SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 22 NOVEMBER 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 AMIT SHAH SPRINGS SURPRISE, TAKES TO CHENNAI ROAD ‘INDIA TO FIND PLACE IN TOP THREE ECONOMIES’ P8 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temperature most likely to be around 28 °C and 19 °C respectively.. RAINFALL: 022.6 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.98 % TEMPERATURE P4 P7 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Max: 25.5°C (-4) Min: 22.0°C (3) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:54 hrs 16:51 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 11:38 hrs 22:53 hrs Next moon quarter on 22 November THUMBNAILS As the mercury dips in New Delhi, children wearing woollen clothing drive a toy car at the India Gate on Saturday. SUBRATA DUTTA Punjab farmers bodies end rail blockade: Punjab farmers’ unions on Saturday announced complete lifting of the rail blockade from Monday to pave the way for resumption of both goods and passenger train services in the state after two months.The decision to lift the rail blockade was announced by Bharti Kissan Union (Rajewal) president Balbir Singh Rajewal at a meeting of representatives of the farmers’ unions with chief minister Amarinder Singh. P5 Comedian Bharti Singh arrested in drug case: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Saturday arrested comedian Bharti Singh following seizure of ganja (cannabis) from her house in suburban Andheri, an official said. The NCB searched Singh's house and office in the morning as part of its probe into alleged drug use in the Hindi film industry. A central agency team carried out a search at Singh's residence at Lokhandwala Complex as well as her production house based on a tip-off. It recovered 86.5 grams of ganja during the search. GANDHINAGAR, 21 NOVEMBER MODI SETS ENERGY TARGETS rime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the country was moving forward with the goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 30 to 35 per cent. He also said that efforts were on to increase the use of natural gas by four times in this decade and to double the oil refining capacity in the next five years. The Prime Minister said this while addressing the eighth convocation of Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU) here via video conference. “Today, the country is moving forward with the goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 30 to 35 per cent. When I told this to the world, it expressed surprise and wondered if India could achieve this.” “Our effort is to increase the share of natural gas in our energy needs by four times in this decade. Work is also on to nearly double the oil refining capacity in the coming five years,” he added. He also expressed confidence that the country will achieve its renewable energy generation target “before time”. “Today, per unit cost (of solar power) has come down to less than Rs 2 from Rs 12-13 earlier. Today, solar power has become the country’s priority. We have made a commitment to generate 175 gigawatt renewable energy and I am confident that we will P Increase the share of natural gas in meeting India’s energy needs by four times in this decade and double oil refining capacity in the coming five years Commitment to generate 175 gigawatt in renewable energy before 2022 Work is underway to strengthen the startups ecosystem related to the energy security sector, and a special fund has been allocated for the purpose achieve this before 2022,” he said. “Also, our renewable energy target of 450 gigawatt by 2030, a big aim, will be achieved before time...I am confident of that,” he said. Modi said that the oil and gas sector will see an investment of crores of rupees in this decade, which will create opportunities for the graduating students of the university in the fields of research, manufacturing and others. He also said that work is underway to strengthen the start-ups ecosystem related to the energy security sector, and a special fund has been allocated for the purpose. “If you have any idea, product or any concept which you want to incubate, then this fund will be a good opportunity for you, and a gift from the government,” he said. The PM said that despite the hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the graduating students should remember that their strength and capacities are much bigger than the challenges, and asked them not to lose confidence. “What is more important than problems is your purpose, preference and your commitment. This is not that you are facing a challenge for the first time in your life, or that this is the last challenge. It is not the case that a successful person does not have problems. But those who accept the challenges and defeat them are the ones who succeed,” he said. Covid pandemic biggest challenge since WWII The Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge the world is facing since World War-II and is an important turning point in the history of humanity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the G20 summit on Saturday, as he offered India's IT prowess for efficient functioning of the grouping. Modi also said that “Work from Anywhere” is a new normal in the postCOVID world and suggested creation of a virtual G20 secretariat. The prime minister also suggested developing a new global index for the post-corona world that comprises four key elements -- creation of a vast talent pool, ensuring that technology reaches all segments of society, transparency in systems of governance and dealing with Mother Earth with a spirit of trusteeship. Based on this, the G20 can lay the foundation of a new world, he said. Saudi Arabia's King Salman opened the Group of 20 summit as the coronavirus pandemic overshadows this year's gathering of heads of state that is being held in the virtual format. India is scheduled to host the G20 summit in 2022. “Had a very fruitful discussion with G20 leaders. Coordinated efforts by the largest economies of the world will surely lead to faster recovery from this pandemic. Thanked Saudi Arabia for hosting the Virtual Summit,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted. “Transparency in our processes helps in inspiring our societies to fight crisis collectively and with confidence. Spirit of trusteeship towards planet Earth will inspire us for a healthy and holistic lifestyle,” he said. Cumulative Covid-19 positivity rate falling steadily SNS & PTI new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. The