vijayawada l thursday l april 15, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l late city EDITION British PM Boris Johnson to cut short India visit British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reduced the length of his trip to India later this month because of the Covid situation in the country Defence, security pacts likely to be inked 1st major visit by u.k. p.m. After brexit “The PM has made the decision to reduce the length of the visit,” Johnson’s spokesman told reporters on Wednesday. The highlight of the trip will be high-level discussions with the Indian government and business leaders, he said, adding that bulk of the programme would now take place on April 26. Some defence and security pacts are likely to be finalised during the visit ■ ■ Johnson was expected to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade this year. However, the visit was called off as the UK went through one of its worst pandemic phases This will be the UK prime minister’s first major foreign visit after Britain’s exit from the European Union `5.31 lakh cr market value of the u.k.’s fdi in India as of March 2020, according to rbi data 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 Covid cancels CBSE X boards, XII call in June Giving access to professional education is govt’s duty: SC Express News Service @ New Delhi Decision taken at meeting chaired by Modi; exams were scheduled to begin on May 4 Express News service @ New Delhi In view of the soaring Covid-19 cases across the country, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Wednesday cancelled Class 10 exams and postponed Class 12 exams. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended by Union education minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank and other senior officials on Wednesday . The examinations were scheduled to begin on May 4 but students, parents and many state governments were demanding the tests be deferred in view of the raging pandemic. “The results of Class Xth Board will be prepared on the basis of an objective criterion to be developed by the Board,” education ministry said in a statement shortly after the meeting was over. “Any candidate who is not satisfied with the marks allocated to him or her on this basis will be given an opportunity to sit in an exam as and when the conditions are conducive to hold the exams.” As for the Class 12 exams, the government will review the situation on June 1 to decide fresh dates and make an announcement at least 15 days before the start of the exam. The decision comes after around two lakh students signed petitions urging the gov- ernment to either cancel the board exams scheduled to be held in May or conduct them in online mode. The hashtag “cancelboardexams” was trending on Twitter for a week. Officials, however, have made it clear that given the nature of the tests, it may not be possible to hold the class XII examination in online mode and it will be more practical to organise it when the Covid situation is under control. Many state governments had also supported students’ demand to cancel the exams. On Tuesday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the Centre to reconsider the exam schedule. A few days ago, Maharashtra had made a similar demand. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, too, had appealed to minister Nishank to intervene and direct the CBSE to reconsider its decision to go ahead with the board examinations in May despite the “massive and uncontrolled” rise in Covid-19 cases. In her letter to the education minister, Priyanka said lakhs of students and their parents have expressed “fears and apprehensions” about assembling at examination centres amid a pandemic. Last year, the board exams had to be postponed mid-way in March. They were later cancelled and results announced on the basis of an alternative assessment scheme. (Above) Ambulances carrying bodies of people who died of Covid-19 parked outside the Jahagirpura Crematorium for their last rites in Surat, Gujarat, on Wednesday; (right) A police personnel on a Segway near the Gateway of India area, before the start of the 15-day janta curfew at Colaba in Mumbai on Wednesday | PTI Hospitals struggle, oxygen a pain point E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Mumbai/Bhopal/Lucknow/Raipur Images of a long, snaking queue of ambulances with Covid-19 patients waiting for admission at the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad and another long line of vehicles with Covid fatalities outside the Jahagirpura Crematorium in Surat captured the grim overall situation in Gujarat on Wednesday . While the state government sought to explain away the recurring ambulence queue outside the hospital over the past week, attributing it to following the pandemic protocol, the fact Gujarat reported 6,690 fresh cases and 67 fatalities in a day showed the disease burden it is grappling with. Surat is now the Covid epicentre in Gujarat. While the state health department claimed 22 fatalities in Surat on Wednesday local offi, SSC, Inter exams as per schedule: Suresh E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada EXPRESS READ Gold, diamonds worth `1.04 cr seized in Kurnool Kurnool: Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) sleuths seized gold and diamonds worth `1.04 crore from two persons travelling in a private travels bus at Panchalingala check post on National