Category Archives: India News

CBSE 10th Result 2021 Likely to be Declared at Noon Today at cbseresults.nic.in

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) class 10 results declared one of the best ever results as nearly all students have passed the exam. Of the total 21,467 students, as many as 99.04% have passed. This is a jump of over 8 percentage points from last year when 91.46% of students had passed the exams. Among the 21.5 lakh students, as many as 26841 enrolled in private mode for whom the result is not out. Further, the results of 16639 students are under process and will be declared later.

Region-wise, Trivandrum remains the undefeated champion as it not only is the best among regions but has the highest ever pass percentage with 99.99% of students from the region clearing the exam. It is followed closely by Bengaluru which has a 99.96% pass percentage.

Over 21 lakh students can download their marksheets from cbse.nic.in, cbse results.nic.in. Students can also check their results at digilocker.gov.n. Results is also be available at Umang App.

CBSE Class 10 Results 2021: Region Wise Pass Percentage

Trivandrum – 99.99%
Bengaluru – 99.96%
Chennai – 99.94%
Pune – 99.92%
Ajmer – 99.88%
Panchkula – 99.77%
Patna – 99.66%
Bhubaneswar – 99.62%
Bhopal – 99.47%
Chandigarh – 99.46%
Dehradun – 99.23%
Prayagrah – 99.19%
Noida – 98.78%
Delhi West – 98.74%
Delhi East – 97.80%
Guwahati – 90.54%

Nearly 100% Pass percentage has been recorded by CBSE this year. About 99.04% of students have been declared passed this year. The board has withheld results for over 16639 students. In class 12 as well over 60,000 students are still awaiting results considering some schools have either not declared data or there is an error in the results.

In CBSE class 10 results, girls have outperformed boys by 0.35%. As many as 99.24% of girls who registered for the exam have passed while the pass percentage of boys is at 98.89%. All the transgender students who registered for the exam have passed it.

CBSE Class 10 Results 2021: How to check Marks

Step 1: Go to the official websites of CBSE — cbse.nic.in, or cbseresults.nic.in

Step 2: Click on the Class 10 result 2021 link on the homepage

Step 3: Enter your roll number as per your admit card and required credentials

Step 4: Your CBSE Class 10 will open on a new page

Step 5: Download and take a print of the document for future reference

Nine-year-old girl raped, murdered by a priest and 3 others in Delhi

Police said the family expressed suspicions that the girl may have been sexually assaulted and murdered, given how her body was cremated in a hurry.

A nine-year-old girl was raped and killed allegedly by a priest and three male employees of a crematorium near Delhi Cantonment in south-west Delhi, who then cremated her body allegedly without her parents’ consent or the police being informed. Police said the four men were arrested after the child’s family alleged foul play and staged a protest along with fellow villagers on Sunday night.

Police said the family expressed suspicions that the girl may have been sexually assaulted and murdered, given how her body was cremated in a hurry.

According to the police, the suspects allegedly told the girl’s mother that the child was electrocuted to death, and also frightened the family off from informing the police by telling them that the police would register a case and send the body for an autopsy, where doctors will take out her vital organs and sell them, the police said.

The four men were booked for murder, rape and criminal intimidation, a case regarding which was registered under Indian Penal Code’s sections 302, 376 and 506, in addition to relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the SC/ST Act.

They four men were identified as Radhey Shyam, the 55-year-old priest of the crematorium, and three employees Salim, Laxmi Narayan and Kuldeep, who are all known to the girl’s mother, said deputy commissioner of police (south-west) Ingit Pratap Singh.

Police said the girl, who lived with her parents in a rented house in front of the crematorium, went to fetch cold water from the water cooler installed at the crematorium around 5.30pm on Sunday. Half an hour later, the priest and the three men called the girl’s mother to the crematorium and showed her the child’s body.

“They told her that the girl was electrocuted to death while having water from the cooler. They showed her the burn marks on her daughter’s wrist and elbow, and said her lips had turned blue. The four men asked the girl’s mother to not inform the police about the death. They told her that the police will register a case and the body will be sent for an autopsy, during which doctors will remove her vital organs and sell them. The four then cremated the body,” said DCP Singh.

Police said nearly 200 villagers reached the crematorium on Sunday night and carried out a protest till Monday evening, demanding that the arrested persons be booked on rape and murder charges.

