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Ayush Ministry, WHO sign letter of exchange on cooperation in traditional medicine

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New Delhi [India], February 15 (ANI): The Ministry of Ayush and the World Health Organization South East Regional Office (WHO SEARO) on Monday signed a letter of exchange (LoE) for the secondment or deputation of an Ayush expert to WHO’s regional traditional medicine programme in New Delhi.
According to an official release, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of Ayush and Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Region signed the Agreement.
“The initiative has been taken to support the WHO SEAR implementing the regional traditional medicine action plan, with particular emphasis on the safe and effective use of traditional medicine service including Ayurveda and other Indian traditional systems of medicine and its appropriate integration into national health care systems. Efforts will also be made to strengthen capacities of SEAR countries in the area of traditional medicine,” it said
This partnership will be a joint effort of the Ministry of Ayush and WHO in helping countries in the Southeast Asia Region to develop policies and to implement action plans to strengthen the role of traditional medicine.
At the ceremony, Dr Singh said, “The close collaboration of WHO and the Government of India goes back many decades, to the Basic Agreement both parties concluded on 16 July 1952, to fulfill mutual responsibilities in a spirit of friendly cooperation. Today’s agreement will formally extend this cooperation into the area of traditional medicine, which is a valuable tool in our shared quest to achieve universal health coverage.”
Kotecha said that the Ministry of Ayush has already had various interaction with the WHO in the field of Ayurveda, Yoga and other Indian Traditional systems of Medicine (Ayush), and these Indian systems are getting more popular and being accepted as a medicinal system in the Southeast Asian countries, African countries, European countries, Latin America among other places.
Under this partnership, the Ministry of Ayush and WHO would be working to identify various challenges faced by the member states of SEAR (region) in regulating, integrating, and further promoting traditional systems of Medicine in the respective countries.
“Further, Ministry of Ayush and WHO will assist member states to develop appropriate policy and regulation framework, exchange of information and activities performed for the integration of TM in public health and dissemination of information about TM to the community,” said Kotecha.
On this occasion, the Ministry of Ayush and the WHO SEAR office also agreed to launch a public health research project on COVID. The project is jointly supported by WHO SEARO and the Ministry of Ayush. (ANI)

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Narayanasamy threatens Shah with defamation suit after corruption allegation

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Puducherry [India], March 1 (ANI): Former Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Monday threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against Union Home Minister Amit Shah after the latter accused him of misappropriating Rs 15,000 crore sent by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the union territory.
“Home Minister Amit Shah said that PM Modi sent Rs 15,000 crores to Puducherry and I took a cut and gave part of the money to the Gandhi family. This is a very serious allegation against me. If he doesn’t prove it, I will file a criminal defamation suit against him for giving a false statement to damage my image and that of the Gandhi family,” the Congress leader said.
He further demanded an apology to him and the people of the UT if Shah did not substantiate the allegations.
“If he doesn’t prove it, he has to apologise to the nation and to the people of Puducherry. I challenge him to prove it,” he said.
Earlier on Sunday, the Home Minister lambasted Narayanasamy’s government and alleged that he was engaged in rampant corruption in Puducherry.
“At least 15,000 crore was sent by the Central government for the development of the Union Territory. The Chief Minister took a cut and gave part of the money to the Gandhi family,” he said while addressing a rally in the UT.
Narayanasamy also hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the chaotic episode in the union territory and alleged that Union Home Minister Amit Shah was responsible for the toppling of the government.
He further slammed present governor Tamilisai Soundarajan, saying that the situation worsened after she was appointed.
“Former Governor Kiran Bedi was appointed as Lieutenant Governor by the Prime Minister with the President’s nod. Daily she used to return, delay and reject our files. She constantly spoke against our government. Home Minister Amit Shah rejected whatever we sought for the good of our state. We protested and after Kiran Bedi was changed, Tamilisai Soundarajan took charge. After she came, the government was toppled in a much more speedy manner,” Narayanasamy said.
“BJP leaders came from Chennai and camped in Puducherry and took money bags with them and bought our MLAs. The minister next to me, Namachivayam was in touch with the BJP for the last one year before he joined. Amit Shah led to the toppling of the Puducherry government. He offered Income tax exemption,” he alleged.
“Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MLA Venkatesan was also threatened and made to join the BJP, he added.
Earlier on February 23, President Ram Nath Kovind accepted the resignation of Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and his council of ministers.
The resignations were submitted after the Narayanasamy-led Congress government lost the floor test held in Puducherry Assembly.
Assembly Speaker VP Sivakolundhu announced that the Chief Minister has failed to prove his majority and adjourned the house sine die.
Polling for 30 assembly seats in Puducherry will be held on April 6, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced. (ANI)

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Defence Ministry secretaries to give detailed presentations to PM in Kevadia

