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COVID weekly positivity rate for last 11 weeks is below 3%:Govt


Union Government on Thursday said that 34 districts in the country are reporting weekly positivity rate of over 10 per cent while it is between five to ten per cent in 32 districts.

Briefing media in New Delhi today, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, almost 68 per cent of total cases reported nationally are from Kerala and it has over 1.99 lakh active cases. He said, five other states – Mizoram, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have more than 10 thousand active cases.

Mr Bhushan said, the weekly positivity rate for last 11 weeks is below three per cent and 64 districts are still reporting above five per cent COVID positivity. He said, these are the districts of concern where COVID Appropriate Behaviour, vaccination, surveillance must be strictly monitored. Mr Bhushan said, number of active cases has come down to below 3.5 lakhs and country’s cumulative recovery rate is 97.64 per cent.

He said,20 per cent of India’s adult population have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine and 62 per cent have got at least one dose. Mr Bhushan stressed on vaccine acceptance, COVID Appropriate Behaviour, responsible travel and responsible festivities during the festive season.

The Secretary said, right now 3,631 Pressure Swing Adsorption, PSA Plants have been started in the country. He said, when these plants get commissioned, they will be able to make available more than four thousand 500 Metric Tonnes of Medical Oxygen.
Director-General of Indian Council of Medical Research Dr Balram Bhargava said, there has been some decrease in infections in Kerala and other states are also in the path of averting future surge. He said, however, festivals are approaching and sudden increase in population density creates a conducive environment for virus spread.

Member (Health) in NITI Aayog Dr. V. K. Paul said, in coming two to three months, everyone has to maintain caution against any upsurge of COVID cases and asked people to remain careful. Dr. Paul expressed happiness that a number of cases stabilising even in Kerala. But, he expressed concern over the situation in Mizoram.

Error-free rounds enable Honey Baisoya, Khalin Joshi to take joint halfway lead at J&K Open

Harpal Singh Bedi

Srinagar, 16 September Delhi golfer Honey Baisoya and Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi returned error-free rounds to share the halfway lead after round two of the J&K Open at the Royal Springs Golf Course in Srinagar.

Baisoya (67-69),, went error-free for the second straight day. His second-round three-under 69 took his tournament tally to eight-under 136. Joshi (69-67), also finding his groove with the putter, posted a flawless five-under 67 to join Baisoya at the top of the pack at the Rs. 40 lakh PGTI event.

Chandigarh’s Yuvraj Sandhu (72-65) followed up his first-round 72 with the joint lowest score of the second day, a seven-under 65, that propelled him 22 places to tied third at seven-under 137.

Olympian Udayan Mane (65-72), the first-round leader by two shots, slipped to tied third following his 72 . Ahmedabad’s Shravan Desai (69-68) was in a three-way tie in third place along with Yuvraj and Udayan.

The cut was declared at two-over 146 and 54 professionals made it to the last two rounds.

Honey Baisoya, a six-time winner on the PGTI, reaped the reward for keeping the errors out of his game for the second day running. He made three successive birdies on the 12th, 13th, and 14th and made pars on all the other holes.
The 25-year-old Honey said, “I was struggling with my putting prior to this event and I missed the cut in the last two events. So I changed my putter this week which seems to have made all the difference here in Srinagar as my putting has been the best part of my game on the first two days.

“I had a great stretch from the 11th hole onward today. I made a terrific par save on the 11th making an up and down from a tough lie. That kind of lifted me and helped me go on a birdie run over the next three holes.”

Khalin Joshi, a winner on the Asian Tour, began his day with birdies on his first two holes and carried forward the rhythm to finish with five birdies in all.

The 29-year-old Khalin, who had a top-20 the last time he played in Srinagar in 2014, said, “I’ve been striking it well but my putting wasn’t up there before this match. But I made some crucial putts today especially for par on the fourth and sixth.”

Yuvraj Sandhu was inspired playing alongside Indian golf legend Jyoti Randhawa as he struck a 65 hitting it close on most holes. He managed to retrieve a birdie on the 14th despite being in the bunker and staring at a difficult up and down.