“We want the strictest punishment for the priest and the three men. If it was a case of electrocution, why did they (the suspects) not inform the police or send the girl’s body to any hospital for autopsy? What was the urgency to cremate the body and that too late in the evening, when no cremation is allowed at the crematorium after 6pm. Why did they do it without the consent of the girl’s parents? We suspect that this is a case of murder after rape,” said a 45-year-old woman neighbour of the girl’s family.

According to the neighbour, the residents came to know about the matter when the girl’s parents raised the alarm and told them that their daughter’s body was cremated without their consent.

“Some people in our neighbourhood broke open the crematorium gate and confronted the priest… Police should scan the CCTV cameras installed on the premises to ascertain what exactly happened to the girl,” she said.

Initially, the police registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, wrongful confinement, and destruction of evidence related to the offence along with common intention under Indian Penal Code’s sections 304, 342, 201 and 34. However, following the protest and the circumstantial evidence, the case was converted into one of rape, murder and criminal intimidation, said a senior police officer, who asked not to be named.

Police said the crime scene investigation team and forensic experts have collected evidence from the crematorium for further investigation.

Delhi social welfare minister Rajendra Pal Gautam visited the protest site and assured to “provide the necessary support to the victim’s family”. In a tweet, the Aam Aadmi Party said, “Police should conduct fair investigation. If not then Delhi government will carry out a magisterial enquiry.”

Delhi Congress president Anil Kumar also condemned the incident and said his party will not allow Delhi “to turn into another Hathras”, referring to the cremation by police of a Dalit woman who was allegedly gang raped and murdered in UP’s Hathras. “This is yet another instance of rising lawlessness in the national capital following the Arvind Kejriwal government’s liberalised excise policy, making easy availability of liquor in every ward,” he said.

Anti-rape activist Yogita Bhayana also said on Twitter that she met the girl’s family.

Danish Siddiqui’s body mutilated, had multiple bullet wounds, tyre marks

One Indian official said the body had nearly a dozen bullet wounds and that there were tyre marks on Siddiqui’s face and chest.

The body of Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters photojournalist who was killed in Afghanistan on July 16, was badly mutilated while in the custody of the Taliban, officials said this week.

An Indian national, the 38-year-old Siddiqui was killed on the morning of July 16, when Afghan commandos he had accompanied to Spin Boldak, a border district recently captured by the Taliban, were ambushed. Initial photographs from the scene showed Siddiqui’s body with multiple wounds but fully intact.

But by that evening, when the body was handed over to the Red Cross and transferred to a hospital in the southern city of Kandahar, it had been badly mutilated, according to two Indian officials and two Afghan health officials there.

The New York Times reviewed multiple photographs, some provided by Indian officials and others taken by Afghan health workers at the hospital, that showed Siddiqui’s body had been mutilated. One Indian official said the body had nearly a dozen bullet wounds and that there were tyre marks on Siddiqui’s face and chest.

One of the health officials in Kandahar said the body, along with Siddiqui’s press vest, reached the city’s main hospital around 8 pm on the day he was killed. His face was unrecognisable, said the official, who added that he could not determine exactly what had been done to the body.

There are conflicting reports about what happened on July 16, as the Afghan special forces with whom Siddiqui was travelling tried to retake Spin Boldak.

Accounts from local officials, as well as Taliban members, suggest that Siddiqui and the Afghan unit’s commander were killed in a crossfire when their convoy was ambushed from multiple directions. Their bodies were left on the battlefield as the rest of the unit retreated, according to this version of events.

Some news outlets reported that Siddiqui might have been captured alive by the Taliban and then executed. Those reports could not be confirmed. One Indian official, however, said that some of Siddiqui’s wounds appeared to be from gunshots at close range.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, denied any wrongdoing on the part of the insurgents, saying they were under orders to treat bodies with respect and to hand them over to local elders or the Red Cross. But the Taliban were in control of the area at the time, and some photographs showed what appeared to be the group’s fighters standing around Siddiqui’s body, which was then intact.

The revelation comes amid concern that the fighting in Afghanistan has become increasingly brutal as peace talks have stalled.

The Taliban rose to power from the southern province in the 1990s, promising to end atrocities carried out by local militias. In recent years, Afghan forces led by Abdul Raziq, a general who was assassinated in 2018, have been accused of ruthless tactics as they fought the Taliban in Kandahar. Spin Boldak, where Siddiqui died, was General Raziq’s hometown. Reports have emerged of the Taliban detaining, and in some cases executing, people who had been associated with the general.

