SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 23 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 with possibility of very light rain/drizzle. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 31 and 17 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 85% P3 Congress censures Centre for celebrating 100 cr vaccination Min: 17.7°C (-2) SUN SETS 17:25 hrs MOON SETS 10:57 hrs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 22 OCTOBER STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 22 OCTOBER THUMBNAILS P Devotees immerse an idol of Goddess Laxmi into the River Ganga. In Kolkata on Friday. IANS MP Sushmita Deb attacked by ‘BJP goons‘: Trinamul Congress Rajya Sabha MP and in charge of Trinamul Tripura Congress was attacked allegedly by BJP goons after she started her cam(P4) paign TMC for Tripura in West Tripura. Alec Baldwin accidentally shoots cinematographer dead on movie set: Veteran actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun while filming a scene in New Mexico, causing the accidental death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza. (P10) England-India test match to be in July 2022: I The decisive match of the Test series between England and India has been rescheduled for next July after the original match was put off last month amid health concerns among India's players following a coronavirus outbreak in their camp. The July 1-5 match will be played at Edgbaston in Birmingham instead of Old Trafford in Manchester. (P12) rime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday addressed the nation over All India Radio on achieving the milestone of 100 crore vaccinations and said,“100 crore vaccinations are not just a figure, but a reflection of the strength of the country.” Modi termed the achievement as “success of India and the success of every countryman,” and said that the ‘vaccines for VIP’ culture had been done away with. “If the disease Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation, Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh today slammed the government for ‘celebrating’ 100 crore Coviid vaccine doses. He questioned the government’s response to Coronavirus while there were people grieving for their loved ones who lost their lives to the pandemic. The PM should have apologised to the families of those who died in the pandemic and provide economic assistance to their families. At a press conference here, Vallabh said that “when there was no vaccine adequacy, the Prime Minister was talking about vaccine diplomacy”. He criticised the vaccine policy of the government and its decision to export vaccines when they were not available to the people in the country itself. does not discriminate, then there cannot be any discrimination in the vaccination. That’s why it was ensured that the VIP culture of entitlement does not dominate the vaccination campaign,” the PM said. The Prime Minister said that the acceptance which India enjoys as a pharma hub of the world will be further strengthened due to the achievement. 3,41,43,236 1,75,745 15,786 18,641 4,53,042 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 22 OCTOBER 2021 The government made public participation the first line of defence in the country’s fight against the pandemic. “The entire vaccination programme of India has been Scienceborn, Science-driven and Science-based.Today not only are record investments coming in India but new employment opportunities are also being created for the youth. With record investment in start-ups, unicorns are emerging,” he said. The Prime Minister also stressed on making Vocal for Local a mass movement. “Just like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a mass movement, in the same way, buying things made in India, buying things made by Indians, being Vocal for Local has to be put into practice.” The Prime Minister urged people to celebrate festivals with full observance of Covid protocol. “No matter how good the cover is, no matter how modern the armour is, even if armour gives a complete guarantee of protection, weapons are not given up while the battle is on. There is no reason to get careless. Celebrate festivals with utmost precautions,” he said. SC issues notice to ex-Twitter India chief on UP govt plea STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE The notice was issued to Manish Maheshwari in connection with a probe into uploading of a communally sensitive video by a user on Twitter NEW DELHI, 22 OCTOBER The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on a plea by Uttar Pradesh government challenging the Karnataka High Court order quashing notice of personal appearance issued to then Twitter India Managing Director Manish Maheshwari. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, submitted that there was a question of law that needed examination and for the time being ignore the reason why summon was issued. Mehta added the question is about the territorial jurisdiction of the high court. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said: “We will issue notice...will hear the matter in detail.” The notice was issued to Parl Winter session likely from November last week AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 22 OCTOBER MUMBAI, 22 OCTOBER Bollywood actor Ananya Panday, who was summoned by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Thursday and Friday in connection with the Mumbai cruise raid case, has denied the allegations of supplying and consuming drugs. Ananya denied the allegation of supplying drugs to Aryan Khan, who is an accused in the case, and said that she has never consumed the drugs. “The chats recovered from Aryan’s mobile phone reveal that in the year 201819, she helped supply drugs to Aryan thrice by providing him the numbers of drug dealers,” NCB sources said.ANI (Details on Pg 5) P7 Prime Minister also emphasises the ‘vaccines for VIP’ culture has been done away with Min: 42% Ananya Panday denies charges of supplying drugs to Aryan Khan VERSTAPPEN MOST POPULAR DRIVER Modi: 100 crore milestone reflects strength of India TEMPERATURE Max: 33.4°C (+2) SUN RISES 06:51 hrs MOON RISES 20:27 hrs ‘TOURISM WILL TAKE YEARS TO REVIVE’ IS BAGHEL MULLING A REVOLT IN CHH’GARH CONGRESS? KISHIDA’S PRIORITIES The month-long Winter session of Parliament is likely to commence from the fourth week of November, Parliamentary sources said on Friday. The session, which is likely to have around 20 sittings, would conclude ahead of Christmas. In the wake of the pandemic, the Winter session of Parliament was not held last year and all