CMYK INDIGENOUS COVID VACCINE DEMONSTRATES BENEFITS OF ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT, ASSERTS VICE PRESIDENT NATION Rs. 3 PATNA TUESDAY, 5 JAN, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—43 (RNI NO: BIHENG / 2014 / 59124) SUNNY LEONE REVEALS HER AWKWARD MOMENT WITH SALMAN SCREEN & CINEMA Morning India Govt-farmers talks inconclusive; next meeting scheduled on Jan 8 AGENCIES NEW DELHI: The seventh round of talks between protesting unions and three central ministers ended inconclusively on Monday as the farmer leaders insisted on the repeal of the three contentious farm laws right from the beginning, even as the government listed various benefits from the Acts. The next meeting will take place on January 8, farmer leaders said. The two sides took a long break after just about one hour of discussions, during which representatives of protesting farmers had their own food, arranged from langar (community kitchen), as they have been doing for the last few times. However, unlike the last round of talks on December 30, the ministers did not join the union leaders for the langar food and were seen having their own discussion separately during the break, which lasted for almost two hours. The two sides got together again to resume their discussions at around 5.15 pm, but no headway could be made as the talks remained focussed on the farmers' demand for the repeal of the Acts. IT dept quizzes Vadra in benami properties case AGENCIES NEW DELHI: Income Tax department officials on Monday questioned Congress President Sonia Gandhi's sonin-law Robert Vadra for over nine hours in connection with the probe into the 'benami' properties case. However, Vadra described his questioning as "vendetta politics" and said that the government is trying to divert attention from the ongoing farmers' protest. A team of IT department sleuths on Monday morning arrived at the Sukhdev Vihar residential premises of Vadra who is married to Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Earlier in the day, an I-T department source related to the probe said. "An I-T team is at Vadra's residence to record his statement in the benami properties matter." The team of sleuths left his residence at 6 p.m. The team arrived at his residence as he was unable to join the investigation due to Covid pandemic.Speaking to the media, Vadra said, "I replied to all the questions asked by the I-T .” Video of cops dragging, abusing women goes viral OUR CORRESPONDENT PATNA: A video clip purportedly showing some police officials pointing pistols at two women while abusing and dragging one of them in Bihar's Vaishali district has gone viral. However Vaishali SSP Gaurav Mangla told IANS that the claim has been made by the two women. "They have filed a court case and we are investigating the matter," the SSP said. The incident took place near the Sadar police station in Hajipur on Sunday evening where three to four police officers allegedly pointed guns at the two women. They were allegedly looking for a person who was not present at the spot. Details on Page 3 Farmer leaders said the government said it needs to consult internally and thereafter it would come back to the unions. The union leaders will also have their own meeting on Tuesday to decide their next course of action. In Monday's talks, the two sides did not even discuss another key demand of farmers for a legal guarantee to the Minimum Support Price (MSP) procurement system. Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at various Delhi borders for over a month against the three laws. They have stayed put despite heavy rains and waterlogging at protest sites over the last couple of days, besides severe cold weather conditions prevailing in and around the national capital. Enacted in September 2020, the government has presented these laws as major farm reforms and aimed at increasing farmers' income. During the meeting, the government listed various benefits from the three laws, enacted a few months ago, but farmers kept insisting that the legislation must be withdrawn to address their apprehensions that the new Acts would weaken the MSP and mandi systems and leave them at the mercy of big corporates. The government has maintained that these apprehensions are misplaced and has ruled out repealing the laws. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railways, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, who is an MP from Punjab, are holding the talks with the representatives of 41 farmer unions at the Vigyan Bhawan. The meeting began with paying respects to the farmers who lost their lives during the ongoing protest, sources said. On December 30, the sixth round of talks was held between the government and the farmer unions, where some common ground was reached on two demands -decriminalisation of stubbleburning and continuation of power subsidies. However, no breakthrough could be reached on the two main demands of the protesting farmers -- a repeal of the three recent farm laws and a legal guarantee to the MSP procurement system. On Sunday, Tomar met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and discussed the government strategy to resolve the current crisis at the earli- est, sources said. Tomar discussed with Singh all possible options to find a "middle path" to resolve the crisis, they added. While several opposition parties and people from other walks of life have come out in support of the farmers, some farmer groups have also met the agriculture minister over the last few weeks to extend their support to the three laws. Last month, the government had sent a draft proposal to the protesting farmer unions, suggesting seveneight amendments to the new laws and a written assurance on the MSP procurement system. The government has ruled out a repeal of the three agri