As catchment areas of most rivers originating in Nepal have been witnessing heavy rainfall in the last few days, a threat of flood looms large across several parts of Bihar. Rivers such as Bagmati, Kosi, Gandak and others have already shown an upward trend and the river water is constantly flowing above the danger mark.
Of the 56 gates at Kosi Barrage in Birpur area of Nepal, 37 have been opened and the water level is constantly rising. The discharge on Friday evening at Birpur barrage was 2.56685 cusecs.
Even the Gandak river is constantly showing an upward trend and has registered the highest rise this year. The water discharge in Gandak has touched 2.66000 cusecs. All the 36 barrage gates in Valmikinagar area have now been opened and an alert has been sounded.
The Bihar government had recently sounded an alert in over 18 districts of Bihar that could be impacted with a heavy flood. The met department had predicted that from 8 to 12 July there would be very heavy rain in the catchment area of most of the rivers and more so in the entire Bagmati River Basin. Bagmati is swelling and has already flooded several low lying areas in Sheohar district of Bihar.
The DM of Sheohar on Friday accompanied by other officials went for a reality check of the flood-affected areas and has now cancelled the leave of all government employees. Around 15 boats have been stationed in Narkatia village which is surrounded by water from all sides and has been cut off from the district headquarters.
The NDRF and SDRF teams have been put on high alert and loudspeakers are being used in low lying areas to make people aware of the impending threat.
On the other hand, embankment strengthening work is going on a war footing on the western embankment of Kosi where the river has started ferociously hitting the spurs. The water level is rising further. Over a period the siltation has caused rising of the river bed and as such the embankments have become highly vulnerable. At Lal Bakiya river embankment in Baluwa Guwabari area of East Champaran, Nepal continues to stop the work on the embankment even as the river is on the rise.
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Amity Mumbai IT students win Hacktoberfest 2021
Six students of Amity University, Mumbai won Hacktoberfest 2021 challenge. Atherva Patil, MD Asshar, Ameya Gawade, Devarsh Bela, Kaustubh Kadu, Yash Sharma, all students of Amity Institute of Information Technology have participated and won the prizes. The Hacktoberfest 2021 Challenge was organised by Digital Ocean, Appwriter, Intel Devmesh and deep source to promote the open source software. Participating in Hacktoberfest leads to personal growth, professional opportunities, and community building. It begins with meaningful and quality contributions to open-source software.
On these achievements of students, Prof. A W Santhosh kumar, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Amity University Mumbai, said that, “The success of the IT Students in Hacktoberfest 2021 competition, is right step to enhance the IT Skills of the students. This participation is not only promoting the open source but also encouraging to the students to contribute into the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. The young generation students have wisely selected for the Plantation of the trees, which shows their awareness towards the environment.”
Faculty mentor and Head of the Institution, Dr. Manoj Devare said that, “To have used Innovative Teaching and learning pedagogy of Indirect Gamification to involve the students in the learning of the advanced IT Tools of DevOps. This year, six students have shown their skills in the Hacktoberfest 2021. The competition›s mix of UG and PG students has created a healthy environment. It was interesting to see how the students were helping each other succeed in submitting the PRs. Students have learned from their peers and understanding the Distributed Version Controlling System, forking the repositories, and using Git and GitHub tools made them more confident to make them Industry-ready.”
The GitHub and Git Version Controlling System are important tools for the Team of programmers working on the IT Projects. GitHub is the popular tool among the programming community to submit their daily contributions into the Project Repositories. Similarly, the open-source community is involved in pushing and pulling the program code into the public and private repositories. The Automation of the software development processes in the Development and Operations (DevOps) smoothly handover the completed software modules from the Developer to the Operations Team. In Continuation to this, the Participation of the IT Students in the Hactoberfest 2021 makes them Industry ready, and also contributing into the Sustainability. Participants in Hacktoberfest came from all over the world and represent thousands of unique skills sets in programming and Software project management.
The students have won prizes for the T-Shirts, Stickers, and selected tree plantation to reduce carbon footprints contributing sustainable environment.
