BHUBANESWAR l wednesday l march 03, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l LATE CITY EDITION ‘indo-pak express’ to come together at acapulco Despite tension between India and Pakistan, Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Rohan Bopanna join hands for first time since 2014 Only one event to start with The pair, nicknamed ‘Indo-Pak Express’, will be teaming up at the ATP 500 meet in Mexico, slated to be held from March 15-21. “For the time being, we will only be playing in Acapulco,” Aisam said. “Let’s see how it goes.” With invaluable ranking points up for grabs, it’s a big meet for P13 Bopanna, who is yet to win a match this year (three losses) ■ FIVE ‘stop war, start tennis’ ■ They were praised after they wore T-shirts that had the above slogan in order to promote peace between the two countries. They won the 'Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of The Year' award The pair decided to come together as a team after spending time together in Melbourne in February during the Australian Open The pair has previously won five titles on the atp tour 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 Debt crisis staring India in the face, warns former PM Could affect small and medium scale sectors; says temporary steps can’t paper over issue be revived provided schemes for the poor and the downtrodden FORMER prime minister Man- are implemented,” he opined. mohan Singh on Tuesday Regarding Kerala, he said warned of a looming debt crisis, even though its social standards saying temporary steps taken by are high, due diligence should the Centre and the Reserve Bank be given to certain other sectors of India cannot paper over the that require periodic review. he credit problems staring the pointed out that the state is faccountry in the face. ing several hurdles that have to Blaming the BJP be overcome at a time government’s ‘ill-conwhen the global ecoceived’ demonetisation nomic slowdown over for the country’s high the last two to three unemployment rate, years has skyrocketed Manmohan Singh due to the pandemic. warned that the crisis “The proliferation of could adversely affect digital use would give the small and medium an impetus to informasectors of the industion technology, but it try. He was speaking will still hamper the after inaugurating a prospects of the tourdevelopment summit, ism sector. The more organised virtually by the pandemic is creatUnemployment is the Rajiv Gandhi Instiing havoc, the chalhigh and the tute of Development informal sector is in lenges faced in the shambles, a crisis Studies at Neyyar tourism sector are Dam in Thiruvanan- precipitated by the more. The public fundill-considered thapuram on ing is in a shambles in demonetisation Tuesday . Ke r a l a a n d o t h e r “Due to the ill-constates, which has led Manmohan Singh ceived demonetisation them to seek loans. in 2016, unemployThis will create furment skyrocketed and the unor- ther issues in future budgets,” ganised sector landed in a sham- added Singh. bles. If India’s political and Expressing happiness at the economic philosophy stood for a UDF’s “people’s manifesto”, foundation as envisaged in the which has promised the NYAY country’s Constitution, having a scheme that aims to provide federal set-up and communica- `6,000 per month to the poor tion between the states, the in- households, Singh hoped it cumbent Union government is would usher in revolutionary against this. The economy can changes in the society . E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram poll brew VSSUT students not More Jammu-like G23 meets lined Covid +ve , antigen up, Congress wary of taking action kits faulty: Govt Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tries her hand at plucking tea leaves at the Sadhuru tea garden in Biswanath, Assam, on Tuesday | twitter R i c h a S h a r m a @ New Delhi The group of 23 (G23) dissenters in the Congress is planning to raise their pitch against the high command by organising a series of meetings in other states on the lines of the one they held in Jammu recently . With four states and a Union Territory set to face Assembly elections soon, the party leadership is treading cautiously even as the G23 seeks to fan out in Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh in the coming weeks. “These meetings will be held before the party’s presidential election, which is scheduled by May-end. Anand Sharma has been asked to arrange one meeting in Himachal Pradesh, Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Ku- rukshetra and Manish Tewari in Ropar or Anandpur Sahib,” said sources, adding that Hooda’s event may spell trouble for the party as he enjoys mass support in Haryana. The party leadership is wary of taking any precipitate action against the rebels ahead of the crucial election. “The build up by these leaders will fizzle out soon. Taking any disciplinary action at this moment (ahead of Assembly elections) will send a wrong signal to people and draw unnecessary attention. If the party does well in the Assembly election