delhi

Domestic LPG cylinder price hiked by Rs 50 again

New Delhi [India]- The price of Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder has been increased by Rs 50.

With the latest revision, domestic LPG cylinders will retail at Rs 999.50 in Delhi.
Earlier this month, the price of commercial LPG cylinders had been increased.

On May 1, the price of a 19-kilograms commercial LPG cylinder was increased by Rs 102.50, to Rs 2355.50.

Recently, on May 1, Oil marketing companies organized more than 5000 LPG panchayats on the occasion of Ujjwala Diwas, where apart from experience sharing, aimed at safe and sustained usage of LPG, all out efforts were made to maximize customer enrolment.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is a step toward social inclusion by providing Free LPG connection to every BPL household. The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 1, 2016 at Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. (ANI)

After Delhi and Punjab, we will form government in Karnataka, says Arvind Kejriwal

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday promised a “corruption-free” government in Karnataka and expressed confidence that the people of the state will vote for the Aam Aadmi Party in next year’s assembly polls.

“Ours is an honest government, we made it in Delhi then in Punjab now we’ll form government in Karnataka. Even in Karnataka, there will be a corruption-free government,” Kejriwal said addressing a rally here.
The Delhi Chief Minister claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given him certificate of ‘imandaar CM’.

“PM made the CBI raid my residence, officials entered my bedroom but they couldn’t find anything, eventually, PM gave me the certificate of ‘imandaar’ CM,” he said.

Kejriwal said a corruption-free government can offer several services for free to the people.

He talked about the AAP government’s work in education and healthcare and concessions to people in power, water and transportation. “This is because we are an honest government,” he said.

“Earlier hospitals and dispensaries were in a bad state in Delhi but now we have facilities that are equal to private hospitals. Government schools across the country are in a bad shape except in Delhi. Delhi’s government schools are better than private schools. The students got 99.7 per cent results. Government schools have got swimming pools and lifts, even private schools don’t have such facilities. What does the ‘aam aadmi’ want? They just need a good education”, he added.

The AAP leader said four lakh students came from private schools to government schools this year and “medical treatment for 2 crore people is free in Delhi”.

“Earlier, there were power cuts for eight hours, now people get electricity supply for 24 hours,” he said.

Farmer leader Kodihalli Chandrashekar joined AAP during the rally.

Kejriwal said that the recent communal clashes across the country had “pained” him.

“Recent incidents in Delhi have pained me. Riots are happening all over the country. Who is behind it? The people in the country want peace. If you want riots, vote for them. If you want schools and hospitals, vote for us.”

Referring to the demonstration outside CM’s residence, Kejriwal said, “Some miscreants tried to barge into my house but at that time neither me nor my wife or children were there at home, only my parents were at home. However, they were welcomed to one party. All goons go to ‘one’ party.” (ANI)

Fuel price hike in Delhi : Auto, cab drivers on two-day strike from today

New Delhi [India]: To protest against the soaring fuel prices, members of auto, taxi and cab drivers’ associations in Delhi have decided to go on a strike from Monday for two days.

Several unions of auto and cab drivers are demanding that the fare rates be hiked and fuel prices be reduced. The strike has not been called off despite assurance from the Delhi government to resolve their issues. The Delhi government had announced forming a committee to look into fare revision in a time-bound manner.
Auto and Taxi Association of Delhi, a unit of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, has announced a strike in Delhi on April 18 and 19. They claim that a large number of autos and cabs will not hit the streets of Delhi on these two days.

General Secretary of Delhi Auto Rickshaw Sangh, Rajendra Soni in a telephonic conversation with ANI alleged that the Central and the Delhi government is not paying heed to their demands.

He said that they wrote a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on March 30 highlighting their demands which include subsidy on CNG prices. “We did not receive a response from the government. We staged a protest for two days and are now compelled to go on strike,” he said.

Listing demands of the auto and cab unions, Soni said, “We do not want the fare to increase, because it will affect the pockets of the common people as well. Our only demand is that the government does not increase the fuel price and give us subsidy on CNG prices. We demand that the government provide Rs 35 per kg subsidy on CNG prices.”

Soni assured that the protest would be peaceful; however, he warned that some elements – in favour of the government – might attempt to disrupt the protest.

However, many more unions associated with auto and taxis are not joining this strike. Delhi State President of Capital Driver Welfare Association, Chandu Chaurasia told ANI that Gramin Seva and e-rickshaw will not take part in the strike on April 18 and 19.

“As usual, we will continue to serve the people of Delhi,” he said. However, Chaurasia also supported the demand for subsidy on CNG and said that we should definitely get relief.

President of the Sarvodaya Drivers’ Association of Delhi, Kamaljeet Gill said that Ola and Uber cab drivers will go on a strike on from April 18. “Ola and Uber fares have not been increased since 2015 and we have protested against this many times but the government did not pay heed. In these seven years, the prices of CNG and petrol started soaring high,” he said.

Singh also said that the protest will not stop until a solution to the problem is found. “We have support from Lucknow, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai. Strikes will also start there tomorrow,” he added.

The price of CNG is currently Rs 71.61 per kg in Delhi. (ANI)

 

Delhi: 7 dead after fire breaks out in shanties of Gokulpuri area

New Delhi [India]: As many as seven people died in a fire that broke out in the shanties of the Gokulpuri area on Friday night.

Delhi Fire Service department informed on Saturday that the fire was brought under control on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday. Officials recovered seven bodies from the site of the incident.
The department officials further informed that as many as 13 fire tenders rushed to the site after gathering information about the incident.

Prima facie, it appears that the fire was caught in around 60 shanties, officials said.

More details are awaited. (ANI)

Special UIA flight with 182 Indians lands in Delhi from Ukraine

               

By Ashoke Raj

New Delhi [India], February 24 (ANI): Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) landed at the Delhi airport at around 7:45 am on Thursday carrying 182 Indian nationals, mostly students.
Amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, several airlines are operating special flights, including Air India, to bring back Indian nationals safely.

“A special flight of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) landed at Delhi Airport from Kyiv, at 7:45 am today, with 182 Indian citizens, including students,” an official of Ukraine International Airlines in India told ANI on condition of anonymity.

The representatives of India’s Ukraine International Airlines are very happy to announce that the first evacuation flight from Kiev in Ukraine operated successfully with Indian nationals.

“Ukraine International Airline, the first special evacuation flight touched down today at 07:45 hours at Delhi Airport bringing in 182 Indian National mainly students studying in different universities in Ukraine,” Anju Wariah, GSA representative of the UIA in India told ANI.

Further, Anju Varia thanked the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and India’s aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for allowing the special UIA aircraft to operate the evacuation flight.

“This has been possible with the support of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Indian Embassy beside the UIA team in both the countries working round the clock,” Anju Wariah told ANI.

Ukraine is currently in a state of war due to tension between the two countries (Russia), with many parents in India insisting on bringing back their children and relatives who are currently in Ukraine. Parents are in constant touch with Ukraine based airlines and Air India for safe return.

“We understand the concerns of the parents and our endeavour is to help and assist as many students studying there to come back home. There are four special evacuation flights that are scheduled in the next couple of days and we are working on more,” Anju said.

In the coming days for Indian citizens, more flights are going to be operated from Ukraine (Kiev) amid tension in the country. (ANI)

Delhi logs 9,197 new COVID-19 cases

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Delhi continues to register a decline in its daily COVID-19 caseload, logging 9,197 new cases during the last 24 hours, said the state government on Sunday.
As per the bulletin provided by the Health Department, the positivity rate for the day has declined to 13.32 per cent. A total of 69,022 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. During the last 24 hours, 13,510 patients recovered from the infection, taking the total recoveries in the national capital to 17,11,845.
Meanwhile, 34 people lost their lives to the deadly virus during the last 24 hours. The death toll in Delhi due to the disease currently stands at 25,620.
There are currently 54,246 active COVID-19 cases in Delhi, out of which 42,438 are currently in home isolation. There are currently 44,132 active containment zones in the national capital.
As per the bulletin, there are currently 2,424 patients admitted to hospitals across Delhi. Out of this, 82 patients are suspected to have COVID-19 while 2,342 are confirmed cases of the disease. Of these 2,342 patients, 1,982 are from Delhi while 360 are from outside.
Of the confirmed COVID-19 patients, 814 are currently on Oxygen support, 808 on ICU support while 164 patients are on ventilator support.
As per the bulletin, 83.69 per cent of beds in dedicated COVID-19 hospitals across Delhi are vacant with only 2,424 beds out of 15,411 being currently occupied by patients. Similarly in COVID-19 care centres, 95.05 per cent of beds are empty, with only 249 out of a total of 5,026 beds being currently occupied. Lastly, in the COVID Health centres, 89.80 per cent of beds are empty, with only 20 out of total 196 beds being occupied by patients.
During the last 24 hours, 74,246 COVID-19 vaccination doses were administered in the national capital as per the bulletin. Out of this, 31,809 people have been administered the first dose of the vaccine while 32,429 people have been administered the second dose.
Meanwhile, 14,102 children aged 15-18 years received their first dose of the vaccine, taking the total number of beneficiaries of the first dose in the aforementioned age bracket to 7,41,064.
A total of 2,91,76,984 vaccination doses have been administered to date out of which 1,68,31,875 people have received their first dose while 1,21,34,952 people have received their second dose of the vaccine. (Image source: Unsplash)

Central Vista Avenue is ready with new effect, says Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, on Saturday, said that Central Vista Avenue is completely ready with its new effect.
Talking to ANI at Central Vista Avenue, Puri said that after the redevelopment, the green coverage has been increased. “Central Vista Avenue itself has been widened. Now, the walkways are of 12 to 15 kilometres. The water bodies have been cleaned. It’s a new effect”, the Union Minister added.
While talking about the challenges faced during the completion of the Central Vista project, Puri said, “The meaning of challenge is that you have to meet the challenge. The challenge has been met and it has been met in a timely manner.”
‘Despite the COVID pandemic, 4,000 people had been working round the clock. So, I am grateful to them, I am grateful to my colleague and ministry. Whenever we had required their cooperation, we got in full measure from all departments”, he added.
Puri criticised the opposition parties’ remarks over the Central Vista project. “First they were told that this project would not be completed in a timely manner. Second, there was some concern from the environmentalists. But we addressed everything.”
According to him, out of 25 trees, 22 trees have been relocated to other places. “I am hopeful that the new Parliament building will also be complete by October this year”, said the Union Minister.
It is worth mentioning that after the completion of Central Vista Avenue, additional space up to 40,000 square metres would be accessible to people. Besides this, new sidewalks have been added in place of the red sand path, resulting in 94,600 metres of walkable pathways.
“As many as 422 new stone benches have been installed. With this, there will now be 16 bridges on the canals. Amenities like restrooms have been added which will be differently-abled friendly. Tourists will also have access to a step garden where people can come and sit, said Puri.

In addition to new features, The Rajpath will now have underground stormwater drainage and a micro-irrigation sprinkler system to deal will puddles and waterlogging.
The parking facility has been increased and would now be able to house 50 buses and 1,000 vehicles at the same time. The Avenue will now have four underpasses — 150 metres in length, at the Janpath – Rajpath crossing and C-Hexagon. (Image source: Instagram)

No relaxation on COVID norms in Delhi as positivity rate ‘not low enough’: Satyendar Jain

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said that even though the COVID-19 positivity rate in the national capital has declined from 30 per cent to 22.5 per cent with a decrease in the number of infections as well, the COVID norms in the city will not be relaxed as the positivity rate is still not “low enough”.
While addressing media persons, Satyendar Jain said, “The positivity rate has come down from 30 per cent to 22.5 per cent and the total number of cases in Delhi has also decreased. However, the positivity rate is not low enough that we can relax the COVID restrictions.” According to the health minister, Delhi is likely to record 13,000 new COVID-19 cases today with a positivity rate of 24 per cent.
“Today, a positivity rate24 of per cent is likely to be reported along with around 13,000 fresh infections. There is not much occupancy in hospitals and beds are also vacant. We are doing more testing in Delhi,” he said.
Meanwhile, Delhi on Tuesday continued to report a dip in the number of daily COVID-19 cases with 11,684 fresh infections.
The positivity rate for the day also declined to 22.47 per cent. As per yesterday’s COVID-19 bulletin, there are 78,112 active COVID-19 cases in Delhi, out of which, 63,432 are currently in home isolation.

COVID-19: Third wave has reached its peak in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, says IIT Prof

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Dr Manindra Agrawal, Professor of IIT Kanpur, said that the third wave of COVID-19, which is caused by Omicron, has reached its peak in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata as predicted by IIT’s Sutra model. He further said that COVID-19 will peak in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana this week.
Earlier in an interview with ANI, Dr Agrawal, who developed the model, had predicted that the COVID-19 third wave will peak by January end.
Dr Agrawal said that COVID-19 is spreading faster in India than projected earlier.
In a series of tweets, the IIT Professor said, “There appear two plausible reasons for this: 1) there are two groups in the population, one with less immunity against Omicron and the other with more. The mutant first spread in the first group causing a sharp rise. Now the first group is exhausted and so the spread is slower.”
He further said, “Second, there was a lot of concern when Omicron started spreading, but in the last week or so, people almost everywhere have concluded that it causes only mild infection and have decided to handle it with standard remedies instead of getting tested.”
“In Maharashtra, it is predicted to peak on 19th. May peak sooner since the trajectory is almost flat at present. Gujarat is predicted to peak on the 19th. Haryana is predicted to peak on 20th,” he added.
He further said that southern states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu will see the current wave peak next week.
“In Karnataka, the COVID-19 wave is predicted to peak on 23rd. A new phase just started and Tamil Nadu has been predicted to peak on 25th Jan. Trajectory has started deviating. Andhra Pradesh is predicted to peak on the 30th. No deviation yet from the predicted trajectory. Probably because of the spread in at a very early stage,” he tweeted.
“However, Haryana is predicted to peak on the 20th. Now to some states like Assam is predicted to peak on 26th Jan. No phase change yet, but the blue curve is suggesting there will be one soon,” he added. (Image source: Instagram)

Haryana, Delhi government in war of words over rising COVID-19 cases

Ambala (Haryana) [India] (ANI): A word of words broke out between Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij after the latter blamed the high COVID-19 infection rate in three districts of the State adjoining Delhi on the “uncontrolled” rise in cases in the national capital.
Replying to his claims, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain termed it as “political talk” and said “over 1,000 COVID-19 cases are being reported from outside Delhi every day.” Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal told media persons, “Blaming won’t end the virus. I will not step into this garbage.”
Vij said Haryana was “adversely affected” due to its vicinity to Delhi, and claimed that “more than half” of the around 9,000 new COVID-19 cases in Haryana were from Gurugram, Faridabad and Sonipat districts put together.
“Haryana reports around 9,000 COVID-19 cases every day, of which over 50 per cent cases are from Gurugram, Faridabad and Sonipat. Delhi’s infection rate is having an impact in the state. However, as per requirements, we are tackling the situation by making all necessary arrangements of healthcare services in the state,” he said on Sunday.
Vij also said that whether patients come from Delhi or anywhere else, they will be given complete treatment in the state. (Image source: Instagram)

Delhi court rejects bail plea of ‘Sulli Deals’ app creator Aumkareshwar Thakur

New Delhi [India] (ANI): A Delhi court on Sunday rejected the bail plea of Sulli Deals app creator Aumkareshwar Thakur.
Metropolitan Magistrate Vasundhra Chhaunkar has dismissed the bail plea of Sulli Deals app creator Aumkareshwar Thakur. The IFSO unit of Delhi Police’s Special Cell arrested the mastermind of the Sulli Deals app from Indore last week after receiving information about him from Bulli Bai app case mastermind Neeraj Bishnoi during the investigation.
The Court noted that the investigation in the case is at an initial stage and the accused has been arrested after great and time-consuming efforts following the MLAT process.
“The accused had consciously used Top Browser to disclose his identity and various complaints have been received against the ‘Sulli Deals’ app throughout the country. The investigation is at a nascent stage where crucial evidence and further chain of events are yet to be conclusively unearthed,” the Court observed.
According to the Court, granting bail to the accused at this juncture will prejudice a fair investigation. “Therefore, in the opinion of the Court, the accused is not entitled to bail at this stage, ” the court said.
“On the basis of above observations and reasons, bail application of accused Aumkareshwar Thakur is dismissed,” the court said.
In July 2021, the ‘Sulli Deal’ app was made on the Github platform to auction Muslim women. The matter came to light when Delhi Police took suo moto cognisance of this matter. The Delhi Police were investigating the case for the last six months but the first arrest in the case came after Bulli Bai app case mastermind Niraj Bishnoi was apprehended from Assam’s Jorhat.
Delhi Police, during the investigation, found out that the Bulli Bai mastermind Niraj Bishnoi and Aumkareshwar Thakur were virtually connected over the internet through chat rooms. (Image source: Instagram)

Delhi witnesses dense fog, visibility drops to 50 metres

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Delhi on Friday witnessed foggy conditions that reduced visibility in parts of the city in the early hours of the day.
According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), visibility dropped to 50 metres at Delhi’s Palam area at 5:30 am. “Dense/Very Dense Fog in isolated pockets in night/morning hours very likely over Western Himalayan region, Assam and Meghalaya and Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura on January 14 and 15; Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, north Rajasthan during next 2 days and over Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim during next 5 days,” the IMD said on Friday.
Meanwhile, Delhi’s air quality deteriorated and it slipped from the ‘moderate’ category to ‘very poor’, with the city recording an overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 312, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
The air quality in the national capital was in the ‘satisfactory’ category continuously for three days from January 9 to January 11. It slipped to the ‘moderate’ category on January 12. (Image source: Instagram)

