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5.5 lakh respond to Kejriwal; businesses, transport and infection being main worries

Pulkit Nagar

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Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

When Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked the people of Delhi to send him their suggestions on restrictions and relaxations for Lockdown 4.0, even he would not have expected such an overwhelming response. Till 5pm on Wednesday, the Delhi government received ideas from 5.48 lakh people—4.76 lakh WhatsApp messages, 39,000 calls, 10,700 emails and 22,700 responses on change.org. Kejriwal had appealed to the 1.24 crore Delhiites for their views.

Kejriwal said, “The Lockdown 3.0 will continue till 17 May. PM Modi has had a discussion on the same. He asked the states their wish-list which has to be submitted by 15 May and then the Centre will decide accordingly. Today, I want to take suggestions from my Delhiites on what should happen after 17 May. Should we make some relaxations in lockdown and, if yes, then what should be the key areas and what should be the level of relaxation?”

To this appeal, Delhiites responded with their views and ideas. They shared ideas on how to restart transport, businesses, schools, colleges and industries. They also included how to restart metro services, buses, taxis, etc. People shared suggestions on bringing business and economy back on track with ideas on MSMEs and industries. As per Delhi government sources, thousands have shared their views on restarting trade.

There were others who shared their worries about the spread of the infection and listed steps to be taken to make sure the situation doesn’t spiral out of control. According to Kejriwal, “I am taking suggestions from Delhiites, and after receiving them, we will discuss it with experts and doctors, and after that we will send the will of the people of Delhi to the Central government.”

Kejriwal has admitted in a press conference that we have to learn to live with the threat of coronavirus. In the meeting of chief ministers with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he batted for restarting all economic activities in the capital, apart from those in containment zones. Lockdown 4.0 is expected to kick-in with more relaxations effective 18 May.

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The word “opportunity” has always stood out for ISACA: R.V. Raghu

R.V. Raghu is spokesperson of ISACA, an international professional association focused on IT governance. Raghu joined NewsX for an exclusive interview as part of the NewsX India A-List and discussed ISACA and its importance in India.

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R.V. Raghu is the spokesperson of ISACA, an international professional association focused on IT governance. Raghu has over a decade of hands-on global expertise in engineering, manufacturing, information technology, chemicals, mining, and telecommunications. He recently joined NewsX for an exclusive interview as part of the NewsX India A-List and discussed ISACA and its importance in India.

“One of the most fascinating aspects of today’s world is the rise of technology. Technology has been similar to energy or water in that we use it without considering what is behind it. This is where an organisation like ISACA and what ISACA does in the Indian context is very important because we are very good at implementing innovations but only later do we find out about cyber protection problems or any other obstacles that are behind the technology. As a result, ISACA provides experts with the resources they need to ensure that technology risks are identified and handled effectively,” he said.

In terms of ISACA certifications, Raghu elaborated, “We provide four kinds of certifications in India – CISA, Certified Information System Auditor, which is the oldest certification that we offer. It is really popular because it helps you to help inspect technologies and anything related to it. The other qualification is the CISM, which stands for Certified Information System Manager. CRISC and CGEIT are two new ISACA certifications that have piqued my interest. Each of them is the Information Technology certified for something that fits with someone who is new in the industry and wants to demonstrate that they grasp the basics.”

He explained ISACA’s background, saying, “ISACA is a multinational, not-for-profit organisation. The firm has been in operation for 50 years. It all began with a group of experts in the United States deciding that we needed to work together to provide a better mechanism for auditing, and the great thing about ISACA is that it is entirely motivated by desire. ISACA has approximately 220 chapters in 188 countries and 150,000 members. We’ve been in India since 1968, with the first chapter set in Chennai, and we now have chapters in almost every corner of the country. As a result, once an individual becomes a member, he or she has access to all of the services that ISACA provides at both the national and local levels.”

“One of the things that ISACA has recognised is innovative learning methodologies,” he said when asked about the organization’s current offerings. Traditional pedagogical approaches are no longer effective. Not only have methodologies evolved as a result of the pandemic, but also as a result of the Internet. We have the ITCA (Information Technology Certified Associate) certification. It aids in the comprehension of foundational concepts in fields such as networking, basic cyber defence, and artificial intelligence. CET (Certification of Emerging Technologies) is another certificate we have. It allows professionals to keep up with the latest developments in technology.”

