First india ahmedabad edition-18 october 2020

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Information about First india ahmedabad edition-18 october 2020

Published on October 18, 2020

Author: FirstIndia1


1. First India Bureau Ahmedabad: In a star- tling revelation, for- mer Congress leader Akshay Patel, who re- signed as the MLA of the Karjan constitu- ency and later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), admitted that he was offered Rs52 crore prior to the Lok Sabha elections last year. Patel came out with the informa- tion to challenge the claim of being ‘sold’ for Rs16 crore by Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani. A new campaign called ‘Gaddar Jaichan- do Jawaab Aapo’ (Trai- tors Respond) has been announced by the Guja- rat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) for the by-elections. Dha- nani recently initiated a war of words on Twit- ter wherein he lashed out at party defectors. “Who was sold for Rs16 crore?” tweeted Dhana- ni. Those who joined the BJP after quitting Congress have been ac- cused of accepting money and even offer- ing it to others in the run-up to the bypolls. Patel, who is the BJP candidate for the Karjan constituency, stated, “I want to clarify that neither myself nor any other person was sold for Rs16 crore. Let him (Dhanani) prove that I received Rs16 crore. If all I had wanted was money, it would have happened last year. I was offered Rs54 crore before the Lok Sabha elections.” He did not reveal the identity of the party that made the over- ture. He added, “In my po- litical career, I have never considered mak- ing money. I was asked to resign from the party (Congress) at a farm- house. I do not know which party ap- proached me at the time.” It must be noted that Patel resigned from Congress ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections this year before being inducted into BJP. The theme of the by- election campaign seems to be horse- trading, with leaders of both political par- ties accusing each oth- er of indulging in the practice. On Friday, BJP’s Dhari candidate JV Kakadia sent a no- tice to Savarkundla MLA Pratap Dudhat, as the latter had stated at a Congress party meeting that the for- mer had been ‘bought’ by the BJP for a sum of Rs16 crore. In re- taliation, Kakadia promptly issued a def- amation notice to Dudhat with the pro- vision that if he issues a public apology and withdraws his state- ments, he will with- draw the case. Cong lashes out at defectors, turncoat admits to `52 crore offer BJP’s Karjan candidate Akshay Patel renounced LoP Paresh Dhanani’s allegations of being ‘bought’ by the ruling party Former Karjan MLA Akshay Patel P5 P6 RAHUL GANDHI WILL KICK START THE POLL CAMPAIGN IN BIHAR ON OCTOBER 23, WHERE HE WILL ADDRESS 2 RALLIES MAHA MUST TAKE UP PROJECT OF FORMATION OF STATE WATER GRID ON THE LINES OF POWER GRID 28°C - 36°C | I I | AHMEDABAD l SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2020 l Pages 12 l 3.00 RNI NO. GUJENG/2019/16208 l Vol 1 l Issue No. 323 OUR EDITIONS: JAIPUR & AHMEDABAD Devotees visit the iconic Hadimba Devi Temple after it was re-opened by the authorities in Manali. A monorail runs on a track during a trial run ahead of the resumption of its services from Sunday onwards, in Mumbai on Saturday.  FRIENDLYBOND: INDIATOTEST RUSSIA’SSPUTNIKVATREDDY’S Mohd Fahad New Delhi: In a signifi- cant move towards India potentiallygettingaCov- id-19 vaccine by the end of this year, the coun- try’s top drug regulator has approved a request by Dr Reddy’s Laborato- ries to conduct mid- to late-stage human trials for the Russian Sputnik V vaccine candidate. The Hyderabad-head- quartered firm, which had entered into an agreement with the Russian Direct Invest- ment Fund (RDIF) last month to help receive approvals for the candi- date in India, will now move ahead with an adaptive phase 2/3 clin- ical trial of the candi- date here. “This will be a multi- center and randomized controlled study, which will include safety and immunogenicity study,” DrReddy’stoldtheBom- bay Stock Exchange in a filing on Saturday evening. Turn to P6 New Delhi: Prime Min- ister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting on Saturday to review ar- rangements for the de- livery and distribution of a coronavirus vac- cine - when one is made available. Pointing to India’s successful conduct of national elections, the Prime Minister sug- gested that vaccine dis- tribution should in- volve state and UT gov- ernments and civil soci- ety organisations, and have a strong IT back- bone that will boost In- dia’s healthcare system. Turn to P6 PM suggests vaccine delivery system like polls NO MUTATION IN COVID-19 VIRUS New Delhi: Two studies on the genome of the coronavirus in India con- ducted by Department of Bio-Technology sug- gest that the COVID-19 virus is genetically sta- ble and has shown no major mutation. There had been concern that mutation detected could affect effective vaccine. P6 The Hyderabad-based firm, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories had entered into an agreement with the Russian Fund last month. This is a significant development that allows us to commence the clinical trial in India and we are committed to bringing in a safe and efficacious vaccine to combat the pandemic —GV Prasad Co-chairman and Managing Director of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories WHAT IS ‘SPUTNIK V’ VACCINE z The “Sputnik V” is a vaccine developed by the Gama- leya research institute in coordination with the Russian defence ministry. It is based on a proven vaccine against adenovirus – the common cold. z The vaccine is expected to provide immunity from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, for up to two years, according to the Russian health ministry. President Vladimir Putin’s had announced on August 13 that Russia had become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, which had raised scepticism. z The vaccine is administered in two doses and consists of two serotypes of human adenovirus, each carrying an S-antigen of the new corona- virus, which enter human cells and produce an im- mune response. ‘Queen creating communal divide’ as Court orders FIR against Kangana Mumbai: A Mumbai court has ordered an FIR against Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut for allegedly creating religious disharmony. Ranaut has been ac- cused of “continuously defaming Bollywood film industry” by a cast- ing director who peti- tionedthecourtandsaid the ‘Queen’ actor is “cre- atingacommunaldivide between people of two communities and in the mind of common man” through her tweets. The order was passed on Friday by Bandra Metropolitan Magis- trate Jaydeo Y Ghule as the court responded to a complaint by petitioner Sahil Ashrafali Sayyed; the complaint also men- tions Ms Ranaut’s sister - Rangoli Chandel. “She is well aware that she is a well-known actress and has a big fan base so her tweets will be seen and will reach out to many people,” the petitioner underlined. “The allegations are based upon the com- ments made on elec- tronic media - Twitter and interviews - Turn to P6 Actor Kangana Ranaut BACK TO BUSINESS A bird’s eye view of the floating market on its re-opening day on Saturday, after being damaged in Cyclone Amphan that lashed Kolkata uprooting several trees and poles across the city. —PHOTOS BY PTI LET’S MAKE A FRESH START! z Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party won general election on Saturday as voters rewarded her for a decisive response to COVID-19 z With 2/3 of the votes counted, Labour Party was forecast to take around 64 seats out of the total 120 z No leader has achieved an absolute majority in New Zealand since 1996 EVERYBODY’S FAVOURITE JACINDA ARDERN’S LANDSLIDE VICTORY One of the biggest swings in New Zealand’s electoral history in 80 years

