BENGALURU SATURDAY OCTOBER 24, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 22 LATE CITY EDITION TRUMP RAISES A STINK ABOUT INDIA’S ‘FILTHY’ AIR QUALITY “Look at China, how ﬁlthy it is. Look at Russia. Look at India. The air is ﬁlthy,” US Prez Donald Trump said referring to air pollution ‘US WAS TREATED UNFAIRLY IN CLIMATE DEAL’ CIVILITY RETURNS TO PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE Trump said the US pulled out of the 2015 Paris climate deal because it was treated unfairly despite its commitment to spend trillions of dollars, while countries like India got way with poor performance in tackling global warming. According to the Global Carbon Projection, India is the fourth biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, while the US is the second largest | P9, 14 ■ The top four carbon dioxide emitters in the world are China (27%), the US (15)), the European Union (10%) and India (7%) ■ Unlike the first one, the second and final debate between Trump and Joe Biden on Thursday night was more civilised as the two leaders spoke about substantive issues without interruption 729 AIR QUALITY INDEX IN DELHI’S ANAND VIHAR SLIPPED TO ‘HAZARDOUS’ CATEGORY FRIDAY 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’s GDP recovery years away, says RBI deputy guv Amazon skips JPC meeting, draws members’ wrath EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE COVID IMPACT @ New Delhi CORONAVIRUS’ impact on the economy is unlike any other and it could take years to regain the lost output, RBI Deputy Governor Michael Patra has warned. “If the projections hold, the level of GDP would have fallen approximately 6% below its pre-Covid level by the end of 2020-21 and it may take years to regain this lost output,” Batra said at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting earlier this month, the minutes of which were released on Friday . “There is also an anecdotal sense that the economy’s potential output has fallen, and the post-Covid growth trajectory will look very different from what has been recorded so far,” Patra added. Advocating structural reforms, the deputy governor pointed out that both monetary and fiscal policy in India face tightening constraints. “For fiscal policy, it is the collapse of tax revenue — by 32% in the first quarter; consequently, the Centre’s revenue deficit during April-August is 121.9% of budget estimates. For monetary policy, it is the persistence of headline inflation above 6% for the third month in succession. Structural reforms to unlock growth impulses are needed, but may lack social traction in an atmosphere of depressed growth and employment, and high uncertainty he noted. ,” India’s economy is estimated to have contracted 23.9% in the April- June quarter while RBI projections peg the full-year contraction at 9.5%. @ New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Bihar CM Nitish Kumar at Sasaram, Bihar; (Right) Cong leader Rahul Gandhi with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav at Nawada on Friday | PTI Bihar battleground heats up with back-to-back rallies by Modi and Rahul; prime minister criticises RJD, seeks repeat mandate for Nitish for restoring the rule of law in the state Reject those who nurtured goons, says Modi, raps obstructionist Oppn R A J E S H K U M A R T H A K U R @ Patna PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Friday tore into the Opposition Grand Alliance spearheaded by the RJD in a series of election rallies, urging voters to reject those “who fed the goons and developed their own family”. He also took a swipe at the Congress for its belligerence on the new farm reform laws. “For them, the interest of middlemen is above the farmers’ welfare. They side with those who conspire against the country the PM said, adding ,” the NDA government will never go back on its decision to withdraw special powers to J&K under Article 370. “Bihar deserves development but who will ensure it — he who developed his own family or he who forgot his own family in the service of the people? Bihar deserves better law and order, but who will ensure it — he who fed the goons or he who made the law to chase down the goons and criminals?” Modi asked in his trademark style, targeting the 15-year RJD rule while defending ally Nitish Kumar of the JD(U). He also paid rich tributes to LJP DEGREE, PG COLLEGES TO OPEN FROM NOV 17 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru THE State Government has decided to reopen higher education institutions for undergraduate, post-graduate, engineering and diploma colleges, with physical attendance in classes, from November 17. However, students will have the option of attending the classes physically or online, though for practicals, it will be mandatory to attend classes physically . Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, who is also Minister for Higher Education, announced this on Friday after making a presentation to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa about preparations made by the departments concerned at a meeting chaired by the CM and attended by ministers and senior officials. “We have decided to reopen and conduct offline (physical) classes for engineering, underg raduate, post-graduate and diploma colleges from November 17. However, students can opt to either attend offline classes or continue with online classes. Those wishing to attend offline classes should get written consent from their parents,” Ashwath Narayan said. “Other facilities, including transport and hostels, will also be made. We have already held meetings regarding such issues with the departments concerned. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has also said offline classes can resume from November,” he said. P7 leader Ram Vilas Paswan who passed away recently, but avoided criticising his party, which recently broke away from the NDA in the state. Turning to the Opposition, the PM said it was “opposed to development and national interest”. Alluding to the Congress for its strident stand against the new farm laws, Modi said whenever middlemen are targeted for providing direct benefits to farmers, some people in the opposition start fanning propaganda on the MSP (Minimum Support Price) and other national issues. “When Rafale fighter jets were purchased, they spoke the language of middlemen and brokers. Whenever intermediaries and brokers get hit, these people get furious.” Accusing the former UPA government of being vindictive against Nitish Kumar, he said that despite persistent demands for assistance by the CM, the then government had ignored the state. “When the NDA government was formed, Bihar under Nitish Kumar started getting its due,” he said, praising Nitish for various development works. He also saluted the Galwan