SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 18 JULY 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR MODI’S INDISCRETIONS WEAKENED INDIA: RAHUL P5 Generally cloudy sky with light rain/ thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 36 and 28 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Trace mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE Max: 37.3°C (2) SUN RISES 05:36 hrs MOON RISES 03:56 hrs MESSI TAKES IT OUT ON BARCA MATES P10 P12 P7 Covid-19 cases: India crosses 1 million mark WEATHER Max.87% BACK TO WORK IS THE MESSAGE IN UK UNLOCKING ROADMAP ‘AMARINDER AND BADALS ARE TOGETHER’ Min. 61% Min: 28.4°C (1) SUN SETS 19:20 hrs MOON SETS 17:22 hrs THUMBNAILS West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar during his visit in Birbhum to pay homage to Rajesh Orang, who was martyred at Galwan in LadRAJA BHAKAT akh, at Belgaria village on Friday. SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 17 JULY The total Coronavirus infection count in India surpassed the 10 lakh mark on Friday with the highest single-day spike of 34,956 cases, just three days after it passed the 9 lakh mark, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The total coronavirus caseload in the country surged to10,03,832, while death toll mounted to 25,602 with the highest number of 687 fatalities recorded in a day, the data updated at 8 a.m. on Friday showed. According to Health Ministry data, as many as 6,35,757 patients have recovered, almost twice the number of active patients at 3,42,473. Rajya Sabha oath ceremony: For the first time, newly elected members of Rajya Sabha will be administered oath in the chamber of the House during inter-session because of the requirement of social distancing. The event takes place on 22nd July. Sixty-one members were elected to the Upper House from 20 States recently. Subscribing to oath or affirmation is usually done either during the session or in the chamber of the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, if the P4 House is not in session. SC ‘no’ to plea for common syllabus: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a PIL seeking to explore feasibility of establishing ‘One Nation One Board' by merging ICSE and CBSE to ensure uniform education, saying such policy issues do not fall under its domain. A bench of the court headed by Justices D Y Chandrachud, in a hearing via video-link, told PIL petitioner and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay that the issue of merger of education boards cannot be decided by courts. Poverty reduction: About 273 million Indians moved out of multidimensional poverty between 2005-6 and 2015-16, according to a UN report, which noted that India has recorded the largest reduction in the number of people living in this category. The data, released by the United Nations Development Programme and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, shows that 65 out of 75 countries studied significantly reduced their multidimensional P4 poverty levels between 2000 and 2019. ISLAMABAD, 17 JULY A day after India termed the second consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav as “neither meaningful nor credible,” Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Islamabad is willing to provide a third meeting with the Indian death row prisoner, according to Pakistani media. Pakistan on Thursday provided consular access for a second time to Jadhav, a 50-yearold retired Indian Navy officer, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. India said the second access was “neither meaningful nor credible,” and that the con- STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 17 JULY Delhi today recorded 1,462 new coronavirus (Covid19) cases, which pushed its Covid tally to 1,20,107. The Covid death toll in the national capital mounted to 3,571, with 26 such deaths recorded today, according to the Delhi government's latest health bulletin. in ICU, 0.35 per cent on ventilators and 2.81 per cent are on oxygen support, while the recovery rate has improved to 63.33 per cent, according to the health ministry. On Thursday, the recovery rate was 63.25 per cent. India, the second-most populous country in the world with 1.35 billion peo- ple, has 727.4 cases per million, which is four to eight times lower than some European nations, the ministry said. Also, according to it, the country's case fatality rate at 18.6 deaths per mil- Speaker’s action on hold till Tuesday; Rajasthan HC extends hearings on issue to next week JAIPUR, 17 JULY S achin Pilot and 18 other Congress dissident MLAs on Friday got a four-day reprieve from any action by the assembly Speaker on the disqualification notices served on them, after the Rajasthan High Court extended its hearing on the issue to next week. The division bench of the court, hearing the dissident MLAs' petition against the Speaker's notices, adjourned Friday evening. It fixed the next hearing for 10 a.m. on Monday. The counsel for the Speaker assured the court that no order shall be passed on the notice till 5.30 pm on Tuesday. Earlier, Speaker C P Joshi had written to the court that the notices would not be acted upon till 5 p.m. on Friday. The counsel agreed to extend this to 5.30 p.m. on Tuesday as the court is yet to give an order on the petition. Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi argued for the petitioners via video conference. Abhishek Manu Singhvi was among those who argued on behalf of the Speaker. “It was argued that Speaker's powers are autonomous and he has issued show-cause notices. The judiciary should not interfere till the order on the notices is passed.The argument by Singhvi will resume on Monday at 10 a.m,” another counsel for the Speaker told reporters. ‘Pakistan willing to provide 3rd consular access to Jadhav’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA 1,462 new cases, 26 deaths in Delhi Sachin Pilot, dissident MLAs get 4-day breather d PRESS TRUST OF INDIA HS exam sees 90.13 pass percentage: Candidates appearing in the West Bengal higher secondary examination this year have surpassed all previous records, achieving a 90.13 overall pass percentage. The West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education declared the class XII examination results for 2020 without a merit list. Of the 7,61,583 students that had appeared for the exam, a total of 6,80,057 cleared it. The total pass percentage this year is 3.84 higher than last year. Boys did better than girls. It took 110 days for the number of Covid-19 cases in the country to reach one lakh, and just 59 days more to go past the ninelakh mark. This is the sixth consecutive day when the cases increased by more than 28,000. As per the Ministry, Maharashtra remains the worst-affected state from the coronavirus infection with a total of 2,84,281 Covid-19 cases and 11,194 fatalities. Tamil Nadu has a tally of 1,56,369 cases and 2,236 deaths due to Covid-19. With 1,652 new coronavirus cases and 58 deaths in the last 24 hours, Delhi's total Covid-19 tally rose to 1,18,645 cases and 3,545 deaths. Less than 1.94 per cent of the 3.42 lakh active Covid-19 cases in India are sular officers “were not given unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional access” to Jadhav. Qureshi said Pakistan was willing to provide yet another consular access to India, The Express Tribune reported. They had objected over the presence of security officials during the meeting, we are willing even to remove those officials. If India wants another access then our offer is open. If they want to meet him tonight or tomorrow, we are ready, the paper quoted Qureshi as telling a news channel. A Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson said that New Delhi was informed about the decision and Islamabad is awaiting a response. Congress demands Union minister’s arrest PRESS TRUST OF INDIA The petition had challenged the notices based on a Congress complaint that the MLAs should be disqualified from the Rajasthan Assembly for defying a party whip. The bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta also asked Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi, who had filed the complaint before the Speaker, to respond to the dissidents' petition by Saturday. The Pilot camp has arg- hesh Joshi. The complaint mentions “Gajendra Singh” but does not say if it pertains to the Union minister. Shekhawat said his voice is not in those recordings and that he was ready to face any probe. ADG (ATS and SOG), Ashok Rathore said that Sanjay Jain, whose name surfaced in one of the audio recordings, was called for interrogation on Thursday and is being further questioned. Joshi told reporters, “We can recognise the voice of Bhanwarlal Sharma. He is heard talking with Sanjay Jain and then Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Those who have heard the audio feel that the voice matches with that of Gajendra Singh Shekhawat”. “We have registered FIR and it will become clear in the investigation. If the minister is saying that it is not his ued that a party whip applies only when the assembly is in session. In its complaint to the Speaker, the Congress had soughtactionagainstPilotand the other dissidents under paragraph2(1)(a)oftheTenth Schedule of the Constitution. The provision disqualifies MLAs if they“voluntarily” give up the membership of the party which they represent in the House. The Congress claims that this is the inference that can be drawn from the MLAs' conduct. But the dissident camp says Pilot never indicated any intention to leave the party. In the writ petition, the petitioners said that they have been elected on Congress ticket and have allegiance to the party and not seeking to defect to any other party. “By way of the instant notice, the voice of the petitioners seeking a leadership change within the party, expressed in the most democratic manner, is sought to Cops stopped: A Rajasthan police team was on Friday evening stopped by Haryana police from entering a hotel in Gurgaon, where some dissident Congress MLAs are said to be holed up. The Special Operations Group team sought to collect voice samples of some of the MLAs. be stifled and the petitioners are threatened with abdication of their right to express their reservations about the functioning of such leadership,” the petition states. “The undue haste and swiftness exhibited by the authority concerned in taking cognisance of the said complaint leaves no doubt in the minds of the petitioners that the move is aimed at arriving at a foregone conclusion leading to the disqualification of the petitioners,” it added. Pandemic fury provides the context for rebirth and reform of the UN: PM PRESS TRUST OF INDIA UNITED NATIONS, 17 JULY Asserting that only reformed multilateralism can meet the aspirations of humanity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the United Nations was originally born from the furies of the Second World War and the fury of the Covid-19 pandemic provides the context for its “rebirth and reform.” Addressing the high-level segment of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) session via a video link, Modi said the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the UN is an opportunity to assess its role and relevance in today's world. Noting that a lot has changed since its formation, he said the UN now brings together 193 member countries and along with its membership, the expectations from the organisation have also grown. At the same time, multilateralism is facing many challenges, he said in the address ~ his first since India was overwhelmingly elected as a nonpermanent member of the United Nations Security Council last month. “India firmly believes that the path to achieve sustainable peace and prosperity is through multilateralism...However, multilateralism needs to represent the reality of the contemporary world. “Only reformed multilateralism with a reformed United Nations at its centre can meet the aspirations of humanity,” Modi said. The prime minister urged all nations, while celebrating 75 years of the