YK MYK FUTURE OF AFGHANISTAN AFTER US WITHDRAWAL OF TROOPS UNCERTAIN OPINION Rs. 3 KOLKATA TUESDAY, 8 JUNE, 2021 PG-08, YEAR—8, ISSUE—24 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) WEATHER TODAY MAX 37 C MIN 28 C Sky will be partly cloudy. AT A GLANCE Technicians body launches free vaccination drive for stakeholders of entertainment industry KOLKATA: The Federation of Cine Technicians and Workers of Eastern India will launch a free COVID-19 vaccination drive for all technicians and artistes of the industry from Tuesday. The FCTWEI on Monday said the initiative has been taken to Inoculate all stakeholders in the entertainment industry before the resumption of shootings with Covid-19 protocols. Meanwhile, Zee Bangla has also taken up the initiative to vaccinate artistes, technicians, crew of production houses, business associates, and partners who are associated with the channel. The first phase of the vaccination process started on June 7, a spokesperson of Zee Bangla said. About the FCTWEI initiative, its president Swaroop Biswas said, the vaccination will begin at the 'Chalachchitra Satabarsha Bhaban' in Tollygunge area of the city on Tuesday. "We will continue with this drive till all those who had appealed to FCTWEI for vaccination are given jabs for free. Our motto is to vaccinate everyone in the industry. We will urge every single artiste to get the vaccine as this is important for everyone's safety. ‘IN 2010, I THOUGHT DHONI DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO BAT’ SPORTS Morning India Free vaccines to states PM MODI ANNOUNCES CENTRALIZED VACCINE DRIVE NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday in his address to the nation announced a centralized procurement system for Covid-19 vaccines, beginning from June 21, with 25 per cent of the procurement being made available for private sector, as well as free vaccinations for everyone above the age of 18. "From Monday, June 21, in every state of the country, for all citizens above the age of 18 years, the Government of India will provide free vaccine to the states. Government of India itself will buy 75 per cent of the total vaccine production from vaccine manufacturers and give it free to the state governments," Modi said in his address that was televised. He also announced a cap of Rs 150 on the amount private hospitals can charge over the cost of the purFROM MONDAY, chase of the vacJUNE 21, IN EVERY cine from the STATE OF THE manufacturer. COUNTRY, FOR While ALL CITIZENS addressing the ABOVE THE AGE nation, PM Modi OF 18 YEARS, THE said, "Starting GOVERNMENT OF from January 16 INDIA WILL PROthis year till the VIDE FREE VACend of April, CINE TO THE India's vaccinaSTATES. tion program ran GOVERNMENT OF mainly under the INDIA ITSELF supervision of WILL BUY 75 PC. the central government. The country was moving ahead on the path of providing free vaccine to all. The citizens of the country, following the discipline, were getting the vaccine when it was their turn" "Today it has been decided that the Government of India will also bear the responsibility of 25 per cent of the work related to vaccination with the states. This arrangement will be implemented in the coming two weeks. In these two weeks, the central and state governments will together make necessary preparations according to the new guidelines", the prime minister said. "No state government of the country will have to spend anything on the vaccine. Till now crores of people of the country have got free vaccine. Now people of 18 years of age will also join it. Only the Government of India will provide free vaccine to all the countrymen", Modi said. MORE ON PG 7 Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation, in New Delhi on Monday. ANI Free food grains to 80 crore people till Diwali NEW DELHI: The central government has decided to extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, till Diwali this year, the Prime Minister announced on Monday. Over 80 crore people in the country will receive free food grains now till Diwali under the scheme, which was launched last year during the Covid-19 induced lockdown. During this pandemic, the government is with the poor. Over 80 crore of our population will get ration till November. Nobody should sleep hungry," PM Modi said today in his address to the nation. "Last year, when we had to impose lockdown due to COVID-19, then under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, the country planned to give free ration to over 80 crore citizens in eight months. This year as well, due to the second wave, it was planned for May and June," the prime minister said. The Prime Minister also announced a centralised vaccine drive in the country, where all Covid-19 vaccines will be procured by the Centre and given to States for free. "25 per cent of vaccination work with states will now be handled by the Centre, it will be implemented in the coming two weeks. Both the States and Centre to work as per new guidelines in the coming two weeks. From June 21, the free vaccine will be available for people above 18 years," he said. PM Modi said that people would have to follow protocols to defeat an 'invisible', 'form-changing' enemy like the coronavirus. F A T E H A B A D ( H A RYA N A ) / K O L K ATA : Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait is scheduled to meet Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on June 9 in Kolkata, confirmed sources. According to the sources, Tikait will discuss the strategy to further intensify the ongoing farmers' protest against the new Central farm laws. "Rakesh Tikait will meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on June 9. He will congratulate her on the massive electoral victory. They will discuss the farmers' protest," sources said. Notably, Tikait had visited Bengal before the State Assembly elections and cam- TOTAL CASES: 2,89,17,098 TOTAL DEATH: 3,49,293 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 174,108,150 A rain drenched Kolkata road on Monday. Narada case No question of accused fleeing, says lawyer KOLKATA: The advocate representing two Bengal Ministers, an MLA and a former Mayor of the city in the Narada sting tape case, on Monday told the Calcutta High Court there was no question of them fleeing or tampering with evidence. Opposing the CBI's prayer for transfer of the case before a five-judge bench that had earlier granted interim bail to Ministers Subrata Mukherjee and Firhad Hakim, Trinamool Congress MLA Madan Mitra and former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi submitted that all of them have their roots in MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced that State board exams for classes 10 and 12 have been cancelled this year, keeping in view the feedback received from people in the past 24 hours. Addressing a press conference