NATIONWIDE sept 12 sept 13 Fresh cases 28,591 27,254 Recoveries Deaths 34,848 37,687 338 219 Jab-o-meter Take your shot September 12 72,86,883 doses September 13 67,04,768 doses Total doses: 75,10,41,391 odisha sept 12 sept 13 Fresh cases sambalpur l tuesday l september 14, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Retail inflation eases to 5.3% in Aug as food prices soften Vegetable prices contract 11.7% in August Subdued prices of food items like vegetables pulled down retail inflation for the third month in a row, within RBI’s comfort zone Record kharif production likely: govt Consumer Price Index-based retail inflation was 5.59% in July and 6.69% in August 2020. According to data released by National Statistics Office on Monday, food inflation decelerated to 3.11% in August from 4% in July as vegetable prices contracted 11.68% during the month. RBI primarily considers retail inflation to decide the monetary policy every two months ■ ■ The Centre expects foodgrain production to touch a new record of over 150 million tonnes in 2021-22 crop year (July-June) “We have received good rains so far this year... foodgrain production will definitely be much higher than last year’s Kharif season,” Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal said on Monday 649 471 Recoveries Deaths 874 06 682 06 5.7% RBI’s projection of retail inflation during 2021-22 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 3 dead, over 19L affected in heavy rainfall Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara worst affected dists along with Bhubaneswar and Cuttack; 3,800 people shifted to safety E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Over 19.53 lakh people of 11 districts in the State have been affected while three persons have reportedly died due to heavy rainfall in the last three days under the impact of a deep depression over Bay of Bengal which crossed Odisha coast near Chandbali on Monday morning. The downpour, which hit 53 blocks, inundated low lying areas in coastal districts. As a result, the administration had to evacuate over 3,800 people. As per preliminary report, Info heads urge CJI to shoo HCs off turf E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi A group of 15 sitting and retired information commissioners last week wrote to Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, urging him to direct high courts not to entertain petitions against orders passed by the Central Information Commission (CIC). Section 23 of the RTI Act says, “No court shall entertain any suit, application or other proceedings in respect of any order made under this act and no such order shall be called in question otherwise than by way of an appeal under this Act.” So, Parliament clearly intended that the final appeal will lie with the information commissions, the letter pointed out. Yet, directions of information commissioners were being negated due to high court stay orders. “At the very least orders of imposition of penalty should not be stayed as no irrevocable harm can come to the penalised official. It should also be ensured that if any stay order is given it should give reasons for staying the statutory order of the commission, the letter said. Its signatories include two sitting state information commissioners of Madhya Pradesh, Rahul Singh and G Krishnamurthy, four retired central information commissioners and one retired chief central information commissioner. The CIC has been set up under the RTI Act. three persons including two in Kendrapara district and one in Khurda died due to the rains. The report said Khambeswar Patsani, a 29-year-old man of Nuagad panchayat under Tangi block in Khurda district, died after drowning in a canal. Simi- larly, two persons - Narmada Sahu (62) of Benipur in Derabis block and Abhay Mohapatra (68) of Badabetara village under Garadpur block in Kendrapara district - died due to wall collapse. According to the situation report released by the office of Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), heavy rains have also severely affected 14 urban local bodies including Bhubaneswar and Cuttack municipal corporations. As many as 265 houses have been damaged in 11 districts. Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara have been worst affected in the rains. While more than 11.36 lakh people have been affected in Jagastinghpur district, the incessant rains have hit more than 7.7 lakh people in Kendrapara. The report said over 15,400 people of Puri district have been afCONTINUED ON: P5 fected. Rivers swelling The government is keeping a close watch as water level of many rivers is on the rise. Water level of Mahanadi is likely to go up from Tuesday as western Odisha districts are expected to receive heavy rainfall. Devi, Kushabhadra, Bramhani at Jenapur, Baitarani and Subarnarekha are showing an increasing trend. Schools closed The State government on Monday closed schools in 12 districts till Tuesday. Congress vicharaks vs RSS pracharaks in UP R i c h a S h a r m a @ New Delhi IN a bid to connect with people on the ground ahead of the crucial Assembly elections, the Congress plans to deploy ‘vicharak’s on the lines of RSS ‘pracharaks’. These young activists, primarily members of the Congress’ grassroots front organization Seva Dal, will visit select constituencies and have meaningful talks with voters on pressing issues such as price rise, unemployment and farmer distress. The experiment will also mark an image makeover for the Seva Dal, whose role and responsibilities were tweaked after Rahul Gandhi became party chief in 2017, by actively engaging in election campaign and public outreach programmes in states where it has good presence. The organization has around 3.7 lakh active members in over 600 districts. It has around 450 members in UP . “It is vicharaks vs pracharaks. We are training our workforce to focus on people’s agenda away from emotional and religious agenda of the RSS and other parties ahead of elections. Members of Seva Dal will work in tandem with state units to reach out to people and talk to them on pressing issues,” said Lalji Desai, chief organiser, Seva Dal. He says the team is young and dynamic with 80% of them below 45 years. They have been divided in three groups - Seva Dal young brigade, Seva Dal and Mahila Seva Dal. They have been Govt to stop giving ‘Ashirbad’ to Covid orphans from Sept 15 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Odisha government has decided to stop the Ashirbad scheme for Covid-19 orphans from September 15, only two and half months after it was launched in June this year. The decision has been taken by the department of Women and Child Development (WCD) in view of declining