saturDAY big Quarantine headache for india at the Olympics 19 A new Games organisers’ manual says everyone from India, including players, must maintain physical distancing for 3 days june, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard v a cc i n a t i o n i n d i a Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto (right) and CEO Toshiro Muto attend a press conference on Friday | AFP 5% of adults got 2 doses in 5 months One-fourth of population has got at least one shot, but a lot remains to be done A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS Page 7 l New Delhi Twitter gets an earful, told to respect law of the land Representatives shouted at for claiming the social media site follows its own policy, during deposition before a parliamentary committee Express News Service @ New Delhi Representatives of microblogging site Twitter on Friday got a mouthful from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology for claiming they function on the basis of their own policy They . were told to abide by the laws of the land instead. Carrying forward the Centre’s ongoing confrontation with Twitter, BJP MPs shouted at its representatives, saying the “rule of land is supreme, not your policy .” Twitter was represented by Shagufta Kamran, public policy manager, and Ayushi Kapoor, legal counsel in its deposition before the panel. They landed in hot water while responding to searching questions on whether Twitter follows the rules of the countries it operates in. BJP members Rajyavardhan Rathore and Nishikant Dubey sought to put the representatives of Twitter on the mat, with sources saying they were extra uttarakhand Intern docs in candle march for stipend hike v i n e e t u pa d h yay @ Dehradun Dr Ashtha Gupta, returning after 12 hours of duty in the Covid ward of Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali Govt Institute of Medical Science & Research, in Srinagar of Uttarakhand, has no energy left. “It’s sleep and start the next day with the same routine. It’s going on for six months,” she says. Dr Gupta is doing it for a stipend of `7,500 a month. For `250 a day, in other words. Even this has not been paid for the last month. This is the story of 330 interns working in three government medical colleges in Uttarakhand — 194 in Doon Medical College, 97 in Srinagar and 99 in Dr Susheela Tiwari Govt Medical College and Hospital in Haldwani. In Uttar Pradesh, medical interns get `12,500 a month, in Tamil Nadu and Telangana it is `20,000. Haryana and Himachal pay `17,000, while medical interns in All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, get `28,000 as stipend. “We don’t have issues with working. That’s our job. But `7,500 is too little. This is the lowest in the country We have . been requesting. Our seniors did that too,” adds Dr Gupta. Last time the stipend was increased was 2011, when `2,500 became `7,500. A candle march was organised by the interns at all three locations on Friday evening as a sign of protest. Medical students who complete MBBS courses have to do 12 months of mandatory internship, according to the norms of Medical Council of India. Officials of the state government said that a proposal to increase the stipend has been forwarded to higher authorities for approval. Dr Krishna Pant, Chief Medical Superintendent of Doon Medical College, said: “The issue has been raised by the interns and they have been working really hard in these pandemic times. I hope they get some incentive.” aggressive in their grilling. “The chairman of the panel, Shashi Tharoor, merely watched as the two BJP MPs shouted at the duo, who mostly maintained silence or replied briefly,” sources said. Opposition MPs, too, questioned the “brazenness of the representatives for saying they have their own policy”, sources said. Responding to questions on its failure to make appointments in line with the Information and Technology Act’s rules, the duo reiterated it Appointment of fact-checkers BJP members sharply questioned Twitter’s representatives on the policy for appointing fact-checkers, alleging they were not politically neutral. Members of the committee later held a meeting with information and technology ministry officials was because of the pandemic’s constrinits. They refrained from committing themselves to any specific timeline to abide by the new IT rules, despite being prodded by the panel to do so, sources said. “India isn’t a banana republic,” retorted an MP, as Twitter’s representatives remained evasive to most queries, sources added. The MPs also sought information about the employment status of the duo. The panel will be calling representatives of other social media platforms later, sources added. Later, Twitter issued a statement saying: “We appreciate the opportunity to share our views... Twitter stands prepared to work with the committee on the important work of safeguarding citizens’ rights online in line with our principles of transparency, freedom of expression, and privacy. We will continue working alongside the government as part of our shared commitment to serve and protect the public conversation.” l J8.00 l daily Covid tests 7 days before departure Going by the new rules, athletes