CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 24 MAY 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 BALANCING ACT NEPAL OPP ALLIANCE TO MOVE SUPREME COURT TODAY P9 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with possibility of thunderstorm Temperature likely to be in the range of 36- 27 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.89% TEMPERATURE P6 THUMBNAILS Homeless people wait to receive food during the Covid-induced lockdown, at Chandni Chowk in New Delhi on Sunday. AGENCIES Indian Army dismisses report of Galwan clash: The Indian Army on Sunday dismissed a media report which claimed that a minor face-off between the Indian and Chinese troops took place this month in the no-patrolling zone at Eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley. The Army clarified that no such incident happened and the article published in media “seems to be inspired by sources who may be trying to derail the ongoing process for early resolution of issues in Eastern Ladakh.” India challenges Cairn arbitration award: India has challenged an international arbitration tribunal asking it to return $1.2 billion to UK's Cairn Energy Plc on grounds that it had never agreed to arbitrate over a 'national tax dispute', the finance ministry said on Sunday.(P8) Eight militants killed in Assam encounter: Eight Dimasa National Liberation Army (DNLA) militants were on Sunday killed in an encounter with security forces in Assam's West Karbi Anglong district, along the Nagaland border, a senior police officer said. TRIPS Council to discuss IPR waiver proposal : The TRIPS Council of the World Trade Organization will discuss a revised proposal submitted by 62 co-sponsors, including India, South Africa, and Indonesia, seeking patent waivers to manufacture Covid-19-related medical products, an official said. P12 Decision on class XII Yaasto make landfall between Sagar Island exams by 1 June: MoE PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Max: 37.6 °C (+2) Min: 29.2 °C(+3) SUN RISES SUN SETS 04:54 hrs 18:13 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 14:55 hrs 02:22 hrs Full moon on 26 May NEW DELHI, 23 MAY here is a broad consensus among states about conducting Class 12 board exams and an informed, collaborative decision will be taken by 1 June, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said on Sunday. However, states like Maharashtra said at a highlevel meeting on Sunday that non-examination route for Class 12 students should be actively examined and Delhi and Kerala governments suggested vaccinating students before the exams. According to sources, the CBSE has proposed conducting exams between 15 July and 26 August and the result to be declared in September. The board also proposed two options: conducting regular exams for 19 major subjects at notified centres or conducting shorter duration exams at respective schools where students are enrolled. The ministry has sought detailed suggestions from T IN QUANDARY The CBSE proposed two options ~ conducting regular exams for 19 major subjects at notified centres or conducting shorter duration exams at respective schools where students are enrolled. states by 25 May. Sources claimed majority states were in favour of the second option while some wanted a mix of both options. The CBSE has already cancelled Class 10 board exams and announced an alternative marking policy. The April and May edition of the engineering entrance exam JEE-Mains were also postponed. The board exams, are usually conducted in February-March every year, were scheduled to be held from 4 May. After the deliberations on Sunday, the Union Education Minister said, “The meeting was extremely fruitful as we received immensely valuable sug- gestions. I have requested the state governments to send me their detailed suggestions by 25 May. “I am confident we will be able to arrive at an informed, collaborative decision regarding the exams and remove the uncertainty among students and parents by informing them of our final decision at the earliest.” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh chaired the crucial meeting. Union ministers Smriti Irani, Prakash Javadekar and Sanjay Dhotre also attended the meeting, besides education ministers and secretaries of several states and union territories. According to sources, the first option proposed was conducting exams at des- ignated centres for 19 major subjects. For minor subjects assessment can be based on performance in major subjects. August could be a likely month for holding the exams and the whole process is likely to go on till September end. For the second option, the exams can be conducted twice by the board depending upon the conducive situation. If a student is not able to appear due to any Covid related matter, he or she will be provided another opportunity to sit for exams.” The exams will be of 90 minutes duration instead of three hours and will be conducted in same schools where students are enrolled. The questions will be objective and very short answer type. Students will have to appear in one language and three elective subjects. The tentative timeline for this option is the first phase of exams from 15 July to 1 August and the second phase from 8-26 August . Exams are proposed to be conducted on Sundays also. Covid positivity rate falls to 11.34% STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, 23 MAY India’s daily Covid-19 test positivity rate has fallen to 11.34 per cent from 24.83 per cent which was reported on 10 May~ a dip of around 55 per cent in just 14 days, even as daily new Covid-19 cases have come down to 2.40 lakhs. The country also conducted the highest daily Covid-19 tests ~ 21.23 lakh tests during the same period. India’s daily recoveries continue to outnumber daily new cases for the ninth consecutive day. As many as 3,55,102 recoveries were