Human Rights Watch and other watchdog groups say the Taliban have carried out a series of revenge killings in Kandahar province, where some of the most brutal episodes in Afghanistan’s last four war-torn decades have occurred.

“Danish always chose to be on the front lines so that abuses and atrocities could not remain hidden,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, the South Asia director for Human Rights Watch. “The brutality with which Taliban fighters punished Danish proves the abuses that he was documenting.”

Three days before his killing, Siddiqui had posted a video on Twitter in which he said several rocket-propelled grenades had struck the armoured vehicle in which he was travelling.

His body, in a closed coffin, was returned to his home in New Delhi two days after his death. He was buried in a cemetery at Jamia Millia Islamia, the university in New Delhi from which he had graduated.

The Indian girl killed for wearing jeans

Last week, 17-year-old Neha Paswan was allegedly beaten to death by members of her extended family in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh because they didn’t like her wearing jeans.

Her mother, Shakuntala Devi Paswan, told BBC Hindi that the teenager had been severely beaten with sticks by her grandfather and uncles after an argument over her clothes at their home in Savreji Kharg village in Deoria district, one of the least developed regions in the state.

“She had kept a day-long religious fast. In the evening, she put on a pair of jeans and a top and performed her rituals. When her grandparents objected to her attire, Neha retorted that jeans were made to be worn and that she would wear it,” her mother said.

The argument escalated, resulting in the violence, she claims.

Shakuntala Devi said as her daughter lay unconscious, her in-laws called an autorickshaw and said they were taking her to hospital.

“They wouldn’t let me accompany them so I alerted my relatives who went to the district hospital looking for her but couldn’t find her.”

The next morning, Shakuntala Devi said, they heard that the body of a girl was hanging from the bridge over the Gandak river that flows through the region. When they went to investigate, they discovered it was Neha’s.

Police have lodged a case of murder and destruction of evidence against 10 people, including Neha’s grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and the auto driver. The accused have yet to make any public statement.

Senior police official Shriyash Tripathi told BBC Hindi that four people, including the grandparents, an uncle and the auto driver, had been arrested and were being questioned. He said police were looking for the remaining accused.

Neha’s father Amarnath Paswan, who works as a day labourer on construction sites in Ludhiana, a town in Punjab, and had returned home to deal with the tragedy said he had worked hard to send his children, including Neha, to school.

Shakuntala Devi said their daughter wanted to be a police officer, but “her dreams would never be realised now”.

She alleged that her in-laws were putting pressure on Neha to leave her studies in a local school and often chided her for wearing anything other than traditional Indian clothing.

Reference Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-57968350

India beat Australia 1-0, reach historic hockey women’s semifinals

Tokyo Olympics 2021 Day 10 Live Updates: The Indian women hockey team made history on Monday, the 10th day of Tokyo Olympics as they beat Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinals. With that, India sealed their spot in the semifinals for the first time in their Olympic history. Meanwhile, starting the day for India, Dutee Chand clocked her season best timing of 23.85 seconds in the women’s 200 m race but finished last in the heat, failing to qualify for semifinal.

After a carnage-filled Day 9 that saw PV Sindhu added to India’s medal tally with a bronze, India will now pin hopes on Kamalpreet Kaur as she will be throwing the 1kg disc in hope of a medal. Indian shooters have had a disappointing campaign in the Games so far.  Sanjeev Rajput and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar will be looking to change that in 50m Rifle 3 positions qualifiers which will be followed by finals if the duo qualify.

Remaining India’s matches on Day 10: SHOOTING: Sanjeev Rajput and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar in Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions Final: 1:20 PM (subject to qualification) | EQUESTRIAN: Fouaad Mirza in Eventing Jumping Individual Qualifier: 1:30 PM | ATHLETICS: Kamalpreet Kaur in Women’s Discus Throw Final: 4:30 PM | EQUESTRIAN: Eventing Individual Jumping Final: 5:15 PM (subject to qualification) |

India win hockey opener, Sumit Nagal takes first set

Tokyo Olympics 2020 Live Updates Day 1: Archery, Shooting and Weightlifting could provide some early joy to India on Saturday, while the Badminton, Hockey, TT and Boxing campaigns also begin.

The Tokyo Olympics are taking place under heavy restrictions after a year’s delay because of the coronavirus pandemic. Deepika Kumari, Mirabai Chanu, Saurabh Chaudhary and Vikas Krishan are some of the biggest names in the schedule for the day.

