NEW DELHI: Supporting the demand for postponement of NEET and JEE examinations in view of the coronavirus pandemic, seven chief ministers of non-BJP ruled states on Wednesday decided to jointly move the Supreme Court on the issue.
During the meeting with Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, these chief ministers agreed in one accord to file a review petition urging the Supreme Court to reconsider its recent order rejecting the postponement of the competitive exams, sources said.
The chief ministers who took part in the meeting included Mamata Banerjee, Uddhav Thackeray, Amarinder Singh, Hemant Soren, Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Baghel and V Narayanasamy.
A decision was taken to discuss the matter and evolve a joint strategy in this regard, the sources said.
Sonia Gandhi said the Congress party was on board on the issue and asked Banerjee, who proposed a joint appeal by the states in the apex court, to work out with Amarinder Singh and other chief ministers on the legal recourse.
She said whatever steps need to be taken in the interest of students should be taken unitedly.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Twitter urged the central government to listen to their grievances and find an amicable solution.
“NEET-JEE aspirants are worried about their health and future. They have genuine concerns of: fear of Covid19 infection, transport and lodging during pandemic and flood-mayhem in Assam and Bihar,” he said.
“GOI must listen to all stakeholders and find an acceptable solution,” he said.
Earlier, during the chief ministers’ meeting, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren suggested meeting the president and prime minister on the issue, to which Banerjee and Amarinder Singh said there was no time for that, considering JEE Mains are scheduled to be held from September 1 to 6.
Sonia Gandhi set the stage for a discussion on the JEE, NEET issue by mentioning in her opening remarks that the government was looking at the students’ issue “uncaringly”.
West Bengal CM Banerjee added that, “States can jointly appeal against Supreme Court order on holding JEE/NEET examinations if the Centre decides not to do holding JEE/NEET examinations if the Centre decides not to do so”.
Banerjee said that students were not mentally prepared to take the examination in the middle of a pandemic. “Rail is not working properly, there are problems in aviation…under this lockdown protocoI I do not know how they will sit for this exam,” she said.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia separately said medical and engineering entrance exams NEET and JEE should be postponed and the central government should work on alternative methods for selecting students. “They (Centre) are saying protocols will be followed. Following the same protocols that the Centre wants 28 lakh students to follow, lakhs of Indians have tested positive,” the Aam Aadmi Party told reporters.
“How can we take the risk of sending 28 lakh students to exam centres and be assured that they will not be infected,” Sisodia asked.
DMK chief M K Stalin welcomed the decision of the seven chief ministers to appeal to the Supreme Court for postponement of NEET, JEE exams and thanked Sonia Gandhi for her efforts. He said the Tamil Nadu government should also move the Supreme Court.
Legendary Singer SP Balasubrahmanyam Passes Away
His son SP Charan confirmed his demise to the reporters this afternoon.
CHENNAI (Tamil Nadu): Legendary playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam passed away this afternoon in Chennai. He was 74. His son SP Charan confirmed his demise to the reporters this afternoon.
The renowned artist SP Balasubrahmanyam was admitted into a corporate hospital in the city on the 5th of this month for Covid-19. The viral load dissipated, only after leaving his vital organs severely affected. It led him to be put on a ventilator and ECMO support. He breathed his last at 1.04 pm.
His condition in the last 24 hours had deteriorated further warranting maximal life support. A team of experts was closely monitoring his health.
On September 7, his son Charan had announced that SPB had tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
The veteran singer got himself admitted to hospital on August 5 after he developed symptoms of Covid-19.
Having rendered over 40,000 songs across 16 languages, SPB, as he was fondly called, touched many lives with his iconic voice. His humility and kindness were an inspiration to us all.
Balasubrahmanyam made his singing debut in 1966 with Telugu movie Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna. He has sung over 40,000 songs in as many as 16 languages including Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi.
Balasubrahmanyam was also a voice-over artist. He was the voice-over artist for actor Kamal Hassan, whenever the latter’s Tamil movies were dubbed in Telugu. Balasubrahmanyam also acted in a few movies.
He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter — both are playback singers.
Balasubrahmanyam sang thousands of songs in South Indian languages and in Hindi for five decades for generations of actors — from MGR, Sivaji Ganesan and Gemini Ganesan, down to the stars of the present — and is the winner of six national awards. He also had won the hearts of several fans across the world for whom his songs have marked milestones.
Home Minister Amit Shah condoled the passing away of legendary musician and playback singer S P Balasubrahmanyam. HM Shah said that he will forever remain in memory through his melodious voice and unparalleled music compositions.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar expressed grief at the demise of noted singer Padmabhushan S P Balasubrahmanyam. He said that the country today lost a melodious vocalist. Praying for peace to the departed soul, Javadekar expressed condolences to the family, friends and crores of people who loved the singer.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has expressed shock and grief over the demise of eminent singer and film actor, S P Balasubrahmanyam. In a statement, the Chief Minister said that the demise of SPB is an irreparable loss for the film fraternity. He felt it was unfortunate that the best of the best efforts by doctors could not save him.