Highway-44 in the early hours of Wednesday. Yaswanth Soni of Secunderabad, and Nikhil Raj Kumar Gonde of Nanded were carrying jewellery to Madurai from Hyderabad without valid documents, CI N Lakshmi Durgaiah said I P5 will arrive by Thursday. Remdesivir is administered to severely ill patients, but its efficacy is uncertain. A state helicopter has been placed on standby to fly injections to all needy districts, Chouhan said, while admitting that the supply of oxygen is a big challenge. He has sought Railway minister Piyush Goyal’s to help to transport oxygen from Bhilai and Rourkela. As for Uttar Pradesh’s graph, it kept climbing with 17,963 fresh cases, including that of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Four districts — Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi and Kanpur City — accounted for over 45% of all new cases. Chhattisgarh was third on the national table with 15,121 new infections in a day and a case positivity rate of a whopping 28.6% NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 13 1,61,736 76,481 879 April 14 1,84,372 82,339 1,027 Gujarat: Ambulances queue up with Covid patients outside civil hospital in Ahmedabad, as state struggles to manage inflow Madhya Pradesh: Crematoriums and burial grounds in Bhopal find it tough to manage as Covid deaths mount. Space crunch adds to hassle Uttar Pradesh: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath tests positive; had taken first dose of Covaxin on April 5 Rajasthan: State education board suspends exams for classes 10 & 12 Delhi: Top coaches among 21 test +ve at women's natl boxing camp Uttarakhand: Lakhs ignore Covid worries to take holy dip at Har ki Pauri in Haridwar during the third Shahi Snan of the Kumbh Mela AP reports 18 fatalities, 4,157 Covid cases emerge from 35,732 samples Review meet on covid is being reviewed on a daily basis. We will take a call on conducting the exams if the spike Though the Centre has can- in Covid-19 cases continues in celled Class 10 of CBSE exams the coming days,’’ Suresh said, and postponed Class 12 exams adding that he will discuss the in view of the second wave of issue with Chief Minister YS Covid-19, the State government Jagan Mohan Reddy . is likely to conduct the The Chief Minister SSC and Intermediate is scheduled to hold a examinations as per brainstorming session schedule. on Covid in the State Education Minister o n T h u r s d ay a n d The State Audimulapu Suresh, government has Friday . who reviewed the Cov- no plan to cancel Stern action will be SSC and Inter id situation in educataken against the edutional institutions in exams as of now. cational institutions if the State after the Cen- We will take a call they fail to adhere to on conducting the tre’s decision to cancel exams if the spike Covid Appropriate BeClass 10 exams and in Covid-19 cases h av i o u r s t r i c t l y, postpone Class 12 exSuresh warned. continues in the ams of CBSE on The SSC exams in coming days Wednesday, said the the State are scheduled A Suresh, State government has to be held from June 7 Education Minister no plan to cancel the to 14. The exam results SSC and Inter exams will be declared on as of now. All precautionary July 5. The Board of Intermedimeasures are being taken in ate Education will conduct the schools and colleges to contain first year exams from May 5 to the spread of Covid-19. 22 and second year exams from “With a surge in Covid cases, May 6 to 23. All the schools in the sample collection in educa- the State are running half-day tional institutions has been from April 1 in view of the rise ramped up. The Covid situation in temperature. cials and sources said the actual number was higher. Maharashtra stayed on top of the national chart, registering 60,212 fresh positive cases and 281 deaths, which is why it began its fortnight long janta curfew at 8 pm. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked government officials to focus on setting up jumbo Covid-19 treatment centre, scale up oxygen production and break the chain of the virus to flatten the curve. Except for essential services, all activities will stay shut till May 1. Madhya Pradesh recorded 8,998 fresh cases in a day with 28 of its 52 districts logging in three-digit single-day spikes. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the Remdesivir situation was comfortable as 31,000 vials have already been procured, while 12,000 more The government has an affirmative obligation to facilitate access to professional education, the Supreme Court said. “While the right to pursue higher (professional) education has not been spelt out as a fundamental right in the Constitution... access to professional education is not a governmental largesse. Instead, the State has an affirmative obligation to facilitate access to education, at all levels,” a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said. The SC was hearing petitions by two students for directions to facilitate them to be admitted at Delhi’s Lady Hardinge Medical College and the Maulana Azad Medical College, respectively, as per the Centre’s policy on allocation of Ladakh Central Pool Seats in MBBS/BDS courses for 2020-21. The court directed that the petitioners be granted admission to the respective colleges and admission formalities be completed within a week. The SC also recommended the appointment of a nodal officer who will ensure that students who are duly