VINESH PHOGAT T MARIYAPPAN BHUBANESWAR l SATURDAY l AUGUST 22, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l JEYPORE EDITION FIVE KHEL RATNAS, 27 ARJUNAS: MINISTRY APPROVES JUMBO LIST The sports ministry rubberstamps national awards for 32 Indian athletes. Sakshi and Mirabai omitted from Arjuna UNPRECEDENTED, BUT WITH A TWIST Deviating from its earlier norms, the ministry has given away five Khel Ratnas, 27 Arjuna awards, 13 Dronacharya awards and 15 Dhyan Chand awards. This is the first time that so many awardees have been identified, especially in a non-Olympic year. Omission of the likes of swimmer Sajan Prakash, athlete Arpinder Singh and coach PT Usha raises eyebrows. RANI RAMPAL MANIKA BATRA ROHIT SHARMA VIRTUAL DELIVERY OF AWARDS The five Khel Ratnas are Rohit Sharma, Manika Batra, T Mariyappan, Rani Rampal and Vinesh Phogat ■ The awards this year will be given away in a virtual ceremony on August 29. Athletes will attend from nearest SAI centres ■ Blazers and awards to be couriered to the athletes before hand |P11 ■ 74 TOTAL NO OF AWARD RECIPIENTS CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI India tightens visa rules for Chinese Nine charred to death in late-night inferno at T’gana power station Businessmen, students and workers from China will get visa only after security clearance P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi AFTER banning Chinese apps and tweaking FDI rules to keep out Chinese investments in India, the Centre is now planning to tighten visa rules for Chinese businessmen, students and workers. According to sources, from now on, Chinese nationals will be issued visa only after a security clearance is obtained. The decision follows the Union education ministry’s review of ties between Indian and Chinese universities, especially the local chapters of Confucius Institutes. The agreements between Indian and Chinese institutes are likely to be cut down to size. “Over 50 MoUs signed between EXPRESS READ EC guidelines: Voters to get gloves at booths New Delhi: Voters will be provided with gloves to press the EVM button and Covid-19 patients in quarantine will be allowed to vote at the last hour of the polling day, according to broad guidelines issued by the Election Commission on Friday for holding elections during the coronavirus pandemic | P7 Ashwani Bhatia appointed MD of SBI New Delhi: The government has appointed Ashwani Bhatia as the next managing director of India’s largest public sector bank State Bank of India (SBI). Bhatia is currently serving as the managing director (MD) and CEO of SBI Mutual Fund, and had been tipped to be a front runner for the post through the selection process | P10 Ex-fin secy Rajiv Kumar to replace Lavasa as EC New Delhi: Former Union finance secretary Rajiv Kumar has been appointed Election Commissioner, the Law Ministry said in a notification on Friday. Kumar will take charge the day Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa leaves office on August 31. The outgoing EC is set to join the Asian Development Bank as its vice-president Govt asks collectors of hotspot dists to rework strategy Bhubaneswar: With several districts witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases during the last one week, the State Government on Friday asked the Collectors to rework their strategies and keep updating the approaches with the changing situations. Reviewing the situation in Odisha with Covid observers and district collectors through video conference, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy said the rate and cause of spread of the disease differs from one area to the other | P2 Confucius Institutes These are educational partnerships funded by the Chinese govt to promote Mandarin as a foreign language. Confucius Institutes have tie-ups with colleges and universities in some 160 countries Chinese universities and prestigious Indian institutes like IITs, JNU, BHU and others are under the government scanner,” sources said. India has been stepping up the heat on China since the June 15 violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops along the LAC. However, some experts feel New Delhi’s aggressive steps to restrict Chinese presence in India could backfire as the number of Indians travelling to China is three times than the Chinese flow to India. “We should also take into consideration any counter measures from China,” said B R Deepak, chairperson of Centre for Chinese and South Asian Studies at JNU. He also feels the measures may turn out to be symbolic as the student and academic exchanges with China are already low. “Dozens of MoUs that JNU has signed with China remain non-starters owing to hard and soft infrastructure constrains. The situation may be different in private universities,” he said. He noted that China used to offer a good number of scholarships to Indian students, but after India’s opposition to the Belt and Road Initiative, these have been reduced drastically The latest step will only worsen the already frayed ties between New Delhi and Beijing, says Russia-based political analyst Andrew Korybko. “India has the sovereign right to ensure its national security , but the latest moves will worsen relations with China,” he told TNIE. SANS COVID REPORT, PVT HOSPITALS CLOSE DOOR FOR PATIENTS HEMANT KUMAR ROUT @ Bhubaneswar THE State Government may have allowed private hospitals to admit Covid-19 patients in view of the rapid rise in cases but the picture on ground is completely different. If you are tested positive for Covid-19 and can afford treatment at a private hospital, you still won’t be able to exercise your choice, thanks to the bureaucratic paraphernalia. The State Gover nment, which is spearheading the entire testing and treatment