monDAY ANT told to return to ITS roots in payments services 28 december, 2020 weighing options to protect economy epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard SHOPIAN charge sheet against tRIO Army officer, locals hatched the conspiracy of the July 18 encounter: J&K Police Page 8 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS l New Delhi l J8.00 l PAGES 12 In his second visit to Singhu border, KEJRIWAL urges Centre to repeal three agri laws; modi in radio address extols sacrifices of sikh gurus in bid to reach out to agitating farmers debate if you can: CM dares NDA ministers e x p r e ss r e a d Rahul on short personal visit abroad: Congress New Delhi: Just a day before the Congress’ foundation day, Rahul Gandhi has left for short personal trip abroad. Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala confirmed the news to media. The trip comes at a time when the party is to celebrate its foundation day and take out Tiranga Yatras. Tongues wag as Sourav meets Bengal Governor Kolkata: BCCI president and former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly on Sunday met West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. Though the Raj Bhavan described it as a courtesy call, the visit led to speculation whether he was going to be fielded as the BJP’s trump card in the state. Chinese delegation calls on Nepal President Kathamndu: A high-level Chinese delegation of the Communist Party of China on Sunday called on Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari ahead of meeting other top leaders to patch up differences between the two warring factions of the ruling Nepal Communist Party. IN a razor-sharp message to its allies, the AIADMK on Sunday categorically ruled out any possibility of a coalition government after the 2021 Tamil Nadu polls, asserting that the new government would be led only by the ruling Dravidian party . Mincing no words, the AIADMK’s deputy coordinator, KP Munusamy, said, “The AIADMK will form the next gover nment even if national and State parties join as alliance partners. There is no need to speak about a coalition government. If any party coming forward for an al, liance arrangement, aspires to form a coalition government, please rethink.” Munusamy’s remarks are significant, coming as it does two days after Union minister Prakash Javadekar vaccine not the lone deaL for city While the Delhi government is preparing for first round of vaccination, a section of people are wary of side effects Page 5 IPO listing of ANT before the central bank torpedoed it Slammed for monopolistic tendencies Authorities blasted Ant for sub-par corporate governance, disdain toward regulatory requirements, and engaging in regulatory arbitrage. They castigated Ant for monopolistic tendencies too Nitish steps down, makes confidant JD-U president Mann ki Baat amid thaali clangs e x p r e ss n e ws s e r v i c e @ New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to reach out to the agitating farmers, most of them from Punjab, on Sunday by invoking the sacrifices made by revered Sikh personalities while the farmers clanged thaalis (plates) during his Mann ki Baat as part of their protest against the agri laws. In a tragic turn of events, a lawyer from Punjab allegedly committed suicide and left a note asking the government to listen to the people’s voice. The PM, in his monthly radio address, said the sacrifices made by Guru Teg Bahadur, Guru Gobind Singh and his sons and Mata Gujri helped protect the country’s culture. “We pay tributes to the brave Chaar Sahibzaade, we remember Mata Gujri, we recall the greatness of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. We remain indebted to these greats for their sacrifices and their spirit of com- had evaded reporters’ questions about whether the BJP leadership would endorse Palaniswami as the chief ministerial candidate. Munusamy also reaffirmed that Edappadi K Palaniswami is the chief ministerial candidate of the alliance. Though he did not mention any party, his rem a rk s we re a straight response to the BJP . Addressing a packed gathering after Chief Minister Palaniswami and his deputy, O Panneerselvam, formally kick-started the AIADMK election campaign in Chennai, Munusamy said forming a government on their own has been the long standing policy of late leaders, MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa. “It is the firm stand of all the functionaries and the cadre, including Palaniswami and Panneerselvam.” We pay tributes to the brave Chaar Sahibzaade, we remember Mata Gujri, we recall the greatness of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. We remain indebted... Narendra Modi, Prime Minister passion,” he said. While the PM’s address was being broadcast, the farmers at Singhu, Tekri and Ghazipur borders beat utensils, an idea the PM had floated in the initial days of coronavirus-mandated lockdown as a mark of gratitude to the Covid warriors. At many places across Punjab, Haryana and other