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Islamabad: It will be “regretful” if National Security Advisor talks between Pakistan and India are cancelled on “flimsy grounds”, Pakistan’s NSA Sartaj Aziz said on Saturday.



At a press conference here ahead of the talks scheduled to be held in New Delhi on Monday, Aziz said the purpose of the NSA talks was to achieve calm between the two countries.

The international community will have to “carefully ponder if it was possible for India to cancel the talks on such flimsy grounds… if the regretful cancellation happens”.

Pakistan’s high commission has invited Jammu and Kashmir’s separatist leaders to meet Aziz ahead of his talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval. India has advised against this.

(IANS)


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Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Prime Minister launched Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PMASBY) from his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched the Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PMASBY) from his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi which will be one of the largest pan-India schemes to strengthen healthcare infrastructure.

The Prime Minister said that the scheme, estimated to cost Rs 64,000 crore, would make the health infrastructure self-reliant.

"Aarogya concept is needed in everyone's life. We should invest the maximum in physical and mental wellness but, sadly this was not done in the post-Independence period. Due attention was not paid and those who were in power, kept the healthcare system deprived and lacking," he said.

Modi said that the middle-class groups and the poor were the worst sufferers in the absence of adequate facilities at the grassroots level.

"This mission will solve these problems. We are focusing on hill states like Uttarakhand and Himanchal Pradesh and also the northeast. We will address the gaps," he said.

The Prime Minister said that special attention would be laid on early detection and 125 districts will have referral facilities.

Secondly, testing would also be stepped up and 730 districts will get integrated testing laboratories.

He said that research centres will also be upgraded and four new National Institute of Virology units would be set up so that the country can be ready to deal with new viral issues and the pandemic.

He said that as the health infrastructure developed, it would generate new employment opportunities too.

The Prime Minister also announced new development projects worth Rs 5,200 crore for Varanasi.

He said that in the past seven years, Kashi had undergone a change with the building of roads, ghats, bridges, parking lots, and cleaning of the Ganga and Varuna rivers.

"This could have been done earlier but the previous governments lacked political will," he said. (IANS/JB)


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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Central Vista- the new builddesign of Government of India.

The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Centre, within three days, on a plea challenging a notification for change in land use, which would deprive residents of Delhi a vast chunk of green space in the Central Vista area.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before a bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar that he will seek instructions from the government. He added since the Prime Minister and Vice President's house is coming up there, therefore it would not be possible to have a recreational area in the vicinity.

After hearing arguments, the bench, also comprising Justice C.T. Ravikumar, posted the matter for further hearing on Friday.

The plea, filed by social activist Rajeev Suri, who had earlier challenged the project earlier citing an illegal change in land use and absence of environmental clearance, through advocate Shikhil Suri, contended that the Centre did, mala fide, issue a notification dated October 28, 2020, notifying the change in land use, which will deprive residents of Delhi a vast chunk of highly treasured open and green space in Central Vista area available for social and recreational activity.

The plea argued that this notification stands against Article 21 (Right to Life) in the right to the enjoyment of wholesome life. "Since the subject plot no 1 takes over spaces of a children's recreational park and bus terminal for public transport, heightened judicial scrutiny is required to cut through the well-disguised illegalities and infirmities to reach the violations of statutory laws," said the plea.

The plea sought the top court to issue directions to call records and quash the notification concerned issued by the Centre, through the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, and, also to prevent loss equities by staying activities such demolition of buildings, cutting of trees, excavation of land and other actions which may be irreversible.

The Central Vista redevelopment project, which covers a three-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate in Lutyens' Delhi, at the cost of Rs 20,000 crore, where several government buildings -- including the Parliament House and ministry offices, will be rebuilt.

In January, this year, the Supreme Court had cleared the decks for the Central Vista project by upholding the environmental clearance and the notification for change in land use. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, Government, Central Vista, Supreme court of India.


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Kerala a part of UN-backed ‘Race to Zero Campaign’.

Health Care Without Harm, the official Race to Zero healthcare partner, on Monday announced that over 50 healthcare institutions collectively representing more than 11,500 healthcare facilities in 21 countries including India's Kerala, are part of the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign.

In joining the Race to Zero, these organizations commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. They become part of the largest ever alliance outside of national governments committed to delivering a zero-carbon world in line with the Paris Agreement.

The healthcare organizations in Race to Zero include institutions ranging from individual, public and private hospitals and health systems to entire provincial or state government health departments. In recent weeks several large health systems have signed on to this vital commitment.

These systems include the Directorate of Health Services in Kerala, the international private healthcare and insurance system, Bupa, and CommonSpirit Health in the US.

They demonstrate global leadership in the healthcare sector by committing to net zero emissions and taking immediate climate action.

"It's exciting to see the momentum of healthcare organizations worldwide join the Race to Zero. All health organizations, large and small, can accelerate the transition to a healthier, sustainable, and more equitable world," said UN High-Level Climate Champion Gonzalo Muoz.

"At a time when Kerala is facing unprecedented climate events, the state Health Department has shown its commitment to climate resilience and pledged to achieve net-zero healthcare by signing up to the Race to Zero program. This initiative brings health facilities of the state on track to being low carbon and climate-resilient," said Kerala Minister of Health and Family Welfare Veena George.

"As a global healthcare company, we are very conscious that people's health depends on a healthy planet and we believe we can continue to deliver high-quality healthcare while mitigating our impact on the environment. We can't do this alone, that's why we are so incredibly proud to join the Race to Zero campaign with Health Care Without Harm, setting our ambition to become a net-zero business by 2040 and joining leading healthcare companies that are also committed to driving change for a healthy people and healthy planet," said Nigel Sullivan, Chief Sustainability and People Officer, Bupa.

In the lead-up to COP26, Race to Zero healthcare leadership is part of a diverse and growing global health sector movement for climate action.

National government ministries are making high-level commitments to healthcare decarbonization and resilience, while more than 45 million health professionals have called for aggressive action to protect people's health from climate change.

Health sector decarbonization is critical to reducing global emissions.

Health Care Without Harm's 2019 report shows the sector's climate footprint is equivalent to 4.4 per cent of global net emissions, with the majority originating from fossil fuels used across facility operations, the supply chain, and the broader economy.

To guide the sector's decarbonization, Health Care Without Harm's Global Road Map demonstrates how implementing seven high-impact actions can reduce global emissions by 44 gigatons over 36 years, equivalent to keeping more than 2.7 billion barrels of oil in the ground each year, and potentially saving more than five million lives by the end of the century. (IANS/JB)


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