NEW DELHI 13 december 2020 SUNDAY `9 PAGES 24 facebook/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard Alternate is Reality https://epaper.morningstandard.in Setting the Home Table When Passions Run High Fruit of the Loin Loom PLUS: 12 PAGES MAGAZINE Exclusive Voices Prabhu Chawla Shankkar Aiyar TJS George Ravi Shankar Shinie Antony Pushpesh Pant S Vaidhyasubramaniam Neil McCallum La La Landscape The Culture Connect sadhguru speaks Dine Like a Monk Absolute Attachment is Realisation Green PANEL APPOINTMEnts raise question of ethics r i c h a s h a r m a @ New Delhi Farmers take a break from their ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest to play cricket on a blocked road at the Singhu border in New Delhi on Saturday | pTI Farm reforms will raise incomes & break agri barriers, says Modi Biggest beneficiaries will be small, marginal farmers as they will get access to markets: PM E N S E c o n o m i c B u r e a u @ New Delhi Speaking for the first time on the new farm laws after the ongoing protest broke out, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday defended the laws saying they would break barriers in the a g ricultural sector and increase farmers’ income. “If you place barriers, which previous governments did, an industry or sector cannot grow. The recent agriculture reforms are a part of that barrier-breaking process. We are removing the barriers within agricultural, food processing, storage and cold chain,” the Prime Minister said in his address at the annual general meeting of FICCI. His statement comes even as thousands of farmers are protesting against the laws since last two weeks, demanding that the government repeal them as they claim the laws will weaken the mandi system and will benefit corporates. But, Modi claimed the laws were an attempt to modernise the agricultural sector. “Farmers will have access to new markets, their incomes will improve, the country’s cold storage infrastructure will modernize. The biggest beneficiaries will be country’s farmers, especially the small and marginal farmers,” Modi said. The PM requested private investors to explore the full potential of agriculture and the rural markets. “More investments are required from you. Agri-based industries have a vast scope. Our government is committed to improving the lives of farmers through its intentions and policies,” the PM told FICCI members. The government has said it would give a written assurance that the existing Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime for procurement would continue and that some of the provisions of the laws would be amended, which the farmers have rejected and said the government must repeal the laws. The talks failed this week and the farmers have said they would continue to intensify the protest in the coming days. Listing his government’s farmer-friendly measures, Modi said the government has encouraged producing ethanol from sugarcane. This ethanol is blended in petrol to cut India’s oil import dependence and gives farmers remunerative prices for their crops, he said. Modi said farmers will get technology and benefit from access to the market. It (govt) wants to thwart our movement and a few attempts to divide us and instigate the people against our movement were made. But we will foil all those attempts and will continue the agitation peacefully KS Pannu, Sanyukta Kisan Andolan leader Farmers will have access to new markets. Their incomes will improve and cold storage infrastructure will modernise. The biggest beneficiaries will be farmers, especially the small and marginal farmers Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Farmers ready for talks but only on repeal of laws, threaten more protests Officials who headed power and mining corporations will now give green clearance to upcoming projects in these sectors, raising questions of propriety . An independent director of a private mining company, former CMD of NHPC and former director (Technical) of NTPC are among those appointed to the Union environment ministry’s expert appraisal committees (EACs) as ‘non-official’ members with a mandate to assess damage to the environment by hydroelectric, thermal power and coal mining projects. The appointments to the reconstituted EACs on Thermal Power and Coal Mining Projects and on River Valley and Hydroelectric Projects have invited criticism, for their chairpersons and members either having conflict of interest or lacking expertise in the field. G u r u r a j P Ku n d a r g i , former CMD, Manganese Ore Mining Limited (MOIL), is the chairperson of EAC on Thermal Power and Coal Mining Projects. What raises eyebrows is that Kundargi is currently an independent director of Bengaluru-based Sandur Manganese and Iron Ores Ltd and the company’s proposal for expansion in Express News Service @ Chandigarh The protesting