VIJAYAWADA l WEDNESDAY l SEPTEMBER 09, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l LATE CITY EDITION CENTRE CONFIRMS PHASE-3 TRIAL OF SPUTNIK V IN INDIA Govt is planning to hold the phase-3 trial as well as large-scale manufacturing of Russia’s Covid vaccine, a top official said ‘RUSSIAN PARTNERSHIP VERY IMPORTANT’ “Government attaches great importance to this offer of partnership from a very special friend,” said Dr V K Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog and head of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19. Last month, Russia had registered its first vaccine candidate, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, after completing early-stage human trials ■ US 3 FIRMS KEEN ON MASS PRODUCTION ■ LAC FIRING The results of phase 1 and 2 trials published in The Lancet last week said the vaccine was well tolerated by all volunteers it was tested on and also triggered good antibody response Paul said three Indian firms have so far shown interest in mass production of the vaccine and talks are on with others | P7 VACCINE WILL BE READY BY OCTOBER, U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAID 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 China violates another red line of not using firearms along LAC; India repulses PLA’s attempt to grab strategic heights in Chushul region M AYA N K S I N G H A N D P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi IN a major threshold shift along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China fired bullets during its movement in the Chushul area in eastern Ladakh on Monday evening. This was the first time in 45 years that bullets were fired along the LAC. While China sought to turn the narrative into an act of aggression and crossing of the LAC by the Indian Army, the defence ministry here rebutted it, saying it was the PLA that had tried to aggressively close in to an Indian position on Monday evening. When India tried to dissuade them, the PLA fired a few rounds in the air to provoke and intimidate the soldiers, the ministry asserted. India and China have loads of confidence building measures and agreements, which bar both sides from the use of firearms within 2 km radius of the LAC. Before Monday’s flareup, the last recorded incident of firing was in 1975, again by the PLA, which had crossed the LAC in Tulung La in Arunachal Pradesh and ambushed a patrol of Assam Rifles jawans, killing four of them. Setting the record straight, Indian Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said it was the PLA that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres, though engagements at the military diplomat, ic and political levels are in progress. At no stage has Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing, he emphasised. “In the instant case on 7 September 2020, it was the PLA troops who were attempting to close in on one of our forward positions along the LAC and when dissuaded by own troops, PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to in- Rhea Chakraborty taken for medical test after her arrest in Mumbai | PTI NOW, RHEA ARRESTED IN DRUGS CASE E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Mumbai China’s soldiers approaching the Indian post near Mukhpari peak on Monday 1 2 Around 50 Chinese PLA soldiers approached aggressively towards Indian post near Mukhpari peak about 6 pm on Monday The intention of the PLA men was to dislodge Indian troops from strategic heights in Mukhpari peak and Rezang La areas in east Ladakh timidate own troops,” the ministry stated. “Despite the grave provocation, (our) own troops exercised great restraint and beh ave d i n a m a t u r e a n d responsible manner,” it added. China, however, stuck to its script of blaming India for Monday’s flare-up, saying it was the Indian side that resorted to firing first. “It was the Indian side that fired first in the Monday incident in which Indian troops again illegally crossed the LAC and outrageously fired warning shots at Chinese border defence patrol personnel who were attempting ‘Free power scheme will make discoms accountable’ JAYA N T H P @ Vijayawada BESIDES helping beneficiaries seek accountability from power distribution companies (discoms) and targeted delivery of services, one of the key reasons the state government decided to launch the YSR F ree Ag riculture Power Scheme is to make discoms accountable within the system. Fixation of meters would enable the Andhra Pradesh government, which is spending 30-40 per cent more towards subsidy than the Telangana government despite having almost 30 per cent fewer agriculture connections, to plug the gaps and achieve its three-fold objective. “The scheme is a part of the reforms and is to create a responsible channel for the deliverables to reach the beneficiaries,” Energy Secretary and chairman and managing director of APTRANSCO Srikant Nagulapalli told TNIE on Tuesday He allayed apprehen. sions over the implementation of the scheme, especially regarding metering the connections. “One of the major apprehensions has been that some transmission losses are being passed off as subsidy, which the government is bearing. For instance, Telang ana has around 25 lakh meters and spends `6,000 crore towards subsidy. In AP we have 17.55 lakh connections, but are spending `8,353 crore this year. So, metering will help us get a clear picture with regard to actual consumption at the farmers’ end. We can identify gaps to plug them. This will make the system efficient, and ensure targeted delivery of power to beneficiaries,” the secretary explained. Srikant also asserted that there was no reason for farmers to worry as no changes were proposed in the initiative. He, in fact, added that the scheme was to ensure that the public money being spent as subsidy reaches the intended beneficiaries. The government had already clarified that no connection would be disconnected and that there were no restrictions on the consumption/load. FULL INTERVIEW: P4 3 4 Carrying rods, spears, sharp weapons and rifles, the PLA men approached the Indian post. The Indian side caught it on camera When the Indian Army dissuaded the PLA, they fired 10-15 rounds in the air to intimidate our troops. The aggression was repulsed to negotiate,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian alleged. Zhao said China has made re presentations to India through military and diplomatic channels. “Differences should be resolved through peaceful talks. Confrontation benefits neither side,” he added. Monday’s incident comes days ahead of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s interaction with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on the sidelines of the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting. Just a few days ago, Defence Minister ARMED TO THE TEETH The rods with machetes fixed to them on one end carried by all the Chinese soldiers (above); and the guns (top) they carried as well Rajnath Singh had met his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe, where he categorically stated India’s position. Zhao’s comments came after the Western Theatre