FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 04 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 US BILL INTRODUCED TO DROP PER-COUNTRY CAP ON GREEN CARD NETANYAHU RIVALS REACH COALITION DEAL TO OUST HIM P9 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 39 and 24 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 74% P10 Deal is part of the endeavour to encourage indigenous vaccine makers PM speaks to US V-P Harris TEMPERATURE Max: 38.2°C (-2) SUN RISES 05:23 hrs MOON RISES 02:22 hrs Min: 24.4°C (-3) SUN SETS 19:16 hrs MOON SETS 14:00 hrs THUMBNAILS Beneficiaries wait to receive the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in New Delhi on Thursday. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 3 JUNE Volunteers participate in a bicycle ride at Grove beach to mark the World Bicycle Day, in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday. AGENCIES Home-based Covid test kit CoviSelf hits markets: b India's first indigenous home-based coronavirus disease rapid testing kit that detects the virus within 15 minutes has been commercially launched, and will be available at chemist shops across the country in the next two-three days, its maker, Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd, announced on Thursday. The kit is called CoviSelf and costs `250 per unit. PM reviews preparations for Tokyo Olympics: Every need of India's sportspersons, from vaccination to training facilities, must be fulfilled as a top priority, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday at a meeting to review the country's preparations for the Tokyo Olympics that begins in 50 days. He directed that every qualified and probable athlete, support staff and officials travelling to Tokyo for the mega sporting event must be vaccinated. Kerala retains top rank in Niti Aayog's SDG index: Kerala has retained the top rank in Niti Aayog's SDG India Index 2020-21, while Bihar has been adjudged as the worst performer, according to a report released on Thursday. The Index for Sustainable Development Goals evaluates progress of states, UTs on social, economic and environmental parameters. T he Union Health Ministry has finalised arrangements with Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer Biological-E to reserve 30 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses for which it will be making an advance payment of Rs 1,500 crore. These vaccine doses will be manufactured and stockpiled by Biological-E from August to Decem- ber this year, a ministry statement said on Thursday. The Covid-19 vaccine of Biological-E is currently undergoing phase-3 clinical trial after showing promising results in phase 1 and 2 trials. The vaccine being developed by Biological-E is a RBD protein sub-unit vaccine and is likely to be available in the next few months. The proposal of Biological-E was examined and recommended for NEW DELHI, 3 JUNE The Supreme Court on Thursday said it was happy to note that the government has cancelled the class 12 board exams, and directed the CBSE and CISCE to place on record well-defined objective criteria for assessment of students in two weeks. A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari asked Attorney General K K Venugopal and advocate J K Das, appearing for the CISCE, to place on record the parameters within two weeks. The bench clarified that it will not give more Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday spoke to US Vice President Kamala Harris and appreciated the USA’s assurance of Covid vaccine supplies to India. “I deeply appreciate the assurance of vaccine supplies to India as part of the US Strategy for Global Vaccine Sharing,” Modi tweeted later. He said he also discussed with Harris the ongoing efforts to further strengthen India-US vaccine cooperation, and the potential of bilateral partnership to contribute to postCovid global health and economic recovery. SNS approval after due diligence by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid19 (NEGVAC), the statement said. The arrangement with Biological-E is part of the wider endeavour of the Centre to encourage indigenous vaccine manufacturers by providing them support in research and development and also financial support, it said. The Biological-E Covid vaccine candidate has been supported by the Centre from preclinical stage to phase-3 studies. The Department of Biotechnology has not only provided financial assistance in terms of grant-inaid of over Rs 100 crore but has also partnered with Biological-E to conduct all animal challenge and assay studies through its Research Institute Translational Health Science Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad. This has been undertaken as part of the government’s ‘Mission CovidSuraksha, which was launched to reinforce and accelerate Covid-19 vaccine development efforts. SII seeks DCGI nod to manufacture Sputnik V PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 3 JUNE The Serum Institute of India (SII) has applied to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) seeking permission to manufacture the Sputnik V Covid19 vaccine for examination, test and analysis at its licensed Hadapsar facility in Pune, official sources said on Thursday. The Pune-based firm has collaborated with the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Moscow for developing Sputnik V at its The Pune-based firm has collaborated with the Gamaleya Research Institute, Moscow for developing Sputnik V at its Hadapsar facility Hadapsar facility. On 18 May, the SII had also applied to the Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM), Department of Biotechnology seeking clearance for the import of strains or seed lots and cell banks and Submit assessment criteria for XII students, CBSE, CISCE told PRESS TRUST OF INDIA P4 Centre books 30 crore E vax from Biological-E Min: 39% time for placement of objective criteria as many students will be taking admissions in colleges in India and abroad. The top court said that it will go through the objective parameters for assessment, so that if anyone has objections they can be dealt with. The bench was hearing a plea seeking directions to cancel the class 12 exams of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) amidst the pandemic. Veugopal said that CBSE will require some time to formulate the objective criteria for assessment and the