All six winners are pursuing their BCA, BSC-IT and MCA programs from Amity Institute of Information Technology. Yash Sharma, student of BCA second year and one of the winner of competition said that, “I have completed Hacktoberfest›21; indeed, it was a great month-long journey got to collaborate on new ideas, projects, and tech stacks, around the world. The best part was its learning curve, networking, adding value, and building this open-source community more strongly. I have made successful contributions to frameworks like React Native, Angular, Python, etc. also was part of an organization like Appwrite.”
BUDDHADEB’S PADMA REJECTION BECOMES A HOT POLITICAL DEBATE
As the list of Padma awardees came out on Tuesday, one of the surprise names among the list of Padma Bhushan winners was former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. However, the veteran communist leader has refused to accept the award. Bhattacharya said he was not aware that he has been named for the Padma Bhushan and that he would reject it if it was true.
“I don’t know anything about a Padma Bhushan award. No one told me anything about it. If they have given me a Padma Bhushan award. I am rejecting it,” he said in a statement.
The news of the former Chief Minister’s Padma-rejection is making rounds in the political circles. The Left camp claims that it is a political stunt of the Center. The Trinamool, on the other hand, claims that the addition of left-wingers is clear in paying homage to Buddhababu. The saffron camp (BJP) has not stopped with this. BJP state president Sukanta Majumder claims that the rejection of Buddhadeb Babu’s award is being politicized.
In the words of the BJP state president, “Buddhadeb Bhattacharya is the former chief minister of the state. Keeping in mind his social and administrative contribution, the central government felt that he should be honoured with the Padma Bhushan. There is no need for politics to reject the award. It’s unwanted.”
On the other hand, Dilip Ghosh commented, “Buddhababu’s rejection of the award is his personal matter. However, the CPM has never maintained that tradition. The communists have always insulted the culture of the country. So not taking the award is also a sign of that insult. ”
The CPM’s rejection of Buddhababu’s award was reported on social media.
CPM’s Facebook handle states, “The CPI(M)’s policy is consistent in rejecting such awards from the state. Our work is for the people, not for rewards.” Everyone mentions another former Chief Minister Jyoti Basu. Bharat Ratna was rejected by Jyoti Basu. Buddhababur refused to walk that path.
On the other hand Trinamool mouthpiece ‘Jago Bangla’ demands recognition of Buddhababu, recognition of crushing of land movement in general.
The Left is saying that the government which is depriving the people of their democratic rights, will not accept the reward given by that government.
On the other hand, according to the Trinamool Congress, this award has once again exposed the BJP’s secret collusion with the Left.
After the award was announced on Tuesday, Kunal Ghosh made the same demand on behalf of the Trinamool. And on Wednesday, it was said in ‘Jago Bangla’ that the BJP actually said ‘vote of thanks’ to the CPM voters out of respect for Buddhababu.
Speaker-Governor clash takes a new turn in Bengal
On Wednesday, the Speaker of Bengal Assembly said that if the governor expressed his desire to visit the assembly, then the Assembly authorities would look into the reasons for his coming.
On Wednesday, the Speaker of West Bengal assembly Biman Banerjee said that if the West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar expresses his desire to come to the assembly in the future, he would be welcomed. And that is why analysts think that the state-governor conflict in West Bengal has taken a new turn.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar with state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during the 73rd Republic Day Parade, at Red Road, in Kolkata on Wednesday. ANI
The speaker however, said that if the governor himself expressed his desire to come to the assembly, then the assembly authorities would look into the reasons for his coming. Earlier the speaker had said that the governor could no longer come to the assembly on his own.
The argument being made by the assembly authorities is that the manner in which the governor attacked the speaker on January 25 when he came to lay a wreath at the statue of BR Ambedkar is unprecedented. The speaker claimed that the governor’s behavior was totally disrespectful. The speaker remarked that the role played by Jagdeep Dhankhar in the assembly did not suit him, at least as the governor.
