The Hindu भारत
The Hindu. latest news, analysis, comment, in-depth coverage of politics, business, sport, environment, cinema and arts from India's national newspaper.
Arnab Goswami WhatsApp chats | Opposition demands inquiry - The Hindu
Akin to playing with national security and shows the hollowness of those in power, says Congress spokesperson
Days after the conversations between Republic TV promoter Arnab Goswami and the former CEO of the viewership ratings agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) Partho Dasgupta leaked into the public domain, Opposition leaders on Sunday said it merited a thorough inquiry since many of the issues raised in their conversations pertained to national security. The Whatsapp chats that have come out in the chargesheet of the Mumbai Police raise serious questions of national security. How financial frauds happened, involvement of officials in high positions, and some conversations even talked about buying judges and deciding portfolios for Ministers this is akin to playing with national security and shows the hollowness of those in power, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters at a press conference. Also read: TRP scam | Bombay High Court extends protection to Arnab Goswami, other ARG employees Since the chargesheet is over 1,000 pages, we are examining the document in detail and in the next 24 to 48 hours, our seniormost leadership will come before you and share our views as to why it requires a thorough investigation, he added. Former Union minister P. Chidambaram, who also held the Home portfolio apart from Finance under the United Progressive Alliance regime, asked if Mr. Goswami had prior knowledge of the February 2019 Balakot strikes. Did a journalist (and his friend) know about the retaliatory strike on Balakot camp three days before the actual strike? If yes, what is the guarantee that their source did not share the information with others as well, including spies or informers working for Pakistan? How did a For Your Eyes Only decision find its way to the government-supporting journalist? asked Mr Chidambaram. Mr. Goswamis WhatsApp chats with Mr. Dasgupta, who has been arrested by the Mumbai Police in the TRP (television rating point) scam, suggests that the Republic TV promoter had some prior information on a retaliatory strike by India after the Pulwama terror attack. On Pakistan the government is confident of striking in a way that people will be elated. Exact words used, reads one of the messages attributed to Mr. Goswami and now part of the Mumbai Polices chargesheet in the TRP scam. Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra tweeted (sic): Nation Needs to Know: Transcript of whatsap chats shows clearly Government gave prior information about both Balakot strikes & abolishing Article 370 to tv anchor What is going on? Am I the only one who thinks ModiShah owe us answers?
CBI arrests senior railways official in ₹1-crore bribery case - The Hindu
The agency is carrying out searches at 20 locations across the country
The CBI on Sunday arrested a senior Indian Railways Engineering Service (IRES) official for allegedly accepting bribe of 1 crore and carried out searches at 20 locations across the country, officials said. The agency took Mahender Singh Chauhan, a 1985-batch IRES official, into custody when he was allegedly receiving the bribe to extend favours in granting contracts of projects of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), they said. The official is posted at the NFR headquarters in Maligaon in Assam, they said. The agency has recovered the bribe money, they said. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is carrying out searches at 20 locations in Delhi, Assam, Uttarakhand and two other states, they said.
Security guard administered COVID vaccine admitted at AIIMS after developing allergic reaction - The Hindu
Officials said a few cases of AEFI were observed in some people who were administered the vaccine.
A security guard who was administered a shot of Covaxin at AIIMS in New Delhi on Saturday was admitted at the hospital after he developed an allergic reaction as part of severe adverse events following immunisation. According to AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, the security guard, in his 20s, at AIIMS who received the jab after 4 p.m., complained of palpitations and developed an allergic skin rash within 15-20 minutes after being inoculated and was admitted to the facility. He was immediately managed with appropriate treatment and he improved. He is stable. As a precautionary measure he has been admitted for overnight observation and his condition is being monitored. He is likely to be discharged in the morning, Dr. Guleria said. One severe and 51 minor cases of AEFI (adverse events following immunisation) were reported among healthcare workers who were administered the coronavirus vaccine in Delhi on the first day of the COVID-19 vaccination drive on Saturday, official figures showed. Against a target of 8,117 health workers to be vaccinated on the first day of the drive in 11 districts of Delhi, a total of 4,319 were administered the vaccine, the figures showed. Officials said a few cases of AEFI were observed in some people who were administered the vaccine. A few AEFI cases were reported but most were minor and the persons were normalised during observation period. Only one severe AEFI case was reported in South Delhi, said a top government official. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), any untoward medical occurrence which follows immunisation and does not necessarily have a causal relationship with the usage of the vaccine, is known as AEFI. Eleven cases of minor AEFI were reported from south and southwest districts, showed official data. The minor AEFI cases were reported from all districts except northeast and Shahdara districts, officials said. Administration of coronavirus vaccine started in Delhi at 81 centres across the city on Saturday. Each Centre was targeted to administer vaccines to 100 people (health workers).
