CMYK FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 22 JANUARY 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR CHINA SANCTIONS POMPEO, KEY TRUMP OFFICIALS P10 WEATHER Fog/mist in the morning and mainly clear sky later. Temperature most likely in the range of 27-14 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.93% TEMPERATURE Min. 26% Max: 27.4°C (1) Min: 15.0°C (1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 06:18 hrs 17:17 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 11:34 hrs --:-Full moon on 29 January THUMBNAILS Artists make graffiti on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at the National Library ahead of Netaji’s birth anniversary. In Kolkata on Thursday. IANS Army havaldar dead in Pak shelling: An Army havaldar, Nirmal Singh of 10 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles died on Thursday when Pakistani troops resorted to indiscriminate shelling at Indian positions along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Poonch district. An Army spokesman said that Havaldar Singh was critically injured and later succumbed to his injuries. The Indian Army responded strongly to the enemy fire. SC notice against web series Mirzapur: The Supreme Court sought responses from the Centre, Amazon Prime Video and Excel Entertainment Pvt Ltd on a plea which has alleged that web series Mirzapur has completely tarnished the historical and cultural image of the place by showing it as a city of goons. Twin suicide bombings rock central Baghdad: Twin suicide bombings ripped through a busy market in the Iraqi capital on Thursday, killing at least 32 people and wounding dozens. The rare suicide bombing attack hit the Bab alSharqi commercial area in central Baghdad P9 amidst heightened political tensions. SIRAJ HEADS STRAIGHT TO FATHER'S GRAVE THE PRE-INA NETAJI BOSE PROGNOSIS OF COVID P6 P7 P12 5 dead in SII fire; Elected representatives above 50 years to get Covid jabs in next round vaccine facility Vaccine hesitancy: Vardhan assures people on safety not hit, says CEO PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 21 JANUARY Fire occurred in under-construction building PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PUNE, 21 JANUARY ive persons died and nine were evacuated from a building in the Serum Institute of India’s Manjari premises here after a fire broke out at the facility on Thursday, police said. Covishield vaccine production won’t be hit due to the fire, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said. All of the deceased were construction workers whose bodies were recovered by fire brigade personnel from the fifth floor, police said. The Manjari facility is where the Covishield vaccine used in the nationwide inoculation drive against the pandemic is made. The building where the fire broke out is part of the under-construction site of the Serum facility and is one km from the Covishield manufacturing unit, sources said. “I would like to reassure all governments & the public that there would be no loss of #COVISHIELD production due to multiple production buildings that I had kept in reserve to deal with such contingencies at @SerumInstIndia,” Poonawalla tweeted. “We have just received some distressing updates; upon further investigation we have learnt that there has unfortunately been some loss of life at the incident. We are deeply saddened and offer our deepest condolences to the fam- F A view of the fire at the Serum Institute plant in Pune. IANS The Manjari facility is where the Covishield vaccine used in the nationwide inoculation drive against the pandemic is made I would like to reassure all governments & the public that there would be no loss of #COVISHIELD production due to multiple production buildings that I had kept in reserve to deal with such contingencies at @SerumInstIndia ADAR POONAWALLA SERUM INSTITUTE OF INDIA, CEO The building where the fire broke out is part of the under-construction site of the Serum facility and is one km from the Covishield manufacturing unit ily members of the departed. we will be offering a compensation of Rs 25 lakh to each of the families, in addition to the mandated amount as per the norms,” Poonawalla added. Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said the state government has ordered a probe into the blaze. The fire, which broke out at 2.45 p.m. on the fourth and fifth floors of the SEZ 3 building in the Serum Institute premises, was brought under control in two hours, police said. Deputy Commissioner of Police Namrata Patil said that nine people were evacuated from the spot after the fire broke out. Viral visuals from the site showed smoke billowing out from the Serum Institute facility. Chief Fire Officer Prashant Ranpise said cooling work has commenced at the spot and the fire was brought under control around 4.30 p.m., he said. “The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. Furniture, wiring, cabins were gutted,” he said. “I have instructed officials to carry out a detailed probe into the fire,” Ajit Pawar said. “Anguished by the loss of lives due to an unfortunate fire at the @SerumInstIndia. my thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives,” PM Modi tweeted. Elected representatives above 50 years of age are likely to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in the second round of the ongoing inoculation drive after over three crore healthcare and frontline workers are vaccinated in the first round. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, most of his Cabinet ministers, including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah and Nitin Gadkari, a majority of chief ministers and top-rung leaders of all political parties besides MPs and MLAs fall in this category. A government source, however, insisted that there is no specific timeline for the vaccination of top politicians. The Prime Minister in his interaction with chief ministers before the nationwide rollout of the vaccination programme had asked politicians to not LOWDOWN PM Narendra Modi, most of his Cabinet ministers, including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah and Nitin Gadkari, a majority of chief ministers and top-rung leaders of all political parties besides MPs and MLAs expected to get vaccinated Modi had said the turn of those over 50 years besides those younger but living with comorbidities will come after first round of inoculation for healthcare workers jump queue as the first round of inoculation is meant for healthcare and frontline workers. Modi had also said that the turn of those