FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 07 JANUARY 2022 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P6 WEATHER GENERALLY CLOUDY SKY WITH POSSIBILITY OF VERY LIGHT RAIN/ DRIZZLE TOWARDS NIGHT. MODERATE FOG IN THE MORNING. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 21 AND 12 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 97% P10 Omicron infection tally has climbed to 2,630 across the nation Min: 65% Min: 11.7°C (+5) SUN SETS 17:40 hrs MOON SETS 22:39 hrs I Max: 21.1°C (+2) SUN RISES 07:15 hrs MOON RISES 11:28 hrs THUMBNAILS Badrinath Dham covered in a thick blanket of ANI snow after fresh snowfall on Thursday. PM to virtually inaugurate second CNCI campus in Kolkata today: Prime minister Narendra Modi will virtually inaugurate the second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute in Kolkata on Friday from Capital. According to the Prime Minister Office, the second campus of the CNCI would provide comprehensive care to cancer patients especially those from Eastern and North-Eastern parts of the country. Kerala CM flying to US for treatment: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan will be flying to the USA on 15 January for medical treatment The chief minister would be undergoing treatment at the Mayo clinic in Rochester in USA . He will be in the US till 29 January. All the expenses related to his journey and treatment will be borne by the State government, says the order issued in this regard by the state chief secretary. 6 dead after gas leak in Surat factory: At least six people have died while 20 others have been hospitalised after inhaling toxic chemical that leaked from a printing mill in the Sachin GIDC area of Surat on Thursday. ndia registered a singleday rise of 90,928 cases, a significant rise from the previous day's 58,097 Covid cases in a span of 24 hours. A total of 325 deaths have also been reported in the same time, said the Union ministry of health and family welfare on Thursday. With the addition of new deaths, the death toll has reached 4,82,876. The active caseload has jumped to 2,85,401 which constitutes 0.81 per cent of the country's total positive cases. Meanwhile, the Omicron infection tally has climbed at 2,630 across the nation. However, out of total Omicron positive cases, 995 have been discharged from hospitals. So far 26 states have reported Omicron cases, said the Union health ministry on Thursday. The recovery of 19,206 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally to 3,43,41,009. Consequently, India's recovery rate stands at 97.81 per cent. Also in the same period, a total of 14,13,030 tests were conducted across the country. India has so far conducted over 68.53 crore cumulative tests. The weekly positivity rate has climbed to 3.47 per cent amid a sudden spike in cases. The daily positivity rate stands at 6.43 per cent. With the administration of over 91 lakhs vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India's Covid inoculation coverage has reached 148.76 crore as of Thursday morn- Delhi sees massive surge; 15,097 fresh cases in 24-hour ALARMING STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 JANUARY Health workers take swab samples of passengers , in the Capital on SNS Thursday. The weekly positivity rate has climbed to 3.47 per cent amid a sudden spike in cases. With the administration of over 91 lakhs vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India's Covid inoculation coverage has reached 148.76 crore as of Thursday morning. ing. More than 18.43 crore balance and unutilised Covid vaccine doses are still available with the states and union territories to be administered, according to the health ministry as of Thursday morning. The country's R naught value that indicates the spread of the infection is 2.69, higher than the 1.69 recorded during the peak of the pandemic's second wave. Mumbai recorded a new daily infection peak of 15,166 on Wednesday, well up on its previous high of just over 11,000 hit last year. Nearly 90per cent of new patients had shown no symptoms and only 8per centwere hospitalised, city officials said in a daily health bulletin. Covid cases nearly doubled in a day in Delhi to 10,665 on Wednesday, but the state said only 7 per cent of its Covid beds were occu- The number of Covid-19 fresh cases in the national capital jumped to 15,097 on Thursday from 10,665 on Wednesday following 98,434 sample tests conducted all over the city, according to the latest health bulletin issued by the Delhi government. This was the highest single-day figure of coronavirus infections since 8 May and a 41.5 per cent increase from the number yesterday. The Covid-19 positivity rate also rose to 15.34 per cent from 11.88 per cent yesterday. The virus claimed six fresh lives whereas it caused the death of eight pied. State health officials, however, have warned even a large number of mild cases could put pressure on the health system. Kolkata accounted for half of the new cases in West Bengal until a few days ago, but cases are now rising in neighbouring districts. The state has reported one of the highest rates of infections in India. Apart from Delhi and Mumbai, the Union Health Ministry has identified Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru as some of the main regions of concern, although state officials worry the disease will soon spread to the countryside persons yesterday, taking the cumulative count of such fatalities to 25,127. What is, however, more disturbing is that Covid-19 patients are dying every day this month. As many as 6,900 patients recovered from the infection during the past 24 hours. The bulletin informed that 211 patients were on oxygen support and 24 were put on the ventilator. Yesterday, 140 patients were on oxygen support and 22 were fighting for life with the ventilator support. There were 1,091 hospitalised patients and 11,489 hospital beds meant for coronavirus patients remained (SEE P 2) vacant. Punjab govt constitutes panel to probe PM’s security breach Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets President Ram Nath Kovind ANI at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on Thursday. