COVID-19 RT-PCR test price reduced to ₹700 in Lucknow & other UP districts

UP Additional Chief Secretary stated that the rates have been revised in public interest, in the wake of the increased demand.

In view of the heightened cases of the coronavirus and consequent increase in the demand of testing capacities, the Uttar Pradesh government has slashed down the rate of COVID-19 RT-PCR test across the state. As per the directives of the state administration, the rate of getting tested at private labs in Uttar Pradesh has been reduced from ₹1,600 to ₹700, which is among the lowest in the country. The labs have been allowed to charge ₹900 per RT-PCR test, if they collect the sample from the patient's home and these prices are inclusive of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).


Lowered testing cost to aid the government's campaign for COVID-19 surveillance

To provide respite to the pockets of the citizens, the UP government has revised the rates of COVID-19 test, by the RT-PCR method, which is deemed as the golden standard of testing. In an order issued by the Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, all private, ICMR approved laboratories conducting COVID tests will be charging a maximum of ₹900 per test. The directive also states that any lab charging more than the prescribed rate would face penal action under the Epidemic Act.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the rate of RT-PCR test at private labs was ₹4,500 and numerous regulations were introduced for the public interest. Earlier, the state government had reduced COVID-19 testing rates from ₹2,500 to ₹1,600 on September 10 and these labs were later allowed to charge a premium for collecting samples from home.

The move brought relief to people in the high burden districts like Lucknow, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad, Meerut, and Kanpur. The Health Department has advocated that the lowered testing cost will further aid the government's campaign for COVID-19 surveillance in the state. In addition to the infected patients, non-COVID-19 patients and professionals will benefit from this order as they have to mandatorily gets tested for work purposes, particularly for inter-state travel.

Regulated Charges for COVID-19 testing in Uttar Pradesh

On October 30, the Uttar Pradesh medical education department had announced that patients suffering with thalassemia and hemophilia will not have to pay anything for COVID testing. The testing for attendants will also be conducted free of cost. Besides this, the government has also decided to reduce the rate of COVID-19 testing for cancer and kidney patients on dialysis, to ₹300.

The cost of testing for patients with any other comorbidities have been fixed at ₹600. This decision was floated for all medical institutions and colleges in Lucknow, like the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, King George's Medical University, Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences and others.

Apart from Uttar Pradesh, the Delhi government had also brought down the rate of COVID-19 testing through RT-PCR from ₹2,400 to ₹800. State authorities of Uttarakhand, too, had reduced the rate from ₹1,600 to ₹850 and ₹900, for home collection.

- With inputs from IANS

Made in Jaipur pair of gold & enamel elephants to be auctioned in Sotheby's auction, London

An invaluable lot will be up for trade in London and these pieces have made it to the Sotheby auction lot.

The Sotheby's Auction in London has indexed a long list of over 350 objects from the late Patricia Edwina Victoria Mountbatten which will be exhibited as the lot. These items from the eldest daughter of Britain's last Viceroy of India would go under the hammer on March 24, where a priceless pair of Made in Jaipur gold and enamel elephants will also be up for trade. Facts suggest that these were given by Louis Mountbatten to his wife, as a present to mark their 24th wedding anniversary in 1946. The pair had become engaged at Viceroy's House in Delhi in 1922.

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Lucknow witnesses the historic unveiling of the world's largest Khadi mask on U.P. Diwas

A mask measuring 150 sq. meters was unveiled which trumped the old world record of 72.29 sq. meters.

Lucknow witnessed a string of celebrations to mark the state's foundation day, U.P. Diwas on Sunday. Among the major highlights were the launch of the world's largest mask crafted from Khadi and an innovative Khadi fashion show. The Chief Minister launched a 150 sq. metre mask developed by designer Manish Tripathi in collaboration with the Odra Foundation and Uttar Pradesh Khadi and Village Industries Board, Government of Uttar Pradesh.

The making of the world's largest Khadi mask

Motivated by the government's initiatives for a self-reliant India like 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' & 'Vocal for Local', Manish envisioned a mask that could make it to the Guinness Book of world records. For his endeavour, he sought help from the Khadi and Village Industries Board. He was offered 2 metre of the Khadi fabric from each of UP's 75 districts by the Additional Chief Secretary of the Board. In addition to this, his project was also aided by Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, Jaipur.

The designer traveled to 10 states across the country for collecting fabric for the mask including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Haryana and Rajasthan. The accumulated cloth was stitched together into a mask measuring 150 sq. meters which trumped the old world record of 72.29 sq. meters. It is proposed that the raw material of the mask would be reused for producing alternative products by the self-help groups which would be later introduced in the market.

Khadi Fashion Show organised in Lucknow at the Avadh Shilpgram

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On the occasion of U.P. Diwas, Avadh Shilp gram in Lucknow witnessed an uncoventional fashion show inspired by the indigenous fabric. In a spectacle to behold, fashion models from Delhi and Mumbai sported the Khadi costumes designed by notable designers like Ritu Beri, Manish Tripathi, Rina Dhaka, Asma Hussain, Runa Banerjee. The fashion show event was graced by the Minister of Khadi & Gram Udyog.