over 50 years of age besides those younger but living with comorbidities will come after that, sources noted. Though the government has given no timeline, NEW DELHI, 21 JANUARY Vaccination against Covid19 will lead to people not transmitting the disease and its eradication in some time, Union Health minister Harsh Vardhan said today as he unveiled IEC posters to address the emerging issue of vaccine hesitancy. Commenting on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, he said, “The paradox is that countries across the globe are asking us for access to the vaccines, while a section of our own is fomenting misinformation and doubt for narrow politiModi had said on 11 January that 30 crore people, including those above 50 years of age, will be vacci- STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, 21 JANUARY India’s active caseload of coronavirus cases further contracted to 1.92 lakh, or just 1.81 per cent of total infections, even as 15,223 new coronavirus infections were reported in the last 24 hours, increasing the overall Covid tally to 1,06,10,883, health officials said. For the past 14 days, the country has been recording less than 20,000 daily new infections even as the death toll remained PRESS TRUST OF INDIA below the 300 mark for the past 24 days. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday said that with 151 fresh deaths, the overall toll in India stood at 1,52,869. As per the Ministry’s data, 1,02,65,706 people have recovered so far and currently there are 1,92,308 active cases. The recovery rate stands at 96.70 per cent. The number of people who have tested positive for the UK variant of Covid-19 in India has climbed to 145, the Union Health Ministry said. A full repeal of the three central farm acts and enacting a legislation for remunerative MSP for all farmers were reiterated as the pending demands of the farmers’ movement NEW DELHI, 21 JANUARY MUMBAI, 21 JANUARY The BSE Sensex scaled the 50,000-mark for the first time today on growth optimism and global cues, but succumbed to profit-booking in fag-end trade to finish in the red.Weighed by selling in banking, finance and IT counters, the 30-share BSE index ended 167.36 points or 0.34 per cent lower at 49,624.76 points. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty slipped 54.35 points or 0.37 per cent to close at 14,590.35 points. ONGC was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 4 per cent, followed by Bharti Airtel, State Bank of India, IndusInd Bank, NTPC, Sun Pharma and ITC. On the other hand, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Auto, Reliance Industries (RIL), Bajaj Finserv and Asian Paints were among the gainers, climbing up to 2.72 per cent. Market heavyweight RIL spurted 2.09 per cent after stock exchanges cleared Future Retail's Rs 24,713crore deal to sell its retail assets to the billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate, with certain riders. “Sensex at 50,000 is great news not only for the market and investors but for the economy also. Markets are barometers of the economy with the potential to discount the future. If this is true, the Indian economy is on a strong recovery path. If the recovery in growth and corporate earnings, currently underway in India, gathers momentum, the markets may further surprise on the upside. “But it is important to appreciate that the market is overvalued from the shortterm perspective. At high levels, the market is vulnerable to a correction. Investors can utilise the current euphoria to get rid of low-grade stocks from the portfolio,” said V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services. Sector-wise, the BSE telecom, realty, metal and healthcare indices lost up to 2.64 per cent, while consumer durables, energy and capital goods finished higher. Global markets ticked higher after Joe Biden was sworn in as the US President. Protesting farmer unions on Thursday rejected the government’s proposal to suspend the three contentious farm laws for 18 months and set up a joint committee to find an amicable solution to end the deadlock. This was announced by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of protesting unions leading protests at several Delhi border points. “In a full general body meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha today, the proposal put forth by the government yesterday, was rejected," a statement from the SKM said. A full repeal of the three central farm acts and enacting a legislation for remunerative MSP for all farmers were reiterated as the pending demands of the movement, the state- ment said. During the tenth round of negotiations on Wednesday, the government proposed to suspend the three contentious farm laws for 1-1.5 years and set up a joint committee to find an amicable solution in the interest of the farming community. With the two sides slated to meet again on Friday, leaders of the protesting farmer unions held a marathon meeting at the Singhu border to discuss the Centre’s proposals. Day One: Biden begins work to de-Trump USA PRESS TRUST OF INDIA WASHINGTON, 21 JANUARY On day one in office, US President Joe Biden has signed 15 executive orders, reversing some of the key foreign policies and national security decisions of his predecessor Donald Trump. The executive orders ranged from rejoining the Paris agreement on climate change, halting America's withdrawal from the World Health Organisation, revoking Muslim travel ban and stopping immediate construction of Mexico border wall. I'm proud of today’s executive actions, and I’m going to start by keeping the promises I made to the American people. A long way to go. These are just executive actions. They are important, but we’re going to need legislation for a lot of the things we’re going to do, Biden told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House as he signed the first lot of executive orders on Wednesday. The president said he will be signing a number of executive orders over the next several days of the week. “And I’m going to start today on the compounding crisis of Covid, along with the economic crisis following that, and climate crisis, racial equity issues, he said. His first executive order was launching his 100-day masking challenge, asking Americans to mask up for 100 days. Addressing her maiden POLICY REVERSALS Rejoining the Paris agreement on climate change Halting America's withdrawal from the World Health Organisation Revoking Muslim travel ban Stopping immediately construction of Mexico border wall news conference on Wednesday, Psaki said Biden has