FRIDAY Australia’s goodwill gesture 30 Says it will be ‘culturally responsible’, return 14 artworks to India JULY, 2021 The National Gallery of Australia on announced that it would return the stolen artworks worth around $3 million from its Asian collection. epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard Of these, 13 artworks are connected with art dealer Subhash Kapoor, who is in jail on charges of smuggling, and one has been acquired from New York-based art dealer William Wolff. twitter.com/TheMornStandard IN THE NEWS T O D AY The museum had acquired them between 1989 and 2009. Most of them were stolen. INDIA Assam advisory Guwahati: The Assam government on Thursday issued a travel advisory asking state residents not to travel to Mizoram. People from Assam working or staying in Mizoram should “exercise utmost caution”, it further said in perhaps a first of its kind of travel advisory issued by any state government. “The people are advised not to travel to Mizoram as any threat to personal safety of people of Assam cannot be accepted,” the advisory issued by the state’s Commissioner and Secretary, Home and Political Department reads. Referring to the July 26 clashes in which seven people were killed, it said that certain Mizo organisations continued to issue provocative statements against Assam and its people. P8 Team to Kerala New Delhi: A rapidly deteriorating Covid-19 situation in Kerala has prompted the Centre to depute a six-member team to assist the state government, but it has also led to a flurry of theories on why the southern state is in a mess when the rest of the country looks far better. Over the past two days, Kerala has reported over 50% of the total Covid-19 cases in India, registering 22,056 new cases on Wednesday and 22,129 on Tuesday when overall the country detected less than 44,000 cases on each of the two days. On Thursday, the Union health ministry announced that a six-member central team, led by National Centre for Disease Control Director S K Singh, is being rushed to the state. GST revamp The Centre is planning to simplify GST into a three-rate slab regime, Chief Economic Adviser K V Subramanian said on Thursday, adding that it is going to happen “very soon”. “The three-rate structure is something... definitely important and even the inverted duty structure (is) also equally important to actually fix. I think the government is definitely seized of the matter. So, we should hopefully see traction on that soon,” Subramanian said at a virtual event organised by Assocham. At present, GST has five rates — 0.25%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. There was a long pending proposal to merge 12% and 18% slabs and bring down to three, as suggested by Arun Jaitley. P10 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS J8.00 PAGES 12 27% OBC quota for med AIQ seats 10% reservation also carved out for the EWS category; applicable from this admission season S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi FOLLOWING an year-old Madras High Court ruling and pressure from the Supreme Court, the Centre on Thursday announced 27% reservation for OBCs and 10% for the economically weaker section (EWS) of students for undergraduate and postgraduate medicine and dental courses under the All-India Quota (AIQ) scheme. Under the AIQ scheme, 15% UG and 50% PG seats are kept domicile-free in government medical and dental colleges, against which students from other states can be offered admission, while the rest of the seats are reserved for students from within the state. The Madras High Court had last week said there will be no admission in medical colleges this year without implementing the AIQ reservation. It had on July 27 last year directed the Union Decision to benefit 5,550 students The decision would benefit nearly 1,500 OBC students in MBBS and 2,500 OBC students in PG while it will also impact around 550 EWS students in MBBS and around 1,000 EWS students in PG medicine health ministry to set up a committee to workout the quota arithmetic within three months, but the process got stalled, resulting in a rap from the Supreme Court in recent weeks. The new quotas will be applicable from the current academic session. The proposal was approved at a meeting chaired by the prime minister on Monday . AIQ was introduced in 1986 under the direction of the Supreme Court to provide for domicile-free merit-based opportunities to students from any state to aspire to study in a good medical college located in another state. To begin with, there was no quota in AIQ. But in 2007, the Su- Judge hit-and-run: Jharkhand HC calls it attack on judiciary, to monitor probe M U K E S H R A N J A N @ Ranchi TAKING suo motu cognizance of a CCTV footage that showed an auto-rickshaw intentionally running over Dhandbad Additional District and Session Judge Uttam Anand, killing him on the spot, the Jharkhand High Court on Thursday called it a direct attack on judiciary . The HC asked police to probe the incident thoroughly and get to the bottom of the case, while keeping the court updated on the progress. The footage showed the auto hitting the judge, who was on his morning walk, from behind on a deserted road. The shocking incident was also brought to the notice of the Supreme Court by SC Bar Association President Vikas Singh, who demanded CBI inquiry into the matter. However, the SC said the Jharkhand HC has already