bhubaneswar l tuesday l november 17, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Wholesale inflation soars to 8-month high in October Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation rose to 1.48% last month, as manufactured products turned costlier Manufactured goods drive the index This is the highest level of WPI inflation since February’s 2.26%, govt data showed on Monday. What fuelled the inflation rate was manufactured items such as pharmaceutical products and metals, which witnessed higher demand in the aftermath of lifting of lockdown restrictions. Experts say WPI data makes the case for RBI to maintain status quo in policy rates ■ WPI Why wpi-based inflation is important ■ Both WPI and Consumer Price Index (CPI) are used to calculate the inflation rate. WPI tells us about inflation at the business level while CPI indicates price rise at the consumer level October CPI inflation was at 7.61%. Certain WPI items, such as fuel, are closely linked to global prices, creating a gap with CPI | P10 Measures changes in prices of goods sold and traded in bulk 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 Nitish sworn in, Bihar gets first woman Dy CM Five-time legislator At 62, Renu Devi represents Bettiah in the Assembly. She entered public life through the Durga Vahini, a VHP wing for women. She served as minister for sports and culture in 2005-09 Two deputy chief ministers Renu Devi and Tarkishore Prasad in 14-member ministry R a j e s h K u m a r T h a k u r @ Patna While Nitish Kumar was on Monday sworn-in as Bihar chief minister for the fourth consecutive term, the bigger talking point was around his two deputies from the BJP, one of whom is a woman. Renu Devi, five-time MLA from Bettiah, also became the first-ever deputy chief minister of the state. Her appointment was perhaps meant to acknowledge the role of women as the silent voters in this Assembly elections. And Tarkishore Prasad, who retained his Katihar seat for four consecutive terms and considers Sushil Kumar Modi as his mentor, is the other deputy chief minister. Sushil Modi was Nitish’s deputy in the previous cabinet. Governor Phagu Chauhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to Nitish and his cabinet colleagues in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP chief J P Nadda and others. After the ceremony, Nitish chose to deflect persistent me- dia questions as to why BJP’s Sushil Modi was dropped. “It is the BJP’s discretion… better ask them,” he said. He also avoided questions on the two deputy CMs who were seated to his left during the swearing-in as per protocol. The 12 other ministers sworn in include Santosh Kumar Suman, an MLC and son of former chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha founder Jitan Ram Manjhi, and Mukesh Sahani, the f o u n d e r o f t h e Vi kassheel Insaan Party . Analysts saw in the choice of the two deputy CMs the BJP’s attempt to consolidate its extremely backward caste and trading community vote banks as Renu Devi belongs to the EBC and Tarkishore Prasad hails from the vaishya community, which Sushil Modi represented in the previous cabinet. “Renu Devi started her career as district convenor of Durga Vahini of the BJP in 1998 in West Champaran. He appointment indicated the empowerment of women in the party said a BJP leader. ,” Mentored by Sushil Modi Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan (R) congratulates Nitish Kumar after latter took oath as the Chief Minister for a seventh term in Patna on Monday | PTI Congratulations to @NitishKumar Ji on taking oath as Bihar’s CM. I also congratulate all those who took oath as Ministers in the Bihar Government - Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Rift wide open in the Congress as Sibal, Gehlot spar over soul-less performance E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ New Delhi The Congress’ dismal performance in Bihar appears to have further widened the rift within the party with senior leader Kapil Sibal openly criticising the party leadership and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot slamming the ex-Union minister for raising internal issues in public and “hurting the sentiments” of party workers. On Monday, Sibal tweeted a media interview in which he hits out at the party leadership for their “business as usual” attitude despite the poor show in elections after elections. Sibal’s latest salvo comes three months after he along with 22 other leaders shot off a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the “leadership vacuum” in the party . Sibal’s views were backed by Congress Working Committee member Tariq Anwar, who said the party needs to act fast “be- Malkangiri Collector shifted over PA’s death fore it is too late”. Many other party leaders including Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha and Karti Chidambaram, an MLA from Tamil Nadu, also said the party must address these issues. Gehlot, who himself is engaged in a political fight with junior leader Sachin Pilot over power sharing, said there are various