CAPTAIN COOL SIGNING OFF – part 2

Captain cool bids adieu to the jersey in Blue. Beyond a player, he’s a man with principles. A man on a mission.

His life is indeed the desi version of the ‘American Dream’ or it’d be apter to call it the ‘Indian Dream.’ Growing up in a cricket fanatic country like ours, almost every other person would’ve wanted to be a cricketer. The ones that get there are not by luck, but by sheer sacrifice, hard-work and belief in one’s abilities.

Against all odds!

In the coming years the future of the Indian cricket is uncertain, But what’s certain is that there will never be a replacement for this Wk batsman from Ranchi.

His stand apart from others, is what dragged him closest to us. From his hairstyles over the years to his strategies, for a well orchestrated win. Putting the luck factor on the back seat.

This fierce finisher’s batting pattern made him land milestones, like over 10,000 runs in the limited overs format. Being the explosive batsman he is, Dhoni valued singles and doubles more; rotating the strike and making the scoreboard ticking. His humongous shots are often preyed upon weaker balls from the opposition.

A lesson that smaller steps can conquer mammoth scores. Teaches us that consistency is key.

MSD’s focus for the game will never be paralleled.

He stood by his principles and never let anything shake him. He did the unthinkable, and the success was certain.

He was a visionary above all, which explains how coolly he shook the wrath of the fans when he benched the legends, to pave the way for the youngsters.

This helped the lad to bag all the golds for the nation. From winning the ‘07 T20 WC within a few years after being assigned captain, to bagging the’13 WC and the champions trophy and also bagging the World number 1 rankings in the tests.

He’s my hero,” said Kapil Dev. One WC winning captain, legend, to another, what better credentials does Dhoni need to be the best.

Dhoni broke into the side because of his perseverance and grit.

Dhoni is a natural leader. He leads by example and has inspired people on the field and beyond it. His calmness and composure singing multitudes of life lessons to adhere to.

Most younger players look upto him for his in-depth knowledge and ability to read the game like a wizard.

Virat even after taking over the captaincy stated that ‘Dhoni will always be his captain.’

It’s no new news that Dhoni has a great eye for things, if put on the right chair, captain cool might end up making Indian cricket a force to reckon with.

As people bust their knuckles claiming that Dhoni should play a farewell match or coach India, no one really knows what will play out in the end. Surprise factor is what had made Captain cool, the king of cool.

this sheer unpredictability had set Mahendra Singh Dhoni a level apart. The whole world cheers on, as the captain walks off.

Above his game, the gentleman’s attitude has played a grave job in robbing the hearts of many. He served the side with utmost respect and professionalism.

Win or loss, champions or at the bottom of the table, nothing shook him.

Now the wait continues, to see thala put on the jersey in ‘Yellow,’ to take this IPL season by storm.

‘Whistle podu.’

CAPTAIN COOL : signing off (part 1)

“Dhoni finishes off in style! A magnificent strike into the crowd. India lift the world Cup after 28 years. The party has started in the dressing room and it’s an Indian captain who has played an amazing innings on the night of the final,” this commentary by Ravi Shastri is bound to never leave us, even on our deathbeds; MSD winning us the WC with a six. One of the best moments that captured the finesse of our former Indian Captain.

It’s Saddening to say former, There was more to Mahi, than just being an Indian captain. He was the human embodiment of the hopes, aspirations and dreams of many. An emotion to the masses across the world.

Whistle podu,’ to the superstar. Thaliva, indeed!

The news of Dhoni’s retirement from the International level was a shocker. Throwing many a fans and even cricket enthusiasts in different parts of the world into an emotional dilemma.

The only words that one could gather was ‘did he have to hang his boots this early?’ A testament of the perception, that people had of Dhoni wearing the jersey in blue at least for the next few years.

Like always, he left us all awestruck and taken aback. Accustomed to putting us by the end of our seats, Mysterious like always, Dhoni bowed out from the major leagues. For old times sake right?

