vijayawada l thursday l december 24, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l late city EDITION Covaxin’s early trials show promising results Vaccine candidate currently in Phase-3 Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine has shown dual immune response, according to phase 1 & 2 results released on Wednesday High Antibodies in Phase-1 volunteers The vaccine has proceeded to phase 3 trial and the company has planned to test it in 26,000 individuals aged between 12 and 65 years across several states in the country. The Hyderabad-based firm, which has developed the vaccine in collaboration with the ICMR, has already sought emergency use approval from the Drug Controller General of India | P9 ■ ■ In a double-blind, multi-centre, phase 2 clinical trial, 380 healthy individuals were randomised to receive two vaccine formulations and two intramuscular doses of vaccines four weeks apart In a follow-up of the phase 1 trial, Covaxin produced high levels of neutralising antibodies that remained elevated in all participants 6-12 months Researchers claim Covaxin’s antibodies could last that long 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 told to pay `10K cr damages to cairn E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Farmers gesture during their ongoing protest against the new farm sector reform laws, at the Singhu border in Delhi on Wednesday | Parveen Negi Talks ball back in Centre’s court as farmers seek concrete ideas record as saying it is ready to discuss and address all concerns of the agitating farmers. The weeks-long deadlock over And Prime Minister Narendra the new farm laws continued Modi will continue his outon Wednesday with farmer un- reach by interacting with farmions demanding that the Union ers from six states on Friday. government offer concrete pro- The day will also see nine crore posals, abandon its stubborn- farmers receiving `18,000 crore ness and accept their in their bank acdemands to end their counts through direct Committed agitation. Both sides transfer as part of PM to reforms have now indicated Kisan Samman Nidhi they are ready for Union agriculture Yojana. talks without budging minister Narendra “We urge the govon their core agenda. Singh Tomar said ernment not to repeat After a meeting of the meaningless the government their umbrella body, will continue with amendments we have the Sanyukt Kisan already rejected but reforms in the Morcha (SKM), farmcome up with a confarm sector. er leaders said they “However old and crete proposal in writwere ready for talks strong the protest ing so that the process but are waiting for is, a solution can of negotiation can be the Centre to come to be arrived at only started as soon as posthe table with an open sible,” Swaraj Abhiythrough talks,” mind. an chief Yogendra Yahe said In a letter addressed dav said. He is a to Vivek Aggarwal, Joint Secre- member of the SKM. tary in the Union agriculture “The government is conministry, they said there was stantly holding talks with sono clarity on various sticking called farmer leaders who are points like guaranteeing the not associated with our moveminimum support price mech- ment. This is an attempt to anism, electricity amendment break our movement. It is deal(ordinance) and ordinance on ing with protesting farmers, air quality . the way it deals with the OppoThe Centre is already on sition,’’ Yadav added. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi/Chandigarh Barely three months after Vodafone Plc won an international arbitration against India’s `22,100 has crore retrospective tax demand, the country on Wednesday suffered another blow arising from the controversial 2012 amendment to its tax laws. This time, a three-member arbitration tribunal under the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague, has directed India to pay UK-based energy giant Cairn $1.2 billion in damages, along with interest and legal costs. The final amount India would have to pay if it doesn’t challenge the award is likely to be $1.4 billion (over `10,300 crore), say sources. “The tribunal ruled unanimously that India had breached its obligations to Cairn under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty the company said ,” 90 days to file appeal Govt has 90 days to mount an appeal against the order, say sources. In the case of Vodafone, this runs out on December 24 and no appeal has been filed yet. For Cairn, if it doesn’t challenge the award, the cash outflow is set to be over `10,300 crore E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The AP High Cour t on Wednesday directed both the State Election Commission (SEC) and the government to arrive at a consensus after holding consultations on conduct of elections to local bodies. Justice A Venkata Sesha Sai of the High Court, who heard the petition filed by the gover nment challenging the SEC’s move to conduct the elections in February 2021, said the process of consultations is a must to resolve the issue and the government can put before the SEC its arguments that the situation is not conducive to hold elections in February as administration of Covid-19 vaccine is expected to begin in the State. A delegation of three officials with not less than a Chief Secretary or a Principal Secretary rank officer as a member, should meet the SEC. The place of the meeting can be decided by the SEC, Justice Sesha Sai said and wanted both the sides to resolve the isP5 sue amicably . the lone warrior A farmer ploughs his field at Venkatapuram in Tirupati on Wednesday | Madhav K express read AP Police come up with SOP to rein in lenders Abhaya murder case: Priest, nun get life term Trump refuses to sign Covid-19 relief bill Vijayawada: In the wake of increasing number of complaints about harassment by the mobile app-based private lending agencies for loan recovery, the Andhra Pradesh Police have come up with a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to deal with them and protect loanees | P4 T’Puram: A CBI special court awarded life imprisonment to