sambalpur l saturday l september 11, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION after midnight dialogue, fifth test cancelled Following back and forth between both teams, final game, scheduled to begin in Manchester on Friday, scratched out 24-36 hours of high drama series result 2-1 as of now Following hectic parlays from Wednesday night to Friday morning, news filtered in that the game had been cancelled because of ‘Covid-related concerns’. However, ECB had said India ‘forfeited’ before they edited it out minutes later. The uncertainty began after assistant physio, Yogesh Parmar, tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday afternoon ■ ■ If the ECB takes the case up with the ICC, the world body will sit in judgment to rule whether the cancellation fulfills their ‘Covid’ acceptance norms. If they say ‘yes’, then India will win series 2-1 Both boards will work towards playing a one-off Test. As of now, India visit England again for six white ball matches in 2022 | P11 one first time that a test has been cancelled in this fashion 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 NMC blinks on new norms for PG medical edu ‘survey’ Tax sleuths search offices of NewsClick, Newslaundry E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ New Delhi S u m i S u k an ya D u t ta @ New Delhi income tax officials on Friday searched the offices of online media portals NewsClick and Newslaundry to peruse their financial records and verify certain remittances made by them. Both the online portals have run several stories highly critical of the government. While officials said these were ‘surveys’ and not raids, mobile phones of employees were reportedly seized and none was allowed to leave the premises while the survey was on. “The survey is related to tax returns and remittances they get from the overseas,” an I-T official told this newspaper, refusing to divulge any further details. People aware of the searches said some I-T officials had visited the Newslaundry office last month to serve summons, after which the firm submitted the papers. Similar searches were conducted on the premises of digital media platform NewsClick. In February this year, the Enforcement Directorate had raided the NewsClick office as well as the homes of its editors to probe suspicion of money laundering. The raid attracted criticism from journalists, who called it an attempt to gag independent media. NewsClick approached the Delhi High Court and was granted interim relief. Earlier in July, the I-T department had raided the offices of Dainik Bhaskar and Lucknowbased Bharat Samachar television channel. Both the media outlets had criticised the Centre’s mismanagement of the second Covid wave. In a separate operation, the I-T department said it has raided Ahmedabad-based media and real estate group Sambhaav and detected “unaccounted” transactions of over `1,000 crore. The National Medical Commission has agreed to make significant changes to the draft post-graduate medical education regulations 2021 bill, which had proposed common counselling for all institutions on the basis of national rankings but did not fix a minimum stipend for junior residents. Several doctors’ bodies, including the Indian Medical Association, had been demanding multiple changes in the proposed regulations. Senior officials at the Commission met representatives of the IMA on Thursday and accepted suggestions to modify various contentious clauses. For example, the draft had proposed common Central counselling for admission in all medical educational institutions for all PG broad specialty courses (diploma, MD and NEXT exam MS) based on the merit list of the from 2023 National Exit Test (NEXT). The The NEXT exam — Commission agreed to amend it the common to provide for simultaneous counexamination for selling at both national and state final year MBBS levels for their respective quotas students that will by competent authorities without also double up as disturbing state reservation. an entrance test It also accepted a proposal to for PG medicine specify a minimum stipend. IMA courses — is set to president J A Jayalal, who parbegin from 2023 ticipated in Thursday’s meeting, told this newspaper that while PG residents are paid up to `1,00,000-1,10,000 as monthly stipend in some states, the figure is as low as `15,000 elsewhere. “If the purpose of the Commission is to usher sweeping changes such as uniformity in examination and syllabus, it should also ensure that our PG residents are paid uniform remuneration,” he said. The Commission has also agreed to relook the draft proposal to introduce a mandatory threemonth residency for PG students in district hospitals. Jayalal pointed out that as district hospitals do not have teachers, it will not substantially aid the learning of PG students. He suggested that the training period be brought down to one month from the proposed three months. The Commission has now assured that the eligibility of super specialty courses for various disciplines will be subject to an expert group’s opinion. Also, faculty with PhD will be given special consideration. And the NEXT exam improvement will be allowed on an yearly basis. All these are part of the modifications to the draft bill released last month. till next year Youths immerse Ganesha idols on the