Fri, 21 January 2022
Netaji's India Gate statue to be 25-ft high
23:29 Netaji's India Gate statue to be 25-ft high
The proposed grand statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to be installed at India Gate in the national capital will be 25 feet high and made of granite stone, Director General of the National Modern Art Gallery, New Delhi, Adwaita Gadanayak said.
Gadanayak expressed his happiness for getting an opportunity for carving the statue of Netaji, who was born in Odisha.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday that a grand statue of iconic freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will be installed at India Gate as a symbol of India's 'indebtedness' to him.
Till the statue, made of granite, is completed, a hologram statue of his would be present at the same place, he said, adding that he will unveil the hologram statue on January 23, the 125th birth anniversary of the Azad Hind Fauj founder.
I am delighted. It is a matter of honour for me as a sculptor that Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose to give this responsibility to me, he told a private news channel.
The statue will be seen easily from Raisina Hills, Gadanayak said adding that the stone for it (jade black) to be used for the construction of the statue will be brought from Telangana.
The design of the statue has been prepared by the ministry of culture, he said.
On the statue, Gadanayak said The process of making the statue has started with the prime minister's announcement.
The statue will show Netaji's strong character. -- PTI
22:41 NCP supremo Sharad Pawar to campaign in Uttar Pradesh
Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar will lead the party's campaign in Uttar Pradesh where the party is contesting the assembly elections in alliance with the Samajwadi Party.
Besides Pawar, senior leaders and parliament members Praful Patel, Supriya Sule, Sunil Tatkare and Fauzia Khan have been named as star campaigners for the assembly elections.
NCP has fielded party general secretary K K Sharma from Anupshahr assembly constituency in Bulandshahr district of western Uttar Pradesh.
Maharashtra minister and NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik, former Rajya Sabha member Abdul Majeed Memon, Delhi NCP chief Yoganand Shastri are among others who have been named as star campaigners for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
Elections for the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly will be held in seven phases from February 10 to March 7. The results will be announced on March 10.
SP is expected to field candidates on about 350 of the 403 seats, while the rest would be split among alliance partners.
Jayant Singh Chaudhary-led Rashtriya Lok Dal, Om Prakash Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party are other alliance partners of the Samajwadi Party.
Opposition leaders are expected to hit the campaign trail in Lucknow in support of Samajwadi Party next month.
Pawar had said that the BJP had not fulfilled the promises it had made to the people and that Uttar Pradesh will witness a change in government after elections. -- PTI
21:52 No data leaked from CoWin portal: Centre
The Centre on Friday dismissed reports of data leak from CoWIN application and said that the digital platform is safe and secure.
The Union Health Ministry in a tweet on Friday said, 'Regarding data leak from CoWIN: We are getting the matter examined. However, prima facie it appears that the alleged leak is not related to Co-WIN as we neither collect any information on address or the COVID-19 status of beneficiaries.'
Further, the ministry in a press release informed, 'There have been several media reports claiming that the data stored in Co-WIN portal has been leaked online. It is clarified that no data has leaked from Co-WIN portal and the entire data of residents is safe and secure on this digital platform.'
'It is also clarified that while Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will enquire into the substance of the news, prima facie the assertion is not correct, as Co-WIN collects neither the address of the person nor the RT-PCR test results for COVID-19 vaccination,' the release further read. -- ANI
21:47 Mumbai's Covid cases further drop to 5,008
Mumbai on Friday reported 5,008 new coronavirus cases, 700 less than the previous day, and 12 fresh fatalities linked to the infection, the city civic body said.
With this, the city's COVID-19 tally rose to 10,28,715, while the death toll jumped to 16,512, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) bulletin said.
This was the third day in a row when daily COVID-19 cases have dropped in the financial capital.
On Thursday, 5,708 COVID-19 cases and 12 fatalities were reported in the city.
With 12,913 more patients discharged during the day, the number of recovered cases jumped to 9,95,338, said the bulletin.
Mumbai's coronavirus recovery rate has increased to 97 per cent, while the case doubling rate has improved to 72 days, the BMC said.
As many as 50,032 new coronavirus tests were conducted in the metropolis as compared to 53,203 on Thursday. -- PTI
21:40 EC to decide on physical rallies tomorrow
The Election Commission would meet on Saturday to decide whether the ban imposed by it on physical rallies and roadshows to prevent the spread of coronavirus should continue.
Announcing dates for elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur on January 8, the poll panel had announced a ban on physical rallies, road and bike shows, and similar campaigning events till January 15.
On January 15, the Commission extended the ban until January 22.
It had, however, granted a relaxation for the political parties to the extent that indoor meetings of maximum 300 people or 50 per cent of the capacity of the hall, or the prescribed limit set by state disaster management authorities can be held.
The poll panel will hold a series of virtual meets on Saturday to seek inputs from the Union Health Ministry, experts, the five poll-bound states and respective state chief electoral officers to arrive at a decision. -- PTI
20:48 Delhi logs 10,756 Covid cases; positivity dips
Delhi logged 10,756 Covid cases in a single day and 38 more fatalities due to the infection, while the positivity rate declined to 18.04 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department on Friday.
As many as 434 people have succumbed to the disease so far in January.
According to officials, 59,629 Covid tests were conducted on Thursday, as against 57,290 a day ago.
Delhi on Thursday reported 12,306 Covid cases and 43 fatalities, while the positivity rate was 21.48 per cent.
On Wednesday, the city had logged 35 deaths and 13,785 Covid cases with a positivity rate of 23.86 per cent.
It had recorded 28,867 Covid cases last Thursday, the sharpest single-day spike since the beginning of the pandemic.
The number then declined to 24,383 on Friday, 20,718 on Saturday, 18,286 on Sunday, 12,527 on Monday, and 11,684 on Tuesday.
