WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 06 JANUARY 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR WHAT A BIDEN WH MIGHT MEAN FOR INDIA MODI GOVT HAS BLOOD ON ITS HANDS: JAKHAR P3 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Very light rain/drizzle. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 22 and 12 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 001.7 Mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 100% Min: 75% TEMPERATURE Max: 20.8°C (+1) SUN RISES 07:15 hrs MOON RISES 0:53 hrs Min:13.2°C (+6) SUN SETS 17:40 hrs MOON SETS 12:14 hrs THUMBNAILS A seer takes refuge at the Babughat transit camp, on his way to Gangasagar Mela, in Kolkata on Tuesday. IANS Sourav to be discharged today: BCCI chief and former Team India captain Sourav Ganguly will be discharged from hospital on Wednesday. Sourav, who underwent angioplasty following a mild heart attack, is now stable with no complaint of chest pain or breathing issues, noted cardiologist Dr Devi Shetty said on Tuesday, after monitoring the cricket icon's health. Ganguly was diagnosed with three blocked coronary arteries on Saturday, following which a stent was inserted in one to remove the blockage. New British High Commissioner to India: Alex Ellis, a British strategic expert, will take charge as the new UK High Commissioner to India, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) announced on Tuesday. The 53-year-old civil servant has been serving as Deputy National Security Adviser in the UK Cabinet Office for the government's Integrated Review on diplomacy, development and defence. GEORGIA DECISION DAY WITH SENATE MAJORITY AT STAKE P7 TOUR ENDS FOR RAHUL AFTER WRIST INJURY P10 P12 Vaccine rollout likely next week: Govt Healthcare and frontline workers need not register as their database has been populated on to Co-WIN vaccine delivery system PRESS TRUST OF INDIA No more bad blood: Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech will work together NEW DELHI, 5 JANUARY T he Health Ministry on Tuesday said it is prepared to roll out Covid-19 vaccine within 10 days from date of emergency use authorisation, which was issued on January 3, but noted that the final decision lies with the government. Addressing a press briefing, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said healthcare workers and frontline workers need not register themselves as their database has been populated on to the Co-WIN vaccine delivery management system in a bulk manner. “Based on the feedback of dry-run, the Health Ministry is ready to introduce Covid-19 vaccine within 10 days from date of emergency use authorisation,” he said. However, while responding to a question on rollout, Bhushan said the final decision will be taken by the government. The country's drugs regulator on Sunday granted restricted emergency use approval to OxfordAstraZeneca's Covishield and also to indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech. Bhushan said Co-WIN system is made in India and for the world, and whichever country wants to use it, the Indian government will actively help. NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul said an optimistic scenario is emerging with the pandemic situation in India consistently improving in terms of active cases and new deaths declining. “Let's hope this trend will Twenty more people have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2, taking the total number of such cases in the country to 58. The new cases have been identified at the National Institute of Virology Pune. continue. In terms of the new UK mutant issue, this mutation has entered this country and 71 have been isolated which shows our capacity to mount that kind of a scientific investigation. But at the same time we have not seen the emergence of any untoward cluster in the country as of now which is reassuring so far,” Paul said. On the two vaccines that have been granted approval for restricted emergency use by the DCGI, Paul reiterated that in granting this permission and authorisation all scientific and statutory requirements have been met and regulatory norms followed. While healthcare and frontline workers will not be required to register themselves, Bhushan said when they would come to the population priority group, there the provision of registration and editing of data would come. “Then the system electronically allows session STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE HYDERABAD, 5 JANUARY After initial apathy, Pune based Serum Institute of India (SII) and Hyderabadbased Bharat Biotech today jointly issued a statement pledging a smooth rollout of Covid-19 vaccines to India and the world. SII will roll out Covishield while Bharat Biotech has indigenously developed Covaxin. “Now that the two Covid-19 vaccines have been issued EUA (emergency use authorisation) in India, the focus is on manufacturing, supply and distribution such that people receive high quality,, safe and efficacious vaccines. Both our companies are fully engaged in this activity and consider it our duty to the nation and the world at large to ensure a smooth roll out of vaccine. Each of our companies continue their Covid-19 vaccines development activities as planned,” read the joint statement. Mr Adar Poonawala, the chief executive officer of SII and Dr Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech signed off the joint statement saying, “We are fully aware of the importance of vaccines for people and countries alike, we hereby communicate our joint pledge to provide global access for our Covid-19 vaccines.” The public spat had seen Mr Poonawala stat- ing that only three vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford) had proven efficacy and the rest were just safe like water. Dr Krishna Ella had hit back questioning the “lousy trial” in UK and asked “where is their Indian data?” Dr Ella had addressed the media after questions were raised about the lack of phase III clinical trials following the emergency use authorisation granted to it. Meanwhile, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) Hyderabad and Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTech) Chandigarh in a collaborative study concluded that corona virus can stay in air for some time. allocation...the beneficiary has been