CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 08 SEPTEMBER 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 CAIRN CEO SAYS $1 BILLION REFUND OFFER ACCEPTABLE LIFTING THE VEIL P6 AS SUGA STEPS DOWN, WHAT’S NEXT FOR JAPAN’S POLITICAL CALENDAR? P8 P9 Humid and discomfort weather is very likely. Temperature likely to be in the range of 32-25 degrees Celsius. Pegasus: SC grants more time to Centre RAINFALL: 49.6 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Centre’s earlier affidavit said allegations based on ‘conjectures’ Max.97% SNS & PTI WEATHER TEMPERATURE Min. 85% Max: 31.0°C (-1) Min: 25.8°C (0) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:22 hrs 17:47 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 06:22 hrs 18:56 hrs New full moon on 21 September THUMBNAILS Chief of Indian Army Staff, General MM Naravane meets his Bangladesh counterpart General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed in the Capital on Tuesday. SNS 78 Afghan evacuees leave quarantine centre: All 78 evacuees from Afghanistan were on Tuesday were released from the ITBP facility after completing 14 days of quarantine at Chhawla camp and given wellness certificates. P5 `50K for Bengal Puja committees: For the second year in a row, the Bengal government announced a grant of Rs 50,000 to each Durga Puja committee primarily to make up for lost P3 sponsorship and extra expenditure. NEW DELHI, 7 SEPTEMBER he Supreme Court on Tuesday granted more time to the Centre for filing a further response to a batch of pleas seeking an independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping and slated the matter for further hearing on 13 September. The Centre had earlier filed a short affidavit following a notice from a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana on 17 August. As soon as the matter came up for hearing before the bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said, “My Lords, I need to take a call on filing a second affidavit. It could not be decided due to some difficulties. Kindly give me time till Thursday or Monday,” the law officer said. The CJI said the Centre’s affidavit is there. To this, the law officer said that the Centre was to take a decision on filing of a second affidavit T Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, “My Lords, I need to take a call on filing a second affidavit. It could not be decided due to some difficulties. Kindly give me time till Thursday or Monday.” When the CJI said the Centre’s affidavit is there, Mehta said that the Centre was to take a decision on filing of a second affidavit in the matter. Kapil Sibal, appearing for senior journalist N Ram, said he doesn’t have any objection to the request. The bench has listed the matter on Monday in the matter. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for senior journalist N Ram, said that he does not have any objection to the request. “List it on Monday,” the bench said. The Centre’s limited, short affidavit said that the pleas seeking an independent probe into the Pegasus snooping allegations are based on “conjectures and surmises or on other unsubstantiated media reports or incomplete or uncorroborated material”. It said the position on the issue has already been clarified in Parliament by IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. With a view to dispelling any wrong narrative spread by certain vested interests and examining the issues raised, the government will constitute a committee of experts, it had said. Sibal, on behalf of some of the petitioners, had responded by saying that the security of the state is as important to the citizens of this country as it is to the state. “We don’t want the state to give us any information about any security aspect in respect of use of any device. That is not our intention and that is not even the petition,” he had said. The top court, while issuing notice on the pleas, had said that it did not want the government to disclose anythi- Have been put under house arrest, tweets Mehbooba STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 7 SEPTEMBER Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday claimed that she has been put under house arrest in her Srinagar residence which she pointed out exposes the Centre’s “fake” claims of normalcy in Kashmir. Her allegations come a day after she said that the last rites of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani should have been performed as per his family’s wishes. Mehbooba also tweeted a picture of the locked gates of her residence and a police car parked in a position to block the entrance. Mehbooba had earlier criticized the government for booking some relatives of Geelani who on 2 September draped his body with a Pakistani flag and also raised anti-India slogans. Mehbooba on Tuesday tweeted: “GOI expresses concern for the rights of Afghan people but wilfully denies the same to Kashmiris. I’ve been placed under house arrest today because according