the catholic priest and nun, who were found guilty of Sister Abhaya’s murder. Father Thomas Kottoor was awarded double life sentence and imposed `6.5 lakh fine. Sister Sephy was sentenced to life term, besides a fine of | P7 Washington: US President Donald Trump has refused to sign the Covid-19 relief bill, saying the $600 stimulus to Americans was not enough as he asked Congress to increase it to $2,000. Trump said that the bill delivered too much money to foreign countries, but not enough to Americans Crimes against women decline by 7.5% in AP @ Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh has recorded a 7.5 per cent decline in crimes against women in 2020, compared to 2019. Same is the case with cognisable crimes, which declined by 16 per cent this year, bodily offences by 2 per cent, property offences by 12 per cent and white collar offences by 13 per cent. Disclosing this at the year- end annual press conference here on Wednesday, Director General of Police D Gautam Sawang said that crimes against women is one area, where a lot needs to be done. A total of 12,784 crimes against women were reported in the State in 2020. “Women’s safety has a social dimension,’’ he said. Highlighting the measures being taken by the Police Depart- case, where no overt action was taken by both the UPA and the subsequent NDA governments, Cairn’s holdings were seized and then subsequently sold to realise the tax liability . By 2011, Cairn Energy Plc had already sold its India subsidiary Cairn , India, to Vedanta Ltd, retaining only a 5% stake. But after the tax demand and subsequent initiation of arbitration by the company in 2015, GoI seized the stake and sold it to realise the claim. It also seized dividends totalling `1,140 crore due to Cairn and set off a `1,590-crore tax refund against the demand. Hold talks on local polls: HC to govt, SEC Annual report E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e in a statement on Wednesday . The Government of India, for its part, said that it “will be studying the award and all its aspects carefully in consultation with its counsels”. After the UPA-led government lost its case against Vodafone Plc at the Supreme Court in 2012, then finance minister Pranad Mukherjee passed an amendment in law making the tax liability retrospective. In March 2015, Cairn was slapped with `10,247 crore retrospective tax demand over gains from an internal reorganisation implemented in 2006-07. But unlike the Vodafone Plc ment to ensure safety of women, he said majority of women hesitate to come forward to complain with the police about the crimes against them. “We are facilitating the victims to report crime through various means like Spandana, Disha mobile application, friendly policing and women’s friendly reception centres at every police station. With the initiatives, there has been an increase in reporting of cases by women,” Sawang P5 said. no move to impose curfew: DGP DGP Gautam Sawang dismissed speculations circulating on various social media platforms on imposition of night curfew in the State from December 26 to January 1, 2021 amid fears of a new mutant strain of coronavirus Opening up 100% FDI in DTH sector, 20-yr licence E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi T h e U n i o n C ab i n e t o n Wednesday cleared the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s revised guidelines allowing 100% FDI in directto-home (DTH) sector and doubling licence validity to 20 years. Earlier, I&B ministry allowed only 49% foreign direct investment in the sector. Among the other changes is licence fee will be collected on a quarterly basis instead of annually to make it in tune with , the licence fee regime of the telecom sector. Also, DTH operators will be permitted to operate a maximum of 5% of their total channel carrying capacity as platform channels. “In India, more than six crore houses get DTH services. The commerce ministry had earlier decided 100% FDI in DTH services but DTH services could not get that benefit as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s guidelines allowed only 49% FDI. The new guidelines will be in sync with the commerce ministry’s guidelines,” Union minister Prakash Javadekar said. Welcoming the new guidelines, leading DTH player Tata Sky said the decision to grant licences to the operators for 20 years would provide certainty to the industry . Other cabinet decisions l Films Division, Directorate of Film Festivals, National Film Archives of India and Children’s Film Society to merge with NFDC l A total of `59,000 crore for Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme to benefit 4 crore Scheduled Caste students in next 5 yrs ED arrests three AgriGold promoters in `6,380-cr scam that duped 32L depositors New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has arrested three promoters of a South India based company on money laundering charges in an over `6,300 crore alleged ponzi or chit fund fraud case where lakhs of investors hailing from various States were duped, the agency said on Wednesday . The three persons-- Avva Venkata Rama Rao, Avva Venkata S Narayana Rao and Avva Hema Sundara Vara Prasad-- are the ‘main accused’ and promoters of the AgriGold group of companies. “They have been arrested for their involvement in committing the offence of money laundering,” the ED said. The three were arrested under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Tuesday and a special court in Hyderabad sent them to 14 days judicial custody . The agency also conducted raids on the premises of the promoters and auditors of the company in Vijayawada and Hyderabad and seized `22 lakh cash, property documents and digital devices, the ED said, in a statement. T he ED initiated probe against the accused after going through various police FIRs filed against them in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka for allegedly duping about 32 lakh investors after funds worth `6,380 crore were collected from them. P6
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