CMYK FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 23 OCTOBER 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ‘US HAS HAD ENOUGH OF 19 YRS IN AFGHANISTAN’ BELARUS OPP LEADER GETS EU HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD P9 P10 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. One or two spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 28-25 degrees Celsius. MEHBOOBA CHAIRS FIRST PDP MEETING AFTER RELEASE P5 Free vaccines, jobs: BJP’s Bihar bonanza RAINFALL: TRACES RELATIVE HUMIDITY Seeks to woo the youth with promise of 19 lakh jobs in next 5 years Max.92% SNS & PTI TEMPERATURE Min. 77% Max: 27.6°C (-5) Min: 25.5°C (2) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:37 hrs 17:05 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 10:15 hrs 22:10 hrs Moon next quarter on 23 October THUMBNAILS Masks being distributed to visitors by the officials of Shakespeare Sarani Police Station at the Durga puja pandal. In Kolkata on Thursday. ANAGHA BANIK US plans not to issue H-1B visas: The US State 1 Department has proposed not to issue temporary business visas for H-1B speciality occupations which allowed several companies to send their technology professionals for a short stay to complete jobs on site in the US, a move which could affect hundreds of Indians. The move, made public on Wednesday, less than two weeks ahead of the 3 November presidential election, is likely to impact several Indian PG 10 companies. PATNA, 22 OCTOBER nion Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday released the BJP’s manifesto for the Bihar Assembly polls which promised free Covid-19 vaccine once it has been cleared by the ICMR. It also sought to reach out to the youth with the promise of 19 lakh jobs in the next five years and farmers with the assurance of bringing lentils under the MSP regime. “The NDA government in Bihar has set an example before the country in the fight against corona. It’s our resolve that once the vaccine against the coronavirus has been cleared by the ICMR, we will make it available to the people of Bihar free of cost,” said the manifesto. The promise figured at the top of the BJP’s election document. Carrying the tagline ‘BJP hai to bharosa hai’, the party drew heavily upon the trust enjoyed by Prime Minister Modi among the masses by U higher educational institutions. The manifesto also said a large number of people will be employed in the health sector which is in for a major facelift through projects like the AIIMS at Darbhanga. Other attractive promises include selfreliance for one crore women through microfinance, pucca houses for 30 lakh people, and a boost to fisheries making Bihar number one in the sector. It also promised a fresh impetus to the dairy sector with the setting up of 15 milk processing units. A boost to the production of maize, fruits, vegetables, betel leaves, honey and makhana etc. has been promised, and to facilitate these a conglomerate of 1,000 farm producer organisations has also been proposed. Another promise made in the manifesto which is likely to find resonance among students is introducing Hindi as a medium of instruction for medical, engineering and other technical courses. EPS’“Metoo” to BJP’s free vaccine promise: The BJP’s promise of free Covid vaccine in Bihar ahead of state elections, was followed by a “me too” announcement from Tamil Nadu. As the criticism of the BJP move on free Covid vaccine on social media and among Opposition parties going full swing, Tamil Nadu chief minister E Palaniswami said a vaccine will be distributed free of charge in his state as well. “Once Covid-19 vaccine is ready, it will be provided to all people of the state free of cost,” announced the chief minister, whose state is due SNS for election next year. pro-people measures like the Jan Dhan scheme and the Ujjwala Yojana. “Bihar is a politically sensitive state. Here people cannot be fobbed off with empty promises. Claims made by parties are likely to be weighed against their past track record. This is where the BJP scores,” Sitharaman told a Press conference where she released the manifesto. “We have the confidence that we can deliver on our promises. In the last six years, all the programmes announced by the Prime Minister have been implemented, be it electrification of villages, gas cylinders for poor women or financial inclusion of all citizens by getting accounts opened in their name in banks,” she asserted. Speaking about the coronavirus vaccine, the minister said India has reached a point where it is on the verge of producing three vaccines after different stages of the trial. “When we reach the stage where scientists give clearance for largescale production of the vaccine, we will make it available to the people of Bihar free of cost,” she said. The highlights of the party’s vision document, displayed through a powerpoint presentation, include recruitment of three lakh teachers in primary, secondary and Map distortion: Twitter faces govt’s wrath NEW DELHI, 22 OCTOBER The government has shot off a stern letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, conveying its strong disapproval over misrepresentation of the Indian map, and asserted that any attempt by the micro-blogging platform to disrespect the country’s sovereignty and