bhubaneswar l friday l september 24, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION jabs at home for people with restricted mobility, disability The Centre announced the decision on a day it said 66% of the country’s adult population has been given at least one dose suicide victims’ kin entitled to ex-gratia uk has no issues with Cowin, too The Centre also informed the Supreme Court that the family members of people who die by suicide within 30 days of testing Covid positive are also entitled to compensation from the State Disaster Relief Fund. Earlier, the ex-gratia of `50,000 was limited to Covid deaths, which were defined as death in hospital or elsewhere within 30 days of contracting the infection ■ ■ A day after indicating that CoWIN app is the sticking point in certification of Indian vaccination to avoid quarantine, the UK shifted its position, saying the app was not a problem No concerns on certification were raised in Thursday’s talks, UK High Commissioner said. Yet, the issue is to be fully resolved 23% Of indian adult population has received both the doses 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 snoopgate Supreme Court to set up technical experts’ panel on Pegasus er case in which senior advocate C U Singh, one of the petitioner’s lawyers in the The Supreme Cour t on Pegasus case, was appearing. Thursday said it is planning The top court had on Septo set up a committee of ex- tember 13 reserved its order, perts to look into allegations saying it only wanted to know of unauthorised surveillance whether or not the Centre ilusing Pegasus software, add- legally used Pegasus to snoop ing a formal order will be is- on journalists, activists and sued by next week. politicians. The Centre had The information assumes stoutly refused to file an designificance since the tailed affidavit citing Centre had earlier ofnational security . fered to set up a panel The Congress apon its own to look into preciated the SC’s iniallegations of snoop- We will be able tiative to set up a probe to finalise the ing on civil society. panel, saying it is a members of the Chief Justice N V Rastep in the right directechnical mana said the matter expert team by tion. “The Pegasus spy was taking time be- next week and scandal is... an assault cause some experts it then pronounce on national security our orders wanted to induct had and privacy... The sodeclined citing perlution is simple — A SC sonal difficulties. “We SC-monitored full inwill be able to finalise vestigation. SC obserthe members of by vation of setting up a next week and protechnical committee is nounce our a right step in this orders.” direction,” Congress T h e re m a rk s chief spokesperson came when he was Randeep Surjewahearing some othla tweeted. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi being greeted by members of Indian Diaspora upon his arrival in Washington DC on Thursday | Press Information Bureau Modi woos business czars in the US Seeks fresh US investments in India; deals on military drones, 5G and solar power expected E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hit the ground running, holding back-to-back meetings with the top executives of five leading US companies from diverse sectors. Among the CEOs who met Modi in Washington DC the first day of his four-day US visit were Indian-Americans Shantanu Narayen, chairman of software major Adobe, and Vivek Lall, CEO of military drone manufacturer General Atomics. The others included Cristiano Amon of Qualcomm, a leader in 5G solutions; Mark Widmar, CEO of solar panel maker First Solar; and Stephen Schwarzman of global investment firm Blackstone. During the one-on-one meetings with the business leaders, Modi highlighted the unique opportunities India could offer to them, sources said. Modi’s first interaction was with Qualcomm’s Amon and the discussion was on how 5G technology could be accelerated. “We talked about an incredible opportunity to advance the industry not only domestically in India but India as an export of technology ,” Amon later said. According to the PMO, the Qualcomm CEO “expressed keenness to work with India in areas such as 5G and other @DigitalIndia efforts”. Sources said Qualcomm wants to work with India on semi-conductors, 5G and the Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) scheme. Talks with Adobe’s Narayen revolved around the firm’s future investment plans in India. “Ideas to leverage Digital India flagship programme in sectors like health, education and R&D were also discussed,” said the Ministry of External Affairs. Blackstone to invest $40 billion in India over 5 yrs India is Blackstone’s best market in the world, said the firm’s CEO Stephen Schwarzman. He said Blackstone has already invested $60 billion in assets in India and will pump in another $40 billion over the next five years India’s solar energy potential was the focus of Modi’s meeting with First Solar’s Widmar. “Discussions took place about First Solar’s interest in setting up manufacturing facilities in India using their unique thin-film technology MEA said. ,” Modi’s meeting with Lall of General Atomics, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of military drones, came amid New Delhi’s plan to boost its defence arsenal. The two spoke about advancing defence manufacturing, use of emerging technologies and augmenting capacity building in India. Apple CEO Tim Cook was conspicuous by his absence. He was reportedly scheduled to meet Modi on Thursday . Former TN DGP JK Tripathy appointed CIC E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Former DGP of Tamil Nadu Jalad Kumar Tripathy has been appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of Odisha. Tripathy’s appointment was notified by the Information and Public Relations department on Thursday after approval of Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal. The post of the CIC had fallen vacant after retirement of Sunil Kumar Mishra on August 15. An IPS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre of 1985 batch, Tripathy was also the Police Commissioner of Chennai. He had received the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration in 2008. He was popular for solving the 2012 bank robbery cases. Born at Bheda village in Cuttack district, he served in some senior posts in Tamil Nadu like Inspector General of Police (Southern Zone). He was also posted with the Crime Branch and Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the state. express read out of Rti ambit