tirupati l saturday l October 17, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION India slips below Bangladesh, Pak in global hunger index In the 2020 Global Hunger Index that has ranked 107 countries, India is at 94th position, worse than many of its neighbours India’s hunger level is ‘serious’: report 14% of population undernourished With a score of 27.2, India has a hunger level that is ‘serious’, said the report released on Friday. Pakistan is at 88th spot while Nepal and Bangladesh have been ranked 73 and 75, respectively. The report assessed the condition for 132 countries but released the data for only 107 countries. The report is not reflective of the impact of Covid-19 on hunger and malnutrition | P7 ■ Among 11 countries where child wasting rate was considered ‘high’ or ‘very high’, India was in the very high category at 17.3% ■ The report says 14% of India’s population is undernourished ■ Activists working on food security said the report reflects the ground realities and the government has failed to address hunger 102 India’s ranking In the 2019 Index that ranked 117 countries 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 Centre sore as SC sets up Justice Lokur panel to curb stubble burning heard matters on environmen@ New Delhi tal pollution. Appearing for the Centre, Brushing aside objections Additional Solicitor General by the Centre, the Supreme Aishwarya Bhati sought to Court on Friday appointed its stop the appointment, saying retired judge Madan B Lokur the bench should rather hear as the one-man comthe matter along mittee to curb crop with a batch of simistubble burning in lar pleas in the 1985 Punjab, Haryana and MC Mehta PIL. But w e s t U P, w h i c h the CJI rejected it. chokes Delhi-NCR. At the fag end, SoDescribing it as an licitor General Tushemergency measure, ar Mehta made a last a bench headed by ditch attempt to Chief Justice of In- Justice Madan B Lokur spike the appointdia S A Bobde said it ment, but the bench wanted to step in be- NCC roped in stayed firm, pointing fore the problem of Cadets of the NCC, o u t t h at Ju s t i c e bad air and smog Lokur was not being NSS and Bharat gets unmanageable. Scouts and Guides given any extraordiThe suggestion to nary powers. can be deployed appoint the outspo- for assisting in the Justice Lokur was ken Justice Lokur among the four top monitoring of came from senior adSC judges who held stubble burning, vocate Vikas Singh, an unprecedented the bench said wh o re presented press meet in 2018 teen petitioner Aditya Dubey criticising the then CJI Dipak . His petition had sought the Misra. Even after his retirecourt’s intervention to ensure ment, he remained vocal. His people get clean air as their latest swipe was on the abuse fundamental right. of sedition law, where he said While officiating as a judge, freedom of speech is being Justice Lokur had headed the mauled through twisting and SC’s social justice bench and turning of the law. E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e express read Chirag draws BJP’s ire, sings paeans of Modi Patna/New Delhi: The BJP on Friday came down heavily against the Chirag Paswan-led LJP for confusing the electorate about the NDA alliance when the first phase of the Bihar election is just two weeks away. The BJP said the LJP is in the poll fray only for the sake of its survival and is making attempts to cut into the vote base of the NDA constituents | P8 Advocate arrested for spreading fake news Mumbai: The Mumbai Police have arrested an advocate from Delhi for allegedly spreading conspiracy theories surrounding the deaths of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and his former manger Disha Salian. The advocate, Vibhor Anand, also posted videos online in which he made defamatory statement against Maharashtra ministers | P8 today’s IPL match RCB vs RR @ 3.30 pm Odds : RCB 8/11 | RR 6/5 csk vs dc @ 7.30 pm Odds : CSK 11/10 | DC 4/5 L i v e : S t ar Sp o r t s 1 / H o t s t ar Brahmotsavams begin An elephant stands in front of the decorated Srivari Temple in Tirumala on Friday, when Navaratri Brahmotsavams began in ekantham | Express Remdesivir, HCQ among Covid duds: WHO Randomised control trial in 30 nations shows they as well as Lopinavir and Interferon don’t save serious patients S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi In a finding that will have farreaching implications for pandemic-hit countries, a new study says none of the major drugs used in the treatment of Covid-19 has any significant benefit for severe patients. Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir and Interferon are the four major drugs being used to treat hospitalised coronavirus patients. Interim results from a 30-country trial coordinated by the WHO show that these drugs do not cut hospitalisation period or mortality rate of Covid-19 patients. The analysis of the world’s largest randomised control trial on Covid-19 conducted in 405 hospitals across 30 countries, has been uploaded on medical server MedRxiv for review before it will be published in a medical journal. The findings are also a reminder that no medicine, except steroids like Dexamethasone and Methylprednisolone, has so far been found to help @ Vijayawada A total of 33,841 out of 57,721 (58.63 per cent) students who appeared for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) from Andhra Pradesh have qualified. The pass percentage reduced significantly from last year, when it was 70.72 per cent. The National Testing Agency (NTA) declared the results of