ap SAMBALPUR l friday l january 22, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION Biden signs 17 orders, reversing Trump’s signature policies Hours after his inauguration, US President Joe Biden signed 17 executive orders, reversing some of the key foreign policies and national security decisions of Donald Trump Tackling pandemic Jeffrey D Zients appointed as the official Covid-19 response coordinator who will report directly to the President US’ ties with WHO restored. Dr Anthony S Fauci will head US delegation to WHO’s executive board The new president restored the National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, which Trump had disbanded Biden also launched a ‘100-day masking challenge’ Immigration Issued directions to fortify Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme, which provides temporary relief from deportation to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children The order also calls on Congress to enact legislation providing permanent status and a path to citizenship for these immigrants Ended the so-called Muslim ban, which blocked travel from several predominantly Muslim and African countries to the US Construction of border wall with Mexico halted. Legality of diverting federal money to fund the wall will be reviewed Climate Change Ending racial discrimination Shot off a letter to the UN that will pave the way for the US to re-enter the Paris climate accord, which it will officially rejoin 30 days from now Revoked Trump administration’s 1776 Commission, which recently released a report allegedly distorting the role of slavery in the US Directed federal agencies to report on equity in their ranks within 200 days, including how to remove barriers to opportunities in policies Ordered agencies to ensure Americans of all backgrounds have equal access to federal government resources, benefits and services In 2019, Trump had notified the UN that the US would withdraw from the coalition of nearly 200 countries World stocks racked up record highs on Thursday on the back of expectations of a major stimulus from the new US president. The Sensex also traded high during the initial hours, breaching 50,000 for the first time. It, however, closed 167 points lower at 49,624.76 | P10 Sensex breaches 50,000 I’m not joking when I say this: If you ever work with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I will fire you on the spot. No ifs, ands or buts President Biden’s warning to his political appointees 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 Five dead in blaze at Serum plant, no impact on Covishield production S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i @ Mumbai Five persons — four men and one woman — were charred to death after a fire broke out at Serum Institute of India’s plant at Manjri in Pune on Thursday afternoon. The blaze occurred at an under-construction building and all the dead were construction workers. Nine people were evacuated from the spot. According to a labourer who was working in the building at the time of incident, the mishap happened due to sparks welding works on the sixth floor. However, officials said the cause is yet to be ascertained. “We will carry out further investigation and ascertain the cause of the fire,” said Pune Fire Brigade chief Prashant Ranpise. The Manjari facility is where the Covishield vaccines are made. However, the building where fire broke out is around 1 km away from the Covishield vaccine man- ufacturing unit. Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla said Covishield vaccine production will not be hit due to the fire incident. It took over two hours for the fire brigade to put out the blaze, which broke out around 2:45 pm on the fourth and fifth floors of the building. It is believed sparks from the sixth floor immediately spread to the fifth and fourth floors due to presence of combustible materials. Clarifying that the fire broke out in the BCG vaccine section, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said, “According to preliminary information, the fire occurred due to an electric fault during the on-going construction works. But people should not jump to conclusions. The probe will reveal all details.” Serum chairman Cyrus Poonawalla said the company will give `25 lakh compensation to families of persons who died in the fire. p8 Small farmer unions in favour, big ones against proposal Tractor rally talks Meeting between farmer union leaders and the Delhi Police on tractor parade on Republic Day inconclusive Farmers firm on holding the rally on the Outer Ring Road in Delhi, while police wary of disturbing law and order, want them to call it off Workers wearing protective gear walk after a fire broke out at Serum Institute’s plant at Manjri near Pune on Thursday | PTI SJTA urges govt to prioritise vaccination for sevayats E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Puri As the Sri Jagannath temple at Puri opened its doors for all devotees and visitors by doing away with the mandatory Covid negative certificate provision, the