Log in
Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

Follow him

Website URL:

Disagreement over PM’s appeal to light candles

By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, April 5

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed people to switch off electric lights and light candles for nine minutes, at 9 PM on Sunday, 5 April, as a panacea to break the chain of coronavirus, different opinions have been expressed on the issue. 
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that instead of wasting time in switching off the lights, all the lights should be switched on. “No good work is done in  darkness and as such we should have more light as far as possible. Begin good work by contributing towards CM’s relief fund”. He has said. 
Whereas Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut has warned people saying “ Think before you shut the lights off on Sunday”.  He has expressed fear of probable grid failure due to exceptional pressure falling over it if all lights are put off simultaneously. This can have a cascading effect of grids nationwide,  Raut has said adding that this could plunge entire the country into darkness for hours or even days together. “ One shudders to imagine the plight of patients in hospitals if their ventilators and other life saving equipments suddenly stop to function”. 
However Union Power Ministry has dispelled rumour saying “People should not worry about voltage fluctuation when they switch off some lights. Some apprehensions have been expressed that this may cause instability in the grid and fluctuation in voltage which may harm the electrical appliances. The Indian electricity grid is robust and stable and adequate arrangements and protocols are in place to handle the variation in demand. 
“The appeal of PM is to simply switch off the lights in residences, from 9 pm to 9.09 pm on April 5. There is no call to switch off either street lights or appliances like computers, TVs, fans, refrigerators and ACs in the homes. Lights in hospitals and all other essential services like public utilities, municipal services, offices, police stations, manufacturing facilities will remain on and all local bodies have been advised to keep streetlights on for public safety.
 According to astrologer Dr Jai Madaan, the reason for choosing 9 pm and 9 minutes is to initiate Mar’s double effect which lends to higher will power and immunity and can help one over come hurdles. Similarly as per numerologist Nitin Gupta,  the spread of the virus happened due to the transit of Rahu. According to numerology the number for Rahu is four and is right now travelling in the Budh Rashi. The number for Budh (Mercury) is five. April 5 is the only date in this month that gives us the combination of both these numbers. If one  adds the number of the year, 2020, it also comes to be four. 
Whereas some experts have said that the Coronavirus is destroyed in 10,000 calories. One candle can create 2000 calories. Even if half the country’s population light the lamps, 35 crore candles, 15 crore earthen lamps and 29 crore mobile flash can create 125 crore kcal and  the coronavirus can easily be destroyed. 
In  another development, the reputed Taj group which has already contributed Rs 1,500 crore to PM’s relief fund, has offered  rooms to doctors and staff engaged in providing medicare to Covid 19 patients. The rooms at Hotel Taj, Colaba, Hotel President, Cuffe Parade, Taj Lands End, Bandra and Hotel Taj, Santacruz in Mumbai have been made available. 
In the meanwhile in Maharashtra the number of active Covid 19 cases has climbed to 635 with 32 deaths, while 52 patient have been cured and discharged.

  • Published in News
  • 0

Navy designs low cost temperature gun to screen people

By Raju Vernekar

In view of “Covid-19” , Naval Dockyard, Mumbai has designed and developed its own handheld infrared (IR) based temperature sensor, through in-house resources, for undertaking screening of large number of personnel at the entry gates of the yard, to reduce the load on the security sentries at the gate.
The instrument has been manufactured under Rs. 1000/ -, which is fraction of the cost of the temperature guns in the market. The dockyard has the capability to scale up production of these if required towards which sourcing of the components is in progress.
Since the outbreak of coronavirus, the non-contact thermometers or temperature guns have become scarce in the market and are being sold at a very high cost. To overcome the scarcity the Naval Dockyard, has developed, this sensor with accuracy of 0.02 deg celsius. The non-contact thermometer has a, IR sensor and an LED display integrated with a microcontroller which runs on a 9 volts battery. This initiative has provided a tool for undertaking screening of large number of personnel at the entry gates, Commander Mehul Karnik said and added the temperature can be checked without touching a person.
Naval ships continue to remain mission deployed during COVID-19 crisis and the deployments are being planned without any port visit to the extent possible or with at least a gap of 14 days at sea from the last port visit prior return.
The 285 year old Naval Dockyard of Western Naval Command (WNC) has an average influx of around 20,000 personnel entering its premises every day. In view of Covid-19, initial screening of the personnel entering the dockyard was essential to prevent the spread of the virus within the yard and the Western Fleet. The most preliminary method to screen a probable patient is to check for body temperature by a non-contact means. Although there is a lock down across the country, the work of shipping building and research is going on and there is constant in and outflow of officers, sailors and civilians at Naval Dockyard.
In another development, the Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam has designed an innovative ‘Portable Multi-feed Oxygen Manifold (MOM)’ using a 6-way radial header fitted to a single cylinder. This would enable one oxygen bottle to supply six patients concurrently thus enabling critical care management to a larger number of Covid 19 patients with the existing limited resources. The entire set up was made operational by manufacturing a fine adjustment reducer and specific adapters of requisite dimensions for connecting the Oxygen cylinder and the portable MOM.
 A typical oxygen providing facility at hospitals comprises a cylinder feeding only one patient through a Venti-mask arrangement. During the ongoing pandemic, ventilator support is  required for about 5-8% of patients with symptoms and a large number of patients require oxygen support.

