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Omicron Vs Maharashtra Vs Centre: What’s Wrong In Taking Stronger Safety Measures?

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Not only on the front of fighting and containing the COVID-19 pandemic, but on every possible issue under the sun that the central government has been finding faults with the Maharashtra government with unfailing regularity since the Shiv Sena moved away from the winning combine with the BJP and formed a coalition government with the NCP and the Congress in 2019. Now, the clash is on a very dangerously suspenseful issue of containing the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, and any political rivalry on this may lead to a situation where it is not at all clear who is going to have the last laugh; we better not call it the last laugh, because this is strictly not a laughing matter, if we still remember the catastrophe of the Second Wave that hit the country the hardest due to total neglect, complacency and lack of any kind of preparedness of the central government. Of course, at the moment the situation is much different than in late 2020 and early 2021 with rising vaccination figures and more

Nominated For India Authors’ Award-2021 In Humor Category: But Is The NMCBI The Right Platform For Creative Writer-Authors?

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The India Authors’ Conference and Awards-2021, a great initiative by the Navi Mumbai Chamber of Business and Industry (NMCBI) in collaboration with Great Human University, was held in Vashi, Navi Mumbai on 30 th November 2021, giving away the Awards to writers/authors/bloggers/poets in a range of categories. The full-day function was a dignified affair with the anchor Yesudas coming up with some humorous interludes at various stages to involve, entertain and enthuse the writers present there. The event was also available online for those who could not be physically present. All the Award winners and even the nominees were invited on stage to be felicitated—the winners getting an Oscar-like trophy and a certificate while the nominees were given a certificate of nomination along with a token gift—and to speak their minds. The Awards were presented by the Chairman of NMCBI, Dr. Dhirendra Gautam Mishra who has also been an author/researcher.  This writer was present on this significant oc

India Vs New Zealand 1st Test Drawn: Tremendous Save By The Kiwis On A Nail-biting Last Day!

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The first Test match between India and New Zealand has ended in a thrilling draw in Kanpur today with the last pair of the Kiwis, Rachin Ravindra and Azaz Patel, holding on for more than 8 of the 20 mandatory overs on the fifth and last day. This draw reminds us of the great Sydney Save when India drew level with Australia in January this year and then went on to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy under the stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane. If in that historic draw Ravichandran Ashwin crafted an unbeaten partnership with Hanuma Bihari for 40 overs lasting nearly 4 hours, here in Kanpur today debutant Rachin Ravindra played the ultimate survival game with the last man Azaz Patel. Rachin saw through an incredible 91 balls for his 18 runs with the three top Indian spinners in full flow. Although New Zealand at one stage were 79/1 Ravindra Jadeja (4/40) ignited the collapse along with Ashwin (3/35) and Axar (1/23) and when captain Williamson fell at the team score of 128/6 with more than 20 ov

Milord O’ Landlord: Just A Pair Of Shoes, Sir!

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It had been a lucky trend for Raju’s family that their relations with the landlords had always been friendly and healthy. Since Raju’s father, the head of the family, had a transferable job they had to move from towns to towns every two or three years, and as usual, his father looked for a rented house ideally suited for his family and that the landlord was also to his liking. Most of his selections served their purpose—locations often in central places, close to the market and to the schools/colleges/libraries, and almost in all cases the landlord’s family and even their relatives had become very close to Raju’s family.   This story is set in the mid-seventies when Raju’s father got a repeat transfer to a small town where they still entertained fond memories of the previous stay in a most friendly neighborhood. This time though, they could not settle for the same rented house so loved by Raju and his siblings and had to fix a small house in the market area. A narrow gravel lane br

Tick-Tock Suspense In India Amid The COVID-19 Omicron Variant Scare!

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Photo: jagran.com The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) which is an independent group of experts that periodically monitors and evaluates the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and assesses its specific mutations had convened a meeting on 26 November 2021 to assess the emerging COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 that was first reported to World Health Organization (WHO) from South Africa on November 24, 2021. The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant that originated in India. In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of B.1.1.529 variant. This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other Variants Of Concern (VOCs). The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost

Movie The Terminal: Steven Spielberg’s Rare Comedy Flick Rediscovered!

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I consider it a happy accident that I found this movie titled ‘The Terminal’ (2004) directed by Steven Spielberg on a streaming platform. My surprise was beyond measure when I saw the genre written in the details of the movie—comedy! Well, it need not simply be my ignorance about this great filmmaker; because in most of Spielberg’s bios or filmography the said movie is never highlighted or talked about even though the movie was a commercial success. ‘The Terminal’ tells a delightful story of a character called Viktor Navorski from Easter Europe (indicating the Russian Republic) who arrives at New York John F Kennedy airport on a private mission only to find that in the meantime his native (fictional) country Kakrojhia had undergone a military coup and a new government had taken over. Since the US was yet to recognize the new government Viktor’s passport had become invalid and the airport supervisor took away all his documents including the passport refusing to allow him enter New York

Why Life Certificates For Pensioners At All?

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I remember taking my father, most probably in 1989, to his pension issuing bank branch thinking that he must have had some banking business to do. Arriving at the branch we entered the chamber of the bank manager whom my father knew well. After the customary ‘hi, Hellos’ there followed a casual chat, and then we left. I was curious as I saw none of the usual withdrawals or deposits or anything of the banking sort done there. So, I asked my father what was the purpose of the visit to which my father, with an ironic smile, said that he had to ‘show his face’ to the bank proving that he was still alive and kicking. Yes, every retiring or superannuating person from central or state governments or any other government organizations in India (I’m not aware of procedures followed in other countries) have to ‘show his/her fact’ to the issuing bank in the month of November every year mandatorily so that his/her pension is not interrupted. This is called Life Certificate to guarantee the continu