proxy war agriculture Thrust New Delhi: Stating that the PM-CARES Fund was not a government fund, the Centre on Thursday told the Delhi High Court the donations received by the fund did not go to the Consolidated Fund of India. Refusing to share third-party information, the government said it functioned with transparency and the funds were audited by an auditor — a chartered accountant drawn from the panel prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. The government was opposing a petitioner’s plea seeking a direction to declare the PM-CARES Fund a ‘State’ under the Constitution and a ‘public authority’ under the RTI Act. Further hearing was fixed for September 27 | p7 New Delhi: Security forces in Jammu and Kashmir were put on high alert based on intelligence reports of terror groups planning a ‘spectacular’ attack in the Union Territory to coincide with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with the US President Joe Biden. Sources said terror groups were planning a fidayeen (suicide) attack on a senior police officer or a government installation. Modi reached Washington on Thursday for a three-day visit. “Pak-based terror groups are trying to learn newer techniques to attack our forces from terrorists based abroad,” a senior security official said, referring to the nexus between groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Taliban | P8 Bhubaneswar: AS Odisha meets a majority of its vegetables and fruits requirement from neighbouring states, the State government on Thursday constituted a committee to prepare a work plan for achieving self-sufficiency in production. The committee headed by Agriculture Production Commission Raj Kumar Sharma has been mandated to prepare a target specific and time bound work plan for up-scaling the fruit and vegetable production in the context of different agro-climatic zones of Odisha | P3 PM-CARES is not government fund, Centre tells Delhi High Court Alert in J&K on major terror strike to coincide with Modi-Biden meet BJP warming up to Amarinder Singh H a r p r ee t B a j w a @ Chandigarh NATIONWIDE sept 22 sept 23 Fresh cases 26,964 Recoveries Deaths Jab-o-meter 31,923 34,167 31,990 383 282 Take your shot September 22 64,98,274 doses September 23 65,26,432 doses Total doses: 84,08,21,190 odisha sept 22 sept 23 Fresh cases 734 644 Recoveries Deaths 445 04 417 07 A day after former Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh chided the Gandhi siblings, Rahul and Priyanaka, for unseating him, the BJP seemed to be cosying up to the veteran Congress leader. With the political pot in pollbound Punjab already boiling following his high-pitched spat with state Congress unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu, the BJP’s overture has added a new dimension to it. They have not only gone soft on him but are spinning him as a nationalist icon. Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Thursday sought to slam Sidhu, saying Amarinder was axed as he was a hurdle in installing pro-Pakistan forces in power in Punjab. The BJP which had gone on the , backfoot in the state after the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) broke its two-decade old alliance with it last year citing the controversial farm sector reform laws, is now tempting Amarinder to jump ship so that the saffron party become a significant player in the state polls. As for Amarinder, he is keeping his options open. The BJP wants to fight on all 117 seats in the state this time around. At present, it has only two MLAs in the Assembly. In the last Assembly elections, the BJP contested only 23 seats, as it was in alliance with SAD. Political analyst Prof Ashutosh of Panjab University said, “Ama- rinder has two options. Either he floats his own regional party like others did or join the BJP The kind . of political language he is speaking and idioms he is using of late are in consonance with the BJP line on national security and Pakistan bashing.’’ Amarinder, even after demitting office, is clearly no pushover. With him holding his cards close to the chest, nothing can be definitively said as yet. To draw him, the BJP has to find a workaround for the three farm laws and also introduce a law guaranteeing minimum support prices for crops. The other option for Amarinder is to launch his own regional party with the tacit support Continued on: P8 of the BJP . Odisha to host Jr hockey WC for country’s pride: Naveen E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Cementing its position as a major global hockey destination, Odisha is ready to host FIH Men’s Junior World Cup at Kalinga Stadium here from November 24 to December 5. Making the announcement that the State will host the global event, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik unveiled the World Cup trophy and launched its logo here on Thursday . The tournament will feature 16 countries – India, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, Belgium, England, France, Ger many, the Netherlands, Spain, USA, Canada, Chile and Argentina. Earlier, the Hockey India had decided on Guwahati as the venue of the Junior World Cup. But, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik unveiling the trophy of Junior Men’s World Cup Hockey at Lokaseva Bhawan in Bhubaneswar on Thursday | P11 | Express with the State backing out, Odisha was selected as the host. In the past, Odisha government had also made arrangements to host the 22nd Asian Athletics Cham- pionships in 2018 within 90 days. Naveen said Odisha is ready to host such a big event for the sake of country’s prestige. Recently, Hockey India had approached the government to support them for the Men’s Junior World Cup which is to be held in two months’ time. “It is a very short notice for making arrangements for such a big event. But, since the nation’s prestige is at stake, we readily agreed to support,” he said. Describing Odisha’s engagement with Hockey India, the Chief Minister said over the last decade, the State has been working closely with Hockey India for development of sports in the country The State has sponsored . the national teams since 2018. It has also been the host for major tournaments including the Hockey World Cup. “All these efforts have led to the historic success of the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams at the recent Tokyo Olympics,” CONTINUED ON: P5 he said. Odisha shifts focus to vegetable, fruit production, panel to prepare work plan
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