SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 25 JULY 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 | `5 |LC KOLKATA| NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P5 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Very light rain/drizzle. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 37 and 28 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 000.2 Mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 92% THUMBNAILS Full moon on 'Guru Purnima' in Kolkata on Saturday. AGENCIES Arms licence case: The CBI on Saturday conducted searches at 40 locations in Jammu and Kashmir, and in the national capital in connection with cases related to alleged irregularities in the issuance of over 2.78 lakh arms licences to non-residents on forged documents during 2012-16, officials said. The search operation was spread across Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, Rajouri, Anantnag, Baramulla and Delhi at the official and residential premises of public servants, including IAS officers, around 20 gun houses among others. (P5) Nine dead in Guj LPG cylinder explosion: At least nine persons, including four children, have died after suffering grievous injuries in the explosion of an LPG cylinder and resultant fire in a room on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in Gujarat, police said on Saturday.Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has expressed grief over the death, the Chief Minister's Office said in a statement.The MP government announced financial assistance of Rs four lakh each to the next kin of the deceased. BSF lodges protest with Psakistan Rangers over drone attacks: Border Security Force on Saturday lodged a "very strong" protest with the Pakistan Rangers on the issue of arms and ammunition being flown into the Indian territory through drones from across the border.On the request of Pakistan Rangers, a Sector Commander level meeting was held between BSF and Pakistan Rangers on the International Border in Suchetgarh area of Jammu district. SNS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 24 JULY The government today issued an advisory for Indian nationals in the war-torn Afghanistan, asking them to exercise vigilance with regard to security at their work place and during movement to other places there. “Security situation in Afghanistan remains dangerous in several provinces. Terror groups in Afghanistan have escalated violent activities, including targeting of civilians,” the security advisory issued by the Indian Embassy in Kabul said.Thus, due care must be taken during all vehicular movements, it added. The Indian nationals were advised to avoid all types of non-essential movements, especially during peak commuting hours. While traveling on roads, they must maintain distance from possible targets like military convoys, government vehicles and law- enforcement agencies. All Indian nationals arriving in Afghanistan were advised to register themselves with the embassy/consulates on the website or by email. Those already present in Afghanistan but have not registered were also requested to do so. Mirabai shines in Tokyo to win India’s first medal Could not have asked for a happier start to Tokyo2020! India is elated by Mirabai Chanu's stupendous performance. Congratulations to her for winning the Silver medal in weightlifting. Her success motivates every Indian,” Modi tweeted with the hashtag 'Cheer4India TOKYO, 24 JULY Min: 27.3°C (0) SUN SETS 19:17 hrs MOON SETS 07:41 hrs A confident smile never leaving her face, Mirabai Chanu ended India's over two-decade long wait for a weightlifting medal at the Olympics, clinching the 49kg category silver medal five years after leaving the same platform in tears following a disastrous debut. With her historic triumph, she ensured that India was second on the medals tally for a brief while, a feat that has never been achieved before by the country. It was also the first time that India managed to win a medal on the opening day competitions. The diminutive iron lady from Manipur lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) to better Karnam Malleswari's bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. With this, she exorcised the ghosts of the 2016 Games where she had failed to log a single legitimate lift, leaving her shattered. “I am very happy, I have been dreaming of this for the past five years. I am very PM NARENDRA MODI proud of myself right now. I did try for gold but even silver is a great achievement for me," Chanu told reporters after her careerdefining triumph for which she had been training in the US for past few months. The 2016 experience was a watershed in her career and Chanu had spoken about how confused she had felt during her debut at the biggest stage. There was none of those nerves to be seen on Saturday, just a very com- VARUN CHAKRAVARTHY SET FOR T20I DEBUT AGAINST SRI LANKA P12 P10 Iron lady from Manipur bags silver in women’s 49 kg , puts India on medal table in Day 1 super show Min: 61% Centre issues security advisory for Indians in Afghanistan P4 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA TEMPERATURE Max: 36.0°C (+1) SUN RISES 05:40 hrs MOON RISES 06:35 hrs ‘WILL LET J&K PEOPLE PICK BETWEEN JOINING PAKISTAN OR INDEPENDENT STATUS’ FACED SEVERAL CHALLENGES, SAYS BSY STARING AT EXIT GOOD PROGRESS ON UK-INDIA ROADMAP TO CLOSER TIES: SHRINGLA posed and focussed athlete who knew she was destined for the podium. “I am very happy to win the first medal for India at these Games. I don't just belong to Manipur, I belong to the whole country," she said in response to a query on what it meant for her as a Manipuri. Her smile shone the brightest during the entire performance on Saturday but also hard to miss were the Olympic rings' shaped earrings that she was sporting, which were a gift from her mother.