taken up the matter. Police have arrested two persons and the vehicle has also been recovered. During the hearing, the court observed such incidents have never taken place even when Maoist activity was at its peak in the state. It noted the incident is a reflection of the poor law and order situation, which has emboldened criminals to execute such a crime in broad day light. The HC accepted DGP Neeraj CCTV footage showing judge Uttam Anand (inset) being hit by an auto-rickshaw; (right) accused Lakhan Verma and Rahul Verma after being arrested | PTI Sinha’s proposal to get the case probed by a Special Investigation Team. It asked the DGP to keep court apprised of the progress of the probe. The high court made it clear that the hit-and-run case may be handed over to the CBI if the state police show any laxity in its probe, said Jharkhand HC Advocate Association Treasurer Dheeraj Kumar. During the hearing on Thursday the HC also expressed its dis, pleasure over Dhanbad SSP changing his statements over the timing of the registration of the FIR, saying it creates suspicion on the entire incident. “The CCTV footage clearly that it is not an accident, but it is a matter of investigation. It appears that the incident was executed only to demoralise judicial officers in the state,” the court observed. Judge Anand, who was hearing several high-profile cases, E PRESS MAPS X FIGURES DON’T LIE State-wise break-up of number of manual scavengers and incidents of death while cleaning sewers and septic tanks in past five years Chandigarh 3 Punjab 233 17 66,692 Delhi 36 Uttarakhand 6,170 manual scavengers identified across India, according to govt reply in RS on July 28. Uttar Pradesh 37,379 52 Haryana 31 Rajasthan 2,880 18 Gujarat 108 31 137 Bihar 8 Assam 4,295 Tripura 2 MP 560 Jharkhand 281 Odisha 237 2 Maharashtra 7,378 34 Chhattisgarh 3 1 Goa 2 Telangana 4 Karnataka 3,204 24 Andhra Pradesh 2,016 16 Kerala 600 Tamil Nadu 425 43 3 preme Court allowed reservation of 15% for SCs and 7.5% for STs, after which OBCs sought a level playing field. When the Central educational institutions (reservation in admission) Act became effective in 2007 providing for uniform 27% reservation to OBCs, it was implemented in all centrally run medical colleges but was not extended to AIQ seats of state medical and dental colleges. The Centre had in 2019 introduced 10% reservation for EWS. Seats in medical and dental colleges were raised over two years ago so that the seat count for other general category students does not go down. Officials inspect Pegasus office near Tel Aviv EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE IN FEB GOVT SAID 340 SCAVENGING DEATHS, IN JULY IT SAYS NONE NEW DELHI: There have been no deaths because of manual scavenging in past years, the government told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday . In February however, it had , said in the Lok Sabha that 340 people had died over the past five years while cleaning sewers and septic tanks. In response to a question by Mallikarjun Kharge and L Hanumanthaiah on number of deaths due to manual scavenging, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale said “no such deaths have been reported”. The response received a backlash on Twitter, with people calling out the government’s insensitivity to people dying while cleaning sewers/septic tanks. In February, to a question from MP S T Shrangare on the number of deaths due to ‘sewer cleaning/entering sewers’, the ministry had responded that 340 deaths were recorded across 19 states. According to the government’s working definition, cleaning of sewers/septic tanks is not covered under manual scavenging. According to activists, this allows the government to remain non-accountable on deaths while cleaning sewers. ENS NEW DELHI The items being returned include bronze and stone sculptures including a 10th-11th century Lakshmi and Vishnu idol, a painted scroll and several photographs. No. of manual scavengers West Bengal 741 13 340 persons died while cleaning sewers in past five years (up to Dec 31, 2020), according to govt reply in LS on Feb 2 Deaths had recently rejected the bail applications of two accused persons belonging to gangster Aman Singh, a notorious criminal from Uttar Pradesh. Some other cases like murder case of Ranjay Singh, a close aide of Jharia MLA Sanjeev Singh, were also pending before his court. To expedite the investigation, a 22-member SIT headed by ADG (operations) Sanjay Anand Latkar has been formed. CID and forensic teams have also been roped in. “The SIT will investigate taking all aspects into consideration,” said Jharkhand police spokesperson and IGA V Homkar. The ADGwill be assisted by DIG Bokaro and SSP Dhanbad, he added. Homkar added that rickshaw driver Lakhan Kumar Verma, who was arrested along with his aide Rahul Verma, has admitted he was driving the vehicle, which was stolen a few hours back. PROTEST DELHI ASSEMBLY PASSES A RESOLUTION AGAINST ASTHANA AMID mounting international pressure to probe the widespread abuse of the Pegasus spyware, Israeli authorities inspected the offices of NSO Group near Tel Aviv, which owns the military grade cyberwar tool. The inspection happened on Wednesday around the time Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz was Paris to discuss the matter his French counterpart, as the latter country’s President Emmanuel Macron’s mobile numbers figured in a leaked