CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 31 AUGUST 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR A GLOBE-TROTTING POPE, LOCKED DOWN BY COVID RANATUNGA ENTERS UNP LEADERSHIP FRAY P9 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. One or two spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 35-29 degrees Celsius. P10 P6 ‘Increased testing, opening economy, complacency behind Covid surge’ Max. 94% PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Min. 58% Max: 35.4°C (+3) Min: 28.1°C (+2) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:19 hrs 17:56 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 02:24 hrs 16:14 hrs Full moon on 3 September THUMBNAILS Devotees are screened at the Kashmiri Gate idgah in the capital on Sunday on the occasion of Muharram amidst the Covid pandemic. SNS India, Russia joint winners of Online Chess Olympiad: India and Russia were on Sunday declared joint winners of the 2020 Online Chess Olympiad after the final was marred by internet disconnection and server malfunction. Russia were initially declared winners after two Indian players -- Nihal Sarin and Divya Deshmukh -- lost out on time in the final after suffering a disconnection with the server. India lodged a protest against the controversial decision which was reviewed. Rhea Chakraborty quizzed for third day: The CBI questioned actress Rhea Chakraborty for the third consecutive day on Sunday in connection with her boyfriend and filmstar Sushant Singh Rajput's death case, a police official said. The 28-year-old actress, who is accused of abetting Rajput's suicide, was questioned for around nine hours, he said. Her brother Showik Chakraborty was also questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday for the fourth day in a row, the official said. P12 Record one-day spike; Census, NPR excercise India passes 35L mark unlikely this year RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE TOP PLAYERS OBJECT TO DJOKOVIC PROPOSAL SUCCESSION IN JAPAN NEW DELHI, 30 AUGUST he surge in coronavirus infections in India can be attributed to increased testing on one hand and opening of the economy on the other accompanied by complacency among people towards following Covidappropriate behaviour, experts have said, as the country witnessed over five lakh cases in a week. A record single-day spike of 78,761 cases, the highest for any country so far, took India's Covid-19 tally to 35,42,733, on Sunday, according to Union Health Ministry data updated at 8 a.m. The country has been registering over 70,000 cases for the last four days. Dr Samiran Panda, the head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said this increase in cases was expected but pointed out that it is not a homogenous phenomenon across the states. “It is happening in some pockets and among groups where there is an intermixing of the susceptible population and asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases which is leading to transmission of the disease. So, efforts have to be made to interrupt this transmission in these pockets,” Dr Panda said. Also, testing has been ramped up which is leading to more cases getting detected, he said. “Further, with the opening up of the economy and people's movement increasing, some complacency is being seen among people T 35,42,733 7,65,302 A health worker is helped to put on Personal Protective Equipment at a testing camp in Gujarat on Sunday. AFP Global Covid cases top 25 million WASHINGTON, 30 AUGUST The number of confirmed coronavirus cases globally has topped 25 million. That's according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. The US leads the count with 5.9 million cases, followed by Brazil with 3.8 million and India with 3.5 million. The real number of people infected by the virus around the world is believed to be much higher ~ perhaps 10 times higher in the US, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention ~ given testing limitations and the many mild cases that have gone unreported or unrecognised. Global deaths from Covid-19 stand at over 842,000, with the USA having the highest number with 182,779, followed by Brazil with 120,262 and Mexico with 63,819. AP towards following Covid-appropriate behaviour which is also contributing to the rise in cases,” he said. Virologist Shahid Jameel said that people are not following advisories on wearing masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.“This is driven by a complacency that results from the official narrative which only talks of the increasing number of recoveries and low death rate. The fact is that we are getting the largest daily numbers (of cases). We are now third in total infections and going to be at the third spot in total deaths as well,” he said. Dr K K Aggarwal, the president of the Confederation of Medical Association of Asia and Oceania and former IMA chief said there is no way the number of cases can be checked by government efforts at this stage. “If this current trend continues, nobody can stop India from crossing Brazil and America (in the number of cases). That would happen in probably six weeks. There is no way we can check the number of cases by gov- 78,761 64,935 63,498 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 30 AUGUST 2020 ernment efforts. Now, prevention will have to be an individual effort,” he said. India has till Sunday recorded 63,498 fatalities linked to Covid-19 with 948 people succumbing to the disease in the last 24 hours. According to the government, increasing testing is one of the major factors behind the rising number of infections being reported. A record 10.5 lakh tests were conducted for detection of Covid-19 on Saturday, which took India's cumulative tests to 4,14,61,636. India's Covid-19 positivity rate as on date is 7.50 per cent, while the cumulative positivity rate is 8.57 per cent. The number of recoveries has surged to 27,13,933 pushing the recovery rate to 76.61 per cent while the fatality rate has fallen to 1.79 per cent. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 30 AUGUST The first phase of the Census and the exercise to update the National Population Register (NPR), scheduled for this year but deferred due to the coronavirus outbreak, may be delayed by a year as there is no sign of slowdown of the pandemic. The Indian census is one of the largest administrative and statistical exercises in the world, with the involvement of more than 30 lakh officials who would visit each household across the length and breadth of the country. “Census is not an essential exercise for now. Even if it is delayed by a year, there would be no harm,” a senior official told PTI. The official said no final decision has been taken on when the first phase of the Census 2021 and NPR update would take place, but it is almost certain that it would not be held in 2020 due to the rising cases of the coronavirus. The house-listing phase of the Census and the exercise to update NPR were scheduled to be carried out across the country from April 1 to September 30, 2020, but were postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. “As the entire exercise needs the involvement of lakhs of officials and visit to each family, we can't underestimate the health risk involved in it,” the official said. According to the earlier schedule, the census would have its reference date as March 1, 2021, and in the snow-bound areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, it would be October 1, 2020. “The Covid19 threat is still looming large. The census and NPR are not in the priority list of the government as of now,” another official said. In March, when the coronavirus-induced lockdown was announced, the RegistrarGeneral and Census Commissioner of India was all set for the first phase of the census and updation of the NPR that was scheduled to begin from April 1. Even though some state governments opposed the NPR update, all offered full support to the census exercise. The census is the largest single source of a variety of statistical information on people of India which helps the State to chalk out various policies. With a history of more than 130 years, this time-tested exercise has been bringing out a veritable wealth of statistics every 10 years, including on the rich diversity of the people, and has become one of the tools to understand and study India. Bengal’s active case count dips further STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 30 AUGUST West Bengal today recorded 3,019 Covid cases, taking the total case count to 1,59,785 and registered 50 fatalities in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 3,176. The number of active cases further dipped to 25,657 due to an increase in recoveries to 3,308. With a discharge rate of 81.96 per cent, a total of 1,30,952 patients have recovered in the state till now. North 24-Parganas today recorded 594 fresh cases and seven deaths while Kolkata has recorded 428 fresh cases and 19 deaths. The last complete lockdown for this month will be enforced tomorrow across the state. The state government may issue a fresh notification on lockdowns in September following the Unlock 4 order that was issued by the Union home ministry yesterday evening that prohibited states from imposing local lockdowns outside containment zones without prior consultation. Earlier, the government had announced three lockdown dates next month ~ 7, 11 and 12 September. No urgency to have an elected Congress president: Khurshid India to start bidding process by Oct to procure 6 submarines We are not anyone's puppets: Farooq Abdullah's retort to Pakistan PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 30 AUGUST NEW DELHI, 30 AUGUST Asserting that there was no urgency to have an elected Congress president, senior leader Salman Khurshid on Sunday said he “can't see the heavens falling” for the need of a party chief as Sonia Gandhi was still at the helm and should be the one to decide on the leadership issue. Khurshid, a former Union minister and among the leaders considered close to the Gandhi family, told PTI in an interview that he would not have signed the letter even if he was approached by the group that wrote to Gandhi seeking urgent organisational overhaul, including an active and full-time leadership. On Ghulam Nabi Azad, the most vocal among the 23 letter writers, seeking organ- isational elections to ensure that the Congress does not remain out of power for decades, Khurshid said the senior leader from Jammu and Kashmir had been part of the top echelons of the party for years when there has been no such elections and still the party prospered. He said probably Azad wanted a change now in what the party has been doing over the years and expressed confidence that the leadership will give a thought to what he is saying as he is a senior leader Khurshid said the leaders who have written to Sonia Gandhi always had access to her and could have approached her rather than writing to her. “It is very clear that the important persons in this letter do belong to the top echelons of our party and therefore Mrs Gandhi has indicated that it was best that they could have discussed it within the confines of the party,” he said. Khurshid's remarks come days after the 'group of 23' wrote to Gandhi calling for farreaching reforms within the party such as having a “full time, active and visible” leadership, devolution of powers to state units and revamping the Congress Working Committee (CWC) in line with the party constitution. NEW DELHI, 30 AUGUST India is all set to launch the bidding process by next month for a Rs 55,000-crore mega project to build six conventional submarines for the Indian Navy to narrow the gap with China's growing naval prowess, government sources said on Sunday. The submarines will be built in India under the muchtalked-about strategic partnership model that allows domestic companies to join hands with leading foreign defence majors to produce high-end military platforms in the country and reduce import dependence. The sources said the groundwork like specifications of the submarines and other critical requirements for issuance of the RFP (request for proposal) for the mega project, named as P-75 I, has been completed by separate teams of the defence ministry and the Navy. The RFP will be issued by October, they added. The defence ministry has already shortlisted two Indian shipyards and five foreign defence majors for the project, being billed as one of the biggest “Make in India” ventures. The shortlisted Indian entities were L&T group and state-owned Mazagaon Docks Ltd (MDL) while the select foreign entities included ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (Germany), Navantia (Spain) and Naval Group (France). Initially, the defence ministry will issue RFPs to MDL and L&T and the two firms will have to submit their detailed bid after receiving the document. Subsequently, the L&T and MDL will have to select a foreign partner out of the five shortlisted entities, the sources said. The Navy plans to acquire 