Nagpur: Schools and colleges to remain closed till March 7 amid rise in COVID-19 cases - The Daily Guardian
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Nagpur: Schools and colleges to remain closed till March 7 amid rise in COVID-19 cases

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Nagpur (Maharashtra) [India], February 22 (ANI): Following a rise in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra’s Nagpur, schools, colleges, and coaching classes will remain closed till March 7, said Power Minister Nitin Raut on Monday.
Raut, who is the guardian minister of Nagpur city, said that main markets will remain shut on weekends. However, hotels and restaurants can run at 50 per cent capacity.
“Due to rising COVID-19 cases in Nagpur district, schools, colleges, and coaching classes to remain closed till March 7. Main markets to remain closed on weekends. Hotels, restaurants to run at 50 per cent capacity and marriage halls to be closed after February 25 till March 7,” Raut said.
This comes a day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray gave a stern warning to the people saying there will be a total lockdown if they don’t start wearing face masks.
In a video address, Thackeray said, “Do you want lockdown? The next eight days will decide. Maharashtra has reported around 7,000 COVID cases today. If the COVID-19 situation deteriorates, then we have to impose lockdown. Those who want a lockdown can roam around without mask while those who do not want it must wear a mask and follow all the rules.”
Referring to the state government’s campaign against COVID-19 ‘my family, my responsibility, the chief minister introduced a new slogan “I am responsible”.
“The new slogan ‘I am responsible’ conveys that people must be responsible for themselves. People must make sure that they are wearing a mask, keeping social distancing and washing their hands,” he said.
According to the state health department, the total number of active COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra reached 54,159. Till today, 19,94,947 people have recovered from the disease in the state. In the last 24 hours, 35 deaths have been reported due to COVID-19 in the state. With these, the death toll has gone up to 51,788 in Maharashtra. (ANI)

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Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik inaugurates World Skill Center

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Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], March 6 (ANI): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday inaugurated World Skill Center, which is a premier advanced skill training institute in Bhubaneswar.
World Skill Center (WSC) is being modelled around leading TVET Institute; Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Singapore and seeks inspiration from World Skills, Russia, and Global Institute for Transferring Skills, South Korea.
“WSC is being established under Odisha Skill Development Project assisted by the Asian Development Bank with ITE Education Services (ITEES), Singapore as the knowledge partner,” read the press release by the state government.
On the occasion, CM Patnaik said: “Odisha has made rapid strides in skill development in the last five years. We have created new avenues for our youth to compete with their counterparts anywhere. Our aim is to meet their aspirations, to make them globally employable.”
He also said that Government is intensely investing in the future of youth by creating infrastructure and mechanisms for making them future-ready. World Skill Center will significantly accelerate this endeavor by providing advanced skill training to our youth and prepare them for competing at a global level.
Appreciating the initiative, Director General of South Asia Department of Asian Development Bank, Kenichi Yokoyama said: “It will be highly beneficial for the youth in the age group of 18-34”
CEO of ITEES, Bruce Poh said: “WSC will be a model for state’s skill education.”
Chairperson of Odisha Skill Development Authority, Subroto Bagchi highlighted the achievements of the “Skilled-in-Odisha” program during the last five years and emphasized the need to expand skill development efforts to the next level, reaching every village.
He emphasized the need for a holistic approach in providing better opportunities for skill development to make our children aware of career choices and youth globally employable. He also said that State will create Odisha Skill Vision 2030 and the same will guide future efforts of all implementing departments.
Skill Development and Technical Education Department Commissioner cum Secretary, Sanjay Kumar Singh highlighted the role of the WSC in the skill ecosystem of India. He said WSC will act as the Centre for Industry Partnership and landing point for industries in Odisha for their employment needs.
“World Skill Center is being set up at a budget of nearly Rs 1342.2 crores. It would run long-term manufacturing and services programmes as a finishing school for the best among the ITI and Polytechnic students as well as serve as the centre for capacity building for ITI and Polytechnic teachers,” he said.
“The World Skill Centre is ready to roll out the first set of courses in areas like refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Mechanical and Electrical Services, Vertical Transportation, Precision Engineering, Mechatronics, and Electrical Technology along with a few other courses in the services sectors like Hair Fashion and Design and Beauty and Wellness,” said Singh.
The World Skill Center is going to be the nodal agency for preparing Odisha’s youth for the World Skills Competition. The other key role for WSC will be to act as Centre for Industry Partnership and landing point for industries in Odisha for their employment needs. Finally, the World Skill Centre will be the Nodal agency of the state for the State Chapter of World Skills and will prepare Odisha’s youth for global glory. (ANI)

