MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 29 MARCH 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ‘BJP WILL WIN OVER 200 SEATS IN BENGAL POLLS’ STATUS QUO AMID RISE IN CASES’ P5 P4 STIMAC READY TO EXPERIMENT AGAIN ‘RBI LIKELY TO MAINTAIN ‘TN CM TRAPPED AS HE IS CORRUPT’ P8 P12 Modernisation need of Covid: India logs hour in agri sector: PM 62,714 new cases Be ready for lockdown: Uddhav Modi also hails the world's largest vaccination drive underway in India SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 28 MARCH M WEATHER Mainly clear sky. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 38 and 19 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 85% Min: 27% TEMPERATURE Max: 37.3°C (+5) SUN RISES 06:13 hrs MOON RISES 19:23 hrs Min: 17.8°C (0) SUN SETS 18:37 hrs MOON SETS 07:22 hrs THUMBNAILS Devotees take part in a puja following ‘Holika SNS Dahan’, in the Capital on Sunday. India beat England to clinch ODI series: India held their nerve in face of Sam Curran's resolve to beat England by seven runs in a dramatic third and final ODI to clinch the series 2-1 in Pune on Sunday. Put in to bat, India were all out for 329 in 48.2 overs with Shikhar Dhawan (67), Rishabh Pant (78) and Hardik Pandya (64) hitting half centuries. Curran (95 not out off 83 balls) singlehandedly kept England in the hunt but in the end could not score 13 runs needed in the final over. P12 England ended at 322 for 9 in 50 overs. India,US begin two-day naval exercise odernisation in the agriculture sector is the need of the hour as already a lot of time has been lost, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday. In his monthly Mann Ki Baat radio address, Modi also hailed the world's largest vaccination programme being carried out in India against the COVID-19 and stressed on “dawai bhi, kadai bhi” (medicines as well as strict preventive measures). He hailed the 'taali-thaali' campaign and lighting of diyas last year, saying it had touched the hearts of 'corona warriors'. “That is the very reason they resolutely held on the whole year, without tiring, without halting. Steadfastly, they endured to save the life of every citizen of the country,” Modi said. Asserting that adopting modern practices in the agriculture sector is imperative, he said in every aspect of life, newness and modernisation are essential. “In India's agriculture sector, modernisation is the need of the hour. It has been delayed and we have already lost a lot of time,” the prime minister said in his 75th episode of Mann Ki Baat. “To create new employment opportunities in agriculture, to increase farmers' income, it is equally important to adopt new alternatives and innovations along with traditional agricultural practices,” he said. The country has wit- nessed this during the white revolution and bee farming is also emerging as one such alternative, he said. The prime minister's call for embracing modern practices in agriculture comes at a time when hundreds of farmers have been camping at Delhi's border points at Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri since November last year demanding that the Centre repeal the three contentious farm laws. The government has maintained that these reform laws will boost farmers' income by bringing investment, modern practices and allow them to sell their produce anywhere across the country at the best prices. Noting that bee farming is becoming the foundation of a honey revolution or sweet revolution in the country, Modi said farmers in large numbers are associating with it. The natural organic honey of the Sundarbans areas of West Bengal is in great demand in the country and the world, he said. Modi also cited the examples of Banaskantha, Gujarat and Yamuna Nagar, Haryana, where farmers have taken to bee farming and increased their income. “Honey bee farming does not lead to income solely from honey, but bee wax is also a very big source of income. There is demand for bee wax in everything pharmaceuticals, food, textile and cosmetic industries,” he said.“Our country currently imports bee wax, but our farmers are now rapidly transforming the situation that is, in a way contributing to the Atmanirbhar Bharat' campaign,” he said. During his radio broadcast, Modi also recalled that in March last year, the nation first heard about the Janata curfew. The Janata curfew was imposed on March 22 last year on the prime minister's appeal following the coronavirus outbreak. “From very early on, the people of India have put up a spirited fight against COVID-19,” he asserted. Noting that around this time last year, question was whether there would be a Covid vaccine and by when would it be rolled out, Modi said it is a matter of pride that the world's largest vaccination drive is underway in India. He urged the people to take the vaccine. “We are getting to hear such news from all corners of the country...that touch our hearts. 109-year-old elderly mother from Jaunpur UP, Ram Dulaiya ji has taken the vaccination. Similarly, 107-year-old Kewal Krishna ji in Delhi has taken the dose of the vaccine. 