monDAY 37,44,334 Vaccinated against Covid as on Sunday, according to Union health ministry 01 February, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard MAHARASHTRA EC SCRAPS Rural polls Katrani village in Nashik was in news for auction of seats for panchayat election A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS Page 8 l New Delhi l J8.00 l PAGES 12 Tikait stands firm for farmers’ self-respect BKU leader asserts tillers will not succumb to pressure, demands release of fellow farmers for talks with Centre E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Another senior journalist booked by UP police @ New Delhi The Uttar Pradesh Police lodged an FIR against The Wire’s editor Siddharth Varadarajan who had tweeted the story of the family of Navreet Singh, a protester who died on Republic Day. The family disputed the police claim that he died after his tractor rammed into a barricade and crashed Suspension of internet undemocratic: Morcha Farmers raise slogans against the new farm laws at the Singhu border protest site in Delhi on Sunday | Shekhar yadav nuanced than the blunt statements of the Morcha so far. The Morcha on Sunday formed a committee to trace those who went missing after the Republic Day tractor rally . “We are now trying to compile information about these missing persons, after which the issue will be taken with authorities,” the leaders of the conglomeration said at a press conference at Singhu on the Delhi-Haryana border. Over 100 persons are reported missing since the tractor rally taken out in Delhi on the Republic Day . The Morcha had not allowed political parties in the movement but took political support “only after democracy was mocked” at protest sites, Rakesh Tikait said. In his Mann Ki Baat radio broadcast, Modi expressed dismay at the riots that day and the ‘insult’ to the Tricolour by a mob that had entered the Red Fort complex to plant a religious flag. The Tikait brothers echoed him but saw a plot in the violence. No radical change in income tax slabs, but expect some tax breaks for the salaried class Budget may increase tax rebate under Section 80C and 80D from `1.5 l to `2 l FM Nirmala Sitharaman during her address to the CII Partnership Summit 2020 on January 5 11:00 am Budget presentation begins Standard deduction limit likely to be doubled to `1 lakh increasing the exemption for health expenses Higher tax rebate likely for firsttime home buyers Government to fix some anomalies in the National Pension Scheme with regard to income tax benefits Covid-19 cess to raise revenue on the cards J1,19,847cr Increasing tax on long-term capital gains from equity and property is a possibility Further increase in import duty on sin goods and luxury items Spending more on health infrastructure is a given, by how much more is the question Budget is likely to set up a separate bank for infrastructure sector More privatisation drive of PSUs, privatisation of electricity distribution expected Substantial increase in defence outlay to deal with a belligerent China Atmanirbhar overdrive to push indigenisation and accelerate growth January GST collection, the highest monthly mop-up so far. Came as a sentiment booster a day before the Budget Meanwhile, the Delhi Police sent over 50 fresh notices to people, including farmer leaders, officials said. Police said some tractors used during the violence have been identified and notices were sent to their owners. Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu, who is wanted in connection with the Red Fort violence on January 26, on Sunday uploaded a video on his verified Facebook account even as teams of Delhi Police raided various places in Punjab to P4&7 track him down. no regrets for tough decisions, says JNU V-c Would FM tick these checkboxes today? We can see a Budget which is a budget like never before. 100 years of India wouldn’t have seen a Budget being made postpandemic like this F ROM the controversial sedition charges against JNU students in 2016 to the protest against hostel fee hike in 2019 to the infamous campus clashes in 2020, M Jagadesh Kumar’s tenure as the vice-chancellor has been marred with rows. Kumar, whose five-year term as JNU V-C ended on January 26, will be in the office till his successor is appointed. As he prepares to leave the campus, Kumar said that the last year’s violence — when a mob entered the campus, damaged property and left many bleeding — was unfortunate and it should not have happened. He, however, sought to remind his critics about “the greater heights” that JNU has retained the top rank among all central universities under him Full interview on Page 5 SWIPE ONLY MAMATA WILL BE LEFT in HER PARTY: SHAH The Trinamool chief should introspect why her party leaders are leaving the party ahead of polls, said the Union Home Minister | P8 Express read Delhi Cong for Rahul as party prez New Delhi: Ahead of organisational polls in the party slated for May, the Delhi Congress has passed a resolution calling for Rahul Gandhi to be appointed party President. Delhi PCC chief Chowdhury Anil Kumar moved the resolution requesting Rahul to take over as the party president at the earliest. holy cow! Buffalo gift at national wrestling meet F i r o z M i r z a @ Chennai RECEIVING weird gifts for their accomplishments is not new for athletes. Tennis legend Roger Federer was gifted a cow, not once but twice, by the Swiss Open Gstaad. The 23rd Senior Women’s National Wrestling Championship in Agra on Sunday witnessed a similar incident, but this time it’s the governing body that ended up with the gift. In its bid to felicitate the best wrestler of the tournament, a sponsor on Sunday offered to gift a buffalo worth around `1.5 25% of the