registered in the last 24 hours. The National Recovery Rate has grown further to touch 88.30%, the Union health ministry said. On the other hand, India’s total active caseload has decreased to 28,05,399 today, registering a net decline of 1,18,001 in the last 24 hours. It now comprises 10.57% of the country’s total positive cases. Among other bright spots, Delhi recorded 1,649 new Covid cases, the lowest since 30 March, and 189 fatalities on Sunday, while the positivity rate slipped to 2.42 per cent, even as chief minister Arvind Kejriwal extended the lock- down in the capital by another week. Seven states account for 68.88 of active Covid-19 cases ~ Karnataka 4.83 lakhs, Maharashtra 3.54 lakhs, Kerala 2.9 lakhs, Tamil Nadu 2.84 lakhs, Andhra Pradesh 2.1 lakhs, Bengal 1.31 lakhs and Rajasthan 1.22 lakhs. The Ministry said the National Mortality Rate currently stands at 1.13%, with 3741 deaths reported in the past 24 hours. Bengal cases: West Bengal today registered 18,422 fresh Covid cases and 156 deaths. Kolkata recorded 3,056 cases and 46 deaths. Health minister asks Ramdev to withdraw remark GST council to take call on easing levy on imported O2 concentrators NEW DELHI, 23 MAY PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 23 MAY Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday called yoga guru Ramdev’s statement on allopathic medicines “extremely unfortunate” and asked him to withdraw it. Citing a video circulating on social media, the Indian Medical Association on Saturday had said Ramdev has claimed that allopathy is a “stupid science” and medicines such as remdesivir, faviflu, and other drugs approved by the DCGI have failed to treat PTI Covid-19 patients. P4 Maha pitches for non-exam route; Delhi, Kerala want students given jabs first Min. 48% ATLÉTICO CELEBRATE TITLE WITH TEARS, SMILES CONG, BJP SPAR OVER ACTUAL NUMBER OF COVID DEATHS IN MP The GST Council is its upcoming meeting, scheduled to be held on 28 May, is likely to take a call on levy of 12 per cent tax on import of oxygen concentrators for personal use. The Delhi High Court last week said that imposition of 12 per cent Integrated GST (IGST) on oxygen concentrators for personal use or those received as gifts is “unconstitutional”. The Court’s observation came on a plea filed by an 85- year old Covid patient whose relative had sent oxygen concentrator from the US. It also quashed a 1 May notification of the Finance Ministry which said that a 12 per cent IGST will be levied on oxygen concentrators imported for personal use or gift. Sources said the final decision on this issue would be taken by the Council in its upcoming meeting on Friday. Tax experts said that the Council may decide to exempt IGST on such imports as the revenue implications would not be much. Abhishek Jain, Tax Partner, EY, said, the government had already provided exemption from IGST on free import of oxygen concentrators for Covid relief by any state government or any agency authorised by the state government. “Given the enormity of the Covid-19 pandemic situation and as a life saving measure and given that the revenue loss for the government may not be significant, the government may consider accepting the judgement and extending the benefit,” Jain added. 2,65,30,132 28,05,399 2,40,842 3,55,102 2,99,266 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 23 MAY 2021 and Paradip, says Met A cargo barge being tied down on the banks of the Ganges for preparation ahead of cyclone Yaas. In Kolkata on Sunday. IANS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 23 MAY Cyclone Yaas, which is gathering steam, is likely to make landfall between Sagar Islands and Paradip as a very severe cyclonic storm on 26 May evening with wind speeds of about 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph, which is almost the same as cyclones Tauktae and Amphan. The cyclone, which is in its initial stage as a depression lay centred about 670 km south-southeast of Digha at around 11.30 a.m. It is expected to intensify into a cyclonic storm by the next morning and further into a very severe cyclonic storm during the subsequent 24 hours. The wind speeds with which the cyclone is about to cross the coastal belts of West Bengal and North Odisha ~ about 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph ~ is on the high side. The scale of devastation that it could cause can be gauged from the fact that the expected wind speed of Yaas is almost that of cyclones Tauktae and Amphan, according to the director of India Meteorological Department, M Mohapatra. Ensure timely evacuation: PM Forecast track along with cone of uncertainty over east central Bay of Bengal. Source: IMD According to Sanjib Bandhopadhyay of the Regional Meteorological Centre, Kolkata, districts like East Midnapore, West Midnapore, South 24-Parganas, North 24 Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly are likely to receive light to moderate rainfall as early as 25 May. On the day of the cyclone, the rainfall is expected to spread with increased intensity. Extremely heavy showers are likely to occur in Kolkata along with East Midnapore, West Midnapore, South 24 Parganas, North 24-Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and Jhargram. On 27 May, the rainfall is expected to shift toward North Bengal, according to Mr Bandhopadhyay. According to the Met officials, who have NEW DELHI, 23 MAY Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and another person were arrested on Sunday in connection with the Chhatrasal Stadium brawl case that led to the death of a wrestler here, officials said. Kumar (38) and his associate Ajay, alias Sunil, (48) were arrested from Mundka, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) P S Kushwah said. Metropolitan Magistrate Divya Malhotra granted the police six-day custody of Kumar, who was physically produced in court. The