YK MYK NARENDRA MODI'S RAFALE DEAL NEVER GOES INTO OBLIVION OPINION KOLKATA FRIDAY, 16 APRIL, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—328 (RNI NO:WBENG / 2014 / 56803) MAX 36 C MIN 26 C Sky will be partly cloudy. AT A GLANCE NEET PG 2021 POSTPONED AMID COVID-19 SPIKE, NEW DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED LATER NEW DELHI: Amid the massive surge in COVID19 cases across the country, the central government on Thursday decided to postpone the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)Postgraduate exam. The all-India medical entrance test was scheduled to take place on April 18. "In light of the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Government of India has decided to postpone the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Postgraduate exam which was earlier scheduled to be held on April 18. Next date to be decided later," Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan tweeted. INDIA SIMPLIFIES PROCESS FOR RE-ISSUE OF OCI CARDS NEW DELHI: In a decision which is expected to significantly ease the process for re-issue of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards, the Central government has simplified the process. Presently, the OCI card is required to be reissued each time a new passport is issued up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 years of age, in view of biological changes in the face of the applicant. With a view to facilitate the OCI cardholders, it has now been decided by the Central government to dispense with this requirement, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Thursday. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,40,83,069 TOTAL DEATH: 1,73,178 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 138,992,376 TOTAL DEATH: 2,988,901 SPORTS Morning India Rs. 3 WEATHER TODAY CSK NEED TO SHED OFF RUSTINESS AGAINST PUNJAB India records Mamata holds 'Nobo Borsho' road show in city FIR against CM 2L fresh Covid cases, days after breaching 1L-mark NEW DELHI: India has emerged as the worst hit nation by the latest wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, recording more than two-fold rise in fresh cases with 2,00,739 new infections getting reported on Thursday, as compared to the country's highest previous peak of 97,894 cases recorded on September 17 last year. Covid-19 cases have been on the rise at an alarming rate for the past fortnight, with India recording over one lakh daily cases for the first time on April 4. Within 10 days, India became the second nation to record over 2 lakh daily cases, as per the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. India has been recording more than 1.5 lakh cases a day for five days in a row now. In April this year, India became the second nation after the US to log over 1 lakh daily coronavirus cases, and it also achieved the dubious distinction of crossing the 2 lakh fresh cases-mark within 10 days. It was almost eight months ago that India recorded 97,894 fresh cases on September 17 last year. The number of active cases fell drastically since then before the recent surge. In the latest wave of the pandemic, India has been the world's worst-hit country since April 2, forcing the states to impose new curbs to control the virus spread. As per Union Health Ministry figures, India reported 2,00,739 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the biggest single-day spike so far, taking its overall tally to 1,40,74,564, cases. India's daily deaths due to Covid are also rising with 1,038 new deaths getting reported on Thursday, the second consecutive day the country reported over a thousand deaths. This took the overall death toll in the country to 1,73,123 till date. As many as 93,528 patients recovered in the same time span, taking the total number of recoveries to 1,24,29,564 with a recovery rate of 88.31 per cent, the Health Ministry said. The ministry also said that a total of 13,84,549 samples were tested in the last 24 MORE ON PG 5 hours. RESERVE BANK SETS UP NEW REGULATIONS REVIEW AUTHORITY MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up a new Regulations Review Authority (RRA 2.0) for a period of one year to review regulatory prescriptions internally as well as by seeking suggestions from RBI-regulated entities and other stakeholders on their simplification and ease of implementation. Deputy Governor M. Rajeshwar Rao has been appointed as the head of the RRA, set up for a period of one year from May 1, 2021, unless its tenure is extended by the RBI. In a statement, the central bank said that considering the developments in its regulatory functions over the past two decades and evolution of the regulatory perimeter, it is Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at an election rally, covering Beliaghata to Bank of India, Bowbazar, with party candidates Nayana Bandyopadhyay and Vivek Gupta in Kolkata on Thursday. Prabir Bhattacharya MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday held a roadshow here as she sought to bolster the ruling TMC's campaign in the ongoing assembly elections, and wished people peace and prosperity on the occasion of Bengali New Year. Accompanied by yesteryear Bollywood icon and Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan, Banerjee