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The Indian Awaaz (theindianawaaz.com) is a fast growing English news website based in New Delhi. Website covers Politics, Economy/Business, Entertainment, Health, Education, Technology, Fashion, Lifestyle, Stock Market, Commercial issues and much more. It has separate sections in Hindi and Urdu too.

Karnataka minister Ramesh Jarkiholi resigns following leak of a sex CD

WEB DESK

Karnataka Minister for Major and Medium Irrigation Ramesh Jarkiholi resigned from Cabinet on Wednesday, a day after allegations of him seeking sexual favours from a woman in return for a government job emerged.

A CD allegedly containing recordings of his intimate moments with the woman was submitted to Bengaluru police by an activist on Wednesday.

Mr Jarkiholi has sent his resignation letter to the Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and stated that he was resigning from the post to save the party from embarrassment and that he should be reinstated once proven innocent. He has described the allegations as far from true.

There had been protests by opposition parties since Tuesday demanding his resignation.

Earlier in the day his brother and BJP leader Bakakrishna Jarkiholi met the Chief Minister and sough a CBI inquiry into the incident.

Mr. Jarkiholi led the team of 17 MLAs from the Opposition parties who switched to the BJP from the Congress, which eventually led to the fall of the Congress–JD(S) coalition government and formation of the BJP government.

Besides the party he quit, a large number of BJP old timers too were not comfortable with Mr. Jarkiholi’s instant political growth.

Covaxin 81% Effective in preventing Covid, Claims Bharat Biotech

Bharat Biotech said “analysis from the National Institute of Virology indicates that vaccine-induced antibodies can neutralise the UK variant strains and other heterologous strains”

WEB DESK

Bharat Biotech, a global leader in vaccine innovation, developing vaccines for infectious diseases, today announced the first interim analysis of its BBV152 (COVAXIN®). The whole virion inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate demonstrated an interim vaccine efficacy of 81% in its Phase 3 clinical trial. The trials involved 25,800 subjects, the largest ever conducted in India, in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research.

The company said its initial analysis was based on 43 trial participants getting coronavirus, of whom 36 had not received the vaccine. Interim analysis also showed that severe, serious, and medically attended adverse events occurred at low levels and were balanced between vaccine and placebo groups, Bharat Biotech said. The company also said it planned further interim analysis for 87 cases and a final analysis for 130. This data has yet to be peer-reviewed.

“Today is an important milestone in vaccine discovery, for science and our fight against coronavirus. With today’s results from our Phase 3 clinical trials, we have now reported data on our COVID-19 vaccine from Phase 1, 2, and 3 trials involving around 27,000 participants.

COVAXIN® demonstrates high clinical efficacy trend against COVID-19 but also significant immunogenicity against the rapidly emerging variants,” said Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Biotech.

BBV152 contains a whole virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, which is produced in Vero cells. It is stable at 2 to 8°C (refrigerated) and is shipped in a ready-to-use liquid formulation that permits distribution using existing vaccine supply chain channels. BBV152 has a 28-day open vial policy as a unique product characteristic, thus reducing vaccine wastage by approximately 10-30%.

BBV152 is based on an established manufacturing platform with a better safety profile when compared to other vaccine platforms. The inclusion of the Algel-IMDG adjuvant enhances T-cell immune responses to COVID-19, leading to long-term protection.

“I want to thank every one of the participants, who volunteered to participate in this vital clinical trial, our partners, principal investigators across 25 study sites, and our team at Bharat Biotech who dedicated their time to this vaccine discovery,” said Mrs. Suchitra Ella, Joint Managing Director, Bharat Biotech. “We could not have achieved this public-private partnership milestone without the relentless commitment of those involved.”

Interim Phase 3 Results: 81% Efficacy

The Phase 3 study enrolled 25,800 participants between 18-98 years of age, including 2,433 over the age of 60 and 4,500 with comorbidities. The primary endpoint of Phase 3 clinical trial is based on the first occurrence of PCR-confirmed symptomatic (mild, moderate, or severe) COVID-19 with onset at least 14 days after the second study vaccination in serologically negative (to SARS-CoV-2) adult participants at baseline.

