If sources are to be believed, Pakistan Army is not at all happy with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Covid crisis management in the country. The pandemic has put the government in a confrontation path with the all-powerful armed forces whose top brass is unhappy at the failure of the government to deal with the deadly virus.
Wajid Shamsul Hasan, a former Pakistani diplomat and journalist, said that the total failure of the Imran government’s Covid policies has justified the Army to be back in the front seat in control in Pakistan — though there is no official declaration of martial law.
“Until last induction of officers up to the rank of Lt. Generals in the civilian cadre, there are now more than a dozen former and current military officials in prominent government posts such as running the state-owned PIA, the power regulator and the National Institute of Health, which is leading the country’s pandemic response. Three of those appointments happened in the last two months.”
Hasan believes that Imran has failed to make up its mind to decide its best options for combating the pandemic Covid-19. “Having opposed lockdown since the day Sindh government decided to use it to minimise the surge, the latest decision from Khan is so-called ‘smart lockdown’ in places where the surge is more severe. By the time of writing this piece, the death toll has nearly 3000 and the spread of infection has hit more than 130,000.”
Since the situation has become more threatening, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned Pakistan of dire consequences. In its latest directive, the WHO has asked Pakistan to implement “intermittent” lockdowns to counter the surge in coronavirus infections that has come as the country’s Prime Minister opted for loosening restrictions pertaining to lockdown.
Imran Khan has been emphasising all along against lockdown measures ad- opted by the Sindh government and other provinces arguing the impoverished country could not afford massive unemployment due to it four provinces ordered a patchwork of closures, and last week the Pakistan PM said most of these restrictions due to lockdown would be lifted. That decision as such has come as Pakistan found the worsening of the surge across all of South Asia, which until recently had lagged Western nations in virus tolls.
WHO officials said last week they had recorded a total of 108,317 cases and 2,172 deaths – though with testing still limited, real rates are thought to be much higher. “As of today, Pakistan does not meet any of the pre-requisite conditions for opening the lockdown,” the WHO said in a letter to Punjab’s provincial health minister Dr Yasmin Rashid recommending an intermittent lockdown cycle of two weeks on, two weeks off.
The top health body believes that 25 per cent of tests in Pakistan come back positive for Covid-19, indicating high levels of infection in the general population. Hospitals across the country say they are at or near capacity, and some are turning Covid-19 patients away. In a panic reaction, the health authorities in Islamabad have identified and sealed off nearly 1,300 coronavirus hotspots across the country to contain the surging trajectory of new infections.
The sealing of high-risk areas comes as government’s Covid-19 portal re- ported 6,472 new cases in the last 24 hours, the country’s highest single-day total.
Pakistan has reported 132,405 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, including 2,551 deaths since its first case emerged on 26 February. After initially imposing a countrywide lockdown, the government has now eased restrictions, saying it was necessary to save the country’s economy, but it has caused a surge in infections.
With agency inputs
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MediaTek to enhance India’s 5G prospects in 2022: From mainstream to flagship
MediaTek, the world’s leading fabless semiconductor company powering nearly 2 billion connected devices a year, reiterated its commitment to powering disruptive technologies, R&D capabilities and opportunities for expanding India’s footprint in the coming year.
The company is upbeat on 5G prospects in 2022 and looks at expanding its portfolio in India with a comprehensive range of mainstream, premium and flagship products. This was announced on the sidelines of the 9th edition of MediaTek Technology Diaries- “Unlocking the Future”, focused on the latest technology trends from MediaTek and the smartphones/smart devices market in India. “We at MediaTek are focused on making 2022 a year aimed at rapid growth, business success, and substantial expansion in our R&D capabilities. Our journey has been sustained, and we have grown consistently in size and revenue. 2021 is significant for us as we have, with the launch of the MediaTek Dimensity 9000, covered the entire spectrum from flagship to the mainstream. This year has also been a significant one in terms of our expansion and scaling efforts. We have been hiring extensively and are ramping up capabilities across our facilities in India,” said Anku Jain, Managing Director, MediaTek India. “For 2022, we are focused on further strengthening our presence in India, offering incredible experiences to customers, and supporting the country’s technology initiatives with our expertise and collaboration with leading OEMs.”