was seen greeting the crowd with security personnel pushing her wheelchair. TMC supremo led the 4-km road show from Alochhaya cinema hall in the Beliaghata area of the city to Bowbazar and waved at enthusiastic people who gathered along the road. Thousands of party supporters took part in the rally and shouted slogans - "Didi tumi egiye cholo amra tomar sange achhi" (Didi, you go ahead, we are with you), "Dangabaz BJP dur hoto" (Down with rioter BJP) and "khela habe" (Game will happen). She was also accompanied by TMC candidate from Belaghata Paresh Paul and party's nominee from Remaining phases of polls to be held as scheduled NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: There are no plans to club the remaining phases of the Bengal Assembly elections together, the Election Commission of India (ECI) clarified on Thursday, amid speculations in light of the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases across the country. Meanwhile, the Chief Electoral Office (CEO) West Bengal called for an all-party meeting asking all political parties to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. "A meeting has been called by CEO Bengal to ask all political parties to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines mandated by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for strict compliance," an ECI Official said. Earlier last week, the Election Commission had written to all national and state parties asking them to follow all COVID-related guidelines during public meetings, rallies and other activities. The Commission also took a 'serious view of the laxity in maintaining norms, particularly not wearing masks by political leaders on stage.' The high-decibel campaigning for the fifth of the eight phases of the ongoing Bengal Assembly elections concluded at 6 pm on Wednesday as the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic continued to rage on. Leaders of the political parties took part in the high-stakes . Chowrangee seat Nayna Bandyopadhyay. Addressing a gathering after the hour-long march, Banerjee wished people peace, happiness and prosperity on the occasion of 'Bangla Noboborsho' and urged them to vote for the TMC. Bachchan said, "We do not want Poriborton (change) in Bengal. Please re-elect Didi and help her carry on the development work to take the state to new heights." The Samajwadi Party MP, who has been campaigning for TMC candidates and tak- ing part in road shows for over a week, also greeted people on the occasion of Bengali New year. "Khela hobe. Didi is playing the game even with her injured leg," Bachchan, who shares a rapport with the TMC supremo for years and had earlier attended the inauguration programmes of the Kolkata International Film Festival, said. Earlier in the day, Banerjee shared a famous poem of Rabindranath Tagore on Twitter, while conveying her wishes on Bengali New Year. "May Bengali year 1428 An FIR has been lodged against Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleging that she instigated voters to gherao central forces and that, in turn, led to the incident of firing in Sitalkuchi and the subsequent death of four persons. Siddique Ali Mia, the Zilla president of BJP's minority cell in Cooch Behar, cited the TMC supremo's comments during a rally in Banerswar area as he filed a complaint on Wednesday claiming that her address provoked people to attack CISF personnel during the fourth phase of state elections. He attached a video clip of Banerjee's speech in his complaint at Mathabhanga police station. Villagers, after being provoked by such provocative statements of Mamata Banerjee, tried to snatch fire arms of the deployed paramilitary forces, Mia said. At least four persons died outside a polling booth in Sitalkuchi assembly constituency on April 10 when CISF personnel opened fire in "self defence" allegedly after coming under attack from locals. The Election Commission had suspended the voting exercise at the booth following the incident. be spent with safety, joy and peace," she said. Eleven addl police observers for Bengal before fifth phase polls are 3 to 5 Assembly constituencies under one police observer. Sometimes that number is 6. It is believed that as their responsibilities decrease according to the Assembly, surveillance will increase. In all, there will be 6 police observers. According to the source, the police observers will be present in the rest of the constituencies after the fifth phase of the elections. State politics is still in turmoil over last Saturday's Sitalkuchi incident. Four peo- MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: 11 more police observers are coming to the State before the fifth phase of elections. There are already 55 police observers in the state. The Election Commission has taken this decision after the Sitalkuchi incident. Besides, there are 33 General Observers and 16 Expenditure Observers. The Commission is taking precaution so that incidents like Sitalkuchi do not happen in the next phase. Usually there ple were killed in the shooting incident by the CISF personnel. Four more were injured. The shooting took place in the morning outside booth number 126 in Jora Patki. Sitalkuchi took