THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 03 JUNE 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR TIME TO ACT IS NOW, VARDHAN SAYS AT W.H.O. MEET TONE IT DOWN, XI TELLS CHINESE OFFICIAL MEDIA P9 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with very light rain/ thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 38 and 23 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 91% TEMPERATURE Max: 36.6°C (-4) SUN RISES 05:24 hrs MOON RISES 01:53 hrs P5 P7 Covid vaccination policy irrational: SC Min: 22.2°C (-5) SUN SETS 19:16 hrs MOON SETS 13:06 hrs T THUMBNAILS An obsolete vehicle being carried away for scrapping. In the capital on Wednesday. SNS Board exams: Following the Centre's decision to cancel class 12 CBSE board exams in view of the Covid pandemic, several states including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand called off their board exams on Wednesday while a few others said they will take a call soon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asserted that the decision to cancel the exams has been taken in the interest of students and the anxiety among students, parents and teachers must be put to an end. Soon after, CISCE and the Haryana government also announced cancellation of their respective board exams. he Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed the Central government’s Covid vaccination policy, saying making it paid for the 18-44 age group while the jabs were offered free for those over 45 years is prima facie arbitrary and irrational and ordered its review. Seeking to scrutinise the Covid vaccination policy in detail, the court also asked the Centre to provide information including as to how Rs 35,000 crore, earmarked for vaccines, has been spent so far, and to place on record all relevant documents and file notings reflecting its thinking culminating in the policy. The apex court's May 31 order, uploaded on its site on Wednesday, was critical of the Centre's decisions on liberalised vaccination policy, differential pricing of vaccines for Centre, states and private hospitals, basis of such a norm and mandatory registration on CoWIN App for booking slots for jabs in view of huge digital divide between rural and urban India and sought response from the government on its queries in in two weeks. “Constitution does not The court's order was critical of the Centre's decisions on liberalised vaccination policy, differential pricing of vaccines for Centre, states and private hospitals, basis of such a norm and mandatory registration on CoWIN App for booking slots for jabs in view of huge digital divide between rural and urban India. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE BHUBANESWAR, 2 JUNE The court asked the Centre to place on record all relevant documents and file notings reflecting its thinking culminating in the Covid-19 vaccination policy, and the purchase history till date of all vaccines. Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has written to his counterparts across the country seeking a consensus on the need for the central government to procure vaccines and provide them to states. Universal vaccination at the earliest, before a third wave strikes is of paramount importance, wrote Patnaik. Rather than states battling and competing against each other to purchase vaccines, the best option is for the central government to buy and supply it to states, he said in his letter to all CMs. Patnaik pointed out that global manufacturers are unwilling to conclude supply contracts with state governments and the domes- “The Constitution does not envisage courts to be silent spectators when constitutional rights of citizens are infringed by executive policies,” the Supreme Court Bench said in its order in a hard-hitting response to the Centre's submissions in an affidavit that the judiciary should not enter into the policy-making domain. envisage courts to be silent spectators when constitutional rights of citizens are infringed by executive policies,” the bench said in its order in a hard-hitting response to the Centre's submissions in an affidavit that the judiciary should not enter into the policy-making domain. The Union Budget for Financial Year 2021-2022 had earmarked Rs 35,000 crore for procuring vaccines. “In light of the Liberalised Vaccination Policy, the Central Government is directed to clarify how these funds have been spent so far and why they cannot be utilised for vaccinating persons aged 18-44 years,” said a special bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat. We direct the Union of India to undertake a fresh review of its vaccination policy addressing the concerns raised, said the order which is a part of a series of judicial decisions rendered on the suo motu case on Covid-19 management in the country. Finding fault with the vaccination policy, it said unlike the previous one, it did not prioritise persons with comorbidities and this became important in view of the fact that in the second wave, persons between 18-44 years of age have suffered severe effects of infection including deaths in unfortunate cases. Hence, due to the importance of vaccinating indi- viduals in the 18-44 age group, the policy of the Central government for conducting free vaccination themselves for groups under the first 2 phases, and replacing it with paid vaccination by the State/UT Governments and private hospitals for the persons between 18-44 years is, prima facie, arbitrary and irrational, Justice Chandrachud said in the 32-page order. The court asked the Centre to provide the data on the percentage of population that has been vaccinated, as against eligible persons in the first three phases of the vaccination drive. The bench also sought complete data of the Centre's purchase history of all Covid-19 vaccines till date. NEW DELHI, 2 JUNE The Union health ministry on Wednesday termed as “factually incorrect and without any basis” media reports alleging that while the Centre has promised 12 crore doses of anti-Covid vaccines in June, only around 5.8 crore doses were administered of the 7.9 crore doses available in May. According to the ministry's data at 7 am on June 1, between May 1-31, a total of 61.06 mil- According to the ministry's data at 7 am on June 1, between May 131, a total