thursDAY Covaxin’s early trials show promising results 24 december, 2020 Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine has shown dual immune response, according to phase 1 & 2 results released on Wednesday epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard STRATEGIC Vaccine candidate currently in Phase-3 ‘INDIA needs 3rd aircraft carrier’ Necessary given China’s growing imprint on the Indian Ocean, says Navy officer Page 7 High Antibodies In a follow-up of the phase 1 trial, Covaxin produced high levels of antibodies that remained elevated in all participants The vaccine has proceeded to Phase 3 trial and the company has planned to test 26,000 individuals across the country. The Hyderabad-based firm, which has developed the vaccine in collaboration with the ICMR, has already sought emergency use approval from the Drug Controller General of India. P7 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS l New Delhi l J8.00 l Covaxin’s antibodies could 6-12 months Researchers claimlast that long PAGES 12 India told to pay `10K cr damages to Cairn E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Farmers gesture during their ongoing protest against the three farm laws at Singhu border on Wednesday | Parveen Negi Farmers put ball in govt’s court, seek concrete ideas Barely three months after Vodafone Plc won an international arbitration against India’s `22,100 crore retrospective tax demand, the country on Wednesday suffered another blow arising from the controversial 2012 amendment to its tax laws. This time, a three-member arbitration tribunal under the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague, has directed India to pay UK-based energy giant Cairn $1.2 billion in damages, along with interest and legal costs. The final amount India would have to pay if it @ New Delhi/Chandigarh The weeks-long deadlock over the new farm laws continued on Wednesday with farmer unions demanding that the Union government offer concrete proposals, abandon its stubbornness and accept their demands to end their agitation. Both sides have now indicated they are ready for talks without budging on their core agenda. After a meeting of their umbrella body, the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), farmer leaders said they were ready for talks but are waiting for the Centre to come to the table with an open mind. In a letter addressed to Vivek Aggarwal, Joint Secretary in the Union agriculture ministry, they said there was no clarity on various sticking points like guaranteeing the minimum support price mechanism, electricity amendment (ordinance) and ordinance on air quality . ‘Committed to reforms’ Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government will continue with reforms in the farm sector. “However old and strong the protest is, a solution can be arrived at only through talks,” he said The Centre is already on record as saying it is ready to discuss and address all concerns of the agitating farmers. And Prime Minister Narendra Modi will continue his outreach by interacting with farmers from six states on Friday. The day will also see nine crore farmers receiving `18,000 crore in their bank accounts through direct transfer as part of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana. “We urge the government not to repeat the meaningless amendments we have already rejected but come up with a concrete proposal in writing so that the process of negotiation Marathas to get quota benefits under EWS segment: Uddhav govt Uddhav Thackeray to solve the issue in a manner acceptIn a move apparently aimed at able to both the government circumventing the Supreme and the Maratha community . Court stay on Maratha quota, “Pawar consulted various the Maharashtra Cabinet on legal and constitutional exWednesday decided to allow perts before the cabinet decithe community to get the ben- sion. He has played a major efits of the Centre’s Economi- role in solving the Maratha cally Weaker Section (EWS) quota issue,” a source told this category This means the Mar- newspaper. . athas can get reserAs per the cabinet vation in education decision, it will be and jobs in the state voluntary to avail under the 10 per cent the quota benefit unEWS quota. (NCP chief Sharad) der the EWS Pawar consulted The community category . various legal and has already been catHowever, those constitutional egorised as economiopting for EWS cerexperts before the cally and socially tificates will not cabinet decision. He backward class be eligible to avail has played a (SEBC) and the state major role in solving the reservation bengovernment had earefit under SEBC catthe Maratha quota lier offered reservaegory While issuing . issue tion to the commuEWS certificates, the Govt source nity under this Maharashtra govcategory. However, ernment will check the SC had stayed the order, the income of the candidates, citing the 50 per cent reserva- said the Cabinet note. tion cap, in September. “This move will not only