THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 12 NOVEMBER 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR KAMAL NATH OFFERS TO QUIT AS MP CONGRESS CHIEF POLITICAL NOVICE WHO GAVE VETERANS A RUN FOR MONEY P4 P5 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Mist/shallow fog in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 29 and 11 degrees Celsius respectively. SHAHBAZ SHARIF, SON INDICTED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING 'LET SHARMA TAKE OVER AS LEADER' P9 Development only basis for politics now: Modi RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY At celebration for BJP’s electoral victory in Bihar, PM takes aim at Trinamul Congress Max: 98% PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Min: 48% TEMPERATURE Max: 29.9°C (+1) SUN RISES 06:42 hrs MOON RISES 04:15 hrs Min: 11.4°C (-3) SUN SETS 17:29 hrs MOON SETS 15:41 hrs THUMBNAILS Widows of Vrindavan celebrate Diwali at the Yamuna ghat in New Delhi on Wednesday. SNS Hong Kong lawmakers to resign: Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers announced Wednesday they would resign en masse after four of them were ousted from the semiautonomous Chinese territory’s Legislature in a move one legislator said could sound the “death knell” for democracy there. The resignation of the 15 remaining pro-democracy lawmakers will ratchet up tensions over the future of Hong Kong, a former British colony that has long been a regional financial hub and bastion of Western-style civil liberties but over which China’s government has increasP9 ingly tightened its control. SC refuses to interfere with HC cracker ban: The Supreme Court refused on Wednesday to interfere with the Calcutta High Court order banning the sale and use of firecrackers in West Bengal during Kali Puja, saying preservation of life was more important amid the coronavirus pandemic. A vacation bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee said though festivals were important, but “life itself has been imperilled now” amid the pandemic. It said the high court knew the local condition better and it should be allowed to do the needful. CPCB orders closure of hot mix plants, stone crushers: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Wednesday ordered closure of hot mix plants and stone crushers in Delhi-NCR till November 17 in view of a likely increase in pollution levels during the festive season. It also asked the governments of Punjab and Haryana to take immediate stringent actions to curb stubble burning and authorities in Delhi-NCR to strictly check biomass burning. “Frequency of mechanised cleaning of roads and water sprinkling to be increased particularly on road stretches with high dust generation potential,” the apex pollution watchdog said in an order. “It should be ensured that guidelines and standard operating procedures for dust mitigation at construction sites are strictly adhered to,” it said. NEW DELHI, 11 NOVEMBER P rime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Wednesday that the results of the Bihar assembly polls and the bypolls held across several states have proved that “development” will be the only basis for politics in the 21st century and credited women for powering the BJP's political fortunes as its “silent voters”. Addressing BJP workers at a thanksgiving programme here following the electoral victory, Modi also attributed the NDA's win in Bihar to its mantra of “sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas” and also launched a veiled attack on West Bengal's ruling Trinamul Congress, saying those who cannot challenge the saffron party democratically have resorted to “murdering” its workers to realise their goals. Assembly polls are due in the first half of 2021 in Bengal, a politically crucial state where BJP hopes to come to power for the first time by ending chief minister Mamata Banerjee's 10-year old rule. Modi also said that the NEW DELHI/MUMBAI, 11 NOVEMBER The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Maharashtra government and granted interim bail to Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami in a 2018 abetment to suicide case, saying it will be a “travesty of justice if personal liberty is curtailed” “If constitutional . courts do not protect liberty, then who will?” the court asked, as it expressed concern over state governments targeting some individuals on the basis of ideology and difference of opinion. The two-judge bench comprising Justice D Y Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee also granted interim bail to two others in the case, Nitish Sarda and Parveen Rajesh Singh, on personal bond of Rs 50,000 each and directed that they shall not tamper with the evidence and shall cooperate in the probe. Goswami and the two others were arrested last week in connection with the suicide of architect Anvay Naik and his mother in 2018 over alleged non-payment of dues by companies of the accused. Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV, has challenged the Bombay High Court's November 9 order refusing to grant him and the two others interim bail in the case and asking them to move the trial court for relief. Justice PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 11 NOVEMBER With the NDA getting a comfortable majority in the Bihar assembly, all eyes are now on the formation of the next government which will likely be sworn in soon after the Diwali festivities get over later this week, informed sources said here on Wednesday. They said JD(U) president Nitish Kumar will NDA will serve Bihar under the leadership of chief minister Nitish Kumar and every BJP member will leave no stone unturned to help it realise its resolve of development in the state. Modi attacked “family parties and family-oriented parties”, saying their ‘Trump not conceding defeat an embarrassment’ “web” could be seen from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and that they are the “biggest threat” to Indian democracy. In a clear attack on the Congress, he said a national party has also fallen into the grip of a family. Modi chose the celebratory atmosphere at the BJP Chandrachud said that if constitutional courts did not interfere when personal liberty is curtailed, "We are travelling the path of destruction undeniably". The bench also told the state government to forget the way he