SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 03 OCTOBER 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 | `5 |LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR UN COMMITTEE TO REVIEW TALIBAN CREDENTIAL ISSUE THE LEGACY OF A RHOMBUS P7 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 35 and 26 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 95% Min: 52% Max: 35.0°C (+1) SUN RISES 06:16 hrs MOON RISES 03:46 hrs P11 Min: 26.5°C (+4) SUN SETS 18:05 hrs MOON SETS 16:27 hrs THUMBNAILS President Ram Nath Kovind pays homage to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his 152nd birth anniversary, at the Rajghat in New Delhi SUBRATA DUTTA on Saturday. Retro tax settlement: Companies such as Cairn Energy Plc and Vodafone Group of the UK will have to indemnify the Indian government against future claims in order to settle their retrospective tax cases, according to rules notified by the government to settle disputes a rising from seeking back taxes. (P8) EC freezes LJP election symbol: The Election Commission on Saturday barred the Chirag Paswan and the Pashupati Kumar Paras factions from using the name of Lok Janshakti Party or its symbol 'bungalow' till the dispute between the rival groups is settled by the poll panel. (P4) Modi tears into Opp for ‘political deceit’ DIPANKAR CHAKRABORTY NEW DELHI, 2 OCTOBER I n a dig at the Opposition over its alleged attempts to find fault with the Centre’s vaccination drive against Covid-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said he had respect for people who criticize and not level allegations. The Prime Minister accused the Opposition of “intellectual dishonesty” and "political deceit" in its criticism of his government. At the early phase of the vaccination drive, the ruling BJP had come under fire from the Opposition Congress over inadequate availability of vaccines. P Chidambaram had also questioned the government’s world record of vaccination on a single day, earlier. Prime Minister Modi on Saturday in an interview to a magazine said he respected critics 'a lot' but of late there appeared to be more people who merely level allegations than engage in criticism which he said required a lot of hard work and research. “I, with an honest mind, respect critics a lot. But, unfortunately, the number of critics is very low. Mostly, people only level allegations, the people who play games about perception are more in number. And the reason for this is that , for criticism, one has to do a lot of hard work, research and, in today's fast-paced world, maybe people don't have time. So sometimes, I miss critics," the PM said. WB floods: Mamata seeks compensation from DVC STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 2 OCTOBER West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today sought compensation from the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) for the enhanced and unplanned discharge of water that has flooded many areas and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take action against the agency while requesting the Jharkhand government to maintain their dams instead of releasing water to Bengal. “Without informing us more than 10 lakh cusec of water has been discharged till now, which is the highest so far. I have already written several letters to the Prime Minister in this regard and will again write another letter and ask him (Mr Modi) to take up the issue with DVC as our state cannot afford to face four to five floods a year due to its irregular activity. We will also demand compensation from DVC. Don’t underestimate the people of Bengal. Our chief secretary will also write to the Cabinet secretary and Union agriculture secretary,” said Mamata. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 2 OCTOBER All vehicles in the country should run on 100% ethanol and Centre is ready to enter into Ethanol Purchase Agreement for five years from ethanol producers to boost ethanol production, said the Union Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday while inaugurating a National Highway Project totalling a length of 527 kilometer costing Rs 4075 crore. The Minister said ethanol production could save the country’s fue. “There is a need to run vehicles on electricity and ethanol on the lines of Brazil,” the Minister said. Modi said a whole gamut of issues such as logistics, planning and progress was needed to be looked into to understand the 'stunning success' of the world's largest vaccination drive. "We need to look at the entire logistics, planning and progress to understand the success of the vaccine drive. It is a huge effort with so many people mobilised across the country. I hope the media will take time out to highlight the efforts of our people in making the world's largest vaccination drive a stunning success," PM added. The PM said the planning for the vaccination