The event witnessed engaging interactions around current topics including:
5G – MediaTek’s plans to boost technology democratisation and enable access to disruptive connectivity with its range of mainstream to flagship 5G chips. In the flagship segment, MediaTek recently announced the Dimensity 9000 chip, which is a milestone of innovation and a rise to the incredible, built-to-power flagship 5G smartphones in the world. Packing the best, most advanced technology and features on the planet, the Dimensity 9000 is super powerful yet super power-efficient in a 4nm package, ensuring superior 5G speeds and next-gen gaming technology, professional-grade imaging, videography, advanced AI and computing architecture.
Incredible In. Incredible Out – MediaTek’s focus on customer interactions and experiences was also discussed along with the ongoing campaign “Incredible In. Incredible Out”, what we put into our Dimensity 5G chips, shapes the incredible experiences you get out of it, be it incredible 5G connectivity, photography, Video Streaming and industry-leading gaming experiences
Smart Devices – Keen on designing innovative solutions for new age requirements, MediaTek remains a market leader in digital TVs, voice assistant devices, Wi-Fi routers and other smart home products with a portfolio that caters to a wide range of customers across smartphones, smart homes, automotive, IoT and home/enterprise connectivity segment.
R&D – Dimensity 5G Open Resource Architecture provides closer-to-metal access on the Dimensity 1200 chipset for brands to tailor smartphone features like AI, multimedia and camera, hybrid multiprocessing and connectivity, giving device makers access to customised consumer experiences.
MediaTek presented the attendees with details on its host of new global launches this year, including the Filogic models for Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, the world’s first 7-nanometer 8K digital TV flagship system-on-chip (SoC), the MediaTek Pentonic 2000, and the MediaTek Dimensity 9000.
“This is for the first time in any tech transition in India that a strong device ecosystem will precede the commercial launch of services. By the time we have official 5G services kicking in, India might already have over 50 million active 5G devices,” said Tarun Pathak, Research Director, Counterpoint Research.
Sharing key highlights from the ‘The Connected Indian – 2021’ Report, Faisal Kawoosa, Founder & Chief Analyst Techarc said, “With a rapidly changing lifestyle powered by technology, consumers are reinforcing their focus on ‘smartisation’ by shifting towards smart devices ecosystem which includes personal use gadgets, devices for home and office automation. Processors continue to be key enablers in terms of main components which define the features and functions of these smart devices.”
The Technology Diaries series is an interactive, informative series aimed at demystifying the newest technologies that are transforming our daily lives. This is in tune with MediaTek’s philosophy of making great technology available to everyone so we can all connect more easily to the things that shape our everyday lives, enhance and enrich it, make us smarter and healthier.
MediaTek Incorporated is a global fabless semiconductor company that enables nearly 2 billion connected devices a year. We are a market leader in developing innovative systems-on-chip (SoC) for mobile devices, home entertainment, connectivity and IoT products. Our dedication to innovation has positioned us as a driving market force in several key technology areas, including highly power-efficient mobile technologies, automotive solutions and a broad range of advanced multimedia products such as smartphones, tablets, digital televisions, 5G, Voice Assistant Devices (VAD) and wearables.
MediaTek empowers and inspires people to expand their horizons and achieve their goals through smart technology, more easily and efficiently than ever before. We work with the brands you love to make great technology accessible to everyone, and it drives everything we do.
JOURNEY OF HOUSE OF ROHET BEGAN AS AN EXPERIMENT INTO HOSPITALITY: AVIJIT SINGH ROHET
In this exclusive interview with us on NewsX India A-List, Avijit Singh Rohet shared his journey in hotel management, vision for House Of Rohet and the heritage of his forefathers and much more.
