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Plastic Factory Blast In West Bengal, 4 Killed and 4 Critically Injured November 19, 2020 14:52

On Thursday, at least four people were killed and four others were critically injured after an explosion in a plastic factory in West Bengal.According to the police, this blast was reported from Sujapur area of Malda district of the state, at around 11 am. To bring the situation in control, a huge police contingent was sent to the spot.Fire tenders are trying to douse the blaze and rescue survivors from beneath the debris, he said. An investigation is going on.Describing the incident, a police official said, "Four factory workers were killed and four others critically injured in the explosion that ripped the establishment apart."By Neha Makhija

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Delhi Police Arrested Two Jaish-e-Mohammad Terrorists November 17, 2020 15:56

The Delhi Police has arrested two suspected Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists from Southeast Delhi.Two arrested terrorists are the residents from Kashmir. One of them is identified as Abdul Latif Mir (22) from Doru Village in Baramulla district and the other as Mohd.Ashraf Khatana (20) from Hat Mulla village in Jammu and Kashmir. The police recovered 2 automatic pistols and 10 cartridges from the terrorists.Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav said, the officials received the information about terrorist suspects. Post the information, police laid a trap near Millennium Park, Sarai Kale Khan and took the two terrorists into their custody.The city cops are investigating the suspects to know their past and cause for visiting Delhi.By Ramya C

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Centre Orders Immediate Procurement of Paddy/Rice in Punjab Amid Protests September 26, 2020 19:02

The Kharif marketing season for the session 2020-21 is all set to begin in the coming weeks in all the procuring states but the Centre asked the Punjab government to start procuring from Saturday itself. In the wake of farmers’ protests and agitations against the three farm bills passed in the Parliament, the Central government on Saturday ordered the paddy and rice procurement in Punjab and Haryana to be started immediately. The Kharif marketing season for 2020-21 for paddy or rice was scheduled to be commenced from next week but the central government allowed the procurement from this week itself in both Punjab and Haryana. The ministry of consumer affairs, food, and public distribution said that the government has taken this decision to smoothly handle the procurement process amid the chaos related to the farm bills. This move is also to ensure that the farmers would be facilitated in selling their produce at the minimum support price immediately. This decision comes at a time when the farmers in both Punjab and Haryana are protesting against the three farm bills, The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce bill 2020, The Farmers Agreement on price assurance and farm services bill, and the essential commodities bill 2020. The farmers fear that through this bill the mandi system might come to an end and the MSP would come to an end too. However, the government has clarified that the MSP would continue. PM Modi had said that there is no need for the farmers to worry as the MSP would continue to be in place and has nothing to do with these bills. The bills deal with the trade outside the Mandi premises according to the Modi government. The central government fixes the MSO of 22 mandated agricultural crops and their remunerative prices based on the recommendations of agricultural costs and prices which will already be set. In the Kharif season of the session 2019-20, a total of 512 lakh metric tonnes of rice was procured from 23 states and the biggest quantity of rice was procured from Punjab and the next in line was Telangana, then Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Haryana. - By Gayatri Yellayi

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Karnataka gets first 'Kisan Express' to ferry farmers' products September 16, 2020 17:11

Kisan express will run exclusively to ferry the farmers’ products and supplies which will the first of its kind. In the budget which was presented earlier this year, the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has made an announcement that an exclusive Kisan rail will be started in Karnataka which will be the first one in the southern state. The southwestern railways has also recently announced that a kisan express will start from Karnataka. Through this rail, the Indian Railways hopes to build a seamless national cold supply chain for ferrying the perishables including milk, meat and fish. The railways is planning to do this project through the PPP arrangements. Each of these Kisan express trains will ferry various products of the farmers to different places across the country. The first such kisan train will be started in Karnataka and will be running from KSR Bengaluru to H. Nizamuddin. The train is expected to pass through Mysuru, Hubli and Pune which will help the farmers along the route to load up their products in the train to sell at other parts of the country at cheap prices. The scheduled departure of this special Kisan express is at 16 45 hours on Saturday and is expected to reach H Nizamuddin station in Delhi at 23 45 hours on Monday. The kisan rail will do five trips from Bengaluru. The services will begin from September 19 this year and would concluded on October 17 this year. The train is scheduled to have multiple stops which include Mysuru, Hassan, Arsikere, Hubli Londa, Devanagari, Baelagavi, Miraj, Pune, Manmad, Bhusaval, Itarsi, Bhopal, Jhansi, Agra containment and Mathura. The return train will also travel along the same routes in the reverse order. However, no passenger will be allowed to board the train. It will be somewhat interesting to see how the farmer community will utilize this special service launched by the Indian railways. It is expected that the move will be helpful for many farmers across India to generate a steady income if this service will be utilized appropriately. The Kisan express rail is expected to make the process of moving the production of the farmers much cheaper than any other mode of transport which was opted earlier. This train will help in bringing perishable products like vegetables and fruits in just a short span of time. The train will also have frozen containers to build a seamless supply chain for the transport of meat, milk and fish. The Kisan express scheme is among the first ones to realising the goal of doubling the farmers’ income by 2022. The Indian Railways has earlier run the special trains like Banana specials but this will be the first multi commodity train. By Gayatri Yellayi

