YK MYK PSU PRIVATISATION MAY NOT HELP BUILD ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT OPINION KOLKATA THURSDAY, 18 FEB, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—273 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) MAX 31 C MIN 21 C Rainfall may occur. AT A GLANCE BSF rescues Bangladesh policeman who crossed border NEW DELHI: The Border Security Force has rescued a Bangladeshi policeman who had crossed the border to negotiate with smugglers at West Bengal's Siliguri. The police personnel have been identified as Umar Faruque and was rescued after being caught by the residence of Sipahipara village ahead of the fencing in the area of BSF Post Chanakya here. "The rescued individual is a constable in Panchgarh Sadar Police Station of Bangladesh," informed BSF. "Reportedly, three police personnel from Bangladesh violated the international border and entered Indian Territory near the Harivasa-Mominpara Ghagra border area on Sunday with an intention to negotiate with smugglers for buying Phensedyl," it said. BSF further said, "At one stage, a scuffle ensued with the villagers. Mosharraf Hossain and another policeman managed to flee the place and crossed over to Bangladesh. The villagers of Sipahipara overpowered Umar Faruque,. "Some villagers informed BSF Post Chanakya who rescued the Bangladeshi police constable. He was also provided first aid as he received minor injuries during a scuffle with villagers," it added. The rescued personnel was handed over to BGB during a flag meeting between the BSF and BGB. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,09,42,928 TOTAL DEATH: 155,978 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 110,135,575 TOTAL DEATH: 2,432,065 WORLD Morning India Rs. 3 WEATHER TODAY PAK OPPOSES ADDITION OF NEW PERMANENT MEMBERS TO UNSC Amit Shah on two-day tour of poll-bound Bengal from Thursday NEW DELHI: Home minister Amit Shah will be on a two-day political tour of poll-bound West Bengal during which he will launch the fifth and final phase of the BJP's 'Poriborton Yatra' from the South 24-Parganas district and attend several other programmes. Shah is also scheduled to eat lunch with a refugee's family in what appears to be an expression of solidarity with the people promised citizenship by the BJP. On Thursday, the Home Minister will visit the Bharat Sevashram Sangha at Rash Behari Avenue in Kolkata in the morning followed by a visit to the Kapil Muni Ashram at Gangasagar, an official said. In the afternoon, Shah will launch the “Poribartan Yatra” from Namkhana and then have lunch with the family at Narayanpur village. He will also take part in a roadshow at Namkhana. On Friday, the Home Minister will pay tributes to martyrs from the State at the National Library in Kolkata and attend a media conclave in the city, the official said. The BJP and ruling Trinamool Congress, headed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, are spearheading an intense election campaign in West Bengal with the saffron party deploying its enviable political machinery to capture power in the State which it has never ruled. Several Union ministers, MPs and other leaders recognised for their organisational and poll management skills have been roped in by the saffron party to drive its campaign in the State, with special attention on the seats which it considers winnable. The BJP is banking on the expertise of its leader and backroom strategist Sunil Bansal for bettering its prospects in Kolkata and its neighbouring areas— 51 seats in all—in which voters have not given the party much of a chance until now. Bansal is known to have worked closely with home minister Amit Shah, who was the BJP president when the party won the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election in 2017. The party is targeting at least 30 of these seats where the BJP has been the weakest. Bansal, at present the party's general secretary in UP, was among the leaders handling over 150,000 booths in the UP assembly polls of 2017 in which the party swept to power. He has been allotted a centre and a war room in the party's headquarters to manage the BJP's organisational activities in this zone. According to BJP leaders, he had camped in Kolkata for a month in December, and then has been spending at least 15 days every month in the State. He has already visited each of the 51 assembly constituencies and is currently working on a plan to strengthen the 13,800 booths in this zone. In the last three days, to prepare to submit feedback to Shah, he has also toured 150 of the 199 mandals in this zone. His focus, according to BJP leaders, is on data collection and strengthening the booths to have at least ve active members in each. "There are around 2,000 ‘type D’ booths in this zone where due to many reasons the party has very limited or no presence, mainly due to Muslim dominated booths. Excluding them, at least in 11,000 booths we want to ensure active party activity," a party leader said. “After Shah's visit, we will begin door-to-door campaigns here.” The BJP classifies booths where it wins most times as type A, those with 4050% vote-share as type B, and ones closely fought as type C. Union Minister Smriti Irani at a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday. ANI Nod for amendment in JJ Act to strengthen child protection: Govt NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod for amendment in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 to introduce measures for strengthening the child protection set-up to ensure the best interests of children. It was a proposal by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), which seeks amendment in the existing JJ Act for giving protection to children that face trafficking, child labour and other issues. Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Cabinet approved the WCD ministry's proposal for amendments seeking authorisation to the District Magistrate, including the Additional District Magistrate, to issue adoption orders under Section 61 of the JJ Act, in order to ensure speedy disposal of cases and enhance accountability. Among some other aspects of the proposal, the District Magistrates have been further empowered under the JJ Act to ensure its smooth implementation as well as garner synergised efforts in favour of children in distress. The draft amendment also defines eligibility parameters for appointment of CWC members and categorises previously undefined offences PUSH FOR DOMESTIC TELECOM MANUFACTURING NEW DELHI: In line with the government's vision to make India a manufacturing hub, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for telecom and networking products at a budgetary outlay of Rs 12,195 crore. The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme intends to promote manufacture of Telecom and Networking Products in India and proposes a financial incentive to boost domestic manufacturing and attract investments in the target segments in order to encourage Make in India, an official stateBUSINESS ment said. as a 'serious offence'. Several difficulties faced in implementation of various provisions of the Act have also been addressed in the amendment proposal. While announcing the move, Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said, "This is a big step to protect children." Workers cleans seats at Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, where India and Engalnd are scheduled to play their third test match, in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. ANI GOVT INVITES SUGGESTIONS ON BLUE ECONOMY POLICY NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has rolled out the draft blue economy policy in the public domain, inviting suggestions and inputs from various stakeholders, including industry, NGOs, academia and citizens. The draft policy document outlines the vision and strategy that can be adopted by the government to utilise the plethora of oceanic resources available in the country. The document has recognised seven thematic areas: national accounting framework for the blue economy and ocean governance; coastal marine spatial planning and tourism; marine fisheries, aquaculture, and fish processing; manufacturing, emerging industries, trade, technology, services, and skill development; logistics, infrastructure. Court acquits Priya Ramani in MJ Akbar defamation case NEW DELHI: A Delhi Court on Wednesday acquitted Journalist Priya Ramani in a criminal defamation case filed by former Union Minister M.J. Akbar for accusing him of sexual misconduct. In the wake of #MeToo movement in 2018, Ramani had made an allegation of sexual harassment against Akbar. Pursuant to this, he filed the criminal defamation case against her and IN 2017, RAMANI resigned as the WROTE AN ARTIUnion Minister. CLE FOR THE The trial VOGUE WHERE began in 2019 SHE DESCRIBED and went on for HER ORDEAL OF almost two BEING SEXUALLY years. In 2017, HARASSED BY A Ramani wrote FORMER BOSS an article for the DURING HER JOB Vogue where INTERVIEW FOR she described HIS PUBLICATION. her ordeal of being sexually harassed by a former boss during her job interview for his publication. One year later, she revealed that the person alluded to as harasser in article was M.J. Akbar. Akbar told the court that Ramani's allegations were fictitious and cost him his stellar reputation. Priya Ramani, on the other hand, contested these claims, pleaded truth as her defence and said that she made allegations in good faith, public interest, and for public good. The judgement in the case is important as it sets a precedent for similar cases which arose from the discourse-changing #MeToo moveALSO SEE PG 7 ment. Cong sweeps Punjab civic polls, boost for Amarinder CHANDIGARH: The ruling Congress won six municipal corporations and emerged as the largest party in the seventh, sweeping the urban body polls in Punjab on Wednesday. The party won Bathinda, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Abohar, Batala and Pathankot corporations in the civic polls on February 7, held against the backdrop of the farmers' agitation over the new agri-marketing laws. In Moga, the party needed victories in six more wards to control the municipal corporation. The