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Kurukshetra varsity awaits regular VC, 180 candidates in fray

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The Kurukshetra University has been waiting for an appointment for its new vice-chancellor since Dr K.C. Sharma completed his term as vice-chancellor (VC) on 31 March 2020.

Since then faculties, students, and employees of the university eagerly await the appointment of regular VC. The Haryana government has also formed a search committee to find a regular CV for the university. About 50% of the university posts are lying vacant.

The search committee’s meeting is likely to take place in the next week. The members included Prof Tankeshwar, VC, Guru Jambheshwar University, Hisar, and Prof Rajkumar, VC, Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology, Murthal, as the university nominees while Prof Sikander is there as the Governor’s nominee in the committee.

The sources from the Department of Higher Education revealed that the meeting of the search committee might be delayed due to Covid-19. A consensus has not been made between the members due to the ongoing pandemic. As per the latest development, the details of candidates have been forwarded to search committee members. Nearly 180 candidates are in the fray for the post.

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DHANKAR MURDER CASE: POLICE NAME SUSHIL KUMAR AS MAIN CULPRIT

Ashish Sinha

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The Delhi Police on Monday filed a chargesheet against Olympic medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar and 12 others in the Sagar Dhankar murder case. 

Delhi Police sources told The Daily Guardian that they have filed chargesheet against Sushil Kumar as the main accused before the Rohini court. 

The court will announce the date for hearing of the case at the point of taking cognisance of the 1,000-page chargesheet on Tuesday. 

The chargesheet names 13 accused, including Sushil Kumar. A total of 15 accused have been arrested in the case and five are on the run. 

Delhi Police had filed an FIR in the case under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 308 (culpable homicide), 364 (kidnapping), 365 (kidnapping), 325 (causing grievous hurt), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

It has also been registered under Sections 452 (house trespass), 188 (Disobedience to order by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention), 147 (rioting), 148 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC. 

According to sources, more than 50 people, including four victims, security guards of Chhatrasal Stadium, neighbours of Sagar Dhankar living in Model Town and some people living in Shalimar Bagh have been made witnesses.

As for the electronic evidence, the police have a video of Dhankar and his accomplices on the crime spot, which was recovered from the possession of one of the accused Prince. There is also CCTV footage of the accused coming and going there. Also, the mobile location of all the accused suggests they were at the crime spot at the time of the incident. 

In their chargesheet, police have mentioned that “encroachment of property”, “threat to eliminate” and supremacy were the reasons for the dispute which resulted in Sagar Dhankar’s death.  

Sushil Kumar and his associates allegedly assaulted Dhankar and two of his friends—Sonu Mahal and Amit Kumar—over a property dispute, at the stadium on the intervening night of 4-5 May.

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Congress politicising Assam-Mizoram tension: 16 BJP MPs to PM Modi

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A delegation of 16 BJP MPs from Northeast met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and submitted a memorandum amid the ongoing border dispute in Assam and Mizoram. These MPs alleged that the Congress is playing politics over the recent conflict in Assam and Mizoram and want to throw the Northeast into the “fire of violence”.

These MPs have said that foreign powers are also exaggerating this incident and are working to incite people. This needs to be stopped immediately. The Northeast border dispute is the result of the Congress party itself. If the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and leaders from Indira Gandhi to Rajiv Gandhi had resolved the Naga-Mizo problem seriously, this situation would not have happened today. “Former Prime Ministers Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi were not sensitive to the aspirations of Mizo and Naga communities,” they said. The MPs said that the Congress has always used these states for its political gains. If strict measures had been taken on China in the initial phase under the Congress rule, then today the people of Arunachal Pradesh would be sleeping peacefully with more peace.

The MPs from Northeast further said, “The Naga accord, Bodo accord, Bru Reang moved towards peaceful resolutions. Northeast is home to infrastructures like Bogibeel bridge and Dhola Sadiya bridge. Insurgency and violence have been reduced. On the contrary, Congress has no regard for the culture of the Northeast.” The MPs further alleged that during the tenure of the previous Congress governments, chief ministers of North Eastern states had to wait for hours before they could get an appointment from Congress leaders and if they managed to get the appointment “they would play with their pets”. “Today North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) is looking after the inclusive development of Northeastern states. Unable to digest this, Congress and its ecosystem is trying many dirty tricks. In 2018 they tried to make CAA and NRC a political issue, but the people of the Northeast gave them a befitting reply. Today, they are trying to stoke tempers between Assam and Mizoram,” said the BJP MPs in their memorandum to PM Modi.