Three days before Balakot, Arnab told ex-BARC chief ‘something big will happen’ - The Hindu
Transcript of WhatsApp messages between them, which is part of additional charge sheet filed by police probing TRP tampering case, reveals
Three days before the Indian Air Forces Balakot strike, Republic TV Editor Arnab Goswami told his friend and former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) CEO Partho Dasgupta something big will happen, indicating that he knew about the confidential military action, transcript of WhatsApp messages between the two, which is part of the supplementary charge sheet filed by the Mumbai Police investigating the TRP tampering case reveals. On February 26 2019, the IAF hit a Jaish-e-Mohammad training camp in Pakistans Balakot town. The government claimed that this was in response to the February 14 terrorist attack in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, where 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed after an explosive-laden car driven by a suicide bomber rammed into their bus. TRP scam | Bombay High Court extends protection to Arnab Goswami, other ARG employees At 10 p.m. on February 23, three days before the Balakot strike, the conversation begins with Mr. Goswami boasting about Republic TV bagging then Home Minister Rajnath Singhs first-ever interview after the Pulwama incident. Mr. Goswami during a conversation texted to Mr Dasgupta, On another note something big will happen. To which Mr. Dasgupta asked, Dawood?. Mr. Goswami responded, saying, No sir Pakistan. Something major will be done this time. Mr. Dasgupta, in response, said that its good for big man in this season and that he will sweep polls then. The 2019 general election was just a few months away. Mr. Dasgupta pressed for further clarity, asking Mr. Goswami, Strike? Or bigger. And Mr. Goswami responded, saying that it would be bigger than a normal strike. Then he went on to add, And also at the same time something major on Kashmir. On Pakistan the government is confident of striking in a way that people will be elated. Exact words used. The Congress party, did not hold an official press conference on the issue, but few senior leaders have raised questions on this conversation. Party spokesperson and senior supreme Court lawyer Abshishek Manu Singhvi said, Arnab's chats dated 23.02.2019 refer to sharing of Intel reaction along the Pak border. It means someone very senior in Govt is leaking highly confidential info which may endanger the lives of our soldiers and so that mercenary considerations can add to TRPs. Party general secretary and Assam in charge Jitendra Singh in a tweet called it a major breach of national security. Arnab Goswami is not only the mouthpiece of the government but has access to defence secrets as if he was the Chief of Army Staff himself. This is a major breach of national security. Furthermore people will be elated just goes to show the intent of the BJP behind the attacks, he tweeted.
This is a wonderful time to work on black holes: astrophysicist Parameswaran Ajith - The Hindu
The cosmic bodies have come out of their historical isolation to take centrestage in modern astrophysics, says the recipient of the inaugural young scientist award instituted by The World Academy of Sciences
Parameswaran Ajith, 40, a Bengaluru-based astrophysicist who specialises in the study of detecting gravitational waves, was chosen as the first recipient of The World Academy of Sciences-Chinese Academy of Sciences (TWAS-CAS) Young Scientist award for Frontier Science. He talks about his prize, the excitement of black holes, and about how he chose to become a scientist. Excerpts: The award citation says you have ...pioneered a method to model the expected gravitational-wave signals from colliding binary black holes. In laymans terms, could you explain the principle of this method? Is it the only method for detecting wave signals or is it part of an algorithm of detection? Detecting weak gravitational-wave signals buried in the detector noise is a quintessential needle in a haystack problem. The best way to find such signals is to compare the data with theoretical models of the expected signals, using a technique called matched filtering. Indian scientists, led by Sanjeev Dhurandhar, have done pioneering work in adapting this technique to gravitational-wave data analysis. Calculating these theoretical signal models requires modelling their astrophysical source (for example, two black holes orbiting each other due to their gravity and finally colliding). This involves solving the Einstein equations (the equations of Einsteins theory of gravity, the General Theory of Relativity) which are an extremely difficult set of equations to handle. There are approximation methods to solve these equations analytically. Contributions from Indian scientists such as Bala Iyer were seminal in this. Unfortunately, these methods break down as the black holes come close to each other during their final collision. Luckily, by around 2005, researchers managed to solve this binary black-hole problem using large supercomputers. The phenomenological method that we developed provides a simple way of marrying