CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

trump-burdened-biden-blues

Trump burdened, Biden blues

Serving President and a candidate for 2020 Elections, Donald Trump, who recently attacked India in the Presidential Debate saying 'does not give straight count on COVID-19 deaths', has been diagnosed with COVID-19 himself. With this, the U.S presidential race enters a new period of uncertainty.

With Trump’s doctor saying “he’s doing great,” and president’s chief of staff speaking off-camera “we’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery,” a radically different message was sent out. The incongruous statements were a revealing insight into the dynamics behind the Trump White House’s frequent release of misleading information, particularly about the president’s health.

Even without Trump, who is regarded as a Republican, his campaign MAGA - Make America Great Again, is going on as usual. In post-debate Times/Siena polls, Trump’s Rival Candidate, Joe Biden, generally identified as a Democrat, is ahead by several points in certain U.S states. The Senate meetings have been postponed after a third senator tests positive after Trump’s diagnosis.

(By Amya Roy)

05 Oct 2020
amid-covid-19-pandemic-sail-launches-website-for-its-mediclaim-scheme

Amid COVID-19 pandemic SAIL launches Website for its Mediclaim Scheme

Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), today, has launched a unified and integrated website for around 1.2 lakh beneficiaries, who are availing of SAIL Mediclaim Scheme. The beneficiaries include retired employees and their spouses. Considering the current situation of the Corona Virus Pandemic, where going out may not be possible for elderly people, the Company promptly acted to provide a one-stop solution for its retired employees who can now access the facilities of the SAIL Mediclaim Scheme from the comfort of their home. Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has all along been stressing to give focus on strengthening SAIL’s hospitals and the healthcare systems of the Company for the public as well as for SAIL employees.

The beneficiaries can access this website either directly through the URL (http://SAIL.mdindia.com) or can access it through the Company’s main website (www.sail.co.in) which also will have the link. All the resources pertaining to SAIL Mediclaim Scheme like e-cards for members, guide booklet, details of all network hospitals and healthcare service providers, requisite claim forms & undertakings, relevant circulars and scheme, etc. would be available on this Website’s download section. The members would be able to view their profile and membership status, send pre-authorization claim intimation, lodge their claims online by uploading documents/ADRs, etc. and monitor the status of their claim settlement on this portal. This will do away the requirement of the physical movement of elderly people to avail of benefits under the scheme with the click of a button.

The new Website will have functionalities for Plants/Units of SAIL, Ex-employees, Insurance Agency and TPA and details of the Mediclaim Scheme would be available on a live (real-time basis) on this website. The Plants/Units of SAIL will have a dashboard to view enrolment status and profiles of enrolled members. The Internal Resource Persons (IRPs) of Plants/Units can update member details. The Website would also facilitate the submission of various claims and lodging of cashless claims in a paperless manner.

A Grievance Redressal Mechanism has also been provided on the Portal where lodging of each grievance would generate a unique Grievance Registration Number (GRN). Members would be able to track and provide feedback on the grievance resolution through GRN.

This is the Company’s unique initiative to reach out, engage and stay connected with its retired employees and their spouses. The contents and provisions of this website will facilitate the delivery of quality health-care services to the members of SAIL’s extended family.

24 Jul 2020
trump-burdened-biden-blues

Trump burdened, Biden blues

By Amya Roy 05 Oct 2020

Serving President and a candidate for 2020 Elections, Donald Trump, who recently attacked India in the Presidential Debate saying 'does not give straight count on COVID-19 deaths', has been diagnosed with COVID-19 himself. With this, the U.S presidential race enters a new period of uncertainty.

With Trump’s doctor saying “he’s doing great,” and president’s chief of staff speaking off-camera “we’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery,” a radically different message was sent out. The incongruous statements were a revealing insight into the dynamics behind the Trump White House’s frequent release of misleading information, particularly about the president’s health.

Even without Trump, who is regarded as a Republican, his campaign MAGA - Make America Great Again, is going on as usual. In post-debate Times/Siena polls, Trump’s Rival Candidate, Joe Biden, generally identified as a Democrat, is ahead by several points in certain U.S states. The Senate meetings have been postponed after a third senator tests positive after Trump’s diagnosis.

(By Amya Roy)

amid-covid-19-pandemic-sail-launches-website-for-its-mediclaim-scheme

Amid COVID-19 pandemic SAIL launches Website for its Mediclaim Scheme

By IndianMandarins 24 Jul 2020

Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), today, has launched a unified and integrated website for around 1.2 lakh beneficiaries, who are availing of SAIL Mediclaim Scheme. The beneficiaries include retired employees and their spouses. Considering the current situation of the Corona Virus Pandemic, where going out may not be possible for elderly people, the Company promptly acted to provide a one-stop solution for its retired employees who can now access the facilities of the SAIL Mediclaim Scheme from the comfort of their home. Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has all along been stressing to give focus on strengthening SAIL’s hospitals and the healthcare systems of the Company for the public as well as for SAIL employees.