states, people from other sections of society joined the thaali banging protest in solidarity with the farmers. Last week, farmer leaders had appealed to people to beat utensils during Modi’s radio address saying they were tired of listening to his Mann Ki Baat and it’s time he listened to them instead. At the protest site at Tikri border with Haryana, Amarjit Singh from Punjab’s Fazilka district consumed poison and was taken to the PGIMS in Rohtak, where doctors declared him dead on arrival. In a purported suicide note, Singh said he was sacrificing his life in support of the farmers’ agitation so that the government was compelled to listen to the voice of the people. He wrote that the common people like farmers and labourers were feeling “defrauded” due to the “black” laws. The police said the authenticity of the suicide note, dated December 18, was being verified. Singh is the third person to have committed suicide in support of the protesting farmers. A day after the opposition predicted copycat defections would rock the JD-U further, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar resigned as the national president of the party on Sunday and appointed his political confidant and ex-IAS officer Ram Chandra Prasad Singh Singh as the successor for the next three years. Dismissing the opposition claims that Arunachal Pradesh-like defections posed a threat to the party, JD-U chief general secretary K C Tyagi said that Nitish handed over the reins to RCP Singh to play a bigger role in national politics. While maintaining that the alliance with BJP was under no strain, Tyagi said that Nitish would campaign vigorously in West Bengal, where the party would contest alone. However, sources said the JD-U was worried about an Arunachal rerun in Bihar, with speculation that Singh’s elevation was tied to it. Singh is Nitish’s trouble shooter and is credited with bringing JD-U back in the NDA fold in 2017. His elevation is seen as attempt to stem turbulence in the JD-U outside Bihar as it frees up Nitish to work towards strengthening the party in other states. Singh is known to be somewhat soft towards the BJP in NDA circles here. A bureaucrat-turned-politician, Singh belongs to the same caste and hails from the home district of Nitish Ku- Patient Management Occupied Vacant h os p i ta l 18,774 2,528 16,246 c a r e c e n tr e 7,942 72 7,808* h e a l t h c e n tr e 562 21 541 is Rahane’s second Tests century at the MCG. He had scored 147 in 2015. Only three other Asians — Vinod Mankad, Sadiq Md, Majid Khan have scored two hundreds at this venue 3,335 Home Isolation Testing Status 34,468 Rapid antigen test conducted today 83,51,048 4,39,528 Total tests done so far Tests per million Containment Zones as on date: 4,931 Source: Delhi health bulletin | December 27 mar (Nalanda). He was the principal secretary to Nitish before joining politics. Singh has been the vice-president (organisation) of party, and its Rajya Sabha MP . While BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand congratulated Singh on his elevation, RJD spokesperson Mritunjay Tiwary claimed Nitish handed over the reins fearing another bout of defections. Meanwhile, a senior member of the JD-U took a sharper line against the BJP. “The JD-U will not only contest in West Bengal, but also in other states without initiating the first move for a break-up of the alliance. Politics must be replied through politics,” the leader said. 104* *62 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted The Arunachal Pradesh incident seems to have stressed the relations between the JD-U and the BJP in Bihar. “The JD-U is extremely shocked... It is out-and-out an antialliance spirit,” JD-U’s chief general secretary KC Tyagi said at a press briefing | P7 At 63-3, India were in a spot of bother. But in Ajinkya Rahane, India found a saviour. The stand-in captain, coming in at No 4, scored a patient century, his 12th in Tests as India ended Day 2 with a lead of 82 runs with five wickets still remaining. Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja have so far added 104 runs for the sixth wicket which has put Australia on the backfoot at Melbourne Cricket Ground | P11 Cumulative 6,05,685 10,453 6,713 6,22,851 Total beds 40,742 Anti-alliance spirit, says JD(U) leader India take lead @ MCG status of cases Recovered Death Active cases Total +ve RCP Singh Melbourne supremacy Delhi Covid watch Today 939 16 -757 Nitish Kumar An unbeaten 104 from Ajinkya Rahane (left) helped India take 82-run lead on Day Two of the second Test against Australia at the MCG on Sunday | AP 2nd 1 This is rahane’s first test century batting at no 4. and also his first as captain Indian captain after Sachin Tendulkar (1999) to score a hundred at Melbourne No cause for alarm, but India already has 19 variants of coronavirus Sum i Sukan ya D utta @ New Delhi tense Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal speaks to the agitating farmers at Singhu border on Sunday | Pic courtesy: CMO AIADMK