Avijit Singh Rohet, Director, House Of Rohet, joined us for a detailed conversation as part of NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive interview, Avijit shared his journey in hotel management, vision for House Of Rohet and the heritage of his forefathers. Excerpts:
Speaking about the journey of House Of Rohet, Avijit said, “The journey of House Of Rohet began as an experiment into hospitality by my grandparents and my parents, way back in 1990. It has been a journey since then. We converted our ancestral home, which is Rohet Garh, currently one of the first heritage hotels of the country, back in 1990 as an experiment. From there, our journey kind of snowballed on. We have a small bouquet of four properties now, all offering experiential experiences to our travellers, a completely different take on what you would find in your regular city 5-star hotels. That is what our USP is, offering scratch beneath the surface if you will, into Western Rajasthan.”
Talking about the different properties under the umbrella of House Of Rohet and what makes each one of them special, he said, “Our first property is Rohet Garh, which is a heritage hotel and is our ancestral home. It has been our family home since 1622, so I am the 15th generation of my family to be living here. Lots of histories in these walls and we have been very conscious not to change any of the old structures. Everything we have been done repurposed for the hotel, has been done in the old building. It’s been a challenge to do so. It is not easy at all but it has been an experience. Today, Rohet Garh stands the testament of what heritage hotels can become and what value old buildings hold in today’s India. Our second property is Mir Garh, which really is the jewel in our crown. It’s a 9 suite only luxury bouquet property built on top of a sand dune, literally in the middle of nowhere. It is about 20 km west of the village of Rohet, just toward the sunset. You don’t find population in 2 km radius. Over there, really is the homage of art and craft of rural Rajasthan. We were very conscious while creating Mir Garh to use only and only local artists, local craftsmen and sourced everything that we put into the property only from in and around the city of Jodhpur. It’s a testament to the art and craftsmanship of the area.”
“Our third property is a more rustic experience, which is our wilderness camp. Rohet Wilderness Camp is again a small boutique camp but a very rugged experience. Again, very different from the kind of palatial royal feel of Rohet Garh and the uber-luxury experience of Mir Garh. The camp is entirely eco-friendly. All the walls and floors are plastered with cow dung and clay and done by hand every year by the local village women. It is entirely powered by solar. It is more of an outdoor experience for those who like to be part of one with the wilderness, enjoy the birds in the morning and see wildlife outside their tents. Our newest property is the Rohet House in Jodhpur, which we opened just pre-pandemic. That is kind of an urban take on the art and craft of Rajasthan. It is a chique city villa, done up in a traditional way yet keeping it with the times. It is like a contemporary take on Rajasthani art. All the walls in the Rohet House are handpainted by local artists. They have really created masterpieces on the walls.”
“Our first property in Rohet Garh was a heritage hotel and it is our ancestral home. It has also been our family home since 1622.”
MAHAPARINIRVANA DIWAS OBSERVED ON 66TH DEATH ANNIVERSARY OF DR AMBEDKAR
The Government of India scheduled a nationwide observation of Mahaparinirvan Diwas on 6 December 2021 as part of the major commemoration of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. Marking the occasion, as the 66th death anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, programs were organised by Dr. Ambedkar Foundation at Parliament House, Dr. Ambedkar International Center, Panchteerth places associated with Babasaheb along with Ambavade, Symbiosis International University, Pune, Ambedkar Bhavan, Ambedkar Park, including further districts level programs in different states of the country.
President and Prime Minister of India along with ministers and prominent representatives from various ministries, attended Parliament House to pay floral tribute to Baba Saheb’s statue, followed by Dhamma Puja recitation by Buddhist monks at the occasion. In the memory of Dr. Ambedkar, Song and Drama Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting presented special songs and then Hon’ble President and Prime Minister donated saffron-dyed robes to honor Buddhist monks.
Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr. Virendra Kumar visited Dr. Ambedkar National Memorial, New Delhi, and paid floral tribute to Dr. Ambedkar’s statue where Buddhist monks recited Dhamma Puja.
In line with the original spirit of the famous slogan “Baba Saheb Amar Rahe”, the lead observer of Mahaparinirvan Diwas, Dr. Ambedkar Foundation organised a full-day event at Dr. Ambedkar International Center, New Delhi campus.
As the Chief Guest Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr. Virendra Kumar along with Guest of Honor, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Kaushal Kishore inaugurated the Dr. Ambedkar International Center’s Mahaparinirvan Diwas ceremony and paid floral tributes to Baba Saheb’s statue in the gracious presence of Shri R. Subramaniam, the Ministry’s Secretary, Upma Srivastava, Additional Secretary, Dr. Neeta Verma, Director General of National Informatics Centre and UGC’s Chairman DP Singh, along with other prominent attendees followed by Dhamma Puja recitation by Buddhist monks.
While Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, R. Subramaniam acknowledged the audience with a warm speech, UGC’s Chairman DP Singh, in his address, embraced the role of Dr. Ambedkar Foundation in uplifting the society with its visionary approach to education.
After that, Dr. Ambedkar Foundation displayed a documentary film highlighting the importance of Panchtirthas, associated with Baba Saheb followed by a speech of Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Kaushal Kishore. He stated, “People who honor Baba Saheb, doesn’t judge people for their caste and colour.”
Proceeding with the event, Dr. Virendra Kumar, launched a special book published by Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, named, “Social Justice and Empowerment: Reflections from Dr. Ambedkar Chairs” followed by release of a brochure based on Dr. Ambedkar’s Panchteerth, schemes and scholarships for Scheduled Caste students by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
While extending the occasion at Dr. Ambedkar International Center, Union Minister Dr. Virendra Kumar launched ‘Shreshtha Yojna’ and National Fellowship Management and Grievance redressal Portal. Recalling Baba Saheb, he reinforced the importance of Mahaparinirvan Diwas in his speech.
‘Shreshtha Yojna’ will aid in Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SRESHTA) for socioeconomics upliftment and overall development of the Scheduled Castes (SCs) students by providing quality residential education to meritorious Scheduled Caste students in Reputed Private Schools, having Residential facility.
In the next 5 years, the Ministry has decided to extend support to 24800 meritorious SC students, involving Rs. 300 Crores approx., for providing them quality residential education from class 9th to 12th in reputed Private Residential Schools in Aspirational Districts identified by the NITI Aayog, Educationally Backward Districts and Districts having a population of SC community at the national average.
Adding further, Dr. Virendra Kumar, also launched Fellowship Management and Grievance redressal Portal software with a view to enable an area-based development approach. The scheme aims at integrated development of scheduled sastes majority villages.
Dr. Ambedkar Foundation has produced a documentary film highlighting the importance of Panchteerth places related to Babasaheb, these five places, same was displayed on the occasion of Mahaparinirvan Divas at Dr. Ambedkar International Center as well as other places.
With a successful ceremonial event for the day, the organiser of the Mahaparinirvan Diwas ceremony at Dr. Ambedkar International Center, Director, Dr. Ambedkar International Center and Foundation, Vikas Trivedi has established a new record by connecting more than 10,00,000 people nationally and internationally for this great cause.
While sharing his gratitude for the opportunity, he said “It was a great experience to host all the Hon’ble ministers and other attendees. As the day pass, we must remember the immense contribution of Baba Saheb in the formation of a free India, organising such a mega event was demanding but it shows how much we regard and respect Baba Saheb.” Moving further he addressed his vote of thanks and concluded the event.
New international metaverse token VCORE closes oversubscribed, pre-sale
Leading technology company Together Labs recently announced that VCORE, an ERC-20 token that rewards active, international players, creators and earners across the metaverse will be available to users outside of the U.S. and Canada via its IMVU platform.
