YK MYK ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA CAUGHT IN ITS OWN TRAP 16 CR VACCINE DOSES PROVIDED TO STATES, UTS FREE OF COST OPINION NATION Morning India Rs. 5 RANCHI FRIDAY, 30 APRIL, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—10, ISSUE—353 (RNI NO: JHAENG / 2012 / 44137) Exit polls: Mamata set to retain Bengal; massive electoral gain for BJP WEATHER TODAY MAX 36 C MIN 22 C SAFFRON PARTY LIKELY TO RETAIN POWER IN ASSAM Sky will be partly cloudy. CM Hemant Soren getting Covid-19 jab in Ranchi on Thursday. AT A GLANCE INDIA'S CONSUMER DEMAND FOR GOLD TO WEAKEN IN APR-JUN: WCG MUMBAI: Consumer demand for gold is likely to weaken in the ongoing quarter due to the restrictions and lockdowns in wake of the second wave of Covid19, according to a report by the World Gold Council (WGC). "The outlook for the coming quarter is cautious. As lockdowns are reimposed in various regions of the country in response to rising COVID-19 cases, consumer confidence has dipped. This is likely to impact wedding demand in Q2 2021," it said. EX-PM SINGH DISCHARGED FROM AIIMS NEW DELHI: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh was on Thursday discharged from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here, where he was admitted after testing positive for COVID19. Sources close to the Congress leader said he was doing fine and returned home Thursday afternoon. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,83,84,798 TOTAL DEATH: 2,04,896 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 150,377,507 TOTAL DEATH: 3,167,198 CM discusses strategy to fight Covid with local body nominees SANJAY SAHAY RANCHI: Chief Minister (CM) Hemant Soren on Thursday said that elected representatives of local bodies have an important role in creating awareness among the rural population regarding Covid infection and ways to manage it. Notably, the CM held discussion with all deputy development commissioners, public relations officers and members of zila parishad, panchayat samitis and gram panchayats on the state on infection, testing, availability of medicine and medical facilities, vaccination drive in the rural areas and monitoring of workers returning home from other states. The CM stated, “Saving the people from Covid-19 is the top priority of the state government. The state government was taking suggestions from different sections of people in this regard.” He pointed out that the second Covid wave has posed a huge challenge, adding local representatives have an important role in creating awareness among the rural population. He said public cooperation is essential for winning the war against the disease. He said that local representatives must show humane face and help the affected persons. The CM claimed that the administration would ensure an ade- quate supply of beds and medicines. The state government is taking action against people involved in the black marketing of drugs Soren stated, adding the administration is carrying out raids at the medicine shops and is also keeping a watch over their stocks. The CM announced that the state government has made preparation for vaccination of population aged between 18 and 45 years. He said that the state government has initiated steps for free vaccination of people aged from 18 to 45 years. He informed that the drive would start as soon as the vaccines are available. He mentioned that the creation of Covid circuits has started benefitting the Covid affected patients. The affected persons of Ranchi and Jamshedpur are being provided beds in neighbouring districts. He said that arrangement for the Covid circuit in Dhanbad is complete while the working plan is being prepared for Santhal Paragana and Palamu. Speaking on the occasion the elected representatives informed the CM about their views on preventing Covid. The participants from Dumka, Pakur, Khunti and other districts intimated the CM about the rumours being spread about vaccines. They said that the elected representative must be declared Covid warriors and vaccinated. NEW DELHI: The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress looks poised to retain power in West Bengal, while the DMK led by M.K. Stalin will come to power in Tamil Nadu with a big majority. As per the CVoter Exit Poll for Times Now/ABP News, the NDA is winning Puducherry, barely retaining Assam and losing Tamil Nadu. The exit poll stated that the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool is likely to retain West Bengal, while the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF is set to return to power for the second time in a row in Kerala. The survey stated that in West Bengal, the incumbent Trinamool Congress is likely to retain power for the third consecutive term amid a robust challenge from