DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 2020, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES `6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 CRUCIAL CWC MEETING TODAY AFTER LETTER OF 23 CALLING FOR CHANGE Facing dissent within, Sonia offers to quit, sets off chorus of support for herself, Rahul Not the time to ask for change when India facing threat, say CMs Amarinder, Baghel, Gehlot; PCC chiefs join in Top leader, one of 23, had sent two earlier letters to Sonia on same issues NeveropposedSonia,wantdebateonkeyissues:signatories MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, AUGUST 23 FACING A slew of critical questions put on record by 23 senior leadersin anunprecedented letter to her, as reported by The Indian Express Sunday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, ahead of the crucial Congress Working Committee meeting Monday, signalled she is “not willing” to continue as interim Congress president. Thissetoffawell-coordinated chorusof supportforherandson Rahul Gandhi in the form of letters and statements from across state units led by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, his Chhattisgarh counterpart Bhupesh Baghel and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. The party’s leader in Lok Sabha,AdhirRanjanChowdhury, sentheraletterpledgingfullsupport to her and Rahul and so did MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, AUGUST 23 THE UNPRECEDENTED letter by 23 senior Congress leaders to partychief SoniaGandhiseeking far-reaching changes in the way Sonia, Rahul Gandhi in January this year. PTI file several PCC chiefs: Kerala’s Mullappally Ramachandran; Karnataka’s D K Shivakumar; CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MORE REPORTS ‘Non-Gandhi Cong chiefs couldn’t restore lost ground. That’s the reality. Letter will help BJP’ ADHIR RANJAN CHOWDHURY LEADER OF CONGRESS IN LOK SABHA PAGE 12 PAGE 6 thepartyisbeingrunwasnotthe first such communication to Gandhi. A top leader, who is a signatory to the letter, had sent two letters to her earlier during the lockdown outlining the same concerns. Letter vs letter: show of loyalty via copy and paste SANDEEP ASHAR & MANOJ C G MUMBAI, NEW DELHI, AUG 23 AHEAD OF a crucial Congress WorkingCommitteemeetingon Monday,alettertoCongressparty presidentSoniaGandhideclaring “complete and unwavering sup- NEW DELHI, AUGUST 23 INAturnof eventsthathadbeen expectedbyNewDelhi,Pakistan on Sunday steppedback from its acknowledgment — which became public on Saturday — of thepresenceof terroristDawood Ibrahim on its soil. Dawood, one of the most wanted men in India, figured in a list of 88 individuals published as a Statutory Regulatory Order 174 CASES: DAYS SINCE PANDEMIC BEGAN TESTS: 3,52,92,220| DOUBLING RATE: 30.76** SURGEIN 7-DAYAVG DOUBLING 24HOURS GROWTH* RATE** TOTAL CASES KEYSTATES TOWATCH ■ Maharashtra 6,71,942 14,492 2.01% 35.91 ■ Tamil Nadu 3,73,410 5,980 1.69% 42.63 ■ Andhra 3,45,216 10,276 2.94% 2,71,876 7,330 3.08% THEBUILDER OF COMMONGROUND BY NIRMALA SITHARAMAN THE IDEAS PAGE, P9 REHABILITATING GST,IBCWILLBE A FITTINGTRIBUTE 1,82,456 5,217 2.83% INDIA CROSSES 3 MILLION MARK Phase 2 trials of Oxford vaccine could begin at 3-4 sites this week 25.43 * Compounded Daily Growth Rate over last 7 days EXPLAINED POSITIVITY RATE DAILY IN, DAILY OUT 7 DAYS EARLIER: 7 DAYS EARLIER: DETECTED TODAY NOW: NOW: RECOVERED TODAY: Positives against number tested (in %); indicator of the spread of disease Becoming sick vs recovering; more recoveries for 14 days may signal the peak 1.93 1.86 Deaths as a ratio of positive cases (in %); indicator of progress in averting deaths 8.84 8.63 69,239 57,989 DataasonAugust22,releasedbyUnionMinistryofHealth,ICMRandstates.Oftendailynumbers includedatafrompreviousdays.Assuch,trendsbasedondailynumbersareindicative,notdefinitive ANURADHA MASCARENHAS PUNE, AUGUST 23 ** Calculated over 7-day growth CASE FATALITY RATIO ‘NOT ALL WILLGET VACCINE QUICKLY, NEEDSTRATEGY’ PAGE 11 PHASE 2 human clinical trials of the Oxford UniversityAstraZeneca vaccine candidate for Covid-19, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, will begin in the coming week. Three-four trial sites have demonstrated the requisite preparedness, and doses of the candidatevaccinecouldbeadministered as early as Monday or Tuesday, top officials at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said. Thegovernmenthasallowed fast-trackingof regulatory clearances for the vaccine against the novel coronavirus; the final approval was related to certification from the Directorate General of Health Services' Central Research Institute in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, for use of the investigational product in Phase 2/3 clinical trials. The trials can begin simultaneously at all sites that are prepared, ICMR officials said. Four CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 KEY PLAYERS KNOCK ON INDIA’S DOOR FOR VIALS, SYRINGES PAGE 10 No Internet, school comes home in rural Sikkim LOCKDOWN LESSONS CHANGING CLASSROOMS AN EXPRESS SERIES ESHA ROY NEW DELHI AUGUST 23 SOMETIME IN April, with Covid forcing schools shut, Indra Mukhi Chhetri, a maths and science teacher in a rural area of South Sikkim district, began worrying about her students. While schools were expected to conduct online classes, Chhetri knew that would be a nonstarter considering these were areaswithlittleornophoneconnectivity, let alone