Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta on Tuesday barred all police personnel with medical issues, as well as women cops with children under five from the frontline duty in a bid to protect them from undue exposure to the risk of Covid-19.
The decision has been approved by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who has asked the DGP to ensure all protective and welfare measures for the corona warriors.
The DGP said there had been concerns expressed on this count during several calls received on the newly launched tele-counselling facility for anxious police corona warriors and their families.
At present, there are over 48,000 police personnel engaged in curfew enforcement and relief measures across the state and the tele-counselling facility was launched on April 20 to equip police officers and their families with additional information and skills to cope with the psychological aspects of the Covid-19 duties, including a high degree of risk of contracting infection. (IANS)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a 60-billion-rupee ($842 million) plan to tackle water shortages in the country’s seven heartland states where agriculture is a mainstay.
India, the world’s second-most populous country, faces the worst long-term water crisis in its history as demand outstrips supply, threatening farm output and overall economic growth in Asia’s third-largest economy.
Almost every sector of the $2.6 trillion economy is dependent on water, especially agriculture, which sustains two-thirds of India’s 1.3 billion people.
“Water shortages in the country not only affect individuals and families; the crisis also has an effect on India’s development,” Modi said. “We need to prepare the new India to deal with every single aspect of the crisis.”
The plan launched by Modi would help replenish ground water and boost overall availability in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat states, which produce staples such as rice, wheat, sugar and oilseeds.
India is the world’s leading producer of an array of farm goods, and nearly 60% of the irrigation for agriculture comes from ground water, mainly through electric water pumps. Subsidised electricity gives farmers an incentive to pump out more water, a key reason behind fast-depleting water tables in the vast country.
Supplying clean drinking water to millions of poor people and reviving moribund irrigation projects were a key part of Modi’s policies for India, where the monsoon accounts for nearly 70% of the annual rains needed to water farms and recharge aquifers and reservoirs.
Nearly half of India’s farmland, without any irrigation cover, depends on annual June-September rains to grow a number of crops.
Drinking water is also an issue, as about 200,000 Indians die every year due to inadequate access to safe water and 600 million face high to extreme water stress, according to the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, a think tank chaired by Modi.
According to UK-based charity WaterAid, about 163 million people in India — roughly 12% of the population — do not have access to clean water close to home.
Acceding to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s demand, IT giant Google has removed the secessionist, anti-India mobile application ‘2020 Sikh Referendum’ from its Play Store, state officials said on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the Chief Minister’s Office said this app was not available any more on Google Play Store for mobile users in India.
The Chief Minister, who had also urged the Central government to persuade Google in the matter, had asked the Director General of Police to coordinate with Central security agencies to tackle the threat resulting from the launch of the app, created by ‘ICETECH’.
The app had asked the general public to register themselves to vote in the ‘Punjab Referendum 2020 Khalistan’.
A website with the address of www.yes2khalistan.org was also launched on the same lines for the same purpose.
The Cyber Crime Centre of the Bureau of Investigation of Punjab had moved to get the app removed from the Google Play Store and the website blocked for usage in India.