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‘WHO’s future in present form is in peril’

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The continuance of the World Health Organization (WHO), in its present form, is looking increasingly difficult with the United States of America (USA) makingit clear that the WHO acted “recklessly” while dealing with Covid-19 and calling it the propaganda arm of the Chinese Communist Party.

On 9 April, 14 Republican US member of Congress, who are on the US House Committee on oversight and reforms, wrote a letter to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, accusing him of helping Beijing “disseminate propaganda” “downplaying the extent of the disease” and possibly delaying the ordering of a public emergency. The Committee on Oversight and Reforms has 23 Democrats and 17 Republican members; the letter sent to the WHO, however,
does not have the signature of any Democratic member.

In the five-page letter, which is available with The Sunday Guardian, WHO and Ghebreyesus have been accused of praising China’s “transparency” while in reality, it was hiding information while giving specific examples to prove their allegations.

The Congressmen have accusedWHO of denying human-to-human spread of Covid-19 solely on the basis of Chinese propaganda, ignoring Taiwanese warning of human-to-human transmission, delay in declaring Covid-19 a pandemic due to pressure from China and delaying measures like travel ban and continuously praising China’s effort to combat Covid-19 despite it trying to cover up the spread. The Congressmen have also demanded the release of all documents between WHO and China from August 2019 till date, all documents related to the total number of Covid-19 infected in China and all similar documents that were exchanged between WHO and Taiwan.

Speaking to The Daily Guardian, Congressman Paul Gosar from Arizona, who is one of the signatories to the official communication to the WHO, said they were also investigating whether the virus was bio-engineered or not.

“The United States government is concerned about how the virus spread from Wuhan, China, to the rest of the world. At this time, we have no conclusive evidence it was bio-engineered, but investigations continue. The World Health Organization has been reckless, wrong, and ineffective. I fully support President Trump’s decision to halt funding for an organisation that appears to be a propaganda arm for the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.

“The WHO maliciously told the world the virus was not transmissible person-to-person. The WHO maliciously told the world not to wear masks. The WHO maliciously told the world not to close borders and that doing so would be racist. I’ve had enough of their incompetence. Tens of thousands are dead due to its malfeasance. Finally, the fact that the WHO excludes Taiwan from its membership is an outrage. Taiwan has been a global leader handling this pandemic and the WHO could have learned treatment protocols that worked instead of spreading CCP propaganda,” Gosar added.

The role of India in deciding the future of the WHO in these turbulent times will become crucial as India will move into a leadership role at the WHO headquarters after the annual meeting of the global health body next month.

India’s nominee will be appointed as a chairperson of the WHO’s executive board on 22 May at the executive board’s first meeting after the truncated World Health Assembly conference. India replaces Japan which will complete its one-year-term at
the crucial job in May.

The decision of the chairperson’s position coming to India was decided in September last year when the WHO’s South-East Asia group unanimously proposed New Delhi to the executive board for a threeyear-term. The group also nominated India for the chairperson’s post which is held through rotation for a period of one year among regional groups.

The World Health Assembly(WHA), that will formally elect the executive board members to fill vacancies, is proposed to be held on 18 May. By virtue of being on the executive board for threeyears, India will also have a say in the shortlisting of the next WHO director general when Tedros’sfive-year-tenure ends in May 2021.

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PUNJAB CM CALLS ON HONCHOS TO BECOME PARTNER IN STATE’S PROGRESS

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Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Saturday in a meeting met delegation of German Companies operating in the state. The Chief Minister said that the State actively promotes business, trade and infrastructure development in partnership with the industry.

Channi said the investments of over INR 99,000 Crores reflects the confidence and trust in the conducive and sustainable ecosystem in the state to boost industrial activity and create humungous entrepreneurial opportunities and jobs for State’s youth.

He impressed upon the industry from the length and breadth of the world to choose Punjab as a progressive partner being the most preferred destination to realise their dreams.

Channi further said that these consultations with industry would go a long way in improving the delivery of governance thus ensuring ease of doing business in the state.