The beneficiaries can access this website either directly through the URL (http://SAIL.mdindia.com) or can access it through the Company’s main website (www.sail.co.in) which also will have the link. All the resources pertaining to SAIL Mediclaim Scheme like e-cards for members, guide booklet, details of all network hospitals and healthcare service providers, requisite claim forms & undertakings, relevant circulars and scheme, etc. would be available on this Website’s download section. The members would be able to view their profile and membership status, send pre-authorization claim intimation, lodge their claims online by uploading documents/ADRs, etc. and monitor the status of their claim settlement on this portal. This will do away the requirement of the physical movement of elderly people to avail of benefits under the scheme with the click of a button.

The new Website will have functionalities for Plants/Units of SAIL, Ex-employees, Insurance Agency and TPA and details of the Mediclaim Scheme would be available on a live (real-time basis) on this website. The Plants/Units of SAIL will have a dashboard to view enrolment status and profiles of enrolled members. The Internal Resource Persons (IRPs) of Plants/Units can update member details. The Website would also facilitate the submission of various claims and lodging of cashless claims in a paperless manner.

A Grievance Redressal Mechanism has also been provided on the Portal where lodging of each grievance would generate a unique Grievance Registration Number (GRN). Members would be able to track and provide feedback on the grievance resolution through GRN.

This is the Company’s unique initiative to reach out, engage and stay connected with its retired employees and their spouses. The contents and provisions of this website will facilitate the delivery of quality health-care services to the members of SAIL’s extended family.

community-spread-has-started-covid-19-cases-in-rural-areas-a-bad-sign-ima

Community spread has started, COVID-19 cases in rural areas a bad sign: IMA

By IndianMandarins 19 Jul 2020

At a time when the count of coronavirus cases in the country has gone past a million, Indian Medical Association (IMA) has said that community spread has started and the situation is quite bad.

Dr V K Monga, the Chairman of IMA Hospital Board of India, said: "This is now an exponential growth. Every day the number of cases is increasing by more than around 30,000. This is really a bad situation for the country. There are so many factors connected with it but overall this is now spreading to rural areas which is a bad sign. It now shows a community spread."

According to the latest health ministry update, the total confirmed cases in India have reached 1,038,716. Of these 358,629 are active cases and 653,751 cured/discharged/migrated cases. A total of 26,273 deaths have been registered to date.

Dr Monga said, "Cases are penetrating down into towns and villages where it will be very difficult to control the situation. In Delhi, we were able to contain it, but what about interior parts of the country in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Madhya Pradesh (which maybe the new hotspots)?"

Covid-19 peak in India by mid-September if the government acts, public behaves: Expert

"All these issues are very important and the state governments should take full care and seek help of the Central government to control the situation," Monga said.

As many as 13,433,742 samples have been tested for Covid-19 till July 17. Of these 361,024 samples were tested on Friday, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said. Vaccination, being the greatest hope to contain Covid-19, India's two indigenous vaccine makers would be starting human trials soon.

maharashtra-hands-over-five-of-its-hospitals-to-four-ias-officers

Maharashtra hands over five of its hospitals to four IAS officers

By IndianMandarins 22 May 2020

In a seemingly desperate move, the Maharashtra government has deputed three IAS officers to three major civic-run hospitals in the city for effective management of the outbreak. The responsibility of Nair Hospital has been given to Madan Nagargoje (IAS:2007) while Ajit Patil (IAS:2007) will oversee the functioning of KEM Hospital. Balaji Manjule (IAS:2009) has been deputed to Sion Hospital.

State chief secretary Ajoy Mehta deputed the IAS officers for effective control and management of these hospitals, which are handling most of the coronavirus cases.

The responsibility of state-run GT Hospital and JJ Hospital has been given to Sushil Khodvekar (IAS:2011) apart from this, who is deputy secretary in the school education department. Mumbai, one of the top coronavirus hotspots in the county, has so far recorded nearly 42,000 positive cases and around 850 deaths.

mp-transfers-khandwa-dm-and-sp-for-spike-in-covid-19-case

MP transfers Khandwa DM and SP for spike in COVID-19 case

By IndianMandarins 21 May 2020

Due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases, the Madhya Pradesh government transferred Khandwa district collector Tanvi Sundriyal (IAS: 2010: MP) and superintendent of police Siv Dayal (IPS: 2012:MP). Actually this was done a day after the small border town with Maharashtra saw 90 new Covid-19 patients in 24 hours.

Sundriyal was replaced with another 2010-batch IAS officer Anay Dwivedi(IAS: 2010: MP) and was posted as a deputy secretary in the state secretariat. Dayal, was replaced by commander of Special Armed Force’s 7th battalion Vivek Singh (IPS: 2012:MP). Dayal will be the new commander of the battalion.

