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Bihar urges Centre to run special trains to get stranded migrants back

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Bihar
Bihar urges Centre to run special trains to get stranded migrants back

Following to the relaxation given by the Central government, facilitating movement of the stranded people across the country back to their native places, the Bihar government is in a fix. It has expressed its helplessness in bringing back over 27 lakh people who are stranded in various parts of the country and desperately want return. Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi on Wednesday issued a statement saying that the respective state governments should arrange for the transportation of these stranded people. On Thursday, he made an appeal to the Central government for facilitating special trains to transport these people back to the state. “I appeal to the Centre to provide non-stop special trains where these stranded people can be made to travel keeping social distance as operating buses to bring them back might take months,” said Sushil Modi. Till date over 27 lakh people stranded across the country have applied for help from the state government.

Of these, five lakh applications have come from Delhi alone, followed by 2.88 lakh from Maharashtra, 2 lakh from Gujarat and over 1 lakh from Karnataka. Ashok Choudhary, minister in the Nitish Kumar cabinet, indicated that it was next to impossible for the state to provide so many buses and the entire exercise might take months to bring back those stranded in other states. He said, “If the theory of social distancing has to be implemented in transporting these people, a 45-seater bus would be able to accommodate about 14 to 15 people and that would be a Herculean task to bring over 27 lakh people back to the state.” The same apprehension was raised by the Bihar DGP, but he added that the nodal agency has been formed in the state and every person coming back would be screened properly and arrangements are being made to quarantine them as well.

The government has said that it has embarked upon a door-to-door screening in the state, almost in the line of the pulse polio programme. But what will happen when these migrants are back? This question has worried the officials in the state. The Opposition has already started targeting the government. Leader of Opposition and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said, “It’s the duty of the state government to ensure that facilities are provided for the safe transportation of these helpless people and proper arrangements made for their screening, testing, medicines and quarantine. We will not tolerate any dilly-dallying on the part of Nitish Kumar on that front.”

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Smith won’t be bothered by short-pitch barrage: Andrew McDonald

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Australia’s No.1 batsman Steve Smith won’t be too worried about short-pitch deliveries from Indian fast bowlers during the upcoming tour Down Under, said the hosts’ assistant coach, Andrew McDonald.

“I don’t think it’s a weakness, is it? They’re taking a shot at that area to get him out early and then what you’ll see after that initial potential plan they will go to a more standard try and negate the runs [plan],” McDonald said in a virtual interaction with the media.

“I think they’ve used it before and he’s done well on it before. I’m suggesting that plan hasn’t necessarily worked to its full effect.”

Smith was felled by a short ball from England’s Jofra Archer during the 2019 Ashes, which marked his return to Test cricket after serving a one-year ban. While he missed one Test because of the injury, he scored as many as 774 runs in the series at an average of 110.57.

Smith was then peppered with short deliveries by New Zealand’s Neil Wagner in the Test series between the two sides later in the year.

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PM Modi to inaugurate multi-storeyed flats for MPs

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the multi-storeyed flats for Members of Parliament on Monday at 11 am via video conferencing. The Speaker of Lok Sabha Om Birla will also be present on the occasion. According to an official release, these flats are located at Dr B.D. Marg in New Delhi. Eight old bungalows, which were more than 80 years old, have been redeveloped to construct 76 flats.

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Kerala clears 5-year jail for offensive social media posts

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday clarified that the new amendment made to the Kerala Police Act “will in no way be used to curtail free speech or impartial journalism”. His comments came a day after Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan signed the Police Amendment Act ordinance. As per the ordinance, the law is aimed at stopping cyberbullying, insulting and disgracing individuals on online platforms. Offenders are likely to face a jail term of up to five years or a penalty of Rs 10,000. In some cases, both the jail term and penalty may apply.

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India’s Covid final trials may end in 2 months: Health Minister

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Harsh Vardhan

NEW DELHI: Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said India’s own Covid-19 vaccine candidate could complete its final trials in a month or two. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and privately-held Bharat Biotech this month started third-stage trials of COVAXIN, in a process that would involve 26,000 volunteers. It is the most advanced Indian experimental vaccine. “We are in the process of developing our indigenous vaccines, in the process of completing our third-phase trials in the next one or two months,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

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