drive started immediately after the Covid-19 outbreak. It was a time when there were hardly any country on the verge of giving approval to a vaccine. "We started planning for the vaccination drive right in May 2020 when no vaccine was even close to approval anywhere in the world. We had decided as early as then that we did not Largest khadi Tricolour weighing 1,000 kgs unfurled in Leh valley DC beat MI, almost assured of top-two finish: t Shreyas Iyer showed steely temperament while Ravichandran Ashwin compensated his poor bowling effort with a final six as Delhi Capitals inched towards a top-two finish, beating Mumbai Indians by four wickets in an IPL match in Sharjah on Saturday. (P12) Gadkari: All vehicles should run on ethanol P5 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 2 OCTOBER The largest hand-woven and hand-spun cotton khadi flag weighing 1,000 kgs ever made in India was on Saturday unfurled on a hill feature overlooking the Leh (Ladakh) by Lt. Governor RK Mathur. The function to unfurl the monumental flag was organised by the Fire and Fury Corps of the Indian Army. General MM Naravane, Chief of Army Staff and Lieutenant General YK Joshi, GOC-in-C Northern Command also attended the event. Lieutenant General PGK Menon, GOC, Fire and Fury Corps and senior military and civil officials were also present. Defence spokesman Colonel Emron Musavi said that the flag is the largest hand-woven and hand- spun cotton khadi Flag ever manufactured in India, measuring 225 ft by 150 ft and weighing 1000 kgs. The flag is made by Khadi Dyers and Printers based in Mumbai which is affiliated to Khadi Village and Industries Commission. Sura-Soi Engineer Regiment was entrusted with the responsibility to bring the National Flag from Mumbai to Leh and also with the daunting task of installing it at the top of the high mountains overlooking Leh for the unveiling ceremony. The ceremony included a series of events to mark the momentous occasion. Fire and Fury Corps organised the historic event at Leh Garrison to celebrate the 152nd birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi alongwith ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, commemorating 75th anniversary of India’s independence. The event commenced with the brass band of Ladakh Scouts Regimental Centre alongwith students of Ladakh Ignited Minds performing the National Anthem when the flag was unveiled. Advanced Light Helicopters of the Army Aviation Squadron carried out a fly past and showered flower petals over the National Flag. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA CHANDIGARH, 2 OCTOBER want this vaccination drive to run in the old way where it could take decades to vaccinate people. We wanted this to run in a fast, efficient, discretion-free and time bound manner,” Modi further said. The Prime Minister emphasised that research had been one of the top priorities of his government . He cited an instance from a science conference some years back when he had suggested adding 'Jai Anusandhan' or research to 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan'. He said his government had been working on the maxim of "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan (research)". Modi said, “We know that a large population of the world doesn’t have access to Covid vaccines. Our success in vaccination is thanks to India being atmanirbhar.” He wondered how in a large country like India a decision would be acceptable to ‘100 per cent people’. NEW DELHI, 2 OCTOBER Days after the first in-person Quad summit in Washington, US’ former Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster has said that the four-nation grouping will become stronger if China continued with its aggressive behaviour and pitched for strengthening the economic aspect of the Quad to check Beijing’s economic domination of the region. “While the Quad is not focused explicitly on China, to the degree that the Chinese continue to be aggressive in their actions, you’re going to see continued energy in the Quad,” he said at a webinar organised by India Writes Network and India and the World. “There is absolutely no There is absolutely no doubt that the Chinese’ behaviour has become more aggressive in the region. This has energised the Quad, and in particular, India’s enthusiasm and participation in it. KENNETH JUSTER US’ FORMER AMBASSADOR TO INDIA doubt that the Chinese’ behaviour has become more aggressive in the region not only on the northern border with India, but also in the South China Sea, the East China Sea, some claims in Bhutan and elsewhere. This has energised the Quad, and in particular, India's enthusiasm and participation in it,” he said while responding to a question on how far the Quad can bolster member countries’ capacity to deal with Beijing. The webinar was moderated by Manish Chand, Founder- CEO, IndiaWrites Network