bhubaneswar l friday l january 15, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION fight for Border-Gavaskar Trophy: Wounded india vs mighty aussies The fourth and final test is a winner-take-all contest with the series poised at 1-1. Australia need a win but a draw will be enough for India Team India resembling a hospital ward Ravindra Jadeja has already been ruled out with a broken left thumb while Hanuma Vihari (right hamstring injury), R Ashwin (back tweak) and Jasprit Bumrah (abdominal strain) are all serious doubts. Without their star skipper and best batsman, Team India have shown resolve beyond compare but can they repeat the feat starting Friday? 0 big name players need to step up ■ If ■ Bumrah is not passed fit, India might opt for Shardul Thakur or T Nataranjan. Prithvi Shaw or Wriddhiman Saha in place of Jadeja. Washington Sundar’s name is also doing the rounds. All 3 senior batsmen -- Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma will have to shoulder the majority of the responsibility. | P11 India Yet to win at the Gabba. In six tests, have lost five and drawN one 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 Modi to launch vaccination drive at 10.30 am tomorrow States/UTs advised not to administer more than 100 vaccines a day Polio immunisation programme deferred to Jan 31 Express News Service @ New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the muchawaited Covid-19 vaccination programme at 3,006 designated centres across the country at 10.30 am on Saturday . “This will be the world’s largest vaccination programme covering the entire length and breadth of the country and all preparations are in place to initiate the programme on the principles of Jan Bhagidari,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. “A total of 3,006 session sites across all states and UTs will be virtually connected during the launch and around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site on the first day,” it added. The Centre also released a rulebook for the vaccine rollout to all the states and UTs, listing the dos and don’ts which say minors (under-18), pregnant women and lactating mothers should not be given the shots. Healthcare workers in both government and private sectors, including anganwadi workers, will receive the vac- The Union health ministry clarified that the three-day polio immunisation programme, set to begin on January 17, will now be carried out on the last day of this month. On Wednesday, the government had deferred the nationwide pulse polio immunisation programme “till further notice” without specifying the reasons. The health ministry on Thursday confirmed that the decision was taken in view of the Covid-19 vaccination drive. “The massive countrywide COVID-19 vaccination drive will be rolled out by Prime Minister from January 16. This would be the world’s largest immunisation exercise. Therefore, it has been decided by the Ministry of Health in consultation with the office of the President of India to reschedule the Polio vaccination day, also known as the National Immunisation Day (NID) or ‘Polio Ravivar’, to 31st January,” a statement by the ministry said.. cine during the first phase. As per the details shared, at every centre, 100 healthcare workers have been registered for inoculation on the first day at each centre. However, the government fears that the actual count of people who take the jab may be far lower, owing to “vaccine hesitation”. “Over 3 lakh people are being sent messages to receive their vaccines on Day 1 at the designated centres. But it won’t be surprising if lesser than expected number of beneficiaries turn up,” said a senior official. “This will be just the beginning of the vaccination in India and it’s likely that many will want to see others take the vaccines first before they take the jabs.” All the states which have got the supply of the two approved vaccines — Covishield and Covaxin — have been advised not to administer more than 100 vaccines per day per centre. The number of designated centres could be later increased to 5,000. The government has procured 1.65 crore doses of vaccines for the first phase which include 1.1 crore doses of Covishield produced by the Serum Institute of India and 55 lakh doses of Covaxin by Bharat P7 Biotech. Ex-IAS officer, Modi lieutenant joins BJP Express News Service @ Bhawanipatna/Bhubaneswar Kalahandi is no longer the land of hunger, it has transformed into the rice bowl of the State. Kalahandi farmers are now feeding the nation, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Thursday while launching projects worth over `2,085 crore in the district. Addressing a public meeting at Mangalpur in Jayapatna block of the district, his first since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, the Chief Minister said Kalahandi has shown Odisha the path of development. “It is no longer a laboratory of poverty it has now become the , model of development in the country Naveen said. ,” Seeking to strike an emotional chord with the people, he recalled his father and former chief minister Biju Patnaik’s deep commitment to Kalahandi. “Biju Babu was in- express read Petrol, diesel prices soar in Capital city Bhubaneswar: Petrol and diesel prices have hit a record high in the State Capital. While petrol price climbed to `85.35 per litre on Thursday as against `85.09 a litre