YK MYK WEATHER TODAY MAX 28 C MIN 23 C NORMALCY IN ECONOMY WILL COME SOONER THAN EXPECTED OPINION Rainfall may occur. Rs. 3 KOLKATA WEDNESDAY, 21 JULY, 2021 PG- 8, YEAR— 8, ISSUE— 67 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) AT A GLANCE DA FOR CENTRAL GOVT EMPLOYEES HIKED TO 28% NEW DELHI: The Dearness Allowance (DA) payable to Central government employees will be enhanced from the existing rate of 17 per cent to 28 per cent of basic pay with effect from July 1, 2021. The Department of Expenditure under the Finance Ministry said in a circular that the increase subsumes the additional instalments arising on 01.01.2020, 01.07.2020 and 01.01 2021. The rate of DA for the period from 01.01.2020 till 30.06.2021 shall remain at 17 per cent. CBDT GRANTS FURTHER RELAXATION IN E-FILING OF I TAX FORMS NEW DELHI: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has granted further relaxation in the electronic filing of forms 15CA and 15CB, a Finance Ministry statement said on Tuesday. It has now been decided to extend the aforesaid date to August 15 from the earlier deadline of July 15, it said. As per the Income Tax Act, 1961, there is a requirement to furnish Forms 15CA and 15CB electronically. Currently, taxpayers upload Form 15CA, along with the Chartered Accountant Certificate in Form 15CB, wherever applicable, on the e-filing portal, before submitting the copy to the authorised dealer for any foreign remittance. US SECRETARY OF STATE EXPECTED TO VISIT INDIA SOON NEW DELHI: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to visit New Delhi soon. It is learnt that preparations for the high-level visit are underway. There is no official announcement of the visit from either side. However, when in India Secretary Blinken is expected to hold bilateral talks with his counterpart External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. NOTICE The office of Morning India will remain closed on July 21 on account of Bakrid. There will be no edition of the newspaper on Thursday (July 22). The next issue will hit the stands on Friday (July 23). DEEPIKA STUNS WORLD CHAMPION ALFIYA AT YOUTH NATIONAL BOXING SPORTS Morning India 4th round of National Sero Survey over; overall seroprevalence is 67.6 pc: Govt NEW DELHI: The Union Health Ministry of Tuesday informed that the fourth round of the National Sero Survey has been conducted and the overall seroprevalence in the country is at 67.6 per cent. While addressing the press conference, ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava said, "The fourth round of national serosurvey was conducted in 70 districts in June-July and included children between 6-17 years of age." "Overall seroprevalence is 67.6 per cent in the entire population. In people of 6-9 years age group, it was 57.2 per cent; in 10-17 years, it was 61.6 per cent; in 18-44 years, it was 66.7 per cent; in 45-60 years, it was 77.6 per cent," said Dr Balram Bhargava. Asked whether there is any difference between seroprevalence between males and females or in rural and urban areas, Bhargava said, "There was no difference in seroprevalence in males and females and rural and urban areas. In unvaccinated, the seroprevalence was 62.3 per cent and with one dose of vaccine, it was 81 per cent. In those who received both KEY FINDINGS People flouting social distancing norms in Guwahati on Tuesday. doses, it was 89.8 per cent." Bhargava informed that the Health Ministry studied 7,252 healthcare workers and 10 per cent had not taken the vaccine, the overall seroprevalence in them was 85.2 per cent. "In conclusion, 2/3rd of general population, that is, above the age of 6 years had SARS-CoV-2 infection," said Dr Bhargava. Further speaking on Fourth National Serosurvey for COVID-19, Bhargava said, "More importantly, a third of the population did not have antibodies, that is, 40 crore of the population of the country Porn case: Kundra, techie in police custody till July 23 MUMBAI: A day after the sensational arrest of businessman Raj Kundra -- the husband of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty -- the Mumbai Police has nabbed a techie in connection with the alleged pornographic racket being probed by the Crime BranchCID, official sources said here on Tuesday. The police have arrested Ryan John Tharpe, entrusted with the technical aspects of Kundra-Shetty's companies, from Nerul in Navi Mumbai, for his alleged role and involvement in the same scam. The duo was produced before a Mumbai magistrate and have been remanded to police custody till July 23. With this the total number of arrests in the case has shot up to around 12, till date and several more suspects are still on the police radar. Tharpe is an IT person, said to be closely involved with Kundra and Shetty's companies which are now being probed for the pornographic racket having possible international ramifications. Official sources reveal that the investigators have recovered certain incriminating materials, WhatsApp chats and other stuff, while the role of other known and unknown persons in the entire racket is also being investigated. Kundra, 46, was nabbed late on Monday on alleged charges of making and publishing pornographic content and publishing them through mobile applications. Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale himself made the announcement on Kundra's arrest based on a case registered in February. Since February, Kundra -a British-Indian businessman -- was under the scrutiny of the Crime Branch-CID before the police's dramatic move last night. The sudden arrest stunned Bollywood which is already reeling under the scanner of various narcotics agencies since the past one year, further soiling the industry's image. is still vulnerable." Implications of the fourth serosurvey clearly show that there is a ray of hope but there is no room for complacency, said Bhargava and added that "We must maintain COVID appropriate behaviour and community engagement. National level serosurvey is not a substitute of state/district level serosurvey." On February 4, 2021, Dr Balram Bhargava had informed about the third national sero-survey that was conducted before vaccination started, in the period between GOVT TO BRING OUT DATA POLICY FOR AGRI SECTOR NEW DELHI: The government is in the process of bringing out a data policy for the agriculture sector, the Parliament was informed on Tuesday. The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare has commenced work for creating 'Agristack', and for this, it is in the process of finalising the "India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (IDEA)" which will lay down the framework, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told Lok Sabha members K. Kanimozhi and Brijendra Singh in a written reply. The government had constituted a task force and in furtherance, a concept paper on IDEA has been prepared and comments were invited from subject experts, farmers, Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) and general public. Tomar also said: "The government has not entered into any agreement with private companies.” The Bigger Fool Theory gaining traction as startups mount: Experts NEW DELHI: Startup funding at stratospheric levels is following the Bigger Fool Theory, experts say. The rarified echelons of Higher Finance follow the Cardinal Principle of Advanced Investment Management. "This is called The Bigger Fool Theory and says that, somewhere in the Investor Universe, at this minute, is a Bigger Fool who is waiting to buy you out," experts said. They add that nowadays, in parts of Bangalore, when people are done with washing the dishes or online yoga, they register a startup and appoint an investment banker to raise a hundred million dollars or multiples of that. Then, they look around for ideas to spend this money. Generally, everyone creates an App to do something that has been done perfectly well since the Vijayanagar empire. Like milk delivery. The one who sets up this skunkworks is called a Founder. But he should be called a Loser, because the only goal of every startup is to burn cash in super-quick time, which process is called Cash-Burn (hope you are impressed). The current National Record in this Event, when reports last came in, is held by a company which earns Re 1 for every Rs 732 that it spends. "Even a spendthrift friend of mine, who is utterly incompetent and runs a chaotic NGO, is in awe of such stellar performance," a CA said. Generally, anyone who makes money is considered a Supreme Idiot by investment bankers, investors and the deeply philosophical, critically-opinionated experts of WhatsApp University, and no one, not even one of those magna-cum-laude-cumaccent types, wants to be considered an SI. General principle being - Don't waste your money on somebody, who doesn't want more of it. The idea is that once they raise money and lose it, they can raise more money that they lose quicker than the earlier pile, so that they can raise even more money - this is called Series C for an important reason, which is that it follows A and then B. They keep on raising money till Series AH, which is when they become Unicorns. A Unicorn is a company that people who are permanently affected by smog-induced shutdown of the frontal cortex of the brain think is worth a billion dollars or more. ANI December 17, 2020 to January 8, 2021. At that time, overall seroprevalence was 21.5 per cent of the population, which includes 31.7 per cent of urban slums, 26.2 per cent of urban non-slum and 19.1 per cent of rural areas. Meanwhile, with 30,093 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, India reported the lowest daily positive cases in the last 125 days. With an increased recovery rate of 97.37 per cent, India witnessed 45,254 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the recovery tally to 3,03,53,710, Union The results of the IMCR’s fourth round of national serosurvey shows that the overall sero-prevalence in the country was 67.6% in June and July, which is higher than the seroprevalence rate recorded during the three earlier surveys – 0.7 percent during May-June (2020); 7.1 percent during August-September (2020); and 24.1 percent during DecemberJanuary (2020-2021). So, the latest findings of the survey suggest that two-third of the general population above 6 years have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, which means that two-third of Indians have been exposed to novel coronavirus. It also shows that onethird of the population does not have antibodies. Health Ministry informed on Tuesday. With the new cases reported in the last 24 hours, as many as 3,11,74,322 cases 'Robust' Covid ex gratia scheme in works, need four weeks more: Centre NEW DELHI: The Centre has moved the Supreme Court seeking an additional four weeks to frame an ex-gratia payment scheme for the kin of those who succumbed to Covid-19. On June 30, the top court had directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to frame appropriate guidelines within a period of six weeks. In an application seeking an extension, the Centre said: "Applicant respectfully submits that exercise to frame guidelines for payment of exgratia payment to the victims of Covid-19 disaster under Section 12 (iii) of the DMA (Disaster Management Act) is in active consideration of the NDMA and going on." It emphasised that this exercise, though at an advanced stage, requires a little more in-depth examination before it is finalised and implemented, as "any accelerated formulation, in the respectful submission of the applicant, may result into undesirable results". "The applicant UOI is respectfully praying that this court, in the interest of jus- tice, be pleased to extend the time for