YK MYK WEATHER TODAY MAX 28 C MIN 16 C PM FASAL BIMA YOJANA: ROLE OF PVT SECTOR COS AND WAY AHEAD OPINION Sky will be partly cloudy. KOLKATA WEDNESDAY, 2 DEC, 2020 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—195 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) CANADIAN PM EXPRESSES CONCERN ABOUT FARMERS' PROTEST IN INDIA OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday expressed concern about the ongoing farmers' protest in India against three farm laws and said Ottawa has reached out to the Indian authorities to highlight the same. Speaking during a Facebook video interaction organised by Canadian MP Bardish Chagger to mark Gurupurab or the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, Trudeau on Monday (local time) said Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest. "I would be remiss if I didn't start also by recognising the news coming out of India about the protest by farmers. The situation is concerning and we're all very worried about family and friends," Trudeau said. INDIAN NAVY TEST-FIRES ANTISHIP VERSION OF BRAHMOS NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday test-fired the anti-ship version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory. "BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile in Anti-Ship mode was successfully test-fired today at 9 am against a decommissioned ship," the Defence Ministry said. The test firing was carried out by the Indian Navy. The missile performed highly complex manoeuvres and hit the bull's-eye. BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile jointly developed by DRDO and the NPO. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 9,484,506 TOTAL DEATH: 137,933 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 63,781,737 TOTAL DEATH: 1,477,811 SPORTS Morning India Rs. 3 AT A GLANCE INDIA LOOK TO AVOID FIRST ‘WHITEWASH’ VS AUSSIES IN 20 YEARS FARMERS’ PROTESTS SPUTNIK VACCINE Unions reject Govt offer to set up committee; talks remain inconclusive NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday offered to set up a committee to look into issues raised by farmers protesting against new farm laws, but it was rejected by representatives of 35 agitating organisations during their marathon meeting with three union ministers that ended without any resolution. The meeting remained inconclusive and the government has called for another round of discussions on Thursday, December 3, union leaders said. Government officials said the dialogue would continue and the next round of talks have been scheduled for Thursday. Sources said the farmer representatives were unanimous in seeking repeal of the three laws that they have been terming as being against the interest of the farm community. The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the Centre's farm laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates. The government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture. At the nearly three-hour-long meeting at Vigyan Bhawan here, GOVT ASKS FARMERS TO SHARE THEIR SPECIFIC ISSUES BY TODAY Farmers' leaders speak to media after meeting Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Minister for Industry and Commerce Piyush Goyal, in New Delhi on Tuesday. ANI Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar was accompanied by Railways and Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, also an MP from Punjab After the meeting, Bharat Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) President Joginder Singh Ugrahan said it remained inconclusive and the government has called for another meeting on December 3. "We are ready for a discussion to resolve their issues. Let's see," Tomar had told reporters before start of the meeting. He further said the government will arrive at a solution after hearing the representatives of the farmer organisations. "The farmer's organisations rejected the government's proposal to form a five-member committee to look into the issues related to the new farm laws," Roopsingh Sanha, member of Bharat Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), told PTI. NEW DELHI: Following their inconclusive talks on Tuesday, the government asked the protesting farmers to identify, by Wednesday, the issues which could be discussed on the next meeting on December 3. At Tuesday's meeting, the farmers' representatives also rejected the government proposal to constitute a committee. "It has been suggested by the government to the representatives of farmers' union to identify the specific issues related to farm reform acts and share with the government on December 2, 2020 for consideration. These issues will be discussed during the fourth round of meeting to be held on December 3, 2020," an Agriculture Ministry statement said. MORE ON PG 5 Our forces went 200m inside Pak to find tunnel: BSF Chief minister's namesake became the first recipient of Swatha Swathi card NEW DELHI: Indian security forces in a recent operation went almost 200 metres inside Pakistan's side to unearth a tunnel which was used by terrorists to infiltrate inside Indian territory, a top government official said on Tuesday. "Security forces went inside Pakistan for