the subsequent sessions~ Budget and Monsoon~ were curtailed. Though an official decision has not been taken yet, the sources said the session could commence from 29 November and would end around 23 December. Though both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will sit simultaneously, the members will follow social distancing norms. In the first few sessions, both the Houses met at separate times to ensure that not many people were present inside the Parliament complex. In the Winter session, those entering the complex and the main Parliament building will have to wear masks all the time and may have to undergo Covid-19 test. The Winter session of Parliament will be held just months before the assembly elections in five states, including politically-crucial Uttar Pradesh, which is seen as a semifinal for the 2024 general elections. Maheshwari in connection with a probe into uploading of a communally sensitive video by a user on Twitter. In August, Maheshwari was transferred to the US as a senior director in the revenue strategy and operations department of the microblogging site. On 8 September, Mehta had submitted before the top court that the high court had interfered with the summons issued to the then Twitter MD by UP Police. The UP government filed a special leave petition in the top court challenging the 23 July high court order, which quashed the notice as mala fide. Maheshwari too filed a caveat in the top court seeking hearing before an order is passed in the matter. The Ghaziabad police had issued notice to Maheshwari, asking him to appear at Loni Police Station for questioning in the investigation connected with the viral video of the assault on an elderly Muslim man. The Karnataka High Court on 24 June granted protection to Maheshwari. P12 ‘State can’t withdraw consent for CBI probe by omnibus direction’ INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 22 OCTOBER The Centre has told the Supreme Court it is not understood why a state government would come in the way of an investigation, and have the inevitable effect of shielding those who are guilty in multistate/pan-India offences. It further added that a state government cannot claim a right to issue omnibus, sweeping, and overarching directions to withdraw consent for a CBI probe into any matter. The Centre’s response came to an original suit filed by the West Bengal government against a CBI probe into many cases, which included cases related to postpoll violence and coal pilferage case allegedly involving Trinamul Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee, who is the nephew of party supremo and chief minister Mamata Banerjee. In an affidavit, filed in the Supreme Court, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said: “The power to take a decision not to grant consent in any case to the Central agency and/or power to pass a sweeping order withdrawing consent in all cases is an ultra vires exercise of power and is non-est.” The affidavit emphasised the state government can exercise the power to grant/refuse consent only on a case-to-case basis and for the same, good, sufficient, and germane reasons have to be recorded. “That the power of the state government to give consent for an investigation SWEEPING ORDER The Centre's response came to an original suit filed by the West Bengal government against a CBI probe into many cases, which included cases related to post-poll violence and coal pilferage case allegedly involving TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee by the CBI, cannot and would not include a right of an omnibus power, to pass over-arching sweeping directions not to grant consent in any case and/or withdraw the consent already granted.” On Friday, a bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.R. Gavai, after taking the response on record, scheduled the matter for hearing on 16 November. The affidavit said: "A statutory power conferred upon the state government is always coupled with a responsibility to exercise that power on a case-to-case basis with an inbuilt condition of exercising the same in larger public interest and not to shield any accused or purely on political considerations." The Centre emphasised that the principle of federalism with a unitary bias does not imply a complete embargo on the powers of the CBI in all possible factual circumstances. The Centre said the prayers in the suit are directed either towards restraining the Centre from investigating any case or towards quashing cases where it has allegedly registered FIRs. Captain slams Punjab govt’s probe against Pak friend STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE CHANDIGARH, 22 OCTOBER With Punjab home minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa ordering a probe against a Pakistani journalist known to be Captain Amarinder Singh’s friend Aroosa Alam for her alleged links with Pakistan’s ISI or Inter-Services Intelligence, the former chief minister on Friday slammed the personal attack by the Punjab government against him. Amarinder Singh’s media advisor Raveen Thukral tweeted the statement of the former chief minister in which Amarinder Singh clarified Alam had been coming to India for 16 years with due clearance from the government of India (GOI). “You (Randhawa) were a minister in my cabinet. Never heard you complain Aroosa Alam had been coming to India for 16 years with due clearance from the government of India (GOI CAPTAIN AMARINDER SINGH about Aroosa Alam. And she had been coming for 16 years with due GOI clearance. Or are you alleging that both NDA and Congress-led UPA governments in this period connived with Pak ISI?” the statement aimed at Randhawa said. “What I am worried about is that instead of focusing on maintaining law & order at a time when terror threat is high and festivals are around the corner, you’ve put DGP Punjab Police on a baseless Punjab home minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa ordered a probe against a Pakistani journalist known to be Captain Amarinder Singh’s friend Aroosa Alam for her alleged links with Pakistan’s ISI or Inter-Services Intelligence investigation at the cost of Punjab’s safety,” Amarinder said in another tweet. Amarinder also questioned whether the new government has anything else other than resorting to personal attacks. “One month after taking over this is all you have to show to the people. What happened to your tall promises on Bargari & drugs cases? Punjab is still waiting for your promised action,” he said. Earlier in the day, Punjab deputy CM, Randhawa who holds home