UN, to pledge to reform the global multilateral system. He also called for enhancing the UN's relevance, its effectiveness, and to make it the basis of a new type of humancentric globalisation. “The United Nations was originally born from the furies of the Second World War. Today, the fury of the pandemic provides the context for its rebirth and reform. Let us not lose this lion is one of the lowest in the world. “It is also notable that less than 1.94 per cent of the cases are in ICU, 0.35 per cent cases are on ventilators and 2.81 per cent cases are on oxygen beds,” the ministry said. 10,03,832 3,42,473 34,956 22,942 25,602 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 08.00 A.M. FRIDAY 17 JULY 2020 No power on earth can seize an inch of our land: Rajnath voice, then we would also be happy because if it is the voice of the union minister, this is blot on politics. He should come on his own to SOG and should give voice samples,” he said. Joshi had on Thursday night lodged a complaint demanding a probe and registration of an FIR under sedition charges against three persons, including Sharma, Gajendra Singh and Jain after the audio clips went viral. JAIPUR, 17 JULY The Rajasthan Police registered two FIRs on Friday on a complaint lodged by the Congress over the alleged conspiracy to topple the Ashok Gehlot government through horse trading of MLAs. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had earlier in the day demanded the arrest of Union minister and BJP leader Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and rebel Congress MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma after two audio clips surfaced pertaining to the alleged conspiracy. Though Surjewala mentioned Shekhawat during the media briefing, there was no mention of the leader's name in the FIR lodged by party chief whip Ma- There were altogether 17,235 active Covid cases in Delhi now. The number of recovered Covid patients in the national capital has risen to 99,301, with the city's coronavirus recovery rate climbing to 82.67 per cent. A total of 9,595 patients were currently undergoing Covid treatment under home isolation, the health bulSEE P 2 letin said. chance,” he asserted. Referring to the Covid-19 pandemic, Modi said India has always prided itself as the first responder in the region a friend in need. “Be it earthquakes, cyclones or any other natural or manmade crisis, India has responded with speed and solidarity. In our joint fight against Covid, we have extended medical and other assistance to over 150 countries... We also helped create a SAARC Covid emergency fund in our neighbourhood,” he said. “The Covid-19 pandemic has severely tested the resilience of all nations. In India, we have tried to make the fight against the pandemic a people's movement, by combining the efforts of government and society,” the prime minister said. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 17 JULY Defence minister Rajnath Singh during a visit to forward posts in Ladakh on Friday said that no power on the earth can take an inch of our land, while adding that talks are on with China to resolve the border dispute but he cannot guarantee to what extent the talks will resolve the issue. “Talks are underway to resolve the border dispute but to what extent it can be resolved I cannot guarantee. I can assure you, not one inch of our land can be taken by any power in the world. If a solution can be found by talks, there is nothing better," Singh said while interacting with Army and ITBP troops at the Lukung forward post near the Pangong Lake. The Lukung post is in the northwestern side of the lake, 43 km by road from the Finger 4 area, where the troops of India and China are in the process of disengagement. The Defence Minister reached eastern Ladakh this morning to take stock of the ground situation at the border with China. His visit comes a month after the 15 June clash with Chinese troops in which 20 soldiers were killed in the line of duty. He paid tributes to the 20 martyred soldiers. Singh witnessed an intense military drill featuring attack helicopters, T-90 tanks, infantry combat vehicles and ground commandos at the highaltitude forward base. The exercise showcased integrated combat prowess of the Army and the Indian Air Force in dealing with complex security challenges in the high-altitude terrain. A large number of ground commandos, T-90 tanks, infantry combat vehicles were part of the drill. The Indian Air Force deployed a number of Apache, Rudra and Mi-17 V5 helicopters. The chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat and Army chief General MM Naravane were also present with the defence minister. "We have never attacked a nation and have never staked claim to any country's land. India believes in the message - 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (world is one family)," the Defence Minister told the troops. "We do not want unrest, we want peace. It has not been our nature to hurt any country's pride. If any attempt is made to hurt India's pride, it won't be tolerated... we will give a befitting reply," Singh said. "We are proud of our army. I feel proud as I stand among our jawans. Our jawans have laid their lives for the country. All 130 crore Indians are saddened by the loss," he added. Before leaving for Srinagar from Ladakh, Singh tweeted; "Witnessed the fire and fury of the Indian Army during the para dropping and other military demonstrations at Stakna near Leh today. Also got the opportunity to interact with them. I am proud of these brave and courageous soldiers". Singh was earlier scheduled to visit Ladakh on 3 July but his visit was postponed as the Prime Minister Narendera Modi himself flew to Ladakh where he met the troops. After reviewing operational preparedness on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, Singh flew to Srinagar to review the situation on the Line of Control (LoC) where Pakistan is making constant attempts to push trained terrorists into India.
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