YK MYK WEATHER TODAY MAX 26 C MIN 16 C APR-SEP FDI INFLOW AT $30B; MAURITIUS, SINGAPORE TOP LIST BUSINESS Sky will be partly cloudy. KOLKATA SUNDAY, 29 NOV, 2020 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—192 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) EPFO EXTENDS DATE FOR SUBMITTING LIFE CERTIFICATE TILL FEB 28 NEW DELHI: In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the retirement fund body, Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Saturday extended the deadline for pensioners for submission of Life Certificate to 28 February. The statement released by Ministry of Labour and Employment said, "Due to the vulnerability of the elderly population to coronavirus, EPFO has extended the time limit up to February 28, 2021, for submission of Life Certificate (Jeevan Pramaan Patra-JPP) in respect of the pensioners drawing pension under Employees' Pension Scheme (EPS) 1995 and whose Life Certificate is due in any month till February 28, 2021." SPORTS Morning India Rs. 3 AT A GLANCE SECOND ODI AGAINST AUS: INDIA HAVE LITTLE TIME TO RECOVER Illegal coal mining: CBI raids 45 locations in 4 states RAJ KUMAR RANCHI: A day after CBI registered an FIR in Kolkata regarding illegal excavation and theft of coal from leasehold area of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) close to Jharkhand in active connivance of the officials ECL, CISF, Indian Railway, and concerning other departments besides private persons, a mass-scale search operation, was today carried out at 45 locations in four states - West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Bihar. The search operation started in the morning and continued till the evening. In Jharkhand, a raid was conducted at Nirsa locality of Dhanbad, where the headquarters of BCCL is located. From there several fake documents were recovered. Those whose locations were searched included Amit Kumar Dhar, former general manager of Kunustoria area, presently working in the same capacity at Pandaveswar area, Jayesh Chandra Rai, general manager of Kajoria area, Tanmay Das, chief security officer of ECL, Dhananjay Rai, area security officer of Kunustoria, Debashish Mukherjee, security in- charge of Kojoria area, Anup Maji, a private person besides others. The central agency sleuths raided the office and homes of Anup Majhi, alias Lala, in Asansol, Durgapur, and Raniganj in Burdwan district, as well as Bishnupur in Kolkata`s adjoining South 24-Parganas district. They also carried out search operations in some of the houses of Majhi's associates in Bihar and UP. Dhananjay Rai, the area security inspector of Kunustoria, ECL, who was one of the accused in the case, died as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out raids in West Bengal's Asansol, sources said. CBI officials had reached his house to conduct raids when suddenly he complained of chest pain. He was immediately rushed to the hospital where he was declared brought dead. Doctors said that he died of cardiac arrest. The FIR was registered when during the joint inspection conducted by the vigilance department and a task force of ECL on several leasehold areas of ECL from May 2020 and onwards, evidence of extensive illegal mining in the leasehold areas of ECL and its transportation was found. The team found several types of machinery that were used for excavating coal from illegal mining. During the inspection, a large number of vehicles and equipment used in illegal coal mining, its transportation, and illegally excavated coal have been seized. Several instances of weighbridges in concrete form were also detected which confirmed illegal coal mining and transportation from ECL areas in an organized manner at a very large scale. It was further revealed by the sources that illegal mining was going on at the leasehold area in ECL behind Topsi village under Kunustoria area and at Lachhipur village under Kajoria area by the coal mafias in active connivance with officials of ECL and CISF. Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaks to media in New Delhi on Saturday. ANI People flouting Covid norms in Ranchi on Saturday. Hemant Sutradhar AROUND 52% POLLING RECORDED IN 1ST PHASE OF DDC POLLS IN J&K JAMMU: State Election Commissioner (SEC) K.K. Sharma said on Saturday that the first phase of District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir has been conducted successfully with a voter turnout of 51.76%. The polling was by and large peaceful in the 43 constituencies of DDC that went to the polls on Saturday in which 3,62,766 voters, including 1,93,375 males and 1,69,391 females, out of 7,00,842 voters, exercised their franchise to choose their representatives in their respective councils, the SEC said in a press conference. CORONA METER State reports 209 Covid cases, 216 recover ANURAG THAKUR RANCHI: The State on Saturday reported 209 cases of Covid-19 taking the total tally to 108786. Among the samples tested positive, 50 cases were reported from Ranchi, 5 from Chaibasa, 1 from Koderma, 43 from Jamshedpur, 4 from Palamu, 2 from Ramgarh, 11 from Deoghar, 24 from Bokaro and 1 from Saraikela. Meanwhile, 1 death was reported from Ranchi. Earlier, 189 cases were reported on