Home Blog

Govt says Covid data transparent, junks international media report | India News – Times of India

0


NEW DELHI: The Centre on Saturday said it has been transparent in Covid data management and has been urging states and Union Territories to maintain robust reporting mechanism for monitoring district wise cases and deaths on a daily basis.
Referring to an article published in Economist which claims that India has suffered “five-to-seven times” excess deaths than the official number, the government said the article — it did not name the publication — in the international magazine is “speculative” and without any basis.
It “seems to be misinformed” as it is relying on estimates that are not validated, non-peer reviewed studies and analysis by psephology groups like “Prashnam” and “C-Voter” that were never associated with public health research, the government said.
“By their own submission, the magazine states that ‘such estimates have been extrapolated from patchy and often unreliable local government data, from company records and from analyses of such things as obituaries’,” the health ministry said in a strongly worded rebuttal.
“The so called ‘evidence’ cited by the magazine is a study supposedly done by Christopher Laffler of Virginia Commonwealth University. An internet search of research studies in scientific database… did not locate this study and the detailed methodology of this study has not been provided by the magazine,” the ministry said.
Raising concerns over “unsound analysis” in the article, the government said it is based on “extrapolation of data without any epidemiological evidence”. “Studies used by the magazine are not validated tools for determining mortality rate of any country or region,” it said.





Source link

Alia Bhatt muses this favourite nursery rhyme; Remember how it begins? – Times of India

0


Actress Alia Bhatt is on a nostalgic ride lately. Silver painted skies, with sprays of grey, across a huge blue canvas is where the actress has been finding comfort lately. She took to her Instagram handle to share a silhouette of herself gazing at the evening blue sky and shared verses from the popular nursery school rhyme ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’.

Earlier, the actress was seen enjoying a happy lunch date with sister Shaheen Bhatt, her bestie Akansharanjan Kapoor and other buddies, as the lockdown restrictions have eased down. The ‘Raazi’ actress looked cute donning a baby pink sweatshirt teamed with black biker shorts and sneakers. Shaheen kept it stylish yet casual while Anushka donned a floral maxi dress.

On the work front, Alia was last seen in Mahesh Bhatt’s ‘Sadak 2’ alongside Aditya Rao Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt. She will soon be sharing screen space with Ranbir Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan and Mouni Roy for Ayan Mukerji’s ‘Brahmastra’. She is all set to make her debut in Telugu cinema with SS Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’ sharing screen space with Ram Charan. Apart from that she also has Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ in her kitty.



Source link

Biden mandarins twit India on human rights even as they talk up broader ties | India News – Times of India

0


WASHINGTON: Apprehensions in New Delhi that human rights and civil liberties issues will come to the fore in a Biden administration was vindicated this week when a senior US administration official expressed concern about recent actions of the Modi government that he said do not conform to the country’s democratic values.
“India remains the world’s largest democracy with a strong rule of law and independent judiciary and enjoys a strong and growing strategic partnership with the United States. However, some of the Indian government’s actions have raised concerns that are inconsistent with India’s democratic values,” Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Dean Thompson told a Congressional panel hearing testimony on democracy in the Indo-Pacific region.
“This includes increasing restrictions on freedom of expression and the detention of human rights activists and journalists,” Thompson told the sub-committee, adding the US regularly engages in and on these issues, including the important work of civil society.
Increased detention and prosecution of journalists and civil liberties activists in India is drawing attention of their counterparts in US who have found voice in the Biden administration after such issues were sidelined during the Trump era. Administration officials and lawmakers too have raised the issue tactfully and in context.
Although the panel heard testimony on poor human rights record in the region, including in China and Pakistan, India is held to a higher standard given its democratic credentials. Thompson told lawmakers the US has been concerned with civil liberties in countries of region, including restrictions on journalists in Pakistan and Bangladesh, but the same thing was now happening in India too, despite the country’s very vibrant press that reports very freely on its government.
Lawmakers also raised concern about the situation in Kashmir citing constituent inquiries. “Kashmir is one area where we have urged them to return to normalcy as quickly as possible, including we’ve seen some steps taken: The release of prisoners, the restoration of 4G access, things of that nature. There are other electoral steps we’d like to see them take and that we have encouraged them to do and will continue to do so,” Thompson told the panel.
The broader sentiment at the hearing though remained in favor of a strong US-India partnership particularly in the light of China’s belligerence, a view Thompson concurred with.
“We are, right now, through our global comprehensive strategic partnership with India looking at areas where we can work together to strengthen across the region the effects of the ability of countries to push back on malign influence and through the Quad initiative where we brought in Japan and Australia, as well,” Thompson told the panel.