laws. The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), in the meantime, issued a press statement condemning the police action against protesting farmers in Punjab and Haryana and a ban on protests and dharnas imposed by the Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh government. It also said that an affidavit filed by Reliance Industries in the Punjab and Haryana High Court was "a ploy to save its business". Schools, colleges reopen in Bihar after 9 months OUR CORRESPONDENT PATNA: All educational institutions in Bihar, including schools, colleges and coaching centres, reopened on Monday after a gap of over nine months. Physical classes were held for students of standards 9-12 in schools and final year students in colleges. The institutions were closed since March 14 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Wearing of masks, use of hand sanitiser and maintenance of physical distancing have been made mandatory at the educational institutions. Schools have been asked to operate at half the strength to ensure social distancing in classes. Attendance, however, remained thin as many parents were apprehensive of sending their wards to the educational institutions till they were vaccinated. Many students, on the other hand, were enthusiastic about the development. "I am happy that schools have reopened as students were getting badly affected. Most of the children studying in government schools do not have laptops to carry out online studies. Our syllabus is lagging and we will work hard to cover it," a class 9 student of Patna's Miller High School said. Another class 11 student said that though COVID-19 fears loom large, studies are equally important and cannot be missed, while assuring that safety protocols will be maintained. Teachers too seemed happy to be able to take physical classes again. "It is good that we are getting an opportunity to teach students in physical classrooms. All these months we used to come to schools but did not have teaching work," an educator of Miller High School said. The attendance of class 11 and 12 students is lesser than that of class 9 and 10 pupils, he said. Students have to bring consent letters from their guardians to be able to attend the classes, another teacher said. Many guardians, howev- er, fear that their children might get infected with COVID-19 if they are sent to schools without being vaccinated. "We will not send our children to schools till they are vaccinated for COVID19. We cannot take risks despite the precautionary measures being taken by the state government," Rajiv Singh, a resident of Jethiyan village in Gaya district said. Dharmendra Kumar, a resident of Khijarsarai village in the same district, echoed the demand. The decision to reopen the educational institutions was taken during a Crisis Management Group meeting on December 18 last year. Education Department Principal Secretary Sanjay Kumar had said that students will be permitted to enter the educational institutions only if they wear masks. India to start world's biggest vax drive: PM Vax to cost Rs 290 ‘Enough stockpile for priority groups’ AGENCIES NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that the world's biggest inoculation drive against coronavirus is set to begin in the country, a day after the drugs regulator approved two vaccines for restricted emergency use. Lauding the scientists and technicians for the 'Made in India' vaccines, he said the country is proud of them. "World's biggest COVID19 vaccination programme set to begin in India. For this, the country is proud of the contributions of its scientists and technicians," Modi said. India's drugs regulator on Sunday approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive. Addressing scientists at the National Metrology Conclave, Modi said it must be ensured that 'Made in India' products not only have global demand but also global acceptance. "Quality is as much important as quantity, our stan- AGENCIES ‘Quality is as much important as quantity, our standards should rise with our scale in our quest for Aatmanirbhar Bharat dards should rise with our scale in our quest for Aatmanirbhar Bharat," he said. The prime minister said in any progressive society, research is key and effective and its effects are commercial and social. They also help widen approach and thinking. "Past teaches us that more a country concentrates on science, the more its technology gets strengthened. This technology in turn helps new industries and promotes research. This cycle takes the country ahead," he said. "We do not want to fill the world with Indian products, but we must win the hearts of every customer of Indian products in every corner of the world," he said. Quality of services in our country and products, both public or private sector, will determine India's strength in the world, he stressed. NEW DELHI: India has enough stockpile of the COVID-19 vaccine for inoculation of priority groups, including healthcare workers and frontline workers, in the first phase, Niti Aayog member V K Paul said on Monday. Paul, who is also the Chairman of National Expert Group On Vaccine Administration for COVID19 further said the government will soon announce its plans for purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine. 38 test +ve for new strain AGENCIES NEW DELHI: A total of 38 people have tested positive for the new United Kingdom variant of SARS-CoV-2 in India so far, the Union health ministry said on Monday. These include the 29 cases which were announced till Friday. All these people have been kept in single room isolation PM dedicates National Atomic Timescale to nation AGENCIES NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday dedicated the National Atomic Timescale and Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravya Pranali to the