the BJP. The survey suggests that the Left, which had ruled the state for more than three decades, is likely to be Voters stand outside a polling booth to cast their vote during the 8th and final phase of West Bengal Assembly election, in Kolkata on Thursday. ANI reduced to a marginal player, despite forming a pre-poll alliance with the country's grand old party - the Congress. Also, the entry of a Muslim front - comprising the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and the influential cleric Abbas Siddiqui's new party Indian Secular Front - into the electoral fray will fail to spell trouble for the Trinamool Congress. Translated into seats, the survey data project Trinamool to emerge victorious on 152 to 164 seats in the state, which has a total of 294 Assembly constituencies, with 148 being the majority mark. The survey data clearly indicate that BJP has DE KOCK'S UNBEATEN 70 TAKES MI TO 7-WICKET WIN OVER RR ‘ARMY OPENING HOSPITALS FOR PEOPLE WHEREVER POSSIBLE’ NEW DELHI: Quinton de Kock's unbeaten 70 and some masterful bowling from Jasprit Bumrah in the death overs helped Mumbai Indians (MI) beat Rajasthan Royals (RR) by seven wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Thursday. The left-handed Proteas opener's 63-run stand with Krunal Pandya (39) for the third wicket helped MI chase down a target of 172 with nine balls to spare. Earlier, Jasprit Bumrah led the way as the five-time champions put the brakes on RR's innings to restrict them to 171/4. de Kock and Pandya closed out any chances that may have opened up for RR even after losing skipper Rohit Sharma. SPORTS Bharat Biotech cuts price of Covaxin for states HYDERABAD: Bharat Biotech on Thursday announced that it is slashing the price of its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin to Rs 400, from Rs 600 earlier, for state governments. The announcement came a day after the Serum Institute of India (SII) cut the price of Covishield to Rs 300 from Rs 400 earlier. The two vaccine makers slashed the prices after the Central government reportedly made a request to them amid the row over different pricing for the Central and state governments. Bharat Biotech said in a statement on Thursday that it deeply concerned with the critical pandemic circumstances that India is facing at this time. "Recognising the enormous challenges to the public healthcare system, we have made Covaxin avail- THE PRICE OF COVID-19 VACCINE COVAXIN REDUCED TO RS 400, FROM RS 600 FOR STATE GOVERNMENTS. able to state governments at a price of Rs 400 per dose," the Hyderabadbased company said. "We wish to be transparent in our approach to pricing which was determined by internally funded product development, several operationally-intensive BSL-3 manufacturing facilities (the first of its kind in our country) and clinical trials," it added. The company stated that for the last one year, Team Bharat Biotech has been fearlessly handling live SARS-CoV-2 virus strains, tirelessly working round-the-clock while overcoming many challenges given the uncertainty of the pandemic. Bharat Biotech had on April 24 announced the prices of Covaxin. It fixed at Rs 1,200 as the price per dose for private hospitals. This is twice the cost fixed by the SII for 1 CR DOSES STILL WITH STATES: HARSH VARDHAN ON COVID VACCINE SHORTAGE NEW DELHI: Amid reports that several states are facing shortage of covid-19 vaccines in hospitals, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan clarified that there was no dearth of vaccine stock in the country. He said that over one crore vaccine doses are still left with states, some lakh doses are in pipeline and will be delivered in next 2-3 days. "We allocate vaccines to states as per their performance in terms of vaccination. We have given more than 16 crore doses of vaccines to states out of which more than 15 crores doses have been administered," said Vardhan on vaccine shortage in states. MORE ON PAGE 5, 7 Covishield. For exports, it has priced India's first indigenous Covid vaccine at $15-$20 (Rs 1,125-1,500). Ever since the launch of Covid vaccination programme in India, Bharat Biotech and the SII have emerged as a key player on the political landscape of the state as the saffron party is likely to register victory on 109 to 121 seats. The LeftCongress combine is projected to grab 14 to 25 seats. In the 2016 Assembly elections, the Trinamool had won 211 seats, the BJP had secured 3 seats while the Left-Congress combine had cornered 76 seats. The survey stated that Assam would see a photo-finish for both the BJP and the Congress, as the UPA is poised to close the gap with the NDA. As per the survey, the ruling NDA would win the state polls but it would be a tough fight as the UPA will follow closely on its heels. The exit poll