The government on Wednesday announced that people above the age of 60 and those over 45 with co-morbidities will be able to receive Covid-19 vaccines from 1 March.
Speaking at a media briefing, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said that the vaccinations will be given free of cost at around 10,000 government centres spread across the country.
Vaccines will also be provided at 20,000 private centres, but there, people will have to pay to get inoculated, he added. This comes as the Bengal government has made it mandatory for passengers travelling in flights from Maharashtra, Kerala and two other states to produce a negative Covid-19 report.
In the meantime, India reported 13,742 new Covid-19 cases and 104 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to data released by the Union Health Ministry. With this, the country’s total caseload has risen to 1,10,30,176, while the death toll has surged to 1,56,567. The total number of active cases is now at 1,46,907, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease is now over 1,07,26,702, the Ministry said.
Mumbai on Wednesday recorded 1,167 new Covid-19 cases, the highest daily spike in about four months, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. The tally of cases in the country’s financial capital thus rose to 3,21,698, while the death toll reached 11,453 with four new fatalities.
Kerala has recorded 4,106 new cases with the tally now touching 10.45 lakhs. The active number of cases in the state currently sits at 52,689.
Gujarat, on the other hand, reported 380 new cases taking the total to 2.68 lakhs.
In Goa, as many as 52 persons tested positive for coronavirus, while 35 were discharged from hospitals after recovering from the infection on Wednesday, an official from the health department said. With the addition of the latest cases, the state’s Covid-19 tally has reached 54,700, of which 53,416 patients have recovered so far, the official said.
Andhra Pradesh reported 94 new cases and 66 recoveries in the last 24 hours. There were no deaths reported in this period. This has taken the total number of cases to 8,89,503 with the total recoveries at 8,81,732. The total death toll stands at 7,168 in the state while active cases are at 603.
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ON DOCTORS’ DAY, NETIZENS THANK DOCTORS FOR THEIR IMMENSE CONTRIBUTION
As India celebrated National Doctors’ Day on Friday, politicians, business leaders and social media users took to Twitter to thank doctors for their immense contribution and serve to the nation. #NationalDoctorsDay took the top trend as wishes poured in on social media. Leading the celebrations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared a video on social media and said, “Doctors Day greetings to all hardworking doctors who play a key role in saving lives and making our planet healthier.”
Union minister Nitin Gadkari remembered Bharat Ratna Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, who was an Indian physician, freedom fighter, educationist and philanthropist. “Deepest gratitude to all the doctors on National Doctors Day. I salute their tireless efforts in keeping us safe during the global pandemic,” he said.
Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan also remembered Bharat Ratna Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy and tweeted, “Remembering Bharat Ratna Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, one of the pioneers of healthcare sector on National Doctors Day. Today , let us express our gratitude and take a moment to appreciate all our doctors for their round-the-clock efforts for a healthy and fit society.”
Fearing a layoff? Devise an action plan
India›s workforce has been at the receiving end of the economic impact of the pandemic. While many of the employees faced salary cuts up to 40-50%, there are a significant number of people who were laid off. One might assume that layoffs were a phase and the time to recover losses that occurred due to Covid-19 is not too far, but the recent layoffs in EdTech giants like BYJU’s and Topper paint a different picture.
In such uncertain times, there are certain strategies that one can adopt to evade a powerful economic blow. Having an action plan might not help in retaining the same job, but it will sure help in sustaining a huge financial blow as well as finding more opportunities.
The trick to retaining a job is to be invincible. Be so good at your job that it prompts the employer to think twice before taking a decision on laying you off. This does not happen in a day. Daily actions translate into a long-term commitment. Show up on time, learn as much as you can, deliver more than expected, come up with new ideas, maintain good relationships with your colleagues as well as your seniors, and you will carve out a space for yourself in your organisation.
INVEST IN YOURSELF
Learning is a process that must never end. Skills like creative writing, social media marketing, video editing, graphic designing, machine learning and others are skills that are highly in demand. Even if you are working an 8-hour shift and are not actively looking for a job, these skills will give a boost to your resume, enhance your skill set and set you apart from others.
Social media has made it possible for us to stay connected all the time, not just with our friends and family but also with potential employers. Building a positive relationship with your colleagues, ex-colleagues, seniors and people who are working in other organisations will ensure that you never miss an opportunity. Showcase your work on websites like LinkedIn to ensure that you don’t look for an opportunity, rather it comes to you.