Delhi registers 28,867 new COVID-19 cases, highest-ever in a single day

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Delhi reported 28,867 new cases of COVID-19 during the last 24 hours, registering its highest single-day cases since the beginning of the pandemic, as per the Delhi government on Thursday.
Earlier on April 20 last year, 28,395 cases were registered, which was earlier the highest single-day case count in the national capital. As per the bulletin provided by the government, the positivity rate has mounted to 29.21 per cent. A total of 98,832 samples were tested during the last 24 hours.
With this, the total count of COVID-19 cases in Delhi has gone up to 16,46,583.
In the national capital, 22,121 people recovered from the infection during the last 24 hours, taking the total recoveries to 15,27,152.
Thirty-one people lost their lives to the deadly virus during the last 24 hours. The death toll due to the disease in the national capital stands at 25,271.
There are currently 94,160 active COVID-19 cases in Delhi, out of which 62,324 patients are in home isolation. Currently, there are 23,997 active containment zones in the national capital.
As per the bulletin, 2,424 patients are currently admitted to hospital, out of which 55 patients are suspected to be COVID-19 infected while 2,369 are confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Out of the confirmed 2,369 COVID-19 cases, 2,080 are from the national capital while 289 are from outside.
Currently, 768 patients are on Oxygen support, 628 are on ICU. 98 patients are in a critical condition on ventilator support.
The bulletin says that 84.29 per cent of 15,433 beds across dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in Delhi are vacant. Only 2,424 beds are occupied.
In the COVID-19 care centres, 87.92 per cent beds are empty, with only 559 out of 4,626 beds occupied. In COVID-19 health centres, 74.05 per cent beds are empty. Only 41 out of 158 beds in these health centres are occupied.
During the last 24 hours, 1,63,851 total COVID-19 vaccination doses were administered. Out of this, 94,838 are first doses while 45,322 people received their second doses.
A total of 23,691 precaution doses were given to Healthcare workers, frontline workers, senior citizens during the last 24 hours. In Delhi, a total of 65,128 precaution doses have been administered.
A total of 50,048 beneficaries aged 15-17 were given their first doses of COVID-19 vaccination during the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative count of beneficaries to 4,02,345.
A total of 2,80,71,935 vaccination doses have been administered in Delhi, out of which 1,62,13,267 beneficaries have recevied their first dose while 1,17,93,540 beneficaries have been administered their second dose. (Image source: Instagram)

Air quality in Delhi remains in ‘satisfactory’ category

New Delhi [India] (ANI): The air quality in the national capital continued to remain in the ‘satisfactory’ category on Monday with the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 93 for the third consecutive day, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
Meanwhile, the air quality in Noida has slipped to the ‘moderate’ category with the AQI at 108. However, the air quality of Gurugram is in the ‘satisfactory’ category with the AQI at 100.
As per the government agencies, an AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’. (Image source: Instagram)

Hyderabad Police busts call centre in Delhi’s Mayur Vihar; 8 held

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India] (ANI): As many as eight accused were arrested by the Cyber Crime Police, Detective Department, Hyderabad City after it raided a call centre and busted fraud job racket in Delhi’s Mayur Vihar, the police informed on Saturday.
As per the police, the accused were identified as Rajesh Singh alias Chandan, Anubhav Singh, Nafeez, Shaifali alias Neha Singh, Yogitha alias Pooja Kumari, Shalu Kumari alias Radhika Rai, Priya alias Nisha Kumari and Shivani alias Nadini Agarwal. According to the statement from Gajarao Bhupal, Joint Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad, all eight accused together started a call centre at Mayur Vihar, Delhi with an intention to cheat innocent job seekers.
“They cheated the job seekers by contacting them over mobile phones and emails,” Bhupal said.
The police in its further statement said that a complaint from a girl was received on October 20, 2021, in which she stated that she was cheated with Rs 8,02,426 in a fake call.
During the raid, the police seized 26 mobile phones, one laptop and one mobile dongle, the police added. (Image source: Instagram)

Delhi’s air quality improves due to this reason…

                

New Delhi [India], (ANI): Delhi’s air quality improved from ‘moderate’ category to ‘satisfactory’ on Sunday with the Air Quality Index (AQI) standing at 90, as the capital city and its adjoining areas witnessed heavy rainfall and thunderstorm for two continuous days, as per System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR)-India.

“Thunderstorm with light to moderate intensity rain with few spells of heavy intensity rain would continue to occur over and adjoining areas of entire Delhi and NCR ( Loni Dehat, Hindon AF Station, Bahadurgarh, Ghaziabad, Indirapuram, Chhapraula, Noida,” tweeted the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
“Light intensity rain/drizzle to moderate rain would occur over and adjoining areas of isolated places of North Delhi, South-East Delhi, NewDelhi, Lodi road, East-Delhi, Yamunanagar, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Panipat, Gohana, Gannaur, Sonipat,” tweeted Regional Weather Forecasting Centre (RWFC), New Delhi.

Meanwhile, the air quality of Noida remains in the ‘moderate’ category with the AQI at 119.

However, the air quality of Gurugram improved to the ‘satisfactory’ category with the AQI at 81.

As per the government agencies, an AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.

Surge in demand for self-testing kits as COVID-19 cases rise in Delhi

New Delhi [India]: The rapidly increasing cases of COVID-19 in the national capital have led to an increase in the demand for self-testing kits.
Just like oxymeters were in great demand during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the third wave is seeing a sharp increase in demand for self-testing kits. Speaking about the increase in demand for COVID-19 self-testing, Delhi Retail Distribution Chemist Alliance (DRDCA) President Sandeep Nangia told ANI, “Recent trend is of COVID self-testing kit, the demand for which is high in the market. Most people are conscious about their health and people are aware as it is the third time. In Delhi, 5,000-10,000 kits are getting sold daily and it is in high demand.”
Nangia also mentioned that the sale of the self-testing kit is high as per market study. Among the buyers are those people who, for some reason, are not able to get themselves tested.
Speaking about the sale of Molnupiravir drugs, Nangia said it is only sold strictly on the basis of doctor’s prescription.
Kanav Nangia, partner at Sunny co pharma, said there is high demand for COVID self-testing kit and stock is not at par with the demand which results in the stock getting exhausted within a day.
Kanav also stressed that it could be a drawback for the government since they are not getting the data as people are taking the test at home and not revealing that they are positive or not.
The self-test kits, available over the counter in chemist shops, contain a sterile swab, disposable bag, a prefilled extraction tube and a test card.
The self-testing kits available in the market are rapid antigen kits that give out the result in less than 30 minutes.
The suspected patients are required to insert the swab stick in both their nostrils, then dip the swab into the extraction tube and put a few drops of the liquid from the tube onto the test card. The test provides a negative or a positive result with the help of the control lines on the test card.
As many as seven self-testing kits have been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research including Coviself by Mylab, CoviFind by Meril Diagnostics, PanBio by Abbott among others. The cost of these kits ranges from Rs 250 to Rs 350.
Delhi reported 20,181 fresh cases in 24 hours in the last 24 hours, taking the daily positivity rate to 19.6 per cent.

Delhi likely to report 17,000 COVID-19 cases on Friday, peak expected soon: Satyendar Jain

New Delhi [India]: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Friday informed that the Union Territory is expected to add 17,000 cases to its COVID-19 tally with a daily positivity rate of 17 per cent to 18 per cent.
He informed that on Thursday, Delhi reported 15,000 COVID-9 cases. The positive rate reported on Thursday was 15.34 per cent. The total number of active cases reported on Thursday in Delhi were 31, 498. “There were 15,000 cases yesterday. According to me, there is a possibility of 17,000 new cases coming today. Possibility rate likely to be 1-2 per cent higher than yesterday. Yesterday the positivity rate was around 15 per cent, today it is likely to be 17-18 per cent,” Jain said addressing a press conference here.
He further stated, “We have brought a major change in home isolation. Now we have reduced home isolation from 10 days to 7 days. If a person do not get any symptoms for three days after his or her seven day home isolation gets over, then he or she can go to work. There is no need to get youself tested for COVID-19 after home isolation provided you do not get any symptoms for three days after observing 7 days home isolation”.
“Peak of fifth wave in Delhi is expected soon,” he added.
“There are more than 30,000 active cases in Delhi while there are 24 people on ventilator support. While last time, there were 1000 people on ventilator when there were more than 30,000 active cases. The data suggest the severity has become less,” he added.
Earlier on Thursday, the national capital reported 15,097 fresh cases of the infection pushing the positivity rate to 15.34 per cent.
According to the bulletin issued by the state health department on Thursday, the number of active cases in the city stands at 31,498. The total count of cases has now gone up to 14,89,463.
With six COVID-related deaths on Thursday, the death tally has gone up to 25,127.
Meanwhile, 6,900 people recovered from the infection yesterday. With this, the recovery tally in the capital city now stands at 14,32,838.
As many as 1,091 people who have been tested positive for COVID-19 were hospitalized on Thursday
In the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive, 1,41,498 eligible beneficiaries were vaccinated on Thursday. Of these, 36,559 were beneficiaries of the age group 15-17 years.
Delhi has been witnessing a rise in infections following the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron. In view of the rising cases, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) decided to impose a weekend curfew in the national capital.

Delhi air quality worsens

             

New Delhi [India]: The air quality in the national capital improved to ‘poor’ from ‘very poor’ category on Friday, a day after the national capital experienced intermittent rain spells, with the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 273, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

High winds and intermittent rains are likely during January 5 to 8 which is expected to improve AQI through strong dispersion and wet deposition.
On January 8, it is likely to rain with high wind speeds leading to improvement in AQI due to wet deposition and strong dispersion resulting AQI to be in ‘lower end of poor’ or ‘moderate’ category,” SAFAR said.

From January 9 onwards, the air quality is likely to worsen due to gradual decrease in maximum and minimum temperatures as well as wind speed, all contributing to low dispersion of pollutants.

Meanwhile, the air quality of Noida remains in the ‘very poor’ category with the AQI at 305, the air quality of Gurugram is also in the ‘very poor’ category with the AQI at 306.

As per the government agencies, an AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), no cold wave conditions will likely prevail in northern India for the next 6-7 days.

Delhi govt makes operational Shehnai Banquet Hall as COVID care centre with 100 oxygen beds

             

New Delhi [India], : In view of the rising cases of COVID, the Delhi government made operational once again the Shehnai Banquet Hall as COVID care centre opposite the LNJP Hospital.

The government is making the COVID care centres operational in the national capital one by one as the number of cases are rising every day.
The organization “Doctors for You” is running several COVID care centres in the national capital on behalf of the Delhi government.

Dr Shubhangi, associated with Doctors for You, told ANI, “This is a 100 bedded COVID care centre. All the beds here are oxygen beds. Double arrangements are being made for oxygen as compared to beds. There are 100 concentrators and 100 oxygen cylinders at the centre.”

“Since there is no oxygen plant here, we will admit only patients with mild symptoms as there is no facility of high flow oxygen. Our Covid care centre is attached with LNJP hospital. If there is a demand for ICU or ventilator for anyone, then they will be referred to LNJP. We will admit patients with oxygen saturation level 92 to 95,” added Dr Shubhangi.

Delhi continues to witness a surge in the COVID-19 cases as the national capital reported 15,097 fresh cases of the infection in the last 24 hours pushing the positivity rate to 15.34 per cent.

According to the bulletin issued by the state health department on Thursday, the number of active cases in the city stands at 31,498. The total count of cases has now gone up to 14,89,463.

With six COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the death tally has gone up to 25,127.

Meanwhile, 6,900 people recovered from the infection. With this, the recovery tally in the capital city now stands at 14,32,838.

As many as 1,091 people who have been tested positive for COVID-19 are hospitalized.

In the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive, 1,41,498 eligible beneficiaries were vaccinated in the last 24 hours. Of these, 36,559 were beneficiaries of the age group 15-17 years.

Delhi has been witnessing a rise in infections following the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron. In view of the rising cases, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has decided to impose a weekend curfew in the national capital.

Bulli Bai app creator to be produced before Delhi court today

New Delhi [India]: The main conspirator and creator of ‘Bulli Bai’ on GitHub and the main Twitter account holder of the app has been brought to the national capital from Assam on Thursday and will be produced before Delhi court today.
Neeraj Bishnoi, the creator of ‘Bulli Bai’ app has been brought by Delhi Police Special Cell.
“Neeraj Bishnoi, the main Bulli Bai case conspirator, will be presented in Delhi Court tonight. He has confessed, but most importantly, we’ve acquired technical evidence required from his laptop & mobile. The whole network has been busted,” said DCP(IFSO) KPS Malhotra.
Earlier today, the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations unit (IFSO), Special Cell of Delhi Police arrested Bishnoi from Assam.
Neeraj Bishnoi (20) is a resident of Digambar area of Assam’s Jorhat. He is a BTech student of Vellore Institute of Technology, Bhopal.
The Bulli Bai case was transferred to the IFSO on Wednesday.
Several complaints were received by police stations in the country regarding the listing of Muslim women for “auction” on the ‘Bulli Bai’ mobile application with photographs sourced without permission and doctored. It has happened for the second time in less than a year. The app appeared to be a clone of ‘Sulli Deals’ which triggered a similar row last year.
An engineering student from Bengaluru, a young girl from Uttarakhand, and one of her friends have also been arrested by Mumbai Police in connection with the ‘Bulli Bai’ app case, informed police on Wednesday.
“Three people have been arrested in the ‘Bulli Bai’ app case, including Vishal Kumar Jha and Shweta Singh. The third accused is Shweta’s friend,” said Hemant Nagrale, Mumbai Police Commissioner.
Vishal Kumar has been sent to police custody till January 10 by a Bandra court and Shweta Singh is on a transit remand.
Mumbai Police on Monday filed a first information report (FIR) against unknown persons based on complaints that doctored photographs of women were uploaded for auction on the ‘Bulli Bai’ application hosted on the GitHub platform.
On Sunday, West Mumbai Cyber Police station registered a case against the ‘Bulli Bai’ app developers and Twitter handles that promoted the app.
The case was registered against the unknown culprits under sections 153(A) (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion etc), 153(B) (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 295(A) (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), 354D (stalking), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 500 (criminal defamation) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of Information Technology Act.
After both the Delhi and Mumbai police lodged FIR in the matter under relevant sections, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw, in a tweet on Sunday said, “Government of India is working with police organizations in Delhi and Mumbai on this matter.”

Flights from Mumbai, Delhi to WB will operate thrice a week from Jan 5, Govt writes to Civil Aviation Ministry

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: In light of the prevailing COVID-19 situation, the West Bengal government on Tuesday wrote to the Ministry of Civil Aviation informing it of their decision to allow domestic flights from Mumbai and Delhi only thrice a week from January 5.
A letter by West Bengal Additional Chief Secretary BP Gopalika stated that the flights between the two metro cities will operate only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. “The State Government is extremely sensitive towards the inconvenience that may be caused to the passengers but restrictions are absolutely essential for containment of COVID cases in the State,” the letter read.
“However, the incoming domestic flights from Mumbai and Delhi will be allowed thrice a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with effect from January 5, 2022, and the same will be reviewed again shortly depending upon the COVID situation in the State,” it added.
Notably, this decision of the State government comes after Delhi and Mumbai for the past week have been reporting a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Mumbai on Tuesday reported 10,860 fresh infections of COVID-19 and 2 deaths. The active cases in the financial capital of India are at 47,476.
Delhi reported 5,481 new infections on Tuesday pushing the positivity rate to 8.37 per cent, the highest in over seven months.
Meanwhile, West Bengal recorded 9,073 new cases and 16 deaths on Tuesday while the active cases are at 25,475.

End of British-era: Delhi’s IGI Airport refurbishes runway

New Delhi [India]: Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport has completed refurbishing work on the British-era runway built during World War- II transforming it into a modern one operational for commercial use.
Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has completed the rehabilitation work on the runway previously used in war and handed it over to Air a traffic Control (ATC) for operations. Deputy Managing Director, GMR Group, I Prabhakar Rao said, “DIAL has successfully completed the rehabilitation work of Runway 09/27 and its taxiways. The British-era runway was rehabilitated and made operational for commercial operations as part of DIAL’s effort to enhance the infrastructure and passenger experience at Delhi Airport to make it future-ready.”
“The newly rehabilitated runway will have a design life of 20 years and would be instrumental in handling the increased air traffic movements (ATMs) once pre-pandemic level traffic return to Delhi Airport,” he added.
The 09/27 runway of the Delhi airport was the airport’s first-ever runway.
The DIAL has now updated the runway with the new and latest equipment, complying with Category-I (CAT-I) Instrument Landing System (ILS), which assists pilots to land during low visibility conditions too.
As per data available with DIAL, the British constructed the 2,816 metre-long and 60 metre-wide runway in the pre- Independence era and used it during World War II. Now all the existing lights of the runway and taxiways, around 850 in number, have been upgraded from normal lights to LED systems for higher efficiency and reliability as a part of rehabilitation work.
Delhi Airport is confident that after completing the refurbishment of the runway, “its passenger handling capacity would increase to 100 million passengers per annum (MPPA) and the airside capacity will enhance to handle 140 MPPA,” DIAL said.

Meanwhile, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport Runway 09/27 which is on the Northern side, has a network of a total of nine taxiways out of which six are connecting taxiways and three are rapid exit taxiways (RETs).

