bhubaneswar l friday l september 17, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l jeypore EDITION Australia-UK-US trilateral to counter China threat US president Joe Biden, Australian PM Scott Morrison and British PM Boris Johnson discuss AUKUS during a virtual meet on Wednesday | AP New Balance of power in indo-pacific US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison in a joint statement said the Australia-UK-US alliance, known as AUKUS, will promote stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Biden said the three countries will update and enhance their shared ability to take on the threats of the 21st century The alliance will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines to counter China’s growing power in the region Technology sharing high on agenda ■ ■ Under AUKUS, the three nations have agreed to enhance joint capabilities and technology sharing, integration of security and defence-related science, industrial bases and supply chains The announcement comes a week before a meeting of Quad leaders to be held in Washington on September 24 | P9 CHINA Reacted sharply to the news, saying it will aggravate arms race 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 Team Rupani blanked out in Patel ministry Of the 24 sworn in, 21 debuted as ministers S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i have devoted their lives to public service and spreading Gujarat perhaps got its our par ty’s development most inexperienced ministry agenda.” ever on Thursday with as BJP general secretary inmany as 21 of the 24 who took charge of Gujarat Bhupendra oath of office and secrecy as Yadav said a combination of ministers being first-timers. factors went into deciding the That the ministry is being led new team. “We wanted to inby another first-timer law- clude fresh, young and experimaker Bhupendra Patel indi- enced faces. They may not cates that the real power have ministerial expericentre has shifted to ence but they got enough Delhi. administrative expoNot one representasure. The outgoing tive of the outgoing ministers have loads Rupani government of experience; their figured in the new mintalents will be used to istry, obliquely echoexpand the party’s ing the Opposition’s base,” Yadav said. Surprise charges of incompeAs expected, Patiphone calls tence. Applying the dars and OBCs found Like the CM no-repeat yardstick the biggest represento form the new gov- himself, most of tation in the ministry . the ministers ernment is fraught The new team has were surprised to with challenges of reseven Patidar minisbellion, but the BJP get a phone call ters, including the from state BJP appears confident of CM. Four of them are unit chief C R containing it, smug f ro m S a u r a s h t r a , as it is in the under- Patil asking them where the BJP did to attend the standing that they badly in the last elecswearing-in owe their position as tions. It also has two ceremony lawmakers to Prime Brahmins, two Minister Narendra Kshatriyas, two SCs Modi’s vote-catching ability . and four STs. The first stirrings of resentModi is known for bold deciment came from Mansukh sions and political innovaVasava, BJP’s Lok Sabha tions, said a veteran Gujarat m e m b e r f r o m B a r u c h . journalist recalled. “In 2005, “Baruch district has BJP after taking charge as Gujarat MLAs but no representation CM, Modi refused to repeat in the new ministry There is any incumbent in the local . unrest among party workers; body elections. He fielded new it will have consequences,” faces and that gamble paid off. Vasava warned. Ever since, such experiments Congratulating the new are carried out in Gujarat first team, Modi said, “These are and replicated elsewhere latP8 outstanding karyakartas who er,” he said. crackdown `30,600 CRORE SOVEREIGN GUARANTEE FOR BAD BANK E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi THE Union Cabinet on Thursday approved `30,600 crore government guarantee for the National Asset Reconstruction Co Ltd (NARCL) to acquire stressed loans, setting the wheels in motion for the muchawaited bad bank. Government guarantee will be valid for five years, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. NARCL’s mandate is to take over bad loans from public sector banks and ensure professional management of such stressed debt. The bad bank will pay up to 15% of the agreed valuation of the nonperforming assets in cash and will issue security receipts with sovereign guarantee for the remaining part. Security receipts are instruments issued by asset reconstruction firms as consideration for their purchase of distressed assets from banks. NARCL is free to invoke the government guarantee to meet the shortfall between the face value of the security receipt and the actual realisation upon resolution or liquidation. Sixteen banks, including private lenders and NBFCs, will be part of NARCL initially with 51% stake. They will put in `6,000 crore to recover NPAs worth `90,000 crore in the the first phase. So far, banks have identified stressed loans worth `2 lakh crore to be transferred to NARCL. Assets worth `1.1 lakh crore with lower provisions would be transferred to the bad bank in the second phase. “We are also setting up