Metrovaartha http://www.metrovaartha.com/ en-us Mon, 26 Oct 2020 00:00:00 +0530 Kerala's COVID-19 tally rises to 3.79 lakh with 6,843 fresh cases http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28756/kerala-s-covid-19-tally-rises-to-3-79-lakh-with-6-843-fresh-cases- http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28756/kerala-s-covid-19-tally-rises-to-3-79-lakh-with-6-843-fresh-cases- Sun, 25 Oct 2020 21:11:09 +0530 ]]> Kerala recorded 6,843 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday, taking the state's tally to 3,79,991, while 26 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 1,332. Thiruvananthapuram |  Kerala recorded 6,843 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday, taking the state's tally to 3,79,991, while 26 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 1,332.

Currently, a total of 96,585 patients are undergoing treatment, while 2,94,910 people have recovered from the disease so far in the state, Health Minister K K Shailaja said.

Of the new cases, which included 82 health workers, 159 people had come from outside the state, 5,694 contracted the disease through contact and the source of infection in 908 was not traceable, she said in a release.

Thrissur reported the highest number of new cases at 1,011, followed by 869 in Kozhikode and 816 in Ernakulam.

Thiruvananthapuram accounted for 712 cases, Malappuram 653, Alappuzha 542, Kollam 527, Kottayam 386 and Palakkad 374, among other districts.

"There are 2,82,568 people under surveillance in various districts -- 2,59,651 are under home or institutional quarantine and 22,917 in isolation wards of various hospitals -- across the state," the release said.

The state tested 48,212 samples the previous day and the aggregate of specimens examined so far rose to 43,28,416.

As many as 58 places were added to the list of hotspots. The number of hotspots in the state stands at 669 after the removal of 13 on Sunday, the release said.

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PM has ‘decided' date of war with China, Pak: UP BJP president http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28755/pm-has--decided--date-of-war-with-china--pak--up-bjp-president- http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28755/pm-has--decided--date-of-war-with-china--pak--up-bjp-president- Sun, 25 Oct 2020 20:32:27 +0530 ]]>In a controversial remark, BJP's Uttar Pradesh chief Swatantra Dev Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “decided” when the country would be at war with Pakistan and China. Ballia (UP) | In a controversial remark, BJP's Uttar Pradesh chief Swatantra Dev Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “decided” when the country would be at war with Pakistan and China.

His remarks on Friday came amid tension at the Line of Actual Control between India and China, where the two countries have massed troops over recent months.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor reacted Sunday by taking a dig at the prime minister for “planning a war” against an enemy which he said Modi has refused even to name.

The UP Bharatiya Janata Party leader linked his war-with-China claim to the beginning of construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya following a Supreme Court judgment, and the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution.

“Like the decisions on Ram Mandir and Article 370, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided when there would be war with Pakistan and China,” he is heard saying in a video clip on social media.

"Sambandhit tithi tai hai," Swatantra Dev Singh said in Hindi, claiming that a decision has been taken even on the date.

Singh was speaking at an event at the home of BJP MLA Sanjay Yadav, who later released the video.

In his address, Singh compared Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party workers with “terrorists”.

When asked about the remarks, local BJP MP Ravindra Kushwaha said the leader made them to boost the morale of party workers.

But the reported comment appears to deviate from India's stated stand.

On Sunday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reiterated that India wanted an end to the border tension with China while asserting that it will not allow “even an inch” of land to be taken away by anyone.

“Amazing,” Shashi Tharoor tweeted, reacting to the UP BJP chief's comments.

“So the PM (who will not even name the state that has encroached upon our land) is planning a war against an Unnamed Enemy, over territory he claims has never been taken, on a date that only he knows?” "So is this what he meant by ‘minimal government'!?” the Congress MP added.