portfolio, said the Pakistani journalist should be investigated for her alleged links with the ISI. “Captain is saying that Punjab faces a threat from the ISI. So we will also probe the relation of Aroosa Alam with ISI,” Randhawa told a news channel when asked about widely shared videos and images of Aroosa Alam, a defence journalist, with Pakistani military officers. Harish Chaudhary replaces Rawat STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Rajasthan revenue minister and Congress secretary Harish Chaudhary was on Friday appointed Punjab Congress affairs in-charge in place of Congress general secretary and former chief minister of Uttarakhand, Harish Rawat. Chaudhary has already worked in Punjab in the past as deputy to former Congress general secretary in-charges Asha Kumari and Shakeel Ahmed. He played a role in Amarinder’s removal and was tipped to be the incharge as Rawat has been seeking to be relieved from (SEE P3) the post. Co-WIN served India well, ready to go global : Dr R S Sharma D r. R S Sharma is the CEO of the National Health Authority and Co-Win incharge. He has been in the forefront of the government’s efforts to grapple with the challenge posed by Covid19. In an exclusive interview with Swimmi Shrivastava, Dr Sharma speaks about India crossing the 100 crore vaccination mark and the role played by Co-Win in this achievement. Q. Now that India has crossed the 100 crore vaccinations milestone, can you explain the role of CoWIN in this drive? A. To understand the value of Co-WIN, imagine the possibilities of what might have happened if we didn’t have this digital backbone for our vaccination drive. Amid the uncertainties and scarcity of vaccines in the rapidly shifting realities of the pandemic globally, it was imperative to track and trace the process of vaccination at a granular geographical level. Particularly in the context of our country, with a diverse population with multiple languages and cultures, could we have expected people to remember whether they took Covaxin,Covishield or any other available vaccine, without confusion? Could we have expected people to adhere to timelines between doses when the recommended interval between doses itself was changing? To expect people to turn up at the same centre for their second dose would have caused inconvenience, particularly to the mobile population. Also, with two different vaccines with their own set of specifications and timelines between two doses, one couldn’t have ruled out mix-ups in Amid the uncertainties and scarcity of vaccines in the rapidly shifting realities of the pandemic globally, it was imperative to track and trace the process of vaccination at a granular geographical level a manual system. Moreover, for such new vaccines, to keep individuals fully protected as well as understand the effects of vaccines on a larger population, the recording of adverse events following immunization (AEFI) was non-negotiable. On digital certificates, while it wasn’t fully clear at the outset to as to how they would be used, it is more than evident now, from international / domestic travel to keeping workplaces safe, proof of vaccination is much in demand. All of this had to be achieved at scale and with speed, and it was unthinkable for a manual system to cope with this. Going from zero to a billion vaccinations in nine months, Co-WIN mastered scale and speed efficiently. That’s what Co-WIN brought to the vaccination drive, along with absolute transparency. Q. How did Co-WIN bring transparency to the drive? A. At the core, it reduced the information asymmetry between people and the system, democratising the vaccination drive. Starting from informing small but crucial details like where the vaccination is happening closest to beneficiaries’ homes, to ensuring that the scope of any black-marketing is almost obliterated, Co-WIN kept all stakeholders aligned and the system transparent. From our experience, we know how scarce and valuable commodities become susceptible to leakage, rent-seeking, and other unfair practices, particularly during the times of crisis. By tracing the vaccine end to end, accountability was built into the system by design. Also, everyone from a VIP to a common individual stood as one in front of the tech platform. In that sense, Co-WIN proved to be a great leveller, which made sure access to a life-saving resource is not determined by privilege, but by eligibility. And the only factors for eligibility were defined by the Covid-19 vaccine administration policy, which started with profession - Healthcare Workers and Frontline Workers (HCWs and FLWs) and later evolved based on age and comorbidities. Always keeping the most vulnerable to the virus at the forefront. Q. But what about the digital have-nots in the country, were they not at a disadvantage because of CoWIN? A. The debate on digital have-nots is unfounded. We were very mindful of the digital divide right from the beginning and designed the system in a way that everyone’s data will be digitised, with the only difference being the point of digitisation. This basically meant that one set of people will log in and book their appointment on the Co-WIN portal and start the process of self-digitisation at this point of booking. A larger subset of people will walk in without digital appointments and the incharge at the Covid-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) will assist with their registration on Co-WIN. Approximately 70 per cent of all vaccinations administered were through walk-ins, without any digital appointments, and their data was digitised at the CVCs. In addition to this, an assisted mode of registration has also been in play through the 240,000+ Common Service Centres and a call-centre operated by the National Health Authority, with the helpline number 1075. The Co-WIN platform has been constructed to be inclusive in a multitude of ways. It has been made multi-lingual, offers services in as many as 17 languages. With over 118 crore mobile connections in the country, we kept mobile phone number as the registration gateway, with an option to add up to four beneficiaries on every number. The data inputs expected have been minimal, with name, age and gender as the only inputs required. For the purpose of identification, Aadhaar has been recommended due to its digitally robust authentication system and coverage of over 130 crore across the nation. Additionally, 8 more options of identification have been provided for a truly inclusive approach. (Turn to Page 5)
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.