“I would like to thank my family, especially my mother for a lot of sacrifices and believing in me,” she said. The gold went to China's Hou Zhihui with an effort of 210kg (94kg+116kg), who created Olympic records in all three categories (snatch, clean and jerk and Total). Aisah Windy Cantika of Indonesia took home the bronze with an effort of 194kg (84kg+110kg). Considered her weakness in the run up to the marquee event, Chanu attempted 84kg in her first snatch attempt. The Manipuri took her time and cleanly heaved the barbell. She lifted 87kg in her next attempt and raised the weight to 89kg, which was 1kg more than her personal best of 88kg that she had lifted at the national championship last year. In the clean and jerk, world record holder Chanu lifted 110kg and 115kg in the first two attempts. However, she was unable to raise 117kg in her final attempt, which would have been an Olympic record but it was enough to fetch her a medal and open India's account. There could have been more but shooters couldn't live up to the hype with Saurabh Chaudhary's top finish in the 10m air pistol qualification being the only high point of the day for the contingent. On the hockey field, there were mixed emotions with the men's team putting it past a lowerranked New Zealand 3-2 but women enduring a 1-5 hammering at the hands of the Netherlands. The archers caused an upset by beating Chinese Taipei but were found wanting against Korea in the quarterfinal. More reports on P12 Maha: 112 dead in rain-ravaged state; Raigad worst hit PRESS TRUST OF INDIA MUMBAI, 24 JULY The death toll from the torrential rains that have battered Maharashtra over the last three days and triggered landslides rose to 112 on Saturday, including 52 in the Raigad district while at least 59 persons are missing, officials said. Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said Raigad district seems the worst-affected by the rain fury where 47 people lost their lives, including 37 in the landslide at Taliye village on Thursday, according to the state disaster management department. Pawar said 1,35,313 people were evacuated to safety so far from nine districts, hit by heavy rains over the last four days. Parts of the Raigad and Ratnagiri districts in the coastal Konkan region and Kolhapur district in western Maharashtra have been worst affected by the floods. Besides that, heavy rains have been pounding parts of the Satara district. Pawar said 21 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been working with 14 teams of the Army, the Coast Guard and others in the rain-ravaged districts. Besides, four teams of the State Disaster Response The state govt has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the victims killed in floods while the Centre has announced Rs 2 lakh each. Force (SDRF) have also joined the evacuation operations. As per a statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office earlier in the day, 82 people died and 38 others were injured in the floods . According to Pawar, 23 areas in the Pune district are landslide-prone including five areas in Ambegaon, two in Maval, two in Khed, three in Bhor, besides one area each in Mulshi, Junnar, and Velha. “In these areas also many people have lost their lives,” he added. Pawar said the state government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the victims killed in floods and landslides while the Central government has announced Rs 2 lakh each. Pawar also said the government has decided to distribute ration kits in these affected areas.“Considering the restrictions to get wheat flour in this scenario, the government has decided to give rice, pulses, and kerosene in ration kits, which will help people prepare khichdi as a meal,” he said. (MORE REPORTS ON P5) 39K new cases, 546 deaths; Capital relaxes, Kerala tightens curbs HIGH SPIRITS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 24 JULY Students after getting their Higher Secondary Result of Indian School Certificate (ISC) 2021 exam at Ram SAHELI PAL Mohan Mission High School at Lake Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday. CISCE results for classes 10, 12 announced PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 24 JULY The CISCE on Saturday announced results for classes 10 and 12, with class 10 girls and boys achieving the same pass percentage of 99.98 per cent. In the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) class 12 results, girls outshone boys by a margin of 0.2 per cent. The board said like last year, there will be no merit list this time too in view of the exceptional circumstances in which the results have been prepared. The result has been pre- In class 10, girls and boys have achieved a pass percentage of 99.98 % In the class 12 results, girls outshone boys by a margin of 0.2%. pared on an alternative assessment policy decided by the board. “In class 10, girls and boys have achieved a pass percentage of 99.98 per cent. In class 12, the pass percentage of girls is 99.86 per cent, while that of boys is 99.66 per cent," CISCE Chief Executive and Secretary Gerry Arathoon said. He noted that unlike pre- vious years the option of rechecking of answer scripts will not be available this year as candidates have been awarded "imputed marks". A total of 2,422 schools had presented candidates for the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education exam which is the class 10 examination, while 1,166 schools had presented candidates for the Indian School Certificate exam which is the class 12 exam. A total of 2,19,499 candidates, appeared for class 10 exams, while 94,011 candidates appeared for class 12 exams.For class 10 exams, there were 59 written subjects; and for class 12 exams, there were 50 written subjects of which 13 were Indian languages, five foreign languages and two classical languages. For evaluating class 12 candidates, the parameters included average marks of papers and subjects scored in class 11 and 12 through the academic years 2019-20 and 2020-21, respectively. For class 10, the result has been tabulated on the basis of average marks scored by candidates in various exams and tests in class 9 and 10 besides internal assessment marks, including the project and practical work. India on Saturday recorded 39,097 cases of Covid and 546 deaths, data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare showed, even as the national capital, which has seen a drop in coronavirus cases and deaths, went in for further relaxation of lockdown restrictions, while