WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 27 APRIL 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 KIM VOWS TO BOLSTER NUKE CAPABILITY DURING PARADE CHINA’S COAL P6 WEATHER MAINLY CLEAR SKY. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 43 AND 24 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 42% P9 SHASTRI NOT INTERESTED IN COACHING ENGLAND P5 P12 Covid: DCGI nod to 3 vaccines Prashant Kishor spurns Sonia’s for kids of different age grps offer to join Cong Covaxin gets DCGI nod for 6-12 age group, Corbevax for 5-12 yr olds & 2 doses ZycovD for above 12 yrs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 APRIL Min: 18% TEMPERATURE Max: 40.8°C (+2) SUN RISES 05:44 hrs MOON RISES 04:22 hrs ‘HOPE SC STAYS REVOCATION OF ARTICLE 370’ Min: 24.9°C (+1) SUN SETS 18:54 hrs MOON SETS 15:43 hrs THUMBNAILS Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends the celebrations of the 90th anniversary of the Sivagiri Pilgrimage and Golden Jubilee of Brahma Vidhyalaya, at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, in New Delhi on (SEE PAGE 5) Tuesday. ANI LIC IPO to open on 4 May: The much-awaited initial public offering (IPO) of the Life Insurance Corporation of India is likely to open on May 4, sources privy to the development told ANI. The government, which wholly owns the insurance behemoth, plans to sell a 3.5 per cent instead of 5 per cent as mentioned in the previous Draft Red Herring Prospectus, said sources. LIC has cut the size of IPO from 5 per cent to 3.5 per cent due to the market condition. (P8) Mevani remanded to 5-day police custody by d Assam court: Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani was remanded to five days of police custody by a local court in the Barpeta district of Assam on Tuesday in connection with an assault case. Earlier on Monday, he was re-arrested by Barpeta Police for assaulting a policewoman, soon after he was granted bail in the matter connected to his tweets about PM. Mevani was arrested by an Assam police team from Palanpur town on Wednesday over a couple of his tweets T o strengthen the country's fight against Covid-19, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) today gave its green signal to three Covid vaccines for restricted emergency use authorisation (EUA) for children of different age groups. The DCGI gave the restricted emergency use authorisation to Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for children between the age of 6-12 years.In another development, the drug regulator approved restricteduse in emergency situation for Biological E's Covid-19 vaccine Corbevax for children of 5 to 12 years age group. Besides Corbevax and Covaxin, the DCGI also approved restricted use iA emergency situation to ZycovD (Zydus Cadila vaccine) for children above the age of 12 years for a twodose regimen.In a tweet in Hindi, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, "India's fight against Covid more stronger! FACT FILE NEW ACHIEVEMENTS TOTAL CASES India's fight against Covid more stronger! ~ 4,30,62,569 ACTIVE CASES 15,636 MANSUKH MANDAVIYA UNION HEALTH MINISTER NEW CASES This development comes after the Subject Expert Committee discussed recommendations for the restricted emergency use of Covaxin in children aged between 2-12 years. So far, more than 2.70 Cr (2,70,96,975) adolescents have been administered with the first dose of Covid vaccine. @CDSCO_INDIA_INF has approved Covaxin for 6 to 12 years of age group, Corbevax for 5 to 12 years age group of children and two doses ZyCoV-D for above 12 years of age group for Restricted Use in Emergency Situations." This development comes after the Subject Expert Committee discussed recommendations for the restricted emergency use of Covaxin in children aged between 212 years.However, the SEC, after a meeting on Thursday, has recom- mended restricted emergency use of Biological E's Covid vaccine, Corbevax, in children aged 512 years.India logged 2483 new Covid cases in the last 24 hours, slightly lower than the previous day’s 2541 cases, stated the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today. With this, India’s active caseload now stands at 15,636 with active cases now constituting 0.04 per cent of the country’s total positive cases. As per the data shared by the ministry, India’s 2,483 1,970 NEW RECOVERIES TOTAL DEATHS 5,23,622 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. TUESDAY 26 APRIL 2022 Delhi recorded 1204 cases and one death recovery rate stands at 98.75 per cent with 1970 patients having recovered in the last 24 hours taking the cumulative tally of recovered patients to 4,25,23,311. While the weekly positivity rate in the country currently stands at 0.58 per cent, the daily positivity rate is reported to be 0.55 per cent, as per the data. Besides, the health ministry stated, the last 24 hours saw a total of 4,49,197 Covid tests being con- ducted taking the cumulative tests to over 83.54 crore. Under the National vaccination drive, 187.95 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far. As per the data, Covid vaccination for the age group 12-14 years was started on 16 March, 2022. So far, more than 2.70 Cr (2,70,96,975) adolescents have been administered with the first dose of Covid vaccine. Similarly, the Covid precaution dose administration for age group18-59 years also started from 10 April, 2022 onwards. 