sambalpur l monday l august 23, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l city EDITION focus on China as Quad gathers for malabar drill The 4-day drill (Aug 26-29) off the Guam coast comes amid China’s aggressive powerplay in the Indo-Pacific region Indian frigate, corvette in Western pacific Indian frigate INS Shivalik and anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kadmatt reached Guam in the Western Pacific to take part in the exercise with the US, Japan and Australia. Beijing sees the drill as an effort to contain its influence in the Indo-Pacific region. It also comes at a time when China is building ties with the Taliban to increase its strategic depth 1992 Demo of integrated deterrence ■ ■ It is likely to be a demonstration of the ‘integrated deterrence’ approach laid down by Defense Secy Lloyd Austin during the change of command for the US Indo-Pacific Command in April Integrated deterrence aims at expanding capabilities and using them in networked ways with allies against all common enemies The joint indo-u.s. malabar war games began in 1992 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 L40K crore story Insurers rolling in money raised for crop cover K uma r V i k r am @ New Delhi Indians and Afghan nationals evacuated from Kabul upon arrival at the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad on Sunday | PTI Af lawmakers among 400 more evacuated to India Another flight with 146 Indians is expected to arrive from Doha E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Close to 400 evacuated people from Kabul, including two Afghan lawmakers, landed in India on Sunday in three different flights, as the security situation in Afghanistan’s capital deteriorated further. That apart, 146 Indians, who were evacuated to Doha, are expected to reach India by Sunday night, the Indian embassy in Qatar said. Most of them had worked for foreign companies in Afghanistan. Of the 392 who landed in India earlier in the day one flight , had 168 evacuees, including 107 Indians and 23 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus. The C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft of the IAF that brought them back, landed at Hindon airbase near Delhi. Another group of 87 Indians and two Nepalese nationals arrived on a special Air India flight from Dushanbe, a day after they were evacuated to the Tajikistan capital. The third aircraft had 135 Indians, who were earlier evacuated from Kabul to Doha in the last few days by the US and NATO aircraft. They were taken to Delhi on a special flight. Prominent in the group of 168 were Afghanistan lawmakers Anarkali Honaryar and Narender Singh Khalsa and their family members. “I am feeling like crying. Everything is finished. It is a very difficult and painful decision to leave the country We have not . seen such a situation. Everything has been snatched away . It’s all over,” a despondent Kha- Incredibly volatile situation: Blinken US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday described as the situation at the overcrowded Kabul airport as incredibly volatile. “It’s an incredibly fluid situation,” he said lsa told the media upon his arrival. Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on said around 500 more are stranded in Afghanistan as per preliminary estimations. “The evacuation process is happening in a flawless manner. As per our estimation there will be around 500 people to return to India. The union government has taken steps to bring back all those Indians who want to come back. There are some issues related to the travel to the airport there. The government will take necessary steps to bring those stranded there safely to the airport,” Muraleedharan said. A small group of Indian officials is learnt to be coordinating the evacuation at the Kabul airport, and another batch of Indians is expected to be brought back on Monday . The number of people evacuated by India from Kabul so far reached around 590 since last P9 Monday . When the gross premium collected by insurance firms is more than the total value of the claims settled, you know insurance is a profitable business. But when insurance companies appear to be rolling in money generated from farmers’ meagre premiums for covering their crops even after settling their loss claims, yo u wo n d e r wh a t ’s happening. Take the Centre’s ambitious PM Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). The gross premiums received by insurance companies under the scheme over the last five years is `1.26 lakh crore, but farmers got just `87,320 crore as claims (see table). The difference is a cool `40,000 crore. Surely a farm welfare scheme ought not to benefit the insurance firm, certainly not by such such a big margin? The huge profit the insurance firms are enjoying actually comes from the government, as under the PMFBY, a NATIONWIDE Aug 21 Aug 22 Fresh cases 34,457 30,948 Recoveries Deaths 36,347 38,487 375 403 odisha Aug 21 Aug 22 Fresh cases 911 853 Recoveries Deaths 979 66 1,078 69 ‘Godman’ posed as OTDC chief, conned contractor `3 cr E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar A self-styled godman who impersonated as chairman of State-run Odisha Tourism Development Corporation was arrested by the Economic Offences Wing of Crime Branch for issuing fake work orders to a super class contractor and cheating him to the tune of ` 3 crore. Bijayananda Choudhury ali, as Shri Swami Bijayanandaji Maharaj, was picked up from his