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In view of the Covid crisis, the Indian Railways made a green corridor in an effort to transport Liquid Medical Oxygen across the country. But is rail proving to be faster than road tankers and saving crucial time? Let’s find out.

Gopal Goswami



There is a video doing rounds on social media about the green corridor made by the Railways to transport Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO). Where You Tuber Nitin Shukla is seen explaining the efficiency and planning of the Modi government, he claims while people like Arvind Kejriwal are busy buying fake credits the PM Modi and his team are efficiently delivering things silently. Let’s do fact-check whether his claims, praises are really praiseworthy or not.

On 15 April 2020 Maharashtra Government approached the Ministry of Railways to explore whether they can transport LMO tankers by rail from different oxygen generation facilities from across the country to different supply points in Maharashtra. Ministry of Railways immediately started to explore the feasibility on war footing about the route, working out the modalities and prepare a plan for the movement of tankers.

The main challenge in transporting Medical Oxygen Tankers is to find the shortest suitable railway route from origin to destination. The physical dimension of the tanker loaded on the railway wagon (Over Dimensional Consignment (ODC) in railway’s technical language can safely pass through various fixed railway installations without any infringement. There are several other constraints like the presence of low height fixed structures like Road over Bridges (ROB), low height overhead equipment wires, restrictions on bridges, curves, and running through platforms were examined expeditiously and a suitable route was identified from Mumbai to Visakhapatnam.

The next challenge is to identify suitable railway wagons, it was done quickly and a trial was organised at Boisar on 18 April. A loaded tanker was placed on the wagon and all the required measurements were taken. Specifications for checking/securing for the safety of the tanker during movement were successfully worked out by Railways and Industry representatives. The trial was successful, the first LMO Express was planned and started on 19 April.

In this LMO express from Mumbai to Vizag, it was ensured to select only those tankers which would not exceed the height beyond the A or B class ODC so that good speeds could be achieved. The availability of tankers of 3330 mm or lower were requested from the industry. But out of 12, only seven could meet the height criterion. Ramps were constructed within 24 hours to facilitate the loading of road tankers on rail wagons.

Efforts were made to ensure intensive monitoring and route mapping has ensured that the train could cover this distance in a short time. The top management of Railways i.e., the Railway Board, Zonal/Divisional level management have spent a lot of time to make this happen in the shortest time to bail out Mumbai city out of the oxygen crisis. This all was done despite Covid pandemic and shortage of working staff and resources and running all coaching and freight trains. This movement was successfully planned as a green initiative project (green corridor). This also required coordination with states, industry and other stakeholders viz Ministry of Road Transport & Highways & DPIIT etc.

The results were amazing too. Movement by Rail has proved to be faster than road tankers. Whereas average time taken by road tankers is close to 70 hours from Mumbai to Vizag (compared to 55 hours by rail) and we could transport more quantity of oxygen at a go.

This success led other state governments to approach the railway to arrange transportation of LMOs through Railway wagons. On the request of the UP government, one such train has left from Lucknow (U.P) to Bokaro on 22 April and reached Bokaro in the early hours of 23 April clocking an average speed of nearly 50 kmph despite the normal traffic on the rail route.

Requests are pouring in Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh to move Oxygen Express from Reliance Jamnagar Refinery to U.P and Angul (Odisha) to Vijaywada (A.P). Now Madhya Pradesh has also evinced interest and many more are in the queue to transport Medical Oxygen through railway wagons. But it’s equally important to mention here that Liquid oxygen is hazardous and its transportation requires stringent protocols such as the least sudden acceleration or brakes, restricted maximum speeds, avoiding sharp curves, pressure adjustments etc.

This quick and effective action is contrary to the rigid image Railways has been bearing for decades. They have shown proactiveness and flexibility in their approach to making this endeavour a success. The Maharashtra government has made last-minute changes in delivery points, has requested for a change in destination of loaded tankers from Vizag to Nagpur and Nashik which has also been accepted by Railways at short notice and route mapped accordingly.