vaccinated this will also be digitally captured and he would be given this information digitally that when he has to come for the next dose. They will also get an acknowledgement, a unique health ID would also be generated,” he said. Bhushan said Co-WIN will have a provision that one can create a unique health ID and you can keep the acknowledgement in digi locker which is free or on your phone. “In case of an adverse event, to ensure its real time reporting there is a provision in Co-WIN vaccine delivery management system,” he said. Bhushan further said that Co-WIN has the facil- ity of automated session allocation, Aadhaar authentication to prevent malpractice, creation of Unique Health ID for willing beneficiaries, reporting and tracking of adverse events following immunisation, if any, SMSes in 12 languages to guide beneficiaries and vaccinators, QR code-based vaccination certificate issued after all doses, DigiLocker integrated for data retrieval and storing QR code-based certificate, 24x7 Helpline including IT professionals. Bhushan said of the total active Covid-19 cases presently, 43.96 per cent patients are in healthcare facilities, while 56.04 per cent are in home isolation. “India's cumulative Covid-19 positivity rate has declined to 5.87 per cent; last week positivity rate was recorded at 1.97 per cent. Overall burden on healthcare infrastructure in country on account of Covid-19 has declined appreciably,” he said. UK in tough new lock down: The UK entered a tough new stay-at-home lockdown on Tuesday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it has been both frustrating and alarming to see the speed with which the new variant of the coronavirus is spreading and declared that hospitals in the country are under more pressure from the deadly virus than at any time in the pandemic. India records lowest daily cases in over six months SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 5 JANUARY India recorded 16,375 new cases of coronavirus, the lowest in over six months, taking the country's Covid-19 caseload to 1,03,56,844, accordingto the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday. The death toll increased to 1,49,850 with 201new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 99,75,958, pushing the national recovery rate to 96.32 percent,while theCovid-19 case fatality ratestands at 1.45 per cent. The Covid-19 active caseload remained below 3 lakh for the 15thconsecutive day. There are 2,31,036 active coronavirus infections in the country which comprises 2.23 per cent of the total caseload,the data stated. India's Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7,30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29,90 lakh onNovember 20 andsurpassed theone-crore mark on December 19. According to the ICMR,17,65,31,997 samples have been tested up toJanuary 4 with 8,96,236 samples being tested on Monday. A total of 1,49,850 deathshave been reported so No infirmity in approvals, Central Vista Project gets SC nod Boris Johnson cancels R-Day visit PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 5 JANUARY The Centre's ambitious Central Vista Project, covering a 3-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate in Lutyens' Delhi, got the green signal on Tuesday from the Supreme Court which found no infirmity in grant of environment clearance and other permissions. The top court said it cannot jump to put a full stop on execution of policy matters and the courts cannot be called upon to govern. The Central Vista revamp, announced in September, 2019 envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with a seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs, that is to be constructed by August, 2022 when the country will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day. The common Central Secretariat is likely to be built by 2024 under the project. A three-judge bench head- POWER CORRIDOR The Central Vista is a grand redevelopment project for building ‘the power corridor of India’, having a new Parliament building, a common central secretariat and revamped three-km-long Rajpath, from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate. The new triangular parliament building is the centerpiece of the ` 20,000crore Central Vista project, and will have a seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs The project is set to be con- structed by August, 2022 when the country will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day The government had recently held the ground- breaking ceremony for the new parliament building, but had assured the court that no construction activity will be undertaken till the judgment was delivered. ed by Justice A M Khanwilkar, by 2:1 majority, held that the grant of environmental clearance and the notification for change in land use for construction of new Parliament building under the project was valid. We hold that there is no infirmity in the grant of: (a) No Objection' by the Central Vista Committee (CVC).Approval' by the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) as per the DUAC Act, 1973; and (c) Prior approval' by the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) under clause 1.12 of the Building Byelaws for Delhi, 2016, said Justice Khanwilkar, writing the judgement for himself and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari. Justice Sanjiv Khanna, the third judge on the bench, wrote a dissenting 179-page judgement on aspects relating to public participation in the decision-mak- ing process and on alleged failure on the part of the authorities in taking prior approval of the HCC for the project. Since I have reservations with the opinion expressed by my esteemed brother A.M. Khanwilkar, J. on the aspects of public participation on interpretation of the statutory provisions, failure to take prior approval of the Heritage Conservation Committee and the order passed by the Expert Appraisal Committee, I have penned down a separate dissenting judgment, Justice Khanna said. He concurred however with the majority verdict on the aspects of notice inviting Bid, award of consultancy and the order of the Urban Arts Commission, as a standalone and independent order. The majority 425-page judgement of Justice Khanwilkar dealt with several aspects and objections raised in as many as 10 petitions including the one filed by Rajeev Suri. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE LONDON, 5 JANUARY British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to express his regret for not being able to visit India as the chief guest for the Republic Day parade in view of the growing crisis in his country caused by the new strain of virus. A statement issued by Boris Johnson’s office said he told Modi that it was important for him to remain in the UK so that he could address the crisis. The UK recently imposed a nation-wide lockdown till mid-February to control the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country, especially after the emergence of the mutated strain. Qatar ruler lands in Saudi Arabia for summit to end blockade PRESS TRUST OF INDIA AL-ULA (SAUDI ARABIA), 5 JANUARY Qatar's ruling emir arrived in Saudi Arabia and was greeted with an embrace by the kingdom's crown prince on Tuesday, following an announcement that the kingdom would end its yearslong embargo on the tiny Gulf Arab state. The decision to open borders was the first major step toward ending the diplomatic crisis that has deeply divided US defense partners, frayed societal ties and torn apart a traditionally clubby alliance of Arab states. The arrival of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the kingdom's ancient desert city of Al- Ula was broadcast live on Saudi TV. He was seen descending from his plane and being greeted with a hug by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The emir is in Al-Ula for an annual summit of Gulf Arab leaders that is expected to produce a dtente between Qatar and four Arab states that have boycotted the country and cut transport and diplomatic links with it since mid-2017 over Doha's support for Islamist groups and warm ties with Iran. The diplomatic breakthrough comes after a final push by the outgoing Trump administration and fellow Gulf state Kuwait to mediate an end to the crisis. It wasn't until late Monday on the eve of the sum- mit and just ahead of Presidentelect Joe Biden's swearing in that the major step to ending the spat was announced. The timing was auspicious: Saudi Arabia may be seeking to both grant the Trump administration a final diplomatic win and remove stumbling blocs to building warm ties with the Biden administration, which is expected to take a firmer stance toward the kingdom. Qatar's only land border has been mostly closed since June mid-2017, when Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain launched a boycott of the small but influential Persian Gulf country. The Saudi border, which Qatar relied on for the import of dairy products, construction materials and other goods, opened briefly during the past three years to allow Qataris into Saudi Arabia to perform the Islamic hajj pilgrimage. It was unclear what concessions Qatar had made regarding a shift in its policies. The Qatari emir has only attended the Gulf Cooperation Council summit once when it was hosted by Kuwait since the boycott started. He sent an envoy to the following two summits, held in Saudi Arabia. While the Saudi decision to end the embargo marks a milestone toward resolving the spat, the path toward full reconciliation is far from guaranteed. The rift between Abu Dhabi and Doha has been deepest, with the UAE and Qatar at sharp ideological odds. The UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, tweeted Monday that his country was keen to restore Gulf unity but cautioned: We have more work to do.” The summit is expected to also see some form of dtente between Qatar and the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. The meet- ing in Al-Ula would traditionally be chaired by Saudi King Salman, though his son and heir, the crown prince, may instead lead it. Sheikh Tamim is expected to attend a signing ceremony with Prince Mohammed to declare a new page in relations. This year, Egypt's foreign minister is also attending the summit of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which comprises Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. The Saudi move toward reconciliation with Qatar comes just weeks after President Donald Trump's advisor and sonin-law, Jared Kushner, visited the kingdom and Qatar to secure an end to the rift. 1,03,56,844 2,31,036 16,375 29,091 1,49,850 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. TUESDAY 5 JANUARY 2021 far in the country. Delhi’s positivity rate drops to 0.55 pc: Delhi today recorded 442 fresh coronavirus infections (Covid-19) following 79,777 tests, with the positivity rate plummeting to 0.55 per cent, according to the Delhi government’s latest health bulletin. The national capital’s coronavirus caseload thus climbed to 6,27,698, the health bulletin said. The count of Covid-19 patients who got cured and were discharged from different healthcare facilities over the past 24 hours was 557, which raised the cumulative total of such recoveries in the city to 6,12,527, the bulletin (SEE P2) stated. Parliament’s Budget session from 29 Jan: CCPA NEW DELHI, 5 JANUARY Johnson hoped that he will able to visit India in the first half of 2021 and ahead of the UK’s G-7 Summit that Modi is due to attend as a guest. The two leaders underlined their commitment to their bilateral relationship and to continuing to build on the collaboration between the two countries. Sources in New Delhi said Modi conveyed to Johnson his understanding of the exceptional situation and hoped that the UK would overcome the Covid-19 challenge. The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) has recommended that the Budget session of Parliament commence from January 29 and conclude on April 8. According to the recommendation, while Part 1 of the Budget session would be held from January 29 to February 15, Part 2 would be from March 8 to April 8. President Ram Nath Kovind would address the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament on January 29 and the Union Budget wold be presented on February 1, sources said. All Covid-related protocols would be followed during the session, the PTI sources said. INDOMITABLE SPIRIT Farmers continue their protest against farm laws, at Ghazipur Border, in the Capital on Tuesday. SNS
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.