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Students “In A Fix”: Mamata Banerjee Writes To PM Seeking Covaxin WHO Nod


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Covaxin is still not WHO approved and it’s not possible to travel to many nations, Mamata Banerjee said.

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention for early approval of Covaxin COVID-19 vaccine by the World Health Organisation, without which people who have taken the Bharat Biotech jab might face problems travelling abroad.

The chief minister, in her letter, stated that her government has been “receiving both Covishield and Covaxin” from the very beginning. Even the private sector in the state has procured and administered both the vaccines, she said.

“A large number of students from all over the country travel abroad every year for higher studies and many of them have got themselves vaccinated with Covaxin. They came to learn later on that their vaccination certificate is not valid abroad. These students are now in a fix regarding their next course of action and their career is at stake,” Ms Banerjee wrote to PM Modi.

Many countries are allowing entry of only those people who have taken WHO-approved vaccines, she claimed.

“It is learnt that Covaxin is still not approved by WHO and it is not possible to travel abroad as many countries are allowing only those people who are fully vaccinated with WHO-approved vaccines. Hence, I request for your kind intervention so that an early approval is received for Covaxin from WHO so that students do not face any problem. This will also benefit people travelling abroad for job, education, business and any other purposes as well,” she added.

Ms Banerjee had on Wednesday asked Chief Secretary HK Dwidevi to write to the Union Health Secretary and Cabinet Secretary on this matter. She had also urged the Centre to take steps to ensure that people inoculated with Covaxin do not face any restrictions during their overseas travel.

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

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Tokyo Games: Sjoerd Marijne Expects Indian Women’s Hockey Team To Reach Quarterfinals At Olympics | Hockey News

Tokyo Games: The Indian women’s hockey team will be aiming to put in a good show.© Instagram

Indian women’s hockey team chief coach Sjoerd Marijne expects his wards to reach the quarterfinals of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and says anything less than that would be a big let down. The team will be competing in its second consecutive Olympics in Tokyo having qualified for the Games after a hiatus of 36 years for the Rio Games. India’s best-ever finish at the Summer Games was a fourth place finish in the 1980 Moscow Games and Marijne believes the current team has the potential to match it if the players play according to their strength.

“The expectations in India are very high. If you are realistic, only two countries are lower ranked than us and that’s Japan and South Africa. So, I don’t know from where these expectations are based on.

“I think probably because we did good in the past in the last four years, but still we have to be realistic. We are focusing on reaching the quarterfinals and that’s realistic and from there anything can happen,” Marijne said at a virtual media conference.

The Dutch coach said if they fail to reach the quarterfinals, it would be a big disappointment for the players, who have made a lot of sacrifices to realise their dreams in these difficult times.

“…but for me the most important is our performances and I know this is easier. I just want to see that this team reaches its potential and my job is to help the team reach its potential.


“If we play every pool match to our potential and fail to reach quarters I am still happy. But I think playing by potential will help us reaching the quarterfinals and even more,” he said.

“…if I am disappointed, I will be disappointed for the girls, because I know every day how hard they have worked. They miss their families, always being away. I know how much effort they have put in this process,” he added.

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12-Storey US Apartment Partially Collapses; One Dead

The multi-storey apartment block in Florida partially collapsed sparking emergency response.

Miami: A 12-storey oceanfront apartment block in Florida partially collapsed early Thursday, killing at least one person and sparking a major emergency response with dozens of rescuers combing the rubble for survivors.

Video footage posted online showed a large portion of the building in the town of Surfside — just north of Miami Beach — reduced to rubble, with the apartments’ interiors exposed.

It was unclear how many people lived in the building or who had been inside at the time. Some residents were able to walk down the stairs to safety while others had to be rescued from their balconies.

At least one person has been confirmed dead, Surfside mayor Charles Burkett told NBC’s Today show.

“My police chief has told me that we transported two people to the hospital this morning at least, and one has died. We treated 10 people on the site,” Burkett said.

He said dogs were helping in the search for survivors but “tragically” had not found anyone yet. “Apparently when the building came down it pancaked, so there’s just not a lot of voids that they’re finding or seeing from the outside.”

And he said it was not clear how many people had been inside, or why the building collapsed. “It looks like a bomb went off, but we’re pretty sure a bomb didn’t go off, so it’s something else.”

Santo Mejil, a local resident, said his wife was an overnight caretaker who was in the complex when it collapsed.

“She said she heard a big explosion. It felt like an earthquake,” he told the Miami Herald newspaper, tearing up as his wife called again to say she was being evacuated from the complex.

“My prayers are with all those impacted by this horrific tragedy and with their families,” Miami-Dade mayor Daniella Levine Cava tweeted.

“We are so grateful to @MiamiDadeFire, @MiamiBeachFire and all the first responders on the scene may they stay safe while working to save lives.”

Miami Beach Police Department said its officers were “assisting the Town of Surfside at a partial building collapse.”

“Multiple police and fire agencies from across Miami-Dade are assisting,” the force added.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said: “Over 80 MDFR units… are on scene with assistance from municipal fire departments.”

Local media said records showed the building was built in 1981 and had more than 130 units inside.