Andhra Pradesh Governor Sri Biswabhusan Harichandan also expressed profound grief and sadness at the demise of S.P. Balasubrahmanyam.
COVID-19: Lucknow Lab Records Shortest Average Time To Process Samples
The BSIP is currently processing and reporting the samples in an average time of 18 hours.
LUCKNOW (Uttar Pradesh): As the COVID 19 patient numbers are recorded, a testing hub in Lucknow for the disease has recorded the shortest average time to process samples among institutions in the country.
With 1000 to 1200 samples being tested per day, the story of the rise of Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences (BSIP), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, to the top institution not only in the state but throughout the country in terms of average processing time of samples is one of sheer grit and dedication.
With a small team of 8 members, the lab is running 24×7 to test samples from various districts of Uttar Pradesh. The number of samples tested by BSIP has crossed 50,000, of which approximately 1600 samples were reported positive for SARS-CoV-2 with zero pendency. Keeping in light the present scenario and to aid the authorities to contain this pandemic, BSIP has provided testing reports (on daily basis) to the concerned districts in a record time of 24 hours.
BSIP joined hands with the Government of Uttar Pradesh to combat COVID-19 in the state, becoming one of the five Central Government research institutes in Lucknow, which took initial steps to start laboratory testing of COVID-19. Availability of a BSL-2A laboratory, primarily for ancient DNA work in the Institute, became the advantage needed to immediately prepare for testing.
The BSIP approached the GOI and the UP Government in early April for the necessary approvals for COVID-19 testing. Subsequent to inspection and approval of the laboratory by the ICMR and the UP Government, BSIP became the first of the five Central Govt. Institute in Lucknow to start with RT-PCR based testing, from 2nd May 2020.
The institution started with testing 100-150 samples per day that have now scaled up to 1000-1200 samples per day from the month of July 2020. With proper lab management and dedication of the lab staff, BSIP decreased its average time to process the samples.
The BSIP is currently processing and reporting the samples in an average time of 18 hours. Furthermore, the pendency of the samples is almost zero within 18 hours after receiving the samples.
Apart from diagnostic service, the BSIP is also actively involved in research activities related to COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, real-time tracking of COVID-19 spread in India, using SARS-CoV-2 genotype-based analysis, is being developed.
“RT-PCR is a perfect example of repurposing the existing human resources and infrastructure built for research to effectively address the needs in the time of crisis with speed, scale and resolve,” said Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.
The 8 members of the teamwork with determination and commitment under the supervision of Dr Vandana Prasad, Director, BSIP, and Dr Anupam Sharma, Nodal-in-charge of the COVID-19 lab. Dr Niraj Rai, in-charge of the ancient DNA laboratory, is also in-charge of COVID-19 facility. Nagarjuna P., as the COVID-19 lab manager, takes care of all the requirements for continuous testing in the laboratory. Dr Indu Sharma, Dr Varun Sharma, with Nagarjuna P. work in the BSIP BSL-2A laboratory.
Mr Satya Prakash, who is a science teacher, working voluntarily, takes care of the timely reporting of the results to the respective authorized portals.
COVID-19: 10 States Account For 75% Cases In India
Maharashtra continues to top this list. It alone contributed more than 21,000 cases yesterday.
NEW DELHI: A total of 86,508 new cases of COVID-19 infections have been reported in the last 24 hours in India. Of these at least 75% confirmed cases are found to be concentrated from 10 States/UTs.
For the sixth consecutive day, the number of new confirmed cases has been lower than the new recoveries. India posted 81.55 per cent of recoveries while the fatality rate stood at 1.59 per cent, the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.
Maharashtra continues to top this list. It has alone contributed more than 21,000 cases.
It is followed by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka with more than 7,000 and 6,000 cases respectively.
1,129 deaths have been registered in the past 24 hours.
10 States/UTs account for 83% of the deaths in the last 24 hours due to COVID.
Maharashtra reported 479 deaths followed by Uttar Pradesh and Punjab with 87 and 64 deaths, respectively.
India has substantially ramped up its testing infrastructure across the country. As on date, there are 1810 labs including 1082 government and 728 private labs.
11,56,569 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours. The total number of tests has crossed 6.74 cr today.
Recovery rate continues to rise, crosses 81%
With its focussed strategies and effective, coordinated and proactive measures, India is reporting a steep increase in recoveries.
New recoveries in India have exceeded the new cases for the fifth consecutive day. 89,746 recoveries have been registered in the last 24 hours in the country, whereas the number of new confirmed cases stands at 83,347. With this, the total number of recoveries are 45,87,613. The Recovery Rate is 81.25% today.
India has the highest recovered cases in the world. It contributes 19.5% to the global recoveries. As India records more recoveries than the new cases, many States/UTs follow the suit. 17 States/UTs have more new recoveries than new cases.
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