Punjab polls: Party will decide who will be face of campaign, says Cong leader Manish Tewari

Delhi (ANI): Congress MP Manish Tewari on Saturday said the party will decide who will lead and be the face of the campaign for the Punjab Assembly elections.

He also said that elected MLAs have the right to elect the Chief Minister.
“As an MP and a political worker, I personally think that in a democracy the right to elect CM lies with elected MLAs. Who leads the campaign, who becomes the face of the campaign can be decided by the party,” Tewari told ANI.

When asked about Navjot Singh Sidhu’s statement that “people at the top” want a weak Chief Minister who can dance to their tune, he said, “Navjot Singh Sidhu’s answer is Navjot Singh Sidhu himself and no one should get involved in this. No one can understand his statement,” he said.”

Speaking to ANI, the Congress MP also said that he is not surprised that his name is missing from the list of star campaigners.

“I would have been surprised had my name been there; not surprised that it’s not there. Everyone knows the reason. As far as Hindus and Sikhs are concerned, it has never been an issue in Punjab. Had it ever been an issue, I would have not been MP from Sri Anandpur Sahib,” he said.

Earlier on Friday, Congress released the list of star campaigners for the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections and the names of prominent G-23 leaders of the Congress Ghulam Nabi Azad and Manish Tewari were missing, which apparently hinted at a rift within the party’s state unit.

Commenting on Congress leader Sunil Jakhar claim that a majority of MLAs had backed him for the Chief Minister’s post after Amarinder Singh quit and the person who got two votes was selected Chief Minister, Tewari said, “There are no differences between Hindus and Sikhs in Punjab. It is true that perhaps to stop Sunil Jakhar at that time, some ‘Mathadheesh’ who are sitting in Delhi might have used such a narrow mindset,” he added.

Jakhar had claimed that 42 of 79 party MLAs wanted him to take over as the Punjab Chief Minister after Amarinder Singh stepped down from the post while only two legislators favoured Charanjit Singh Channi.

Punjab will go to the polls on February 20. The counting of votes will take place on March 10. (image -instagram)

PM Modi, Nadda lead BJP’s star campaigners for UP polls; Varun Gandhi, Maneka excluded

New Delhi [India] (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday released a list of 30-star campaigners for Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
While many star campaigners like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah are on the list, party MPs and mother-son duo Maneka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi have been excluded from the list. The duo has been victorious multiple times from Sultanpur and Pilibhit. In the recent rejig of the BJP national executive committee, the two were also dropped from that list.
BJP releases a list of 30 leaders who will campaign for the party’s candidates in the first phase of the upcoming Uttar Pradesh election.
The first name on that list includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi followed by party national president JP Nadda. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP candidate from Gorakhpur Yogi Adityanath also features on that list of star campaigners.
Others on that list include Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and state president Swatantra Dev Singh.
Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Smriti Irani, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Dinesh Sharma Keshav Prasad Maurya were also on the list. Sanjeev Balyan and Radha Mohan Singh amongst others were on the list.
Varun Gandhi has taken on Twitter on multiple occasions questioning his party on farmers issue and also the mowing down of farmers by Union MOS Ajay Mishra Teni’s son and subtly blaming his government in the Centre and in the state for not taking action quick enough to arrest Ashish Mishra Teni.
Given the constraints of campaigning because of the spread of COVID, the BJP is likely to hit the campaign trail in Uttar Pradesh in a phased-out manner doing door-to-door campaigning and from there on doing closed-door meetings which would allow 300 people.
BJP sources told ANI that the top leaders of the party including Home Minister Amit Shah and national president JP Nadda will start touring Uttar Pradesh starting the third week of January.
Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will be held in seven phases from February 10 to March 7. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7. (Image source: Instagram)

Arvind Singh clinches gold, India finish campaign with 6 medals in Asian Rowing Championships

