DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 2019 NRC list 20-PAGE PROPOSALS SENT TO FARMER UNIONS not ‘final’; 4,700 names ineligible, HC told MSP in writing, cess on pvt mandis: Centre reaches out, farmers say no GUWAHATI, DECEMBER 9 CONTRARY TO THE STATED position so far, Assam’s NRC (National Register of Citizens) Coordinator Hitesh Sarma has told the Guwahati High Court that the final NRC is "yet to be published" by the Registrar General of India (RGI). In a December 3 affidavit to the High Court, Sarma said the RGIwassilentonthepublication of the“FinalNRC".Hetermedthe listpublishedonAugust31,2019, as “Supplementary NRC” and said it included 4,700-odd ineligible names. The Indian Express accessed a copy of the affidavit on Wednesday. TheNRC,publishedinAugust last year under direct supervision of the Supreme Court, excluded19lakhoddpersons—includingaround5.56lakhHindus and over 11 lakh Muslims, according to state government estimates — from around 3.3 crore applicants. In a press statement, the then NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela had called it the “Final NRC”. The Assam government, however, holds the August 2019 list erroneous and had blamed Hajela for creating a flawed NRC. Hewasshiftedoutof thestateby theSupremeCourtlastyearsoon after his relationship with the state government deteriorated. The NRC process has hit a stonewall since then with the NRC office yet to issue rejection orders to the 19 lakh excluded persons. Only after these persons receive the rejection orders can they appeal against their exclusion in the Foreigners’ Tribunals. In the affidavit, Sarma submitted that all anomalies detected by him in the published NRC were communicated to the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY HARIKISHAN SHARMA & SOURAV ROY BARMAN SOURAV ROY BARMAN & MANOJ CG NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 9 THECENTREWednesdayoffered significant concessions, ranging fromawrittenassuranceoncontinuation of minimum support price(MSP)-based procurement and ensuring parity in transactions inside and outside existing Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis, to farmers protesting against the three new agricultural laws. However, the farmer unions rejected the proposals, several of which will require amending two of the new laws, as the government said. The 20-page proposals, by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, were forwarded to the farmer leaders around 2.30 pm, and included a written assurance on MSP. The CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE EDITORIAL PAGE REFORM,AS PERMR KANT DOES DISERVICE TO DEMOCRACY AND REFORM PAGE 10 NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 9 Farmer leaders address the media after receiving the government’s proposal on amendments to the farm laws, at Delhi’s Singhu border on Wednesday. Praveen Khanna THE PROPOSALS ■ States can register private mandis, fix cess, make rules for traders ACTION REQUIRED: Amendments ■ Farmers can approach civil courts in disputes ACTION REQUIRED: Amendment in two Acts ■ Written assurance to continue MSP ACTION REQUIRED: Either administrative order or amendment ■ Will address concerns regarding penalty for stubble burning ACTION REQUIRED: Amendment in an air quality ordinance How talks froze: Govt says we yielded, farmers insist repeal always key demand HARIKISHAN SHARMA & MANRAJ GREWAL SHARMA NEW DELHI, CHANDIGARH, DECEMBER 9 Today, December 9, after six roundsof talks,involvingover20 hours of deliberations, protests onthestreetsof Punjab,Haryana and the capital, farmer leaders were back to underlining the same item. This lack of movement has hardened the divide and poses the main challenge as both ● sides work on their next steps. Officials in the Government claimed that they had “yielded” E ON OCTOBER 13, the Number One item in the memorandumissuedby protesting farmers was the demand for the repeal of the three Central farm laws passed in a controversialsessionof theRajyaSabhaon September 20. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MEHBOOBA MUFTI INTERVIEW ‘Need to stand up to bully...boycotting polls would have left field open for BJP’ For BJP, J&K is religious, not political problem; Para arrested because he refused to join BJP and its proxies: Mufti BASHAARAT MASOOD SRINAGAR, DECEMBER 9 BOYCOTTING the District Development Council (DDC) polls, the first electoral exercise after the scrapping of J&K’s special status, would have left "the field open for the BJP and its proxies," said former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti here to- Pandemic lessons learnt, database on migrant labour may be ready by June PAGE 1 ANCHOR AANCHAL MAGAZINE NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 9 THELABOURandEmployment Ministry has sought help from other ministries to build a new database for migrant workers and others in the unorganised sector,whichithopestooperationalisebyMay-Junenextyear. The government will tap into existing databases of schemes such as Mahatma National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and One Nation,OneRationCard,along with data from Employees’ State Insurance Corporation and Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, to create a unique registration for migrant workers. Since multiple databases will be used, a de-duplication exercise using Aadhaar data willbeundertakenpriortoregistration for the new portal, whichtheNationalInformatics Centre (NIC) is developing. Farmers say will