SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 29 AUGUST 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR TERRORISM IS PAKISTAN’S PRIMARY EXPORT: JAISHANKAR ‘SAVING CULTURE IS SOCIETY’S DUTY’ BIDEN DESTROYER OF AMERICAN GREATNESS: TRUMP P7 P10 P5 Generally cloudy sky with possibility of very light rain/drizzle towards afternoon/evening. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 34 and 26 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 023.2 Mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min: 68% Min: 26.8°C (+1) SUN SETS 18:46 hrs MOON SETS 02:56 hrs THUMBNAILS A Kashmiri Shi’ite Muslim man is detained by police as devotees defy restrictions for a Muharram procession in Srinagar on AFP Friday. Covid strikes IPL: Chennai Super Kings' preparations for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season have run into complications after it emerged that a bowler and some staff members of the franchise tested positive for Covid19. The bowler in question is reportedly a pacer who has represented India. At least 10 members of the CSK support staff have also tested positive, which has resulted in the entire contingent needing to undergo a fourth Covid-19 test. P12 Rafale jets: Five Rafale fighter aircraft will be formally inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) on 10 September at a ceremony at the Ambala air base in Haryana. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be present at the ceremony for which he has also invited his French counterpart Florence Parly. The French-origin five fighter aircraft arrived in India from France on 29 July in the midst of the ongoing military P4 stand-off with China in eastern Ladakh. Sushant case: CBI questions Rhea for more than 10 hours MUMBAI, 28 AUGUST The CBI on Friday interrogated Rhea Chakraborty, who is accused of abetting actor Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide, for over ten hours. Chakraborty, who appeared before the CBI for the first time, left the DRDO guest house complex in Santacruz a little after 9 pm, said an official. She will be summoned again, he said. In the morning, Chakraborty, Rajput's girlfriend, had left her residence around 10 to reach the guest house where the Central Bureau of Investigation's team is stationed. Before her arrival, Rajput's flatmate Siddharth Pithani and manager Samual Miranda had reached the DRDO guest house. The CBI team, which is in the city for the last eight days to investigate the Sushant death case, had on Thursday recorded the statement of Rhea's brother Showik Chakraborty. The CBI has so far questioned Pithani, cook Neeraj Singh and domestic help Deepesh Sawant, among others, as part of its probe. The Supreme Court last week upheld the transfer of an FIR, lodged by Rajput's father in Patna against Rhea Chakraborty and others for allegedly abetting his son's suicide and misappropriating his money, to the CBI. The 34-year-old actor was found hanging on June 14 in his flat in suburban BanPTI dra. SC says no state, university can promote students without final exams NEET, JEE: 6 Opp-ruled states move apex court, seek review of order PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Top court okays UGC guidelines for exams NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST TEMPERATURE Max: 32.8°C (-2) SUN RISES 05:58 hrs MOON RISES 16:24 hrs P12 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE WEATHER Max: 98% FRANKLY, MESSI IS PAST HIS BUY-BY DATE T he Supreme Court on Friday said the University Grants Commission’s guideline for conducting the final year university examination before September 30 is correct, and states and universities cannot promote students without holding exams. A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah said: "We, thus, conclude that the State Disaster Management Authority and the State Government has no jurisdiction to take a decision that the students of final year/terminal examination should be promoted on the basis of earlier years assessment and internal assessment whereas the UGC guidelines dated July 6 directed specifically to conduct final year/terminal semester examination." The top court rejected the petitioners' contention that promoting students thus on earlier assessment would in no manner lowering the standard of education The top court said the decision of the Disaster Management Authority or the state government that students should be promoted without appearing in the final year/terminal semester examination, is not within the domain of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The top court conclud- Bengal weighing possibility of holding final-year exams before Puja: Mamata NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST KOLKATA, 28 AUGUST West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the state government was weighing the pros and cons of holding final-year college and university exams before Durga Puja in October. She slammed the Centre over its decision to conduct JEE and NEET exams in September, and said the Union government’s “adamant approach” will add to the Covid19 woes. “I have told our education minister to look into the possibility of con- ducting the final-year exams in universities and colleges before Durga Puja in October. The options of both online and offline exams should be looked into. “We are not against any exam; we are just saying that a pandemic is on, and it could put lives of students at risk,” the chief minister said while addressing a virtual rally of the Trinamul Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP). SNS ed that direction of the University Grants Commission in its revised guidelines dated July 6, where it directs the universities and colleges to complete the final year/terminal examinations by September 30 shall be overridden by any contrary decision taken by a State Disaster Management Authority or the state government exercising power