Incidentally, standing next to the Speaker on January 25, the Governor remarked that the Legislative Assembly was not abiding by the Constitution.
The Speaker said, “The previous Governor has inaugurated many programs in Bengal. Even then there was press, there was media. He went to the press corner and talked to everyone. But none of them behaved like that. He wanted to come to the assembly himself. We have brought him with dignity. But we did not understand, he will use this platform to make a political statement.”
“I have asked for a CD of his speech. After seeing that, I will decide what to do next. ” The speaker added.
“Let me be clear, if Dhankhar wants to come, he has to provide a reason behind his visit to the assembly. He has some constitutional obligations, for which he has to come there. We have nothing to say. But if he wants to come to the assembly voluntarily, we want to know why he wants to come. ”
Incidentally, the governors have repeatedly clashed with the state administration in the past. Such as Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who was the Governor of Bengal from 2004 to 2009. Or even earlier, Governor Dharambir dismissed the United Front government led by veteran Congress leader Ajay Mukherjee.
But this clash between the Governor and the Speaker is unprecedented. Analysts believe that this instance of attacking the authorities or the speaker while standing in the assembly has not been seen in Bengal before.
In this context, BJP leader Agnimitra Paul said, “The speaker’s statement is very sad. Which is unfortunate enough for this state to have a constitution. The Speaker does not have the power to control the motion of the Governor or to prevent the arrival of the Governor in the Legislative Assembly. It should be understood that the Speaker runs the Vidhan Sabha, it is not his house. “
ANTIBODIES FROM OMICRON EFFECTIVE AGAINST ALL VARIANTS: ICMR
The latest study conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) shows that antibodies generated by Omicron, a COVID-19 strain, are not only effective against it but also other variants of concern (VOCs) including Delta.
“The individuals infected with Omicron have significant immune response which could neutralize not only the Omicron but also the other VOCs including most prevalent Delta variant,” a study by ICMR has revealed. “This suggests that the immune response induced by the Omicron could effectively neutralize the Delta variant making the re-infection with Delta less likely, thereby displacing the Delta as dominant strain. This emphasizes the need for the Omicron specific vaccine strategy,” it further said.
In this study, the ICMR has analysed the IgG and neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) against B.1, Alpha, Beta, Delta and Omicron variants with the sera of individuals infected with the Omicron variant (B.1.1529 and BA.1) as currently India is facing the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
ICMR has said that within a short span of time, the variant has shown high transmissibility and capability of evading the immune response generated against natural infection and vaccination. The immune escape potential of Omicron is a serious concern and further needs to be explored.
The study, where antibodies response was assessed in those who are infected by Omicron, is pre-print. And not peer reviewed.
Although COVID-19 cases are showing a downward trend in the big cities, the ICU admissions and deaths are being driven by patients with comorbidities, people who are immunocompromised, and the aged.
Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant, Internal Medicine, Apollo Hospital said, “It is comorbidity which is causing ICU admissions. Even before COVID-19, people with comorbidities, extreme age require ICU admission quite a few times with any of the infections. Rather than Omicron causing ICU admissions, it is the comorbidities, because superimposed infection which happens to be Omicron is causing the ICU admission.”
“When numbers are high, deaths actually follow them. Cases have started coming down in metropolitan cities but people actually die a couple of weeks down the line. They become more serious and come up with more complications and start dying. Thus, the discrepancy occurs that when peak has already been seen and cases are reducing each day (especially in Mumbai and Delhi) the deaths have slightly risen and this what happens epidemiologically,” Dr Chatterjee said.
The regular market approval from Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to COVID-19 vaccine Covishield and Covaxin is expected soon, but only after price is fixed, official sources said on Wednesday.
Recently, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), DCGI, Drug regulators and senior officials of the Union Health Ministry conducted a meeting regarding fixing the prices of Covishield and Covaxin, but no final decision has been taken yet.
It is expected that the price of a vaccine will be fixed below Rs 275 per dose and additional service charges of 150 to make both the vaccines affordable for all.
