SAMBALPUR l tuesday l january 18, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION Deadline for feedback on GM food norms extended People can now submit feedback on the draft regulations till Feb 5, the FSSAI said on Monday. Original deadline was Jan 15 DECISION AFTER pressure from rss outfit Blanket nod for use as ingredient? The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)’s decision to push the last date comes in the wake of protests from anti-GM groups, activists, farmers and NGOs. Last week, the RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), too, put its weight behind the anti-GM campaign shooting off a letter to the FSSAI asking it to withdraw its “irresponsible” proposals ■ ■ SJM co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan also launched an online campaign highlighting GM food’s impact on health and nature According to the draft norms, once the FSSAI grants approval, no other clearance is required for GM food to be used as an ingredient in any product, except infant food | P7 Nov 15, 2021 When the fssai released the draft guidelines on gm food CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Drone strike kills 2 Indians in UAE Trouble to escalate after first attack by Houthi rebels, as Gulf nation says it has a right to respond E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi ‘mother’ to the destitute, Shanti Devi no more Eminent social worker and Gandhian Shanti Devi passed away at her Seva Samaj Ashram in Gunupur at Rayagada district late on Sunday night. She was 88 | P2 IT’s called the safest country in the Gulf region. Yet, three people, including two Indians, were killed in a drone attack near the Abu Dhabi airport on Monday The ter. ror message was clear – don’t think the UAE is a safe place any longer. Yemen-based Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack. Tension in the region is set to rise as the UAE has vowed to retaliate. “This terrorist attack by the Houthi militia on areas and civilian facilities on Emirati soil... will not go unpunished,” UAE foreign ministry said. The identity of those killed could not be immediately known and the authorities are working on it, India’s Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir told this newspaper on phone. A Pakistani na- Iran-backed rebels Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack in UAE. The Houthis, backed by Iran, have in the past launched several cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia but this is the first time they are claiming an attack deep inside Emirates. Monday’s attack is reportedly a retaliation against the Saudi-led coalition’s offensive against the Houthis tional also died in the explosion. All the injured are said to be out of danger. According to reports, boobytrapped drones were launched at the storage facility of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) in Musaffah Industrial area, which sparked multiple explosions in the Emirate capital. The area is just 22 km from the city centre and has an oil pipeline network including 36 storage tanks, from which heavy vehicles transport fuel across the country . The UAE is a key member of the Saudi-led coalition that has waged war against the Houthis since 2015. The Houthis had recently threatened to launch strikes against the UAE after losing the key area of Shabwa, which is near the city of Ma’arib in north-east Yemen and is considered as central to the war. Saudi forces and UAE-backed ground troops tried pushing back the Houthi advance. Shia militias in Iraq have also been threatening the UAE in the past few days. This suggests that this attack may have been well orchestrated. Saudi-led coalition had issued a statement that they had destroyed three drones in southern Saudi Arabia. However, it provided no evidence to substantiate the claims. It has been targeted by Yemen through drones and missiles. The first confirmation of the death of Indian nationals came through a tweet by the Abu Dhabi police. Indian ambassador Sudhir, however, averred that the UAE is a very safe place. 2 teens held in UK over Texas synagogue siege London: Police in the UK said on Monday that they are questioning two teenagers as part of an ongoing investigation into the siege at a synagogue in the US state of Texas, which ended in the death of British hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram | P9 Covid third wave ebbing in Test positivity rate jumps Synonym of kathak, to 15 per cent in Odisha Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata? complete S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi Though the ongoing third wave of Covid-19 continues to be building in the country the , curve in a few big cities may have started to bend. An analysis of daily Covid cases and deaths in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata shows that the wave may have already peaked there. Mumbai logged 7,895 new cases on Sunday; its figures have been declining since January 7 when the city had a whopping 20,971 fresh cases. The earlier one-day high for Mumbai was 11,163 cases, registered on April 4 last year during the s e c o n d w ave o f t h e pandemic. In Delhi, where the daily Covid cases had crossed 30,000 on two days late last week, less than 28,000 were recorded on Sunday. Though the number of tests, too, dropped