Bangkok [Thailand]: Indian rower Arvind Singh won the gold medal in the men’s lightweight single sculls on Sunday at the Asian Rowing Championships 2021 in Thailand.
Arvind Singh outpaced Uzbekistan’s Sobirjon Safaroliyev to win gold with the timing of 7.55.942 at the Royal Thai Navy Rowing Center in Rayong. China’s Weichun Chen took bronze with the timing of 8.10.043. Indian rowers won three more silver medals on the final day of the continental championships. The contingent finished their campaign in Thailand with a tally of six medals in all – two gold and four silver.
“India wins 4 more medals at Asian #Rowing C’ships 2021, taking total to 6 #Tokyo2020 Olympian #ArvindSingh wins in Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls | 07:55.942 #AshishPhugat/ #SukhjinderSingh win in Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls | 07:12.568,” SAI Media tweeted.
Ashish Phugat and Sukhjinder Singh won silver in the men’s lightweight double sculls with a time of 7:12.568. Meanwhile, in the quadruple sculls, the quartet of Bittu Singh, Jakar Khan, Manjeet Kumar and Sukhmeet Singh won the silver with a time of 6.33.083.
In the men’s coxless fours, the team of Jasveer Singh, Punit Kumar, Gurmeet Singh and Charanjeet Singh won the silver with a time of 6:51.661.
On Saturday, India’s Arjun Lal Jat and Ravi won the gold medal in the men’s double sculls as they defeated China’s Qing Li/Lutong Zhang and Uzbekistan’s Davrjon Davronov/Abdullo Mukhammadiev for the top-podium finish.

Over 15 cr Antodaya cardholders to get double ration under UP Govt’s “biggest campaign” set to begin from December 12

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: The Uttar Pradesh Government is set to begin its “Maha Abhiyan” of free ration distribution, other than the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY), from December 12, Sunday.
As per a statement issued by the state government, under the campaign, more than 15 crore ration cardholders will be given double ration, free of cost. Terming it as the “biggest ration distribution campaign ever in the country”, the state government said, “Antyodaya and eligible domestic ration cardholders will get the direct benefit of the government scheme.”
“Under the scheme, the double ration is to be distributed to Antyodaya ration cardholders and eligible families. There are about 1,30,07,969 units under Antyodaya Anna Yojana and 13,41,77,983 units of eligible domestic cardholders in the state,” read the release.
MPs and MLAs have been instructed to monitor the campaign, which is a big support to the poor, labourers and farmers in the state.
Notably, on the occasion of ‘Deepotsava’ celebrations in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced that PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) will be extended till Holi.
“Since then 10 kg ration is being given free every month to the eligible cardholders of UP,” the state government said.
“The UP government is also giving free wheat and rice twice a month to the ration cardholders. Pulses, edible oil and salt are also being given free of cost from ration shops,” it added.
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) is a food security welfare scheme that was envisaged by the Prime Minister to provide assistance and help mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19.

ISL: FC Goa, SC East Bengal eye first win of campaign

Panaji [Goa]: SC East Bengal and FC Goa will have their eyes locked on that elusive first win when the two sides cross swords in a bottom-table clash in the 2021-22 Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Tuesday.
SC East Bengal, who will play their fifth straight game at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, their ‘home’ this season too, eked out a point against Chennaiyin FC in their last outing. The red and gold outfit showed grit in a 0-0 draw, with the likes of Hira Mondal, Md Rafique, Suvam Sen and Tomislav Mrcela making their presence felt.
The Jose Manuel Diaz-coached team have two points from four matches. But against FC Goa, the century-old club will fancy their chances.
Juan Ferrando’s FC Goa are yet to win a game after three games, suffering a last-ditch heartbreak against NorthEast United FC.
The reigning Durand Cup champions had almost ensured a point after the match leaned towards a draw in the end, but to their misfortune, Khassa Camara scored a stunner in stoppage time to snatch all three points on offer.
SC East Bengal will look to heap more misery on their rivals with the likes of Daniel Chima Chukwu and Antonio Perosevic likely to partner upfront with Semboi Haokip also adding to Diaz’s options.
“It’s a good start for improving our level. We could have won the match and we hope that we win a match in the near future,” coach Diaz said after the match against Chennaiyin.
FC Goa, meanwhile, have not clicked as a unit despite having in their ranks proven quality like Edu Bedia, Glan Martins and Jorge Ortiz. Airam Cabrera has been impressive too but the backline has looked out-of-sorts.
Head Coach Juan Ferrando suggested there would be light at the end of the tunnel. “It is difficult for the dressing room atmosphere and the players to digest the results after they have put in the hard work. However, we need to brush it aside and concentrate on getting all three points in the next game”
“The most important thing will be the psychology of the players to finish off games. I know SC East Bengal will be ready to pounce upon every mistake we make but for us, our biggest opposition is not the team in front, it is FC Goa itself, we have to overcome that and hope for results,” said the 40-year-old Spaniard.

