Samyukt Kisan Morcha leader Darshan Pal (L) and others at a press conference near Singhu border in New Delhi on Saturday | Pti sambalpur l sunday l november 28, 2021 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l city EDITION Tractor march postponed, but protests to continue Farmers postpone Monday’s Parliament march, but agitation will continue till demands, including the one on MSP, are met Unions list pending demands for Centre Stubble burning to be decriminalised The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which is heading the stir against the three farm bills, has said it welcomes Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to repeal the bills and is urging fulfillment of six other demands, including a statutory guarantee of Minimum Support Price, withdrawal of the draft Electricity Amendment Bill and suspension of Union Minister Ajay Mishra ■ ■ Earlier on Saturday, the Union agriculture minister said stubble burning has been decriminalised as per the farmers’ demand SKM, an umbrella body of farm unions, also said Modi should direct states and Railways to withdraw cases against protesting farmers. Parliament’s winter session begins on Monday | P7 Dec 4 Next meeting of SKM to decide farmers’ course of action 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 TMC may skip Congress-led meet as it jostles for chief Oppn role E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Kolkata In another bid to project itself as the main anti-BJP party the , Trinamool Congress is likely to skip the meeting of opposition parties convened by the Congress on Monday for a joint strategy during the winter Parliament session, party sources said on Saturday . “The Trinamool is not interested in coordinating with the Congress but the party has no problem in coordinating with other opposition parties,” a party leader said. “In such a situation, the Trinamool will lead the alliance. The recent defection from the Congress to our party shows we are the main opposition against the Bharatiya Janta Party .” The final decision on boycotting the meeting would be taken by party supremo Mamata Banerjee, and it could arrive at a time when the rift between the Trinamool Congress and the grand old party is growing. The Trinamool Congress recently poached Cong ress le gislators in Tripura, Meghalaya and Goa and is portraying itself as the main party confronting the BJP. “The thumping victory in the recent Assembly elections proved that the Trina- Int’l travel curbs Odisha govt makes RT-PCR mandatory may continue as for foreign returnees Omicron spreads E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar PM seeks review of plans to resume regular flights, urges states to ramp up vaccination ministry would continue to have restrictions on the number Concerned over the new of weekly flights with India. Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529 found The meeting came in the in South Africa that has been backdrop of suspected Omidesignated as a ‘variant of con- cron cases being reported in cer n’ by the World Belgium, Israel, GerHealth Organization many the Netherlands, , and named Omicron, Czech Republic and the Prime Minister NarenUK. There have been 77 dra Modi on Saturday fully confirmed cases asked officials to reof the Omicron variant view plans for easing in South Africa, four of international travel cases in Botswana and restrictions in India. one in Hong Kong. At a comprehensive Two South The UK, the US, the Africans meeting to review the EU, Australia, Brazil, public health prepared- test +ve in Turkey, Canada, the B’luru ness in the backdrop of United Arab Emirates, Omicron, which is posEgypt, Sri Lanka, Two South sibly more transmissi- Africans have Oman and Thailand, ble than the highly in- tested positive among others have alfectious Delta variant, for Covid-19 in ready banned travel the PM highlighted the from certain African Bengaluru. need for monitoring all Both have been countries. international arrivals, In Saturday’s meetquarantined their testing as per ing, the PM stressed and their guidelines with a spe- samples have the need to increase the cific focus on countries second dose coverage been sent for identified as ‘at risk.’ and also asked states to further tests, The meeting was ensure that all those officials said held a day after the civwho have got the first il aviation ministry said regu- dose are given the second dose lar international passenger on time. He also directed offiflights would resume operation cials to work closely with state from December 15 with certain governments so that there is exceptions. Countries marked proper awareness at the state P7, 9 as ‘at risk’ by the Union health and district level. K u m a r V i k r a m @ New Delhi With the Centre swinging into action after the WHO termed the new Covid variant Omicron (B.1.1.529) as a ‘variant of concern’, the Odisha government on Saturday made RT-PCR test of all foreign returnees mandatory . The Health and Family Welfare department has directed all collectors to undertake stringent monitoring of all international travellers especially those from risk countries like Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong where the variant has already been detected. Districts, municipal corporations and medical colleges have been asked to send RT-PCR positive samples to designated genome sequencing laboratory. The samples, especially from cluster or high risk/suspected cases will be sequenced timely and meticulously to ensure that no new variant slips through. Conducting a review of the Covid situation, Additional Chief Secretary of Health RK Sharma asked officials to keep a tab on all foreign returnees and intensify surveillance on schools, colleges, hostels and other congregations discouraging anyone with even mildest of symptoms from attending classes. Sharma also asked officials to conduct random testing at educational