THURSDAY 12 NOVEMBER, 2020 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard 26/11 ATTACK PAK CONCEDES ITS ROLE AIRLINES CAN NOW OPERATE AT 70% OF PRE-COVID CAPACITY: CENTRE Islamabd admits that 11 terrorists involved in the attacks were Pakistanis A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 8 NEW DELHI J8.00 Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday that the cap on the number of domestic flights that Indian airlines are permitted to operate was increased from 60 per cent to 70 per cent of their pre-COVID levels PAGES 12 Poll outcome shows development will be the only basis for politics in the 21st century, says PM; agrees women are BJP’s silent voters, adding they turned out in large numbers; puts West Bengal govt on notice over political killings Approval of Covid policy, says Modi M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi Phase NDA Phase I Phase II Phase III NITISH THANKS MODI FOR BIHAR VICTORY Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Wednesday “saluted” people for giving majority to the NDA in Bihar and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his support. “I salute people for the majority they have given to the NDA. I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his support,” Kumar tweeted in his first reaction after the ruling coalition won majority in Bihar PHASE III WAS DECIDER STATING that Bihar will march on the development path under the leadership of Nitish Kumar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the NDA’s electoral victory across the country was an endorsement of the measures taken by the government to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. While the world paused in the face of the pandemic, India continued to take “historic decisions” to reform agriculture, education, land titles and others, Modi said. A day after the Bihar verdict, the BJP headquarters turned saffron, with party workers celebrating the victory BJP chief . J P Nadda set the tone of the celebrations, saying the verdict is an endorsement of the Covid-19 management under the PM’s leadership. “The battle that India waged against the Covid-19 pandemic has no parallel, as the principal priority has been to save the lives of the people. It was also ensured that while free ration was made available to the people, the immediate requirement of employment was also addressed,” Modi said. Reflecting on the poll outcome, Modi said the verdict is another indication of the “new mood” in the country, adding, “people reward those who work Good railways, better airports, bridges, internet connectivity, some will say, are not important in elections. People are telling political parties that this is not the case —Narendra Modi, Prime Minister SMART CITY Manesar to get municipal corporation H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh TO develop Gurugram as the “smartest city in the country ,” the state government plans a new municipal corporation for Manesar, besides developing a new Gurugram city in the area, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar said on Tuesday . The CM’s remarks came after he virtually inaugurated Project Air Care and two other schemes for beautifying the Gateway of Gurugram on the Gurugram-Mehrauli (Delhi) Road. Khattar said these schemes are Diwali gifts for the city . With a view to providing prompt services to the people of Gurugram, a Tower of Justice is also being constructed in the city with an estimated cost of `180 crore. He said since Gurugram and Faridabad are known as metropolitan cities of the National Capital Region, separate metropolitan development authorities have already been constituted for both the cities. “Air Care will address our concerns for better ambient air,” he said. The CM said Karnal has also been included in the ‘smart city project’. “There is a need to develop various facilities such as water management, security, public transport, buildings, good governance, e-education and telemedicine in accordance with the smart norms.” MGB Others 22 47 2 51 42 1 52 21 5 for development with honesty .” He also lavished praise on Nadda for leading the party to victory in the polls. Referring to the BJP’s silent voter base, Modi said women trust the party because they prioritise “safety and respect”. “Women are the biggest silent voters. They have shown their might in Bihar, with a large turnout,” he added. Without naming the Congress, Modi came down heavily against dynasties, saying one large national party’s leadership has just one family. “The future is full of possibilities, and the women and the youth see hope in the BJP. The poor and the downtrodden see their BIHAR representations in the 2020 BJP he said. ,” In a signal to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the prime minister flagged the BJP’s allegations of the political killings in the state, saying that “the game of deaths should never be part of democracy”. After Bihar, the BJP will go full steam in Bengal for the next year’s AsP7 sembly polls. TMC UNEASE AS OWAISI TO CONTEST WB POLLS Prime Minister Narendra Modi flashes the victory sign at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Wednesday. BJP National President JP Nadda is also seen | PARVEEN NEGI Kolkata: With Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ulMuslimeen