here, Banerjee, however, said evaluation in some form would be carried out, and a decision to that effect would be taken soon. At least 83 per cent of the 34,000 people who sent their feedback stressed that conducting board exams in schools wasn't a wise idea amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she stated. An expert panel formed by her Government to analyse the feasibility of holding the exams has also made similar recommendations, the Chief Minister noted. The School Education Department had provided email ids and sought public opinion from people on the viability of conducting this year's board exams. "In deference to public opinion and as also suggested by the expert committee, we are not holding the Uchha Madhyamik (Higher Secondary) and Madhyamik MI NEWS SERVICE INDIA MI NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI: A widespread increase in food and core CPI components should push CPI inflation up to 5.7 per cent yoy in May, Barclays said on Monday. In a research report focused on India, the investment banker said that after moderating for two quarters and moving closer to RBI's target, the CPI inflation will likely accelerate in the coming months. "We expect it to rise to 5.7 per cent in May from 4.3 per cent in April. The 140bp increase in headline CPI will likely be driven by the combination of a low base effects and a broad-based sequential increase in prices across major CPI components," Barclays said. The investment banker's assertions on inflation is also based on seasonal factors where in summer months food prices tend to rise sequentially, and in May prices increased across the board for food components. While the release of buffer stocks could to keep price rises for cereals in check, prices of proteins and edible oils are showing sustained upward momentum. Seasonal factors play a part, pushing up prices of perishables such as vegetables and fruits, and modest gains are likely in prices for milk, eggs and meat, as of transportation and storage costs. Bengal board exams cancelled in view of COVID-19 pandemic (Secondary) exams now but we don't want to inconvenience our students. "There will be some evaluation, based on which the candidates will get results. We will decide about the evaluation method soon," she said. Banerjee, during the meeting, directed the Education Secretary to ensure the expert committee, comprising of doctors and academics, come up with the evaluation criteria within a week's time. She also asked officials to stay updated on the assessment methods adopted by other boards. Over 12 lakh students are set to appear for Madhyamik and 8.5 lakh for Higher Secondary examinations this year. CBSE and CISCE have recently cancelled 12th board exams in the wake of the pandemic. Taking to Twitter, the CM thanked everyone who expressed their opinion. "Thank you very much for sending us your valuable opinion and suggestions. GoWB thus arrives at the decision of cancelling Madhyamik/Uchha Madhyamik examinations for 2021. We will work out the best possible way to secure the future of our children,". Rakesh Tikait to meet Mamata Banerjee on June 9 to discuss strategy for farmers' protest CORONA METER TOTAL DEATH: 3,745,299 MAY CPI INFLATION TO REACH 5.7 PER CENT Kolkata. Singhvi said, the test of bail hinges upon factors like chance of fleeing, tampering with evidence and not cooperating with the investigation, and none of these apply to the four leaders. He submitted that the sting operation in question allegedly happened in 2014, and as such there was no question of tampering with anything after so many years. He also said that all four of them are well settled in Kolkata and have always cooperated with the investigation. Singhvi, who cited the Supreme Court judgement on grant of bail in the application of P Chidambaram in the INX Media case, claimed that the CBI was using "mobocra- cy" as an excuse to question the bail granted to the four accused by the special CBI court. The CBI had claimed that a mob of 2,000-3,000 people gathered outside its office at Nizam Palace protesting the arrests, while Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sat on a dharna at the office, on May 17. Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal asked the counsel what the State's Law Minister was doing at Bankshall Court on the day of the arrest of the four leaders, to which Singhvi replied that it showed his faith in the law and support for his colleagues. The five-judge bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and justices I P Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen and Arijit Banerjee, adjourned hearing in the matter for the day and said it will resume on Tuesday. Seeking transfer of the Narada sting tape case from the lower judiciary, the CBI has prayed before the High Court that it cancel the proceedings held before the special CBI court. The five-judge bench had on May 28 granted interim bail to all the four accused. Earlier, they had been placed under house arrest on May 21 at the direction of the High Court, which modified its earlier stay on the bail granted to the four leaders by the special CBI court. 27 killed in lightning strikes in Bengal KOLKATA: At least 27 persons were killed in lightning strikes in three districts of south Bengal on Monday, a State disaster management official said. Nine persons died in Murshidabad, nine persons were killed in Hooghly and two others lost their lives in Purba Medinipur district, the official said. Three more persons were also injured in lightning strikes in the Murshidabad district and were admitted to the Jangipur hospital for treatment, he said. The districts of south Bengal, including Kolkata, received heavy thunder showers since afternoon, which the weather office said were pre-monsoon rains. paigned for Trinamool Congress (TMC). Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been very much vocal against the new farm laws and gave her support to farmers' protest. Several TMC MPs had visited the Delhi borders where farmers have been protesting since November last year. Since the COVID situation is improving, the farmer leaders are planning to intensify the protest. Meanwhile, a large number of farmers led by farmer leaders Rakesh Tikait, Gurnam Singh Chaduni and United Kisan Morcha leader Yogendra Yadav have been staging a dharna in front of Tohana Sadar police station in Fatehabad district of Haryana since Saturday night demanding the release of arrested farmers. Farmers protesting against the Centre's farm laws have been protesting for the last six months. Many have camped at the borders of the national capital. Despite several rounds of talks between the Centre and the farmer leaders last year, the deadlock remains. Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws - Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.