Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], February 19 (ANI): Vehicle owners in Punjab will now have an option to carry digital copies of their driving licences (DLs) and registration certificates (RCs) in the state, as the Punjab Transport Department has allowed the electronic format of DLs and RCs on Friday.
Punjab Transport Minister Razia Sultana in a statement said that driving licences and vehicle registration certificates can be produced through mobile apps- mParivahan and DigiLocker, if law enforcement authorities like the traffic police and Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) will ask for these documents during the on-spot inspection. It will enable vehicle owners not to carry plastic cards or physical copies.
A letter has been issued by State Transport Commissioner to all Secretaries of Punjab State Regional Transport Authorities/Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDMs) and Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) traffic to sensitise the checking staff of police department in this regard, said the cabinet minister, while asking the officials to ensure that ‘virtual’ driving licences and vehicle registration certificates on smartphones will be authenticated on the spot verification.
Sultana directed that the information regarding allowing ‘virtual’ DLs and RCs should be put on the notice boards of the transport offices in the state to aware the general public. Besides, realising the digital Punjab drive, this system will also eliminate corruption and will help the people to avoid hefty fines in case of non-availability of hard copy of DL and RC, she added.
State Transport Commissioner Amarpal Singh further informed that if anyone forgets driving licence/vehicle registration certificate at home or misplaced or waiting for delivery of printed smart chip DL or RC, then there is no need to worry.
“Just download the app mParivahan or DigiLocker and save your virtual DL or RC. This is now absolutely valid and can be shown at the time of checking,” he said.
He said that the moment applicant’s RC or DL is approved by registering and licencing authority, he/she will get a message on phone about the approval and that can be downloaded in the app. (ANI)
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PM MODI LEADS INDIA’S COVID VACCINATION DRIVE 2.0
The Prime Minister takes Covaxin—developed by Bharat Biotech and ICMR—shot at AIIMS, becoming the first beneficiary in the second vaccination phase.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the Covid-19 vaccine shot at Delhi’s AIIMS hospital early on Monday, becoming the first beneficiary in the second phase of nationwide vaccination against coronavirus. PM Modi took a dose of the indigenous Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
“Took my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at AIIMS. Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against Covid-19. I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India Covid-19 free,” said PM Modi on Twitter after being administered the vaccine.
The leader was vaccinated by two nurses—Rosamma Anil from Kerala and P. Niveda from Puducherry. Both the nurses were thrilled by the experience and later remarked as to how the PM had said “Vanakkam” to them and even joked to ease the mood.
“Are you going to be using a thicker needle, the kind veterinarians use? Well, politicians are thick-skinned, you might need it for me,” the PM joked to the nurses. This was met with laughter and clarifications that the syringe was the standard one.
Both the nurses were informed of their task only early in the morning, once they had come in for their shift. “This is one of the biggest days of our lives. He asked where we were from and after getting jabbed, was surprised that it was done so quickly,” said P. Niveda.
Rosamma Anil, the other nurse involved in the procedure, said that she was flattered by the humility the leader showed. “When I told him I was from Puducherry, he tried speaking to me in Tamil. Later, while leaving post the observation period, he came to meet us again and said thank you, Vanakkam.” Analysts say that political symbolism was also visible as the PM was seen wearing Assamese gamcha and the two nurses were also from poll-bound Kerala and Puducherry.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also got himself vaccinated on the first day of phase two of the nationwide Covid-19 inoculation drive. He was vaccinated by doctors in Medanta hospital in Gurugram.
Minister for External Affairs (MEA) S. Jaishankar, too, was vaccinated on Monday. “Got my jab. For the curious, it was #Covaxin. Felt secure, will travel safely,” he tweeted after getting the shot.
The move by the Prime Minister to get vaccinated first and that too by the home-grown Covaxin certainly set the ball rolling in terms of the second phase of vaccination drive that was launched on 1 March.
“PM Modi taking the jab on the very first day would instil confidence among the public and remove any hesitancy and doubts that they might have about the vaccine. People should come forward to get themselves inoculated and get India rid of the disease,” said AIIMS director Randeep Guleria.
The second phase of India’s vaccination drive against Covid-19 began on Monday, with the Union Health Ministry saying that those eligible for immunisation can register and book appointments from 9 am to 3 pm on 1 March.
