YK MYK GOD SAVE AMERICA AS TRUMP IS SET TO SETTLE SCORES WITH BIDEN OPINION Rs. 3 KOLKATA WEDNESDAY, 6 JAN, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—230 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803)) WEATHER TODAY MAX 29 C MIN 17 C Sky will be partly cloudy. AT A GLANCE BRITISH PM CANCELS INDIA VISIT FOR REPUBLIC DAY LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday cancelled his planned trip to India to be a chief guest on Republic Day, saying it was important for him to remain in the United Kingdom to focus on the domestic response to the virus. A Downing Street spokeswoman said that Johnson spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the morning and expressed his regret that he will be unable to visit India later this month as planned. "The prime minister spoke to Prime Minister Modi this morning, to express his regret that he will be unable to visit India later this month as planned," a Downing Street spokeswoman said. INDIA HAS INCREASED SPEED, SCALE AND SCOPE OF DEVP: MODI NEW DELHI: PM Modi on Tuesday said that in recent years, India has increased its speed, scale and scope of development and the country cannot develop slowly now. PG 7 CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,03,64,193 TOTAL DEATH: 149,930 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 86,250,039 TOTAL DEATH: 1,863,908 TOP STARS FROM SOUTH SET FOR BOLLYWOOD SOJOURN THIS YEAR SCREEN & CINEMA Morning India Ready to roll out vaccine within 10 days: Health Ministry NEW DELHI: Days after Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave approval to two COVID-19 vaccines, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday said that India is prepared to roll out vaccine within 10 days of emergency use authorisation (EUA), subject to government's nod. "We are prepared to roll out vaccine within 10 days of emergency use authorisation approvals. The final call will be taken by the government," Union Health Secretary told reporters here at a press briefing. This comes after the DCGI last week announced "restricted emergency use" for two COVID-19 vaccine candidates -Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN and Serum Institute of India's CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC Covishield. Talking about the vaccination process, the Health Secretary said that healthcare workers and frontline workers would not need to register themselves as a beneficiary as their data has been stored in a bulk database. Member (Health), NITI Aayog Dr. Vinod K. Paul and Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Rajesh Bhushan at a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. ANI the overall burden on the health delivery structure, said Health Secretary. "The active cases in the country are less than 2.5 lakhs and continue to decline. The positivity rate stood at 1.97 per cent," he added. The Health Secretary further said that 44 per cent of active cases are in hospital with moderate or severe symptoms while 56 per cent of cases are very mild or asymptomatic and are in home isolation. India has reported 16,375 new COVID19 cases, 29,091 recoveries, and 201 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 1,03,56,845, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Tuesday. The total number of active cases Several Indian states report bird flu outbreak New Delhi [India], January 5 (ANI): Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, India has reported the emergence of bird flu since last week. The presence of the virus is confirmed in the dead birds in Madhya Pradesh and Kerala while Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, too, have a strong suspicion of avian influenza in dead birds. Bird flu has been confirmed in two places in Kerala, said state's Minister for Forest, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development K Raju on Monday. Even on Tuesday in Jhalawar, Rajasthan 10 birds were found dead. But the report ascertaining the cause of death is yet to come. Till date, 138 birds died in Jhalawar since January 3. The emergence of bird flu has alarmed the city of Indore and Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh as well. The presence of the virus has been confirmed in the dead crows. Around 100 crows died in Mandsaur between December 23 and January 3. As a precautionary measure, the veterinarians have started conducting investigations in poultry farms. Meanwhile, animal husbandry department officials in every district have been put on alert and asked to follow standard operating procedures to check the spread of the virus. In Himachal Pradesh, after hundreds of winter migratory birds were found dead in the Pong Dam Lake sanctuary recently, Kangra ALAPPUZHA: Kerala government has declared bird flu as a state-specific disaster and issued a high alert after the outbreak of bird flu was confirmed in certain parts of Kottayam and Alappuzha districts. Director of Animal Husbandry KM Dileep said that the presence of the H5N8 subtype of the Influenza A virus was reported in ducks in Karthikappally and Kuttanad taluks in Alappuzha and Neendoor in Kottayam. "The Animal