Udayan Mane had four birdies on Thursday but his two bogeys and the double-bogey on the second made it a mixed day for him. Shravan Desai’s eagle-two on the third stood out in his round of 68 that placed him tied third.

Karnal’s Mani Ram also shot a 65, like Yuvraj, to record the lowest score of the day. He ended the day in tied sixth at six-under 138 along with Delhi-based Kshitij Naveed Kaul (68) Gurugram’s Veer Ahlawat (71) and Dhruv Sheoran (66).

Ahmedabad’s Anshul Patel made a hole-in-one on the second during his round of 67. He occupied tied 17th place at three-under 141.

PGTI Order of Merit leader Karandeep Kochhar (69) of Chandigarh and veteran Jyoti Randhawa (72) were both in tied 31st place at even-par 144.

Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa (73), the last winner at Royal Springs Golf Course, was in tied 48th at two-over 146.

All the professional and amateur golfers from J&K missed the cut.

Meanwhile, the PGTI conducted a golf clinic for trainees from the Govt of J&K’s Golf Academy at the Royal Springs Golf Course.The school kids and club members who attended the clinic were given valuable tips by leading Indian professional golfers Khalin Joshi, Aman Raj and Veer Ahlawat.

India, US share same zeal towards climate change: Power Minister


Union Power Minister RK Singh stated on Thursday that both India and the US have similar goals and share the same zeal towards climate change issues. Singh was addressing the US India Strategic Partnership Forum and industry leaders, in a Virtual Energy Industry Roundtable.

“We want to have a partnership which can be an inspiration to the rest of the world on the fight towards mitigating climate change. The industry plays a critical role in this partnership,” said Singh, according to an official Ministry of Power statement.

Mr Singh observed that India has set an ambitious target of having 175 Giga Watt capacity of Renewable Energy by 2022 and 450 Giga Watt Renewable Energy capacity by 2030. He said, India has reached 100 Giga Watt in Installed Solar and Wind Capacity and after adding Hydro capacity also, the total installed renewable capacity is 146 Giga Watt. He said, 63 Giga Watt of renewable capacity is under construction which makes India one of the fastest growing economies in terms of renewable capacity addition.

Talking about India’s vision on using Hydrogen as an energy use, India would be conducting competitive bids for green hydrogen in next 3 to 4 months to pave the road for viable usage of hydrogen as a fuel.

About the efforts of Indian Government in encouraging storage capacity Mr Singh said that to further support the integration of large renewable capacity, we have been working continuously to increase our Pumped Hydro Storage Capacity. In the near future, India will have bids to invite global and domestic manufacturers for developing battery storage in India on the cards. India will soon have bids for 4 thousand megawatt hour BESS bids and later will take up 12 gigawatt hour project in Ladakh. He further added that the world needs to come up with more number of eletrolyzers, battery storage facilities, etc to bring economies of scale in these technologies and make these commercially viable.

Virat Kohli to step down as T20 captain after World Cup

Ganguly says decision made keeping “the future roadmap” in mind

Harpal Singh Bedi

Virat Kohli on Thursday announced his decision to relinquish T20I captaincy after the World Cup in Oman and the UAE in October but made it clear that he will continue to be India’s Test and ODI captain.

There were speculations in the media that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was contemplating appointing a new captain for the shorter version of the game after the World cup but interestingly some of the top officials of the board had rubbished these reports.

Apparently, Kohli who has led Team India in all three formats has taken this decision to manage his workload. His decision also comes after the BCCI deciding to appoint M S Dhoni as the team’s mentor for the forthcoming T20 World Cup. Under Kohli, India has yet to win an ICC trophy.

Kohli made his T20I captaincy debut in the series against England in 2017,. In 45 T20Is, he led his side to 27 wins and 14 losses with two matches tied and two matches yielding no result,.

He is India’s second most successful skipper in the format after MS Dhoni. Under Kohli India won T20I bilateral series wins in South Africa (2-1) and England (2-1) in 2018 followed by New Zealand (5-0) and Australia (2-1) in 2020.

