CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 18 JULY 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 ‘FOREIGN CONSPIRACY BEHIND CLOUDBURST’ THE DEATH OF DEMOCRACY CAUSED SRI LANKA DISASTER P7 ‘I'M NOT A FUGITIVE’ WHY TS SINGH DEO PRESSED THE PANIC BUTTON P4 P5 P12 Monsoon Session: Govt ready to discuss all topics RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Former Union min Margaret Alva Opp’s vice presidential pick At all-party meet, Opposition rakes up attacks on Kashmiri Pandits, Chinese intrusion STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Max.92% SNS & AGENCIES WEATHER One or two spells of rain/thundershower very likely. Temperature likely to be in the range of 32-26 degrees Celsius. TEMPERATURE Max: 32.4°C (0) SUN RISES 05:02 hrs MOON RISES 21:36 hrs New moon on 29 Min. 68% Min: 27.0°C (+1) SUN SETS 18:23 hrs MOON SETS 08:35 hrs July THUMBNAILS Badminton player PV Sindhu wins the Singapore Open Super 500 trophy after beating China's Wang Zhi Yi in the women's singles (SEE PG12) final, in Kallang on Sunday. ANI CRPF officer killed in terror attack in J&K:A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer was on Sunday killed in a terrorist attack in south Kashmir's Pulwama.The killed officer has been identified as assistant sub-inspector Vinod Kumar.Police said that terrorists fired upon a checkpost party at Gangoo Crossing in Pulwama from a nearby apple orchard seriously injuring ASI Vinod Kumar.He was shifted to hospital for treatment where he succumbed. Area has been cordoned off and search for Pg5 terrorists is in progress. All-party meet on Tuesday to discuss Sri Lanka crisis NEW DELHI, 17 JULY he Centre convened an all-party meeting in New Delhi on Sunday ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament scheduled to begin on 18 July, 2022. Attended by leaders of about 36 parties, the meeting was chaired by defence minister Rajnath Singh. The opposition leaders during the meeting demanded discussion on 13 prominent issues, including the attacks on Kashmiri Pandits and Chinese intrusions. Mr Rajnath Singh assured the leaders that the Centre is ready to discuss any issues in Parliament and requested the cooperation of all parties for a smooth running of the session. The Opposition criticised the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the meeting. Talking to reporters after the meeting, Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said the Centre invited 45 political parties of which 36 attended the meeting. “36 leaders put forth their views, gave suggestions and demanded some issues to be dis- T ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL cussed by the Government. We are ready to discuss any issue in Parliament,” Mr. Joshi said. Opposition leaders will meet separately to chart the floor strategy for the session. Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge told reporters after the meeting that they raised 13 issues in the allparty meeting. "Government will present 32 bills in Parliament session of which only 14 Bills are ready by now. They didn't even tell us about those 14 Bills. We will barely have 14 working days in session. We have to discuss 20 topics and pass 32 Bills," Mr. Kharge said. The opposition is trying to raise issues including Chinese incursion, foreign policy, changes in Forest Conversation Act, issues relating to Jammu and Kashmir and Kashmiri pandits and attack against Congress leaders. The AAP raised the LAC row: India, China hold military talks; focus on early disengagement STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 17 JULY India is understood to have pressed for an early disengagement of troops at the remaining friction points at the 16th round of Corps Commander-level talks with China to resolve the prolonged military standoff at eastern Ladakh. The talks were held on the Indian side of the Chushul Moldo Meeting Point with the Indian delegation being led by Lt Gen. A. Sengupta, Commander of the 14 Corps, also known as the Fire and Fury Corps. The two sides held the 16th round of talks after a long gap of over four months with the aim of peacefully settling the border row that erupted in April-May 2020. The last round of talks between the military commanders of the two nations was held in March. Today's talks took place about ten days before external affairs minister S Jaishankar attends the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers' meeting in Uzbekistan where he will come face-to- The talks were held on the Indian side of the Chushul Moldo Meeting Point with the Indian delegation being led by Lt Gen. A. Sengupta, Commander of the 14 Corps, also known as the Fire and Fury Corps The two sides held the 16th round of talks after a long gap of over four months with the aim of peacefully settling the border row that erupted in April-May 2020 face with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Sources said a positive outcome of the military talks might help ease the ongoing tensions between the two countries in the run up to the SCO Summit in Uzbekistan in September which is expected to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Despite the disengagement from Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso and Gogra-Hot Springs, the two armies still have around 60,000 troops each and advanced weapons deployed in Ladakh. India has been insisting that disengagement followed by deescalation on the border were prerequisites for normalisation of relations between the two countries. The last 15 rounds of talks have resulted in the disengagement of troops from Galwan Valley (July 2020), the north and south banks of Pangong Tso (February 2021), and Gogra Post (August 2021). An agreement on the pullback of troops from other friction points remains elusive. Jaishankar had recently met his Wang Yi in Bali on the margins of the G20 foreign ministers' meeting at which the ministers agreed that the military commanders of the two countries must meet at an early date to resolve the stand-off in eastern Ladakh. Jaishankar had also impressed upon Wang the pressing need to sustain the momentum to complete disengagement from all the remaining areas to restore peace and tranquility at the LAC. issue of Arvind Kejriwal’s Singapore visit, saying that the LG was not clearing