under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The bench observed that the revised guidelines of the UGC cannot be termed to violate Article 14 of the Constitution on the ground that one date, September 30, has been fixed irrespective of the conditions prevailing in individual states. "The date for completion of examination was fixed throughout the country to maintain uniformity in the academic calendar," noted the bench, but made it clear that it was not mandatory. The top court noted that state governments under the Disaster Management Act have power to order postponement of exams in view of pandemic, and for this, if a state wants to postpone the final year exams beyond UGC guideline, then the state concerned should consult the UGC for fixing fresh date for final examination in that state. This means the UGC's September 30 deadline is not mandatory for state governments to adhere to, and they can fix dates beyond September 30 for holding final exams. "The State and University cannot promote the students in the final year/terminal semester without holding final year/terminal examination," said the top court. The verdict of the apex court has come on a bunch of petitions challenging the UGC directive to universities across the country to conduct final year examinations by September 30. Ministers of six opposition-ruled states moved the Supreme Court Friday against its order allowing holding of NEET and JEE exams physically, saying it failed to secure students' “right to life” and ignored “teething logistical difficulties” to be faced in conducting them during the Covid-19 pandemic. The apex court's August 17 order allowing the exams has become a political battle as the ministers from the six states ~ ruled by parties like Congress, TMC, JMM, NCP and Shiv Sena ~ sought postponement of the exams “in a manner that achieves the twin objectives of ensuring that the academic year of the students is not wasted and their health and safety is not compromised.” The review plea has been filed by ministers from West Bengal (Moloy Ghatak), Jharkhand (Rameshwar Oraon), Rajasthan (Raghu Sharma), Chhattisgarh (Amarjeet Bhagat), NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST A private television channel's controversial programme which claimed a ‘big expose on conspiracy to infiltrate Muslims in government service’ Friday came under judicial scrutiny before the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court. The apex court refused Delhi set to ramp up Covid testing, contact tracing STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST India on Friday registered an unprecedented 77,266 fresh coronavirus infections in 24 hours. With this India's tally mounted to 33,87,500 while the toll reached 61,529 with 1,057 more fatalities, said the Health Ministry. So far the third worst-hit country, after the US and Brazil, India has been reporting the highest number of daily coronavirus cases in the world for the last three weeks. No other country has reported such a continued surge since the virus surfaced in China's Wuhan in December 2019. India's journey to over 33 lakh cases took precisely six months and 28 days since the emergence of the first case in the country on January 30. On July 17, the country had logged 10 lakh cases, which then doubled in 20 days on August 7, and added another 10 lakh on August 23. It has Amid the rising novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the national capital afresh for the past several days, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said today that the Arvind Kejriwal government will scale up Covid-19 testing through its network of 300 dispensaries and hospitals and start aggressive contact tracing of coronavirus patients in the city. The health minister said the AAP government is committed to doubling the Covid tests from the present 20,000 per day to 40,000 per day within a week in Delhi. Jain reportedly said the recent increase in number of Covid cases in the city was due to various reasons, including patients from outside seeking treatment here, return of migrants who left Delhi during lockdown as well as increased testing. (SEE PAGE 2) 7,25,991 77,266 60,177 61,529 now added almost 4 lakh cases in five days. The silver lining is that recoveries are over three times more than the active cases. Recoveries have surged to 25,83,948 with 60,177 more people recuperating in the past 24 hours, taking the recovery rate to 76.28 per cent. The actual caseload of the country is the active cases, which currently stands at 7,42,023. The fatality rate, which is the UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 28 AUGUST 2020 proportion of people who die from the disease among individuals diagnosed, has also dropped to 1.81 per cent. Govt allows airlines to serve meals on flights PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 28 AUGUST The government has permitted airlines to serve prepacked snacks, meals and beverages on domestic flights and hot meals on international flights, according to an official order. Moreover, any passenger who refuses to wear a face mask in a flight can be put on the no-fly list by the airline, said a senior official of the aviation regulator DGCA. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, in-flight meal service was not permitted on domestic flights since their resumption on May 25. On international flights, only pre- packed cold meals and snacks were being served depending on the flight duration since May this year. In an order issued on Thursday, the Civil Aviation Ministry said, “Airlines may serve pre-packed snacks/ meals/pre-packed beverages on domestic flights depend- ing on the duration of flight.” Airlines and charter flight operators can “serve hot meals and limited beverages” on international flights “as per the standard practices”, the notification added. The ministry said only single-use disposable trays, plates and cutlery should be used while serving food or beverages in domestic and international flights. “Crew shall wear a fresh set of gloves for every meal/beverage service,” it noted. The ministry also permitted the aircraft operators to let passengers use the inflight entertainment system on international as well as domestic flights wherever available. “Disposable earphones or cleaned and disinfected headphones will be provided to passengers at the start of the journey,” it noted. Meanwhile, a senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said, “A passenger who refuses to wear a face mask can be put on no-fly list by the airline.” The official said no new order has been passed in this regard as the airline and its cabin crew are sufficiently empowered under the existing DGCA rules to take action. As per the DGCA rules, an airline can choose to put an unruly passenger on its nofly list after internal deliber- Colleges and Institutes from September 1 to 6. The petition said mere fact that lakhs of students have registered for the exam is not indicative of their consent or their willingness or desire to attend physical exams. It said the August 17 order is cryptic, nonspeaking and does not discuss various aspects and complexities involved in a matter of this magnitude. The plea said that only two reasons given by the court ~ life must go on and students should not lose an academic year ~ do not constitute an authoritative and comprehensive judicial scrutiny of the issue. Controversial TV programme under scanner India records highest single-day spike in d the world; Covid tally crosses 33.8 lakh 33,87,500 Punjab (B S Sidhu) and Maharashtra (Uday Ravindra Sawant). The plea said the apex court’s order fails to satisfy the safety and security concerns of students who have to appear for the exams. The court had refused to interfere with the conduct of the medical and engineering entrance exams, saying that life must go on and students can't lose a year due to the pandemic. National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts both the exams, has decided to hold NEET on September 13 and JEE Main exams for entrance to under-graduate Engineering ations. Subsequently, other airlines may follow suit in putting that passenger on their no-fly lists. Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, special international flights have been operating under the 'Vande Bharat Mission' and bilateral air bubble arrangements that have been signed with various countries. Domestic flights resumed in India on May 25 after a gap of two months in view of the pandemic. However, airlines are allowed to operate 45 per cent of their pre-Covid domestic flights. to impose pre-broadcast ban on Sudarshan TV from telecasting the ‘Bindas Bol’ programme but the High Court in an interim order stayed the telecast of the show which was scheduled for today at 8 p.m. In the high court, a bench of Justice Navin Chawla restrained Sudarshan TV from telecasting its programme on the petition filed by former and present students of Jamia Millia Islamia University. It also emerged that the matter was also dealt by an apex court bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and K M Joseph which said it has to circumspect in imposing a prior restraint on publication or airing of views.PTI SEE ALSO PAGE 3 Japanese PM Abe quits, citing ill-health WALTER SIM TOKYO, 28 AUGUST Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced today that he will resign after he discovered that an underlying chronic condition relapsed in June this year. At a press conference, Mr Abe, 65, said his condition ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease - has become a situation where he does not know if he can live up to the confidence and expectations of the citizens. Mr Abe said the relapse rendered existing medication ineffective and hence, he will need more treatment. He made the decision to resign on Monday during a medical check-up. With the possibility of a Covid-19 flare-up during the winter months, Mr Abe said he did not want a political vacuum at a time when leadership is most needed. Mr Abe added that he will stay on as premier until a successor is chosen, a vote that is expected to be held next month. Thanking the people for their support over the last seven years and eight months, Mr Abe also apologised for resigning a year ahead of time while the country is still battling the Covid-19 pandemic and tackling other issues such as North Korean abductees and territorial dispute with Russia. Local media earlier reported Mr Abe's intention to resign, sending shock waves through Japan’s political circles and blindsiding even his aides in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Kyodo News cited a source as quoting Mr Abe as saying that treatment was needed for the condition, which was kept under control with medication but has recently recurred. "I will not be able to make proper judgments due to illness," Mr Abe was quoted by an LDP executive as telling party members. The shock resignation will intensify jockeying among potential successors within the LDP’s ranks for the right to take over from Mr Abe, who is stepping down over a year ahead of time. Among those keen on the top job include Defence Minister Taro Kono, ex-defence minister Shigeru Ishiba and ex-foreign minister Fumio Kishida. Mr Abe's third consecutive term as LDP chief ~ and hence prime minister ~ is only set to expire in September next year, while a Lower House election is only due by October next year. He brought stability to Japan, putting an end to a revolving door of six prime ministers from 2006 to 2012. The plan to resign comes just days after he overtook his great-uncle, Mr Eisaku Sato, who led Japan for 2,798 uninterrupted days from 1964 to 1972, on Monday to become the prime minister with the longest uninterrupted tenure. THE STRAITS TIMES/ANN
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