YK MYK WEATHER TODAY MAX 31 C MIN 27 C RaGa HAS TO COMBINE REAL POLITICS WITH GROUND LEVEL ACTIONS OPINION Rainfall may occur. Rs. 3 KOLKATA THURSDAY, 27 AUGUST, 2020 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—106 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) AT A GLANCE EX-PREZ MUKHERJEE IS IN DEEP COMA NEW DELHI: Former President Pranab Mukherjee is in a deep coma and on ventilator support, the Army Research and Referral Hospital said on Wednesday. He has been hospitalized for the past 16 days and been critical following a brain surgery. The hospital authorities said, "Hon'ble Shri Pranab Mukherjee is being treated for lung infection. His renal parameters are slightly deranged since yesterday." Last week, Mukherjee's health condition deteriorated after he developed lung infection. A team of specialists have been monitoring his vital and clinical parameters. EQUITIES AT 6-MNTH HIGH ON STIMULUS HOPES MUMBAI: Indian equity markets made healthy gains on Wednesday to close at a new six-month high, as expectations built up of new stimulus measures to aid Industry. The session was the fourth consecutive time that the key indices rose. Sectorwise, the top gainers were BSE Auto, Bankex, IT and Realty indices, whereas top losers were BSE Telecom, Capital Goods, and FMCG indices. Globally, markets around the world are awaiting the US Fed Chairman's speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium on Thursday, for getting further cues on future stimulus measures. 7 NEW ASI CIRCLES TO CONSERVE INDIA'S MONUMENTS NEW DELHI: The government is focussed on not only preserving historical monuments but developing circles across India, conserving India's ancient monuments, sites and heritage alike. On Wednesday, the Culture Ministry announced 7 new circles of the Archaeological Survey of India. Trichy, Raiganj, Rajkot, Jabalpur, Jhansi and Meerut have been announced as new circles. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 3,250,250 TOTAL DEATH: 59,769 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 24,106,867 TOTAL DEATH: 824,534 SC DISPOSES OF PLEA SEEKING TIMELY PAYMENT OF SALARIES TO MEDICS NATION Morning India State government has no objection to local train and metro running KOLKATA : West bangal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has clarified that in the new phase of unlockdown, if the central government wants to run the metro and local trains, then the state government has no objection for this. If the metro is run, it should be run by following social distance. If it is decided to run a local train, then onefourth of the trains can be run, rather than all together. For this, the railway management will have to talk with the state government. Speaking to reporters at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a programme of "Direct Benefit Transfer" at Nabanna Sabhaghar on Wednesday. the state secretariat, Nabanna, the chief minister told that the lockdown in the state will continue till 20 September. A decision regarding the future of lockdown will be taken after September 17. Till then, all schools and colleges will remain closed. In September, the Chief Minister announced those three days on which the entire state would be locked. The Chief Minister informed that there will be complete lockdown in the state on September 7, 11 and 12. In the past, it was considered that the lock- down should be done on September 3 and 4, although this was not done in view of JEE and NEET examinations. Mamta Banerjee said that if the central government forcibly conducts the examinations despite their protests, the students will be in a lot of trouble due to the complete lockdown. The Chief Minister also informed that flights to Kolkata from six cities, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai and Ahmedabad were closed, now they can run flights to Kolkata three days a week from September. Tea Board undertakes a slew of measures for promotion of Indian tea KOLKATA: Tea Board India, a statutory body under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has been initiating a slew of promotional activities through the virtual medium of webinars, virtual B2B meets and video conferences to facilitate the tea business around the globe. These series of activities were aimed at increasing the sale of tea both in the domestic market as well as in the export sector particularly in view of the current critical scenario in the wake of the global pandemic, sources at the Tea Board quoting its Deputy Chairman P K Sahoo informed here Wednesday. Accordingly, he said a Virtual B2B meet of Indian Tea Exporters with importers and other stakeholders of Egypt was organized jointly by the Embassy of India in Cairo and the Tea Board from here yesterday. The underlying principle behind organizing this B2B meet was to develop networking opportunities and to generate the requisite business leads for Indian tea exporters to Egypt. About 60 delegates participated in the meet and various possibilities for increasing Indian tea exports to Egypt were discussed. Moreover, an Interactive Meeting was held via Video Conferencing with major exporters and Associations on the issue of the ‘Way Forward for Indian Tea Exports in the Current Situation’ under his Chairmanship, said Sahoo. On the domestic front, a virtual B2B meet was organized by the Board late last week with the overall objective of making low-tea drinking states of India into promising markets where the potential for consumption of tea was high, he said adding the webinar attracted wholesalers and retailers from several states including from Uttar Pradesh and NCR so that they could engage in hard core business with the sellers from