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Mann ki Baat: PM speaks to TN hairdresser, lauds his library initiative http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28754/mann-ki-baat--pm-speaks-to-tn-hairdresser--lauds-his-library-initiative- http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28754/mann-ki-baat--pm-speaks-to-tn-hairdresser--lauds-his-library-initiative- Sun, 25 Oct 2020 20:29:11 +0530 ]]>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spoke to a hairdresser from Tamil Nadu as part of his 'Mann Ki Baat' programme and lauded his initiative to encourage reading by converting a portion of his salon into a library.  Chennai | Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spoke to a hairdresser from Tamil Nadu as part of his 'Mann Ki Baat' programme and lauded his initiative to encourage reading by converting a portion of his salon into a library.

Hailing Tamil classic 'Tirukkural', Modi said it was a guide for life and one must read it.

The book is available in all Indian languages, the prime minister said in his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' radio broadcast.

Tirukkural or Kural in short is an ancient Tamil didactic literature having 1,330 couplets, offering guidance to people from all walks of life.

Beginning his conversation in Tamil with 'vanakkam' and 'nalla irukkeengala' (how are you), the prime minister asked the salon owner, Pon Mariyappan, as to how he got the idea of setting up a library.

Mariyappan, hailing from Tuticorin in southern Tamil Nadu, said since he did not get the opportunity to study beyond class 8 due to family circumstances, he established a library for the benefit of others.

When Prime Minister Modi asked him what book he liked, the hairdresser said 'Tirukkural'.

Modi, who continued to speak in Tamil, said he felt happy to have spoken to him and Mariyappan too said he was extremely happy.

After conversing with him, the prime minister said: "We just spoke to Pon Mariyappan ji. See how he dresses people's hair, he gives them an opportunity to dress up their lives too".

"It felt nice to learn about the popularity of Tirukkural. All of you too heard about the popularity of Tirukkural. Today, Tirukkural is available in all languages of India. Given an opportunity, one must read it. In a way, it is a guide for life," he said.

Modi had quoted Tirukkural on a number of earlier occasions too.

In his Independence Day address last year, while speaking on the 'Jal-Jeevan' Mission, he had quoted a couplet "Neer indri Amayadhu," to underscore the importance of water.

In July, he quoted verses from the ancient text to reinforce that Indian armed forces had always followed the time honoured traditions of valour and honour.

Addressing party workers, BJP chief J P Nadda had last November said, "Thirukkural is a great source of inspiration for humanity." Last year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had quoted another Tamil classic "Purananooru", to assert that the government was for judicious taxation.

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RBI Guv Das tests positive for COVID-19; to continue work from isolation http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28753/rbi-guv-das-tests-positive-for-covid-19--to-continue-work-from-isolation http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28753/rbi-guv-das-tests-positive-for-covid-19--to-continue-work-from-isolation Sun, 25 Oct 2020 20:25:07 +0530 ]]> Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das on Sunday said he has been tested positive for COVID-19 and will continue to work from isolation. New Delhi | Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das on Sunday said he has been tested positive for COVID-19 and will continue to work from isolation.

Das said he is asymptomatic and has alerted those who came in contact with him in recent days.

"I have tested COVID-19 positive. Asymptomatic. Feeling very much alright. Have alerted those who came in contact in recent days. Will continue to work from isolation. Work in RBI will go on normally. I am in touch with all Dy. Govs and other officers through VC and telephone," he tweeted.

Currently, the RBI has full strength of four deputy governors B P Kanungo, M K Jain, M D Patra and M Rajeshwar Rao.

The RBI governor was quite active during the lockdown period and post unlock period to keep the economy and financial market in good shape.

He used both conventional and unconventional monetary policy tools to support economic recovery hit by COVID-19 crisis.

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All arrangements in place for counting of votes for LAHDC-Leh polls http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28752/all-arrangements-in-place-for-counting-of-votes-for-lahdc-leh-polls- http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28752/all-arrangements-in-place-for-counting-of-votes-for-lahdc-leh-polls- Sun, 25 Oct 2020 20:11:57 +0530 ]]>A three-tier security cover has been put in place for counting of votes for the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) here on Monday, officials said. Leh | A three-tier security cover has been put in place for counting of votes for the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) here on Monday, officials said.

