visakhapatnam l monday l august 23, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l late 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 L40,000-crore story Insurers rolling in money raised for crop cover K u m a r V i k r a m @ 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 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 P7 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 a big margin? The huge profit the insurance firms are enjoying actually comes from the government, as under the PMFBY, a (2020-21 data is only for Kharif season) E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e NATIONWIDE Aug 21 Aug 22 Fresh cases 34,457 30,948 Recoveries Deaths 36,347 38,487 375 403 statewide aug 21 aug 22 Fresh cases 1,217 1,085 Recoveries 1,535 1,541 Deaths 13 8 Samples tested 61,678 57,745 Day before Nitish’s meet with Modi, BJP changes tack on caste census E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kurnool Ra j e s h K u m a r T h aku r @ Patna Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy Varla Devasthanam at Srisailam has got ISO certificate for taking effective precautionary measures during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of pilgrims. HYM International Certifications Private Limited representative Alapati Sivaiah handed over the copy of Good Hygiene Practices certification and ISO 45001 certificate to Srisailam temple EO KS Rama Rao on Sunday. The ISO team inspected the temple during the pandemic and studied the implementation of Covid-19 protocol. Expressing happiness over getting the ISO certificate, the EO said they laid emphasis on the safety of pilgrims by strictly adhering to Covid-19 protocol. Utmost priority was given to maintenance of hygiene on the hill shrine to keep coronavirus at bay he said. , Highlighting the achievements of the temple, he said it got five certificates from the ISO on aspects of environment, hygiene, security quality man, agement and use of modern technology in 2018. 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 gath- @ Srikakulam To support handloom weavers and promote Ponduru khadi, District Collector Shrikesh B Lathkar has issued an order directing government employees to wear khadi on the first Monday of every month. Issuing the order, the Collector made it clear that though wearing Ponduru khadi is not mandatory for the government Jharkhand 533 21 Odisha 2,090 1,026 Maharashtra 4,788 3,094 Karnataka 2,074 917 Gross premiums Paid claims (in ` cr) 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 sus 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.” @ Tirupati In another step towards making Tirumala plastic-free, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has come up with biodegradable laddu bags. DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy, along with Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Executive Officer KS Jawahar Reddy and Additional EO AV Dharma Reddy, inaugurated an exclusive sales counter of eco-friendly laddu bags at Tirumala on Sunday . Speaking on the occasion, Satheesh Reddy said the DRDO’s Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) in Hyderabad has been doing extensive research to invent the best environmental friendly replacement for hazardous plastic. “To minimise single-use plastic, we have come up with the eco-friendly bags made of corn starch, which degrade naturally within 90 days and it is not harmful even if cattle 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. consume them. After extensive research and rigorous testing of the material, we have introduced the laddu bags at Tirumala,” he said. Polythene bags made from petrochemicals are toxic to environment and they take nearly 200 years to degrade. In contrast, the bags made of corn starch are eco-friendly and cost-effective, he added. Jawahar Reddy described the launch of biodegradable bags as an eco-friendly initiaP4 tive of the DRDO. fighting fit Students get karate training at Sri Venkateswara High School in Tirupati on Sunday | Madhav K Wear khadi on 1st Monday of every month: Collector to staff employees, they should feel the responsibility to safeguard the livelihood of weavers and preserve the traditional weaving art from extinction. Speaking to TNIE, Lathkar said, “Though khadi is renowned globally the economic , status of handloom weavers is not satisfactory There is a need . to provide adequate incentives to weavers, besides extending support to improve their living conditions. I hope district and (only 2018-19 & 2019-20) Uttar Pradesh 1,891 595 Madhya Pradesh 4,720 5,267 weavers’ welfare E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e State-wise gross premiums and claims Rajasthan 6,007 5,234 Gujarat 5,245 2,159 DRDO launches biodegradable laddu bags made of corn starch at Tirumala Srisailam temple gets ISO certificate ered 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 presented the party’s stand on the issue. While a cen- 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 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 divisional level officials will follow the order issued keeping in mind the economic uplift of weavers.’’ Ponduru in Srikakulam district is famous for handspun fine khadi and handlooms. It is the only village that uses single spindle to spin fine khadi. More than 6,000 weavers and workers are dependent on khadi and handloom industry in the district for their livelihood. Though Ponduru khadi has a glorious past, it has lost sheen now due to poor patronage. The plight of khadi and handloom weavers came to light after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Ponduru on August 7 marking National Handloom Day. Following the directions of the Finance Minister and the State government, the Collector initiated measures to promote khadi and handloom fabrics in a big way . express read Tension at Mizo-Assam border area eases Guwahati: Fresh tension on the restive Assam-Mizoram border eased on Sunday after Assam’s Hailakandi district authorities returned the material its police had seized to Mizoram’s Kolasib district officials. Trouble started when construction of a bridge in disputed area was stopped. P8 WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID)
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23-08-2021 of The New Indian Express-Vishakapatnam