India’s campaign at Indonesia Open ends

Jakarta [Indonesia]: India’s campaign at the Indonesia Open 2021 came to an end after men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty collapsed to a straight-game defeat in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Playing on Court 1, the Indian duo lost to top-seeds Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon of Indonesia by 21-16, 21-18 in 44 minutes. The Minions got off the blocks very quickly as they took the 11-6 lead after exchanging some rapid rallies with Indians. The Indian pair showed some resistance late in the game but the top seeds from Indonesia, in the end, clinched the opener 21-16 in 16 mins.
Rankireddy-Shetty came strong in the second game as they took a slender 11-10 lead going into the mid-game interval. But the Indonesians showed their extreme composure as they won the game after leveling it on 16-16.
Earlier in the day, India’s ace shuttler P.V. Sindhu lost her semis clash against Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand by 15-21, 21-9, 21-14 in 54 minutes. With this win, Thai shuttler has better her head-to-head record against two-times Olympic medallist Indian by 7-4.

Turkey’s Tourism Agencies Launches Early Booking Campaign For 2022

Turkey’s tourism agencies launched on Friday an early booking campaign “at attractive and affordable prices” for the 2022 tourism season.

The announcement came at a tourism congress organized by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB) in Turkey’s Mediterranean Antalya province.

Firuz Baglikaya, head of TURSAB, said at the congress that the campaign would be valid for a wide range of tourism forms and not only sea-sand-sun tourism, which has been the dominant type of tourism in Turkey.

Mert Vardar, CEO of Jolly Tour, said that Turkey’s domestic market would get many benefits from the campaign, as the expectations for 2022 in terms of attracting foreign tourists are much higher than this year.

Kaan Karayal, head of, an online booking system, said early reservation had lost its popularity amid the pandemic for two years, but now it has become important again.

The discounted rates will end towards the beginning of the new tourism season, according to sector insiders.

The tourism season in Turkey usually starts in May and ends after the summer months.

The number of foreign visitors during the first nine months of this year is up to 86 per cent from the same period last year and hit 17.6 million in Turkey, according to the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry.

In 2019, Turkey’s tourist revenue hit a record 34.5 billion US dollars generated from the arrival of more than 45 million foreign visitors. However, tourism plummeted by more than 65 per cent in 2020 due to travel restrictions, but rebounded in 2021, with an increase in vaccination against COVID-19 around the world.

Austria introduces mandatory COVID-19 vaccination from February 1

Vienna [Austria] : Mandatory vaccination campaign against coronavirus will start in Austria from February 1, 2022, Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced on Friday.
“Today we have made a very difficult decision – to introduce compulsory vaccination very quickly, it should be in effect as early as February 1, 2022,” Schallenberg said at a press conference. Schallenberg also announced the introduction of a total national lockdown from Monday for a maximum of 20 days. According the chancellor, the lockdown for the unvaccinated people increased the readiness of the population to vaccinate, but not sufficiently.
Since November 15, a lockdown has been in effect in the country for those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19. Nevertheless, the epidemiological situation continues to deteriorate – the daily incidence regularly breaks records, the intensive care units are on the verge of being overloaded with COVID-19 patients.

Olympic bronze medal : Indian Hockey Team

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India] : Star players from the historic Olympic bronze medal-winning Indian men’s hockey team will arrive in Bhubaneswar on Sunday for the national coaching camp.
The coaching camp commenced on Wednesday as part of their preparations for the Asian Champions Trophy in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The 30-member Indian men’s hockey core probable group will camp in Bhubaneswar till December 9. The group includes Manpreet Singh and PR Sreejesh who will be conferred with the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award on Saturday in New Delhi.
The group also includes Harmanpreet Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Surender Kumar, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit, Hardik Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Shamsher Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Varun Kumar who were all conferred with the Arjuna Award for their historic performance in Tokyo Olympics.
Vivek Sagar Prasad, who is also in New Delhi for the Arjuna Award ceremony, will join the senior men’s camp after his campaign with the India Colt’s team at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup which concludes on December 5.
The Olympic heroes will join the rest of the members in the core group who reported in Bhubaneswar on November 10.
The 30-member group also includes Akashdeep Singh, Gurinder Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Krishan B Pathak, Suraj Karkera, Jaskaran Singh, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Raj Kumar Pal, Gursahibjit Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Shilanand Lakra, Mandeep Mor, Ashis Kumar Topno and Suman Beck.
Speaking about the national coaching camp, chief coach Graham Reid said, “It will be good to have the senior men’s team train in Bhubaneswar as the weather here is almost similar to that of Dhaka. It will be great for the team to train in these conditions and get acclimatised. We will also be playing a few internal matches between the senior and the junior core probables that will surely help in our preparations for the Junior Men’s World Cup,” said Reid.
“The season next year will be busy for the senior squad with back-to-back major international tournaments and it will be great to kick off the year by defending the Asian Champions Trophy. We had a good camp in SAI, Bengaluru before the team went on a short break for Diwali and I believe this break would have done the players a lot of good to return to the camp feeling fresh mentally,” he added.
The Asian Champions Trophy will be held from December 14 to 22 and will see defending champions India, Pakistan, Korea, Japan, Malaysia and hosts Bangladesh in the fray.