the form of a battlefield in the TrinamoolBJP clash. Buffs were deployed in the area to handle the situation. Trinamool Congress workers complained that the Central forces are working for the BJP in the area. The police went and tried to bring the situation under control. MARCH Centre to decide on pending names WPI inflation gallops to 7.39 pc of HC judges in 3 months, AG tells SC NEW DELHI: The annual rate of inflation based on monthly wholesale price index (WPI) was 7.39 per cent in March as compared to 4.17 per cent in the previous month, data released by the government on Thursday showed. However, month-onmonth (March 2021 over February 2021) rate of inflation stood at 1.57 per cent, according to an official statement released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. "The prices of crude oil, petroleum products and basic metal substantially increased in March 2021 as compared to the corresponding month of last year. Also, due to nationwide lockdown, the WPI index for the month of Crawford market shops closed after the Maharashtra government imposed 15 days lockdown to curb the COVID19 cases, in Mumbai on Thursday. ANI March 2020 (120.4) was computed with relatively low response rate." The index for primary articles with a weightage of 22.62 per cent increased by 0.55 per cent to 146.2 in March from 145.4 in February. Prices of crude petroleum and natural gas (8.64 per cent), non-food articles (1.9 per cent) and miner- als (0.35 per cent) increased. Prices of food articles (minus 0.45 per cent) declined in March 2021 as compared to February 2021. The index for manufactured products with a weightage of 64.23 per cent increased by 1.27 per cent to 127.3 in March from 124.9 in February. Out of the 22 NIC two-digit groups for manufactured products, 16 groups that have witnessed increase in prices are manufacture of furniture; motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers; machinery and equipment; electrical equipment; computer, electronic and optical products; fabricated metal products, except machinery. NEW DELHI: Attorney General K.K. Venugopal on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that the Centre, within a period of three months, will consider 10 names sent for appointment as high court judges, which were recommended as far back as July 2019. The top court recorded the AG's submission during the hearing of a matter in connection with the delay in the appointment of judges. After recording the submissions, a bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde said the government will take a decision on the 10 names sent to it vide letters dated July 25, 2019, October 17, 2019 and August 18, 2020, which are Attorney General K.K. Venugopal pending for more than six months, within a period of three months. In 25 high courts across the country, the sanctioned strength is 1,080 judges. Out of the 416 vacant positions of high court judges, 196 proposals are under the consideration of the Centre and the Supreme Court Collegium. However, for the remaining 220 posts, recommendations have not been received so far. The AG had submitted the details, on the vacancy positions as on April 13, through a note in the top court. According to the AG's note, out of the 196 names, a total of 80 proposals have been submitted to the top court collegium for advice. Two names have been referred to the Supreme Court Collegium for reconsideration. The collegium had deferred 12 names. Of the 196 proposals, 11 names which were not considered by the top court collegium have been remitted to the high court. Climate change is making Indian monsoon season chaotic A recent analysis by a team of German researchers that compared more than 30 state-of-the-art climate models from all around the world found that if global warming continues unchecked, summer monsoon rainfall in India will become stronger and more erratic in the coming years. Since 1980 greenhouse gasinduced warming has become the deciding driver for more chaotic monsoon seasons. The study published in the journal Earth System Dynamics predicts stronger Indian monsoon seasons in the future, with potentially grave consequences for more than one billion people's well- being, economy, food systems, and agriculture. As one of the integral components of the global climate system, the Indian monsoon provides water to the densely populated region of South Asia. About 80 per cent of the annual precipitation over India occurs during the summer period, supplying water to the crops during the prime agricultural season. There is an inextricable link between the Indian summer monsoon and the health, as well as the socio-economic wellbeing of people. Thus, understanding the response of the Indian summer monsoon and its inter-annual variability to different global warming scenarios is critical for designing management strategies of water resources and agricultural policies in the future. Lead author Anja Katzenberger from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and LudwigMaximilian University in Munich, Germany (LMU), said "We have found robust evidence for an exponential dependence: For every degree Celsius of warming, monsoon rainfalls will likely increase by about 5 per cent. Hereby we were