DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2020, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 20 PAGES SINCE 1932 `6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM WITH EFFECT FROM OCTOBER 1 THE EXPRESS INTERVIEW “FIGHT US IN HOUSE, KEEP US UNDER WATCH... BUT CONGRESS MOVING TO FRINGE” NIRMALA SITHARAMAN UNION FINANCE MINISTER THE EDITORIAL PAGE THE ASSAULTON BOLLYWOOD BY SANJAYA BARU PAGE 10 Govt’s new defence acquisition policy drops offsets in 3 types of contracts Changes not retrospective, ongoing deals not to be impacted, says Govt KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 28 THE GOVERNMENThas decided not to have an offset clause in procurement of defence equipment if the deal is done through inter-government agreement (IGA), government-to-government or an ab initio single vendor. The offset clause requires a foreign vendor to invest a part of the contract value in India. The decision, part of the government’s new policy for defenceacquisitions,wasapproved by the Defence Acquisition Council Monday. Unveiling the new policy, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, in a Twitter post, said it has been “aligned” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and empowering the Indian domestic industry through Make in India CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E Offset clausenot ● helping CAG flags policy change months before Rafale deal ONE REASON why the offset clause policy was dropped was its failure to bring in any critical technology to India. Moreover, the clause made foreign vendors add extra costs in contracts in government-togovernment, single-vendor deals. 20 of 2019 which was tabled in Parliament last week, said changes in the offset policy introduced by the government in 2015 were “duly incorporated” with effect from April 1, 2016. This policy change meant thatinthecaseof theRafaledeal, the foreign vendor did not have to declare an offset partner around thetime of thesigningof the contract in September 2016. E X P L A I NE D P6 KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 28 CHANGES MADE to the Defence ProcurementPolicyinApril2016 allowed suppliers of the Rafale fighterjetsnottodeclareanyoffset partner when India and FrancesignedadealinSeptember that year to buy 36 aircraft. TheComptroller andAuditor General of India,inits Report No. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MUMBAI, NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 28 IN AN unprecedented development, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Monday postponed the bimonthly meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) scheduled from September 29 to October 1, after the government failed to nominate its three members to the six-member panel on time, The Indian Express has learnt. The MPC is a statutory committee that fixes the key policy interest rates and monetary policy stance of the country as well as the inflation target. The four-year tenure of the three government-nominated members — Ravindra Dholakia, Chetan Ghate and Pami Dua — had expired after the previous BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY policy on August 6. The government had not announced the three new members till late Monday. “The meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee during September 29, 30 and October 1, 2020, as announced, is being rescheduled. The dates of the MPC’s meeting will be announced shortly,” the RBI said. Though the RBI had sought an extension of the tenure of externalmembersuntilMarchdue to the Covid situation, it was not accepted by the government as there was no such provision in the RBI Act. The new members were expectedtobenamedMondaybut there may have been delays due to “certain departmental clearances required to appoint the members”, government sources said, adding that the process is likely to be completed soon. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BENGALURU, SEPTEMBER 28 THE WORLD BENGALURU POLICE began an investigationonMondayagainst officials of a private television channel that recently aired a stingallegingtheinvolvementof members of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa's family in acts of corruption. PAGE 15 THE CONGRESS on Monday stepped up its agitation over the new farm laws, with the party asking the four states ruled by it toexplorelegislationto“bypass” their provisions. As theCongress held protests outside Raj Bhavansacrossstates,theparty’s Thrissur MP, T N Prathapan, NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 28 AIMING TO create women leaders, the Department of Science and Technology is developing a framework to rate and rank scienceinstitutesdependingonthe proportionof womenemployed. The initiative, under the new Science and Technology Policy HARIKISHAN SHARMA NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 28 THE LAST STOP INS Viraat approaching the Alang ship breaking yard in Gujarat. The ‘world’s longest serving warship’ will be dismantled three years after it was decommissioned by the Indian Navy. Nirmal Harindran REPORTONPAGE9 Police carried out searches at the offices of Power TV and the homeofitsmanagingdirector-editorRakeshShetty,andalsoquestioned an anchor. The investigationwastriggeredbyacomplaint filedbythedirectorofaconstruction firm who has been cited by the channel as a source of informationontheallegedcorruption involving the CM’s family. The channel has run a series of programmes over the last month using a sting audio of alleged conversations of Rakesh Shetty with an important member of the CM’s family, WhatsAppchats exchanged by a construction firm official with another member of the family, and documents showing large deposits in banks accounts of firms linked toa familymember. