Metrovaartha http://www.metrovaartha.com/ en-us Sat, 29 Jan 2022 00:00:00 +0530 CM transfers Rs 875 cr to 3.5 lakh beneficiaries http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57173/cm-transfers-rs-875-cr-to-3-5-lakh-beneficiaries http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57173/cm-transfers-rs-875-cr-to-3-5-lakh-beneficiaries Sat, 29 Jan 2022 12:11:20 +0530 ]]>CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan transferred an amount of Rs 875 crore as the first installment to 3,50,000 beneficiaries of new houses approved under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Rural) on January 28. Bhopal | CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan transferred an amount of Rs 875 crore as the first installment to 3,50,000 beneficiaries of new houses approved under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Rural) on January 28. Perhaps for the first time in the country, the amount is being transferred to such a large number of beneficiaries of the scheme. So far 23.07 lakh houses have been completed.
Chouhan also interacted virtually with the beneficiary in this programme held at Kushabhau Thackeray Hall. Principal Secretary Panchayat and Rural Development Umakant Umrao informed that so far more than 23, 07,000 rural families of Madhya Pradesh have got their homes under this ambitious scheme. These are all such families, who did not have a house or were living in kutcha dilapidated houses.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, houses are being constructed fast in the state keeping in mind “Awas for all 2024”.

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India reports over 2.35 lakh Covid cases, 871 fatalities http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57172/india-reports-over-2-35-lakh-covid-cases--871-fatalities http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57172/india-reports-over-2-35-lakh-covid-cases--871-fatalities Sat, 29 Jan 2022 11:51:21 +0530 ]]>With 2,35,532 people testing positive for the coronavirus infection in a day, India's total tally of cases increased to over 4.08 crore, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Saturday. New Delhi | With 2,35,532 people testing positive for the coronavirus infection in a day, India's total tally of cases increased to over 4.08 crore, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Saturday.

The death toll has climbed to 4,93,198 with 871 fatalities reported during the 24-hour period, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The active cases decreased by 1,01,278 to reach 20,04,333 -- 4.91 per cent of the total infections -- while the country's recovery rate stands at 93.89 per cent, the ministry said.

The daily positivity rate was recorded at 13.39 per cent, while the weekly positivity rate was 16.89 per cent, according to the health ministry.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,83,60,710, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.21 per cent, the ministry said.

After the Saturday update, the total number of infections stands at 4,08,58,241, it said.

Meanwhile, the cumulative number of anti-Covid vaccine doses administered in the country so far has crossed 165.04 crore.

India's surpassed the one-crore mark in the number of cases on December 19, 2020. It crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23.

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Class XI student stabbed to death by classmate http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57171/class-xi-student-stabbed-to-death-by-classmate- http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57171/class-xi-student-stabbed-to-death-by-classmate- Sat, 29 Jan 2022 11:45:25 +0530 ]]>In an unfortunate incident, a student of Class XI was stabbed to death by his classmate and two others sustained injuries following a dispute over talking to a girl, the police said. The incident occurred in Nanda Nagar locality under Pardeshipura police station, Indore on Friday. Indore | In an unfortunate incident, a student of Class XI was stabbed to death by his classmate and two others sustained injuries following a dispute over talking to a girl, the police said. The incident occurred in Nanda Nagar locality under Pardeshipura police station, Indore on Friday.
Additional Commissioner of Police (ACP) Pardeshipura, Nihit Upadhyay said that in the preliminary investigation it came to fore that there was a dispute among the students of the school regarding a female friend.
The students had reached school to collect their mark sheets on Friday and they had a minor dispute there. After that the guard of the school drove them away from there and then they gathered at Sugni Devi ground to complete their conversation. A student (reportedly minor) allegedly attacked three students in which one died and two other got injured, ACP Upadhyay said adding that soon after receiving information he activated his teams to take stock of the situation. Till filing this report, the accused had not been arrested.

