Protesting farmer leaders allege conspiracy hatched to kill 4 of them during Jan 26 tractor rally

News Network
January 23, 2021

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New Delhi, Jan 23: Protesting farmer leaders on Friday alleged that a conspiracy has been hatched to kill four of them and create disturbance during their proposed tractor rally on January 26.

At a late-night press conference at the Singhu border, the farmer leaders presented a person who claimed that his accomplices were allegedly asked to pose as policemen and baton charge the crowd during the proposed tractor rally.

The farmer leaders claimed that they had caught the man from the protest site at the Singhu border. He was later handed over to the Haryana Police.

Farmer leader Kulwant Singh Sandhu alleged that attempts are being made to disrupt the ongoing agitation against the three farm laws.

The man, who had his face covered with a scarf, claimed at the press conference that a plan has been hatched to shoot four farmer leaders, who are known faces in the media, at the stage on January 23.

"On January 26, there was a plan to create disturbance during the tractor rally by opening fire on Delhi Police personnel, which would prompt them to retaliate on the protesting farmers in a strong manner," the man alleged at the press conference.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several Delhi border points since November 28, demanding a repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price for their crops.

Enacted in September last year, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP (minimum support price) and do away with the "mandi" (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates. 

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News Network
February 16,2021

Bengaluru, Feb 16: Karnataka has issued new guidelines mandating all those coming from Kerala to the State to carry a negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours. 

Not just that, it has ruled that all those who have come to the State from Kerala in the last two weeks, exempting those with a negative test report not older than 72 hours, to be mandatorily subjected to COVID-19 test.

A similar restriction was placed earlier in the month in four districts bordering Kerala, but it was expanded to the entire State on Tuesday. This comes in the light of a COVID-19 cluster at a nursing college in Bengaluru being traced back mostly to Kerala returnees, even as the neighbouring State is reporting a high number of cases every day.

The guidelines say all the students in engineering and other professional colleges who have recently arrived from Kerala have to be tested for COVID-19. It calls for hostels, hotels, resorts, homestays, dormitories, and residential communities to ensure that persons checking in after travelling from Kerala have a COVID-19 negative certificate. 

It also asks hostels to ensure strict implementation of COVID-19 safety guidelines and appeals to students to not frequently travel to Kerala unless strongly justified. The guidelines call for ramping up testing and strengthening COVID-19 surveillance at all education institutions that accommodate students who have travelled from Kerala.

Commissioner of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike N. Manjunath Prasad said those who try to enter the State/city without a negative RT-PCR report would have to undergo mandatory quarantine until they are tested and results are out.

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Agencies
February 14,2021

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New Delhi, Feb 14: The Ministry of Labour and Employment has finalised rules under the four labour codes paving the way for making reforms a reality by notifying those for implementation soon.

The four broad codes on wages, industrial relations, social security and occupational safety, health & working conditions (OSH) have already been notified after getting the President's assent. But for implementing these four codes, the rules need to be notified.

Now the ministry has completed the process of consultation on draft rules on the four codes and firmed up those for notification.

Talking to PTI, Labour Secretary Apurva Chandra said, "We have finalised the rules under the four codes which are required to implement the four labour codes. We are ready to notify these rules. The states are doing their work to firm up rules under the four codes."

Parliament had passed four codes on four broad codes on wages, industrial relations, social security and occupational safety health & working conditions (OSH) which would ultimately rationalise 44 central labour laws.

The Code on Wages was passed by Parliament in 2019 while the three other codes got clearance from both the Houses in 2020.

The ministry wants to implement all four codes in one go. After firming up of rules, now four codes can be notified in one go.

Earlier on February 8, 2021, Chandra had said in a press conference, "Rule-making process is already underway and likely to be completed in the coming week. All stakeholders are also consulted in the framing of rules. This ministry would soon be in a position to bring into force the four Codes, viz., Code on Wages, Industrial Relations, Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions (OSH) and Social Security Codes."

Since labour is a concurrent subject, certain rules would also be framed by the states under the four codes.

The states are also in the process of notifying draft rules and holding tripartite consultations to firm up those for implementation.

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Agencies
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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