FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 11 SEPTEMBER 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ‘CREATE SKILLED WORKFORCE TO MEET GLOBAL DEMAND’ SETBACK FOR RJD AS LALU CONFIDANT QUITS AHEAD OF POLL P4 P5 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 36 and 25 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 90% P10 Indian troops did not violate understanding, cross border: Jaishankar Min: 50% Army further strengthens dominance in strategic heights in eastern Ladakh Min: 26.0°C (+1) SUN SETS 18:31 hrs MOON SETS 13:53 hrs PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 10 SEPTEMBER THUMBNAILS Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov (C) with Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar (left) and Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during a meeting on the sidelines of the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting in Moscow on Thursday. AFP SNS & AGENCIES MOSCOW/NEW DELHI, 10 SEPTEMBER Commuters ride past a shop whose name was changed from ‘China Bazar’ to ‘India Bazar’. In Hyderabad on Thursday. AFP Court order on Rhea, Showik bail pleas today : A special court in Mumbai is likely to pass an order on Friday on the bail pleas of Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik, arrested in connection with a drugs case linked to her boyfriend and actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death. Special judge G B Gurao on Thursday heard the submissions made by the lawyer of Chakraborty siblings well as the special public prosecutor in the case. The court then adjourned the matter till Friday, when it is likely to pass an order on all the bail pleas. Paresh Rawal appointed chief of NSD: Veteran actor and former BJP MP Paresh Rawal was Thursday appointed chairperson of the National School of Drama (NSD), India's premier theatre institute that has trained actors such as Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri and Irrfan Khan. The post had been vacant since 2017. “Renowned artiste Paresh Rawal has been appointed as Chairman of NSD. I am glad that students, artistes will be able to take advantage of his talent,” Union Culture minister Prahlad Patel said on Twitter. E xternal Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpartWangYi met in Moscow on Thursday amidst hopes of a possible breakthrough in reducing tensions along the Line of Actual Control(LAC) in eastern Ladakh. During the meeting that lasted around 140 minutes, Mr Jaishankar is said to have strongly raised concerns over aggression by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in eastern Ladakh, and stressed on the need to maintain peace and tranquility. The talks between the two foreign ministers are taking place against the backdrop of a massive spike in border tensions in eastern Ladakh triggered by fresh face-offs between Indian and Chinese troops along the LAC. Indian forces never violated any understanding, nor crossed the LAC, Mr Jaishankar is understood to have told Mr Wang, in a meeting that took place on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers’ meeting in Moscow. Earlier in the day, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava reiterated India's position at a virtual press conference that it is committed to resolve the current situation through peaceful negotiations. “Both India and China are in regular touch through diplomatic and military channels to resolve the situation. This was the consensus when the two defence ministers met,” he said. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held talks with his Chinese counterpart Gen. Wei Fenghe on the margins of another SCO meet in Moscow last Friday, but apparently the meeting did not yield any tangible outcome. The Indian Army has further bolstered its dominance over a number of strategic heights overlooking key Chinese-held positions around Pangong lake area in eastern Ladakh on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border between the two countries, even as brigade commanders and commanding officers of the two militaries held separate talks to cool tensions in the region, government sources said. They said additional reinforcements have been dispatched to various hill tops and strategic locations around Pangong lake to keep an eye on Chinese-held position of Finger 4. The mountainous spurs in the area are NEW DELHI, 10 SEPTEMBER With a surge of 95,735 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest singleday increase till date, India on Thursday recorded a total tally of 44,65,863, according to Union Health Ministry. There were 1,172 deaths reported in the previous 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry data updated at 8 a.m. on Thursday, which is also the highest number of fatalities in a single day so far. India on Tuesday recorded 1,133 deaths and on July 29 there were 1,129. India’s daily death toll is now going past the USA’s, which is the worst-hit by the pandemic. India is currently the second-worst hit country after the USA in terms of number NEW DELHI, 10 SEPTEMBER India and Japan signed a key defence agreement for reciprocal provision of supplies and services between their defence forces as Prime Minister Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe held their annual summit over the phone today. KOLKATA, 10 SEPTEMBER The Bengal-wide complete lockdown on 12 September has been withdrawn in view of the NEET examination scheduled to be held on Sunday. However, the complete lockdown on 11 September will remain in place and as such, all activities will remain closed tomorrow. