YK MYK WEATHER TODAY MAX 28 C MIN 23 C OPPN HAS TO SHOW UNITED MOJO AGAINST BJP IN MONSOON SESSION OPINION Rainfall may occur. KOLKATA SUNDAY, 18 JULY, 2021 PG- 8, YEAR— 8, ISSUE— 64 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) NINE ANACONDAS BORN IN ALIPORE ZOO KOLKATA: The Alipore Zoological Gardens on Saturday announced the birth of nine anacondas, which pushed their population in the facility to 20. Zoo Director Asis Samanta said the anacondas, born on July 11, are "currently doing fine" under the strict observation of veterinarians. Each weighs around 100 gm and measure one foot in length, he said. "We had brought two fully grown pairs of male and female yellow anacondas to the zoo in 2019 from Chennai. One of the pairs gave birth to seven babies last year and the other to nine earlier in the month, he stated. The reptiles must have liked the artificial Amazon-type habitat created for them, he quipped. "The Alipore zoo, probably, has the highest number of anacondas in the country now," Samanta said, adding that it was yet to be decided if the newborns would be put on display once the facility reopens. BENGAL JEE HELD SMOOTHLY IN OFFLINE MODE KOLKATA: A total of 92,695 candidates sat for the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination (WBJEE) at 274 centres on Saturday, as the first offline public examination held in the State this year amid the pandemic situation went off smoothly. An official of the West Bengal JEE Board said that the candidates wrote Mathematics and Physics-Chemistry papers in two halves, with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols such as wearing masks and maintaining a 5-feet distance between them. "Two candidates were seated on long benches with a 5-feet distance between them, and one on the shorter ones. The number of examinees in each room did not exceed 28," he said. The Mathematics paper in the first half and the Physics-Chemistry paper in the second were of two hours each and the exams passed off smoothly, the official said. WBJEE is conducted to shortlist candidates aspiring to study in engineering colleges in the State. Examinees were allowed to board staffspecial trains if they carried admit cards with them. However, many of them claimed that the number of public transport vehicles at Sealdah, Howrah and Kolkata terminal railway stations were fewer, and they had to shell out a huge amount of money to reach the examination venues on time. SPORTS Morning India Rs. 3 AT A GLANCE FIST ODI: DRAVID'S TEST AS INDIAN SENIOR TEAM COACH BEGINS New academic session for 1st yr varsity students from Oct 1: UGC NEW DELHI: The new academic session for first year students to be admitted in various universities across the country will commence from October 1 this year, according to the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines. According to the guidelines by UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain, universities and colleges will start the admission process only after the class 12 board results are declared. Directions have been given to other higher educational institutions that the admission process for the undergraduate (UG) course academic session for 20212022 will be started only after the class 12 board results are declared. The CBSE has announced that it will declare the class 12 board results by July 31. The Class 12 results will also be declared by various state boards tentatively around the same time. The admission process for the current academic session must be completed by September 30. The UGC has made it clear that the college seats left vacant during the admission process must be filled by October 31. However, the uni- DIRECTIONS HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO OTHER HIGHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS THAT THE ADMISSION PROCESS FOR THE UG COURSE ACADEMIC SESSION FOR 2021-2022 WILL BE STARTED ONLY AFTER THE CLASS 12 BOARD RESULTS ARE DECLARED. versities will accept the documents related to the admission process till December 31 this year. The UGC has also given instructions that classes conducted through online, offline and mixed mode for intermediate semester students must be started at the earliest. The process of preparing the results of class 12 boards has been started by the CBSE for which instructions have been issued to all CBSE-affiliated schools. The schools will also be uploading the marks secured by the students in class 11. The CBSE has also asked all schools to upload the marks secured by students in practical and project work. WON'T MEET SIDHU UNTIL HE APOLOGISES FOR 'DEROGATORY' TWEETS: AMARINDER PAGE 7 ‘FB is killing people with Covid misinformation’ NEW ARRIVALS Indian shooting contingent waits for their COVID-19 test results after landing in Tokyo for the Olympics Games on Saturday. ANI Afghan envoy’s daughter tortured in Islamabad NEW DELHI: The daughter of Najibullah Alikhil, the Afghan envoy to Pakistan, was abducted and tortured on her way home in