from India will be asked to undergo a Covid test for seven consecutive days before leaving for Tokyo. Upon reaching Japan, there is a ban on interacting with athletes from other countries, including training with them. This could scupper both hockey sides’ plans as they have lined up multiple practice matches | P11 PAGES 12 Slash oil tax, says worried committee advising PM national commodity prices, especially of crude, together with Amid growing disquiet over logistics costs, pose upside risks high fuel prices, the Prime Min- to the inflation outlook. Excise ister’s Economic Advisory Coun- duties, cess and taxes imposed cil (PMEAC) has suggested to the by the Centre and States need to government to take a political be adjusted in a coordinated call on taxing oil, warning it manner to contain input cost could otherwise build inpressures emanating from flationary pressure, and petrol and diesel prices,” its spill-over impact the minutes said. would dampen consum“Timely supply side poler sentiment and dampicy measures with regard en recovery . to petrol and diesel, edible “Petrol and diesel oil and pulses, among othprice cannot be used as ers, would be critical to Further cash cow forever. Some bring about a durable sofjump political intervention tening of price presPetrol and is required as it will fisures,” the RBI added. diesel prices nally dampen the conHigh fuel price and food were on Friday sumer spending and cost pushed up retail inincreased again will delay the recovery . flation, measured by the by 27 paise and A delay in intervention consumer price index 28 paise, will prolong the recov(CPI), to 6.3% in May, raising their ery process. Focus overshooting the RBI cost in Mumbai needs to be to promote highest band of 6%. to `103.08 and growth of industry and Even the wholesale `95.14 per litre jobs,” a senior member price inflation has of the PMEAC told this reached 12.94, highest newspaper. The member added since 2013, pushed mainly by that recovery will be fragmented fuel and power inflation, which if private consumption is not was up by 37.6% in May Experts . stepped up. claim this will make things difSimilar concerns were raised ficult for the RBI. Petrol and dierecently by the Reserve Bank of sel prices are at all-time highs India, as gleaned from the min- though crude oil fell nearly 2% utes of its monetary policy meet. from its highest level this year “The rising trajectory of inter- on June 17 to $72.23. A n u r a d h a S h u k l a @ New Delhi Delhi HC frowns on disobedience of norms in markets Express News Service @ New Delhi Taking cognisance of Covid-19 norm violations in markets and other places, Delhi High Court said on Friday that breaching norms will hasten the third wave in the city . The court took note of the violation of protocols in various markets in the national capital and observed that these cannot be permitted at all. The court asked the Centre and Delhi gover nment to take strict measures, sensitise shopkeepers and hold meetings with markets and vendors associations in this regard. A vacation bench of Justices Navin Chawla and Asha Me- non took note of photographs sent to one of the judges of the high court by an AIIMS doctor. These shows that there was scant regard for Covid protocols in these places. “We have paid a huge price in the second wave. We don’t know if there is any household which has not suffered in the second wave, closely or remotely the bench observed. ,” Since the number of Covid-19 cases started seeing a decline, the Delhi government allowed shops, malls and restaurants to reopen from last Monday. It has also allowed weekly markets to open but only 50 per cent of vendors and only one market in each municipal zone. Sadar Bazar market is crowded after restriction relaxatations | Parveen Negi NATIONWIDE june 17 june 18 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 67,208 1,03,570 2,330 62,480 88,977 1,587 delhi Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 17 june 18 158 343 10 165 260 14 Bihar woman gets two vaccine doses in five minutes r a j e s h k u m a r t h a k u r @ Patna In a bizarre incident, a woman in a Bihar village was injected two doses of Covid-19 vaccine in a space of five minutes. Shockingly, the first dose was Covishield and the second Covaxin. An uneducated woman in her sixties from the family of a farmer, Sunila Devi of Patna Rural area did not know what was going on. After hearing from her once she returned home, family members rushed to the site. Although officials were tight- lipped, sources in the state health department said show-causes notices have been slapped on the two nurses responsible. The incident happened on June 16. Doctors of the block have decided to keep Sunila under observation until June 19. She is reported to have developed weakness after being administered the vaccines. After taking the first shot at Belarchak Middle School vaccination centre, she was asked to wait in a room. The wife of farm- er Rabindra Mahato waited for a while and then joined another queue, which was for Covaxin doses. “I didn’t understand where to go. Someone came and administered another dose. When I said I had been given an injection about five minutes ago