SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 06 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 GOVT’S SCHIZOPHRENIA LED TO COVID RAVAGES: AMARTYA SEN ‘AL-QAIDA LEADER LIVING IN AFGHAN-PAK BORDER REGION’ P11 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with possibility of very light rain drizzle. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 41 and 25 degrees Celsius respectively. P5 P6 India logs 1.20L new Covid cases, lowest in two months RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 82% Min: 40% 2,86,94,879 Min: 23.4°C (-4) SUN SETS 19:17 hrs MOON SETS 15:45 hrs 15,55,248 1,20,529 THUMBNAILS 1,97,894 3,44,082 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 05 JUNE 2021 SNS & PTI Men wash clothes at the bank of Yamuna. On World Environment Day in Prayagraj. AGENCIES Monsoon likely to reach east coast by 15 June: The southwest monsoon is likely to advance into Odisha, Jharkhand, parts of West Bengal and Bihar, the India Meteorological Department said on Saturday, hinting at its good progress in the next 10 days. A lull is expected in the rainfall activity on 7-8 June but a low pressure area is expected to form in the Bay of Bengal by 11 June which will help in the progress of the monsoon, an IMD official said. G7 reaches taxation deal: The United States, Britain and other leading nations reached a landmark deal on Saturday, that could raise hundreds of billions of dollars to help them cope with the aftermath of Covid, to pursue higher global taxation on multinational businesses like Google, Apple and Amazon. (P10) TV actor arrested for allegedly raping girl: TV actor Pearl Puri has been arrested for allegedly raping a minor girl in 2019, the police said. The police from Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) commissionerate took him into custody in Mumbai on Friday night with the help of (P5) suburban Amboli police. NEW DELHI, 5 JUNE India reported 1,20,529 fresh Covid-19 cases, the lowest single-day rise in infections in 58 days, in the previous 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry. The death toll from the coronavirus climbed to 3,44,082 with 3,380 new fatalities, while the number of active cases was recorded below 20 lakh for the fifth consecutive day, According to the health ministry, while a total of 20,84,421 Covid-19 tests were done on Friday, the daily test positivity rate has dipped further to 5.78 per cent. The weekly positivity rate has declined to 6.89 per cent. India had reported more than 88.82 lakh coronavirus infections in May alone during the second wave of Covid-19, accounting for 31.67 per cent of the over 2.8 crore cases reported in According to the health ministry, while a total of 20,84,421 Covid-19 tests were done on Friday, the daily test positivity rate has fallen to 5.78 per cent. The weekly positivity rate has declined to 6.89 per cent. the country so far and making it the worst month of the pandemic. The month also saw 1,17,247 fatalities due to the disease, which is around 35.63 per cent of the total 3,29,100 deaths recorded so far. Daily cases peaked on May 7 when the country registered 4,14,188 infections in a span of 24 hours. Fresh Covid cases came down below the three lakh-mark for the first time on May 17. Daily deaths were the highest on 19 May with India reporting 4,529 fatalities due to Covid-19 ~ the highest from Covid infection in any country in a day since the coronavirus outbreak was first reported in China in December 2019. Active cases had peaked Ethanol blending aim advanced by 5 years STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 5 JUNE India has set a target of 20 per cent ethanol blending in petrol by 2025 to bring down dependence on imported crude oil, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Saturday. Earlier the resolve was to achieve the target by 2030, which has now been advanced by five years. Government has already increased ethanol blending by more than six times in the past six years from 1.5% in 2014 to 8.5 % in 2020, said a senior officer of the Petroleum Ministry. The Prime Minister said while in 2013-14, only 38 crore liters of ethanol were purchased in the country, in 2020 it has grown to more than 320 crore liters an year. T20 World Cup set to be moved out of India PM Modi said India is a strong proponent of climate justice and is moving ahead with a lofty global vision Besides making ethanol from sugarcane and sugarcane molasses, the government is also stressing on producing ethanol sugar production from Food Grain Based Distilleries and agriculture waste. Modi said India is a strong proponent of climate justice and is moving ahead with a lofty global vision including the founding of International Solar Alliance for realizing the vision of One Sun, One World, One Grid and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure initiative. The Prime Minister also spoke about the hard and Centre’s last warning to Twitter on IT rules soft approaches taken to fight climate change. On the hard approach, he noted that India’s capacity for renewable energy has increased by more than 250 percent in the last 6-7 years. India is today among the top 5 countries of the world in terms of installed renewable energy capacity. Especially the capacity of solar energy has increased by about 15 times in the last 6 years. India has also taken historic steps with a soft approach, he said. Today the common man of the country led the Pro-Environment Campaign like avoiding single use plastic, beach cleaning or Swachh Bharat. He stressed on the impact of giving more than 37 crore LED bulbs and 23 lakh Energy Efficient Fans to save energy during the past six years. on May 10 at 37,45,237. Delhi adds 414 cases, 60 deaths: Delhi today recorded 414 fresh coronavirus infections ~ its lowest in over two-and-a-half months ~ and 60 Covid-linked fatalities while the positivity rate dipped to 0.53 per cent, according to the Delhi government's latest health bulletin. Vaccine doses: According to the health ministry, more than 1.65 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and union territories. So far, over 24 crore doses have been provided to the states and UTs, it said. The total consumption, including wastage, stands at 22,65,08,508 doses, according to data available at 8 a.m. on Saturday, the ministry said. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 5 JUNE T he government on Saturday issued a notice to Twitter giving it one last chance to “immediately” comply with the new IT rules and warned that failure to adhere to the norms will lead to the platform losing exemption from liability under the IT Act. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said that Twitter’s refusal to comply with the rules demonstrated the microblogging site’s “lack of commitment and efforts towards providing a safe experience for the people of India on its platform”. “Despite being operational in India for more than a decade, it is beyond belief that Twitter Inc has doggedly refused to create mechanism that will enable the people of India to resolve their issues on the platform in a timely and transparent manner and through fair processes, by India based, clearly identified resources," the IT ministry said. The ministry said that though with effect from 26 May, 2021, “consequences follow” given Twitter’s non-compliance with rules “however, as a gesture of goodwill, Twitter Inc is hereby given one last notice to immediately comply with the rules, failing which the exemption from liability available...shall stand withdrawn and Twitter shall be liable for consequences as per the IT Act and and other penal laws of India.” The notice, however, did not mention a specif- Twitter removes, restores ‘blue tick’ from accounts of VP, RSS top brass PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 5 JUNE Twitter removed the ‘blue tick’ or the verification badge from the personal accounts of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and senior RSS functionaries, including Mohan Bhagwat, only to restore it later on Saturday evoking a sharp reaction from Sangh leaders and followers who described the act as an example of “tech feudalism”. Amidst the outrage, Twitter said that according to its rules, the blue badge and verified status could be automatically removed from an account if it is incomplete or inactive for six months. In the morning, officials of the Vice President’s Secretariat said the personal Twitter handle of Naidu @MVenkaiahNaidu was inactive for a long time ic date to comply with the rules. The IT ministry in its notice observed that the world’s largest democracy had been among the first countries in the world, outside the parent country of Twitter Inc, to enthusiastically adopt the microblogging platform. “Users who are abused on the platform or are harassed or are subject to defamation or sexual abuse or become victims or a whole range of other abu- and the Twitter algorithm removed the blue badge. The last tweet posted from the personal handle was on 23 July last year. The officials said Twitter was contacted after they noticed this morning that the blue tick was removed. Before 10.30 am, the blue tick badge was restored, they said. The Vice President uses the official Twitter handle @VPSecretariat to send out tweets. The accounts of RSS’ Mohan Bhagwat, Suresh Soni, Arun Kumar, Suresh Joshi and Krishna Gopal also lost the blue tick. sive content must get a redressal mechanism that the same people of India have created through a due process of law," the IT ministry asserted. The people of India, who use Twitter, “deserve and demand” a fair mechanism to address their grievances and resolve their disputes, it said. MeitY further confronted Twitter saying it was dismayed to note that the platform’s responses to its letters neither address the Delhi, Maha begin easing lockdown curbs SNS & PTI CAUTIOUS STEPS NEW DELHI, 5 JUNE Covid situation has relatively improved in most of the northern and western states, southern and eastern parts of the country are still reporting a high number of cases Delhi Metro will operate at 50 per cent capaci- ty and markets and malls will open on an odd-even basis from 7 June Maharashtra will implement a five-level plan to ease curbs based on weekly positivity rate and occupancy of oxygen beds in districts from Monday, except in 11 districts where the number of new cases reported was still high. Earlier, neighbouring Karnataka had extended the lockdown till 14 June. The Uttar Pradesh government announced relaxations in the virus curfew in Bareilly and Bulandshahr districts from Monday, allowing shops and markets outside the containment zones to open for five days a week. The number of districts where the curbs have eased with the fall in count of active cases has reached 67, out of 75 districts. In the national capital, where the ‘unlock’ process began from 31 May, Delhi Metro will operate at 50 per cent capacity and markets and malls will open on an oddeven basis from 7 June, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said With Covid cases declining, Delhi will see further relaxation in lockdown, including reopening of markets and malls and resumption of metro services, from 7 June while Maharashtra will implement a fivelevel plan to ease curbs based on weekly positivity rate and occupancy of oxygen beds in districts. Even as the Covid situation has relatively improved in most of the northern and western states, southern and eastern parts of the country are still reporting a high number of cases. Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin announced the extension of the lockdown by a week till 14 June with some easing of restrictions on Saturday. The lockdown in Delhi, which was to end at 5 a.m. on Monday, will be extended further but several relaxations will be allowed, Kejriwal said. Government and private offices will be allowed to reopen with 50 percent attendance. Markets and malls will be allowed to open on an odd-even basis from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m, he said. In the worstaffected Maharashtra, cities and districts, which have a positivity rate of below five percent and the oxygen bed occupancy of less than 25 per cent, will open up completely. But restrictions of varying degrees will remain in cities and districts where the positivity rate is above five percent and oxygen bed occupancy is above (SEE P 2) 25 per cent. Putin puts faith in ‘responsible’ Modi and Xi to solve Sino-India issues PRIYANKA TIKOO ST. PETERSBURG, 5 JUNE NEW DELHI, 5 JUNE The marquee T20 World Cup in October-November is set to be shifted to the UAE and Oman with the BCCI having internally intimated the ICC to go ahead with its preparation