a tad in the city, the good news is the fall in the test positivity rate (TPR) — under-28% now after crossing 30% earlier. Kolkata, which had shown an explosive TPR of over 70% for several days, is also reporting a marginal decline. Also, the daily case count in the city is now under 6,000 as against 10,000-plus earlier. A senior member of the national Covid-19 task force told this newspaper that the government is watching these numbers closely, adding the wave appears to be ebbing. “However, we will need to see the trend for about 10 days before reaching a conclusion,” he said. Health economist Rijo M John pointed out that at the national level, too, the most comforting factor is the low level of hospitalisation. National growth rate of active cases dipping? “The national growth of active cases has been declining for the past couple of days. Testing may have declined a bit. But the TPR has not really gone up much despite a change in strategy towards more targeted testing,” pointed out health economist Rijo M John NATIONWIDE jan 16 jan 17 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,71,202 2,58,089 1,38,331 1,51,740 314 385 odisha jan 16 jan 17 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 11,177 10,489 4,452 5,965 03 03 Jab-o-meter Take your shot January 16 39,46,348 doses January 17 68,95,050 doses Total doses 1,57,91,63,478 E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar DESPITE a marginal drop in Covid infection count during the last 24 hours mainly due to low testing, Odisha’s daily test positivity rate (TPR) touched 15 per cent (pc) on Monday . The State reported 10,489 new Covid cases, 688 less than the previous day pushing the overall infection count to 11,44,401. , Three Covid deaths were also reported from Bhubaneswar and Angul in this period taking Covid toll to 8,484. The daily TPR of the State, however, jumped to 15 pc from 14.5 pc on Sunday This despite around 7,000 less samples test. ed against the previous day’s 77,120. Hotspot Khurda reported the highest 2,934 cases followed by 1,447 in Sundargarh, 786 in Cuttack and 433 in Balasore in the last 24 hours. Director of Public Health Dr Niranjan Mishra said the State now has 75,797 active cases, including 24,764 in Khurda, one of the five districts in red zone. Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Cuttack and Balasore are the other four districts that are in this zone for having over 2,500 active cases. Dr Mishra, however, said that despite such a high load of active cases, the growth rate and doubling time of Covid-19 cases have slowed down in the State since the last five days and hospitalisation has also remained considerably low. “Out of 75,000 plus active cases, only around 1,200 patients are in hospitals which shows that the situation in the State is CONTINUED ON: P5 under control,” he said. Sarpanch post ‘sold’ for `44K in Balangir’s Bileisarda village! win the sarpanch post uncontested and the villagers promBelieve it or not, a sarpanch ised to support me during elecpost was reportedly “auc- tion,” he said. tioned” for `44,000 in Bileisarda Dinabandhu Gartia, a villagvillage under Puintala block of er who attended the meeting Balangir district. said, since the panchayat elecThough the incident took tion is going to be held amid the place in a village meeting three pandemic, villagers thought if days back, it came to light on they can help a candidate win Monday when filing of nomi- uncontested, gathering and nation papers for the spread of the infecposts of sarpanchs, tion can be prevented. samiti and zilla “Sushant promised to parishad members donate for the temple began. and we chose him,” As per reports, the I pledged `44,000 he added. alleged bidding of the towards the temple Confir ming the sarpanch post took development if I event, priest of the place when a gram win the sarpanch Jagannath temple sabha was organised post uncontested said there were four by residents of three and the villagers candidates who wantvillages - Bandanaed to contest for sarpromised to kata, Kasurpali and panch post and after Bileisarda - at Jagan- support me during the donation pledge, a election, nath temple on Friunanimous decision day During the meet- Sushant Kumar Chhatria, was taken to select . ing, the post was Sushant. Candidate auctioned and one of Contacted, Collecthe candidates Sushtor Chanchal Rana ant Kumar Chhatria won the said he will conduct an inquiry bid after he reportedly pledged into the issue and submit a reto donate `44,000 for develop- port to the State Election m e n t o f t h e J a g a n n a t h Commission. temple. Quote Chhatria said residents of I pledged `44,000 towards the the panchayat decided to vote temple development if I win for one person who would con- the sarpanch post uncontested tribute to the temple which he and the villagers promised to did. “I pledged `44,000 towards support me during election the temple development if I Sushant Kumar Chhatria S a n j ay M i s h r a @ Balangir Litter litter everywhere A man takes bath at Kuakhai river as the bank is strewn with garbage in Bhubaneswar on Monday | Biswanath Swain express read Punjab poll postponed to February 20 New Delhi: The poll panel on Monday said Punjab election will be held on February 20 instead of February 14 in view of Guru Ravidas Jayanti. Various parties