The positivity rate stood at 30.6 per cent on Saturday, the highest in the ongoing wave of the pandemic so far, 27.9 per cent on Sunday, 28 per cent on Monday and 22.5 per cent on Tuesday.
There are 15,557 beds for Covid patients in Delhi hospitals and 2,656 (17.07 per cent) of them are occupied.
A total of 2,656 Covid patients are in hospitals and 156 of them are on ventilator support, the health department bulletin stated.
Of the 61,954 active Covid cases in Delhi, 48,356 are recovering in home isolation, it said.
Since last week, Health Minister Satyendar Jain has been saying that hospital admissions have stabilised in the national capital and the third wave has plateaued.
The Delhi government on Thursday capped the rate of conventional RT-PCR tests in private hospitals and laboratories at Rs 300, reducing the price by 40 per cent, according to an order.
Earlier, the test used to cost Rs 500. Rapid antigen tests at private facilities will cost Rs 100, the order stated.
Earlier, it used to cost Rs 300. -- PTI
20:12 PM's security breach stage-managed by Channi govt: Amarinder
Punjab Lok Congress leader Amarinder Singh on Friday launched a scathing attack against Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, alleging that the road blockade that led to the PM's security breach was 'stage-managed' and kickbacks were received in the transfer and posting of officers.
The incumbent government has been exposed as a 'suitcase di sarkar' after the recent ED raids that unearthed crores of rupees from the chief minister's kin, he said in a statement.
Amarinder Singh also claimed that Channi had once 'fallen on his feet', imploring to get rid of a harassment complaint by a woman officer.
The prime minister's convoy was stranded on a flyover due to a blockade by protesters in Ferozepur earlier this month, after which he returned from the poll-bound state without attending the rally there.
The former Punjab CM alleged that the Channi government had 'instructed police not to remove farmers who were stopping BJP buses' from reaching the Ferozepur rally venue.
Amarinder Singh said he had earlier passed the flyover near Ferozepur and there was no blockade there.
The PM's security breach was 'clearly stage-managed' by the Channi government, the leader said in a statement.
Describing the incident a major security lapse, the former CM said instead of taking a defiant stand, Channi should have issued an unequivocal apology.
"We are sensitive border state and Pakistan's ISI is always looking to create trouble here," he said, asserting that one cannot ever take any chances.
Amarinder Singh regretted having helped 'Channi resolve the #metoo complaint against him', saying the then minister had 'fallen on his feet and pledged loyalty to him for life'.
"Now, he has changed colours and claiming he had been trying to get rid of me for the past two years!" he said.
Dubbing Channi as an 'unreliable and untrustworthy person', Amarinder Singh alleged that Channi made transfers and postings an industry in Punjab in the past three months.
"Three DGPs have been changed, his home minister has been openly accused in a cabinet meeting by his colleague that money was being taken for posting of SSP, there was a tug of war on the AG's post. This is not 'lokaan di sarkar' (people's government) but 'transfer posting di sarkar', which has now also become 'suitcase di sarkar'," he added.
The former CM said the Enforcement Directorate seizure from a Channi's kin was a follow-up on the case that the agency had registered after he (as CM) had ordered an inquiry while he was heading the government.
Unfortunately, he said he had been unable to take any serious action against the Congress MLAs 'who were involved in illegal mining in the state as that would have damaged the party's interests and Sonia Gandhi had failed to respond to his query on which minister or MLA she wanted him to sack over the issue'.
Labeling Channi a total failure, Amarinder Singh said the new chief minister had done nothing except indulge in postings and transfers since taking over.
"Even the announcements made by Channi are nothing but projects that were launched or announced by me," he said, citing farm loan waiver, jobs under the Ghar-Ghar Rozgar scheme and free bus travel for women.
"Even free power which he claims to be his initiative was something my government was working on finding ways and means to implement," he added.
Amarinder Singh alleged that Manpreet Badal as finance minister had scuttled many of his schemes and plans by claiming to have no funds, which it appears now was a total lie.
On why no sitting Congress MLA was joining his party, Amarinder Singh said they are only waiting for their party to announce tickets, 'which is being deliberately delayed as the Congress is scared of defections'. -- PTI
19:43 6 members can use 1 mobile number on Co-WIN
The Union health ministry on Friday said that against the earlier limit of four, now six members can be registered for Covid vaccination on Co-WIN using one mobile number.
It also said that a new utility feature has been introduced under the Raise an Issue section of Co-WIN and through this, a beneficiary can revoke the current vaccination status from fully vaccinated to partially vaccinated or unvaccinated status and also partially vaccinated to unvaccinated status.
'The vaccination status can be corrected by the beneficiaries, where in occasional isolated cases, the vaccination certificates are generated due to inadvertent data entry errors by the vaccinator in updation of vaccination data of beneficiaries,' the ministry said.
It said that after submitting the online request through Raise an Issue, the change may take three to seven days to appear.
On change of vaccination status, the ministry said such beneficiaries can get their due vaccine dose, may be at the nearest vaccination centre, according to existent standard guidelines, once a new vaccination status is successfully updated in the system. -- PTI
The Golden Temple, Amritsar
18:20 Akali stalwart Tohra's grandson in BJP's list
The BJP on Friday released its first list of 34 candidates, including 13 Sikhs, for the election to the 117-member Punjab assembly.
Releasing the list, BJP general secretary Tarun Chugh said the party has given representation to all sections of society, and the first list included 12 persons from farmer families, eight from Scheduled Castes, and professionals.
The names include former minister Manoranjan Kalia, Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, a sitting MLA who quit the Congress to join the party recently, Arvind Khanna and Kanwarveer Singh Tohra, the grandson of late Akali stalwart Gurcharan Singh Tohra.
Speaking on the occasion, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri slammed the Congress government in the state and said Punjab was the nation's pride but things have taken a turn for the worse there.
Assembly polls will be held in the state on February 20.