He clarified the philanthropic aspect of the organisation by saying, “ISACA recognises that, while we are a volunteer-driven organisation, there are segments of society that are under-represented that need access to all of these resources. The word “opportunity” has always stood out for ISACA. We’re attempting to address three issues: young adults, the shield stick, and inclusivity. If someone wants to become a member then they have to go to isaca.org to get access to all member-related information, or they can contact one of the several chapters in India or around the world.”

On being asked what sets this organization apart from the others, he replied, “The one thing that ISACA has always known is that we are just as strong as the way we allow our members and constituents to keep up with what is going on. The second reality is that our participants are practitioners and professionals, which means that anytime ISACA contacts them to inquire what’s going on and what needs to be understood, you’re having access to cutting-edge information that’s really happening. It’s not just about the theory. Since the internet is so strong now, objects easily become obsolete.”

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For a choreographer, it is very important to be a performer first: Shabina Khan

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Having choreographed songs like Hud Hud Dabangg to Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Shabina Khan’s songs have went on to become a rage around the country. Ahead of her latest film Radhe, in which she has choreographed the song ‘Dil De Diya’,  she joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of NewsX India A-List and spoke to us, not only about her journey so far, but also the secret mantra behind her hook steps, her upcoming project ‘Radhe’, close association with Salman Khan and much more.

“I am a performer myself. For a choreographer, it is very important to be a performer yourself. You cannot just compose a song on somebody else and then create the steps. I believe that my background has been acting. I have been to a acting institute, i come from a classical acting background and I am very fond of dancing. I think, being a performer, is my key to come up with different hook steps. Hook steps are something that everyone should be able to do. They should be easy going. When your hook steps are done by none other than Salman Khan, then you know how it is. When you know you are choreographing Salman Khan, you are lucky to work with him for so many songs, it becomes your duty to come up with something that is easy to do yet fun. Anytime, anywhere- you can just do the step. That’s how I started and it started coming out so well. Till today, I get DMs and messages about songs like Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. I keep it very simple so that it becomes a part of daily routine,” she said.

Speaking about her upcoming project Radhe, Shabina shared, “In Radhe, I went a step higher. The steps are not so easy but they are unique. I thought that nowadays people are actually smart because of social media and everything, so I should go a little higher and that’s how I choreographed Radhe. It is a little difficult but people love it.”

When asked about her favourite project with Salman Khan so far, she responded, “All my songs with him have been my favourite. All the songs that I have done with him, I have taken very seriously. But, I think Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, the film as well as the song, is very close to my heart. It gave me recognition. People started knowing Shabina Khan, The Chereographer, because of that film. That film is very close to my heart because of Salman sir and Sooraj Barjatya sir. But, Radhe has taken that place now because we have really worked hard on it and so has Jacqueline. In those 8 to 10 days of rehearsal, we really worked hard. With all the forces going to Radhe, it is also really dear to me. This journey with Salman Khan has been amazing. He always had confidence in me, always displayed so much trust on me. In every song, I feel like I have to prove myself to him first and then the audience because he is the one who trusts me every time. He comes up with difficult songs for me. He has other choreographers as well but he gives really situational songs to me, which allows me to do something different. That’s how the journey has been so beautiful with him.”

Sharing a piece of advise for young choreographers who want to make it big in Bollywood, Shabina expressed, “There are so many dancers coming up everyday, because of reality shows, Instagram and so many other platforms, where they are showcasing their talent but somewhere we are losing out on the grace. We are going too much into the west. We are doing all this hardcore dancing, making faces and everything. I’m saying do that but don’t forget that we have the powerful dancing style, which is called graceful dancing style. Even the west cannot do what we do. Don’t lose out on this. Legacy of choreography,

Legacy of dancing is that we maintain the grace. If you catch that and then you do other steps also, then you are a perfect choreographer. If you tell me to do hardcore dancing with western moves, I can do that because I’m a choreographer but I will not lose grace. I will include it in those steps as well. I would like to say that please come, we have so many new chereographers coming in but don’t lose grace.”

Finally, talking about her foundation, “The Shabina Khan Foundation”, which has been helping people by distributing essentials, primarily to dancers and junior artists, she said, “I started the foundation last year during the lockdown. That phase gave me time to think about a lot of things. Charity has been a part of my family. We have been doing it every year during Ramzan month. My mother taught me to remove 2% from my payment every time and keep it aside. My siblings and me, we do this every year. We do charity from that amount. Last year, we arranged ration and other essentials during the pandemic and sent it to people with full precautions. We tried helping pregnant ladies, who didn’t have bus fare to go to Cooper hospital. It started last year and then became a part of my life. This year again, when we are in this situation, I thought let’s take it further. Let’s make it big so that we can help more people. Dancers and junior artists started sending me messages for help and the news started spreading. Till now, I was doing it all alone with my brothers and my husband. This time, we thought let’s take it forward and make it big. Then, I started this foundation, where I am going to help everyone with whatever they need.”

