THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 25 NOVEMBER 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P4 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Shallow fog in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 27 and 11 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 95% P9 SHREYAS IYER TO MAKE TEST DEBUT P10 Mamata meets Modi, seeks withdrawal of BSF order The Bengal CM also invited the PM to inaugurate the next BGBS, slated to be held in April Min: 40% TEMPERATURE Max: 28.8°C (+2) SUN RISES 06:52 hrs MOON RISES 22:18 hrs GERMAN PARTIES REACH DEAL FOR NEW GOVERNMENT ETHIOPIA'S PM ABIY AHMED GOES TO BATTLEFRONT JAYALALITHAA'S HOME NOT TO BE CONVERTED INTO MEMORIAL Min: 09.2°C (-2) SUN SETS 17:25 hrs MOON SETS 12:20 hrs THUMBNAILS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, 24 NOVEMBER W est Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday and demanded withdrawal of the decision to extend the territorial jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) in Bengal. Miss Banerjee also invited the PM to inaugurate the next Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS), which is slated to be held on 20 and 21April next year. She later told mediapersons that Modi has accepted the invitation. “Whatever might be our political difference, it should not have any effect on the social, personal, administrative and diplomatic relationship we share. So I have invited him to come and inaugurate the Bengal Global Business Summit. His presence will help in the development of the state," she said. She also took up the BSF issue with the Prime Minister. “I have told the Prime Minister that there is no need to increase the territorial jurisdiction of BSF , because it will come in direct conflict with the law and order of the state. Recently, the BSF killed three people and there are several cases when BSF troopers opened fire on villagers. I have told the Prime Minister that if they (BSF) need any help, we are ready to provide it, but the Centre must withdraw the extension of the territorial area of BSF," she said. She also informed Mr Modi about the violence faced by TMC leaders, candidates and workers in Tripura. She also demanded the release of funds that are due to Bengal in the form of the state’s share of GST and for various central government schemes. Before meeting the PM, Miss Banerjee also met BJP leader and Modi crit- ic Subramanian Swamy, who, on his part, denied any plans to join the Trinamul Congress. Responding to a media query on the possibility of an alliance with the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, Miss Banerjee said it was up to the SP leadership to seek her party’s help. “If Akhilesh needs help we are ready to extend help,” she said. When asked why she.is poaching Congress MPs and leaders, Miss Banerjee said, “In a democratic country anyone is free to join any political party. They are all veteran politicians who joined our party by their own choice.” P12 Centre completes formalities to repeal farm laws PMGKAY extended till March 2022 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI , 24 NOVEMBER Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait addresses the ongoing dharna of farmers near Madhuban Bapudham, in Ghaziabad on Wednesday. He said that as many as 500 farmers will reach Delhi on 30 tractors on ANI 29 November. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 24 NOVEMBER Tourists enjoying the snow, in Lahaul and Spiti on Wednesday. ANI NATURE’S DELIGHT ‘Intl flight Ops will return to normal soon’ Three terrorists killed in Srinagar: Three unidentified terrorists were killed in a brief encounter in the Rambagh locality of Srinagar on Wednesday in the third major encounter in Srinagar in the past few days. A joint team of Army, CRPF and police cordoned the area following inputs about presence of terrorists. The three terrorists were moving in a private vehicle that tried to flee when police signalled it to stop. Two terrorists were initially killed and the third was gunned down later. Shimla bags top rank in SDG index: The ‘Queen of Hills’ Shimla has bagged first rank in Niti Aayog’s Sustainable Development Goals index survey 2021-22 whose report was released on Tuesday.The Niti Aayog had conducted a survey in 56 cities of the countries on performance in SDG index in which social, economic and environment criterias had been included and Shimla had been ranked first. State Urban Dev elopment minister Suresh Bhardwaj said Niti Aayog had released rankings for urban areas and Shimla bagging first rank in SDG index was a big achievement for Himachal Pradesh. Adoption row: Anupama, her baby reunited NEW DELHI , 24 NOVEMBER Devotees feeding the migratory Siberian Seagulls while taking a boat ride on the waters of river Yamuna, in PrayaANI graj on Wednesday. Total Fertility Rate falls to 2 at all-India level I INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 24 NOVEMBER Anupama and her husband Ajith walk out from the Vanchiyoor court, with their oneyear-old son Aiden after a family court ordered to hand over the child to the biological mother, in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. ANI STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, 24 NOVEMBER After a year-long wait, protests and a tough legal battle, Anupama S Chandran, who was separated from her newborn child, finally united with her baby. The 11-month-long fight of Anupama and her partner B Ajith Kumar for their child ended in victory on Wednesday as they walked out of the family court in Thiruvananthapuram, with their oneyear-old son Aidan with them. Anupama and her partner B Ajith Kumar received the child at the judge’s chamber in Vanchiyoor. The court proceedings that started at 2.30 pm lasted for around one-anda-half hours. The child, who was under the care of the Nirmala Shishu Bhavan near the Kerala University Senate House campus at Palayam, was brought to the court. The