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Everyone above 18 eligible for anti-Covid vax from May 1


The Union Government on Monday announced that everyone above the age of 18 will be eligible to get a vaccine against Covid-19 from May 1. The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The Government has been working hard for over a year to ensure that maximum numbers of Indians are able to get the vaccine in the shortest possible time. India is vaccinating people at world record pace and we will continue this with even greater momentum,” Modi said.

The government claimed that pricing, procurement, eligibility and administration of vaccines are being made flexible in Phase 3 of the world’s largest vaccination drive.

“India’s National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy has been built on a systematic and strategic end-to-end approach, proactively building capacity across R&D, manufacturing and administration since April 2020. While pushing for scale and speed, it has simultaneously been anchored in the stability necessary to sustainably execute the World’s Largest Vaccination Drive,” the government said.

In phase 3 of the vaccination drive, vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 per cent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the Government of India (GoI) and would be free to supply the remaining 50 per cent doses to the state government and in the open market.

Manufacturers would have to make transparently an advance declaration of the price for 50 per cent supply that would be available to State Governments and in the open market, before May 1.

“Based on this price, State governments, private hospitals, industrial establishments would be able to procure vaccine doses from the manufacturers. Private Hospitals would have to procure their supplies of Covid-19 vaccine exclusively from the 50 per cent supply earmarked for other than GoI channel,” the government said.

Private Vaccination providers shall transparently declare their self-set vaccination price and the eligibility through this channel would be opened up to all adults, above the age of 18.

Vaccination will continue to be provided free of cost to the eligible population as defined earlier which include Health Care Workers (HCWs), Front Line Workers (FLWs) and all people above 45 years of age at Government of India (GoI) vaccination centres.

All vaccination Awould be part of the National Vaccination Programme, and mandated to follow all protocol such as being captured on CoWIN platform, linked to AEFI reporting and all other prescribed norms. Stocks and price per vaccination applicable in all vaccination centres will also have to be reported real-time.

The division of vaccine supply 50 per cent to Centre and 50 per cent to other than GoI channel would be applicable uniformly across for all vaccines manufactured in the country. The GoI, however, will allow the imported fully ready to use vaccines to be entirely utilised in the other than Govt. of India channel.

The Union government from its share, will allocate vaccines to States/UTs based on the criteria of extent of infection (number of active Covid cases) and performance (speed of administration).

“Wastage of vaccine will also be considered in this criteria and will affect the criteria negatively. Based on the above criteria, State-wise quota would be decided and communicated to the States adequately in advance,” the Government said.

The second dose of all existing priority groups i.e. HCWs, FLWs and population above 45 years, wherever it has become due, would be given priority, for which a specific and focused strategy would be communicated to all stakeholders.

Vaccine manufacturers are also incentivized to further scale up their production, as well as attract new national and international players.

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PM Modi giving appointments to KCR but not Jagan


It was a long time ago that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave an appointment to AP CM Jaganmohan Reddy. There have been many pressing issues like funds problems for Polavaram, unfulfilled Reorganisation promises like Special Category Status, etc. But, the PM has not met the AP CM directly in recent months. The AP Ministers were making rounds to the Union Ministers in Delhi but there was no major gain for the State. AP Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy is virtually visiting Delhi every week for seeking the Central funds under one project or another.
On the other hand, the PM has given appointment to KCR who is supposed to be the arch enemy of the BJP in Telangana. What more, there was a warm reception to KCR in Delhi. The Telangana CM had also used the occasion to place a list of favours before the PM. A major plea of KCR was national project status to either Kaleswaram or Palamur-Rangareddy irrigation project.
Already, Polavaram was given the national project status in Andhra Pradesh. But, the Centre had not been clarifying whether it would give the massive Rs. 27,000 Cr needed for land acquisition or not.
Now, political circles are curious how Modi would be going to respond to KCR’s promises at a time when the Central Government was not so favourable to the projects in AP which is facing a serious financial crunch right now.

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.

