Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the first dose of Covid vaccine here at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Monday, leading the country in the third phase of the inoculation drive as a massive chunk of population aged above 60 and those above 45 with comorbidities prepare to take the shots.
Modi was administered Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. “Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS,” he informed on Twitter.
At the time of the vaccination, Modi wore a “gamchha” (scarf) from Assam, which is regarded as a symbol of blessings of women from Assam. The Prime Minister has been seen wearing it on many occasions. The vaccine dose was administered by a nurse from Puducherry P. Niveda, who was assisted by another nurse from Kerala Rosamma Anil.
The Prime Minister decided to get the jab at 6.25 a.m. to avoid media glare as scores of people could be queuing up at the hospital. He remained under observation for half an hour in the hospital and left around 7 a.m.
“Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19,” Modi later wrote on Twitter.
He also appealed that those who could take vaccines should come forward for it. “I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free,” Modi said.
The ongoing vaccination drive will now reach to around 27 crore people who are on the list of priority for vaccination after the healthcare and frontline workers, starting Monday.
Vaccination will be provided free of charge at the government health facilities and will be on a payment basis in the private health facilities. All private hospitals can charge Rs 150 for vaccines and Rs 100 for service charges fixed by the central government.
Around 10,000 hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY and 687 hospitals under CGHS can be used by states as Covid vaccination centres (CVCs).
Co-WIN, the govt portal for Covax drive
The COWIN portal will provide the facility for booking an appointment based on the vaccination centres declared by the states/UTs, with their location, the dates on which appointment slots are provided and the capacity declared as open slots and the vacancies available at the time of booking.
Besides, all beneficiaries, regardless of the mode of access, i.e through online registration or mobilization through on-site registration are advised to carry the following for verification at the time of vaccination — Aadhar Card, Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC); and Certificate of comorbidity for citizens in the age group of 45 years to 59 years.
Kishan Devani BEM, FRSA a politician, consultant and educator has been honoured with being appointed Hon. Member of the Board Advisors the International Academic and Management Association (IAMA), based in New Delhi, India.
International Academic and Management Association (IAMA) is one of the fastest-growing private, not-for-profit membership-based association in the world, working relentlessly towards eliminating academic and economic disparity by ensuring quality-focused, affordable, boundary-less and industry-centric education.
Kishan Devani is a recipient of the British Empire Medal (BEM) from Her Majesty the Queen of England who currently holds various positions including Board Member of the Liberal Democrats; Treasurer’s Envoy for the Liberal Democrats; Vice President of teh Green Liberal Democrats; Vice President of the Liberal Democrats Campaign for Race Equality; Vice President of Liberal Democrats in Business.
He is also an Associate Lecturer of Politics, International Relations & Diplomacy at the London Metropolitan University.
Kishan has expressed his pleasure and said “I look forward to working with such a distinguished set of individuals and developing Education, Educational institutions and Teacher Quality across the world via the work IAMA carries out.’
Kishan has also been accorded various national and international awards and honours for his contribution onwards the cause of the Asian community besides his role as spokesperson for Racial and Religious Equality.
Professor Dr. Bikash Sharma, President & Founder of IAMA said “I would like to take this opportunity to personally welcome him on the Board. I am confident that IAMA as an organization shall benefit immensely from Mr. Devani’s vast experience and global connect.
“Devani brings with him immense experience from varied fields ranging from politics to education to consulting. His role as a champion for the cause of racial and religious quality is in direct sync with one of the premises of IAMA where we have a similar focus, using equality as an underlying principle for ensuring quality, cost-effective and boundaryless education for all,” He added.
IAMA came into existence in the year 2013 and is registered as a Trust under the Indian Trust Act.
The Board of IAMA comprises of some of the best-known names from both the academic and the corporate world including the likes of John Mattone, Dr. Maurice Dimmock, Dr. Vijay Agarwal, Mr. Rajiv Manlal Gupta, etc to name a few.
It currently has a membership base of over 200 institutions spread across 43 countries where it offers both academic and non-academic support to its partner institutions.
Abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir has proved to be a blessing for youth in the Valley. Since, August 5, 2019 initiatives taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to empower and engage youth in constructive activities are paying dividends.
Kashmiri youth have turned towards entrepreneurship, sports, cultural activities and other constructive programs. They are busy in building their lives and careers.
Khelo India-II winter games at Gulmarg
Prime Minster Narendra Modi who inaugurated Khelo India-II winter games at Gulmarg in north Kashmir on Friday in his virtual address said that holding this event is a step towards making India’s presence felt in the international winter games arena and also make Jammu and Kashmir a hub of winter sports. “These games in Gulmarg show that Jammu and Kashmir is eager to reach new heights of peace and development. These games will strengthen the resolve for ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshth Bharat,” PM Modi said.
“The two Khelo India centre of excellence in Jammu and Srinagar and Khelo India centres in 20 districts are great facilities for the young players.
Such centres are being opened all over the world,” the PM stated.
Since the day Narendra Modi has taken over the reins of the country he has always said that J&K holds a special place in his heart.
PM Modi has proved it beyond doubt that he means what he says.
The decision to revoke J&K’s special status and merge it into Union of India completely started paying dividends just within months.
The biggest change that Kashmir witnessed was number of youth becoming a part of stone pelting mobs declined manifold. The first step which the Centre took after August 5, 2019 was that it opened new avenues for Kashmiri youth. The government departments were asked to ensure that benefits of the centrally sponsored schemes trickle down to youth so that they don’t indulge in acts that are detrimental for the state.
Abrogation of Article 370 more effective?
Many youth were imparted training under Himmayat scheme and later they were even provided jobs in the companies across the country. During the past one and half year hundreds of youth have been placed and they are living decent lives.
Recruiting agencies that had almost become defunct in J&K advertised posts for the unemployed educated youth and process to employ them was expedited.
Talent shows were organized across Jammu and Kashmir to handpick the youth who were talented and interested in cultural activities.
Many of them have been absorbed by different units in the country.
The boom in sports activities allowed youth to come forward and showcase their abilities and skills.
Youth oriented initiatives taken by PM Modi led Central Government has infused new life and enthusiasm in Kashmiri youth, who during the past three decades were used as cannon fodder by Pakistan to fight its proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir.
Scholarship scheme for J&K students
The Prime Minister’s special scholarship scheme for J&K students has helped many youth from poor family backgrounds to get admissions in professional colleges across the country.
In fact many of them have completed their degrees and have even taken up jobs in big corporate houses within the country and abroad.
Prime Minister Modi has remained firm on his decisions and has ensured that J&K is pulled from the quagmire of uncertainty. What the political regimes led by the local politicians couldn’t achieve in three decades the government led by PM Modi has done it in just one and a half year and there is still lot more to come.
When Prime Minister Modi addressed an election rally in Jammu before 2014 parliamentary elections, he had made it explicitly clear that Article 370 is debatable and if his party comes into power it would definitely do something about it.
At that point of time National Conference leader, Omar Abdullah, who was the Chief Minister of erstwhile J&K State had dared PM Modi to come forward and hold a debate with him. After being elected as country’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has proven it beyond doubt that there was no need to hold a debate as revocation of Article 370 has led to the new dawn breaking in J&K. PM Modi has shown the world that he is a strong leader and is capable of changing nation’s destiny.
J&K into new heights
Initiatives and the programs launched by PM Modi led government are aimed at taking J&K to new heights and the youth are leading from the front. All these steps have become more effective after abrogation of J&K’s special status as the uncertainty and chaos are over.
Youth from Jammu and Kashmir have responded positively and have shown their desire to become a part of progress and prosperity of New India. Even the local militants who gave up arms after August 5, 2019, were rehabilitated and have become a part of national mainstream.
Prime Minister Modi has proved most of the local leaders of Kashmir wrong. These leaders used to claim that “if J&K’s special status is revoked no one will be left in Kashmir to hold the tricolor.” These leaders should visit Gulmarg and see for themselves how many Kashmiri youth have draped themselves in tricolor and are holding it close to their heart.
