Petrol and diesel prices touch new all-time highs in India

News Network
January 23, 2021

New Delhi, Jan 23: Petrol and diesel prices in the country on Saturday touched new all-time highs after rates were increased for the fourth time this week.

Petrol and diesel prices were hiked by 25 paise per litre each, according to a price notification from oil marketing companies.

This took the petrol price in Delhi to Rs 85.70 per litre and in Mumbai to Rs 92.28.

Diesel rate climbed to Rs 75.88 a litre in the national capital and to Rs 82.66 per litre in Mumbai, the price data showed.

This is the second consecutive day of rate increase and the fourth this week. In all prices have gone up by Re 1 per litre this week.

Fuel prices, which vary from state to state depending on local sales tax or VAT, are now at record highs in the country, prompting cries for a cut in excise duty to ease the burden on consumers.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan earlier this week blamed Saudi oil output cut for the surge in oil prices but remained non-committal on tax cuts.

Top oil explorer Saudi Arabia has pledged additional voluntary output cuts of 1 million barrels per day in February and March, which has led to price climbing to most since the pandemic broke out.

State-owned fuel retailers -- Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) -- had on January 6 resumed daily price revision after nearly a month-long hiatus.

Since then, rates have gone up by Rs 1.99 a litre on petrol and Rs 2.01 in case of diesel.

This comes after international oil prices firmed up on hopes of demand returning from the rollout of coronavirus vaccines in different countries, including India.

Prior to the current highs triggered by the price hikes this month, fuel prices had last touched record high on October 4, 2018.

At that time the government had cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.50 per litre in a bid to ease inflationary pressure and boost consumer confidence.

Alongside, state-owned fuel retailers cut prices by another Re 1 a litre, which they recouped later.

This time, there are no indications of a duty cut so far.

Petrol and diesel prices are revised on a daily basis in line with benchmark international price and foreign exchange rates.

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February 27,2021

Covid vaccine price private govt hospitals free coronavirus shots latest  news | India News – India TV

New Delhi, Feb 27: Private hospitals can charge up to Rs 250 per dose of Covid-19 vaccine, official sources said on Saturday as India prepares to vaccinate people aged above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities from March 1.

The Covid-19 vaccine will be given free of cost at government hospitals, while people will need to pay for it at private facilities.

"Rs 250 will be the ceiling -- Rs 150 cost of vaccine plus Rs 100 service charge. This arrangement will remain effective till further orders," a source said.

According to sources, states and union territories have been informed about it.

The Union Health Ministry on Friday had said beneficiaries would be able to self-register in advance by downloading the Co-WIN 2.0 portal and through other IT applications such as Aarogya Setu, which will show the government and private hospitals serving as Covid-19 vaccination centres (CVCs) with date and time of the available schedules.

The beneficiary would be able to choose the CVC of his/her choice and book an appointment for vaccination, the ministry said.

There will be facility of on-site registration so that eligible beneficiaries can walk into identified vaccination centres, get themselves registered and inoculated.

"Eligible beneficiaries would be able to register themselves on the Co-WIN platform from March 1 itself," R S Sharma, Chairman of Empowered Group on Covid-19 Vaccine Administration had said.

The nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive was launched on January 16. This is now to be exponentially expanded to the age-groups -- all citizens above 60 years and those within the age bracket of 45 to 59 years with specified co-morbidities -- from March 1.

During a meeting held on Friday, representatives of states and UTs were explained the basic features of version 2.0 of the digital platform Co-WIN, which is a population-scale software with capacity of processing several thousands of entries.

It was pointed out that all CVCs must be health facilities which are government health facilities such as sub health centres (SHCs), primary health centres (PHCs), community health centres (CHCs), Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres, Sub-Division Hospitals, District Hospitals and Medical College Hospitals or private hospitals empanelled under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PM JAY) and similar State Health Insurance Schemes.

States and UTs were asked to ensure that the private health facilities have adequate space for the vaccination process, as detailed in the comprehensive SOPs issued by the ministry, basic cold chain equipments, their own team of vaccinators and staff, and adequate facility for management of any adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) cases for using them as CVCs.

All beneficiaries, regardless of the mode of access will have to carry any one of the following photo ID documents -- Aadhaar Card, Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC), Photo ID card specified at the time of registration in case of online registration (if not Aadhaar or EPIC), certificate of co-morbidity for citizens in age group of 45 years to 59 years (signed by a registered medical practitioner), and employment certificate/Official Identity Card for healthcare workers (HCWs) and frontline workers (FLWs).

States and UTs  on Friday explained the simplified process of registration, which shall be through three routes -- advance self-registration, on-site registration and facilitated cohort registration.

