SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 18 JULY 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 YEDI DISMISSES RESIGNATION RUMOURS ‘BJP’S POPULATION AGENDA TO TARGET A COMMUNITY’ P5 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Thundershower likely to occur. Temperature most likely to be in the range of 35-28 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: TRACES RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 90 % TEMPERATURE P4 P6 Max: 35.2 °C(3) Min: 28.6 °C(2) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:02 hrs 18:23 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 11:35 hrs 23:35 hrs Full moon on 24 July THUMBNAILS TMC activists take out bullock cart march to protest against the hike in LPG and fuel prices, at Balurghat in Bengal on Saturday. AGENCIES Indian Navy gets 2 multi-role copters from US: r The Indian Navy has received two MH-60R multirole helicopters from the US, in a boost to its combat capabilities.The Navy received the choppers from the US Navy in a ceremony held at a naval air station in San Diego on Friday. MH-60R helicopters manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corporation is an all-weather helicopter designed to support multiple missions with state of the art avionics and sensors. (P5) Farmers start indefinite sit-in: Farmers sat on i an indefinite dharna at the mini-secretariat at Sirsa in Haryana after failed talks with the district administration over the slapping of sedition charge against members of their community after an alleged attack on the Haryana deputy speaker's car. (P4) Afghan envoy's daughter assaulted in Pak: The daughter of Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan was abducted in the middle of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, held for several hours and brutally attacked, officials in both countries said on Saturday. (P11) P12 govt Centre books 66 crore Uttar Pradeshaftercancels Kanwar Yatra SC prod doses at revised rates PRESS TRUST OF INDIA 37.5 crore of Covishield, 28.5 crore Covaxin doses to be procured by Dec Min. 58 % BACH HOPES FOR PUBLIC SUPPORT REVOLT IN CUBA PRESS TRUST OF INDIA France allows visitors with Covishield NEW DELHI, 17 JULY he Centre has placed an order to procure 66 crore more doses of Covishield and Covaxin to be supplied between August and December this year, at a revised price of Rs 205 and Rs 215 per dose, respectively, excluding taxes, official sources said. They said 37.5 crore of Covishield doses from the Serum Institute of India and 28.5 crore Covaxin doses from Bharat Biotech will be procured by December. “An order to procure 66 crore more doses of Covid19 vaccines~Covishield and Covaxin~ to be supplied between August and December, at a revised price of Rs 205 and Rs 215 per dose, respectively, excluding taxes, has been placed,” the source said. T A health official administers Covid vaccine at Jungpura, in the Capital on Saturday. SUBRATA DUTTA The price of each dose of Covishield amounts to Rs 215.25 and Covaxin Rs 225.75, including taxes. The Union health ministry which was procuring both the vaccines at Rs 150 per dose, had indicated that the prices would be revised after the new Covid19 vaccine procurement policy came into effect from 21 June. Under the new policy, the ministry will procure 75 per cent of the vaccines being produced France will allow international travellers who have had Covishield vaccine into the country starting Sunday. The move to accept visitors vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine made by India’s Serum Institute came after a global outcry over the fact that the EU’s Covid-19 certificate only recognises Astra Zeneca vaccines manufactured in Europe. by the drug manufacturers in the country. While the Centre has asked both the vaccine manufacturing firms to scale up their production, the manufacturers had indicated that getting Rs 150 for each dose while making investments to ramp up the production was not viable for them, sources said. The Union government had earlier allowed states and private hospitals to procure 50 per cent of the vaccines following demands for decentralisation of the process. However, after several states complained of problems including of funding, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the revision of the vaccine guidelines on 8 June. Domestic vaccine manufacturers are given the option to provide 25 per cent of their monthly production of vaccines to private hospitals. Over 41.69 crore Covid19 vaccine doses have so far been provided to states and UTs, and more than 2.74 crore jabs are available with them and private hospitals, the health ministry said on Saturday. 