WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 23 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 ON TRACK TO END LOCKDOWN ON 19 JULY: UK HEALTH MINISTER BIDEN & GHANI P6 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 40 and 28 degrees Celsius respectively. P10 Max: 81% 3rd Covid wave is in our hands, vaccine key: Paul Min: 31% TEMPERATURE Max: 39.8°C (1) SUN RISES 05:25 hrs MOON RISES 18:01 hrs 2,99,77,861 Min: 27.4°C (-1) SUN SETS 19:23 hrs MOON SETS 04:36 hrs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE 6,62,521 42,640 THUMBNAILS 81,839 3,89,302 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. TUESDAY 22 JUNE 2021 SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 22 JUNE Former Union minister Vijay Goel and ex-Mayor Jai Prakash along with supporter stage dharna against Delhi government over water crisis at Bara Tooti Chowk, Sadar Bazar, in the Capital on Tuesday. SNS Jet Airways to be back in skies? Describing the NCLT nod for resolution plan of Jet Airways as one of the biggest turnaround events for the beleaguered aviation sector, the airline's Resolution Professional Ashish Chhawchharia on Tuesday hoped that the carrier will be back in the skies by the end of this year provided everything goes well. Jet Airways is expected to see a revival with the NCLT approving the P8 resolution plan. Passenger held for ruckus at IGI Airport: A 36-year-old passenger from Uttar Pradesh was arrested for creating ruckus at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here after allegedly being denied boarding by the airline for not carrying a mandatory RT-PCR test report, police said on Tuesday. Suraj Pandey, a businessman from Rudrapur in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested on Monday based on a complaint received from Deepak Chadha, Deputy Manager of Vistara Airlines, they said. P5 India logs 42K Covid cases, 1,167 deaths in 24 hours RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY India recorded 42,640 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the lowest since March 23, according to data by the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday. As it continued with a declining trend of infection, the country reported 1,167 deaths. It is the 15th consecutive day when India reported less than one lakh new cases. The overall tally of Covid19 cases in the country now stands at 2,99,77,861. The active cases have dropped below 8 lakh at 6,62,521 presently and has witnessed 3,89,302 deaths so far. According to the Union health ministry, a total of 81,839 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours, taking the total discharge to 2,89,26,038 till date. Most jabs in rural areas As India achieved a “historic milestone” of administering 88.09 lakh vaccine doses in a NEW DELHI, 22 JUNE NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul on Tuesday said thwarting the third wave of pandemic is in the hands of the people as “it can be stopped if Covid appropriate behaviour is followed, and majority of people get vaccinated”. He said the day one vaccination figures demonstrate India’s ability to carry out vaccination on a largescale for days and weeks together. “All this was possible because of planning and coordination between the central and state governments and taking up the task in a mission mode,” Paul said. Explaining about the expected third wave, Paul single day on 21 June, nearly 64 per cent of the jabs were given in rural areas, the government said on Tuesday. Madhya Pradesh administered the maximum number of doses on 21 June, followed by Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Assam, an official said. Of the doses, 36.32 per cent were administered in urban areas and 63.68 per cent in rural areas, the official said. Since the vaccination began in mid-January, India has administered 29.16 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines till 3 pm on 22 June, he said. The government also said the virus situation has been improving in the country but stressed on following Covid-19appropriate behaviours. It said 22 cases of delta said, “Whether or not a third wave occurs is in our hands.” “Why will there be a third wave if we follow Covid appropriate behaviour and get ourselves vaccinated?” a Union health ministry statement mentioned quoting Paul. The NITI Aayog member underscored the importance of fast vaccination in order to enable India to open its economy and resume normal work. “We need to do our daily work, maintain our social life, open schools, businesses, take care of our economy; we will be able to do all this only when we are able to vaccinate at a fast pace,” Paul said. “Vaccines are saving lives, now is the best time to take the vaccine”. plus variant of coronavirus have been detected in the country so far, and added that it’s still not a variant of concern. Of the 22 cases of delta plus variant, 16 have been reported from Ratnagiri and Jalgaon in Maharashtra and the rest from Madhya Pradesh