24 new submarines, including six nuclear attack submarines, to bolster its underwater fighting capability. It currently has 15 conventional submarines and two nuclear submarines. The Navy has been focusing on significantly bolstering its overall capabilities in view of China's growing efforts to increase its military presence in the Indian Ocean Region. According to global naval analysts, Chinese navy currently has over 50 submarines and about 350 ships. The total number of ships and submarines is projected to go past 500 in next 8-10 years. The Navy is also in the process of procuring 57 carrier-borne fighter jets, 111 Naval Utility Helicopters and 123 multi-role helicopters under the strategic partnership model. Reacting sharply to Pakistan hailing the recent Gupkar Declaration in which six political parties of Jammu and Kashmir vowed to fight collectively against the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Sunday asserted that “we are not anyone's puppets”. “Pakistan has always abused mainstream political parties of Jammu and Kashmir but now suddenly they like us”, the former chief minister said when asked about Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's statement that the declaration issued by the NC, PDP , Congress and three other parties was “not an ordinary occurrence but an important develPTI opment”. Details on Page 5 In Mann ki Baat, PM Modi talks of Atmanirbhar Bharat for toys STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 30 AUGUST After defence, IT-enabled Apps and virtual games, technology sectors, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, continuing his call for an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, urged young entrepreneurs to take advantage of India’s long and rich tradition of toy making and mark its presence in the ‘very vast’ global 7 lakh crore toy market. The Prime Minister’s remarks came during his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ address to the nation over the national broadcaster All India Radio. Quoting Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Modi stressed that instead of import- The PM expressed satisfaction over a “feeling of responsibility amongst citizens” while taking part in festivities amid the Covid-19 pandemic ed toys which provide no scope for creativity children should be given domestically manufactured toys that help groom their creative faculties. “Gurudev used to say that toys should be such that they bring out the childhood of a child and also his or her creativity. In the National Education Policy, a lot of attention has been given on the impact of toys on different aspects of children’s lives. Learning while playing, learning to make toys, visiting toy factories, all these have been made part of the curriculum,” Modi said. “Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore had said about toys, the best toy is that which is incomplete; a toy that children together complete while playing. Gurudev Tagore had said that during his childhood, he used to make his own toys and games with his friends, with materials available at home, using his own imagination,” PM Modi said. The Prime Minister said the idea of making toys an integral part of learning came during his interaction with children at the Children University of Gandhinagar, a ‘unique experiment’. “We discussed how to make new toys available to the children of India, how India could become a big hub of toy production,” he further said. Referring to India’s ‘rich tradition of local toys’ such as Andhra’s Eti- Koppakaa toys, and talented and skilled artisans with expertise in making good toys, the Prime Minister said some parts of India were developing as ‘Toy Clusters’. Some of these clusters are in Channapatna in Ramnagaram, Karnataka, Kondaplli in Krishna, Andhra Pradesh, Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, Dhubari in Assam, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Narendra Modi called upon cottage industries, small industries, MSMEs and big industries and private entrepreneurs to come forward to preserve and promote Indian toys. He especially exhorted startups and young entrepreneurs team up and make Indian toys’ presence felt in the global toy market worth over Rs 7 lakh crore. “You will be surprised to know that the global toy industry is of more than 7 lakh crore rupees. Such a big business of 7 lakh crore rupees but, India’s share is very little in this. Now, just spare a thought for a nation which has so much of heritage, tradition, variety, young pop- CMYK ulation, will it feel good to have such little share in the toy market?,” Modi asked. “To my start-up friends, to our new entrepreneurs I sayTeam up for toys... let us make toys together. For everybody it is the time to get vocal for local toys. Come, let us make some good quality toys for our youth. Toys should be such that in their presence childhood blooms and smiles. Let us make toys which are favourable to the environment too,” he said adding, “be it virtual games, be it the sector of toys in the self-reliant India campaign, all have to play very important role, and therein lies an opportunity too.” The Prime Minister underlined the need to celebrate the festivals with precaution and expressed satisfaction over a “feeling of responsibility amongst citizens” while taking part in festivities amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He said there was ‘a deep connect’ between festivals and environments. In this context he mentioned the centuries old practice of self-imposed sixtyhour lockdown- ‘Barna’ among the Thaaru tribal community of West Champaran, Bihar, to help rejuvenate the environment. Modi saluted farmers for record sowing of kharif crop and proving their mettle during ‘trying times of corona’. He said sowing of kharif crops saw a 7 per increase over the last year. He said sowing of paddy, pulses, cereals, oil seed, cotton too witnessed an increase by 10, 5, 3, 13 and 3 per cent respectively. The Prime Minister said the month of September would be observed as Nutrition Month. “Nation and Nutrition are very closely interrelated. We have a maxim - "Yatha Annam Tatha Mannam," which means our mental and intellectual development is directly related to the quality of our food intake. Experts are of the opinion that the better nutrition a child imbibes in the womb and during childhood, greater is the mental development and he/she remains healthy,” the Prime Minister pointed out.
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