CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 17 OCTOBER 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 THAILAND PM REJECTS CALLS TO RESIGN TRUMP BIDEN SQUARE , OFF MILES APART IN TOWN HALLS P10 RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 35.5°C (3) SUN RISES 05:34 hrs MOON RISES 04:44 hrs New moon on 17 Min. 45% Min: 26.5°C (3) SUN SETS 17:10 hrs MOON SETS 17:05 hrs October THUMBNAILS Residents cross a flooded street following heavy rains in Hyderabad on Friday. AFP NEET results out: The result of the medical entrance exam NEET was announced on Friday night, with Odisha's Soyeb Aftab bagging the top rank attaining a perfect score and Delhi girl Akansha Singh securing the second rank, according to officials of the National Testing Agency. A total of 7,71,500 candidates have qualified the exam for which over 13.66 lakh candidates had appeared. The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) was conducted on September 13 amidst strict precautions in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ghulam Nabi Azad tests positive for Covid-19 : 1 Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad has tested positive for Covid-19 and has quarantined himself at home. The 71-yearold Congress leader shared the information on Twitter and asked those who came in contact with him in the recent past to follow protocols on self-quarantine and testing. “I have tested positive for COVID-19. I am in home quarantine. Those who came in contact with me in the last few days may kindly follow the protocol,” he said in a tweet. P12 SC appoints panel to curb stubble burning Covid-19: Central teams sent to Bengal, 4 other states seeing virus surge SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 16 OCTOBER he Supreme Court on Friday appointed retired apex court judge Justice Madan B Lokur as a one-man committee to take steps for preventing stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh which is a source of pollution in Delhi-national capital region (NCR). While directing that National Cadet Corps (NCC), National Service Scheme and Bharat Scouts be deployed for assisting the panel, a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde rejected the objection of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on the appointment of the committee saying the concerned states have already been heard. The apex court directed the court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) and chief secretaries of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to assist the Lokur panel to enable physical surveillance of fields where stubble is burnt. We just want that people of Delhi-NCR can breath fresh air without any pollution, said the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian. Mehta, who appeared for the Centre, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, told the bench that they may have some reservation over appointment of the one-man committee and urged that the EPCA should be the monitoring authority for preventing stubble burning. We must not trouble Jus- T A farmer burns straw stubble after harvesting a paddy crop, in a field on the outskirts of Amritsar on Friday. AFP Pollution could worsen Covid-19 impact in winter, say experts NEW DELHI, 16 OCTOBER As smoky and hazy skies are back to haunt DelhiNCR after a few months of blue skies and clean air, experts have cautioned people to brace for the winter season saying higher pollution level may worsen the impact of Covid-19. Environment and health experts have asked people, especially those vulnerable to Covid-19 attack, to be more careful as the chronic exposure to air pollutants is associated with severe infections and higher mortality. They feel that lungs compromised due to pollution could lead to complications like pneumonia tice Lokur, Mehta said, urging the bench to post the matter for hearing after Dusherra vacation on this issue. He said no notices were issued to the Centre and the Shaurya Chakra awardee who fought terrorism in Punjab killed ; SIT probe on STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE CHANDIGARH, 16 OCTOBER Balwinder Singh Sandhu, a civilian who earned the Shaurya Chakra for fighting terrorism during the days of militancy in Punjab, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in the state’s Tarn Taran district on Friday. The Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta said Singh, 62, was killed by two unknown assailants at his Bhikhiwind home, at about 7 a.m. today. The victim died on the spot. The CCTV footage from the area shows two unknown assailants arriving at the house of the deceased in the morning and one of them entered the premises and fired at Balwinder Singh at point blank range. The details of the vehicle and its registration number are being probed, said the P6 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Partly cloudy sky. Thundershower likely in some areas. Temperature will be in the range of 34-26 degrees Celsius. TEMPERATURE P11 One-man commission of retired SC judge to submit report within 14 days WEATHER Max.93% THE OTHER ASHWIN IS QUITE A CLEVER LEG-BREAK BOWLER STORM IN COURT DGP Singh had fought against . terrorism in the state for years and was attacked by terrorists many times in the past. The security provided by the state government to Singh, known for fighting off and surviving numerous attacks by terrorists on his home between 1990 and 1991, had been removed a year ago on the recommendation of the local police. His brother Ranjit said that their entire family had remained on the hit list of terrorists. Singh and his family had survived a particularly deadly attack by at least 200 terrorists in September 1990. Singh, his brother and their wives fought off the terrorists ~ who had sophisticated weapons ~ for five hours using their pistols and guns provided by the government. He was awarded the Shaurya Chakra in 1993. Meanwhile, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered the constitution of a Special Investigative Team (SIT) headed by DIG Ferozepur to probe all angles of the fatal attack on Singh. The SIT has already formed four special teams to crack the case and nab the accused. The CM has directed DGP Dinkar Gupta to ensure speedy investigation to bring the culprits to book at the earliest. during Covid-19. “There is abundant evidence that exposure to air pollution increases our vulnerability to respiratory viral infections both in terms of transmission and the severity of the infection, said