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Why India’s COVID-19 Death Rate Is Low?



COVID 19: Has India Set A Low Death Rate Due To Infection?

Even when COVID-19 tightened its grip, the mystery behind the low death rate from the infection in India has been the topic of discussion globally. Experts and researchers are interested in how India, with its large population, is able to cope up with the pandemic.

Nearly two months since its first recorded case, COVID-19 active infection in India has surpassed 22,000 with over 1,000 deaths.

Understand the death rate

One way to understand the death rate is to track how many days it takes for total deaths to double.

Currently, India takes around ten days to double up the deaths when compared three before the lockdown on March 25 as per the Government report.

Experts say that when compared to other nations, the doubling time of India is several folds slow.

Medical professionals stated that the lockdown has helped to bring down the count of infection. In a nation with lots of community, the community spread has not yet been reported, which is a notable success. The lockdown has already provided with the desired result of flattening the curve of coronavirus.

While some believe that India, with its predominantly young population, is helping to keep the mortality rate low –as elders have a higher chance of getting infected. This might be one reason why, compared to other nations like China, the US has a more fatality rate than that of India.

Yet there are talks about the possibility of the presence of a less virulent strain of the virus in India, along with the hot weather of the nation. However, these two claims have no evidence to back it. Moreover, medical professionals stated that the contagion is as virulent here as has been reported elsewhere in the world.

Is India an exception when it comes to COVID-19?

“To be totally frank, I don’t know, and the world doesn’t know the answer,” Indian-American physician and oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee told journalist Barkha Dutt recently. “It’s a mystery, I’d say, and part of the mystery is we are not doing enough testing. If we tested more, then we’d know the answer,” quoted BBC.

He is pointed out towards the lack of testing happening in India when compared to its population. By early April, India had scaled its testing capacity to one lakh per day, which is very low when related to its 1.37 billion people.

Are deaths not being recorded?

It was reported that other countries like China have been holding up the actual number of deaths due to COVID-19.

American President Donald Trump, in mid- April, claimed that the exact number of deaths in China is “way ahead” of the US. Following this allegation, China revised the number of fatalities in Wuhan from 1,290 to 9,869—a 50 per cent increase from its previous count.

According to an analysis made by Financial Times, the death toll from coronavirus may be almost 60 per cent higher than reported in official counts, based on an overall fatalities during the pandemic in 14 countries. So the possibility of India also not recording the actual count of death is inevitable.

Recording of deaths in India:

Medical professionals state that in India, most of the deaths happen at home rather than at the hospital, so relying merely on the hospital record will not provide an accurate number of COVID-19 fatalities.

It is quite challenging to get the count from the burial ground or cemetery, due to diversity in which the ceremony of the funeral happens

However, medical experts believe that it is also not possible that a sudden spike in death either in hospitals or at homes will go unnoticed.

Nonetheless, the possibility of a proper record due to the absence of a robust public health surveillance system can’t be ignored.

How to know that a person died due to COVID-19?

Indian doctors reported that many people die from COVID-19 without even making to the test or treatment. It is evident that countries across the globe do not have a proper count of death caused by COVID-19, because of which under-reporting happens.

In some cases, after the death, people might notify the medical authorities that the person had suffered from influence like symptoms. However, we can’t push the chance of a person having some other diseases.

There is also the likelihood that the Government to avoid panic among the citizens do not project the exact death toll. However, a massive number of deaths can never go unnoticed or covered.

In the case of India, we can say that even if there are missing deaths, and lack of testing projecting the exact number of infected, it is undeniable that the country has been able to contain the virus so far. Nevertheless, it is too early to say that India has set the trend in checking the infection; the situation, once the lockdown is lifted, is yet to be witnessed.