and Director, Centre for Global India Insights (CGII), a think tank focused on global affairs. Setting the context, he said the webinar aimed at dismantling stereotypes about Quad as primarily a Chinacontainment grouping or a gang-up against China. Beijing has bitterly dismissed the Quad as “an Asian NATO.” Eminent former US and Indian diplomats and experts underlined that the Quad grouping of India, US, Japan and Australia is set to move beyond China fixation to Punjab and Haryana governments on Saturday announced that the procurement of paddy~ a major Kharif crop~ will begin from 3 October, after the Centre acceded to their request. The Centre’s earlier decision to put off procurement till 11 October due to recent heavy rains sparked protests by farmers in the two states. “I am happy that the Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey has accepted our request, and procurement will start in Haryana from 3 October,” Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who was flanked by his deputy Dushyant Chautala and state Agriculture Minister J P Dalal said, said after meeting the central minister in Delhi. He said the paddy crop has reached the mandis for purchase and, keeping in mind the interests of all such farmers, Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey was requested to start the procurement at the earliest. The Centre’s earlier decision to put off procurement till 11 Oct due to heavy rains sparked protests by farmers in the two states Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, who had taken up the issue during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, said that farmers would be satisfied with the decision as it will ensure smooth and hassle-free procurement. The procurement of Kharif crops - Paddy and Millet- was earlier to start from October 1, but due to heavy rains, the central government had postponed the procurement till October 11 as the moisture content in fresh arrivals was beyond permissible limits. The decision has irked farmers and many of them protested on Saturday in several parts of the two states, laying siege to the houses of many ministers, MPs and MLAs. Farmers broke police barricades and faced water cannons, including near Chief Minister Khattar's house in Karnal. In Punjab, farmers protested outside the residences of several Congress legislators, including state assembly Speaker Rana K P Singh in Rupnagar and MLA Harjot Kamal in Moga. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmer unions that is spearheading the agitation against the three central agri laws, had on Friday had given a call for holding protests outside the residences of legislators in Punjab and Haryana. Khattar said that protests have been held at many places by farmers demanding an early start of procurement and the Haryana Government also believes that the procurement should start on time. The Union Food Ministry had on Friday said that it had postponed the procurement to protect farmers as sale of paddy with high moisture content caused due to untimely rains may lead to rejection of the grain. Over 90 cr Covid jabs administered in India STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 2 OCTOBER India has crossed the landmark of 90 crore Covid-19 vaccinations on Saturday with active cases of Covid19 slumping down to mere 2.79 lakh, the Union Health Ministry claimed. The target of 90 crore vaccinations was achieved through 87,06,441 sessions all over the country. While more than 69.33 lakh doses were administered in the past 24 hours, the recovery rate is as high as 97.86 per cent~ thehighest since March 2020, said a senior officer of the Health Ministry. He said only 24,354 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours and India’s active caseload is just 0.81 per cent of the total cases. The weekly positivity rate has gone as low as 1.68 per cent, the officer added. India continued to increase its Covid testing capacity, testing a total of 14,29,258 samples on Friday.“So far, over 57,19,94,990 crore cumulative tests have been conducted so far,” the Ministry said. The recovery of 25,455patients has has increased the cumulative tally of recovered patients (since the beginning of the pandemic) to 3,30,68,599. The Ministry said more than 88.14crore free vaccine doses have been provided to States/UTs through Govt of India. As of now more than 5.28Cr (5,28,28,050) untilized doses are available with the States/UTs to be administered. Delhi cases: Delhi on Saturday recorded one death due to Covid-19 and 33 fresh cases with positivity rate of 0.05 per cent, according to the Delhi government's latest health bulletin. Only five fatalities due to covid infection were reported last month, one each on September 7, September 16 and two on September 20, according to official fig(See page 2) ures. Goyal says Govt has not taken any decision on Air