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 2020,willcovergovernmentand private institutes, which will be ratedonanumberof parameters that includes promotion opportunities, leadership positions and support structure, such as creches. Speaking to The Indian Express, Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of ScienceandTechnology, saidthe framework is being conceptu- alised as a part of the new policy’s push towards “inclusivity, equity and diversity’’. The last science policy was drawn up in 2013, and the new version is expected to be unveiled by December. “The representation of women in engineering courses at IITs is around 10-12 per cent. Eveninourowndepartment,we CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CLAT student says may have Covid, moves SC, sits for test separately EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 28 HOURS BEFORE the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) began on Monday afternoon, the Supreme Court allowed a student in Gwalior, who said he was “in isolation” as he was “suspected of being Covid-positive”, to sit for the test in a “separate isolation room” at his exam centre. “In the facts of the present case, we are of the view that the applicantshouldbepermittedto take his CLAT examination on 28.09.2020 in a separate isolation room to be provided by his centre superintendent,” said a Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah. The Bench, which gave the order in the morning, told the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 From bites to bytes: Startups use AI for instant quality check of farm produce PAGE 1 ANCHOR HARISH DAMODARAN NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 28 A LEGACY of the ‘Amul model’ is thatdairyfarmerstodayarepaid not just for quantity, but also for quality of the milk they supply. Both cooperative and private dairies fix the purchase price of milk based on its fat and solidsnot-fat content. The Gerber cen- trifuge and lactometer that measuretheseenablefarmersto be paid more for the same volume of milk containing higher total solids. This benefit isn’t available to other farmers, more so in crops that — unlike milk or sugarcane — are sold through APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) mandis. Even where some quality premium is given, it is a result of subjective assessment. For instance, soyabean traders hardly check for oil. They moved the Supreme Court against one of the Acts. Punjab Chief Minister AmarinderSinghalsoannounced that the state, which is seeing massive protests over the laws, would approach the top court. Congress general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal said party president Sonia Gandhi had directed Punjab, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Puducherry to explore the possibility of passing laws under Article 254(2) of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Centre clears early procurement of paddy in all states New science policy: institutes to be rated on support for women staff ESHA ROY RECORDS SHOW TRUMP’S YEARS OF TAX AVOIDANCE PAKISTAN OPPN LEADER HELD FOR MONEY LAUNDERING NEW DELHI, NAWANSHAHR, SEPTEMBER 28 Police search channel that aired sting on ‘corruption’ by BSY family EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Cong CMs look at bypassing farm laws, its MP goes to SC MANOJ C G, ANANTHAKRISHNAN G & ANJU AGNIHOTRI CHABA No govt nominees yet, RBI monetary panel meet put off GEORGE MATHEW & SUNNY VERMA Youth Congress members protesting against the farm laws set a tractor on fire at India Gate in New Delhi Monday. PTI Most mandis have no systems to grade produce visually inspect grain samples to gaugesizeuniformityandextent of damaged/ discoloured beans or foreign matter. Moisture level is determined by simply biting the bean – it is low if it cracks, and high (unacceptable) if the teeth sink in. So the farmer loses out. There’s no equivalent of a Gerber-lactometer reading that he can cite to demand a better price, even if his crop is above “fair average quality”. But can quality be assessed without depending on the eyes, nose and tongue? And can it be done at the mandi — that too, instantly? This is where new artificial intelligence (AI) technologies — computer vision and spectrometry — hold promise. “AIisaboutseeinglikeacomputer, but analysing like a human being. Just as the Tesla selfdrivingcaristrainedtorecognise red lights and roads, and know when tostopandwhentomove, we can replace humans with machines to do both physical and chemical analysis of food. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 IPS OFFICER OUT AFTER WIFE ABUSE VIDEO P 9 AMIDPROTESTSagainstthenew farm laws, and days after it advanced procurement of kharif paddy in Punjab and Haryana, the Centre on Monday cleared early procurement in all the remaining states. The usual procurement date is October 1. On September 26, theCentre ordered “immediate” procurement in Punjab and Haryana. TheCentrealsoapprovedthe procurement of 13.77 lakh met- ric tonnes (LMT) of pulses and oilseeds for Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2020-21 for Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana and Haryana. In an apparent attempt to allay farmers' fears that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system may be scrapped, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare also released data on paddy procurement in PunjabandHaryanaoverthelast two days. “The procurement of paddy during Kharif Marketing Season 2020-21 has just started from CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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