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Oxford vaccine trial shows strong results in older adults

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NEW DELHI: In a major development, UK’s Covid-19 vaccine has shown similar strong immune response in healthy older adults -aged 56 years and above- to those seen in people between 18 to 55 years, according to findings from a phase-2 trial. The Oxford Covid-19 vaccine has collaborated with Indian drug maker—Serum Institute of India (SII) for which phase 2 clinical trials are being conducted in India also. The findings of the study have been published in the leading medical journal ‘Lancet’.

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Justice should be timely, affordable and accessible: Shivraj Singh Chouhan

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Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) [India], March 6 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday said that justice should be “timely, affordable and accessible”.
“The gratification of the soul derives from justice. Justice remains justified when it comes timely. So attention should be paid in the direction of how to get justice soon. Justice should be timely, affordable and accessible,” said Chouhan while addressing the All India State Judicial Academies Director’s retreat ceremony where President Ram Nath Kovind, Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and other dignitaries were present.
He cited the example of Nirav Modi, saying “London’s court has also acknowledged the esteem of Indian judiciary”.
“The judiciary owns the trust of the common people in the country. A person may have doubt that he will not get justice from the administration or the government but he never doubts the judiciary for obtaining justice. It is a matter of pride that the Indian judiciary is one of the most revered judicial systems in the world,” added the chief minister.
Chouhan further emphasised the need for the implementation of modern technologies in the functioning of the judicial system. (ANI)

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Goa Cong demands State Election Commission to suspend civic polls till SC order

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Panaji (Goa) [India], March 6 (ANI): Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) chief Girish Chodankar on Friday demanded the State Election Commission (SEC) to suspend the municipal election till the Supreme Court decides on the legality of the entire process.
In a letter to Goa State Election Commission, Chodankar said “The Supreme Court has only stayed the directives of the Bombay High Court and not ordered the resumption of the election process.”
He argued that the Supreme Court’s order, which was given on March 4, is applicable only for the Sanguem municipality.
“It is therefore requested of your esteemed office to accord due respect to the process of law and suspend the farcical exercise of election process till the myriad legal points in issue are deliberated and finally decided by the Supreme Court,” the Congress leader said.
“As a Constitutional authority, the State Election Commission is bound to be independent and bound to act fairly. However, with the Law Secretary of Goa having been appointed to hold charge as State Election Commissioner, it is but natural that given the sordid manner in which the announcement of the elections was done, the State Election Commission is not functioning as an independent authority, but behaving like a stooge of the Government,” he stated.
Chodankar said that the civic poll process cannot be halted and then restarted and if stopped, then the entire process has to be initiated all over again.
The elections for 11 municipal councils and the Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP) will be held on March 20 and counting will be held on March 22. (ANI)

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Sushant’s Case: Rhea’s lawyer terms NCB’s chargesheet as ‘damp squib’

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 6 (ANI): Advocate Satish Maneshinde, the lawyer of Rhea Chakraborty has termed the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)’s 12,000-page charge sheet in a drug-related case having links with late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death as ‘damp squib’.
The charge sheet filed by NCB has named names 33 accused including actor Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty, sources said.
Maneshinde who also represents Showik Chakraborty, in a statement, said the 12,000-page charge sheet was expected.
“All efforts of NCB have been directed towards Rhea Chakraborty to somehow rope her in. The entire amount of “Narcotic Substances” “Recovered” against 33 accused are nothing compared to what even a constable in Mumbai Police or Narcotics Cell or the Airport Customs or other agencies recover from one raid or trap,” he said.
“The entire NCB from top to bottom was engaged in unearthing drug angle in Bollywood… There’s hardly any material against any known faces who were paraded during the investigations, I wonder why? Either the allegations were false or Only God Knows the Truth,” he added.
According to the lawyer, the charge sheet is “a damp squib standing on the foundation of inadmissible evidence and statements recorded under section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.”
“The HC has found no prima facie material at the stage of Bail of alleged “Financing Drugs Trade”. We will have the Last Laugh,” he added.
The NCB filed a case in August 2020 after it received official communication from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), in which there were various chats related to drug consumption, procurement, usage, and transportation.
The ED had on July 31, 2020, registered an Enforcement Case Information Report in the late actor’s death case after a First Information Report (FIR) was filed by Rajput’s father KK Singh against Rhea Chakraborty in Bihar on July 28, last year.
Rhea Chakraborty was in a relationship with Rajput at the time of his death on June 14, 2020, when he was found dead in his bedroom. (ANI)

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Delhi HC issues notice to MHA on plea seeking to disband Central IPS Association