reasons for electoral losses but the rank and file of the Congress support the party leadership. Continued on: P7 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine picked up pace on Monday with US biotech firm Moderna announcing its candidate was 94.5% effective in interim analysis of its phase 3 trials, which involved more than 30,000 volunteers. Two aspects stood out. One, the shot was also found to save severe cases; and two, the vaccine can be stored at -200C in a normal refrig erator for six months as against competitor Pfizer’s -700C to -800C, which is not easy to manage. P f i z e r h a d re c e n t ly claimed its vaccine candidate was over 90% effective in early results. Soon after, the Russian government said its Sputnik V which has also entered , into a distribution and phase 3 trial partnership with an Indian company was 92% effec, tive as per early results. Moderna now plans to seek emergency use authorization with the US Food and Drug Administration and regulators in other countries. By this year-end, the company plans to have 20 million doses of the vaccine ready for the US. It will manufacture 500 million to 1 billion doses for global use next year. Called the COVE study, the first interim analysis was based on 95 cases, of which 90 were observed in the placebo group and five in the vaccinated group who were given two doses, 28 days apart. Like Pfizer, Moderna’s candidate uses a technology called messenger RNA that has never been used before to build an approved vaccine. In all, there were 11 severe cases in the first interim analysis, all of which were in the placebo group, which means they were given dummy shots, not the real thing. Meanwhile, Hyderabadbased Bharat Biotech announced commencement of phase 3 trials of its Covaxin. World counting on us for affordable Covid vaccine External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday said the world is counting on India to make Covid vaccine accessible and affordable for all | P7 Firecracker ban No Diwali cheer for Bhubaneswar air E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar A DAY after police registered a murder case against Malkangiri Collector Manish Agarwal over the death of his personal assistant Deba Narayan Panda, the State government has shifted him to Bhubaneswar as deputy secretary of Planning and Convergence department. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) and deputy secretary of Planning and Convergence department Y Vijay has replaced him as Malkangiri collector. Police has registered cases against the Collector and three other staff on the direction of the Court of the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM), Malkangiri. Following the court’s direction, a five member SIT with a deputy SP as the investigating officer has been formed to probe the case. Meanwhile, the Congress and BJP have criticised the State government for merely transferring Agarwal without taking any tough action against him. Congress working president Pradip Majhi demanded that the former collector should be suspended or else he will try to influence the probe. Besides, all corruption allegations against him during the last two years should also be investigated, he said. BJP leader Lekhashree Samantsinghar also alleged that government has rewarded Agarwal. She demanded that he should be suspended and arrested for a fair investigation into the death of his personal assistant. Tarkishore Prasad, 64, is not a graduate, but he has held a string of positions in the BJP. Elected from Katihar for 4th time. Sushil Modi proposed his name as leader of the legislature party More relief as Moderna finds its shot is 94.5% effective in early trials retracing history Artists painting a wall near BDA Nicco Park, showcasing the glorious maritime tradition of Odisha ahead of Boita Bandana festival, in Bhubaneswar on Monday | Express PR O C U R E M E N T S E A S O N Collectors to keep an eye on illegal paddy push from Chhattisgarh E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar THE Odisha government on Monday directed collectors of eight bordering districts to ensure that paddy from Chhattisgarh does not enter the State d u r i n g t h e p ro c u re m e n t period. Procurement of paddy has already started in the bordering districts from the second week of November. The districts are Bargarh, Sambalpur, Balangir, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh and Nabarangpur. In a letter to collectors of these districts, Additional Secretary in the Food Supply and Consumer Welfare department Bijay Kumar Prusty said that paddy (kharif crop) will be procured from registered farmers as per tokens issued to them. “There is a possibility that Paddy will be procured from registered farmers as per tokens issued to them. There is a possibility that some unscrupulous traders or persons will try to push paddy purchased from Chhattisgarh into procurement system in the bordering districts Bijay Kumar Prusty, Additional Secy, Food Supply & Consumer Welfare department some unscrupulous traders or persons