The BJP is fighting the polls in alliance with former chief minister Amarinder Singh's Punjab Lok Congress and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa's SAD-Sanyukt.
17:56 16 hockey players among 33 Covid cases at SAI Bengaluru
Sixteen members of the senior men's hockey team were among the 33 COVID-19 cases detected on Friday at the Sports Authority of India's National Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru.
The positive cases came after 128 tests were conducted at the high-profile centre, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) said. Majority of them are asymptomatic and all of them have been isolated, SAI said but did not divulge the identities of those infected.
"16 athletes and one coach from the Senior Men's Hockey team, training at the centre ahead of the upcoming FIH Pro League in South Africa, have tested positive. They are all asymptomatic," the SAI said.
Among the junior women's hockey girls training for the World Cup in April, 15 have tested positive. Out of the positive cases, three are asymptomatic while 12 are symptomatic. One senior women's hockey team player, who is symptomatic, and a masseuse from the athletics team have also tested positive.
17:55 Channi to file defamation case against Kejriwal
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Friday said he will file a defamation case against AAP leader Arvind Kejrwal for dubbing him a dishonest man after the ED carried out some raids, including at the premises of the Congress leader's nephew.
Channi alleged that the Delhi chief minister is a "fraud" who is in the habit of levelling accusations against others to malign their image close to elections and that in the past Kejriwal had to apologise to BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari and Arun Jaitley, besides SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia.
He told reporters in his constituency in Chamkaur Sahib that Kejriwal had posted photos on social media showing him with currency notes which were not recovered from him. Channi said he never wants a person, holding a chief minister's post, to face a situation where he has to apologise, "but Kejriwal has now crossed all limits".
"I will file a defamation case against Kejriwal and I have requested my party to give me permission for it. I have been compelled to do this...he is terming me dishonest and he has posted that on his social media accounts," he said.
On another issue, Channi claimed that when he had said "outsiders" (trying to rule Punjab) were "kale angrej", Kejriwal had made personal remarks against him.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had on Wednesday said that it seized cash amounting to over Rs 10 crore, including about Rs 8 crore from a relative of Channi, during raids conducted in connection with an anti-money laundering investigation against illegal sand-mining operations in the poll-bound state.
17:43 Covid data of 1000s of Indians leaked online
Personal data of thousands of people in India has been leaked from a government server which includes their name, mobile number, address and Covid test result, and these information can be accessed through online search.
The leaked data has been put on sale on Raid Forums website where a cyber criminal claims to have personal data of over 20,000 people.
The data put on Raid Forums shows name, age, gender, mobile number, address, date and result of Covid-19 report of these people.
Cyber Security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia also tweeted that personally identifiable information (PII) including name and Covid-19 results are made public through a content delivery network (CDN).
He said that Google has indexed lakhs of data from the affected system. "PII including Name, MOB, PAN, Address etc of #Covid19 #RTPCR results & #Cowin data getting public through a Govt CDN. #Google indexed almost 9 Lac public/private #GovtDocuments in search engines. Patient's data is now listed on #DarkWeb. Need fast deindex," Rajaharia said in his tweet.
An email query sent to the Ministry of Electronics and IT did not elicit any reply. The sample document shared on Raid Forums shows that the leaked data was meant for upload on Co-WIN portal.
The government has heavily relied on digital technologies in terms of controlling and creating awareness about the Covid-19 pandemic as also its vaccination programme.
Several government departments mandate people to use Aarogya Setu app for Covid-19 related services and information.
Rajaharia in a follow-up tweet on January 20 said that he is not reporting any vulnerability in this incidence but cautioning people to remain alert from fraud calls, offers related to Covid-19, etc that they may get as their data is being sold in the dark web.
Data sold in the dark web is often exploited by cyber criminals and fraudsters for various kind of frauds. PTI
17:39 'Large section of Hindus unhappy with BJP'
"The party knows they cannot win solely because of Yogi and that is why they are hiding Yogi behind Modi. Yogi's clout has diminished within the party and he is more of a liability than as asset," says Dr Prashant K Trivedi, associate professor at the Lucknow-based Giri Institute of Development Studies.
Dr Trivedi's research focuses on the political economy of land reforms, rural studies and issues relating to Dalits, Muslims and women in UP.His forthcoming book Beyond the Religious Divide, Caste And Ubiquitous Backwardness will be released soon.
Speaking to Rediff.com's Archana Masih, Dr Trivedi discusses the electoral contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party and Samajwadi Party, why it would be rash to write off Mayawati and how Priyanka Gandhi is investing for the Congress party's future prospects.
Read the interview here.
17:17 Isolation not mandatory for +ve foreign arrivals
Rules for international arrivals change again.
From January 22nd, isolation facility is not mandatory for international travelers arriving from at-risk countries. "If tested positive, their samples should be further sent for genomic testing at INSACOG laboratory network. They shall be treated/isolated as per laid down standard protocol."
The existing guidelines state that travellers coming from any country including from those considered at-risk' shall be managed at isolation facility and treated as per laid down standard protocol.
The revised guidelines removed the clause that mandated staying at isolation facility upon arrival. Passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility as per health protocol.
If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed as per protocol. Foreign arrivals who test positive will still have to undergo home quarantine for seven days even after they test negative and undertake RT-PCR test on the 8th day of arrival in India.
17:03 Kerala achieves 100% 1st dose Covid vax for 18+
A day after the Kerala government imposed fresh restrictions to contain rising COVID-19 cases in the State, Health Minister Veena George on Friday said 100 per cent of the targeted population above the age of 18 years have been given the first dose of vaccine and 83 per cent of the total population given both doses.
Over five crore doses have been given to people belonging to various categories and it was significant to achieve this feat at a time when the pandemic is surging, she told reporters.
"The goal was achieved through a special vaccination drive keeping in focus the third wave of the pandemic. The vaccine doses have been allotted by the Centre after calculating the population above the age of 18 to be 2,67,09,000," George said.