HC asks Delhi govt to expeditiously consider the issue of early re-testing of COVID-19 positive international travelers

New Delhi [India]: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked Delhi Government to consider expeditiously the issue of early re-testing of international travellers who detected COVID-19 positive on arrival from different foreign countries.
The court was hearing a plea of a mother whose 18-year-old son was admitted to a private hospital in the national capital after he was tested COVID-19 positive upon his arrival here from the United Kingdom.
Justice Rekha Palli asked the Delhi government to expeditiously consider the matter so that patients, like the petitioner’s son, do not suffer.
The petitioner has moved the Delhi High Court last month with her plea seeking to know the outcome of the genome sequencing test carried on her son.
Later her son tested negative and was discharged from the hospital during the pendency of the matter.
The petitioner told the court like her son, various other patients were being kept in
various health facilities for days as the hospitals were not conducting re-testing COVID-19 periodically.
Responding to petition submission, counsel appearing for the hospital submitted that the hospital administration was only following the Delhi government directive that in relation to international travellers who test COVID-19 positive, they have to be re-tested on the tenth day of the first test or after three days of being asymptomatic.
Advocate Arun Panwar, appearing for the Delhi government said they are following the guidelines issued by the Centre and urged the court to grant time to seek instructions.
However Central government counsel Bharati Raju submitted that there was no ban on repeat RT-PCR in their guidelines.
The court had listed the matter for further hearing on January 14.
The petitioner had said that despite her son having no symptoms he was compelled to stay at a private hospital and despite his repeated requests no RTPCR test was conducted.
The petitioner had also told the court she was not being provided with the genomic sequencing report to enable her to ascertain whether her son was suffering from omicron.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tests positive for COVID-19

New Delhi [India]: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday informed that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Taking to Twitter, he said that he has mild symptoms and is isolated at home. He has asked those who came in touch with him to isolate themselves and get tested for COVID-19.
“I have tested positive for Covid. Mild symptoms. Have isolated me at home. Those who came in touch wid me in last few days, kindly isolate urself and get urself tested,” Kejriwal tweeted.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Monday addressed the party’s Nav Parivartan Yatra at Parade Ground in Dehradun in the run-up to Uttarakhand Assembly polls this year.
The Delhi Chief Minister was also scheduled to attend a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) today over the COVID-19 situation in the national capital.
Delhi has been witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks following the emergence of the Omicron variant.
The city reported 4,099 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours taking the positivity rate in the national capital to 6.46 per cent, Delhi’s health department bulletin informed on Monday.
The active cases in the city have gone to 10,986 and the cumulative tally of the COVID-19 cases now stands at 14,58,220.

In the last 24 hours, Delhi also witnessed one COVID-related death taking the death toll to 25,100.

Subramanian Swamy moves Delhi HC seeking quashing of Air India disinvestment process

New Delhi [India]: Subramanian Swamy, Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament from Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) moved the Delhi High Court seeking to quash the Air India Disinvestment process.
Swamy also sought direction to set aside and revoke any decision or grant of any further approvals/ permissions/permits, etc. by the Respondent authorities with respect to the present Air India Disinvestment process. The Division Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh to hear the matter on Tuesday.
The petitioner Subramanian Swamy through Advocate Satya Sabarwal also sought direction to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the role and functioning of the respondent authorities and submit a detailed report in the present Air India Disinvestment process exclusively to this
Court.
“All efforts” to hand over all operations of Air India to Tata Sons by the end of December, said Secretary Ministry of Civil Aviation Rajiv Bansal recently.
Tata Sons had won the bid for acquiring national carrier Air India for Rs 18,000 crore, on October 8, 2021, ending Centre’s attempts to privatize the debt-laden airline.
Tata Sons, which originally launched Air India with a namesake branding (Tata Air Services) in 1932, bid for the carrier under its wholly-owned subsidiary Talace Pvt Ltd for Rs Rs 18,000 crore.
Air India’s reserve price was fixed after the bids were called to ensure that the bidders do not get to know about the reserve price prior to their bidding. It ensured utmost confidentiality when it comes to the reserve price.
Tata Sons were up against Spicejet promoter Ajay Singh-led consortium who had bid Rs 15,100 crore. The total debt of Air India as of August 31 stands at Rs 61,562 crore.
According to Tuhin Kanta Pandey, the debt of the airline would be taken over by the successful bidder (Tata Sons) is Rs 15,300 crore while the remaining debt of Rs 46,262 crore will go to Air India Asset Holding Limited (AIAHL).
Under the divestment conditions, Tata sons will retain Rs 15,300 crore of Air India’s debt and pay Rs 2,700 crore to the government, of the total Rs 18,000 crore price.
On October 27, Union Finance Ministry directed all ministries to clear dues of Air India and also instructed them to buy air tickets in cash till further orders.
“…the process of disinvestment of Air India and Air India Express is ongoing. Air India has stopped extending the credit facilities on account of the purchase of air tickets. Therefore, all Ministries/ Departments are directed to clear Air India’s dues immediately. Air tickets from Air India may be purchased in cash till further instructions,” read the Ministry of Finance order
“Ministries/Departments are directed to bring out these instructions to the notice of their Subordinate offices/ Institutes etc under their administrative control, for compliance,” it added.
The government also informed that the winning bidder–Tata Sons–will retain all employees for one year and the group will need to offer a voluntary retirement scheme if it decides on retrenchment after the period.
The government has said that the interest of the employees and retired employees would be taken care of in the disinvestment process.
The government will divest its 100 per cent stake in Air India, Air India Express, and 50 per cent stake in ground handling company AISATS.

Delhi logs 4,099 new COVID-19 cases, positivity rate at 6.46 pc

New Delhi [India]: Delhi has reported 4,099 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours taking the positivity rate in the national capital to 6.46 per cent, the state health department bulletin informed on Monday.
The active cases in the city have gone to 10,986 and the cumulative tally of the COVID-19 cases now stands at 14,58,220. As many as 6,288 COVID-19 patients and those suspected to be positive are in home isolation in the city.
In the last 24 hours, Delhi also witnessed one COVID-related death taking the death toll to 25,100.
Meanwhile, 1,509 people recovered from the infection in the last 24 hours. The recovery tally of the national capital now stands at 14,22,124.
During the last 24 hours, 23,614 people COVID-19 vaccination doses were administered, out of which 9,167 people received their first dose while 14,447 received their second dose of the vaccine.
Delhi is witnessing a surge in fresh coronavirus infections over the last week following the emergence of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.
Amid the continuous rise of COVID cases in the national capital, the Delhi government has collected a fine of more than Rs 1 crore from those violating COVID-19 protocols on Sunday.

Delhi collects Rs 99 lakh for COVID-19 violations on Jan 1

New Delhi [India]: Over Rs 99 lakhs was collected in fines and 66 FIRs were registered on the first day of 2022, Saturday for violation of COVID-19 protocols, following the enforcement of ‘Yellow alert’ restrictions in the national capital, said the Delhi government.
A total of Rs 99.34 lakh were collected as challans in the entire city. Most numbers of violations were reported in North, East, and Central Delhi for not wearing masks in the public on Saturday.
As many as 689 incidents of violation of COVID-19 guidelines were registered in North Delhi, 629 in East Delhi and 620 in Central Delhi.
On Saturday, Delhi also recorded 5,085 cases of violations.
This came as the national capital continue to record a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases following the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Delhi reported 2,716 new COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours, witnessing its highest single-day spike since May 2021.
As per a bulletin issued by the health department on Saturday, the positivity rate for the day mounted to 3.64 per cent. A total of 74,622 samples were tested during the last 24 hours, up from 73,590 on Friday.
With this, the total tally of COVID-19 cases in the national capital has gone up to 14,50,927. There are currently 6,360 active COVID-19 cases in the national capital. Out of these, 3,248 are currently in home isolation.

Delhi’s air quality slips to ‘very poor’ category, AQI at 308

New Delhi [India]: The air quality in the national capital deteriorated on Friday slipping to ‘very poor’ category, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) on Delhi was recorded this morning at 308. The concentrations of PM 2.5 and PM 10 stood at 130 in the ‘very poor’ and 237 in the ‘moderate’ category respectively.
According to the SAFAR bulletin, New Year celebrations on December 31 night may increase emissions and worsen the air quality but the net effect is likely to keep AQI within ‘very poor’ or ‘higher end of very poor’ for the next three days.
“AQI today indicates ‘Very Poor’ air quality. Prevailing cold wave conditions in the northwest region of Delhi and winds blowing from the west/northwest direction affect weather in Delhi. However, minimum and maximum temperatures show a tendency to increase slightly for the next 3 days (December 31, January 1 and January 2). Consistently high wind speeds are likely for the next three days. Mixing layer height continues to be 1.0 – 1.5 km,” SAFAR said in its bulletin.
While the air quality of Noida remains in the ‘very poor’ category with AQI at 304 and air quality of Gurugram is in ‘poor’ category with AQI at 252.
As per the government agencies, an AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cold wave conditions prevail in northern India, Delhi’s Safdarjung and Palam recorded 3.8 and 7.0 degrees Celsius temperature at 8:30 am on Friday.
The cold-wave/severe cold wave conditions will be witnessed in many parts of Punjab Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Rajasthan till January 3 and over Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh till January 2, 2022.
According to IMD bulleting, dense fog in isolated pockets in the morning hours is very likely over Uttar Pradesh during the next 5 days and over East and Northeast India during the next 2 days.

Delhi: Punjab teachers hold protest outside Rahul Gandhi’s residence over pay scale

New Delhi [India]: Teachers from Punjab staged a protest outside Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s residence in Delhi over the pay scale issue.
The protest was called off after Rahul Gandhi’s representative Harshvardhan met the protestors and assured them that their demands will be met and sought a time for three days.
Speaking to ANI, Kamal Thakur, president, ETT TET Pass Union said, “Rahul Gandhi’s representative Harshvardhan came to meet us and mentioned that he has already spoken to Punjab Education Minister Pargat Singh and Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal. We have been told that our demands will be met in the next 2-3 days. I also spoke about the code of conduct that can be implemented anytime in Punjab and our demands should not just be mere words. He had assured us and said he has come on behalf of Rahul Gandhi. He had promised justice will be served to us.”

Thakur said he has faith in Rahul Gandhi that he will give 180 teachers their rights.
“If our demands are not met, all the ETT teachers will gather here. We have come here with Gandhi’s ideology, with a flower in hand. We did not even raise any kind of slogan against the Congress party, Rahul Gandhi or the Delhi administration because we have come here with hope and now we will see how much Rahul Gandhi can live up to the trust of 180 people. If our work is not done in the next three days, then on the fourth day, you will be seeing all of us here again. We are right now calling off our protest,” Thakur said.
About 180 regular ETT teachers out of 4,500 ETT teachers recruited in 2016 by the Punjab government and are forced to accept Central Pay Scale after regular services of complete five years.

COVID-19: Bed occupancy to serve as basis for implementing ‘Amber Alert’ in Delhi

New Delhi [India]: Bed Occupancy instead of positivity rate will serve as the basis for the implementation of the ‘Amber Alert’, the next type of alert in the colour-coded Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for COVID-19, currently in effect in the national capital, as per sources.
The decision was arrived at during a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority that was held on Wednesday evening under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal on the review of the current COVID-19 situation in Delhi. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Revenue Minister Kailash Gehlot, Chief Secretary Vijay Dev and many top officials of the Health Department were present in this virtual meeting. On the other hand, NCDC Chairman, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria and NITI Aayog member VK Paul were also present in this meeting as experts.
As per the sources, “It was decided in the meeting that only the Yellow Alert issued earlier will be continued in Delhi till further orders and according to GRAP, the basis of the second alert, ie Amber Alert, will not be positivity.”
According to the rules of GRAP, if the infection rate is more than 1 per cent for two consecutive days, or active coronavirus cases remain 3500 for a week or 700 patients are admitted on oxygen beds in corona hospitals for a week, ‘Amber Alert’ is applicable. Restrictions will increase under this alert. The weekend curfew will be implemented during the ‘Amber Alert’, the time limit of shops and malls opening under Odd-Even will reduce to 10 am to 6 pm, which is currently till 8 pm. Under this alert, restaurants and bars will be completely closed and only home delivery will be possible. Salons and beauty parlours will also be closed. The seating capacity of Delhi Metro will be reduced to 33 per cent and parks and gardens will also be closed.
Currently, in Delhi, cases of COVID-19 are rising. The national capital has reported 923 cases during the last 24 hours, with the positivity rate touching 1.29 per cent. The ‘Yellow Alert’ is currently in effect in Delhi.
Under this alert, spas, gyms, yoga institutes and entertainment parks will remain closed, but outdoor yoga will be allowed. Delhi Metro will run with a 50 per cent seating capacity and travelling standing will not be allowed. At the same time, buses going from one state to another will run with a 50 per cent seating capacity, while only two passengers will be allowed to travel in auto, e-rickshaw, taxi and cycle rickshaws.
Private offices have been allowed to open from 9 am to 5 pm with 50 per cent capacity.
Restaurants have been allowed to stay open with 50 per cent capacity, but from 8 am to 10 pm, while bars will also open with 50 per cent capacity but from 12 noon to 10 pm. Under this, there is a provision to keep cinema halls, multiplexes, banquet halls and auditoriums closed. Hotels will remain open but banquets and conference halls inside the hotel will remain closed.
As per the response plan, Sports complexes, stadiums and swimming pools are closed in yellow alert, although national or international sports can be held. Only 20 people will be allowed to attend the wedding ceremony and funeral. Religious places will remain open but the entry of devotees will be restricted. There is also a provision to ban social, political, religious, festival and entertainment-related activities in this alert, although this ban is still going on in Delhi.

923 new COVID-19 cases in Delhi, 86 pc rise in 24 hrs, highest since May 30

New Delhi [India]: Delhi reported 923 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, an 86 per cent jump in infections from yesterday and the highest since May 30.
As many as 496 cases were reported on Wednesday. Today’s daily new Covid cases are the highest since 30 when 946 cases were reported. Delhi is witnessing a surge in fresh coronavirus infections over the last week following the emergence of COVID-19’s Omicron variant.
A total of 71,696 tests were conducted for detecting COVID-19 including 64,233 RTPCR/CBNAAT/True Nat tests and 7,463 antigen tests.
As per the bulletin by the Delhi Health Department, the active cases in the city has also gone up to 2,191. There were 1,680 active cases on June 25.
Moreover, the positivity rate in the city scaled up to 1.29 per cent, the highest since May 28 when it was 1.58.
The Delhi Health Department informed that the total number of COVID-19 infections in the city has moved up to 14,45,102 with a cumulative positivity rate of 4.44 per cent.
With 344 new recoveries reported in the last 24 hours, the recovery tally of Delhi has gone upto 14,17,804.
In the last 24 hours, 115 foreign travellers were tested for COVID-19. Those who have been tested positive have been admitted to hospitals.
As many 200 COVID positive patients have been admitted to the hospital, of which 98 belong to other states. Out of 200 patients, 145 patients have mild symptoms and 55 patients are on oxygen-supported beds.
However, the national capital did not report any COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours.
After Delhi witnessed COVID positivity rate above 0.50 per cent for two consecutive days, the Delhi government on Tuesday imposed restrictions imposed under yellow alert as per the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
As per the restrictions, Delhi Metro, restaurants and bars will operate at 50 per cent capacity. A night curfew has been imposed between 10 pm- 5 am. Cinema halls, spas, gyms, multiplexes, banquet halls, auditoriums and sports complexes have been closed with immediate effect.

Rain lashes parts of Delhi

New Delhi [India]: Rain has lashed parts of the national capital on Sunday evening.
Light intensity rain/drizzle would occur over and adjoining areas of isolated places of Delhi, NCR (Gurugram, Manesar), Kurukshetra, Karnal, Gohana, Gannaur, Sonipat, Farukhnagar, Kosali, Sohana, Rewari, Narnaul, Bawal, Nuh (Haryana) Gangoh, Baraut (U.P.) Bhiwari, Tizara, Khairthal (Rajasthan) during the next 2 hours, said Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday. It also said that light to moderate intensity rain would occur over and adjoining areas of isolated places of Delhi, North Delhi, North-West Delhi ( Kanjhawala), Meham, Rohtak (Haryana) and Kotputli (Rajasthan).
“26/12/2021: 17:55 IST; Light to moderate intensity rain would occur over and adjoining areas of isolated places of Delhi, North Delhi, North-West Delhi ( Kanjhawala), Meham, Rohtak (Haryana) Kotputli (Rajasthan),” said another tweet from IMD.

Despite low visibility, flight operations remain normal at Delhi airport

New Delhi [India]: Despite low visibility on Saturday morning, the flight operations remain normal at Delhi airports.
The passengers are requested to contact the airline concerned for updated flight information. “Low Visibility Procedures are in progress at Delhi Airport. All flight operations are presently normal. Passengers are requested to contact the airline concerned for updated flight information,” said Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi stands at 398.
As per the government agencies, and AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.

Delhi Court books Rohini SHO, police personnel for ‘brutal assault’ on suspect

New Delhi [India]: A team of Delhi Police, who had allegedly barged into a house and staged a dog fight, was pulled by a city court which noted that the accused arrested in that raid was subjected to brutal assault and atrocities during his detention in the police custody.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Babru Bhan observed that the injuries on the accused were apparently a result of a ‘calculated assault’ after overpowering the accused. The Court has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of Rohini district to lodge a First Information Report (FIR) against the concerned Station House Officer (SHO) and erring police personnel for offences under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 342(Wrongful confinement),506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (intending to insult the modesty of any woman), 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 429 (Mischief by killing or maiming cattle), 166A (Public servant disobeying law) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other relevant provisions.
The court said that it has found truth in allegations of the complainant against the accused.
“Since the FIR is directed to be registered against the concerned SHO, therefore, the concerned Joint Commissioner of Police (CP) shall ensure that investigation is conducted by such an agency and officer that fairness in the process of investigation can be ensured,” the court said and listed the matter for filing compliance report on January 3, 2022.
The court also said that it is apparent that neither the accused was arrested at the time nor in the manner alleged by the police. “Further, the injuries are apparently a result of calculated assault after overpowering the accused,” the court said.
The court noted that the bruises on parts of the accused were so serious that the same were present even on December 16. It said that such injuries cannot be caused in a free fight, as alleged by the police.
“Such injuries are possible only when someone is completely overpowered and blows with a blunt object are repeatedly given at the same spot, which is not possible in one to one fight, ” the court said.
Furthermore, the audio-video clip shared by the wife of the accused clearly belies the theory of a stray dog entering the house of the accused and fighting their dog, the court noted and pointed out that the video shows a furious dog being incited by some persons in police uniform.
“Some females of the house can be heard begging for mercy. So, the explanation put forth by the police is not in consonance with the material produced by the complainant ie the wife of the accused and the visuals in the video and medical records,” the order copy read.
“Whatever may be the argument, if police resorts to violence to apprehend the accused and adopts custodial atrocities to gather evidence, it is accountable for the violation of fundamental rights as law nowhere permits custodial atrocities for the purpose of collection of evidence during the investigation,” it remarked.
Delhi Police claimed that during the arrest of the accused, a team reached his house at about 10:11 pm on December 8 and when they knocked at the door, it was not opened by the woman present in the house.
The police further claimed that they used ‘reasonable force’ to break open the door of the house but family members of the accused put forth some resistance in the apprehension of the accused and their pet dog started barking.
“In the meanwhile, one stray dog also entered the house and the dogs started fighting and thereafter, the dogs ran away. After all the efforts, the accused was apprehended at 03.00 am. He was brought to Police Station and arrested at 06.30 am,” the police stated.
But the court noted that the concerned SHO had admitted the fact before the Duty MM during judicial proceedings that the accused was apprehended at 11.00 pm on December 8, 2021. At this juncture, this court has no reason to ignore the said judicial record, the court said.