2. NEWSAHMEDABAD | SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2020 I I I I First India Bureau Ahmedabad: The nomination proce- dure of the state as- sembly by-elections culminated on Friday with a total of 135 to- tal candidates filing their nomination to contest for eight con- stituency seats. On the final day, over 71 candidates filed their nominations, of which, 53 were inde- pendent candidates. With the last day for withdrawal of nomina- tion scheduled for Octo- ber 19, it is likely that several independent and dummy candidates of both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress will pull out of the race. The verification of the forms submitted was conducted on Sat- urday. The major po- litical players in the by-election- the BJP and Congress- have also been conducting meetings regarding the bypolls in earnest. As the bypoll race heats up, it will be inter- esting to see how many candidates withdraw their forms post verifi- cation. Several inde- pendent candidates have put in their candi- dature for the by-elec- tions, who hold sway over the votes in their respective districts. This can potentially lure voters away from the major parties and cut into their share of the vote bank. In 1997, a total of 42 independent candidates were in the fray for Radhanpur by- election, of which, 12 were namesakes of each other by the name of ‘Shankar’. Former Chief Minister Shan- karsinh Vaghela had won the by-election af- ter ditching BJP. Now, the BJP and Congress will, in all probability, appeal to the independent can- didates to withdraw their forms. It seems like the latter were expecting overtures from the major par- ties since the final day of nomination submission, over 53 independent candi- dates put forth their candidature for the eight constituencies. Interestingly, a strong independent candidate from Limdi lost the election without even contesting it as his nomination form was rejected due to errors. With eight seats lying vacant in the state legis- lative assembly, several parties such as the BJP, Congress, Indian Peo- ple’s Council, Bahujan Maha Party, Bahujan Mukti Party, Akhil Bharatiya Rajya House, Bharatiya Tribal Party, Indian Alliance Party, and the Nationalist Congress Party, have fielded candidates. 135 candidates in the fray for eight Guj assembly seats Statue of Unity reopens, over 400 tourists visit on Saturday First India Bureau Ahmedabad: The Stat- ue of Unity was closed for the last six months after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the world’s tall- est statue has reo- pened and visitors are allowed in limited numbers. With a daily permissible limit of 2,500, as many as 426 people visited the statue on Saturday. Along with the SOU, other projects in the Ke- vadia colony have also reopened, but prior on- line booking is needed for visitors. The forest jungle sa- fari in Kevadia Colony reopened on October 1. In addition, other projects like river-raft- ing, Ekta Nursery, Cac- tus Garden, Butterfly Garden and World One were opened on Octo- ber 15. The Statue of Unity threw open its doors for tourists from Saturday. All arrangements for strict adherence to the COVID-19 guideline were ensured, officials said. Tourists were giv- en entry in five slots to maintain social dis- tancing. A total of five slots will be available from 8 am to 10 am, 10 am to 12 pm, 12 pm to 2 pm, 2 pm to 4 pm, and 4 pm to 6 pm daily. Tourists will be given entry in five slots whereas earlier 500 tourists were ad- mitted in 8 to 10 slots. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as many as 27 tour- ists were part of the first slot. Vikrant Neet Navar from Maharashtra, who was one of the first vis- itors at the SoU shared his experience. “It is a great pleasure to visit the world’s tallest stat- ue for me and my fami- ly,” he said.  Visitors were granted entry in five slots throughout the day; maximum daily limit set at 2.5K people  Several dummy and independent nom- inees are expected to withdraw their candidature by October 19 Statue of Unity, Kevadia. —FILE PHOTO RESUMING OPERATIONS Gujarat State Assembly. —FILE PHOTO REVERING THE GODDESS Chief Justice Vikram Nath paid an impromptu visit to the newly relocated Central Filing Centre (CFC) on the High Court of Gujarat premises in Ahmedabad on Saturday morning. As disclosed by him after reaching there, the main purpose was to get a first- hand understanding of the procedures followed at the CFC, more particularly on the matters filed through the recently launched e-filing portal. Nath interacted with filing centre personnel including the official attending to the matters received through e-filing. The procedures followed by officials at the CFC were demonstrated to the chief justice. When documents are received through e-filing, they undergo a technical check and if no issues are unearthed, they are printed by the concerned official and forwarded to the section of the centre that allots filing numbers to the cases. Over the course of his surprise drop-in, CJ Nath found that all matters filed till the afternoon of the day before had been processed and the ones received after that were seen to during the demonstration given to him. CJ NATH VISITS CFC UNANNOUNCED With no garba events this year, the first day of Navratri, a nine-day long festival celebrated across the state, saw devotees thronging to seek the blessings of Goddess Bhadrakali and perform venerations at the Bhadrakali Temple in Ahmedabad on Saturday. Touted to be the oldest Bhadrakali Temple in the city, it is located near the Bhadra Fort in the walled city area. With only aartis allowed this Navratri, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, people took to performing the garba in their homes. A city-based garba collective called Niyati Cultural Group danced to folk music live on Facebook to mark the start of the festival in Maninagar area. Residents of Desai ni Pol in Khadia and Surya Apartments in Sola worshipped the Goddess by conducting an aarti, as per guidelines issued by the state government. —PHOTOS BY HANIF SINDHI CONTENDERS FROM MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES

3. GUJARATAHMEDABAD | SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2020 I I I I First India Bureau Surat: The Surat Air- port has been ad- judged third in the country according to a customer satisfac- tion survey (CSS), air- port officials said. The airport also bagged the top posi- tion in the state in the survey carried out by the Airports Author- ity of India (AAI). The survey was con- ducted for 56 domestic airports across the country. Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Airport topped the rankings and while the Swami Vivekananda Airport of Raipur was placed second on the list. The survey meas- ured customer satis- faction at AAI’s top airports, which handle more than 96% of the total air traffic in the country. The AAI cus- tomarily releases a re- port every six months based on 33 parameters including customer satisfaction scales such as parking and restaurant facilities, check-in-staff ’s effi- ciency and other infra- structure. The survey covers all airport users, in- cluding passengers, visitors, concession- aires, regulatory agen- cies, employees work- ing at the airports, airlines exporters, im- porters, pilots, among others. It is conducted at both international and domestic passen- ger terminals, cargo terminals by adopting systematic stratified sampling techniques. Survey investigators interview airport us- ers through a struc- tured questionnaire, seeking their opinion on a five-point scale about facilities and services provided by AAI. The overall cus- tomer satisfaction lev- el is worked out for each facility/service by taking a weighted average of the 5-point options. Surat had secured 4.64 points in January- June 2020, which was 0.01 points better than the previous survey, which was conducted in 2019. In 2016, Surat secured the same rank but received 4.74 points out of 5, which was higher as compared to this year’s markings. Surat Airport is No. 3 in India, No. 1 in Guj in customer satisfaction SURVEY REPORT  Came in behind Ranchi’s Birsa Munda and Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda airports; AAI used 33 param- eters to evaluate 56 airports Surat