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IIM to hold conference - Excellence in research & education http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57170/iim-to-hold-conference---excellence-in-research---education http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57170/iim-to-hold-conference---excellence-in-research---education Sat, 29 Jan 2022 11:40:18 +0530 ]]>The Indian Institute of Management Indore will hold its 12th Conference on Excellence in Research and Education from June 3 to June 5 this year. Indore | The Indian Institute of Management Indore will hold its 12th Conference on Excellence in Research and Education from June 3 to June 5 this year. The theme of this year’s conference is “Digital Decade: E-Learning, E-Business, and E-Working”. The conference will be held in hybrid mode but the mode of the conference may change according to Covid-19 situation.
Informing this, IIM Indore Director Prof Himanshu Rai said that this decade has transformed how work, education, and business are being executed. “Managers have digitized their companies (E-working), educators have transformed physical institutions/classrooms into digital platforms of learning (E-learning), and banks & financial institutions launched digital outreach to clients (E-business)’’, Prof Rai said adding that the digital transformation is not limited to businesses, but it is spread out among individuals and brands.
``Against this backdrop, the CERE 2022 will explore the research opportunities in the digital decade and the current transition to e-learning, e-business, and e-working to understand transformation from physical to digital presence,”Prof Rai added.

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Illegal snooping using Pegasus amounts to treason: Cong on NYT report on the spyware http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57169/illegal-snooping-using-pegasus-amounts-to-treason--cong-on-nyt-report-on-the-spyware http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57169/illegal-snooping-using-pegasus-amounts-to-treason--cong-on-nyt-report-on-the-spyware Sat, 29 Jan 2022 11:25:39 +0530 ]]>The Congress on Saturday attacked the Centre over a New York Times report which claimed that the Indian government bought the Pegasus spy toll in 2017 as part of a deal with Israel, saying illegal snooping using the spyware amounts to "treason". New Delhi | The Congress on Saturday attacked the Centre over a New York Times report which claimed that the Indian government bought the Pegasus spy toll in 2017 as part of a deal with Israel, saying illegal snooping using the spyware amounts to "treason".

According to the report in The New York Times, the Israeli spyware Pegasus and a missile system were the "centerpieces" of a roughly USD 2-billion deal of sophisticated weapons and intelligence gear between India and Israel in 2017.

Attacking the government, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said on Twitter, "Why did Modi Govt act like the enemies of India and use a warfare weapon against Indian citizens?" "Illegal snooping using Pegasus amounts to treason. No one is above the law and we will ensure that justice is served," he said.

PTI has reached out to the government for a reaction to the NYT report but there was no immediate response.

Citing the media report, Congress spokesperson Shama Mohammed said this is "irrefutable proof" that the BJP government used military grade spyware to snoop on the citizens of India, including former Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

There must be accountability, she demanded.

Rajya Sabha MP and senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil alleged that the "revelations" in the report imply that the government "misled" the Supreme Court and Parliament on the issue.

"Why @narendramodi is silent? It is @PMOIndia's duty to clarify. New York Times revelations today that It did indeed subscribe by payment from tax payers money of ? 300 crores to spyware Pegasus sold by Israeli NSO company," he tweeted.

"This implies our Govt misled Supreme Court & Parliament," Gohil said.

Youth Congress chief Srinivas B V also cited the media report and tweeted, "Hence Proved! Chowkidar Hi Jasoos Hai.." In a tweet, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi alleged the spyware was used not for defence purposes but to snoop on opposition and journalists.

"If there is BJP, it is possible. They have made the country into a Bigg Boss show," she said in a tweet in Hindi.

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said, "Modi government must rebut New York Times revelations today that It did indeed subscribe by payment from tax payers money of ? 300 crores to spyware Pegasus sold by Israeli NSO company.

"This implies prima facie our Govt misled Supreme Court and Parliament. Watergate?" he tweeted.

An international investigative consortium had claimed last year that many people including Indian ministers, politicians, activists, businessmen and journalists were potentially targeted by the NSO Group's phone hacking software.

The Supreme Court had set up a three-member independent expert panel to probe the alleged use of Pegasus for targeted surveillance in India.

The government had denied all allegations made against it in the matter.