Avinash Chanchal, climate campaigner. “Researchers have linked air pollution with mechanisms that may reduce our immune defenses such as damage to human airways, cilia and epithelial barriers. “In the case of Covid19, current evidence indicates that chronic exposure to air pollutants is associated with more severe infections and higher mortality,” he said. PTI concerned states on the issue of appointment of a committee. We have not given some extraordinary power to Justice Lokur, the bench said, Teen who resisted rape-attempt by employer succumbs HYDERABAD, 16 OCTOBER A 13-year-old girl who was set ablaze by her employer for resisting rape died after battling for her life for 27 days at a hospital in Hyderabad. Her last rites were performed at her native village in Khammam district hurriedly as Leftists and women organisation tried to stop it, demanding justice for the girl. The rape attempt came to light much later after the girl regained consciousness and informed her parents. The girl belonged to a Dalit family and her employer also hailed from the same family. The state transport minister P Ajay Kumar, the local MLA, district collector and superintendent of police were present for her final rites. The accused Allam Maraiah has been arrested and charged under the relevant sections of SNS the POSCO Act. adding, We have heard the states and you (Mehta) were not there when we were dictating order for half an hour. Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, who also appeared for the Centre, told the bench that the court may select the committee member from a panel of names. The top court directed the states concerned to provide adequate security, secretarial infrastructure and transport to Lokur panel. It said the panel shall submit its report on stubble burning fortnightly to the apex court. During his tenure as an apex court judge, Justice Lokur had dealt with pollution matter which included the aspect of stubble burning. The bench was hearing a plea filed by one Aditya Dubey who has raised concern over pollution caused due to stubble burning. During the hearing conducted through video-conferencing, senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the petitioner, told the bench that a one-man commission headed by Justice (retd) Lokur be constituted as he has the experience in dealing with environment issues. Do have NCC battalion. Why can’t NCC go and see who is lighting fire, the bench asked the counsel representing Haryana. Senior advocate P S Narasimha, appearing for Punjab, said that pollution in Delhi is not attributable to Punjab and has taken numerous steps to check air pollution. Punjab historically was wheat growing state, he said. NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, 16 OCTOBER With West Bengal and at least four other states reporting a surge in Covid19 cases high-level Central teams have been sent to these states, to support them in management of the disease. The Union Health Ministry on Friday said these teams will support the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal with regard to strengthening containment, surveillance, testing, infection prevention and control measures, and efficient clinical management of the positive cases. The development came as India’s Covid-19 caseload rose to 73,70,468 with 63,371 new infections being reported in a day, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease crossed 64 lakh. The recovery rate stands at 87.56 per cent. The coronavirus death toll climbed to 1,12,161 with the virus claiming 895 lives in a span of 24 hours, Union Health Ministry data updated at 8 a.m. showed. The Covid-19 case fatality rate was recorded at 1.52 per cent, the lowest since 22 March. “India continues to have one of the lowest Covid-19 deaths per million population globally, currently pegged at 80,” the Ministry said. West Bengal added a huge 3,771 fresh Covid cases and 61 deaths due to the infection in the last People wearing facemasks wait for their food as others eat-in in a KFC in New Delhi on Friday. AFP 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 3,13,188 and the death toll to 5,931. As many as 2,74,757 patients have recovered, of which 3,194 patients were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours. Currently, there are 32,500 active Covid cases in the state. Kolkata registered 781 cases and 13 deaths and neighbouring district of North 24-Parganas recorded 758 cases and 19 deaths in the last 24 hours. According to Union Health Ministry figures, Kerala so far has reported 3,17,929 coronavirus infections which form 4.3 per cent of the total cases, while the state currently has 94,609 active cases, comprising 11.8 per cent of the national figure. Total deaths in the state are 1,089 with a case fatality rate of 0.34 per cent and deaths per million of 31.Karnataka has reported 7,43,848 cases, accounting for 10.1 per cent of the national figure and 1,13,557 active cases of Covid-19 (14.1 per cent of the national figure). The Decision on minimum age of marriage for girls soon: Modi PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 16 OCTOBER Prime Minister Modi on Friday said the government will soon take a decision on revising the minimum age of marriage for girls after it receives report from the committee set up for this. The Prime Minister said the girls’ gross enrolment ratio in education has turned higher than that of boys for the first time in the country because of several efforts taken by the government in the last six years. Modi was addressing a video conference after releasing a commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination on the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). “There is an important deliberation going on to decide what should be the ideal age of marriage for daughters,” Modi said. The Prime Minister said he has been receiving letters from women from across the country, asking about the report of the committee and when the government will take a decision on it. “I want to assure them, the government will soon take its decision after the submission of the report,” he said. In his Independence Day speech, Modi had announced that the government was deliberating on what should be the minimum age of marriage for women and has set up a committee to look into the matter. Currently, the minimum age of marriage is 18 years for women and 21 for men. Modi highlighted the efforts taken by his government in the last six years to fight against malnutrition. The