nation and laid the foundation stone of National Environmental Standards Laboratory through a video conference. The National Atomic Timescale generates Indian Standard Time with an accuracy of 2.8 nanoseconds. Expressing happiness over CSIR-NPL National Atomic Timescale which he dedicated to humanity, the Prime Minister said that India has become selfreliant in measuring the time within the range of a nano second. The National Atomic Timescale generates Indian Standard Time with an accuracy of 2.8 nanoseconds "Achieving the accuracy level of 2.8 nano second is a huge capability in itself. Now Indian Standard Time is matching the International Standard Time with the accuracy range of less than 3 nano second. This will be a big help for an organisation like ISRO that is working with cutting-edge technology," Modi said. Modern technology-related Banking, railways, defence, health, telecom, weather forecast, disaster management and many similar sectors will be benefited greatly from this achievement. The Prime Minister also dwelled on the role of the timescale in strengthening India's role in Industry 4.0. "India is moving towards a leading position in the field of environment. Still, for technology and tools for measuring air quality and emission, India is dependent on others. This achievement will lead to selfreliance in the field and will lead to creation of more effective and cheaper tools for pollution control. This will also enhance India's share in the "Our first phase (of vaccination) comprises priority groups with high risk of mortality and our healthcare and frontline workers. For them, we believe, we have enough (COVID-19 vaccine) stockpile," he told PTI in an interview. India's drug regulator Drugs Controller General of India on Sunday approved the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive. global market for technologies related to air quality and emission technology." The Prime Minister also delivered the inaugural address at the National Metrology Conclave 2021, which was organised by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL), New Delhi, on its 75th year of inception. The theme of the conclave is 'Metrology for the Inclusive Growth of the Nation'. Union Minister Harsh Vardhan and Principal Scientific Advisor K VijayRaghavan were present on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister lauded Indian scientists for successfully developing two Indian Covid vaccines in this new year. in designated healthcare facilities by respective state governments and their close contacts have also been put under quarantine, the ministry said. "A total of 38 samples have been found to be positive with the new UK variant genome," the ministry said. It said comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. to govt; Rs 585 in pvt mkt, says SII AGENCIES PUNE: Coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford will cost $3-4 per shot (Rs 219-290) to the government and will be priced at double that rate in private market once such sales open up, said the CEO of its Indian manufacturer on Monday. Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, has a licence to produce the shot and has already manufactured close to 50 million doses. Its CEO Adar Poonawalla said that the company will start selling the Covishield to the Indian government and GAVI countries in the first stage, followed by the private market. The Indian drug regulator on Sunday approved Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for restricted emergency use in the country. "We want the vaccine to be affordable and accessible to all. The Government of India will receive it at a far more affordable price of $3-4 (Rs 220-292, since they will be buying in a larger volume," he said. Poonawalla, who had taken a huge gamble once the pandemic began to unfold by overhauling Serum's assembly line and "sacrificing" products that were to be destined for Europe and America in anticipation of a COVID-19 vaccine, said the priority supplies will go to India and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization nations. Only after meeting their requirements, "the private market will open up where the pricing would be $6-8 (Rs 438-Rs 584) per shot," he said. Serum will have 100 million doses in a month, and will possibly double it by April. The government has indicated that it may need 300 million doses before July 2021, with frontline health workers and the elderly given priority. India records 16,504 new Covid-19 cases AGENCIES NEW DELHI: Daily new COVID-19 cases in the country remained below 20,000 for the third consecutive day taking the virus caseload to 1,03,40,469, while the recoveries surged to 99.46 lakh, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday. A total of 16,504 people tested positive for coronavirus infection in a day. The death toll increased to 1,49,649 with 214 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 99,46,867 pushing the national recovery rate to 96.19 per cent, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.45 per cent. The COVID-19 active caseload remained below 3 lakh for the 14th consecutive day. There are 2,43,953 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which comprise 2.36 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated. India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. According to the ICMR, 17,56,35,761 samples have been tested up to January 3 with 7,35,978 samples being tested on Sunday. The 214 new fatalities include 35 from Maharashtra, 26 from West Bengal, 25 from Kerala, 16 from Uttar Pradesh and and 14 each from Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. A total of 1,49,649 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 49,666 from Maharashtra followed by 12,156 from Tamil Nadu, 12,107 from Karnataka, 10,585 from Delhi, etc.