BHUBANESWAR l Saturday l july 17, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l JEYPORE EDITION india-pakistan face-off during T20 World Cup Stage fight: new Zealand too in group 2 The mouthwatering clash between arch-rivals in Super 12 stage group will be their first time since 2019 World Cup Not the easiest. India are in Group 2 in the Super 12 stage. Apart from Pakistan, the inaugural champions will face New Zealand and Afghanistan. Group 2 comprises defending champions West Indies, Australia, England and South Africa. The Super stage comprises 12 teams. The final contest will be between P11 eight teams in each group ■ 16 teams to join super 12 from qualifiers ■ The qualifying round consists of eight teams divided into two groups. Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia. Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman Top two teams from each of the two groups will join the Super 12, making it a 16-team contest no of teams taking part in the T20 World Cup 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 Says right to life is paramount; all other sentiments, including religious, are subservient to it SC gives UP last chance to call off its Kanwar Yatra K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi Giving the Uttar Pradesh government one last chance to reconsider its decision to allow the Kanwar Yatra amid the pandemic, the Supreme Court on Friday emphasised that the right to life is paramount while all other sentiments, including religious, are subservient to it. Hearing a suo motu case, a bench of justices R F Nariman and Ajay Rastogi said no physical congregation can be allowed and gave the Yogi Adityanath government time till Monday to take its final call. “UP cannot go ahead with physical yatra. Either we will pass orders directly, or will give you one more opportunity to reconsider your decision,” the court told senior advocate C S Vaidynathan, who appeared for the UP government. The yatra had been cancelled last year, too, amid the first wave. During the hearing, Vaidyanathan spelt out the raft of safety measures taken by the UP government to hold the yatra. While kanwariyas have been generally advised to skip it, those determined to perform the yatra need to apply for registration, have to be fully vaccinated and also produce a negative RT-PCR report, which is not more than three days old, he told the bench. “The yatra would be symbolic,” he said, and sought to invoke the right to religion. UP plans to station Ganga water tankers at key locations from where kanwariyas can collect it and perform abhishekam at a nearby Shiv temple. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the Centre was against the yatra to Haridwar. Taking note of both the stands, the bench said it “goes at the very heart of Article 21... The rest of the citizenry of India and their right to life are paramount. All other sentiments, including religious, are subservient to this most basic fundaP8 mental right.” Naveen seeks early vax roll out for children E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Crowding at Banashankari temple in Bengaluru on Ashadha Friday | Ashishkrishna HP Govt flags Covid spike, says next 100 days crucial E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Citing the rising Covid-19 caseload in various parts of the world as well as a few states in India, the Centre on Friday raised a red flag saying the situation could get worse from here, adding the next 100 days are going to be crucial. With the World Health Organization issuing an alert on the early signs of a third Covid wave, saying global cases and deaths increased by 10% and 3% respectively last week, the Centre said there was no room for complacency . Dr V K Paul, who heads the national Covid task force, said the world moving towards the third wave should be seen as a red flag. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with chief ministers of six states — Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Karnataka — where cases are either rising or have plateaued at a high number. “PM has given us the target to stall the third wave and it is possible,” Paul said, adding that while the situation is under control now, it may change for the worse if public health measures are not taken and individuals do not behave responsibly . While Spain has seen a 64% hike in weekly cases, Netherlands has recorded a 300% spike. Highlighting India’s vulnerability, Paul said, “We have not reached herd immunity — not even through infection. Not that we want to achieve herd immunity through natural infection. We are making continuous progress in vaccination,” he said. He, however, said at least 50% of the most vulnerable section is now vaccinated. CHIEF Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday requested the Centre to roll out vaccination for the 12-18 years age group as soon as possible. Voicing concern over the anticipated third wave and its impact on children, Patnaik during a virtual meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said, “I would like to request that the vaccines for the age group of 12 to 18 years may be prioritised and ro l l e d o u t at t h e earliest.” Patnaik was among the six chief ministers with whom the Prime Minister had