NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court on Monday questioned the Central government on its dual policy for procurement of Covid-19 vaccines and said that there needs to be one price for the vaccines across the nation. The Bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, L. Nageswara Rao and Ravindra Bhat called for a uniform pricing policy to be adopted for Covid vaccines across the nation.
“Centre says it gets vaccines at low pricing since it buys in bulk, if this is the rationale then why do states have the higher price? There needs to be one price for the vaccines across the nation. Pandemic has evolved in last two months,” the court said.
“In this case, if the purpose is to procure vaccines then why should the centre confine itself to only post 45 age people and leave pre 45 age entirely to state for arranging logistics. How do we look at the marginalised and economically weaker ones?” asked the apex court.
The SC also asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre about mandatory registration for vaccine by 18+ on CoWIN app. “If a villager doesn’t have mobile then he can go to a centre and get registered,” Solicitor General told the Bench.
“How are you answering the digital divide? How are you ensuring that the migrant workers are able to get vaccinated?” the SC asked Tushar Mehta. Responding to the Supreme Court, Tushar Mehta said, “Regarding providing modes other than digital, CoWIN digital portal allows the registration of 4 persons and the gram panchayats have centres to have the infrastructure for the internet. People who don’t have access to the internet can also take help from friends and relatives. Online registration decision has been taken since vaccines are not unlimited and if walk-in is allowed then there will be crowding but now walk-in is allowed subject to the availability of vaccine.”
Justice Chandrachud said that there is no digital literacy even today in rural areas. “I am the chairperson of the e-committee and we see how it is,” he said.
To this, Tushar Mehta said, “It is flexible now and we have now permitted workplace vaccination. Individual house to house vaccination was not possible but we are doing it through RWA and with ambulance present.”
Amicus Curiae Jaideep Gupta, assisting the court in the case, said there is no change in policy. Walk-in was always there for 45 plus, for 18 plus CoWIN registration is mandatory.
Justice Bhat said he is getting distress calls from all over the country like Kochi, Bangalore, etc. that within two minutes all slots are booked. Justice L Nageswara Rao said that the ground reality is very clear. 75 per cent vaccination is in urban areas and this concern needs to be addressed.
The Bench hearing the suo motu proceedings initiated by it on issues related to oxygen supply, drug supply, and vaccine policy in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, said that it will pass a short order today itself.
WITH ANI INPUTS
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Police busts Pak-backed module aimed to carry out attack on I-Day
Thwarting yet another possible terrorist attack around Independence Day, Punjab Police have busted a Pak-ISI backed terrorist module with the arrest of four members associated with Canada-based gangsters. The accused were associated with Arshdeep Singh alias Arsh Dala and Austraila-based gangster Gurjant Singh alias Janta. They were apprehended from Delhi during the intel-led operation carried out by the Counter-Intelligence unit of Punjab Police with the help of Delhi Police.
The Police have also recovered three hand-grenades (P-86), one IED and two 9mm pistols along with 40 live cartridges in possession of the arrested persons, said Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Gaurav Yadav here on Sunday.
This is the third such module of cross-border smuggling of arms and explosives that has been busted by the Punjab Police in less than a week.
Those arrested have been identified as Deepak Sharma of Preet Nagar in Moga; Sandeep Singh of village Kotkaror Kalan in Ferozepur; Sunny Dagar of village Ishapur in Najafgarh in Delhi; and Vipin Jakhar, a resident of Goyla Khurd in New Delhi, where all of them were taking shelter.
Disclosing more details, DGP Gaurav Yadav said that following reliable inputs that associates of Arsh Dala are being harboured by Vipin Jakhar at his accomodation in village Goyla Khurd in New Delhi, teams of Punjab Police’s SSOC Mohali along with Dwarka Police conducted a raid at their premises on Friday, and managed to arrest them after recovering two 9mm pistols (foreign-made) along with 40 live cartridges.
