SATURDAY FIVE KHEL RATNAS, 27 ARJUNAS: MINISTRY APPROVES JUMBO LIST 22 AUGUST, 2020 The sports ministry rubberstamps national awards for 32 athletes. Sakshi and Mirabai omitted from Arjuna morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard VINESH PHOGAT RANI RAMPAL T MARIYAPPAN MANIKA BATRA twitter.com/TheMornStandard instagram.com/themorningstandard PAK RETURNEE 74 GEETA FROM TELANGANA? Chhattisgarh could also be the answer, say MP cops PAGE 8 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 TOTAL NO OF AWARD RECIPIENTS PAGES 12 ROHIT SHARMA UNPRECEDENTED, BUT WITH A TWIST Deviating from its earlier norms, the ministry has given away five Khel Ratnas, 27 Arjuna awards, 13 Dronacharya awards and 15 Dhyan Chand awards. This is the first time that so many awardees have been identified, especially in a non-Olympic year | P11 NEET, JEE Main India steps up heat on China with twin strikes exams will be held on schedule: Govt Visa curbs for Chinese visitors including businessmen; Railways scraps tender to keep out CRRC Pioneer Electric P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi have these tests postponed in view of the pandemic. JEE (Main) will be held beDESPITE mounting pressure tween September 1 and 6, while from students and parents to NEET is scheduled for Septempostpone the JEE (Main) and ber 13. NEET entrance exams due to Meanwhile, the Union Home Covid-19, the Centre Ministry in a circular on Friday reiterated issued on Friday notthat the exams will be ed that 99.07% of held as scheduled in JEE(Main) aspirants September. have been allotted Government sourctheir preferred exam es said in a statement centers, and so far, that more than 75 % only 120 have requestof the students regised a change, which is Do it after tered for JEE (Main) Diwali, says being looked into. have already downOut of the total of Swamy loaded their admit 15.97 lakh candidates BJP leader cards, and this is an who have signed up Subramanian indication that a mafor NEET, 99.87 % Swamy on Friday jority wants the exhave been allotted urged the Prime ams to be held as per their preferred center, Minister to put the plan. the government said. off holding JEE The National TestThe gover nment and NEET exams ing Agency (NTA) said, due to the Covuntil after Diwali. which conducts both id-19 pandemic, NTA Swamy said that JEE (Main) and NEET had provided options required said that of the 8.58 to JEE (Main) and infrastructure is lakh candidates regisNEET aspirants to not yet in place tered for JEE (Main), change their center to hold these 6.49 lakh have downc i t i e s f ive t i m e s. exams loaded their admit About 64,000 JEE cards. (Main) candidates The admit cards for NEET, and 95,000 NEET candidates which is planned for Septem- have availed the same. ber 13, is expected to be out in The government stressed the coming days. that elaborate arrangements The statement comes days have been made, as per the eduafter the Supreme Court on cation ministry guidelines, to Monday junked a petition to ensure the safety of students. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi RUSSIA HOLDING TALKS WITH FOUR INDIAN VACCINE MAKERS Mass production of Sputnik V, the Covid vaccine announced by Moscow recently, may begin as early as October | P7 CONFUCIUS INSTITUTES These are educational partnerships funded by the Chinese govt to promote Mandarin as a foreign language. Confucius Institutes have tie-ups with colleges and universities in some 160 countries India has been stepping up the heat on China since the June 15 violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops along the LAC. However, some experts feel these aggressive steps to restrict Chinese presence in India could backfire as the number of Indians travelling to China is three times than the Chinese flow to India. “We should also take into consideration any counter measures from China,” said B R Deepak, chairperson of Centre for Chinese and South Asian Studies at JNU. The latest decisions will only worsen the already frayed ties between New Delhi and Beijing, says Russia-based political analyst Andrew Korybko. Nine charred to death in late-night inferno at Telangana power station V V B A L A K R I S H N A @ Hyderabad NINE employees—seven of TS Gencoo and two of a private battery company—were charred to death on Thursday night after a fire broke out in the underground hydro-electric power station in Srisailam in Telangana. Three other Genco employees who were injured are undergoing treatment at the Genco hospital located near the plant. According to official sources, the fire broke out at 10.30 pm on Thursday It was re. portedly caused by a short circuit in an auxiliary voltage transformer of the fourth unit of the power station. “It appears the fire had started in one of the panels, near the units 4, 5 and 6,” an