database of NSO’s possible surveillance targets. For its part, NSO said defence ministry officials probing the complaints had ‘visited’ and not ‘raided’ its premises. While most countries affected by Pegasus, including France and Hungary have been pressur, ing Israel to come clean, it is a mystery that the Indian government does not see the surveillance of hundreds of academics, journalists, activists, politicians and victims of sexual violence, as a matter of national security . But pressure is mounting on the judiciary to order a probe, as over 500 individuals and groups have written to Chief Justice of India N V Ramana seeking his immediate intervention. Asks the Centre to immediately withdraw the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as Delhi Police commissioner; AAP MLAs express apprehensions that he will be used to create ‘a reign of terror’ against political rivals | P5 NATIONWIDE JULY 28 JULY 29 Fresh cases 43,654 43,509 Recoveries 41,678 38,465 Deaths 640 640 DELHI JULY 28 JULY 29 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 67 61 03 July 28 39,42,457 doses July 29 46,52,914 doses TOTAL DOSES 45,55,02,438 Negative feedback may cost some Raj ministers their jobs R A J E S H A S N A N I @ Jaipur WITH AICC general secretary Ajay Maken extending his one-on-one discussions with Congress MLAs in Rajasthan by one more day speculation is rife that some ministers , in the Ashok Gehlot government may be shunted out owing to negative feedback. Maken, Congress’ Rajasthan in-charge, met MLAs for the second straight day on Thursday to resolve the rift in the state unit. While a Cabinet rejig is likely to happen in August, the tussle between the Gehlot and Pilot factions persists. Pilot loyalists say some ministers must be dropped based on their performance and the feedback from MLAs. But the Gehlot camp is in no mood to accede to the demand. Maken has completed interaction with 53 MLAs from 20 districts. On Fri- Cabinet rejig day, he will hold talks with the office likely in Aug bearers of the state Congress unit. first week Many MLAs have reportedly complained to him about the working style According to of some senior ministers, including sources in the PHED Minister B D Kalla, Health Min- Congress party, a ister Raghu Sharma, Cooperative Min- Cabinet rejig is ister Parsadilal Meena, Education likely in the first Minister Govind Singh Dotasra, Trans- week of August port Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas, and UDH Minister Shanti Dhariwal. In a veiled attack on the Pilot camp, Health Minister Sharma said such reports are pushed to the media in a planned manner. “They have nothing to do with reality ,” he added. While Sharma sounded confident, several ministers in the Gehlot cabinet are nervous. Most MLAs confirm that Maken has taken detailed notes of their feedback on his I-Pad and is likely to share the same with party chief Sonia Gandhi. INDIANS ENTER QUARTERS & LAST 16 Encouraging show in archery, badminton, hockey raises nation’s hopes at Olympics HOCKEY TEAM, ARCHER ATANU STUN FAVOURITES Men's hockey team beat defending champions Argentina 4-1 to march into the quarters. Archer Atanu Das stunned two-time Olympic champion Oh Jin Hyek of South Korea to enter pre-quarters. Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu also advanced to the quarters 51 70 00 JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT Mary Kom reacts after losing on Thursday | AP | P11, 12 HEARTBREAK FOR VETERAN Multiple world champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom lost her flyweight (51 kg) prequarterfinal bout against Colombia’s Ingrit Valenciaon. She said she did not realise she lost after winning last two of the three rounds. Shooter Manu Bhaker is fifth after first stage of qualification ON THE BEAT IIM to study what ails Indore’s policing system E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bhopal AFTER diagnosing the probl e m s p l a g u i n g M a d hy a Pradesh’s government schools, IIM-Indore will now be detecting what ails the law and order maintenance system of India’s cleanest city which also holds , the dubious distinction of being MP’s crime capital. The premier business school will spend the next six months studying the lacunae in beat policing system of Indore. Based on its findings, corrective measures will be suggested. And depending on the success of the IIM’s prescription, the corrective model will be replicated across the other 51 districts of the state. Researchers from IIM-I will fan out to the police stations, the police control room, the emergency dial service facility and also the crimes scenes to assess the problems plaguing the beat policing system. A meeting between MP Police officers and experts of IIM-Indore led by its director, Prof Himanshu Rai, took place on Thursday in which the basic framework for the study was finalised. “In the next one week, a detailed written draft containing the contours of the research will be developed, af- ter which the actual research will begin,” SP, Police Training College, Agam Jain, said. “Our primary focus will be on the process of system-level study for improving the current situation. We will also study the different communication styles, behavioural patterns, interpersonal competencies and values required for an effective police-community partnership,” said Prof Rai.
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