Government sources said end the deadlock but also althe cabinet decision came af- low the state government’s ter NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s mega recruitment plans for intervention. The Marathas the Maratha community said ,” have been threatening to Pravin Gaikwad, president of launch a statewide protest Sambhaji Brigade, the frontal over the issue. Pawar is learnt youth organisation of the to have told Chief Minister Maratha community . Sudh i r Su r ya w an s h i @ Mumbai J&K ‘BJP will win 20 ASSEMBLY seats in kASHMIR valley’ BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain says Assembly poll will be will be held after delimitation, asserts Gupkar Alliance leaders should accept the results and not make false claims | P8 can be started as soon as possible,” said Swaraj Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yadav, a member of the SKM. “The government is constantly holding talks with so-called farmer leaders and organisations who are not associated with our movement. This is an attempt to break our movement. It is dealing with protesting farmers, the way it deals with the Opposition.’’ Yadav added. Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh president Shiv Kumar Kakka said: “The government should abandon stubbornness and create conducive environment for talks with farmers and accept their demands. We have already told Union home minister Amit Shah that protesting farmers will not accept amendments.” All India Kisan Sabha leader Hannan Mollah alleged that the government wants to delay this resolution of the agitation and break the morale of the P5&7 farmers. 90 days to file appeal Govt has 90 days to mount an appeal against the order, say sources. In the case of Vodafone, this runs out on December 24 and no appeal has been filed yet. For Cairn, if it doesn’t challenge the award, the cash outflow is set to be over `10,300 crore in a statement on Wednesday . The Government of India, for its part, said that it “will be studying the award and all its aspects carefully in consultation with its counsels”. After the UPA-led government lost its case against Vodafone Plc at the Supreme Court in 2012, then finance minister Pranad Mukher jee passed an amendment in law making the tax liability retrospective. In March 2015, Cairn was slapped with `10,247 crore retrospective tax demand over gains from an internal reorganisation implemented in 2006-07. But unlike the Vodafone Plc No more hiding behind ‘cosmetics’, beauty care to become safer, better Kisan unions contend no clarity on sticking points from Centre E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e doesn’t challenge the award is likely to be $1.4 billion (over `10,300 crore), say sources. “The tribunal ruled unanimously that India had breached its obligations to Cairn under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty the company said ,” Sum i Sukan ya D u t ta @ New Delhi It is now mandatory for manufacturers of cosmetics and make-up products in India to declare all ingredients, even those with concentration of less than 1%, to help buyers make informed choices. Thus far, there was no Central law mandating them to declare the full composition of their skin and make-up products — though there is such a rule for drugs — and licences were granted without getting detailed information. To ensure greater quality control of cosmetic products being manufactured, imported and used in India, the govern- ment also decided to set up the first Central Cosmetics Laboratory and appoint inspectors across states. Till now, there have been very few instances of crackdown on makers of spurious cosmetics. Under the new cosmetics rules, 2020 notified by the Union ministry of health and family welfare recently following consultations with the drug technical advisory board, hair dyes containing paraphenylenediamine or other dyes, colours and pigments should be labelled with specified warnings. Special provisions have been introduced on fluoride content in toothpaste as well. It not be more than 1000 ppm and the fluoride content shall be mentioned on the tube and carton. According to the new norms, no cosmetic, the manufacture, sale or distribution of which is prohibited in the country of origin, can be imported. Also on the import ban list are cosmetics containing hexachlorophene — a chemical preservative known for harmful effects on humans. Besides, cosmetics tested on animals cannot be imported. Also, inspectors will be required to inspect at least once in three years all premises licensed to manufacture cosmetics to ensure that the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940 and its rules are being fully met. Delhi Covid watch status of cases Today Recovered 1,585 Death 18 Active cases -Total +ve 871 Cumulative 6,01,268 10,347 8,003 6,19,618 Patient Management Total beds Occupied Vacant h os p i ta l 18,779 2,866 15,913 c a r e c e n tr e 7,792 92 7,415* h e a l t h c e n tr e 562 19 543 *285 