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It’s authors’ wish to return Sahitya Akademi awards: Minister

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Kolkata: With eminent authors returning Sahitya Akademi awards to protest rising intolerance, union minister Bandaru Dattatreya said it was their individual right and intellectuals were free to act as per their wish in a democracy.

“It is their individual wish and India is a democratic country,” the minister of state for labour told media persons here on Tuesday while attending an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Nearly two dozen authors have announced their decision to return their awards as a mark of protest since a man was lynched in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri area allegedly for consuming beef, and in the wake of murders of writers in the country.

Asked about Monday’s incident of Shiv Sena cadres pouring black paint on Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of the think-tank Observer Research Foundation, Dattatreya said, “The political leadership of BJP has already commented on it and my stand is the same as that of the national leadership.”

A group of Shiv Sena cadres poured paint on Kulkarni to protest launch of a book by Pakistan’s former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri at a function in Mumbai on Monday.

(IANS)

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Super Drug to Take on Stubborn Tuberculosis in Uttar Pradesh, India

Another pill with bedaquiline has already been introduced in the state to fight excessively drug resistant (XDR) TB

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Drug, Tuberculosis, Uttar Pradesh
The new anti-TB drug, with delamanid as active substance, is currently administered to patients. Pixabay

Uttar Pradesh may soon get a new drug to fight the multi-drug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB).

The new anti-TB drug, with delamanid as active substance, is currently administered to patients — primarily children in the age group of six to 17 years — in a few southern states of India and is yet to be introduced in Uttar Pradesh, which reported 4.22 lakh patients in 2018.

According to the State TB officer Santosh Gupta, “Delamanid would be introduced in UP in the third quarter of the year, as per the central guidelines.”

“We are awaiting procurement of the drug from the union government. Four of our officers have been trained for implementation of it, which will be given to children (9-17 years) with MDR-TB,” the doctor added.

Drug, Tuberculosis, Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh may soon get a new drug to fight the multi-drug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB). Pixabay

Gupta said that another pill with bedaquiline has already been introduced in the state to fight excessively drug resistant (XDR) TB and for which 18 nodal drug resistance centres have been set up.

“An XDR-TB patient is resistant to all anti-TB drugs, including even the stronger combinations of medicines. It is an advanced form of MDR-TB. Bedaquiline, which is WHO recommended, has been made available to patients for free and is found to be effective,” said Gupta and added that patients were being kept under close observation for side effects.

He further laid emphasis on the early detection of TB cases.

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Meanwhile, chairman of the UP state task force for TB control and head of KGMU’s respiratory medicine department, Professor Suryakant said: “Around 28 lakh TB patients are recorded in India. If nutrition is not received in the form of lentils/pulses, fruits and vegetables in diet, a person is more susceptible to the TB bacteria.” (IANS)