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We have power to privatise VSP, dismiss petitions: Centre tells AP High Court

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The Narendra Modi led government at the Centre made it clear that it has full powers to take decision on privatisation of any public sector units including Vizag Steel Plant (VSP).

The Centre submitted an affidavit to this effect in Andhra Pradesh High Court today (Wednesday).

Former CBI JD Laxminarayana filed a petition in High Court challenging Centre’s decision to privatise VSP.

The High Court had earlier directed Centre to file its affidavit on the issue.

The Centre in its committee claimed that a cabinet committee headed by PM Narendra Modi and comprising of home, commerce, industry ministers etc took a decision on January 17 this year to privatise VSP.

The Centre stated that it has full powers to take decisions on economic affairs of the country and courts cannot involve in these issues.

The Centre reminded previous Supreme Court judgment that courts should not involve in policy decisions of governments.

Against this backdrop, the Centre urged AP High Court to dismiss all petitions filed against privatisation of VSP.

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Modi targets Jagan’s schemes

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Here’s another Modi shocker to YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. Modi’s latest diktat has barred the state governments from using the Central funds only for the scheme or benefit intended. The funds cannt be transferred to another account and adjust the amounts later. This means that the state governments cannot use the funds meant for one scheme for implementing another scheme or programme.

This is sure to rankle YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. Till now, his government has been diverting the Central funds meant for Central government schemes and use them for state-run schemes. Later, adjustments would be made in the account books. But, the Modi government’s latest decision has disallowed it. Now, the funds meant for a central government scheme should be spent only for the scheme intended. This would effectively put a check on the state governments. They will have to find financial resources for their own flagship schemes. Interestingly, as many as 20 state governments have given their nod for this new system. AP is yet to give its nod.

According to the latest decision of the Central government, it would initially give only 25 per cent of the funds. The remaining funds would be released only after the state government adds its share of 50 per cent and spend the amount. If the money is not spent, the remaining amounts would not be released. The latest decision will put a huge question mark on the continuance of some of AP Government’s schemes. The State will have to mobilize its own resources for its schemes.
It now remains to be seen how YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government mobilizes funds and continues its schemes. The government might be forced to levy more taxes on the people to support its Navaratna schemes, which are already draining the state’s economy. With the Centre tightening its fist, will it be possible to continue these schemes?

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Modi-Shah’s tit-for-tat against YS Jagan for stalling Lok Sabha?

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Is the BJP using the same weapon on its best buddy YS Jagan Mohan Reddy that it has used against its arch rival Mamta Banerjee? It appears so. The BJP is using the strategy that it has employed against Mamta Banerjee on the YSRCP government too. Significantly, this is coming barely days after the YSRCP MPs have stalled both houses of Parliament to cause trouble to the ruling BJP.

It appears the BJP has not taken kindly to YSRCP’s belligerence. The National SC Commission has taken cognisance of a complaint filed by the National SC, ST Hakkula Sangham, an RSS body, and has ordered an inquiry into the allegations of mass conversion in Andhra Pradesh. It wanted State government’s chief secretary Adityanath Das to submit a detailed report within 15 days. Given the unlimited powers of the National SC Commission, this is being viewed as an attempt by the BJP at the Centre to tighten the noose around the YS Jagan government.

Interestingly, though the complaint has been filed long back, the National SC Commission has acted only now. Under Article 338 of the Indian Constitution, the Commission has special powers. It can issue orders to the Chief Secretary of any state and the CS is bound to comply. The BJP has used the National SC Commission to tame Mamta Banerjee. Her anti-BJP actions such as post-poll attacks on the BJP workers have drastically come down ever since the Article 338 was invoked and the SC and ST Commission have sent notices to the Chief Secretary.

The BJP affiliated organisations are planning to give AP Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy a torrid time on the issue of mass conversion and the payment of Rs 5000 towards ex-gratia for the pastors in the state. The SC Hakkula Sangham is an unknown organisation, but it has links to the RSS. In the past, it has filed a complaint against IPS officer RS Praveen Kumar and forced him to apologise. It has also managed to cancel Gospel meetings in Parade Grounds which were to be graced by no less a person than KTR himself. Now the same weapon is being employed to target YS Jagan. Is this the BJP’s tit-for-tat against Jagan for daring to raise its voice in Parliament?

