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Covid-19: With 1,45,384 fresh infections, India logs highest daily spike since outbreak of pandemic

The Union Health Ministry on Saturday said that as many as 1,45,384 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the span of 24 hours, the highest-ever single day surge, taking the cumulative tally to 1,32,05,926. With 794 deaths, the total fatalities have reached 1,68,436, the government said.



Covid-19 cases

The Union Health Ministry on Saturday said that as many as 1,45,384 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the span of 24 hours, the highest-ever single day surge, taking the cumulative tally to 1,32,05,926. With 794 deaths, the total fatalities have reached 1,68,436, the government said.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, it is the biggest jump that India has witnessed in the last 24 hours. This is the fifth consecutive day that the country has recorded more than 1 lakh cases in a single day. The Covid graph is continuing to see a steep rise with over 6.16 lakh infections reported in the last five days.

The daily fatalities have also been recording high jump as the second wave of coronavirus rages across the country. Also, with 77,567 more people recuperated from the disease, the total number of recoveries now stands at 1,19,90,859, while the number of active cases has reached 10,46,631.

However, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said that no new cases have been reported in 149 districts in a week, while eight districts have not registered any new infection in a fortnight. 

How do different states fare?

Over 83 percent of the fresh cases have been recorded from ten worst-hit states including  Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. These states have shown a steep hike in daily Covid-19 cases. 

Among those, Maharashtra is reporting the highest number of cases across the country. On Friday, the state recorded nearly 59,000 new cases and 301 related deaths, taking the total cases to 32,88,540. The state has contributed to maximum overall morbidity and mortality in the country, every fourth Covid-19 infected person is from Maharashtra.

Other most affected states by total cases are Kerala with 1,154 594, Karnataka with 1,033,560, Tamil Nadu with  911,110, and Andhra Pradesh with 913,274 cases.

What are the measures taken so far?

The surge in Covid-19 cases has triggered fresh curbs in the number of states across the country.  Maharashtra, the worst hit, is headed towards a lockdown if the Covid cases continue to rise in the state said Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope. The weekend lockdown has already begun to contain the ongoing surge in the Covid-19 cases in the state.

Several other states have initiated precautionary measures like night curfews, travel restrictions, banning social gatherings, ramping up of vaccinations to minimise the spread of the coronavirus. So far, night curfews have been imposed in parts of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, West Bengal, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra, among several others.

Amid the Covid surge, the Delhi government has announced closing of all schools and colleges till further notice. Meanwhile,  the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is facing criticism for going ahead with the board exams despite the spike. 

How is the vaccination drive going?

In the ongoing Covid-19 vaccine drive, more than 9.43 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the country till Friday morning, the health minister said during a virtual 24th meeting of the High-level Group of Ministers. 

Several states, however, are grappling with vaccine shortage vaccines, with several running vaccination centres below capacity and demanding that the Centre give them stocks to last at least seven days.

Pointing out the vaccine shortage, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has sought an immediate supply of 30 lakh Covid-19 vaccines to the State. He said the inoculation drive will have to be halted due to insufficient stock. The Centre’s claim of no shortage of Covid-19 vaccines in the country is wrong and demanded that a status report on the availability of doses be made public. 

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the State would require at least 40 lakh doses per week. The state had only around 12 lakh doses left as of Thursday afternoon, he said.

For the past three days, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and Cabinet ministers have been sending SOS to the Centre to replenish vaccines as the states were running out of stocks. 

In a letter to the Prime Minister,  Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had asked for an immediate moratorium on exports as he claimed that the country is facing vaccine starvation. He asked the government to open up vaccination to everyone who needs it and increase the capacity of allocation to ₹35,000 crores for the vaccination program. 

However, the Centre has maintained that there is no shortage of shots in India. All the claims of states are baseless and the Centre is supplying vaccines to all states equitably irrespective of the ruling party, said Harsh Vardhan. 

The central government is working very hard in controlling the pandemic and pacing the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination program and states should support it instead of playing politics. Whichever states are reporting to us about shortage we are supplying the adequate vaccines without delay, he added.

Read Also: West Bengal Election: PM Modi, CM Banerjee appeal to eligible voters to step out in large numbers and vote

India began its vaccination drive on January 16 with health workers and frontline workers getting inoculated in the first phase of the rollout. The second phase of the vaccination commenced on March 1 for those who are above 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified comorbid conditions. The vaccination drive extended to include everybody aged 45 from April 1.

India News

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah deletes post on reservation for Kannadigas in private sector after backlash from business community

the Cabinet meeting held yesterday approved a bill to make it mandatory to hire 100 per cent Kannadigas for C and D-grade posts in all private industries in the State.



Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday deleted his social media post on the reservation Bill, which reserves seats in groups C and D for Kannadigas only in the private sector, after backlash from the business community.

Announcing the Bill on X, Siddaramaiah said the Cabinet meeting held yesterday approved a bill to make it mandatory to hire 100 per cent Kannadigas for C and D-grade posts in all private industries in the State.

The post further read, “It is our government’s wish that the Kannadigas should avoid being deprived of jobs in the land of Kannada and should be given an opportunity to build a comfortable life in the motherland.” He said that his government is a pro-Kannada government and their priority is to look after the welfare of Kannadigas.

Later after criticism from industry leaders, the Kartnataka CM deleted the post and then shared another post in Kannada that talks about giving reservation of 50% for administrative posts and 75% for non-administrative posts for Kannadigas in private industries and other organizations of the State.

Speaking to the media, Labour Minister Santosh Lad said the government is trying to introduce a law to give preference to locally available skills. He added that at the management level, it has been decided to provide reservations to 50% of the people.

At the non-management level, it has been decided to provide work to 70%, he said. If a particular skill is not available, people can be outsourced and they can be given work here. But the Government is trying to bring in a law to give preference to locally available skills, the minister further added.

In response to the government’s announcement about the passage of the Bill, industry leaders and unions voiced concerns that it would impede industry growth by pushing away skilled workers not protected by the quota. Nasscom, the apex body for the technology industry in India, stated that the Bill was “deeply disturbing”.

Mohandas Pai, a Padma Shri Awardee and former CFO and Board Member at Infosys, also said that the government must focus on increasing jobs, training, and educating Kannada youth instead of driving away investment. Karnataka is India’s best state, adding that he said we should not destroy this. Pai termed the Bill as ‘discriminatory, regressive, and against the Constitution’ even as he attacked the ruling Congress for the decision.

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India News

Maharashtra sends controversial IAS trainee Puja Khedkar back to academy



Trainee IAS officer Puja Khedkar, who has been the eye of the storm, has been asked by the Maharashtra Government to report back to the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie.

A letter from Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary Nitin Gadre stated LBSNAA has suspended district training of Khedkar and has called her back for further necessary action. The letter said she has been relieved from the district training programme of the state government of Maharashtra and has been asked to join the academy by July 23 under any circumstances.

Khedkar had made it to the headlines for her alleged demands of a separate office and official car, besides using a beacon on her private luxury car without official sanction.

Earlier this month, a report regarding Khedkar and her father’s objectionable behaviour was sent by Pune District Collector Suhas Diwase to the state government.

Reports said Khedkar completed her MBBS and then appeared for the UPSC exams several times. According to her, she joined the IRS in 2019. In a later interview she said she could not join the IRS since there were some technical problems in the OBC allocation of her seat.

Thereafter, in November 2021, she applied and got appointed as the assistant director in the Sports Authority of India. She then appeared for the Civil Services Examination in 2021 and cleared the preliminary exam, the main examination, and the interview, securing the 821st rank.

However, she failed to present herself for a medical test to confirm disability claims of blindness and mental illness due to which she was getting benefits under the category of Persons with Benchmark Disabilities. Consequently, this persisted as a legal battle in Central Administrative Tribunal against UPSC.

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India News

Supreme Court issues notice to CBI, ED on Manish Sisodia bail plea



Manish Sisodia

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the bail pleas moved by former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

The Supreme Court’s decided to issue notice to the two agencies after arguments on Sisodia’s petitions for bail in two cases relating to alleged irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi liquor policy. The court granted two weeks to the agencies to file their views.

“Views of agencies have to be heard before any decision is taken,” said Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, pointing at the seriousness of the charges slapped on Sisodia. The former Delhi Deputy CM has been under judicial remand since February 2023 over corruption and money laundering charges.

According to Sisodia’s counsel, the charges against him are politically motivated and lack enough evidence. The counsel had sought bail on medical grounds, to which the CBI or ED objected, saying his release might hamper the ongoing investigation into the case by influencing the witnesses or tampering with evidence.

According to the CBI and ED, Sisodia’s involvement in the liquor policy scheme was responsible for substantial state revenue loss and worked in favor of private liquor vendors.

Manish Sisodia, known for his transformational work in the field of education under the Delhi government, is not the only Aam Aadmi Party leader in jail. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Satyendar Jain are also behind bars. While Kejriwal is jailed in connection with the liquor policy case, Jain is in prison for corruption charges.

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