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SARS-CoV-2 may impair phagocytic immune-cell response to fungus http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57168/sars-cov-2-may-impair-phagocytic-immune-cell-response-to-fungus http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57168/sars-cov-2-may-impair-phagocytic-immune-cell-response-to-fungus Sat, 29 Jan 2022 11:20:22 +0530 ]]>SARS-CoV-2 may impair the phagocytic immune-cell response to the fungus, the main defence mechanism against mucormycosis, through viral-induced lymphopenia or the therapeutic use of corticosteroids. Indore | SARS-CoV-2 may impair the phagocytic immune-cell response to the fungus, the main defense mechanism against mucormycosis, through viral-induced lymphopenia or the therapeutic use of corticosteroids. These findings were revealed following an indepty study carried out by the IIT Indore. The study was primarily carried out to understand post Covid-19 infection in terms of adjunct therapies and steroidal after-effects.
The findings of the study conducted by Dr. Hem Chandra Jha, the group leader of Infection Bioengineering at IIT Indore, along with his research scholars Charu Sonkar, interns Vaishnavi Hase, Durba Banerjee, Dr. Rajesh Kumar and Dr. Awanish Kumar from NIT, was recently published in the form of an article in Canadian Journal of Chemistry.
Inducibility and catastrophic effects of the virus can be found in a variety of organs, including lungs, kidneys, heart, skin, neurons, and others. The interaction of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the host receptor causes cytokine storms in Covid-19 patients, which can lead to a variety of immunopathological consequences, including death, the study revealed. Covid-19 has affected millions of people around the world so far, but there is no effective treatment.
As per the study, SARS-CoV-2 may impair the phagocytic immune-cell response to the fungus, which is the main defense mechanism against mucormycosis, through viral-induced lymphopenia or the therapeutic use of corticosteroids. As a result, it is critical to have a thorough understanding of drugs and their devastating consequences. Patients who recovered from Covid-19 complications showed extensive clinical symptoms that were similar to those seen with previously circulating coronaviruses, said Dr Jha adding that in Covid-19 patients, the use of steroids as a treatment resulted in a variety of health issues and side effects. The study discussed the history of coronavirus epidemics, Post-Covid 19 Complications (PCC), and multiple organs damaged by it.
Dr. Jha said “Long-term use of corticosteroids is known to cause serious side effects. Covid-19's side effects, the receptors it targets, and the alternative drugs that can be used for Covid-19 have all been briefly discussed. Information on ARDS drugs and Covid-19 immunotherapies, that are still being tested, has also been included. 
The study includes information about antibodies that have been granted emergency use authorization. The facts that corticosteroids are an important treatment for Covid-19 have been considered. 
A thorough understanding of its receptors and side effects, on the other hand, would help provide accurate information about its use and when an alternative could be used.
As a result, extensive information on PCC, therapeutics under investigation, adjunct therapeutics for Covid-19 management, and other Covid-19 investigational immunotherapies has been provided.
The complications mentioned can affect a person in a single or multiple ways, and they can cause health problems for varying lengths of time, Dr Jha added.

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It was a tough battle, but we fought it well: Kerala's ex-health minister on outbreak of COVID-19 http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57167/it-was-a-tough-battle--but-we-fought-it-well--kerala-s-ex-health-minister-on-outbreak-of-covid-19 http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57167/it-was-a-tough-battle--but-we-fought-it-well--kerala-s-ex-health-minister-on-outbreak-of-covid-19 Sat, 29 Jan 2022 11:10:13 +0530 ]]>Kerala's former Health Minister K K Shailaja was leading a "night walk" of women through a city street as part of a government campaign on the crucial day two years ago, when the alarming message was passed on to her via phone. Thiruvananthapuram | Kerala's former Health Minister K K Shailaja was leading a "night walk" of women through a city street as part of a government campaign on the crucial day two years ago, when the alarming message was passed on to her via phone.

One of the medical students from the state, who was in quarantine after arriving from Wuhan in China, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus during the first wave, tested positive for the infection-- a first such case in the entire nation.

Though the message was quite disturbing, the seasoned politician regained her composure and began exploring options to quickly reach Thrissur, over 275 kms away from here that night itself somehow as the affected woman was admitted to a hospital there.

Almost two years since the country's first confirmed COVID-19 case reported in Kerala, Shailaja, who won global acclaim for leading the state in effectively managing the disease, said the night of January 30, 2020, was crucial for her as health minister.

From managing to get an air ticket last minute to reach Thrissur and convening an emergency midnight meeting of doctors and health officials there to boosting the confidence level of the team members and briefing the media about the first case-the job was quite hectic, she recalled.

"The outbreak of Nipah virus was actually an eye-opener for all of us...After that we were mentally prepared to fight any such infectious diseases in future.