an India Debt Resolution Company Ltd to manage the nonperforming assets. In this company public sector banks , and state-owned financial institutions will own 49% stake.” Sitharaman said. However, it will be a while ED raids activist Harsh Mander’s premises For security receipts to have their value intact, the government has to give backstop arrangement. Hence, the government guarantee of `30,600 crore Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman before the bad bank can start out as it is yet to get RBI licence to begin asset reconstruction operations. The Indian Banks’ Association had moved an application before RBI last month for the licence. The process is on and “should happen sooner than later,” Sitharaman said. Medium flood in coastal dists by Saturday night: SRC E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar NATIONWIDE sep 15 sep 16 Fresh cases 27,176 30,570 Recoveries Deaths 38,012 38,303 284 431 Jab-o-meter Take your shot September 15 57,10,380 doses September 16 57,11,488 doses Total doses: 77,17,36,406 odisha sep 15 Fresh cases 457 Recoveries Deaths 561 06 sep 16 580 681 04 A low to medium flood in Mahanadi river system is likely to hit coastal districts on Saturday night because of heavy rainfall in Chhattisgarh and increase in the water level at Hirakud dam. The water level of Hirakud dam has increased from 628.65 feet at 12 noon on Thursday to 628.81 feet, while the inflow into the reservoir is 4.99 lakh cusec against outflow of 4.86 lakh cusec, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena told mediapersons here. He said 28 gates of the reservoir have been opened to release the excess flood water. Stating that water discharged from the dam will take 36 hours to reach Mundali, the SRC said as per the information of the Water Resources department, eight lakh cusec of water is expected to flow through the barrage of Mahanadi between Saturday morning and noon. The peak flood will pass through Kendrapara and P u r i o n S a t u r d ay evening and night, he said, adding that the administrations of both the districts have been alerted. The SRC said the flood will have no major impact if embankments are strong enough. Officials have been asked to keep close vigil and patrolling has already started, he added. As a precautionary measures, 30 ODRAF, 12 NDRF and 10 fire services teams have been mobilised for Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Cuttack and Puri districts. “We also appeal to people living in riverside villages and near embankments to help the administration. We hope no adverse situation will arise,” Jena said. He said nine people have died in Odisha due to heavy rainfall which lashed the State for three days. While three people died in Kendrapara, two lost their lives in Jajpur. There was one each death in Khurda, Ganjam, Keonjhar and Subarnapur districts. According to SRC, water level in all the major rivers Mahanadi, Devi, Kushabhadra and Bramhani is falling. However, water level in Baitarani, Subarnarekha and Budhabalanga rivers is rising. All eyes on Ramu, first elephant to be radio collared in Odisha E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar In Bharatpur reserve forest of Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary, forest teams are on the lookout for Ramu since the last two days. In his 30s, the male elephant would be the first jumbo in conflict to be radio-collared in Odisha, if everything falls into place. Ramu was sighted on Wednesday but it was 5.30 pm already and darting the jumbo during late afternoon was not a good idea. On Thursday, the teams made three attempts but in vain. Friday could be their lucky day , but it’s all about a good time and a good place as well. Radio collaring of elephants in conflict has been tested in Assam, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Karnataka and Uttarakhand. It has been carried out in Nepal and Bhutan too but Odisha is attempting it for the first time. The project, taken up by Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF) and Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, was planned two years back but Covid came in the way. The State Wildlife Wing and ANCF team are now on ground to take it forward. The first subject, Ramu, has been in conflict for last few years. Separated from its herd, it had strayed into Pipili and other parts of Khurda division and even claimed lives. Standing at about eight feet and a half, its height and peak growth is considered perfect for radio collaring. Radio collaring of elephants, however, could be a tricky If the . jumbo is in growing stages, collaring could be an exercise in futility as it might break off. Sometimes, it could be counter-productive if the collar stiffens the neck of the animal. Besides, the whole exercise of darting the jumbo and fitting the collar while it is standing is “jumbo” of a job. Sometimes JCBs are used to keep the head still. The teams at Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary are leaving nothing to CONTINUED ON: P5 chance. New Delta lineages behind surge among jabbed in city Bhubaneswar: Even as no new variant of SARS-CoV2 has been detected in the State after the Delta Plus (AY.1) mutant in April, two