100year-old Jai Chaudhary from Hyderabad has taken the vaccine and it's an appeal to all to take the vaccine,” he said. “I am observing on Twitter -Facebook how after getting the vaccine for the elderly of their homes, people are uploading their pictures. A youth, Anandan Nair, from Kerala, in fact, has given a new term to this- Vaccine service',” he pointed out. Modi also said that India's 'Nari Shakti' is excelling in the sports field and lauded the recent sporting feats of cricketer Mithali Raj and shuttler P V Sindhu. Raj recently became the first Indian woman to complete 10,000 runs across formats while Sindhu finished runners-up at the Swiss Open earlier this month. The PM also spoke about the success of the Indian shooters in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup. MUMBAI, 28 MARCH STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 28 MARCH India registered whopping 62,714 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the highest singleday rise since October last year. The total nationwide tally, as per the Union Health Ministry, is 1,19,71,624 and active cases have increased to 4,86,310 comprising 4.06 per cent of the total infections. Around 312 people died due to the infection in the last 24 hours, the highest in the year. The country witnessed asteadyincreaseforthe18th day in a row, and now the recovery rate has further dropped to 94.58 per cent.The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,13,23,762, while the case fatality rate stood at 1.35 per cent, as per the Health Ministry data. The 62,714 new cases were reported in 24 hours, the highest since October 16, 2020, while the death toll increased to 1,61,552 with 312 daily new fatalities, the highest in around three months.The daily death toll of 312 is the highest since December 25, 2020, when 336 new deaths were reported. The fatalitiesinclude166fromMaharashtra, 45 from Punjab, 14 from Kerala, 13 from Chhattisgarh, and 10 from Delhi. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI,, 28 MARCH KANPUR, 28 MARCH India and the US on Sunday kicked off a two-day naval exercise in the eastern Indian Ocean Region, reflecting the growing congruence in their defence and military partnership. The Indian Navy deployed its warship Shivalik and longrange maritime patrol aircraft P8I in the 'PASSEX' exercise while the US Navy was represented by the USS Theodore Rosevelt carrier strike group, officials said. A carrier battle group or carrier strike group is a mega naval fleet comprising an aircraft carrier, accompanied by a large number of destroyers, frigates and other ships. Over 140 patients were rescued after a fire broke out at the staterun LPS Institute of Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery in Swaroop Nagar here on Sunday morning, the Uttar Pradesh government said. According to hospital officials, two high-risk patients died in the morning but the deaths were “not caused by the fire”. “Around 7.30 am, smoke was seen billowing out of a storeroom on the ground floor. The fire was subsequently doused and the patients were shifted to another building. All the patients are safe,” Dr Vinay Krishna, Direc- People celebrate 'Basanta Utsav' with colours, at Balurghat in South Dinajpur district of AGENCIES West Bengal on Sunday. tor of the hospital, told PTI. The deceased patients were Rasoolan Bi (80), a resident of Ghatampur who was suffering from acute respiratory problems, and Tek Chand of Hamirpur, who was put on ventilator support.About the deaths of the two patients, Krishna said, “Tek Chand died around 6.30 am, even before the fire broke out. Rasoolan Bi died later. The bodies have been sent for post-mortem. Prima facie, the high-risk patients had normal deaths and the fatalities were not caused by the fire. The postmortem will reveal the exact cause of the deaths.” Smoke filled the centrally air-conditioned building but the fire did not cause any Pak irked at not being invited to climate summit by Biden NEW DELHI, 28 MARCH Pakistan is upset that US President Joe Biden has ignored Prime Minister Imran Khan while inviting 40 world leaders, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to a virtual summit on climate change he will host on 22-23 April. Irked over not being invited, Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri issued a long-statement yesterday, saying his country's commitment to addressing the climate change crisis was “well accepted and appreciated around the world.” Biden has invited the world leaders to the two-day ''Leaders’ Summit on Climate'' to galvanise efforts by the major economies to tackle the climate crisis,” according to the White House. The virtual summit follows Washington’s return to the 2016 Paris agreement. Interestingly, the snub to Pakistan comes despite the Pakistani Premier, in his congratulatory message to President Biden on 20 January, expressing the hope that the US and Pakistan ‘would work closely’ on a host of subjects, including countering climate change. The world leaders invited to the summit include: Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Apart from Modi, other South 4,86,310 62,714 28,739 1,61,552 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 28 MARCH 2021 Atotalof161552deathshave been reported so far in the country including 54073 from Maharashtra, 12659 from Tamil Nadu, 12492 