SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 15 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 PARTLY CLOUDY SKY. DENSE FOG IN THE MORNING.COLD DAY CONDITIONS AT ISOLATED PLACES. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 16 AND 06 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 97% Min: 76% TEMPERATURE Max: 15.4°C (-5) SUN RISES 07:15 hrs MOON RISES 15:28 hrs Min: 06.0°C (-1) SUN SETS 17:47 hrs MOON SETS 05:59 hrs THUMBNAILS Members of the President's Bodyguards riding on horses rehearse during the Beating Retreat ceremony for the Republic Day Parade, at Vijay Chowk, in New Delhi on Friday. ANI South Africa clinch series: Keegan Petersen produced a masterclass to deny India victory at Capetown on the fourth day. It was a clinical performance by South Africa that helped them reach the 212- run target without much PG12 fuss. Bengal train accident toll reaches 9: The death count in the Guwahati-Bikaner Express train accident in north Bengal climbed to nine and the officials said tracks have been cleared for traffic. Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw arrived at the spot on Friday.Twelve coaches of the Guwahati-Bikaner Express derailed in the Domohani area of Bengal's Jalpaiguri district on Thursday. SKM meet today at Singhu Border: The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) will hold a review meeting at their Singhu Border camp site to decide the future course of action for the agitation that was suspended after three farm laws were repealed in December first week. Govt: Six airbags must in vehicles carrying up to eight passengers NEW DELHI, 14 JANUARY The Centre on Friday approved the draft notification of General Safety Regulations (GSR), making minimum of six airbags compulsory in vehicles carrying up to eight passengers. In a series of tweets, Union minister for road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, said, "In order to enhance the safety of the occupants in motor vehicles carrying up to 8 passengers, I have now approved a draft GSR notification to make a minimum of 6 airbags compulsory." “The ministry already mandated the implementation of fitment of the driver airbag w.e.f. July 1, 2019 and front co-passenger airbag w.e.f. January 1, 2022,” Gadkari said. Nitin Gadkari said the move is aimed at minimising the impact of frontal and lateral collision to the occupants seated in both front and rear compartments. “To minimise the impact of frontal and lateral collisions to the occupants seated in both front and rear compartments, it has been decided that 4 additional airbags be mandated in the M1 vehicle category, i.e., two side/side torso airbags and two side curtain/tube airbags covering all outboard passengers.” “This is a crucial step to make motor vehicles in India safer than ever,” Union minister said. The minister emphasised that this will ultimately ensure the safety of passengers across all segments, irrespective of the cost/variant of the vehiIANS cles. HC asks SEC to consider deferring civic polls Ahead of R-day, police recovers IED in Ghazipur Phool Mandi Commission has been given 48 hrs to come out with its stand on the matter NEW DELHI , 14 JANUARY INDO-AISAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 14 JANUARY WEATHER Days ahead of the Republic Day celebrations, Delhi Police on Friday recovered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in the city's Ghazipur Phool Mandi and ensured there were no casualties, said the police. The police said the IED was disposed of by the National Security Guard's Bomb Disposal Squad using a controlled explosion. “Ensuring no casualties, #DelhiPolice recovers IED in Ghazipur Phool Mandi. Device was disposed of by NSG's Bomb Disposal Squad using a controlled explosion,” tweeted Delhi Police. Minutes after the incident, the Delhi Police said, “A case has been A mid an increase in the number of Covid cases, the Calcutta High Court on Friday asked the West Bengal state election commission to consider postponing the election in four Municipal Corporations by at least four to six weeks. The commission has been given 48 hours to come out with its stand on the matter. The division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava was hearing a PIL filed by one Bimal Bhattacharya, who argued that considering the escalating Devotees on the occasion of Makar Sankranti in Gangasagar on Friday. SNS 22,645 28 6,867 07 Fresh cases record- Deaths Cases Deaths ed on Friday in registered on in were West Bengal recorded Friday in Kolkata Kolkata Covid situation, the civic polls should be postponed. Bengal is currently among the top contributors nationwide of the coronavirus cases. The PIL was filed after the state's poll panel announced that elections in four municipalities ~ Asansol, Bidhannagar, Siliguri and Chandannagar ~ would be held as scheduled on 22 January, and counting would take place on 25 January. Elections are due in seven municipal corporations of West Bengal, including Asansol Municipal Corporation, BidhanNagar Municipal Corporation, Chandernagore Municipal Corporation, Durgapur Municipal Corporation, Howrah Municipal Corporation and Siliguri Municipal Corporation. Jayanta Mitra, the advocate appearing for the state election commission, had said that the commission cannot take the decision of stopping an election because it is the state's responsibility. “According to law, the commission cannot cancel a pre-declared election but if the disaster management act is implemented in the state, then the election will have to be cancelled," Mitra said. Vaccines: DGCI to review plea for full market approval ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI , 14 JANUARY Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI)’s Subject Expert Committee(SEC) will review applications of Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India (SII) for full market approval to Covaxin and Covishield respectively on Friday, sources said. The SII of India had applied for market approval for the Covishield vaccine in December 2021 and Bharat biotech has also applied for the same 10 days ago.Further, Bharat Biotech has informed that Covaxin is now a universal vaccine for adults and children. “Our goals of