the analytical calculations with supercomputer simulations. This can be used to produce accurate models of the expected gravitational-wave signals. Indeed, this is not the only method for creating such theoretical models the effective-one body framework developed by Alessandra Buonanno and Thibault Damour also offers a theoretically elegant way of achieving the same. How did you get into astrophysics and black holes? I grew up in rural Kerala; I dont think I ever met a scientist before I went to college. However, almost everyone in my family was a teacher. There was also an active village library and a vital presence of peoples science organisations like the Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishad. These must have instilled a culture of books. Also, the pressure of the (public) education system was not so large and one could still pursue ones interests. I ended up in my career through a series of accidents. While I liked physics, I had other interests too. In college, I had almost made up my mind to study cinematography. It didnt work out, and I ended up joining Mahatma Gandhi University for my masters. There I had some wonderful teachers and peers who exposed me to the world of academic research. I was supposed to work on a summer project in another field, which didnt work out. My teacher Prof. Indulekha then recommended my name to Prof. Dhurandhar, a doyen in the field of gravitational wave research in India. After this exposure, I guess I never seriously considered another career option! Is this the best time to be an astrophysicist, and how do you see your field evolving? My favourite quote on this is by Caltechs Rana Adhikari: When I was a student, my advisors used to tell me that this is the right time to work in this field. I tell this to my students too. But this time, I mean it. Jokes apart, this is a fantastic time to work in astrophysics. Astronomical observations in the last two decades have uncovered major gaps in our understanding of the universe, such as the presence of the enigmatic dark energy that constitutes 70% of the energy budget of the universe. The age-old puzzle of dark matter remains unsolved. These are just two examples of the fundamental questions that modern astrophysics seeks to address. A wealth of upcoming observational data and sophisticated computer modelling has the potential to address these. Gravitational-wave observations will play a major role in this enterprise, along with electromagnetic and neutrino observations. I read that one of your post-doctoral advisers was Nobel laureate Kip Thorne, who made a huge cultural impact as scientific consultant for the movie Interstellar. Have you worked alongside him? What was it like? Kip Thornes research group was a wonderful ecosystem, involving researchers from a variety of expertise and age groups. His group meetings were fun and intellectually stimulating. He would start by writing everyones names on the blackboard. My surname is difficult but never once did he make a mistake! There were all kinds of rumours about the movie Kip was making, but he was quite good at keeping it to himself. I remember one of the earlier storylines involved LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) detecting gravitational waves from extra dimensions. In 2016, the announcement of the detection of gravitational waves was the biggest scientific event of the year. You were among the 1,000-odd scientists who were part of LIGO and contributed to this discovery. How did you come to be associated with LIGO? The LIGO Scientific Collaboration involves scientists from over 100 institutions and 18 countries. I joined the Collaboration in 2004, when while I was a Ph.D student at Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Germany. This group built and operated the gravitational-wave detector GEO600 in Hanover. Although this is a small-scale detector (only 600 metres long!), this is where many key technologies for advanced LIGO were developed. The first part of my Ph.D thesis was on developing methods to distinguish between real gravitational wave signals and transient noise events that mimic real signals in GEO. Slowly, I branched out to the analysis of LIGO data and to the theoretical work on developing models of expected gravitational-wave signals. Since the 2016 detection of colliding black holes, several other such mergers have been detected. How has this changed our ideas about black hole formation, or the history of the early universe? To start with, these observations provided the first direct evidence of binary black hole collisions. They have also uncovered a new population of heavy black holes. Over the last few decades, X-ray observations have identified several small black holes in our own galaxy most of them weighing less than 10 times the mass of the Sun. However, most of the black holes detected are much more massive about 30 to 100 solar masses. This was a big surprise to most astronomers. It is still not entirely clear how nature is producing these heavy black holes. Most astrophysicists believe they are produced by the death (gravitational collapse) of really massive stars. But some cosmologists argue that