friDAY Women are symbol of Durga, must be respected: PM Modi 23 october, 2020 Invoking Goddess Durga, the prime minister on Thursday reaffirmed his govt’s commitment to women’s empowerment epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard CONVERSION? Low footfalls at Puja pandals ■ ■ In ‘NO such case in Ghaziabad’ UP officials lodged an FIR against unidentified persons for fomenting caste conflict Page 7 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS l New Delhi l J8.00 l Politics of vaccine announced India’s Covid ac@ New Delhi/Patna cess strategy. Kindly refer to the state-wise election schedule In what was read as the politics to know when you will get it, of vaccine, the BJP’s manifesto along with a hoard of false in Bihar promised to provide promises.” free Covid-19 shots to all people RJD’s chief ministerial canin the state if it retains power didate Tejashwi Yadav hit out in the Assembly elections. The at the BJP for playing politics party perhaps saw as it as a in the time of pandemic by asktrump card, as the ing the people to vote universal free vaccine for the vaccine. Ac$7 billion was the first promise cess to a vaccine is set aside on its poll manifesto the fundamental for India’s released by Finance vaccination right of every citizen Minister Nir mala and making it a vote A Bloomberg report Sitharaman. issue is electoral “As soon as the vac- quoting unnamed blackmail, he said. sources said the cine is available for Leaders from other production at a mass Centre has already non-NDA parties also set aside about $7 scale, every person in lashed out at the “blabillion for Covid Bihar will get free tant populism” and vaccination. This is vaccination. Each accused the BJP of person needs two the first promise menexploiting Covid-19 injections, with tioned in our poll fears for electoral manifesto,” she em- each shot costing mileage. $2. The estimated phasised “Bihar is a The BJP defended cost per person, politically sensitive its announcement including state. Here people with party general infrastructure, is cannot be fobbed secretary Bhupender $6-7, it said off with empty Yadav saying the promises.” promise was made as Amid a barrage of criticism, part of its public policy BJP’s . the BJP sought to justify the IT department head Amit announcement saying the vac- Malviya said the Centre would cine would be made available at provide the vaccine to all states a nominal cost and it’s up to the at a nominal cost. “It will be up state governments to decide on to the states to decide the distriproviding it to the people free bution of the vaccines.” of cost since health is a state Meanwhile, activist Saket subject. Gokhale filed a complaint with In a tweet dripping with sar- the Election Commission, saycasm, Congress leader Rahul ing the announcement violated Gandhi said: “Government just the model code of conduct. E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e The BJP’s promise of a free Covid vaccine for every individual in Bihar is not in line with the Centre’s own stated vaccine policy so far. Top functionaries of the government, including PM Narendra Modi, had said once the vaccine is available, it will be prioritised and be given to the most vulnerable groups first. The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration has already recommended a serosurvey-assisted vaccine policy , which means leaving out those with antibodies. The group has chalked out a plan to make the vaccine available to 30-40 crore people in the first phase, cover- @ New Delhi The US State Department on Thursday proposed to halt the issuing of temporary business visas (B-1) for H-1B specialty occupation. If implemented, the proposed plan could affect thousands of Indian IT workers and their employers. The temporary B-1 visa allowed IT companies to send professionals to the US for a short stay to complete on-site work. “The proposal, if finalised, will eliminate any misconception that the B-1 in lieu of H policy provides an alternative avenue for foreign professionals to enter the US for skilled labour,” the State Department said in a statement. amit bandre MP, TN take cue to offer vaccine SOp E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Bhopal/Chennai THE BJP kicked off a vaccine-populism of sorts in its manifesto released for the poll-bound Bihar. Hours later, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh followed suit by promising free universal vaccination drive against the Covid pandemic. “The Tamil Nadu government will bear the entire cost of the vaccination drive,” Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced on Thursday after reviewing the Covid preparedness measures in , Pudukkottai. In Madhya Pradesh, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced later in the evening that the vaccine will be made available for all people in his state free of cost once it is ready. “Work on developing the Coronavirus vaccine is underway on a fast pace in the country Once the vaccine is ready it will be made avail. , able to every citizen in the state free of cost,” he tweeted. Later talking to journalists in Gwalior, Chouhan said the vaccine will be administered free of cost to those poor people, who cannot afford it on their