on Wednesday, diesel price touched `81.57 per litre on the day as compared to `81.29 yesterday. P2 Befitting reply if any superpower hurts national pride: Singh N a m i ta B a j pa i @ Lucknow Former bureaucrat AK Sharma joined the ruling BJP in Lucknow on Thursday . Believed to be a trusted lieutenant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the 1988 batch IAS officer was inducted into the party by UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh in the presence of deputy CMs Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dr Dinesh Sharma. While Sharma is tipped to be a BJP candidate in the upcoming council elections scheduled for January 28, the political corridors are abuzz with speculations of him taking up a crucial role in State with Assembly elections just a year away . Speaking to reporters after the induction, Sharma said that he was happy to join the party and would work for the welfare of the people. The UP BJP chief expressed confidence that the party would benefit from Sharma’s administrative experience gained while working with the PM closely, especially the six years which he spent in the PMO. While the BJP State unit is keeping a guarded silence over the role of Sharma, those privy to the developments, said, he may be made a deputy chief minister. “Obviously party lead, ership must be having a bigger plan behind sending Sharma to UP Council,” said a senior BJP functionary seeking anonymity . Kalahandi no longer land of hunger, it is feeding the nation, says Naveen Washington House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. displays the signed article of impeachment against President Donald Trump in an engrossment ceremony before transmission to the Senate for trial on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday | PTI Donald Trump impeached, again Express News Service Just eight days before he is slated to leave office, Donald Trump earned the dubious distinction of becoming the first American president to be impeached twice, with 10 of his fellow Republicans joining the Democrats in the House of Representatives to charge him with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in provoking his supporters to storm the US Capitol on January 6. Trump will now face a trial in the Senate where, if convicted, he could be barred from holding office ever again. The Democrats will need 17 Republican votes in the 100-member Senate as a two-thirds majority is required in the Upper House of the US Congress to convict and impeach the president. However, Trump will not have to quit the White House before his term ends as the Senate is adjourned till January 19, a day before Joe Biden takes oath as the 46th President of the United States. The Democratic-controlled House on Wednesday impeached Trump by 232 to 197 votes after an impassioned debate. The House went ahead with the move after Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday refused to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Those who voted in favour of the impeachment included the House’s No. 3 Republican, Liz Cheney as well as all , four Indian-American Democratic members — Ami Bera, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Pramila Jayapal. P9 Amid the eight-month-old border standoff with China, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that India does not want a war, but its soldiers are capable of giving a befitting reply if any superpower hurts the P7 country’s pride. jured in a stone-pelting incident at Bhawanipatna in the 1990s. When I asked him about the incident, he said nothing to be worried about. People of Kalahandi love me very much and I love them equally I will . work ten times more for them,” he recalled. Naveen said, the very words of Biju Babu inspired him to work for Kalahandi’s develop- ment. “The picture of the district has completely turned around,” he asserted. The Chief Minister inaugurated 54 projects worth over `1,064 crore and laid foundation stones of 52 projects estimated at `1,020 crore during the visit. Projects inaugurated included the Upper Indravati Lift Canal system constructed at a cost of `987 crore. The ca- nal will provide irrigation to 25,275 hectares farmland in Jayapatna, Koksara and Dharamgarh blocks which were deprived of the water of Indravati project due to their high elevation location. He also inaugurated 10 drinking water projects worth `20 crore and 13 check dams constructed at a cost of `4.83 crore. Appreciating Kalahandi’s development in the agriculture sector, the Chief Minister said that the district now holds the second position in production of paddy in the State. This has been possible due to dedication and toil of farmers. Irrigation facilities have increased three-fold in the district and and fish production has gone up significantly . He said that `1,200 crore was deposited in the accounts of farmers during the procurement season through direct bank transfer (DBT). Continued on: P5 Bhupinder Singh Mann recuses himself from SC panel on agri laws H a r p r e e t B a j w a @ Chandigarh Fa r m e r u n i o n l e a d e r Bhupinder Singh Mann on Thursday recused himself from the four-member committee set up by the Supreme Court to resolve the stalemate over the agri laws in the wake of the allegations that the panel was “pro-government”. Mann, president of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Mann) and