Source link

Anupam Kher expresses gratitude to Mumbai government as he actively engages in a tree plantation campaign – Times of India

0


B’Town is actively participating in creating awareness about the importance of a clean and green environment. Speaking of which, we recently spotted Anupam Kher in town, getting engaged with a tree plantation activity.

The veteran actor took to his Instagram handle to share a video of himself planting a tree, and also penned a gratitude note for the Mumbai government. “Thank you @my_bmc #VishwasMote #MyBmcWardKW, residents of JVPD and members of the media for helping me adopt this tree. It is a great initiative to replace the fallen trees with planting new ones”

He also urged his fans and well wishers to take up the initiative. ‘My request to everyone to do the same all over the country. 🙏🌴🌳 #SwipeLeft #PlantTrees #SpreadAwareness’

Meanwhile on the work front, Anupam Kher had reportedly quit his American TV series after his wife was diagnosed with cancer. Sharing a health update about her illness, Anupam had shared, “Just so that rumours don’t get the better of a situation Sikandar and I would like to inform everyone that Kirron has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. She is currently undergoing treatment and we are sure she will come out of this stronger than before. We are very blessed that she is being looked after by a phenomenal set of doctors. She’s always been a fighter and takes things head on.”

The actor has many films like, ‘Saaransh’, ‘A Wednesday’, ‘M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story’, ‘Baby’, ‘Aiyaary’ and others to his credit.



Source link

2nd Test: Henry strikes as New Zealand eye England series win | Cricket News – Times of India

0


BIRMINGHAM: Matt Henry took three top-order wickets to leave New Zealand on the brink of a series-clinching win as England‘s batsmen failed miserably in the second and final Test at Edgbaston on Saturday.
England, on a good batting pitch, were 122-9 in their second innings at stumps on the third day — just 37 runs ahead of New Zealand with one wicket standing and two days left to play.
Even so, that still represented a recovery from an even more embarrassing 76-7.
Henry, one of an exceptional six changes to the New Zealand side that drew the first Test at Lord’s, took the first three wickets to fall en route to fine figures of 3-36 in 12 overs.
New Zealand are eyeing only a third series win in England after their 1986 and 1999 triumphs — an ideal way to prepare for their appearance in next week’s inaugural World Test Championship final against India at Southampton.
England are facing a first series loss on home soil in seven years since a 2014 reverse against Sri Lanka.
Their slim hopes of setting a challenging target rest with tailenders Olly Stone (15 not out) and James Anderson (nought not out), whose England record 162nd Test is unlikely to be one the pace great remembers fondly.
England were without injured all-rounder Ben Stokes and fast bowler Jofra Archer.
But, in England coach Chris Silverwood’s first match in charge of selection, they also decided to rest Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes against one of the best Test sides in the world.
Henry struck with just the second ball of England’s innings when opener Rory Burns, who made 81 first time around, was well caught in the slips for a duck by stand-in skipper Tom Latham.
New Zealand’s close-catching, far superior to England’s this series, also accounted for Dom Sibley (10), well-taken in the cordon by Daryl Mitchell off Henry.
Specialist batsmen Zak Crawley made 10 and Ollie Pope 23 as their run of low scores continued.
Dan Lawrence, who top-scored with 81 not out in England’s first innings, was powerless to prevent further collapse as he went for a duck, caught off left-arm quick Neil Wagner (3-18) by diving wicket-keeper Tom Blundell.
New batsman James Bracey at avoided a third successive nought in Test cricket but could only manage eight before he played on trying to sweep left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel.
Patel was well used by Latham, deputising as skipper for the injured Kane Williamson. The spinner then captured the prize wicket of Joe Root for 11 when the England captain and star batsman was caught behind off an edged cut.
England were now 76-7, still nine runs behind.
The slump was all the more humiliating as New Zealand had rested key seamer Tim Southee, with Patel and Blundell only playing after Mitchell Santner (cut finger) and BJ Watling (sore back) were injured.
Fast bowler Wood followed his first-innings 41 with a game 29 as he shared a stand of 44 with fellow quick Stone.
But a knock featuring five fours and a six ended when he skyed a pull off Wagner to Blundell.
England’s 120-8 promptly became 121-9 when Trent Boult had Stuart Broad lbw.
Earlier, Broad took an impressive 4-48 in 23.1 overs but New Zealand, still made 388 to lead by 85 runs on first innings.
Ross Taylor hit 80 — the third score in the 80s in the innings — after New Zealand resumed on 229-3, a deficit of 74.





