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WILL QUIT CONGRESS, BUT WILL NOT JOIN BJP: AMARINDER SINGH

Says he met Ajit Doval to discuss security related issues; adds that he will not let Sidhu win in the Punjab Assembly elections.

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Scotching speculation to the contrary, former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh made it clear on Thursday that he was not joining the Bharatiya Janata Party, but had no intention of continuing in the Congress, which he said was going downhill, with senior leaders completely ignored and not given a voice. Singh’s clarification came amid indications that Navjot Singh Sidhu was likely to continue as Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president.

Denying any move to join the BJP, Captain Amarinder said he would leave the Congress where he had been utterly humiliated and was not trusted. “I will resign…will not stay in the party,” he said, adding that he was still thinking through his options in the interest of Punjab, whose security was the predominant priority for him. “I will not be treated in this humiliating manner…I will not take such insults,” he said, adding that his principles and beliefs did not allow him to stay in the Congress.

Terming senior Congressmen as the thinkers who were critical to the future of the party, the former Chief Minister said the younger leadership should be promoted to implement the plans that the senior leaders are best equipped to formulate. Unfortunately, the seniors were being completely side-lined, he said, adding this was not good for the party. He also condemned the attack on Kapil Sibal’s house, allegedly by Congress workers only because Sibal had chosen to express views that were not palat able to the party leadership.

Expressing the hope that Punjab would vote for the future of the state, he said his experience showed that the people of Punjab tended to vote for a single party/force, irrespective of the number of parties in the fray. Misgovernance in Punjab would give Pakistan the opportunity to create trouble in the state and in the country, he said, adding that his meeting with NSA Ajit Doval on Thursday morning centred around this issue. It may be recalled that Captain Amarinder Singh had raised security concerns with Home Minister Amit Shah too, along with the farmers’ issue, during his meeting with the latter on Wednesday.

Taking a dig at those who undermine the growing Pakistani threat in Punjab, he said that such people were playing into the hands of anti-India forces by being in denial mode. “They (Pak-backed elements) are killing our soldiers every day; they are pushing weapons into the state through drones. How can we overlook these dangers?” he added.

Reiterating his opinion of Navjot Singh Sidhu, Captain Amarinder described the former cricketer-comedian as a mere crowd puller who did not know how to carry his team along. Pointing out that he had personally worked with many PPCC chiefs, besides himself being one, he said he always resolved issues amicably, without indulging in theatrics like Sidhu. Amarinder Singh also said he would not let Sidhu win the 2022 Assembly elections. “I had said it before also that Navjot Singh Sidhu is not the right man for Punjab, and if he contests, I will not let him win…,” Amarinder Singh told reporters after returning to the state from Delhi.

Meanwhile, the issue of Sidhu’s resignation from the post of PPCC president and his displeasure with the state government on some issues relating to appointments on crucial posts have almost been resolved. According to sources, Sidhu is likely continue as PPCC president. According to the information, the high command observer Harish Chaudhary and Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi were also present in the meeting with Sidhu at Punjab Bhawan on Thursday. According to sources, Sidhu has agreed to constitute a three-member committee to resolve the issues raised by him. Channi and Harish Chaudhary will also be its members along with Sidhu. According to sources, since Sidhu will be a part of this committee, he will continue to hold the post of PPCC president.

Though no formal statement has been issued by the Congress or any party leader in this regard, according to reliable sources, the dispute has been resolved after discussions in the meeting. It was agreed in the meeting to discuss and resolve the issues raised by Sidhu. At the same time, the three-member committee will play an important role to coordinate between the state Congress and the Punjab government. It may be noted that Sidhu had objected to the appointment of the DGP, Advocate General and inclusion of some MLAs into the Punjab Cabinet and on Tuesday resigned from the post of Congress state president. After this, the party high command instructed Punjab party leaders to resolve the dispute at their own level and the issue was almost resolved in the meeting held at Punjab Bhawan on Thursday.

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VASU HEALTHCARE FORAYS INTO EXCLUSIVE BRANDED OUTLETS WITH ‘VASU NATURALS’

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With an aim to strengthen the direct consumer connect and give first-hand experience of existing and new product offerings, Vasu Healthcare, Herbal Cosmetics, Personal Care, and Nutritional Supplements brand, has launched the company’s first exclusive brand outlet (EBO)—‘Vasu Naturals’ in Vadodara, Gujarat.