She urged those yet to receive the jab to get vaccinated soon. Stating that in the wake of the spread of the infection, the cases reported in offices and institutions have been increasing and a cluster management formed to tackle this.
An infection control team (ICT) should be formed in all institutions and offices and selected team members should be trained on the guidelines to be followed there. If more than 10 people are down with COVID-19, the area becomes a larger cluster.
16:56 Sensex dips 2271 points in 4 days
The Indian equities markets witnessed heavy selling pressure for the fourth consecutive day on Friday with benchmark Sensex slumping 427 points.
After losing 1,844 points in the previous three sessions, the Sensex opened the trading on Friday over 400 points down at 59,039.37 points and tumbled to a low of 58,620.93 points.
The 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange closed at 59,037.18 points, which is 427.44 points or 0.72 per cent lower from its previous day's close at 59,464.62 points.
The benchmark Sensex has lost 2271 points in the last four days of trading. The index had slipped 634.20 points or 1.06 per cent on Thursday.
16:52 Veteran journalist Dinkar Raikar dies at 79
Veteran journalist and former group editor of Lokmat Media Dinkar Raikar died of a prolonged illness at a private hospital in Mumbai in the early hours of Friday, family sources said.
Raikar, 79, is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
Raikar had tested positive for COVID-19 and was also suffering from dengue. He had been bedridden for some weeks at his residence and was shifted to a private hospital a few days ago. His lung infection reached 80 per cent and he never recovered from it, a family member said.
Raikar started his career with the Indian Express group and later joined Lokmat as the editor of its Aurangabad edition. He was later made a group editor.
Condoling Raikar's death, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said, In him, we have lost an editor who contributed to new values in the field of journalism. He encouraged young journalists to explore and bring in new content and issues. -- PTI
16:45 MHA amends Arms Rules, permits manufacturers to enhance production of firearms
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the new amended Arms Rules have allowed the manufacturers to enhance their annual production of "firearms or ammunition or calibre wise revision" of its licensed capacity by giving intimation to the licensing authority and also to the state government concerned within ninety days from the end of the financial year. -- ANI
An artist's impression of the Netaji statue
16:39 TMC welcomes Centre's decision to erect Netaji's statue but...
Trinamool Congress on Friday welcomed Centre's decision to install a statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate in the national capital.
However, the TMC asserted that it was aimed at countering criticism after the rejection of West Bengal's tableau themed on the nationalist leader for the Republic Day parade snowballed into a major row.
The real tribute would be have been paid had the Centre taken steps to unearth the mystery shrouding Netaji's disappearance, TMC said.
"As the rejection of West Bengal's tableau on Netaji has created a major controversy, the Centre is trying to divert attention. The decision to install the statue of Netaji is only aimed in that direction. But we welcome the decision. At the same time, we feel that the real tribute would have been paid had the government taken steps to unearth the mystery shrouding his disappearance," TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said.
Echoing him, party MP Sougata Roy said after the rejection of the tableau on Netaji BJP's claim of respecting icons of the nation stood exposed.
"We welcome the decision. But we feel there is no harm in allowing Netaji's tableau by the West Bengal government at the Republic Day parade. It was rejected due to narrow-minded politics. Now, as the BJP and its theatrics on the icons of our country has been exposed, it decided to install the statue," Roy said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday announced that a grand statue of the freedom fighter will be installed at India Gate as a symbol of the country's "indebtedness" to him .
Till the granite statue is completed, a hologram statue would be put up at the same place, Modi said. The prime minister said that he will himself unveil the hologram statue on January 23, the 125th birth anniversary of the nationalist leader.
16:10 Flame at India Gate extinguished, merged with NWM
Amar Jawan Jyoti merged with eternal flame at National War Memorial. The Centre announced its decision to extinguish and merge the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate with the eternal flame at the NWM today.
"The Amar Jawan Jyoti flame at India Gate will be extinguished and merged with the flame at the National War Memorial on Friday at a ceremony," an Indian Army official told ANI.
The ceremony would be presided over by the Integrated Defence Staff Chief Air Marshal Balabadhra Radha Krishna who would merge the two flames, officials said.
The India Gate memorial was built by the British government in memory of the British Indian Army soldiers who lost their lives between 1914 and 1921.
However, the Amar Jawan Jyoti was included in the memorial structure in the 1970s after the massive victory of India over Pakistan in which 93,000 troops of the enemy country surrendered.
15:46 Bodies of Indians killed in drone attack come home
The mortal remains of the two Indians who were killed in a drone attack in Abu Dhabi reached Punjab on Friday.
On January 17, Hardev Singh (35) and Hardeep Singh (28), and a Pakistani national, all staff of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company were killed and six others injured in suspected drone attacks near the UAE capital's airport. The attacks were claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels.
The body of Hardev Singh is being taken to Bagha Purana village in Punjab's Moga district, while that of Hardeep Singh has reached his native village, Mahisampur, which is nearly 35 km away from Amritsar, officials said.
An inconsolable Kanupriya Kaur received her husband Hardeep Singh's body. Kaur, who arrived in India on Thursday from Canada, was married nine months ago, said a relative of the family Rajbir Singh, who brought the body to the village from the Shri Guru Ramdas International Airport here.
Hardeep Singh was supposed to return to India on January 19 and then move to Canada, said Rajbir Singh.
He said that the Hardeep Singh's father had passed away two and half years ago. Hardeep Singh is survived by his mother Charanjit Kaur (56) and wife Kanupriya Kaur. PTI
15:42 Delhi Police issues travel advisory for R-Day full dress rehearsal
he Delhi Traffic Police on Friday issued an advisory on the arrangements and restrictions in place for the smooth conduct of full dress rehearsal on January 23 for the Republic Day parade.
