WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 06 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 P6 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 35 and 26 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 000.5 Mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 81% P10 P9 Min: 26.4°C (+5) SUN SETS 18:01 hrs MOON SETS 18:23 hrs THUMBNAILS Delhi State Organising Committee of SUCI demonstrate against the attack on protesting farmers at Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, at the Jantar Mantar, in the Capital on Tuesday. SNS Gujarat civic polls: The BJP on Tuesday retained the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation and won in two other civic bodies in Gujarat, while the Congress took away Bhanvad municipality in Devbhumi-Dwarka from the saffron party. State Election Commission data showed out of total 44 seats in the GMC, BJP won 41 seats, retained Okha municipality winning 34 out of 36 seats. However, Congress won in Bhanvad with 16 out of 24 seats. (P5) Terrorists kill famous Srinagar chemist shop owner: Terrorists shot dead a famous Kashmiri Pandit chemist shop owner Makhan Lal Bindroo, 68, at his Iqbal Park shop. Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah offered condolences to Bindroo's family. (P3) MI thrash RR: Mumbai Indians made light work of Rajasthan Royals sub-par total of 90. Ishant Kishan was back among the runs. With this emphatic win MI improved their prospects of making the playoffs. MI won by eight wickets and plenty of overs to spare. This increases (Earlier report on P12) the pressure on KKR. GAVASKAR SLAMS UMPIRING STANDARDS IN IPL P12 Govts have to tackle New cases lowest in 209 rising cost: Nirmala days; 97.93 per cent cured Fuel prices soar after international oil prices hit a near seven-yr high Min: 56% TEMPERATURE Max: 35.4°C (+1) SUN RISES 06:17 hrs MOON RISES 06:57 hrs PREPARED TO FACE CHALLENGE OF TALIBAN RISE IN AFGHANISTAN: BANGLADESH PM BLINKEN MEETS MACRON AS US SEEKS TO HEAL RIFT WITH FRANCE PUTIN’S WINNING SNS & PTI RAIPUR, 5 OCTOBER A s fuel prices soared to recordhigh on Tuesday, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said prices of petroleum products in the country depend on global oil rates and both the Centre and states have to together handle the issue of their rising cost. Addressing a Press conference at the Chhattisgarh BJP office Kushabhau Thakre Parisar here, she said prices of petroleum products in India, a big consumer of these imported items, depend on their prevailing rates in the global market. Hence, both the Centre and states have to handle the fuel issue together as they impose taxes on oil products, Sitharaman said. She was replying to a question about the rising prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas in the country. Sitharaman said India had to import almost 99 per cent of its petrol and diesel requirements. “Duty and tax on petrol and diesel are not levied only by the Centre. If we use 100 litres (of petrol or diesel), we have to import 99 litres out of it from abroad. According to oil rates abroad, prices (of fuel products) are fixed here. “When rate in the (global oil) market changes, it also affects us. The Centre imposes a fixed amount as tax and not the value-added tax (VAT). But state governments levy VAT (on petrol, Duty and tax on petrol and diesel are not levied only by the Centre. If we use 100 litres (of petrol or diesel), we have to import 99 litres out of it from abroad. According to oil rates abroad, prices (of fuel products) are fixed here. When rate in the (global oil) market changes, it also affects us. The Centre imposes a fixed amount as tax and not the value-added tax (VAT). But state governments levy VAT (on petrol, diesel). NIRMALA SITHARAMAN UNION FINANCE MINISTER diesel),” she said. Sitharaman said rising fuel prices have definitely increased financial burden on common citizens. “In this structure both the Centre and states impose tax on petrol and diesel. I believe prices are rising and definitely there is a burden on the common people. But both Centre and states have to handle the issue, she added. Petrol and diesel prices skyrocketed after international oil prices hit the highest mark since 2014. Petrol price was hiked by 25p/litre and diesel by 30p/litre, according to a price notification of stateowned fuel retailers issued in New Delhi. This sent the petrol price in Delhi to its highest-ever level of Rs 102.64/ litre and to Rs 108.67/litre in Mumbai. Diesel rates, too, touched a record high of Rs 91.07/litre in Delhi and Rs 98.80/litre in Mumbai. Prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes. The sixth increase in fuel rates in a week’s time has sent petrol prices above Rs 100 in most major cities of the country. Similarly, the ninth increase in prices in less than two weeks has taken diesel rates above Rs 100 mark in several cities in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. International oil prices rallied to a near seven-year high following a decision by OPEC+ to maintain its planned gradual increase of supply, despite the market facing an energy crunch. Global benchmark Brent jumped to $81.51 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate rose to $77.76 a barrel. Being a net importer of oil, India prices petrol and diesel at rates equivalent to international prices. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 5 OCTOBER India logged 18,346 new infections in the last 24 hours, the lowest in 209 days, taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 3,38,53,048, even as active cases declined to 2,52,902, the lowest in 201 days, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Tuesday. With 263 more fatalities, the death toll climbed to 4,49,260, the data showed. The 263 new fatalities include 149 from Kerala, and 26 from Maharashtra. Out of a total of 4,49,260 deaths so far in the country, there have been 1,39,233 deaths in Maharashtra, 37,832 in Karnataka, 35,666 in Tamil Nadu, 25,526 in Kerala and 25,088 in Delhi, 22,894 in Uttar Pradesh. The daily rise in new infections have remained below 30,000 for 11 straight days. Kerala, which recorded 8,850 Covid cases in the last 24 hours, is showing a decline in daily fresh cases after crossing the 30,000-mark in August. Mumbai added 341 new infections and two deaths in the last 24 hours, the data said. The active cases comprise 0.75 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.93 per cent, the highest since March 2020, the ministry said. A decrease of 11,556 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. As many as 11,41,642 tests were conducted on Monday taking the total cumulative tests so far in the country to 57,53,94,042. