CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 05 SEPTEMBER 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 KANGANA RUFFLES MAHARASHTRA FEATHERS NATO AGREES NOVICHOK USED ON NAVALNY P10 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. One or two spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 34-27 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 0.3 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.94% TEMPERATURE P5 P7 Rajnath holds talks with Chinese defence minister PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Max: 34.5°C (+2) Min: 26.6°C (N) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:20 hrs 17:51 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 05:53 hrs 19:22 hrs Next moon quarter on 10 September THUMBNAILS A slum located alongside railway tracks in Delhi. The Supreme Court has ordered the removal of slum clusters along railway tracks in the city SNS Harbhajan Singh withdraws from IPL: Senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Friday became the second high-profile name to pull out of this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) owing to “personal reasons”, saying he has informed the Chennai Super Kings team management about his decision. The 40-year-old, who has been a part of CSK during the past two seasons is currently in Jalandhar, Punjab with his family and requested privacy. The IPL starts on September 19 in the UAE after being moved out of India due to the Covid-19 pandemic. SC denies bail to Sajjan in '84 riots case: The Supreme Court on Friday declined to grant bail to former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. A bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian said the appeal against conviction will be heard after the top court resumes physical hearing. "This isn't a small case," observed the bench, as it rejected Kumar's bail plea citing medical grounds. The top court also declined to allow him to remain in hospital. MOSCOW/NEW DELHI, SEP 4 efence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart Gen. Wei Fenghe held talks in Moscow on Friday on ways to ease escalating border tension in eastern Ladakh, government sources said. It is the first high-level meeting between the two sides after the border row erupted along the Line of Actual Control(LAC) in eastern Ladakh in early May, though External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval held separate telephonic talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to resolve the standoff. The focus of the talks D Mr Rajnath Singh at the meeting of Defence Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Moscow. PIB between the two defence ministers was on ways to resolve the prolonged border standoff, the sources said. The meeting was requested by the Chinese defence minister, they said. Both Singh and Wei are in Moscow to attend a meeting of the Shanghai LAC situation tense, nation can count on us: Army chief SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 4 SEPTEMBER The situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh is “tense” and Indian troops are prepared for all possible contingencies, Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravane said on Friday amid heightened tensions in the region after China's fresh attempts to occupy Indian territory. Wrapping up his twoday visit to Ladakh, Gen Naravane said the Army has undertaken precautionary deployment in some areas and that the force is well prepared to safeguard the territorial integrity of the country. “The nation can count on us,” he said. The Army Chief carried out a comprehensive review of India's security preparedness in the region and visited a number of sensitive forward posts to have a first-hand assessment of the situation. In his interactions with troops at multiple locations, the Army Chief asked them to remain vigilant and maintain a “high order of operational readiness”. “We will continue to utilise all existing mechanisms to reduce tension and to ensure that the status quo is not unilaterally changed,” he said. No Question Hour during Bengal Assembly session PRESS TRUST OF INDIA KOLKATA, 4 SEPTEMBER Hour during the two-day monsoon session, scheduled to begin on September 9, due to paucity of time and the Covid-19 situation. “Having Question Hour will mean prolonging the session for which the MLAs will have to stay back for a longer period. We do not want that during this pandemic situation,” Banerjee told PTI. Senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan, also the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, said he will comment only after he is officially informed about it. BJP Legislative Party leader Manoj Tigga said the decision reflects the “double standard of the TMC”.“The TMC is demanding Question Hour during the upcoming Parliament session, scheduled to be held from September 14 to October 1, but it has decided not to include it in the Assembly proceedings in West Bengal. This is nothing but double standard of the party,” he said. The Speaker had earlier announced that the monsoon session of the Assembly will be held from September 9 in strict compliance with the ICMR's guidelines and every person entering the premises during the period, including lawmakers, journalists and House staffers, will have to undergo Covid-19 tests. Cooperation Organisation(SCO) defence ministers which took place earlier in the day. Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in a bitter standoff in multiple places in eastern Ladakh. Tensions flared up again in the region after China unsuccessfully attempted to occupy Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong lake five days ago when the two sides were engaged in diplomatic and military talks to resolve the border row. India occupied a number of strategic heights on the southern bank of Pangong lake and strengthened its presence in Finger 2 and Finger 3 areas in the region to thwart any Chinese actions. China has strongly objected to India's move. India has, however, maintained that the strategic heights are on its side of the LAC. India has also rushed in additional troops and weapons to the sensitive region following China's transgression attempts. In his address at the SCO ministerial meet earlier in the day, Singh said peace and security in the region demands a climate of trust, non-aggression, peaceful resolution of differences and respect for international rules. The SCO is a eight-nation grouping. Singh's comments in the presence of the Chinese defence minister was seen as a message to China over the border row in eastern Ladakh. Foreign Minister Jaishankar is also scheduled to travel to Moscow next week to attend a meeting of the foreign ministers of the SCO on September 10. He is expected to have a meeting withWangYi on the sidelines of this meeting. FRONTIER FORCE Chief of Army staff General MM Naravane (left) interacts with troops at a forward location in eastern Ladakh during his two-day trip to the region. PIB STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 4 SEPTEMBER journey, source and destination Metro stations four to six hours before the journey, which is likely to be available on the Metro website or the existing ‘Pathadisha’ app launched by the state Transport Department or a mobile app, according to sources. The metro will then issue the digital pass valid for one hour in the time slot preferred by the commuters. Commuters will be allowed inside the metro station only on producing the e-pass with QR code before city police personnel that will be deployed SC rejects pleas for review of order allowing NEET, JEE exams PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 4 SEPTEMBER The Supreme Court Friday dismissed the pleas, including the one filed by ministers of six opposition-ruled states, seeking review of its August 17 order which paved the way for holding NEET and JEE exams. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari, which considered the pleas inchamber, said there was no merit in the review petitions. The apex court also rejected the applications seeking listing of the review petition in the open court. Applications seeking permission to file review petitions are allowed. We have carefully gone through the review petitions and the connected papers. We find no merit in the review petitions and the same are accordingly dismissed, the bench said in its order. The National Testing Agency (NTA) which conducts both the exams is holding JEE Main Exams from September 1-6, while NEET exams will be held on September 13. The review matters in the apex court are usually considered ‘in-chambers’ through circulation of petition among the judges of the bench. The judges then decide ‘in-chambers’ whether there is any merit in the review petition to reexamine the case in open court hearing. One of the review pleas was filed by ministers from West Bengal (Moloy Ghatak), Jharkhand (Rameshwar Oraon), Rajasthan (Raghu Sharma), Chhattisgarh (Amarjeet Bhagat), Punjab (B S Sidhu) and Maharashtra (Uday Ravindra Sawant). The apex court had on August 17 dismissed a plea which had sought postponement of JEE (Main) April 2020 and NEETUndergraduate examinations amid spurt in number of Covid-19 cases. While refusing to interfere with the conduct of medical and engineering entrance exams, the top court had said that though there is pandemic situation, ultimately life has to go and the career of the students cannot be put on peril for long and full academic year cannot be wasted. In their review plea filed through advocate Sunil Fernandes, the ministers of six states ~ ruled by parties like Congress, TMC, JMM, NCP and Shiv Sena ~ had claimed that the top court order failed to secure students’ “right to life” and ignored “teething logistical difficulties” to be faced in conducting the exams during the pandemic. The plea had said the apex court order fails to satisfy the safety and security concerns of students who have to appear for the exams. NEW DELHI, 4 SEPTEMBER 2,978 new Covid-19 cases in Bengal Bihar elections, pending bypolls to be held around same time: EC India's total tally of Coronavirus infections mounted to 39,36,747 on Friday, adding 83,341 fresh cases in the previous 24 hours and the death toll climbed to 68,472 with 1,096 more fatalities, according to Health Ministry data. Out of the total confirmed cases, 8,31,124 are active cases, while a total of 30,37,151 patients have recovered from the virus so far. With 66,659 recoveries in a day, the recovery rate has increased to 77.15 per cent, the Ministry data, updated at 8 a.m, showed. India has been registering more than 60,000 recoveries each day for the eighth day in a row. “Less than two per cent of the active cases are on ventilators; two per cent in ICUs; and less than 3.5 per cent are on oxygen support... This is KOLKATA, 4 SEPTEMBER NEW DELHI, 4 SEPTEMBER India’s Covid tally goes past 39 lakh STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE West Bengal recorded 2,978 Covid cases and 58 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total case count to 1,74,659 and death toll to 3,452. In the last 24 hours 3,305 patients were discharged from hospitals taking the total number of recovered patients to 1,47,553, registering a discharge rate of 84.48 per cent. Currently, there are 23,654 active Covid cases in the state. 45,620 people were tested for Covid due to early detection, early hospitalisation and effective clinical management based on the Standard Treatment Protocol," the Health Ministry said. today and the rate of positivity is 8.45 per cent. North 24 Parganas registered 572 fresh cases and 14 deaths followed by Kolkata with 422 cases and 17 deaths. The number of containment zones in the state has increased slightly to 2,905 following a rise in the zones in North Dinajpur that has 509 zones, which is the highest in the state, but no additional containment zones were added in Kolkata and the neighSNS bouring districts. Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state with a total of 8,43,844 cases and 25,586 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh with 4,65,730 cases and 4,200 deaths. Tamil E-pass needed for city Metro travel; services from 14th Metro Railway, Kolkata, is planning to resume commercial services from 14 September while the underground transport will be specially made available for the aspirants appearing for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), on 13 September. However, a commute in the Kolkata Metro amidst a pandemic, when unprecedented rules are the new normal, will require the passengers to compulsorily possess an e-pass along with a smart card. For the first time in Kolkata Metro, e-pass or boarding pass will have to be obtained with the expected time of the P12 Singh says peace & security requires climate of trust, non-aggression, respect for int’l rules Min. 68% There will be no Question Hour during the upcoming two-day Monsoon session of the West Bengal Assembly due to “paucity of time and the Covid-19 situation”, Speaker Biman Banerjee said on Friday. The BJP has termed it a “double standard” of the Trinamul Congress, which had earlier called the decision to not have Question Hour during the upcoming Parliament session a “murder of democracy”. Other major opposition parties in the state, the Congress and the CPI-M, however, said they will comment on the decision only after they are officially informed about it. “We have decided that there will be no Question OLYMPIC BAN LIKELY IF USA PLAY UP ‘SONIA, RAHUL HAVE LED FROM FRONT’ at the gate. The state transport department has the responsibility of developing the app and it is expected to be ready in two to three days. However, the e-pass will be issued to the commuter depending upon how many people are expected in that time slot at the station, platform and inside the rakes. Commuters will also be able to get new smart cards by obtaining an e-pass beforehand. A similar e-pass system is currently being used in local trains in Mumbai. “The agency responsible for the app has sought some data from us which will be provided shortly,” said Kolkata Metro’s CPRO, Indrani Banerjee. “They will develop it and then show it to us in two or three days,” she added. The Metro Railway general manager, according to sources, will visit all the Metro stations of the city between 8 to 10 September to take note of the preparations for resumption of commercial services. According to sources, there are around four lakh holders of Kolkata Metro’s smart card. However, in the current situation, the city metro will not be able to handle huge crowds of smart card holders. Instead, to ensure social distancing is maintained inside the coaches, out of the total 384 seating capacity in a rake, only 128 commuters will be accommodated. Sanitising CMYK tunnels, thermal scanning, masks will be other measures that will be implemented. For now, Metro authorities have decided to start services only in the existing NorthSouth route. Service along the six stations of East-West Metro will continue to remain suspended, sources in the Metro informed. Meanwhile, the Kolkata Metro authorities have decided to run service on 13 September for students appearing for the NEET exams on the request of the state government. The student passengers will be able to commute with an e-pass and will need to produce their admit cards at the entry point of the Metro station. 39,36,747 8,31,124 83,341 66,659 68,472 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2020 Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, and Bihar come next. The pending by-election to one Lok Sabha and 64 assembly seats spread across 15 states and the Bihar assembly polls will be held “around the same time”, the Election Commission of India said on Friday. The term of the Bihar assembly ends on November 29 and elections are likely to be held sometime in October-November. Among the 64 vacant assembly seats, 27 are in Madhya Pradesh. Most of these 27 seats fell vacant when rebel Congress members resigned from the party and the assembly to join the BJP leading , to the fall of the Kamal Nath-led government. “One of the major factors in clubbing them together is the relative ease of movement of central forces and related logistics issues,” a Commission PTI statement said. Russian vaccine safe, induces antibody response in small human trials: Lancetstudy ASSOCIATED PRESS MOSCOW, 4 SEPTEMBER The Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, approved by Russia last month, has been shown to elicit antibody response with no serious adverse events in small human trials, according to preliminary results published in The Lancet journal on Friday. Results from early-phase non-randomised vaccine trials in 76 people show that two formulations of the vaccine have a good safety profile detected over 42 days, and induce antibody responses in all participants within 21 days. Sec- ondary outcomes from the trial suggest the vaccines also produce a T cell response within 28 days, the researchers said. The findings are based on two small phase trials lasting 42 days ~ one studying a frozen formulation of the vaccine, and another involving a lyophilised (freeze-dried) formulation of the vaccine, they said. The frozen formulation is envisaged for largescale use in existing global supply chains for vaccines, while the freeze-dried formulation was developed for hard-to-reach regions as it is more stable and can be stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius, they said.
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