bhubaneswar l monday l june 21, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l late CITY EDITION `4L relief to covid victims not doable, centre tells SC The govt’s affidavit expressed inability to offer the proposed ex gratia as it would exhaust the disaster relief funds of states P7 could affect pandemic response: Govt The Union home ministry was responding to a plea seeking minimum standards of relief to the relatives of Covid-19 victims. “Utilisation of scarce resources for giving ex-gratia, may have unfortunate consequences of affecting the pandemic response and health expenditure in other aspects and hence cause more damage than good,” the affidavit said ■ `1,313-cr ‘Don’t encroach on executive’s domain’ ■ The Centre said it is the authority that decides on such matters. This is not a matter where the Supreme Court should substitute its own judgment in place of the Executive’s decision, it argued The affidavit said the term ex gratia means it’s not based on legal entitlement. The matter will be heard by the SC on Monday given to states through national health mission for covid this year 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 ‘Ashirbad’ for children orphaned during Covid Children who have lost both parents will get `2,500 per month; those without an earning parent will get `1,500 per month E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar CHIEF Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday announced a new scheme ‘Ashirbad’ for all-round support, including financial aid, health and education, of children who have become orphans during the Covid-19 pandemic. Children who lost both their parents or an earning parent on April 1, 2020 or thereafter will be eligible to be covered under the scheme. Such children have been divided into three categories those who have lost both the parents, those who have lost either father or mother and those whose main earning member of family has died. The Chief Minister announced that `2,500 per month will be deposited in the bank accounts of family members who have taken responsibility of the children after t h e d e at h o f their parents. red flags Kumbh testing scam: Sleeping at the wheel V i neet U pa d h yay @ Dehradun There were clear red flags of Covid-19 testing irregularities in Haridwar during the Kumbh mela in April, but they don’t appear to have stirred the authorities into action, resulting in the testing scam being unearthed only last week. Official data analysed by this newspaper of testing and positivity rate during April 1-30, the duration of the Maha Kumbh 2021, showed that Haridwar conducted more tests than the rest of the state, but the number of positive cases detected was far less. During April 1-30, a total of 6,00,291 tests were conducted in Haridwar, of which only 17,375 positive cases were detected. During the same period, the rest of the 12 districts of the state conducted 4,42,432 tests and this showed 62,735 positive cases. In terms of percentage, almost 60% of all Covid tests in April was conducted in Haridwar, but they were able to detect alarmingly fewer positive cases than the rest of the state. The state’s positivity rate during April mirrors the new cases. An analysis of the official data showed Uttarakhand’s average positivity rate during the month was 14.18% while that of Haridwar district was 2.89%. That means Haridwar’s positivity rate during the Maha Kumbh was 80% less than the rest of state. The figures indicated two things: either fake testing was going on rampantly, or the numbers were covered up, deliberately or otherwise. But either way the authorities did not ap, pear to have smelt a rat. Haridwar district magistrate C Ravishankar attributed the low detection to rapid antigen tests. “Thousands of people were arriving daily and it was not possible to conduct RT-PCR test of everyone coming for the Continued on: P7 Kumbh.” State targets 3 lakh jabs daily from today E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Odisha government has decided to inoculate three lakh people every day from Monday . As per the strategy, at least five sessions will be conducted in each block and NAC, 10 sessions in each municipality and 20 in each municipal corporation. The State has more than 13.94 lakh doses of both Covaxin and Covishield vaccines in stock. As announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Centre will supply vaccines for all age appropriate people from Monday and the states will make arrangements for smooth inoculation of beneficiaries. The Health and Family Welfare department has asked district officials to plan for both online and on-site registration based on feasibility. The beneficiaries already due for the second dose will also be mobilised to ensure timely vaccination. While so far highest 2,71,480 doses have been administered on April 3 through 1,476 centres, more than two lakh beneficiaries got the jab every day between April 1 and 4 before the State faced shortage of vaccine due to inadequate supply The State . has a population of 3.09 crore people of 18 years and above for which nearly 6.18 crore doses are required. Presently the aver, age daily coverage is less than 1.5 lakh doses. CONTINUED ON: P5 The assistance will continue till the child attains 18 years of age or till such a date if somebody adopts him/her. If a child has lost one of his parents, `1,500 per month will be provided for his/her maintenance. The amount will be deposited in either his/her or surviving parent’s account. Besides, if the surviving parent is mother, she will also be entitled for Madhu Babu Pension. However, if the child does not stay with a relative and resides in any child care institution, a recurring deposit of `1,000 per month will be made till he/she 54 orphaned kids identified in State Minister of State for Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Ashok Chandra Panda said that by Saturday, 54 Covid orphans have been identified. Besides, as many as 967 children are left with a single parent. These figures are provisional as collectors have been asked to do a survey to identify such children. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi India on Sunday rebuffed concerns raised by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that the country’s new IT rules may hamper freedom of speech, saying such concerns were misplaced and the new rules were designed to empower ordinary users of social media. India’s Permanent Mission to the UN told the Special Procedures Branch of the UNHRC that the country’s democratic credentials are well recognised and the new rules were finalised after consultations with various stakeholders, according to a statement issued by the IT ministry . “The right to freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. The independent judiciary and a robust media are part of India’s democratic structure,” the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said in the statement. “The rules are designed to empower ordinary users of social media. The victims of abuse on Fresh CBM to draw J&K leaders to meet F aya z W a n i @ Srinagar A day after the Centre sought to rev up political activity in J&K by calling an all-party meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on June 24, authorities shifted detained PDP leader Waheed Para to Srinagar as a confidence building measure (CBM). Another senior PDP leader and Mehbooba Mufti’s maternal uncle SarDeal street taj Madni was released as a Mufti had ‘goodwill gesture’on Saturmade her day after nearly six months participation in of detention. The twin gesthe Delhi meet tures are expected to brightconditional to en the chances of Mufti atthe release of tending the meet. With the Opposition GupSartaj Madni and Waheed kar alliance deciding to hold Para. While its strategy session on TuesMadni was day, major J&K political released on players on Sunday went into Saturday, Para a huddle with their senior was shifted to party leaders to take a call on a Srinagar Jail participation. PDP’s Polition Sunday cal Affairs Committee was largely in favour of Mufti attending the Delhi meet, but party spokesman Suhail Bukhari said the final decision will be taken after Tuesday’s meeting. The Centre has invited 14 J&K leaders for the meet. While there is no ambiguity on the participation of 10, it remains to be seen whether Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar, Mufti — under detention in 2019 — and Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami would attend it. WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) Sports ministry requests, BCCI donates `10cr THE Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to donate `10 crore to the Sports Ministry to support the Indian contingent that will take part in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to start on July 23. Interestingly the major, ity of the funds will be used for promotional activities of the Olympic-bound athletes. The BCCI will directly pay the agency handling the promotional campaign. On receiving the request from the ministry the BCCI made the , decision at an emergent Apex Council meet on Sunday. During the meeting, the BCCI also decided to form a commmittee to decide on the compensation package for domestic cricketers. The Sports Ministry’s request to BCCI to fund promotional activity is curious. Does it mean the ministry lack funds? For its part, the ministry said its funding essentially goes towards sports development activities and not event promo- CONTINUED ON: P5 India rebuts UN concerns on IT rules olympic support Ven k ata K r i s hn a B @ Chennai is 18 years of age. The children will also get free treatment under the State government’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana and included as beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). As per the provision of the scheme, the children can continue in the schools in which they were studying before the death of their parents. However, if the relative who has taken responsibility of the child resides somewhere else, an arrangement of schooling in that place will be made. tion. But apparently, the ministry is keen on creating buzz ahead of the Olympics, where it expects a record haul of medals, hence the outreach. “BCCI is helping the ministry on that front too. The campaign is handled by a private agency and the BCCI will pay them directly ,” said the ministry . The BCCI will also place expressions of interest to the ICC to host the 2028 T20 World Cup, 2031 WC and 2025 Champions Trophy . Based on the request received from the IOA/ MYAS, the Apex Council of BCCI has decided to extend support to the IOA and has pledged a monetary gesture of `10 crores Jay Shah, BCCI secretary social media platforms shall have a forum for redressal of their grievances,” it said. The special branch of the UNHRC had on June 11 raised concerns on a number of provisions in the new IT rules saying they do not appear to meet the requirement of international law and standards related to the right to privacy and freedom of speech and expression as protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, acceded to by India on April 10, 1979. express read Walk-in vaccinations Walk-in vaccinations for the 18-44 age group will begin from Monday as the Centre has relaxed its norms. Pre-registration on CoWIN app is no longer required NATIONWIDE june 19 june 20 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths odisha Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 60,753 97,743 1,647 58,419 87,619 1,576 june 19 june 20 3,427 5,281 42 3,577 5,082 40 Nod for jabs to pregnant women on the cards New Delhi: The Union health ministry is likely to allow Covid19 vaccination for pregnant women soon, following recommendation from expert groups, multiple government officials have told this newspaper. As of now, lactating women are allowed for vaccination | P7
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.