temple administration has requested the State government to vaccinate all the sevayats of the shrine on priority. In the letter to the Additional Chief Secretary of Health department, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator Dr Krishan Kumar said as the Covid-19 negative certificate has been dispensed with, there will be a phenomenal increase in inflow of devotees and visitors into the temple. “The chances of sevayats getting infected by coronavirus can- express read New twist to Bengal polls as cleric forms party Kolkata: In what might upset several political equations in election-bound Bengal, Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui of Hooghly district’s Furfura Sharif on Thursday floated a new political outfit called Indian Secular Front. The outfit will contest from all 294 seats | P8 Govt unveils Konark heritage corridor plan Bhubaneswar: Taking forward its ambitious plans for transformation of religious places, the Odisha government has decided to undertake massive beautification work at the Sun Temple in Konark | P2 27k visitors have darshan of the Trinity More than 27,000 devotees thronged the Sri Jagannath temple on Thursday as it was opened for all sans the Covid-19 negative certificate restrictions. The temple was all decked up to welcome the visitors, who have been eagerly waiting for the day to be able to have darshan of the deities. Simhadwar, the temple’s entrance, was decorated with flowers while the area in front of it was embellished with Rangolis. The temple gates opened at 5 am. As per arrangements, locals were first allowed inside the temple with their ID proof for one hour from 6 am to 7 am. Thereafter, devotees from outside Puri had darshan of the Trinity in three sessions, from 7.30 am to 9 am, 9.30 am to 12 pm and 4.30 pm till closure of the temple gates | P4 not be ruled out as they will be coming in close contact with the devotees. For the uninterrupted performance of different nitis (rituals) of the deities inside the temple, it is suggested that all sevayats and their families be vaccinated on a priority basis,” the Chief Administrator stressed. The SJTA has also re- quested vaccination of temple staff and officials along with the sevayats. There are about 500 temple officials who must also be vaccinated on a priority basis, the temple administration said. The matter of vaccinating sevayats and other temple officials was discussed in the Chhatisa Nijoga meeting following which it was decided to approach the government. Puri Collector Samarth Verma had recently said that arrangements have been made for smooth darshan of at least 30,000 devotees every day from Thursday. Though there will be no requirement for Covid negative report for the devotees, the coronavirus restrictions and safety norms will be strictly followed, he added. BJD govt in nexus with middlemen: BJP E x p r e s s n e w s Se r v i c e @ Sambalpur The BJP on Thursday tore into the BJD government for ignoring implementation of farmer welfare schemes of the Centre and accused the latter of having a nexus with millers and middlemen. “Though Union government has launched many schemes for welfare of farmers, the State government is not implementing them here. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken several steps to double farmers’ income. The Centre has also been working to strengthen the farming sector but farmers of Odisha are suffering because of the nexus between the State government and middlemen,” BJP Odisha co-incharge Vijaya Pal Singh Tomar stated at a massive public meeting held at the PHED ground in Ainthapali marking the party’s Chasi Adhikar rally . State president Samir Mohanty said farmers of Odisha are not getting appropriate price for their produce because of the token system introduced by the State government. Hundreds of bags of paddy are lying unsold in market yards due to the faulty system. “The State government should withdraw the token system and quantitative restrictions on paddy procurement. The BJP would continue to fight for the cause of farmers,” he added. With paddy procurement running into trouble across districts, the BJP made a bid to gherao Revenue Divisional Commissioner’s office protesting the ‘anti-farmer’ policies of the State CONTINUED ON: P5 government. easing pressure Parikhya Darpan to prepare Class X students for HSC exams E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar AHEAD of the HSC examinations, the State government has decided to distribute ‘Parikhya Darpan’, a book of multiple choice questions and answers, free of cost among the Class X students. ‘Parikhya Darpan’ contains a set of 100 questions, including 50 to 60 multiple choice questions and 20 long questions, for each subject. Announcing the decision, Min- ister of State for School and Mass Education (SME) Samir Ranjan Das told mediapersons that about 6.2 lakh students will benefit from the decision. The 700 page book will be printed after determining the exact number of students, he said and added that the department has asked the district education