WEDNESDAY 03 FEBRUARY, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard CBSE Board exams begin on May 4 Over 34 lakh students have registered for classes 10 and 12 exams UNDER LENS ALARMING RISE IN C-SECTIONS Centre has formed panel to examine the state-wise situation PAGE 8 SCHEDULE AND TIMINGS OUT A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 Exams for class 10 will conclude on June 7. Class 12 test will end on June 11 PAGES 12 Class 12 exams would be conducted in two shifts The timings for the two shifts will be 10:30 am to 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm In the second shift, exams will be conducted in subjects which are not opted by students in schools abroad ON OTHER FRONTS Samyukta Kisan Morcha said 115 farmers are in jail, but according to Punjab CM, 70 are in Delhi jails while five are missing Delhi Police said the heightened security measures were to ensure they cannot be broken again by protesters Tomar said no to an LS question on whether govt will compensate families of farmers who died in the protests Twitter restored several accounts it had withheld after govt sought action against 250 handles BKU’s Rakesh Tikait will attend a mahapanchayat in Haryana’s Jind today to gather support Govt ready for talks, not farmers Unions insist all arrested protesters be set free first; ruckus in Parliament, Houses adjourned EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/Chandigarh ON a day the Centre said it is ready to talk to the farmers, agitators upped the ante saying there would be no discussions until ‘harassment’ by the police and administration stops and detained farmers are released. Proceedings at Parliament were disrupted, with sessions in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha repeatedly adjourned following protests from the Opposition. In a statement, Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) said that heightened security measures like increased barricading, nails on roads, barbed-wire fences, stopping internet serv- IN THE NEWS T O D AY INDIA Cop carries body A woman sub inspector from Andhra Pradesh has won the internet for carrying the body, unidentified, homeless man and doing his last rites when the locals backed off, refusing help. Images and videos of a uniformed K Sirisha carrying the body through paddy fields of Srikakulam district have been shared widely on the internet since Monday, with admirers showering praises and ‘salutes’. Sirisha was carrying the makeshift stretcher helped by another man who came forward when he saw her trying all by herself. Tejas deal today ices are ‘part of attacks’ organised by the government and the police. “It appears the government is extremely fearful of the rising tide of support for the ongoing protest... The SKM decided on Monday there can be no formal talks with the government until police and administration’s harassment is stopped,” it added. Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, who is camping at Ghazipur, reiterated that protests will continue until demands are met. “This is now a fight for the freedom of farmers. It will continue till our demands are met. We have to supp o r t e a ch o t h e r a n d b e 56.13% DELHI RESIDENTS HAVE ANTIBODIES AGAINST COVID-19 SURVEY STUDIED 28,000 SAMPLES FROM 11 DISTRICTS peaceful,” he told a big crowd. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut visited Ghazipur to express solidarity with the farmers. Amid ruckus in both Houses, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the “government is ready to discuss issues related to farmers inside and outside Parliament”. He added that the government is committed to discussing their issues. Tomar’s reply came after Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed 170 farmers died during the agitations. But, SKM said it had not received any proposal for talks. “Though no formal proposal for talks came from the government, we clearly state that talks will be held only after the unconditional release of farmers who are in illegal police custody the statement said. ,” The Centre also told Lok Sabha that farmers rioted, damaged property and used ‘criminal force’ ag ainst public servants on January 26, forcing police to resort to tear gas, water cannons and mild force. In a related development, an SKM delegation met Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to urge him for a judicial inquiry into the alleged “conspiracy” against farmers. They demanded formation of a medical board to P4&7 examine them. MAGISTRATE GRANTS BAIL TO JOURNALIST PUNIA EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi JOURNALIST Mandeep Punia was granted bail by a Delhi court on Tuesday following much criticism of the arrest by city police. The freelance journalist was arrested while covering the violence at the farmers’ protest site at Singhu last week. Police have accused Punia of obstructing them in the discharge of their duties and beating police personnel. Granting him bail subject to certain conditions, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Satvir