DRDO-developed anti-drone system deployed near Red Fort on I-Day

News Network
August 15, 2020

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New Delhi, Aug 15: An anti-drone system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was deployed near the Red Fort on Saturday on the ocassion of the 74th Independence Day.

The DRDO-developed system can detect and jam micro drones up to 3 kilometres and use laser to bring down a target up to 1-2.5 kilometres depending on the wattage of laser weapon, officials had earlier said.

It can be an effective counter to increased drone-based activity in the western and northern sectors of the country.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hoisted the national flag and addressed the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort. He said that it was an occasion to remember freedom fighters who laid down their lives for the freedom of the country.

"Congratulations and best wishes to all the countrymen on this festival of Independence Day. The sacrifice and the resolve to free the country of lakhs of sons and daughters of Maa Bharati is the reason for us being able to breathe in independent India today. This is a day to remember the sacrifices of our freedom fighters. This is also a day to show gratitude to security personnel including that of Army, paramilitary and police ensuring our safety," PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister also remembered freedom fighter and spiritual guru Sri Aurbindo (Arvind Ghosh), on his birth anniversary.

He referred to the restrictions due to COVID-19 and said that children, the future of the country, were not at present at the celebrations and also recalled the tireless contributions of corona warriors.

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Agencies
January 16,2021

All 3 members of poll panel for Supreme Court bar association's election  resign

New Delhi, Jan 16: All the three members of the election committee, set up to conduct the polls for the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) this year, have resigned.

The chairman of the Election Committee for the SCBA Elections 2020-2021 was senior advocate Jaideep Gupta and the other two members were Harin P Raval and Nakul Dewan.

In a joint letter to SCBA Acting Secretary Rohit Pandey, the election committee members said they had decided to hold the election on a digital platform and entered into discussions with NSDL, a digital firm, to conduct the polls.

The letter stated that the draft agreement entered with NSDL and the estimated cost of expenses for holding the polls digitally was sent to the executive committee of the SCBA on January 14.

"We have received a resolution, taking certain decisions, passed by the executive committee on January 14. We consider these events as a 'REFUSAL' by the executive committee of the SCBA to carry out our directions which in terms of Rule 17A of the Rules of the SCBA are final and binding," panel members stated.

They further said it was not possible for them to continue to discharge their duties as members of the panel to hold elections.

The Executive Committee of SCBA on December 4 last year had decided to constitute the election committee headed by senior advocate Jaideep Gupta to hold the polls in the second week of January.

Some of the bar association leaders were opposed to virtual election and want a hybrid system where lawyers are allowed to cast votes through physical and virtual modes both.

SCBA president Dushyant Dave had resigned from his post with immediate effect on Thursday saying he has forfeited his right to continue.

The SCBA holds elections annually for selecting its members to the executive committee.

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Agencies
January 14,2021

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Mumbai, Jan 14: Tech giant Google said it reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in India and those who were found violating the user safety policies were immediately removed from its play store.

The company in a blog post published on January 14 said the move was based on flags submitted by users and government agencies

The post also stated that the company instructed the remaining apps, the ones which were not removed, to comply with existing norms. Failure to comply with existing laws and regulations would lead to the removal from the Play Store.

"The apps that were found to violate our user safety policies were immediately removed from the Store, and we have asked the developers of the remaining identified apps to demonstrate that they comply with applicable local laws and regulations. Apps that fail to do so will be removed without further notice," Google India said.

"In addition, we will continue to assist the law enforcement agencies in their investigation of this issue,' the company said.

In its blogpost, Google said all developers on its Play Store agree to the terms of the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement, which stipulates that apps must adhere to applicable rules and laws, including generally accepted practices and guidelines.

Google said it wanted to clarify the actions it is taking on a personal loan app, adding that such platforms have received attention recently.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on January 13 announced an internal working group to study digital lending activities so that an appropriate regulatory framework can be formed.

"Recent spurt and popularity of online lending platforms/ mobile lending apps ('digital lending') has raised certain serious concerns which have wider systemic implications," the central bank said in the statement.

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Agencies
January 9,2021

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Bhopal, Jan 9: A 42-year-old volunteer from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh died nearly ten days after he participated in the clinical trial for Covaxin held at a private hospital, its vice chancellor said on Saturday while a government official suspected poisoning but added that the exact cause of the death will be known after viscera test.

Dr Rajesh Kapur, Vice Chancellor, People's Medical College and Hospital where the trial was conducted, told PTI that Deepak Marawi had participated in the Covaxin trial held on December 12, 2020.

Madhya Pradesh Medico Legal Institute Director Dr Ashok Sharma said the doctor who had performed postmortem of the deceased suspects that he died of poisoning.

However, the exact cause of the death would be known from his viscera test, he added.

"After Marawi's death on December 21, we informed the Drug Controller General of India and Bharat Biotech, which is the producer and sponsor of the trial," Dr Kapur said.

He said Marawi had volunteered for the trial and was examined.

"All protocols were followed and Marawi's consent was taken before allowing him to participate in the trial," he claimed.

Dr Kapur, however, said he cannot confirm whether Marawi was administered the vaccine shot or was given a placebo.

"It (the vial containing the liquid for trial) comescovered and coded. During the trial, 50 per cent people get the actual injection while the rest are given saline," he said.

Kapur said Marawi was kept under observation for 30 minutes after the trial as per guidelines before he was allowed to go.

"We monitored his health for 7 to 8 days," he claimed.

Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Dr Prabhuram Choudhary did not respond to phone calls.

Meanwhile, family members of Marawi, a tribal, said he was working as a labourer.

They claimed that Marawi and his colleague were administered the Covaxin injection on December 12 during the trial.

"When he returned home he felt uneasy and experienced some health problems. He complained of a shoulder pain on December 17. Two days later, he spewed foam. He refused to see a doctor saying he would be alright in a day or two. When his condition deteriorated, he was being rushed to hospital but he died midway (on December 21)," they added.

Rachana Dhingra, a Bhopal-based social activist, claimed neither Marawi's consent was taken for participation in the clinical trial nor he was given any proof of his participation in the exercise.

However, the hospital has denied this charge.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had last week approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.

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