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I will also get vaccinated against coronavirus: Tamil Nadu CM



K. Palaniswami. (File Photo: IANS)

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Saturday said he too will get a vaccine shot against the Coronavirus.

Launching the Covid-19 vaccination drive in the state at Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai, Palaniswami told reporters that he too will get vaccinated against Coronavirus and added that the State had received 556,500 doses of vaccines — 536,500 doses of Covishield and 20,000 doses of Covaxin.

Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar and others were also present at the hospital.

The first vaccine shot was given to K. Senthil, State President of Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association.

Both the vaccines — Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin developed and manufactured by Bharat Biotech — will be used in the state.

Palaniswami said 28 days after the first shot, a second vaccine dose will be administered and one has to be very careful for the next 42 days after which immunity against coronavirus will develop.

When pointed out some states not using Covaxin, Palaniswami said the permission to the vaccine was given by the central government after detailed studies.

Palaniswami said people may have some initial apprehension about the vaccine but when the doctors themselves come forward to take the shot people’s views would undergo a change.

The Chief Minister also said the government would consider regularising the about 12,000 coronavirus frontline workers.

At the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, its Dean Therani Rajan took the first vaccine jab.

“I had opted for Covaxin to create confidence in the people as the number of people who had registered for this vaccine was less as compared to Covishield,” Rajan told IANS.

He said 52 persons had registered for Covishield while it was 30 for Covaxin.

“Except for the slight pain when the needle poked the skin, I have no other problem,” Rajan said.

In Tamil Nadu, the immunization exercise will be performed at 166 centres — government and private hospitals.

At Apollo Hospitals here, the Chairman of the Apollo Hospitals Pratap C. Reddy got himself vaccinated. The hospital is one of the vaccination centres in the state.

A total of 100 people will be vaccinated at each centre in the coming days.

Till Friday, a total of 8,29,573 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the state. A total of 12,251 persons have lost their lives due to the virus.

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Kerala Assembly speaker summoned by Customs




Senior CPI-M leader and Kerala Assembly Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan has been summoned by the Customs department to appear before it on March 12 in connection with the gold smuggling case.

The news came as a second blow to Sreeramakrishnan on Friday after he came to know that he won’t be fielded as a candidate in the Assembly elections to be held on April 6.

In December last year, the prime accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case had given a statement in court saying ‘big sharks’ had a role in helping the accused persons in the case, including Swapna Suresh. Sreeramakrishnan had to face the wrath of the Opposition when it moved a motion demanding his removal in January this year. Howevern, the proposal was rejected after it was put to vote.

A statement filed by the Customs in the Kerala High Court on Thursday said, “Her (Swapna Suresh’s) close connection with the Chief Minister and his principal secretary and a personal staff was also revealed by her. She has also stated with clarity about smuggling of foreign currency at the instance of the Chief Minister and the Speaker with the help of the Consulate. She has also clearly stated about the improper and illegal activities of three ministers of the state cabinet and the Speaker. She has further stated about the involvement and the kickbacks received by high profile persons from various deals.

“She has stated that she is aware of all these transactions and was a witness to the same as she is well versed in the Arabic language and hence was forced to act as the translator between the above said persons and the persons of Middle East origin in all their crucial interactions.

“The role of the former principal secretary (M. Sivasankar) in acting as the link between the high profile politicians of Kerala and the UAE Consulate officials as well as some others and in coordinating the illegal financial dealings under the cover of various activities and projects of the state government was also revealed by her.”

The Left has called for a statewide protest on Saturday against the statement of the Customs.

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Bihar government committed to promote industrial farming: Shahnawaz Hussain




Bihar Industry Minister Shahnawaz Hussain during the budget speech said that his department is making every effort to promote industry based farming to enhance the source of earning of farmers.

Hussain said farmers will earn huge amount of money on sowing maize while they will get ethanol on sowing sugarcane. “State government is developing such infrastructures in Bihar so that farmers will export their produce or get maximum price in the domestic market,” he added.

“The state government is committed to bring industries in Bihar. I will not even hesitate in going abroad to lure the investors. Moreover, any investor who will invest more than Rs 1,000 crore in Bihar, I will personally receive them,” Hussain said.

“When I was 32-years-old, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had given me some important cabinet portfolios. I have worked in six departments of the Central government. I have an opportunity to work in my home state and I am honoured that our Chief Minister has given me an important portfolio as Industry Ministry,” he said.

Hussain further claimed that the process of opening old sugar mills is underway and all of them will soon become operational.

Tejashwi Yadav, the Leader of Opposition who was present in the assembly asked the minister to point out when will the Prime Minister drink tea made of sugar produced in the sugar mill of Motihari.

The sugar mill of Motihari has been closed since 2015 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2015 Assembly polls announced that he will open the mill and consume tea made of sugar produced from the mill.

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Teachers, not parents can guide student’s careers: Pramod Sawant



Pramod Sawant. (File Photo: IANS)

Teachers, alone and not parents can guide students to achieve career goals, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Saturday, while speaking at a function in his Assembly constituency of Sanquelim to felicitate meritorious students.

“Only, a teacher can groom you for the future, not your mother and father. Only 10 per cent of the parents of students studying in Sanquelim’s Progress High School know something about careers. Parents of 90 per cent of the students have no knowledge about careers,” Sawant said.

The Chief Minister also urged teachers to upgrade their career guidance regularly, in order to keep their students abread of opportunities ahead.

“Teachers should take refresh on career (guidance opportunities) every year, only then they will be able to help students. Career does not mean only BA, BCom, BSc, Science Arts and Commerce. There is so much beyond it. Young people should not look at government jobs as a career alone. They should look beyond it,” Sawant said, amid increasing demand for the government jobs from the local youth ahead of the 2022 state Assembly elections.

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