Airport. —FILE PHOTO SEBItohelpliquidatorofABG shipyardtorecover`101cr? First India Bureau Ahmedabad: The Ahmedabad bench of the National Com- pany Law Tribunal (NCLT) has directed the liquidator of the debt-ridden ABG Shipyard to ap- proach the Securi- ties and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to recover Rs101.05 crore from the firm’s promot- ers, as the markets regulator had in March passed an or- der directing them to refund the money to the company. Sundaresh Bhat, liq- uidator for the ABG Shipyard, had ap- proached NCLT to re- cover the amount from the promoters—Rishi Agarwal and Kamlesh Agarwal—who alleg- edly embezzled the amount from the com- pany’s books to pur- chase land. Disposing of the Bhat’s plea, the Ahmedabad NCLT bench of Judicial Member Manorama Kumari directed him to approach SEBI “to get the appropriate or- der for realisation of the above said amount,” according to the order copy upload- ed on the tribunal’s website on Friday. In April 2019, the NCLT ordered the liquidation of the com- pany—which owes lenders Rs18,000 crore—in the absence of anyviableresolution plan. On March 24 this year, SEBI passed an order directing the pro- moters to return that money to the company within three months along with 8% interest. Subsequently, the liquidator moved the dedicated bankruptcy court to recover Rs 101 crore from the erst- while promoters and made the capital mar- kets regulator also a party in the case. Incorporated in 1985, ABG Shipyard is the flagship company of ABG Group, which has interests in ship- ping and the cement sector. ABG Shipyard. —FILE PHOTO BACKGROUND State expenditure on devt projects fall by 50% 85staffersofCOVID-19hospitalon dharnaoverterminationwithoutfullpay First India Bureau Gandhinagar: The tri- ple whammy of the pandemic, the lock- down and the econom- ic slowdown has al- ready had tangible ef- fects on development in the state. An analy- sis of data available in the four-month perfor- mance report of the Gujarat government till July shows that the state government’s capital expenditure has fallen drastically. The state’s capital ex- penditure in the April- Julyperiodthisyearwas Rs3,725.68 crore—about 46% less than the Rs6,875.83crorereported in the same period last year. Capital costs in- cludecostsbehinddevel- opment projects such as new roads, bridges, ca- nals, projects. Capitalexpenditurein the social sector was es- timated at Rs9,080.51 crore for fiscal 2021. So far, the government has spent about Rs1,162.83 crore, or 11% of the esti- mated total. Similarly, the economic sector which includes roads, agriculture, irrigation, electricity, had a capital expenditure estimation of Rs23.087.28 crore for 2020-21. However, again, just Rs2,578.35 crore (11.27%) has been spent in the first four months of the fiscal. Last year, the state had already spent 28.71% of its esti- mate by this time. The report shows that in 2020-21, a total of Rs33,535.87 crore in loan liabilities would be tak- en, against which Rs10,477.38 crore loans havealreadybeentaken, which is 31.24 of estima- tion. Again, the figure for this period last year was 16.36%. In a nut- shell, the state govern- ment’s development work has halved due to thepandemic-lockdown- recession triple threat, and borrowing has in- creased as revenue has declined. For the first six months of 2020-21, the government’s total reve- nue amounts to Rs21,597.86 crore, which was Rs32,257.12 crore last year during the same period. Masuma Bharmal Jariwala Rajkot: Around 85 at- tendants and house- keeping staff work- ing at a designated COVID-19 health cen- tre (DCHC) set up at the government-run Samras Girls Hostel were laid off over- night without been paid the salary amount they were promised. In response to their unceremoni- ous termination, staffers sat on dharna in protest outside the Collectorate on Satur- day. They also submit- ted a memorandum about their plight. Owing to a surge in COVID-19 cases in Ra- jkot, the hostel had been converted into a DCHC two months ago, with youngsters from across the state had been contracted to work there. However, they were suddenly fired by the contractor. Babu Parmar, an at- tendant who had trav- elled to Rajkot from Surendranagar when he heard about a job op- portunity, said, “Like me, most of the staff has come from other cit- ies. The issue is not us getting laid-off but, the non-payment of our salaries.” He added, “We had a 11-month contract at a salary of Rs12,000 per month. But, the rise in cases had forced many of us to work double shifts. We were supposed to re- ceive Rs24,000 but, were told to come back later when we tried to ask the concerned authorities about it. Then, we were let go. People have lost their livelihood. A few of us have received Rs3,000, some, Rs6,000- 7,000. But, no one has received the full salary.” Prant Officer Charan Singh Gohil said, “They (the workers) have been appointed by a contrac- tor. The arrangement is usuallyforthreemonths or as per requirement. However, the matter will be investigated.” DAILY JUMPS CONTINUE TO FALL, BUT NO RESPITE FROM NCOV Vendor threatens officers as SMC removes stalls in RanderFirst India Bureau Gandhinagar: While the past two weeks have brought a steady decline in the number of COVID-19 cases, the state is still regis- tering four-digit fig- ures in terms of new infections. On Satur- day, Gujarat regis- tered 1,161 cases, tak- ing the state tally to 1,58,635, while the death toll also climbed up to 3,629 with nine new fatali- ties. In October so far, the state has added 20,060 cases, with an average of 1,180 daily. There are currently 14,587 active cases, with 79 patients still on ven- tilator support. Surat again led with 240 cases, while Ahmedabad recorded 183, Vadodara had 116, Rajkot, 101, and Jamna- gar, 74. Three deaths were re- ported from Rajkot city, two from each Ahmedabad and Surat cities and one each from Vadodara and Gir Som- nath districts. The total number of COVID-19 deaths in Ahmedabad has reached 1,868, while 823 patients have died in Surat, 203 in Va- dodara, 153 in Rajkot, 85 in Gandhinagar, and 67 in Bhavnagar. The state has so far conducted 53,22,288 tests, including RT-PCR and antibody rapid tests. As many as 5,49,199 people are still in quarantine, includ- ing 220 in government facilities. First India Bureau Surat: Roadside ven- dors and other small business owners are glad to be operation- al again after being shut for months after the COVID-19 pan- demic hit the state in March. However, po- lice personnel and the officials from Su- rat Municipal Corpo- rations have started removing stalls to minimize the spread of disease. The resultant friction came to a head on Satur- day, when a when threat- enedSMCofficialsinthe presence of witnesses in the Sita Nagar area of the city. Authorities say this was just the most recent in a slew of simi- lar threats. Markets regulator had directed firm’s promoters to return the money to the company The protesting employees. Road work in Ahmedabad. —FILE PHOTO WINDOW TO THE PAST The historic Adalaj ni Vav is all set to receive a makeover soon. —PHOTO BY HANIF SINDHI COVID-19 testing drive in Ahmedabad. —FILE PHOTO 1,161 cases, nine fatalities take state tally to 1,58,635 cases, toll to 3,629