the file, sources said. As many as 24 new Bills will be introduced in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament, including the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2022. Another important Bill is the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which seeks to provide a regulatory framework for Carbon Trading in India, to encourage penetration of renewables in energy mix, and effective implementation and enforcement of the Energy Conservation Act. Four other Bills have been referred to the standing committee: Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021; Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill, 2019; Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019; and National Anti-Doping Bill, 2021. NEW DELHI, 17 JULY The Narendra Modi government has called for an all-party meeting on Tuesday evening to discuss the crucial issue of the Sri Lanka crisis. Parliamentary Affairs minister Pralhad Joshi made the announcement on Sunday saying, “On Tuesday, we are calling for another all-party meeting to brief on the Lankan crisis.We have requested finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and external affairs minister S Jaishankar to hold this briefing.” According to the sources, the foreign secretary is likely to make a presentation before the members on the situation in Lanka and the assistance that India has given in the past to the island nation. And the meeting is likely to start at 5:30 pm.“The government is calling for suo Air safety: Scindia chairs high level meet It will be a contest between joint Opposition candidate and former Union minister Margaret Alva and NDA nominee and Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar for the vice-presidentship. NCP chief Sharad Pawar today announced after a meeting of the Opposition parties here that they have decided to field senior Congress leader Margaret Alva in the vice-presidential election to be held on 6 August. The name of Alva, who has also been the Governor of Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Goa and Gujarat was decided after Opposition parties met at NCP supremo’s Sharad Pawar residence.The announcement came a day after the BJPled National Democratic Alliance (NDA) said Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar will be its candidate for the Vice Presidential election. “We tried to contact West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee but she was busy in some conference. We also tried to contact Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. He announced support (for Yashwant Sinha) a few days ago & will announce his support (for Margaret Alva) soon,” Pawar added. The opposition leaders finalised Alva’s name after a meeting held at the residence of NCP chief Sharad Pawar It is a privilege and an honour to be nominated as the candidate of the joint opposition for the post of Vice President of India MARGARET ALVA FORMER UNION MINISTER which was attended by all major opposition parties. Leaders of the Congress, Samajwadi Party, CPI-M, TRS, RJD, Shiv Sena, IUML, MDMK, RSP DMK, VCK, CPI, Kerala , Congress and National Conference attended the Opposition meeting. Alva expressed gratitude towards the Opposition parties for nominating her as the Vice Presidential candidate.She further thanked the leaders of the Opposition parties for putting faith in her. “I accept this nomination with great humility," Alva, who entered politics over 5 decades ago in 1969 by joining the INC, said. BJD to support Dhankhar The Biju Janata Dal appeared to the first non-NDA party to extend support to Vice President candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Odisha Chief Minister cum BJD president Naveen Patnaik over phone today and sought his support and the CM promptly agreed. GOLDEN HOUR Technical snag: Indigo flight diverted to Pak ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI , 17 JULY Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Sunday chaired a high-level meeting with senior officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) over air safety after three emergency landings at airports in the country in the last 48 hours. Scindia directed the officials in the meeting that, "there should be no compromise with the passengers' safety." Further he said, "safety is the top most paramount priority and directive has been issued by the ministry to adhere to strictness about the safety issues and maintain highest safety standards as per international norms." Earlier on Sunday, three aircraft of international carriers made emergency landings at various airports in the country in the last 48 hours, making it a day of technical emergencies for various airlines. A senior official in the DGCA informed that these landings were made in Calicut, Chennai and Kolkata on Friday and Saturday. All emergency landings happened because of various technical issues. The Air Arabia aircraft while operating flight G9- motto meeting to address the concerns of several political parties, especially in Tamil Nadu as they are worried about the Sri Lankan crisis and the influx of refugees in the state,” the sources said.In his recent meeting with PM Narendra Modi, Jaishankar, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin expressed his concern about the situation in Lanka and asked for permission to send relief material to the economically-hit nation. