FRIDAY 19-YEAR-OLD GIRL FLIES SOLO AROUND WORLD IN 155 DAYS 21 52,000 KM, Belgian-British pilot Zara Rutherford sets record as 41 COUNTRIES, youngest woman to fly solo globally in a small aircraft 5 CONTINENTS JANUARY, 2022 epaper.morningstandard.in In her trek of more than 52,000 km (28,000 nautical miles), she stopped over in five continents and visited 41 nations During her flight using visual flight rules (going on sight only), she steered clear of wildfires in California, dealt with biting cold over Russia and narrowly avoided North Korean airspace facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard GOA BATTLE BJP DENIES TICKET, AAP MAKES OFFER 28.6 18.4 10.6 7.9 Africa ■ 22 3.6 3.3 1.2 1.2 Asia Dec-28 Dec Europe ■ 29 Dec-4 Dec North America ■5 Oceania Jan-11 Jan ■ 12 South America 1 2 3 Jan-18 Jan 4 5 6 7 8 J8.00 2,68,833 16.66% 2,71,202 16.28% 2,58,089 19.65% 2,38,018 14.43% 2,82,970 15.13% 3,17,532 16.41% 22,775 2.05% 27,553 2.48% 33,750 3.84% 37,379 3.24% 58,097 5.03% 90,928 6.43% 1,17,100 7.74% 1,41,986 9.28% 1,59,632 10.21% 1,79,723 13.29% 1,68,063 10.64% 1,94,720 11.05% 37.6 2,64,202 India’s daily caseload 52.3 30.9 4.5 NEW DELHI 2,47,417 Trend of global new cases 14.78% A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 8 13.11% No ticket to ex-CM Manohar Parrikar’s son from Panaji, AAP invites him to contest 9 10 11 12 13 14 J A N U A R Y ■ Daily cases ■ Daily positivity rate 15 16 17 18 19 20 515 districts have test positivity rate of over 5%; toll low compared to second wave due to vax drive; Maharashtra to reopen schools @ New Delhi OVER 3 lakh more Covid-positive cases were reported in the country on Thursday morning, but the ratio of deaths and active cases stayed low when compared to the disastrous second wave because of the ongoing vaccination drive. On the flip side, data shows that the virus is now travelling to new territories as there is a progressive increase in districts with more than 5% positivity rate (TPR). Smaller cities and towns have been particularly affected, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said. About 11 states and Union Territories have more than 50,000 active Covid cases, while 515 districts reported a weekly case positivity rate of over 5%. The national TPR stood at 16.41% on Thursday . The Centre has retained Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra on its list of “states of concern”. On April 30, 2021, there were 3,86,452 new cases, 3,059 deaths, 31,70,228 active cases and 2% of the eligible population fully vaccinated. As against that, 3,17,532 new cases were logged JAB-O-METER on January 20, 2022, 380 deaths, 19,24,051 active cases, and 72% people fully vaccinated, indicating how jabs are life savers. “In this third surge of Covid, we are currently not witnessing severe illness and deaths due to high vaccination uptake. This shows that vaccines save,” Indian Council of Medical Research head Dr Balram Bhargava said. With Kerala reporting 46,387 new cases (TPR 40.22%), the state gover nment imposed fresh restrictions, including allowing only essential services to operate on the next two Sundays — January 23 and 30. In neighbouring Karnataka, the fresh case count was close to 48,000, of which 30,540 were in Bengaluru alone. However, there was positive news from Maharashtra, as it decided to open schools for offline teaching in classes 1 to 9 from Monday because of the declining viral load. In Telangana, the state government decided to do a doorto-door fever survey from Friday. A home isolation kit comprising medicines and other materials, would be provided to those who have Covid symptoms, state health minister T P4 & 7 Harish Rao said. NATIONWIDE JAN 19 JAN 20 TAKE YOUR SHOT Fresh cases 2,82,970 3,17,532 Jan 19 62,39,005 doses Jan 20 60,79,373 doses TOTAL: 1,60,32,25,244 Recoveries 1,88,157 2,23,990 Deaths 441 491 DELHI JAN 19 JAN 20 Fresh cases 13,785 12,306 Recoveries 16,580 18,815 Deaths 35 43 Rutherford will find herself in the Guinness World Records book after setting a mark that had been held by 30-year-old American aviator Shaesta Waiz since 2017. Her global flight in her ultralight Shark plane was supposed to take three months, but relentless bad weather and visa issues kept her grounded sometimes for weeks on end, extending her adventure by two months THE Supreme Court on Thursday reiterated the constitutional validity of 27% OBC reservation in all-India quota seats in the NEET for undergraduate, postgraduate and dental courses, noting that merit cannot be reduced to narrow definitions of performance in an open competitive examination. The top court observed that certain classes may perform better in such examinations thanks to their social, economic, and cultural advantage. “Competitive examinations assess basic current competency to allocate educational resources but are not reflective of excellence, capabilities and potential of an individual which are also shaped by lived experiences, subsequent training and individual character. Crucially open com, petitive examinations do not reflect the social, economic and cultural advantage that accrues to certain classes and contributes to their success in such examinations,” it added. A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna in a brief order on January 7 had already upheld the constitutional validity of the OBC reservation while setting `8 lakh annual income limit for the quota for economically weaker sections. Giving its detailed order on Thursday the bench noted that , India is still in the midst of a pandemic and any delay in the recruitment of doctors would High scores in exams are not a proxy