CDA area house in Cuttack that fake work orders of the on Saturday. Along with him, State undertaking were issued EOW held Chandan Akash Mo- in favour of Champatiray and hanty an engineer who , the two collected huge has previously worked amount from him towith OTDC. wards Earnest Money The duo had made Deposit (EMD). away ` 3 crore from speThe EOW sources cial class contractor said Champatiray was Dhanurdhara Champatattempting to get work iray after issuing fake from OTDC during the work order. Bijayananda Choudhury pandemic. Earlier in Basing on a comMay he was introduced , plaint from OTDC, the agency’ to Choudhury through a relalaunched which investigated tive. The self-styled godman into the matter and ascertained claimed to be OTDC chairman bridge building Tension eases after flare-up at Mizo-Assam border area P r a s anta M a z umda r @ Guwahati Fresh tension on the restive Assam-Mizoram border eased on Sunday after Assam’s Hailakandi district authorities returned the construction materials its police had seized to Mizoram’s Kolasib district officials. Trouble had been brewing on the interstate border since Friday when the Assam Police stopped the construction of a bridge in a disputed area. The incident prodded the Mizoram Police to register a case of theft against their Assam counterparts. Mizoram officials claimed the construction site fell under Bairabi area of its Kolasib district, while Assam said the works were undertaken at Kachurtal in its Hailakandi district. Hailakandi SP Gaurav Upadhyay said they stopped some Mi- zoram workers from attempting to build a bridge at Kachurtal on the Assam side of the border on Friday However, on Saturday 40. , 50 security personnel from Mizoram reached the site and a few of them entered Assam ‘in violation of the joint statement issued by both states on August 5 to maintain peace in the border area”, the SP alleged. “In order to assert the position of Assam and to ask Mizoram forces to retreat, a party of around 200 Assam Police personnel and commandos under my leadership and other senior officials reached Kachurthal on Sunday morning,” Upadhyay said. Tension eased when Kolasib DM H Lalthlangliana confirmed the seized construction materials had been returned and said the case registered against the Assam Police would be withdrawn. and also a member of India To u r i s m D eve l o p m e n t Corporation. Choudhury then introduced Champatiray to Mohanty who claimed that he was an assistant engineer with OTDC though he his term with the corporation had ended on May 31, 2019. The two promised work orders to Champatiray from OTDC and instructed him to deposit huge amount towards EMD in the personal bank account of Mohanty CONTINUED ON: P5 . uniform maximum premium of only 2% of the sum insured is paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops. The rest is borne by the state and the Centre. Agriculture policy expert Devinder Sharma said there are many flaws in the crop insurance scheme, adding it needs an overhaul. “It looks like that it is for the benefit of insurance companies. There is a complete need to overhaul and redesign it. Many states opting out of the scheme is a clear indication of it,” he said. Shar ma said new technological innovations should be used for clear assessment of claims to be paid to the farmers. “Drones should be used for assessment. Why are they not applying the per unit area yardstick for assessment of crop loss and claims? There are flaws in the method of assessment,” he pointed out. Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Buta Singh of the echoed Sharma. “There have On the eve of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar leading an all-party delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to press him to go for caste-wise census, the BJP appeared to change its tune, citing historical references to say it was on the same page. The shift in nuance was articulated by Bihar’s BJP stalwart Sushil Kumar Modi, weeks after the Centre had told the Lok Sabha it intends to stay with the policy of not going for caste census. The demand has gathered strength amid OBC consolidation, and the BJP apparently does not want to be portrayed as being against it with elections to five states, including UP, due in about six months. Taking to Twitter, Modi said despite the technical and practical difficulties in conducting a castewise headcount, the BJP supports it as a matter of principle. He said the late BJP leader Gopinath Munde’s argument in favour of the exercise in Parliament in 2011 had (2020-21 data is only for Kharif season) Rajasthan 6,007 5,234 Gujarat 5,245 2,159 State-wise gross premiums and claims (only 2018-19 & 2019-20) Uttar Pradesh 1,891 595 Jharkhand 533 21 Madhya Pradesh 4,720 5,267 Odisha 2,090 1,026 Maharashtra 4,788 3,094 Gross premiums Paid claims (in Rs cr) Karnataka 2,074 917 been issues related to proper assessment of crop loss and claims under this crop insurance scheme. Only government insurance companies should be given the responsibility to implement this scheme,” he said. However, the Union agriculture ministry recently said the yawning gap between premium mop up and claims paid ought not be read as full profit since the cost of reinsurance and administrative cost of the insurance firms need to be factored in. The PMFBY was launched in April, 2016 to de-risk cultivation. According to government data, since the inception of the scheme in 2016-17, over 29 crore farmers have been