WEDNESDAY FAMED FRENCH DESIGNER PIERRE CARDIN DIES AT 98 30 The iconic French fashion designer, who popularised the ‘space age’ style that became common in the 1960s, died on Tuesday DECEMBER, 2020 epaper.morningstandard.in HE TRANSFORMED HIS NAME INTO A BRAND facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard A licensing maverick, Cardin’s name embossed thousands of products from wristwatches to bed sheets, and goods bearing his fancy cursive signature were sold at 100,000 outlets worldwide. Fashion was just the start of Cardin’s business empire. He went on to sell eyeglasses, LICENCES IN 140 COUNTRIES umbrellas, perfume, luggage, linens, WERE IN HIS NAME DURING furniture, mattresses, skis and HIS HEYDAYS coffee pots | P9 IAF CHIEF ‘PAK A PAWN IN CHINESE POLICY’ Says serious conflict along LAC will not be good for China’s global ambition A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 7 NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 Contagious UK strain now in India, says govt At least six cases of the variant detected so far after genome sequencing; all of them now in single-room isolation E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi EXPANDING FOOTPRINT INDIA on Tuesday joined a list of nations where the highly infectious UK strain of the coronavirus has been detected so far. In all, at least six fliers from Britain have tested positive for that mut a n t ve r s i o n , t h e C e n t r e confirmed. They part of the 114 returnees from the UK on or after November 25 who tested positive for Covid-19. Samples of all 114 were subjected to genome sequencing, which was how the contagious UK strain was identified in six patients in three labs — National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru (3), Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad (2) and National Institute of Virology Pune (1). But the , Countries where the highly infectious UK strain has been found so far Germany Sweden Pakistan Canada UK Netherlands France Spain Lebanon Singapore Australia CCMB chief Dr Rakesh Mishra later said three samples had tested positive at his lab, two from Telangana and one from Andhra Pradesh. All three who tested positive for the UK variant at NIMHANS After the agony, the ecstacy. Ten days after a historic low, the Indian team exorcised their demons in some style, winning the second Test against Australia by eight wickets. After bowling out the hosts for 200 before lunch on the fourth morning, India chased down the target of 70, with captain Ajinkya Rahane fittingly hitting the winning run. The third Test begins in Sydney from Jan 7 | P11 Ajinkya Rahane Japan Italy Switzerland COMEBACK KINGS “I am really proud of all the players. I want to give credit to the debutants (Mohammed) Siraj and (Shubman) Gill, the character they showed was great to see. Character was important for us, especially after losing Umesh (Yadav).” India Denmark 4 This was India’s fourth win at Melbourne, nowhere else have they won as many Tests in a single venue away from home 3 India is only 3rd team to come back from 0-1 down to level a series in Australia 0 No Australian batsman has scored a century against India in the last six Tests hail from Bengaluru, including a 34-year-old woman and her sixyear-old child. Tamil Nadu sent all its samples to the Pune lab, which found one of them with the UK strain. “All these persons have been kept in single-room isolation in designated health care facilities by respective state governments,” said the Union ministry of health and family welfare in a statement. Also, their close contacts are under quarantine and comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. K Vijay Raghavan, principal scientific advisor to the prime minister, said there is no evidence yet that current vaccines will fail to protect against Covid-19 variants from the UK or South Africa. However, he advised people not to get complacent. V K Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog said, “now that it’s is here it does destabilise our preparations.” The health ministry, meanwhile, said that genome sequencing is being carried out of the samples from about 55 travelers who have arrived in India from the UK since November 25 and have tested Covid positive. The union ministry had directed that about 33,000 passengers who disembarked at various Indian airports from the UK from November 25 to December 23 midnight be subjected to RT-PCR tests. As for the UK flight ban that is to end on December 31, Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri indicated it would be extended. “I foresee a slight extension of temporary suspension of India-UK flights... In a day or two, we will find out if any additional P7 steps need to be taken.” Farmer unions harp on repeal of three laws before talks today H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh ON the eve of the sixth round of talks to