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Finally, one sensible tweet from RGV, questioning Modi

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Maverick director Ram Gopal Varma, who is known for controversial and sensational tweets, posted one sensible tweet questioning Modi on health facilities in the country. But, as always, he received mixed reaction from netizens. Details as follows.

It is known news that second wave of Corona virus hit the country hard and pulled down Modi’s image as the government could not contain the situation at appropriate time. RGV highlighted lack of medical facilities in the country and tweeted, “ Sirrr @narendramodi ji we have the worlds largest statue .We have worlds largest stadium. We had worlds largest election rallies. We had worlds largest religious gatherings . but we didnt have smallest medical facilities in 2nd wave. Will we have better in 3rd wave sir? “ . In fact RGV tweeted what was there in the minds of millions of Indians.

However, obviously Modi Bhakts criticised the tweet of RGV and blamed it on Congress party which ruled the country for decades. Some others pointed that health is a state subject and RGV should question YS Jagan and KCR if he really has guts. Some others reminded RGV, his previous statements that he has no intentions to serve people. But despite this negative comments from some, many people concurred with RGV questioning Modi.

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Who will get cabinet berth from Telugu States in Modi govt?

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National media is abuzz with possible cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Narendra Modi anytime soon.

This fueled speculations in Telugu States over who will get berth in Modi’s cabinet.

At present, only G Kishan Reddy from Telangana is in Modi cabinet as minister of state for home.

There is no one from AP. Since BJP is learnt to be focusing on Telugu States, local leaders are hoping to get cabinet berths.

But BJP circles say there is no possibility of someone from AP getting cabinet berth.

But they see possibility of Telangana BJP MPs getting berth.

Adilabad MP Soyam Baburao is said to be the frontrunner as BJP is aiming to come to power in Telangana in 2023 December Assembly polls.

Though Nizamabad MP Aravind is also in the race, it would be difficult for him as he hails from BC sections since BC leader and MP Bandi Sanjay was already made BJP Telangana president.

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Pawan Kalyan in Modi Cabinet: Who created the rumour?

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The biggest buzz in Telugu social media these days is that Pawan Kalyan is all set to become a Central Minister in Modi’s cabinet. There were rumours that he was leaving for Delhi to meet PM Modi. Though it was clear as crystal that Pawan Kalyan is busy as a bee in films, the rumour did rounds and even PK’s biggest supporters began believing it.

The fact is Pawan Kalyan has never confirmed it, nor was he approached by the media to verify the rumour. Neither the BJP nor the Jana Sena spoke about it. No BJP leader has ever said that there would be a cabinet expansion now. Nobody even tried to query as to how Pawan Kalyan would become a minister without becoming at least a Rajya Sabha member. Interestingly, neither the TDP, nor the BJP have the necessary numbers to send him to Rajya Sabha. The other states, where the BjP is in power, have their own long lists of aspirants for Rajya Sabha.

Moreover, with several films under various stages of production, how can Pawan Kalyan devote time for the ministry? Given the fact that Modi is a tough task master and asks for daily work reports from all ministers, can Pawan Kalyan be a mere ornamental minister? Yet, some even went to the extent of saying that both GVL and Sunil Deodhar have escorted Pawan Kalyan to Delhi. The reality is that Pawan did not stir out of his home.

So how did this rumour arise in the first place? Sources said a popular Telugu TV channel has re-published an old story of two years vintage. The people just saw the date of publication and started speculating. So powerful were the stories that even Pawan Kalyan’s media and PR teams too started believing them. It took some time for the people to realise that the media house was pushing a two-year-old story.

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PM Modi appreciates TRS MP Santosh!

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appreciated TRS Rajya Sabha MP Joginapally Santosh Kumar for his initiative “Green India Challenge” which is aimed to increase green cover across the country.

PM Modi sent an appreciation letter to Santosh on Friday.

Modi also opined that people’s participation is necessary to make the program like Green India Challenge successful and Santosh could ensure people participation through his initiative and Challenge.

PM felt that “Vruksha Vedam book published by Santosh could educate, people and especially youth to understand the holistic relationship between nature and Mankind.

Santosh Kumar thanked PM for encouragement, support and recognition to Green India Challenge & Vruksha Vedam.