occasion of Vinayakar Chaturthi at the Pattinampakkam beach in Chennai on Friday. Meanwhile, defying the State ban on processions, a few Hindu outfits carried out public celebration across the State | p jawahar Police busts fake RT-PCR racket for Srimandir entry, 12 arrested A s i s h M e h ta @ Bhubaneswar Twelve persons, including four devotees, have been arrested by Puri Police for allegedly attempting to enter the Shri Jagannath Temple carrying fake RT-PCR reports, production of which is mandatory for ‘darshan’ at the 12th-century shrine. Two of the devotees are natives of Madhya Pradesh and one each is from Chhattisgarh and Angul. Apart from the devotees, police also apprehended seven other persons and the mastermind of the racket involved in issuing fake RTPCR negative reports. Such reports were being issued for `500 to `700 each by reportedly using names of different hospitals. The police acted after receiving information that some devotees were trying to enter the temple by showing fake RT-PCR reports issued by private establishments using desktop computers and printers. The RT-PCR reports appeared to be genuine and carried the Aad- haar card details of the persons carrying them. “Acting on a tip-off, the accused were intercepted and the RT-PCR reports were scrutinised. Some hospitals were contacted as their names were on the test reports but so far their involvement in the offence has not been established,” Puri SP Kanwar Vishal Singh told The New Indian Express. On August 27, Singhadwara police first arrested two natives of Madhya Pradesh and then two residents of Puri for assisting them to obtain fake RT-PCR reports. Pursuing the matter, Kumbharapada police nabbed a native of Chhattisgarh and two Puri residents on September 6 for providing him with a false Covid-19 test report. Subsequently Singhadwara po, lice again intercepted a devotee on September 8 carrying a fake RTPCR report. The devotee from Angul was held along with the mastermind of the racket and three others. Two cases have been regis- PUJA GUIDELINES Govt rules out any change, idols will have to be below 4 ft height Express News Service @ Bhubaneswar THE State government on Friday ruled out any change in the guidelines issued for the festival season and maintained that height of the idols will have to remain within four feet at the puja mandaps and pandals. Announcing this, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Kumar Jena said that restrictions announced by the government in its August 9 guidelines will continue. Odisha will continue to celebrate festivals in a low key manner in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, he added. Stating that the height of the Durga idols will have to remain within four feet, the SRC said that the government cannot relax the guidelines. “The guidelines were issued in the interest of the people and we all have to sacrifice,” he said, adding that the second wave is yet to be over. The SRC said that the Covid cases ranging between 30,000 and 40,000 are being reported in the country even now. Odisha has also reported cases between 650 and 1,200 during the last 10 to 15 days. Referring to Nuakhai celebration across Western Odisha, he said that people should strictly adhere to the guidelines and avoid gatherings. “This is no occasion to become complacent as a new variant of the virus is causing concern,” Jena added. Odisha should learn from what happened in Kerala where Covid-19 spread after the Onam festival. Similar things had happened during the Kumbh mela, he said. The SRC, however, said that Odisha had set an example by celebrating Rath Yatra without devotees. “We have been fighting the Covid-19 pandemic for the last 18 months and the government is taking all measures to save lives. We have been successful largely due to the government’s active measures and people’s support,” CONTINUED ON: P5 he stated. tered at Singhadwara and one at Kumbharapada police station under Sections 465, 471, 120B, and 34 of IPC. Puri SP Singh has warned that stringent legal action will be initiated against those found to be involved in such malpractices. “Police is continuing the investigation. Some computers and other articles have been seized. Raids are continuing and efforts on to nab the other accused involved in the racket, he added. The Srimandir opened on August 13 exclusively for families of servitors. Locals of Puri Town were allowed darshan of the deities between August 16 and 20. From August 23 onwards, every devotee wishing to have darshan of the Trinity has to produce the certificate of complete vaccination or negative report of RT-PCR test obtained within 96 hours at the entry kiosk. At least 10,000 devotees are visiting the temple every day since then. NATIONWIDE sept 09 sept 10 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Jab-o-meter 43,263 34,973 40,567 37,681 338 260 Take your shot September 9 64,15,260 doses September 10 56,91,552 doses Total doses: 72,97,50,724 odisha sept 09 sept 10 Fresh cases 771 745 Recoveries Deaths 694 08 689 06 paralympic glory Naveen greets champ Bhagat with `6 cr, govt job Express News Service @ Bhubaneswar Odisha’s golden boy and champion para shuttler Pramod Bhagat was accorded a grand welcome before being felicitated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with a