BHUBANESWAR l Saturday l june 19, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l JEYPORE EDITION big Quarantine headache for india at the Olympics A new Games organisers’ manual says everyone from India, including players, must maintain physical distancing for 3 days Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto (right) and CEO Toshiro Muto attend a press conference on Friday | AFP | P11 daily Covid tests 7 days before departure Going by the new rules, athletes from India will be asked to undergo a Covid test for seven consecutive days before leaving for Tokyo. Upon reaching Japan, there is a ban on interacting with athletes from other countries, including training with them. This could scupper both hockey sides’ plans as they have lined up multiple practice matches. ■ July 23 11 countries divided into two groups ■ ■ Group 1: Afghanistan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; Group 2: Bangladesh, Egypt, Malaysia, UK and Vietnam Rules are stricter for Group 1 countries. Countries in Group 2 need to test three days before leaving for Tokyo Everyone will have to follow this irrespective of vaccine status the day Olympics will open. Closing ceremony: August 8 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 Twitter gets an earful, told to respect law of the land Slash oil tax, says worried committee advising PM Representatives shouted at for claiming the social media site follows its own policy, during deposition before a parliamentary committee E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Representatives of microblogging site Twitter on Friday got a mouthful from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology for claiming they function on the basis of their own policy They . were told to abide by the laws of the land instead. Carrying forward the Centre’s ongoing confrontation with Twitter, BJP MPs shouted at its representatives, saying the “rule of land is supreme, not your policy .” Twitter was represented by Shagufta Kamran, public policy manager, and Ayushi Kapoor, legal counsel in its deposition before the panel. They landed in hot water while responding to searching questions on whether Twitter follows the rules of the countries it operates in. BJP members Rajyavardhan Rathore and Nishikant Dubey sought to put the representatives of Twitter on the mat, with sources saying they were extra aggressive in their grilling. “The chairman of the panel, Shashi Tharoor, merely watched as the two BJP MPs shouted at the duo, who mostly maintained silence or replied briefly,” sources said. Opposition MPs, too, questioned the “brazenness of the representatives for saying they have their own policy”, sources said. Responding to questions on its failure to make appointments in line with the Information and Technology Act’s rules, the duo reiterated it Appointment of fact-checkers BJP members sharply questioned Twitter’s representatives on the policy for appointing fact-checkers, alleging they were not politically neutral. Members of the committee later held a meeting with information and technology ministry officials Class X base for Plus II scores, results by August second week E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar THE results of annual Plus II (or higher secondary) examinations, which were cancelled by the Odisha government in view of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, will be announced by the Council of Higher Secondary Education (CHSE) by August second week. Announcing this on Friday, School and Mass Education Minister (SME) Samir Ranjan Dash said a 14-member expert committee formed by CHSE has finalised a “well-defined objective criteria” for alternative assessment of the examinees. Accordingly, scores will be awarded to the regular examinees in theory papers on the basis of their performance in the Class X Board examination. A detailed subject mapping has been prepared for the purpose. On the other hand, scores in theory papers for ex-regular examinees will be awarded on the basis of their performance in the previous CHSE examination in which they had appeared. Scores will be awarded in the practical/project component of a paper both for reg- ular and ex-regular examinees at their higher secondary (HS) school level. The scores awarded at the HS level will be scrutinised and moderated. If not satisfied with results, an examinee can opt to appear the examination in the offline mode which will be conducted when the situation tur ns normal. Dash said as per the alternative assessment in case of theory papers for regular Plus II students, marks will be evaluated on the basis of highest marks scored in one or two Class X subjects. “For example, average of best two scores of maths, science and social science of Class X will be awarded in the elective paper of Plus II”, he said, adding that average of best of three MIL papers in Class X will be awarded as the Plus II MIL paper score. Similar will be the evaluation for scores in optional language papers. The CHSE announcement comes a day after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) presented its proposed marking scheme for evaluation of Class 12 students after their board exams were cancelled on June 1. CONTINUED ON: P5 national commodity prices, especially of crude, together with Amid growing disquiet over logistics costs, pose upside risks high fuel prices, the Prime Min- to the inflation outlook. Excise ister’s Economic Advisory Coun- duties, cess and taxes imposed cil (PMEAC) has suggested to the by the Centre and States need to government to take a political be adjusted in a coordinated call on taxing oil, warning it manner to contain input cost could otherwise build inpressures emanating from flationary pressure, and petrol and diesel prices,” its spill-over impact the minutes said. would dampen consum“Timely supply side poler sentiment and dampicy measures with regard en recovery . to petrol and diesel, edible “Petrol and diesel oil and pulses, among othprice cannot be used as ers, would be critical to Further cash cow forever. Some bring about a durable sofjump political intervention tening of price presPetrol and is required as it will fisures,” the RBI added. diesel prices nally dampen the conHigh fuel price and food were on Friday sumer spending and cost pushed up retail inincreased again will delay the recovery . flation, measured by the by 27 paise and A delay in intervention consumer price index 28 paise, will prolong the