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights 4,155 Home Isolation Testing Status 45,816 42,045 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted Rapid antigen test conducted today 80,33,054 4,22,792 Total tests done so far Tests per million Containment Zones as on date: 5,501 Source: Delhi health bulletin | December 23 leading from the front Army chief General MM Naravane (2nd from left) reviews military preparedness in eastern Ladakh on Wednesday | ADG PI-ARMY E x p ress read Abhaya case: Priest, nun get life term A CBI court handed life imprisonment to the priest and nun, who were found guilty of Sister Abhaya’s murder. Father Thomas Kottoor was given double life sentence and imposed `6.5 lakh fine, whereas Sister Sephy was sentenced to life and fined `5.5 lakh. Eleven test Covid positive at IGI Eleven passengers on four flights from the UK were found Covid positive when tested on arrival at the Delhi airport. As a new coronavirus strain has emerged in the UK, all passengers coming from there would be tested on arrival at airports. case, where no overt action was taken by both the UPA and the subsequent NDA governments, Cairn’s holdings were seized and then subsequently sold to realise the tax liability . By 2011, Cairn Energy Plc had already sold its India subsidiary, Cairn India, to Vedanta Ltd, retaining only a 5% stake. But after the tax demand and subsequent initiation of arbitration by the company in 2015, GoI seized the stake and sold it to realise the claim. It also seized dividends totalling `1,140 crore due to Cairn and set off a `1,590-crore tax refund against the demand. Opening up 100% FDI in DTH sector, 20-yr licence E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s revised guidelines allowing 100% FDI in direct-to-home (DTH) sector and doubling licence validity to 20 years. Earlier, I&B ministry allowed only 49% foreign direct investment in the sector. Among the other changes is licence fee will be collected on a quarterly basis instead of annually, to make it in tune with the licence fee regime of the telecom sector. Also, DTH operators will be permitted to operate a maximum of 5% of their total channel carrying capacity as platform channels. “In India, more than six crore houses get DTH services. The commerce ministry had earlier decided 100% FDI in DTH services but DTH services could not get that benefit as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s guidelines allowed only 49% FDI. The new guidelines will be in sync with the commerce ministry’s guidelines,” Union minister Prakash Javadekar said. Welcoming the new guidelines, leading DTH player Tata Sky said the decision to grant licences to the operators for 20 years would provide certainty to the industry . Other cabinet decisions l Films Division, Directorate of Film Festivals, National Film Archives of India and Children’s Film Society to merge with NFDC l A total of `59,000 crore for Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme to benefit 4 crore Scheduled Caste students in next 5 yrs | P7 o n a m issi o n Retired from job, not teaching for this Jharkhand man M U K E S H R A N J A N @ Ranchi Post-retirement, people often desire to spend their days lazing around. Not Lobin Sabar, though. This retired school teacher has been busy giving free education to the children of poor tribals in his village, Sohda Sabar, in East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. Sabar was a teacher at the Scheduled Tribe Residential Girls High School in Chaibasa district and retired in Febru- ary. When he returned home, he found the children in his village wasting the entire day roaming around and playing. When he spoke to the parents about sending the children to school, their reply shocked him. “They said, ‘what will the children do in school if they have to become farmers?’ I decided to do something to change their mindset,” he said. Having gone though a lot of hardships to complete his education and get a job, Sabar knew the importance of education. He somehow succeeded in convincing the parents of two children in his neighbourhood to send them to his house and started giving basic education to them. Gradually others also started sending their children. Now, he has 36 children in his class. According to Sabar, it gives him immense satisfaction to teach the children. He says he had seen hard days and even had to work as a daily wage labourer to deposit his college fees. “I did not want children of my village to face similar circumstances.” Sabar gets support from his niece Nilima, who is pursuing her B.Ed. He said initially he had to spend from his savings to provide reading materials, but now people are coming forward in his support. Local public representatives praised his effort. “Lobin Sabar has succeeded in igniting interest towards education among the children and creating awareness among their parents,” said village head, Sukurmani Hembrom.
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