BHUBANESWAR l tuesday l december 29, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late CITY EDITION virat KOhli headlines ICC’s players of decade honours India captain wins Sir Garfield Sobers award for the best Male Cricketer of the Decade. Named ODI Player of the Decade too. Beats De Villiers, sanga to top award Kohli beat R Ashwin, Joe Root, Kumar Sangakkara, Steve Smith, AB de Villiers and Kane Williamson for Player of the Decade award. 66 out of his 70 international centuries came in this decade. He was also the batsman with most fifties (94), most runs (20,396), besides having the maximum average (56.97) among players with 70 innings | P11 ■ 1 Dhoni wins spirit of cricket award ■ MS Dhoni won the ‘ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade’, chosen by fans for his gesture of calling back England batsman Ian Bell after a bizarre run out in the Nottingham Test in 2011. Steve Smith was chosen the Test Cricketer of the Decade, while Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan bagged the top prize in T20Is. Kohli is the only player to make it to three ICC teams of the decade 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 Reservation for govt school Wednesday date set for fresh talks students in med, engg colleges Farmer unions accept govt invite; no meeting ground yet on the three contentious reform laws H a r p r e e t B a j w a @ Chandigarh Ex p r e ss N e w s S e r vic e Cabinet decisions @ Bhubaneswar Giving concrete shape to the major policy resolutions adopted at the BJD State Executive and State Council meetings recently, the Cabinet on Monday gave its nod to reservation of seats for government school students in engineering and medical colleges along with mandatory filing of property statements by all people’s representatives. To correct the imbalance in access to coaching classes in rural areas after introduction of centralised examinations like NEET and JEE, the Cabinet approved a proposal to provide reservation to eligible government school and college students of Odisha in institutions operating in State medical and engineering colleges. The reservation will be implemented from next academic year onwards. The Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through video conference decided to constitute a high power committee headed by a retired judge of the Orissa High Court to finalize the modalities of reservation. The Committee to be constituted with eminent persons including educationists as members, will be mandated to submit the report within three months. Announcing the decision, Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari said that the number of students from Odisha get- Proposal for reservation of seats in State engineering and medical colleges for govt school & college students Property statements made mandatory for people’s representatives, including Chief Minister and all govt employees Property statements to be submitted to Lokayukta and kept in public domain Year-long celebrations for Mahatma Gandhi’s first visit to Odisha from March 23, 2021 ting admission in medical and engineering colleges has been coming down over the years due to lack of access to coaching classes in rural areas. The Cabinet resolution in this regard said the centralised competitive examinations require special skill sets which are imparted mainly through the coaching centres and online coaching classes. “With such centres being limited to mostly urban pockets and the high economic cost of access to such facilities, thousands of meritorious students from the government school system are at a disadvantage and therefore, fare lower than their potential in the entrance examination,” the Cabinet observed and added, “this is unfair competition for the vast majority of children in Odisha.” In yet another ste p to Life & works of great sons of Odisha to be included in school syllabus Proposal to repeal 206 redundant laws strengthen Naveen Patnaik’s campaign against corruption, the Cabinet approved a proposal to make it mandatory for people’s representatives and government employees to submit property statements every year. The property details will be made available in public domain. Submission of property statement will now be made mandatory for all the public representatives starting from the sarpanchs to the Chief Minister. Similarly, it has also been made mandatory for all the government servants starting from those at the entry level to the Chief Secretary to submit their property lists, which will then be put in the public domain. A copy of the property statement of public representatives and the government servants will be sent to the Lokayukta every year. 50 mn vaccine doses ready for delivery: SII E X PRE S S N EW S S ER V I C E Pope strips most powerful Vatican office of its assets Pope Francis has formally stripped the Vatican secretariat of state of its financial assets and real estate holdings following its bungled management of hundreds of millions of euros in donations and investments that are now the subject of a corruption investigation | P9 2020 Reflections | P2 @ New Delhi Fifty million doses of the Covishield vaccine are ready, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII), said