The ongoing wave of Covid 19 pandemic continues in India while we battle the cases. The good news is that the recovery rate is almost over 50 percentage, with the number of active cases being 2, 86,000 from a total count of 4, 90,000. The death toll has reached 15,301.
In the past weeks, several theories and reports have been published regarding the situation of the Coronavirus spread in India. Amidst all of this, a report was published that said the Covid 19 will attain its peak in mid- November. It was alleged that this research belonged to ICMR, i.e. The Indian Council of Medical Research.
What did this report say?
According to the Press Trust of India, this study was carried out by researchers belonging to an Operations Research Group constituted by ICMR. The report claimed that the eight-week nationwide lockdown since March 25th has postponed the peak point of the virus spread by an approx. of 34 to 76 days. It has also aided the reduction in the number of infections by 69% to 97%.
The study said that this has sharpened the healthcare system to boost its avenues to fight the pandemic. It also claimed that if public health measures to combat the virus have an efficiency rate of 60%, the system will hold it up till the first week of November.
However, the research further said, “After that, isolation beds could be inadequate for 5.4 months, ICU beds for 4.6 and ventilators for 3.9 months, projections by the health researchers showed.”
The report established a known fact with the practice of physical distancing and imposition of an efficient lockdown, the above-mentioned shortfall can be 83% less than what it could have been.
“While lockdowns will delay the onset of peak…strengthening the health system response in terms of testing, isolation of cases, treatment and contact tracing…will have to be the mainstay to reduce the impact of the pandemic in India until a vaccine becomes available,” the researchers said.
What was ICMR’S reaction to the report that was alleged to be published by them?
The Indian Council of Medical Research on Monday openly denied this study that predicted India would achieve the peak wave of the Coronavirus cases only by mid-November. ICMR said that it did not carry out this research and publish the findings.
“The news reports attributing this study to ICMR are misleading,” the council said. “This refers to non-peer-reviewed modelling, not carried out by ICMR and does not reflect the official position of ICMR”, said the council.
The allegation was clarified on its Twitter and it dissociated itself from the findings of its study ICMR also mentioned that it is not the official position of the government body.
Also this, PIB fact check confirmed on their Twitter that this information is unauthentic.
“Claim-as per ICMR, the peak of COVID-19 in India is shifted to mid-November when a paucity of ICU beds & ventilators may arise. #PIBFactCheck-The news is misleading. The study to which the report is attributed is not carried out by ICMR & doesn’t reflect the authentic information”, said the tweet.
Meanwhile, what can we do?
Certainly, the lockdown has been lifted with some restrictions and for the revival of the economy. But this does not imply that the pandemic is over. The cases are still on the rise and we have to continue practising social distancing until the scenario is normalized.
It is important to realize the gravity of the situation and not step out unnecessarily if wish to keep the health infrastructure our country intact.
PM Modi’s Speech At United Nations General Assembly
Since the formation of United Nations right after the end of the Second World War, each year it has held a general assembly meeting where most of the countries are invited to speak and celebrate the historic occasion. On 26th September of 2020, UN celebrated its 75th session but due to the recent pandemic crisis, the leaders of the different country were asked to virtually send the speech, India did the same as well.
Some of the highlights of the speech delivered by PM Modi are presented below
- India has significantly contributed to the ideals held by the United Nations but PM Modi questions the relevance of such ideals at present.
- He questions if the body can accommodate and deal with the present-day problems as it is quite different from the previous century. The challenges are different.
- He extensively spoke about the reformation of the United Nations. He states that the UN has achieved a lot but there are certain cases which require introspection.
- He reflects on the state of wars. He proceeds to say that even if the world has avoided a Third World War but wars were still fought at a small scale which the river of blood kept flowing.
- He asks the United Nations to extend the role of India so that it can more actively contribute to global welfare. He asks the body for how long India will be kept away from the decision-making structure.
- India has been a well-wisher and actively helped other countries during a medical crisis. More than 150 countries were sent medical supplies during the recent pandemic scare.
- He elaborated on the vaccine trials that are being conducted in India and how they are increasing intra intra production. The country is moving towards phase three trials.
- India has always been and will continue to oppose the use of drugs and illegal weapons.
- He talks about the technological advances he has made during the previous four to five years. He states that connecting 400 million people to the banking system has been a massive hurdle but he has achieved the impossible and now India is one of the leading countries who have digitized monetary transaction.
- He promises to free India of Tuberculosis by the year 2025.
- The villages of India will also go through a major transition in Near Future.
- India is one of the few countries who actively fight for women rights and gives women 26 weeks of paid maternity leave.
- The country has also brought reforms to safeguard the interests of the transgender community.