Source link

Army begins inducting new specialized boats for Pangong Tso | India News – Times of India

0


NEW DELHI: The Army has finally begun to get initial deliveries of specialized boats for deployment at Pangong Tso, which comes amidst the continuing military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh.
The Army had inked two contracts for the specialized boats six-seven months ago. The first Rs 65 crore one was for 12 fast patrol boats, with advanced surveillance gear and other equipment, from defence PSU Goa Shipyard.
The second deal was for 17 troop-carrying, flat-bottom fibreglass boats from a private shipyard at Goa, which also supplies such vessels to the Navy. “These boats can swiftly transport around 20 soldiers from one location to another. The initial deliveries have begun,” said a source on Saturday.
The Indian and Chinese armies in February undertook successful troop disengagement from both sides of the Pangong Tso, the 134-km long lake, two-thirds of which is controlled by China as it extends from Tibet to India.
China, however, till now has refused to complete the stalled disengagement process at the remaining face-off sites in Hot Springs, Gogra and Demchok. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) also continues to block Indian patrols from going to their traditional Patrolling Points-10, 11, 11A, 12, and 13 in the strategically-located Depsang Plains area.
The Army had seven-eight years ago inducted 17 QRT (quick-reaction team) boats for patrolling the Pangong Tso, which is located at an altitude of 13,900-feet.
But after the stand-off erupted with China in eastern Ladakh in April-May last year, the urgent need was felt to further augment its capabilities to match the heavier Type-928B patrol boats being used by PLA there, as was reported by TOI earlier.
Both Indian and Chinese soldiers actively patrol their areas of Pangong Tso on foot as well as on boats during the summer months. Before the Army got the QRT boats, it used to be quite hamstrung by its then outdated slow-moving boats. The PLA often used to even disable the Indian boats by ramming into them with its heavier boats.





Source link

West Bengal FM says his voice ‘muzzled’ in GST Council meet, dissent not heard | India News – Times of India

0


NEW DELHI: West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra on Saturday alleged that his voice was “muzzled” during the GST Council meeting on Saturday and his opposition to levy taxes on Covid essentials like vaccines, masks, PPE kits and anti-viral drug Remdesivir, was not heard. Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur, however, countered Mitra’s charges saying that technical glitches marred West Bengal finance minister speech.
The 44th GST Council meeting, chaired by Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising state ministers, on Saturday slashed tax rate on Covid drugs such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumab as well as on medical oxygen, and oxygen concentrators but ignored demands for a reduction in taxes on vaccines.
In the evening, Mitra tweeted: “GoI-led the anti-people move & imposed GST on vaccine, mask, hand sanitizer, oxygen, PPE, oximeter, Covid test kit, Remdesivir, RT PCR machine..Since my voice ignored, I have recorded my dissent by letter. Unprecedented. Slow death of the only body of cooperative federalism”.