of 61.06 million vaccine doses were administered by states and Union territories. lion vaccine doses were administered by the states and Union territories. A total of 16.22 million balance and unutilised doses were available with the states. The total number of vaccine shots available from May 1-31 was 79.45 million, the ministry said in a statement. There have been several unfounded media reports that have peddled misinformation among the masses regarding this exercise of national importance, the ministry said, adding that the total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has reached 21,85,46,667. “There have been media reports alleging the Union Government promising 120 mil- STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEWS DELHI, 2 JUNE The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) was formed in August last year to provide guidance on all aspects of vaccine introduction, including prioritisation of beneficiaries, procurement, vaccine selection and its delivery. The prioritisation of beneficiaries for Covid-19 vaccination was based on a review of available scientific evidence, WHO guidelines, global examples and practices followed in other countries, the ministry said. India reported 1,32,788 new Covid-19 infections in 24 hours and 3,207 deaths due to the pandemic, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said on Wednesday. On June 1, India reported 1,27,510 cases, the lowest since April 8. On April 8, India had recorded 1,31,968 cases while on April 7, India witnessed 1,26,789 fresh cases. Most metro cities are still fighting huge waves, though Mumbai and Delhi have arrested the surge. India's overall tally of Covid19 cases now stands at 2,83,07,832 with 17,93,645 active cases and 3,35,102 NEW DELHI, 2 JUNE deaths so far. According to the Health Ministry, a total of 2,31,456 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours, taking the total discharge to 2,61,79,085 in Covid cases till date. Active cases decreased by 1,01,875 in the last 24 hours, the ministry said. Daily positivity rate stands at 6.57%, less than 10% for 9 consecutive days. Delhi logs 103 deaths: The number of Covid-linked deaths reported in the national capital today surged to 103 from 62 fatalities a day before, even as the count of positive cases of cornavirus fell to 576 from yesterday’s 623, according to the Delhi government's latest (SEE P2) health bulletin. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that the Centre’s assurance to vaccinate the country’s entire adult population by December is a hoax like many other past assurances. “The promise to vaccinate all people by December is a hoax. Previously, BJP had assured in Bihar that all people would be given vaccines after the polls. But it was all lies. Remember credibility comes from commitment. In this case there is no commitment... It is not a small matter to vaccinate the entire 140 crore population in six months. There has to be a certain gap between two doses and once infected, the patient can't be given the vaccine immediately. So how can all people be 2,83,07,832 17,93,645 1,32,788 2,31,456 3,35,102 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. WEDNESDAY 02 JUNE 2021 Union Cabinet approves Model Tenancy Act PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 2 JUNE The Union Cabinet onWednesday approved the Model Tenancy Act under which separate rent authorities, courts and tribunals will be set up in districts to protect the interest of both the owner and tenant. For residential premises, tenants will have to submit security deposit of maximum two months' rent, while in case of commercial property, six months' rent will have to be deposited. States and union territories can adopt the Model Tenancy Act by enacting fresh leg- The government said that the proposed Act is expected to give a fillip to private participation in rental housing as a business model for addressing the huge housing shortage islation or they can amend their existing rental laws suitably. The Act mandates for written agreement for all new tenancies, which will have to be submitted to concerned district 'Rent Authority'. Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the move will help overhaul the legal framework with respect to rental housing across the country. The government said that the MTA will be applicable prospectively and will not affect existing tenancies. Rent and duration of tenancy will be fixed by mutual consent between owner and tenant through a written agreement. The Act says that no landlord or property manager can withhold any essential supply to the premises occupied by the tenant. According to the ministry, tenant will not be evicted during the continuance of tenancy agreement unless otherwise agreed to in writing by both the parties. Under the Model Tenancy Act, unless otherwise agreed in the tenancy agreement, the landlord will be responsible for activities like structural repairs except those necessitated by damage caused by the tenant, whitewashing of walls and painting of doors and windows, changing and plumbing pipes when necessary and internal and external electrical wiring and related maintenance when necessary. On his part, tenant will be NAVEEN PATNAIK ODISHA CHIEF MINISTER tic vaccine manufacturers have supply constraints. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan had written to all non-BJP ruled states on the same lines last week. No state is safe unless all the states adopt vaccination as the topmost priority and execute it on war-footing. The best option available is for the Government of India STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 2 JUNE 1.32 L new cases, 3,207 fatalities Google claims new IT rules not applicable to its search engine US-based Google LLC has contended that India's new IT rules for digital media are not applicable to its search engine, and urged Delhi High Court on Wednesday to set aside its single judge order which applied them on the company while dealing with an issue related to removal of offending content from the internet. The earlier decision had come while dealing with a matter in which a woman's photographs were uploaded on a pornographic website by some miscreants and despite court orders the content could not be removed in entirety from the World Wide Web and “errant parties merrily continued” to re-post and redirect it to other sites. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to the Centre, Delhi government, Internet Service Providers Association of India, Facebook, among others, and sought their responses to Google's plea by July 25. The court said it was not going to issue any interim order at this stage after Google told the bench that it was an intermediary, but not a social media intermediary, and sought protection against any coercive action for non-compliance of the guidelines laid down by the single judge. PTI lion doses of vaccines during June 2021 while administering only around 58 million doses from the total of 79 million doses available in the month of May. This report is factually incorrect and without any basis,” the statement said. Some media reports have criticised India's vaccination policy based on unverified quotes, it said, adding that these reports, questioning the prioritisation of population segments, are not supported by full information on the matter. The best option available is for the Government of India to centrally procure the vaccines and distribute it among the states to centrally procure the vaccines and distribute it among the states, stated Patnaik. At the same time, the execution of the vaccination programme has to be decentralised and states allowed the flexibility to determine their own mechanisms to ensure universal vaccination, he said. Patnaik said he had spoken to some of the chief ministers and they also share the same view. “Perhaps after the independence struggle, this is the greatest challenge we have faced together as a nation, I am sure that we will set aside whatever differences we have either political or otherwise and come together in the true spirit of Cooperative Federalism for saving precious lives and hard earned livelihoods,” he wrote. ‘Centre’s promise of full vaccination by Dec a hoax’ Media got May Covid vaccination figures wrong: Govt PRESS TRUST OF INDIA P12 Patnaik writes to CMs, pitches for Covid jab procurement by Centre Court orders review, asks govt to place on record all relevant documents PRESS TRUST OF INDIA CENTRE PULLED UP NEW DELHI, 2 JUNE Min: 38% CREDIBILITY TEST FOR STIMAC AND INDIAN PLAYERS DEAL U-TURNS LEAVE YEDDY RED-FACED responsible for drain cleaning, switches and socket repairs, kitchen fixtures repairs, replacement of glass panels in windows, doors and maintenance of gardens and open spaces, among others. “Where the landlord proposes to make any improvement in or construct any additional structure on any premises, which has been let out to a tenant and the tenant refuses to allow the landlord to make such improvement or construct such additional structure, the landlord may make an application in this behalf to the Rent Court,” the Act stated. vaccinated in six months?” asked Miss Banerjee at a Press conference in Nabanna. Questioning the Centre over availability of vaccines to administer to all people by December, Miss Banerjee said: “How can vaccines be given to all by December... do we have the stocks? Whatever stock comes to the state gets consumed immediately.” She said that the state has a population of 10 crore and till now the state government has spent Rs 150 crore for administering vaccines to 1.4 crore people. The Centre on Monday had said that vaccination against Covid would be completed by this yearend. Confirming that she has received a letter from Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik urging for building a consensus over procurement of Covid vaccines by the Centre for distribution among the states, Miss Banerjee said Mr Patnaik had called her last evening in this regard. “Why are states being asked to procure the vaccines? It’s the Centre’s work. The Centre must give the vaccines to the state and they must procure the vaccine. And they must give it free of cost to every state to cover the entire Indian population. On this myself, Naveen Patnaik, Kerala Chief Minister and everyone is together," Miss Banerjee said. Norms for clearing foreign-made Covid m jabs eased PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 2 JUNE India's apex drug regulator has waived the requirement of testing every batch of foreignmade Covid-19 vaccines by the Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli and post-launch bridging trials for such firms, a move that will bolster availability of vaccines. The decision by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) comes against the backdrop of Pfizer and Cipla putting forth similar demands during negotiations to supply imported vaccines to India. These exemptions have been made in light of the huge vaccination requirements in India in the wake of the recent surge of Covid-19 cases and the need for increased availability of imported vaccines to meet national requirements, according to the DCGI. “It has been decided that for approval of Covid-19 vaccines in India for restricted use in emergency situation which are already approved for restricted use by US FDA, EMA, UK MHRA, PMDA Japan or which are listed in WHO Emergency Use Listing and which are well established vaccines from the stand point that millions of individuals have already been vaccinated with the said vaccines, the require- A STEP CLOSER The DCGI has waived the requirement of testing every batch of foreignmade Covid-19 vaccines by the Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli and postlaunch bridging trials for such firms. The decision comes against the backdrop of Pfizer and Cipla putting forth similar demands during negotiations to supply imported vaccines to India. ment of conducting post approval bridging clinical trials and of testing every batch of vaccine by CDL, Kasauli can be exempted, if the vaccine batch/lot has been certified and released by National Control Laboratory of country of origin,” it said. However, scrutiny of their summary lot protocol and certificate of analysis of batch or lot shall be undertaken by CDL, Kasauli for release and requirement of assessment on the first 100 beneficiaries for seven days for safety outcomes before the vaccine is rolled out for further immunisation programme, the DCGI said.
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