integrity is unacceptable. In a strongly-worded letter, IT Secretary Ajay Sawhney has warned the platform that such attempts not only bring disrepute to Twitter, but also raises questions about its neutrality and fairness as an intermediary. IT Ministry sources said that Sawhney shot off a stern letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, conveying strong disapproval of the government over misrepresentation of map of India. Earlier, Twitter had shown the geo-location of Leh in Jammu and Kashmir, People's Republic of China. The IT secretary, in his letter, has reminded Twitter that Leh is the headquarter of Union Territory of Ladakh and both Ladakh as well as Jammu and Kashmir are integral and inalienable parts of India, governed by the Constitution of India. The government had asked Twitter to respect the sensitivities of Indian citizens, and has also made it clear that any attempt by Twitter to disrespect sovereignty and integrity of India, which is reflected by the maps, is totally unacceptable and unlawful. Issuing a stern warning to Twitter, the IT secretary has said that such attempts not only bring disrepute to Twitter but also raises questions about its neutrality and fairness as an interSNS mediary. CMYK 'KNIGHTS GOOD ENOUGH TO RIDE HIGH' P12 Active Covid cases remain below 10 pc of total caseload SNS&PTI NEW DELHI/ KOLKATA, 22 OCTOBER Covid-19 cases in India have remained below 10 per cent of the total caseload for the last three days suggesting that only 1 in 10 cases are active coronavirus patients, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. The daily positivity rate has also been maintained at less than 5 per cent over the past three days. There are 7,15,812 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which comprises 9.29 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated. “Registering another milestone, the daily positivity rate has also been maintained to less than 5 per cent over the past three days indicating that the spread of infection is being effectively contained through focussed strategies and actions of the Centre and the states and UTs,” the ministry said. The daily positivity rate is reported to be3.8 per cent. “The decrease in the daily positivity rate is simultaneously mapped by the falling active cases, which continue to be under 7.5 lakh as on date,” the ministry said. “India’s trend of steadily decreasing active cases of coronavirus infections continues and they have sustained below 10 per cent of the total caseload for the last three days suggesting only 1 in 10 cases are active Covid19 patients across the country,” the ministry said. The total recovered cases are close to 69 lakhs and exceed active cases by 61,58,706. A total of 79,415 patients have recovered and discharged in 24 hours whereas 55,839 infections were 77,06,946 7,15,812 55,839 79,415 1,16,616 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. THURSDAY 23 OCTOBER 2020 reported during the period. The national recovery rate has progressed to89.20 per cent, the Ministry said. Bengal records highest single-day spike in cases: West Bengal today registered another highest single-day spike of 4,157 Covid cases and 64 deaths due to infection. The total Covid case count is 3,37,283 and death toll is 6,308 in the state till now while there are 36,064 active cases. Kolkata recorded 874 cases and 16 deaths and North 24 Parganas recorded 864 fresh Covid cases and 18 deaths. In the last 24 hours, 3,608 patients were discharged from hospitals taking the number of recovered patients to 2,94,911. A total of 44,252 people were tested for Covid in a single-day, registering a positivity rate of 8.10 per cent. The discharge rate is 87.44 per cent. Govt to relax visa curbs in graded manner NEW DELHI, 22 OCTOBER Announcing a graded relaxation in visa and travel restrictions, the Home Ministry today said foreign nationals can now come to India for business, conferences, employment, studies, research and medical purposes. The relaxations do not however include travel to India on tourist visas. All travellers will, however, have to strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare regarding quarantine and other health/Covid-19 matters, the Home Ministry said. The Home Ministry had imposed wide-ranging restrictions on inward and outward movement of international passengers because of Covid-19 since February. After some initial relaxations, the Government has now decided to make a graded relaxation in visa and travel restrictions for more categories of foreign nationals and Indian nationals who wish to enter or leave India. “Therefore, it has been decided to permit all OCI and PIO card holders and all other foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose, except on a Tourist Visa to enter by air or water routes through authorised airports and seaport immigration check posts,” the Ministry said. This includes flights operated under Vande Bharat Mission, Air Transport Bubble arrangements or by any non-scheduled commercial flights as allowed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The Government has also decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas (except electronic visa, Tourist Visa and Medical Visa). SNS
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.