What could be adding to the trauma would be the fact that it marks the end of an era. The end of the dream team of India. Dhoni was the last one to leave, after legends like Viru, Zak, Yuvi, Bhaji and many more.

He was the man, the myth, the legend. Finding someone with true hate towards him would be something unattainable. He was committed to the game and nothing else, true gentleman who excelled in all his cricketing spectrums.

His on-field focus was impeccable.

He was the best finisher, wk and captain India has ever produced. The man’s focus to his is impeccable. He always looked deep in thought, always a couple of steps ahead the rest.

Captain cool was mostly a man of few words, if you think about it now, we never got much glimpses of him talking away on the telly.

Just like his words, he kept his emotions to himself too. Never letting them clouding over his judgements. Those piercing glances from within the helmet and charging down the 22 yards will never be forgotten.

Dhoni’s methods were unorthodox, but super efficient. From his batting style to just wearing one glove in tense situations to game changing bowler spell choices. A playmaker who steered the game of 22.

The story of a small time boy making upto the big leagues was beautifully portrayed in his biopic by the late star Sushant (RIP). I believe the movie just thickened our relationship with the man.

To be continued…

Hitman’s Khel Ratna

A man known for his humungous sixes and stepping down the pitch for taking charge at the bowlers, one after the other. It’d have been a far bigger injustice if the ‘hitman’ was not named ‘hitman’.

His cricketing career was reincarnated at the ‘13 ICC Champions trophy, when the middle order batsman was asked to open alongside his long time, still standing opening partner Shikhar Dhawan. This time he didn’t need much time to prove his salt; marked off his return by scoring an amazing Ton.

A cricketing genius, in whose capable hands lies the powers to get the nation of the mark. One guy for the aspirations of 136 crores. Setting the blood pressure levels at pleasant levels when he strolls off to the 22 yards to give the bowling side a beating. His story is one which draws similarities with that of the ‘God of Cricket.’

This Mumbaikar’s journey from humble beginnings teaches us a grave lesson, that if we put our heart to it, anything under the sky is doable, period.

Rohit was called upto the National team in ‘07 as a middle order batsman who also knew his way around at the bowler’s end.

After debuting for the Nation, the first few years of his career went under a bit of turbulence.

With 4 IPL titles’ and a champions trophy under his belt for Mi, is superfluous accolades to prove his capabilities to adorn the Captain’s cap. Proving that luck without execution is just a whopping ‘duck’. (in cricketing terms.)

The Hitman being awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Retna award on 22nd August came no shock to the rest of the countrymen. His stats in all 3 formats brought home the prestigious award as the 4th Cricketer after The God, Captain cool and VK47.

He’s the only cricketer in the world to have 3 double tons in limited over cricket against his name. With the mammoth (264 vs SL) being the highest runs scored by a batsman in an ODI innings. The hitman is also the Second Indian cricketer to score centuries in all three formats and also bagged ‘19 ICC WC ‘Golden Bat’ award for hitting 5 centuries in that WC. These are just a few feathers of his colourful blue cap.

Rohit Sharma attained a hat-trick of the most number of sixes internationally for 3 consecutive years, across 3 formats, which aided him to cross the milestone of 400 sixes last year. Making him the first Indian and fastest to cross the milestone.

He’s one of the best players of the Modern cricketing world and plays the game effortlessly, making it seem like child’s play.

A wholesome mixture of calmness and aggressiveness; composed like Captain cool and an angry young man with the bat like none other than Viru.

Rohit Sharma once got into trouble with the cops, while hitting one of his huge sixes in gully cricket, which ended up smashing the neighbor’s window. A couple of decades later, the very folks, who taunted him back then might be sitting in some corner, reciting his tales and cheering him on to hit one of those world class ‘sixes.’

Binge watching and Mankind

The time to rethink the entire bingeing habit is the need of the hour as maintaining a proper quality of life is more perennial than passing time.

