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Covaxin, India’s First COVID-19 Vaccine Gets DCGI Approval For Human Trials

This marks the first regulatory approval for India’s domestic vaccine to enter trials.

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HYDERABAD (Telangana): India-based biotechnology company Bharat Biotech has secured regulatory approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to advance its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Covaxin, into human clinical trials.

The Drug Controller General of India CDSCO (The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare granted permission to initiate Phase I & II Human clinical trials after the company submitted results generated from pre-clinical studies, demonstrating safety and immune response. Human clinical trials are scheduled to start across India in July 2020, the release said.

This marks the first regulatory approval for India’s domestic vaccine to enter trials. DCGI’s approval will enable the company to conduct Phase I and II studies, which are set to begin next month.


Covaxin has been developed in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology. The inactivated vaccine was manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s facility at Genome Valley in Hyderabad, India.

Bharat Biotech chairman and managing director Krishna Ella said: “We are proud to announce ‘Covaxin’, India’s first indigenous vaccine against Covid-19.

“The collaboration with ICMR and NIV was instrumental in the development of this vaccine. The proactive support and guidance from CDSCO have enabled approvals to this project.”


Bharat Biotech’s track record in developing vero cell culture platform technologies has been proven in several vaccines for Polio, Rabies, Rotavirus, Japanese Encephalitis, Chikungunya and Zika. The company is proficient in conducting extensive multi-centre clinical trials, having completed more than 75 trials in over 300,000 subjects globally, the release said.

In April this year, Bharat Biotech partnered with FluGen and University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW-Madison) to develop and evaluate a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, CoroFlu.

CoroFlu will be administered intranasally with an aim to induce multiple immune responses.

Later in May, Bharat Biotech entered into an exclusive agreement to develop a Covid-19 vaccine candidate created at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, US.

Thomas Jefferson professor developed this vaccine candidate in January using an existing deactivated rabies vaccine as a vehicle for coronavirus proteins.


Besides Bharat Biotech, at least five other Indian companies are working on a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus while similar efforts are underway in different countries.

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Uttar Pradesh Will Generate 1.25 Cr Jobs: PM Modi

PM Modi praised the UP govt for their unprecedented work in ensuring that the poor don’t go hungry.

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NEW DELHI/LUCKNOW: The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh will generate 1.25 cr employment opportunities, primarily in rural areas and across small-scale industries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. Since the lockdown was announced on 25 March, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from UP have returned to the state after losing their livelihood.

At the virtual launch of the ‘Atma Nirbhar Uttar Pradesh Rojgar Abhiyaan’, along with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Modi said the scheme was a “qualitative and quantitative expansion” of Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA), a new central job scheme. He said investors from India and abroad were looking to set up businesses in Uttar Pradesh.

“Uttar Pradesh has increased the scope of Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan. While the scheme started by the Centre had 25 programmes under it, the Uttar Pradesh government has not only added more schemes, but has made a quantitative and qualitative improvement [on the GKRA]. Uttar Pradesh government is expected to employ 1.25 crore people under these schemes, of which 60 lakh will get employment in rural areas, and 40 lakh under micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” Modi said.


The ‘Abhiyan is intensely focused towards providing employment, promote local entrepreneurship and create partnership with industrial associations and other organisations to provide employment opportunities’.
Around 50 per cent number of the jobs will be provided under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

The Uttar Pradesh CM had asked the state authorities to map the skill of the workers returning from different states so that they can be provided employment as per their expertise.

The state has around 1.80 crore MGNREGS job cardholders, out of which, 85 lakh have been active.
Commenting on the state government’s initiative, Chief Secretary RK Tiwari said, “We are roping in all major departments to provide work in addition to jobs being provided under the MGNREGS. The micro small and medium enterprises (MSME) department, public works department, horticulture department and the agencies constructing the expressways will also contribute in a big way in the creation of more jobs.”


The Centre had announced the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package to stimulate various sectors. In order to generate employment with a thrust towards creating infrastructure in backward regions of the country, Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan was launched on June 20, 2020.

The PM lauded the courage and wisdom shown by Uttar Pradesh when Corona is in such a major crisis in the world. He said that the way the state succeeded and the way it handled the situation is unprecedented and is praiseworthy.

PM Modi praised the contribution of doctors, paramedics, sanitation staff, police, ASHAs, Anganwadi workers, banks and post offices, transport services and workers in UP.

PM Modi lauded the Government of UP making efforts to bring back the migrant labour belonging to the state, by facilitating hundreds of Shramik Express Trains.

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PM Launches Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan For Migrant Employment

‘Till now you were developing cities, now you will help your village,’ PM Modi tells migrant workers.

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a massive rural public works scheme, Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan, in six states. He said, this Abhiyan will provide livelihood opportunities to the migrant workers and will help in the development of rural areas by creating local infrastructure.