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today announced on Twitter that the decision to withdraw the complete lockdown on 12th was taken after getting numerous requests from the student community on lifting the lockdown norms, and will allow students to appear for the examination without any “apprehensions and concerns”. The Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) between Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and India’s armed forces was signed by Japanese ambassador Satoshi Suzuki and defence secretary Ajay Kumar in New Delhi on SNS Wednesday. DETAILS ON PAGE 5 message, says Rajnath ASHOK TUTEJA NEW DELHI, 10 SEPTEMBER Five French-origin Rafale combat aircraft today formally joined the Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet with Defence minister Rajnath Singh, in an obvious reference to China, asserting that the induction of the fighter jets was a stern message to those eyeing India’s territory. “This induction is important considering the kind of atmosphere at our borders or the kind of atmosphere created at our borders,” said the defence minister at a ceremony at the Ambala Air Base at which the aircraft, built by French company Dassault Aviation, were formally inducted into the IAF. French Defence minister Florence Parly, who flew into India this morning, was also present at the ceremony. The programme started with the ceremonial unveiling of the Rafale aircraft, followed by the traditional ‘Sarva Dharma Puja’. There was also an air display by Rafale and Tejas aircraft as well as by the ‘Sarang Aerobatic Team’. Afterwards, a traditional water cannon salute was given to the Rafale aircraft. Singh said, “The speed with which the IAF deployed its assets on forward bases creates a trust that our Air Force is fully prepared to fulfill its operational obligations.” The minister said that during his recent trip to Moscow for the SCO defence ministers’ meeting, Indian Air Force personnel march past a Rafale jet during its induction ceremony. At the Ambala Air Force Station on Thursday. AFP he had clearly reaffirmed India’s resolve not to compromise on the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity under any circumstances. “We’re committed to doing everything possible towards this,” said Singh who had on the margins of the SCO meeting held bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart on the ongoing India-China military stand-off at eastern Ladakh. He said, “The Rafale induction is a big and stern message for the entire world, especially to those eyeing our sovereignty.” The French minister said the induction of Rafale jets into IAF was a stellar achievement for both countries. “Rafale means gust of wind if you are poetic and can also mean burst of fire in a battlefield,” she said. The five fighter aircraft arrived in India from France on 29 July and have since done extensive training in the country. The jets will be part of the 17 Golden Arrows squadron of the IAF. Delhi scales a new Corona peak Serum Institute calls halt to India trials of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 10 SEPTEMBER Delhi today recorded 4,308 fresh coronavirus (Covid19) cases ~ its highest single-day Covid spike so far ~ while a record 58,340 coronavirus tests ~ also its highest so far ~ were conducted over the last 24 hours. The national capital's Covid caseload mounted to of confirmed Covid-19 cases. Out of the total 44,65,863 cases, 9,19,018 are active, 34,71,783 have recovered, while 75,062 patients have died. A PTI tally compiled at 9 p.m. on the basis of cases reported by states put the total 2,05,482 while the death toll due to coronavirus rose to 4,666 with 28 fresh fatalities recorded today, according to the Delhi government's latest health bulletin. The city's positivity rate in the last 24 hours stood at 7.38 per cent while the number of containment zones or coronavirus hotspots increased to 1,272, the bulletin said. (SEE P2) number of confirmed cases at 45,48,797, recoveries at 35,30,209 and of fatalities at 76,207, indicating the addition of 96,492 new cases, 72,274 recoveries and 1,272 deaths to the previous day's figures. Saturday’s Bengal lockdown withdrawn in view of NEET STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE referred to as Fingers. China has been holding onto Finger 4 to 8 on the north bank of Pangong lake, the sources said. The Indian Army has occupied several key heights in the strategically located Rezang-La and Reqin-La areas on the southern bank of the lake since the end of August. The sources said the two armies held separate talks at brigade commander-level as well as between commanding officers in the general area of Chushul. “The focus was to bring down the temperatures,” said a source. Tension escalated manifold in eastern Ladakh following fresh face-offs between Indian and Chinese troops in Mukhpari area of RezangLa ridgeline on Monday evening. India, Japan sign defence deal India inches closer to 1L Covid cases a day STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE P12 EAM talks LAC tensions Rafale jets inducted into Air Force; a stern with China’s Wang Yi TEMPERATURE Max: 36.4°C (+3) SUN RISES 06:05 hrs MOON RISES 0:24 hrs ‘DON’T LET THE PANDEMIC STOP THE SHOW’ TRUMP’S OWN WORDS BRING FOCUS BACK TO VIRUS The state government was opposed to conducting the examination amidst the Covid outbreak but the Supreme Court gave approval to the National Testing Authority’s (NTA) decision to go ahead with the entrance test. Earlier, the state government had said that there would be state-wide complete lockdowns on 7, 11 and 12 September. As such, it is possible that tomorrow’s complete lockdown would be the last for the month. “Considering the NEET 2020 examination scheduled on 13th, we have received numerous requests from the student community on lifting lockdown norms on 12th, helping ease their travel to examination centres,” Miss Banerjee tweeted. “Keeping their interest in mind, while keeping the statewide lockdown as it is on Sept 11th, it has been decided to cancel the lockdown on 12th, so that the students can attend the examination on 13th without any apprehensions or concerns. I wish them all the very best,” her tweet read. A notification on withdrawal of the lockdown was issued by state chief secretary Rajiva Sinha. It said the 31 August order has been partially modified whereby the lockdown on 12 September has been withdrawn and lockdown on 11 September will be observed as notified earlier. All government and private offices as well as commercial establishments will remain shut tomorrow. 