TUESDAY VIRAT KOHLI HEADLINES ICC’S PLAYERS OF DECADE HONOURS 29 DECEMBER, 2020 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard India captain wins Sir Garfield Sobers award for the best Male Cricketer of the Decade. Named ODI Player of the Decade too. twitter.com/TheMornStandard BEATS DE VILLIERS, SANGA TO TOP AWARD ASSAM FURORE OVER MADRASSA BILL BJP govt introduces Bill to convert state-run madrassas into general institutes PAGE 8 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 Kohli beat R Ashwin, Joe Root, Kumar Sangakkara, Steve Smith, AB de Villiers and Kane Williamson for the Decade award. 66 out of his 70 international centuries came in this decade. He was also the batsman with most fifties (94), most runs (20,396) | P11 DHONI WINS SPIRIT OF CRICKET AWARD MS Dhoni won the ‘ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade’ for his gesture of calling back England’s Ian Bell after a bizarre run out in 2011. Steve Smith was chosen the Test Cricketer of the Decade, while Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan bagged the top prize in T20Is. 50 mn vaccine doses ready for delivery on govt nod: SII EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi FIFTY million doses of the Covishield vaccine are ready , Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII), said on Monday adding that he hopes to get the emergency use authorisation in India soon. Poonawalla’s statement comes days after the SII, the Indian manufacturing and clinical trial partner for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, submitted additional data to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation. According to industry sources, India is likely to give Farmers slogan during their protest against the Centre’s new agri laws at Ghazipur border in New Delhi on Monday | PARVEEN NEGI Wednesday date set for fresh talks Farmer unions accept govt invite; no meeting ground yet on the three contentious reform laws ‘Pawar wanted reforms but faced pressure’ Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said former PM Manmohan Singh and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar wanted to bring farm reforms during UPA rule, but couldn’t due to political pressure. “It is unfortunate that their (UPA) government could not take the decision due to political pressure,” Tomar said Mobile tower disruption: CM issues stern warning With 1,561 mobile towers tampered during the farmers’ stir, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh directed the police to take strict action against vandalisation and disruption of telecom services. Amarinder asserted he will not let Punjab plunge into anarchy at any cost and nobody can be allowed to take the law into their hands. H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh THE sixth round of talks between the government and the agitating farmers will be held on Wednesday with the Centre , sending a formal invite to 40 kisan unions on Monday Later, . t h e u n i o n s c o nve ye d their consent. Union Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Aggarwal’s letter referred to the response of the unions on December 26 accepting the Centre’s offer for talks and invited them to Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi at 2 pm on December 30 for the dialogue. He reiterated the Centre’s commitment to find a ‘logical resolution’ with an open mind and clear intention. “During this meeting, the concerns of farmers regarding three farmer laws, system of procurement on MSP, ordinance 2020 on Air Quality Man- agement in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas besides amending the draft Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 would be discussed in detail,” the letter stated. But arriving at a common ground would not be easy as the farmer unions want nothing short of the repeal of the three laws, while the Centre is willing to make amendments but not take the roll back road. When the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella group of 40 farmer unions, had on Saturday written to the government proposed talks on December 29, it had laid out a stiff four-point agenda beginning with the modalities for repealing the three farm laws. The Centre’s letter on Monday mentions the other three points flagged by the unions but skirts the repeal part. Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal) general secretary Harinder Singh Lakhowal said, “we decided to attend the December 30 meeting, as we do not want to give the government any chance to say that the farmers backed out of discussions. However, there is no change in our demands.” Reacting to the vandalisation of over 1,500 telecom towers in Punjab, Lakhowal said, “we did not give any call to cut power supply to towers of a specific mobile company as it would af, fect studies of students at the time of the pandemic. We only requested people to get their mobile numbers ported to any P7 other mobile operator.” We decided to attend the Dec 30 meeting, as we do not want to give the govt any chance to say we backed out of discussions. However, there is no change in our demands — Harinder Singh Lakhowal, farm leader DELHI COVID WATCH STATUS OF CASES Today 959 21 -564 RECOVERED DEATH ACTIVE CASES TOTAL +VE Cumulative 6,06,644 10,474 6,297 6,23,415 PATIENT MANAGEMENT Total beds Occupied Vacant H OS P I TA L 18,774 2,499 16,275 CARE CENTRE 7,942 62 7,808* H E A LT H C E N T R E 562 19 543 *72 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights 3,153 HOME ISOLATION TESTING STATUS 32,484 24,979 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted Rapid antigen test conducted today 84,08,511 4,42,553 Total tests done so far Tests per million WALK TO REMEMBER People walk despite cold on a snow covered road after fresh snowfall in Shimla on Monday | PTI CONTAINMENT ZONES AS ON DATE: 4,563 Source: Delhi health bulletin | December 28 2,000 AIIMS HCWs WERE INFECTED Faculty, resident doctors and nursing staff tested positive in over 9 months PAGE 4 New Delhi: Serum Institute of India on Monday launched the country’s first indigenously developed pneumococcal vaccine PNEUMOSIL for children in the presence of Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan the green light at the same as the UK which reportedly looks at January 4 to roll it out. Covishield is being tested on about 1,700 individuals in India as part of a multi-country phase-3 trial of the vaccine, which has shown 70% efficacy on an average in two different dosing regimens. In response to a query on how much of the