developing a global vaccine against Covid have been achieved and all product development for licensure has been completed,” it said.The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) met on 1 and 2 January , 2021, and made recommendations in respect of the proposal for Restricted Emergency Approval of Covid virus vaccines of Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech. It had reviewed the data on the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine and recommended for grant of permission for restricted use in an emergency situation in the public interest as an abundant precaution, in clinical trial mode, to have more options for vaccinations, especially in case of infection by mutant strains. The clinical trial ongoing within the country by the firm will continue. SII and Bharat Biotech vaccines have to be administered in two doses. All three vaccines have to be stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius. After adequate examination, CDSCO had decided to accept the recommendations of the Expert Committee and ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL RDX and Ammonium Nitrate chemical compounds are suspected to have been used in manufacturing of the approx 3 kg IED recovered from Ghazipur area that sent security agencies into a tizzy ahead of Republic Day registered in the Delhi Police Special Cell under provisions of the Explosive Substances Act.” Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana said on phone, "Based on the information received, an IED has been recovered." RDX and Ammonium Nitrate chemical compounds are suspected to have been used in manufacturing of the approximately 3 kg IED recovered from Ghazipur area that sent security agencies into tizzy ahead of Repub- THE TRADITION 3,65,82,129 12,72,073 2,64,202 4,85,350 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 14 JANUARY 2022 The 17th Battalion Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) perform 'Surya Namaskar' during a yoga session, at Reckong Peo, in Kinnaur on Friday. ANI ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, 14 JANUARY The Additional District and Sessions Court , Kottayam on Friday acquitted Bishop Franco Mulakkal, former head of the Latin Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar in the nun rape case. Additional Sessions Judge G Gopakumar on Friday pronounced the judgment with one line “the accused has been acquitted”. Details of the verdict are awaited. Franco Mulakkal, former Bishop of Jalandhar, was accused of raping a nun from the Missionaries of Jesus convent in Kuravilangad. The survivor alleged that Franco raped her 13 times during his visits to the convent between 2014 and 2016. The courtroom witnessed dramatic scenes after the pronouncement of LUCKNOW, 14 JANUARY Franco Mulakkal, ex-Bi shop of Jalandhar, was accused of raping a nun from the Missionaries of Jesus convent in Kuravilangad. the verdict. Bishop Mulakkal broke down in court and embraced his lawyers following the verdict. On hearing the judgment, Mulakkal’s brothers Philip, Chacko and supporters ran towards the bishop and hugged him as he was coming out of the dock. “Daivathinu sthuthi(Praise the Lord!)” Mulakkal told media persons, while coming out of the court premises. Special prosecutor Jithesh J Babu and Subin K Varghese appeared for the prosecution while senior lawyers K Raman Pillai and C S Ajayan argued the case for Bishop Mulakkal. The verdict came out as a major setback to the prosecution and the investigation team as well as the complainant. Special public prosecutor Jithesh J Babu said an appeal would be filed against the verdict in the higher court. “It was an unexpected verdict as the prosecution and the investigation team expected 100 percent conviction in the case,” said former Kottayam district police chief Harisankar, who oversaw the investigation of the case. Based on a rape complaint lodged by a nun on 29 June 2018, the Bishop was arrested on 21 September in the same year. He was in jail for 25 days after the court remanded him.The charge sheet was submitted on 4 April 2019. The trial in the case commenced in November 2019 and concluded on 10 January. Former Uttar Pradesh Ministers Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini, who resigned this week from the Yogi Adityanath government and the ruling BJP ahead of Assembly polls, have joined the Samajwadi Party (SP) on Friday in presence of the party chief Akhilesh Yadav. Along with the former Ministers, the sitting MLAs Bhagwati Sagar, Vinay Shakya, Roshan Lal Verma, Mukesh Verma and Brajesh Kumar Prajapati have also joined SP . Apna Dal MLA Chaudhary Amar Singh, Former BSP MLA Neeraj Kushawaha Maurya, former BJP MLC Harpal Saini, former BSP MLA Balram Saini, former BJP MLA Rajendra Pratap Singh, former Minister of State Vidrohi Maurya, former Chief Security Officer Padam Singh and Former UP ministers being felicitated as they join the SP in presence of party president Akhilesh Yadav,in Lucknow on Friday. ANI former Congress MLA Bansi Singh Pahadiya joined the party. The spate of resignations began with Swami Prasad Maurya quitting the cabinet. Maurya, a prominent leader from the OBC community, had joined the BJP from BSP Dara Singh Chauhan . had resigned as minister on Wednesday. Dharam Singh Saini became the third minister on Thursday. SP has stitched a coalition of smaller parties for the PM eyeing ‘Vision India@2047’ to identify long-term goals ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI , 14 JANUARY Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed all the Central Ministries and Departments to formulate documents for “Vision India@2047” to identify the long-term goals and corresponding outcomes for this decade with timelines and milestones. In order to suggest the structural and institutional reforms necessary to attain the envisaged "Vision India@2047" on governance, the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) will convene a meeting with sectoral experts, academics and the scientific community on Saturday. In order to suggest the structural and institutional reforms necessary to attain the envisaged Vision India@2047 on governance, the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances will convene a meeting with sectoral experts, academics and the scientific community today In this regard, Union minister Jitendra Singh is slated to chair DARPG's first "Vision India@2047" meeting with Sectoral Experts on governance issues on Saturday, said Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. Key issues pertaining to improving efficiency in decision making in the Central Sec- retariat, reducing pendency, rationalizing working of ministries and departments, ethics, transparency and accountability in public service, creation of effective executive agencies, core principles of reforms in the government, benchmarking governance in states, management practices in 21st-century governance, citizen-centric gov- ernance, reforms in state secretariats, district collectorates, use of technology in governance and creation of institutions of excellence would be discussed in the meeting. Fifteen sector specialists who would be participating in the discussions comprise former Cabinet Secretaries, former Secretaries of Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT), directors of select IITs and IIMs, ASCI and Capacity Building Commission. Secretary DARPG V Srinivas and Director General IIPA Dr SN Tripathi would be attending the meeting. “Following the consultative meetings with Sectoral Experts, the DARPG's Vision India@2047 would be formulated," the Ministry said. Budget to be presented on 1 Feb; Budget Session to begin on 31 Jan NEW DELHI, 14 JANUARY Kerala court acquits Bishop UP polls: Former BJP mins join SP Mulakkal in nun rape case STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE lic Day celebrations slated in next two weeks. The Bomb Disposal Squad of the elite National Security Guard (NSG) has shared with chief M.A. Ganapathy what it prima facie found during disposal of the explosive that was seized from market on Friday morning. However, a post analysis lab report being conducted by the NSG's BDS unit is under process as the team has collected samples after defusing the IED. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE 1,09,345 accordingly, Covishied and Covaxin were approved for restricted use in an emergency situation. A member of a Bomb Disposal Squad attempts to defuse an IED, at Ghazipur flower market on Friday. ANI Modi to interact with startups S a t u r d a y : Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to interact with startups via video conferencing on Saturday.The PMO here informed that the startups will make presentations on six themes during their interaction with Modi. The interaction which will begin at 10-30 am is part of the Prime Minister’s effort to boost the Startup ecosystem in the country, the PMO said. Startups engaged in multiple sectors including Agriculture, Health, Enterprise Systems, Space, Industry 4.0, Security, Fintech, Environment etc will take part in the interaction with the PrimeMinister. assembly polls and has emerged as the main rival of the ruling BJP in the state. Earlier BJP MLAs Mukesh Verma, Vinay Shakya, Avtar Singh Bhadana, Roshan Lal Verma, Brijesh Prajapati and Bhagwati Sagar resigned from the party.Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Friday, referring to the spate of resignations that took place in the Yogi Adityanath government, took a jibe at the Uttar Pradesh chief minister and said that he does not know how to play cricket and has dropped a catch. Addressing a press conference here, Yadav said, “BJP wickets are falling one after the other, but our CM does not know how to play cricket. He has already dropped the catch now. As Swami Prasad Maurya said wherever he goes, the government is formed. Even this time he brought a huge number of leaders along with him.' Parliament’s Budget Session will commence on 31st January and conclude on 8th April, as per the recommendation of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, sources said. President Ram Nath Kovind will address a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament on 31st January at 11 am.The same afternoon, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Economic Survey for 2021-22. The Union Budget for 2022-23 will be presented to Lok Sabha on 1st February. The first part of the Budget Session is likely to conclude on 11 February. The second part of the Budget Session will start on 14th March, after a monthlong recess during which Standing Committees of Parliament study Budget proposals and other issues related to various Ministries. There will be no sitting of Parliament on 18th March because of Holi festival. The Budget Session schedule has been conveyed to the President for his approval. Parliamentary authorities are currently busy getting the entire Parliament House area sanitized and safe for the conduct of the session. Should the current wave of Covid continue with its severity, the authorities will adopt a sitting pattern of the two Houses which allows social distancing and minimal threat of infections. ‘Pilot disorientation cause of CDS chopper crash’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 14 JANUARY The Tri-Services Court of Inquiry formed to probe the Mi17 chopper crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, involving Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and twelve other armed forces personnel on 8 December, has ruled out mechanical failure, sabotage or negligence as a cause of the accident. “The accident was a result of entry into clouds due to unexpected change in weather conditions in the valley. This led to spatial disorientation of the pilot resulting in controlled flight into terrain’’, said the court of inquiry, headed by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, Air Officer Commanding in Chief of the Training Command. “Based on its findings, the Court of Inquiry has made certain recommendations which are being reviewed,' the Ministry of Defence said in a statement. The inquiry team analysed the Flight Data Recorder and CockpitVoice Recorder besides questioning all available witnesses to determine the most probable cause of the accident. The inquiry team had recently submitted its preliminary findings to defence minister Rajnath Singh.
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