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Defence Minister not revealing if status quo ante pre-April 2020 has been restored on LAC: Owaisi

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New Delhi [India], February 12 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is not revealing if the status quo ante pre-April 2020 has been restored on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), said All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday.
“The Defence Minister is not revealing if status quo ante pre-April 2020 has been restored on the LAC. What is the meaning of disengagement? Indian Army used to do patrolling at finger 8 (on Pangong Tso) and now he is saying that the Army will do patrolling at finger 4. What is the meaning of this?,” Owaisi told ANI outside Parliament when asked about Singh’s statement in Lok Sabha on the ‘present situation in Eastern Ladakh’.
“He (Rajnath Singh) is not telling anything about Depsang, Demchok and Galwan. The government always continued to say that talks will be held for the entire Ladakh and now the talks and now talking about south and north of Pangong lake,” Hyderabad Lok Sabha MP added.
Further commenting upon Singh’s statement in Lok Sabha on the ‘present situation in Eastern Ladakh’, Owaisi said, “The government used to say that our soldiers are on a strategic point at Kailash range. Why do you vacate now? Did China also vacate somewhere? He was not able to answer this.”
Noting that India’s firm resolve to not allow an inch of its territory to be taken by anyone had led to an agreement with China concerning disengagement from Pangong Lake area, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday said that “outstanding issues relating to deployment on LAC and patrolling” will figure in future talks with the neighbouring country.
Making a statement in Lok Sabha on ‘present situation in Eastern Ladakh’, the minister said the agreement for disengagement in Pangong lake area envisages that both sides will cease their forward deployments in “a phased, coordinated and verified manner”.
He said the Chinese side will keep its troop presence in the North Bank area to east of Finger 8.
“Indian troops will be based at their permanent base at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3. Similar action would be taken in the South Bank area by both sides,” the minister said.
Defence Minister said it has also been agreed to convene the next meeting of the Senior Commanders within 48 hours after the complete disengagement in the Pangong Lake area so as to address and resolve all other remaining issues.
The two countries have been a stand-off along the LAC since April-May last year due to actions of Chinese army and have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks. (ANI)

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BSE Institute organises skill development training course in Srinagar

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Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 1 (ANI): A six-day skill development course organised by the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute Ltd (BIL) for the wards of police martyrs, personnel and students at Police Public School (PPS), Bemina, Srinagar was innagurated by , SJM Gillani, Additional DGP (Coordination), here on Monday.
The course is organised by BIL in pursuance of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Jammu and Kashmir Police and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Institute Limited.
IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar, DIG CKR Amit Kumar, SSP APCR Junaid Mehmood, SSP Javaid Ahmed Dar, AIG (Welfare/Comm) Police Headquarters (PHQ) Manoj Kumar, Sanjay Kumar and Rajesh Joisher, experts from BIL, Principal Police Public School, Bemina Shri Tazim Wahidi and other senior police officers and staff of PPS Bemina were present at the inaugural function.
Speaking on the occasion, Gillani said that police headquarters has been continuously focusing on the welfare measures for the NoKs of police martyrs, serving and retired personnel and their family members.
He said that on the directions and personal interests of Director General of Police (DGP) J&K, an MoU was signed between J&K Police and BSE under which BIL institute is providing skilling development courses for the wards of martyrs, serving, retired police personnel.
Highlighting the importance of such skilled training courses in today’s modern times, he added that this programme is an effort to provide skilled training to these wards to increase their employability. The ADGP also advised the trainees to take full advantage of this opportunity and change lives for the better, while promising that more such courses will be organized in the future.
Further during the occasion, AIG (Welfare/Comm) Manoj Kumar said that the MoU with BSE is an effort to provide expertise to the wards of police personnel in the insurance and financial sectors. These short courses will expand the opportunities for the trainees in different fields.
Sanjay Kumar, an expert from BIL Institute, said that during the course, the trainees will be educated about the insurance and financial sectors and added that it will help them to get better jobs in the future. At the end of the course, the trainees will be given the certificates, and will be registered as Point of Sales Persons (PoSP) and will be able to sell insurance products and start earning from them.
The six-day programme is focused on enhancing the skills of the trainees and provides them an insight into the current scenario of insurance and financial markets which will help them to choose their profession in these fields. (ANI)

