VINESH PHOGAT T MARIYAPPAN BHUBANESWAR l SATURDAY l AUGUST 22, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l LATE CITY 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 74 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 ■ 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 STEPS UP HEAT ON CHINA Nine charred to death by late-night inferno at T’gana power station Visa curbs for Chinese nationals; Railways scraps tender to keep out CRRC Pioneer Electric 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 away Chinese investments, the Centre is now planning to tighten visa rules for Chinese businessmen, students and workers. From now on, Chinese nationals will be issued visa only after a security clearance is obtained, sources said. In another move targeting China, the Railways on Friday announced the cancellation of the tender for manufacturing 44 semi-high speed Vande Bharat Express trains. “Fresh tender will be floated within a week as per Revised Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) order,” the rail ministry tweeted. 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 Kerala moves HC over airport lease to Adani Kochi: Two days after the Centre approved the lease of Thiruvananthapuram airport to Adani Group, Kerala government on Friday moved the the High Court seeking to stay the Centre’s order. The state made it clear that leasing out of buildings and structures as well as other premises of the airport was not in public interest. 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 The tender, floated last month, had attracted only a Chinese joint venture, CRRC Pioneer Electric, as the foreign player among six participants. The tender had called firms to bid for the supply of electrical equipment for 44 sets of highspeed Vande Bharat express trains with 16 coaches each. The concerted moves taken by the Centre follow 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 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. The latest decisions will only worsen the already frayed ties between New Delhi and Beijing, says Russia-based political analyst Andrew Korybko. 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. Seventeen 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. HAPPY CROWDING On the eve of weekend shutdown, the crowded Unit-1 vegetable market, in Bhubaneswar on Friday | BISWANATH SWAIN Centre stays firm, says NEET, JEE Main exams will be held as scheduled EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi DESPITE mounting pressure from students and parents to postpone the JEE (Main) and NEET entrance exams due to Covid-19, the Centre on Friday reiterated that the exams will be held as scheduled in September. Government sources said in a statement that more than 75 % of the students registered for JEE (Main) have already downloaded their admit cards, and this is an indication that a majority wants the exams to be held as per the plan. The National Testing Agency (NTA) which conducts both JEE (Main) and NEET said that of the 8.58 lakh candidates registered for JEE (Main), 6.49 lakh have downloaded their admit Do it after Diwali, says Swamy BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday urged the Prime Minister to put off holding JEE and NEET exams until after Diwali. Swamy said that required infrastructure is not yet in place to hold these exams cards. The admit cards for NEET, which is planned for September 13, is expected to be out in the coming days. The statement comes days after the Supreme Court on Monday junked a petition to have these tests postponed in view of the pandemic. JEE (Main) will be held between September 1 and 6, while NEET is scheduled for September 13. Meanwhile, the Union Home 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 footwears that lay scattered all around the plant shows how hard they tried to save themselves after a valiant effort to save the plant, the officer noted. 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 Security Force were pressed into actionearly on Friday morning. However, they found it difficult to go through the tunnel as smoke stood like a wall. Finally, after more than eight hours of efforts, they retrieved 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. Ministry in a circular issued on Friday noted that 99.07% of JEE(Main) aspirants have been allotted their preferred exam centers, and so far, only 120 have requested a change, which is being looked into. Out of the total of 15.97 lakh candidates who have signed up for NEET, 99.87 % have been allotted their preferred center, the government said. The government said, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, NTA had provided options to JEE (Main) and NEET aspirants to change their center cities five times. About 64,000 JEE (Main) candidates and 95,000 NEET candidates have availed the same. The government stressed that elaborate arrangements have been made, as per the education ministry guidelines, to ensure the safety of students. Ex-fin secy Rajiv Kumar to replace Lavasa as EC New Delhi: Former finance secretary Rajiv Kumar was on Friday appointed the Election Commissioner. Kumar, a 1984batch IAS officer of the Jharkhand cadre, will take charge on August 31 when Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa leaves office, the Union law ministry said. Kumar retired as Union finance secretary in February this year. In April, he was appointed chairperson of the Public Enterprises Selection Board. Lavasa is set to join the Manila-headquartered Asian Development Bank as vicepresident.
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