The first interim analysis is based on 43 cases, of which 36 cases of COVID-19 were observed in the placebo group versus 7 cases observed in the BBV152 (COVAXIN®) group, resulting in a point estimate of vaccine efficacy of 80.6%.

The interim analysis included a preliminary review of the safety database, which showed that severe, serious, and medically attended adverse events occurred at low levels and were balanced between vaccine and placebo groups. The trial’s conduct and monitoring are as per Good Clinical Practice guidelines and have been outsourced to IQVIA.

Analysis from the National Institute of Virology indicates that vaccine-induced antibodies can neutralize the UK variant strains and other heterologous strains, which has been published in bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.01.26.426986

Bharat Biotech expects to share further details of the trial results as additional data become available. An additional interim analysis is planned for 87 cases, and the final analysis is planned for 130 cases. All data from the second interim and final analyses will be shared via pre-publication servers as well as submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.

More than 40 countries globally have expressed their interest in COVAXIN®. These countries are highly satisfied with the safe, inactivated vaccine technology and robust data package for safety and immunogenicity.

DELHI MCD BY POLLS: AAP wins 4 wards, Congress bags 1

AMN

Aam Aadmi Party wins four wards while Congress bags remaining one in Delhi Municipal Corporation by-polls.

AAP registered victory in Kalyanpuri, Shalimar Bagh North, Trilokpuri and Rohini-C wards. Congress won Chauhan Banger seat in East Delhi Municipal Corporation.

In Kalyanpuri, AAP’s Dhirender Kumar won by 7,043 votes and AAP’s Vijay Kumar defeated BJP’s Om Prakash by a margin of 4,986 votes in Trilokpuri. In Shalimar Bagh, AAP’s Sunita Mishra defeated Surbhi Jaju of the BJP by 2,705 votes. The seat was earlier held by the BJP. Ram Chander of the AAP defeated BJP candidate Rakesh Goyal by 2,985 votes in Rohini-C ward.

“I congratulate Delhi and our party workers. These results are a proof that people have shown trust in us, and the good work we have done. People have got so exasperated with the BJP in 15 years, they’ve given the party a zero. All around the city, the (BJP-ruled) Municipal Corporation of Delhi is responsible for the mess,” the Chief Minister Kejriwal said.

“Today’s results predict what will happen next year. To our winning candidates, I will say, please stay humble. We’re waiting for an opportunity to clean Delhi,” he added.

In a tweet, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had congratulated his party and wrote: “Congratulations to the Aam Aadmi Party workers on winning 4 out of 5 seats in the MCD by-election. People of Delhi are fed up of the BJP’s rule. In next year’s MCD election, people will vote for @ArvindKejriwal’s honest politics.”

The BJP – a relatively weak opposition in the Delhi Assembly – has been controlling all three of the national capital’s municipal bodies after the 2017 victory.

The bypolls, however, saw the AAP scoring an impressive win.

The AAP had controlled four of these five seats that were vacated after the sitting councillors were elected as MLAs. The fifth was held by the BJP’s Renu Jaju, who died in 2019. The two parties had traded accusations of improper development in the city.

“We honour the mandate given by people. Losing Shalimar Bagh North is a matter of introspection. The shortcomings will be removed and I am sure BJP will win the elections for three municipal corporations in 2022,” said Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta. Responding to the results, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar today told reporters: “I just want to say… whoever had the seat got it back.”

Boxing: Kaushik, Husamuddin record easy wins on way to quarters at Boxam International Tournament


Harpal Singh Bedi / New Delhi

The World Championships bronze medallist Manish Kaushik (63Kg) and  Mohammed Husamuddin (57kg)  chalked out easy victories over their rivals to storm into the quarter finals of the Boxam International Tournament  in Castellon, Spain.
Kaushik made an impressive comeback in the ring as he outpunched Spanish opponent Raddouane Ammari 5-0 on  the opening day of the tournament .
 Armyman Mohammed Husamuddin (57kg) also made his way into the last eight  with a comfortable 4-1 win over  local boy Juan Manuel Torres.  