signed 15 executive orders and two other directives. The president signed an executive order reversing Trump’s decision to withdraw from the World Health Organisation, she said. “This will strengthen our own efforts to get the (coronavirus) pandemic under control by improving global health, and tomorrow we are not wasting any time, she said. Biden also officially appointed a Covid-19 response coordinator, a position and team that he had already previously announced but made it official today to create a unified national response to the pandemic. He re-established the national security team responsible for global health, security and bio-defence. The pandemic has also increased the hardships of millions of Americans who owe federal student loans. In response, the president asked the education department to extend the pause on student loan payments and interest, she said. He (Biden) rejoined the Paris climate agreement putting the United States back in a position to exercise global leadership in advancing the objectives of the ambitious agreement, Psaki said. CMYK nated in the next few months. The vaccination programme was launched by him on 16 January. 15,223 new cases, 151 deaths Bengal records 416 new infections: Bengal today registered 416 fresh Covid-19 cases, while there were 9 deaths linked to the infection. The state’s total Covid case count stands at 5,66,898 while the death toll has reached 10,089. There are altogether 6,565 active cases. Kolkata recorded 97 cases and 4 deaths and North 24-Parganas 110 fresh cases and 3 deaths. In the last 24 hours, 517 patients were discharged taking the number of recovered patients to 5,50,244. Sensex breaches 50k-mark, Farmer unions reject govt’s proposal: SKM ends lower on profit-booking PRESS TRUST OF INDIA cal ends.” More than eight lakh healthcare workers were vaccinated against Covid-19 in the country till 7 am on Thursday. Vardhan reminded everyone of the achievements of India which is seeing a steady decline in the number of active coronavirus cases. “The elimination of polio and small pox was made possible by largescale immunisation. Once immunised, not only that person is not capable of catching the disease, he or she is also unable to transmit the disease to others, thus passing on PTI the social benefit. A farmer leader said that the Morcha started its meeting around 2.30 p.m. on Thursday and lasted till late evening. “The SKM pays homage to the 143 farmers who have been martyred in this movement so far. These companions are separated from us while fighting this mass movement. Their sacrifice will not go in vain and we will not go back without the repealing of these farm laws,” the statement issued by the SKM after the meeting said. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court-appointed panel on the new agri laws started its consultation process on Thursday and interacted with 10 farmer organisations from eight states, including Uttar Pradesh. The apex court had on 11 January stayed the implementation of the three laws, against which farmers are protesting for two months now, till further orders and appointed a four-member panel to resolve the impasse. Earlier in the day, the meeting between protesting unions and police over the 26 January tractor rally remained inconclusive as the farmers stuck to their demand to take it out on Delhi’s busy Outer Ring Road. “We will carry out our parade peacefully inside Delhi. They wanted us to hold tractor rally outside Delhi, which is not possible,” said Swaraj Abhiyan leaderYogendraYadav. India to conduct large-scale military exercise next week STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 21 JANUARY Amidst its ongoing military stand-off with China in eastern Ladakh, India will conduct a large-scale joint military drill, called ‘Exercise Kavach’, involving assets of the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and the Indian Coast Guard, next week under the aegis of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), the only joint forces command of the country. The exercise would involve participation and deployment of elements of the Army’s Amphibious Brigade along with supporting forces including special forces of the Navy, armour/mechanised components, Naval Ships comprising destroyers, ASW corvettes and landing ships with ship-borne helicopters of Eastern Naval Command and ANC, Jaguar maritime strike and transport aircraft from the Indian Air Force and assets of the Coast Guard, the Defence Ministry said today. The joint force would execute multi-domain, high intensity offensive and defensive manoeuvres in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal and carry out amphibious landing operations, air-landed operation, helicopters-borne insertion of special forces from sea culminating in tactical followon operations on land, according to the Ministry. 1,06,10,883 1,92,308 15,223 19,965 1,52,869 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. THURSDAY 21 JANUARY 2021 ‘Own territory’: China on report of building village in Arunachal BEIJING, 21 JANUARY China’s development and construction activities “within its own territory” is “normal” and beyond reproach, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said here on Thursday, reacting to a report about China building a new village in Arunachal Pradesh. “China’s position on the Zangnan region (South Tibet) is consistent and clear. We never recognised the so-called Arunachal Pradesh,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing while responding to a question. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet, while India’s consistent stand has been that the northeastern state is an integral and inalienable part of the country. Hua said China’s development and construction activities “within our own territory is normal.” “This is beyond reproach as it is in our territory,” Hua added. In a report, NDTV news channel showed two images of the area in Arunachal Pradesh where it said a new village has been set up by China and it consisted of about 101 homes. According to the channel, the first image dated 26 August, 2019 did not show any human habitation but the second one of November 2020 shows a row of structures. In a cautious reaction to the report, India on Monday said it keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on the country’s security, and takes necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The IndiaChina border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual PTI Control (LAC).
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.