officers to provide a detailed list of Class X students in all government and private schools in their respective districts by January 22. In a letter to the Project Director of The ‘Nays’ have it, govt offer rejected Odisha School Education Programme Authority (OSEPA) Bhupendra Singh Poonia, principal secretary in the SME department Satyabrata Sahu said that OSEPA will bear the cost of paper and printing of the books. The manuscript of the book was prepared by the Board of Secondary Education, Odisha, he said and added that the Text Book Printing Press at Bhubaneswar under the School and Mass Education department will print the books. Sources said that the SME department had decided to distribute ‘Parikhya Darpan’ among the students after the reopening of schools on January 8. However, realising that the students will not give emphasis to classroom teaching and will instead concentrate more on practicing the questions in Parikhya Darpan, the test paper distribution was delayed. The annual matriculation examinations will begin on May 3 and conclude on May 15. Thousands of tractors for the rally from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan already parked on Delhi’s borders The SKM pays homage to the 143 farmers who have been martyred in this movement so far. .. Their sacrifice will not go in vain and we will not go back without the repealing of these farm laws Samkyukt Kisan Morcha’s statement E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi/Chandigarh The government’s hopes of ending the deadlock over the farm laws before Republic Day were dashed on Thursday with the farmers unions rejecting the proposal to suspend the laws for two years or more and forming a joint panel to examine the entire gamut of issues. In a statement issued after two rounds of meetings, the first among the 32 Punjab unions followed by all the organisations under the Samyukt Kisan Morcha banner, the farmers said “the proposal put forth by the government yesterday was rejected.” “A full repeal of (the) three central farm laws and enacting a legislation for remunerative MSP for all farmers were reiterated as the pending demands of the movement,” the morcha said. But sources said the decision was not unanimous, with some smaller unions, who were in a minority, in favour of accepting the Centre’s proposal but with several conditions, while the bigger ones, mainly from Punjab, firm on continuing with the agitation. The sources said the majority view to reject the proposal was mainly two-fold. First, the protest was peaking and if they withdrew at this point, they may not be able to build up another movement in the future for a repeal of the laws in case the proposed committee rejects this demand. Second, 143 farmers had died during the agitation and if they were to accept the offer without getting the laws repealed, their sacrifice would have gone in vain. The split in opinion led to some heated exchanges during the meeting, the sources said, forcing a vote over the issue. “The consensus was that we should stick to our stand of repeal. Voting took place in the meeting of all the 40 unions in which most voted for rejecting the proposal,” a leader said. Joginder Singh Ugrahan, the leader of the largest union, said “we want the Centre to enact a legislation for remunerative MSP and also a law with the provision that the government procures these crops at MSP as it has been doing to date.” “The Punjab unions decided to reject the Centre’s proposal. They informed this at the joint meeting. There was a feeling that 143 farmers have sacrificed their lives and there is no point in settling for anything less than a repeal,” said All India Kisan Sabha general secretary Hannan Mollah The morcha paid homage to the farmers who have died in the movement so far. the magical journey continues... Members of the Indian team reached their respective hometowns after that rousing win over the hosts in Brisbane. While the captain Ajinkya Rahane and a few of teammates reached Mumbai in the afternoon, the likes of Mohammed Siraj and T Natarajan reached Hyderabad and Salem, respectively. It was no surprise to see scores of fans garlanding them upon their arrival. All of them had been away from India for the last five months... PIC: U RAKESH KUMAR big crowd for nattu in chinnappampatti The southpaw was given a welcome befitting a king as he was taken on a chariot before he reached his home in Salem district. The 29-year-old, who debuted in all three forms in Australia, took in the adulation by waving to his fans. Centre modifies CoWin app Amid reports of low turnout for Covid-19 vaccination, the Centre has modified the CoWin app to allow registered but non-allocated individuals to take the shots | P7 emotional siraj visits dad’s resting place The first thing Mohammed Siraj did upon landing was to pay respects to his father, who had passed away when he was in Australia. After going home, he addressed a press conference, where he dedicated his performance to his dad | P11
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