official said. Of the 18 employees working in the power station, eight of them came out safely, but nine stayed inside, trying to put out Fire personnel try to douse the flames at Srisailam power station the blaze. The fire spread quickly, trapping them. When they realised it was futile, they tried to escape but it was too late. “The employees sacrificed their lives to save their beloved plant,” a senior official said. “We have information that the employees, who were in the plant, tried hard to save the Ex-finance secy Rajiv Kumar is new EC head plant till the last moment,” he added “The footwear that lay scattered all over bears testimony to how hard they tried to save themselves after a valiant effort to save the plant,” the officer said. Bodies were found in all the five floors of the plant. Officials say this suggests that the workers tried to save themselves by trying to reach the top floor, but were probably blinded and choked by the thick smoke. The plant is located 1.2 kilometres beneath the ground and there is only one tunnel to reach it.Personnel from the National Disaster Response Force and the Central Industrial Safety Force were pressed into service early on Friday morning. However, they found it difficult to go inside as smoke stood like a wall. Finally, after more than eight hours of efforts, they were able to retrieve the bodies. D E L H I COV I D WAT C H STATUS OF CASES Today Cumulative Recovered Death Active cases Total +ve cases 1082 13 -1250 142908 4270 11426 158604 PATIENT MANAGEMENT Total beds Occupied Hospital 14125 3585 Covid care centre 10143 598 Covid health centre 594 175 E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi FORMER Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar was on Friday appointed Election Commission in place of Ashok Lavasa who leaves the office on August 31. Kumar, a 1984-batch IAS officer of Jharkhand cadre, retired as the finance secretary in February. In April, he was appointed as the chairperson of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB), the government’s head hunter for public sector undertakings. “In pursuance of clause (2) of Article 324 of the Constitution, the President is pleased to appoint Rajiv Kumar.as the Election Commissioner with effect from the date he assumes the office of Ashok Lavasa, Election Commissioner who has resigned with effect from August 31, 2020,” stated the not i f i c at i o n i s s u e d by t h e Law ministry . The Centre also issued two other orders and made a few other appointments on Friday . Water Resources Secretary Upendra Pratap Singh was given the additional charge of Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation with “immediate effect till the appointment of a regular incumbent or until further orders, whichever is earlier.” On Friday, the government also appointed Ashwani Bhatia as the MD of the State Bank of India. Bhatia will be appointed in place of PK Gupta who superannuated on March 31. AFTER banning Chinese apps and tweaking FDI rules to keep away Chinese investments, the Centre is now planning to tighten visa rules for Chinese businessmen, students and workers. From now on, Chinese nationals will be issued visa only after a security clearance is obtained, sources said. In another move, the Railways on Friday announced the cancellation of the tender for manufacturing 44 Vande Bharat Express trains. “Fresh tender will be floated within a week as per Revised Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) order,” the rail ministry tweeted. The tender, floated last month, had attracted only a Chinese joint venture, CRRC Pioneer Electric, as the foreign player among six participants. The tender had called firms to bid for the supply of electrical equipment for 44 sets of highspeed Vande Bharat express trains with 16 coaches each. The concerted moves taken by the Centre follow the Union education ministry’s review of ties between Indian and Chinese universities, especially the local chapters of Confucius Institutes. The agreements between Indian and Chinese institutes are likely to be cut down to size. “Over 50 MoUs signed between Chinese universities and prestigious Indian institutes like IITs, JNU, BHU and others are under the government scanner,” sources said. Vacant 10540 5719* 419 HOME ISOLATION : 5818 *3826 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and bubble flights (COVID-19) TESTING STATUS 6,086 11,649 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted Rapid antigen test conducted in city 13,92,928 73,312 Total tests done so far BRINGING GANESH HOME People carry a Ganesh idol to their home on the eve of Ganpati festival in Mumbai on Friday | PTI Tests per million Containment zones as on date: 538 Calls received in control room: 97 Source: Delhi health bulletin | Data for Aug 21 A model of the Metro