We humans are the masters of our domain. At times, us, the masters go berserk by certain pursuits. We do go overboard with things, from petty tasks to pursuits complex.

I believe the quote, “Nothing to extremes, everything in moderations”, from the remarkable book ‘The monk who sold his Ferrari’, by writer Robin Sharma is something we all should adhere to. In all aspects of life.

We humans are masters of passing time.
It doesn’t matter where we’re, or what we have, we’ll inevitably find ways to destress or to chill.

We’re the lords who have mastered the art of passing time. Everyone’s a Picasso or your own ‘unique being’ for this matter.

But when the phenomenon of ‘fomo’ (fear of missing out) kicks in, beings scramble to ‘fit in’. To find a firm ground to socialise with fellow beings. Gradually paving the way for losing bits and pieces of oneself.

The recent trends of passing timeBinge watching has proven the point well.

It has united the world, that was once divided. Surveys have shown that almost all the generations; especially ‘generation z’ and ‘millennials’, have been ‘swept off their feet’ by a plethora of content to stream and chill.

For the ones that were living under a rock, the ones unaware, binge-watching refers watching far too many episodes of a tv series at one go. It’s funny I guess tv series’ are a thing of the past now. Web series’ being the new black.

Netflix was the catalyst for such a mammoth change in the lives of many. By releasing the entire season of a series to watch all at once. Doing away with the process of having to wait out a new episode every week.

This fast paced life has made such anticipation seem surreal or nerve wrecking to be aptly put. Killing the beauty of waiting.

I guess sometimes you do have to give it time. If not, you lose sight of the whatever’s beautiful in this world in the process.

A true testament that change is part of nature’s way. Embrace the change and go with the flow, or get drowned in the process.

The struggle was real earlier. A few years back, privileged were the ones that had umpteen storage facilities and a high speed internet connection. But the transmission of life into digital has made the struggles fade.

The struggle now is settling on what to watch and finish it before any spoilers. With traditional cable tvs’, cinemas and movies taking the hit in the process. Transforming the entertainment world by a few hundred steps stcsdym a time. The changes are abysmal.

The ‘work from home’ culture just fuelling the way for major streaming platforms to sow millions in this times of crisis. With too much time in hand, people going frenzy to fit in something or the other into their lives to pass time.

Like I mentioned earlier, not adhering to moderations has its own antagonising effects. The binge watching culture has made several beings vulnerable to numerous health conditions.

Having a toll on the body and the mind. Two spectrums of well-being, taking severe hits by the 4G and 5G spectrums, causing many a imbalances in the lives of mankind, as a whole.

Experts have commented that the new culture of bingeing has adverse impacts on health, as the excessive indulgence has thrown the dopamine levels of the body off the charts.

Dopamine being a chemical produced naturally in the body, is a neurotransmitter, which regulates many a actions of our bodies.

The health problems involving both physical and mental. Ranging from severe medical conditions like insomnia, chronic boredom, apathy to depression. The physical effects ranging from cardiovascular diseases, thrombosis and other vision related diseases.


The excessive snacking whilst bingeing also affecting the tummy areas too. Transforming generously the packs into a vast ‘single pack’ in the process.

All this rambling might make me sound like a boomer trying to bully the younger generations. But in all honesty, if you don’t care to stop and analyse what’s happening, then whole of life will slip away before you take notice.

Periodic reality checks should be squeezed into the equation of life. For a better and beautiful tomorrow.

For “Tomorrow has no reality, since every day is experienced as today”, excessive indulgence today might fade out all our realities amidst a global pandemic.

Travel in 2020

Travelling is something no person can say no to. COVID-19 has made us all value the past trips we took, more and the ones we’re yet to take even more.

The struggle was real. The itch to travel was as strong as it has ever been. From avid travellers to amateurs, taking a lesson of the nature of human life, on a thesis that life gives no certainties.

Also to be reminded that you don’t always get what you want. The average one went during the pandemic was surely to the kitchen and back, mostly till the front yard and rarely to the grocery nearby.

