TUESDAY DEADLINE FOR FEEDBACK ON GM FOOD NORMS EXTENDED 18 People can now submit feedback on the draft regulations till Feb 5, the FSSAI said on Monday. Original deadline was Jan 15 JANUARY, 2022 DECISION AFTER PRESSURE FROM RSS OUTFIT epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard HATE SPEECH SEERS TO PROTEST ARRESTS Dharam Sansad to be held in Aligarh on Jan 22 and 23 and later in Parayagraj A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 8 NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)’s decision to push the last date comes in the wake of protests from anti-GM groups, activists, farmers and NGOs. Last week, the RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), too, put its weight behind the anti-GM campaign shooting off a letter to the FSSAI asking it to withdraw its “irresponsible” proposals Nov 15, 2021 WHEN THE FSSAI RELEASED THE DRAFT GUIDELINES ON GM FOOD DRONE STRIKE KILLS 2 INDIANS IN ABU DHABI Trouble likely to escalate after first attack by Yemen-based Houthi rebels, as Gulf nation says it has a right to respond E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Iran-backed rebels make deeper attack for first time Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack in UAE. The Houthis, backed by Iran, have in the past launched several cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi but this is the first time they are attacking deep inside Emirates. Monday’s attack is reportedly a retaliation against the Saudi-led offensive against them IT’s called the safest country in the Gulf region. Yet, three people, including two Indians, were killed in a drone attack near the Abu Dhabi airport on Monday. The message was clear — don’t think the UAE is a safe place to live and work any longer. Yemen-based Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack. Tension in the region is set to rise as the UAE has vowed to retaliate. “This terrorist attack by the Houthi militia on areas and civilian facilities on Emirati soil... will not go unpunished,” UAE foreign ministry said. A Pakistani national also died in the explosion. All the three deceased were employees of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc). Six others were hurt in the attack but are out of danger. The identity of those killed could not be immediately known and the authorities were working on it, India’s Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir told this newspaper on phone. He also sought to downplay concerns saying that the UAE, which is home to around 35 lakh Indians, is a safe place. According to reports, booby- trapped drones hit Adnoc’s storage facility at Mussafah industrial area near the airport, triggering multiple explosions. Three petroleum tankers exploded in the fire. The industrial area is just 22 km from the city centre and has an oil pipeline network including 36 storage tanks, from which heavy vehicles transport fuel across the country . The UAE is a key member of the Saudi-led coalition that has waged war against the Houthis since 2015. The Houthis had recently threatened to launch strikes against the UAE after los- ing the energy-rich Shabwa province to the coalition. The province is a strategic asset as it has significant oil and gas fields as well as two ports for exporting energy . It’s not just the Houthis who were targeting the UAE. The Emirate was facing threats from Shia militias in Iraq as well, suggesting that Monday’s attack could have been well orchestrated. Saudi-led coalition had issued a statement that they had destroyed three drones in southern Saudi Arabia. However, it provided no evidence to substantiate the claims. Covid wave ebbing in Delhi & Mumbai STILL LOWER China grew at 8.1% in 2021 on low base effect S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE DAILY CASES POSITIVITY RATE OXYGEN BEDS IN USE 29.21% 768 98 628 JAN 14 24,383 30.64% 815 99 671 JAN 15 20,718 30.64% 887 113 724 JAN 16 27.87% 835 123 738 27.99% 909 140 833 JAN 13 18,286 12,527 Cases see 32% decrease in national capital A N K I TA U PA D H YAY @ New Delhi DAILY Covid-19 cases in Delhi saw a 31.5 per cent decline on Monday — from 18,286 on Sunday to 12,527 — but positivity rate stayed at 28 per cent. While some doctors said the peak may already be over, the increase in hospitalisations continued. Number of patients in ICU and ventilator support also recorded an increase. The dip in case tally came as the tests conducted on the day also saw a big drop — from 65,621 to 44,762. Some doctors said the primary reason behind the sharp decline in fresh cases was fewer tests and weekend curfew, while some said the peak was over. “The peak has gone now and from here, the cases will recede. Same is the case in other major cities like Mumbai. The trend is going downwards but at national level, it will take time for the cases to decrease and peak,” said Dr Jugal Kishore, professor and head of community medicine department, Safdarjung Hospital. Dr Sanjay Rai, Professor at Centre for Community Medicine, AIIMS, however, disagreed and said the peak could be considered to be over only if the decline in numbers continues till Wednesday “Monday’s numbers . are less because of fewer testing. For now, we can say that a plateau is continuing.” Dr Ritu Saxena, Deputy Director at Lok Nayak Hospital, said there was no need to worry over hospitalisations. “More than 