says no to coalition govt T M U R U G A N A N D H A M @ Chennai $35 bn R a j e s h K umar T hakur @ Patna e x p r e ss n e ws s e r v i c e @ New Delhi are sitting on the borders today with their elders and children For the second time this are sitting here for their surmonth, and since the farmers vival. If the big companies take converged on Delhi borders to over farming, the farmers will sit in protest against the three be left with nothing,” he said. farm legislations, Delhi Chief Launching a broadside Minister Arvind Kejriwal vis- against BJP leaders and cenited Singhu on Sunday and tral ministers, the Delhi CM made an appeal to the Centre said “big leaders, ministers and “with folded hands” to repeal chief ministers” have been the contentious laws. speaking in support of these Accompanied by his deputy laws. “I heard all their speechManish Sisodia, Kejries, but I have not heard wal struck an emoeven a single leader tional chord as he battalking about how ted for the farmers, these farm laws benesaying they were profit farmers. I challenge Since last 32 testing for their sur- days, farmers are any Union minister to vival. “More than 40 forced to sleep on have an open debate streets in open people have lost their with the farmers and amid the cold. It lives here… I want to it will be clear how pains me that appeal to the central dangerous these laws over 40 people government with foldare.” have lost their ed hands to repeal Seeking to corner lives. I appeal to these farm laws. These the Centre on how the the Centre to are our people, our new laws will benefit listen to them brothers, sisters, moththe farmers, Kejriwal Arvind Kejriwal, ers and elders... Listen said, “Instead of tellDelhi Chief Minister to them, and end their ing the benefits, they struggle here. How are justifying that many lives will you take?” Ke- these laws will bring no harm jriwal said while addressing to the far mers. Who will the farmers after attending the benefit then?” ‘Safar-e-Shahadat’ Kirtan orHe claimed the only benefit ganised by the Punjabi Acade- the Centre lists is that the farmmy of the Delhi government at ers will be able to sell their proGuru Teg Bahadur Memorial. duce anywhere in the country Kejriwal, who is also the Aam outside of mandis. But, he Aadmi Party’s national conven- claimed, crops are being sold at er, claimed the new laws will less than half of the MSP in enable the corporates to estab- states like Bihar and Uttar lish their stranglehold on the Pradesh, where there are no agri sector. “The farmers who mandis. The bank told Ant to ‘rectify’ its suite of services, which have expanded from a PayPal-like operation to offer consumer loans, insurance and wealth management. Regulators are weighing the options of carving up Ant’s lines of operation | P9 People’s Bank stops short of asking for a breakup of Jack Ma’s firm, but stresses necessity of a business overhaul Like elsewhere, coronavirus is quietly changing in India, making itself resistant to antibodies. As of now, 19 such variants are already present in the country researchers associated with , multiple government institutions have established. Scientists attached with the CSIR - Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in Delhi, the Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research and Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, analysed over 2,40,000 SARS-COV-2 genome sequences from 133 countries and identified 86 with escape mutants, or variants with genetic changes that make them resistant to antibodies. Nineteen of these 86 variants were found in India. An escape mutation is one that allows SARS-COV-2 to evade antibodies specific to the spike protein the virus uses to enter human cells. All vaccines are designed to generate antibodies against the spike protein to try to block the virus’ waking up to expedite Genome sequencing Of the more than 1.01 crore Covid-19 positive cases reported in India, only about 6,400 samples have been genome sequenced. In contrast, the UK with 2 million cases has already sequenced 1.57 lakh samples entry into cells. The findings come at a time when the government has decided to accelerate genome sequencing to track changes in the pathogen after a variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the UK had significant structural and behavioural changes, making it 70% more infectious that the original Covid strain. “There is no need to be alarmed but definitely a need to be cautious,” Vinod Scaria, a scientist with CSIR-IGIB and joint first author of the paper told this newspaper. “The variations in the virus does not mean that the vaccine will not work against it but is likely to lower its efficacy,” he said. “During the trials of the vaccine, too, it needs to be analysed whether those who are getting infected are afflicted with the variant virus,” he added. Scaria said cases of Covid-19 re-infection should also be followed up with genome sequencing.
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.