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Jagan plea to Centre for more vaccine production

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has renewed his plea yet again that the Narendra Modi Government should resolve the problem of shortage of Covid vaccine in the States. Mr. Jagan Reddy told the Centre that only two companies were manufacturing vaccines as of now.

Amid this, the Central Government is required to come out with alternatives to increase vaccines production to meet the existing demand. It would require nearly 172 crore doses of Coronavirus vaccine to cover all those above 18 years of age in the country as on today.

Mr. Jagan Reddy said that till now, the Centre was able to give just 18 crore doses as against the requirement of 172 crore doses. In Andhra Pradesh alone, over 7 crore doses would be required to cover all those above 18 years. The Centre has given just 73 lakh doses to AP till today.

The CM said that the country has a production capacity of just 7 crore doses. The two companies are able to produce only this much quantity. Against this backdrop, the Centre should go for alternatives to bridge the gaps in vaccines supply.

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YCP MPs write to Modi on Covid positivity rate

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YCP MPs Avinash Reddy and Vallabhaneni Balashowry have placed a unique demand before PM Modi during this Coronavirus crisis. They urged the Prime Minister to remove the 28 percent GST on the ambulances immediately in the country. This was necessary to make ambulances available to rescue the people from the epidemic.

The MPs have written a letter to Modi, saying that there was an urgent need to convene the GST Council to take proper steps to provide relief to the people. They told the PM that the Covid cases were on the rise in AP. The positivity rate rose to 28.7 percent in just the Kadapa district alone.

The YCP MPs expressed concern that there was a greater threat being posed in view of the rapidly spreading infections. The positivity rate in the Kadapa district alone is expected to rise to 54.53 percent by the end of this month. This indicated the rate at which the virus was spreading all over.

The MPs also explained to Modi how the shortage of medical oxygen was claiming lives and wreaking havoc in AP right now. All the possible steps were needed to tide over the crisis.

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Modi sarkar has failed to save people: Rahul Gandhi

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that the Modi government has failed to provide relief to the public.

“No vaccine, no employment, public is suffering from corona, and Modi sarkar has absolutely failed,” he tweeted in Hindi.

Rahul Gandhi has been attacking the government and on Tuesday had said lockdown is the only option which was endorsed by Anand Sharma. “Endorse the call given by @RahulGandhi that a lockdown is the only option available, given the constant denial and false claims of the govt on the number of infections, deaths and shameful claims of no oxygen shortages when hundreds of Indians, including doctors, have died,” Sharma had said.

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi had on Tuesday said, the only way to stop the apocalyptic march of the pandemic was an immediate complete lockdown with the protection of NYAY scheme for the vulnerable sections.

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A crime has been committed against India: Rahul

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Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday once again attacked the Narendra Modi government for its inaction as “many innocent people” continued to lose the battle against Covid and said a crime has been committed against India.

He said the only way to stop the apocalyptic march of the pandemic was an immediate complete lockdown with the protection of NYAY scheme for the vulnerable sections.

“Government of India (GOI) doesn’t get it. The only way to stop the spread of Corona now is a full lockdown – with the protection of NYAY for the vulnerable sections. Government of India’s inaction is killing many innocent people,” he tweeted.

In another tweet, lamenting at the government he said, “I just want to make it clear that a lockdown is now the only option because of a complete lack of strategy by GOI. They allowed, rather, they actively helped the virus reach this stage where there’s no other way to stop it. A crime has been committed against India.”

Rahul Gandhi, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Kerala’s Wayanad has been critical of the central government over the handling of Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

On Tuesday, India recorded over 3.57 lakh fresh cases of Covid with 3,449 fatalities.

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PM must live up to constitutional duty of saving lives: Owaisi

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Holding Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for the second wave of Covid-19 in the country, MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi demanded that he live up to his constitutional duty to save the lives of citizens.

Alleging that for eight months, the government-led by Modi was in deep slumber which led to the second wave that has claimed lives of thousands of people, he said that the BJP government did nothing though all the experts had warned that there will be a second wave.

The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) chief was talking to reporters after launching Covid-19 helpline set up by the Majlis Charity Educational and Relief Trust in collaboration with Access Foundation.