court may defer the hearing for at least two weeks. Das said CISCE wanted 3-4 weeks for placing the objective criteria. The bench said, “You (CISCE) can do it over-night. Four weeks’ time is a little longer. We cannot give you 3-4 weeks’ time.” Petitioner Mamta Sharma said like CBSE and CISCE, there are many state boards which have not taken any decision on class 12 exams. The bench told Sharma, You should have patience and not rush things. First let CBSE place on record objective criteria. Then we will see about other boards. The top court then deferred the hearing. for carrying out research and development, sources said. TheGM has raised certain queries over the SII’s application and sought a copy of the material transfer agreement between the Pune-based firm and the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is currently being manufactured by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in India. “The Serum Institute of India put up an application to the Drugs Controller General of India on Wednesday seeking per- mission to manufacture Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V for examination, test and analysis at its licensed Hadapsar facility,” an official source said. Once these approvals are received, the SII plans to seek restricted emergency use permission for the vaccine in India. The SII has already told the government that it will be able to manufacture and supply 10 crore Covishield doses in June, while it is also manufacturing the Novavax vaccine, the clearance for which is awaited from the United States. NEW DELHI, 3 JUNE The government has come out with guidelines for the care and protection of the children affected by Covid-19 and fixed responsibilities for the states, district magistrates, police, Panchayati Raj institutions and urban local bodies. In a letter to the chief secretaries of all the states and Union territories, Women and Child Development Ministry Secretary Ram Mohan Mishra on Wednesday said in order to streamline and facilitate the actions being taken, the major responsibilities of the primary duty holders have been enlisted to ensure the best interest of children during the pandemic. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), in an affidavit to the Supreme Court, said 9,346 children have lost at least one of the parents to the deadly virus, including over 1,700 who have lost both their parents, according to data received from the states The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), in an affidavit to the Supreme Court, said 9,346 children have lost at least one of the parents to the deadly virus, including over 1,700 who have lost both their parents, according to data received from the states. Issuing the detailed guidelines, Mishra said the states need to identify the children in distress through outreach and surveys and prepare a database with a profile of each child, along with the details of their specific needs and requirements, and ensure that the data is uploaded on the Track Child portal. Mishra told the states and UTs to temporarily allocate child care institutions (CCIs) to house those children whose parents have been unwell P12 Delhi logs 89 black fungus deaths till 2 June: Jain SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 3 JUNE Delhi has recorded 1,044 cases of black fungus or mucormycosis and 89 deaths due to it till yesterday, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain today said. Noting that the states must be provided the required number of Covid vaccines, Jain also said the Centre’s vaccine policy needs to be reworked. Till Wednesday, 1,044 black fungus cases were reported in Delhi. “Out of these 1,044 cases, around 92 patients have recovered fully and around 89 people have lost their lives due to black fungus,” he said, pointing out that there is a shortage of medicines to treat the infection. Meanwhile, Delhi today recorded 487 fresh Covid cases — the lowest in over two-and-a-half months — and 45 coronaviruslinked deaths while the positivity rate dropped to 0.61 per cent, according to the Delhi government’s latest health bulletin. This is the first time the daily death count in the city has gone below the 50mark since 11 April, when the tally was 48. On 16 March, Delhi had recorded 425 Covid cases and on 17 March this count was 536, according to official data. Today’s fresh cases were PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 3 JUNE STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 3 JUNE India on Thursday once again reported a slight increase in numbers of new Covid infections, with 1,34,154 more cases reported in 24 hours, while 2,887 more people succumbed to the pandemic, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said. On 1 June, India reported 1,27,510 cases, the lowest since 8 April when it recorded 1,31,968 cases, while on 7 April, the country witnessed 1,26,789 fresh cases. The Gautam Gambhir Foundation has been found guilty of unauthorisedly stocking, procuring and distributing Fabiflu medicine to Covid-19 patients, the Delhi government’s drug controller informed the Delhi High Court on Thursday which said the BJP MP did a lot of charity but caused a lot of shortage of drug and inconvenience to the society. The high court deprecated the manner in which a huge quantity of the drug was procured and said genuine patients who needed the medicine at that particular time could not get it as the bulk stock was taken away by cricketerturned-politician Gambhir. ‘THIS IS NOT CHARITY’ The Delhi High Court deprecated the manner in which a huge quantity of the drug was procured and said genuine patients who needed the medicine at that particular time could not get it as the bulk stock was taken away by cricketer-turned-politician Gambhir. This was certainly not the way. In this pandemic, it should not be done just because people have means to do it. It should not be that I will do it for one class or for my constituency and it should not be for popularity. Firstly, you do charity for charity. Doing charity for some other reason is no charity. We want to curb this practice and for this, we want you (drug controller) to take action, a bench of Justices Vipin due to Covid-19 and provide necessary support to them, in case the extended family is not available to take care of them. The WCD Ministry has asked the states to issue directions