CMYK Rav een a Ta n d o n , Sa n jay d u TT o pen u p KGF: Ch a pTeR 2 Tea SeR ReSpo n Se SCREEN & CINEMA Rs. 3 PATNA TUESDAY, 12 JAN, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE— 50 (RNI NO: BIHENG / 2014 / 59124) pa n T, In d Ia 'S X-Fa CTo R, Red ISCo v eRS Sel F w ITh Co u n TeR-a TTa CKIn G 97 SPORTS Morning India Stay implementation of farm laws or we will: SC to Centre SC to pronounce orders today AGENCIES NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will pronounce orders on Tuesday on various issues related to the new farm laws and the farmers' ongoing protest at Delhi borders and may take a call on setting up of a committee headed by a former Chief Justice of India (CJI) to find ways to resolve the impasse. NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Centre for its handling of the farmers protest against the new farm laws saying it is “extremely disappointed” with the way negotiations between them were going and it will constitute a committee headed by a former Chief Justice of India to resolve the impasse. Indicating amply that it may go to the extent of staying the implementation of the contentious farm laws, the apex court refused to grant extra time to the Centre to explore the possibility of amicable solution saying it has already granted the government a “long rope”. “We have given you long rope, Mr Attorney General, please don't lecture us on patience,” a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, that the top court has made “harsh observations” regarding handling of the situation by the government. “That was the most innocuous factual thing for us to say,” the bench said. The apex court, which said it will pass orders on the issue concerning farm laws and farmers' protest in part in the matter, asked the parties to suggest two-three names of former CJIs including former CJI R M Lodha who can head the apex court-appointed panel. At the outset, the bench said, "What is going on? States are rebelling against Writer Ved Mehta passes away AGENCIES NEW YORK: Celebrated IndianAmerican novelist Ved Mehta, who overcame blindness and became widely known as the 20th-century writer most responsible for introducing American readers to India, has died at his home at the age of 86. The New Yorker magazine, where he had been a staff writer for 33 years, reported that Mehta died on Saturday. "Mehta, a writer for The New Yorker for more than thirty years, died at the age of eighty-six, on Saturday morning,” it said on Sunday. Born in pre-partition Lahore to a well-off Punjabi family in 1934, Mehta lost his eyesight when he was three years old to meningitis. He, however, did not let his impairment get in the way of a flourishing career or stop him from showcasing his literary prowess to the world. He was determined to apprehend the world around him with maximal accuracy and to describe it as best he could. "I felt that blindness was a terrible impediment, and that if only I exerted myself, and did everything my big sisters and big brother did, I could somehow become exactly like them," he wrote. your laws". “We are extremely disappointed with the negotiation process,” it said, adding, “We don't want to make any stray observations on your negotiations but we are extremely disappointed with the process.” The apex court, which was hearing a clutch of pleas challenging the new farm laws as well as the ones raising issues related to the ongoing agitation at Delhi borders, said it is not talking about the repeal of these farm laws at the moment. “This is a very delicate situation,” the bench said, adding, “There is not a single petition before us which says that these farm laws are beneficial”. “We are not experts on economy; you tell us whether government is going to put on hold farm laws or we will do this,” the bench said. “We are sorry to say that Centre has not been able to solve the problem and the farmers agitation.” Attorney General K K Venugopal argued that a law cannot be stayed unless the court finds it violates fundamental rights or constitutional schemes. “Our intention is to see whether we can find an ami- cable solution to all this. That is why we had asked you (Centre) whether you are willing to keep these laws on hold for sometime. But you wanted to buy time,” the bench observed, adding, “We don't know whether you are part of the solution or part of the problem”. The apex court, which said the matter is getting worse and people are committing suicides, reiterated the need for having a committee comprising representatives from the government and farmer organisations from over the country and said it will stop the implementation of these laws if the panel advises to do so. It said farmers are protesting against these laws and they can tell their objections to the committee. The bench warned that it may stay the law if the government does not do it on its own. "Whether you have faith or not, we are the Supreme Court of India, we will do our job," the bench told the farmer unions which are protesting against these farm laws. The bench said it did not know whether the protesting farmers were observing social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic but was concerned about them getting food and Staying the laws is no solution, says farmers AGENCIES NEW DELHI: Farmer leaders on Monday said they would continue their agitation even if the government or the Supreme Court stays the implementation of the new agri laws. The farmer leaders, who said they were 'sharing their personal opinion', were also of the view that a stay is 'not a solution' as it is only for a fixed period of time. They were reacting after the Supreme Court indicated that it may stay the implementation of the contentious farm laws and refused to grant more time to the Centre to explore the possibility of an amicable solution saying it has already granted the government a 'long rope'. "We welcome the Supreme Court observation, but ending the protest is not an option. Any stay is only for a fixed period of time... till the issue is taken up by the court again," Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union President Gurnam Singh Chaduni said. The farmers want the laws to be repealed completely. The protest will continue even if the government or the Supreme Court stays their implementation, he said. Bhog Singh Mansa, president of Indian Farmers Union (Mansa), said a stay on the laws is 'no big deal'. "A stay is not a solution. We are here to get these laws scrapped completely... the government has in a way already agreed to scrap the laws when it said it is willing to incorporate as many amendments as farmers want," he said. "We appeal to the Supreme Court to terminate these laws as these are not valid constitutionally," Mansa said, adding the protest will continue till the 'the laws are not repealed or the Bharatiya Janata Party government completes its tenure'. Punjab Kisan Union president Ruldu Singh Mansa echoed similar sentiments, saying the agitation started with the demand of scrapping the agri laws and 'it will end only when we win this fight'. Darshan Pal, president of Krantikari Kisan Union, said the farmer leaders are consulting their lawyers and a formal response will be given after the SC pronounces its verdict. Pulling up the Centre for its handling of the farmers' protest, the apex court on Monday said it is 'extremely disappointed' with the way negotiations between them were going and will constitute a committee headed by a former Chief Justice of India to resolve the impasse. Bird flu outbreak confirmed in 10 states AGENCIES NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday said bird flu has been confirmed in 10 states so far and stressed on increased surveillance around water bodies, live bird markets, zoos and poultry farms. "Till January 11, 2021, Avian Influenza has been confirmed in 10 states of the country," the department of animal husbandry and dairying said in a statement. The outbreak was confirmed in seven states -Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh -- as on January 10. On Monday, bird flu has also been confirmed in Delhi, Uttarakhand and States have been asked to build awareness among the public and avoid spread of misinformation Maharashtra. States have been asked to build awareness among the public and avoid the spread of misinformation. "States/ UTs have been requested to increase surveillance around water bodies, live bird markets, zoos, poultry farms, etc. along with proper disposal of carcass, and strengthening of biosecurity in poultry farms," it said. The Centre has also directed states to maintain adequate stock of PPE kits and accessories required for culling operations. It has asked state animal husbandry departments to ensure effective communication and coordination with health authorities for close vigilance of the disease status and avoid any chances of transmission of the disease into humans. Meanwhile, the department said that ICAR- NIHSAD has confirmed the death of crows and migratory/wild birds in Tonk, Karauli, Bhilwara districts of Rajasthan as well as Valsad, Vadodara and Surat districts of Gujarat. Further, the death of crows was confirmed in Kotdwar and Dehradun districts of Uttarakhand. In Delhi, crows and ducks, respectively, were reported dead in New Delhi and Sanjay lake areas. The outbreak of Avian Influenza has been among poultry in Parbhani district, while AI is confirmed from Mumbai, Thane, Dapoli, Beed in crows in Maharashtra. In Haryana, culling of infected birds is underway to control and containment of the spread of the disease. A central team has visited Himachal Pradesh and will reach Panchkula on Monday for carrying out monitoring of the epicentre sites and conducting an epidemiological investigation, the statement said. water. The bench also expressed apprehension that there might be some incident which may breach the peace. It said after the implementation of these laws are stayed, the protestors can carry on with the agitation as the court doesn't want "anyone to say that we stifled the protest”. The top court observed that talks are breaking down because the Centre wants to discuss the new farm laws point by point but the farmers want them repealed. “We are not going to protect any law breakers. We want to prevent the loss of property and lives,” it said. When the issue of law and order was raised before the bench, “These issues will be taken care by police. Right to protest is intact and Gandhiji exercised Satyagraha. That agitation was much bigger”. When the attorney general told the court that next meeting between the government and farmers is scheduled for January 15 and the court should not pass any order today, the bench said, “We do not think the Centre is handling the issue correctly. We have to take some action today. We don't think you are being effective. India returns captured PLA troop to China AGENCIES NEW DELHI: The Indian Army on Monday handed back to China a soldier of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, three days after apprehending him at the southern bank of Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh, official sources said. The soldier was returned to China at the ChushulMoldo border point in eastern Ladakh at 10.10 am, they added. The Chinese soldier was captured at the southern bank of Pangong lake in the early hours of Friday after he transgressed across the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control. "The PLA soldier, who was apprehended on January 8, was handed back to China at Chushul-Moldo at 10.10 am on Monday," a source said. Indian and Chinese troops are locked in a tense border standoff in eastern Ladakh for over eight months. The faceoff began in May last year, following a clash between the two sides in the Pangong lake area. Cases of people infected with UK Covid strain at 96 AGENCIES NEW DELHI: The number of people who have tested positive for the new United Kingdom variant of SARSCoV-2 in India has climbed to 96, the health ministry said on Monday. "The total number of persons found infected with the mutant UK strain of COVID19 is 96," the ministry said. All these people were kept in single-room isolation at designated healthcare facilities by the respective state governments, it had earlier said. Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine and a comprehensive contact-tracing exercise has been initiated. PM meets CMs on Covid vax drive India’s vax most cost effective, says Modi AGENCIES NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday emphasised that India is entering into a decisive battle against Covid-19, as the country prepares for the Made in India vaccination drive from January 16. Making the closing remarks at the meeting with the Chief Ministers on Covid vaccine roll-out, the Prime Minister said that the public representatives are not in the priority list and the first round of vaccines will be given to the frontline workers. He also said that the state governments will not have to pay for the first round of Covid vaccines as the Centre will bear the cost. "We have to continue creating public awarreness, but the maximum awarreness is required after the second and third round when we complete three crore vaccinations," Modisaid. "Public representatives are not in the priority list. Only the frontline and healthcare workers are on the list. The fight against coronavirus is an example of India's federalism," the Prime MInister said. "India is entering into a ‘We have to continue creating public awarreness, but the maximum awarreness is required after the second and third round when we complete three crore vaccinations decisive battle against Covid19 and we should not let our guard down now. We are going to start the vaccination drive from January 16. It is a matter of pride for us that the two approved vaccines for Covid-19 are both Made in India," Modi said. The Prime MInister said that both the Indian vaccines are more cost effective than any other vaccine in the world. "Apart from the two Govt places purchase order for vax with SII AGENCIES NEW DELHI: The government on Monday placed a purchase order with Serum Institute of India for 11 million doses of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, each costing Rs 210, including the GST, official sources said. Dispatch of the vaccine is likely to start by late Monday evening, they said. According to the order, each dose of the vaccine has been priced at Rs 200 and with GST of Rs 10 it would cost Rs 210. The HLL Lifecare Limited, a public sector undertaking, issued the supply order on behalf of the Union Health Ministry in the name of Prakash Kumar Singh, Additional Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at Serum Institute of India. The Covishield vaccine doses would be initially shipped to 60 consignment points from where those would be distributed further, the sources said. The health ministry is also likely to soon sign a purchase order for another anti-coronavirus vaccine, Covaxin, which has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech. Meetings for this were underway, a source said. India had recently granted emergency use authorisation to two vaccines, Oxford's Covishield being manufactured by Serum Institute in India and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. Both vaccines, according to a statement from the health ministry, have established safety and immunogenicity. The country India launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 in what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the world's largest inoculation programme with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers. After vaccinating healthcare and frontline workers, priority will be given to those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities, together numbering around 27 crore. already approved vaccines, four others are in the pipeline. It will help us plan for the future in a better way. Our experts have taken all precautions to provide the countrymen with effective vaccines," Modi said. The Prime MInister said that these vaccines are made keeping in mind the situation of the country. "In the second phase, people above 50 years of age will be vaccinated," Modi said. Excerpts of PM’s speech ‘30 cr people to be vaccinated in few months’ --From 16th January we are starting the world's largest vaccination program. Two 'Made in India' vaccines have been given emergency use approval. --Health workers - govt as well as private - will be vaccinated first of all. Sanitation workers, other frontline workers, defence forces, police and other paramilitary forces will also be vaccinated in the first phase. --Around 3 crore healthcare workers and frontline workers will be vaccinated in the first phase of vaccination. --In the 2nd phase, those above 50 years and those under 50 years with co-morbid conditions will be vaccinated. We aim to vaccinate 30 crore people in the next few months. --If you look at the number of health and frontline workers across all states, it stands at around 3 crores. It has been decided that state govts will not have to bear the expenses of vaccination of these 3 crore people in the first phase. Govt of India will bear these expenses. India reports 16,311 fresh Covid infections AGENCIES NEW DELHI: With 16,311 new coronavirus cases being reported in a span of 24 hours, the lowest in around six-and-half months, India's COVID-19 tally rose to 1,04,66,595, while the recoveries have surged to 1,00,92,909, according to the Union health ministry's data updated on Monday. The death toll reached 1,51,160 with 161 more fatalities, the lowest in the last seven-and-half-months, the data updated at 8 am showed. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,00,92,909, pushing the national COVID-19 recovery rate to 96.43 per cent, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.44 per cent. The COVID-19 active caseload remained below three lakh. There are 2,22,526 active coronavirus infections in the country which comprise 2.13 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 Indian Council of Medical Research, 18,17,55,831 samples have been tested so far with 6,59,209 samples being tested on Sunday.