under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, it will automatically subdue the momentum these leaders are trying to build up be- fore the presidential election,” said a party leader. At the Jammu meeting, the dissenters had said that the Congress was getting weaker and they were working to strengthen it. The party has refrained from making any harsh comments and instead urged them to work for strengthening the Congress ahead of the Assembly elections. As it is, the G23 has already weakened as some members are unhappy over a few of them articulating their misgivings in public. Ghulam Nabi Azad’s praise of Modi and Anand Sharma’s critique of the Left-Congress alliance in Bengal coopting the new Indian Secular Front floated by Abbas Siddique are the latest flash points. `7.9 crore counterfeit currency notes seized in Koraput E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Jeypore/Bhubaneswar IN one of the biggest hauls, Koraput Police seized counterfeit currency notes worth about ` 7.9 crore at the state border in Sunki under Pottangi police limits and arrested three persons who were carrying the consignment in a car on Monday night. The counterfeit notes, packed in four trolley bags, were being moved from Raipur to Visakhapatnam when a police patrol intercepted the Ford Figo car and carried out a thorough search. All the currency notes express read Landslide win for BJP in Gujarat civic body polls Ahmedabad: The BJP won all 31 district panchayats, 70 out of 81 municipalities and was far ahead of main rival Congress in 231 taluka panchayats as counting for the second phase of local body polls in Gujarat was underway on Tuesday. Shortly after the results, Congress state unit chief Amit Chavda resigned from his post. The success follows the BJP’s clean sweep in six municipal corporations last month Tandav row: Amazon Prime issues apology New Delhi: Amazon Prime Video on Tuesday said it respects its viewers ‘diverse beliefs’ and apologises unconditionally to anyone who felt hurt by scenes in Tandav, a webseries that landed in trouble over allegations of depicting Hindu gods in an objectionable manner. Tandav premiered on January 15. In a statement, the streamer said it ‘deeply regrets’ the fact that viewers considered certain scenes to be objectionable. were in ` 500 denomination and packed in about 1,580 bundles, Koraput SP Varun Guntupalli told mediapersons. The three included an engineer. All of them belong to Janjgir Champa district of Chhattisgarh. This is the largest Molestation victim’s father shot dead in U.P. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Lucknow The henchmen of an alleged molester who is out on bail since 2018 in UP’s lawless Hathras, shot dead the victim’s father in his potato farm as he refused to withdraw the case, triggering outrage across the nation. A day later, the police on Tuesday arrested two of the four assailants. They were booked under the stringent National Security Act. A c c o rd i n g t o s o u rc e s, Amrish Sharma, a resident of Nauzarpur in Hathras, had registered a complaint against Gaurav Sharma in July 2018 for allegedly molesting his daughter. Gaurav was arrested but got bail in a month. Ever since, he had been pressing Sharma to withdraw the case. The flare up on Monday began with the wife and the aunt of Gaurav getting into a heat- ed argument with the daughters of Amrish, including the victim, at the village temple, said Hathras Superintendent of Police (SP) Vineet Jaiswal. “The accused and Amrish, too, arrived at the spot and the dispute got out of control. They were trying to coerce Amrish into withdrawing the case,” the SP said. Hours later, Amrish was at his potato field when Gaurav and his three accomplices gunned him down in front of his wife and daughter. Amrish sustained injuries to his head, chest and abdomen, and died on the spot. The SP said special teams were on the lookout for the other two suspects. Gaurav is associated with the Samajwadi Party and was planning to organise a Kisan Mahapanchayat in Tappal, in which the party chief Akhilesh Yadav is slated to participate on Wednesday . volume of counterfeit currency seizure in the recent times. Sources informed that the notes were printed by the engineer who was identified as Ravindra Manhar. He worked for a private power company. The printing machine, police sources said, was destroyed by him to eliminate evidence. Preliminary investigation suggested that the consignment was being sent from Raipur to Visakhapatnam where a courier from Kolkata was to pick it up. The mastermind, however, is believed to be from Raipur while the fake money was to change places and hands. Given the absence of security features, police said, the notes were planned to be released into the market in a phased manner. A police team will head to Raipur to probe the source because Manhar may have acted as the printer and vendor. He along with his two associates would be brought on remand for further interrogation. The Koraput SP said, a team of police officers including sub inspector SK Swain, assistant