Har Ghar Dastak campaign focuses on at least 90 pc adult vaccination coverage, says Dr Agnani

New Delhi [India]: The major focus of the Centre’s Har Ghar Dastak campaign is to vaccinate at least 90 per cent of the adult population with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, said Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Dr Manohar Agnani on Friday. During a national interactive webinar for the media, organised by the ministry on further strengthening and creating awareness about the month-long campaign, Agnani said, “Under Har Ghar Dastak, we want the first dose coverage to reach 90 per cent by November 30 and maximum coverage for the second dose.”
“Eighty per cent single dose and 39 per cent double doses have already been covered so far,” he added.
When asked about the need for a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Agnani said, “Right now we are focusing on vaccination for adults.”
Further, talking about the due second doses of the vaccine, he said, “Health workers will knock at every door, check, inspire and motivate under Har Ghar Dastak. Every individual has a role. We’ve requested NGOs too. By November 30 we should reach our goal. We have three vaccines under the campaign: Covaxin, Covishield and SputnikV.”
“Healthcare workers will conduct door-to-door vaccinations of eligible people across India with a special focus on districts where less than 50 per cent of the eligible population has been vaccinated,” he added.
While expressing confidence in fulfilling the aim, Agnani said, “In several states, 100 per cent of the adult population has received the first dose of the vaccine. With India’s current vaccine delivery capacity, the entire adult population will soon be covered.”
He also stressed the importance of taking both the vaccine doses and urged the media persons to motivate people through positive stories.

End of election campaign, Bulgarians vote on November 14

Sofia [Bulgaria]: The election campaign for the elections for the 47th National Assembly and the elections for president and vice-president of Bulgaria ends at 24.00 hrs on November 12.
The campaign was launched on October 15, 2021 (30 days before election day – November 14). If a new vote is held (second stage), the election campaign in the elections for President and Vice President of the Republic ends on November 19, 2021 at 24.00 hrs. 20 parties and seven coalitions have registered to run in the parliamentary elections. It is expected that the 47th National Assembly will include six parties and coalitions according to the data of the sociological agencies – these are GERB-SDS, “BSP for Bulgaria”, “We Continue the Change”, TISP, DPS and “Democratic Bulgaria”.
A total of 24 parties, coalitions and initiative committees are registered in the public register for the presidential and vice-presidential elections.

WTA Finals, Day 2

Guadalajara [Mexico] : Paula Badosa made a remarkable debut at the 2021 WTA Finals, defeating top seed and world number two Aryna Sabalenka 6-4, 6-0 on Thursday night in Guadalajara.
With the win, the 23-year-old Spaniard joins Maria Sakkari atop the Chichen Itza group after Day 2. Badosa has now won her past seven matches dating back to her Indian Wells triumph three weeks ago. Maria Sakkari of Greece got her WTA Finals campaign off to a stellar start, defeating Iga Swiatek of Poland 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday afternoon in Guadalajara.
Badosa will now face Maria Sakkari. The Greek star got her WTA Finals campaign off to a stellar start, defeating Iga Swiatek of Poland 6-2, 6-4 earlier in the day. The winner will sit alone atop the Chichen Itza group.
Iga Swiatek will next face number one seed Aryna Sabalenka.

