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The mammoth vaccination drive, the quick manufacturing and imports of required supplies, the PM CARES Fund, the schemes launched to provide for the needy during last year’s lockdown—all point towards the dedicated efforts of the Modi government to counter the deadly pandemic. However, there are some state governments not willing to be equal and responsible stakeholders in this fight against the pandemic.

Sanju Verma



Amid India’s second Covid-19 wave, a question which is being asked often is if the state elections and political rallies could have been avoided. The hard fact is that under the Representation of People’s Act,1951, elections to State Assemblies due for expiration can indeed be postponed, but only for six months. That too, if only there is a national emergency. However, had the Modi government declared a full-fledged political lockdown, banning the Assembly elections for six months, the entire Lutyens’ cabal would have been up in arms, calling a Covid-induced halt on elections an upturning of democracy. What about virtual rallies instead of mammoth physical gatherings, some are asking? Well, reportedly, the Election Commission had suggested virtual rallies but the proposal was struck down by a debilitated Opposition that felt that virtual rallies would give the BJP an added electoral advantage due to its massive social media presence. Also, under Article 326 of the Indian Constitution, the decision to hold elections and the modalities thereof are vested with the Election Commission, an autonomous body which has nothing to do with the BJP whatsoever. Hence, for opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee to question the need for physical political rallies is nothing short of unfettered hypocrisy.

Of late, a false narrative is also being peddled by a vanquished Opposition, leftist academicians and self-styled experts. According to it, the Modi government has not done enough to stem the rising second wave of Covid, which is again an absolutely baseless allegation. Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, with efficacy of 91.6%, and to be manufactured in India by Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, is the third Covid vaccine approved in India after Covaxin and Covishield. More Covid vaccines such as Novavax, Zydus Cadila’s vaccine and Bharat Biotech’s intranasal vaccine are also likely to receive the Modi government’s nod soon to ensure adequate supply for India’s mega vaccination drive, amid the surge in cases. Till April 15, 2021, 832 million doses had been administered globally, at an average of over 18.6 million doses per day, across 152 countries, with the USA administering 195 million doses at an average of 3.35 million doses per day. India, with over 117 million doses, has the highest vaccination rate globally, at over 4 million doses per day. While it took India only 85 days to vaccinate 100 million people, it took the USA 89 days and China102 days, to vaccinate the same number of people. Hence, allegations that the pace of inoculation is slow in India are also completely unfounded.

The issue at this stage is not a supply side one, but a governance-centric one. Eight out of the ten high-risk zones reporting the highest number of daily cases are from Maharashtra, Delhi and Chhattisgarh. Maharashtra has had the unique distinction of wasting 5 lakh vaccine doses due to improper planning by the inept state dispensation. Maharashtra, with an average weekly positivity rate of 24.7%, Delhi with 20%, and Chhattisgarh with a positivity rate of over 30.63%, account for well over 50% of India’s active caseload and over 50% of overall nationwide mortalities. To conveniently blame the Modi government for inadequate supplies when the problem is actually that of inadequate management by some of the Opposition-ruled states reeks of an irresponsible attitude. For instance, despite adequate supplies of Remdesivir being made available by the Central Government and a ban on its export, the thriving black market for the drug in Maharashtra has led to its prices skyrocketing, with a vial costing as high as Rs 50,000, despite the official price being between Rs 900 and Rs 3,500.

Another glaring example of gross mismanagement is seen in Punjab. On February 3, 2021, Punjab had only 2,122 active cases. Two months later, that number exceeded 28,250. In fact, with a weekly positivity rate of over 13.8%, Chandigarh, like Maharashtra, is a textbook case of how shoddy governance can cause irreparable damage. Chhattisgarh, another Congress-led state, even refused to use Covaxin, despite it being given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by DCGI, thereby promoting fear and vaccine hesitancy among its people. It is pertinent to note here that despite having a population that is half the size of Gujarat, Chhattisgarh has witnessed more Covid mortalities than Gujarat. Similarly, West Bengal has half the population of Uttar Pradesh, but has seen a higher number of Covid deaths. Unfortunately, large swathes of the biased, leftist media in India are unwilling to call out the incompetence of either Uddhav Thackeray, Amarinder Singh or Bhupesh Baghel. Let the truth be told—the BJP-governed states have done a far superior job than non-BJP-ruled states in handling and tackling Covid-19.

