YK MYK BJP ADVANTAGEOUSLY PLACED NOW FOR ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS IN ASSAM OPINION Rs. 3 KOLKATA SATURDAY, 16 JAN, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—240 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) AMAZON’S TANDAV: LET DOWN BY WEAK SCRIPT SCREEN & CINEMA Morning India VACCINATION BEGINS TODAY PRIME MINISTER MODI WILL VIRTUALLY LAUNCH THE WORLD’S LARGEST VACCINATION PROGRAMME FROM NEW DELHI NEW DELHI: Almost a year after reporting the first case of deadly coronavirus, which has claimed over 1.5 lakh lives in India till now, the country is set to witness a historic moment on Saturday with the commencement of the eagerly-awaited vaccination drive against the dreaded disease. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually launch the world’s largest vaccination programme at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and almost three lakh beneficiaries, belonging to the priority groups, will be administered the silver bullet at over 3,006 vaccination sites across the country. Around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site. The vaccine will be first offered to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 50 years of age, followed by the below 50 population with comorbidities, and finally to the remaining population based on disease epidemiology and vaccine availability. The vaccination drive has been planned in a phased manner, identifying the priority groups. Healthcare workers, both in government and private sectors, including Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) workers, will receive the vaccine in the first phase. Two vaccines -- Oxford Covid vaccine Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and indigenously developed Covaxin by the Bharat Biotech -- will be administered to priority groups. Till now, the Central government has procured 1.1 crore Covishield and 55 lakh Covaxin vaccines at a cost of Rs 200 and Rs 206 per dose, respectively. Earlier on Friday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that India’s exercise to vaccinate its population against Covid-19 will be the largest immunisation drive in the world. The minister reiterated that both the indigenously manufactured vaccines have proven to be safe. The Covid-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWIN) system, a digital platform, will be used to track the enlisted beneficiaries on a real-time basis. Prime Minister Modi will launch the app on Saturday. The platform enables national and state administrators to view and sort the data of the beneficiaries as per their gender, age and comorbidity. They can also view the metadata of vaccination and the Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI) reported from the constituent districts. At the vaccination site, only pre-registered beneficiaries will be vaccinated as per prioritisation, and there will be no provision for onthe-spot registrations. A dedicated 24x7 hotline - 1075 has also been set up to address questions related to the vaccine rollout and the Co-WIN app. The entire vaccination process will be broadly similar to the election process. Each vaccination team will consist of five members, including security personnel, nurses, paramedics and a doctor. Three will be a waiting area, an inoculation room and a post-vaccination observation area. There will also be a reception desk for registration and verification of the beneficiaries. CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC WEATHER TODAY MAX 26 C MIN 13 C Sky will be clear. AT A GLANCE PRESIDENT KOVIND DONATES RS 5 LAKH FOR RAM TEMPLE CONSTRUCTION NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind has given the first donation for the construction of the grand Ram temple at Ayodhya in UP. He donated Rs 5,00,100 to a joint delegation of office bearers of the RSS, the VHP and the Ram Mandir Trust at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday. With this donation by Kovind, the fund collection drive for the Ram temple started across the country. The campaign will run till February 27. “We went to President Ram Nath Kovind for the launch of the Ram Mandir Fund Donation Drive. He donated Rs 5,00,100 under the Shri Ram Mandir Fund Donation Drive. CM to attend Covid vaccine launch at Sadar hospital RAJ KUMAR The administration installed standees at Covid-19 vaccination booth at Sadar Hospital in Ranchi on the eve of the launch, on Friday. Hemant Sutradhar IMA downplays fears around Covishield, Covaxin NEW DELHI: Ahead of the vaccination drive, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Friday put the fears around the safety and efficacy of the vaccines at rest. Calling the misinformation around vaccines on social sites “unfortunate”, the medical body said, “these rumours are proving more harmful than the disease itself.” The IMA has launched a massive public awareness drive to