tirupati l monday l february 01, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l late city EDITION 1 in every 4 Indians exposed to coronavirus: serosurvey 25% of the population has shown evidence of past infection of Covid19, the third national serosurvey done by ICMR has revealed Cities close to achieving herd immunity? The survey estimates India’s actual Covid-19 infection size at 30 crore though the number of confirmed cases stands at just over 1 crore. “The figures are much higher in many cities, strengthening the epidemiological theory that some cities may be approaching herd immunity as evident in the falling daily numbers of new cases,” an official told TNIE | P7 37,44,334 Epidemic to weaken at 70% exposure The serosurvey carried out in Dec and Jan tested blood samples of 400 randomly selected persons from 70 districts across 22 states ■ Scientists and researchers in many countries have estimated that the coronavirus epidemic will slow down rapidly when 60-70% of the population in an area gets exposed to the virus and recovers ■ Vaccinated against Covid as on Sunday, according to Union health ministry 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 Committed to PM’s dignity, kisan’s self-respect: Tikait Would FM tick these checkboxes today? No radical change in income tax slabs, but expect some tax breaks for the salaried class Modi says country saddened by insult to the Tricolour at Red Fort E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Farmers raise slogans during their ongoing protest against the new farm laws, at the Singhu border, in Delhi on Sunday | Shekhar yadav Another senior journalist booked by UP Police Suspension of internet undemocratic: Morcha The UP Police lodged an FIR against The Wire’s editor Siddharth Varadarajan who had tweeted the story of the family of Navreet Singh, a protester who died on Republic Day. The family disputed the police claim that he died after his tractor rammed a barricade The morcha condemned the arrests of journalists, and the suspension of internet services at protest sites. “It (govt) is also fearful of the coordinated work of the farmers’ unions across different protest sites... This is undemocratic and illegal,” it said in a statement A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government was just a phone call away to talk to the farmers’ unions, the Tikait brothers said they will honour Modi’s dignity while also being committed to protecting their self-respect. Bharatiya Kisan Union leaders Naresh and Rakesh Tikait said they were open to talks to find a middle path, but their definition of a middle ground was different from what the Centre has in mind. “Talks are necessary A solution should be . found. These farmers have been protesting for over two months now.... The middle path could be that the Centre assures farm- ers it won’t implement the three laws during its tenure. We will also try convincing the farmers,” Naresh said. As for Rakesh Tikait, he said farmers would not succumb to pressure but they don’t want the government or Parliament to ‘bow down to them’ either, adding they respect Modi’s dignity Rakesh demanded the re. lease of farmer leaders to prepare a conducive environment for talks. While the Tikaits are part of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmers’ unions, their position was more nuanced than the blunt statements of the morcha so far. The morcha on Sunday formed a committee to trace those who went missing after express read Explain ration door delivery scheme to SEC, HC directs govt Door delivery of rice in urban areas from today The door delivery of rice to card holders through mobile dispensing units will begin in urban areas on Monday. The SEC had earlier directed the State government not to go ahead with implementation of the scheme in rural areas as the Model Code of Conduct for panchayat elections is in force. Civil Supplies Minister Kodali Nani said the door delivery of rice in urban areas will commence as scheduled SEC posts new collectors for Guntur, Chittoor Observing that the resending the names of the officers for posting as collectors of Guntur and Chittoor districts without making any modifications as sought by the SEC as an indication of a dismissive attitude adopted by the government towards the commission, SEC N Ramesh Kumar posted P Basant Kumar and M Hari Narayan as new Collectors of the two districts. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Sunday directed the State government to explain the importance of distribution of PDS rice at the doorstep of ration card holders to the State Election Commission (SEC) within two days. The SEC was directed to decide on the door delivery of ration to beneficiaries within five days of receiving the representation from the State government. The final decision on whether to allow the implementation of scheme or not will be taken by the SEC in view of panchayat elections in the State. Days after the SEC asked the government not to go ahead with the launch of the scheme on February 1, the government filed a house motion petition in the High Court seeking a direction to the SEC to allow the distribution of PDS rice at the doorstep of ration card holders as scheduled. Hearing the petition at his residence, Justice Joymalya Bagchi directed the Chief Secretary and other officials to explain the importance of the scheme to the SEC. Making it clear that the SEC will have the final say on the matter, Justice Bagchi said the SEC should keep in mind before taking a decision that the scheme is not being implemented by a political party . No one can find fault with the SEC for taking a decision to stop implementation of the scheme as per the Model Code of Conduct