farmers said on Saturday they were ready for talks with the union government, but only to discuss the repeal of the three farm laws and not any amendment as proposed by the government. They also announced a oneday hunger strike and siege of offices of deputy commissioners on December 14 and blocking of the Delhi-Jaipur highway on Sunday . “We are ready for talks with the union government but the government has to first discuss the repealing of the three farm Bills as we are not in favour of amendments. We will move onto our other demands only after that,” Sanyukta Kisan Andolan leader Kamalpreet Singh Pannu said. Pannu alleged that the government had made attempts to divide the farmers. “It (government) wants to thwart our movement and a few small attempts to divide us and instigate the people against our movement were made, but we will foil all those attempts and will continue the agitation peacefully he said. ,” The farm leader listed out their agitation plan for the coming days. Pannu said on Sunday farmers from Rajasthan would march to Delhi and block the Delhi-Jaipur highway and on Monday they would picket DC offices. Express read MHA calls three IPS officers to Centre Farmers protest in Shahjahanpur on the Delhi-Jaipur highway | shekhar yadav “We have decided to intensify our agitation. We have given a call to women to intensify their protest and will make all arrangements for them,” he said, adding that the Haryana Police put up boulders and barricades at the Khanauri border to stop the additional Punjab farmers moving towards Delhi. He claimed that farmers from other parts were also on their way to join the protesters at the Singhu border and they would take the agitation to the next level in the coming days. Haryana BKU president Gurnam Singh Charuni announced that he would begin an indefinite hunger strike from December 19 if their demands were not met by then. On Saturday, the farmers took over the Bastara toll plaza near Karnal and the Shambu toll plaza near Amabla on the Delhi-Amritsar highway P4&7 . The tussle between the Centre and Mamata Banerjee government intensified on Saturday after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) summoned three Bengal cadres IPS officers to serve in central deputation following alleged security lapses that led to the attack on BJP national president JP Nadda’s convoy two days ago. P8 rescue SAVING TRIBAL CHILDREN FROM TRAFFICKING In Rajasthan’s Udaipur, a government teacher often puts his life at risk to save children from hinterland. His efforts have freed 40 kids in eight years | P5 Member on thermal power and coal mining projects GP Kundargi Former CMD, Manganese Ore Mining Limited (MOIL) PK Mohapatra Former Director, Technical, National Thermal Power Corporation UJ Kahalekar Prof, Civil Engineering, Govt College of Engineering, Aurangabad S Hampannavar Prof, School of Electrical and Electronics Engg, REVA University, Bengaluru Member on river valley and hydroelectric projects Balraj Joshi Former CMD, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation K Gopakumar Prof, Dept of Electronic, IISc, Bangaluru Uday Kumar RY Director, Malviya Institute of Technology, Jaipur C Deshpande Prof Economics, LN WIMDR, Maharashtra production capacity is under consideration by the panel headed by him. Others panel members are PK Mohapatra, former director (Technical), NTPC; UJ Kahalekar, Professor (Civil Engineering), Govt College of Engineering, Aurangabad; and S Hampannavar, Professor, School of Electric and Electronic Engg, REVA University Bengaluru. , Questioning the appointments, environment lawyer Ritwick Dutta says the EAC, as it exists now, does not comprise of experts but unqualified ‘non-officials’. “Since they are not experts in the relevant field, they cannot be expected to carry out any serious and scientific ‘appraisal’ of the EIA document and Govt service must for PG med students in UP N a m ita B a j pa i @ Lucknow In a major move, the Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday has made 10 years service in the state health department mandatory for medical students pursuing post-graduation in state medical colleges. Anyone failing to complete the mandatory service period and leaving the service would be fined with `1 crore, said additional chief secretary, health, Amit Mohan Prasad. He said anyone leaving the course midway would also be debarred from the PG degree course for the next three years. Sources in the health department claimed the state government took the decision in order to meet the shortfall of specialist doctors in government hospitals. The government order was circulated on December 9 and now it has reached all the hospitals. UP has around 18,000 sanctioned posts for doctors in government hospitals but only 13,000 doctors are employed. With the present order, doc- shine