The biggest joy for the Indians in the morning on Saturday came in Archery, with the mixed team of Deepika Kumari and Pravin Jadhav outclassing Chinese Taipei to make their way into the last 8. Elavenil Valarivan and Apurvi Chandela, meanwhile, failed to progress to the 10m air rifle final. The Indian men’s hockey team then beat New Zealand 3-2 in their first group match to make a triumphant start to their campaign.

The Games were declared open by Japan’s Emperor Naruhito after which tennis star Naomi Osaka lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games on Friday, ending the flame’s long journey from Greece to these delayed Olympics. The cauldron sat atop a peak inspired by Mount Fuji. It was a sphere that opened like a flower, “to embody vitality and hope,” organizers said. A second cauldron has been placed in Tokyo’s waterfront area was to be lit after the opening ceremony. The games, delayed for a year by the pandemic, have had competition taking place since earlier in the week, but are not considered officially having started until the opening ceremony.

Here is the Indian schedule for the day–

July 24: Women’s 10m Air Rifle Qualification — Elavenil Valarivan, Apurvi Chandela from 5 AM

July 24: Men’s 10m Air Pistol Qualification — Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma, from 9:30 AM

July 24: Women’s 10m Air Rifle Final — Elavenil Valarivan, Apurvi Chandela (if qualify), from 10:15 AM

July 24: Men’s 10m Air Pistol Final — Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma (if qualify), from 12 PM

July 24: Women’s 48kg Round of 32, Successive Rounds — Sushila Devi Likmabam, from 7:30 AM

July 24: Women’s 49kg Medal Round — Mirabai Chanu, from 10:20 AM

July 24: Mixed Doubles Round of 16 — Sharath Kamal/Manika Batra, from 7:45 AM

July 24: Hockey Men’s Pool A — India vs New Zealand, 6:30 AM

July 24: Hockey Women’s Pool A — India vs Netherlands, 5:15 PM

July 24: Men’s Welterweight Round of 32 — Vikas Krishan, from 3:50 PM

At least 31 killed as rain triggers mayhem in Mumbai

At least 31 persons, including eight minors, lost their lives in Mumbai as incessant rain from Saturday night and throughout Sunday triggered a landslip, house collapse and electrocution.

The Regional Meteorological Centre of Mumbai has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall at few places, with extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said more than 200 mm of rainfall was recorded between 11 p.m. on Saturday and 4 a.m. on Sunday. A BMC centre at Dahisar recorded the highest 226.82 mm of rainfall, followed by Chembur with 218.45 mm.

Nineteen people were killed and five injured at Vashi Naka in Chembur after a retaining wall collapsed on four or five huts due to the force of water and mud around 1 a.m.

A landslip at Panchasheel chawl in Vikroli on six houses around 3 a.m. resulted in the death of 10 people while one person was injured.

Soham Thorat, 16, died after a wall of his house at Kombagalli in Bhandup area collapsed, while one person was electrocuted at a shop in Andheri.

Five battalions of the National Disaster Response Force were deployed in Chembur and Vikroli to speed up rescue efforts. The search was on for two more missing individuals at the time of writing this report.

“I visited the 3 locations of landslips … Relief work is going on and all necessary financial and medical assistance is being provided by the Govt of Maharashtra and BMC,” Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray tweeted.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray expressed condolences at the loss of lives in the Chembur, Vikhroli incidents. “The next of kin of those who lost their lives in the mishap will receive ₹5 lakh each from the State and those injured will be provided with free medical treatment,” said Mr Thackeray.

In view of the IMD forecast of heavy rains on Sunday, CM directed all agencies to stay on high alert and launch immediate rescue and relief operations in case of any mishaps. “If the water levels in the Mithi or other major nullahs rise above the danger level, those staying in nearby areas must be relocated to safer locations immediately,” he said.

Rains have also posed water shortage problems in front of the city as due to the inundation of rain water in the Bhandup Water Purification Complex.The Filtration and Pumping plants at the complex had to be shut down as a precautionary measure.

“Due to this, water supply in most of the parts of Mumbai has been disrupted today (Sunday). Efforts to restore Mumbai’s water supply are being made on war footing. We urge the citizens of Mumbai to boil potable water before consuming it, once the water supply is restored,” said the civic body press statement.