The 25-year-old Haryana boxer couldn’t compete in the ring since Asian Olympic Qualifiers held in March last year due to injuries and is making a return after more than a year’s break.
He will take on two-time ASBC Asian Boxing Championships silver medallist Kazakhstan boxer Sufiullin Zakir in the last-8 round on Thursday while the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Hassamuddin will face Italy’s Simone Spada. Zakir beat Abdelhaq Nadir of Morocco 3-1 in the preliminary round match.
The second day of the tournament will see six Indian women boxers Mary Kom (51kg), Jasmine and Manisha Moun (57kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg) competing in the quarter-finals.

A 14-member Indian contingent (eight men and six women), including nine Olympic qualified and other top boxers, is taking part at the 35th edition of the tournament where boxers from 17 countries, including top boxing nations like Russia, USA, Italy, Kazakhstan and Spain, are participating.

Govt to bring Cheetah back from extinction: Javadekar

AMN / WEB DESK

The big cat will be a reality soon as the government will bring Cheetah back from extinction. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said, the government is working on reintroduction of Cheetah, which went extinct in 1952. He said, India has thriving wildlife and biodiversity with 70 per cent of global tiger population and 70 per cent of Asiatic Lions. The country also has 60 per cent of Leopard population.

Govt terms media Report on NIOS as a report with distorted facts

WEB DESK

The Union Government has termed an English Daily Report titled ‘National Institute of Open Schooling, NIOS to take Gita, Ramayan to Madrassas’ as a report with distorted facts.

It clarified that NIOS accredits Madrassas under Special Provision for quality education of Madrassas and various subjects are offered to learners under this provision.

It added that there is no hard line boundary of fixed subject combinations unlike that in the formal education system. Terming the report as misrepresentation of truth with seemingly malicious intent the Education Ministry said that it is totally the discretion of the learner to opt for subject combination from the bouquet of the subjects provided by NIOS.

There are around 100 Madrassas with 50 thousand students accredited with NIOS. The government has also planned to accredit around 500 more Madrassas with the NIOS in the recent future, totally on the basis of demand of the Madrassas.

Budget intends to link Education with Employability, Entrepreneurial Capabilities: PM

PM addresses webinar on effective implementation of Budget provisions regarding education sector

Andalib Akhter / New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that the Union Budget has expanded government’s efforts to link education with employability and entrepreneurial capability.

He said, the second biggest focus after health in this year’s budget is on education, skill, research and innovation. He called for a better synergy between Colleges and Universities of the country. He said the emphasis placed in this budget on skill development, upgradation and apprenticeship is unprecedented. This budget has further expanded the efforts made to link Education with Employability and Entrepreneurial Capabilities over the years.

As a result of these efforts, he said, today India has come in the top three countries in terms of scientific publications, number of PhD scholars and start-up ecosystem. He said India has joined the top 50 ranks in Global Innovation Index and is continuously improving. He said new opportunities are growing for the students and young scientists with the constant focus on higher education, research and innovation.

 Addressing a webinar on implementation of Budget in education sector, Mr. Modi said to build Atmanirbhar Bharat, the youth of the country needs self-confidence which is directly connected to their education, knowledge and skill. He said, the new National Education Policy has been developed with this key thought. He also said, in the new National Education Policy, the use of the Indian languages has been encouraged and it is the responsibility of the experts of every language, how the best content of the world should be made available in Indian languages.

The Prime Minister said, it is an injustice to the nation to keep knowledge and research in limits. With this mindset, the government is opening up several sectors like agriculture, space, atomic energy and DRDO for youth. He added that India has tested the Hydrogen Vehicle and now the country has to make itself industry-ready to utilize hydrogen as a fuel for transport. He also said, future fuel and green energy are very important so as to make the country self-reliant in the energy sector. Thus, the Hydrogen Mission announced in the budget is a massive project.