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COVID-19 vaccine to be available by early 2021: Health Minister September 14, 2020 18:09

The first dose of the vaccine will be taken by the health minister Harsha Vardhan himself to assure the people with safety. In what comes as the most awaited news, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has guaranteed that the vaccine for COVID-19 will be available as early as the start of the next year. Moreover, he asserted that the first dose of the vaccine will be taken by him to assure safety regarding the vaccine. However, he mentioned that there is no specific date as of now regarding the launch of the vaccine. The above information was given by the health minister through his digital interaction with the people on the Sunday Samvad platform. Harsh Vardhan stated that all the necessary safety precautions in conducting the human trials are being taken accurately and the National Expert Group for Vaccination is also monitoring the situation. He stated that issues like vaccine security, cost, equity, production, and the timelines are being discussed intensely. He further assured that the vaccine will made available first for the needy irrespective of their paying capabilities. After the discussions on the vaccine reach a consensus, the government is considering emergency authorization of the vaccine for senior citizens, health care workers, and the high-risk group. To erase all the fears related to the vaccine and its side effects, Harsh Vardhan assured that he would first take the vaccine before releasing it to the people. While elaborating on the vaccines and their developments in India, he said that the department of biotechnology and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have been proactive in supporting the advancements of the vaccine candidates. The minister also mentioned that a safe and secure vaccine can be proven effective in establishing immunity in the country at a much faster pace when compared to the natural infection. It is hoped that an agreement would be reached in the next few months over the desired protective herd immunity in every state. India has been reporting around 90,000 cases for 10 days and on Sunday, the country reported 94,372 new cases. The total tally of the coronavirus cases across India has reached 47 lakh mark according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. With the latest spike of cases in the last 24 hours, the total tally of positive coronavirus cases has reached 47,54,357 and of them, 9,73,175 are active cases while around 37,00,000 people have been discharged till date. In the last twenty-four hours, 1114 new deaths have been reported in the country taking the total death count to 78,586. The mortality rate has risen by 14.2 percent when compared to the previous week in India. By Gayatri Yellayi

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COVID-19 re-infection case in Bengaluru shocks the Doctors September 07, 2020 11:53

A 27-year-old woman has been found positive for the coronavirus after treatment and discharge in Bengaluru on Sunday.In what could be the first case of re-infection in Karnataka, a 27-year-old woman has been found positive for COVID-19 after her treatment and discharge at a private hospital in Bengaluru on Sunday. Fortis hospital in Bengaluru has reported the first case of COVID-19 reinfection. However, the state government did not confirm the case as a reinfection.Om Prakash Patil, Director, Health and Family Services, told the media that they will seek information from the district. The woman, who does not have any comorbidities fell victim to the coronavirus for the first time in July with mild symptoms of cough and fever. After the treatment, she was recovered and then discharged. However, in the span of one month, she has developed symptoms for the virus again and has confirmed to have a COVID-19 infection again.According to Pratik Patil, a consultant for the infectious diseases in the hospital, COVID-19 immunoglobin G antibodies test positive after two to three weeks of infection in the normal cases.However, for this patient, the antibody tested negative which means she did not develop immunity after her first infection. Another possibility is that the IgG antibodies disappeared in nearly one month leaving her susceptible to the infection again.According to the doctor, some reinfection cases may not produce antibodies and even if they develop, they may not last longer which allows the virus to enter the body again for a new infection.Karnataka has been consistently registering daily COVID-19 infections in the range of 7000 to 9000 cases. On Saturday, the state has registered 9746 more COVID-19 cases, raising the country’s tally to 3.89 lakh.The majority of the cases in the southern state of Karnataka has been concentrated in the Bengaluru Urban district which has 1.44 lakh cases out of which 41,000 cases are active as of now.Earlier, HongKong has become the first country to report a case of re-infection in a person after 3 months of contracting the virus for the first time. The re-infection cases being reported raises the questions on vaccine development and their authenticity now.It is yet to know when the world will get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, however, the World Health Organization is expecting the first dose of widespread vaccine by mid-2021.Also Read: WHO update on COVID-19 vaccineIndia is already working on 3 vaccines which are at different stages of human trials and the health minister of the country expects the intensity of the virus in the country to come down by Diwali 2020By Gayatri Yellayi

