#CovidVaccination: WHO Sets Stage For Booster: Prioritise High-Risk Groups

in DNDNews

In a significant announcement, the World Health Organisation said Wednesday that introduction of booster doses should be “firmly evidence-driven” and “targeted” at population groups at highest risk of serious disease, and frontline healthcare workers.

The WHO’s statement on booster doses comes after its Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE) said evidence till date indicates “a minimal to modest reduction” of vaccine protection against severe disease over six months after the second dose. On October 4, the SAGE had said that introduction of booster doses should be targeted at population groups in greatest need, but it also said it needed to deliberate on evidence for the booster dose.

The WHO recommendations could potentially set the ball rolling for India to look at administration of booster doses to the two priority groups. The interim statement on the booster has significant implications: first, because India closely follows the recommendations of the WHO; and second, India began vaccinating healthcare workers from January 16 this year.

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#ElectoralReform: Rajya Sabha Passes Bill to Link Aadhaar With Electoral Roll Amid A Walkout By Opposition

in DNDNews

New Delhi: Parliament on Tuesday passed a Bill to link electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem with Rajya Sabha passing it by voice vote amid a walkout by the Opposition. The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which was passed in Lok Sabha on Monday, seeks to weed out fake voters from electoral rolls.

The opposition parties were demanding a division of votes as they had moved a motion to send the Bill to a select committee, which was rejected by voice vote. TMC member Derek O'Brien cited rules for a division of votes even as Deputy Chairman Harivansh urged members to go to their seats to enable the division.

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#CyberSpace: Govt Orders Blocking of 20 YouTube Channels, 2 Websites For ‘Anti-India Propaganda’

in DNDNews

The government on Tuesday said it has ordered the blocking of 20 YouTube channels and two websites spreading “anti-India propaganda” and fake news.

“The channels and websites belong to a coordinated disinformation network operating from Pakistan and spreading fake news about various sensitive subjects related to India,” a statement issued by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry said.

According to the statement, the I&B Ministry issued two separate orders directing YouTube and the Department of Telecom to get the accounts and the websites blocked. The orders were an outcome of “closely coordinated efforts” between intelligence agencies and the I&B Ministry, it said.

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#MadhyaPradesh: 'Will Put Life At Stake': OBC Reservation in Panchayat Polls Rocks MP Assembly

in DNDNews

The Supreme Court’s stay on the OBC reservation rocked the Madhya Pradesh assembly on Tuesday as both the BJP and Congress party accused each other of being ignorant towards the welfare of backward classes and pledged for restoring the OBC quota in Panchayat polls. The winter session of the state assembly started on Monday.

The assembly had taken up the discussion on the issue as the proceeding started as a dozen Congress MLAs including Kamleshwar Patel, working president Jitu Patwari and others had offered an adjournment motion to the speaker, seeking a discussion on the issue.

Claiming that the Congress party since the times of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru worked for OBC welfare and reservation, Patel accused BJP of conniving to end OBC reservation in Panchayat polls, adding the party did nothing after the SC stayed the matter. The government brought in an Ordinance on delimitation and rotation of reservation in haste, alleged Patel.

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#HouseProceedings: Parliament Disrupted As Opposition Raises SIT Report on Lakhimpur Kheri

in DNDNews

Opposition parties launched a massive protest in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, demanding the removal of Union minister of state for home Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’ after investigators said his son Ashish Mishra and others mowed down farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri in a “deliberate, pre-planned conspiracy”. In the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition continued to protest against the suspension of 12 lawmakers.

The disruptions paused the debate on the Omicron variant in the Upper House and delayed the passage of supplementary demand for grants and debates on climate change and price rise in the Lok Sabha. An angry Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Shiv Pratap Shukla, compared protesting MPs with Omicron and called them a ”threat to democracy”.

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