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has issued a notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on a plea against the running of the Central Indian Police Service Association (CIPSA).
The court has directed the MHA to file an affidavit as to what action has been taken against the functioning of CIPSA.
The court issued the notice while hearing a plea seeking direction to immediately disband the said “illegal association”, freeze their bank accounts, register an FIR against the office bearers and their members as well as initiate departmental inquiries against such officers who are part of the said organization in violation of the Police Forces (Restriction of Rights) Act, 1966 as well as All India Service Rules.
The plea stated that the various members of this association are officers of the police forces, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), paramilitary forces, National Investigation Agency and the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
A single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh, in an order passed on March 3, had sought the response of the MHA along with CBI, CISF, CRPF, ITBP and others and slated the matter for May 20 for further hearing in the matter.
29 petitioners in the matters who knocked the doors are themselves serving and retired officers in various paramilitary forces. Advocate Ankur Chhibber appeared for the petitioner and submitted that they have repeatedly made representations to the MHA to take action against the said association. However, no action has been taken, the petitioner submitted.
The high court noted the reference made in a CIC order dated January 7, 2021 that the MHA has taken a specific position that this association is not a recognised association.
The plea stated that on the representation of one the petitioner, CIC communicated that “MHA has not recognised or approved Central IPS Association (CIPSA), hence, Police-I Division, Ministry of Home Affairs has no comments to offer in the matter.”
The petitioner, through this plea, has prayed for quashing the order dated January 7, 2021.
The petitioner has alleged that the respondents (despite admitting that the MHA has not recognised or approved the Central IPS association) has not taken any action against the erring officers and has simply disposed of the representation by stating that the ministry has no comments to offer in the matter.
The petitioners have prayed for the court’s direction, directing the respondents to immediately disband the said illegal association, freeze their bank accounts, register an FIR against the office bearers and their members as well as initiate departmental inquiries against such officers who are part of the said organization in violation of the Police Forces (Restriction of Rights) Act, 1966 as well as All India Service Rules. (ANI)

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Nadda praises Dinesh Trivedi, says now ‘right man in right party’

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): After former Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Dinesh Trivedi joined his party, BJP national president Jagat Prakash Nadda on Saturday said now the “right man is in the right party” and added that he will actively participate in West Bengal Assembly elections.
Trivedi officially joined BJP at the party’s headquarters in the national capital in presence of Nadda and Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan.
While welcoming Trivedi, Nadda said Trivedi met him two months ago and expressed his desire to serve the nation.
“I am happy to welcome Trivedi to the party. He expressed his desire to work for the country under the leadership of PM Modi. Trivedi has long experience in politics. He has undertaken an ideological journey and fought for ideologies keeping power apart. He is like flowing water and it is only BJP that can amalgamate people of different ideologies,” he added.
The BJP chief said the former TMC MP has always paid the price for principles.
“When I talk about Dinesh Trivedi, I always used to say that he is the right person in the wrong party. Now when we are welcoming him, I am happy to say that now the right person is in the right party. We will be able to use him to serve the country under the leadership of PM Modi. He has always paid the price principles,” he said.
Nadda also announced that Trivedi will serve West Bengal and will actively participate in state Assembly elections.
“He (Dinesh Trivedi) will serve West Bengal. He will also actively participate in West Bengal Assembly polls,” he said.
“Be it as rail minister or member of Trinamool Congress. If we see now, for principles, he left the seat of Rajya Sabha. This is a perfect example of idealism versus opportunism. This also speaks about BJP that gives a forum to nationalist persons,” he said.
“TMC is the epitome of corruption, the murderer of institutions and democracy and this all signifies TMC in Bengal,” the BJP chief added.
After joining the BJP, Trivedi said only thanking Nadda would not suffice his feelings. “It is a golden moment for me and I was waiting for this moment,” he said.
Calling BJP a party where people are family, Trivedi without naming the party took a potshot at the TMC saying that there is a party that serves a family and not people.
He praised the Prime Minister and reposed faith in him for keeping the country safe.
Trivedi also cited examples from his friends who are pilots who told him that foreign nations are taking Indians seriously.
He said Bengal is capable and people used to ask him what is he doing in the TMC. “There is violence, corruption and terror in Bengal. Bengal is a land of culture. Bengal is a pride of us and we imagine Sonar Bangla. Today people of Bengal are happy for a real transformation,” said Trivedi.
Several TMC leaders had earlier joined the BJP in the run-up to Assembly elections.

West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and the BJP in the fray. (ANI)

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Delhi Cabinet approves constitution of own school board

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): The Delhi Cabinet has given approval for the constitution of its own school education board – the Delhi Board of School Education, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal informed on Saturday.
“In today’s cabinet meet, we have given approval to the constitution of a Delhi Board of School Education. Our education system focuses on rote learning. This has to change. Our focus will no longer be on rote learning but on understanding,” Kejriwal said at a press conference.
In the coming 2021-22 academic session, 20 to 25 schools will be under the new board, the Chief Minister added.
“The Board will have a Governing Body, chaired by the Education Minister. It will also have an Executive Body for day-to-day functions and will be headed by a CEO. Both bodies will have experts – from professional industries, the education sector, principals of government and private schools, and bureaucrats,” he added.
At present, there are about 1,000 government schools and 1,700 private schools in Delhi, nearly all of which are affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
In July last year, the Delhi government had constituted two committees to prepare the scheme and framework for the formation of the state education board and curriculum reforms. (ANI)

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