Standing by the gates and wondering what’s in store for us. The uncertainties raising a brow to two.

The joy of travelling is something that’s unparalleled, it brushes away all the worries of the past and halts the thoughts of the future, often making us live in the present. Just thoughtful about the moment and nothing else.

To Embrace the absolute joy of being alive. Teaching us a lesson on how to live. More Wandering, Less Wondering. Carefree & Ecstatic.

Now sadly the tables have turned; More Wondering, Less Wandering. Careful & Miserable.

To be among a crowd unknown, to munch on cuisines alien, trying to speak in their lingual, failing desperately but still having a laugh over it later on, and most importantly capturing all the beauties of this world.

Take that deep breath, we’ll definitely get to do it all over again.

The earliest fondest memories on being on the move for many, would definitely be the field trips we were taken on in elementary school. It was just a day away from the normal schooling routine and probably to a park quite nearby. But the time with the mates will always be cherished. These moments will live on forever, if it’s not for moments like these, what is life all about then.

A true testament that it’s never about the destination but the very moments, that’ll fill our hearts than anything else.

The masters of different trades and industries have always had common ground, when it came down to advocating the need for it. To get a firsthand experience of all the places we’ve seen through the books we read and the places that flashed across the screens, mostly in songs of Bollywood movies.

The wisest of people are the ones that travel, to be a part of history and to marvel the marvellous world and to be humbled by reminded how small we’re in the vastness of the universe.

People who have got a taste of it has never been able to digest a life otherwise. It’s amazing how one such activity of mankind strikes a cord with many.

If all the terrorists of the world got a taste of this fine taste of travelling life, then the only bombing they’d be doing would be ‘photobombing’. (Pun intended)

We say people are different, we stand divided on different grounds, but the thirst to travel unites us.

All these musings about travel, brings to mind a saying I heard vaguely, somewhere, which went like: “if the creator wanted us to stay someplace throughout life, we’d have been grounded with roots running deep into the ground.”

New Covid-19 Cases in New Zealand

On Tuesday, New Zealand announced that Auckland, its largest city, would be shutting down since 4 new cases has been found in the city.  It is the first case of domestic transmission for the nation after remaining covid free for 102 days.

New Zealand’s fight against Covid was recognised across the world. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was congratulated for her effective method and governance. A vigorous and decisive response to the pandemic had effectively curbed down the rates of infection. The Pacific island nation of 5 million citizens was considered to be the safest place as it remained Covid free for 100 days at a stretch. It had made a record of zero new cases of community transmission of Covid-19. From a first case on Feb 26 to the last one recorded on May 1st, the whole process of elimination took about 65 days. The nation was placed under lockdown for weeks when the virus first broke out and it had achieved a milestone of 100 days. After the last case was recorded on May 1st, the government had warned from before as countries like Australia and Vietnam which were once free from the virus are now fighting a second battle.

The Director General of Health had said that the 4 new cases are from a single family in South Auckland. It is the first local case in 102 days. The patients had no international travel history and contact tracing has been started.

With the announcement of shutdown, media reports suggested that people have started panic buying. The Prime Minister has made a surprise news conference and announced that Auckland will have Level 3 restriction from Wednesday as a “precautionary approach”. According to it, people should be staying at home, away from work, school or any social gathering. Any gathering of more than 10 people will not be allowed. This restriction would be applicable for 3 days, until Friday. This was done to assess the situation and gain further information about contact tracing. Immediate steps have been taken to find the source of the infection and to prevent further spread. There is an added concern because the source of the virus is not known this time. Travelling to Auckland, on North Island, would be restricted for people other than the ones who live there. The rest of New Zealand would go into Level 2 restriction from Wednesday for 3 days. Social gatherings would be restricted and mass gatherings of over 100 people would not be allowed. Since sources are unknown for the new cases, it is expected that there could be a rise in numbers in the coming few days.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has said, “I am urging Aucklanders to come together like we did last time to stamp out community transmission. Please remain calm, please do not panic buy and please follow the lockdown rules.” People have been instructed to use masks and to avoid all kinds of social gathering. Jacinda Ardern has told reporters, “No other country in the world was free of community transmission as long as New Zealand. Together we have beaten the virus before. We can do so again.”