Owaisi said under the Constitution, right to life is a fundamental right and demanded that Modi live up to his constitutional duty to save lives of people of India.

“You must rise up. You can’t continue this emotional blackmail you are doing. Nothing is happening on the ground,” he said, claiming that “the situation had slipped out of government’s control”.

“This government has no vision, no planning, no accountability or transparency.

“What is life of an Indian who happens to be poor, where is government? There is no government,” the MP said and called Modi a “king who has no concern for the people who are dying outside his palace”.

“If this is happening in Delhi, you can imagine what is happening in rural areas.”

Stating that the government is not in control of the situation, Owaisi alleged that people have lost faith in government and they are helping themselves.

“It is because of their lack of concern and lack of planning that we are seeing this carnage. We are seeing deaths which are happening in thousands,” he said.

Owaisi also ridiculed Modi’s slogan of Amtanirbhar Bharat. “What Atmanirbhar Bharat… If there was Atmanirbhar Bharat why do you require oxygen from Saudi Arabia and other countries,” he asked

Referring to the large number of deaths and the shortage of oxygen, medicines and lack of beds in hospitals, he said in his political life, he never saw such human misery.

“Graveyards are full. Shamshans are cremating bodies non-stop. If this can’t Modi and his government, what will,” he asked and demanded that the government waive off GST on oxygen, oximeters and Remdisivir.

He recalled that in January the Prime Minister told the World Economic Forum that India defeated Covid when other countries were making fun of it. Modi also told the Parliament proudly that his government won the battle against Covid though other countries were pessimistic. “If you had defeated Covid, why did the second wave come,” he asked

Owaisi slammed the government for failing on all fronts. He said there was no planning for vaccine production and distribution and as a result, vaccines are not available for those who are due for second dose.

He also questioned the pricing of vaccine and said when crores of people have lost their jobs, it is for government ofto provide free vaccination to people. He quoted experts to say that if 80 per cent people are not vaccinated, there will be a third wave

Stating that states have no money to give for vaccination, Owaisi said the Centre should use PM Cares Fund. “What will you do with money. It’s not your or my money. It’s people’s money. Use it for vaccinating people,” he said.

He advised people to wear mask, maintain social distancing and take vaccines wherever it is available. Stating that they are fighting an invisible enemy, he said they should take all precautions.

Pointing out that Bangladesh is spending three per cent of its GDP on health, Owaisi said India was spending not even one per cent. He also demanded that the Telangana government increase spending on health and build new hospitals including a new building for Osmania Hospital in Hyderabad.

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Lockdown should be the last resort: Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday advised the state governments to use lockdown as the last resort to contain the spread of the Covid-19 cases. He said that instead of lockdown, the focus should be on creating ‘micro containment zones’.

In his address to the nation on Tuesday evening, Modi said: “In today’s circumstances, we have to save the country from lockdown. We have to concentrate on micro containment zones and have to try our best to avoid lockdown.”

The Prime Minister emphasized that along with saving lives, the effort was on to save the economic activities and ensure minimum adverse impact on the livelihood of the people.

“By opening vaccination for those who are 18 years and above, vaccine will be available quickly for the workforce in the cities,” he said.

The Prime Minister suggested the state governments to boost the confidence of the workers and convince them to stay wherever they are.

“This confidence by the states will greatly help the workers and labourers and they will get the vaccine wherever they are and their work will also not suffer,” Modi said.

On shortage of oxygen, Modi said: “The government is working with speed and sensitivity to meet the increasing demand of oxygen in the various parts of the country. The Centre, state governments and private sector are trying to ensure that every needy person gets oxygen.”

“Efforts to increase oxygen production and supply are on at various levels. Measures like installing new oxygen plants, providing one lakh new cylinders, diverting oxygen from the industrial use, are being undertaken.”

Lauding the efforts of scientists, the Prime Minister said: “Our scientists came out with the vaccine in a very short time and today India has the cheapest vaccine in the world. Due to this team effort, India has embarked upon the world’s largest vaccination drive with two ‘Made in India’ vaccines.”

He further stated that from the very first phase of the vaccination drive, it has been emphasized that the vaccine reaches the maximum number of areas, and to the people who need it.

He pointed out that India gave the first 10 crore, 11 crore and the 12 crore vaccine doses in the shortest time in the world.