I think we could evolve a good disease management strategy and execute it well, which helped contain the spread of the disease effectively during that stage," she told PTI in an interview.

Shailaja was the face of Kerala's fight against COVID-19 during the initial phase.

A legislator from Mattannur constituency now, the former minister said even days before the Centre issued guidelines and protocols in identifying and containing the disease, the state commenced its preparations to fight the possible outbreak of the disease.

She said the news of the global spread of coronavirus came at a time when the state health department was about to conduct a state-wide mock-drill in all government and private hospitals for gauging preparedness to tackle Nipah.

"When I came to know about the new virus, I directed the drill giving thrust on that infection. Others may laugh at me if I say we even opened a control room here as we came to know that Wuhan was the epicenter. Because we were aware that several Keralite students were pursuing their higher education in the Chinese province," she said.

An expert group was formed under the control room and team leaders were identified and given distinctive responsibilities to tackle the new virus, if it was reported in the state, she said.

Days before other states came up with an action plan, the Kerala Health Department deployed trained personnel in all four airports of the state and began checking the temperature of passengers arriving from abroad at their newly set up health desks there.

"We had only some infrared thermometers and other related equipment for the purpose. As no case was reported anywhere in the country, no central guidelines were in place. Thus, three persons, who arrived from Wuhan on January 27, were found to have slight fever," Shailaja said.

Among the trio, who had been put under hospital isolation, that one student was tested positive on January 30, 2020.

After reaching Thrissur by 12.45 am, the minister, who was accompanied by two of her cabinet colleagues and health secretary, conducted an emergency meeting of doctors and senior health officials of the district at the government medical college.

Later, she confirmed to the media, who had gathered at the hospital premises in the wee hours, about the reporting of the first COVID case in the country.

"The following days and weeks were saw countless meetings, relentless planning and efforts to control the spread of the infection. It was really a tough battle but we fought it well through meticulous planning and collective action," the ex-minister said.

All taluk and district hospitals were directed to keep an adequate number of isolation beds ready for COVID emergency and 100 beds in medical colleges in the initial phase.

Decision to buy and stock an adequate amount of PPE kits was taken and training to wear protective gadgets was started immediately.

Several rounds of online meetings of head nurses, ASHA workers and other health workers were conducted every day across the state to coordinate the medical treatment, surveillance, quarantine and also to boost their morale.

On the psychological impact of the disease, Shailaja said the first COVID patient, the woman from Wuhan, was very calm and bold even after knowing that she had contracted the virus.

"As she was a medical student, she was aware of the disease. She was shifted from the district hospital to the medical college in the early hours. When I talked to her over the phone, she said she was feeling ok and had no severe symptoms." But, there were persons who got thoroughly disturbed due to the mandatory quarantine and isolation like a Ranni-based family that arrived from Italy and tested positive for the virus, she recalled.

Stressing that the fight against the disease was a collective effort in the state, Shailaja said there were hundreds of doctors, nurses and health workers who set aside their personal affairs to take part in the mission to contain the infection.

"I met a nurse at the district hospital in Kasaragod when COVID was at its peak. When I said I was aware of their personal problems as they were unable to take leave, she reassured me and said she had taken permission from her family to work overnight due to the current situation....," she said, lauding the healthcare worker's undying spirit.

The coordination of various government departments under the leadership of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the whole-hearted support of the finance department despite the cash crunch played a key role in the battle against the pandemic, the woman leader added.

Noting that the most important thing in checking the spread of an infectious disease was to trace its source and isolate the affected people, she said those persons, put under isolation, should never feel that they are abandoned.

"Trace, quarantine, test, isolate and treat...that was our mantra. Even though the WHO guidelines gave thrust on the test, we thought isolation and quarantine were also important. I feel that helped us contain the infection spread effectively," Shailaja added.

The state adopted a strategy to delay the peak of the first wave and took all possible steps to equip the health system to face any emergency during the gap, she explained.

Kanpur IIT had predicted 50,000 cases during the peak but the collective efforts helped the state to flatten the curve even though a second wave followed it, she said adding that her tenure as minister had ended by the time.

Though 2020 was COVID year, the death rate was 8 per cent less in Kerala compared to 2019, according to the Excess Death analysis conducted during the end of the year.