Husbandry Department has taken all steps to contain the spread of infection. The culling of ducks in the area where bird flu was reported will be started and will be completed soon," he said. District Magistrate on Monday issued an order completely prohibiting the sale, purchase and export of any poultry products in Fatehpur, Dehra, Jawali and Indora areas of the district. The officials have a strong suspicion of Avian influenza in dead birds. However, the medical investigation of the cause is under process. the helm and the situation was further aggravated when Mamata Banerjee-led TMC came to power. "The TMC introduced the custom of cut money and syndicates. All sorts of illegal activities- from smuggling of coal to cattletook place during its tenure," the minister of state for environment, forest and climate change claimed. "Show me a picture of Mamata Banerjee setting up a big industry, a picture of her launching a big business investment in West Bengal," the Asansol MP said adding that there would be none. He asserted Banerjee's "ridiculous land acquisition laws" which ask investors to purchase land directly from own- ers are hurting investments in West Bengal. Supriyo's comments were preceded by the statement of BJP vice-president Mukul Roy at a recent rally in Singur that it was a blunder to "drive away the Tatas from the acquired land." Roy, who was on the side of Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee during the time of anti-farm land acquisition movement, publicly conceded it was a mistake so far as the Singur movement is concerned. BJP Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta said at the seminar that even if a road map is prepared for Bengal's economic rejuvenation, it will not materialise under the present regime. INSIDE COVID-19: INDIA RECORDS LOWEST DAILY CASES IN OVER SIX MONTHS PAGE 5 stands at 2,31,036 while the total recoveries have reached 99,75,958. The death toll due to coronavirus has mounted to 1,49,850. DAYS BEFORE APPROVAL, BHARAT BIOTECH WAS ASKED FOR EFFICACY ANALYSIS PAGE 5 SC nod to Central Vista project, including new Parliament building KERALA ISSUES HIGH ALERT Not Industries, 'Syndicates' Thrived in Bengal Under TMC, Says BJP's Babul Supriyo Kolkata: Union minister Babul Supriyo on Monday alleged that the Trinamool Congress government failed to set up any big industry in West Bengal while syndicates and cut money culture have thrived in the state. In West Bengal, 'syndicate' refers to a group of businessmen, apparently backed by the ruling party, who allegedly force promoters and contractors to buy construction materials, often of inferior quality, at high prices. Speaking at a seminar on rejuvenating West Bengal economically, Supriyo said the flight of industries from Bengal had started from the 1980s when Jyoti Basu was at "Healthcare workers and frontline workers would not need to register themselves as a beneficiary as their data in bulk database that has been populated on the CoWIN vaccine delivery management system in a bulk manner," said Rajesh Bhushan. He further said, "When we would come to the population priority group, the provision of registration or editing of data would be used. The system electronically allows session allocation. ...The process of session allocation would be digital. Whether the beneficiaries has been vaccinated, this will be captured digitally." India's active COVID-19 cases are less than 2.5 lakhs and are continuing to fall which has led to a decline in Chief minister Mamata Banerjee collected "Swasthya Sathi" card from a Duare Sarkar camp, Kolkata on Tuesday. Mamata govt to bring resolutions against farm laws in Assembly, plans to set up a planning commission KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that her government will bring a resolution against the farm laws in the state Assembly and also added that it plans to set up a planning commission. Addressing a press conference at state secretariat Nabanna, she announced the building of a national university which will be named after freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose. "I am in favour of farmers and want the withdrawal of these three bills for the sake of the country and farmers. Before the bills came in, they had godowns made. Their political intention is clear and that's why they are not taking it back," Banerjee said. "As the Assembly election is close, the Prime Minister is only thinking about Bangla. They are asking about Kisan Yojana but our schemes for farmers are enough. I called him a lot every time. I told him to send us funds but they said they will give it directly to farmers. We will pass resolutions against anti-farmer laws in the Assembly. Though the BJP won't support them, we will have the Assembly for a few days," she said. Farmers have been protesting at the different borders of Delhi since November 26 last year against the newly enacted farm laws -Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance, and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. The chief minister said that the state government will set up a planning commission. "Now the planning commission is