on Monday adding that he hopes to get the emergency use authorisation in India soon. Poonawalla’s statement comes days after the SII, the Indian manufacturing and clinical trial partner for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, submitted additional data to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation. According to industry sources, India is likely to give the green light at the same time as the UK which reportedly looks at January 4 to roll it out. Covishield is being tested on about 1,700 individuals in India as part of a multi-country phase-3 trial of the vaccine, which has shown 70% efficacy on an average in two different dosing regimens. In response to a query on how much of the readied stockpile will India get, Poonawalla said, “India has such a SII launches indigenously developed pneumonia vaccine New Delhi: Serum Institute of India on Monday launched the country’s first indigenously developed pneumococcal vaccine PNEUMOSIL for children in the presence of Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan large population that we will probably end up giving the majority of those 50 million doses to India first.” Poonawalla also said that after the company receives the required regulatory approval, it will be up to the government to decide “how much they can take and how fast”. Speaking about production targets, he said SII will produce around 300 million doses of Covishield by July next year. On the availability of the va c c i n e i n t h e c o m i n g months, Poonawalla said the first six months of 2021 may see a shortage globally . Modi mediation to address Kerala’s decades-old Malankara church dispute E X PRE S S N EW S S ER V I C E @ Kochi A raging church dispute in Kerala that has defied solution despite the Supreme Court’s speaking orders and the state government’s mediation attempts, landed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s doorstep on Monday. Representatives of the Orthodox faction met Modi in New Delhi, seeking resolution to the It’s a 100-year-old dispute and there are certain contentious issues. The PM is making a sincere effort to resolve the issue P S Sreedharan Pillai decades-old row in Kerala’s Malankara Church, while the Jacobite faction will meet him on Tuesday to present their side of the story. “The meeting was cordial and the Prime Minister promised us to work towards an amicable solution,” said Orthodox Church synod secretary Metropolitan Mar Diascoros. Mizoram Gover nor P S Sreedharan Pillai, who has been holding parleys with both factions to end the dispute, said a clear picture would emerge after the talks with the Jacobite faction on Tuesday . The sixth round of talks between the government and the agitating farmers will be held on Wednesday, with the Centre sending a formal invite to 40 kisan unions on Monday Later, . the unions conveyed their consent. Union Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Aggarwal’s letter referred to the response of the unions on December 26 accepting the Centre’s offer for talks and invited them to Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi at 2 pm on December 30 for the dialogue. He reiterated the Centre’s commitment to find a ‘logical resolution’ with an open mind and clear intention. “During this meeting, the concerns of farmers regarding three farmer laws, system of procurement on MSP, ordinance 2020 on Air Quality Management in National Capital Region Zero cases in Cuttack city Ex p r e ss N e w s S e r vic e @ Cuttack For the first time since midApril, Cuttack city on Monday recorded zero new Covid-19 cases bringing hope for the residents ahead of the New Year. The millennium city had reported its first case from Patapola in mid-April. With sporadic cases detected over the next two months, the city’s tally remained within 50 till June 30. However, the infection rate began to shoot from July with detection of over 100 positive cases daily in September and October. The highest 342 cases were detected on September 23. The city started witnessing a downward trend in infections from November first week. So far, the Covid tally in CMC area stands at 16,180 with 63 active cases. As many as 16,032 patients have recovered while the disease has claimed 85 lives. On the other hand, paradoxically, a stark resurgence of Covid-19 is being witnessed in the P5 rural areas of the district. and Adjoining Areas besides amending the draft Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 would be discussed in detail,” the onepage letter stated. But arriving at a common ground would not be easy as the farmer unions want nothing short of the repeal of the three laws, while the Centre is willing to make amendments but not take the roll back road. When the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella group of 40 farmer unions, had on Saturday written to the governFarmers during their agitation, at Ghazipur ment proposed talks on Deborder in New Delhi on Monday | PTI cember 29, it had laid out a stiff four-point agenda begin‘Pawar wanted to do it’ ning with the modalities for Agriculture minister Narendra Singh repealing the three farm laws. Tomar said former PM