India has set another record of daily Covid cases with 1,31,968 infections in the last 24 hours, pushing the total case count to over 1.3 crore. This is the fourth time in five days that India has reported over one lakh new cases. At least 1,67,642 people have died of Covid-19 in India so far, with 780 deaths in the last 24 hours.
The surge, much steeper than last year›s first wave, has forced many states to impose tight restrictions, which has led to migrant workers flocking back to their respective states in a repeat of the migrant labour crisis seen during the nationwide lockdown in 2020.
In Mumbai, where the Covid-19 tally crossed the five lakh-mark, hundreds of migrants were seen packed into trains as establishments like bars, malls and restaurants have been forced to close in the country’s financial capital. Reuters quoted 31-year-old Surender Puri, who was boarding a train back to his hometown after losing his job as a cook in Mumbai, as saying, “There is no other option for me except to return because cooking is the only skill I brought to Mumbai.”
It is feared that this second exodus can spread the virus to India’s smaller towns and villages.
Most of the new cases are coming from India’s worst-affected state, Maharashtra, which reported a jump of 58,993 cases, taking its active case tally to 5,34,603. Meanwhile, the 301 fresh deaths in the last 24 hours took the state›s case fatality rate to 1.74 percent. At present, 26,95,065 people are in home quarantine in Maharashtra while 24,157 are in institutional quarantine.
The state capital Mumbai also saw the addition of 9,200 cases, while the death toll reached 11,909 as 35 more patients died. With the new cases, Mumbai’s caseload mounted to 5,00,898, while the number of active Covid-19 cases increased to 90,333.
Delhi recorded as many as 8,521 fresh coronavirus cases, the sharpest daily spike this year. With this, the tally of Covid-19 cases in the national capital has reached over 7.06 lakh, while the death toll has mounted to 11,196. 39 fatalities have been recorded in the last 24 hours. The case tally stands at 7,06,526 in the capital, including 6,68,699 patients who have either been discharged or have migrated or recovered, Meanwhile, the Delhi Government announced to close all schools and colleges given the huge rise in coronavirus cases in the capital, along with other parts of the country.
Uttar Pradesh reported 36 more fatalities due to the coronavirus infection and 9,587 new cases, raising the Covid-19 death count to 9,039 and the case tally to 6,63,991. There are 48,306 active cases, while 6,06,646 patients have recovered so far in the state. Gujarat reported 4,541 new Covid cases, 42 deaths and 2,280 discharges in the last 24 hours. With this, the case tally in the state rose to 337,015.
Rajasthan recorded 3,970 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking the infection count to 3,54,287, while 12 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 2,898. Of the fresh cases, a maximum of 767 infections were recorded in Jaipur, followed by 498 in Jodhpur, 439 in Kota, 360 in Udaipur, 340 in Dungarpur, and 245 in Bhilwara, among others.
Jammu and Kashmir recorded 808 new Covid-19 cases, which took the tally to 1,36,470, while four deaths in the past 24 hours pushed the toll to 2,023 in the union territory. Out of the fresh cases, 283 were reported from the Jammu division and 525 from the Kashmir division.
Karnataka logged 7,955 new Covid-19 cases and 46 related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 10.48 lakh and the death toll to 12,813. Out of the 7,955 fresh cases reported, 5,576 cases were from Bengaluru Urban alone. The day also saw 3,220 patients getting discharged after recovery.
Kerala recorded 5,063 new Covid-19 cases, including 25 health workers, taking the total caseload to 11.54 lakh and active cases to 36,185. The toll touched 4,750 with 22 deaths. As many as 2,475 people have been cured of the infection, taking the state’s total recoveries to 11,12,758.
WITH AGENCY INPUTS
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ART EXHIBITION UNRAVELS DICHOTOMY, MULTIPLICITY OF URBAN LANDSCAPE
On a busy Saturday evening at the Triveni Kala Sangam in New Delhi, amidst the intellectual conversations, the setting sun and the aroma of filter coffee in the air, stood a shiny white exhibition room, with huge pieces of monochromatic art hung at the walls and people silently observing them, then murmuring something and then looking again.
A new art exhibition titled ‘Layered Dichotomy’ by Delhi-based artist Shruti Binay is being presented in this room at the Triveni Gallery, Mandi House, from November 21 to 30. Shruti, a young, budding artist, through this exhibition of paintings, drawings and mixed media works, attempts to “embrace life’s multiplicity”.