No matter what your current pay scale is, it is always advisable to have multiple sources of revenue. That is only possible when you start investing early. Whether it is your 1st paycheck or your 300th paycheck, make sure to save a portion of your salary. Spend that amount on things that will give you a bigger return and not just dig a hole in your pocket. It is always advisable to have an emergency fund. As the term suggests, this emergency fund will help you sail through a difficult time. Even if you are laid off, you will be financially secure.
POSITIVE SELF TALK
Finally, it might get difficult to stay unaffected by what is happening around you. The uncertainty can take a toll on you but staying positive can help you not only manifest your dream job but also avoid the stress. Have a positive self-image, eat nutritious meals, dance your heart out, spend time with family and wait for life to surprise you.
Having an action plan might not help in retaining a job but it will help in sustaining a huge financial blow as well as finding more opportunities.
‘THE TERMINAL LIST’ FAILS TO LIVE UP TO THE HYPE
Despite the promise, ‘The Terminal List’ doesn’t really offer anything new to the world of action thrillers.
Over the last decade or so, Chris Pratt seems to have overtaken everybody else to become a leading blockbuster action hero in Hollywood. He brings with him just the right mix of charisma and rugged machismo. Not many are aware that there was a time when Pratt failed the auditions for J. J. Abrams’ ‘Star Trek’ and James Cameron’s ‘Avatar.’ But, it all changed for Pratt with ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ wherein he played one of the soldiers who took part in the eventual assassination mission to take down Osama bin Laden. He followed it up with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ wherein he essays the part of a brash space adventurer named Peter Quill who gets hunted by relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb coveted by Ronan, the Supreme Accuser of the Kree Empire. Subsequently, he went on to star in films like ‘Jurassic World,’ wherein he undertakes the seemingly impossible task of training raptors, ‘The Magnificent Seven,’ wherein Pratt stars as a member of a band of cowboys who are hired to protect a small town from an evil baron, and ‘The Tomorrow War,’ which stars Pratt in the role of a man recruited to fight an invasion taking place in the future.
With such hard-hitting action thrillers under his belt, Chris Pratt looks like the ideal choice to play the part of James Reece in the new Amazon Prime Video series ‘The Terminal List,’ which is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Jack Carr. The series follows Reece after his entire platoon of Navy SEALs is ambushed during a high-stakes covert mission. Reece returns home to his family with conflicting memories of the event and questions about his culpability. However, as new evidence comes to light, Reece discovers dark forces working against him, endangering not only his life, but the lives of those he loves. The series stars Constance Wu, Taylor Kitsch, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Riley Keough, Arlo Mertz, Jai Courtney, JD Pardo, and Patrick Schwarzenegger, among others. Antoine Fuqua, the veteran director of films such as ‘The Equalizer,’ ‘Training Day,’ serves as an executive producer (he also is a director) on the series. The show is written by David DiGilio (‘Strange Angel’), who is also an executive producer on the show alongside Fuqua and Pratt.
To help with authenticity, ‘The Terminal List’ engaged veterans and their families as part of multiple aspects of the series production. For example, half the show’s writing staffers are either veterans themselves or have veterans in their families. ‘The Terminal List’ adds to the list of action thrillers which are already a part of Amazon Prime Video’s catalogue such as ‘Jack Ryan,’ ‘Hanna,’ ‘Reacher,’ and ‘Bosch,’ among others. And, despite the promise, it doesn’t really offer anything new to the world of action thrillers. Yes, there is Chris Pratt and the wonderful supporting cast, Jack Carr’s bestselling novel, and Fuqua’s direction. But, it just doesn’t add up in a way the makers would have hoped and fails to live up to the hype of this big game-changer of an action show that marks Pratt’s highly anticipated return to television.
A show like ‘The Terminal List’ could have been a trendsetter had it come out a decade back but today there is so much solid action content out there that it’s very difficult to stand out in the crowd. If anyone could have delivered it, it’s the team of Pratt and Fuqua but unfortunately ‘The Terminal List’ falls short by some distance. A much better option with the story on offer and the chosen treatment perhaps would have been a four-episode miniseries or a feature film rather than a full-fledged series. However, the show isn’t without merits. There are loads and loads of action on offer and even though most of it is pretty predictable the action lovers wouldn’t be disappointed. Fans of Chris Pratt too wouldn’t mind seeing him beating the bad guys to pulp. Some of the old action buffs might even be reminded of films of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, notwithstanding the lack of novelty or surprise on offer.
Mattewara Textile Park another nail in the coffin: Environmentalists
Environmentalists have opposed the Aam Aadmi Party-led government’s idea of setting up a mega Textile Park near Mattewara forest. Even though the party had objected to the project strongly while campaigning, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann recently defended the idea of an industrial park in the recent Vidhan Sabha session.
