Harish Gupta, National Editor, Lokmat Group
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Harish Gupta, National Editor, Lokmat Group
Friday, September 24, 2021
Monday, September 20, 2021
12 crore children need to be vaccinated now
After achieving the target of giving 100 crore doses by month-end to adults, the Centre is set to announce its plans to vaccinate children in the age group of 12-17 years.
When contacted, Prof N K Arora, Chairman of country’s top body, INSOCOG and Covid Task Force told Lokmat that the priority would be given to this age group as they could be carriers of Covid infections. Though the Sero-Surveys had established that the number of children infected with Covid is not higher than that of the adults. But they needed the vaccine now that most of the adult population had been covered with the first dose.
When asked when the decision would be taken in this regard, Prof Arora said, “It should come anytime now.”
In response to another question, he said, the vaccination of children in this category could start within the next couple of months. “In children as it is, severe disease and fatalities are uncommon. So, we have to ensure parents are safe first and children automatically become less vulnerable,” he added.
Arora added that children with comorbid conditions will be given priority in vaccination and even among them priority will be given to those who tend to have co-morbidities.
It is learnt that one percent children have co-morbidities out of the 12 crore children and the government had estimated that roughly 40 lakh such children will be given preference. The Jabs to them may start as early as October and may be free of cost. India’s drug regulator granted emergency use authorisation to Zydus Cadila’s vaccine, ZyCov-D, on August 20. This is India’s first vaccine for children aged above 12.
Saturday, September 18, 2021
A PM without a Coterie
Modi is perhaps the only Prime Minister of Independent India who doesn’t have a coterie or a close circuit around him. Even those who are around, cannot claim that they can get things done. No person; be a Minister, bureaucrat, friend, an industrialist or a family member can claim he can get things done. Even those having access to him dare not take liberties. Those who had free access to him in his first stint are not even around him. The usual refrain in the past was "I have spoken to the PM... it will be done." This word is unheard in the Modi dispensation. It is not as if the country didn’t see honest and competent Prime Ministers who worked for 18 hours a day. There were Prime Ministers like Lal Bahadur Shashtri or Morarji Desai who had no baggage either. But they didn’t have long tenures in power like Modi. More than seven years as PM, understanding Modi is still very complex. He has no family, hates to mingle with the media and didn’t address a single press conference in seven years. Modi has established complete sway over the government, party and even the mother organization, RSS. After the death of Arun Jaitley in August 2019, he is neither compelled nor obliged to consult anybody either. Many think this government is run by two people PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. But they are sadly mistaken. Modi is his own master. If Rajnath Singh as Home Minister was clueless about many key appointments despite being the only member of the Cabinet Committee of Appointments (ACC), the Home Ministry isn't in the know of all key appointments either. This remains an exclusive domain of the DoPT under the PM.
Modi is flexible too
Modi is quick to take corrective steps and not adamant on reversing his decisions either. For example, he changed four Governors in three years in J&K. He appointed Satyapal Malik as the Governor of the sensitive state in August 2018 replacing a seasoned bureaucrat N N Vohra. Malik's appointment caused a huge surprise as he was a rank outsider to the party and nothing to do with the RSS philosophy either. However, Malik was shifted to Goa in 2019 and Modi brought his most trusted bureaucrat G C Murmu. When Modi saw he was not delivering as per his plans, Murmu was also shown the door within two years. He chose to send a seasoned politician Manoj Sinha reflecting his willingness to change and quickly too. This flexibility is rarely seen at the top.
A Message with smile
Modi has his unique style of conveying a message. During a review meeting of all UP Mps, Modi asked state BJP Chief Swatantra Dev Singh smilingly, “Aap Varanasi ke Lok Sabha MP ka bhi hisab kitab rakhte ho? Usko Bhi kuchh Batao!”. Dev was sheepish but the message to all Mps present was loud & clear that they are answerable to the state party chief.
Sunday, September 5, 2021
- Wants decision-making accelerated
- Many riders attached
ield to protect them from harassment in future. This has been done to expedite the process of decision making which has been hurting the government’s growth path.