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

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“Will Be Looking Like Salman Khan”: Ex-England Pacer On Yuzvendra Chahal’s Workout Video | Cricket News

Yuzvendra Chahal was seen sweating out in the gym ahead of Sri Lanka tour.© Instagram

Yuzvendra Chahal, who is quarantining in Mumbai ahead of the Sri Lanka tour, took to Instagram to share a video in which the leg-spinner can be seen working out in a gym. “It’s all about strength… physically as well as mentally,” Chahal captioned the video. In the video, the leg-spinner can be seen working out using dumbbells and a stretch band. Soon after Chahal posted the video, former England fast-bowler Sajid Mahmood left a comment, saying that if Chahal keeps working like that in the gym, he will soon look like Bollywood actor Salman Khan.

“Will be looking like @beingsalmankhan soon bro,” Mahmood said. 


Chahal, who is yet to receive a call-up in Test cricket, was named in the 20-member squad for the upcoming limited-overs tour to Sri Lanka which was announced earlier this month by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Chahal has been in and out of the Indian side due to his inconsistent performances in the recent past. The leg-spinner was last seen in action during the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). 

Representing Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Chahal played all seven games before the T20 tournament was postponed due to the rise in Covid cases in the country and within the IPL bio-secure bubble. 


The 30-year-old spinner could only manage to pick up four wickets in seven IPL games.  

Chahal will be looking to impress in the upcoming white-ball series in Sri Lanka to seal his place in the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held later this year. 

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Expelled By Herd, Jharkhand Elephant Kills 16 Villagers In 2 Months


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The elephant has managed to outwit officials with his sheer speed and unpredictability (Representational)

New Delhi: A rogue elephant has killed at least 16 villagers in the past two months in Jharkhand after likely being expelled from his herd “for bad behaviour”, a wildlife official said on Thursday.

The mature male, believed to be 15 or 16 years old, has been on the rampage in the state’s tribal Santhal Pargana region ever since he was separated from the herd of 22 elephants.

“It’s likely he was in heat and was expelled because of his bad behaviour or sexual rivalry with other males,” Satish Chandra Rai, regional divisional forest officer, told AFP.

“We are studying his behaviour and a team of 20 officials is constantly trying to track him because our first priority is to protect the animal.”

The elephant, which is now on its way back seeking to reunite with the herd, has managed to outwit officials with his sheer speed and unpredictability.

On Tuesday, the tusker lifted an elderly couple with his trunk and killed them when they had ventured out before dawn.

Mr Rai said the elephant was only killing people who accidently got in its way, got too close, or who tried to provoke it and take pictures.

“He has not been breaking into houses or deliberately attacking people,” Mr Rai said.

“We want to see if he is accepted back in the herd. If he is not it will be proved he is a bad boy.”

India has an estimated 30,000 wild Asian elephants — nearly 60 per cent of the total wild population.

In recent years there have been rising incidents of elephants killed by locals — and vice-versa — as humans encroach further into forest areas.

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Vladimir Putin “Supporter” Of Increased EU-Russia Dialogue: Kremlin

President Vladimir Putin is a “supporter” of talks between European Union and Russia, Kremlin said.

Moscow: President Vladimir Putin is a “supporter” of a proposal from Germany and France for the EU to restart summits with Russia, the Kremlin said Thursday.

“We assess the initiative positively,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“Putin is a supporter of creating mechanisms for dialogue and contacts between Brussels and Moscow.”

Peskov was responding to a question about a proposal by Berlin and Paris for the 27-member bloc to contemplate a potential summit with the Kremlin chief.

Many EU member states are resistant to the idea and Ukraine’s foreign minister blasted the proposal earlier Thursday ahead of a debate on the issue by the European Union’s leaders.

Ties between the bloc and Russia have deteriorated since Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.

The last summit between EU chiefs in Brussels and Putin took place in early 2014.

Brussels has imposed waves of sanctions on Moscow, which has responded with its own counter-measures.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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On Plea Challenging new IT rules, Madras High Court Says No Action Now

The petition challenged the new IT rules, contending they will be used to take coercive action.

Chennai: No action will be taken for now regarding portions of the new IT rules, the Madras High Court said today  in response to a petition challenging it by the Digital News Publishers Association. The court, however, said the petitioner can approach it in case the government takes action against them under the new rules.

The petition had challenged the new rules, contending that they would be used to take coercive action against media houses.

No action has been initiated against petitioners as of now under rules 12, 14 and 16 of the new IT Act, the court said, refusing to pass any interim order.

The new rules mandate compliance with “code of ethics and procedure and safeguards in relation to digital media”.

Rules 13 – 15  gives the government powers to decide on complaints by any consumer and take action against such publishers which they are concerned should lie with judiciary and not the executive as there could be misuse.

Rule 16 also confers emergency powers to even pass interim orders blocking any content published by a publisher without providing an opportunity for hearing.

“No omnibus order is made at this stage,” said Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, and asked the Union Government to file a response within two weeks.

In the petition, the Digital News Publishers Association had expressed concern that the new rules could suppress freedom of expression, independence of news and violate equality guaranteed by the Article 14 of the Constitution.

