India is on a high alert against Enterovirus 71 (EV-71), a causative agent for hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) that has infected over 20,000 children and killed around 40 of them, in at least four Asian countries over the past three months. China, which has recorded over 15,799 cases of HFMD and 28 deaths, has been the worst affected, followed by Vietnam where 3,000 children have been infected and 10 died. Singapore too has recorded around 10,490 cases while Hong Kong recently isolated the virus from two children.

According to the latest global report card, India ranks 27th along with Ghana and Eritrea when it comes to providing basic healthcare to its children, which includes life-saving interventions like prenatal care, skilled childbirth, immunization and treatment for diarrhoea and pneumonia. Over 53% children in India under five years

A recent decision by India to stop importing power plant equipment from China and instead source it from domestic PSUs may have diplomatic implications within and outside the country. For the 79,000MW total power capacity expected to be added in the 11th Plan, almost 16,000 MW

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On the eve of its second anniversary, Kerala's Left government on Wednesday announced a loan waiver of Rs 25,000 for distressed farmers. The move is expected to benefit about 41,000 farmers in the northern Wayanad district, which has witnessed the largest number of farmer suicides in the state. Speaking to reporters here after the cabinet meet, chief minister V S Achuthanandan said Rs 50 crore would be set apart for this. He also announced the government's decision to provide free textbooks for children till Class VIII.

The Union health ministry has taken strong objection to Indian Medical Association's move to endorse PepsiCo's Tropicana pure juices and Quaker Oats. Speaking to TOI, Union health minister A Ramadoss said IMA should focus more on irrational use of drugs and blood products rather than endorse Dettol and juices.

Delhiites may be suffering four to five-hour power cuts this peak summer already, but a recent report on the power situation and tariff comparison of major Indian cities claims that in terms of outages, Delhi fares better than other places in the country.

Contrary to claims made by the Delhi urban development minister Raj Kumar Chauhan on Monday, the flyover plan to decongest the pilot Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor is very much on. The transport department has ordered a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the project on Wednesday and construction is expected to start soon.

According to sources, the traffic volume factored for the BRT project was based on two-year-old figures.

It's official now. By deciding to provide more space to cars and doing away with medians in the BRT stretch beyond Moolchand, the government has virtually admitted that the apprehensions expressed by TOI since 2006 about the project were well-informed and valid. We had our ear to the ground with inputs from experts and our readers.

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