will try to push paddy purchased from Chhattisgarh into procurement system in the bordering districts,” he stated. The Government has asked the collectors of the districts to ensure that paddy sourced from Chhattisgarh does not enter the premises of procuring societies or groups in their areas. Besides, they have been asked to form district and sub-division level squads to conduct regular checks to keep an eye on the unscrupulous traders bringing paddy from the neighbouring State. The Collectors have been asked to take action against such traders, millers or persons engaged in illegal activities under appropriate provisions of law. The Cabinet had approved on November 12 the Food and Procurement Policy for 2020-21 Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) by fixing a tentative target for procurement of 48 lakh metric tonne of rice. In terms of paddy, this will come to around 71 lakh metric tonne, including 54 lakh metric tonne for kharif and 17 lakh metric tonne for rabi. However, there is no bar for procurement of any higher quantum if more paddy comes to mandis through registered farmers. It seems the ban on crackers on Diwali this year did not bring much change to air quality of the Capital city as it continued to remain in the moderate category. A comparative analysis shows that air quality of the city around this time was also moderate last year. Data obtained from the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) shows Bhubaneswar’s 24-hour average AQI on Diwali day stood at 137 as compared to 164 last year. There, however, was a marginal fall in air quality on the festival day November 14 compared to the pre-monitoring day on November 9. As per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) air quality index (AQI), a score between 0 and 50 is considered safe, while 51-100 is placed in the satisfactory Pollution level would have surely increased with bursting of crackers. However, more analysis is needed to calculate the actual impact An OSPCB scientist bracket. For the moderate category, the score is in the 101200 range. Similarly, a score between 201 and 300 is considered poor, 301-400 very poor and above 400 plus falls under severe category. With a thick envelope of smog, Delhi generally scores beyond 400 around this time. The six sampling stations, where the AQI was analysed pre-Diwali and duri n g t h e f e s t iva l , showed that the average particulate matter (PM) - 10 level in the City was around 95 milligram per cubic metre (mg/m3) on the premonitoring day and 117 mg/ m3 on the day of the festival. The PM 10 level was 80 mg/ m3 at Unit-8 on the pre-moni- CBI books 16 persons for ‘defaming’ judiciary E x p r e s s ne w s s e r v i c e @ New Delhi/Vijayawada The CBI has filed a first investigation report (FIR) against more than 16 people, allegedly supporters of the YSRC party, for posting derogatory social media messages against the higher judiciary . Taking strong exception to the “attack” on the judiciary, the registrar general of the AP High Court had in May filed a complaint with the Crime Investigation Department (CID). The HC, not satisfied with the CID probe, had handed the case to the CBI on October 12. The CBI, on November 11, filed its FIR at Vishakapatnam, clubbing the 12 FIRs filed by the CID into one. According to the CBI’s FIR, the accused had intentionally targeted judges through interviews/posts/speeches and attributed motives to some of the orders/judgments delivered by certain SC and HC judges. Meanwhile, SC judge U U Lalit on Monday recused himself from hearing pleas seeking action against Andhra CM Y S Jaganmohan Reddy for levelling allegations against the judiciary . toring day and 136 mg/m3 on the day of Diwali and 100 mg/ m3 and 99 mg/m3 respectively at IRC Village. This level remained more or less same in the remaining stations at Capital Police Station, Patrapada, OSPCB Central Laboratory and Palasuni. The level of PM 2.5, considered to be more hazardous, also deteriorated marginally from the level of good to moderate. It remained at the 71 mg/m3 level during the festival on November 14 against 54 mg/m3 on November 9. The AQI continued to remain in satisfactory category at Konark. The quality of air in Puri, however, was found to have found to be much better during the festival this year compared to the previous year. The AQI of the pilgrim town which was poor during Diwali last year improved to moderate level this year. It remained 137 in 2020 against 203 in 2019. Two killed, several hurt as bus turns turtle Berhampur: Two persons were killed and several others injured after a bus turned turtle near Hajaridanga under Bissamcuttack block in Rayagada district on Monday night. The deceased include the bus driver and a pssenger. The ill-fated private bus was enroute from Laxmipur to Cuttack. Sources said the driver lost control of the bus leading to the accident. The passengers trapped in the vehicle have been rescued and admitted to hospital, said Rayagada SP Saravana Vivek. ENS
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