After meeting the Prime Minister, Union Law Minister and MP from West Kemang in Arunachal Pradesh Kiren Rijiju alleged that foreign forces were distorting provocative statements and materials. These forces have been doing so to fuel the fire in the area. Rijiju said that the Prime Minister told the MPs that the Northeast is very close to his heart, so his love for the region is also natural. He never looked at the Northeast through the prism of politics.

During the meeting, the MPs also submitted a memorandum to PM Modi and said that whatever elements are looking at the Assam-Mizoram issue as a medium to spread disorder in India, they want to tell them that their mischief is not going to work. The MPs also said that the National Democratic Alliance government led by Prime Minister Modi has done historic and unmatched development work in the Northeast. In the last seven years, Rs 2 lakh crore has been spent on infrastructure projects in the Northeast. “Those who are working to spoil the happiness and peace in the Northeast, we condemn him.” Of the 16 MPs from the Northeast present in the delegation, 12 were from Assam, two from Arunachal Pradesh and one each from Manipur and Tripura.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday met Mizoram Governor Dr Hari Babu Kambhampati in New Delhi. “Governor of Mizoram, Dr Hari Babu Kambhampati met Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah,” Home Minister’s Office tweeted. Before his meeting with Shah, Kambhampati said that the Union Home Minister is trying to defuse the situation and find a solution. “It is an unfortunate incident. Union Home Minister Amit Shah is trying to defuse the situation and find a solution. Both the CMs (Assam and Mizoram) reiterated that peace will be restored,” the Governor told ANI. Earlier in the day, the Mizoram Governor met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the current border situation and how to diffuse the tensions between the two states.

(WITH AGENCY INPUTS)

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PM Modi launches digital payment system e-RUPI

We see technology as tool to help poor, e-RUPI will give new dimension to digital governance, says PM Modi.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched a new mode of digital payment called e-RUPI. This payment system is developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and the launch took place via video conferencing. 

e-RUPI a cashless and contactless digital payment system which has been developed in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Department of Finance. While launching this new system, PM Modi said that this is a “person and purpose specific” digital solution.

“If any person or any organisation wants to donate money, e-RUPI will ensure that the amount of money donated is being used for that purpose itself. It ensures that the objective with which money has been donated is being used to fulfil that objective,” PM Modi said. “e-Rupi will help in boosting digital payments and Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in the country,” the Prime Minister added. He expressed his happiness that the system was launched weeks before India celebrates its 75th anniversary of Independence. e-RUPI is expected to help not only in contactless payment system, but also in Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).

There is going to be a QR code or a SMS-string based e-voucher which will be delivered directly to the phone of the beneficiary. According to a statement from the government, the beneficiary will be able to redeem the voucher without a card, digital payments app or internet banking access at the service provider. The mechanism connects services with beneficiaries and service providers in a digital manner without any physical interaction.

Addressing the event through video conference, the PM said cashless and contactless instrument for digital payment will help in targeted, transparent and leakage-free delivery. The Prime Minister said that the world is recognising India’s strength in digital infrastructure and digital transactions due to the work done in the last six-seven years. “Especially in Fintech, a huge base has been created. This is not there is big countries also,” he said. He said India is proving to the world that it is second to none in adopting technology and adapting to it. “Whether it is innovations, use of technology in service delivery use of technology in service delivery, India has the ability to give global leadership along with other major countries of the world,” he said.

The Prime Minister said some people used to say earlier that technology is for the rich and India is a poor country and does not need it and when his government talked of making technology a mission, it was questioned by the political leaders and certain types of experts. “But today the country has proved this thinking wrong and fallacious. Today the country thinks differently. Today technology is seen as a tool for the progress of the poor,” he said.

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As Covid sees southern surge, ICMR says Covaxin is effective against Delta Plus

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Till now, the prevalence of Delta AY.1 has been found to be low in India and 70 cases of coronavirus Delta Plus variant were found in genome sequencing by the INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics). However, there has been no information on the efficacy of currently available vaccines against the Delta AY.1 variant.

