CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 11 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 SPANISH PM CALLS FOR DEBATE ON TREATING COVID AS ENDEMIC SUU KYI SENTENCED TO FOUR MORE YEARS IN PRISON P9 Generally cloudy sky with Light rain. Temperature most likely to be in the range of 18- 26 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE P10 P8 P12 India begins ‘precaution’ dose drive WEATHER Max. 71% ‘I DON’T NEED TO PROVE MYSELF’ BUILD STARTUPS WHICH FOCUS ON HEALTHCARE Min. 89% Max: 27 °C (N) Min: 18 °C (+1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 06:18 hrs 17:10 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 12:18 hrs 24:35 hrs New moon on 1 February THUMBNAILS A health worker administers booster dose of Covid vaccine to a senior citizen at a Health centre in New Delhi. SNS West Bengal logs 19,286 fresh cases: West Bengal today registered 19,286 fresh cases and 16 deaths. In Kolkata, 5,556 cases and 4 deaths were recorded while North 24 Parganas recorded 4,297 cases and 2 deaths. A total of 51,675 samples were tested today compared to 71,664 samples that were tested yesterday. SNS Rajnath, Nitish test positive for Covid: Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai have tested positive for Covid-19. All these high profile politicians have mild symptoms and gone into isolation. Currently, all these dignitories are on quaranSNS tine. Al-Badr top terrorist among two killed in B encounter: A categorised terrorist of Al-Badr outfit, Imad Wani, was among two terrorists killed in an overnight encounter in the Hasanpora village of south Kashmir's Kulgam district, said IGP Vijay Kumar. Identification of the other terrorist was being ascertained. SNS BJP projected to win Uttar Pradesh: ABP-CVOTER NEW DELHI, 10 JANUARY The BJP-led alliance in Uttar Pradesh is projected to win 229 seats in the Assembly elections scheduled to be held in seven phases from February 10 to March 7, as per the ABP-CVOTER Battle for the States survey. The counting of votes will take place on March 10. The numbers are as many as 96 less than the 2017 figures, but will still give the BJP a comfortable simple majority in the 403-seat Uttar Pradesh Assembly. The Samajwadi Party-led alliance is projected to win 151 seats, a big jump of 103 seats compared to the 2017 results. But it is still far away from the majority. The sample size for the survey was IANS 61,802. Beneficiaries, including frontline workers, senior citizens have hailed the decision and said that it is a good initiative STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 10 JANUARY he drive for administering precaution dose to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and 60-plus individuals commenced on Monday as Covid cases surged across the country. Nearly 1,80,000 new Covid cases, and 410 fresh Omicron infections were detected in last 24 hours, said Union Health Ministry data on Monday morning.The national tally of this highly transmissible variant of the Coronavirus has climbed to 4,033. Of the total, 1,552 people have recovered from the new strain nationwide so far, the data said. Meanwhile, the CoWIN portal has sent over one crore reminder messages to the beneficiaries to get the precaution dose. Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya T on this occasion said in a tweet, "The program of giving Precaution Dose on the advice of doctors to healthcare and frontline workers and people of 60+ age is starting from today across the country". "Under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi ji, the government is committed to provide additional security cover to healthcare and frontline workers on priority," he added. Earlier, Vikas Sheel, Additional Secretary and Mission Director, National Health Mission, said that the reminder SMSs have been pushed to more than 1 crore beneficiaries for the precaution dose. The precaution dose will be administered to those who have completed nine months after the second dose. The health ministry had earlier said that the CoWin system will send reminder SMS to those eligible for the precaution ‘Third wave to peak by Jan end; but sharp decline in mid-March’ 95,71,559 7,23,619 dose.The online booking of appointments for precaution dose through CoWIN portal started from Saturday. However, the ministry has clarified that there would be no need for new registration for precaution dose. The government has also clarified that the precaution dose will be of the same jab as the first and second dose. Those who got Covaxin will get Covaxin and those who got Covishield will get Covishield. Omicron tally reaches 4,033 in India: India reported 1,79,723 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the daily positivity rate in the country to 13.29 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday.A total of 4,033 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus have been reported so far. Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases (1,216), followed by Rajasthan (529) and Delhi (513). About 1,552 patients ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI, 10 JANUARY Amid surge in Covid-19 infections in the country, IIT Kanpur professor Manindra Agrawal on Monday stated that the peak of the infection will hit the nation in the January-end. He also said that the virus cases will overtake the cases recorded during the second wave. He also informed that the cases will decline very sharply and by March, it will be over. "As per preliminary data, cases (nationally) will peak by the end of this month and are likely to cross second wave numbers. Since this time the peak is coming up very rapidly, the rise is very sharp," he said. 1,79,723 46,569 4,83,936 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 10 JANUARY 2022 infected with the new variant have recovered. The active caseload in the country currently stands at 7,23,619. Supreme Court sets up panel to probe PM’s security breach STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 10 JANUARY The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to set up a panel, headed by a former apex court judge, to probe the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's security breach in Punjab last week. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana and comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said the court will set up a committee headed by a retired top court judge to probe the PM's security breach and asked both the Centre and Punjab government to not move ahead with their respective inquires into the matter. "We are taking the PM's security breach very seriously," said the bench, adding it will ask the committee to submit its report to it within a short span. During the hearing, the bench orally proposed that other members of the committee would be Director General of Police (DGP) Chandigarh, Inspector General (IG) National Investigation Agency (NIA), registrar general (Punjab and Haryana High Court), and Additional DGP (security) Punjab. Advocate General D.S. Patwalia, representing the Punjab government, complained against show-cause notices to its chief secretary and DGP. He urged the top court to form an independent committee to probe the matter. "Hang me if I am guilty... but don't condemn me unheard," submitted Patwalia. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, defended the show-cause notices issued by the Central government. However, the top court expressed its displeasure at Centre's stand, questioning what is the point of asking the court to examine the matter if the Centre wanted to go ahead on its own. Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing the Delhi-based petitioner Lawyer's Voice, emphasised on the importance of protection to the PM of the country and cited previous top court ruling that looked at the SPG Act. The plea sought an independent probe into the PM's security breach in Punjab. It sought a direction to the District Judge Bathinda to collect, preserve and present all material pertaining to the movement and deployment of Punjab Police in connection with the visit of the Prime Minister, and fix responsibility of the DGP and the Chief Secretary, Punjab. "We expect the decline also to be equally sharp and if the peak hits in January, then by the middle of March, the wave will be over".The IIT Kanpur professor stated that as Delhi is reporting more than 22,000 cases per day, the national capital will report almost 40,000 cases per day at its peak which is expected to hit in mid-January. "Cases in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata are likely to peak around the middle of this month, in the next few days in fact. But this wave will be almost over by the end of this month in these cities," he said. Professor Agrawal with other researchers runs the SUTRA computer model that tracks the COVID-19 curve in the country. SUNSOAKED People seen enjoying the sunshine at Mandi House roundabout on Monday, in New Delhi. SNS Police bust terror module behind Female workers go up to 32.1%: Survey Pathankot army camp attack STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 10 JANUARY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE CHANDIGARH, 10 JANUARY Punjab Police on Monday claimed to have solved the hand grenade attacks including attack at Pathankot Army Camp by busting a terror module backed by International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) group with the arrest of its six operatives. The SBS Nagar police have also recovered six handgrenades (86 P), one pistol (9mm), one rifle (.30 bore) along with live bullets and magazines from their possession, Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab, VK Bhawra said here on Monday. Those arrested have been identified as Amandeep alias Mantri of village Lakhanpal in Gurdaspur, Gurwinder Singh alias Gindi of village Kharal in Gurdaspur, Parminder Kumar alias Rohit alias Rohta of village Kharal in Gurdaspur, Rajinder Singh alias Malhi alias Nikku of village Gunnupur in Gurdaspur, Harpreet Singh alias Dholki of village Gotpokar in Gurdaspur and Raman Kumar of village Ghazikot in Gurdaspur. As per the information, in two instances some unidentified persons had hurled hand grenades at Pathankot— one near Chakki Pull on 11 November, 2021 at about 9:30 p.m., while another grenade attack took place outside Triveni Dwar, 21 sub-area of Army at Pathankot on 21 November, 2021 at about 9 p.m.. Separate FIRs in this regard were registered at Police Station Pathankot Division 2 and Division 1 respectively.Giving details, the DGP said that during the preliminary interrogation, the accused revealed they were directly in touch with self-proclaimed Chief of ISYF (Rode) Lakhbir Singh Rode and his close aides identified as Sukhmeetpal Singh alias Sukh Bhikhariwal and Sukhpreet alias Sukh for planning terrorist attacks. “The entire cache of the recovered hand grenades, arms and ammunition were pushed in from across the International border by Lakhbir Rode and arrested accused persons had been tasked for further attacking the pre-identified targets which were mainly police and defense establishments, religious places etc,” he said. The second Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) covering organized and unorganized segments of nine selected sectors during July-September, 2021 has shown percentage of female workers has gone up to 32.1 from 29.3 in the first quarter. The survey report was released by Labour & Employment Minister Bhupender Yadav today. The Quarterly Survey forms part of the AllIndia Quarterly Establishment-based Employment Survey (AQEES). The nine sectors selected for the survey are Manufacturing, Construction, Trade, Transport, Education, Health, Accommodation & Restaurant, IT/BPO and Financial Services. They account for a great majority of the total employment in the non-farm estab- lishments. The estimated total employment in the nine sectors in the second quarterly survey came out as 3.10 crore approximately, which is two lakh higher than the estimated employment (3.08 crore) from the first round of QES (April-June, 2021). The report on Quarterly Employment Survey being a demand side survey, will along with the