Amid the race to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, Health Ministry today said that India is in conversation with Russia on lines of Sputnik-V covid-19 vaccine, which was earlier launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“As far as Sputnik-5 vaccine is concerned, India and Russia are in communication. Some initial information has been shared,”
Said Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Union Health Ministry.
Russia had recently registered “world’s first Covid-19 vaccine” and is now in the phase III trial of the vaccine, which involved more than 40,000 people at more than 45 medical centres around Russia. According to an earlier report, Russia is looking for a partnership with India for producing Covid-19 vaccine, Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said. Dmitriev added that several nations are interested in the production of the vaccine from countries in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.
“The production of the vaccine is a very important issue. Currently, we are looking for a partnership with India. We believe that they are capable of producing the Gamaleya vaccine and it is very important to say that those partnerships to produce the vaccine will enable us to cover the demand that we have,” he said.
He also said Russia is looking forward to international cooperation. “We are going to do clinical trials not just in Russia but also in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, probably in Brazil and India. We are planning to produce the vaccine in more than five countries and there is a very high demand from Asia, Latin America, Italy and other parts of the world regarding the delivery of the vaccine,” he added.
Dubbed as Sputnik V, the vaccine is developed by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian defence ministry. Russia registered the vaccine after less than two months of human testing. The results of initial trials have not been made public yet.
Earlier, the Indian Medical Research Institute (ICMR)’s director general Balram Bhargava had said, “Russia has fast tracked a vaccine which has been successful in its early phases. They have fast tracked its development.”
Apart from that, the ministry also mentioned that India has also ramped up the development of its Covid-19 vaccine. At present three COVID-19 vaccines are “ahead in the race in India,” said Dr Bhargava.
The Serum Institute’s vaccine is in phase 2(B) and phase 3 trials and Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila’s vaccines have completed phase 1 trial, informed Dr Bhargava. Meanwhile, the Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca could be put before regulators this year if scientists are able to gather enough data, said the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group.
Punjab: Farmer’s rail roko protest enters 3rd day, disrupts train services
Many trains have been cancelled, short-terminated, or diverted as a result of the unrest, according to railway officials.
The rail roko protest of Punjabi farmers demanding MSP legal protection, a broad debt relief, and compensation for crops damaged in the recent floods began its third day today.
As part of their three-day agitation, the farmers have been blocking railway tracks at various locations in Faridkot, Samrala, Moga, Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Tarn Taran, Sangrur, Patiala, Ferozepur, Bathinda, and Amritsar since Thursday.
In Punjab and Haryana, the protest has halted hundreds of rail passengers.
A train passenger at the Ludhiana station claimed that he had travelled by road from Jalandhar City in order to board a train to Gorakhpur, but the arrival time of the train was unknown.
Another passenger at the station claimed that the Amritsar-bound train that was scheduled to carry 12 members of his family to Bihar had to be cancelled due to the unrest.
Later, they discovered that the family had journeyed by road from Amritsar and that the train would leave from Ludhiana. He continued, however, there has still been no update on the train.
According to officials, the Ambala and Ferozepur railway divisions have suffered specifically as a result of the farmers’ unrest.
The Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Bharti Kisan Union (Krantikari), Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Azaad), Azaad Kisan Committee, Doaba, Bharti Kisan Union (Behramke), Bharti Kisan Union (Shaheed Bhagat Singh), and Bharti Kisan Union (Chottu Ram) are among the farmer organisations taking part in the three-day demonstration.
The angry farmers have stated that the three-day protest will end on Saturday.
Their requests include a financial aid package for those in north India hit by floods, a statutory guarantee of the minimum support price (MSP) for all crops, and a farmer debt forgiveness programme.
The Swaminathan Commission report’s proposals for MSP and a 50,000 crore flood relief package for the states of northern India are what the farmers are asking for.
In addition, they want the debt of all farmers and labourers to be forgiven, as well as compensation of Rs 10 lakh and a government job for the families of each farmer killed during the protests against the three farm laws that have since been repealed.
Sankalp Saptaah: PM Modi today launches week-long initiative for aspirational blocks at Bharat Mandapam
The country’s Sankalp Saptah programme, which is being implemented in 500 aspirational blocks throughout 329 districts, seeks to increase block-level government while also improving civilian quality of life.
At Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced a week-long project named Sankalp Saptaah for the country’s aspirational groups.
He also conversed with attendees, including members from the panchayat and the block level.
The week-long programme, which is described in an official news release, is closely correlated with the national Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP), which Modi introduced in January of this year.
Chintan Shivirs were held nationwide at the village and block levels to help with the effective execution of the ABP and to create strong block development strategies. The result of these careful considerations, which will be seen in each of the 500 aspirational blocks, is Sankalp Saptaah.
On October 9, the final day of the seven-day event, a celebration of the week’s worth of effort will take place under the banner of Sankalp Saptaah – Samavesh Samaroh.
Speaking at the inaugural function, the prime minister claimed that more than 25 crore people’s lives in 112 districts throughout the nation had been improved by the aspirational districts plan. He asserted that the quality of living had changed. Now, the aspirational blocks programme will be built on the success of the aspirational districts programme, he said.
According to the statement, about 3,000 panchayat and block level functionaries and representatives of the people are expected to attend the inaugural event at Bharat Mandapam, in addition to about two lakh farmers, block and panchayat level functionaries, and people from other walks of life who will participate virtually.
Starting on October 3 and running through October 9, each day of Sankalp Saptaah is devoted to a distinct development subject on which all aspirational blocks will focus. Sampoorna Swasthya, Suposhit Pariwaar, Swachhta, Krishi, Shiksha, and Samridhi Diwas are some of the themes for the first six days, according to the statement.
Madhya Pradesh elections: Congress to release first list of candidates after October 5
According to the source, the party has received more than 3,500 inquiries from potential candidates who wish to run for office on the Congress ticket in the Assembly elections.
As the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections draw nearer, sources stated on Friday that the Congress is expected to reveal its first list of candidates after October 5 as part of its strategy. A Congress source told IANS that the party will announce the names of the candidates at the ideal moment and that the campaigning for the Assembly elections is already underway.
The source stated that the party would issue its initial list of candidates after October 5, when it is anticipated that the Election Commission will have released its polling schedule.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the party’s general secretary, will be in the state on October 5 to speak at a large public gathering, the source added, and her input will be sought before the release of the final list.
To narrow down the field of candidates for the elections, the party organised two sessions of the Screening Committee in the national capital.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, will speak at a public meeting on Saturday in the Kala Pipla Assembly seat.
Two lists of candidates from the BJP have already been made public for the upcoming elections. Along with four other current MPs, the ruling party has included three Union Ministers in its second list. On Monday, a few hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at a public gathering in Bhopal, the second list of 39 candidates was made public.
The list also included Kailash Vijayvargiya, the national general secretary of the BJP.
The list includes the names of three Union Ministers: Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries and Jal Shakti from Narsinghpur; Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture and Chairman of the Party’s State Election Management Committee from Dimni-Morena; and Fagan Singh Kulaste, Minister of State for Rural Development and Steel from Niwas.