YK MYK PREVIOUS GOVTS DRAFTED BUDGET WITH EYE ON VOTE BANK: PM MODI 1ST TEST: KOHLI RETURNS TO LEAD INDIA AGAINST ENGLAND NATION SPORTS Morning India Rs. 3 KOLKATA FRIDAY, 5 FEB, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—260 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) WEATHER TODAY MAX 28 C MIN 14 C Sky will be partly cloudy. AT A GLANCE KOLKATA BOOK FAIR TO BE HELD IN JULY KOLKATA: Considering the upcoming Assembly elections and multiple board exams in West Bengal, the 45th International Kolkata Book Fair will be held in the month of July this year at the Central Park Mela Ground in Salt Lake. Earlier, the fair, which is held at the end of January every year, was deferred owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. "Necessary health protocols will be taken to organise the fair in this changed schedule. We expect that international flights will be in operation by that time and the fair will see global participation like the earlier years," said Tridib Kumar Chatterjee, President, Publishers and Booksellers Guild. A P SINGH SHIFTED RANCHI: Additional Chief Secretary, Forest, A P Singh has been transferred to Revenue Board as Member. Commercial Taxes Secretary Vandana Dadel has been given additional charge of the Forest Secretary. HAFIZUL LIKELY TO TAKE OATH AS MINISTER RANCHI: Hafizul Hassan, son of late Haji Hussain Ansari, will take oath as minister tomorrow. Ansari, who died post-Covid, was a minister in the Hemant Soren government. Late Ansari represented Madhupur in the State Assembly. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,07,91,123 TOTAL DEATH: 154,742 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 105,010,039 TOTAL DEATH: 2,280,973 LATEST SERO-SURVEY Mamata quotes CPIM to target BJP KOLKATA: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday hit out at the BJP quoting veteran Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sakar. Addressing a convention of the Trinamool Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe wing, she said,“Manik babu [Manik Sarkar] is saying go to Tripura and see what the BJP has done there”. This she repeated several times at the convention of SC/ST party supporters. She said that some people from Tripura have even taken shelter in the West Bengal. The Trinamool Congress chairperson, who will face the BJP in the coming Assembly polls as the main contender, said the model of defections that was tried in Tripura was being done in West Bengal. “I feel sad that many from the Congress joined the BJP in Tripura. The BJP is trying the same formula in Bengal. They want to come to power by taking some people who have betrayed us,” she stated. The BJP did not give jobs it had promised to the people of Tripura; on the contrary it had oppressed the people of the State, she alleged. She also raised the implementation of the National Register of Citizens in the BJP-ruled Assam. Banking on the sign of Matuas’ restlessness over the delay in rolling out of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which the BJP is trying hard to assuage, the Trinamool Congress convened a meeting of 4,000 members of scheduled caste (SC), the community Matuas belong to, and scheduled tribe (ST) wings of the party. She asked the SC members to launch aggressive campaign against the BJP’s false promise of giving Matuas citizenship by implementing the contentious CAA. The SC and ST members have been asked to showcase the BJP as a ‘party of liars’ in regions where tribal electorates are deciding factors. Sources in the ruling party said the CM did not want to miss the opportunity to use BJP’s embarrassment triggered by the cancellation of Union Home minister Amit Shah’s much awaited Bengal visit last month. "Shah was scheduled to visit the Matua religious sect’s headquarters at Bongaon in North 24-Parganas and address the issue of citizenship for the refugees migrated from Bagladesh that the BJP had promised in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Since elections are approaching, Matuas wanted Shah to announce a deadline. After Shah’s Bengal visit was cancelled, Matuas are unhappy and we are trying to use their discontent in favour of us," said a TMC leader. Matuas are deciding factor in 36 Assembly constituencies and majority of the community voted for the BJP in last year’s general elections. Mamata Banerjee recently dismantled the TMC's single cell dedicated to SC/ST/Other Backward Class (OBC) and set up separate wings to give dedicated representation to each of the communities. She also set up a dedicated development board for Matuas and granted a fund of Rs 10 crore. State Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriya Mullick, who has been camping in Matua belt since Shah’s visit was cancelled, said the BJP has nothing to say on Matuas’ citizenship issue as the people of the Hindu religious sect realised the promise before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was a trick to hoodwink them. "While visiting the Matuas’ headquarters after Shah’s visit was cancelled, BJP leaders said the dais, which was set up for the Union Home minister, would not be dismantled