to hospitals to collect the contact details of trustworthy persons known to the patients in the admission form, to be contacted for taking care of children in case of any eventuality. “Immediate temporary rehabilitation of children through the existing child care facilities supported under the Child Protection Services scheme must be ensured,” Mishra said. The states have also been asked to make suitable arrangements for isolation facilities within the CCIs to take care of the children suffering from Covid. Mishra asked the states to launch a local helpline number manned by experts for giving psychosocial care to the children in distress. On the role of the DMs, he said they shall be the guardians of the vulnerable children impacted adversely by Covid. “The DM shall make efforts that such children are rehabilitated in the following order of preference, in the manner as prescribed under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015,” he said. The DMs need to create a district-level multi-departmental task force to map the needs, monitor the progress. TheWCD secretary said district police teams must stay alert to prevent trafficking of children, illegal adoption or any other kind of abuse. detected out of 80,046 tests, including 55,638 RTPCR tests and 24,408 rapid antigen tests, the health bulletin stated. The number of Delhi’s cumulative Covid caseload rose to 14,27,926 while its toll climbed to 24,447. Over 13.9 lakh patients have recovered from the virus in the city so far, the bulletin said. SEE P 2 1.34 lakh Covid-19 cases, 2,887 deaths in 24 hours Most metro cities are still fighting the second wave, though Mumbai and Delhi have arrested the surge. Delhi on Thursday evening reported just 487 fresh Covid cases, the lowest in over twoand-a-half months, along with 45 fatalities, while the positivity rate slumped to 0.61 per cent. Mumbai reported 985 new cases and 27 deaths, even as the Maharashtra government on Thursday evening clarified that the existing restrictions on account of Covid-19 have not been lifted anywhere, contrary to reports. ‘Gambhir Foundation guilty of stocking Covid meds’ Govt issues guidelines for care of Covid-hit children PRESS TRUST OF INDIA ‘HOCKEY MEDAL AN EASY TARGET IF GAMES ARE HELD’ AUDIO LEAKS SUGGEST SASIKALA’S COMEBACK The Delhi government’s drug controller submitted that action will be taken without delay against the foundation, drug dealers as also in other such cases Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said. The drug controller also submitted that action will be taken without delay against the foundation, drug dealers as also in other such cases which would be brought to its notice. AAP MLA Praveen Kumar has also been found guilty for similar offences under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and action will also be taken against him, the court was informed. The counsel for drug controller also said that show cause notices have been issued to licensees under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act as well as those who were found to have breached the law and their responses are awaited. The court asked the drug controller to file status reports on further progress in these cases within six weeks and listed the matter for hearing on 29 July. The high court was hearing a PIL seeking lodging of an FIR on the allegations that politicians are able to procure and distribute in huge quantities the Covid-19 medicines even as patients were running from pillar to post to get them. An application was also filed in the pending petition making allegations against Kumar. 2,84,41,986 17,13,413 1,34,154 2,11,499 3,37,989 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. THURSDAY 03 JUNE 2021 Choksi denied bail in Dominica NEW DELHI, 3 JUNE A Dominica magistrate has denied bail to absconding diamond tycoon Mehul Choksi, who was arrested on 23 May for alleged illegal entry to the Caribbean island country, the local media reported. Choksi, wanted here in connection with a Rs 13,500crore fraud in the Punjab National Bank (PNB), pleaded before the magistrate that he was abducted and forcibly brought to Dominica from neighbouring Antigua and Barbuda. The Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday that all efforts would continue to bring back Mehul PTI Choksi. SC quashes sedition case against Dua PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 3 JUNE The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed a sedition case against veteran scribe Vinod Dua for his alleged comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his YouTube show last year, saying a 1962 verdict entitles every journalist to protection. A bench comprising Justices U U Lalit and Vineet Saran, however, declined the prayer of Dua that no FIR should be registered against any media personnel with 10 years’ experience unless cleared by a committee, saying it would amount to an encroachment into the domain of the executive. On the issue of protection of freedom of speech and Every journalist is entitled to protection under the Kedar Nath Singh judgment (the famous verdict of 1962 on the scope and ambit of offence of sedition in the IPC) SUPREME COURT expression of media personnel, it said, Every journalist is entitled to protection under the Kedar Nath Singh ruling (the famous verdict of 1962 on the scope and ambit of offence of sedition in the IPC).” While upholding validity of section 124A (sedition) of the IPC, the top court in 1962 had ruled the sedition charges could not be invoked against a citizen for criticism of government actions as it would be in conformity with the freedom of speech and expression. The bench on 6 October last year had reserved the verdict on the petition after hearing arguments for Dua, the Himachal Pradesh government and the complainant, a local BJP leader, in the case. On 20 July last year, the top court had extended till further orders the protection granted to Dua from any coercive action in the case. An FIR against Dua for alleged offences of sedition, public nuisance, printing defamatory materials and public mischief was lodged by BJP leader Shyam at Kumarsain police station in Shimla on 6 May last year. In an unprecedented hearing on 14 June last year, the top court had granted protection from arrest to Dua till further orders.
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