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COVID-19 tally in Telangana breaches 70K mark with 2,012 cases




Telangana’s COVID-19 tally breached the 70,000 mark on Wednesday, with 2,012 more people testing positive for the virus, said a health official.

The infection count in the state has touched 70,958, while 13 fresh fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours pushing the overall toll to 576, the official added.

The number of tests, which slumped to below 10,000 two days ago, ramped up again. As many as 21,118 tests were conducted during the last 24 hours, ending 8 p.m. Tuesday. With this the cumulative numbers rose to 5,22,143.

According to the health department, results of 1,167 samples are still awaited.

While 39 government and private laboratories were conducting RT-PCR/CBNAAT/TRUENAT types of tests, while 320 government-run centres were conducting rapid antigen tests. However, no breakup of the types of tests was made available by the health department.

The case fatality rate in the state remained low at 0.81 per cent against the national average of 2.10 per Acent. Of 576 fatalities so far, 53.87 per cent had comorbidities.

The recovery rate further improved to 71.6 per cent with 1,139 new recoveries. With this 50,814 people have so far recovered from COVID-19.

Officials said the number of active cases now stands at 19,568 including 12,938 in home/institutional isolation. More than 84 per cent of those under home isolation were asymptomatic.

With 532 new cases, Greater Hyderabad’s share in the daily count further came down to 26 per cent. However, the numbers continued to rise in districts.

Medchal Malkajgiri and Rangareddy districts reported 198 and 188 cases respectively. Sangareddy district saw 89 new cases. These three districts share the borders with Greater Hyderabad.

Districts in other regions of the state also reported a big jump in new cases. Warangal Urban saw 127 new infections, Khammam 97, Nizamabad 83 and Kamareddy 75.

Out of 33 districts, only two districts saw no new infections while four districts the new positive cases were in single digit.


Cyclist hit by van in Delhi, dies



A 40-year-old cyclist has died in a road accident here after a speeding van hit him from behind at Lala Lajpat Rai Marg in the Nizamuddin area, police said.

According to police, Ajay Kumar Singh, a resident of Sangam Vihar, was hit by a Champion delivery van on Friday.

“The cyclist died on the spot. He was working as a security guard at a showroom in Connaught place,” said R.P. Meena, DCP South East Delhi.

Satender Singh, the driver, a resident of Delhi’s Govindpuri, was apprehended on the spot. 

Police said that a case has been registered.

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Pakistan resorts to unprovoked ceasefire violation on LoC




Pakistan army on Saturday targeted Indian positions by using small arms and mortars on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, officials said.

“At around 11.15 a.m. today, Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing with small arms and shelling with mortars along the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district,” Defence Ministry spokesperson Colonel Devender Anand said.

“Indian army is retaliating befittingly,” he added.

Pakistan has been violating the bilateral ceasefire agreement signed by India and Pakistan in 1999 with impunity since the beginning of this year.

At least 24 civilians have been killed and over 100 injured in more than 3,186 ceasefire violations by Pakistan on the LoC since January 2020.

The frequent cross border shelling has brought insurmountable suffering into the lives of thousands of people living along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.

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CBI books 4 former CBSE officers in illegal recruitment scam




The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday said that it has filed a case against then Joint Secretary, two Assistant Secretaries, and one more official of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on charges of alleged irregularities in recruitment.

CBI officials said that the case was registered against four former officers of CBSE on charges of misusing their official position, circumventing reservation provisions, and using forged and fake documents to get jobs in the CBSE. One of the accused is also charged with paying a consultant Rs 26.92 lakh for which no contract document could be located.

The CBI named S.P. Rana, a Joint Secretary, who retired while on suspension, dismissed Assistant Secretary Babita Rani, Assistant Secretary Shikha Tomar and Assistant Programmer Ruchin Tomar in the case.

According to the FIR, Rana is accused of appointing Rani and Shikha Tomar, who belong to the Jat community, between 2012 and 2014 under the OBC quota though the community was not eligible for reservation at that time.

The FIR alleged that Rana facilitated the selection of Shikha Tomar, the daughter-in-law of his brother, as Assistant Secretary on the basis of a fake and invalid experience certificate.

The FIR also charges Rana with allowing overpayment of Rs 26.92 lakh to KPMG for its outsourced services for processing of an application for affiliation and upgradation of schools.

“During enquiry, the CBSE was not able to provide the original file for the payments,” it said.

The case was registered after a preliminary inquiry by the CBI revealed that Rana made repeated recommendations for Rani’s appointment in 2012. “Rani was selected under the OBC category despite the fact that she was not a bonafide OBC candidate,” the FIR said adding that the government had included the ‘Jat’ community in the OBC list only in March 2014.

“At the time of the interview, Rana was holding the charge of Joint Secretary (Administration and Legal), CBSE under whose supervision, the selection was made. Rana further facilitated Rani by approving the request made by her for not verifying her credentials i.e. caste certificate, experience certificate, etc,” the FIR said.

Rani was dismissed from service on January 31 this year.

The CBI FIR also alleged that Shikha Tomar was appointed as Assistant Secretary in 2013 on the basis of a fake experience certificate issued from Ozark Global Information Services (OGIS), whose Director Atul Goel said that she never worked with the organisation and the certificate issued to her is a forged one.

A charge sheet dated November 12, 2018 for major penalty proceedings has been issued by the CBSE but she has not joined duty for long and not responding to the CBSE’s correspondence.

Meanwhile, Ruchin Tomar is accused of producing a forged and fake degree certificate and mark sheets of Bachelor of Engineering in 2014 to land a job in the CBSE. He was also terminated from the job after he did not provide the original mark sheets.

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