- PM Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat will aid to the world’s economical state. He encourages all the countries to dedicate themselves for the welfare of the world.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi represented Indians and upheld their sentiments. Throughout his speech which lasted roughly for 21 minutes, he emphasized the fact that UN needs to go through a reformation as it is still conducting itself by following the rules and regulation laid down during its formation.
Bharat Bandh, A Peaceful Protest By The Farmers Against Farm Bills
Amidst all the anxiety and chaos of the pandemic, the Parliament passed three farm bills which have got both the opposition and the farmers angry. The farmers of Punjab and Haryana have come out to protest on the roads in groups, showing their agitation towards the bills passed. The bills passed on 20th and 22nd September 2020 made amendments to the APMC (Agriculture Price Marketing Committee) Act which says that all the restrictions levied on the trade of agricultural commodities across different countries and different states in India have been removed. New Agricultural Markets to be set up in large villages and small towns so that farmers can sell their products without restrictions.
The Three New Laws Passed Are
1) Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020
2) Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance, Farm Services Ordinance, 2020
3) Amendment to the Essential Commodities Act (ECA), 1955
Essential Commodities Act
The Essential Commodities Act, 1955 was a law passed during World War II by the Britishers to exercise their control over the regulation of essential commodities in India. The British passed laws which ensured how much of which commodity will be stored or sold in India so that the British could benefit from the Indian produce. The Bill seeks to cancel out the role of markets or mandis in agricultural trade and instead, proposes the regulation of agricultural trade only through APMCs. This amendment is to ensure that the farmers are not getting exploited and are getting fairly paid for their produce. Each state will have its own APMC and the market and trade of the farmers produce will be directed by the market committees formed by the APMC.
Why do the farmers oppose?
The bill was passed without consulting the opposition, the farmers’ representatives, the government of Punjab who is the hub of agricultural trade and most important state in India’s food security chain and hence has been termed as an undemocratic move by the Central Government. The bills do not state clearly what the Minimum Support Price(MSP) for all the crops would be and this is hitting on the survival of the poor farmers. They do not know if the MSP is only levied on the farmers or the private players as well. Now they are scared, that the market committees will control the prices, trade, and marketing and the farmer would be left to run from one retailer to the other and might not get his fair share of produce. There is no written track record of the MSPs, all the farmers have are vocal promises.
The Bills passed by the Parliament have been in controversy since their day of release, specifically among the farmers of Punjab and Hariyana. The farmer organisations went on a strike to voice out their protest against the 3 farm bills. The Bhartiya Kisan Union and about 31 farmer organizations came out on the roads on Friday, 25th September for a peaceful protest by blocking roads also referred to as ‘chakkajam’. The call for Bharat Bandh was answered and received equal participation by a lot of farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, and many more.
The Farm bills coming into power without considering the presence of opposition has laid a big question mark on the democracy. Farmers had begun their protest but regardless of their choice, the bills were still passed. This is caused a lot of chose in the farmer organizations and they coming up with peaceful protests to show their agitation against the laws passed.
Government Answer On Migrant Crisis
With the starting of the Monsoon session as the parliamentary activities are finally moving, members are all set with their questions for the ruling party. Trinamool Congress MP Mala Roy has questioned Home Ministry about steps taken for the protection of Migrant crisis. Due to the imposition of stringent lockdown in wake of Co-Vid19 labors faced the most of heat. Lack of employment, lack of funds to survive and no transportation to move have contributed to their woes. Mala Roy asked in her question that what actions the Government took to protect them.
Centre says, “No data of migrants”
Centre informed in Parliament there is no such data available. Replying to Mala Roy’s question and several such questions Ministry of Labour and Employment said that there is no recorded data about the death of Migrants available. A report by World Bank states that due to April’s lockdown in the nation about 40 million internal migrants have been hit by employment crisis. Furthermore, to the question, whether any steps are taken for the protection of migrants or any compensation was given? Centre answered that since there is no data no question of compensation. No recorded data of the unemployment due to Covid is found.
Steps taken by the center
One after other shocker is received as Centre has no data of Migrants. Fruit sellers, hawkers, daily wage workers and unskilled labours working in factories are worst hit. The government said that as a country India responded by the local bodies, state governments, NGOs and many others. Government has started special Shramik trains for the labourers. Many facilities are made to help them survive. As the distribution of Cereals, Pulses, Sugar, vegetable spices and water for free.
In some places, cooked food is also distributed for free. Labour Ministry chief said that 1164 trains have operated to help migrants reach their homes. Almost 10.4 million labours have returned. Most of the labours or migrants who have been successfully dropped to their homes are in states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. On questions of deaths of migrants while on their way to home or even in trains center replies as- non-availability of data.