Friday. However, 216 patients recovered from the virus and returned home. 55 patients recovered from the virus in Ranchi, 31 in Jamshedpur, 32 from Dhanbad, 7 from Garhwa, 2 from Hazaribagh, and 6 from Saraikela. Active cases reached 2162 and total of 105669 patients recovered from the virus so far in the state. However, 963 people INDIA TOTAL CASES: 9,372,854 TOTAL DEATH: 136,469 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 62,160,054 TOTAL DEATH: 1,452,380 HEALTH SECRETARY, DR NITIN MADAN KULKARNI SAID THAT THE RECOVERY RATE OF COVID-19 INFECTED PATIENTS HAS INCREASED TO 97.13 PERCENT WHICH IS A GOOD SIGN FOR US. lost their lives. Health Secretary, Dr Nitin Madan Kulkarni said that the recovery rate of COVID-19 infected patients has increased to 97.13 percent which is a good sign for us. As per the bulletin, the doubling rate of Covid-19 in the state was 420.43 days against the national doubling rate of 172.65 days. In the past one week, the growth rate of Covid-19 in Jharkhand was 0.88 per cent against the national average of 1.50 per cent. NOW, RABRI DEVI DUBS NITISH AS 'WARRIOR OF SOPHISTRY' PATNA: A day after RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav took a dig at Nitish Kumar and provoked him enough to angrily hit back, Tejashwi's mother Rabri Devi on Saturday dubbed the Bihar Chief Minister as a "warrior of sophistry". "He is a 'kutark ke yoddha' (warrior of sophistry). He claims that he made Tejashwi the Deputy CM of Bihar. It is absolute rubbish,” she said. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi visits the Serum Institute of India, in Pune on Saturday. ANI Bharat Biotech working with ICMR for speedy progress: PM HYDERABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Bharat Biotech, a city-based pharmaceutical company, is closely working with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to create an indigenous Covid vaccine on Saturday. "At the Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad, was briefed about their indigenous Covid vaccine," Modi tweeted. He congratulated the scientists working on the vaccine for the progress they made in the trials so far. The Prime Minister met with the company officials in a conference hall and deliberated on the progress made in bringing out a vaccine. Later, he also briefly interacted with a few employees. Modi is on a whirlwind tour of three cities, Ahmedabad, Pune and Hyderabad, on Saturday to check on the Covid vaccine progress. He landed at the Hakimpet air force station and reached the company by road. Zydus Cadila chairperson Pankaj K Patel said on Saturday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Zydus Biotech Park here had encouraged the staff to "doing more and doing fast" in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine and his knowledge, wisdom and guid- CENTRE SEEKS 300-400 MN VACCINE DOSES, SAYS SII'S POONAWALLA PUNE: The Government of India is looking at getting 300-400 million doses of coronavirus vaccine by July, which is being developed by an international health consortium that includes Punes Serum Institute of India (SII), a top official said here on Saturday. The Covidshield vaccine is being developed jointly by the Oxford University, AstraZeneca and SII. SII is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent time on Saturday evening to check on the vaccine status. Mod was accorded a warm welcome by SII's Founder-Chairman Cyrus Poonawalla, CEO Adar Poonawalla, his wife and Executive Director Natasha A. Poonawalla and other officials. Currently, the SII is producing around 50-60 million doses which would be scaled up to to 100 million by January 2021, said SII CEO Adar Poonawalla in a videoconference with the media. MORE ON PG 5 ance have been valuable. "Today Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Zydus Biotech Park. This visit has encouraged us in doing more and doing fast. His knowledge and wisdom about the problem and his guidance have been valuable for our scientific staff and for all of us," Patel said in a video message. He said the pharma company is continuously working for providing a safe and efficacious vaccine against COVID-19. "The scientists, all 18,000 of them and 25,000 plus Ziduns are continuously thriving and working for providing safe and efficacious vaccine for better COVID treatment and diagnostics," he said. Prime Minister Modi on Saturday visited facilities in three cities to review development and manufacturing process of COVID-19 vaccines and get a first-hand perspective of the preparations, challenges, and roadmap in India's endeavour to vaccinate its citizens. Apart from Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, he visited Bharat Biotech facility at Hyderabad and Serum Institute of India in Pune. Centre ready to deliberate on all demands, Shah to protesting farmers NEW DELHI: Amid intense protests against the newly passed farm bills, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday appealed to the farmers saying that the government is ready to hold talks on every issue around the recently introduced farm laws. Shah said: "I appeal to the protesting farmers that the government of India is ready to hold talks. Agriculture Minister has