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Gujarat hit by Zika virus, nearby states on alert.

Sonu Kanojia

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported three laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus disease in Gujarat (India),all coming from the  Bapunagar area of Ahmedabad. The latest case is of a 22 year pregnant woman who tested positive in January this year, the first sample dates back to February last year. Therefore nearby states like Maharashtra is on alert and taking all precautionary measures.

The first case reported was of a 64-year-old male with febrile illness of eight days (negative for dengue infection) and was found to be positive for Zika virus at the BJMC, Ahmedabad.The second case was of a 34-year-old female, who delivered a healthy baby at the BJMC on November 9, 2016.The third case was of a 22-year-old pregnant female in her 37th week of pregnancy.

The health ministry maintained that the outburst has been limited within the state. According to an official from the health ministry no case was reported since January. The official further said that they have been keeping a close watch and the situation was under control.“These are old cases. They were confirmed in January. We shared the information with WHO then, and WHO has now decided to go public. These are not fresh cases,” said a Union health ministry official.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has tested 34,233 human samples and 12,647 mosquito samples for the presence of Zika virus. Among those, close to 500 mosquito’s samples were collected from Bapunagar area, Ahmedabad district, in Gujarat, and were found negative for Zika virus.

An alert has been issued to Zaika Virus at Ahmedabad Airport. The state government has deployed a team of medical officers at Ahmednagar Airport for the sake of alertness and security reasons. Thermal scanners have been instaalled on the departure and evacuee gate.

The Zika virus was first identified in monkeys, in Uganda in 1947. The first human case were detected in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania in 1952. Since then, there have been further outbreaks in Africa, South East Asia, and the Pacific Islands.

Fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis, muscle pain, headache, pain behind the eyes, vomiting are the symptoms of zika virus.

National

Rafale Deal Case: Supreme Court rules out probe in the deal

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The verdict was pronounced on a batch of pleas seeking court-monitored probe in the multi-billion dollar Rafale fighter jet deal with France.

 

New Delhi| The Supreme Court Friday said there is no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the multi-billion dollar Rafale fighter jet deal with France.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, said there has been the necessity of fighter aircraft and the country cannot remain without fighter jets.

The Chief Justice of India (CJI) is reading out the judgment for the three-judge bench.

The verdict was pronounced on a batch of pleas seeking court-monitored probe in the multi-billion dollar Rafale fighter jet deal with France.

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Make sure private banks stay in Indian hands: RSS affiliate to new RBI governor

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New Delhi | Days after new RBI governor Shaktikanta Das assumed charge, an RSS-affiliated outfit on Thursday said he should “rethink” about the regulatory framework for private bank ownership in the country so that it remains in Indian hands.

The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) Thursday organized a discussion on ‘Future of Banks in India’, which was moderated by its co-convener Ashwani Mahajan.

After the discussion a paper was released, in which the SJM said, “There is a need for the new RBI Governor to rethink the regulatory framework for private bank ownership. None of us want India homegrown banks to be allowed in the hands of foreign players.”

These remarks come just two days after Das was appointed as the Central bank governor and a day ahead of RBI’s central board meet in Mumbai.

The Sangh affiliate further suggested that the promoters cap should also be reexamined, adding “present guidelines for compulsory dilution of the equity appear unnatural” as it is helping more foreign funds to make way into the Indian markets.

“SJM is worried that the foreign funds are increasing their penetration among the public sector banks as well as taking control of various private banks. In absence of any agreements on this at multilaterals, including the World Trade Organisation (WTO). SJM believes that the ownership of banks in India should stay among Indians,” the paper said.

It is worrisome, as India doesn’t have mature funds with deeper pockets to take up equities in the banks, the forced equity dilution pushes the banks to go abroad, SJM said while underlining that the motive of bringing in private sector banks in 2001 was to bring in more competition in this space and improving the access to credit to more Indians.

Asserting that the country needs strong and healthy banks for inclusiveness in the society, the SJM said there are two main disruptors for banks, the implementation of International Financial Reporting System (IFRS) based accounting standards and BASEL-III norms.

Basel III capital regulations are a global capital to risk norms. As per the norms, banks have to maintain a minimum common equity ratio of 8 percent and a total capital ratio of 11.5 percent.

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Supreme Court to pronounce verdict on pleas for probe into Rafale fighter jet deal

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Eric Tappier

New Delhi | The Supreme Court is scheduled on Friday to pronounce the verdict on pleas seeking court-monitored probe into India’s multi-billion dollar Rafale fighter jet deal with France. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had reserved its verdict on a batch of pleas on November 14.

Advocate M L Sharma was the first petitioner in the case. Later, another lawyer Vineet Dhanda had moved the apex court with the plea for court-monitored probe into the deal. AAP leader Sanjay Singh has also filed a petition against the fighter jet deal.

After the three petitions were filed, former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie along with activist advocate Prashant Bhushan had moved the apex court with a plea for a direction to the CBI to register FIR for alleged irregularities in the deal.

The Centre has defended the multi-billion deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets and opposed public disclosure of the pricing details.

India signed an agreement with France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in a fly-away condition as part of the upgrading process of Indian Air Force equipment. The estimated cost of the deal is Rs 58,000 crore.

The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation.

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