Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) [India], February 10 (ANI): Results were declared for 292 out of 296 sarpanch posts that went to polling in the first phase of gram panchayat elections in Anakapalle revenue division in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday.
As per State Election Commission, a total of 44 candidates were unanimously elected for the sarpanch posts which were notified for election in the first phase in 12 mandals of the Anakapalle revenue division.
“The highest number of unanimous sarpanch candidates was seven in Rambilli Mandal, followed by six in Butchayyapeta, five each in Atchutapuram, Cheedikada and K Kotapadu Mandals, four in V Madugula, three each in Chodavaram and Munagapaka, two each in Devarapalli, Kasimkota and Elamanchili and there were no unanimous candidates in Anakapalle Mandal,” said SEC.
Results are pending on two seats in Anakapalli Mandal, one seat each in Chodavaram and Kasimkot Mandals.
The first phase of polling recorded 84.23 per cent voting.
The gram panchayat elections will be held in four phases across the state. The final phase of the elections will be held on February 21. (ANI)
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Health Ministry tells states, UTs with rising COVID cases to ‘Test, Track and Treat’
New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Saturday urged the states, exhibiting surge in daily new COVID-19 cases and high active caseload, to return to the fundamentals of ‘Test, Track and Treat’.
According to an official release issued by the ministry, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and member of NITI Aayog Vinod K. Paul today interacted with Health Secretaries and Managing Directors of National Health Mission of Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Union Territories of Delhi and Chandigarh.
“These States/UTs have in the recent past seen increased positivity and increased number of daily positive cases,” the release said.
The officials reviewed the ongoing public health measures of surveillance, containment and management of COVID-19 cases in wake of the steep rise in daily new cases of COVID-19 and the high number of active caseload being reported from these eight States/UTs.
“These state/UTs have been asked to continue with the effective strategy of ‘Test Track and Treat’ that had yielded rich dividends at the height of the pandemic,” the release said.
During the meeting, it was pointed out that that 9 districts in Delhi, 15 in Haryana, 10 in Andhra Pradesh, 10 in Odisha, 9 in Himachal Pradesh, 7 in Uttarakhand, 2 in Goa and one district in Chandigarh continue to be of concern as these districts are seeing a decrease in total tests being conducted, low share of RT-PCR tests, increase in weekly positivity and low number of contact tracing of the COVID positive cases.
These together can pose high risk of transmission to the neighbouring States and UTs.
The ministry has urged the officials of these states/UTs to increase the share of RT-PCR tests in districts dependent on high levels of antigen testing, to refocus on surveillance and stringent containment of those areas in selected districts which are seeing cluster of cases and carry out an average close contact tracing of minimum of 20 persons per positive case.
The ministry has also asked them to accelerate the vaccination against the virus for priority population groups in districts reporting higher cases.
The state and UTs officials have also been asked to promote COVID-appropriate behaviour through communication and enforcement. (ANI)
Rape survivor set ablaze, succumbs to burn injuries in Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh
Hanumangarh (Rajasthan) [India], March 6 (ANI): A rape survivor who was burnt in Goluwala village of Hanumangarh district succumbed to injuries on Friday in Jaipur during treatment.
“The accused was undergoing trial after the woman had filed a complaint. Family members expressed their doubts about him. We are investigating,” Preeti Jain, Superintendent of Police (SP) Hanumangarh told ANI.
The survivor was earlier admitted to a hospital in Sriganganagar but later referred to Bikaner as her condition went serious. Yesterday, she was taken to Jaipur where she died in the night.
The maternal grandmother of the survivor has filed a case against Pradeep Bishnoi at Goluwala police station for burning the victim. The grandmother also said that the survivor had filed a case against Bishnoi for rape and he had been on bail for one and a half years.
According to the deceased’s family, Bishnoi had been threatening and stalking her for the last 15 days.
Bishnoi has been in the custody of Goluwala police for two days and he is being interrogated.
According to police, the CCTV footage shows another person apart from Bishnoi. Meanwhile, the survivor named Bishnoi in her statement to police.
Further investigation is underway. (ANI)
Govt organises awareness camp for handloom weavers in Srinagar
Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 6 (ANI): An awareness camp was organised by the Handlooms Development Department Srinagar on Friday for weavers and artisans to inform them about various schemes.
The camp also aimed at providing information about various initiatives undertaken by the department for the betterment of the artisan community and to advise them how to avail benefits of these schemes.
The officers at the camp highlighted the details of the Artisan Credit Card Scheme, financial support schemes of National Handloom Organization of Development scheme (NHDP) for Cooperatives or Self-help groups, Block Level Clusters and marketing support for the representation of their crafts on e-platform.
Details on design renovation, packaging of Handloom products were shared by the officers at the camp as well.
The representatives from banks and other government departments also attended the awareness camp to share their knowledge with the artisans.
Mushtaq Ahmad Assistant Director of Handicrafts department said, “This initiative by the government aims to make artisans aware of all schemes for the welfare of weavers and for the development of craft and handloom products.”
“Officials of Khadhi village industries board, several bank cluster heads and Director of Rural self-employment training institute center were also at the camp to share their knowledge about schemes and initiatives for the welfare of the artisans. “
“Khadi village industries board said that they have made a Charkha that gives ten times normal production. Such information is beneficial to the weavers,” he added.