VCORE is a key step to accelerating virtual economies and will set the stage for future growth throughout the broader metaverse. With a new token launching in 2022, VCORE should give its users access to a new type of economy where every player may participate in the future of the metaverse.
“This initial presale was to connect with and secure interest from the top strategic crypto and metaverse buyers which know our space well—and we could not be more pleased to have this select group as part of our project,” said John Burris Chief Strategy & Blockchain Officer of Together Labs. “When we will launch VCORE next year, we will have a strong one-two punch with our first token—VCOIN, a globally transferable fiat-backed token—and now VCORE to power the next generation Metaverse economy.”
Participants in the pre-sale included BITKRAFT Ventures, a global investment platform; Sky9 Capital that has a focus on driving innovation in Internet, enterprise, and deep technology; Executives at GoldenTree Asset Management which hold investments in Coinbase (pre-IPO), ConsenSys and Animoca Brands and Jump Capital which has a vast crypto portfolio including 0x, BitGo, BlockFi, Coinlist.
“Launching VCORE is a giant milestone for the IMVU metaverse and its global user base. I
t is rare that a new token has an immediate audience so large,” said Daren Tsui, CEO of Together Labs and IMVU. “Now, VCORE allows us to reward our international members for their engagement. As players explore, earn, and shape the future of the metaverse, VCORE allows them to hold real-world value in its success.”
“When we will launch VCORE next year, we will have a strong one-two punch with our first token—VCOIN, a globally transferable fiat-backed token—and now VCORE to power the next generation Metaverse economy.”
Globalisation is crucial to create a stronger justice system: Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India
Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India & Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India, speaking at the valedictory session of the three-day Global Law Schools’ Summit on the theme “The Present and Future of Global Legal Education” said, “Globalisation in the last few decades has been accelerating exponentially largely due to the advancement in transportation, communication, technologies and various other reasons. With the great benefit of globalisation also comes some global risks and very vital global challenges. Recently, all of us have witnessed the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the largest price was paid in terms of lives. Therefore, it has also resulted in greater demands of global justice and a need for a better understanding of the implications of globalisation. In order to virtually recreate the world, not only do we need to strengthen our legal systems and innovate solutions that are balanced with empathy, but we will also need to come together to reimagine a global justice system. Globalisation in law and legal education has always been—and even in these times will be—very crucial to pave a path for a stronger justice system. With JGU being one of India’s institutions of eminence and JGLS being India’s number one law school as per the QS World University Rankings, the institution has indeed lived up to its commitment to increase in building India’s global footprint.”
Mehta added, “With this summit seeing leaders from across 100 law schools from across the world and representing divergent views and intellectual ideas, JGU has truly elevated the idea of being global, especially at a time when globalisation is crucial to the progress of the world around us. We need to redefine the way global education can contribute to bringing about a change in this world and we must use this gathering today as an opportunity to find our collective consciousness to re-assess the present and reimagine the future of global education at large.”
The Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) has organised a truly international, one-of-its-kind Global Law Schools’ Summit, bringing together 150+ thought leaders from six continents and 35+ countries over 21 Thematic Sessions, eight Special Dialogues, two Colloquiums, and three Keynote Addresses to discuss the present and future of Global Legal Education. The summit concluded with a Valedictory Address by Tushar Mehta, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India and the Solicitor General of India. Dr Sasmit Patra, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and Member, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice, India delivered the Special Address.
In his Special Address, Dr Sasmit Patra said, “Sometimes we take democracy for granted. Whether it’s the Middle East, the Far East or South America, you find new definitions and dimensions of democracy, which basically hinges on who has more power, resources, demography, population, etc. Before we can think of democracy and strengthening democracy, the idea of strengthening the citizen is paramount. Legal education has a huge role to play in terms of building those core values for budding young lawyers. It is important to remember the basic rules and fundamentals of studying law and that using law as a platform will help to provide information, strengthen citizen-centric services, and help citizens to really rediscover their strengths to be able to ask the system questions and to get their rightful answers.”