station that will come up in the Central Delhi area | DMRC Multi-level parking at Phase IV Nabi Karim metro station: DMRC ground floor plus eight floors. “Above the surface, three THE Delhi Metro Rail Corpo- floors will be used for comration and the North MCD mercial purposes and the rehave decided to construct an maining will be for parking,” automated multilevel car a DMRC official said. parking facility above the up“The DMRC had identified coming stations of Phase IV this plot for constructing an Nabi Karim in Central Delhi. interchange station. The The parking facility is ex- North MCD had plans for a pected accommodate more multi-level parking-cumthan 3,000 cars. Such a facili- commercial facility. After a ty is currently operseries of meetings, ational at the New an innovative soluDelhi Metro station, tion was found by but it is not combining the two automated. projects as an inteAfter a series of meetings, an The Nabi Karim grated complex,” innovative station, which will said Anuj Dayal, Exsolution was come up as an interecutive Director, found by change facility for (Corporate Commucombining the two the Janakpuri West- projects (of DMRC nications), DMRC. RK Ashram Marg This parking faand North MCD) Metro corridor and cility is expected to as an integrated the proposed Inderreduce the parking complex lok-Indraprastha issues and traffic Anuj Dayal, corridor of Phase congestion in the head of I V, will be Nabi Karim area. DMRC communication underground. “The DMRC will A total of nine construct the intefloors will be constructed of grated sub structure for the which six will be for parking station and the North MCD and the remaining three will will construct the super be used as a commercial com- structure for the parking as plex. The entire parking area well as commercial facilities spread over 25,000 sq m will through the concessionaire. be located on Shahi Idgah They will also operate and Road, Sadar Bazar. maintain the parking facility The metro station will have and the commercial block,” four underground levels and the DMRC said, adding that on the surface the building an MoU was signed in this rewill have a formation of gard on Friday . G AYAT H R I M A N I @ New Delhi Haryana offices, businesses to shut on weekends for checking virus spike H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh WITH Covid-19 cases touching 52,129 in Haryana on Friday, the state government has ordered the closure of all public and private offices, non-essential commercial and business establishments on weekends. The only exceptions will be those dealing with essential goods and services. An official said all other national directives and SOPs issued by the National Disaster M a n a g e m e n t Au t h o r i t y (NDMA) for COVID-19 management that are currently in force shall continue to be strictly followed. These orders will remain in force until further orders. He said the latest order would have no effect on public and private transport and on tests or examinations being conducted by the Haryana Public Service Commission and the Haryana Staff Selection Commission. “All offices and shops except those dealing in essential ser- vices will remain closed in the state on every Saturday and Sunday till further orders. We have taken this decision as there has been a sudden increase in cases during the past few days,” Home and Health Minister Anil Vij said. During the past couple of weeks, Haryana has registered a spike in cases. The infection tally touched 52,129 on Friday with 585 fatalities. As per the medical bulletin issued by the state government, of the 1,203 new cases reported on Friday, 127 were in Faridabad, 120 in Gurugram, 132 in Panipat and 111 in Rewari. There has also been a sud- We have taken this decision ( of closing all offices and shops except those dealing in essential services) as there has been a sudden increase in cases during the past few days — Anil Vij, Haryana minister den surge in the number of doctors, paramedics and other health workers at the PGIMS in Rohtak testing positive for COVID-19. Some 52 doctors and 17 health workers tested positive, with doctors from the anaesthesia and gynaecology departments being the worst affected. The Haryana government’s move comes a day after the P u n j a b g ove r n m e n t a n nounced daily night curfews and a weekend lockdown till August 31. Haryana’s decision surprised many as CM Manohar Lal Khattar had recently said that weekend lockdowns serve no purpose in the fight against COVID-19 and that there were no plans to impose any more lockdowns. “A lockdown will not serve any purpose unless it is imposed for a 14-day period. Imposing a lockdown over the weekend or for two days merely gives the impression that something is being done,” Khattar had said.
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