nominated under the central pool seats are in fact admitted in their chosen course of study . “Financial hardship should not prevent students from getting admission in terms of the allocation which has been made in their favour legitimately under the central pool seats,” the bench remarked. IMD predicts heavy rain in next two days E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Mild showers in several parts of the State on Wednesday brought the mercury level down providing the much needed respite to people from the scorching heat. The maximum temperature recorded in major cities across the State was below 40 degree Celsius. A hailstorm lashed parts of Tadikonda Assembly constituency throwing traffic out of gear for at least an hour on Amaravati - Guntur road due to falling of trees. Gudivada and some other places in Krishna district too received heavy rain for a brief period. The Cyclone Warning Centre in Visakhapatnam predicted heavy rain in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema in P4 the next two days. Andhra Pradesh reported 18 fatalities in the 24 hours ending Wednesday 9 am, taking the Covid-19 toll to 7,339. It is the highest number of fatalities since October 30, 2020 as 17 deaths were reported in the State on that day . Though the State has been witnessing a sharp surge in new infections since March this year, the number of fatalities was low till now. Of the total 18 fatalities, Nellore reported four, Chittoor and Krishna three each, Visakhapatnam two, Anantapur, East Godavari, Guntur, Kurnool, Prakasam and Srikakulam districts one each. Barring Kadapa, Viziana- garam and West Godavari, fatalities were reported in all other districts. Chittoor recorded the highest number of 899 fatalities, followed by Krishna with 695. The Covid toll in Vizianagaram is the lowest at 238. Meanwhile, the State recorded more than 4,000 new infections for the second consecutive day While the daily count . was 4,228 on Tuesday 4,157 new , infections emerged from 35,732 samples tested on Wednesday. The Covid tally in the State breached the 9.37 lakh-mark. East Godavari reported the highest number of 617 new infections, followed by Srikakulam with 522. Apart from these two districts, Kurnool witnessed a sharp spike in Covid cases. It reported 386 Covid cases on Wednesday, compared to 88 on Tuesday Chittoor, Guntur . and Krishna, which are the hotspot districts for Covid-19, saw a slight decline in daily count. West Godavari was the only district where the daily count was less than 100. The Covid tally of East Godavari surged past 1.27 lakh. In all, 1,606 patients recovered from the virus, taking the total recoveries to 9.01 lakh in the State. Barring Vizianagaram and West Godavari, all other districts in the State have a caseload of more than 1,000. Chittoor has the highest number of 5,000-odd active cases, followed by Guntur with 3,400. West Godavari has the lowest caseload of 336. stateWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 13 April 14 4,228 1,483 10 4,157 1,606 18 9,37,049 Total cases 9,01,327 6.03% Positivity rate Total recoveries 28,383 Active cases 7,339 Covid toll 1,54,98,728 Total samples tested 2,90,907 Tests per million Rahul enters Bengal poll scene, attacks Didi & BJP E X p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kolkata DEBUTING his campaign in Bengal on Wednesday Congress , leader Rahul Gandhi tore into TMC and BJP Taking potshots . at TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, he claimed the Congress has never compromised on its ideology to gain power but the state’s ruling party has a history of joining hands with the saffron camp. “Has the Congress party ever compromised with the BJP? Has it ever allied with the BJP? No. But Mamataji has done so,” Rahul said, adding that for his party the fight with the BJP is , ideological, not just political. “Their (BJP’s) ideology murdered our biggest leader Gandhiji. We will die but not back down against this ideology But . for Mamataji, it is just a political battle,” said Gandhi, while addressing a rally at Goalpokhar in North Dinajpur. He urged the electorates to vote for the Congress-Left FrontIndian Secular Force alliance as neither the BJP nor the TMC can be trusted. Referring to the TMC’s previous alliance with the BJP, the former Congress president said Prime Minister Narendra Modi often talked about a Congressmukt Bharat but he never said TMC-mukt Bharat. “The TMC i s f i n e fo r t h e m (BJP),” he noted. “Their (BJP’s) battle is with the Congress’s ideology They . know Rahul Gandhi will never back down. I am not scared of them. In fact, they are scared of Rahul Gandhi. This is a fight for the future of Bengal. To save Bengal, you have to stop BJP’s advent.” Hitting out at Mamata’s governance, Rahul alleged that it is the only state where the poor people have to pay ‘cut money’ to get jobs. Taking a jibe at the Khela Hobe (Game On) slogan coined by Mamata, he said: “You are talking about a game on the street. I am talking about a game (students’ politics) in university and college campuses which you will not allow,’’ said Rahul. Accusing the BJP of trying to divide Bengal, he said the saffron party wants to implement the same practice that they followed in Assam and Tamil Nadu. ‘’I have come here not to give a political speech. I have come here to save Bengal’s future,’’ he said.
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.