All the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and ballot boxes used for the voting on October 22 have been moved to the strong room in presence of the political parties and their candidates, they said.

Out of 89,776 registered voters, around 65 per cent of the electorate had exercised their franchise in 294 polling stations spread across 26 constituencies in Leh district on Thursday to decide the fate of 94 candidates, including 26 each of the BJP and the Congress.

The AAP is also trying its luck for the first time in the polls by fielding 19 candidates, while the regional parties of the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have chosen to stay away from the election.

“The counting of votes will start at 9 am tomorrow (Monday). All requisite arrangements, including a three-tier security around the venue, are in place to ensure a peaceful counting exercise,” an official said.

He said CCTV cameras have been installed in and outside the counting hall, while the strong room is being guarded by the CRPF round-the-clock.

An adequate number of police personnel have also been deployed for maintenance of law and order, the official said.

He said special seating arrangements have been made for the contesting candidates and their agents.

Owing to rising COVID-19 cases, all safety measures like wearing of masks, using sanitisers and following social distancing norms are being followed, he said.

For the first time, the administration extended the postal ballot voting services for senior citizens, people with disabilities, individuals who are under home or institutional quarantine, and doctors and paramedical staff deployed at COVID-19 hospitals.

LAHDC-Leh has a total of 30 seats and four councilors are nominated by the government.

Since the formation of the hill council in 1995, Congress had swept the polls thrice, while the Ladakh Union Territorial Front had won the elections in 2005.

The BJP wrested control of the council from the Congress for the first time by winning 18 out of 26 seats in the last elections.

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MI opt to bat against RR http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28751/mi-opt-to-bat-against-rr http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28751/mi-opt-to-bat-against-rr Sun, 25 Oct 2020 19:17:03 +0530 ]]>Mumbai Indians skipper Kieron Pollard won the toss and elected to bat first in their IPL game against Rajasthan Royals here on Sunday. Abu Dhabi | Mumbai Indians skipper Kieron Pollard won the toss and elected to bat first in their IPL game against Rajasthan Royals here on Sunday.

MI have made a solitary change from their playing XI against Chennai Super Kings, which they won by 10 wickets with Australian pacer James Pattinson coming in for compatriot Nathan Coulter Nile.

Rajasthan have retained their playing XI from the last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

MI skipper Rohit Sharma, who had missed the last game against CSK due to a left leg hamstring, continues to be on the bench.

The teams:

Rajasthan Royals: Robin Uthappa, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson(w), Jos Buttler, Steven Smith(c), Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Ankit Rajpoot, Kartik Tyagi.

Mumbai Indians : Quinton de Kock(w), Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard(c), Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah.

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CSK beat RCB by 8 wickets in IPL http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28750/csk-beat-rcb-by-8-wickets-in-ipl http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28750/csk-beat-rcb-by-8-wickets-in-ipl Sun, 25 Oct 2020 18:52:58 +0530 ]]>Chennai Super Kings beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight wickets in an Indian Premier League match here on Sunday. Dubai | Chennai Super Kings beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight wickets in an Indian Premier League match here on Sunday.

Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad blasted 65 off 51 balls as CSK chased down a target of 146, scoring 150 for 2 in 18.4 overs.

Opting to bat, Virat Kohli (50) smashed a 43-ball 50, while AB de Villiers also chipped in with a 36-ball 39 as RCB posted 145 for six in their stipulated 20 overs.

Sam Curran (3/19) was the most successful bowler for CSK with three wickets, while Deepak Chahar (2/31) took two and Mitchell Santner (1/23) claimed one.

Brief Score:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 145 for six in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 50; Sam Curran 3/19).

Chennai Super Kings: 150 for 2 in 18.4 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 65 not out; Yuzvendra Chahal 1/21).