Apart from this LMO transporting endeavour, Railways has made 3816 Coaches available as covid isolation care beds in different locations. The state governments have been apprised about the availability of coaches. So far only Delhi and Maharashtra demanded the coaches. Delhi has asked for 50 coaches (800 beds) at Shakur Basti and 25 coaches (400 beds) at Anand Vihar as on date no patient has been admitted to these care centres, despite the fact that Delhi seeing over 25,000 cases daily and need to utilise this facility.

Nandurbar (Maharashtra) has 21 coaches (378 beds) only 32 patients are admitted to these coaches.

To clear extra rush additional trains are being run from Railways during April-May 2021

• Central Railway – 130 trains (364 trips)

• Western Railway – 154 trains (212 trips)

• Northern Railway – 27 trains (27 trips)

• East Central Railway – 02 trains (4 trips)

• North Eastern Railway – 09 train (14 trips)

• North Central Railway – 01 train (10 trips)

• South Western Railway – 3 trains (30 trips)

• Total trains 328 (664 trips)

The trains are for destinations having high demand like Gorakhpur, Patna, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Varanasi, Guwahati, Manduadih, Barauni, Prayagraj, Bokaro, Ranchi, Lucknow& Kolkatta as the workers are returning home due to fear of the pandemic.

This pandemic has made drastic changes in the approach of government working and has changed the mindset positively. Railways under the leadership of Piyush Goyal have broken the rigid boundaries set from a century-old pattern of working in this organisation. The praises showered by Youtuber Nitin Shukla are found genuine and appreciable.

Gopal Goswami is a research scholar.

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Jaishankar visits WWI cemetery in Jerusalem, pays homage to Indian soldiers



External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar on Sunday visited the Indian cemetery in Jerusalem and paid homage to the Indian soldiers who died during World War I.

Jaishankar arrived in Israel on Sunday on a three-day visit. He is scheduled to hold talks with Israel’s top leadership. “Visited the Indian Cemetery at Talpiot as my first engagement in Jerusalem. Paid homage to the brave Indian soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice during World War I,” Jaishankar tweeted.

This ongoing visit is Jaishankar’s first to the country as the External Affairs Minister.

After reaching Israel, the minister wrote on Twitter: “Shalom Israel! Arrived on my first visit as External Affairs Minister. Looking forward to a great visit.”

During his three-day visit, Jaishankar will hold a bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister of Israel Yair Lapid and will also call on Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

India and Israel elevated bilateral relations to a Strategic Partnership during the historic visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel in July.

Earlier on Saturday, the Ministry of External Affairs said that Jaishankar will interact with the Indian-origin Jewish community in Israel, Indologists, Indian students who are currently pursuing their education in Israeli universities, and business people, including from the hi-tech industries.

The visit will also be an occasion to pay tribute to the valiant Indian soldiers who laid their lives in the region, especially during the First World War.

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Around 53 Egyptian vultures spotted on Yamuna river in Delhi



As many as 53 Egyptian vultures were spotted two days ago by an ecologist on a sandy mid-island on the Yamuna river in Delhi.

While talking to ANI, TK Roy, who is an ecologist, said, “I found 53 Egyptian vultures here two days back in Delhi, which is the largest number in the last five years. This place is suitable for them.”

Roy further informed us that there are around 47 Egyptian vultures in the area at present.

“The population is slowly rising because of a ban on diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug that has a toxic effect on vultures and awareness among people on vulture conservation,” the ecologist added.

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The local authorities and the city police have organised the programme to provide residents of the city with an entertaining, fun, and frolic event.



A traffic-free and pedestrian-friendly “Sunday Funday” programme titled “Ek Shaam Charminar ke naam” is being held at the historic Charminar of Hyderabad.

The local authorities and the city police have organised the programme to provide residents of the city with an entertaining, fun and frolic event. This event will also be used to spread awareness about various issues of public importance.

The event is inspired by the continuation of a similar programme for eight weeks now at the upper Tank Bund road of Hyderabad.