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BJP fields Suvendu Adhikari against Mamata Banerjee from Nandigram

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): The BJP on Saturday fielded former TMC leader Suvendu Adhikari from Nandigram against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, setting the stage for a high-profile contest from the seat in the state assembly elections.
BJP general secretary Arun Singh released the first list of party candidates for the assembly polls here.
The Trinamool Congress had on Friday released its list of candidates with Mamata Banerjee announcing that she will contest from Nandigram.
The Chief Minister, who has been representing Bhawanipur, had earlier announced that she will contest from Nandigram.
Adhikari, a former minister in the Trinamool Congress government, had joined the BJP in December last year.
He had earlier said that BJP will defeat Mamata Banerjee by over 50,000 votes from Nandigram. (ANI)

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Harsh Vardhan inaugurates new research building ‘Desikan Bhawan’ at ICMR’s institute in Agra

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Agra (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 6 (ANI): Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the new research building ‘Desikan Bhawan’ equipped with a new COVID-19 diagnostic facility at Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)’s National Jalma Institue for Leprosy and Other Mycobacterial Diseases (NJIL-OMD) in Agra.
The building was inaugurated in the presence of Director General ICMR and Secretary, Department of Health Research, Balram Bhargava.
“The building is dedicated to the research facilities like animal experimentation, COVID-19 diagnosis, whole-genome sequencing of different mycobacterial species, and phytochemical extraction from medicinal plants for anti-Tuberculosis (TB) drug development,” read the press release by the Ministry.
The capacity of the COVID-19 diagnostic laboratory is around 1,200 samples per day. This COVID diagnostic lab is loaded with Biosafety level II cabinets, automated RNA extractors, and Real-Time PCR machines with which the diagnostic results can be reported within a day.
The minister highlighted and appreciated DG, ICMR for the work done during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic which continues to help in preventing and managing emerging infectious diseases and also the efforts towards tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment to achieve the goal of ending TB by 2025, the dream of our beloved Prime Minister.
ICMR Director-General, Balram Bhargava appreciated the work being carried out at ICMR’s NJIL-OMD in the field of mycobacterial research. The DG, ICMR also remarked that ICMR has been very robust in managing COVID-19 by an intense diagnosis of COVID-19 across the ICMR institute labs which has facilitated the prompt management of the pandemic. It is the effort of ICMR which brought the vaccine for COVID-19 with 81 per cent efficacy.
The new building is named after Institute’s first Director, Dr.K.V. Desikan, who also graced the occasion with his presence.
ICMR-National JALMA Institute for Leprosy and Other Mycobacterial Diseases, Agra was established in 1967 by the Japan Leprosy Mission for Asia (JALMA) and was handed over to the Indian Council of Medical Research in 1976. (ANI)

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Committee formed to look into cryptocurrency, may present legislative proposal based on recommendations: Anurag Thakur