six weeks granted to the applicant to frame the guidelines of the judgment dated June 30, 2021, by another four weeks so as to enable the NDMA to come out with comprehensive and robust guidelines," added the application. On June 30, the Supreme Court had said the Centre failed to perform its statutory duty cast under Section 12 of the Disaster Management Act to issue minimum standards of relief for families of those people who lost their lives to Covid-19. It directed the NDMA to recommend guidelines for ex gratia assistance on account of loss of life to the family members of the persons who died due to Covid19, within 6 weeks. A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and M.R. Shah said: "Guidelines for ex gratia assistance on account of loss of life due to Covid-19 pandemic, while recommending other guidelines for the minimum standards of relief, it can be said that the National Authority has failed to perform its statutory duty cast under Section 12.." 100 pc pass percentage recorded in Madhyamik examination MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: The West Bengal Board Class 10 examination result was declared on Tuesday with a record 100 per cent pass percentage and 90 per cent of the students securing more than 60 per cent or more marks in the new evaluation method. The Madhyamik Pariksha (Class 10) examination could not be held this year due to the pandemic situation and the evaluation was based on the candidate's performance in the 2019 class examination in Class 9 and internal assessment for every subject in class 10 on a 50:50 basis. West Bengal Board of Secondary Education President Kalyanmoy Ganguly told a press meet that this 100 per cent pass of candidates is an all time record. Last year's pass percentage was 86.34 per cent. Ganguly said if a candidate is not happy with the results, he/she will be able to sit for tests once the COVID19 situation improves but in that situation this result won't be valid any more. Around 10 lakh students secured 60 per cent or more marks in the new evaluation method.At least 79 candidates got 697 marks out of 700 in the evaluation of this year's Madhyamik Pariksha. Asked if 79 candidates will then be considered as occupying first rank, Ganguly said "I can say this much that these students have been awarded 697 marks. And there is no merit list this year unlike in past." The number of girl students was higher than boys this year. While 6,13,849 females were slated to sit for the papers, the number of males was 4,65,850. A total of 10,79,749 candidates were slated to sit for the exam this year but due to COVID pandemic the board had to cancel the examination as advised by experts. By typing their date of birth and registration numbers the candidates can access the scoresheet from w w w. w b b s e . w b . g o v. i n , https://wbresults.nic.in, www.exametic.com and some other websites. The schools can collect marksheet from 49 camps of the board from Tuesday and from schools only parents will be given the mark sheets. Pegasus issue TMC says will continue to disrupt Parliament till government comes clean MI NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI: The Trinamool Congress Tuesday said it will continue to disrupt Parliament proceedings till the government comes clean on the charges of snooping and surveillance using the Pegasus spyware and discusses it in both Houses. The party said it will, however, not halt any discussion on the coronavirus situation or aspects related to it. "This (Pegasus spyware) is a serious issue and the TMC will not compromise on it. We will not let either House run till this government comes clean on the charges of snooping and surveillance. The government has spent millions to hack into phones at a time when the country is dealing with a pandemic," TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien said. An international media consortium reported Sunday that over 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including of two ministers, over 40 journalists, three opposition leaders and one sitting judge besides scores of businesspersons and activists in India could have been targeted for hacking through the spyware. Opposition members raised uproar in both houses and demanded a thorough probe into the charges of snooping on journalists, politicians, ministers, judges and others using the Israeli spyware. One of those listed as being allegedly snooped upon is (TMC) national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee. TMC Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra said, "We are saying on record that the IT minister lied on the floor of the House. We just want the PM, HM and the IT minister to answer if India is a client of NSO (Israeli firm that makes the Pegasus spyware) or not? We have a list of questions for the government and we will not allow Parliament to run unless these questions are answered." Moitra then listed some questions -has any department under the government of India purchased Pegasus? Is the spyware being used currently? Which agency has requisitioned this data and where is it being retained? IT and Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had Monday dismissed media reports on the use of Pegasus software to snoop on Indians, saying the allegations levelled just ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament are aimed at maligning Indian democracy. In a suo motu statement in Lok Sabha, Vaishnaw said that with several checks and balances being in place, "any sort of illegal surveillance" by unauthorised persons is not possible in India. On the Union health secretary's scheduled briefing to all parties on Covid this evening, O'Brien said TMC floor leaders will attend the presentation as it does not want to politicise the issue. The Congress has announced that it will boycott the presentation.