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Tuesday,26-October-2021

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Facebook India appoints ex-IAS officer as Head of Public Policy

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Facebook on Monday announced the appointment of Rajiv Aggarwal, a former IAS officer, as the Director of Public Policy to lead important policy development initiatives for the social media giant in India on an agenda that covers user safety, data protection, privacy, inclusion and internet governance.

In this role, Aggarwal will report to Ajit Mohan, Vice President And Managing Director, Facebook India and will be a part of the India leadership team.

“We realise we are deeply immersed in the fabric of India and we have the opportunity to help build a more inclusive and safe internet that benefits everyone in the country. I’m thrilled that Rajiv is joining us to lead the Public Policy team. With his expertise and experience, Rajiv will help further our mission to build transparency, accountability, empowered and safe communities, all of which we recognise as our responsibility,” Mohan said in a statement.

Aggarwal comes with 26 years of experience as an IAS officer. During his tenure as an administrative officer, he steered India’s first ever national policy on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) as Joint Secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (M/o Commerce), and was instrumental in the digital transformation of India’s IP offices.

He has been closely associated with the India-US bilateral trade forum, besides being the country’s lead negotiator on IPRs with other nations.

His last assignment was with Uber, where he was the Head of Public Policy for India and South Asia.

Aggarwal’s appointment comes after a series of senior and leadership recruitments in recent months across marketing, partnerships, communications, and other key verticals demonstrating the company’s expanding charter and commitment to India.

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India logs 14,306 fresh Covid cases, 443 deaths

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 In the last 24 hours, India registered 14,306 new Covid-19 cases and 443 deaths, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.

The new fatalities have increased the death toll to 4,54,712.

The recovery of 18,762 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally to 3,35,67,367. Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.18 per cent, currently at its highest peak since March 2020.

The active caseload stands at 1,67,695, which is the lowest in 239 days.

Active cases presently constitute 0.49 per cent of the country’s total positive cases, the lowest since March 2020.

Also in the same period, a total of 9,98,397 tests were conducted across the country.

India has so far conducted over 60.07 crore cumulative tests.

Meanwhile, the weekly positivity rate at 1.24 per cent has remained less than 2 per cent for the last 31 days now.

The daily positivity rate stands at 1.43 per cent, which has also remained below 2 per cent for last 21 days and less than 3 per cent for 56 consecutive days now.

With the administration of 12,30,720 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid inoculation coverage has reached 102.27 crore as of Monday morning,

This has been achieved through 1,01,52,393 sessions.

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One falls to death as fire breaks out in 61-storey Mumbai building

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 A fire erupted on the 19th floor of a 61-storey residential building in south Mumbai, sending panic waves among the residents and resulting in the death of one person, here on Friday, officials said on Friday.

The blaze broke out in the Avigna Park building in Currey Road around noon, with thick clouds of smoke billowing out, sending the residents scurrying out to safety.

One panicky man was seen coming out of the burning floor, hanging onto a ledge, losing balance and falling to his death below. He was identified as Arun Tiwari, 30, according to the BMC Disaster Control.

At least 15 fire-tenders rushed to the spot and battled the conflagration, attempting to stop the flames from spreading to the higher floors, while Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar went and oversaw the rescue operations.

A majority of the residents managed to evacuate themselves, including several senior citizens and children, though two persons are feared trapped inside.

The cause of the blaze, tentatively believed to be due to a short-circuit, is being probed and the building reportedly has all fire-safety measures in place, said the residents.

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India achieves major milestone of ‘one billion’ vaccinations

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India on Thursday achieved the major milestone of 100 crore vaccination-mark, nine months after the nationwide inoculation programme was started to protect the people against Covid-19.

The CoWin portal mentioned that a total of 100 crore vaccine doses has been administered so far to the eligible population under the vaccination drive in India.

India’s vaccination drive against the Covid pandemic was launched on January 16, 2021. The healthcare workers were the first ones to get ones. Later, the frontline workers were also included in the drive from February 2. The state and central police personnel, Armed Forces, Home Guards, Civil Defence and others were included in the vaccination drive.

The vaccination drive was expanded from March 1 to include people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with associated specified comorbidities. From May 1, the vaccination drive was thrown open to all above 18 years of age.

Prime Minister Modi said in a tweet, “India scripts history. We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians. Congrats India on crossing 100 crore vaccinations. Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat.

Congratulating the nation on this historic moment, the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in his tweet, “Congratulation India! Under the visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it has been achieved”.

As India has achieved this historical landmark, the health ministry has planned several events to mark the occasion. The Health Minister will release a song and an audio visual film to celebrate the milestone of administering 100 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses. Mandaviya will release the film and song at the Red Fort later in the day. In another event, Modi will visit the centre-run Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi.

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