New Zealand elections are scheduled to happen on September 19. The break of new cases was unexpected. Till now, the government has fought against the situation and done quite well as a result Ardern’s Labour Party has got a lot of support before the elections.

National Handloom Day to be celebrated on August 7th

National Handloom Day is celebrated on the 7th of August annually in India. It is observed to create awareness about the importance of the textile industry in the economy. It began as an initiative to honour and provide work to handloom weavers and artisans. 7th August was declared as National Handloom Day by the Union Government in 2015 to generate awareness about the industry and its social importance. The day is celebrated through different functions and events across the country. Workshops are conducted to spread information about work opportunities among weavers and their families. Handloom fairs, exhibitions, parades, panels take place during various events.Through the celebrations of this day, handloom products get a wide recognition.

Handlooms have gradually emerged as the largest cottage industry. Almost 95% of the world’s handicrafts are from India. Weavers create from different natural fibres like cotton, silk and wool.While we celebrate the diversity of India’s art and crafts, its also important to address the problems and needs of the artisans. They should be provided with the knowledge of techniques, prices, and modern technology.

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Different schemes like Reservation of Articles for Production Act of 1985 and Handloom Census have been introduced so that artisans can benefit from them. Social media campaigns like #iwearhandloom have popularized the craft in recent times to an extent. These crafts should be included in contemporary industries so that younger generations can know about them and start supporting the cottage industries.

Historical Significance

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August 7 was declared as the Handloom day in 2015 to revive the roots of handloom and to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement which began on the same day 115 years back. The first National Handloom Day was inaugurated on 7 August 2015 at the Centenary Hall of Madras University in Chennai. The movement was launched in Calcutta Town Hall on August 7, 1905 as a protest against the Bengal Partition by the British Government. The movement was started to facilitate the use of domestic products and production of goods within the country for boycotting British goods. There were also instances of burning British goods. When Lord Curzon announced the partition of Bengal in July 1905, the Indian National Congress started the movement. It led to the spread of revolutionary anti colonial and anti British movements across the country. Further movements like the Non Cooperation movement and the Satyagraha movement developed from the Swadeshi movement.

In recent times, the day is celebrated to spread awareness and develop consciousness of the public regarding textiles and the handloom industry which is extremely important for the socio economic development of the country. Handlooms and crafts empower artisans and represent the diverse cultural identities present in the country. They are eco-friendly and sustainable crafts which also function as the livelihood of so many people.

Celebrations this year

This year is the 6th National Handloom Day and the day will be celebrated through a virtual programme which will be conducted by the Union Ministry of Textiles. The textile minister Smriti Irani will be the chief guest for the event. The event will be observed with all the handloom clusters across India, 16 NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) campuses, 24 Weaver Service Centres of different states and National Handloom Development Corporation.

Lebanon Explosion: Massive explosion kills more than 100, thousands injured

There was a massive explosion in the port of Beirut on Tuesday, 4th August 2020. The explosion have resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people and 4000 injured. Much of the cities ports have been affected and buildings have been damaged. Hospitals have been filled beyond capacity and hospital authorities are pleading for blood supplies and generators. The injured had to be taken to hospitals outside Beirut. Streets are filled with ambulances and vehicles carrying the wounded and injured. The explosion has devastated the country, which was already in the middle of a financial crisis along with the corona virus pandemic. The economic condition was terrible with about half of the people living below poverty line.