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Ceasefire pact with Pakistan has immense potential to bring peace in border areas, says Lt Gen BS Raju

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Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 1 (ANI): Indian Army Lieutenant General BS Raju on Monday welcomed the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan, stating that the decision has ‘immense’ potential to bring peace in the border areas.
“The ceasefire observance decision is a positive step and has an immense potential to bring peace in the lives of people living in the border areas. We have had many civilian casualties due to ceasefire violations in Kupwara and Uri. The decision has also given us a better capacity to check infiltrations,” the Lieutenant General said.
“I think the situation in the Valley remains fairly normal. I have no hesitation in saying that all the parameters of violence, whether in terms of stone-pelting, agitations or bandhs, everything has seen a very distinct drop. People are going about their business in the usual manner, whether it is trades people, or school children,” he said commenting on the overall situation in the Valley.
When asked about the recruitments of local youth in militancy, he said, “With better outreach programs by Army, civil administration and Police, we have been able to establish greater trust and connect with public. I believe this will manifest into lower (terrorist) recruitments. I believe we, security forces, elected representatives, grassroots representatives, and the people themselves, have to work together to ensure peace in the region.”
He further higlighted that after the restoration of 4G Internet connectivity, there has not been a major surge in the attempts to use social media to recruit people in militancy. “While Pakistan and inimical elements have always used propaganda to agitate minds, locals are shunning those paths now,” he said.
On Thursday, India and Pakistan had released a joint statement saying that they have held discussions regarding establishing a mechanism for hotline contact among both nations. Both sides also agreed to a ceasefire along the LoC starting from February 25. (ANI)

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Third phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive takes off smoothly in Telangana

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Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], March 1 (ANI): The third phase of the vaccination drive for Covid-19 on Monday began in Hyderabad. In this phase, individuals who are above 60 years of age and individuals between 45 to 60 years of age with comorbidities are being allowed to take the vaccine.
Somesh Kumar, Chief Secretary of Telangana State, told ANI, “The third phase of COVID-19 vaccination process has begun in Telangana today. In this phase, we are targetting individuals who are above 60 years and individuals of age group 45 to 60 with comorbidities. A soft launch for this drive has taken place in Telangana in 48 government institutions and 44 private institutions. The drive is running very smoothly as the reports are very encouraging. If people come forward in the same way, we would be able to control COVID once and for all.”
The Chief Secretary further said, “Currently, we are aimed to inoculate 200 individual per vaccination centre in a day. As the days pass by, we will be increasing the count. To get vaccinated, individuals must register themselves in the Co-WIN application. If any person is unable to apply online due to some issues, we have appealed to the vaccination centre officials to allow walk-in and make spot registeration.”
Dr. Sunitha, Regional Program officer said, “The response from the public is very good for the third phase of vaccination drive. People are realising that it’s better to take the vaccine. One must register themselves through Co-WIN application and if they are unable to get themselves registered, then you can come and register yourself at the vaccination centres.”
Suresham, a beneficiary who took COVID-19 vaccine told ANI, “The vaccine is completely safe and I’m feeling completely well. For now, I haven’t faced any sort of problem. I appeal to all the people especially the senior citizens who are being given the opportunity to come forward and take the vaccine.”
Sanjiva Rao, another beneficiary aged 63 years said that the vaccine is completely safe and appealed to people to come forward and take the vaccine shots. He said that he hasn’t noticed any sort of problems. (ANI)

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Can central govt clarify confusion? As PM Modi takes Covaxin, Owaisi questions Covishield’s efficacy