by another nurse, this nurse didn’t listen,” said Sumila. Both doses were administered on the same arm. The matter came to the fore when she went home and told her sons. Her family members and friends created a ruckus at the vaccination centre. Officials from the health department of the state or the region were not forthcoming when approached for comments on the incident. There was no official remark on the blunder. Sources claimed that the nurses have been identified as Chanchala Kumari and Sunita Kumari. Other than show-cause noticed being issued, there is also talk of departmental action. There were no comments from Sumila’s husband or family either. RIOT CASE Bail order stays, but can’t be precedent: SC K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi The Supreme Court on Friday observed that the Delhi High Court’s order granting bail to three activists, arrested in connection with last year’s riots in the national capital, was based on a watered-down reading of the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and said it will not set a precedent. The top court agreed to examine the HC’s order saying the issue of reading down of UAPA is important and can have “panIndia ramifications”. The court, however, did not stay the bail order. A bench headed by Justice Hemant Gupta issued notices to three activists—Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Jamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha—on an ‘Judgment appeal filed by the Delhi Police surprising’ against the high court’s bail The Supreme Court order. Appearing for the Delhi Police, expressed surprise that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta the high court came up said the high court’s order with a 100-page should not be used as a basis by judgment touching on other co-accused in the case to the constitutionality of seek bail. He said the HC had the UAPA. “It was a bail turned the UAPA on its head. “It order and for the High virtually pronounced the acquit- Court to write 100 tal of the accused in a bail order, pages on it and to and the observations regarding discuss the laws is the application of UAPA have a surprising,” the apex far-reaching effect on other cas- court said es,” he said. He submitted that going by the HC’s interpretation of the UAPA, a terrorist accused of murder cannot be tried under the Act. “The court has said that since the riots eventually were controlled, UAPA should not have been invoked. This means if a probe agency diffuses a bomb planted somewhere, then as per this judgment, anti-terror law shall not apply,” Mehta contended. He further said, “The right to protest did not include the right to kill”. Flying Sikh Milkha Singh touches the finish line ENS /A G ENCIES @ Chennai/New Delhi Legendary Indian sprinter Milkha Singh passed away after a month-long battle with Covid-19 in Chandigarh on Friday The end came at 11.30 pm, his . family said. He was 91. The ‘Flying Sikh’ had suddenly developed fever on Thursday night and his oxygen saturation levels dipped. One of India’s greatest athletes won the Asian Games gold four times. He was the 1958 Commonwealth Games champion but his greatest performance was the fourthplace finish in the 400 m final of the 1960 Rome Olympics. He was bestowed the Padma Shri. shot in the arm Total resistance to 100% vaccination in Maoist hotbed m u k e s h r a n j a n @ Ranchi In the tribal villages of Jharkhand, health workers reaching out to administer Covid-19 jabs have faced stiff resistance and even attacks from people. The villagers, especially in tribal-dominated districts such as Gumla, Khunti and Simdega, have been hesitant to get vaccinated because of the fear of death, fever and impotence. Despite these obstacles, a remote village located in the Maoist hotbed of Khunti district has become the first village to achieve 100 per cent vaccination. Interestingly the Churdag vil, lage is located in Torpa block where an FIR was lodged against a villager in Unkuda for opposing the vaccination drive. This success became possible thanks to combined efforts of Self-Help Groups (SHG) women, community leaders, political leaders and ground-level staff working in panchayati raj institutions, who worked hard for over two months to convince the villagers to take the shots, said Siddharth Tripathi, nodal officer for health departments. To remove the vaccine hesitancy those areas were strategically , chosen first where there was least resistance so that the people of adjacent villages also get encouraged to get vaccinated. According to Tripathi, certain elements wanted to stall the vac- cination drive for unknown reasons and hence, were trying to misguide the people by spreading rumours. Khunti Deputy Commissioner Shashi Ranjan said the administration succeeded in removing c o n f u s i o n a m o n g p e o p l e. “Ground-level mobilisation through SHG members, teachers and medical professionals led to such results. We are committed to replicating the same in each village of Khunti,” he said. split congress to go solo in maharashtra Support to MVA government to remain intact, but no poll pact with allies Shiv Sena and NCP | P8
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