also able to confirm previous studies but find that global warming is increasing monsoon rainfall in India even more than previously thought. It is dominating monsoon dynamics in the 21st century." Too much rainfall can harm plants. More rainfall is not necessarily a good thing for the farming sector in India and its neighbouring countries. As coauthor Julia Pongratz from LMU explains: "Crops need water especially in the initial growing period, but too much rainfall during other growing states can harm plants - including rice on which the majority of India's WILDLIFE MYK 08 ECOSYSTEM & For TV, e-paper & news visit: www.live7tv.com Morning India WILDLIFE FRIDAY, RANCHI, APRIL 16, 2021 CHINA Massive ‘Dinosaur dance floor’ unearthed BEIJING: Chinese researchers have unearthed a massive concentration of dinosaur footprints, scientifically termed a “dinosaur dance floor,” in Shanghang County in east China’s Fujian Province. The “dance floor” was an excavation site measuring 100 square metres and approximately 200 dinosaur tracks have been identified there, news agency Xinhua quoted Xing Lida, a paleontologist at the China University of Geosciences and a member of the research team as saying. The concentration of dinosaur footprints indicates that it could have been a pathway for dinosaurs roaming the area in a relatively short period of time during the Late Cretaceous, Lida added. The footprints were first spotted last November when over 240 fossilised dinosaur footprints were identified, and another 364 dinosaur tracks were found in early April, Xinhua reported. So far over 600 dinosaur footprints have been discovered in the dinosaur track site, which covers an area of about 1,600 square metres in the county’s Longxiang Village. The number of dinosaur footprints is expected to exceed 1,000 as the excava- tion works proceed, said Xing, noting that the 80-million-year-old tracks were believably left by at least eight types of dinosaurs including sauropods, large and small theropods and ornithopods. The newly discovered tracks include imprints left by large sauropods, which were herbivorous creatures with a long neck and tail and a body that could span up to 20 metres. The site also revealed footprints measuring less than 10 centimetres in length, which Xing said, belong to bird-footed dinosaurs about 1 metre long. According to the scientists, it is the largest and the most diverse site of its kind discovered in China so far that dates back to the Upper Cretaceous period. The site boasts abundant geological sedimentary structures, indicating that it used to be adjacent to a water source where dinosaurs used to consume food and water, said Chen Runsheng, deputy director of Fujian Geological Survey and a member of the research team. Chen added that more dinosaur fossils other than footprints could be found in the area as the research progresses. HOW GREY WOLVES SURVIVED ICE-AGE EXTINCTION Kenya’s elephant number increases at THE DANCE FL OOR” W AS AN “ EXCAVATION SITE MEASURING 100 SQUARE METRES AND APPROXIMATELY 200 DINOSAUR TRACKS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED THERE, NEWS AGENCY XINHUA QUOTED XING LIDA, A PALEONTOLOGIST AT THE CHINA UNIVERSITY OF GEOSCIENCES AND A MEMBER OF THE RESEARCH TEAM AS SAYING. GREY WOLVES which are among the largest predators to have survived the extinction at the end of the last ice age around 11,700 years ago probably did so by adapting their diet over thousands of years, from a primary reliance on horses during the Pleistocene, to caribou and moose today, says a new study. The study led by the Canadian Museum of Nature analysed evidence preserved in teeth and bones from the skulls of both ancient (50,000 to 26,000 years ago) and modern grey wolves. The research team, led by museum palaeontologist Danielle Fraser and student Zoe Landry, published their results in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. All the specimens were collected in Yukon, a region that once supported the Beringia mammoth-steppe ecosystem, and are curated in the museum’s national collections as well as those of the Yukon government. “We can study the change in diet by examining wear patterns on the teeth and chemical traces in the wolf bones,” says Landry, the lead author who completed the work as a Carleton University student under Fraser’s supervision. “These can tell us a lot about how the animal ate, and what the animal was eating throughout its life, up until about a few weeks before it died.” Landry and Fraser relied on established models that can determine an animal’s eating behaviour by examining microscopic wear patterns on its teeth. Scratch marks indicate the wolf would have been consuming flesh, while the presence of pits would suggest chewing and gnawing on bones, likely as a scavenger. Analysis showed that scratch marks prevailed in both the ancient and modern wolf teeth, meaning that the wolves continued to survive as primary predators, hunting their prey. What then were the grey wolves eating? The modern diet - caribou and moose - is well established. The diet of the ancient wolves was assessed by looking at the ratios of carbon and nitrogen isotopes extracted from collagen in the bones. Relative levels of the isotopes