YK MYK NARENDRA MODI IS HAVING THE TASTE OF HIS GLOBAL DIGITAL FAME OPINION Rs. 5 RANCHI SATURDAY, 6 FEB, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—10, ISSUE—272 (RNI NO: JHAENG / 2012 / 44137) RAILWAYS PLANS TO IMPROVE ITS OPERATING RATIO SOON BUSINESS Morning India Hafizul sworn in as new Cabinet minister SANJAY SAHAY RANCHI: Hafizul Hasan Ansari, the eldest son of former minister late Haji Hussian Ansari, was sworn in as 11th minister in the Hemant Soren cabinet on Friday. Governor Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office to Hafizul at a function held in Raj Bhawan. He has been allocated Minority Affairs, Tourism, and Sports portfolios. After the oath-taking ceremony Chief Minister (CM) Hemant Soren said, " Today's development would help the state government to move ahead according to the aspiration of people of the state. The decision has been taken according to my wisdom and according to constitutional provisions." Notably, Hafizul has been handed over the minister's birth even though he is not an MLA. According to provisions, he has to get elected for the state assembly within six months. He is likely to contest from the Madhupur seat which has become vacant after the demise of his father last October. The deceased Haji Hussain was a close aide of JMM supremo Shibu Soren. Before taking the oath of office an emotional Hafizul met Shibu Soren at his residence to Governor Droupadi Murmu administers oath to Hafizul Hasan Ansari at Raj Bhawan on Friday. MI Photo seek blessings. Even as he shed tears holding Shibu's hands, the latter advised him to remain in touch with all the workers in his constituency. He later took the oath in Urdu in the function attended by the CM, JMM supremo Shibu Soren and several cabinet ministers. Congress minister Rameshwar Oroan said that Haifizul is destined to win from the Madhupur assembly by-polls. Alamgir Alam said that it was the right decision taken at the right time. Earlier, Hafizul also expressed confidence that he would get the blessings of people in the polls. It may be stated here that the RJD, which is a part of the JMMled mahagathbandhan in the state had earlier sought to field its candidate from the seat. The JMM, however, has given a clear indication now that it is not ready to sacrifice the seat. It may be stated here that JMM and BJP candidates have won from this seat twice each since 2005. Meanwhile, BJP state president Deepak Prakash said the CM's decision was taken out of fear of losing Madhupur seat, adding the latter was promoting dynastic politics. JMM leader Binod Pandey said that appointing a minister was the prerogative of the CM. WEATHER TODAY MAX 22 C MIN 09 C Sky will be partly cloudy. AT A GLANCE 4G MOBILE INTERNET SERVICE BEING RESTORED IN ENTIRE J&K JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday announced restoration of 4G mobile Internet services in the entire Union Territory. "4G mobile Internet services being restored in entire J&K," government spokesman Rohit Kansal said in a tweet. At present, 4G mobile services are available in only two districts of J&K -- Udhampur in the Jammu division and Ganderbal in the Kashmir division. 5 BRIDGES ON INDO-NEPAL BORDER REOPEN PITHORAGARH: Five bridges on the IndoNepal border in Pithoragarh district reopened on Friday after remaining closed for over 10 months due to the coronavirus lockdown. DM V K Jogdande issued an order to this effect on Friday. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,08,03,958 TOTAL DEATH: 154,866 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 105,512,858 TOTAL DEATH: 2,296,684 RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das addresses while delivering the Monetary Policy statement in Mumbai on Friday. ANI RBI maintains status quo for fourth time in a row; keeps key rate static at 4% MUMBAI: The RBI on Friday decided to leave the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4 per cent but maintained an accommodative stance, implying rate cuts in future if need arises to support the economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Reserve Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to leave the repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent, Governor Shaktikanta Das said while announcing the decisions taken by the panel. "It also unanimously decided to continue with the accommodative stance of monetary policy as long as necessary at least through the current financial year and into the next year to revive growth on a durable basis and mitigate the impact of COVID-19, while ensuring that inflation remains within the target going forward," he said. Consequently, the reverse repo rate will also continue to earn 3.35 per cent for banks for their deposits kept with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The central bank had slashed the repo rate by 115 basis points (bps) since March last year to support growth. This is the fourth time in a row that the MPC has decided to keep the policy rate HIGHLIGHTS MPC voted unanimously to leave repo rate, Reverse repo rate, MSF, Bank rate remain unchanged Inflation outturns have turned out to be better than expected Outlook on growth has improved significantly; GDP growth is projected at 10.5% in 202122 The policy stance remains accommodative as long as necessary. Saw renewed confidence in the real estate sector. Speed of daily highway construction is rising. unchanged. The RBI had last revised its policy rate on May 22, in an off-policy cycle to perk up demand by cutting interest rate to a historic low. The 27th meeting of the rate-setting MPC with three external members -- Ashima Goyal, Jayanth R Varma and Shashanka Bhide -- began on February 3. MORE ON PG 9 1ST TEST: ROOT SCORES 3RD CONSECUTIVE TON, ENG TAKE UPPER HAND England's Joe Root during Day 1 of the First test match between India and England at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday. SPORTS PAGE ‘3rd phase of Vax drive to cover those above 50, beginning March’ NEW DELHI: The most vulnerable age group of people in the country, those aged above 50 will get the first jab in March second week onwards, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan informed Parliament on Friday. The Health Minister said since the drive for the second phase to cover over 2 crore frontline workers is under progress, it is difficult to announce any fixed date right now but it is expected that the third phase of the vaccination drive will start in the second, third or fourth week of March. Replying to a question during Question Hour session of Lok Sabha, the Minister made the announcement saying "The third phase drive will cover the most vulnerable people