“With the success of Sunday Funday programme at upper Tank Bund road which has been happening in Hyderabad for last eight weeks now, we felt that the iconic place of Charminar is also another place which can be used for similar entertainment, fun and frolic and intermingling of people,” said Anjani Kumar, Police Commissioner, Hyderabad.

“Through such events, communities can be educated and made aware about several things such as how to prevent theft by servant, drivers theft, and other similar programmes. So we look forward to have a successful program at Charminar,” he added.

The event was inaugurated with the performance of the Hyderabad police band.

“The police department is also actively participating in this programme, the event was inaugurated with Hyderabad police band which is quite famous and subsequently it will be used for various police initiatives which are citizen-centric,” said the Police Commissioner.

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In an exclusive conversation with NewsX Influencer A-List, Karishma Swarup opened up about sexual education, what comes in its ambit, whether it is important to have a degree in sexual education to be able to teach it and much more.



Karishma Swarup, Sexuality Educator, recently joined NewsX for an insightful chat as part of NewsX Influencer A-List. In the exclusive conversation with NewsX, Karishma opened up about sexual education, what comes in its ambit, whether it is important to have a degree in sexual education to be able to teach it and much more.

Speaking about what exactly comes under the ambit of sexual education, Karishma said, “I feel like in India today, we don’t have a standardised sex education curriculum that is applied across schools, so a lot of people have misconceptions around what sex education even means. People seem to think that just talking about biology pieces that they studied in biology class might be considered sex education, but in reality, sex education is so much more than that. It involves biology but in the context of understanding anatomy. Understanding and not the teacher being like, oh! This is out of syllabus. Being able to discuss what are your body parts, how do those body parts function, whether or not it’s in a sexual situation. Right, so that is the first piece of it, just the anatomy bit of it.”

The second piece is, of course, the sexual health piece of it. That involves contraceptives, how condoms work and how to prevent STI transmissions. Just generally how to be safe and have safer sex. You cannot have any conversation about sex without talking about consent and consent is something that we talk about in the context of abuse but not necessarily in the context of teaching people what is the correct way of having a healthy relationship, what is the correct way to ask for consent in a certain situation. All of this is also influenced by things like gender and people’s personal identities. Good comprehensive sexuality education takes into consideration what are the different ways and aspects people are bringing into their experience of sexuality. So, that could include the LGBT community, it includes one’s gender. It can also include other intersections such as how does your class or other religion influences you, how you relate to other concepts so comprehensive sexuality or CSE is this holistic picture that goes so much more than telling young people to have sex and if anything the countries where they offer CSE at an early age young people tend to delay their onset of sexual activity rather than doing it earlier,” she added.

Talking about your educational background and whether or not from where you see it it is important to have a degree in sexual education to be able to teach it, Karishma stated, “I myself have done science my whole life. I did science in school. I did those biology classes, I was referring to. I went and studied geology biology while I was at Brown University as well. A large bulk of my learning came from working with this NGO named Plant Parenthood, which is a really big organisation in the US that offers different sexual health and reproductive health services including sex ed. I was a part of a student organisation there, we went out and taught sex ed to high students in the area. Working with them, I got 3 years of field experience. I got trained by this NGO, which had years and years of grass-root teaching experience and i think it goes beyond the question of having a degree especially with sexual health. It is a topic that is so widely ignored around the world, in most places really like, it is a question of who is doing it.

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Ministry of Food Processing Industries organises ‘Food Tech Summit 2021’



To commemorate World Food Day, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, under the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme, organised the Food Tech Summit on Saturday.

The Food Tech Summit 2021 aimed at setting the stage for all food-tech stakeholders to impart, discuss and acquaint micro enterprises on the new emerging trends in food processing and technological innovation. Minhaj Alam, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries addressed the Food Tech Summit and highlighted the importance of the micro food processing sector as the growth driver of the Indian economy and through the PMFME Scheme the government’s efforts to encourage food processing in India.