Islamabad, Afghanistans Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Saturday. "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan states with deep regret that on July 16, 2021, the daughter of the Afghan ambassador to Islamabad, Ms. Silsila Alikhil, was abducted for several hours and severely tortured by unknown individuals on her way home," the statement said. After being released from the kidnappers' captivity, Alikhil is under medical care at a hospital. The statement said that the MoFA strongly condemns the heinous act and expresses its deep concern over the safety and security of diplomats, their families, and staff members of the Afghan political and consular missions in Pakistan. "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on the Government of Pakistan to take immediate necessary actions to ensure full security of the Afghan Embassy and Consulates as well as the immunity of the country's diplomats and their families in accordance with international treaties and conventions. "While the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs is following the matter with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, we urge the Pakistani government to identify and prosecute the perpetrators at the soonest possible time," the statement added. Meanwhile, Pakistan has refused to hand over one of its retired army generals to the International Tribunal of the Hague on medical grounds. RS MP writes to PM seeking inquiry into nationality of Nisith Pramanik MI NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: Rajya Sabha member and Assam Pradesh Congress Committee President Ripun Bora on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to conduct an inquiry into allegations that newly appointed Union Minister Nisith Pramanik is a Bangladeshi national. However, sources close to Pramanik strongly refuted the allegations, saying the minister was born, brought up and educated in India. In his letter, which was also posted on his Twitter handle, Bora claimed that the reports in news channels namely Barak Bangla and Republic TV Tripura and digital media, India Today and Business Standard, showed that Pramanik is a Bangladeshi national. Quoting reports, the MP claimed that the union minister's birthplace was Harinathpur under Palasbari police station in Gaibandha district of Bangladesh and he reportedly came to Bengal for computer studies. After getting a computer degree, he first joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and later the BJP and was elected as an MP from Cooch Behar, Bora claimed. According to the news channels, Bora claimed, Pramanik showed his address as Cooch Behar in election papers "by manipulation". The channels also highlighted the "jubilant scenario", including a statement of "his elder brother" and some villagers of his native village in Bangladesh expressing their satisfaction on Pramanik being appointed as union minister of state for home. "If it is so, this is a very serious matter for the country, that a foreign national is appointed as a union minister. "Therefore, I urge upon you to conduct an inquiry about the actual birthplace and nationality of Nisith Pramanik in a most transparent way and clarify the whole issue as it creates confusion across the country," Bora said in his letter to Modi. When contacted, sources close to Pramanik said the minister is a "patriotic Indian" who was born, brought up and educated in India and asserted that the allegations were baseless. The sources said if some relatives of the minister were celebrating in another country, what can he do. "If an Indian relative of a Canadian MP feels proud and celebrates in India, what can the Canadian MP do about it," a source said. It may be a similar case, the sources noted and hit out at Bora saying a responsible MP should know what is wrong and what is right. SAN FRANCISCO: US President Joe Biden has hit out at Facebook again, saying that such social media platforms are allowing Covid vaccine misinformation to spread and are "killing people". In an interaction with the media on Friday, Biden directly criticised Facebook. Asked for a message to social media platforms like Facebook, Biden replied: "They're killing people... the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and they're killing people." Facebook defended its policy US WITHon fighting vaccine DRAWAL misinformation. FROM "We will not be AFGHANISTA distracted by accuN HAS MADE sations which aren't supported THINGS by the facts," a TOUGH FOR Facebook INDIA spokesperson told The Verge. PAGE 6 "The fact is that more than 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is more than any other place on the internet. More than 3.3 million Americans have also used our vaccine finder tool to find out where and how to get a vaccine," the company spokesperson added. Earlier this week,, a report from US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called on social media platforms to tame accounts that share misinformation. CID team visits Adhikari household for second time this week MI NEWS SERVICE