SI MS Nayak along with others were intercepting vehicles suspecting ganja transportation when the three landed in their net. Jio pockets most airwaves; govt to get `20K cr this fiscal India’s first spectrum auctions in five years ended on Tuesday with the government selling `77,815 crore worth of airwaves and Reliance Jio walking away with the lion’s share of winning bids worth `57,122 crore. The expensive 700 MHz and 2,500 MHz band did not attract any buyers 20 Per cent of spectrum put up for auction sold Assets on offer Quantum: 2,308.8 MHz Reserve Price `3.92 lakh crore Spectrum sold Quantum: 855.6 MHz Total bids `77,815 crore E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Two days after 25 students of Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT) at Burla tested Covid-19 positive leading to closure of the university and postponement of examinations along with declaration of containment zones in the institution and its vicinity, the test kits have been found faulty . The State government on Tuesday stated that the rapid antigen test (RAT) kits used for the students were faulty as the confirmatory RT-PCR tests turned out to be negative. Expressing concern over the development, Additional Chief Secretary of Health department PK Mohapatra said, the Odisha State Medical Corporation Limited (OSMCL) has been asked to withdraw the kits immediately and take action against the vendors. The OSMCL has served notices and asked New Delhi-based Oscar MediThe OSMCL has care Pvt Ltd and Haryana-based Alserved notices and pine Biomedicals Pvt Ltd to show asked New Delhi- cause within three days as to why acbased Oscar tion will not be taken against them for Medicare Pvt Ltd supplying defective/substandard kits. and HaryanaThe kits showing false positive were based Alpine Biomedicals Pvt procured from the two firms. The development assumes signifiLtd to show cause within three days cance as Odisha is heavily dependant on antigen tests for Covid-19. Of the 83 PK Mohapatra, lakh tests conducted so far in the Addl Chief Secretary State, around 80 pc are through RAT. The Health department said the Covid scare started after one student presented at the VIMSAR, Burla, seeking treatment for a fractured leg. As per protocol, he was screened through RAT and found to be positive. Subsequently the swab samples of those who had come , in contact with him were tested through the same batch of kits and they too were found to be positive. While 15 asymptomatic students were isolated in a separate hostel building, the rest of the students were sent to their homes. The VSSUT decided to hold classes online after detection of a number of Covid cases from one hostel. “None of the students had any symptoms. Suspecting a spurt in cases, the VIMSAR authorities conducted RTPCR tests of the samples and the results turned out to be negative following which the hospital was asked to check the antigen kits, which were found to be faulty Further . P4 investigation is on,” Mohapatra said. C o m pa n y - w i s e b r e a k u p Reliance Jio Bharti Airtel Vodafone Idea Quantum 488.35 MHz Total amount Quantum 355.45 MHz Total amount Quantum 11.8 MHz Total amount `57,122.65 cr `18,698.75 cr `1,993.4 cr `19,000-20,000 cr to be received by the government from spectrum auctions during the current fiscal year, with the rest to be paid later Javadekar tells officials to control fire in Similipal E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Union Forest Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday directed officials concerned to take immediate steps to control the wildfire in Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) in Mayurbhanj district. Responding to a tweet by Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on the issue, Javadekar said he has sought a report on the forest fire from the authorities concerned. Terming the forest fire at Similipal as alarming, Pradhan had sought intervention of Javadekar and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. This year, the early onset of summer has aggravated the forest fire situation and going by official sources, the incidence is higher than the previous years. Between February 27 and March 1, Odisha has re- ported 195 large fire incidents, says a Forest Survey of India report. In the last seven days, the State has recorded over 7,300 forest fire, highest in the country, says the report. Meanwhile, the Forest department has intensified its wildfire mitigation measures. As many as 21 squads led by deputy rangers have been formed for each range across five divisions - North and South STR (Wildlife) besides Baripada, Rairangpur and Karanjia (Territorial) - to deal with the situation. According to Deputy Director STR Jagyandatta Pati, while some forest fires in the reserve are accidental, most are man-made. Locals set trees on fire for Mahua collection leading to the situation. Village-level meetings are being conducted to spread awareness among tribals to refrain from such practices.
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