SATURDAY 02 SEPTEMBER 2023 www.thestatesman.com twitter.com/thestatesman facebook.com/thestatesman INDIA’S NATIONAL NEWSPAPER SINCE 1818 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ‘INDIA ALLIANCE POISED TO SWEEP 2024 LS POLLS’ ‘JUDGES MUST NOT BE TROLLED’ P7 SENSEX 65,387.16555.75 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with rain /thundershower very likely. Maximum and minimum temperatures likely to be around 34 °C and 28 °C respectively. RAINFALL: Trace RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 96 % TEMPERATURE P5 NIFTY 19,435.30181.50 P6 ` vs $ 82.619 PAISE GOLD 60,050110 Max: 34.0 °C (+1) Min: 27.1 °C (+1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:20 hrs 17:55 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 19:3 hrs 06:22 hrs New Moon on 15 September Will fight BJP together as far as possible: INDIA Seat-sharing arrangements to be initiated immediately in various states THUMBNAILS Union Home Minister Amit Shah with Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur during an event for the launch of 'Amrit Kalash Yatra' under the 'Meri Maati Mera Desh' campaign, in the Capital on Friday. SNS Commercial LPG prices reduced by `158 after domestic LPG price drop: In a significant development benefitting LPG consumers, Public sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have reduced the cost of 19 KG commercial LPG gas cylinders by ` 158, as per insider information. The revised pricing will take effect immediately, and the retail selling price of a 19kg commercial LPG cylinder in Delhi will now stand at ` 1,522. pposition bloc INDIA held its third conclave in Mumbai on Friday but apparently was still not quite there on giving a united fight to the Narendra Modi-led NDA in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, declaring its intent to contest the polls “together as far as possible.” The conclave attended by 68 representatives of 28 political parties adopted three resolutions, announcing it was going ahead to fight the Modi-led BJP government together, while admitting efforts to achieve the objective could succeed “as far as possible.” The first resolution said: “We, the INDIA parties, hereby resolve to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections together as far as possible.” It added: “Seat-sharing arrangements in different States will be initiated immediately and concluded at the earliest in a collaborative spirit of give and take,” indicating the INDIA leaders had realised that time was running out, and they must initiate the crucial “seat-sharing” process early. The other two reso- Prasad Yadav, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal were present. Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut announced that a 14-member Coordination Committee of the political alliance has been formed. The 14-member Coordination Committee and Election Strategy Committee included K C Venugopal (INC), Sharad Pawar (NCP), T R Baalu (DMK), Hemant Soren (JMM), Sanjay Raut (SS-UBT), Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), Abhishek Banerjee (TMC), Raghav Chadha (AAP), Javed Ali Khan (SP), Lalan Singh (JD-U), D Raja (CPI), Omar Abdullah (NC), Mehbooba Mufti (PDP), and one more member from CPI (M) yet to be announced. He said that four main committees have been BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 87.491.26 ‘One-nation, One-election’: Centre forms panel to explore possibility; Kovind to head it STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 1 SEPTEMBER O lutions announced the INDIA parties’ plan to hold rallies and coordinate their communications efforts. The second resolution said: “We, the INDIA parties, hereby resolve to organise public rallies at the earliest in different parts of the country on issues of public concern and importance.” The third resolution said “We, the INDIA parties, hereby resolve to coordinate our respective communications and media strategies and campaigns with the theme Judega Bharat, Jitega India in different languages.” The three resolutions were read out by Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray from the dais where Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, NCP president Sharad Pawar, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, RJD leader Lalu P12 SILVER 77,100.00500 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 1 SEPTEMBER Min. 61 % 'FOCUS IS TO STAY INJURY-FREE’ DIFFERENT STROKES formed in which members of all the political parties have been included. “Campaigning committee, working group of social media committee, working group of media and working group of research. These four main committees have been formed. Members of all the political parties have been included in those committees," he added. Addressing mediapersons, Mr Kharge said the INDIA parties would hold public meetings on issues of inflation, unemployment, fuel prices; petrol, and LPG prices. Mr Rahul Gandhi said the parties on the dais represent 60 per cent of the population; if the parties unite, it is impossible for the BJP to win. He said the committees were formed and seat sharing discussions will be done now at the earliest. The Narendra Modi Government on Friday constituted a committee headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind to explore the possibility of “one nation, one election,” under which elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies can be held together. The government’s move triggered nationwide political reactions. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said in Jaipur there is no need to get nervous as there will be discussions at different levels before it gets implemented. Mr Joshi said: “Right now, a committee has been constituted. A report of the committee will come out, which will be discussed. The Parliament is mature, and discussions will take place, there is no need to get nervous...India is called the mother of democracy, there is evolution... I will discuss the agenda of the Special session of Parliament." If the proposal comes into effect, elections for Lok Sabha and state assemblies across India will be held simultaneously with voting taking place at the same time. The government has decided to call a Special Session of Parliament from 18-22 September where the proposal can come up for discussion. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the report of the committee will be discussed in Parliament, asking why the Opposition is scared of it. “There will be a discussion (on ‘One Nation, One Election’) in Parliament. Why is the Opposition scared (about it)? Democracy is about evolution; India is the mother of democracy. This is part of evolution," Mr Joshi said. “In this evolution, every new proposal that benefits the nation will be discussed. For now, a committee has been formed and they will give their suggestion and then a discussion will be held on the subject,” he said. He said there were simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha and State Assemblies till 1967. Now there are polls every few months and it is a huge expenditure. This must be discussed. he said. A parliamentary standing committee, the Law Commission and Niti Aayog had earlier examined the 'One Nation, One Election' proposal and submitted reports on the subject. Simultaneous elections for State assemblies and the Lok Sabha were held till 1967. However, in 1968 and 1969 some legislative assemblies were dissolved prematurely, followed by the dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 1970. This forced a change in electoral schedules for the states and the country. Opposition parties have objected to the idea of 'One Nation, One Election'. Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath said: “For this, not just an amendment in the Constitution but also approval of states is also needed.” “In BJP-ruled states like Haryana and Maharashtra, they can decide and pass a proposal in the Cabinet to dissolve their respective assemblies...You can't just cut short the duration of a State assembly, it doesn't work like this," he said. Congress MP Anand Sharma asked: “In today's perspective is it practical? Amendments will need to be made to the constitution.” UPI transactions cross 10-bn mark in Aug Governor to play VC’s role for headless state varsities STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE ASHOK CHATTERJEE NEW DELHI, 1 SEPTEMBER UPI (Unified Payments Interface) transactions in India achieved a remarkable milestone by crossing 10 billion transactions in a month, with the total number of UPI transactions reaching an all-time high of 10.58 billion in August. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said UPI transactions surged 67 per cent year-on-year to 10.58 billion in August. Hailing the milestone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday posted on microblogging site X: “This is exceptional news! It is a testament to the people of India embracing digital progress and a tribute to their skills. May this trend continue in the times to come.” He was replying on a post on the social media platform. Union tele- This is exceptional news! It is a testament to the people of India embracing digital progress and a tribute to their skills. May this trend continue in the times to come NARENDRA MODI PRIME MINISTER com minister Ashwini Vaishnaw also welcome the move, saying, “Digital India achieves a new record. UPI payment transactions crossed the 10 bil- lion mark in August-23.” The total transaction amount increased 47 per cent year-on-year to Rs 15.76 lakh crore in August. In July, UPI transactions of 9.96 billion were recorded while the transaction amount stood at Rs 15.34 lakh crore. The UPI payments system saw 9.34 billion transactions in June 2023 with a total transaction amount of Rs 14.75 lakh crore, the NPCI said. The UPI launched in 2016 is used for immediate money transfers through mobile devices round the clock. In addition to basic peerto-peer and merchant transactions, UPI has been expanded to allowing making payments for initial public offering and UPI credit. RBI had in February this year allowed access to foreign nationals and NRIs visiting India by enabling them to make payments using UPI while they are in India. This facility has been extended to travellers from G20 countries at select international airports (Bengaluru, Mumbai and New Delhi) for their merchant payments. NPCI International also aims to provide UPI payments in other countries such as France, Singapore, Bhutan, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka and Bahrain. UPI acceptance in foreign countries started in 2022. According to NPCI officials, India has been following two strategies. First is to help build digital infrastructure and platforms for partner countries and enter into commercial linkages and partnerships with existing financial platforms to make payments for Indian travellers and migrants easier. KOLKATA, 1 SEPTEMBER The Kolkata Raj Bhavan, through a communication issued late on Thursday night announced that the Governor, CV Ananda Bose, “in his capacity as the Chancellor has decided to discharge the duties of the Vice Chancellors” at universities without functional heads. The Governor’s move has already led to rumblings among educators and at the state secretariat. An announcement has also come out on behalf of the Raj Bhavan with the message to the students of the universities so that they can directly interact with the Raj Bhavan on their grievances about the academic and administrative management in their respective universities. State education minister Bratya Basu said that this action of the Governor is Now, the mother of all battles PULAKESH MUKHOPADHYAY KOLKATA, 1 SEPTEMBER When the Asia Cup landed in Sri Lanka’s bag, unsolicited though not unwanted as the gift of the takings mattered, Pakistan, left outplayed in the boardroom game, were said quietly to have anticipated a malicious win in a crucial organisational aspect. The dates of the tournament coincided with one of the picture-postcard island nation's two annual monsoons, which