and Kerala, the government added. Delhi cases: The national capital today recorded 134 fresh coronavirus cases with a positivity rate of 0.20 per cent while 8 more people succumbed to the pathogen, according to the Delhi government’s latest health bulletin. The fresh fatalities pushed the city’s death toll to 24,933, the health bulletin said. The case fatality rate stood at 1.74 percent. SEE P 2 Reforms by conviction & incentives amid Covid: Modi PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 22 JUNE Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic was formulated to ensure that solutions do not follow a ‘one size fits all’ model, and asserted that “reforms by conviction and incentives” were undertaken on the back of “Centre-state bhagidari (partnership)”. In a post on LinkedIn, he said in the backdrop of global financial crunch, Indian states were able to borrow significantly more in 2020-21. “It would perhaps pleasantly surprise you that states were able to raise an extra Rs 1.06 lakh crore in 2020-21,” the prime minister said. “We had faith in the robustness of our federal polity,” he said in his post titled “Reforms by Conviction and Incentives”. Modi noted that in May 2020, as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat pack- age, the Centre announced that state governments would be allowed enhanced borrowing for 2020-21. An extra 2 per cent of GSDP was allowed, of which 1 per cent was made conditional on the implementation of certain economic reforms. he said. Asserting that this nudge for reform is rare in Indian public finance, Modi said it was a nudge, incentivising the states to adopt progressive policies to avail additional funds. “The results of this exercise are not only encouraging but also run contrary to the notion that there are limited takers for sound economic policies,” Modi said in his LinkedIn post on “innovative policy making in the time of COVID-19”. The four reforms to which additional borrowings were linked with 0.25 per cent of GDP tied to each one had two characteristics-they were linked to improving the ease of living to the public and particularly the poor, the vulnerable, and the middle class and second, they also promoted fiscal sustainability. Modi pointed out that the first reform under the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ policy required state governments to ensure that all ration cards in the state under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) were seeded with the Aadhaar number of all family members and that all Fair Price Shops had Electronic Point of Sale devices. He highlighted that 17 states completed this reform and were granted additional borrowings amounting to Rs 37,600 crore. He said the second reform, aimed at improving ease of doing business, required states to ensure renewal of business-related licences. While pointing out that the 15th Finance Commission and several academics have emphasised the salience of sound property taxation, Modi said the third reform required states to notify floor rates of property tax and of water and sewerage charges, in consonance with stamp duty guideline values for property transactions and current costs respectively, in urban areas. He said that 11 states completed SHAPOVALOV PULLS OUT OF OLYMPICS DUE TO COVID FEARS BJP’S SILENCE HURTS: CHIRAG PASWAN these reforms and were granted additional borrowing of Rs 15,957 crore. Modi said the fourth reform was the introduction of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in lieu of free electricity supply to farmers. Additional borrowing of 0.15 per cent of GSDP was linked to this, he added. Modi said 13 states implemented at least one component, while 6 implemented the DBT component, and as a result, Rs 13,201 crore of additional borrowings was permitted. “Overall, 23 states availed additional borrowings of Rs 1.06 lakh crores out of a potential Rs 2.14 lakh crores. As a result, the aggregate borrowing permission granted to states for 202021 (conditional and unconditional) was 4.5 per cent of initially estimated GSDP,” he said. India has seen a model of “reforms by stealth and compulsion”. This is a new model of “reforms by conviction and incentives”, he asserted. P12 PAGD: Will attend meeting with Modi Leaders may push for full statehood, restoration of Article 370 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 22 JUNE T he Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) will attend the all-party meet convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 June and said they will not compromise on the issue of restoration of Articles 370 and 35A. They will also demand release of all political prisoners, said PAGD chairman Dr Farooq Abdullah. Mehbooba Mufti was persuaded to attend the meeting in New Delhi during the meeting of PAGD leaders including CPI-M leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami at Abdullah’s residence. “Mehboobaji, Tarigami sahib and I will attend the all-party meeting called by