Enforce No Mask, No Entry rule at shops, workplaces, orders Delhi Disaster Management Authority

New Delhi [India]: In view of rising COVID-19 cases and variant of concern Omicron, Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) issued orders to enforce ‘No Mask, No Entry rule at shops and workplaces.
In an official release, DDMA has issued guidelines in view of rising COVID19 cases in the national capital. As per the DDMA order, “All DMs and District DCPs shall ensure that no cultural event, gatherings, and congregations are taking place for celebrating Christmas or New Year in National Capital Territory of Delhi.”
The statement advised the residents to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.
Meanwhile, Delhi reported 125 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the biggest single-day spike in the last six months. On June 22 this year, 134 Covid cases were reported in Delhi.
As per Delhi’s health bulletin on Wednesday, the positivity rate remained 0.20 per cent for the third consecutive day.
According to the Union health ministry, the country has reported 213 cases of Omicron variant so far. Out of these, Delhi topped the list with 57 confirmed cases, the ministry said.
However, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said that the Union government’s data, which showed that there were 57 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in the national capital, was not true and that only 52 cases of the new variant have been reported in the metropolis so far.

Amid Omicron surge, Delhi bans gatherings for Christmas, New Year

New Delhi [India]: In view of rising COVID-19 Omicron cases, Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) issued orders to all District Magistrates and District Deputy Commissioners of Police to ensure that no cultural event, gatherings, and congregations are taking place for celebrating Christmas or New Year in Delhi.
The DDMA has also issued orders to enforce the ‘No Mask, No Entry’ rule at shops and workplaces. The statement advised the residents to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.
Meanwhile, Delhi reported 125 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the biggest single-day spike in the last six months. On June 22 this year, 134 Covid cases were reported in Delhi.
As per Delhi’s health bulletin on Wednesday, the positivity rate remained 0.20 per cent for the third consecutive day.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday had informed that 52 Omicron cases have been reported in the metropolis so far. Of these 17 patients have been discharged and the rest are admitted to other hospitals, he added.

Delhi’s AQI slips to 369, remains in ‘very poor’ category

New Delhi [India]: The air quality in the national capital slipped back into the ‘Very Poor’ category with the overall Air Quality Index recorded at 369 on Tuesday morning, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). This comes as the city is experiencing a cold wave and residents woke up to fog and mist.
As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the air quality over Delhi-National Capital Territory (NCT) is likely to remain in the upper end of the ‘Very Poor’ category till Christmas, owing to slow/calm winds and poor ventilation conditions but is predicted to improve after that. “The air quality is likely to deteriorate and remain in upper end of Very Poor category but improve after December 26,” IMD said.
“The predominant surface wind is likely to remain calm in Delhi with mainly clear sky and shallow fog in the morning today. The predominant surface wind is likely to remain calm in Delhi with partly cloudy sky and shallow fog in the morning tomorrow,” it added.
As per SAFAR, the air quality will degrade further but remain in the ‘Very Poor’ category, “due to cold wave conditions and moderate wind speed”.
On Monday Delhi air quality was recorded in the ‘Poor’ category.
Meanwhile, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Noida, according to SAFAR was recorded to be 319 while that in Gurugram was 306.

Cold wave grips Delhi, mercury dips to 3.1 degree Celcius

New Delhi [India]: As the cold wave conditions prevail in northern India, the mercury level has dropped to shivering levels.
The minimum temperature of 3.1 degrees Celcius was recorded at the Lodhi Road observatory today, the Regional Meteorological Centre of Delhi informed. Rajasthan continues to experience freezing levels as Churu records -0.5 degrees Celsius, while -1.8 degrees Celsius was recorded in Fatahpur.
As per India Meteorological Department (IMD), in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur, the minimum and maximum temperatures have been predicted to be around 5 degrees Celsius and 19 degrees Celsius, respectively today.
Meanwhile in Jammu, the minimum temperature dips to 3.2 degrees Celsius.
To beat the chilling cold, it is common to come across people sitting around a fire to warm themselves these days.
As per the IMD, cold wave to severe cold wave conditions have been prevailing in some parts of north Rajasthan and Punjab, while cold wave conditions prevail in isolated pockets over Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit, Baltistan and Muzaffarabad, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, north Rajasthan and north Madhya Pradesh.
“In addition, dry northwesterly winds of about 10-15 kmph and markedly below normal Maximum Temperatures are prevailing over Punjab, Haryana and north Rajasthan since past three days enhancing the adverse impact of cold wave conditions which are likely to prevail during next three days and improve thereafter,” said the IMD.

COVID-19: Delhi govt converts 4 pvt hospitals into Omicron dedicated centres

New Delhi [India]: The Delhi government on Saturday converted four private hospitals into dedicated centres for the treatment of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.
These four hospitals are Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Max Hospital in Saket, Fortis Hospital in Vasant Kunj and Batra Hospital in the Tughlakabad area of the national capital. Earlier, only government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital was designated for the Omicron treatment.
India has so far reported over 100 cases of the Omicron. The country detected its first Omicron case on December 2 in Karnataka.
The new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year. On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’. The WHO has classified Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’.
Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations since the mutation was discovered. India has also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country, including post-arrival testing for infection.

DDMA Issues Order To Cancel AP Dhillon’s Concert In Delhi

Punjabi singer AP Dhillon’s concert, scheduled for today in the national capital’s Aerocity area, has been ordered to be cancelled by the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

Orders have been issued on Saturday by the Duty SDM who has given directions to cancel the concert due to violations of COVID-19 norms. The music show was going to be part of a restaurant launch at Andaz Hotel in Aerocity, where a gathering of 400-500 guests was expected for the evening. If found in violation, the event organizers would be booked under Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act,2005, Section 188 of IPC and other applicable laws.

Previously, on December 13, an FIR had been registered against the organizers of Dhillon’s concert in Mumbai, as they had allegedly violated COVID-19 norms.

The concert was held at Grand Hyatt’s The Black Boxx on Sunday. Many celebrities including Sara Ali Khan, her brother Ibrahim Ali Khan, and Janhvi Kapoor among several others had attended the crowded gig.

Schools in Delhi to reopen for Class 6 onwards from today

New Delhi [India]: After being shut down for nearly a month because of air pollution, the physical classes in Delhi school will resume for Class 6 and above from Saturday.
On Friday, the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) allowed the resumption of physical classes in schools in Delhi for classes 6 onwards from December 18. However, classes will be held in a hybrid mode with both physical and online classes.
“All the Government, Government aided, unaided recognized, NDMC, MCDs and Delhi Cantonment Board Schools will reopen from December 18 for classes 6 onwards,” said Delhi Government.
Taking into consideration the submissions made and in light of improvement of Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi from ‘Severe’ to ‘Very Poor’ category, the Commission today directed the State Governments of NCR and GNCTD to re-open schools, colleges and educational institutions in a phased manner, said the release by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Notably, on November 16, the Commission had directed that “all public and private schools colleges and educational institutions shall remain closed until further orders allowing only online mode of education”.
The CAQM on Friday reviewed the restrictions imposed on the reopening of schools, colleges and educational institutions.
The Commission also directed the State Governments of NCR and GNCTD to take the decision for resumption of physical classes, for students up to standard 5 from December 27, 2021, duly considering the Air Quality Index (AQI) and the winter vacation schedule.
The Commission, on November 25, had decided that “the NCR States and GNCT of Delhi may take appropriate decisions for resumption of physical classes in schools, colleges and educational institutions in the NCR. However, wherever the State Governments / GNCTD opt to continue with online mode of education, such schools/colleges / educational institutions shall be permitted to open for the purpose of the conduct of examination and practical etc.”
On December 2, the Commission directed that “All Schools, Colleges and Educational Institutions in the NCR shall remain closed, allowing only online mode of education, except for the purpose of the conduct of examinations and laboratory practical etc.”
The Commission had earlier informed the Supreme Court that a decision on re-opening of schools, colleges and educational institutions, will be taken by December 17.

Schools in Delhi to reopen for class 6 and above

               

New Delhi [India]: The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) on Friday allowed the resumption of physical classes in schools in Delhi for classes 6 onwards from December 18 (Saturday).

However, classes will be held in a hybrid mode with both physical and online classes.
“All the Government, Government aided, unaided recognized, NDMC, MCDs and Delhi Cantonment Board Schools will reopen from December 18 for classes 6 onwards,” said the statement by Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi.

Taking into consideration the submissions made and in light of improvement of Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi from ‘Severe’ to ‘Very Poor’ category, the Commission today directed the State Governments of NCR and GNCTD to re-open schools, colleges and educational institutions in a phased manner, said the release by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Notably, on November 16, the Commission had directed that “all public and private schools colleges and educational institutions shall remain closed until further orders allowing only online mode of education”.

The CAQM on Friday reviewed the restrictions imposed on the reopening of schools, colleges and educational institutions.

The Commission also directed the State Governments of NCR and GNCTD to take the decision for resumption of physical classes, for students up to standard 5 from December 27, 2021, duly considering the Air Quality Index (AQI) and the winter vacation schedule.

The Commission, on November 25, had decided that “the NCR States and GNCT of Delhi may take appropriate decisions for resumption of physical classes in schools, colleges and educational institutions in the NCR. However, wherever the State Governments / GNCTD opt to continue with online mode of education, such schools/colleges / educational institutions shall be permitted to open for the purpose of the conduct of examination and practical etc.”

On December 2, the Commission directed that “All Schools, Colleges and Educational Institutions in the NCR shall remain closed, allowing only online mode of education, except for the purpose of the conduct of examinations and laboratory practical etc.”

The Commission had earlier informed the Supreme Court that a decision on re-opening of schools, colleges and educational institutions, will be taken by December 17. (ANI)

Delhi’s air quality remains in ‘very poor’ category, likely to improve from Friday

New Delhi [India]: The air quality in the national capital continued to remain in the ‘very poor’ quality, with the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 337 on Thursday morning but it is predicted to improve from Friday due to a likely high wind speed.
According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the concentrations of PM 2.5 and PM 10 stood at 168 in the ‘very poor’ and 284 in the ‘poor’ category respectively. “AQI today indicates ‘Very Poor’ air quality. A shallow foggy condition is likely to keep AQI poor for the next two days. On 16th air quality is going to improve and from 17th onwards significant improvement is likely due to high wind speeds that keep AQI within ‘poor’ or ‘lower end of very poor’ category,” SAFAR said in its bulletin.
The air quality in Noida and Gurugram too remains in the ‘very poor’ category with AQI at 337 and 330 respectively.
As per the government agencies, an AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.
After a review meeting on Monday, the Delhi government has extended the ban on the entry of non-essential trucks in the national capital till further orders.

SC dismisses Bajaj Auto’s plea against Delhi govt’s decision to issue 4,261 new permits only to e-autos

New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea filed by Bajaj Auto challenging the Delhi government’s decision to issue over 4,261 new permits only to e-autorickshaws.
A Bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao said the advertisement issued by the Delhi government inviting applications for electric-autorickshaws cannot be said to be arbitrary as it is in conformity with the FAME-II scheme and the Electric Vehicle policy 2020. Citing how locals in Delhi are adversely affected by air pollution, the bench said even though CNG auto-rickshaws are BS-VI compliant, there is still some carbon emission.
Bajaj Auto approached the apex court stating that the Delhi government’s move was arbitrary and discriminatory against those who manufacture CNG auto rickshaws.
Delhi government has opposed the plea of Bajaj Auto saying CNG auto rickshaws cannot be compared to e-autos and there is a proposal to switch to electric vehicles with a view to decarbonise the transport sector.

Delhi HC orders complete disclosure of all ingredients in food articles

New Delhi [India]: Observing that many food articles which have ingredients sourced from animals are passed off as vegetarian by affixing the green dot, the Delhi High Court issued directions to concerned authorities to ensure “full and complete disclosure” of all the ingredients which go into the manufacture of any food article stating that it would otherwise “offend the religious and cultural sensibilities of vegetarians.”
The Delhi High Court ordered authorities to mandatorily disclose all the ingredients which go into the manufacture of any food article, not only by their code names but also by disclosing as to whether they originate from plant, or animal source, or whether they are manufactured in a laboratory, irrespective of their percentage in the food article. A Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said: “We, therefore, direct the respondents to ensure that there should be full and complete disclosure of all the ingredients which go into the manufacture of any food article, not only by their code names but also by disclosing as to whether they originate from plant, or animal source, or whether they are manufactured in a laboratory, irrespective of their percentage in the food article.”
The court clarified that it should also be fairly disclosed as to what is the plant source, or animal source – as the case may be, in respect of all the ingredients in whatever measure they are used.
The Food Business Operators were directed by Delhi HC to ensure full and strict compliance of Regulation 2.2.2(4) on the basis that the use of any ingredient – in whatever measure or percentage, which is sourced from animals, would render the food article as non-vegetarian.
The court also observed the failure on the part of the Food Business Operators to comply with the above requirements would expose themselves to, inter alia, class action for violation of the fundamental rights of the consuming public and invite punitive damages, apart from prosecution.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was also directed by the Delhi HC to verify all such claims made by the Food Business Operators. The High Court also warned that the connivance or failure on the part of the FSSAI or its officers to perform their duties shall expose all such officers to claims by the aggrieved parties, and prosecution under the law. “This order should be given adequate publicity to put everyone concerned to notice of their legal and constitutional obligations and rights,” the court ruled.
The court has asked FSSAI to file a compliance report in respect of its direction before the next date.
The court, which was hearing a petition filed by Ram Gau Raksha Dal, listed the matter for further hearing on January 31, 2022.
Advocate Rajat Aneja, appearing for the petitioner, pointed out that so far as animal fat is concerned, these Regulations specifically require the source of the animal fat/ oil, other than milk fat, to be disclosed. The Regulations specifically require the name of the source of the fat to be declared, namely, whether pork fat/ lard, beef fat or extracts thereof have been used.
He submitted that, however, when it comes to the obligation to make declarations with regard to other ingredients, such as cheese and gum base, there is no requirement for disclosing specifically the source from where such ingredients for the manufacture of the food article, such as, either cheese or gum base are sourced. He pointed out that both cheese and gum could be prepared with ingredients from vegetarian source, or non- vegetarian source.
The advocate further submitted that the lack of insistence under clause 2(d) on disclosure of compound ingredients which constitute less than 5 per cent of the food from disclosure (other than food additives) seriously infringes the rights of the consumers, as they are kept in the dark by the Food Business Operators about the fact whether such compound ingredients are from a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian source. He submitted that the said relaxation infringes the fundamental rights of the consumers under Articles
21, 19(1)(a) and 25 of the Constitution and impinges on their freedom of informed choice.
Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma along with Central Government Standing Counsel Ajay Digpaul, and Amit Gupta, Akshay Gadeock, Sahaj Garg, Vinay Yadav, Rishav Dubey and Kamal R. Digpaul, appeared for Centre. Advocate Rakesh Chaudhary was representing FSSAI.
Advocate Chaudhry, who appeared for FSSAI, submitted that Section 26 of the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006 fixes the responsibilities on the Food Business Operators to ensure that the articles of food satisfy the requirements of the Act and the Rules & Regulations made thereunder at all stages of production, processing, import, distribution and sale within the businesses under the control of the Food Business Operator.
“Having perused the provisions of the Act, the Rules & Regulations and the affidavit filed on behalf of respondent No.2 (FSSAI), we find that the Act very clearly intends and expressly provides for declaration on all food items being made – as to whether they are vegetarian or non-vegetarian, as defined in the Act. This obligation cast on the Food Business Operators is independent of their obligation to make disclosure of ingredients in accordance with Regulation 2.2.2, regarding labelling,” the court said.
It noted that some Food Business Operators are taking advantage of – upon misreading of the Regulations, the fact that the Act does not specifically oblige the Food Business Operators to disclose the source from which the ingredients -which go into manufacture/ production of food articles, are sourced, except in respect of the specific express exceptions.
“In our view, the failure of the respondent authorities in checking such lapses is leading to not only non-compliance of the Act and the Regulations – taken note of hereinabove, but also leading to deceit by such Food Business Operators of the public at large, particularly those who wish to profess strict vegetarianism,” the court said.
“It matters not – as to what is the percentage of such like ingredients (which are sourced from animals), which are used in the manufacture of food article,” the court noted.
“Even though their usage may constitute a minuscule percentage, the use of non-vegetarian ingredients would render such food articles non-vegetarian, and would offend the religious and cultural sensibilities/ sentiments of strict vegetarians, and would interfere in their right to freely profess, practice and propagate their religion and belief. Every person has a right to know as to what he/ she is consuming, and nothing can be offered to the person on a platter by resort to deceit, or camouflage,” the court said.