implied all sorts of hassles for everybody and, of course, bad Press for the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which had had the bigger chunk of the show shifted from Pakistan, where the Men in Blue did not want to go for their own reasons. And we had weather apps forecasting rain all day on Thursday at Kandy as cricket fans awaited Saturday's mother of all battles. On Friday morning, of course, there was no assurance that rain had gone away, but while a lot of rain had fallen at Kandy, Pallekele saw Sri Lanka defeating Bangladesh all right in a fullyplayed match. Pallekele does not take much getting to ~ half an hour by a car ~ from Kandy but the weather conditions in each place can differ from those in the other one. Still, it will perhaps be skating on thin ice scheduling games with the skies opening up anywhere. A rain-affected game is often a joke when artificially fixed calculations settle competitive action, bypassing the heart of the matter. They are all you may have sometimes when complications crop up but getting it logically right too is a different matter. South Africans have for years complained about being let down by rain rules, their first complaint dating from 1992. In the 2022 Twenty20 World Cup, Zimbabwe set the Proteas an 80-run target. South Africa were 51 for no loss in five overs. Then came rain. South Africa were 13 runs away from a revised target of beyond his constitutional limits and the state government is seeking the intervention of the Supreme Court in the matter. The Educationists’ Forum, with around 24 former and present VCs as its members, also criticised the Governor’s move in the strongest terms. Through a release it said this is a “conscious, conspiratorial and coordinated subversion of higher education in West Bengal. The Governor-cumChancellor-cum-Vice-Chancellor seems to have created an illegal triad of roles. He seems to be an aspirant for making new histories the world over. The Chancellor seems to assume the ‘15-in-1’ role without any legal sanction. His most recent illogical and illegal announcement is not only bizarre but ominous. The Chancellor's whimsical ball has rolled in such a way that the entire academic community of the country is both dismayed and laughing.” Former VC of North Bengal University and professor of IR at Jadavpur University, Om Prakash Mishra, said: “This has never happened in any state. This is an effort to subvert the search and selection committee. The Governor has been trying his best to paralyse the education system in the state. There is no provision in law for this. The Supreme Court is going to hear a special leave petition filed by the state government on his appointment of VCs on 15 September.” Senior advocate Calcutta High Court Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said: “Is he thinking that there are no eligible candidates who can be appointedVCs in the state? This is autocracy. If he is trying to break the process of self expression, then it is an indication that the Governor has lost his composure.” Presidency University is also without aVC for some time. Rishav Saha, secretary, SFI, Presidency University unit, said: “Wherever he has appointed VCs, they have all been his puppets. He is actually trying to control the campuses in the state. If we see that he is trying to promote the BJP agenda, suppress the teacher and student unions and NEP implementation, Presidency University will oppose it.” Countdown for India’s mission to the Sun begins 64 in seven overs. Rain did not stop before the cut-off time for a five-over game. The Proteas ended up conceding a point though they had shot past the par score for the same number of overs. And that, as they say, was that. If a dispute were to crop up during an India - Pakistan game in a World Cup, we would never hear the end of it. But then, the current tournament looks like it has been planned for three matches between the titans of the subcontinent, the first one set for tomorrow, the second one in the Super Four phase and there, of course, is the summit showdown to round it off. Pakistan are described as a fantastic combination of extraordinary individuals by one of India's best cricketers, Ravichandran Ashwin. India are good too but just how good is what the Asia Cup is expected to answer before the World Cup, which happens to be the BCCI's target as it is an International Cricket Council competition. (See PG12) SNS & AGENCIES CHENNAI, 1 SEPTEMBER The countdown for the Saturday morning launch of India’s third interplanetary mission~ this time to the Sun ~Aditya-L1~ will begin at 12.20 p.m. on Friday, said a senior official of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). “The countdown will begin at 12.20 p.m. today (Friday),” the official told IANS. India on 23 August reached the Moon with its lander safely landing on the lunar soil in a textbook style. Later the Pragyan rover rolled out and started doing experiments. The Aditya-L1~named after the Sun God in Hindu mythology ~ will be carried by the Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-XL variant (PSLV-XL). On Saturday, the rocket will blast off at 11.50 a.m. from the Sriharikota rocket port, the ISRO said. During the countdown process, the fuelling of the rocket ~ liquid fuel ~ will be done CMYK as well as checking of its systems. Initially, Aditya-L1 will be ejected in a low earth orbit (LEO). Then the orbit will be become elliptical. As the spacecraft travels towards L1, it will exit the earth’s gravitational Sphere of Influence (SOI). After exit from SOI, the cruise phase will start and subsequently the spacecraft will be injected into a large halo orbit around the Lagrange Point (L1)~ the point where the gravitational pull of two large bodies will be equal and hence the spacecraft will not gravitate towards any one of the planet. The total travel time from launch to L1 would take about four months for Aditya-L1 and the distance will be about 1.5 million km from the Earth.
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