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India reports 13,083 new COVID-19 cases

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New Delhi [India], January 30 (ANI): India reported 13,083 new COVID-19 cases, 14,808 discharges and 137 deaths in the last 24 hours, said the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Saturday.
The total COVID-19 cases in the country have gone up to 1,07,33,131 including 1,69,824 active cases and 1,04,09,160 total discharges.
The COVID-19 death toll has risen to 1,54,147 including the new deaths in the last 24 hours.
According to the Ministry, Kerala has 72, 482 active cases while Maharashtra has an active COVID-19 caseload of 44,384.
The cumulative number of healthcare workers who have been administered the COVID-19 vaccine crossed 33 lakh on Friday. A total of 33,68,734 beneficiaries were vaccinated through 62,939 sessions, as per the provisional report. 10,061 sessions were held till 7 pm on Friday.
The Union Health Ministry has approved two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, under Emergency Use Authorisation (EAU).
“A total of 19,58,37,408 samples tested for COVID-19 up to January 29. Of these, 7,56,329 samples were tested yesterday,” the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said. (ANI)

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Border residents in J-K’s Baramulla relieved after ceasefire agreement

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Baramulla (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], February 27 (ANI): The agreement between India and Pakistan to cease firing along the Line of Control has brought happiness among residents of border areas in the Uri Sector in Baramulla as they can now lead normal lives.
“We are very happy that the Commanders from both sides have agreed to observe the ceasefire. Cross-border firings cause big problems in the lives of people living along the border. We used to face all kinds of troubles and difficulties. We are thankful to the government for this step. Now, we can live in peace,” said Abdul Razzak, a border resident.
The residents in the border areas of Nabila village, along the Line of Control (LoC), in the Uri sector in Baramulla are hoping for peace after India and Pakistan reiterated commitment for a ceasefire on borders.
“I am a resident of Nabila. The ceasefire observance decision has brought great relief to all of us living along the border. Our children could not go to school earlier. We had to face difficulties in our daily life. I want to thank the government for the move,” said Farid Khan, a local of Nabila.
Ceasefire violations, cross-LoC firings, and shelling are the biggest hurdle in the lives of people living near border areas of the Uri sector in Baramulla. Firing and shelling only bring pain for civilians living along LoC. Now, they are hoping that their problems will be solved after the ceasefire agreement.
The Uri sector witnessed a spurt in ceasefire violations during the last year. More than 12 people, including soldiers, were killed in more than 36 ceasefire violations while hundreds of structures suffered damage.
The most deadly ceasefire violation recently took place on November 13 last year in Kamalkote, when four civilians and two soldiers were killed while a civilian had lost both his legs. The incident caused massive damage to the property as well, forcing locals to flee temporarily from the area.
“Earlier due to shelling, we had to face many problems. We couldn’t even take out our cattle to pastures. Now after this agreement, we hope things will be normal for us,” said Shahid-ul Islam, Sarpanch of Nabila Village.
He added, “Our children also had difficulties going to school. I especially want to thank the Indian government for taking the initiative for this great step.”
Border residents of Nabila Village of Uri thanked prime ministers of both countries for taking this step.
Earlier on Thursday, after discussions between the Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan, the two sides have to cease firing along the Line of Control (LoC)and all other sectors with effect from midnight of February 24 to 25. (ANI)

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Andhra Pradesh reports 118 new COVID-19 cases

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Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], February 27 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh reported 118 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, taking the total count of cases to 8,89,799.
According to the state health department, Andhra Pradesh has 667 active COVID-19 cases as of now.
The death toll in the state due to coronavirus stands at 7,169. The total number of recoveries reached 8,81,963.
Meanwhile, 16,488 new COVID-19 cases and 113 deaths were reported in India during the last 24 hours, informed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Saturday.
With this, the total coronavirus caseload in the country has gone up to 1,10,79,979, including 1,59,590 active cases and 1,07,63,451 discharges.
The COVID-19 death toll reached 1,56,938 on Saturday with additional 113 deaths. (ANI)

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India’s small, medium businesses solution to Chinese manufacturing: Rahul Gandhi