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Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], March 1 (ANI): Raising question against the effectiveness of Serunm Institute’s Covishield, the vaccine against coronavirus, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday said it is not “as effective” for people aged 64 and above.
“As per German Government, Covishield is not as effective for people aged 64 and above. The vaccine is for people aged between 18 and 64. Can the central government clarify the confusion? Is this a coincidence that the Prime Minister took Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine today? However, I urge all to get vaccinated,” Owaisi told ANI.
Covishield is developed by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India in collaboration with the University of Oxford and Swedish pharmaceutical major AstraZeneca.
On Monday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the first dose of Covaxin, India’s homegrown coronavirus vaccine developed by biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Soon after receiving the jab, he tweeted, “Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS.”
“Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19,” he added.
The second phase of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive for age-appropriate population groups (people above 60 and those with comorbidities above 45) 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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Amit Shah receives first jab of COVID-19 vaccine

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Union Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah administered the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
According to his Ministry officials, doctors from the Medanta hospital administered the vaccine to Shah.
On August 2 last year, Shah had said on Twitter that he tested positive for coronavirus. He underwent treatment at Medanta Hospital and was discharged after he tested negative for the virus.
He was later admitted to the AIIMS for post-COVID treatment.
The minister in a tweet had thanked all those who wished for his recovery.
Earlier on Monday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the first dose of Covaxin, India’s homegrown coronavirus vaccine developed by biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Soon after receiving the first dose of the vaccine at AIIMS Delhi, he tweeted, “Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS.”

“Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19,” he added.

The COVID-19 vaccines – Covaxin and Covishield, were made available to the general public from today. (ANI)

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‘Cyber sabotage’ attempt, says Anil Deshmukh on Mumbai’s October 2020 power outage

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 1 (ANI) Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday said that the massive power outage in Mumbai last October was an attempt at “cyber sabotage” according to a preliminary report.
Addressing reporters here, Deshmukh said Maharashtra Cyber Cell has submitted a preliminary report whose findings state that evidence suggests that the grid failure in Mumbai on October 12 last year, that resulted in the city plunging into darkness and disrupting train services, shutting down the stock market and generally hitting economic activities, was likely to be a cyber sabotage. The report has been handed over to Maharashtra energy minister Nitin Raut.
A report by a US-based cybersecurity firm claimed that Chinese-state sponsored groups, had targeted power sector in India with malware. This came months after the clash between troops of the two nations in Galwan valley in June 2020.
The New York Times had on Sunday published a report based on the findings of the report.
” The report of New York Times has come now. But when Mumbai had gone under dark, we had set up a departmental inquiry committee. MERC (Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission) and Central Electricy Authority had also made their own committees. We have complained to Cyber Cell also,” Nitin Raut said while speaking with mediapersons here.
“State Cyber Police Department investigated this and report was handed over to me today by Home Minister Anil Deshmukh ji. I will speak on this in legislature,” Raut said.
According to NYT report, the new study lent weight to the idea that the Mumbai blackout could be a “part of a broad Chinese cyber campaign against India’s power grid, timed to send a message that if India pressed its claims too hard, the lights could go out across the country.”
Addressing a press conference here Deshmukh said: “On October 12 electricity failure, Maharashtra Cyber Cell report says, 8GB unaccounted data must have been transferred to Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) data. Protocol Data which means the server of MSEB was logged in on October 12.”
According to the Maharashtra Cyber Cell report, Deshmukh said: “there was the possibility of login attempts and 14 Trojan horses were landed on MSEB servers. There are chances of some foreign attempts.”
The Massachusetts-based cybersecurity company Recorded Future’s study reported that a Chinese state-sponsored has been seen systematically utilising advanced cyberintrusion techniques to gain access to nearly a dozen critical nodes across the Indian power generation and transmission infrastructure.
“Since early 2020, Recorded Future’s Insikt Group observed a large increase in suspected targeted intrusion activity against Indian organizations from Chinese statesponsored groups, the study said.
” From mid-2020 onwards, Recorded Future’s midpoint collection revealed a steep rise in the use of infrastructure tracked as AXIOMATICASYMPTOTE, which encompasses ShadowPad command and control (C2) servers, to target a large swathe of India’s power sector,” the report said.
According to the report 10 distinct Indian power sector organizations, including four of the five Regional Load Despatch Centres (RLDC) responsible for operation of the power grid through balancing electricity supply and demand, have been identified as targets in a concerted campaign against India’s critical infrastructure. Other targets identified included two Indian seaports. (ANI)

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