SATURDAY 04 DECEMBER, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard FARM AGITATION RAHUL ON THE OFFENSIVE BRACING FOR JAWAD Congress leader slams Centre for saying there’s no data on farmer deaths A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 7 CAQM’S POLLUTION CONTROL DIRECTIONS FOR DELHI-NCR All schools, colleges and other educational institutions in NCR to be closed; only online mode of education allowed, except for conducting exams INDUSTRIES IN DELHI/NCR OPERATING ON NON-PNG OR OTHER UNAPPROVED FUELS TO operate only for eight hours a day FROM Monday to Friday AND HAVE TO REMAIN CLOSED ON Saturday and Sunday NEW DELHI J8.00 With the deep depression in the Bay of Bengal intensifying into Cyclone Jawad on Friday afternoon, it is expected to reach the west-central Bay of Bengal off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast by Saturday morning. In the picture, fishermen are seen shifting their boats from the seashore to safer places in Visakhapatnam on Friday | G SATYANARAYANA PAGES 12 NO CROWD CONTROL, NO MASKS, NO DISTANCING A day after a more transmissible strain of the coronavirus, Omicron, was detected in India and the Centre advised state governments to enforce Covid appropriate behaviour, caution doesn’t seem to be on top of the mind. Our photographer Shekhar Yadav captures these moments in Connaught Place, Janpath and Sarojini Nagar Operation of thermal power Ban on entry of trucks, plants within 300 km except CNG and electric-run radius of Delhi shall continue trucks and those carrying to be regulated as per the essential commodities, commission’s previous order in Delhi to remain FLYING SQUADS 17 flying squads constituted by CAQM to ensure implementation of measures mandated by the court and the commission and act against violators in Delhi/ NCR; number to be increased to 40 in next 24 hours COMPOSITION OF ENFORCEMENT TASK FORCE IN DELHI Special secretary/ secretary (Environment) will be chairman of the task force Member secretary, Delhi Pollution Control Committee: Member Technical representatives/ scientists from CPCB: 3 members Technical representatives from DPCC in the task force: Minimum 3 ENFORCEMENT TASK FORCE IN OTHER NCR STATES ACS/principal secretary/ secretary (Environment) of the state will be chairman of the task force Member secretary, State Pollution Control Board: Member Technical representatives, experts and scientists from CPCB Technical/ administrative representatives from SPCB: Minimum 3 Task force & flying squads to control pollution: Centre K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Friday directed the Centre and the states in the National Capital Region (NCR) to implement the directives issued by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) as it accepted the panel’s proposals, which included having in place an Enforcement Task Force in each of these states and flying squads to check pollution and penalise violators. The Commission filed an affidavit before the SC bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana apprising about the measures taken by it on December 2. The CAQM submitted that it had constituted the task force in exercise of its statutory power to monitor compliance with its directions. Also, 17 flying squads had been constituted to act against violators and the number of these would be increased to 40 in the next 24 hours, the Commission told the bench. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that the flying squads had already started functioning from December 2 and had conducted surprise checks at 25 sites. The task force will have the power of taking punitive and preventive measures against non-compliant/defaulting persons/entities and the flying squads will report to it, the affidavit stated. “The task force has two independent members. It will meet at 6 pm every day ,” Mehta submitted adding that the flying squads would be monitoring NCR, too. The court directed the Centre and the Delhi government to implement the anti-pollution measures introduced by the CAQM. The Commission in its affidavit stated that industrial operations in NCR where gas was not available and not running on PNG or clean fuel would be allowed to operate only on weekdays and only for eight hours. At this, advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing on behalf of UP , objected saying the sugarcane farmers would be hit at the peak of the ongoing crushing season. “Closure of industries may affect sugarcane industries. UP is on down wind, air is mostly coming from Pakistan,” Kumar said. This led CJI Ramana to respond, “So you want to ban industries in Pakistan?” CONTINUED ON P4 Centre steps up vigil as more cases come to fore Booster call awaits advice; ministry expects low Omicron severity EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi WITH 24 cases of suspected Omicron being reported from Delhi and Hyderabad, the Centre has stepped up vigil. In view of the possible spread of the new Covid variant, the government is also looking at allowing booster dose of Covid vaccines and jabs for children. Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Friday that a decision will be taken soon on the basis of scientific guidance. The Centre expects the severity of the Omicron variant to be low in India given the fast pace of vaccination and high exposure to the Delta variant. Earlier in the day 12 suspect, ed patients of Omicron, who Parl panel’s take Amid concerns over Omicron, a parliamentary panel has recommended that the efficacy of vaccines must be evaluated & concerns about the new strain developing immunoescape mechanism critically addressed flew to India from ‘at risk’ countries, were admitted in Delhi’s LNJP hospital. Of these, eight tested positive for coronavirus while four have symptoms like sore throat and fever. Their samples were sent for genome sequencing and the results would be out in four or five days, officials said. In Hyderabad, 12 travellers coming from ‘at risk’ countries have tested positive and have P R I YA N K A C H A N D A N I ON December 2, 1971, when Rear Admiral S R Sampath Gopal (Retd) and Commodore Inderjit Sharma (Retd) along with other crew members were ordered to sail out of Mumbai harbour to the south of Saurashtra port in Diu and then to Okha, little did they know their mission would be commemorated as Navy Day each year. For, a day after the war with Pakistan began, their audacious attack, code named Operation Trident, dealt a huge blow on the enemy’s navy It has . been 50 years since the 14-day war, which shaped the course (L) Rear Admiral Sampath Gopal (Retd), Commodore Inderjit Sharma (Retd) File photo of INS Nipat that took part in Operation Trident against Pakistan in 1971 of not just India’s history but altered the geography of the subcontinent, forming a new nation — Bangladesh. “It was perhaps the only action we saw, that too immedi- JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT Dec 02 66,21,382 doses Dec 03 66,58,055 doses TOTAL: 1,26,44,92,187 NATIONWIDE DEC 02 DEC 03 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 9,765 8,548 477 R A M A S H A N K A R M I S H R A @ Patna The bunch of girls outside Patna airport before leaving for Bengaluru | EXPRESS training. Counselling was conducted virtually during the Covid-19 pandemic, officials of the department said. Sources said another batch of 30 inmates of government run-childcare institutions — 25 girls and five boys — is ready to ately after getting commissioned in Indian Navy It made . a lot of impact on our outlook and attitude to service,” recalls Rear Admiral Gopal. Undertaken as a moral war to liberate people from the East Pakistan, the naval operation took place under the cover of d a rk n e s s a f t e r Pa k i s t a n launched a pre-emptive attack on seven Indian airfields on December 3. Indian Navy’s Osa class boats of the 25th missile vessel squadron that comprised Nipat, Nirghat, Kachall, Kiltan and Veer were chosen for the operation due to their lethality , high speed and small radar cross-section. Two of the boats were towed to Okha from Mumbai because they could not sail beyond 250 knots. “We were asked to sail on December 2. We were waiting for orders till December 3. In the evening, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared war, and we were asked to execute Operation Trident. On the afternoon of December 4, five of us (boats and crew), assembled in Dwarka and the operation was to be executed the same night. The combined briefing was done and we were not to break any radio signals so we kept all the briefing close to each other,” recalls the Rear Admiral. CONTINUED ON P7 EXPRESS READ Childcare home inmates land jobs in Bengaluru es of their training were borne by the state government.” The one-year training of the first batch of the destitute girls cost a little over `15 lakh. Selection for the diploma course was done in 2019. The selected ones were sent to Bengaluru for ‘Consider booster dose for 40-plus’ New Delhi: Amid demands for a booster vaccine dose against Covid-19, India’s top genome scientists have said it ‘may be considered’ for people above 40 years. “Vaccination of all remaining unvaccinated at-risk people and consideration of a booster dose for those 40 years of age and over, first targeting the most high-risk/high-exposure may be considered,” the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Sequencing Consortium (INSACOG) said in its weekly bulletin. The INSACOG is a network of national testing labs set up by the government to monitor genomic variations of COVID-19. The recommendation came amid demands for a booster dose of Covid vaccines during a discussion in Lok Sabha. 