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Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 27 (ANI): Ahead of the upcoming state Assembly elections, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that India’s small and medium businesses are the solution to combat the challenge of the Chinese manufacturing and massive unemployment prevailing in the country.
“From phones to clothes, all are made in China. Our small and medium businesses are the solution. We have massive unemployment everywhere, it is a challenge for India. If Tamil Nadu government works effectively, we can also get Made in Tamil Nadu and Made in India products,” said Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Tirunelveli.
“If we have to take the challenge of Chinese manufacturing, the answer has to be the small and medium enterprise,” he added.
Noting that employment is one of the major challenges for the country, the former Congress chief said, “We have millions of dynamic youngsters with unbelievable energy, with dreams and they are unemployed. You can go to any state in India, you will find massive unemployment. Jobs is the central challenge for our country.”
“I am convinced that, if we get the government of Tamil Nadu to work effectively, behind this (displaying a phone) phone, we will find Made in Tamil Nadu and Made in India,” he added.
Rahul Gandhi also visited St. John’s Cathedral in Nazareth, Thoothukudi.
Tamil Nadu assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Friday.
With this announcement, the model code of conduct comes into force. The assembly elections in the southern state are important for the national as well as the regional political parties.
Polls will be held for 234 seats in Tamil Nadu with the Congress-DMK and BJP-AIADMK alliance being the major groups contesting against each other. (ANI)

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‘Pappu’ busy catching fish, Congress will later say EVMs malfunctioned: Narottam Mishra

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Datia (Madhya Pradesh) [India], February 27 (ANI): Days after Rahul Gandhi swam with local fishermen in the Arabian Sea off Kerala’s coast, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra on Saturday took a swipe at Congress to say that their ‘Pappu’ (fool) leader was busy catching fish now and the party will later blame the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for malfunctioning when it faces defeat in the ensuing Assembly polls.
Mishra also drew a comparison to the rigorous campaigning by the BJP in the poll-bound states with the party roping in heavyweights including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
“Look at the difference. Modiji is campaigning in Tamil Nadu, Amit Shahji in West Bengal, Naddaji is in Assam, Rajnath Singh is in Kerala and ‘Pappu’ is catching fish. Then they will say the EVMs are malfunctioning,” Mishra told mediapersons here.
This comes two days after Gandhi during his tour in Kollam joined local fishermen in the high sea of Kerala to get a taste of their life and understand their issues.
He also dived into the water and swam for 10 minutes with two others before returning to the boat. The Wayanad MP interacted with the thousands of fisherfolk, including women, who had gathered at the Thangassery beach in the southern coastal district and said he admired and respected their work.
A total of 824 assembly constituencies shall be going for polls in four states–Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam– and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
The polling in these states will start from March 27 and end on April 29. The counting of votes for elections to four states and one UT will be held on May 2. (ANI)

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During Congress’ tenure, India lost Aksai chin, large areas of our territory: Javadekar

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Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], February 27 (ANI): Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday slammed the Congress, saying India lost Aksai chin and Tibet, and large areas of the country’s territory were captured by China during their tenure.
“During Congress’ tenure, we lost Aksai chin and Tibet, and large areas of ours were captured by China. This is for the first time that China had to go back,” said Prakash Javadekar in Hyderabad.
“Disengagement has happened. We have all witnessed this and we are proud of our Army,” he added.
This comes as the disengagement process from both the north and south banks of Pangong Lake was completed by India and China and further disengagement is underway at other friction points. The armies of both India and China have agreed to disengagement in few areas and military troops have also been removed to maintain a status of pre-face-off that happened last year.
India and China have had a stand-off along the LAC since April-May last year due to actions of the Chinese Army and have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks.
Talking about the recent anniversary of the Balakot airstrike, Javadekar said,” I was in Rajasthan during election time. One of the voters said that we will vote for BJP because this government, unlike the previous government, has managed to bring our pilot (Abhinandan Varthaman) in 24 hours.”
Varthaman’s plane had crossed over to the Pakistani side during a dogfight with Pakistani planes on February 27, 2019, a day after the airstrikes.
Abhinandan returned to India from the Attari-Wagah border on March 1, 2019. He was later awarded Vir Chakra. (ANI)

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RS Bail appointed as AICC Secretary, attached with WB in-charge

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New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): Ahead of West Bengal Assembly polls, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) on Saturday appointed party leader RS Bali as AICC Secretary, attached with AICC in-charge of West Bengal.
“Congress President has appointed RS Bali as AICC Secretary, attached with AICC in-charge of West Bengal with immediate effect,” read a press statement.
In West Bengal, the Congress is contesting in alliance with the Left parties and the new entrant Indian Secular Front.
Congress leader Jitin Prasada is the AICC in-charge of West Bengal.
The Election Commission of India on Friday announced that West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning from March 27. The counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)

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