Dr Patra raised pertinent questions on whether legal education is preparing students to ensure access to justice, public accountability, respect for democratic institutions and ensuring the independence of the jury. “Legal education is surely strengthening the legal process. But is legal education truly helping us to strengthen democracy? Many a time, we find that democracy survives sustains, grows, and thrives when especially the citizens of a nation have access to the judicial system.”
In his welcome address, the Founding Vice-Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University and Dean of Jindal Global Law School Prof. (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar said, “The onset of the pandemic from March 2020 was perhaps was one of the most unprecedented crises of our times. With an aim to envision the transformation of law schools, we held our first law summit last year. It was the starting point of an ongoing transformation at JGLS and we wanted to further strengthen our commitment to the change we want to see in the delivery of justice. Therefore, this 2nd edition of the summit is focused on the importance of globalisation in the way we evolve our legal education. We wanted to evaluate the kinds of resilience adopted by the law schools in the face of the pandemic and create dialogues. What began as a small idea has evolved into a global platform and we have witnessed an overwhelming participation of more than 150 thought leaders across six continents and over 35 countries over the last three days. This has been our humble effort to have members of academia and industry come together on a single platform to shape and transform the future of law and legal education. We had 50 hours of live streaming with more than 3500 views across multiple time zones.”
The concluding remarks were made by Professor (Dr.) S.G. Sreejith, Executive Dean, Jindal Global Law School. “The idea of this conference was prompted by the many uncertainties faced by society over the last two decades. During this summit, we wanted to hear stories of resistance, response and resilience in the areas of legal education and the legal profession. The conference brought to us incredible stories in the language of theory, practice, experiences and experiments. From those stories, we understood the inescapability of phenomena which further informed us that we have the courage and competency to face those uncertainties. We have heard tales of redemption and reimagination in various branches of law, the struggle for the intellectual and cultural identities of law but still, all our deliberations and collective self-expression ended on the note of hope.”
The Summit saw law experts, academics, vice-chancellors, deans and heads of law institutions from 35+ countries, to make this Conference a truly global experience. The vote of thanks was given by Professor Dabiru Sridhar Patnaik, Registrar, JGU.
Aahana Kumra and sister get awarded for their fitness journey
After making a strong name for herself in the film industry with performances in projects like ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ and most recently, ‘Call My Agent! Bollywood’, Aahana Kumra is now setting some fitness goals. And recognising that, the actress and her sister, Shivani Kumra were bestowed with an award for their inspiring journey in the field of fitness.
Aahana’s sister Shivani works in the perfume industry and is a mother to a five-year-old son, but she is also an athlete who has dedicated herself to fitness and health and is even a marathoner. Her Instagram profile is the perfect motivation for any fitness lover and not just her followers, but Shivani has motivated her younger sister into fitness too.
Fourteen months older than Aahana, Shivani had always been into sports since childhood and an inspiration to her younger sister. Both the sisters’ journey into fitness began in childhood and their mother had a big part to play in that. Their mother was a cop while they were growing up and the siblings have admitted that it was her who pushed them into getting more into sports and living a healthy lifestyle.
Aahana has admitted before that Shivani never misses a day of workout and even pushes her into doing it. Aahana has confessed that she started going to the gym because of Shivani as she brought that discipline into her life. And today, Aahana can’t live without her morning runs.
The siblings have sure set some fitness goals for everyone else and the recognition they have received for it seems well-deserved.
The writer is an actor and former Mr India.
Both the sisters’ journey into fitness began in childhood and their mother had a big part to play in that. Their mother was a cop while they were growing up and the siblings have admitted that it was she who pushed them into getting more into sports and living a healthy lifestyle.
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