procedures, is not handing out the Covid positive patients their test reports. As a result, patients going to private hospitals for treatment are not admitted. Even if a patient is tested positive at a Government lab, he has to undergo one more test at a private lab to get admitted in private hospital. Else, he has to wait for the mercy of the local administration to be shifted to a Covid hospital, irrespective of the severity of the disease. “Things are easier for those who are opting for private labs as they are provided test report, which eventually facilitates the procedure for admission in hospital. But it is cumbersome for the individuals, who are routed through the local administration for undergoing the Government 21,771 Active cases in State 28,387 Beds set up for treatment With 4,540 active cases Khurda has 1,480 beds in dedicated hospitals Cuttack has 400 beds for 1,626 active cases Govt has no data on private hospitals treating Covid patients People face inconvenience as no test report is handed out by Govt labs process of testing. They are not provided any test report and the intimation is done by phone. The patient, thus, is left in the lurch,” sources said. Sources said, earlier the people were being intimated through system generated SMS whether they are positive or negative, but it was stopped following some mis-communication. Even as the health authorities insisted that the officials entrusted with the task to intimate people on the test result are also responsible for coordinating with private hospital if the patient chooses. But, private hospitals still cannot admit patients on the basis of verbal confirmation only . What is even worse is the Government has no data on how many private hospitals in the State have set up Covid units nor availability of beds in them despite passage of a fortnight since it issued instruction asking them to designate at least 10 per cent beds for coronavirus patients. While private hospitals in Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai and other cities update the availability of beds and facilities on a daily basis, no such mechanism has been developed in Odisha. Additional Chief Secretary of Health department PK Mohapatra said there should not be any issue for people willing to avail private care. “We are upgrading the system and people will receive SMS as earlier soon. They can show it to get admitted in private hospitals,” he said and added that private hospitals have been asked to update the department about b e d s t re n g t h a n d o t h e r arrangements. BEAR STRAYS INTO TOWN, ATTACKS Panic spread in Bhawanipatna town after a wild bear entered residential areas and attacked passersby at the daily vegetable market near LIC office on Friday. As many as two persons sustained grievous injuries after being mauled by the animal who had come in from the nearby forests | P4 V V B A L A K R I S H N A @ Hyderabad Fire personnel try to douse the flames at Srisailam power station on Thursday night. PM Modi, Kovind express grief President Ramnath Govind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi mourned the death. “Fire at the Srisailam hydroelectric plant is deeply unfortunate. My thoughts are with the bereaved families,” Modi said KCR orders probe into incident Telangana government on Friday ordered a CID probe into the fire accident. “The reasons for the fire accident should be brought to light,” Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said. NINE employees—seven of TS Gencoo and two of a private battery company—were charred to death on Thursday night after a fire broke out in the underground hydro-electric power station in Srisailam in Telangana. Three other Genco employees who were injured are undergoing treatment at the Genco hospital located near the plant. According to official sources, the fire broke out at 10.30 pm on Thursday It was . reportedly caused by a short circuit in an auxiliary voltage transformer of the fourth unit of the power station. “It appears the fire had started in one of the panels, near the units 4, 5 and 6,” one official said.Eighteen employees were working in the power station at the time of the incident. Eight of them came out safely, but nine stayed inside, trying to put out the blaze. The fire spread quickly, trapping them. When they realised that they could not put out the fire, they tried to run outside, but it was too late. Centre stays firm, says NEET, JEE Main exams to be held on schedule Kerala moves HC against Adani airport handover view of the pandemic. JEE (Main) will be held between September 1 and 6, DESPITE mounting pressure while NEET is scheduled for from students and parents to September 13. postpone the JEE (Main) and Meanwhile, the Union NEET entrance exams due to Home Ministry in a circular Covid-19, the Centre on Fri- issued on Friday noted that day reiterated that the exams 99.07% of JEE(Main) aspirwill be held as scheduled ants have been allotted in September. their preferred exam Government sourccenters, and so far, es said in a statement only 120 have requestthat more than 75 % ed a change, which is of the students regisbeing looked into. tered for JEE (Main) Out of the total of have already down15.97 lakh candiDo it after loaded their admit Diwali, says d a t e s wh o h ave cards, and this is an signed up for NEET, Swamy indication that a ma99.87 % have been alBJP leader jority wants the exlotted their preSubramanian ams to be held as per ferred center, the Swamy on Friday government said. the plan. The National Test- urged the Prime The government Minister to put ing Agency (NTA) said, due to the Covoff holding JEE which conducts both id-19 pandemic, NTA J E E ( M a i n ) a n d and NEET exams had provided opNEET said that of