can be compared with established indicators for spe- ANTARCTICA’S DOOMSD AY ‘ GLACIER’ WILL MELT FASTER THAN THOUGHT THE STUDY LED BY THE CANADIAN MUSEUM OF NATURE ANALYSED EVIDENCE PRESERVED IN TEETH AND BONES FROM THE SKULLS OF BOTH ANCIENT (50,000 TO 26,000 YEARS AGO) AND MODERN GREY WOLVES. cific species. “The axiom, you are what you eat comes into play here,” said Landry. “This is really a story of ice age survival and adaptation, and the building up of a species towards the modern form in terms of ecological The state-owned Wildlife Research and Training Institute (WRTI) said on Sunday that the country has experienced about a 96 per cent decline in poaching, with more than 386 elephants being lost to poaching in 2013 compared to the 11 tuskers poached last year, reports Xinhua news agency. 2.8% CMYK PAGE 8 adaptation,” noted Grant Zazula, study co-author, and Government of Yukon paleontologist. The findings have implications for conservation today. “The grey wolves showed flexibility in adapting to a changing climate and a shift in habitat from a steppe ecosystem to boreal forest,” explained Fraser. “And their survival is closely linked to the survival of prey species that they are able to eat.” Given the reliance of modern grey wolves on caribou, the study’s authors suggest that the preservation of caribou populations will be an important factor in maintaining a healthy wolf population. NAIROBI: Kenya’s elephant population has gradually increased at an annual rate of approximately 2.8 per cent over the last three decades amid declining poaching, a wildlife research institute said. The state-owned Wildlife Research and Training Institute (WRTI) said on Sunday that the country has experienced about a 96 per cent decline in poaching, with more than 386 elephants being lost to poaching in 2013 compared to the 11 tuskers poached last year, reports Xinhua news agency. “This success is attributed to enhanced government initiatives to combat poaching and trophy trafficking, and the continued collaboration with national and international partners to stop the trade in ivory,” the WRTI said in a statement. It added that whilst Kenya acknowledges that poaching was the major cause of the decline in the past, increasing human population and the subsequent change in land tenure and land-use systems have led to the constriction of elephant range, loss of dispersal areas and corridors, resulting to heightened interaction between elephants and people, mostly LONDON: The supply of warm water to Antarctica’ s Thwaites Glacier, also known as the dooms “ day glacier” , is larger than previously thought, triggering concerns of faster melting and accelerating ice flow -- a risk for global sea levels, say researchers. Thwaites is particularly sensitive to warm and salty ocean currents, due to its location and shape. For the first time researchers were able to take measurements beneath it, with the help of an uncrewed submarine called R an” that made its w ay “ under the glacier front. Among other things, it measured the strength, temperature, salinity and oxygen content of the ocean currents under the glacier and found variations. This indicates that the area under the glacier is a previously unknown active area where different water masses meet and mix with each other. Global sea level is affected by how much ice there is on land, and the biggest uncertainty in the forecasts is the future evolution of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, said lead author Anna Wahlin, Professor at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Using the Ran results, the team mapped the ocean currents that flow below Thwaites’ s floating part. The observations, published in the journal Science Advances, show warm water approaching from all sides on pinning points, critical locations where the ice is connected to the seabed and give stability to the ice shelf. Melting around these pinning points may lead to instability and retreat of the ice shelf and, subsequently, the upstream glacier flowing off the land, the researchers said. They also discovered a deep connection to the east through which deep water flows from Pine Island Bay -- a connection previously thought to be blocked by an underwater ridge. resulting to conflict. “Today, human-elephant conflict (HEC) and loss of elephant corridors and dispersal areas are the main challenges facing elephant conservation and management in Kenya,” it said. Kenya has also taken a much tougher approach to poaching in recent years. Anyone caught poaching wildlife or smuggling wildlife trophies in Kenya will either receive a heavy fine or could be sent to jail. population is depending for sustenance. This makes the Indian economy and food system highly sensitive to volatile monsoon patterns." A look into the past underlines that human behaviour is behind the intensification of rainfall. Starting in the 1950s, human-made forcings began to overtake slow natural changes occurring over many millennia. At first, high sun-light blocking aerosol loadings led to subdued warming and thus a decline in rainfall, but since then, from 1980 onwards, greenhouse gasinduced warming has become the deciding driver for stronger and more erratic monsoon seasons.