COVID-19: States, UTs must work together in collaborative spirit, says Union Health Minister

New Delhi [India] : Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday said all the state and union territories should work together in a collaborative spirit to give COVID-19 pandemic the last mile effort, informed sources.
The Union Minister said this during the meeting with state and union territories health ministers on the ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ COVID19 vaccination campaign. “In the national interest, all states and UTs must work together in a collaborative spirit to give this in the last-mile effort. So that no household, no citizen is left unvaccinated in the country,” said Mandaviya.
He also said that the CoWIN can be used to prepare district-specific action plans.
“We should not think that COVID is over. Cases are rising globally, ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign being monitored daily. CoWIN can be used to prepare district-specific action plans. CoWIN portal to focus on expiry of vaccines,” he said during the meeting.
He further said that in countries like Singapore, Britain, Russia, China cases are rising despite more than 80 per cent vaccination.
He also upgraded states to ensure all eligible population gets the first dose and more than 12 crore are also covered for the second dose during the Har Ghar Dastak campaign should also be covered.
Most of the state and union territories health ministers and senior representatives were present in the meeting with Union Health Minister.
With ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign, the Centre is targeting to complete maximum single dose and second dose adult COVID-19 vaccination. It was launched on November 2 on the occasion of Dhanwantari Diwas.
The health ministry today informed that 110.23 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far under the nationwide vaccination drive.
The Centre has provided 1,20,08,58,170 vaccine doses to states and union territories so far, through free of cost channel, and through the direct state procurement category, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday.
According to an official release, 16,74,03,871 balance and unutilized COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and union territories to be administered.

75 nutrition smart villages will strengthen India’s campaign against malnutrition, says Centre

New Delhi [India]: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday announced the “Nutrition Smart Village” programme to reach out to 75 villages across India with the objective of promoting nutritional awareness, education and behavioural change in rural areas.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the objectives of the initiative are promoting nutritional awareness, education and behavioural change in rural areas involving farm women and school children, harnessing traditional knowledge through the local recipe to overcome malnutrition and implementing nutrition-sensitive agriculture through homestead agriculture and Nutri-garden. The objectives of the programme would be achieved through the network of All India Coordinated Research Project on Women in Agriculture (AICRP-WIA) which is in operation at 13 centres in 12 States of India besides the coordinating institute located at Bhubaneswar.
“The initiative has been undertaken in line with the Prime Minister’s call to all the academicians, agricultural scientists and all the institutions to adopt and transform 75 villages. Under the initiative, a total of 75 villages will be adopted by AICRP centres and ICAR-CIWA, for which the AICRP centres will adopt 5 villages each with the remaining to be adopted by ICAR-CIWA with an aim to develop 75 Nutri-Smart villages,” the statement said.
“To achieve the goal of Malnutrition free villages, intensive awareness campaigns and field activities will be undertaken for focusing on the concept of Nutri-village/ Nutri-food/ Nutri-diet/ Nutri-thali etc. for strengthening the Poshan Abhiyan. Awareness among the women farmers will also be created about their legal rights in all walks of life. The products/ tools/ technologies developed by AICRP centres will be evaluated through multi-location trials,” it added.

“BJP work for poorest of poor”

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India] : Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said that unlike the opposition we have proved that Bharatiya Janata Party governments work for the poorest of the poor.
While addressing the launch event of ‘Mera Parivaar-BJP Parivaar’ membership drive, Shah said, “BJP has done the work of getting back its identity to Uttar Pradesh. BJP has done a lot of work to take the state towards becoming the most prominent state of the country. BJP has proved that governments are not for the family, but for the poorest of the poor in the state.” He further question said that for the last five years people were sitting at their homes and now they are coming out and thinking they will form their government.
“People who were sitting at home for the last five years are coming out thinking their government will be formed. I want Akhilesh Yadav to tell the people of Uttar Pradesh that for how many days he was staying abroad. Where was he during COVID, floods. They only worked for their family.” Shah said.
He further added that the campaign to approve ‘Mera Parivaar-BJP Parivaar’ membership drive has begun in Uttar Pradesh.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that BJP workers fought against riots and overcame many challenges to make the party win both in Centre and Uttar Pradesh.
“BJP workers fought against riots and overcame many challenges to make BJP win both in Centre and Uttar Pradesh. Everyone is feeling proud that Ram Mandir is being constructed under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah’s leadership. The whole world will see Ayodhya’s Diwali Deepotsav this time,” said the chief minister.
Uttar Pradesh is set to go to the polls next year.
In the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP won a landslide of 312 Assembly seats and secured a 39.67 per cent vote share in the elections for 403-member Assembly. Samajwadi Party (SP) bagged 47 seats, BSP won 19 while Congress bagged seven seats.