The government seems clueless and shifting officers when on May 4, collector of Ujjain Shashank Mishra and on May 7, SP Sachin Atulkar were shifted when the city became a Covid-19 hotspot with the death rate being highest among big cities.

Indore saw a similar situation earlier when its collector Lokesh Jatav was shifted and replaced with Manish Singh on March 28. Three days later, Indore police chief deputy inspector general (DIG) of police Ruchivardhan Mishra was shifted to a smaller district in the region. However, when Indore collector was shifted, the city had not become a Covid-19 hotspot but virus was spreading fast in certain localities.

spiritual-column-gita-acharan-10

Spiritual Column: Gita Acharan-10

By K Siva Prasad 03 May 2020

The Gita contains many master keys which have the capacity to open up many doors and bypass hurdles we face in the path of self-realization.  One such master key is to see yourself in others and others in you. Krishna implores us to realize that its HIM in all of us and he is hinting at the un-manifested (form-less). Krishna elsewhere asks us to raise ourselves to bow to a donkey or a thief as if we are bowing to the LORD.

Based on the inputs brought in by the senses, our minds are programmed to divide and judge situations into safe/pleasant or unsafe/unpleasant. This is necessary and useful to protect us from imminent dangers. Like any technology, the mind is double-edged too, and crosses its mandate, to become our master. This is essentially the birthplace of Ahankaar . What this master key says is to make the mind a slave to minimize division/judgment so that cohesion/unity appears. No complex physical entity, including our body can survive without this cohesion.

When we use this master key, we develop compassion for others and raise awareness about ourselves. The best way to realize this is to start with a person whom we consider a foe, for whatever reason and see that person as the LORD. Certainly it is difficult as many unpleasant memories and feelings are attached to them and with the time that unpleasantness melts to give way to joy. In fact there must have been situations where all of us have done this and we just need to put it into practice more often. 

Awareness (about self) and Compassion(for others) are the two oars of the boat to row in the path given by the Gita, towards shores of the inner self.

Once we understand this, could we see Lord Krishna in Corona !

(Author K Siva Prasad is 1993 batch IAS officer, Punjab cadre)

after-bureaucratic-reshuffle-changes-in-empowered-groups-handling-covid-19

After bureaucratic reshuffle, changes in empowered groups handling COVID-19

By IndianMandarins 01 May 2020

The  Centre reshuffled on May 1, 2020 eleven empowered groups that had been set up to control COVID-19 pandemic after recent big bureaucratic reshuffle. Some groups will be headed by new secretaries while two groups have been pruned.

This is a clear indication that there is a shift in focus as the government extended lockdown for the second time. Department of economic affairs secretary Tarun Bajaj will lead the group on economy and welfare issues replacing Atanu Chakraborty who has retired. Rural development secretary N N Sinha will also be part of the group.

I&B secretary Amit Khare will lead the panel on information communication and public awareness. He was earlier heading the panel on public grievances and suggestions which have been pruned. It will now be headed by administrative reforms and public grievances secretary K Shivaji. The panel earlier had three officials from the PMO but there will be just two PMO representatives. 

is-all-well-in-gujarat-health-ministry-

Is all well in Gujarat Health Ministry?

By IndianMandarins 30 Apr 2020

Gujarat’s Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, Ms Jayanti Srinivasan Ravi (IAS:1991:GJ) has become the face of the state government during this Covid-19 epidemic because she briefs the media twice a day on the daily updates of the pandemic. However, if insiders in the administration are to be believed, Jayanti Ravi’s powers have been curtailed substantially.

The government has silently roped in other senior officials like Pankaj Kumar (IAS:1986:GJ), P K Parmar (IAS:1985:GJ), Rajiv Kumar Gupta (IAS:1986:GJ), Mukesh Puri (IAS:1988:GJ) Vinod R Rao (IAS:2000:GJ), Arun Kumar Solanki (IAS:1990:GJ), Mukesh Puri and others entrusting them different tasks to cut her to size. Reportedly, PS, Health has been just reduced to brief media twice a day and prepare press releases with updates on cases, deaths, testings, discharge etc.

PMO and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) were alarmed when Gujarat hit headlines for surging cases of Coronavirus infection, higher death toll and slow recovery rate, and lack of adequate medical and public health infrastructure. According to top sources in Gandhinagar, PMO and MHA has expressed their concerns about the way Ahmedabad’s civil hospital was in the news for wrong reasons.

It is also learned that the CMO has briefed PMO and Home Minister Amit Shah about how the State Health Minister Nitin Patel has remained indecisive in important matters of the health department and has not allowed recruitment and runs the department as his person fiefdom, not allowing any say in its matters from anyone including the CM!

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