WEDNESDAY PARLIAMENT SESSION FROM JANUARY 29, BUDGET ON FEB 1 06 JANUARY, 2021 The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs on Tuesday recommended convening of the Budget session from Jan 29 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard ■ The Opposition is likely to put pressure on govt over farm laws ■ The govt had earlier decided against convening the winter session of Parliament citing the pandemic, for which it drew flak ■ The monsoon session of Parliament, too, had been adjourned prematurely after many MPs tested positive for Covid-19 | P7 ANOTHER EXIT BENGAL SPORTS MINISTER QUITS Laxmi Ratan Shukla is the second Trinamool minister to resign after Suvendu Adhikari A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 8 JAIL SUICIDE Pay `3lakh to kin of Tihar inmate, NHRC asks city govt EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday reiterated its recommendation to the Delhi government to pay `3 lakh as relief to the family of an undertrial prisoner, who had died by suicide in the high security Tihar Central Jail two years ago. The panel has found jail authorities to be negligent in the suicide case of 37-yearold Ganori Prasad and observed that if proper watch over him was maintained, his life might have been saved. Prasad, a resident of Sarita Vihar, was lodged in the jail on April 20, 2018, over a rape charge. In a fresh order, the apex rights panel said it was yet to receive a report along with proof of payment in compliance with its directions on October 24, 2019. “The life and security of the prisoner inside the jail need to be protected by the authorities concerned but in this case, they have badly failed. The incident had apparently occurred in brought daylight due to lack of vigil on part of the prison authorities leading to human rights violation,” it said in a statement. The Commission had registered the case on receipt of an intimation, as per its standing guidelines, from the superintendent of Central jail no. 3, Tihar, where Prasad was lodged. NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 It wasn’t satisfied with phase 1, 2 results alone in first two meets; changed mind in the third S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi A bare reading of the minutes of the three meetings the drug regulator’s expert panel held over the past week to consider accelerated licenses to coronavirus vaccines, indicates what was suspected all along — that the committee perhaps changed its mind on Covaxin overnight due to government pressure to clear a homegrown jab. After three meetings spread over four days, the subject expert committee of the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation on Covid-19 recommended restricted emergency use for Covishield by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech-ICMR. The approval to Covaxin, whose phase 3 trial on about 26,000 volunteers is still underway, however, led to a massive outcry in the scientific community as its efficacy is yet to be established. The minutes of the SEC’s meetings on December 30 and January 1 show it was not satisfied with Covaxin’s phase 1 and 2 trial data alone, but changed its mind on January 2. December 30’s minutes say that “after detailed deliberation, the committee recommended that the firm should update and present immunogenicity, safety and efficacy data for further consideration.” On January 1, the subject expert committee recommended that Bharat Biotech expedite the recruitment of volunteers and perform interim efficacy analysis for further consideration. BORIS JOHNSON CANCELS R-DAY VISIT New Delhi: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday cancelled his proposed visit to India citing the raging coronavirus crisis at home, aggravated by an infectious strain of the virus. He was scheduled to be the chief guest at the Republic Day Parade here on January 26 | P7 In the same meeting, the panel recommended Covishield’s approval. However, the very next day when an unscheduled meeting was held purportedly under pressure to clear the indigenous vaccine, Bharat Biotech presented further data and notably “requested for consideration of their proposal in the wake of incidence of new mutated coronavirus infection”. Introducing the protection angle against the infectious UK virus strain perhaps gave the SEC legroom for its somersault. The minutes show the committee echoed Bharat Biotech, as it observed that Covaxin has the “potential to target mutated coronavirus strains”. CONTINUED ON P7 Farmers gear up for R-Day showdown H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh A day after the seventh round of talks between the Centre and farmer union leaders over the three contentious farm laws ended in a deadlock, the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha on Tuesday said it would take out a tractor rally on January 7, day before the next meeting. The tractor march would he held on eastern and western expressways around Delhi, said Yogendra Yadav, a member of the coordination committee of the morcha, an umbrella body of over 40 farm unions. “It will be a rehearsal for our tractor march on January 26. Farmers from Kundli, Ghazipur and Rewasan will climb atop both expressways from their respective sides. After meeting at midway point, they will return to their respective positions. We will approach from Kundli and Tikri borders on the eastern side, will march from Rewasan and