recov(CPI), to 6.3% in May, raising their ery process. Focus overshooting the RBI cost in Mumbai needs to be to promote highest band of 6%. to `103.08 and growth of industry and Even the wholesale `95.14 per litre jobs,” a senior member price inflation has of the PMEAC told this reached 12.94, highest newspaper. The member added since 2013, pushed mainly by that recovery will be fragmented fuel and power inflation, which if private consumption is not was up by 37.6% in May Experts . stepped up. claim this will make things difSimilar concerns were raised ficult for the RBI. Petrol and dierecently by the Reserve Bank of sel prices are at all-time highs India, as gleaned from the min- though crude oil fell nearly 2% utes of its monetary policy meet. from its highest level this year “The rising trajectory of inter- on June 17 to $72.23. A n u r a d h a S h u k l a @ New Delhi was because of the pandemic’s constrinits. They refrained from committing themselves to any specific timeline to abide by the new IT rules, despite being prodded by the panel to do so, sources said. “India isn’t a banana republic,” retorted an MP, as Twitter’s representatives remained evasive to most queries, sources added. The MPs also sought information about the employment status of the duo. The panel will be calling representatives of other social media platforms later, sources added. Later, Twitter issued a statement saying: “We appreciate the opportunity to share our views... Twitter stands prepared to work with the committee on the important work of safeguarding citizens’ rights online in line with our principles of transparency, freedom of expression, and privacy. We will continue working alongside the government as part of our shared commitment to serve and protect the public conversation.” Govt offices in Capital to resume functioning with vaccinated staff E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Bhubaneswar Working on plans to resume full-fledged functioning of offices from July 1, the State government on Friday asked nodal officers of all the departments to ensure full vaccination of employees in the Capital city . In a letter to all heads of departments, Additional Chief Secretary in the General Administration department Sanjeev Chopra said that the objective of the exercise is to ensure that a safe working environment is provided to the employees for discharge of official responsibilities. Chopra directed that all employees of departments, subordinate offices and offices of public sector undertakings (PSUs) at Bhubaneswar should be fully inoculated and attend office regularly from July 1. If any employee has been unable to get vaccinated for medical or some other compelling reason, he/she must apply for exemption to the head of the department/organisation. He said that employees who are neither vaccinated nor exempted would not be permitted to attend office from July 1 and their absence will be treated as wilful. A special drive for vaccination of government employees in Bhubaneswar was undertaken from June 10 to June 20. First dose of vaccine was administered to about 6,000 employees. Second phase of the vaccination drive is in progress from June 17 for complete inoculation of the employees. In view of the sudden surge of Covid-19 infections in Odisha, the State government had directed all departments and subordinate offices in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to function at 50 per cent strength from April 19. However, the essential offices/services such as office of Special Relief Commissioner and OSDMA, police, fire services, health services, municipal services functioned in full strength. Bail order stays, but can’t be precedent: SC Kan u Sa r d a @ New Delhi The Supreme Court on Friday observed that the Delhi High Court’s order granting bail to three activists, arrested in connection with last year’s riots in the national capital, was based on a watered-down reading of the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and said it will not set a precedent. The top court agreed to examine the HC’s order saying the issue of reading down of UAPA is important and can have “pan-India ramifications”. The court, however, did not stay the bail order. A bench headed by Justice Hemant Gupta issued notices to three activists—Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita and Jamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha—on an appeal filed by the Delhi Police against the high court’s bail order. Appearing for the Delhi Police, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the high court’s order should not be used as a basis by other co-accused in the case to seek bail. He said the HC had turned the UAPA on its head. “It virtually pronounced the acquittal of the accused in a bail order, and the observations regard- ing the application of UAPA have a far-reaching effect on other cases,” he said. He submitted that going by the HC’s interpretation of the UAPA, a terrorist accused of murder cannot be tried under the Act. “The court has said that since the riots eventually were c o n t r o l l e d , UA PA should not have been invoked. This means if a probe agency diffuses a bomb planted somewhere, then as per this judgment, anti-terror law shall not apply,” Mehta contended. He further said, “The right to protest did not include the right to kill”. ‘Judgment surprising’ The Supreme Court expressed surprise that the high court came up with a 100page judgment touching on the constitutionality of the UAPA. “It was a bail order and for the High Court to write 100 pages on it and to discuss the laws is surprising,” the apex court said express read NATIONWIDE june 17 june 18 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Jab-o-meter 67,208 1,03,570 2,330 Take your shot 62,480 88,977 1,587 June 17 29,64,596 doses June 18 29,84,172 doses Total doses: 27,20,72,645 odisha Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 17 june 18 3,631 6,240 39 3,806 6,252 37 Covid cases rise amid talks of third wave Bhubaneswar: Amid talks of an impending third wave, Odisha has been witnessing a slight surge in new Covid-19 cases for the last four days. The fresh cases have gone up from 3,405 on June 14 to 3,806 in last 24 hours. The number of infections that had steadily declined from 8,839 on June 2 to 4,339 on June 13 saw a sharp fall next day as the case count dropped by 21.5 per cent (pc) in a day | P2
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