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Onion price drop by up to Rs 10/kg in consuming mkts on govt action against hoarding http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28749/onion-price-drop-by-up-to-rs-10-kg-in-consuming-mkts-on-govt-action-against-hoarding- http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28749/onion-price-drop-by-up-to-rs-10-kg-in-consuming-mkts-on-govt-action-against-hoarding- Sun, 25 Oct 2020 18:49:44 +0530 ]]>Wholesale onion prices fell by up to Rs 10 per kg in key consuming markets such as Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai with increase in arrival of the perishable commodity after the government imposed stock limits on traders to check hoarding and price rise, government data showed. New Delhi | Wholesale onion prices fell by up to Rs 10 per kg in key consuming markets such as Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai with increase in arrival of the perishable commodity after the government imposed stock limits on traders to check hoarding and price rise, government data showed.

Onion prices showed a declining trend even in producing areas. For instance, in Lasalgaon in Maharashtra, Asia's largest wholesale onion market, onion prices dropped by Rs 5 per kg to Rs 51 per kg in just one day after the government's order on stock limits.

Among consuming markets, government data showed that wholesale onion prices in Chennai declined to Rs 66 per kg on October 24 from Rs 76 per kg on October 23.

Similarly, the rates in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Bhopal too fell by Rs 5-6 per kg to Rs 70 per kg, Rs 64 per kg and 40 per kg, respectively, in just one day, the data showed.

The prices dropped following some improvement in daily arrival of onion in these consuming markets.

According to the data, the daily arrival in Delhi's Azadpur mandi, the world's largest vegetable market, increased to over 530 tonnes, while it improved to 1,560 tonnes from 885 tonnes in Mumbai.

In Chennai, daily arrivals rose to 1,400 tonnes from 1,120 tonnes earlier. Similarly in Bengaluru, daily arrival in mandis rose to 3,000 tonnes from 2,500 tonnes.

However, in cities such as Luckdown, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Kolkata and Pune, the arrivals are yet to increase .

On October 23, the government had invoked the Essential Commodities Amendment Act and imposed stock limits of 2 tonnes for retailers and 25 tonnes for wholesalers till December 31 in order to check hoarding and cool down prices which have touched Rs 100/kg in some retail markets.

"The improvement in arrival shows that some traders were hoarding and have started offloading it on fear of action. The other reason is that onion is a perishable commodity and one cannot hold it for long, especially in areas facing heaving rainfall," a senior government official said.

The government has also taken several measures to boost domestic availability and check price rise. It has banned exports and relaxed norms for import of the commodity.

Besides, the government is releasing onion from its buffer stock in retail market and key mandis to provide relief to consumers from price rise.

Onion prices have come under pressure due to heavy rainfall in key growing states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh that has damaged the standing kharif crop, which is expected to hit mandis from next month.

The government is estimating about 6 lakh tonnes fall in onion production to 37 lakh tonnes this kharif season.

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Drass, adjoining areas experience season's first snowfall http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28748/drass--adjoining-areas-experience-season-s-first-snowfall- http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28748/drass--adjoining-areas-experience-season-s-first-snowfall- Sun, 25 Oct 2020 18:47:00 +0530 ]]>Ladakh's Drass, the second coldest inhabited place in the world, experienced the season's first snowfall on Sunday.  Kargil | Ladakh's Drass, the second coldest inhabited place in the world, experienced the season's first snowfall on Sunday.

It started snowing in Drass and its adjoining areas, including Zojilla pass and Mina-Marg along the 434-km Srinagar-Leh national highway, in the morning and so far two to four inches of snow has accumulated on the ground, officials said.             However, the traffic on the Srinagar-Leh national highway was progressing smoothly till last reports were received.              The early snowfall this year caused concern among the residents of Drass who said the winter stocking of essential commodities was not completed yet.

"The early closure of the Srinagar-Leh highway, the lifeline of Ladakh, might trigger scarcity of essentials as the outbreak of COVID-19 delayed the stocking operations this year,” Abdul Majeed, a resident of the area, said.              A government official said if weather permits, the administration would try its best to keep the highway open for a longer duration this time.