The lesser number of deaths was reported only in 7 places across the world during the period and one among them was Kerala, she said adding that the striking achievement was made possible through the containment strategy adopted during the time.

It was also a reply to the opposition who had alleged that the state was covering up the actual figures of the COVID death, the ex-minister added.

On the super spread of COVID in the state, she said the testing facilities should be decentralised and the primary healthcare system should be further strengthened to overcome the crisis.

Shailja also said steps should be taken to ensure that every single person displaying symptoms, should undergo a test.

Hailed as 'rockstar health minister' by the global media for her able leadership, effective crisis management and mature intervention in arresting the first wave of COVID-19 in the state, Shailaja's non-inclusion from the present Left government cabinet evoked widespread criticism.

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Pegasus and a missile system were ‘centerpieces' of USD 2 bn deal between India and Israel in 2017 http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57166/pegasus-and-a-missile-system-were--centerpieces--of-usd-2-bn-deal-between-india-and-israel-in-2017 http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57166/pegasus-and-a-missile-system-were--centerpieces--of-usd-2-bn-deal-between-india-and-israel-in-2017 Sat, 29 Jan 2022 10:59:24 +0530 ]]>The Israeli spyware Pegasus and a missile system were the “centerpieces” of a roughly USD 2 billion deal of sophisticated weapons and intelligence gear between India and Israel in 2017, according to a report in The New York Times. New York | The Israeli spyware Pegasus and a missile system were the “centerpieces” of a roughly USD 2 billion deal of sophisticated weapons and intelligence gear between India and Israel in 2017, according to a report in The New York Times.

A massive controversy erupted last year when the NSO Group hit the headlines with the alleged use of its Pegasus software by some governments to spy on journalists, human rights defenders, politicians and others in a number of countries, including India, triggered concerns over issues relating to privacy.

The NYT, in a report titled ‘The Battle for the World's Most Powerful Cyberweapon', said that the Israeli firm NSO Group had for nearly a decade been “selling its surveillance software on a subscription basis to law-enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world, promising that it could do what no one else -- not a private company, not even a state intelligence service -- could do: consistently and reliably crack the encrypted communications of any iPhone or Android smartphone.” The report also referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Israel in July 2017 - to become the first Indian prime minister to visit the country.

“For decades, India had maintained a policy of what it called “commitment to the Palestinian cause,” and relations with Israel were frosty. The Modi visit, however, was notably cordial, complete with a carefully staged moment of him and (then Israeli) Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu walking together barefoot on a local beach,” it said.

“They had reason for the warm feelings. Their countries had agreed on the sale of a package of sophisticated weapons and intelligence gear worth roughly USD 2 billion -- with Pegasus and a missile system as the centerpieces. “Months later, Netanyahu made a rare state visit to India. And in June 2019, India voted in support of Israel at the UN's Economic and Social Council to deny observer status to a Palestinian human rights organisation, a first for the nation,” the report said.

PTI has reached out to the government for a reaction to the NYT report but there was no immediate response.

Last year, a row erupted over Israeli spyware Pegasus allegedly being used for targeted surveillance in India.

The government, however, dismissed allegations of any kind of surveillance on its part on specific people, saying it "has no concrete basis or truth associated with it whatsoever".

In October last year, the Supreme Court set up a 3-member independent expert panel to probe the alleged use of Israeli spyware Pegasus for targeted surveillance in India, observing the state cannot get a "free pass" every time the spectre of national security is raised and that its mere invocation cannot render the judiciary a "mute spectator" and be the bugbear it shies away from. The NYT report said that the FBI too had bought a version of Pegasus, “NSO's premier spying tool.” It was around last summer that the FBI “decided not to deploy the NSO weapons. It was around this time that a consortium of news organisations called Forbidden Stories brought forward new revelations about NSO cyberweapons and their use against journalists and political dissidents. The Pegasus system currently lies dormant at the facility in New Jersey.” An international investigative consortium had claimed that many Indian ministers, politicians, activists, businessmen and journalists were potentially targeted by the NSO Group's phone hacking software.

The report said that since 2011 when NSO “introduced” Pegasus to the global market, it had “helped Mexican authorities capture Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the drug lord known as El Chapo”.