court examined the documents submitted by the Child Welfare Committee including a DNA test result which confirmed that Anupama and Ajith are the biological parents of the child. The order was issued after a doctor examined the health of the child. Details on page 4 India's Total Fertility Rate (TFR), the average number of children per woman, has further declined from 2.2 to 2 at the national level and ranged from 1.4 in Chandigarh to 2.4 in Uttar Pradesh, as per a Health Ministry survey. NITI Aayog's Member, Health, Dr Vinod Kumar Paul, and Union Health and Family Welfare Secretary Rajesh Bhushan released the factsheets of key indicators on population, reproductive and child health, family welfare, nutrition and others for India and 14 States and UTs clubbed under Phase 2 of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) (2019-21). The survey showed that all Phase 2 states have achieved replacement level of fertility The survey showed that all Phase 2 states have achieved replacement level of fertility (2.1) except Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh. (2.1) except Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh. The survey has found that the overall Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) has increased substantially from 54 per cent to 67 per cent at all-India level and in almost all Phase 2 states/UTs with the exception of Punjab. The use of modern methods of contraceptives has also increased in almost all states and UTs. The key indicator of the Health Ministry survey has revealed that the unmet needs of family planning have witnessed a significant decline International flight operations are expected to return to normal soon, said secretary Ministry of Civil Aviation Rajiv Bansal on Wednesday. “International flight operations expected to return to normal soon. We are making all efforts to hand overall operations of Air India by the end of December,” he said. “Ministry of Civil Aviation has sought more Central Industrial Security Force security personnel for airports from the MHA, 3000 additional CISF personnel to be provided in a gradual manner, there is also a proposal to deploy private security agencies for non-core duties at airports,” Bansal added.ANI Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur on Wednesday disclosed that the Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has completed the formalities to repeal three farm laws. Addressing the media after the Cabinet meeting, Thakur said, "Today, the Union Cabinet led by PM completed formalities to repeal the three Farm Laws. During the upcoming session of the Parliament, it will be our priority to take back these three laws." Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had earlier on Friday, announced that the Centre will repeal the three farm laws and bring necessary bills in the winter session of Parliament beginning later this month. He had also announced that the government will constitute a committee to work on a new framework for MSP The . Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 seeks to repeal the Farmers' The Government of India has decided to extend the 'PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana'(PMGKAY) to provide free rations till March 2022, informed Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur on Wednesday. Addressing media here, Thakur said that in the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, "It has been decided to extend the 'PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana' to provide free ration till March 2022." PMGKAY is a food security welfare scheme that was envisaged by the Prime Minister to provide assistance and help mitigate the economic impact of pandemic. Under PMGKAY, 5 Kilogram of additional food grain, per person, is given to all beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act. Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance, Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 has been listed for introduction and passage. It is among 26 new bills on the agenda of the government. ‘Covaxin provided 50% protection during 2nd wave’ INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 24 NOVEMBER Two-dose of Covaxin, developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, provided only 50 per cent protection against the Covid-19 infection during the second wave of the pandemic in India, according to the first real-world assessment published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal on Wednesday. The study assessed 2,714 hospital workers from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, from April 15 to May 15, 2021, who were symptomatic and underwent RTPCR testing for Covid. The Delta variant was the dominant strain in India during the study period, accounting for approximately 80 per cent of all confirmed Covid cases. “Our study offers a more complete picture of how BBV152 performs in the field from 13 per cent to 9 per cent at all-India level and in most of the Phase 2 states/UTs. The unmet need for spacing which remained a major issue in India in the past has come down to less than 10 per cent in all the states except Jharkhand at 12 per cent, and Arunachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh - both at 13 per cent. The full immunisation drive among children aged 1223 months has recorded substantial improvement from 62 per cent to 76 per cent at allIndia level, underlined the survey. As many as 11 out of 14 states/UTs have more than three-fourth of children aged 12-23 months with fully immunisation and it is highest 90 per cent for Odisha. Over 50 per cent of Phase 2 states/UTs are sharing over 10 percentage points during the short span of 4 years. Centre 'concerned' as testing decline in states: Expressing concern at the low Covid testing in some states, the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday said that the decrease in the Covid testing would undermine the actual infection