Hockey National C’ship: Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Delhi register win on Day 3

Pune (Maharashtra) [India]: Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and Delhi earned victories in their respective matches on Day 3 of the 11th Hockey India senior men National Championship in Pimpri Chinchwad 2021 here on Monday.
In the day’s opener, Karnataka beat Le Puducherry 4-0 in Pool C. Goals for Karnataka were scored by Harish Mutagar (5′), S Deekshith P (25′), Shamanth CS (40′) and Pavan Madivalar (49′). With this, stay on top of the table with a perfect record. In Pool C’s second game of the day Jammu and Kashmir beat Arunachal 10-3 in a high scoring encounter. A hat trick by Jasprit Singh (13′, 19′, 33′, 44′) and a brace each by Karanjit Singh (16′, 26′) and Manpreet Singh (42′, 59′) consolidated the victory.
Sandeep Singh (21′) and Hussain Mohd Dar (56′) also got a goal each for Jammu & Kashmir. Goals for Hockey Arunachal were scored by Sandeep (30′, 33′) and Ucha Singh (22′).
Punjab trounced Andhra Pradesh 7-1 in their Pool D encounter. Punjab started their onslaught early, with captain Rupinder Pal Singh slotting home a PC as early as the 2nd minute of the game.
From thereon, goals by Lovepreet Jainth (5′), Ranjot Singh (19′), Sudarshan Singh (29′, 55′), Parampreet Singh (40′) and Sankalp Singh (42′) ensured they secured the three points. Hockey Andhra Pradesh’s solitary goal was scored by Venkata Sree Aripineni Balaji in the 26th minute.
In Pool E, Chandigarh took on Manipur in the highlight game of the day — a battle among equals. After a goalless two quarters, where both sides defended resolutely, calling their keepers into action more than once, the game hung on a knife edge.
It was Chandigarh that broke the deadlock in the third quarter, Amandeep finishing off a sweeping move in the 42nd minute to give them the lead. It was a lead they hung on to, despite a flood of Manipur pressure to secure three points and jump to top of the group.
In Pool E’s second game, Rajasthan overwhelmed Tripura to win 18-0. A double hat trick by Vijendra Singh (25′, 28′, 40′, 48′, 50′, 57′) was the highlight of a game where eight Rajasthan players got goals.
Shyam Singh Chouhan (14′, 52′, 53′, 58′), Hashanpreet Singh (12′, 45′), Karanjot Singh Mann (16′, 44′), Captain Chandransh Sharma (34′), Akhtar Shoyab Qureshi (39′), Chetan Kalot (43′) and Amit Kumar Saini (59′) were among the goalscorers as Rajasthan took three points.
Delhi and Madhya Pradesh played out a back and forth encounter in Pool B in the final game of the day, Delhi edging out the points, winning 3-2.
In the frenetic encounter, it was Madhya Pradesh who struck first, Shaun Glen Gladwin scoring in the 19th minute to give them the lead. From there though Delhi took control of the game, Dheeraj Vats (29′) and Mohammad Altaf (48′) to give them the lead.
Delhi held on to their slender lead for a majority of the final quarter, but with two minutes to go, Ayush Pethe struck the equalizer, and at that point it looked the two would share the spoils. But there was enough time for one last twist, as Delhi pushed for the winner, and in the 60th minute Braj Gopal finished off a sublime move to give his team the victory, and the three points.
Andaman and Nicobar forfeit their Pool D game against Uttarakhand who were awarded a 5-0 win by default.

Delhi: White powder substance, batteries recovered from Rohini court blast site

New Delhi [India]: Police recovered white powder substance, wires and batteries from the Rohini Court blast site, informed the Police.
The low-intensity blast was reported inside courtroom number 102 of court on Thursday morning. The blast occurred inside a laptop bag, and the explosion was of low intensity, added the police.
The injured person had been identified as Rajeev and is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital.
Forensic and NSG teams are inspecting and examining the bag, added the police. The spot has been cordoned.

Rohit Saraf Celebrates 25th Birthday With Family In Delhi

Actor Rohit Saraf is celebrating his 25th birthday today, and that too with his family in the capital.

Talking about the same, Rohit said, “After a year, I have finally found the time to visit my family in Delhi. It has been a packed schedule for me with back-to-back shooting slates. I’m so glad to have a chance of celebrating my birthday with my parents and my entire family after 8 years, and that too for my 25th.” On the special occasion, Rohit has received several heartfelt wishes from fans and members of the Indian film industry.

“Happy birthday Rohit. Wishing you all the love, luck, and happiness always,” actor Ayush Mehra wrote on Instagram Story.

Rohit is best known for his roles in ‘Ludo’, ‘The Sky is Pink’, and ‘Mismatched’. He is now waiting for the release of the second season of ‘Mismatched’. He also has ‘Vikram Vedha’ in the pipeline.

Nagaland ambush: Human rights, student groups from the state hold candlelight vigil in Delhi

New Delhi [India]: Various human rights and student groups from Nagaland held a candlelight vigil at Nagaland House in Delhi on Monday over the killing of civilians by security forces in an anti-insurgency operation in the Mon district of Nagaland.
A day after the reported civilian killings by security forces, the state government on Sunday prohibited all mobile internet, data services, bulk SMS of all providers in the entire area of Mon district with immediate effect. Earlier in the day, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had demanded the repealing of AFSPA in the state.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday directed all agencies to ensure that “no such unfortunate incident recurs in future while undertaking operations against insurgents”.
The direction came in after a Monday morning meeting conducted by the MHA to review the situation arising out of the incident that left 14 civilians dead in a firing by security personnel in two separate incidents occurred on Saturday and Sunday and the death of security personnel in a mob attack in Tizit area of Mon district in Nagaland.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah shared the information while reading a statement on the ambush in Rajya Sabha.

Omicron: Delhi CM Kejriwal urges people to be cautious

New Delhi [India]: In view of the emergence of the COVID-19 variant Omicron, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday appealed to the people to be cautious and wear masks while stepping out of their houses.
“I just want to appeal to people to not panic. I am monitoring the situation. I chaired a review meeting last week also. We will make all available resources like beds, medicines, equipment to tackle the virus. I just want to appeal to the citizens to wear masks always while stepping out,” he said. Earlier on Sunday, Delhi reported its first case of the COVID variant Omicron.
Earlier on November 30, Kejriwal had chaired a review meeting with Health Minister Satyendra Jain and senior officials on the possibility of a third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, amid concerns over the new variant ‘Omicron’.

India’s 5th Omicron Case Detected In Delhi, Tanzania-Returnee Tests positive

New Delhi [India] : A man who arrived in Delhi from Tanzania and was admitted to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital (LNJP) was today found positive with the new Covid variant, Omicron, taking the total number of such cases in the country to five. “Twelve samples had been sent to the National Centre for Disease Control. One was found carrying the Omicron variant. The patient is an Indian and had returned from Tanzania a few days ago,” news agency PTI said quoting an unnamed official. “The patient’s travel history is being collated and contacts being traced,” the official further said. Omicron, first detected in South Africa on November 25, has been described as a “variant of concern” by the  World Health Organization (WHO). “PM sahib, please stop the flights”, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Chief Minister had also written a letter to the Prime Minister saying the same.   ADVERTISING. The WHO has urged countries to prepare by accelerating vaccinations and put mitigation plans in place to maintain essential health services. “Omicron has an unprecedented number of spike mutations, some of which are concerning for their potential impact on the trajectory of the pandemic,” the WHO said in a statement.

Delhi logs 51 fresh COVID-19 cases

New Delhi [India]: New Delhi reported 51 fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, informed the health bulletin on Saturday.
As per the health bulletin, the total count of cases has gone to 14,41,295.
The city has 322 active cases. The national capital reported no death due to the disease in the last 24 hours. The death toll has gone up to 25,098.
The positivity rate in Delhi is 0.08 per cent. The bulletin said 64826 tests have been conducted in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative tests to 3,11,65,273.
1,04,328 persons were vaccinated against the virus in the last 24 hours.

Delhi : Panel issue new orders on tackling deteriorating air quality

New Delhi [India] : The government of India’s air quality panel has issued a set of new directions to prevent further deterioration of air quality in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) directed that industrial operations and processes in NCR, not running on Piped Natural Gas or other cleaner fuels, shall be allowed to operate only up to eight hours a day from Monday to Friday and shall not be allowed to run on weekends. All schools, colleges and educational institutions in the NCR shall remain closed, allowing only online mode of education, except for the purpose of the conduct of examinations and laboratory practicals. The panel said its earlier directions on industries shall continue. According to these directions, all industries in NCR, still using unapproved fuels, shall be closed by the respective governments with immediate effect. Also, the NCR states and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) shall enforce a strict ban on the use of diesel generators, except for emergency services. The commission stopped the entry of trucks in Delhi, except the electric ones and those running on Compressed Natural Gas, besides trucks carrying essential commodities. The commission directed that the chief secretaries of the respective states and the Delhi government shall ensure implementation of these directions.

“Strict enforcement of these directions as also the directions/orders issued by the commission from time to time since its inception shall be ensured by the respective agencies and implementation, compliance of the same shall be monitored by the chief secretaries of the respective state/GNCTD,” the commission’s order stated.

 “In view of the compelling need to prevent further deterioration of the environment and towards the improvement of air quality in Delhi and NCR, the commission, in the exercise of its powers conferred upon it (by)… the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act 2021, directs that these measures shall be implemented with strict force with immediate effect, until further orders,” it read. 

The CAQM, an executive body set up by the Ministry of Environment earlier this year to oversee measures to curb air pollution in the NCR, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, also constituted task forces for each of these states to implement, enforce, monitor and report compliance status of its orders. The special bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana also took note of measures taken by the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas on Thursday and asked the Centre, Delhi and states in the National Capital Region (NCR) to follow the directions. The top court, on Thursday, said nothing was happening on the ground to control the deteriorating air quality in Delhi-NCR and directed the Centre and Delhi government to come out with suggestions to control the pollution within 24 hours.

Delhi becomes no 1 city in world in terms of CCTV coverage per sq km

New Delhi [India] : Delhi has become the number one city in terms of CCTV coverage per square kilometre in the world, said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday.
Briefing media persons, Kejriwal said, “As many as 2,75,000 CCTV cameras were installed across Delhi in the last seven years. These were installed in streets, lanes, colonies, RWS, schools and other places. Delhi has become the number one city in the world in having the maximum number of CCTV cameras per square kilometre. The survey was conducted in 150 cities across the world.” The Chief Minister further said there are 1,826 CCTV cameras in Delhi per square mile.
“London comes to the second place with 1,138 CCTV cameras per square mile. So Delhi is far ahead of London, Singapore, and Paris. In India, Chennai comes second place in terms of CCTV cameras. And, Delhi has thrice as many cameras as Chennai has. We have 11 times more CCTV cameras installed in Delhi than in Mumbai,” said Kejriwal.
He said that safety for women has improved since the installation of CCTV cameras. The police also get helps in solving crime cases as most of the time the incidents are recorded in the CCTV cameras, he added.
“We will further install 1,40,000 cameras in the city. Following this, Delhi will have 4,15,000 CCTV cameras,” added the chief minister.

Supreme Court directs states to file report on steps taken to curb pollution in Delhi-NCR

New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab governments to explain steps taken by them in compliance with directions issued by Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining areas to curb air pollution and sought compliance reports from them.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant directed the Centre to respond to issues related to construction activities including the Central Vista project under its domain. Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the petitioner, that construction activities for big projects like the Central Vista are going on in full swing and such a project cannot be “more important than the lives of citizens”.
To this, the Bench observed, “The question is how we are struggling as to how to control the pollution and whether it is Central Vista or polluting industries or the states… Do you think that we do not know anything? We also know everything. Don’t flag certain issues which ultimately lead to a situation where the main issue is diverted.”
Asking the Solicitor General to respond on continued construction activities of Central Vista the Bench said, “Vikas Singh has raised certain issues regarding construction activities in Delhi, we direct the Solicitor General to file an affidavit or get instructions about the areas which fall under the Central government domain.”
The Court has sought the response of the Solicitor General on construction in Delhi aspect. The apex court now posted the matter for hearing on December 2.
The top court was hearing a matter seeking emergency steps to control the worsening air quality situation in the national capital.
The Bench also directed the State governments to show compliance with the directions issued by the Court on November 24 to disburse the welfare funds to construction workers, whose livelihoods get affected due to the ban imposed on construction activities.
The top court observed that the intentions of the Commission are good and directions are given but the “result is zero”.
Earlier on November 24, the apex court had said that the air quality crisis in Delhi calls for a scientific study and suggested a statistical-based model on wind patterns to take advance measures to curb air pollution in Delhi-NCR before the situation deteriorates.
It had said that advance measures must be taken to deal with Delhi’s air quality crisis.
The apex court had also observed that when the weather becomes severe only then governments take measures to control it.
The apex court is hearing a plea seeking a curb on rising air pollution in Delhi.

Delhi Education Minister releases list of 250 govt-run schools, challenges his Punjab counterpart to release the same

New Delhi [India]: As the debate between the Education Ministers of Delhi and Punjab over schools, quality of education in their respective states continues, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday released a list of 250 Delhi-government run schools in the national capital and challenged his Punjab counterpart Pargat Singh to release a list of 250 schools run by his government.
“It is a matter of happiness that the issue of education has become a part of electoral politics and whatever has happened in Delhi government schools during the last five to six years has forced other political parties to talk about education as well. When Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal talked about education in Punjab, the education minister Pargat Singh said that no work in education had taken place in Delhi but a lot of work has taken place in his state. I am releasing a list of 250 schools run by the Delhi government which have witnessed the most improvement. I humbly challenge the Punjab education minister to release a list of 250 schools run by his government, in which work has been done on infrastructure and reformation of education, results have improved and students are qualifying for NEET and JEE. I invite him to visit our schools. Let the public decide which model is the best,” he said while addressing a press conference. “The list of schools I have released are the ones where most improvements have taken place. All of these schools are upto the 12th standard. A lot of work has been done on the infrastructure, results have improved, teachers are receiving their training from abroad,” he added.
Sisodia asserted that the students of schools run by his government have been outperforming the ones in private schools for the last 4 years and said that many students from the government schools are qualifying for NEET, JEE and even clearing such examinations.
“These schools include from where 15-20 and sometimes 50 children have qualified for NEET this year. 500 children have qualified for JEE Advanced, while 70 have cleared it, earning a direct entry to IITs,” he added.
Both ministers have been involved in a war of words on Twitter regarding education in their respective states.
“@ArvindKejriwal ji, there is already a revolution going in education in Punjab. It is another matter that you missed it. It is understandable for a Delhiite whose interest in Punjab is aroused only around elections. #EducationRevolutionInPunjab,” Singh had tweeted.
“I’d like to invite Hon. Education Min. of Punjab @PargatSOfficial to jointly visit 10 Delhi Govt schools which we have reformed in last 5 years and 10 Punjab govt schools which his Govt has reformed in 5 years. Then let’s have a public debate on the edu models of Delhi and Punjab,” Sisodia had said responding to Singh’s tweet.
Singh responded to Sisodia’s tweet saying, “I welcome the Hon. edu. Minister of Delhi Sh.@msisodia’s suggestion to compare Punjab govt schools with Delhi Schools. However, We will take 250 schools each of Punjab and Delhi instead of 10 schools. #EducationRevolutionInPuniab.”
Punjab is scheduled to go for Assembly polls in 2022.
Responding to the leak of question paper of UPTET examination, Sisodia remarked, “This is the education model of Uttar Pradesh. They (Uttar Pradesh government) had stopped me from going to see a school.”
The UPTET 2021 examination scheduled to be held on Sunday was cancelled due to an alleged paper leak. Basic Education Minister Dr Satish Dwivedi said that the case will be investigated by Special Task Force (STF).”The paper leak of the UPTET 2021 exam will be conducted by UP STF. Uttar Pradesh government will soon conduct the exam within a month,” Dwivedi said.
Meanwhile, At least 23 people have been arrested in connection with the paper leak of the UPTET 2021 examination.
Questioned on the precautionary measures taken to combat a possible arrival of a new COVID-19 variant Omicron, Sisodia said that an important high-level meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) is scheduled for Monday and all concerned authorities have been placed on a high alert.
“I will also request people to avoid gatherings, avoid overcrowding without need. If anyone gets infected with the new variant, then it will be difficult,” he added.

Alia Bhatt, Ranveer Singh Shoot For ‘Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani’ In Delhi

Delhi is undoubtedly one of the favourite shooting hubs for filmmakers. Currently, director Karan Johar is in the capital for the shoot of his film ‘Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani’, which stars Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Shabana Azmi, Dharmendra, and Jaya Bachchan.

A day ago, Ranveer and Alia were spotted at Qutub Minar, where they reportedly filmed a song from the film. Several pictures from the shoot have been doing the rounds on the internet. In the images, Ranveer can be seen wearing a white shirt, while Alia looks gorgeous in a white saree.

‘Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani’, which is being produced by Dharma Productions and Viacom18 Motion Pictures, has been written by Shashank Khaitan, Ishita Moitra and Sumit Roy. It is expected to release next year.

Also, Saif Ali Khan’s son Ibrahim is working as an assistant director on the film.