The proposed location of the textile park was strongly criticised by Congress leaders Sukhpal Khaira and Pargat Singh, along with the leader of the opposition Partap Singh Bajwa, in the house, who made a strong pitch for relocating it away from the river. Interestingly, it was the Congress-led Captain Amarinder Singh government that had announced the setting up of this industrial park near Mattewara Forest on the bank of River Sutlej about two years back.
Gurpreet Singh Chandbaja, President of Bhai Ghanayia Cancer Roko Seva Society said, «Sutlej is already so severely polluted and toxic that drinking its water is giving cancer and birth defects to children in villages of South Punjab. Governments should stop the flow of toxic effluents of Buddha Dariya, Bhattian Drain, Kala Sanghian drain, and Chitti Bein into the Sutlej first. All industrial areas should be away from river banks.»
Col CM Lakhanpal said, «Our Chief Minister should understand that damaging flood plains stop recharging of groundwater. We do not want concrete jungles on flood plains next to our natural jungles. AAP leaders like Harpal Cheema, Kultar Sandhwan and Manuke have themselves openly said that this will not be allowed and now they are all mum. He requested all social, political, religious, and farm leaders of Punjab to visit Mattewara and raise their voice as this decision will impact future generations of Punjab.»
Jaskirat Singh or Naroa Punjab Manch said, «The notification of the PM Mitra scheme, under which this project is being set up, itself clearly says that its objective is to help India in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It is so ridiculous that the government is talking about sustainable development goals on one side and choosing a most fragile ecosystem of rivers, flood plains, and forests to damage under that very scheme.»
IDEAL INDUSTRIAL ESTATE TO BE SET UP IN AMBALA
An Ideal Industrial Estate will be set up in Ambala to promote Small and Cottage industries. Various technical facilities will also be made available for the entrepreneurs. Apart from this, a place will be earmarked for exhibition of goods made in small and cottage industries etc. in Ideal Industrial Estate so that exhibitions etc. can be organized from time to time.
Similarly, it was discussed in the meeting to make available the facility of a common toolroom as well. Similarly, under the Government’s Padma Scheme, various facilities like loans and other financial assistance will be made available to such entrepreneurs. Divulging aforesaid information, Haryana Home and Health Minister Anil Vij said that setting up of Ideal Industrial Estate in Ambala will give a boost to science based industries. He added that small and cottage industries play an important role in the prosperity of the state. Vij further added that the process to establish Ideal Industrial Estate in Ambala has been started by the administration officers.
It is worth stating that a Common Facility Centre will be set up for the entrepreneurs operating small and cottage industries so that the entrepreneurs do not face any kind of inconvenience in running their enterprises. Besides flat factories will be set up at Ideal Industrial Estate, Ambala to promote small and cottage industries and these will be given on lease to small entrepreneurs. Apart from this, space will also be earmarked for stakeholders like dealers etc. in the Ideal Industrial Estate.
BAN ON SINGLE-USE PLASTIC COMES INTO EFFECT
The ban on select single-use plastics by the Centre in order to reduce plastic wastage comes into effect from Friday. Single-use plastics are typically items that are discarded after being used only once and does not go for the recycling process. They are a big contributor to plastic pollution. The adverse impacts and menace of littered single-use plastic items plastic on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are globally recognized.
The banned items include earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 microns and stirrers.A National Control Room has been established in the Central Pollution Control Board to monitor the enforcement of the ban, besides asking the state boards to undertake comprehensive Awareness activities including social media campaign, interactive meetings with industries, colleges, schools and other institutions.
The state boards have further been directed to intensify inspections of industrial and commercial establishment for effective implementation of the ban. Haryana government has also banned single use plastic in the state from July 1, 2022. In line with the clarion call given by Prime Minister, Narender Modi, to phase out single use plastic items by 2022, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change,Government of India notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, on August 12, 2021.
Giving information regarding this, an official spokesperson said that the Government has taken resolute steps for mitigation of pollution caused by littered Single Use Plastic.
He further informed that the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, also prohibit manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of plastic carry bags having thickness less than 75 microns with effect from September 30, 2021 and having thickness less than one hundred and twenty microns with effect from December 31, 2022. He said that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has also notified the Guidelines on Extended Producers Responsibility on plastic packaging as Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2022 on February 16, 2022. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is responsibility of a producer for the environmentally sound management of the product until the end of its life. The Guidelines will provide framework to strengthen circular economy of plastic packaging waste, promote development of new alternatives to plastic packaging and provide next steps for moving towards sustainable plastic packaging by businesses, he added.
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