spread within the community. “With the onset of winter and increased pollution in some states, prevalence of ILI/SARI and respiratory distress symptoms should be closely monitored, with tests conducted regularly for timely monitoring and clustering of cases for early hotspot identification,”the Health Ministry said in a letter to the states. In the absence of sustained levels of sufficient testing, it is very difficult to determine the true level SNS of infection spread in a region, it said. and should be considered in the context of Covid-19 surge conditions in India, combined with the possible immune evasive potential of the Delta variant," said Dr Manish Soneja, Additional Professor of Medicine at AIIMS in New Delhi. Covaxin (BBV152) is a vero cell-derived, inactivated whole-virion vaccine formulated with a novel adjuvant and administered in a twodose regimen, 28 days apart. In January 2021, BBV152 was approved for emergency use in India for people aged 18, while earlier this month, the WHO also added BBV152 to its list of approved emergency use Covid vaccines. Covaxin shot developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the ICMR-National Institute of Virology (NIV), in July announced the final results of its Phase-III clinical trials. According to the company, the vaccine showed an efficacy rate of 77.8 per cent against symptomatic Covid19, which went up to 93.4 per 3,45,35,763 1,11,481 9,283 10,949 4,66,584 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. WEDNESDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2021 cent against severe symptomatic infection. In a study published in the journal The Lancet, earlier this month,Bharat Biotech demonstrated Covaxin to be 77.8 per cent effective against Covid, and 65.2 per cent against Delta variant. Let bureaucracy meet farmers, find solution: SC on Delhi air pollution STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHII, 24 NOVEMBER The Supreme Court on Wednesday continued to slam the Centre and the bureaucracy at the state government level on the issue of severe air pollution in the national capital. The top court said it cannot micromanage states and tell them what to do and what should not be done. As a measure to stop stubble burning, the top court suggested the secretaries in the government should visit fields and engage with farmers and also with the scientists, to find a permanent solution to combat the menace of air pollution. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana and comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant said: “We are using our common sense in discussing this issue. As a government, lawyer and judges, we are discussing this. What is the bureaucracy doing? Let the secretaries decide something...” “Why can't they go to fields and speak to the farmers, scientists and devise a permanent solution (to stop stubble burning)?" the bench added, Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the petitioner Aditya Dubey, submitted that stubble burning issue needs attention and if farmers are compensated, farm fires can be controlled. The Chief Justice sug- MAJOR CHALLENGES The SC was hearing a petition by a minor Aditya Dubey seeking directions to stop stubble burning and also provide stubble-removing machines to small and marginal farmers for free. The apex court is very concerned about the critical levels of air pollution in Delhi and pointed out that the air quality index continues to be over 300, which is hazardous. This is a national capital and severe air pollution levels do not send good signals across JUSTICE D Y CHANDRACHUD the globe gested the stubble can be taken to Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, where it can be used as fodder for cattle. The bench suggested if the Govardhan model is implemented, stubble from these states can be given to states where there is fodder scarcity.The bench said the weather department has informed that air quality will deteriorate again. It told the Centre's counsel, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, “We can't go with wind direction. What steps should be taken?” The bench told Mehta to continue with measures to control air pollution for the next 2-3 days, and added that even if pollution goes down now, it will continue to hear the case and issue directions. “We will hear it again on Monday. In the meantime, if the situation improves, lift some bans,” said the bench. “We are not going to close this matter. We will continue the matter...almost every day or alternate day,” said the bench.The apex court is very concerned about the critical levels of air pollution in Delhi and pointed out that the air quality index continues to be over 300, which is hazardous. During the hearing, the bench pointed out that Delhi's air quality has again slipped into poor category and added that the government should come up with a long-term solution. "It (the air quality) will again be in a very serious category...", noted the bench, as it emphasized developing a scientific model for Delhi to combat the air pollution, which is a recurring issue. Justice Chandrachud said this is a national capital and severe air pollution levels do not send good signals across the globe. He told the Centre not to concentrate on ad-hoc arrangements ~ street clean- ing through machines, antismog guns, dust management, etc.,~ rather the air quality commission should conduct some scientific study to reduce air pollution. Justice Chandrachud also suggested seasonal modelling for air pollution for example -- from January to March, July to September, and November to January. “You have to have models for different seasons for Delhi...look at the data in the last 5 years,” he added. The top court was hearing a petition by a minor Aditya Dubey seeking directions to stop stubble burning and also provide stubble-removing machines to small and marginal farmers for free.
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