The parade rehearsal will start at 9.50 am on Monday from Vijay Chowk and proceed to National Stadium, they said.
The parade will start from Vijay Chowk and enter National Stadium from gate number 1 via Rajpath, Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate, round about Princess Palace, turn left towards Tilak Marg and turn right on C-Hexagon.
In order to facilitate smooth passage of the parade, no traffic will be allowed on Rajpath from Vijay Chowk to India Gate from 6 pm on Saturday till the parade is over on Sunday.
"No cross traffic on Rajpath from 11 pm on Saturday at Rafi Marg, Janpath, Man Singh Road till Parade is over. C'-Hexagon-India Gate will be closed for traffic from 9.15 am on Sunday till the entire parade and tableaux enter National Stadium," Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic) Vivek Kishor said.
The commuters are advised to avoid the route of parade from 9 am to 12.30 pm, it said.
Though there will be no restriction for people from north Delhi going towards the New Delhi Railway Station or Old Delhi Railway Station yet, it is advised that they plan their journey in advance and take sufficient extra time to reach their destination to avoid possible delay, according to the advisory.
15:00 Torching history
Torches scheduled to be used today to merge the flame of Amar Jawan Jyoti with the one at the National War Memorial.
Ex-servicemen expressed mixed reactions on the Centre's decision to extinguish and merge the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate with the eternal flame at the National War Memorial (NWM) in New Delhi on Friday.
Former Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter and requested him to rescind the decision.
"Sir, the eternal flame at India Gate is part of India's psyche. You, I and our generation grew up saluting our brave jawans there," he stated.
While National War Memorial is great, the memories of Amar Jawan Jyoti are indelible," Bahadur noted.
However, Former Lieutenant General Satish Dua expressed "great satisfaction" on merging the Amar Jawan Jyoti with the NWM's eternal flame.
"As someone who had steered the design selection and construction of the NWM, I had been of this view all along that India Gate is a memorial to the fallen heroes of First World War," Dua stated.
"The Amar Jawan Jyoti was added in 1972 as we did not have another memorial, he mentioned. The NWM pays homage to the soldiers who were killed in action after the country's independence and all homage ceremonies have been shifted to the new memorial already," he noted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on February 25, 2019, inaugurated the NWM, where names of 25,942 soldiers have been inscribed in golden letters on granite tablets. Former Army Chief General Ved Malik also supported the Centre's decision to merge the flames.
He said on Twitter that it is "a natural thing" to merge flames now as the NWM has been established and all ceremonials related to remembrance and honouring soldiers killed in action are being held there.
Former Colonel Rajendra Bhaduri said the Amar Jawan Jyoti is sacred and need not be extinguished. "India Gate has names of Indian soldiers who died in wars. It is immaterial who constructed it," Bhaduri said on Twitter.
The Amar Jawan Jyoti was constructed as a memorial for Indian soldiers who were killed in action in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, which India won, leading to the creation of Bangladesh. It was inaugurated by the then prime minister, Indira Gandhi, on January 26, 1972.
14:37 Priyanka's CM teaser: Can you see any other face?
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday virtually pitched herself as the party's face in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections but did not confirm whether she would contest the polls or not.
"Do you see any other face from the Congress party," she said when asked who would be the party's chief ministerial face in UP polls. "You are seeing my face everywhere," the Congress leader added while addressing a press conference to release the party's 'youth manifesto' along with her brother and former president Rahul Gandhi.
Asked whether she would herself contest the assembly polls, Priyanka Gandhi said, "We have not yet decided."
She said it would be known once that is decided. Priyanka Gandhi, who is the general secretary in-charge for Congress in Uttar Pradesh, said the party would certainly look into supporting other parties if the situation were to arise after the elections.
She, however, said that the Congress would have implementing its vision for youth, especially women, in Uttar Pradesh as a priority while extending any such support for government formation. PTI
Courtesy: Meat Loaf on Facebook
14:24 Singer Meat Loaf, 74, is dead
US singer and actor Meat Loaf, born Marvin Lee Aday, passed away on January 20. He was 74. His wife Deborah was beside him at the time of death.
No cause of death has been disclosed so far.
The singer's debut album in 1977, Bat Out of Hell, was reported to be one of the all-time highest selling albums in US history.
"We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man," Meat Loaf's family said in a statement. "From his heart to your souls ' don't ever stop rocking!'
14:13 CISF tells airlines to strictly implement 1 handbag rule
Airlines should strictly implement the one hand bag per passenger rule, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has said. The CISF has red-flagged air travellers carrying more than 2-3 cabin bags and asked the aviation authorities to strictly implement the one hand bag rule.
Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) rules stipulate that no passenger carry more than one hand bag barring a few exceptions like a woman's handbag and a laptop bag, weighing up to 7 kg. The CISF wants this rule to be prominently displayed on tickets and boarding passes.
However, it has been seen that (a) passenger on an average carries 2-3 hand bags to screening point. This has led to increased clearance time as well as delays, congestion in pre-embarkation security check (PESC) point and inconvenience to passengers. It is therefore felt that enforcement of the aforesaid Circulars must be ensured by all stakeholders/ airlines, CISF IG (airport sector) Vijay Prakash wrote to BCAS on January 19.
The senior IPS official has asked BCAS to instruct airlines and airport operators to implement one hand bag rule meticulously to ease out congestion and other security concerns.
13:51 Delhi's weekend curfew to stay: LG
Delhi weekend curfew to stay for now, says Lieutenant Governor's office.
The LG's office agreed to 50% attendance in private offices but suggested that status quo be maintained with regards to weekend curfew and opening of markets. A decision will be taken on the subject once the COVID situation improves further.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had sent a recommendation to Lt Gov Anil Baijal to end weekend curfew.
In the proposal, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also asked to remove the odd-even system in the markets & to allow private offices to operate at 50% capacity.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Friday asserted that the COVID-19 situation in the national capital is in control, and said the virus was the primary cause of death in only three of the 43 fatalities recorded the previous day.