All You Need To Know About National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021



National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021

On July 26, 2021, Lok Sabha passed a bill under the ministry of Food Processing Industry. The bill is titled as National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021. The main motive of this bill is to address issues with the Food Processing Industry, Entrepreneurship and one Institution for National Importance. With the passing of this bill, the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) and National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) is now merged as Institutions of National Importance, and it aims at providing various research and advancement in learning about the Food Industry and its associated branches. The bill was first introduced in the house in February 2019 but was pending due to protest by the opposition.

Significance of Institutions of National Importance (INI)

With the passing of this bill, the institutions enjoy greater autonomy through which they can carry out various courses, research attracting skilled faculties and students from all over the country and overseas. Good standards in education will be adopted to improve the present and future of education in this branch and sector, overcoming the technological gap in the country. This law aims to improve and introduce new changes in food, bio-nanotechnology, cold chain technology etc. The desired efforts will be taken in terms of human resources and infrastructure developments, labs for research etc. Liberty to open centres anywhere in India is also granted to INI and include courses regarding food technology certification and improving the workforce of the country.

Some other important features of this act are the Institution has been authorized with the Board of Government, Senate and other acting Authorities. The Council of Board will include 16 members from different branches from the same field. The Head will be Chairperson, who will be a skilled person from the Food Industry, the Director, Dean and Registrar. Members appointed from Centre and State Governments, Members from FSSAI and Council of Agriculture Research, as mentioned in the bill. The 16 members of the board will carry out work of taking administrative decisions, creating annual budgets and paths for institution progress as an organization, establishing departments, their appointment terms of services, faculties etc. The Board of Council also holds power to grant Honorary Degrees and Diplomas. The Senate shall be the principal academic body of the Institute, consisting of the people such as Director as the Chairperson; Registrar; Full-time skilled level Professor; and Three academically skilled Individuals nominated by the board from the field.

The Union Minister of Food Processing Industry, Mr Pashupati Kumar Paras, expressed his gratitude to PM Modi for this landmark step in this industry from his Twitter handle, indicating new opportunities in Food Technology Industries. Therefore, this Act looks promising on paper with new opportunities and in Educational Development. Amidst the Pegasus Spyware and repeal of the farm laws, this looks positive from the Modi Government.

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Fake News: Accountability Of News Organisations



Fake News II News Aur Chai

Fake news is false news stories or hoaxes, which are deliberately released to misinform and to create chaos in society or among readers. Fake news is one of the main reasons behind the disruption of peace in society and it becomes more dangerous in volatile places. Fake news is generally shared with propaganda to mislead the audience by hiding or twisting the truth. However fake news isn’t new to the web, it recently became an enormous problem in today’s digital world. Fake news mostly comes from sites that are bogus or have sensationalized stories.

Most of the users do not check the facts before sharing the information on their social media, which can be a reason for widespread fake news. So, it is important to differentiate between fake news and authentic news to maintain harmony in society and to avoid false news and its repercussions.

Fake News Stories

  • On 2nd April, a team of doctors, health workers, and revenue officials were attacked by the family members of a 65-year-old man who died of COVID-19 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh because of the fake video which claimed that healthy Muslims were being injected with the virus, reiterating the risks and physical manifestations of misinformation.
  • On March 22, 2020, Mr. Modi’s new term ‘Janta curfew’ has sparked a buzz on the Internet. Social media users started interpreting PM Modi’s concept of ‘Janta curfew’ in their own ways. Social media was flooded with a certain ‘scientific explanation’ behind the curfew as to how it will break the chain of transmissions of the deadly coronavirus infection. The claim was found out to be misleading. PM Modi, while announcing the curfew, didn’t mention this particular ‘scientific’ logic behind it.
  • Rumours were circulated on WhatsApp groups about a kidnapping gang operating in India’s western state of Maharashtra in 2018. The rumors eventually cause a mob lynching, that killed five migrant workers because they were suspected of being kidnappers.
  • On November 13, 2016, when the government of India has demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and planned to replace them with new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes, rumors were spreading about Rs 2000 notes. Rumors claimed the new higher denomination currency comes with a Nano-GPS chip which acts as a reflector, giving precise location coordinates of the currency to permit every note to be tracked. However, the RBI officials had dismissed these as false and said the new Rs 2000 note does not have a Nano-GPS chip as is being claimed on social media, WhatsApp.
  • In the pandemic situation, where vaccination has become crucial, in a series of viral videos it was seen that people are claiming that magnet was attracted to the arms of alleged COVID-19 vaccinated recipients. This kind of fake news can create misconceptions about vaccines and people may not take their jab of vaccines. The Centre has declined the claims that Covid-19 vaccines can make people ‘magnetic’. It has also dismissed theories about microchips in coronavirus vaccines.