MAJITHIA WILL TAKE ON SIDHU, PARKASH BADAL WILL CONTEST FROM LAMBI
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia will contest the Punjab Assembly election against State Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, said SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday. “Bikram Singh Majithia will contest against Navjot Singh Sidhu to dismantle his arrogance in this Assembly elections,” Badal told journalists. Sidhu has retained his candidature from his traditional seat of Amritsar East for the upcoming state Assembly elections. Amritsar East Seat is in the Malwa region of Punjab which has the largest share of Assembly seats and has always been a deciding region for getting the numbers to rule Punjab.
Five-time Punjab Chief Minister and senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal will fight the Assembly elections from Lambi. Making the announcement, his son and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said they requested the party patron not to retire from active politics. The presence of Parkash Singh Badal, 94, in the fray is likely to strengthen the SAD poll effort in the tough multi-party contest in Punjab. “The entire party pleaded with Sardar Parkash Singh Badal not to retire from politics and he has acceded to our request to contest the forthcoming elections from Lambi. Badal Sahab has always been in the forefront to offer his services for the welfare of Punjab and Punjabis and he is doing so again,” Sukhbir Singh Badal said.
Sukhbir Badal added that Satinder Singh Chajjwalwadi, son of three-time legislator Ranjit Singh Chajjwalwadi, would be the party nominee from Baba Bakala seat. He also inducted the Chajjalwadi family into the SAD along with a large number of Congress sarpanch and block Samiti members on the occasion.
Hitting out at Sidhu, Sukhbir Singh Badal said his “arrogance will be his undoing”.
“He has been harping on his support among the masses. Now his support will be tested with ‘Majha da sher’ taking him on in his home constituency. He (Sidhu) should get ready to fight the brave SAD workers. We will break his arrogance by ensuring he loses his security deposit,” he said.
“We have called Sidhu’s bluster. We know he has not done anything in his constituency for the last five years. He did not do anything in his constituency even as local bodies’ minister. Amritsar East has drinking water and even sewerage issues which have not been addressed by Sidhu. Now the people of his constituency will hold him to account,” Sukhbir Singh Badal added.
The SAD president said the Congress government had targeted Majithia and even registered a “false case” against him as he had always raised the issues of the people.
Majithia is the brother-in-law of Sukhbir Singh Badal.
“Majithia is known to fight for the people. This was not to the liking of the Congress government. They have registered a false case against a Gursikh who is known to do ‘nitnem’ (Sikh hymns) for two-and-a-half hours every day,” he said.
Badal announced that the party’s chief sewadar from Amritsar East, Gurpreet Randhawa would be the election in-charge of Majithia.
Majithia was booked by Punjab Police under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act at SAS Nagar Police Station on the basis of a 2018 report submitted by the anti-drug Special Task Force (STF).
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Majithia in the case.
‘HM SAID, JAYANT IN WRONG ALLIANCE, DOORS OPEN FOR HIM’
Amit Shah met more than 200 Jat leaders on Wednesday.
Ahead of the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections on 10 February, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with Jat leaders in the national capital on Wednesday.
The meeting was attended by Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan, and BJP MPs Satyapal Singh and Parvesh Verma. Western Uttar Pradesh BJP leaders Mohit Beniwal and Captain Abhimanyu were also present in the meeting. More than 200 Jat leaders attended the meeting held at MP Parvesh Verma’s residence.
During the meeting, the Home Minister is supposed to have said that RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary has chosen the wrong path, referring to the RLD-SP alliance in Uttar Pradesh. According to Parvesh Verma, “On (RLD chief)
Jayant Chaudhary, he (HM Amit Shah) said that there are many possibilities after the polls. For now, he has chosen a party. People of the Jat community will speak to Jayant. BJP’s doors are always open for him.”
“We wanted to welcome (RLD chief) Jayant Chaudhary to our home (BJP) but he has chosen the wrong path,” the BJP MP added.
Responding to this news, RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary tweeted, “Don’t give this invitation to me. Give it to all those 700 farmers’ families whose houses you have destroyed.”