Under the first route, beneficiaries will be able to self register in advance by downloading the Co-WIN 2.0 portal and through other IT applications such as Aarogya Setu.

"This will show the government and private hospitals serving as CVCs with date and time of the available schedules. The beneficiary would be able to choose the CVC of his/her choice and book an appointment for vaccination.

"The facility of on-site registration allows those who cannot self register in advance to walk into the identified CVCs and get themselves registered on-site and then vaccinated," the ministry said.

Under the facilitated cohort registration mechanism, the state and UT government will take proactive lead, the ministry said in the statement.

Specific date(s) for COVID-19 vaccination will be decided where target groups of potential beneficiates will be vaccinated. State and health authorities will ensure that that the target groups are actively mobilised and brought to the vaccination centres. ASHAs, ANMs, Panchayati Raj representatives and Women's Self Help Groups (SHGs) will be utilised for mobilising the target groups.

Vaccination will be free of charge at the government vaccination centres. The beneficiary will have to show a photo ID document for proof of age (preferably Aadhaar card or EPIC card) and certificate of co-morbidity (if required). Those taking the Covid-19 vaccine at any designated/empanelled private health facility will have to pay a pre-fixed charge.

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February 20,2021

Air India Express flight accident andhra pradesh

Krishna, Feb 20: An Air India Express flight hit an electric pole while landing at Vijayawada International Airport in Gannavaram on Saturday.

As per an official statement, all passengers on the flight are safe.

The airline authorities have ordered an investigation.

Airport director, G Madhusudan Rao told ANI: "An Air India flight coming from Doha met with a minor accident at Vijayawada International Airport in Gannavaram today. All passengers are safe. When the flight was about to land, its wing hit a light pole. The light pole broke and fell down. The flight wing is slightly damaged. This incident happened at 16.54 IST."

"There were 64 passengers in the flight excluding the crew. Nobody is injured in the incident and all are safe," Rao said.

Following landing, as the flight was taxiing on the runway towards bay number 5, it hit the electrical pole.

"AI Express flight IX-1676 that arrived from Doha at Vijayawada Airport at 16.50 hrs, today, while flight was proceeding from runway to Bay No. 5 the captain followed leading margin (yellow) line instead of central yellow line. As a result the flight's right wing hit the high mask lights pole and the pole fell down. The flight's right wing got minor damage. Passengers and crew all are safe. Air India staff and technical personnel are attending," sources said.

The flight from Doha was headed to Vijaywada and then to Trichy. Out of the 64 passengers, 19 passengers were headed to Vijaywada and the rest are now headed to Trichy. The airline authorities have ordered an investigation," the airport director Rao said.

Ramareddy, one of the passengers who had boarded from Doha said he felt a small jerk during landing. "There was a small jerk and we passengers felt nothing except that jerk. The pilot was alert. Nothing happened to anybody," he said.

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Agencies
February 20,2021

Image result for Greta Thunberg bats for freedom of speech, tweets in support of Disha Ravi

Stockholm, Feb 20: Greta Thunberg on Friday tweeted her support for an Indian activist jailed over a guide for anti-government farmers protests, which the Swedish climate campaigner had earlier shared to social media.

In a post on Twitter, Thunberg wrote "freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest and assembly are non-negotiable human rights."

Freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest and assembly are non-negotiable human rights. These must be a fundamental part of any democracy. #StandWithDishaRavi https://t.co/fhM4Cf1jf1

— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) February 19, 2021

"These must be a fundamental part of any democracy. #StandWithDishaRavi," the 18-year-old activist tweeted, referring to Indian climate campaigner Disha Ravi.

Ravi, 22, was arrested on Saturday. Police alleged she helped edit a so-called toolkit, which offers basic advice including joining on-the-ground protests and showing support on social media.

"The main aim of the toolkit was to create misinformation and disaffection against the lawfully enacted government", Delhi Police's Joint Commissioner of Police for Cyber Crime, Prem Nath, told reporters on Monday.

Officers decided to investigate the toolkit after Thunberg linked to it in a tweet in early February showing support for farmers protesting against new agriculture laws deregulating the sector.

Delhi Police added Monday they had also issued arrest warrants for two others for allegedly working with Ravi to draft the online document.

Ravi's arrest has been criticised by opposition politicians and activists within India, with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal -- whose Common Man Party supports the demonstrations -- calling it "an unprecedented attack on Democracy."

Farmers have been camping on the outskirts of the capital since late November, and calling for the repeal of new agriculture laws, in one of the biggest challenges to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government since it came to power in 2014.

Modi has said the changes are necessary to modernise India's agriculture sector, but protesters fear they would be placed at the mercy of big corporations.

The tussle between the government and the farmers took an international turn in early February when Rihanna and Thunberg tweeted about the rallies to their millions of social media followers.

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