WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 19 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 P4 WEATHER PARTLY CLOUDY SKY. MODERATE FOG IN THE MORNING. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 16 AND 09 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 94% P6 Explaining the reasons for rejection,def min says R-Day tableaux selection as per norms’ Min: 62% Bengal govt to use Netaji tableau in R-Day parade Min: 8.0°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:50 hrs MOON SETS 08:58 hrs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA 18 JANUARY INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 18 JANUARY THUMBNAILS P A student of Gurukul School of Arts paints to pay tribute to Kathak dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj, in ANI Mumbai on Tuesday. BJP core panel meet on UP: Ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the BJP is holding a core committee meeting at party headquarters in New Delhi. Union home minister Amit Shah, BJP chief JP Nadda, UP election in charge Dharmendra Pradhan, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and other BJP leaders arrive for the core committee meeting. SC seeks data on starvation deaths: The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned the Centre for not reporting any starvation death. The court said if it can be understood that there is no starvation death in the country. The apex court asked the government to furnish latest data on starvation deaths and also frame a model scheme, for state governments to implement, on community kitchens to address hunger and malnutrition. Indians killed in UAE drone attack identified: The Indian embassy in the UAE said that the two Indian nationals killed in a drone attack in Abu Dhabi had been identified and the mission was in touch with their families. Meanwhile, India expressed its strong solidarity with the UAE in the wake of the drone attack. Three Navy personnel killed in explosion onboard INS Ranvir NEW DELHI, 18 JANUARY Three naval personnel died of injuries caused by an explosion on board Indian Navy's destroyer ship INS Ranvir. "In an unfortunate incident today at Naval Dockyard Mumbai, three naval personnel succumbed to injuries caused by an explosion in an internal compartment onboard INS Ranvir,” a Defence Ministry release said. No major material damage has been reported, it added. The ship's crew responded immediately and quickly brought the situation under control, it mentioned. Sources say the explosion had nothing to do with weapons or ammunition explosion. A board of inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause. “The ship's crew responded immediately and quickly brought the situation under control,” the release said. INS Ranvir was on crosscoast operational deployment from the Eastern Naval Command since November 2021 and was due to return ANI to base port shortly. utting an end to politics of tableau ahead of the Republic day parade, defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday wrote to Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her Tamil Nadu counterpart M.K. Stalin explaining the reasons for rejection of their states’ tableaux. Politics of tableau heated up after the Centre rejected the proposals of Kerala, Bengal and Tamil Nadu tableaux in the Republic Day parade. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had on Sunday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention after the Centre rejected her state’s Republic Day tableaux on Subhas Chan- The state government has decided to showcase the tableau commemorating the contributions of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and INA, which was rejected by the Centre, at the Republic Day programme at Red Road. The state's programme will be a curdra Bose. In his letter to both the leaders, Rajnath Singh stated that of the 29 proposals from states and Union Territories, 12 were accepted. Singh said: “I would like to bring to your kind attention that there exists a well established system for selection of tableaux for participation in the Republic Day Parade, as per which Ministry of Defence invites proposals for tableaux from all States/UTs and CHAND FIRST INDIAN MALE CRICKETER TO PLAY IN BBL P12 P10 Rajnath writes to Bengal, TN CMs on tableaux row TEMPERATURE Max: 15.4°C (-4) SUN RISES 07:14 hrs MOON RISES 19:05 hrs BIDEN YEAR ONE TAKEAWAYS: AMBITIONS, HUMBLING DEFEATS TALIBAN SCHOOLS MAKE FARMERS AWARE OF USE OF CHEMICAL-FREE FERTILISERS: MODI tailed one of 30 minutes duration because of the Covid pandemic situation. Netaji is going to be the central theme in the state's Republic Day function.Tableaux of Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Airforce and Kolkata Police will also be showcased at the Red Road function, which will be graced by chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Central Ministries/ Departments." The minister said that tableaux proposals received from various States/UTs and Central Ministries/Departments are evaluated in a series of meetings of the Expert Committee comprising eminent persons in the field of art, culture, painting, sculpture, music, architecture, choreography etc. “The Expert Committee examines the pro- posals on the basis of theme, concept, design and its visual impact before making its recommendations. As per the time slot allotted for tableaux in overall duration of the parade, short listing of tableaux is done by the Expert Committee.” He told Banerjee that Bengal tableaux were part of 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021 parades. He also said that the government has celebrated 2018 Republic Day in honour of Subhas Chandra Bose and this year also the Republic Day celebrations will begin from January 23 marking his 125th birth anniversary. To Stalin, Singh explained, "The tableaux from the State Government of Tamil Nadu was considered in the first three rounds of meetings. After the third round of meeting, the tableaux could not make it to the final list of 12 selected for participation in the RDP2022." Singh told Stalin that Tamil Nadu had representation in 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Republic Day parades. Soldiers during the rehearsal for upcoming Republic