The summit witnessed the presence of eminent industry speakers sharing insightful pieces for micro-enterprises and paving a way in the food processing sector at the domestic and global levels.

Among the distinguished speakers were, Dr. Prasun Kumar Das, Secretary-General, Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA), who spoke about the “Role of small food enterprises in achieving food security – India vs. Global Perspective”. Dr. Prabodh Halde Head- Regulatory and Government Affairs Marico India, conducted a session on “Indigenous Food – Scale, Market and its Processing in Micro Industries”.

The session on “New Generation Food and Technology / Recent Trends (RTE/Convenient Foods)” was taken by Anand Chordia, Director – Technology & Innovation from Pravin Masale, (ONESuhana). Bidyut Baruah, Assistant General Manager, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), took a session on “Export Potential Food Products and its Scope in Micro Food Industries”.

The session on “Infrastructure and logistic Interventions for Micro Food Processing Industries” was taken by Vivek Jha, Associate Director – Government and Public Services, KPMG Advisory Service Private Limited. Akhilesh Gupta, Assistant Director – Regulatory Compliance Division, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), took the session on “Regulatory Compliances, Challenges & Solutions for Micro Industries”.

Tonisha Dixit, National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management, Thanjavur (NIFTEM) took the session on “Introduction on PMFME Scheme and Process for Applying (Online Form for Interested Enterprises/Groups)”.

The Food Tech Summit is one of a kind initiative by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries along with the support of distinguished industry experts to educate and guide the stakeholders to make informed decisions in order to scale up their food business in the present scenario.

In addition to the participation of the various eminent guest speakers, the summit saw the participation of government officials from across the states and also the food processing micro-enterprises. It was hosted live successfully and witnessed the vast participation of all stakeholders.

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Singer Kailash Kher emphasised that any mass movement can only be successful after receiving participation and support from the citizens.



Renowned Padma Shri awardee singer Kailash Kher applauded India’s fast-paced vaccination programme against Covid-19 on Saturday while speaking about his new song ‘Teeke se bacha hai desh’, which he has sung to promote the vaccination drive across the country.

The audio-visual number was launched today by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Health and Family Welfare Minister Shri Mansukh Mandaviya. Speaking about the vaccination song, Kher noted that any mass movement can only be successful after receiving participation and support from the citizens. He said, “I want to say that all the missions or movements that achieve success, never do so without people’s participation. And it is only through this participation that India has been able to achieve such high success in the vaccination drive.”

“Today the number of vaccinated population in the nation is reaching 100 crores, hence this is a historical example of how India has conquered corona and that too amid all the misinformation and rumours. This has only been possible by the participation of the people,” continued the singer, adding, “But still, there are misconceptions amid people, like some individuals still haven’t taken the second dose and some not even the first. Intellect lies in taking the vaccine and saving yourself and others.”

Kher had pointed out that music is not only a source of entertainment but also has the qualities of inspiring others. He said that India is a great nation with the world recognising its potential and achievements but there are certain misgivings that need to be addressed. He said that moral support and awareness can be generated through inspirational songs and expressed confidence that the song will go a long way in overcoming the myths and boost the vaccine’s acceptability.

On the occasion of the vaccination song’s launch, Hardeep Singh Puri appreciated Kher and said that the singers can capture the people’s imagination, and this song will go in a long way in dispelling the myths and creating awareness about the vaccination.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister had also shared the song on his Twitter handle, and along with it wrote, “A song that slays vaccine hesitancy! Teeke se bacha hai desh teeke se. Teeke se bachega desh teeke se. Joined my colleagues Dr @mansukhmandviya Ji and Sh @Rameswar_Teli Ji to release India’s Vaccination Anthem #BharatKaTikakaran sung by Sh @Kailashkhe Ji. #SabkaSaathSabkaPrayas”

During the vaccination song’s launch event, which was in a hybrid mode, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameswar Teli, Secretary PNG Tarun Kapoor, senior officers of the Ministry and Oil and Gas PSUs, were also present.

The song has been produced by the Oil and Gas PSUs.

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