Phase IV of “Swachh Iconic Places” (SIP).
Other sites include Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra, Golconda Fort in Hyderabad, Kalighat Temple in West Bengal, Rock Garden in Chandigarh, Sun Temple in Konark, Odisha.
From Rajasthan, three sites including Kumbhalgarh Fort, Jaisalmer Fort and Ramdevra in Jaisalmer have also been selected.

According to the Ministry of Jal Shakti, under the Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) initiative of Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G), the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), the Ministry of Jal Shakti has announced the selection of the 12 iconic sites under Phase IV of SIP.
The initiative aims at enhancing the experience of both domestic and foreign visitors by improving the sanitation and cleanliness standards at and around the sites.

The objective of SIP is to achieve a distinctly higher level of sanitation/cleanliness at these places, especially on the peripheries and in approach areas.

The project is being coordinated by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti in association with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and the concerned State/UT governments. (ANI)

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CBI nabs 2 officials in connection with bribery case in Mumbai

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday arrested a Customs Department Assistant Commissioner and a Superintendent in Mumbai over an alleged bribery case.
“Acting on a complaint, a case was registered against an Assistant Commissioner(P) Customs and a Superintendent, Customs (R&I), New Customs House, Mumbai. Both the arrested accused were produced today before the competent court, Mumbai and remanded to Police Custody till February 27,” said the CBI in a statement.
The agency said that a Kolhapur-based private company had allegedly purchased 74 kilograms of silver from an Ahmedabad-based private company on October 5, 2020. Out of which, 60 kilograms of silver were transported from Gujarat to Maharashtra in two packages which were seized on October 6 last year by the Customs in Mumbai.
After the complainant attended the enquiry before the Superintendent, the Superintendent took the complainant to the Assistant Commissioner, who allegedly demanded a bribe from the complainant for the release of the seized silver, said the CBI.
“CBI laid a trap and caught the Superintendent red-handed for accepting the bribe of Rs 2 lakh. During the investigation, the Assistant Commissioner was also caught. Searches at the office and residence of both the accused were conducted, which led to the recovery of incriminating documents,” the statement added. (ANI)

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His contributions will always be remembered: PM Modi grieves death of poet Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday expressed anguish at the death of renowned Malayali poet Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri who passed away earlier in the day, saying that the poet’s contribution to the world of culture and literature will always be remembered.
“Anguished by the demise of Sri Vishnu Narayanan Namboothiri. His pioneering contribution to the world of culture and literature will be remembered. His widely read works reflect compassion and sensitivity. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti,” PM Modi tweeted.
Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri, a Padma Shri recipient, passed away at his residence in Thiruvananthapuram’s Thycaud at the age of 81.
Known for his elegant style and ease with he handled modern poetry, Namboothiri carved a niche in contemporary Malayalam literature.
His famous literary works include ‘Swathantryathe Kurichoru Geetham,’ ‘Pranaya Geethangal,’ ‘Ujjayiniyile Raappakalukal,’ ‘Aranyakam,’ ‘Aparajitha,’ ”Bhoomigeethangal,’ and ‘Mukhamevide’, India Enna Vikaram’, ‘Asaahitheeyam,’ ‘Kavithayude DNA,’ and ‘Alakadalum Neyyambalukalum’.
He has received numerous awards for his works including Ezhuthachan Puraskaram, Vayalar Award, Vallathol Award, Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award, Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award and Odakkuzhal Award. (ANI)

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Mamata Banerjee nearly falls while driving electric scooter in West Bengal’s Howrah

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Howrah (West Bengal) [India], February 25 (ANI): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has nearly fallen while driving an electric scooter in Howrah on Thursday.
Banerjee was riding an e-scooter to travel to her residence in Kalighat from state secretariat ‘Nabanna’ in Howrah as a mark of protest against the fuel price hike. However, she quickly regained her balance with the support of the security personnel and continued the ride.


Earlier today, Mamata Banerjee rode pillion on an electric scooter to reach Nabanna from her residence at Kalighat in Kolkata. With a placard protesting against the petrol price hike hanging around her neck, Banerjee sat behind a Trinamool Congress leader who rode the battery-powered electric scooter.
Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Banerjee had said, “There was demonetisation, and now fuel prices are rising. Modi government is selling everything in the country. From Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to coal everything in the country is being sold. This is an anti-people, anti-youth and anti-farmer government.”
Over a period of time, the prices of petrol and diesel have increased sharply in the country. Opposition parties have held protests in different parts of the country over the fuel price rise. (ANI)

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West Bengal’s people blessed BJP’s Poriborton Yatra, have vowed to rout Mamata govt: Nadda

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Barrackpore (West Bengal) [India], February 25 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief JP Nadda on Thursday asserted that people of West Bengal have blessed that party’s ‘Poriborton Yatra ‘ and have vowed to rout the Mamata Banerjee’s government from the state.
Launched ahead of West Bengal Assembly elections, the BJP’s ‘Poriborton Yatra’ of Nabadwip zone culminated in Anandapuri of Barrackpore district.
“The people of Bengal have strengthened the voice of ‘Poriborton Yatra’. The people of Bengal have blessed this Yatra, supported it, and pledged to uproot Mamata’s government,” he said while addressing the Nabadwip zone Poriborton Yatra culmination rally in Anandapuri.
“This ‘Poriborton Yatra’ is ending today. By going from village to village, we have strengthened the voice of Yatra. I am happy that the people of Bengal have supported this visit and have vowed that we will uproot Mamata Didi’s government,” he added.
The purpose of the BJP’s ‘Poriborton Yatra ‘ has been to inform the public about the manner in which TMC has practised ‘corruption and violence.’
Nadda said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a major contribution to the development of West Bengal.
“Modiji has contributed Rs 8,575 crore for the East-West Corridor. Modiji has given Rs 721 crore for India’s connectivity with Nepal-Bangladesh,” he said.
During his visit to poll-bound state, Nadda had lunch at the house of a jute mill worker in Gouripur area of Naihati, North 24 Parganas district.
Earlier in the day, he visited Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Residence and Museum in Kolkata. (ANI)

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