over the age of 50". Vardhan said that the first phase of the world's biggest vaccination drive, which was rolled out on January 16 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India, had aimed to inoculate around 1 crore healthcare workers and the second phase targeted 2 crore frontline workers. Currently, India is inoculating indigenously made Covid-19 vaccines Covishield and Covaxin. The Minister further said that seven more vaccines are under process and India has so far administered vaccines to 5 million people across the country. TRUMP WON'T TESTIFY VOLUNTARILY AT SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL WORLD CHAKKA JAM TODAY Ptotests to be held peacefully pan-India, says Rakesh Tikait NOIDA: Ahead of the February 6 'chakka jam' by agitating farmers, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Friday said the nationwide protest will be peaceful and added that there will be no 'chakka jam' in Delhi. "We have been protesting peacefully and the 'chakka jam' will also be held peacefully across the country on February 6. There will be no chakka jam anywhere in Delhi. The farmers who are unable to join us will hold chakka jam at their respective places," said Tikait. "The people who get stuck will be given food and water, we will peacefully talk to them and explain our point," he added. Earlier, Tikait told reporters that there will be a three-hour-long chakka jam on February 6 everywhere outside Delhi. Farmers sitting at Singhu border during their ongoing protest against farm law on Friday. Farmers have been protesting at different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three newly enacted farm laws: Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and ANI Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. As farmers unions protest- ing against the Centre's three new agriculture laws gear up for the nationwide "chakka jam" (roadblock) on Saturday, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Friday said that the farmers will not block roads in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand along with Delhi-NCR. There will also not be any chakka jam programme in Delh-NCR since all the protest sites are already in a 'chakka jam' mode. All the roads for entering Delhi will remain open except where farmers' protest sites are already located. Tikait said: "Given the agriculture-related work, the proposed roadblock in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand on Saturday has been taken back and instead a memorandum will be submitted to the respective District Magistrates or suborMORE ON PG 3 dinates." CONG-JMM, LEFT TO EXTEND SUPPORT RANCHI: The Congress, JMM and Left parties in Jharkhand have extended their support to the farmers' call for a nationwide chakka-jam on Saturday to press for the repeal of the three new farm laws. Announcements were made separately on Thursday and Friday. Leaders said they would hit the road in full strength to enforce a three-hour blockade of the state and national highways from noon. As the ruling parties have supported the bandh it is most likely that Booty More, Bundu and Tupudana in Ranchi, will witness a total blockade. SC likely to resume physical Centre agrees to give extra chance to UPSC aspirants who exhausted their last attempt hearings from March 8 NEW DELHI, Feb 5 (IANS) Come this March 8, the Supreme Court is most likely to resume physical hearings after the Covid-19 pandemic pushed it into revolutionary changes, leading it to taking up cases virtually to meet the persistent demands of justice. In March last year, the apex court departed from its usual practice as it sought to mainstream technology into the justice delivery system. On March 8, a Constitution Bench will begin the hearing the final arguments against the reservations for the Maratha community in education and jobs, as legislated by the Maharashtra Assembly in November 2018. This decision on reservation was upheld by the Bombay High Court in June 2019, but in September 2020, the top court put the decision in abeyance, following appeals against the High Court order. On Friday, a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, S. Abdul Nazeer, Hemant Gupta, and S. Ravindra Bhat, said it will begin the hearing in the matter on March 8 in a hybrid manner. "If physical hearing starts by then, then hearing through physical mode, and those who want to appear through video conference can argue through it," it said. Amid the brief hearing, Justice Rao, in a light-hearted comment, told senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Maharashtra government, that the court has been missing him physically for nearly a year. Rohatgi replied that the Attorney General could use his power to make Covid vaccine available to judges and senior lawyers, as a lot of vaccines were "going waste" because of the lower-thanexpected number of recipients. NEW DELHI: The Centre told the Supreme Court on Friday that it is agreeable to give UPSC aspirants, who exhausted their last attempt for the civil services examination in October 2020 amid the Covid19 pandemic but are not agebarred, another shot at clearing the test in 2021. However, the Centre also made it clear that the relaxation for UPSC candidates shall be a one-time relaxation, and it should not be treated as a precedent. Notably, in January this year, the Centre had submit- ted before the court that another chance to lastattempters would be detrimental to the level playing field in the public examination system. The Centre's counsel contended before a bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar that the one-time relaxation, only to the extent of providing one extra chance for the elite civil services exam, specifically limited to Civil Services Examination (CSE) 2021, may be granted to those candidates who exhausted their last attempt HOWEVER, THE CENTRE ALSO MADE IT CLEAR THAT THE RELAXATION FOR UPSC CANDIDATES SHALL BE A ONE-TIME RELAXATION, AND IT SHOULD NOT BE TREATED AS A PRECEDENT. in 2020. The Centre emphasised that the candidates who have been given the leeway should not be age-barred from appearing in CSE-2021. In a note filed before the top court, the Centre said that this relaxation is not available to those aspirants who didn't exhaust their permissible number of attempts or to those who are otherwise agebarred from appearing in CSE-2021, in accordance with the prescribed age limits of different categories, or to any other candidate for any other reason whatsoever. The top court asked the Centre's counsel to circulate the note to the concerned parties and seek their response. The matter has been scheduled for further hearing on February 8.