European investigators have quietly used Pegasus to thwart terrorist plots, fight organised crime and, in one case, take down a global child-abuse ring, identifying dozens of suspects in more than 40 countries, it said.

“In a broader sense, NSO's products seemed to solve one of the biggest problems facing law-enforcement and intelligence agencies in the 21st century: that criminals and terrorists had better technology for encrypting their communications than investigators had to decrypt them. The criminal world had gone dark even as it was increasingly going global,” according to the report.

However, over the years, "the many abuses of Pegasus had also been well documented”.

“Mexico deployed the software not just against gangsters but also against journalists and political dissidents. The United Arab Emirates used the software to hack the phone of a civil rights activist whom the government threw in jail.

“Saudi Arabia used it against women's rights activists and, according to a lawsuit filed by a Saudi dissident, to spy on communications with Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, whom Saudi operatives killed and dismembered in Istanbul in 2018,” the NYT report said.

The report said that its yearlong investigation, which included interviews with government officials, leaders of intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, cyberweapons experts, business executives and privacy activists in a dozen countries, “shows how Israel's ability to approve or deny access to NSO's cyberweapons has become entangled with its diplomacy”.

“Countries like Mexico and Panama have shifted their positions toward Israel in key votes at the United Nations after winning access to Pegasus,” the report added.

Amidst a raging controversy worldwide, Israel established a committee in July to review the allegations of misuse of the NSO group's surveillance software and hinted at a possible "review of the whole matter of giving licences".

NSO's then chief executive, Shalev Hulio, had then welcomed the move saying would be "very pleased if there were an investigation so that we'd be able to clear our name”.

Hulio also claimed that there was an effort “to smear the whole Israeli cyber industry".

Israel, in November last year, distanced itself from the controversy triggered by the NSO Group after the US blacklisted the technology firm, which had developed the Pegasus spyware that was allegedly used to target government officials, activists and journalists globally, saying that it is a private company and it has nothing to do with the policies of the Israeli government.

The US sanctioned the Herzliya-based company over alleged misuse of its phone-hacking spyware in countries across the world, including in India.

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DCW issues notice to SBI, seeks withdrawal of employment guidelines for pregnant women http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57165/dcw-issues-notice-to-sbi--seeks-withdrawal-of-employment-guidelines-for-pregnant-women http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57165/dcw-issues-notice-to-sbi--seeks-withdrawal-of-employment-guidelines-for-pregnant-women Sat, 29 Jan 2022 10:43:37 +0530 ]]>The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Saturday issued a notice to SBI seeking withdrawal of its new rules wherein a woman who is over three months pregnant will be considered "temporarily unfit" and she may be allowed to join within four months after delivery. New Delhi | The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Saturday issued a notice to SBI seeking withdrawal of its new rules wherein a woman who is over three months pregnant will be considered "temporarily unfit" and she may be allowed to join within four months after delivery.

State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, could not immediately be reached for comment.

"State Bank of India seems to have issued guidelines preventing women who are over 3 months pregnant from joining service & have termed them as ‘temporarily unfit'. This is both discriminatory and illegal. We have issued a Notice to them seeking withdrawal of this anti women rule," DCW Chief Swati Maliwal tweeted.

In the notice, the panel sought a copy of the new guidelines as well as a copy of the similar rules operational before this. It has also sought an action taken report in the matter.

The bank's move has elicited criticism from some quarters, including from the All India State Bank of India Employees' Association.

In its latest medical fitness guidelines for new recruits or promotees, the bank said a candidate would be considered fit in case of pregnancy which is less than 3 months.

"However, if pregnancy is of more than three months, she will be considered temporarily unfit and she may be allowed to join within four months after delivery of child," as per the medical fitness and ophthalmological standards for new recruits and promotees dated December 31, 2021.

Earlier, women candidates with up to six months of pregnancy were allowed to join the bank subject to various conditions.

The conditions include furnishing a certificate from a specialist gynaecologist that her taking up bank's employment at that stage is in no way likely to interfere with her pregnancy or the normal development of the foetus, or is not likely to cause her miscarriage or otherwise to adversely affect her health.