The national capital is expected to record 10,500 cases on Friday with a positivity rate of 17 to 18 per cent, he said.
13:36 Thane court sends Kalicharan Maharaj to 14-day jail
A court in Maharashtra's Thane on Friday remanded controversial Hindu religious leader Kalicharan Maharaj in 14-day judicial custody in a case of alleged derogatory remarks he had made against Mahatma Gandhi.
A team from the Naupada police station in Thane city had on Wednesday night arrested him from Chhattisgarh capital Raipur, where he was lodged in jail in a similar case. He was brought to Thane on Thursday evening on a transit remand and was presented in a court on Friday morning.
Thane's judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) S V Metil Patil sent him to judicial custody. Heavy police deployment was made at the court.
The Naupada police have arrested Kalicharan Maharaj after a case was registered against him based on a complaint lodged by NCP leader and Maharashtra minister Jitendra Awhad in connection with his remarks.
Apart from Chhattisgarh, he has been facing multiple cases in parts of Maharashtra for the comments he had made against Mahatma Gandhi during an event held in the Chhattisgarh capital city on December 26 last year.
The Raipur police had arrested him for his alleged derogatory comments against the Father of the Nation. -- PTI
13:21 Netaji's statue to be installed at India Gate: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday that a grand statue of iconic freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will be installed at India Gate as a symbol of India's indebtedness to him.
"Till the statue, made of granite, is completed, a hologram statue of his would be present at the same place," he said, adding that he will unveil the hologram statue on January 23, the 125th birth anniversary of the Azad Hind Fauj founder.
The prime minister tweeted, "At a time when the entire nation is marking the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, I am glad to share that his grand statue, made of granite, will be installed at India Gate. This would be a symbol of India's indebtedness to him." PTI
13:09 Not empty words: Cong on UP Youth manifesto
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi launch Uttar Pradesh's Youth Manifesto, at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) HQ in Delhi.The seven-phased elections will begin from February 10, and according to the schedule announced by the Election Commission, the last day for nomination for the first phase ends today.
Highlights of the presser:
-- Congress consulted youth of Uttar Pradesh and their views are reflected in party's 'youth manifesto'.
-- Youth in Uttar Pradesh need a new vision, only Congress can give that vision to the state. These are not empty words.
-- We don't spread hatred, we united people; we want to create a new Uttar Pradesh with strength of youth.
-- Biggest problem in UP is of recruitment, youth are disappointed; we have given vision of how their problems will be solved.
-- Vacancies to various posts will be filled; job calendar will be created which will have specifics of recruitment process.
-- If our govt comes to power, budget allocation for education will be increased.
12:54 V S Achuthanandan hospitalised after testing COVID-19 positive
Former Kerala Chief Minister, V S Achuthanandan was admitted to a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday after he tested positive for COVID-19.
The 98-year-old CPI(M) leader was shifted to a private hospital in the city after he contracted the virus from the nurse, who has been taking care of him.
"He was quarantined at home... Unfortunately, the nurse who was taking care of him tested positive for the virus and father also was found to be positive yesterday. He was admitted to a hospital," Achuthanandan's son V A Arun Kumar said in a social media post.
12:25 Harbhajan Singh tests positive for Covid-19
Former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh has tested positive for Covid-19.
Harbhajan on Friday said that he has quarantined himself at home and is taking all the necessary precautions.
"I've tested positive for COVID with mild symptoms. I have quarantined myself at home and taking all the necessary precautions. I would request those who came in contact with me to get themselves tested at the earliest. Please be safe and take care," Harbhajan tweeted.
11:58 Utpal Parrikar's decision on Goa polls today
Man of the moment, Utpal Parrikar, says he will hold a press conference today to announce his decision for the Goa polls.
Former Goa CM Manohar Parrikar's son turned down the BJP's offer of a seat since he wanted to contest from his father's Panaji seat. The BJP picked sitting MLA Atanasio "Babush" Monserrate instead.
The AAP has said Utpal is welcome to join the party, while the Sena has said they will offer support to him as an independent candidate.
11:48 Indian stocks dip for 4th straight day
The Indian equities markets were under heavy selling pressure for the fourth consecutive day on Friday with benchmark Sensex slumping 593 points.
After losing 1,844 points in the previous three sessions, the Sensex opened the trading on Friday over 400 points down at 59,039.37 points and tumbled to a low of 58,683.01 points in the early morning trade.
The 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange was trading at 58,871.22 points at 10.53 am, which is 593.4 points or 1.00 per cent down from its previous day's close at 59,464.62 points.
The benchmark Sensex had lost 634.20 points or 1.06 per cent on Thursday.
11:39 Long way from gays being treated as equals: Onir
Filmmaker Onir reacts to the Defense Ministry rejecting his film script inspired by the real-life story of a gay major.
A sequel to his national award-winning film 'I Am', the film was scheduled to be partially shot in Kolkata from April.
Lieutenant Colonel Sachin Ujjwal of the Army's ADG Strategic Communications Branch sent an email to the director on Wednesday stating that "the script has not been cleared by the IHQ of the MoD (Army). I wish you all the best in your future endeavors."
Onir tweeted, "75 years of independence, more than three years since he Supreme Court of india had decriminalised homosexuality but as a society we are a long way from being treated as equals . While 56 countries across the world accepts #lgbtqi in the army ,it is still illegal the indian army."
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive chairperson, Biocon
11:34 Shares of Biocon Ltd surge over 2%
Notwithstanding the muted broader market trend, shares of Biocon Ltd surged over 2 per cent in morning trade on Friday after the biotechnology major reported strong December quarter earnings.
On the BSE, the stock opened at Rs 363.00, then jumped 2.61 per cent and touched an early high of Rs 373.40 in initial deals. It was later trading at Rs 371.25, up 2.02 per cent. In a similar trend, the stock opened at Rs 364, then touched a high of Rs 371.55, registering a gain of 2.02 per cent over its last close on the NSE.