Another false narrative is the one surrounding the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) Fund that was launched in 2020. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs had clarified that any company’s contributions to the PM-CARES Fund, over and above the minimum prescribed corporate social responsibility (CSR) expenditure, could be offset against that company’s CSR obligations of subsequent years. Further, any contribution made to the PM-CARES Fund before March 31, 2020 qualified for 80G exemption under the Income Tax Act, 1961 (I-T Act). For contributions made, with effect from April 1, 2020, all those companies that have chosen to stay within the old tax structure would be eligible for this benefit. Further, the government has stated that the PM-CARES Fund will be audited by one or more qualified independent auditors who will be appointed by the trustees. Hence, claims from opposition leaders like Sonia Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee that this fund lacks transparency are simply for fearmongering and creating unnecessary confusion in the minds of people when they are rallying strongly behind PM Modi as he leads both India and the world in the biggest fight in 103 years—the fight against the Chinese Wuhan virus.

But was PM-CARES needed when we already had PMNRF, some have been asking? The simple answer to that is, the PMNRF was initially established as a deemed trust to assist displaced persons from Pakistan through public contributions by Jawaharlal Nehru. Assistance from PMNRF, besides dealing with natural calamities, is also rendered to partially defray the expenses for medical treatment like heart surgeries, kidney transplantation, cancer treatment, acid attacks, etc. However, with the launch of Ayushman Bharat, the biggest healthcare scheme globally, such needs that were earlier looked after by PMNRF have now been minimised. Also, PMNRF, which always had the Congress president as one of its key trustees, still has many remnants of the decrepit Nehruvian ideology associated with it. On the other hand, PM-CARES, set up as a public charitable trust, is an emergency fund that is entirely dedicated to the fight against Covid, and to that extent, has a very specific, targeted approach, which is the need of the hour. It is bereft of any dynastic or “high command” style culture, typical of the Congress. It is completely within the bounds of the law, transparent, and additionally, it will not have the overarching hand of or interference from the Congress, whose track record, in any case, in the past six decades of governance, has been rather dubious, opaque and abysmal. 

In effect, India’s vaccine roll-out is not only the largest in the world but also the most affordable, with no compromises whatsoever on any standard operating procedures (SoPs). The PM-CARES Fund will bear the entire cost of the first phase, which will inoculate 30 million or 3 crore frontline Covid workers. Earlier, in June 2020, over Rs 2000 crore was allocated from this fund for the supply of 50,000 ‘Made in India’ ventilators to government-run Covid hospitals in all states and UTs. Out of the 50,000 ventilators, 30,000 were manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited, yet again showcasing India’s indigenous manufacturing prowess. While a jaded, directionless and clueless Rahul Gandhi keeps taking needless jibes at the Modi government, the fact of the matter is that for over six decades India just had 47,000 ventilators, whereas in one go, in June 2020, the Modi government made available 50,000 ventilators to ensure no life is lost for want of life-saving equipment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s food security scheme for the needy, called the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), provided free ration to 81 crore or 810 million people, every single month for nine months in a row, during the pandemic. Effectively, this means that a population 2.5 times the size of the USA was fed every single month for months together, showcasing the Modi government’s generous, welfarist and people-centric approach. Of late, comparisons between India and Brazil have been abound, which is like comparing apples and oranges. The entire population of Brazil, at 21 crore, is equal to just one state in India, Uttar Pradesh which also has a population of 210 million. However, while Uttar Pradesh, with a population density of 828 persons per square kilometre, has reported about 9,500 deaths, Brazil, with a population density of barely 25 persons per square kilometre, has reported over 3.65 lakh deaths. 