From Monday, people eligible for the next phase can walk up to a vaccination centre to be registered for a dose. The decision will allow anyone above the age of 60 and those older than 45, but with comorbidities that make them more vulnerable to Covid-19 to approach government and private hospitals for shots. While the doses will be administered for free at government facilities, private hospitals can charge up to Rs 250 per dose.
Those with any of the 20 specified comorbidities will have to produce a medical certificate attested by a registered medical practitioner at the time of vaccination at the chosen vaccine centre. The conditions include congenital heart disease that leads to pulmonary arterial hypertension, end-stage kidney disease, or cancers such as lymphoma, leukaemia and myloma, decompensated liver cirrhosis (deterioration of liver function due to scarring), primary immune deficiency conditions, and sickle cell anaemia.
The vaccine type available at a vaccination centre, however, will not be displayed to citizens at the time of online registration. “A Covid vaccination centre shall usually have only one type of vaccine throughout the vaccination drive. This is necessary to avoid mixing of vaccine types in first and second dose of a beneficiary,” said the government’s guidelines.
Kerala HC asks police not to arrest teacher accused of fracturing student’s hand
Kochi (Kerala) [India], March 2 (ANI): The Kerala high court directed the police not to arrest a woman maths teacher, who is accused of fracturing the hand of a Class 10 student by beating with a cane. The court issued this directive while hearing an anticipatory bail plea filed by the teacher.
A bench of Justice Shircy V heard the bail plea filed by the accused teacher Mariamma KV.
The Aluva police in Kerala have registered a First Information Report (FIR) against a government school teacher for allegedly brutally hitting a student with a cane in school. The incident took place at the Kuttamassery Higher Secondary School in Aluva, Kochi on February 17. The victim is a class 10 student, a boy.
She has been booked under section 324 of Indian Penal Code and section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act.
The petitioner said in her plea: “Even though the incident was alleged to have occurred at 9.30 am on February 17, the student had attended the exams conducted in the afternoon session and on subsequent days. The complainant got the right hand plastered after five days. The complaint before the police was filed at the instigation of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) president of the school, who is a local political leader.” (ANI)
Maritime India Summit 2021 to help in furthering growth of India’s maritime economy: PM Modi
New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that the Maritime India Summit 2021, which will be inaugurated on Tuesday, will help in furthering growth of India’s maritime economy.
“At 11 AM, 2nd March, the Maritime India Summit would be inaugurated. This Summit brings together key stakeholders from the maritime sector and will play a leading role in furthering the growth of India’s maritime economy,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Maritime India Summit 2021 is being organised by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways on a virtual platform www.maritimeindiasummit.in from March 2 to March 4 via video conferencing.
The summit will visualise a roadmap for India’s Maritime sector for next decade and will work to propel India to the forefront of the Global Maritime Sector. Eminent speakers from several countries are expected to attend the summit and explore the potential business opportunities and investments in Indian Maritime domain. Denmark is the partner country for the three-day summit. (ANI)
Rahul Gandhi dances with school students, does push-ups in Kanyakumari
Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 2 (ANI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday interacted and danced with the students at St Joseph Matric Higher Secondary School in Kanyakumari.
Rahul danced on a raised platform along with AICC Tamil Nadi In-Charge Dineshj Gundu Rao and PCC Chief KS Alagiri and students of the school. He also did push-ups on a request by a student during the interaction.
“People give definition that I am a politician. That is just a label that people put to simplify things. But that is not my job. My job is to look at the talents available in the country, understand their strengths, their weaknesses, and help them attain their maximum possibilities,” Rahul said during the interaction.
“My job is to listen carefully what they want and understand their goals. The second part of my job is to try and do whatever I can do, so that they can attain whatever they desire. I am here to understand your those needs,” he added.
When asked by a student what he would ask the PM if he got to interview him in public, Rahul said, “This is a tricky question. India has 1.3 billion people of different ideas, languages, cultures, and visions. Why are you convinced that all the answers come from you?”
Earlier in the day, Rahul had attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for attempting to humiliate and crush Tamil culture.
“This election is about giving a message. First is, that our country is a country of different religions, cultures, languages, histories and we respect all that. We do not accept Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s and RSS’ attempt to humiliate and crush Tamil culture, language and Tamil history,” he said.
Tamil Nadu assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Friday.
