WEDNESDAY BUZZ ON ‘MODI ADMIRER’ JUDGE ARUN MISHRA AS NHRC CHIEF 02 The retired SC judge’s name was reportedly pushed through by the Centre at a five-member selection panel meeting JUNE, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in MODI-LED PANEL CLEARS IT, KHARGE DISSENTS facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard The committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cleared the names of Justice Mishra and two others – ex-IB director Rajeev Jain and former chief justice of Jammu & Kashmir HC Mahesh Mittal Kumar. Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge, the lone member who is not from the ruling NDA, dissented citing lack of consultation prior to the meeting MAHARASHTRA FADNAVIS AT NCP CAMP AGAIN Both Shiv Sena and NCP downplay the visit, assert nothing political about it A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 8 NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 NO DALIT CANDIDATES FIND PLACE IN SHORTLIST Kharge raised a specific point of dissent about the lack of any candidates from the Dalit, Adivasi or minority communities. While serving as an SC judge, Justice Mishra had raised eyebrows when he described PM Modi as a “visionary who could think globally and act locally” in a public function Flu shots for children can cut Covid rush at hospitals, say experts EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi / Bengaluru / Hyderabad AMID concerns that children, who are not vaccinated against the coronavirus, might be the biggest casualty in the next pandemic wave, the Centre on Tuesday said it will soon issue guidelines for Covid-19 management in kids and prepare hospital infrastructure to face any influx of child patients. However, Dr V K Paul, Niti Aayog member (health) and chairman of national Covid-19 task force, on Tuesday said that so far, only 2-3% of Covid-infected kids have required hospital care. Dr Paul, who himself is a paediatrician, averred that available scientific evidence suggests children are less susceptible to severe disease. He said the government is nevertheless prepared for any exigency “We . will strengthen our facilities as required and do an audit of what is required and what might be required in a worst- case scenario,” he said. According to public health expert Chandrakant Lahariya, serosurveys have shown prevalence of infection was similar across all age groups. “So, a large number of kids may have been affected already,” he said. But not many kids became seriously ill. This is because unlike adults, children have smaller number of ACE 2 receptors, which the coronavirus uses to enter human cells, he added. T O D AY The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Centre’s notification inviting non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan residing in 13 districts in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Punjab to apply for Indian citizenship. In its plea to the top court, the IUML argued that the central government is trying to circumvent the assurance given to the court in this regard in a pending petition. INTERNATIONAL Blogger jailed A Chinese blogger has been jailed for making derogatory comments about Chinese soldiers who died during the clash that took place in Galwan Valley last June. Qiu Ziming was charged with slandering martyrs and heroes and is the first person to be jailed under the new law dealing with insulting martyrs. Qiu has 2.5 million followers on popular Chinese microblogging site Weibo. NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 31 1,52,734 2,38,022 3,128 JUNE 1 1,27,510 2,55,287 2,795 May 31 TAKE 25,52,501 doses YOUR June 1 SHOT 22,08,941 doses TOTAL DOSES: 21,83,58,591 JAB-O-METER CONTINUED ON: P7 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi A crowded market after unlocking of COVID lockdown in Kanpur on Tuesday | PTI 70% vax for vulnerable groups must for unlock E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE Centre on Tuesday listed two crucial parameters for opening up districts after weeks of heavy restrictions to contain Covid-19: test positivity rate of less than 5% for at least a week; and a minimum of 70% vaccination coverage for the vulnerable groups. There are 344 districts in India as of now that have a positivity rate of under 5%. But there is no publicly available data yet on the districts that are anywhere near the 70% cut-off point of vaccination among vulnerable groups. The vulnerable population comprises people above the age of 60 as also the 45 + with comorbidities. “Gradual lifting (of lockdown) will not witness a massive surge. However, we have to ensure that vaccination is prioritised. The vaccination rate for the vulnerable population must be up to 70% and Covidappropriate behaviour should be followed,” said Balram Bhargava, ICMR Director General. The WHO recommends a positivity rate of under 5% for at least two weeks before an outbreak can be considered to be under control in a geography . As coronavirus cases are showing a declining trend, many states that had resorted to lockdowns are slowly opening up but some like UP Bihar , and Chhattisgarh have extended the Covid-related curbs with specific relaxations. The weekly test positivity rate across India was 8.31% on Monday while the daily positivity rate that had crossed 22% in early May tapered down to 6.62% on , the last day of the month. Thirty states reported a decline in active cases since last week, which now stands at 18.95 lakh. Health of global economy The total global debt has reached $281 trillion — a whopping 340% of total global GDP of $84.5 trillion — according to the International Institute of Finance, raising concerns that the Covid-hit world is living beyond its means. The situation has been aggravated by increasing inflation and job losses. Here’s a look at how some major global and Asian economies are faring Country Japan US France South Korea Brazil UK India Germany Vietnam China Total debt Debt/ Consumer Unemployment ($tn) GDP (%) inflation(%) rate (%) 10.94 28.16 3 1.77 1.42 3.022 2.27 2.66 0.13 7.5 217% 134.50% 117% 110% 99% 97.50% 84% 70% 48.50% 47% -0.50% 4.20% 1.20% 2.30% 6.80% 1.50% 4.29% 2% 2.70% 0.90% 2.8 6.1 7.9 3.5 14.7 4.9 8 4.5 NA 5.1 Note: Debt/GDP ratio measures the ability of a country to repay its debt. A higher debt/GDP (usually over 100%) is not considered healthy for an economy Consumer Inflation data as of April; unemployment figures are latest available data Source: Govt bureaus, IIF, Moody’s Analytics THE Centre on Tuesday decided to scrap the Class XII CBSE board examinations this year, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying at a high-level meeting that the “health and safety of our students is of utmost importance and there would be no compromise on this aspect.” Evaluation of marks will be made based on an objective criterion prepared by the board in a time-bound manner, the government said but the formula was not released immediately . Sources in the CBSE said there might be changes in the evaluation criteria it had proposed earlier, according to which results of classes IX, X and XI, apart from internal assessments through Class XII, will be weighed in for scoring the students. “It has now been decided that Class X results and internal assessment of Class XII alone will be taken into account for preparing the final results and the detailed criteria will be released soon,” a senior CBSE official said. It has also been decided that for some of the students who may not be satisfied with the results, an option to write papers will be offered when the Covid situation is conducive. The decision to cancel the board exams came even though all states and Union Territories — barring Delhi and Maharashtra — had given written consent for conducting the penand-paper mode tests. The decision was taken after wide-ranging consultations, including a deliberation presided 1 2 3 One proposal doing the rounds earlier was for the CBSE to consider the results of classes IX, X and XI, apart from internal assessments in Class XII, to arrive at the final score so that this does not become a zero year While there is no official word yet, CBSE might just take Class X results and internal assessment of Class XII into account for preparing the final results Students who want the option of written tests will get it when the Covid situation improves Health and safety... is of utmost importance.... In today’s time, such exams cannot be the reason to put our youth at risk. All stakeholders need to show sensitivity for students —Narendra Modi, Prime Minister over by Modi and a second one by Union defence minister Rajnath Singh. “In view of the uncertain conditions due to Covid-19 and the feedback obtained from various stakeholders, it was decided that Class XII board exams would not be held this year. It was also decided that CBSE will take steps to compile the results of Class XII students as per a well-defined objective criterion in a time-bound manner,” the PMO said in a statement. The PM underlined that while the pandemic has affected the academic calendar, the issue of board examination has been causing immense anxiety among students, parents and teachers, which must be put to an end. “The Covid situation is dynamic across the country While . the numbers are coming down in the country and some states are managing the situation village, said his son has the rare A (-ve) blood group which is not available all the time in Godda. Hence, he has to travel to other districts to get the transfusion done. Yadav travelled with his son to Jamtara on May 25 and returned on May 31 after Vivek received two units of blood. In April, too, he travelled to Jamtara. It takes him two days to cover 200 km on his bicycle. He cannot afford to hire a private cab while public transport is restricted. “So far, I have made four trips RETRIAL IN TARUN TEJPAL CASE S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai In its appeal, the Goa government contends that the trial court completely ignored the most telling piece of evidence ‘which established the guilt of the accused beyond a shadow of doubt’. Asserts that the court considered evidence given by defence witnesses as ‘gospel truth’ | P8 Dilip Yadav’s son will have to undergo operation for permanent cure | EXPRESS on my bicycle — once each to Dumka and Deoghar last year and twice to Jamtara this year,” said Yadav. Before the pandemic, Vivek was undergoing treatment at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi where he was being given free blood. “But because of the lockdown, we had to return last year,” said Yadav. He arranges blood for his son with the help of some blood donation groups in Jharkhand. “Through them, I get leads on where A (-ve) blood is available. I go to that place after making all the arrangements on the phone,” he said. According to doctors at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi, Vivek will have to under- through effective micro-containment, some have still opted for lockdowns,” the Prime Minister was quoted having said in the meeting. “Students, parents and teachers are naturally worried about the health of the students in such a situation. Students should not be forced to appear for exams in such a stressful situation,” Modi added in the meeting where apart from Rajnath Singh, other Union ministers like Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan and Smriti Irani, and top officials were present. Meanwhile, following the decision on the CBSE, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, the country’s largest private education board, also announced its decision to cancel its Class XII Board (ISC) exam for this year. Most students, parents happy, CM and DU too G AYAT H R I M A N I @ New Delhi FROM students, parents and teachers to chief minister and Delhi University, there was a near unanimity in welcoming the decision to cancel the CBSE and ISC Class 12 Board examinations. “I am satisfied with the decision