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10 Andaman tribals test positive for COVID-19 in a population of 50 August 29, 2020 13:07

The tribal population in this place in Andaman has just a little over 50 people of which 10 are tested positive. Despite the routine checks to all the visitors to the island are in place, 10 dwellers of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago test positive for the coronavirus as the pandemic continues to affect almost all regions of the country. There are only 59 residents at present on the strait island in the Andaman and Nicobar region. A team of health care workers has already sailed to the island to carry out the COVID-19 tests after 6 members of the tribe who had traveled to the region’s capital Port Blair for work have tested positive for the virus. Surprisingly, the samples showed that four members of the tribe who had tested positive for the virus had never left the island even once. Dr. Avijit Roy who is the regional senior health director said that the virus had reached the island even though the COVID-19 tests were being carried out on every person traveling to any of the 38 inhabited islands. He said that over the last few months, every person who has been traveling to these islands particularly to the restricted areas had been tested but it seems that someone carrying the virus has gone undetected. As of Thursday, India has reported a record daily tally of 75,760 new coronavirus cases taking the total to 3.1 million. There were almost 1023 deaths reported in the span of 24 hours taking the country’s death toll to 60,472. COVID-19 has affected 2,985 people in Andaman and Nicobar islands out of which 2309 people have recovered from the virus. The island has recorded a total of 41 deaths as of now. The four tribal people who tested positive for the virus were aged between 26 and 55 years and all of them have been admitted to hospital for treatment. By Gayatri Yellayi

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All Motor Vehicle Documents will be valid until December 31: What it means? August 24, 2020 19:45

Driving licenses, permits, and vehicle registrations which are soon to expire will be valid till the end of this year. The Central government on Monday extended the validity of various motor vehicle documents like driving license, permits, and vehicle registration till December 31, 2020, in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. The ministry of road transport and highways said that it has decided to extend the validity of fitness, permits, licenses and registrations, and other documents related to vehicles under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 and Central Motor Vehicle rules, 1989 till the end of this year. The ministry had earlier issued two advisories on March 30 and the other one on June 9 regarding the extension of the validity of these documents till June 30 and September 30 respectively. The first advisory was issued during the lockdown period in the country in March which extended the validity of those documents which had expired after February 1 and has been extended till June 30, 2020. The extensions mean that all motor vehicle documents like licenses, permits, vehicle registrations and insurances that expired between February 1 and December 31 will be valid till December 31 this year. The ministry said in a press release that due to the conditions prevailing in the country and in order to curb the spread of novel coronavirus across the country, it has further revised the validity of all the motor vehicle documents whose validity could not be extended due to the lockdown conditions in India. Any of the vehicle documents that have been expired after February 1st this year will remain valid till the end of this year and it is not mandatory to get the documents renewed before December 31. All the enforcement authorities across the country will treat all the vehicle documents as valid in every state in the country. This step by the ministry of road transport and highways will help the commuters and citizens in availing all the transport related services across the country. The ministry also urged all states and Union Territories to implement the letter in the spirit so that citizens, transporters and various other organizations which are operating in these difficult times may not face any difficulties while commuting. The citizens of India are soon going to receive the guidelines of Unlock 4.0 by the end of this month from the central government and it is unclear if the metro services, schools, colleges and cinema theatres would be reopened or not. By Gayatri Yellayi

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North Koreans ordered to hand over pet dogs for meat amid food shortages August 19, 2020 18:34