The intention of the IT Act 2000 was to provide legal recognition to electronic communication and documents, the petition said. The amendments made to the law cannot enlarge its scope under any circumstance.

Media outlets have also expressed concern about the government’s move to categorise print media that made the same content available on a digital platform under the new rules.

This, they said, doesn’t recognise the series of legislations, codes, rules, bodies and regulations put in place to regulate the content published by legacy media houses.

The court also tagged a similar petition filed by well-known Carnatic vocalist T M Krishna.

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India vs New Zealand, WTC Final: Ravi Shastri Congratulates New Zealand On WTC Title Win | Cricket News

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson holds up the Test Mace after winning the WTC final.© AFP

Indian cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri on Thursday congratulated New Zealand after they beat the Virat Kohli-led side in the final of the World Test Championship to win the title. New Zealand beat India by eight wickets in the marquee clash in Southampton, with the match going into the Reserve Day after rain wiped out two days of play.  The former India all-rounder said New Zealand were the “better team in the conditions” and deserving winners. “Better team won in the conditions. Deserved winners after the longest wait for a World Title,” Ravi Shastri tweeted.

“Classic example of Big things don’t come easy. Well played, New Zealand. Respect,” he added.

New Zealand’s pace attack was too good for India to handle as they were bundled out for 170 in their second innings, setting New Zealand a target of 139 to win on Wednesday.

Despite Ravichandran Ashwin picking up two quick wickets to remove the New Zealand openers, captain Kane Williamson along with veteran batsman Ross Taylor saw the Kiwis coast to victory.


Williamson, who fell for 49 in New Zealand’s first innings, brought up his half-century in the second innings to cap off a brilliant display with the bat.

Kyle Jamieson, who picked up a five-wicket haul in India’s first innings and got the key scalps of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara in the second, was named player-of-the-match.

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Veteran Filmmaker And Photographer Sivan Dies At 89


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An old photo of Sivan. (Image courtesy: sangeethsivan )


  • Sivan directed ‘Abhayam’ in 1991
  • It bagged the National Film Award for the Best Children’s film
  • Sivan was the still photographer of 1965 Malayalam movie Chemmeen

Thiruvananthapuram: Veteran still photographer and filmmaker Sivan died on Thursday, family sources said, reported news agency PTI. He was 89. Noted filmmakers Sangeeth Sivan, Santhosh Sivan and Sanjeev Sivan are his sons. “It’s with great sadness that I share with you all the tragic news that my father, Mr Sivan, breathed his last today,” Sangeeth Sivan, his son and noted film director, posted on Facebook. Sivan was the first press photographer in Kerala. He was also the still photographer of the classic Malayalam movie Chemmeen which was released in 1965. Sivan directed Abhayam in 1991, which bagged the National Film Award for the Best Children’s film. Abhayam, Yagam, Mohangal, Kilivaathil, Keshu, Oru Yathra are among his notable works.

“He was our inspiration and role model. What he accomplished was achieved through hard work, dedication, discipline and foresight. Am sure he would continue to guide us on our onward journey. Forever indebted and will always be in our hearts. Love you Dad for everything and I’m sure you will be watching over us from your place among the clouds and stars. Om Shanthi,” Sangeeth Sivan posted on Facebook.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala, Assembly Speaker MB Rajesh and other politicians condoled the death of Sivan. “Sivan was well-known in the movie industry especially for his cinematography skills. His ‘Sivan studio’ at Thiruvananthapuram was a popular gathering spot for many prominent cultural icons,” Vijayan said in his condolence message.

Speaker Rajesh condoled Sivan’s death and said he was quite active in the cultural sphere of the state capital. “As the first press photographer in Thiruvananthapuram, he captured many historic moments,” Rajesh said.

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


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Reliance To Build 4 Giga Factories, Invest Rs 75,000 Crore In Clean Energy: Mukesh Ambani

Reliance will set up 100 GW of solar power generating capacity, Mukesh Ambani said.

Mumbai: Billionaire Mukesh Ambani on Thursday announced a Rs 75,000 crore investment in setting up four “Giga” factories to make solar photovoltaic cells, green hydrogen, batteries and fuel cells over the next three years.

Addressing the company’s annual shareholder meeting, he said Reliance will set up 100 GW of solar power generating capacity.

“We plan to build four Giga Factories to manufacture and integrate all critical components of new energy ecosystem – solar photovoltaic module factory, energy storage battery factory, electrolyser factory, fuel cell factory,” Ambani said.

These four factories will involve an investment of Rs 60,000 crore.

“We will invest an additional Rs 15,000 crore in the value chain, partnerships and future technologies, including upstream and downstream industries. Thus, our overall investment in the new energy business will be Rs 75,000 crore in 3 years,” he said.

Last year, he had announced a 15-year commitment to become net carbon zero by 2035.

“The age of fossil fuels, which powered economic growth globally for nearly three centuries, cannot continue much longer,” he said.

“In 2016, we launched Jio with the aim of bridging the Digital Divide in India. Now, in 2021, we are launching our new energy business with the aim of bridging the green energy divide in India and globally.

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