The domestically developed Covaxin is effective against the Delta plus variant of Covid-19, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has claimed in its study, released on Monday. Covaxin is developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR and the National Institute of Pune. “Here, we have evaluated the IgG antibody titer and neutralising potential of sera of Covid-19 naive individuals full doses of BBV152 vaccine, Covid-19 recovered cases with full dose vaccines and breakthrough cases post-immunisation BBV152 vaccines against Delta, Delta AY.1 and B.1.617.3.” the study said.

The recent emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Variant B.1.617.2 (Delta) with its high transmissibility has led to the second wave in India. Covaxin, a whole-virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine used for mass immunisation in the country, showed a 65.2 per cent protection against the Delta variant in a double-blind, randomised, multicentre, phase 3 clinical trial. Subsequently, Delta has further mutated to Delta AY.1, AY.2, and AY.3. Of these, AY.1 variant was first detected in India in April 2021 and subsequently from 20 other countries as well, the study said. The study is a pre-print and has not been peer reviewed. Covaxin demonstrated 77.8 per cent effectiveness against symptomatic Covid-19 and 65.2 per cent protection against the B.1.617.2 Delta variant, Bharat Biotech had said while concluding the final analysis of Covaxin efficacy from Phase 3 trials on July

“Sera of individuals who were fully immunized (with 2 doses) didn’t show significant reduction in the NAb titer against Delta, Delta AY.1 and B.1.617.3”, said Dr Samiran Panda, Head of epidemiology and infectious diseases. NAb titer of sera of recovered cases with vaccinations and breakthrough cases were significantly high compared to those with two doses of vaccinations. According to Dr Panda, immunization is key to protect from severity and deaths in the current situation and reduce the burden on healthcare system.

Meanwhile, after Kerala, Karnataka has witnessed a steep spike in coronavirus cases. Notably, Karnataka reported 2,052 fresh cases of Covid-19 and 35 deaths, taking the total number of infections to 29,01,247 and the toll to 36,491. The capital city logged 506 cases, 34 per cent more than Wednesday’s count of 376. Besides, Bengaluru Urban, other districts where a large number of new cases were reported are Dakshina Kannada 396, Udupi 174, Mysuru 157, Hassan 136. Bengaluru Urban district tops the list of positive cases, with a total of 12,26,463, followed by Mysuru 1,72,637 and Tumakuru 1,17,667. The total number of active cases in the state is at 23,253. The state’s positivity rate was 1.37 per cent and case fatality rate 1.70 per cent across the state. The infection claimed 35 lives, including nine in Bengaluru, taking the state’s death toll to 36,491 and the city’s toll to 15,852 since the pandemic broke out in March over a year ago.

India, meanwhile, reported 40,134 new cases of Covid-19 and 422 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry. The total number of cases currently stands at 3,16,95,958. The death toll has climbed to 4,24,773. The number of active cases of Covid-19 in the country is 4,13,718. A total of 36,946 patients recovered in the last 24 hours and 3,08,57,467 people have recovered from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. This constitutes an overall recovery rate of 97.35%. Less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported since thirty-six continuous days. This is a result of sustained and collaborative efforts by the Centre, the states and UTs. According to the Health ministry, India’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 47.22 crore. Cumulatively, 47,22,23,639 vaccine doses have been administered through 55,99,690 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 am today. 17,06,598 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours. The new phase of universalization of Covid-19 vaccination commenced on 21 June 2021.

—With agency inputs.

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REPUBLICAN REPORT SAYS COVID LEAKED FROM WUHAN LAB

‘I believe it’s time to completely dismiss the wet market as the source of the outbreak,’ says Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Savio Rodrigues

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A preponderance of evidence proves that the virus that caused the Covid-19 pandemic leaked from a Chinese research facility, said a report by US Republicans released on Monday. Terming it the “greatest cover-up of all time”, the report also cited “ample evidence” that Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) scientists—aided by US experts and Chinese and US government funds—were working to modify corona viruses to infect humans and such manipulation could be hidden.