Command spokesperson Senior Colonel Zhang Shuili late on Monday claimed that Indian troops had crossed the LAC into the Shenpao region on the southern bank of the Pangong Tso. Meanwhile, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat held a meeting in South Block with the Defence Secretary and the three services chiefs to analyse the current situation in P7 Eastern Ladakh. EXPRESS READ Actor Jayaprakash Reddy passes away at 74 Antarvedi temple EO suspended over blaze Vijayawada/Guntur: Renowned Telugu film and stage actor Jayaprakash Reddy, popularly known as JP, died of cardiac arrest at his residence in Guntur on Tuesday. The 74-year-old actor collapsed in his washroom. Though his family members rushed him to a hospital, he was declared brought dead. Since the lockdown, with shooting coming to a halt, he had been staying in Guntur. Jayaprakash Reddy is survived by his wife and son | P4 Vijayawada: Following the burning of the procession chariot of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Antarvedi, the Endowments department on Tuesday suspended Executive Officer (EO) NS Chakradhar Rao pending enquiry. Orders were issued suspending Chakradhar Rao till conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings. The suspension orders said the EO didn’t take steps to prevent accidents | P2 ACTOR Rhea Chakraborty, girlfriend of deceased actor Sushant Singh Rajput, was on Tuesday arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau in a drugs case. A local court later remamded her in NCB custody for 14 days. She is expected to file an appeal in the sessions court soon. It was after three days of questioning that the NCB sought her custody Her brother Showik is al. ready under arrest. The NCB claimed it has a piece of evidence against Rhea, which it wants to probe further. NCB sources said Rhea admitted she used to organise drugs for Sushant. If the charges against her are proved, she could face up to 10 years in jail. Her lawyer Satish Maneshinde called it a travesty of justice. Meanwhile, under fire actor Kangana Ranaut landed in further trouble, as Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh said the police will probe allegations that she did drugs. Also, the Mumbai civic body stepped up the heat by opening a probe into the alterations made at her bungalow. ‘Plasma therapy doesn’t help Covid-19 patients’ S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi IN what may dash the hopes of policymakers, doctors as well as patients and their families, the world’s largest randomised control trial to assess plasma therapy for Covid-19 has shown that it does not benefit either in reducing mortality or arresting progression of the disease. The trial, called PLACID, was carried out under the aegis of Indian Council of Medical Research in 39 hospitals across 14 states and Union Territories. The study involved 464 moderately ill patients with breathing difficulties and oxygen saturation level below 93%. Of them, 235 were given convalescent plasma (CP) with antibodies against the disease, collected from those who recovered. The remaining 229 received only standard care. Those in the intervention group were transfused with two doses of 200 ml plasma 24 hours apart. Both the intervention and control groups were compared after 28 days. The findings, released on a preprint server, have shown that 34 patients or 13.6% who received plasma therapy died while 31 patients or 14.6% who did not receive it, succumbed to the infection. Also, 17 patients in each group progressed to have severe disease. No change in schedule. CETs will be conducted from September 10 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Vijayawada ALL eight Common Entrance Tests (CETs) for engineering and other professional courses will be held as scheduled. Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh on Tuesday said the CETs will be conducted from September 10 in the state as per the schedule announced recently, and no exams will be postponed or cancelled. His statement came amid uncertainty over whether the exams would be conducted in view of the spread of Covid-19. Addressing the media in Vijayawada, he said, “All CETs will be conducted on the day, date and time announced earlier this month. The examinations will not be cancelled.” He added that all the guidelines given by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare would be followed. “As per the guidelines, all exam centres will be disinfected before and Exam schedule APICET Sept 10 & 11 APECET Sept 14 APEAMCET Sept 17 to 25 APPGCET Sept 26 APPGECET Sept 28 to 30 APEdCET & APLAWCET Oct 1 APPECET Oct 2 to 5 after each exam. Special staff will be deployed for sanitation and cleanliness. We will get help from police personnel to assist candidates in maintaining physical distance. Each candidate’s temperature will be checked at the entry points, and it will be ensured that they are wearing three-layered masks. Masks and sanitiser will also be made available at each centre,” he said, adding that each supervisor will be given personal protective equipment (PPE). This apart, all centres will be under CCTV surveillance and each one will have an isolation room for candidates who have symptoms of Covid-19. Hall tickets can be downloaded from the Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) website www. sche.ap.gov.in from September 10. A road map to the examination centre and seating arrangements will also be attached to the hall tickets, which will be scanned at the centre instead of being signed manually, to avoid physical contact. A total of 2,72,720 candidates have registered for EAMCET, 64,884 for APICET, and 37,167 for APECET. SOARING MISERY Lockdown turns para motor pilot into daily wage labourer R A M E S H BA B U G @ Srikakulam THE sky was the limit for para motor pilot Savara Orymial. But then, the lockdown was enforced. The 21-year-old native of the hilltop village of Pandra in Seetampeta mandal benefitted from the setting up of the NTR Adventure Park in the tribal region of Seetampeta in 2017, as he got a job there as a para motor (powered paragliding) pilot. Savara Orymial at work as a para motor (powered paragliding) pilot; (inset) him working as an agricultural labourer after the NTR Adventure Park was shut | EXPRESS Orymial was the breadwinner of his family of six, including his parents and siblings, and used to support them with the `10,000 he earned every month. However, the lockdown brought him misery as the park had to be shut. Without any other option, Orymial started working as a daily wage labourer in agricultural fields and construction sites to feed his family . “Since March, I lost my monthly earning of `10,000, and alternate employment was hard to find,” he says. “Finally , I found some work at construction sites and agricultural fields.” Orymial adds that he has been working as a daily wage labourer under the MGNREGS on behalf of other job card holders, for which he gets `200 per day “Our family remained . hungry for several days as we had no income,” he says. CONTINUED ON P5
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