supply side survey i.e Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), bridge data gaps on employment in the country, Yadav said. Labour and Employment Secretary Sunil Barthwal remarked that registration under the e-shram portal for the informal sector workers was increasing. Along with new developments in the National Career Service (NCS) portal and the QES survey results, will provide the national data bank for providing realistic picture of employment at all India level. Of the total employment estimated in the selected nine sectors, Manufacturing accounted for nearly 39 per cent, followed by Education with 22 per cent and Health as well as IT/BPOs sectors both around 10 per cent. Trade and Transport sectors engaged 5.3 per cent and 4.6 per cent of the total estimated workers respectively. It is pertinent to mention that the percentage for the IT/BPO sector in Quarter 1 was only seven. Nearly 90 per cent of the establishments have been estimated to work with less than 100 workers, though 30 per cent of the IT/BPO establishments worked with at least 100 workers including about 12 per cent engaging 500 workers or more. In the Health sector, 19 per cent of the establishments had 100 or more workers. The Survey showed that 16.8 per cent of the establishments provided formal skill development programmes, although mostly for their own employees. An estimated 5.6 per cent of the establishments were having vacancies and the estimated number of total vacancies was 4.3 lakhs. About 65.8 per cent of such vacancies were not due to retirement or resignation of the employees, the Survey showed. ED likely to use Iqbal Mirchi’s seized India hopeful of progress at border talks with China on Wednesday property to run it’s zonal office ASHOK TUTEJA NEW DELHI, 10 JANUARY INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, 10 JANUARY The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is likely to move it's Mumbai zonal office to the two floors (third and fourth floor) of Worli-based Ceejay House, which belongs to the late drug dealer Iqbal Mirchi. Ceejay House is a prime building in Mumbai and a number of politicians are running their offices from there. Millennium Developer Private Ltd, the company of former Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, had constructed this building. The top floor of the building is the residence of Patel. The ED had lodged a case of Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Iqbal Mirchi, his family members and others which includes DHFL and it's promoters. The probe agency had detected a few suspicious transactions related to real estate dealings following which the case was lodged.The ED had recently moved before the concerned Mumbai court seeking its permission to confiscate Iqbal Mirchi's properties worth Rs 100 crore. The two floors of Ceejay House are part of the total properties that had to be confiscated. In February 2021, the concerned PMLA court had declared Mirchi's wife Hajra and his two sons, Asif and Junaid, as fugitive economic offenders. The order was passed by the court to seize their property.Now ED wants to shift its zonal office to the third and fourth floor of Ceejay House, which belongs to Mirchi and his family. Sources have claimed that the ED officials have been visiting the Ceejay Building to make necessary arrangements so that their zonal office could be shifted. As of now ED is running it's office from the Ballard Estate situated in the Kaiser-e-Hind Building. Patel's company, Millennium Developer Private Ltd, bought the rights of Mirchi's Discotheque and Fishermen Wharf Pub in 2004. A deal was struck between the family members of Mirchi and the company in 2004. Following this deal the third and fourth floor of the Ceejay Buildings were given to Mirchi's family. India is looking forward to a constructive dialogue with China at the 14th round of Corps Commander-level talks between the two countries on Wednesday to resolve the military stand-off at Eastern Ladakh despite Beijing's increasingly aggressive behaviour on territorial issues. The talks will take place at Chushul-Moldo meeting point on the Chinese side. Lt Gen Anindya Sengupta will lead the Indian delegation at the talks. He recently took over as commander of the Leh-based XIV Corps from Lt Gen PGK Menon, who had led the Indian team at some of the previous meetings. Officials say the discussions will focus on disengagement of forces at the remaining friction points like Hot Springs, Depsang and Demchok. ''We are looking forward to a constructive dialogue that will eventually lead to ending the current face-off but we CMYK know anything can happen at the upcoming talks,'' an official said. The meeting comes close on the heels of certain unsavoury developments that have further vitiated the atmos- phere between the two countries. The incidents include China’s move to announce its own names for more than 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh. India has asked China to stop indulging in 'antics' and amicably resolve the ongoing stand-off for restoring peace in the border areas. The 13th round of talks held at Chushul-Moldo border on 10 October 2021 had ended in a stalemate. The Indian Army had claimed that all the “constructive suggestions” made by it were not acceptable to the Chinese side, which also could not provide any “forward-looking” proposals. In their virtual diplomatic talks on 18 November, India and China agreed to hold the 14th round of military talks at an early date to achieve the objective of complete disen- gagement in remaining friction points in Eastern Ladakh. It is learnt that the Indian side had sent at least two proposals for the 14th round of talks in the last two months but the Chinese side had not been responding to them positively so far. The Ladakh face-off between the two armies began in May 2020 when the world was grappling with the challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry. As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong Tso Lake and in the Gogra area.
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