11:32 Remo D'Souza pays homage to brother-in-law
Choreographer-filmmaker Remo D'Souza on Friday mourned the demise of brother-in-law Jason Watkins. Watkins, 42, died by suicide on Thursday at his residence in Millat Nagar in Mumbai.
In an Instagram post D'Souza said he was heartbroken by his brother-in-law's death. "You broke our hearts brother, hope you finally found Peace REST IN PEACE #jasonwatkins," he wrote.
As per reports, Watkins was a choreographer and had assisted D'Souza on many projects. On the basis of primary information, the Oshiwara police have registered an Accidental Death Report (ADR) in the case as nothing suspicious was found. -- PTI
11:00 Aparna Yadav seeks Mulayam's blessings
Aparna Bisht Yadav, the daughter-in-law of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav shares this image with her father-in-law. She writes, "I sought the blessings of my father/Netaji (as Mulayam Singh Yadav is referred to) after I returned to Lucknow after joining the BJP."
Mulayam Singh Yadav had tried hard to convince his daughter-in-law to not join the Bharatiya Janata Party, party chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Wednesday and expressed his happiness that the SP's socialist ideology is expanding its reach.
Aparna Yadav is married to Prateek Yadav, the son of Mulayam Singh Yadav's second wife, while Akhilesh Yadav is his son from the first marriage. She joined the BJP in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and its state chief Swatantra Dev Singh.
Expressing her admiration for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said the nation's interest has always been a priority for her and praised several schemes of the BJP government for cleanliness, woman empowerment and employment.
10:47 India's Covid vaccination coverage crosses 160.43 cr
India's cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 160.43 crores after over 70 lakh vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday.
As per government data, 70,49,779 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours. Consequently, the total vaccines administered have gone up to 1,60,43,70,484 as per provisional reports till 7 am today. This has been achieved through 1,72,80,628 sessions, the ministry said.
The ministry also informed that 68,61,926 precautionary doses have been administered so far.
In the age groups 15-18 years, 3,96,06,464 vaccine doses have been administered.
India's COVID vaccination drive completed one year on January 16, 2022.-- ANI
10:42 Delhi govt plans to lift weekend curfew
The Delhi government has proposed lifting weekend curfew, end odd even system for opening of shops and allow private offices to run with 50 per cent staff in the city, official sources said on Friday.
The proposal has been sent to Lt Governor Anil Baijal for his consent, they said. The decision to ease the restrictions was taken in view of declining number of Covid cases in the city, they said.
The weekend curfew imposed in view of rise in Covid cases will be in place from 10 PM Friday and continue till Monday 5 am.
It will be done away with if the LG grants permission to the Delhi government's proposal.
Delhi on Thursday reported 12,306 fresh COVID-19 cases and 43 more fatalities due to the viral disease, while the positivity rate dipped to 21.48 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department. -- PTI
10:34 Clubhouse app: Mumbai police arrest three from Haryana
Mumbai police have arrested three persons from Haryana in connection with the chat on Clubhouse app, in which obscene comments were allegedly made against Muslim women, an official said on Friday.
Personnel of the cyber police station of the Mumbai crime branch made the arrests late on Thursday night, he said. Two of the accused will be produced in a local court later in the day, the official said.
In a tweet posted early this morning, Shiv Sena's Rajya Sabha member Priyanka Chaturvedi praised the city police for the arrests in the case. "Kudos @MumbaiPolice, they have got cracking on the Clubhouse chats too and some arrests have been made. Say no to hate. #Clubhouse," she said in the tweet.
On Wednesday, the Delhi police had written to the Clubhouse app and search engine Google, seeking details about the organiser of the alleged audio group chat in which "obscene comments were made against Muslim women".
Official sources had said that the police had also identified some members of the group audio chat, which included men and women from both communities, as part of the investigation.
A Mumbai-based organisation had lodged a complaint with the city police on Wednesday in connection with the Clubhouse app, seeking its deactivation, and also registration of a case, the official said. PTI
10:09 Active Covid cases in India highest in 235 days
India added 3,47,254 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,85,66,027 which includes 9,692 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Friday.
The active cases have increased to 20,18,825, the highest in 235 days, while the death toll has climbed to 4,88,396 with 703 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.
There has been a 4.36 per cent increase in Omicron cases since Thursday, the ministry said.
The active cases comprise 5.23 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has decreased to 93.50 per cent, the ministry said.
An increase of 94,774 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
09:25 All-party delegation under Modi should visit LAC: Cong
After the abduction of an Arunachal Pradesh youth by China's People's Liberation Army, the Congress is taking on the Modi government and demanding that an all-party delegation of the MPs should visit the Line of Actual Control under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking to the reporters, Congress MP and spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil said, "The Congress party has always put the interest of the country above the interest of the party. We have never tried to derive political gains but have worked for the benefit of the nation. Be it the security of the nation, whether it is our brave army, whether it is issues of terrorism. Whether there were attacks on things like Raghunath Temple or Parliament, we never did politics on it. Even on top of that we never did our vote-bank politics about the brave army. It is the responsibility of all of us to see that the borders of our nation are safe. No one should enter our borders even a little bit."
Gohil further said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had warned long ago that China is intruding into Indian territory but the Central Government did not do anything.
"Rahul Gandhi warned long ago that look, China is coming to our border, Modiji, do something. But that matter was not taken seriously at that time. What I am putting in front of you, Rahul Gandhi is the leader of Congress, Modiji does not listen to him. Some opposition party says in Parliament, he is not allowed to speak. You do not listen to him. But your state president, who is the president of Arunachal Pradesh, member of your national executive, which is considered to be the strongest decision-making committee in BJP, a member of that committee and a senior member of parliament of BJP is saying this. Modiji, you will believe his words, will you not?" he added.
