CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 29 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 WHY XI MUST BE HALTED TRUMP-BIDEN FIRST 2020 PRESIDENTIAL FACE-OFF ON 29 SEPT P10 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. One or two spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 33-27 degrees Celsius. Max.97% TEMPERATURE P7 P9 Will move SC over new farm laws: Amarinder Centre wants to make corporates like the Adanis happy, says Captain RAINFALL: 21.6 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Min. 58% CHANDIGARH, 28 SEPTEMBER Max: 34.2°C (+1) Min: 27.5°C (2) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:28 hrs 17:26 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 16:16 hrs 03:06 hrs Next full moon on 2 October THUMBNAILS Punjab Youth Congress activists protesting on the birth anniversary of Amar Shaheed Bhagat Singh against the Central government and the farm Bill at India Gate, Rajpath, in the Capital on Monday. SNS New West Bengal chief secretary: Alapan Bandopadhyay has been appointed as the new chief secretary of West Bengal. A 1987-batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre, Mr Bandopadhyay is currently ACS, home department. He will take over the new responsibility on 1 October from incumbent Rajiva Sinha folP3 lowing his retirement on 30 September. UDF to stop protests in Kerala after Covid spike: The Congress-led opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala has decided to stop crowded protests and agitations owing to the critical Covid-19 situation in the state. However, the alliance leadership made it clear that they would continue the protests against the LDF government by observing Covid protocols. BJP, which has also been staging widespread protests seeking KT Jaleel’s resigP5 nation, has not stopped their protests. unjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday vowed to fight the Centre’s malicious and anti-national Agriculture Acts constitutionally and legally, asserting that he will do whatever it takes to protect the farmers from the nefarious designs of the Centre government. Addressing the media in Chandigarh and earlier at Khatkar Kalan, where he sat on dharna in protest against the new legislations, Amarinder said he will be consulting with lawyers to work out the legal course of action for challenging the unconstitutional laws in the Supreme Court. Agitation and legal recourse will have to be undertaken simultaneously to fight these new laws and force the Union Government to rethink its decision, he said. Asserting that he does not want Punjab’s youth and farmers to take to arms to fight for their right to live, the CM warned that these new laws will endanger the security of the border state of Punjab, as Pakistan’s ISI was always on the lookout for opportunities to foment trouble. Punjab has lost 35000 lives to terrorism in senseless violence in the past and with the unrest among the farmers spreading to other states, the entire nation would be exposed to the ISI threat, Amarinder said, adding that Pak-backed forces will try to feed on the angst in India. P Sonia Gandhi sounds out Congress-ruled states N EW DELHI, 28 SEPTEMBER Sonia Gandhi today asked Congress-ruled states to consider bringing laws to overrule the Centre’s farm laws, which have provoked massive farmer protests in parts of the country. "Hon'ble Congress President has advised the Congress-ruled states to explore Pointing out that 150 terrorists had been nabbed in Punjab in recent months with huge caches of arms and ammunition, the CM said he will not let anyone disturb the state’s peaceful atmosphere, which the new legislation had the potential to do. Slamming the stepmotherly treatment meted out on Punjabis and Punjab’s farmers to make big corporates like the Adanis happy, Amarinder asked: the possibilities to pass laws in their states under Article 254(2) of the constitution which allows the state legislatures to pass a law to negate the antiagriculture central laws encroaching upon state's jurisdiction under the constitution,” the Congress said in a statement. PTI “Will the Adanis subsidise food for poor Indians?” These laws will spell the death-knell for the Public Distribution System, apart from ruining Punjab and its farmers, he added. Terming the new legislations as a total violation of the nation’s federal structure, the CM described the enactment of the farm Bills as a black day for Punjab. How the laws were brought in through the Ordinances route and then Shocker in MP: DGP-rank officer thrashes wife; relieved of duties after video goes viral STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE BHOPAL, 28 SEPTEMBER Senior IPS officer of Madhya Pradesh, Special DG Purushottam Sharma was today removed from his post of Director Prosecution with immediate effect after a video went viral showing Sharma thrashing and abusing his wife in his official residence here after she accused him of having an extramarital affair with a married woman. The video shows Sharma punching and throwing his wife down on the floor at least twice in the presence of two servants. Sharma and his wife, Priya, are also seen arguing and shouting at each other with accusations and abuses. Sharma is also seen accusing his wife of stabbing him with a knife, to which Priya Sharma says it was a scissor. She goes on to say that she did it in self-defence and that she should keep pepper spray too. The state home department issued orders removing Sharma from his post with immediate effect and directing him to report to the home department at the state secretariat. Sharma is an MP cadre IPS officer of the 1986 batch. He is a Special Director General of Police and was posted as Director, Public Prosecution. According to some media reports, Purushottam Sharma’s son, who is an Income Tax deputy commissioner, lodged a complaint against his father with Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra. Sharma said in the matter that he knew his son had lodged a complaint against him. He also said it was his matter and he was