Dog meat is considered a delicacy in North Korea and parts of South Korea. However, a traumatic order comes from Kim Jong-un that pet dogs must be handed over at meat shops amid food crisis. Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader has been running dictatorship for long and is issuing bizarre orders to people. As the food crisis seems dominant in the country, he has issued another unprecedented order. Pet dogs are treated as family members in the households but Kim Jong-un seems insensitive towards emotions. He had ordered people to give away their pet dogs at meat shops so that they can be turned into meat for restaurants. North Korea is currently facing a food supply crisis. According to a report in the New Zealand Herald, this bizarre move by the North Korean leader is supposed to be aimed at quelling the rising discontent among people as the economic condition in the country is crumbling and food shortage has become a worry. Kim Jong-un also seems to be playing to the emotions of ordinary and poor people as the latter own pigs and other forms of livestock while only the elite class owns dogs and other domesticated pets. In July, he banned the ownership of pet dogs by the higher class people saying it is a tainted trend of bourgeois ideology. As per reports, the government officials are identifying the households with pet dogs and are forcing them to denounce their pets. Some of the dogs are being sent to the state-run zoo’s and others being sold out to restaurants. Though pet owners are cursing Kim John-un behind his back as they have very little to do on his decision. Dog meat is considered a delicacy and an appetizing dish, however, the trend is gradually decreasing in Korea. But, it is not a dead tradition and continues to survive sporadically. Almost 1 million dogs are reared on farms to be consumed every year in South Korea. A recent report from the UN stated that as much as 60% of North Korea which is estimated that 25.5 million people are facing widespread food shortages and have been worsened after the International sanctions imposed on the regime for its nuclear missile programs. Moreover, flooding due to heavy rains in North Korea has caused severe damage to the paddy crops and the coronavirus pandemic has caused the food supply to suffer. China too has a similar food shortage problem and the Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua recently asked the governors of each province in the country to make sure that the crop yield is not lowered this year or they would be severely punished. By Gayatri Yellayi

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Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine trials to start in Mumbai: All you need to know August 18, 2020 20:09

Oxford’s COVISHIELD vaccine’s phase 2 and 3 trials will begin in Mumbai’s King George hospital by the end of August. The King Edward memorial hospital in Parel, Mumbai will soon start the phase 2 and 3 of human trials of the Oxford’s and AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine Covishield. India is among the handful of the countries where human trials for this vaccine are being carried out outside of the UK. Dr. Hemant Deshmukh, dean of the King George hospital spoke to India Today and said that the trials would begin by the end of August. Covishield has bagged the world’s attention after it showed promising results in the phase 1 human trials conducted in the United Kingdom. In a latest development, ICMR has granted approval to Mumbai’s King George Memorial hospital to conduct phase 2 and 3 trials of the Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine. As per latest reports, the Mumbai’s hospital has already started enrolling volunteers for the trial process. Here are some of the details of the Phase 2 and 3 trials to be conducted in Mumbai: How many people will participate in the trials? According to King Edward hospital, a total of 160 healthy people from Mumbai will take part in the phase 2 and 3 trials of COVISHIELD. Who all are eligible for the trials? Dr. Hemant Deshmukh said that anyone above 18 years of age with no ailments or any persistent diseases are eligible to volunteer for the trials. Can the COVID-19 positive patients participate? The hospital rules state that the person participating in the human trials should not have been exposed to COVID-19. Moreover, the hospital staff will be carrying out the RT-PCR test on all participants to ensure none of them are infected with the virus. Can recovered patients participate? As the recovered people will already develop the antibodies in their immune system they will not be allowed to participate in the human trials of phase 2 and phase 3. How will the trials be conducted? The trials will be carried out on an outpatient basis which means the participants need not get admitted to the hospital. An intramuscular injection will be given and the participants may suffer with mild fever after getting the injection shots. How can people opt for trials? The King George Memorial hospital staff has already been receiving calls of participants willing to take the shots and the hospital has given two dedicated numbers- 24133767 and 24174420 for people who want to enquire on their eligibility for the trials. The phase 2 and 3 of the Oxford’s vaccine will be carried out at 10 centers in India for which 1600 people will be roped in to participate. By Gayatri Yellayi

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CBSE to hold Compartment exams for classes 10, 12 in September August 14, 2020 15:03