Centre to launch ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination

New Delhi [India]: Centre will soon start a mega COVID-19 vaccination campaign ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ in poor-performing districts aiming to achieve full vaccination by the end of November, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday.
“We are going to launch a mega vaccination campaign ‘Har Ghar Dastak’. We have decided that for the next one month, healthcare workers will go door-to-door to vaccinate people eligible for the second dose and also those who have not taken the first dose,” the minister told media persons. Mandaviya on Wednesday chaired a national review meeting with health ministers of states and UTs to discuss the scaling up of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country.
According to the minister, 77 per cent of the eligible population in India has been vaccinated against COVID with the first dose while 32 per cent people have received both doses. “More than 10 crores people have not taken the second dose of vaccine. People who are eligible for the second dose should take the vaccine,” he added.
Highlighting the need to accelerate the pace and coverage of vaccination, he stated that there are more than 10.34 crore people in the country who have not taken the second dose after the prescribed interval.
Speaking to ANI, Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo raised concerns about the number of people who have dropped out of taking the second dose of the COVID vaccine. “A cause of worry is that a huge number of people have dropped out from taking the second dose of COVID vaccine. Wherever there is vaccine hesitancy, we should reach out to people through social, religious, and other organisations,” Deo said.
He added, “Wherever there is a deficiency, there is always scope for trying to do better.” Deo also said that vaccination hesitancy has not been witnessed in Chhattisgarh.
Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh told ANI that 67 per cent of the eligible population in the state have taken the first dose while the second dose has been administered to about 21 per cent of people. “We will fully vaccinate people with the first dose while for the second dose we will try our best with the solutions given by the Union Health Minister,” he added.
Uttarakhand Health Minister Dhan Singh Rawat after the meeting told ANI that people in the state have been fully vaccinated with the first dose while more than 50 per cent have been administered the second dose.
The Union Health Minister also stated that adequate vaccine doses were available in the country, and more than 12 crore balance unutilised doses are available with the States for administering. “No district should be without full vaccination”, he exhorted the States. He further added- “Let us aim to cover all eligible with 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine by end-November 2021.”
During the meeting, the state health ministers were requested to ensure continuous oversight on the progress of the national COVID-19 vaccination programme. Mandaviya urged the State and UTs to make regional and local level plans with all the stakeholders to reduce the number of people with vaccination overdue. He also urged for innovative strategies to encourage them to achieve their targets to review the planning and execution of district-wise plans for coverage of due beneficiaries of the second dose as available on the Co-WIN portal.
Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar was also present during the national review meeting. State Health Ministers Alo Libang (Arunachal Pradesh), Keshab Mahanta (Assam), Mangal Pandey (Bihar), T S Singhdeo (Chhattisgarh), Satyendra Jain (Delhi) Rushikesh Patel (Gujarat), Dr Narrotam Mishra (Home Minister Madhya Pradesh), Dr Mani Kumar Sharma (Sikkim), M A Subramanian (Tamil Nadu), Jai Pratap Singh (Uttar Pradesh), Dhan Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand), Dr Subhash Garg (Rajasthan), Banna Gupta (Jharkhand) participated in the review meeting. State officials along with Mission Directors (NHM) from various states were also present.
Mandaviya highlighted the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi guiding the recently launched PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-BHIM). “COVID has given us the opportunity to analyse the gaps in our existing health infrastructure. We have also learned that in a federal democracy, the Centre and States working in a synchronized collaborative mode can achieve significant milestones”. He informed that with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crore, PM-AB HIM, announced in the Budget 2021-22, is the largest pan-India Health Infrastructure Scheme and would provide a much-needed fillip to India’s capacity to address emergent Public Health issues.
This will give a major boost to India’s healthcare infrastructure and make it more resilient, he added. He urged the States to make strategies for timely utilization of the allocated funds under the new Mission. Mandaviya also requested State Health Ministers to ensure that plans and implementation schedules for the ECRP-II are reviewed for timely completion of the proposed initiatives and schemes.
Speaking about India’s philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, Dr. Mandaviya said that India’s pharma sector is fulfilling this philosophy by catering to people with new cost-effective treatments and vaccines. “India supplied essential drugs to the world during first wave of COVID. The world reciprocated and helped India during the second wave”, he stated. Praising the efforts of Indian scientists and researchers, he said that there is no dearth of brain and manpower in India. “India is rightly called ‘pharmacy of the world’ due to its quality drugs. It is a matter of immense pride for India that we have manufactured the COVID vaccine and also administered 100 Cr doses in a short span since 16th Jan 2021”, he stated.
The Union Health Minister further exhorted the State Health Ministers to ensure that the country’s goals for TB elimination, AIDS control and treatment, and other non-COVID schemes are kept in sharp focus.
Dr Mandaviya assured the Health Ministers that the Centre will extend all support and assistance to the States/UTs in matters of health. “In a federal democracy, the Centre and States form a collaborative platform. We should work as a team for ensuring Swastha Bharat, Samruddh Bharat”, he said.
The State Health Ministers heartily thanked the Union Health Minister for this interactive meeting which gave them the opportunity to discuss various issues at a personal level. As desired and assured by Mandaviya, an interactive group with State Health Ministers has been created on WhatsApp to facilitate real-time interaction with the Union Health Minister.