To rein in Covid, super spreader events also need to be controlled. The hue and cry over the Kumbh Mela, without showing any outrage over the massive religious congregations outside mosques in Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad during Ramadan, is sheer hypocrisy. We need to shed our selective outrage to overcome this pandemic. While out-of-work Bollywood starlets are sharing old pictures of the Kumbh at Prayagraj in 2019, there was not even a tiny squeak from them last year, when the Tablighi Jamaat members ran amok, spitting into food and thrashing doctors and nurses. 

Coming to universal vaccination, it is neither practical nor desirable for a country like India, which has 1.38 billion people and a population density of 455 persons per square kilometre. A vaccine is not some kind of a life jacket that can prevent a person from getting infected. However, it certainly reduces the severity of the infection and helps in breaking the transmission chain. It is therefore important to inoculate vulnerable age groups first. Quacks fail to realise that the vaccine has to be given at this stage to those who need it, not necessarily to all those who want it. Not everyone who wants the vaccine needs it! 

India is set to inoculate 300 million people within July this year, which is akin to vaccinating almost the whole of the US or equal to vaccinating the combined populations of Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and France, and in record time! India, with a population over four times that of the USA, has a case fatality rate (CFR) of just 1.25%, the lowest globally, which is noteworthy. In sharp contrast, the US, with a population density of just 36 people per square kilometre, has reported a staggering 31.5 million coronavirus cases and over 5.65 lakh deaths. 

India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has led a frontal, global attack against the Wuhan virus, exporting over 60 million doses to 85 countries via the Gavi alliance. Those arguing that India should not have exported those vaccines should remember that on humanitarian grounds, a global pandemic deserves a collective effort on an international scale, and that is precisely what the Modi government deftly and rightfully engaged in via “vaccine maitri”. Don’t we help neighbouring countries during earthquakes, cyclones or floods? So, why should assistance provided during a debilitating pandemic be viewed any differently? Moreover, most of the exports had been committed to much before the vaccine roll-out, as part of bilateral agreements between India’s vaccine manufacturers and the Gavi alliance. Gavi is a public-private partnership that provides about 50% of the world’s children with vaccines.

In the final analysis, having a calibrated approach is the right thing at this stage. India’s mega vaccination drive is centred around “Education, Emergency Response and Enforcement”. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commendable war against Covid has been indefatigable and unrelenting, states need to be equally responsible stakeholders now. Remember, health is a state subject and while policymaking and procuring and distributing the vaccine are things that the Central Government has graciously decided to take charge of, enforcing Covid protocols and administering the vaccine without wastage is a localised issue which state governments have to be responsible for. India is a union of states, not a confederation of states. What this implies is that states have adequate powers at their disposal. Clearly, the Modi government is doing more than its fair share. Should the states not chip in too? For instance, is it fair on the part of Chhattisgarh or Maharashtra to indulge in criminal lethargy, leaving hapless citizens at the mercy of a negligent and insensitive regime, with the respective Chief Ministers having lost the plot completely? Is it not moral turpitude on the part of the mainstream media to always look for reasons to take jibes at the Central Government, but conveniently looking the other way and not question Arvind Kejriwal?

At a time when Delhiites need beds and oxygen, why is Chief Minister Kejriwal busy spending hundreds of crores on futile advertisements that jump at you every few minutes from television screens? To cut to the chase, Prime Minister Modi has done an outstanding job and will continue to relentlessly fight back against Covid, but other stakeholders need to wake up and smell the coffee too!

The author is an economist, national spokesperson for the BJP and the bestselling author of ‘Truth & Dare: The Modi Dynamic’. The views expressed are personal.

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Vyapar app simplifies financial management for MSMEs



Financial management is the key to business success. There’s no refuting this fact, but despite that, many business owners are simply not careful enough.