England is currently under the third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country…reports Asian Lite News
The implementation of Covid lockdowns brought social and economic life to a standstill .Mental health issues have grown dramatically amid the coronavirus lockdown in Britain, local media reported on Saturday.
“What we perceive as straightforward symptoms, even something like a sore throat, even those calls are coming through with mental health issues,” Ruth Lander, a member of the training team for the non-emergency 111 service in North Wales, said.
“It has definitely increased the mental health aspects to the calls we get — they may be elderly and struggling with loneliness or a young mum who has lost her support network and is struggling,” Lander said.
“People are anxious and they are scared, and that’s the benefit of this service because we can explain and help those patients,” Lander added.
According to Jason Killens, the chief executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, even with increased public awareness of mental health support, the full effects of lockdown are only just emerging.
“We expect these problems to increase and for them to become even more complex as people suffer different stresses in their lives across our communities,” Killens said.
“Everyone has been touched by the pandemic in some way — many people have lost their jobs, of course, and that creates anxiety and mental health problems too,” he said.
“There is increasing recognition over recent years that mental health needs parity with physical health in terms of how we provide services and care for patients,” he said.
“We have got a small number of mental health clinicians within our service and we expect to expand that this year… we realise there is more that we can do and that we can do better,” he added.
England is currently under the third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Another 8,523 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,163,085, according to official figures released Friday.
The country also reported another 345 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 122,415. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.
“New Yorkers have shown strength and resilience throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and we’re going to need more of it as we work to get everyone vaccinated across the state,” said Cumo…reports Asian Lite News
The Covid-19 hospitalisations in New York State dropped to 5,445 on Friday, compared with 5,626 one day earlier, the lowest since December 12, said Governor Andrew Cuomo on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the 7-day average positivity rate reached 3.18 per cent on Friday, down from 3.22 on Thursday, or the lowest since November 26, the Governor said in a press release, adding that the single-day positivity rate increased to 2.85 per cent on Friday, up from 2.82 one day earlier.
“New Yorkers have shown strength and resilience throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and we’re going to need more of it as we work to get everyone vaccinated across the state,” Cuomo said.
Need more vaccines!
“The footrace between the positivity rate and the vaccination rate is progressing in our favour and we’ve been able to reopen different sectors of our economy, but we still need more vaccines to propel us over the finish line,” he said.
“We have continuously opened more vaccination sites as our supply allows, and we’re ready to get shots in arms as quickly and fairly as possible as our allocations increase. We can get to the light at the end of the tunnel, but we’re going to need to stay safe and vigilant and care for our fellow New Yorkers,” he added.
As of Saturday noon, the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University reported 47,418 deaths in New York State, the second worst in the country following the state of California with a death toll of 51,794.
Pallavi Sharda shot to Bollywood fame as Ranbir Kapoors heroine in the 2013 film Besharam, and had a few other Hindi releases. However, she has been busy in the international scene with roles in Australian shows such as Retrograde and Pulse, and the British series Beecham House.
Actors never love to stay on any particular industry and they fly into other industries to explore themselves without any kind of barriers. She is now ready for her new role in the upcoming Hollywood live action-animation adventure, Tom & Jerry.
Pallavi says the scene has certainly changed for people of colour, but it is still about pushing for roles that have a different gaze.
“It has definitely changed, it’s definitely more possible to have a career in the West. I know that because I work solely in the West now,” Pallavi said.
“It is still a matter of making that space and pushing to create roles that have a different gaze, in terms of the way that they are written. Making sure that storytelling is authentic, and that people of colour are not being used as plot devices,” she added.
However, there is change for the better. “As an Indian Australian actress, I have been able to play vastly different roles in everything that I’ve done in the last few years, which is something that’s actually extraordinary, because one thought of Indian actors in the past and thought they would always be playing a doctor or a certain archetype. But that’s definitely not the experience of my career,” she said.
Tom & Jerry
Pallavi’s next release Tom & Jerry Next is directed by Tim Story, and the film reloads the adventures of the mischievous duo of Tom the cat and Jerry the mouse. The Warner Bros. Pictures project opened in India this weekend, in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
Hamisha Daryani Ahuja, director-producer of the recently-released film Namaste Wahala says the growing culture of watching films on streaming platforms has enabled budding filmmakers across the world to find a voice as storytellers.