Ghazipur,” Yadav added. Meanwhile, Punjab BJP leaders Surjit Kumar Jyani and and Harjit Singh Grewal met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence in Delhi. Jyani is the chairman of kisan coordination committee of the party which is interacting with farmers ,while Grewal is a member of the panel.After the meeting, Grewal said the PM is aware of the ground reality but refused to divulge more details. On his part, Jyani called upon the protesters to not be adamant about the demand for the repeal of the farm laws after meeting Modi. Jyani had earlier called upon the BJP national leadership to talk to the farmers but later changed the stand. While the farmers’ unions have threatened to intensify protests after the seventh rounds of talks with the government ended in a stalemate, the Prime Minister met him in an apparent attempt to pursue options for persuading the farmers to drop demands for the repeal of the laws. “The meeting with Prime Minister was about Punjab-related issues, and the farmers’ agitation was also one of them. I am impressed that he (the PM) knows a lot about Punjab. The PM expressed his concern for the farmers,” Jyani said. While Union Home Minister Amit Shah had dialed Jyani earlier to find solutions with the farmers’ agitations, Tuesday meeting with the Prime Minister was a first. The BJP leader added that the protesting far mers shouldn’t be adamant about the demand for the repeal of farm laws, saying that the PM gives high priority to them. With inputs from Delhi tained without a charge for up to 12 months. The individual UTTAR Pradesh CM Yogi Adi- also need not be informed of tyanath on Tuesday directed the charges for 10 days. authorities to invoke the strinThe CM, meanwhile, also orgent National Security Act dered authorities of Ghaziabad (NSA) against all the accused and Muradnagar to blacklist responsible for the roof col- the contractor who had made lapse at a crematorium in Mu- the roof of the shed which colradnagar town. lapsed on Sunday killYogi also increased NHRC notice ing 25 people and leavthe ex gratia from `2 ing about 50 injured. to UP govt lakh to `10 lakh and a As the shed at the The NHRC has dwelling to those who cremation ground was were homeless and issued notice to thrown open for the the Uttar lost their family mempublic just a fortnight Pradesh ber in the accident. back, a notice was isIn other develop- government and sued to the Ghaziabad sought a ments, contractor DM and the Divisional detailed report Ajay Tyagi, the main Commissioner to exin the matter accused in the case, plain the lapses dewithin four was ar rested past spite clear cut orders weeks from Monday midnight. making the physical officials. With Tyagi in police verification of new net, the number of arconstruction worth rested stands at four. Muradna- above `50 lakh mandatory for gar Municipal Board executive authorities. “Both the officials officer Niharika Singh Chau- have been asked to explain as han, Junior Engineer Chandra- how the lapses occurred depal Singh and supervisor Ash- spite strict orders for physical ish have already been taken verification of new construcinto custody . tions. More heads are likely to Under the National Security roll in the Muradnagar case,” Act, an individual can be de- said a highly placed source. N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow TESTING STATUS 41,633 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted 9,006,583 Total tests done so far 4,74,030 Tests per million BUDGET EXPECTED TO HAVE MEASURES TO REVIVE INDIA’S COVID-HIT ECONOMY Minutes show expert panel’s Covaxin somersault Roof collapse: Yogi orders NSA against accused, `10L relief DELHI COVID WATCH FILE PICTURE OPPOSITION LIKELY TO RAISE FARM LAWS STATUS OF CASES Today Cumulative RECOVERED 557 6,12,527 DEATH 12 10,609 ACTIVE CASES -4,562 TOTAL +VE CASES 442 6,27,698 PATIENT MANAGEMENT Total beds Occupied Vacant HOSPITAL 13,954 1,770 12,184 CARE CENTRE 7,422 38 7,230 HEALTH CENTRE 562 27 535 2,285 HOME ISOLATION *154 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights Source: Delhi health bulletin | January 05 SNOW LAND A man pushes a car stuck in snow in Srinagar on Tuesday. Srinagar received snow for the third consecutive day | ZAHOOR PUNJABI Kashmir was cut off from rest of India for the second consecutive day as the arterial JammuSrinagar national highway and Mughal road remained closed. Nearly 4,500 vehicles, mostly trucks carrying essentials to the valley,’are stranded along the highway at various places, said traffic control department Authorities in Kashmir ordered rationing of petrol and diesel for vehicles to overcome any shortage of fuel due to closure of Jammu-Srinagar highway FIRST JAB BY JANUARY 13? EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Centre on Tuesday said the government is prepared to roll out Covid vaccines within 10 days of granting emergency use authorisation. Since regulatory approval came on January 3, the first jabs could be administered by January 13. “The government is ready to introduce Covid-19 vaccine within 10 days from date of emergency use authorisation,” said Rajesh Bhushan, health secretary . Describing the vaccine delivery management plan using the specially designed The right to development, as discussed...is a basic human right and no organ of the State is expected to become an impediment in the process of development as long as the government