this year’s exam for admission to medical colleges on Friday . Eight students from the State made it to the top 50 ranks. Guthi Chaitanya Sindhu, from Guntur district, was the only one from the State to secure a place in the top 10. She secured All India Rank (AIR) 6, with a score of 715 out of 720 (99.99 percentile). “I was confident of scoring good marks. Right from school I wanted to become a doctor. Both my parents are doctors and they were my biggest inspiration. Their encouragement and my teachers’ support helped me score good marks. I want to get admitted to AIIMS, Delhi and pursue MBBS. I want to major in a through rigorous evaluation of evidence gathered from large randomised clinical trials,” said Dr K Srinath Reddy mem, ber executive of the steering group of the WHO trial. As part of the trial, 11,266 adults were randomized, with 2,750 given Remdesivir, 1,411 Lopinavir, 954 HCQ, 651 Interferon plus Lopinavir, 1,412 only Interferon. The trial showed 301 patients who were given Remdesivir died. Notably, 303 patients not given the medicine continued on P7 also died. At last, Kanaka Durga flyover opened E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Commuters use the Kanaka Durga flyover after it was inaugurated by Union minister Nitin Gadkari and CM Jagan Mohan Reddy, in Vijayawada on Friday | Prasant Madugula State invites DPR tenders for barrages along the Krishna j aya n t h p @ Vijayawada The State Water Resources Department has invited tenders for preparation of detailed project reports (DPRs) for the two barrages proposed downstream of Prakasam Barrage that were recently sanctioned to tap the surplus Krishna water that goes into the sea during floods. As of Friday, the cumulative surplus let into the sea stood at 844 TMC, much higher than last year’s 798 TMC, and is expected to touch 900 TMC as the flood is expected to continue. “We have invited tenders for preparation of DPRs and Huge inflows the bids can be filed till Oc- at Prakasam tober 26. We will finalise the Barrage tenders (after reverse auc- With the flood tion) by October 29. Three expected to months will be given to pre- remain steady, pare DPRs. In the first stage, officials said we are focusing on land ac- Prakasam quisition and readying the Barrage was DPRs so projects can be likely to receive a launched by mid-2021,” su- nine lakh cusecs perintending engineer of of inflows by Vijayawada irrigation circle Friday night K Narasimha Murthy said. The State Cabinet in September cleared the proposal for two barrages — one 12 km downstream Prakasam Barrage between Chodavaram in Penamaluru mandal of Krishna district and Ramachandrapuram in Mangalagiri mandal of Guntur district, and the other 62 km downstream between Bandikollanka in Mopidevi mandal of Krishna district and Ravi Anantavaram village in Repalle mandal of Guntur district — with a capacity of Continued on P5 about 3 TMC each. Eight from State rank among NEET top 50 r i t i ka a ru n va i s h a l i ‘Data inconsistent’ US-based Gilead Sciences, which holds proprietary rights over Remdesivir questioned the results saying the data is “inconsistent with more robust evidence” serious Covid-19 patients. The results also put a question mark on the utility of the repurposed drug Remdesivir which has been a much soughtafter medicine. Remdesivir is permitted for emergency use authorisation in moderate to severe Covid-19 patients as part of the national clinical management protocol in India. “Since the main objective of treatments of the hospitalised patients is to reduce the risk of death, the search for effective t re at m e n t w i l l c o n t i nu e field related to deficiency and , will decide based on the most widespread deficiency when I complete MBBS. I think research on deficiencies is important for India. Once that is tackled, several major ailments can be taken care of,” Sindhu told TNIE. Sindhu, who hails from Tenali in Guntur district, and is the daughter of G Koteswara Prasad and Sudha Rani, also stood first in the Andhra Pradesh Engineering Agriculture and Medical Common Entrance Test (APEAMCET) Continued on P5 this year. Both my parents are doctors and they were my biggest inspiration. Their encouragement and my teachers’ support helped me Guthi Chaitanya Sindhu, AIR 6 Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy inaugurated and dedicated the Kanaka Durga flyover and Benz Circle Flyover-1 in Vijayawada to the nation on Friday . At the event, which was conducted via videoconferencing, Gadkari also dedicated the nine National Highway projects in the state to the nation and laid the foundation stone for 61 projects in Andhra Pradesh. These 61 projects — which include 16 bridges and 1,411 km of highways — are estimated to cost `15,592 crore. Gadkari described the 2.6 km-long six-lane Kanaka Durga flyover as the “pride of the nation”, and recalled laying the foundation stone for the project in 2015. The flyover was built at a cost of `502 crore using a spine and wing design supported on a single pier. The project was to be com- pleted in 18 months, but took more than four-and-a-half years to be ready for use. Soma Constructions, which executed it, was also involved in the Krishna Pushkaralu work, for which the deadlines were missed a couple of times. The project was also delayed as bills of several crore rupees that were due to the company were not cleared. Over the last 16 months, the State government focused on getting the project completed. Continued on P4
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