India has approximately 6.3 Crore MSMEs which contributes about 29 percent towards the GDP through its national and international trade. 70 percent of businesses in India are Micro, Small, and Medium-sized (MSMEs), and many business owners cannot cope with their business growth. Financial asset management is one of the contributing factors. In addition to that, many of them also struggle to keep up with digital systems that are supposed to ease the process but don’t actually do so. When they cannot afford better systems, hire qualified accountants and practice better financial management, they tend to lose control of their business.

To solve this issue, Vyapar App was launched in the year 2016 with the aim of making it easier for MSME business owners to run their businesses. Accounting can take a significant amount of their time, but they have comprehensive and accurate financial reports at the tips of their fingers with the app. Vyapar App is a business accounting application that helps the user store and access all their financial data in one place. In addition to offering an accounting solution, they also provide inventory tracking, customer and vendor management, invoice generation, barcode management, online cataloging, and even order tracking features.

Using Vyapar software you can send free transaction messages, payment reminders, generate E-way bills, delivery challan, generate financial reports and much more.

By providing so many features onto one software, they’ve enabled the growth of many MSME businesses in the country. Until now, many business owners would suffer because they had to use different applications for different purposes, which would lead to increased costs and efforts. But by using this easiest one-stop solution, they can manage their finances and get creative with it.

The software offers them the option to customise their dashboard and other feature of software as per their individual requirement. MSMEs have been able to present themselves professionally and see increased business as well.

One of the key points that many of their users talk about is that when the GST filing process was introduced, it was tough to manage it since you’d need an accountant with sound financial knowledge. But now, they can retrieve GST report directly from software in government prescribed format in excel. Later they can convert the excel file to JSON format using an offline utility tool available on GST portal. User can now upload the JSON file by logging in to GST portal.

This shows how the team at Vyapar Apps has taken the concerns of their users into account and adapted the software over time.

Overall, no other service in the market simplifies business and financial management for MSME business owners the way Vyapar App does. It’s available for download on the Play Store and can be done in two languages — English and Hindi. This will be a top-notch option if you’re looking to simplify financial management and grow your business.

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Artist-led production studio Accursed Share yesterday announced an NFT collection by celebrity photographer Frederic Auerbach that will give an exclusive insight into his work with five of Hollywood’s most notable celebrities as well as 30 never-before-seen ‘process’ photos culled from the working sessions with the stars.

The NFT collection, titled “Captured Moment: The Master’s Process,” will center around five famous figures – boxing legend Mike Tyson, singing legend Zendaya, as well as established actors like Natalie Portman, Benedict Cumberbatch and Sharon Stone.

The Master Series, which will feature celebrities, will be available for bidding in the middle of December. Winners will receive a dynamic NFT and a high-resolution one of the published work. The dynamic NFT is powered by an internal ‘smart contract’ innovation, Accursed Share’s proprietary technology, which displays an alternate edit of the final masterwork randomly at certain intervals.

Accursed Share CEO, John Connor said, “We wanted to give fans, collectors, and students of Auerbach’s work an internal view of his process and inspiration; we wanted to create a set of NFTs that really spoke to collectors and had engaging and intrinsic value.”

He added that Auerbach’s ability to capture the charisma and character of his subjects is unique in the world of photography, and his uncanny ability to ‘summon the ineffable’ in his images is very real. “This is something that seems to be missing from the current popular perception of NFTs, and we hope that this project -and other subsequent Accursed Share NFT projects will provide a renewed focus on high-quality NFT content and continue to push the boundaries of the medium,” Connor said.

Captured Moment’s first selections from the ‘Process Series’ will become available on December 5th, at which point early whitelist submissions will receive free airdrops of the first round.

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People must believe in the power to make someone smile, to save a life. Brilliant ideas and social change can make an impact on the world.

Social for Action is easy-to-use to help transform individuals and the non-profit giving sector. The most accurate online tools, offered to mobilise crowds towards great ideas and projects, enabling good things to get done fast. As a tech-for-good platform, there are complete crowdfunding solutions to empower individuals, NGOs and social enterprises. Thus, enabling fundraising for medical emergencies, personal needs, creative projects, or any social cause – be it big or small. The aim is to bring forward the generosity and the need to maximise the potential to do good.

