tirupati l tuesday l march 02, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION lpg cost up by `25; whopping `125 rise since february Fluctuations in international price and Dollar exchange rates behind the sharp rise. New rates kick into force on March 1 sixth hike since december 2020 In Delhi, a cylinder will now cost `819; in Kolkata, `845; in Mumbai, `819 and in Chennai, `835. LPG prices were hiked across all categories by `25 per cylinder on February 4; `50 on February 15; and `25 on February 25. Prices have been climbing since December. There were indications that the prices would possibly cool in a few weeks as state elections are due ■ `3,663 petrol, diesel price stable for 2nd day ■ Petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged for the second day in a row after hitting an all-time high. Branded, premium or additive mixed petrol, however, crossed `100 mark on Saturday The rates of regular petrol had last month crossed `100-mark at a few places in Rajasthan and MP, which levy the highest VAT per kilo-litre hike in aviation turbine fuel 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 Hackers attacked power grid to coerce India at LAC? P u s h k a r B a n a k a r a nd S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i @ New Delhi/Mumbai Prime Minister Narendra Modi sporting an Assam gamucha, being administered Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin by a nurse who hails from Puducherry, as a Keralite nurse watches on, in New Delhi on Monday. Both states and the UT go to polls in April | PTI Modi dispels vax hesitancy, pain point is enrolling Software glitches make registration difficult, govt asks people to use the CoWIN website instead of the app to book appointments S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi The first day of Covid-19 vaccination for senior citizens and people above 45 with co-morbidities saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi becoming the first beneficiary but was marred with reports of technical glitches in the technological platform driving the initiative. A vast majority of people from across the country complained of unavailability of slots for inoculation and the glitches they experienced while registering on the CoWIN platform that has been specially created for administering immunisation against coronavirus. An online poll by community social media platform LocalCircle found that nearly 92% of over 6,800 people surveyed had failed to get a vaccination slot on the first day of the second phase of Covid-19 vaccination. While 13% said they had failed to access the site app, 50% said they did not get any OTP or SMS, after entering their details in the portal while 29% said that they managed to register but the site did not show appointments. Complaints by citizens on various social media sites meanwhile prompted the Un- ion health ministry to clarify that the registration and booking for an appointment for the Covid-19 vaccine are to be done through the CoWIN portal, while the app is only for government administrators. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan also promised that the glitches in the system will be streamlined in the days to come. “A certain number of people can walk-in at the centres. There are many people in the country who couldn’t access or faced difficulty in booking. All these systems will be streamlined within one week,” he said. Some experts meanwhile pointed out that the platform is experiencing the same problems that were seen during Phase 1 of the vaccination when only healthcare and frontline workers were allowed to get inoculated. “As of now, less than 1% of India’s population has been vaccinated and in order to vaccinate the targeted 30 crore population over the next few months, it is important to urgently upgrade CoWIN’s infrastructure, too,” said a public health expert. The Indian Medical Association, in a statement, said the CoWIN platform needs to be more people friendly . State-sponsored Chinese hackers may have targeted Indian power grids and ports with malware even as tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) escalated, The New York Times said quoting a US cybersecurity firm’s study, leading to doubts over the cause of the October 12 grid failure in Mumbai. Recorded Future, a Massachusetts-based company found , Third phase vaccination gets off in AP to slow start E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The third phase of Covid-19 vaccination aimed at covering people aged above 60 years and those in the age group of 45 to 59 with comorbidities, began in the State on Monday . There was confusion at some centres due to reported technical glitches in CoWIN. The Covid-19 vaccination programme was held at 40 centres in Nellore. SVIMS Director B Vengamma and G Chandra Sekahr (82) were among those who were administered Covid vaccine in Tirupati. In Visakhapatnam, a total of 2,284 beneficiaries, including 181 senior citizens, were vaccinated. In Praksam district, none of the beneficiaries belonging to the third phase category could be vaccinated and the vaccination process will begin on Tuesday said Collec, tor Pola Bhaskar. “According to the data of YSR Bharosa - Pension Scheme, there are 4,26,426 people aged above 60 years in the district and 1,49,079 in the age grop of 45-59 with comorbidities. The district administration has set up 152 vaccination centres at government hospitals and Aarogyasri network hospitals,” he added.P3 a spike in malware in Indian government, defence and public sector organisations in the build up to the clashes along the LAC since May last year. According to it, the cyber attacks began in May and continued throughout the year. Recorded Future claims the intrusions have now significantly come down. Apart from Recorded Future, cybersecurity firm Cyfirma claimed state-sponsored Chinese hackers had targeted IT systems of two Indian Covid vaccine manufacturers — Se- rum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech. According to Cyfirma, Chinese group APT10, also known as Stone Panda, identified vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructure and supply chain software of Bharat Biotech and the Serum Institute of India (SII). Cyfirma Chief Executive told media that the real motive Beijing calls US firm’s report irresponsible The Chinese foreign ministry termed the report irresponsible. “Speculation and fabrication have no role to play on the issue of cyber attacks. It is irresponsible to accuse a particular party when there is no sufficient evidence,” foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Shocker as SC asks ‘rapist’ if he will marry the victim E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi In a shocking statement, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde on Monday asked a 23-year-old government servant whether he was ready to marry the woman who has accused him of rape. The observation came while the court was hearing a case against Mohit Subhash Chavan, a technician in the Maharashtra State Electric Production Company Ltd, who was accused of