Puducherry [India], February 18 (ANI): Tamilisai Soundararajan, who has taken additional charge as Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry on Thursday, said that she would go to the COVID-19 vaccination camp to spread awareness.
“After finishing the oath ceremony, I will go directly to the coronavirus vaccination camp to spread awareness,” she said at the event.
“I asked officials to continue the programme in Tamil language and I am happy that I have taken oath in this language. This is the first time in Puducherry’s history when someone took oath in Tamil,” she said.
She was sworn in today as Lieutenant Governor.
Chief Minister of Puducherry V Narayanasamy was present at the ceremony.
He also welcomed the newly-appointed LG at Raj Nivas on Wednesday.
“HCM Shri V Narayanasamy warmly welcomed the new HLG Smt. Tamilisai Soundararajan at #RajNivas #Puducherry,” the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) Puducherry tweeted.
Kiran Bedi was removed from her post by President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday, as the Lt Governor. (ANI)
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WB Assembly polls: Brigade Ground ready for PM Modi’s rally, over 1,500 CCTVs, drones to ensure security
By Joymala Bagchi
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 7 (ANI): With Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to address his first rally at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata, after the announcement of the West Bengal Assembly poll schedule, security has been tightened across the city.
More than 1,500 CCTV cameras have been installed across the city for security purposes. Drone cameras will also be used to monitor the venue. The rally is expected to be attended by at least 7 lakh people, sources said.
At the rally, the Prime Minister will seek support for the Bharatiya Janata Party candidates in the fray for the 294 member Legislative Assembly.
Along with the main stage which is 72-feet long, two other stages have been set up, one for Tollywood actors and another for important personalities present at the rally. The two stages are 48-feet length, 24-feet width and 7-feet height.
Special Protection Group and Kolkata Police have deployed special units for the security of the rally.
Three main barricades have been strategically placed toward the main stage for security purpose. Barricades and a helipad has been created at the Race Course near the Brigade Ground.
Bharatiya Janata Party has installed LED screens at the ground for the convenience of the people.
Just a week ago, Left-Congress-Indian Secular Front (ISF) alliance organised a massive public meeting at the Brigade Parade Ground which witnessed the presence of lakhs of supporters.
West Bengal will witness Assembly election in eight phases starting from March 27 and polling for the last phase will take place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
After winning 3 seats in the 2016 Assembly election in West Bengal, the BJP made deep inroads in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections winning 18 seats and reducing TMC’s tally to 22. Out of the total 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal, Congress won two seats, the Left drew a blank. (ANI)
Surat court acquits 122 accused of being SIMI members 20 years after arrest
Surat (Gujarat) [India], March 7 (ANI): A court in Gujarat’s Surat on Saturday acquitted all the 127 accused arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for participating in a meeting organised here in December 2001.
Most of the accused were in jail for over 20 years since their arrest over the allegations of being members of a banned organisation Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), an advocate said.
The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate AN Dave on Saturday acquitted 127 persons arrested on the charges of being members of the banned outfit SIMI, giving them the benefit of doubt.
Speaking to ANI, Advocate Abdul Wahab Shaikh said the court acquitted the accused after accepting the defence arguments.
“In 2001, people from various parts of the country participated in an event organized at Rajeshree Hall in the Sagrampura area under the banner of All India Minority Education Board. The police raided the event in the night on December 27 as it thought SIMI members were participating in the event. Police arrested many people. The hearing of the case went on for 20 years,” he said.
“On Saturday, the court acquitted all the 127 accused. The court accepted defence arguments stating that the accused did not belong to the SIMI and had gathered there to participate in a seminar organised under the banner of the All India Minority Education Board. The court acquitted all the accused persons and said they cannot be held guilty under the UAPA,” he added.
Hanif Vohra, one of the accused who was granted bail after 14 months in jail recalled the time spent in jail.
“I was in jail for 14 months. I was granted bail later. My family suffered financially and psychologically. Now, the court acquitted all accused and I am happy over the verdict,” he said.
The central government had through its notification dated September 27, 2001 banned SIMI. (ANI)
Second part of Parliament’s Budget Session to commence from Monday
New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): The second part of the Budget Session of Parliament will commence from Monday with all COVID-19 precautionary measures in place.
The Budget Session of Parliament, which commenced with the address of President Ram Nath Kovind on January 29, concluded on February 29. The Union budget was tabled in the Parliament by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1.
The Rajya Sabha will function from 9 am to 2 pm while Lok Sabha will function between 4 pm to 10 pm. The second part of the session will conclude April 8, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had informed.
The Lok Sabha clocked 99.5 per cent productivity during the first phase of the two-part Budget session of Parliament, Lok Sabha Secretariat said. Birla informed that during the first part of the Budget Session 2021, Lok Sabha sat for 49 hours and 17 minutes against the stipulated time of 50 hours.
“The Discussion on the Motion of Thanks on President’s Address took place for 16 hours and 39 minutes and 130 Members participated in the Discussion. Whereas 10 hours was allocated for General Discussion on Union Budget 2021-2022, the House debated for 14 hours and 40 minutes. As many as 117 Members took part in the General Discussion on Union Budget 2021-2022. 173 Members participated in Zero Hour discussions. Several matters of urgent public importance were raised by the Members during Zero Hour. House lost an effective time of 43 minutes due to disruptions,” he said.