Speaking about the government’s Monday’s decision, he said that after May 1 every person above 18 years of age can be vaccinated and half of the vaccine produced in India will go directly to the states and hospitals.

The Prime Minister emphasised that the country has much better knowledge and resources to meet the challenge than the initial days of the first wave.

Modi also credited the people of India for a good and patient fight. “With the strength of people’s participation, we will be able to defeat this wave of Corona too,” he said.

He saluted the contribution of social organisations who are helping the people in the time of need and called upon everyone to move forward to help the people who require help.

The Prime Minister also called upon the youth to help in maintaining Covid appropriate behaviour in their areas and neighbourhood. “This will help in avoiding containment zones, curfews or lockdowns.”

He also expressed condolences for the lives lost to the pandemic.

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Modi urged to stop Jagan from coercing IAS

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The Jaganmohan Reddy Government’s plan to keep a tight control on the IAS officers has kicked up a big controversy. YCP rebel MP Raghu Rama Raju has now written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He urged the PM not to allow the AP Chief Minister to coerce the civil servants in the name of annual reports. The future of qualified IAS officers should not be placed in the hands of a politician like Jagan Reddy.

RRR told the PM that the GO released by the Jagan regime on the IAS officers annual reports should be considered invalid and unlawful. As the GO, the approval of the annual reports on the AP cadre IAS officers would be left to the CM. RRR said that if this was allowed to continue, the honest and sincere officers would suffer severe injustice.

Not stopping at complaining, Rajugaru urged the Prime Minister to interfere and take action against the AP regime. In fact, the all India services come under the direct control of the Central Government. The Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) has an unquestionable control over the service matters of the civil servants. All those appointed through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) are controlled by the DOPT.

As such, rebel Rajugaru says the AP CM had no authority to intimidate even the IAS officers.

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Modi-Jagan not afraid of people’s agitations? Why?

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There are two main agitations currently gathering speed in the country now. One is the farmers’ struggle in Delhi outskirts against the bills brought by the Modi Government. The other is the ‘Save Visakha Steel’ agitation going on in Andhra Pradesh. Besides this, the farmers, women and youth in Amaravati region have been waging a relentless stir against Capital shifting.

A lot of opposition along with debates are going on with regard to these agitations in public and on social media. Both the Centre and the State are under increasing pressure. Even then, both Modi and Jaganmohan Reddy seem to be least bothered about these popular agitations. This became more evident from the manner in which the Union Finance Minister has made her latest announcement on the Centre’s first stand for 100 percent privatisation of Visakha Steel.

Questions are being asked why the Modi-Jagan duo are not caring for and also not afraid of the people’s agitations. Analysts say that both of them are damn sure of their respective religious vote banks coupled with money and muscle power. In addition to this, there is the strength and support from the election managers like Prashant Kishore.

When the voters become less relevant in elections, then it is but natural that the elected parties would care even less for the very people who elect them.

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PM’s gesture may give boost to Covaxin

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Covaxin, India’s first indigenous vaccine for Covid-19, received a shot in the arm with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, among other senior politicians, choosing to take the jab on Monday.

As the leaders opted for Covaxin on the first day of the third phase of vaccination, the number of its takers is now likely to go up. The vaccine developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech so far had few takers in the country though many countries are evincing interest in procuring Covaxin.

Though the vaccination for healthcare workers began on January 16 and subsequently other frontline workers were also vaccinated, there were few takers for Covaxin compared to Covishield, the other vaccine which is part of the national immunisation programme for Covid-19.

Bharat Biotech was obviously upbeat over Monday’s development. “Inspired and humbled by PM’s remarkable commitment to build an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. Yes, we all shall fight Covid-19 together and emerge victorious,” the company said.

Bharat Biotech’s Co-founder and Joint Managing Director, Suchitra Ella, also hailed Odisha Chief Minister’s gesture.

“Hon CM of Orissa Sri Naveen Patnaik ji, leading by example of getting vaccinated today. Covaxin’s Team & Bharat Biotech is thankful & honoured by the gesture,” she tweeted.

When the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) cleared Covaxin for emergency use along with Covishield, developed by Oxford University and pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India, Pune, questions were raised on the indigenous vaccine’s efficacy.