fight the myths surrounding vaccines. Most of these statements have come at a time when the Centre’s health ministry has already put out a set of guidelines regarding the vaccination program. Recently, some leaders of the opposition made remarks raising doubts over giving approval to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. They claimed that Covaxin was yet to clear the Phase-III trials. Later, the Union Health Ministry refuted the claim and told that both the vaccines are equally immunogenic. The centre has given approval to two vaccines for CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,05,34,548 TOTAL DEATH: 151,981 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 93,694,075 TOTAL DEATH: 2,005,867 Covid-19. One of them is Covishield, developed through collaboration between AstraZeneca, Oxford University and the Pune-based Serum Institute of India. The other one is indigenous Covaxin, developed and manufactured by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research. The IMA also wrote to Union Health Ministry on Thursday, expressing solidarity with the vaccination drive. It also praised the scientists who came up with the vaccines in such a short time. RANCHI: Chief Minister Hemant Soren will personally remain present at Sadar Hospital to take care of beneficiaries as Prime Minister Narendra Modi declares launching of the covid-19 vaccination drive tomorrow from New Delhi at 10.30 am. Civil surgeon Dr Vijay Bihari Prasad informed this to the media saying vaccination will be started at two places in Ranchi and at each place 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated. In case of any technical problem, the number of beneficiaries can be reduced. He said information will be sent to the beneficiary through SMSs. Each beneficiary will be informed about the second shot also while informing about the first through SMS. He said the beneficiary will not have to remain in isolation for 14 days after taking the first dose. They can lead a normal life following Covid19 guidelines. 14 days after vaccination of the second dose, he said, it will be declared that he is safe from the corona. Dr Prasad said pregnant women will not be vaccinated. Apart from this, he said, those below 18 will also not be vaccinated. Those suffering from a cough or cold or viral fever will be vaccinated once they recover. Earlier, DC Chhavi Ranjan inspected the vaccination centre of Sadar Hospital and observed the connectivity launching spot. It is expected that the prime minister will Govt-farmer meeting ends; Next round on Jan 19 NEW DELHI: Protesting farmer unions stuck to their demand for a complete repeal of three contentious farm laws at their ninth round of talks with three central ministers while the government asked them to be more flexible in their approach and expressed willingness for necessary amendments, as the two sides decided to meet again on January 19. Farmer leader Joginder Singh Ugrahan told reporters after the meeting that the unions urged the government to repeal the three laws, but the Centre was unwilling to Offensive drones now part of Indian’s weapon systems NEW DELHI: From artificial intelligence to autonomous weapon systems to quantum block chains and now robotics, the Indian Army is now into offensive technology. For the first time, the force demonstrated use of offensive drone technology during the Army Day Parade held at Delhi Cantonment on Friday. The Indian Army has, in fact, also bought offensive drones since August last year. In August, 2019, the force procured five drones, in October 20 drones and in December 35 drones. These drones carry out automated, randomised sonic missions to the target area through use of artificial intelligence and onboard adaptive computers driven by continuous satellite feeds. They have a mother drone and child drones attached to it. On Friday, Indian Army carried out a live demonstration of Drone Swarming capability using 75 indigenously designed and developed drones which executed an array of Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled simulated offensive missions and close support tasks. This demonstration is a recognition of the Indian Army’s steady embrace of emerging and disruptive technologies to transform itself from a manpower-intensive to a technology-enabled force to meet future security challenges. These drones can fly deep into enemy territory upto 40 kms. The Indian Army is investing heavily into Artificial Intelligence (AI). do so. “We decided to meet again on January 19 at 12 pm,” he said. Ugrahan said the union leaders also raised the issue of NIA raids on transporters in Punjab who are supporting farmers’ protests and were providing logistic support for the agitation. At the meeting that lasted for nearly five hours, including a lunch break, farmers unions said they are committed to continuing holding direct talks to resolve the