In a statement released from Dubai Kohli said “I have been fortunate enough to not only represent India but also lead the Indian Cricket Team to my utmost capability. I thank everyone who has supported me in my journey as the Captain of the Indian Cricket Team. I couldn’t have done it without them – the boys, the support staff, the selection committee, my coaches, and each and every Indian who prayed for us to win,”

“Understanding workload is a very important thing and considering my immense workload over the last 8-9 years playing all three formats and captaining regularly for last 5-6 years, I feel I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the Indian Team in Test and ODI Cricket. I have given everything to the Team during my time as T20 Captain and I will continue to do so for the T20 Team as a batsman moving forward.”

“Of course, arriving at this decision took a lot of time. After a lot of contemplation and discussions with my close people, Ravi Bhai and also Rohit, who has been an essential part of the leadership group, I’ve decided to step down as the T20 Captain after this T20 World Cup in Dubai in October. I have also spoken to the secretary Mr Jay Shah and the President of BCCI Mr. Sourav Ganguly along with all the selectors about the same. I will continue to serve Indian Cricket and the Indian Team to the best of my ability,” Kohli added.

Reacting to Virat Kohli’s decision, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said the decision was made keeping “the future roadmap” in mind.

“Virat has been a true asset for Indian Cricket and has led with aplomb,” he said. He is one of the most successful captains in all formats. The decision has been made keeping in mind the future roadmap. We thank Virat for his tremendous performance as the T20I Captain. We wish him all the best for the upcoming World Cup and beyond and hope that he continues to score plenty of runs for India.”Ganguly said in a BCCI media release.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah said he had been in talks with Kohli “for the last six months” over his workload. “I have been in discussions with Virat and the leadership group for the last six months and the decision has been thought through. Virat will continue to contribute as a player and as a senior member of the side in shaping the future course of Indian cricket.”

Through his official Twitter account, Kohli has thanked everyone who has supported him in his journey as the captain of the Indian team in all formats. He also said that he has given everything to the team as the T20I captain and will continue to contribute to the team as a batsman in the future

Centre to set up a water testing lab in all blocks by 2023: Jal Shakti Minister


Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said that target has been set by the Centre to set up a water testing lab in all blocks of the country by 2023. He said that so far over two thousand accredited labs have been set up. Talking to newspersons in Guwahati today, Mr. Shekhawat said that nearly 15,000 crore rupees have been given to North Eastern states under Jal Jeevan Mission. He expressed hope that Assam would achieve the target of households water tape connections before 2024.

The Minister said that the North Eastern states are doing well under Jal Jeevan Mission despite various constraints. Mr. Shekhawat added that six lakh women across the country were trained on how to test pure and safe drinking water. Earlier, he took part in a review meeting of all North Eastern PHE Ministers in Guwahati.

Series of steps had been taken during tenure of Narendra Modi as a CM in Gujarat: Amit Shah


Union Home and Co-operative Minister Amit Shah has said that a series of steps had been taken during the tenure of Narendra Modi as a Chief Minister in Gujarat to improve the law and order situation.

He said that computerization of all Police Stations, setting up of National Forensic Science University and Raksha Shakti University and launching of new companies of the State Reserve Police Force were the steps taken during that time.

He was speaking after inauguration and groundbreaking function of several new Police Stations in his Gandhinagar Lok Sabha Constituency today. The new Police Stations inaugurated through video conferencing are at Hansalpur, Kerala GIDC, Nalsarovar, Changodar and Sanand GIDC. He also inaugurated a Dog Squad Office at Telav near Ahmedabad. Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel also joined the event through video conferencing.

PM Modi inaugurates new defence complexes in Delhi

Says new defence complexes stand for New India

Staff Reporter

Inaugurating the Defence Offices Complexes in New Delhi today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said new defence complexes stand for new India and will strengthen Army.

Mr Modi said, modern infrastructure played an equally important role by focusing on ease of living and ease of doing business.