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 1.61 per cent. It has been less than three per cent for the last 36 days. The weekly positivity rate was recorded at 1.66 per cent TN’s largest vaccination drive on 10 Oct CHENNAI, 5 OCTOBER The largest ever vaccination drive in Tamil Nadu will get underway on 10 October in 30,000 camps, in a bid to inoculate 70 per cent of the population, as per the safe standards by World Health Organisation, state health Minister Ma Subramanian said today. “Currently we have about 24 lakh vaccine doses in stock and expect another nine lakh to be sent from the Centre, totaling 33 lakh. By Saturday evening we expect to have 25 lakh vaccines to conduct the fifth Mega Vaccination Camp,” he said. The Minister said 64 per cent of Tamil Nadu's population have received the first dose and 22 per cent, the second shot. In view of the vaccination camp on Sundays, Chief Minister M K Stalin has issued orders to declare a holiday for the nurses on Mondays, PTI he said. which has been below three per cent for the last 102 days, according to the ministry. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,31,50,886, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.33 per cent. The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 91.54 crore with 72,51,419 doses administered in the last 24 hours. Jammu and Kashmir 3,38,53,048 2,52,902 18,346 29,639 4,49,260 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. TUESDAY 05 OCTOBER 2021 recorded the highest-ever vaccination with 1.78 lakh doses administered, informed Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. Sinha tweeted, “Highest ever vaccination in Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory on Monday. 1.78 lakh doses were administered. Congratulations to the health workers, doctors and DCs for their tireless effort. Stay masked, get vaccinated, stay safe.” Delhi reports 27 new cases: The national capital reported 27 fresh cases of Covid on Tuesday, according to the Delhi government's latest health bulletin. The sample tests conducted for the purpose numbered 55,537 and the positivity rate was 0.05 per cent. No fresh coronavirus patient died Delhi and, therefore, the toll remained unchanged (See page 2) at 25,088. Modi hands over PMAY-U keys to 75K beneficiaries in UP Chinese Air Force present across LAC; we are fully prepared: IAF chief Physics Nobel rewards work on complex physical systems STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI, 5 OCTOBER Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated ‘Azadi@75–New Urban India: Transforming Urban Landscape’ Conference-cum-Expo. Modi digitally handed over keys of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) houses to 75,000 beneficiaries in 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh and also interacted virtually with beneficiaries of the scheme in Uttar Pradesh. He laid the foundation stone of 75 Urban Development Projects of UP under Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT; flagged off 75 buses under FAME-II for seven cities and released a Coffee Table Book encompassing 75 projects under various Flagship Missions of Union housing ministry and urban affairs. The PM also announced the setting up of Shri Atal BihariVajpayee Chair in Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU), Lucknow. Addressing the gathering, Modi said that 80 per cent of the houses under PMAY are owned or jointly owned by women. Modi said that more than 1.13 crore housing units have been constructed in the cities and, out of this, more than 50 lakh houses have already been built and handed over to the poor. “Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, about 3 crore houses have been built in the country,” he said. He criticised the earlier UP government for delaying implementation of the project, adding that more than 9 lakh housing units were handed over to the poor and 14 lakh units are in various stages of construction under CM Yogi Adityanath’s leadership. NEW DELHI, 5 OCTOBER The Chinese Air Force is still present on three air bases on its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) but the Indian Air Force (IAF) is fully deployed and prepared to meet any challenge, IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said today. Addressing a Press conference on the occasion of the 89th anniversary of the IAF, he, however, stated that China’s capability to launch multiple high-altitude missions near Ladakh, where the two countries India and China are still locked in a tense military stand-off, would remain weak. On the possibility of a twofront war because of the partnership between China and Pakistan, he asserted that there was no threat to India’s ‘No two-finger test conducted’ NEW DELHI, 5 OCTOBER No two-finger test was conducted on a woman who has alleged sexual assault at an IAF training academy in Coimbatore, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhary said on Tuesday. “No two-finger test was conducted,” Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhary said replying to a question on the matter at a Press conference, adding that disciplinary action will be taken against PTI those found guilty. security. The only worry for India was the possibility ofWestern technology being passed on by Pakistan to China. “With regard to airfields in Pakistan and PoK, we don’t need to be much alarmed as they are small strips capable of taking on a few helicopters. The one towards the Afghan border is probably for rescuing their own people from Afghanistan,” the IAF chief said. He noted that the induction of Rafale