Kumail Syed, the trainer of the program, said, “The awareness program has made the artisans aware of all schemes under the department.”
“There are many weavers who are illiterate. They were told in the Kashmiri language how they could start a small establishment. They were told about a credit card scheme where pashmina weavers could avail a loan up to Rs 2 lakhs with just one registration at the department, free of any cost,” he added.
Raquiya Jan an artisan said, ” I got a lot of information at the camp. We were told about the procedure to avail benefits of many schemes run by the handloom department, and how to avail loans. We were also told about credit card schemes and mudra loans.”
Rehana Bhat another artisan said, “More such programs should be conducted. Weavers do not know the benefit of these schemes. They know that they can get a loan with an artisan card but they have to be guided on what to do with the loan.”
“The artisans get marketing linkages and stalls for exhibition with the department’s support,” she added. (ANI)
Tripura royal scion breaks down in tears during public address over non-participation of IPFT in ‘Greater Tipraland’
Sepahijala (Tripura) [India], March 6 (ANI): Tripura royal scion and former Congress president Pradyot Kishore Deb Barman on Friday broke down in tears as he addressed a gathering and said that he felt like being stabbed from behind following non-participation of the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) in the rally.
He said that he feared that if the Tiprasa communities are not united and remain fragmented as it has been since Tripura merged with India more than 70 years back, then the very existence of the community would be threatened.
Speaking to ANI, Deb Barman said “He is hopeful that IPFT will go by the agreement signed with him and earlier in the morning he had a telephonic discussion with the party’s president N C Debbarma and hopefully they will respond in a positive manner.”
However, the Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) chief said that he had no discussion with the BJP and if there was to be any discussion then the invitation should come from Delhi directly as there is no use talking with the local BJP leadership who are only interested in seat-sharing for the forthcoming TTAADC election. He said that he considered his call of ‘Greater Tipraland’ as being a much bigger matter.
Meantime, Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl, INPT president said that he is hopeful that most of the regional parties will come together and fight the Autonomous District Council (ADC) election together so that more funds could be allotted from the government of India and for the development of the ADC areas.
Hrangkhawl, a former rebel turned MLA added that he along with the royal scion had met the IPFT president N C Debbarma and for the greater cause of coming to power in ADC, he is even ready to sacrifice seats in the coming district council vote but all of a sudden the INPT leaders have changed their mind and so they are helpless.
The political dynamics of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) election here is constantly taking new twists as allies between the political parties are changing regularly.
Friday saw a new twist with ruling BJP ally IPFT which has stitched alliance with newly formed TIPRA party of the Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Deb Barman but was missing from the mass gathering at Bishramgan which called for ‘Greater Tipraland’ demand.
On the contrary, once Congress ally INPT president Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl was found accompanying Deb Barman who sometime back resigned as the Congress party chief of Tripura and had called for a major alliance of the Tiprasa community in his protest against the national parties. (ANI)
Night curfew in Jalandhar from Saturday amid surge in COVID-19 cases
Jalandhar (Punjab) [India], March 6 (ANI): Night curfew will be in place from Saturday 11 pm to 5 am until further notice in Punjab’s Jalandhar district following the continuous surge in the COVID-19 cases.
“Observing the hike in the COVID-19 cases in Jalandhar district, night curfew has been imposed from 11 pm to 5 am from March 6 and will be applicable till further notice,” read a notice issued by the office of Jalandhar District Magistrate Ghanshyam Thori on Saturday.
Curfew has been imposed under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1973 and the National Disaster Management Act, 2005.
According to the union health ministry’s update on Saturday morning, Punjab had 6,661 active cases. As many as 5,898 people have so far lost their lives to COVID-19 in the state.
The central government has, meanwhile, rushed high-level multi-disciplinary public health teams to Maharashtra and Punjab in view of the increase in the number of daily new COVID-19 cases being consistently reported by these states.
The teams will visit the hotspot areas in the states and ascertain the reasons for the surge. They will also brief the Chief Secretary and Secretary (H) on their observations and remedial measures to be undertaken by the state health authorities. (ANI)
Vizag steel plant privatisation row: CM has offered better solutions, says Vijayasai Reddy
Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) [India], March 6 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has shown alternate ways besides privatisation that will yield profits, said YSRCP MP Vijayasai Reddy following the state-wide bandh at the Maddilapalem Junction in Visakhapatnam against the Centre’s decision to privatise the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.
At the protest which was held on Friday, Reddy also hit out at the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), who have also expressed opposition against the same and participated in the bandh.
“The state government is directly fighting the steel plant privatisation and Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy has shown alternative ways. If they are practised, profits will come. The YSRCP opposes the decision to privatise the steel plant,” he said.
“(TDP chief) Chandrababu responded 10 days after the chief minister wrote a letter. TDP means ‘Drama Party’. Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh are playing games on the steel plant issue. Resignations are useless. We will continue to fight this decision,” the YSRCP leader added, referring to TDP MLA Ganta Srinivasa Rao’s resignation from his post in protest against the Centre’s move earlier last month.
The YSRCP leader also formed a human chain in protest against the Centre’s move to privatise the steel plant.
Nearly all political parties and other organisations in the state, except the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), participated in the state-wide bandh observed peacefully on Friday against the central government’s decision to privatise the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) Visakhapatnam, popularly known as Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP). (ANI)
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