until after Diwali. tions to JEE (Main) the 8.58 lakh candi- Swamy said that and NEET aspirants required dates registered for to change their centinfrastructure is er cities five times. JEE (Main), 6.49 lakh have download- not yet in place About 64,000 JEE to hold these ed their admit cards. (Main) candidates exams The admit cards and 95,000 NEET for NEET, which is c a n d i d a t e s h ave planned for September 13, is availed the same. expected to be out in the comThe government stressed ing days. that elaborate arrangements The statement comes days have been made, as per the after the Supreme Court on education ministry guideMonday junked a petition to lines, to ensure the safety of have these tests postponed in students. E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi ARJUNA AWARD Thrilled with top honour, Dutee sets Tokyo Olympics target EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bhubaneswar: LIKE Arjuna was fixated on the revolving eye of the fish, the fastest woman of India is focused on the next Olympics. Minutes after news broke that she has been nominated for the Arjuna Award, Dutee Chand’s first reaction was clinching qualification for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021. The ace sprinter is ninth from Odisha to receive the prestigious award. “I feel proud and honored to have been chosen for the award. Now, it’s my target to achieve the Olympic Games qualification timings as soon as possible,” she told The New Indian Express. Her Twitter timeline said as much: “Onward and upward,” accompanied by a picture of the trophy . Dutee thanked all those people who have supported her in the journey from a dusty village of Jajpur district to the international arena where she brought laurels for the country. “I would like to thank the Government of India, Odisha Government, Achyuta Samanta, my parents, Gopichand Sir (Pulella Gopichand), coach and all those who have loved me and helped me in my journey, “ she said. After former national record holder Rachita Mistry, Dutee Chand will be the second sprinter of the State to get the coveted Arjuna Award. The other recipients from the State include cyclist Minati Moh ap at r a ( 1 9 7 8 - 7 9 ) , weight-lifters Bijay Ku Satapathy (1981) and Ravi Kumar (2011), hockey stars Dillip Tirkey (2002), Ignesh Tirkey (2009) and Joyti Su- “The employees sacrificed their lives to save their beloved plant,” a senior official said. “We have information that the employees, who were in the plant, tried hard to save the plant till the last moment,” he added “The footwear that lay scattered all over bears testimony to how hard they tried to save themselves after a valiant effort to save the plant,” the officer said. Bodies were found in all the five floors of the plant. Officials say this suggests that the workers tried to save themselves by trying to reach the top floor, but were probably blinded and choked by the thick smoke. The plant is located 1.2 kilometres beneath the ground and there is only one tunnel to reach it.Personnel from the National Disaster Response Force and the Central Industrial Safety Force were pressed into service early on Friday morning. However, they found it difficult to go inside as smoke stood like a wall. Finally, after more than eight hours of efforts, they were able to retrieve the bodies. nita Kulu (2006), athlete Rachita Mistry (1998) and para–badminton player Pramod Bhagat (2019). Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik congratulated Dutee on being recommended to receive the award. “Odisha is proud of your achievemets,” Naveen tweeted. Union Minister Dharmedra Pradhan said: “Dutee Chand has shown us that it is not impossible to achieve dreams, her triumph and journey is truly inspirational.” Odisha Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera also congratulated Dutee. India’s star on the tracks, Dutee’s biggest wins came at 2018 the Asian Games where she picked up the silver in both 100 m and 200 m races. She had won bronze medals in 100m and 4x100m relay at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships. She is the first Indian athlete to win in the World University Games. A day after an all-party-meeting opposed the Centre’s decision to lease out the Thiruvananthapuram airport to Adani Enterprises, the Kerala government on Friday moved the high court seeking a stay on further proceedings in the matter. In its application, the state government said handing over buildings as well as other premises of the international airport to a private entity for 50 years is not in public interest. The Adani Group had won the auction last year to develop and operate the airport. The state government moved the HC against this but its writ petition was dismissed. The government then filed an appeal before the Supreme Court challenging the HC order. The apex court set aside the HC judgement and sent the matter back to HC to consider the government’s challenge on merit. According to the Kerala government, the Centre approved the lease in favour of Adani during the pendency of the writ petition. And, necessary contractual transactions are likely to be entered into by the Centre, AAI and the company. The state government has substantial proprietary and other rights over the land on which the airport was constructed, the application noted. Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday questioned the state’s opposition to the decision. “If the Kerala govt is against privatisation, then why did it participate in the bidding process? The govt was given a fair chance & Right of First Refusal if their bid was within 10% below the range of the highest bid. However, they bid 19.64% below,” he said.
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