PM visits Bharat Biotech, CM snubbed


Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Hyderabad to meet the officials of Bharat Biotech to take discuss details about Covid-19 co-vaccine.
While the Prime Minister arrived at Hakimpet airport, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao was conspicuously missing in action. In a snub, Chandrasekhar Rao was not invited to welcome the Prime Minister. The CMO has written to the PMO stating that Chandrasekhar Rao will be receiving the PM. However, the PMO replied back with a list of VIPs who will receive the PM. Shockingly, the CM’s name was missing from the VIPs list.
The list included Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Hakimpet Air Office Commandant, DGP M Mahender Reddy, Medchal-Malkajgiri collector Swetha Mohanty and Cyberabad police commissioner Sajjanar. As per protocols, if the PM visits any state usually the CM, state governor, union ministers, and top bureaucrats receive him.
But in this case, CM Chandrasekhar Rao and Governor Tamilsai Soundarajan were not included in the VIPs list.
Political observers say this is a deliberate move to keep the CM away from the limelight.
It may be recalled that KCR in a video-conference with the PM during the lockdown informed that pharma companies in Telangana were making aggressive attempts to produce a vaccine for coronavirus. He had told the PM that their Covid-19 vaccine could be produced from Hyderabad in July-August.
Clearly, the PM’s visit is a snub to the CM.
At Bharat Biotech, the PM reviewing the development of the coronavirus vaccine and the manufacturing process. During the day, Modi had visited pharma major Zydus Cadila’s plant in Gujarat. Zydus had recently announced the first phase of the clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, ZyCoV-D. “Visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad to know more about the indigenous DNA based vaccine being developed by Zydus Cadila. I compliment the team behind this effort for their work. The government of India is actively working with them to support them in this journey,” Modi tweeted.

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PM to form committee on ‘one nation, one election’


Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an all-party meeting on Wednesday said that a committee will be formed to look into the various issues regarding the “one nation, one election” plan.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told this to the media after the conclusion of the meeting which lasted for over three-and-a-half hours.

Singh said that five major agendas were discussed in the meeting, including the “one nation, one election” agenda.

He said that members of all the opposition parties present at the meeting supported the idea barring the CPI and CPI-M.

“Only CPI and CPI-M expressed difference of opinion, saying how it could be implemented,” the Defence Minister said.

Over 40 parties were invited for the meeting in which 21 party chiefs participated while three expressed their inability to join the meeting citing some reasons, Singh added.

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.

Modi biopic expected to release in 38 countries


Producer Anand Pandit says the team of “PM Narendra Modi” is planning to release the film in 38 countries, including the US, UK, Canada, Australia and the UAE.

Directed by Omung Kumar, the film narrates the story of Modi from his humble beginnings to becoming the Prime Minister of India.

“PM Narendra Modi’s life has a great interest not just among Indian audiences but also cinema-goers across the world. We plan to release the film not just in the country but in at least 38 countries,” Pandit, one of the producers and distributors of the biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said in a statement.

“The film will release in 1700 screens in India and we plan to release it in about 600 screens overseas,” he added.

The release date of “PM Narendra Modi” has been set for April 11, when the Lok Sabha elections begin, the makers announced on Friday. It will be available in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil. The team is planning to release it on the same day in other countries as well.

Earlier, the makers of “PM Narendra Modi” received flak for planning to release the movie on April 12. Its release date was then changed to April 5.

The film’s makers later deferred its release from April 5, following the Supreme Court’s decision to set the date to hear a plea seeking to block the movie’s release, for April 8.

Pandit said: “Now there should be no doubt on what the film is. It is a cinematic product. Those who have questioned the film and asked for a ban on it are the ones who have tried to stifle freedom of expression.

“Isn’t it hypocritical that the very people who criticise when other films are banned are now calling for a ban on ‘PM Narendra Modi’?”

However, a plea by Aman Panwar, a Congress spokesman, contends that the release of the Modi biopic ahead of the election would disturb the level playing field.

Dismissing the criticism against the film as being propaganda, Pandit said: “This is a film that is inspiring and at the same time entertaining. Those who are calling it agenda-driven haven’t even seen the film.

“We have not made this film to glorify the Prime Minister or counter the questions raised by the opposition parties. We have focused on his journey instead of getting into hardcore politics.”

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.

