wednesDAY ANTITRUST SUIT AGAINST GOOGLE FOR STIFLING COMPETITION 21 The US Justice Dept filed a lawsuit on Tuesday alleging Google has been abusing its dominance in online search to stifle competition october, 2020 90% epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard of global web searches is controlled by google SHOCKER ‘END FUNDING FOR MADRASAS’ Apple, amazon, fb could be targeted Madrasas are breeding fundamentalism and terrorism, claims MP minister A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS Page 8 I n terview Andhra CM Jagan Mohan Reddy’s allegations against Supreme Court judge N V Ramana has shaken the people’s faith in the judiciary. An in-house inquiry must be ordered to look into the charges Justice A P Shah Delhi High Court chief justice (retd) Q&A: p7 D E L H I C O V I D WAT C H status of cases Recovered Death Active cases Positive cases Today 2,186 41 -- 3,579 Cumulative New Delhi l J8.00 l PUNJAB on Tuesday became the first state in India to formally reject the Centre’s contentious farm laws, with the state Assembly unanimously passing a resolution and three Bills against the Central laws. The three Bills are: the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment Bill; the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill; and the Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill. The first Bill says no sale of paddy and wheat in the state will be valid unless it is paid equal to or above the minimum support price (MSP). The pro- posed law also calls for a threeyear jail term and a fine in case anybody compels a farmer to sell his agricultural produce below MSP . The second piece of legislation makes it mandatory for those entering into contract farming with farmers to pay the MSP. It also stipulates a Rajasthan, too, plans its own farm bill Jaipur: Hours after the Punjab Assembly unanimously passed a resolution and Bills against the Centre’s farm laws, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday said his government, too, will bring a similar Bill against the central laws PM Modi urges people not to be complacent in festival season, says vaccines are on track 3,06,747 6,081 23,922 3,36,750 Plasma therapy may drop out of favour in India Total beds Occupied Vacant Hospital 15,717 5,149 10,568 Care centre 8,137 862 6,286* Health centre 527 286 241 S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi Home Isolation: 14,046 *959 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and bubble flights Testing Status 14,253 42,340 Rapid antigen test conducted in the city 40,83,476 2,14,919 Total tests done so far Tests per million n Containment zones as on date: 2716 n received in control room: 302 Calls n number of calls dispatched to Total ambulances: 1444 n number of calls refused : Nil Total Source: Delhi health bulletin | Data for Oct 20 e x p ress re a d Nath is sorry but says no to apology Facing flak for his “item” jibe at MP minister Imarti Devi, Congress leader Kamal Nath expressed regret and claimed that he did not say anything disrespectful. While Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said earlier in the day that he did not appreciate the kind of language Nath used, the PCC chier maintained that he would not apologise. Physical distancing goes for a toss as supporters arrive at a rally of RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav in Aurangabad on Tuesday | PTI EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi Taking a grim view of widespread flouting of Covid-19 protocols such as wearing masks and following social distancing norms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday cautioned people not to lower their guard against the virus till vaccines are available in the country . “Work on developing vaccines is going on at a brisk pace and all preparations are being made to make them available to everybody in the country in shortest possible time,” the PM said in his address in the evening. Modi said he has come across videos and photographs showing people flouting Covid-19 protocols. He called for responsible behaviour, saying the lockdown has been lifted but the virus is still in the air. Citing the examples of European countries and the US, the PM highlighted how coronavirus cases have gone up there after a phase of recovery as a direct , fallout of lifting restrictions and resumption of economic activities. The second wave of Covid-19 has forced some European countries to re-impose restrictions. France, for instance, has imposed night curfew in nine cities while limiting gathering to a maximum of 10 persons at a time. Spain has clamped a state of emergency for 15 days in Madrid. Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Germany and Italy have all taken restrictive measures as well to combat the surge in cases. Modi’s address to the nation has come at a time when a large part of the country is cele- The National Testing Agency (NTA) under the Union education ministry on Tuesday said it would lodge an FIR under the IT Act for circulation of “manipulated and fake news” projecting a student, who had failed to qualify in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), as a topper in the Scheduled Tribe category . It’s not, however, clear against whom the FIR would be registered; official sources said “it’s being finalised”. There have been reports that Mridul Rawat, who obtained 329 marks in the NEET, results for which were declared recently had tweeted to the NTA , challenging his results. Later, he reportedly received a fraudulent e-mail which ‘confirmed’ to him that he had got 650 marks, as he had claimed, and was the topper in the ST category . Candidates with fake claims to face heat While assuring all genuine grievances will be entertained, the National Testing Agency warned that it will be forced to take legal action against NEET candidates, including cancellation of their candidature, if their cases are found to be fabricated “This news is being circulated by some unscrupulous elements on social media and even some regional news channels which are running it without seeking our version,” said an official. “We got the answer sheet re-checked and the results were found to be exactly the same as before.” This, the official said, was intimated to the student. “The NTA has declared the result after thorough scrutiny and as- brating festivals while Bihar and Madhya Pradesh are in poll mode. Last week, an expert panel had predicted, using a mathematical model, that India is past its peak in Covid-19 cases. At the same time, the expert panel had also warned of a surge in cases if Covid-19 protocols such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing in public places are not followed strictly . Quoting statistics, the PM also said that India has done well in combating the pandemic as the country reported only 5,500 cases per million in contrast to over 25,000 per million in the US, Brazil and other countries. Besides, India reported only 83 per million fatalities against 680 per million in the US, Brazil and other countries, he added. We cannot be careless or believe that Covid-19 has ended. If you are careless and moving around without a mask, you are putting yourself, the children and the elderly in your family at risk Narendra Modi, Prime Minister NTA to file FIR for fake news claiming incorrect NEET result Express N ews Service @ New Delhi three-year jail term to those who violate the Act. According to the third Bill, all powers to fix stock limits of food grains are with the State government and not the Centre. It also envisions imprisonment of three years and a fine to those who force a farmer to sell his agricultural produce below MSP . These Bills are aimed at preventing any damage to farmers in Punjab because of the Central laws. All 115 MLAs unanimously voted in favour of the resolution and the Bills, except two BJP MLAs who were absent during the special session of the Vidhan Sabha. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who moved the resolution against the Centre’s farm law, urged farmer unions to allow movement of trains for the transportation of coal, urea and foodgrains, pointing out that the state government had already lost `40,000 crore due to the onging ‘rail roko’ protests. He pointed out that the farmers’ fight should be against Delhi, and not Punjab. The House also passed the Code of Civil Procedure (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2020, which aims to provide relief to farmers from attachment of their land not exceeding 2.5 acres. The Vidhan Sabha session has been extended by a day. The CM said his government will bring more pro-farm and pro-poor Bills in the House P8 on Wednesday . ‘Don’t drop you guard against virus’ Doc who called out Patient Management RTPCR/CBNAAT/TrueNat tests conducted PAGES 12 Google insists it holds no special power forcing people to use its free services or preventing them from going elsewhere Apple, Amazon and Facebook are also on US regulators’ radar Punjab builds MSP into its own farm bills, rejects Central laws H a rpree t B a j w a @ Chandigarh ‘In-house probe into Jagan’s charges needed’ l Most of Google’s services are offered for free in exchange for personal information that helps it sell its ads sured all aspirants that the result declared by NTA is correct,” the agency said in a statement. Referring to Rawat’s case, the testing agency said “the news is totally fake, fabricated and one-sided” and a complaint is being filed by the NTA with the cyber security cell at Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The agency cautioned that while all genuine grievances will be entertained, manipulated and fabricated cases will be viewed seriously and NTA will be forced to take legal action against such candidates, including cancellation of their candidature or other unscrupulous agents representing such candidates. The NTA advised the students “in their own interest” not to fall prey to “any unscrupulous person/agent/spokesperson promising them any favorable changes in their OMRs/results”. Plasma therapy for Covid-19 patients may soon be discontinued as a permitted investigational treatment from the national clinical management protocol for coronavirus, the gover nment announced on Tuesday . Hospitals across the country use the therapy rampantly, even though the largest randomised clinical trial on this from India has shown that it does not help Covid-19 patients either in terms of mortality or disease progression. “We have had discussions in the task force, and we are discussing further with the joint monitoring group that this may be deleted from the national guidelines,” ICMR director general Dr Balram Bhargava said at a press briefing. The