Representative Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the report by the panel’s Republican staff. The House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican released an addendum to his “Origins of Covid-19” report released in September 2020. The addendum outlines evidence that points to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) as the source of the outbreak, and outlines some of the many steps researchers at the WIV, along with Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance, took to cover up the research being done there. It also breaks down how scientific papers written by researchers at the WIV not only prove the WIV was doing dangerous genetic modification research on coronaviruses at unsafe biosafety levels, but also that WIV researchers had the ability to genetically modify coronaviruses as early as 2016 without leaving any trace of that modification.

“As we continue to investigate the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, I believe it’s time to completely dismiss the wet market as the source of the outbreak. Instead, as this report lays out, a preponderance of the evidence proves that all roads lead to the WIV,” stated Rep. Michael McCaul. “We know gain-of-function research was happening at the WIV and we know it was being done in unsafe conditions. We also now know the head of the Chinese CDC and the director of the WIV’s BSL-4 lab publicly expressed concerns about safety at PRC labs in the summer of 2019. It is our belief the virus leaked sometime in late August or early September 2019. When they realized what happened, Chinese Communist Party officials and scientists at the WIV began frantically covering up the leak, including taking their virus database offline in the middle of the night and requesting more than $1 million for additional security.

“But their cover-up was too late—the virus was already spreading throughout the Arunachal Pradesh would be sleeping peacefully with more peace.

The MPs from Northeast further said, “The Naga accord, Bodo accord, Bru Reang moved towards peaceful resolutions. Northeast is home to infrastructures like Bogibeel bridge and Dhola Sadiya bridge. Insurgency and violence have been reduced. On the contrary, Congress has no regard for the culture of the Northeast.” The MPs further alleged that during the tenure of the previous Congress governments, chief ministers of North Eastern states had to wait for hours before they could get an appointment from Congress leaders and if they managed to get the appointment “they would play with their pets”. “Today North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) is looking after the inclusive development of Northeastern states. Unable to digest this, Congress and its ecosystem is trying many dirty tricks. In 2018 they tried to make CAA and NRC a political issue, but the people of the Northeast gave them a befitting reply. Today, they are trying to stoke tempers between Assam and Mizoram,” said the BJP MPs in their memorandum to PM Modi.

After meeting the Prime Minister, Union Law Minister and MP from West Kemang in Arunachal Pradesh Kiren Rijiju alleged that foreign forces were distorting provocative statements and materials. These forces have been doing so to fuel the fire in the area. Rijiju said that the Prime Minister told the MPs that the Northeast is very close to his heart, so his love for the region is also natural. He never looked at the Northeast through the prism of politics.

During the meeting, the MPs also submitted a memorandum to PM Modi and said that whatever elements are looking at the Assam-Mizoram issue as a medium to spread disorder in India, they want to tell them that their mischief is not going to work. The MPs also said that the National Democratic Alliance government led by Prime Minister Modi has done historic and unmatched development work in the Northeast. In the last seven years, Rs 2 lakh crore has been spent on infrastructure projects in the Northeast. “Those who are working to spoil the happiness and peace in the Northeast, we condemn him.” Of the 16 MPs from the Northeast present in the delegation, 12 were from Assam, two from Arunachal Pradesh and one each from Manipur and Tripura.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday met Mizoram Governor Dr Hari Babu Kambhampati in New Delhi. “Governor of Mizoram, Dr Hari Babu Kambhampati met Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah,” Home Minister’s Office tweeted. Before his meeting with Shah, Kambhampati said that the Union Home Minister is trying to defuse the situation and find a solution. “It is an unfortunate incident. Union Home Minister Amit Shah is trying to defuse the situation and find a solution. Both the CMs (Assam and Mizoram) reiterated that peace will be restored,” the Governor told ANI. Earlier in the day, the Mizoram Governor met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the current border situation and how to diffuse the tensions between the two states.

(WITH AGENCY INPUTS)

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HOW FIXED VS GROWTH MINDSET SHAPES OUR LIVES

IESHAAN PURI

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What is it that separates achievers from quitters? Is there a certain skill or trait that most successful people have in common? It turns out, there just might be. According to Dr Carol Dweck, there are two mindsets we can navigate life with —growth and fixed. The term mindset is defined as an established set of attitudes held by individuals that help guide their behaviour.

One’s mindset is rooted in their experiences, education, interactions, and culture from which one form thoughts that establish their beliefs and attitudes. Those thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes lead to certain actions and with those actions, they have experiences, and those experiences shape their mindset. It is an indisputable fact that humans evolve with age. Therefore, one’s mindset can alter. 