Singh Lamba noted that the al- le ged scuf fle took place around 6.30 pm, but the FIR was registered at 1.21 am the next day “Moreover, the com. plainant, victims and witnesses are police personnel only. Hence, there is no possibility that accused will be able to influence any of the police officials... keeping the accused further in judicial custody will not serve any cogent purpose,” the court order said. The magistrate said that it was well-settled principle of law that ‘bail is a rule and jail is an exception’. “Hence, considering the totality of facts and circumstances of the present case, he is admitted to bail on furnishing a bail bond.” Punia was bailed out on the condition that he will not jump bail, appear in the court regularly and not leave the country without prior court permission. He was also asked not to indulge in similar or any other offence in the event of release on bail, and not tamper with evidence. Admittedly, the accused is a freelancer journalist. Moreso, no recovery is to be effected from the accused and keeping him further in judicial custody would not serve any cogent purpose —Magistrate Citizenship Act may not BENGAL IN come into play before MOOD FOR A CHANGE West Bengal elections NUMBERS DECLINING 8593 Cases in Delhi on Nov 11 114 Cases in Delhi on Feb 2 E X P R E S S N E W S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Better not to get into this... only experts will be able to give a clear picture —Health Minister Satyender Jain Even if the sample size is relatively small, it must be taken to account. However, the conclusions on herd immunity have to be taken with a pinch of salt —Satish Devadas, immunologist Over half of Delhi has Covid antibodies: 5th sero survey EXPRESS N E WS S E RVI CE @ New Delhi Barricades placed by Delhi Police at Ghazipur border to stop farmers from entering the national capital during their ongoing protest against the new farm laws | PARVEEN NEGI population surveyed, women are reported to have more antibodies’ prevalence. “We have conducted this survey along with Maulana Azad Medical College. All district officials joined us in our efforts. We have used CLIA technology , which is a more sensitive technology than ELISA. The samples have been tested at ILBS so that there is uniformity across the city We have taken . 100 samples from every type of population in each ward, and we have successfully been able to do it with the help of our health and the ILBS teams,” said Dr Nutan Mundeja, DGHS. On a question on herd immu- nity, Jain said despite figures suggesting it, the announcement is to be made by the Central government. “The cases have gone down considerably and have been lower than 200 since the last 1012 days. The positivity rate is less than 1% for the last one month. I would request you to continue with the face mask, despite a decline in cases and the positivity rate. We have fewer patients in hospitals now. In the last 3 months, the people of Delhi have behaved in a very civilized manner… They are following all Covid protocols. We need to follow social distancing for a few more months,” P5 said the minister. S A N A S H A K I L @ New Delhi THE contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) may not be implemented at least till July as the committees on subordinate legislation of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have been granted extension up to April 9 and July 9 respectively by the Ministry of Home Affairs to frame its rules. In other words, it will not come into play before the West Bengal elections that are expected in April-May The numer. ically significant Matua community the BJP is banking on in Bengal, has been pressing the party to implement the CAA immediately . But the Centre is in no hurry as the CAA passed in December 2019 amid unprecedented chaos in Parliament, led to violent protests across the country In December last year Un. ion Home Minister Amit Shah had said the process of framing rules had been delayed because of the pandemic, and that it would be taken up once the vaccination drive began. Junior home minister Nityanand Rai told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday the rules were still “under preparation”. He was responding to questions by Cong ress member V K Sreekandan. “The Committees on Subordinate Legislation, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have granted extension of time up to April 9 and July 9, respectively, to frame these rules under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019,” he said. The CAA triggered protests in several states, including Assam and Bengal, both of which are due to hold Assembly elections this year. The BJP, which is in power in Assam, has made demands to see the law implemented across the country . Last month, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said CAA will not be allowed in her state. In January last year, Bengal became the fourth opposition-ruled state to pass an anti-CAA resolution. The national capital too had seen a huge sit-in protest for months