announcing its decision to contest the 2021 Assembly polls in West Bengal, the ruling TMC in the state on Wednesday called it a “communal force which acts as the B team of BJP”. Buoyed by the Bihar results, Owaisi had on Tuesday said AIMIM would contest in Bengal and UP Axe Chirag from central NDA: JD(U) R A J E S H K U M A R T H A K U R @ Patna A day after winning a fresh mandate to rule Bihar, NDA leaders on Wednesday started putting their heads together to form the new government led by Nitish Kumar, though his JD(U) will be the junior partner with 43 seats as against the BJP’s 74. While the BJP is understandably keen on government formation, the JD(U) doesn’t quite share the enthusiasm, amid indications the new ministry could be sworn in only after Diwali (Nov 14) or even after the Chhath festival (Nov 19-20). For, the JD(U) first wants the BJP to send a clear no-nonsense message by ejecting the Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) from the central NDA before government formation, it is reliably learnt. It was the LJP that deliberately damaged the JD(U)’s chances across the state and hurt the BJP to a lesser extent in some seats, indirectly benefiting the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). The LJP had dropped out of the state NDA barely weeks before polling. For the record though, JD(U)’s senior spokesperson Dr Ajay Alok denied setting terms on purging the central NDA of the LJP. He, however, said the new government is likely to be formed after Diwali. As for who will lead the new government, there was no ambiguity. Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said the NDA will stick to its pre-poll announcement of Nitish Kumar staying as chief minister. The BJP expects a bigger share of power with proportional representation in the new ministry “A formal discus. sion over this between JD(U) and BJP leaders has already been held,” a BJP leader said. `1.46 lakh cr production linked incentive scheme for 10 crucial sectors EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi T H E U n i o n C ab i n e t o n Wednesday approved a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme worth `1.46 lakh crore for 10 sectors to boost domestic manufacturing, create jobs and reduce dependence on imports. The scheme will be offered to white goods manufacturing, pharma, auto, telecom, textile, food products, solar photovoltic and cell battery among others, with a , total outlay of `1,45,980 crore spread over five years. Of the total outlay the larg, est pie — `57,042 crore — goes to auto and auto components, followed by advance chemistry cell (ACC) battery (`18,100 crore), drug makers (15,000 crore), telecom products (`12,195 crore), food products `(10,900 crore) and textile manufacturers (10,683 crore). Announcing the scheme, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said it will help attract more investments into these sectors, promote job creation and will help in building a self-reliant India. Wednesday’s announcement is in continuation of the gover nment’s earlier PLI scheme for electronics and for active pharma ingredients with an outlay of `50,000 crore spread over five years, which takes the total outlay for such incentives to nearly `2 lakh CHINA SUGGESTS SYSTEMATIC DE-ESCALATION ON LAC India is perusing China’s proposal given during the 8th Corps Commanders’ meeting, sources said | P8 THE Covid surge touched a new high of 8,593 new cases, the highest for a day since the outbreak of the pandemic, with an all-time high positivity rate of 13.40 per cent in Delhi on Wednesday . Delhi has 4,59,975 Covid cases while the toll swelled to 7,228 with 85 fatalities in the last 24 hours. The national capital has been recording more than 6,000 daily cases for the last nine days. The previous highest of 7,830 cases was recorded on November 10. In October, the VK Paul Committee had warned that the national capital could see surge in cases ranging between 10,000 and 15,000 per day in the festive season. Worsening the situation is severe air quality in the city, mainly due to crop burning in Punjab and Haryana. Earlier in the day, the High Court pulled up the AAP government for relaxing norms for public movement and gatherings despite the Covid surge. With the coronavirus cases shooting up relentlessly, CM Arvind Kejriwal has written to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan requesting him to augment beds including intensive care units (ICUs) and provide adequate staff in govern- ment run hospitals for patients suffering from Covid. Kejriwal wrote on November 7 seeking at least 1,092 additional beds including 300 ICU beds with manpower. The CM, in the communique, further stated that augmentation of beds is required to restrict mortality rate in the national capital. According to Kejriwal’s letter, a panel has projected 15,000 cases per day in the ongoing third surge in the upcoming weeks due to rising air pollution, festive and wedding seaP4 son in the city . TESTING STATUS 19,304 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted 52,62,045 AUGMENTING HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE Total tests done so far Delhi has 15,713 beds, including ICU and non-ICU beds, for treating Covid patients. The shortfall of around 4,900 beds will have to be met by augmenting central and state capacities, Kejriwal wrote. 