intensify stir; with you, don’t back down: Oppn Some changes, including civil court for disputes, will require amendments EXPLAINED ABHISHEK SAHA Govt had announced portal after largescale migration during lockdown Details of gig and platform workers and other unorganisedsectorworkerswillbeseparately added to this database. “Sanction has been received for and we have held two-three meetings with NIC, which is developing the portal.Fundsarenowavailablefor it. We are in the process of interactions with the concerned ministries,” Labour Secretary Apurva Chandra told The Indian Express. “Firstof all,wewanttotake the database of some ministries for seeding purposes. For example, NREGA, One Nation, One Ration. We would CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 day defending her party’s deciAbout why the PAGD was sion to contest. contesting the DDC polls, she In an exclusive interview to said, “What was the other opTheIndianExpress,shesaid tion? To leave the field that the formation of the open for the BJP and its People’s Alliance of proxies and be labelled Gupkar Declaration as Pakistani agents? A (PAGD), including the boycottwouldhaveonly PDP,NationalConference helped them spread and People’s Conference their tentacles deeper amongotherparties,was DECISION into the system here, al2020 the "beginning" of the ready controlled by an J&K fight for restoring J&K’s administration subDISTRICT, special status. servient to Delhi’s LOCAL POLLS DEEPENING THE standoff over the new farm laws, farmer unions Wednesday rejected the Centre’s written assurance on continuation of MSP-based procurement and parity in transactions inside and outside APMC mandis,andthreatenedtointensify their protest by blocking more highways leading to Delhi. The Opposition too came out in support of the farmers, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi telling them “don’t be scared… if you don’t stand up today, you willnotbeabletostandupever”. Gandhi, who led an Opposition delegation to President Ram Nath Kovind, urged him to persuade the government to accept the demands of the farmers and repeal the laws. “The government should not be under any misconception. The farmers will not compromise. Why... because they have understood that if they compromisetoday...theywillhavenofuture in India. They have clearly understood that if they don’t CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 GOVT & POLITICS CENTRAL BJP STEPS IN, BIPLAB CANCELS ‘MANDATE’ EVENT PAGE 5 HARAPPANS WERE BIG MEAT-EATERS, SAYS STUDY PAGE 6 Says UT govt not allowing her to move out whims and fancies." Accusing the administration of preventing her from moving out, she listed steps like the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE WORLD PAK OPP SAYS LAWMAKERS TO QUIT FOR EARLY POLLS PAGE 12 Around 70 envoys reached Hyderabad on Wednesday on their way to Bharat Biotech and Biological E. Ltd, where they were briefed on India’s vaccine programmes. PTI REPORT,P8 Panel seeks more vaccine data before emergency nod Serum, Bharat Biotech to give safety, efficacy details; Pfizer wants time KAUNAIN SHERIFF M & PRABHA RAGHAVAN NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 9 THE EXPERT committee scrutinising applications by three firms for emergency use authorisation of their Covid-19 vaccines in India on Wednesday asked the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech for additional late-stage safety and efficacy data from their ongoing clinicaltrials.Thethirdapplicant, US pharma giant Pfizer, sought more time to present its data. Sources told The Indian Express that the Subject Expert Committee (SEC), which met for thefirsttimeonWednesday,has sought detailed replies by the next meeting, whose date has not been decided yet. The SEC will be giving its recommendations to the Drugs Controller Generalof India(DCGI),basedon which it will take a final decision on the vaccines, with the whole process taking a few weeks. The SEC also cleared conditional permission for Phases 1 and 2 trials of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by the Pune-based Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd in collaboration CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 UK ISSUES ALLERGY WARNING FOR PFIZER PAGE 12 Karnataka widens ambit, passes tough anti-cow slaughter law EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE BENGALURU, DECEMBER 9 KARNATAKA’S BJP government tabled and passed a Bill in the state Assembly Wednesday, banning cow slaughter. The Opposition Congress and JDS staged a walkout, protesting the manner in which the Bill was passed without a debate in the House. The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020, which envisages a ban on all forms of cattle slaughter and stringent punishment for offenders, is a revised version of a Bill that was passed in 2010 when the BJP was in power. The 2010 Bill was shelved in 2013 by the Congress government after it did not receive the Governor’s assent. The Congress hadrevertedtothelessstringent Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation of Animals Act, 1964, which allows cow slaughter with certain restrictions. While the 1964 law banned the killing of “any cow or calf of she-buffalo”, it allowed the slaughter of bullock, buffalomale or female if it was certified by a competent authority to be above the age of 12 years or incapacitated for breeding or deemed sick. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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