Lalu to campaign for RJD

Patna (Bihar) [India]: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad on Monday said that he will campaign in Munger and Darbhanga on October 27 for the upcoming assembly bypolls in the state.
“I will campaign in Tarapur in Munger and Kusheshwar Asthan in Darbhanga on October 27 for the upcoming bypolls in the state,” Lalu Prasad told ANI. The bypolls for Tarapur and Kusheshwar Asthan seats will be held on October 30.
Congress has also fielded candidates for the two seats after RJD announced its decision to contest the two seats, creating a rift between the two parties which are allies in the state.

RED FM launches World Cup campaign ‘Totka Chalao India Ko Jeetao’

New Delhi (Delhi) [India] : 93.5 RED FM, India’s leading private radio and entertainment network, has kick-started its World Cup campaign ‘Totka Chalao, India ko Jeetao’. Capturing the passion and craze of fans, RED FM will celebrate the ‘totkas’ and will have RJs follow some of these tricks shared by listeners as part of the campaign.
Witness the best of entertainment with ‘Nand Kishore Bairagi’ aka RJ Kisna taking a spin on the ‘totkas’ in his unique style. The campaign will also have Bauaa aka RJ Raunac calling up opponent teams as part of his prank calls series. Keeping the passion of the World Cup alive, RED FM will also launch the anthem, ‘Totka Wala Gana’ capturing the craze of cricket fans across the country. Speaking on the campaign, Nisha Narayanan, Director & COO, RED FM and Magic FM, said, “Cricket generates a kind of excitement that cuts across all sections of the society in India. Fans have been eagerly waiting for the mega tournament to start after the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to all sporting activities. Over the years, cricket has united fans and radio has been a crucial part in bringing them together. There’s no denying that luck and superstitions go hand in hand with a cricket fan and this year we are bringing some of those practices the fans have subconsciously picked up over the years and now cannot let go. Our campaign, ‘Totka Chalao, India ko Jeetao’ will highlight some of the crazy ‘totkas’ that cricket fans follow across the country. We hope that you will share your favourite ‘totkas’ with us and cheer for team India with RED FM.”
The campaign will be rolled out in 40 key markets across the country with non-stop entertainment for all cricket lovers.
We are Irreverent; we are young, cool and trendy. We are the voice of today’s Millennial. We are one of the largest radio networks in the country. We are RED FM. Based on the internationally successful CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio) format we play only Super Hit music. With the brand philosophy and attitude that is ‘Bajaate Raho!’ at RED FM we always speak up for the right, for the people. Our listeners are at the heart of everything we do and so we are called the ‘station for expression’ by establishing an emotional connect with them. We do things differently; we don’t follow the herd and it’s testament to the fact that RED FM boasts of over 433 award winning campaigns including BEST BRAND, BEST FM STATION & BEST RJs.

PNB launches “6S Campaign” under Govt. of India’s customer outreach programme

New Delhi [India]: With India celebrating 75 years of Independence, the Government of India has launched “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” for various outreach activities on financial services, with focal theme of ‘Janta Se Jodna’.
In line with the above Government’s initiative, Punjab National Bank, as the country’s second largest Public Sector Bank, has launched a “6S Campaign” encapsulating different schemes such as – Swabhiman, Samruddhi, Sampark and Shikhar, Sankalp and Swagat. The objective is to drive special awareness campaign for development of financial services in the country and to accelerate credit growth, improve penetration of social security schemes and drive digital banking push.
Through Swabhimaan, the Bank aims to aggressively push the financial inclusion agenda by deepening penetration of the three Jan Suraksha or Social Security Schemes pertaining to the insurance and pension sector namely, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, and Atal Pension Yojana. PNB plans to leverage its extensive physical footprint in rural areas, through branches and banking correspondents.
Under Samruddhi scheme, Bank aims to drive credit outreach for the agricultural sector which is the cornerstone of Indian economy. The scheme will cover all agricultural credit products like KCC, Gold Loans, Investment Credit, etc., and the Bank aims to leverage multiple strategic partnerships made in this sector to drive impetus.
Under Shikhar, Sankalp and Swagat schemes, the Bank has devised special rates of interest to drive credit offtake in retail and MSME sector. In addition, focussed products and customer segments have also been identified for targeted outreach in line with the Bank’s broader strategic agenda. Specifically for MSME sector, the Bank has formed specialized teams in select districts for credit delivery. Further, the Bank has deepened concessions for select products in line with “One district one product” policy to ensure access to affordable credit for MSMEs in the country.
Within the ambit of Digital Outreach and Service Delivery, Bank would run a Sampark campaign, aimed at driving penetration of its flagship mobile application, PNB One. Bank will also focus on improving adoption and activation of debit cards as well as improving overall experience of customers at different banking touchpoints such as branches, ATMs, etc.