Biopic movie ‘PM Narendra Modi’ postponed


PM Narendra Modi biopic movie has been postponed owing to unknown reasons. Producer Sandip Singh has announced he has decided to postpone the release of the biopic movie on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We had scheduled the release of movie PM Narendra Modi on April 5 but decided to postpone it owing to few reasons. This is to confirm, our film PM Narendra Modi is not releasing on 5th April. We’ll soon announce the new release date of the movie,” tweeted Singh.

Opposing the release of the biopic on Narendra Modi, Congress party filed a petition in Supreme Court, which will hear the case from Monday onwards. Congress in its petition argued that with Lok Sabha elections scheduled from April 11, the release of biopic movie on Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be a violation of Model Code of Conduct. Congress party has also complained to the Election Commission (EC) as well. Responding to this, the EC wrote a letter to CBFC asking it to take the final decision on the issue.

Vivek Oberoi is playing the titular role of the Omung Kumar directorial movie ‘PM Narendra Modi’. The biopic narrated the life of Narendra Modi right from his childhood and how he emerged as Prime Minister of India.

Lawyers for the Producer Singh further added that the biopic movie was not cleared by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

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.

An Unsolicited Advice from PV Narasimha Rao to PM Narendra Modi


[intro]In his new book, Jairam Ramesh who worked extensively with PV Narasimha Rao compares the style of the then Prime Minister with obvious digs at PM Narendra Modi. A timely recap of Rao with a lesson or two for India’s current Prime Minister.[/intro]

You don’t usually expect a Congressman to pay left-handed compliments to PV Narasimha Rao, one of India’s most-revered Prime Ministers but someone who was  disowned by his own party members, thanks to unbridled sycophants of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. It is therefore, surprising that Jairam Ramesh, former UPA Minister for Environment writes a book on PV Narasimha Rao’s dramatic handling of India’s greatest economic crisis of 1991. The book is entitled: To The Brink and Back: India’s 1991 Story and covers those crucial 100 days of the Rao government taking charge and coming to terms with a bankrupt economy shackled in license Raj and a market that doesn’t favor all the factors that build the economy – land, labor and capital. But the book tempts you to draw a parallel to Modi’s style of functioning versus Rao’s.

indexSuccinctly written by Jairam Ramesh, the book giving a ringside view of all that happened between Narasimha Rao and Dr Manmohan Singh and the key think-tank who took those courageous economic decisions – which included a two-stage devaluation of the rupee, four gold transfers, and an Industrial Policy that would have been unthinkable even by today’s terms. More importantly, the three measures of LPG cylinder – Liberalisation, Privatization and Globalization that formed the bulwark of today’s economic foundations – all were masterminded by the Rao Regime. The Book gives the dope on the drama behind each of the decisions taken amidst stiff opposition from both within the Congress Party and the allies in the Left and National Front who bulldozed the government. It was the era when the Left was still powerful and leaders like Jyoti Basu were unconquerable and the media was giving bad press on reforms unleashed – given the turmoil that followed the Berlin Wall collapse and the unravelling of the Soviet Union republics.

The country was on the brink of an unprecedented Balance-Of-Payments Crisis and nobody was prepared to take the tough decisions that needed to be taken as the economy came to a grinding halt; we had two weeks of oil supply based on our gold reserves. And Rao even ordered a chartered plane to Brunei to seek an Emergency Loan in US Dollars from the Sultan – something that Dr Manmohan Singh, the then Finance Minister didn’t endorse. Inflation touched almost 16.7 per cent by August 1991. It was then that India’s most vulnerable minority government (which even had a No-Confidence Motion passed in the aftermath of these measures) took the steps that included “structural adjustments with a human face”.

In 216 pages, Jairam Ramesh makes many overt and subtle references to Rao’s style of functioning but the timing of the book and his recent interviews holds a mirror to Narendra Modi’s style of functioning too. While we are far better off now than in 1991- We now have around ten month’s reserves to fund imports, our forex reserves are many times more comfortably placed at $ 350 Billion, and our Current Account Deficit is diminishing to finish the year at 0.9 per cent as opposed to the historical average of 3.5 per cent and so on. Clearly, what he says about Rao must be remembered in the context of what Narendra Modi is doing with respect to his potential and performance so far.