Internet. “Iwasreallyworried.Thepeopleinmyvillagearemostlyfarmers,verypoor.Thismakeseducation an even bigger priority for childrenintheseareasthanthose in urban centres,’’ says Chhetri, who teaches at the VCGL Senior Secondary School in Ravangla. So every day, Chhetri begins her rounds of the village at 9 am, visiting her students “one by one” and taking impromptu classes — maths to science and English to general knowledge. While the Sikkim government has launched the Sikkim Edutech App to help students APRIL-JUNEmaybethefirsttime thatIndia’seconomywouldcontractyear-on-yearsincethegovernment started coming out with quarterly estimates of GDP from1996-97.Butthedataforthe quarter, to be released by the National Statistical Office on August 31, could also show GDP fallingforthefirsttimeinspiteof agriculturalproductiongoingup. Thecountry’sGDPregistered anannualdecline, atminus5.2%, lastin1979-80.Butthatyearalso recorded negative growth for agriculturalGDP,atminus12.8%. Even the previous GDP contractions of 0.3% in 1972-73, 3.7% in 1965-66, and 1.2% in 1957-58 were accompanied by farm output falling by 5%, 11% and 4.5% respectively. The first quarter of 2020-21 (April-March) may turn out differently. Most investment banks and rating agencies are predicting theeconomytoshrinkthisfiscal, with the Reserve Bank of India’s BY ARVIND SUBRAMANIAN THE EDITORIAL PAGE, P8 Couldbe historic, notdesirable INDIA’S GROWTH fortunes have been tethered to agriculture. All years of GDP contraction, the last one in 1979-80, were farm sector-led. April-June 2020 could be the first time when the economy will shrink despite agriculture notching up decent growth. It would be historic if this extends to the rest of the fiscal. But it would not be desirable — agriculture can only support, not lead, growth. latestsurveyof professionalforecasters pointing to a median estimate of minus 5.8%. The first CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In 40 days, 69 lakh seek jobs on govt portal, just a fraction employed A GOVERNMENT jobs portal launched by the Prime Minister on July 11 has seen registration of over69lakhindividualsinjust 40 days. But the number of individuals who got jobs is just a fraction of those who registered, showing that employment will be the biggest politicaleconomy challenge for the government as it restarts economic activities while trying to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. In just a week, between August 14 and August 21, more than 7 lakh people registered. The number of people who took up jobs during the week, however, stood at just 691. According to data collated by the Ministry of Skill DevelopmentandEntrepreneurshiponitsASEEM(Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping) portal, only 2 per cent of the 3.7 lakh candidates lookingforjobshaveactuallygotone. Of the 69 lakh migrant workers who registered, 1.49 lakh were offeredjobs,butonly7,700could join work. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 An 800-bed Covid-19 treatment centre, on the grounds of the College of Engineering, Pune, was inaugurated on Sunday. The total number of Covid-19 cases in the country has crossed the 3-million mark. Pavan Khengre 23.41 ■ Uttar Pradesh NEW DELHI, AUGUST 23 NEW DELHI, AUGUST 23 24.48 ■ Karnataka HARISH DAMODARAN LIZ MATHEW & HARIKISHAN SHARMA CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RECOVERED: 22,80,566 BY UNNY REMEMBERING ARUN JAITLEY (SRO) by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to escape blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). On Sunday, however, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry in a 30,44,940 DEATHS: 56,706 BUSINESS AS USUAL CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Accused of 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai TRACKING INDIA’S COVID CURVE CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 port” to the Gandhi family was circulatedamongCongressMLAs and MPs across states. The letter, first written by Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, declares “unequivocal and complete faith” in her Pak says Dawood name on list is as per UN, does not mean admitting he is there SHUBHAJIT ROY Whilethere wasnoresponse to those letters, Gandhi is learnt to have spoken to Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad after the receipt of the third letter — signed by him as well as 22 others For the first time, farm sector set to grow even as GDP sees a contraction A class being held in Posakey village, East Sikkim. Express from Class 9-12 cope with the learning loss, it's the junior studentsandthoseinfarflungareas whowereleftwithlittlesupport. It's into this vacuum that teachers such as Chhetri have steppedintoensurethatchildren don't miss out on learning. As moreteachersreachedouttotheir students,visitingthempersonally with resources, word spread of thesimple,yeteffective,teaching programme, all the way up to Gangtok. Last month, when the lockdown was lifted, the government formally adopted the programme,callingit“home-schooling for elementary education”. “The teachers were doing this arbitrarily. We decided to issueguidelinesandmakethesystem more structured,’’ says Director, Elementary Education, Bhim Thatal, adding that all of Sikkim’s 10,252 government school teachers have been CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 7 IN TOP 10 SELECTIONS IN CSE 2019 from various programs of VISION IAS
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