Saturday, October 5, 2013

launch of vaccine for Japanese Encephalitis

Azad launches vaccine for Japanese Encephalitis
Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has launched the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccine JENVAC in New Delhi and termed it a major step by the country towards achieving self-reliance in technological innovation.
Till now, the vaccine was imported from China and its availability was an issue, the minister said, terming the launch of JENVAC a historic occasion.
He further said the JE virus, which was first reported in in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu in 1955, has now spread to over 171 districts in 19 states.
“The need for this vaccine is immense as the birth cohort in the affected 171 districts is about 40 lakh annually, which means we would eventually need about 1 crore doses of the vaccine for comprehensive coverage,” Azad said.
Azad said that after acceptance of GoM recommendations for a comprehensive multi-pronged strategy for the prevention and control of Japanese Encephalitis and acute encephalitis syndrome, the Union Cabinet gave its approval for a ‘National Programme for Prevention and Control of JE and AES’ with a fund outlay of more than Rs 4,000 crore.
This programme is now being implemented in 60 priority districts of the country for a period of five years from 2012-13 to 2016-17 by the concerned ministries.
Interventions are being focused on five states of Assam, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, Azad said.
The vaccine has been jointly developed by scientists of National Institute of Virology, Pune, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Bharat Biotech Limited. 


News International

India  seeks Belgium’s support to enter arms control regimes
India seeks BelgiumUpdated on :&nbsp05-10-2013 09:02 AM
Acknowledging Belgium’s “upfront support” for making an exception for India in Nuclear Suppliers Group, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said a clear public stand by the country favouring India’s bid to become a full member of four major arms control regimes would be in line with excellent bilateral cooperation.
President Mukherjee, in his opening remarks at the talks with Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupa, said India attaches great importance to its relations with Belgium and hoped that the two countries strengthen economic ties.
“I would also like to acknowledge Belgium’s upfront support for creating an exception for India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to enable us to enter into international cooperation in the area of civilian nuclear energy,” Mukherjee, on a four-day state visit here, said.
Expressing hope that Belgium will continue its constructive approach and will support India’s efforts to become a full member of the four arms control regimes, namely, NSG, Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group, the President said “a clear public stance by Belgium on this issue would be in line with our excellent cooperation.”
NSG has 47 members, MTCR has 34 countries as its members, Wassenaar Arrangement, an order which is for the promotion of regional security, international security and stability by offering transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms, dual-use goods and technologies, has 41 members.
The Australia Group, an informal forum of countries which seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical and biological weapons, has 42 members. Belgium is a member of all these groups.
President Mukherjee, the first Indian Head of the State to visit Belgium, also thanked the country for its support of India’s candidature to a permanent seat in an expanded United Nations Security Council.
Dwelling on the economic relations between the two countries, Mukherjee said that the last few years have seen a difficult economic environment in Europe and elsewhere.
“While the momentum in bilateral trade could not be sustained in 2012, we hope that it will regain momentum in 2013 and that we will be able to achieve the target that we set for ourselves to double our bilateral trade from 8.8 billion Euros in 2008 in the next five years,” he said.
Trade between Belgium and India stands at 12.15 billion Euros in 2012.
Prez to inaugurate mega cultural festival in Belgium on Saturday.
A four-month long cultural extravaganza showcasing India’s diverse culture and heritage will be jointly inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee and King of Belgium Philippe on Friday.
Mukherjee, who is on a four-day visit, will be received by King Phillippe at the venue from where both the leaders will light the traditional lamp marking the opening of ‘Europalia India’.
Mukherjee, the first Indian Head of the State to visit Belgium, arrived in Brussels on Wednesday in the first leg of his six-day state visit to Belgium and Turkey.
In a rare gesture, King Philippe came to the airport here to receive Mukherjee.
The cultural extravaganza would present to European audience vibrant heritage of India through 450 events like performing arts, discussions, exhibitions and cultural events planned at 100 venues in Belgium and neighbouring countries.
The event which starts from October 4 will continue till January 26, 2014, and it will present to Europe different aspects of Indian artistic diversity with the focus on seven themes — The Body, Indomania, India tomorrow, Living Traditions, Water, Bollywood and Beyond and The Diaspora.
During the event, India’s sculptures, dances, literature, history, folk art and music would be showcased in the form of discussions, performances and exhibitions.
The event is being organised by Europalia International in partnership with the External Affairs Ministry, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and its partners.
In the past Europalia had showcased BRICS members Brazil, China, Russia besides other countries like Italy, Poland among others through such mega events.
A high-level delegation, including ministers, senior officials and representatives of educational and academic institutions, is accompanying the President.
Head of ICCR Karan Singh and former Foreign Secretary Lalit Mansingh will also be present on the occasion.
UGC Chairman Ved Prakash, Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University Dinesh Singh, Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice-Chancellor Sudhir Kumar Sopory and Hyderabad University Vice-Chancellor Ramakrishna Ramaswamy are part of the delegation visiting the two countries.
Minister for Shipping G K Vasan and a group of MPs including Priya Dutt, Deepender Singh Hooda, Zafar Ali Naqvi, Baishnab Charan Parida and Prabhakar Kore are also travelling with the President. 
 Dates announced for 5 State Assemblies
 Assembly elections to be held in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Chhattisgarh from 11th November, the Election Commission announced on Friday.
 Chhattisgarh will have a two-phase polling on 11th November and 19th November, the remaining states will have a single-phase poll.
Delhi and Mizoram will go to polls on 4th December, Madhya Pradesh on 25th November and Rajasthan on 1st December.
Counting for all the five states will take place on 8th December, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath told a press conference in New Delhi.
For the first time, voters will have an option of ‘none of the above’ (NOTA) in these polls where they can decide not to vote any of the candidates in the fray.
Sampath said there were 11 crore voters spread over 630 constituencies in these five states.
Voting will take place in 1.30 lakh polling stations, the CEC said, adding the Model Code of Conduct comes into effect immediately.
Replying to a question on disqualification of convicted MPs, he said the Election Commission will announce vacancies only after they are notified by Rajya Sabha Chairman and Lok Sabha Speaker.
The first phase of polls in Chhattisgarh will be held on 11th November for which the notification will be issued on 18th October.
The last date of filing nominations will be 25th October and the last date of withdrawal will be 28th October.
Scrutiny of nominations will take place on 26th October.
The second phase of elections will take place on 19th November for which the notification will be issued on 25th October.
While nominations can be filed till 1st November, scrutiny will be held on 2nd November. The last date of withdrawal is 4th November.
For the 25th November poll in Madhya Pradesh, the notification will be issued on 1st November.
The last date of filing nominations is 8th November. While scrutiny will take place on 9th November, nominations can be withdrawn till 11th November.
In Rajasthan, where the elections will be held on 1st December, the notification will be issued on 5th November.
While 12th November is the last date of filing nominations, they can be withdrawn till 16th November. In between, the scrutiny of the nominations will be carried out on 13th November.
In Delhi and Mizoram, the elections will be held on 4th December. The notification for assembly polls in both the states will be issued on 9th November.
The nominations can be filed till 16th November and scrutiny will take place on 18th November.
The last date of withdrawing from the electoral race is on 20th November.