these could be the much-speculated primordial black holes black holes produced by the collapse of extremely dense regions in the early universe. If the latter is true, it would be a ground-breaking discovery. However, the jury is still out. We need many more observations to decide one way or the other. The collisions of black holes appear to be cataclysmic events. Are they rare events? Is it even theoretically possible for a merger between two blackholes to be felt strongly, like an earthquake, on earth? Yes, these cataclysmic events are very rare the rate of such collisions happening in one galaxy is much less than 1 per million years. So, it is very unlikely that our galaxy has hosted such an event in the whole history of the human race. Even if this happens, its effect is much weaker than that of an earthquake for example, this could shake your dining table by the size of an atomic nucleus. Gravitational-wave observatories overcome this difficulty by making extremely precise detectors, which can detect such mergers happening in billions of galaxies in our cosmic neighbourhood. We also had images of a real black hole broadcast globally in 2019. Do you think these have significantly heightened public interest in black holes? Are they drawing in more students, Ph.Ds, in India for research? Oh, yes! Black holes have always captured the public imagination; but the breakthroughs by LIGO and the Event Horizon Telescope have definitely enhanced this. So did the recent Nobel prize. Apart from this general excitement, this is actually a wonderful time to work on black holes. Black holes have come out of their historical isolation, as objects of only mathematical interest, and are now taking centre stage in modern astrophysics. Finally, theoretical calculations, astronomical observations and supercomputer simulations are going hand-in hand in the exploration of black holes. Young students are surprisingly perceptive of these opportunities. In India, the upcoming LIGO-India project has added to this excitement. In fact, the Indian LIGO community is unable to handle all the students who are interested in working with us we are mentor-limited at this point. How far has India progressed on LIGO-India, or the local arm of the LIGO interferometer? Has the pandemic impacted it? LIGO-India is in the construction phase now. The land acquisition has been completed and the required research and development is ongoing in the partner institutions. It is indeed a challenging project, and will take several years to complete. Like everything else, COVID-19 related delays are likely to impact the timeline. However, the project is very fortunate to have the support of LIGO-USA and the international LIGO collaboration. With timely support from funding agencies and goodwill of the Indian scientific community, I am confident that it will be successful. The pandemic has resulted in the closure of several research institutes and consequently all research work, unless connected to COVID-19 and healthcare, has come to a halt. Has it been the case in your field too? The pandemic did affect all the major observatory operations. For instance, the third observing run of LIGO and Virgo (another interferometer) had to be prematurely suspended in March 2020. The start of the next observing run will also be postponed. However, the forced isolation and the reduction in administrative responsibilities have given many researchers especially those who dont require labs for their work a chance to focus more on their research. In fact, in areas such as astrophysics, there is a surge in the number of papers written during COVID-19. In our group, we tried to stick together as much as possible by conducting all academic activities through video conferencing. We were productive and ended up working overtime! However, this is not a sustainable situation. Personal interaction is essential for academic research. I hope that some normalcy will return soon. How did you decide to set up a lab in India? Are there advantages and disadvantages to working here? Returning to India was a personal preference. Although I love to travel, Ive never felt I belonged anywhere abroad. Working in India has its disadvantages the red-tapism, for instance. The whole bureaucratic system is designed to promote mediocrity. However, it also presents its share of opportunities. Since we are a developing society with high aspirations, given the right support, one is able to be part of change sometimes even be part of its driving force. I was fortunate to find my professional home in a unique institution the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences at TIFR, Bengaluru. We are a young institution with high aspirations and a keen sense of responsibility with regard to our scientific community and the wider society. My wonderful colleagues both academic and administrative make my work enjoyable. [email protected]
Vaccine dilemma: to take or not to take Covaxin - The Hindu
Is it ethical to offer one healthcare worker the Covaxin whose efficacy is unknown and another healthcare worker the Covishield whose efficacy is known even though both face the same risk of infection at work?