findings of the trial carried out in 14 states and Union Territories, made public last month, had shown that the therapy did not benefit moderately ill patients either in terms of reducing mortality or lowering progression of the disease. The study rampant black marketing for plasma, which can legally only be donated, has continued despite the evidence to the contrary . The ICMR study involved 464 patients with breathing difficulties and oxygen saturation level of less than 93%, of whom, 235 were given convalescent plasma with antibodies against SARS CoV2, received from donors who had recovered. no-rape spin denied service extension N a m i ta B a j pa i @ Lucknow Was a temporary doctor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital (JNMCH) in Aligarh denied service extension because of he contradicted the state police’s theory in the alleged Hathras gang-rape and murder case? While the Uttar Pradesh Police had on October 1 cited a forensic lab report — that said there was no trace of semen or sperm on the victim’s samples — to argue she was not raped, Dr Mohammad Azimuddin Malik had joined issue on October 5, saying the samples were lifted 11 days after her assault and had no evidentiary value. His comments were reported in a section of the media. Dr Malik was a temporary Casualty Medical Officer (CMO) at the JNMCH run by the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and his tenure ended on October 10. He had sought extension of service till November 8 since another doctor was on Covid leave till then. But the AMU rejected the request. On Tuesday, Dr Malik received a letter signed by CMO- rELIEF phd SCHOLARS cAN ENTER jnu CAMPUS FROM NEXT WEEK in-charge Dr S A H Zaidi, info r m i n g h i m t h at A M U Vice-Chancellor Prof Tariq Mansoor had turned down his (Dr Malik) extension request with immediate effect. He was advised not to perform any further duties. Dr Malik received his first rejection letter on October 16. Tuesday’s letter was his final termination notice. While social media sought to tie it to Dr Malik’s statement contradicting the state police, AMU authorities denied it. “AMU Administration denies any suspension of their employee in regard to Hathras Incident. The news circulating in social media on the subject is false & holds no ground,” it tweeted. Dr Malik had bravely contested the no-rape theory of the police though he was holding a temporary job. However, he was only echoing the position taken by appalled experts, who had said it is normally difficult to get traces of semen 72 hours after the assault. A former student of the same university in Aligarh, Dr Malik could not be contacted for his comments despite repeated attempts. Once the university campus reopens in a phased manner, JNU official said, that PhD scholars will be allowed to use libraries and laboratories for research and practical work | P4 e x p ose Road re-laid after teen’s ‘ground report’ V I N E E T u pA D H YAY @ Dehradun It’s not rare in remote parts of India for newly laid roads to start crumbling within hours of being built because of substandard material used. But Suhana Bisht, 15, of Dewarkhadora village in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district wasn’t ready to take this lying down. When a 10-km newly laid stretch in the area came undone, the teenager, an aspiring journalist, shot a video and posted it on social media. As the video of her ‘ground repot’ exposing the corruption went viral, the district administration swung into action and rushed to get the stretch re-laid within 12-hours. The road from Gopeshwar to Ghigraan village had been in a pathetic condition for a long time, with the authorities paying no heed to the complaints of locals. When, after a lot of protest, the road was finally constructed recently it started , disintegrating within a few Suhana Bisht had posted a video that broke the slumber of PWD officials | Express I and my father decided to make a video and share it on social media after we realised that no one has been paying attention to our complaints — Suhana Bisht, teenager from Uttarakhand’s Chamoli hours. “I and my father decided to make a video and share it on social media after we realised that no one has been paying attention to our complaints. We are the taxpayers and we should see to it that the public amenities are up to the mark,” said Suhana. In her video, the Class 9 student claimed when the villagers protested about the sub- standard quality of the road work, they were threatened. She alleged the locals had complained to junior and assistant engineers about the bad quality of construction and sub-standard material used, but were told that ‘commission’ received from such works goes to the highest levels of administration and government. Her father Dheeraj Bisht, who runs a small dairy, told this newspaper that they were threatened by state public works department (PWD) authorities for complaining about the quality of the road work. Shivam Mittal, assistant engineer, PWD denied the charge. “We are looking into the matter, but the claims of threats are plain lies. We are responsible people and are working for the people only he said. ,” The locals, however, concurred with the father-daughter duo’s allegations and lashed out at government officials over the corruption.
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