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No country can be successful without empowering its women, says Rahul Gandhi

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Malappuram (Kerala) [India], February 22 (ANI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday asserted that no country can be successful without empowering its women, adding that financial independence is a must to empower women.
“I am one of the people who are convinced that no country can be successful without empowering its women. If there’s one challenge that our country faces, it’s precisely the way we treat our women. You can see it in newspapers every single day,” Gandhi said at Silver Jubilee Inauguration of Cherukode Women’s Cooperative Bank here in Malappuram.
“We can keep saying women are empowered but unless our women are financially empowered, it means nothing. That is where I value what a cooperative bank does. It trains women in how to deal with money. There is no reason why our women should be scared of walking alone at night. I think if this country has to be successful, that is one of the most important things it has to focus on. If you look at empowering women, their financial independence is a foundation of that,” he said.
Earlier in the day, in a sharp attack on the Central government, Rahul Gandhi termed that the government’s intent to privatise the Railways as a “threat” to millions of poor people who travel in trains.
“Railways are a fundamental part of our country. Railways do not belong to one person, they belong to the whole country. It allows millions of people to travel cheaply…I noticed in the last Budget that the government is intent on privatising this Indian asset,” Rahul Gandhi said while addressing a gathering in Malappuram.
“This is a threat to millions of poor people who travel using our Railways. It is also going to create a problem for millions of employees who work for the Railways,” the Congress MP added. (ANI)

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PM Modi to deliver inaugural address at 2nd Khelo India National Winter Games today

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New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the inaugural address at the 2nd Khelo India National Winter Games on February 26, at around 11:50 AM, via video conferencing.
“The Games will be held from February 26 to March 2, 2021,” read the press release by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The event has been organised by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju, in collaboration with the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council and the Winter Games Association of Jammu and Kashmir.
The sports activities will include alpine skiing, nordic ski, snowboarding, ski mountaineering, ice hockey, ice skating, ice stock etc. 27 States, Union Territories and Boards are sending their teams to participate in the games. (ANI)

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PM Modi to address 33rd Convocation of Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University today

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New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the 33rd Convocation of the Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University on February 26, 2021 at 11 AM, via video conferencing.
“A total of 17591 candidates will be conferred with Degrees and Diplomas in the Convocation,” read the press release by Prime Minister’s Office.
The Governor of Tamil Nadu Banwarilal Purohit will also be present on the occasion.
The University is named after the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Dr. M.G. Ramachandran. It has a total of 686 affiliated institutions under its umbrella, encompassing the disciplines of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, AYUSH, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Allied Health Sciences.
These institutions are spread across the length and breadth of the state of Tamil Nadu, including 41 medical colleges, 19 dental colleges, 48 AYUSH colleges, 199 Nursing colleges, 81 pharmacy colleges and the rest being speciality post-doctoral medical and/or allied health institutions. (ANI)

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President Kovind to visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands today

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New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind will visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Friday.
He is expected to stay there for a period of 4 days.
“The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, will visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands from February 26 to March 1, 2021,” read the press release by the President’s Secretariat.
The details of his visit are not yet known.
“It is a matter of pride that the 1,32,000-seater Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium in Motera has become the world’s largest cricket stadium,” said President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium and the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave in Ahmedabad, President Kovind also noted that the stadium also provides world-class facilities for various sporting activities. (ANI)

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West Bengal: Forest department personnel rescues elephant in Midnapore city

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Midnapore (West Bengal) [India], February 26 (ANI): A good news pours in as forest department personnel on Thursday rescues an elephant who entered Midnapore city.
“On Thursday night, an elephant entered into Midnapore town and hid inside Midnapore Medical College and Hospital premises. A number of people rushed to see the elephant. As soon as we received the information, a police force deployed to control the situation. Forest officials and police covered the hospital and surrounding area,” Chief Conservator of Forests of western Circle, AP Singh said.