Covid-19 cases. Children who are orphaned after September 15, 2021 will be covered under Child Protection Scheme (CPS), formerly called Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), of the State government and not Ashirbad. Notifying this on Monday Director of WCD department , Arvind Agarwal said all orphans covered under Ashirbad scheme so far shall continue to get the benefits till they attain the age of 18 or till adoption. “Ashirbad scheme will cover children who were orphaned between April 1, 2020 and September 15, 2021”, the notification stated. The State government had launched the Ashirbad scheme for education, health and maintenance of children who lost their parents either to Covid-19 or any other disease on April 1, 2020 or thereafter during the pandemic. According to reports of the department, around 8,700 children have been verified as orphans during this period and are receiving funds under the Ashirbad scheme. Sources in the department said another 25,000 to 30,000 orphans will be added to the list. “We have so far facilitated identification of nearly 30,000 orphans through anganwadi and ASHKA kar mis. Death certificates of their parents, account numbers and other documents are being verified and the process will be completed soon”, he said. Children who are orphaned after September 15 will be identified by district child protection officers and either put under institutional care or provided Sponsorship scheme help if they chose to stay with their extended CONTINUED ON: P5 families. break point Emotionally spent Djokovic falls at final hurdle S w a r o o p S w a m i n at h a n @ Chennai CHASING invincibility is never easy . Pressure, as most elite athletes maintain, is a privilege. But add expectation and history to the mix and it can turn heady Especially in a world filled with . unending news cycles, where the best can feel claustrophobic from all the attention. Novak Djokovic temporarily lifted the veil to allow mortals a peek into this world at the Tokyo Olympics. He arrived in Japan as the prohibitive favourite to win a fourth gong in his quest to complete a Golden Slam: winning four Majors as well as an Olympics gold. It’s hard. Only one player in history Steffi , Graf (1988), had done it. The Serb failed in this lofty quest, going down in the semifinal in Tokyo. In the bronze medal match, there was a spectacular implosion. At one point, he flung his racquet into the stands. On another occasion, he broke it so badly even the scrapyard wouldn’t have accepted its remains. Russia’s Daniil Medvedev won his first Major defeating World No 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the US Open final Novak Djokovic breaks the racquet after losing a point to Daniil Medvedev | AP On Sunday night, inside the sport’s biggest theatre — Arthur Ashe Stadium — the 34-year-old was chasing another piece of history The Grand Slam, win. ning all four in a calendar year. Only five have done it ever. The narrative was set in stone even before the final. It would be the night of Djokovic’s coronation. Not just a Grand Slam but the night would also see him move past both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for sole lead of most Majors won by a male. There was logic behind that assertion. Coming into the final, the Djokovic-ian trait of coming back after losing the first set, winning the most important points in matches and outlasting opponents were all present. Even when he lost the first set to Daniil Medvedev, there was no cause for alarm. Ten minutes later, though, the pendulum shifted dramatically . The Serb lost five break point opportunities to let the Russian off the hook. There was also a code warning for racquet abuse in this period. Watching him, it was evident he wasn’t being himself. It seemed like he was emotionally spent. Something he agreed in the post match press conference. “I was glad it was over,” he said. “Mentally, emotionally I had to deal with throughout the tournament in the last couple of weeks was just a lot to handle.” trained in efficiently using social media tools to communicate with youths and working class. Congress Seva Dal, which was once seen more as a ceremonial organization, has zeroed in on 100 constituencies in UP where their members would be campaigning for the party The selec. tion was based on research by team members and work will start after the final go-ahead from Congress general secretary and incharge for UP Priyanka Gandhi and UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu. Govt again cites security to duck full affidavit, SC order on Pegasus soon fore your lordships,” Mehta added. With the Centre again refusing But the bench said Mehta was to file a detailed affidavit on beating around the bush. “We whether or not it used the Pegasus just wanted you to clarify whethsoftware to snoop on journalists er their (civil society) privacy and members of the civil society was violated or not. Whether sur, the Supreme Court on Monday veillance, if done at all, was after said it will pass its interim order lawful permission. Was the interon a batch of petitions in a two- ception done by any agency unthree days. lawfully? Should the Sibal’s Solicitor General government not be concounter Tushar Mehta said the cerned if any ‘outside Centre did not want agency’ had violated “My friend matters of national inour citizens’ privacy?” (Mehta) says terest to be part of pubit asked. Mehta remaking that lic discourse or judicial sponded saying that he statement on debate through an affihad have already filed oath itself is davit. “Existence of an affidavit saying there detrimental to whether a particular national security. was no unauthorised software was used or interception. I am sorry, it is not cannot become part Pointing out that it detrimental to of an affidavit or subhad given fair opportuthe process of ject of public discourse. nity to the Centre to justice,” Kapil Target groups, terror make its statement, the Sibal said groups should not know CJI said, “Now we have what software is being to look into the whole isused,” Mehta told the bench led sue and decide something.” by Chief Justice of India N V The court then reserved its inRamana. terim orders. “We will set up a committee of Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, domain experts. The petitioners appearing for journalists N Ram who say their numbers were put and Sashi Kumar, who are among under interception can be consid- the petitioners, said the governered by the committee. The com- ment cannot tell the SC to ‘shut mittee report will be placed be- your eyes’. K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi
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