4. G Vol 1 G Issue No. 323 G RNI NO. GUJENG/2019/16208. Printed and published by Anita Hada Sangwan on behalf of First Express Publishers. Printed at Bhaskar Printing Planet Survey No.148P, Changodar-Bavla Highway, Tal. Sanand, Dist. Ahmedabad. Published at D/302 3rd Floor Plot No. 35 Titanium Square, Scheme No. 2, Thaltej Taluka, Ghatlodiya, Ahmedabad. Editor-In-Chief: Jagdeesh Chandra. Editor: Anita Hada Sangwan responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act PERSPECTIVEAHMEDABAD | SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2020 I I I I Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. —Proverbs 16:24 Spiritual SPEAK LISTEN TO THE SCIENCE he announcement of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates should re- mind us of the many contribu- tions basic science has made to contemporary life. With COVID-19 ravaging much of humanity, and the world anxiously awaiting a breakthrough that can end the pandemic, we can no longer take sci- ence for granted. And the global science com- munity, for its part, has risen to the occasion in unprecedented ways, not only to develop vaccines, therapies, and diagnostics, but also to improve our understanding of the virus and the best strategies to protect ourselves. But the world is also afflicted by other cri- ses that must not be ignored. Last month was the warmest September ever recorded. Tens of millions of people around the world are already experiencing the disastrous effects of human-induced climate change, from raging wildfires and rising sea levels to dangerous heat waves, droughts, and floods. Given cur- rent and projected greenhouse-gas emissions, more extreme symptoms of this kind are in- evitable, and the increase in the frequency and intensity of many could be irreversible. There are also deepening social and eco- nomic crises. The pandemic has battered na- tional economies, exacerbated many forms of inequality, and sown distrust and social unrest around the world. We rely ever more on technology to conduct our daily lives, edu- cate our children, and connect with each other, but we have yet to do enough to prevent the same technology from being used to am- plify dangerous misinformation, inflame so- cial unrest, and leave vulnerable communi- ties even further behind. Just as scientists and researchers have come together in unprecedented ways to fight the pandemic, so must we mobilize our best and brightest minds to tackle these other global emergencies. Like COVID-19, none can be stopped anywhere until it is stopped eve- rywhere. Drawing lessons from the global pandemic response and recovery efforts, our organiza- tions will host a virtual Nobel Prize Summit next spring, with the theme “Our Planet, Our Future.” The event will bring together Nobel laureates, leading thinkers, policymakers, business innovators, and youth leaders to discuss how progress can be made against climate change, inequality, and the potential harms of powerful new technologies. The ul- timate goal will be to build a more resilient, sustainable future for everyone. There is a growing body of evidence to show that not only climate change, but also disease outbreaks, are linked to human devel- opment and biodiversity loss. As natural buffers between humans and disease-carrying animals erode, pandemics as bad as the current one could become even more likely. Because we live in such an inter- connected world, what starts as a local public- health emergency can rapidly evolve into a global economic crisis with far-reaching so- cial repercussions. SOURCE: PROJECT SYNDICATE IN-DEPTH T pple has re- leased its new smar tphone, the iPhone 12, without an ac- companying charger or earbuds. Users have harsh- ly criticised the company for this move and will have to purchase these accesso- ries separately, if needed. While some see it as cost- cutting, or a way for Apple to profit further by forcing customers to buy the prod- ucts separately, the tech- nology giant said the goal was to reduce its carbon footprint. This is the first time a major smartphone manu- facturer has released a mo- bile without a charger. Ear- lier this year, reports emerged of Samsung con- sideringasimilarmove,but it has yet to follow through. But even if abandoning chargers is a way for Apple to save money, the action could have a significant, positive impact on the en- vironment. Australians, on average, buy a new mobile phone every 18-24 months. In Aus- tralia, there are about 23 million phones sitting un- used — and therefore likely a similar number of ac- companying chargers. Just as single-use shop- ping bags contribute to plastic waste, unused and discarded electronic appli- ances contribute to elec- tronic waste (e-waste). E-WASTE IS A REAL, BUT FIXABLE, ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUE E-waste includes different forms of discarded electric and electronic appliances that are no longer of value to their owners. This can include mobile phones, tel- evisions, computers, chargers, keyboards, print- ers and earphones. Currently, there are about 4.78 billion mobile phone users globally (61.2% of the world’s popu- lation). And mobile phone chargers alone generate more than 51,000 tonnes of e-waste per year. On this basis, the envi- ronment would greatly ben- efit if more users reused phone chargers, and if tech companies encouraged a shift to standardised charg- ing that works across differ- ent mobile phone brands. This would eventually lead to a reduction in the manufacturing of charg- ers and, potentially, less exploitation of natural re- sources. SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION Apple’s iPhone 12 comes without a charger A Top TWEET Prakash Javadekar @PrakashJavdekar Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges. @iitmadras’s anti-bacterial, biodegradable food wrapper seems promising in addressing this problem. Great effort by Prof. Mukesh Doble, Puja Kumari and team. #plasticpollution Subramanian Swamy @Swamy39 Many have tweeted as to who they should vote for in the Bihar elections. My view is that BJP must win in Bihar even for pursuing for justice for SSR. The other alternative will be like Maharashtra coalition complict with the murderers. BJP is a party largely of nationalists. aharashtra is among the largest states in the Indian Union. It is also the wealthi- est. Mumbai is the business capital of India. Bollywood impacts most of India. Mum- bai produces the largest number of top-class cricket- ers. Inevitably, the choice of Governor for the state is a serious exercise. In the past, well known public figures have held the post. A few ex- amples; Raja Sir Maharaj Singh, Smt. Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Ali Yavar Jung, Dr. Jivraj Mehta, Air Chief Mar- shal Mehra, and Sadiq Ali. The selection of governors by the NDA government leaves much to be desired. The choice of Bhagat Singh Koshyari as governor of Maharashtra is, to say the least, unfortunate. At the time of his appointment, he wasnodoubtuninformedabout the complexities of the job. He should have made every effort to learn the intricacies of gov- ernorship. He failed to do so. The first faux pas was committed soon after his ap- pointment. In November 2019 he invited the BJP lead- er, Devendra Fadnavis to be the state’s Chief Minister at 7 AM without the presence of the leader of the opposi- tion and large numbers of the media. Devendra Fad- navis did not have a majority and soon had to resign. The latest outrage is his “in- temperate letter” to Chief Min- ister Udhav Thackeray, in which, apart from other follies he questioned his secularism, a fundamental tenet of the con- stitution. The governor wished to have temples open at an ear- lier date. He could have spoken to theCM onthephone. Instead, he mocked the CM saying, “our gods and goddesses have been condemned to remain in lock- down” and wondered if the Chief Minister had “suddenly turned secular”. Discourtesy piled on discourtesy. Even Sharad Pawar objected to the tone and contents of the letter. Lot of us delude ourselves by persuading ourselves that we are intellectuals. I am on the periphery. The Indian Foreign Service has produced one world-class intellectual, PN Haksar (1913-1998). The second in my judg- ment is the former Foreign Secretary, Shyam Saran. He writes lively and eye-catch- ing articles in several news- papers on a number of the vital issue which the pan- demic infested world is fac- ing. His book “How India looks at the world was wide- ly read and much appreci- ated. A few weeks ago he wrote a brilliant and origi- nal article, “India. As Teach- er By Negative Example: Chinese perception of India During British Colonel Pe- riod and Their Impact on India-China relations”. Reading it, I could only con- clude that the Chinese have lit- tle respect for Indians. This, not a recent development. This contempt has been in evidence for