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Australia beat Pakistan to reach Super League semifinal http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57164/australia-beat-pakistan-to-reach-super-league-semifinal http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/57164/australia-beat-pakistan-to-reach-super-league-semifinal Sat, 29 Jan 2022 10:34:28 +0530 ]]>Riding on some fine top-order batting, Australia became the third side to enter the ICC Under 19 World Cup Super League semifinals following a comprehensive 119-run win over Pakistan here. North Sound (Antigua) | Riding on some fine top-order batting, Australia became the third side to enter the ICC Under 19 World Cup Super League semifinals following a comprehensive 119-run win over Pakistan here.

They joined England and Afghanistan in the final four on a day when batting first was the order of the day.

The United Arab Emirates set a target beyond hosts West Indies on their way to a Plate semifinal success, while Uganda were 35-run winners in the Plate play-off semifinal against Papua New Guinea.

Top order batting sends Australia through.

Half-centuries for Teague Wylie and Corey Miller, as well as a 47 from Campbell Kellaway, helped Australia to 276 for seven from their 50 overs and that proved far too much for Pakistan in Antigua.

Barring a 50-run partnership for the third wicket, Pakistan were always behind in their chase and eventually crumbled to 157 all out with the wickets shared among the Australian bowlers.

Pakistan won the toss and elected to field, but soon regretted that decision as Kellaway and Wylie (71) put on 86 for the first wicket.

Kellaway was stumped off the bowling of Qasim Akram (3-40), but that just brought Miller to the crease and he accelerated the run-rate on his way to 64.

Their stand of 101 was brought to an end by Awais Ali, who had Wylie bowled, with Miller following soon after to leave Australia 203 for three with just under 10 overs remaining.

Skipper Cooper Connolly chipped in with 33 and William Salzmann cracked a quickfire 25 off 14 balls from No.7 to set a competitive target.

It soon became clear that it would be well beyond Pakistan, with Muhammad Shehzad and Haseebullah Khan both caught behind to leave their side 27 for two in the fifth over.

Abdul Faseeh (28) and Irfan Khan (27) started to rebuild before the latter was bowled by Salzmann (3-37), and the wickets fell at regular intervals from then on.

Australia will face the winner of the final Super League quarterfinal between India and defending champions Bangladesh on Saturday.

UAE stun the hosts

A sensational knock from Aayan Afzal Khan helped UAE to one of the greatest results in their history as they beat the West Indies by 82 runs in the Plate semifinals in Trinidad.

After edging past Uganda by a wicket, UAE endured a torrid start when Shiva Shankar (3-31) struck early and often to leave the visitors scrambling at 26 for four.

It was at that point that Aayan entered the fray, and his 93 turned the game on its head. While initially wickets continued to tumble, his 103-run partnership with Shival Bawa (51) for the seventh wicket ensured that the Asian would have something to defend.

He was the last man to fall in a first innings effort of 224 for nine, a target that proved far too much for the Windies.

Jash Giyanani (3-21) made the early inroads, with the home side quickly finding themselves 32 for four. And unlike the UAE, they had no Aayan to save the day, as Dhruv Parashar (4-30) picked up the baton with the ball.

In fact the most resistance from the West Indies came from the final pair, Nathan Edward hitting an unbeaten 51 as he and No.11 Isai Thorne put on 70 for the final wicket before fittingly Aayan sealed the win.

UAE will take on the winner of Ireland against Zimbabwe in the Plate final, while the West Indies take on the loser in the playoff for 11th.

Kakuru fires Uganda past PNG

Cyrus Kakuru inspired Uganda to a 35-run victory over Papua New Guinea in the Plate playoff semi-finals in Trinidad.

His 65 was the foundation of Uganda's 123 all out in a low-scoring affair and Papua New Guinea never really got going in reply, slumping to 88 all out inside 20 overs.

Uganda looked in trouble at 20 for three after electing to bat first, but it was at that point that Kakuru joined his skipper Pascal Murungi.

The captain chipped in with 16, the only other man to make double figures and while John Kariko (5-19) caused chaos, Kakuru motored along to a half-century. He eventually fell caught and bowled to Kariko for 65 off 59 balls with 11 boundaries.

But the reply never really got going, Juma Miyagi (4-29) and Joseph Baguma (3-30) combining to tear through the top order and reduce PNG to 27 for six.

There was no way back from there, despite 26 from Junior Morea as PNG fell well short in reply. Uganda will now take on Scotland in the play-off for 13th.

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