readied stockpile will India get, Poonawalla said, “India has such a large population that we will probably end up giving the majority of those 50 million doses to India first.” Poonawalla also said that after the company receives the required regulatory approval, it will be up to the government to decide “how much they can take and how fast”. Speaking about production targets, he said Serum Institute of India will produce around 300 million doses of Covishield by July next year. On the availability of the vaccine in the coming months, Poonawalla said the first six months of 2021 may see a shortage globally . AYODHYA No sedition charge, relief for college students N A M I TA BA J PA I @ Lucknow THE Ayodhya police dropped charges of sedition invoked against the students of Saket Degree College on Monday in absence of evidence after initial inquiry . The students had been booked under IPC sections pertaining to with sedition, rioting and many other offences as they were protesting to demand elections of students’ union on the campus on Saturday The college principal, ND . Pandey, had lodged a complaint against the students accusing them of raising ‘Azaadi’ slogans during the protest against the decision of not holding student union polls. On the basis of the complaint given by Pandey the po, lice had registered the case against six students — Sumit Tiwari , Shesh Narayan Pandey, Imran Hashmi, Satvik Pandey, Mohit Yadav and Manoj Mishra — invoking Section 124 A (sedition) charges along with other charges at Ayodhya Kotwali PS. Pandey had claimed that as the students wanted to take ‘Azaadi’ by revolt and by violence, when they tried to indulge in arson, violence and vandalism on campus, it was his duty to protect the mother land so he filed the complaint against the students. However, Deputy SP RK Rai said that the sedition charge was dropped after the initial probe suggested there was no evidence on the part of the students. The charges under rest of the Sections of IPC would continue. Pandey was non-committal on dropping of sedition charges, calling it a decision of police administration. India’s first fully automated driverless train runs on the Magenta Line following its launch by PM Narendra Modi on Monday | PARVEEN NEGI SMARTER & FASTER: DRIVERLESS METRO MAKES DEBUT EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the country’s first fully automated ‘driverless train’ on the Magenta Line of Delhi Metro, hailing it as a major step towards smart India. “It shows how fast India is progressing towards a smart system. The Delhi Metro is now connected through the National Common Mobility Card. A few years ago, there was not much focus on the smart system. There was a lackadaisical approach, so we saw a huge difference between urbanization and technological development. Our gover nment changed that,” said the PM at the launch of both the technologies. “With the launch of these fully automated Driverless Train operations (DTO), India enters the elite league of a few countries having this facility in their Metro system,” said the DMRC. Since these trains operate on a communication-based signaling system, they can be run with a headway as high as 90 seconds to offer more carrying capacity said , the DMRC. The first such train was flagged from Jasola ViharShaheen Bagh Metro station on Delhi Metro’s 37 km-long Magenta Line -- Janakpuri West to Botanical Garden. According to the Metro, initially the train operator will be present in the train to instill a sense of confidence and assistance. According to the Delhi Metro, the fully automated trains will reduce human intervention in operations and offer more reliability and safety to the commuters. This system also brings more flexibility in trains’ operation. As a result, the number of in-service trains can be re gulated, based on demand dynamically without dependence on availability of crew. The National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) — one card serving many purposes — was also launched. From now, any person for any part of the country can pay for their bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and even withdraw money using this card. The inaugural ceremony held through video conferencing was also attended by CM Arvind Kejriwal and Union minister Hardeep Puri. FAUX PAS Stamps issued in name of gangsters Chhota Rajan, Munna Bajrangi N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow COVID SII launches indigenously developed pneumonia vaccine IN a major embarrassment, postal stamps bearing pictures and names of underworld don Chhota Rajan and contract killer Munna Bajrangi were issued from the General Post Office in Kanpur. The Post Master General of Kanpur region has ordered a departmental probe, while Rajneesh Kumar — the in-charge of the philately department of Kanpur General Post Office — suspended in connection with the incident. “Prima-facie, Rajneesh Kumar was found guilty and suspended with immediate effect. We have also issued show cause notice to some other employees in this regard. We are making all efforts to zero in on the person who got photographs of criminals printed under the ‘My stamp’ scheme. We will take measures to ensure such errors are not repeated ever,” Post Master General, Kanpur, V K Verma said. Under the ‘My Stamp’ scheme, personalization is done by printing a thumb nail image of the customer’s photograph and logos of institutions, or images of artwork, heritage buildings, tourist places, historical cities, wildlife, other animals and birds on a selected template sheet having postage stamps as per the website of Department of Posts, Ministry of Communication. There are certain terms and conditions. Each stamp costs ` 5, and 12 each of Rajan and Bajrangi were printed and released. While Rajan is reportedly languishing in Tihar jail, Bajrangi was murdered in the Baghpat jail in 2018. To avail the scheme, any person can get a dozen postal stamps issued carrying one’s picture and name by paying an amount of `300. Sources said `600 were reportedly deposited to get those stamps printed in the name of the gangsters. Sources said Rajneesh Ku- mar was allegedly approached by a person from Kanpur who submitted the photographs of Rajan and Bajrangi with the names ‘Rajendra S Nikhalje’ and ‘Prem Prakash Singh’. The person filled his name, address and mobile number in the required form, leaving the columns of date and Aadhaar number blank, they said, adding that the official got the stamps printed in an hour.
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