facing it knowing that he would have to suffer what he had to. “After enjoying so much comfort in life, she has an obligation to her family – to save its reputation. They are going around ruining the family’s image…,” Sharma said. WHY KING OF CLAY SEEMS A LITTLE VULNERABLE NOW MOON JAE-IN APOLOGISES OVER HANDLING OF KILLING BY NORTH Sources said Sharma and his wife have had strained relations for several years but the latest flareup turned ugly after Priya Sharma claimed to have caught Purushottam Sharma red-handed at a local TV anchor’s house in Bhopal. A separate video and audio clip of that altercation between Priya Sharma, Purushottam Sharma and the woman, whom some media reports identified as Monika Rajput, have been circulating since Sunday night. Media reports said Monika Rajput is married and works as a newsreader in IND24 news channel at Bhopal. Purushottam Sharma’s name had also cropped up in the scandalous ‘honey trap’, which was exposed during the Kamal Nathled Congress state government in MP . Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh addressing media on the state’s next course of action on farm Bills on Monday. SNS pushed through Parliament without discussion was deplorable, he said, asserting that contrary to the lies being spread by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the Punjab government was never once apprised of the move to bring in such Ordinances. Amarinder made it clear that the verbal assurances of the Centre on Minimum Support Price could not be trusted. He said those sitting at the Centre knew nothing about agriculture, which explained their bid to destroy the time-tested farmer-Arhtiya (grain commission agents) relations. The small farmers, who constitute more than 70 per cent of the farming community, would be the worst affected, the CM added. Bengal registers 3,155 fresh cases, 56 deaths KOLKATA 28 SEPTEMBER West Bengal today recorded a single-day spike with 3,155 fresh Covid cases and 56 deaths taking the total case count and death toll to 2,50,580 and 4,837 respectively while there are 25,899 active cases. Kolkata recorded 618 fresh Covid cases and 15 deaths followed by North 24 Parganas with 658 cases and eight deaths. With 2,923 Covid patients being discharged from hospitals today, 2,19,844 patients have recovered till now. This apart, a discharge rate of 87.73 per cent and a Covid bed occupancy rate of 35.94 per cent were registered SNS today. P12 Centre approves defence acquisitions worth `2,300 cr STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 28 SEPTEMBER Amid the ongoing military stand-off with China at eastern Ladakh, the government today approved proposals for capital acquisitions of various equipment required by the armed forces at a cost of Rs 2,290 crores and unveiled the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) – 2020 with a view to providing an impetus to the domestic industry, achieving self-reliance in defence manufacturing and making India a global manufacturing hub. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which met under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, approved the procurements from the domestic Industry as well as foreign vendors. Under the Buy Indian category, the DAC approved procurement of static transmitter and receiver sets and smart anti-airfield weapons (SAAW ). The transmitter and receiver sets will enable seamless communication for the field units of the Army and the Air Force and are being procured at an approximate cost of Rs 540 crores. The smart anti airfield weapon being procured at a cost of about Rs 970 crores will add to the firepower of the Navy and the Air Force. Further, to equip the frontline troops of the Army, the DAC also accorded approval for procurement of SIG SAUER assault rifles at a cost of about Rs 780 crores. Meanwhile, the Defence Minister also unveiled the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) – 2020 with a view to providing an impetus to the growing domestic industry, achieving enhanced self-reliance in defence manufacturing and making India a global manufacturing hub. Singh had approved constitution of Main Review Committee under the chairmanship of Director General (Acquisition) Apurva Chandra in August 2019 for the preparation of the DAP , which will be applicable with effect from 1 October.Formulation of the DAP has been done over more than one year, incorporating comments/suggestions from a wide spectrum of stakeholders, the Defence Ministry said.The DAP has been aligned with the government’s vision of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' and empowering the Indian domestic industry through Make in India initiative with the ultimate aim of turning the country into a global manufacturing hub. With the new Foreign Direct Investment policy announced, DAP 2020 has adequately included provisions to encourage FDI to establish manufacturing hubs both for import substitution and exports while protecting interests of the Indian domestic industry. Specific reforms enunciated in the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan' have been incorporated in the DAP to provide for notifying a list of weapons/platforms for a ban on imports and indigenisation of imported spares. The Request For Information (RFI) stage will explore willingness of the prospective foreign vendors to progressively undertake manufacture. Covid-19: 50 lakh recover in India Monsoon retreat begins from parts of north India SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, SEP 28 NEW DELHI, 28 SEPTEMBER Total recoveries from Covid in India crossed the 50 lakh milestone on Monday with recovered cases outpacing active cases by more than five times, the Union Health Ministry said. In a statement, the ministry said the rise in the number of total recovered cases from 1 lakh in June 2020 has been steep and the last 10 lakh recoveries were added in just 11 days. “India's total recoveries have crossed the landmark milestone of 50 lakh today (50,16,520). With a very high number of COVID patients recovering every single day, India's steady trend of posting a high level of daily recoveries continues,” the ministry said. “The total recovered cases have outpaced active cases by more than 5 times. With the exponential increase in the recoveries, there is close to 100 per cent increase in recovered cases in one month,” it said. Noting that 15 States/UTs are showing a recovery rate more than the national average, the ministry said 78 per cent of the total recovered cases are recorded in 10 states/UTs 60,74,702 9,62,640 82,170 74,893 95,542 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 28 SEPTEMBER 2020 with Maharashtra leading total recovered cases followed by Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. “Seventy-three per cent of the new recovered cases are being reported from ten states, viz. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Kerala, Odisha, West Bengal and Punjab. Maharashtra leads the tally with more than 13,000 new cases of recovered patients,” it said. The southwest monsoon retreated from parts of west Rajasthan and Punjab on Monday, 11 days after his normal withdrawal date, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. Conditions are becoming favourable for its further withdrawal from some more parts of Rajasthan and Punjab and some parts of Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh during next two to three days, the IMD said. “The southwest monsoon has withdrawn from some parts of west Rajasthan and Punjab today, September 28th, 2020,” it said. Dry weather is likely to prevail over parts of north India for the next five days. The official rainfall season in the country starts from 1 June to 30 September. This year, the monsoon made an onset over Kerala on June 1, its normal onset date. It covered the entire country on June 26, nearly a fortnight more than its normal schedule. According to the revised date, the new normal date for the monsoon to cover the entire SNS country is 8 July. SC asks UPSC to apprise of arrangements for civil services prelims SNS&PTI NEW DELHI, 28 SEPTEMBER The Supreme Court Monday asked the UPSC to apprise it by tomorrow the “logistical arrangements” made for conducting civil services preliminary exams on October 4 because of an alarming spurt of COVID-19 cases as also floods in various parts of the country. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) opposed in the top Court a plea seeking postponement of the prelims amid the pandemic and the floods. In a hearing conducted through video conferencing, a bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari asked the UPSC to file an affidavit by Tuesday. The bench will take up the plea for hearing on Wednesday ”You file your affidavit tomorrow. Whatever logistical arrangements are there you put them in a short affidavit,” the bench ordered. The UPSC counsel said the Civil Services exams were fixed on May 31 and it was impossible to defer them again. “This is an examination of the core services of the Government of India. Several candidates have already downloaded their e-admit card for the examination,” the UPSC lawyer said. The bench asked the UPSC to serve the copy of its affidavit to lawyer Alakh Alok Shrivastava, the counsel for the petitioner Vasireddy Govardhana Sai Prakash and 19 other aspirants who have filed the petition for the postponement of the examination. The top court had said earlier that it would take up on September 28 a plea seeking postponement of civil services 2020 examinations because of an alarming spurt of COVID-19 pandemic and floods. It had granted the liberty to the petitioner to serve an advance copy of the petition on the Standing Counsel for the UPSC as well as on the Standing Counsel for the Central Agency representing Union of India through email/online. The petitioners have sought postponement of the Civil Services Exam for two to three months so that the flood/ incessant rains recede and the COVID-19 curve flattens. The plea submitted that the UPSC decision to conduct the exam following the impugned Revised Calendar, violates the rights of the petitioners and those similarly situated, under Article 19 (1) CMYK (g) of the Constitution to practise their chosen profession/ occupation of serving the public. According to the plea this 7-hour offline exam will be taken by approximately six lakh aspirants at test centres in 72 cities. Conducting the aforesaid examination across India at such perilous time is nothing else but putting lives of lakhs of young students (including Petitioners herein) at utmost risk and danger of disease and death. Also, the natural calamities like flood, incessant rain, landslides etc. are likely to directly affect the life and health of the Petitioners and many similarly situated students. Hence, the impugned Revised Calendar is utterly arbitrary, unreasonable, whimsical and patently violative of the Right to Health and Right to Life of the Petitioners herein and lakhs of similarly situated students, under Article 21, the petition stated. The plea said the Civil Services Exam, being a recruitment examination, is altogether different from an academic examination and in the event of its postponement, there would not be any question of delay or loss of any academic session. It said that due to non-availability of exam centres in their home towns, many aspirants are facing unimaginable hardship due to non-availability of or unsafe health conditions in, the PG accommodation/ hostels/ hotels etc., where they are forced to stay with their family members, once they are travelling to an outstation Examination Centre. It is pertinent to mention here that despite an alarming spurt in COVID-19 pandemic, UPSC did not increase the number of Examination Centres, resulting into a situation where many candidates from rural areas will be forced to travel for around 300-400 Kilometres, to reach to their Examination Centres and there will be a high probability of such aspirants, getting affected while using public transportation for such travel, the plea said.
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