CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 03 FEBRUARY 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 BUILD BRIDGES, NOT WALLS: RAHUL TO CENTRE NAVALNY FACES COURT THAT MAY JAIL HIM FOR YEARS P10 Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature most likely to be around 25 °C and 12 °C respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE P5 AUSTRALIA OUT OF WTC FINAL CONTENTION P8 P12 India’s caseload lowest in eight months WEATHER Max. 99 % INITIAL PUBLIC OFFER OF LIC AFTER OCTOBER Min. 31 % Max: 25.0 °C (-2) Min: 11.5 °C (-4) SUN RISES SUN SETS 06:15 hrs 17:26 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 21:59 hrs 09:30 hrs Next moon quarter on 04 February THUMBNAILS Indian Air Forces aerobatic team Suryakiran performs during a rehearsal ahead of AERO India 2021 at Yelahanka Airbase, in Bengaluru on Tuesday. IANS CBSE board exams to begin on 4 May: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced on Tuesday the schedule for classes 10 and 12 board exams which will begin on 4 May. The exams for class 10 will conclude on 7 June, while those for class 12 will end on 11 June. The exams for class 12 will be conducted in two shifts to reduce the number of exam days. Over 34 lakh students have registered this year for classes 10 and 12 examinations. Franklin Templeton to pay ` 9122 cr: The Supreme Court ordered the payment of ` 9,122 crore within 20 days to investors of six Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund Schemes shut down last year during the lockdown. The Supreme Court directed SBI Mutual Funds to distribute the amount among unit holders of the US-based company. The directions came on an appeal by Franklin Templeton. In another significant development, country has reported less than 100 daily deaths, lowest in eight-and-half months SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY ndia’s daily coronavirus cases dropped below 9,000 after eight months as 8,635 new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, sources in Union Ministry of Health said here on Tuesday. The number of daily deaths reported were less than 100, lowest in 8.5 months. The country's Covid-19 tally has gone up to 1,07,66,245 and the death toll increased to 1,54,486 with 94 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. According to the Union Health Ministry, after reaching a high of 95,735 on September10 in 2020, the daily new cases have dropped to8,635on Tuesday, the lowest in eight months. India's average daily new cases also show a clear downward slip in the last five weeks. While it was 18,934 in December 30, 2020Jan 5, 2021 period, the average daily new cases have reduced to 12,772 in the Jan 27 -Feb 2 timeline, the ministry informed. “In another significant development, the country has reported less than 100 daily deaths in a span of 24 hours, the lowest in eightand-half months. Hundred deaths were recorded last on May 15, 2020,” the ministry said. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,04,48,406 pushing the national recovery rate to 97.05 per cent, while the Covid-19casefatality rate has dropped to 1.43per I 1,07,66,245 1,63,353 8,635 13,423 1,54,486 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. TUESDAY 2 FEB 2021 cent. The Covid-19 active caseload remained below two lakh for the 14th consecutive day. There are1,63,353 active coronavirus infections in the country which account for1.52 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated. India's Covid-19 tally had crossed 20 lakh on August 7; 30 lakh on August 23; 40 lakh on September 5; and50 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 on November 20; and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 19,77,52,057 samples have been tested up to February 1 with 6,59,422 samples being tested on Monday. The 94 new fatalities THE BENGAL STORY 56.13% Delhi’ites have antibodies against Covid PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Tuesday 56.13 percent of those covered under the latest serological survey in the city in January have developed antibodies against coronavirus. The minister also said Delhi was “moving towards herd immunity, but only experts will be able to give a clear picture”. The fifth sero survey, the largest in the country so far, was conducted from January 15 to January 23, he said. At 62.18 percent, Southwest Delhi district reportinclude 27 from Maharashtra, 17 from Kerala, seven from Tamil Nadu, six from West Bengal, five from Chhattisgarh, four each from Uttarakhand, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, and three each from Delhi, Karnataka and Puducherry. A total of 1,54,486 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 51,109from Maharashtra, 12,363 from Tamil Nadu, 12,220 from Karnataka, 10,856 from Delhi, 10,179 from West Bengal, 8,662 from Uttar Pradesh and 7,154 from Andhra Pradesh. The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths Delhi Health Minister said Delhi was “moving towards herd immunity. At 62.18 per cent, Southwest Delhi district reported maximum seroprevalence. ed maximum seroprevalence. North Delhi at 49.09 percent recorded the lowest, Jain said. “A new, better technology was used during the survey. Samples were collected from every ward. In all, 28,000 samples were taken,” a senior official said. occurred due to comorbidities. “Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification. Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry has decided to depute two multi-disciplinary teams to Kerala and Maharashtra, which are contributing to almost 70 per cent of total Covid19 active cases, to collaborate with state health authorities in instituting public health measures for virus management. At a time when almost all states and union territories are showing a declin- The minister said the number of cases, fatalities and hospital admissions have declined significantly, but insisted that people should continue use masks for a few more months and maintain “Covid-19-approriate behavior”. Jain said three major changes were incorporated during the latest survey. “We increased the sample size. Samples were collected on the basis of socio-economic conditions. A new, more sensitive kit was used and the testing was conducted at Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences,” he said. ing trend in the number of cases and deaths due to Covid-19, Kerala and Maharashtra continue to report a large number of cases, the ministry said. The Central team to Maharashtra comprises experts drawn from National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and RML Hospital, New Delhi. The Kerala team shall comprise senior officials from the Ministry of Healthalong with experts from Regional Office of Health and Family Welfare, Thiruvananthapuram and Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi. The teams shall work closely with the state health departments, take stock of STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA,2 FEBRUARY Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee today announced that classes IX, X, XI and XII of state-run schools would reopen from 12 February after a year-long-closure. The departments of school education and higher education have asked school authorities to sanitise the classrooms and washrooms before classes resume. On reopening of schools for juniors, he said, “We have to wait for some more days. We need to hold meeting with the guardians before allowing junior students to school.” Asked about Trinamul turncoat Rajib Banerjee’s comment on para teachers, Mr Chatterjee said, “Earlier he was a forest minister and now he is commenting on education. Para teacher posts were created by the Left Front government on ground situations and recommend necessary public health interventions Furore over farm laws rocks Parliament; Houses adjourned NIA to probe Israel SNS&PTI NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY The issue of ongoing farmer agitation against three farm laws rocked the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, resulting in repeated disruptions and forcing Speaker Om Birla to adjourn the House for the day. When the House reassembled after initial adjournments at 7 p.m., Birla asked BJP member Locket Chatterjee to initiate the discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the president's address amid sloganeering by the opposition members. After repeated appeals by the speaker and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi failed to calm the agitated members, Birla adjourned the House for the day. Earlier, the proceedings of the House were adjourned for about an hour till 7 pm after opposition members disrupted the Question Hour to press for repeal of the farm laws. As soon as the proceedings started, opposition members from parties including the Congress, DMK and the Trinamool Congress trooped into the Well of the House, raising slogans demanding the repeal of the three “black” laws. Members from the Shiv Sena were seen raising slogans from the aisles. Former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal was also seen holding a poster demanding the repeal of the contentious agriculture legislation. Similar scenes were witnessed in Rajya Sabha, which was adjourned for the day on without transacting substantial business as Congress and other opposition members created an uproar demanding discussion on the issue of farmers' protest over the three new farm Bills. The House was first adjourned for about 40 minutes till 10:30 am, then till 11:30 am and then to 12:30 pm. When the House re-assembled at 12:30 pm, protesting members again trooped in the Well raising slogans, forcing Deputy Chairman Harivansh to adjourn proceedings for the day. Before adjourning the House, the Deputy Chairman appealed to members to return to their seats and follow Covid19 protocols. However, they did not heed to his requests. The government on Tuesday asserted in Lok Sabha that it was ready to discuss issues related to farmers both inside and outside Parliament amid vociferous protests by the Opposition. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said during Zero Hour, which began at 5 pm, that the Modi government is always committed to discussing the farmer's issues. Tomar's reply came after Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed that 170 farmers have died during the ongoing agitation against the three contentious farm laws. Details on Pg 5 No decision on pan India NRC roll-out NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY The Centre has not taken any decision on the rollout of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for the whole country, the Ministry of Home Affairs has told a parliamentary panel. “It has been clarified at various levels in government time and again that till now no decision has been taken to create a National Register of Indian citizen,” the ministry told the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs headed by Congress leader Anand Sharma, according to a report tabled in ParliaPTI ment on Tuesday. embassy blast case INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY Four days after a crude bomb went off near the Embassy of Israel on Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road in the national capital, sending security establishments into a tizzy, the Centre on Tuesday handed over the investigation to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). As the NIA has expertise in terror related cases, it would begin the probe soon after receiving the official order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the nodal Ministry responsible to ensure foolproof internal security across the country. The case is being currently handled by the Delhi Police. Ministry sources said that the order has been issued while the NIA said it would start the investigation after receiving formal instructions. The development followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's telephonic conversation with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday. In the conversation, Modi had conveyed his strong condemnation of the terror attack near the Israeli Embassy and assured Netanyahu that India accords the highest importance to the safety and security of Israeli diplomats and premises and would deploy all its resources to find and punish the perpetrators. The bomb blast took place on Friday around 5 p.m., shattering