2,76,949 Tests per million DELHI COVID WATCH STATUS OF CASES Today Cumulative RECOVERED 7,264 4,10,118 DEATH 85 7,228 ACTIVE CASES -42,629 TOTAL +VE CASES 8,593 4,59,975 PATIENT MANAGEMENT Total beds Occupied Vacant HOSPITAL 16,511 8,497 8,014 CARE CENTRE 8,217 825 7,198* HEALTH CENTRE 527 279 248 24,435 HOME ISOLATION *194 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights Source: Delhi health bulletin | November 11 Centre brings online news portals under I&B ministry’s ambit THE Central government has brought online news portals and over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix under the ambit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). According to a notification issued by the Cabinet Secretariat late on Tuesday night and signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, films and audio-visual programmes made available by online content providers, as well as news and current af- fairs on online platforms would come under the MIB’s purview. The order also covers news on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. The decision has evoked sharp reactions from the digital media industry “This move . is a step towards censorship of online news platforms. The government is doing this because some online news portals criticise government policies,” said Poonam Agarwal, editor, investigations, The Quint. Siddhar th Varadarajan, founding editor of The Wire, The Cabinet also decided to extend the viability gap funding scheme to social infrastructure sectors. The scheme is currently available only for projects concerning economic infrastructure dustries, labour-intensive manufacturing, export-oriented sectors and advanced technology products,” said Uday Kotak, president, Confederation of Indian Industry . With economy headed towards a sharp contraction this fiscal, the governmental indicated the manufacturing and infrastructure sector will remain the focus area to kickstart economy . SC criticises high court, gives Arnab interim bail @ New Delhi BIG BROTHER R I T W I K A M I T R A @ New Delhi Boost for social infra EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Daily corona count crosses 8K-mark, 4.59L cases in Delhi E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi crore over a five-year period. India Inc has welcomed the move and said its timely espe, cially when the economy is limping back to normal from the aftershocks of Covid. “The new PLI policy is transformational and will facilitate India becoming a global manufacturing hub. It identifies the right sectors and products across core in- said, “The underlying impulse of involving the I&B ministry is to introduce special rules to hinder digital media, which has so far bucked the trend in print and TV spaces of giving the government a free ride.” Press Council of India chairperson Justice C K Prasad said, “We are of the view the content should be looked after by a stat- DIGITAL MEDIA IN THE CROSS HAIRS Digital media promoters termed the new notification an attempt by the government to censor unpalatable content. Some also pointed out that the Information Technology Act already applies to digital media utory independent body .” Dushyantt Kohli, chief operating officer of Khabri, a digital audio platform, said he was hopeful the growth of the industry would be supported and not impeded. Cyber law expert Pavan Duggal said, “The government must lean in the direction of enabling regulation and ensure such regulations do not tantamount to arbitrary misuse of powers. The golden balance is what the government needs to search for and attain, while moving ahead in this regard.” OBSERVING that personal liberty is increasingly becoming a casualty in the country , the Supreme Court on Wednesday granted bail to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in a 2018 case of abetting suicide. A vacation bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee issued the order on Goswami’s petition challenging the Bombay High Court’s decision on November 9 to deny interim bail. Hours later he walked out of the Taloja jail in Raigad district. The top court also granted bail to two other co-accused, Feroze Shaikh and Neetish Sarda. Expressing deep concern at the growing trend of states targeting those who follow a different ideology than that of the government, Justice Chandrachud cited a case from West Bengal where a girl, who tweeted that the coronavirus was not being properly dealt with, was issued a police notice. “They did this, saying we will show you reality he remarked. ,” “Forget the way he (Arnab) screams and yells. I do not watch this news channel, but what concerns me is the value ascribed to human liberty We . are deeply concerned about it... If constitutional courts do not interfere today, then we are travelling the path of destruction, undeniably. We must send a message to the high courts today that please exercise your jurisdiction to uphold personal liberty Jus,” tice Chandrachud said. The court directed the accused not to tamper with evidence or influence witnesses and asked them to execute a personal bond of `50,000 each for release.
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