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PUNJAB CM SEEKS FUNDS RELEASE FOR SPORTS VARSITY CONSTRUCTION

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Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday directed the Finance Department to immediately release the sanctioned amount of Rs 60 crore for the first phase construction of the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Punjab Sports University (MBSPSU), Patiala campus.

He also asked the Finance Department to enhance the allocation for the premier institution in this year’s budget, saying that the Rs 15 crore allotted for the university was too less.

Virtually reviewing the progress of the state’s first sports university, the Chief Minister also asked PWD Minister Vijay Inder Singla to assign a chief engineer to steer the campus construction, in consultation with a good external consultant, to ensure speedy completion of the project.

He also directed Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Sodhi to set up a three-member committee to coordinate with the PWD for expediting the work on the university, which has been functioning from another campus since 2019.

To ensure world-class curriculum for the university, the Chief Minister approved a draft MoU to be signed with UK-based Loughborough University to institutionalise the collaboration between the two.

Stressing that he wanted to see Punjab develop as a sports hub, Captain Amarinder asked the departments to expedite work on the campus.

Vice Chancellor MBSPSU Lt. Gen (Retd.) J.S. Cheema told the meeting that the construction of the university was currently going on in full swing on the Patiala-Bhadson road at Patiala. The campus would spread over an area of about 100 acres. The meeting was also informed that currently, admissions have been made from the session 2019-20, and 130 students have been enrolled. A total of 76 posts have been sanctioned in this year’s budget.

At present, the university has three constituent colleges, namely Prof Gursewak Singh Government College of Physical Education Patiala, Government Art & Sports College Jalandhar and Government College Kala Afghana, Gurdaspur. The courses planned for the next two years are BPES, BA, PGD Yoga, B.Sc. (Sports Technology) and PGD coaching.

It may be recalled that the foundation stone of this prestigious Sports University was laid on 25 October 2020 by the Chief Minister as his flagship programme to promote education in the areas of sports sciences, sports technology, sports management and sports coaching. It will focus on education, training and research in areas related to sports based on high standard infrastructure, besides offering professional and academic leadership to other institutions in the field of physical education and sports sciences.

The university will also serve as a centre of excellence for the elite and other talented sportspersons of all sports and innovations to carry out, endorse and propagate research. It will also generate capabilities for the development of knowledge skills and competencies at various levels in the field of sports technology and high-performance training for all sports and games.

Besides the Sports and PWD Ministers, the meeting was attended by Senior Advisor to CM Lt. Gen (retd.) T.S. Shergill, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary Sports Raj Kamal Chaudhary, Principal Secretary Finance KAP Sinha and Principal Secretary PWD Vikas Pratap.

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COVID TAKING A HEAVY TOLL ON HARYANA COPS

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The Covid-19 crisis is taking a heavy toll on Haryana Police personnel, with 21 police personnel losing their lives to the disease. In 2021, a total of 1,607 policemen have been infected so far, while 2,970 were diagnosed positive in 2020. It is pertinent to mention that 1082 were infected by Covid-19 in April this year. Giving this information, a Haryana Police spokesperson informed that these “Karmaveer” police personnel remain on the frontline without any fear and are busy serving the people with dedication. These “brave-hearts, ensuring effective lockdown and Covid appropriate behavior for the protection of the people, often come in direct contact with the infected persons. Nevertheless, the police personnel have neither lost courage nor has there been any decrease in devotion to public service”. He said that Haryana Police officer Virender Singh, DSP, posted as Secretary, Regional Transport Authority, Narnaul succumbed to Covid-19 today. He was suffering from corona and was undergoing treatment for 15 days at a private hospital in Rohtak. He was just 50 years old and was DSP Hansi before being posted as Secretary RTA. He was posted in several districts of Haryana

Condoling the sad demise of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Virender Singh, DGP Haryana, Manoj Yadava, said that Haryana Police has lost a dedicated and hard working officer. Expressing his heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved family, he prayed to the almighty to give courage to them to bear this irreparable loss and grant eternal peace to the departed soul. Earlier, Ashok Dahiya, DSP posted at Badli in Jhajjar, succumbed to Covid-19 during treatment at Badsha AIIMS.

He said that so far, 48,373 police personnel have taken their first dose of vaccine, while 30,130 have taken their second dose.