Arvind Kejriwal challenges Punjab CM to show around 1,000 electricity bills with zero amount

Mohali (Punjab) [India]: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) National Convener Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday hit out at Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi over his announcement of free electricity to the state and challenged him to show around 1,000 electricity bills with zero amount.
Addressing a public gathering in Punjab’s Mohali district today, Kejriwal said, “I made an announcement of providing free electricity to Punjab if AAP government comes to power. Channi also said that the electricity has been made free in Punjab.” “I ask you (people) if you all have access to free electricity? Who all have received the electricity bill with zero amount? I challenge Punjab Chief Minister that just show me around 1,000 electricity bill with zero amount bill as evidence,” Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal who is also Delhi Chief Minister said that the AAP government in the national capital has provided free electricity to around 70-75 per cent of people.
“Today I have come with proof, I have one lakh electricity bills with zero amount. Last month, out of a total of 50 lakhs families, around 35 lakh families received zero amount bill,” he added.
Kejriwal also said that Punjab people are happy with AAP because they have seen the improvement in Delhi. “In Delhi, there is access to electricity round the clock. I promise that if AAP comes to power in Punjab, we will provide around 300 units free to people here which means free electricity to around 80 per cent of the state population,” he further said.
Earlier in June this year, Kejriwal during his visit to Punjab ahead of assembly elections promised to waive off all pending domestic electricity bills, 300 units of free electricity, and restorative of the electricity connection.
“We will do three major works here (Punjab). First, we will provide 300 units of free electricity to every family. Second, all pending domestic electricity bills will be waived off and the connection of people will be restored. Third, a 24-hour electricity supply will be provided,” he said.
Punjab Assembly elections have been scheduled to take place early next year.
In the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, Congress won an absolute majority in the state by winning 77 seats and ousted the SAD-BJP government after 10 years. Aam Aadmi Party emerged as the second-largest party winning 20 seats in 117-member Punjab Legislative Assembly. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) could only manage to win 15 seats while the BJP secured 3 seats.

Shabana Azmi Happy To Meet Sharmila Tagore In Delhi

Veteran actor Shabana Azmi, who is currently shooting in New Delhi for the film ‘Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani’, took some time out of her work schedule to meet another veteran actor Sharmila Tagore.

On Saturday, Shabana took to her Instagram and shared a picture with Sharmila. In the image, the two can be seen sharing smiles with each other. “So happy to meet up with #Sharmila Tagore in Delhi,” she captioned the post.

Netizens became extremely happy to see two veteran actors in one frame together.
“Legendary photo,” actor Richa Chadha commented.
“Graceful Beauties. Stay Blessed,” a fan commented.

Shabana and Sharmila have worked together in several movies such as ‘Namkeen’, and ‘Doosri Dulhan’.

Manish Sisodia likely to address ‘important’ press conference in Delhi today

New Delhi [India]: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is likely to address an important press conference on Saturday.
According to sources, Sisodia will address the press conference at 12.30 pm on Saturday from party headquarters in New Delhi. Meanwhile, sources have also informed the senior Congress leader from Delhi, Mukesh Goel is likely to join AAP on Saturday.
Notably, AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will visit Chandigarh in Punjab on Saturday to express support to protesting teachers in Mohali.

Delhi Police arrests accused in Swaroop Nagar murder case

New Delhi [India]: Three persons accused of murder in Delhi’s Swaroop Nagar were arrested by Delhi Police on Thursday. One of the arrested accused includes the younger brother of the deceased, according to Delhi Police.
The younger brother Monu told the police that his elder brother Sonu used to consume smack and the family members were tired of giving him money. Therefore, he hatched a plot with his friends to kill his brother. According to the police, Monu filed the missing report of Sonu in the Jahangirpuri area. The family members recovered his body from the ruins of Swaroop Nagar, after which the police was informed about the same.
On being informed, the police registered a case and started scrutinizing the CCTV footage. Sonu was seen alongside two boys, identified as Sunny and Tushar, who happened to be Monu’s friends.
On questioning, the accused revealed that Monu had instigated them to murder his brother. Monu told the police that he had hatched the plot for murder on the day the family members were out of the house on Tuesday.

Delhi HC seeks Centre’s response on booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine

New Delhi [India]: The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Centre to file an affidavit on the aspects of the administration of booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine necessary or not and the timeline within which the same is proposed to be rolled out.
A Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh asked the Centre to file a reply on the aspects relating to the booster disease of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Court also asked the Centre to mention the timeline when the booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine, if concerned necessary, to be rolled out in the Aarogya Setu app. “Let the Union of India file an affidavit for the administration of booster dose and timeline within which it is proposed to be rolled out on the Aarogya Setu app if it is necessary,” the Court said.
The Court’s remark came while observing growing advocacy of booster dose in the West.
The Court stressed upon the efficacy of the booster dose for those who have been fully vaccinated. The Court noted that medical view which indicates fall of immunity against disease after some time, which is raising concerns on people at large, particularly, falling in the old age bracket and those suffering from other diseases are anxious whether they require a booster dose.
The Court also noted that a huge batch of vaccines is not used or not utilised.
Delhi High Court was hearing various issues concerning to COVID-19 crisis. During the course of the hearing, Amicus Curiae Rajshekhar Rao flagged various issues including the functioning of the delhifightscorona.in. The website is maintained by the Delhi Government. Therefore the Court has sought a status report on this aspect and asked the government to ensure that the system put in place should continue to work efficiently.

Delhi’s air quality improves to ‘poor’ category, AQI drops to 280

Air pollution in Delhi, India

New Delhi [India]: The air quality significantly improved from the “very poor” to the “poor” category on Wednesday for the first time in the last 10 days, as per the System of Air Quality & Weather Forecasting & Research (SAFAR).
The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 280 today. Several areas in the national capital including ITO, Lodhi Road, and Mathura Road recorded air quality in “very poor” air with an AQI of 333, 303, and 346 while the AQI at Anand Vihar and Jahangirpuri were in the “severe” category with an AQI 422 and 436 respectively.
As per the SAFAR, the PM 10 levels were recorded at 58 in the ‘satisfactory’ category and PM 2.5 levels were recorded at 38 in the ‘satisfactory’ category.
The air pollution level in the National Capital Region (NCR) fluctuated between “very poor” and “poor”. Gurugram and Noida recorded AQI of 283 and 303 in the “poor” and “very poor” categories on Wednesday morning.
According to the SAFAR bulletin, from November 27 onwards local surface winds are likely to increase which will result in improvement of air quality.
The share of stubble burning to Delhi’s PM2.5 is 3 per cent and the effective fire count is 770.
“The AQI today indicates ‘poor’ category. Winds at the transport level are likely to slow down and also change direction from northwest to south/southeast tomorrow and north or northwest on 25th. Local surface winds are also relatively low for the next 3 days that reduce the dispersion of pollutants leading to deterioration. The net effect is that air quality is likely to be within the ‘poor’ or ‘lower end of very poor’ category for the next 3 days. From 27th onwards local surface winds are likely to increase resulting in improvement of air quality but expected to be within the ‘poor’ or ‘lower end of very poor’ category range. The effective stubble fire count is 770 and its %share in Delhi’s PM2.5 is 3 per cent,” it said in a bulletin.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.
With an aim to curb air pollution, the Arvind Kejriwal government on Sunday has extended the ban imposed on the entry of trucks in Delhi carrying non-essential items till November 26.
Delhi government has also asked its employees to continue working from home till Friday.
The government has also asked the private offices and institutions to let their employees work from home till November 26 to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

Delhi schools to stay shut till further orders due to air pollution

New Delhi [India]: All schools in Delhi will remain shut for physical classes till further orders due to rising levels of air pollution in the national capital, said the Directorate of Education, Delhi on Sunday.
Education will, however, continue with the help of online classes. “The Department of Environment, GNCTD vide order F. NO. 10 (13)/ENV/2020/Pt-2/5214- 5243 dated November 17, 2021 has directed to close all the schools with immediate effect till
further orders of the Commission For Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas. Therefore, in pursuance of the above-mentioned order, all the Government, Government Aided, Unaided Recognized, NDMC, MCDs and Delhi Cantonment Board Schools will remain closed till further orders. However, Online teaching-learning activities and the examinations for Board classes would be conducted as per guidelines issued earlier vide Circular No. DE.23 ( 28 )/Sch.Br./2021/637 dated 14.11.2021,” reads the order.
All the heads of schools have been instructed to disseminate the information to the students, staff members, SMC members, and parents.
To tackle increasing air pollution levels in the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on November 13 had announced a ‘pollution lockdown’ under which the schools were closed for physical classes for a week. Classes, however, continued through online mediums.
All construction activity in the national capitals were also shut down from November 14 to November 17. Government office employees were asked to operate from home (WFH) at 100 per cent capacity for a week, while private offices were issued an advisory to go for WFH (work from home) option as much as possible.

Mamata Banerjee to visit Delhi from November 22 to 25

New Delhi [India]: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will visit Delhi from November 22 to November 25.
Banerjee’s visit to the capital is taking place days ahead of the winter session of parliament which begins on November 29. Banerjee had visited Delhi in July this year. It was her first visit after Trinamool Congress returned to power in the Bengal Assembly polls.
During her last visit to Delhi, she had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
She had met other political leaders including Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal.
Banerjee also met former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath and Congress leader Anand Sharma.

Court issues summons to BJP leaders in defamation case filed by Delhi Jal Board

New Delhi [India]: A Delhi Court has issued summons to Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Adesh Gupta, Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, Vijendra Gupta and Harish Khurana in a defamation case filed by Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and Raghav Chadda (Vice Chairman, DJB).
The Delhi Jal Board and its vice-chairman Raghav Chadda had moved a defamation complaint alleging that all respondents in furtherance of their common intention indulged in malicious campaign to tarnish the image or reputation of both complainants in the matter. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmender Singh in an order passed on November 18, 2021, said, “This court is of the considered view that in the present case there are sufficient grounds for proceedings against respondents.”
“In view of allegations made in the complaint, testimonies of witnesses and material brought on record by them, this court is prima facie satisfied that there are sufficient grounds for the summoning of all respondents as accused qua offence punishable under section 500 r/w, section 34 of Indian Penal Code (IPC). They are summoned through permissible mode for the next date of hearing on November 27, 2021,” Court said.
The complaint stated that on January 21 this year, one press conference was held by respondent Delhi BJP leaders wherein allegations were levelled that complainants have committed the scam of Rs 26,000 crores. They referred to the Delhi Jal Board as the “Dalali Jal Board”.
It was alleged that the following statements were made during the press conference, “Isse to yehi lagta hai ke Delhi Jal Board nahi, Dalali Jal Board ban gaya hai”.
“Jisko hum Delhi Jal Board kehte hain vah aaj Arvind Kejriwal ki kartooton se Dalali Jal Board ban gaya hai.”
“Arvind Kejriwal Delhi Jal Board ke Chairman rehte hue aur unke khasam khaas Satyender Jain and Raghav Chadha ki madad se 26,000 crore dakar lia hai.”
According to the complaint, it was alleged that respondents have deliberately made defamatory statements despite the knowledge that the same is false and will tarnish the image of complainants.
It was alleged that by making false, baseless and malicious allegations against complainants, respondents have committed the offence punishable under section 500 r/w section 34 IPC. According to the present complaint under section 200 CrPc, prayer has been made to prosecute the respondents in respect of said offence, plea stated.

Increase in inflation in Delhi was 2 pc less than national rate in 2020-21, says Manish Sisodia

New Delhi [India]: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Manish Sisodia on Friday released the Annual Report of the Price Index for Delhi prepared by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics for the Financial Year 2020-21.
On the occasion, Sisodia said, “In the Financial Year 2020-21, the rate of growth in average annual inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 5 per cent nationally while in Delhi this rate was only 3.0 per cent.” In a statement on this report, Manish Sisodia said that the Kejriwal Government is committed to the common man and always stands with him.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when the inflation rate increased rapidly in the entire country, the Kejriwal Government did not allow an increase in inflation in Delhi.
“The inflation rate increased sharply during COVID in the country and the prices of essential commodities increased. In Delhi, however, the rate of increase in inflation is much lower than that of the entire country even during this period,” the minister said.
Sisodia said that in comparison to the five metro cities of the country, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore, the increase in inflation was the lowest in Delhi.
“In the financial year 2020-21, the inflation rate increased by 3 per cent in Delhi, while in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, the inflation rate increased by 4.1 per cent, 4.6 per cent, 4.4 per cent and 4 per cent respectively,” Sisodia added.
He said that the increase in inflation in Delhi was 2 per cent less than the national rate. In the Financial Year 2020-21, an increase of 5 per cent was recorded in the inflation rate nationally.
The Finance Minister said that the national inflation rate for food prices was 5.7 per cent in the year 2020-21. However, in Delhi, this rate was recorded at only 4.1 per cent, which is the lowest in the country.
“The Housing Index of the Consumer Price Index saw an increase of 5.2 per cent in entire India in the financial year 2020-21, but in Delhi, this rate was only 3.9 per cent,” he said.
He said, ”The Delhi Government makes efforts from time to time to control and stabilize the prices of commodities through market interventions.”

Delhi’s AQI stagnant in ‘very poor’ category, stands at 362

New Delhi [India]: Delhi’s air quality continues to be in the ‘very poor’ category for the fifth consecutive day today, according to the System of Air Quality & Weather Forecasting & Research (SAFAR).
However, the overall Air Quality Index reduced from 379 on Wednesday to 362 today. Meanwhile, announcing emergency measures to reduce pollution, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday said that there will be 100 per cent work from home for the government departments till November 21.
Construction and demolition work has also been banned till November 21 in Delhi, while schools and other educational institutes will remain closed in the national capital until further orders, Rai informed.
Addressing the media after a high-level meeting for strict implementation of the suggestions of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), Rai said, “We have given instructions for a ban on the entry of all vehicles in Delhi, except those involved in essential services. The police department and the transport department will ensure this together.”

Income Tax Department conducts searches in Delhi, Haryana

New Delhi [India]: The Income Tax Department carried out search and seizure operations in the case of a Fintech company providing instant short term personal loan through Mobile App, informed the Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT).
As per an official statement from the CBDT, searches were conducted on November 9 at the business and residential premises in Delhi and Gurugram. During the search, it was revealed that the company has been allegedly charging a very high processing fee at the time of disbursement of loans. “This results into effective higher burden of compensation on the borrowers,” the statement said.
CBDT said that the said company is held by a group based in Cayman Island, ultimately controlled by an individual of a neighboring country. The company has brought in India nominal initial capital by way of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) but took substantial working capital loans from Indian banks.
The business model of the company results in a high rotation of capital which is evidenced by a turnover of Rs 10,000 crore in its first year of operation.
“It is seen that repatriation of about Rs 500 crore has been made by it to its overseas group companies under the pretext of buying of services in two years. However, evidence gathered during the search has revealed that such remittances made to the group companies are either highly inflated or non-genuine,” CBDT said.
“Evidences found also indicate that internal web-based application for lending business was controlled from outside India. During the search proceedings, statements of key persons including foreign nationals have been recorded,” it added.
Further investigations are in progress.

No improvement in Delhi’s air quality

New Delhi [India]: No improvement was witnessed in the air quality of the national capital on Wednesday as the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi continued to remain in the ‘Very Poor’ category at 387, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board at 10 am.

The pollution level in the National Capital Region (NCR), especially Noida and Gurugram, witnessed a drastic deterioration. The AQI in Noida dropped from the upper end of ‘very poor’ category to the upper end of the ‘Severe’ category at 479 today. The air quality in Gurugram has also deteriorated from yesterday, but remains in the ‘Very Poor’ category at 352, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
As per SAFAR’s bulletin, the air quality in Delhi is likely to slip to the lower end of the ‘Severe’ category by today.

“Surface Winds are likely to be very calm with a low ventilation index pushing AQI to severe by today and fluctuate between severe to upper end of very poor thereafter until November 18,” it said.

The agency also said that the intrusion of stubble burning related pollutants into Delhi is not likely for the two days due to unfavorable (winds coming from east direction) transport level winds.

The effective farm fire count has reduced to 1820 and its contribution to Delhi’s PM2.5 yesterday was 8 per cent, SAFAR reported.

“The peak in fire count appears to have reached last week and fire counts are now starting to show a declining trend which is delayed by about one week from the previous year due to the late withdrawal of the monsoon,” the bulletin further said.

As per India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) outlook, the air quality is likely to remain in the ‘Very Poor’ category and “improve significantly from November 21 owing to relatively strong winds.”

As per the IMD, Delhi today recorded a minimum temperature of 9.6 degrees Celsius (°C), while the maximum temperature recorded was 27 degrees Celsius (°C). “The sky is likely to remain partly cloudy with mist,” it added.

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’. (ANI)

Delhi temp drops to 10 degrees celsius

New Delhi [India]: Delhi recorded a minimum temperature of 10 degrees Celsius (°C) on Tuesday, informed the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The maximum temperature for the day was 27 degrees Celsius. In the meantime, Delhi’s Air quality continues to be in the ‘very poor’ category for the fourth consecutive day today, as per the System of Air Quality & Weather Forecasting & Research (SAFAR).
The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) reduced from 396 from Tuesday to 379.

North East Delhi Violence: Court frames charges against four accused, says prosecution case has merits

New Delhi [India]: A Delhi court has framed charges against four accused in the murder case of deceased Deepak in connection with violence in north east Delhi in February 2020 and said after hearing counsels for the parties and perusing the charge-sheet and supplementary charge-sheet along with accompanying record that the prosecution case has ample merits.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat on November 9, framed charges against all the four accused persons. Accordingly, charges for the offence under Section 147/148/302 IPC read with Section 149 IPC and Section 302 IPC read with Section 120-B IPC have been framed against all the four accused persons to which they have pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
The Court also said, “On the basis of material on record, I am of the opinion that there are grounds for presuming that the accused persons namely Anwar Hussain, Kasim, Shahrukh@ Rinku and Khalid Ansari have committed offences under Section 147 IPC, 148 IPC, 302 IPC, read with Section 149 IPC and under Section 302 IPC read with Section 120-B IPC.”
The Court also noted that the judicial TIP proceedings were conducted of all the said accused persons in relation to the said public witness and only one agreed while the rest declined to undergo the judicial TIP and an adverse inference will have to be drawn against the said accused persons for their refusal to participate in the said TIP proceedings. One accused namely Shahrukh @ Rinku who did participate in the TIP proceedings was duly identified in the TIP by the said witness.
Thus, for the purpose of the charge, the prosecution has been able to satisfy the court that an unlawful assembly including accused persons in the prosecution of their common object had committed riots and hit the deceased Deepak with a deadly weapon causing his death. Since the unlawful assembly was fully armed and in that pursuit, they had chased, apprehended and killed the deceased and from their conduct, it can be said that it was a case of criminal conspiracy, said the Court in the order.
More than 750 cases were registered over the northeast Delhi violence, in which at least 53 people were killed and several others were injured. So far, over 250 charge sheets have been filed in the riots related cases in which many accused have been charge-sheeted.