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By Ajit K Dubey
New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Five secretaries of the Defence Ministry will give a detailed presentation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the projects being carried out by them along with their future plans, at the Combined Commanders’ Conference.
The Combined Commanders’ Conference is the first meeting in the second tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it is scheduled to be held this week in Kevadia, Gujarat.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Air Staff Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, along with all the Commander-in-Chief rank officials from the three services will be attending the conference.
“Detailed presentations are being prepared by the Department of Military Affairs, Department of Defence, Department of Defence Production, Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare for the Prime Minister,” defence officials told ANI.
“In the presentations, the respective secretaries would be giving details of their ongoing and future projects,” the officials added.
The sources mentioned that the briefing by the Department of Defence Production Secretary Rajkumar is expected to give out a roadmap for the Aatmanirbhar Bharat projects in the field of the defence industry in the country.
The positive list for indigenisation being prepared by CDS General Bipin Rawat is also expected to come up for discussion.
The progress made by the defence space and cyber agencies along with the creation and timeframe of setting up the new air defence and maritime commands is also expected to be discussed by the top commanders with the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister is expected to give directions to the forces about future security challenges and the government’s views on them.
The ongoing military stand-off with China and how it is being dealt with by the forces is also expected to be discussed.
After the initial intrusion by the Chinese which caught the local troops by surprise, the Army headquarters and the Indian Air Force reacted with full might to retaliate against the Chinese aggression.
The issue was resolved to a large extent recently when the two sides disengaged from the front in the Pangong lake area but many friction points still exist and are yet to be resolved. (ANI)

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Harsh Vardhan praises PM Modi for leading by example, urges opposition to take COVID-19 vaccine

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lead by example as he took the first jab of COVID-19 vaccine the day when the vaccination of people above 60 years began, said Union Health and Family Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday. He also urged opposition leaders to take the COVID-19 vaccine and help in ending the vaccine hesitancy.
Talking to ANI, the Union Minister said, “I have been saying from the beginning that both our vaccines are safe and perfect as far as immunogenicity is concerned. We are thankful to Prime Minister, he has always told us that you have to lead by example. He took the jab first when the vaccination of people above 60 years has begun.”
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi took the first dose of Covaxin, a coronavirus vaccine developed in India by biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research.
“Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS,” PM Modi had tweeted with his picture of receiving the jab. “Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19,” the Prime Minister had added.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Minister added that now we must bury all misconceptions and apprehensions over Covaxin. “Prime Minister Modi took Covaxin, against which a lot of misinformation was spread even when it was scientifically perfect. I think the Prime Minister has given a clear message to the country. All misinformation and hesitancy should be buried once and for all,” the Minister said.
The Minister also called on the opposition leaders, elected representatives and common people to come forward and get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“I appeal to all citizens who are above 60 years of age, those above 45 years with comorbidities, all MPs-MLAs and even Opposition MLAs to get vaccinated. This would send a message to people that they should get vaccinated at the earliest,” he said.
“I will do the booking today and I plan to get vaccinated tomorrow,” the Minister added.
The second phase of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive for age-appropriate population groups began on Monday with the Union Health Ministry calling out eligible people to get an appointment at respective hospitals in the country. (ANI)

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Bhima Koregaon case: Gautam Navlakha moves SC for bail

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court order rejecting his plea for default bail.
A three-judge Bench of Justice UU Lalit, Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice KM Joseph will hear the plea of Navlakha on March 3.
The High Court had rejected Navlakha’s plea on February 8 saying that the period for which an accused is under illegal detention cannot be taken into account while computing the 90-day custody period for grant of default bail.
Navlakha, in the apex court, has sought bail on the ground that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) failed to file its chargesheet within the prescribed upper-limit of 90 days as per Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
He stated that the period for which he was confined to his house under house arrest should be calculated as part of judicial custody and should be taken into account while deciding the custody period under Section 167(2).
He had sought bail from the High Court on the same grounds.
Navlakha, one of the several civil liberties activists in the Bhima Koregaon case, has been booked under stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for an alleged conspiracy to topple the government. (ANI)

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Girl students in UP to receive self-defence training

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Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 1 (ANI): Girl students of more than 40,000 upper primary schools in Uttar Pradesh will learn self-defence techniques under the Mission Shakti programme between March 1 and 31, said Vijay Kiran Anand, Director-General of School Education, Uttar Pradesh.
“These classes will help rural students boost their self-confidence and self-esteem. It is time for the girls of Class 6 to 8 to roll up their sleeves. They will learn self-defence techniques from a tender age when one can learn things much faster. Participants will also be given certificates,” he added.
He further said that the education department has 10,748 physical education instructors and they have been entrusted with the responsibility to train girl students. The department has made a provision of Rs 3,000 per school for the purpose.
The trainers will train their own school and a nearby school as well, said Vijay Kiran Anand in the order issued to all 75 districts of the state.
The main purpose of self-defence training is that girls can be made physically and mentally self-dependent so that they can any odd situation without being conflicted, he added. (ANI)

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Bailable warrant issued against Kangana Ranaut in Javed Akhtar defamation case

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 1 (ANI): Mumbai’s Andheri Metropolitan magistrate court on Monday issued a bailable warrant against actor Kangana Ranaut in a defamation case filed against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar after she failed to appear before the court despite being summoned.
Kangana Ranaut’s lawyer, who was present at the court, said that they want to challenge the summons in a higher court.
The next hearing will take place on March 26.
Akhtar had filed a criminal defamation complaint on November 3 against the actor over her reported remarks dragging his name in her feud with Hrithik Roshan.
As per the complaint filed by him, Akhtar has taken objection to certain remarks made by the actor during an interview on a TV news channel. (ANI)

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