invited farmers on December 3 to hold discussion. Government is ready to deliberate on every problem and demand of the farmers." He added that at many places state highways and national highways - farmers are staying with their tractors and trolley and braving extreme cold weather. "I appeal to all farmers that the Delhi Police is ready to shift you to a big ground, please go there. You will get police permission to hold your programme there," added Shah. The Union Home Minister said health facilities, ambulances and drinking water have been made available along with adequate security arrangements at the Nirankari ground in Burari in Outer Delhi. He insisted that if farmers hold protests peacefully and democratically, it won't cause problems to either the farmers or the public at large. Shah added that if the farmer unions want talks with the government before December 3, they have to shift to the grounds at Burari to hold their protest in a structured manner. "As soon as you shift to Burari, the very next next day the Central government is ready to have talks with you," added the Home Minister. Shah's statement came as thousands of farmers continued to hold protests at the Tikri and Singhu interstate borders on Saturday. MORE PN PAGE 5 SC seeks implementation of guidelines by Centre, states on Anganwadis NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has directed the Central government to file a detailed affidavit on the steps taken to implement the guidelines issued on the operation of Anganwadi services in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan on Friday asked all the state and union territories to file affidavits to show the status and how the guidelines are being implemented. "The affidavit has been filed on behalf of the Union of India. In the affidavit, it has been stated that the decision has been taken on November 11, 2020, and guidelines issued on the operation of Anganwadi services with operational guidance note for the continuation of services in the context of COVID-19 which has been brought on the record," the bench said in its order. The bench also took into note the submission of senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the petitioner, that for small children up to six years, neither food nor any education is provided. "Let the Government of India file a detailed affidavit with regard to implementation of the guidelines dated November 11, 2020. The states may also file an additional affidavit regarding the measures taken with regard to guidelines dated November 11, 2020, issued by the Government of India," it said in the order. The apex court, which was hearing a plea filed by Maharashtra-based Dipika Jagatram Sahani seeking direction relating to forthwith re-open all Anganwadi centres in the country which were closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, asked the Centre and States to file affi- davits in that regard too within two weeks. The plea, which had claimed that functioning of all Anganwadi centres in the country came to a "sudden halt" and poor pregnant and lactating women and children were "left in the lurch", was post- ed for further hearing in the week commencing from December 14. The bench has also sought a direction to the Centre, states and UTs to provide hot cooked meals, take-home rations in consonance with the provisions of the National Food Security Act, 2013 as well as The Supplementary Nutrition (under the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme) Rules, 2020. On being asked by the court whether the Anganwadi workers have gone to homes of beneficiaries and provided meals, counsel appearing for the Centre said that regarding reopening of Anganwadi Ministry of women and child development to take a call after discussion with concerned states so that Anganwadi can be resumed outside containment centre. Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati said that the Central government has ensured so that door to door delivery services can go on, such centres can operate coming with health and sanitation protocols. Gonsalves contended that a wrong picture has been shown. "From March 2020 to date, CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC Anganwadi system is closed. Pregnant women, lactating mothers and children are all suffering. Undernutrition is one of the main causes of morbidity during COVID-19," he added. Gonsalves said that a starvation kind of situation is prevailing in the country. Meanwhile, Kannada film actress Ragini Dwivedi has moved the Supreme Court seeking bail in connection with the Sandalwood drug case. Dwivedi has filed a special leave petition in the top court challenging the November 3, order of the Karnataka High Court, which declined to grant her relief along with another accused Sanjjanaa Galrani in the case. The duo was arrested by the Bengaluru Central Crime Branch Police in September this year. "Justice Sreeniwas Harish Kumar dismissed the bail petitions of Ragini, Sanjjanaa and coaccused Prashant Ranka who are under judicial custody since midSeptember for their alleged involvement in use of banned drugs," a city crime branch police official had told reporters quoting the prosecutor on November 3.