4,68,211 precaution doses have been administered in age group 18-59 years so far, stated the health ministry. More than 19.90 crore balance and unutilised Covid vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs to be administered. Besides, as per the ministry’s data, more than 192.85 crore vaccine doses have been provided to States/UTs so far through Government of India (free of cost channel) and through the direct state procurement category. Probability of 4th wave 'extremely low', says virologist Jacob John ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI, 26 APRIL Eminent virologist and former Christian Medical College (CMC) Vellore professor Dr T Jacob John on Tuesday said that the probability of a fourth Covid wave in India is "extremely low". On being asked about why some of the states are reporting a surge in COVID-19 cases, the virologist said that Delhi and Haryana had minor increases in COVID numbers over the last two to three weeks but the increase was not being sustained. To his knowledge, he said, no state was reporting a surge in the Covid cases. "To my knowledge, no State is reporting a surge in COVID-19 cases. India remains with low and relatively steady numbers throughout March and April so far," Dr John said. "Delhi and Haryana had minor increases in the last two to three weeks but the increase is not being sustained. One thousand cases in Delhi is equal to just 5 per lakh population. During the "endemic" phase which is applicable to India and also every state, we must not expect a continuous decline in numbers at all. Continuous falls can not occur because the end of such a graph is zero," he added. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 APRIL Election strategist Prashant Kishor has declined to join the Congress, ending days of speculation on whether he would become part of the grand old party in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. “Following a presentation & discussions with Sh. Prashant Kishor, Congress President (Sonia Gandhi) has constituted an Empowered Action Group 2024 & invited him to join the party as part of the group with defined responsibility. He declined. We appreciate his efforts & suggestion given to the party,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted. Shortly after Surjewala's tweet, Kishor also took to Twitter to say; “I declined the generous offer of #congress to join the party as part of the EAG & take responsibility for the elections. In my humble opinion, more than me the party needs leadership and collective will to fix the deeprooted structural problems through transformational reforms.” The formal announcement came a day after the Congress chief had announced the constitution of the group. The group was formed after a report was submitted by an eight-member committee on 21 April."Congress President Sonia Gandhi received a report from the eight-member group on 21 April. Today she discussed the report with the group. Based on the discussions, the Congress President has decided to constitute an Empowered Action Group for 2024 to address the political challenges ahead," the party had said in an offi- SC pulls up Uttarakhand, HP ‘Our position on Russia-Ukraine conflict very clear’ govts over hate speech row STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 APRIL SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 26 APRIL The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed concern at state governments for not doing enough to prevent hate speeches, as it grilled the Uttarakhand government on a proposed Dharam Sansad in Roorkee.The top court noted that governments say they are taking preventive measures, but something different happens on the ground as incidents of hate speeches keep occurring, despite the apex court's guidelines on preventive measures. It directed the chief secretary of Uttarakhand to bring on record corrective measures taken in view of religious meet scheduled in the state. A bench headed by Justice Khanwilkar in its order, said: ‘Will take action against YouTube channels in future also when needed’ SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 26 APRIL A day after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting blocked 16 YouTube news channels for spreading misinformation related to national security,Union minister Anurag Thakur said that the Centre will continue to take strict action in future also if need be. Thakur said that the Centre was for freedom of expression but no one has the right to divide the country, spread misinformation and fake news. "No compromise with the security of India and efforts will continue in future to stop misinformation against the country," he said. SC junks plea seeking judicial inquiry into Ram Navami clashes: Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation seeking a direction for a probe into the alleged communal violence during Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti celebrations in various states. "Please don't ask us for reliefs, which can't be granted by this court. We dismiss the petition," a twojudge bench of the SC, headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao, and also comprising Justice B R Gavai said and dismissed the petition filed by lawyer and also the petitioner, Vishal Tiwari, SNS in the case. "Counsel for Uttarakhand submits that all preventive measures have been takena.and the concerned authorities are more than confident that no untoward situation or unacceptable statement is made during such event... "We direct the Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand to state the corrective measure taken by the authoritiesabefore next date of hearing". Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the petitioners, submitted that they are holding another Dharam Sansad in Roorkee on Wednesday.The bench, also comprising Justices Abhay S. Oka and C.T. Ravikumar, said that if an announcement has been made, the state government will have to take action and follow the guidelines laid down in the Poonawalla case.The bench said the issue is not trust, and told the counsel to talk to the IG and secretary regarding the preventive action. In a loud and clear message to the West which has been critical of India's stand on the crisis in Europe, external affairs minister S Jaishankar today asserted that New Delhi has a very clear position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict which calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a return to diplomacy and dialogue. Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue Townhall, he said the conflict in Ukraine was one of the most dominating issues at present “not only because of interests or values concerned but also because of the consequences worldwide". Asked about India's stand on the war, he said: "When rules-based order was under challenge in Asia, the advice we got from Europe was; do more trade. At least we are not External affairs minister S Jaishankar addressing at Raisina Dialogue 2022 in New ANI Delhi. giving you that advice.” On wider consequences of the war, the minister said “there will be no winners out of this conflict”, adding that the immediate issue was its impact on oil and food prices. He also asserted that Ukraine was not a precedent for China. Such events have been under way in Asia for the past decade without Europe's attention, he added. “So, this is a wake-up call for Europe to start looking at Asia. This is a part of the world with unsettled boundaries, terrorism, and continuous challenges to the rulesbased order. The rest of the world has to recognise that problems are not going to happen, but that they are happening." Asked about the three things that kept him up at night, Jaishankar replied: "The shocks that the international order is experiencing, particularly in the past two years~ the pandemic, Afghanistan and Ukraine, and the friction between the West and Russia, the US and China." On India's role in the Western Indo-Pacific, the minis- ter said: "We need to reclaim our history. Our ties and trade were disrupted in colonial times, but in a more globalised world, we should focus on how we aim to rebuild and interact with each other, rather than through intermediaries.” He also said that the aim should be to recreate the Indian Ocean community, look for solutions amongst and partner with each other instead of looking to countries far away. “The Indian and Pacific Oceans have become much more seamless. It is increasingly untenable to see them in compartmentalised terms, which is part of a larger geopolitical shift." Talking about India's actions towards climate change, Jaishankar said that from New Delhi's perspective, there are two parts to the issue - one is climate action, and the other is climate justice. ‘Show without substance is falling flat’ PULAKESH MUKHOPADHYAY KOLKATA, 26 APRIL If you have known it for some time now that the Indian Premier League has this time around fallen face down in terms of television ratings, that is not all that you can be told. Word is that the Board of Control for Cricket in India is worrled not a little that the IPL finds itself crawling and unable to get up and be going great guns, though a BCCI insider told The Statesman today that the game's supreme governing authorities in the country were not really convinced that the people were beginning to show the signs of drifting away from the franchisee tournament of Twenty20 cricket with a pot of gold for those playing in it and Arabian Nights riches for the big boys organising it. "The board does know of the sharp fall in the television audience reception of this year's IPL matches so far and how the ratings refuse to indicate any upward movement but the competition is not over yet and the excitement of the last few weeks, featuring do--or-die matches, could turn things around spectacularly and force altered assessments," the source