YK MYK ILLUSIVE FOOD SURPLUS AMIDST SHORTAGE OF FOOD AFFECTING POOR OPINION Rs. 5 RANCHI SATURDAY, 7 MAY, 2022 PG-12, YEAR—11, ISSUE—353 (RNI NO: JHAENG / 2012 / 44137) PURSUIT OF PURPOSE DRIVES TABU’S PASSION FOR WORK PEOPLE & LIFE Morning India ED raids several premises of Puja Singhal, close aides MNERGA scam probe: Rs 19.3 cr in cash seized AT A GLANCE GOVT PANEL FINDS DEFECT IN BATTERY CELLS IN ALMOST ALL EV FIRES NEW DELHI: In what could put EV two-wheeler manufacturers in a tough spot, the preliminary findings from the government-constituted probe committee on electric vehicle (EV) fires have found issues with battery cells/design in nearly all of the electric two-wheeler (2W) fire incidents in the country. The committee was constituted last month in the wake of EV fires and battery blasts in e-scooters belonging to Okinawa Autotech, Boom Motor, Pure EV, Jitendra EV, and Ola Electric. According to sources close to the development, the experts have found defects in battery cells as well as battery design in nearly all EV fires, including the deadly battery explosion in Telangana. SUMMER CROP SOWN AREA UP AT 71.88 LAKH HECTARES THIS YEAR: GOVT DATA NEW DELHI: The area sown under food grains, coarse cereals and oilseeds, under summer crop, is 71.88 lakh hectares, as on Friday, compared to 68.84 lakh hectares previous year, data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare said. This is fairly above the average of the last five years at 56.28 lakh Ha. Rice, maize, groundnut, and sunflower have shown slight decrease in area while for the rest, it is increasing. MORE ON PG 5 CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 43,094,548 TOTAL DEATHS: 523,975 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 516,047,378 TOTAL DEATHS: 6,272,716 SANJAY SAHAY RANCHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) teams on Friday conducted searches at premises of mines secretary Puja Singhal and her close associates in Ranchi and Dhanbad in a case of money laundering. Notably, ED is investigating the case related to multicrore MNERGA scam in Khunti district when Singhal was the deputy commissioner of the area. It may be stated here that raids were carried out in other states as well including Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan and National Capital Region in this connection. Sources said that during a raid carried out in Ranchi ED has seized cash worth 19.31 crores in operations carried out in Hanuman Nagar. Counting machines and bank officials were deployed at the site to count the currencies. Besides, the ED teams also searched several other places in the city including Singhal’s official residence, pulse hospital and premises in Panchwati Residency, Chandni Chowk and Hari Om Towers. It may be stated here that ED has arrested a junior engineer Ram Binod Sinha in connection with the case in 2020. Earlier, the anti-corruption bureau had registered 16 cases against Sinha in connection with the scam. A PIL was, however, filed with Jharkhand High Court alleging that senior officials involved in the scam were not being probed. According to confession of Sinha before the ED , 10 percent of the slush money were used to manage the deputy commissioner’s office. CM INITIATIVE 19 workers stranded in SL return home MI NEWS SERVICE RANCHI: Once again CM Hemant Soren has made special initiative for the people of the state. Due to his efforts workers from Jharkhand, who were stranded in Sri Lanka & found themselves to be facing financial crisis, have been safely repatriated. This shows the sensitivity of the Chief Minister towards the people of the state. This is not the first time that the safe return of stranded workers from various parts of the country and abroad has been made. There are many such instances when the government has acted promptly to ensure the safety and security of the workers. 19 workers of Jharkhand stranded in Sri Lanka have returned home. All these 19 workers hail from Giridih, Hazaribagh and Dhanbad districts. On April 2, they sent a message to the Government of India and the Government of Jharkhand through social media requesting for help in order to return to their hometowns. Taking cognizance of which, the Chief Minister Hemant Soren had requested the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka for help. Along with this, the Chief Minister had also directed the State Migrant Control Room and Department of Labour to take necessary actions. During verification it was revealed that all the workers were working as fitters in Kalpataru Power Transmission Limited in Sri Lanka since 18 February 2022. Workers stranded in Sri Lanka reported that their passports were confiscated by the contractor. For more than three months, they were not paid their salaries and the contractor had even stopped providing them with money for food. The Department of Labour, Employment, Training & Skill Development, Government of Jharkhand, contacted the Indian High Commission and other officials in Sri Lanka to provide assistance to the workers, and the State Migrant Control Room contacted the contractor and the company and asked them to clear the dues of the workers. The Indian High Commission and officials in Sri Lanka took note of the incident and made sure that the workers were given food and security by the company. On May 5, 2022, a total due of Rs 8,68,777 was paid in the account of all the workers by the contractor and the company. Along with this, air tickets were also made available for everyone to return to the country. On 6th May, the stranded workers departed Sri Lanka and arrived at Birsa Munda Airport, Ranchi around 2 pm. Reacting to the ED raids Chief Minister Hemant Soren said that no one should violate law of the country or else he or she would face the consequences. The ED is also used to scare us but we are not impressed, he added. He said that state would demand its right from the centre and will get them. The BJP has done nothing for the state in the past 20 years, he alleged. The CM stated, "The present state government would rule the state with strength adding that it would continue to raise the demands with the centre and get it." The raids also lead to a political row in the state with the ruling and the opposition parties trying to blame