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 JANUARY President Ram Nath Kovind met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday and received a first-hand account of a security breach in his convoy in Punjab on Wednesday. “President Ram Nath Kovind met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Rashtrapati Bhavan today and received from him a SC sets aside Cal HC order on Alapan case NEW DELHI , 6 JANUARY The Supreme Court set aside the Calcutta High Court order which had quashed the order of the Principal Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal, in which former Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay had sought transfer of the case from Kolkata to New Delhi. A Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar allowed the appeal filed by the Centre challenging Calcutta HC’s order of setting aside the order passed by the CAT Principal Bench in SNS Delhi. first-hand account of the security breach in his convoy in Punjab yesterday. The President expressed his concerns about the serious lapse,” the President of India tweeted. Earlier today President Kovind had expressed concern about the security breach in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Punjab visit. Modi was scheduled to visit Ferozepur on Wednesday to lay the foundation stone of The Punjab government today constituted a high level committee to conduct a thorough probe into the lapses that occurred during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Ferozepur on Wednesday . The committee, comprising Justice (Retd.) Mehtab Singh Gill and Principal Secretary, Home Affairs and Justice Anurag Verma, shall submit its report within three days, the state government multiple development projects worth more than Rs 42,750 crore. The Home Ministry said in a statement that around 30 km away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hus- P12 tweeted. The PM was scheduled to visit Ferozepur on Wednesday to lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 42,750 crore. The BJP has made a big issue of the alleged security lapse, charging the Charanjit Singh Channi-led Congress government in the state with trying to bring harm to the PM.Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also denied the charge, asserting that all security arrangements were in place for the PM’s convoy. sainiwala, when the Prime Minister's convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protesters. The Prime Minister was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 EC reviews Covid situation in poll-bound states with officials INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 JANUARY The Election Commission on Thursday reviewed the current Covid situation in the five poll-bound states with Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, AIIMS Director, Dr Randeep Guleria, and ICMR chief Dr Balram Bhargava. Five states scheduled for Assembly polls this year are Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab, and Manipur. According to a source, the health experts have briefed the top Election Commission officials to focus majorly on virtual rallies, seeing the unprecedented rise in the Covid cases across the country. The need to ramp up the vaccination process was also emphasised. The source said that the need to ensure complete vaccination of eligible population was stressed to the Health Secretary in the meeting. This is the second time that when Bhushan briefed the EC top officials on the emerging Covid situation UNDER LENS Five states scheduled for Assembly polls this year are Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab, and Manipur in the country and pollbound states in particular. Earlier, the meeting was held on December 27 with health experts in which the Election Commission had asked to speed up the vaccination drive in the pollbound states. India's Omicron infection tally has climbed at 2,630 across the nation. Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party has canceled its election rallies which were scheduled to be held in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh on 8,9 and 10 January owing to a rise in cases across the country. This information holds 3,51,09,286 2,85,401 90,928 19,206 4,82,876 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. THURSDAY 06 JANUARY 2022 where health facilities are weaker. minutes. “This was a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister's schedule and travel plan was communicated well in advance to the Punjab Government. As per procedure, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready,” the statement said. SC to hear PM security breach issue: The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear tommorow the matter connected with the security breach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Punjab a day ago. Senior advocate Maninder Singh mentioned the petition before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana seeking a probe into the security breach in the PM's cavalcade in Punjab. The bench also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli asked Singh to serve a copy of the petition to the Punjab government and posted the matter for hearing on Friday. Tourists carrying tricolour umbrellas on a drizzling winter day, at Taj Mahal on Thursday. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE India today took strong exception to a Chinese Embassy official recently writing to Indian MPs directly for their participation in an event on Tibet, saying the substance, tone and tenor of the letter were inappropriate. “The Chinese side should note that India is a vibrant democracy and Hon’ble MPs, as representatives of the people, undertake activities as per their views and beliefs,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing. He said India expected China to refrain from hyping normal activities by the Indian MPs and complicating further the situation in bilateral relations. On 22 December, Tibetan parliament-in-exile speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel met with the group of MPs from various parties. According to a press note from the Tibetan parliamentary secretariat, the meeting marked the “successful” revival of the AllParty Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet (APIPFT), which had been defunct for several years. A week later, several of the participants received a letter signed by Chinese Embassy’s political counselor Zhou Yongsheng, expressing concern over their participation. Meanwhile, regarding reports about a bridge being made by the Chinese side on the Pangong Tso Lake, the spokesperson said the government has been monitoring this activity closely. “This bridge is being constructed in areas that have been under illegal occupation by China for around 60 years now. As you are well aware India has never accepted such illegal occupation,” he added. Separately, he said the government has been taking all necessary steps to ensure that our security interests are fully protected.