over-one-month-long deadlock over three agri laws, even as a committee has been formed by the Supreme Court to resolve the deadlock. In his opening remarks, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar urged farmer leaders to be flexible in their approach as has been done by the government. Besides Tomar, Railways, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash were part of the government side talking with representatives of around 40 farmer unions at the Vigyan Bhawan here. “Both the government and farmer unions have reaf- firmed their commitment to continue with the direct dialogue process,” All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee member Kavita Kuruganti, who is part of the meeting, said. “In his opening remarks, Tomar ji said you keep saying that the government is adamant and making it an issue of ego, even though we have accepted several demands. Don’t you think you should be flexible and not stick to one single demand of repealing the laws,” said Baljit Singh Bali of Punjab Kisan Morcha. MP SATABDI ROY KEEPS TMC BRASS ON THEIR TOES KOLKATA: On a day of facepaced political development, Trinamul Congress MP from Bankura and actor Satabdi Roy kept the party’s top brass on tenterhooks, with reports of her off-andon approach. The grist for the mill was a Facebook post on her fan page in which she alluded to problems she had been facing from within the Trinamul which had forced her to avoid political activities in her constituency of Birbhum. She was also supposed to go to Delhi on Saturday morning, where a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah was supposedly on the cards. The MP finally recanted after a meeting with TMC leaders Abhishek Banerjee and Kunal Ghosh at Banerjee’s Camac Street office. Late in the evening, she announced that she would remain with the TMC and would not go to Delhi on Saturday. The MP’s Facebook account named Satabdi Roy Fans Club had stated: "I am with the people of my Constituency but some people don't want me to reach to you all. I am even not informed about the Party programmes so how can I participate? Stay well. I will inform you all on January 16 at 2 pm if I take any further decisions." According to TMC insiders, the Birbhum MP was seldom seen at party programmes in the district after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Roy was last seen during Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Birbhum visit on December 28,2020. "Roy was not on good terms with the ruling party coterie in Birbhum for long. Local leaders did not like Roy disbursing her Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLAD) funds without getting them authorised by the party to select development projects," a party source said. Of late, TMC leaders have become vocal against their own party. Minister Rajib Banerjee and MLA Baishali Dalmia have raised their grievances against the party in the recent past. On Thursday, BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargia had claimed that 41 MLAs who support Mamata Banerjee government were ready to join the BJP. talk to volunteers. The administration has done arrangements for webcasting and deputation of magistrate and force at each vaccination center. As many as 1, 61,800 health workers and 35000 army personnel will be vaccinated across the state in the first phase. The State has 1.62 lakh doses of vaccines available. The vaccines have been kept under temperature lying between 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius. In order to maintain the cold chain, 243 cold storages have been prepared. On the first day in Jharkhand, vaccination will be done at 48 centres across the state while total vaccination centres demarcated across the state is 129. The proper arrangement, he added, has been done to ensure that vaccines reach each vaccination centre at a proper time. In the first phase one crore health workers across the country have to be vaccinated. Later, 2 crore front line workers have to be vaccinated. Following this, 27 crore people of age more than 50 years and below 50 with co-morbidity will be vaccinated. MAOIST CARRYING RS 15-LAKH REWARD SURRENDERS RANCHI: A Maoist guerrilla carrying Rs 15 lakh reward on his head surrendered to the police in Chatra district in Jharkhand on Friday, officials said. Police said Maoist Muneshwar alias Mukesh Ganjhu surrendered before Chatra Superintendent of Police Rishabh Jha and CRPF Commandant Pawan Basan. He was wanted by the National Investigating Agency in murder and terror funding cases. Mukesh was second in command in the Maoist group Tritiya Sammelan Prastuti Committee. His surrender is considered a big achievement for the police. Mukesh had joined the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist, but later alligned with its splinter group TSPC in 2005. He was also involved in the killing of journalist Indradeo Yadav in 2016.