YK MYK WEATHER TODAY MAX 24 C MIN 9 C MASSIVE INVESTMENT IN PUBLIC HEALTH IS NEED OF THE HOUR OPINION Sky will be partly cloudy. Rs. 3 KOLKATA FRIDAY, 1 JAN, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—225 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) NAWAZ SHARIF’S PASSPORT TO BE CANCELLED ON FEB 16: MINISTER WORLD Morning India Covid vaccine dry run across India on Jan 2 Morning India wishes readers, staff members and hawkers a very Happy New Year 2021 AT A GLANCE ALL DOMESTIC CALLS FROM JIO TO BE FREE FROM JAN 1 NEW DELHI: Reliance Jio Infocomm has announced that it will make all domestic calls free starting January 1, as interconnect usage charges (IUC) for all domestic voice calls comes to an end. A Jio statement noted that as per the directions of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), ‘Bill and Keep’ regime is being implemented in the country from January 1, 2021, thereby ending interconnect usage charges (IUC) for all domestic voice calls. “Honouring its commitment to revert off-net domestic voicecall charges to zero, as soon as IUC charges are abolished, Jio will once again make all off-net domestic voice calls free, starting 1st January 2021,” it said. It added that on-net domestic voice calls have always been free on the Jio network. In September 2019, when TRAI extended the timeline for implementation of the ‘Bill & Keep’ regime beyond January 1, 2020 and Jio was left with no option but to start charging its customers for off-net voice calls, at a rate exactly equivalent to the applicable IUC charge. MORE ON PG 9 CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,02,51,594 TOTAL DEATH: 148,503 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 82,471,764 TOTAL DEATH: 1,799,999 Youths display a syringe with theme bye-bye 2020 and welcome 2021 to mark New Year wishes, in Ranchi on Thursday. Intense cold wave to CBSE board exams from May 4-June hit North India from 10, results by July 15: Edu Minister Jan 7, says Met dept NEW DELHI: Cold wave in North India will continue till January 2 and it will get intense from next week, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday. The weather department also predicted light rain in eastern Rajasthan, Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana between January 2 and January 6. “Cold wave will continue in north India tomorrow. From January 2, the cold spell will decrease. Light rain is expected in eastern Rajasthan, Delhi, western UP, Punjab and Haryana between January 2 and January 6,” IMD senior scientist RK Jenamani told ANI. “An intense cold wave is likely to hit north India again January 7 onwards,” he added. Meanwhile, the minimum temperature recorded at the Safdarjung observatory on Thursday was 3.3 degrees Celsius. Speaking to ANI, Kuldeep Srivastava, Head, IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre, New Delhi explained, “After December 12 western disturbances mostly affected the Western Himalayan region causing significant snowfall and rainfall over Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. The cold North-westerly winds further approach towards Delhi NCR RAIN LIKELY IN COMING DAYS: IMD NEW DELHI: As the country preps to usher in New Year, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday predicted rainfall, with thunderstorm and hailstorm, for northern India from January 3 to 5, even as Delhi recorded its lowest 3.3 degrees Celsius. The weather department has predicted cold wave to severe cold wave conditions over Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Madhya Pradesh during next 24 hours on Friday. New Year revellers have to be aware that there will be dense to very dense fog. from Jammu Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.” “The fog over Punjab and Haryana further increases the coldness of winds moving towards Delhi,” added Srivastava. NEW DELHI: Exams for Class 10 and Class 12 students in schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will be held from May 4 to June 10 and results will be announced on July 15, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ announced on Thursday. “Keeping the COVID -19 pandemic in mind and adhering to the principle of ‘Safety with Education’, CBSE will adopt various measures for the safety and security of every student. I can assure you that board exams will be conducted with the same proficiency as JEE and NEET exams,” Pokhriyal said. The Education Minister requested all stakeholders, schools and parents to work together to ensure that students have a safe, stress-free and convenient environment for exams. “If any student feels stressed, they can use the toll-free number 844844-0632 along with the ‘Manodarpan’ portal,” he added. Earlier, Pokhriyal had said that the CBSE Board Cattle smuggling case: CBI searches at multiple locations in WB KOLKATA/NEW DELHI: The CBI on Thursday carried out searches at multiple locations in West Bengal including the premises of TMC leader Vinay Mishra, considered close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee, in connection with the cattle smuggling case, officials said. The agency has also issued a look out circular against Mishra to prevent him from leaving the country, they said. The CBI is conducting searches at two premises of Mishra in Kolkata among other locations, they said. The agency had arrested an alleged kingpin of the cattle smuggling racket in West Bengal and two BSF officials in connection with the case. The CBI had done a preliminary enquiry which showed that cattle smuggling was rampant along the India-Bangladesh border which is allegedly aided by some corrupt officers of the BSF and Customs receiving illegal gratification from smugglers, they said. The agency has gone full steam on the cases related to West Bengal with director RK Shukla asking the team probing Saradha and related ponzi scam to complete filing of all the FIRs before January, 2021. The state is going for assembly elections in 2021. SANGEET MELA 24-31 DEC 2020, OVER GALA SUCCESS After prolong vexation musical evening enthrall moods KOLKATA: Bangla bands are hoping for Christmas cheer to light up the