bhubaneswar l tuesday l march 02, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l jeypore 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 petrol, diesel price stable for 2nd day 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 ■ ■ 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 `3,663 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 Modi dispels vax hesitancy, pain point is enrolling Software glitches make registration difficult, govt asks people to use CoWIN website instead of the app Happy to share that I took my first dose of Covid-19 vaccine today. Appeal to all eligible people to come forward and get vaccinated for a Covid-free Odisha Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister 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 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 Union 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 gover nment 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 . Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik being administered the Covid-19 vaccine at Assembly dispensary in Bhubaneswar on Monday Naveen leads the way, urges people to get vaccinated E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar CHIEF Minister Naveen Patnaik got the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine administered as the vaccination drive for the senior citizens and people aged 45 plus with comorbidities commenced across the State on Monday . As many as 11,289 people aged 60 years and above along with 300 persons with comorbidities were administered the vaccine on the first day of the drive that extended to the general population. Around 10,325 healthcare workers (HCWs) and frontline workers (FLWs) also got inoculated as part of the ongoing exercise for them. Naveen received a Covaxin shot at the Assembly dispensary “Happy to . share that I took my first dose of #COVID19 vaccine today Grateful to . our scientists, health workers for their race against time to deliver the vaccines to people. Appeal to all eligible people to come forward and get vaccinated for a #CovidFreeOdisha,” he tweeted. Assembly Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro, Deputy Speaker Rajanikant Singh and BJD MLAs Bhupinder Singh and Jitu Mitra also took the first dose. A team of health workers from Capital Hospital administered the vaccine. “I am lucky to be part of the team selected for inoculation of the CM and other senior leaders,” said staff nurse Smaranika Ranasingh, who administered the shot. Of the 201 active sites, the vaccination for senior citizens and comorbid people was conducted at 153 centres, including 21 private hospitals. Meanwhile, the State government has directed all districts to go for offline registration of senior citizens and people with comorbidities following technical glitches in the CoWIN portal. Additional Chief Secretary of Health department PK Mohapatra asked all Collectors, Municipal Commissioners and CDMOs to ensure registration of the age appropriate group of citizens on-site to prevent inconvenience and upload data once the CoWIN portal functions normally . The government has decided to add more private hospitals having cold chain facilities. Odisha has around 75 lakh senior citizens and people with comorbidities. Hot days ahead, so are cool nights, says IMD E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar sarkozy convicted of graft, jailed The 66-year-old, who was president of France from 2007 to 2012, was convicted of trying to bribe a magistrate for details about a case in which he was implicated | P11 THE summer of 2021 may well be harsher than the previous years, going by the Met office’s outlook for the ensuing three months. The days will be hotter but the nights could be calmer. While temperature shot up to 40 degree Celsius in February it is expected to go , above the normal in March, April and May There are 70 to 100 . percent (pc) chances of the State witnessing 0.66 degree above normal maximum temperature in these three months, said the seasonal outlook of India Meteorologi- cal Department (IMD) based on the predictions of the Monsoon Mission Coupled Forecasting System (MMCFS). Chhattisgarh and Odisha, in particular, will bear the brunt of the above-normal heat. Similarly , north, north-west and northeast region, over few subdivisions of western parts will also face the hot conditions, said the IMD. However, the brighter side could be that the nights which may be cooler than normal. “Most subdivisions of east and adjoining central India including Odisha and few sub-divisions of extreme northern parts in the country are likely to experience below normal mini- mum temperature between March and May DGM IMD Dr Mrutyun,” jay Mohapatra told TNIE. In last 24 hours, maximum day temperature was markedly above normal at many places in north interior districts and at a few places in coastal districts. It was appreciably above normal in south interior districts. The maximum temperature was also above normal at a few places in south Odisha during the period. Baripada and Talcher were the hottest on Monday and recorded 39.8 degree Celsius each, followed by Angul 39.7 degree. Twin City of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar recorded 38 and 39 degree respectively on the day . CONTINUED ON: P7 anticipatory bail plea Shocker as SC asks alleged rapist if he’ll marry victim E x p r e s s Ne 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 201415. He was allegedly 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 Reneged on agreement to marry the victim When her family found out about the relationship, the accused’s mother offered to get the two married once she turned 18. The families also signed an agreement. However, when the girl turned 18, the accused refused to marry her 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 star ted following her home from school and then one day he forcibly entered her house and raped her. In her complaint, the girl also alleged that he threatened to throw acid on her and kill her brother if she did not consent to a sexual relationship with him. Hackers attacked power grid to coerce India at LAC? Pushkar Banakar and Sudhir S u r ya w a n s h i @ New Delhi/Mumbai 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 lead, ing to doubts over the cause of the October 12 grid failure in Mumbai. Recorded Future, a Massachusettsbased company found a spike in mal, ware 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 — Serum 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 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 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 by an anti-virus CONTINUED ON: P7 tool. Spectrum bids beat expectations E x p r e s s Ne 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 `45,000-50,000 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 without suitors. The 700 MHz band had remained untouched during the last auctions also held in 2016, with the industry finding the pricing rather expensive. The government consequently brought the reserve price down to `6,568 crore per MHz for this round from `11,485 crore in 2016, but industry sources say telcos consider the new prices inflated, too. 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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