Congress also won a majority of the 109 municipal councils and nagar panchayats, officials said, adding the details would be known later. Mohali too went to the polls but the counting there will take place Thursday, delayed because of a repoll at two booths. The outcome comes as a boost to the Congress, which has been backing the protest FARMERS TO HOLD ‘RAIL ROKO’ ON THURSDAY: RAKESH TIKAIT NEW DELHI: Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Wednesday announced that the farmer groups protesting against the Centre's new farm laws will be holding a 'rail roko' (railway blockade) across the country on Thursday. The protest will be staged from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Speaking to IANS, Tikait said the Centre has not been permitting many trains to ply for the last eight months despite the fact that many other curbs were removed after people faced difficulties. The BKU leader said the people from their villages will also take part in the protest, adding that arrangements have been made for the children travelling by the trains. The 'rail roko' has been announced by the Samkyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of 40 farmers' unions. by farmers a majority of them from Punjab and Haryana against the BJP-led government. Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said people have rejected the negative politics of parties like the BJP, SAD and AAP. He rooted for renomination of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh when assembly elections are held early next year. I would like to launch a campaign, 'Captain for 2022'. Only he can steer the ship of the state through these turbulent times when Punjab is being discriminated against by the BJP-led Centre, he told reporters. The CM tweeted, Today's results in MC Elections are the victory of each Punjabi. It is very clear that people of Punjab want development & will not be fooled by politics of hatred & theatrics. Celebrations erupted in the Congress camp with party workers distributing sweets at many places. Version 2.0 of Co-WIN app to be launched soon NEW DELHI: PK Mishra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting to review the progress of the COVID-19 vaccination drive and was apprised that version 2.0 of the Co-WIN digital app is ready and will be launched "in very near future". Co-WIN app, a critical link in the COVID-19 vaccination drive for self-registration by the beneficiaries, had faced glitches and slowed or stalled vaccination process and the government had said that the technical issues were being sorted out. An official release said that Principal Secretary was briefed about the progress of the countrywide COVID vaccination exercise. "Principal Secretary to PM was also apprised that version 2.0 of the Co-WIN digital app for selfregistration of the vaccine beneficiaries is ready and will be launched in very near future," it said. The plans to involve private sector healthcare facilities in a significant way in the ongoing vaccination drive were also discussed in the meeting. The release said that this will enable registration of the population in the category of "50 years plus" for COVID vaccination, which is the third population priority group after the healthcare workers and frontline workers A medic wearing a PPE kit collects a swab sample of a passenger for the COVID-19 test, at Dadar Railway station in Mumbai on Wednesday. ANI who are being administered the vaccine at present. The comprehensive review meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Secretary (Health), Secretary (Pharmaceuticals) and CEO (National Health Authority). The countrywide COVID vaccination drive was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 16. The release said that the Principal Secretary was briefed about the progress of the countrywide COVID vaccination exercise. It said vaccination coverage in India has crossed 9.06 million doses across health care workers and front line workers at 3 pm today. With this cumulative number, India ranks third globally after USA (55.2 million doses) and the UK (16.12 million doses) who have completed more than 60 days of vaccination in comparison to 31 days in India. It was pointed out that India was the fastest country in the world to cross all the milestones from 1 million to 7 million cumulative vaccinations. The release said that 68.3 per cent of all healthcare workers have been administered the first dose, 37.6 per cent eligible healthcare workers have been administered the second dose and 28.2 per cent of all frontline workers have been administered the first dose. The meeting was informed that India has supplied COVID vaccine to 13 countries as grants through Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). These countries are Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Oman, Afghanistan, Barbados and Dominica. In addition, the vaccine has also been supplied to 14 countries - Bangladesh, Myanmar, Morocco, Brazil, Egypt, Algeria, South Africa, Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia and ElSalvador - under commercial contract.