The team works together to assist, innovate, collaborate and support anyone who wants to use crowdfunding to make a positive difference. On a given day, there are interactions with campaigners, stories written, evolving the platform to be more functional by reaching out to more NGOs and disbursing funds. The world can be changed – one fundraiser at a time.


Verification for all required documents for fundraisers from NGOs and individuals ensures that the donation makes a difference in its true goal. The primary objective is to enable social giving to trusted NGO projects and an uncomplicated, credible experience for verified individuals.


A simple onboarding process and 0% platform fee make fundraising a simple experience for all NGOs, no matter how big or small.

“Social For Action’s crowdfunding platform has helped 4211 destitute women in Maher Ashram to raise 8,93,000/- INR in a month. The collective amount will support the holistic development of all orphans, for women who have been victims of violence rejected by relatives along with women with mental disabilities to stand on their own two feet,” said Lucy Kuriyan, Founder, Maher

“Social For Action has helped us to raise an amount of 3,34,000/- INR. This amount has helped build hostel and school construction projects at Kudal in Ratnagiri district and help destitute, single parents, and low-income household children,” Renu Gavskar, Founder, Eklavya Balshikshan Arogya Nyas.

Get a 50% tax exemption on the contribution made. All donations made to SFA, India’s most trusted crowdfunding platform, are exempt from tax under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act.

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In this conversation, the lawyer and author opened up about her journey from being a full-time lawyer and a motivational influencer at the same time.



Naina Pachnanda recently joined NewsX for an insightful conversation as part of NewsX Influencer A-List. In the exclusive conversation, the lawyer and author opened up about her journey from being a full-time lawyer and a motivational influencer at the same time.

We began the interview by asking Naina about her educational background, to which she replied, “I completed my schooling from Delhi Public School, RK Puram. I then went on to pursue BA LLB (Hons) from the National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, wherein I graduated in 2014. I then wanted to pursue a carrier in litigation. In 2014, I joined the chambers of Paramjit Singh Patwalia, who is a senior advocate in the Supreme Court of India. At that time, he was an additional solicitor general in the Supreme Court of India. I had the good fortune of beginning my law career with him. Thereafter, I joined the litigation team at l&l partners law offices wherein I worked for about 3 years. After litigating for about 5 years, I decided to switch from litigation to policy and regulatory work. In 2019, I joined Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India, wherein I drive legal regulatory policy and strategy side of affairs for innovation and technology commercialisation.” She went to say that, “I call myself a lawyer with a soul”.

Speaking about her poetic journey, she exclaimed, “My poetic journey began at the age of 10 when I wrote my first poem on Harry potter. Always been a big fan and still am. Mystically, it got published in the Telegraph kids in Kolkata where I went to school briefly. This gave me a lot of confidence and hence began my journey of poetry. Over the years that I went to law school and practiced litigation lawyer, my creative side took a backseat for some time because of time constraints. In December 2019, there was a calling within me to start an Instagram page to share my poetry based on hope, motivation and very relatable content for our generation because I feel poetry is a very powerful form of expression. I also believe that my words would resonate with many. Apart from sharing my poetry on Instagram, I also have a blog called ‘Lawyer with a poetic soul’ wherein I often share my poetry”.

We expressed our curiosity to hear about the two books that she had written. Naina shared, “In December 2019, when I started my Instagram handle for the sole purpose of sharing my poetry. It was during the lockdown. There were so many challenges so I decided to write about all those challenges very unapologetically in the form of poetry and post them on social media. The reason behind this was that I wanted everyone to feel the spirit of being united. This was the time when the response was very positive and my following started to grow. That is what encouraged me to write both my books. I wrote both my books during the pandemic.”

“I chose a very unique topic for my first book. I work for ‘Make in India’, so I decided to write about the schemes of the government of India such as Make in India, Startup India, Aatmnirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, Digital India Mission, etc. in poetic form because again I believe that poetry is something that touches the heart and it is the most impactful medium of self-expression,” she added.

