BHUBANESWAR z THURSDAY z AUGUST 27, 2020 z `7.00 z PAGES 14 z JEYPORE EDITION CHINA SPRUCING UP MILITARY INFRA IN EASTERN SECTOR China has begun construction of huge habitat for large troop formation in the Eastern Sector, sources said on Wednesday Indian Army trucks move towards Ladakh on Wednesday | PTI PLA BUILDING A BRIGADE-SIZE GARRISON The Peoples Liberation Army is building a brigade size garrison at Gyantse in Tibet, which appears to be meant for the ground forces, sources said. Its construction reportedly began after January. Also, satellite images from June and July confirm that China is building and connecting roads to the border areas at multiple points in the Eastern Sector | P9 ■ 2021 STRATEGIC MISSILES ALSO DEPLOYED ■ ■ The new garrison includes six battalion headquarters and more than 600 sheds for vehicles and equipment It will be strategically positioned in Gyantse, which is not far from the Indian border states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim Sources say China has also moved strategic missiles to the area WHEN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE GARRISON IS EXPECTED TO BE FINISHED 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 Opposition to move SC to postpone JEE, NEET Stormy GST West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee suggests joint review petition by all CMs in the Supreme Court EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi AMID rising chorus against holding JEET/NEET in the midst of a pandemic, the Chief Ministers of seven Oppositionruled states met on Wednesday to discuss the prospects of filing a joint petition in the Supreme Court to postpone the exams. The development comes a day after the Centre decided to increase the number of examination centres for JEET and NEET to ensure social distancing. Both the exams are scheduled to be held in early September. During a virtual meeting called by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to discuss issues faced by the Opposition-ruled states, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee mooted the idea of filing a joint petition before the apex court seeking a review after it rejected a plea on August 17 to postpone the exams. The SC had said, “Life cannot be stopped and the career of students can.” not be put in jeopardy “Let us go to the Supreme Court and talk about this matter. This is a mental agony for students and with limited trains and flight operations, I don’t know how they will commute to sit for the exams. The situation is very serious with cases rising, we have to speak up for the children,” said Banerjee. Supporting Mamata’s suggestion, the other CMs present in the meeting said they should approach the court keeping in mind that the JEE (Main) is scheduled to be held from September 1-6 and NEET on September 13. Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren said a delegation should also meet President Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the matter. Keeping in mind the urgency of the matter, Punjab Chief Students protest Centre’s move to hold JEE, NEET exams amid Covid | PARVEEN NEGI 6.8L NEET students dowloaded admit cards: Govt New Delhi: About 6.84 lakh NEET candidatesdownloaded their hall tickets withing five hours after its allocation began on Wednesday, the government said. A total of 15.9 lakh students registered for the exam Minister Capt Amarinder Singh tweeted after the meeting: “I have asked Advocate General, Punjab to coordinate with his counterparts in other States and to file a review petition in Supreme Court on NEET/JEE issue. In the midst of the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, it is not safe for lakhs of students to appear for these examinations.” Addressing the Chief Ministers, Sonia said the government is indifferent to the difficulty students will have to endure if they have to write the exams amid Covid-19 induced restrictions. She also accused the government of handling the whole issue in a careless manner. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray cited a US report FOUR DIE AS SIX DISTRICTS STARE AT FLOODS IN ODISHA EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bhubaneswar AT least four persons died even as six norther n and coastal districts are staring at floods after heavy rains left Budhabalanga, Baitarani and Jalaka rivers in the spate on Wednesday. The fatalities related to heavy rainfall and delugelike situations came in from Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts. The office of Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Kumar Jena said both Jalaka and Baitarani rivers are flowing above danger level at Mathani in Balasore and Anandapur in Keonjhar districts respectively. With more rains forecast, Budhabalanga river is also expected to breach the danger mark. Administrations of Mayurbhanj and Balasore - likely to be impacted by a swelling Budhabalanga - have been asked to stay in readiness. With Baitarani going past the red mark, Keonjhar, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Kendrapara districts have been put on alert. SRC office said, Jalaka was flowing at 6.68 metre at Mathani against the danger level of 5.50 metre. Water level of Baitarani was at 40.27 metre at Anandpur against the red mark of 38.36 metre, whereas at Akhuapada, it was flowing at 20.2 metre, above the danger level of 17.83 metre. “Jalaka is not a worry but Baitarani and Budhabalanga are. Since the catchment areas of the rivers have been experiencing heavy rainfall, the water level is expected to rise. We are keeping a close watch,” said SRC of fice sources. Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy held a meeting via video conferencing with Jena and Collectors of Keonjhar, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Boudh and Sonepur districts. The Collectors have been asked to remain alert and evacuate the people from the low lying areas if need arises. The Water Resources department has already deputed engineers to guard and repair the embankments in case the flood water enter through the cracks. Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department has put out a red alert for heavy rains across northern and coastal pockets for the next 24 hours. The State has been receiving continuous showers under impact of a well-marked low pressure area. According to the weather office, Marshaghai (Kendrapara) and Tensa (Sundargarh) received the highest 230 mm rainfall, followed by 210 mm at Boudh and Baripada and 200 mm at Champua (Keonjhar) and Kujang and Raghunathpur (Jagatsinghpur) between Tuesday and Wednesday morning. The heavy rains led to collapse of a wall in Mayurbhanj’s Sukuruli block where a woman died whereas another woman lost her life after being swept away in the district’s Badasahi block. Similarly, two persons were reportedly swept away by flood water in Keonjhar while a third could be rescued. The pounding showers also caused waterlogging in Mayurbhanj, Khurda, Bhadrak districts. “South-west monsoon has been vigorous over Odisha. Against the average rainfall of 8 mm, the State received 71.8 mm rain in the 24 hourspan of August 25-26 morning,” said Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre Director, HR Biswas. The weather of fice has forecast heavy rainfall in Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Nuapada and Keonjhar districts on Thursday. The rainfall activity will re d u c e f ro m F r i d ay o n wards, said Biswas. Flood alert State receives 71.88 mm rain in 24 hrs Baitarani, Jalaka flowing above danger level Budhabalanga likely to breach danger mark Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapara on high alert @ Bhubaneswar WITH Covid-19 pandemic showing no sign of decline, the State Government on Wednesday decided to keep all educational institutions including schools and colleges closed till Durga Puja vacation. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik made this announcement during a review of the Covid situation in the State at a virtual meeting with party legislators and senior officials. The Chief Minister said the decision was taken keeping the safety and interests of students and parents in mind. Educational institutions are closed since third week of the March. Emphasising on the revival of rural economy, the Chief Minister asked departments concerned to facilitate disbursal of more loans in rural areas with special focus on agriculture and allied sectors, MSME, and self help groups (SHGs) having maximum potential to generate employment. For revival of rural economy the CM on Tuesday had ap, proved a special assistance package of `200 crore special package to help develop livelihood activities of rural poor, very poor and the migrants. With gradual resumption of economic activities, migrant workers who have returned to the State need special attention. Pressing for creation of employment opportunity for them, the Chief Minister directed departments to extend all possible institutional support for cred- it linkage to start micro economic activities. He further directed to conduct skill mapping of the migrants and provide requisite training under Nirman Shramik Yojana for engagement in construction activities. He also asked departments to promote livelihood activities like backyard poultry, goatery, fisheries gaining currency, and expand the activities in rural areas. With demand for mask increasing and mask-making proving a good income generating activity, he advised legislators to assist SHGs by procuring masks from their local area development fund for distribution. Describing complacency as an enemy during the pandemic, the CM advised everyone to EXPRESS READ 2 shot dead amid US anti-racism protests Kenosha: Two people were shot dead on Tuesday night in the US city of Kenosha, reported by armed militia members, as protests over the shooting of a black man by a white police officer raged. Cellphone video of at least two of the shootings that was posted online shows what appears to be a white man with a semi-automatic rifle jogging down the middle of a street as some police officers follow him | P11 Phase II human trial of Oxford vaccine begins Pune: The Phase II clinical trial of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, being manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), began at a medical college and hospital in Pune on Wednesday. Two male volunteers were administered the vaccine at Bharti Vidyapeeth’s Medical College and Hospital. According official sources, in all, 25 candidates will given the vaccine in the next seven days | P10 Jalaka and Baitarani rivers are flowing above danger level at Mathani in Balasore and Anandapur in Keonjhar districts respectively. With more rains forecast, Budhabalanga river is also expected to breach the danger mark adopt maximum precautions. He expressed satisfaction over ramping up of testing and decline of positivity as well as fatality rates. He also directed Covid observers to ensure strict adherence to area-specific strategies in hotspot districts to fight the pandemic. He asked officials to provide compensation as per the guidelines to the kin of COVID-19 warriors, who have fallen victim to the virus in the lone of their duty, by Friday . Agriculture Minister Arun Sahoo, Gover nment Chief Whip Pramila Mallick, BJD MLAs Debi Prasad Mishra and Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy, DGP Abhay, 5T Secretary VK Pandian and other officials were present in the review meeting. Council meet today, states not keen on market borrowing A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi Meet to discuss all options Thursday’s GST Council meeting is likely to be stormy as many states, including BJP-ruled ones, are miffed at non-payment of G S T c o m p e n s at i o n t o states. While Kerala and West Bengal have been very vocal on the delayed payout, many Congress-ruled states have also accused the Centre of denying their rightful dues. Almost all states are going through a rough patch as revenues have fallen drastically due to the coronavirus pandemic. Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said the state has received compensation only till March 2020 and the Centre is sitting over `4,400 crore unpaid dues. Chhattisgarh has complained the state has not received a single penny since April 2020 as compensation. Last month, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had also flagged the matter terming the Centre’s nonpayment of GST compensation to states unconstitutional. Recently, Bihar deputy CM and state finance minister Sushil Modi said the Centre has a moral commitment to paying the states. According to sources claim Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh – all BJP-ruled states – too have conveyed their displeasure over the Centre’s stand on delaying GST compensation. HIGHEST SPIKE OF 3,371 CASES IN A DAY “Revenue fall is a known fact. In the last meeting, the Centre had shared the revenue situation. This meeting will discuss all the options,” a senior official from the finance ministry told The New Indian Express Another sticky point is that most states are not in favour of opting for market borrowing. They say the Centre should use the Consolidated Fund of India to pay states or allow them to levy some tax. According to the 101st Constitution Amendment, states will be compensated for a period of five years from the implementation of GST in July 2017. Under this provision, states will have to be compensated till July 2022 for any losses. The compensation would meet the shortfall in revenue to the states, assuming a 14% growth annually in GST revenues. However, the GST revenue growth was less than anticipated. Even after three years of GST rollout, mop-up has mostly remained under `1 lakh crore per month. Vapid GST collections and the proportionately lower payout to states have been a matter of discord between the Centre and states. Meanwhile, finance ministry sources said all solutions will be discussed at the meet. P12 Odisha reported its highest spike of 3371 new infections and 13 deaths in last 24 hours taking the tally to 87,602 and death toll to 494 PAGE 2 Clear the mess you created, SC tells Centre EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi SRC Office Schools, colleges to remain closed till Durga Puja EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE that said 97,000 children there were infected when schools reopened and expressed concern what will states do if such a situation arises here. He noted that schools could not be even opened in June when the number of cases was relatively less. How can, then, the situation be considered conducive now to hold examinations, he asked. Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Bhagel and Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy agreed that they are ready to approach the apex court on the matter. “The general consensus is that the government of India should approach the supreme Court on this issue so that this problem can be tackled effectively said Gehlot. ,” However, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal reiterated that both the exams would be held next month as per schedule. ASKING the Centre not to hide behind the RBI, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed it to clarify its stand on waiving interest on loans during the moratorium period. “It is your responsibility to take steps under the Disaster Management Act. You have enough powers to decide the issue of waiver. You cannot just depend on the RBI,” the bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said. The court was hearing a petetion filed by Agra resident Gajendra Sharma. Noting that the economic distress was created by the Centre’s nationwide lockdown, the SC asked the government to decide on the matter within one week. The court’s observation came after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta referred to the RBI’s affidavit, and said the banking institutions are also distressed. “The problem was created by your (Centre) lockdown. This isn’t the time to take care of only the business interests. You must also consider the plight of the people,” the bench noted. Mehta said such observations could have some repercussions for the government, which has been issuing all necessary directions under the Disaster Management Act. “Then you must take a stand. Whether interest should be charged and any interest on interest should be charged during moratorium period,” the bench noted. MAKE STAND ON MORATORIUM CLEAR BY SEPTEMBER 1 New Delhi: Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for one of the petitioners told the court that the loan moratorium scheme is ending on August 31 and it should be extended. “I am only saying that till these pleas are decided, the extension should not end,” Sibal said. SC has now posted the matter for another hearing on September 1 Can Messi leave Barca? Barcelona star Lionel Messi has asked club to release him. Here’s a brief look what transpired... zMessi has told Barcelona through his lawyers he wants to leave despite a year remaining on his contract. This may lead to legal complications if both sides remain firm. zThe club buying Messi has to pay Barcelona €700 million as release fee, but the 33-year-old believes he can leave as a free agent. Few clubs can match his weekly salary of €1 million, but the names of Bayern Munich, Manchester City, PSG are doing the rounds. 2001 Year when Messi joined the club’s junior team 20 Major titles Messi won at Barcelona P13
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