Witnesses reported a massive mushroom cloud going into the sky and red fumes coming out of the site. At first people saw white dense fumes being emitted, after few seconds the big explosion happened sending a big white mushroom cloud and brownish red fumes into the sky. Residents said that they were thrown off their feet onto the ground by the tremors of the explosion. Windows and doors of building have been shattered across the capital. Local media have shown people being stuck inside rubble, damaged cars on the road and broken buildings. The port of Beirut has been heavily damaged. According to Germany’s geo-sciences centre, tremors of about 3.5 magnitude earthquake were reported to be felt and it reached as far as Cyprus, which is about 200 kilometres across the Mediterranean.

President Michel Aoun and Lebanon officials have blamed a warehouse, storing 2750 tons of Ammonium nitrate unsafely, close to the port for the blast. The Ammonium nitrate, which is used as a fertilizer and as an explosive, was stored in the site for about 6 years and there was a lot of negligence regarding the removal of it all these years. It was brought in by a ship which arrived at Beirut in 2013 and it was not allowed to leave due to some dispute. Since then the confiscated Ammonium nitrate was stored in the warehouse. It has been reported that a fire had started in one of the warehouses and then it spread to the warehouse containing the Ammonium nitrate. The explosion site is close to the place where a car bombing happened in 2005 which killed the former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Army helicopters have helped in extinguishing the fires at the port. Emergency teams had started working. Red Cross has said that a search operation is working for finding over 100 missing people. Residents of Lebanon have reached the site and hospital and have started helping the injured. In a statement released by Unicef, it has been mentioned that their staff and their families have also been affected, some have been injured, others have had their homes damaged as a result of the explosion. Their child protection partners are providing psycho-social support to affected children and their families. Officials have informed that an investigation is being done to find out the exact reason behind the explosion and to know what had triggered the Ammonium nitrate. A number of port officials have also been kept under house arrest for the investigation. The future of the port is in danger as thousands of people have been left homeless in the middle of crisis. The President has declared 3 days of mourning and the government has declared 3 weeks of state emergency in the capital of Beirut. The Lebanon Prime Minister has requested for international assistance because there has been mass casualties and nearly half of the city has been damaged enormously.

Covid-19 Rapid antigen tests across India

With the increase in Covid-19 cases, many state governments across the country have started conducting rapid antigen tests to speed up the process of testing.

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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had previously approved the use of Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) kits for the detection of Covid 19. The test uses nasal swab samples for detection and can be performed outside laboratory settings. The kit is able to give quick results in about 30 minutes so it will be possible to conduct large number of tests. The Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) will be conducted in both Covid 19 hospitals and containment zones. According to ICMR guidelines the test needs to be conducted under strict medical supervision and the kit temperature need to be maintained between 2 to 30-degree Celsius. Also, after the collection of the sample, the test needs to be conducted within an hour for a correct and effective result.

The test can be used on different categories of patients – Patients with influenza like symptoms and suspected of being infected with covid 19, Asymptomatic patients who are hospitalised and belong to high risk groups with other comorbidities, and Asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical/non-surgical procedures like dental surgery, dialysis etc.

It has been pointed out that the rapid tests are very specific to the virus but not as sensitive as RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests. ICMR guidelines suggest that patients getting positive results can be considered a true positive while patients getting negative results should be tested following a RT-PCR method for a reconfirmation. SD Biosensor, the company which has been allowed by the ICMR to manufacture the test kits suggests that a negative result may be possible due to either a poor-quality specimen or if the concentration level of the antigen in the specimen is lower than the sensitivity of the test. There is also the possibility of difference in sensitivity between individuals of different age groups.