centuries. “…….India was regarded as a teacher by nega- tive example, a failed and fallen country which has been subju- gated and enslaved virtually without resistance from its people” said a Chinese scholar. One of Empress Dowager, Cixi, officials, Kang You- wei, while in exile visited India in 1901-03 and in 1909. He wrote to a pupil of his, “My 4 million compatriots, if you wish to become a fall- en nation of slaves, then quickly support the fight for independence in all provinces like the Indian people have done. But if my compatriots, you do not wish to become a fallen na- tion or an exterminated race, then you should deem useless India’s fight for in- dependence………..” One writer commented on our laziness and lack of vigour, because of the weather. These Chinese worthies forgot being bounded, crushed, and conquered by the Mangols in the 12th and 13th centuries the European powers in the 19th and 20th centuries. It must however be conceded that China nev- er was fully conquered in its history. Large parts of it were, but never the whole. I was particularly impressed by the concluding paragraph of his English article. “………This points to the need for more intensive China studies in our country in par- ticular on its history, its cul- ture, and society and the pat- terns of thought that are in- grained among its people. This exercise has two advantages. One, it points to the way to slowly but steadily removing the sludge of prejudice which animates much of Chinese be- havior towards India. Two it opens the way for chipping away at our own prejudices and uninformed nations about Chi- na and the Chinese people, Thereby making a more pro- ductive India-China engage- ment more likely even if not inevitable. Both sides need to shed the stereotype images they harbor about each other. Sonia Gandhi gave her res- ignation to Sonia Gandhi which Sonia Gandhi con- temptuously rejected be- cause Sonia Gandhi said that Sonia Gandhi’s resigna- tion was not a solution. Sonia Gandhi declared that Sonia Gandhi was not the prob- lem. Sonia Gandhi was the solu- tion.SoniaGandhiaskedJairam Ramesh to write a speech Sonia could circulate to Sonia and Ra- hul and Priyanka. This is going around South Delhi. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL KOSHYARI’S CONDUCT BEYOND THE PALE M The selection of governors by the NDA government leaves much to be desired. The choice of Bhagat Singh Koshyari as governor of Maharashtra is, to say the least, unfortunate. At the time of his appointment, he was no doubt uninformed about the complexities of the job THE LATEST OUTRAGE IS HIS “INTEMPERATE LETTER” TO CHIEF MINISTER UDHAV THACKERAY, IN WHICH, APART FROM OTHER FOLLIES HE QUESTIONED HIS SECULARISM, A FUNDAMENTAL TENET OF THE CONSTITUTION K NATWAR SINGH The author is Former Minister of External Affairs of India

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6. INDIAAHMEDABAD | SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2020 I I I I New Delhi: Former Congress president and MP Rahul Gandhi will kick start the poll campaign in Bihar on October 23, where he will address two rallies in a day. He will ad- dress one rally in His- ua where Neetu Singh is a Congress candi- date from that area. The party is eyeing Bhumihar vote bank as in the last assembly polls 9 MLAs were elected from Bhumihar community. It was the first time that party had got these numbers after so many years. To give a message to the community, the ral- ly has been planned there in another area at Kahalgaon. Congress CLP leader Sadanand Singh's son Mukesh Singh is contesting on Congress ticket. Sadanand Singh is a 9th term MLA and has vacated his seat for his son Mukesh Singh. Ra- hul will address his sec- ond rally to boost Muke- sh Singh prospects. Ac- cording to sources, the Party is working on the joint rallies of Tejashwi Yadav and Rahul Gan- dhi but the program is yet to be finalised. The party is planning at least 6 rallies of Ra- hul Gandhi in Bihar As- sembly Polls, two rallies for each phase of polls. Mahagathbandhan has announced Com- mon Minimum Pro- gram in Patna today and Congress' Randeep Surjewala and RJD's Tejashwi Yadav an- nounced it jointly while promising relief to farmers and assuring 10 lakhs job for the un- employed. While Prime Minis- ter Narendra Modi will also hold 12 election rallies in poll-bound Bihar starting from October 23. “PM Modi will hold 12 election rallies in Bi- har for NDA (National Democratic Alliance) candidates. On October 23, he will hold rallies in Sasaram, Gaya and Bhagalpur. On October 28, Prime Minister will hold rallies in Darb- hanga, Muzaffarpur and Patna. On Novem- ber 3, he will hold ral- lies in Chhapra, East Champaran and Sa- mastipur. On November 3, rallies in West Cham- paran, Saharsa and Araria will be held,” former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Bihar in-charge Devendra Fadnavis said during a press confer- ence on Friday. Voting for the first Phase for Bihar As- sembly Polls is on Oc- tober 28 and counting will be held on Novem- ber 10. —ANI RaGatohold2pollrallies inBiharonOctober23 BIHAR POLLS : VOTING FOR THE FIRST PHASE FOR BIHAR ASSEMBLY POLLS IS ON OCTOBER 28 AND COUNTING WILL BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 10 Patna: Bharatiya Ja- nata Party (BJP) leader Bhupender Yadav on Saturday took a swipe at Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav who promised to provide 10 lakh jobs if elected to power, saying “those who aren't eligi- ble for a job are talking about providing em- ployment.” “Employ- ment can be provided by those who are them- selves eligible for a job. There are so many schools and open uni- versities. At least he should be eligible to get at least employment and then should talk about the jobs,” Bhu- pender Yadav said in a media interaction. The BJP leader also termed Tejashwi Ya- dav's leadership as “weak” and alleged that the “ultra-Leftist force” want to expand in Bihar under Lalu's scion. “Ultra-Leftist forces want to spread their wings in Bihar through RJD given its weak lead- ership under Tejashwi Yadav,” Yadav added. Earlier in the day, the grand alliance partners in Bihar - the Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Left parties released their manifesto for the state assembly elections with a focus on the farm laws and pro- viding 10 lakh jobs. —ANI ‘Unemployable shouldn’t talk about giving jobs’ Patna: RJD leader and Mahagathbandhan’s CM face Tejashwi Yadav said that US President Donald Trump will not come to state and ac- cord special category status to the state. Ya- davmadetheseremarks while releasing Maha- gathbandhan’s mani- festo for the upcoming Bihar elections. Tejashwi Yadav, Ran- deep Singh Surjewala and Shaktisinh Gohil were also present. “Bi- har has a double engine government. Nitish Ku- mar has been governing the state for the last 15 years but state has not been accorded special category status yet. US President Donald Trump will not come & accord that,” Tejashwi Yadav said. —ANI Tejashwi Yadav releases Maha gathbandhan’s manifesto Patna: If elected to power after the Bihar Assembly polls under the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav, the government will pass a Bill in the first Vidhan Sabha session to scrap the three “anti-farm laws”, said Congress General Secretary Ran- deep Singh Surjewala. “If we form the gov- ernment, under the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav, we will pass a Bill in the first Vidhan Sabha session to scrap the three anti-farm laws. Can PM Modi and Nitish tell us that if all mandis are destroyed then how the farmers will get MSP?,” Surjew- ala said while launch- ing Mahagathband- han’s manifesto for Bi- har polls. Surjewala, chairman of party’s election man- agement panel termed it as the election of con- dition versus plight. Will pass bill to scrap ‘anti-farm laws’ if voted to power: Surjewala New Delhi: Prime Min- ister Narendra Modi will deliver the keynote address at the inaugu- ral function of the Grand Challenges An- nual Meeting 2020 at 7:30 pm on October 19 via