Sharing insights on her second book, Naina revealed, ” ‘Miracles do happen’ was curated and conceived during the pandemic. It is a book of over 200 poems based on life, love, lost, failure, rejection, hope, motivation and so on. The idea behind this book is that life in general is a blur of uncertainty. The last 1.5 years have been particularly uncertain and full of challenges for all of us. The reason behind writing this book is to spread positivity and hope during these unprecedented times.”

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Wearing a mask has been the mandate and why shouldn’t the trendsetters step up? There is a unique mask available for every mood, every palette and every occasion.




In 2018 not a person (r.i.p. Nostradamus) could have envisaged in their wildest thoughts, they’d have to cover their nose and mouth to socialise. Enter the mask brigade which has swiftly become a fashion accessory to reckon with. Whether you don a jacket, a silky blouse, or even decadent wedding couture, wearing a mask has been the mandate and why should the trendsetters not step up. There is a unique mask for every mood every palette and every occasion. Dominatrix or sporty there is a mask for everybody.

Diyaaswani Mask

Torani Mask

Bows to the medical fraternity whose masks have been their second skin. You make any mask look good.

Payal Singhal the Boheme bridal and occasion wear designer has a new category in-store and online. Masks that are an extension of her ‘Life’s a beach” vibe. Ikat and quirky prints dominate her collection of masks. The icing on the cake is the charming little printed pouches they come in. The printed graphics on these accessories make them covetable.

Reusable and washable three-layered protective cloth cask (Unisex) with reversible prints so that you can wear it both ways and match it with a variety of looks. The top and bottom layers are made of 75 percent cotton and 25 percent silk with a layer of 100 percent cotton in the middle for better protection and breathability. Sits comfortably on the ear with printed ear loops, which gives it a grammable get-up. Ideal for all-day use. You can find these lovelies on Nykaa Fashion.

Pret designer Farida Gupta follows a different montage. Her natural-dye block prints masks are soft against the skin. Made sustainably using 100 percent cotton fabric, these washable cloth masks offer a comfortable fit. Featuring 3-layer protection as per international standards. Farida Gupta’s masks balance safety and style. Featuring elasticised straps, they are designed to fit over the top of the nose and below the chin. Head over to Farida Gupta’s website to add to cart.

Spotlighting a new designer on the block, Diya Aswani, her claim to fame is her eclectic mix of dressy masks. Varying from pink flamingos (my shopping list chart-topper) to monograms embroidered-on-one side. Diya’s mask’s collection casts a spell on you. The Blue evil eye mask chain is a striking piece. Additionally, she creates beautiful chains to suspend her masks from. Worth a mention is the green apple mask chain and the Evil Eye oval mask chain are some of her best-selling mask chains on Nykaa. A must-have mask.

Torani, the haute couture brand has a potpourri of masks(inset). Koran Torani the founder documents stories of his childhood through his work. Feast your eyes on these bright masks kissed in chintz prints. These can be sourced from their brick-and-mortar and online stores.

Life has a new modus operandi that mandates us to wear masks ( until further notice) So while we are at it why not be safe (and stylish).

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Joygraphy, a unique start-up that is into individual and organisational wellbeing was launched recently.

The well-tech start-up leverages innovative tech tools and research and data analytics for incisive assessment of real-life situations and comes up with intelligent and smart interventions thus offering practical solutions to any issue that challenges wellbeing. An outcome of about 3 years’ passionate research by Founders Abhijit Dabhade and Dr. Vishal Ghule along with a team of psychologists and business experts, Joygraphy is a totally automated and technology-driven platform. It offers analytical intelligence to individuals and organisations leading to improved productivity through effective conflict resolution.

During the 3-year foundational research, the Joygraphy team had mapped 174 human behaviour traits and 414 sub-elements and measured them across 250,000 data points. This exercise gave Joygraphy team insights into 6 key wellbeing areas of day-to-day human life where crises often crop up.

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