The move to include Covaxin for national rollout even before publication of data from its Phase 3 trials came under criticism from some quarters. However, the regulator defended the decision, saying both the vaccines are totally safe.

Bharat Biotech has developed Covaxin in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology (NIV).

Doctors and other healthcare workers at various places, including Bharat Biotech’s home Hyderabad, were reluctant to take the vaccine as the DCGI had authorised restricted use of Covaxin under the clinical trial mode.

Bharat Biotech also released a factsheet advising people not to take Covaxin if they have allergies, fever, bleeding disorder or are on blood thinners, if they are immune-comrpomised or are on a medicine that affects immune system. It also said that pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take the vaccine.

“As with any new medicine, this vaccine will be closely monitored to allow quick identification of any new safety information,” Bharat Biotech had said.

The company said in case of any Serious Adverse Events (SAV), vaccine recipients will be provided medically recognised standards of care in the government designated and authorised centres/hospitals.

The compensation for Serious Adverse Events will be paid by Bharat Biotech International Limited and if SAV is proven to be casually related to the vaccine. The compensation will be determined by the ICMR Central Ethics Committee, as appropriate.

In Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials, Covaxin demonstrated the ability to produce antibodies against Covid-19. However, the clinical efficacy of Covaxin is yet to be established and it is still being studied in phase 3 clinical trial.

In ongoing clinical trial, Covaxin has been shown to generate immunity following two doses given four weeks apart, the firm said.

According to data provided by the government in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha last month, only 16 of the 37 states and Union Territories had started to administer Covaxin as on February 9.

Telangana had received 1,72,960 doses of Covaxin, second highest consignment among all states but it had the third lowest administration rate of the vaccine.

Telangana’s Director of Public Health Dr G. Srinivasa Rao was the first person in the state to take Covaxin shot on February 8. However, not many frontline workers came forward to take the vaccine.

Experts also tried to dismiss talks of vaccine hesitancy. “Both vaccines are equally effective. There should not be any doubts in the minds of people,” eminent breast cancer surgeon Dr P. Raghu Ram told IANS

“AIIMS director who is the main force leading the drive against the pandemic and all the staff in AIIMS have taken Covaxin. This speaks volumes,” added Dr Raghu Ram.

Riyaz M. Khan, CEO, Continental Hospitals believes that misinformation may be creating reluctance among some people.

“Both the vaccines have gone through a robust testing programme and these are stable technologies. The inactivated technology used for Covaxin is the same technology used for almost all other vaccines. Covishield is based on vector-based technology. These technologies have gone through trials. To say that one is safe over the other may not be safe comparison,” he said.

The reluctance at home is in contrast to the orders Bharat Biotech is receiving from various countries. Last week it announced that the Brazilian government has signed a deal to procure 20 million doses of Covaxin. Several other countries have evinced interest in buying covaxin.

Ukraine’s health minister Dr Maksym Stepanov last week visited Bharat Biotech’s facility in Hyderabad’s Genome Valley and discussed with the company officials the plans to procure Covaxin.

The Indian government has so far procured 5.5 million doses of Covaxin and issued a letter of comfort to company for another 4.5 million doses.

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Modi giving tough time to both Jagan and Veerraju

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The ‘Save Steel Plant’ agitation is unstoppable in Vizag. All the parties and all sections of the people are agitating against the privatisation move. Even the BJP AP leaders have taken a plunge into the stir. They visited Delhi and came back with the news that the Centre has not taken a decision to privatise the steel plant. The next minute, there was a statement from the Prime Minister that the Centre was keen to privatise the Public Sector Units in the country.

Modi has asserted that it was not the Government’s job to run industries or business but its responsibility was to look after the welfare of the people. He has given all indications for going ahead with the privatisation drive. The PM’s remarks have come as a big shock to the YCP and the BJP AP leaders.

CM Jagan Reddy has tried to wash his hands of the privatisation plan. However, his earlier meetings with the Posco representatives have sent a wrong signal to the people. The CM and his Ministers were trying hard now to convince the people that their Government would oppose the privatisation of the steel plant. BJP AP President Veerraju was also asserting his party’s decision not to allow the privatisation.