video conferencing, an official statement said here on Saturday. The Grand Challeng- es Annual Meeting, for the last 15 years, has fos- tered international in- novation collaborations to address the biggest challenges in health and development. The meeting will convene virtually from October 19 to 21, bringing togeth- er policymakers and scientific leaders, call- ing for deepened scien- tific collaborations in solving global health problems, with great emphasis on COVID-19 with an “India for the World” framing. “World leaders, emi- nent scientists and re- searchers from across the globe will join this annual meeting to dis- cuss key priorities for accelerating progress across the Sustainable Development Goals in the post-pandemic world and elaborate on addressing the chal- lenges to manage COV- ID-19,” the Prime Minis- ter's Office said. The three-day pro- gram will feature lead- ers talks, panel discus- sions & virtual infor- mal conversations on topics ranging from scientific interventions for fighting the pan- demic & others. —ANI PMtoaddressGrandChallengesAnnualMeetonMon Balrampur: Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adi- tyanath asserted that culprits of crimes against women will be punished swiftly as there will be a separate room now for women complainants in 1,535 police stations across the state. Adityanath made these remarks while launching “Mission Shakti” programme for women security in Ut- tar Pradesh. Young girls demonstrated self-de- fence techniques dur- ing the event. “To pay homage to the victim of a very unfortunate inci- dent, I decided to kick- off the Mission Shakti campaign from Balram- pur and I am extremely delighted to launch this programme. Mission Shakti aims at guaran- teeing security and re- spect for every woman in the state.” “There will be a sepa- rate room now for wom- en complainants in 1,535 police stations, where a female Police constable will attend them and there will be urgent action on their complaint. Culprits of crimes against women will be punished swift- ly,” he added.—ANI Culprits of crimes against women will be punished swiftly: Adityanath CM YOGI LAUNCHES “MISSION SHAKTI” CAMPAIGN IN UP ISIS DELHI CONSPIRACY 15 sentenced to rigorous imprisonment, fined New Delhi: A spe- cial NIA court has sentenced 15 people with rigorous im- prisonment ranging from five-10 years and fine in connec- tion with the ISIS (Is- lamic State of Iraq and Syria) Delhi con- spiracy case. The sentence was pronounced by ParveenSingh,Special Judge for NIA, at Pati- ala House court. The fine amount ranges from Rs 38,000-Rs 1.3 lakh. According to NIA, this case was a first-of-its-kind, in whichanextensiveter- rorist conspiracy was hatched in 2014. —ANI New Delhi: The All In- dia Bar Association (AIBA) on Saturday urged the Chief Justice of India to initiate con- tempt of court proceed- ings against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy for making scandalous al- legations against Jus- tice NV Ramana, senior most judge of the Su- preme Court and the judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. This came after Jag- an, in a letter to Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde on October 6, al- leged that Justice Rama- na has been influencing the sittings of the High Court, including the ros- ter of a few judges. The Chairman of AIBA Adish C. Aggar- wala,whilecondemning the Chief Minister for his October 6 letter to the Chief Justice of In- dia, said the scurrilous andscandalousremarks againstJusticeRamana, the next in line to be- come the Chief Justice of India and the judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, has shaken the independence of the judiciary. Aggarwala said the letter from a Chief Min- ister facing various cor- ruption and money laundering charges in the courts, is unwar- ranted. —Agencies AIBA seeks contempt action against Andhra CM, Reddy BULLETS WITH QR CODES TO CURB GUN VIOLENCE IN MP Bhopal: Ahead of the Assembly by-election in Madhya Pradesh, police in Bhind district have launched an initiative, under which bullets are being stamped with Quick Response (QR) codes to easily trace the shooter and to keep the use of guns in check, an official said. Out of the 28 state assembly seats where by-elections would be held on November 3, Bhind district has two constituencies among the 16 in the Gwalior-Cham- bal region. District Super- intendent of Police Manoj Kumar Singh said, “Bhind has witnessed around 150 murders in the last five years with most of them being committed using illegal weapons.” J’KHAND: GOVT TO GIVE DHOTI, SAREE FOR RS 10 TO POOR Ranchi: The Jharkhand government on Friday announced that it will give dhotis or lungis, and sarees to all families in the state living below the poverty line twice a year at a subsidised rate of Rs 10. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Hemant Soren. All eligible householders of the state covered by the National Food Security Act and those families eligble under the Antyo- daya Anna Yojana will be given the clothes at an interval of six months, according to the CMO. 10-DAY MYSURU DASARA FEST BEGINS AMID CORONA CRISIS Mysuru: The famous 10-day long Dasara fes- tivities commenced in palace city with religious fervour, amid COVID-19 pandemic. Celebrated as 'Nada Habba' (state festival), the festivities began with Dr CN Manjunath, Director of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, Bengaluru and CM BS Yediyurappa showering flowers on the idol of goddess Cha- mundeshwari, presiding deity of Mysuru royals, atop Chamundi Hill. Dr Manjunath, was chosen for inaugurate to honour Corona warriors. DEVOTEES QUEUE UP AT SHRI MATA VAISHNO DEVI SHRINE IN KATRA Katra: Devotees queued up at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Katra for 'darshan' on the first day of Navratri on Saturday. 7000 people are being allowed to visit the shrine in a day. Their tempera- ture is being checked and all necessary SOPs, in the wake of the pandemic, are being followed. Sanitizing, social distancing and masks are mandatory. Per-day pilgrims limit has been increased from 5,000 to 7,000. Also, Pitthu & pony services have also been resumed. Helicopter services are already operational. A Mata Vaishno Devi App has been launched for the people, who can’t visit shrine and can have live darshans at their homes. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra @priyankagandhi “Wish you all a very happy Sharad Navratri. May all the people be benefited by the grace of Mother Durga. I wish Mother Durga's strength and her might becomes the expression of strength for women all over the country.” Narendra Modi@narendramodi Pranams to Maa Shailputri on Day 1 of Navratri. With her blessings, may our planet be safe, healthy and prosperous. May her blessings give us strength to bring a positive change in the lives of the poor and downtrodden. LEADER SPEAK THE LETTER New Delhi: The Central Reserve Po- lice Force (CRPF), the country's larg- est para-military force deployed for the internal securi- ty of the nation, has collaborated with IIT Delhi, Defence Research and Devel- opment Organisa- tion, and Joint Ad- vanced Technology Centre (JATC) -- DRDO and IIT Delhi joint initiative -- to augment its Re- search and Develop- ment capabilities. “The emerging challenges and en- gagement with technology in the everyday world en- tail that the force remains updated not just with most recent technologies but also with the technical expertise required by its per- sonnel. The force has made efforts at keeping pace with latest technologies by adopting them.”—ANI CRPF IIT Delhi, DRDO, to boost R&D capabilities Jagan Reddy Bhupender Yadav Rahul Gandhi Yogi Adityanath