“Later that elephant was tranquilized by forest officials. The elephant was loaded using a crane in a truck and transported to the Arabari forest,” he said.
Singh said, “The elephant now transported to Arabari forest and will be kept under observation. After that, it will be released. No casualty was reported during the tranquilize process.” (ANI)

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Vaccinating oldest against COVID-19 saves both most lives, most years of life: Study

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New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): A recent study by Joshua R. Goldstein, Thomas Cassidy, and Kenneth W. Wachter states that vaccinating the oldest against COVID-19 saves both the most lives and the most years of life.
The study was released by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Researchers report that vaccinating the oldest individuals against COVID-19 not only saves the most lives but, counterintuitively, also saves the most years of remaining life, because COVID-19 mortality increases more rapidly with age than the rate at which remaining life expectancy decreases with age,” read the study.
Many competing criteria are under consideration for prioritizing COVID-19 vaccination. Two criteria based on age are demographic: lives saved and years of future life saved. Vaccinating the very old against COVID-19 saves the most lives, but, since older age is accompanied by falling life expectancy, it is widely supposed that these two goals are in conflict. The study shows this to be mistaken.
The age patterns of COVID-19 mortality are such that vaccinating the oldest first saves the most lives and, surprisingly, also maximizes years of remaining life expectancy. The study demonstrates this relationship empirically in the United States, Germany, and South Korea and with mathematical analysis of life tables. Our age-risk results, under usual conditions, also apply to health risks.
Margaret Keenan received the first vaccination against COVID-19 given in the United Kingdom just a week before her 91st birthday (1). In contexts where vaccine allocation is based on age, prioritizing the very old, who have the highest risk of dying, averts the most deaths. But, from the point of view of saving years of remaining life, it seems that it might be better to target younger people, who are less likely to die quickly of another cause if they can be protected from the coronavirus.
Common intuition suggests a trade-off between saving the maximum number of lives and saving the most future life. Such a trade-off is central to philosophical and ethical discussions and epidemiological and public health studies often report both numbers of deaths and numbers of years of life lost (YLL) in quests for balanced health intervention priorities.
The study shows that this intuition about demographic trade-offs is wrong in the case of COVID-19. While it is true that remaining life expectancy declines with age, this decline is overwhelmed by the exponentially increasing risk of death. For COVID-19, it turns out that vaccinating first the oldest old saves the most lives and also the most life left. Early guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list those aged “65+” as one priority group among several. But, even in terms of YLL, the oldest old in this group should be first in line.
Naturally, many complex considerations besides age impinge on vaccination strategies, and the study defers to epidemiologists, ethicists, and experts in health-related sciences for comprehensive studies that include transmission dynamics and other priorities. The study’s aim in this report is strictly demographic. The study takes one–narrow but central–aspect of the picture and shows that formal demography can avert one common misunderstanding. (ANI)

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In democracy, Centre can never dare to make such laws that will harm farmers: Tomar

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New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday said the Centre can never dare to make laws that will harm farmers.
“In a democracy, a government can never dare to make such a law that will harm farmers,” said Narendra Singh Tomar at Pusa Krishi Vigyan Mela 2021 in Delhi.
The Union Minister in a tweet in Hindi informed: “The three-day Pusa Krishi Vigyan Mela organized by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) is inaugurated today. This time the theme of this fair is ‘Atmanirbhar Kisan (translated as a self-reliant farmer)’.”
“If the farmers of the country are strong, then the village will be strong. If the village will be strong, then the agricultural sector will be prosperous. If the agricultural sector will be prosperous, then India will be prosperous. Only then will India be established as the best nation in the world in the coming tomorrow,” said Tomar in Hindi.
“I call upon the farmers of the country to explore the advantages of this new agricultural research along with government schemes, make agricultural sector atmanirbhar and make our country atmanirbhar,” said Union Minister.
“This fair is called Krishi Kumbh, in which a large number of common farmers, progressive farmers have come forward from all over the country,” he tweeted.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar earlier on Thursday reiterated that the central government is ready to talk to protesting farmers at any time.
This comes as farmer leader Rakesh Tikait had on Tuesday announced plans for marching to the Parliament with 40 lakh tractors in order to intensify pressure on the central government to withdraw the three farm laws.
Since November 26 last year, farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital, against the three newly enacted farm laws: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

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