KANTHI: Sleuths of Bengal CID visited BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari's residence here on Saturday, the second time this week, to conduct necessary examination as part of its probe into the unnatural death of his security guard three years ago, a senior officer of the agency said. A four-member team of CID detectives reconstructed the scene of Subhabrata Chakraborty's reported suicide, he said. Chakraborty, a personnel of the State Armed Police Force, had allegedly shot himself with his service revolver in 2018. His wife, Suparna, recently filed a complaint demanding a fresh probe into his death. According to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer, the sleuths have prepared a "sketch map" to get a better understanding of the incident. "We will not be able to divulge the details. All we can say is we have not faced any resistance from the residents of the building. We will revisit the place for furthering our probe, if necessary," he maintained. The State-run agency has so far questioned at least 11 policemen -- three police officers and eight constables -- in connection with their probe, he added. On Wednesday, too, the CID team had visited the Adhikari household in Purba Medinipur district in connection with the probe. Adhikari's brother and Tamluk MP Dibyendu said, "They can come here a 100 times, we will keep cooperating... We have so far helped by providing answers to all their queries." HOW TO ADDRESS COVID ANXIETY IN CHILDREN NEW DELHI: While Covid has affected all age groups and sections in society, children are probably the worst affected and most ignored. Most observations and research have focused on health impact, mortality, morbidity, financial and geopolitical impact of the pandemic. During all this, children are stuck within the bounds of their homes, surrounded by sad and scary news of sickness and death, many have lost their parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts or heard of the loss in their classmates' homes. Being confined to a limited space, unable to meet peers and friends, unable to indulge in sports and physical activities, pursuing education via Internet on mobile and laptop screens or sometimes being left out of class- es because the facility is not available, it's a difficult world to adapt to. And while everyone gets a say, they are asked to shut up and study, they are expected to be grateful that they are not getting infected. This causes immense stress on a child, leading to fear, anxiety, sleep disturbance, mood disturbance and behavioural issues. Many children who were already vulnerable have developed panic disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders and anxiety and mood related disorders. The impact on self-esteem and confidence is significant. Some have witnessed higher levels of family conflicts and domestic violence. The uncertainty associated with exams, future, career has further confused high school children. Internet and gaming addiction is on the rise and psychosomatic problems are widespread. The problem statement is huge but it needs to be defined to take effective steps. As psychiatrists, we often see children being referred for behavioural issues but parents are reluctant due to stigma associated with the word psychiatry. But closing one's eyes doesn't make the problem go away. We, as adults, need to anticipate the problem and take preventive measures. Taking into cognizance that children are vulnerable is the first step. Talking to them about their feelings, letting them express their emotions, taking guidance and counselling to manage stress are all measures which can help in avoiding negative outcomes. We need a proper BEING CONFINED TO A LIMITED SPACE, UNABLE TO MEET PEERS AND FRIENDS, UNABLE TO INDULGE IN SPORTS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES, PURSUING EDUCATION VIA INTERNET ON MOBILE AND LAPTOP SCREENS OR SOMETIMES BEING LEFT OUT OF CLASSES BECAUSE THE FACILITY IS NOT AVAILABLE, IT'S A DIFFICULT WORLD TO ADAPT TO. AND WHILE EVERYONE GETS A SAY, THEY ARE ASKED TO SHUT UP AND STUDY, THEY ARE EXPECTED TO BE GRATEFUL THAT THEY ARE NOT GETTING INFECTED. routine, a mutually supportive social environment and discipline to engage in daily activities productively. The emphasis has to be on finding a balance with new way of life, apart from Covidappropriate behaviour to avoid infection, there needs to be a strategy to ensure balance between physical, emotional and social aspects of life. Interacting regularly with friends and families in small groups, taking time out to play, getting off the screen to enjoy the beauty of nature surrounding us, cooking and eating together, music, dance, arts and crafts are all ways to add creative interest in daily life and de-stress regularly. Those who have lost close family members and parents need professional intervention to deal with the trauma associated with sudden loss. With foresight and empathy, we can find a way to adapt to the post-Covid world and hopefully make it even better.