44,65,863 9,19,018 95,735 72,939 75,062 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. THURSDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2020 NEW DELHI, 10 SEPTEMBER Serum Institute of India on Thursday said it is putting on hold clinical trials of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine for which it has been enlisted to manufacture a billion doses. “We are reviewing the situation and pausing India trials,” SII, the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturer by volume, said in a statement. The move came a day after the company stated that it would push ahead with the trials in India despite British drugmaker AstraZeneca hitting a pause button following an unexplained illness in a study participant. The pause by Serum Institute came after The move comes a day after the company stated that it would push ahead in India despite UK drugmaker AstraZeneca pausing trials following an unexplained illness in a study participant the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) issued it a show-cause notice asking why trials should not be suspended in India until patient safety is established. “We (Serum Institute of India), were going by DCGI’s direction and were not instructed to pause the trials. If DCGI has any safety con- cerns, we will adhere to their instructions and abide by the standard protocols,” it had tweeted after the notice. On Thursday, it said it was following DCGI’s instructions. “We are reviewing the situation and pausing India trials till AstraZeneca restarts them,” it said. AstraZeneca paused its clinical trials worldwide to investigate if the illness seen in the participant happened by chance or as a result of the treatment. Serum Institute had in June signed a deal to produce AstraZeneca’s experimental vaccine for low and middle-income countries. The vaccine is being developed jointly by Astra-Zeneca and Oxford University. Delhi Metro back on tracks on Red Line, Violet Line, Green Line after 172 days PTI NEW DELHI, 10 SEPTEMBER Delhi Metro's Red Line, Violet Line and Green Line resumed services on Thursday after being closed for 172 days due to the Covid-19 pandemic, officials said. Yellow Line and Rapid Metro were the first to reopen on Monday, followed by Blue Line and Pink Line on Wednesday. “Seven lines of the Delhi Metro network are now open! Thank you dear commuters for following the safety guidelines and helping us maintain good service. #MetroBackOnTrack,” the DMRC tweeted after the three new lines resumed services. Services on Red Line, Vio- let Line and Green Line resumed at 7 AM, officials said. On Monday, the Delhi Metro resumed partial services on the Yellow Line. The Delhi Metro services were suspended on March 22. The Ministry of Home Affairs recently issued guidelines allowing the Delhi Metro to resume operations in a graded manner, following which the DMRC said it would be done in three stages from September 7-12. Under stage one, Yellow Line or Line 2 and Rapid Metro were made operational with restricted service hours. Trains are operating in batches of four hours each from 7-11 AM and 4-8 PM. On Wednesday, Blue Line and Pink Line were made operational with the same schedule. Red Line (Rithala to Shaheed Sthal New Bus Adda, Ghaziabad); Green Line (Kirti Nagar/Inderlok to Brig. Hosihar Singh, Bahadurgarh); and Violet Line (Kashmere Gate to Raja Nahar Singh, Ballabhgarh), resumed services on September 10 with the same time schedule, the DMRC said. With the services available on multiple lines now -- Yellow, Blue and Pink Lines -- the total ridership on Wednesday was nearly 53,400 till 8 PM, the DMRC said in a statement. The approximate figures for the three corridors were -- Yellow Line (26,900), Blue Line (22,600) and Pink Line (3,900), it said. The new fighters are the first imported jets to be inducted into the IAF in 23 years after the Russian Sukhoi-30 jets were inducted in June 1997. India had ordered 36 Rafale jets from France as part of a government-togovernment deal worth Rs 59,000 crore in September 2016. They have been specially tailored for IAF. The Rafale weaponry includes Meteor beyondvisual-range air-to-air missiles, Mica multi-mission air-to-air missiles and Scalp deep-strike cruise missiles. The weapons allow pilots to attack air and ground targets from standoff ranges and fill a significant capability gap. The fighter aircraft have already flown over the Ladakh region and the pilots have been familiarising themselves with the terrain over which they have to fly in different parts of the country. The five Rafales include three single-seaters and two twin-seaters. SC extends relief on NPAs; expert panel looking into interest issue, says govt NEW DELHI, 10 SEPTEMBER The Supreme Court on Thursday extended its interim order that no account is to be declared NPA till further orders after the Centre said an expert panel has been set up to look into the issue of interest being charged by banks on instalments deferred during the moratorium period due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The top court granted two weeks to the Centre and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to file the affidavit and place before it the decisions taken in this regard. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah posted the matter for further hearing on 28 September and said that the court expects that the government and RBI actively consider all the issues. The bench clarified that it was giving one last opportunity and thereafter the matter will not be adjourned. The top court was hearing a batch of pleas which have raised the issue of interest being charged on instalments which were deferred during the moratorium period due to the pandemic. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre said that the government at the highest level is considering all issues raised in the batch of petitions and within two weeks, decision will be taken. The bench told Mehta that concrete decisions should be taken with clarity. On 3 September, in a relief to stressed borrowers who are facing hardship due to pandemic, the top court had said accounts which were not declared as nonperforming assets till 31 August this year, shall not be declared PTI NPA till further orders.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.