As Indias largest vaccination drive using two COVID-19 vaccines is all set to begin on January 16, healthcare workers, who are the first to receive the vaccine, will have no option to choose one vaccine over the other. The same rule applies to other high-risk groups that would get the vaccine on priority. Addressing a press conference on January 12, the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said: At many places in the world, more than one vaccine is being administered, but at present, in no country, vaccine recipients have the option of choosing the shots. True, in the U.S., vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna are available and recipients, who are healthcare workers and nursing home residents, have no option to choose the vaccine. In the U.K. too people will either receive a Pfizer vaccine, Moderna or AstraZenecas but cannot choose one over the other. But the similarities of not providing the recipients the option to choose a vaccine, be it in the U.S., the U.K. or India end there. What the Health Secretary did not mention is that the safety and efficacy data used by the regulators in India, the U.S., and the U.K. to grant an emergency use approval are very different. While people in India will have to take a particular vaccine without knowing its efficacy and interim safety, efficacy from phase-3 trials are known for Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines that people in the developed countries get. The difference The emergency use approval granted by the U.S. FDA to Pfizer and Moderna and by the U.K. regulator to three vaccines Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have been based on interim safety and efficacy data from large phase-3 trials with median follow-up of at least two months after the second dose. While both Pfizer and Moderna have nearly identical efficacy of 95%, the efficacy of AstraZeneca vaccine is 62% even when standard dose for the first and second dose is considered, which is more than 50% required for approval. In contrast, the Indian regulator issued restricted use approval for the Pune-based Serum Institutes Covishield based on safety and immunogenicity tested in India on a small number of participants and safety and efficacy data from large trials of over 24,000 participants in Brazil, South Africa and the U.K. The bridging study did not require Serum Institute to test the efficacy of Covishield in India but rely on efficacy data from trials done outside India. The restricted use approval was granted to the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotechs Covaxin even in the absence of any efficacy data. The approval was solely based on a small number of participants studied during phase-1 and phase-trials; vaccine efficacy is studied only during a phase-3 trial. In addition, Covaxin has been greenlighted in a clinical trial mode as a matter of abundant precaution, with no clarity on whether medical care in case of adverse events and compensation would be provided, and informed consent has to be taken from the recipient before immunisation. There are no such conditions or riders in the case of Covishield. Hence, is it correct to compare the situation in India with other countries using vaccines with interim safety and efficacy levels known? According to the Union government, vaccine sites will offer either Covishield or Covaxin in order to avoid providing recipients the option to choose one vaccine over the other. Since COVID-19 vaccination is not compulsory, people walking into a site that provides only Covaxin can choose not to get vaccinated. But is it ethical to offer one healthcare worker the Covaxin whose efficacy is unknown and another healthcare worker the Covishield whose efficacy is known even though both face the same risk of infection at work? This situation could have been avoided if the government had waited for few more weeks for the efficacy data of Covaxin to become available before granting it restricted use approval, says the Bhopal-based Anant Bhan, a researcher in global health and bioethics. They could have begun vaccinating with Serums Covishield and added Covaxin after approving it based on efficacy data. Will healthcare workers and others who have refused to get vaccinated with Covaxin be offered another chance to get the vaccine on priority when data becomes available showing the vaccine has at least more than 50% efficacy, as initially stipulated by the Indian regulator for approval? Likewise, if Covaxin is found to have less than 50% efficacy, will everyone who has been immunised with this vaccine be offered Covishield or another highly efficacious vaccine? Informed consent People at the vaccine sites offering Covaxin are required to take an informed consent from each recipient before immunisation. Good consent also requires time. Some may want a days time to think over before consenting. Will this be allowed or will the person be compelled to give his/her consent then and there? asks Dr. Bhan. Or will people be informed in advance which vaccine they would be getting in order to avoid delay in getting the informed consent? Even then, who will explain the details of the vaccine prior to taking an informed consent from healthcare workers and has the time taken for this process factored in? Apparently, the vaccine dry-run conducted across many States has not tested these. State governments will decide which vaccine goes to which sites. But how can States ensure the allocation of healthcare workers to sites, particularly those that offer Covaxin, is done without bias? There has to be fairness either random allocation or something to that effect. It could also be those who are willing to take Covaxin under clinical trial mode are assigned to sites offering the vaccine, says Dr. Bhan. According to The Print, a few States have already said they would use Covishield as the default option and Covaxin as a buffer stock.