martyrs of the Bihar Regiment. Rahul bid to pin PM down on migrants, China ingress E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Patna KICKING off his party’s poll campaign in Bihar on Friday, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi tried to pin down Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the emotive issues of migrants and the Chinese ingress into Ladakh, since many soldiers hailing from the state had laid down their lives in the Galwan valley violence in June. “You (migrants) covered hundreds of kilometres on foot hungry and thirsty, but Modi did not arrange transport. He left you to your fate,” Rahul said in back-to-back rallies with RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav in Nawada and Bhagalpur districts. “A government for such migrants and labourers must be installed.” Rahul also accused Modi of insulting the Army by denying that the PLA had infiltrated into eastern Ladakh. “Our 20 soldiers were martyred and they took 1,200 sq km of our area. When China intruded, why did our PM insult Indian Army’s heroes by lying that no one had come inside India?” Rahul questioned. “Merely bowing one’s head before martyred jawans of the Bihar Regiment will not do. When you will get the land occupied by the PLA vacated?” he asked. In his address, an optimistic Tejashwi said: “On November 9, Lalu ji will be released from jail. On November 10, Nitish Kumar’s farewell is fixed.” SOCIAL media giant Facebook’s representatives were on Friday questioned for two hours, while e-commerce major Amazon chose not to appear before a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) that is looking into the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 saying its ‘subject matter experts’ were all abroad. Facebook’s representatives were asked about portability of data, advertisement revenue generated from India and the corporate tax the company pays in India, while Amazon received a stern warning from the joint parliamentary committee for skipping the meeting. Amazon said it has utmost respect for the JPC and expressed regret that its executives were unable to travel to India due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sources privy to the meeting said the JPC members were unanimous in considering action against Amazon. Some parliamentarians said the Union gover nment should intervene in the matter while others suggested moving a privilege motion against Amazon. KAPIL DEV SUFFERS HEART ATTACK The 61-year-old, who captained India’s first World Cup-winning cricket team, underwent an angioplasty at the Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in Delhi on Friday after suffering a heart attack. He is recovering and is likely to be discharged in the next couple of days | P17 The panel’s chairperson Meenakshi Lekhi said JPC members have demanded strict action against the US firm because if one company had refused before the parliamentary committee, it was possible that in future more companies and individuals too could just skip meetings or refuse to appear before a parliamentary committee. Sources said members of the JPC were also dissatisfied with Facebook’s “vague” replies about the advertisement revenue, its alleged electoral bias and the corporate tax being paid in the country. The social media platform was asked to give a more specific detailed written reply within two weeks. FACEBOOK FACES TOUGH QUESTIONS JPC members grilled Facebook representatives, including Facebook’s policy head Ankhi Das, about data protection and data portability. Parliamentarians said while there were millions of users of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in India, the personal data of users was being stored outside the country EXPRESS READ Labourers from Maha keep officials on toes Vijayapura: Thousands of families from rural Maharashtra have started arriving in Bagalkot, Belagavi and Vijayapura to work in cane fields. This is keeping officials on their toes, who fear it will lead to spread of the virus in Karnataka. P7 POLL SEASON Not just this bypoll, there’s more coming up in months ahead Poll panel can decide on holding GP elections: HC A S H W I N I M S R I PA D @ Bengaluru WITH the state cautiously getting into the festival mood in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, the high-pitch campaign for the Assembly bypolls and the biennial election to the Legislative Council has only added to the euphoria. And that’s not all. Karnataka will witness at least six elections, right from the Gram Panchayats to the Lok Sabha bypoll, in the next six to eight months. Hectic campaigning is already on for RR Nagar and Sira Assembly constituencies, which will go to polls on November 3, along with the election to four Council seats from the teachers’ and graduates’ constituencies on October 28. The Gram Panchayat elections are long overdue and EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru Congress leader Siddaramiah takes part in a roadshow during campaigning for T B Jayachandra, the party candidate for the Sira bypolls, on Friday | EXPRESS the matter is before the High Court, which has reserved its order. According to sources in the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj department, the elections may be held, latest by December. The terms of Taluk and Zilla Panchayats will end in May 2021 and elections will have to be held for these local bodies too. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, which is presently under an administrator after the term of the council ended last month, is most likely to witness elections by June 2021. The State Government is in the process of delimitation of wards which have been increased P4 from 198 to 243. THE Karnataka High Court on Friday said that the State Election Commission (SEC) can take a decision on holding elections to Gram Panchayats (GPs), in accordance with law. “We make it clear that though we have reserved judgment, the SEC can always take a decision in accordance with law,” a division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi said. The bench heard arguments of the State Government, SEC and senior counsel for Congress MLC K C Kondai- ah and others, who filed a petition seeking directions to hold elections to GPs. The bench observed that the stand taken by the government to postpone elections is not correct, that too at a time elections are being held to the Bihar assembly Ultimately it’s . , the SEC which has to take a call, the bench said. Advocate-General Prabhuling K Navadgi said, “The SEC should take us into confidence before taking a decision, but it has unilaterally come to a conclusion to hold elections. We are only concerned about the health of citizens in view of P4 the pandemic”.
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