and Apaches has significantly added to India’s combat potential. The IAF was in the process of new combat systems to ensure that it retained an edge over its adversaries. “The induction of Rafale, Apaches have significantly added to our combat potential. Our offensive strike capability has become even more potent with the integration of new weapons on our fleets,” he said. With the coming induction of Tejas Mk1A and S 400, the IAF would become Fb, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger back online PRESS TRUST OF INDIA WASHINGTON, 5 OCTOBER Facebook, Instagram, Whats App, and Messenger are now back up and running after the popular social media platforms suffered a massive global outage due to a “faulty configuration change” that lasted almost six hours, affecting tens of millions of users worldwide. The Facebook-owned platforms all crashed on Monday evening, blocking users from accessing their services. The California-based company said late on Monday that “the root cause of this out- age was a faulty configuration change”, adding that it had "no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.” “Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations,” Facebook vice-president Infrastructure Santosh Janardhan said on Monday. “To all the people and businesses around the world who depend on us, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused by today’s outage across our platforms. We’ve been working as hard as we can to restore access, and our systems are Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now. Sorry for the disruption today - I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about MARK ZUCKERBERG FACEBOOK FOUNDER now back up and running. “We apologize to all those affected, and we’re working to understand more about what happened today so we can continue to make our infrastructure more resilient,” the Indian-American official said in a statement. All three services are owned by Facebook and could not be accessed over the web or on smartphone apps. Facebook stocks dropped by nearly five per cent. Earlier, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg apologised to those affected by the outage. “Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now. Sorry for the disruption today - I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about,” he posted on Facebook. Mike Schroepfer, chief technology officer of Facebook, said on Twitter: “Facebook services are coming back online now… (It) may take some time to get to 100 per cent. To every small and large business, family, and individual who depends on us, I'm sorry,” Schroepfer said in another tweet. Major newspapers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal questioned the timing of outage which came a day before one of its whistleblowers was all set to testify before a Congressional committee. even stronger. Chaudhari said the IAF was keen on integration among the armed forces which would result in a maximum increase in India’s net combat prowess. The strength of each force should be taken into account on the theatre command issue, he said, adding that deliberations and discussions were under way on this subject. “We’re hopeful the ultimate structure that will emerge will cater for jointly planning of operations at all levels.'' On recent drone attacks near Jammu, he said the IAF has been working on indigenous anti-drone capability for a long time. It was encouraging startups to design and develop counter UAS systems. “We have also hardened our networks to avoid cyber attacks.” STOCKHOLM, 5 OCTOBER Three scientists won the Nobel Prize for physics on Tuesday for work that found order in seeming disorder, helping to explain and predict complex forces of nature, including expanding our understanding of climate change. Syukuro Manabe, originally from Japan, and Klaus Hasselmann of Germany were cited for their work in“the physical modeling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming.” The second half of the prize was awarded to Giorgio Parisi of Italy for “the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales.” All three work on what are known as “complex systems,” of which climate is just one example. Parisi’s work centers around subatomic particles and is somewhat esoteric and academic, while the work by Manabe and Hasselmann is about large-scale global forces that shape our daily lives. Parisi, of Sapienza University of Rome, “built a deep physical and mathematical model” that made it possible to understand complex systems in fields as different as mathematics, biology, neuroscience and machine learning. NCB arrests 7 more in cruise ship drug case Lakhimpur Kheri: Authorities to conduct second autopsy of farmer PRESS TRUST OF INDIA BAHRAICH/LAKHIMPUR KHERI, 5 OCTOBER MUMBAI, 5 OCTOBER The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested seven more persons, including four “high-profile organisers” belonging to a Delhi-based event management company, in connection with the seizure of banned drugs from a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast in which Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan is one of the accused, an official said on Tuesday. With the arrest of the seven more persons, the number of people arrested by the anti-drugs agency so far reached 16, he said. The Delhi-based firm was tasked with the management of the event onboard Cordelia Cruises ship, which was supposed to take place from 2 October to 4 October, an NCB official had said. The four organisers belonging to the event management firm who are arrested by the NCB are identified as Gopal Jee Anand, Samir Sehgal, Manav Singhal and Bhaskar Arora, the official said. The Uttar Pradesh authorities on Tuesday agreed to the demand for a second postmortem of a farmer killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident after his family claimed he was shot dead. Family members of Gurvinder Singh (22) of Moharia village of Bahraich had refused to cremate him. Senior district administration officials confirmed that Singh’s second autopsy will be conducted at PTI the district hospital.
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