38k new cases, 560 deaths in 24 hrs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 17 JULY India reported 38,079 new Coronavirus cases, lower than on Friday, and 560 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to Union Health Ministry data on Saturday. Active cases now stand at 4,24,025. The recovery rate has climbed to 97.31 per cent. Kerala, which currently leads the country in terms of active cases, logged as many as 16,148 new cases on Saturday, along with 114 deaths, even as state chief minis- Kerala, which leads in terms of active cases, logged 16,148 new cases on Saturday ter Pinarayi Vijayan announced concessions on certain activities like opening of electronic shops, film shooting and the number of people allowed into places of worship. The Union Health Ministry said that the next 100-125 days will be critical in the fight against Covid-19. The ministry also expressed concern over the fact that usage of masks in India has seen a drastic decline ever since Covid-related restrictions were relaxed and noted that Google data shows that there has been an increase in public mobility between May and July. No fresh death in Kolkata: West Bengal today recorded 899 fresh Covid cases and 8 deaths, with Kolkata recorded 62 cases with no deaths. The state’s total Covid case count now stands at 15,17,380 with a death toll of 17,988. 3,10,64,908 4,24,025 38,079 43,916 4,13,091 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 17 JULY 2021 LUCKNOW, 17 JULY The annual Kanwar Yatra in Uttar Pradesh has been cancelled this year, a senior government official said here on Saturday night. The development came a day after the Supreme Court said it cannot allow the Uttar Pradesh government “to hold 100 per cent physical Kanwar Yatra in view of Covid”, stressing that sentiments, including religious, are subservient to the Uttarakhand has already called off the Yatra citing fears expressed by experts of a possible Covid third wave Right to Life. “The Kanwar Yatra has been cancelled by the Kanwar Sanghs on the appeal of the Uttar Pradesh government,” Additional Chief Secretary Information Navneet Sehgal said. The yatra was scheduled to start on 25 July. New academic session in varsities from 1 Oct: UGC PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 17 JULY The new academic session in universities and colleges across the country will begin from October 1, while the admission process has to be completed by 30 September, according to new guidelines of the University Grants Commission (UGC). Universities and higher education institutions (HEIs) have been asked to ensure that the admission process for undergraduate courses begins only after the declaration of results by the CBSE, ICSE and all state boards. “It is expected that all school boards will declare their results for class 12 exams by 31 July. If there is any delay in declaration of the result of qualifying exams, the new academic session may begin by 18 October,” the UGC said in the new guidelines. The commission has Universities and higher education institutions have been asked to ensure that the admission process for undergraduate courses begins only after the declaration of results by the CBSE, ICSE and all state boards The admission process has to be completed by 30 September clarified that the teachinglearning process must continue in offline, online or blended mode. “The institutions may plan for classes, breaks, conduct of examinations, semester break, etc. during 1 October to 31 July, following necessary protocols and advisories issued by central and state governments from time to time in view of the Covid19 pandemic,” the guidelines said. In view of the financial Any decision by Cong chief acceptable: Capt Govt data raises doubts about PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Speculation spirals over Sidhu as PPCC chief CHANDIGARH, JUL 17 Any decision taken by Congress president Sonia Gandhi will be acceptable to all, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said on Saturday as talk of Navjot Singh Sidhu being appointed chief of the party’s state unit despite his oft-stated reservations gathered force. The cricketer-turnedpolitician held a series of meetings through the day with Pradesh Congress chief Sunil Jakhar as well as several MLAs, including loyalists of the CM, fuelling further speculation about next steps in the dissension-riven party that has long been caught in the Sidhu-Amarinder feud. Amarinder Singh’s statement came after his meeting with AICC general secretary and Punjab in-charge Harish Punjab Congress Gen Secy in-charge Harish Rawat meets CM Captain Amarinder Singh in Chandigarh. Rawat, who flew down to Chandigarh in what was seen as an effort to placate the chief minister. The chief minister also said he raised “certain issues” with Rawat during the “fruitful” meeting at his farmhouse in Mohali. “Had a fruitful meeting with @harishrawatcmuk. Reiterated that any decision of @INCIndia Presì- The cricketer-turnedpolitician held a series of meetings through the day with Punjab Pradesh Congress president Sunil Jakhar as well as several MLAs, including CM’s loyalists. Amarinder is learnt to have told AICC general secretary and Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat he will not meet Sidhu till he publicly regrets or apologises for his tweets against him dent will be acceptable to all,” according to a tweet by the CM’s media advisor. According