from Karnataka, 10997 from Delhi, 10322 from West Bengal, 8783 from Uttar Pradesh and 7203 from Andhra Pradesh and 6621 from Punjab. Delhi sees another spike: Delhi today witnessed yet another coronavirus spike, recording 1,881 new infections ~ highest in three-and-half months ~ and 9 more fatalities. The city's Covid positivity rate shot up to 2.35 per cent. Its Covid AGENCIES (SEE P5) death toll mounted to (SEE P2) 11,006. Fire breaks out in govt hospital in Kanpur, over 140 patients rescued UNBRIDLED JOY PRESS TRUST OF INDIA STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE 1,19,71,624 Amid a rapid surge in cases of coronavirus in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked officials to prepare a plan to impose a lockdown as Covid protocols are not being followed, an official statement has said.The decision was taken at a meeting attended by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Health Minister RajeshTope, Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, doctors of the task force and other officials.At the meeting, officials and members of the task force expressed concerns over the rising number of cases. The upward trend of cases may also lead to a rise in Covid-related deaths in the state, the officials of the task force said.Due to the sharp rise in cases, the state may also face a healthcare crisis and see a shortage of infrastructure meant to treat COVID-19 patients, Uddhav Thackeray warned. Officials have been instructed to issue a ban on entry of the general public in the government offices and the state Secretariat - Mantralaya. Asian leaders invited are: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh and Prime Minister Lotay Tshering of Bhutan. Many on the social media in Pakistan wondered why Khan was ignored by President Biden despite being in the forefront of climate change for over two decades. Khan, they argued, has been recognised by World organisations for his billion-tree plantation programme and not inviting him clearly reflected that the summit has nothing to do with climate change but geo politics. Even the foreign office spokesperson said, ''Pakistan’s landmark initiatives like the Billion Tree Tsunami have won international acclaim, including from the World Economic Forum.'' He said, “Pakistan is also meaningfully contributing to shape the global climate change discourse, inter alia, as the Vice President of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” He noted that Pakistan had also co-chaired the multi-billion-dollar Green Climate Fund, established to support climate actions in developing countries, last year. casualty, he asserted.Krishna said the cause of the fire was “probably a short-circuit”. “We used the fire extinguishers kept on the floor to douse the flames. Two fire-tenders were also pressed into service,” he said.The fire broke out near the intensive care unit (ICU) on the ground floor of the hospital.“The fire broke out in a storeroom. Things are under control now and officers are on the ground. There are no casualties. Over 140 patients were evacuated,” Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi said.Kanpur's Additional Commissioner of Police Akash Kulhari said a couple of fire-tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames.Window panes on the first floor of the hospital were broken to let the smoke out, an official said. According to Swaroop Nagar Station House Officer (SHO) Ashwani Pandey, about 175 patients were evacuated from the ICU and other neighbouring wards and shifted to other wards.“A short-circuit is suspected to have led to the fire, but the exact reason will be ascertained only after an investigation,” the SHO said. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took cognizance of the incident and directed that the evacuated patients be provided immediate care. He also sought a report from the district administration, the UP government (SEE ALSO P 4) said. NIA arrests TMC leader Chhatradhar Mahato in 2009 murder case PRESS TRUST OF INDIA KOLKATA, 28 MARCH The National Investigation Agency arrested TMC leader Chhatradhar Mahato in connection with the killing of a CPI(M) leader in 2009, soon after he cast his vote in Lalgarh during the first phase of polling in West Bengal, a senior official said on Sunday.Mahato, the former convenor of the Maoist-backed People Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), was nabbed from his residence in Jhargram district by an NIA team of 40-45 personnel late on Saturday, hours after he exercised his franchise. “He was arrested in con- nection with the 2009 killing of CPI(M) leader Prabir Mahato. He has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. We will produce him at a city court on Sunday,” the NIA official said. The Calcutta High Court had recently directed Mahato to appear before the NIA thrice a week to assist it in the investigation of the case. Mahato, 50, had earlier served a 10-year sentence for his involvement in a landmine blast triggered by Maoists in Salboni in 2008, aimed at the convoy of the then West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and former Union minister Ramvilas Paswan.
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