Vasu Naturals outlets will have the entire range of products from Vasu Healthcare: haircare, skincare, personal care, men’s care and other health and wellness products. The company has 200 plus products covering segments including Urology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Gynecology, Respiratory care etc.

Speaking on the launch, Hardik Ukani, Managing Director, Vasu Healthcare Pvt Ltd, said, “Vasu Naturals outlet is the fifth division of the company—direct consumer division to give the consumers first-hand experience of all existing and future launches of Vasu Healthcare. Going forward, the company is planning to launch more Vasu Naturals outlets in Gujarat: Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot etc. and gradually expand nationally. Focused on direct consumer connect, the company is looking to strengthen a network of retail touch-points including company outlets, exclusive kiosk, and shop in shop model.”

The company has the vision to establish itself as a science-based, head-to-heel brand harnessed from nature’s wealth. The company’s flagship brand—Trichup, is omnipresent worldwide and offers a range of hair care Solutions including oil, shampoo, serum, hair conditioner, cream etc.

“Inspired by nature, Vasu Healthcare offers a range of innovative products enthused by Ayurveda’s rich heritage and backed by strong R&D, modern science, and technology. The company will consider setting up Vasu Naturals brand outlets in overseas markets based on the response in domestic markets. Our R&D team is further working on expanding the personal hygiene and oral healthcare,” said Sagar Patel, Director, Vasu Healthcare Pvt Ltd.

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Ticketing platform Yellowheart launches app to stamp out middlemen

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In an apparent bid to stamp out middlemen that seek to profit from tickets resale of live events and concerts, ticketing platform Yellowheart recently announced the launch of NFT ticketing mobile application YellowHeart Wallet, which eliminates the need for a physical ticket and connect users directly to its Web3 Ethereum-based NFT ticketing platform and marketplace.

The Wallet enables credit card fiat and cryptocurrency payments via Ethereum and Polygon integration, to be used for live event NFT ticket purchasing and on-site redemption and integrates with on-site activations and the concert-going experience.

“The YellowHeart Wallet is a major milestone for the live event industry. The App allows fans, artists, and venues to interact with Web3 marketplaces, which will greatly evolve the fan experience and create long-term recurring revenue opportunities for artists, teams, and venues. Artists, teams, and venues that don’t adapt will get left behind,” said Josh Katz, CEO of Yellowheart.

“Providing fans with a technology that grants exclusive access to concert tickets and event-specific content is a real win for us; combining this with our focus on artist community tokens, exclusive album-connected NFT content, and the possibilities for creativity from here are endless,” added Katz.

Running ticket sales through an open-source blockchain via the new app and wallet will give artists and event organisers the ability to track the entire ticketing cycle including monitoring secondary market resale and potential ‘scalping’.

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Jai Bheem app to give young Indians a platform to enhance their skills through short videos

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The country’s young generation will now be able to express their creativity through short videos. Girish Wankhede, a well-known entertainment professional and trade analyst of mainstream cinema, has announced the 4 December launch of the Jai Bheem mobile application in India, allowing users to record, discover, and share short videos.

“Jai Bheem is a short videos application that hones the skills of the youth in small towns that don’t get the opportunity to express their creativity. It will shape their careers by sharing the revenue with those whose videos go viral. It is an opportunity for youth offering them a career in entertainment as well as it makes them our ‘Revenue partners’,” announced Wankhede.

The app maker claims that ensuring data privacy has been the priority with all the data stored on servers in India.

The app also allows creators to enjoy full ownership and control of their videos, which they can download, anytime they want. Jai Bheem App is fully developed by an Indian team.

The teaser launch event of the Jai Bheem app was recently held amidst huge fanfare in Dubai in the presence of top Bollywood stars and corporate bigwigs.

Wankhede also unveiled the motion creative of the Dhamma Chakra Pravartan diwas especially created by the app team that fetched stupendous applause from the press persons. Along with Wankhede, Aman Kamble of Awaaz India was also present on occasion.

This app would not only talk about entertainment; it will also be focusing on entrepreneurship apart from entertainment.