  • Published in News
  • 0

Covid 19 test within five minutes

IT News
Mumbai, April 3

The Central Government has allowed Maharashtra to conduct rapid,  mass-scale  “Covid 19”  test by using  blood samples to expedite the detection of coronavirus cases, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.
The State government will use blood samples instead of swabs in rapid tests through which it can be ascertained “in five minutes” whether the person has developed anti-bodies for the disease or not.
“The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has informed us that the State can now carry out rapid tests for early detection of coronavirus cases. We will be using blood samples for the early detection of Covid 19 infection,”  Tope said and added that mass-scale testing will expedite the  screening procedure. Within five minutes of collection of blood sample, the government will come to know whether the person has developed some anti-bodies (which indicates presence of virus). Earlier the Centre had not allowed mass-scale tests.
“Our health department has prepared online training module for ASHA (accredited social health activist) workers as well as multi-purpose workers registered with the State who will be trained for treating Covid 19 patients,”  Tope said.
“There are over 3.25 lakh migrant labourers in various state-run facilities. Modi has asked us to not only take care of their food, but also provide them TV sets so that they can have some entertainment and do not leave the shelter. The PM has also advised the State government to sanitize containment areas strictly. Containment zones are created around the localities where significant number of infections are found. There are 146 such areas where sanitisation will start soon, Tope said.
About Tablighi Jamaat congregation, Tope said that Maharashtra has traced out 1,300 persons, out of around 1,400 persons who attended the recent congregation in Delhi, Tope said.
In another development Maharashtra Government has decided to convert 30 district   hospitals as special hospitals to treat “Covid 19” patients. With this the capacity will be increased by 2305 beds.  Some of the hospitals include:  Thane district hospital, TB Building (100 beds), Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Hospital, Mira Bhayander (100), Vashi General Hospital (120), Shastri Nagar dispensary, Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation (100), Pune district Hospital, Aundh (50), Kumbhmela building, Nashik (100), municipal Kathada Hospital, Nashik (100) and Ahmednagar district hospital (100).
 In another development Indian Medical Association (IMA) has asked general practitioners (GP) to keep their dispensaries open at least for three hours in a day so that routine patients wanting medicare, are not inconvenienced. However GPs above 65 years and those suffering from diabetes have been exempted from this. The IMA has issued these guidelines in view of the government’s direction to suspend licences of doctors keeping their dispensaries closed fearing coronavirus.
In the meanwhile the number of active Covid 19 cases have climbed up to 423, with 21 deaths in Maharashtra, while 42 fully recovered patients have been discharged till now.

  • Published in News
  • 0

Rama Navami celebrated on subdued note

By Raju Vernekar

With rising graph of active Covid 19 cases, the Rama Navami, a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Rama on the ninth day of the Hindu month of Chaitra, was celebrated on subdued note in Maharashtra on Thursday.
The 109 th  Rama Navami was celebrated at famous Saibaba shrine in Shirdi in Ahmednagar without “Gangajal abhishek” and in absence of devotees since the temple has been closed for devotees since 17 March. A few trustees and priests were present. The Ram Navami is being celebrated at Shirdi shrine since 1911.
At Kalaram Mandir in Nashik, the pooja and other rituals were performed only by four priests. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama, enshrined inside the sanctum sanctorum in the form of a black stone idol. Besides, the idol of Lord Rama, are those of Sita Mata and Lord Lakshmana, both of them sandy black and adorned with ornaments.  90 year ago Dr. B R Ambedkar had launched a satyagriha for the entry of Dalits into the Kalaram temple.  
A Mahaabhishek was offered to Lord Ram in Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari Temple at ISKCON, Juhu in North West Mumbai in presence of limited number of devotees.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted people on the occasion of Rama Navami on Thursday. “Heartiest greetings to the countrymen on the occasion of Ram Navami. Jai Shri Ram!” the Prime Minister wrote on Twitter.
The number of active Covid 19 cases rose up to 335 with 19 death in Maharashtra on Thursday. The positive cases included a mother with her newly born child. The tally of active coronavirus cases stood as : Mumbai 181, Pune (city and rural) 50  Sangli 25, Thane circle 36 (2), Nagpur 16, Yavatmal 4, Ahmednagar 8, Buldhana 4  Satara 2, Kolhapur 2, Aurangabad 1, Ratnagiri 1, Sindhudurg  1,Gondia  1, Jalgaon 1, Nashik 1, Outside Mah (Guj) 1=335/12 deaths.
In the meanwhile Jaslok Hospital located in South Mumbai, has suspended OPD services and  cancelled new admissions for a few days after one of the nurses and a patient, who had come for treating bladder cancer, tested positive.

  • Published in News
  • 0