screams and yells. "What concerns me is the value ascribed to human liberty," added Justice Chandrachud. Later tonight, Goswami was released from Taloja jail in Maharashtra’s Raigad district. Goswami came out of the jail around 8.30 pm and waved to people assembled outside from the vehicle carrying him, saying he was thankful to the SupremeCourtforgranting himbail.Heflashedthevictory sign and said, “this is the victory of the people of India.” STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 11 NOVEMBER STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 11 NOVEMBER rassment, quite frankly,” Biden said in his hometown in Wilmington, Delaware. The Trump administration's refusal to initiate the transition process “does not change the dynamic at all in what we're able to do,” Biden said. “We don't see anything that's slowing us down, quite frankly,” he said. “At the end of the day, you know, it's all going to come to fruition on January 20,” he added, referring to inauguration day. Biden hoped that those who voted for him and those for Trump would come together. “...I believe we can pull the country out of this bitter politics that we’ve seen for the last five, six and seven years,” he said. targeting BJP members. “People in some parts of the country think that they will realise their goals by murdering BJP workers. I will appeal to them to see reason... I need not warn them as people will do this. Polls come and go, win and loss happen but this killing game cannot work in a democracy. This 'maut ka khel' cannot get you votes. They should see the writing on the wall,” Modi said. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 11 NOV EMBER India and China may be on the verge of a breakthrough in resolving the over sixmonth-long tense border standoff in eastern Ladakh with both sides broadly agreeing on a three-step process on disengagement of troops and withdrawal of weaponry from all major friction points in a timebound manner, authoritative sources said on Wednesday. The broad contours of the proposal include removal of armoured personnel carriers within one day of inking an agreement, withdrawal of troops from specific areas on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh and carrying out verification of the disengagement process by both the sides, they said. The specific proposals for the disengagement and restoration of the status quo ante as existed in April were finalised during the eighth round of high-level military talks between the Indian and Chinese armies in Chushul on November 6 on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control(LAC). With 8,593 cases, Delhi sees a new corona peak WASHINGTON, 11 NOVEMBER Donald Trump not conceding defeat in the US election is “an embarrassment” and that “will not help the President’s legacy,” President-elect Joe Biden has said, asserting that his transition plans have remained unaffected and he has started talking to world leaders. Trump has declined to concede the closely-fought November 3 presidential race to Democrat Biden and is mounting legal fights in several states, but there has been no evidence of voter irregularities or widespread fraud in the election, billed as one of the most divisive and bitter in recent American history. The president-elect was asked by a reporter on Tuesday what he thought of President Trump’s refusal to acknowledge defeat. “I just think it’s an embar- headquarters to underscore the party's growing strength across the country, a day after its stupendous show helped the NDA pip a resurgent RJD-led alliance to the post, even as it notched up impressive wins in bypolls across states like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. Turning his attention to Bengal, he raised the issue of alleged political murders be back as the chief minister for yet another term in office. Kumar, who looks on course to becoming the longest serving chief minister of the state during his new term, was expected to take oath on or after Monday next week before which he will send his resignation to the governor since his current tenure expires at the end of November. India, China on verge of deal to resolve Ladakh standoff India’s Covid active caseload below 5L PRESS TRUST OF INDIA SC pulls up Maharashtra govt; grants bail to Arnab Goswami SNS & AGENCIES Nitish Kumar to be back as Bihar CM after Diwali P12 With 44,281 new coronavirus infections and 512 deaths in the past 24 hours, India's overall tally was 86,35,921 on Wednesday, even as the country’s Covid19 active caseload fell below the 5 lakh-mark for the first time after 106 days.There are 4,94,657 active cases of coronavirus infections as on date. The last time the figure was below the 5-lakh mark was on July 28, when there were 4,96,988 active cases, according to Union health ministry figures. The death toll has touched 1,27,571, whereas 80,13,783 patients have been cured and discharged so far. The recovery rate stands at 92.69 per cent, and the fatality rate is 1.48 per cent, the Ministry said. The Indian Council of Delhi today registered its highest single-day spike of 8,593 coronavirus infections (Covid-19), which pushed its caseload to 4,59,975, according to the Delhi government's latest health bulletin. The city recorded 85 fresh Covid fatalities ~ its worst figure in nearly five months ~ which raised its coronavirus toll to 7,228, the health bulletin reportedly stated. This was the first time that Delhi logged more than 8,000 Covid cases in a single day. These fresh coronavirus cases were detected out of 64,121 tests, including 19,304 RTPCR tests, conducted the previous day. The national capital's positivity rate was 13.4 per cent, the bulletin said. The number of recovered Covid patients in the city over the last 24 hours was 7,264. The active cases tally rose to 42,629 from yesterday's 41,385, the bulletin said. Delhi had yesterday recorded 7,830 coronavirus cases ~ its previous highest single-day spike ~ which were detected out of 59,035 tests. It had then recorded 83 Covid deaths. Medical Research (ICMR) conducted 11,53,294 sample tests on Tuesday, taking the total tested samples to 12,07,69,151. Though Maharashtra continued to be the worst- hit state with 96,437 active cases and 45,325 Covid-19 deaths, Delhi's fresh cases leaped past the western city's daily figures. On Tuesday, the national capital