YK MYK WEATHER TODAY MAX 32 C MIN 27 C UNFORTUNATE DEPARTURE OF DR HARSH VARDHAN FROM GOVT OPINION Rainfall may occur. OLYMPIC GOLD-WINNING HOCKEY LEGEND KESHAV DATT DIES SPORTS Morning India Rs. 3 KOLKATA FRIDAY, 9 JULY, 2021 PG-08, YEAR—8, ISSUE—55 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) AT A GLANCE NEW CABINET SWINGS INTO ACTION; SEVERAL MINISTERS TAKE CHARGE SINGH TAKES OVER AS IPRD DIRECTOR Announces Rs 23K cr package to fight Covid APMCS WON'T BE DONE AWAY WITH BUT STRENGTHENED: NEW CABINET’S 1ST ANNOUNCEMENT RANCHI: Sashi Prakash Singh has assumed the post of Director, Information and Public Relations department. Earlier he was posted as sub-divisional officer Chas. Singh is an IAS officer of 2017 batch. Singh met the officials and sought information about the works of the department. He said that timely propagation of the government works would be his priority. NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Thursday announced a Rs 23,000 crore second emergency Covid package to improve the facilities in the health sector across the country, which will be used by both the Central and state governments to deal with the issues facing the country with regard to the second wave of the pandemic. The decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, a day after a major reshuffle in the Union Cabinet. Addressing a press conference here, newly-appointed Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said: "Rs 23,000 crore package to be given to deal with the problems that occurred in the second wave of Covid-19. The package will be used jointly by the Central and state governments." He said the Centre will share Rs 15,000 crore while the state governments will share Rs 8,000 crore of the said package. "We have to collectively fight the Covid pandemic. The limitation period is maximum nine months. We have to get it done quickly," he said. "Our duty is to help the states in every possible way," Mandaviya added. Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Mansukh Mandaviya and Anurag Singh Thakur at a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday. ANI SOCIAL MEDIA CONUNDRUM DGCI NOD FOR SANOFI-GSK'S PHASE 3 TRIAL OF COVID VAX IN INDIA MUMBAI: The Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) has granted approval to Sanofi and Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) to conduct PhaseIII clinical study, to assess the safety, efficacy and immunogenicity of their adjuvanted recombinant-protein Covid-19 vaccine candidate in India, the pharma giants announced on Thursday. The global, randomised, doubleblind Phase-III study will include more than 35,000 volunteers aged 18 and older across sites in the US, Asia, Africa, and Latin America as well as from India. NOW KERALA REPORTS ZIKA VIRUS CASES TOO T’PURAM: Even as the Covid pandemic continue to rage in Kerala, state Health Minister Veena George on Thursday said Zika virus cases have been detected in the state. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 30,709,557 TOTAL DEATHS: 405,057 WORLD Facebook has potential to polarise public debate, says SC NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday said Facebook has the "power of not simply a hand but a fist, gloved as it may be", as these platforms employ business models having potential to polarise public debates. A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy said: "These platforms are by no means altruistic in character but rather employ business models that can be highly privacy intrusive and have the potential to polarise public debates. "Facebook has the power of not simply a hand but a fist, gloved as it may be." These platforms have become power centres themselves, having the ability to influence vast sections of opinions, it added. The bench observed that developments around the world reflect rising concerns across borders. "The concern is whether the liberal debate which these platforms profess to encourage has itself become a casualty," it said in its 188-page judgment. The bench held that for intermediaries to say that they can sidestep this criticism is a fallacy, as they are right in the centre of these debates. "It has to be noted that their platform has also hosted disruptive voices replete with misinformation. These have had a direct impact on vast areas of subject matter which ultimately affect the governance of states," it observed. In this modern technological age, it would be too simplistic an intermediary like Facebook to contend that they are merely a platform for exchange of ideas without performing any significant role themselves especially given their manner of functioning and business model, it stressed. TOTAL CASES: 185,998,336 TOTAL DEATHS: 4,020,513 The Health Minister said that the package includes works like what should be done to ensure supply of critical medicines, oxygen supply and to stop the spread of Covid among children in the