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EU Leaders Laud PM Modi For India’s Achievements In COVID-19 Vaccination – dot newz

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Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi congratulated PM Modi for India’s Covid vaccination progress. (File)

New Delhi:

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Friday said European Union leaders including Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India’s excellent progress on COVID-19 vaccination.

“EU leaders, as well as the Italian PM, congratulated PM Modi for India’s excellent progress on vaccination both in terms of the number of vaccines administered in our country and also in terms of percentage of people covered in the first dose,” Mr Shringla said during the special briefing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Italy.

Highlighting that the EU is one of India’s very important partners, Mr Shringla said that in today’s meetings, the leaders reviewed India-EU cooperation covering political and security relations, trade and investment relations, as well as roadmap 2025 adopted for the India EU summit.

They also discussed developments around climate change, COVID-19 pandemic and contemporary global and regional developments of interest, he said, adding that Prime Minister highlighted India’s perspectives on climate change, Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific.

Mr Shringla mentioned that during the visit, PM Modi paid floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s bust at Piazza Gandhi. This was in the presence of a large number of members of the Indian community who came there to greet the Prime Minister there. And it was all with great enthusiasm.

He further stated that PM Modi also met different cultural groups including members of the Sikh community. The PM paid respect to the Indian soldiers who fought valiantly in Italy during World War II.

Moreover, PM Modi also met his Italian counterpart Mario Draghi at Palazzo Chigi in Rome. This was their first in-person meeting. The Prime Minister has spoken on a number of occasions with Prime Minister Draghi including recently on August 27 when they discussed the issue of Afghanistan, the Foreign Secretary said.

Regarding bilateral cooperation in renewable and clean energy, Mr Shringla said that India and Italy issued a joint statement announcing a strategic partnership on energy transition, and agreed to explore partnerships in areas such as large size green corridor projects, smart grids, energy storage solutions, gas transportation, integrated waste management, deployment of green hydrogen and promotion of biofuels.

He added that India and Italy also signed an agreement of intent on textiles cooperation during the meeting.

Talking about the issue of vaccination certification, he said that “Issue of vaccination certificate was discussed especially with EU representatives. There was a conversation on mutual recognition of vaccines…a doable mechanism to facilitate easier international travel… Details to be worked out bilaterally.”

“Fact of the matter is that the point PM tried to make (on vaccine certification) has been received. Most countries are quite happy with the idea of facilitating smoother international travel…and feel that we need to collectively work on it,” he stated.

“A few EU countries have already responded to our proposal. We have proposed mutual recognition of vaccine certification even at the G20… Discussions are still on…,” Mr Shringla added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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High Altitude Areas In Uttarakhand Receive Season’s First Snowfall – dot newz

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The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places (File)

Dehradun:

The Himalayan temple of Kedarnath and the high altitude areas of Chamoli district received the season’s first snowfall on Thursday while it drizzled in the lower areas intensifying the chill across the state.

Besides the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district, the Musk Deer Park, Valley of Flowers and the Nanda Devi National Park in Chamoli district also received snowfall, officials in Dehradun said.

The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places, including state capital Dehradun.

The temperature recorded in Dehradun on Thursday was 15.4 degrees Celsius, Tehri 10 degrees Celsius, Pantnagar 18.4 degrees Celsius, Mukteshwar 8.4 degrees Celsius and Almora 13.4 degrees Celsius, the MeT Department in Dehradun said.



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37 Years On, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims Still Await Adequate Compensation – dot newz

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“In 1984, Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at Centre”: Bhopal Gas Tragedy Minister

Bhopal:

Thirty-seven years after the Bhopal gas tragedy, termed as the world’s worst industrial disaster, the survivors and the family of the dead are still waiting to be compensated fairly with an organisation working for them claiming that each victim has so far received less than one-fifth of the allotted sum.

The leak of methyl isocyanate, a toxic gas, from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide on the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984, had killed over 3,000 people and left 1.02 lakh others affected at that time. However, the number of affected later rose to over 5.70 lakh.

Talking to PTI, Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vishvas Sarang said, “In 1984, the Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at the Centre. The two governments did not put forth the case of the victims in a right manner to enable them to get more compensation.”

Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti (BGPSSS) co-convener ND Jayaprakash said the Supreme Court assisted settlement on February 14-15, 1989 worth Rs 705 crore was based on the assumption that only around 3,000 persons died and 1,02,000 were affected.

“This compensation was a complete sham as each gas victim ended up being given less than one-fifth of the sum allotted even as per the terms of that unjust settlement,” he added.

When asked to explain, he said that the financial aid was USD 470 million in 1989. The dollars turned into more than Rs 3,000 crore in 2004, when the disbursements started.

“But the number of the victims swelled to 5.73 lakh and this amount was distributed among them. So, each victim got one-fifth of the compensation,” he added.

“The failure on the part of the Supreme Court to hear the long-pending curative petition against the unjust settlement of 1989, has had an adverse impact on the interests of the gas victims,” he said in a media statement.

The curative petition (civil), which was filed by the Union of India on December 3, 2010 to challenge the unjust settlement of 1989 and to seek additional sum of at least another Rs 7,724 crore as compensation was last listed before the Constitution Bench of the Court on January 29 last year, he said.

“However, the hearing was postponed to February 11 last year. Sadly, the matter was never listed on that date or ever since then,” he said.

Failure to dispose of the curative petition has also meant the indefinite postponement of the hearing of the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed on March 17, 2010 by eight members of Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS) and BGPSSS, he said.

In the SLP, the two NGOs have sought enhancement of settlement sum by a factor of five in terms of the magnitude of the disaster as assessed by the claim courts and in terms of the gravity of injuries suffered by the gas victims on the basis of their medical records, Jayaprakash said.

Failure to dispose of the pending curative petition and the SLP for over a decade has effectively denied the gas-victims several thousands of crores of additional compensation that they are legitimately entitled to, he added.

In the curative petition, the Centre has sought Rs 7,724 crore as additional funds from successor firms of US-based Union Carbide Corporation, now owned by Dow Chemicals, for giving compensation to victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy.

The Centre, in its plea, is seeking a direction to Union Carbide and other firms for Rs 7,722 crore additional amount over and above the earlier settlement amount of USD 470 million in 1989 for paying compensation to the gas tragedy victims.

On June 7, 2010, a local court had convicted seven executives of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) to two years of imprisonment in connection with the incident. The then UCC chairman, Warren Anderson, was the prime accused in the case but did not appear for the trial. On February 1, 1992, the Bhopal CJM court had declared him an absconder. He died in the US in 2014. 



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5 Contacts Of Bengaluru Omicron Patient Test Positive For Covid, Isolated – dot newz

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Bengaluru:

Five contacts of an Omicron patient have turned out to be Covid positive, Karnataka announced today, shortly after the Union health ministry said the first patients of the new Covid variant have been found in the state. The patients have been isolated and their samples have been sent for genome testing, Karnataka said amid concern over the highly infectious strain that has set off global alarm.

One of the two initial patients is a 46-year-old health worker from Bengaluru, who developed symptoms of fever and body ache on November 21.

He tested positive the following day and was admitted to hospital; his sample was sent for genome sequencing on the same day.  But three days later he was discharged.

After extensive contact tracing, the Karnataka government said he had 13 direct contacts and more than 250 secondary contacts.

The other confirmed Omicron patient is a 66-year-old South African national who came to India with a negative Covid report.

The man, who received both vaccine doses, tested positive on arrival and was asymptomatic, following which he was told to self-isolate.

A week later, with a negative Covid report from a private lab, he flew to Dubai. Samples from his 24 primary and 240 secondary contacts have returned negative test results.



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