taken in our interest. There is no clarity yet on how the results will be declared but I feel the results on the basis of internal assessment, marks scored in pre-boards and half early exams will be better,” said Shaurya Sharma, a class XII student from St. Mark School. Sharma hoped universities would take note of the pandemic and come out with an alternative for admissions. Many others like Rupansh Kumar from Dwarka International School and Aryan Kohli of GD Goenka School, Vasant Kunj were on the same page. “I was preparing for the exams but was not ready mentally. There is still the tension about the results and there is no clarity right now. The pattern should be announced soon so that we can focus on other entrance exams,” Kumar said. CM Arvind Kejriwal also welcomed the move, saying that he was glad that the 12th exams were cancelled. “All of us were very worried about the health of our children. A big relief.” CONTINUED ON P4 RATE CARD FOR PVT HOSPITALS IN MAHA OBJECT GOA GOVT SEEKS J’khand man pedals 400 km once a month for ailing son THE Covid lockdown has brought different travails for different people. For 40-year-old Dilip Yadav, a daily wager in Jharkhand’s Godda district, it means the ordeal of travelling 400 km on his bicycle every month. But he does that without any complaint because it’s a matter of life and death for his fiveand-half years old son Vivek, who has thalassemia and needs blood transfusion. Yadav, a resident of Pratapur Mumbai: Covid infection among children is soaring in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, the latest report by the state health department shows. As many as 9,416 positive cases among children below 18 years of age were reported from Ahmednagar. In April, 757 positive cases were reported among children below five years, while there were 1,510 cases of infections among the 5-10 year-olds, and 5,340 among 11-18 year-olds. In March, 188 children below the age of five years were infected. This number was higher among the 6-10 years age group at 270, and even higher among the 11-18 years category – 1,173 POSSIBLE EVALUATION CRITERIA POVERTY PANGS M U K E S H R A N J A N @ Ranchi RISING CHILD COVID PATIENT COUNT IN MAHARASHTRA ADDS TO WORRY CBSE CLASS XII BOARDS NIXED INDIA Congress poll report IUML moves SC sion if the cough, cold and fever in children are due to Covid-19 or influenza. “The Indian Paediatric Society has recommended vaccinating children to only reduce the need for Covid testing, decrease the burden on the healthcare system and protect children from influenza and not because the flu shot will prevent Covid-19. They are two different vaccines,” he added. Decision taken so as to end anxiety among students, parents and teachers, says Modi; most states, however, had suggested pen-and-paper test; CISCE board follows suit IN THE NEWS A five-member Congress panel on Tuesday submitted its assessment on the party’s losses in the just-concluded Assembly elections to party chief Sonia Gandhi, and put forward recommendations and suggestions to strengthen the organisation. Former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, who heads the high profile group, said he had submitted the report on Kerala, Assam and Puducherry and that the assessment for West Bengal was underway. While some doctors have advocated flu shots for kids to guard against Covid, a senior paediatrician in AIIMS, Delhi said it may not be suitable for India. “The flu shots are prepared for influenza virus strains prevalent in Europe,” he said. Expressing similar views, Dr Jagadish Chinappa, a consultant child specialist at Manipal Hospitals in Bengaluru, said vaccinating kids with flu shots will not protect them from the risk of Covid-19 infection. However, it will help avoid the confu- go an operation for permanent cure which will cost around `10 lakh, but Yadav cannot afford the cost. Earlier, at the initiative of Godda MP Nishikant Dubey `3 lakh was sanctioned , by the central government for Vivek’s treatment. But the amount lapsed as Yadav could not arrange the rest of the money . When contacted, Godda Civil Surgeon SP Mishra said he was not aware of Yadav’s agony and assured to get A (-ve) blood arranged for Vivek as and when required. FOLLOWING a rise in Covid cases in Maharashtra’s rural areas, the government has decided to reserve 80% of hospital beds for the pandemic patients and fix the charges for medical treatment in private hospitals. CM Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday asked district authorities to ensure implementation of the order in letter and spirit across rural areas. “Private hospitals have to reserve 80% of the beds and charge the patients as per the government rate card. The rest of 20% beds will be charged as per prescribed rates,” said Health Minister Rajesh Tope. Tope said the government had received several demands asking for a reduction in the treatment cost in private hospitals. He said the authorities would conduct hospital audits to verify whether the hospitals have followed the government order. As per the notification, the bed charges are `4,000 per day for the ‘ ’ category hospiA tals, `3,000 for the ‘B’ category and `2,400 for ‘C’ category . Nursing, testing, medicines and food are also included. High-cost testing, checking and costly medicines are excluded from this package. For the ICU ventilators, the bed charges for ‘A’ category city hospitals are `9,000, `6,700 for the ‘B’ category and `5,400 for the ‘C’ category hospitals. The state government has fixed different rate for ICU beds for Covid 19 patients, which are `7,500 for ‘ ’ A category hospitals, `5,500 for ‘B’ category while `4,500 for C class city hospitals. In the ‘A’ category, metro cities -- Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Nagpur - are included. In the B category come Nashik, Aurangabad, Amaravati and other two-tier cities. In the ‘C’ category all , rural districts are included.
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