as the central minister would visit the area soon. It was another lie. Leaving the area would not be possible for BJP leaders without facing Matuas’ agitation," said Jyotipriya Mullick. Good Samaritan policy set to save accident victims SANJAY SAHAY RANCHI: The Jharkhand Good Samaritan policy which received the Cabinet nod on Wednesday not only assures that people coming forward to help an injured person would not be harassed by police but also that the government would give monetary incentive to the person. Under the policy, a person taking an injured to the hospital within the golden hour, which is within one hour of the incident, will get a sum of Rs 2000 as a reward. If two persons take the victim to the hospital each of them would get Rs 2000 each and if CM to present Vote-on-Account KOLKATA: Faced with reports of illness of Finance Minister Amit Mitra, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will present this year’s Voteon-Account in the State Assembly on Friday. This is the first time that any Chief Minister of West Bengal will be presenting the Budget. Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar tweeted: “Governor of West Bengal has authorized Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee to perform in the Assembly all duties relating to presentation of Annual Financial Statement of the Government of West Bengal for the year 20212022 and Motion for Vote on Account & all related aspects. Authorization imparted in consequence of communications emanating from Dr Amit Mitra, Finance Minister, @MamataOfficial and Hon’ble Speaker of the Assembly. more than two persons are involved in the rescue a sum of Rs 5000 would be distributed among them equally. The treatment during the golden hour is crucial for saving the life and critical organs of the person. It is also the responsibility of the government employees and the public rep- resentatives to help the injured persons. The police have to deposit a sum of Rs 1000 in the bank account of the samaritan every time they are called for inquiry related to the accident. The person is not bound to give his identity to the police. He would also not be detained unnecessarily after taking the victims to hospitals. He would be summoned as a witness for a minimum number of time and only under special circumstances. Notably, the policy is framed in the backdrop of the high number of deaths in road accidents in the state. Jharkhand witnesses more than 5,000 road accidents . More than 21% Indians may have had COVID-19 NEW DELHI: Over 21 per cent of the population, aged 10 years and above, showed evidence of past exposure to novel coronavirus in the ICMR’s latest national serosurvey, the government said on Thursday. A large portion of people are still vulnerable to the infection, it noted. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducted the third national sero-survey between December 7, 2020 and January 8, 2021. Presenting the findings of the survey, ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said 21.4 per cent of the 28,589 people, aged 18 years and above, surveyed during the period showed evidence of past exposure to the coronavirus infection. While 25.3 per cent of children aged 10 to 17 years from the same number of surveyed population have had the disease, he said. Urban slums (31.7 per cent) and urban non-slums (26.2 per cent) had a higher SARS-CoV-2 prevalence than that in rural areas (19.1 per cent), Bhargava said, adding that 23.4 per cent of individuals above 60 years of age had suffered from COVID-19. Blood samples of 7,171 healthcare workers were also collected during the same period and the seroprevalence was found to be 25.7 per cent, the ICMR director general said. The survey was conducted in the same 700 villages or wards in 70 districts of 21 states selected during the first and second rounds of the national sero-survey. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the IOR Defence Ministers’ Conclave in Bengaluru on Thursday. the South China Sea during his address at the Indian Ocean Region Defence Ministers' Conclave here. ANI A total of 27 out of the 28 Indian Ocean countries participated in the conclave and shared their views on enhancing region- PAGE 3 al cooperation. Rajnath Singh underlined that the Indian Ocean is a shared asset and a lifeline to international trade and transport due to its control of major sealanes carrying half of the world's container ships, one-third of the world's bulk cargo traffic and two-thirds of the world's oil shipments. He said SAGAR - Security and Growth for All in the Region - is the theme of Indian Ocean Policy as outlined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015, adding that in line with this, the IOR conclave should focus on security, commerce, connectivity, fight against terrorism and inter-cultural exchanges. Common cold as Covid sign? Docs say India situation different NEW DELHI: With general physicians in the UK urging a change in the Covid-19 case definition and test criteria to include common cold, doctors in India said on Thursday that the situation here is now very different, although one should still