Covid-19 vaccine: Govt confirms 447 cases of adverse effect across India

News Network
January 17, 2021

New Delhi, Jan 17: A total of 2,24,301 beneficiaries have been inoculated with Covid-19 vaccine so far, out of which only 447 adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) were reported, the Union Health Ministry said on day two of the nationwide vaccination drive on Sunday.

Addressing a press briefing, the ministry's Additional Secretary Manohar Agnani said out of the 447 adverse events following immunisation, only three required hospitalisation.

"Today being Sunday, only six states conducted vaccination drive and in 553 sessions a total of 17,072 beneficiaries were vaccinated," he said.

The six states where the vaccination drive was carried out on Sunday are Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur and Tamil Nadu, he added.

Agnani said a total of 2,24,301 beneficiaries have been vaccinated till January 17 as per provisional reports, adding that 2,07,229 of them received the jabs on day one of the drive.

"A total of 447 AEFI have been reported on January 16 and 17, out of which only three required hospitalisation. Most of the AEFI reported so far are minor like fever, headache, nausea," he said.

He said a meeting was held with all states and union territories on Sunday to review the progress of the drive, identify bottlenecks and plan corrective actions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out the world's largest inoculation drive against Covid-19 on Saturday and said the two vaccines being deployed will ensure a "decisive victory" for India against the pandemic.

India has approved two vaccines — Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and Covishield from the Oxford/AstraZeneca stable being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India — for emergency use in the country.

According to the government, the shots will be offered first to an estimated one crore healthcare workers and around two crore frontline workers, and then to persons above 50 years of age, followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities.  

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News Network
March 4,2021

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New Delhi, Mar 4: The Government of India has agreed to provide relief from double taxation to Indians living abroad who had to stay in India beyond their tax exemption stay limit on account of disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

India’s Central Board of Direct taxes (CBDT) had received many representations requesting for relaxation in determination of residential status for the financial year 2020-21 from individuals who had come to India during 2019-20.

They intended to leave India again, but could not do so due to the suspension of international flights during the lockdown caused by the pandemic.

The CBDT, in a late night announcement, asked any individual facing double taxation to furnish the information about their stay in India by March 31.

"This form is to be submitted electronically to the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income-tax (International Taxation) and can be accessed on www.incometaxindia.gov.in.
 

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Ram Puniyani
February 20,2021

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India began as a plural democracy; respect for diversity was the core value. The provisions of safeguards for minorities were in built. These safeguards were formulated by the Constituent Assembly’s committee on Minorities headed by Sardar Patel. Seven decades down the lines where do we stand in matters of security and economic welfare of the religious minorities. Most of the inquiry commission reports related to communal violence, the scholarly works on communal violence by the likes of Paul Brass, Asghar Ali Engineer and recently from Yale University give a very painful picture of the communal violence, showing that the Muslims minorities in particular and lately Christian Minorities have suffered adversely. Sachar Committee Report (2006) showed the economic marginalization of Muslim minorities.

The events of last few decades and more so of last six years show the rising intimidation, marginalization and increasing fear among this community. The lynchings in the name of cow-beef and the harassment around love jihad have brought to fore the type of problems our country is facing on the scale of democratic freedoms. This was most clearly demonstrated when the large section of media with full support of the ruling dispensation coined the terms  like ‘Corona bomb’ and ‘Corona Jihad’ in the wake  of rise of Covid. To add salt to the wound, the present Government initiated NRC in Assam on the grounds that over 50 Lakh Bangladeshi’s have infiltrated into India particularly in Assam. When the final count came only 19 odd lakh people were found without proper citizenship papers out of which 12.5 Lakhs were Hindus!

Undeterred by this the ruling Government brought in Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in which the persecuted communities in neighboring countries are entitled for citizenship barring the Muslims. The trap was clear that those people who were without papers and were Hindus will get the citizenship through the back door while millions of Muslims without proper papers will be disenfranchised from citizenship to be shunted to detention centers.

It was in this background that our ex-Vice President Hamdi Ansari wrote his memoirs “By a Many Happy Accident: Recollections of a Life”. In discussions and interviews by different channels around the release of the book he voiced some of the concerns. He tried to emphasize that our citizenship is not based on religion. As most of the comments on his book and also on his life revolved around his being a Muslim, he underlined the fact that in his diplomatic and political life Muslim ness did not matter, what mattered was professional competence. As such this sums up his career which spanned over four decades and served the country in a very honorable way.