Namaste Wahala, which dropped on OTT, is a Nollywood film (as the Nigerian film industry is popularly known) to be widely available for Indian OTT viewers, and tries recreating the formulaic Bollywood love story as it was typically popular till a while back. The film is a cross cultural romance set in Lagos, starring Indian actor Ruslaan Mumtaz and Nigerian actress Ini Dima-Okojie.
“I think it is a great sign for us, for budding filmmakers, who are finding voice through the streaming platforms. When I made my film, being a debutant, I wanted my Nollywood film to be released theatrically, in all over Nigeria and all of Africa. Our film was ready by April 2020 but then pandemic took over and it kept delaying. Eventually we had to take a different way to release our film. When we show it to Netflix they loved it and that is how we have got a chance to release the film worldwide. That was phenomenal about it — the wide exposure,” said Ahuja.
She is highly inspired by Bollywood romance and Shah Rukh Khan is one of her favourite superstars.
“My inspiration of making a love story comes from Karan Johar’s movies and watching Shah Rukh Khan on screen. But this is a Nollywood movie, so I spoke to my fashion designer friend Rahil Raza and I told him that I need couple of actors for the film. The Indian television shows are also popular here (in Nigeria), so people recognise TV actors here. As a debutant, I did not approach any Bollywood star but you never know what I do in my next film,” she said.
The captivating 3-hour virtual program attended by diplomats saw novice writers, eminent literary figures, renowned singers, and community members reciting self-written poetic pieces, reports Asian Lite News
International Mother Language Day was enthusiastically marked with poetry, song, and monologue presentations recently. Organised by Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence and conceived by Ragasudha Vinjamuri, the online event named Kaavyaanjali had highlighted 27 languages. The captivating 3-hour virtual program attended by diplomats saw novice writers, eminent literary figures, renowned singers, and community members reciting self-written poetic pieces.
Roshan Kanal, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Nepal, Hassan Shifau, former Deputy Ambassador at the High Commission of Maldives in London, Tim Brookes, Founder of Atlas of Endangered Scripts who joined from the USA, have spoken eloquently on the occasion. Mr Hamdun- former Minister of Planning, and a Member of Parliament, and currently President of Lexical Comity of the Academy of Dhivehi language was also in attendance.
Presenters included Bhaswati Gagan Dey (Assamese), Dils Lakshmindra Sinha (Bishnupriya Manipuri), Arindam Dhar (Bengali), Ishtar Zikr (Dhivehi), Indu Barot (Dingal), Lalit Sharma (Dogri), Mayura Patel (Gujarati), Gyan Sharma (Hindi), Dr. Vipin Nadda (Himachali), Radhika Joshi (Kannada), Dr Harsha Jani (Kathiawadi), Mario Fernandes (Konkani), Rinchen Wacher (Laddakhi), Karma Barfungpa (Lokeh), Sharad Jha (Maithili), Deepa Nair (Malayalam), Maithili More (Marathi), Leina Moirangthem (Meitei), Acharya Durga Prasad Pokhrel (Nepali), Bhagyashree Singh (Odia), Amrinder Bobby (Punjabi), Kamalini Somalinga (Saurashtra), Dr. Nari Mansukhani (Sindhi), Sushil Rapatwar (Sanskrit), Sugath Senevirathne (Sinhalese), Dr. Laksmi Vyas (Tamil) and Ragasudha Vinjamuri (Telugu).
Rinchen Wacher is a renowned lyricist and composer from Ladakh, Amrinder Bobby is a leading singer from Punjab, and Lakshmindra Sinha is an acclaimed writer of Bishnupriya Manipuri language. All three have joined from India. Ishtar Zikr, a noted poetess, has joined from Maldives, Indu Barot is an award-winning poetess and Gyan Sharma is a ghazal singer, both based in the UK. 85-year-old Dr. Nari Mansukhani is a retired medical professional who has been active in Sindhi congregations for decades.