an interaction over Covid situation. The other states are Andhra Pradesh, Kar nataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. These six states account for more than 80 per cent of the total cases during the month of July . Patnaik reiterated his demand for allocation of 95 per cent vaccine to the State by reducing the private hospital quota to five per cent. The lifting of the vaccines by private hospitals from the 25 per cent quota has been less due to their low presence in the State, he added. Recalling the earlier communication with Central government on the issue, Patnaik said, “We had written to the Government of India to increase the allocation to the State government to 95 per cent and reduce the allocation to private hospitals to five per cent. This will help the State to increase the pace of vaccination.” The Chief Minister said that Odisha has been performing very well in vaccination and its wastage is among the lowest in the country . While briefing the Prime Minister about the progress of vaccination in the State, the Chief Minister spoke about the measures that are being taken to contain the spread of the virus and a possible third wave in the State. He also informed the PM about the steps taken to boost medical infrastructure and the measures taken to deal with post-Covid issues. This was in response to Prime Minister’s request to the states to fill the infrastructure gaps specially in rural areas. The Prime Minister requested the Chief Ministers to expedite the completion of the PSA oxygen plants sanctioned from the PM-Cares fund. Govt offices to function with 100 per cent staff E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar EVEN as the weekly average of Covid-19 deaths has remained at 62 and the test positivity rate (TPR) in coastal districts is higher than five per cent, the State government has taken a calculated risk by ordering all departments and sub-ordinate offices to function with full strength effectively from July 19. The decision for full attendance of government employ- ees was taken as most of them are fully vaccinated. “All departments of the State government and subordinate offices shall function with full strength of employees with effect from July 19, 2021 until further orders. Most of the employees are now fully vaccinated and required to attend office regularly,” said an order of the General Administration department. Electronic bail orders to get prisoners out of jails without delay eXPR E SS n E WS s E RVIC E @ New Delhi tAKING serious note of the delay in releasing of prisoners from jail despite bail being granted, the Supreme Court on Friday said it will set up a system to ensure that bail orders are sent electronically to jail authorities. “In this age of information and communication technology , we are still looking at the skies for pigeons to communicate orders,” Chief Justice N V Ramana said. “Prisoners are waiting for Supreme Court orders to be sent by post. We had ordered release in some matters and they were not released since they did not receive authentic copy of orders. This is too much,” he added. The bench of CJI Ramana and justices L Nageswara Rao and AS Bopanna made the observation while hearing the suo-motu case regarding delay in releasing convicts by prison authorities even after they were granted bail by courts. Explaining the changes being planned, the CJI said, “We are contemplating a system to ask and secure orders of bail so that such orders are sent electronically to jail authorities. We are directing Supreme Court Secre- tary General to frame the scheme and submit before us.” “The idea of this order is to send the order copies of this court via a secured route. This will be taking care of security ,” Justice Rao added. The court has also directed all states to answer whether jails in states have proper internet facility since it will be need- ‘Those on bail/parole need not surrender’ The SC directed prisoners granted bail or parole as a measure to decongest jails need not surrender till further orders as the Covid threat persists. The bench also ordered states to inform within a week on the criteria adopted by high-powered panels to release prisoners ed to access the secure system for transmission of orders being put in place. Recently the SC had granted , interim bail to 13 convicts lodged in Agra Central Jail. The order was passed on July 8 but the convicts walked out of jail after four days, since the prison authorities stated they did not receive the certified copy of the order by post. In case, any employee has not taken two doses of Covid vaccine for medical or some other compelling reasons, he/she must apply for an exemption to the authority concerned. Their applications will be considered on a case-to-case basis. “Employees who are neither vaccinated nor exempted would not be permitted to attend office and their absence will be treated as wil- NATIONWIDE july 15 july 16 Fresh cases 41,806 38,949 Recoveries Deaths Jab-o-meter Take your shot 39,130 40,026 581 542 July 15 35,15,093 doses July 16 38,79,917 doses Total doses: 39,93,62,514 odisha Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths july 15 2,110 2,563 66 july 16 2,070 2,317 64 ful,” the order said. In the face of the second