YK MYK TOO EARLY TO FORECAST INDIA’S GDP GROWTH IN FINANCIAL YEAR 22 OPINION Rs. 3 KOLKATA WEDNESDAY, 14 APRIL, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—326 (RNI NO:WBENG / 2014 / 56803) WEATHER TODAY MAX 38 C MIN 28 C Sky will be partly cloudy. AT A GLANCE SUSHIL CHANDRA TAKES CHARGE AS 24TH CEC NEW DELHI: Sushil Chandra assumed charge as the 24th Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) on Tuesday. Sushil Chandra was appointed as the new CEC by President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday, the day Sunil Arora demitted office. Chandra was appointed as an Election Commissioner on February 14, 2019, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. He is set to demit office on May 14, 2022, and will oversee the conduct of assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, and Manipur as the CEC. PG 5 PM TO ADDRESS ASSOCIATION OF INDIAN UNIVERSITIES' 95TH MEET NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Association of Indian Universities' (AIU) 95th Annual meet and the National Seminar of Vice Chancellors on Wednesday. Modi will attend the event at 11 a.m. through video conferencing. He will also launch four books related to Dr B.R. Ambedkar, authored by Kishor Makwana. SPIELBERG TO BARRYMORE: I CARE ABOUT YOU, ALWAYS HAVE SCREEN & CINEMA Morning India Russia’s Sputnik vaccine approved for emergency use in India: Health ministry NEW DELHI: India's drug regulator has granted permission for restricted emergency use of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V with certain conditions, the Union Health Ministry announced on Tuesday, while stating that Dr Reddy's Laboratories will import the vaccine for use in the country. The approval by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) paves the way for a third vaccine to be available in the country. The approval came after the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on COVID-19 of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) on Monday recommended granting approval to Sputnik V for restricted emergency use subject to certain regulatory conditions. The DCGI in January had already given the emergency use authorisation for two COVID-19 vaccines -Covaxin of the B h a r a t Biotech and Covishield of Oxford-AstraZeneca, being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India in Pune. Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd (DRL) had applied for the grant of permission to import and market Gam-COVID-Vac combined vector vaccine, popularly called Sputnik-V, developed by M/s Gamaleya Institute, Russia for Emergency Use Authorization, the ministry said in a statement. The Gam-COVID-Vac combined vector vaccine (Component I & Component II) has been developed by the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia and is approved in 30 countries across the world. DRL has collaborated with the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation for obtaining regulatory approval for import for marketing in India. The interim results of safety immunogenicity and efficacy from Russian phase 3 clinical trial have been published in the Lancet journal. The firm was permitted to conduct a phase-2/3 clinical trial in the country and it has submitted interim data from the ongoing phase 2/3-clinical trial in the country. The data from the clinical trial is being continuously assessed by the CDSCO in consultation with the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) as a rapid regulatory response. The SEC consists of domain knowledge experts from the fields of pulmonology, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology, paediatrics, internal medicine, etc. The SEC deliberated on various critical areas for consideration including safety, immunogenicity, efficacy data from overseas clinical studies, indication, age group, dosing schedule, precautions, storage, warnings, adverse effects of special interest, risk benefit evaluation, proposed factsheet, PI, SmPCetc. The approval of the vaccine in Russia along with its conditions/restrictions was Beds are seen at Nehru science centre which turned into Covid Health centre, in Mumbai on Tuesday. THE APPROVAL CAME AFTER THE SUBJECT EXPERT COMMITTEE (SEC) ON COVID-19 OF THE CENTRAL DRUGS STANDARD CONTROL ORGANIZATION (CDSCO) ON MONDAY RECOMMENDED GRANTING APPROVAL TO SPUTNIK V FOR RESTRICTED EMERGENCY USE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN REGULATORY CONDITIONS. also reviewed by the SEC. The SEC noted that the safety and immunogenicity data presented by the firm from the Indian study is comparable with that of the phase 3 clinical trial interim data from Russia, the statement said. "After detailed deliberation the SEC recommended for grant of permission for restricted use in emergency situations subject to various regulatory provisions," the ministry said. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,36,99,048 TOTAL DEATH: 1,71,121 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 137,438,103 TOTAL DEATH: 2,962,139 CM FOR COLLECTIVE DECISION ON COVID PREVENTION RANCHI: Chief Minister (CM) Hemant Soren on Tuesday urged the voters not to fall prey to the sweet talks of the BJP leaders and waste votes on their candidate. Addressing an election rally at Madhupur, he urged the people to vote for JMM candidate Hafizul Hasan in order to pay real tribute to former minister late Haji Hussain Ansari. The CM said, “The BJP leaders would approach you as brothers and sisters and may even offer money but you must remain alert against their conspiracy.” CM sits on dharna to protest EC ban Mamata takes to painting Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who on Tuesday sat on a dharna to protest the 24-hour ban imposed by the Election Commission, took to canvas and made colourful paintings. Mamata turned to paints and canvases and produced at least two paintings while sitting on her wheelchair. CBI QUESTIONS BANKURA SP, MAJHI IN COAL SMUGGLING CASE Kolkata: Tightening its noose around the alleged kingpin of the illegal coal pilferage scam Anup Majhi aka Lala, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday again questioned him and the Superintendent of Police (SP) Koteswara Rao in connection with the case. A CBI official related to the probe said, "We have questioned Majhi and Rao separately in our office here." The CBI questioned Majhi for the seventh time in connection. Relatives of a deceased create ruckus at Sadar hospital in Ranchi on Tuesday. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shows her paintings which she drew while sitting on a dharna against the Election Commission's order barring her from campaigning for 24 hours at Gandhi Murti in Kolkata on Tuesday. PRABIR BHATTACHARYA MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sat on a dharna at Gandhi Murti in Kolkata on Tuesday, as a mark of protest after the Election Commission (EC) imposed a ban on her for 24 hours from campaigning in any manner from 8 pm on April 12 till 8 pm on April 13. Mamata Banerjee in her usual tone challenged BJP, saying that she is a street fighter and fights from the battleground. The Election Commission on Monday banned Mamata Banerjee from campaigning in the ongoing State elections for 24 hours and said she had made "highly insinuating and provocative remarks laden with serious potential of the breakdown of law and order and thereby affecting the election process". The ban comes into force ahead of the fifth phase of Assembly polls in the state on April 17. The poll panel in its order condemned her statements "portent with serious law and order problems across the state(s)" and sternly warned her. It advised her "to desist from using such statements while making public utterances during the period when Model Code of Conduct is in force." Following this, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien called the EC's move a 'black day for democracy'. "Today is a black day in Indian democracy. They cannot beat us, that is why they ban us," tweeted O'Brien. He further remarked that the EC stands for 'Extremely Compromised'. Leaders from different political parties also reacted strongly against EC's move to ban Mamata Banerjee from campaigning for 24 hours in the ongoing Assembly elections over her appeal for votes along communal lines. Abhijit Mukherjee, son of former President Pranab Mukherjee and Congress leader, said, "Banning Mamata Banerjee from campaigning for the next 24 hours while ignoring hate speeches of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders is nothing but a naked display of favouritism by the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora." Mukherjee further questioned if there was any deal between Arora and the BJP. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik also slammed EC over the decision. "This is not right. It is inappropriate to ban a leader like Mamata Banerjee that too from campaigning for her own party. The decision appeared to be politically motivated. I appeal the EC to withdraw the ban as soon as possible," Malik told ANI. Meanwhile, BJP leader Zafar Islam said the Commission took the right step. He also said people are fed up with Mamata Banerjee's Government and want a change. Sub-head: EC must ensure 'level playing field' After the Election Commission (EC) banned West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from campaigning for 24 hours in the ongoing Assembly polls, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) supremo MK Stalin urged the poll body to ensure a "level playing field" for all political parties and candidates. Taking to Twitter, Stalin wrote, "The faith in our democracy rests on free and fair elections. The Election Commission of India must ensure a level playing field for all parties and candidates and ensure that impartiality and neutrality is maintained. #MamataBanerjee." DILIP GHOSH CRITICISES MAMATA The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday issued a notice to Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh for violating provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and Indian Penal Code (IPC) for making an "inflammatory statement" threatening the people of Bengal during a public rally in Barangar, North 24-Parganas. The same day Dilip Ghosh reacted on State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sitting on a dharna after Election Commission banned her from campaigning for 24 hours. Blaming CM Mamata for the killings in Cooch Behar, he said that "she is protesting against Supreme Court (SC) and the Constitution of India". "I don't believe that she (Mamata Banerjee) will follow the law. It doesn't suit a Chief Minister," said Ghosh. Mamata must be held responsible: Kishan Reddy Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy on Tuesday alleged that Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee "instigated" people to attack the security forces in Cooch Behar and said she should be held responsible for the incident. "In the recent Cooch Behar incident, Mamata Banerjee had instigated people to attack the security forces. She also tried to blame BJP and the police officers. She had tried to instigate people to attack the police officers," Reddy said. 