Need of Accountability

False information on social media can cause huge problems. It is often done to influence political processes. Need for Accountability increases in such situations because the false information provided by certain news organizations can create a ruckus in society. Before publishing the news, it is necessary to check the facts.

If the news organizations, shared misinformation unintentionally they must remove the content right away and they should apologize to the readers. If fake news is spread with propaganda to create chaos in society, then the news organization should be punished under the law. The information must be checked before sharing it with other people.


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Curious Case Of Pegasus: Explained



Pegasus II News Aur Chai

Pegasus is a spyware that can hack the victims’ mobile phones and read their SMS messages and emails. The Pegasus spyware is owned by an Israeli software company named NSO Group. According to the various reports, this company has targeted more than 50,000 phone numbers at the Global level, of which 300 are in India for surveillance.

The news broke out after the 17 media partners investigated. This investigation brought into the picture information about a leaked database of mobile telephone numbers of Indian Ministers, Opposition leaders, journalists, the legal community, business people, government officials, scientists, activists and many influential personalities of the nation.

Pegasus Spyware and India

According to the report by the agency, the Israeli company which sells Pegasus around the world says that its clients are confined to ‘vetted governments”, believed to number 36. The NSO Group also says that ‘the target list in India is not ours, never was.’ Their refusal of the leaked database has created a loophole in understanding this case.

This whole case has violated the integrity of democratic institutions. According to the report by the agencies, after the mobile phones of the opposition leader Rahul Gandhi and various other leaders were hacked under the Pegasus spyware surveillance. Multiple tweets were made against the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) government in India. This whole case has become one of the major threats in the political arena and the Indian Democracy.

Though at the start, it was used for national security purposes. The explosive expansion of surveillance technology vendors has become a vast human rights and a global security issue. If such surveillance technologies increase, it might cause a lot of problems to countries around the globe. Hence, as a precaution, all these countries need to work on regulating this technology.

According to the reports by the agency, one of the targeted phones by the Pegasus spyware was of the former election commissioner of India, Ashok Lavasa. Various such people and such opposition leaders were somehow against the BJP government having their phones hacked with the NSO-owned spyware. All these instances and the names in the leaked list have pointed figures towards the Modi Government.

The Modi government’s stand on this case was put forward in Lok Sabha by two serving ministers, Ashwini Vaishnaw and Prahlad Singh Patel. These two leaders were also featured in the leaked database. The recent Information Technology Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw defended the BJP government in the parliament by saying, “the expose was an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions.” She even said, ‘any form of illegal surveillance is not possible with the checks and balances in our laws and robust institutions.’

This case has adjourned the parliament proceedings due to the protests inside and outside the house of parliament by the opposition party.

Pegasus Spyware and World.

 In the statement given to the agency, Access Now, an organisation defending the digital rights of global users, said it was outraged that products sold by NSO were allegedly “used to hack and invade the private communications” of thousands of people across the globe.

At a global level, France’s Emmanuel Macron was targeted in the Pegasus spyware case. As the phone of French President Emmanuel Macron was hacked, the investigation was carried out and later on was published which was directed by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden.  After this case came in front of the whole world, the Pegasus spyware surveillance came into the picture.

If this continues for some more time, it will ruin India’s Democratic values at a global level. As well as this might become a huge technological threat between the different nations around the globe.

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