chairman of All India Kisan Coordination Committee, said “ I am thankful to the Supreme Court for nominating me in the four-member committee”. However, he added, “As a farmer myself and a union leader, in view of the prevailing sentiments and apprehensions amongst the farm unions and the public in general, I am ready to sacrifice any position offered or given to me so as to not compromise the interests of Punjab and farmers of the country I am recusing myself . from the committee and I will always stand with my farmers and Punjab.” Mann’s announcement came on a day his organisation’s Punjab unit decided to disassociate itself from him. Sources said he had taken this step amid growing criticism from within the farmers’ community including his own union, for , “siding with the government”. Mann was part of a group of farmers that had met Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar in December and backed the farm laws. Baldev Singh Mianpur, Punjab president of BKU (Mann) said, “We have broken all ties with Mann. He became the member of the committee formed by the apex court without even discussing with the union… Our union is with all the other 40 farmers unions who want these laws to be repealed. When the farmer unions had refused to appear before the committee, what was the point being part of the panel?” Mann, 81, had formed the AIKCC in early 1980s and is its chairman. In 1966, he had formed the Punjab Kheti Bari Union which in 1980 became BKU. He was an independent Member of Parliament from 1990 to 1996. His decision to accept the offer of Rajya Sabha nomination had led to a split in the BKU. He had supported the Congress in 2012 and 2017 Assembly elections and in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Punjab. Gupkar leader tones down Article 370 promise Three months after the formation of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) to fight for restoration of J&K’s special status, the convener of the seven-party alliance, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, on Thursday stated that the alliance never said it would get back Article 370. He also ruled out launching any big agitation.Talking to TNIE, Tarigami said they are planning to meet national leaders. “We will also be holding a convention. We will visit different parts of Jammu region and talk to people.” | P8 striking pose Students of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya present an Odissi choreography on ‘Shakti’ at the inaugural evening of Mukteswar Dance Festival in Bhubaneswar on Thursday | IRFANA foul play Google cracks whip on digital lenders found violating its policies Bi s m a h M a l i k @ Bengaluru Tech giant Google said on Thursday that it had removed several personal loan apps from its playstore in India after the digital lenders were found violating its policies on tenure for repayments, annual percentage rate and disclosure of total loan costs. More lending apps which do not comply with the local laws and regulations could face similar action. Users as well as government agencies have flagged concerns regarding some of the lenders adopting coercive tactics for loan recovery. “We have reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in India, based on flags submitted by users and government agencies. The apps that were found to violate our user safety policies were immediately removed from the Store, and we have asked the developers of the remaining identified apps to demonstrate that they comply with applicable local laws and regulations. Apps that fail to do so will be removed without further notice. In addition, we will continue to assist the law enforcement agencies in their investigation of this issue,” Google said in a statement. Regarding the user privacy the , company said developers must only request permissions that are necessary to implement current features or services. “They should not use permissions that give access to user or device data for undisclosed, unimplemented, or disallowed features or purposes. Developers must also only use data for purposes that the user has consented to, and if they later want to use the data for other purposes, they must obtain user permission for the additional uses,” it stated. The announcement comes close on the heels of the Reserve Bank of India constituting a working group to formulate regulatory measures for facilitating a safer digital lendi n g e nv i r o n m e n t i n t h e country . Digital lenders that offer small personal loans at the click of a button without ask- ing for collaterals have come under scanner for coercing the borrowers for repayments by harassments through their recovery agents, offering shorter tenures for repayments, sending abusive texts, charging high interest rates and calling their contacts. These apps typically cater to the underserved populations which either don’t have access to traditional banking facilities or don’t have a good credit score. The RBI said a balanced approach needed to be followed so that the regulatory framework supports innovation while ensuring data security, privacy, confidentiality and consumer protection. “Recent spurt and popularity of online lending platforms/ mobile lending apps has raised cer tain serious concer ns which have wider systemic implications,” the central bank stated.
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