resolve the month-long agrarian agitation, farmer unions on Tuesday wrote to Centre formally accepting its invite for talks the next day but insisted on , exploring a ‘rational solution’ to the issues flagged by them, including modalities to repeal the three contentious farm laws. While farmers had sought a ‘rational solution’ in their letter on December 26, Union Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Aggarwal had on December 28 stated the government’s commitment to find a ‘logical resolution’ to all topical issues with an open mind and clear intention. The semantics of a ‘rational solution’ vis a vis a ‘logical resolution’ is expected to play out when both sides meet on Wednesday. But going by the tone and tenor of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s latest letter to Aggarwal, any optimism of an early breakthrough could be totally misplaced. Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal, who have been representing the Centre on the talks table, met home minister Amit Shah to fi- No entry for commercial vehicles sans RFID tags E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi COMMERCIAL vehicles without RFID tags or inadequate balance in the tags will not be allowed entry in Delhi from January 1, the Commission for Air Quality Management for Delhi-NCR said in a directive for reducing vehicular pollution. The Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system was setup at 13 toll plazas in the national capital to control vehicular pollution from commercial vehicles entering the city. These 13 toll plazas account for the entry of nearly 70 per cent commercial vehicles. The commission, headed by former Delhi chief secretary M M Kutty, noted that RFID system was not being fully implemented at these toll plazas with effect from August 14 and waiver was being given to commercial vehicles without such RFID tags or inadequate balance in the tags. “Considering the pollution scenario in Delhi and the fact that commercial vehicles are important contributor to the vehicular pollution, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has been instructed to ensure RFID compliance at all the 13 toll plazas with effect from January 1, 2021, and disallowing entry of vehicles without RFID tags or inadequate balance in the tags,” stated the panel, set up by the Union Environment Ministry . The SDMC was also directed to give adequate publicity and advance intimation to minimise inconvenience to the drivers of commercial vehicle entering Delhi. In August 2019, the SDMC had enforced a rule stipulating that commercial vehicles entering without RFID will have to pay double the mandated environment compensation charge and municipal toll tax. Family members of farmers take a break after the end of another day of protest at Ghazipur border on Tuesday | PARVEEN NEGI TESTING STATUS 42,863 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted 84,93,400 Total tests done so far 4,47,021 Tests per million DELHI COVID WATCH STATUS OF CASES Today Cumulative RECOVERED 850 6,07,494 DEATH 28 10,502 ACTIVE CASES -6,122 TOTAL +VE CASES 703 6,24,118 PATIENT MANAGEMENT Total beds Occupied HOSPITAL 18,727 2,360 CARE CENTRE 7,792 65 HEALTH CENTRE 562 18 Vacant 16,367 7,788 544 2,976 HOME ISOLATION *69 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights Source: Delhi health bulletin | December 29 Gujarat BJP MP quits over violation of tribal rights S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai BJP MP and tribal leader from Bharuch in Gujarat, Mansukh Vasava, resigned from the party on Tuesday and is likely to submit his resignation to the Lok Sabha Speaker during the budget session of Parliament. Vasava’s resignation came days after he wrote to PM Narendra Modi seeking withdrawal of Ministry of Environment, For- est and Climate Change (MoEFCC) notification declaring 121 villages of Narmada district as ‘eco-sensitive zone’. “In the name of the notification of the MoEFCC, government officials have begun interfering in the private properties of the tribals,” he wrote. Vasava, who is a six-time MP and had been a Central minister, is responsible for BJP’s growth in the Congress stronghold of Bharuch district. Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s personal secretary Ahmed Patel came from the same district. Vavasa submitted his resignation to Gujarat BJP chief C R Patil. He did not spell out the exact reason behind his resignation. But party sources said he was unhappy with the BJP-led government in Gujarat and the Centre as well. “His voice was ignored. He had complained to the Gujarat CM about trafficking of tribal girls and demanded action. Besides, his local community’s rights were also trampled upon as the Centre declared areas near the Statue of Unity as eco-sensitive zone. It made life difficult for the tribals,” said a source. M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi nalise the government’s position for the meeting. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha is an umbrella body of 40 farmer unions. Its agenda for the talks includes legal guarantee for procurement of farm produce on a minimum support price (MSP) regime; amendments to the air quality ordinance; and procedure for withdrawal of draft the Electricity Amendment Bill. In view of the talks, the morcha put off its tractor march from the Singhu and the Tikri border to the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Highway by a day to DeP5&7 cember 31. Ajinkya Rahane became the recipient of the first ever Mullagh Medal, given to the Man of the Match of the Boxing Day Test. He scored 112 and 27 not out | AFP Shorter parade and fewer participants, viewers on R-Day THE government has decided to scale down the 2021 Republic Day celebration in view of the coronavirus pandemic, sources said. For one, the Republic Day Parade marching distance has been cut short to 3.5 km from 8.5 km and the Parade will culminate at the National stadium instead of the historic Red Fort. Keeping the social distancing in mind, the number of soldiers in each marching contingent has been cut down to size. Instead of 144 marchers in each contingent, 12 rows, and 12 columns, there will be only 96 marchers, 12 rows and 8 columns. This has been done to allow ample space between each row to follow social distancing norms. There will also be age restrictions on children desirous of attending the Parade display . As a mark of special gesture, Bangladesh’s band will be partici- Seeped in pating this year. The neighbouring tradition country is celebrating the Golden Jubilee of its Independence. India From 1950 and had supported the people of East Pa- 1954, the venues kistan to gain independence from of the parade Pakistan and form Bangladesh back were the Red Fort, National in 1971. The spectator strength has also Stadium, been drastically cut down from 1.25 Kingsway Camp lakh to 25,000 this year and all par- and Ramlila ticipants and spectators will wear ground. In 1955, masks. There will be three groups of Rajpath was 40 children each from four schools chosen as the as against the usual practice of al- regular venue lowing 100 children to participate. Only those above 15 years will be allowed to take part in the parade this year. Presided over by the President of India at Rajpath in New Delhi, the Republic Day Parade is, which showcasing the country’s rich cultural heritage and military prowess. The annual spectacle includes the 21 Gun salute, unfurling of the National Flag, and singing of the National Anthem. The march past begins after these events. Besides marching contingents of security forces, tableaux of different states symbolising India’s cultural diversity are part of the parade. Parade and flag hoisting is also held in State Capitals and other parts of the country on the occasion. HIGH STAKE SALE Air India on mind, Tatas take full control of AirAsia India A R S H A D K H A N @ New Delhi MALAYSIAN airline AirAsia Group Berhad has decided to sell 32.67% of its shares in AirAsia India to majority shareholder Tata Sons for $37.7 million. This deal will take Tata’s shareholding in AirAsia India to 83.6% from 51% while AirAsia Group’s holding comes down to 16.33% from 49%. Tatas also have the option to acquire the remaining stake for $18.83 million. This development comes two weeks after the Tata Group had submitted an Expression of Interest for Air India. The deadline to submit a physical bid gets over on December 29 and industry sources believe Tatas may use AirAsia India as the ve- Group’ cumulative market share 13% If Tatas acquire Air India, it will take the Group’s cumulative market share in the domestic aviation market to over 23%. Air Asia India has a market share of 6.6%. Tata’s other JV airline Vistara has a market share of 6.3% while Air India’s market share is pegged at 10.3% hicle to buy Air India. As for Air Asia, the sale would allow it to focus on recovery in Southeast Asian markets after being hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. AirAsia had previously shut down operations in Japan due to pandemic-related issues. “This transaction will allow us to use cash to grow market share in our core markets in Asean as well as for our future expansion into Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam,” said Bo Lingam, president (airlines) at AirAsia Group, He added, “This transaction will ensure strict cost containment for AirAsia Group in the short term, and strengthen our presence in Asean while continuing our market dominance for travel from Asean to India and North Asia.” Air Asia entered the Indian Market in 2014 but it never competed against the likes of IndiGo and SpicetJet. It flies to 19 domestic destinations across India with 30 Airbus A320 aircraft.
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.