stockily-built athlete, who used to be wrapped in the tricolour after winning medals for the nation, had his face masked by a towel and both hands held by Delhi Police’s special cell officers. Ironically, all this unfolded on World Wrestling Day. The case relates to the 4 May incident at the stadium in which wrestler Sagar Rana died and two of his friends, Sonu and Amit Kumar, were injured after they were allegedly assaulted by Sushil Kumar and other wrestlers. The Delhi Police had announced a reward of Rs one lakh for information leading to the arrest of Sushil Kumar, who had since been on the run. Another reward of Rs 50,000 was announced for Ajay Kumar’s arrest. After questioning him for around 30 minutes inside the court, the police sought his custody for 12 days for further interrogation. During the proceedings, Additional PP Atul Shrivastava told the court Sushil Kumar’s custodial interrogation was needed to unearth the whole conspiracy and motive behind the crime. Kumar’s fall from being one of the greatest Indian Olympians has been met by shock and disbelief in the sports fraternity. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA MUMBAI, 23 MAY Family members perform last rites of a Covid-19 victim at a crematorium in Jammu. AGENCIES CRIME & PUNISHMENT RAIPUR, 23 MAY The collector of Chhattisgarh’s Surajpur district, Ranbir Sharma, was removed from the post on Sunday after a viral video showed him slapping a man and throwing his mobile phone for alleged Covid-19 norms violation. Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel issued instructions for the removal of the 2012batch IAS officer from the post. The chief minister also directed officials to provide a new mobile phone to the man, identified as Aman Mittal (23), as his handset was damaged in the incident that took place on Saturday. There were several other videos of issued an orange warning to almost 15 districts of the state for 26 May, the coastal districts near the North Bay of Bengal tomorrow, may experience wind at a speed of 40-50 kmph gusting at 60 kmph during the evening hours. While Yaas crosses West Bengal, the speed will increase, reaching about 155-165 kmph gusting at 185 kmph. 8 bodies found on Maha coast suspected to be barge victims FIRES DON’T STOP Olympian arrested in murder case Surajpur collector removed after slapping man PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday chaired a high level meeting to review the preparedness of states and Centre governments to deal with the situation arising out of Cyclone ‘Yaas’ and told senior officials to ensure safe evacuation of people from high-risk areas. PM Modi directed senior officers to work in close coordination with states. He also instructed all concerned departments to ensure timely evacuation of those involved in off-shore activities. He emphasized on the need to reduce the time duration for restoration of essential services mainSNS ly power supply. A video, which had gone viral, showed Chhattisgarh’s Surajpur district collector Ranbir Sharma slapping a man and throwing his mobile phone for alleged Covid-19 norms violation Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel issued instructions for the removal of the 2012-batch IAS officer from the post and directed officials to provide a new mobile phone to the man Saturday’s drive in which the collector and other officials were purportedly seen making people do sit-ups for allegedly violating the lockdown norms in Surajpur. In one such video, another official was also seen slapping a man while asking him to do sit-ups at the same site where Sharma had slapped Mittal. The collector along with CMYK some policemen had stopped Mittal, who was on his motorcycle, on a road in Surajpur where the coronavirusinduced lockdown is in force. In the video, the man can be seen showing a piece of paper and something on his mobile phone to the collector, who takes the device and throws it on the ground. Sharma is then seen slap- ping the man and encouraging two policemen, who rush to the spot and start hitting the man with sticks. The collector’s act drew sharp criticism on social media platforms with people demanding his removal and registration of an FIR against him. The collector later apologised for his act. Chief minister Baghel in a tweet in Hindi on Sunday said, “Through social media, the case of misbehaviour of Surajpur Collector Ranbir Sharma with a young man has come to my notice. It is very sad and condemnable. In Chhattisgarh, such acts will not be tolerated at all. Instructions have been given to remove Sharma with immediate effect,” he added. Eight unidentified bodies were found at three different locations along the coast in Maharashtra’s Raigad district and the police suspect they could be of some of the victims of barge P305 that sank off the Mumbai coast in cyclone Tauktae, a police official said on Sunday. Out of the eight bodies found on Saturday, five were washed ashore in Mandwa, two in Alibaug and another one in Murud, the senior official from Raigad police said. “The bodies are yet to be identified,” he said. Local administration and senior officials of the state police have been informed about the bodies, he added. Barge P305 sank during the Cyclone Tauktae fury last Monday and was located on the seabed on Saturday, a Navy spokesperson earlier said. The death toll on the barge rose to 66 with the recovery of six more bodies on Saturday, while nine personnel are still missing, the Navy had said. Of the 261 personnel who were on barge P305 at the time of the incident, 186 have been rescued so far, it had said. Two more bodies were found on the shore of Gujarat’s Valsad district on Sunday and suspected to be of the missing victims of the barge P305 and a tugboat that sank in the Arabian PTI Sea during the cyclone.
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