cash award of `6 crore at Kalinga Stadium here on Friday . Bhagat, also offered a Group-Alevel government job by the Government, was taken out on a procession from the Biju Patnaik International Airport upon his arrival. Congratulating Bhagat who is India’s first-ever para badminton gold medalist, the Chief Minister said the champion has inspired a genera- tion of sportspersons and parasportspersons to create their own destiny . “Your victory was a proud moment for the entire nation and will remain forever so. You have truly redefined how sports can uplift and empower lives. I wish you all the very best for greater glory”, Naveen said and assured him government support in his journey ahead. Bhagat expressed his gratitude towards the Chief Minister for the continuous support and motivation in his Olympic journey . “I have won 125 medals in my life so far but Olympic medal is very special and close to my heart. My hard work for the last two decades and support of my family, government and people of Odisha has finally paid off ”, he said. Bhagat hoped that his Olympic gold medal will change people and government’s perception towards para sportspersons. Stating that para athletes of India have created history by winning 19 medals in the Tokyo Paralympic Games, Bhagat said that he is hopeful that the Central Government will announce the best of the cash award for the paralympic athletes soon. He also said he would be interested to serve in sports-related position or as a Deputy Collector. Minister for Sports and Youth Services Tusharkanti Behera, Chairman of Hockey Promotion Council Dilip Tirkey 5T Secretary , VK Pandian and Commissioner, Sports, R Vineel Krishna were present. express read ‘Promoted’ Ravi to hold Naga brief too The Nagaland government and insurgent group NSCN-IM may feel relieved that Governor R N Ravi has been moved out of the state, but it is no less than a promotion for the former spook. Ravi will not only serve in a more important state, he will continues to be the Centre’s interlocutor in the Naga peace talks – at least for now. The Nagaland government was unhappy with him for his alleged interference in its affairs, the NSCN-IM was livid with him over his handling of the “Naga political issue” | P8 Cong stir to include civil society groups New Delhi: In a bid to put pressure on the Centre over its “anti-people policies”, the Congress plans to rope in civil society groups, activists and youths to strengthen its agitation against the BJPled government in the coming months. The party’s nine-member panel under veteran party leader Digvijaya Singh will meet on September 14 to take the strategy forward. Taliban execute saleh’s brother in panjshir The Taliban have executed the brother of ex-Afghan vicepresident Amrullah Saleh who became one of the leaders of antiTaliban opposition forces in the Panjshir valley | P9 Employees keep their fingers crossed as Ford looks for buyers C S h i v a k u ma r @ Chennai A day after US auto giant Ford made a surprise announcement of exiting the country workers are keeping their fin, gers crossed and awaiting a takeover of assets by another company The US . auto major is believed to be in talks with potential buyers of its two plants — one in Chennai in Tamil Nadu and Sanand in Gujarat. “It is too early to comment on it (the potential sale). It is a good asset and there is still time till June 2022. We hope some company will come and take over the asset by then,” a senior Tamil Nadu government official told TNIE. “If someone is keen to take over the facility we will facilitate the transac, tion,” said the official, adding that the State government is closely monitoring the situation at the manufacturing plant at Maraimalai Nagar where 3,300 workers are employed. In Chennai, Ford is shutting down only the engine and vehicle assembly plants. Ford Business Centre and the product development centre that cater to the global operations, employing more than 10,000 employees, would continue to operate, the official said. Industry officials said there were rumours over Ford shutting down its manufacturing facilities in India when its much-hyped joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra was called off on January 1. Post that, the company was said to have held discussions with around half-a-dozen automakers such as MG Motors and Citroen to lease out What company says... Ford India head, Anurag Mehrotra, assured the company would continue full customer support operations with service, aftermarket parts and warranty support besides promising to compensate dealers its factories for contract manufacturing. The company more recently held talks with homegrown mobility company Ola, which recently launched its first electric scooter. According to industry sources, in July Ola had emerged as a frontrunner for taking over the factories for contract manufacturing of its electric vehicles. Amid uncertainty, Ford employees said they would want Chief Minister MK Stalin to intervene and protect their livelihoods. The general secretary of the Chennai Ford Employees Union, Senthil Kumar said the union has decided to oppose the management’s decision to shut down operations. He said that the company will open its shutters on Monday after a week-long holiday .
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