to admin the situation is far from normal in Kashmir. This exposes their fake claims of normalcy”. Earlier, Mehbooba tweeted; “GOI’s dubious claims that people of J&K now enjoy equal rights is a barefaced lie as truth is that even their basic human rights dead or alive are suspended with pervasive impunity”. In another tweet, she criticised the Centre, writing, “Having turned Kashmir into an open air prison, now even ng related to the national security and had asked the Centre what is the “problem” if the competent authority files an affidavit before it on the issue. It had said that divulging information on affidavit on the issue of whether the Israeli firm NSO’s Pegasus spyware was used or not would involve the aspect of national security. “Our considered response is what we have respectfully stated in our last affidavit. Kindly examine the issue from our point of view as our affidavit is sufficient,” the law officer had told the bench. The law officer had said if the government of any country divulges information about which software is used and which is not used, then those involved in terrorist activities may take pre-emptive steps. “We will have nothing to hide. These are the issues of national security. Which software is used or which is not used would essentially be a matter of national security which we cannot hide from the court,” he had said. PEGASUS HEARING IN TOP COURT the dead aren’t spared. A family isn’t allowed to mourn & bid a final farewell as per their wishes. Booking Geelani sahab’s family under UAPA shows GOI’s deep rooted paranoia & ruthlessness. This is New India’s Naya Kashmir”. To dispel rumours about the alleged desecration of the top separatist, the J&K Police had earlier posted video of Geelani’s burial showing they have observed Islamic rites. The video showed that the body of Geelani was given proper ablution by wrapping it in white shroud and then lowered into the grave near his residence amid recitation of verses from the Holy Quran. It is worth mentioning that Pakistani agencies after the death of Geelani have been trying to instigate the Kashmiri youth by posting provocative content on social media. THE PUNISHMENT FOR DEFEAT IS DEATH: PLAYERS P12 Mullah Hasan named interim PM in Taliban caretaker govt ASSOCIATED PRESS KABUL, 7 SEPTEMBER The Taliban on Tuesday announced a caretaker Cabinet that paid homage to the old guard of the group, giving top posts to Taliban personalities who dominated the 20-year battle against the USled coalition and its Afghan government allies. Interim Prime Minister Mullah Hasan Akhund headed the Taliban government in Kabul during the last years of its rule. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who had led talks with the United States and signed the deal that led to America’s final withdrawal from Afghanistan, will be one of two deputies to Akhund. There was no evidence of non-Taliban in the lineup, a big demand of the international community. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, when announcing the Cabinet, said the appointments were for an interim government. He did not elaborate on how long they would serve and what would be the catalyst for a change. So far, the Taliban have shown no indications that they will hold elections. The announcement of Cabinet appointments by Mujahid came hours after Taliban fired into the air to disperse protesters and arrested several journalists, the second time in less than a week the group used heavy-hand- MHA to automatically review visa applications of Afghans SNS WEB NEW DELHI, 7 SEPTEMBER MHA will automatically review visa applications of Afghan nationals who seek extension of their visas, but fail to submit satisfactory back-up documents. MHA sources said decisions of the Foreigners Regional Registration Offices (FRROs) on the Afghans’ applications would go to the MHA for review as a routine, in case there are inadequate documents. MHA guidelines issued a few days back said that the Afghan nationals living in India on any category of visa will be granted extension of visa by the FRRO concerned on gratis basis until further orders. They will not be granted exit or issued leave India notice by FRRO concerned, without prior ed tactics to break up a demonstration in the Afghan capital of Kabul. The demonstrators had gathered outside the Pakistan Embassy to accuse Islamabad of aiding the Taliban's assault on northern Panjshir province. The Taliban said Monday they seized the province -the last not in their control - after ‘Shikshak parv’: PM Modi proposes tech-driven equitable education system STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 7 SEPTEMBER Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday proposed a roadmap for a technology driven equitable education system through his government’s ambitious National Digital Educational Architecture or N-DEAR which he claimed would revolutionize the education ecosystem in the country. Modi’s during his virtual inaugural address