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GOVT FOCUSING ON STRENGTHENING INDIA’S LOGISTICS SECTOR

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The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) is giving enormous thrust on improving logistics in the country and taking steps to bring efficiency into logistics management.

Delivering a talk on “Improving Operational Efficiency in Logistics Infrastructure; Multimodal Integrated Logistics Parks; Technologies” at Smart Mobility Conference 2021 at Pragati Maidan in the Capital on Tuesday, Suman Prasad Singh, Joint Secretary (Logistics), Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, said, “Our present focus is to have integrated planning of transport network development. We should not develop it in silo, that’s why the Gati Shakti portal has already come.”

“So far as the infrastructure of MoRTH is concerned, our basic purpose is to reduce the travel time. There are instances near ports, when a distance of 10 km, sometimes, takes more than 24 hours to cover. The reason is not the distance but many other factors like traffic restrictions,” he said.

The JS (Logistics) said the Ministry is trying to develop a dedicated highway to the port so that the travel time gets reduced, and it is operational all the time. “Similarly, whenever there is congestion, we are coming up with flyovers, bypasses, ring roads etc. All such aspects have been studied and incorporated in the Bharatmala Pariyojana,” Singh pointed out.

He said a number of steps have been taken to strengthen the logistics in the country. “The seriousness of the government towards addressing the logistics issue can be understood by the fact that a dedicated logistics department has been set up to bring down the cost of logistics. The government is trying to bring down this cost,” said the JS (Logistics).

Calling upon the private sector to join hands with the government in a true spirit of “partnership”, he said the policies introduced by the Ministry should be complied with in a positive manner. “Compliance attitude needs to be developed by the users of these policies,” said Singh.

The session was also addressed by Amrit Lal Meena, Additional Secretary (Logistics), Ministry of Commerce and Industry; Prakash Gaur, CEO, National Highway Logistics Management Limited; and Vaibhav Dange, Advisor National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), besides others.

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DOCTORS GUIDE CORPORATE LEADERS ON DEALING WITH OBESITY AND MENTAL STRESS

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‘Exercise alone cannot make you lose too much weight. Diet plays a more important role. Meal replacements through various diet plans can work for only certain periods of time. Eventually, the body goes back to its original weight and in the long term, you don’t seem to have results. Bariatric surgery leaps ahead of any other non-surgical method as it can make you lose weight and maintain it”, said Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, Director, Dept. of General Surgery & Minimal Access Surgical Sciences, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital at an engagement of Thought Leaders of India (TLOI).

The meeting was held under TLOI’s Wellness Impact initiative last Thursday and the well-known laparoscopic, GI, and bariatric surgeon was addressing leaders of India Inc., who are members of the business community. He was the Chief Guest. The exclusive meeting was also addressed by renowned psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty, Founder of Maitri, who has been appointed as a member of the National Testing Agency (NTA) by the Government of India. He was the Guest of Honour. Given the work stress, haphazard timelines, and sedentary lifestyles, leaders of the corporate world often face challenges to physical and mental wellness. The two medical experts were invited to help the business leaders understand the two biggest health challenges—obesity and mental wellness— and realign their lifestyles with their bodies and mind in a more cognisant manner.

“Obesity is linked to less fertility, less sexual desire, varicose veins, and sleep apnea,” said Dr Lakdawala, while busting many myths on body weight, food habits, exercise, and lifestyle management. “It not only impacts the weight-bearing joints but also the non-weight bearing joints as it leads to high levels of uric acid”, he said. The Honorary Surgeon to the Vice President of India also informed about the non-fatty liver syndrome, saying that fatty liver is linked to not only alcohol but to obesity too. “Studies also show that it is not necessary for rice-eating people to put on weight”.

There were many cautions in Dr Lakdawala’s address. While guiding the business leaders on the way to check their BMI according to the specially curated index for Indian physiology “as obesity is classified differently for Indians and Asians vis-a-vis other countries”, he spoke about the danger of obesity leading to diabetes. “We have 90 million diabetics in India, and are next only to China,” he said adding that most obese people are malnourished as they face a deficiency of vitamins B and D.