“As part of these efforts, the government has also, in the last seven years, increased significantly the budget for development of border infrastructure and completed more roads and bridges than ever before. These have provided muchneeded connectivity to the local population as well as logistical support to armed forces,” he added. On China renaming some places in Arunachal Pradesh, the spokesperson hoped that instead of engaging in such antics, Beijing would work constructively with India to resolve the outstanding friction points in areas along the LAC in India-China border areas. ANI Creator of ‘Bulli Bai’ app held SC verdict on EWS quota in NEET-PG admission today INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI,6 JANUARY A second-year engineering student, who is said to be the main conspirator and creator of the ‘Bulli Bai’ on GitHub and the main Twitter account holder of the app, Neeraj Bishnoi, has been arrested by IFSO (Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations unit) of the Special Cell of Delhi Police. Bishnoi was held from Assam by a team of IFSO, Special Cell, led by DCP K.P.S. Malhotra. Bishnoi is a resident of the Jorhat village of Assam. He is a second year B.Tech, computer science student doing course from Vellore Institute of Technology, Bhopal. Bishnoi will be brought to Delhi from Assam by flight which will land at Indira Gandhi Airport by 4.30 p.m Thursday. The Mumbai Police has already arrested three persons, including an 18-year-old girl Shweta Singh, one 21-year-old Mayank Rawat, a DU student and one engineering student Vishal Kumar Jha.Vishal Jha and Mayank are on police remand while the police custody of Shweta ended on 5 January. India objects to China writing directly to MPs for attending Tibet event NEW DELHI, 6 JANUARY importance ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections that are scheduled to be held this year. The official statement of the party said, "Aam Aadmi Party has canceled its election rallies and meetings in Uttar Pradesh in view of rising Covid cases. Moreover, Kejriwal's public meeting that was scheduled to be held in Banaras on January 8 will be held virtually. AAP MP Sanjay Singh will address the public meeting online, the statement said. Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said that he has tested positive and have very mild symptoms. “This evening I got my Covidtest done which came positive. I have very mild symptoms and no other problems. All the people who came in contact with me today are requested to isolate themselves and get their Covid test done," Gehlot tweeted. Earlier on Wednesday, Gehlot's son and Congress leader, Vaibhav Gehlot, has tested positive for Covid. UNBRIDLED ENTHUSIASM PM gives President ‘first-hand account’ on security breach STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 JANUARY 'NO IMMEDIATE DEPORTATION OF DJOKOVIC' P4 India sees massive spike of over 90k cases in a day STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 JANUARY TEMPERATURE JAISHANKAR EXCHANGES NY GREETINGS WITH FMs OF BANGLADESH, NEPAL FRENCH PARLIAMENT APPROVES MACRON'S VACCINE PASS FUNDS FOR THE PARTY India rebuffs Pakistan’s proposal to host SAARC Summit STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 6 JANUARY India today rejected Pakistan's proposal to host the SAARC Summit, saying there was no material change in the situation that permitted the convening of the eight-nation meet. “There is still no consensus that would permit holding of the summit,” Minis- try of External Affairs spokes- person Arindam Bagchi said. He was reacting to Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi's statement that his country looked forward to hosting the summit. If India was not prepared to attend the summit in Islamabad, it could participate in the virtual mode, he had stated. According to the SAARC Charter, its summit can only be held if all the eight nations agree to participate. On Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent statement for intervention by the UN on Kashmir, the spokesperson said the UT was an integral part of India. He said he would not like to say much about the Pakistani leader who has encouraged cross-border terrorism and praised Osama bin Laden. NEWS DELHI, 6 JANUARY The Supreme Court on Friday will pronounce its verdict on pleas challenging the validity of EWS quota in PG all India seats. A special bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice AS Bopanna will pronounce the verdict at 10:30 AM tomorrow. The court will decide whether counselling will start on the criteria of 8 lakh per annum of EWS quota in NEET PG. “We are in a situation, where in the national interest, the counselling has to begin,” the bench said after conducting a day-long hearing on petitions challenging the validity of EWS quota in postgraduate medical admissions and the Centre's argument favouring the quota. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that all candidates eligible for the EWS quota, as per existing criteria, have got their certificates for registration and added that seats in all government colleges have been increased to accommodate the EWS quota.“So, this will not harm the chances of general category students”, he said. Healso clarified that superspeciality courses have no reservation and none of the judgments remotely suggests that there cannot be reservation in PG courses. On the aspect of the EWS quota, he said there was a study, application of mind, and wide consultation when the government decided to fix the Rs 8 lakh income limit.
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