for merit. Merit should be socially contextualised and reconceptualised as an instrument that advances social goods like equality that we as a society value. In such a context, reservation is not at odds with merit but furthers its distributive consequences, the bench said. Medics attend to a patient at the Covid Care Centre of CWG village | PARVEEN NEGI & hospitals slashed to `300 E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE Delhi gover nment on Thursday reduced the cost of the RT-PCR test for detecting Covid-19 infections in private hospitals and labs by 40% to `300 and of the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) to `100 with immediate effect. Earlier, the rate of RT-PCR test at private hospitals was `500 while RAT used to cost `300. According to the latest order issued by the health department, all labs and hospitals will have to display the revised rates at a prominent place within 24 hours. The home collection of samples and testing will now cost `500 against the earlier `700. At government centres and hospitals, both RT- M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi PCR and RAT are conducted for free of cost. The private facilities have to process the samples within 12 hours of being received in labs. The department said that for positive samples, results should be updated on the ICMR portal within 30 minutes of being processed. The details of all negative samples will be on the portal within 24 hours, it stated. The order also said the cost of conventional RT-PCR tests for which samples are collected by government teams and then collected by private sector labs as requisitions by districts or hospitals will be `200. The cost of RT-PCR for which samples are collected by private labs for the government will be `300. EXPRESS READ No mask for kids aged five & below New Delhi: Masks are not recommended for children aged five and below five. In revised guidelines for children and adolescents, the health ministry said use of antivirals or monoclonal antibodies is not recommended for those under 18, irrespective of severity of Covid infection. If steroids are used, they should be tapered over 10 to 14 days, subject to clinical improvement, the ministry said. impact the ability to manage the pandemic. “Due to this, we hold that the reservation for OBC candidates in the All India Quota seats for UG and PG medical and dental courses is constitutionally valid.” Citing delay in the counselling process due to the pendency of this petition, the bench said: “The petitioners challenged the very criteria for the determination of the EWS, which would not only require us to hear the matter at length but would also entail us to hear all interested parties. We deem it necessary to allow the counselling session to begin with the existing criteria.” ‘HIGH MARKS IN EXAMS NO PROXY FOR MERIT’ In first sentencing for N-E Delhi riots, youth RT-PCR test rate at pvt labs gets five-year jail term Amar Jawan Jyoti to be merged with National War Memorial flame today THE iconic Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate will be extinguished forever on Friday as it will be merged with the flame burning at the National War Memorial. “The Amar Jawan Jyoti is being merged with the eternal flame at the National War Memorial on Friday in an appropriate military ceremony said ,” an Army officer. The Amar Jawan Jyoti was inaugurated on January 26, 1972 to commemorate the country’s victory in the 1971 IndiaPakistan war and as the nation’s tribute to the brave soldiers who laid down their lives. The monument consists of platform on which a centoph is situated. On the top of the centoph is a rifle which stands on its barrel and a helmet is placed on the top of the rifle. The platform is bound by four urns which hold continuously burning flames called the Amar Jawan Jyoti. Till the inauguration of the National War Memorial in February 2019, India did not have a war memorial dedicated exclusively to the Indian Armed Forces. The India Gate was constructed in 1931 as a memorial to soldiers of the British Indian army Inscribed on the surface . of the 42-metre-high arch are the names of 13,516 soldiers BAD WEATHER, VISA ISSUES VEX 90-DAY TARGET Merit can’t be boxed in narrow definitions: SC on OBC quota E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Virus spreading to remote corners EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE PAGES 12 TRAVIS LUDLOW IS THE YOUNGEST TO FLY SOLO GLOBALLY IN A SINGLE-ENGINE PLANE E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi ber had been formed in pursuance to some conspiracy,” the IN the first sentencing in Feb- order stated. ruary 2020 Northest Delhi riots, “The convict is a first time ofa city court on Thursday award- fender and has clean past anteed five-year jail term to one cedents. It is also to be kept in Dinesh Yadav for setting ablaze mind that the convict has been a house belonging to an old held guilty only by virtue of woman. Section 149 IPC and there was Yadav, 25, was convicted on no evidence that he had directDecember 6 last year for being ly committed the incident of part of the riotous violence in which the mob that vandalised house of victim Maand set on fire the nori had been vandalhouse of 73-year-old ised and burnt. The Manori on February young age of the con25, 2020. vict also deserves to He was convicted be kept in considerafor being a member Rioters came tion while deciding of an unlawful asthe quantum of senon Feb 25 sembly, rioting, artence,” the judge Manori, 73, had son, house trespasssaid. alleged that a ing and robbery Dinesh’s advocate mob of around — offences