According to science, our brain can be reshaped over time, forming new neural pathways. These neural pathways are developed by doing or thinking particular things. The things that we do or say more often become hard-wired into our brains as habits. These habits can be defined ‘routes’ in our brain, which become easier to use. But you can still change them. The first step is to realise that you need to, and then train your brain in the new skill. 

An individual with a fixed mindset leads to a desire to look smart and therefore, a tendency to avoid challenges. Consequently, they are unable to achieve their full potential. In an educational environment, individuals with a fixed mindset think that learning and intelligence have limitations, and they cannot grow as students.  On the other hand, an individual with a growth mindset leads to a desire to learn and a resultant tendency to see efforts as the path to mastery. In an educational environment, individuals with a growth mindset think that learning and intelligence are limitless; with hard work, one can acquire skills and learn, and as a result, change their levels of intelligence. Those with a growth mindset are less concerned about their perception, and more focused upon learning. In other words, they yearn to learn. According to Dr Dweck, what makes a growth mindset so winsome is that it creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval. Persons with this mindset are afraid of but not discouraged by failure.  

Nobody ‘purely’ holds a fixed or growth mindset. More often than not, human beings are born with a desire to self-actualise. In an attempt to do so, we adopt a strategy, form a mindset, learn about our surroundings, etc. Sometimes, we are successful, at other times, not there yet. People with a fixed mindset will join their hands, and resign whereas people with a growth mindset will try again. With their second attempt, they will adopt a different strategy and try to hold onto hope. In other words, a skill is something you can cultivate. You can become more creative, more athletic, and even successful by focusing on the process, and not the outcome. It’s the process that is the prize. 

Over the years, my mindset has developed from fixed to growth. As a child, I believed in my abilities only to an extent. If I performed poorly in school, I would disregard the comments made by the teacher or my parents. If I did not score a goal or make an assist in a football game, I would begin to see my efforts as worthless. Only compliments directed towards me or my achievements could get a smile on my face. 

All this changed when I saw a film called Shawshank Redemption. A quote from the film, “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying” changed my way of thinking. With a fixed mindset, I would not be open to new avenues, instead, be fearful. The film taught me that it is important to go out, find your passion, and be bold. Most importantly, always hold on to hope. 

Over the past year, I set a few short and long term goals: reading a book a month, widening my social circle, and speaking to my teachers to understand where I faltered. We overestimate the importance of a single event and underestimate the importance of making better choices daily. However, it is vital to remember that nobody can develop a mindset overnight. It’s a course of gradual progression. A stimulus must be evoked externally. It is natural to weigh your strengths and weaknesses, doubt your abilities, but what matters the most is your interpretations and the following actions. 

An individual’s true potential is unknown and unmeasurable. Moreover, it’s impossible to forecast what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training. We are a blend of the two mindsets with one more raised than the other. I say this because as we grow older, we experience more things. Both mindsets are two distinct worlds: In one world, the world of fixed traits — success is about proving you’re smart or talented, validating yourself. In the other — the world of changing qualities — it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new, developing yourself. It’s not always about winning or losing, succeeding or failing, loving or hating — nothing is good or bad forever. But, how you emerge out of a crisis or a moment of praise without getting ahead of yourself? It’s the mindset you endorse. 

Today, we are living in a world that is progressing rapidly. Each one of us is grappling with new information, concerns, and so much more. We are constantly receiving approval and rejection. To infiltrate feedbackand act appropriately, being self-aware is vital. Unless, you develop a mindset and believe in it wholeheartedly, your mindset will influence your decisions. Life is a journey filled with highs and lows. Self-motivation is the key and a well-trained mind will help you. A mindset is an interpretative process that teaches us about our surroundings so we must learn to adapt with change and continue to develop our mindset. 

The significance of having a growth mindset is more important now than ever before. When the coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020, even the best of us were lost on how to combat it. The healthcare industry rose to the challenge, armed with a growth mindset, and developed successful vaccines to inhibit its life-threatening consequences. As children, we did not know what a mindset was, however, we were forming one unconsciously. But, as we grow older and become aware of the term and its significance, we must allow ourselves to live and act consciously by deliberately cultivating a growth mindset.

The writer is a class 12 student from Vasant Valley School. 

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