the state of Kerala, dealing with stubbornly high virus numbers, announced further tightening of norms. The country now has 4,08,977 active cases and has witnessed a total of 4,20,016 deaths so far. The Delhi Metro and public buses will operate with full seating capacity from Monday, while cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes will open with 50 per cent occupancy, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority said Saturday in its latest set of lockdown relaxations for the capital. This comes as the city witnesses a drop in coronavirus cases and deaths. The latest DDMA unlock guidelines say Delhi Metro, the city's lifeline, will be allowed to operate with 100 per cent seating capacity from Monday but no standing passenger will be allowed. Cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes will be allowed to 3,13,32,159 4,08,977 Devotees take part in a Guru Purnima outside the gate of an Ashram as it was closed due to Covid-19 restrictions in Varanasi on Friday. open with 50 percent seating capacity from July 26, while business-to-business (B2B) exhibitions will also be allowed, but only with business visitors, the guidelines said. Kerala reported 18,531 new Covid cases on Saturday, pushing the total cases reported from the state to 32,54,064. On Saturday, the positivity rate in the state was recorded at 11.91 per cent. With 98 deaths being reported on Saturday, the state's death toll has risen to 15,969. The Kerala government has announced further restrictions as the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) still remains high in the state. As per the new restrictions, government offices, public offices, Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), companies, commissions, and 39,097 35,087 4,20,016 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 24 JULY 2021 corporation offices in Category A and B local bodies can function with up to 50per cent of staff and with up to 25per cent capacity in Category C areas. Only essential services will operate in Category D. Delhi cases: No death due to Covid was recorded in Delhi on Saturday, while 66 fresh cases were reported with a positivity rate of 0.09 per cent, according to the Delhi government's latest (SEE P2) health bulletin. Blinken to focus on Afghanistan, Quad, Covid during his visit to India PRESS TRUST OF INDIA WASHINGTON, 24 JULY Expanding the US-India cooperation on security, defence and counterterrorism and matters like the situation in Afghanistan, Quad, Covid and climate change will be on top of the agenda of Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his maiden trip to India next week, according to a senior American official. Blinken is scheduled to arrive in New Delhi late on 27 July. He is scheduled to attend a full slate of engagements on 28 July. During his stay in the country, he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and exter- nal affairs minister S Jaishankar. The Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will also meet Bilinken. In the Secretary's meetings with Prime Minister Modi and external affairs minister Jaishankar, the senior State Department official on Friday said they expect the discussions to focus on ways to further deepen the bilateral partnership, which is very broad in scope, as well as increased convergence on regional and global issues. "Our bilateral discussions with our Indian partners will focus on expanding our security, defence, cyber, and coun- Blinken is scheduled to arrive in New Delhi late on 27 July. He is scheduled to attend a full slate of engagements on 28 July. terterrorism cooperation," Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Dean Thompson told reporters during a conference call on Blinken's visit.”We collaborate across the government on these issues, including through regular US-India working group meetings, and we look forward to further strength- ening our ties with India to ensure a safer and more secure world,” he said. To that end, Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin look forward to hosting their Indian counterparts for the annual US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue later this year, he said, without giving specific details of the dialogue. “On regional issues, we intend to discuss our efforts to support a just and durable peace in Afghanistan,” Thompson said. “All of Afghanistan's neighbours and countries in the region have an interest in a peaceful, secure, and stable Afghanistan, which can only be accomplished through a negotiated political settlement that brings an end to 40 years of conflict,” he said. India, of course, is a critical partner in the region, and the US welcomes India's shared commitment to peace and supporting economic development in Afghanistan, Thompson said. “We also expect to discuss developments in the IndoPacific region with our Indian partners,” he said, adding that one of the first multilateral events that President Joe Biden hosted this year was a virtual Quad summit with his counterparts from India, Japan and Australia. In November 2017, the four nations gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the "Quad" to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the IndoPacific free of any influence. The evolving situation in the Indo-Pacific region in the wake of China's increasing military muscle-flexing has become a major talking point among leading global powers. China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas. Beijing claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea. But Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims. “We're working with India and other friends and partners in the region to advance this shared vision of the IndoPacific. Importantly, we'll also discuss our health collaboration to combat Covid, including the Quad vaccine partnership that was first announced during President Biden's Quad summit," Thompson said. Thompson said the United States and India are also working urgently toward their shared goal of overcoming the pandemic. Climate change would be another major area of discussion, he told reporters.
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