which enShikha Garg said he 150-200 rioters tail a jail term of up was directed to pay a attacked her to ten years. fine of `12,000. The Additional Ses- house on the night judge observed that it of February 25 sions Judge Virender would be “totally unwhen her family Bhat, however, said justified” to direct Yawas not present that the prosecution dav to pay any further had failed to prove and looted all the compensation to the articles and even the charge of convictim as he was unthe buffalo spiracy against the employed, had no accused. Though the property or the payoffence was serious, the con- ing capacity The court also ob. vict’s age, clean past and finan- served that the victim has recial condition had to kept in ceived compensation from the mind while pronouncing the Delhi government for the loss sentence, the judge said. suffered by her. “It cannot be gainsaid that Yadav was arrested on June the offense committed by the 8, 2020. The court framed chargconvict was a very serious one. es against him on August 3, However, no evidence had been 2021, to which he pleaded not led by the prosecution to prove guiltyl. Special Public Prosecuthat the unlawful assembly of tor RCS Bhadoria had sought P5 which the convict was a mem- maximum punishment. ARUNACHAL Army in touch with PLA to get back teen E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Guwahati THE Indian Army on Thursday contacted the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) through hotline, a day after BJP leader and Arunachal Pradesh MP Tapir Gao said a 17-year-old Indian boy was abducted by Chinese soldiers. A defence spokesman tweeted: “Seventeen-year old Miram Tarom of Zido, Arunachal Pradesh, was reportedly captured by PLA across the LAC. On receipt of information, Indian Army immediately contacted PLA through hotline. Assistance from PLA has been sought to locate and return him as per protocol.” The statement came even as the Congress targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Dear PM, how dare Chinese Army transgress into our territory again? Why is Govt not listening to the earnest appeal of its own MP?” said Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala. Meanwhile, China’s foreign ministry on Thursday denied such an incident happened. “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army controls borders in accordance with the law and cracks down on illegal entry and exit activities,” a Chinese spokesperson said. Upper Siang Superintendent of Police Jummar Basar said the police were trying to ascertain the facts. “Tribals will never cross the border. But, we can’t stop them from going into forests. They rely on the forests for their daily needs,” he said. FIRST-CLASS MESS Ranji hits dead end again, hundreds to suffer V E N K ATA K R I S H N A B @ Chennai who died in the First World War (1914-1918) and the Third Anglo-Afghan War (1919). The National War Memorial was built in honour of the soldiers who have made the supreme sacrifice to defend the country since its Independence. It has 29,000 tablets on which 25,942 names have been etched and it is updated as and when a soldier is killed in action. The memorial has four Chakra with Amar Chakra (Circle of Immortality) having an obelisk with the eternal flame that symbolises the immortality of the spirit of fallen soldiers. Since its inauguration, all military homage ceremonies have been shifted to there from the India Gate memorial. THE Indian cricket board (BCCI) is on verge of cancelling the Ranji Trophy for a second successive domestic season citing a short window available up to the start of IPL in April. It’s bizarre considering the same board managed to host two IPLs overseas successfully , two Test series last year, and part of IPL at home during peak of second wave, and not mention host of white-ball domestic events. Yet that the BCCI has failed to find a convenient window seems outrageous. The cancellation of the event will be a big blow for the next rung of upcoming cricketers. This will also hit hundreds of players and match officials financially for the second consecutive year. The BCCI is the only board the world over to not conduct its first-class tournament last season and failure to do so this season too will reflect poorly on the organisational skills of the richest cricket board headed by a former captain. After BCCI was unable to host full-fledged domestic season in 2020/21, it included all the tournaments for the 2021/22 season. However, it did not have a window for the Ranji Trophy and it was to as late as January to accommodate the Syed Mushtaq Ali and Vijay Hazare Trophy with an eye on the IPL player auctions. While a third wave was not predicted at that stage, having held these white-ball events for the 2020/21 season in Janu- Old yardstick for selection With India Test team entering a transition phase, sans Ranji Trophy the selectors will have to pick players based on white-ball cricket and redball performances from 2019/20 season. ary-February 2021, the move to host them again within a year’s time raised eyebrows. And that decision is proving to be a big mistake. After Ranji was suspended on January 4, the BCCI was hopeful of starting it at least in February and finish the group stages before the IPL (on April 2) and conduct the knockouts after it. But finding even a 35-day window for the group stages look improbable now as players have to enter bio-bubble for IPL by March 20. Also, there are no takers for splitting the event into two as there would at least be a fivemonth gap because of the IPL P11 and the monsoon.
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