almost 200 meters which was the starting point of the tunnel, used by the terrorists eliminated last week by Indian forces," a top official said. A 150-metre long underground tunnel suspected to be used by terrorists for infiltration was detected near International Border in Jammu and Kashmir's Samba sector on November 22. In the third week of November, security forces recovered mobile phones from the possession of terrorists killed by them which helped the forces to unearth a tunnel. Border Security Force (BSF) DG Rakesh Asthana on Tuesday talked about the operation during Raising Day and said, "On the basis of the analysis of mobile phones recovered from terrorists eliminated by security forces, on November 22, BSF Kolkata;Mamata Banerjee, a namesake of the Chief Minister and a 68 year resident of South Kolkata who lost her husband a few years ago, became the first recipient of the state government's most popular free health scheme - 'Swastha Swathi' Card - today on the opening day of the government camp set up to distribute such benefits under 'Duare Duare Sarkar' initiative. This 'Mamata Banerjee' who lives at Garfa, ( about 6 km away from Kalighat residence of the Chief minister) and a voter under Ward number 106 under Kolkata Municipal Corporation today became the first beneficiary of the unearthed a tunnel used by terrorists to infiltrate in Samba sector." Asthana said this on the Raising Day of BSF while giving a speech. Though the DG BSF didn't say anything on the operational part of it. The tunnel was detected in a joint operation by Border Security Force (BSF) and Jammu and Kashmir police. "It seems terrorists involved in Nagrotra encounter used this 150metre long tunnel as it's a fresh one. We believe they had a guide who took them till highway," BSF Jammu frontier, Inspector General, NS Jamwal had said. The tunnel exit was in thick bushes carefully concealed and meticulously covered with soil and wild growth. The mouth of the tunnel was strengthened and reinforced by the sandbags with markings of Karachi, Pakistan. It was a freshly dug tunnel and appears to be used for the first time. It appears that proper engineering effort has gone in making the tunnel which shows the hand of the establishment. state government's most popular health scheme for an absolutely free treatment as the Swastha Swathi card holder in all government and private hospitals in the state of upto Rs 5 lakh per year. The benefits of the facility will also be available from some selected hospitals in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh too, official sources here today said, Since her name coincided with the Chief minister, former Mayor and Chief Administrator of Kolkata Municipal Corporation Firhad Hakim personally handed over the first 'Swartha Swahi' card to this senior lady amid huge clapping among those present on the occasion. The lady who stood in the line from around 8 a.m. in the morning today after she was informed about the government Duare Duare Sarkar (door to door government ) initiative after more that 70 people in front of her. But considering her age and poor health her neighbours and others allowed her to stand in the front to make her eligible as the recipient of the first card on the opening day of the fortnight long camp in the first stage. Soon she became a known figure in the locality. TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar press conference at Trinumul Bhavan on Tuesday. Phase 2, 3 clinical trials commence NEW DELHI: Dr. Reddys Laboratories Ltd. and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announced on Tuesday that they have commenced adaptive Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials for Sputnik V vaccine in India for Covid19 after receiving the necessary clearance from the Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli. This will be a multicentre and randomised controlled study, which will include safety and immunogenicity study. The clinical trials are being conducted by JSS Medical Research as the clinical research partner. Further, Dr. Reddy's has partnered with the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), for advisory support and to use BIRAC's clinical trial centres for the vaccine. Recently, the RDIF announced the second interim analysis of clinical trial data, which showed 91.4 per cent efficacy for the vaccine on day 28 after the first dose; and vaccine efficacy of over 95 per cent 42 days after the first dose. Currently, 40,000 volunteers are taking part in Phase III of Sputnik V clinical trials, out of which over 22,000 have been vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine and more than 19,000 -- with both the first and second doses of the vaccine. G.V. Prasad, Co-chairman and Managing Director, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories said, "This is another significant step as we continue to collaborate with multiple entities along with the government bodies to fasttrack the process for launching the vaccine in India. We are working towards making the vaccine available with a combination of import and indigenous production model." FOUR CHILDREN HACKED TO DEATH BY FATHER IN BIHAR SIWAN: In a fit of rage, a man allegedly hacked to death his three sons and a daughter here besides critically injuring another girl child and his wife whom he had attacked with the same axe, police said on Tuesday. The incident took place late Monday night in Bhagwanpur police station area of the district where the accused Awadhesh Chaudhary, said to be "mentally unstable", picked up a quarrel with his family members at their residence in Balaha Ali Gardanpur locality. Sub Divisional Police Officer, Sadar, Siwan, Jitendra Pandey said, "Chaudhary picked up an axe and began attacking his wife and children. His eldest daughter Jyoti Kumar (18) and sons Abhishek Kumar (14), Bhola Kumar (12) and Mukesh Kumar (10) died on the spot. "His younger daughter Anjali Kumari, aged 14 years, and wife Rita Devi, sustained serious injuries.” India recorded largest reductions in malaria cases in SE Asia: WHO MALARIA REPORT: LAST YEAR, THE DISEASE CLAIMED ABOUT 409,000 LIVES, COMPARED TO 411,000 IN 2018 GLOBALLY UNITED NATIONS: India made impressive gains in the global fight against malaria, recording the largest reduction in cases in South-East Asia from 20 million in 2000 to about 5.6 million last year, according to the World Health Organisation. The World Malaria Report 2020, released on Monday, said that in 2019, malaria cases globally numbered about 229 million, an annual estimate that has remained virtually unchanged over the last four years. Last year, the disease claimed about 409,000 lives, compared to 411,000 in 2018. "Countries in South-East Asia made particularly strong progress, with reductions in cases and deaths of 73 per cent and 74 per cent, respectively. India contributed to the largest drop in cases region-wide from approxi- mately 20 million to about 6 million, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in the report's forward. The report said that the WHO South-East Asia Region accounted for about 3 per cent of the burden of malaria cases globally. Malaria cases reduced by 73 per cent in the region, from 23 million in 2000 to about 6.3 million in 2019. The WHO noted the impressive gains made by India in the fight against malaria, with reductions in cases and deaths of 18 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, over the last two years. India also recorded a decrease in the number of deaths from malaria between 2000 and 2019. Malaria deaths in India declined from about 29,500 in 2000 to about 7,700 last year, the report said. In the WHO South-East Asia Region, malaria deaths reduced by 74 per cent, from about 35,000 in 2000 to 9,000 in 2019. India, however, still accounted for 88 per cent of malaria cases and 86 per cent of malaria deaths in the WHO South-East Asia Region in 2019. The WHO is calling on coun- tries and global health partners to step up the fight against malaria, a preventable and treatable disease that continues to claim hundreds of thousands of lives each year. A better targeting of interventions, new tools and increased funding are needed to change the global trajectory of the disease and reach internationally-agreed targets. The report noted that the 11 highest burden countries Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, India, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania - account for 70 per cent of the global estimated case burden and 71 per cent of global estimated deaths from malaria. According to the WHO report, progress against malaria continues to plateau, particularly in high burden countries in Africa. Gaps in access to life-saving tools are undermining global efforts to curb the disease, and the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to set back the fight even further. As in past years, the African Region shouldered more than 90 per cent of the overall disease The report said that the WHO South-East Asia Region accounted for about 3 per cent of the burden of malaria cases globally. Malaria cases reduced by 73 per cent in the region, from 23 million in 2000 to about 6.3 million in 2019. burden. Since 2000, the region has reduced its malaria death toll by 44 per cent, from an estimated 680,000 to 384,000 annually. However, progress has slowed in recent years, particularly in countries with a high burden of the disease. A funding shortfall at both the international and domestic levels poses a significant threat to future gains. In 2019, total funding reached USD 3 billion against a global target of USD 5.6 billion. Funding shortages have led to critical gaps in access to proven malaria control tools. This year, COVID-19 emerged as an additional challenge to the provision of essential health services worldwide. According to the report, most malaria prevention campaigns were able to move forward this year without major delays. Ensuring access to malaria prevention such as insecticidetreated nets and preventive medicines for children has supported the COVID-19 response strategy by reducing the number of malaria infections and, in turn, easing the strain on health systems. The WHO worked swiftly to provide countries with guidance to adapt their responses and ensure the safe delivery of malaria services during the pandemic, the report said.