Bengaluru top cop calls meeting of essential services representative at his office

News Network
March 25, 2020

Bengaluru, Mar 25: Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao on Wednesday called a meeting of online, e-commerce food, medicine, groceries or animal products delivery aggregators at his office in wake of situation arising out of lockdown imposed in the entire country due to coronavirus epidemic.

The Police Commissioner has appealed one representative from each agency to join him in the meeting at 7 pm.

"I have called a meeting of online, e-commerce food, medicine, groceries, vegetables/fruits or animal products delivery aggregators today at 7 pm at my office at Infantry Road, Bengaluru," said Rao.

"One representative from each agency may please come. We promise all cooperation, please come," he said.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Wednesday confirmed 539 positive cases of coronavirus in the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Tuesday announced a 21-day lockdown in the entire country effective from midnight to deal with the spread of coronavirus, saying that "social distancing" is the only option to deal with the disease, which spreads rapidly.

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News Network
September 19,2020

New Delhi, Sep 19: After claiming that the government has no data on the deaths of migrant labourers amid the nationwide lockdown as well as doctors who lost their lives due to Covid-19, the Centre on Saturday said that it has no record of MSMEs that have faced closure in the wake of the pandemic.

Interestingly, in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Pratap Chandra Sarangi also said that there is no data on the number of MSMEs closed down from FY 2014-15 to FY 2019-20.

On a question on the number of small and medium businesses closed from March to August 2020 due to the economic distress, the Minister said: “No such record is available.”

He, however, enumerated the steps taken by the government to support the MSMEs to revive, including the Rs 20,000 crore subordinate debt for MSMEs, Rs 3 lakh crore collateral-free automatic loans for business, including MSMEs, and Rs 50,000 crore equity infusion through ‘MSME Fund of Funds’.

The Minister also mentioned the revised criteria for classification of MSMEs and new registration of MSMEs through ‘Udyam Registration’ for ease-of-doing business, among other initiatives.

As per the government data on MSMEs, over 90.58 lakh such units exist in the country.

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News Network
September 23,2020

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Bengaluru, Sep 23: After the opposition demand for a judicial inquiry into procurements made during the COVID-19 pandemic was rejected, opposition Congress lawmakers led by Siddaramaiah walked out of the Assembly in protest on Wednesday.

Karnataka Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar earlier asserted that there was no corruption in any of the procurements done during the pandemic.

Replying to a debate on alleged procurement scams pointed out by opposition parties in the Assembly, Sudhakar said that there was no deviation of funds or corruption. “So, where is the question of ordering a probe? The state government rejects all allegations made by the Opposition,” the Minister said.

He charged the opposition lawmakers with trying to derive political mileage which he said was demoralising officials and Corona Warriors.

According to him, ventilators procured by the Tamil Nadu government are transport ventilators used in ambulances. “Hence, it is not correct to compare our ventilators with those in Tamil Nadu. Ventilators of different specifications and quality are available for different prices; one should not get confused with different prices,” he maintained.

The Minister asserted that the market prices vary as per the demand, and the procurement is done on the basis of prevailing prices.

“There is no instance of corruption in the procurement of equipment for the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. Not even a single deviation has taken place and, therefore, there is no need for an investigation,” he asserted.

“When there was no domestic production, we procured three lakh PPE kits from China. Subsequently, we decided to purchase from local manufacturers, that too ICMR-approved kits. Similar procedures were followed by other states as well,” the Minister explained.

He said there was shortage of sanitisers in the state but after talks with distillery owners, the demand has since been met.

Earlier, several opposition leaders, including Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah accused the state government of indulging in rampant corruption during the pandemic.

“Be it the purchase of ventilators, beds, medicines, or PPE kits, every procurement was cleared only after a cut. Hence, it is necessary to order a judicial inquiry by a sitting High Court Judge,” he said, as other opposition members endorsed his views.

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News Network
September 15,2020

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Abu Dhabi, Sept 15: A Mangaluru-origin youth is part of an international research team that has developed a tool to keep track of the mutations of the Covid-19 virus.

Elston Neil D'Souza, the youngest member of the team led by University of Melbourne associate professor David Ascher, helped create the tool called Covid-3D, which harnesses genomic and protein information about the virus. He was a former resident of Abu Dhabi.

The changing structures of the virus make it challenging for experts to develop drugs and vaccines; so by monitoring these mutations, Covid-3D becomes an important instrument in the fight against the pandemic.

During the research, D'Souza and his team analysed more than 120,000 samples of the novel coronavirus from infected patients globally. D'Souza, with eight others, co-authored the research paper, which has been peer reviewed and published in the scientific journal 'Nature Genetics'.

"With the large amounts of data collected and shared across the world, this pandemic has seen the use of innovative techniques such as genomic sequencing, machine learning and data-sharing. We developed Covid-3D using this vast amount of data," said D'Souza, an alumnus of Adnoc Schools, Ruwais. He has finished his degree in computational biology at the University of Melbourne and he is now doing another course.

"This tool is an open and freely accessible Web resource that can help researchers around the world."

D'Souza graduated from Adnoc Schools in 2016 and he attributes a large part of this success to the quality education he received in the Capital. "I am grateful for the many opportunities to learn and grow when I was a science student at Adnoc Schools. I thank the UAE for showing me the importance of working hard with a diverse group of individuals," the 22-year-old added. His parents are still residing in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi.

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