Talking about what inspired this collection, Shruti told ANI, “I am fascinated with the things around me. I stay in Gurgaon, so, for me, buildings, metro bridges, structures, architecture have always fascinated me. I have simplified those structures into lines and forms. I find the urban landscape interesting because I think I see life in it. You see the fabric in some of these paintings, that gives a different kind of life to the piece. In all my paintings you will see something moving, the sense of life is there in most of them.”
She added, “I have tried to include human forms as well because that is the best way to express myself, by connecting with my own self. Most of the paintings have been liked by people and I see the ones with human forms are being liked the most, as people most easily can connect to them.”
In the exhibition the theme of the collection revolves around dichotomy, and it could be seen and reflected in varied ways from one piece to another.
“I like to play with the medium, so in my paintings, you would see different layers created, with different kinds of textures such as paper, fabric, I’ve used tea bags and paper pulp, old paper. There’s a plane surface, and then there is a textured surface as well. Somewhere there is strength and somewhere it’s all worn out. Mostly they are monochromatic, with a wash-off look…but then some colours like blues, greens, reds stand out in other places. That’s the dichotomy I’ve tried to present,” she explained.
URANUS COLLECTS OVER 2.5 TONS OF USED COOKING OIL TO TURN IT INTO BIODIESEL
Providing a commercially viable solution to the food industry to dispose of its used cooking oils (UCO), Uranus Oil Corp, a Chennai-based startup in renewable energy and waste management solutions, collects UCO for a price and supplies them to manufacture biodiesel, a cleaner and greener form of diesel.
Uranus has recently set a record by collecting over 2.5 tonnes of UCO in a month from restaurants, hostels, canteens and other similar sources in and around Chennai. UCO poses a threat to human health, when consumed, and to the environment, when dumped untreated. Hence, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and Biodiesel Association of India, have recently launched the Repurpose UCO (RUCO) program, to prevent UCO from getting into the food supply chain or the environment, and to use it for producing biofuel.
Uranus is an authorised UCO aggregator, enrolled in the RUCO program. The company distributes ‘RUCO cans’ to hotels, hostels, canteens, and other such outlets to collect the UCO, and supplies the collected oil to Pan Oleo Energy Limited (formerly, DCI Limited), a large-scale biodiesel manufacturer and renewable energy company in Tamil Nadu, which converts UCO into biodiesel, a cleaner and greener form of diesel.
Uranus is scaling up its operations rapidly in order to collect about 15 tonnes of UCO per day by the end of 2022.
In his comments, Mr. Vasanth JB, Co-founder of Uranus Oil Corp, said, “Edible oils are the primary source of unsaturated fats and vitamin E in human diets. They are used in frying, baking, and other types of cooking and food preparations in restaurants, fast foods and households. However, when cooking oils are reheated again and again, they release toxic substances. These oils also increase free radicals in the body which in turn cause inflammation and various chronic diseases. If there is no alternative to collect UCO, they could find their way to smaller restaurants, dhabas, and street vendors or be discarded in an environmentally hazardous manner. Our model offers a commercially appealing and effective solution in this space.”
UCO is a key ingredient in making biofuel, specifically biodiesel which can be used as an alternative to conventional petrodiesel.
Tiktok rival Lomotif launches in India
With Tiktok’s ban in India, the country continues to witness a rise in content creators, who continue to experiment with short video formats, and apps that become a voice for them to showcase their talent, we have yet another popular US-based app: ‘Lomotif’ joins the bandwagon.
Featuring the currently popular short video format, the app has entered the Indian market at just about the right time with the space constantly evolving. Founded by Singapore-based Paul Yang in 2014, and acquired by ZASH Global Media and Entertainment, the app gives access to a global audience, and its patent technology allows users to immerse themselves in a super-engaging reel format of content. At the same time, with a comprehensive platform such as ‘Lomotif’, competitors should be alert because they are here to stand out.
Since TikTok was banned, the country has seen several local apps emerge and try to stir creators into telling their stories. LOMOTIF, firstly, does not just want the users to create their stories, but do so uniquely and in a way that will make their audience ‘move’ by just being themselves.
Secondly, they want the creators to create and foster global partnerships and that itself makes them a winner. So, with pre-build editing and mixing available and constant endeavors by the app creators to localize content for the Indian audience, we sure have a winner materialising.