own. Earlier, Palaniswami said that the downward trend seen in fresh Covid cases is because of the extensive measures being implemented by the State government. He applauded the work of officials and ground staff in this regard. Compared to other South Indian States, Tamil Nadu has managed to contain the pandemic much more effectively he said. Despite the pandemic , and relief work, Palaniswami said, the State government managed to continue attracting investments. The chief minister also unveiled a bronze Jallikkattu statue at Kamaraj Nagar in Viralimalai. U.S. hopes for universal immunisation by june If the claim of US Operation Warp Speed’s chief adviser Dr Moncef Slaoui is anything to go by, most Americans could be immunised for Covid-19 by June next. “It’s not a certainty, but the plan... should make it such that by June, everybody could have been immunised in the US,” Slaoui told ABC News ing healthcare workers, frontline workers, the elderly and those with co-morbidities. Earlier this month, Vardhan had said the government is hoping and planning to receive and utilise 400 to 500 million doses covering approximately 25 crore people by July 2021. Experts meanwhile pointed out that vaccines should not be 78,000 PAGES 12 E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e Not in sync with govt’s policy of prioritisation S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi many big-ticket pandals, only a handful of organisers and locals were allowed due to restrictions imposed by Calcutta High court | P8 a poll issue. “I think vaccines should be free for everyone and part of universal health coverage,” said Dr Gagandeep Kang, a senior medical scientist. “For SARS-COV2 vaccines, since supply will be limited, they should be provided to those at highest need of protection using an open transparent allocation strategy .” India restores all existing visas The Centre on Thursday decided to restore all the existing Indian visas suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. The home ministry announced it’s giving permission to all Overseas Citizen of India and Person of Indian Origin card holders and all other foreign nationals to visit India for any purpose except on a tourist visa, electronic visa and medical visa | P7 It noted that issuing of temporary business visas “potentially encourages the workers and their employers, to circumvent the restrictions and requirements relating to the H non-immigrant classification, established by the U S C o n g re s s t o p ro t e ct The Uttar Pradesh Police do not have enough women for the proposed round-the-clock women help desks being set up at all 1,535 police stations across the state as part of Mission Shakti launched last week. Sources said when police chiefs of various districts started looking for woman constables, they realized they d i d n o t h ave a s m a n y candidates. There are a number of police stations which don’t have woman constables, while at others most such staff are unavailable, mostly on maternity leave. The proposed help desks have to be staffed entirely by women. At tehsil and block levels, the help desks are to be manned by women staff spared by the district administration. Police sources say at least Mission Shakti had Yogi’s blessings CM Yogi Adityanath had launched Mission Shakti to ensure safety and security of women and children, on October 17. The govt would launch a special drive to initiate legal action against all those who are a threat to women security, the UP chief minister had said. two women will be needed per help desk in rotation for 24 hours. For three shifts of eight hours each, at least six women constables are required at each police station in a day . While the actual number of woman constables is not readily available, the ‘Data on Police Organisation’, a report by Bureau of Police Research and Development, Union Home Ministry, shows that there were 21,447 women police personnel in the state till last year which was over 7 per cent of the state’s police force of over three lakh till 2018. The total woman police personnel also include those who are posted at civil, district and armed reserved police and armed police. In such a scenario, besides manning the help desks, woman constables are required to perform certain routine duties such as taking women complainants to hospital in cases of sexual assault. A senior officer said that despite shortage of women workforce, a sizeable number of woman cops, especially young and married constables, proceed on long maternity leave at one time or the other. Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari said arrangements would have to be made so that woman complainants find it easier to walk into police stations anytime without any fear or hesitation. American workers.” “The resulting transparency would reduce the impact on the US workforce of aliens performing activities in a specialty occupation without the procedural protections attendant to the H-1B classification,” the State Department’s statement added. Last December, California attorney general announced a settlement with Infosys in a lawsuit that involved allegations of 500 of its employees working in the US on B-1 visa rather than the H1-B visa. The proposal comes just two weeks ahead of the presidential election in the US with President and Republican candidate Donald Trump eager to present himself as the protector of American jobs. What’s in a surname? Ask Meenas angry at UPSC’s job advert ST quota in the state. In the UPSC notification, A row has erupted in Rajas- only the Minas are said to be than over a recent UPSC job eligible for reservation as advertisement for the post they are classified as ST in of company prosecutor in the Central list. However, the Ministry of Corporate the Meenas have been kept Affairs. The UPSC notifica- out, although members of tion says only the Minas, the community have for decclassified as Schedades claimed that uled Tribes in the they are the same Central list, are eligroup as the gible for reservaMinas. tion in the recruitIn Rajasthan ment exercise. both communities The “distinction” have been given ST between the Minas certificates and enand the Meenas has j oy re s e r vat i o n re-ignited the old benefits in the ST There is no dispute category. In 2018, dispute. on this issue in Chief Minister the state governRajasthan. We will Ashok Gehlot, in a ment had even writissue a series of five tweets ten to the Central clarification and clarified that in his agains write to the Tribal Welfare Minstate there is no dif- Centre to end the istry to issue a clarference between dispute over ification, but so far Meena and Mina the Minas and the the Centre has not Meenas. He cited a responded. Ashok Gehlot, g ove r n m e n t re The issue blew Rajasthan CM sponse in the High up in Rajasthan a Court that the sofew years ago. Then called two refer to only one CM Vasundhara Raje in 2014 tribe, and that the only dif- had allowed the two to f e r e n c e w a s i n t h e change their spellings. The spellings. move triggered agitations by The Meenas are a politi- Meena leaders and the BJP cally dominant tribe in east- government soon withdrew ern and southern Rajasthan the order. In 2016, the Raje and both the Minas and Mee- government said the dispute nas have for decades enjoyed was “unwarranted”. SOS ‘GOVT SUPPRESsING dissent in country’ R a j e s h A s n a n i @ Jaipur Social activists, intellectuals also condemn the Supreme Court ruling that public places cannot be occupied indefinitely for protests | P5 e x p ress re a d 33 Indians held hostage in Somalia New Delhi: The Indian High Commission in Kenya said on Thursday it is in touch with the Somalian government to rescue 33 Indian labourers kept hostage by a company in Mogadishu. They have been held by the company for the past eight months. D E L H I COV I D WAT C H status of cases Today Recovered Death Active cases Positive cases 2,727 35 -- 3,882 Cumulative 3,12,918 6,163 25,237 3,44,318 Patient Management Hospital Care centre Health centre UP Police doesn’t have enough women staff for 24x7 help desks N a m i ta B a j pa i @ Lucknow polling booths across West Bengal televised the PM’s address US weighs crackdown on business visas for H-1B jobs Whenever available, the doses would be given to all states at a nominal cost. It’s up to the CMs to decide how it would be administered, as healthcare is a state subject, says BJP Outrage as BJP announces free shots in Bihar for keeping mandate Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Kolkata’s streets were bereft of the crowd of revellers normally seen on Mahasasthi, which marks the beginning of the fiveday Durga puja festivities Total beds Occupied Vacant 15,742 8,107 527 5,116 960 300 10,626 6,219* 227 Home Isolation: 14,979 *928 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and bubble flights Testing Status 16,795 41,975 RTPCR/CBNAAT/TrueNat tests conducted Rapid antigen test conducted in the city 42,01,310 2,21,121 Total tests done so far Tests per million n Containment zones as on date: 2766 n received in control room: 324 Calls n number of calls dispatched to Total ambulances: 1341 SAFETY FIRST n number of calls refused : Nil Total A devotee helps another to adjust her face shield at a Durga Puja pandal in New Delhi on Thursday | Shekhar Yadav Source: Delhi health bulletin | Data for Oct 22 DTC buses to have display boards showing seat availability Express news service @ New Delhi In a bid to ensure social distancing and control the crowds at bus stations, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has decided to display seat availability on each bus for the convenience of its hundreds of its commuters. “The conductors will display a board from the side window with the information on seats available or not available, as per the position at that time,” said a DTC official. The bus conductors will be issued two A-4 size placards/ boards to display the information on ‘Seats Available’ and ‘Seats Not Available’. The seat availability board will be in green colour and the non-availability board will be in red colour. The conductor will display the placards/ boards to the passengers when the bus arrives at a bus stop, said an official. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, only 20 people are allowed to travel in a bus. But the commuters just rush to board the buses without maintaining distance and flout all rules, the official added.
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.