During the meeting, representatives of Company shared their hands on experiences of operations in Punjab. President Vibracoustics India, auto component manufacturer Jagminder Bawa informed that the overall efficiency of operations in their Punjab plants is at par with other plants located in Germany. Meanwhile, MD, Claas India, agri implement manufacturer Sriram Kanan apprised the Chief Minister that robust connectivity and peaceful labour relations without domicile condition in Punjab are very encouraging for the industry. The Chief Minister assured that the state government would extend fulsome support and cooperation to the MNCs and directed CEO Invest Punjab, Rajat Agarwal, to extend facilitation to international and national companies.

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U’khand forest wing unveils aromatic garden

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Uttarakhand Forest’s research wing again added a feather in its cap by turning a stinking place into an aromatic garden. The place’s name is Lalkuan of Uttarakhand which used to stink with foul smell due to the stench of certain industrial units. This Aromatic Garden has 140 different species of aromatic species making it the biggest aromatic Garden of India; It has been established in an area of around 3 Acre, in Lalkuan.

According to the Chief Conservator of Forest (Research) Sanjiv Chaturvedi, the project was initiated in the financial year 2018-19, as per approval of the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) in June 2018, with the objective of conservation of various aromatic species, to create awareness about these species, promote further research about these species and to link it with the livelihood of local people in future.

The project has been funded under the CAMPA scheme of the Central Government. Lalkuan was selected as the site because it is known for the perpetual problem of foul smell due to the stench that comes from certain industrial units.

The aromatic garden has a Tulsi Vatika which contains more than 20 species of Tulsi, including Rama Tulsi, Shyam Tulsi, Van Tulsi, Kapoor Tulsi as well as African, Italian, and Thai Tulsi. The aromatic garden has 8 different sections, apart from Tulsi Vatika- aromatic leaves (lemon balm, rosemary, kapoor, and various mint species), aromatic flowers (chameli, mogra, rajnigandha, kewda); aromatic trees (chandan, neem chameli, Naglingam, Parijat); aromatic rhizomes (Aama Haldi, Kali Haldi); aromatic seeds ( Kasturi Bhindi, Badi ilachyi, Timur, Ajwain); aromatic grasses (Lemongrass, Java grass, Khas grass); aromatic bulbs (Red ginger, Sand ginger) and aromatic roots (Pattharchur, Vach).

Chaturvedi said further that there is Chandan from South India, Agarwood from Northeast, kewada from Coastal areas, and Parijat from Tarai Zone, apart from Neem Chameli, Hazari Mogra, Sontaka, Chameli, Raat ki rani, Din ka raja, and Anant are some of the most fragrant popular species present in the aromatic garden; It has 9 different species of Jasmine, 4 different species of Mint, 4 Different species of Haldi and 3 different species of ginger.

“The extracts of these aromatic plants are used in cosmetics for flavoring and fragrance purposes. Likewise, these plants are of great utility in spices, pesticides, and repellent making,” added Chaturvedi.

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HARYANA CHIEF MINISTER INITIATES DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS WORTH RS 125 CRORE

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In the Vikas rally held in Sohna Assembly Constituency, Gurugram, Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar gifted projects worth Rs.125 crore. MLA, Sanjay Singh on behalf of the Sohna Assembly Constituency had handed over a demand letter to the Chief Minister. People gathered at the Vikas rally showed great enthusiasm.

Khattar, on Saturday, laid the foundation stone of two projects during the Vikas rally. He laid the foundation stone of a mini secretariat for Tauru and Sohna. An amount of about Rs. 16 crore will be spent on this project. Along with this, the Chief Minister also inaugurated the Community Health Center and residential building at Tauru on which an amount of Rs. 5.52 crore would be spent.

He also approved the demand of increasing the capacity of the Civil Hospital, Sohna from 50 beds to 100 beds. The Chief Minister also approved the demand for a primary health centre at Damdama for which an amount of Rs 3.5 crore would be spent. Furthermore, the demand to name the school in Damdama village after Shaheed Raj Singh Khatana was also approved by the Chief Minister.