Many states including Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi have started with these tests. The Madhya Pradesh government has planned to increase the number of testing to 2500 per day with the introduction of the rapid tests in the state capital Bhopal. Once the tests give good result it will be implemented in other districts as well. Previously RT-PCR test method was being used to conduct tests which required a laboratory setting and was more time consuming. Using the more simplified rapid antigen testing method and as a part of the ‘Kill Corona’ campaign the government has decided to reach out to larger sections of the society. The West Bengal government has also started using rapid antigen test kits. State minister Firhad Hakim has introduced the rapid antigen testing in parts of South Kolkata where about 50 people underwent the test. According to him these kits will help in detecting the infection in a speedy manner. According to Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) officials the tests will be conducted across 16 boroughs of the civic body. From the results the positive reports were also sent to the health department. Rapid tests were also conducted across Delhi, but the Arvind Kejriwal government had been pulled up by the Delhi high court for over dependence on the tests. This is because the Delhi government had asked all healthcare facilities to conduct RAT testing on individuals having a ‘high risk’. It has been said that the Rapid tests are quicker but not as reliable as the RT-PCR tests. The RAT tests have a possibility of giving false negative reports. If the test results are positive, one can be sure of the result but in case of negative results there is a possibility of the results being false, so one cannot entirely rely on them. All patients getting negative reports need to be examined once more with the RT-PCR method.

While the RAT testing has led to high number of tests, the issue of false negatives is something to be concerned about. As a result of the mixed reactions on the RAT tests it is yet to be known whether they can be used a reliable method of testing in future.

Serum Institute asked to revise protocol for Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial

A  Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) expert panel has sought clarifications from Serum Institute of India (SII) over its application to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) seeking permission for conducting phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials of the Oxford vaccine candidate for COVID-19, official sources said on Wednesday. The CDSCO has advised the Serum Institute of India (SII) to submit a revised protocol to perform the clinical trials in India for potential Covid-19 vaccine.

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The move comes when the Subject Expert Committee evaluated the submitted protocol by SII. The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on COVID-19 which held its meeting on Tuesday deliberated on the application by SII and asked the Pune-based firm to revise its protocol for the phase 2 and 3 clinical trials, besides seeking some additional information. On Wednesday evening, SII submitted a revised protocol for conducting the trials to the DCGI. The firm plans to start phase 2 and 3 human trials in India in August. The domestic pharma giant has partnered with AstraZeneca for manufacturing the Oxford vaccine candidate for highly infectious disease Covid-19.

“The company on Tuesday was asked to clearly define phase 2 and phase 3 part of the protocol and resubmit their application for evaluation by the SEC,” an official source said. The panel also recommended that the proposed clinical trial sites be distributed across India, the source said. “They also have not given justification for the proposed enrolment of 1,600 subjects during the trial,” the source added. Additional Director, Government Affairs, SII, Prakash Kumar Singh said, “We have submitted our revised protocol to DCGI office today evening for further action by SEC and DCGI.”

The SII which has partnered with AstraZeneca for manufacturing the Oxford vaccine candidate for COVID-19 had submitted its application to the DCGI on Friday, seeking permission for conducting the phase 2 and 3 trials of the potential vaccine ‘Covidshield’.”According to the application, it would conduct an observer-blind, randomized controlled study to determine the safety and immunogenicity of ‘Covishield’ in healthy Indian adults. The firm said that around 1,600 participants of more than 18 years would be enrolled in the study,” a source had said.  A Lancet medical journal report has stated that a vaccine candidate developed at the University of Oxford has shown encouraging results and it appears to be “safe, well-tolerated, and immunogenic. Initial results of the first two-phase trials of the vaccine conducted in five trial sites in the UK showed it has an acceptable safety profile and homologous boosting increased antibody responses, the source said.

To introduce the vaccine, SII, the world’s largest vaccine maker by the number of doses produced and sold, has signed an agreement to manufacture the potential vaccine developed by the Jenner Institute (Oxford University) in collaboration with British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca. On the partnership with AstraZeneca, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla had said, “Serum Institute of India has entered a manufacturing partnership with AstraZeneca to produce and supply 1 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University.”

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These vaccines will be for India and middle and low-income countries across the world (GAVI countries), he had said. Last week, Oxford University announced the satisfactory progress with the vaccine, making it one of the leading ones among the dozens of vaccine candidates being developed around the world. The clinical trials of a potential Covid-19 vaccine on humans began in April. There was no immediate response from SII when ANI contacted them to make their version.