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, had gone into hiding after protesters stormed his residence on July 9 and his resignation has been finally accepted by the Parliament Speaker.And even Interim President Ranil Wickramasinghe also announced his resignation as PM.India has extended this year alone support of over $ 3.8 bn for ameliorating the serious economic situation in the island nation as a mark of its Neighbourhood First policy. NEW DELHI, 17 JULY SNS AND AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 17 JULY An Indigo flight from Sharjah to Hyderabad was diverted to Pakistan's Karachi today following a technical snag, the airline said. “IndiGo flight 6E-1406, operating from Sharjah to Hyderabad was diverted to Karachi. The pilot observed a technical defect. Necessary procedures were followed and as a precaution, the aircraft was diverted to Karachi," IndiGo said in a press statement. The aircraft is being examined at the airport. Meanwhile, the airline is sending an alternate aircraft to Karachi to fly the passengers to Hyderabad, it added.IndiGo was dispatching an additional flight to Karachi to bring passengers back to Hyderabad. A series of such incidents have been reported by the Indian airlines in the last couple of days. 426 from Sharjah to Cochin was involved in a Hydraulic failure. The aircraft landed safely on the runway. Tourists take a boat ride on the Dal Lake in Srinagar at sunset on Sunday. ANI 7.5 l applications for Agnipath; youth ‘eager’ to join armed forces: IAF chief ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI, 17 JULY At a time when Opposition parties are demanding withdrawal of the Agnipath recruitment scheme, Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on Sunday said his force has received more than 7.5 lakh applications under the new scheme showcasing the youth's “keenness” to join the armed forces. The IAF chief also addressed the "challenge" of finishing the selection process on time which the forces, during the launch of the scheme, had set December as the deadline. Notably, Opposition MPs, in a meeting with defence minister Rajnath Singh on Monday, raised concerns about the newly launched Agnipath recruitment scheme for the armed forces and asked for its withdrawal or to send it for parliamentary scrutiny. “We've received 7.5 lakh applications for it. This shows the keenness of the youth to join the armed forces and the Air Force in particular. The big challenge lies in finishing the selection process on time to start training as we had planned in December," the IAF said. Notably, the Indian Air Force witnessed the highest number of applications for recruitment into the Force surpassing the previous best recruitment cycle numbers. India’s vax drive unparalleled : PM hails nation for crossing 200 cr doses milestone STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 17 JULY In a historic achievement, India’s cumulative Covid vaccination drive surpassed the 200-crore milestone today. As per provisional reports received by the Health Ministry till 1 pm on Sunday, a total of 2,00,00,15,631 doses have been administered across the country. This has been achieved through 2,63,26,111 sessions. In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the countrymen on bringing about this feat. He called India’s vaccination drive “unparalleled in scale and speed”. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya also congratulated the country on achieving this landmark in only 18 months. He stated that “this extraordinary achievement will be etched in history”. India’s nation-wide Covid vaccination programme was launched by the PM on 16 January, 2021. At his initiative, India supported the research, development and manufacturing of vaccines under the “Makein-India” and “Make-forWorld” Strategy, embarked on the use of cutting-edge technologies like CoWIN for evaluating geographical coverage, tracking AEFI for vaccines, promoting inclusivity and for providing a single reference point for citizens to follow their vaccination schedule, and prioritised vaccine administration based on scientific evidence and global best prac- India creates history again! Congrats to all Indians on crossing the special figure of 200 crore vaccine 16TH Vaccination for Children in MARCH doses. Proud of those 12-14 age group begines 2022 who contributed to making India’s vaccination drive unparalleled in scale and speed. This has strength10th Precaution Dose of Covid-19 Vacened the global APRIL cine Rolled out at Private Centres fight against 2022 COVID-19. 19th Over 1 Crore Youngsters between FEBRUARY 15-18 age group fully Vaccinated 2022 The nation achieves milestone of administration of 200 crore Covid19 Vaccine doses tices. Several systematic interventions were also carried out in ensuring capacity building for carrying out this nationwide exercise. Existing supply chain for storage and transport of COVID19 vaccines was leveraged and strength- 17th JULY 2022 NARENDRA MODI Prime Minister ened and effective monitoring of vaccine distribution and assured availability and efficient utilisation of vaccines and syringes was ensured at all times. India’s free and voluntary nationwide vaccination exercise is also being carried out in a citizen-friendly approach through initiatives like Har Ghar Dastak, Workplace CVC, School based vaccination, vaccination of persons with no identity documents, Near-toHome CVC and Mobile Vaccination Teams. With 71 per cent of CVCs located in rural CMYK areas and over 51 per cent of vaccine doses administered to women, India’s National Covid Vaccination Programme also ensured geographical and gender equity. Despite the decline in Covid cases across the country, consistent efforts were ongoing to vaccinate all eligible citizens. This is exemplified by the fact that it took almost 9 months to reach the 100 crore mark and another 9 months to reach the 200 crore vaccination mark since the start of the vaccination drive on 16 January 2021, with the highest singleday vaccination record of 2.5 Cr doses achieved on 17 September 2021. On 15 July 2022, the Union Government launched a 75day-long ‘COVID Vaccination Amrit Mahotsav’ to provide free precaution dose to all eligible adult population at Government COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs). This special drive, part of the celebration for Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, is being implemented in a ‘mission mode’ to increase uptake of precaution dose of vaccine. India also laid out a wellorganised communication strategy of providing correct information and customized guidelines on COVID vaccination. It helped address vaccine hesitancy and promoted vaccine eagerness and COVID appropriate behaviour among the masses.The Health Ministry said the Union Government is committed to further accelerating the pace FACT FILE TOTAL CASES 4,37,50,599 ACTIVE CASES 1,43,449 NEW CASES 20,528 17,790 NEW RECOVERIES TOTAL DEATHS 5,25,709 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SUNDAY 17 JULY 2022 Bengal recorded 2659 cases and five deaths and expanding the scope of COVID-19 vaccination throughout the country.
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