At the meeting, Amit Shah also said, “There are some similarities between you (Jat leaders) and us (BJP). You have fought with Mughals for around 650 years. Just like, Jats do not think only about themselves, but always prioritise nation’s security, BJP also has the same ideology.”
He also said, “We have revoked Articles 370 and 35(A) because you have voted us to power since 2014. You have always supported us.”
Citing the example of farmers, Shah stated that both Jat and BJP think about the welfare of farmers. “We have also worked for implementing ‘one rank one pension’ under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Many youths who belong to the Jat community are already working in the Defence sector. Only BJP has given Ministers from the Jat community. You (Jats) have always strengthened the party,” he added.
“Under the leadership of PM Modi, we have given around Rs 80,000 crore to farmers. Work of Ganga Expressway has started. The maintenance yard will be built in Jewar. Work is underway to transform Agra, Saharanpur, Mathura and Firozabad into smart cities. Medical Park is about to be built. Now the state ranks at first place for the market of sugarcane, wheat and mango,” the Home Minister said.
Reacting to Shah’s statements, Captain Abhimanyu, Western Uttar Pradesh BJP leader said that the party does politics of nationalist ideology. “For us, the nation is first, then party. This state was being exploited by foreign invaders, but now, BJP is working to save the interest of farmers in the state,” Abhimanyu added.
Another attendee to the meeting said, “We have demanded a Bharat Ratna for (former PM) Chaudhary Charan Singh, reservation for Jats and proportionate representation in Central government and Uttar Pradesh government. The Home Minister has responded positively to our demands.”
Baghpat BJP MP Satyapal Singh said that no Jat leader or member of the Jat community was angry with the party. “Such a meeting is not being held for the first time. Before this, meetings with the Brahmin community and other sections of society have also been held. Every section of society will make the Bharatiya Janata Party alliance win,” he said.
On the SP-RLD coalition, Satyapal Singh said, “There is no support base for SP and RLD on the ground.”
Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan, known to be one of the biggest leaders of the Jat community in western Uttar Pradesh, said that the meeting was on the agenda of the elections. He said that the meeting was supposed to be held earlier but could not be held due to the COVID situation.
On the resentment of the farmers of the Jat belt, Balyan said, “This perception is created before the elections but in the elections, Jats always vote for the BJP. Jats have always voted for the BJP. They voted for BJP in 2014, 2017 and in 2019. This time also Jats will vote for BJP. Nobody wants Akhilesh Yadav to become the Chief Minister in Uttar Pradesh.”
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is one of the BJP’s star campaigners for Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, will campaign in the western region of the state on Thursday. The senior BJP leader will attend a “Chaupal” in Bagpat and interact with people at Modinagar in Ghaziabad during campaigning.
AKHILESH DEFENDS CRIMINAL CANDIDATES
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday defended the party’s decision to give tickets to some candidates facing criminal cases and said most of these cases had been filed by the BJP government.
“Gayatri Prajapati’s wife doesn’t have any case against her, cases are against the husband. Most cases against Azam Khan were lodged under BJP rule. As far as Nahid Hasan is concerned, BJP (government) lodged most cases against him,” Akhilesh Yadav said. Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on Tuesday slammed Akhilesh Yadav saying that his party and his allies cannot stop BJP from returning to power and alleged that SP was giving tickets to criminals.
“SP will not be able to stop the lotus of BJP from blooming in the state. The list of candidates that the SP has released for the upcoming elections shows that it is not a political party but the party of gangsters, criminals, mafias. They are not fighting polls in UP but threatening the people of the state. I wish to tell him that however many criminals you give tickets to, your cycle is punctured and will remain punctured,” he had said.
Samajwadi Party has given ticket for upcoming UP polls to jailed former Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Prajapati’s wife Maharaji Devi from Amethi. Lok Sabha MP Azam Khan, SP candidate from Rampur seat, is lodged in Sitapur jail since February 2020 as many cases are registered against him.
SP’s candidate from Kairana Nashid Hasan was arrested by UP police earlier this month under the Gangsters Act and is currently in judicial custody.
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