number of active cases remained below five lakh for the eleventh consecutive day. There are 4,39,747 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country as on date, which comprises 4.86 per cent of the total caseload, as per the data. NEW DELHI, 12 NOVEMBER The total number of tests conducted in India for the detection of Covid-19 infection has crossed the 13-crore mark with last one crore done in just 10 days, while the cumulative positivity rate remained low and continues a downward trajectory, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), over 13.06 crore samples have been tested till 20 November with 10,66,022 being tested on Friday. The cumulative national Covid-19 positivity rate has declined and stood at 6.93 per cent as on date while the daily positivity rate on Friday was just 4.34 per cent. Higher volumes of testing eventually lead to low positivity rate, the ministry said. India’s Covid-19 caseload rose to 90.50 lakh, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to over 84.78 lakh pushing the national recovery rate to 93.67 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data on Saturday. The total coronavirus cases mounted to 90,50,597 with 46,232 infections being reported in a day, while the death toll climbed to 1,32,726 with 564 Private hospitals charging heavy fees: Parl panel on Covid report PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 21 NOVEMBER Amidst rising Covid-19 cases, inadequate beds in government hospitals and absence of specific guidelines for Covid treatment resulted in private hospitals charging exorbitant fees, a parliamentary panel on Saturday said, asserting that a sustainable pricing model could have averted many deaths. Chairperson of the parliamentary standing committee on health Ram Gopal Yadav submitted the report on ‘Outbreak of Pandemic Covid19 and its Management’, to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. This is the first report by any parliamentary committee on the government’s han- P12 India aims to reduce Stop border terrorism: C-footprint by 35 p.c India tells off Pakistan PM confident of achieving renewable energy generation target before 2030 Min. 66 % GODIN AMONG 16 URUGUAY TEAM VIRUS VICTIMS CONGRESS MUST REINVENT ITSELF Bengal Covid tally 4.5 lakh: West Bengal today recorded 3,639 fresh Covid cases and 53 deaths due to the infection. Till now, 4,52,770 people have been detected Covid positive, 7,976 died and 4,19,403 recovered of which 3,794 patients were discharged from hospitals in a single day taking the discharge rate to 92.63 per cent. Currently, there are 25,391 active cases in the state while the positivity rate is 8.26 per cent and samples of 44,208 people were tested for the virus today. 90,50,597 4,39,747 46,232 49,715 1,32,726 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 21 NOVEMBER 2020 dling of the Covid-19 pandemic. Underlining that healthcare spending in the country with a population of 1.3 billion is “abysmally low”, the panel said fragility of Indian health ecosystem posed a big hurdle in generating an effective response against the pandemic. “The committee strongly recommends the government to increase its investments in the public healthcare system and make consistent efforts to achieve the National Health Policy targets of expenditure up to 2.5 per cent of GDP within two years as the set time frame of year 2025 is far away and the public health cannot be jeopardised till that time schedule,” the report stated. The National Health Policy 2017 has set a target of government expenditure on healthcare up to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2025 from just 1.15 per cent in 2017. Stating that the public had to undergo distress due to absence of a dedicated healthcare system, the committee observed the number of government hospital beds were not adequate to handle the rising number of Covid and non-Covid patients. NEW DELHI, 21 NOVEMBER India today conveyed to Pakistan its strong concern over the terror attack that was planned by Pakistanbased Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists who were killed in an encounter with the security forces at Nagrota in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. India demanded that the neighbouring country desist from its policy of supporting terrorists and terror groups and dismantle the terror infrastructure being used to launch attacks in other nations. The Charge d’affaires of the Pakistan High Commission was summoned to the foreign office to register India’s strong protest over the attempted attack, which was prevented due to the alertness of Indian security forces. “India reiterated its long standing demand that Pakistan fulfill its international obligations and bilateral commitments to not allow any territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India in any manner,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a Press statement. It was made clear to the Pakistani diplomat that the Government of India was firmly and resolutely committed to take all necessary measures to safeguard its national security in the fight against terrorism. New Delhi expressed serious concerns at continued terror against India by JeM, a terrorist organisation proscribed by the United Nations and several countries. It was pointed out to the Pakistani diplomat that the terror outfit has been part of several attacks, including the Pulwama Security excuse being used to hinder democracy: Farooq attack in February 2019. The huge cache of arms, ammunition and explosive material recovered indicated detailed planning for a major attack to destabilise the peace and security in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly to derail the ongoing local District Development Council elections. Four terrorists were gunned down by the security forces in the encounter at a toll plaza near Nagrota. The operation by the security forces was based on intelligence reports suggesting that the terrorists from across the border planned a major attack on the anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attack. PM Modi had yesterday held a review meeting with Home minister Amit Shah, NSA Ajit Doval and top officials to review the security situation in the wake of the Nagrota encounter. 