"Last year, the highway was closed on November 9 following snowfall but reopened and kept open till December 10. The process of stocking of essential commodities is continuing and every effort will be made to keep the highway open for a longer duration to provide enough time for the refilling of the stocks," he said.   He said the local administration would review the situation later and if the need arises, the traffic will be stopped on the highway.              "If the snowfall continues for the next few hours, we will be forced to stop traffic on the highway as a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incident due to slippery conditions," he said.

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Persistence pays: Scrap dealer's son clears medical entrance test in ninth attempt http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28747/persistence-pays--scrap-dealer-s-son-clears-medical-entrance-test-in-ninth-attempt http://www.english.metrovaartha.com/news/28747/persistence-pays--scrap-dealer-s-son-clears-medical-entrance-test-in-ninth-attempt Sun, 25 Oct 2020 18:29:09 +0530 ]]> Unlike other aspirants, cracking an all-India entrance exam for a medical college was not just a dream for 26-year-old Arvind Kumar but a way to give a befitting reply to people at whose hands his family faced humiliation for years. Kota (Raj) | Unlike other aspirants, cracking an all-India entrance exam for a medical college was not just a dream for 26-year-old Arvind Kumar but a way to give a befitting reply to people at whose hands his family faced humiliation for years.

A resident of Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar district, Arvind says he decided to become a doctor as his scrap dealer father, Bhikhari, was subjected to constant humiliation by villagers because of his work and name, which in English means a “beggar”.

However, the success did not come easy. He first appeared in 2011 for the All-India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT), now replaced by the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

Arvind says the success came only in his ninth attempt this year, in which he secured all-India Rank 11603. He bagged Rank 4,392 in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

Arvind says at any moment, he did not feel disheartened.

"I tend to convert negativity into positivity and extract energy and motivation from it," says Arvind.

He gives the credit of his success to his family, self-belief and consistent hard work. Arvind says his father, Bhikhari, had studied up to Class 5 while his mother Lalita Devi has never been to a school.

He grew up seeing his father facing humiliation just because of his unusual name. Leaving them behind, his father had to move to Jamshedpur's Tatanagar for work around two decades ago.

After some years, for better education of his three children, Bhikhari shifted his family from their village to Kushinagar town, where Arvind completed Class 10 with a mere 48.6 per cent marks.

He showed slight improvement in Class 12, scoring 60 per cent marks.

It was here that Arvind made up his mind to become a doctor to fulfil his father's wish.

Attempt after attempts continued for nine years without success.

"But improvement in marks at every attempt was a ray of hope that kept me concentrated at my goal," he says, adding that the change in the exam structure to NEET did disturb his preparation a bit.

He moved to a Kota institute in 2018 for coaching fearing that he may miss achieving his goal due to the age bar for the exam.

His father said over the phone from Jamshedpur's Tatanagar that he had to work 12 to 15 hours a day to meet expenses of his son's stay in Kota.

"I worked for 12 to 15 hours daily to earn enough to meet educational expenses of my children and would visit the family, around 800-900 km away in Kushinagar, once in six months for a brief period," Bhikhari says.

"My son Arvind has proved his commitment to the goal. I am very proud of him," he further says.

His brother Amit always motivated Arvind for improvement in marks at every attempt. It was Amit, who first suggested that he should move to Kota to take coaching there, the father says.

"I am happy and my family is proud of me that I am now going to be the first doctor in my village of around 1,500-1,600 people," says Arvind.

He still says villagers are threatening to trap his family in a criminal case to spoil his chances of getting a government job.

But Arvind says he is now hopeful of securing admission to a medical college in Gorakhpur and wants to become an orthopaedic surgeon.

"Even a minor bone injury hurts a lot. Increasing road accidents trouble me a lot so I just wish to serve people as an orthopaedic surgeon," he says. 

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