stage. Forty-eight bands, including Bhoomi, C h a n d r a b i n d o o , Lakkhichhara, Dohar, Kaya, Sohor and Morudyan, are scheduled to perform for the state government's Sangeet Mela inspires by chief Smt mamata Banerjee from December 24 to 31 and for most participants, this will be the first on-ground live show since the pandemic broke out. "It has fallen on me to organize the entire bandwagon at Deshapriya Park ever since Didi put me in charge in 2011. This will be Bhoomi's first show since the pandemic induced lockdown," said Soumitra Ray, frontman for Bhoomi. "I'm glad even young Genx bands, including Desh, ANI Missing Link, Shuoponka, Groovers, Milliputs, Alienz and Yellow Taxi Stories, are so enthusiastic about participating in Sangeet Mela." Gaurab Chatterjee, founder member and drummer of Lakkhichhara, is euphoric about returning to the stage. In 21 years of his career, he has apparently never stayed away from the stage for 11 months. Lakhhichhara's last physical concert was in January. Around that time, their vocalist, Rajiv Mitra, had jaundice. By the time he recovered, pandemic had broken out. "This gap of 11 months from stage has been excruciatingly difficult. I wrote my ICSE in 1999. That year, my family didn't allow me to do shows. Thereafter, I have been a regular on stage. By first year in college, we had released our first album. I am looking forward to doing the closing act for December 30," Chatterjee said. Apart from opening with 'Ke ki bole gelo amay', the band will also perform their new song, 'Kadajawle'. Chandrabindoo frontman Anindya Chatterjee has a stage show offer for December 24. “But if that doesn't happen, the 31st show at Sangeet Mela will be our first after the lockdown," he said. For Dohar, this will be the third live show during the pandemic. About ensuring physical distancing, band co-founder Rajib Das said, "Chairs will be spaced out. But, I admit it will be difficult to monitor." Bhoomi's Ray said talks had been on to ensure no one was allowed inside without a mask and that only performers would be allowed through the artistes' gate. "Sanitization will be done for all artists. We will not allow anyone near the stage and use guardrails. If required, I will stop the show if people don't maintain physical distancing," Ray added. exams 2021 will not be held before February. Notably, the CBSE board exams have been held in the months of January, February and March in the past. The CBSE has also reduced the syllabus for each subject by 30 per cent to help students cope with the academic stress amid COVID19 pandemic. The paper pattern of the board exams will be based on the reduced syllabus. Students can also check the revised syllabus of the exam on the official website of CBSE. NEW DELHI: After successfully concluding the Coronavirus vaccination dry run in four states, a similar mega-drill will be conducted in all states and union territories on January 2. This is aimed at equipping the entire administration and management of vaccine supply, storage and logistics, including cold chain management, the Health Ministry said on Thursday. The activity is proposed to be conducted in all state capitals in at least three session sites. Some states will also include districts that are situated in difficult terrain or have poor logistical support. Maharashtra and Kerala are likely to schedule the dryrun in major cities other than their capital. “The objective of the dry run for COVID-19 vaccine introduction is to assess operational feasibility in the use of Co-WIN application in field environment, to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges and guide way forward prior to actual implementation,” the ministry added. For each of the three session sites, the concerned medical officer In-charge will identify 25 test beneficiaries (healthcare workers). The States and UTs have been asked to ensure that the data of these beneficiaries is uploaded in Co-WIN. These beneficiaries will also be available at the session site for the dry run. OUR MANTRA FOR 2021 IS ‘DAWAI BHI AUR KADAAI BHI’: PM RAJKOT: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that earlier he had stated, “dawai nahi toh dheelai nahi” (no carelessness until the medicine arrives for COVID-19) but now he is saying “dawai bhi aur kadaai bhi” (Yes to the medicine and yes to caution as well). “Earlier, I said, ‘dawai nahi toh dheelai nahi’ (no carelessness until the medicine arrives). Now, I am saying ‘dawai bhi aur kadaai bhi’ (yes to medicine and yes to caution). Our mantra for the year 2021 is ‘Dawai bhi aur kadaai bhi’,” said PM Modi. The comments came as the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Rajkot, Gujarat, via video conferencing today. “India has emerged as the nerve centre of global health. In the year 2021, we have to strengthen India’s role in healthcare,” he added. MORE ON PG 7 PM to launch housing project in Ranchi on NY RANCHI: On the occasion of New Year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the Light House Project (LHP) in Ranchi online and five other cities across the country, the urban development department announced on Thursday. LightHouse Project (LHP) is the Centre's ambitious scheme as part of a global housing technology challenge by the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs. These houses will be for the economically weaker section of the society. Other cities where this project will be rolled out in the first phase are Indore, Rajkot, Chennai, Agartala, and Lucknow. Speaking to reporters today, Director, municipal administration under the state urban development department, Vijaya Jadhav said 1008 houses are planned in Ranchi's Dhurwa area on seven-acre land. "The idea of LHPs is to offer state of art houses at affordable rates built in a record time using the latest technology. In Ranchi, the houses will be built using prefabricated structures, most of which will first be constructed in the work stations and will be brought here to just customize it to make houses. This way, the technology will be easy to install houses quickly and at the same time will reduce environmental hazards," she said.