"I congratulate that MP, Tapir Gaoji. I know he must have been under pressure to delete the tweet but he hasn't deleted it. That is why I thank him. We have put his tweet on the screen in front of all of you," said the Congress leader.
"This is BJP's Arunachal Pradesh president, BJP National Executive member, senior MP Tapir Gao had said that a 17-year-old boy has been taken to China from inside our border in Arunachal. He had a friend with him who escaped by somehow saving his life. It has also been said that in 2018, China has built 3 to 4 km road in our territory. There is no one else to say this. Modi ji this is BJP MP, Modi ji this is Arunachal Pradesh BJP president," he said.
He further asked the Prime Minister to say something on China. -- ANI
09:19 Geeta Basra tests positive for COVID-19
Actor Geeta Basra has said that she has tested positive for coronavirus.
On Friday, Geeta took to Instagram and informed her fans and followers about her diagnosis.
"After being so careful and trying to dodge this damn thing for 2 years, the virus finally caught us," she wrote on Instagram Story.
Alongside the update, she posted a picture of her resting on her bed.
08:33 Russia will have to pay 'heavy price' if it invades Ukraine: Biden
United States President Joe Biden has said that Russia will have to "pay a heavy price" if its military units move across the Ukrainian border which will be considered an "invasion".
On Thursday, the Treasury Department announced sanctions on individuals who engaged in influencing activities directed by the Russian government.
"This action was part of our ongoing, longstanding efforts to counter Russia's network of influence efforts and to expose its dangerous, threatening, and ongoing campaign to destabilize Ukraine," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
In response to a question, she said, "These individuals are at the heart of Russia's destabilizing campaign in Ukraine and we stand united with the Ukrainian government."
Psaki stressed the US is not waiting to take action to counter Russia.
"We see what they're doing and we are disrupting it. These actions are separate and distinct from the broad range of high-impact, severe measures we and our allies are prepared to impose in order to inflict significant costs should they invade," she said.
Later, Biden told reporters, "I've been absolutely clear with President Putin... If any assembled Russian units move across the Ukrainian border, that is an invasion and would be met with a severe and coordinated economic response that I've discussed in detail with our allies and laid out very clearly for President Putin."
"Let there be no doubt at all that if Putin makes this choice, Russia will pay a heavy price," the US president warned.
Biden stressed being prepared about cyberattacks, "grey-zone" attacks, and actions by Russian soldiers not wearing their own uniforms. He alleged that Russia has a long history of using measures other than overt military action to carry out aggression.
"Remember when they moved into the Donbas with 'Little Green Men'? They were dealing with those who were Russian sympathizers and said that Russia had nobody in there," he said.
Soldiers in unmarked uniforms, dubbed "little green men" by some, had swept Crimea in 2014 laying the ground for annexation by Russia.
"We have to be ready to respond to these in a united way with a range of tools at our disposal," Biden said.
Later in the day, when asked why is he waiting for Putin to make the first move, Biden replied, "What a stupid question." -- PTI
08:16 T20 WC: India to open campaign against Pak on Oct 23
The schedule for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 was announced on Friday.
The Men in Blue will be locking horns against Pakistan in their first match of the tournament on October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The Men's T20 World Cup 2022 is slated to be held in Australia between October 16-November 13 and it will be played across seven venues -- Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Geelong, Hobart and Perth.
A total of 45 matches will be played across Adelaide, Brisbane, Geelong, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney, ensuring the same national footprint as the postponed 2020 event.
In the First Round, 2014 champions Sri Lanka and Namibia will play the opening match of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 at Kardinia Park, Geelong on Sunday, October 16.
They'll be joined by two qualifiers in Group A. Two-time champions West Indies will also start in the First Round, joined in Group B by Scotland, and two qualifiers in Hobart.
In the Super 12, hosts Australia are in Group 1 with world number one England, New Zealand, Afghanistan plus the winner of Group A and the runner-up in Group B from the First Round. Group 2 features India, Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh, plus the winner of Group B and runner-up in Group A from the First Round.
Hosts and defending champions, Australia will play New Zealand in the opening match of the Super 12 at the SCG on Saturday, October 22 in a re-match of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 Final.
The Black Caps will also face England at The Gabba on November 1 in a re-match of their epic semi-final encounter at the 2021 event.
Two of world cricket's biggest rivals will go head-to-head at the MCG, with India taking on Pakistan on Sunday, October 23.
It will be the first World Cup clash between the two nations at the MCG and comes before two more fierce rivals, Australia and England, meet at the same venue on Friday, October 28.
The state-of-the-art Perth Stadium will host a huge Sunday double-header on Sunday, October 30 with South Africa taking on India in the evening match. Earlier in the day, Pakistan will be in action against the runners-up from Group A.
The seven venues to host matches are Adelaide Oval, The Gabba, Kardinia Park Stadium, Bellerive Oval, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Perth Stadium and Sydney Cricket Ground.
The semi-finals will be played at the SCG and Adelaide Oval on November 9 and 10, respectively. The final will be contested under lights at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on November 13.
Defending champions Australia and runners-up New Zealand plus England, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Afghanistan and Bangladesh as the next highest-ranked teams have gained direct entry into the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022.
Sri Lanka, West Indies, Scotland, and Namibia have qualified but will start the event in the First Round. The four remaining spots at Australia 2022 will be filled via the ongoing qualification pathway, culminating in two global qualifying tournaments in early 2022.
00:42 Rahul, Priyanka to release UP manifesto today
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will on Friday release the party's youth manifesto for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Both leaders will address a special press conference at the party's headquarters.
This is one of the rare occasions when both leaders of the Congress will be jointly addressing the media.
The party is going to the polls with youth and women in focus and has announced that it will reserve 40 per cent of tickets for women in Uttar Pradesh. -- PTI