Manmohan The Centre’s letter on Monday Singh and agriculture minister mentions the other three Sharad Pawar wanted to bring farm points flagged by the unions reforms during UPA rule, but but skirts the repeal part. couldn’t due to political pressure Bharatiya Kisan Union (La- khowal) general secretary Harinder Singh Lakhowal said, “we decided to attend the December 30 meeting, as we do not want to give the government any chance to say that the farmers backed out of discussions. However, there is no change in our demands.” Reacting to the vandalisation of over 1,500 telecom towers in Punjab so far, Lakhowal said, “we did not give any call to cut power supply to towers of a specific mobile company, as it would affect studies of students at the time of the pandemic. We only requested people to get their mobile numbers ported to any other mobile operator in protest.” As for the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, it found the Centre’s letter cleverly worded while not willing to discuss the full agenP7 da proposed by farmers. 92 UK returnees unreachable, Health dept seeks report from BMC Ex p r e ss N e w s S e r vic e @ Bhubaneswar Amid the fear of highly infectious new SARS-CoV2 strain, 92 persons, who had recently returned to the State from the UK are untraceable. Most of the retur nees belonged to Bhubaneswar. Sources said 181 people had returned to Odisha from Britain between November 31 and December 21. As per the advisory from the Centre, the State government had started tracing the returnees, who were to be subjected to Covid test. So far, only 89 returnees have been contacted in different districts, while the rest are yet to be traced. Preliminary investigations revealed many of the untraceable returnees have either moved to other cities or provided wrong contact number and address. Of the 74 people who returned to Bhubaneswar in the We had sent the list of returnees to the respective districts for identifying, contact tracing and testing. We have directed the BMC to submit a detailed report on the status of returnees by Tuesday A Health dept official last one month, only about five have been contacted. The Health and Family Welfare department has pulled up Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) for failing to trace the rest of the returnees. “We had sent the list of returnees to the respective districts for identifying, contact tracing and testing. Most of the districts have been able to trace the foreign returnees. We have directed the BMC to submit a detailed report on the status of returnees by Tuesday said a health official. ,” The Health department, however, appealed to the people not to panic as most of those who had returned between December 7 and 22 have been traced and the duration of stay of the rest is beyond the mandated 14-day quarantine period. “Still, efforts are on to trace them so that their test and subsequent genome sequencing can be conducted. Following the new alert over the virus mutation, 133 samples have been collected from 89 returnees and their 44 family members. Six returnees including two of their family members have tested positive for Covid-19. Their samples have been sent for genome sequencing,” the official added. a ride worth it A few excited onlookers, seated on a camel, catch a glimpse of the colourful evening skies over Madurai on Monday | kk sundar express read CDS pat for Odisha Police over LWE control Jumbo tramples two ‘mobile’ photographers BJP taunts, Congress defends Rahul’s absence No data of non-elderly for vaccination Bhubaneswar: Odisha Police which is riding high on its success against anti-Naxal operations received a pat on its back from Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat who said State has tackled the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) menace effectively. “Odisha Police has earned very high standards of law and order in the State with a fairly low crime rate | P3 Berhampur: Venturing near wild elephants can be dangerous but approaching a herd protecting a new born can be fatal. That’s what a group of people in Nuapalli village of Ganjam did and two of them, including a minor, paid with their lives on Sunday. The lure to click pictures of wild elephants from close proximity proved fatal for them as they were trampled to death in North Ghumusar forest division | P4 New Delhi: As the BJP took a swipe at Rahul Gandhi over his foreign trip as the Congress celebrated its 136th foundation day on Monday, the party defended its former chief, saying everyone has right to undertake personal visits and that the BJP was indulging in “low-level politics”. On Sunday, Rahul flew to Milan, while Congress chief Sonia Gandhi also skipped the flag hoisting ceremony at party headquarters | P7 New Delhi: The Centre’s Covid-19 vaccination plan includes those with comorbidities, along with people above 50 as the third priority group, but the government does not have a concrete database of younger people with underlying diseases. The government has said that 30 crore people, healthcare and frontline workers, 27 crore elderly and those with comorbidities will be immunised | P7
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