enrolled and nearly 2,354 lakh hectares insured. However, the total area insured under the scheme has gone down from 567 lakh hectare in 2016-17 to 495 lakh hectare in 2019-20. One reason is the opting out of six states from the scheme — Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Telangana and West Bengal. “Financial constraints of the State government and low claim ratio during normal season are the major reasons for non-implementation of the scheme by these states,” the ministry said. Putting rail link on fast track top agenda: Vaishnaw E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhawanipatna UNION Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Sunday said the demand for extension of the proposed 19-km long rail line from Junagarh to Dharamgarh will be considered on priority . Besides, the electric locomotive periodic overhaul workshop project at Narla will be executed expeditiously after getting the required land from Odisha government. Of the required 328.81 acre of land for the workshop, the State government has so far handed over 141.07 acre to the Railways. During his visit to Kalahandi, Vaishnaw received demands for several rail and IT projects. Major among them were extension of rail line from Junagarh Road to Dharamgarh, Lanjigarh-Talcher rail line via Phulbani and Kesinga-Bhawanipatna rail line via Utkella. Besides, there was a demand to extend Titilagarh-Howrah Ispat express up to Junagarh Road, Bhubaneswar-Balangir Day before Nitish’s meet with Modi, BJP changes tack on caste census Ra j e s h K uma r T haku r @ Patna status report of PMFBY scheme Year 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 Total Farmers Insured (in lakh) 583.7 533 576.2 608.8 398.1 2,699.8 Area insured (in lakh hect) 567.3 508.3 523 494.8 261.2 2,354.6 Gross premium (in crore) 21,770 24,649 29,348 31,709 19,047 1,26,523 Paid Claims (in crore) 16,758 22,113 27,491 20,943 15 87,320 presented the party’s stand on the issue. While a census on economic, social and caste lines was carried out in 2011, the then dispensation did not release the figures in public domain due to gross anomalies, he pointed out. Modi, a former deputy CM of Bihar and the ex-head of the Group of Ministers on IGST, is a tall leader in Bihar politics, whose words carry weight with both the BJP and its allies. In another tweet, he said Bihar BJP too, is part of the del, egation slated to meet the PM, adding: “Bihar BJP was involved in the passage of resolutions in the legislative council and Assembly in support of caste-based census.” Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw addressing a meet in Kalahandi | Express and Durg-Puri intercity to Kesinga, Sambalpur-Varanasi express to Visakhapatnam and Junagarh Road-Sambalpur passenger as express train up to Puri via Talcher. While a new train was sought from Junagarh Road to Visakhapatnam, there was also a demand for setting up the Software Technology park of India at Bhawanipatna, which was sanctioned in 2014. The Union Minister assured that there will be no delay from his Ministry in executing new sanctioned projects after getting the required land. He also said he will look into the demands for new trains and extension of railway services. Addressing a meeting to end his two-day tour to the Western Odisha district, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s thrust on increased connectivity will pave way for development in western Odisha region. Putting rail link on fast track and extending IT services to the interior pockets of Kalahandi and other backward districts are top on the agenda of the Centre, he said. Vaishnaw, who reached the district on Saturday as part of his Jan Ashirwad Yatra, was given a rousing welcome at various places. He interacted with citizens at Junagarh and Bhawanipatna. He also offered prayers at Budharaja temple in Ampani, Lankeswari temple in Junagarh and Manikeswari temple in Bhawanipatna. Vaishnaw was accompanied by Lok Sabha Member from Kalahandi Basanta Panda. express read Pfizer vax set to be first fully approved jab Srimandir reopens for all today New Delhi: The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNtech is set to become the first jab against the disease globally to move from emergency-use authorisation to full-approval stage after it submitted more data to US drug regulator from the late-stage clinical trials and ongoing vaccinations. This mRNA-based vaccine was the first against Covid-19 to receive restricted use authorisation in the UK followed by the US in December last year. In India, the pharma giant’s negotiations with the government to launch the vaccine are still stuck over the issue of indemnity | P7 Puri: The district Administration is all set to reopen the Sri Jagannath temple doors for all devotees from Monday. The interiors of Srimandir, all four gates, barricades, shoe stands, drinking water fountains and kiosks were sanitised on Sunday to ensure safety of devotees flocking the 12th century shrine for darshan of the Trinity. The Srimandir opened on August 13 exclusively for families of servitors. From August 16 to 20, locals of Puri town were allowed darshan of the deities. The residents of all 32 Wards were given tokens mentioning date and time for darshan. The devotees had darshan in three sessions every day. Over 1.5 lakh devotees visited Srimandir in these five days | P4 WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID)
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