day at Vijay Chowk , in the Capital on Tuesday. SNS Police bans all aerial platforms for 27 days STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 18 JANUARY The Delhi Police on Tuesday put a ban on the flying of para-gliders, paramotors, microlight aircraft, remotely piloted aircraft, hot air balloons, and other forms of sub-conventional aerial platforms for 27 days. In view of Republic Day celebrations, Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana said that on account of mitigating any sorts of threats, there will be a complete ban on subconventional aerial platforms from 20 January. (P2) No Chief Guest at R-Day parade:There will be no chief guest at the Republic Day parade this year also as the plan to host state heads of five Central Asian countries ~ Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan ~ seems to have been cancelled due to the Covid situation in India as well as in the respective nations. Though the Ministry of External Affairs is yet to confirm this officially. Around 1000 drones, 75 military aircraft and tableaux of 12 states and UTs and nine ministries will be part of the Republic Day celebrations. It will begin at 10.30 a.m. in place of 10 a.m. to let visibility improve by the time flypast takes place. UPA’s Devas deal a ‘fraud on people of India’: Sitharaman AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 18 JANUARY Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the satellite deal between ISRO's commercial arm Antrix and Devas Multimedia signed in 2005 under the Congressparty led government was a fraud and has caused huge damage to the exchequer. “This was a fraud. This came out clearly in the Supreme Court of India's judgement,” Sitharaman said addressing a press conference a day after the Supreme Court of India ordered winding up of Devas Multimedia. A decade-long legal battle between Antrix and Devas ended with the Supreme Court on Monday ordering the winding up of Devas Multimedia saying, “It is a case of fraud of a huge magnitude which cannot be brushed under the carpet.” Sitharaman accused Congress-party led UPA government for allowing the fraudulent deal and letting it linger for so many years. “In 2011, when the whole thing was cancelled, Devas went to international arbitration, the Government of India never appointed an arbitrator, was reminded to appoint arbitrator within 21 days, but the Government didn't appoint,” she said. “The Supreme Court order shows how the UPA government indulged in wrong practices. Antrix-Devas deal was against national security. It should be Congress party's turn to tell how this kind of fraud was perpetrated on people of India,” she added. “It's a fraud of the Congress, for the Congress and by the Congress.” “This is what the greed of the UPA has done. The government is fighting in every The case involves a satellite deal in 2005 between the ISRO's commercial arm Antrix and Bengalurubased startup Devas Multimedia. court to make sure the fraud doesn't get away,” Sitharaman said. “We are fighting to save taxpayers' money which otherwise would have gone to pay for the scandalous deal. "Under the 2005 agreement, Antrix was to build, launch and operate two satellites and lease out 90 per cent of the satellite transponder capacity to Devas, which planned to use it to offer hybrid satellite and terrestrial communication services in the country. The deal included 70 MHz of S-band spectrum worth rupees 1,000 crore. This spectrum is restricted for use by security forces and government-run telecom companies. The then Congress government cancelled the deal citing security reasons. In 2016, former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair and other officials were charged by the CBI for allegedly facilitating a gain of rupees 578 crore to Devas. Devas' foreign investors went to international courts. In 2020, a US court confirmed the International Chamber of Commerce's order directing Antrix to pay $1.2 billion to Devas. The Supreme Court put the order on hold. In 2021, the government directed Antrix to start a winding-up petition against Devas under the Companies Act. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal upheld an order to wind up Devas Multimedia. Punjab Assembly elections: Ramp up testing: Centre to states amid rising cases Mann will be AAP’s CM face ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI, 18 JANUARY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE CHANDIGARH, 18 JANUARY Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday named the comedian-turnedpolitician Bhagwant Mann (in pic) as the party’s chief ministerial candidate for the Punjab Assembly polls scheduled for 20 February. Mann’s candidature was announced by the AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal after the former received 93 per cent votes (of 21 lakh participants) in the televoting held by the party to receive people’s suggestion for the CM candidate. “Wherever I went (during the poll campaign in Punjab), everyone asked me dulha kaun hoga (who will be the groom (CM candidate?). We decided to ask three crore people of Punjab. Ninety three per cent favoured Mann,” he said. Though Mann, 48, has had his own string of controversies earlier including reported drinking problem, the two-time MP from Sangrur remains the most popular face of the party in the Sikh majority state. Besides being a Jat Sikh, a caste which comprises about 20 per cent of the total voters in Punjab, Mann belongs to Malwa region of the state. Of the 117 Assembly seats in Punjab, 69 seats in Malwa region alone. In 2017 Assembly polls, AAP won all of its 20 seats in Malwa region. Thanking people for choosing him as CM candidate, Mann said his dream is to make Punjab drug free, to provide sufficient employment, best and free education and he wants to make Punjab’s agriculture and farmers prosperous, and he’ll not rest until all these dreams come true. On his reported drinking problem, Mann said his rivals have nothing else to say. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday wrote to all States and Union Territories and asked them "to immediately increase testing in a strategic manner keeping in view the trend of case positivity in specific areas". In a letter, Additional Secretary (Health) Arti Ahuja said that the data available on the Indian Council Of Medical Research (ICMR) portal shows a decline in the COVID tests in many States and Union Territories amid rising cases due to Omicron which has been declared as the Variant of Concern (VoC) by the World Health Organization (WHO). Listing the basic objective of Covid testing as early detec- Decision on vaccination for kids between 12-14 yrs yet to be taken: The Union Health Ministry has not yet taken any decision on vaccination for children in the age bracket of 12-14 years, official sources said. However, there is no official statement on when the vaccination for children who fall between the age group of 12-14 years is going to be started in the country. According to the experts, adolescents in the age group of 15-18 years are actively participating in the inoculation process. tion of cases for quick isolation and care, and additionally it being a key strategy for pandemic management, Ahuja said, "Identification of new clusters and new hotspots of infections which can, in turn, facilitate immediate action for containment such as setting up of containment zones, contact tracing, quarantining, isolation and follow up. This can enable the State and district administration to curb the spread of infection." “Ensuring reduction in mortality and morbidity. Progression of disease to a severe category can be averted by strategic testing of those who are at high risk and more vulnerable, as well as in areas where the spread is likely to be higher,” she added. Meanwhile,Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said over 50 lakh healthcare and frontline workers and citizens aged 60 years or above have received ‘Precaution Dose’ since 10 January. Taking to Twitter, he wrote "Another Day, Another Milestone over 50 lakh healthcare and frontline workers and cit- Why only 19 female candidates out of 400 in NDA: SC asks Centre INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 18 JANUARY The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a response from the Centre, asking why only 19 women candidates will be admitted in the National Defence Academy (NDA) out of 400 seats in 2023. A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.M. Sundresh told Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Centre, that the government needs to clarify why 19 women candidates have been fixed for the year 2023, according to the notification issued by UPSC. The bench asked the Central government to bring on record the total number of women candidates, along with the over tally, who took the NDA examination in 2021. During the hearing, the bench told Centre's counsel: "Last year, you said it was due to infrastructure problems (the intake of women will be less)...Now, again for the year 2022, you have proposed to take the same number of women candidates..." The candidates who will take the NDA exam in 2022, will be admitted in 2023. The Centre's counsel contended before the bench that intake of women candidates in NDA is based on requirement of the force. The petitioner Kush Kalra, in an additional affidavit, said, "To continue to keep the number of intake of female candidates at only 19 even for SEEKING ANSWERS The apex court asked the Centre to place the figures on record about the total number of candidates including women who have appeared in the NDA examination 2021, for entrance tests for Rashtriya Indian Military College and for Rashtriya Military School The top court gave three weeks to the Centre to file an affidavit the next year, i.e., 2023 and only allowing male candidates in naval entry as per the examination Notice dated December 22, 2021 is arbitrary and violative of Article 14, 15, 16 and 19 of Constitution." Senior advocate Chinmoy Pradip Sharma, representing the petitioner, argued that the current stand of the Centre is contrary to its stand reflected in the top court orders passed on August 18 and 22 September last year. The bench further pressed its query to the Centre's counsel saying why the Central government has fixed the intake of women candidates to 19. The bench emphasised, "You have to explain this. 19 seats cannot be for all times to come..." The Centre agreed to file a detailed affidavit, explaining why it has taken this stand, within three weeks. The petitioner's affidavit said according to the advertisement issued by the UPSC and by the government, NDA will take in 400 cadets in the current NDA-II 2021 intake. "Of these, 208 candidates, including 10 women, will go to the Army. The Navy will take in 42 candidates, including 3 women, while the IAF will admit 120 candidates, of which 6 will be women. Thus, the total number of women to be inducted into the NDA in June 2022 is 19”, it added. The top court also sought response from the Central government on the intake of women in Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), Rashtriya Military School (RMS), and Sainik Schools in 2022. The top court gave three weeks to the Centre to file an affidavit and also asked the parties to file their rejoinder in two weeks. The matter has been posted for further hearing on March 6. In September, last year, the apex court had allowed female candidates to take the entrance exam to the NDA scheduled November last year. 3,76,18,271 17,36,628 2,38,018 1,57,421 4,86,761 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. TUESDAY 18 JANUARY 2022 Delhi registered 11,684 fresh cases and 38 deaths izens aged 60 years or above have received Precaution Dose, since 10th January." "I request all those who are eligible to get their Precaution Dose at the earliest,” he said in a tweet. Legendary illustrator Narayan Debnath dies KOLKATA ,18 JANUARY As the legendary cartoonist Narayan Debnath passed away after a prolonged illness at the age of 97, on Tuesday, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee mourned his demise with a social media tribute for the late Padma Shri awardee.He was undergoing treatment at Bellevue Hospital in Kolkata. He was also the only comic artist in India who received a D.Litt degree. He had created Bantul the Great, Handa- Bhonda, Nonte- Fonte, figures that have been etched in our hearts for PG 3 decades."
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