India so far PRESS TRUST OF INDIA DUBAI, 2 OCTOBER Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said the government has not taken any decision on Air India so far and the final winner will be selected through a well defined process. “I have been in Dubai since day before and I don’t think there is any such decision that has happened at all. Of course ‘With eye on China, Quad set to become stronger’ ASHOK TUTEJA P12 ‘Punjab, Haryana farmers to procure paddy from today’ PM says he had respect for people who criticise and not level allegations TEMPERATURE INDIA LEAVE AUSTRALIA AT 143/4 CONG NAMES BAGHEL SENIOR OBSERVER FOR UP ELECTIONS diversify its agenda which will have more economic content rather than security and geopolitical. Besides Juster, the speakers at the panel discussion included Kanwal Sibal, former foreign secretary, Teresita Schaffer, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Northeast and South Asia, Anil Wadhwa, Former Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, India; Prof. Srikanth Kondapalli, China expert at Jawaharlal University (JNU) and Satoru Nagao, Fellow, Hudson, Institute. “The Quad will make important contributions to the economics of the region and therefore to the security of the region,” said Teresita Schafer, former US diplomat dealing with South Asia and the author of India at the high table. bids were invited...and that is assessed by the officers and in due course of time, there is a whole well laid down process through which the final winner will selected,” he told reporters here. He was replying to a question about media reports stating Tatas have emerged as the top bidder for the takeover of debt-laden Air India. Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary to Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) had said in a tweet on Friday that the Centre has so far not approved any financial bid for Air India. “Media reports indicating approval of financial bids by GoI in the AI disinvestment case are incorrect. Media will be informed of the Government's decision as and when it is taken," he tweeted. Sidhu professes ‘undying devotion’ for Rahul, Priyanka RANJEET JAMWAL CHANDIGARH, 2 OCTOBER Days after he resigned as Punjab Congress chief citing his inability to “compromise” and expressed readiness to “sacrifice anything” for the issues raised by him, Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday said he would stand with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi whether he holds any post or not. In a post on the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shashtri, Sidhu said his opponents may try to defeat him but he will use his positive energy to ensure victory for Punjab, Punjabiyat, and every Punjabi. “Will uphold principles of Gandhi Ji & Shastri Ji. Post or No Post will stand by @RahulGandhi & @priyankagandhi ! Let all negative forces try to defeat me, but with every ounce of positive energy will make Punjab win, Punjabiyat (Universal Brotherhood) win & every Punjabi win !!,” Sidhu wrote on his Twitter handle. While Sidhu’s latest post indicates his softening of his stand against the key decisions made by the Charanjit Singh Channi government. In a bid to placate Sidhu, who had questioned the appointment of the new ministers, Director General of Police and Attorney General, Channi has agreed to set up a coordination panel to give the party a say in government’s decision making. Sidhu has been made part of the panel. 3,37,91,061 2,73,889 24,354 25,455 4,48,573 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 02 OCTOBER 2021 CJI hopeful names suggested by Collegium will be cleared ‘soon’ CJI N V Ramana aid the collegium has recommended 106 names for high court judges since May and clearing them would take care of pendency of cases to “some extent” NEW DELHI, 2 OCTOBER Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Saturday pressed for early clearance of the names recommended by the collegium for appointment as judges in the higher judiciary, saying he is seeking the government’s “cooperation and support” to facilitate equal access to justice and strengthen democracy. Justice Ramana, who has been actively recommending names for appointment of judges in the higher judiciary after assuming charge as the CJI on 24 April, said the collegium has recommended 106 names for high court judges since May and clearing them would take care of pendency of cases to “some extent”. Speaking at an event here, the CJI referred to the assurance given by Union law minister Kiren Rijiju and said, “the government has cleared some of them (names for judgeship) and the Law Minister has assured that the rest of the things will come in one or two days. I thank the government for clearing these vacancies and giving quick access to jusPTI tice to the people”.
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