At the outset, the Prime Minister paid his homage to the martyr who sacrificed their lives while protecting the borders in Ladakh saying that he wants to assure that the entire country stands with the Army and families who lost their beloved ones.

PM Modi said that the government is making every effort so that people do not have to take loans from anyone while living in the villages during this corona pandemic crisis. He said, the self-reliant India campaign-Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan started with the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana and within a few weeks, about 1.75 lakh crore rupees were spent on the scheme. He further said that:


Free ration and pulses have been provided to 80 crore poor people in three months.

More than 10,000 crore rupees have been transferred to 20 crore women-Jan Dhan’s accounts.

He said this was made possible due to the infrastructure created in the past years for the smooth transfer of money directly in the accounts of the poor people.

He said that for a self-reliant India, self-reliant farmers are equally important and by keeping this in mind, the government has abolished several discriminatory laws in the past few days.

Now, farmers can sell their produce to anyone and anywhere without any hurdle and it will empower them.

Prime Minister launched the campaign through remote from Telihar village in Khagaria District of Bihar in presence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar along with other Chief Ministers and Union Rural Development Minister.


The campaign will be operationalized through the Common Service Centres and Krishi Vigyan Kendras in the districts.

The Abhiyaan is being introduced through the coordinated effort of 12 different Ministries and Departments namely Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport & Highways, Mines, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum & Natural Gas, New & Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom and Agriculture.

The campaign of 125 days will be implemented on a mission mode. It will involve intensified and focused implementation of 25 different types of works to provide employment to the migrant workers and create infrastructure in the rural regions of the country.

A total of 116 Districts with more than 25 thousand returnee migrant workers across six States, namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha have been chosen for the campaign which includes 27 Aspirational Districts. These districts are estimated to cover about two-thirds of such migrant workers.

In Jharkhand, three aspirational districts of Hazaribagh, Godda and Giridih out of the 116 selected districts have been covered under the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyaan Rozgaar Abhiyaan inaugurated online today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Migrants who have returned to their native places post the COVID -19 lockdown situation are hopeful of finding a job based on their skills.


The new scheme shall provide employment opportunities to around 45000 thousand people who have migrated back in these three districts, and are hopeful of finding skill-based jobs in MSME, small sector units, agricultural and telecom units.

According to the government’s data, around 5 lakh twelve thousand migrant labourers have returned to the state so far.

Deputy Commissioners of all three Aspirational districts of the state have been instructed by Secretary of Rural Development Department Aradhana Patnaik to work as per the plan charted out for employment generation to the migrants.

Giridih DC has also planned to introduce a skill-based apprenticeship certification programme for the migrants.

Migrant labourer Md Amin says that the lockdown did not provide work for months in Mumbai, and is now happy to work in the village and live with the family.

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India To Launch First-Ever Coal Trading Exchange

It is expected to be the only trading platform for the organised sale of coal in India.

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NEW DELHI: India will soon be setting up a coal trading platform as it gears up to bring in commercial mining in the coal sector. Under the proposal, the entire coal produced in the country will be traded on a platform called ‘Coal Exchange’.

Coal Exchange will be an online coal trading platform where the pricing will be determined in a transparent manner on the basis of demand and supply.

The setting up of India’s first coal trading platform is significant as it paves the way for the entry of multiple buyers and sellers in the coal sector. The coal ministry is likely to start auctions for commercial coal mining on June 11.

The exchange will deal with proposed gas exchanges, power bourses, or commodity exchanges. This will probably lead to the end of Coal India’s new Fuel Supply Agreements (FSA) regime.


However, Coal India Ltd is anticipated to be a dominant player in the coal mining sector as it has set a production target of one billion tons by the year 2024.

According to industry experts, the entire coal produced in the country would be traded on the coal exchange. This exchange would have the potential to turn the entire coal sector into an open market that will have no barriers to free-market activities.

A government official had stated that the nation will go ahead with the commercial coal mining procedure with the purpose of having more coal sellers in the market apart from Coal India and Singareni Collieries. Moreover, coal blocks have been allocated to the state-level PSUs for coal sales.


The Coal Exchange will be set up after the government addresses all the concerns related to the coal sector. Till now, the government had a monopoly on coal mining which is why, despite having abundant coal, India still imported coal.

The government has now decided to allow liberalised entries in the sector so India will soon have more sellers in the market besides Coal India.

The Government has already allotted coal blocks to state PSUs for the sale of coal

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam had announced reforms in the coal sector while revealing the fourth tranche of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat economic package.

Under the reforms, she informed that the government plans to bring in commercial mining in the coal sector on a revenue-sharing basis.

The Finance Minister had announced that Government monopoly in the sector will be removed and liberalised entries will be allowed to enable more participation by people.


She informed that India, despite having the third-largest valuable deposit of coal, still imported coal and sometimes energy sectors suffer because of this. Hence, the government decided to bring regulation to the sector.

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