On the demand raised by the MLA, the Chief Minister said that a survey of 41 colonies of Sohna city would be conducted soon and they would be regularized on the basis of a feasibility report.The Chief Minister also approved the beautification work of Fawwara Chowk. Besides this, the construction of Pandit Deendayal Park in the Sohna assembly constituency was also approved by him. An amount of Rs. 5 crores will be spent on construction of the park.

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GOVT ORDERS TO CHARGE PENALTY RS 2.76 CR FROM DEFAULTER OFFICIALS IN H’YANA

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Following the guidelines and norms, the State Information Commission, Haryana has set a time limit for providing information and those officials who breach the norms, are subject to stern action. Amid this, it came to surface that the state government had imposed a penalty of Rs 2.76 crore on the information officials for not providing information within the stipulated time period.

As many as 1,726 officials failed to provide demanded information by the people and could not deposit the imposed penalty to the state exchequer. In view of this, the state government has issued new orders to deposit the above-mentioned penalty.

It is pertinent to mention that abiding by the Right to Information Act (RTI) 2005, officials are bound to provide information within 30 days and the breach of norms leads to imposing a penalty on the concerned officials. Delay in providing information results in per day bases penalty i.e., that amount Rs 250 and the maximum limit of penalty is 25000. It is learnt that there are so many officials who continue to violate the rules.

It is worth mentioning that a total of 3,589 officials have been found breaching the regulations fixed under aforesaid act since 2005 and in wake of this, the commission has imposed a penalty of Rs 4.79 crore. Out of this, an amount of Rs2.76 crore still stands unpaid by the officials which raises questions on their working style as well as their casual approach. Panchayati Raj department emerges in top in terms of penalty imposed on defaulter officials.

Regarding the issue, PP Kapoor, an RTI activist said that he had filed a complaint on July 21 this year in the Lokayukt court pertaining to charging of the penalty. Following the same, a high-level monitoring committee was formed under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary to charge a penalty.

Besides, an order was passed to set up an online system to have an eye on the above. In continuation to aforesaid, it came to light that the monitoring committee has ordered to charge the penalty and abiding by the directions, every department will have to update the details about the defaulter officials.

It will be mandatory to forward the information to the head of the concerned department and with the secretary.

Apart from this, in order to charge the imposed penalty, the state government is most likely to send a circular to drawing and reimbursement officers.

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CONGRESS WILL PERFORM BETTER THAN BEFORE IN PUNJAB: HARISH CHAUDHARY

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CHANDIGARH:Newly-appointed Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Chaudhary has claimed that the party will form the government in Punjab by winning more seats than last time. He said that there was no difference of opinion among the leaders of Punjab Congress and in the 2022 elections, the party would perform better than before.

On former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s announcement regarding formation of a new party and the possibility of an alliance with the BJP, Choudhary said that what Punjab Congress MLAs were objecting about Captain is public now. He said that if the Captain had done a little work according to Punjabiyat and had taken everyone along, the party would not have needed to replace him.

Regarding his future plans, Harish Chaudhary said that he will work to take the ideology of Congress to every citizen of Punjab and strengthen the organization. He would take everyone along and whatever differences there may be between the party leaders, would be resolved. Chowdhary said that there is no tussle in Punjab Congress.

He also said that he believes in the principle of one post and one person and whenever he would meet the high command, he would convey this sentiment to the party leadership. After this, whatever the would be the party’s decision, would acceptable to him.

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TAMIL NADU EXTENDS LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS WITH SOME RELAXATIONS TILL NOV 15

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CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government has further extended the lockdown restrictions till November 15 with some relaxations in the state to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The order passed on Saturday by the state government, allows Intra and inter-district and inter-State air-conditioned buses, except Kerala to occupy 100% seats from November 1.

“All school classes will be allowed to open and function on an alternate basis,” reads the order. As per the official release, Cinema theatre halls can fill up 100 per cent seats from November 1st. Bars in the state can reopen once again. However, functions and political gatherings are still banned in the southern state.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu reported 1,140 new COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the medical bulletin released on Saturday. As many as 1,374 patients recovered in the last 24 hours.

Further, there are 13,280 active cases in the state . COVID-19 

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