‘We were very excited with the initial response to the beta testing of our app in India, which led to launching the app in India with the support from Socialkyte, our strategic partner. The content creation market is ever-growing and LOMOTIF will emerge as a platform where we can see a spirit of collaboration, build a community of creators who want to showcase their realness via their content and a source of entertainment for the viewers. I thoroughly enjoyed the launch and the response was overwhelming.’ says Ted Farnsworth, Chairman & Co-Founder of ZASH Global Media and Entertainment.
Gurjot Batra, Co-founder of Socialkyte says “We always believed Lomotif would be a huge success in India and to see our initial response from the Indian market even exceeded our expectations.”
Vidur Mahajan & Bharat Agarwal, co-founders of Socialkyte added, “We believe collaborations are the new economy and are very excited to bring the Lomotif platform to our creators. The app’s advanced editing tools will truly help them explore their talents”
Interestingly, with a soft launch, they have already kickstarted and initiated a dance-off challenge with none other than the Dance King himself i.e. Remo D’souza. They also had several exciting challenges executed like a #DanceRemix with Shakti Mohan spearheading the same. Several artists have already started using the app to launch their music videos.
On a side note, Socialkyte will enable access to their network of 100,000 influencers collaborating and growing together. They have a specialised dashboard with advanced filters that enables brands to find the right creators for their campaigns. With these common goals and interests, this partnership is bound to be a successful one. Taking all of this into consideration, it’s evident that their vision is simple: to get creators to create diversified and unique content to grow exponentially.
The launch this weekend was spearheaded with Ted Farnsworth, highlighting the app features alongwith popular actors like Asim Riaz, Ravi Kishen, Sanjeeda Sheikh, Adaa Khan, Vikkas Manaktala, YouTuber Anushka Sen and singer Tulsi Kumar. The launch also saw singers Shirley Sethia and Guru Randhawa rocking the stage with their performances.
OUR USP IS TIMELESSNESS: ROHINI SINGH GUPTA, CO-FOUNDER, JUST CHIFFONS
In an exclusive interview with NewsX as part of NewsX India A-List, Rohini Singh Gupta opened up about her brand Just Chiffons, the USP of her company and much more.
Rohini Singh Gupta, Co-founder, Just Chiffons, recently joined NewsX for an interview as a part of NewsX India A-list. In the exclusive interview, she opened up about her brand Just Chiffons, the USP of her company and much more. Excerpts:
Speaking about her brand Just Chiffons, Rohini said, “Just Chiffons was started by my mother. She wanted to look for nice chiffons for herself in Indore. She could not find it in the market and so she thought she might as well design herself and started making a few. The relatives started coming in and said, ‘it looks so nice, give it to us,’ and that is how we traditionally started. Slowly and steadily, it has become a name in Indore and in India as well. “
Talking about her journey with the brand and how did she come on board, she reminisced, “I would accompany her in her errands the market and sit with her, the workers and just listen and observe. I also studied BSc so it was very different but I always have an interest in being with my mother all the time, when back home in Indore. I had that interest and slowly when I moved back to Indore after my studies, I started taking an even deeper interest. It came naturally sitting with her and talking about sarees and the colours, the designs. It came very naturally.”
When asked about the USP of Just Chiffons, “Basically, I feel our USP is timelessness. The chiffons are so versatile, yet classic. They can be worn over the period of time. It can be passed through generations. They are very elegant.”
Giving us an insight into the first exhibition of Just Chiffons and response over the years, she said “Over the years, initially people said, ‘oh this is back in fashion.’ We have actually revived it again and now they feel okay, it looks really nice. Another point is our price point. They are not that expensive and cost about 8 to 25 thousand, which is very much viable with everybody. The response has been really good. Since we have also launched our website last year and because of our Instagram and social media, it just come up. Slowly and steadily, we are gaining followers and are getting a lot of queries.”
Talking about the impact of Covid on Just Chiffons, she said, “Covid was obviously a shock for us. The first month, everything was cancelled. We didn’t know what to do but we have to look for the benefit of our artisans and our workers.”
HUNAR HAAT CREATED NEWER OPPORTUNITIES FOR ARTISANS AND CRAFTSMEN: MUKHTAR NAQVI
With 300 stalls, this is the largest participation by the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs in the India International Trade Fair this year.