institutions, hostels and enforce Covid appropriate behaviour in in schools, colleges, public places and public transport. Meanwhile, the State recorded 264 new cases including 41 from the 0-18 years age group, in the last 24 hours taking the tally to 10,48,492. As many as 219 cases were reported on Thursday . The spotlight is back on children following the death of two minors among the three fatalities in a day The minors who died of the disease includ. ed a three-month-old girl from Balangir and a 16-year-old boy from Kalahandi. Director of Public Health Dr Niranjan Mishra said the districts have been instructed that those who test positive for the virus will be isolated and their samples sent to Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) for genome sequencing. NATIONWIDE nov 26 nov 27 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 10,549 8,318 9,868 10,967 488 465 odisha nov 26 nov 27 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 335 235 02 264 255 03 Jab-o-meter Take your shot November 26 65,23,396 doses November 27 73,74,792 doses Total: 121,84,12,797 W I T H T H IS ISSUE Flying colours Metaverse is Coming PLUS 12 PAGES An artist painting a wall near AG Square in Bhubaneswar as part of beautification drive on Saturday | Express mind games Soldiers may be taught to beat China in talks M aya n k S i n g h @ New Delhi The Army is working on honing negotiation skills of the soldiers mandated to communicate and hold bilateral talks with the Chinese troops as interactions between the soldiers of the two countries increase. According to a source, “The training on negotiation techniques is in its conceptual stage, keeping in mind the way talks have been taking place at different command levels.” The need for more training arose after the Chinese side either stretched the meeting for long hours “to wear out the other side during the talks” or behaved erratically raising voices to , play mind games with Indians. The whole gamut of responses along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has been under review since the military standoff of May 2020. The Army has also formalised a course on Tibetan language and culture to “amalgamate its troops well with the people of Tibet.” The course run by the Army in association with the Central Institute of Himalayan Culture Studies and Namgyal Institute of Tibetology Sik, kim, aims to make soldiers under- stand cultural nuances and teach them with the language so that they can mix with the Tibetan population living on the Indian side of the LAC. This will wean the people away from the Chinese propaganda, the source said. There are people from the same tribes living on both sides of the LAC. The frequency of meetings, talks and hotline communication has increased between the two sides. As per the old agreements, nine Border Personnel Meetings are held between the two countries every year on ceremonial occasions. mool is the main political party that decimated the BJP in Bengal despite the saffron camp’s aggressive campaign,” a senior Trinamool leader said. “We are now busy spreading our footprint in national politics and building an image as the only anti-BJP political party But the Congress . is trying to portray itself as the main face of anti-BJP forces by convening the meeting, which we do not agree with,” the leader added. During her recent visit to Delhi, Banerjee did not meet interim Congress president So- nia Gandhi, but instead met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stoking speculation. In October, Banerjee said the Congress had miserably failed to put up a fight against the BJP and the people of India have put the onus on the TMC to create a ‘’new India’’ by ousting the saffron camp. India’s largest engineering cluster to come up in Cuttack Hem a n t K u m a r R o u t @ Bhubaneswar Odisha will soon have one of the country’s largest engineering clusters at Indranipatna industrial area of Cuttack. The cluster will come up incorporating the existing MSMEs under Micro and Small Enterprises - Cluster Development Programme (MSECDP) of the Centre. The Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development (IDCO) has allocated six acre of land for a common facility centre of the cluster and eight acre for the special purpose vehicle created for the project. The detailed project report of the mega venture has been approved by both the State and Centre. An estimated `31 crore will be spent on the cluster which is being promoted by the Odisha Assembly All support is being provided to the SPV so that the project can be completed within one year Satyabrata Sahu, MSME Principal Secretary of Small and Medium Enterprises (OASME). While the Centre will provide `18 crore, the State government will chip in with `7.18 crore as grant assistance under MSE-CDP scheme. The contribution of SPV members will be `5.31 crore. As per the project details, the common facility centre for the engineering cluster will have latest machinery, computer numeric control (CNC) tools and equipment worth `25 crore. It will support entrepreneurs and startups in the field of defence, aerospace, oil and natural gas as well as cater to the needs of MSMEs in the State. Principal Secretary of MSME department Satyabrata Sahu said the mega engineering cluster is a part of entrepreneurial promotion as well as MSME development activities of the government. “All support is being provided to the SPV so that the project can be completed within one year. A new procurement policy is also coming up very soon which will give strong marketing support to local MSMEs,” he added. While the cluster now has 88 member units of which, 17 belong to women entrepreneurs and 12 to tribal and scheduled caste entrepreneurs, the SPV has 61 member units from eight districts including industrially backward districts like Rayagada and CONTINUED ON: P5 Gajapati.
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