due to a tricky Covid-19 situation in India. While the UAE was always the first back-up option, Oman’s capital Muscat has been added as the fourth venue, apart from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, for the tournament. “The BCCI has asked for a four-week window to take a final call but, internally, they have said that they wouldn’t mind the tournament being held in UAE and Oman,” a senior board official said. PTI Details on Page 12 P12 Govt had asked Twitter to comply with new norms for grievance redressal TEMPERATURE Max: 39.1°C (-1) SUN RISES 05:23 hrs MOON RISES 03:21 hrs WHERE TODAY’S SUPERSTARS COME UP SHORT OSAKA EPISODE Asserting that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are “very responsible” leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said they both are capable of solving Sino-India issues, and cautioned against any interference from “extra-regional power” in the process. With Russia publicly critical of the Quad, the fournation grouping of India, the US, Japan and Australia, Putin also said that though it was not up to Moscow to assess how any nation should participate in an initiative and to what extent they should build their relations with other countries but no partnership should be aimed at making friends against anyone. The Russian president’s remarks, in response to a question on Moscow’s view on Quad as well as India’s participation in the grouping, were a veiled reference to the Chinese claim that the grouping is to contain Beijing’s influence in the strategic IndoPacific region. He also asserted that there were no “contradictions” in Russia’s partnership with India and the ties between Moscow and Beijing. “Yes, I do know that there are some issues related to India China relations but there are always a lot of issues between neighbouring countries but I know the attitude of both the Prime Minister of India and also the President of China. These are very responsible people and they Yes, I do know that there are some issues related to India China relations but there are always a lot of issues between neighbouring countries VLADIMIR PUTIN RUSSIAN PRESIDENT earnestly treat one another with utmost respect and I believe that they will always arrive at a solution to any issue that they might face. “But it is important that no other extra-regional power is interfering with that,” the Russian President said. It has been more than a year since the military standoff between China and India erupted in eastern Ladakh on 5 May, 2020 during which there were fatalities on both sides for the first time in 45 years. They have made limited progress in achieving disengagement at the Pangong Lake area while negotiations for similar steps at other friction points remained deadlocked. Asked about the growing proximity between Russia and China and if that will impact the Indo-Russia security and defence ties, Putin said the relations between India and Russia were developing quite rapidly, quite successfully based on “trust”. “We highly appreciate such a high level of cooperation with our Indian friends. These relations are of a strategic nature. They cover a whole range of avenues of our cooperation in economy, energy and hi-tech. In defence, and I am not just talking about purchase of Russian arms...We have very deep profound relations with India based on trust,” he said. Putin also asserted that India is Russia’s only partner that they are working together with on “elaborating and manufacturing, especially in India, advanced weapon sys- tems and technologies but that is not where our cooperation ends because our cooperation is multifaceted.” During the interaction with select top editors of major international news agencies, including from the US, India, the UK, Germany and France, Putin replied to wide ranging issues, including Russia-US ties, the pandemic situation, the US sanctions against Russia and the Gaza issue. Asked about Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov's criticism of Quad as ‘Asian NATO’ and his view on India’s participation in the grouping, Putin said, “we are not participating in the quad, it is not my place to give my assessment to any other country participating in any initiative.” PTI INTERVIEW But the badge was later restored after a lot of hue and cry by Sangh sympathisers on social media. Taking strong objection to Twitter’s decision to remove the blue tick, Rajiv Tuli, a functionary in RSS’ Delhi unit, said that this “clearly shows biasness and a clear example of ‘tech feudalism’ by Twitter”. Twitter however said, according to its verification policy, it may automatically remove the blue verified badge and verified status if the account becomes inactive or is incomplete. clarifications sought, nor indicate full compliance with the rules. “It is clear from your responses that till date Twitter has not informed about the details of the Chief Compliance Officer as required under the Rules,” it said. Also, resident grievance officer and the nodal contact person nominated by the company is not an employee of Twitter Inc in India as prescribed in the rules, the ministry said. Mamata’s nephew appointed TMC’s national gen secy KOLKATA, 5 JUNE TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on Saturday elevated her nephew and MP Abhishek Banerjee as the party’s allIndia general secretary, the second-most important post in the organisation, a senior leader here said. Addressing a Press conference here, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee stated that the working committee has zeroed in on a new policy, under which one person in the party can hold one post, and the decision has been duly ratified by the core committee members. “As the party chief, Mamata Banerjee has made MP Abhishek Banerjee the national general secretary of the All India Trinamul Congress,” Chatterjee said, following two back-to-back organisational meetings, which was also attended by political strategist Prashant Kishor as an invitee. Kishor was hired by the ruling party as its adviser for Assembly elections. Several other changes were made in the organisation on Saturday, with MP Kakali Ghosh Dastidar being made the women's wing chief, and actor-turnedpolitician Sayoni Ghosh the youth wing president~ a post earlier held by Abhishek.PTI Details on Page 5
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