intact No Covid effect on IIT job placements, 35% increase in pay packages S u m i S u k a n ya D u tta @ New Delhi The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent disruption in the economy seem to have had little impact on the ongoing placements in the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology where the annual pay package offered has risen by 30-35 % as compared to last year. Placement incharge at several IITs said the payment offers from domestic companies have overshadowed even top international offers, which means that many fresh graduates will earn more in the country than their batchmates who take up offers abroad. Less than two weeks after the placement season began, nearly 60 % final year students in the older IITs have already got placement offers. At IIT Delhi, over 300 national and international firms offering more than 500 job profiles across multiple sectors had registered for hiring students this year and on the first day of the first phase of final placement itself, students had bagged over 300 placement of- fers, including pre-placement offers with many bagging multiple offers. Also, around 150 PPOs, including international locations, were received. As per officials, companies from technology, banking and financial service sectors are leading the pack in hiring students and a large number of students are happy as they are assured of jobs despite a downbeat job market. In IIT Bombay, a number of international firms had lined up to hire graduates of which Dutch company Otiver offered the highest pay package of `1.39 crore per annum. Authorities at IIT Madras said the institute had bagged nearly 750 offers while this Old is gold What is heartening is that less than two weeks after the placement season began, nearly 60% final year students in the older IITs have already got placement offers number was about 700 each in case of IIT Guwahati and Roorkee. Also, more than 220 companies have registered for hiring, more than any year so far. At the institute, nearly 190 students also got pre-placement offers and about 1,400 students are hoping for placement by the end of the placement season. But officials at IIT Roorkee, which is looking to ensure jobs for at least 1,200 students this season, said fewer offers were received this year as compared to last year. A professor involved with the environmental impact of the projects. What we have is only a committee without experts capable of carrying out any appraisal. Any decision and advice rendered by such a panel should not be accepted as it will have adverse consequences both on the environment and on the rights of communities impacted by such decisions,” said Dutta. The EAC on River Valley and Hydroelectric Projects, too, has members who either have no expertise or have headed NHPC. K Gopakumar, chairperson of the committee, is professor, Dept of Electronics, IISc-Bengaluru while member Balraj Joshi is former CMD of NHPC. The other two members have no relevant experience. process of placement at IIT Kanpur said over half its graduates had already bagged offers and the institute had done much better than what was anticipated. “There is a good mix of companies from India and abroad and from varied sectors, which is a very good sign.” At IIT, Benaras Hindu University officials said more than 215 students had bagged jobs with annual pay packages ranging from `11.5 lakh to `64.27 lakh. In comparison, the compensation offered last year was `10 lakh to `58.21 lakh. tors serving in rural areas will be given weightage marks in the NEET for PG courses. Those who have served for a year would be given 10 marks, those with two years would get 20 and those who have completed three years of service in rural areas would get a benefit of 30 marks. These doctors would also be allowed to take admission in any diploma course along with the PG course. In 2018, the UP government had introduced two years compulsory rural service bond also in medical courses. As per the guidelines, MBBS/BDS students must fill a designated bond of `10 lakh, MD/MS students must pay `40 lakh, PG Diploma/MDS students must pay `20 Lakh and DM/MCh students must pay `1 crore in case any medical student acts contrary to the bond. This rule was passed in compliance with the National Medical Commission Bill, which was passed to replace the Medical Council of India with a new body . Delhi Covid watch status of cases Recovered Death Active cases Total +ve Today 3,191 47 -1,935 Cumulative 5,78,116 9,981 17,373 6,05,470 Patient Management Total beds Occupied Vacant h os p i ta l 18,814 4,631 14,183 c a r e c e n tr e 7,792 330 7,368* h e a l t h c e n tr e 562 95 467 *94 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights 10,382 Home Isolation Source: Delhi health bulletin | December 12
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