In Rao’s first 100 days as PM, India saw two devaluations, a comprehensive recast of India’s trade and industrial policy, a budget that clearly capped the government expenditure and a radical push at labor reforms. His government is itself in minority precariously perched to fall any time (there was no majority in Lok Sabha and an uneven situation in Rajya Sabha prevailed then too without a clear majority to pass the bills). The world also did not think India was any better than countries on the brink of chaos like Pakistan or Iraq or Somalia – Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), infact, was a term first coined in the aftermath of the drastic measures announced by the then Finance Minister in order to attract investments into Indian industry and increase our exports.

By contrast, PM Modi enjoys a grand majority in the Lok Sabha, enjoyed the greatest fanfare on his election both with locals and the diaspora, still doesn’t have a recognized leader of opposition, virtually has no threat from anybody in the ranks who can question him or his decisions but after almost 15 months in rule, his government is running out of steam – both in terms of showing the resolve to push ahead the next-gen reforms but also showing a path of quick resolution of all the stalled projects and litigious issues in the country – there are newly formed states that needed war-room attention, there is a nascent currency crisis given the rapid devaluation of the Chinese Yuan, atleast two major reforms which could energise the land and labor markets – Land Reforms Bill and the Labor Policy Reforms are yet to be passed, and the cost of capital is still high. Despite having the Lower House majority, Modi government has not shown the resilience and the steely determination shown by a minority Rao Government in clearing the hurdles to passage of key bills like GST bill etc and in building a consensus approach. All that the Modi government is interested is in more and more control of the Rajya Sabha seats and take full charge of both the Houses of Parliament.

When Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister, he knew his time was very limited and options few, but he acted fast what he thought was right for the country unmindful of the repurcussions for the Party; the Congrress survived the full term but never wavered from taking the opposition into their stride. Modi Government has absolute majority but is frittering away precious political capital in the pursuit of policies that are not gaining headline attention anymore. Evidence of proof of FII’s waning interest in Modi is the sharp fall in India’s stock markets and decline of currency. It means the FIIs want to take some money off the table – the money they bet when Modi was elected because nothing significant is happening, of late.

Another point that Jairam Ramesh makes is that Indians are prone to too much eulogisation of politicians – what Ambedkar calls as Bhakti Yoga. He said that the Chinese, by contrast are more objective. Even the great Mao was said to be 30 per cent bad and 70 per cent good. So, he criticizes Rao in his crucial bungling of the issues at Jammu & Kashmir and in Ayodhya while the Bhakts of Modi are never tiring of his foreign junkets and speeches. Jairam Ramesh in his assessment of Rao makes a dig at Modi: “He (Rao) could certainly not be accused of Narendra Modi’s style of arrogance; rather, in him, one could see a strong sense of awareness. His was not the in-your-face conceit of his current successor but the self-pride of an intellectually superior person – of one who knows that he knows.” If only Modi had found a middle-path like Narasimha Rao, to strike a deal or two with Congress in their demands to have a debate on Lalit Modi controversy etc, the Parliament would have seen a fruitful Monsoon session and passage of a few momentous bills.

In summary, Jairam Ramesh’s book is a timely eye-opener for all those who continue to air-lift PM Modi into stratospheres of halo. Let it be known that with no wind beneath his wings during his time, PV Narasimha Rao faced more challenges and yet acted decisively setting history in motion for India. He took most of his opposing tribes into confidence and built consensus one day at a time. By contrast, PM Modi is showing signs of self-congratulatory arrogance and still seeking greener pastures after getting a massive mandate on a platter. In seeking out more and more supporters like new allies in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, he is forgetting that there are allies in Andhra Pradesh and elsewhere who voted for him or supported his party. If he wastes more time in garnering those fragments of power that will give him complete control of both the Houses of Parliament, it will be evening time in 2018 and by then, the stage is set for the next Lok Sabha elections. Hope, PM Modi takes a leaf out of the history books and learns what Narasimha Rao did in his tenure. It is a lesson or two to act in hurry and work with a self-effacing humility. Time is running out for Mr Modi.

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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