Modi’s latest statements on his Government’s privatisation policy have indeed caused a lot of embarrassment for both Jagan Reddy and Veerraju. They will certainly have to do a lot of explaining to the people on this aspect in the coming weeks.

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Sardar Patel stadium renamed after PM Modi

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The Sardar Patel stadium in Motera near Ahmedabad was on Wednesday renamed as the Narendra Modi Stadium.

The stadium, popularly known as the Motera Stadium, which was recently re-opened after extensive renovation work which increased seating capacity to a record 1,10,000, hosts its first Test match on Wednesday with India taking on England in a day-night match.

The stadium’s new name was announced in an inauguration ceremony that was attended by President Ram Nath Kovind, Home Minister Amit Shah, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat, and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah among others.

“Coupled with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave & Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, a sports complex will also be built in Naranpura. These three will be equipped to host any international sports event. Ahmedabad to be known as the ‘sports city’ of India,” said Shah at the inauguration ceremony.

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Why is Modi backtracking on CAA ?

Looks like Modi Government has put this law in cold storage, to cut further losses ?

It’s now been more than a year since the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 has been passed in the Parliament of India, but the Narendra Modi government has not issued the rules for implementing this law, despite facing all the protests across the country, especially the Shaheenbhag protests in Delhi, the Government was hell-bent in defending the law and also used this as a polarizing issue in the Delhi Assembly elections. No less than the home minister of India Amit Shah had championed this bill. Yet there seems to be a re-think on this law, and when recently, Amit shah was asked about this, he said the law is not being
implemented due to Covid. When everything from restaurants to theaters are open, Covid can’t be the real reason for not implementing CAA, in this article of reading between lines, let’s see what could be the reasons.

One reason could be that the government is spooked by the bad press it got across the international media & its consequences especially from the investment’s point of view in lieu of the declining economy. But the Modi government’s track record does not suggest this may be the main reason, It could be due to the backlash it received from the Muslim nations such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc where Modi has cultivated careful relations and also received many honorary awards which no other Prime Minister garnered.

But more than these countries, it could be Bangladesh with whom the relations due to CAA were looking to get worse, and the Modi government may not want to be in a situation where the only country with which India has strong ties in the neighborhood to the extent that all the land boundary settlement has been settled to be jeopardized. Already China is fishing in troubled waters in Nepal and Sri Lanka. It is not in India’s interest to have a ridge with Bangladesh and give another opening to China. Also, the Prime Minister is set to visit Bangladesh in March 2021 to mark the 50th Independence Day of Bangladesh, its a prestigious day for both the countries, and any further controversial rhetoric on CAA during the West Bengal elections which are scheduled in February 2021 could be a spoiler for this event. In addition to these reasons, there is also the NRC fiasco in Assam, where the BJP government enthusiastically implemented the SC ordered NRC, only to come up with a list where the number of Hindu’s with no paperwork were more than the Muslims, forcing the state BJP unit to disown their own NRC.

It is difficult to pinpoint one particular reason for the GOI to backtrack on CAA, but probably a combination of all these reasons and realizing, that proceeding with this could boomerang in multiple ways ranging from economy, foreign relations, domestic backlash, and even electoral setback in Assam, probably forced the hand of Narendra Modi and Amit shah to slowdown on CAA.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

KCR not permitted to receive Modi in Hyderabad visit

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The BJP-TRS differences reached a new peak in view of the GHMC elections. They have triggered a cold war between the State and the Central Governments as well. As a result, the PMO has not given permission to Telangana Chief Minister KCR to formally receive PM Modi during his visit to Hyderabad tomorrow.

As per the tradition, the Governor, the CM and the Union Ministers would be receiving the PM during such a visit. Moreover, Modi’s visit this time was also not related to politics. He is going to take part in a Covid vaccine development related programme at Bharat Biotech in Genome valley.

However, the PMO has intimated the Telangana Chief Secretary that the Chief Minister has no permission to receive the PM at the Hakimpet airport tomorrow. Also, the PMO sent a list of only five officers who include the Chief Secretary, the District Collector concerned and the police officials.

Apparently, the Governor and the Union Ministers along with the CM were also not given a chance to receive the PM. The polling day falls on December 1. So, tomorrow is the crucial day when Modi and KCR are both eager to catch as much attention as possible to leave a greater impact on the voters.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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