1 soldier dead, another injured in cross-border firing in J&K JAMMU, 21 NOVEMBER PRESS TRUST OF INDIA SRINAGAR, 21 NOVEMBER Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and president of newly cobbled up People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) Farooq Abdullah on Saturday objected to the treatment meted out to the amalgam candidates, saying security is being used as a pretext to impede and customize democracy in the Union territory. In a two-page letter to J-K Election Commissioner K K Sharma, Abdullah, who is at present a Lok Sabha member from Srinagar, said providing security to a select few and literally interning the rest is a gross interference in democracy. “I am taking the liberty of writing to you about the upcoming DDC elections. A strange and a unique feature has come to the fore. Candidates put up by the PAGD are immediately whisked away to ‘secure locations’ in the name of security and confined to those ‘secure locations’. They are not allowed to canvass, they are completely out of touch with those from whom they are supposed to seek votes,” Abdullah said in the letter. He said the parties part of the PAGD have been in power in the past and have had the opportunity to head and run the government and are aware of the challenges posed in the realm of security in a place beset by violence. “These challenges are not new, but have been painfully persisting for the last three decades. But, the government had structures in place which ensured security for all contestants irrespective of the ideology they espoused or the parties they represented,” he said. Asserting that the evolution of democracy in Jammu and Kashmir is distinctive compared to any other part of the country, Abdullah said this evolution is a “bloodied journey”, soaked in the blood of thousands of political workers who have laid down their lives for the sake of democracy. The PAGD president’s letter to the State Election Commissioner comes in the backdrop of allegations of major valley political parties, like NC and PDP , of not having a level-playing field for the elections. A havaldar in the Indian Army was killed on Saturday in unprovoked firing by Pakistan on forward posts and villages in two sectors along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. The casualty comes barely a week after multiple ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the LoC in north Kashmir left 11 people, including five security personnel, dead on 13 November. Havaldar Patil Sangram Shivaji, who was manning a forward post, was critically injured in the Pakistani firing in the Lam area of Rajouri district’s Nowshera sector around 1 a.m and later succumbed to the injuries, the officials said. Another soldier also sustained injuries and is currently undergoing treatment at a military hospital, they said. The officials said the Indian Army retaliated effectively to silence the Pakistani guns, and the cross-border firing between the two sides continued for quite some time. The general officer commanding of the Jammu-based White Knight Corps and all other ranks saluted the soldier and offered their condolences to his family. Rangers also resorted to unprovoked firing along the IB in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district. The firing on Satpal, Manyari, Ladwal and Karol Krishna border outpost areas started at 10 p.m. on Friday. PTI Covid impact on economy outweighs health challenge PRESS TRUST OF INDIA WASHINGTON, 21 NOVEMBER Underlining healthcare spending in a country with a population of 1.3 billion is ‘abysmally low’, the panel says fragility of health ecosystem posed a big hurdle in generating an effective response STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE The economic consequences of Covid-19 pandemic on South Asia are proving to be even greater than the healthcare challenges in the region, according to a report compiled by a top American think-tank. Titled “Nine Months of COVID-19: The Impact on South Asia”, the report released by the Hudson Institute thinktank on Friday, is co-authored by Husain Haqqani, former Pakistan ambassador to the US, and Aparna Pande and is an update to their 30-page report “Crisis from Kolkata to Kabul: Covid-19’s Impact on South Asia” published in May 2020. “The economic consequences of Covid-19 on South Asia are proving to be even greater than the healthcare “The economic consequences of Covid-19 on South Asia are proving to be even greater than the healthcare challenges in the region. Different South Asian countries have dealt with the pandemic in various ways, but the economic costs overall seem to be higher than the healthcare consequences” challenges in the region. Different South Asian countries have dealt with the pandemic in various ways, but the economic costs overall seem to be higher than the healthcare consequences,” said Haqqani. All these countries have poor healthcare infrastructure and are home to large num- bers of people living below the poverty line, setting the foundation for uphill battles when tackling health crises, he said. “In order to ensure a safe return to normal life and a resumption of economic activity, South Asian governments would benefit from focusing more on the development of human capital, Haqqani said. The report notes that after claiming that Pakistan had undergone a miracle in managing to curtail the spread of Covid-19 cases, the country is once again facing a rise in infection. “In addition, the last nine months have witnessed further curtailment of media and political opposition, an economy in crisis, and increasing role of the military,” it said. According to the report, in Sri Lanka too, the pandemic has worsened the debt crisis and tightened the grip of the Rajapaksha brothers on polity and society. With rising cases, Bangladesh is the second most severely hit economy and the pandemic has worsened income inequality, it said. Turning to Afghanistan, while the healthcare crisis is taking its toll, the Afghans are also suffering from the continued violent attacks by the Taliban and ISIS, it added. When it comes to India, the largest country in the region, the report notes that while the India-US relations “remain on an upward trajectory” with an economy that has slowed down drastically, and a clamping down on dissent within the country, “India’s democratic credentials face challenges.” The report points to China’s continued “attempts to deepen its strategic and economic ties with countries in the region”, warning that the “the global US-China peer competition will also play out in South Asia. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 1,349,700 people have died and there are over 56,270,000 confirmed cases across the world.
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.