as it has the responsibility to conduct elections in a free and fair manner. At the same time, there is no doubt that the scheme is meant to implement the right to nutritious food as per the Constitution. Hence, the SEC should take an appropriate decision on the matP5 ter, the Judge said. Temple priest, two others held for vandalisation of idol Rajamahendravaram: The police arrested the priest of Varasiddhi Vinayaka temple and two others in connection with the vandalisation of Subramanyeswara Swamy idol at Sriram Nagar in the city on January 1. This was disclosed by SIT chief GVG Ashok Kumar here on Sunday. SSC exams likely from June 7, results to be out on July 5 S i s t l a D a k s h i n a M u r t h y @ Vijayawada SSC examinations are likely to be held in the State from June 7 to 14. The exam results will be declared on July 5. According to a proposal sent by the Board of Secondary Education to the State government, SSC students need to write only seven papers as against 11 this academic year due to delay in reopening of schools after lifting of the Covid-induced lockdown. The exam papers will be for 100 marks each. Physical Science and Biological Science exams will be held for 50 marks each. An official announcement on the SSC exams is likely to be made by Education Minister Audimulapu Suresh in a day or two. Commissioner of School Education V China Veerabhadrudu told TNIE that the academic year began only on November 2, which was five months behind schedule. In all, classes will be conducted for 166 days this academic year as against 220 in normal times. The last working day for schools for the current academic year will be May 31. There will not be any summer vacation for schools this year. The board has already reduced the syllabus by 35 to 40 per cent for the year 2020-21. “Students are more interested in appearing for exams this academic year and the same has been mentioned in the proposal submitted to the State government,” Veerabhadrudu said. P5 WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) holy cow! Wrestling body gifted buffalo worth `1.5 lakh F i r o z M i r z a @ Chennai RECEIVING weird gifts for their accomplishments is not new for athletes. Tennis legend Roger Federer was gifted a cow, not once but twice, by the Swiss Open Gstaad. The 23rd Senior Women’s National Wrestling Championship in Agra on Sunday witnessed a similar incident, but this time it’s the governing body that ended up with the gift. In its bid to felicitate the best wrestler of the tournament, a sponsor on Sunday offered to gift a buffalo worth around `1.5 lakh. With the event not having an award in that category, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) decided to accept the gift on behalf of the wrestlers. “A local sponsor wanted to gift the buffalo to the best wrestler. Given the format in which the competition was being organised, every weight category (total 10) has a gold winner so it was not possible to pick the best among them,” Vinod Tomar, WFI’s assistant secretary told this daily , . After much deliberation, the animal was eventually gifted to WFI, he added. Sources claimed that around `15,000 was spent only on the decoration of the buffalo that was brought to the venue with full fanfare. So what’s next? Even the federation is not sure what to do wi h the gift. t A WFI source revealed the animal might be transported to the Republic Day tractor rally . In his Mann Ki Baat radio broadcast, Modi expressed dismay at the riots that day and the ‘insult’ to the Tricolour by a mob that had entered the Red Fort complex to plant a religious flag. The Tikait brothers echoed him but saw a plot in the violence. Meanwhile, the Delhi Police sent over 50 fresh notices to people, including farmer leaders, officials said. Police said some tractors used during the violence have been identified and notices were sent to their owners. The police are also conducting investigations at several locations outside Delhi, including Punjab and Haryana, to locate the people involved in the riots. WFI’s headquarters in New Delhi. The federati runs its on office from presid nt Brijbe hushan Sharan Si gh’s official n residence in Delhi. Si is a ngh BJP MP from Kaiserganj, Uttar Pradesh. The buffalo which was gifted to the Wrestling Federation of India in Agra on Sunday | SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT BUDGET 2021-22 We can see a Budget which is a budget like never before. 100 years of India wouldn’t have seen a Budget being made postpandemic like this FM Nirmala Sitharaman during her address to the CII Partnership Summit 2020 on January 5 11:00 am Budget presentation begins Budget may increase tax rebate under Section 80C and 80D from `1.5 l to `2 l Standard deduction limit likely to be doubled to `1 lakh increasing the exemption for health expenses Higher tax rebate likely for firsttime home buyers Government to fix some anomalies in the National Pension Scheme with regard to income tax benefits Covid-19 cess to raise revenue on the cards J1,19,847 cr Increasing tax on long-term capital gains from equity and property is a possibility Further increase in import duty on sin goods and luxury items Spending more on health infrastructure is a given, by how much more is the question Budget is likely to set up a separate bank for infrastructure sector More privatisation drive of PSUs, privatisation of electricity distribution expected Substantial increase in defence outlay to deal with a belligerent China Atmanirbhar overdrive to push indigenisation and accelerate growth January GST collection, the highest monthly mop-up so far. Came as a sentiment booster a day before the Budget
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