future. Mandaviya said the package aims to increase 2.44 lakh beds in community and primary health centres across all states, to construct paediatric care units in 736 districts across the country, amd to build an additional 20,000 ICU beds. He also said that through this package, the government aims to install 10,000 litre storage capacity for oxygen in NEW IT MIN VAISHNAW Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) will be strengthened as farmer groups fear that they will be done away with after the new farm bills. Following the Union Cabinet meet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar declared that the new farm laws "do not have any provisions to end markets controlled by the APMCs." The Minister said the APMCs will be strengthened, and will be supported by the Centre's infrastructure fund for their development. MORE ON PG 7 'TMC govt's performance better than Left's' MI NEWS SERVICE Ashwini Vaishnaw takes charge as the Union Minister for Communications, in New Delhi on Thursday. ANI the next nine months in every districts to overcome oxygen shortage. "This emergency package is designed to deal with the Covid surge, which will be implemented in nine months," the Health Minister said. He also said that in April last year, the government had announced the first emergency Covid package of Rs 15,000 crore, which was utilised well and showed good results. The new Union Cabinet, in its first meeting on Thursday, held a comprehensive discussion on the welfare of farmers and made it clear that the KOLKATA: BJP MLA Ashok Lahiri said on Thursday that the Trinamool Congress government has fared well in terms of the development of Bengal as compared to the previous Left Front government.Lahiri, a well-known economist who has served as the Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India, made the comment when asked about the performance of present Finance Minister Amit Mitra and his predecessor Asim Dasgupta. "This is a very difficult question to answer. I know both of them so well. But, I believe that Bengal is doing better under the present Trinamool Congress government in terms of development," he told reporters at the State Assembly. It was Lahiri's first day at the Assembly after winning the State elections from the Balurghat seat. Speaking on the State Budget in the House, he said the Bengal government has devised several welfare schemes for the people but should make the list of beneficiaries public. Audit of the accounts of the State government by CAG should also be done to reflect the real financial picture of the various departments, he said. The State government should also divulge the details of the Centre-sponsored schemes which are in force in Bengal, Lahiri said. Meanwhile, BJP skipped the Business Advisory Committee meeting after their adjournment motion over the dubious vaccination camps case was not admitted by Speaker Biman Banerjee.Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said, "We did not boycott the meeting but remained absent since our adjournment motion was not admitted by the Speaker. We did it for the sake of the common people. Everything should be reciprocal." Nisith Pramanik takes ‘Everyone has to follow law of land’ charge as MoS, Home NEW DELHI: New Information to say thanks to the Prime Minister Technology Minister Ashwini for giving me such a big opportuniVaishnaw on Thursday did not ty to serve the country," the waste any time to make it crystal Minister said. clear how he wants things to pan G. Kishan Reddy took charge as out in the ongoing Twitter-Centre Union Minister of Culture and face off as he assumed office as the Tourism in the Transport Bhawan Union Minister for here on Thursday R a i l w a y s , amid the chanting Communication, of 'mantras'. The Electronics & IT. outgoing Tourism "Everyone has to Minister Prahlad follow law of the Patel greeted and country," Vaishnaw handed over charge said during his first of the ministry to visit to the party the Secunderabad headquarters after MP (BJP) from PM BEGINS WORK being made cabinet Telangana -- G. WITH FRESH CABINET, minister in the Modi Kishan Reddy. INTERACTS WITH government. When Before taking INSTITUTIONS questioned about over, a special 'puja' PAGE 7 Twitter not complywas performed and ing to the new IT 'mantras' were law, the Minister chanted by a group hinted that everyone have to follow of around a dozen 'pujaries' new guidelines. (priests). Dressed in traditional He thanked the Prime Minister attire (Hyderabadi Lungi and shirt), Narendra Modi for giving him the Reddy took over the charge as opportunity to serve the nation as Tourism Minister. However, he did Union Minister. "There is no words not speak to the press. MI NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: Nisith Pramanik, the youngest minister in the government took charge as Union minister of state for home at his office in the North Block on Thursday. Pramanik (35), a Lok Sabha MP from Cooch Behar in Bengal was sworn in as Union minister on Wednesday evening. Soon after taking charge, Pramanik said he is grateful for the opportunities bestowed on him by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. He said he would work hard to discharge his duties with all sincerity and dedication. Senior officials of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) were present when Pramanik took charge. Pramanik, a former teacher of a primary school, is the youngest Pramanik (35), a Lok Sabha MP from Cooch Behar in Bengal was sworn in as Union minister on Wednesday evening. Soon after taking charge, Pramanik said he is grateful for the opportunities bestowed on him by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. Subhas Sarkar takes charge SUBHAS Sarkar took charge as the new Minister of State for Education on Thursday. A seasoned war horse of the BJP in Bengal, Sarkar is an MP from Bankura. With the grace of God and good wishes from all cross section of people of Bankura and Bengal assuming charge of Minister of State, Ministry of Education today at Shastri Bhawan, Delhi to devote myself to fulfil the vision of Adoroniyo Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji," he said in a tweet. member in the Union Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister effected a major reshuffle in the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, dropping 12 ministers and bringing in 36 new members. COVID-19: TOKYO OLYMPICS TO BE HELD WITHOUT SPECTATORS TOKYO: The upcoming Tokyo Olympics will be held without spectators, Olympic minister Tamayo Marukawa confirmed on Thursday. As per Kyodo News, the decision was taken looking at the sudden spike in Covid-19 cases in the region. The decision of barring spectators was agreed on at a meeting attended by International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach and representatives of the four bodies, the organizing committee, the International Paralympic Committee, as well as the Japanese and Tokyo metropolitan governments. Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Thursday made a decision to place Tokyo under the fourth state of emergency for the duration of the upcoming Olympics to curb a recent rise in COVID-19 cases. Earlier, the organisers had allowed venues' capacity to be filled up to 50 per cent which meant a maximum of 10,000 people per venue. On Wednesday, Tokyo had reported 920 new Covid-19 cases, registering the highest daily count since mid-May. The Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23-August 8 this year. The event was supposed to go ahead last year but it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Thursday confirmed that the Olympicbound contingent would leave for Tokyo on July 17. The IOA had sent in a request to the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (TOCOG) to seek further clarifications regarding their arrival in Tokyo. The Japanese government has put in new regulations which will not allow the Indian athletes to physically interact with anyone from another team, delegation or country for three days on arrival. "Since we have not received the necessary approvals from TOCOG hence we are now coordinating for the departure of the Indian contingent to now depart from India on 17 July 2021 and arrive in Tokyo on 18 July 2021. We are extremely disappointed that our request has not been approved, however, given the medical protocols imposed on India for the 7 days prior to departure we have no other option now, but than to depart on 17 July 2021 and The decision of barring spectators was agreed on at a meeting attended by International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach and representatives of the four bodies, the organizing committee, the International Paralympic Committee, as well as the Japanese and Tokyo metropolitan governments. arrive in Tokyo on 18 July 2021," the IOA wrote to TOCOG on Thursday. In the letter, the IOA also put down various questions like can a coach attending with a different delegation get access to support the Indian athlete? "However with reference to our earlier discussions regarding the departure of athletes after their competition finishes and that flights to India are limited and in some case, the athletes/support staff may not be able to departure the village within 48 hours of the conclusion of the competition. In these specific cases will we also be required to submit a "Period of Stay Exemption Request Form" with the request to allow the athletes/support staff to remain in the village until flights are available," asks the IOA in its letter. Earlier, ANI had reported that the Indian Olympic-bound contingent would leave for Tokyo on July 17. The Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23-August 8 this year. The event was supposed to go ahead last year but it was postponed due to the Covid19 pandemic.