That apart the communal elements constantly targeted him for his being Muslim. In one of the republic day parade (2015), when army saluted as Jan Gan Man, national anthem was sung. A picture was circulated to create misconception that Ansari did not salute when the anthem was being sung. In this picture President is seen saluting along with him Prime Minster Narendra Modi and defense Minster are also saluting. Ansari stands still and picture highlights his not saluting. The criticism of his not saluting tricolor was propagated. At such an occasion only President, who is Commander-in-Chief of army salutes. No one is supposed to salute at that time. What Ansari did was as per the protocol, while those who saluted with President did not follow the guidelines laid down!

When Ansari retired in his farewell speech the Prime Minster took a dig. “. “A big part of your working life was in West Asia... in the same atmosphere and debate... after retirement, it was minority’s commission or AMU... that was your circumference,”

In the response to release of his book the communal forces again are uttering that India gave you so many top positions and your are disgruntled! You can very well leave the country and stay in the one where you feel at home. These types of comments show the mindset of the sectarian nationalists who see the citizens only in their religion’s identity. Ansari is not talking of his personal unhappiness. Being a thorough democrat and Indian nationalist, he is trying to draw our attention to declining ethos of our country. Since the identity issues, the emotive issues like Ram Temple, Cow-beef, Ghar Wapasi and Love jihad have taken the front stage our democratic foundations are being eroded to no end.

Similarly he points that with current Government the word secularism has gone into eclipse, it has disappeared from Governments dictionary. One can argue that even earlier the practice of secularism was on a weak wicket, e.g. the responses to Shah Bano Judgment did go contra to the values of secularism. Numerous reasons can be attributed to the weakness in practice of secularism. Still at most levels it had honorable place. What was missing was the astute sense of implementing it in the complex scenario where intense propaganda against protective clauses for minorities was projected as ‘minority appeasement’. Now there is not even an iota of consideration that as a secular state Prime Minster should not inaugurate a religious place of worship or issues like violence in the name Cow-Beef should not enjoy impunity. There is not even smallest consideration that in CAA how we can bar granting of citizenship to people of particular religion.

Ansari points out, “Overall, the very fact that Indian-ness of any citizen being questioned is a disturbing thought,’ and “enhanced apprehensions of insecurity amongst segments of our citizen body, particularly Dalits, Muslims and Christians” and the “illiberal form of nationalism that promotes intolerance”.

The critics of pluralism and diversity assert that what is prevailing is the genuine secularism as it has balanced the earlier tilt towards minorities. They also try to equate few other killings as lynching’s, to show that there no insecurity for dalits and minorities as such. Ansari’s observations need to be taken seriously and course correction of our democracy needs to be undertaken.

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Agencies
February 21,2021

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Lucknow, Feb 21: In a shocking incident, a farmer in Bijnor district destroyed his standing wheat crop on his six-bigha farmland to mark his protest against the new farm laws.

A video clip showing Sohit Ahlawat, 27, riding a tractor over his wheat crop at Kulchana village in Chandpur tehsil went viral on messenger apps.

The incident took place on Saturday.

Two days ago, during a Kisan Mahapanchayat, the Bharatiya Kisan Union leader, Rakesh Tikait, had urged farmers to give importance to the agitation and, if need be, destroy their crops.

On Saturday evening, Tikait said Ahlawat's video had pained him but more farmers would do the same "if the government does not listen to us".

"The government has forced us into a situation where farmers are destroying crops, which is not a good sight. I was personally pained to see the video, but this is not what I meant when I asked farmers to be ready to sacrifice one season's crops. 'Is tarah nuksan ka matlab nahin banta hai' (one shouldn't incur losses like this)," Tikait said at Uttar Pradesh Gate.

Ahlawat, whose father Sanjeev Kumar owns over 40 bigha farmland, is heard saying in the video, "You can see my standing wheat crop. I am destroying it in front of everyone in support of the ongoing farmers' protest. I do not want these farm laws to be imposed upon us."

State president of BKU's youth wing Digambar Singh alleged, "The cops have started harassing the farmer who destroyed his standing wheat crop. But farmers will not bend before the government and its police."

The local police refuted Singh's allegations, saying they only went to the farmland to "check the site".

Bijnor Superintendent of Police Dharamveer Singh said that there is no pressure on the farmers in the district.

Chandpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate P.K. Maurya said, "We had sent revenue department officials to check and talk to the farmer's family. They said that it was a symbolic protest against the farm laws. We are on alert and trying to talk to everyone."

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