reported 7,830 86,36,011 4,94,657 44,281 50,326 1,27,571 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. WEDNESDAY 11 NOV 2020 new coronavirus cases and 83 deaths, the highest ever single-day tally since the onset of the pandemic. The other worst-hit states are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.. The sources said both the Indian Army and the Chinese People's Liberation Army(PLA) are looking at sealing the pact in the next round of Corps Commander-level talks as the proposals were agreed to by the two sides. The ninth round of military talks are likely to take place in the next few days. Nearly 50,000 Indian Army troops are currently deployed in a high state of combat readiness in various mountainous locations in eastern Ladakh in sub-zero conditions as multiple rounds of talks between the two sides have not yielded concrete outcome. China has also deployed an equal number of troops, according to officials. As a first step, both sides will remove their tanks, artillery guns, armoured vehicles and large equipment from the friction points along the LAC to their rear bases within three days from inking the agreement, the sources said. It was broadly agreed to withdraw around 30 |per cent of the troops every day for three days, they said. After seven months, local trains back on track in Bengal STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 11 NOVEMBER Suburban train services of Eastern and South Eastern Railway resumed in West Bengal on Wednesday after more than seven months with the authorities trying to enforce Covid safety guidelines. However, even as the Railways put in their best efforts to ensure that the protocols are followed, physical distancing norms were flouted inside several local trains and at some platforms during the morning peak office hours. The trains were not choc-a-bloc initially after the services commenced early in the morning, but as hours passed, jampacked rakes reached Sealdah and Howrah, leading to apprehensions over maintenance of physical distancing norms. Govt brings OTT operators under ambit of I&B ministry PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 11 NOVEMBER The government has put OTT platforms such as Netflix as well as news and current affairs content on online platforms under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and given it powers to regulate policies and rules for the digital space. There was no law or autonomous body governing digital content in India so far. Now, OTT and other platforms, including digital news websites, are expected to fall within a governmental framework of rules and regulations. According to a notification issued by the Cabinet Secretariat on Tuesday night and signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, the decision comes into effect immediately. It was taken in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (3) of Article 77 of the Constitution by amending the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, the notification said. With this, the Information and Broadcasting ministry has the power to regulate policies related to news, audiovisual content and films on online platforms. These include over the top' platforms Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+Hotstar as well as homegrown ones like SonyLIV, and digital news websites, including TheWire and Scroll, often seen as being critical of the government. Digital media is already regulated through the IT Act and other laws, albeit within the framework of the Constitution that guarantees freedom of speech, veteran media insiders pointed out. Though a cross-section of journalists, writers and TIGHTENING CONTROLS were hitherto unregulated The Information and Broadcasting Ministry will now have the power to regulate policies related to news, audio, visual contents and films available on online platforms, which The decision came in less than a month after the Supreme Court sought the Centre's response on a PIL for regulating the Over The Top (OTT) platforms by an autonomous body. The ministry had earlier told the court in a separate case that there is a need to regulate digital media and that the court may first appoint a committee of persons as amicus before laying down guidelines with respect to the regulation of hate speech in media. directors in digital news platforms and those providing content for OTT services responded with dismay, there was little clarity on what kind of regulations the move would entail. Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said he would give a detailed briefing on the matter on Thursday. He was asked about the move during the Cabinet briefing on Wednesday. The government's decision comes less than a month after the Supreme Court sought the Centre's response on a PIL seeking regulation of OTT platforms by an autonomous body. MX Player CEO Karan Bedi said he looks forward to working with the ministry to implement the efforts towards self-regulation. “As responsible content creators, we want to ensure this act not only takes cognisance of the nature of content being released, but also ensures that we safeguard creativity in this rapidly growing sector,” Bedi told PTI. Several other major OTT platforms declined to comment on the development when contacted. But filmmakers and writers did not mince their words. The decision could put Indian content creators at a disadvantage on the world stage and curtail the creative and personal freedom of makers as well as viewers, said several big names in the OTT circuit. Hansal Mehta, Reema Kagti and Karan Anshuman, who have been making streaming content on various OTT platforms, were among those who spoke out. “It puts Indian content creators at a disadvantage when they are competing on world stage...I don't know the legal ramifications of this. It is too premature to talk what can be done. We should wait and hope things will get clear when the guidelines or whatever is the intent comes into play,” said Kagti, one of the directors on Amazon PrimeVideo's show Made in Heaven along with Zoya Akhtar and Alankrita Shrivastava. However, nothing specific has been said regarding censorship, except that it is coming under the ambit of I&B ministry,” she said, adding that creators are asked for many cuts even though films are certified A'.
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