However, fat should not be completely driven off our dining table, advised Dr Lakdawala, who was given the Best Surgeon in the World Award by the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) in 2019. “Fat is important for vitamin A, B, D & E”, he said and explained how a balance could be arrived at. When asked about an ideal diet or eating routine he backed the practice of having dinner prior to sunset as it allows the person to get three to four hours of gap between their meal and sleep, which is important and healthy.

Dr Harish Shetty, identified as one of the 17 young mental health workers by the World Health Organisation, highlighted the need to reconnect in his address. “We have all lost connection. Connectivity in people has gone down and emotional contact time in the family has declined. Globalisation has caused the disconnection. We need to reconnect”.

Speaking on why leaders are more prone to mental stress and depression, Dr Shetty said, “In a globalised world it is very important to preserve empathy and it takes a lot of effort. You need to share your vulnerability with your hierarchy downwards. You can’t be the only pillar that holds the entire organisation.” Emphasising that our goal should be to build emotional health, Dr Shetty underlined the anatomy of Pathy Triad: apathy, empathy, and antipathy. “They co-exist,” he said guiding them about empowered vulnerability. “It is important to accept your vulnerabilities as that is what makes you empowered”.

Sharing specific data, Dr Shetty said that one out of seven Indians is mentally ill and shared a five-point solution to manage stress and prevent depression—deal, dissolve, deflect, distract, and disintegrate. “Continuous exhaustion and excessive guilt are signs of depression,” he cautioned. “Depression is a fracture of the mind and it is invisible”.

To a query on ways to destress in highly active life, Dr Shetty shared three simple ways: a) micro pranayama – using even a two-minute window to take a few deep breaths; b) showers – the water sprayed on the top of the head helps relax the skull muscle, which helps the body to relax; and c) short breaks – taking small breaks and processing one’s emotions. He stressed the need to vent out regularly. Dr Shetty, who also trains the judiciary, warned, “Obsessive exercise doesn’t work, joyous exercise works”.

He recommended every organisation to have a mental health policy. Dr Shetty gave five simple mantras to a good and happy life: yoga, exercise, diet, sleep and kindness. He had a strong piece of advice for women: “Do not try to be perfect in everything. It is ok to be imperfect.”

Thought Leaders of India (TLOI), an exclusive ‘by-invitation’ community that has made long strides in a short span is curated by Sapphire Connect, one of India’s premier B2B meeting specialists. Its members include top entrepreneurs, founders, chairmen, managing directors, and CXOs of corporate India across industries.

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LAWYER FILES PIL IN SC CHALLENGING VALIDITY OF CERTAIN SECTIONS OF NDPS ACT

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NEW DELHI: A lawyer has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme court challenging the validity of certain sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

The plea seeks direction to decriminalise the purchase of certain drugs up to a certain level of “small scale” for personal consumption. The plea filed by advocate Jai Krishna Singh seeks direction to quash Sections, 21, 27, 27A, 35, 37 and 54 of the NDPS Act and declare them in their present form as unconstitutional.

It seeks direction to the Centre to withdraw the cases instituted against the alleged drug users and those who are facing the charges of procuring drugs for the consumption of their associates having no commercial angle.

It further seeks direction for reframing these provisions of the NDPS Act and decriminalising the purchase of certain drugs up to a certain level “small scale” for personal consumption or for one’s relative or dear ones or live-in -partner or master encouraging side by side public health approach to drug users including recreational users.

The PIL seeks direction for the government to identify, and provide counselling and treat the drug users and not punish them by sending them to jail.

Further, it urged to set up an inquiry into the allegations of Rs 18 crore extortion racket run allegedly by NCB Zonal head, either by CBI or by a retired Judge of the Supreme Court.

“Their wounds can be healed only by withdrawing the cases instituted against them for drug consumption and procuring contraband for their masters, friends or associates. We cannot return their time spent in jail, their lost honour and respect but indeed we can console them who suffered horrendous treatment because of the faulty National Drugs and Psychotropic substances Act NDPS Act 1985in short,” plea said.

Many of the provisions have a wider ambit and were abused by enforcement agencies especially against alleged drug users, plea further said.

“The nation cannot forget that the youngsters have been given life long trauma by parading them in public in full media glare and then ailing and defaming them by accusing them of being part of the drug syndicate,” it added.

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