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TELANGANA IMPOSES 10-DAY LOCKDOWN FROM 12 MAY

Lokeswara Rao

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The meeting of the Telangana State cabinet, held at Pragathi Bhavan (CM’s residence) and chaired by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, has taken several decisions on lockdown and curtailment of the coronavirus spread in the state.

The state Cabinet has decided to impose lockdown for 10 days beginning from 12 May from 10 am. The Cabinet also decided to give relaxation period from 6 am to 10 am for the people for their general activities and needs. Only for these four hours, all the shops will be opened and they would close for the rest of 20 hours, as the lockdown would be imposed strictly. The state Cabinet will meet again on 20 May to review the situation on the continuing of the lockdown and take a decision accordingly. The State Cabinet has also decided to invite global tenders to procure vaccines on a war footing.

The State Cabinet has instructed Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to make corona related medicines, oxygen and injections like Remdesivir available for hospitals in the private sector along with the government-run hospitals.

The Cabinet also decided to constitute committees with ministers as chairman in all the districts, along with collectors, DMHO, drug inspectors. CM KCR has instructed the ministers to have a daily review meeting at their district headquarters on the corona pandemic.

From the Cabinet meeting, the CM spoke with the manufacturers of the remdesivir injections and asked them to supply required quantities of injections to the state. The Cabinet also approved constitution of a Task Force under the Chairmanship of IT and Industries Minister K.T. Rama Rao to ensure regular procurement and supply of the medicines and injections. The other members of the Task Force include Principal Secretary (Industries) Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary (GAD) Vikas Raj, Principal Secretary (Panchayat Raj) Sandeep Sultania and CM secretary and Special Officer from the CMO on Covid Rajasekhar Reddy.

Sectors exempted from the lockdown include: works related to the agriculture produce, allied sectors, works undertaken with agriculture machines, running of rice mills, transport of paddy and rice, supplying paddy to the FCI, fertiliser and seed shops, seed manufacturing companies, and other agri-based sectors.

The Cabinet has decided, keeping in view welfare of farmers, to continue purchasing of the paddy.

Pharmaceutical companies, companies manufacturing medical equipment, medical distributors, medical shops, all types of medical and health services, government and private hospitals, their staff are also exempted. The staff and employees of these sectors would be given special passes and will be allowed with their vehicles. Supply of drinking water, sanitation works in rural and urban areas would continue. Power generation, distribution and their allied services would also be continued.

Transportation on National Highways will be allowed as it is. Petrol and diesel pumps would be open on the National Highways. Warehousing and cold storage activities have been exempted too, along with print and electronic media, and EGS works. Government offices would work with 33 percent of the staff. Like during the lockdown last time, banks and ATMs would also work. Only 40 members are allowed for marriages with prior permission.

The State Cabinet has instructed the DGP to strictly implement the lockdown following the Covid guidelines strictly.

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Maharashtra mulling importing vaccines directly: Aaditya Thackeray

Urvashi Khona

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MUMBAI: In the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive, Maharashtra on 11 May crossed the 1.82 crore mark. Citing vaccine shortage in Maharashtra and in Mumbai, Maharashtra Tourism And Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray, who is also the guardian minister of Mumbai Suburban, said that the state is now looking at possibilities of global procurement of Covid-19 vaccines to meet the inoculation demand.

Maharashtra–the state where Covid-19 has taken the maximum toll–is considering looking at the possibility of importing vaccines directly for the use of citizens in Mumbai. Thackeray tweeted, “Looking at the need for adequate vaccines to ensure that vaccination is swift & efficient, after discussing the issue with CM Uddhav Thackerayji, as guardian minister of Mumbai, we have asked @mybmc to explore possibilities of global procurement of vaccines.” Aaditya also tweeted about increasing vaccination centres to have one in every municipal ward; the road map for administering the second shot for every age group will be published soon. 

Aaditya Thackeray met BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal and Assistant Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani on Tuesday to discuss and work out on a strategy and roadmap for administering the second shot to all age groups in time, on communication and slots for those not tech savvy or on social media, on activation of 227 ward vaccination centres. 

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a different app than Co-WIN for its registration because with many people on the app at a time, it is difficult to get appointments.

Aaditya, who has been speaking about a possible third wave, also discussed about preparations for the same. “As for the possible third wave, while we add jumbo Covid care centres to increase bed and ICU capacity, we are also taking advice from Task Force of pediatricians constituted by CM Uddhav Thackerayji to prepare for Covid cases in children, if the need arises,” he tweeted.

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