9,216 8,612 391 50 years of Trident’s killer blow on Pakistan navy PRIDE OF BIHAR THERE is light at the end of the tunnel! A bunch of 14 girls from Bihar government’s childcare institutions have got placement in good hotels in Bengaluru, thanks to an initiative of the state government. Initially, they will be earning `3 lakh to `3.5 lakh per annum. The girls were felicitated at a function held under the aegis of the Social Welfare Department of the Bihar government in collaboration with Unicef in Patna on Friday. Uncertain about future till a few years back, they were emotional at the turn of events. Raj Kumar, director of the Social Welfare Department, said, “The girls completed a one-year diploma course in hotel management from a Bengaluru-based institute. Expens- been put under observation with their samples sent for genome sequencing. To rule out Omicron presence, states are ramping up testing and tracing. The Andhra government is trying to trace and test 7,000 international passengers who arrived in the state since November 1. Maharashtra has sent the swab samples of 28 persons who returned to the state from highrisk countries last month, for genome sequencing. Meanwhile, the Karnataka government on Friday ordered a probe into how the South African national, who tested Covid-19 positive on arrival, managed to get a negative report three days later and leave the P7 country . be sent for training in hotel management in December. The selection process is almost over, the director of the Social Welfare Department said. The cost burden on the state government will be more this time due to factors arising out of the pandemic. “We have decided to go ahead with the project because it has changed the lives of the girls staying in childcare institutions, who earlier had no future at all,” the director added. At present, the childcare institutions funded by the state government have to accommodate 400-450 girls and boys who are below 18 years of age. Most of them were found loitering near railway stations, bus stands, temples and other public places in the state. A sum of `50 lakh is spent on each girls’ home per annum. Show-cause notice to American Airlines New Delhi: The New Delhi district administration on Friday issued a show-cause notice to American Airlines for alleged noncompliance of the Centre’s guidelines for international arrivals in the wake of concerns over the Omicron variant, officials said. The notice was issued by Piyush Arun Rohankar, SubDivisional Magistrate, Delhi Cantonment, which comes under the New Delhi district. No immediate response was available from American Airlines. India, S Korea agree to boost strategic ties New Delhi: India and the Republic of Korea on Friday agreed to strengthen strategic cooperation including in dealing with challenges of terrorism, extremism and radicalisation. The two sides discussed key issues at the third India-Republic of Korea strategic dialogue held in Delhi. “Both sides agreed to further strengthen and deepen mutually beneficial strategic cooperation in areas of bilateral, regional and global interest,” the Ministry of External Affairs said. GUJARAT CONGRESS GETS NEW HEAD OBC leader Jagdish Thakor given reins of party in election-bound state, faces challenge of setting factionalismridden unit in order and convincing voters that it is good option | P8 DELHI DEC 02 DEC 03 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 41 196 00 54 29 00 Wake up or you will see large parts of the traditional financial markets move out. There is also a counter question from a policy and financial stability point of view Uday Kotak GPay, PhonePe eating up bank biz, warns Kotak EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi IF Indian banks continue to neglect the online payments business, they could end up losing bulk of their traditional business to digital wallets platforms such as Goo gle Pay and PhonePe, Kotak Mahindra Bank CEO Uday Kotak warned on Friday Speaking at an event, . he said Indian bankers have been short-sighted on the payments business, leading to unified payments interface (UPI) payments being monopolised by the two major digital wallets, which control 85% of the market share. “Wake up or you will see large parts of the traditional financial markets move out,” he said at the Infinity Forum organised by the International Financial Services Centres Authority and Bloomberg. “Bankers were short-sighted. Their standard response was that there is no money in the payments business,” said Kotak. He advised bankers to adopt a customer-centric approach instead of a sales-centric one. For this, lenders must hire more talent and scale up technologies. At the same time, Kotak said regulators need to be alert about the use of data by these fintech companies.
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