at Shaheen Bagh. The government will formally seal on February 3 the `48,000 crore deal to procure 83 Tejas light combat aircraft from state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd which will be the biggest-ever indigenous defence procurement programme. The contract will be signed between Defence Ministry and the HAL at the ‘Aero India’ aerospace exhibition in Bengaluru in presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and top brass of the Indian Air Force, they said. DELHI’S fifth sero survey report suggests that 56.13% of the total 2 crore population of the city has antibodies against the novel coronavirus. State health minister Satyendar Jain on Tuesday said this was the biggest sero survey carried out by any other state. The fifth survey began on Jan 15 and completed on Jan 23. As many as 28,000 samples were collected from municipal wards. As per the report, it has been found that the North District has the lowest prevalence with 49.09% and the in the South East district, which stood at 62.18%. Of the total INTERNATIONAL Virus claims war hero P OLL-bound West Bengal appears to be ready to end the 10-year rule of the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, a ground survey conducted in all the state’s 294 constituencies by the Hyderabad-based Peoples Pulse has found. A pro-change mood is apparent in all the regions, including south Bengal, as the voters are fed up of rampant corruption and widespread political violence. This is likely to work in favour of a resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party as it is seen as the best alternative. In the first of a three-part series, the survey explains why the anti-Trinamool mood does not necessarily mean that the people are likely to cast a positive vote for the BJP. They will rather vote to defeat the Trinamool. The saffron party is organizationally weak in the state but this will be more than compensated by its strong leaders such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah. Detailed report on page 7 Tomorrow: How Trinamool is losing the plot Child rights panel seeks probe into ‘graft’ in ration scheme A 100-year-old Army veteran, who became a national hero in the UK for raising over 32 million pounds for healthcare charities by completing 100 laps around his garden using a walking frame and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, died in hospital on Tuesday after testing positive for coronavirus. Captain Sir Tom Moore, who served in India during World War II, had been admitted to Bedford Hospital in the east of England on Sunday after he required help with his breathing P9 E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bhopal FOUR months after the supply of substandard rice under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) in Balaghat and Mandla district jolted Madhya Pradesh, fresh discrepancies were detected under the Take Home Ration (THR) scheme for out of school girls in the state. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has written to the Economic Offence Wing of MP to register a case following the detection of over `4.26 crore worth financial irregularities/discrepancies in four districts. A letter signed by NCPCR Registrar Anu Chaudhary, summarizing findings of enquiry by the Office of Indian Audit & Accounts Department, Office of the Accountant General, Madhya Pradesh about Betul, Dindori, Gwalior and Singrauli was sent to the DG EOW on Monday. The NCPCR has requested a case followed by appropriate action and submit an action taken report What is the food scheme all about? The scheme, implemented by the WCD Ministry, primarily aims at breaking the intergenerational life-cycle of nutritional and gender disadvantage for out of school adolescent girls within 10 days. In 2018-19, the NCPCR chairperson conducted inspection of MP Agrotonic and MP Agro Industries Corporation Ltd to assess the quality of food items served in Anganwadi centers in different districts of MP in, cluding Vidisha. It was found that a large number of adolescent girls in the age group of 11-14 years were out of school (OoS). The Commission subsequently sought information on OoS adolescent girls from the WCD department. The response from the WCD department showed that there were 2,17,211 OoS adolescent girls (11-14 years), out of which 1,71,365 girls were getting services from Angan- wadi as in February 2019. The Commission further took up the matter with the department of school education, which informed about having identified 23,491 OoS children, out of which 8,680 were adolescent girls. “As per the ATRs in the four districts, huge discrepancies to the tune of over ` 4.26 crore have been observed in expenses incurred on the scheme, after which we’ve written to the DG EOW to register a case,” said NPPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo. PROBE SANITISER IN PLACE OF POLIO DROPS Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said three health workers have been suspended PAGE 8
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