to sources, Amarinder Singh is learnt to have told Rawat that he will not meet Sidhu till he publicly regrets or apologises for his tweets against him. The chief minister is learnt to have told Rawat that the manner in which the issue was handled was not acceptable and he still has reservations over Sidhu’s appointment but would accept any decision that the leadership takes. Sidhu has been critical of Amarinder Singh after the Punjab and Haryana High Court in April quashed a probe into the 2015 Kotkapura firing case. Sidhu had questioned the alleged “deliberate delay” in ensuring justice and had accused Amarinder of evading responsibility in the 2015 sacrilege case. On Friday, the CM wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi telling her that giving the post of state party president to Sidhu, a Jat Sikh, would upset senior leaders representing the Hindu community and harm the Congress’ prospects in the 2022 assembly elections. actual Covid-19 deaths in MP GAURAV CHANDRA BHOPAL, 17 JULY Madhya Pradesh registered almost 3.29 lakh deaths in just the first five months of 2021, from January to May, the period that witnessed the three worst months of the second wave of Covid-19 from March to May. This was revealed through official data of deaths recently provided by the State Statistical Department through Right to Information (RTI). According to state health department figures, 10,510 deaths have occured in the state due to Covid so far. The Statistical department’s data has pointed out that the average number of deaths in the state in the non-Covid years of 2017, 2018 and 2019 were only about four lakh each year. The same data goes on to show that the total deaths in MP in the 12 months of 2020 were 5.18 lakh. The state was hit by the first wave of Covid-19 from March 2020 that had peaked by October 2020. However, in 2021 the state has already registered 3.29 lakh deaths in merely the first five months, the data reveals, of which 2.02 lakh were males and 1.26 lakh were females. “The data revealing 3.29 lakh deaths in just five months further raises strong doubts that the state government has deliberately concealed the actual figures of deaths due to Covid-19,” alleged Puneet Tandon, the RTI activist who has received the data from the state statistical department. “An inquiry must be initiated into the discrepancies in figures of two departments of the same government,” Tandon told The Statesman today. “The state government should provide an official break up of monthly deaths, both due to Covid and otherwise,” Tandon demanded. According to state health department figures, Madhya Pradesh has witnessed 10,510 deaths due to Covid-19. Of these, 1,478 were added on 13 July, as ‘backlog’ deaths. The health department said ‘backlog’ deaths were added after they were updated from all district auth-orities through a proper format on the ‘Sarthak’ web portal. Projected pendency of 45 million cases in courts an overstatement: CJI PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 17 JULY The projected statistics that pendency in Indian courts has reached 45 million cases, which is perceived as the inability of the Indian judiciary to cope with the caseload, is an “overstatement” and an “uncharitable analysis” and one of the factors contributing to judicial delays is “luxurious litigation”, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said. He said conflicts are unavoidable in any society for various reasons, including political, economic, social, cultural and religious, and there is a need to develop mechanisms for conflict resolution and referred to the Mahabharata, providing an example of an early attempt at mediation as a conflict resolution tool. Mediation is deeply embedded into the Indian ethos and was prevalent before the British adversarial system in India, various forms of mediation were being practised as a method of dispute resolution, he said. Delivering his keynote address at the India-Singapore Mediation Summit “Making Mediation mainstream: Reflections from India and Singapore”, Justice Ramana said many Asian countries have a long and rich tradition of collaborative and amicable settlement of disputes. “The great Indian epic, the Mahabharata, actually provides an example of an early attempt at mediation as a conflict resolution tool, where CJI Ramana stresses on need for conflict resolution tools “Mediation is deeply embedded into the Indian ethos and was prevalent before the British adversarial system in India. There is a need to develop mechanisms for conflict resolution and Mahabharata provides an example of an early attempt at mediation as a conflict resolution tool” Lord Krishna attempted to mediate the dispute between the Pandavas and Kauravas. It may be worthwhile to recall that the failure of mediation led to disastrous consequences,” he said. He also shared a funny anecdote capturing the attitude of judges in this adversarial system, when a judge was sipping his early morning coffee, flipping through the newspaper and his granddaughter approached him and