proceeds in accordance with law CoWin platform, he said healthcare and frontline workers need not register themselves on it as beneficiaries, as their data has been pre-populated on the portal. “There are four primary vaccine stores called GMSD in Karnal, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and 37 vaccine stores. They store vaccines in bulk and distribute them further,” he said. Automated session allocation, SMS in 12 languages, 24x7 helpline, chat box with pattern recognition to help navigate the portal, digital locker for integrated data retrieval are some of the salient features of CoWIN. Justice AM Khanwilkar Project to develop Central Vista gets 2:1 SC green light K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi A Supreme Court bench on Tuesday greenlighted the mega Central Vista project by 2:1 majority saying there were no infirmities in , clearances granted to it. Justice A M Khanwilkar, writing for himself and Justice Dinesh Maheswari, however, said authorities executing the project will have to get clearance from the Heritage Conservation Committee, rejecting the Centre’s stand that the approval was to be taken subsequently . The two judges found the process to change the land use at the project site legal and valid. They also found all notifications issued for the project as also the approval granted by the environmental committee valid. The majority verdict directed the Union ministry of environment to set up smog towers as an integral part of the Central Vista project and ordered use of environmentfriendly construction material. On the issue of award of contract to a Gujarat-based firm, the court held it was just and proper. While agreeing with the other two judges on “the aspects of Notice inviting Bid, award of consultancy and the order of the Urban Arts Commission,” Justice Sanjiv Khanna in his dissenting verdict faulted the Centre for not following due procedure. “There is no intelligible disclosure of public participation and no prior approval of Heritage Conservation Committee,” Justice Khanna said. “I have sent the issue to Heritage Conservation Committee. We have not gone into the merits of matter,” he said, adding prior approval of the Heritage Conservation Committee was necessary for such projects. The government had defended the project, arguing that the current British-era Parliament House, opened in 1927, had less space, no fire safety norms or earthquake proofing. It had also contended that all Central ministries need to be bunched together in one place to improve efficiency P7 . Justice Dinesh Maheshwari Dissenting verdict Justice Sanjiv Khanna Adequate notice not given to stakeholders of the development plan Tender notices do not suggest the project envisaged extensive change, though it was for complete redevelopment of Central Vista Fatal flaw in following procedure; Centre did not apply its mind to inputs from the public Lack of reasonable time prevented those who had filed objections and given suggestions to appear orally and state their point of view Premeditated effort to ensure approval without the presence and participation of representatives of professional bodies No approval from Heritage Conservation Committee Environmental clearance for the project mechanical, invalid STRAIGHT TALK Even primary objectives of NaMo’s DeMo never met: Pranab EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE intent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation was good but its primary objectives were not met even after years of its implementation, according to former president Pranab Mukherjee. The PM did not give him the heads-up and he came to know about the note ban through TV like the rest of the country re, vealed Mukherjee, who passed away on August 31, 2020. The fourth volume of his autobiography The Presidential Years: 2012-2017 was released on Tuesday by publisher Rupa Publications. “It is difficult to assess the exact impact of demonetisation, close to four years after it was implemented. But perhaps one thing can be stated without fear of contradiction: the multiple objec- tives of the decision of demonetisation... to bring back black money paralyse the operation , of the black economy and facilitate a cashless society, etc, have not been met,” he wrote. Terming the decision was in line with Modi’s style of making dramatic announcements, Mukherjee said the criticism that followed was only natural. “I am of the fir m opinion that demoneti- sation could not have been done with prior consultation because the suddenness and surprise, absolutely necessary for such announcements, would have been lost after such a process,” he wrote. “Therefore, I was not surprised when he did not discuss the issue with me prior to making the public announcement.” Mukherjee also noted that in the early 1970s, he had proposed demonetisation after the successful implementation of the Voluntary Disclosure of In- come and Wealth Ordinance, 1975 but the then PM Indira Gandhi turned it down. “Indira Gandhi did not accept my suggestion, pointing out that a large part of the economy was not yet fully monetised and that a substantial part of it was in the informal sector. She argued it would be imprudent to shake the faith of people in currency notes. After all, currency notes issued by the RBI represent the commitment of a sovereign government,” he added.
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.