'EC ban reflects desperation of BJP' Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav has extended his support to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's sit-in in Kolkata against the Election Commission's (EC) decision to ban her from campaigning for 24 hours and said it actually reflects the desperation of "a losing BJP". BJP leaders face EC ire MI NEWS SERVICE New Delhi/Kolkata: The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday barred BJP leader Rahul Sinha from campaigning for 48 hours and slapped a notice on its Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh over their "provocative" remarks on the killing of four people in firing by CISF during poll violence in Sitalkuchi, saying such statements could have a serious impact on law and order. Strongly condemning Sinha's reported remarks that Central forces "should have killed eight rather than four people", the EC said he made "highly provocative statements mocking human life and inciting the forces that could have serious law and order implications". The Commission said it found the remarks of the leaders violative of the model code and various provisions of the Representation of the People Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The high-octane Assembly election campaign in the State, where the BJP and the Trinamool Congress have unleashed a no-holds-barred attack against each other, has seen the EC clamping down on leaders of both parties for their objectionable utterances. On Monday, the poll panel barred Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee from campaigning for 24 hours for her remarks against Central forces and a statement that allegedly had religious overtones. The EC, in another order, has let off BJP candidate from Nandigram Suvendu Adhikari with a light rap for his remarks that "if people vote for Begum there will be mini Pakistan". "Now, therefore, the Commission hereby warns Shri Suvendu Adhikari and advises him to desist from using such statements while making public utterances during the period when Model Code of Conduct is in force," the order issued on Monday night said. Adhikari is pitted against Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram where polls were held earlier this month. The EC took suo motu cognisance of Rahul Sinha's remarks and said it decided to issue the order without giving any notice to him due to the urgency of the matter. After the Trinamool Congress approached the Commission against Dilip Ghosh over his reported remarks that there would be "Sitalkuchi in several places", the EC asked him to respond to its notice making his stand clear on the issue by 10 am on Wednesday. The notice said the Commission is of the considered view that Ghosh has in violation of various clauses of the Model Code of Conduct and provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) "made statements that are provocative and can seriously incite the emotions". This could "lead to a breakdown of law and order thereby adversely affecting the election process", the notice said.The ban on Rahul Sinha began at 12 noon on Tuesday and will remain in force till 12 noon of April 15. Sinha in his speech said, "The Central forces have given them a befitting answer. If they do it again they will be dealt again in a befitting manner. "The Central forces should have killed eight persons instead of four in Sitalkuchi. The Central forces should be issued a showcause notice as to why they have killed only four of them."The poll body said, "Commission hereby strongly condemns the above statements made by Rahul Sinha, BJP, and sternly warns him to be careful from using such statements while making public utterances during the period when Model Code of Conduct is in force," according to the order. Four men were killed at a booth in the Sitalkuchi Assembly constituency in Cooch Behar during the fourth phase polling on April 10 as CISF personnel opened fire after coming under attack from locals who "attempted to snatch their rifles". Prohibitory orders might be imposed around sensitive and super-sensitive booths during fifth phase polls KOLKATA: Poll-bound Bengal got an additional 60 CAPF companies from Tamil Nadu and Assam on Tuesday morning. The Election Commission (EC) has decided to deploy 1.07 lakh Central force personnel on Saturday when 45 Assembly constituencies across North 24-Parganas, Nadia, Burdwan East, Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong and Darjeeling go to polls in the fifth phase. They will be assisted by 21,000 State police personnel. According to Election Commission officials, 860 CAPF companies out of 1,071 will be on poll duty on August 17 and 821 of them will be inside polling stations. The rest will be part of the strike force and on sector duty. They will combat violence, if any, after polls and guard EVMs and postal ballots. Special observers Vivek Dubey and Ajay Nayek held a fivehour meeting on Monday with the DM of North 24-Parganas, where polling will be held in 16 out of 33 seats and where 285 CAPF companies are being deployed. The SPs of Barasat and Basirhat and the Police Commissioners of Bidhannagar and Barrackpore were also present at the meeting in which Dubey made it clear that failure of law and order or attack on Central forces would not be tolerated. The senior officers were asked to prepare a list of sensitive and super-sensitive booths, and issue high alert around them. Officers hinted that prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC might be imposed around such booths. Barrackpore Police Commissionerate area where polling will be held in four seats - Panihati, Kamarhati, Dum Dum and Baranagar - will be manned by 62 CAPF companies. Basirhat police district will see 107 companies for five seats Haroa, Minakhan, Basirhat South and Basirhat North along with another constituency. Polling will be held in 1,834 booths. In Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate area, 1,014 booths across the seats of Bidhannagar, Rajarhat-New Town and Rajarhat- Gopalpur will be looked after by 46 companies. Barasat police district where polling will be held in two seats Barasat and Madhyamgram - there will be 70 companies of Central forces, who will also manage parts of two adjoining seats. For polling in eight seats of Burdwan East, there will be 153 companies while Ranaghat police district in Nadia will also have a high concentration of 140 company of Central force for seven seats. In Krishnagar police district, 11 companies will man a single seat. In Darjeeling district, where polling is scheduled in four seats, there will be 67 CAPF companies. For Jalpaiguri, where polling will be held in seven seats, there will be 123 companies and for Kalimpong seat, there will be 21 companies for 301 booths.