new sub-lineages of Delta (B.1.617.2) could be driving fresh Covid cases in Bhubaneswar, claimed to be the first fully vaccinated city in the country | P2 Water world Huts submerged in flood water at Kathajodi slum in Cuttack on Thursday | Express Hitman’s superior tactical skill runs Kohli out of T20 leadership race AT 5:53 PM on Thursday, Virat Kohi broke the news. Once India’s upcoming T20 World Cup campaign ends in the UAE in November, he will step down as skipper of the national team in the format. It’s something that had been coming. He cited the immense workload he has endured since taking over as all-format captain in 2017. However, the 32-yearold wrote that he would be available as a batsman going forward. Like how his predecessor, MS Dhoni, passed the baton to him, Kohli has decided to do it now. If anyone occupies the hot seat other than Rohit Sharma, the decorated T20 captain who has a record five IPL titles to his name, it would come as a massive surprise. Never mind the fact that Rohit is 34, but with another T20 World Cup slated for October 2022 in Australia, it is hard to see selectors handing over the reins to an untested candidate. “Understanding workload is important. Considering my workload... playing all formats and captaining regularly... I feel I need to give myself space.” Virat Kohli’s statement THE Enforcement Directorate on Thursday searched some premises linked to social activist and for mer IAS officer Harsh Mander – a well known critic of the Narendra Modi government – in connection with a money laundering probe. The searches were conducted at his residence and his offices at Adchini, Mehrauli and Vasant Kunj in Delhi, sources said. Apparently the raids were held , soon after Mander and his wife left for Germany for a sixmonth fellowship. ED officials said the searches were based on an FIR registered by the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing in February, naming two children’s homes and their parent body Centre for Equity Studies, headed by Mander. Delhi Police registered the case following a complaint by apex child rights body NCPCR, citing violation of rules. Confirming the raids, the Centre for Equity Studies said that over the past few months, it has faced raids, investigation, and inquiries by different government agencies. The raids evoked strong protests from activists and intellectuals who termed the Central agency’s action part of a “continuing chain of abuse of state institutions to threaten, intimidate and try to silence every critic” of the government. In a joint statement, the group of over 25 activists and intellectuals said Mander had done nothing but work for peace and harmony . “We condemn these raids to harass and intimidate a leading human rights and peace activist who has done nothing but work for peace and harmony, consistently upholding (upheld) the highest moral standards of honesty and probity,” the statement said. express read captain’s call v en k ata k r i s h n a b @ Chennai E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi If Kohli, who has led the side to 27 wins in 45 matches, was waiting in the wings in 2017, Rohit is in that position now. With every IPL title he has held aloft for Mumbai Indians, the opener has been sending gentle reminders to selectors. So why the change? Workload aside, the emergence of Rohit as an all-format player and his growing stature in the team and the tactical acumen he brings too have played a big role. On Thursday, if Kohli did show ambition by wanting to continue as ODI captain with 2023 World Cup in mind, Rohit too has been having his eyes on the role. In the past 12 months, Rohit’s calm demeanour in the dressing room and his influence among the team has only been on the ascendance. That has also added some pressure from within. By coming out in the open, Kohli, who has lost only one T20I series as captain (against Australia in India in early 2019), has put an end to all speculations. However, it is only for the time being because all things point to Rohit taking charge of India’s white-ball teams as having two skippers could prove detrimental with two World Cups (T20 and 50 overs) lined up in the next two years. At a time when successful white-ball teams are inclining more and more towards shortterm goals with data analytics to aid, Rohit looks the perfect fit. More so when the team has appeared to have lost direction in white-ball cricket over the last seven years. Survey finds loopholes in online learning Bhubaneswar: Contrary to the government claims that 33 per cent (pc) of the 60 lakh students in the age group of 6 to 14 years pursuing elementary education in Odisha are attending online classes, a survey has revealed that only about 6 lakh students are getting access to digital learning | P2 Modi hits out at critics of Central Vista project New Delhi: Perhaps for the first time Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a swipe in public at the critics of the Central Vista project. While inaugurating the swanky Defence Offices Complexes, he said those questioning the project would conveniently remain silent on the two new multi-storey office complexes. | P7
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