wave, the government had reduced the staff strength in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to 50 per cent with effect from April 19. As the situation aggravated, it further reduced the staff strength in all of its offices to 10 per cent from April 30 to June 1. During the extended lockdown from June 1 to 16, the percentage of attendance was increased to 30 and subsequently to 50. e x p r e ss r e a d afghanistan kandahar An art teacher gives final touch to a painting of Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, in Mumbai on Friday | PTI pakistan Spin Boldak in Kandahar near Af-Pak border, where the Indian journalist fell to bullets Embedded Indian Journalist killed in taliban crossfire Rajnath briefs Antony, Pawar on row with China E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday met Congress leader A K Antony and NCP chief Sharad Pawar to brief them about the border row with China, people familiar with the development said. The meeting with the two former defence ministers is seen as an effort by Singh to reach out to the Opposition ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament beginning July 19 | P7 Reuters journalist Danish Siddiqui, 38, was killed on Friday in Kandahar province’s Spin Boldak near a border crossing with Pakistan. Since early this week, Siddiqui had been embedded as a journalist with the Afghan special forces based in Kandahar. The forces were fighting to regain control over Spin Boldak when Siddiqui was @ New Delhi killed, Reuters reported. For its part, the Taliban claimed it did not know a journalist was accompanying the soldiers. It has reportedly handed over the body to the Red Cross. “Our Ambassador in Kabul is in touch with Afghan authorities. We are keeping his family informed of the developments,” MEA s p o ke s p e r s o n A r i n d a m Bagchi said. A native of Delhi, Siddiqui is survived by wife Rike and two young children. After graduating in Economics from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, Siddiqui pursued a degree in Mass Communication. Though he started his journalism career as a reporter, Siddiqui later decided go behind the camera. He went on to produce world-class work that spanned the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugee crisis, which won him a Pulitzer, Delhi riots and India’s Covid crisis. In Dire Straits Pvt engg colleges flooded with fee relief requests, stare at crisis Sudarsan Maharana @ Bhubaneswar HIT by a pandemic that has had a cascading effect on lives and livelihood, private professional colleges are being flooded with requests for fee reduction or deferred payment from students in the State. The institutions are, resultantly, caught in a precarious situation - declining enrolment and low realisation of fees. Around 80,000 students pursue technical courses in different engineering colleges and institutions in the State. With classes moving to online mode, a large number of students are yet to deposit their semester fees, primary source of revenue for technical institutes. To manage the crisis, some colleges have reduced staff strength; many scaled down staff salary and delayed loan repayment to banks as well as contribution to employees’ provident fund as a temporary measure. At National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), Berhampur where the student strength is around 3,500, close to 52 per cent fees have remained uncollected, authorities claim. “Fees are normally collected at beginning of odd and even semesters. However, with institute remaining shut and classes in online mode, fees are yet to be paid by a number of students,” said NIST Director Prof Sangram Mudali. Promoter of a Bhubaneswar-based engineering institute which has close to 250 students on rolls of its diploma engineering classes said, just one has made the payment in last one year and a half. For a college of NIST’s scale, with 150 teaching staff and an equal number of non-teaching staff, salary and other fixed overheads have to be paid by management of the autonomous institute. “Even if classes continue in online mode, it is not free. We need to pay the teachers who have continued the learning process during the challenging times. At the same time, we have a large number of Class IV employees who are sitting idle due to the pandemic. We cannot remove them as they have been with us for over 15-20 years,” said the NIST director. Instead of removing any employee, the management had to scale down remuneration of the staff to deal with the crisis. For technical colleges having lesser enrolment, the plight is worse and some are depending on Covid loans. Einstein Academy of Technology and Management authorities say requests for deferment of fees despite a 15 per reduction has put them on a slippery track. “A number of students are yet to deposit their fees due to various reasons but there are at least 10 of them who are not in a position to pay at all due to death of earning members in their family during the pandemic. We cannot ask force them on humanitarian grounds. In such a situation we have been forced to depend on Covid loan to pay salary and meet other expenses,” Chairman Basant Kumar CONTINUED ON: P5 Bisoi said.
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