on ‘Shikshak Parv’ underlined the significance of N-DEAR for the modernisation of education and making it equitable. Modi said once implemented N-Dear has the potential of revolutionising the education system in the same manner as the UPI interface had transformed the banking sector in the country. “The NDEAR will act as a superconnect between all academic activities,” he said. The PM launched Indian PM launched the Indian Sign Language Dictionary (audio and text embedded sign language video for the hearing impaired) and Talking Books (audio books for the visually impaired) Modi unveiled the School Quality Assurance and Assessment Framework of CBSE, NISHTHA teachers' training programme for NIPUN Bharat & Vidyanjali portal. Sign Language Dictionary (audio and text embedded sign language video for the hearing impaired, in conformity with Universal Design of Learning). He also launched 'Talking Books (audio books for the visually impaired). School Quality Assurance and Assessment Framework of CBSE, NISHTHA teachers’ training programme for NIPUN Bharat and Vidyanjali portal (for facilitating education volunteers, donors and CSR contributors for school development) were also unveiled by him on the occasion. The Prime Minister said the new transformation in the education sector are not just policy-based but also participation-based. He said ‘Vidyanjali 2.0’ platform was an expression of the country’s resolve in accordance with ‘Sabka Prayas’ with ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’. “N-DEAR will act as a super connect between all academic activities. Nishtha 3.0 will encourage competencybased teaching, art integration, and creative & critical thinking,” Modi said. He added that these initiatives are also important because the country is currently celebrating the ‘Amrit Mahotsav’ which will bring about an educational revolution and place the Indian education system on the global map. “We are in the midst of a transformation period, fortunately, we also have a modern and futuristic new National Education Policy. Public participation is again becoming the national character of India,” he further added. Earlier, PM Modi had congratulated the teachers for being conferred with the National Award for teaching. He appreciated their contribution to facilitating education in difficult times and securing the future of students. On the occasion, PM recalled the stellar performances of Indian athletes in Olympics and Paralympics and said these athletes had agreed to his request of visiting at least 75 schools during the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. “This will inspire the students and many talented students will get encouragement to go forward in the field of sports,” Modi said. Severe heat wave in India’s three regions likely to hit health, agriculture, economy Daily cases fall for 2nd day in a row; nearly 70 crore doses administered VIJAY THAKUR NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, 7 SEPTEMBER NEW DELHI, 7 SEPTEMBER Three regions in India have been reporting deadly heat waves in the recent years and are likely to cause severe impact on health, agriculture, economy and infrastructure, revealed a recent report by the India-Mahamana Centre of Excellence in Climate Change Research (MCECCR) at Banaras Hindu University. The research conducted at the BHU found that three regions in India-North-Western, Central, and further to the south-central region are the new hotspot of intense heat wave events over the past half-century. The study also highlights the need for developing effective heat action plans mainly in the three heat wave hotspot regions with a special focus on different vulnera- With an ever-increasing extreme-temperature threshold, a heat resilient future is the need of the hour. MCECCR REPORT bilities among the inhabitants. The research conducted by a team led by Professor R K Mall from MCECCR found that the heat wave has caused severe impacts on health, agriculture, economy, and infrastructure. In such a scenario, it is extremely important to identify the most heat wave vulnerable regions of the country to prioritize immediate policy intervention and stringent mitigation and adaptation strategies, the report suggested. The MCECCR team studied the change in spatial and temporal trends in Heatwaves (HW) and Severe heatwaves (SHW) over the past seven decades in different meteorological subdivisions of India. The study showed a shift in the Spatio-temporal trend of HW events from the eastern region of Gangetic West Bengal and Bihar to NorthWestern, Central and further to the south-central region of India. The research also revealed an alarming southward expansion and a spatial surge in SHW events in the last few decades that may put a greater population at additional risk of heat stress in a region already characterized by low Diurnal temperature range (DTR). Importantly, the HW/SHW events were found to be positively correlated with mortality