including the Congress and BJP had urged the EC to postpone the voting as thousands of Guru Ravidas followers travel from Punjab to Varanasi to celebrate his birth anniversary | P8 Over 8K candidates file nominations Bhubaneswar: Even as political parties grappled with the task of candidate selection for the panchayat election, thousands of nominees filed their papers on the first day. As many as 8,772 candidates have filed their nomination papers including 7,116 for ward members | P3 Auto dealers seek GST cut on two-wheelers New Delhi: Amidst falling sales, automobile dealers’ body FADA has urged the Central government to reduce GST rates on two-wheelers from 28% to 18% in the coming budget to generate demand in the segment. FADA said that two-wheelers are not a luxury item and hence GST rates need to come down | P10 kalakaar Pandit Birju Maharaj 4 Feb 1938 - 17 Jan 2022 W hen Maharaj ji accepted his riyaaz in a store room for 4-5 my invite to take a work- hours till the sweat of his feet shop at my home in Con- made the floor slippery Then he . necticut, I was very nerv- would try his hands at various ous. But much to our surprise, he instruments in the store. turned out to be a simple man When he was 19-20, Maharaj ji immersed in dance and music. joined the Bharatiya Kala KendHe would eat home-made food, ra and started creating a grammake sketches on paper and af- mar for understanding every ter the workshop even invite all movement. He introduced many parents and sing for them. When new sams, the ending pose of a a life opens up before you like dancer. All these experiments that how does one start to de- were very well received by the scribe it! audience during the late 50s and Pandit Birju Maharaj was a early 60s. He also choreographed legend in his lifetime, a synonym many successful dance dramas. for Kathak and a complete KaMaharaj ji later joined Kathak lakaar, an artist par excellence. Kendra. As he had many internaBorn as Brij Mohan Mishra in tional students, he simplified his the illustrious famicompositions by makly of Ishwari Prasad, ing them numerical. with Kalka-BindaHe broke long rhythdin Maharaj as his mic compositions into grandfathers and playful words for kids. Achhan Maharaj as Many of his complihis father, he further cated tihais (polyradded tremendously hythmic technique) to the repertoire of were made playful for Neelima Beri his heritage. the audience while reMaharaj ji passed Director of Kalaleen Center t a i n i n g their away in Delhi on for Traditional Learning complexities. Monday. He was 83. M a h a r a j j i p e rMaharaj ji started his taalim formed extensively all over India from his father at a very tender and abroad and recalled many age, but he was only nine when hilarious incidents from this his father passed away. He then time. One particularly memoralearnt from his illustrious un- ble one was at Jhansi. The rowdy cles, Shambhu Maharaj and crowd was brought under conLachhu Maharaj. They had very trol by him by making an extemdifferent styles of dancing, one pore piece of Rani of Jhansi placing emphasis on the mascu- fighting the British. line style and the other on the Maharaj ji then set up his infeminine (Lasya). He told us sto- stitute, Kalashram. He was very ries of how he had to keep their fond of spicy street food and mastyles different for maintaining lai of Lucknow. He loved my peace with his uncles. paranthas and called me paranIn 1953, Kapila Vatsyayan, a thewali for quite some time. He disciple of Achhan Maharaj, also loved gadgets of all types called Birju to Delhi to work at but not in black colour. He was Sangeet Bharati. He would go to also the first Kathak artist to rethe school every morning and do ceive the Padma Vibhushan. China grew at 8.1% in 2021 on low base effect E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi CHINESE economy grew 8.1% in 2021, the fastest in 10 years, driven by low base effect. The annual growth rate is lower than economists’ average estimates of 8.4%. However, GDP growth in the fourth quarter at 4% bettered analysts’ expectation of 3.6%, data released on Monday showed. Macroeconomic futures showed that fixed asset investments in 2021 grew 4.9%, beating expectations of a 4.8% growth. Investment in real es- tate rose 4.4%, while that in infrastructure was up 0.4%. Investment in manufacturing shot up by 13.5% in 2021 from a year ago. Industrial production registered a 4.3% year-onyear growth in December 2021 beating analyst’s estimate of 3.6%. Though the 2021 growth rate looks impressive, it is more a recovery from the Coviddriven slump in 2020, when growth had fallen to 2.2%. Analysts are not bullish on China as growth may slip again in future. According to a recent World Bank report, China’s growth will moderate to at 5.1% in 2022, owing to lingering effects of the pandemic and tighter regulations in certain sectors. It expects GDP to grow at 5.2% in 2023. Retail sales in December only grew 1.7% against analysts’ expectation of 3.7% . Unemployment rate among 16-24 age group remained high at 14.3%. Consumer spending in rural areas remains below prepandemic levels. Foreseeing a slump in GDP growth in 2022, China’s central bank on Monday cut key lending rates by 10 basis points, for the first time since April 2020.
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