Prime Minister pointed out that to build a self-reliant India, confidence of the youth of the country is equally important. Confidence comes only when the youth has complete faith in their education and knowledge. Confidence comes only when they realize that their studies are giving them the opportunity to do their work and also the necessary skills. He said that the new National Education Policy has been made with this thinking. He stressed the need to implement all the provisions of the National Education Policy from pre-nursery to PhD quickly and said that the Budget will be of immense help in this regard.

He said the National Research Foundation is being built for the first time in the country. 50 thousand crore rupees have been allocated for this. This will strengthen the governance structure of the research related institutions and will improve linkages between R&D, academia and industry. The Prime Minister said, more than 100 per cent increase in Biotechnology research is indicative of the Government’s priorities. He called for increasing the scope of Biotechnology research in the service of food security, nutrition and agriculture.

Noting the demand for Indian talent, the Prime Minister emphasized the need for mapping of skill sets and preparing the youth accordingly through adoption of best practices, inviting international campuses and industry ready skill upgradation. Ease of Doing Apprenticeship Program envisaged in this Budget will be of great benefit for the youth of the country, The Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said the new National Education Policy has encouraged the use of more and more local language. He added now it is the responsibility of all the academics, experts of every language, how the best content of the country and the world should be prepared in Indian languages. This is completely possible in this era of technology. National Language Translation Mission proposed in the Budget will go a long way in this regard, he asserted.

Indian Air Force for the first time participate in Exercise Desert Flag in UAE

AMN / WEB DESK

Indian Air Force (IAF) is participating for the first time in Exercise Desert Flag which beginning in Al-Dhafra airbase in UAE from today. Exercise Desert Flag is an annual multi-national large force employment warfare exercise hosted by the United Arab Emirates Air Force.

The Indian Air Force is participating in the Exercise along with air forces of United Arab Emirates, United States of America, France, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Bahrain. The exercise will conclude on 27th of this month.

The Indian Air Force is participating with six Sukhoi Su-30 MKI, two C-17 and one IL-78 tanker aircraft. C-17 Globemaster will provide support for induction or de-induction of the IAF contingent. Su-30 MKI aircraft will undertake long range ferry, routing direct from India to the exercise area with aerial refueling support from IL-78 tanker aircraft. The aim of the exercise is to provide operational exposure to the participating forces while training them to undertake simulated air combat operations in a controlled environment.

The participating forces will get an opportunity to enhance their operational capabilities along with mutual exchange of best practices. The large-scale exercise involving diverse fighter aircraft from across the globe will provide the participating forces, including IAF, a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge, experience, enhance operational capabilities and interoperability. Exercising and interaction with the participating nations in a dynamic and realistic warfare environment will also contribute to strengthen international relations.

Over the last decade, IAF has regularly hosted and participated in multi-national operational exercises, wherein collaborative engagements are undertaken amongst the best air forces of the world.

Haryana fix 75% reservation for locals in private sector jobs

AMN / CHANDIGARH

The Haryana Governor has approved a bill that reserves 75 percent of the private sector jobs with gross salary upto ₹ 50,000 per month for the people of the state. The legislation was passed by the state assembly last year. Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala said that the youth of the state will now get 75 percent reservation in private sector jobs, that includes companies, societies and trusts.

Reservation in the private sector for locals was the main election promise of Chautala’s Jannayak Janta Party, which had formed a government in the state in alliance with the BJP. The bill, tabled by Chautala last year, makes it mandatory for the private sector companies to reserve 75 percent of jobs with salary upto ₹ 50,000 per month for natives of Haryana.

Companies must register details of all employees getting upto ₹ 50,000 per month, the government had said, adding failure to do so within three months of it becoming a law will attract penalties. The Haryana government had said the reservation will be socially, economically and environmentally desirable.