not there, it's NITI Aayog. There is no discussion now. It is not in our hand. It is all in the hands of Delhi. That's why we are planning a National Planning Commission. We will take (Nobel Prize winner) Abhijit Banerjee's advice as well," she said. NEW DELHI: In a major relief for the Modi government, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court cleared the redevelopment plan for Central Vista with a 2:1 majority on Tuesday, although with riders. The bench held that there were "no infirmities in clearances given, change in land use and the environmental clearances". However, it imposed some riders like clearance from heritage conservation committee. A bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna said the heritage conservation committee's approval is needed before consruction begins and directed that the project proponents to get that approval. The project envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with a seating capacity of up to 1,200 MPs. The project is estimated to be constructed by August 2022, when the country will celebrate its 75th Independence Day. On December 7, the top court had expressed strong dissatisfaction with the Centre for reportedly initiating construction process with announcement of ground breaking ceremony for the new parliament building in the Central Vista project, even as the issues connected with the redevelopment plan was under its consideration. On December 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the new Parliament building. The construction is expected to cost around Rs 971 crore and the common Central Secretariat is likely to be built by 2024. State government allots 13.59 XI WRESTS GREATER CONTROL OVER CHINA’S MILITARY acres of land for mining oil reserves in Ashoknagar KOLKATA : The state government has allotted 13.59 acres to ONGC for setting up an oil levitation plant at Ashoknagar in North 24 Parganas district. The proposal was approved in the cabinet meeting held at the state secretariat on Tuesday. After the cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the state government will provide 13.59 acres of land to ONGC for just one rupee. However, ONGC had proposed to give an earnest money of Rs six crore for the land and Rs 60 lakh each year. But the state government has decided to give this land to ONGC for just one rupee. Because the implementation of this scheme will bring new industries in the state and employment opportunities will be created here. Significantly, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said in the State Secretariat on Monday that for this scheme about 300 families would acquire land. The Chief Minister has requested the Central Government to arrange for job and proper rehabilitation to one member of each family. It has been told that the central government has now spent Rs 3361 crore on the discovery of oil here. 425 crores will be spent by the Center in the next two years. The Chief Minister further informed that 28 companies were approved to set up units in the Leather Complex on behalf of the State Government. The Chief Minister said that the inclusion of Rajbanshi language in the syllabus was discussed in the cabinet meeting. In this regard, the education department of the state will review and present the report and after that a decision will be taken in this regard. Asks PLA to scale up combat readiness to ‘act at any second’ HONG KONG: On December 26, 2020, the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress rubber-stamped a revised National Defense Law, and it passed into legislation on the first day of this year. The casual observer might consider this yet another piece of meaningless legalese, but this law ushers in important changes first mooted two years ago. Three of the existing law's articles were entirely removed, six were added, and 54 articles were amended. The new law now comprises 73 articles arranged in twelve chapters. A Central Military Commission (CMC) official said the revised National Defense Law "reflects that China's national defense adapts to the times, serves righteous purposes and involves and serves the whole people". Official Chinese commentary listed seven significant changes in the law. First off, it listed that "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is established as the guiding thought over China's national defense activities". Mentioning it first can be construed as political correctness, something essential in an ideological system such as communism. The commentary's second point is that the defense duties of state organs are "adjusted", and "contents regarding the system wherein the CMC chairman shall assume overall responsibility are added". However, this description conveniently glosses over critical alterations in authority and process. The result is that the CMC, led by none other than Chairman Xi, now has full power to mobilize military and civilian assets to defend national interests both within China and abroad. Chinese acolytes applauded the move as strengthening the country's military under Xi's leadership. Outsiders see it as a dangerous move that gives Xi even greater powers .