Polls will be held for 234 seats in Tamil Nadu with the Congress-DMK and BJP-AIADMK alliance being the major groups contesting against each other. (ANI)
Tejashwi meets Mamata Banerjee, offers full support of RJD in Bengal Assembly polls
Howrah (West Bengal) [India], March 1 (ANI): Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on Monday met West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and offered his full support to her in the coming assembly polls in the state.
Addressing the media after meeting the TMC supremo at Nabanna, the state secretariat here, Tejashwi told reporters, “It is Lalu ji’s decision to provide full support to Mamata Ji. Our first priority is to stop BJP from coming to power in Bengal.”
He also took a jibe at the “baraat” of BJP leaders in the recent weeks arriving in West Bengal to campaign for the party and questioned their ability to run the government in the state better than Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“BJP is such a big party. The BJP has brought a “Baarat” (procession) of all the union ministers to West Bengal. Who is their groom? Name a single BJP leader who is more experienced than Mamta Banerjee in running the government. Will you hand over power to a leader who does not have any experience?” Tejashwi Yadav asked while speaking to ANI.
“The biggest thing is support to courage, Tejashwi bhai is fighting, so we are fighting and vice versa, said the West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee speaking to reporters after the meeting here at Nabanna, the state secretariat.
Tejashwi Yadav was also scheduled to to chair election committee’s meeting today at her residence in Kalighat.
Yadav had not attended the brigade ground meeting called by the left, Congress and ISF in Kolkata on Sunday.
West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning March 27. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
While Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state Assembly. Congress and the Left have stitched the alliance for the polls and had already finalised the seat-sharing agreement.
With the announcement of the election schedule, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the state. (ANI)
Plea filed in SC to establish Transgender Welfare Board to address social welfare issues of trans-people
New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): A petition was filed on Monday in the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Centre and state governments to establish a Transgender Welfare Board to address the social welfare issues of transgender persons.
The petition filed by Kinner Maa Ek Samajik Sanstha Trust through its President, Salma Umar Khan Sakerker, also sought direction to appoint a standing committee comprising Station House Officers and human rights and social activists to promptly investigate reports of gross abuses by the police against transgender person.
Transgender people should be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else and be able to live, and be respected, according to their gender identity, but these people often face serious discrimination and mistreatment at work, school, and in their families and communities, stated the plea filed through advocates CR JayaSukin and Narender Verma.
The petition said that transgender people are deprived of social and cultural participation and hence they have restricted access to education, health care and public places which further deprives them of the Constitutional guarantee of equality before law and equal protection of laws. The community is facing neglect, isolation, insult, social ostracisation are due to transprejudice that runs deeps in the society and transgenders are still considered “untouchable” in India, the plea said.
It added that the main problems that are being faced by the transgender community are of discrimination, unemployment, lack of educational facilities, homelessness, lack of medical facilities, depression, hormone pill abuse, tobacco and alcohol abuse, penectomy, and problems related to marriage and adoption, the it added.
“The right to recognition as a person before the law is guaranteed in numerous international human rights conventions, and is a fundamental aspect of affirming the dignity and worth of each person. Legal gender recognition is also an essential element of other fundamental rights – including to privacy, to freedom of expression, to be free from arbitrary arrest, and rights related to employment, education, health, security, access to justice, and the ability to move freely,” it stressed.
The petitioner further said that in 2014 the Supreme Court delivered its judgment in the National Legal Services Authority vs Union of India case in which it recognised the rights of transgender people in India and laid down a series of measures for securing transgender people’s rights by mandating the prohibition of discrimination, recommending the creation of welfare policies.
The Parliament passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act in 2019 and the statutory provisions of the Act prohibit discrimination against transgender people. But the act violates the NALSA judgment on various fronts, the plea stated.
It said the act violates the NALSA judgement by failing to provide reservations in admissions to educational institutions and public appointments by treating the transgender community as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens.
The act gives the District Magistrate (DM) the power to recognise a person as trans, while the NALSA judgment of the Supreme Court allowed self identification of gender, it noted
The petitioner stated that the NALSA judgment had further said that any insistence on SRS (sex reconstruction surgery) was illegal and stressed that self-determination of gender is integral to one’s personality and dignity. However, the 2019 Act specifies that to identify as male or as female, one must supply proof of surgery to the magistrate. Activists say this gives immense power to the DM, leading to the possibility of arbitrariness and misuse. (ANI)
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