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Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], March 6 (ANI): Amid reports of the rising presence of bitcoins and other forms of virtual currencies in India, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur on Saturday said the government has formed a High-Level Inter-Ministerial Committee to look into cryptocurrency, and based on its recommendations the government may present a legislative proposal in Parliament.
“Blockchain is a new emerging technology. Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency. I firmly believe that we must always evaluate, explore and encourage new ideas with an open mind,” said the MoS while answering a media query about cryptocurrency at an event in Punjab.
He added that a High-Level Inter-Ministerial Committee was constituted by the central government to accept cryptocurrency as a lawful and legal tender in India.
“The government would take a decision (about cryptocurrency) on the recommendations of the committee and the legislative proposal, if any, would be introduced in the Parliament following the due process. I welcome your suggestions and views on this issue,” he added.
For the unversed, Bitcoins are a part of a rising new genre of digital payments called ‘cryptocurrencies’ that work on blockchain technology with no centralised administrator.
This virtual currency emerged in the aftermath of the financial crisis and allows people to bypass banks and traditional payment processes to pay for goods and services. (ANI)

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Lack of Covid appropriate behaviour possible cause of Maharashtra case surge: Govt report

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By Sahil Pandey
New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): The Union Health Ministry on Saturday released a report on surge of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra which suggested that “COVID inappropriate behaviour” and enhanced aggregations due to recent gram panchayat elections, marriage season and crowded public transport are possible causes of hike in coronavirus cases in the state.
“While the exact causes of the surge are not known – since laxity in COVID behaviour is not specific to the state – the possible factors are COVID inappropriate behaviour due to lack of fear of disease, pandemic fatigue; miss outs and super spreaders; and enhanced aggregations due to recent gram panchayat elections, marriage season and opening of schools and crowded public transport,” the report said.
The Health Ministry’s COVID management assessment report also suggested that the virus is spreading to hitherto unaffected areas and most cases are asymptomatic.
It mentioned that people are not forthcoming when it comes to strictly following the quarantine norms or getting tested. “The sense is that the current wave is less virulent,” it stated.
The report also suggested that the health machinery of the state may have become lax after cases came down after September 2020.
“Some amongst the doctor fraternity – especially private – may not be counselling patients for testing or following protocols, dismissing it as flu. District/state-wise participative plan, engaging the community may yield better results rather than knee-jerk reactions. Revenue machinery needs to take full charge,” it added.
Talking about the vaccination process, the health ministry said, “the state desires that while Centre may indicate total numbers to be vaccinated, actual vaccination implementation may be left to state with more flexibility in vaccination, the inclusion of private hospitals, time flexibility, and even data management.”
Maharashtra reported 10,216 new COVID-19 cases on Friday taking total cases in the state to 21,98,399. The state had 88,883 active cases till yesterday. (ANI)

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Adityanath meets farmers’ delegation from western UP, reiterates farm laws will double farmers’ income

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Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 6 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday met a delegation of farmers from western Uttar Pradesh at his government residence and said the new farm laws are enacted with the objective to double the income of farmers.
“The farmers will get the benefit of the new agricultural laws implemented by the central government. The farm laws have been enacted with the objective to double the income of farmers. These laws will ensure a continuous increase in farmers’ income,” Adityanath said in the meeting.
“The state government is implementing the programmes and schemes in the interests of farmers. It is a result of this that under the Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi, Uttar Pradesh has been awarded the first prize for the best performance in the country,” the CM added.
He further added that the state government is making sincere efforts for the welfare of farmers under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as farmers are government’s priority.
According to a statement by the state government, the members of the delegation said the agricultural laws implemented by the central government are farmer-friendly. These laws are an effort to empower farmers. Small and marginal farmers will get the most benefit from these laws. That is why they support these laws.
Rajendra Singh Malik, Subhash Walian Sarvekhap Minister, Rajveer Singh Malik Thambedar, Harveer Singh, Rajpal Singh, Feru Singh, Karan Singh, Sunil Kumar, Ramveer Singh, Arvind Malik, Sarveer Singh, Sarvender Singh and Dharamvir Singh were present in the delegation under the leadership of MLA Umesh Malik. (ANI)

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