7. INDIAAHMEDABAD | SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2020 I I I I INDIA I I I I Shot in... It is unclear at this stage how many partici- pants will be enrolled in this trial and how many sites will be studying the vaccine’s safety and ability to help develop an immune response against Covid-19. Once testing is com- pleted and if approvals are granted, RDIF will be supplying around 100 million doses of Sputnik V to Dr Red- dy’s. Unlike other two- dose vaccines, this would mean 100 million people in India would get the vaccine, as each “dose” contains two shots of different com- mon cold adenoviruses, according to an RDIF spokesperson. The vaccine is also currently undergoing phase 3 clinical trials in Russia with a proposed number of 40,000 sub- jects. Additionally, phase 3 clinical trials of the vaccine also com- menced in the UAE last week. “This is a significant development that al- lows us to commence the clinical trial in In- dia and we are commit- ted to bringing in a safe and efficacious vaccine to combat the pandem- ic,” said GV Prasad, Co- chairman and Manag- ing Director of Dr Red- dy’s Laboratories. “This data will fur- ther strengthen the clinical development of Sputnik V vaccine in India,” Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Di- rect Investment Fund, said. Sputnik V, developed by the Gamaleya Na- tional Research Insti- tute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, was registered by the Minis- try of Health of Russia on August 11 and was touted to be the world’s “first” registered vac- cine against Covid-19. PM suggests... He also called for “speedy access” to the vaccine for all members of the population and directed officials to keep in mind the “geo- graphical span and di- versity of the country” when planning logis- tics. According to a state- ment by the govern- ment, the Prime Minis- ter said every step in the process had to be rigorously tested, and had to include planning for cold storage of vac- cine doses, mechanisms to monitor vaccination clinics, and the prepa- ration and stockpiling of ancillary equipment like syringes. A National Expert Group on Vaccine Ad- ministration for COV- ID-19 (NEGVAC) is working in consulta- tion with states and UTs, as well as all rele- vant stakeholders, to prepare a detailed blue- print for the storage, distribution and admin- istration of the Covid vaccine, the govern- ment said. Earlier this month Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, who at- tended today’s meeting along with senior gov- ernment officials, said the government planned to vaccinate around 25 crore people - primarily front line health workers - by July 2021. This is the second such meeting the Prime Minister has led in the past 48 hours and comes after the Health Minis- try reported an “un- precedented” achieve- ment this morning - that active Covid cases in the country dropped below eight lakh for the first time in 46 days. ‘Queen creating... and a thorough investi- gation by an expert is necessary,” the court said, directing the po- lice station concerned to “initiate necessary action and investiga- tion against the actor and her sister under rel- evant provisions of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).” Ranaut is “creating divisions between Hin- du artists and Muslim artists,” the petitioner has alleged, stressing that she “is maliciously bringing religion into almost all her tweets”. The petitioner citied the lynching of Hindu Sadhus at Maharash- tra’s Palghar as an ex- ample and highlighted a tweet by Ms Ranaut calling the BMC (Bri- hanmumbai Municipal Corporation) as “BABUR SENA” and an- other claiming that she was the first person to make a movie on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Rani Lax- mi bai of Jhansi. Sayyed has worked with filmmakers, Ram Gopal Verma, Sanjay Gupta and Nagarjuna. FROM PG 1 MAJOR RESHUFFLE OF IT COMMISSIONERS AND ADDITIONAL/ JOINT COMMISSIONERS More than 200 Additional / Joint IT Commission- ers ( Director/Dy Secy level) across the country have been transferred by CBDT. RAJKIRAN RAI IS NEW CHAIRMAN OF IBA Rajkiran Rai G, Managing Director and CEO, UBI has been elected as the Chairman of the Indian Banks Association for the term 2020-21. HIGH COURTS FACING SHORTAGE OF 404 JUDGES While several lakhs cases are pending in various courts across the country, 25 HCs are working with 675 Judges as compared to sanctioned strength of 1079 Judges, as on October 1, which means that the HCs are facing a shortage of 404 Judges. ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT HAS MAXIMUM VACANCIES OF JUDGES OF THE 25 HIGH COURTS, The Allahabad HC has the most vacant posts numbering 60; followed by the Calcutta HC with 37 vacancies and Bombay and Delhi HCs with 28 vacancies each. MS. RENUKA GERA APPOINTED DIRECTOR (IS&P), BHEL Ms. Renuka Gera, Executive Director, BHEL, has been appointed Director (Industrial Systems & Products), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). N RAMESH APPOINTED DMD, EXIM BANK N Ramesh ED, NAFED, has been appointed Dep- uty Managing Director (DMD) in Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) on deputation basis. MS. TM SREELATHA APPOINTED PMG, VIJAYWADA REGION Ms. TM Sreelatha has been appointed Post Mas- ter General, Vijaywada region. ANAND SINGH BHAL APPOINTED PRINCIPAL ADVISER, DPIIT Anand Singh Bhal has been appointed Principal Adviser in Economic Adviser office, DPIIT after promotion to Apex Scale. RAJAT SACHAR APPOINTED PRINCI- PAL ADVISER, DPIIT Rajat Sachar has been appointed Principal Advis- er, Economic Adviser, DPIIT. PESB IN SEARCH OF CANDIDATE FOR DIRECTOR, (FINANCE), HOCL The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) has advertised the post of Director (Finance), Hindustan Organic Chemicals Limited. DEPUTATION PERIOD EXTENDED FOR ONE YEAR DoT has issued the orders for the extension of deputa- tion tenure of Rajesh Kumar Singh, ADG in UIDAI for one more year from Jan 16, 2021 to January 15, 2022. PRAKASHAM POSTED AS UNDER SECRETARY, MHA The posting order of K Prakasham from DoPT to Staff Selection Commission has been cancelled and he is now posted as Under Secretary, Minis- try of Home Affairs. SHYAM SUNDER MODI POSTED TO DARPG Shyam Sunder Modi, Deputy Secy, Ministry of Rural Development, has been posted to DARPG. POWERGallery By arrangement with: http:// New Delhi: Two stud- ies on the genome of the coronavirus in India conducted by the coun- try’s top clinical re- search body and the Department of Bio- Technology suggest that Covid-19 virus is genetically stable and has shown no major mutation, PM’s office said on Saturday. There had been some concern that any major mutation detected in coronavirus could af- fect the development of an effective vaccine. However, recent global studies have said the vaccines currently be- ing developed for covid should not be affected by these mutations. In cases, the new strains tend to be less ef- fective and therefore die out soon, while more powerful strains may lead to faster spread of the virus. —PTI ‘Covid is genetically stable and has no major mutation’ Sabarimala temple opens after 7 months Kerala: The Sabarimala temple opened to devo- tees early on Saturday after 7 months due to the pandemic. TDB said only 250 devotees will be allowed a day through online book- ings and all pilgrims will have to carry Covid negative certificates ob- tained before 48 hours. Bihariji temple reopens after 7 mths following the court order Mathura: The Banke Bihari temple reopened its doors for devotees on Saturday, the first day of Navratri, after months of lockdown. The temple was closed for last 7 months due to the pandemic, reopened today after a court order. “Prasad, flowers etc. are not allowed inside the temple premises,” Mathura SP Uday Shankar said. “A volunteer list has been prepared to take care of the devotees and extra police force will also be present to maintain the crowd,” said temple administrator Munish. Dilip Ghosh tests positive Kolkata: The BJP’s West Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh tested positive for Covid-19. “Ghosh had high temperature & was admitted, his oxygen saturation level is fine and he has no comor- bidities,” official said. Cong promoting family over cadres, says JP Nadda New Delhi: BJP Presi- dent JP Nadda on Satur- day hit out at the Con- gress for allegedly pro- tecting family members without naming any individuals but taking