80% beds are still vacant. In AprilMay last year, not a single bed was available even with a singleday rise of 15,000 cases.” HEN Maharaj ji accepted cles, Shambhu Maharaj and my invite to take a work- Lachhu Maharaj. They had shop at my home in Con- very different styles of dancnecticut, I was very nerv- ing, one placing emphasis on ous. But much to our surprise, the masculine style and the he turned out to be a simple other on the feminine (Lasya). man immersed in dance and He told us stories of how he music. He would eat home- had to keep their styles differmade food, make sketches on ent for maintaining peace with paper and after the workshop his uncles. even invite all parents and sing In 1953, Kapila Vatsyayan, a for them. When a life opens up disciple of Achhan Maharaj, before you like that called Birju to Delhow does one start hi to work at Santo describe it! geet Bharati. He Pandit Birju Mawould go to the haraj was a legend school every mornin his lifetime, a syning and do his riyaonym for Kathak az in a store room and a complete Kafor 4-5 hours till the lakaar, an artist par sweat of his feet excellence. Born as NEELIMA BERI made the floor slipBrij Mohan Mishra Director of Kalaleen Center pery Then he would . in the illustrious for Traditional Learning try his hands at family of Ishwari various instruPrasad, with Kalka-Bindadin ments in the store. Maharaj as his grandfathers When he was 19-20, Maharaj and Achhan Maharaj as his fa- ji joined the Bharatiya Kala ther, he further added tremen- Kendra and started creating a dously to the heritage. grammar for understanding Maharaj ji passed away in every movement. All these exDelhi on Monday. He was 83. periments were very well reMaharaj ji started his taalim ceived by the audience during from his father at a very tender the late 50s and early 60s. He age, but he was only nine when also choreographed many suchis father passed away He then cessful dance dramas. . learnt from his illustrious unMaharaj ji later joined NATIONWIDE JAN 16 JAN 17 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,71,202 1,38,331 314 18,286 21,846 28 JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT 2,58,089 1,51,740 385 NEW DELHI JAN 16 JAN 17 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths @ New Delhi PATIENTS IN ICU JAN 13 28,867 12,527 18,340 24 January 16 39,46,348 doses January 17 68,95,050 doses TOTAL DOSES 1,57,91,63,478 CHINESE economy grew 8.1% in 2021, the fastest in 10 years, driven by low base effect. The annual growth rate is lower than economists’ average estimates of 8.4%. However, GDP growth in the fourth quarter at 4% bettered analysts’ expectation of 3.6%, data released on Monday showed. Macroeconomic futures showed that fixed asset investments in 2021 grew 4.9%, beating expectations of a 4.8% growth. Investment in real estate rose 4.4%, while that in infrastructure was up 0.4%. Investment in manufacturing shot up by 13.5% in 2021 from a year ago. Industrial production registered a 4.3% year-on-year growth in December 2021 beating analyst’s estimate of 3.6%. According to a recent World Bank report, China’s growth will moderate to at 5.1% in 2022, owing to lingering effects of the pandemic and tighter regulations in certain sectors. It expects GDP to grow at 5.2% in 2023. Retail sales in December only grew 1.7% against analysts’ expectation of 3.7% . Unemployment rate among 16-24 age group remained high at 14.3%. Foreseeing a slump in GDP growth in 2022, China’s central bank on Monday cut key lending rates by 10 basis points. K U M A R V I K R A M , H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ New Delhi/Chandigarh FOLLOWING requests from key political parties in Punjab, including the Congress and the BJP the Elec, tion Commission on Monday postponed the February 14 Assembly election in the state to February 20. The poll panel said it had received several representations from state government, political parties and other organisations, drawing attention regarding movement of a large number of devotees from Punjab to Varanasi for participation in Sri Guru Ravidas Ji Jayanti celebrations, which is observed on February 16. This will deprive a large number of electors from voting. In view of this, they have requested to shift the poll date, the EC said in a statement. As per the new schedule, the date of notification will be on January Channi 25, while the last date of nomination claims credit will be February 2. The applications for decision will be scrutinised on February 2, while the last date of withdrawal of CM Charanjit applications is February 4. Counting Singh Channi will be held on the same day as be- said he was thankful to the fore — March 10. All the political parties in Punjab EC as the date of have welcomed the decision and polling had been changed at “his sought to take credit fort it. Chief Minister Charanjit Singh request” as he Channi said he was thankful to the had written to EC as the date of polling had been the poll panel to changed at “his request” as he had postpone the written to the poll panel to postpone elections the elections for at least six days. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab president Bhagwant Mann welcomed the decision saying that the date of voting has been postponed as it is necessary out of the respect for the sentiments of the people of Punjab and to protect their right to vote. Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal, too, welcomed the decision and said, “We had requested the EC to postpone the decision as people visit Varanasi on February 16.” BJP leader Anil Sarin also welcomed the decision to postpone the election. “We have written to the Election Commission in this regard and we thank the commission to understand the sentiments of the people and postpone the polls considering our request, the saffron party leader said. NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED SYNONYM OF KATHAK, COMPLETE KALAKAAR W VENTILATOR IN USE (Source: Delhi govt health bulletin) THOUGH the ongoing third wave of Covid-19 continues to be building in the country the curve in a , few big cities may have started to bend. An analysis of daily Covid cases and deaths in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata shows that the wave may have peaked there. Mumbai logged 7,895 new cases on Sunday; its figures have been declining since January 7 when the city had a whopping 20,971 fresh cases. The earlier one-day high for Mumbai was 11,163 cases, registered on April 4 last year during the second wave of the pandemic. In Delhi, where the daily Covid cases had crossed 30,000 on two days late last week, less than 28,000 were recorded on Sunday . Though the number of tests, too, dropped a tad in the city the good , news is the fall in the test positivity rate (TPR) — under 28% now after crossing 30% earlier. Kolkata, which had shown an explosive TPR of over 70% for several days, is also reporting a marginal decline. Also, the daily case count in the city is now under 6,000 as against 10,000-plus earlier. A senior member of the national Covid-19 task force told this newspaper that the government is watching these numbers closely adding the wave appears , to be ebbing. “However, we will need to see the trend for about 10 days before reaching a conclusion,” he said. Health economist Rijo M John pointed out that at the national level, too, the most comforting factor is the low level of hospitalisation. EC defers Punjab polls for six days PANDIT BIRJU MAHARAJ 4 FEB 1938 - 17 JAN 2022 Kathak Kendra. As he had many international students, he simplified his compositions by making them numerical. He broke long rhythmic compositions into playful words for kids. Many of his complicated tihais (polyrhythmic technique) were made playful for the audience while retaining their complexities. Maharaj ji performed extensively all over India and abroad and recalled many hilarious incidents from this time. One particularly memorable one was at Jhansi. The rowdy crowd was brought under control by him by making an extempore piece of Rani of Jhansi fighting the British. Maharaj ji then set up his institute, Kalashram. He was very fond of spicy street food. He loved my paranthas and called me paranthewali for quite some time. He also loved gadgets of all types but not in black colour. He was also the first Kathak artist to receive the Padma Vibhushan. 25INDIA’S YRS POLICIES ARE LONG-TERM: PM A daredevil biker team of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police practices stunt during the rehearsal for the Republic Day parade on a cold winter morning on Monday. An array of formations will be showcased on Rajpath | SHEKHAR YADAV India’s policies are made for the next 25 years, PM Modi said in his address at the World Economic Forum’s online summit on Monday PAGE 7 Stay within limits, BJP Bihar chief tells ally JD-U R A M A S H A N K A R @ Patna THE rift between NDA allies in Bihar is widening day by day with BJP state chief Dr Sanjay Jaiswal, in an oblique reference, asking two top JD-U functionaries to stay within limits. “Stop playing Twitter game anymore (with Prime Minister) or 76 lakh BJP workers in Bihar will reply,” Jaiswal said in his latest post on his social media account on Monday “I am sure you . will be careful in future,” he added. The warning came in response to the repeated demand of top JD-U functionaries, including its national president Ra- jiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh and parliamentary board chairman Upendra Kushwaha, to withdraw the Padma Shri awarded to playwright Daya Prakash Sinha for his remarks against Emperor Ashoka. The JD-U chief had tagged PM Narendra Modi on Twitter handle wh i l e p re s s i n g fo r aw a rd withdrawal. Referring to the ‘alliance dharma’, the BJP MP from Bettiah said it ought to be followed by the two sides. “It should not be one-sided anymore,” Jaiswal posted, adding that the situation should not go beyond control. Expressing dismay over JD-U’s demand, he asked “Has ever this happened before?” Instead, he suggested JD-U to ask police to initiate action against Sinha on the FIR lodged by him. “Only then we can urge the Centre or the authorities concerned to withdraw the award from Sinha,” he asserted. Kushwaha responded, “We will keep demanding this till it is fulfilled.” Amid the spat, Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) chief Chirag Paswan demanded imposition of President rule in Bihar in the wake of deteriorating law and order situation in the state. Stop playing Twitter game anymore with PM or 76 lakh BJP workers in Bihar will reply. I am sure you will be careful in future Sanjay Jaiswal, Bihar BJP
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