COVID UPDATE

cbi-alerts-beware-of-malicious-softwares-and-mobile-apps

CBI alerts: Beware of malicious softwares and mobile apps

Based on inputs received from INTERPOL, CBI issued an alert against Cerberus; a banking Trojan. The malicious software takes advantage of COVID-19 Pandemic to impersonate and send SMS using the lure of COVID-19 related content to download the embedded malicious link, which deploys its malicious app usually spread via phishing campaigns to trick users into installing it on their smartphones.

 

This Trojan primarily focuses on stealing financial data such as credit card numbers. In addition, it can use overlay attacks to trick victims into providing personal information and can capture two-factor authentication details.

24 May 2020
congress-finds-a-sea-of-opportunities-for-revival-in-covid-crises-and-distressed-migrant-labourers

Congress finds a sea of opportunities for revival in COVID crises and distressed migrant labourers

The Congress is looking at the ongoing scenario as a sea of opportunities for its revival amid people’s distress over alleged mismanagement of certain things by the Centre during the nationwide lockdown. Congress leaders like Rahul Gandhi not only questioned Centre’s strategy in handling the global COVID-19 pandemic but also offered various suggestions. One such suggestion was to provide direct cash assistance instead of loans to the people affected by COVID-19. The Congress also criticised the Centre over Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package calling it a farce.

 

Further, the cash-strapped Congress has left no stone unturned to be seen as a party with proactive ground workers reaching out to the distressed people directly. Offering to pay for migrant labourers’ train fare, arranging busses for their repatriation to ration distribution have been some of the initiatives that had put the ruling BJP on defensive. The Congress knows well that the Modi government has been in constant endeavour in engaging the attention of rural masses with innovative ways leaving minimum avenues for its opponents to call it anti-poor and anti-people.

 

But the way BJP government has committed certain mistakes in handling the issues of migrant labourers, it gets a beating from almost every quarter and a dent into its image creating space for the Congress for its revival. However, one of its MLAs from Raebareli – Aditi Singh -- revolting against the party asking a certain question may help the BJP to question the very intent of the Congress. But it is the ruling party that is supposed to answer not the opposition.

22 May 2020
cbi-alerts-beware-of-malicious-softwares-and-mobile-apps

CBI alerts: Beware of malicious softwares and mobile apps

By IndianMandarins 24 May 2020

Based on inputs received from INTERPOL, CBI issued an alert against Cerberus; a banking Trojan. The malicious software takes advantage of COVID-19 Pandemic to impersonate and send SMS using the lure of COVID-19 related content to download the embedded malicious link, which deploys its malicious app usually spread via phishing campaigns to trick users into installing it on their smartphones.

 

This Trojan primarily focuses on stealing financial data such as credit card numbers. In addition, it can use overlay attacks to trick victims into providing personal information and can capture two-factor authentication details.

congress-finds-a-sea-of-opportunities-for-revival-in-covid-crises-and-distressed-migrant-labourers

Congress finds a sea of opportunities for revival in COVID crises and distressed migrant labourers

By IndianMandarins 22 May 2020

The Congress is looking at the ongoing scenario as a sea of opportunities for its revival amid people’s distress over alleged mismanagement of certain things by the Centre during the nationwide lockdown. Congress leaders like Rahul Gandhi not only questioned Centre’s strategy in handling the global COVID-19 pandemic but also offered various suggestions. One such suggestion was to provide direct cash assistance instead of loans to the people affected by COVID-19. The Congress also criticised the Centre over Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package calling it a farce.

 

Further, the cash-strapped Congress has left no stone unturned to be seen as a party with proactive ground workers reaching out to the distressed people directly. Offering to pay for migrant labourers’ train fare, arranging busses for their repatriation to ration distribution have been some of the initiatives that had put the ruling BJP on defensive. The Congress knows well that the Modi government has been in constant endeavour in engaging the attention of rural masses with innovative ways leaving minimum avenues for its opponents to call it anti-poor and anti-people.

 

But the way BJP government has committed certain mistakes in handling the issues of migrant labourers, it gets a beating from almost every quarter and a dent into its image creating space for the Congress for its revival. However, one of its MLAs from Raebareli – Aditi Singh -- revolting against the party asking a certain question may help the BJP to question the very intent of the Congress. But it is the ruling party that is supposed to answer not the opposition.

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.

union-home-secretary-asks-states-to-follow-mha-guidelines-strictly

Union Home Secretary asks states to follow MHA guidelines strictly

By IndianMandarins 22 May 2020

With certain state government not following the advisory issued by the government, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has written a letter to all chief secretaries asking them to ensure compliance with lockdown guidelines. It has been brought to the Home Ministry’s notice that there are violations in implementing the prescribed measures at various places.

 

The Home Secretary said, “I would like to emphasise that the MHA Guidelines should be strictly implemented, and all authorities in states/UTs should take necessary steps to ensure the same. Some of the specific points that merit special consideration is mentioned below.”

 

Proper delineation of containment zones and effective implementation of containment measures within these zones are key to preventing the spread of COVID-19. In this respect, the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) need to be followed, and containment zones properly demarcated.

 

States and Union Territories can now delineate various zones and decide on the activities to be prohibited, or allowed with restrictions, in accordance with the MHA guidelines. The need to ensure night curfew or prohibition of all non-essential activities, between 7 pm and 7 am is an important element of the MHA guidelines.

who-dr-harsh-vardhan-set-to-take-charge-as-chairman-of-executive-board

WHO: Dr Harsh Vardhan set to take charge as Chairman of Executive Board

By IndianMandarins 20 May 2020

Amid COVID-19 pandemic taking its tool on the world and the role of WHO in question in handling the matter, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan is all set to take charge as the chairman of the WHO Executive Board on May 22. Vardhan would succeed Dr Hiroki Nakatani of Japan, currently the Chairman of the 34-member WHO Executive Board.