be watchful despite downwards trend in new novel coronavirus cases in the country. In an open letter, Alex Sohal, Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, supported by 140 east London general practitioners and health care professionals, wrote to the Chief Medical Officer of the UK to include runny nose and cold in Covid-19 test criteria. "It is vital to now change the UK Covid-19 case definition and test criteria to include coryza and cold, making them consistent with the World Health Organisation (WHO)," Sohal wrote. "Tell the public, especially those who have to go out to work and their employers, that even those with mild symptoms (not only a cough, high temperature, and a loss of smell or taste) should not go out, prioritising the first five days of self-isolation when they are most likely to be infectious," she added. But, as per Indian health experts, the scenario may be different in India. "This letter does not reflect the current Indian scenario of Covid19 as it was done in the UK where extremely infectious UK strain is causing an increased number of cases daily," Jyoti Mutta, Senior Consultant, Microbiology, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, told IANS. "But we still need to watch our symptoms carefully. In case you experience or develop any flu like symptoms associated with Covid19, it is best to get tested immediately and self-isolate," Mutta added. According to Shiba Kalyan Biswal, Consultant, Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, Narayana Hospital, Gurugram, common cold, running nose and sore throat etc are very common in this current weather. "Although the possibility of Covid-19 cannot be denied as per the symptoms, but as far as the common cold, running nose, sore throat etc are concerned, these are overlapping symptoms which may be the signs of any major disease or just a minor infection," Biswal said. In the letter, published by The British Medical Journal, Sohal wrote that as general practitioners, they review patients with mild symptoms -- for example, a runny or blocked nose, sore throat, hoarseness, myalgia, fatigue, and headache -- who subsequently turn out to be Covid-19 positive. NEW DELHI: The Central government is planning to start a special recruitment drive in its all ministries, departments, public sector banks, financial institutions as well as public sector undertakings under it to fill backlog OBC vacancies. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which monitors the progress in filling up of backlog reserved vacancies for the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs), in these ministries and departments under Central government, has given an instruction to its officials to begin the drive. PG 7 GOVT NOT TO RENEW CONTRACT, ISSUES FRESH JOB NOTICE India ready to supply weapon systems to IOR countries: Rajnath BENGALURU: India is ready to supply various types of weapon systems to Indian Ocean Region countries, Defence Minster Rajnath Singh said on Thursday, while stressing that the countries need to ensure peace in the region through "maritime cooperation". In a reference to to the prevailing tension in the South China Sea because of China's expansionist strategy, he said that the negative impact of conflicting claims in some maritime areas highlighted the need to ensure peace in the IOR region. However, the Defence Minister didn't name China while referring to the current situation in CENTRE TO BEGIN SPECIAL DRIVE TO FILL BACKLOG IN OBC VACANCIES "These symptoms are often inadvertently picked up while dealing with patients' other more pressing health issues. These patients have frequently not even considered that they may have Covid-19 and have not self-isolated in the crucial early days when they were most infectious," Sohal said. "The national publicity campaign focuses on cough, high temperature, and loss of smell or taste as symptoms to be aware of -only patients with these symptoms are able to access a Covid-19 test online through the NHS (National Health Service) test booking site. General practitioners have to advise patients to be dishonest to get a Covid-19 test," she added. UGC ASKS VARSITIES TO MAKE EWS, DISABLED RESERVATION INFO PUBLIC NEW DELHI: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a circular to the registrars of all the central, state and honorary universities including Delhi University, across the country, to make public the information on reservation for EWS and disabled. The circular noted that the information should be made public in all the universities and colleges across the country and at all levels. The UGC has mentioned in its circular that it is mandatory for all the centrally aided universities, colleges and educational institutions to implement the reservation policy of the government in a proper manner. Welcoming the commission's circular, the Delhi Teachers Association (DTA) has demanded that DU's Vice-Chancellor implement it immediately. Hansraj Suman, Delhi Teachers Association incharge, said that the UGC circular includes all the teaching and nonteaching posts. Besides, the reservation roster should be displayed on its website .