Heavy rains also resulted in water logging at 31 locations across Mumbai and 20 traffic diversions had to be announced. Several suburban local train services were also hit due water logging on tracks.

The rains have also brought good news to Mumbai as days after overflowing of Tulsi lake, one of water bodies which supply water to Mumbai, Vihar lake too overflowed at 9 AM on Sunday.

The IMD has predicted heavy to very heavy rains in the next 48 hours. It also expressed the possibility of occassional gutsy winds reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph. “In view of the likely formation of a low-pressure area over Northwest Bay of Bengal & neighbourhood around July 23 and associated strengthening of westerlies, parts of Konkan Goa and adjoining ghat areas of Madhya Maharashtra is very likely to experience an active rainfall spell during next 5-6 days with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places,” the release said.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday evening held a meeting with senior officials in the state to take stock of the situation arose due to incessant rains.

Monsoon Arrives In Delhi After Long Delay; Massive Jams After Heavy Rain

Delhi Monsoon: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had predicted moderate rain over Delhi this morning.

New Delhi: The long-delayed monsoon finally arrived in Delhi today as heavy rain and thunderstorms hit the national capital this morning leading to massive traffic jams. The city’s adjoining areas like Gurgaon and Faridabad have also received rainfall.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had predicted moderate rain over Delhi this morning.

The southwest monsoon’s arrival today after a string of IMD’s incorrect predictions is the most delayed in Delhi in 15 years. The weather office faced a lot of criticism and called the failure in prediction “rare and uncommon”. The IMD’s last prediction was monsoon’s arrival last Saturday as Delhi and adjoining areas reeled under intense heat for weeks.

The Monsoon had reached almost all parts of the country but had stayed away from Delhi, Haryana, parts of west Uttar Pradesh and west Rajasthan. The weather forecasting agency had predicted that monsoon is expected to cover these parts by June — a little less than a month back but that did not happen.

K Jenamani, a senior scientist at IMD has said they will study why the arrival of monsoon was delayed in Delhi despite favourable conditions.

India’s first Covid patient tests positive again for coronavirus

The student was found to have been reinfected after she was retested as she planned to travel to Delhi. Her family said she is showing no visible symptoms and that she has also been administered the first Covid-19 vaccine dose

A student from Kerala’s Thrissur enrolled at a medical college in China, who was the first Indian to test positive for Covid-19 in January 2020 after returning to India following the outbreak of the pandemic, has been infected again, a health official said on Tuesday. She is, however, asymptomatic, the official added.

“She has been tested positive and under quarantine at her home. None of the family members have tested positive so far,” said Thrissur district medical officer K J Reena. She said re-infection is nothing new, and some of the health workers have been infected twice.

The student was found to have been reinfected after she was retested as she planned to travel to Delhi. Her family said she is showing no visible symptoms and that she has also been administered the first Covid-19 vaccine dose.

The student, who has been unable to return to China as Beijing is yet to allow Indian students back into the country because of the pandemic, spent almost a month in hospital while undergoing treatment for Covid-19 in 2020. Two of her friends, who travelled with her from Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic in China, were also later tested positive.

The student last year told HT she never thought she will be infected but once she was diagnosed with the infection, her main concern was her family members and others who she met after returning home. She spent 24 days at an isolation ward from January 27 to February 20, wearing personal protective equipment. She said her medical background helped her overcome the trauma.

An Indian Council of Medical Research study from January to October last year estimated 4.5% re-infection cases. Researchers at New Delhi’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) found over 10% of the people were likely exposed to the virus again during the April wave of infections in Delhi. The findings were based on the sequential analysis of samples from 1,000 people across 10 locations. The study found that the antibodies in them were mostly declining before they shot up again. It found that 80% of the participants with antibodies against Sars-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, in June, after the fourth wave of infections (and the second nationwide) in Delhi.

Out on bail, gangster Kulbir Naruana shot dead by associate in Bathinda village

Naruana was facing more than 15 cases and was currently out on bail. The accused, identified as Mandeep Singh, alias Manna, (35), has been arrested. He was taken to hospital after he sustained injury in crossfire.

Kulbir Singh Naruana, a 39-year-old gangster, who had lately taken up social work, was Wednesday shot dead outside his home in Bathinda’s village Naruana allegedly by an associate with whom he had had a fallout over some issue.

Naruana was facing more than 15 cases and was currently out on bail. The accused, identified as Mandeep Singh, alias Manna, (35), has been arrested. He was taken to hospital after he sustained injury in crossfire.