“Working on the leads obtained during the questioning of the arrested persons, the police teams have also recovered one IED and three hand-grenades on Saturday from the locations pinpointed by them in Punjab,” he said, adding that the arrested accused also revealed that they were being tasked by Arsh Dala to execute criminal activities in areas of Delhi and Punjab ahead of Independence day to disrupt the peace and harmony.
The investigations so far revealed that Deepak Sharma, who is a history sheeter and was wanted by the Punjab Police in two cases including murder of Moga-based Jaswinder Singh alias Jassi, who was killed in March 2022 and another for firing in the house of Panchayat Secretary of Village Dala, Moga in June 2022, said the DGP. While, accused Sandeep, who recently came back to India from Dubai, had provided logistic support to Deepak to carry out firing at the house of Panchayat Secretary.
He said that accused Sunny Dagar, who is out from jail on parole, is an active member of Neeraj Bawana Gang and Tillu Tajpuriya gang in Delhi and NCR region and has been facing various cases of heinous crimes including murder, attempt to murder, extortion, theft etc. Meanwhile, the Police have procured remand for five days of all the arrested persons after producing them at the local Mohali Court on Saturday.
Security In Delhi Beefed Up Amid Threat Alerts
Delhi Police have tightened the security and vigilance at all eight borders of the city as well as the busy markets in view of the Independence Day celebration. The security near the Red Fort has been beefed up with many layers of protection as the inputs received from International Border are not only specific but are considered strong enough. For enhanced security at the Independence Day programme, the police personnel have deployed anti-drone system to ensure protection against drone attacks. This anti-drone system was manufactured by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Electronics (BEL).
The Red Fort is shielded with a Radar system to ensure its safety from the Drones, as it is another threat apart from the Technological dangers for security. The police personnel are also taught the ways to combat suspected objects flying in the sky, the police said.
The police received some specifically strong alerts concerning the security in Delhi on August 15. The Intelligence agencies have issued a high alert for a terrorist attack in the city on Monday:
It has been informed that on the basis of the interrogation with the terrorists nabbed from different states including Punjab, a number of Drones from the Pakistan border– carrying numerous Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)– have reached various parts of the country.
In another alert, it was revealed that deadly weapons including Pistol, Hand Grenades, and AK 47 have been sent to India with the help of Drones from Pakistan.The Police further, quoting the Intelligence forces, said that the terrorists can also lead to several lone wolf attacks on Independence Day. In the attack, a single person can attack the mob with a sharp-edged weapon or a big vehicle.
The police have completely banned the flying of Kites (for as long as the Independence Day programme continues) around the Red Fort after the alert regarding some terrorist attack via a flying object like a kite was issued to the police by the agencies.Delhi Police has further received another input to be vigilant as some suspicious object put along with the crutches can attack the Fort, hence the police have been advised to ensure a very strong screening.
“The terror outfits namely SFJ, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), ISIS Khurasan Module are planning to conduct a massive attack during August 15,” Intelligence agencies informed the police.
The police are also keeping a vigilant eye over suspicious activities and persons as the terror modules are also involving local criminals.
This year, special kind of Alarm Cameras are installed around the Red Fort, which starts alarming the nearby stationed police personnel of any suspected movement.Apart from around 250 eminent personalities who are expected to arrive at the Red Fort on Monday, nearly 8,000-10,000 people are also likely to attend the programme, hence the police have installed 1,000 cameras with high-resolution quality in the nearby areas.
The special cell of Delhi Police has successfully projected the pictures of around 1,000 suspicious persons, anti-national elements, and terrorists to the other unit of the police force, to ensure that every unit and department stays cautious.
INDIA’S WARREN BUFFET RAKESH JHUNJHUNWALA DIES AT 62
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expressed grief on the sudden passing away of ace stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. “Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable. Full of life, witty and insightful, he leaves behind an indelible contribution to the financial world. He was also very passionate about India’s progress,” prime minister Modi tweeted “His passing away is saddening. My condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”
World Has Seen New India Rising: President Murmu
In her maiden address to the nation on eve of Independence Day, President Droupadi Murmu said that the makers of modern India enabled each and every adult citizen to participate in the collective process of nation-building and asserted that India can be credited to have helped the world discover the true potential of democracy.