A total of 49 women MPs participated in the discussion on Motion of Thanks on President’s Address and Budget, said the Lok Sabha Speaker, and appreciated their enthusiasm and participation in House proceedings.
A vaccination centre for MPs has also been set up inside the Parliament complex.
“For the welfare of Members of Parliament, a COVID-19 vaccination centre has been set up at the Parliament House Medical Centre from Tuesday, March 9,” said a Lok Sabha bulletin said, adding that vaccination is voluntary.
In accordance with the prioritisation guidelines by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGAVAC), Members of Parliament above 60 years of age are eligible to get vaccinated in the current phase of the nationwide vaccination campaign.
Persons aged above 45 years, who have comorbidities, are also eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to parliamentary data, 36 per cent of Lok Sabha MPs and 62 per cent of Rajya Sabha MPs are above 60 years of age.
The vaccine will be administered on all working days by trained health care workers. Family members of the MPs too will get vaccines.
“Two vaccination centres have also been set up for the family members of MPs, one at CGHS Dispensary North Avenue and the other at CGHS Dispensary South Avenue. Members can undertake vaccination in their respective constituency also,” the bulletin said. (ANI)
Delhi air quality in ‘moderate’ category today
New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): Air quality in Delhi is in the ‘moderate’ category on Sunday morning. The air quality index (AQI) was 159 according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
The AQI will marginally deteriorate to the “Moderate to Poor category” on Monday and Tuesday.
“The overall Delhi air quality is in the Moderate category as forecasted. Surface winds are high and southwesterly and forecasted to change in direction towards easterly. AQI is forecasted to further improve and in the Moderate to Satisfactory category for March 7 and marginally deteriorate to Moderate to Poor category on 8 and March 9,” SAFAR said in its bulletin.
The concentrations of the particulate matter (PM) with a diameter of 10 and 2.5 microns stood at 181 and 78, both falling under the ‘moderate’ category respectively, as per SAFAR data.
The concentrations of PM with a diameter of 10 and 2.5 microns stood at 141 and 132 at Delhi University. The concentrations of PM with a diameter of 10 and 2.5 microns stood at 155 and 183 at Pusa and 158 and 166 at Lodhi Road. The AQI at these locations of Delhi is falling under the ‘moderate’ category.
An AQI between 0-50 is marked good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101- 200 is moderate, 201- 300 is poor, 301-400 is very poor and 401-500 is considered severe. (ANI)
US cardiologist provides medical facilities to farmers protesting at Delhi’s Tikri border
New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): Amid the ongoing farmers protest against the Central agri laws at Delhi borders, American cardiologist Dr Swaiman Singh has decided to put his return to New Jersey on hold and has been camping at Tikri border for the past 3 months providing free medical checkup and medicine to protestors.
The doctor runs the only super speciality hospital in Tikri that holds medical camps and distributes medicines for free.
Swaiman Singh told ANI, “We give service to everyone, not just farmers. Locals, policemen, and CRPF men also come here to get treatment. On average 4,000 to 6,000 people get treated at our camp in 24 hours. The camp works till night. This is the only super speciality hospital in Tikri”.
He said, “I used to set up medical camps here every year, We treat people over a period of time and they become our family members. One such patient had a stroke during the dharna and he called me. I came here to help him”.
“Then I thought of staying here for five days and after having set up a camp with doctors on my payroll. I have decided to postpone my return to the US and will continue my work there,” he said.
“But when I saw the hardship of these people with hardly any doctors and no medication I changed my mind. I understood I was their ray of hope. Now it has been 3 months since I’m here,” he added.
On asked if it was a hard decision to leave a well-paying job in the US and work at Tikri he said, “Money was not the issue to me, I am from a well-to-do family by God’s grace. People were dying on the roads. There comes a time in life where we have to think about others rather than ourselves. As a doctor I have signed up to serve, This is my duty. “
“All of our services are free of cost. If we include telemedicine services, 1,000 doctors work here with me. They are the ones putting in so much effort. I mostly guide them and does supervision. 2 weeks before we did a free complete blood checkup, ” he added.
“Government has prevented safai karamcharis to work here, there is a shortage of toilets. Internet and electricity were also cut by the government. Gutters are overflowing,” he further said.
He warned that there is a huge chance of malaria and dengue spreading in the area if gutters continue to remain unclean. “Why are the gutters not cleaned? They are also tax-paying citizens. The government should help them,” he said.
“Apart from doing medical service we have expanded to having a library and providing shelter for close to 10,000 people. We do cleaning drives, plant trees and run a Departmental store that supplies’ daily essentials’ for free,” he added.
Farmers are protesting against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance, and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 at Delhi’s borders. However, the implementation of the three laws was in January put on hold by the Supreme Court. (ANI)
Earthquake of magnitude 2.9 hits J-K
New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): An earthquake of magnitude 2.9 on the Richter scale hit Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.
According to the National Centre for Seismology (NCS), the quake occurred at 4:40 am near Doda. (ANI)
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