Pakistan skipping Delhi Security Dialogue shows its attitude on issues concerning Afghanistan, says India

New Delhi [India]: India on Thursday took a dig at Pakistan for not attending Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan, stating that skipping such an important meeting shows its approach towards issues concerning Afghanistan.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at the weekly media briefing that India had also invited China for the NSA-level meeting in Delhi but they did attend due to “scheduling reasons.” “We had also invited Pakistan. Skipping such an important meeting shows their attitude towards the issues concerning Afghanistan,” Bagchi said in response to a query.
India hosted the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan on Wednesday.
National Security Advisers or Secretaries of the Security Council of five Central Asian countries – Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan besides Russia and Iran – attended the security dialogue and adopted Delhi declaration.
The dialogue was chaired by NSA Ajit Doval.
The participants condemned in the strongest terms all terrorist activities and reaffirmed their firm commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including its financing, the dismantling of terrorist infrastructure and countering radicalization, to ensure that Afghanistan would never become a safe haven for global terrorism.
They called for collective cooperation against the menace of radicalization, extremism, separatism and drug trafficking in the region.
They also stressed the necessity of forming an open and truly inclusive government that represents the will of all the people of Afghanistan and has representation from all sections of their society, including major ethnopolitical forces in the country.
Inclusion of all sections of the society in the administrative and political structure is imperative for the successful national reconciliation process in the country, the declaration said.

Delhi govt sets up COVID-19 vaccination camp for devotees near Chhath puja ghat

New Delhi [India]: In a unique initiative, the Delhi Government set up a COVID-19 vaccination camp for devotees near a Chhath puja ghat in the Gavdi locality of Bhajanpura in the national capital.
“The camp has been organized for those who have not taken the vaccine or whose second dose is due. Around 8,000 people are offering prayers here,” said Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Sharat Kumar. Meanwhile, the devotees in the national capital were compelled to make offerings to Sun God while standing in knee-deep water of the toxic foam-laden Yamuna river.

The four-day-long Chhath festival concluded today with the ‘Usha Arghya’ (prayers to the rising sun).
Devotees gathered on the bank of ghats across the country to perform the ‘Usha Arghya’ in various parts of the country.
This year, the Chhath festival began on November 8 with the ‘Nahai Khai’ ritual and concluded today with devotees performing ‘Usha Arghya’.

Delhi Petrol Association writes to CM, demands cutting VAT on fuel

New Delhi [India]: Delhi Petrol Dealers Association has written a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urging him to reduce value-added tax (VAT) in the national capital, stating that a higher tax on fuel is resulting in losses to petrol pump owners and may adversely affect the revenue of Delhi.
Speaking to ANI on Wednesday, Anurag Narain, president of the association, said, “We appeal to CM Arvind Kejriwal to cut VAT in Delhi as we are incurring a loss. As petrol and diesel have become cheaper in neighbouring cities like Gurgaon, Noida or Ghaziabad, people are going to these places for refilling, causing huge loss to us.” He further said, “Earlier, we used to sell 13 crore litres of petrol every month. But due to higher VAT in Delhi, our sales have plummeted to almost half. This is causing a huge loss to us.”
“The AAP is contesting elections in other states. We want to request Kejriwal sahib that he can give an example of his governance by reducing the VAT on fuel in Delhi. If the VAT is reduced in the state, then residents of Delhi will not have to go to Noida or Gurgaon for refuelling,” said Narain.
He also said that in Delhi, petrol is costlier by Rs 9 and diesel by Rs 2 compared to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Dengue situation in Delhi worsened this year compared to 2021, says health expert

New Delhi [India]: The senior consultant at the department of medicine in Sri Ganga Ram Hospital on Tuesday said the situation of dengue in Delhi has worsened this year as compared to the previous year.
Speaking to ANI, Pooja Khosla, Senior Consultant, Department of Medicine, Sri Ganga Ram hospital said, “The situation of dengue has worsened this year as compared to the previous year. “Last year, people were careful because COVID-19 restrictions were there. This year, the situation has worsened in the last four to five weeks. There are more than 1,500 dengue cases in Delhi.” “There is a type of ‘complicated dengue’ in which the patients have a high fever, bleeding complications, breathlessness, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting etc. They directly lead to ICUs as they need blood, oxygen support,” she added.
Khosla said some people also get infected with dengue without symptoms and their Immunoglobulin G (IgG) tests reveal they were infected with dengue in the past.
“Some patients who are falling sick do not even know that they were infected with dengue in the past because people get infected with ‘mild dengue’ do not get symptoms. Their IgG tests reveal that they were infected earlier,” he said.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Delhi government and North Delhi Municipal Corporation regarding an action plan to control the dengue outbreak in Delhi.
The Central government had extended help to nine states and union territories with a higher caseload of dengue, including Delhi, and sent high-level teams to support them in public health measures for its control and management.

Kejriwal raises concern about Delhi’s air quality, says AQI ‘severe’

New Delhi [India]: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday raised concerns about the air quality of the city.
Taking Twitter, the chief minister said Delhi Air Quality Index (AQI) on Tuesday is 404, which falls under the ‘Severe’ category. “On November 9, AQI 404 (401 to 500 – Severe), PM10 – 414 (351 to 430 – Very Poor) PM2.5 – 265 (Above 250 – Severe),” tweeted Kejriwal.
According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), winds coming from the northwest direction at 925 millibars (mb) are favourable for the transport of stubble related pollutants to Delhi.
Meanwhile, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Monday suggested measures to tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR through the implementation of a Graded Response Action Plan for the city.
Increasing frequency of mechanised cleaning of road and sprinkling of water on roads, identifying road stretches with high dust generation, ensuring that all brick kilns remain closed in Delhi-NCR as per the directions of National Green Tribunal were some of the measures mentioned in the CPCB order copy.
The official notification further asked the officials concerned to ensure that all hot mix plants and stone crushers in Delhi-NCR remain closed. It further directed to maximise the generation of power from existing natural gas-based plants to reduce the operation of coal-based power plants in the NCR (Badarpur power plant already shut down).
“Intensify public transport services. Introduce differential rates to encourage off-peak travel. States to disseminate information about air pollution levels and for creating awareness among citizens regarding steps to minimize air pollution,” read CPCB’s directions.

Central Pollution Control Board suggests measures to tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR

New Delhi [India] : Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Monday suggested measures to tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR through the implementation of a Graded Response Action Plan for the city.
As per the official notification of the pollution control board, a Sub-committee convened a meeting on Monday and reviewed air quality status as well as meteorological and air pollution forecasts for Delhi-NCR. “As per IMD’s forecast, winds are expected to be northwesterly for the next five days which may possibly lead to a high contribution of stubble burning. In addition, unfavourable meteorology may cause air quality to fluctuate between ‘severe and higher end of the very poor category’ in the coming days,” read the notification.
The CPCB has directed the concerned agencies to strictly enforce actions based on the decisions made by the sub-committee.
Actions under ‘severe category’, in addition to steps listed under ‘very poor’ and ‘poor to moderate’ AQI categories should be implemented with immediate effect in Delhi-NCR, the board said.
Increasing frequency of mechanized cleaning of road and sprinkling of water on roads, Identifying road stretches with high dust generation, ensuring that all brick kilns remain closed in Delhi-NCR as per the directions of National Green Tribunal were some of the measures mentioned in the order copy.
The official notification further asked the concerned officials to ensure that all Hot Mix Plants and Stone Crushers in Delhi-NCR remain closed. It further directed to maximize the generation of power from existing natural gas-based plants to reduce the operation of coal-based power plants in the NCR (Badarpur power plant already shut down).
“Intensify public transport services. Introduce differential rates to encourage off-peak travel. States to disseminate information about air pollution levels and for creating awareness among citizens regarding steps to minimize air pollution,” read CPCB’s directions.
Implementing agencies, at the appropriate level, must closely monitor actions taken and submit a daily report to concerned officials, the notification said.
The air quality of Delhi improved from ‘Severe’ to ‘Very Poor’ category on Tuesday, with Air Quality Index (AQI) standing at 372, informed the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
As per the Centre-run SAFAR, winds coming from the northwest direction at 925 millibars (mb) are favourable for the transport of stubble related pollutants to Delhi. However, its impact on Delhi’s PM 2.5 has been reduced as wind speed has reduced.

Delhi government hikes minimum wages by revising DA of workers

New Delhi [India]: The Delhi Government on Monday issued an order to increase minimum wages, by revising the Dearness allowance of unskilled, semi-skilled and other workers, which will be applicable from October 1.
The official statement said, “Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has issued an order to increase dearness allowance of unskilled, semi-skilled and other workers of Delhi on Monday.” “The minimum monthly wages of unskilled labourers has been increased from 15,908 to 16,064. The monthly wages of semi-skilled workers has been increased from 17,537 to 17,693. The minimum monthly salary of skilled workers has been increased from 19,291 to 19,473. The rate of minimum wages for supervisor and clerical employees has also been increased,” the statement said.
“This big step was taken keeping the interests of the poor and the working class during the Corona epidemic in mind. The clerical and supervisor class employees will also receive this benefit,” said Sisodia.
“The dearness allowance cannot be withheld for workers in the unorganized sector, who normally receive only minimum wages. Therefore, the Delhi Government has announced a revised minimum wage by adding dearness allowance,” he added.
“The minimum wage paid to labourers in Delhi is the highest as compared to any other state in the country. This is the second time in a year that the Delhi Government has increased dearness allowance for workers amid the health crisis,” read the official statement.

‘Sri Ramayana Yatra’ commences

New Delhi [India]: The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)’s ‘Shri Ramayana Yatra’ train on the Ramayana circuit commenced from Delhi’s Safdarjung railway station on Sunday.
Informing about the same, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya took to Twitter and said, “Indian Railways will run Ramayana circuit train from today to visit all the important religious places related to Lord Shri Ram. Jai Shree Ram!” (roughly translated from Hindi) According to a statement issued by the IRCTC earlier, the first tour, that started from Delhi’s Safdarjung Railway Station on Sunday, will cover the visit of all prominent places associated with the life of Lord Rama.
The statement informed that IRCTC is getting an overwhelming response for this initiative and the first tour is fully booked.
In view of continuous demand, it is decided to run this tour again on December 12 this year with a similar price and duration. The tour will be completed in 17 days.
The first halt of this train will be Ayodhya where tourists will visit Shri Ram Janmbhumi temple and Hanuman temple and additionally Bharat Mandir at Nandigram. The next destination will be Sitamarhi in Bihar and visit Sita Ji’s birthplace and Ram-Janki Temple in Janakpur, covered by road.
Following this, the train will move to Varanasi, and tourists will visit temples at Varanasi, Prayag, Shringverpur and Chitrakoot by road. Night stay will be provided at Varanasi, Prayag and Chitrakoot.
One of the halts of the train will be Nasik wherein the visit of Trayambakeshwar temple and Panchvati will be covered. After Nasik, the next destination will be Hampi which is the ancient Krishkindha city.
Rameshwaram will be the last destination of this train tour after which the train will return to Delhi on the 17th day of its Journey. Guests will be travelling roughly 7500 Kms in this entire tour.
IRCTC has launched this special tourist train in line with the Government of India initiative “Dekho Apna Desh” to promote domestic tourism, at a price of Rs 82,950 per person for 2AC and Rs 1,02,095 for 1AC class.

Delhi’s air quality continues to remain in ‘severe’ category with AQI of 436

New Delhi [India]: The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi continues to remain in the ‘severe’ category, informed the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) on Sunday.
As per SAFAR’s analysis at 6:15 am today, Delhi’s overall air quality was found to be in ‘severe’ category with the AQI standing at 436. However, Delhi’s AQI was 437 on Saturday night wherein the concentration of PM 2.5 was 318, while that of PM 10 was reported to be 448.
As per the Centre-run SAFAR, Delhi’s AQI is likely to improve to the upper end of the ‘very poor’ category as the “surface winds are becoming stronger”, dispersing air pollutants from the evening of November 7.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 are marked as severe/hazardous.

‘BJP doing cheap politics’

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] : Amid opposition-ruled states constantly drawing criticism from BJP leaders for not reducing excise on fuel prices, Trinamool Congress (TMC) general secretary Kunal Ghosh on Saturday accused the BJP of indulging in “cheap politics” and said that the Centre should reduce base prices and restructure taxation.
“Centre takes more tax-share than the state can afford to compensate the deficit of BJP-ruled states,” Ghosh alleged while speaking to ANI here today. “BJP is doing cheap politics. They should reduce base prices and restructure taxation,” he said while adding that the non-BJP states don’t even get their original dues.
Ghosh’s remarks came after the Government of India, on the eve of Diwali, had announced reduction of central excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively.
As per the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, following the reduction, 23 states/UTs also undertook a commensurate reduction of VAT on Petrol and Diesel to give relief to consumers.
However, there are 13 States/UTs which have not undertaken any reduction in VAT in Petrol and Diesel.
These are Maharashtra, NCT of Delhi, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chattisgarh, Punjab and Rajasthan.
As per the ministry, the most reduction in the Petrol prices has been in UT of Ladakh, followed by Karnataka and Puducherry. The prices of petrol in these UTs/states have come down by Rs 13.43, Rs 13.35 and Rs12.85, respectively, it stated.
According to the ministry, for Diesel, the most reduction has been undertaken by UT of Ladakh, leading to price coming down by Rs 19.61 per litre there, followed by Karnataka and Puducherry.

Delhi govt orders probe into Green Park incident

New Delhi [India] : The Delhi government on Saturday ordered a probe into the collapse of a portion of multilevel parking in Green Park and directed the authorities to submit a report in 15 days.
Addressing a press conference, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, “Within one year, the parking lot collapsed. God’s grace that there were no people there at that time, otherwise there could have been a big accident, but the vehicles were damaged.” “The BJP-run municipal corporations keep claiming they have no funds, but when they have money, they use it like this. They spend it on corruption. To build this parking facility, the BJP collected big amounts of money from nearby shopkeepers in the name of conversion charges,” Sisodia alleged.
He added that the Delhi government has taken the matter very seriously and ordered an inquiry.
” I have directed the Director Local Bodies to get it inspected by the Public Works Department (PWD) Engineer-in-Chief within 15 days and state what was lacking in the construction of the parking facility and identify those responsible for the collapse.”
He further said that appropriate action will be taken against those responsible according to the findings of the probe.
The Deputy Chief Minister also said, “We have come to know from the newspapers that the safety audit of the facility was not even done. If any deficiency is found in the investigation, action will be taken.”
The leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Atishi, Saurabh Bhardwaj and Somnath Bharti held a press conference on the issue and targeted the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
Bharti had earlier said that the matter should be probed by the Supreme Court Monitored Committee.
A portion of the multi-level parking lot constructed by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation at Green Park had collapsed on the night of November 2

Delhi govt extends free ration scheme for next six months

New Delhi [India] : Stating that inflation in the country is ‘at its peak’, many people are unable to manage even two meals a day and many lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday announced that the Delhi government has extended its free ration scheme for the next six months.
“Inflation is at its peak. The common man is struggling to manage even two square meals a day. Many have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Prime Minister, please extend the scheme of supplying free ration to the poor by six months. The Delhi government is extending its free ration scheme for the next six months,” he said in a tweet in Hindi. The Delhi Chief Minister also wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urging the Centre to extend the free ration scheme for the next six months.
Kejriwal’s remarks came a day after Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey had said the Centre had no proposal to extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY).
“Since the economy is in revival mode, as of now there is no proposal to extend Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana,” he said while addressing a presser in Delhi.
Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) will be extended till Holi.
PM-GKAY 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.
Under PMGKAY, 5 Kg per person additional food grain is given to all beneficiaries covered under National Food Security Act.

Delhi gasps for breath as AQI remains in ‘severe’ category

New Delhi [India] : Delhi residents continued to breathe polluted air with the Air Quality Index remaining in the ‘severe’ category on Saturday.
The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) informed that Delhi’s overall air quality was in the ‘severe’ category with the overall AQI at 533 at 6 am today. While talking to ANI, some students were extremely vocal about the problem caused by pollution and the efforts to tackle it.

Gaurav, a 10th grader out for cycling, said, “Earlier, we did not get tired while cycling after a short time. But now with such levels of pollution, we get tired. It causes pain and a burning sensation in the lungs. It causes a lot of breathlessness. Visibility is also low because of pollution. Bursting firecrackers is a cause of it, they were used in spite of a ban. Pollution control is dependent on the conduct of people, how they follow instructions of the government.”
Another student Harsh said, “Yes, there was pollution and plenty of fog. We feel breathless while cycling. Visibility is low. Firecrackers were banned by the government but they were still being sold by some people. There is a lot of difference in levels of pollution after Diwali.”

Another student expressed his disappointment with the attitude of people in tackling pollution and blamed firecrackers, vehicular pollution for the levels of air pollution that affect the national capital every winter.
“This is extremely dangerous for people with Asthma and breathing problems since they already struggle with breathlessness due to their disease and such levels of pollution make it worse for them,” he said.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is marked as severe/hazardous.

Delhi’s air still under ‘severe’ category

Air pollution in Delhi, India

New Delhi [India]: The Air Quality Index of Delhi continues to remain in the ‘severe’ category, informed the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research on Saturday.
As per SAFAR’s analysis at 6 am today, Delhi’s overall air quality was found to be in the ‘severe’ category with the overall AQI standing at 533. Earlier on Friday, the overall air quality of Delhi was plunged into the upper end of the very poor category, SAFAR informed.
“Relief is expected only from the evening of November 7 but AQI will fluctuate within the Very Poor range,” it said.