said, “Grandpa, my elder sister has taken away my toy.” The judge’s immediate response was “Do you have any evidence?” “Mediation, as a concept, is deeply embedded into the Indian ethos. Long before the arrival of the British adversarial system in India, various forms of mediation were being practised as a method of dispute resolution. Disputes were often resolved by the chieftains or elders of the community… “However, the establishment of the British courts system, in 1775, marked the erosion of community-based indigenous dispute resolution mechanisms in India. The British judicial system has ultimately become the framework, with appropriate modifications, for the current judicial system in India,” he said. He said there are a few contributing factors that have revived the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms in India and one of them is related to judicial delays. The Uttarakhand government has already called off the Kanwar Yatra citing fears expressed by experts of a possible third wave of the pandemic and the risk posed by such gatherings. The yatra goes on till the first week of August and sees thousands of Shiva devotees called ‘kanwariyas’ travelling mostly on foot from neighbouring states, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi to collect water from the Ganges in Haridwar. "The often-quoted statistic that ‘pendency’ in Indian courts has reached 45 million cases, which is perceived as the inability of the Indian judiciary to cope with the caseload. This is an overstatement and an uncharitable analysis. “The term pendency is used to refer to all cases which have not yet been disposed of, without any reference to how long the case has spent in the judicial system. This would mean that a case which was filed yesterday gets added to the pendency statistics. This is, therefore, not a useful indicator of how well, or poorly, a system is doing,” Justice Ramana said. Admitting that the issue of judicial delays is a complex problem, not just in India, he said several factors contribute towards such a situation. One of them is an Indian phenomenon called - ‘luxurious litigation’, he said. “It is a specific type of litigation wherein parties with resources attempt to frustrate the judicial process and delay it by filing numerous proceedings across the judicial system. Undeniably, the prevailing pandemic has also contributed to our woes," the CJI said. “Judges in India, particularly in the constitutional courts, often burn the midnight oil to meet their judicial and administrative case load,” he said, adding that the second factor contributing to the growth of ADR relates to the increased access to justice here. hardships faced by parents during the pandemic, the commission has asked universities and HEIs to ensure the fee is fully refunded in cases of cancellation of admission or migration of students. It has also been made mandatory for universities and colleges to conduct final year or end term exams by 31 August. The exams can be conducted in either offline, online or in blended mode. “For intermediate semester students assessment shall be based on internal assessment and previous semester results,” it said. Meanwhile, the Delhi University will start the registration process of the 65,000 seats for undergraduate courses at its colleges on 2 August and is likely to announce the first cut-off list between 7 and 10 September , acting vice chancellor P C Joshi announced on Saturday. EC directs initial measures for bypolls in seven Bengal seats State Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab has written to the District Election Officers where the byelections are due, to begin the first level of checking of EVMs and VVPATs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 17 JULY In an indication that bypolls in seven Assembly constituencies in West Bengal will be held sooner rather than later, the Election Commission has issued instructions to the districts concerned to take up initial measures for conducting the by-elections. State Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab has written to the District Election Officers of those districts where the byelections are due, to begin the first level of checking of EVMs and VVPATs. The development comes two days after a six-member delegation of the TMC met the full bench of the EC in Delhi and sought early bypolls in view of the improved Covid situation in the state, declaring that even an election with a short notice of seven days will be enough for their party. The Assembly constituencies where polls are due are Jangipur and Samsherganj in Murshidabad, Khardah in North 24-Parganas, Bhowanipore in Kolkata South Dinhata in Cooch Behar, Santipur in Nadia and Gosaba in South 24-Parganas. In Bhowanipore, Agriculture minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, resigned to pave way for Mamata Banerjee to contest the bypolls. Banerjee had lost the elections from Nandigram and has to enter the Assembly within six months to continue as CM. See P3
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