government has adopted a multi-dimensional strategy to work on all those factors responsible for high malnutrition, he added. The government has started National Nutrition Mission, Modi informed. Highlighting other achievements, Modi said the government has built 11 crore toilets across the country under the Swachh Bharat Mission. The government is also providing sanitary pads at Re 1 to poor women, he further said. Modi said pregnancy at tender age, lack of education and awareness, inadequate availability of drinking water and lack of cleanliness were some of the factors due to which the desired results against malnutrition could not be achieved earlier. India gained decade of life expectancy since 1990: Lancetstudy PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 16 OCTOBER India has gained more than a decade of life expectancy since 1990, but there are wide inequalities between states, according to a new study which assessed more than 286 causes of death and 369 diseases and injuries in more than 200 countries and territories across the world. The study, published in the Lancet journal, noted that life expectancy in India has risen from 59.6 years in 1990 to 70.8 years in 2019, ranging from 77.3 years in Kerala to 66.9 years in Uttar Pradesh. However, the researchers, including Srinivas Goli from the Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar, said the increase in ‘healthy life expectancy’ in India has not been as dramatic as the growth of life expectancy since “people are living more years with illness and disability. According to the international team of scientists, the current global crisis of chronic diseases and failure of public health to stem the rise in highly preventable risk factors such as high blood pressure, tobacco use, and air pollution have left populations vulnerable to acute health emergencies such as Covid-19. “The main improvement we see in almost every country, including in India, is a DEVIL IN DETAILS The study, published in the Lancet journal, noted that life expectancy in India has risen from 59.6 years in 1990 to 70.8 years in 2019, ranging from 77.3 years in Kerala to 66.9 years in Uttar Pradesh Scientists say that the increase in ‘healthy life expectancy’ in India has not been as dramatic as the growth of life expectancy In 2019, the research notes that the top five risk factors for death in India were air pollution, high blood pressure, tobacco use, poor diet, and high blood sugar decline in infectious diseases and more rise in chronic diseases,” study co-author Ali Mokdad from the University of Washington in the US said. “In India maternal mortality used to be very high, but now it is coming down. Cardio- vascular diseases used to be number five, and now it is number one, and cancer rates are increasing,” Mokdad, Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), said. While many parts of the world have also controlled infectious diseases through immunisation and better medical care, he said some countries still struggle to manage these epidemics. “The interaction of Covid19 with the continued global rise in chronic illness and related risk factors, including obesity, high blood sugar, and outdoor air pollution, over the past 30 years has created a perfect storm, fuelling Covid-19 deaths,” the scientists noted. In the South Asia region, they said non-communicable diseases (NCDs) now contribute to more than half of the years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death, which was dominated by infectious, CMYK maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases 30 years ago. Citing an example, the researchers said 58 per cent of the total disease burden in India is now due to NCDs, up from 29 per cent in 1990, while premature deaths due to NCDs have more than doubled from 22 to 50 per cent. The study found that the largest contributors to increasing health loss in India over the last 30 years were NCDs like ischaemic heart disease, COPD, diabetes, stroke, and musculoskeletal disorders. In 2019, the research noted that the top five risk factors for death in India were air pollution (contributing to an estimated 1.67 million deaths), high blood pressure (1.47 million), tobacco use (1.23 million), poor diet (1.18 million), and high blood sugar (1.12 million). They cautioned that urgent action is needed to address the synergistic epidemic of chronic diseases, social inequalities, and Covid-19, referring to the interaction of several epidemics that exacerbate the disease burden in populations who are already burdened. “Most of these risk factors are preventable and treatable. Tackling them will bring huge social and economic benefits,” said study lead author Christopher Murray, Director of IHME at the University of Washington. 73,70,468 8,04,528 63,371 70,338 1,12,161 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 16 OCTOBER 2020 state has reported a total of 10,283 fatalities. Rajasthan has so far registered 1,67,279 cases accounting for 2.3 per cent of the total caseload. There are 21,587 active cases of Covid-19 which comprise 2.7 per cent share of the national numbers. The state has so far far recorded 1,708 deaths. Second batch of Rafale jets to join IAF in November NEW DELHI, 16 OCTOBER The IAF is expected to get 34 more Rafale jets from France in early November that will give a boost to its offensive capabilities amidst the ongoing military stand-off with China. This would be the second batch of the fighters as five Rafales had arrived in India on 28 July and were officially inducted into the IAF at the Ambala Airbase on 10 September. With the induction of these aircraft, the IAF would have 8-9 Rafale jets. An IAF team headed by Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Projects) Air-Vice Marshal N Tiwari in France to coordinate logistical matters. The five Rafale fighters which arrived in July have already been operationalised and deployed in the conflict zone of Ladakh in a short span of time. The Indian pilots, who are undergoing training in France to fly Rafales, will complete it by March 2021. The IAF will deploy one squadron each of the Rafale combat aircraft at its airbases in Ambala in Haryana and Hashimara in West Bengal. In September of 2016, India signed a deal with the French government and Dassault Aviation to acquire 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of Rs 59,000 crores to meet the urgent requirements of the SNS Indian Air Force.
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