 

The 194-nation World Health Assembly has signed the proposal to appoint India’s nominee to the executive board. It was just a formality after WHO’s South-East Asia group had unanimously decided last year that India would be elected to the executive board for a three-year-term beginning of May.

 

Vardhan would be elected at the Executive Board meeting of the World Health Organisation on May 22. The post of chairman is held by rotation for one year among regional groups and it was decided last year that India’s nominee would be the Executive Board chairman for the first year starting on May 22, 2020.

 

It is not a full-time assignment and the minister will just be required to chair the Executive Board’s meetings. The Executive Board is composed of 34 individuals technically qualified in the field of health, each one designated by a member state elected to do so by the World Health Assembly.

resident-commissioners-unite-to-help-people-in-general-like-a-cadre-in-itself

Resident Commissioners unite to help people in general; like a cadre in itself

By Rakesh Ranjan 19 May 2020

Exhibiting a live example of cooperative federalism Principal Resident Commissioners (PRCs), Resident Commissioners (RCs) and Additional RCs of various states these days find several reasons for contentment and rejoice as civil servants. While handling the increasingly complex tasks related to the COVID-19 crisis at the time of nationwide lockdown, RCs have joined hands together via Whatsapp group and video conferencing ensuring seamless coordination between all RCs and their respective state administration.

 

Many RCs told Indianmandarins that to their own amazement, they handled numerous emergency situations and problems in a matter of minutes and hours. For example, Himachal Pradesh CM was awestruck when RCs of other states ensured purchase order of perishable items like fruits and vegetables within an hour. Similarly, ration, food packets, medical emergency help were also made available to residents of a state stranded in another state in almost no time. Finding themselves in a sort of relay race, RCs developed a sense of togetherness so much so that a few of them termed RCs a cadre in itself.

 

When there is nationwide distress, RCs emerged as a bridge between states across country and lifeline in the hour of need for seamless coordination, conflict resolution, and realtime solution to tasks that ranged from the repatriation of migrant laborers to people stranded across states to patients suffering complex ailments to supply chain management of essential goods like medicines, medical equipment, food grains to perishable commodities like fruits, vegetables and other consumables.

 

Amid a few limitations, constraints and even small failures in providing solutions RCs find some silver-linings as well which they could cherish throughout their professional career. When the complete administrative machinery of the Centre and state governments have been handling the situation at ground level, RCs played a crucial role in plugging the need gap.

 

Sharing their experiences, some RCs underlined the exemplary role and guidance of senior government of India officials like P Parameshwaran Iyer (Retd IAS:1983:UP); Tarun Bajaj (IAS:1988:HY), while he coordinated during his tenure in PMO, and Vennecaganti Radha (IAS:1994:MH). On the other hand, some RCs of Hindi heartland were a little bit dismayed from UP as they could not get much response and coordination from Gautam Buddha Nagar and Ghaziabad districts which holds a big chunk of migrant laborers. But overall PRCs, RCs, ARCs across states appear to have gone through a unique experience of togetherness and a deep sense of cohesiveness. Several RCs told Indianmandarins that state governments too would have realized that RCs, ARCs could play a crucial and wider role in the times of national crisis.

(By Rakesh Ranjan)

no-gyan-ki-baat-only-kam-ki-baat-

No gyan ki baat, only kam ki baat!

By IndianMandarins 19 May 2020

Additional Chief Secretary, Forest & Environment Rajiv Kumar Gupta (IAS:1986:GJ) is being widely appreciated for his go-getter approach. He was made overall in-charge of Ahmedabad city for CIVID-19 management after the Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra, in the first week of May, put himself under isolation apprehending COVID infection. 


A sharp decline in active COVID-19 cases in Gandhinagar city from 4.25% to 1.75% in May first week was an outcome of certain proactive professional measures like roping in private hospitals; augmenting bed capacity for COVID treatment and isolation; announcing a set of “immediate measure” to control viral spread; issuing IDs to enlisted vegetables and fruit vendors etc.


What was noticed more loudly was his strategy of ascertaining more clarity in decisions and set of guidelines. Documents on decisions, guidelines, COVID protocols were released and disseminated in public on a daily basis. Gupta regularly released his videos informing people about revised guidelines, a fresh set of decisions which were widely appreciated so much so that some media-persons based out of Ahmedabad city said that Gupta’s regular release of videos mirrored his administrative skills as he talked business and spoke to the point i.e. “No gyan ki baat only kam ki baat”.

delhi-police-acp-posted-at-rashtrapati-bhawan-tests-covid-19-positive

Delhi police ACP posted at Rashtrapati Bhawan tests COVID-19 positive

By IndianMandarins 18 May 2020

With the largest single-day spike of COVID-19 cases in the country of over 5000 cases, a 58-year-old ACP of Delhi police posted at Rashtrapati Bhawan has been tested positive for the coronavirus following. On these five police personnel have been quarantined.

Fortunately, the ACP was posted at Rashtrapati Bhawan Police Lines which is away from the Rashtrapati Bhawan core area that comprises residential premises of the president. ACP was tested and isolated on May 13. Five other personnel who came in contact with him were also quarantined as a precautionary measure.

The ACP tested positive for the virus was asymptomatic. He was in isolation since May 13 and has been admitted to a private hospital. He was responsible for duty deployment, administration and management of personnel within the Rashtrapati Bhawan premises.

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