UN condemns attack on Russian embassy in Libya

The United Nations “condemned in the strongest terms” Wednesday’s attack on the Russian embassy in Tripoli, Libya and urged for the attackers to be brought to justice. “The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that such acts are unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed,” said the NSC press statement. The Security Council also called on the Libyan authorities to protect diplomatic and consular property and personnel, and to “respect fully their international obligations in this regard.” According to Russia’s Foreign Ministry, the embassy came under fire on Wednesday as an armed group attempted to break into the diplomatic compound. All embassy staff were evacuated from Libya following the event. Russian officials said the alleged killing of a Libyan Air Force pilot and his mother by a Russian woman triggered the attack. Libya has issued an apology to Russia and said it will compensate all damages incurred in the attack.

Morsi supporter killed as clashes break out in Egypt cities

Supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood took to the streets in several Egyptian cities on Friday, clashing with opponents and police. An Egyptian army vehicle fired live rounds at protesters who had been pushed away from Cairo’s Tahrir Square by security forces, witnesses say. One Brotherhood supporter has died from a gunshot wound in clashes in the center of Cairo, Reuters reported, citing medical sources. Riot police earlier fired tear gas to push back the march in the capital, and onlookers threw rocks at the pro-Morsi protesters.

Erdogan to run for president 

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan will run for the presidency in elections due next year if asked to do so by his party. “I have not made such a decision for sure yet,” Mdia  quoted Erdogan as saying in an interview with Turkish broadcaster A Haber late on Thursday. According to the rules of his AK Party, Erdogan cannot run again as prime minister in a general election in 2015. He has been expected to stand for a new executive presidency, but his plans to establish such an enhanced role have stalled.


Organizing for ActionNaresh —
It’s the fourth day of the government shutdown, and House Speaker John Boehner is still letting the same group of House Republicans who drove us here run the show.
Today, we’re asking everyone who’s fed up to say “Enough already!” We’re taking to Twitter, and I hope you’ll join in.
Tweet Now
If you’re not on Twitter, it’s easy to start. It’s a place where many members of Congress and their staffers try to drive the narrative of the day — right now, some members of Congress think they can get away with blaming this shutdown on President Obama.
It’s Congress’ job to fund the government. It’s Congress’ job to make sure they pay their bills. Anything less is failure.
What makes this worse is that some of these Republicans are arguing that they’re listening to their constituents — that Americans actually wanted a shutdown.
You and I know that’s not true — it’s time to call them on it.
Tell John Boehner this is economic sabotage, and it’s got to stop now:
Nico Probst
Director of Special Projects
Organizing for Action

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