claimed, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the Press. The optimism, though, seemed difficult to square with reality given that most analyses of the decline in the tele- vision ratings have referred to a certain "IPL fatigue" in the audience previously deemed captive. Even weekend matches, which usually made up a double bill, no longer find people scheduling their activities or spells of leisure around them. People do not crowd around showrooms with television sets ringed by privileged local notables watching the action. It has been said that, after so many years of organised, high-decibel revelries at the ground, everything seems monotonous, with even the merriment appearing routine rather than spontaneous. The show without substance is on all fours, sniffing the ground to find out what felled it. Says an advertising executive associated with the tournament: "The IPL wasn't ever all about cricket. It was an entertainment package which delighted some people for some time but the formulaic approach was fated to fall flat at some point and it happened in due course. We'd been told some of the cheergirls were students back home of such subjects as paleontology and nuclear physics but when the action out there in the middle ceased to hold popular attention, the dancing ceased to matter." Wimbledon or a Lord's Test will never be ignored by the cognoscenti because it is all about a sport divested of all distractions. The IPL is temperamentally different and therefore, it only had merrymakers around it. When the fun quotient ebbed, the fizz went out of it. Curiously, no one seemed inclined to be drawn out on the corruption that had been said to have marred all editions of the IPL generally and a few ones, rather egregeously. The BCCI insider went to the extent of saying that fixed, or spot-fixed matches seldom mattered much for Indians, high or low, educated or unlettered. "We have newspapers with screaming headlines trying to make the most of the IPL. Does the IPL's history, such as it is, mean anything to them? The honest answer is no," he said. According to him, what the IPL concocts suited us until the moment it began to bore us. Research could reveal.later when the cookie crumbled. By now, of course, with the debris strewn all around us, there is very little that looks likely to work but you can take it for granted the busybodies will be loath to give up on it very easily. I declined the generous offer of #congress to join the party as part of the EAG & take responsibility for the elections. In my humble opinion, more than me the party needs leadership and collective will to fix the deep-rooted structural problems through transformational reforms cial statement yesterday. There were some indications yesterday that Kishor's entry into the grand old party was far from a done deal. TRS working president and Telangana minister KT Rama Rao described the Congress as "a redundant institution" and said the party along with the BJP has let the country down in the last 75 years while adding that the grand old party has no future. Notably, the TRS has hired I-PAC, once led by poll strategist Kishor, ahead of the Assembly elections in the state next year.When asked if Kishor would facilitate an alliance between TRS and Congress in the future, KTR said that the Sonia Gandhiled party "does not have a future". Earlier, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot has openly praised Prashant Kishor, saying that he is a "brand". Senior Congress leader Veerapa Moily has said that those opposing Kishor's entry to the party are "anti-reformers". Three Chinese nationals killed in Karachi blast KARACHI, 26 APRIL An explosion ripped through a van inside a university campus in southern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing three Chinese nationals and their Pakistani driver, officials said. A separatist militant group claimed responsibility and said the attack was carried out by a woman suicide bomber. The bombing at the University of Karachi also wounded a fourth Chinese national and a Pakistani guard accompanying the van, according to university spokesman Mohammad Farooq. Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon said that closed circuit television footage from the site showed a person dressed in the female burqa head-to-toe covering walking up to the van, followed by an instantaneous explosion. The Chinese fatalities included the director of the Chinese-built Confucius Institute, which offers Chinese language graduate classes, and two teachers. The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan confirmed the deaths of three Chinese teachers in what it called a terrorist attack Tuesday evening, saying an additional teacher was injured. The Baluchistan Liberation Army, a militant group in nearby Baluchistan province, has targeted Chinese nationals in attacks in the past. The group’s statement that followed Tuesday’s attack identified the bomber as Shari Baluch or Bramsh, saying she was the group’s first female bomber. AP (See P10)
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.