Delhi : Air Quality ‘severe’

New Delhi [India] : The overall air quality in Delhi is in the ‘severe’ category on Friday after bursting for firecrackers on Diwali and the presence of bio-mass pollutants in the national capital, said RK Jenamani, deputy general manager (DGM), India Meteorological Department.
The IMD DGM informed that the AQI level in Delhi is more than 550-530 which goes to severe condition. “Overall air quality in ‘severe’ category today after bursting for firecrackers on Diwali and presence of bio-mass pollutants in Delhi. The air quality and fog condition to improve once wind speed picks up. No wind and high moisture are causing fog conditions,” said Jenamani.
He added that wind speed in Delhi is expected to pick up by tomorrow.


Jenamani further said that according to IMD’s prediction, there will be no rainfall in the next 10 days.
The air quality in various parts of the National Capital Region deteriorated as it entered the ‘severe’ category on Friday morning, following Diwali.
As per the Ministry Earth Sciences’ SAFAR-India application, the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Noida slipped to the ‘severe’ category. The concentration of Pollution Meter (PM) 10 stood at 448.
Meanwhile, the concentration of PM 10 stood at 430 in Mathura Road today morning.
As a thick layer of smog shrouds Delhi, several people here complained of itchy throat and watery eyes.
Noida’s air quality recorded the concentration of PM 10 stood at AQI of 448. 

Stubble burning, firecrackers responsible for heavy pollution in Delhi, says Gopal Rai

New Delhi [India], Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Friday said that the sudden increase in the number of stubble burning incidents and firecrackers are the two major reasons for heavy pollution in the Delhi region.
Speaking to the media, Rai said, “According to NASA pictures, there are almost 3,500 stubble burning incidents taking place in neighbouring states.” In a bid to curb air pollution, Gopal Rai on Friday installed an anti-smog gun to Improve the Air Quality in national quality. It has been put up at ITO, considered one of the most polluted areas in the capital due to traffic at the intersection.
He said, “Most of the citizens of Delhi didn’t burn the crackers on Diwali but yes several people after giving religious colour into it, intentionally burned the firecrackers. Delhi Government has already made several appeals to the people regarding the pollution condition, but opposition parties just for the sake of politics encouraged people to burn firecrackers, which now resulted in deteriorated conditions.”
“We are installing several movable and immovable anti-smog machines in Delhi to curb the pollution. 10 big movable anti-smog machines will be on the roads. We are also initiating the process of sprinkling water at places where the pollution is severe,” he added.
The air quality in various parts of the National Capital Region deteriorated as it entered the ‘severe’ category on Friday morning, following Diwali.
As per the Ministry Earth Sciences’ SAFAR-India application, the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Noida slipped to the ‘severe’ category. The concentration of Pollution Meter (PM) 10 stood at 448.
Meanwhile, the concentration of PM 10 stood at 430 in Mathura Road today morning.
As a thick layer of smog shrouds Delhi, several people here complained of itchy throat and watery eyes. Noida’s air quality recorded the concentration of PM 10 stood at AQI of 448.

Delhi Fire Services received around 152 calls on Diwali, 25 pc less than last year

New Delhi [India]: A total 152 calls for reporting fire were received by Fire Service Department in the national capital on the occasion of Diwali, yesterday, which is 25 per cent less compared to last year, said Atul Garg, Director of Delhi Fire Services on Friday.
“About 36 more fire calls were received post-midnight and all of them were in the category of ‘normal’ fire,” the Garg said. “We have received 152 calls on Diwali this time which is 25 per cent less than last year. A total of four calls are suspected to be connected with firecrackers. No serious fire incident occurred on Diwali. No major fire calls have been received,” he noted.
“People burst fewer firecrackers this year,” he added.
Despite the ban, people in several areas of the national capital were seen burning firecrackers, thereby contributing to the already poor air quality in the national capital.
Notably, the Delhi government had banned the bursting and sale of all firecrackers, including green crackers.
Following the celebrations of the festival, the air quality in various parts of the National Capital Region deteriorated as it entered the ‘severe’ category on Friday morning.
As per the Ministry Earth Sciences’ SAFAR-India application, the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Noida slipped to the ‘severe’ category. The concentration of Pollution Meter (PM) 10 stood at 448.
In Delhi overall, the AQI stood at 386 with a PM concentration of 2.5.
Meanwhile, the concentration of PM 10 stood at 430 in Mathura Road today morning.
As a thick layer of smog shrouds Delhi, several people here complained of itchy throat and watery eyes.

Delhi’s air under ‘hazardous’ category

New Delhi [India]: The air quality in Delhi’s Janpath has reached the ‘hazardous’ category on Friday morning, following the festival of Diwali.
The concentrations of Pollution Meter (PM) 2.5 stood at 655.07 in Janpath today morning. As a thick blanket of smog shrouds the skies of Delhi, several people here complained of itchy throat and watery eyes.
Despite the Delhi government’s ban on firecrackers, several people were seen bursting crackers on street on the occasion of Diwali, contributing to the degradation of the air quality, amid increased contribution from farm fires.
As per the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the air quality would not improve until Sunday evening (November 7). The improvement would, however, just fluctuate in the ‘Very Poor’ category.
“The overall air quality of Delhi is plunged into the upper end of very poor category…It will continue to fall now and may enter at the edge of the “very poor” to “severe” category by tonight…,” SAFAR informed.
“If firecrackers are burned even 50 per cent of last year then PM2.5 will enter ‘severe’ category by midnight and shoot up rapidly by today early morning with AQI even crossing 500+,” it added.
The extremely calm wind conditions in Delhi combined with a 25 per cent stubble share (fire count 2293) are two major factors of pollution today.
As per the SAFAR model forecast, the stubble share will touch ~35 per cent today (November 5) and ~40 per cent on November 6 and November 7.
“Relief is expected only from the evening of November 7 but AQI will fluctuate within the Very Poor range,” it said.

Night patrolling in Delhi ahead of Diwali

New Delhi [India]: Ahead of the Diwali festival, security arrangements and night patrolling have been tightened in various parts of the national capital.
Heavy deployment of police was seen in Paharganj, Shankar Road and Connaught Place. Speaking to ANI, Shweta Chauhan, the DCP, Central Delhi said, “Police has been deployed everywhere, both in the afternoon and at night. There is strict checking at pickets. Verification of all sorts is being done, be it of tenants, servants or SIM cards. We are keeping an eye on suspicious activities and persons.”
“We are also using CCTV cameras as a part of our arrangements. Women patrolling staff has been deployed in plenty to give women confidence that police is approachable. The male staff has been sensitised to help them out and keep a positive attitude towards women,” Chauhan said.

The DCP urged the public to cooperate with the police and be its eyes and ears.
“Please wear a mask and do not burst firecrackers,” she added.
Diwali will be celebrated all over the country on November 4.

PM Modi reaches Delhi

New Delhi [India] : Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached New Delhi after concluding his five-day foreign visit to Italy and the UK on Wednesday where he enhanced India’s self-declared renewable energy commitments at COP26 in Glasgow and outlined India’s position on global issues at G20 Summit.
At the Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, PM Modi delivered a “seminal” statement at the 26th session of the Conference of Parties (COP26) and highlighted the range and depth of climate actions taken by India along with future goals that the country has set for itself. During his COP26 address on Monday, Prime Minister Modi announced five “amrit tatva” including the target to attain net-zero emissions by 2070. He declared that India will increase its capacity of non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW and meet 50 per cent of its energy requirements through renewable energy by 2030.
Highlighting India’s efforts to combat climate change, PM Modi stated that India is the only major economy that has worked and delivered on the Paris commitments both in letter and spirit.
He also participated in the Build Back Better for the World (B3W) event and laid stress on four aspects in infrastructure creation including sustainable and transparent finance that respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.
Later on Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi and British Prime Minister Johnson launched the Infrastructure for the Resilient Island States (IRIS) initiative in Glasgow. The launch was part of the India-UK Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).
PM Modi also attended the launch event of Infrastructure for the Resilient Island States and announced that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will build a special data window for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) for timely information about cyclones, coral-reef monitoring, coast-line monitoring through satellite.
The 26th session of the Conference of Parties (COP26) is the first major summit that was held physically, where more than 120 countries participated after the COVID-19 pandemic.
PM Modi also held various bilateral meetings with several heads of the state on the sidelines of the G20. He met German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Pope Francis, President of the European Council, Charles Michel, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
In Rome, Prime Minister also met Indonesia President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong. The Prime Minister also met French President Emmanuel Macron. Emmanuel Macron and the two leaders expressed satisfaction at the state of the wide-ranging India-France Strategic Partnership.
“Departing from Glasgow after two days of intense discussions about the future of our planet. India has not only exceeded the Paris commitments but has now also set an ambitious agenda for the next 50 years,” tweeted PM Modi.

Delhi: Free coaching to 15,000 students

New Delhi [India]: Delhi government will provide free coaching to 15,000 students belonging to marginal communities and economically weaker sections this year, said state Social Welfare and Women and Child Development Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam on Tuesday.
Briefing mediapersons, Gautam said, “Jai Bhim Mukhyamantri Pratibha Vikas Yojana was made in Delhi for school children who want to become doctors, engineers, civil servants or serve any other government jobs. Many children are there from poor sections and want to study but their parents do not have enough money so that they can send them to coaching institutes. The scheme was made keeping these children in mind.” Children belonging to scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (ST), other backward classes (OBC) and those whose parents have an annual income of up to Rs 8 lakh can avail the scheme.
Delhi government has tied up with 46 private coaching centres for running the scheme that covers a wide range of competitive exams including UPSC, CDS, banking exams, medical and engineering entrances, top law university entrances and B school entrances.
“This time we have a target of providing coaching to 15,000 children. We have tied up with 46 institutes in Delhi, to whom we will pay fees so that children will take coaching there,” he emphasised.
The minister said under this scheme, around 5,000 SC/ST children were provided free coaching in 2018-19. However, the COVID pandemic brought a halt to the scheme. The AAP leader said since the situation has started becoming normal, the government has planned to resume the scheme to benefit children.

Five arrested in Delhi with over 500 kg firecrackers ahead of Diwali

New Delhi [India]: The Delhi Police on Tuesday arrested five persons and recovered over 500 kg of illegal firecrackers from them in West Delhi.
The sale or possession of firecrackers is banned in the national capital. The police seized a total of 506 kg of firecrackers from the arrested men.
The suspects have been identified as Kiran Khurana, Sanjay Kumar, Anuradha Khendalwal, Rajesh Taluja and Ajeet Singh.
The police said that the firecrackers were stored for the purpose of sale in the market.

Manmohan Singh: Thanks to Doctors

New Delhi [India] : Following the discharge of former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh from Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) a day before, his wife Gursharan Kaur on Monday expressed gratitude towards the doctors, nurses and numerous well-wishers for their support.


“My family and I are pleased to inform our all friends and well-wishers that Dr Manmohan Singh is recovering from his bout of dengue fever,” Kaur said in an official statement. “We would like to convey our special thanks to all the doctors, nurses and support staff of AIIMS and numerous well-wishers for their whole-hearted support and hard work for his speedy recovery,” she added.
Dr Singh got discharged at 5:20 pm on Sunday from AIIMS, Delhi. He was admitted to AIIMS on October 13 following the complaint of weakness and was under the observation of doctors since then. (

Wankhede reaches Delhi

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, who is investigating the Mumbai cruise ship drugs case, on Monday has reached Delhi to meet Chairman National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Vijay Sampla, informed NCB officials.
Wankhede’s visit to Delhi has come after Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik levelled various allegations on him and accused him of using a fake certificate to secure a government job. ” He has come here to present his subject before the Commission. We will see and verify his documents,” said Subhash Ramnath Pardhi, member, National Commission for Scheduled Castes.


Nawab Malik had alleged that Sameer Wankhede was born a Muslim but he forged documents, including a caste certificate, to pass off as a Scheduled Caste (SC) person to get recruitment under quota after clearing the UPSC exams.

Sameer Wankhede submits his documents to NCSC Chairman in Delhi

Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, who is investigating the Mumbai cruise ship drugs case, on Monday submitted his documents to the Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) in Delhi.
“Whatever facts and documents were asked by the Commission have been provided to them today. My documents will be verified and the Commission’s Chairman will reply on it soon,” Wankhede told the media after meeting with Chairman of NCSC, Vijay Sampla. After receiving Wankhede’s documents, Sampla said, “Documents provided by Sameer Wankhede will be verified with Maharashtra government.”
He further stated, “No action will be taken against Wankhede if the documents are found valid.”
Earlier, Nawab Malik had alleged that Sameer Wankhede was born a Muslim but he forged documents, including a caste certificate, to pass off as a Scheduled Caste (SC) person to get recruitment under quota after clearing the UPSC exams.

Will complain to President against NCSC official over Wankede issue, says Nawab Malik

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : Following National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Vice-Chairman Arun Haldar’s visit to NCB officer Sameer Wankhede’s residence in the alleged fake caste certificate matter, Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik on Monday said that he will complain to the President against Haldar reportedly giving Wankhede a clean chit.
Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, Malik claimed, “Yesterday, Chairman of the National Scheduled Castes Commission and BJP’s leader Arun Haldar visited Sameer Wankhede’s residence and gave him a clean chit. He should have conducted an investigation first and submitted a detailed report. We will complain about him to the President.” The minister further claimed that Haldar’s visit raises numerous questions, “Why he was in so hurry to give him a clean chit and clear the allegations without any investigation and what was his motive behind it?”


Earlier, Malik, who has been levelling various allegations against Wankhede since the Mumbai drugs-on-cruise case came to the fore, accused him of using a fake birth certificate to secure a government job.
He had alleged that Wankhede was born a Muslim but he forged documents, including a caste certificate, to pass off as a Scheduled Caste (SC) person to get recruitment under quota after clearing the UPSC exams.

AQI in Delhi : Poor category

New Delhi [India]: The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi on Sunday reached 289, which comes under the “poor category.”
As per government agencies, an AQI within the range of 0-5 is regarded as ‘good’, 51-100 is ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 is ‘moderate’, 201-300 is ‘poor’ and 301-400 is ‘very poor’ and 401-500 is considered ‘severe’. As of 4 PM on Sunday, the AQI was in ‘Good’ category in 23 cities across India, while the ‘Satisfactory’ AQI was recorded in 20 cities and ‘Moderate’AQI in 41 cities, reported the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
AQI in ‘Poor’, ‘Very Poor’ and ‘Severe’ categories was recorded in 36, 9 and 1 cities respectively by 4 PM.
“As per AQI today (October 31, 2021) at 4 pm: – 23 Cities in category ‘Good’ 20 Cities in category ‘Satisfactory’ 41 Cities in category ‘Moderate’ 36 Cities in category ‘Poor’ 09 Cities in the category ‘Very poor’ 01 City in Category ‘Severe’,” tweeted CPCB.
Cities recording the ‘Good’ category of AQI include Aizwal, Chennai, Kochi, Mysuru, Shivamogga.
Cities that recorded ‘Satisfactory’ AQI include Varanasi, Siliguri, Nashik, Kannur and Bengaluru.
Ahmedabad, Ambala, Bhatinda, Bhopal and Gwalior are among cities that recorded the ‘Moderate’ level AQI.
‘Poor’ category was recorded in cities which also included Agra, Amritsar, Jaipur, Lucknow and Gurugram.
Kurukshetra, Jind, Ghaziabad were among cities where ‘Very Poor’ AQI was recorded while Sonipat was the lone city where ‘Severe’ AQI was recorded.

Delhi: Nursing assistant dies after being hit by truck in Okhla

New Delhi [India] : A 37-year-old nursing assistant died after he was hit by a truck near crown plaza Hotel in Delhi’s Okhla.
The truck was coming from the Sarita Vihar underpass and going towards Tara Apartment. The Police Control Room (PCR) call was received at PS Okhla regarding an accident near crown Plaza hotel on Saturday, informed Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) South East, Esha Pandey.
As per the police statement, the staff reached the spot and found a person was lying in a pool of blood.
The Centralised Accident and Trauma Services (CAT) ambulance also arrived at the spot immediately after the incident and declared the persons dead on the spot, it added.
The deceased was identified as Jijo P Paul, a resident of Mahavir Enclave Palam Colony Village Palam in New Delhi who originally hails from Kerala, the DCP informed.
“He was working as Nursing Assistant in QRG Hospital, Sector-16, Faridabad, Haryana. The deceased was travelling on his motorcycle from the Govindpuri Metro Station to MB Road when the accident took place,” the police informed.
The body was shifted to Safdarjung Hospital and deposited in Mortuary.
The truck driver was identified as a Purushotam resident of JJ Colony Khanpur in Delhi and apprehended on the spot.
Pandey said, the post mortem of the deceased has been conducted and the body has been handed over to his relatives for his last rites.
Further investigation into the matter is in progress.

Delhi reports 45 new COVID-19 cases in last 24 hrs

New Delhi [India] : Delhi reported 45 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours and no death occurred for the 9th consecutive day.
According to Delhi Health Bulletin on Sunday, as many as 25,091 people have succumbed to the virus so far in the national capital. The total count of coronavirus cases in the city has gone up to 14,39,870 and the active caseload in the city stands at 348. The case fatality rate in the national capital is 1.74 per cent. The positivity rate is 0.08 per cent.
With 46 more persons recovered in the last 24 hours, the total number of recoveries in the city has gone up to 14,14,431, the bulletin said.
As many as 2,94,27,753 COVID-19 tests have been conducted so far in Delhi including 46,468 RT-PCR tests and 10,283 rapid antigen tests conducted in the last 24 hours.
As many as 79,014 beneficiaries were vaccinated in the last 24 hours taking cumulative beneficiaries in the city to 2,04,55,535.

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