Union Minister for Minority Affairs and Deputy Leader, Rajya Sabha, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, while speaking at the conclusion of the annual Hunar Haat event, said that the event had generated crores of rupees for artisans and craftsmen who were engaged in making indigenous products.
Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi at the event
Over 550 artisans and craftsmen from more than 30 States & UTs participated in the 33rd Hunar Haat
Over 550 artisans and craftsmen from more than 30 States/UTs participated in the 33rd “Hunar Haat”, organised at India International Trade Fair at Pragati Maidan from 14 to 27 November.
While talking to reporters on the conclusion of Hunar Haat, Naqvi said that while people purchased indigenous exquisite handmade products worth crores of rupees, the artisans and craftsmen have also received orders worth crores of rupees from national as well as international buyers.
“Hunar Haat” was also awarded the prestigious IITF2021 Silver Medal for strengthening its commitment to “Vocal for Local” and its strong presence at Trade Fair.
According to Naqvi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “mantra” of “Vocal for Local” and “Swadeshi to Swavlamban” have encouraged and promoted India’s traditional and ancestral legacy of handloom-handicraft.
With 300 stalls, this was the largest participation by the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs in the India International Trade Fair this year. Canara Bank had set up a stall in the “Hunar Haat” to provide easy loans to artisans and craftsmen for employment and self-employment.
Renowned artists such as Annu Kapoor, Vinod Rathore, Sudesh Bhosale, Roop Kumar Rathore and Sonali Rathore, Suresh Wadekar and Padma Wadekar, Amit Kumar, Mohit Khanna, Prem Bhatia, Osman Mir, Rekha Raaj, Vivek Mishra, Ankita Pathak, Priya Mallick, Bhupendra Singh Bhuppi, Mirza Sisters, Posh James and others made memorable spectacular performances every evening at “Hunar Haat”.
The minister said that Hunar Haat’s virtual and online platform, and GeM portal, have opened enormous opportunities for economic empowerment of artisans and craftsmen. More than 7 lakh artisans, craftsmen and people associated with them have been provided employment and employment opportunities through “Hunar Haat” in the last about 6 years.
The next “Hunar Haat” will be organised at Surat from11 to 20 December; JLN Stadium, New Delhi from 22 December 2021 to 2 January 2022. “Hunar Haats” will also be organised in Mysuru, Guwahati, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Patna, Puducherry, Mumbai, Jammu, Chennai, Chandigarh, Agra, Prayagraj, Goa, Jaipur, Bengaluru, Kota, Sikkim, Srinagar, Leh, Shillong, Ranchi, Agartala and other places in the coming days.
TOBACCO COMPANIES MOCKING AT GUIDELINES IN HARYANA
The Central along with the state government has set up and issued a certain set of guidelines for the tobacco companies. But it came to the surface that tobacco companies are mocking the rules. Despite the ban on advertisements of tobacco products, the manufacturing companies continue to do so which is a matter of serious concern requiring the state government to take stern action against the violators. The aforesaid is revealed by a study conducted by Maharishi Dayanand University ( MDU) Rohtak in collaboration with Environment Sustainability Management (ESM) sale.
The joint report of both institutions showcased that the tobacco companies are selling to children below the age of 8 years in an organised manner which is a serious offence. What is of utmost importance to state is that more than 98 percent sale centers display cigarettes along with candies, chocolates, and toffees to promote tobacco products. Thus, the findings of the report indicate the violation of Prohibition of advertisements of cigarettes and other tobacco products section 5 and prohibition on the sale of cigarettes or other tobacco products to persons below the age of 18 years and in a particular area.
In this series, it is worth mentioning that a program was also conducted jointly by both institutions to provide information about the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003 which permits the tobacco companies to decide the points of sale as well as the target groups for their products.
The report showed that tobacco products, namely cigarettes and Bidi, were displayed near the educational institutions along with sweets and candy to attract the school children.
Doctor Rita Kotwal, Deputy Director, Public Health and State Nodal Officer, NPTC said that it is a matter of serious concern and alarming situation as the tobacco selling companies continue to breach the norms to woo persons below the age of 18 years. In order to keep children and adolescents away from tobacco use, the tobacco control action should be implemented strictly in the state. It is evident from the prevailing scenario that tobacco companies are leaving no stone unturned to woo the school-going children, requiring the concerned bodies as well as the state health department to come up with a foolproof strategy to tighten the noose around the neck of those breaching the norms.
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