in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, highlighting that human health STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE is highly susceptible to severe heat wave disasters, the report stated. “With an ever-increasing extreme-temperature threshold, a heat resilient future is the need of the hour. Dense population with an intensive outdoor work culture calls for equitable heat resilient mitigation and adaptation strategies covering each section of the society depending on their vulnerability,” the report read. The study also highlights the need for developing effective heat action plans in the three heatwave hotspot regions to mitigate. Reliable future projections are needed to mitigate future disastrous implications of exacerbated heat extremes and frame adequate adaptation measures in the wake of possible emergence of new hotspots. A downward trend in the daily Covid cases from across the country continued for the second consecutive day on Tuesday with 31,222 new cases and 219 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing the total cases to 3,30,58,843 in India as the vaccination numbers reached near 70 crores. With 219 fresh fatalities, the lowest in 167 days, the total Covid-related deaths mounted to 4,41,042 with mortality rate at 1.33 per cent, the Union Ministry of Health and Family said on Tuesday. A total of 42,942 Covidinfected patients recovered in the last 24 hours taking the total recovery to 3,22,24,937. A total of 1,13,53,571 doses of Covid vaccines were administered in the last 24 hours, pushing the total vaccina- CMYK tion in the country to 69,90,62,776, till Tuesday morning. Bengal situation:West Bengal today registered 601 fresh Covid cases and seven deaths. Kolkata recorded 105 cases with no deaths while North 24 Parganas recorded 97 cases and two deaths in the last 24 hours.The total Covid case count is 15,53,177 and death toll is 18,522 in the state. AIIMS study: The RP Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences at AIIMS is conducting a study to ascertain the presence of the coronavirus in various parts of the eye of those who have died due to the infection, the centre’s chief Dr JS Titiyal said on Tuesday. Addressing a press conference he said that five eye balls have been collected for carrying out the study. “The research study will help ascertain the presence of the coronavirus in the 3,30,58,843 3,92,864 31,222 42,942 4,41,042 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. TUESDAY 07 SEPTEMBER 2021 cornea, optic nerve and retina of Covid infected deceased,” Titiyal said. (With PTI inputs) approval of MHA. The MHA guidelines had also extended the visas for all foreign nationals stranded in India due to Covid-19 and absence of flights, till 30 September. Such foreign nationals will not be required to submit any application to FRRO/FRO concerned. Before exiting the country, they can apply for an exit permission which will be granted by the FRRO/FRO concerned on gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty. If extension of visa is required beyond 30 September, foreign national can apply on online e-FRRO platform on payment basis, which will be considered by FRRO/FRO concerned, subject to eligibility, as per the provisions contained in the Visa Manual 2019. their blitz through Afghanistan last month. Afghanistan’s previous government routinely accused Pakistan of aiding the Taliban, a charge Islamabad has denied. Protesters killed: Two anti-Taliban protesters were killed in Afghanistan’s Herat province, according to media reports. Muslims have nothing to fear in India: Bhagwat MUMBAI, 7 SEPTEMBER Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday said Hindus and Muslims share the same ancestry and every Indian citizen is a “Hindu”. Speaking at an event here organised by Pune-based Global Strategic Policy Foundation, he said “sane” Muslim leaders should stand firmly against fundamentalists and added the minority community does not have to fear anything in India as Hindus don’t hold enmity towards anyone. “The word Hindu was equivalent to motherland, ancestors and Indian culture. This is not disrespecting other views. We have to think in terms of gaining Indian dominance and not Muslim dominance,” he said. Bhagwat said for all-round development of India, everyone should work together. “Islam came to India with invaders. This is history and should be told in that manner. Sane Muslim leaders should oppose unnecessary issues and stand firmly against fundamentalists and hardliners. The more we do this at the earliest, the less damage it will cause to our society,” he said. India, as a superpower, will not scare anyone, the RSS leader said. “The word Hindu is synonymous to the rich heritage brought to us by our motherland, ancestors and culture, and in this context every Indian is a Hindu for us whatever might be their religious, linguistic, racial orientation,” he said at a seminar. See pg 5
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