the PM. We hope to keep our agenda before PM and Home Minister,” Abdullah said. “There will be no compromise on Article 370 and 35A,” he added. Abdullah said the alliance was confident of putting its stand before the PM and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The meeting is the first such exercise since the Centre abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated into two Union Territories on 5 August 2019. Mehbooba said that as a first step towards confidence building, the Centre should release all political detainees who were jailed on 5 August 2019. Failing to release a particular detainee, the person should be shift- ed to a jail in Kashmir. Mehbooba said that Modi should also hold dialogue with Pakistan for a resolution of the Kashmir conflict to bring peace. “If they can go to Doha and talk to the Taliban, they should hold dialogue with us and Pakistan too for resolution,” she said referring to Indian officials’ recent visit to Doha to parley with Taliban's political leadership. “We will seek what has been ours. As we have no information on the agenda of the meeting called by the PM, we Narada: SC to hear Mamata, Moloy’s pleas on 25 June PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 22 JUNE The Supreme Court Tuesday decided to hear on 25 June the appeals of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the state Law Minister Moloy Ghatak against the 9 June order of the Calcutta High Court which had refused to take on record their affidavits on the CBI’s transfer plea related to Narada scam case. A bench of Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheswari, to which the cases were referred, took up the matter in the afternoon. At outset, Justice Saran said that the matters are fresh for the bench and they needed to go through the files before the hearing. On being pointed out that earlier the top court had requested the high court to defer the hearing till it decides the appeals, the bench said that it would pass the same order urging the high court to postpone the scheduled hearing there on 23 June and wait for two more days. The bench then enquired from Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, and senior Advocates Rakesh Dwivedi and Vikas Singh, whether they will be able to conclude the arguments on Friday. The lawyers answered in the affirmative. The top court was scheduled to hear three appeals including that of the state government challenging the high court’s denial for filing of affidavits by Banerjee and Ghatak in their role on the day of arrest of four Trinamul leaders on 17 May by CBI in the case. It has been alleged that the state ruling party leaders played a key role in stopping the CBI from performing its legal duty after arresting four leaders in the case. Initially, the state government and the law minister had moved the top court with their appeals and later the chief minister filed her plea against the 9 June order of the high court. The top court on 18 June had requested the high court to hear the case a day after the apex court considered the appeals of the state government and Ghatak against the order. On 9 June, a fivejudge bench of the Calcutta HC had said it will SC judge recuses from hearing pleas in Narada case NEW DELHI, 22 JUNE Supreme Court judge Justice Aniruddha Bose on Tuesday recused himself from hearing appeals of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and state law minister Moloy Ghatak about their role on the day of arrest of four TMC leaders by the CBI in the Narada case. As soon as a vacation bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Bose assembled to commence the day’s proceedings, Justice Gupta said his brother judge is recusing himself from hearing these appeals. Justice Gupta, presiding over the bench, said the issue would be now placed before Chief Justice N V Ramana who may take the decision and the pleas may be listed for hearing during PTI the day itself. decide later on considering the affidavits by Banerjee and Ghatak. will reiterate the stand of the PAGD before the highest leadership,” Tarigami, spokesman of PAGD, said. The CPI(M) leader said the meeting with the Prime Minister was an opportunity and assured the people of J&K, and Ladakh that they were going to Delhi to “advocate on their behalf”. Tarigami said there should be no misconception among the people that the PAGD leaders were going to sign on to the agenda set by the Centre. SC quashes Oli’s appointment of 20 Cabinet ministers KATHMANDU, 22 JUNE In a major blow to beleaguered Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the appointment of 20 ministers by him was unconstitutional, invalidating his two recent Cabinet expansions after the dissolution of the House of Representatives. A division bench of Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana and Justice Prakash Kumar Dhungana ruled that Cabinet expansions after the dissolution of the House were unconstitutional and hence, the ministers cannot