Proud moment for Lucknow: City girl marches in the NCC contingent at the R-Day parade

A resident of Thakurganj, Khushi aspires to serve in the Indian armed forces one day.

Republic day 2021 marks a moment of immense pride and joy for Lucknow. Khushi Srivastava, from Lucknow marched in the prestigious Republic day parade at Delhi's Rajpath. She is the only girl from the city to have found a place in the 200-member contingent which is constituted of cadets from different regions of the country. Khushi, an alumnus of City Montessori School is a final year student of BSc at Lucknow's Isabella Thoburn College.

Aspirations to serve in the Indian Armed forces one day

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Reportedly, the young girl is an Under officer in the senior NCC wing of the 19 UP Girls Battalion and she cracked the four-stage selection process after meticulous training and rigorous practice. A resident of Thakurganj, Khushi aspires to serve in the Indian armed forces one day.

Girl credits all her success to her parents

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Khushi further stated that though NCC is considered a tough choice for girls, the strenuous nature of activities makes them more interesting for her. After gaining exposure at the Thal Sainik Camp last year, she decided to apply for the esteemed Republic day parade. Crediting all her success to her parents, she expressed gratitude for their consistent support.

The contingent officer of U.P. girls' battalion informed that the group from Uttar Pradesh included three from Agra, two from Bareilly and one each from Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Aligarh & Prayagraj. Uttar Pradesh's participation in the Republic day parade was also marked by the four boys selected from the state; 3 from Agra and 1 from Gorakhpur.

Indigenous products shine the brightest at Lucknow's Hunar Haat

The fair is giving its visitors a peek into the market of local products, thereby boosting the spirit of a self-reliant India.

The recently inaugurated Hunar Haat in Lucknow has managed to grab a lot of attention from the city folks, owing to the amazing artwork that's been put on display here. The most loved products at the fair, are the natively crafted items that have been designed by Indian artisans and craftsmen. In two days of the launch, the art-fair has become one of the busiest hubs in the city, flocked by visitors who are enjoying the interesting range of creative artworks.

From Pashmina Shawls to Kalamkari Sarees, a display reflecting the diversity

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As per reports, the second day of the event saw a tremendous increase in footfall. Organized under the theme of 'One District One Product', the innovative market is displaying products like the famous Chikankari from Lucknow, carpets from Bhadohi and Gorakhpur's terracotta items amongst others. Reportedly, these items are attracting greater audiences to the fair that is in town till the 4th of February.

The artworks produced under ODOP have made their maiden entry to this event organized by the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs. The fair is witnessing participation and products by artisans and craftsmen from across the country including a long list of states and Union territories-Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya.

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The fair presents a captivating lay of the finest artworks like Ajrakh textiles, art metalwares, appliqué, Batik, Banarasi sarees, Bagh prints, Bastar art, Bandhej, block prints, herbal products, brass metal bangles, Kota silk, wood carvings, cane and bamboo products, canvas painting, Chikankari, pashmina shawls. Additionally, the Hunar Haat in Lucknow is also showcasing handwoven textile works like Mangalgiri sarees, kalamkari, leather products, lac bangles and others.

A step towards promoting locally developed artworks

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While launching the fair on Saturday at Avadh's Shilpgram, the Chief Minister stated that the event would provide a platform for the promotion of locally developed artistic products. The event is offering its audiences a peek into the market of local products, thereby boosting the spirit of a self-reliant India.

Knock Knock

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While the fair boasts of having something for everyone, we wish some artworks displayed here could be as desirable to our pockets as they are to our eyes! But it is not every day that one finds the best art from the different corners of the country exhibited together at one spot in Lucknow. This is why this fair counts for a must-visit. Love it or not; It is impossible that you return without losing your heart to something at this extravagant fair. If you happen to hit this place, do not forget to tag us in your clicks on Instagram.

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UP mandates liquor license for domestic storage over the prescribed limit

According to the latest guidelines, only six litres of alcohol would be allowed per person or in a house without a license.

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With the introduction of the revised excise policy, booze consumers need to be extra alert and careful about their liquor stocks at home. The Uttar Pradesh government has mandated the presence of a license for keeping liquor stocks above the prescribed limit within the household. As per the rules entailed in the policy, citizens would be required to have a license for purchasing, transporting and stocking liquor in excess of the authorized retail limit.

A limit of six litres per person or a single household

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According to the latest guidelines, only six litres of alcohol would be allowed per person or in a house without a license. If an individual wants to consume more than this, he would have to obtain a license from the Excise Department at an annual fee of ₹ 12,000. In addition to this, ₹ 51,000 would have to be deposited as security money under the specified conditions.

"The state government has set a revenue target of Rs 6,000 crore more than Rs 34,500 crore in the year 2021-22, against Rs 28,300 crore in the year 2020-21 of the Excise Department. As a result, 7.5 percent increase in annual license fees for country liquor, foreign liquor retail shops, and model shops for the year 2021-22." stated the Additional Chief Secretary of the Excise Department. He further informed that there has been no increase in the retail shop license fees of beer through the revised policy.

New policy promotes liquor production in the state

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The ADC also mentioned that the new policy encapsulates provisions that would encourage liquor production in the state. As per one of its clauses, the liquor produced in the state from the state-grown fruits will be exempted from consideration duty for the next five years.

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