“We Indians proved skeptics wrong. Democracy not only grew roots in this soil, it was enriched too,” the President said, adding that India can be credited to have helped world discover true potential of democracy.
The President recalled that India adopted universal adult franchise right since the beginning of the Republic and highlighted that India can be credited to have helped the world discover the true potential of democracy.
She said, “In most other well-established democracies, women had to wage long-drawn struggles to get the right to vote. But India adopted universal adult franchise right since the beginning of the Republic. Thus, the makers of modern India enabled each and every adult citizen to participate in the collective process of nation-building. Thus, India can be credited to have helped the world discover the true potential of democracy.”
India is among the fastest growing major economies in the world, the President said, adding that India has made unprecedented progress in the development of physical and digital infrastructure.
“The pandemic has uprooted lives and also economies in the entire world. When the world has been battling the economic consequences of the great crisis, India got its act together and is now moving forward. India is among the fastest growing major economies in the world. India’s start-up ecosystem ranks high in the world. The success of start-ups in our country, especially the growing number of unicorns is a shining example of our industrial progress,” the President said.
Ms. Murmu further stated that Country’s growth is becoming more inclusive and regional disparities too are reducing.
On the health side, Ms.Murmu said, “world has seen new India rising in recent years, more so after outbreak of Covid-19.”
The President also said, “National Education Policy aimed at preparing future generation for next stage of industrial revolution, reconnecting it with heritage.”
Ms. Murmu said “Keyword for India today is compassion for downtrodden, for needy and for those on margins.”
The President said, “Gender inequalities are reducing, women are breaking many glass ceilings, “our daughters are the biggest hope for nation”.”
“Government and policy
World Looks At India For Managing Diversity: RSS Chief
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday said the whole world looks towards India for managing diversity. He was speaking at a function on ‘[email protected]: My Vision My Action’ in Nagpur city of Maharashtra.
“The world points at India when it comes to managing diversity efficiently. The world is full of contradictions but managing dualities will only come from India, he said. Bhagwat said there have been many historical events which were never told to us nor taught in a proper way.
For instance, the place where Sanskrit grammar was born is not in India. Did we ever ask a question why? he said. “It is chiefly because we first forgot our own wisdom and knowledge and later the land was conquered by foreign invaders who mainly came from north west region,” he said.
We unnecessarily gave importance to caste and other similar structures,” Bhagwat said.
Farooq Abdullah tests positive for COVID-19, the party informed
President of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Farooq Abdullah tested positive for COVID on Saturday.
Earlier on Saturday, Abdullah’s party said, he is recovering and has self-isolated.
“Dr. Farooq Abdullah tested positive for COVID-19 a couple of days ago, with mild symptoms. He’s recovering well and his doctors have been advised to rest while he recovers,” the party said.
Last year on 30 March after he received his first dose of vaccine against coronavirus Abdullah was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. Congress general secretary in charge of communications and senior party leader, Jairam Ramesh informed.
Taking to Twitter Jairam Ramesh said, “Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi tested positive for Covid-19 today. She will remain in isolation as per Govt. protocol.”
In the last three months, Gandhi has tested positive for Covid for the second time. As per government protocol, the party chief will remain in isolation.
Earlier on Wednesday (10 August), Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi tested positive for COVID. Taking to Twitter Vadra tweeted, “Tested positive for COVID (again!) today. Will be isolating at home and following all protocols.”
Moreover, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge Tuesday tested positive for COVID.
“I have tested positive for #COVID19. I request those who came in contact with me recently to take care,” Kharge tweeted.
However, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was also reported ill and canceled his visit to the party’s ‘Netratv Sankalp Shivir.’
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