According to the police, Manna had gone to meet to sort out some differences. Both had tea together and later Manna, called Naruana inside his SUV, where he shot him five times, killing him at the spot. Naruana’s friends tried to stop Manna from driving off. However, Manna ran over one Chamkaur Singh — another accomplice of Naruana — killing him on the spot. One Gurpreet Singh also sustained a bullet injury in the crossfire and is under treatment.

“Manna has been arrested and is in hospital. He has confessed to the crime. He killed Naruana in a spur of the moment, according to his statement. Investigation is on,” said Bhupinderjit Singh Virk, SSP Bathinda. Manna has been booked for murder.

Naruana had over 26 cases against him for murder, attempt to murder, as well as under the Arms Act. However, for the past 3-4 years, he had been trying to change his “public image”. Sources said he used to donate money for marriage of women from poor families and used to help the needy. He was even presented a robe of honour by former minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia in March 2014, when Congress leader Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu had joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). However, in July 2014, he was arrested with illegal weapons, and later released on bail. In January 2015, he was arrested again in a case of firing at a policeman when he was forcibly trying to take possession of a house.

In another incident, he had put red chilli powder in the eyes of policemen at Bathinda Civil Hospital in order to get a convict, Gurwinder Bindu, freed from police custody. “A few cases had been settled while still a number of cases are ongoing,” said a Bathinda police officer.

Manna too has over 18 cases pending against him, said the Bathinda SSP.

Naruana was attacked on a previous occasion as well. On June 21, when he was going towards Malaut, unknown persons had fired at him but he had escaped unhurt as his vehicle was bullet-proof, police said.

Meanwhile, a 15 minutes-long video of Manna has gone viral in which he mentions that Aziz Khan — a Congress member and vice-president of Nagar panchayat of Talwandi Sabo — had threatened him on Facebook because he had extended support to a person who was allegedly beaten up by Khan’s men. Manna had even challenged Khan and his supporters to talk to him straight, rather than writing on social media. He claimed that Khan had later deleted his comments.

Source: Indianexpress

Fire breaks out at CBI office in Delhi, 5 fire tenders rushed to spot

A massive fire broke at the CBI headquarters in Delhi on Thursday afternoon. The blaze was reported in the parking area.

A fire broke out in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters in Delhi on Thursday afternoon. The blaze was reported in the parking area. At least five fire tenders were rushed to the spot soon after the fire control room received a call about the fire.

The firefighting operation was brought under control by the fire department officials. No casualties have been reported so far.

The cause of the fire has not been ascertained yet.

According to eyewitnesses, the fire started in the parking area within the premises. Officials rushed outside of the office soon after they saw smoke emanating from the parking site.~

New Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya To Lead India’s Fight Against Covid

Mansukh Mandaviya, 49, is among the seven ministers promoted to the Cabinet on Wednesday.

New Delhi: 

Mansukh Mandaviya, India’s new Health Minister, takes over the country’s Covid fight at a critical time when the government is working on a strategy to stave off a third wave of infections by ramping up vaccinations.

Notably, in the past six days, Mansukh Mandaviya, as Minister of State for Chemicals and FertiIizers, visited the facilities of three vaccine-makers in the country – Serum Institute of India in Pune, Zydus in Ahmedabad and a Covaxin-producing facility in the same city.

The 49-year-old parliamentarian from Gujarat, who famously rode a bicycle to parliament, is among the seven ministers promoted to the Cabinet on Wednesday. He retains the Chemicals and Fertilisers ministry.

Mr Mandaviya studied veterinary science at the Gujarat Agricultural University and later completed a masters in political science.

He began as a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and rose through the ranks in the BJP. At 28, Mr Mandaviya became the youngest MLA in 2002.

In 2012, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat.

He joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government first in 2016. He was Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Chemical and Fertilizers.

“Narendra Modi-ji and Amit Shah-ji have shown trust in me once again and invited me to be a part of this government. I am grateful to both of them,” he said today.

Mr Mandaviya’s predecessor Harsh Vardhan, who was the face of the government’s efforts to fight COVID-19, was asked to resign along with his deputy Ashwani Chaube.

Harsh Vardhan paid for the government’s massive struggle to check rising cases in the devastating second surge of Covid in April-May, when cities ran out of oxygen and hospitals were overwhelmed. India’s Covid handling drew criticism and was seen to dent the government’s image.