raping a minor girl in 2014-15. He was alle gedly 17-18-years-old then, and the girl was his distant relative and a student of Class 9 at the time. Last month, the Bombay High Court had cancelled the anticipatory bail granted to Chavan by a lower court, on an application filed by the girl. He had then challenged this order in the Supreme Court. During the hearing, CJI Bobde asked Chavan’s lawyer, “Will you marry her?” “You should have thought before seducing and raping the young girl. You knew you are a government servant. We are not forcing you to marry Let us . know if you will, otherwise you will say we are forcing you to marry her,” the CJI said. The lawyer consulted Chavan and then told the court that he initially wanted to marry her but the girl refused. “Now I cannot as I am already married.” The bench granted him interim protection from arrest for four weeks, allowing him time to file for regular bail. According to the FIR, the girl was in Class 9 when the accused started following her home from school and then one day he forcibly entered her house and raped her. sharmila’s party announcement on april 9 YS Sharmila, sister of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, is likely to make an announcement on her new political party at a public meeting in Khammam of Telangana on April 9 | P4 Naidu detained at Tirupati airport, stages sit-in E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Peddireddy slams TDP chief for creating scene at airport Opposition Leader and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday staged a protest in the Tirupati airport lounge for nearly 10 hours after he was denied permission to visit Tirupati and Chittoor where his party was scheduled to hold demonstrations. The TDP planned protests in Tirupati and Chittoor against the alleged excesses of ruling YSRC leaders against the party candidates in municipal elections. Chittoor and Tirupati Urban Police denied permission for the TDP protests. TDP chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu stages a sit-in to protest against his detention in Tirupati airport on Monday | EXPRESS Panchayat Raj Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy flayed Naidu for trying to disturb law and order in the State only for the sake of showing the existence of TDP. “Naidu should have been aware that the MCC and Covid protocol are in place and creating a scene at the airport with malafide theatrics is only to divert people’s attention from TDP debacle in panchayat polls,’’ he alleged. High drama took place in the airport with the police preventing Naidu from leaving the airport stating that permission was de- nied to the TDP protests in Chittoor district. Naidu arrived at Tirupati airport from Hyderabad around 9.30 @ Tirupati/Vijayawada am. As he started walking out of the airport, Tirupati Urban Police served a notice on him stating that no permission was given to TDP protests. “It came to our notice that you are visiting Tirupati and Chittoor. We have already served a notice detailing the possible repercussions of your visit. The ongoing election process will be affected with your visit and we are also not informed whether you have taken permission from the State Election Commission to stage the protest,” the notice read and further stated that 30 Police Act and Model Code of Conduct (MCC) are in P4 force in the State. express read Goods carrier stolen Southern Zonal Council meet postponed New TV offered for `500 to buy diesel Vijayawada: The 29th Southern Zonal Council meet, scheduled to be held in Tirupati on March 4, has been postponed. The meeting was scheduled to be chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The Zonal Council meetings are held for better coordination between the States and to resolve inter-state disputes. The AP government had decided to raise 26 subjects in the zonal council meeting. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Two miscreants sped away with a mini-truck containing electronic goods worth `9 lakh from LG showroom at Enikepadu in the city, which were to be delivered to a dealer in Bhimavaram of West Godavari district. When the mini-truck ran out of fuel on the Hyderabad national highway the duo did not have mon, of the group was to exfiltrate IP addresses and gain a competitive advantage over Indian pharmaceutical firms. The NYT report also claims that Indian authorities were alerted about the increase in deployment of malware and given technical details. Responding to the report, the Power Ministry on Monday ey to buy diesel. Hence, they put the electronic goods for sale. They offered brand new TV at a throwaway price of `500. Some passersby grew suspicious and informed the matter to Chillakallu police who swung into action. On seeing the police, the duo fled leaving the vehicle. Chillakallu SI Srinivasa Rao said the two accused, who are still at large, migrated to Vijayawada from P4 Uttar Pradesh long ago. said an email was received from CERT-In on November 19, 2020, on the threat of malware called Shadow Pad at some control centres of POSOCO. Accordingly, action was taken to address the threats. “NCIIPC informed through mail on February 12 about a state-sponsored Chinese hacker group Red Echo targeting Indian Power sector’s Regional Load Dispatch Centres along with State Load Dispatch Centres,” the ministry said, adding that all systems in control centres were scanned and cleaned P7 by an anti-virus tool. higher than expected spectrum bids on Day-1 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Day one of India’s first spectrum auction in five years saw substantially higher competition than expected, with the government receiving bids worth `77,146 crore. Analysts had expected the auctions to fetch only around `45,00050,000 crore. However, while all three major telcos — Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea — participated in the bidding, the premium 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands remained entirely No takers then and now without suitors. The 700 MHz band had remained unThe 700 MHz band touched during the last auctions also had remained held in 2016, with the industry finding untouched also the pricing rather expensive. The govduring the last ernment consequently brought the reauctions held in serve price down to `6,568 crore per 2016, with the MHz for this round from `11,485 crore in industry finding 2016, but industry sources say telcos the pricing rather consider the new prices inflated, too. expensive And since one-third of the 2308.80 megahertz of airwaves being auctioned this round are in the 700 MHz band, the higher-than-expected bids received for the other bands still only account for a fraction of the `3.92 lakh crore worth assets on offer. The Ministry of Communications said, “There have been bids for 849.20 MHz so far. Excluding spectrum in 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands, this is almost 60% of the spectrum put to auction,” Telecom ministry said, adding that the bidding will continue on Tuesday .
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