He emphasised this is the idea behind the work that is being done in the development of Central Vista.

The Prime Minister said, the work of Defense Offices Complex has been completed in a record time of only 12 months as against its scheduled completion in 24 months. He said, hundreds of workers got employment in the project during the COVID-19 period. Mr Modi said in the 75th year of independence, capital of the nation is being developed.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh highlighted that the modernisation of Armed Forces and Atma Nirbharta in Defence sector is due to the efforts of the Prime Minister.

Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri assured the Prime Minister that in next year the Republic Day parade will be at new Central Vista. Mr Puri also said next year the Parliament will function from the new building.

The new Defence Office Complexes are state-of-the-art and energy efficient, with comprehensive security management measures. The new Defence Office Complexes will accommodate around 7,000 officials of Defence ministry and Armed Forces, including Army, Navy and Air Force. The buildings will provide modern, secure and functional working spaces. An Integrated Command and Control Centre has been established for managing building operations.

Jahanvi shares lead with Lakhmehar after the second round in 9th leg of Hero WPG Tour

Harpal Singh Bedi

NOIDA, 16 September;: Jahanvi Bakshi returned 3-over 75 and that gave her a share of the lead with Lakhmehar Pardesi after two rounds in the ninth leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Noida Golf Course on Thursday.

Seher Atwal and amateur Sneha Singh carded creditworthy rounds of 2-over 74 each on a day when rains and heavy ground conditions made scoring difficult once again,.

Jahanvi Bakshi, who had 78 on the first day, totalled 9-over 153 after two days, the same as Lakhmehar (75-78), who had a tough day. Seher Atwal (80-74) was tied third alongside Hitaashee Bakshi (79-75) at 10-over 154.

Though the scores have been high due to tough and wet conditions, which included a long rain stop this morning, the close tussle will make it a battle of nerves. As many as six players are within two shots and they include the winners of the last two legs of the Hero WPG Tour.

Amateur Sneha Singh (81-74) improved by seven shots in her second round to get to 11-over 155 and she trailed the twin leaders by two shots. Sneha (81-74) was Tied-fifth with Trimann Saluja (77-78) and Shweta Mansingh was seventh (80-77).

Four players Saaniya Sharma, Siddhi Kapoor, and amateurs Avani Prashanth and Nishna Patel are tied for eighth place.

The top 18 pros and five amateurs made the cut which fell at 165. Some well-known names missing out included Suchitra Ramesh, Gauri Karhade, Mehar Atwal, and amateur Vidhatri Urs.

The final round on Friday will see Lakhmehar Pardesi and Jahanvi Bakshi go out with Seher Atwal, while one group will be Trimann Saluja, amateur Sneha Singh, and Hitaashee Bakshi.

Sports Ministry announces free registration for 2 lakh school students for Fit India Quiz


The Sports Ministry has announced free registration for two lakh school students for the Fit India Quiz. The first-ever nationwide quiz on sports and fitness, Fit India Quiz was launched on 1st of this month to create awareness about fitness and sports among school-going children. Making the quiz even more attractive for participants, every school will now be able nominate maximum two students for free for the quiz on the first cum first basis.

Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur made the announcement in this regard to increase fitness and sports awareness among school children. Mr Thakur said, the Fit India Quiz has been launched as part of the Fit India Movement envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The nation-wide quiz has a whopping 3 crore 25 lakh rupees as prize money with the National round telecast on Star Sports. Details of participating in the Fit India Quiz is available on the Fit India website.

229 fresh COVID cases registered in last 24 hours in Meghalaya


229 fresh COVID-19 cases were registered in the last 24 hours including 86 recoveries in Meghalaya. Directorate of Health Services informed that three COVID-related deaths were reported all from East Khasi Hills district and two of them were not vaccinated bringing the total fatalities to 1,370. The number of active cases in the state stands at 1,804 while the recovered number has reached 75,784.

The total confirmed COVID cases in the state have reached 78,958 and 14,33,775 people have been vaccinated out of which 10,52,417 have received the first dose and 3,81,358 have received the second dose.