each other for the scam. CORONAVIRUS SHOULD BE A PRIORITY, NOT CAA: NITISH PATNA: Bihar Chief Ninister Nitish Kumar on Friday made an oblique reference to his stand on Citizenship Amendment Act which the Centre is hinting to implement in the country after coronavirus abates. Nitish Kumar, while reacting to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement on the issue, said that the way cases of coronavirus are increasing in the country, he should concern himself on a prevention plan. "The way cases are increasing in the country, it is a biggest challenge for us. They should have to look after its prevention. We will think about any policies that would come before us," he said. His statement of indicates that he wants to wait for the decision of the Centre on CAA implementation, before disclosing his plan of action. The CAA, NRC and Uniform Civil Code are the three issues on which the stand of Nitish Kumar is different from the BJP. MORE ON PG 5 India’s total fertility rate declines from 2.2 to 2.0: National Family Health Survey NEW DELHI: The report of the fifth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) revealed that the total fertility rate of India has declined from 2.2 to 2.0 indicating the significant progress of population control measures. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) which is measured as the average number of children per woman, has come down from 2.2 to 2.0 at the national level between NFHS-4 and 5. There are only five states in India, which are above the replacement level of fertility of 2.1. including Bihar (2.98), Meghalaya (2.91), Uttar Pradesh (2.35), and Jharkhand (2.26) Manipur (2.17). The NFHS-5 survey work was conducted in around 6.37 lakh sample households from 707 districts (as on March, 2017) of the country from 28 States and 8 UTs, covering 7,24,115 women and 1,01,839 men to provide disaggregated estimates up to district level. The Overall Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) has increased substantially from 54 per cent to 67 per cent in the country. "Use of modern methods of contraceptives has also increased in almost all States/UTs. Unmet needs for family planning have witnessed a significant decline from 13 per cent to 9 per cent. The unmet need for spacing, which remained a major issue in India in the past has come down to less than 10 per cent," said an official statement. The NHFS-5 also mentioned that institutional births have increased substantially from 79 per cent to 89 per cent in India. Even in rural areas around 87 per cent births are delivered in institutions and the same is 94 per cent in urban areas. Institutional births increased by a maximum of 27 percentage points in Arunachal Pradesh, followed by over 10 percentage points in Assam, Bihar, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. Over 91 per cent of districts have more than 70 per cent of births in the last 5 years that took place in health facilities. As per the survey, the level of stunting among children under 5 years has marginally declined from 38 to 36 per cent for India in the last four years. Stunting is higher among children in rural areas (37 per cent) than in urban areas (30 per cent) in 201921. ED SEIZURE: HIGH COURT BREATHER FOR XIAOMI INDIA BENGALURU: The High Court of Karnataka has given a breather to Xiaomi Technology India Private Limited by staying the April 29 order of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) by which Rs 5551.27 crore of the company was seized under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act,1999. The vacation bench of Justice Hemant Chandangoudar stayed the ED order on Thursday, while also issuing notices to the respondents including the Ministry of Finance and various officers of the ED. Xiaomi India, the subsidiary of the Chinese firm Xiaomi Group can now operate its bank accounts for carrying out the day-today activities of the company, the High Court ordered. Xiaomi, which sells mobile phones in India under the brand name MI, is accused by the ED of violating Section 4 of the FEMA Act by transferring money in the name of ‘Technology Royalty’ to three companies outside India. MORE ON PG 9 Hangzhou Asian Games 2022 postponed; fresh dates to be announced soon TASHKENT: The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) on Friday postponed the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, scheduled between September 10 to 25, following "detailed discussions with the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC)". The OCA took the decision at its Executive Board meeting currently underway in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where its director general, Husain Al Musallam, and acting president, Randhir Singh, were present. The fresh dates for the quadrennial continental showpiece will be announced in "due course", said the statement. The decision has come after several provinces of China reported a spurt in Covid-19 cases. The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games too were postponed by a year because of Covid-19 and held last year. "Following detailed discussions with the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) and the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC), the OCA Executive Board (EB) today decided to postpone the 19th Asian Games, which were scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China, from 10 to 25 September 2022. The new dates of the 19th Asian Games will be agreed between the OCA, the COC and the HAGOC (Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee) and announced in the near future," said the OCA statement. Media reports had been speculating about the postponement of the Asian Games for the last fortnight, and the decision did not come as a surprise, given the prevailing pandemic situation in China and other Asian countries. "HAGOC has been very well prepared to deliver the Games on time despite global challenges. However, the above decision was taken by all the stakeholders after carefully considering the pandemic situation and the size of the Games. The name and the emblem of the 19th Asian Games will remain unchanged, and the OCA believes that the Games will achieve complete success through the joint efforts of all parties," said the OCA statement.