Sonu Sood Launches ‘Desh Ke Liye’ Campaign To Combat Drug Addiction

Actor Sonu Sood, who earned a huge fan base for his philanthropic work amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, has now launched ‘Desh Ke Liye’ campaign to combat drug addiction.

Talking more about it, Sonu said, “I feel there are a lot of people who have suffered because of drugs. They want to come out of it but they can’t. Earlier, I was made the brand ambassador of anti-drug campaign in Punjab and, we tried to help a lot of people. But, later when I went through the grass-root level, I realised there are so many families who want to get their kids out of the drug issue. But, they are not able to afford the treatment for the rehab or the medicines that’s required for a couple of months.” “So, we’re launching this platform called, ‘Desh Ke Liye’ where anyone can register and let us know about individuals who are suffering because of drugs,” he added.

According to Sonu, the main aim of the campaign is to make India drug free.

He said, “We will take care of their rehab, medicines and the overall treatment. It will be a platform that will help save a lot of lives, save many families and also make you a hero. The idea behind this is that you become a hero by saving a hero; save an individual and help them come out of drugs.”

“This is a unique initiative and I am sure we will be able to save a lot of lives. We are starting from Punjab but, have got a lot of requests. Eventually, it will be a pan India thing. People have always called Punjab Udta Punjab but, through this initiative, we want to turn it into Uthta Punjab. I hope together we succeed in saving many lives,” he added.

IPL 2021: Rohit Sharma and boys celebrate togetherness of MI fans in new campaign

Abu Dhabi [UAE]: Mumbai Indians — known for its ‘OneFamily’ ethos — on Wednesday launched a brand-new regional titled ‘Aplya Family Cha’ — a Marathi campaign coinciding with the state’s biggest festival — Ganesh Utsav, celebrating the togetherness of its fans in Maharashtra.
The catchy video features a galaxy of Mumbai Indians players, led by captain Rohit Sharma, the Mumbai trio — Dhawal Kulkarni, Aditya Tare and Arjun Tendulkar — along with Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav. New Zealand’s Trent Boult, South African Quinton de Kock and West Indies Kieron Pollard give an international flavour to the campaign.
Mumbai Indians owner Nita Ambani also makes a special appearance in the campaign speaking to the fans in the local language in the video.
The ‘OneFamily’ tagline embedded in Mumbai Indians’ values has become part of the champion team’s culture. The new campaign conceptualised on ‘Aplya Family Cha’ — meaning ‘Our Family’, showcases the strength in oneness, determination, and perseverance and to rise together.
The new campaign has been created by Lowe Lintas and will run on TV, OOH, Digital and Radio.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 resumes with the five-time champions and current title holders Mumbai Indians taking on three-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on September 19.
This match will be a momentous occasion as IPL will welcome the fans back to the stadiums after a brief hiatus owing to the Covid-19 situation, the BCCI said in a statement. The board has come up with a 46-page health advisory that lays down all the pointers that everyone associated with the IPL needs to follow in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the league.

Uttarakhand : Congress starts Unemployment Register


Uttarakhand (Dehradun) : Uttarakhand Congress in-charge Devendra Yadav on Thursday informed about the unemployment register campaign that will be launched by the party in the state on August 20.

The campaign will be inaugurated by Congress in charge of Devendra Yadav, along with State President Ganesh Godiyal, Leader of Opposition Pritam Singh and former Chief Minister Harish Rawat.
August 20 marks the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and according to Devendra Yadav, Uttarakhand Youth Congress will be launching this campaign on his birthday with a view to connect the youth and unemployed people in the state. (ANI)

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