Mitra had suggested zero rating or 0.1 per cent GST on Covid essentials.
In the letter to Sitharaman, Mitra said the decision to continue to levy GST on Covid-related items is “anti-people” and “draconian” which will hurt millions of people.
“I tried my best to repeatedly raise my objection after your announcing this decision, but unfortunately, I was never given the floor and my voice was muzzled, as the Secretary brought the meeting to a close and the virtual link was cut off. Whither GST Council!” Mitra wrote.
Taking to twitter, Thakur said he would like to “set the record straight”, and went on to add that in his over two years of attending the GST Council, Sitharaman has never cut off anyone during the Council discussions.
“During the GST Council discussions today (June 12), it seemed as if the Finance Minister from West Bengal did not have a stable VC connection. Revenue Secy repeatedly informed him his line was breaking, that he was not properly audible & to turn off his video for better connectivity,” Thakur tweeted.
He said that during the speech made by the Uttar Pradesh finance minister, nobody heard Mitra speak, nor did he ask to have his opinion heard. “Other members can attest to this”.
“At the end of the discussion, when FM @nsitharaman ji asked the Council whether anyone would like to speak & add their comments, Dr Mitra ji again remained silent and did not speak up,” Thakur added.
Stating that Sitharaman has patiently given every speaker as much time as they needed, Thakur said “the Finance Minister has never stifled dissent in the GST Council. It is unbecoming of a senior member of the Council to suggest that this has happened. The GST Council embodies the collective spirit of all states towards debate in a healthy manner; it has been & shall continue”.
The Council cut to nil GST on Covid-19 drug Tocilizumab and black fungus medicine Amphotericin B, from existing 5 per cent. Hand sanitiser, pulse oximeters, BiPAP machine, testing kits, ambulances and temperature check equipment were among the 18 items on which GST rates were lowered.





Source link

‘One Earth, one health,’ PM Modi says in message to G7 summit | India News – Times of India

0


NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday gave the mantra of ‘One Earth, one health,’ in his virtual address to the outreach session of the G7 summit, now under way in England.
The Prime Minister’s message received immediate support from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to government sources.
Australian PM Scott Morrison referred to his discussions with PM Modi earlier about TRIPS waiver, and conveyed his strong support for the issue.
PM Modi will virtually address the summit again on Sunday.
The UK has outlined four priority areas for the summit — leading global recovery from Covid, promoting fair trade, tackling climate change and championing open societies.”
The G7 comprises of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
India, although not a G7 member, was invited to the summit by Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of host nation UK. Non-member countries Australia, South Africa and South Korea also received similar invitations.
PM Modi is not attending the summit in person in view of the pandemic situation in the country.
(With inputs from ANI)

FacebookTwitterLinkedinEMail





Source link

1st Test: Rabada rips through West Indies as South Africa seal innings win | Cricket News – Times of India

0


South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada took five wickets as the tourists cruised to victory over West Indies by an innings and 63 runs before lunch on day three of the first Test in Saint Lucia on Saturday.
West Indies followed their paltry first innings score of 97 by being bowled out for 162 in reply to South Africa’s 322, as the tourists’ seamers took advantage of a helpful wicket that had both variable bounce and plenty of seam movement.
SCORECARD: West Indies vs South Africa
Roston Chase, batting in an unfamiliar number four position, top-scored for the home side with a well-played 62, before he was bowled by left-arm spinner
Keshav Maharaj (2-23). No-one else managed more than 14 in the innings.
Rabada returned figures of 5-34 in West Indies’ second innings after fellow seamer Lungi Ngidi impressed with 5-19 in the first, providing food for thought for the hosts ahead of the second and final test that starts at the same venue on Friday.





Source link

Siddhant Chaturvedi’s ‘#DontRush’ moment has a ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ reference – Times of India

0


Bollywood actor Siddhant Chaturvedi is often seen treating his fans with happy moments and quirky posts on his social media handle.The actor, who is also known to write poems, often shares his musings on social media. Sharing a picture from his travel diaries, the actor wrote, ‘Main Udna chahta hun…par main baith gaya.🙇🏻‍♂️ #DontRush’

In the picture, Siddhant can be seen flaunting his toned abs, as he lazes on a mountain top. Basking in the sunlight, the ‘Gully’ boy actor is seen donning a radiating smile while he poses for the camera.

On the work front, Siddhant Chaturvedi will next be seen alongside Deepika Padukone and Ananya Panday for Shakun Batra’s untitled project. He will also be seen alongside Katrina Kaif and Ishaan Khatter for Gurmeet Singh’s ‘Phone Bhoot’. He also has a project alongside Malavika Mohanan titled ‘Yudhra’.

Some days ago, there were also reports about Siddhant being signed on for Zoya Akhtar’s next production although there has been no official announcement about the same. Reports suggest that Ananya Panday and ‘The White Tiger’ actor Adarsh Gourav will also star in the project.



Source link