the Northeast. This domestic B2B meeting was the first in a series to be organised in the four states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha as part of an attempt by the Tea Board to aggressively promote Indian tea in the domestic and international markets. Ministry of Shipping has facilitates over 1 lakh crew change in ports KOLKATA : Union Ministry of Shipping has carried more than 1,00,000 crew members by air from varies Indian ports to set a record in terms of highest number crew changes in the world. Elaborating the term 'crew change',official sources here today stated that it meant replacing one of the ship’s crew members to another involving sign-on the ships and sign-off the ships procedures. Claiming that maritime sector was among the worst hit sectors due to Corona pandemic, the sources said in spite of that,all Indian Ports remained operational and provided essential services throughout the pandemic. The main pillar for the smooth supply chain for India and world were the seafarers, they said adding seafarers had to suffer due to closing of Sign on and Sign-off during lockdowns and the movement restrictions imposed by the various countries worldwide. Appreciating their efforts Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya said the continued efforts of DG, Shipping and directed him to come up with robust grievances redress mechanism to facilitate the seafarers. He has also emphasized that seafarers should approach the ministry during the difficult time and no seafarer should suffer due to poor grievance redress system. COVID-19 death toll in Bengal touched 2,964 with 55 casualties today KOLKATA : With 55 more people dying of Covid -19 pandemic in West Bengal in one day today, the total number of casualties in the state during the last 24 hours has gone up to 2,964 by tonight, one of the highest in the country. At the same time a record number of another 2,974 people also tested Covid-19 positive in the state, causing concern for all for such a rapid growth. Informing this the latest Medical Bulletin issued by the state Health department here tonight said in the wake of an unabated surge in the number of infected people in one day, like a total number of 2,974 people today, the absolute number of those affected by Corona virus in Bengal crossed 1,47, 000 mark for the first time today to touch the figure of,1,47,775, up from 1,44,801 yesterday Among the 55 new casualties, 30 were the residents of Kolkata and 18 were from North 24 Parganas and Howrah, while the rest were from other districts of South and North Bengal,the Bulletin said. Of the record number of 2,974 fresh Covid cases in one day in the state, the maximum 1398 were from Kolkata alone, followed by those from other districts, the bulletin said. Meanwhile,the total number of Active and serious Corona cases in different hospitals was once again reduced by 395 today to bring down their total number to 26,954 from 27,349 only about 24 hours ago. In this present grim situation the only positive indication was the rapid increase in the number of daily Covid-19 tests in the state which has for the first time increased to 40,000 today to touch the figure of 40,031 tonight from 37,524 yesterday. As a result the total number of daily tests has now touched the astounding figure of 16,74,133 tonight from 16,34,102 yesterday, the Bulletin said Similarly the rate of recovery of Covid-19 patients in West Bengal during the day further surged to 79.75 per cent from 79.10 per cent yesterday, compared to the national average of around 78.5 per cent. Altogether 3,314 people were discharged from different hospitals and safely returned home today,the Bulletin said adding so far altogether 1,17,857 people, up from 1,14,543 people yesterday were able to return home after recovery. Rain in Kolkata. NCB REGISTERS CASE TO Accenture to lay off 25K PROBE DRUG ANGLE IN CASE staffs, Indians set to lose jobs NEW DELHI: A day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) wrote to the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to look into the drug angle in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, the NCB registered a case on the basis of the ED communique on Wednesday. NCB chief Rakesh Asthana told IANS: "We have filed a case on the basis of the letter from the ED." Asthana said that a case has been registered under the NDPS Act and the agency will soon conduct an inquiry and question people concerned. The officer said that the ED probe into the financial aspects of the death case had allegedly found an angle of drug supply to Rhea Chakraborty. The Enforcement Directorate wrote to the NCB on Tuesday evening after it got some leads related to alleged use of drugs in the chat records of Rhea and others. The ED on Wednesday summoned Jaya Saha, the talent manager of Rhea, for questioning after it came to the fore that the actor had shared a few messages related to drugs with her. However, the ED remained tightlipped on the kind of drugs provided to Sushant and Rhea. Meanwhile, Rhea's lawyer JUSTICE FOR SUSHANT Satish Maneshinde on Tuesday night said in a statement: "Rhea has never con- sumed drugs in her life ever. She's ready for a blood test any time." THe ED registered a case of money laundering on July 31 the basis of a Bihar Police FIR filed by Sushant's father KK Singh who alleged transactions of Rs 15 crore with some bank accounts with which Sushant had no connection. The ED has already recorded the statement of Rhea, her father Indrajit, brother Showik, Shruti Modi, Samuel Miranda, Siddharth Pithani, personal staff, accountant Rajat Mewati, Sushant's Chartered Accountant Sandeep Sridhar, and Rhea's CA Ritesh Shah. NEW DELHI: Global professional services company Accenture which has over 5 lakh employees worldwide is to cut at least 5 per cent of its 'low-performing' workforce and thousands of Indians are set to lose jobs owing to the sluggish business the company is witnessing during the Covid-19 pandemic. A report in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) first reported this, citing an internal staff meeting by Accenture CEO Julie Sweet in mid-August. India, which has the largest Accenture employee base of nearly 2 lakh employees, could see thousands of workers being affected by the move. Accenture told IANS that at this time, the company is not planning extraordinary global workforce actions. "Every year, as part of our performance process, we have conversations with our people about how they are performing, areas for improvement, their potential to progress, and whether they are a long term fit for Accenture," it said. "This year, across all parts of our business and all career levels, we will identify approximately 5 per cent of our people as our lowest performers, and these individu- als will transition out of Accenture. This is consistent with our actions each year," the company informed. According to the AFR report on Tuesday, Sweet said in the global staff meeting: "In a normal year, we transition out about 5 per cent and we hire to replace them, because we are in a demand scenario". "Right now, we're not in a demand scenario, so if we manage out the same percentage of people and don't replace them, it allows us to continue to invest and preserve some people who have lower chargeability for when the market comes back. Bringing Constitutional amendments will now be easier for NDA THE ALLIANCE IS INCHING TOWARDS ITS GOAL—A TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY IN RS WHILE ‘PRESENT AND VOTING’ NEW DELHI: Away from the spotlight, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is slowly inching towards its goal - a two-thirds majority in the Rajya Sabha while 'present and voting, as required for any Constitutional amendments. With the bye-election in Uttar Pradesh next month and the one scheduled to take place in November, the NDA hopes to bolster its arithmetic towards that long-term goal. The Election Commission has already issued the notification for the Rajya Sabha bypoll in Uttar Pradesh after Amar Singh recently died in Singapore battling kidney disease. That Samajwadi Party seat is likely to go to the ruling BJP with changed political numbers in the UP Assembly. Moreover, there are 10 more seats that will be up for grabs in the state as the tenures of 10 members of the upper house elected from Uttar Pradesh are set to expire by November 25. The BJP has 305 members in the 17th Assembly of Uttar Pradesh, according to a document on its website. When the 10 seats go for polls, predictably in November, the BJP is sure to get 8 members of its wish elected, on its own strength. Om Prakash Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), which fought alongside BJP in the 2017 election, had bagged 4 seats. But later it parted ways with the BJP. However, the BJP still has another existing ally - Apna Dal (Sonelal) - which got 9 seats. These 9 seats may help BJP aim for the ninth seat as well, in the November election for the upper house. As of today, the saffron party has 86 members in the Rajya Sabha. With other NDA constituents like LJP, SAD among others, the NDA numbers stand at 113. If all goes well, the BJP is certain of taking the NDA number to 122 or even 123. The 'holy grail' of the two-thirds mark in the Rajya Sabha stands at 164. Meanwhile, the majority remains at an achievable 123. The BJP won 11 of the 24 seats in the not-so-long-ago Rajya Sabha polls in 10 states, in which the likes of Jyotiraditya Scindia won. The reason a two-thirds majority is a 'holy grail' for any ruling alliance is because of Constitutional amendments. "Every government has its vision and Constitutional amendments are required for that or even due to court orders. But for that to happen it should have a majority in both houses as well as be passed by each house of Parliament by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the House 'present and voting'," explained P.D.T. Achary, a former top official in the Parliament of India. That makes the NDA's job a tad easier than attaining a strict As of today, the saffron party has 86 members in the Rajya Sabha. With other NDA constituents like LJP, SAD among others, the NDA numbers stand at 113. If all goes well, the BJP is certain of taking the NDA number to 122 or even 123. The 'holy grail' of the twothirds mark in the Rajya Sabha stands at 164. Meanwhile, the majority remains at an achievable 123. two-thirds majority in the upper house. The BJP had 303 members of its own in the Lok Sabha election in 2019, with the NDA at 353. It also has a lot of 'friendly' parties like BJD and TRS that have traditionally helped the NDA in Parliament to pass legislations when needed. Meanwhile, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has said that BRICS Games 2021 is being planned and will be aligned with the Khelo India Games schedule in India. "BRICS Games 2021 will be held during same time and at same venues as of Khelo India Games 2021 so that our players from various parts of the country who will gather for Khelo India Games will have the benefit and great opportunity of witnessing BRICS Games from close quarters. This will be a great morale booster and motivational moment for them," Rijiju said on Tuesday. He made these comments as he attended the meeting of sports ministers of the BRICS nations and spoke about the importance of sport in improving the living.