stated that the NDA has a slight edge with 65 seats in the 126member Assembly, one more than the majority mark of 64, while the UPA would win 59 seats. The projected seats for been supplying their vaccines to the Centre at Rs 150 per dose. While Bharat Biotech is likely to continue the supplies to the Centre at the same price, the SII had hinted at revising this to Rs 400. NEW DELHI: Indian Army chief General M.M. Naravane said on Thursday that the force is opening hospitals for the local people wherever possible seeing the surge in the number of Covid-19 cases across the country. After visiting the forward locations in Siachen and eastern Ladakh on Wednesday, Naravane met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday to brief him on the various initiatives taken by the Army to help in Covid management. The Army chief informed the Prime Minister that medical staff of the force are being made available to various state governments. He also told Modi that the Army is setting up temporary hospitals in various parts of the country. Naravane also apprised the Prime Minister that the Army is opening its hospitals for civilians wherever possible and the citizens can approach their nearest Army hospitals. He informed the Prime Minister that the Army is helping with its manpower. INDIA’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE MAY RISE TO 8% IN APRIL: CMIE NEW DELHI: As states go into lockdowns and impose restrictions amid the second wave of Covid-19, the unemployment rate in April is likely to increase to nearly 8 per cent from 6.5 per cent in March, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). CMIE's CEO Mahesh Vyas said that fast frequency labour statistics indicate that labour market conditions have been deteriorating in April 2021. "The labour participation rate (LPR) looks unlikely to fall in April. The 30-day moving average LPR indicates that the ratio was rising till April 15 when it peaked at 40.8 per cent. Then it started falling, but it is unlikely to fall to a level lower than that of March 2021," he said. Unless there is an unusual bounce in the last week, the April LPR is likely to stabilise at its March level of 40.2 per cent, as per CMIE. "The April markets seem incapable of absorbing the supply of labour at an LPR of 40.2 per cent. While the LPR has declined in the last four weeks, the unemployment rate has increased," Vyas said. In the last week of March, the LPR was 41.2 per cent and the unemployment rate was 6.7 per cent. In the following week which ended on April 4, the LPR was stable at 41.2 but the unemployment rate shot up to 8.2 per cent. Labour retreated in the next week as the LPR dropped to 40.1 per cent in the week ended April 11. Yet, the unemployment rate was unrelenting as it inched up to 8.6 per cent. In the following two weeks, the unemployment rate has dropped first to 8.4 per cent and then to 7.4 per cent. "Nevertheless, the unemployment rate during the month of April is likely to be close to 8 per cent after closing March at 6.5 per cent," he said. April could be the third consecutive month of deterioration in terms of the most important fastfrequency labour statistic, the employment rate, he added. Based on the company's ability to attract, develop and retain talent, Microsoft-owned professional networking platform LinkedIn on Wednesday named Amazon as the most desirable workplace in the US for 2021. In the 2021 LinkedIn Top Companies List, Amazon was followed by Alphabet, JPMorgan Chase, AT&T and Bank of America as the top five. Amazon is up from number 3 in 2019, the latest edition of this ranking. CMIE's CEO Mahesh Vyas said that fast frequency labour statistics indicate that labour market conditions have been deteriorating in April 2021. Unless there is an unusual bounce in the last week, the April LPR is likely to stabilise at its March level of 40.2 per cent, as per CMIE. This annual list uses data from LinkedIn's 740 million members across the globe to rank the most sought-after places to work for professionals in the US. "We keep refining our Top Companies methodology each year," George Anders, senior editor-at-large for LinkedIn, said in a statement. "Amazon's strong showing this year isn't just a tribute to how many different ways there are to make a career at the company. Our data shows that Amazon also is a standout in building employees' skills, year by year," Anders added. LinkedIn's Top Companies list is designed to help professionals identify the best companies to grow their careers. LinkedIn's methodology evaluates how companies attract and retain the best talent, including through promotions, funding opportunities for employees to learn new skills, gender diversity, and hiring people from all backgrounds and levels of education.