the windscreens of three cars on the road even as the Beating Retreat ceremony was going on a few kilometres away from the spot. However, no one was injured in the explosion, which took place on the 29th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Israel. Iron nails, barbed wires turn farmers’ protest sites into fortresses PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY With multi-layered barricading, iron nails on road, barbed wires, iron rods between cemented barriers and deployment of DTC buses and extra personnel on ground, the tremendous security cover at and near the farmers' protest locations have now become sites of unusual attraction. The strengthened security measures at the agitation sites across the borders come after the violence during the Republic day tractor parade by protesting farmers' in which 394 security personnel were injured. Even media persons cov- ering the agitation manage to reach the protest sites with difficulty as they first have to pass through checking and then cross multiple layers of barricading. A BKU office-bearer at Ghazipur border, which now resembles a highly-secured fortress, said despite the odds, supporters from far-off places are reaching the site to express solidarity with farmers. “Andolan to hota hi hai mushqil mein,aaraam se kaun sa andolan hota hai (A movement happens in adverse conditions only, it never happens in comfort),” BKU's Uttar Pradesh unit spokesperson Pawan Khatana said. He said so far supporters from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Barricade set up to tighten security during farmers’ ongoing protest at Ghazipur Border, in the Capital on Tuesday. SNS Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand have come to Ghazipur, while small groups of people from states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Bihar too have reached here. “But what does this security arrangement by the gov- ernment mean? Layers of barricading, iron nails on road, barbed wires all around us. Forget humans, nobody keeps even animals in this manner,” Khatana, also the BKU's Meerut Zone chief, said. At Singhu border, Delhi Police, along with paramilitary forces, are stationed in large numbers along with multilayered barricades. Palwinder Singh, a protesting farmer from Amritsar district in Punjab said the Internet ban was to disconnect the farmers from the public. “The government banned Internet and blocked the roads with concrete dividers so that the public would not get any information regarding the protest and no one would CMYK turn up here.We are facing issue of interest, however, food and water supply is as fine as earlier. The sanitation facility is also normal,” he said. Workers under the watch of police personnel on Monday were seen hooking iron rods between two rows of cement barriers on a flank of the main highway at the Singhu border to further restrict the movement of protesters agitating against the Centre's new farm laws at the site. Another portion of the highway at the Delhi-Haryana border is practically blocked now as a makeshift cement wall has come up there. Taking to Twitter, the Delhi Traffic Police alerted commuters about the closure of borders and suggested alternative roads for travel. Security has also been tightened at the DelhiGhazipur border, where protesting farmers are also camping for over two months. “Ghazipur border is closed. Traffic diverted from NH 24, NH 9, Road no 56, 57 A, Kondli, Paper market, Telco T point, EDM Mall, Akshardham & Nizammudin Khatta. Traffic is heavy on Vikas Marg, IP Extention, NH 24. Pl(ease) commute from other borders,” the Delhi Traffic Police tweeted. According to the police, Delhi-Ghazipur border remains closed for traffic due to the farmers' protests. with a very low pay band. We have increased their salaries, and made them permanent in phases. We have trained them too.” The minister said more than 2 lakh applicants have appeared for the TET examination held on 31January, while 16,500 teachers were given fresh appointments. “We are however unable to give employment to more than two lakh candidates because of the ongoing court cases,” said Partha. Meanwhile, Bengal today registered 203 fresh Covid cases and 9 deaths due to infection. The total Covid case count is 5,70,380 and death toll is 10,188 in the state till now while there are 5,305 active cases. Kolkata recorded 56 cases and 1 death and North 24 Parganas clocked 54 fresh Covid cases and 4 deaths. In the last 24 hours, 309 patients were discharged taking the number of recovered patients to 5,54,887. to contain the large number of cases being reported, the ministry said. Amid Myanmar unrest, Indian embassy issues travel advisory NEW DELHI, 2 FEBRUARY Amid unrest in Myanmar following the military coup, India today asked its citizens in the South-East Asian nation to take due precautions and avoid unnecessary travel. “In view of the recent developments in Myanmar, all Indian citizens are required to take due precautions and avoid unnecessary travel,” an advisory issued by the Indian Embassy in Yangon said. Ethnic Indians are estimated to account for about two per cent (about 950,000) of the population of Myanmar and are concentrated largely in the two major cities (Yangon and Mandalay) and former colonial towns (Pyin U Lwin and Kalaw). Security, meanwhile, has been tightened across the India-Myanmar border where the military seized power yesterday and detained Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratically elected leaders. Myanmar shares a long land border of over 1600 Km with India as well as a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. Four North-Eastern states, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, share international boundary with Myanmar. India reacted sharply to the developments in Myanmar, saying the rule of law and democratic process must be upheld in the neighbouring country. “We have noted the developments in Myanmar with deep concern. India has always been steadfast in its support to the process of democratic transition in Myanmar....We are monitoring the situation closely,” the Ministry of External Affairs SNS (MEA) said.
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.