an apparent dig at dy- nastic politics as well as Sonia, Rahul and Pri- yanka Gandhi. “Be it the Congress or any re- gional outfit, people are busy protecting broth- er-sister, other-son, or the son,” said Nadda. The BJP national president was address- ing Uttarakhand BJP cadres while virtually laying foundation stone of Uttarakhand BJP office. Though seemingly aimed at the Gandhis, Nadda’s comment as- sumes significance as it comes soon after Con- gress has given a ticket to Shatrughan’s son Luv Sinha, which is seen as Congress pro- moting family over cad- res. Taking dig at his political rivals, Nadda said, “If a party office operates from a politi- cian’s residence, then the party belongs to that person.” “Take an example of any other political par- ty in the country; they have been reduced to a family,” he said. BJP, which is the largest party in the world, is standing to- gether like a family, he said, adding in coming 50 years, Uttarakhand office will be equipped with modern facilities. Gadkari suggests Maha govt to form State Water Grid New Delhi: In a bid to prevent the floods that occur in Maharashtra ever year causing loss of lives and property, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has written a letter to the state’s CM Uddhav Thackeray and others suggesting the state to take up the am- bitious project of for- mation of a State Water Grid on the lines of the National Power Grid and Highway Grid. “I am writing this let- ter to draw your atten- tion toward the serious issue of heavy loss of lives and property that occur in Maharashtra every year due to floods. There is an urgent need to chalk out a plan to manage this disaster,” writes Gadkari.—ANI Tarn Taran Sahib: Shaurya Chakra awar- dee Balwinder Singh Sandhu who fought ter- rorism in Punjab was shot dead by two un- known assailants in Tarn Taran district on Friday, family members who initially resisted to cremate the body, agreed to perform last rites on Saturday fol- lowing an assurance from local administra- tion that the culprits will be nabbed as soon as possible. “There are 42 regis- tered FIRs of attacks on our family and count- less other attacks have taken place which is not on record. Withdrawal of security was wrong,” Jagdish Kaur, wife of Shaurya Chakra-awar- dee Balwinder Singh said on Saturday. “Government, admin- istration and intelli- gence agencies are re- sponsible for this. We sought security again, but to no avail. Those who treat security cov- er as a status symbol have been provided with it. We actually needed it but weren’t provided,” she added. “No matter who they are, the police will sure- ly catch the perpetra- tors,” Congress MLA Harminder Singh Gill said. CCTV investiga- tion in the matter is un- derway. —ANI Debris of IAF chopper carried by Chinook ‘People must be alert to designs of the Sangh’ Rudraprayag: A Chi- nook helicopter on Sat- urday took off the de- bris of Indian Air Force’s MI-17 helicopter that caught fire follow- ing a collision with an iron girder while land- ing at the helipad near Kedarnath in 2018. The debris of the MI-19 heli- copter will be carried to a nearby airbase. Re- cently, Air Force offic- ers visited Kedarnath Dham and took stock of the damaged helicopter. Chinook helicopter landed at the MI-17 heli- pad in Kedarnath on Saturday to carry back the debris of IAF’s MI- 17 helicopter.—ANI Hyderabad: Targeting the RSS after a Mathura court admitted a plea against an Idgah there, All India Majlis-e-Itte- hadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday said that the people must remain alert to the designs of the Sangh. Taking to Twitter, Owaisi said that Babari Masjid-RamJanmabhoo- mi verdict has strength- ened resolve of ‘Sangh Parivaar’. “What was feared has come true. Re- member, if we still don’t wakeup,Sanghmaystart another violent cam- paign and Congress will also join,” he said. —ANI New Delhi: IndiGo will charge a passenger Rs 100 service fee if he or she wants to check-in at the airport from Satur- day onwards, the air- line said in a statement. “We encourage all passengerstowebcheck- in as per Government directive. The carrier said it is committed to take all precautionary measures for a contact- less and hassle-free trav- el for its customers.—PTI IndiGo to charge for check -in at airport counter Devotees at Sabarimala temple in Kerala on Saturday,it reopens for the first time since March due to Covid-19 pandemic. —PHOTO BY ANI Withdrawal of security was wrong: Balwinder’s wife FIR against Mithun da’s son and wife Mumbai: According to the police, the FIR was registered against the son and wife of veteran Bollywood actor Mith- un Chakraborty’s son Mahaakshay and his wife Yogeeta Bali at Os- hiwara police station in Mumbai on October 15 for alleged rape and co- ercion of a girl. The woman, in her complaint, had said that she was in a rela- tionship with Mahaak- shay since 2015 and that he once drugged her with a soft drink and forced physical rela- tions with her. She al- leged that Mahaakshay had promised marriage to her but never ful- filled his promise. The court, on the ba- sis of whose prima fa- cie evidences, ordered to register an FIR in the case, after which an FIR was registered at the Oshiwara police station in Mumbai.—ANI Jagdish Kaur,wife of Shaurya Chakra-awardee Balwinder Singh JP Nadda Nitin Gadkari Asaduddin Owaisi Mahaakshay Chakraborty Patna: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s helicopter on Saturday suffered damage after its rotor blade broke af- ter minister alighted from the aircraft in Pat- na. The minister is safe, his office said. “News reports about the accident of Helicop- ter carrying Union Min- isterRaviShankarPras- ad are not correct. He is safe and sound,” Office of Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted. “Rotor blade of the helicopter carrying Union Minister was damaged at the airport hangar. —ANI Rotor blade of Prasad’s chopper damaged at Patna airport, min safe

8. TALKING POINTAHMEDABAD | SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2020 I I I I SOURCE: FAIR OBSERVER CONCEPT: MONI SHARMA DESIGN: CP SHARMA OUR CULTURE CELEBRATED “EPIDEMIC CHANGE” BEFORE LEARNING TO FEAR IT AS CLIMATE CHANGE WORSENS HOW FAR WILL WE TIP? A l t h o u g h there are still those who deny it, the countdown for the planet under the threat of global warming began some time ago. If we were to seek an official starting point, it would probably be in the late 18th century, at the beginning of the industrial age. We now receive confir- mation of melting at the poles and warm- ing in the depths of theoceanonaweekly, if not daily, basis. The constantly ac- cumulating evidence has overwhelmingly convinced the scien- tific community not only that the trend is real, but that the con- sequences will be particularly dramat- ic for human socie- ties. Humans happen to be the only living species on Earth ob- sessed by the idea of controlling their en- vironmental habitat for the sake of their own comfort and profit. The rest of the biosphere tries sim- ply to get by with the hand it is dealt. But now the dual goals of comfort and profit appear to be dangerously at odds. Responding to the de- mand for comfort of those who can afford it provokes increas- ing levels of discom- fort for those socie- ties and individuals that cannot. That simple fact has be- come one of the con- tributing factors to the increasingly evi- dent revolt against growing income and wealth inequality. A report by the in- surance company Swiss Re cited by The Guardian informs us that we are quickly approaching a point of no return. “One- fifth of the world’s countries are at risk of their ecosystems collapsing because of the destruction of wildlifeandtheirhab- itats,” The Guardian reports. If 20% of the nations of the world succumb, it won’t be long before 30%, 40%, 50% and more are af- fected as well. It ap- pears that Australia, Israel and South Af- rica are particularly exposed. The report also cites India, Spain and Belgium. In other words, this

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