Data from states are found that almost 63.7 lakh stranded labours are returned to home by Shramik special train. Other migrants who set their journey on foot or by hitch-hiking is still not found. In trains 110 deaths are found to report. The reasons are many some because if illness, some due to accidents, lack of food and non-availability of water. In June the Chief of Labour Commission is ordered to meticulously record data of migrants from various sources under the orders by Central Information Commission. In many states and union territories the advisory guidelines are invoked. Orders are been given to maintain updated labour laws.
The state of labours and migrants is still bad. There seems to be no significant improvement. Due to the labour employment crisis financial wellbeing of country has also taken a hit. In upcoming sessions, the labour crisis and government’s actions on it will de looked into with even more depth.
Rhea Chakraborty Arrested, Charged For Consuming Marijuana
After days of rigorous questioning, Indian actress Rhea Chakraborty arrested by Narcotics Control Bureau on Tuesday. The actress has been taken into judicial custody till September 22. NCB has charged the actress for the involvement in procuring and financing the consumption of marijuana for her late boyfriend actor Sushant Singh Rajput along with her brother Showik Chakraborty, house manager Samuel Miranda and cook Dipesh Swant who were arrested earlier.
Charges against Rhea Chakraborty
Rhea has been booked by NCB under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. under section 8(c) dealing with possession and purchase of illegal drugs, 20B(II) for possession, purchase, and transportation of illegal drugs, 27 dealing with financing illicit traffic, 28 dealing with an attempt to commit the offence, and 29 for abetment and criminal conspiracy.
Statement by NCB
NCB has charged her being a part of an “active drug racket” connected with drug suppliers. The agency has said that they have received a lot of information and nobody will be spared. The application by NCB states that all the deliveries of marijuana and other drugs and payment for these drugs were done with complete knowledge of Rhea and even at times, the order and choice of drugs, along with payment have also been done by Rhea herself. She is the tenth person in the list of people arrested. As per the report by NCB Rhea’s brother, Showik has made a statement that he has facilitated the drug delivery through peddler Basit Prihar, Kaizen Ibrahim, and Zaid Vilatra. He has been accused of procuring weed for Rajput from September 2019 to March 2020. The chat messages found on Rhea’s phone which lead to the involvement of NCB when the investigation was carried out by the Enforcement Directorate is prime evidence.
The national Control bureau has not asked her custody as they have done enough questioning in the last three days. The agency has asked for Rhea to be sent to judicial custody, which means that the accused is put in the custody of the magistrate concerned. The judicial custody will be for 14 days i.e. till September 22. After her arrest rhea has been sent to Sion hospital for medical tests and will be sent to Byculla jail. The session court, today rejected the bail plea for Rhea Chakraborty. She will be again applying for bail in Mumbai high court tomorrow.
Rhea’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde termed rhea’s arrest as “ a travesty of justice” and said that the three agencies are hounding an innocent girl just because the man she loved was a drug addict. He was also suffering from mental health issues for years and was getting treatment from almost five famous psychiatrists of Mumbai and attempted suicide by taking illegal drugs”. Many Netizens and Bollywood celebrities have also come to Rhea’s rescue by saying it a witch-hunt and have shown disagreement for the unfair treatment done with Rhea by central agencies and the media.
With the arrest of Rhea Chakraborty, a new case has come into the light of drug cartel in Bollywood. However, a clear distinction needs to be made that the case of the reason for the death of the actor Sushant Singh Rajput. CBI and NCB are currently working in the case.
Top 10 Quotes from India’s Former President Pranab Mukherjee
On 31 August, Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee took his last breath. He was known for his efficient administrative skills, role as a politician and eloquent speaking. His visionary quotes and inspirational lifestyle are inspirational for many. As the President of India, he has always been seen as a respectable figure by the countrymen and on his death, the Prime Minister has announced seven-day mourning.
Pranab Mukherjee, the 13th President of India
Pranab Mukherjee was the 13th President of India and in his five-decade-old political career, he is known to hold a number of portfolios including finance, defence, foreign affairs, shipping, revenue, communication, transport, economic affairs and industry. He was awarded Bharat Ratna for his services to the nation in 2019 by current President, Ram Nath Kovind. Some of the major acts for which he is known to include SmarTgram project, the inauguration of the first phase of solarization project in President’s estate and conversion of The Stables and The Coach House into a magnificent museum in his tenure. He took his last breath at Army’s research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi. The main cause of his death was a lung infection.
Pranab Mukherjee was a wonderful orator. He was a visionary man with an optimistic outlook. Here a few quotes by him which clearly portray his vision and thoughts.
Thoughts about the political system
Quote about the Constitution of India
Views about women empowerment
Quote about himself
The way to achieve development
Views about Poverty
The four pillars of development and work culture of a nation
What leads to the dilution of national identity?
Views about secularism
The most abusive humiliation
Pranab Mukherjee was one of the visionaries who played a very important role in Indian Political system both as a part of active politics by being a minister and also as the President of India. He will always be remembered for the services rendered by him for the nation.