population has shown evidence of past infection of Covid, says the third national serosurvey Epidemic to weaken at 70% exposure twitter.com/TheMornStandard A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government was just a phone call away to talk to the farmers’ unions, the Tikait brothers said they will honour Modi’s dignity while also being committed to protecting their self-respect. Bharatiya Kisan Union leaders Naresh and Rakesh Tikait said they were open to talks to find a middle path, but their definition of a middle ground was different from what the Centre has in mind. “Talks are necessary A solution should be . found. These farmers have been protesting for over two months now.... The middle path could be that the Centre assures farmers it won’t implement the three laws during its tenure. We will also try convincing the farmers,” Naresh said. As for Rakesh Tikait, he said farmers would not succumb to pressure but they don’t want the government or Parliament to ‘bow down to them’ either, adding they respect Modi’s dignity Rakesh demanded the re. lease of farmer leaders to prepare a conducive environment for talks. While the Tikaits are part of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmers’ unions, their position was more Survey suggests infection size is 30 crore in India The buffalo gifted to the Wrestling Federation of India | SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT lakh. With the event not having an award in that category, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) decided to accept the gift on behalf of the wrestlers. “A local sponsor wanted to gift the buffalo to the best wrestler. Given the format in which the competition was being organised, every weight category (total 10) has a gold winner so it was not possible to pick the best among them,” Vinod Tomar, WFI’s assistant secretary told this daily , . After much deliberation, the animal was eventually gifted to WFI, he added. Sources claimed that around `15,000 was spent only on the decoration of the buffalo that was brought to the venue with full fanfare. In wrestling circles, it is believed that a buffalo’s milk is the best source of strength. Over to Delhi office A WFI source revealed the bovine might be transported to WFI’s head office in Delhi. The federation runs its office from president Brijbhushan Sharan Singh’s official residence in Delhi. Singh is a BJP MP from UP The morcha condemned the arrests of journalists, and the suspension of internet services at protest sites. “It (govt) is also fearful of the coordinated work of the farmers’ unions across different protest sites... This is undemocratic and illegal,” it said in a statement tomar says pawar’s tweets on agri laws Are misinformed Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar took a swipe at NCP supremo Sharad Pawar for his tweets in which he had assailed the new farm laws. “Since he speaks with some experience and expertise on the issue, it was dismaying to see his tweets employ a mix of ignorance & misinformation...,” Tomar said The serosurvey in Dec and Jan tested blood samples of 400 randomly selected persons across 22 states. Scientists have estimated that the Covid epidemic will slow down rapidly when 60-70% of the population in an area gets exposed to the virus and recovers Cities close to achieving herd immunity? The survey estimates India’s actual Covid infection size at 30 crore though the number of confirmed cases stands at just over 1 crore. “The figures are much higher in many cities, strengthening the theory that some cities may be approaching herd immunity as evident in the falling daily numbers of new cases,” an official said one in four Indians exposed to coronavirus The results of the survey are likely to be made public Nearly 25% of India’s pop- within the next few days, ulation or one in every four he said. persons has shown evidence The third serosurvey carof past infection of corona- ried out in December-Januvirus, the third national se- ary was aimed at testing for rosurvey conducted by the antibodies against SARSICMR recently revealed. CoV-2 in blood samples of While the number of con- 400 randomly selected perfirmed cases stands at just sons from each of the same over 1 crore, the survey, 70 districts across 22 states whose findings are where the previous yet to be released, two surveys in May has estimated that and August were the country’s actuconducted. In addial Covid-19 infection, samples from The figures strengthen the tion size is 30 crore, 100 healthcare epidemiological sources familiar workers from both theory that some with the results gover nment and confirmed to this cities in the country private facilities in may be approaching newspaper. each of these 70 herd immunity, as “The figures are districts were also evident in the much higher in collected. falling new daily many cities, Unlike the previcases strengthening the ous surveys that Health official e pidemiolo gical only looked for antheory that some tibodies against cities in the country may be the viral nucleocapsid, reapproaching herd immunity searchers in the third sur, as evident in the falling dai- vey also tested for spike proly numbers of new cases,” tein antibodies which last said an official associated longer in the bloodstream. with the exercise. “Like the Researchers in many previous two surveys, the se- countries have estimated ropositivity was found to be that the epidemic will slow way higher, particularly in down rapidly when about 60urban slums and generally 70% of the population in an in urban areas as compared area is exposed to the virus to rural areas.” and recovered. sUMI SUKANYA DUTTA @ NewDelhi
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