CBSE has declared the final exam results for class 10 and 12 in July this year. The students have been evaluated by their scores in the pre-final and internal examinations. CBSE holds compartment exams every year for class 10 and 12 students after result declaration every year. The board will give a chance to those students who were not able to pass in the final examinations to reappear in these compartment exams as no student would wish to repeat the same class in the next academic year. In general, a candidate who has appeared in the mains exam and has scored below the level marks will be automatically placed in the compartment list by the CBSE board. The candidate can appear for the compartment exam in July the same year of result declaration or second chance would be given in March/April next year and a third chance in July of next year. This year CBSE will be issuing two circulars for appearing in the compartment exams. CBSE board on Thursday said that compartment or improvement examinations are proposed to be conducted in September 2020 for the candidates who have got their results in July 2020. Two circulars will be issued by the board- one for regular candidates appearing through schools and the other candidates applying privately through CBSE website. The CBSE said that for class 12 regular students who appeared in February/March 2020 through schools affiliated to the board and have been placed in the compartment list are eligible to apply only for one subject which was placed in the compartment. Meanwhile, for Class 10 regular candidates who appeared in February/March through schools affiliated to the board and have been declared as a compartment are eligible to apply in one or more subjects which were placed in the compartment. The normal fee that would be levied by the CBSE board for Class 10 or 12 compartmental examinations is Rs. 300 for the schools in India. For the schools outside India, the fees would be Rs.2000 per subject. The schedule for online submission of fees for class 10 and 12 students is from August 13 5 pm to August 20. Candidates if missed this deadline, can pay late fee of Rs. 2000 in addition to the regular fee for late submissions up to 5 pm on August 22. By Gayatri Yellayi

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Govt Issues Guidelines for Reopening of Gyms and Yoga Centers: What Should You Know? August 04, 2020 19:37

Before you hit your gym once again, make sure you follow these guidelines issued by the government. Gyms and Yoga centers will reopen from August 5. As a part of Unlock 3.0, the ministry of Health and Family welfare on Monday issued guidelines for reopening of gyms and how should they function. It is important to heed to the point that Centre doesn’t recommend people to step out of their houses except for essential needs. Here are the new guidelines you need to follow to make sure you could stay away from contracting COVID-19. All the gymnasiums and yoga centers will remain closed in the containment areas of the country. Only asymptomatic people will be allowed to enter the premises of gyms and yoga institutes. People above 65 years, people with ailments, pregnant women and children below 10 years will not be allowed. Those people either staff or the members not wearing face masks will not be allowed to enter the gyms. Individuals must maintain a minimum of 6 feet distance inside the centers. Everyone must practice hand washing frequently though there is no presence of dirt. Face masks can be removed while performing exercises or doing yoga as the use of masks while exercising can cause breathing difficulty. Spas, steam bath and swimming pools will be closed. The floor area of 4 square meters per person must be planned. Equipment including cardio and strength machines must be placed 6 feet apart to ensure social distancing. If feasible, try to relocate the equipment to outdoor areas. All the surfaces and areas shall be disinfected with using clinically approved disinfectants every now and then. Ensure 6 feet distance between trainer and customers during the training sessions whenever feasible. Ensure to conduct sessions that do not include personal contact between trainer and the client including the set up and the use of equipment. Limit the number of clients per session to ensure adequate distancing. The temperature setting of all air conditioners inside the premises of gyms must be between 24 to 30 degrees Celsius. Relative humidity should be in the range of 40 to 70 percent. Intake of fresh air must be allowed as much as possible and cross ventilation must be enabled. While group classes are also allowed, the gyms and yoga centers must provide online classes whenever possible. A minimum of 15 minutes gap must be ensured between sessions to avoid overlap between members coming and leaving. Restricted number of people must be allowed per class based on size of the room and the nature of the physical activity. Hand sanitizer dispenser should be made available at the entry and exit points and temperature checks must be done before allowing the clients and staff into the interiors. Equipment must be sanitized before and after the session. Before using the equipment, mainly cardio equipment, clean your middle finger with alcohol swab and measure the blood oxygen level using pulse oximeter. If the reading is below 95, the client must not be allowed to exercise. If feasible, separate entry and exit routes must be provided to the clients. Anyone showing mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 must be sent to medical care facility as soon as possible. By Gayatri Yellayi

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