Washington Sundar set to make his Test debut against Australia - The Hindu
Washington Sundar is all set to make his Test debut when the series decider gets underway at the ‘Gabba’, Brisbane on Friday.Both teams are locked 1-1 in what has been a dramatic series of fortune swi
Washington Sundar is all set to make his Test debut when the series decider gets underway at the Gabba, Brisbane on Friday. Both teams are locked 1-1 in what has been a dramatic series of fortune swings so far. India, though, has been hit by a spate of injuries. R. Ashwin, during his heroic match-saving knock in Sydney, grappled with a sore back which makes him a doubtful starter in what is a back-to-back Test at the Gabba. And then, the in-form Ravindra Jadeja is already out of the Test with a dislocated finger. A success story in Twenty20 cricket for India so far, the lanky Washington has a fair record in first class cricket with 532 runs and 30 wickets in 12 matches. His highest score of 159 came at the top of the order for Tamil Nadu and he is used to bowling long spells for Tamil Nadu with his off-spin in the absence of R. Ashwin. The 21-year-old Washington stayed back with the Indian team as a net bowler in Australia following the limited over series. His work ethics, ability, and a spate of injuries in the Indian camp has opened the path for him in Test cricket. Washington could provide the balance to the line-up in the absence of Jadeja. He could bat usefully - he has this languid left-handed elegance about him - and bowl with his off-spinners with control. If Ashwin is unfit and misses out, Washington will come in for him. Or if the think-tank plays Ashwin, given the significance of the occasion, Washington would be a cover for the senior all-rounder in the eleven. Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav is an attacking option but playing Kuldeep for Jadeja will weaken the batting and make the tail very long. So the spin combination could be Ashwin and Washington, or, if the former is not fit, Washington and Kuldeep. The Gabba is among the most lively surfaces in Australia and India would have to pick either Shardul Thakur or T. Natarajan for the injured Jasprit Bumrah, if the think-tank decides against risking the pace ace. Shardul has greater experience but Natarajan provides the pace attack with an additional dimension - the left-armers angle. Otherwise there would be a right-handed sameness about the pace Indian attack. This much is, however, clear. Washington is poised to make his Test debut.
Electric vehicle major Tesla gets an India address - The Hindu
As per an RoC filing, Vaibhav Taneja, Venkatrangam Sreeram and David Jon Feinstein have been named as directors of Tesla’s India subsidiary.
A letter from the Editor Dear subscriber, Thank you! Your support for our journalism is invaluable. Its a support for truth and fairness in journalism. It has helped us keep apace with events and happenings. The Hindu has always stood for journalism that is in the public interest. At this difficult time, it becomes even more important that we have access to information that has a bearing on our health and well-being, our lives, and livelihoods. As a subscriber, you are not only a beneficiary of our work but also its enabler. We also reiterate here the promise that our team of reporters, copy editors, fact-checkers, designers, and photographers will deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda. Suresh Nambath
Coronavirus | No option to select between Covishield and Covaxin, says Union Health Secretary - The Hindu
Vaccine rollout starts on January 16.
People would not have the option of making a choice between the two available COVID-19 vaccines Covishield and Covaxin when the rollout starts on January 16, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said at a press conference on Tuesday. The Union government, he said, had agreed to procure 110 lakh Covishield doses from the Serum Institute of India (SII) at 200/dose and 55 lakh doses of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech (BBIL), of which 38.5 lakh doses is priced at 295/dose. BBIL would provide 16.50 lakh doses of Covaxin free of cost to the Central government as a special gesture. Four other COVID-19 vaccines were under trial currently in the country and that it had so far received 54,72,000 doses of the vaccine to be distributed, while 100% doses to be received by 14th Jan in all States/UTs. Encouraging environment Our expectations from the States/UTs is that all logistics should be ready from January 16 and there should be continuous oversight and personal involvement in the entire process of roll-out. Also, there should be special focus on communication activities and utilisation of all types of channels to create an encouraging environment, said Mr. Bhushan. Vaccines would first reach four major depots in Karnal, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai, with all States having at least one State-level regional vaccine store. Uttar Pradesh has nine, Madhya Pradesh four, Gujarat four, Kerala three, J&K two, Karnataka two and Rajasthan has two, said Mr. Bhushan. Indian Medical Council of Research (ICMR) head Dr. Balram Bhargava spoke about the vaccine regime that would be followed. There will be a gap of 28 days between two doses and the effectiveness begins 14 days after the second dose. During the vaccination process and after that also, COVID-19 appropriate behaviour is a must. They are safe Member (Health) Niti Aayog Dr. V.K. Paul said the two vaccines available in India were safe and that there should not be any doubt about this. They have been tested on thousands of people and the side-effects are negligible. All the vaccines in the world used currently against COVID-19 have been cleared under the emergency-use framework. As we go ahead, we will have more options. India has also been able to get these vaccines at very competitive prices, he stated. Mr. Bhushan noted that the situation was worrisome across the world with cases graphs still climbing in the U.S., the U.K., Brazil and South Africa. In India, 12,584 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours and active cases continue to decline and it is now less than 2.2 lakh. Only two States currently have more than 50,000 active cases Maharashtra and Kerala, he added.
How different is Signal from WhatsApp? - The Hindu
WhatsApp’s rival messaging app Signal gained recognition as WhatsApp users looked for alternative apps. Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s tweet encouraging users to switch to Signal also gave an extra lift.