discharge their duties, a report in the Kathmandu Post said. Two deputy Prime Ministers, Rajendra Mahato from Janata Samajwadi Party and Raghubir Mahaseth from Oli’s CPN-UML were among those who lost the posts. Mahaseth was also the Minister for Foreign Affairs. With the order, there are only five ministers left in Oli’s Cabinet, including the PM. The ministers include Deputy PM and Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel, Education Minister Krishna Gopal Shrestha, Physical Infrastructure Minister Basant Nembang and Law Minister Lilanath Shrestha. The court passed the judgment on petitions filed on 7 June demanding the Cabinet expansions by the caretaker government be quashed. PTI Pawar hosts Opp leaders’ meet SC refuses to tinker with CBSE, CISCE evaluation scheme for Class XII students PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 22 JUNE Leaders of several opposition parties including TMC, SP, AAP, RLD and the Left assembled at NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence on Tuesday and discussed various issues facing the country, amid heightened speculation about the possibility of a third front against the ruling BJP. CPI-M leader Nilotpal Basu, who attended the meeting, said it was not a political meeting but an interaction among like-minded people. “Issues like Covid man- SNS & PTI agement, ‘attack’ on institutions and unemployment were discussed at the meeting,” he said. The meeting lasted for over two hours. Former finance minister and TMC leader Yashwant Sinha, Samajwadi Party’s Ghanshyam Tiwari, RLD president Jayant Chaudhary, Sushil Gupta from the AAP, Binoy Viswam from the CPI were among those present at the meeting. National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir CM Farooq Abdullah, former Congress leader Sanjay Jha and former JD-U leader Pavan Verma also participated. Other prominent personalities who arrived at Pawar’s residence to attend the meeting were Javed Akhtar and KC Singh. Earlier in the day, a senior NCP leader, on the condition of anonymity, said though Pawar is hosting the meeting, it has been organised by Sinha, convenor of the Rashtra Manch. Sinha formed the Rashtra Manch, a political action group, in 2018 that targeted the BJP-led government’s (DETAILS ON PAGE 5) policies. NEW DELHI, 22 JUNE The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to interfere with the assessment scheme propounded by both CBSE and CISCE for evaluation of Class 12 students, whose board exams have been cancelled due to the pandemic. The top court rejected the objections raised by a parents’ body as well as students and said that it is not possible to have a second guess approach with regard to various aspects of the assessment scheme. A special bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said, We accept the scheme as propounded by both the boards-(CBSE and CISCE). The bench also noted the submission of Attorney General K K Venugopal that UGC will issue directives to all the colleges and varsities that admissions be made after the declaration of results by all the boards. The top court, which dealt with all the major objections of the interveners-Uttar Pradesh Parents' Association, and second compartment and private students-said the scheme propounded cannot be doubted on the mere appre- hension of manipulation of marks by the CBSE schools to favour their own students. The bench rejected the submission of senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for UP Parents Association, Lucknow, that option to students for external examination as given in the CBSE’s scheme should be offered at the very initial stage to both the school and the students and the results should be declared together. It said that after hearing the views of Venugopal, We are of the view that this suggestion cannot be taken forward. This would result in denial of an option to the students and also result in increasing the uncertainty until the exam of improvisation is conducted and the results are declared”. The bench said that if students are given the option of internal assessment then as per the schemes, their results will be declared by 31 July and thereafter they can opt for improvisation. Therefore, the suggestions given cannot be accepted, the bench said. It said that on the suggestion that the results (of both physical examination and internal assessment) be declared on the same date to avoid students missing the opportunity in admissions to colleges, the Attorney General has made statement on instructions that UGC will direct all universities to complete the process of admissions after declaration of results by all the boards. In view of the above we hold there is no reason to interfere with the scheme propounded by CBSE and CICSE, the bench said. With regard to compartment and private students, the bench said they will be allowed to take physical exam to be held by CBSE between 15 August and 15 September 2021.
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